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HEAP Assistance Begins Monday

Genesee County residents faced some frigid temperatures this week and it’s not going to get easier heading in December.

Heating costs expected to rise by up to 13 percent this winter, making it difficult to ignore the need for heat. Help in the form of the federal low-income heat energy assistance program opens Monday, so families and seniors don’t have to choose between necessary prescriptions and a warm home.

Genesee County processes 1,500 HEAP cases per year and the Department of Social Services has already started processing about a thousand applications through early outreach initiatives.

“Effective the start date of HEAP (Monday) that money will be available if they need to have a benefit called in because they have a shutoff or they’re low on product they can definitely do that and get that help immediately,” Joann Strzelecki, HEAP program director, said.

Apply through Social Services or Office for the Aging (hours are 8:30 to 5 at both locations. Call 344-2587 for SS and 343-1611 for the Office for the Aging.)

Eligible households can receive up to $650 for energy costs.

Genesee County Sheriff's Office Receives State Award

The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is being recognized by the state and Mothers Against Drunk Driving for its efforts in deterring drunk driving.

It was awarded a “Law Enforcement Agency Award” by the state’s STOP-DWI Foundation, MADD and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee in Schenectady recently.

In 2012, deputies with the sheriff’s office made 150 DWI arrests, checked 49 establishments for sales to minors and charged 700 with illegal possession of alcohol at Darien Lake.

They also instructed over 350 students on the D.A.R.E program about the ramifications of alcohol and drug abuse.

Three States to Reject Obama's Insurance Fix

Three states have announced that they will reject President Barack Obama’s insurance exchange fix.

The proposed fix, which Obama announced Thursday, will allow health insurance companies to continue to offer plans that do not meet his law’s standards for another year.

However, Obama’s fix does not guarantee that people will be able to keep their healthcare plans since insurance is regulated by the state.

As of Friday, Arkansas, Vermont and Washington already announced that they would be rejecting the plan.

Some fear that the extension could potentially be damaging since insurers and regulators were already three years into the process of phasing out plans that did not meet the law’s requirements.

Florida, Ohio and Kentucky have announced that they will be accepting the proposed extension and certain insurance companies in those states have said that they would send letters to those who have received cancellation notices and offer to extend their old coverage.
 

 

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