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
But it was the Scots who took it a step further and in 1288 A.D. made it
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
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
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
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
• heard a report on the fall athletics financials. The varsity football
profits totaled $21,855, junior varsity totaled $473 and junior high
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
Trustees discussed reasons for the drop in students.
One consideration concerned higher fuel costs and parents moving closer
• 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
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
“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
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, www.arp.org/money/taxaide 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.