Local, state and national talking points


Riley County wins Local Public Health County of the Year

According to a press release by the Kansas Association of Local Health Departments, Riley County was awarded Local Public Health Department of the Year at last week’s annual Kansas Association of Counties conference.

The conference was held in Wichita, Kansas last Wednesday through Friday.

“(Riley County) has demonstrated a strong partnership between the local public health department and members of the local Board of Health,” the press release said.

According to Brenda Nickel, director of the Riley County Health Department, Riley County earned this recognition through its commitment to helping the community.

“(The county health department) is using policy to improve public health,” Nickel said.

The department is involved in community engagement in order to provide quality services to Riley County and identifying community needs.

Fraternity asks Kansas to lift suspension

Kappa Sigma at the University of Kansas is under suspension due to an ongoing investigation of reports of sexual assault, according to the Lawrence Journal-World.

The chapter has been under investigation by the university for reports of “sexual misconduct” that occurred at the chapter’s house in late September.

Kappa Sigma representatives intend to ask for the suspension to be lifted at a hearing next Monday, because the investigation is taking too long and the chapter does not present a threat to the campus.

According to the Lawrence Journal-World, the university’s normal 60-day investigation time window will probably be extended due to the complexity of the case. Kansas plans to keep the chapter under suspension in the meantime.

Notable changes to Affordable Care Act during open enrollment

According to News and Communications Services, open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act began last Saturday and will be open until Feb. 15.

However, there are some changes to keep in mind while applying.

Roberta Riportella, professor in family studies and human services, told News and Communications Services there might be a variety of different insurance plans this year, which will allow people to find the right coverage for their needs.

The coverage dates have also changed: those that sign up for coverage by Dec. 15 will start receiving coverage on Jan. 1, 2015, and those who enroll after Dec. 15 will start receiving coverage on Feb. 1, 2015. Those that enroll on Feb. 15 still won’t have coverage until March 1, 2015.

Riportella also said that while many people may have lost their policies for various reasons after the Affordable Care Act – which Ripartella said is not linked to the canceled policies – many more people were still able to receive coverage. Some received assistance in paying for their premiums.

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