The Mille Lacs County Times http://millelacscountytimes.com The Mille Lacs County Times cover community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Milaca, Minnesota and it's surrounding areas. Tue, 07 Jul 2015 18:54:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2014 Drinking Water Report http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/2014-drinking-water-report/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/2014-drinking-water-report/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 18:54:06 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=112222 2014 Drinking Water Report

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Michael Corona http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/michael-corona/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/michael-corona/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 18:17:20 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=112218 Michael   Corona

Micheal Corona
Micheal Benjamin Corona passed away on May 6, 2015, Micheal was 20 years old.
Micheal grew up in Milaca, attending Milaca Schools. Micheal also attended Buffalo Schools for a short time were his father lived.
Micheal enjoyed BMX biking, writing, reading, music, writing lyrics and spending time with friends and family.
Micheal always had a strong passion for everything he did and he is truly missed.
Micheal is survived by his son Zane Christian Hackbarth, father Benjamin Corona, mother Amy Smith, sister Megan Corona, brother Jackson Smith, grandparents Ralph and Linda Bechtle and Kathy White and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
There will be a memorial service for Micheal on July 26th at 2:00 p.m. at Riverview Park in Milaca – this would have been Micheal's 21st birthday.

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How to Trim College Costs http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/how-to-trim-college-costs/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/how-to-trim-college-costs/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 16:31:10 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?guid=99e50a8a88521fd6b0701269cb890322 The price of college these days can easily make you feel overwhelmed if you face paying tuition for your child. Though you’ll probably still pony up big bucks for higher education, many online tools can help you whittle down the price.

Ballooning college costs constitute a real and hard lesson: Over the last two years, expenses for higher education jumped at more than four times the Consumer Price Index that measures total inflation. The general cost of a college education jumped some seven-fold in recent decades and at more than twice the rate of health-care costs since 1983.

I recently wrote about why I think college remains a wonderful investment but not about how you can more easily afford it.{{{{{{{{{WE WILL LINK TO STORY OF 6/23 – JS}}}}}}}}}}}}}} Since many details figure into financing college, I reached out to Terry Wilfong, an expert in this field who works extensively on admissions both inside and outside universities.

Most recently he founded the College Options Foundation, which helps high school students in the Army Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps  and teenagers in military families apply for college and apply for financial assistance.

Terry says that, for a variety of reasons, any student’s absolute best opportunity to save money on college remains a good grade point average and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT) scores, as well as a well-rounded assortment of extracurricular activities.

Possibly your state can also help. Georgia, where I live, offers the Hope Scholarship, which essentially covers the cost of tuition of in-state colleges for students who graduate high school with a 3.0 GPA and maintain those grades in college.

Even if you and your future collegiate have such a program, Terry suggests that you still look into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before settling on staying in-state. FAFSA, part of the U.S. Department of Education, offers more than $150 billion in government grants, loans and work-study funds each year to more than 13 million students. Eligibility depends on several factors, including the size and assets of your family, among others.

FAFSA bridges the gap between what college expenses your family must expect to cover (your expected family contribution, or EFC) and the school year’s total cost. For example, if you’re looking at a school where the academic year costs $40,000, FAFSA determines that your family must cover (or can afford) $15,000. FAFSA and the school may help with all or a portion of the leftover gap of $25,000 with a mix of gifted money and student loans.

FAFSA won’t cover all of a family’s need for the cost of many schools, often meaning that a student must take out additional loans to make up the difference. Visit collegedata.com and its Money Matters tab to see the general breakdown of costs to attend schools you’re interested in and profiles of schools’ financial aid.

Other tabs to help you better approximate what a given college will cost: a scholarship finder, a price calculator and an awards-comparison tool.

Depending on your qualification for FAFSA, don’t automatically disqualify schools on initial price alone. Understanding the mechanics of how a school supports your student’s ability to pay allows you to select the best school for your money.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wes Moss, CFP, is the chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and a partner at Wela, both in Atlanta. He hosts “Money Matters,” a live financial advice show on Atlanta’s News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB Radio. In 2015 and 2014 Barron’s Magazine named him as one of America’s top 1,200 Financial Advisors. His newly released book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think published by McGraw Hill, is available on Amazon, iTunes and at your local bookstore.

Wes writes weekly about personal finance in the “Bargain Hunter Section” for AJC.com, the site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wes is also the editor and writer for About.com’s Personal Finance blog. Connect with Wes on Twitter at @WesMoss365 and on Facebook at Wes Moss Money Matters. You can also visit his website, WesMoss.com to learn more about Wes, and take his complimentary Money and Happiness Quiz.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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The price of college these days can easily make you feel overwhelmed if you face paying tuition for your child. Though you’ll probably still pony up big bucks for higher education, many online tools can help you whittle down the price.

Ballooning college costs constitute a real and hard lesson: Over the last two years, expenses for higher education jumped at more than four times the Consumer Price Index that measures total inflation. The general cost of a college education jumped some seven-fold in recent decades and at more than twice the rate of health-care costs since 1983.

I recently wrote about why I think college remains a wonderful investment but not about how you can more easily afford it.{{{{{{{{{WE WILL LINK TO STORY OF 6/23 – JS}}}}}}}}}}}}}} Since many details figure into financing college, I reached out to Terry Wilfong, an expert in this field who works extensively on admissions both inside and outside universities.

Most recently he founded the College Options Foundation, which helps high school students in the Army Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps  and teenagers in military families apply for college and apply for financial assistance.

Terry says that, for a variety of reasons, any student’s absolute best opportunity to save money on college remains a good grade point average and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and American College Testing (ACT) scores, as well as a well-rounded assortment of extracurricular activities.

Possibly your state can also help. Georgia, where I live, offers the Hope Scholarship, which essentially covers the cost of tuition of in-state colleges for students who graduate high school with a 3.0 GPA and maintain those grades in college.

Even if you and your future collegiate have such a program, Terry suggests that you still look into the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before settling on staying in-state. FAFSA, part of the U.S. Department of Education, offers more than $150 billion in government grants, loans and work-study funds each year to more than 13 million students. Eligibility depends on several factors, including the size and assets of your family, among others.

FAFSA bridges the gap between what college expenses your family must expect to cover (your expected family contribution, or EFC) and the school year’s total cost. For example, if you’re looking at a school where the academic year costs $40,000, FAFSA determines that your family must cover (or can afford) $15,000. FAFSA and the school may help with all or a portion of the leftover gap of $25,000 with a mix of gifted money and student loans.

FAFSA won’t cover all of a family’s need for the cost of many schools, often meaning that a student must take out additional loans to make up the difference. Visit collegedata.com and its Money Matters tab to see the general breakdown of costs to attend schools you’re interested in and profiles of schools’ financial aid.

Other tabs to help you better approximate what a given college will cost: a scholarship finder, a price calculator and an awards-comparison tool.

Depending on your qualification for FAFSA, don’t automatically disqualify schools on initial price alone. Understanding the mechanics of how a school supports your student’s ability to pay allows you to select the best school for your money.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wes Moss, CFP, is the chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and a partner at Wela, both in Atlanta. He hosts “Money Matters,” a live financial advice show on Atlanta’s News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB Radio. In 2015 and 2014 Barron’s Magazine named him as one of America’s top 1,200 Financial Advisors. His newly released book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think published by McGraw Hill, is available on Amazon, iTunes and at your local bookstore.

Wes writes weekly about personal finance in the “Bargain Hunter Section” for AJC.com, the site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wes is also the editor and writer for About.com’s Personal Finance blog. Connect with Wes on Twitter at @WesMoss365 and on Facebook at Wes Moss Money Matters. You can also visit his website, WesMoss.com to learn more about Wes, and take his complimentary Money and Happiness Quiz.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Smart Beta’s Success: Why? http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/smart-betas-success-why/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/smart-betas-success-why/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:00:19 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?guid=1e14faaf7fb7213cca397a79c24bdd9b Smart beta strategies are hot. These index products seek to outdo traditional passive indexes by using alternative – and presumably wiser – methods of constructing their portfolios. Lately, smart beta ETFs are beating conventional index funds in performance. As smart beta is oriented to small value stocks, odds are this trend should keep going long term.

There’s no denying the popularity of the strategy. Go to any exchange-traded fund conference and the majority of presentations will be about smart beta.

This concept is an indexing methodology that is not market cap weighted, which many index funds are. In an index like the Standard & Poor’s 500, companies are weighted by the size of their market capitalizations – the total value of their outstanding shares.

A smart beta approach to the S&P 500 weighs companies differently: Some equally weight them (where Apple, which has the largest capitalization, ranks the same as Diamond Offshore Drilling, the smallest). Others use fundamental weighting, based on things like dividend rates or earnings.

It makes sense that smart beta is in vogue right now, because ETFs – the primary vehicle for this strategy – are so very popular, due to their low expenses and ease of trading. ETFs are mutual fund-like instruments, specializing in indexes and trading on exchanges like stocks.

Given the explosion in ETF offerings, if you are going to issue a new one, it has to be something different. Add in the fact that the research shows that just about any other way to weight an index beats market cap weighting over time. 

The million-dollar question is why does smart beta outperform market cap weighting and will it persist? One idea why is simple: curve fitting. In other words, with computer technology, you can find a bunch of anomalies that beat the market. You need to start with a valid premise that should work, and then test it to see if it does.

For example, weighting companies by fundamental factors – meaning the companies in the best shape get a larger weight in the index and the companies in the worst shape get a lower weight – should beat a simple market cap gauge. You can then test it and see what the results are.

Here is a link to a video from Rob Arnott, head of investment manager Research Affiliates, talking about smart beta. It is a couple of years old but makes an interesting point about why such strategies likely outperform.

He took a look at a bunch of different smart beta approaches and found that they beat market cap weighting.  He then took the opposite of those approaches and found that they also beat market cap weighting. On the surface, this makes no sense.

Let’s say overweighting low beta stocks (those with less volatility than the broad market) beats market cap weighting because there is something uniquely powerful about low beta stocks. Then, the inverse, overweighting high beta stocks, shouldn't beat market cap weighting. But it does.

The answer most likely is that smart beta strategies, regardless of how they are constructed, encompass two tilts – value and size – that do better than market cap weighting. In a market cap weighted index you are always going to overweight the most expensive and therefore the largest stocks.

In most smart beta approaches you are going to favor more value and smaller stocks, this is most likely where the outperformance comes from. One study shows that from 1927 to 2014 small cap value stocks outpaced large cap growth shares by 6.2 percentage points, averaged annually.

The major factor, however, is that large caps tend to be relatively expensive, so they are more susceptible to reverting to the mean – that is, they have further to fall. To avoid that problem, my firm uses the Guggenheim Equally Weighted S&P 500 ETF (RSP) a lot in our strategies. as the name suggests, each holding has the same weighting in the portfolio, whether it be Apple or Diamond Offshore.

According to Morningstar, over the past 10 years, this ETF had an average annual return of 9.0% versus 7.9% for the S&P 500. By Morningstar’s reckoning, the average market cap of the portfolio is $21.6 billion, compared to $73.4 billion for the market cap weighted S&P 500. 

So where did the outperformance come from? It could be a random anomaly that was curve fit, but most likely it is the size tilt toward smaller cap stocks.

Will smart beta outperformance persist? Who knows? Small caps did badly in 2014. Value was a laggard in the late 1990s. However, it makes sense that value – buying something for a low price – and small stock outperformance should continue over time, so any strategy that tilts toward those categories should be fine.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Matthew Tuttle, CFP, is chief executive of Tuttle Tactical Management in Stamford, Conn., and the author of How Harvard & Yale Beat the Market. He can be reached at 347-852-0548 or mtuttle@tuttletactical.com

Nothing in this article should be interpreted to state or imply that past results are an indication of future performance. Please consult your tax or investment advisor before making any investment decisions.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Smart beta strategies are hot. These index products seek to outdo traditional passive indexes by using alternative – and presumably wiser – methods of constructing their portfolios. Lately, smart beta ETFs are beating conventional index funds in performance. As smart beta is oriented to small value stocks, odds are this trend should keep going long term.

There’s no denying the popularity of the strategy. Go to any exchange-traded fund conference and the majority of presentations will be about smart beta.

This concept is an indexing methodology that is not market cap weighted, which many index funds are. In an index like the Standard & Poor’s 500, companies are weighted by the size of their market capitalizations – the total value of their outstanding shares.

A smart beta approach to the S&P 500 weighs companies differently: Some equally weight them (where Apple, which has the largest capitalization, ranks the same as Diamond Offshore Drilling, the smallest). Others use fundamental weighting, based on things like dividend rates or earnings.

It makes sense that smart beta is in vogue right now, because ETFs – the primary vehicle for this strategy – are so very popular, due to their low expenses and ease of trading. ETFs are mutual fund-like instruments, specializing in indexes and trading on exchanges like stocks.

Given the explosion in ETF offerings, if you are going to issue a new one, it has to be something different. Add in the fact that the research shows that just about any other way to weight an index beats market cap weighting over time. 

The million-dollar question is why does smart beta outperform market cap weighting and will it persist? One idea why is simple: curve fitting. In other words, with computer technology, you can find a bunch of anomalies that beat the market. You need to start with a valid premise that should work, and then test it to see if it does.

For example, weighting companies by fundamental factors – meaning the companies in the best shape get a larger weight in the index and the companies in the worst shape get a lower weight – should beat a simple market cap gauge. You can then test it and see what the results are.

Here is a link to a video from Rob Arnott, head of investment manager Research Affiliates, talking about smart beta. It is a couple of years old but makes an interesting point about why such strategies likely outperform.

He took a look at a bunch of different smart beta approaches and found that they beat market cap weighting.  He then took the opposite of those approaches and found that they also beat market cap weighting. On the surface, this makes no sense.

Let’s say overweighting low beta stocks (those with less volatility than the broad market) beats market cap weighting because there is something uniquely powerful about low beta stocks. Then, the inverse, overweighting high beta stocks, shouldn't beat market cap weighting. But it does.

The answer most likely is that smart beta strategies, regardless of how they are constructed, encompass two tilts – value and size – that do better than market cap weighting. In a market cap weighted index you are always going to overweight the most expensive and therefore the largest stocks.

In most smart beta approaches you are going to favor more value and smaller stocks, this is most likely where the outperformance comes from. One study shows that from 1927 to 2014 small cap value stocks outpaced large cap growth shares by 6.2 percentage points, averaged annually.

The major factor, however, is that large caps tend to be relatively expensive, so they are more susceptible to reverting to the mean – that is, they have further to fall. To avoid that problem, my firm uses the Guggenheim Equally Weighted S&P 500 ETF (RSP) a lot in our strategies. as the name suggests, each holding has the same weighting in the portfolio, whether it be Apple or Diamond Offshore.

According to Morningstar, over the past 10 years, this ETF had an average annual return of 9.0% versus 7.9% for the S&P 500. By Morningstar’s reckoning, the average market cap of the portfolio is $21.6 billion, compared to $73.4 billion for the market cap weighted S&P 500. 

So where did the outperformance come from? It could be a random anomaly that was curve fit, but most likely it is the size tilt toward smaller cap stocks.

Will smart beta outperformance persist? Who knows? Small caps did badly in 2014. Value was a laggard in the late 1990s. However, it makes sense that value – buying something for a low price – and small stock outperformance should continue over time, so any strategy that tilts toward those categories should be fine.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Matthew Tuttle, CFP, is chief executive of Tuttle Tactical Management in Stamford, Conn., and the author of How Harvard & Yale Beat the Market. He can be reached at 347-852-0548 or mtuttle@tuttletactical.com

Nothing in this article should be interpreted to state or imply that past results are an indication of future performance. Please consult your tax or investment advisor before making any investment decisions.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Child maltreatment an ever-present problem in county http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/by-joel-stottrup-union-eagle-reporter-the-problem-of-child-abuse-in-mille-lacs-county-has-significantly-increased-in-the-past-two-to-three-years-according-to-suzanne-lelwica-the-countys-co/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/by-joel-stottrup-union-eagle-reporter-the-problem-of-child-abuse-in-mille-lacs-county-has-significantly-increased-in-the-past-two-to-three-years-according-to-suzanne-lelwica-the-countys-co/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:00:58 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=112195 The problem of child abuse in Mille Lacs County has significantly increased in the past two to three years, according to Suzanne Lelwica, the county’s Community and Veterans Services Department assistant director.Violence artwork1
Her department handled 200 child maltreatment cases, some classified as family assessments (129) or family investigations (29). Family investigation cases are the more serious ones, and a child protection case can begin as a family assessment and evolve into a family investigation, according to Lelwica.
Of those 200 cases last year, 65 percent were neglect, 36 percent were abuse and 15 percent were sexual abuse.
Lelwica’s department is charged with looking into situations of possible maltreatment of children up to age 18, and the definition of child maltreatment is multi-faceted. It is not only when there is an injury from abuse, but it also includes neglect or inadequate support of a child, Lelwica noted.
Minnesota has child maltreatment screening guidelines for its county social service agencies and guidelines on how to respond to child maltreatment.
The state guidelines list the following types of maltreatment: physical abuse, threatened injury, mental and emotional harm, sexual abuse and neglect, and neglect includes a long list of things. They are failure to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter, heat or sanitation, having environmental hazards in the home including drug related, failure to provide necessary medical care, health or other care, failure to ensure education, and failure to protect the child from actions that present serious endangerment.
Child neglect under the state guidelines also includes child abandonment, failure to provide necessary supervision or child care arrangement, prenatal exposure to controlled substances or their derivatives, and chronic and severe use of alcohol or controlled substance by a parent or person responsible for a child’s care to where it adversely affects the child’s basic needs and safety.
The effect of drug abuse
The incidence of methamphetamine use had fallen some years ago in Mille Lacs County and other parts of the state for multiple reasons. One was law enforcement shutting down meth labs, though there was never a guarantee more wouldn’t spring up. The other was state legislation restricting access to over-the-counter meth precursor drugs.
But since then drug dealers have also developed ways to supply the market by shipping illicit meth into the area, and meth use has increased greatly again, said Lelwica.
Heroin use has also spiked in the county in recent years, she said, and pointed out that 95 percent of child foster care in the county is due to parental drug use.
“Right now we have about 145 children in foster care in Mille Lacs County and that’s a significantly high number given our (county) population (of close to 26,000).”
Just having controlled substances in a home with children can mean their possibly inhaling or ingesting illicit substances, she said.
“We’ve had children find needles in the home,” Lelwica said, referring to the type used to inject heroin and other controlled drugs.
Also, when the parent is using illegal drugs, there is more of a chance other criminal activity will occur in the home, she said.
Further, the withdrawal symptoms from heroin addiction are so significant that it’s challenging for the addicts to recover and “we often see relapses,” she said. In those cases, the county will provide services to support the addict in getting back into treatment. With the recovering addict’s consent, “we will monitor their treatment and we will request or get a court order for random urinalysis testing,” Lelwica continued.
Sometimes the drug user will try to act like they have taken the urine test when they haven’t and so a hair follicle test is done, which will show if they have used a certain drug within the past 90 days, Lelwica said.
How CVS deals with reports
Mille Lacs County child protection workers at Community and Veterans Services are part of a multidisciplinary team. They work with the county attorney and the county’s law enforcement investigators. The team meets monthly during which the members examine their practices and discuss how they might improve child protection and criminal investigation, Lelwica said.
Mandatory reporting
People in various work sectors are required by law to report to authorities if they see signs of possible child abuse or neglect. These workplaces include schools, hospitals, medical clinics and advocacy places such as Pearl Crisis Center in Milaca that helps victims of domestic violence.
Mille Lacs County Community and Veterans Services has employees trained to go to these mandatory-reporting places each year to train the workers all about the job of reporting.
This training increases community awareness of child maltreatment and leads to more child maltreatment getting reported, Lelwica said.
Family Ties in the act
Mille Lacs County’s family services also collaborates in child protection, and the key feature of this is Family Ties, an early-intervention and prevention program. Family Ties is actually unique to Mille Lacs County, Lelwica said. If a child is having school attendance issues, a school employee can refer the child to Family Ties to offer services to help the family of that child solve the problems causing the attendance problem.
Another way Mille Lacs County responds to child maltreatment is its Parent Support Outreach Program, in which the county receives funding from the state. The program can be used to help children ages 10 or younger in at-risk families. Program money can buy food if there is a case of poor nutrition and assist with transportation or utility bills.
Sometimes it is a matter of the home being so full of junk that the Parent Support Outreach Program will arrange for a dumpster for cleaning out the home, Lelwica said. Or it may be that the parent or other caregiver needs a break, so respite care is provided. The Parent Support Outreach Program has also been used to buy shoes and clothing. The program is typically only used for a period of one to three months in a case, Lelwica said.
Having financial issues can raise stress in a home and make life harder for the child, Lelwica explained.
Community Health Services assists
Also helping protect children in Mille Lacs County is the county’s Community Health Services with its home visiting program. Community Health Services supervisor Kay Nastrom spoke recently about the program.
The public health nurses’ home visits are to help children from the prenatal stage up to age 3. The visiting nurses work in a number of ways: teaching parenting skills, doing parent-child intervention if there are problems, teaching healthy eating, healthy family activities, bonding and relationship building.
The age of the parent can go from young teens on up. Nastrom said the youngest mother so far in a home visit was 14.
The home visits are voluntary, free and typically weekly but can take place every other week or even once a month based on the family’s needs, Nastrom said.
Funding
Nastrom’s agency receives three grants for the work: Temporary Assistance of Needy Families, Maternal Child Health, and Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting.
The first two grants are from the Minnesota Department of Health, while the third grant is federal money given to the state and the counties have to compete in applying for the money. Mille Lacs is one of a fraction of counties in the state that has received the Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting grant, Nastrom said.
That money is for helping prevent child abuse and neglect, encourage positive parenting and to promote child development and school readiness. The county has to do a lot of record keeping and reporting to keep receiving that grant money.
Nastrom added that she is very happy for all three grants because it makes it much more possible for her agency to make as many home visits as it does, which was to 50-60 families in 2014.
The process of assessing, investigating
Lelwica meets with her child protection staff weekly to look over the cases, provide direction and decide who is to go where and do what. A worker will report on an interview and then there is a discussion about whether more information is needed.
“For an investigation, there could be multiple interviews, but we try to interview the alleged victim once,” Lelwica said. “If need be, we interview (the victim) twice.”
All child protection interviews include audio recording but cases of alleged sex abuse also include video. Being interviewed about sexual abuse “can be traumatic for the child,” Lelwica said. She noted that the interviewers are highly trained for their job and use the Cornerhouse Protocol, which strives to interview children in the least traumatic way.
Lilweca said the interviews in child sex abuse cases are the forensic type and called Mille Lacs County “progressive” in this way. She explained that three of her child protection social workers were the first three in Minnesota to be nationally certified as forensic interviewers.
Lelwica talked about the importance of funding for child protection and education to prevent child maltreatment.
“I’d like to see ongoing support for early intervention and preventive services,” she said. “Some of the funding for Family Ties is to eventually go away.”
Mille Lacs County’s child protection workers deal with extremely challenging cases and the case loads are too high, Lelwica added.

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Meet your neighbor: Marcia Sonsteby http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/meet-your-neighbor-marcia-sonsteby/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/meet-your-neighbor-marcia-sonsteby/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:00:34 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=112190 Marcia Sonsteby has resided in Princeton for 25 of her 26 years but spends a significant amount of time working in Milaca as either a children’s pastor at Milaca Lighthouse Fellowship or as a patient care assistant at Home Advantage Health Care LLC. She lives with her father and older brother. Her younger brother is newly married.

Marcia Sonsteby

Marcia Sonsteby

Having recently returned to the area after living in Minneapolis, Sonsteby finds she is much happier being back home. In the city, she worked as a cleaner while attending North Central University while earning her missions major.
Through college, she was able to travel to China and India and visit schools for the deaf and the blind. What struck her most was the joy the children exhibited even though they didn’t have much.
“That was really eye opening to me to see the kids there. Once you go on an overseas mission, you’re never the same. I really enjoy working with children and just seeing them grow and experience different activities,” Sonsteby said.
Her goal is to help raise a new generation and influence them in a positive way. Sonsteby is hopeful that she will eventually travel overseas again to do mission work with young people living on the street or in orphanages.
“There aren’t enough positive role models. If I can be a positive role model, that’s the best thing that can happen,” she said.
She believes her calling from God is to be a mother to the motherless and to introduce children to Christ. After losing her own mother, 48-year-old Rebecca Sonsteby, six years ago to lymphoma, Marcia Sonsteby feels she can connect with children and relate to them. In turn, working with the kids helps her through the grieving process and enables her to carry on her mother’s legacy, since she also worked with children.
“She wasn’t only a mother to her own kids, but was a mother to the community. I just want to carry on her legacy of caring for other children. I could never have a normal job. I’m too people oriented,” she said.

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More needs to be done to reduce child abuse http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/more-needs-to-be-done-to-reduce-child-abuse/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/07/more-needs-to-be-done-to-reduce-child-abuse/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:00:03 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=112193 Minnesota has experienced a horrific parade of violence against children in recent years. Just last week, we learned of the death of Sophia O’Neill, age 2, of Minneapolis, stomped to death allegedly by her mother’s boyfriend, age 17.
Most people recall the 32-year-old father, Michael Gunderson of Princeton, arrested in March after his two children ages 2 and 3 were found to be severely malnourished and dehydrated, with sores on their bodies.
The murder of Pope County’s Eric Dean, age 4, after 15 reports to the county of possible abuse went unaddressed, caused the Legislature to act.
And coming out in a trickle have been years of pedophile attacks by Roman Catholic priests, of which 179 in Minnesota alone have been accused.
It is easy to become angry at the accused and the convicted, to send them to prison and pretend that we have accomplished something. However, we have a major public health issue confronting us, and are nowhere close to solving it. The reported crimes are just the tip of the iceberg.
In 2013, local governments in Minnesota received 68,000 reports of alleged child abuse. Of those, about 48,000 were screened out with no more than a phone call.
In the wake of Eric Dean’s death, Gov. Mark Dayton formed a task force to review the state’s child protection efforts. It returned with 93 recommendations.
The Legislature responded by enacting several changes:
•Law enforcement must now review every report of alleged child abuse, even if the report was received initially by social services.
•A provision that kept child protection teams from looking at previously screened out reports was repealed.
•The priority for action was changed from keeping a family together to putting the safety of the child foremost.
•An additional $52 million was appropriated, most of which will go directly to hire more child protection workers. Currently, the caseload for such workers is about 20, and the goal is to reduce it to 15 cases per worker.
The governor’s task force concluded that a continuum of responses is needed, allowing child protection workers to keep the child safe, but also to help families become properly engaged.
A growing body of evidence shows that child abuse is much more widespread than news stories suggest. A landmark study of 17,000 adults completed in 1997 by Kaiser Permanente, a health maintenance organization, found that 28 percent of the respondents had suffered from physical abuse when growing up, 21 percent from sexual abuse, 15 percent from emotional neglect, 11 percent from emotional abuse and 10 percent from physical neglect.
The study also found that 27 percent of the adults had lived in a household where substance abuse occurred, 23 percent whose parents were separated or divorced, 19 percent in which a member of the household was mentally ill, 13 percent in which they saw their mother being treated violently and 5 percent lived in households in which at least one member was incarcerated. Subsequent studies continue to verify the relative accuracy of these statistics.
Social scientists call these conditions “adverse childhood experiences,” and they are causing our society billions of dollars in lost productivity from citizens who have a reduced learning capacity as a result of the abuse, and who are more likely to use drugs, alcohol to excess and tobacco, resulting in higher health care costs. Such victims have a greater likelihood of contracting heart, lung and liver diseases, obesity, cancer and high blood pressure.
The more adverse experiences an individual suffers, the more difficulty he or she has flourishing in life. For example, a child who experiences four or more of these adverse experiences is five times more likely to become an adult alcoholic than someone who experiences none of them.
The studies have found that these adverse experiences cause stress reactions in the brains of children, resulting in chemical changes in the frontal cortex that cause them increased anxiety for the remainder of their lives.
Child abuse victims are 59 percent more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, and 30 percent more likely to commit a violent crime at some point in their lives.
We know all these things, but huge questions remain: How do we break the cycle? How do we help children living in chaos develop the resilience they will need as adults? Since most abuse occurs within the home, out of public view, how do we address it before permanent damage is done?
To its credit, the Legislature almost doubled state spending on the School Readiness program and Early Learning scholarships for 3- and 4-year-olds this year, adding almost $90 million to preschool programs. But more needs to happen. Earlier detection is key. Minneapolis-based Generation Next says only 36 percent of Minneapolis 3-year-olds and 29 percent of St. Paul 3-year-olds are screened for developmental issues. Much adversity can happen to a child before then.
It is said that none of us do anything more challenging than raising a child. Perhaps we need to begin by reminding each other that it is not a right, but a privilege to raise children, and that we can still love our parents while adopting better parenting practices ourselves.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers as a first step the vision of “assuring safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments for every child and preventing child maltreatment.”
Let’s give every child a chance in life. It’s not happening now.
This is an editorial from the ECM Editorial Board.

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Brian Swalboski http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/06/brian-swalboski/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/06/brian-swalboski/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 22:16:45 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=112211 Brian   Swalboski

Funeral services for Brian Swalboski, age 55, of Milaca, were held Monday, July 6, 2015 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Milaca. Interment followed at Forest Hill Cemetery. Arr. Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home – Milaca www.pjfuneralhome.com
Brian Ronald Swalboski was born January 3, 1960 in Milaca MN. He moved to Dayton, Ohio at the age of four, and attended elementary school there and two years of high school before moving to Coon Rapids MN. At Coon Rapids, he was a member of the wrestling team and completed high school. He was employed at Crystal Cabinet Works for twenty-eight years before becoming ill. Brian enjoyed fishing, most sports and attending "World Of Outlaws" Sprint car races. He passed away on Monday, June 29, 2015 at St. Cloud Hospital.
He is survived by his father, Ron and his partner, Dee Rabjohn of Mesa Arizona; three daughters, Ashley of Coon Rapids, Alicia of Inver Grove Heights and Jana of Milaca; brother, Todd (Nancy) of Coon Rapids, four grandchildren, Mason, Celia, Elliana and Sophia; also by many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy "Dottie" and grandparents, Fred and Violet Swalboski and Glen and Mable Pearson.

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Mary Kaye Haw http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/06/mary-kaye-haw/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/06/mary-kaye-haw/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 22:16:17 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=112208 Mary   Kaye  Haw

Mary Kaye Haw, age 51, of Milaca, MN, formerly of Aurora, MN, passed away peacefully on July 1, 2015 surrounded by her loving family.
She was born to Lawrence and Carol Houdek on November 13, 1963. She grew up in Aurora and attended Aurora Hoyt Lakes High School then graduated from St. Cloud College. Most recently Mary was employed at Elim Care and Rehab Center in Milaca. Mary was united in marriage to John Haw on March 13, 1992 in Minneapolis.
Mary enjoyed spending time with her family, attending her boys sporting events and she was proudly known as "Momma Hero" to her son's band.
Survived by her husband of 23 years, John; children Tanner and Bryce; mother, Carol Houdek of Aurora MN; siblings, Scott (Pam) Houdek of Tiffin, IA; Kim (Paul) Batsche of Anoka, MN; Randy (Diane) Houdek of Hoyt Lakes, MN; sister-in-law, Sharrie Houdek of Buhl, MN; close family friends Katie Aguilera and Heidi Devos, along with numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by father, Lawrence in 2015 and brother, Robert in 2014.
Memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 10, 2015 at Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home in Milaca. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. A memorial service will be held in Aurora at a later date.
Arr. Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home
www.pjfuneralhome.com

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What an Advisor Should Give http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/06/what-an-advisor-should-give/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/07/06/what-an-advisor-should-give/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:30:44 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?guid=de3c5382f00a874aa8167c6dc740e889 When it comes to your money management, the best financial advisors don’t give you simply advice. They give you guidance. This is an important distinction: One’s a lot more likely to help you stay on track for your long-term financial goals. What is the difference?

Advice involves a to-do checklist, which is fine as a start. Guidance helps you see a range of suitable options, usually unrelated to a specific product. The latter shows you the route and path to where you want to go, and points out interesting aspects you might not notice otherwise. Emerging fully informed, you are involved in the decision-making.

Many seem to confuse the two approaches and just default into using an advisor solely for specific instruction. Trouble is, you can easily ignore such advice.

A guide keeps that monkey of responsibility on your back. It’s harder to ignore suggestions and guidance when you retain ownership of the steps you need to take to get to reach your goal.

Talking and doing are of course different things. A recent survey, for instance, points out how members of Gen X (ages 35 to 49) are “high on financial concerns and low on optimism and action. The study found that of the four generations surveyed, Gen X has the poorest financial habits. In addition to comprising the majority of informal planners, Gen X has more spenders than savers compared [with] other generations and is the least likely to have more savings than debt.”

Two out of three Gen X respondents admit that their financial planning needs improvement, yet a third don’t know how much income they need to retire and nearly half don’t talk about retirement planning with anyone.

Advice, acknowledged and unheeded, falls away during the day-to-day journey. Life is an odyssey; journeys (financial and otherwise) take you from where you are to where you want to get to.

Seize the time to get there. Focus frequently on important parts of your life that are not everyday. Review your finances every couple of years simply to keep your previous decisions in line with changes that possibly occurred in your life.

This process focuses on you; don’t tolerate a dispenser of advice who claims otherwise. Where do you want your bridge to take you on your financial journey? What’s your destination or goal? Retirement? A new home? A college education?

Everyone wants to concentrate on the cables that make up the bridge (i.e., financial products), yet the cables don’t go up until after you design your bridge for a specific purpose.

When you talk to some advisors, you want to hear a familiar story that you agree with. Often investing tales are appealing but false, parroted so often that you start to believe them (your fund manager can predict the economy and markets, for example).

A guide tells a story that you never considered before, and is familiar with the terrain on the way to your financial goals and doesn’t claim to know all the answers – and honestly admits that).

Guidance might mean you work harder. It can also make your wealth odyssey more enlightening and enjoyable.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Larry R. Frank Sr., CFP, is a Registered Investment Advisor (California) in Roseville, Calif. He is the author of the book, Wealth Odyssey. He has an MBA with a finance concentration and B.S. cum laude in physics with which he views the world of money dynamically. He has peer-reviewed research published in the Journal of Financial Planning. http://blog.betterfinancialeducation.com/.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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When it comes to your money management, the best financial advisors don’t give you simply advice. They give you guidance. This is an important distinction: One’s a lot more likely to help you stay on track for your long-term financial goals. What is the difference?

Advice involves a to-do checklist, which is fine as a start. Guidance helps you see a range of suitable options, usually unrelated to a specific product. The latter shows you the route and path to where you want to go, and points out interesting aspects you might not notice otherwise. Emerging fully informed, you are involved in the decision-making.

Many seem to confuse the two approaches and just default into using an advisor solely for specific instruction. Trouble is, you can easily ignore such advice.

A guide keeps that monkey of responsibility on your back. It’s harder to ignore suggestions and guidance when you retain ownership of the steps you need to take to get to reach your goal.

Talking and doing are of course different things. A recent survey, for instance, points out how members of Gen X (ages 35 to 49) are “high on financial concerns and low on optimism and action. The study found that of the four generations surveyed, Gen X has the poorest financial habits. In addition to comprising the majority of informal planners, Gen X has more spenders than savers compared [with] other generations and is the least likely to have more savings than debt.”

Two out of three Gen X respondents admit that their financial planning needs improvement, yet a third don’t know how much income they need to retire and nearly half don’t talk about retirement planning with anyone.

Advice, acknowledged and unheeded, falls away during the day-to-day journey. Life is an odyssey; journeys (financial and otherwise) take you from where you are to where you want to get to.

Seize the time to get there. Focus frequently on important parts of your life that are not everyday. Review your finances every couple of years simply to keep your previous decisions in line with changes that possibly occurred in your life.

This process focuses on you; don’t tolerate a dispenser of advice who claims otherwise. Where do you want your bridge to take you on your financial journey? What’s your destination or goal? Retirement? A new home? A college education?

Everyone wants to concentrate on the cables that make up the bridge (i.e., financial products), yet the cables don’t go up until after you design your bridge for a specific purpose.

When you talk to some advisors, you want to hear a familiar story that you agree with. Often investing tales are appealing but false, parroted so often that you start to believe them (your fund manager can predict the economy and markets, for example).

A guide tells a story that you never considered before, and is familiar with the terrain on the way to your financial goals and doesn’t claim to know all the answers – and honestly admits that).

Guidance might mean you work harder. It can also make your wealth odyssey more enlightening and enjoyable.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Larry R. Frank Sr., CFP, is a Registered Investment Advisor (California) in Roseville, Calif. He is the author of the book, Wealth Odyssey. He has an MBA with a finance concentration and B.S. cum laude in physics with which he views the world of money dynamically. He has peer-reviewed research published in the Journal of Financial Planning. http://blog.betterfinancialeducation.com/.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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