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RENSSELAER — The Rensselaer Area Ministerial Association is once again sponsoring the Longest Night Service, this time at Hope Community Church, located at 609 N. McKinley Ave. The service will take place Dec. 21 at 7 p.m.

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When I was 9 years old, my career goal was to play center field for the New York Yankees after Mickey Mantle retired. Then I got bifocals and couldn’t figure out which ball coming toward me to swing at.

The year 1971 was important for economic development in Indiana. For in that year, the actual number of jobs created in firms attracted directly by government policies declined.

It sure wasn't easy calling the North Pole to tell Santa Claus that I can no longer fill-in for his off days and sick leaves. Landing on top of snow-covered, icy rooftops in the dead of night at my age has become a bit risky. I have been celebrating Christmas with the children of the Calumet Area and NWI as Santa Claus bringing smiles of joy to those tiny faces since 1957. So, the time has come for this Jolly Old Man in the Bright Red Suit to hang up his big, black boots. But, before I do, I wanted to say, "THANK YOU TO ALL" for welcoming me into your homes, businesses and communities for the past 61 years!

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GARY — Former Mayor Richard Hatcher, one of the first black mayors of a major American city when he was elected in 1967 at age 34, and whose five terms made him Gary’s longest-tenured chief executive, died Friday.

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MoneyTips

Charity at holiday time means more than just putting your change into the traditional red buckets at the entrances to big-box stores. Needs at the holidays are even more pressing on families, with cold weather threatening coupled with stress over whether they can provide any sort of meaningful holiday for their loved ones.

While traditional holiday charities such as the Salvation Army are fine places to contribute your charitable income, there are other options for giving your money…and your time. In some cases, the time is even more precious than the money.

  1. Pantries/Food Drives – Thanksgiving and Christmas puts tremendous stress on food pantries. They are often pushed to the edge of their resources. Consider donating cash as well as food items so the pantry can purchase holiday-specific items such as Thanksgiving turkeys.

  2. So...

Charity Facts and Figures

$500,000 Put In Salvation Army Kettle

How Much Do We Really Give At The Holidays?

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MoneyTips

For many people, the end of the year represents a hectic time, and the last thing anyone wants to do is add to an already full plate. However, building the following financial moves into your fourth-quarter routine can really pay off over the long run and give you greater peace of mind for the coming year.

1. Get A Head Start On Organizing Your Financial Records

This could involve downloading your online account statements and gathering all your personal income records into one place. I like to stash stubs, receipts for any tax-deductible payments, and IRS forms I receive during the year in a separate folder. Then, when tax time comes, I do not have to go searching for all this information. If I have a refund coming, I want to file early so I can use the money. December is also a great time to get a general idea of your income taxes. Maybe you can make an extra deductible contribution, such as into your

Say "No" to Save Dough

Life Without A Safety Net

Americans Still Not Saving... But Don't Care!

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MoneyTips

Are the holidays not hectic enough for you? Put aside your gift list for a moment; how about adding a home sale to your to-do list?

Most people avoid selling their homes during the holidays, but you may not have any choice in the matter. If you need to sell your home around the end of the year, here are seven tips to help your sale go smoothly.

  1. Minimize Holiday Decorations – Not everyone has the same love of holiday decorations, and poorly maintained, tacky, or overly religious displays can be a turnoff for potential buyers. Keep the seasonal decorations simple and easy to maintain.

    That applies to the outside as well as the inside of your home – avoid browning out the neighborhood with your awesome light display.

  2. Keep It Clean – Keeping the home free of tracked-in mud, snow, and other debris is even tougher in the winter months, and arguably even more important. Vacuum well and vacuum often.
    ...

7 Home-Selling Mistakes to Avoid

Home Seller's Checklist

Using Videos To Sell Your Home

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MoneyTips

The holiday season is full of plans and activities that make December incredibly hectic. If you are the average American, tax considerations and financial adjustments are pretty low on your holiday to-do list. However, you are not the average American — you enjoy saving money, are diligent in seeking ways to save, and excellent at following through with your plans. We can help by offering these potential money-saving tips to take to save on this year's taxes.

  1. Make Maximum Retirement Contributions – If you can afford to do so, max out your contributions to tax-deferred savings plans. For the 2019 tax year, maximum annual Individual Retirement Account (IRA) contributions are $6,000 with an additional $1,000 allowed as a "catch-up" contribution for taxpayers who are at least fifty years old. 401(k) plan annual contribution limits are $19,000 with an extra $6,000 catch-up allo...

It's STILL Not Too Late To Lower Your Tax Bill

19 Most Popular Tax Deductions For 2019

9 Crucial Tax Deductions

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MoneyTips

The end of the year is full of activities. Family, school, and work obligations can keep you running constantly, without the time to consider other important things – such as whether you have used all of the health care and dental plan benefits covered by your insurance.

Are insurance concerns not high on your holiday list? They probably aren't, but you could be wasting money by not reviewing your insurance usage before the holiday madness starts in earnest.

Alex Alsup, account manager for health and productivity at Assured Partners, says wellness leaders play key roles in the company’s regional offices. 

People familiar with harsh winters understand specific precautions must be taken to effectively contend with storms and cold temperatures. Both can be dangerous or even deadly for the unprepared or those who do not respect the power and unpredictability of nature.

If you’re like most adults, you might have a hard time falling or staying asleep. In fact, a 2018 Consumer Report found that 68 percent of Americans struggle with their sleeping patterns at least once a week. That accounts for 164 million Americans. If you’re included in that number, you may want to try the phenomenon of “clean sleep.”

BEIJING - China will suspend planned additional punitive tariffs on some U.S. products after "phase one" of a long-awaited trade deal was reached between the countries, state-run news agency Xinhua reported on Sunday. Beijing had threatened to retaliate if the United States had gone ahead with imposing further tariffs on $160 billion of Chinese goods on Sunday. However, after both sides ...

LOS ANGELES - Beverly Hills police are investigating vandalism of Nessah Synagogue on Saturday morning after an employee arrived at the place of worship at 7 a.m. to discover an open door, overturned furniture and damage to several relics. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime but report that there is no evidence to suggest that the attack was anti-Semitic in nature. The ...

NEW YORK - LSU quarterback Joe Burrow won the Heisman Trophy in New York on Saturday night, beating out Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts and Ohio State's Justin Fields and Chase Young. Burrow was heavily favored to win. He led LSU to a 13-0 season, SEC title and No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff. He threw for 48 touchdowns and 4,715 yards on a 77.9% completion percentage. All three of those ...

LOS ANGELES - It started as a routine call for medical attention at an Ontario home early Saturday morning. But with a series of terrifying twists - a husband with gunshot wounds, a wife firing on arriving police, a five-hour hostage standoff - the call for help revealed a domestic tragedy. Just after dawn, SWAT officers forced their way into the home on East F Street and discovered the bodies ...