Springfield Wednesday Newsletter: April 1, 2020
Since all events, meetings, and gatherings are cancelled for the foreseeable future, the Springfield newsletter will bring you news of announcements, important updates, fun tips, and maybe a joke or two. Check in for current information of up-to-the minute news. We’ll do what we can to make it through these times. Hang in there everyone!
BEWARE OF COVID-19 CYBER SCAMS AND THREATS
Malicious cyber threat actors are capitalizing on the global attention surrounding the novel 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) to facilitate scams, distribute malware, and send phishing emails. Threat researchers have identified several dozen malware variants, threat actors are targeting and preying on people’s fears over the pandemic.
The FBI reports scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money and your personal information, or both. Protect yourself and do your research or report to your Information Security team before clicking on links purporting to provide information on the virus; donating to a charity online or through social media; contributing to a crowdfunding campaign; purchasing products online; or giving up your personal information to receive money or other benefits. The FBI advises you to be on the lookout for the following:
- FAKE CDC EMAILS - Watch out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or other organizations claiming to offer information on the virus. Do not click links or open attachments you do not recognize. Fraudsters can use links in emails to deliver malware to your computer to steal personal information or to lock your computer and demand payment. Be wary of websites and apps claiming to track COVID-19 cases worldwide. Criminals are using malicious websites to infect and lock devices until payment is received.
- PHISHING EMAILS - Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information to send you money. Phishing emails may also claim to be related to charitable contributions, general financial relief, airline carrier refunds, fake cures and vaccines, and fake testing kits.
- COUNTERFEIT TREATMENTS OR EQUIPMENT - Be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19. Be alert to counterfeit products such as sanitizing products and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full face shields, protective gowns, and gloves. More information on unapproved or counterfeit PPE can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh. You can also find information on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website, www.fda.gov and the Environmental Protection Agency website, www.epa.gov. Report counterfeit products at www.ic3.gov and to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination website at iprcenter.gov
Below are some examples of the phishing emails related to COVID-19. There are many others, please be careful and think twice before clicking or opening attachments!
A phishing campaign, centered around purported advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was first reported in early February 2020. This campaign, which utilized the URLs cdc-gov[.]org and cdcgov[.]org, employed convincing phishing emails that claimed the CDC had “established a management system to coordinate a domestic and international public health response”
Also in mid-February 2020, a phishing campaign spreading a well-known credential stealer was reportedly using shipping industry concerns as the theme. While the specific threat actors remain unidentified, they are likely from Russia or Eastern Europe. At the same time, another likely related campaign utilizing a credential stealer was amplifying COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories allegedly tied to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Australian Medical Association, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and several private companies.
Fort Report Column: Coronavirus––Your Questions and Answers
By Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
The Cares Act just passed Congress to help individuals and families,
small businesses, and our health care system overcome this pandemic.
Given the rapidly changing dynamic in our country around coronavirus,
I put together the following list of answers to frequently asked
questions about the new law.
INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
Will I get financial help from the government?
Most Americans will get a check or direct deposit of $1200 per
individual, or $2400 per married couple, with an additional $500 per
child (for incomes below $75,000 per person or $150,000 per couple).
How soon will I get my money?
Payments will be sent out “as rapidly as possible.” The Treasury
Secretary expects the payments to start going out in three weeks.
Do I have to pay income tax on this check?
I am on Social Security. Will I also get this payment in addition to
my Social Security?
What about my IRA?
There is a temporary suspension of required minimum distribution rules
for older Americans. You can also withdraw funds without penalty for
I have lost my job. Now what?
Unemployment benefits have been significantly expanded, including for
the self-employed and independent contractors.
When are taxes due?
Tax filing and payment are delayed until July 15.
Do I have other options besides unemployment benefits?
Yes. One option is for your employer to take out a loan to pay your
salary and benefits.
How is the help for small business being delivered?
The main program is an SBA-guaranteed loan with deferred interest and
payments, plus loan forgiveness for employee retention.
How does the loan forgiveness component work?
This applies to businesses that keep their employees on the payroll
from February 15th through the end of June. The portion of the loan
covering payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities is
forgiven for an eight-week period. There is flexibility for those
employers who laid off workers and then re-hired them.
I am a business owner. Does loan forgiveness apply to my salary?
Yes, within limits
Who is eligible?
Businesses with fewer than 500 employees and private non-profits –
501(c)(3)s. Health care providers are also eligible, no matter how
they are structured.
What is the loan limit?
Loans can be as high as $10 million.
How do I apply for these loans?
Go to your bank or credit union. Your financial institution will
primarily run the program, not the government. However, the SBA.gov
website has a lot of good information.
Are contractors and sole proprietors included?
Yes. You are eligible for the loan and the forgiveness portion of
wages paid to yourself.
How long will the SBA loan review by my bank take?
Due to the unique nature of this situation, the lender can process,
close, and service the loan without an SBA review.
I am a farmer. How does an SBA loan help me?
The bill includes a number of small business provisions designed to
help farmers stay in business. This includes a provision that allows
farmers to work with their trusted farm credit institutions for the
purposes of securing payroll tax loans, along with 1-year deferrals,
100% guarantees, and low rates.
I don’t want to take out a loan. Is there any other help I can get?
Yes. Grants of up to $10,000 will be available to cover
small-business operating costs. The process will be announced shortly
by the SBA.
What is the employee retention tax credit?
Employers can temporarily receive a 50% tax credit on wages up to
$10,000 per employee for anyone kept on the payroll. Employers are
eligible if their business was closed due to government shutdown or if
they suffered a revenue loss of at least 50%.
Are taxes delayed?
Yes. Payroll taxes are delayed until 2021. Tax filing and payment are
delayed until July 15.
My credit score is not exactly stellar. Can I still get a loan?
These are exceptional times and making sure you and your business stay
afloat should be the most important priority. See your banker ASAP.
My business is doing fine right now, but I am worried about what will
happen in the next weeks and months. What should I do?
Go to your financial instituion. Banks and credit unions are the
primary portal through which loans will be released. You don’t have
to be idle right now. The intention of the legislation is to keep you
I have not been in business for a year. Can I still apply for the
loan? Can I use it to hire someone?
Can my bank delay my existing loan payments?
If I get coronavirus on the job, are my medical costs covered?
Yes. Your medical care will be covered for coronavirus.
If I become unemployed, what happens to my health insurance benefits?
Existing COBRA insurance rules still apply.
Will the loans my employer uses to keep me employed also cover health
Should I get tested?
Testing is free. Contact your medical provider or state and local
health department on if, when, and how to get tested.
Can my doctor treat me over the phone?
Yes. The bill greatly expands the option of using telemedicine for
health care treatment.
Please note these answers are intended to provide basic clarity––some
aspects of the law have additional requirements. I hope you find this
information helpful. If you need anything, my staff and I are here
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry is the Ranking Member of the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a Member of the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.
Return your early voting ballot request
Pantry Needs: Help our Local Pantry
New www.CassLocal.com - Small Business Survival Kit ( Click Here )
Sarpy County Help Line
The Sarpy County Sheriff's Office along with Sarpy County Human Services has established a help line for the citizens of Sarpy County during the COVID-19 pandemic event. Starting today, people who are sick, elderly, or caretakers of this demographic in Sarpy County may call the Sarpy County Sheriff Helpline at 402-593-1593 for needs such as picking up prescriptions, groceries, or other necessities. A uniformed Sarpy County Sheriff's Deputy will pick up and deliver these items in a marked police cruiser. This helpline may also be utilized by the general public to make non-emergency police reports via telephone that do not require a police officer present in their home.
The following providers are participating in this program:
Walmart in Papillion
Target in Papillion (Groceries Only)
Bakers at 36th St & Twin Creek Dr
Bakers at 801 Galvin Rd (Pharmacy Only)
Springfield Drug (Pharmacy Only)
Please check the Sheriff's Office website and Facebook Page for any new updates to this program.
SPRINGFIELD FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH UPDATES
ALL SERVICES FOR THE TIME BEING BY STREAMING ONLY!
4/5 – Praise band and in addition to the skeleton crew
4/9 – Maundy Thursday will be a pre-recorded narrative sermon with recorded music
4/10 – Good Friday will be a pre-recorded narrative sermon with recorded music
4/12 – Sunrise Service will be a pre-recorded Easter play by the Confirmation class
9:30 Easter service will be a live sermon with skeleton crew and a pre-recorded Cantata by the Choir
Please remember to support Springfield’s local businesses during this difficult time.
Local restaurants/ cafes providing carry out or drive through service:
Black Sheep Coffee House
Sweet Rice Thai Food
Wicked Hen Farmhouse
Open for business:
Springfield Drug & Soda Fountain
Do a home project! Get your supplies at Ace Hardware
Soaring Wings Vineyard: open plus delivery service available
These and all Springfield businesses need your support to survive these difficult times. Follow the six feet rule while interacting with businesses owners or employees.
The first photo shows Springfield’s local lumber yard. Harberg Lumber met all your building needs. This business was located at 165 So. 2nd Street. In the second photo, lumber is being loaded on wagons to be delivered to the George and Golda Gottsch farm at 13702 Platteview Road. In later years, Harberg Lumber changed to Latham Lumber. This is now the location for the offices of Timmerman Land & Cattle Company.
“This is your great-grandma and great grandpa,” I told my grandson as I handed him a photo of my parents. “Do you think I look like them?”
He shook his head. “Not yet.”
*From: Reader’s Digest
Liebentritt Family Dentistry
Office Temporarily Closed
As our community copes with the fast-moving spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus we hope you and yours are in good health during these stressful times.
Public officials have asked businesses to close down for a limited time while a local quarantine begins. Any patients with appointments that have to be cancelled will be notified by our team shortly.
When we are given the green-light to renew business operations we will update you. We thank you for your patience during this interruption and hope to see you when we re-open, happy and healthy.
Please contact us at 402-253-2868 if you have any questions and we will respond back as quickly as we can.
Liebentritt Family Dentistry
OPPD looking out for customers coping
with issues related to COVID-19
Omaha Public Power District is here for our customers as they cope with the challenges of COVID-19 in our state and in our service territory.
We want to ensure power is there when you need it most, whether working remotely, in quarantine, or caring for your children who are out of school. So, we are suspending disconnections for non-payment through April 30. We will re-evaluate the moratorium at that time.
OPPD encourages customers to use electronic payment to limit person-to-person contact. Customers may pay bills online, via our OPPDConnect app, or by calling 402-536-4131 in the Omaha metro area. They may also call 1-877-536-4131 outside of the Omaha calling area.
We urge customers to reach out to us if they have questions or need financial assistance with their utility bills. Our customer care representatives will work to get you connected with the proper resources.
Watch out for scammers
Times of stress or crisis often bring out scammers looking to take advantage of utility customers. You may receive a phone call from somebody claiming to represent the utility, demanding immediate payment of some sort. This is not legitimate. Hang up. Call OPPD directly at 402-536-4131 or 1-877-536-4131 outside of the metro calling area if you have any questions about your account or your service.
Please try to make note of the phone number that called you. OPPD is working with a leading registry management agency that manages more than 40 million toll-free numbers. Through this partnership, we can shut down 800 numbers used by scammers.
Do NOT allow anybody claiming to be an OPPD employee inside your home without an appointment or badge. Authentic employees always carry identification. More information on this long-running scam and how to protect yourself is available on The Wire,
OPPD’s Mission: Provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive
energy services to our customers
WHAT TO DO WHILE YOUR HOME
Detail your car
Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to for a long time
Visit a new park. Be sure to practice the six feet rule!
Visit a museum virtually. Many are offering to give you a tour online.
Look at the stars. For tips, check out: sky and telescope
Rearrange your furniture
Learn a new language
Read all those books on your nightstand
Read out loud to your family
Have a picnic
Foster an animal. Many are needing temporary shelter
When you do go out for those necessities or for a walk, smile and say hello to those you see.
A friendly face makes everything better!
Federal Agents Raid Gun Shop, Find Weapons
(Tulsa World, Oklahoma)
Joke of the Week
* Question: Where are average things manufactured?
* Answer: The satisfactory
ALL SHOWS CANCELED TILL FURTHER NOTICE!
* * * * * * *
“2nd SUNDAY JAM SESSIONS”:
JAM SESSIONS CANCELED TILL FURTHER NOTICE!
~ Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.
Thanks to all Springfield E-Newsletter readers.
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2020 Community Sustaining Sponsor
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2020 Community Sustaining Sponsor
2020 Community Sustaining Sponsor