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Tuesday, June 30, 2015
  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015 7:35 PM

    Not long ago my husband showed up with a sandwich for lunch that he bought at a local supermarket. I thought it was going to be our usual: turkey and provolone with lettuce on a hard roll, always plenty for both of us. At $6.50, how could you go wrong?

    This time the sandwich was different. It now cost $9.50 and was piled high with turkey and cheese on a roll that was much bigger than what we were used to. In short, it was awful—enough meat and cheese for four people on squishy bread that tasted more like a morning sweet roll. But the bigger serving probably looked like a good deal to a lot of people who thought only about size relative to cost and nothing about size or cost relative to calories.

     
  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015 7:27 PM

    His name was Morris, and his passing has left a hole in my heart. He was my friend and companion for over a decade, and though he was four-legged and fur covered, he had been a part of my life longer than many people. I joked with the last two women in my life that Morris had been sharing space with me longer than anyone else had.

     
  • Thursday, June 04, 2015 7:59 PM

    A few weeks ago I got an email from Judy, a reader who wanted to tell me about trouble she’s had paying her medical bills, particularly those for prescription drugs. Severe daily headaches had just qualified her for Social Security disability benefits. After she satisfies a two-year waiting period, which the law requires, she will qualify for Medicare as all people on Social Security disability will do whether or not they are age 65.  Judy couldn’t wait so she looked for other insurance options.

    Her monthly income of about $1,300 is too high for Medicaid benefits. “I’m $20 over the income guidelines,” she told me. So she turned to an Affordable Care Act policy with a low premium but a $6,500 deductible.

     
  • Wednesday, May 20, 2015 8:55 PM

    There’s no getting around it. Americans are using more medications and spending more for them. The latest evidence just came from Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefit manager, which acts as a middleman between drug makers and employers. The number of Americans—almost 600,000---with yearly medication costs of more than $50,000 rose 63 percent from 2013 to 2014. The group of patients with costs over $100,000 nearly tripled.

    By any measure these are huge increases that don’t signal much hope that the U.S. can bring down its medical spending, which is now over 17 percent of the country’s national income. Express Scripts was frank about the long-term impact on employers and others who actually pay most of those bills. It’s an “unsustainable $52 billion a year.”

     
  • Monday, May 18, 2015 2:01 AM

    Crisis negotiation has been described as being one of law enforcement’s most effective tools. But is there a difference between the words “crisis” and “hostage?” After researching articles provided by the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) Law Enforcement Bulletin, the difference would depend on the situation.

    According to the Hostage Barricade Database System (HOBAS) – a database containing information about barricade incidents maintained by the FBI’s CNU (Crisis Negotiation Unit), 96 percent of incidents requiring the response of law enforcement do not include a hostage being taken. That means 4 percent of the situations involved a person taking another person or persons hostage.

    A hostage is a person taken involuntarily and held by the perpetrator with plans to trade them for something else in return. This can include a mode of transportation with plans to escape, money, release of a prisoner or items such as food and drinks. 

     
  • Thursday, May 14, 2015 9:36 PM

    My friends are breaking my heart.

    Two pursuits – some would say obsessions – have marked my adult life: wisdom and efficiency.

    I tell people I have been chasing wisdom for about 20 years, and I honestly do not believe I have caught much yet. Not very efficient, I know.

    My desire for efficiency in a short life means I do not to sugar-coat my truth. My perspectives are not very mainstream American, and when asked for my thoughts, I share them in a blunt and too-honest manner. Not very wise, I know.

    Some days I feel I have just a tiny bit of wisdom to share with the people near me who may need it. Some days wisdom is far from my grasp. Today is that second kind, but I need it to be the first.

    I seem to know a lot of people here, in my home town. A lot.

     
  • Friday, May 08, 2015 8:39 PM

    What happens when your sewer backs up?

    A homeowner’s responsibility for a sewer line extends past the property line and all the way to where the sewer ties into the City main.

    Sewer backups are usually unexpected and almost always create a mess. At best, the backup requires unpleasant cleanup and sometimes results in expensive damage. When this happens, our customers have questions. We will answer some of your questions for you.

     

    Who is going to fix the problem?

    This depends on whether the stoppage is in your private line or the City main line. If it is in the City main line, we fix it as quickly as possible and keep you informed about what is being done. If the problem is with your private line connecting your house to the City main, we provide you with that information so that you can get it fixed as quickly as possible. It is against the law for the City to work on private property.

     
  • Sunday, April 26, 2015 8:30 PM

    I would like to thank everyone who reached out to me following my most recent guest article.  The many calls, letters, emails, texts and visits were overwhelming.  I greatly appreciate your words of support and although I believe I was able to respond to each of you, I would like to say thank you once again. 

    There were two very common themes to the messages I received.  First, there was a profound appreciation for the fact that I had taken a polite, yet firm, stand against the ongoing rhetoric. Second, a resounding approval for the efforts put forth by my administration and an appreciation for the direction the community is heading as a result.  In the words of many, “stay the course!”

    Our community clearly wants results oriented leadership rather than polarizing bickering.  You have made it clear to me that you want leaders who can unify, not divide, and that you expect leaders to think independently to find workable solutions to the complex challenges that face our community.  

     
  • Sunday, March 15, 2015 7:00 PM
    Throughout this session, I plan to provide periodic updates on education in Indiana. Listed below are some education-related topics making news at the Statehouse: 
  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015 4:40 PM
    Each year in January, people make resolutions with the best of intentions. The reality is, by the time we flip the calendar to February, many of these goals have fallen by the wayside. Sound familiar?

    How can you help make sure your goals can be met?

    If you ensure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. from the beginning, you'll be on your way to achieving them. Unlike New Year's Resolutions, goals can be set any time of the year.

    So what is S.M.A.R.T.?

    S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound.

    Lets look into each of these five aspects of S.M.A.R.T. a little more closely.

     

The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

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