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fawcettl's Blog

Absentee Voters Can Track Ballots Online

Voters casting absentee ballots can track their ballots online. Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land announced Monday that absentee voters who enter personal identification information at the Michigan Voter Information Center website will be able to track their ballot. The absentee ballot tracking feature notes when an application for an absentee ballot has been received by the local clerk's office, when the ballot was sent, and when the clerk received the returned ballot

The Michigan Voter Information Center also allows voters to check whether they are registered to vote, print a sample ballot, find their polling place and locate their local clerk.

Set Sail with Michigan Notable Books

Looking for some suggestions to help you complete Stage II (Michigan Author or Setting) of our Adult Summer Reading Program? Well, look no further than the Michigan Notable Books website. Each year this program selects 20 of the most notable books published in the year. The website lists this year's winners along with winners from past years, and offers a variety of titles to help you sail towards that summer reading finish line.

I-275 Bike Path Open House

On Tuesday April 20, 2010, MDOT will host an open house featuring the upcoming construction for the I-275 Metro Trail in Wayne County. This project, which is scheduled to start this spring, will reconstruct 7 miles of the bike path between Michigan Avenue and Edward Hines Drive. Attendees will be given the opportunity to review final designs changes before construction. For more information, including meeting time and location visit the MDOT website.

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!