Archive for: February 4th, 2018

Local News
Slick roads reported throughout the Shenandoah Valley
February 4, 2018
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Roads are slick throughout the Shenandoah Valley and VDOT officials say motorists should avoid travel, if possible. /File photo.

STAUNTON –  A wintry mix of precipitation has blanketed the Shenandoah Valley and Alleghany Highlands, leaving patches of snow, slush or ice on many roadways. As of mid-day Sunday, February 4, most roads are reported in minor to moderate condition. Motorists are advised to avoid unnecessary travel.

Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation are plowing and applying salt as needed, according to VDOT spokesperson Sandy Myers.

Here are the road conditions as of noon. in the 11-county VDOT Staunton District:

Interstate 64 – Moderate conditions in Alleghany and Rockbridge counties. Minor conditions in Augusta County.

Interstate 66 – Minor conditions in Warren County.

Interstate 81 – Moderate conditions in Rockbridge and Frederick counties. Minor conditions in Augusta, Rockingham and Shenandoah counties.

Primary roads – Moderate conditions in Alleghany, Bath, Rockbridge and Frederick counties. Minor conditions in Highland, Augusta, Rockingham, Page, Shenandoah, Clarke and Warren counties.

Secondary roads – Moderate conditions in Alleghany, Bath, Rockbridge, Augusta, Rockingham, Frederick and Clarke counties. Minor conditions in Highland, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties.

For winter weather road conditions go to http://www.511Virginia.org, look at the orange bar on the top of the page and click on “Text Views” and then click on “Road Condition Table”. Look at the pull down box that lists all jurisdictions. In this box individual counties can be chosen to view.

On the go? Then visit VDOT’s Free Virginia 511 Tools to get your 511 app for android or iOS. Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can be accessed through its mobile friendly website at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Agents are on site 24/7 every day of the year to assist the public. People can also call the VDOT Customer Service Center at 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623).

The Staunton District Snow Page is on the VDOT website under Travel Center Snow Emergency Pages. The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton.

The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton. VDOT can be followed on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at http://www.VirginiaDOT.org.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

Road condition definitions:
Severe – drifting or partially blocked road. Snow tires or chains are necessary.
Moderate – snow or ice on major portions of the roadway. Snow tires or chains are advisable.
Minor – bare pavement except for isolated spots of snow, ice or slush. Driving with caution is recommended.

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The danger of financially dependent children
February 4, 2018
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As many as 73 percent of parents with adult kids have given them money during the previous year, according to Time.

It’s one statistic that hints at the reality of young adults who remain financially dependent on parents. According to The Simple Dollar, this is defined as any child that requires constant financial support from their parent to maintain their lifestyle even if they aren’t currently living in the same house.

The situation becomes a financial hardship on parents who will have to work longer years to support themselves as they age.

One of the most common issues with adult children is that they fail to move out on their own, even after college. In fact, Business Insider points out that about 29 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds will move back in with their parents after graduation.

Living at home costs young adults, too. In Australia an estimated 25 percent of young adults aged 20 to 34 still live in the parental home. A household income study revealed that young adults who left home after age 25 earned $6,000 less per year than those who left home earlier, according to the Herald Sun.

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Mortgage interest deduction and the new tax plan
February 4, 2018
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A new tax plan passed by Congress in December 2017 allows taxpayers to deduct mortgage interest up to $750,000.

This is lower than the previous limit of $1 million. The limit only affects new mortgages, not existing mortgages.
Since the median list price of a home is $270,000, most homeowners won’t be affected by the limit decrease.

The new limit is expected to affect about 1.3 percent of new mortgages on very expensive homes, usually in expensive housing markets such as coastal areas.

The new limits on deductions aren’t expected to affect many people nationally, according to realtor.com. That’s because homeowners can only take the deduction if they itemize and only about one-third of taxpayers do that. Of those that itemize, just over 21 percent use the deduction. However, it will affect high-cost markets in local areas.

Experts are divided as to the impact of the new tax plan on housing. Some see the tax changes as encouraging renting in high-cost areas, causing housing prices to fall. On the other hand, with a higher standard deduction, taxpayers in lower brackets could find themselves able to buy a home. That could push prices up, according to realtor.com.