The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 8, 2001 · Page 29
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 29

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Salina, Kansas
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Sunday, April 8, 2001
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Page 29
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SUNDAY APRIL 8, 2001 THE SAUNA JOURNAL PERSONALS / E2 INVESTING / E3 CONSUMER / E4 T FINANCIAL LITERACY FOR YOUTH MONTH Program teaches youth ahout money Most teens don't believe financial issues will have a big effect on their lives By EILEEN ALT POWELL The Associated Press NEW YORK — This month, thousands of bankers will go into the nation's schools to teach children about saving money. State securities officials will be in shopping malls talking about how investing works. And community groups will be lobbying for federal funding to train teachers in basic finance. April, in addition to being tax month, is Financial Literacy for Youth Month. Sponsored by the Washington- based JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, the program aims to equip American kids with the skills they need for day-to-day life, from balancing checkbooks to handling credit cards and building retirement accounts. "Just 10 percent of students graduate from high school with financial education," said Dara Duguay, executive director of the coalition, an umbrella for more than 100 companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and educational groups interested in money and kids. "That means that 90 percent of them are graduating ignorant and often making big mistakes that could be avoided." In theory, some of the educational gap is being filled by parents. This, however, has to be taken with a grain of salt, given parents' history of being better consumers than savers. And kids don't seem to be getting the message. The average score on a money skills test given to more than 800 high school seniors nationwide was a failing 36.6 percent, according to the American Consumers for Education and Competition group in Washington. Two-thirds of the teens said they did not believe financial issues would have a big effect on their lives, and the majority could not select the highest rate savings account or lowest rate loan from a multiple-choice list, ACEC said. "This report card shows that they're ready to go out there and be grownups but don't even understand that what they don't understand is important," said Susan Molinari, a former member of Congress from New York who heads the group. Support sought ACEC's goal this month is to increase grassroots support for HR 61, which is legislation introduced in Congress by Reps. David Dreier, R- Calif., and Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., to provide federal funds to states to develop financial literacy courses in elementary and secondary schools. Meanwhile, JumpStart coalition members are working to give students and their parents at least a bit of financial training this month. Members of the American Bankers Association, for example, will visit thousands of schools April 24 to teach children the value of saving. "These kids grow up to become our customers," said Catherine Pulley, a spokeswoman for the Washington- based trade association. "The habits they learn when they're young, they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives." By mid-April, the association will have a special training program on its Web site, www.aba.com, that parents can use to teach money skills to their children. Citigroup in New York is among the HOME HEAT DETECTORS Selling safety Salinan says his costly system worth the price Bv KARA RHODES Maltbie takes potential By KARA RHODES The Salina Journal Chuck Maltbie Sr. sells protection, he'll tell you. Salina fire officials say he's selling an overpriced system that homeowners don't need. For about a thousand dollars, Maltbie or one of his salesmen will install heat detectors and photoelectric smoke alarms throughout your home. As its name suggests, unlike standard smoke detectors, heat detectors are set off by the presence of high heat rather than smoke. Maltbie started selling the heat detectors this year through his company, Smoky Valley Fire/Safety, located in the offices of Spa's and Such 4 U, 1506 Beverly Spa's and Such is owned by Maltbie's son. Maltbie said the timing, just months after two fire deaths in Salina, was a coincidence. He has been training with the company that sells the system since last summer. That company Triad, is located in Nebraska. Salina Interim Fire Chief Steve Moody and Assistant State Fire Marshal Elena Nuss said while heat detectors work, investing thousands of dollars into a fire-safety system is unnecessary "There's pretty strong statistics that say working smoke detectors in your home — provided they're properly installed and maintained — wiU provide enough early warning for you to get out," Nuss said. "That's the bottom line." Maltbie takes potential clients out for dinner before giving them a presentation about heat detectors, including a video showing why ionization smoke detectors aren't as effective as heat detectors. The most common of smoke detectors, ionization detectors are activated when smoke particles interrupt the electrically charged current in the chamber of the smoke detector. Photoelectric smoke alarms sound when smoke is dense enough to deflect light. The problem, Maltbie said, is a fire can smolder for a long time without setting off an ionization smoke detector. Maltbie said 30 percent of the time a smoke detector won't sound. A portion of the video shows numerous smoke detectors set up over a smoldering couch. It takes minutes, and sometimes more than an hour, before the smoke alarms are activated. Proper attention needed Moody said when most smoke alarms don't work, it's because batteries are dead, missing or disconnected. Studies show homes with smoke alarms have a death rate 40 percent to 50 percent less than the rates for homes without alarms. Maltbie doesn't deny he makes money at what he does, but he said there should be no price on safety See SAFETY, Page E2 TOM DORSEY / Chuck Maltbie Sr. offers homeowners heat detectors for through his company, Smoky Valley Fire/Safety. The Salina Journal about $1,000 T POULTRY INDUSTRY Chicken chain starts with chicks It takes 6 to 7 weeks for baby chicks to be fattened into broilers By B. RAY OWEN Southeast Missourian SIKESTON, Mo. — It used to be the chicks were in the mail, but today's poultry farmers have a much more advanced and elaborate plan for raising chickens. Several southeast Missouri poultry farmers raise chickens for the Tyson Foods plant at Dexter, Mo., where the meat is processed, packaged and shipped to grocers. The chain cranks out more than 30 billion tons of chicken a year — and Sikeston farmer Joe Heckemeyer raises about 1.5 million chicks in a year. It used to be baby chicks were boxed 100 to a crate and sent from hatcheries to the nation's farmers via the U.S. mail. Now, with millions of baby chicks sent out daily from hatcheries, the mode of transportation has changed. The Associated Press Sikeston, Mo., farmer Joe Heckemeyer raises about 1.5 million chicks a year. The chicks arrive by a redesigned school bus, suited just to that task. Sometimes they come to the farm via large vans or tractor-trailers, said Heckemeyer, who received his latest shipment of 190,000 chicks earlier this month. In the next six to seven weeks, the small chirping, bouncing, yellow chicks will fill out to white broilers — fattened to about 5 pounds each. The birds will be trucked from the farm to the Tyson Foods plant at Dexter Tyson, the nation's leading chicken production chain, has farms spread across half the nation that produce more than 30 billion tons of chicken a year. The chicks only stay seven weeks in Heckemeyer's sheds. His half-dozen, 650-foot long chicken sheds house more than 32,000 chickens each. "When the baby chicks arrive they are small, about as big as your thumb," said Heckemeyer. The chicks that arrived late last month had been hatched at Dexter in the morning and taken to the farm in the afternoon. The chicks are counted and medicated and placed in boxes of 100 at the hatchery Under farmer-Tyson contracts, Tyson provides each farmer with thousands of birds and feed. See CHICKS, Page E2 banking organizations that will have employees doing programs in city schools and community centers throughout the year. "We try to keep it practical — how to save for small things, like a bike, and large things, like college, or how you can budget your allowance," said Helen Steblecki, a spokeswoman for Citigroup's outreach program. "In the long run, they can make the right choices for themselves, and the entire community benefits from that." The North American Securities Administrators Association is running Money Matters programs in schools and at malls. Another group, the San Diego- based Institute of Consumer Financial Education has set up hands-on activities for youth, such as the "Are you a good spender?" questionnaire at its site at www.financial education icfe. org. T TRAVEL Branson promotes 'fun value' Businesses are counting on new attractions to lure tourists to Branson area By KATHRYN BUCKSTAFF The Springfield News-Leader BRANSON, Mo. — After bad weather stretching into January put a damper on" this past season, Branson business owners hope new attractions will bring prosperity in 2001. Declining numbers of motorcoach travelers have prompted a re-evaluation of ways to attract visitors, especially families, says Ed Michel, president of Ozark Mountain Sightseeing. "We have for several years centered the selling of Branson around celebrities, and not the Branson experience, and we need to change that," Michel said. "The quality of entertainment is higher here than it's ever been, and the fun value is higher than ever" New "fun value" features this year include: • The $14 million roller coaster "Wildfire" at Silver Dollar City • A $4 million indoor water park. • A new show to woo baby boomers at the Grand Palace — "Cracklin' Rose" — based on the music of Neil Diamond. Ken and Leslie Posey who said they visit Branson a couple of times a year, were in town recently with their three children for a getaway from their home in Fayetteville, Ark. On the agenda: shopping, Dixie Stampede and eating at favorite restaurants. News of the new roller coaster lit a gleam in the eyes of the couple's 9-year- old daughter, Alex. "Does it go upside-down?" she asked. "She's the daredevil," said her sister, Kenlie, 14. Spring travel should be up this year, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Travel Industry Association, which says people are working harder than ever and need vacations. The recent report says Americans will take 147 million trips of 50 miles or more from March through May That's an increase of 1.6 pei'cent over last spring. Accessible, convenient for visitors Even if the national economy slows, "Missouri is still a very good value ahd accessible and convenient," said Lori Simms, communication administrator for the Missouri Division of Tourism. "People who might otherwise have gone further away may stay closer to home." Though Branson retailers are coming off a tough December, in which a Dec. 12 snowstorm caused many businesses to close earlier than scheduled, they are looking forward to a good year. Even with the pre-Christmas dip, Branson's sales tax revenue was up 1.5 percent during the first fiscal quarter of 2001, which includes October through December 2000, from the previous year, said city spokesman Jerry Adams. There are other signs of a good season to come: • Two shows are nearly sold out during the five-day Branson Fest, which ends Monday at the Mel Tillis Theater, said Vicky Hall with the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. The event was expected to bring 25,000 to 30,000 people to town. Hall says. • Sales of season passes for Silver Dollar City are strong, with the roUer coaster garnering national attention. • In the annual survey of the National Motorcoach Network, released in February Branson edged out New York City to head the list of the top 50 motorcoach destinations for 2001. SUGGESTIONS? CA!,1 BRAD CATT, MONEY EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-9P0-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT sjbcatt@saljournal.com

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