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    Tips for tackling tax season


    To help maximize refunds and avoid time-consuming complications, tax preparers are urging locals to gather all pertinent financial documents before filing their tax returns this season.

    Deb Tuszkiewicz, a registered tax preparer with Liberty Tax Service, recommends people gather all of their income statements before filing, especially documents related to wages, bank interest, stock dividends and unemployment payments.

    “The best time to file is when you know you have absolutely all of your paperwork ready,” Tuszkiewicz said. “Even if you think you’re due a refund, don’t file right away. Otherwise, you may have to file amendments, which takes longer.”


Feeling groggy? Here’s how to wake up refreshed


DALLAS — When Susie Phillips wakes at 5:30 a.m., before the sun rises, before cars zoom down the street bearing the bleary-eyed to work, before children stomp down the sidewalk on their way to school, it isn’t drudgery.

She slips out of bed, fills a hefty mug with coffee and listens to the birds chirping outside her Dallas home. Early morning sunlight streams through the window. For Phillips, this is the most peaceful time of day.

“It’s just nice to be up as the world wakes,” she says.


Calling all chili chefs


The calendar’s turn to March this week would suggest that spring is practically around the corner.

But a look out the window — or at this week’s weather forecast — would suggest plenty of winter remains ahead of us. For those of us half-full types, the upshot is that there’s still plenty of time to trot out our favorite warm, hearty winter meals.

To that end, the Kenosha News would like to see your favorite chili recipe — and the back story behind it — for our inaugural “A Chili Story to Warm Our Hearts” chili cook-off, sponsored by Pick ’n Save.

Your Home

    Latin American style comes home


    The exuberant colors, textures and patterns of Latin American crafts are injecting an easy, comfortable and fun aesthetic into home decor.

    The look includes textured rugs, throws that evoke serape motifs and furniture with an authentically hand-turned appearance.

    House & Home magazine recently featured designer Heidi Merrick’s Los Angeles home, with cowhide rugs, Bolivian “frasada” blankets used as daybed throws, and spicy hues like orange, marine blue and pink.


    Spotlight on Grace Bible Chapel


    Church name: Grace Bible Chapel


    Lakefront ice show


    Natural ice sculptures reminiscent of European cathedrals by their height and fluted icicle columns can now be seen at Kenosha’s lakefront, due to the arctic weather enveloping the area.

    George Leshkevich, a physical scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, explains that the wind direction and wave action creates what are called “ice dunes” on the shore. As ice forms at the surface of the lake, wind and waves break up the sheet and push the ice toward shore, where it cannot go anywhere but up.

    With the Great Lakes starting out cold from last winter, ice is now covering more of the surface than this time last year, according to satellite photos of the area.



    Our birds of prey


    Up to 2,500 bald eagles winter near the Mississippi River’s locks and dams because open water makes it easier to fish for dinner. That’s why we consider this the time of year to seek out the once-endangered raptor.

    The population estimate comes from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and most bald eagles head north to nest as weather warms toward the beginning of spring.

    Are 2,500 bald eagles a lot? That depends. Up to 500,000 lived in the U.S. during the 1700s. Fewer than 450 nesting pairs existed 50 years ago in the lower 48 states. Now there are at least 4,000.

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