Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Iveagh Gardens in Dublin, Ireland - Photo by William Murphy
I want to take a moment to wish a Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone in Warrendale neighborhood and beyond. This is one of those instances when everyone is at least a little bit Irish, even if there isn't a drop of green blood in your veins those other 364 days of the year.

There are almost a dozen different bars in Warrendale neighborhood; almost all of them are doing something special for St. Patrick's Day. Whatever you do, I hope your holiday is a full-filled and safe one.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Two Detroit police officers shot in the line of duty

Raymond Durham
Two Detroit police officers were shot this evening in Southwest Detroit. They have been taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital for treatment. However, their names and current condition are not known at this moment.

The Detroit Police Department and Michigan State Police have an active manhunt underway. The shooter has been identified as Raymond Durham, a 60-year old man with a history of breaking and entering convictions.

Additional information about this shooting is available from WXYZ-TV here.

Coming soon: book reviews

Sample books from Titan - Photo by Frank Nemecek
The folks at Titan Books recently sent me a series of books to review. They sent me a series of five crime and espionage novels in this shipment. As a result, I'm pleased to announce that there will be a series of book reviews coming to the Warrendale (Detroit) Blog, starting early next month.

The first book that I will review will be Fatal Music by Peter Morfoot. In this mystery novel, Captain Paul Darac of the Brigade Criminelle is called to investigate an elderly woman found dead in her hot tub. At first, is assumed that she died of natural causes. However, as he digs deeper, Darac discovers a motive for murder with no shortage of suspects.

Fatal Music is a follow-up novel to Morfoot's debut novel Impure Blood. The Crime Review called that previous novel "a vibrant, satisfying read." Library Journal declared in its review, "Morfoot introduces a delightful example of the disenchanted French boulevardier."

Fatal Music will go on sale Tuesday, April 4, 2017. I expect to have my review on-line the day before.

Pocket park moves toward goal


Plans to create a pocket park on Auburn Street in the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit are moving forward. The dynamic duo behind this plan was featured on Fox 2 Detroit with Taryn Asher last week.

Their GoFundMe page also continues to move towards its $10,000 goal. They are currently a little more than 20% of the way to their target.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Fake cops shoot Warrendale resident


Three individuals who were dressed as police officers, but weren't really affiliated with law enforcement, broke into a home on Mettatal Street in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood early this morning. A 35-year-old man who lived in that home was shot during the robbery.

The victim was originally listed in critical condition. However, updates indicate that he is expected to make a complete recovery.

According to investigators within the Detroit Police Department, this was not a random event. Detectives believe that this individual was targeted as a result of dispute that happened earlier in the week.

The mother and young child who were in this Detroit home at the time were not physically harmed. Obviously, they are emotionally shaken by this event.


Monday, March 06, 2017

Pocket park project coming to Warrendale

Area targeted for a pocket park - Photo by Barb Matney
Barb and Joe Matney, the dynamic duo behind the In Memory Of community garden here in the Warrendale neighborhood and key members of the Warrendale Community Organization, have launched a new project. They are working to create a new pocket park in our area.

The project will take vacant land in Warrendale and allow it to be used for recreation. They are trying to raise $10,000 through a GoFundMe campaign.

 Additional information about this project is available here.

Tip of the week: Nine common filing errors to avoid

It's tax season and the Internal Revenue Service has release their list of the nine most common errors in tax returns. It's my pleasure to share this with my readers as part of this blog's semi-regular Tip of the Week feature.

Without further ado, here are nine common errors to avoid when preparing a tax return:

1. Missing or inaccurate Social Security numbers. Be sure to enter each Social Security numbers on a tax return exactly as printed on the Social Security card.

2. Misspelled names. Spell all names listed on a tax return exactly as listed on that individual’s Social Security card.

3. Filing status errors.  Some people claim the wrong filing status, such as Head of Household instead of Single. The Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov can help taxpayers choose the correct status. E-file software also helps prevent mistakes.

4. Math mistakes.  Math errors are common. They range from simple addition and subtraction to more complex items. Transactions like figuring the taxable portion of a pension, IRA distribution or Social Security benefits are more difficult and result in more errors. Taxpayers should always double check their math. Better yet, tax preparation software does it automatically, so file electronically.

5. Errors in figuring tax credits or deductions.  Filers can make mistakes figuring their Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit, the standard deduction and other items. Taxpayers need to follow the instructions carefully. For example, if a taxpayer is age 65 or older, or blind, they should be sure to claim the correct, higher standard deduction. The IRS Interactive Tax Assistant can help determine if a taxpayer is eligible for tax credits or deductions.

6. Incorrect bank account numbers.  The IRS strongly urges all taxpayers who have a refund due to choose direct deposit. It’s easy and convenient.  Be careful to use the right routing and account numbers on the tax return. The fastest and safest way to get a refund is to combine e-file with direct deposit.

7. Forms not signed.  An unsigned tax return is like an unsigned check – it’s not valid. Both spouses must sign a joint return. Taxpayers can avoid this error by filing their return electronically. Sign an e-filed tax return digitally before sending it to the IRS.

8. Electronic filing PIN errors. When e-filing, the taxpayer signs and validates the tax return electronically with a prior-year Self-Select Personal Identification Number. If they do not have or know their PIN, they should enter the Adjusted Gross Income from their 2015 tax return originally filed with the IRS. Taxpayers should keep a copy of their tax return.

Beginning in 2017, taxpayers using a software product for the first time may need their Adjusted Gross Income amount from their prior-year tax return to verify their identity. Taxpayers can learn more about how to verify their identity and electronically sign tax returns at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return. Do not use the AGI amount from an amended return or a return that the IRS corrected.

9. Filing with an expired ITIN. A tax return filed with an expired Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) will be processed and treated as timely filed, but will be processed without any exemptions or credits claimed. Taxpayers will receive a notice from the IRS explaining that an ITIN must be current before any refund is paid. Once the ITIN is renewed, exemptions and credits are processed and any allowed refund paid. ITIN expiration and renewal information is available on IRS.gov 

Avoiding these common filing errors on your tax return is your Warrendale Tip of the Week.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Fish fries return to Ss Peter and Paul

Crowd at Ss Peter & Paul Church - Photo by Frank Nemecek
Lenten fish fries have returned to Ss. Peter and Paul's Activities Bldg. I'm pleased to report that they are as good as they have ever been. The food and comradeship are great as always.

Plus, it's nice to know that my dinner helps the church in some small way.

I hope to see lots of old and new friends there at future Fridays throughout Lent.