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Man with a new, healthy heart says Obamacare saved his life

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An Olathe man says the health care law saved his life. Once Mike O’Dell was able to get health insurance on January 1, he was able to go on the transplant waiting list, and he now has a new heart.

On Thursday, O’Dell hugged his three children as he saw them for the first time since receiving the new heart last week at Saint Luke’s Hospital.

Back in December, O’Dell, age 41, didn’t think it could happen.

“I thought I’d deteriorate and eventually I’d pass away. It’s just been — it’s been tough,” said O’Dell.

He couldn’t afford a transplant. He qualified for Kansas Medicaid coverage for those with high medical expenses, but he couldn’t meet the spenddown requirements to have continuous coverage.

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Facebook expands profile gender options beyond ‘male’ and ‘female’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You don’t have to be strictly a man or a woman on Facebook anymore.

In a nod to the “it’s complicated” sexual identities of many of its users, the social network on Thursday added a third “custom” gender option for people’s profiles. In addition to Male or Female, Facebook now lets U.S. users choose among some 50 additional options such as “transgender,” “cisgender,” “gender fluid,” “intersex” and “neither.”

Users also now have the ability to choose the pronoun they’d like to be referred to publicly: he/his, she/her, or the gender-neutral they/their.

“When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self,” Facebook said in a post on its Diversity page.

Netflix grabs a slice of Star Wars

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — A slice of the “Star Wars” universe is coming to Netflix for the first time.

The streaming service has acquired the rights to the animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” including a sixth season that has never been seen before.

The episodes will become available to Netflix customers in the United States and Canada on March 7. Other television networks and streaming services will feature the unseen season in other countries.

For “Star Wars” fans, the Netflix deal to distribute the sixth and final “Clone Wars” season will give closure to a series that was unceremoniously canceled last year. The producers have dubbed the 13-episode sixth season “The Lost Missions.”

Erickson Living, Manager of Tallgrass Creek, Starts Construction of New CCRC in New Jersey

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND — February 11, 2014 — Erickson Living, developer and manager of Tallgrass Creek in Overland Park, KS,  has started construction of a new 540,000-square-foot CCRC at 535 Mountain Avenue in New Providence, New Jersey.   

“A retirement community in northwest Union County is a natural extension of Erickson Living’s commitment to serving the state of New Jersey,” said Chris Emmett, Vice President of Regional Operations for Erickson Living. “Lantern Hill is a premier property, and we embrace the opportunity to serve those who will live and work at this distinctive community.”

Erickson Living brings a wide scope of resources and expertise in operating entrance fee CCRCs. The company’s mission and culture of caring, commitment, and professionalism is recognized nationwide and will serve as the foundation for creating an exceptional resident experience.

Home Depot to hire 600 in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Despite the cool temperatures still lingering across the nation, the world’s largest home improvement retailer is already gearing up for spring. The Home Depot is looking to hire 600 associates in Kansas City and 80,000 nationwide in preparation for spring – the company’s busiest selling season. Students, retirees, veterans and reservists are encouraged to apply.

For veterans and reservists interested in employment, The Home Depot’s online military skills translator can help match unique military skills to positions within the company. More information is available online at homedepotmilitary.com.

All interested candidates can apply online at careers.homedepot.com
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Joe’s Weather Blog: Weather Battle Between STL & KC!

It always amazes me sometimes how the weather is so varied across a “relatively” small change of distance. Here you have St Louis about 250 miles away from us…and yet their weather is usually a lot more different than ours. I went to school in St Louis at St Louis University and I loved it there. My Billikens are #12 right now in the polls, and I get to watch every game these days, but I digress. Here in KC we have our own “special” feelings for the “Gateway to the West”. It’s hilarious to hear on the radio when the Cardinals are in town or in the playoffs…or read the FB comments…cracks me up. I wish we had a NHL hockey team like them…but they could keep their traffic but what about the weather…do we want their winter…or are we in better shape here.

Wildcats top Jayhawks in overtime, win at Bramlage

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The name of the game in any sport is to outscore the opposition, and that’s exactly what the Kansas State Wildcats did on Monday night, beating their cross-state rival Kansas Jayhawks 85-82 in overtime.

The Wildcats scored on every possession in the extra five minutes, either with a field goal or a free throw. The Wildcats were led by senior guard Will Spradling, who had 15 points and six rebounds and it marked the first time the Overland Park native has won a home game against Kansas.