2017-10-19 / News Briefs

In brief

Commissioner Clack collecting blankets

FLINT — Genesee County Commissioner Brenda Clack (D-Flint), along with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, kicked off the commissioner’s annual blanket drive this week.

The blanket collection continues through Thursday, Dec. 14. Clack will collect new and nearly new blankets to distribute to Catholic Charities, Carriage Town Ministries, and other shelters.

Clack has supported this project for the past 16 years after discovering how valuable a new blanket is to families who have family members sleeping on the floor of whatever shelter they can provide.

“It hurts to know that little children are sleeping on a cold floor during these very hard winters in our community. Whatever I can do, I will”, said Clack.

Something new this year…Clack will collect small lap blankets for puppies and kittens for the Genesee County Animal Control Shelter.

Blankets, children’s gloves and hats, or monetary donations can be dropped off at the Genesee County Administration Building, Room 312, 1101 Beach St. — L.R.

Social Security announces 2 percent increase

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2 percent in 2018, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin Dec. 29.

The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700 from $127,200. Of the estimated 175 million workers who will pay Social Security taxes in 2018, about 12 million will pay more because of the increase in the taxable maximum.

Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity. gov/cola. — L.R.

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