Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK)

Many older Kansans and their family members need advice about health insurance issues, especially those centered around Medicare. They need to be aware of Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK).

Information on SHICK can be found on the website of the Kansas Department on Aging at:

SHICK counselors receive training on Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Long-Term Care and other health insurance subjects that concern older Kansans. The counselors do not work for any insurance company. They are working to assist the public to make informed health care decisions. Those who need help can call 1-800-860-5260 to get started or they can go to the Locating Help tab at:

and click on the home county to receive information on the local SCHICK Coordinators in their area. There are several basic brochures on Medicare Coverage and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, that might help individuals decide what questions they need to ask. There is also a FAQ that answers questions on legal issues and health care options. The FAQ tab is available at:

It is also possible to send short, specific questions by email form at:

This is a service that more Kansans should be aware of if they are going to make informed health care decisions in their later years.

Agriculture and Food Inspection in Kansas

The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) has a wide range of responsibilities concerning agriculture and food safety. From the field to the table food safety is an important issue, and is for the most part regulated by this agency. The links below will take you to sites on agricultural produce and food inspection regulations as well as forms for businesses, including farmers markets.

Food Safety

2005 Kansas Food Code
(Kansas Administrative Regulations 4-28-8 Through 4-28-15. It's always a good idea to contact an issuing agency regarding the current status of agency regulations)

Statutes and regulations supplied by the KDA
(Check with the KDA or State Library of Kansas on the current status of statutes)

Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Consumer related food safety information.

KDA individual food safety sheets
(The Kansas Department of Agriculture provides food safety educational materials for consumers, food workers and the food industry)

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment also has information on reporting foodborne illnesses including reports of foodborne illnesses in Kansas

The Bad Bug Book
(the US Food and Drug Administrations’s manual on all manner of foodborne pathogens)

Start at the Store, don’t bring home bad food from the store in the first place. Also includes a video.

Inspection reports on restaurants and lodging businesses from the Kansas Department of Agriculture website.
(Click on "View Food Safety and Lodging inspection results" and "View Food and Lodging Applications" to search for these reports)

Article contact: Tom Roth
(Check out recent additions to our collection)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rural Opportunity Zones

Legislation passed in 2011 to encourage economic growth in rural counties. Kansas Statutes 74-50,222 and 74-50,223 create Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ). There are 50 counties in Kansas that have been authorized to offer one or both of the following financial incentives to new full-time residents:

·Kansas income tax waivers for up to five years OR
·Student loan repayments up to $15,000

Learn more about this program and how you can participate below!

Governor Sam Brownback’s roadmap for growing Kansas economy
and establishing Rural Opportunity Zones:

Governor Brownback’s message to the 2012 Legislature
including mention of Rural Opportunity Zones and their effect:

Text of KSA 74-50,222

Text of KSA 74-50,223

Map of Rural Opportunity Zones:

Information on the tax credit available from the Kansas
Department of Revenue:

Listing of the qualifications to see whether you can apply
for the credit:

Kansas Department of Commerce description of the program:

Rural Opportunity Zone guidelines:

Office of Rural Opportunity offices and contact information:

Article contact: Kim Harp