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The Last Minute is Now!


By Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant

If you’re on Medicare and you’re waiting for the last minute to decide whether or not to change you prescription drug plan, the last minute is NOW!

December 7th is the final day to make any changes for your Medicare prescription or health plan. Unfortunately, if you need any help or have questions, it’s too late for help from me as I need most of those final days to wrap up details on individuals I have already assisted.

There are several ways to make sure you don’t pay too much for your prescription drugs. You can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). After a few automated button pushes you can get to an operator who will enter your prescriptions into the Medicare Plan Finder. They will then be able to help you decide which plan will save you the most money. They will ask for your Medicare number, but since you initiated the call to 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) that should be a safe place to provide this personal information.

If you have a computer (or a child or grandchild who does) you can take care of this process yourself. Just go to the websitewww.medicare.gov and click on “Find Health and Drug Plans” and you’ll be on your way to comparing your prescriptions, selecting which drug store(s) you want to compare with and deciding which of the 23 Medicare prescription drug plans saves you the most money for 2016. If you’d like to try comparing on the Medicare.gov website but would like a little guidance, stop by the Nebraska Extension Office in Burt County for a Step by Step Medicare Comparison Help Sheet or email Sharon at our office atswimer2@unl.edu and we’ll send you a copy to help walk you through the process.

If all else fails, call the UNL Extension office in Burt County at 402-374-2929 and make an appointment for the final personal comparison sessions in Lyons on Monday, November 30 at the Lyons Library or in Tekamah on Tuesday, December 1 at the Chatt Center. Trained volunteers will be working that day to help compare plans that fit your needs and save you money.

Some people already have the least expensive plan for their needs, but unless you compare, you don’t know that for sure. Don’t give up your peace of mind unless you’ve compared and know your current plan will still be the best value next year.

The Medicare Last Minute is NOW…don’t miss this once a year chance to make sure your Medicare prescription or health plan is the best choice for you.

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4-H Bits and Pieces


My Year In 4-H

4-H members should have received a copy of the “My Year In 4-H” form in their newsletter last week. I encourageALL of our 4-H members to complete this activity sheet. It is a good opportunity to take credit for the activities you have done throughout the year as well as getting credit for the assistance and participation of your parents. It serves a dual purpose of hopefully making you aware of many, MANY opportunities in the 4-H program you may be unaware of and might like to pursue in the future. Families with more than one member can either make copies or use different symbols on the form to identify different 4-H members, or just stop by for an extra copy or two. Check it out, check it off and return it to the UNL Extension Office by Monday, December 8.  Then make plans to pick up your award at the 4-H Achievement Celebration in January. Invitations will go out to all 4-H families after the 4-H Council meets to make plans for the event.

 

Career Portfolio Assistance & Information

Don’t let your 4-H year end without getting recognized for all your efforts. The 4-H Career Portfolio is your opportunity to compile all your activities, 4-H and beyond into one great little summary. It’s all on the computer so you can keep adding activities and new years to your report as time goes on. Besides making it possible for you to win 4-H awards, you can also enter your 4-H Career Portfolio in the county fair as an extra exhibit. Contact the Extension Office for a 4-H Awards Entry sheet.

The biggest reason to fill it out is because you will NEVER remember all the great things you did, such as projects, activities, community service, etc. All of these things will become VERY important as you apply for college scholarships, apply for National Honor Society, and lots more. The 4-H Career Portfolio becomes a computerized diary of all your 4-H activities and much more. It includes school and community activities as well. You may find the 4-H Career Portfolio on-line at: http://4h.unl.edu/careerportfolio and scroll down the page to find the form you can fill in. If you have any questions please call the UNL Extension Office at 402-374-2929 we’d love to help!

The 4-H Career Portfolios will be due in the Extension Office on Monday, December 8.

 

4-H Council Meeting

The 4-H Council will meet Wednesday, December 10 to make plans for the 4-H Achievement Celebration and attend to any other business. The meeting will be held in the Burt County Courthouse beginning at 7:00 p.m. Come with fun ideas for this event! THANKS!

 

 

4-H Planning Meeting

The annual 4-H Planning Meeting will be held Monday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. in

the First National Bank Meeting Room in Tekamah.  All 4-H members, leaders and parents are welcome to attend and participate. Please bring all sports and activities calendars so we can avoid as many conflicts as possible. Hope to see you there!

 

Martha & Don Romeo Scholarship

The Nebraska Association of Fair Managers will award a $500 scholarship to one qualifying 4-H male and 4-H female who are graduating seniors in the State of Nebraska who plan to continue with post high school education. The scholarship will be awarded at the annual NAFM convention in January. For the application, please call the UNL Extension Office in Burt County at 402-374-2929. Applications are due in the Extension Office December 1, 2014.

 

 

Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

4-H Adventure Day Camp


By Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant

UNL Extension in Burt and Cuming County joined together to host the 4-H Adventure Day Camp in Neligh Park in West Point Thursday, June 5.

34 Campers had the opportunity to get a taste of what a true 4-H camp can be during this day camp experience. Ten teen counselors from both counties helped supervise the campers, assisted with workshops, played games and in general, made the camp memorable for the participants. Behind the scenes the Cuming County Adventure Day Camp Committee worked to provide meals, snacks and help with activities.

Adventures awaiting the campers included workshops on:

Electrical Safety, presented by Nikki White of the Cuming County Public Power District;

Leaf Printing presented by UNL Extension Assistant, Kelli Lechtenberg;

Building a Bird House and Wildlife Tracks sessions led by UNL Extension Educator, Debra Schroeder and Sarah Herzinger.

Food Science Activities and making Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag sessions led by UNL Extension Assistant, Mary Loftis;

Introduction to Entomology presented by Erin Ingram and Ivy Orellano of the UNL Department of Entomology and canoeing which was led by Cory Krause, Conservation Officer of the Nebraska Game and Parks.

It was a full day of fun and education for everyone involved and hopefully the campers will decide to attend one of the many multiple day camps offered at the Nebraska 4-H Camps near Gretna and Halsey, NE. If you’d like more information on these camps (4-H membership is not a requirement to attend) please call the UNL Extension Office at 402-374-2929 or go to the Nebraska 4-H Camp website at: http://4h.unl.edu/4hcamps

Part of the Food Science workshop at the Adventure Day Camp found these 4-H members experiencing inertia and gravity. Madison Mandel, Reese Hansen and Sami Linder watching the eggs experience gravity and drop safely in the glass of water after they provided the unbalanced force to change inertia (hitting) the pie tin and toilet paper tube out from underneath them. Photo Credit/Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant.

Part of the Food Science workshop at the Adventure Day Camp found these 4-H members experiencing inertia and gravity. Madison Mandel, Reese Hansen and Sami Linder watching the eggs experience gravity and drop safely in the glass of water after they provided the unbalanced force to change inertia (hitting) the pie tin and toilet paper tube out from underneath them. Photo Credit/Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant.

Alex Davis of Tekamah gets help from Jordan Fullner as she makes a bird house at the 4-H Adventure Camp.  Photo Credit/Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant.

Alex Davis of Tekamah gets help from Jordan Fullner as she makes a bird house at the 4-H Adventure Camp.
Photo Credit/Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant.

Suddenly It’s Summer


The heat, the humidity, the kids out of school and wondering what to do?
Check out these great ideas to get the kids out and about having fun and actively learning this summer! 4-H teens can volunteer to help out at any of these activities to make their summer full of leadership experiences…and fun too of course!

 

Aquaculture & Fishing Workshop – June 16 – Fremont

Are you curious about aquaculture? Love fishing? Then the Aquaculture & Fishing Workshop is for you!

This workshop will be led by Dodge County 4-H’er Jessica Shonka and is part of the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience – Fish Farm Challenge, presented by Monsanto, which aims to make agriscience relevant and fun for youth ages eight to 18. The workshop will be held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office in Dodge County (1206 W. 23rd Street, Fremont, NE) on Monday, June 16 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Registration forms and a $10 participant fee (covering lunch and refreshments) are due by Wednesday, June 11. Participants will learn the importance of aquaculture and how it is a way to feed the people of the world. They will also work on a 4-H project focusing on the life cycles of different fish. Participants enrolled in 4-H within their perspective counties will be able to exhibit the 4-H project in Conservation/Wildlife – Class 3, Fish Display OR Class 5, Wildlife Connections. To register contact the UNL Extension Office in Dodge County at 402-727-2275 or in Burt County at 402-374-2929.

 

Experiment with Color Composition Workshop- Tuesday, June 17 – Oakland

Artist and former art teacher, Jan Cline-Zimmerman of Creative Connections in Oakland has agreed to share her skills with our 4-H members. We discussed several REALLY COOL ideas for the workshop and she is working out the details. Whatever we do, you won’t be disappointed in your finished product! The workshop will be from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 17 at her studio on Main Street in Oakland. The regular cost of the session is $14.00, including a mat for the picture, but Burt County 4-H members can attend for $7.00 thanks to the Burt County 4-H Council’s support. Call the UNL Extension Office at 402-374-2929 to register. Don’t wait…there is only room for 15 or so for this workshop! Registration deadline is June 11.

 

 

Making Money Camp – Thursday & Friday, June 19-20 – Oakland

Learn what it takes to create products and services to start and run your own business. Youth, ages 10-14 will learn entrepreneurial thinking and skills using business and marketing principles. Camp fee is $25, but only $12.50 for Burt County 4-H members thanks to the 4-H Council’s support. Registration deadline is Wednesday, June 11.

 

Patriotic T-Shirt Workshop – Tuesday, June 24 – Oakland

Bring a pre-washed t-shirt and go home with a patriotic masterpiece you can wear on the 4th of July and exhibit at the fair! 4-H members of any age can take this opportunity to create a unique and beautiful T-shirt during this workshop. The workshop fee is $5.00, but Burt County 4-H members may attend for only $2.50 thanks to the 4-H Council. Jan Cline-Zimmerman of Creative Connections in Oakland is presenting this workshop. She is also offering a $3.00 smoothie special for the day! So bring a little extra cash in case you get thirsty! The workshop will be held at Creative Connections on the South end of Main Street in Oakland from 1:00-2:30 p.m. and bring a shirt! Registration deadline is June 19. Call 402-374-2929 to sign up.

 

Acrylic Painting Workshop with ”Let’s Paint Run Aways” – Thursday, June 26

Don’t miss out on this great acrylic painting workshop! We’ve had this group help us step by step through the painting process for 10 years. Connie has promised new ideas for her painting ideas, so be prepared to get excited! The workshop will be held in the

4-H Kitchen on the Fairgrounds in Oakland from 9:00-Noon on Thursday, June 26. The workshop cost will be $28/painter or $35 with a frame. However Burt County 4-H members may attend for half price in the Burt County location. If they choose to attend one of the other county sessions they will need to pay that county’s full price. Registration deadline is June 19.

Other dates and locations are:

*Cuming County – Tuesday, June 24 – 9:00 a.m.

*Colfax County – Tuesday, June 24 – 2:00 p.m.

*Saunders County – Wednesday, June 25 – 9:00 a.m.

*Washington County – Wednesday, June 25 – 1:30

 

4-H Clover Kid Camp (ages 5-7) – Tuesday, July 1

Camp will become real to our youngest 4-H members at the 2nd Annual Clover Kid Camp! This fun morning or afternoon will be filled with activities, games and projects! Campers may choose from the morning session which runs from 9:00-Noon or the afternoon session from 1:00-4:00 p.m. Activities will be the same at both sessions. The 4-H Clover Kid Camp will be held on the Burt County Fairgrounds in Oakland, mainly centered in the 4-H Building. Camp registration is $20 (Only $10.00 since the 4-H Council will cover the other half of your registration.) Activities will include tin punch, no-sew pillow, nutritious snacks and much more still in the planning!  Registrations are due June 25. Teen counselors are also needed for this fun day so call in and volunteer and make some great young friends!

 

 

Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Beware of Online Summer Vacation Rental Scams


By Mary Loftis, Extension Assistant

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Planning you summer vacation? The internet is a budget conscious planner’s best friend, but watch out for these typical rental scams.

Craigslist Cons:

Con artists will lift a legitimate ad from Craigslist or another website, attract attention by adding a bargain-basement rental price, including a fake email address, and then ask prospective renters to wire money or send a prepaid debit card for a security deposit.

 

Only in Your Dreams:

With budget rates attached to a too-good-to-be-true listing, scammers try to get your money before you find out the property just doesn’t exist.

 

Full Service Fraud:

In more advanced scams, scammers create entire websites highlighting a variety of rental properties around the world at attractive prices. The sites come complete with detailed photos and descriptions of the properties, information on local attractions, renter testimonials, and currency exchange calculators.

What to Do:

  • Use a reputable website, travel agency, or online broker to find your rental.
  • Do your research and check that the person offering the rental is the actual owner, and verify that the address is real.  For example, use Google image search to see if the photos in the listing are actually duplicates, and search for the actual street address to see what comes up.
  • Never wire money; paying with PayPal or a credit card can offer some extra security.
  • Beware of below-market rate rental offers. Understandably, consumers will be tempted to act quickly to take advantage of a “great” deal. Con artists depend on that.
  • Be wary when a property owner claims to be outside of the United States.
  • Try to get referrals from friends who might have some vacation properties they can recommend and are familiar with.

Never respond to an email offering vacation rentals to avoid common phishing schemes.

If you’ve been scammed, notify local law enforcement and your Attorney General. Go here to find out where to report fraud and be sure to warn others by telling your story on our Fraud Watch map.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of identity theft or fraud, contact the AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center at 877-908-3360 or the Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-800-234-7119.

 

 

Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

Babysitting Clinic Being Offered


UNL Extension is offering a free Babysitting Clinic for any students in grades 3-6 across the county. This three session clinic will be held April 8, 10 and 15 in the Oakland City Auditorium in Oakland. Sessions will run from 3:45-5:00 p.m. each of the days. Participants must attend all three sessions to receive their Babysitting Clinic Certificate. All students in this age group are encouraged to attend. Call the UNL Extension Office at 402-374-2929 to pre-register by Noon, Tuesday, April 8.

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis,
Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929
Fax: (402) 374-2930
Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

4-H Week Greens Up The Horizon


By Mary Loftis

Extension Assistant

Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

 

Burt County 4-H Week is March 2-8 and it will start off with a bang on Sunday, March 2 with the 4-H Achievement Celebration/Kickoff afternoon of fun. The family fun will begin at 3:00 p.m. at the Tekamah Auditorium with a variety of fun activities including nerf kickball and bingo.

At 4:00 we’ll shift gears to recognize our 4-H award winners and present pins to our 1, 5 and 10 year 4-H members and our senior 4-H’ers. In addition we will honor our 4-H leaders who have served 2, 5, 10 and 15 years.

Then we’ll shift into eating mode with pizza and pop followed by a movie with popcorn.

We’ll make sure everyone heads home in time for the Oscars.

Make sure you and your family are signed up for the fun so we know how many to plan for. Call the UNL Extension Office by Friday noon at 402-374-2929 to say you can make it. And make sure you invite anyone who might want to become a 4-H member. It’s a kickoff event, but could also show someone new what there is to do and win in 4-H also.

With 4-H Week on the horizon I want to remind all our 4-H Clubs to make plans to celebrate it with a 4-H store display for the week. Remember the Burt County 4-H Council is offering $50 for each club making a display in a store window. Please send me a picture of your window display so you can show your display and we can promote them during the fair too! You can email them to me at mloftis2@unl.edu

4-H members are also reminded to plan some type of promotion in school for 4-H Week. Make arrangements to visit elementary school classrooms and tell them about 4-H, what you learn, what you do, friends, etc. Also, Thursday, March 6 is “Wear your 4-H t-shirt to School Day!” If you can’t find yours or need a new one for the fair we have them in the Extension Office of course!

Keep in mind the 4-H Snow and Snowless Sculpture Contest…as it’s snowing as I write, hopefully we’ll have a few entries in the Snow categories…otherwise, you’ll just have to get more creative for the snowless ones! Remember to send a picture of you with your creation to me at mloftis2@unl.edu or to the UNL Extension Office at 111 N. 13th Street, Suite #6, Tekamah, NE 68061 by April 1.

 

East Oaks 4-H Pancake Feed

Although the East Oaks Pancake Feed isn’t “officially” part of 4-H Week, it’s an annual tradition I know the club members look forward to each year. Mark Sunday, March 16 on your calendars and make plans to eat breakfast or lunch with the East Oaks 4-H Club at the Vet’s Building in Oakland from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. It’s always a great time to see the 4-H members in action!

 

 

 

Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930

Internet: mloftis2@unl.edu

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