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Free income tax returns at the Madison Extension Office

Diann Douglas: Guest Columnist For the sixth year, Madison County Extension Office will be hosting an IRS Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site.   Over forty years ago, VITA began training volunteers to process tax returns for low and moderate-income people.  What started as a small opportunity for college students to gain work skills has expanded into a national program, utilizing volunteers from diverse background and experiences. Each year, volunteers receive training from the IRS to help prepare tax returns in communities across America. Many collaborations and partnerships have developed…

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Emerald’s Gem Box: Happy Birthday Brooke

Sunday, January 21, will mark the 23rd birthday of my daughter, Brooke. I have always lovingly called Brooke my “problem child.” Brooke IS the reason I had to keep health insurance. From the time she was born, everything that could happen, did happen to Brooke. At four months old, I had Brooke in and out of eye doctor offices with the threat of a “lazy eye” looming over our heads. One week after her first birthday the left side of her face swelled up, and she looked like “The Elephant…

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Passing Parade: The great rules rollback

Nelson A. Pryor: Guest Columnist With the realization that a president can’t do anything that a Congress won’t allow, our President Donald J. Trump has had a great first year. This is what he has accomplished: passed a long-promised rewrite of the tax code, more oil drilling, and a series of lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary. The President promised to upend Washington, and drain the swamp, by reducing the influence of Johnny Red Tape. The far-reaching rollback of rules was officially announced on Dec. 14, 2017. The Dec. 15,…

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National Security: Kunsan

In the early spring of 1972, I had finished flight training and was posted to a remote fighter base in South Korea, Kunsan Air Base. Departing Tampa on Mar. 10, I traveled by air to Seattle, Tokyo, and finally Seoul, literally half way around the world.  From there, I grabbed a commuter flight south to Kunsan.  It was an exhausting trip, but at age 23, I was much more tolerant of such arrangements than I am today. Kunsan sits hard on the Yellow Sea on Korea’s west coast, about a…

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