• The Growth of Social Security

    Part 3 in a continuing series

    By Bill Koch

    A Benjamin in 1940 would be worth nearly $350 today. That’s about what Ida M. Fuller received on Jan. 31, 1940: $22.54.

    That was her first Social Security check. In fact, Fuller was the first regular Social Security recipient under the new old-age benefit enacted into law some five years prior by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935.

  • The Creation of Social Security and Other “Old People” Programs

    Part 2 in a continuing series

    By Bill Koch

    The early years of the 20th century brought some interesting – but not especially hopeful – opportunities to older folks looking for some rest and relaxation in their golden years.

    Although the concept of retirement – and retirement communities – seemed strange, even unworldly, an increasing number of older workers found themselves contemplating the principle, if only out of necessity.

  • The Wedding Guest

    Pat Wellington

    The Wedding Guest

    By Jonathan Kellerman

  • Uncontrollable Hand Tremors

    Patricia A. Woodbury RN, MSN

    If your hands tremble occasionally, it may be just a fleeting nervous situation.  But, if it happens frequently and spontaneously, and cannot be controlled, it could be a condition called essential tremor (E.T.).

    E.T is the most common movement disorder, afflicting up to 10 million people in the United States.  It is a chronic progressive condition that usually affects the hands, but can also disrupt other parts of the body including, the head, arms, vocal cords and less commonly the lower body.


    Pat Wellington


    By Brad Parks

    Tommy Jump’s acting career is probably behind him even though he’s only 27.  Too short to play romantic leads, he’s starting to go bald so he can no longer play children or teenagers. His fiancée is pregnant and he can’t tell her how bleak their future is –at least not now.

  • The Wedding Guest

    Pat Wellington

    The Wedding Guest

    By Jonathan Kellerman

  • Life underwater enjoyed

    There are two immediate goals for West Port High School student Shelby Bradshaw.

    One is achieving her master’s status in scuba diving and the other is attending the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August.

    She first learned to snorkel dive when she was nine but that wasn’t enough. The youngster wanted to swim like the fish. Her father told her scuba diving would give her that opportunity.

  • Serving solar baked pizza

     Making pizza ovens doesn’t sound like a typical project for first graders but that’s what several classes at Saddlewood Elementary School did recently.

    Working in pairs, the first graders turned a pizza delivery box into a solar oven and then made their own individual pizzas, under the watchful eyes of John Linhoss, community sustainability extension agent for Marion County, and their teachers.

  • Program helps with future plans

    One junior at West Port High School thinks working at Disney World would be magical.

    Ariana Maruca would love the opportunity to be a Bella character actor at the popular attraction.

    She’s getting practice for such a role.

    Last week, she was in the school’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank. Before that show, she was Beatrice Chick in Hairspray.

    When she isn’t in school, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, her two dogs and attending Meadowbrook Church.

  • Ninth grader voices her dreams

    She’s only a ninth grader, but Savannah Rose Skye Hirst-Ayers has plans for her life.

    She wants to be an opera star. She wants to go to Scotland. She wants to take classes at the College of Central Florida at the same time she completes her high school career.

    And after high school she wants to attend either Julliard Arts College or Carnegie Mellon University for soprano opera.