News roundup: ULL students to vote on fee for campus upgrades … Premium hikes in store for top Medicare drug plans, report says … Clip-on tail for humans lets you wag like a dog
School spirit: The UL Lafayette's campus is on track for major upgrades, and the student body will vote next month on whether to help pay for the work in the school's master plan. Much of the plan calls for reducing vehicle traffic by expanding sidewalks and building new bike paths. UL students will vote on the proposed fee Oct. 8-9. The fee would be $7.50 per credit hour, capped at 15 hours. The (Lafayette) Advertiser has the full story here.
Drug money: Seniors enrolled in seven of the 10 most popular Medicare prescription drug plans will be hit with double-digit premium hikes next year if they don't shop for a better deal, says a private firm that analyzes the highly competitive market. The report, released Monday by Avalere Health, serves as a reality check on the Obama's administration's upbeat pronouncements. Back in August, officials announced that the average premium for basic prescription drug coverage would stay the same in 2013, at $30 a month. The administration's number is accurate as an overall indicator for the entire market but not very helpful to consumers individually, since it doesn't reflect price swings in the real world, the report says. Read the full story here.
Happy tails: The Simpsons' Troy McClure once hosted a show called I Can't Believe They Invented It! That show was pure fiction, and although this new product may sound like it is, too, somehow it's not: Shippo, a furry clip-on tail for humans that wags when they're happy or excited and droops in a neutral position when they're calm and meditative. As The Los Angeles Times reports, Shippo—unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show expo last week—was created by Neurowear, a company that uses the same technology doctors use in the detection of seizures and brain activity to make products that are more fun and frivolous. Read the full story and see a surreal video of the tail in action here.
Today's poll question: The Metro Council will soon consider removing a restriction that prevents bars, restaurants and stores from selling alcohol before 11 a.m. on Sundays. Are you in favor of all-day Sunday alcohol sales?
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