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February 14, 2015

Penalty for not having insurance during 2014 is $95 for each person in a household or 1 percent of the household income...

Al Cross "Thousands of Kentuckians might face a penalty this tax season for failing to sign up for health insurance during 2014," Mary Meehan reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The state estimated that 340,000 Kentuckians would buy private insurance through its Kynect marketplace, but only 80,000 have done so. However, Meehan writes, some of those who did "might have qualified for Medicaid under the state's expanded income guidelines, said Carrie Banahan, who heads Kynect."

Jill Midkiff, spokesman for the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, told Meehan, "There are too many variables at play here to do simple arithmetic for estimated populations. It would be safe to say that thousands of Kentuckians will likely face a tax penalty this year for not obtaining health insurance."

Banahan said, "A lot of people are going to be very surprised." And that will include some people who were eligible for Medicaid, but didn't enroll in it. Medicaid enrollment is open year-round, but private-insurance enrollment closes Sunday, Feb. 15 and won't reopen until next fall unless someone has a life-changing event "such as a birth, divorce or loss of a job," Meehan notes.

"The penalty for not having insurance during 2014 is $95 for each person in a household or 1 percent of the household income, whichever is higher," Meehan notes. "The bill will come due when 2014 taxes are filed, she said. If a person is due a refund, it will be deducted from the tax refund." Next year, the penalty will be 2 percent, with a minimum of $325 per adult or $162.50 per child, under provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Date: 02-13-2015

Valuable resource for thousands of Kentuckians who are employed, but

earn low wages...

Kentucky Press News Service

LEXINGTON – Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen Friday joined local officials and representatives from United Way of the Bluegrass to launch the annual campaign to urge eligible Kentuckians to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable federal tax credit for low- and middle-income working individuals and families. 

“This tax credit is an extremely valuable resource for thousands of Kentuckians who are employed, but earn low wages,” Luallen said. “We want to make certain that every Kentuckian who is eligible for this benefit receives it, so I encourage everyone filing taxes this season to visit our website to see if you of your family qualify for the EITC.”

In tax year 2013 Kentuckians filed nearly 409,000 EITC claims for more than $960 million in benefits statewide. The average awarded credit was $2,351. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an estimated 15 to 20 percent of eligible workers still do not claim their EITC benefits, mostly due to lack of awareness. 

There are nearly 200 free tax preparation sites across the state where trained and IRS-certified volunteers will assist Kentuckians with filing their taxes and applying for the EITC. To find information about these Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, including addresses, phone numbers and if appointments are required, visit http://assistance.ky.gov/. 

Additionally, Kentuckians living in central and northern Kentucky areas can dial 2-1-1 to find information on VITA sites near them. Counties who can access 2-1-1 include Anderson, Boone, Bourbon, Boyle, Bullitt, Campbell, Carroll, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Garrard, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Lincoln, Mercer, Madison, Montgomery, Nelson, Nicholas, Oldham, Owen, Powell, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Trimble and Woodford, according to a state news release.

For information about VITA sites outside the 2-1-1 calling area, taxpayers may call Community Action Kentucky at 800-456-3452.

Eligibility for the EITC is based on income and household composition, as is the amount of the credit. Families who earned up to $52,427 in 2014 could be eligible for the EITC. More detailed qualification information is available at http://assistance.ky.gov/.

Local Radio Shack closed months ago, Louisa Dollar Discount to close, too

 

(AP) - Struggling electronics retailer RadioShack has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and says it will sell up to 2,400 stores.

The Louisa Radio Shack at Yatesville crossing Shopping Center has been closed for several months.

The Fort Worth, Texas company has suffered from years of losses.

RadioShack Corp. introduced the first mass-market personal computer and used to be the go-to stop for consumers' home electronics needs. But it struggled as shoppers increasingly shifted to making purchases online and growth in its wireless business slowed.

The New York Stock Exchange suspended trading of its shares on Monday and sought to delist it.

RadioShack had warned of a possible bankruptcy in September, but received rescue financing that kept it afloat. Still, its CEO recently cautioned the chain might not be able to find a long-term plan to stay in business.

Analysts blamed increasing online shopping and large discount stores like WalMart and Target for the demise of the chain.

Another Louisa retail store, Dollar Discount located in the Food City Plaza is also in the process of closing. Store owner Kenny Preston said recently that he is retiring. He also owned the Dollar Discount store in Paintsville which closed recently as well.

The popular store has been in business here for nearly two decades and carried many hard to find items. In Paintsville, Preston said huge discounts were given on many items to clear the store's merchandise. It is expected that the same thing is happening in Louisa but Preston could not be reached for comment today.

Date: 02-10-2015

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT – Attorney General Jack Conway, along with 42 other state and territorial attorneys general, Tuesday asked the owners of several gas station and convenience store chains to collaborate with their franchisees to help eliminate synthetic drugs from retail locations operating under their brand names.

The use of synthetic drugs has increased dramatically over the past four years, a news release said. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2010 more than 11,000 people across the country, many of whom were younger than 17, went to the emergency room after using synthetic marijuana. That number grew to about 28,000 in 2011 and since then, thousands more have been harmed by synthetic drugs. 

“These are dangerous drugs – typically made by backyard chemists – that have the potential to cause serious injury or death,” Conway said in the release. “It’s our hope that the oil companies can work as partners in our efforts to keep synthetic drugs out of the hands of young people.”

In a letter to British Petroleum, Chevron Corp., Citgo Petroleum Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Marathon Petroleum Corp., Phillips 66, Shell Oil Company, Sunoco, and Valero Energy Corp., the attorneys general expressed concern over the problem of gas stations and convenience stores operating under brand names of reputable oil companies and selling illegal and extremely dangerous synthetic drugs. 

Many of the well-known retail locations give the appearance of safety and legitimacy to dangerous synthetic products. Enforcing stronger policies against the sale of synthetic drugs in retail locations can protect the brand reputations of these oil companies while also protecting young people. 

The attorneys general request the following actions be considered by these oil companies to address this growing problem:

· Prohibit franchisees from selling any synthetic drugs;

· Ensure this prohibition is understood by store franchisees and their employees by communicating directly with each of them;

· Establish a point of contact in corporate offices for franchisees, should they have any questions about synthetic drugs;

· Revoke franchisee/franchisor relationship with any gas station or convenience store that sells any kind of synthetic drugs; and

· Report to local law enforcement authorities if any franchisee is selling synthetic drugs.

February 5, 2015

WINTER 2015 NEWS

Welcome Trena Penney!!

Cornerstone Christian Counseling, Louisa Inc. welcomes Trena Penney as new counselor.

Trena Penney and counselor Tami Blackburn are both working on Mondays at Louisa office for now. Tammy Dillon will be working on Thursday soon. Both Tami Blackburn and Tammy Dillon have finished their courses for their Masters in counseling and doing their thesis this month. We are pleased to have university of Pikeville intern Carman Koster interning for us for next few months.

Operation Unite has approved CCCL, Inc. for program group therapy for our Suboxone clients. Schedule coming soon. Tami Blackburn will lead that group.

Jill Robinson has a job in Martin county thru the week; however she will see clients by appointment on Saturdays at Louisa office. We appreciate ASAP grants for CCCL, Inc. in 2015.

Thank you for your support. If any church, person or business wants to support a counselor or student just give me a call anytime at 606 638-3323.

Blessings In Christ,

Dr. Shelia Shelia Kensinger
CCCL, Inc. and RCCC
Executive Director

114 N. Vinson Ave.
Louisa, KY. 41230
www.cornerstone-christian-counseling.org
(606) 638-3322