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Archive for February 20th, 2009

cashELIZABETH—In a recent enforcement sweep conducted with state officials, the Union County Division of Consumer Affairs inspected 70 businesses in the county that advertised “same-day” tax refunds. Six were later cited for failing to disclose that the advertised service was actually a high-interest loan.

The deceptive advertisements appeared in storefront signs, posters, and flyers. They included the words “instant” or “same day,” or they specified a time frame such as “1-Day” or “2-Day.”

It’s not possible for the IRS to process a taxpayer’s return and issue a refund that quickly. The quickest refund takes at least eight days. That occurs when the taxpayer submits an electronic form to the IRS, and the refund is direct-deposited to the taxpayer’s bank account.

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chalkboardTRENTON — The New Jersey State Board of Education this week unanimously approved a proposal for revised high school graduation requirements designed to equip students with 21st century skills and better prepare them for the workplace and college.

Wednesday’s approval allows the revised graduation requirements to be posted in the New Jersey Register, which will commence a 60-day public comment period. The updated graduation requirements could receive final passage from the State Board as early as June.

“It is vital that students in New Jersey are prepared to leave the halls of their high schools and become active, productive members of society,” said State Board of Education President Josephine E. Hernandez. “The revised requirements advanced by the State Board will be a cornerstone in New Jersey’s effort to ensure that every high school graduate is college- and/or career-ready.”

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CARTERET—The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders has awarded Carteret $1 million for the construction of a pier extension at Carteret Waterfront Park, Mayor Daniel Reiman and Freeholder Ron Rios announced last week. The funds have been earmarked via the Middlesex County Open Space fund, and will allow for the extension of the existing Veteran’s Memorial Fishing Pier.

The project will allow for a 690 ft. addition that will extend southwards along the Arthur Kill. The addition will accommodate a variety of recreational uses by residents and visitors that include fishing, walking, and bird watching amongst others. The extension will preserve many of the aesthetic features of the existing pier, according to Reiman, and serve as a buffer against wave cycles and currents. The pier addition will also serve as a breakwater, separating the Arthur kill from the borough’s future marina.

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basketball-equipment-03CRANFORD—Union County College’s women’s basketball team has completed their best season ever, with an undefeated record of 24 wins and no losses. The only scholarship team at the college, the Lady Owls ended their season with a win over Burlington County College on Saturday, Feb. 14, with a 90-84 score.

UCC held a 56-39 lead at halftime and even though the Barons attempted a comeback they could not contend with the UCC scoring. Crystal Harris, of Jersey City, had 28 points, 19 rebounds, 7 blocks, and 3 steals; Nicole Lilenfeld, of Piscataway, had 18 points, 6 assists, and 6 steals; Bobbi Van Fleet, of Plainfield, contributed with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks; and Martyna Ruminska, of Kearny, finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. This is the first time in the college’s history that the women’s basketball had an undefeated season.

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popcornby Michael S. Goldberger, film critic

Funny, how it works. When you’re hungry but too hurried to stop, you can’t help but pass one enticing food joint after the next. When love throws you a curve, every song intimately echoes your plight. And when it looks like the world’s evil bankers have absconded with the funds, a film like “The International” surfaces to feed our fears.

Coincidence or mysticism, there’s nothing like it to add currency to your movie-going experience. Right now the guys in charge of the big but ever-diminishing bucks have slotted in esteem two rungs beneath lawyer and barely one above used car salesman. Director Tom Tykwer’s film invites us to come boo and hiss them.

But the exercise soon changes in nature, going from analgesic release valve to yet another lesson about the average guy’s naiveté…meaning you and me. And before the action-packed cat-and-mouser is over, we sure wish we weren’t so heartily convinced of the film’s devastating pronouncements. Chalk up yet another crime against humanity.

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irs-seal By Gregg Semanick-New Jersey‘s IRS Spokesperson

Are you facing a lot of different tax questions this year?  IRS experts have pulled together an overview of common tax issues in one convenient place — IRS Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax Guide.  The publication can be viewed on the IRS.gov Web site or ordered by calling the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM.

For more information on IRS tax tips, go to the IRS.gov web site at www.irs.gov.

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