Ten-year-old Yesenia Diosdado is revising an English assignment. But it turns out the language that’s proven to be most valuable is the one she knows that’s silent. Yesenia’s mother started teaching her sign language when she was just a year old.
“I have always explained to my kids — even if you may never use it — the importance of sign language is everywhere,” her mother Susan Mulidore told CBS News.
A little over a week ago Yesenia found out her mother was right all along. She was playing outside with a friend in Lenexa, Kansas. “I heard a weird sound so I wanted to go look,” she told CBS News.
It turned out the sounds and commotion were a car accident. Yesenia saw the paramedics trying to talk to a woman who’d been hurt and was still in the car. She could see they were having trouble communicating. That was until the brave girl rushed in and started signing with her. “Are you hurt?” she asked the woman using her hands.
The woman told her that she was indeed injured, and with Yesenia’s help also instructed the paramedics which hospital she wished to be admitted to.
“We would not have even been able to establish what her injuries were without significant delays of having to establish another means of communication,” said Chris Winger, one of the paramedics who was present at the scene of the accident.
While it turns out the woman wasn’t seriously hurt, Yesenia did help ease the transfer to the hospital. In recognition of her heroic efforts, the paramedics presented her with a certificate and medal of appreciation. While Yesenia was surprised by all the attention, it’s now undeniable that learning sign language was well worth the effort.
“Just knowing the simple alphabet of sign language can be a huge benefit, especially in a situation like this,” said her mother.
Your W-2: How to Understand This Important Tax Form
Throughout January, workers are getting W-2 tax forms from their employers. To help you decipher the often-obscure codes and numbers you’ll find on your form, below we’ve provided a box-by-box description of what you should expect to see on your W-2.
Boxes a-f: Personal and Business Information
Each W-2 includes information about your employer, including its name, address and tax identification number. It will also have your name, address, and Social Security number. It’s important to check this information to ensure accuracy. Because a copy of your W-2 goes to the Social Security Administration to establish your work history and eligibility for Social Security benefits, mistaken Social Security numbers can lead to lower monthly payments in retirement or even denial of benefits entirely.
Box 1: Wages, Tips, and Other Compensation
Box 1 includes the figure that you’ll include on your income tax form as taxable compensation. The number in Box 1 excludes benefits that aren’t subject to tax, such as amounts you have withheld to pay your share of health-insurance premiums or contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Box 2: Federal Income Tax Withheld
Box 2 shows how much money your employer took out of your paycheck to cover your income tax liability. You’ll include this on your tax return as well, and if it’s larger than what you owe in taxes, then you’ll get a refund for the difference.
Boxes 3 and 4: Social Security Wages and Tax Withheld
Boxes 3 and 4 show how much of your wages were subject to Social Security tax and how much tax your employer actually took out of your paycheck. This wage amount can differ from what’s in Box 1 because many items that are deductible for income-tax purposes aren’t exempt from Social Security tax. For instance, you still have to pay Social Security taxes on 401(k) and other employer-plan contributions. Also, if you earn more than the maximum amount on which Social Security charges payroll taxes — $117,000 for 2014 — then Box 3 will be capped at that amount.
Boxes 5 and 6: Medicare Wages and Tips and Tax Withheld
Similarly, Boxes 5 and 6 show the same calculations for Medicare taxation. The primary difference here is that there’s no upper limit on income subject to Medicare taxes, so the Box 5 figure will be higher than Box 3 for high-income earners.
Boxes 7 and 8: Social Security Tips and Allocated Tips
For those who work in jobs with substantial tip income, Box 7 will show what tips you reported to your employer. They’re already included in Box 1, so no additional work is necessary on your part. But if you have an entry in Box 8, your employer likely didn’t report enough tip income for you and other employees. As a result, you’ll have to add this amount to your taxable income in Box 1 and also file Form 4137 to report and pay additional payroll taxes on your tip income.
Box 9: Nothing to See Here
One oddity you’ll notice is that your W-2 skips over Box 9. This area was once used to reflect any advance payments of Earned Income Tax Credits your employer made to you. Under current law, though, employers no longer make such payments, and so many W-2s simply have a blank area of the form where Box 9 used to be.
Box 10: Dependent Care Benefits
Those who get financial assistance for caring for children or other dependents will have the amount received in Box 10. You’ll need this number to help calculate your Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit properly, as well as the amount you paid out of your own pocket for care.
Box 11: Non-qualified Plans
Some employees receive money from non-qualified deferred compensation plans, and for most employees, any amount here will already included in Box 1. But if your employer contributes to such a plan for services in prior years, it will be included here and in Boxes 3 and 5 but not necessarily in Box 1. Moreover, government employees who participate in Section 457 plans might have amounts here that won’t be included elsewhere on the W-2.
Box 12: Catchall Area
Your employer can put several items in Box 12. An explanation of each code is on the back of your W-2, and you can also find a list of codes on page 27 of these IRS instructions. Essentially, though, things you find here will give you information about the particular compensation or benefits you received, and in many cases, you’ll need these numbers elsewhere in your tax return to account properly for certain items.
Box 13: For Certain Workers
In Box 13, certain workers will have the boxes marked if they are statutory employees, participate in a company-sponsored retirement plan or receive sick pay from someone other than your employer. This information can determine eligibility for certain tax benefits, and it can also help the IRS identify individuals who would otherwise be treated as independent contractors.
Box 14: Other
This box is available for any other information an employer needs to give employees, such as union dues, payments for educational assistance, or taxes withheld for state disability insurance.
Boxes 15-20: State and Local Tax Information
Finally, Boxes 15 to 20 provide information that state and local tax authorities need to determine what you owe in state and local taxes. Income amounts will appear in Boxes 16 and 18, and any taxes you have withheld will appear in Boxes 17 and 19. You’llwant to use those figures in preparing your state or local returns.
North Middle School suspect charged with attempted kidnapping
The suspect allegedly involved with Tuesday’s incident at North Middle School has been charged with attempted kidnapping, a felony.
Tony Ground, 14, of Great Falls made his initial appearance in Cascade County Youth Court on Wednesday.
Court documents say Ground approached the female teacher while she was working on the computer in her classroom after school. The report says Ground grabbed the teacher from behind, across her face, while holding a tissue. The affidavit indicates the teacher was injured in some manner by the force of Ground’s grip.
The teacher was able to break free from Ground’s grip, the document says, and Ground ran away at that time. The affidavit says school resource officers with the Great Falls Police Department did a systematic search while the school was on lockdown.
Officers were able to locate the suspect’s backpack using video surveillance cameras. The report says Ground threw the backpack in a trash can, and it contained the sweatshirt and ski mask he was reportedly wearing, along with belts, a neck tie, strips of fabric and photographs of females being tied up and forcibly restrained.
Ground was identified in the security video by Detective Aaron Frick, school resource officer assigned to North Middle School. The report says he was recorded putting on the mask and entering the teacher’s classroom.
Frick said this student has not been on his radar for bad behavior, making the incident especially surprising. Based on information in court documents, Frick said this is a serious incident warranting serious consequences.
“I don’t think it was a prank by any stretch of the imagination,” he said.
Ground was located in his after school study class and placed into custody. The affidavit says Ground and a parent spoke with investigators, and Ground first denied his involvement, but later admitted to the planning and executing the attack on the teacher. He was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center after his arrest.
His bond was set at $50,000 during his court appearance.
OLYMPIA, Wash. — A Washington state woman accused of stabbing her three small children told detectives she cut the children’s throats with a kitchen knife to keep them quiet for her soldier husband, a prosecutor said Monday.
Christina E. Booth, 29, of Olympia, said in the police interview that her husband, Thomas Booth, never helped her with the children and got “very annoyed” when they cried, Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Craig Juris said in a probable cause document filed in court. The children include a 2-year-old toddler and 6-month-old twins.
Bail was set Monday at $3 million. The woman was arrested early Sunday for investigation of attempted murder. The prosecutor’s office said Monday she has not yet been formally charged. An email request for comment sent to a lawyer who was with her at the bail hearing was not immediately returned.
The children were reported stable Sunday after surgery at a hospital. The hospital isn’t releasing updates on their condition because of federal privacy law. They have been placed in the custody of state Child Protective Services.
Thomas Booth told police his wife had been “very stressed out” raising the children and was on medication for post-partum depression, according to court papers. He said he and his wife had watched a movie at home Saturday night and each had two large glasses of wine. He described his wife as sufficiently intoxicated that she was slurring her words.
According to the detectives’ account, Christina Booth said she had been having a tough time caring for the children. She said her husband “never helps her with the children and that Thomas gets very annoyed when the children cry and make noise,” detectives said in the probable cause account.
The woman said the twins started crying after she took the toddler up to bed and “she hit her breaking point,” the document said. She described going downstairs to get a knife from the dishwasher, then cutting her toddler daughter’s throat with a knife and covering her with blankets so she would be hidden. She then described cutting the twins’ throats.
“Christina said she knew if she killed all of the kids, the house would be quiet for Thomas,” the probable cause document said she told detectives. “During the interview, Christina broke down crying several times, yelled about Thomas never helping with the kids and vomited once. Christina made the comment ‘they will be quiet now’ several times.”
Police have said Thomas Booth is not suspected of a crime.
He told detectives that he found the injured twins after he saw his wife wearing only her underwear, crying and screaming, a short time after she took the little girl upstairs to put her to bed. He said grabbed his medical kit and started trying to stop the twins’ bleeding with gauze, while yelling at his wife to call 911. Thomas Booth said he saw the toddler in her bed but didn’t see anything wrong with her.
The man told detectives his wife always took the children out of his presence if they cried.
In talking with the woman’s husband and neighbors, detectives have been getting a picture of a family in stress, Olympia police Lt. Jim Costa said earlier.
Neighbors told investigators that Booth had a “bubbly” personality, but she had no break in dealing with her little ones.
“I’m sure there probably was frustration, friction in the household,” Costa said. “A lot of dynamics pushed her over the brink.”
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A West Tennessee nanny accused of putting large amounts of salt in the feeding tube of a disabled 8-year-old boy has been indicted on abuse and neglect charges.
Tiffany C. Johnson of Cordova was taken into custody Monday, Shelby County prosecutor Amy P. Weirich said in a statement. The statement says Johnson, 31, took the boy to the hospital multiple times last year. Doctors say his sodium level was elevated each time, but he recovered.
The boy, who is in a wheelchair and unable to care for himself, suffered from numerous ailments that resulted in more than six hospital visits in less than half a year, reports CBS affiliate WREG. Investigators said the boy only had episodes of the illness while in Johnson’s care and that he hasn’t had any incidents since Johnson left the nanny position in August.
A bond review hearing is set for her next week.
In another high-profile case involving alleged sodium poisoning, Lacey Spears of Scottsville, Ky., stands accused of killing her five-year-old son by forcing salt into a feeding tube in the boy’s stomach. The child died at a New York hospital.