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quotes and "Weird characters"

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I using HTML forms to copy and paste information from webpages and Word documents.  The data is stored in a mysql database (default Latin1_swedish_ci).  Certain characters, like quotes, look weird.  They will return as letters w/ accents, and even the TM trademark symbol when i view it in phpMyAdmin.  It then display correctly in HTML, and when emailed in HTML to outlook.

The problem is, i'm creating text based files that can only have ASCII, and these quotes and other characters are not showing up as the proper quotes, they are shoing up as a series of weird characters.  Is there a way to convert these quotes to normal, non-directional, quotes, or convert the encoding or charset?  I'm not really sure what i'm dealing w/ so i could use the help.

this is an example of the weird chars: – is in the sql database, pasted from a webpage.  The webpage displays in the browser as a long dash - and "–" in the html code.

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