Medicare open enrollment

The 2020 Open Enrollment Period began on Nov. 1 and will end Dec. 15.

Yes it is all pretty confusing. Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap, Medicare Supplementals – where can you go to get straight answers?

This is a fast overview:

Part A provides inpatient/hospital coverage.

Part B provides outpatient/medical coverage.Continue reading

Micro-loans in Greenlee

More local businesses than ever can now participate in a micro-loan program from Local First Arizona Foundation and the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation thanks to additional grant funding of $50,000 from the Greenlee County Community Investment Fund as well as an added $30,000 from the Graham County Community Investment Fund.

In addition, the City of Safford has contributed $100,000 to help support businesses in Safford. City Manager, Horatio Skeete, said the program so far has demonstrated “remarkable returns for economic development in our community.” Citing that the program has loaned out $95,000 and can track 5 new jobs created so far, with more potentially to come.

This additional funding will enable more local businesses in Southeastern Arizona to seek much-needed loans in smaller amounts and at reasonable interest rates.

“Added grant dollars from Community Investment Funds, in both Graham and Greenlee Counties, directly relate to a priority need that community members have been vocal about for some time: economic diversification,” said Tracy Bame, Director-Social Responsibility and Community Development and President of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation.

“Expanding the Micro-loan program provides immediate resources to support growth of existing enterprises as well as the enhanced skills and opportunities individuals need to reach their full potential and play a progressively active role in the prosperity of their own communities.”Continue reading

Learning about road improvement districts

By Phil Ronnerud

Road Districts come in several flavors. One district is strictly for maintenance, another is for improving roads; sometimes a County needs to annex a road into their system.
All districts are created by residents to improve the infrastructure and all are locally funded through a portion of their property tax.

Improved roads increase property value, decrease dust, control drainage and resulting erosion. The cost is a burden to property owners and traffic speeds will increase as roads are improved.
Prior to Statehood the same questions about roads were debated as they are today. Who should pay for roads, the maintenance, and how to equitably distribute limited funds? The needs continue to be far greater than the money available.

Voters approve HURF

To illustrate the interest in roads, Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) were placed in Arizona’s constitution by the voters! The use of these funds has been discussed and cussed ever since.Continue reading

Morenci Lions Club makes a difference

By Tom Powers

Good things you may not know until you read this article:

The Morenci Lions Club is a cross section of community minded citizens that seek to make our community a better place to live, work, and raise families. Often folks will find themselves in less fortunate situations. The Lions want of help those in need. The major focus of this group is to provide eyeglass assistance, a Christmas program for those in need and scholarships for graduating students. We also help organizations like the Mt. Graham Safehouse with their fund raising efforts.

The Morenci Lions Club will participate in the Clifton Festival of Lights with a fund raising booth on Dec 1st . They will be serving both hamburgers and corn on the cob. Any funds raised go to offset costs for the Christmas Assistance Program.Continue reading

Learn this phrase: Opportunity Zone

By Ákos Kovach

If there is anything we can all agree on is IRS codes, rules, programs and definitions make our heads spin like the girl in the Exorcist. But those of us who dig deeper than headlines and sound bites know that all good things require facts – generally found through research and by asking lots of questions.

For several months (over a year in fact) the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) has lead the charge here in Arizona and in Greenlee County specifically, to motivate us in securing not one but two Opportunity Zones in Greenlee County.

First, a thank you to Keith Watkins Senior Vice President of Economic and Rural Development at the ACA. Keith gave me a reminder call last year to inquire about the Greenlee County application for Opportunity Zone status. Without Keith’s outreach I might have missed the deadline to get our application finalized before the deadline.Continue reading

Hotter and drier future

By Philip Ronnerud

No, I do not believe that the world is on the verge of heating up till all is left are deserts dry and barren devoid of life.

Wait a minute now, I have lived most of my life in a desert. It get hot in the summer, cool (as compared to Minnesota’s cold) in the winter, and dry except during the monsoons or when a hurricane blows in off the Gulf of California, yet it teams with life.

Yes, I do believe that temperatures trends swing through the centuries – just like people which change. The science has found that dry periods and the wet periods happen. Generally, we have surmised that temperatures have changed also. Even in a short 100-years of stream flow record fluctuations and trends are easy to discern.Continue reading