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Avoid Falling Victim to Medicare Telemarketing Scams

If you have questions about your Medicare coverage or costs associated with Medicare, contact the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433.  The Senior LinkAge Line® is a service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging®, Inc.

In recent years, telemarketing scams have become an easy way to prey on older adults, costing victims thousands of dollars and, in some cases, their identity. Below are some tips that can help you avoid becoming victim to common telemarketing scams.

· Medicare will not call you to ask for a Medicare number, bank account information or request that you purchase a new Medicare card. 

· Often scammers will call impersonating a distressed family member or state they are calling on a family member’s behalf during an emergency.  Ask the caller to leave a contact number, then call a family member to verify if a loved one is in trouble.

· Remember that you cannot win a lottery or sweepstakes without knowingly entering a contest.  If you receive a call informing you that you have won money or a prize, just hang up.   

· A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodialer to deliver a prerecorded message.  If you receive a robocall offering free services, money or prizes hang up. 

 If you feel you have been the victim of a telemarketing scam or would like to report a scam that you have experienced, call the Senior LinkAge Line®. The Senior LinkAge Line® is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging. Specialists provide one-to-one assistance with helping older adults age well and live well. The Senior LinkAge Line® is the federally-designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) for Minnesota and is the place to call for Medicare and health insurance issues. Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm or visit www.MinnesotaHelp.info® to chat with a specialist during business hours.


Minnesota State University, Mankato to Award 2,334 Degrees at End of Spring Semester

Mankato, Minn. (April 25, 2017) - Minnesota State University, Mankato will award 2,334 degrees at the end of the spring 2017 semester, with approximately 1,500 students participating in three graduation ceremonies on Saturday, May 6 in Taylor Center’s Bresnan Arena.

Students in the colleges of Arts & Humanities and Science, Engineering & Technology will take part in the 9 a.m. ceremony; those in the colleges of Allied Health & Nursing and Education will participate in the noon event; and students in the colleges of Business and Social & Behavioral Sciences will be graduated in the 3 p.m. ceremony.

Live-streaming captioning services will be provided for each ceremony. Candidates for graduate degrees will graduate with the college of their affiliation. Advanced degrees to be awarded include four doctor of education degrees. Graduate degrees to be awarded include 85 master of arts degrees, 20 master of fine arts degrees, five master of arts in teaching degrees, nine master of business administration degrees, nine master of public administration degrees, 184 master of science degrees, one master of music degrees, two master of science in nursing degrees, one professional science master’s degree and 26 specialist in educational leadership degrees.

To be awarded at the undergraduate level are 88 bachelor of arts degrees, 45 bachelor of fine arts degrees, two bachelor of music degrees, 13 bachelor of athletic training degrees, 1,653 bachelor of science degrees, 28 bachelor of science in general engineering, 34 bachelor of science in civil engineering degrees, nine bachelor of science in computer engineering degrees, 24 bachelor of science in electrical engineering degrees, 130 bachelor of science in mechanical engineering degrees, 31 bachelor of science in social work degrees and 30 associate of arts degrees. 

Undergraduate students receiving recognition will include 121 students graduating summa cum laude (3.8 grade point average and higher), 315 students graduating magna cum laude (grade point averages of 3.5 to 3.79) and 314 students graduating cum laude (grade point averages of 3.3 to 3.49).

More information about the Minnesota State Mankato spring commencement is at www.mnsu.edu/graduation/. Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

Fulda, MN 
Mitchell D. Baumhoefner, BS, Construction Management

Iona, MN 
Frank Ervin P. Spartz, BSCE, Civil Engineering


Census of Agriculture Countdown Begins for America’s Farmers and Ranchers

America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.

The Census of Agriculture highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed that over three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres. This was a four percent decrease in the number of U.S. farms from the previous census in 2007. However, agriculture sales, income, and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012. This telling information and thousands of other agriculture statistics are a direct result of responses to the Census of Agriculture.

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the ‘Make Sure You Are Counted’ button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

“USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).”


FREE WELCOME TO MEDICARE EDUCATION: Learn the A through D of it!

There are important decisions that need to be made when you become eligible for Medicare. Making the wrong decision can lead to not having any or enough health care coverage and financial penalties. The Senior LinkAge Line® through the Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging® (MNRAAA) is sponsoring an educational presentation for people who will soon be eligible for Medicare. Participants will learn the basics of Medicare and their coverage options in Minnesota. They will also learn how to research these options using non-biased tools, such as the Medicare website.

The presentation will be held in Slayton at MNRAAA, 1939 Engebretson Ave., from  3:30 pm  to 5:30 pm. Class size is limited, so call the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433 to register.

The Senior LinkAge Line® is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging. The Senior LinkAge Line® is the federally-designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Minnesota and is the place to call for Medicare and health insurance issues. Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance or go to www.MinnesotaHelp.info® to chat live with a Senior LinkAge Line® specialist.

WHO: Senior LinkAge Line® and Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging (MNRAAA)

WHAT: Free Welcome to Medicare Education: Learn the A through D of it!

WHEN: Part 1 Monday, May 8, 2017 and Part 2 Monday, May 15, 2017

WHERE: MNRAAA, 1939 Engebretson Ave., Slayton, MN

Visit our website at: www.mnraaa.org


Help Save Trauma Patient Lives By Giving Blood Red Cross Urges Blood Donation During Trauma Awareness Month

During Trauma Awareness Month in May, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to help ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients with traumatic injuries and other serious medical needs by donating blood.

According to the National Trauma Institute, trauma accounts for approximately 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions in the U.S. annually.

“A single car accident victim can need as many as 100 units of blood,” said Sue Thesenga, communications manager, North Central Red Cross Blood Services. “In trauma situations, when there’s no time to check a patient’s blood type, emergency personnel reach for type O negative red blood cells and type AB plasma.”

O negative red blood cells and AB plasma can be transfused into any patient, regardless of blood type, making donors with these universal blood types an important part of the Red Cross trauma team. Less than 7 percent of the population has type O negative blood, and only about 4 percent of the population has type AB blood.

Platelets may also be needed to help with clotting in cases of massive bleeding. Because platelets must be transfused within five days of donation, there is a constant – often critical – need to keep up with hospital demand.

“As a trauma surgeon, I know that a readily available blood supply can mean the difference between life and death for patients in the most serious situations,” said Dr. Gregory J. Jurkovich, board chair, National Trauma Institute; fellow, American College of Surgeons; and professor and vice chairman, Department of Surgery, University of California Davis Health. “Blood products can only be provided by generous donors, so I urge you to roll up a sleeve and help save lives.”

In 2014, donated blood helped save Ethan Moser’s life after his personal watercraft collided with the boat carrying his family. He suffered massive blood loss due to a severed femoral artery and other serious injuries. Moser received 160 transfusions of blood and blood products.

While his recovery continues, Moser remains grateful to the generous donors who provided the blood he received. “I’m here simply because there was enough blood available to replenish what I lost,” he said. “You never know when an accident’s going to happen, so please donate today to be sure blood is available for those who will need it.”        

Blood donors of all types are currently needed. Those who come out to donate blood or platelets by May 14 will have a chance to win one of three $1,000 gift card shopping sprees from GiftCertificates.com. Donation appointments can be scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).