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Scripture contains answers to stress

So far this year is the year of: “stress and anxiety!” The year is flying by and with all the issues from the pandemic to the protests, it’s a year like no other. We have seen increases in violence, suicides, and rage over mask wearing. Where’s the joy and where’s the civility in our culture?

I have found that when my focus is on the world’s issues, my anxiety goes up. But when I’m focused in the right place, that’s when the stress stops consuming me. When life’s focus is in tune with God, anxiety cannot overwhelm.

Many times the scriptures speak about giving praise and thanksgiving to God and I believe that’s the best way to keep sanity, in a world going nuts. Psalm 100:4 says; “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” That short text speaks volumes in how we can clam down and live above the world’s issues.

Enter God’s courts.

Come to God through Jesus the savior. When you submit to God and turn away from self, God will reveal himself and his peace will be with you. You enter the gates of the Lord’s presence by prayer, scripture reading, fellowship and worship (Acts 2:42).

Give God praise.

After giving your life to God, give him praise. The word for “worship” in the original language of the bible is a word that means; “To turn and kiss.” In worship you turn away from self and turn toward Christ in humble adoration and intimacy with him. The bible tells us to praise God for who he is, his mighty acts, and all he has done.

Psalm 103:1-2 says; “Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” That Psalm goes on to reminds us of the benefits of knowing the Lord and how he forgives us, heals us, guides us, and is with us. When your focus is on the Lord and his benefits, you can’t help but worship him. As you praise the Lord, the world’s problems won’t consume you, because worship puts eternity in prospective.

Be thankful to God.

Like the old song says: “Count your blessings name them one by one, count your many blessings see what God has done.” If you have nothing else to be thankful for, be thankful you’re alive. Thank the Lord for your friends and family, thank him for the freedoms you enjoy and that Jesus frees you from the bondage of sin. Thankfulness is important because when we’re thankful, the focus is off the world’s problems because I’m focused on all that God has done.

Stress and anxiety are facts in these days, but you don’t have to be overwhelmed by them. You have control of what you put in your mind and control of how you respond to the craziness.

Philippians 4:5-7 says; “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

What a great promise, if you need peace, submit to God by trusting in Christ, then pray and be thankful because as Jesus said in John 16:33 (NLT); “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” In your relationship with Jesus Christ you can have peace, even in a world that makes no sense.

Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association

Stimulus payments not included in gross income

The questions about stimulus checks go beyond the basic requirements and qualifications. Specific concerns and inquiries include its impact on gross income, the eligibility of adult dependents, the effect of the past-due child support, any federal and state debts on the amount of the stimulus check, the ability of creditors to access the funds, and so forth…

Very importantly, the stimulus payment is not includible in gross income. Consequently, it will not be included in taxable income on the Federal income tax return and it will not trigger a payment of an income tax. In other words, it will not reduce the refund or increase the amount owed on the 2020 Federal income tax return. The payment will also not affect the income level for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefits programs.

The rules controlling the additional $500 stimulus payment for adult dependents are different than for qualifying minor dependents. An individual claiming an adult dependent on the 2019 tax return will not receive an additional $500 and the adult dependent will not receive his or her own individual payment because they were claimed as a dependent. Similarly, if an adult dependent is claimed on the 2020 tax return, that adult dependent will not receive a credit in 2021.

The stimulus checks also raise several questions related to the issue of child support. Stimulus checks can be offset or taken to pay any past-due child support. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send a notice if an offset occurs. If a couple filed married filing jointly and a spouse filed an injured spouse claim with the recent tax return, each spouse will receive half of the payment and the payment of the spouse in arrears will be offset for past-due child support. Unfortunately, some spouses who filed an injured spouse claim still had their payment offset by the non-injured spouse’s past due child support. The IRS is aware of this issue and is working to resolve it as quickly as possible. At this time, no additional action needs to be taken. The injured spouse will receive the remainder of their payment when the issue is resolved.

Fortunately, the CARES Act limits the offsets of the stimulus payment to past-due child support. No other federal or state debts that usually offset tax refunds, including tax debt even if there is a payment plan in place, will reduce this payment. However, the stimulus payment is not protected from garnishment by creditors once the money is deposited into an individual’s bank account.

It is unknown at this time what action, if any, will need to be taken when filing a 2020 tax return. The IRS will provide this information at a later time. However, within fifteen days after the payment is made, the IRS will mail a notice regarding the Economic Impact Payment and this notice should be retained.

If the Notice was received, but not the payment, or if the payment check was either lost, stolen, or destroyed, a payment trace can be requested. The IRS then will either issue a refund check if the original check was not cashed or, if the check was cashed, the IRS will send a claim package with instructions and a copy of the cashed check. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service will then review the claim and the signature on the cashed check before determining whether a replacement check can be issued. The IRS will generate a response approximately six weeks after the request for a payment trace. A trace on the stimulus check follows the same process as a trace on a tax return.

Natalia Vander Laan is a Minden attorney practicing estate planning, family law, and workers’ compensation.

Dry spell better for harvesting hay than growing it

Carson Valley agriculturalists have been making hay while the sun shines over the past weeks, recognizing that irrigation season is just about over.

With the last tiny patches of snow clinging to Jobs Peak, the season’s first cutting is wrapping up on properties across the Valley.

Most thunderstorms bypassed Minden, where records have been kept since 1906.

The Douglas County seat only recorded .03 inches of moisture during June, or 8 percent of its average.

According to National Weather Service records, it has been 32 days since Minden last received measurable rainfall.

However, the same electrical storms that set fires in the mountains also brought rain, with Ebbetts Pass at the top of the East Fork receiving 1.1 inches of precipitation during June, and Markleeville being doused with 1.08 inches, 2.5 times its average rainfall.

As helpful as that moisture has been, the Carson River Basin is still sitting around 61 percent of its average moisture for the water year. While thunderstorms may douse portions of basin over the last quarter of the water year, July, August and September rarely see significant precipitation. The average for the three months is just .86 inches or a half-inch less than an average December.

Dry weather is good for cutting hay, but makes it more difficult to grow it. Those ranchers relying on streams and the Carson River for irrigation will find that water is becoming increasingly scarce.

Some larger outfits can rely on treated effluent to irrigate fields through the summer, while others will find themselves pumping their supplemental water rights from the aquifer, which is where everyone in Carson and Antelope valleys get their drinking water.

According to the most recent drought mapping produced by the National Weather Service, Western Nevada was in moderate drought as of the end of June.

One of the effects of a drought include increased fire danger and a reduction of natural forage, which sends animals into neighborhoods looking for food.

The three-month temperature outlook calls for above average temperatures through September. Forecasters are giving even odds for precipitation during the same three months. The water year ends on Sept. 30.

With three-quarters of the water year past, only December and March brought above average precipitation in the Douglas County.

December saw 2.15 inches of precipitation according to National Weather Service records, while March saw 1.72 inches after a dry January and February.

According to the U.S. Department of Agricultural report issued on Tuesday, Nevada alfalfa hay sold for an average of $180 a ton during May, up from $165 a ton from last year. All other types of hay are selling for $175 a ton.

Numbers firefighters face hot, dry winds this weekend

Firefighters have a line around 40 percent of the 18,300-acre Numbers Fire burning in the Pine Nut Mountains.

Fire officials hope to have the fire contained by Tuesday, but hot, dry weather over the next two days might pose an obstacle.

“Increased westerly winds are anticipated today with gusts up to 30 mph near the fire,” officials said this morning.

The National Weather Service cancelled a fire weather watch for today, but there is one in effect 1-9 p.m. Sunday with southwest winds of 15-25 mph and gusts of up to 35 mph. Humidity is expected to drop to 4-12 percent increasing chances for ignition. There’s a possibility the fire weather watch will be upgraded to a red flag warning later today.

“Conditions remain hot and dry, which means potential for fire activity remains high for any existing embers or new fire starts,” fire officials said.

Much of the success in stopping the Numbers Fire has been due to the large number of aircraft deployed to fight the fire, whose cost hit $3.6 million on Saturday.

Seven helicopters provided an average of 30 hours of water bucket drops and moved food and supplies to hand crews in rough terrain.

With the fire camp at the Douglas County Fairgrounds and the Douglas County Model Airplane field within sight of one another, firefighters are asking hobbyists to stay clear of the area with both model airplanes and drones.

Residents can expect to see increased fire traffic in areas during the morning and evening hours and are asked to avoid Pinenut 2 and Blossom Canyon roads unless they live there.

The toll taken by the fire remains three homes and 37 outbuildings, though other federal sources are saying 43 structures were lost.

Officials acknowledge that Douglas County is still assessing the damage and that the numbers could be updated.

The fire’s cause is the subject of significant speculation. Fire officials are asking anyone traveling Highway 395 between Riverview and Holbrook Junction 6:30-7 p.m. Monday and saw something suspicious to email at 2020firetips@gmail.com

Fueling the speculation, in part, is the arrest of a man for allegedly setting fires at Lake Tahoe on Sunday. That person was in federal custody in Sacramento when the five reported fires along Highway 395 were reported on Monday. Passers-by helped extinguish three small spot fires near Holbrook Junction around 6 a.m. Monday. The Numbers fire and another blaze started within a half-mile of one another 13 hours later around 7 p.m.

A thrown brake shoe was reported to be the cause of the 5-acre Jake’s Fire, which burned at the top of Jake’s Hill on July 2.

The Numbers Fire is the second big Douglas fire so far this season. The 2,500-acre Monarch Fire was set by a lightning strike near Sierra Spirit Ranch on June 24. The Numbers Fire not only dwarfed the Monarch Fire, named after the Monarch Mine, but burned right over the site on its way to the Pine Nut ridge.

Sheriff’s Office, Moxy up protect and serving ice cream

Moxy Up and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will be at Minden Park on National Ice Cream day, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. July 19, to “Protect and Serve … Ice Cream” in a drive-by fashion.

This is a combined effort and start of Operation: Chromebook, a fundraiser to purchase Chromebooks for kids to use at Moxy Up.

Moxy Up, a local nonprofit, uses both online mentorship programs and in-person partners with community businesses and leaders to share skills and talents to our young persons. Introducing kids to the experience of mentorship is some of the best influence and tools they can have.

“We are a drop-in center for kids, providing access to mentorship and a safe place for kids to do their school work,” Moxy Up Executive Director Coleen Lawrence said. “This has become more important with COVID-19. For some kids that come here, we may be their only connection to WiFi.”

Moxy Up and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office use mentorship as an approach to help within their organization. Members of DCSO recount the times that mentorship mattered in their own lives, and wants to extend that to kids who need it.

“Most adults can identify with a mentor who had a significant influence on their learning and development. In the world we live in, kids need to turn to online resources and we believe that it’s our job to help them have the resources to do that,” Sheriff Dan Coverley said. “Online mentorship programs or being able to have access to WiFi increases the likelihood for success.”

The prices for ice cream will be $1 for scoop and $2 for float.

To learn more about Moxy Up, visit https://moxyupmentoring.com/

Medical issue apparently caused Las Vegas man to drive into Twin Lake

A Las Vegas man appears to have had a medical issue that resulted in his driving a pickup into Upper Twin Lake on Wednesday.

The driver was identified as Gerald Christopher Simmons, 61, by Mono County Sheriff Ingrid Braun.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Simmons was driving on Twin Lakes Road around a mile west of Charlie Day Road with a passenger

The passenger said Simmons grabbed his chest just before he veered off the road, down an embankment and into the lake.

The passenger was able to roll down a window and get out of the pickup. After checking on the driver, the Palmdale man swam to shore.

The vehicle came to rest 75-100 feet off shore in 19 feet of water.

The passenger checked on Simmons before leaving the vehicle.

On Thursday the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team arrived to help recover Simmons and the truck, which was pulled from the lake.

“We would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Simmons,” Braun said. 

Braun also thanked the CHP Bridgeport, Mono County Emergency Medical Services, the dive team, the Bridgeport Fire Department, Mono County’s road department, public works and environmental services, in addition to Silver State Towing.

Bars OK in Douglas

The Genoa Bar won’t have to close tonight after the governor released the list of rural counties where bars must close at midnight tonight.

Counties that exceeded two of three criteria were included in the list that were required to close, including Washoe and Lyon counties in Western Nevada.

Douglas only exceeded the criteria for average number of tests per day. Lyon exceeded both that criteria and positive cases.

The criteria are:

Average Number of Tests per Day: this is the average number of cases resulted during the previous week in a county, divided by the number of people living in the county. This number is then multiplied by 100,000 to control for varying populations in counties. Counties that average fewer than 150 tests per day will meet this elevated disease transmission risk criteria.  

Case Rate: this is the total number of cases diagnosed as positive and reported over a two-week period divided by the number of people living in the county. This number is then multiplied by 100,000 to control for varying populations in counties. Counties with a case rate higher than 100 will meet this elevated disease transmission risk criteria.  

Test Positivity: this is the total number of cases diagnosed as positive averaged over a 7-day period, with a 7-day lag, divided by the number of people living in the county. Counties that have a case rate higher than 25 and a test positivity rate higher than 7 percent will meet this elevated disease transmission risk criteria.

Counties that meet two of the three criteria are considered an “Elevated Disease Transmission” county, and will be subject to the restrictions on bars.   

Work begins to clean up after 28.5 square mile Numbers Fire

Despite gusty winds, firefighters were able to hold the line on the Numbers Fire and increase the line around it to 30 percent.

Crews helicoptered to the ridge top on Thursday were able to keep the fire high on the Pine Nut Mountains east slope where it burned through dense mahogany.

Large dust whirls danced across the burned areas due to atmospheric instability.

Lighter winds and a little cloud cover helped firefighters’ efforts on Friday to build and secure a perimeter around the fire, officials said.

Hand crews are patrolling the perimeter looking for any embers or heat that might rekindle when winds arrive again on Saturday.

“Islands of unburned trees and brush inside the fire perimeter continue to burn,” officials said. “While smoke may be visible for several days, these sections do not pose a risk for spread and will be allowed to burn out.”

Heavy equipment is beginning rehabilitation of dozer lines where containment is secure. 

“Firefighters are following direction from land management partners to ensure the protection of cultural resources and wildlife habitat.”

The Pine Nuts are home to a small colony of bi-state sage grouse.

The fire claimed three homes and around three-dozen outbuildings. 

Residents have returned home to clean up after the fire.

The July 10, 2020, R-C Morning Report

Genoa, Nev. — This morning’s Interagency Coordination Center situation report is listing 43 structures, including the previously reported three homes, lost in the 18,300-acre Numbers Fire. More than 600 firefighters mostly in 14 handcrews and 37 engines are working the fire. The price tag for fighting the fire is $1.3 million.

Since the fire started on federal land, that’s who will pick up most of that tab. FEMA also agreed to fund three-quarters of whatever East Fork Fire District is out of pocket.

Firefighters have a line around 30 percent of the fire, which burned to the Pine Nuts’ ridge. On Thursday evening a couple of flare-ups near China Spring prompted calls. Expect individual trees to burn and ash devils to develop across the burn site over the weekend.

We’re supposed to find out today which rural counties will have their bars closed at midnight. Clark and Washoe topped the list, but Douglas wasn’t mentioned at last night’s news conference. Douglas had two additional cases reported on Thursday.

The Water Conveyance Committee is scheduled to meet virtually 2 p.m. today after they continued Monday’s discussion on replacing Centerville’s culverts so the county can repave the road.

Temperatures will start on their way up to the mid-90s this weekend, with 91 degrees forecast for today. Expect winds to be light out of the west at 5-10 mph. 

Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at khildebrand@recordcourier.com 

Dorothy Kuehn

Dorothy Kuehn, age 89, of Gardnerville, NV passed away on July 5, 2020. Arrangements are in the trusted care of Walton’s Funerals & Cremations Gardnerville, (775) 783-9312.