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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Medicare premiums to rise for more seniors

Saturday, 13 April 2013 08:04 Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Feeling pretty comfortable in retirement?

Here's something to think about: President Barack Obama's budget would raise Medicare premiums for individual retirees making more than $85,000 and couples making more than $170,000.

It would also freeze the indexing for inflation of those income thresholds, so eventually 1 in 4 retirees will have to pay more. Right now only about 1 in 20 pays the higher rate.

The higher premiums surprised a retired city worker from Albuquerque, Sheila Pugach.

She says she's paying about $500 a year more in premiums for Medicare outpatient and drug coverage, all because required withdrawals from her retirement savings bumped her into a higher income bracket.

Republicans like Obama's idea, so Pugach could soon have more company.

Mother of Newtown victim pleads for gun control

Saturday, 13 April 2013 08:02 Published in National News

WASHINGTON (AP) — The mother of a Newtown, Conn., shooting victim is making a deeply personal plea from the White House for all Americans to take action on gun violence.

Francine Wheeler's 6-year-old son, Ben, was killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. She's stepping in for President Barack Obama to deliver the president's weekly radio and Internet address. She is the first person to deliver the address other than Obama or Vice President Joe Biden since the two took office in 2009.

Wheeler says thousands of families are drowning in her family's grief and asks for help to do something, in her words, "before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."

In the Republican address, congresswoman Jackie Walorski of Indiana criticizes Obama's budget blueprint as a blank check for more spending and debt.

Illinois state employee fired over pornographic images

Saturday, 13 April 2013 08:01 Published in Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Officials say a state employee was fired after an investigation found he had taken sexually explicit photos and a video of himself at work and emailed inappropriate images.

The Illinois Executive Ethics Commission reported Friday that the Illinois Department on Aging fired John Hastings in December. Hastings was responsible for authoring computer code and inputting data for agency programs.

An executive inspector general's investigation found 225 pornographic images on his state computer. There were 13 explicit images and a video of a man identified as Hastings.

The heavily redacted report indicates Hastings took at least some of the photos at work and sent an inappropriate image to a female co-worker.

The report says Hastings acknowledged the wrongdoing. A phone number could not be located for him

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