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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 4, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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January 4, 2012

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IOA Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 Feather River Bulletin INCREASE: Rural counties more dependent on payments From page 1A The increase in Social Security benefits is good news for Plumas County because Plumas residents are more dependent on these pay- ments than are residents elsewhere in the country. In Plumas, 9 percent of all personal income comes in the form of Social Security payments. Nationally, that number is 5.5 percent, and 4 percent in California. In 2009, Social Security income in Plumas amounted to $70 million, or $3,467 per person. The national average was $2,199 per person, and in California it was $1,704. In Plumas County, 5,515 people receive some form of Social Security payment: an old age pension, a sur- vivor benefit or a disability check, according to the Social Security Administra- tion and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Social Security beneficiaries repre- sent 27.4 percent of the total county population. Such figure s are not sur- prising given that Plumas County consistently has one of the oldest populations in the state -- if not the oldest. As Plumas County's popula- tion has aged, the percent of total income derived from Social Security payments in Plumas has risen from 4.9 percent in 1970 to 6.3 percent in 1980 and 7.6 percent in 1990. It dropped slightly, to 7.4 percent in 2000, before NOW IT'S TIME TO... right to determine all reasonable offers. Hurry in for the Best Selection There was good news on the Medicare front, too. Officials had projected that Medicare Part B premiums, deducted from benefit pay- ments, would rise from $96.40 to $113.80 a month. Instead, the basic monthly Medicare premium will be $99.90 per month. The $96.40 amount had not changed since 2008. SALE HOURS MON lhru FRI 9-7 SAT 9-5 SUN 11-5 2830 Main Street' Susanville 0 530-257-7788 Cash, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and approved Checks Accepted rising to 9 percent in 2009. Although Plumas County's figure is higher than the national average, it is con- sistent with other rural counties. Social Security payments amount to 5 per- cent of the total income in urban counties, 8.2 percent in counties with small cities, and 9.3 percent in rural counties. More than one out of five Americans living in small cities and rural coun- ties received some kind of RIINO *Discounts are off original and regul6r prices which may or may not have resulted in prior sales. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. All merchandise sold "as-is". No Special Orders, Lay-Aways. Quantities are limited. First come first to save. All prior sales and previous discounts excluded, Not responsible for typographical errors. Pictures are for illustration purposes only. See store for further details, .- ............  lJ!glmmUWIilt Social Security check in 2009. Social Security payments are particularly important to rural counties and small cities because the money is largely circulated in the community. "The seniors who get these payments are primarily going to spend their money locally," said Mark Partridge, a rural economist at Ohio State University. "And they are a key reason why some communities are still viable. If this money dried up, there wouldn't be a lot of these small towns." Judith Stallmann, an ec0nomit at fha TTnirr=rify of Missouri, explained that Social Security payments help generate the sales that keep a rural business afloat. "We find that Social Security income can be the difference between success and failure for some local businesses," Stallmann said. "If you took away, say, 10 percent of the demand, would that local business be able to remain open? Often it's that 10 percent that keeps them going. Social Security is providing that margin." Social Security payments go to those over the age of 62 who have filed for bene- fits, to survivors of insured workers and to those with disabilities. The program is mainly funded by payroll taxes. In Plumas County, 72.8 percent of recipients were retirees in 2009, 9!3 percent were survivors and 17.8 percent were disabled. Unemployment While the COLA increase to Social Security benefits is welcome economic news, the latest unemployment numbers are less encourag- ing. November numbers from the California Employment Development Department show Plumas at 14.5 percent unemployment (not seasonally adjusted). That is a !3,percent in- crease over O[0ber's rate, but 4.3 percent less than a year ago, when unemploy- ment was 18.8 percent. Statewide, unemployment dropped from 11.7 percent in October to 11.3 in November, down from 12.5 percent last November. FLOOD, from page 1A repair was increased because the tiles under the carpet are made of asbestos and will be replaced. "The tiles were used for fireproofing back when the building was constructed," Wilson said. "They are not hazardous as long as they aren't broken up." Visitors to the courthouse last week might have noticed a strange odor caused by the flood. Wilson said the smell was from the "food grade poly- propylene glycol that is used in the boiler system as a corrosion and scale inhibitor." "The department of facili- ties services has had the boiler water tested," Wilson said. "The solution is non- toxic with no health effects." AUDIT, from page 9A on call is not something you want anymore. The quality of care the next day (after a late-night call)is down." To have the same doctor follow a patient from admission through release would result in better care. He noted, too, that ER doctors are up to date on emergency conditions. Bugna called the plan "a win for everyone." Board chairwoman Gail McGrath pointed out that records show that if an ER doctor can admit, a patient doesn't get sent to Reno because no one is available. Being able to admit should help the district's bottom line. Hayes agreed, "The patients we can treat here, we should." He said the plan would require changes to current physician contracts. Hayes said he is currently negotiat- ing with some firms for ER physician services.