With US Assist Cash, Colleges Put Larger Concentrate on Psychological Well being

In Kansas City, Kansas, educators open an after-school mental health clinic staffed with school counselors and social workers. Schools in Paterson, New Jersey have set up socio-emotional learning teams to identify students dealing with crisis. Chicago sets up “mentoring teams” with a mission to help students in difficulty on its 500+ campuses.

With a stroke of luck in federal coronavirus relief funds, schools in the United States are using parts to quickly expand their capacity to deal with students’ mental health issues.

While school districts have plenty of leeway in using the aid funds, the urgency of the problem has been made clear by absenteeism, behavioral issues and quieter signs of distress as many students hit for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic this fall.

In some school systems, the money has fueled longstanding trauma-coping work. Others have made new efforts to screen, counsel, and treat students. All in all, investment has put public schools at the center of efforts for the general welfare of students more than ever.

“In the last recession, with the last big chunk of recovery money, that conversation didn’t take place,” said Amanda Fitzgerald, assistant director of the American School Counselor Association. “Now the tone is very much geared towards the well-being of the students across the country.”

Last month, three major pediatric groups said the state of children’s mental health should be considered a national emergency. The US Department of Education has pointed out aid distribution to rethink how schools provide psychological support. Mental wellbeing, said Education Minister Miguel Cardona, must be the foundation for recovery from the pandemic.

Pandemic aid to schools is $ 190 billion, more than four times the amount the Department of Education typically spends annually on K-12 schools. Investments in mental health have gone into employee training, wellness screenings and curricula for social-emotional learning.

Questions remain, however, as to how schools will find ways to reap the benefits beyond the one-time cash injection, address privacy concerns, and track the effectiveness of their efforts. The implementation worries Katie Dockweiler, a Nevada school psychologist who sits on the state education committee.

“Not all programs are created equal,” she said. “It really depends on how it is implemented, school by school. And there is a lot of variability.”

She said the districts should develop ways to track the impact on students: “Otherwise we’ll just throw our money away.”

At the top of the list for many districts is the recruitment of new mental health specialists. When the National Association of School Psychologists surveyed members this fall, more than half of those polled said their districts intend to add social workers, psychologists or counselors, according to policy director Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach.

With $ 9.5 million in federal aid and outside grants, the Paterson Schools added five behavioral analysts, two substance abuse coordinators, and the teams to identify students in crisis situations.

In Paterson, one of the lowest-income parts of New Jersey, many of the 25,000 college students faced food insecurity prior to the pandemic and struggled after family members lost their jobs, Superintendent Eileen Shafer said.

“Before we tried to teach anything new, we wanted to make sure we were able to navigate where our children are based on what they’ve been through,” she said.

A student works on a puzzle while visiting a French middle school sensory room in Topeka, Kansas on Wednesday, November 3, 2021. The rooms are designed to relieve student stress when they return to classrooms amid the ongoing pandemic.

In rural Ellicottville, New York, where school psychologist Joe Prior sees more anxiety and a “marked increase” in panic attacks, the district plans to hire a life-saving agent to connect students with psychological help. But the position remains vacant as only a few have expressed interest.

“I have more students who just look into my eyes and say, ‘I’m completely overwhelmed and don’t know how to deal with it,'” said Erich Ploetz, headmaster of Ellicottville High School.

It’s not the only district where hiring ambitions have exceeded the number of skilled workers available. Some districts have turned to outside providers to fill mental health positions while others are training existing staff.

The Kansas City, Kansas school system is using a portion of the $ 918,000 mental health grant to pay for social workers and counselors who are already on the job at the new afternoon clinic. The district has also added staff and mental health exams.

Angela Dunn, who leads mental health and suicide prevention initiatives for the 22,000 student district, said the mental health team has responded to 27 student deaths and 16 employee deaths since the pandemic began, double the number over that period typical. She said a handful of employees died from COVID-19, but many of the others were murders, suicides and overdoses.

A student shares her feelings while visiting a sensory room at Williams Elementary School on November 3, 2021 in Topeka, Kansas.

Schools’ investments in student mental health services have raised some privacy concerns, particularly where schools are now monitoring student computers for distress signals or performing mental health tests on all students. But the notion that it’s not where schools can get involved at all has been forgotten.

“We just realized that students like to go to school to seek help,” said Dunn.

Chicago, the country’s third largest school district, unveiled a “cure plan” for high school students using $ 24 million of its $ 2.6 billion in stimulus funds.

Over the course of three years, the district will expand “mentoring teams” – construction personnel who serve as the first point of contact for students in difficulty – to each campus. 200 schools are to be reached by spring.

The headmistress Angélica Altamirano used some of these funds to open a room that is furnished with comfortable furniture and a used air hockey table. The campus center has already offered mourning groups for deceased students or friends and helped teachers deal with burnout.

In Topeka, Kansas, $ 100,000 was allocated for soothing items and sensory room personnel, including one at the Quincy Elementary. When students are so frustrated that they lay their heads on their desks, wander into the hallway, or cry, teachers can send them to the Roadrunner Room. There they can climb into a tent and snuggle under a weighted blanket, put together a puzzle, play with sand or build with Legos.

The Dean of Studies Andrea Keck observed how the room became a point of contact for a student in order to reduce frustrations.

“She can log it, have her hair pinned up, whatever she needs, and then she can be successful for the rest of the day,” says Keck, who oversees the room.

In Detroit, the district is spending $ 34 million on mental health initiatives, including screening high school students, expanding help from outside mental health providers, and providing additional support for parents.

Last Wednesday, that meant an hour-long meditation session for parents in a local coffee shop. One participant feared that her own stress was affecting her son’s ability to learn.

“As a community, we’ve all been through something,” said Sharlonda Buckman, an assistant superintendent who attended the meeting. “Part of recovery has to be deliberate work in spaces like this so we can be there for our children.”

With U.S. help cash, faculties put larger deal with psychological well being

CHICAGO – Educators are opening an after-school mental health clinic in Kansas City, Kansas, staffed with school counselors and social workers. Schools in Paterson, New Jersey have set up socio-emotional learning teams to identify students dealing with crisis. Chicago sets up “mentoring teams” with a mission to help students in difficulty on its 500+ campuses.

With a stroke of luck in federal coronavirus relief funds, schools in the United States are using parts to quickly expand their capacity to deal with students’ mental health issues.

While school districts have plenty of leeway in using the aid funds, the urgency of the problem has been made clear by absenteeism, behavioral issues and quieter signs of distress as many students hit for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic this fall.

In some school systems, the money has fueled longstanding trauma-coping work. Others have made new efforts to screen, counsel, and treat students. All in all, investment has put public schools at the center of efforts for the general welfare of students more than ever.

“In the last recession, with the last big chunk of recovery money, that conversation didn’t take place,” said Amanda Fitzgerald, assistant director of the American School Counselor Association. “Now the tone is very much geared towards the well-being of the students across the country.”

Last month, three major pediatric groups said the state of children’s mental health should be considered a national emergency. The US Department of Education has pointed out aid distribution to rethink how schools provide psychological support. Mental wellbeing, said Education Minister Miguel Cardona, must be the foundation for recovery from the pandemic.

Pandemic aid to schools is $ 190 billion, more than four times the amount the Department of Education typically spends annually on K-12 schools. Investments in mental health have gone into employee training, wellness screenings and curricula for social-emotional learning.

Questions remain, however, as to how schools will find ways to reap the benefits beyond the one-time cash injection, address privacy concerns, and track the effectiveness of their efforts. The implementation worries Katie Dockweiler, a Nevada school psychologist who sits on the state education committee.

“Not all programs are created equal,” she said. “It really depends on how it’s done, school by school. And there is a great deal of variability. “

She said the districts should develop ways to track the impact on students: “Otherwise we’ll just throw our money away.”

At the top of the list for many districts is the recruitment of new mental health specialists. When the National Association of School Psychologists surveyed members this fall, more than half of those polled said their districts intend to add social workers, psychologists or counselors, according to policy director Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach.

With $ 9.5 million in federal aid and outside grants, the Paterson Schools added five behavioral analysts, two substance abuse coordinators, and the teams to identify students in crisis situations.

In Paterson, one of the lowest-income parts of New Jersey, many of the 25,000 college students faced food insecurity prior to the pandemic and struggled after family members lost their jobs, Superintendent Eileen Shafer said.

“Before we tried to teach anything new, we wanted to make sure we could handle where our kids are based on what they’ve been through,” she said.

In rural Ellicottville, New York, where school psychologist Joe Prior sees more anxiety and a “marked increase” in panic attacks, the district plans to hire a life-saving agent to connect students with psychological help. But the position remains vacant as only a few have expressed interest.

“I have more students who just look into my eyes and say, ‘I’m completely overwhelmed and don’t know how to deal with it,'” said Erich Ploetz, Headmaster of Ellicottville High School.

It’s not the only district where hiring ambitions have exceeded the number of skilled workers available. Some districts have turned to outside providers to fill mental health positions while others are training existing staff.

The Kansas City, Kansas school system is using a portion of the $ 918,000 mental health grant to pay for social workers and counselors who are already on the job at the new afternoon clinic. The district has also added staff and mental health exams.

Angela Dunn, who leads mental health and suicide prevention initiatives for the 22,000 student district, said the mental health team has responded to 27 student deaths and 16 employee deaths since the pandemic began, double the number over that period typical. She said a handful of employees died from COVID-19, but many of the others were murders, suicides and overdoses.

Schools’ investments in student mental health services have raised some privacy concerns, particularly where schools are now monitoring student computers for distress signals or performing mental health tests on all students. But the notion that it’s not where schools can get involved at all has been forgotten.

“We just realized that students are comfortable seeking help in a school,” said Dunn.

Chicago, the third largest school district in the country, unveiled a “cure plan” for high school students using $ 24 million of its $ 2.6 billion in stimulus funds.

Over the course of three years, the district will expand “mentoring teams” – construction personnel who serve as the first response to students in difficulty – to each campus. 200 schools are to be reached by spring.

The headmistress Angélica Altamirano used some of these funds to open a room that is furnished with comfortable furniture and a used air hockey table. The campus center has already offered mourning groups for deceased students or friends and helped teachers deal with burnout.

In Topeka, Kansas, $ 100,000 was allocated for soothing items and sensory room personnel, including one at the Quincy Elementary. When students are so frustrated that they lay their heads on their desks, wander into the hallway, or cry, teachers can send them to the Roadrunner Room. There they can climb into a tent and snuggle under a weighted blanket, put together a puzzle, play with sand or build with Legos.

The Dean of Studies Andrea Keck observed how the room became a point of contact for a student in order to reduce frustrations.

“She can log it, have her hair pinned up, whatever she needs, and then she can be successful for the rest of the day,” says Keck, who oversees the room.

In Detroit, the district is spending $ 34 million on mental health initiatives, including screening high school students, expanding help from outside mental health providers, and providing additional support for parents.

Last Wednesday, that meant an hour-long meditation session for parents in a local coffee shop. One participant feared that her own stress was affecting her son’s ability to learn.

“As a community, we’ve all been through something,” said Sharlonda Buckman, an assistant superintendent who attended the meeting. “Part of recovery has to be deliberate work in spaces like this so we can be there for our children.”

With US support cash, colleges put greater concentrate on psychological well being

CHICAGO (AP) – Educators are opening an after-school mental health clinic in Kansas City, Kansas, staffed with school counselors and social workers. Schools in Paterson, New Jersey have set up socio-emotional learning teams to identify students dealing with crisis. Chicago sets up “mentoring teams” with a mission to help students in difficulty on its 500+ campuses.

With a stroke of luck in federal coronavirus relief funds, schools in the United States are using parts to quickly expand their capacity to deal with students’ mental health issues.

While the school districts have a lot of leeway in how to spend the aid, the urgency of the problem was evident Absenteeism, behavior problems, and quieter signs of stress So many students returned to school buildings for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic this fall.

In some school systems, the money has fueled longstanding trauma-coping work. Others have made new efforts to screen, counsel, and treat students. All in all, investment has put public schools at the center of efforts for the general welfare of students more than ever.

“In the last recession, with the last big chunk of recovery money, that conversation didn’t take place,” said Amanda Fitzgerald, assistant director of the American School Counselor Association. “Now the tone is very much geared towards the well-being of the students across the country.”

Last month, three major pediatric groups said the state of children’s mental health should be considered a national emergency. The US Department of Education has pointed out aid distribution to rethink how schools provide psychological support. Mental wellbeing, said Education Minister Miguel Cardona, must be the foundation for recovery from the pandemic.

Pandemic aid to schools is $ 190 billion, more than four times the amount the Department of Education typically spends annually on K-12 schools. Investments in mental health have gone into employee training, wellness screenings and curricula for social-emotional learning.

Questions remain, however, as to how schools will find ways to reap the benefits beyond the one-time cash injection, address privacy concerns, and track the effectiveness of their efforts. The implementation worries Katie Dockweiler, a Nevada school psychologist who sits on the state education committee.

“Not all programs are created equal,” she said. “It really depends on how it’s done, school by school. And there is a great deal of variability. “

She said the districts should develop ways to track the impact on students: “Otherwise we’ll just throw our money away.”

At the top of the list for many districts is the recruitment of new mental health specialists. When the National Association of School Psychologists surveyed members this fall, more than half of those polled said their districts intend to add social workers, psychologists or counselors, according to policy director Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach.

With $ 9.5 million in federal aid and outside grants, the Paterson Schools added five behavioral analysts, two substance abuse coordinators, and the teams to identify students in crisis situations.

In Paterson, one of the lowest-income parts of New Jersey, many of the 25,000 college students faced food insecurity prior to the pandemic and struggled after family members lost their jobs, Superintendent Eileen Shafer said.

“Before we tried to teach anything new, we wanted to make sure we could handle where our kids are based on what they’ve been through,” she said.

In rural Ellicottville, New York, where school psychologist Joe Prior sees more anxiety and a “marked increase” in panic attacks, the district plans to hire a life-saving agent to connect students with psychological help. But the position remains vacant as only a few have expressed interest.

“I have more students who just look into my eyes and say, ‘I’m completely overwhelmed and don’t know how to deal with it,'” said Erich Ploetz, Headmaster of Ellicottville High School.

It’s not the only district where hiring ambitions have exceeded the number of skilled workers available. Some districts have turned to outside providers to fill mental health positions while others are training existing staff.

The Kansas City, Kansas school system is using a portion of the $ 918,000 mental health grant to pay for social workers and counselors who are already on the job at the new afternoon clinic. The district has also added staff and mental health exams.

Angela Dunn, who leads mental health and suicide prevention initiatives for the 22,000 student district, said the mental health team has responded to 27 student deaths and 16 employee deaths since the pandemic began, double the number over that period typical. She said a handful of employees died from COVID-19, but many of the others were murders, suicides and overdoses.

Schools’ investments in student mental health services have raised some privacy concerns, particularly where schools are now monitoring student computers for distress signals or performing mental health tests on all students. But the notion that it’s not where schools can get involved at all has been forgotten.

“We just realized that students are comfortable seeking help in a school,” said Dunn.

Chicago, the third largest school district in the country, unveiled a “cure plan” for high school students using $ 24 million of its $ 2.6 billion in stimulus funds.

Over the course of three years, the district will expand “mentoring teams” – construction personnel who serve as the first response to students in difficulty – to each campus. 200 schools are to be reached by spring.

The headmistress Angélica Altamirano used some of these funds to open a room that is furnished with comfortable furniture and a used air hockey table. The campus center has already offered mourning groups for deceased students or friends and helped teachers deal with burnout.

In Topeka, Kansas, $ 100,000 was allocated for soothing items and sensory room personnel, including one at the Quincy Elementary. When students are so frustrated that they lay their heads on their desks, wander into the hallway, or cry, teachers can send them to the Roadrunner Room. There they can climb into a tent and snuggle under a weighted blanket, put together a puzzle, play with sand or build with Legos.

The Dean of Studies Andrea Keck observed how the room became a point of contact for a student in order to reduce frustrations.

“She can log it, have her hair pinned up, whatever she needs, and then she can be successful for the rest of the day,” says Keck, who oversees the room.

In Detroit, the district is spending $ 34 million on mental health initiatives, including screening high school students, expanding help from outside mental health providers, and providing additional support for parents.

Last Wednesday, that meant an hour-long meditation session for parents in a local coffee shop. One participant feared that her own stress was affecting her son’s ability to learn.

“As a community, we’ve all been through something,” said Sharlonda Buckman, an assistant superintendent who attended the meeting. “Part of recovery has to be deliberate work in spaces like this so we can be there for our children.”

___

Thompson reported from Ellicottville, New York and Hollingsworth from Mission, Kansas. Chalkbeat writers Catherine Carrera in Newark, New Jersey, Cassie Walker Burke in Chicago and Lori Higgins in Detroit, and Associated Press writer Collin Binkley in Boston contributed to this report.

Walgreens shares surge on plans to spice up give attention to well being providers

Walgreens Boots Alliance‘s new CEO Roz Brewer said Thursday the drugstore chain will sharpen its focus on healthcare and make it the company’s “new growth engine”.

Speaking at a virtual investor’s day, she said the company’s nearly 9,000 stores in the United States will become places where customers can go to a doctor’s appointment, take medical tests, and seek advice from a nurse or pharmacist. These services will be under a new division of the company called Walgreens Health.

“This new Walgreens Health will make a difference and move us away from retail and just dispense drugs,” she said in an interview with CNBC’s Bertha Coombs. “It will be about the life we ​​lead and the life we ​​touch and the life we ​​can convey to doctors and clinicians in our buildings, both physically and digitally.”

Investors seemed receptive to Walgreens’ plan. Shares closed 7.4% on Thursday at $ 50.77. This year, stocks are up more than 29% so far.

Brian Tanquilut, a stock research analyst at Jefferies, said Walgreens achieved what many investors wanted Thursday by setting out how it will become a proactive player in healthcare.

“Right now people are saying, ‘This is a solid strategy and we’re giving you some credit for it,'” he said.

Walgreens plan is to open hundreds of primary care clinics, shake up the choice of in-store goods, and get stakes in multiple healthcare companies.

The company expects this strategy to pay off in the years to come. For the next year, adjusted earnings per share on a constant currency basis is expected to show flat growth, it said. However, growth will accelerate, so adjusted earnings per share will grow about 4% annually for the next three years. Beyond fiscal 2024, the company’s growth algorithm will result in adjusted earnings per share growth of between 11% and 13%.

Brewer referred to the companies Fourth Quarter Results as proof that Walgreens is built on solid foundations.

Tanquilut said the new vision for Walgreens is a notable linchpin.

“They’re turning the pharmacy into a health center,” he said. “Instead of relying on retail, the value driver is no longer controlling scripts [prescriptions] from the pharmacy. It actually provides care and makes the patient loyal to business. “

Expansion of the health system

It recently decided Invest another $ 5.2 billion in VillageMD, a primary care company that will operate clinics in Walgreens stores and is on track to go public in 2022. It also acquired a controlling interest in home health company CareCentrix and specialty pharmacy company Shields Health Solutions.

In addition to expanding health services, Walgreens will increase its cost savings target to $ 3.3 billion by 2024. The company decided to increase that target after saving $ 2 billion in costs, CFO James Kehoe said.

brewer took over the top management role from Walgreens in mid-March after serving as Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks and CEO of Walmart– owned by Sam’s Club.

She said the health care mission was personal to her. At the company’s Investor Day, she recalled the last months of her mother’s life as her family juggled medical bills, numerous doctors, and kidney dialysis appointments. The experience, she said, was “incredibly confusing and unwieldy and stressful”.

She said that distracted her family from what should have been the focus: enjoying the remaining time with her mother.

For so many Americans, this is the same experience – and one that Walgreens wants to solve by integrating primary care with pharmacies and freeing up more staff time to help patients.

A new look and feel in the stores

For the next several years, Walgreens leaders say consumers will see and feel the difference when they walk into neighborhood stores.

Walgreens said it will have 85 primary care clinics in stores by the end of the year. They will operate under the name Village Medical at Walgreens. By 2025, there should be at least 600 doctor’s offices in more than 30 U.S. markets, and 1,000 by 2027. More than half of them are in medically underserved parts of the country.

Walgreens Health Corners are being added in some stores and online. The retail space is occupied by medical professionals such as nurses and pharmacists who can advise patients and help them with the treatment of chronic diseases.

So far, Walgreens has opened 40 of them. By the end of this financial year there should be more than 100 and finally more than 3,000 in its branches.

Customers will be able to get other types of medical tests, such as pneumonia, strep, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections, said Walgreens President John Standley. He said the company already has pilots in place, including a test pilot for HIV in two states that expects sales of $ 26 million by fiscal 2024.

To give pharmacists time to answer customer questions, get vaccinations and other medical tests, Walgreens is opening centralized centers that fill out prescriptions and ship them to stores and homes, Standley said. It has already opened two centers in Dallas and Phoenix and plans to open an additional nine by the end of fiscal 2022, bringing the number of pharmacies served to around 3,900.

Before the store, the company’s merchandise will be “more healthy for you,” Brewer said in a CNBC interview. She said Walgreens had already seen consumers self-drawn to diet supplements and beauty products with a wellness outlook. She said more private label products will also be added.

She said Walgreens will take a close look at tobacco sales. It continued to sell cigarettes even after rival CVS Health discontinued the products in 2014.

Walgreens’ strategy is similar to that of Rivals CVS health – but with one big caveat. CVS is also an insurance provider. It Acquired Aetna in 2018 in a $ 69 billion merger. It also owns one of the largest pharmacy service managers, Caremark.

CVS has expanded its health offering in drugstores by opening emergency centers called MinuteClinics. It is turning hundreds of its stores into HealthHubs, where people can meet with a therapist, take a yoga class, or get help managing their diabetes.

According to Jefferies’ Tanquilut, CVS is pursuing a more holistic health strategy with Caremark, Aetna and their businesses. This creates natural synergies, he said, such as encouraging Aetna members to go to MinuteClinic for flu shots or urgent treatment. In addition, CVS has a “first mover advantage” by converting businesses into health goals.

He has a hold rating on Walgreens stock with a target price of $ 53, about 5% above current stock price. He has a buy rating on CVS stock with a target price of $ 95, about 12% higher than where the stock is currently trading.

On Thursday, Kehoe said that Walgreens lack of an insurance company can work to its advantage. He said the company is non-cash and focused solely on improving health outcomes. He also said Walgreens will have full-fledged primary care clinics, not the more limited services that MinuteClinic offers.

So far, Walgreens has signed agreements with Clover health, an insurance start-up from Medicare, and Blue Shield of California to provide health care services to more than 2 million members.

AJ Rice, a health services equity research analyst at Credit Suisse, said Walgreens hopes insurers will see them as “Switzerland” as their “partner of choice”.

He said CVS and Walgreens both have a great opportunity to turn retail pharmacies into collaborative healthcare touchpoints. However, he said companies need to prove they can attract people with clinical backgrounds and make the cultural shift.

It has a neutral rating on Walgreens stock with a price target of $ 48, including where the stock is currently trading, and an outperformance rating on CVS, with a price target of $ 100 above where the stock is currently trading traded.

Walgreens will look for growth in other areas as well. In the UK, boots stores are known for their wide range of premium makeup and beauty brands. Kehoe said retail traffic picked up again when the country lifted pandemic restrictions, making people more comfortable browsing the aisles and socializing.

Some of Walgreen’s beauty brands, No. 7, and Soap & Glory, are now sold by major US retailers, including target, Ulta beauty and Walmart. These brands are currently in a $ 750 million business and are expected to grow to $ 1 billion, Kehoe said.

Credit Suisse’s Rice said Walgreens executives have also hinted at reassessing some of the companies the company owns. He said investors would be watching to see if Walgreens will sell assets – like some of its international businesses – to fund some of its growth in healthcare in the US

More vaccine demand is still ahead

Covid-19 vaccines are expected to further boost business in the coming year. Walgreens administered 34.6 million vaccines for the fiscal year ended August 31. 13.5 million vaccines were administered in the fourth quarter, accounting for 21% of the total vaccines administered.

Walgreens estimates there will be 25 million Covid vaccines in the coming fiscal year as some people receive booster vaccinations and younger children are expected to qualify for the vaccinations.

But the company will also face a list of challenges retailers are currently facing. These include an increase in shoplifting, labor shortages and pandemic-induced supply chain confusion.

Walgreens is one example Closure of five additional locations in San Francisco for organized retail theft. It recently announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour until November 22nd to keep up with other retailers who have raised wages or given perks.

Kehoe said the company was preoccupying the company’s health care business at a time when there was “a war for talent.” However, he said Walgreens has an easier time hiring healthcare professionals who know more about the company and “believe in the vision”.

Be taught to handle cash throughout and after a catastrophe is focus of credit score union workshop |

Pelican State Credit Union is hosting a free virtual workshop on Thursday September 30th that will teach attendees how to manage their money during and after a disaster.

From 7 p.m. the workshop will be streamed on both Zoom and live www.facebook.com/PelicanStateCreditUnion. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions during the registration process and during the event using Zoom’s Q&A function or the comments section of the Facebook live post.

Topics include disaster-related tips like preparing homes and finances for a natural disaster, rebuilding a home and buying a car after a disaster, and finding additional resources on the way to recovery.

In addition to tips on managing money during and after a disaster, attendees will have their questions answered live by Pelican’s financial outreach team. The workshop will be set up in a “Q&A” format in which participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Pelican membership is not required to attend the workshop or ask questions. Register for the event at pelicanstatecu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8eZXDB-fSIWAisfQW08BDw.

Residence Depot, Lowe’s flip focus to dwelling professionals to propel development

Home Depot has a flatbed distribution center in the Dallas area. It is opening more facilities across the country to handle the bulk of homeworkers’ orders.

Melissa Repko, CNBC

In a huge warehouse in Dallas, a fleet of forklifts transports large and bulky home improvement supplies from drywall and concrete to wood. Freight wagons cross the huge facility on a railway line. Trucks prefer, ready for loading.

Home depot‘s facility – which could accommodate about 14 professional soccer fields – is helping the company expedite store shelves to be replenished and purchases delivered to customers’ doors. Getting more business from electricians, remodelers, and other home improvement enthusiasts, especially those who place large orders, is an important part of the retailer’s strategy.

The pandemic has fueled a hot real estate market and a penchant for “nesting”. Tailwind for Home Depot and Lowes. As Covid-19 cases drop in the US and homeowners spend more time on planes or at parties, the biggest business opportunity is home improvement sales growth.

Home Depot has historically sourced more of its business from these more lucrative and frequent buyers, but Lowe’s is also trying to attract more professionals. About 45% of Home Depot’s total sales come from professional customers versus about 20 to 25% at Lowe’s, the companies say.

Over the past few months, executives at both companies have said they see a lot of catching up to do on professional projects as people are comfortable inviting contractors into their homes and eating and traveling more rather than a list of do-it-yourself Check off projects.

“They all have very good books when they talk to the professionals,” said Ted Decker, president and chief operating officer of Home Depot. “You all have arrears.”

Home improvement retailers need to ensure that they have sufficient inventory to meet this demand, even when the supply chain has challenges – like congested ports. Delay deliveries.

A customer wearing a protective mask loads wood at a Home Depot store in Pleasanton, California on Monday, February 22, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

On the hunt for bigger customers

For years, Home Depot has positioned itself as a convenient alternative to ordering from specialist retailers for professionals. It has doubled with that a $ 1.2 billion supply chain investment, This includes the opening of a network of flatbed distribution centers like the one in Dallas.

Four have so far opened in Dallas, Baltimore, Miami and Newark, New Jersey, and three more will open later this year in Atlanta, Houston and Tampa, Florida. Each facility can hold a large amount of inventory, such as B. hold a larger selection of shingles and deliver orders directly to a project location.

With the massive facilities, Decker said, Home Depot is chasing down larger professionals who only occasionally shop with the company.

“As a sole proprietorship or a father-and-son team, we may have practically all of her wallet,” he said. “The bigger the professionals get, the more we are, however, more of a substitute merchant. They get their main material requirements for a larger order from one of these unequal competitors.”

Home Depot recently started its pro business with. expanded the takeover of HD Supply, a major distributor of home appliances, plumbing, and electrical appliances, for approximately $ 8 billion. It had previously spun off the company.

Decker said Home Depot expects the biggest year-over-year growth numbers to come from professionals in the coming quarters, especially after a year of construction sites closed, consumer remodeling postponed, and DIY projects skyrocketing.

Pro-side growth of the Home Depot business outperformed the DIY side for the first time in a year in the first quarter that ended May 2, Decker said. Combined sale in the same store grew 31% in the quarter.

At Lowe’s, Pro sales growth also outpaced DIY sales in the first quarter, with growth of more than 30% year-over-year. Combined with DIY, same store sales grew nearly 26% in the quarter.

A customer pushes a shopping cart to the entrance of a Lowe’s store in Concord, California on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

“The pick-up truck professional”

For Lowe’s, resurrecting the professional business was part of CEO Marvin Ellison’s turnaround plan. He said Lowe’s sweet spot was “the pick-up truck professional” and not big corporations.

It has introduced services and perks similar to what Home Depot already had – such as: B. Tool rental and a member-only loyalty program. New brands have also been added and store goods rearranged so that the items needed for the same project are in one place rather than scattered across aisles, saving professionals time.

Fred Stokes, senior vice president of Lowe’s Pro Sales and Services, said these recent investments are already paying off. In a statement, he said Lowe’s had attracted new professionals and increased the wallet share among the existing ones. He said he has “heard from many of our professionals that they appreciate other changes they see”.

A construction worker is remodeling a house in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Suzanne Kreiter | The Boston Globe | Getty Images

A fragmented market, a growing cake

Lowe’s is gaining ground but is still catching up, said Michael Baker, managing director and retail analyst at DA Davidson. He said the entire difference in sales per store for the two home improvement retailers was due to the gap in the size of the professional companies.

DA Davidson estimates that Home Depot and Lowe’s revenue per average store in 2020 were $ 57.6 million and $ 45.4 million, respectively. That’s because of the huge gap in Pro-per-store sales: $ 24.2 million at Home Depot versus $ 9.5 million at Lowe’s.

Still, he said, Lowe has a better chance. He ranks Home Depot stock neutral, with a target price of $ 317 – below its closing price of $ 322.70 on Friday. On the flip side, he rates Lowe’s stock as a buy and has a target price of $ 217, above Friday’s close of $ 195.71.

“Lowe’s DIY business is as strong as Home Depot’s,” said Baker. “So in theory there is no reason why your business shouldn’t be pro-business. You just have to invest and build it over time.”

Brian Yarbrough, senior research analyst at Edward Jones, said the competition between the two was not a “zero-sum game.” Home Depot and Lowe’s have a diverse mix of competitors, ranging from local mom and pop hardware stores to specialty retailers like wood warehouses and power utilities. This fragmented market enables them to attract new customers and poach them from one another, he said.

Plus, Home values ​​are rising and that is inspiring renovation projects. Baker said this means a bigger pro market for both retailers. “The overall cake is growing,” he said.

Amazon Tightens Deal with Media and Leisure With MGM Deal

Hollywood has spent the last week imagining how Amazon will integrate MGM after the acquisition of the legendary studio, valued at $ 8.5 billion, is completed.

Has Amazon Paid Too Much? What is the fate of MGM film director Michael De Luca? How much will MGM TV boss Mark Burnett put into sales? (The answer: enough to bring his total revenue from multiple sales of his production banner to nearly $ 1 billion.)

The forward-looking question, however, is how Amazon can change once MGM is launched Jeff Bezos‘huge tent of e-commerce, web hosting services and media.

As the details of the MGM deal emerged, speculation also surfaced about Amazon’s long-term plans. Sources close to the situation say there have even been discussions about Amazon eventually spinning off the Prime Video and Amazon Studios units into a standalone entity. However, Amazon sources deny this.

Jeff BlackburnThe return from Amazon to Amazon earlier this month has been interpreted as a sign of impending movement for the device. Blackburn, the Amazon veteran credited with building the company, was on sabbatical for most of 2020, then quit in February. But on May 13, two weeks before the MGM acquisition was announced, Amazon surprised the business world by announcing that Blackburn would once again serve as senior VP of the newly created Global Media and Entertainment unit.

Amazon is already in the middle of a management change, as Bezos is handing over the CEO position to Andy Jassy, ​​the long-standing head of the highly profitable Amazon Web Services division, on July 5th.

Industry sources say Amazon’s top bosses are increasingly paying attention to the regulatory environment in the US and Europe. There is concern among all big tech firms that Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook are being viewed as prime targets for breakup efforts, much like how Microsoft fought in the 1990s and early 2000s. The Global Media and Entertainment unit also hosts Audible, Twitch, Amazon Music, and Amazon Games.

Negotiations on the deal, which includes approximately $ 2 billion in MGM debt, have come together quietly for the past nine months or so. Insiders say the majority of the conversation was over phone and video conferencing between Mike Hopkins, Amazon’s senior VP of Prime Video and Studios, and Kevin Ulrich, CEO of Anchorage Capital Group, the mutual fund that was the majority owner of MGM.

Conversations focused solely on the price tag for sale. Decisions about the fate of MGM’s executives and how the studio itself will operate within Amazon Studios’ infrastructure were not addressed. That sparked a tussle between key players like De Luca, Burnett and Amazon Studios director Jennifer Salke, who is now overseeing an original content budget of nearly $ 8 billion, immediately after the announcement. Amazon insiders say they are not considering a scenario that would lead to major changes for Salke.

The only certainty at this stage is that Burnett is poised to come out of the sale with an estimated profit of approximately $ 200 million. He and his wife and business partner Roma Downey were the third largest shareholders in MGM behind Ulrichs Anchorage and Highland Capital Management. The two sold their One Three Media production banner (a joint venture with Hearst) to MGM in two transactions in 2014 and 2015, valued the company at $ 650 million. In 2015, the couple received more than half of their second payout in MGM shares instead of cash. That turned out to be a good bet on sales of $ 8.5 billion.

Ulrich fired former MGM chairman Gary Barber in 2018 after attempting to orchestrate the sale of the studio to Apple for $ 6 billion. At the time, Ulrich was the subject of industrial giggles that he didn’t want to forego red carpets in his entrée, with A-lists and other trappings of Hollywood mogulship.

Sources who worked with the hedge fund manager say he always focused on leaving MGM – at the right time and at the right price. Ulrich’s confidence in MGM’s appeal to buyers as the streaming wars began to rage has been proven by all of the things MGM has not done in the past two years.

MGM has chosen not to open its vault for content licenses or reboots. It did not search its library to develop traits attached to characters in such well-known titles as “Rocky”, “The Pink Panther”, “Legally Blonde”, “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, “RoboCop” and “The Graduate.” “are bound.”

MGM’s revenue could easily have been replenished through content deals for marquee titles. But that would also have locked those assets in the short term with films and television series that would be committed to competing platforms. Part of MGM’s appeal to Amazon was that much of its library has yet to be dismantled for new content offerings. In fact, a source close to the situation says that the greatest asset Amazon is gaining from the deal is not the library per se, but the key to an intellectual property vault that has potential far beyond the existing one Goes beyond MGM’s list of 4,000 films and 17,000 TV episodes.

The James Bond franchise is, of course, the huge exception as it is jointly owned with Eon Prods. ‘ Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, who retain their veto rights against the use of Agent 007.

Even without the renowned spy, the abundance of material Amazon gets for its $ 8.5 billion will set the company apart from Netflix and Apple in the race to build global streaming media platforms.

“You only think Amazon paid too much for this deal if you have absolutely no imagination,” says a senior executive who is involved in the deal.

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Downtown Revitalization Staff places concentrate on infrastructure, leisure in ultimate plan

As COVID-19 restrictions expire this month and companies try to get customers through their doors, city guides keep pushing to revitalize the downtown area. Over the past few months, Mayor Greg Fischer and other city guides have been focusing on how to revive an area of ​​Louisville that was not only badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but closed because it fell after the deadly shootings Breonna Taylor the site of the ongoing social justice movement, companies were slowly reopening and increasing capacity, Fischer formed the Downtown Revitalization Team to come up with ideas to bring business back downtown. The team presented its final report on Tuesday. The group made recommendations totaling more than $ 13 million before improving public infrastructure, safety, environmental efforts and equity. Executives said the goal is to make the area better than it was before, so here are some of the action items: hiring new ambassadors for the Business Improvement District, improving the RiverWalk from 3rd Street to 7th Street, hosting free open air concerts with the Louisville OrchestraPlan events in the downtown area, including the Whiskey Alley event series, The Black Out: Arts Festival on the Belvedere and Broadway Under the StarsReplace street lightsDevelop a main calendar and mobile application highlighting businesses, events and notable destinations in the downtown area Due to the success of the Plan, efforts are divided into completion windows that are spread over 30, 60, 90, and 120 days. Click here to learn more about the Revitalization Plan Budget and Federal Aid Dollars at Hand. Some of the actions outlined in the plan will be dependent on either budgetary funds or economic funds. The team of more than 100 plans to continue working with the city to prioritize and implement their recommendations once funding is secured.

As COVID-19 restrictions expire this month and companies try to get customers through their doors, city guides continue to scramble to revitalize downtown.

Over the past few months, Mayor Greg Fischer and other city leaders have focused on revitalizing an area of ​​Louisville that has not only been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, but has also been closed for being the site of ongoing social events following the Justice Movement fatal shootout at Breonna Taylor.

Fast forward to spring, and with stores reopening slowly and capacity increasing, Fischer formed the Downtown Revitalization Team to come up with ideas to bring the business back downtown.

The team presented its final report on Tuesday.

The group has made more than $ 13 million in recommendations to improve public infrastructure, safety, environmental efforts and equity. The guides said the goal was to make the area better than it was before.

Here are some of the action items:

  • Hiring of new ambassadors for the Business Improvement District
  • Improvement of the RiverWalk from 3rd Street to 7th Street
  • Host free outdoor concerts with the Louisville Orchestra
  • Plan for events downtown, including the Whiskey Alley series of events, The Black Out: Arts Festival on the Belvedere, and Broadway Under the Stars
  • Replace street lights
  • Developed a main calendar and mobile application highlighting businesses, events and notable destinations in the city center
  • Growing marketing efforts around the “Downtown Strong” and “Lou Needs You” campaigns

To ensure the success of the plan, efforts are broken down into completion windows that are spread over 30, 60, 90, and 120 days.

Click here to learn more about the revitalization plan

Fischer said he was optimistic about the path for the city given the state of the budget and federal aid available. Some of the actions outlined in the plan will be dependent on either budget funding or economic funds.

The team of more than 100 plans to continue working with the city to prioritize and implement their recommendations once funding is secured.

Spanish rapper rejects imprisonment, attracts focus to gag legislation | Arts & Leisure

LLEIDA, Spain (AP) – A rapper in Spain and dozens of his followers locked themselves in a university building on Monday to avoid jail time for insulting the country’s monarchy and praising terrorism.

The case of 32-year-old Pablo Hasél has attracted increasing attention in Spain and has been linked to the government’s sudden announcement that it will amend a national law that restricts freedom of expression. Over 200 artists, including film director Pedro Almodóvar and actor Javier Bardem, signed a petition last week in support of the rapper.

The artist, whose real name is Pablo Rivadulla Duró, will serve a reduced prison sentence of nine months from 2018 for tweets and songs he published between 2014 and 2016. He criticizes the Spanish royal family and praises a now defunct left-wing armed extremist group in Spain.

“I’m not going to let you tell me what to think, feel or say,” Hasél told The Associated Press late Monday. “This gives me an additional incentive to keep writing the same songs.”

Known best for his often radical anti-establishment criticism, he had previously been convicted of assault and praise for armed extremist groups, despite not serving time behind bars after being suspended from a previous two-year prison sentence.

This time his imprisonment seemed imminent. The country’s national court issued an arrest warrant for him on Monday after ten days’ notice, which voluntarily expired on Friday.

But the artist said that he would not leave without showing resistance and drawing attention to his case. On Monday, Hasél barricaded himself, accompanied by around 50 supporters, in the rectorate building of the University of Lleida in northeast Catalonia.

The police require special permission – granted in this case – from the academic authorities to enter university buildings that have been the site of protests in the past.

Defiantly, the rapper tweeted: “You have to break in to take me and put me in jail.”

He told the AP that Monday’s events “were a call to organize our solidarity and ease the pressure on the streets”.

“There is a lot of solidarity from people who understand that this is not just an attack on me,” added Hasél. “But also against our fundamental democratic freedoms. Freedoms that are constantly suppressed by the state. When they are exposed to aggression against us.” We have to give a collective answer. “

The Spanish left-wing coalition government unexpectedly announced last week that it would amend the country’s criminal code to remove prison sentences for freedom of expression violations. Hasél was not explicitly mentioned, nor was there a timetable for the changes.

The proposal is rejected by the conservative opposition party and the far-right Vox party.

Changes to the Code under a new public safety law known as the “Gag Law” were made by the then Popular Party’s government in 2015 and have long been criticized by human rights groups and international organizations for potentially restricting freedom of expression in the name of protection state and religious institutions.

“The imprisonment of Pablo Hasél leaves the sword hanging over the heads of all public figures who dare to criticize the actions of state institutions all the more openly,” says the artist’s petition.

“We understand that if we let Pablo in jail, they could follow either of us tomorrow until they managed to silence a sigh of disagreement,” he added.

Amnesty International’s Spanish branch has also defended Hasél and urged the government to introduce legal changes. In a statement last week, the international rights campaign group pointed to other social media users, journalists and artists who have received similar convictions in the past.

“Expressions that do not clearly and directly incite violence cannot be criminalized,” said Esteban Beltrán, director of the AI ​​branch.

Ciarán Giles and Aritz Parra in Madrid also contributed.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in any way without permission.

Client focus is finest response to antitrust scrutiny

Alphabet and Google are facing multiple government antitrust cases, but the company believes continuing to serve consumers is a winning strategy.

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alphabet and Google are facing increased government control. including an antitrust lawsuit filed in December, the third since October. It could take years to resolve the legal conflict with government regulators. According to Google’s head of marketing, an ongoing focus on the consumer is the best answer.

Google will continue to resonate with its users as the government scrutinizes big tech companies, the company’s marketing director Lorraine Twohill said recently at CNBC CMO exchange.

“We are by far the most helpful company in their lives and we must continue to do so,” Twohill said at the CNBC virtual event Thursday.

Twohill said user trust is a “core part” of Google’s DNA and consists of three components. This includes providing accurate and timely information as well as improving data protection and security measures to ensure user safety. Around 200 million users have already passed the platform’s privacy review, she said.

“If we continue to have a close relationship with our consumers and users by being helpful … that is the right answer for me right now,” said Twohill.

Then SVP speaks for global marketing at Google Lorraine Twohill on the stage of Creativity & Technology: Lorraine Twohill & David Droga in the discussion panel presented by Google during the Advertising Week 2015 AWXII on the Times Center Stage on September 30, 2015 in New York City.

Laura Cavanaugh | Getty Images

The government cases allege that the company used anti-competitive and exclusive contracts to ensure a continued monopoly on online search and to prevent competitors from accessing many of these sales search channels.

Earlier this month, the company called the case “a misleading attack” on the advertising technology business, while addressing a claim the company allegedly conspired on Facebook to Fixed prices and minimize competition.

While government attorneys claim that the tech giant’s business practices are restricting consumers’ access to competing technologies, Google executives focus on the argument of delivering the services consumers want and improving them.

Google’s economic policy director Adam Cohen responded to the latest lawsuit in one blog entry This complaint “suggests that we shouldn’t have worked to improve the search, and that we should, in fact, be less useful to you.”

Google isn’t the only big tech company under scrutiny. Facebook has gone through a number of government antitrust cases including filed a lawsuit last month by the Federal Trade Commission and a number of attorneys general from 48 territories and states who claimed the tech beast used its power to eliminate competitive threats in acquiring platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram.

Amazon could possibly face increased government scrutiny under the Biden governmentwhile AppleApp Store has too was a focus for possible regulatory measures.

As the largest tech companies in the history of the world, they are under competition law scrutiny – sometimes as in the case of the Billions of dollars that Google pays Apple To be the default search engine for iPhones, Twohill said it was important not to put them all together.

“It’s important not to put all of the big technologies in one bucket. We’re all very different, we think and work very differently,” she said.