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Page 14B m The Glenville Democrat]Pathfinder m Thursday, May 3, 2012 When It Makes Sense TO Refinance Your Life (NAPS)--Do you know how much you are paying in inter- est every month on your credit cards, auto loan and mortgage? The answer may come as a sur- prise: therefore, it could be in your best interest to learn more about lowering your interest rates. Many people do not realize how much interest adds to their monthly payments and how that amount can slow down the rate at which they are paying off a debt. On average, people can spend about a third of their annual income on unnecessary high inter- est rates associated with tkeir monthly bills, simply because they are unaware that better options are available. One way to save money is to refinance with a company that offers you a lower interest rate. In the case of credit cards, you can consolidate several cards into one lower interest payment. The best way to get started is to do a little homework by researching interest rates, then compare how the rates vary. Do Your Homework To learn more about refinanc- ing options, consider these helpful tips: Check out and compare interest rates to see what com- panies are offering. Much of this information can be found online. Taking the time to do your home- work can really pay off, as some lenders offer rates that are dPa- matically lower than the national average. Check your local paper for major interest rate fluctuations. Ask about closing costs. If you are ready to refinance, be sure to ask about closing costs', as these can add to your total debt. Inquire about fees. When refinancing, ask about fees--you may be surprised by how much fees can vary! Read the fine print and find out how much interest you are paying, then see if you can refinance. Take advantage of dis- counts, promotions or incen- tives. Check into companies that offer a discount for applying online, such as Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed). Why PenFed? A fiscally sound, member- owned credit union that has been lending for over 75 years, PenFed offers interest rates that are sub- stantially lower than those the average person can get from com- mercial banks, especially if you apply online. PenFed takes pride in serving over a million members, both civilian and military, worldwide. There are over 100 ways to join PenFed. and you too can take advantage of its exceptional rates and member-first service/ Refinance Your Life Here are just a few of the ways you can use PenFed's refi- nancing options to lower your debt payments: Mortgage: You could save on your home finance charges by get- ting an adjustable mortgage. The credit union delivers a finance rate that is fixed for five years. The initial rate can change every five years by no more than two percentage points, up or down, never to exceed five percentage points above the initial rate. Credit Cards: You can consoli- date and refinance credit cards at a lower rate. One consolidated payment with a lower interest rate could be lower than one of your existing payments. Auto Refinancing: Read the fine print on your car loan note. How much interest are you pay- ing? It can really add up! PenFed offers refinancing on auto loans up to $70,000 at attractive low rates. Refinancing is available for all car models, new or used. Learn More PenFed offers a diverse selec- tion of products and services with built-in value that's hard to beat; such as mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, equity loans, consoli- dation loans, Money Market Cer- tificates, Money Market Savings, IRAs and much more--including a variety of insurance and invest- ment-related products. To learn more about PenFed and membership eligibility, visit www.PenFed.org/lower or call (800) 247-5626. Cushing's Disease: Common Symptoms, Rare Disease (NAPS) Sometimes the sim- plest answer may not be the right one when it comes to health. When common symptoms point to a well-known cause, a more com- plicated underlying condition may be overlooked. Because of this, diagnosing rare diseases can be a challenge. For those affected by Cushing's disease, a rare endo- crine disorder, many signs[ | symptoms, including weight gain, depression, diabetes, fatigue and high blood pressure, are indistin- guishable at first glance from other healtb conditions and often misdiagnosed. To raise awareness, Cushing's Disease Awareness Day is celebrated annually on April 8 the birthday of Dr. Harvey Cushing, who was the first person to describe the disease. Endocrine disorders occur when hormone levels are imbalanced. The most common endocrine disor- der, diabetes, is associated with long-term complications that affect almost every part of the body. Though affecting only a small por- tion of the population, Cushing's disease, like diabetes, can have enduring effects on the body. There are currently 39 people per million living with Cushing's dis: ease, while one to two people per million are diagnosed each year. It most commonly affects adults from 20 to 50 years old and affects women three to four times more often than men. Cushing's disease is the most common form of Cushing's syn* drome, a condition caused by excessive cortisol, a vital hormone The Power Of Plants (NAPS b--For countless health reasons, including weight loss and improved heart health, an increasing number of Americans are setting aside one day a week or more to go meatless. Fortu- nately, those seeking plant-based recipes that the whole family will love can look to USA-grown rice for inspiration.. From Brown Rice Burritos to Creamy Red Beans & Rice with Caramelized Onions, there's fla- vorful ideas for everyone to enjoy. The key is Texmati Rice with its unique nutty, buttery flavor and popcorn-like aroma that enhances every recipe. Endocrine disorders such as Cushing's disease occur when hormone levels are imbalanced. that regulates metabolism, main- tains cardiovascular function and helps the body respond to stress. In Cushing's disease, the overpro- duction of cortisol is triggered by a noncancerous pituitary tumor. However, no known causes or risk .factors have been identified for the development of the tumors that cause Cushing's disease. Since Cushing's disease can be difficult to recognize and the pro- cess for accurate diagnosis is often lengthy, the time to diagnosis for a patient can be up to six years from the time they first notice symp- toms. Patients with Cushing's dis- ease frequently see several doctors and undergo a variety of medical tests to accurately confirm a sus- pected diagnosis. Lisa Wollman, from Massachu- setts, knew that something was wrong beyond the simple symp- toms:."Despite being active and Try it in Rice Tabbouleh, a twist on the popular grain-based Salad bursting with Mediter- ranean flavors. It's terrific for a weekday meal or to bring to any gathering, and it's gluten free. Rice Tabbouleh eating right, I started to gain weight and often felt extremely tired. It took several years of med- ical testing and frequent visits to many different doctors before I was properly diagnosed with Cushing's disease. I think it's essential for you to pay attention to your body and be aware of the many symptoma, whch-pa:sel unrelated or insig.nificart bu could be the key to helping your physicians reach a diagnosis." Although the symptoms of Cushing's disease are broad and diverse, there are some character- istics that may help distinguish Cushing's disease from other con- ditions, including rapid weight gain resulting in central obesity (abdomen that sticks out with thin arms and legs), having a "moon face" (round, red and full), purple stretch marks (striae), easy bruising and fractured bones. Louise Pace, spokesperson for Cushing Support and Research Foundation, emphasizes the im- portance of disease awareness. "Living with a less common disor- der like Cushing's disease can be difficult for patients. The level of understanding needs to grow among both patients and doctors." To support Cushing's Disease Awareness Day and patients worldwide, use Twitter and Face- book to post online resources, such as www.CushingsDisease.com, as well as information about the disease. For more information about Cushing's disease, please visit www.CushingsDisease.com. American-grown rice is nice in this tempting tabbouleh salad. 3 cups cooked Texmati Brown or White Rice 1 cup chopped Italian fiat- leaf parsley 3 cup chopped cucumber sA cup chopped tomato cup minced mint leaves cup olive oil cup lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss well. If desired, you can add in rinsed canned beans, feta cheese or even leftover chopped chicken (for those vho want a bit of meat), (NAPS) Mopar, a contraction of MOtor and PARts, is Chrysler Group's service, parts and cus- tomer-care brand. Chrysler Group Cleaning And Organizing--Year-Round (NAPS)---Once a year, many people scour their homesdep cleanirig and getting rid of :itms they haven't used or worn in years. However, people who clean and stay organized throughout;the year are more likely to be happy,' healthy and financially comfortable. "I see clients every day who are extremely stressed due to the level of disorganization in their life," said Lisa Zaslow, professional orga- mzer and owner of Gotham Orga- nizers. "If you keep your home organized, with a minimal level of clutter, you'll see a number of ben- efits above and beyond being able to see your floor." What are the other areas of your life that benefit from being organized? Emotional--A high levelof disorganization can lead to exces- sive stress. Zaslow helped one client reorganize her home, and afterward the client "woke up happy, instead of stressed like befor." i i " '-'- , : t:_,_, ,_:, Health--An organized home is cleaner, keeping germ and bacte- ria, levels to a minimum Financial--"You'd be sur- prised how many people have money in old purses when I come to help them get organized," said Zaslow. Additionally, being orga- nized means you'll be on top of paperwork one missed credit card payment can rack up late es, increase your interest rate and affect your credit score. Knowing that there are all these additional benefits, how can you get started? According to Zaslow, it doesn't matter where Keeping your home organized can help lower your stress levels. you start, so begin with the easi- est or most annoying task. Cull through closets and stor- age to find items that you're no longer using and get rid of them, like gadgets, last season's clothes or collectibles. If they are still in great condition, bring them to an eBay Trading Assistant. Trading Assistants are experienced eBay sellers around the country who will sell your items on eBay for a commission. They do all the work for you--making you money while you clear out clutter. Box up excessive paperwork or magazines and label them "Items to sort" as the first step. It will make you feel better to know the process has begun. Organize one room at a time to make the task less overwhelm- ing. Making yourself a schedule of which room comes next helps show your progress. Finally, 'Trfink of it as a treasure hunt. You'll find something that you've been missing and something you didn't even know you had," said Zaslow. For more information, go to http://ebaytradingassistant.com/ money. IlIllIIIllIlIlrI'! llIIIl Genius always finds itself a century too early, -Ralph Waldo Emerson Protecting Your Pet From Parasites (NAPS)--Pet owners now have an easy way to protect their pets from the unpleasant experience of a tapeworm infestation. How do you know if your dog has tapeworms? Traditional test- ing methods use a stool sample (feces) to detect many parasites, including hookworms and (o,und- worm's'. 'But f your dog las tape- worms, this test will often be neg- ative. In most cases, the diagnosis is made when you see these seg- ments crawling either on the fresh stool sample or on your dog's rear end. But what do they look like? Well, bits of tapeworms are mos commonly compared to cucumber seeds or grains of rice, just wig- glier. When they dry out, the tape- worm segments become hard and yellowish in color (think sesame seeds) and may stick to the hair, fur or even your pillow. New research from Auburn Prescription products can pro- tect your dog from tapeworm infeStation. with fleas and wild animals bring- ng in a variety of problems," states Dr. Heidi Lobprise. "Even when you are providing flea con- trol on your pet, it's difficult to control every pest in the environ- ment, so you need to b'e aware that diseases such as tapeworms University shows that tapeworm infectiops,:in dgsa be:.ch - -more widespread than previously recognized. The new testing meth- odandicated that 45 percent of over 1,000 pet dogs tested posi- tive. Earlier studies placed that average at 1 percent prevalence of tapeworms found in dogs. Most tapeworm infections oc- cur when your dog eats a flea or small mammal that carries an early stage of the worm. They are not directly transmittable to you (unless you eat fleas and small mammals), and most tapeworm species cause minimal health problems, with a few exceptions. "Since wi.nter has been mild across the country, we can expect to see an increase in parasites, A mule won't sink in quicksand but a donkey will. 49th Annual State Youth Environmental Day set for May 19 Hundreds of young people from across West Virginia are expected to attend the 49th annual state Youth Environmental Day on Sat., May 19, at North Bend State Park in Cairo. The popular event is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of En- vironmental Protection and several corporations, businesses and other organizations. Following a night of camping at North Bend, awards totaling more than $11,000 will be presented during May 19's Youth Environmental Awards can still be transmitted." H - - 9 ceremony. Youth group members will :'FoYutrt?tt:r  T e_give w_rds tor theirparticipation in community environmental projects edge and one- emsy step, you'can keep heartworms, tapeworms and other worms from rearing their ugly heads. Prescription products available from your local veterinar- ian like IVERHART MAX (iver- mectin/pyrantel pamoate/prazi- quantel) Chewable Tablets can help. IVERHART MAX Chewable Tablets are a once-monthly preven- tative that can help treat and con- trol roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Contact your local vet- erinary clinic and you can start protecting your dog today; or to learn more, log on to www.virbac pets.corn or www.petsandparasites. org. When Buying A BoOster Seat, Check With The Experts (NAPS)--Before you shop for a booster seat; there's one thing you ought to know: Not all booster seats on the market will provide the right fit for the car you drive. Using a booster seat is impor- tant. With a booster seat, children ages 4 to 8 are 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries in crashes than when they're in belts alone. Fortunately, your efforts to choose the right seat can get a boost from some expert guidance. Following the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ratings can make it easier to select boosters. Unlike child restraints with built-in harnesses, a bo0ser seat relies on a veele saety 'belt! to buckle the child rr, Its purpoae s to make tlie adult belt fit the child better. Safety belts are designed with adults in mind, not kids, but when a booster seat does its job, the vehicle; belt Will fit a ehildi cby- rectly. Tfia means ,the ]aplbe]t will lie flat across a child's upper thighs, not across the soft ab- domen, and the shoulder belt will cross smlgly over the*ddle of a child s shoulder. . , . : The Institute assigns,tested seats into four categories: Best Bets are seats that pro- vide good fit for typical 4- to 8- year-olds in almost any oar, mini - van or SU. Good Bets provide acceptable fit in most cars, minivans or SUVs. Not Recommended don't pro- vide a good fit and should be avoided. Check Fit applies to booster seats that have varied results ,depending on child size and vehi- cle model. Unlike child restraints with built- in harnesses, a booster seat relies on a vehicle safety belt to buckle the child in. Checking Booster Fit Both the lap and shoulder belts must fit your child correctly. To check the lap belt fit, make sure it lies flat and on top of the thighs, not higher up on the abdomen. To check the shoulder obelt fit. make sure it fits across the middle of the child's shoulder. If it falls off the shoulder or rests on your child's neck, it won't work as well. An improper fit could encourage your child to move the belt to a dangerous position, such as be- hind the back or under the arm. The Institute assesses boosters using a special crash test dummy representing an average-sized 6- year-old. Enganeers measure how three-point lap and. shoulder belts fit in each of the tested boosters under conditions that span the range of safety belt configurations in vehicle models. For more information, visit www.iihs.org. dealerships also service vehicles for GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nis- san, Hyundai and Kia. Learn more at www.mopar.com. Bees, as in "bees and honey;' is Cockney rhyming slang for money. that include litter cleanups, recycling drives, school landscaping projects, tree planting, backyard composting, wildlife management, watershed pro- tection and much more. "The work these young people are doing is significant in creating a bet- ter environment through projects that produce communities that are cleaner and more beautiful places to grow up in," said Diana Haid, coordinator for the DEP's Youth Environmental Pro- gram. In addition to the awards ceremony, Youth Environmental Day will in- clude exhibits, hiking, sporting events and other activities for participants and their families. For more information about Youth Environmental Day and how to par- ticipate, please call Haid at 304-926- 0499, extensmn 1114 or email diana.k.haid@wv, gov Why Shoppers Want One-Owner Vehicles (NAPS)--One is- the luckiest number when it comes to pre- owned cars--one owner, that is. Many car buyers prefer cars that have previously had only one owner. Shoppers tend to pay more for these cars because they think they are more reliable and a better value--and they may be right. While cars with multiple owner.  can be a good deal, one-owner cars generally tend to have bette. trade-in value. I : Buying a used car is a big pur- chase. Be sure to get an inspec- tion and check its history. Either way, when tComes to buying used cars, the more you know, the better decisions you can make. It's important to find out all you can bout the car's ownership history. The two easiest ways to do that are to get an inspection and check the Carfax Vehicle History Report. You can also look for the Carfax 1- .Owner Vehicle symbol when you shop to help identify cars with only one previous owner.