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    Check out these three homes in Ripon listed between $300000 and $800000 – Ripon Commonwealth Press - January 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Check out these three homes in Ripon listed between $300,000 and $800,000 | Real Estate |

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    In this weeks real estate feature, were looking at three homes in Ripon listed between $300,000 and $800,000.

    Take a look:

    Bedrooms: 4

    Bathrooms: 2

    Size: 3,162 sqft

    Lot: 0.39 acre

    Listed by: Century 21 Properties Unlimited


    Walk back in time with this restored Victorian beauty! Extensive updates and remodeling to this beautiful Victorian located on a large corner lot. Variety of living spaces and options in this home and ready for you to move right in! Walk up to the attic that is partially finished! Must see the interior to appreciate it!

    Bedrooms: 3

    Bathrooms: 2

    Size: 1,579 sqft

    Lot: 46.51 acre

    Listed by: American Realtors


    Welcome Home to the Farm! This property includes nearly 50 acres of highly desirable Plano soil and an updated farmhouse with new windows, updated bathrooms including a continental master bathroom, and a main level family room with a wet bar. The outbuildings include: a main barn with hayloft and concrete yard, machine shed, loafing and storage sheds. The Southern lot line is bordered by a municipal street with utilities. Located just 20 miles west of the Fox Valley, Ripon is a prime location for future development.

    Bedrooms: 4

    Bathrooms: 3

    Size: 3,590 sqft

    Lot: 42.12 acre



    Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design. This Prairie Style home offers beautiful country views and spacious interior rooms. Quality can be found throughout the home with the solid wood doors and trim, leaded glass foyer, Granite countertops, radiant in-floor heat in the home and garage. The large and open kitchen is ideal for entertaining and truly very functional with its built-ins and walk-in pantry. Main level owner's suite with a large bedroom, oversized walk-in closet and a spa-like bathroom. There are two additional bedrooms and a full bath on the main level. The lower level has a FR, Rec area, wet bar, bedroom, full bath, storage and 2nd laundry area. LL patio, main level screen porch and expansive deck with great views.

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    Check out these three homes in Ripon listed between $300000 and $800000 - Ripon Commonwealth Press

    New Bath high school construction on budget but behind schedule – - January 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    BATH While the construction of the new Morse High School in Bath is nearing completion, it wont be done as soon as initially planned.

    The high school is scheduled to be handed over to Regional School Unit 1 next month with students resuming classes on Feb. 25, which is later than its initial December target date, according to Cuyler Feagles, RSU 1 clerk of the works.

    Feagles credited the two-month delay to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which arrived in Maine last March.

    Mostly the impact weve had is delayed deliveries from manufacturers, said Feagles. Getting supplies has been much slower as a result of COVID-19.

    Feagles said builders arent able to hire more workers to speed up construction, in part because of COVID-19 limits how many people are allowed in certain parts of the building at a time.The state has also seen an absolutely unprecedented building boom during the pandemic, Feagles said, making it difficult to find workers available to hire.

    This is also a largely state-funded project, and so because of that, workers must follow state COVID-19 guidelines, said Feagles. Work is somewhat slower because we have to take precautions like daily cleaning and having everyone check-in every day now.

    Built by New Hampshire-based Harvey Construction, the school will house Morse High School and the Bath Regional Career and Technical Center. With a total of just over 600 students, Morse High School is the only high school in Regional School Unit 1, which serves Bath, Phippsburg, Arrowsic and Woolwich.

    Patrick Manual, RSU 1 Superintendent, said work is ongoing seven days a week to have the school ready for teachers and administrators to move in in mid-February.

    Harvey construction continues to make steady progress with the new Morse High School/Bath Tech, said Manuel. Students are scheduled to begin classes at the new school on February 25th. We are excited to open this impressive facility that will benefit our students, staff, and the community.

    Once complete, the new school at the Wing Farm Business Park will stand three-stories tall and cover nearly 186,000 square feet, slightly larger than the current Morse High School building on High Street. The school will have two gyms, two athletic fields, and a theater.

    Feagles said a few nonessential portions of the building, including the theater and band room, wont be completely finished when classes resume, but workers will finish them while students are in school.

    The kids have to be in, so those are the least necessary and the easiest to finish while kids are in school, said Feagles. Workers are able to finish work while kids are going about their daily activities. We dont want workers in the middle of their school day.

    Despite being a bit behind schedule, the project remains on budget, according to Manuel.

    The state is funding $67.4 million of the $75.3 million cost; $7.2 million is to be paid locally through borrowing, with $700,000 earmarked from fundraising.

    Once complete, the existing Morse High School will be turned over to the city to be repurposed.The city has three main ideas for how to repurpose the school, all of which involve repurposing some of the building into housing, Assistant Bath City Manager Marc Meyers told The Times Record last November.

    Meyers said the city doesnt plan on changing the brick faade. None of the possible renovations include plans for the theater or gymnasium, as those were sections of the school alumni said they wanted to be preserved.

    While Bath residents and Morse alumni have offered suggestions, Meyers said the jurys still out on what the building will become and theres no firm deadline on remodeling.



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    Masonite International Corporation Appoints John H. Chuang to Board of Directors – Business Wire - January 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Masonite International Corporation (NYSE: DOOR) has appointed John H. Chuang, co-founder and CEO of Aquent, to the companys board of directors effectively immediately. Chuang was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board.

    John has a wealth of experience and insights in change management, talent acquisition and employee development, said Robert J. Byrne, chairman of the board of directors. We are pleased to welcome John to the Masonite board of directors and look forward to his contributions.

    Chuang co-founded Aquent in his dorm room as an undergraduate at Harvard University in 1986. Within five years, he grew the workforce solutions company to the 12th fastest-growing private company in America.

    Over the course of his career, Chuang has been widely recognized for his entrepreneurial leadership and accomplishments, as Boston Business Journals, 40 Under 40, Mass High Techs High Tech All-Star, Ernst and Youngs Entrepreneur of the Year and Staffing Industry Analysts Staffing 100.

    Chuangs thought leadership and expertise has been featured in a number of national media outlets and trade publications, including Fast Company, NPR, The Boston Globe, U.S. News & World Report, The Financial Times, Business Insider and Quartz. He is also a frequent guest on Bloomberg Television, Fox News, Yahoo Finance and CNBC.

    Previously, Chuang served as president of the Massachusetts Staffing Association and as chairman of the board of directors of Angies List. He has also served as a board member for the American Staffing Association and AIGA.

    Chuang earned a bachelors degree cum laude from Harvard University and an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School.

    About Masonite

    Masonite International Corporation is a leading global designer, manufacturer and distributor of interior and exterior doors for the new construction and repair, renovation and remodeling sectors of the residential and non-residential building construction markets. Since 1925, Masonite has provided its customers with innovative products and superior service at compelling values. Masonite currently serves approximately 8,500 customers in 60 countries. Additional information about Masonite can be found at

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    How some LIers are aging in place in the pandemic – Newsday - January 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    When Ellen Connor needed a hip replacement in October, her doctor recommended that rather than being discharged to a rehab facility, because of COVID-19 it would be better to go home after surgery.

    The only problem for the 83-year-old was the flight of 14 stairs to her second-floor apartment in Baldwin. Her adult children recommended a stair lift at a cost of $3,000.

    "When my daughter suggested it, I said Im not doing that. I just didnt think I needed it," Connor said. "But then I thought about it. Even before my surgery it was already hard to get my packages up the stairs and I had to take the steps one at a time. I really do like it. It certainly makes it more comfortable and easier to deal with everyday things like shopping."

    Another change she made to her apartment four years ago also turned out to be good planning: She had the tub she hardly used replaced with a walk-in shower, built-in corner bench and grab bars for safety, as well as a comfort-height toilet. "All these changes are very helpful now," she said.

    Many seniors and their adult children would rather they remain at home, particularly as nursing homes have been hit hard by the pandemic, said Heather Brin, the principal architect of Aging in Place Architecture in Port Jefferson. Even before COVID, according to a 2017 AARP study, 90% of people age 65 and over would prefer to stay in their own homes as they get older and not go to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

    The alternative is aging in place, a term the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as "the ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level."

    Often that means using a universal design, a concept for building, designing or remodeling your home to consider fixes that can prevent injuries, sickness, discomfort and avoidable fatalities. The problem on Long Island, said Brin, is that many homes were built in the 1960s with lots of levels, intended for young families. That can mean to age in place will require home renovations.

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    This was the consideration two years ago for Lynn Spinnato when it became clear that her widowed mother and mother-in-law, both in their eighties, needed to move in. She and her husband decided on a one-story extension to the rear of their existing two-story historic house in East Setauket. The addition, which required getting town permits, included two new bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and a common living space. Its separated from the existing house with a barn door with a moon-shaped window.

    "They liked having that space as a private area. Even though they're older and you want to be able to watch them, they liked that independence; it was very important to them," said Spinnato, whose mother has since passed away.

    Dont wait to assess those future needs. "Preparing for the future is always better if you can do it during the calm. Smarter decisions are made when its not an urgent situation," said Kim Kuester, owner of 101 Mobility in Farmingdale, which sells and rents mobility equipment such as stair lifts, elevators and ramps.

    "There are so many falls and complications that can be avoided by taking some very simple and inexpensive steps," said Lisa Stern, assistant vice president for senior and adult services at the Mineola-based nonprofit FCA, formerly known as Family & Childrens Association, which offers case management, financial counseling and other services for seniors.

    In some cases, federal, state and local agencies can help low-income seniors modify their longtime homes. "You can also consider a reverse mortgage and Medicare will pay for medical equipment," Stern said. "People don't want to spend money on renovating their house, but the cost of putting some small things in place might be less expensive than if you were to go to an institutional facility."

    Universal designs dont have to be extensive. Stern said its about assessing your situation and making modifications that work for your space. When evaluating your home for future needs consider these five factors.

    Ideally your home has an existing first-floor bedroom and bath, but if not, this may be a renovation to look into. Jolanda Schreurs in Port Jefferson is in the process of reviewing plans with Brin to renovate a ground floor bedroom and adjacent bathroom for her 90-year-old mother who will be moving in this year. The plans include wider doorways for walker/wheelchair access and a first-floor laundry room. "We are creating a space for both the immediate needs of my mother as well as for my husband and myself as we consider our future," said Schreurs, 63.

    Assess the entrances to the house. How many steps do you have and could you ramp it if needed? Are there handrails? Can you enter through the garage and if so, is there a threshold to get over? Brin said these are considerations to be aware of while youre still mobile.

    Furthermore, if youre doing any renovations, consider widening the doorways to the ADA recommendation of a clear opening of 32 to 36 inches for wheelchair passage. "Doors to bathrooms and bedrooms are the priority," Brin said.

    She also recommends replacing doorknobs with ADA lever door handles, which are easier to use if someone has grip issues. The cost to replace the doors can start at about $185 for materials and labor; lever handles are about $30 for materials and labor.

    When getting in and out of your home becomes a problem or getting to another floor there are several solutions.

    When Renee Romeros 86-year-old mother broke her leg in two places, she had to figure out how her mother was going to navigate the two sets of steps to the main floor of her West Babylon home. "The house has four steps, a landing and then 10 steps, so we had to connect them with two stair lifts," she said. She got two pre-owned stair lifts, which are about $2,350 each.

    Other solutions for dealing with steps indoors and outdoors include threshold ramps, a wedge that gets you over the door jamb for as little as $60, and modular ramps that cover the steps to your front door.

    Kuester said, "We have to watch the pitch and the slope so that it's not too steep for people. Sometimes we have to add a platform. Every house is different." The average cost to install a new ramp is $3,000 to $4,000. Pre-owned and rentals are available for less.

    Stair lifts can be used inside and outdoors and a base model is $2,895 and can be rented or bought. Kuester said that when a stairway isnt straight, or you need to connect it to another one like in a split-level house, there are curved stair lifts, which are customized. They start at around $12,000.

    There are also motorized vertical platforms that start around $6,000 and usually are the height of four to six steps. Flex steps convert four to seven steps into a platform for a wheelchair that lifts. The cost starts around $20,000.

    Or consider a home lift, or elevator, that can be installed, usually behind stairs or through closets. The cost starts in the mid-$20,000 range.

    Michael Shapiro, 78, had an electric elevator installed in his Massapequa home in October for a cost of $30,000. "We have four stories and my wife has a bad leg so doesnt do stairs well and I have bad knees and we figured why wait until it gets so bad we cant do anything? The elevator was fitted into a coat closet with half in and half extending out, so no real room was lost. It goes from the second floor to the fourth floor where the bedroom is."

    Brin said there are simple steps you can take during your next update to prepare for ease of use and safety in the future.

    "When you do general maintenance or updating, that's the opportunity to think about future-proofing," Brin said. "That means, for instance, if you're opening up bathroom walls, you put a nailing block at a height of approximately 36 inches above the finished floor behind the Sheetrock. You can do that in the shower area and near the toilet. If sometime in the future you need to put in some grab bars, you can screw them right through the tiles or Sheetrock into the nailing block. Before you tile it over, take pictures to see exactly where it is."

    You can do the same behind the bathroom vanity in case you need a wall-mounted sink in the future to slide a wheelchair under. Brin suggests tiling under a floor-mounted vanity so that if you do need to remove it, the floor wont need to be repaired.

    If youre putting in a new toilet, rather than a standard height, which is 15 inches, Brin recommends installing a comfort-height toilet, which is 17 to 19 inches and starts at about $200 for labor and materials.

    You can also replace a tub with a low threshold or no threshold shower as Connor did.

    Brin said when renovating your kitchen, consider areas that can easily be changed in the future. For instance, many kitchens have desks. "That desk works well for a wheelchair so it has a dual function," she said.

    Rather than putting the microwave above the stove, consider putting it at counter height. The counter area near the sink could have removable cabinets underneath.

    "The biggest issue with future-proofing is to have the components there and you don't necessarily have to go all the way to install them, but you have the option to pull something out and put something else in," Brin said.

    For resources for seniors who are considering modifying their homes, contact:

    These three organizations can do safety assessments as well as construction:

    By Liza N. Burby Special to Newsday

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    How some LIers are aging in place in the pandemic - Newsday

    GEVS State of the District highlights programs, projects – The Highland County Press - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    By Angela ShepherdGEVS

    Last week, the Greenfield Exempted Village School District presented its inaugural State of the District address, which highlighted district details, ongoing programs, how data and information are shared, and projects the district will move forward on.

    Superintendent Quincey Gray opened the virtual presentation, beginning with some district details: it covers 164 square miles, includes two outlying elementaries in addition to the main campus located in Greenfield, and there are currently 1,950 students enrolled in the district with 13 percent having disabilities and 59 percent considered economically disadvantaged.

    Later, Gray discussed a couple projects that are planned to begin soon and a couple other projects that are on the horizon, but as yet have no set start time.

    A project that was initially slated for last spring, but was held up due to the pandemic, is the locker room expansion and new gym lobby renovation. This project is now set to begin this spring.

    It will consist of extending the east side of the new gym facade out into the courtyard, allowing more room on the first floor to add ticketing and a concession area, and more space on the second floor for additional locker room space in both the girls and boys areas.

    The additional locker room space will provide more appropriate changing areas for not only home and visiting athletes, but also for student members of the drama department during productions. The plans also include renovation of the restrooms in the new gym lobby.

    Another project that has been in the works is also set to begin this spring, and that is the development of the practice field, which is a block from McClain High School.

    The plans show that the west end of the property by Eighth Street is where the new bus garage, capable of housing 20 buses and containing three maintenance bays, will be built. The building will also include storage for athletics, band, and district maintenance.

    Moving east on the property there will be a full-size football field with a 70-yard football field next to it. Parking will remain along most of the McClain Street side of the property. And two new paved basketball courts will be placed on the northeast corner. There are currently two basketball courts at the southwest corner of the property that see much community use. It is important to the school district to be able to keep that aspect. Shaded elements will also be a part of the development.

    There are two other projects that were discussed, but neither have a timeline as yet.

    The first is the development of the schools property off of north Fifth Street to include soccer, softball, and baseball fields. The second is the renovation and remodeling of the current bus garage into an athletic facility.

    Greenfield Elementary Principal Bob Schumm presented information about leadership teams across the district. Those are a District Leadership Team (DLT); a Building Leadership Team (BLT) in each of the elementaries, the middle school, and the high school; and Teacher-based teams (TBT).

    The DLT is composed of administrators, teachers and certified staff who meet monthly to review data, listen to input from building leaders, and make decisions for the district. Information from the DLT goes to the BLTs where it is reviewed with building-specific needs. Then TBTs receive the information, which then goes to all teachers.

    Schumm said the district has worked many years to have a clear path in idea-sharing and information from the top of the district to the individual teachers.

    Next up, McClain Principal Matt Shelton gave an overview of the districts Visible Learning Plan, which was implemented this year.

    The plan is multi-year, and its during this first year that the focus is on learner dispositions and clarity in teaching and learning, which are foundational blocks in building visible learners. The initiative is district-wide and across all grade levels.

    Clarity is setting clearly defined steps for learning, and through the process employing the learner dispositions: taking ownership, embracing challenges, persevering, continually growing, and being engaged.

    Special programs director Heather Dratwa spoke about the responsibilities of her office. Among those are assisting students with special needs to get the needed support and the resources to achieve and be successful. Additionally, the pre-school program is through this office. The National Network of Partnership School grant, which focuses on parental involvement and fostering home/school relationships, is also administered through this office.

    More information on the Special Programs office can be found on the district website at Scroll over the Our District tab, and in the drop-down menu choose Special Programs.

    Transportation supervisor Bradley George provided an overview of district transportation, which on a daily basis consists of 18 buses and two vehicles covering a total of 2,152 miles and carrying 1,084 students to and from school. He commended the drivers for their excellent job, especially with this years added tasks of temperature checking all students and cleaning and sanitizing the buses after students are unloaded.

    If anyone has any questions, the transportation office can be reached (937) 981-2620.

    Gray provided a COVID-19 update in the presentation, which included infection rates since August 2020. Those are: 1.2-percent of students have tested positive for the virus, which is 23 students out of 1,950 total students; 8 percent of staff members have tested positive for the virus, which is 20 out of 250 total staff.

    She also spoke about recent research on COVID-19 spread in schools and this leading to the state announcing that if students are masked and distanced in a traditional classroom setting or on a school bus, then the students near a student who tested positive do not have to be quarantined. These new guidelines, however, do not apply to things like lunch, recess, and extracurriculars.

    As a reminder, there is a COVID-19 tracker available on the districts website. Go to, then scroll over the Our District in the banner. The tracker is in the drop-down menu.

    To watch the State of the District address, find it on the districts Facebook page or on the website.

    District information and updates can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and on the district website. Information is also routinely communicated through the districts all-call system, Remind messaging, FinalForms, and the district newsletter, which is distributed following the conclusion of each quarter. Additionally, the superintendent offers Coffee and Crumbs sessions where the public is invited to ask questions. The next one, which will be a Facebook live session, is scheduled for Jan. 22 at noon and can be accessed on the districts Facebook page.

    We strive to communicate information and to be as transparent as possible, Gray said, encouraging all those who have questions, to ask.

    For district information and updates, go to the district website at, go to the districts Facebook page, or Instagram and Twitter. The individual buildings also have Facebook pages. The districts central office may be reached by calling (937) 981-2152.

    I greatly appreciate the daily hard work of our staff members, and it was nice for some of our team to share about the wonderful things going on in the district, Gray said later. We look forward to holding a public event next year during which guests can attend and ask questions.

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    GEVS State of the District highlights programs, projects - The Highland County Press

    Features found in older homes – News from southeastern Connecticut – - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    When searching for a home, shoppers have may have an idea of where they want to live and what type of house they want to buy. A new house is fashionably designed, fresh and pristine with all construction and mechanicals up to code. Consequently, new houses will likely have a higher price tag than older homes in the same area that might be missing some modern conveniences or in need of upgrades or even a total renovation. However, some shoppers believe that older homes are full of personality, history, charm and unique features that new houses don't have. Here are some features that can be found in older homes:

    Coal chute door

    During the 19th century coal was a common home heating fuel. Old houses of that era had openings built into the foundation for coal delivery where the delivery person would open the coal door and insert a chute from back of the truck that allowed the coal to roll from the truck into the basement. Jamie Wiles, writing for explains, "Delivery drivers brought coal to each home on the street, sort of like fossil-fuel-toting milkmen. They'd open an iron door that led to the basement and toss in the coal, which would tumble into a collection bin." The homeowner would shovel the coal into the nearby boiler. The small iron doors can still be found on some old houses although they've probably been sealed for decades.

    Ice door

    Another small door that might be found on the outside of an old house is the ice door. Before electric refrigerators were a common home appliance, ice was delivered to homes in a large block and then stored in an ice box in the kitchen or pantry. The ice delivery person would insert the block of ice through the ice door directly into the ice box for homeowner's use. Alexa Erickson writing for says, "Homes had an area in the pantry or kitchen dedicated to the icebox. Access was created for this door on the exterior, allowing for the delivery of fresh ice to the house without coming inside." A small sign would be set into the window if the homeowner needed ice. If the sign wasn't in the window the driver would know not to stop.

    Butler's pantry

    If you've toured any of the Newport Mansions or watched the PBS show or movie, "Downton Abbey" you may have noticed the butler's pantry. Jess McBride writing for says, "Butler's pantries were a common feature of estates during the Victorian and Edwardian ages, and housed the family's fine china and silver." However, butler's pantries can be found just off the kitchen in much smaller middle-class houses of the era as well.

    While there may not be a butler employed in the house, the space can still be used for silver and dinnerware. Alternatively, the butler's pantry can be remodeled and modernized, repurposed or removed completely. Anita Costa and Alexa Erickson writing say, "While many homeowners today ask their architect and remodeling contractor to remove an existing butler's pantry in favor of a larger eating area, some people have revived the pantry with new, more modern purposes." The space can be used as additional cabinet space for kitchen storage, counter space for food prep, a built-in wine cooler or other homeowner needs.

    No closet space

    Although there's a common story that closets were intentionally excluded in the design and building of old houses because they would be taxed as rooms, the Real Estate Buyers Agent's Council of the National Association of Realtors (REBAC) claims there is no evidence, at least during colonial times, to prove this to be true. REBAC instead suggests, "Many older homes are long on architectural details, but short on closet space. At the time historical homes were built, most individuals didn't own more than a few articles of clothing, greatly reducing the need for closet storage." An old house homeowner can create needed storage space to compensate for the lack of closets. Closets can be built into corners of rooms and armoires and shelving units can be installed along walls.

    No hallways

    Hallways that serve as a way to reach each individual bedroom don't exist in many old houses. Each room will instead have two or three doors to enter and exit from different adjoining rooms. Elizabeth Finkelstein writing for explains, "Historically, each room tended to have a very particular use, so it was advantageous to keep them separate. There was a practical element to this, too: The ability to close doors between rooms also helped heat and cool the homeno sense wasting energy in rooms weren't being used." Before central heating was common one room could be heated with a stove or fireplace for the entire family to share. This floorplan may be fine for the lower level of the house where the rooms are generally shared for meals and socializing. However, privacy is forfeited in the upper levels that consist of bedrooms with no private entrances.

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    Features found in older homes - News from southeastern Connecticut -

    Worth a Thousand Words: Not-so-gently down the stream – - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Like many people, I have gone through the process of cutting the cord and going with streaming services for my television viewing. I did this last spring not necessarily because I was displeased with my cable company. In fact, I find this company to be extremely good, with excellent customer service whenever I have needed them.

    Also like many people, I found myself wanting to get proactive in certain areas of my spending, and there was multiple streaming services that could at that time provide similar channel selection for a much lower price.

    However, the key words in that sentence is at that time. Anyone who knows me can figure out a decent chunk of my television viewing is sports, especially local teams. So it should come as no surprise that a deal-breaker with any of my service providers would be the inclusion of channels such as ESPN and more importantly, Fox Sports North (FSN). Thats where things have gotten tricky as of late.

    I had chosen YouTube TV because not only did they seem to have the most of my preferred channels, but they were also the least expensive option. Over the summer, I was quite satisfied with them. But then the Minnesota Twins season ended and shortly afterward, it was announced YouTube TV was dropping FSN due to a contract dispute with their parent company.

    Initially, I figured it wasnt that big of a deal since without the Twins, Wild, or Gophers currently playing, I at least temporarily could keep with YouTube TV, saving a few bucks before switching to Hulu Live, the only other streaming service offering FSN, once the NHL announced when their season would start. That plan lasted about one month until Hulu also announced they were dropping FSN for the same reasons.

    That left me with the prospect of having no choice but to bite the financial bullet and go back cable. And while, like I said, I had no issues with them, there was now also the unappealing prospect that based on how my apartments remodeling reconfigured my living rooms layout, I would have to snake a cable along the baseboard in able to hook up my TV. I would much prefer to utilize my wifi, whose router is neatly tucked away in a corner behind one of my chairs.

    As I was entering the time when I would have to formally make the switch back in order to catch the Wilds season opener, I did find one last streaming option. AT&T Now has sprung up as the only streaming service that still does carry FSN. But it is more expensive to the extent it might even be more expensive than cable. So I put a call into the cable company, got their best offer, and did a little number crunching. It turns out AT&T Now is $10 less expensive, although besides FSN, they do offer considerably fewer other channels.

    A quick look through their listings revealed only a couple stations missing that I really only watch when there is nothing else worth watching. And, thanks to a Christmas gift, I do now also have Disney Plus at my disposal. So Im going to stick with streaming, with the hopes YouTube TV can settle their dispute with FSN and I can smoothly switch back to my originally preferred streaming service.

    But there is also the prospect AT&T will follow the same path as other streaming services and drop FSN. In that case, I will literally and figuratively be back to being hooked on cable.

    BILL STICKELS III is editor of the Isanti-Chisago County Star. He can be reached at 763-689-1181 ext. 107 or

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    Worth a Thousand Words: Not-so-gently down the stream -

    $18 million jail renovation, expansion expected to move forward – Sentinel-Tribune - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Wood County Commissioners are being asked to take the handcuffs off an $18 million jail expansion and renovation.

    The project was proceeding early last year when the pandemic hit, putting a hold on most county projects.

    We were very close a year ago, said Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn in a presentation to the commissioners on Tuesday.

    I get it, no one wants to spend money on jails, he said. But its very important that we have a facility that we can have a clean, safe, healthy environment.

    He said there is still a need for additional female housing, more cells in general and the renovation of the booking/medical area.

    If anything, the needs from the mental health standpoint have increased, Wasylyshyn said of the timetable.

    He gave an example of an inmate who had been at the jail for weeks, waiting for a psychiatric bed to open. When it was available, he was transported there, Wasylyshyn said.

    They called us 12 hours later and said this person is too violent for our mental hospital, come take him back to your jail, he said. Its very difficult on our staff. Were not set up to have someone with serious psychiatric issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    The proposed renovation and expansion would provide more secure cells to hold inmates. It would also have new female housing.

    The expansion would be south of the current facility, which is on East Gypsy Lane Road, toward U.S. 6.

    The total population of the jail has decreased from an average of 170 to 125, mostly due to the pandemic. The jail capacity is 220, which includes 86 cells. The Wood County Jail is currently not accepting inmates from outside areas, Wasylyshyn said.

    Capt. Rebecca McMonigal said dont let the population numbers reflect on the jails needs.

    It may sound like were doing well, but were not, because we have more mental health inmates, she said. And we have the worst of the worst inmates, and those inmates require the most expensive real estate that we have in the jails, which is the cells.

    The renovation will double the number of secure beds.

    In the booking area, there are currently five holding cells. With the renovation, they will have seven-10 including separate male and female bullpens.

    There will also be dedicated holding cells for inmates heading to court and four additional medical cells.

    Commissioner Doris Herringshaw said that the board will most likely act soon on the sheriffs proposal.

    We have been tucking away money, knowing we would have to do some renovation, Herringshaw said.

    Weve been working on this since 2005, so Im really excited that were hopefully getting closer, Wasylyshyn said. If youre asking me if the need is still there today absolutely. We would not be here if this wasnt the right thing for the citizens.

    He said this addition would last 20 years or more, and no additional staff would be needed to operate it.

    The way this is designed, we will really be able to utilize a lot of beds better than what were utilizing them today, he said.

    Wasylyshyn said that no levy or tax increase is needed.

    Were very fortunate, thanks to the commissioners and being conservative, he said. I know its a lot of money, but its the right thing thats going to carry us out for many, many years to come to make it a safer and better facility.

    Last year at this time, Wachtel & McAnally, Newark, had been selected to design the jail expansion. Just a few weeks later, the pandemic hit, shutting down most projects.

    A cost had not been determined yet for the architect fees.

    Some of the previous estimated costs were $6.7 million for renovating the existing intake area into a medical office for $957,710, remodeling existing minimum security dorms to create a female housing area for $2.9 million, and building a new mechanical room for $425,600.

    Go here to see the original:
    $18 million jail renovation, expansion expected to move forward - Sentinel-Tribune

    5 Best Handyman in Columbus – Kev’s Best - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Below is a list of the top and leading Handyman in Columbus. To help you find the best Handyman located near you in Columbus, we put together our own list based on this rating points list.

    The top rated Handyman in Columbus are:

    Ace Handyman Services Northeast Columbus offers a variety of packages all designed to help you love your home. From basic improvement to home enhancements, to those tasks in your home you simply never think about, they have you covered. At Ace Handyman Services Northeast Columbus they are dedicated to helping landowners get the most from their possessions.

    They strive to be your source for finishing home advancement projects in northeast Columbus and its surrounding communities as well as Westerville, Gahanna, Sunbury, New Albany, Johnstown, Galena, and Blacklick. They put their training, skill, experience, and knowledge to work so that you may enjoy beautiful and long-lasting results.


    Carpentry, Doors & Windows, Furniture Assembly, Drywall Repair, Installation, Repair & Upkeep, Painting & Staining, Remodeling, Aging In Place


    Phone:(614) 839-8457Website:


    We were having new flooring put into our laundry room. The installers recommended ACE (Keith and Tim) to prepare for the floor installation to remove all the equipment and return it once the floor was complete. They removed the slop sink, drip pan, washer and dryer in quick order. Floor was installed and they returned a couple of days later to put it back together. They were respectful of the house, putting down coverings, wearing shoe coverings and masks the whole time they were in the house. The work was done efficiently and corrected some builder mistakes while they were at it. Also communications on estimates, arrival times was great, no guessing when they would show. I can recommend ACE Handyman for your needs or even a second opinion on what might need to be done. Steven L.

    Grove City Handyman Services is skilled professionals that can manage just about regardless of size task, repair, or home improvement effectively and with fair and reasonable costs. They are reliable and trustworthy and will get the job done right for your home. As the local handyman of preference, they appreciate their local community for trusting Grove City Handyman Services as they are dedicated to providing, and are a proven timely, reliable, and skilled choice of homeowners. And yes, they are insured and bonded. They offer their handyman services to all of Grove City, Columbus, and Franklin county neighborhoods.


    Repairs, Maintenance, Improvements & Odd Jobs


    Phone:(614) 482-4070Website:


    Reliable and thorough. You cant find a better handyman service than this. Matthew J.

    Man of All Trades Home Improvement & Handyman Services serves all of central Ohio with quality home improvements and handyman services. Their skilled team is devoted to meeting and surpassing the maximum standards of general construction and maintenance. From a new coat of paint to rewiring your new home, they have fun making your space look great and function with complete comfort.

    They are licensed and they offer senior citizen discounts. Contact them anytime for more information about their services, as they can customize them to meet your specific needs. Man of all trades is a complete service, universal contracting, and handyman service. They are aiming to develop long-term relationships with homeowners, landlords, realtors, contractors, and management companies. etc.


    Drywall Installation & Repair, Remodeling, Kitchens, Baths, Outdoor Living Spaces, Outdoor Kitchens-Fire Pits, Landscaping, Building & Additions, Window & Door Replacement, Finish Basements & Decks, Painting-Trim, Flooring, Building Maintenance, Handyman Services, Water Damage & Restoration, Mold Removal, Plumbing Repairs, Concrete Repair/Replacement, Decorative Pavers, Retaining Walls


    Phone:(614) 806-4232Website:


    Did a very good job! Arrived on time and made sure I was satisfied. I will use them again. Tiffanie G.

    Handyman Services Plus can provide you with a superb home repairs service so you can keep your house up and running. They will help you transform an outdated room into a modern comfort with their many remodeling services. With Handyman Services Plus, your universal builder will be skilled in many areas and will gladly come to your home to fix anything.

    If you are in need of anything from roofing to window installation, they are the company that can help you. Their home improvements and repairs service have earned them a recognizable reputation in Columbus, turning visions into reality. With their experience and expertise, you can trust that all of your repairs and home renovations are in good hands with them.


    Kitchen Remodeling, Bathroom Remodeling, Basement Remodeling, Siding Contractor, Plumbing, Storm Damage, Handyman Services


    Phone:(614) 288-8341Website:


    I would recommend Handyman Services Plus to anyone who is looking for above quality workmanship, honest estimates, and timely completion times. Working with Brian was great, I would never look any further for any project in my home, thanks to Brian and the boys. Roger S.

    Punch Out Plus LLC is a home reconstruction company that began as the dream of a small boy. At age 7, the owner Don Britton began working on job sites with his father and grandfather, both expert carpenters. Over the years the three worked on a number of remodeling and home improvement projects from large to small. The Punch Out list is a list of tasks requiring a wide range of expertise in new-build homes.

    Dons prestige for dependability and quality work began to spread among the new home builders and the size and type of jobs he was presented with, grew along with his reputation. Today, still a family-managed and operated business, Punch Out Plus, LLC has grown into a full-service remodeling company that can address all of your home repair and residential remodeling needs.


    Handyman Services, Home Repair, Carpentry Services


    Phone: (614) 871-5985Website:


    Jeremy and team did a great job installing drywall at my business. Fast, clean, and great value. Thank you. John P.

    Shera Elliott graduated from the New Mexico State University with a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior & Health Care Management. Shera grew up in Los Angeles, but moved to Las Cruces for college. Shera has written for several major publications including the Albuquerque Journal and NPR. Shera is a community reporter and also covers stories important important to all Americans.

    View original post here:
    5 Best Handyman in Columbus - Kev's Best

    Building Held Its Own | Community – Yankton Daily Press - January 15, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A number of smaller projects, robust housing unit builds and an uptick in do-it-yourself (DIY) work helped ensure a better-than-expected year for Yankton on building permits in 2020.

    Though 2020 lacked some of the major projects that have dominated the last five years, 2020 saw the city permit projects worth $32,405,693 in valuations, just above the $30 million 10-year valuation average.

    Community & Economic Development Director Dave Mingo told the Press & Dakotan that this wasnt seen as a sure thing as 2020 began.

    We had some worries in the beginning of the year regarding materials pricing and things like that which we thought might have a negative impact on peoples investments in property improvements, Mingo said. For the most part, that was not the case. Home improvement projects kind of carried the day a little bit.

    He said to do as well as the city did was unexpected, but not unwelcome.

    I had braced myself for news that wasnt near as good as it ended up being, he said. Im happy that people still had confidence to invest in their property and continue on with projects at a level above our 10-year average. To me, that was the biggest surprise of 2020. I thought we were going to end up maybe 20% down or even more.

    Mingo said it wasnt just improvements to property that helped, though.

    From a housing unit standpoint, we had an excellent year, he said. There were 82 housing units created and that includes all types of housing single-family all the way through apartments.

    Though not technically counted as housing units, 2020 also marked the first addition of congregate living units to Yankton since 2014 thanks to the new Mount Marty University (MMU) residence hall, the Rickenbach Suites. This structure brought 96 units of congregate living to Yankton.

    Thats a lot of new beds in the community and a lot of space for people to reside, Mingo said. Having those 96 units up at Mount Marty, of course, helps keep our workforce housing more available to those folks rather than where those students might have taken space.

    The last few years have seen some major projects approved that helped the city set permitting records, including the expansion of the 1972 water treatment plant, the Ruth Donohoe First Fieldhouse at MMU and the initial phases of the Westbrook Estates project.

    While 2020 didnt have any projects quite as large as these, some permits that helped boost valuations included the MMU dorm, new townhomes in the Fox Run neighborhood, Horizon Health clinic, a new equipment room addition at Cimpls, the Lewis & Clark Veterinary Clinic, the new Dairy Queen on Broadway Ave., remodeling at the Yankton Medical Clinic and NorthWestern Energys new facility on the north side of Yankton.

    Mingo said the COVID-19 pandemic didnt really have much of a direct impact on building permits, though it may have encouraged some of the DIY projects seen throughout the city.

    It seems like there were more DIY home improvement or remodel projects that we issued, he said. The contractors that do those sorts of projects were over-booked and tough to find if you were looking to get a project done.

    Looking ahead to 2021, Mingo said hes thinking conservatively and that valuations will be around average, with housing sliding somewhat.

    Im hoping that we can maintain somewhere near that 10-year average, he said. I dont envision a scenario where we match that same number of housing unit permit issuances, I think well be down a little bit from where we were in 2020. But I still think well be pretty close to our 10-year average on that, which is in the 50s (housing units) range for single-family housing.

    However, he said some larger projects could begin to materialize soon.

    There are a couple of larger commercial projects that are under review right now, so were hoping they can come to be, he said.

    Follow @RobNielsenPandD on Twitter.

    Read more:
    Building Held Its Own | Community - Yankton Daily Press

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