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WEEKLY Volume 23, Number 28 - July 16, 2010

Senator Estes Appointed to


Senate Committee on Finance
Senator Estes Receives Appointment by Lt. Governor Dewhurst

Austin - State Senator Craig Estes (R-


Wichita Falls) has been appointed by Lt.
Governor David Dewhurst to the Senate
Committee on Finance.

"Recently, CNBC rated Texas as one of


the best states in America to do busi-
ness," said Estes. "The shared quali-
ties of Texas industry, including our
workforce, economy, education, quality
of life, technology and innovation exem-
plify the state's financial and business
independence." The Senate Committee
on Finance will review and make rec-
ommendations regarding existing and
future public debt at all levels of Texas
government.

"It is a privilege to be appointed to this


committee, and I look forward to working
with my colleagues in promoting fiscally
responsible development for our quality
of life here in Texas," said Estes.

Estes was recently appointed by Lt.


Governor Dewhurst to serve on the Sen-
ate Select Committee on Redistricting,
which will take the 2010 census data
and use the information to reapportion
congressional districts as well as dis-
tricts for the state legislature.
Dean Sanders
Lawyer

2113 Kell Blvd


Wichita Falls, Texas 76308-1245
940-766-0266

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In This Issue

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Laptop Security Tips Help Keep
Priceless College Memories And Files Safe
(ARA) - With students heading off to college, parents
nationwide are considering purchasing a new laptop Using the digital net worth calculator, a laptop that
for their kids and are contemplating the costs associ- originally cost $1,000, with 1,000 music and movie
ated with it. What they often don’t consider is the cost files, 200 photos and videos and 20 school papers
of replacing a college laptop if it is stolen - and this and notes stored on it, can skyrocket to $4,010 for a
cost can be much higher than you would expect. replacement - over four times the original cost.

A recent Ponemon Institute report valued loss of data Instead of risking a costly replacement, parents can
from a stolen laptop to be approximately $5,870 - a take several effective measures to ensure their stu-
price much higher than the cost of a new laptop for a dent’s laptop, and the valuable information stored on
college student. According to it, are well protected:
Absolute Software, a compa-
ny specializing in computer * Use visual deterrents, such
theft recovery, data protec- as a laptop lock. While this
tion and computer lifecycle isn’t a foolproof security mea-
management, dorm rooms sure, it does make the com-
are one of the top five places puter less of an “easy target”
laptop theft occurs. for thieves.

As the laptop has become * Mark your property. Many


much more than just a note- laptops can be engraved with
taking tool, students have your name and the comput-
more to lose if their computer er’s serial number, a further
gets stolen. Today’s college students use a laptop deterrent for thieves.
for a variety of activities, including writing term pa-
pers and storing class materials, personal photos and * Purchase and install inexpensive tracking software
thousands of dollars worth of movies and music. With on your student’s laptop. Software such as Compu-
many colleges going so far as to require all incoming trace LoJack for Laptops helps police track and re-
students to equip themselves with a laptop, students trieve a laptop if it is reported stolen.
stand to risk hours of lost class time and falling behind
at school while coordinating a replacement - especial- * Back-up, back-up, back-up. There are now more low-
ly right before an important assignment or final exam. cost back-up options than ever for students, including
“When thinking about the cost of replacing a lost or external hard drives. Backing up a 20-page semester
stolen laptop, college students and their parents often thesis or invaluable college memories means that in
forget to count all the digital assets on that comput- the event your laptop is stolen, you’ll still have an ex-
er - including priceless photos, extensive music col- tra copy.
lections, as well as stored school files and papers,”
says Mark Grace, vice president of consumer busi- By taking these steps, parents and students can bet-
ness at Absolute Software. “To get a better idea of ter protect their laptops, ensuring that both the laptop
how expensive it really is to replace a stolen laptop, and its stored files are safe. These low-cost tips will
students and parents need to take into consideration also help avoid going through the heartbreak of losing
all the data stored on the computer. One way to take priceless photos, videos and other college memories
a physical inventory of a laptop is to use a digital net stored on their laptops.
worth calculator, like the one available at www.lojack-
forlaptops.com. People are often shocked to see how Courtesy of ARAcontent
much they have and could potentially lose.”
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Nonprofits Leaning On Individuals And
Corporations In Tough Times
(ARA) - A new study released by the Corporation for corporate donations increased more than 5 percent
National and Community Services reported that the from 2008.
number of volunteers in America rose 1.6 million in
the past year. The dramatic increase ultimately dem- In 2009, Delta Faucet Company, an Indianapolis-
onstrates that people are contributing to their com- based faucet manufacturer, contributed to the corpo-
munities at an increasing rate, rate total with donations from its
even during financially chal- flagship Delta Faucet brand to
lenging times. programs benefiting local health
services and rebuilding organiza-
Nonprofit organizations of all tions in areas affected by Hurri-
scales - small or large, local cane Katrina.
or international - rely on the
generosity of others to sup- This year, Brizo, a high-fashion
port research and program- faucet brand and part of the Delta
ming, increase awareness and Faucet Company, pledged to dra-
ultimately help those in need. matically increase its philanthrop-
While individuals often lend a ic efforts through a first-ever na-
hand through social or religious tional sponsorship of the St. Jude
groups, corporations are also Children’s Research Hospital
playing a large role in giving Dream Home Giveaway program.
back to an array of causes. As part of its sponsorship, the
brand is providing Dream Home
According to a new report re- builders, designers and contrac-
leased by the Giving USA Foundation and the Center tors with hands-on support and more than $430,000
on Philanthropy at Indiana University, though 2009 in products.
was financially challenging for many nonprofits due in
part to a 3.6 percent decrease in overall contributions, “Having Brizo’s support helps St. Jude in a multitude
of ways,” said Alan Johnson, St. Jude Dream Home
Giveaway program director. “Their contribution at a
national level allows us to free up valuable resources
at the market level and lend additional effort to pro-
moting the campaigns and cultivating other opportu-
nities. We are also able to capitalize on the relation-
ships that Brizo has with top builders and designers
across the country, allowing us to expand our reach
and provide more assistance to the hospital and the
children it treats.”

The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway was created in


1991 and has since become one of the largest sin-
gle-event fundraisers for St. Jude nationwide, raising
more than $175 million for research and patient treat-
ment.

“It is inspiring in this economy to encounter a com-

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pany willing to devote such significant resources and Habitat for Humanity is another organization that
attention to a cause that falls outside of day-to-day has benefited from large corporate support. Over a
business concerns, such as fighting childhood can- number of years, Bank of America has donated $20
cer,” added Johnson. million, as well as 150,000 volun-
teer associate hours, to Habitat
While financial support is integral for Humanity to support its efforts
to the livelihood of nonprofits and to build homes for those in need.
fundamental to enabling the orga- The donations from Bank of Amer-
nizations to improve the lives of ica have helped the organization
those experiencing hardship, cor- build more than 160 houses in
porate sponsors are also becom- the United States, as well as 100
ing increasingly engaged and in- houses in Mexico.
volved in hands-on activities and
programming. Whether donations and volunteer
support is needed for research,
“We see our relationship with St. rehabilitation or development, the
Jude as a partnership. Certainly continuation of support is impor-
our support benefits its fundraising tant to the livelihood of any non-
needs, but participating on a more profit. To search for charities and
literal level is equally rewarding to locate an organization in your
our team,” said Brian Nobbe, director of Brizo brand area, go to www.irs.gov.
marketing. “This type of hands-on engagement helps
to strengthen the emotional connection for us.” Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Five Bank Fees You Should Stop Paying
(ARA) - If you’re tired of getting nickeled and dimed
by your bank, it’s time to switch. Irritation with unnec- To get a grip on what fees your bank is charging, Mon-
essary fees is the No. 1 reason consumers switch tanaro suggests carefully reviewing your most recent
banks, according to a recent survey by Javelin Strat- checking and savings account statement.
egy and Research.
If you’re paying these five fees, it’s time to look for a
“Stopping useless fees forever is a smart way to make bank that doesn’t charge them.
your money go further,” says J.J. Montanaro, a certi-
fied financial planner with USAA. “The savings can 1. Overdraft fees
add up to hundreds of dollars a year, which can be While the new overdraft rules that went into effect on
used to pay your bills instead of your bank.” July 1 requires financial institutions to notify custom-

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txu_ea_NTxJournal_070610_d1.indd 1 7/7/10 11:04
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Page 12
ers of their options to opt-in to overdraft fees, finding a Better yet, switch to a bank that reimburses you those
bank that chooses to opt-out of the “opt-in” legislation fees. For example, USAA rebates up to $15 a month
can save you cash. Some banks - like USAA Fed- in ATM fees - a perk that could add up to $180 a year
eral Savings Bank - have eliminated overdraft fees on in savings.
ATM and debit transactions entirely.
3. Check fees
However, if you’ve decided to opt-in to overdraft fees, Cut fees by quitting checks, or at least using less of
you’re not out of luck. Many banks provide overdraft them. Unless your bank offers free checks, switch to
protection - allowing purchases exceeding your ac- paying bills electronically. This usually fee-free ser-
count balance to be pulled from your savings account vice allows you to pay bills anytime and anywhere
or put on your credit card. Check with your bank to you have access to a secure Internet connection.
see if this service is free. If so you’ll avoid overdrafts
and avoid having your purchase declined. 4. Minimum balance fees
Your bank may expect you to keep a minimum bal-
If you choose a credit card as your back-up payment ance in your account and charge you a fee if you
option, be sure to pay off your balance immediately to slip below. You can side-step these fees by careful-
avoid paying interest, Montanaro adds. ly matching your situation with the account require-
ments. For instance, look for an account that waives
2. ATM fees the fee for direct deposit of your paycheck, or find an
If the ATM you use is not affiliated with your bank, account with no minimum balance requirement.
that ATM’s bank may charge you for ATM/debit card
withdrawals or other transactions. While a $1.50 to $3 “In addition, take advantage of helpful tools such
ATM fees may seem nominal when you really need to as free online financial management tools, account
access your cash, they can add up quickly. alerts sent via e-mail or text messages that are trig-
gered when your account runs low,” Montanaro says.
Some banks allow you to use any ATM without charg-
ing fees. If your bank doesn’t, plan ahead and only 5. Fine print fees
withdraw money from ATMs affiliated with your bank. Are you charged a fee for monthly account mainte-
Or you could take advantage of fee-free, cash-back nance, or does that bill you receive in the mail each
options now offered at some local grocery or conve- month cost extra? “It pays to sweat the small stuff
nience store chains when making a purchase. and fully understand what your bank is charging you,”
Montanaro says. “Instead of paying your bank to send
you a paper bill each month, see if
you can sign up to receive it elec-
tronically for free. This option will
save you money and can make it
easier to keep track of your state-
ments.”

Montanaro adds that investing


time to manage banking needs
and find a bank that doesn’t over-
whelm you with fees can add up
to real savings of potentially hun-
dreds of dollars each year. “In
times like these, it’s important to
make every dollar count and en-
sure it’s working for you - not your
bank.”

Courtesy of ARAcontent
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Practical Tips For Keeping America’s
Youth Safe When Behind The Wheel
(ARA) - With the growing use of cell phones and person. “Defensive driving is a priority for me
text messaging, it’s not surprising that risky and on and off the track, and I think there needs to
distracted driving are the main causes of teen be greater education for American teenagers on
motor vehicle accidents. A 2009 Pew survey es- what it means to be a safe driver.”
timates that 26 percent of all American teens
have texted while driving, and 43 percent have A teen’s first priority while driving should be to
talked on a cell phone while driving. pay attention to the highway. Some helpful tips
for keeping their eyes on the road include:
Today’s teen drivers face an increasing num-
ber of risks and distractions, making safe driv- * Give enough distance between your vehicle
ing habits more important than ever. At the same and the vehicle in front of you to allow you a
time, teen driving laws are evolving, and fewer view of all your surroundings. A driver should be
public schools across the country can afford to able to see the rear tires of the vehicle in front
offer drivers’ education. of you.

Many community organizations and even large * Identify “stale” green lights -- a light the driver
businesses have stepped in to proactively help did not see turn green -- and prepare to stop if it
teens learn the importance of practicing safe turns red before you reach it.
driving skills. For example, UPS, Boys & Girls
Clubs of America and UPS NASCAR driver Da- * Be observant and expect other drivers to do
vid Ragan are partnering for the second consec- unpredictable things while driving around you,
utive year to present UPS Road Code, a com- such as speeding and changing lanes.
prehensive safe driving course, based on UPS’s
own driver training programs, to help teach teens * Use your signals, lights and horn to communi-
across the nation the importance of safe driving cate with other drivers on the road.
and defensive driving skills.
* Establish cushion space by delaying your start
“When I’m on the race track, I’m surrounded by from an intersection by three seconds after the
about 40 other cars while driving sometimes vehicle in front of you has moved.
more than 150 mph. I can’t afford any distrac-
tions,” says Ragan, UPS Road Code spokes- * Check your mirrors every five to eight seconds
because hazards that can cause an accident
aren’t always in front of you.

Learning the risks and consequences of driving,


plus hands-on experience behind the wheel, is
essential to improve driving among teens. Driv-
ers’ education, graduated licensing systems and
teen-driving programs provide youth important
information and the opportunity to practice safe
driving. More teen safe-driving tips from UPS
Road Code can be found online at www.ups.
com/roadcode.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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2010 (and prior year) models between 6/1/10-9/30/10. Offer good only in the U.S., excluding the state of Hawaii. Professional riders with advanced skills on closed course. Some models
shown with optional accessories. Dress properly for your ride with a helmet, eye protection, gloves and boots. Do not drink and ride. It is illegal and dangerous. Yamaha and the Motorcycle
Safety Foundation encourage you to ride safely and respect the environment. For further information regarding the MSF course, please call 1-800-446-9227. ATVs with engine sizes over 90cc
are recommended for use only by riders age 16 years and older. Yamaha recommends that all ATV riders take an approved training course. For safety and training information, see your dealer
or call the ATV Safety Institute at 1-800-887-2887. ATVs can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: Always avoid paved surfaces. Never ride on public roads. Always wear a helmet, eye
protection and protective clothing; never carry passengers; never engage in stunt riding; riding and alcohol/drugs don’t mix; avoid excessive speed; and be particularly careful on difficult terrain.
©2010 Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A. All rights reserved. yamaha-motor.com