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Santa Maria

Teen cupcake decorating planned at library

Teens will have a chance to learn how to decorate cupcakes like a pro at 4 p.m. Friday at the Santa Maria Public Library. All supplies will be provided at no cost.

Library staff decorators will teach tips and tricks, and participants will have the opportunity to decorate themed cupcakes for a contest. Following judging, everyone can eat their creative entries.

This free program is open only to junior high and high school students.

The library, which is located at 421 S. McClelland St., is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and closed Sunday.

For more information, call Library Youth Services at 805-925-0994.

Santa Maria

Free screening of  'The Color Purple' planned in Shepard Hall

The Santa Maria Public Library, in honor of Black History Month, will screen the 1985 movie “The Color Purple,” rated PG-13, on Feb. 22 at 1 p.m.

The screening — which will take place in Shepard Hall —  is free and no tickets are required.

In the film, a black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Freshly popped popcorn also will be served free of charge.

The library is located at 421 S. McClelland St.

Those with questions are asked to contact the library’s information desk at 805-925-0994, ext. 8562.

Santa Maria

United Way volunteers offer free tax preparation

Free income tax preparation and filing is being offered through March 30 at Hancock College in Santa Maria by volunteers with the United Way of Northern Santa Barbara County.

Volunteer tax assistants will provide free help to individuals and families who had a combined gross income of $54,000 or less in 2018, said Sandy Soria Sosa, special projects outreach coordinator for the Northern Santa Barbara County United Way.

Taxpayers can save an average of $200 or more in tax preparation fees by taking advantage of the free service, Sosa said.

To take advantage of the free help provided by volunteers in Building S on the campus at 800 S. College Drive, taxpayers will need to make a reservation by calling 805-922-0329, ext. 103.

Documents that will be needed include Social Security numbers or taxpayer identification numbers for each family member and working adult and W-2, 1099, 1098 and other income reporting forms.

Taxpayers who received a tax credit from the healthcare.gov marketplace will need to bring their Form 1095-A. Those who paid for child care in 2018 also will need their provider’s name, address and tax ID number.

Other information needed includes a bank routing and account number for secure direct deposit of any refunds, last year’s tax return if available and a valid email address.

Individuals and families who had a combined gross income of $66,000 or less in 2018 can file their own taxes for free at www.myfreetaxes.org, Sosa said.

Northern Santa Barbara County United Way is partnering with the United Way of San Luis Obispo County to offer the free tax preparation help at Oceano Elementary School, 1551 17th St., in Oceano, and at the Arroyo Grande Branch Library, 800 W. Branch St., in Arroyo Grande.

For more information, visit www.liveunitedsbc.org.

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-- Staff reports

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