All posts by julietterocheleau2018

Controversial Chicago ID card now available to homeless, undocumented immigrants & others

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

A new program allows Chicago residents to register for a city-issued ID card. The completely optional card is aimed at “unlocking” the city by breaking down barriers to attaining government-issued photo ID, regardless of housing or citizenship status. The card also allows residents to choose male, female or nonbinary gender markers, or to leave gender off the card entirely.

In February while the card was in a pilot period, City Clerk Anna Valencia said that as a government-issued ID, the card could be used by citizens to register to vote. CityKey policy opponents worried that this would lead to a rise in voter fraud. When Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson brought the subject up, the issue gained national attention.

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Survivors of Sexual Violence Find an Outlet in Performance

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

Rory Beckett is 4 feet 11 inches tall, but as she thrashes her whole body to headbang, the shadows from her whipping hair tower over the stage.

When Beckett arrived for her performance at the Playground Theater, she had no plan for what she would do; only that she would dance to The Cranberries’ “Zombie.”

“What feels really good right now is that I cannot think of most of the thoughts that went through my mind as I was performing,” said Beckett a few days later. “I just let my body do what it wanted.”

Beckett’s performance closed Monday night’s show “Resilient,” a monthly exhibition for survivors of sexual violence.

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Pain management remains vexing in opioid epidemic

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

When Hercules faced the Hydra of Lerna, he learned the hard way that cutting off one of its many heads would only result in two more growing in its place. As the U.S. attempts to battle its own Hydra in the form of the opioid abuse crisis, victory remains similarly elusive.

Though the opioid crisis has grown to encompass thousands of Americans struggling with heroin addiction, one root of the epidemic can be traced to the prevalence of highly addictive legal pharmacological substances. However, measures put in place to control the growing epidemic are having adverse affects on people struggling with pain management, and unconventional treatments are gaining more attention.

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U.S. Small Business Optimism Reaches 25-Year High

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

Small business owners are feeling large and in charge as their outlook reaches a 25-year high, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The NFIB index of small business optimism rose .7 to 107.6 in February, up from 106.9 in January and exceeding a predicted 107.1.

“After years of standing on the sidelines and not benefiting from the so-called recovery, Main Street is on fire again,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan in a press release.

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Centene Corp. reports high enrollment, better-than-expected earnings

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

Despite an 11.9 percent profit decline from the year-earlier quarter, adjusted earnings of Centene Corp. (NYSE: CNC), the St. Louis-based health insurer, beat Wall Street’s estimate and shares rose 4.3 percent.

The company reported net earnings of $230 million, or diluted earnings of $1.30 per share, helped by an income tax benefit of $55 million, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, down from $261 million, or diluted earnings per share of $1.49, for the same period in the year prior. For adjusted diluted earnings, the company reported 97 cents per share. Analysts predicted 93 cents per share, according to Yahoo Finance.

Despite the fourth quarter dip, full-year earnings grew to $828 million, or $4.69 per diluted share, from $562 million, or $3.43 per diluted share.

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Ingredion Earnings Miss Estimate, Stock Dips

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

Shares of Ingredion Inc. (NYSE: INGR), the food and industrial ingredient supply company based in Westchester, Ill., dropped 4.3 percent after the company reported earnings below analysts’ expectations for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017.

Profit in the quarter rose 5.1 percent to $99 million, or $1.35 per diluted share, from $94 million, or $1.26 per diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 3 percent to $1.43 billion from $1.4 billion.

Ingredion reported a one-time charge of $23 million associated with the tax reform bill passed at the end of 2017. Excluding the charge, the company reported adjusted earnings per share in the fourth quarter of $1.73 per share, up from $1.67 in the year-earlier quarter, but below analysts’ expectation of $1.70 compiled by Yahoo Finance.

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Abbott Laboratories fourth quarter performance beats predictions

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

Shares of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), an Illinois-based broad range healthcare company, rose 3 percent after the company reported adjusted earnings that slightly exceeded analysts’ expectations in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

On a GAAP basis, Abbott reported a net loss of $828 million, or 48 cents per share, compared with the year-earlier quarter’s profit of $798 million, or 53 cents per share, largely due to a $1.46 billion charge occasioned by the U.S. tax reform passed at the end of 2017.

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Jobless claims hit 45-year low

By Juliette Rocheleau
Medill Reports

The U.S. initial jobless claims for the week ended January 13 plunged to 220,000, its lowest number in almost 45 years, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday, pointing to a robust labor market.

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