The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


February 15, 2014

Broken water lines? What are the chances?

Several people sent me mail they received about January 25-30, 2014, from HomeServe USA. The mail contained notification about lack of water service line coverage on the homeowner’s property.

HomeServe USA offered what amounts to an insurance policy to cover repairs to the water line to the house for $5.99 monthly. For this price, they offered $7,000 in coverage, and unlimited service calls up to this amount. The mail I saw is addressed individually to each homeowner, to their specific address. The fact people brought it to me showed how effective the message was in getting people’s attention.

Some people reading this mail might come to the conclusion it is offered by the local water utility, Iowa-American Water. However, if you read the entire letter, you see in smaller print and the bottom of the notice, a disclaimer stating the offer is not made by, or affiliated with, the local utility.

Because of the interest in this topic, I did some research. Most homeowners know they are responsible for the water and sewer lines that run through their property, from the street main to their water meter. If that portion of a water line ruptures, the homeowner assumes the cost of repair. It probably will not be cheap. So HomeServe’s mail offering does provide a benefit to consider. I also learned Iowa-American, through a subsidiary of their company, offers the same kind of coverage. So if the potential of water line problems concerns you, at least do some comparison shopping before making a commitment to buy.

Remember, if you received this mail, it is advertising. I like to tell people, advertising is the art of persuading people to buy something they did not know they needed.

Green Dot Moneypaks — tool for scammers

In my last column, I wrote about the high numbers of area citizens receiving calls about their winning Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. The pace of these calls is continuing, showing no signs of stopping. Unfortunately, a Clinton man reported he received such a call, and it cost him $400. The callers convinced the man he won $3.5 million and a Mercedes-Benz. They persuaded the man to purchase Green Dot Moneypaks, load $400 on them, and tell the callers the 16-digit card number. They needed this information to send the prize. Knowing the card numbers, the scammers almost instantly transferred the money from the Clinton man’s account onto another credit card. No prize arrived.

Text Only
  • Choral group marks 10th anniversary CLINTON -- A Clinton choral group will celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend. RiverChor will celebrate the anniversary at 2 p.m. Sunday at Zion Lutheran Church. The concert is free, but donations will be accepted. A reception will be held in th

    April 21, 2014

  • Camanche to host citywide garage sales CAMANCHE -- St. Mark's United Methodist Church will organize citywide garage sales scheduled for May 2 and 3. Those wishing to participate and have their garage sale listed in the advertising may obtain forms at Clinton National Bank, Citizens First

    April 24, 2014

  • Bald eagles Britton to present on lead effects MAQUOKETA -- A National Wildlife Refuge manager will present a program on lead's effects on bald eagles. Ed Britton, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge manager, will deliver the presentation at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at Hurstville Interpretive Center in Ma

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spring flea market is April 27 MAQUOKETA -- The annual Spring Flea Market, Antique, and Collectible Show will be Sunday, April 27, at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Maquoketa. The show has been in existence for 27 years and is one of Iowa's largest shows with more than 150 sell

    April 24, 2014

  • Human trafficking Stickers highlight human trafficking CLINTON -- Area establishments are receiving added decor this week thanks to an anti-trafficking committee. Sisters of St. Francis Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking Anti-Trafficking committee members are placing stickers in local establis

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • Calling all munchkins CLINTON -- The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre is looking for munchkins. Local auditions will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 19, at the Showboat for munchkins in the upcoming "The Wizard of Oz" performance. Munchkins may be of any age as long as

    April 22, 2014

  • St. Paul grants Church awards grants

    CLINTON -- An area church recently awarded area organizations with grants. The Bickelhaupt Arboretum, the Felix Adler Children's Discovery Center, First Circle Friends, YWCA, Voices for the Land/Monarch Teacher Network and Haley Westerkamp were grant

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • On Iowa program selects Clinton residents CLINTON -- Four Clinton residents recently were named On Iowa student leaders. Keaton Fuller, Jacinta Jargo, Kenya Lewis and Allyson Naeve were among 235 people selected to serve as welcomers to new first-year and transfer students at the University

    April 22, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

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