• Dear Savvy Senior,
    I’m interested in getting my 72-year-old mother a smartphone, but want to get one that’s very easy for her to use. What can you recommend?
    Shopping Around

    Dear Shopping,
    There are several different ways you can go about getting your mom a simplified smartphone that’s easy for her to use. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, here are some different options to consider.

  • Like many gardeners this time of the year, I have been spending cold winter evenings by the fire with a good catalog. The seed catalogues fill the mailbox and I barely make it up the driveway without taking a peak at what’s offered for 2015.

  • Unusual items fascinate me. It’s a challenge to find out what they are, where they came from and how old they are.
    Claude Brock, Sr., found a heavy, hornshaped “thing” down by the Salt River a few years ago, Dolly brought it down to the Spencer Magnet office for me to examine, but I could shed no light on what it is.

  • A reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew 1:18-25:

  • The beauty outside the window on a snowy winter’s day is hard to deny. The white blanket that covers everything seems so soft, while the frigid cold makes things appear crystal clear. To walk outside and hear the winter silence broken only by the crunch of snow underfoot and the soft hiss as the wind blows the snow along can be intoxicating.

  • by Ned Way

  • While doing some microfilm research at the Louisville Free Public Library last week, this scribe ran across an interesting item in the Sept. 16, 1964 edition of the Louisville Journal.
    The items gave details of a shooting in Taylorsville during the Civil War.
    Here’s what it said:
    “Deporster Killed By A Brother Guerrilla.

  • Dear Savvy Senior,
    What are the IRS income tax filing requirements for retirees this tax season? I didn’t have to file last year, but I picked up a little income from a part-time job in 2014, and I’m wondering if I need to file this year.
    Part-Time Retiree

  • The respected research group Brookings Institute has released reports that cast a disturbing eye on student-loan debt -- at least on the surface. The bare stats might look more grim than the reality.
    Between 1989 and today, graduate students have left school with debt that has risen from $10,000 to $40,000. At the bachelor-degree level, the debt has risen from $6,000 to $16,000. However, because of having degrees, the lifetime income of those students also has increased enough.

  • DEAR DR. ROACH: You’ve discussed sleep aids and your belief that it is best to get off all of this type of medication. I am healthy, 75 (take no meds), exercise with weights, do swimming and running regularly, and since 2007 have been taking an over-the-counter sleep aid called doxylamine nightly with no apparent side effects. Do you see a problem with continuing? -- A.B.

  • Dear Savvy Senior,
    Is there a good rule of thumb on who should buy a long-term care insurance policy? My wife and I have a few assets we’d like to protect but we hate the idea of paying expensive monthly premiums for a policy we may never use.
    Planning Ahead

  • By Ned Way

  • We all use water much more than we think. We shower, brush our teeth, we flush it down the toilet, we drink it and use it to fix our meals and even to wash the salt off our cars! Around here it is one of those things we usually just take for granted. The Environmental Protection Agency claims that the average American family uses 400 gallons of water a day, the US Geological Survey suggests that the average person uses about 100 gallons a day.

  • By Nick Schrager

    Landmark News Service