Are you BRRave enough to do the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics?

first_imgSpecial Olympics Ireland is calling on Co. Donegal to get ‘Freezin’ for a Reason’ this winter by participating in their ‘coolest’ fundraising event of the year. Donegal’s Polar Plunge will take place at Rathmullan Strand, Rathmullan on December 7th from 12.30pm. Last year, crowds of people including families, Special Olympic Athletes, businesses and individuals turned out to take part in this unique fundraising event, bravely plunging into icy cold waters.  Special Olympics are hoping that this year’s event will be just as popular with potential plungers, so that much needed funds for the organisation and its athletes can be raised. Special Olympics Ulster Polar Plunge 2019 launch at Rathmullan HouseSpecial Olympics Ulster Polar Plunge 2019 launch at Rathmullan HouseSpeaking at the launch of the Polar Plunge, Special Olympics Ireland’s Ulster Region Director, Shaun Cassidy said: “Special Olympics Ulster are delighted to be able to launch the Polar Plunge this year in Rathmullan. Now in its fifth year the Polar Plunge fundraiser is a great community event and this year will be even better than before. “Every day, the athletes of Special Olympics Ulster step up to meet the challenges of the sport that they love and do so with a smile. “We would encourage everyone to sign up today and take on a fun challenge in support of these inspirational athletes. We would like to thank the Athletes of Little Angels Special School in Letterkenny and Rathmullan House for supporting this launch.” Special Olympics Ulster Polar Plunge 2019 launch at Rathmullan HouseSpecial Olympics Ulster Polar Plunge 2019 launch at Rathmullan HouseSpecial Olympics Ireland provides sporting opportunities for nearly 8,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across 313 clubs all over Ireland. Those who think they are brave enough to take the Polar Plunge can register at www.specialolympics.ie/polarplunge. Registration costs just €20 with plungers encouraged to raise an additional €50. Plungers who raise €50 or more will also receive a complimentary Polar Plunge t-shirt.To keep up to date with Special Olympics Ulster events and athletes, follow the organisation on Twitter, @SOIreland @SO_Ulster and on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsUlster. Are you BRRave enough to do the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics? was last modified: November 6th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:polar plunge special olympicsRathmullanlast_img read more

Over 200 homes without power across Donegal

first_imgA number of electricity outages have been reported around Donegal this Tuesday morning, leaving over 200 properties without power.Faults have occurred in West Donegal, Ballyshannon and Stranorlar.Over 100 customers are affected by outages in Ballyshannon. ESB repair crews are working on the issue and expect to have service restored by 11.45am. Meanwhile, power is out in Portnoo and outside Ardara. Supplies are expected to be restored before 1pm.Another outage in Stranorlar, affecting up to 50 properties, is expected to be repaired by 12.15pm.Updates are available on https://www.esb.ie/esb-networks/powercheck/Over 200 homes without power across Donegal was last modified: December 10th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Understanding the benefits of health reimbursement arrangements

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s no secret that a spotlight has been on our country’s healthcare system for some time now — and a bright one at that. Health insurance options and expenditures are a real concern for agribusiness owners and it’s hard to know what options will best fit the needs of your operation. Rest assured there are options; some that can even put money back your pocket.Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are based upon Section 105 of the Internal Revenue Code. These particular arraignments allow farmers who qualify to deduct 100% of family medical cost against the farm income. In turn, the taxpayer saves federal, state and FICA taxes for family medical costs (typically a 35% savings).This is done by declaring medical expenses as business expenses, not as Schedule A itemized personal deductions, which are often limited or lost. What’s the catch here you ask? Whether they file as sole proprietor or an LLC, farmers must have a spouse who is employed by their business, at least on a part-time basis. More and more farmers are putting their spouse on the payroll in order to take advantage of HRAs.A Section 4 105 Plan allows a qualified farmer to benefit by deducting 100% of:Health Insurance and dental insurance premiums for eligible employee(s) and family. This also includes qualified long-term care insurance.Uninsured (out of pocket) medical, dental and vision care expenses for eligible employee(s) and family.Chiropractic, medical supplies, contact lenses, hearing aids, Medicare Part A, Medicare Supplemental, optical/vision, and cancer insurance premiums for eligible employee(s).Let’s take a look at scenario that would qualify: Joe owns and runs a farm. His wife, Jane, helps in the fields and takes care of some financial records and administrative functions for the farming business. Because Jane is already a service to the farm operation, Joe makes her a true employee and begins providing her with compensation. They are now eligible for HRAs.Joe compensates Jane a total of $14,000 per year in the following way:1. Reimbursement for family health premiums:  $7,0002. Reimbursements for uninsured medical expenses:  $5,0003. W-2 Cash Wages:  $2,000TOTAL$14,000 By allowing for a 100% federal, state and FICA tax deduction of the $12,000 of reimbursed expenses, Joe would receive $4,200 in actual tax dollar savings by taking advantage of a Section 105 Plan. (Note: the tax savings is assuming rates of 15% federal, 5% state and 15% FICA taxes=35% savings).It’s important to note that farmers who file as C corporations don’t need to abide by the spouse/employee method. The corporation is viewed as the employer in this case and the owner is an employee as long as the employee is receiving scheduled pay. Also note farm entities and sole proprietors with two or more employees may not be eligible for this special deduction because at the two or more employee threshold the new Affordable Health Care Act rules require certain “essential health benefits” (group insurance) and the Section 105 HRA rules may not apply. If you have two or more employees, we advise you consult your accountant for other potential health care solutions.AgriPlanNOW and BizPlanNOW is a couple of the HRAs you may have heard about. HRAs like these aren’t too confused with actual insurance plans. These are reimbursement programs that you must enroll in and there are annual fees, but the savings they provide far outweigh the upfront costs. Once enrolled, you will work with your insurance provider and tax professional to lower your out-of-pocket costs. Because you’re medical costs are now classified as business expenses you will see your deductions increase and tax savings will be the result. Savings will of course vary, but the average is around $5,000 per year.Once you submit an application for an HRA and you are enrolled, then it becomes vital to keep receipts and all records of medical expenses and health insurance premiums as well as payroll transactions. All this information will need to be reviewed and submitted at year-end by your tax professional. A CPA with experience in working with agribusiness professionals can assist you with proper record keeping and of course the tax reporting piece of the puzzle. Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners.  Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves.last_img read more

Rackspace Adds More Cloud-Based Services, Moves Down the Collaboration Path

first_img3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#enterprise#news#Products Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Rackspace is launching a new service called “Cloud Drive,” that allows businesses to store, share and back up files in the Rackspace cloud.Rackspace is one of the world’s largest hosting companies but with more services being offered in the cloud, it is starting to look like it is also establishing a presence as a collaboration services provider.Pat Mathews, president of email and apps for Rackspace said this is exactly what is happening.“We are definitely moving down the collaboration path with Cloud Drive,” Mathews sad.In reality, Rackspace is following a natural progression. With the ability to move IT to the cloud, Rackspace will have to deepen its collaboration service.For instance, search is not a part of the current offering. But it is part of the roadmap and will become a critical service for customers as they move their files to the cloud. It’s a focal reason why collaboration providers like Box.net put a heavy premium on search. Customers need the capability. Without it, the information can end up in folders without ever being touched again.Some of the features that are part of Cloud Drive include:Synchronized folders across one or more computers.Syncronized version control to make sure colleagues are working with the most recent files.Automatic data backups in the event of a hardware failure.Complementing Cloud Drive is Rackspace Server Backup, which backs up applications and protects file server data. Its primary function is to back up Windows or Linux data.Bot Cloud Drive and Rackspace Server Backup are powered by Jungle Disk, which Rackspace acquired last year.Rackspace Cloud Drive costs $4 per user, per month. Rackspace Server Backup costs $5 per server, per month.center_img alex williams IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

a month agoPotter defends playing Brighton kids for Cup defeat

first_imgPotter defends playing Brighton kids for Cup defeatby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveGraham Potter has defended playing Brighton’s youngsters in Wednesday’s loss to Aston Villa.The Seagulls were knocked out of the Carabao Cup after Potter made 10 changes to the line-up that drew with Newcastle United on Saturday.Asked by The Argus whether his line-up was out of choice or necessity, Potter said: “A bit of both, I would say.”With Chelsea on Saturday, we have got a couple of lads sick, a couple of players who are recovering (from injury) and quite close but we just thought it was too soon for them to play.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

PEI election speculation mounts as Liberals plan special announcement

first_imgCHARLOTTETOWN — P.E.I.’s governing Liberals are planning a “special announcement” tonight, amid mounting speculation of a spring election on the Island.The party issued an advisory this afternoon saying the announcement would come during a candidate nomination meeting at a Charlottetown hotel.Premier Wade MacLauchlan doesn’t have to take voters to the polls until Oct. 7 under the province’s fixed-date election provisions, but there have been indications the Liberals want to go early in an effort not to overlap with the federal election this fall.Despite a booming economy, polls suggest the Liberal party is likely facing a rough ride, with the Green party seen as a legitimate contender for power.A Corporate Research Associates poll released this month suggests the Greens had a healthy lead, followed by the Progressive Conservatives, who picked a new leader, Dennis King, in February.The Liberals were in third place, the poll suggests.The Island has only ever been governed by the Liberals or Tories.Green Leader Peter Bevan-Baker became the first party member elected to the legislature in 2015, and he has worked to build the Green brand, mainly by challenging the notion that the party is devoted to nothing more than environmental activism.The party snagged a second seat when Hannah Bell, the 48-year-old head of a businesswomen’s association in Charlottetown, won a 2017 byelection.The Liberals have been in power since 2007, and there are signs MacLauchlan — a longtime academic who began his political career in 2015 as premier — is personally unpopular.The last time a minority government was elected in P.E.I. was 1890.Whenever it comes, the P.E.I. election will also include a binding referendum on electoral reform — asking voters if they wish to stay with the current first-past-the-post system or change to a mixed-member-proportional-representation model.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Barclays to pay 2 billion to US to settle mortgage suit

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – British bank Barclays became the latest big bank to reach a multi-billion dollar settlement with U.S. authorities over its role in the subprime mortgage bubble and subsequent financial crisis. But in a rare and notable move, U.S. authorities went further to fine two individual bankers as part of their alleged role in the subprime mortgage crisis.Barclays agreed to pay $2 billion in civil penalties on Thursday to settle charges that it sold fraudulent mortgage-backed securities to investors between 2005 and 2007, and that it misled investors on the quality of those loans that it sold to the public. They are similar charges that other banks like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup have reached over the last several years in regards to their respective roles in the financial crisis. Barclays was one the last holdouts of the big banks.Two former Barclays executives will pay fines as well. Paul Menefee, a banker who helped package subprime mortgages into securities, and John Carroll, who was the bank’s head trader of mortgage-backed securities, will pay a combined $2 million in fines in exchange for having the charges against them being dismissed. It has been rare for U.S. authorities to charge Wall Street bankers for their alleged role in the subprime housing bubble.“Solely to put this matter behind him, Mr. Menefee has agreed to a settlement in which he has not admitted any wrongdoing,” said Barry Berke and Dani James, lawyers with the firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, who represented Menefee in the case.The law firm representing Carroll echoed similar statements.“John Carroll is pleased that the government has relented in its efforts to prove wrongdoing where none exists, and consistent with that position, we have agreed to settle this case without an admission to these meritless allegations,” said Glen McGorty, partner at Crowell & Moring, in a statement.The Justice Department originally sued Barclays and several of its U.S. affiliates in late 2016 over the sale of risky mortgage-backed securities. Barclays CEO Jes Staley said in a statement that the settlement was “fair and proportionate.”“The substantial penalty Barclays and its executives have agreed to pay is an important step in recognizing the harm that was caused to the national economy and to investors,” said U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York.last_img read more

Canada increases oil exports finding buyers in the US despite shale oil

first_imgCALGARY – The National Energy Board says Canadian oil exports rose by 6.5 per cent last year to 3.3 million barrels per day despite an increase in light shale oil production in the United States, Canada’s biggest customer and competitor.The federal regulator says heavy crude made up 77 per cent or 2.5 million bpd of Canadian exports, continuing a trend that has resulted in such exports rising by 48 per cent over the past five years as new oilsands projects come on stream in Alberta.Light oil exports fell six per cent in 2017 to 760,000 bpd, a reduction of 13 per cent from five years ago.The NEB says the U.S. still wants to buy Canadian heavy crude because many of its refineries are configured to process it and it is a cheaper feedstock than light oil.Higher oil prices and volumes resulted in the value of Canada’s oil exports rising to $66.9 billion in 2017 from $49.9 billion the year before.Last year, about 90 per cent of crude oil exports were moved by pipeline to the U.S., according to the NEB. Crude-by-rail export volumes rose 44 per cent due to pipeline capacity constraints, but remained a much less-utilized option at about 130,000 bpd.last_img read more

ChandigarhDibrugarh Express trains engine catches fire 2 killed

first_imgGuwahati/Jalpaiguri: Two passengers of the Chandigarh-Dibrugarh Express died on Friday after they jumped out of the moving train between the Chaterhat and Nijbari section in West Bengal when they saw smoke emanating from the locomotive’s engine, said Railway sources.The guard of a passing goods train saw smoke and flame coming out of the rear engine of the express train in the afternoon and reported it to its driver, sources said. As panic spread among the passengers, two of them jumped out and died of injuries, officials said. Fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot and extinguished the flames, sources said, adding another engine was attached to the train, which then proceeded to Chaterhat. Prima facie it is appears the fuel tank of the rear engine had fallen off, got dragged along the track and caught fire, sources said. The main line on the route under Barsoi-New Jalpaiguri section of North East Frontier Railway was blocked due to the incident. A probe into the incident is being conducted by the Railway authorities.last_img read more

The Best Missing a football match to help a leukemia patient

first_imgGerman footballer Lennart Thy might have saved a life after missing one Eredivisie game to donate stem cells in MarchWhen a fan thinks about footballers, they always think about fame and fortune. Many people believe this football stars are out of reach and don’t care about the fans.But German footballer Lennart Thy has shown everybody otherwise.In March of this year, the VVV-Venlo striker missed an important Dutch Eredivisie clash with PSV Eindhoven.The reason? He went to the hospital to donate stem cells and try to help a leukemia patient.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…This unselfish reason has made him the winner of the FIFA Fair Play Award 2018 in The Best Gala Awards.Past 10 FIFA Fair Play Award Winners: 2009: Bobby Robson – England 2010: Haiti Women’s national U17 team 2011: Japan Football Association 2012: Uzbekistan Football Association 2013: Afghanistan Football Association 2014: World Cup volunteers 2015: Football organizations supporting refugees 2016: Atlético Nacional – Colombia 2017: Francis Koné – Togo 2018: Lennart Thy – GermanyCongratulations, Lennart Thy 👏Winner of The FIFA Fair Play Award 2018 🏆#TheBest #FIFAFootballAwards pic.twitter.com/pW5ETt2Kmd— #TheBest (@FIFAcom) September 24, 2018last_img read more