Sign company collecting coats for kids and IRS warns of scams following natural disasters

Concerned about the child poverty rate in Carson City, the owners of Vital Signs are hoping to collect 500 coats that will be distributed throughout the school district and to other assistance programs.

Donate new and gently used coats for ages 5-18 through October at the 1400 S. Carson St. store. Mercury Cleaners donated its services to clean any used coats.

Monetary donations are also accepted and will be used to purchase new coats for kids. For information contact Hannah McIntosh at 884-2990.

Metcalf Builders Inc., of Carson City, secured a contract to do the exterior and interior renovation for the Sundowner hotel/casino at Fourth and Arlington streets in Reno. Contractor Tom Metcalf said phase 1 of the $13 million project will employ more than 100 subcontractors.

The conversion of the existing hotel/casino to a mixed use condo and commercial complex began recently with interior demolition, he said.

The 600 hotel rooms will be converted into about 330 condos. Metcalf Builders was awarded the contract Sept. 28.

Jones Vargas contributed $10,000 to the Red Cross for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The firm's staff plans to make personal contributions which the firm will match.

According to American Red Cross President Marty Evans, the Red Cross has been stretched thin because of relief efforts for both Hurricane Rita and Katrina. It has raised half of the more than $2 billion needed to cover relief costs for both hurricanes.

The Internal Revenue Service issued a consumer alert about possible scams taking place in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and other recent natural disasters.

The IRS has established a toll-free disaster assistance telephone number, 1-866-562-5227, specifically for hurricane victims. Whenever a matter involves tax relief or tax refunds, the first step a disaster victim should take is to call the IRS.


• Donate to recognized charities.

• Be wary of charities with names that sound like familiar or nationally known organizations. The IRS Web site at has a search feature that allows consumers to find legitimate, qualified charities to which donations may be tax-deductible. Legitimate charities may also be found on the Federal Emergency Management Agency Web site at

• Bogus Web sites are soliciting funds for disaster victims, according to federal law-enforcement agencies. Such fraudulent sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities to persuade members of the public to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources.

All Scolari's markets in the northern Reno region recently began selling socially/environmentally responsible San Francisco Bay Premium Gourmet Coffee, produced by the Rogers Family Co. Proceeds from the products help protect wildlife, rainforest, or to build a house, school or medical clinic at coffee communities throughout Latin America.

The 15 Scolari's markets in the region offer two-pound bags of French roast, Colombian supremo, hazelnut and decaf gourmet blends of San Francisco Bay Coffee - one of the brands of the San Leandro, Calif.-based Rogers Family Co.

Purchases of San Francisco Bay Gourmet Coffee also help fund the Rogers family's "Coffee Community Aid" program, which raises the quality of life for thousands of coffee farm workers and protects natural resources at or around 19 coffee farms in Latin America.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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