Thursday, February 28, 2008






  Girls do the asking in a leap year. It’s a law
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Hey, all you good-looking single guys, you better watch out, some gal may have matrimony in mind and you may be the target of her affections. If she catches you, that’s all folks.
Tomorrow is leap year day, Feb. 29, and if she asks for your hand and heart, you must comply. It’s the law!
Well, at least it was the law back in 5th century Ireland. St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, that it just wasn’t fair, having to sit around sometimes for years and wait for a man to propose to her.
He decided he could allow anxious females to propose once every four years, when leap year added an extra day to February’s customary 28 days.
But it was the Scots who took it a step further and in 1288 A.D. made it a law.
Not only that, if the gentleman in question refused, he was no gentleman and had to pay a fine.
It must have been the ladies who came up with a good luck charm to help out the situation. The lady seeking matrimony should wear a red petticoat under her dress and make sure that it is partly visible to the man as notice of her intent to propose.
The Scots didn’t realize by their Leap Year law, they were taking a step for women’s rights.
I’m sure if the burly Scotsman of the time had been told this, he would have been appalled.
Today’s woman doesn’t worry about whether she can do the asking or not, she just asks, and lets the chips fall where they may.
The cartoonist Al Capp, who created the “Lil’ Abner” strip read around the world in the Sunday comics, created his own tradition called Sadie Hawkins Day.
Sadie Hawkins was the homeliest girl in the backwoods country where to be single beyond one’s teens was a disgrace. Well Sadie was unmarried at the old age of 35, and very desperate for a man.
Her Pa, the local mayor, deemed that one day a year the gals could have a race with the young bachelors of the area and whomever they caught, they could keep.
Today’s leap year traditions are few and far apart as the newer generations forget the silly stories and even the name, “Sadie Hawkins.”
For some folks though, being born on leap year day can be a problem.
Computers for instance, don’t recognize Feb. 29.
And when does a person born on Feb. 29 legally become 18? In England and Wales the legal date is Feb. 28 of the 18th year.
And when does a person born Feb. 29 mark his/her birthday in the non-leap years – Feb. 28 or March 1?
Maybe the reason there’s not much ado about it is, the number of leap year births is not high.
Only one in 1,461 births, or .0684 percent are on Feb. 29.
That’s 684 out of every million people in the world. In the United States such births total about 200,000 and only four million of the world population of 6.6 billion.
There are some new traditions. For instance The Honor Roll, not to be confused with school honor rolls, was launched in April, 1997, for the sole purpose of celebrating those born on Leap Year Day.
There is also a movement to get Leap Year Day added to the calendar, so that each time Feb. 29 rolls around, the name will appear on calendars everywhere.

Kemp ISD gets desired property for new high school
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–After months of negotiations, property sought for the new Kemp High School has been secured.
“We have closed on the 1.5 acres of land (close to the ball fields off State Highway 274) at a cost of $25,000,” Kemp ISD Superintendent Dr. Peter Running said in his report to trustees Feb. 20.
“With closing costs the school wrote a check for $26,106.06,” he added.
For months, we’ve been saying that’s where we would like the school to be, he said.
“Now we can say that is where the school will be,” Running explained.
The architect and construction manager-at-risk have been notified, and the district is ready to move ahead with its new high school, he said.
In other business, trustees:
• ordered the May 10 school board trustee election for Place 1 (Don Jedlicka) and Place 2 (Steve Greenhaw).
• approved the agreement with Kaufman County for election services for the May trustee election at a cost of $3,100.20.
• approved the purchase of a criminal history search program at a cost of $2,300 per campus for each of the districts four campuses.
The system will be able to scan the drivers license of visitors to the campus for the purpose of a background check to identify possible sex offenders.
The scanner will also be used to record students who are tardy or late to class and keep an ongoing record on the student.
“This type of system is going to be required (by the state in the near future),” Running said.
“I would like to have this in full swing at the beginning of the next school year,” he added.
The purchase will require a budget amendment.
“A formalized amendment will be brought to you at the next meeting,” he said.
• heard a report on the fall athletics financials. The varsity football profits totaled $21,855, junior varsity totaled $473 and junior high totaled $650.
Varsity volleyball reported a loss of $50 while the junior high volleyball program lost $371.
• heard the average daily attendance report (ADA), which shows a loss in the number of students attending the district.
On Aug. 14, 2006, there were 1,617 students enrolled, while on Aug 27, 2007, there were 20 fewer students. In October, 2006, there were 1,699 students attending, but by October, 2007, a total of 61 students had left.
Trustees discussed reasons for the drop in students.
One consideration concerned higher fuel costs and parents moving closer to work.
• heard a partial report on the Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) presented by Dr. Debra Airheart.
The district received an Academically Acceptable accountability rating.
A public hearing on the AEIS will be scheduled in the near future at which time the results will be discussed in detail, Running said.
• were introduced to the Students of the Month by campus. At the Primary, Blake Taylor was recognized. Intermediate student Kendell Roberts was noted. At the junior high, John Greenhaw was acknowledged. And high school student Trey Michael Weick was honored.
• heard a report by Business Professionals of America teacher and sponsor Barbara McFaul concerning a recent trip to Sachse.
Of the 35 students who participated, 16 placed, she said.
• heard the names of the fall Wellness Challenge winners.
First place went to Danielle Hickman, second place Liz Thorne and third place to Debbye Sabastion.
• set next month’s meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 25.

Tax filing a must to get rebate
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The only way to get your tax rebate from the IRS is to file a tax return, even if you don’t normally do so.
“The most important thing for people to do is file their tax return by April 15,” acting IRS commissioner Linda Stiff told The Dallas Morning News.
If you have a low income, you should still file a return, even if you don’t owe any income tax and aren’t required to do so, she said.
The new law will make payments to many who have no tax liability, such as “low-income workers or those who receive Social Security benefits or veterans’ disability compensation, pension or survivors’ benefits received from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2007,” according to the IRS.
“These taxpayers will be eligible to receive a payment of $300 ($600 on a joint return) if they had at least $3,000 of qualifying income,” according to the agency.
No other form is required.
The IRS will determine eligibility for the rebate and payment amounts.
The earliest returns filed can expect their rebate checks in early May. Checks will continue to be mailed through the spring and summer on returns filed by April 15.
Congress and the Bush administration passed a rebate bill to help stimulate the economy. It is estimated rebates will go out to 128 million households.
Under the stimulus plan:
• Individuals and families are eligible to receive up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples (filing jointly). A minimum of a $300 rebate per person and $600 per couple is available for those with at least $3,000 of earned income and adjusted gross incomes of less than $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married couples.
• Families will receive an additional $300 per child.
These rebates are one-time economic-stimulus payments. You won’t be taxed on the money at filing time next year.
The AARP website, lists a question and answer format regarding filing for the stimulus payments.
The IRS plans to mail taxpayers two notices about the rebate program. The first explains the program and the second will confirm eligibility, the amounts of their rebates and when they can expect to receive checks.

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