Retired school personnel recognized for volunteer work
The Beatrice Area Retired School Personnel met on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at Valentino’s for a noon luncheon. Fourteen members and three guests were present. Merna Greer and Charlene Barnard were hosts, and Kay Buss and Connie Wallman, members of the Protective Services and Health Care Committee, were in charge of the program.
Travis Buss presented a program on residential fire safety. Travis stated that the majority of fires in the home are caused by electrical devices. Hence, the number of fires has “skyrocketed” in the last few years due to the increase in numbers of those devices.
He stressed that every home should have a fire extinguisher readily available, and the average house should have a minimum of seven smoke detectors and several carbon monoxide detectors. Travis also stressed having a fire drill at least once a year since there could be as little as 2-3 minutes available to escape to safety. Also, do not call 911 from inside the house— get out immediately, he said.
Following the program, a business meeting was held with Betty Brackhahn, President, presiding. Officers were elected for the next two years and they are: President - Marjorie Brubaker, Vice-President - Merna Greer, Secretary - Faye Hagen, Treasurer - Janice Schnier. Merna Greer named the four BARSP members who volunteered the most hours during the last year to community causes and organizations. Those members were: Gene Martin - 250 hours, Merna Greer - 176 hours, Don Schnier - 125 hours, Betty Brackhahn - 115 hours. All BARSP members volunteered a total of 1519 hours which amounts to $37,504.11 worth of time donated as compiled by the Nebraska Retired Teachers Association.
Gene Martin, legislative committee chairman, reminded members to become informed voters and vote in the general election on Nov. 6. One race of special interest to members should be the District 30 legislative race. Also, members should be aware of the Social Security tax reductions enacted by the State legislature which will become effective in 2020. The legislature did spare the education budget from additional cuts, but 72 percent of Nebraska schools still do not receive any state aid, leaving those school districts to rely solely on property taxes.
Martin also alerted members to keep watch on the new federal tax law which will significantly increase the federal deficit, and as a result may require cuts to many mandatory programs including Medicare and Social Security. He reported the NSEA-Retired insurance supplement plan has been renamed to Educators Medicare Supplement Plan and is available to NSEA retired members who are age 65 and above and on Medicare and to Education Health Alliance enrollees. It has been endorsed by NSEA-Retired and has excellent dental plan options.
The next BARSP meeting will be on Wednesday, Nov. 28 instead of Nov. 21 as indicated in the yearbook.