April 19, 2014

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Marion Township Trustees support Issue I
Written by Information submitted   
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 8:00 PM

Information submitted

 

MARION TOWNSHIP — The Marion Township trustees held their regular scheduled meeting Monday with trustees, Jerry Gilden, Joseph Youngpeter and Howard Violet present.

The purpose of the meeting was to pay bills and conduct ongoing business. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved as read. The trustees then reviewed the bills and gave approval for 18 checks totaling $22,471.01.

 
From the Archives - April 15, 2014
Written by Staff Reports   
Monday, April 14, 2014 8:00 PM

One Year Ago

Located in Allen County, Kendrick Woods State Nature Preserve is the largest park in the Johnny Appleseed Park District. Park Naturalist Mark Mohr said that near the southern end of Kendrick Woods is where two bald eagles are nesting and it is the first time they have inhabited the area.

 
Social Security halts effort to collect old debts
Written by AP Wire   
Monday, April 14, 2014 8:00 PM | Updated ( Monday, April 14, 2014 4:23 PM )

BY STEPHEN OHLEMACHER

Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON — The Social Security Administration is suspending a program in which thousands of people were having their tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments that happened more than a decade ago.

Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said Monday she has directed an immediate halt to the program while the agency does a review.

Social Security recipients and members of Congress complained that people were being forced to repay overpayments that were sometimes paid to their parents or guardians when they were children.

"While this policy of seizing tax refunds to repay decades-old Social Security overpayments might be allowed under the law, it is entirely unjust," Democratic Sens. Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland said in a letter to Colvin.

After Colvin's announcement, Boxer said in a statement: "I am grateful that the Social Security Administration has chosen not to penalize innocent Americans while the agency determines a fair path forward on how to handle past errors."

The Social Security Administration says it has identified about 400,000 people with old debts. They owe a total of $714 million.

So far, the agency says it has collected $55 million.

The program was authorized by a 2008 change in the law that allows Social Security and other federal agencies to use a Treasury program to seize federal payments to recoup debts that are more than 10 years old. Previously, there was a 10-year limit on using the program.

In most cases, the seizures are tax refunds.

Colvin said she was suspending the program "pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law to refer debt to the Treasury Department."

"If any Social Security or Supplemental Security Income beneficiary believes they have been incorrectly assessed with an overpayment under this program, I encourage them to request an explanation or seek options to resolve the overpayment," Colvin said.

The Washington Post first reported on the program.

There are several scenarios in which people may have received overpayments as children. For example, when a parent of a minor child dies, the child may be eligible for survivor's benefits, which are typically sent to the surviving parent or guardian.

If there was an overpayment made on behalf of the child, that child could be held liable years later, as an adult.

Also, if a child is disabled, he or she may receive overpayments. Those overpayments would typically be taken out of current payments, once they are discovered.

But if disability payments were discontinued because the child's condition improved, Social Security could try to recoup the overpayments years later.

"We want to assure the public that we do not seek restitution through tax refund offset in cases when the debt in question was established prior to the debtor turning 18 years of age," Social Security spokesman Mark Hinkle said in an email. "Also, we do not use tax refund offset to collect the debt of a person's relative — we only use it to collect the overpaid benefits the person received for himself or herself."

Hinkle said the debt collection could be waived if the person is without fault and repayment would "deprive the person of income needed for ordinary living expenses or would be unfair for another reason."

 
Central Ohio mumps outbreak tops 200 cases
Written by AP Wire   
Monday, April 14, 2014 8:00 PM

COLUMBUS (AP) — A mumps outbreak in central Ohio has grown to more than 200 confirmed cases, public health officials said Monday.

A total of 212 cases of the contagious viral illness, with 132 of those linked to Ohio State University, have been reported. That includes 96 students and 13 staff members.

Those infected range in age from 9 months to 70 years old, local health agencies said. The cases span from early January to late last week.

Mumps often starts with fever, fatigue and body aches. Those infected are urged to stay home, cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, and frequently wash their hands.

Officials have urged residents of the region to make sure they've been inoculated with two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mumps is no longer common in the United States since routine vaccination programs began, though outbreaks do occur. Before the vaccination programs began, about 186,000 cases were reported annually but have since seen a decrease of more than 99 percent, according to the CDC website.

 

 
Study: Snack might help avoid fight with spouse
Written by AP Wire   
Monday, April 14, 2014 8:00 PM

BY ?SETH BORENSTEIN

AP Science Writer

 

WASHINGTON — A quick candy bar may stave off more than hunger. It could prevent major fights between husbands and wives, at least if a new study that used voodoo dolls is right.

That's because low blood sugar can make spouses touchy, researchers propose.

In fact, it can make them "hangry," a combination of hungry and angry, said Ohio State University psychology researcher Brad Bushman.

"We need glucose for self-control," said Bushman, lead author of the study, which was released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Anger is the emotion that most people have difficulty controlling."

The researchers studied 107 married couples for three weeks. Each night, they measured their levels of the blood sugar glucose and asked each participant to stick pins in a voodoo doll representing his or her spouse. That indicated levels of aggressive feelings.

The researchers found that the lower the blood sugar levels, the more pins were pushed into the doll.

In fact, people with the lowest scores pushed in twice as many pins as those with the highest blood sugar levels, the researchers said.

The study also found that the spouses were generally not angry at each other. About 70 percent of the time, people didn't put any pins in the doll, said study co-author Richard Pond Jr. at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. The average for the whole study was a bit more than one pin a night per person.

Three people put all 51 pins in at one time — and one person did that twice — Pond said.

Bushman said there's a good physical reason to link eating to emotion: The brain, which is only 2 percent of the body weight, consumes 20 percent of our calories.

The researchers said eating a candy bar might be a good idea if spouses are about to discuss something touchy, but that fruits and vegetables are a better long-term strategy for keeping blood sugar levels up.

Outside experts gave the study, funded by the National Science Foundation, mixed reviews.

Chris Beedie, who teaches psychology at the Aberystwyth University in the United Kingdom, said he thought the study's method was flawed and that his own work disagrees with Bushman's conclusions. The better way to test Bushman's concept is to give people high glucose on some occasions and low glucose on others, and see if that makes a difference in actual acts of aggression, he said.

But Julie Schumacher, who studies psychology and domestic violence at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, called the study well-designed and said it is reasonable to conclude, as the study did, that "low glucose levels might be one factor that contributes to intimate partner violence."

Still, she and Beedie said it might be a big leap to interpret the results with voodoo dolls as indicating risk for actual physical aggression against a spouse.

The study procedure also raised another problem. Bushman had to handle a call from his credit card company, which wanted to make sure it was really he who had spent $5,000 to buy more than 200 voodoo dolls.

 

 
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