Top 10 stories of 2021

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 1, 2022

As selected by you, the readers. These are the stories with the most page views in 2021:

Ask Rusty
Social Security Matters
by National Social Security Advisor at the AMAC Foundation,
the non-profit arm of the Association of Mature American Citizens

  1. Ask Rusty: Why am I not able to collect on my husband’s benefits? (ONLINE ONLY)

Dear Rusty: My husband and I were only married 5 years before he passed away from cancer. I am 61 and was told by SS that I don’t qualify to receive his survivor benefits because we weren’t married long enough, and because I made more money than him when he was alive. I still work fulltime and plan to continue until my full retirement age. Am I able to collect any of his benefits? Why can his daughter collect his benefits, but I cannot? Signed: Frustrated Widow

Karen Stevens

2. FAITH: Is the mRNA changing your DNA? By Karen Y. Stevens

I wrote about the division that the COVID vaccine is causing amongst families last week, and I thought everyone had heard about the mRNA in the COVID vaccine.  Upon further investigation, it appears only a few have.

Ask Rusty
Social Security Matters
by National Social Security Advisor at the AMAC Foundation,
the non-profit arm of the Association of Mature American Citizens

  1. Ask Rusty: Do you want to claim just your father’s benefit (which was larger) or claim my mother’s benefit and the difference between the two? (ONLINE ONLY)

Dear Rusty: When my father passed away and we went to update my mother’s Social Security benefits, a question arose that I was confused by. We were asked “Do you want to claim just your father’s benefit (which was larger) or claim my mother’s benefit and the difference between the two?” Either way it would come to the same amount. Is there a reason to claim one way over the other? Perhaps a caveat that we are unaware of? Is there a loophole that we are missing that may potentially benefit the survivor? We are soon to face this question again as my father-in-law is very ill. Signed: Curious

Scott Finley

  1. Alzheimer’s Insights: Sleeping patterns may be related to Alzheimer’s

Do you get enough sleep? Most adults will say no.  We’ve all seen Dagwood taking his famous sofa naps in the comic strip “Blondie” and have perhaps been envious.

Did you know sleep and dementia have a relationship?  While researchers are not certain of the exact interaction, it’s there.  Does dementia lead to poor sleep or does poor sleep lead to dementia?

Kevondric Fezia

Calista Winfrey

  1. Two from Orange arrested for Child Trafficking

On February 13, 2021, Lake Charles Police responded to an address on General Middleton Street in reference to a 14-year-old runaway.

While attempting to locate the juvenile, investigators learned that through a social media site the 14-year-old was enticed by an adult male to get picked up by an adult female and be brought to Texas to engage in sexual activity.

  1. Members of White Supremacist Prison Gang Plead Guilty to Federal Charges of Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering (ONLINE ONLY)

BEAUMONT, Texas – Two Texas men pleaded guilty this week to violent gang-related activities in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei and Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

  1. Texas Woman Sentenced To One Year And A Day In Prison For Using Fraudulently Obtained Passport (ONLINE ONLY)

Defendant Used Victim’s Identity For Three Years While Living Abroad And Then Used Fraudulently Obtained Passport To Obtain Repatriation Flight From India

SAN FRANCISCO – Shakisha Haskins was sentenced, on Wednesday, to a year and a day in prison for using a passport secured by a false statement and making false statements to a government agency after using a fraudulently obtained passport and other false information to gain access to a repatriation flight from India, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and U.S. State Department, Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), San Francisco Field Office Special Agent in Charge Matthew Perlman. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable James Donato, U.S. District Judge.

Gov. Greg Abbott

  1. Governor Abbott Statement On Texas Workforce Commission Letter To Employers Regarding Executive Order GA-40 (ONLINE ONLY)

AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today issued a statement following the Texas Workforce Commission’s (TWC) letter to Texas employers clarifying the state’s law on COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the workplace.

In the letter, TWC reminds employers and employees that under Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-40, an employer cannot impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on an employee who qualifies for an exemption for religious, personal, or medical reasons. The letter also urges employees subjected to a vaccine mandate in violation of GA-40 to notify TWC by calling (800) 939-6631 or emailing vaccine_job_loss@twc.texas.gov. TWC will refer verified tips to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.

Scott Finley

  1. Alzheimer’s Insights: Understanding the progression of the disease

You may have spoken with someone living with Alzheimer’s disease today and not known it.  That’s because there are three distinct stages of the disease.

  1. Orange Mayor candidate arrested for deadly conduct

Charles Ray Thomas was arrested for a warrant for deadly conduct.

The incident was supposed to have occurred in September 2020.