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How to Choose a Photographer Professional photographers are experts at capturing a memorable or special event. Whether you want photos of a wedding, milestone birthday, anniversary or graduation, a high-quality picture can help you keep these memories alive. The best photographers are reliable and responsible. But you don't have to break your budget to find one. Follow these tips to help you find a photographer in your area. Styles of Photographers Even though photographers have their own styles, they tend to use one of the following three styles in their work. Some professional photographers have a journalistic approach. They do not stage photos. Rather, they prefer to record what happens. The second style is formal. It is a more traditional approach. These photographers take mostly posed photographs. Finally, some photographers use a mixture of both philosophies. Research Photographers First, look on the Internet for photographers in your area. Many photographers specialize in specific types of events. Be sure that the photographers who interest you match the type of event you are holding. Photographers usually display their best

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work on the Internet. Remember that everyone is capable of getting a good shot every now and then, but you should see a wide range of striking images that displays their capability. Follow them on Facebook and other social media. Professional photographers prefer to publicize their work using the latest technology. It will give you a feeling of their portfolio as well as how busy they are. Once you have your list narrowed down to two or three, contact them to check their availability. High-quality photographers are usually in demand. It is essential to plan ahead. You can also inquire with your social network about photographers they have used, especially if they have photos of themselves that you like. Interview Photographers When you find two or three photographers who are available, conduct personal interviews with each of them. Explore their backgrounds and look at a complete portfolio. Ask each professional if he has ever worked with the other vendors you have hired or are considering. Find out about his plans for the shoot. Has the photographer ever worked at that

location before? Will a photographer or assistant be shooting the event? If there are particular shots you like, communicate that to your photographer. Look through magazines and show him pictures to see if he could replicate the look and feeling. Inquire about whether you will receive printed proofs, or if they are available through a private page for you or anyone interested in buying them. A high-quality professional will be able to bring out the best in the subject. He will capture the essence of the moment and preserve it forever. You should be offered several options concerning poses, prints, sizes, backgrounds and other elements. Read the contract thoroughly before hiring someone. Professional photographers should be willing to give you a contract. A deposit will hold your date. Expect to have it available at the signing of the contract. Also understand when other payments are due. Most photographers expect another payment when they appear at the event. Choosing a photographer will often come down to your intuition. But don't delay, as the best photographers are usually in demand. And make sure you understand everything in the contract before you sign it.

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table of contents How-to Guide is published by the Havre Daily News Publisher / Stacy Mantle Advertising Director / Melanie Gilman Graphics / Taylor Faulkinberry

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Choose a Photographer

4

Find a Trustworthy Home Remodeling Contractor

6

Choose a Jeweler

8

Choose a Primary Care Provider

10

Choose a Credit Union

12

Choose a Cellular Phone Provider

14

Lose Weight

15

Choose a Property Manager

16

Choose a Pharmacy

18

Choose a Collision Center

20

Prepare for Home Ownership

22

Choose a Hotel

24

Choose a University

26

Select the Right Insurance Agent for Your Needs

27

Choose a Real Estate Agent

28

Choose the Right Dentist

30

Choose an ATRA Transmission Repair Professional or an Auto Repair Shop

32

Choose an Assisted Living Facility

34

How to Diagnose & Treat Glaucoma

36

Choose a Roofer

38

Avoid Getting Mold in Your Home

40

Choose a Nursing Home Facility

Choose a Physical Therapist

42

Choose a Funeral Plan

44

Choose a Health Care Provider

46

Choose Newspaper Advertising

48

Excavation

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How to Find a.... Trustworthy Home Remodeling Contractor As with any profession these days, you need to know how to pick the good from the bad. So when taking on a big project like remodeling your home, you want to find a contractor you can trust. After all, you are making big changes to the biggest asset you own, right? When looking for a contractor to complete any home improvement project there a few simple guidelines one can follow that will save you time and money in the long run. With a little homework and due diligence on your part, you can save yourself a lot of hassle, heartache, and frustration. We have compiled a few tips to help you in your search. • Make a list. Not every good home remodeling contractor is great at advertising, and not every great advertiser is a great home remodeling contractor. But if you’re new to hiring a home remodeling contractor, seek those who have an established reputation and recommendations. Word of mouth is a great place to find reputable contractors. Friends, family, or co-workers who have just had projects completed could point you in the right direction. They will be the first to tell you who to hire and who to stay away from. Think twice before adding close relatives and family to this list. Remember construction is a regulated profession, just like medicine and dentistry. You wouldn’t go to Uncle Bill to pull your tooth if he is a not a dentist, so why would you go to Cousin Joe if he is not a contractor. • Check out your Contractor. Make sure your contractor is licensed and in good standing in the state, city or other jurisdiction they are performing services in. This can be as simple as performing a search online at your state or local licensing board website. Verify the contractor's workers' compensation and commercial general liability insurance coverage. Ask to see a current copy of the Certificate of Insurance, or ask for the

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name of the contractor's insurance carrier and agency to verify that the contractor has insurance. If the contractor does not have these insurances current while working on a project, it could leave you, the homeowner, exposed to a liability should something happen. • ask for recommendations. A reputable contractor will have projects in the area that they would be happy to direct you to. You also may wish to check the contractor out with your local building department, trade association or union, consumer protection agency, consumer fraud unit, or the Better Business Bureau. If there have ever been any issues with the contractor, these sources will know, and they can tell you what the contractor has done to rectify the situation. • Compare apples to apples. Make sure you're comparing bids based on identical plans, specifications, products, and scope of work. A trustworthy contractor will provide a written estimate and explain the scope of work to be performed. Do not automatically accept the lowest bid thinking you are getting a great deal. In fact, you should beware of any bid that is substantially lower than the others. It probably indicates that the contractor made a mistake or is not including all the work quoted by his or her competitors. You may be headed for a dispute with your contractor if you accept an abnormally low bid. It also is possible that a low-bidding contractor may cut corners, use inferior products, or do substandard work to make a profit. Buyers beware of a price that seems too good to be true. • obtain a written contract. Contractors who are legitimate will provide their customers with a written contract. As a homeowner you are entitled to obtain a copy of this contract for your records. In addition, any unforeseen work that is encountered outside of the scope of work, such as broken pipe, rotting

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wood, etc., that could not be determined at the time of the estimate, would be addressed immediately upon discovery, and a plan of action would be formulated with your input. A written change order would then be created and signed. The important thing to remember here is that scopes of work, pricing and payment terms, and other contractual obligations are documented. A trustworthy legitimate contractor will provide these for you because it protects them as much as it protects you. If you follow these few simple guidelines, you will find a contractor who is doing business by the book, has many happy customers, and will get the job done right.

BEFORE: This photo shows an open, unfinished basement with bare wall-framing, ceiling trusses, insulation and cement floor.

AFTER: Remodeling an unfinished basement, a good project for the winter months, can add a new, warm and inviting living space to your home.

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How to Choose a... Jeweler When it comes to choosing a jeweler, consumers have to weigh many different options and align their priorities effectively. Some consumers find this to be an especially difficult process, since there are so many jewelers on the market today and all of them seem to have some merit. Making the right choice requires one to not only know their own personal wants and needs, but also understand how the business works. There are some things that jewelers absolutely must offer their customers and without those things, a customer is really missing out. In short, individuals have found that choosing the right jeweler is about picking someone who is skilled, attentive and reasonable at the same time. In the jewelry business, skill is a key. Not all professionals are created equally, and some of them will have more ability than others. This makes it highly important to search around for a jeweler that has shown great skill time and time again. The best professionals are the ones that can create things with their hands, and they are the ones that can fix just about anything without too much of a problem. Individuals who find a jeweler with these skills will be happy with their results. The jewelry business is not all about skill and expertise, though. Much more than that, it is about how much a professional cares for his customers. When individual consumers make purchases, they should be getting more than just a ring or a necklace. Many people demand a personal relationship with their jeweler. This is something that can come in very handy, because that relationship will establish a trust factor. Some jewelry purchases are financially large and they come with a lot of sentimental value, too. This means that consumers will want to know that the jeweler is going to put together the best possible ring for them. For those who have worked with the same jeweler for a long time, it is possible to have complete faith in how the job will turn out. Those relationships cannot be

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Purchasing Wedding Rings 1. Shop together. The engagement ring was the big surprise, but you should decide on wedding rings together. Many women already know what they want on their wedding ring, so sitting down and talking can help get both spouses on the same page. 2. Decide on matching or separate bands. It is possible to buy wedding rings together so they coordinate, but it is not absolutely necessary. For example, if a man is concerned with a ring appearing too effeminate he can get a different style from the woman.

forged without first choosing and working with a jeweler for a long time, though. Choosing a jeweler on the basis of price alone is not always the best idea. There are many jewelers on the market today that offer a solid price, but do not deliver in terms of quality or other important factors. Consumers should recognize that price is a major consideration, though. When choosing a jeweler, you want to know that he is going to give you the best deal possible and you'll want to know that you are not getting ripped off. Many reputable owners out there can provide this type of price assurance, while also providing a level of quality and service that is worth returning for. Ultimately choosing a jeweler is something that should be done after a long period of personal research. The good thing about the industry is that many solid options exist. The challenge is obviously deciding from among those different options, but with a focus on finding skilled, experienced, and attentive jewelers, this becomes less of a concern than it might have been before. Those individuals make a name for themselves in the industry, so figuring out who they are should not be too much of a challenge.

3. Match it to the engagement ring. Many people will wear their engagement ring and wedding band together. Having something to match it to will help you make your decision. You may want to visit the same jeweler you got the engagement ring from, or look into it when you are shopping for engagement rings. 4. Consider your lifestyle. Rings should adorn and accentuate your hands, not hinder them. If you use your hands a lot for manual labor and you do not want to scuff up your stone or damage your ring, consider a low setting or a hard stone. Conversely, if you live a life of leisure and you want to flaunt your luxurious diamond, get it set high and flashy and let it bling. 5. Choose a stone. You already know all about the 4 C's from buying the engagement ring, so you should be comfortable with buying a diamond. However, feel free to consider other stones. Look into the meanings of certain stones and the hardness. 6. Choose a band metal. The three most popular are yellow gold, white gold and platinum. White gold is popular because it coordinates with both silver and gold and is less expensive than platinum (which does the same, but is much stronger). Yellow gold is traditional, but be sure to look into the karats. Nine karat does not look as nice and will not hold up as well as 18 karat, but more karats means bigger price tag. 7. Look through catalogs. Once you have a general idea of what you want, leaf through a couple catalogs from different jewelers. This will help you figure out the price ranges as well as familiarize you with some good brand names. 8. Visit your trusted jeweler. Get some references and recommendations for a good jeweler and go down to the store to look at rings. Find a knowledgeable employee that can help address your questions and concerns.

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How to.... Choose a Primary Care Provider Northern Montana Health Care is committed to providing complete primary care for children, adolescents, and adults. We feel this is the best way to manage your health care needs. In order to assist you in selecting a Primary Care Doctor, here are a few definitions: – Primary Care: This is care provided for persons with any health concern. Primary care is carried out by a personal doctor. It helps provide communication between patients and their doctors. Primary care provides patients with access to their own personal doctor. An on-call doctor may see you when your primary doctor is not available. – Primary Care Doctor: A primary care doctor is a doctor who provides ongoing care to a patient. Primary care doctors provide care to a certain type of patients. They help the patient if they need additional care. For most people their primary care doctor will fall into one of these categories: • Family Medicine: This specialty provides continuing, comprehensive health care for the individual and family. It is a specialty that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences. The scope of Family Medicine encompasses all ages, male and female, each organ system and every disease entity. It is based on knowledge of the patient in the context of the family and the community, emphasizing disease prevention and health promotion. When other medical specialists, such as surgeons or obstetricians, are involved, the Family Medicine Provider coordinates their patient's care and helps to manage difficult medical problems associated with that care. • Internal Medicine: This specialty is sometimes referred to as an “Internist”. These specialists apply scientific

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knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. They are trained to solve puzzling diagnostic problems and can handle severe chronic illnesses and situations where several different illnesses may strike at the same time. They also bring to patients an understanding of wellness (disease prevention and the promotion of health), women's health, substance abuse, mental health, as well as effective treatment of common problems of the eyes, ears, skin, nervous system and reproductive organs. When other medical specialists, such as surgeons or obstetricians, are involved, they coordinate their patient's care and manage difficult medical problems associated with that care. • Obstetrics and Gynecology: This specialty is a discipline dedicated to the broad, integrated medical and surgical care of women's health throughout their lifespan. The combined discipline of obstetrics and gynecology requires extensive study and understanding of reproductive physiology, including the physiologic, social, cultural, environmental and genetic factors that influence disease in women. This study and understanding of the reproductive physiology of women gives obstetricians and gynecologists a unique perspective in addressing gender-specific health care issues. Preventive counseling and health education are essential and integral parts of the practice of obstetricians and gynecologists as they advance the individual and community-based health of women of all ages. Obstetricians and gynecologists may choose a scope of practice ranging from primary ambulatory health care to a concentration in a focused area of specialization.

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How to Choose a... Credit Union There are many benefits to joining an exclusive monetary institution. These include lower interest rates on loans and lower fees. By doing a little research, you should be able to find a credit union that will suit your needs. Ask your friends, relatives and associates about their experiences with credit unions. People that are happy with their institution will be more than willing to provide a recommendation. Search the Internet and investigate the different credit unions in your area. Make a list of the financial institutions that offer the most appealing options for you. Compare the different credit unions on your list. Call their local offices and ask them about their interest rates, fees, minimum balance requirements, loan eligibility, access to ATM machines and online access to accounts. Measure the pros and cons of each credit union and choose the one that best fits your needs. How do I Teach Kids About Credit Unions? As stated by the World Council of Credit Unions, "credit unions ... provide members the opportunity to own their own financial institution and help them create opportunities such as starting small businesses, building family homes and educating their children." There is a lot of value in introducing the credit union concept to kids so as they grow older they will be able to compare types of financial institutions and choose the best type for their goals and financial needs Begin by comparing it to a bank. Explain that banks collect all the investments of depositors and then lend the money to others at a higher interest rate, sometimes a much higher rate. The difference between what the bank pays the depositors and what they lend it at, is how the bank makes money. In addition, if the bank charges fees, it makes more profit. Much of the profit goes to the shareholders of the bank, not the depositors. Show the advantages of a credit union to a bank. Start by stating that a credit union

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is owned by each member/depositor, so any profit the credit union makes in lending money will come back to each depositor. It can come back in the form of lower interest rates than what banks charge, lower fees or a higher return on savings. In other words, the depositor is the one who benefits from the credit union's profits. Speak about the power of each credit union depositor. Each credit union depositor can run for a seat on the board of directors and vote in the credit union's elections to choose a board. This means credit union depositors have a strong say in how the institution is run. In a bank, depositors have no say in how it is run. While traditional banks advertise and function as profit-making organizations, credit unions are community-oriented and cater to members rather than to bank owners or stockholders. Any earnings a credit union accumulates in the process of doing business are used for the benefit of its membership. For example, a dividend may be issued or fees for financial services may be reduced. Credit unions are cooperative, not for profit, organizations owned and operated by its members. The credit union functions to serve its members by providing loans at favorable interest rates and offering low-fee savings accounts and other financial services. By pooling their assets into the credit union, members themselves provide funds to make loans to each other. History Credit unions began in the mid-1800s by a group of tradespeople in Rochdale, England. The idea was to combine their resources to buy goods in bulk at a discount and make those goods available to their members at reasonable prices. The concept spread to Germany, Canada and the United States over the next half-century and continues today. In the United States, some smaller credit unions have merged with larger ones, but overall membership has increased to almost 85 million according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Characteristics A board of elected member volunteers

runs the credit union. In contrast, a typical traditional bank will employ a paid board of directors to oversee the institution. Credit unions may be sponsored by employers, churches, schools or even communities of current residents. Employer sponsored credit unions usually allow employee family members to join. Accountability Federal credit unions are chartered and monitored by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA). NCUA stipulates certain rules of organization and operation to which a federal credit union must adhere. NCUA also provides insurance to depositor members of credit unions through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). Similar to FDIC insurance, which is commonly provided by traditional banks, NCUSIF is backed by the United States government.

Dedicated to Serving Our Community

Bear Paw Credit Union is committed to our members and our community. We are involved in community outreach with organizations that work for the betterment of society such as: Credit Unions for KidsŽ/ Children’s Miracle Network, Relay for Life, United Way Hill County, Fort Belknap Outreach Program, Havre / Hill County Library, The Salvation Army, Montana Hope Project, Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, and WABC (Women Against Breast Cancer) just to name a few.

Schools and Universities

We support education in our community by being involved with: MSU-Northern, Home-N-School, Havre High School Leadership, St. Jude Thaddeus School and all school districts that we serve.

Arts & Culture

Community involvement would not be complete without the arts and culture we all enjoy here in Montana. Bear Paw Credit Union is actively involved and supports: Montana Actors Theater, North Eastern Arts Network, Wine and Cheese Festivals, Liberty Village Arts Center and Gallery, and H. Earl Clack Museum.

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How to.... Choose a Celluar Phone Provider Picking the best cellular phone provider can seem confusing, especially considering data usage. With the popularity of smart phones, the contracts have become more complicated than ever. Then you have to keep track of allotted minutes, restrictions, and data plans. When choosing a cellular phone provider, here are a few things to keep in mind. 1. Plan your phone usage Think about how you will use your phone. What kind of features will you need? Some users will only talk on the phone, while others want to text, stream video and browse the Internet. Still others use their phones as a video and still camera. If you plan on playing video games on your phone while waiting in a line, consider getting a bigger data plan. Understanding your habits will help you save money, as you will not be paying for technology you're not going to use. Keep an open mind about upgrade. What works for you today might change a year from now. Technology grows by leaps and bounds. Many people vowed never to use text messaging. Now they send and receive messages daily. Once you have decided how you will use your phone, communicate it clearly to salespeople. Listen to their advice, but know that the final call is yours. 2. Consider local carriers While most people will automatically consider big-name national phone carriers, take a good look a

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companies with a local touch. Maybe those employees work and live in your community. Churches and civic groups may have information about local companies. You might even ask friends and family about local carriers. When a company wants your money but won't become involved in the community, it may reveal how they will treat you as a customer. If you decide to go with a national carrier, choose a local branch with a reputation for good customer service. You should feel welcome at this location. If they listen and understand your needs, and you receive quick service, it will make a huge difference when you need assistance. 3. Understand the contract Contracts are certainly daunting, but you should still read the fine print of any contract. Understanding the agreement will save you trouble, money and embarrassment. Terms vary widely depending on the service provider, the plan chosen and even the model of phone. Take the time you need to read the agreement carefully. Ask questions if you don't understand the terminology. Make sure you know: • The duration of the contract and the penalty for early termination • What is considered "roaming," – nationally and internationally – and how much it costs • The limits for calls, text messages and data, and how much it costs to go over • When you can upgrade your phone, and what discounts you can receive

• What happens if you break or lose your phone. Before signing anything, check the wording in the actual contract; you'll be obligated to follow what's on the paper, not what a salesperson tells you. 4. Make the most of your new phone Make an effort to read the owner's manual for your phone. Play with your new phone and explore its features. It's fun to see what it can do. Today's phones have plenty of features to make your life easier. Even basic models have Internet connectivity. You can take pictures, send messages and even listen to music. It will make staying in touch with friends, family and co-workers much easier. Consider the Coverage Area 1. Determine your coverage needs for where you live, work and play including all the areas in between. 2. Evaluate the topography and geography of the area you need coverage. 3. Ensure nationwide talk, text and data coverage are available. 4. Look for providers who have local technicians who service their towers and know the area well. 5. Request a demo phone to test and compare the service area.

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How to... Lose Weight There have been so many different types of diets it is hard to keep track of them any longer. Despite this fact, 70% of our country is over weight and it continues to climb, and ironically we continue to return to “dieting” in order to address this problem. This approach is really more harmful than it is beneficial for the most part and creates a vicious metabolic cycle that can damage our health in the end. We must re-evaluate our dieting paradigm if we are to ever recover our health. First, it must be understood that a diet usually means decreasing calories and increasing activity levels, and in doing this we create a state of metabolic starvation in the body. Decreasing metabolic resources needed by the cell for proper function and increasing the need for those metabolic resources leads to one result , metabolic starvation. This forces the body to start metabolizing vital functional tissues such as lean body mass, visceral fat, also the pads in the bottom of the feet and in the joints instead of the abnormal fat stores that have accumulated, in essence, the body begins to cannibalize itself. This is where HCG comes in, it actually protects the body from cannibalizing itself. HCG unlocks, so to speak, the body’s abnormal or bad fat stores to be the primary source of metabolized energy instead of the visceral or good fat, and lean body mass. The abnormal fat is all of the excess fat accumulation in all of the wrong areas, such as back flaps, hip pads, breast areas

in men as well as women among others. This type of fat is very burdensome to the body’s metabolic function in that it retains toxins, and can affect hormone balance, as well as adversely affect other metabolic functions. The HCG protocol when properly applied, is not a diet, it is a metabolic reset protocol to help the body regain optimal metabolic function with the benefit of significant, healthy weight loss. Average weight loss with the HCG protocol in our clinic is about one pound a day for women and one and a half to two pounds a day for men. Dr. Taylor’s protocol is comprehensive and includes nutritional guidance, and lifestyle changes that address the physiologic aspects of overall health, and weight loss as well as the mental and emotional issues associated with our food and environment. When applied correctly with the proper oversight, the HCG protocol is a safe, natural, and permanent solution to weight problems.

Information on this page was compiled from www.ehow.com

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How to Choose a Property Manager If you've owned income property for any length of time, you know that managing a rental can be financially rewarding. At the same time, you've also likely discovered that property management requires a large commitment of time and effort. While it may make sense to take the do-ityourself approach if you're a handy person, live close to your property, and don't mind devoting several hours per month to the task, in many cases this just isn't practical---especially if you hope to expand your business. With this in mind, here are some critical tasks a property manager can help you with: 1. Setting the right rental rates: While looking through the classifieds to see what other landlords are charging for similar properties is a fine way to ballpark your rent price, a good property management company will conduct a thorough market study in order to set a rental price for your property, ensuring that you achieve the perfect balance between maximizing monthly income and maintaining a low vacancy rate. 2. Collecting and depositing monthly rent payments on time: If you've ever worked in a billing department, you know that securing payment from clients can be difficult, not to mention awkward. Property management companies have efficient, tried-and-true systems in place to effectively collect rent and maintain ontime payments. You'll find this particularly important if you have a limited number of properties,

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and collecting payments on time is crucial to maintaining your cash flow. 3. Marketing and advertising your property: Through long experience, a property manager will know exactly where to market your property and how to craft compelling advertising materials---a significant advantage when it comes to filling your properties quickly and avoiding long vacancies. 4. Finding the right tenants: Experienced property managers are experts at finding good tenants, and will take care of all the details, including securing all criminal background and security checks, running credit reports, verifying employment, and collecting previous landlord references. 5. Managing tenants: In addition to finding good tenants, a property management company will manage all aspects of the tenant-landlord relationship. The property manager will coordinate both routine and emergency maintenance, take care of routine inspections, and manage any situations where conflict resolution is required. 6. Managing vendor relationships: Property management companies have relationships with maintenance workers, tradesmen, contractors, suppliers, and vendors that it's almost impossible for an independent landlord to duplicate. Not only will your property manager get you the best work for the best price, they'll oversee any necessary maintenance projects.

7. Ensuring that you're in compliance with housing regulations and property laws: There is a multitude of applicable laws and regulations to abide by when renting and maintaining your rental property. These include local, state and federal regulations, as well as fair housing regulations (such as the ADA). A property manager can help you avoid lawsuits by keeping your property up-to-date and in compliance with these regulations. 8. Enabling you to invest in geographically distant properties: If you manage your own properties, you're pretty much limited to investment opportunities within a tight radius of your own home. By hiring a property manager, you can take advantage of investment deals in any location you wish. 9. Maximizing the profitability of your time: By having a property manager take care of the day-to-day aspects of running your income property, your free to spend your time identifying further investment opportunities or otherwise furthering your career. 10. Maximizing the profitability of your money: Most property managers charge a percentage of your property's monthly rental rate in exchange for their services. The rate typically runs anywhere from 8-10%, which is generally less than the money you save by hiring a professional to take care of your property.

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How to Choose a Pharmacy Health and wellness are central components to living a rounded, stress-free life. When the need for medication or healthcare advice arises, being able to depend on a good pharmacy is one way to alleviate the added pressures of being sick or injured. Find a pharmacy nearby that accepts your insurance, stocks a large supply of inventory to fill prescriptions quickly, offers ample over-the-counter medications, and provides additional, reliable recommendations and suggestions that aid in the recovery process. Some key questions to ask when choosing a pharmacist include: • Does the pharmacist take time to answer your questions in a manner that you understand? • Does the pharmacist tell you about each new medication and explain such things as how and when to take the medication and what you can and cannot take with it? • Does the pharmacist show concern for you and your family? • Does the pharmacist recommend vitamins or supplements to take or tell you which one you should NOT take with your prescriptions? If your current pharmacist does not meet your needs or does not take the necessary time to make sure that you understand your medications, visit other pharmacies and ask if the pharmacist has any special certifications or training. Find out if the pharmacy has any special services that they can offer you such as demonstrating a new inhaler. See if you can find a pharmacist that is easy to talk to, yet shows concern and is able to explain what you need to know as a consumer of both prescription medications and vitamin supplements. WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PHARMACY: Where your family pharmacist works should also be an important consideration when deciding how to meet your medication needs. Most people taking medications visit a pharmacy to patronize. Convenience is an important issue with all of the time pressures that people feel these days. The pharmacy should be in a convenient location with con-

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venient parking nearby. If you are unable to get to the pharmacy, the pharmacy should make sure that your prescriptions are mailed to your home or delivered to your home or work. Having the ability to open a charge account or have a credit card kept on file for charging prescriptions is a convenient feature, especially when you are on a trip or someone else is picking up the prescription for you. The pharmacy may offer special services that set them apart from the other pharmacies. You might be interested in special packaging to make it easier to remember to take your medications. If you have diabetes, finding a pharmacy that can demonstrate several glucose monitors to find which one works best for you can make testing you blood sugar easier. It is a good idea to get all of your medications (prescription and over-the-counter) filled at a single pharmacy. The pharmacy keeps a complete list of medications that you are currently taking, any health problems you may have, and drug allergies that you have told the pharmacist about. By having a single pharmacy, your pharmacist will be able to continuously update your patient profile-making sure it is always accurate. This allows your pharmacist to avoid any problems or drug interactions in the future. With a little effort, you should be able to find a pharmacy that will be your partner in your goal of living a healthful life.

Services • Medication reviews • Diabetes products and services • Email and text message refill reminders

Products & Specialties • Broad availability of brand and generic prescription medications • Private-label, over-the-counter medications • Pharmacist counseling

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How to Choose a... Collision Center WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN AN ESTIMATE? Always get and keep a signed written cost estimate for the work to be performed, Make sure the estimate specifically identifies the condition to be repaired, the parts needed and the anticipated labor charge. Make sure the estimate states that the shop will contact you for approval before performing any work exceeding a specified amount of time and money. Choosing which shop to entrust your vehicle's repairs to is an important decision. Your vehicle represents a large investment, and you'll want to protect your financial interests when choosing a collision repair facility. Don't feel obligated to have your vehicle repaired by a facility that doesn't meet your expectations. Probably the most reliable way to find out about the quality of a shop's repairs is to ask your friends, relatives, neighbors, and co-workers. Their experiences can go a long way in forming your decision. Did the paint match? Was the car clean when it was returned? Were they treated courteously? Have the repairs held up? If they had a complaint about the repair, was it resolved to their satisfaction? You might also want to look at vehicles that a shop has repaired.

Look for a written or computerized damage report. Don't settle for a "ball park" estimate. Look for a damage report with a complete listing of the parts and labor required to repair your vehicle. The damage report is the blueprint for restoring your vehicle to pre-accident condition.

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MAKE THE SMART CHOICE WHEN YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR VEHICLE RE-PAINTED! Available in Every Color… 90-Line Waterborne Basecoat is the most advanced coating available on today's market. It's this superior technology that has convinced seventy percent of worldwide OEM car manufactures to use waterborne basecoat finishes – which means that it's also your best choice when you have your car repaired. We have close associations with many car manufactures around the work, which gives us the ability to keep up with the latest color stylings. Glasurit has an extensive database that contains color information from around the globe, with several decades of formulations that can be used by collision shops to ensure a perfect color match and a high quality and durable repair. Glasurit 90-Line is an award winning technology that has provided the highest quality repairs since it was launched in 1992.

repair availability, and by choosing a body shop that uses Glasurit 90-Line you are also choosing to help keep the environment clean. "Green" products such as 90-Line Waterborne Basecoats emit far fewer VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) than their solventborne counterparts. 90-Line meets the most stringent VOC regulations in the world, and lower VOC emissions will help to greatly improve air quality. In fact, over five years, a typical collision center will emit about a ton less Greenhouse Gases by using 90-Line, which helps to significantly reduce your carbon footprint. The Smart Choice The Glasurit® brand has long been considered a worldwide standard for excellence – it continues to deliver the productivity and quality demanded by leading collision repair centers and their customers. 90-Line is the best refinish choice available, and we back that up with BASF's VisionPlus Lifetime Warranty Program, which will guarantee that your repair will always look as good as new. If you want your car to be repaired using the best technology, and one that helps keep our enviroment clean, then be sure to ask your collision repair center for Glasurit 90-Line Waterbourne Basecoat.

Especially Green. 90-Line will provide you with the highest quality

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How to... Prepare for Home Ownership Buying vs. Renting Trends in home prices, personal income and mortgage rates, combined with the tax advantages of home ownership, make this an excellent time to turn the home of your dreams into reality. If you're thinking of buying a home, you've probably already asked yourself, "Can I afford to buy?" Another good question to ask is "Can I afford to continue renting?" No matter what you're currently paying for rent, your total cash outlay over a period of several years will probably add up to a much higher total than you may have realized. The following chart shows how quickly the rent payments you're making add up figuring in what this money would earn invested at 5 Rent per Month 10 years

Rent Payment 10 years

Rent Payment 20 years

Rent Payments 30 years

$400 $500 $600 $700 $800 $900 $1,000 $1,100 $1,200 $1,500 $2,000 $25,000

$62,113 $77,641 $93,169 $108,698 $124,226 $139,754 $155,282 $170,811 $186,339 $232,923 $310,565 $388,206

$164,413 $205,517 $246,620 $287,724 $328,827 $369,930 $411,034 $452,137 $493,240 $616,551 $822,067 $1,027,584

$332,903 $416,129 $499,355 $582,581 $665,807 $749,033 $832,259 $915,484 $998,710 $1,248,388 $1,664,517 $2,080,647

Janis Flynn 265-9400

percent interest. With the money you are currenly spending on rent, you could be building equity in your home. Keep in mind, too, that over the years your income most likely will increase faster than any increase in your mortgage payment. Rent payments, on the other hand tend to increase - right along with your paycheck.

each monthly payment is used to pay off the interest on the loan. This means that as a homeowner, your annual taxable income could by substantially reduced by deducting the payments you make on property taxes and yearly mortgage interest. Ask your CPA, attorney or tax preparer how buying a home now would affect your tax situation at the next filing deadline on April 15th.

Mortgage Rates

Home Value Appreciation

As a rule of thumb, a one point drop in mortgage rates means that half a million more families can qualify for affordable financing. Yours could be one of them! Rates for conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgages remain at historically low levels and increasingly popular alternate forms of financing may make your loan even more affordable. Your real estate agent or loan officer can provide information on the types of financing plans available to you.

In addition to tax advantages, you can also benefit from any increase in the value of your home through appreciation and improvements you add for your own comfort and enjoyment.

Homeowner Tax Advantages When you're figuring out how much you can afford to commit to monthly mortgage payments, don't forget the tax advantages of home ownership. Both property taxes and interest payments on a mortgage for an owner occupied home are currently taxdeductible. In the early years of a typical mortgage, all but a small percentage of

Larry Martinson 390-1509

Paul Kuka 265-2060

You Can Make Home Ownership a Realty Take a good look at your personal financial situation in comparison to housing price trends and mortgage plans available in your community. You will probably discover that you are closer to home ownership than you had realized. Buying a home is probably one of the biggest investments you'll ever make. And when it's your first home, it is especially important that you seek qualified assistance. Your local real estate agent or broker has the experience and expertise to help you find - and purchase the home of your dreams.

Gary Toldness 265-6439

Jeanie Cole 265-1517

Specializing in Farm and Ranch Sales, Commercial, Buildings, Residential, Relocation & Income Properties since 1957! March 2014

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FLYNN Realty, Inc.

201 3rd Avenue • Havre, MT • 265-7845 • www.flynnrealtyinc.com • flynn@flynnrealtyinc.com

7310 County Rd 462 W

11135 River Rd

Prestigious & updated 5 bdrm, 3 1/2 bath home on 60 Acres! Includes pool, garden area, barn, pasture, partial paved access to to home & double garage. Good well & sprinkler system. Awesome views of Milk River Basin, Bears Paws & Badlands along the Milk River. Call Janis Flynn @ 265-7845

39150 Hwy 2 E ~ $225,000

3233 Creek Rd ~ $399,000

Country Living Close to Havre! 4 bedroom, 4 bath home on 7.31 Acres with small barn & triple garage. Call Janis Flynn @ 265-9400

Rocky Crossing Ranch

+/- 2300 total deeded acres located SW of Havre, MT on Hwy 87 near Big Sandy, MT. Acerage includes +/1464 cultivated/836 water & grass. Good roads, lots of gravel. 4 bdrm 2 1/2 bath homesite w/man-cave/shop & attached dbl garage. Barn & calving area with water running through it. Reservoir w/ bass & trout. Call Janis Flynn @ 265-9400

Farm for Sale

+/- 960 acres available with +/- 500 Clutivated Acres. Badlands on this parcel supply hunters with elk, deer, antelope & birds from Canada. Dinosaur bones also. Located North of Inverness, MT near Canadian border. Minerals are negotiable. $575,000. Call Janis Flynn @ 265-7845

Nick Pyrak 390-2867 March 2014

47300 County Rd 100 S ~ $325,000

Beautiful, 6 bedrooms, 2 bath county home with a view. 20+ acres. Fenced, perfect for horses. Reservoir. Call Janis Flynn @ 265-9400

30 Acres!! 3 bdrm, 2 bath Ranchette. Double garage & outbuildings, fenced for horses. Located apprx 7 miles East of Havre on Hwy 2. Needs some TLC. Call Ken Nelson @ 406-439-0595

Bullhook Bottoms Casino $650,000 A large Commercial Property that includes a Casino, large kitchen & liquor license on 1st Street/Hwy 2 frontage in Havre, MT. Call Ken Nelson @ 439-0595 or Larry Martinson @ 390-1509

Parcel Available 7133 US Hwy 87 W ~ $159,000

+/- 2 Acre parcel West of Havre, MT on Hwy 87. 3 bedroom, 1 bath home with nice shop. Commercial possibilities. Call Janis Flynn Pyrak @ 406-265-7845

John Carlson 390-1381

Spacious, private, 4 bdrm, 3 bath home located on 53 acres. Spectacular view, rock fireplace & park-like landscape with Beaver Creek running through property. Pond w/fountain, underground sprinklers, 3 car garage & large barn/shop. Call Janis Flynn @ 265-9400

1413 Lincoln Ave ~ $183,500

3 bedroom, 2 1/4 bath home. Nice open floor plan, fresh paint, new flooring & many updates. Large family room in basement, awesome garage/shop + shed, fenced yard & off street parking. Call Janis Flynn @ 265-7845

Lots for Sale

Vacant Land For Sale West of Havre ~ $125,000 Approx. 5.34 acres located 3.5 miles West of Havre, MT on Hwy 2. This property is fenced, includes a well & 2 metal sheds. Zoned Commercial/Residential. Electrical also runs across this property. 441 front footage on Hwy 2 4 acres Lot West of Torgeson Implement ~ $350,000 Ready to build on. Hwy 2 frontage. City water & electrical to edge of lot. Call Janis Flynn @ 406-265-9400

Properties are moving quickly. We need your listings. Please call Flynn Realty @ 406-265-7845

Derek Fraser 262-4603

Ken Nelson 439-0595

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How to Choose a... Hotel Choosing the right hotel is always a trying task, and with the enormous number of promotions, deals and programs out there, it can be downright overwhelming. Since every traveler has different needs when searching for a hotel, you'll need to ask yourself what's most important to you. First things first—if you know in advance the town you are planning to stay in, do a little online research into the area, and find motels that are close to the attractions or restaurants you plan to visit. A central location may cost a bit more than something on the outskirts of town, but with the current price of gas, the convenience of not having to drive far to see the sites is well worth the extra few bucks you’ll spend. If you have access to a AAA guide or Mobile Travel Guide, check out the motel listings in the area you have picked and pay close attention to their ratings. Ask yourself what is most important to you in a motel— location, cleanliness, room service, Internet access, cable television, nonsmoking rooms, a pool—and look for offerings that meet your specific requirements first. You can also check online sites, such as Hotel.com or Travel Advisor to help you make your choice. Call or visit the motel in advance, and ask specific questions about the features that are important to you. Don’t be afraid to question the hotel staff about the cleanliness of the rooms or the safety of the neighborhood. Their job is to cater to a traveler’s needs, and they are used to answering questions. Besides, if they are uncomfortable talking about the specifics of their motel, that could be an indicator

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that things are not up to standard, and you might want to look elsewhere for accommodations. If you’re visiting an area for the first time or are simply driving through and need a place to stay for the night, ask around town for information on a good motel. People that have heard good things or have had good experiences themselves at a place are generally only too happy to pass on a referral. And since bad news travels fast, most locals will probably be in the know about the less than desirable places to stay, as well. If at all possible, try and make your reservation online, as the rates are generally cheaper when rooms are secured through the Internet. Be sure to mention any union affiliations or discount or travel clubs you may belong to, including senior citizens or AARP cards you have. When you arrive at the motel, ask to see the room first, and check out the location, the cleanliness of the bedding, the proximity to the parking lot and other features before you commit to the stay. If you are satisfied that this is the place for you, check in and relax in your home away from home. If you're searching for Havre hotel accommodations that are both well-appointed and budget-friendly, then the TownHouse Inn Havre, MT fits the bill perfectly. Perks like complimentary breakfast, indoor heated pool, hot tub and sauna make travel a breeze and our newly renovated guest rooms provide a welcome retreat after a busy day of exploring this amazing area. Choose from king or queen rooms or our guest house with its own private yard at our Havre hotel. Take a spin with lady luck in our own onsite casino, Montana Lil's. Whatever you do, there are plenty of things to do in Havre, MT. Our Havre, MT hotel offers a great location for groups and meetings, including discounts on group accommodations and amenities that everyone in your party will appreciate. Our pet-friendly hotel is close to many local points of interest, including MSU-Northern University, the Beaver Creek Park and the H. Earl Clack Memorial Museum. Make your reservations today with the Townhouse Inn of Havre, Montana hotel by calling 800-442-4667.

Our Havre Hotel is near Montana Lil's Casino

Montana Lil's Casino is located inside our Havre hotel, making it a short trip to one of the most fun casinos in the Havre area. Whether you're a seasoned gambler or new to gaming, Montana Lil's is a fantastic place to try your luck at winning big. There are quite a few games we know you'll love. Perks of our Montana Casino Hotel: • Complimentary Beverages • Complimentary Snacks • Open 24 Hours • Players Club Offered Make plans to join us for exciting games!

Just Minutes from the Station

If you're looking for Havre hotels near the Amtrak station, look no further than TownHouse Inn of Havre. Located less than one mile from the Havre train station, our hotel offers comfortable, spacious accommodations, helpful amenities and exemplary service, all at a great value. Start your day off right with our complimentary breakfast, and enjoy a swim in our indoor heated pool or a soak in our hot tub after a long day. We also offer free Wi-Fi and free shuttle service for your convenience. Amtrak Station Information: • Enclosed waiting area • Restrooms • Bike boxes, shipping boxes & ski bags for sale • Baggage assistance • Checked baggage service • Short- and long-term parking

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How to Choose a.... University Choosing the right college or university can feel overwhelming. After all, your decision will have long-term ramifications. The college or university can help you achieve your goals or leave you lying in the dust with a huge tuition bill. Selecting a strong college with an excellent reputation will give you a firm foundation to pursue your dream life. Careful planning and thought will help you feel confident that you are making the right choices for your life. Large or Small School? Ask yourself if you learn better in an intimate setting or a large classroom. Some schools have a small student-toteacher ratio while others have auditoriums filled with students listening to a lecture. As you begin your research, be sure to look for information on class sizes and student population. Areas of Specialty The reputation of a university or college is very important. It can open or close doors in your career. Most colleges are renowned for a handful of majors. Does the learning institution specialize in your area of interest? Attending a prestigious university or college will give you opportunities and resources. The possibility of employment after graduation also dramatically improves when your school has good name recognition. Minors Once you have decided upon a major, think about your other areas of interest. Many colleges offer students the choice of adding a double major or minor to their plan of study. Even if you are going to pursue only one major, you will likely need to have elective courses in your schedule. These classes allow you to study something that will be beneficial and meaningful. They can also add a dimension to your work and perhaps even give you another hobby. You might even enjoy your electives so much that you decide to switch majors. Before applying to a col-

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lege, view a list of possible electives. Alumni Connections Don't forget to think of alumni connections in your family or circle of friends. These graduates can help you get into college. A letter of recommendation or contact with others in your prospective field of study can advance your career. Colleges look kindly upon people with alumni connections. These professionals could also give you insight into avoiding pitfalls and how to best use your degree after graduation. Social Activities Extracurricular activities and social events are another element to consider when choosing a college. Connections you make outside of the classroom are very important. Some universities are famous for their sororities and fraternities. Others colleges have excellent sports programs. Any school activities can help you network and make new friends. Students even develop lifelong friendships this way. The culture of your prospective university should be a strong factor in your decision. Online Classes When you have outside commitments or you prefer to learn at home, consider taking online courses. Internet classes will help you save money, especially when it comes to transportation. Online courses may allow you to work at a faster pace than traditional university classes. Working at your own speed can assist you in graduating quickly or tend to your active life. If you are thinking about choosing an online school, be sure to check their academic credentials and reputation. Also pick an institution in good standing. Choosing an institution for higher education can seem like a difficult, daunting decision. But once you understand your academic and lifestyle needs, you can find a school that is perfect for you.

Degree Programs: Biology Community Leadership Criminal Justice General Education Graphic Design Health Promotion Liberal Studies Mathematics Native American Studies Water Quality Technology: Environmental Health Ag Mechanics Technology Ag Operations Technology Ag Technology Automotive Technology Auto Tech Fast Track Business Administration Carpentry Technology Civil Engineering Technology Computer Information Systems Design Drafting Technology Diesel Technology Diesel Tech Equip Maint Diesel Tech Field Maint Electrical Technology Industrial Technology Industrial Technology (non-teaching) Plumbing Technology Sustainable Energy Technology Welding Technology Art (K-12) Elementary Education (K-8) English (5-12) General Science (5-12) Health & Physical Education(K-12) Industrial Technology (teaching option) Mathematics (5-12) Reading Specialist (K-12) Social Science (5-12) Traffic Education(K-12) Nursing

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How to Select the Right Insurance Agent for Your Needs Shopping for the right insurance agent can feel overwhelming. After all, there are plenty of things to consider. You need to find a company that offers the right mix of service, coverage and an affordable price. The challenge may simply be not knowing how to identify a reliable, reputable agent. Remember that everyone needs insurance coverage. An experienced agent can walk you through various options, keeping in mind your budget and lifestyle. Before choosing an insurance plan, you will need to identify an agent to guide you through the process. Your financial future depends on finding the right person to help you get insurance that will fit your needs. Your family, friends and colleagues have likely worked with insurance agents in the past. Ask people you trust for referrals. If you receive a recommendation, it is because that person has had a positive experience. There is a good likelihood that you will have similar results. Successful agents understand that offering great service will keep them in business. Their careers depend on word-of-mouth. If you are happy with the service you receive, your insurance agent will appreciate your willingness to

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refer acquaintances to her in the future. If you do not have recommendations, begin researching your options. Begin by looking at local companies and brokers. Large insurers give all of their agents the same training. Each agent will be subject to the same company policies. In some ways, that can be comforting. However, agents at large companies may lack creativity and flexibility in how they handle their accounts. As you conduct your research, be thorough and critical. Buying a policy is similar to purchasing a new car or home. It is truly that important. Select a company that is highly regarded by consumers. Read reviews of each company to determine who has the most satisfied clients. Are they easy to work with? Have there been any problems with collecting on a policy? Also, check that any prospective agent has all necessary licenses and training. After narrowing your list of prospective agents, make an appointment to visit each one. Prepare a list of questions and concerns about your personal situation. Take notes during your meeting. Remember that you must feel comfortable with the answers before purchasing a policy.

If an agent tries to pressure you into making a decision right away, inform him that you need more time and cannot sign anything immediately. The right agent will let you take as much time as you need to understand the implications of each policy. They will give you useful information and not subject you to high-pressure sales techniques. Your agent should be available. The relationship doesn't end once the sale is completed. Your dialogue should be continuous. The best agents are available in the event you have to file a claim. Agents who have been in business for many years likely have a good reputation and track record. They understand the policies and will even take extra care that you are properly protected. It is essential that you choose the right type and amount of insurance to adequately protect yourself and your financial future. The policy should be tailored to fit your specific needs. A seasoned, skilled insurance agent will be an invaluable resource for safeguarding your future.

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How to Choose a Real Estate Agent A reputable Realtor and real estate agency can make a big difference when you buy or sell a home. There are thousands of dollars at stake. You could get the asking price or maybe you will have to settle for the best offer on the table. A real estate agency will act in your best interests. That's why it's essential to find a highquality real estate agency. Reputation says a lot about a company. What do people say about their services. Ask your family, friends and neighbors for recommendations. Their experiences will guide you toward a reputable agency. Once you have a list of possibilities, do some research. Find out how long the agency has been in business. Ideally, you want people who know your community. If the real estate agency is merely a side business, it might not give you the best results. Buying and selling homes is a full time job. Look on the Internet and read customer service reviews. They should also have an impact on your overall impression of an agency. Once you have narrowed your list, contact some businesses and ask them questions. You

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should know about their listings, fees and commissions. If an agency is focusing on their own best interests rather than marketing your home, you should drop them from you list. You need someone who will help you. Choose an agency that has connections with the community, a sharp understanding of neighborhoods that interest you and solid contacts with other realty companies. This assumes major importance when you’re selling your current house, because the agency usually handles the sale while the Realtor helps you find your new one. The marketing strategy and advertising is what makes each agency unique. It will greatly influence the sale of your home. Although most companies might look the same, real estate agencies have a preference for the kind of properties they show or sell. These concentrations might include commercial properties or high-end homes. Try to find a business with a focus that concentrates on selling homes similar to yours. Look at an agency's listings to see if your home would fit in nicely with their existing clients. If you were purchasing a home, would you find their listings easy to read and informative?

The size of the agency will have an impact on your experience. Small agencies can provide more personalized service, but they may not have the networking advantages of a large company. Big agencies have more opportunities to network and sell your home, but they may have to divide their time among many clients. Be prepared to ask an agency the following questions if you are selling your home: • How will you advertise my home? Will you use the Internet and newspapers? • How many pictures of my house will appear online? • On which sites will my home be featured? • Do you have other homes that have recently been sold in this price range? • How long has the agency been selling homes in my neighborhood? • What makes your agency unique? The two biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime are buying and selling a home. Protect your investment and peace of mind by choosing the best and most trustworthy real estate agency you can find.

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How to Choose the.... Right Dentist Choosing the right dentist will go a long way toward helping you maintain your health and appearance. Whether you need a routine cleaning or a complex dental procedure, finding the right dentist will save you time and money. No one wants to have a root canal redone because of shoddy work. It is vital that you find a dentist who makes you feel comfortable, someone who will help you improve your dental health in a hygienic environment. Finding a dentist near your home or workplace will help you make your appointments on time. As well, their office hours should accommodate your schedule. So how should you start your search? First off, ask your social network for recommendations. Friends, family and colleagues can be a great resource. Searching on the Internet for dental offices in your area will also help. Professionals often have their own websites, which include the backgrounds of those working there. The website may also tell you about how they handle procedures and appointments, as well as specialized services they offer. Once you have gathered a list, begin calling each prospective dentist. You can talk to a receptionist or other staff person if the dentist is unavailable. Check that he or she has earned the necessary degree from a reputable school and are current on all licensing and continuing educational requirements. Ideally, he will be familiar with the latest dental technologies and trends. Ask if the dental office pro-

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vides emergency services. If you break a tooth or need to have a root canal done right away, it is vital to find an available dentist. Lead time for appointments is another consideration. Some offices might be able to see you right away, while others may have a three-week wait time. Your prospective dentist should accept your dental insurance. If not, you may need to cross that person off your list. If you have no dental insurance, inquire about payment plans. The office should give you an estimate before performing any work. When someone meets all of your requirements, visit the office. The staff should be professional and friendly. Every dentist should be willing to answer all of your questions. Some people are afraid of dentists or pain. If you have any concerns, communicate with the staff and dentist. Many professionals are willing to go above and beyond to help you work through these issues. A basic oral health history should be taken by the dentist or staff. They should tell you about future treatment and prevention options. A quality dentist will help you feel comfortable during your visit. If you experience anything less, cross that person off your list. The best dentists offer friendly, happy dental experiences. Teeth are extremely important to your overall health. They can also help or hinder your appearance. Finding a good dentist is like finding a friend who consistently brings out your best smile.

Babies and Kids Creating a dental routine early can ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles for your child. Baby teeth are important teeth, and cavity prevention starts even before the first tooth appears. By teaching your children the benefits of brushing and flossing, you are putting them on a course to be Mouth Healthy for Life. Teens Everyone wants to look their best, and a bright, healthy smile is a big part of that. It's up to you to do the brushing and flossing to get there. Besides, bad breath is embarrassing! Take care of your teeth and gums today, and you'll never have to worry about that. Your smile will speak for itself. Adults under 40 Taking care of your teeth and gums isn't just about preventing cavities or bad breath. The mouth is a gateway into your body's overall health. And since gum disease and other health problems may be linked, brushing and flossing are more important than ever. See your dentist regularly to keep your smile, and yourself, healthy. Adults 40-60 Did you know that dental disease is largely preventable? It's true. By making your oral health a priority now, you can ensure your teeth and gums are aging gracefully along with the rest of you. Remember: a healthy smile is a beautiful smile. It's all about being Mouth Healthy for Life. Adults over 60 Thanks to good oral health habits, more adults are keeping their natural teeth their entire lives. The key is prevention. The unique dental needs of senior adults include a vital connection between a healthy body and a healthy mouth. Don’t neglect your oral health. It’s an important part of being Mouth Healthy for Life.

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How to Choose an... ATRA Transmission Repair Professional With members across the US and Canada, ATRA’s network of automatic transmission repair professionals can offer you repair and warranty coverage anywhere you’re likely to drive. Because, wherever you go there’s always an ATRA member nearby. Every ATRA Rebuilder Member must adhere to ATRA’s Code of Ethics…ATRA’s standards for providing honest, professional service. So, when you take your car to an ATRA Rebuilder Member, you’re assured of polite, professional service, at an honest price. And not just automatic transmission repair: most ATRA Rebuilder Members also provide diagnostic and repair service for manual transmissions, clutches, differentials, driveshafts, drive axles, and transfer cases. The Rebuilder Members of ATRA agree that while they remain members of the Association, they will practice the pledges of the Association code of Ethics: that they will adhere to the Service and Repair definitions which are part of the ATRA By-Laws; that they will subscribe to the Guarantee Standards which are shown herein; and that they will practice the Advertising standards of the association as per the following: THE ATRA CODE OF ETHICS AND MEMBER PLEDGE For Rebuilder Members of the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association As members of ATRA, we pledge to ourselves and to each other to diagnose transmission problems for customers and for each other in an expert and honest manner, and to state that the removal of a transmission from a

vehicle in correction of its problems is necessary, only when this is the case. • We further pledge to provide prompt and courteous in-car diagnosis on behalf of customers of other member shops free of charge (Members may assess a charge up to one (1) hour of diagnostic time for electronic testing and scanning based on the current Golden Rule rate provided the charge is agreed to in advance by the warranting Member). • We further pledge to act with integrity, and to speak at all times in a responsible manner, and in all ways to adhere to the concept of the Golden Rule in our dealings with the motoring public and with our competitors of industry. • We further pledge ourselves to the promotion and improvement of the automatic transmission service and repair industry through maintaining the highest standards for parts and workmanship quality at our places of business. • We further pledge ourselves to the continual training and retraining of ourselves and our employees, in order to keep abreast of the constant changes in the state of the art of our industry. • We pledge to have ourselves and our employees tested and certified on a continuing basis in such a manner as will demonstrate the ATRA member shops are staffed with capable personnel. • We finally pledge that such transmission assemblies as we represent to the consuming public and to other members as “rebuild”, will have been re-processed according to the Association Rebuilding Standards and Defini-

tions as outlined in these By-Laws. Many general repair shops are getting into the transmission repair business by offering to install “reman” transmissions. What is a reman? A reman is a transmission that’s been remanufactured in a factory setting, and shipped to the repair shop to be installed as a complete unit. Is it okay to buy a reman? That’s a pretty broad question. The answer depends on the quality of the reman itself. Some are very high quality; others less so. More important than the reman itself, however, is the shop or technician performing the diagnosis. Remember: Many cars with transmission problems don’t actually need a new transmission. And, if your car doesn’t need a new transmission, you shouldn’t pay for one. But if the technician performing the diagnosis doesn’t have the skill or experience with your car’s transmission, you might easily find yourself paying for a new transmission… whether you need one or not. If the reman transmission still doesn’t work, the reman companies have technicians on staff to help the shop work through the actual problem. So your car will probably shift just fine when you get it back. The only question then is: Was the problem you had really in the transmission? Or did you pay for a transmission you didn’t really need? Only a qualified, professional transmission technician can diagnose your car reliably, and tell you for certain whether you actually need a rebuilt transmission, or whether a much less expensive repair will take care of the problem.

they are qualified to do different types of services such as electrical and brake systems. Some auto repair workers are only qualified to do oil changes. Inquire about the types of customer service benefits the shop provides. Some may offer rental cars onsite, loaner cars or a shuttle to and from work while your car is being repaired. Ask if they have evening and weekend hours. Pick a repair shop authorized to perform repairs under your warranty, if your car has one. Establish a working relationship with the repair shop. The best time to pick a shop is before you need one. Preventive mainte-

nance is less costly than repairing a major malfunction. Start with something "small" like an oil change or a check-up on one of your car's systems. Some shops offer free brake checks or free air conditioning system checks. Compare pricing for general services such as brakes, air conditioning checks and tuneups. These fees can vary widely, but they will give you an idea of whether the shop you're considering falls in the average price range. Consider chains as well as independently owned shops. Request references from satisfied customers.

Auto Repair Shop Get referrals from family, friends and co-workers. Check the local Better Business Bureau for information on complaints filed, how many (if any) and the shop's record of resolving problems. Visit the shop. Observe the cleanliness, lighting, organization and the condition of the equipment. Investigate the mechanics' certification. Ask if they are certified and in what area. Mechanics may be certified by a car manufacturer or a general organization such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). Look for a mechanic with valid credentials, proper training and experience working on your car model. Know if

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How to Choose an... Assisted Living Facility Sometimes, illness or age can take a toll on someone. They find that living independently at home is no longer a viable option. When you need to look for an assisted living facility, there are many things to consider. Cost is often the first thing people think about when searching for a facility. While a clear understanding of expenses is beneficial, there are other aspects to keep in mind. Be sure you know the cost breakdown of each facility. An awareness of how fees are charged will help you avoid surprises later. Special services might be an additional cost. The quality of care and satisfaction of current and former residents will also figure prominently into your decision. Of course, the maintenance and comfort level of the facility is also something to research. Do an online check of assisted living homes in your area. Many sites will feature reviews from family members, friends and residents. Make a list of facilities that might be a good fit. Be sure to visit each facility on your list. Look carefully at the condition of the buildings. Inquire about activities for the residents. Also, take a look at their calendar of events to get a better idea about the lifestyle of people living there. Go out of your way to meet residents and

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When it is time for Assisted Living?

family members. Touring facilities during the early evenings or weekend afternoons are the best times. Ask for honest opinions about the staff, amenities and accommodations. You or your loved one may only need a secure environment or assistance in case of a fall. In the future, these needs could change. The ideal facility will accommodate additional needs in the future. If mobility becomes a concern, the size and layout of the center may become more important. Eventually, you may need someone to dispense medication, manage appointments, provide transportation and more personal levels of care. While some facilities can provide increasing amounts of care, other centers may require that you leave the facility should your needs increase. A facility is a good match when it resembles the lifestyle to which the resident is accustomed. Make a list of things that are important to you. If you pursue gardening, crafting or other hobbies, look for a center that lets you continue with these hobbies with ease. People who enjoy staying active and exercising can find a facility that has a gym, exercise room or secure place to walk. Gregarious people need centers that allow plenty of opportunity for socializing. Moving into an assisted living facility doesn't have to be stressful or unpleasant. With research and diligence, you can be confident that you or your loved one will be well cared for while still being able to enjoy life.

While there is no exact science, it is generally recommended that sooner rather than later is best. Waiting for a crisis situation, such as a fall, hospitalization, or wandering episode is not a good idea. Signs that indicate you should consider Assisted Living: • Wearing the same clothes across multiple days • Bathing less frequently • Repeating questions or statements • Leaving the stove on • Frequently misplacing items • Forgetting to take medications • Losing touch with friends • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed • Crying excessively • Not sleeping • Becoming afraid to be alone at night • Feeling like the neighborhood is not as "safe" as it use to be • Becoming paranoid

The "Tough" Conversation... If you are making the choice to move a loved one into an assisted living community, chances are there may be some strong emotions running through your family dynamic. Surrendering independence is a scary reality for Seniors. Once you find an excellent community, involve your loved one as much as possible. Keep them in the loop with every decision that is made. If they are able to make choices regarding their care, then they should be empowered to do so. Remember that despite your best efforts of everyone involved, it can be quite a struggle to get things to a point where everyone is happy. Act lovingly toward the individual... this is a huge life transition. Emphasis to your loved one all the benefits of community living- they are gaining many social and wellness benefits. Loneliness will NEVER be a part of their lives any longer. Reassure them that you will visit often and continue to be a regular part of their lives- that you no longer will be worried about their safety and well being. As a last resort, some residents find comfort if told that they can always move out if they are not satisfied. Presented as a "trial basis" rather than a permanent decision often removes barriers.

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How to.... Diagnose & Treat Glaucoma Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to your eye's optic nerve and gets worse over time. It's often associated with a buildup of pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma tends to be inherited and may not show up until later in life. The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain. If damage to the optic nerve from high eye pressure continues, glaucoma will cause permanent loss of vision. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause total permanent blindness within a few years. Because most people with glaucoma have no early symptoms or pain from this increased pressure, it is important to see your eye doctor regularly so that glaucoma can be diagnosed and treated before long-term visual loss occurs. If you are over the age of 40 and if you have a family history of glaucoma, you should have a complete eye exam with an eye doctor every one to two years. If you have health problems such as diabetes or a family history of glaucoma or are at risk for other eye diseases, you may need to visit your eye doctor more frequently. Why Does Pressure Rise in the Eye to Cause Glaucoma? Glaucoma usually occurs when pressure in your eye increases. This can happen when eye fluid isn't circulating normally in the front part of the eye. Normally, this fluid, called aqueous humor, flows out of the eye through a mesh-like channel. If this channel becomes blocked, fluid builds up, causing glaucoma. The direct cause of this blockage is unknown, but doctors do know that it can be inherited, meaning it is passed from parents to children. Less common causes of glaucoma include a blunt or chemical injury to the

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eye, severe eye infection, blockage of blood vessels in the eye, inflammatory conditions of the eye, and occasionally eye surgery to correct another condition. Glaucoma usually occurs in both eyes, but it may involve each eye to a different extent. What Are the Types of Glaucoma? There are two main types of glaucoma: 1. Open-angle glaucoma. Also called wide-angle glaucoma, this is the most common type of glaucoma. The structures of the eye appear normal, but fluid in the eye does not flow properly through the drain of the eye, called the trabecular meshwork. 2. Angle-closure glaucoma. Also called acute or chronic angle-closure or narrow-angle glaucoma, this type of glaucoma is less common but can cause a sudden buildup of pressure in the eye. Drainage may be poor because the angle between the iris and the cornea (where a drainage channel for the eye is located) is too narrow. One of the problems with glaucoma, especially open-angle glaucoma, is that there are typically no symptoms in the early stages. Many people who have the disease do not know they have it. This is why it is important, especially as you get older, to have regular medical eye exams by an Eye M.D. • What Is Glaucoma? • Causes of Glaucoma • Glaucoma Symptoms • Who Is At Risk For Glaucoma? • Glaucoma Diagnosis • Glaucoma Treatment • Glaucoma Vision Simulator Early detection and treatment can protect your vision. People of any age with glaucoma symptoms or glaucoma risk factors, such as those with diabetes, a family his-

tory of glaucoma, or those of African descent, should see an ophthalmologist for an exam. Your ophthalmologist will let you know how often to return for follow-up exams. Adults with no symptoms of or risk factors for eye disease should have a complete eye disease screening by age 40 — the time when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to happen. Based on the results of the initial screening, your ophthalmologist will let you know how often to return for followup exams. Adults 65 or older should have an eye exam every one to two years, or as recommended by your ophthalmologist. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is useful in diagnosing many eye conditions, including: • Macular hole; • Macular pucker; • Macular edema; • Age-related macular degeneration; • Central serous retinopathy; • Diabetic retinopathy; • Preretinal membranes. In addition, OCT is often used to evaluate disorders of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is made up of many nerve fibers and sends signals from your retina to your brain, where these signals are interpreted as the images you see. The OCT exam is helpful in determining changes to the fibers of the optic nerve, such as those caused by glaucoma. Since OCT relies on light waves, it cannot be used successfully with any condition that interferes with light passing through the eye, such as dense cataracts or significant bleeding in the vitreous (the gel in the center of the eye).

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How to Choose a.... Roofer Putting a new roof on your home can not only beautify the exterior of your home but can also increase the value of your home as well. Your roof is the first line of defense against the elements. It is a necessity to have a roof and it is wise to have a professional roofer install it. Professional roofers are the most qualified people to install roofing systems. They know how to install a variety of roofing materials safely and effectively. They know what products are available in your area and what type of material will work best with your homes design. The first step in finding a reliable roofing contractor is to ask people you know for recommendations. Everyone lives under a roof and chances are someone has had to replace one recently. Word of mouth is an excellent way to weed out the “bad” from the “good”. A roofing professional who is legitimate will have a history of reliable service and a list of satisfied customers. You can also look to the internet for roofing contractors in your area. Some websites even offer reviews of contractor services. Pick someone who has a track record in your community. Some contractors travel the country looking for work after a natural disaster. These contractors make money from the insurance claims, but cannot provide you will realistic guarantees for their work. After all, they may be on the other side of the country

Why Metro?

It’s the SMART Steel Choice. It’s the RIGHT Steel Choice. It’s the ONLY Steel Choice. A Strong Leadership History Founded by US steel roofing industry veterans with over 100 years of experience in stone-coated steel technology. Reliability, Quality and Innovation Metro’s design focus is on simple, functional products that provide fast install times and an aesthetic look to suit any architecture. How We Go To Market Metro Roof Products manufactures its innovative line of stone-coated steel roofing products at its Oceanside, CA factory and the Metro products are sold exclusively through our independent network of wholesale distributors across

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if your roof starts to leak again. Becoming acquainted with the local contractors is especially important if you live in an area prone to high winds, hail, or heavy rains. It is good to know who to call if your home should ever need future repair. Once you have found a contractor you like, do your homework. Research them on the internet. Check with your local and state agencies to see how long they have been in business. Do they have any complaints, judgments, or legal action pending? Check with the Better Business Bureau to see what kind of business rating they have. Do they have a valid business license with the state? Is it current? Are they licensed to do what they say they are licensed for? Do they have a website? Every contractor that works on your property should be licensed and insured. When you meet with the contractor ask to see their current certificates of insurance. They should be able to provide you with a current General Liability and Workers Compensation policy certificates. These certificates show you that they are covered should anything happen on the jobsite. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask the contractor what products are available. A more expensive roofing product may be a better long term solution for your needs. A good roofer will know what products are available and what product will work best for your par-

the USA and Canada. WHY METRO? Metro’s superior product features are the result of years of research and development on exclusive processes. Key differences are: Metro STEEL — Highly corrosion-resistant AZ-50 Galvalume® steel coated with specially prepared & treated with proprietary primer to enhance Metro acrylic adhesion. Metro BASECOAT — Proprietary special formulation developed by the world’s largest resin supplier to promote long-life performance in all climates. Metro STONE CHIP — Finely graded, non-oiled, natural granite granules that enhance adhesion and provide the tightest granite stone coat matrix on the market today.

ticular need. Different products required different roofing slopes and some even have application limitations. A legitimate roofer will be able to tell you what these are. Get everything in writing. A reputable roofing contractor will provide you with a written estimate which will clearly define the scope of work to be performed. Make sure you're comparing bids based on identical plans, specifications, products, and scope of work. Do not automatically accept the lowest bid thinking you are getting a great deal. In fact, you should leery of any bid that is substantially lower than the others. It probably indicates that someone made a mistake in the bid or is not including all the work quoted by his or her competitors. Before work commences, you must receive a written contract. This contract should include the scope of work to be performed, pricing and payment terms, contact information, warranty information, and any other contractual obligations. Remember a good roofing contractor will provide this to you automatically because it protects them as much as it protects you. Following these tips will help you find the best roofing contractor in your community. You will rest comfortable knowing you did your homework and made an informed decision that saved you a lot of hassle, heartache, and frustration.

Metro ACCESSORY DESIGN — SMARTvent stone-coated ventilator panels fully integrated into the roof field with no need for special flashing. SMARTjack stone-coated 3-in-1 type vent pipe flashings with self-sealing rubber gasket and aluminum base. SMARTsleeve stone-coated and soonto-be-released vent pipe sleeve cover to perfectly finish pipe penetrations. Eave Riser metals and Rake Channels that incorporate the unique “Locator-Lip” for easy positioning and installer errorfree installation. Metro WARRANTY — Every roof is backed with a 50-year limited warranty that has unlimited transferability to subsequent owners — a major plus in today’s housing market. We take pride in our products and it shows — everywhere a Metro roof stands!

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How to... Avoid Getting Mold in Your Home By Tim Evens Carpet Care and Restoration Mold is everywhere. It is known as nature’s recycler. Mold’s purpose is to break down dead organic matter - toppled trees, dead animals, fallen leaves, grass, plants and the like, into soil. Without mold these materials would take much longer to decay and become soil. There are about one thousand species of mold in the United States. The most press has been given to “Black Mold,” officially known as Stachybotrys chartarum. Stachybotrys receives so much attention because it is one of the many mycotoxin producing molds. Mycotoxin’s are what physicians believe cause negative health consequences to humans. Mold is not very problematic to our health as long as it is kept out of doors. Health concerns proliferate once mold enters a structure. The way mold reproduces is through mold spores, which are basically mold seeds. A mold spore is much like a dandelion plant, the seeds of which blow away in the wind. The difference is that a mold spore is much smaller; allowing the air to carry it anywhere there is air and air movement. A spore is not visible to the human eye but can be seen under a microscope. Mold Spores measure between 2 and 20 microns in diameter. Just to give you a reference point, a human hair is about 75 microns in diameter. Due to the size of mold spores, they travel wherever air currents flow. Even very healthy homes with no history of water incursions have some mold spores inside of them. Homes with mold actually growing have a much higher number of mold spores in them. This “mold spore loading,” in homes with mold constantly replicating, is the reason people have failed attempts at remediating mold themselves. They remove all visible molds: some wipe off walls with bleach, vinegar, or peroxide and they think the

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problem is gone. However a few days later the mold is back. This too is the reason mold remediation is so expensive. In order for it to be successful, remediators are charged with removing all mold spores from the area. Mold requires moisture in order to grow. If any organic material in your home (wood furniture, wood framing, the paper on gypsum wall board or on insulation) should become wet, the material could grow mold. In light of this, the easiest way to avoid mold in your home is to keep everything dry. Water leaks and flooding are out of our control; however, there are ways houses get wet enough to grow mold which are in our control. Every winter we receive requests to check homes that have mold on exterior walls. When we check the homes we find that the exterior walls are very cold and condensation has collected on the wall. Just like a glass of ice cold water will collect condensation on it in the summer so will a cold wall in the winter. The result of the moisture — given time to replicate — is mold growing on the wall. To avoid this scenario keep the temperature in your home at least 67 degrees in the winter and check your exterior walls to see if they are cold. If they are cold turn the heat up or increase air flow on the walls. Warmer room temperatures help to keep the walls drier and to prevent moisture in the room from condensing on the wall. Additional air flow from a ceiling fan or turning on your furnace fan will help to warm and dry the walls. Another problem is placing furniture directly against exterior walls. Leaving a few inches between the furniture and the wall will encourage air flow, assisting to keep the wall warm and dry. Homes are also built with greater air tightness now than they were 40 years ago. As a result excess moisture needs to be removed from homes. Bathroom fans were not so important 40 years ago

because houses leaked enough air that they dried out. In newer homes, moisture will stay there unless it is exhausted outdoors. Every bathroom should have an exhaust fan wired directly to the light switch so that the excess humidity from showering can be removed from the home. Importantly, if you have an exhaust fan already installed, make sure that it exhausts outside, not in the attic. By blowing moisture into your attic you are simply moving your problem to a different location. Another source of excess moisture in homes is from laundry dryers venting inside the home. They make lint capture devices so people can have their dryer vent inside the home and some people like this idea because the dryer vents moist warm air. These vents are responsible for large amounts of moisture staying inside the home and most often are used in the winter when this excess moisture can condensate on the exterior walls of the home. Make sure your dryer vents outside. The final source of excess moisture is in crawl spaces. Crawl spaces are difficult to manage humidity in and the result is mold on the sub floor and floor joists. If you have a crawl space on your home the easiest way to manage humidity is to place a vapor barrier over all earth in the space. Earth gives up moisture at an incredible rate, allowing humidity in crawl spaces to get above the mold threshold of 60 percent relative humidity. Often even if there is a vapor barrier in the space it has holes and tears in it. Old vapor barriers in bad shape are only minimally better than no vapor barrier. Mold is much easier to keep out of your home than it is to remove once you have it. If you have any question about areas of your home being prone to mold we provide free guidance and moisture checks to help prevent the occurrence of mold.

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How To Choose a... Nursing Home Facility As loved ones age, they may need full-time care at some point. Choosing a quality environment in which your loved ones may thrive with a happy, stable life is one of the most important steps in finding a nursing home. This will not only benefit them, but you as well. There are several things to look for when choosing a great care center for your aging loved ones to assure that the place you have chosen will provide them with the utmost of care at this stage of their life. VISIT THE FACILITY Take a tour of the facility before anything else. Upon touring the facility you should get a good vibe from the center. This will allow a first-hand insight to what is going on inside of the facility. There are a few things to look for while taking a tour. It should be cleaned, properly staffed, and all of the residents' needs should be getting met. You may want to pay attention to some of the people who already stay there as well. Do they look happy and cared for? These things should all be taken into consideration. You might also want to take the patient with you to this tour. Since they will be the ones living there,

getting their opinions of the place is extremely important. They should feel welcomed, safe, and that it is a place that will provide positive living for them. Most nursing home facilities will be more than willing to provide you with a tour of their homes. Once you have toured the building, a sit-down with a staff member is needed. This will provide the opportunity to ask any and all questions that you may have or address any special needs of the patient. ASK OTHER PEOPLE It may be possible to find a relative of a patient currently in the nursing home and find out what their opinions of the place are. You can ask questions pertaining to the staff and care of the residents, and ask their feelings of placing your loved one in the facility. More often than not relatives will be more than happy to assist you with this as they know first-hand how difficult the decision is. ASK THE DOCTOR After taking a tour and talking with other residents family members still leaves you undecided about a

particular facility, talk with the family physician who has been providing care for the patient. Perhaps they will be able to provide suggestions for a good nursing home in the area, or give you further information about the facility you are looking at. The physician will probably be able to provide a couple of different recommendations, and if the patient has special needs can provide a center that will be properly suited to treat those needs. Making the decision to place your loved one in a nursing home is never easy, and choosing a center that will meet all of your expectations is even more difficult. It is imperative to choose the best facility possible for your loved one. Research and diligence will always pay off in this very hard decision, and within time, you are sure to find the facility that is perfect for your loved one and all of their needs. Knowing that your loved one is receiving the best possible care at the best possible facility is a decision that will make you proud for many years to come.

How to Choose a... Physical Therapist Physical therapy has incredible power to alleviate pain and increase function. Whether you have pain in the shoulders, neck, knees, back, or other joints, physical therapy can help manage or relieve it. Usually, physical therapy is a necessity for aftersurgery care. With the proper planning and a bit of determination, you can find a great physical therapy provider that is best suited for your care. Commonly, insurance companies require that a person attempt physical therapy before getting an expensive surgery of some sort. Sometimes, participation in a physical therapy program can actually negate any need for surgery. Unfortunately, many patients suffer from degenerative disc problems in the back. This sort of problem usually would require surgery, but many people find that physical therapy eases pressure on the lower back. Physical therapy works to strengthen core muscles in the lower back, which adds to a person's overall wellness. At other times, physical therapy is part of a recovery process for surgery. For example, if a person has suffered surgery to fix a rotator cuff, then physical therapy will be a huge part of the successful recovery of that surgery. Physical therapy will help a person regain a full range of motion for joints that are replaced or after injury.

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Good physical therapy treatments are also necessary for other sorts of injuries and surgeries. A person with a finger re-attached will need to practice some form of physical therapy to regain use of the finger. A person who has been an invalid for weeks or months will require physical therapy in regaining their mobility. With a good therapist's aid and a patient's determination to do follow-through exercises at home, a patient can often find that he or she feels a total recovery and is able to enjoy life again. When choosing a good physical therapist, you should first see what requirements are in place from your insurance company. You will have to usually pick a therapist that is in-network, rather than out-of-network. You should feel comfortable with whatever physical therapist you choose. A physical therapist may have to evaluate parts of your body to see if there is swelling or heat in that part. A therapist may also massage a patient's muscles as part of the therapy. You should directly ask a therapist about their experience and education. You will not be able to obtain references, but you can see if the therapist has the appropriate license to practice. You can also choose to contact a state board of physical therapy to see if any complaints have been filed regarding the physical therapist you have cho-

sen to work with. A physical therapist is there to help a patient regain his or her independence. For older people especially, a physical therapist can be a critical component in this role. Often, families will make older people feel dependent and enable their dependence. A physical therapist is the one to show an older person that he or she can truly be independent and does not always need help from family members. Finding a good physical therapist does not have to be difficult after considering these tips.

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How to Choose a... Funeral Plan IT MAY BE A GIFT TO THOSE YOU LOVE When someone we love dies, there are varying stages of anger, confusion and numbness. The funeral is one of the most significant means we have of dealing with grief. The funeral ritual helps us focus our emotions and brings a sense of meaning to death. It confirms the reality of death and provides a catalyst for mourners to talk about the deceased. Experts tell us being able to talk about the life of a deceased loved one is one of the first steps toward accepting death. PREARRANGING YOUR FUNERAL Prearranging your funeral is not much different than any other planning you have carried out during your lifetime. You buy insurance in case of fire, flood, theft or death. These coverages are purchased as an act of love and responsibility for those you love in case an unfortunate incident occurs. A pre-planned funeral accomplishes the same goals. A pre-planned funeral can prevent your family members from having to make a number of significant decisions at a time when they are confused and upset. They will have enough on their minds dealing with grief without having to make several important decisions in a very short period of time. Experts tell us that there are an average of 50 decisions to be made when arranging a funeral. Adding to the need for pre-planning is the fact that our lifestyle is more complex. Family members often live in different states, complicating rapid decision making. Further complications stem from frustrations that occur when dealing with government agencies in different states. A solid pre-planning session can prevent these complications. HOW TO PLAN Find the funeral establishment that is right for your needs, look for stability in the community, make sure they are licensed and accredited with the state. Research the length of operation, and seek the advise of friends who have had to use the services of a funeral home recent-

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ly. More than anything turn to someone you can trust. PREFUNDING YOUR FUNERAL Prefunding your funeral is an important consideration. The State of Montana has a state Burial Trust which is an exceptional tool for funding your funeral expenses. The burial trust offers protection to the consumer. The funds are not held by the funeral home, they are held by a separate entity and are only distributed after the death occurs and the funeral home has provided the trust company with a death certificate to prove that the death occurred. It is a better funding tool than insurance because you actually reap the benefit of what you have placed in the trust, you don’t loose money and it is alsoMedicaid Compliant. With the Trust you are allowed to establish a NON- Guaranteed Trust and make payments to fund it and once it is paid for then you can roll it over into a Guaranteed Trust. Both contract types are irrevocable and meet the Montana Medicaid Requirements. This is advantageous for some people because they may not have access to the funds immediately and need to make payments. Once fully funded the trust will accrue interest monthly and the interest earned stays with the account and is used to off-set future price increases. • Social Security: When a loved one dies, dependents and survivors may be eligible for certain benefits such as death payments, survivor’s benefits and Medicare. Qualifications depend on several factors such as age, marital status, number of dependents and whether employment was under Social Security. Your Social Security account should be verified periodically to ensure contributions are posted. All benefits must be applied for since payments are not automatic. • Veterans Benefits: Honorablydischarged veterans are entitled to benefits that affect decisions about funeral arrangements. For example, veterans may qualify for a cemetery plot and burial allowances, a headstone and burial flag,

as well as pension for survivors. Benefits Another important part of your plan is to make sure your loved ones know where your recorded wishes can be found. IMPORTANT POINTS • The funeral ritual helps us focus our emotions and brings a sense of meaning to death. • A pre-planned funeral can prevent your family members from having to make a number of significant decisions when they are confused and upset. QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT • Have you selected a cemetery or memorial location? • Are certain religious customs to be followed? • Are there any special readings, biblical passages or musical selections you prefer to use in the memorial service? • Do you want to name pallbearers or honorary pallbearers?

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How to Choose a... Health Care Provider Finding the right health care provider is an important part of any good overall health plan. When it comes to managing physical health, it isn't just about the medical care provided; it is also about the patient-provider relationship. Health care providers must be able to provide care as well as inspire confidence that leads to trust among patients. Choosing a doctor or health care provider requires only a little detective work and knowledge of the right questions to ask. Determine your needs. Which doctor or health care provider you choose will depend upon your health needs. Some providers, such as family practitioners, are trained to handle the broad-spectrum medical concerns of people of all ages. Others, such as pediatricians and geriatricians, address the needs of more limited groups; in this case, children and older adults respectively. Needs for a doctor or health care provider can also be driven by a particular health concern. For example, gynecologists are concerned with women's

reproductive health and cardiologists specialize in heart health. Talk with friends and family. Family and friends are often the most reliable source for information about the personality of a doctor as well as if the doctor listens well, takes time to explain things and is proactive about prevention (for example, asks about smoking, seat belts, diet, exercise, etc.). Consult professional organizations. There are a number of websites, including the American Medical Association and American Board of Medical Specialties, that provide information for choosing a doctor or health care provider. When you find a doctor or health care provider worth considering, call to ask questions such how long it takes to get an appointment, policies for missed or cancelled appointments, how walk-in or urgent medical needs are handled and approximate waiting room times. While you are asking, you should also learn if they accept the health plan or insurance that you have and if they are accepting new patients.

decision-making and feedback is sought to ensure patient’s expectations are being met.

Patient-Centered Medical Home-NCQA The Patient Centered Medical Home model is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care for children, youth, and adults. PCMH is good for the patient because: • Each patient has an ongoing relationship with a primary care provider who provides continuous and comprehensive care. • Patients actively participate in March 2014

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• The Provider directs a team within the organization who collectively care for each patient. • The integration of diverse services that a patient may need is encouraged in the PCMH model. • Patients are able to achieve their best quality of life working together with their healthcare team. The PCMH model allows the provider & patient to work together to find a plan that fits with the patient’s values and preference. To learn more about this model, visit www.ncqa.org. 44


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How to.... Choose Newspaper Advertising Targeting customers in a media-fragmented marketplace is a continual challenge for many advertisers. The abundance of advertising sources has overwhelmed and divided consumer attention. This means media planners and buyers need the right tools to help them decide on the best allocation of advertising dollars. Ad advertisers strive for an effective media mix, they should know there is on medium that can deliver strength to advertising and marketing strategies. The newspaper continues to be a powerful medium for reaching shoppers in the market for a broad range of products and services. It is a portable and convenient source of advertising information – helping consumers decide where to shop and what to buy. The newspaper delivers customers unlike any other medium each and every day, reaching an array of traditional and emerging markets with unsurpassed advertising impact. Universal coverage, utility and power are the driving forces behind newspaper. And that is why they add value for advertisers! Newspapers offer advertisers alternatives to reach customers – new and potential – with effective messages for long-term awareness or immediate callto-action responses. Whether it's a preprint insert or run-of-paper (ROP) advertising adjacent to select editorial message to the right people at the right time. If we combine frequency measures for ROP and newspaper preprints, we have 90 percent of adults who use one or the other or in combination – a powerful pairing.

Opportunities in Newspapers ROP: Run of Press advertising means an ad placed on the pages of a newspaper. This best-known newspaper advertising option offers short deadlines and

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proximity of editorial that enhances visibility. Preprints: Preprinted inserts offer advertisers the flexibility and control of creating and printing advertising that the newspaper distributes. Niche products/special sections: Newspapers offer a myriad of opportunities where a special marketplace is created to help in targeting an advertiser's best prospects. These products may be inserted into the newspaper or may be distributed in other ways needed to best attract the niche audience.

Highlights The compelling facts below underscore the strength of newspapers: • The majority of adults (57 percent) read a newspaper on an average weekday. • More than six out of 10 adults (64 percent) read a daily newspaper in the past five days. • Newspaper usage is strong among emerging markets – teens and Hispanics. • Customers for many products and services are also the heaviest newspaper readers. • The newspaper provides advertisers with unique targeting opportunities.

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• The newspaper is the most-used advertising source for various store categories. • Newspaper Web sites are highly rated for being useful and informative.

Important Things You Should Know… • Higher-income-earning adults are more avid newspaper readers. • People with higher education are more likely to read newspapers. • People in higher-responsibility professional positions read newspapers more frequently than the average person. • Newspaper advertising can be targeted by section – and reader. • Newspaper advertising can target specific geographic locations. • You can select advertising alternatives from preprint inserts to full- or partial-page ads. • With short deadlines, newspaper advertising can be tailored for immediacy. • Newspapers are portable and convenient. • Newspaper adverting builds business credibility and momentum.

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How to Guide 2014