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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    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • YWCA offers lifeguard training

    CLINTON — The YWCA will offer lifeguard training in August.The course will be held from Aug. 4 to 10 at the YWCA. This 30-hour class will meet from 5 to 9 p.m. for four weeknights and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. A possibility of adding a class from 1

    July 25, 2014

  • GPS race Teams race to complete challenges THOMSON, Ill. — A challenge in August will pit teams against each other to complete a series of challenges.The event will begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 16 at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge in Thomson. Armed with GPS units, teams

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Habitat for Humanity hosts fundraiser

    CLINTON — Habitat for Humanity will host a fundraiser in Thomson, Illinois.The Clinton County group will showcase Laid Back Luau from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 8, at Heirloom Cafe in Thomson. The event will feature games, prizes, music train rides for

    July 25, 2014

  • Fire departments undergo grain bin rescue training OMAHA — The Goose Lake and Lost Nation Volunteer Fire Departments each have received lifesaving grain bin rescue equipment through a donation from Farm Credit Services of America.Goose Lake received its equipment July 14 and Lost Nation on July 15. E

    July 24, 2014

  • ADM donates $75K for fire boat purchase CLINTON — Archer Daniels Midland Company has donated $75,000 to the city of Clinton for a new fire and rescue boat for the Clinton Fire Department.The boat will help the fire department respond to fires, administer emergency medical services and resp

    July 24, 2014

  • Students get first-hand look at non-profits CLINTON — An upcoming event will showcase Clinton area’s non-profits to incoming Ashford University students.The second Fresh START (Serving to Achieve Results Together) event will be held Saturday, Aug. 16. Students and staff members will serve at v

    July 23, 2014

  • 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

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