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Meijer to build six new stores, remodel five in 2013

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Meijer plans to invest more than $160 million to build six new stores and remodel five in 2013, the mass merchandise retailer announced Wednesday.

The company said the new stores will be in Swartz Creek, Mich.; Detroit; Portage, Ind.; Warsaw, Ind.; Danville, Ill.; and Evergreen Park, Ill. The remodel projects include stores in Lansing, Taylor, Flint and Grand Rapids, Mich., and Springfield, Ill. The company currently operates 199 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

"We will continue our process of slow, steady growth," co-CEO and co-chairman Hank Meijer said. "This has allowed us to focus on our customers and team members while supporting the communities where they work and live."

The remodel projects include indoor and outdoor enhancements such as lighting, heating, refrigeration. The company said the introduction of newer technology during the process will result in reduced energy usage and more energy-efficient stores.


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Persistent shortage of primary care, specialist physicians found in New York state

BY Alaric DeArment

ALBANY, N.Y. — A new report indicates that a shortage of physicians could adversely affect the implementation of healthcare reform.

Calling the shortage "persistent," the Healthcare Association of New York State found that more than 1,200 physicians are needed statewide, excluding New York City, and nearly one third of that need is for primary care doctors. The finding was based on HANYS’ 2012 physician advocacy survey, which HANYS developed in collaboration with the Iroquois Healthcare Alliance, the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, the Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association, the Rochester Regional Healthcare Association and the Western New York Healthcare Association.

"As thousands of New Yorkers are expected to gain health insurance coverage during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, our hospitals and health systems already indicate a dramatic need for primary care physicians throughout the state," HANYS president Daniel Sisto said. "New York state must have a comprehensive strategy to address this shortage and ensure all New Yorkers have access to care."

Sisto said that while his group supports initiatives like the state Department of Health’s creation of the Office of Primary Care and the Medicaid redesign process, more programs, such as Doctors Across New York, must be appropriately funded to attract the hundreds of physicians needed in under-served areas. Meanwhile, physicians across all specialties continue to be needed as well, as 32% of healthcare facilities have had to either reduce or eliminate services due to the shortage, and 75% of respondents north of New York City indicated that emergency departments sometimes had no coverage for certain specialties, resulting in a need to transfer patients to other hospitals.


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C.SIMONS says:
Feb-14-2013 02:31 am

It takes a lot of sacrifice to be in this profession, before you are accepted in this degree you have to submit an excellent personal statement writing and be able to pass the university interviews and study for about ten years. It’s unfortunate our politicians took this “health care” approach. They took a system that need to be tweaked to reduce health care costs, improve health care, and improve access to health care & basically made it into a disaster by assuring mandated customers to the health insurance industry. Costs could have easily been reduced by increasing the number of doctors trained, providing a tax credit for health care maintenance costs and encouraging primary care clinics. It takes a lot of sacrifice to be in this profession, before you are accepted in this degree you have to submit an excellent personal statement writing and be able to pass the university interviews and study for about ten years.

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Four-in-10 living paycheck to paycheck, survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Forty-one percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a new survey by Allstate Financial.

The survey, the second installment of the company’s "Life Tracks" poll, also found that 8% do not earn enough each month to pay for essentials, while 50% say they have enough money left over at the end of the month after paying for essentials. Overall, 50% said their financial position was "excellent" or "good," while another 50% said theirs was "fair" or "poor." The company hired FTI Consulting to survey 1,000 adults between Dec. 15-19, 2012, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1% in 95 out of 100 cases.

"This second Allstate Life Tracks Poll takes the pulse of Americans to measure the health of their personal finance situations," Allstate president and CEO Don Civgin said. "Too many Americans are faced with financial challenges today that lead to an unstable future. As financial services professionals, how we bridge that gap and bring greater awareness to the financial issues people are facing, is the true test of measurable success in our industry."

In particular, men were more enthusiastic about their finances than women, with 53% of men calling their situations "excellent" or "good," compared with 47% of women. Meanwhile, 74% of single parents called their situations "fair" or "poor," but only 46% of households making $50,000 annually or less had a retirement plan in place, compared with 89% of those making $75,000 or more.

While 48% of people who had not graduated from college were living paycheck to paycheck, 32% of those who had graduated were as well.

But at the same time, 91% expressed confidence in their ability to manage their personal finances, with 42% of parents "very confident" they could pay for educational opportunities for their children, and 41% expressing the same sentiments about their ability to buy a car. Forty-seven percent of prospective home buyers said they were "very confident" about their ability to buy a new home, while 41% felt the same about being able to pay for expenses during retirement, and 82% said they thought they were doing better financially than friends, neighbors and coworkers, while 52% said they were doing better than they were when growing up.

A large majority of Americans, 82%, say they make some kind of debt-related payment each month, including 49% who pay credit card debt, 43% making mortgage payments, 36% making car payments, 17% making student loan payments and 15% with medical debts. Of the 51% expecting a tax return, 45% intend to use it to pay off debts. Sixty-five percent of Americans with credit card debt say their debt level has increased or stayed the same in the past year, while 15% say their short-term emergency savings have increased, and 14% say their long-term savings and investment activity has increased, despite 60% saying their savings have remained the same in the past year.

Forty-seven percent say they’re saving less than they should be, while 40% admit they’re not handling their personal finances in the way they’re supposed to or may not know what to do. Fifty-nine percent say they know what they’re supposed to do and generally make the right decisions in regard to personal finances, but 34% say they don’t always do it, and 6% say they’re unsure what to do, though 91% say personal financial management is a skill people can improve during their lifetimes.


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Anna90 says:
May-15-2013 08:36 am

Unfortunately, that’s a clear picture of what we have today. Lots of people work hard to make ends meet, at the same time many people are unemployed. Living is expensive today and to cover at least essential expenses you need to be well paid at work. And quite often our expenses are much more than our income so lots of Americans borrow money to buy the necessary things. There are many financial services because today they are in high demand, there are even loans for people who live from paycheck to paycheck. It’s a sad situation because we can be confident about our future.

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