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  • 10/22/2019 With the school year in full swing, Hoosiers are encouraged to remain vigilant to ensure safe schools as the nation recognizes America’s Safe Schools Week, Oct. 21-27.
    Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb also proclaimed this as Safe Schools Week in Indiana, in alignment with the national designation. Safe Schools Week is a National School Safety Center initiative to motivate key education and law enforcement policymakers, as well as teachers, parents and students, to continue focusing on school safety measures while providing a safe learning environment.
    “It is the responsibility of all citizens to enhance the learning experiences of young people by helping to ensure fair and effective discipline, promote good citizenship and generally make schools safe and secure,” Holcomb indicated in the proclamation.
  • 10/5/2019 Merriam-Webster: Aberrant (n) 1: a group, individual, or structure that is not normal or typical: an aberrant group, individual, or structure; 2: a person whose behavior departs substantially from the standard. Synonyms: (Adjective) aberrated, abnormal, anomalous, atypical, especial, exceeding, exceptional, extraordinaire, extraordinary, freak, odd, peculiar ....
    On July 27, 2016, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made his infamous "Russia, if you're listening . . ." appeal for dirt on Hillary Clinton. It commenced a two-year jigsaw puzzle type investigation that became President Trump's nightmare.
    It all seemed to end last July 24, when Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress that he could not indict Trump for obstruction of justice because of a Department of Justice rule that a sitting president can't be charged. Mueller distinctly said, “The President was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed.”
    July 25 should have been a new day, a new era for President Trump, the proverbial sigh of relief. The House could impeach, but there was no way the 55-seat Senate Republican majority would convict.
  • 9/27/2019 When you think of drug addiction, what immediately comes to mind? Do you conjure up images of a homeless person curled up in the dirty corner of a vacant house with a heroin needle stuck in his arm? How about a meth-head selling her body to get money for the next fix?
  • 9/17/2019 Local students are encouraged to apply for the Indiana House Republicans Internship Program. Internships are valuable experiences for college students and recent graduates that could jumpstart their careers by giving them a competitive edge in the job market.
    As an employer, I value job candidates who can use the skills they learn in the classroom and apply them to a professional work environment. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, nearly two-thirds of students who had paid internships received a job offer this year.
  • 8/31/2019 Democratic presidential hopefuls are offering voters freebies galore as the 2020 Presidential Election gets under way. They’re promising free child care, Medicare for All and no-cost college educations. Do they think the electorate is made up of free-loaders who are ready and willing to trade their votes for all manner of giveaways?
    One candidate threw his hat into the ring along with a truly cockamamie proposal that takes the cake. Granted, Andrew Yang is among the least known candidates, but when he announced that he was a candidate for the Democratic party’s nomination he did so with great fanfare and a proposal that he is unabashedly willing to pay cash for votes. 
    In Yang’s own words: “As president, my first priority will be to implement the Freedom Dividend, a universal basic income (UBI) for every American adult over the age of 18: $1,000 a month, no strings attached, paid for by a new tax on the companies benefiting most from automation.” Check out his Web site. 
  • What’s limit on income at retirement?
    8/31/2019 Ask Rusty – Paying Income Taxes on Social Security Benefits

    Dear Rusty: I understand that after I reach full retirement age, I no longer have a limit on how much I earn. I retired one year early (65), and am now 76, but I am still being taxed on a portion of my SS benefits. I am not working and making extra money. However, my wife is still working, and I get two small annuities per month. But when I file income tax I am told we made enough for me to be taxed on a portion of my Social Security benefit. I even checked to see if filing married but separate returns would help and it was not as good as joint returns. So maybe you can explain this to me. Signed: Taxpaying Senior

    Dear Taxpaying Senior: I’m afraid you’re speaking of two different things. You are correct that once you reach your full retirement age there is no longer a limit on how much you can earn from working before your monthly Social Security benefit is reduced. But that is something totally different from paying income tax on your Social Security benefits. 
  • Ask Rusty: How is my benefit figured?
    8/16/2019 Dear Rusty: I am 60 years old. I have worked full time since age 22. I am thinking about working part-time ages 62-65. When I start collecting my social security benefit sometime after age 65, will my monthly amount be based on only the last few years of my working? Can you please explain how my monthly amount will be determined? Signed: Planning My Future

    Dear Planning: I admire that you’re thinking ahead to your retirement years and I’m happy to clarify this for you. Your Social Security benefit, when you claim it, will be based upon the highest earning 35 years of your lifetime working career (not only the last few years). To determine your benefit, Social Security will take your entire record of lifetime earnings, adjust each year for inflation, and select the 35 years in which you had the highest earnings. After totaling those years they’ll divide by 420 (the number of months in 35 years) to determine your “average indexed monthly earnings” (AIME). They then break your AIME into several parts (using what’s known as “bend points”) and then take a percentage of each part and add it up to arrive at what’s called your “primary insurance amount” or “PIA.” The “bend point” values change each year, but for 2019 they are $926 and $5583. To compute your benefit, the formula will take 90% of the first $926 of your AIME; 32% of your AIME between $926 and $5583; and 15% of any amount of your AIME over $5583. The product of those three computations are added together to arrive at your PIA. 
  • Buick, Chevrolet introduce bigger little crossovers
    6/12/2019 Crossover segments are being sliced and diced into ever smaller pieces, leaving opportunities for additional sizes and price points. General Motors saw opportunities between the sub-compact Buick Encore/Chevy Trax and the merely compact Buick Envision/Chevy Equinox. Look forward to these bigger little crossovers. 
    2020 Buick Encore GX
    “As we look to the future of Buick, the Encore GX positions us strongly as a consideration for those who want to purchase small or compact SUVS,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC.
  • 2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport is so extra
    5/29/2019 When my five-year-old daughter gets especially sassy and demanding of life’s luxuries, my husband and I tell her she’s “so extra”! It’s both a compliment and a nod to her attitudinal ridiculousness. Cadillac is showing similar behavior with the XT4, a compact crossover that’s taking the brand into a broader array of vehicles. From grille to fins, it’s very clearly the Cadillac of sassy little crossovers.
    Stylists had to adapt Cadillac’s traditional design cues to an urban-friendly crossover more likely to attract Millennials than their parents – all without offending their empty nester parents. Our Sport model leads with a black mesh grille, LED headlamps, and 20” alloy wheels. Cadillac has historically been known for sharp creases that finish with at least hints of fins. I could do without the cutesy horizontal elements being added to headlamps and taillights, but the power dome hood and vertical lighting connect the XT4 to all generations. 
    My favorite part of the XT4 is probably the interior with layered stitched materials on the dash and real carbon fiber trim on the dash and doors. Heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a thick heated steering wheel add comfort. Automatic climate control, Bose audio, dual-pane sunroof, and front seat massagers go several better. Connect devices effortlessly with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G Wi-Fi. Cadillac finessed its infotainment system with a combination of touchscreen and console-mounted joywheel.
  • Guest Column - A Word to the Voters of Noblesville
    5/6/2019 Having spent nearly 20 years in public service, as Mayor of Noblesville for eight years and three terms on the Common Council, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly.  In September 2018, I walked away from my post as a Common Council at Large elected position with no official communication to the citizens of Noblesville or explanation for my actions.  Now, it gives me no pleasure to speak.  I have always put the citizens first and have always represented them aggressively and sincerely.  The practice of including the citizens, in the discussion concerning the issues that affect them, has become lost in the fog of self service.  My observation then and now is the current seated council holds little regard for the citizen’s opinions or the community in which they serve.  It was the lack of open process that gave me the courage to say enough is enough.
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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

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