To all Medicare beneficiaries: I know you are aware that open enrollment for Medicare Part D has begun. Beginning 10/15/13 through 12/07/13, you have the opportunity to examine options available with the private insurance companies that offer prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D for 2014. I can tell you that there are significant changes in the plans from 2013 based on the people I have assisted already, so it is really important that you review your coverage for 2014. Everyone should have received a packet from the current insurance company with projected changes for 2014 ...
Do you know how the new health care law will affect you? The Affordable Care Act (also known as health care reform or Obamacare) was passed into law in March 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in July 2012. Some provisions, like children staying on their parents´ insurance up to age 26 and prescription drug discounts to help close the "donut hole" for Medicare seniors, started immediately. However, the biggest changes under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin on Jan. 1, 2014.
Shirley Endlsey of Great Bend recently returned from Topeka where she participated in the 30th Annual Kansas Silver Haired Legislature as a Delegate from Barton County. The organization, established by the Kansas Legislature, consists of individuals, aged 60 and older, elected by their peers to develop bills and resolutions that are of interest to Kansas Seniors and their families.
By the time you read this I will be heading back to the office after a most memorable trip that combined business and pleasure. In mid-September, my husband, John, and I loaded up the van, (complete with tandem bike) and headed east. Our first stop was at the K-State campus where I picked up the poster that I would share during a session at the Galaxy Conference for Extension Professionals in Pittsburgh, PA. The conference had nearly 3,000 registered from all of the different areas of Extension programming. It was fun sharing my "Action Plan for Healthy Living" with ...
Kristina Tajchman, daughter of Lloyd and Gerry Boger of Great Bend, recently returned from a two-month trip to Munich, Germany, and Prague, Czech Republic, where she took part in several international energy conferences. She was accompanied on the trip by her sister, Renee, and nephew, Justin Owen, of Great Bend.
Living in the wide open spaces of Kansas helps a person appreciate the relatively clean air quality outdoors. But since many people spend a significant amount of time indoors, October is the perfect time to be reminded of indoor air quality.
Did you have a chance to visit the showcase of 4-H talent in 4-H Centennial Hall at the Kansas State Fair? If not, put that on your bucket list and plan to visit the Fair next year. You will be impressed with the exhibits on display.
Since September is designated as Food Safety Awareness Month it provides the perfect time to share reminders about this serious topic. Who out there hasn't experienced flu like symptoms and blamed it on something they ate? The truth is that most of the food borne illnesses begin with symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and even fever. Taking a few minutes to reinforce some of the most important food safety rules will hopefully help you beat the odds of ever experiencing a foodborne illness.
A new national report reveals that "bath salts," a group of drugs containing amphetamine-type stimulants, were linked to an estimated 22,904 visits to hospital emergency departments in 2011. The report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the first national study to track bath salts drugs to hospital emergency department visits since these drugs emerged a few years ago.
The RSVP volunteer recognition banquet was held at Barton Community College on Aug. 8. 165 attendees enjoyed a wonderful dinner prepared by Great Western Dining. The nominees for 2013 Volunteer of the Year were recognized with thank you certificates. Nominated this year for the award were: Arleen Branson; Ray Butler; Bill King; Chris and Rosalie Leiker; Bill Popp; Arlene Schamaun; The Hoisington Friendship Gentlemen's Dish-washing Team (Ed Merlau, Larry Ruble, Ed Ruble, Herb Sellens, Alan Ochs, and James Leewright); The Two Marilyns from Ellinwood (Marilyn Frydendall and Marilyn Sauber); Dave Tinkler; Delores Westfall; and Teddy Williamson. These volunteers work ...
On Aug. 17, three Barton County 4-Hers traveled to Reno County to compete in a 4-H small bore rifle competition. Caleb Straub from Great Bend competed in the senior division. Katelyn Reh from Ellinwood and Parker Smith from Great Bend competed in the junior division. Parker placed 2nd and Katelyn placed 4th.
I wish I could say "fall is in the air" but with temperatures nearing the triple digits, we are definitely still in the summer mode. Garden produce this year has had its ups and downs; first a late spring and dry conditions kept gardens from growing and producing. The late July rains gave gardens the boost they needed. I'm pulling together resources for an educational program titled, "Seasonal and Simple" and I hope you will mark the date on your calendar and plan to join me.
As I begin my twenty-fifth year in adult education through my job as an Extension Educator I feel blessed to enjoy the variety of each day. While most of my programming is directed toward adults, I also enjoy contact with children of all ages. Nothing pleases me more than sharing nutrition information with a young person and then meeting up with them again and have them say, "Hey, I remember you; you told us to eat more vegetables, whole grains, or drink less soda..." Encouraging people of all ages to make healthy food choices is becoming a huge part of ...
Several states, including Kansas, are trying to protect their borders from a little beetle that could cost the black walnut industry millions of dollars. Kansas Forest Service specialists at Kansas State University say you could be spreading the disease without knowing it.
Whether it is your first time to host a holiday meal or you are a seasoned veteran, it never hurts to review the basics of cooking a turkey keeping food safety in mind. Many hostesses are busy getting a head count so that they can purchase the correct sized turkey. A rule of thumb is to purchase at least one pound of uncooked turkey per person. This should allow enough for the feast and for leftovers too. Read on for answers to a few more of your turkey day questions.
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