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Whidbey General Hospital has a new CHIEF NURSING OFFICER. Linda Stephens Gipson earned her Ph.D in Public Health from the University of South Florida, her MBA from Cleveland State University, her MSN from Duke University and her BSN from University of Maryland. Gipson brings to WGH vast experience and expertise in a great number of healthcare disciplines.

The Skagit/Island Counties Builders Association and the North Puget Sound Association of Realtors are partnering to offer a MAXIMIZING YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS class Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Mount Vernon. Call 360-757-6916 for more information.

ZENITH MARITIME ACADEMY will conduct a 100-ton captain’s licensing course at the Anacortes Yacht Club, from Feb. 28 to April 19. The class meets Monday-Thursday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Call 360-531-0698 for details.

The ISLAND COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY is looking for volunteers to help out at the museum in Coupeville. Anyone willing to pitch in on weekdays, for any amount of time, should contact Executive Director Rick Castellano at 678-3310.

BEACH WATCHERS of Island County will discuss the State of Puget Sound Jan. 10 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall in Oak Harbor. The restoration of Ala Spit will also be discussed. For details visit www.oakharbor.org/green or email Maribeth Crandell at mcrandell@oakharbor.org.

FREE ACCESS to all National Parks will be allowed from Jan. 14 to Jan. 16. The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

The IRS has kicked off the 2012 tax season by announcing that taxpayers have until April 17 to file their tax returns. For more information, visit www.irs.gov.

The AARP TAX-AIDE PROGRAM is seeking volunteer tax counselors to provide free personal income tax assistance and counseling to low and middle income taxpayers, with special attention to those age 60 and older. For details, contact John Howard at 678-1117 or 678-7779.

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