Wednesday, April 01, 2015
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Don't Be Fooled Warns IRS

As April 1st approaches, the IRS warns taxpayers not to be fooled by the tricks scammers use to take advantage of those they target. Scammers use fake names, provide bogus IRS badge numbers and alter caller ID numbers to make it look like the IRS is calling.

With the final two weeks of the filing season about to begin and millions preparing their returns, taxpayers should be alert.

As the filing season nears its end, there has been a surge of phone scams where scam artists threaten police arrest, deportation, license revocation and other threats.

They often leave "urgent" callback requests and sometimes prey on the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly, newly arrived immigrants and those whose first language is not English. Scammers have been known to impersonate agents from IRS Criminal Investigation as well.

Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do.

The IRS will not:

*         Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.

*         Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

*         Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

*         Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

*         Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here's what you should do:

*         If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS workers can help you with a payment issue.

*         If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)

at 1-800-366-4484 or report it online at the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting Page <>.

*         If you've been targeted by this scam, also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their FTC Complaint Assistant at If the complaint

involves someone impersonating the IRS, include the words "IRS Telephone Scam" in the notes.

Remember, too, the IRS does not use email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue involving bills or refunds. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to <>  and type "scam" in the search box.


Work to Begin on N-12, east of Sparks to west of Springview

Weather permitting, work is scheduled to begin the week of April 6 on N-12 beginning one mile east of Sparks and extending to eight miles west of Springview, according to the Nebraska Department of Roads.

Western Engineering Company, Inc. of Harlan, Iowa, has the $2,146,000 contract for the 22-mile project, which will include milling and asphaltic concrete work. Traffic will be maintained with use of a pilot vehicle and the roadway will be reduced to a 12-foot width. Work is anticipated to be completed by May 8.

The Department of Roads’ project manager is Darrell Lurz of Valentine. Motorists are reminded to drive cautiously through highway construction zones.


Large grass fire near Spring Creek Area on Saturday Night

The Valentine Volunteer Fire Department was called out to assist with a large grass fire west of the Spring Creek area on the Rosebud Reservation late Saturday night. Lightning caused the blaze that spread quickly with strong winds. No structures were involved and no injuries were reported. Firemen got the call about 10:30 p.m. Saturday night and did not return until about 4 a.m. Cody and Kilgore Departments were also called for mutual aid and to fight the blaze.


Gov. Ricketts Announces Nebraska Attains Lowest Unemployment Rate

On Friday, March 27th, Gov. Ricketts announced that Nebraska has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. South Dakota is tied with Utah for 3rd lowest.

Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate is the lowest in the country according to rankings released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nebraska’s seasonally adjusted rate is 2.7 percent, 0.2 percentage points lower than second-ranked North Dakota.

“Today’s announcement that Nebraska has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation is great news for our state. We must continue to think strategically about the future. Growing Nebraska for the next generation requires careful planning so that our children and grandchildren have the opportunities they need to live, work, and raise a family here in Nebraska for generations to come.”

“This is an important milestone for our state that coincides with continued employment growth and strong workforce participation,” said Commissioner of Labor John H. Albin. “We will continue to champion initiatives that make Nebraska a great state for both employers and workers.”

The full rankings are available at


Davis Fights To Kill Prairie Dog Bill

Nebraska lawmakers have postponed a vote on bill that would prevent counties from killing black-tailed prairie dogs when residents complain about the animals on their property.  Lawmakers adjourned for the week on Thursday without taking action. Sen. Al Davis, a rancher from Hyannis, is trying to kill the measure.  The 2012 law gives counties the power to adopt management programs to keep them from spreading.  Advocates say the animals are an important native species and the current law infringes on private property rights. Opponents say counties have the right to intervene because prairie dogs ravage ranchland by digging holes that can injure cattle and damage equipment.  Sen. Galen Hadley, the speaker of the Legislature, says debate on the bill will continue early next week.


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