— Few things can be more annoying than answering the phone while you’re in the middle of something. Unfortunately, illegal telemarketing calls have our phones ringing more than ever, costing victims of scammers millions each year. How It Works: Scammers often leverage legal “robocall” technology unlawfully as a way to dial thousands of numbers at a time, looking for someone to pick up the phone so they can scam them out of their money or identity.  A common tactic is “caller …

— Have a question for North Dakota’s candidates for the U.S. Senate? AARP North Dakota is hosting two separate telephone town halls with both candidates for U.S. Senate. We’ll have Rep. Kevin Cramer on the phone from 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16. The town hall with Senator Heidi Heitkamp will be from 5:45-6:45 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22. You will be able to ask questions of the candidates as well as listen to the conversation. To be sure you receive the call …

— By Hilary Appelman As secretary-treasurer of the Windfall United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, the Gideons Auxiliary and the Windfall Grange, Marjorie Pratt makes a lot of phone calls—whether to line up contributions for Grange pancake and dairy suppers, to let parishioners know that church services have been canceled or to check in on friends. “It’s absolutely vital,” the retired postal clerk said about her landline phone. “We have no other means of communication.” Pratt, 77, said the closest place she …

— Please call your legislator and ask that they protect your safety and vote NO on Senate Bill 183. SB 183 by Sens. Mark Scheffel and Andrew Kerr and Reps. Angela Williams and Polly Lawrence is last-minute bill being promoted by the large telecom carriers that would take away Public Utilities Commission (PUC) authority over 911 services. If SB 183 passes: Your call might not go through in an emergency. When you dial 9-1-1, you should be connected to police, fire …

How to avoid phone scams.

— In an age of expanding cellphone use, AARP aims to ensure Mainers who rely on landlines for medical needs, safety or to reduce isolation continue to have that option. FairPoint Communications, the largest landline telephone provider in Maine, is asking lawmakers to release it and other telecommunications companies from an obligation to provide basic landline service throughout the state. FairPoint currently provides basic local service to 25,000 customers in Maine, many of whom live in rural areas where cellular service …

Maine-Passes-Care-Act

— With a new legislative session beginning Jan. 6, AARP is gearing up to take action on matters that affect quality of life for Mainers age 50-plus. Such issues include preserving landline phone service, especially in rural areas where cellular service is spotty; providing a retirement savings plan for workers whose employers don’t offer a plan; preserving access to affordable prescription drugs; and easing the burden on family caregivers. “Our legislative success depends largely on the energy and diverse talents of …

get ready for 10-digit dialing!

— The nearly ubi-quitous use of mobile phones has made landlines unnecessary for many Americans. But that’s not an option for residents of rural areas where cellphone service is spotty. AARP Pennsylvania is fighting to make sure that landline service remains available and affordable for the nearly 1.5 million Keystone Staters who reside in rural areas. The cost of providing and maintaining landlines in rural areas is high, and sparser populations mean the cost per customer exceeds that for urban dwellers. …

— COLUMBUS, OH – AT&T has returned to the Ohio Statehouse once again asking the state legislature to adopt a proposal that would have rural Ohioans lose their copper land line service, and also would deny them fiber optic cable service. AARP Ohio opposes moving this complex proposal during the lame duck session and is urging more study before legislators consider this proposal. Following is a statement by Jane Taylor, state director for AARP Ohio: “We must always be watching and …

— Over strong opposition from AARP, the Colorado Legislature passed sweeping changes as to how phone companies can do business in 2014 and beyond. These new laws — called “telecom deregulation” — may change the type of phone service available to you, how much you pay for the service, and whether you can get help from the state if you have a serious problem. Here’s what you need to know: If You Have Telephone Service – From CenturyLink or another traditional …

— By David Lewellen Wisconsin will see a sharply contested race for governor this fall and will also choose 17 state senators, all 99 state representatives and eight members of the U.S. House. But before voters go to the polls, AARP Wisconsin will be spreading the word to voters and candidates alike about issues facing older residents. Major concerns Key state issues for Wisconsin’s 50-plus population this fall include: Family Care, a state program that helps older people and those with …