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fawcettl's Blog

Michigan Appliance Rebate Program

Have one of those old olive green refrigerators? Thinking of replacing your washing machine for a shiny new model? Well, you may be in luck! The State of Michigan recently began a mail-in rebate program to help residents replace older, inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR® qualified and ultra-efficient appliances. This program, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, offers rebates on refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers, water heaters & furnaces. For eligibility guidelines, covered products and rebate amounts visit the U.S Departments of Energy's rebate website.

Education Tax Credits

As the April 15th Tax Deadline fast approaches don’t forget about the American Opportunity Credit. This credit which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act modifies existing education credits and makes them available to a broader range of taxpayers. It also adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student. For more information visit IRS.gov.

Deduct Donations to Haiti on Your 2009 Tax Return

The United States Congress has approved a bill that will allow taxpayers to deduct recent contributions to the Haiti relief effort on their 2009 tax returns. To qualify the donation must be monetary and be made to a qualifying charity assisting in Haiti. For more details on how you can help visit the USAID website.

CommerceConnect Office Now Open in Plymouth

The U.S. Department of Commerce has opened the very first CommerceConnect office in Plymouth, Michigan. This new service center, located in the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center on Haylard (near M-14 and Beck Road), is designed to connect business people with resources offered by the federal government - including research, analysis, market advice & financing options.

Avoid An Unpleasant Surprise in January

Millions of taxpayers started taking home more money in their paychecks this past April thanks to the Making Work Pay Tax Credit. However, changes to the IRS withholding tables cannot take into account single workers with multiple jobs or dual-income married couples for example. All these changes could mean a smaller refund or larger balance due next year. Now is the time to review and adjust your W-4 and ensure that you are withholding the correct amount. This IRS Withholding Calculator can help you avoid an unpleasant surprise come tax time.

Job Seekers Learn to Research Companies Online

One of the most important parts of any successful job search is thoroughly researching potential employers. Such a task can be daunting, especially if you are unfamilar with the resources available. Researching Companies Online is an excellent business research tutorial that will help even the most inexperienced user find free company and industry information on the World Wide Web.

True Crime

Looking for a good thriller with an added dose of reality? Daring to take a peek into the mind of a psychopathic killer? Well then true crime is just the genre for you! Here is a list of suggested titles:

SEMCOG Releases Long-Range Transportation Plan

SemcogSEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, has completed a draft of Direction2035, the region’s next long-range transportation plan, and is asking the public to review the plan and submit comments. Interested parties can read Direction2035 online or call 313-324-3362 for a printed copy. Details on how to submit your comments, including a schedule of public meetings, can be found on the SEMCOG website.

Ghost Hunting 101

TV shows like Ghost Hunters, Most Haunted & Ghost Adventures have helped to increase the popularity of ghost hunting as a hobby. If you are thinking of dabbling into the world paranormal, we have plenty of books about ghosts to get you started. The Everything Ghost Hunting Book is an excellent starting point for the budding investigator with all the tips and tricks you need for a successful hunt.

Adult Reference Desk Becomes Art Gallery!

As part of our Adult Summer Reading program, "Master the Art of Reading," participants can color the Mona Lisa painting in their own special way and turn it in for a chance to win an 8GB iPod Nano. Stop by the Adult Reference Desk to see all the amazing work.  Feeling inspired?  Well there is still plenty of time for you to show off your creativity as well - you have until 9pm, August 12th to submit your entry!

Cash For Clunkers Program Officially Begins

The CAR Allowance Rebate System (CARS), commonly referred to as Cash for Clunkers officially began on July 24th. Under this $1 billion government program consumers qualify for a cash credit towards the purchase of a more environmentally-friendly vehicle from a participating dealer when they trade in a less fuel-efficient car or truck. This program is also designed to help energize the economy; boost auto sales and put safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles on the nation's roadways. Eligibility requirements and other details can be found at the official website for the program, CARS.gov.

Home Brewing Basics

Join us Tuesday June 23rd at 7:00 pm and learn about the basics of home brewing, its methods and processes. This introductory presentation is designed for folks new to home brewing or those interested in learning about what it involves. Program will take place outside. Register by calling 734-397-0999!

Master the Art of Reading 2009

Adult Summer Reading is in full swing and we have compiled many resources to help you figure out what to read next. On the Books & More page you will find links to the NYT Bestseller Lists, Staff Recommendations, as well as lists of New Materials. Our Bookmarks page has all the recommended reading lists you will need to, "Master the Art of Reading." Still can't find what you are looking for? Then don't hesitate to stop by the Reference Desk and ask a Librarian for a suggestion!

Free Weekends in Your National Parks

The U.S. National Park Service will waive entrance fees at more than 100 national parks during three special weekends this summer. Designed to promote tourism and help budget strapped families at the same time, these weekends are scheduled for June 20 & 21, July 18 & 19 and August 15 & 16. If you are thinking of packing up the car and heading out, be sure to stop by the library and& check out one of our many National Park Guidebooks.

Presidential Social Networking

Social networking is all the rage and President Obama is among those getting in on the act.  In addition to the Briefing Room Blog you can follow all the happenings at The White House on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook as well as several other sites.  It all adds up to a fun way to feel connected while keeping up on current events!