Gunning Daily News

Word of the Day

September 14, 2013 12:09 am

Appreciation. Increase in property value or worth due to economic or related factors; the opposite of depreciation.

Q: Can the seller also include contingencies in a contract?

September 14, 2013 12:09 am

A: Yes. For example, if you decide to sell your existing home first before buying another one, you can make the sale of your home contingent on finding a replacement home.  Some sellers opt for this contingency to avoid a double move, such as moving to a hotel or rental until a new home is found and made available.

However, there is one problem with this type of contingency: it can inconvenience the buyer, particularly if his own home is in escrow.  He may not be willing to wait for you to move.  

This strategy has a better chance of working when the market is relatively strong, your home is a rare find, the price and terms of the transaction are very favorable for the buyer, or the buyer is in no hurry to move.

Soft Skills Will Help you Land That Next Job

September 14, 2013 12:09 am

BPT—You've polished your resume, updated your references and picked up your best outfit from the dry cleaners. You're ready for that big interview. But while your experience and qualifications may match the position perfectly, have you given any thought to your soft skills?

Soft skills include a person's attitude, workplace behavior, values and ethics. Increasingly, employers are looking at soft skills as the deciding factor when choosing between two applicants.

Harry Weimann, director of education at WyoTech Blairsville and a business owner since 1986, says he wishes he would have learned to look for the appropriate skills long ago.

"As a business owner for many years, I've hired several employees," Weimann says. "Some were talented workers, but I never could pinpoint why I rarely got the person I was looking for. Working for WyoTech opened my eyes to what I was missing - soft skills."

Weimann says employers view an employee who shows up on time, performs the job correctly and respects others as being more valuable in many cases than an employee who is technically competent but shows up late, is sloppily dressed and has a poor attitude. Because of this, employers are looking harder at soft skills when hiring in the current market.

"For some reason, organizations seem to expect people to know how to behave on the job or have the right soft skills," says Weimann. "The assumption is that everyone knows the importance of being on time, being accountable, having integrity and being a team player, but is that fair to expect without communicating that during the interview process?"

When you head to that big interview, you should expect to face some soft skill questions. These may include:

  • What is your definition of integrity?
  • What does it mean to be accountable?
  • What is your definition of common sense?
  • What is your definition of customer service?
  • What are your feelings regarding deadlines?
  • How do you handle high-pressure situations?
  • Tell me an example of how you've resolved a conflict in the past.

Make sure you are able to answer each of these questions with the same accuracy and confidence you would apply to any question about your resume. As employers continue to search for candidates with the right professional and soft skills, it is up to you to prove that you are qualified in both.


Six Simple Ways to Optimize Your Mornings

September 14, 2013 12:09 am

Family Features—Even the most chipper of morning people can sometimes wake up groggy and tired. And if their children wake up feeling the exact same way, mornings can definitely drag. There are, however, little things you can do -- from scheduling exercise at optimal times, to packing protein into breakfast, to planning daily goals -- that will make a big difference.

The following tips will help put that zing in your family's step.

Wake up and work out: Do you start your morning with a healthy dose of exercise? The time you begin your workout matters more than you may think. A study shows that those who work out before eating in the morning burned approximately 20 percent more than those who wait until after breakfast.

Rev up your metabolism: Allow a little extra time in your morning to rev up your metabolism. A short, 20-minute weight lifting session can get your blood pumping and help you burn calories throughout the day. Of course, if you're busy managing the kids in the morning, you can still increase your metabolism just by adding more protein to your morning meal while making sure it's low in calories and carbs.

Make time for breakfast: Never skip breakfast -- not only will that deplete your energy, but it can also negatively impact your health. In fact, recent studies show that those who opt out of breakfast time are at a 27 percent higher risk of having a heart attack. The same study also finds that those who eat breakfast are likely to be healthier eaters overall. This is especially important for children as they develop habits over time. So, help them establish a healthy breakfast habit early. If time is an issue, make breakfast a priority (and a convenience) by filling your pantry with quick, healthy. low-fat options.

Create a checklist: Think of your entire day as a series of small goals and write them down in the morning or the night before. Then cross out tasks as you complete them. Not only will you reduce stress from having a better visual of your family's day, you will feel more productive as you progress through your list.

Shake up the morning: Get out that blender and toss in healthy foods. Breakfast smoothies and shakes are a fast way to get the essential nutrients to jumpstart your day. Plus, they're easy to pour, and they're mobile -- throw in a straw and sip while you walk. Recruit your children to help, and let them have fun mixing up their own tasty creation with fresh fruit like pineapple, banana and blueberries.

Pause: Before you leave the house, take one minute to breathe. Feel good you ate breakfast and warmed up your body with exercise. And don't forget to take your to-do list with you. You never know what opportunities the day will inspire. 


5 Legal Tips If You're Offering Free Wi-Fi

September 12, 2013 6:57 pm

Wi-Fi is slowly becoming like tap water: If your business doesn't want to offer Wi-Fi for free, your customers may see your company as a stingy, anti-technological cretin.

This may be one reason why more and more small businesses are offering free Wi-Fi. In addition to boosting customer good will, gratuitous Wi-Fi acts as a valuable amenity to customer service-based ventures, reports Bank of America's Small Business Community Blog.

But offering anything new, even something for free, comes with its legal nuances. Here are five tips for entrepreneurs thinking about offering free Wi-Fi:

1. Create a Separate Wi-Fi Network for 'Guests.'

Free Wi-Fi for customers does not mean giving out passwords to your business' own Wi-Fi network. Create a separate guest network that provides customers access to the Internet from a router in your location -- one that isn't connected directly to your company's data.

Failing to keep a company's free Wi-Fi network separate from its private network may open your business up to data breaches and the liability that comes with the theft of customers' personal information.

2. Provide Notice of Your Wi-Fi Policy.

While it may be useful to include a "Terms of Service" for free Wi-Fi users to agree to before joining your business' free public Wi-Fi, you may also want to post information about your Wi-Fi policy somewhere in your physical location.

This is especially helpful if you plan on using free Wi-Fi to track customers and their spending habits.

3. Beware Unwanted Data Use.

You may not appreciate customers hogging in-store Wi-Fi with data-heavy streaming like Netflix or Hulu, but you'll appreciate it much less if your customers use your Wi-Fi to download inappropriate material.

Businesses can prevent certain kinds of Internet traffic with a decent firewall with packet filtering.

4. Use a Commercial Internet Account.

If you run a small business with mostly your own resources, it may be tempting to use your own residential internet account for free customer Wi-Fi.

However, a business account may protect you from some liability if your customers start downloading copyrighted materials.

5. Cover Your Bases With a Prepaid Legal Plan.

You may want to have a lawyer review your terms of service for your free Wi-Fi or ask an attorney about your Internet policy.

Bottom line: While offering free public Wi-Fi may pay off for your business, you'll also want to make sure you've taken steps to limit your potential liability.

Source:, LegalStreet


Stop the Spread of Cold and Flu Viruses This School Year

September 12, 2013 6:57 pm

BPT—A new school year is starting and as many parents know, kids are likely to bring home more than their homework at some point. Many catch cold and flu viruses from their classmates, which can then spread to other family members at home. When kids are sick, they miss out on valuable learning experiences and social interactions in the classroom.

On average, elementary school children get eight to 12 colds or cases of the flu each school year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the older kids, it is about half that. That's why it's important that parents, teachers and kids work together to stop the spread of germs in the classroom. Everyone can follow these simple steps to help prevent the spread of germs that can cause cold and flu viruses this school year:

Get vaccinated: Getting a yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in flu prevention. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year to protect against the flu virus.

Stay home when sick: If possible, keep kids home from school when they are sick to help prevent teachers and classmates from catching their illness.

Sing and scrub: Make sure kids wash their hands the right way. They should wash frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice).

Do the elbow cough: Teach kids to cough into elbows, not hands, since hands are more likely to spread bacteria and viruses through touch.

Disinfect germ hot spots: The CDC recommends disinfecting frequently touched surfaces or objects when someone is ill. In the classroom teachers can use a disinfectant approved to kill cold and flu viruses on desks, computer mice and doorknobs.

"Creating a healthier learning environment starts with small actions that add up to a big impact," says Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping children thrive. "Parents play an important role and can lend a hand to teachers by reinforcing healthy lessons at home and donating useful items like tissues, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes."

To provide teachers with the resources they need to help stop the spread of germs in the classroom, the Clorox Company is partnering with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for "Canisters for Classrooms." For every parent that takes the "Canisters for Classrooms" pledge, Clorox will donate a canister of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to a school in need and $1 to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program, which creates healthier learning environments in more than 18,000 schools, reaching 11 million students across the country. To take the pledge and learn ways to help keep your family healthier this school year, visit Parents that take the pledge will also receive a coupon, so that they can donate disinfecting wipes and make a difference in their child's classroom, too.


Car Safety for Kids

September 12, 2013 6:57 pm

Motor vehicles can be dangerous, and when traveling with precious cargo, we know you want to be as careful as possible so everyone stays safe. The following safety tips can help keep your children save when traveling in a car.  

Car Seat Safety

  • Children should be rear-facing until they reach the maximum height and/or weight listed for their given car seat model, usually about the age of two.
  • When using a rear-facing only seat, make sure your car seat base is installed at the correct angle. Babies must ride sitting semi-reclined so their airways remain open. Most infant car seats have built-in angle indicators or adjustors to assist in this process.
  • Any child who has outgrown the weight or height limit for his/her rear-facing car seat should use a forward-facing car seat until they reach either four years old or 40 pounds. A child has outgrown his or her forward facing car seat when the top of his or her ears reach the top of the seat.
  • Always use a five-point harness, and properly position the harness on your child per manufacturer specifications. For rear-facing seats, harness straps should enter the seat below the child's shoulders. For forward-facing seats, they should be at or above the shoulder. Harness straps should lay flat, with no sagging or twisting. The harness must be snug so you cannot pinch a fold in the harness strap at the shoulder after buckling. Place the top of the chest clip at armpit level as chest clips placed too low can cause internal injuries, since this part of the body is not protected by the rib cage.
  • Installations should be tight. You should not be able to move your car seat side to side more than one inch. That said, you should use either the latch system or the seat belt but not both. The car seat should be able to move and flex a small amount to absorb some impact. Car seat harness straps should not be washed. Submerging straps in even plain water can compromise the fire-retardant chemicals that are on them, and using detergents or other cleaning agents can weaken the integrity of the straps.
  • Children should not wear winter coats in harnessed car seats. The added bulk can prevent proper harness tightening. It can also compress during an accident, leaving too much room in the harness and allowing the child to shift dangerously.

Booster Seat Safety

  • All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly. This typically is when they have reached four feet nine inches in height and are between eight and 12 years of age.
  • When using a booster seat, make sure the lap belt lies low and snug across the child's upper thighs, below the hip bones. The shoulder belt should cross the center of your child's chest and shoulder. It should not cut across his/her neck or face. Never put the shoulder belt behind your child's back or under his or her arm.

General Car Safety

  • The safest placement for kids is the center of the backseat. Children younger than 13 who ride in the front seat can risk serious injury – not only from other cars, but from the very airbags that are designed to protect passengers.
  • Be sure to register your child's car safety seat. In the event of a recall, the manufacturer will reach you by mail to let you know of the recall and what steps you should take.
  • Proper installation of child car seats is critical to their function. The Hanover recommends having your seats inspected. For a list of inspection sites closest to you, please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (
  • In the event of a car accident, be sure to check with your independent agent to determine whether your car seat needs to be replaced.


Word of the Day

September 12, 2013 6:57 pm

Qualification. Act of determining a potential buyer’s needs, abilities, and urgency to buy and matching these with available properties.

Q: How Does the Seller Determine What Rate to Provide?

September 12, 2013 6:57 pm

A: The interest rate on a purchase money note is negotiable, as are the other terms in a seller-financed transaction.  To get an idea about what to charge, sellers can check with a lender or mortgage broker to determine current rates on mortgage loans, including second mortgages.

Because sellers, unlike conventional lenders, do not charge loan fees or points, seller-financed costs are generally less than those associated with conventional home loans. Interest rates are generally influenced by current Treasury bill and certificate of deposit rates.

Understandably, most sellers are not open to making a loan for a lower return than could be invested at a more profitable rate of return elsewhere.  So the interest rates they charge may be higher than those on conventional loans, and the length of the loan shorter, anywhere from five to 15 years.

9 Power Foods that Boost Immunity

September 12, 2013 1:18 am

With kids back in school, we enter the season where spreading germs is almost inevitable. It helps to teach kids to wash hands often, and to sneeze into the crook of an arm. But what we eat makes a difference.

From Prevention Magazine comes a list of nine power foods that help boost immunity from colds and flu for every member of the family:

Yogurt – Probiotics, the ‘live active cultures’ in yogurt, are healthy bacteria that keep the intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs.

Oats and barley – The grains contain beta-glucan, a fiber with potent antimicrobials and antioxidants. One or two servings a day in cereal, soup, or other dishes can boost immunity, speed wound healing and help antibiotics work better.

Garlic – Crushed into recipes several times a week, or taken regularly in tablet form, garlic, with its active ingredient, allicin, fights infection and bacteria.

Fish – Salmon and herring are rich in omega-3 fats, which reduce inflammation, increasing airflow and protecting lungs from colds and respiratory infections. The selenium in most shellfish helps white blood cells produce a substance that helps drive flu viruses out of the body.

Chicken soup – Grandma wasn’t lying. Chicken soup acts like a bronchitis drug, blocking the migration of inflammatory white cells. Also, the salty broth keeps mucus thin the same way cough medicines do. Adding garlic and onions can increase immune-boosting power.

Tea - People who drank five cups a day of black tea for two weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting interferon in their blood than those who drank a placebo, in a Harvard study. The amino acid responsible, L-theanine, is abundant in both black and green tea—and in decaf versions.

Beef - Zinc is important for the development of white blood cells, the immune system cells that recognize and destroy invading bacteria and viruses. A three-ounce serving of lean beef provides what you need. Vegetarians should consume zinc-fortified yogurt, milk, cereals.

Sweet potatoes – Skin is a first-line fortress against bacteria and viruses – and healthy skin needs lots of vitamin A. The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes – or other orange veggies, including pumpkin, carrots or squash – is a great way to get it.

Mushrooms – A handful added to pasta sauce, salads, omelets, or pizza increases the production and activity of white blood cells, which effectively help fight infection.