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Today’s Email Announcements

ASAP Local Food is Hosts Two Events Relating to Business and Farming,  12/12 and 2/24
Event #1

“Pricing for Profit” Farmer Workshop

Location: 306 West Haywood Street, Asheville, NC

Date: Tuesday, December 12, 4-7 PM

Cost: $20 per person, or $30 for two farm partners, includes a light meal

Financial success in business rarely comes by accident, this seminar focuses on learning and using basic business financial planning and analysis techniques that are vital in creating profitability for farming enterprises. We will learn and apply techniques, such as determining your cost structure, evaluating revenue streams, and creating break-even analysis’, and discuss factors to take into consideration when pricing your products. Most of all we will learn how digging into the numbers can be enlightening and fun! For more information, please visit: https://asap.secure.force.com/events/CnP_PaaS_EVT__ExternalRegistrationPage?event_id=a1g38000001GTVYAA4

Led by Barry Gupton, Mountain Bizworks Financial Planning Coach, and Jason Roehrig of Tumbling Shoals Farm


Event #2
ASAP’s 2018 Business of Farming Conference

Saturday, February 24, 2018 8-5 pm

A-B Tech/Mission Health Conference Center

16 Fernihurst Dr, Asheville, NC 28801

Asheville, NC

ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference brings together professional and aspiring farmers from across the Southeast to network and share resources to build viable farm businesses. The conference features business and marketing workshops led by regional experts and innovative farmers, a Grower-Buyer meeting where farmers and area buyers meet to explore potential matches, and individual consulting for farmers on legal, business, financial, tax, and insurance topics. ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference is for beginning and established farmers, and those seriously considering farming as a profession. Register and see a full list of conference activities at: http://asapconnections.org/events/business-of-farming-conference/.

For more information contact us at 828-236-1282 or [email protected].

Cost: early bird registration is $75 per person or $125 for two farm partners until January 31. Late registration is $95 per person beginning February 1. The conference has sold out in the past, early registration is recommended.

“Amnesty Week” at Public Library to Benefit The Hunger Coalition, 12/16

From Monday, December 11 through Saturday, December 16, area residents who have overdue books or still have fines for books returned late will have a chance to “redeem themselves” at the Watauga County Public Library. Bring in cans of staple food items, and a credit of $1 per can will be applied towards fees levied for late returns. All canned foods will be given to The Watauga County Hunger Coalition for local distribution to those in need. (Canned food redemption may be applied to late fees only, not towards damaged or lost items).

The main library is located at 140 Queen Street in downtown Boone.  

The branch library is located at 1085 Old US 421 in Sugar Grove.

Library Holiday Hours and Late Opening for Staff Training, 12/8, 12/23- 12/25, 1/1/18

The Watauga County Public Library and will open at 1:00 PM on Friday, December 8th due to a staff training.

The Watauga County Public Library and Western Watauga Branch Library will close for the holidays on

Saturday, December 23, Sunday, December 24, and Monday, December 25 as well as Monday, January 1.


High Country Lifelong Learners Movie: “Sense and Sensibility,” 12/11

Audience: Adults (18+)
Location: Watauga County Public Library – Meeting Room

High Country Lifelong Learners in association with the Watauga County Public Library invite you to join us for a movie viewing of “Sense and Sensibility” on December 11th from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm.

Ang Lee’s 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s, “Sense and Sensibility”, tells the story of Mr. Dashwood, who dies, leaving his second wife and her three daughters poor by the rules of inheritance. The three of them are taken in by a kindly cousin, but their lack of fortune affects the marriageability of both practical Elinor and romantic Marianne. When Elinor forms an attachment for the wealthy Edward Ferrars, his family disapproves and separates them. And though Mrs. Jennings tries to match the worthy (and rich) Colonel Brandon to her, Marianne finds the dashing and fiery John Willoughby more to her taste.

Stars: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, James Fleet

This film has an MPAA rating of PG and an approximate run-time of 136 minutes.


Changes to Medicare Part A and B for 2018

RALEIGH – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have announced the changes to Medicare Parts A and B for 2018.  Each year, Medicare costs are reexamined to determine if changes need to be made to deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums.

SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, is available to Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers to help them understand how the coming changes will affect their coverage in 2018.

Part B – Medical Insurance

The standard Part B premium amount in 2018 will remain at $134 (or higher depending on your income). Some beneficiaries who were held harmless against Part B premium increases in prior years will have a Part B premium increase in 2018, but the premium increase will be offset by the increase in their Social Security benefits next year.

The Part B deductible will remain at $183 in 2018.

Part A – Hospital Insurance

Hospitalization costs for Medicare beneficiaries will increase slightly in 2018.

Hospitalization Costs                2017                                 2018

First 60 days                               $1,316 deductible              $1,340 deductible

Days 61-90                                 $329 per day                     $335 per day

Days 91-150                               $658 per day                     $670 per day

Medicare will continue to pay 100 percent of approved costs for the first 20 days of Post-Hospital Skilled Nursing Facility Care. For Skilled Nursing Care between 21 and 100 days, the charge per day is $167.50 for 2018, an increase from the 2017 charge of $164.50.

The premium for Medicare Part A will continue to be $0 for eligible beneficiaries. For those ineligible, the premium for Part A increased to $422 per month for those who worked fewer than 30 quarters, and $232 per month for those who worked between 30 and 40 quarters.

Medicare Supplement Plans

The Standardized Medicare Supplement Plans in 2018 will increase for the out-of-pocket limit for Plan K at $5,240, and the out-of-pocket limit for Plan L at $2,620. The deductible for the Plan F Prime is increasing to $2,240. 

SHIIP, a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, can help answer any questions about Medicare costs and coverage over the phone or in person. Trained SHIIP counselors are available for free, unbiased counseling appointments in all 100 North Carolina counties. For more information, contact SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 or visit www.ncshiip.com.