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April 15 Not Much of a Deadline for Most Taxpayers

WASHINGTON (AP) - The calendar shows April 15, but if you haven't even started on your federal tax return don't fret. If you're due a refund, April 15 isn't much of a deadline at all.
    
The Internal Revenue Service doesn't like to talk about it, but penalties for filing late federal tax returns apply only to people who owe money. The penalty is a percentage of what you owe. If you owe nothing, 5 percent of nothing is ...nothing.
    
But it doesn't make much sense for anyone to file late. If you are owed a refund, why wouldn't you want it as soon as possible? And if you have unpaid taxes, the late fees add up quickly.
    
The IRS says about three-fourths of filers get refunds.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

State Patrol Using New Tactic to Catch Distracted Drivers

(ABC 6 News) -- Law enforcement is cracking down on distracted driving this week, using tactics that have never been used in our area before.

In the first three days of the distracted driving extra enforcement, preliminary numbers show more than 130 tickets have been issued statewide for texting while driving.

We road along with the Minnesota State Patrol Monday. Where it’s more than just law enforcement helping to curb the problem.

Texting while driving, or any type of distraction, isn't so easy for law enforcement to catch in action. "If we don't see them using the phone or see what they’re doing in that vehicle, unless they admit the violation to us, it's difficult for us to say this is what happened,” said Lt. Heath Dienger, Minnesota State Patrol.

Austin Aims To Improve Bike Safety Through Trails

(ABC 6 News) -- With the weather warming up and more cyclists breaking their bikes out of storage, state officials are urging everyone to unpack their helmets as well.

According to the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance, only about 8 percent of Minnesotans consistently wear a bike helmet. And the state health department says 500 deaths and 150,000 head injuries could be avoided each year if everyone in the U.S. wore a helmet while riding.

"It's a really easy thing to do to possibly save your life,” said Chad Burma, manager of Rydjor Bike Shop in Austin. “They're light weight now, they look better than they ever have before, there's just no reason not to."

But experts said the real key to safety is to get cyclists off the roads and on to bike trails.

Pieces of Watts Cookin' Up for Auction

(ABC 6 News) -- On Monday morning, the kitchen and dining room of what was once a popular spot to eat in Austin held an awkward scene.

Man Arrested For DWI On Go-Cart

Man Arrested For DWI On Go-Cart

An Austin man faces charges for allegedly driving a mini go-cart while drunk.

It happened around 12:25 Sunday morning at eighth avenue and tenth street northeast in Austin.

A police officer saw the go-cart, and when the officer pulled to the side of the street the 25 year old man operating the go-cart did the same.

The officer reportedly smelled alcohol and believed that the victim's eyes were blood-shot and glassy-looking.

The suspected tested for a blood-alcohol level of .10 percent, which is above the legal level of intoxication in Minnesota.

He was jailed to await charges that could include gross misdemeanor DWI, driving after revication and possession of drug paraphernelia.

Austin Woman's Phone Stolen

Austin Woman's Phone Stolen

An Austin woman says her phone was stolen while she was occupied at a photo kiosk at an Austin business.

The 33 year old woman said she was busy with her photos when someone took the iPhone from her purse sometime around 3:45 Saturday afternoon.

The missing Apple iPhone4S is valued at $600.

Over $57,000 Raised in the Austin-Albert Lea March of Dimes

Over $57,000 raised in the Austin-Albert Lea March of Dimes. -

(ABC 6 News) -- The Austin-Albert Lea March of Dimes Walk was held at Torge's in Austin today.

More than two hundred people participated and raised over $57,000.

The money goes to efforts in educating mothers on information about healthy pregnancy, premature and healthy babies.

Money raised also used in pushing for legislation for newborn screening tests and other bills concerning mothers and babies' health.

This is the first of five March of Dimes Walk in our area. The next ones are in Rochester on April 26, Rice and Steele Counties on May 3, Red Wing on May 4 and Winona on May 17.