Wednesday, October 27

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Small Businesses Hurt By Rising Health Care Costs

Small businesses are finding it difficult to keep up with rising health insurance costs sweeping the nation. The National Small Business Association did a recent survey of over 800 small businesses and found that most of those offering health benefits saw them as necessary for recruiting and retaining workers. About 90% of those business owners reported an increase in costs in their last renewal. Only 41% of companies with zero to five employees are now offering health coverage, and the concern is that with costs on the rise, even larger small businesses will have to cut back. This survey was only "the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health-care costs for small businesses," Rick Murray, the CEO of the Arizona Small Business Association, told the East Arizona Courier. "Although...
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Arizona’s Reservations Are Some of the Poorest Areas in the Country

Nobody expected Arizona to be the wealthiest state in the country, but it may be poorer than most people would have predicted. According to new research from the Washington-based Economic Innovation Group, 22% of Arizonans -- or more than one in five state residents -- live in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. Ten Arizona ZIP codes are on the list of America’s poorest 100 neighborhoods, according to the Phoenix Business Journal; one of these ZIP codes is located in Phoenix, while the other nine are located on Native American reservations. In fact, it’s hard to ignore the connection between Arizona’s poorest communities and its Native American communities. In Yuma and Apache counties, two out of every three residents lives at or below the poverty line. In the town of Blackwater, whic...
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Refugees Entering Arizona Through Mexican Border Ignite Fear Over Border Security

The Nov. 13 terrorist attacks on Paris have many Americans wondering, just how safe is our country right now? Lawmakers across the country have taken sides on the refugee debate, either saying that the U.S. should welcome refugees or that it should refuse to accept any refugees for fear that terrorists would slip in undetected. After all, many people are arguing, a group like ISIS clearly isn’t afraid to get creative with its strategies for infiltrating a country. ISIS seems just as likely to use a vehicle-born improvised explosive device (VBIED) of up to 22.5 tons in weight as it is likely to win over converts through propaganda videos distributed on social media. Although immigration has always been a hot topic in Arizona, it’s not exactly commonplace to encounter immigrants fro...
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How Apps Are Helping Businesses Thrive

From children to seniors, everyone is plugged in these days. And given the multitude of apps on the market, there are endless things to do on our smart devices. In fact, the year 2014 saw a 76% increase in app usage and engagement, totaling to more than two trillion recorded app sessions that year alone. And while a great deal of attention is given to applications that entertain us or facilitate social media engagement, new applications are bringing tech savvy convenience to small businesses, allowing to work smarter -- not harder. According to recent statistics released in September 2015 by statista.com, business apps were the second most popular downloaded apps, with more than 100 billion downloaded from the App Store. Ranging from secure payment apps to scheduling and appointment ap...
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As Holiday E-Commerce Increases, New Risks and Shifts are Identified

While the holidays are a time of year for family, food, and unforgettable memories, they are also one of the biggest times of year for commerce. The days following Thanksgiving, there are a number of ways for shoppers to save big just in time for Christmas and Hannukkah. After Black Friday rolls around and the crowds finish up their early-morning department store stampedes, a more wide-scale, digital phenomenon takes place: Cyber Monday. In recent years, Cyber Monday has seen a sharp increase in popularity. In our increasingly digital world, more and more individuals are looking to shop online now. In fact, by 2018, e-commerce as a whole will reach sales of about $500 billion. And who can blame them? With free shipping, deep discounts, no lines, and access to everything you could ...
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Townhouses Are Bringing the Hustle and Bustle Back to the Cities

As the housing market recovers from the financial crisis, cities are encouraging more residents to move closer to downtown and metropolitan areas. In order to do so, new housing is being built in convenient areas at lower housing costs than surrounding neighborhoods. According to the Downtown Devil, Landmark Homes recently broke ground on a planned three-story townhome development near downtown Phoenix, AZ. These Center 8 townhouses were strategically placed only minutes from the Roosevelt Row arts district and the downtown area. The influx of development in the area came as no surprise for the city. District 7 Councilman Michael Nowakowski, stated that the city of Phoenix had been preparing for this situation for years. “We created this whole triangle of arts and culture that str...
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2016 ALG Residual Awards Released and It’s a Good Time for Subaru Car Dealers

As those in the financial world would say, "Don't look now, but Subaru's stock just went up." At least it's safe to assume that will be the case in the very near future after ALG released its 2016 ALG Residual Value Awards earlier this week. Small and medium-sized Subaru car dealerships in the United States must be rejoicing after the authority on automotive residual value projections tapped Subaru again as their prestigious "Best Overall Mainstream Brand" winner, among other awards, according to the ALG website and a press release from Subaru. "Offering safe, reliable vehicles that will retain value for our customers will always be a priority for Subaru," said Thomas J. Doll, president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc. "We are honored to be recognized by ALG as th...
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Report Finds Arizona Has One of the Highest Overdose Rates, But State Officials Disagree

From the east coast to the west coast, from the inner city to the suburbs, heroin is taking over U.S. neighborhoods. Due to the widespread sale and overprescription of Oxycontin over the last decade, countless Americans have entered treatment for opioid dependence and heroin addiction. Others haven't been so fortunate. And according to a new report from Trust for America's Health, Arizona had one of the highest rates of teen and young adult overdose deaths in the country. At the same time, the report concluded that Arizona offers too few programs and policies aimed to prevent drug abuse in young people. The state-by-state report found that Arizona averaged 10.2 overdose deaths per 100,000 teens between 2011 and 2013, the eighth highest rate in the nation. The report also confirms the...
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Arizona Women’s Soccer Team Prepares for Rubber Match with Santa Clara in NCAA Tournament

Beating a good team twice in one season is never an easy task, and the Arizona women's soccer team is well aware of this as they prepare to take on Santa Clara for the second time this year. According to The Daily Wildcat, the women's soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after defeating Northern Colorado by a score of 2-0 last week at Mulcahy Soccer Stadium. Next up for the Wildcats is Santa Clara, a perennial women's soccer powerhouse that will be looking to avenge a 2-1 loss to Arizona in August. While beating the Broncos is never an easy task, reinforcements are on the way for Arizona as leading scorer Gabi Stoian is set to return after missing the last four games with a quad injury. "We didn't let the history of Santa Clara -- that [it has] won a lot...
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Sleep Apnea May Increase Women’s Risk of Heart Attack

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can cause a person to stop breathing during the night -- as many as 60 times in just one hour. If left untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, irregular heart beats, heart attack, diabetes, depression, worsening of ADHD, and headaches. Now, a new study has found that while apnea can increase a woman's risk for heart problems and even death, there was no such effect for men. The study, which was published in Circulation, involved over 1,600 people, who were an average age of 63 years old, and who did not have heart disease at the beginning of the study. Researchers tracked study participants for almost 14 years. During that time, 46% of men and 32% of women either developed heart problems or passed away. Tho...