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Join the Oklahoma History Center for Okietales, a storytelling and craft time for children ages five to nine, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. each Wednesday in June and July, except July 3. Kids will listen to a story about Oklahoma, then make a related craft. The cost for Okietales is $4 for nonmembers and $2 for members.
Sarah Dumas, director of education at the Oklahoma History Center, described this program as a reading and storytelling time that explores different topics of Oklahoma history. “The storyteller incorporates a literary work to broaden the child’s understanding of a particular period of history. This program has been extremely effective in entertaining the kids and teaching them the basic history of Oklahoma,” said Dumas.
Dates for Okietales are June 5, 12, 19, and 26 and July 10, 17, 24 and 31. The program will take place in the Oklahoma History Center Museum Store. For more information contact the Oklahoma History Center Education Department at education@okhistory.org or call Carrie Fox at 405-522-0791.
The Oklahoma History Center, is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.

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The Oklahoma Legislature has created a new, 21-member Oklahoma Route 66 Centennial Commission to plan, coordinate and implement a statewide effort celebrating the 100th anniversary of Historic Route 66. Governor Kevin Stitt signed the bill on April 30, 2019.
Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who will serve as chairman of the commission, sees the effort in terms of economic development, historic preservation and marketing.
“Through the efforts of this commission, we have a unique opportunity to pull together all of the private and public assets that have made Route 66 an iconic destination for travelers from around the world,” said Pinnell. “We have the historic buildings, attractions and roadbed. We have dedicated community leaders who recognize the significance of the route. By working together, we can add value to all of those assets.” Route 66 was officially created by federal designation on November 11, 1926, which gives the commission a little more than seven years to build momentum for the centennial celebration.
The Oklahoma Historical Society will provide support services for the commission.
“My goal is to have a kick-off symposium for all stakeholders on Dec. 3 and 4, 2019,” said Pinnell. “We will gather people from across the state to identify attractions, set goals and develop a work plan.”
The symposium will be hosted at the Oklahoma History Center in the Capitol Complex in Oklahoma City.
As stipulated in the authorizing legislation, the master plan will include suggestions for exhibits, programs and events focused on Route 66; a greater awareness of the highway’s cultural impact through popular culture; and opportunities to combine private investment and public policy to encourage further preservation of assets along the route.
For more information about the Oklahoma Route 66 Centennial Commission, call Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, at 405-522-5202.

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On Wednesday, June 19, from 1 to 3 p.m., the Oklahoma Historical Society will present a genealogy program entitled “Locating Early Oklahoma and Indian Territory Death Records.” Genealogist Mahlon Erickson will share information about death records and resources pertaining to early Oklahoma, Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory.
Researching deaths in early-day Oklahoma can be difficult, as official death records were not consistently kept until 1920. Erickson has compiled an extensive database with more than 600,000 entries for deaths found in sources including newspapers, cemeteries, county histories, census records, American Indian records and many more. This presentation will delve into these sources for early Oklahoma deaths and help researchers understand where to find and how to use these materials.
This program is $5 for Oklahoma Historical Society members and $10 for nonmembers. We ask that you register in advance by calling the Research Center at 405-522-5225. This program will be held in the Clark and Kay Musser Learning Lab, which is located inside the Research Center on the first floor of the Oklahoma History Center. The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.
The Research Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.

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Dear Savvy Senior,

As a teacher for 20 years, I receive a pension from a school system that did not withhold Social Security taxes from my pay. After teaching, I’ve been working for a small company where I do pay Social Security taxes. Now, approaching age 65, I would like to retire and apply for my Social Security benefits. But I’ve been told that my teacher’s pension may cause me to lose some of my Social Security. Is that true?

Ready to Retire

Dear Ready,
Yes, it’s true. It’s very likely that your Social Security retirement benefits will be reduced under the terms of a government rule called the Windfall Elimination Provision (or WEP).
The WEP affects people who receive pensions from jobs in which they were not required to pay Social Security taxes Ð for example, police officers, firefighters, teachers and state and local government workers whose employers were not part of the national Social Security system. People who worked for nonprofit or religious organizations before 1984 may also be outside the system.
Many of these people, like you, are also eligible for Social Security retirement or disability benefits based on other work they did over the course of their career for which Social Security taxes were paid.
Because of your teacher’s pension, Social Security will use a special formula to calculate your retirement benefits, reducing them compared to what you’d otherwise get.
How much they’ll be reduced depends on your work history. But one rule that generally applies is that your Social Security retirement benefits cannot be cut by more than half the size of your pension. And the WEP does not apply to survivor benefits. If you’re married and die, your dependents can get a full Social Security payment, unless your spouse has earned his or her own government pension for which they didn’t pay Social Security taxes. If that’s the case, Social Security has another rule known as the Government Pension Offset (or GPO) that affects spouses or widows/widowers benefits.
Under the GPO, spousal and survivor benefits will be cut by two-thirds of the amount of their pension. And if their pension is large enough, their Social Security spousal or survivor benefits will be zero.
There are a few exceptions to these rules most of which are based on when you entered the Social Security workforce.
Why Do These Rules Exist?
According to the Social Security Administration, the reason Congress created the WEP (in 1983) and GPO (in 1977) was to create a more equitable system. People who get both a pension from non-Social Security work and benefits from Social Security-covered work get an unfair windfall due to the formula of how benefit amounts are calculated.
These rules ensure that government employees who don’t pay Social Security taxes would end up with roughly the same income as people who work in the private sector and do pay them.
For more information on the WEP visit SSA.gov/planners/retire/wep.html, where you’ll also find a link to their WEP online calculator to help you figure out how much your Social Security benefits may be reduced. And for more information on GPO, including a GPO calculator, see SSA.gov/planners/retire/gpo.html.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

The Social Security Administration today announced the most popular baby names in Oklahoma for 2018. Liam and Emma topped the list.
The top five boys and girls names for 2018 in Oklahoma were: Boys: 1. Liam 2. Noah 3. William 4. Oliver and 5. Elijah
Girls Names were: 1. Emma 2. Olivia 3. Ava 4. Isabella and 5. Harper.
Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, announced last week that Liam and Emma were the most popular baby names in the U.S. How does Oklahoma compare to the rest of the country? Check out Social Security’s website — www.socialsecurity.gov– to see the top national baby names for 2018.
Acting Commissioner Berryhill encourages everyone to enjoy the baby names list and create a my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. my Social Security is a personalized online account that people can use beginning in their working years and continuing while receiving Social Security benefits.
Social Security beneficiaries can have instant access to their benefit verification letter, payment history, and complete earnings record by establishing a my Social Security account. Beneficiaries also can change their address, start or change direct deposit information, and print a replacement SSA-1099 online. People receiving benefits can request a replacement Medicare card online.
People age 18 and older who are not receiving benefits can also sign up for a my Social Security account to get their personalized online Social Security Statement. The online Statement provides workers with secure and convenient access to their Social Security earnings and benefit information, and estimates of future benefits they can use to plan for their retirement.
The agency began compiling the baby name list in 1997, with names dating back to 1880. At the time of a child’s birth, parents supply the name to the agency when applying for a child’s Social Security card, thus making Social Security America’s source for the most popular baby names.
In addition to each state’s top baby names (and names for U.S. territories), Social Security’s website has a list of the 1,000 most popular boys and girls names for 2018.
To read about the winners for the biggest jump in popularity and to see how pop culture affects baby names, go to: www.socialsecurity.gov/news/press/releases/.
The agency is proud to announce Instagram as its newborn social media channel. The new addition arrived in April and will share information and resources that can help you and your loved ones.

Arcadia Trails, a 40-bed facility opened May 28th, is Oklahoma’s newest and most advanced residential drug and alcohol treatment center, situated among the rolling hills and oak forests between Lake Arcadia and Edmond on the medical campus of INTEGRIS Health Edmond.
Arcadia Trails is an intensive residential treatment center, and the first of its kind in Oklahoma, which means Oklahomans can be treated close to home. Studies show close-to-home treatment enhances aftercare and access to family support, which can be vital for continued recovery. Addiction, which is the number one cause of death in Oklahomans ages 25 to 64, is holistically addressed at Arcadia Trails, along with its co-occurring and compounding issues – mental illness and trauma – while incorporating the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The evidence-based treatments at Arcadia Trails comprise one of the most comprehensive addiction programs the region has seen. It begins with thorough, in-depth medical and psychological evaluations that inform the development of an individualized, integrated, intentional treatment plan for each patient.
The program also includes medication-assisted treatment when appropriate, overseen by Dr. Kimberlee Wilson, who is the Arcadia Trails addiction psychiatrist and medical director. Though the program is built on the medical model of addiction as a disease, Arcadia Trails also offers varied spiritual paths as well as an integrated family program and comprehensive aftercare planning.
To learn more, please visit the Arcadia Trails website.

by Ron Hendricks

May was better Speech & Hearing month. What did you do to preserve or improve your hearing in May? Your Central Oklahoma Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America (COC HLAA) encourages you to protect your valuable hearing by getting a hearing test — many Audiologists offer it for free. You should contact local public venues that are too loud and ask for the volume to be reduced and support businesses who offer quietness. Encourage public places where people gather to install a hearing loop so those who wear a hearing aid or Cochlear implant can hear too. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 and most public places here in Oklahoma still don’t offer hearing assistance as required by the ADA. When you have the opportunity, let them know you disapprove and encourage them to comply with the law.
COC HLAA offers meetings, free and open to the public, that are captioned so you can see as well as hear what is being said. Meetings that are fun and informative, educational & inspirational, and offer discussions about the law, the latest technology, and where you might even get a snack! Maybe you require a different kind of support… COC HLAA offers it: Scholarships to students attending higher education. Oklahoma Loop Initiative by offering seed money to assist with the instillation of hearing loops in gathering places. The Hearing Helpers Room where one can receive information about and test a myriad of assistive listening devices.?? And even a contest for a hearing aid complete with Audiologist’s supporting visits. Visit the website for more details, WWW.OKCHearingLoss.org.
If you have hearing loss or know of others who are struggling to hear normal conversations; someone who complains that you mumble or don’t speak plainly enough; a person who works in a noisy environment; a returning veteran; you are invited. Come check out the local chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America. There is no membership fee, only free information, self advocacy, fun & friendship and knowledge of how to open the hearing world to your full enjoyment.

Date/ Day/ Location/ Time/ Registration #/ Instructor

June 1/ Saturday/ Midwest City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 473-8239/ Williams First Christian Church – 11950 E. Reno Ave.

Jun 6/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Varacchi 3rd Age Life Cntr – 5100 N. Brookline, Ste B-10

Jun 6/ Thursday/ Norman/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 360-8056/ Palinsky Legend Senior Center –
750 Canadian Trails Dr.

Jun 8/ Saturday/ Moore/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 799-3130/ Schaumberg Brand Senior Center – 501 E. Main St.

Jun 14/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards S.W. Medical Center – 4200 S. Douglas, Suite B-10

Jun 18/ Tuesday/ Mustang/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 376-3411/ Kruck Mustang Senior Center – 1201 N Mustang Road

Jun 21/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 297-1455/ Palinsky Will Rogers Senior Center – 3501 Pat Murphy Dr.

The prices for the classes are: $15 for AARP members and $20 for Non-AARP. Call John Palinsky, zone coordinator for the Oklahoma City area at 405-691-4091 or send mail to: johnpalinsky@sbcglobal.net

The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City has partnered with Caleb’s Cause Foundation for the month of June to host a Diaper Drive at all 16 Greater Oklahoma City YMCA branch locations to collect diapers for Oklahoma children in need. Locations include all metro area branches, including Oklahoma City and Edmond and extend as far north as Guthrie and Stillwater and as far southwest as Chickasha. For a complete list of drop off locations, please visit www.ymcaokc.org/locations.
Everyone is welcome to drop off unopened packages of diapers to the box located in the lobby of each YMCA branch location during regular business hours. The box will display Caleb’s Cause Foundation’s information on it and unopened packages of diapers of all sizes and brands will be accepted, however, sizes 4, 5 and 6 are suggested due to the greater need in Oklahoma. Diaper Drive boxes will be available from June 1 – 30th. Caleb’s Cause Foundation will distribute all donated diapers to various pantries and resource centers around the state to serve Oklahoma children and families in need.
“YMCA has a long history of strengthening communities through various causes,” said YMCA VP of Communications Rachel Klein. “Caleb’s Cause Foundation struck us as a vital resource for young families and we want to help support by giving our members and community the opportunity to get involved and show kids how to help other kids within our own neighborhoods.”
Caleb’s Cause Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization created to allow children of all ages to be able to serve local children in need by providing diapers to thousands of Oklahoma children each year in an effort to stop child abuse. Founded in 2012 by Marcie Hines and her young son Caleb as a way to get involved in the community, they discovered there were limited opportunities for children to serve other children. Through their research, they discovered that a lack of diapers is one of the leading causes of child abuse. There are currently no state programs that cover the cost of diapers, a necessity for all children. Through prayer and guidance, Caleb’s Cause Foundation was created; to allow children to serve and be served.
Since July of 2012, Caleb and other children in the community have been able to help thousands of local children in need by participating in Caleb’s Cause Foundation’s annual fundraisers, as well as diaper drives they have held themselves. All in an effort to one day supply diapers to every child in need across the state of Oklahoma.
“Our families are having to make decisions of buying food for that week, or gas or buying that pack of diapers because they’re expensive,” said Founder of Caleb’s Cause Foundation Marcie Hines.
Did You Know?
There are no government programs that provide diapers or cover the cost.
An infant needs an average of 12 diapers a day, while a toddler needs 8.
Some low-income families are forced to keep their children in one diaper a day!
Statistics reveal not having enough diapers for daily changes causes: * Increased health problems * Child abuse is more likely to occur due to non-stop crying from continually wearing soiled diapers * Parent’s often miss work and keep their children out of daycare due to the lack of diapers * Some children with disabilities never outgrow the need for diapers, placing additional financial and emotional strain on struggling parents
For more information on how you can help or to host a diaper drive at your business, please visit www.CalebsCauseFoundation.org.

To schedule an interview with Caleb’s Cause Foundation and YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, please contact Nicole Thomas at (405) 706-7484 or Info@CalebsCauseFoundation.org.

Storm victims with insurance will be protected after a bulletin was issued today by the Oklahoma Insurance Department. The bulletin directs all insurance companies to keep coverage in effect for storm victims for the next 30 days.
“The effects of the severe weather and flooding have made it difficult for Oklahomans to carry out every day activities, much less tend to their insurance premiums,” Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said. “This is the time that storm victims need their insurance company to be on their side and why the Insurance Department is calling for a moratorium on policy cancellations.” The bulletin applies to all insurance entities, including health maintenance organizations, accident and health insurers, third party administrators, discount medical plan organizations, property and casualty insurers, surplus and excess lines insurers and county mutual insurers. It includes property and casualty insurance, life insurance, accident and health insurance, disability insurance and all lines of coverage regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.
Some key points of the bulletin are:
* All coverage for storm victims shall continue under all insurance policies for the next 30 days.
* Storms victims can get a copy of their insurance policy free of charge.
* Any rate increases for policies in the affected areas filed on or after the effective date of the bulletin will be deferred.

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