Mar 04, 2020 1:02 PM

SM Hanson Heartland Bluegrass Festival April 26

Posted Mar 04, 2020 1:02 PM
<b>The Temple.</b> Salina Post photo
The Temple. Salina Post photo

SM Hanson Music is bringing back bluegrass! A bluegrass festival, that is.

The SM Hanson Heartland Bluegrass Festival 2020 is scheduled for April 26. The event is scheduled at The Temple, 336 South Santa Fe Avenue, with doors opening at 10:30 a.m. This venue is handicap accessible.

"The SM Hanson Heartland Bluegrass Festival 2020 will include several bluegrass bands from around the state, some general playing and picking sessions, an Instrument Petting Zoo (for kids and adults), open mic stage time, a few instrument vendors, and local food trucks," said Rick Hanson, CEO and president of SM Hanson Music, Inc. "Attendees are encouraged to bring their instrument to join in the music community during the day."

Admission to the event will be by a suggested cash donation or canned food donation for the Salina Emergency Aid Food Bank, Hanson said.

"This will be our first bluegrass festival since the mid 1970s. We held several events in the '70s at Memorial Hall with bluegrass bands coming from Oklahoma and Arkansas," Hanson explained.

This year, however, the festival will be at The Temple.

"We will use the Grand Entrance on Santa Fe (big bronze doors)," Hanson noted. "The steps can be a place to begin picking if the weather is nice. The foyer and second floor space will provide adequate room for performances, picking areas, petting zoo and vendors."

The schedule of performers will be released closer to the date of the event, Hanson said.

The Kansas Bluegrass Association also plans to participate in the festival, he said.

Additionally, The Temple will have volunteers on hand to discuss the beautiful and historic facility that is being used for so many events.

"This will be a great opportunity for the public to see The Temple and listen/participate in the bluegrass music event," Hanson said.

According to Hanson, the festival is sponsored in part by Salina Arts & Humanities.

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Mar 04, 2020 1:02 PM
UPDATE: Free tax help canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak

UPDATE March 16: The Salina Area United Way has closed its VITA tax prep office due to COVID-19 concerns.

Free tax preparation assistance will help you keep more of your hard-earned cash.

The Salina Area United Way (SAUW) is offering free tax assistance services to individuals and families through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA is an IRS-sponsored program. VITA is for moderate and low-income individuals and families, generally with an income of $56,000 and below. It’s providing income tax preparation assistance by trained and certified volunteers. 

There are no hidden fees with the VITA Program, which has played an important role in Salina for over 19 years. Free means free. 

“Last year, more than 1,600 had tax assistance through the program. Volunteers will provide the same high level of assistance again this year,” said Brenda Gutierrez, SAUW program director.

In 2018, E-filed total refunds were $1,505,462 for the area.

“Tell your friends to take advantage of this valuable program,” Gutierrez added.

The program is at 145B South Santa Fe Avenue. Tax assistance is available from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays; 1 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays through April 16. Services are on a first-come-first-served basis by IRS certified volunteers. There is plenty of parking in the City of Salina lots.

Taxpayers must bring a government-issued photo ID, Social Security card, or Social Security number verification letter for all persons named on the tax return, as well as each of their birthdates. They must also bring all income statements including W-2 and 1099 forms for all incomes. Those with health insurance purchased on the marketplace should bring 1095 forms (Affordable Health Care Statements). Taxpayers hoping to claim a Kansas Homestead refund should bring their property tax bills. Those claiming child-care tax credits should bring the total they paid as well as the provider’s tax ID number. Those who wish to receive their refund via direct deposit, or pay their taxes via bank draft should bring a blank check or bank card indicating the account’s routing number and account number. Finally, copies of last year’s state and federal returns are helpful to speed the process of completing this year’s form.