Unemployment up, drop out rates down

A story in today's N&O points to a decline in the drop out rate in North Carolina. Which is good news no matter what.

The public school dropout rate improved in North Carolina last year, and all Triangle school districts were below the statewide average. The rate fell from 5.24 percent in 2006-2007 to 4.97 percent last year, according to statewide figures released Thursday.

State officials attributed the decline to programs that allow students to go online to repeat courses they had failed, high schools that enroll students in college courses, and other programs.

The article goes on to offer various explanations for the decline. I can't help wondering how we'll actually know. For example, I suspect that the breathtaking spike in unemployment that began last year could be a factor in keeping some in school.

Weekend woundup



Just look at the surprised look on this young Marine's face.

"Holy mackerel," he's thinking. "OMG. The president is talking to me! Should I keep on saluting or what?"

Maybe the Bushman bothered to talk to the minions on his way into his royal coach, but I never saw it. What a pleasure to have a generous human being back in the White House.







How does BCBSNC get away w/ hoarding money & playing broke@ the same time?

Regardless of this fine 'mental health parity law' which passed in 2008, with main sponsor Martha Alexander, there's no mental health parity for:

BCBSNC Federal employee plans
BCBSNC Advanta Plans
BCBCNS 'State Plan'

SO DOES BCBSNC HAVE TO ADHERE TO ANYTHING ASSOCIATED W/ MENTAL HEALTH PARITY AS GUIDED BY THE NC STATE?

Who understands how the state legislature has been bought by BCBSNC other than they get free health insurance from BCBSNC? They act like they have been blackmailed by BCBSNC. Would appreciate any information people have; references would be great. Also, last year for which I can find profits for BCBSNC is 2004 and the net profit then was: $865.5 million. I am finding it hard to understand how they now are asking for money when they have continually increased premiums and membership.

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD, Clinical Lic psychologist, Asheville, NC : hammondmv@netzero.com

NC Mental health reform:
http://madame-defarge.blogspot.com/

HB 91 help caregivers of elderly w/dementia

Most of the time I write about voting issues, but today I want to let you know about a bill meant to help our vulnerable elderly and the people who care for them.

Please ask your Representative to sign on as a co sponsor of HB 91, a bill to help the caregivers of persons suffering from dementia. I've personally been the primary caregiver for my elderly Mother since the late 90's and still am today.

HB 91 Rapp, Goforth and Fisher (Primary Sponsors) - FUNDS FOR PROJECT CAREGIVER ALTERNATIVES TO RUNNING ON EMPTY (C.A.R.E.)

1 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

2 AN ACT TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND

3 HUMAN SERVICES, DIVISION OF AGING AND ADULT SERVICES, FOR PROJECT

4 C.A.R.E. WHICH PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH DEMENTIA AND

5 THEIR CAREGIVERS, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA STUDY

6 COMMISSION ON AGING.

Great News! Depression taking News Corp Down! Fox News For Sale Soon?

News Corp posts biggest quarterly loss on writedown
Thursday February 5, 8:01 pm ET

By Robert MacMillan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp posted its biggest ever quarterly net loss, after taking an $8.4 billion writedown for the value of its Dow Jones acquisition, broadcasting licenses and other assets

Excluding the charge, the results missed Wall Street forecasts as the recession exacerbated the fall in newspaper advertising sales and hit the company's other properties.

News Corp shares fell 6.3 percent to $6.50 in after-hours trading and have shed about 65 percent of their value in the past 12 months.

http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/090205/business_us_newscorp.html?.v=3

NC Senate Committees are now available online

The NC state Senate committees are now up on the General Assembly's website here

Some interesting changes are Martin Nesbitt from Buncombe now heading up Judiciary I. Bob Atwater from the Chatham now heads Agriculture. Other changes are there as well.

For me, a secondary note of interest showing how Basnight's circle hasn't changed much is that the new Vice Chair of Rules is David Weinstein. Walter Dalton was Vice Chair last session. Of course, Rand stills runs the place.

Basnight also usually gives some Republicans some co-chairs, and this year is no different.

Which ones caught your eye?

Another Unfortunate Death at Walmart

Walmart's practice of apprehending shoppers at the door and demanding receipts has grown violent recently. In my first ever foray into a Wally World about a month ago, I was accosted by an old lady at the door who clasped my wrist as if I was stealing her life savings.

Now it appears as if things have gotten worse. Wake Up Walmart, with whom I'm working, is linking to this Al Norman post today:

A 38 year old caucasian man, identified as Russell S. Palmer, died Monday night, February 2nd while struggling with two Wal-Mart security guards as the result of an alleged shoplifting incident.

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