The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Friday, January 22, 2010 Volume XVIII, Number 150

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?...The Family Literacy Center, 706 Orchard, will be starting up Spanish as a Second Language classes on Monday, Januray 25 at 6 in the evening.

Did Ya Know?... There will be a Benefit dinner and auction for Doug Boggs January 31 at 3 p.m. in the Club G Restaurant in Sarcoxie. $5 donation.

today's laugh

If a lawyer and an IRS agent were both drowning, and you could only save one of them, would you: (1) go to lunch or (2) read the paper?

What’s brown and looks really good on an I.R.S. agent?

A Doberman.

Rabbi Rabinovitz answers his phone.


"Hello, is this Rabbi Rabinovitz?"

"It is."

"This is the IRS. Can you help us?"

"I’ll try."

"Do you know Sam Cohen?"

"I do."

"Is he a member of your congregation?"

"He is."

"Did he donate $25,000 to the synagogue rebuilding fund last year?"

"He will!"

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.

A Musical Reception.

Miss Rosine Morris, daughter of Sam Morris of Butler, Mo., has issued invitations for a musical reception to be given in Joplin tomorrow evening. Four hundred cards have been sent out and the event will be an enjoyable one. Miss Morris is a music student under Prof. Calhoun of this city, and has remarkable talent. Her selections for the reception will be from Bach, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Henselt, Raff, and Liszt. Miss Morris will be assisted by Mrs. McIndoe of Joplin, soprano, and J. T. Wallace of this city, baritone soloist.

W. T. Porter is shipping chickens everyday to Monett, where they are made up in car load lots and sent east. Monett is the largest chicken shipping point in this country, several car loads being sent out everyday. The trade is supplied from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Indian Territory and Texas.

  Today's Feature

McCune-Brooks February Activities.

Go Red for Women Event.

Physicians for Women’s Health and McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital will present the second annual Go Red event to raise awareness of women’s health issues including heart health on Thursday, February 4. A luncheon seminar will be held from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Fairview Christian Church, 2320 South Grand Avenue in Carthage. The event will feature entertainment and various speakers who will address current women’s health issues. For luncheon reservations call 417-359-1350 or 359-1351.

Health Focus at McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital for February is the heart. A lipid panel will be offered in the out-patient lab for only $18. The test measures Cholesterol, HDL/LDL and Triglyceride levels. The test will be offered Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the month. Fasting for 8 to 12 hours is required for the test. Participants may have water only. Checks only please. For more information, call 417-359-1350.

Payroll Taxes Increase for Many Employers Across the U.S.

by Olga Pierce, ProPublica

Last year Don Miller had to lay off two of the three workers at his sign printing business in Norfolk, Va., because of slumping business.The cost of hiring workers for businesses like Miller’s will be more in Virginia this year. The average unemployment tax increased from $95 to $171.James Hay, 70, with his family in Roanoke, Va. Before he was laid off, Hay was working full-time at an asphalt factory to supplement his Social Security income, which he says was not enough to support his wife, granddaughter, and her two young children.Hay holds a letter from the Commonwealth of Virginia informing him his unemployment benefits have been cut from $800 to $100 per month.

Last year was the worst Don Miller had seen in more than 20 years of running a graphic printing business in Norfolk, Va.

Business slumped 15 percent, and he had to lay off two of the three workers who helped him print stickers and signs for Navy ships.

Miller hopes to bring them back, but hiring will be more expensive for all Virginia business owners this year. The recession has emptied Virginia’s unemployment insurance trust fund, and the state is making up for it by raising taxes on employers and cutting benefits for seniors.

In 2009, the average business owner paid $95 per employee. This year, the tax will be $171, according to estimates by the state work force agency.

"It’s another added expense to hiring somebody," Miller says. "Everything’s going up and business is going down."

Similar tax increases are hitting employers nationwide this year as states struggle to pay the 5.5 million Americans currently collecting state jobless benefits. So far, high unemployment and, in many cases, poor planning have prompted 25 states to borrow more than $25 billion from the federal government to keep benefit checks in the mail.

In other states, unemployment compensation funds are still in the black, but reserves are rapidly dwindling. Nine more states likely will be borrowing by mid-year, according to a ProPublica analysis of state revenue and benefits.

Tax on businesses

Business owners in 36 states face tax increases ranging from a few dollars to nearly $1,000 per worker. Six states are scaling back or freezing benefits for the unemployed:

* Jobless Pennsylvania workers will get 2.3 percent less in benefits starting this month, while the average tax this year for businesses will increase from $384 to $432 per worker.

* Hawaii’s employers face an average increase from $90 to $1,070 per worker. The state also proposes decreasing the maximum benefit by as much as a third — about $190 per week.

* Texas, where the trust fund is $1.4 billion in the red, has increased the average tax on employers from $89 to about $165 per worker.

Instead of fulfilling the unemployment insurance system’s purpose of stimulating the economy, these measures may contribute to joblessness, says Gary Burtless, an economist who studies labor policy at the Brookings Institution. "We don’t want to pick this moment of all moments to boost taxes on employers," Burtless says. "We want to encourage employers as much as possible to add to their payrolls."

Workers are being hurt in another way — through benefit cuts. In Roanoke, Va., James Hay, 70, received a letter from the state informing him that his monthly benefits are being cut from about $800 to $100 because state law limits payments to Social Security recipients when the state’s fund runs low.

"I was devastated when I read it," Hay says. "I thought, ‘Lord, what am I going to buy heating oil with this winter?’ "

Like many other seniors, Hay was working full time to supplement his $1,400 monthly Social Security check, which he says was not enough to support him, his granddaughter and her two young children. Then the asphalt factory laid him off.

Unemployment insurance made up for some of the lost income, but now Hay is not sure how his family will get by. "We’ll just have to do whatever we can do," he says. "I hope and pray we’ll be all right."

States borrow heavily

The state hopes to save about $11 million through the cuts to seniors but anticipates borrowing about $1.3 billion to replenish its unemployment fund before the recession ends.

"The middle of a recession is when people need help most," says Maurice Emsellem, policy co-director of the National Employment Law Project, an advocacy group for low-wage workers. Cutting unemployment benefits, he says, "undermines the fundamental goals of the program — boosting the economy and keeping people out of poverty in an economic downturn."

Many states such as Virginia are already at or near the highest payroll tax rates allowed by law, and others have pushed politically difficult tax increases through their legislatures, making further benefit cuts likely if high unemployment persists, says Rich Hobbie, executive director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.

Some of the pain might have been avoidable. Long before the recession began, Virginia and many other states that have imposed tax increases or benefit cuts let their trust funds dwindle well below the 18 months of reserves the Labor Department recommends.

Virginia had to slow its need to borrow from the federal government despite the impact on businesses and seniors, says Republican state Sen. John Watkins, chairman of the Virginia Commission for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. "I have angst for people who are unemployed," he says. "But our trust fund is busted — it’s gone."

Just Jake Talkin'

As a kid we lived close to the grade school which had a baseball field (we didn’t play softball back then). Durin’ the spring it was typical for the neighborhood kids ta be engaged in a game of "move up" or even have enough for a couple a short teams.

As the evenin’ fell, the number of players would slowly drop until only the die hards were left. The game naturally had to modify and eventually would be little more than some type of battin’ practice. When it got too dark to see fly balls comin’ at ya, we began buntin’. When the folks would call for us to come in, we’d beg for another thirty minutes. The realization would finally grow that darkness would not bend to the pleas of young players. Even playin’ baseball was ruled by the laws of nature.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Sponsored by Carthage Printing Weekly Columns



ART NOTES from Hyde House

by Sally Armstrong, Director of artCentral

Before I return to the subject of the history of artCentral’s organization, a series of articles I began last fall and left "hanging"in December, I would like to bring folks up to date on what has been going on at the gallery this month during our closed time. Immediately after the holiday, we began finalizing the schedule for 2010 by sending out the request to underwriters for 2010. I was able to send over a dozen requests to sponsor the shows during this our anniversary year, and several have already responded positively thus far, with three exhibitions already spoken for. Additionally, the first quarter’s newsletter had to be written, something I completed over this past weekend after fitting in "all the missing pieces"! Those missing pieces of information included not only listing current underwriters, but the notice and details as we know them of all the special art workshops we are excited to begin offering the first of March here at the gallery. These adult workshops require a lot of attention, both in the planning as well as the execution of advertising, the promotional paperwork, and the receiving of reservations, but are well worth the effort when we hear of all the satisfied artists who enroll and complete them! Three are already scheduled at this time. The board met last week to put finishing touches on the planning of several special events for 2010 as well as the discussion of operational matters to do with our facility. Due to the celebration of our 25th anniversary, a special poster is underway to promote the year, and that has been turned in to the printer along with the supporting photographs and art work. I have written two art articles and submitted to the Joplin publication, THE CURRENT. All in all it has been a busy month so far, and that doesn’t even describe the first show of the new season, which is a group showing by six of our favorite area painters exhibiting all together— their invitation is underway as well and should be a colorful and interesting one. Watch your mailboxes for this first mailing soon, and join with us as we begin a fine 2010 season here at Hyde House and artCentral!

Copyright 1997-2009 by Heritage Publishing. All rights reserved.