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.

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    July 23, 2014

  • The Clinton Herald Jim Miller Low-cost, free cellphone options for seniors DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling SeniorDEAR SELDOM: For financially challenged seniors who only want a cell pho

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Friend of the Fair Two honored as 'Friends' MORRISON, Ill. — The Whiteside County Fair recently announced its 2014 Friend of the Fair. Paul Vock and Dan Heusinkveld are this year’s honorees. The two men have been involved with the fair for decades.Vock started with the fair in 1971 as the Heav

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bice Nurses earn Daisy awards

    CLINTON — Two Clinton nurses recently earned Daisy awards.Mercy Medical Center nurses Jodie Atkinson and Kristen Bice earned the awards that is rewarded to extraordinary nurses. Atkinson began her career in nursing at Mercy Medical Center in 1995 on

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Revolver goes for $400 at auction CLINTON — Selling in two locations on June 21 proved to be a winner. I was selling in the first location with my son Jon and we had a strong bidding crowd. The second location had Jeff Lohr and Bill McWilliams holding firm with a nice crowd of bidder

    July 19, 2014

  • Sawmill New event cruises into Clinton CLINTON — Three Gateway-area locations are joining together in August for a river heritage event.The event will be held Aug. 3 and will feature a Blue Heron river cruise, a Sawmill Museum tour and a de Immigrant Windmill tour in Fulton, Illinois. The

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Minnick Ashford director appointed to commission CLINTON —The Ashford University campus director has been appointed to a volunteer commission.Charlie Minnick, vice president/campus director of Ashford University, has been appointed by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Ser

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Summer lunch menus (July 21 to 25)

    Summer lunch menus at Jefferson and Bluff Elementary Schools, and Generations Area Agency on Aging

    July 17, 2014

  • Ax throw, log climb at Adirondack lumberjack class PAUL SMITHS, N.Y. — Ax throwing is encouraged in lumberjack class. It’s also OK to dump your classmate in the lake — as long as you’re both frantically trying to stay upright on a floating log.The annual Adirondack Woodsmen’s School is being held thi

    July 17, 2014

  • Locally-grown foods look to bigger business

    Once a niche business, locally grown foods aren't just for farmers markets anymore.

    July 16, 2014

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