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Common cents

Why pay for text messaging when you can get it free?

Shanxi Upsdell

Few discoveries gall me more than paying for something I could have received for free.That's one reason why I chose not to get text messaging with my recent cell phone package. Why pay for texting when I could call?Unfortunately, several of my friends didn't have the same idea, but sent ...

CFL bulbs not what they are touted to be?

Mike Belt

Compact fluorescent light bulbs have been touted as more energy efficient than the standard incandescent bulbs most people use. But CFLs are not suitable for many common uses, according to a recent report by the National Center for Policy Analysis. The NCPA has decided CFLs are more trouble than they ...

Danger, cyberspace ahead

Mike Belt

Danger zone. Enter at your own risk.Perhaps that is a message that should appear on a computer screen each time anybody logs onto the Internet.How dangerous is it?In 2008 an average of 35,000 malware samples were detected each day by Panda Security’s PandaLabs. Of those, 22,000 of them were new ...

Trash pile tells your Christmas Day story

Mike Belt

Christmas gift giving is over and now it’s time to take out the trash.The boxes that contained that new TV, computer or electronic game system have to go somewhere. Usually they get stacked by the alley or the street in the hours before your weekly trash pick up.The National Crime ...

Lawrence foreclosure rate creeps up

Mike Belt

There was a slight increase in foreclosure rates in Lawrence in October, according to the latest information from First American CoreLogic, which monitors national real estate data, but things still aren't as bad as they are nationally.The foreclosure rate among outstanding mortgage loans was 0.50 percent in Lawrence, an increase ...

Top five pocketbook stories of 2008

Mike Belt

We're counting down the top five stories on various topics today as part of an annual recap of the top stories of the year we'll do later this month. Join the conversation by letting us know what we missed or what stories you think are important by posting a comment, ...

New Web site offers money-saving tips

Mike Belt

Kansas Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson has a new Web site designed to help people save money.“Just as the state of Kansas is finding ways to cut back, we understand that people across the state are doing the same,” Parkinson said in a news release. “The guide is just one way ...

Affordable housing rated in university football towns

Mike Belt

Stillwater, Okla., the home of Oklahoma State University, is No. 1 in the Big 12 — when it comes to affordable housing, that is.Coldwell Banker examined the housing markets in towns with the 119 college football bowl subdivision schools and created its college home price comparison index. The company looked ...

How to donate on a tight budget

Mike Belt

When the economy is bad, more people turn to charities for help.A story in today's Journal-World quotes a representative from a local social service agency saying that more people on the upper end of income guidelines are likely to ask for help this year in Lawrence.That story also found that ...

Mortgage underwriters getting stricter

Mike Belt

Ted Haggart cringes when he watches or reads news accounts about a federal "bank" bailout program."It just kind of makes your blood run hotter than normal," said Haggart, Douglas County Bank president and chief executive.That's because most community banks throughout the country, including those in Lawrence, are not the ones ...

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