FOLKSTON GEORGIA
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Latest News - FOLKSTON GEORGIA

Catching on at kid-friendly Okefenokee Swamp


The east entrance is the Suwannee Canal Recreation Area off GA Highway 121 near Folkston, and the Stephen C. Foster State Park near Fargo is on the west side of the swamp. Each has a boat ramp and boat rentals. Cabins and camping are available at the state ...

Folkston keeping it in the family


His son, is a graduate of UGA and the Georgia School of Law. Patrick has been in private practice since 2012. He is married to Crystal Brooks, and the couple has one son, Rhett. Kelly attended his last Folkston council meeting, as city attorney ...

Suwannee County arrests for Feb. 12-16, 2015


Williams Feb 14, James Allen Gould, Jr., 25, 387 Old Magnolia Drive, Folkston, GA, DUI: FHP- Sumner Feb 14, Darryl Grimmage, 51, 812 Edna Ave, Live Oak, FL, Petit Theft, Order Revoking Bond, O/C Trespass After Warning: LOPD- M. Mouton Feb 15, Ernest Lamar ...

FBI seeking Folkston, Ga. bank robbery suspect


FOLKSTON, Ga. -- The FBI is asking for your help identifying and finding a man suspected of robbing a bank in Folkston at gunpoint Friday morning. The suspect may have even called in threats to nearby schools beforehand to distract authorities from the ...

Folkston native, former Georgia Bulldog Champ Bailey retires from NFL


Champ Bailey, a Folkston, Ga. native, and one of the best defensive backs to play in the NFL, has decided to retire from the league his agent said Tuesday. Jack Reale, told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, that Bailey planned to retired instead of trying to ...

Tesheka Campbell, Of Folkston, Georgia, Missing, Car Found


Tesheka Campbell missing persons case: Georgia police are searching for a Charlton County woman who vanished on Monday. FCN-12 is reporting tonight that Tesheka Maria Campbell’s car was found abandoned but Tesheka, whom friends and family refer to as ...

Georgia Looks To Reopen Some Closed Hospitals As ERs


By Susanna Capelouto, NPR An ambulance races down an empty street in Folkston, Ga., population about 5,000. It bypasses Charlton Memorial Hospital, makes a sharp right turn and speeds to an emergency room 40 miles away. Why? Because Charlton Memorial ...

Georgia News Roundup


FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) — A former high school teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for having sex with multiple students. Morris News Service reports 33-year-old DaNita Wilson appeared in court Monday and pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual ...

Winter Railwatch this weekend in Folkston, Georgia


Brave railfans will be braving the "cold" temperatures in South Georgia this weekend for Winter Railwatch. Folkston rolls out the red carpet to rail fans with a nice viewing platform, free wi-fi, and lots of trains on the CSX railroad which bisects the town.

Georgia's 'Folkston Funnel' a mecca for train lovers


FOLKSTON, Ga. — Alerted by the crackling voice of an unseen dispatcher, two devoted rail fans spring into action. All aboard: Nearly every freight train from the eastern half of the country passes through Folkston, making it a train lover's mecca.

FW: INITIAL / Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, Union / Hard Freeze Warning / DEM-Lawhon


From: SWP@em.myflorida.com [mailto:SWP@em.myflorida. com] Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2015 2:43 AM To: SWP | State Watch Office Subject: INITIAL / Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duv…

What's the weather line in...


Indiana? http://www.railstream.org /live-cameras-free/cheste rton-in-west-free Indiana looking the other way...
http://www.railstream.org /live-cameras-free/cheste rton-in-east-free How about up in the …

From Maureen Downey: One teachers plea to stop the madness of overtesting


A teacher’s plea to Georgia lawmakers: Lessen testing so we can return to teaching February 10, 2015 |  This video player must be at least 300x168 pixels in order to operate.I love hearing from ed…

A teacher’s plea to Georgia lawmakers: Lessen testing so we can return to teaching


I love hearing from educators in the field because they are living most of the issues we discuss on this blog. Their front-line reports and their insights are critical to any discussions. Mary N. Fou…

The Citadel Announces 2015 Football Signing Class


Coach Houston & staff got the players they wanted, a rarity these days. CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel head coach Mike Houston announced on Wednesday the addition of 17 players who have signed Nation…

Centenary of WW1; Kilmore Remembers: Arthur Herbert Harrington


Private 4435 and 5172 Arthur (pictured below seated) was the eldest son of twelve of Denis James (Din) Harrington and his wife Amelia Margaret (Milly) Johnston. He was born in September 1895 at Tanta…




SPECIAL INFORMATION FOR FOLKSTON

Make Your Health Benefits Work for You in FOLKSTON GEORGIA

The Department of Labor´s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) administers several important health benefit laws covering employer-based health plans. They govern your basic rights to information about how your health plan works, how to qualify for benefits, and how to make claims for benefits.

In addition, there are specific laws protecting your right to health benefits when you lose coverage or change jobs. EBSA also oversees health care laws covering special medical conditions. For more information on the laws that protect your benefits, see EBSA´s Website. Or call the agency toll free at 1-866-444-3272 to reach a regional office near you. These 10 tips can help make your health benefits work better for you.

1. Explore Your Options for Health Coverage

You have options for health coverage. There are many different types of health benefit plans. Find out what your employer offers, then check out the plan (or plans). Your employer´s human resource office, the health plan administrator, or your union can provide information to help you match your needs and preferences with the available plans. Or consider a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Visit HealthCare.gov to see the health plan options available in your area. Get information about all of your options and review it. The more information you have, the better your health care decisions will be.

2. Review the Benefits Available

Do the plans offered cover the benefits that are important to you, such as mental health services, well-baby care, vision or dental care? Are there deductibles? What are the out-of-pocket expenses you may face? Determine your needs and priorities. Compare all of your options before you decide which coverage to elect. Matching your needs and those of your family members will result in the best possible benefits. Cheapest may not always be best. Your goal is high quality health benefits.

3. Read Your Plan´s Summary Plan Description (SPD) for the Wealth of Information It Provides

Your health plan administrator should provide a copy. It outlines your benefits and your legal rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Federal law that protects your health benefits. It also should contain information about the coverage of dependents, what services will require a co-payment or coinsurance, and the circumstances under which your employer can change or terminate a health benefits plan. You also can find many of the answers to your questions in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), a short, easy-to-understand summary of what a plan covers and what it costs. You should receive a copy with your enrollment materials. Save the SPD, the SBC, and all other health plan brochures and documents, along with memos or correspondence from your employer relating to health benefits.

4. Use Your Health Coverage

Once your health coverage has started, use it to help cover medical costs for services like going to the doctor, filling prescriptions or getting emergency care. Using your benefits will help you and your family stay healthy and reduce your health care costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides many valuable protections for people enrolled in employment-based health plans including prohibiting preexisting condition exclusions and annual and lifetime limits on essential health benefits. What’s more, many plans cover certain preventive services for free, including routine vaccinations, regular well-baby and well-child visits, blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests, and many cancer screenings. You also can keep your children on your health plan until age 26. Take advantage of your benefits, especially free preventive care if your plan covers it. If you were required to pay cost-sharing for a preventive service, check your Explanation of Benefits and ensure that the provider billed the service properly.

5. Understand Your Plan’s Mental Health and Substance Use Coverage

Many health plans provide coverage for mental health and substance use disorder benefits. If a plan does offer these benefits, the financial requirements (such as co-payments and deductibles) and the quantitative treatment limits (such as visit limits) for the mental health and substance use disorder benefits cannot be more restrictive than the financial requirements or treatment limits applied to medical/surgical benefits. Plans also cannot impose lifetime and annual limits on the dollar amount of mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment. Some plans cover preventive services like screenings for depression and child behavioral assessments for free. Check your SPD and SBC to find out what your plan covers.

6. Look For Wellness Programs

More employers are establishing wellness programs that encourage employees to work out, stop smoking, and generally adopt healthier lifestyles. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the ACA encourage group health plans to adopt wellness programs but also includes protections for employees and dependents from impermissible discrimination based on a health factor. These programs often provide rewards such as cost savings as well as promoting good health. Check your SPD and SBC to see whether your plan offers a wellness program(s). If your plan does, find out what reward is offered and what you need to do to receive it.

7. Know How to File an Appeal if Your Health Benefits Claim is Denied

Understand your plan’s procedures for filing a claim for benefits and where to make appeals of the plan´s decisions. Pay attention to time limits – make sure you timely file claims and appeals and that the plan makes decisions on time. Keep records and copies of correspondence. Check your health benefits package and your SPD to determine who is responsible for handling problems with benefit claims. Contact EBSA for assistance if you are unable to obtain a response to your complaint.

8. Assess Your Benefits Coverage as Your Family Status Changes

Marriage, Porce, childbirth or adoption, the death of a spouse, and aging out of a parent’s health plan are life events that may signal a need to change your health benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children may be eligible for special enrollment into other employer health coverage or through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Even without life-changing events, the information provided by your employer should tell you how you can change benefits or switch plans. If you’re considering special enrollment, act quickly. You have 30 days after the life event to request special enrollment in other employer coverage or 60 days to select a plan in the Marketplace.

9. Be Aware that Changing Jobs and Other Work Events Can Affect Your Health Benefits

If you change employers or lose your job, you may need to find other health coverage. If you have a new job, consider enrolling in your new employer’s plan. Whether starting or losing a job, you may be eligible to special enroll in a spouse’s employer-sponsored plan or through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – better known as COBRA – you, your covered spouse, and your dependent children may be eligible to continue coverage under your former employer-sponsored plan. This coverage is temporary (generally 18 to 36 months) and you may have to pay the entire premium plus a 2 percent administrative charge. Get information on your coverage options and compare. Be aware of the deadlines for deciding on coverage and find out when your new coverage will be effective.

10. Plan For Retirement

Before you retire, find out what health benefits, if any, extend to you and your spouse during your retirement years. Consult with your employer´s human resources office, your union, or the plan administrator. Check your SPD and other plan documents. Make sure there is no conflicting information among these sources about the benefits you will receive or the circumstances under which they can change or be eliminated. With this information in hand, you can make other important choices, like finding out if you are eligible for Medicare and Medigap insurance coverage. If you want to retire before you are eligible for Medicare and your employer does not provide health benefits in retirement, consider what you will do for health coverage. Your options may include enrolling in a spouse’s employer plan or in a Marketplace plan or temporarily continuing your employer coverage by electing COBRA. Planning for retirement includes planning for your health coverage in retirement. To find out more, read Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning.

These Laws Can Help

  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act – Offers protection for inPiduals enrolled in retirement, health, and other benefit plans sponsored by private-sector employers, and provides rights to information and a claims and appeals process for participants to get benefits from their plans.
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Creates the Health Insurance Marketplace and provides protections for employment-based health coverage, including extending dependent coverage of children to age 26; prohibiting preexisting condition exclusions and prohibiting lifetime and annual limits on essential health benefits.
  • The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – Contains provisions giving certain former employees, retirees, spouses, and dependent children the right to purchase temporary continuation of group health plan coverage at group rates in specific instances.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – Allows employees, their spouses and their dependents to enroll in employer-provided health coverage regardless of open enrollment periods if they lose coverage or in the event of marriage, birth, adoption or placement for adoption. Also prohibits discrimination in health care coverage.
  • The Women´s Health and Cancer Rights Act – Offers protections for breast cancer patients who elect breast reconstruction in connection with a mastectomy.
  • The Newborns´ and Mothers´ Health Protection Act – Provides rules on minimum coverage for hospital lengths of stay following childbirth.
  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act – Prohibits discrimination in group health plan premiums based on genetic information. Also, generally prohibits group health plans from requesting genetic information or requiring genetic tests.
  • The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Mental Health Parity Act – Requires parity in financial requirements and treatment limitations for mental health and substance use benefits with those for medical and surgical benefits.
  • The Children´s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act – Allows special enrollment in a group health plan if an employee or dependents lose coverage under CHIP or Medicaid or are eligible for premium assistance under those programs.

For More Information

Visit the Employee Benefits Security Administration’s Website to view the following publications. To order copies or to request assistance from a benefits advisor, contact EBSA electronically or call toll free 1-866-444-3272.

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FOLKSTON GEORGIA tspan:3m FOLKSTON GEORGIA




Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day in FOLKSTON GEORGIA

The U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) today released a new Quarterly Report detailing how the program continues to help small businesses grow and create jobs. Since the beginning of the program, the Treasury Department has disbursed more than $1.1 billion to participating states.

The Internal Revenue Service is partnering with community-based organizations across the country to promote Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, an effort to alert millions of low and moderate-income workers who may be missing out on a significant tax credit that can be as much as $6,000.

Millions of workers who earned $52,427 or less last year may qualify for EITC for the first time in 2015, making awareness of the credit critical. About a third of the people eligible for EITC fluctuate each year based on changes to their marital, parental and financial status. All across the United States, local officials and community organizations are holding events highlighting this key benefit.

“About four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit they earned. That leaves millions missing EITC every year,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “It’s an important credit and one of the government’s best tools to fight poverty.”

Last year, almost 28 million eligible workers and families received $66 billion total in EITC, with an average EITC amount of $2,400.

The IRS website is a valuable first stop to help taxpayers get it right this filing season, from information on claiming the EITC, to learning about the Affordable Care Act (known as the health care law), to finding free tax help. The IRS encourages everyone to use the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov/eitc, an interactive tool to find out if they are eligible for the credit. The IRS website also provides helpful information on the health care law and how it may affect tax returns at IRS.gov/aca. There is also an interactive tool that helps individuals determine if they are eligible for the premium tax credit. And qualified taxpayers may also find a free tax return preparation site on IRS.gov/vita.

The amount of EITC varies depending on income, family size and filing status. Those who work for someone else or those who run a business or farm and who earned $52,427 or less during 2014 could receive larger refunds if they qualify for the EITC. This could mean up to $496 in EITC for people without children, and a maximum credit of up to $6,143 for those with three or more qualifying children.

The EITC is refundable. This means those eligible may get a refund from the IRS even if they owe no tax or had no taxes withheld from their paycheck.

Workers potentially eligible to claim the credit should visit IRS.gov/eitc to learn if they qualify, how to claim the credit and more. The EITC Assistant will also determine their filing status, if they have a qualifying child or children and estimate the amount of the EITC they could get. If an individual doesn’t qualify for EITC, the Assistant explains why and a summary of the results can be printed.

Get the Credit — How to Claim the EITC

To get the EITC, workers must file a tax return, even if they are not legally required to file, and specifically claim the credit. Free tax help is available to those eligible for the EITC:

The Internal Revenue Service is partnering with community-based organizations across the country to promote Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, an effort to alert millions of low and moderate-income workers who may be missing out on a significant tax credit that can be as much as $6,000.

Millions of workers who earned $52,427 or less last year may qualify for EITC for the first time in 2015, making awareness of the credit critical. About a third of the people eligible for EITC fluctuate each year based on changes to their marital, parental and financial status. All across the United States, local officials and community organizations are holding events highlighting this key benefit.

“About four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit they earned. That leaves millions missing EITC every year,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “It’s an important credit and one of the government’s best tools to fight poverty.”

Last year, almost 28 million eligible workers and families received $66 billion total in EITC, with an average EITC amount of $2,400.

The IRS website is a valuable first stop to help taxpayers get it right this filing season, from information on claiming the EITC, to learning about the Affordable Care Act (known as the health care law), to finding free tax help. The IRS encourages everyone to use the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov/eitc, an interactive tool to find out if they are eligible for the credit. The IRS website also provides helpful information on the health care law and how it may affect tax returns at IRS.gov/aca. There is also an interactive tool that helps individuals determine if they are eligible for the premium tax credit. And qualified taxpayers may also find a free tax return preparation site on IRS.gov/vita.

The amount of EITC varies depending on income, family size and filing status. Those who work for someone else or those who run a business or farm and who earned $52,427 or less during 2014 could receive larger refunds if they qualify for the EITC. This could mean up to $496 in EITC for people without children, and a maximum credit of up to $6,143 for those with three or more qualifying children.

The EITC is refundable. This means those eligible may get a refund from the IRS even if they owe no tax or had no taxes withheld from their paycheck.

Workers potentially eligible to claim the credit should visit IRS.gov/eitc to learn if they qualify, how to claim the credit and more. The EITC Assistant will also determine their filing status, if they have a qualifying child or children and estimate the amount of the EITC they could get. If an individual doesn’t qualify for EITC, the Assistant explains why and a summary of the results can be printed.

Get the Credit — How to Claim the EITC

To get the EITC, workers must file a tax return, even if they are not legally required to file, and specifically claim the credit. Free tax help is available to those eligible for the EITC:

  • Free File on IRS.gov. Free brand-name tax software walks people through a question and answer format to help them prepare their returns and claim every credit and deduction for which they are eligible. Free File also provides online versions of IRS paper forms, an option called Free File Fillable Forms which is best suited for taxpayers comfortable preparing their own returns.

  • Free tax preparation sites. EITC-eligible workers can seek free tax preparation at thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites. Taxpayers can locate the nearest site using a search tool on IRS.gov or through the IRS2go smartphone application.

    It is important for taxpayers to bring along all the required documents and information to make sure they get the EITC they deserve. Also, those who bought coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, from their Marketplace in early February. It’s important to also bring the Form 1095-A to the volunteer site. Any taxpayer who does not receive it by early February should contact their Marketplace, not the IRS. The IRS will not have access to the information on the form.

Like last year, the IRS expects to issue more than nine out of 10 refunds within 21 days. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the fastest way to get a refund is to e-file their tax return and choose direct deposit. It takes longer to process paper returns. Because of budget cuts resulting in a smaller staff, it will likely take an additional week or more to process paper returns, meaning that those refunds are expected to be issued in seven weeks or more. Taxpayers can track the status of their refund with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool available on IRS.gov or on IRS2go.

Similar Benefits Available Through the Health Care Law

The Affordable Care Act requires that a taxpayer and each member of his or her family have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, qualify for an exemption from the coverage requirement, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing a federal income tax return.

Premium Tax Credits: If taxpayers bought coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, they should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement from their Marketplace by early February. They should save this form because it has important information needed to complete their tax returns. 

If a taxpayer is expecting to receive Form 1095-A and has not received it by early February, they should contact the Marketplace where the coverage was purchased. Due to the fact that the IRS does not have this information, it is recommended that taxpayers contact the appropriate marketplace.

Anyone who benefited from advance payments of the premium tax credit must file a federal income tax return. The taxpayer will need to reconcile those advance payments with the amount of premium tax credit they’re entitled to based on actual income. As a result, some people may see a smaller or larger tax refund or tax liability than they were expecting. When filing their return, taxpayers will use IRS Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit (PTC), to calculate the premium tax credit and reconcile the credit with any advance payments.

Reporting requirements: Most taxpayers will simply check a box on their tax return to indicate that each member of their family had qualifying health coverage for the whole year. No further action is required. Qualifying health insurance coverage includes coverage under most, but not all, types of health care coverage plans. Taxpayers can use the chart on IRS.gov/aca to find out if their insurance counts as qualifying coverage.  

Exemptions: A taxpayer may be eligible to claim an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. If eligible for an exemption, the taxpayer will need to complete the new IRS Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions and attach it to their return. The individual must apply for some exemptions through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  However, most of the exemptions are easily obtained from the IRS when filing a tax return.  

Individual Shared Responsibility Payment: If an individual does not have qualifying coverage or an exemption for each month of the year, they will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing their return for choosing not to purchase coverage. Examples and information about figuring the payment are available on the IRS Calculating the Payment page. More information about the Affordable Care Act and the 2014 income tax return is available at IRS.gov/aca.

Get It Right

Taxpayers are responsible for the accuracy of their tax return even if someone else preparers it for them. The rules for EITC are complicated. The IRS urges taxpayers to seek help if they are unsure of their eligibility, whether from a paid tax professional or at a free tax return preparation site. Deliberate errors can have lasting impact on future eligibility to claim EITC and leave taxpayers with a penalty.

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Campaign in FOLKSTON GEORGIA: the importance of eating fish !!!

Key message

Eat 200-350 grams of a variety of fish * each week preferably those that are low in mercury. The nutritional value of fish is important for the growth and development before birth, in infancy for breastfed infants and children.

Who should know

Women who are pregnant (or might be pregnant) or breastfeeding. Whoever feeds young children.

What to do

1. Eat 200-350 grams of a variety of fish a week.

    • That is 2 or 3 servings of fish a week.
    • For young children, give them 2 or 3 servings of fish a week acurdo with age and calorie needs.
2. Choose fish low in mercury.
    • Many of the fish we eat most often are lower in mercury.
    • These include salmon, shrimp, haddock, tuna (canned light), tilapia, catfish and cod.
3. Avoid 4 types of fish: tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish and king mackerel.
    • These 4 types of fish are higher in mercury.
    • Limit white tuna (albacore) to 159 grams a week.
4. When consumption is fish you have caught or other streams, rivers and lakes, heed warnings signs in water bodies.
    • If the advice is not available, adults should limit this type of fish to 150 grams a week and toddlers in 30-80 grams a week.
5. To add more fish to your diet, be sure to stay within your calorie needs.

Why this advice is relevant

Fish contains important nutrients to developing fetuses, babies who are breastfed and young children. Fish provides health benefits for the general public. Many people do not currently fish eat the recommended amount.

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