Alert from the Office of Senator Bryant
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SEVERAL OPPORUNITIES AND EVENTS
Sponsored by Halifax County Emergency Management
NON-PROFIT AGENCIES SERVING
Funding applications for non-profit agencies serving the citizens of Warren County are now available. Those agencies meeting the requirements in the Warren County Policy for Funding Non-Profit Agencies will be considered for funding in the FY 16 budget cycle.
For more information or to secure a copy of the funding application and Policy for Funding Non-Profit Agencies, please contact the Warren County Manager’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 252-257-3115. The deadline for receipt of non-profit funding applications is March 16, 2015. Charla Duncan Executive Director, 252.257.2657
HALIFAX COUNTY COMMUNITY DISASTER FORUM
Wednesday March 18, 2015
Sign in/refreshments at 9:30am
Presentations starting at 10:00am to 2:00pm
Halifax County Agricultural Center – 359 Ferrell Lane Halifax, NC
Join us for a day filled with networking, information and resource sharing.
ü Red Cross presentation on Community Organizations working together to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. http://www.redcross.org/
ü NC211 presentation on a service that connects people with important community services to meet every day needs and the immediate needs of people in crisis. http://www.nc211.org/
ü Be prepared to share information about your organization.
FREE to attend FREE Lunch provided
Pre-registration by March 13th is REQUIRED
Call: 252-583-2031 or Email: ManningL@halifaxnc.com
(leave name and number of attendees)
Organic Crop Certification for Agricultural Small Businesses
Vance-Granville Community College, Building 7, Room 7107
March 20, 2015, 8:30 AM – 3 PM
Learn from regional experts as they demystify the USDA Organic Certification process and crop production requirements. Gain practical tips for soil and pest management, organic inputs and application completion. Connect with a certification agency and current certified organic grower to ask questions that are relevant to your agricultural small business.
Workshop Cost: $8/person
Pre-registration is required at the following link: http://bit.ly/ocvance
For questions about registration, contact Anna MacDonald Dobbs at CFSA:
This workshop is sponsored by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, the Southern Organic Female Farmers Association and the Small Business Center of Vance-Granville Community College with funding from the NC Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Springfield Missionary Baptist Church
1706 Wayman Church Road
Post Office Box 128
Littleton, NC 27850
Rev. O. D. Sykes, Pastor
Sunday, March 22, 2015
You are Welcome to Worship and Celebrate with us!!!
For Immediate Release
XXX Urges Constituents to Use Free Online Tax Services Available through the IRS Free File Program
IRS Free File Provides Federal Income Tax Solutions to all Taxpayers
(DATE/LOCATION) – XXXX today encouraged constituents to visit www.IRS.gov/freefile to take advantage of free tax services available through the Free File program. Every taxpayer with a 2014 Adjusted Gross Income of $60,000 or less may visit www.IRS.gov/freefile to prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns at no cost. Free File also provides basic online e-filing services, called Free File Fillable Forms, to all taxpayers regardless of income.
For the 2015 tax season, Free File has been updated to help Americans navigate tax changes related to the Affordable Care Act – with forms 8962 and 8965 available to all taxpayers.
Free File is made possible through a partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, a coalition of industry-leading tax software companies. Since its inception in 2003, the program has offered 70 percent of taxpayers free access to leading commercial tax preparation software from Free File Alliance member companies.
“I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free federal income tax services that are available at www.IRS.gov/freefile,” said XXXX. “Free File offers comprehensive tax software to 70 percent of taxpayers, and makes basic e-filing services available to all, regardless of income. It’s all online, it’s all free, and it’s only at www.IRS.gov/FreeFile.”
Tim Hugo, executive director of the Free File Alliance, commented, “Free File has saved taxpayers more than $1 billion since its inception in 2003. We are proud to once again offer innovative tax software at no cost to 70 percent of taxpayers, while making it possible for everyone to e-file for free.”
Free File is available only at www.irs.gov/freefile, which provides access to a range of free tax software offerings from Free File Alliance member companies.
Users with a 2014 AGI of $60,000 or less may either choose the software offering that fits their needs or utilize the “Help Me Find Free File Software” tool. After selecting a company, users will be transferred to the company’s website to prepare, complete and electronically file their federal income tax returns.
Free File Fillable Forms, a basic federal e-filing service with no income limitations, allows taxpayers who are familiar with tax law and need no preparation assistance to complete and e-file their federal income tax return at no cost. Both services are available in Spanish.
More than 43 million returns have been filed through Free File since its inception, and taxpayers have consistently reported that it is user-friendly and efficient. Responding to a recent IRS survey, 96 percent of users said they found Free File easy to use, while 98 percent said they would recommend the program to others.
About the Free File Alliance
The Free File Alliance, a coalition of 14 industry-leading tax software companies, has partnered with the IRS since 2003 to help low and middle-income Americans prepare, complete and e-file their federal tax returns online. The Free File Alliance is committed to giving 70 percent of taxpayers free access to the industry’s top online tax preparation software. For more information, visit www.freefilealliance.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2015 Contact: CMS Media Relations
(202) 690-6145 | email@example.com
CMS Announces Special Enrollment Period for Tax Season
Eligible consumers have from March 15 through April 30 to enroll in coverage
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today a special enrollment period (SEP) for individuals and families who did not have health coverage in 2014 and are subject to the fee or “shared responsibility payment” when they file their 2014 taxes in states which use the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFM). This special enrollment period will allow those individuals and families who were unaware or didn’t understand the implications of this new requirement to enroll in 2015 health insurance coverage through the FFM.
For those who were unaware or didn’t understand the implications of the fee for not enrolling in coverage, CMS will provide consumers with an opportunity to purchase health insurance coverage from March 15 to April 30. If consumers do not purchase coverage for 2015 during this special enrollment period, they may have to pay a fee when they file their 2015 income taxes.
Those eligible for this special enrollment period live in states with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace and:
The special enrollment period announced today will begin on March 15, 2015 and end at 11:59 pm E.S.T. on April 30, 2015. If a consumer enrolls in coverage before the 15th of the month, coverage will be effective on the first day of the following month.
This year’s tax season is the first time individuals and families will be asked to provide basic information regarding their health coverage on their tax returns. Individuals who could not afford coverage or met other conditions may be eligible to receive an exemption for 2014. To help consumers who did not have insurance last year determine if they qualify for an exemption, CMS also launched a health coverage tax exemption tool today on HealthCare.gov and CuidadodeSalud.gov.
“We recognize that this is the first tax filing season where consumers may have to pay a fee or claim an exemption for not having health insurance coverage,” said CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “Our priority is to make sure consumers understand the new requirement to enroll in health coverage and to provide those who were not aware or did not understand the requirement with an opportunity to enroll in affordable coverage this year.”
Most taxpayers, about three quarters, will only need to check a box when they file their taxes to indicate that they had health coverage in 2014 through their employer, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans care or other qualified health coverage that qualifies as “minimum essential coverage.” The remaining taxpayers – about one-quarter – will take different steps. It is expected that 10 to 20 percent of taxpayers who were uninsured for all or part of 2014 will qualify for an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. A much smaller fraction of taxpayers, an estimated 2 to 4 percent, will pay a fee because they made a choice to not obtain coverage and are not eligible for an exemption.
Americans who do not qualify for an exemption and went without health coverage in 2014 will have to pay a fee – $95 per adult or 1 percent of their income, whichever is greater – when they file their taxes this year. The fee increases to $325 per adult or 2% of income for 2015. Individuals taking advantage of this special enrollment period will still owe a fee for the months they were uninsured and did not receive an exemption in 2014 and 2015. This special enrollment period is designed to allow such individuals the opportunity to get covered for the remainder of the year and avoid additional fees for 2015.
The Administration is committed to providing the information and tools tax filers need to understand the new requirements. Part of this outreach effort involves coordinating efforts with nonprofit organizations and tax preparers who provide resources to consumers and offer on the ground support. If consumers have questions about their taxes, need to download forms, or want to learn more about the fee for not having insurance, they can find information and resources at www.HealthCare.gov/Taxes or www.IRS.gov. Consumers can also call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. Consumers who need assistance filing their taxes can visit IRS.gov/VITA or IRS.gov/freefile
Consumers seeking to take advantage of the special enrollment period can find out if they are eligible by visiting https://www.healthcare.gov/get-coverage Consumers can find local help at: Localhelp.healthcare.gov or call the Federally-facilitated Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Assistance is available in 150 languages. The call is free.
For more information about Health Insurance Marketplaces, visit: www.healthcare.gov/marketplace
Bollinger Foundation Seeks Nominations for Scholarship Grants
The Bollinger Foundation is now accepting nominations for its 2015 grant awards. Assistance is available for families who have lost a parent or guardian where either the deceased or surviving parent or guardian worked or continues to work in the field of public housing, community development, or economic development. Grants are primarily awarded for educational expenses, including special educational needs, school materials, and college tuition.
“It has been very challenging to meet the college tuition demands for four children on a municipal salary and as a single parent. The Bollinger Foundation grant has allowed me to continue working in a career I love, and provide for my youngest son, Tommy, the college education that his older brother and sisters had.”
The Foundation’s main source of funding, the Bollinger Golf Tournament, will be held on Friday June 12th at 2:00 PM at the Andrew’s Air Force Base Golf Course. Sponsorship and participation in the tournament is open to all organizations and individuals interested in the mission of the organization. Past major sponsors have included, but are not limited to: Branig Capital Markets, Walker & Dunlop LLC, Lerner Foundation, CFG Community Bank, International Economic Development Council, Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, Capital Funding Group Inc, Reznick Group, Credit Suisse, Freddie Mac, The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, The National Association of Realtors and Wells Fargo Mortgage. If you are interested in participating in the tournament, being a sponsor of the tournament, and/or donating to the Foundation please visit the Bollinger Foundation website or contact Kaylan Levie.
Family Planning Waiver/Coverage Gap Persons
Below is an excerpt from the DMA website about the Family Planning
Waiver that North Carolina currently has approved by CMS:
Be Smart. Be Ready. Free Reproductive Health Services in North Carolina Facts about the Medicaid Family Planning “BE SMART” Program
What is the Medicaid Family Planning “BE SMART” program?
The Medicaid Family Planning Program, or “BE SMART” program, is designed to reduce unintended pregnancies and improve the well-being of children and families in North Carolina. Family planning/reproductive health services are provided to eligible men and women whose income is at or below 195% of the federal poverty level.
What services are covered under the “BE SMART” program?
The following services are covered through the “Be Smart” when provided as part of a family planning visit:
Annual and periodic office visits (including counseling, patient education, and treatment)
Specific laboratory procedures (i.e., pap tests, pregnancy tests)
FDA-approved and Medicaid-covered birth control methods, procedures, pharmaceutical supplies, and
Screening for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
Screening and treatment for specific Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Voluntary sterilization (in accordance with federal sterilization guidelines)
Note: There is no co-payment for beneficiaries for services received through the “BE SMART” program.
When services are not covered under the “BE SMART” program and the provider does not offer affordable or free care, patients should be referred to their local department of social services (DSS) for a list of primary care “safety net” providers.
Who can sign up for the “BE SMART” program?
Eligible individuals whose income is at or below 195% of the federal poverty level and who are:
U.S. citizens, documented immigrants or qualified aliens;
Residents of North Carolina;
Not pregnant; and
Not permanently sterilized.
How can I sign my patients up for the “BE SMART” program?
Individuals interested in applying may get an application from their local DSS, health department or on-line at http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dma/medicaid/applications.htm. The completed application must be returned to their local DSS.
Who do I contact if I have questions about the “BE SMART” program?
For more information about this special Medicaid program, please visit North Carolina’s Medicaid website at http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dma/medicaid/familyplanning.htm.
A full explanation is at the following link http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dma/medicaid/familyplanning.htm
The national headquarters for Sigma Alpha Epsilon is closing its chapter at the University of Oklahoma after video surfaced Sunday of members on a bus singing racist lyrics about their fraternity. SAE’s national office called the video “inappropriate” and said it was “disgusted” by its members behavior.
“In addition, all of the members have been suspended, and those members who are responsible for the incident may have their membership privileges revoked permanently,” the national SAE office said in its statement.
Prior to SAE’s announcement, University of Oklahoma President David Boren said if they determine it is in fact their chapter of SAE, the fraternity would be removed from campus. (Source: Read more)