Stories

Scammers follow the news about student loan forgiveness

<p>Hearing a lot about federal student loan forgiveness in the news? You’re not alone — scammers are, too. You might get a call from someone saying they’re affiliated with Federal Student Aid (FSA) or the Department of Education. (They’re not.) They’ll say they’re following up on your eligibility for a new loan forgiveness program, and might even know things about your loan, like the balance or your account number. They’ll try to rush you into acting by saying the program is available for a limited time. But this is all a scam. What else do you need to know to spot scams like this?</p><p><br></p><p>The only place to get help managing your federal student loans is&nbsp;<a href="https://studentaid.gov/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 94, 162); background-color: transparent;">StudentAid.gov</a>. FSA (and your federal loan servicer) won’t ever pressure you to sign up for anything — but a scammer will.&nbsp;And sometimes, it’s easier to tell what’s real by learning to spot what’s not. To get you started:</p><ul><li><strong>Don’t rely on government seals or logos.&nbsp;</strong>Scammers use official-looking names, seals, and logos to make them seem more legit.</li><li><br></li><li><strong>Don’t buy promises of special access.</strong>&nbsp;There’s no special access to repayment plans or loan forgiveness programs. No one can get you into loan forgiveness programs you don’t qualify for or wipe out your loans. Use your FSA&nbsp;<a href="https://studentaid.gov/fsa-id/sign-in/landing" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 94, 162); background-color: transparent;">account dashboard</a>&nbsp;to see which programs you might be eligible for.</li><li><strong>Never pay an upfront fee.</strong>&nbsp;It’s illegal for companies to charge you before they help you reduce or get rid of your student loan debt.<strong>&nbsp;</strong>And if you have to pay upfront, you might not get any help — or your money back. Get free help managing your federal loans at&nbsp;<a href="http://studentaid.gov/repay" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 94, 162); background-color: transparent;">StudentAid.gov/repay</a>. If your loans are private, go straight to your loan servicer for help.</li><li><strong>Never share your FSA ID login information.</strong>&nbsp;Only scammers say they need it to help you. If a scammer gets your FSA ID, they could cut you off from your loan servicer — or even steal your identity.</li></ul><p>Check out FSA’s resources for&nbsp;<a href="https://studentaid.gov/resources/scams#beware-of-student-loan-debt-relief-companies" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 94, 162); background-color: transparent;">avoiding student loan scams</a>. And if you spot a student loan scam, tell the FTC at:&nbsp;<a href="https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(0, 94, 162); background-color: transparent;">ReportFraud.ftc.gov</a>.</p>

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Westchester-Putnam Career Fair in Yorktown, May 1st.

<p><span style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102);">Mark your calendar! On May 1st, 2024, The&nbsp;</span><strong style="color: rgb(87, 124, 166);">Westchester-Putnam Career Center Network</strong><span style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102);">&nbsp;in collaboration with the&nbsp;</span><strong style="color: rgb(87, 124, 166);">Town of Yorktown,&nbsp;The&nbsp;Yorktown Chamber of Commerce,&nbsp;</strong><span style="color: rgb(92, 100, 107);">and&nbsp;</span><strong style="color: rgb(87, 124, 166);">The Catalyst Westchester County Economic Development,</strong><span style="color: rgb(102, 102, 102);">&nbsp;are hosting an on-site&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(92, 100, 107);">career fair at the&nbsp;</span><strong style="color: rgb(87, 124, 166);">Albert A. Capellini Community &amp; Cultural Center</strong><strong style="color: rgb(92, 100, 107);">&nbsp;</strong><span style="color: rgb(92, 100, 107);">featuring an array of employment opportunities in northern Westchester County. Dress professionally and be prepared to interview with hiring managers. Remember to bring multiple copies of your updated resume and to review the attending employers prior to the job fair in order to be fully prepared. </span><a href="https://smex-ctp.trendmicro.com/wis/clicktime/v1/query?url=https%3a%2f%2fdocs.google.com%2fforms%2fd%2fe%2f1FAIpQLSe6%5fTNAj87preHrUyzjC0OeD1wmZ7GbOvGtGTess%2dR%2dnwIWlQ%2fviewform&amp;umid=434d0243-d48e-451f-95b6-cbc48e253aa7&amp;auth=3e9eac7f6d1e9ee4bcf25e1462df7eb615e0741e-697c6e7c6b652f37db2e9ca9c5f7913dd1851484" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(232, 125, 54);">Click here to register&nbsp;</a></p><p><strong style="color: rgb(232, 125, 54);">For more information, contact Bob Fois at&nbsp;</strong><a href="mailto:WestchesterCCN@westchestercountyny.gov" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(232, 125, 16);"><strong>WestchesterCCN@</strong></a><a href="westchestercountyny.gov" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(232, 125, 16);"><strong>westchestercountyny.gov</strong></a><strong style="color: rgb(232, 125, 16);">&nbsp;</strong><strong style="color: rgb(232, 125, 54);">or call (914) 955-4976</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p>

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Be ready for next year: IRS Tax Withholding Estimator

<p>The IRS encourages taxpayers to use the&nbsp;<a href="https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMjYsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsInVybCI6Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmlycy5nb3YvaW5kaXZpZHVhbHMvdGF4LXdpdGhob2xkaW5nLWVzdGltYXRvciIsImJ1bGxldGluX2lkIjoiMjAyNDA0MTcuOTM0NzY5NjEifQ.8xDfpdpOt37B6M6q_LsEjIMWaPZXTKsRQ6uTy8wPir8/s/997713443/br/240886270670-l" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">IRS Tax Withholding Estimator</a>&nbsp;to ensure they’re withholding the correct amount of tax from their pay in 2024.&nbsp;</p><p>This&nbsp;<a href="https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMjcsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsInVybCI6Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmlycy5nb3YvaGVscC90b29scyIsImJ1bGxldGluX2lkIjoiMjAyNDA0MTcuOTM0NzY5NjEifQ.KAHAQjuIjwjqgIZSU-uDhcblMZTj2brvLa6xoOVzHWE/s/997713443/br/240886270670-l" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">digital tool</a>&nbsp;provides workers, self-employed individuals and retirees with wage income a user-friendly resource to effectively adjust the amount of income tax withheld from their wages.&nbsp;</p><p>The Tax Withholding Estimator will help taxpayers avoid unwanted results in 2024 if the refund for their 2023 return was too large, too small or if they received a surprise tax amount due.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Benefits of using the Estimator</strong></p><p>For employed individuals, withholding refers to the federal income tax amount deducted from their paycheck. Taxpayers can use the Tax Withholding Estimator's findings to decide whether they should fill out a new Form W-4 and give it to their employer. This process can, for instance:&nbsp;</p><ul><li>Ensure the correct tax amount is withheld, preventing a surprise tax bill or penalty during tax season, and</li><li>Decide whether to reduce upfront tax withholding, increasing take-home pay and potentially reducing any tax refund at the end of the tax year.<strong>&nbsp;</strong></li></ul><p><strong>When should taxpayers use this tool?</strong></p><p>The IRS suggests taxpayers review their withholding at least once annually. For anyone who’s recently completed their 2023 return, now is an ideal time to do so. It's also wise to use this tool after significant life events like marriage, divorce, buying a home or having a child.&nbsp;</p><p>When using the withholding calculator taxpayers should consider all forms of income, including part-time work, side jobs or the sale of goods or services commonly reported on&nbsp;<a href="https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMjgsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsInVybCI6Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmlycy5nb3YvbmV3c3Jvb20vZm9ybS0xMDk5LWstZmFxcy13aGF0LXRvLWRvLWlmLXlvdS1yZWNlaXZlLWEtZm9ybS0xMDk5LWsiLCJidWxsZXRpbl9pZCI6IjIwMjQwNDE3LjkzNDc2OTYxIn0.2BeZ_bjppnjarMOUohBbMIVUBCtU79SnCSuHfyrH2Us/s/997713443/br/240886270670-l" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">Form 1099-K</a>.</p><p><strong>What records are needed?</strong></p><p>The Tax Withholding Estimator’s results are only as accurate as the information entered. To help prepare, the IRS recommends taxpayers gather:&nbsp;</p><ul><li>Their most recent pay statements, and if married, for their spouse,</li><li>Information for other sources of income, and</li><li>Their most recent income tax return in 2023, if possible.&nbsp;</li></ul><p>While the Tax Withholding Estimator works for most taxpayers, people with more complex tax situations should instead use the instructions in&nbsp;<a href="https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMjksInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsInVybCI6Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmlycy5nb3YvZm9ybXMtcHVicy9hYm91dC1wdWJsaWNhdGlvbi01MDUiLCJidWxsZXRpbl9pZCI6IjIwMjQwNDE3LjkzNDc2OTYxIn0.5lnZUS7fL5UYzCIyLgcen1OKjBuRxAFmyemNQ13zjBc/s/997713443/br/240886270670-l" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax</a>. This includes taxpayers who owe alternative minimum tax or certain other taxes, and people with long-term capital gains or qualified dividends.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Additional information</strong></p><p><a href="https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMzAsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsInVybCI6Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmlycy5nb3YvaW5kaXZpZHVhbHMvdGF4LXdpdGhob2xkaW5nLWVzdGltYXRvci1mYXFzIiwiYnVsbGV0aW5faWQiOiIyMDI0MDQxNy45MzQ3Njk2MSJ9.ZmMEj5LkiUkbY0HbTTNIacOa6Zapqk-bJ-p7wN10ehM/s/997713443/br/240886270670-l" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">Tax Withholding Estimator FAQs</a></p><p><a href="https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMzEsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsInVybCI6Imh0dHBzOi8vd3d3Lmlycy5nb3YvcGF5Y2hlY2stY2hlY2t1cCIsImJ1bGxldGluX2lkIjoiMjAyNDA0MTcuOTM0NzY5NjEifQ.Bx7HkA3PHjoMpMRDmUGq1Xoei6eNE0qE72-rjFTFXFo/s/997713443/br/240886270670-l" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">Paycheck Checkup</a></p>

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Slater: Paid Family Leave For Military Spouses Under Review By DOD

<p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);"> </span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">A proposal by Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) to expand paid family leave for military spouses is currently being reviewed and considered by the Department of Defense (DOD). Slater wrote to the DOD requesting the inclusion of his legislation&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">(A.6744)&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">in the 2026 Department of Defense State Policy Priorities Impacting Service Members and Their Families.</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);"> </span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">“Deployments and activation are not limited to missions overseas,” explained Slater. “This gap in the paid family leave laws put our military families in vulnerable positions by having to use vacation, sick and other allotted time to care for their families while their loved ones are answering our nation’s call. I am hopeful the Department of Defense will review this proposal with sincere consideration so that regardless of the location of their deployment, service members are no longer sacrificing time away from their families and deserve to have the security of paid family leave.”</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);"> </span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Under current law, New York state restricts paid family leave to service members deployed to foreign countries. A handful of residents of New York have been forced to use all their paid time off before qualifying for family leave. This has left service members and their families without essential financial support during critical times.</span></p><p><br></p><blockquote><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;*Click&nbsp;</span><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R6AYvSbOV0xj6uA2x07KVgEnJRXfdftH/view?usp=sharing" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">here</a><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&nbsp;to view the letter*</span></blockquote><p><br></p><p> <em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">&nbsp;&nbsp;</em></p><p><em style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Photo:Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) on the Assembly floor</em> . </p><p>Photo Credit : Office of Assemblyman Matt Slater</p>

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Hear It There's Soulful Saxophonist Alison Shearer on April 25 at Uncle Cheef

<p><a href="HearItThere.com" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent;"><strong>HearItThere.com</strong></a><strong style="background-color: transparent;"> Presents Soulful Saxophonist Alison Shearer&nbsp;Thursday, April 25, 2024 @Uncle Cheef, Brewster, NY!</strong></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent;">Recently nominated for&nbsp;</span><strong style="background-color: transparent;"><em>Best Jazz Club of the Hudson Valley</em></strong><span style="background-color: transparent;">,&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.unclecheef.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Uncle Cheef</a><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;and live music promoters,&nbsp;</span><a href="https://hearitthere.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">HearItThere.com</a><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;are honored to introduce jazz saxophonist Alison Shearer on Thursday, April 25, 2024 with two sets of music at 7 PM &amp; 8 PM.</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent;">Performing as a quartet since 2015, Shearer writes most of the group’s music. Her&nbsp;soulful sax is supported by musicians, Kevin Bernstien on keys, Marty Kenney, bass and Hoarce Phillips, drums. Called&nbsp;</span><em style="background-color: transparent;">a force on the rise</em><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;by&nbsp;</span><em style="background-color: transparent;">JazzTimes</em><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;magazine, Alison Shearer’s explosive career hits refresh on what it means to be a jazz saxophonist today. With classical technique and legendary jazz mentorship undergirding a raw, natural talent, Alison synthesizes the many disparate influences crowding our listening landscape into a style at once personal and global. She leads a new generation of performers, inhabiting her individuality as a member of an international artistic community, and reconfiguring the identity of “jazz fusion” for our current moment.</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent;">Hear It There Founder, and live music enthusiast, Elisa Zuckerberg is continually on the lookout for new music. I’ve been following the ascent of Alison Shearer’s music career for years. She is an extraordinary talent and is finding much success in the NYC jazz club scene and national tour! I am thrilled that she’s bringing her quartet to her hometown for this special performance.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent;">The music, food and service at Uncle Cheef are all top notch. Advance reservations via the online&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.unclecheef.com/reservations" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Resy System</a><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;are encouraged, as they are instrumental when planning for the evening’s success and your enjoyment. If you’ve never used Resy, there will be a one-time set up process which automates the check out procedure to settle your bill.</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent;">Navigation settings for Uncle Cheef are, 988 NY-22, Unit C, Brewster, NY 10509. Located 56 miles north of New York City in the Village of Brewster, the lounge is Hudson Valley’s number one home to exciting live music curated by Tonight Show musician and five-time Grammy award winning saxophonist,&nbsp;</span><a href="https://ianhendricksonsmith.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Ian Hendrickson-Smith</a><span style="background-color: transparent;">&nbsp;(aka Uncle Cheef.)</span></p><p><span style="background-color: transparent;">Hear It There promotes original songwriters at Uncle Cheef and is web-based resource. Offering an accompanying weekly newsletter, HiT reaches over 2,800 subscribers. The platform is FREE of charge. Musicians and live music venues are welcome to upload graphics, text and links to seamlessly promote their upcoming live music events! HiT is&nbsp;proud to have partnered with our media sponsor,&nbsp;</span><a href="https://news.hamlethub.com/brewster-new-york" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent;">Brewster HamletHub</a><span style="background-color: transparent;">. For additional information contact (914) 236-4572 or send an email to&nbsp;</span><span style="background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 102, 204);">info@hearitthere.com</span><span style="background-color: transparent;">.</span></p>

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Sarah Luby Receives Susan Sutton Smith Award for Academic Excellence

<p><strong>Sarah Luby of Patterson, NY,</strong> was one of 206 SUNY Oneonta students recognized for academic excellence during the 2023-2024 Susan Sutton Smith event on Tuesday, April 9. The Susan Sutton Smith awards are given each spring to first-year students, sophomores and juniors who have earned a grade-point average of 3.9 or higher on a 4.0 scale.</p><p>Luby is majoring in Sociology at SUNY Oneonta.</p><p>The on-campus event also featured the annual Susan Sutton Smith Lecture, delivered this year by Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Kiyoko Yokota. Dr. Yokota received the faculty Susan Sutton Smith Award, and her lecture was titled "Clean but Green - the Paradox of the Oligotrophic Cyanobacterial Blooms."</p><p>Two additional faculty members were recognized at the event. Adjunct Associate Professor of Theatre Carmela Marner received the university's annual Simphiwe Hilatshwayo Award for Outstanding Part-Time Instructor. Assistant Professor of Law Dr. Sean Shannon received the Innovative Pedagogy Award.</p><p><br></p><p>This lecture and the awards for academic excellence are made possible by the generous gifts of SUNY Oneonta alumni to the Fund for Oneonta. The Susan Sutton Smith Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence is made possible by an endowment created through the generosity of Dr. Thomas and Mrs. Mary Smith in memory of their daughter, Susan, in honor of her commitment to academic excellence.</p><p>SUNY Oneonta is a public, four-year university in Central New York, enrolling about 5,500 students in a wide variety of bachelor's degree programs and more than a dozen graduate certificate and degree programs. The university is known as both an exemplary residential campus that values inclusion, service and sustainability, and a nurturing community where students grow intellectually, thrive socially and live purposefully. Learn more at&nbsp;<a href="https://suny.oneonta.edu/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">https://suny.oneonta.edu/</a></p>

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Anne Koplik Designs Jewelry Showroom Sale

<p><strong>ANNE KOPLIK DESIGNS JEWELRY will be holding their Showroom Sale this weekend and next at their location in Brewster NY.</strong></p><p><strong>Many one of kind designs will be discounted and their will be showroom specials (in limited quantities&nbsp;along with a free raffle)&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Friday 4/12&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Saturday 4/13 &nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Sunday 4/14</strong></p><p><strong>Friday 5/3&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Saturday 5/4&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>Sunday 5/5&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong>10AM-4PM All Days</strong></p><p>Visit Anne Koplik Designs Jewelry on the web for more info @ <a href="https://annekoplik.com/shop" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://annekoplik.com/shop/</a></p>

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