Nola Ochs (center) of Jetmore, Ks., celebrates her 100th birthday with friends, family and cake during halftime of the FHSU men's basketball game on Nov. 15 at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays, Kansas. Ochs officially turns 100 on Nov. 22. People who are 90 or older have nearly tripled in number since 1980, to 1.9 million, according to Thursday's first-ever census numbers on the age group.
It turns out Americans are living to be older and older. The U.S. Census revealed that the oldest old in the U.S. have reached nearly 2 million people over the age of 90. That’s nearly triple the number 30 years ago.
Census officials estimate the numbers will increase to 8.7 million by the middle of the century. Just over 100 years ago, fewer than 100,000 reached 90. Scientists credit the increases mostly to better nutrition and advances in medical care.
While Americans are living longer, those over the age of 90 are more likely to live in poverty and have disabilities. A federal report released Thursday also said that while people are living longer, birth rates have dropped for the third straight year. Experts initially believed that women were waiting to have children at an older age, but now believe the low birth rates are tied to the poor economy. The theory is that women with money worries, especially younger women, feel they can’t afford to start a family or add to it.
Grimes resigns from Humane Society, shelter future unclear
Shirley Grimes, the executive director of the McCracken County Humane Society, announced Sunday her plans to resign from her position in December after 34 years of service. The humane society is under investigation by the sheriff’s department for violating various state statutes. While the investigation continues, the county has set up a temporary shelter to house animals collected by animal control instead of being taken to the humane society.
Groceries for Good nets big donation
The Paducah Sun and Metropolis Planet teamed for the 19th year to sponsor Groceries for Good, a fundraiser and food drive meant to help stock local food pantries and charities before the holidays roll around. This year’s donations totaled $22,695.
Teen of the Week
Weston Loyd is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. The senior at Paducah Tilghman is the president of the school’s student government, Beta Club, co-captain of the mock trial team and co-editor-in-chief of the Tilghman Bell newspaper. Loyd is interested in politics and has the goal of being a U.S. senator after serving as Sen. Mitch McConnell’s page last summer. In May, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners, earning a four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University or a $2,500 scholarship to the school of their choice.