I saw the post about the stuck extender being an issue and didn't want to open the lens. It was out of warranty and annoying me, so I figured I had nothing to lose.
1) Added a Tiffen UV protector to the lens - this gave me a "grip"
2) Turned the camera on while holding the UV Protector and "pulled and wiggled"
3) It extended
4) Subsequently, I am able to turn the power on and off and it extends and recognizes the lens
I think maybe a little grain of sand or dirt got stuck in the ridge around the inner and outer portions of the lens - where it extends. Wiggling it "freed" the inner extension and allows it to work. So far, so good.