Some Minnesotans who received a subsidy last year to help cover the cost of their health insurance may be in for a surprise when they file their tax return for 2014. At least one constituent reported to me that they must pay several hundred dollars of additional tax to cover the subsidy they received from the federal government to defray the cost of insurance. To be fair, this is not a problem brought on by the troubled MnSure exchange in Minnesota. It has to do with incomes that turned out to be under-estimated, which resulted in subsidies received that were too large.
Back when folks signed up for health coverage and the associated subsidies for last year, 2013 incomes were used to determine the level of subsidy. However, if the actual income for 2014 increased by a certain level, it changed or eliminated the subsidy amount people were entitled to receive. That’s the reason why some will have to pay income tax on that subsidy, although they had no idea this might happen. And even if they knew, it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to get back into the MnSure system to make a change in income, which would have also resulted in a lower subsidy and higher health insurance premiums.
Glenwood’s newest housing project is nearing completion as contractors, working through the winter, are finishing up construction of the 23-unit condominium complex called The Pearl on Lake Minnewaska.
“We’re excited,” said Brady Klick of Centre Graphics, Inc., the company that constructed the project located along Lakeshore Drive between Minnesota Avenue and First Street SE. “It’s a nice piece of property to add to the Lake Minnewaska lakeshore.”
Klick told Glenwood Commissioners Tuesday night that his company would be showing the first units to buyers after March 1. “The units turned out very nice and they are much bigger than they looked during the construction,” Klick said. “I think you’ll find that the majority of the units will be sold by the end of the year,” he added.
Students hope anti-bullying play sparks change
During national Anti-bullying Week at Minnewaska Area High School, students, grades 9-12, took in a play presented by the Homeward Bound Theatre, out of Chanhassen, about the effects of bullying.
The play featured five stereotypical teens who are thrown together during a three-day reality TV game-show. During the three days, the teens endure bullying by each other, learn more about one another, and eventually become friends and realize that bullying is not the answer to their own problems.
The essays of eight area students earned them top honors from Starbuck VFW Post 4582. At a ceremony held Feb. 9, Bob Friesen, post commander, led a program and presented the students with cash and other prizes for their winning efforts in the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen essay competitions.
The Voice of Democracy is a civic essay competition open to students in grades 9-12. The VFW established the Voice of Democracy program in 1947 to provide high school students the opportunity to express their thoughts on democratic ideas and principles. Each year, Voice of Democracy draws nearly 40,000 entries from across the country and offers $2.2 million in educational scholarships and incentives. Local winners were Justine Dalhoff, Monica Dalhoff, Naomi Dalhoff, Cole Mercier, Camryn Mithun and Madelynn Reichmann.
Local winners of the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen essay competition were also honored on Feb. 9. Each year more than 100,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. This year’s contest asked students to express their thoughts on the importance of veterans in our society. Avery Jergenson and Isabella Ortendahl were local winners of the Patriot’s Pen award. Photo is Contributed
Recent weekly activity reports from conservation officers (COs) with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are full of evidence of various types of refuse being discarded along frozen waterways.
“Once again, the most common complaint dealt with while on patrol involved anglers leaving their trash behind,” said CO Bret Grundmeier of Hinckley. Grundmeier spends hours each ice fishing season checking anglers and encouraging them to clean up after themselves and remove garbage from lakes. “Anglers are urged to police themselves and others.”
Deadline near for house removal
Minnesota’s fish house removal deadlines are March 2 in the southern part of the state and March 16 in the north.
Dayne Lent wins first-place prize for peace poster
Posters created by students Dayne Lent and Mikayla Martin were selected as first and second-place district winners in the annual peace poster contest sponsored by the Lions Clubs. The girls’ posters were recently on display at the District 5M4 Midwinter Convention in Willmar. Above, Dayne Lent accepted a $150 prize for her poster, which earned first place.
Each poster is judged on originality, artistic merit and expression of the theme. The theme for the 2014-15 contest was “Peace, Love and Understanding.” Students age 11, 12 and 13 were eligible to participate.
Come enjoy family-friendly candle-lit trails at Glacial Lakes State Park Sat. Feb. 21, 2015 from 6pm
Minnesota state parks and trails will host more than 30 candlelight events this winter, including an event at Glacial Lakes State Park on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 from 6-9 p.m. These events provide an opportunity to enjoy trails lit by candles, lanterns or luminaries. Participants can also warm up around a crackling fire and roast marshmallows or enjoy a hot beverage.
The trail is 1.5-3 miles and suitable for beginner-level snowshoers or hikers of all ages. Snowshoes will be available for rent if the park has enough snow for $6 per pair.
“The candlelight events are about having fun and warming up to winter,” said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “If you’ve never tried skiing, snowshoeing or walking along candle-lit trails, we hope you’ll join us this winter for an unforgettable experience.”
A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks ($5 for a one-day permit or $25 for a year-round permit). Those who don’t already have a Minnesota state parks vehicle permit (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/permit.html) can purchase one at the park office.
At this time the park does not plan to have or groom any ski trails due to lack of snow, but as a reminder for areas that do have snow….
Those, age 16 and older will also need the Great Minnesota Ski Pass if they plan to cross-country ski. The Great Minnesota Ski Pass ($6/daily, $20/one-season, $55/three-season) allows cross-country skiers age 16 or older to access miles of trails in state parks or forests or on grant-in-aid trails (www.mndnr.gov/skiing). Passes can be purchased at the park.
See more about the Friends of Glacial Lakes State Park at www.glaciallakesstateparkfriends.com or join the Friends group on facebook at www.facebook.com/FriendsOfGlacialLakesStatePark
Note that winter events may sometimes be changed or canceled due to weather. For more information, including event details, weather updates and directions to the park, call 320-239-2860 or visit the Glacial Lakes State Park web page at www.mndnr.gov.
For additional ideas on what to do at Minnesota state parks and trails this winter, people are encouraged to check out the “Winter Activities Guide” page at www.mndnr.gov/winterguide and pick up a copy of the new Minnesota State Parks and Trails Winter Programs and Special Events brochure.