Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's Happening in Stillwater

This weekend is the big College Fest out at the Tumbleweed. Dirks Bentley is the main headliner for Saturday evening. The weather forecast looks to be outstanding for the entire event. For more information or to get tickets click here!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Buy of the week

What a fantastic home! This roomy three bedroom home is located just a couple of short blocks from the Boomer Lake walking trail and picnic areas. Updates galore and priced to sell at $149,000. 2623 N. Monroe is this week's buy of the week. For more information and more photos click on this link: 2623 N. Monroe

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wonder what happens when your child loses their balloon?

OSU students build and launch a sensor into space

Stillwater, OK--Students from OSU's Radiation Physics Laboratory built and successfully launched a cosmic radiation detector this summer that reached the edge of outer space. Carried by a helium-filled balloon 12 inches in diameter, the detector flew for more than two hours and reached 104,000 feet in altitude. The device recorded radiation levels at the varying altitudes - information that will be used by NASA to develop instrumentation for space flight.

"This is really amazing," said Carl Johnson, a physics graduate student who designed andconstructed the device. "Our detector actually flew to the edge of outer space and then back to ground, and the whole time it workedperfectly."

take off The high-altitude balloon carrying a radiation detector, high-resolution camera, sensors for temperature, pressure and humidity, and a GPS launches from OSU in Stillwater.

In addition to the radiation sensor, the balloon carried a high-resolution camera, sensors for temperature, pressure and humidity, and a GPS module to determine altitude and geographic position. The balloon and instrumentation launched from the Stillwater campus and landed about 10 miles away in Perry. OSU engineering graduate and undergraduate students Joe Conner, Xander Buck and Ryan Paul conducted the launch.

Funded through a NASA EPSCoR grant, this project was overseen by Drs. Eric Benton and Eduardo Yuihara of the OSU physics department and Dr. Andy Arena of OSU department of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Art Lucas of Lucas Newman Science and Technologies also assisted on the design and development of the radiation detector.

Benton said the purpose of the grant is two-fold.

"The purpose of the grant is not only to develop instrumentation for use in space flight but also to promote student interest in science and engineering through experiments with high-altitude balloons," he said. "The best part about the project is that the detector was built from everyday materials and launched into near space from right here in our own backyard. This proves you can accomplish really amazing things with simple materials."

The detector serves as a prototype for radiation detectors that will be included in the Near Space Standard Science Platform, a program used by science students at high schools and colleges around the country conducting research on high-altitude balloons.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

$7500 First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit

Newsflash! With the new housing bill signed into law, there is now a $7500 tax credit available for first time home buyers. But like so many of the good things in life, time is of the essence for buyers who want to take advantage of this outstanding opportunity. Only homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009 are eligible.

Now, let's think about coupling that with the City of Stillwater's $5000 Homebuyer's Assistance program and you are talking about some serious cash.

The $7500 first time home buyers credit is a tax credit and is refundable which means that the home buyer credit can be claimed even if the taxpayer has little or no federal income tax liability to offset. Typically this involves the government sending the taxpayer a check for a portion or even all of the amount of the refundable tax credit. This tax credit is considered a loan and will have to be paid back. Yes, the tax credit must be repaid. Home buyers will be required to repay the credit to the government, without interest, over 15 years or when they sell the house, if there is sufficient capital gain from the sale. For example, a home buyer claiming a $7,500 credit would repay the credit at $500 per year. The home owner does not have to begin making repayments on the credit until two years after the credit is claimed. So if the tax credit is claimed on the 2008 tax return, a $500 payment is not due until the 2010 tax return is filed. If the home owner sold the home, then the remaining credit amount would be due from the profit on the home sale. If there was insufficient profit, then the remaining credit payback would be forgiven.

The city of Stillwater's $5000 assistance program is a loan program that provides a $5000 loan for qualifying applicants that is paid back if the home is sold within 5 years. The loan is forgivable, meaning you don't have to pay it back if you hold the home more than 5 years and is prorated for the 5 year holding period. So if you sold the house in year 4 you would only be required to pay back 20% to release the mortgage.

For more information on the Federal $7500 first time homebuyers tax credit go to:
For more information about the City of Stillwater Homebuyer Assistance program go to: