Thursday, February 22nd


The tax season is an exciting time for taxpayers and criminals alike. While the vast majority of consumers will file their taxes and receive any refunds due without incident, an unlucky few will learn during the process that returns have already been filed in their names by scammers.

If you run into problems when you file, you may be a victim of tax identity theft. The following are indications that someone may have misused your identity to file a fraudulent return:

• Multiple returns were filed under your Social Security number.

• You receive a letter or refund check regarding a return you did not file.

• You owe additional taxes or are facing collection actions for a year you did not file a return.

I have to admit I joined the many Viking fans who were sorry that the Vikings lost in Sunday’s NFC Championship game.

What a historic event it would have been for the Vikings to host to the Super Bowl in their own stadium. Oh well.

Not that I was able to watch the game. Amazing Gracie did it again. I caught my toe and did a few wild grabs before hitting the floor. Talk about stop, drop and roll.

For once I was grateful for all the extra padding to cushion the impact. Ended up with a wrenched ankle and lots of recliner time keeping it elevated. If I thought I went crazy not getting around very well before, you can imagine how stir crazy a person gets when they are forced to be off their feet almost completely.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind says he wants to address infrastructure spending, the nation’s opioid crisis, rising health care costs and ways to maintain trade with foreign nations in 2018, but he fears congressional gridlock will get in the way of solving such problems.

“You can’t get to any of that without a one-year budget,” Kind said Wednesday.

Kind, elected to an 11th term in 2016, joined the majority of his fellow House Democrats last week in voting against a four-week spending bill to keep the federal government open and voted this week against a three-week extension that emerged from the Senate after a three-day shutdown.

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The state of Wisconsin will hold a hearing next month to review whether a Georgia timber company should be allowed to fill wetlands for a frac sand processing site in Monroe County.

Clean Wisconsin last year challenged the Department of Natural Resources’ decision to issue Meteor Timber a permit to fill 16.25 acres of wetlands for the proposed $65 million processing and loading facility near Millston.

A contested case hearing, a process similar to a court trial, has been scheduled for Feb. 26 through March 2 in Tomah.

An administrative law judge will listen to testimony and determine whether the project will have significant adverse environmental consequences and is the least environmentally harmful alternative as well as whether the DNR had sufficient information and followed procedures outlined in state statute.

Corn price highs and lows have different definitions to different people.

The dairy farmer may prefer when corn is cheap to reduce the cost of feed.

For crop farmers, low corn prices mean a tightening of the proverbial belt on margins and profitability.

What we learn from this is that the definition of “normal” is relative to what is grown and produced. However, there are many factors that demonstrate the new long-term “normal” may be $3.50 per bushel.

In order to understand this paradigm shift, we need to explore what caused the record high prices seen in 2012 and why it will be very difficult for the markets to sustain that high for any length of time during the next five to 10 years.