DOL’s Proposal to Resurrect the 80/20 Rule for Tipped Employees Does Not Address Long-Standing Industry Concerns | Small

On June 23, 2021, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) released a notice of proposed regulations (NPRM), which reverses the course of a December 2020 final rule and seeks to resurrect the so-called “80/20 rule” which governs how tip employees are to be paid under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Despite the DOL’s attempt to add clarity, the proposed rule is full of ambiguities and contradictions.

Littler and its Workplace Policy Institute (WPI) have been following this issue closely and have provided feedback every step of the way. We anticipate that we will provide feedback to DOL again on why the latest version of the 80/20 rule is poorly targeted and unworkable. We encourage those interested in the hospitality industry to make their voices heard also by submit comments to DOL before August 23, 2021.

The story of 80/20

In 1988, the DOL attempted to clarify an existing regulation on “duplication” by inserting a provision in its field operations manual that told DOL field investigators that tip credit was not available when tipped employees spend more than 20% of their time on non-professional activities. tip-producing activities. This concept, known as the 80/20 rule, was not often invoked until the early 2000s, when it became the subject of a tip litigation.

During the Obama administration, the DOL publicly stated that employers could only apply tip credit to employees spending less than 20% of their shift doing work without a tip. This position has led to more litigation and has proven to be totally impractical for the hospitality industry, in part due to the lack of guidance on what tasks qualify as tips or without tips. The position also left employers with the onerous task of identifying, down to the minute, the work done by tipped employees on a given shift.

In November 2018, the DOL reissued and adopted an opinion piece that was almost ten years old (and subsequently made corresponding changes to the Field Operations Manual) clarifying how employers can pay employees who tip tips. perform related duties without tip. This opinion letter stated that there is no limit to the number of tasks related to a tip production activity that can be performed, as long as the tasks are performed at the same time as the direct customer service tasks. , or for a reasonable period immediately before or after performing direct customer service duties In other words, as long as the side work was “in progress” the side work—that is to say., related tasks performed during a shift — there was no 20% or other limit on the amount of secondary work that could be done. If the waiters brewed coffee and rolled and polished the silverware during business hours while simultaneously serving guests, this type of work could be done while the employer was still applying tip credit to employees’ wages. The only quantitative limitation was that the waiter’s salary and tips combined had to be equal to or greater than the minimum wage. The DOL further stated that the functions set out in the Federal Occupation Database, O * NET, www.onetonline.org, were presumed to be related to the dumped occupation.

In December 2020, the DOL released a final rule that essentially adopted the language of the opinion letter. By eliminating the focus on the percentage of time spent on “no-tip” tasks (that is to say., the 80/20 rule), the December 2020 rule removed an unenforceable task-by-task timing requirement and replaced it with a reasonable, profession-based standard that guaranteed tipped employees full minimum wage protection. of the FLSA and overtime provisions.

In February 2021 and again in April 2021, the DOL delayed the date of entry into force of the December 2020 Final Rule to give it “time to deal with other matters of law, policy and fact and complete the development of separate rules ”. The June 24 NPRM is this “separate rule making”.

The 80/20 reboot of June 2021

In the June 2021 NPRM, the DOL seeks to resurrect the 80/20 rule with a few changes that the DOL says address some of the concerns that have been raised regarding the 80/20 rule. The restart falls short of addressing concerns, in large part because the 80/20 rule remains unworkable and compounds existing confusion over the proper application of tip credit.

In the June 2021 NPRM, the DOL proposes to divide the duties of a tip employee into three categories: (1) tipping work; (2) work that directly supports tip-generating work; and (3) unrelated work (that is to say, work that does not tip or directly support work that does tip). In the text of the proposed rule and in the preamble of the NPRM, the DOL provides examples of each category for a few tipping occupations, including restaurant waiters, buses, and bartenders.

Server

Busser

Bartender

Tip-producer

  • Fill water glasses
  • Clear dishes from tables
  • Replacement of table linen
  • Make drinks
  • Serve drinks
  • Talking to customers

Support directly

  • Prepare items for tables to facilitate service
  • Cleaning tables
  • Folding napkins
  • Silverware preparation
  • Plates of garnish
  • Sweep under the tables

  • Preparation of fruit garnishes
  • Wiping bar
  • Wiping tables in the bar
  • Cleaning of bar glasses and tools used behind the bar
  • Bottle storage behind the bar
  • “Briefly” recovery of storage items such as alcohol, ice and towels

Unconnected

  • Food preparation
  • Bathroom cleaning
  • Food preparation
  • Dining room cleaning

Under the proposed rule, any time spent in the unrelated task category must be remunerated at the full minimum wage (that is to say., no tip credit can be taken). Time spent on “direct support” tasks may be remunerated at a tip credit rate, but only if the work is not performed for a “substantial period”. “Substantial time” is defined as: (1) more than 30 continuous minutes; or (2) more than 20% of the “hours worked during the employee’s work week”. Although the proposed rule is unclear, it can be assumed that “hours worked during the working week” refers only to hours worked as a tip employee and would not include, for example, hours worked in the week. as a cook or in some other non-tip position.

The proposed rule provides that the first 20% of “direct support” work may be paid at a tip credit rate, but that any overage of 20% must be paid at full minimum wage. On the other hand, if an employee spends more than 30 continuous minutes in “direct support” work, all that continuous time must be paid at full minimum wage.

The DOL asked for comments on the proposal, and specifically invites comments on the definition of tip production work and any trades and examples that the DOL should consider.

Comments possibilities

As Littler and WPI have long argued, the 80/20 rule is flawed, and we will be submitting comments to remind DOL of the overriding concerns about the 80/20 methodology. Beyond that, the June 2021 reboot has issues that call for comment and revisions.

If there is to be an 80/20 rule, then the attempt to clearly define the three categories of work is an essential starting point. But the current proposal is far from sufficient. For example, what tasks are included in “wait tables” by a server? Does this include time spent walking to the back of the house and returning with food and drink? Does this include refilling soft drink glasses? Does this include the time spent processing cash and credit card transactions? All of these functions are an integral part of waiting tables and should be included in tipping tasks. If the DOL refuses to rely on an external resource such as O * Net to define the scope of the reported occupations, then the regulation itself should give employers and employees detailed instructions – but providing some illustrative examples is simply inviting. litigation to fill the huge void.

The current proposal also contains contradictions which invite various interpretations. For example, a busser’s job of clearing a table and replacing table linens is identified by DOL as tipping, but if a waiter or bartender cleans a table to get it ready for the next guest, that is simply “directly related”. Likewise, a bartender can prepare and garnish a drink, and this job involves tipping. But garnishing a plate is simply “directly related”.

Beyond that, the June 2021 proposal does nothing to address the concern that the 80/20 rule requires employers to attempt to track employee activities second by second throughout a shift. job. Even if / when DOL decides how each task should be classified into one of the three categories, in practice there is still no reasonable way to accurately track the few seconds spent on each task before a knowledgeable employee does. go to the next one.

Proponents of the 80/20 rule suggest that the dilemma of time tracking is resolved by only assigning tipping tasks. This may be a possibility if / when DOL clearly defines these tasks. But what should an employer do if limiting tip-producing tasks results in significant downtime? What category does inactivity time belong to?

The proposal also does not take multitasking into account. How do you characterize the time a bartender spends cleaning the bar while chatting with customers?

Take away food

We urge employers and relevant industry groups to make their voices heard by providing their comments by the August 23, 2021 deadline. Stakeholders should take this opportunity to convey to DOL the lingering issues with the proposed rule.

Employers should also keep in mind that the FLSA does not prejudge more protective state or local laws. Many states have employee compensation provisions that do not allow tip credit at all, or that differ from the FLSA in many ways.


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Houston Hospice Launches Wellness Initiative in Collaboration with Jung Center Mind Body Spirit Institute

HOUSTON, TX – The coronavirus has impacted healthcare workers around the world, leaving many with the complexities of acute and chronic stress. As stress increases and remains out of balance, these symptoms can lead to increased fatigue, depression, unreported health issues, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a not-for-profit hospice palliative care organization, Houston Hospice recognizes that quality of life is of great importance, throughout the community and within our own employee and volunteer base.

In response to the unique needs of our hospice palliative care teams and office staff, Houston Hospice has partnered with the Mind Body Spirit Institute at the Jung Center to implement mind-body practices throughout our organization. Led by Alejandro Chaoul, PhD, Director, Jung Center’s Mind Body Spirit Institute, Assistant Professor, McGovern Center for Humanities & Ethics, UT Medical School, Houston, Assistant Professor, Department of Palliative Rehabilitation & Integrative Medicine Program, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Hospice has implemented the Compassionate, Professional and Renewal Wellbeing (CPR) initiative which includes self-care tools focused on improving the quality of life of employees and volunteers.

“The CPR program is about finding ways to increase our compassion for ourselves and others as we begin to live more balanced lives,” said Dr. Chaoul.
Houston Hospice kicked off its wellness initiative at a recent town hall meeting. The virtual event is part of a series that will explore new ways of dealing with stress and frustration, burnout, vicarious trauma, grief and compassion fatigue.

“At Houston Hospice, we care deeply for the well-being of our staff and volunteers who have endured the hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent storms in our area,” said Rana McClelland, President and Chief of management. “In a unanimous vote, the board of directors and the management team agreed to take action. We launched the Houston Hospice Wellness Initiative, in collaboration with the Mind Body Spirit Institute at the Jung Center, to identify barriers to health and well-being and provide tools to improve the physical, mental and emotional health of our teams ” , she continued. “Personal care is a top priority in our organization. Learning new avenues to healing and incorporating an individualized self-care plan into daily practice will result in remarkable benefits for everyone in our organization. As our teams begin to regain a renewed sense of identity, their families will benefit, their job satisfaction will increase, and palliative care patients and their families will experience a greater sense of peace and compassion. “

In addition to our wellness initiative, Houston Hospice hosted a nutrition conference hosted by the staff registered dietitian. Field nurses, the marketing team, and other staff learned to make healthy food choices on the go. Healthy snacks are available in common areas and healthy meals are offered in the cafeteria. In addition, hospice chaplains organize spiritual care sessions virtually and every two weeks. These recordings provide a safe space for reflection and open dialogue between a small group of caring people. Other conferences on health and wellness and opportunities for healing and expansion are underway.

About Houston Hospice
Houston Hospice is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides uncompromising, compassionate end-of-life care to all patients and families in 13 counties in the Greater Houston area. Founded in 1980, we are Houston’s oldest, largest, independent, non-profit hospice and a proud member of Texas Medical Center. For more information, visit www.houstonhospice.org.
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“Bring us your dreams. This indigenous-led fund aims to “decolonize philanthropy” in the Northwest

Many levels of government, private foundations and charities are handing out stimulus grants these days. An indigenous-led nonprofit serving the Pacific Northwest is carving a niche by offering grants specifically to help Indigenous communities and artists recover from the patchy effects of the pandemic.

On Monday, the Seattle-based Potlatch Fund began accepting applications for its new Resilience Fund. Potlatch executive director Cleora Hill-Scott said the fund has $ 1 million to distribute this year in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. There could be many grant recipients among tribal governments, non-profit organizations, and indigenous artists and performing groups, as the prices are set at $ 10,000 or $ 15,000.

“Right now it’s about helping as many people as possible, as quickly as possible,” Hill-Scott said in an interview. “Bring us your ideas. Bring us your dreams. We’re here to fund what you think will be most useful. “

Hill-Scott and his board decided last year to suspend their established grant programs focused on community building, Indigenous student education, language preservation and Indigenous arts. They first turned to the emergency response to COVID-19, then decided this year to focus exclusively on the new Potlatch Resiliency Fund. Its goals are to stimulate post-pandemic hope, build resilience and promote cultural revitalization.

Members of the Nez Perce tribe paddle the Snake River in a canoe they carved as part of a cultural and environmental learning project supported by the Potlatch Fund.

Courtesy of the Potlatch Fund /

Hill-Scott said his organization was inspired by another Seattle-area funder, billionaire MacKenzie Scott. The ex-wife of the Amazon founder has been making waves in philanthropic circles since last year by giving unrestricted multi-million dollar giveaways to hundreds of organizations and institutions.

“We have pivoted around the principles of community philanthropy, which enables communities to identify for themselves how best to care for their families and what will help them thrive,” said Hill-Scott, who did no connection to billionaire Scott.

Hill-Scott (Crow / Sioux / Pawnee) said she admired the other Scott’s ‘trust-based’ approach and added that she didn’t want grant recipients to have to model their programs around the parameters of the funder to be eligible for the money. Another goal Hill-Scott mentioned was the “decolonization of philanthropy,” which she saw as a return to the Coast Salish potlatch tradition of spreading around clan wealth through periodic giving ceremonies and social gatherings.

The restrictions on social gatherings during the pandemic have been tough on almost everyone, but Hill-Scott said the Indian country feels the pain particularly deeply because social ties play a key role in keeping tribal communities vibrant and the transmission of culture.

“Most of what we do is about socializing, is about coming together and celebrating,” Hill-Scott said.

As such, she expected that projects seeking funding to revitalize Indigenous cultural practices and ceremonies, music, arts, storytelling and languages ​​would be well received. Other examples of projects that could win funding include support services that encourage healthier living, ranging from physical and behavioral health to substance abuse treatment.

Hill-Scott described the effects of the pandemic as uneven between rural reservations and urban Indian communities. Some tribes need assistance with rent, food and health care, while others have these services fairly well under control. Pandemic control measures have led to long shutdowns of tribal casinos in the Northwest, which are a primary source of income for tribal education, economic development, health care and natural resource programs.

The latest analysis of COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates by the Washington State Department of Health showed that Native Americans and Alaska Natives were hospitalized at a rate about 2.5 times higher than the white and Asian population. In Oregon and Washington, per capita case rates for Native Americans were about double the white and Asian population, but far below the inordinate toll of COVID-19 inflicted on Hispanic and Pacific Northwest Islander populations.

The new Potlatch Resiliency Fund was established through contributions from many donors, including well-known names in the tech world such as Microsoft, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The Seattle Foundation, the Northwest Area Foundation and the Disney Foundation are among others who have provided seed money. Hill-Scott said fundraising to raise the pot is underway.

The nonprofit Potlatch Fund was established in 2002 by tribal organizations and funders to address a disparity in philanthropy in which indigenous communities were neglected by granting foundations. In addition to providing grants, the nonprofit also serves as an educational resource and broker to help tribes and outside foundations build relationships in order to transfer funds to Indigenous communities.


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Honors College Announces New Special Scholars | UTSA today | UTSA

JUNE 23, 2021 – UTSA Honors College is pleased to announce the Fall 2021 Cohort of Top Fellows and Terry Fellows. Together, these programs make up the university’s Special Scholarship Programs – highly competitive programs for outstanding students from across the state of Texas that offer dedicated support, specialized programming, and a full four-year scholarship at the last dollar that includes funding for tuition, fees, room and board.

the UTSA Best Scholars Program welcomes its ninth and most diverse cohort, with 40% of its new scholars identifying as first-generation students and 60% identifying as Hispanic or African-American. In addition, the program recruited its first researcher in El Paso.


FALL 2021 TOP RESEARCHERS COHORT


Jordan burchfield

• From: El Paso
• Major: biology
• Career plans in medicine

Aliyyah Busari

• From: Houston
• Major: Cybersecurity
• Planning to become a cybersecurity analyst

Catherine De Guzman

• From: Edinburgh
• Major: Neurosciences
• Planning a career in medicine

Edith Estrada-Contreras

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Civil engineering
• Plans to be an environmental engineer

Caroline González In a way to

• From: Laredo
• Major: Biochemistry
• Planning a career in pathology

Josh klopfenstein

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Computer Science
• Plans to be a software engineer

Samantha lugo

• From: Houston
• Major: psychology
• Plans to be a clinical mental health counselor

Emily nguyen

• From: Houston
• Major: Biochemistry
• Plans to be a dentist

Alana schwartz

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Biochemistry
• Planning a career in medicine

Kayla trujillo

• From: Laredo
• Major: biology
• Planning a career in medicine

“Joining a tight-knit community that fiercely supports and empowers each other definitely makes me happy to be a Top Scholar,” De Guzman shared. “I am delighted to begin this chapter surrounded by like-minded people. “

the UTSA’s Terry Scholar Program welcomes its 15th cohort this fall. The Terry Foundation, which funds first-year and transfer scholarships at 13 public universities in Texas, has supported more than 300 researchers at UTSA since 2006.


FALL 2021 SCHOOL COHORTE


Ali M. Azzam

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Computer Science
• Planning a career as a computer engineer

Hy X. Chu

• From: San Antonio
• Major: biology
• Plans to be a dentist

Brook M. Ellerbe

• From: Aubrey
• Major: biology
• Planning to be a doctor

Amanda Escalante Tamayo

• From: Del Valle
• Major: Cybersecurity
• Plans to be an information security officer

Zenetta A. Hinojosa

• From Corpus Christi
• Major: biology
• Shots by a psychiatrist

Toan mon le

• From: San Antonio
• Major: Architecture
• Plans to be an architect

Emily A. Leon

• From: El Paso
• Major: Microbiology and immunology
• Plans to be a clinical geneticist

Emmanuella O. Mbajiofor

• From: Houston
• Major: Biochemistry
• Planning to be a pediatrician

Gabriela C. Palacios Martinez

• From: Pleasanton
• Major: interdisciplinary studies
• Plans to be a university professor

Jesse torres

• From: Dallas
• Major: biology
• Plans to be a dentist

Christian J. Villarreal

• From: San Antonio
• Major: biology
• Plans to be a pediatric anesthesiologist

Layla M. Villarreal

• From: Corpus Christi
• Major: Public health
• Planning to be a doctor

Both programs seek candidates who demonstrate a commitment to leadership and service. Due to the pandemic, this particular group of students has had to demonstrate their resilience and commitment to leadership and service in unprecedented ways. Rather than allowing the pandemic to stunt their progress, they simply changed the way they provided service.

For example, Top Scholar Edith Estrada-Contreras designed, built and set up tables for a local daycare center so that children can distance themselves properly. Emily Nguyen supported her local pharmacy by creating personalized labels for COVID-19 vaccination cards, which saved pharmacy staff time and, as a result, vaccinated more people.

“I am delighted to be working with this new group,” said Kristi meyer, Senior Director of Honors College Special Scholarship Programs. “This is a special class of uniquely talented young students. They could have gone anywhere, but they chose UTSA because we offer a high caliber, experiential, personalized program with a proven track record. We are family, and they can trust the community they join.

The UTSA Top Scholar program is a leading, well-known and highly regarded academic program throughout the state for developing award-winning, academically talented and exceptional servant leaders. Top scholarship recipients receive dedicated support and the opportunity to personalize their studies, leadership, study abroad, and engage in community service experiences that best match their academic and professional goals. They value intellectual camaraderie, close and lasting friendships with other students, and professional relationships with faculty, and they are encouraged to gain a broad perspective through service experiences that merge their academic interests with community issues.

The UTSA Terry Scholar program offers its students many of the same benefits as top scholars. Unlike other scholarship programs, the selection of a Terry Fellow is not simply based on financial need, test scores, or cumulative grade point average. Instead, the Terry Fellows are chosen because they exhibit a well-rounded personality, rooted in the desire to succeed, and have demonstrated a history of community leadership.

America’s Got Talent Episode 4 Recap: June 22 Show [AGT LIVE BLOG]

Season 16 of “America’s Got Talent” continues on June 22 with another audition episode featuring the best (and worst) of the first leg of the competition. In this phase of “AGT”, an act needs at least three of the four judges (Simon cowell, Heidi klum, Howie mandel and Sofia vergara ) to give them a “yes” to move on to the next round. If two or more judges sound the act, he is immediately eliminated. Each judge, as well as the host Terry’s crews, has a chance to hit the “golden buzzer” and send an act straight to the live performances.

Last week, Terry showed his support for World Taekwondo by throwing them its golden buzzer after their exciting showcase of the form of martial art. The large group was supposed to perform at the 2020 Summer Olympics, so Terry’s decision to send them to live shows was a bittersweet gold medal moment.

Previously, Simon sent songbird Night Bird straight to concerts after performing an original song tonight called “It’s Okay”, with lyrics about the last year of her life. In the song, she offered support to herself and others who are struggling, just like she does with cancer, which comes from within.

Howie was inspired to hit his golden buzzer in the Season 16 premiere by the performance of the Northwell Nursing Choir, a group of 18 nurses from New York who worked on the front lines during the pandemic. As a choir, their mission is to “draw a little joy and love” to help people “find their resilience”. For their audition, they sang a mix of “Lean on Me” and “Stand by Me” which included elements of vocals, beat-boxing and light rap.

SEE Where Are The Top 15 America’s Got Talent Winners Now: Find Out What Happened To Your Favorites

The format is the same this year as it was last year, with “America’s Got Talent” initially airing only on Tuesdays with those first six weeks dedicated to auditions taking place across the country. Then there will be four weeks of Judge Cuts starting in July, followed by the series of live shows and episodes of results.

Below, follow the recap of all the action from “America’s Got Talent” Season 16 Episode 4 in our minute-by-minute blog.

8:03 p.m. – The evening started with a dance group Shuffolution from all over the world, including Colombia and Taiwan. They bonded as non-professional dancers over their love of “random dance,” a type of dance popularized by social media. For the judges, who gave them a standing ovation, the highlight was their great energy and the elevation of an already fashionable dance. Sofia was particularly won over by the diversity of the group and its use of costumes and movement. Simon liked that they had personality, energy and that they wanted to compete. Overall, it was an easy ‘yes’ from the panel to send them.

8:09 p.m. – Then it was Pam and Casper, an office worker who was re-inspired to her dream of playing when she met her dog Casper. With only one working talent show from Pam under their belt, Pam and Casper took to the stage tonight as a duet. Celine DionThe classic ballad of “All by Myself”. The performance was well received by the judges who described it as “adorable” and “surprising”. Solo Casper jokes aside, the entire panel agreed it was a ‘yes’ vote in the next round.

8:19 p.m. – Singer Brooke simpson was the next to take the stage, ready to represent and make her native tribe proud. For her audition she took Lizzo“Cuz I Love You”, wowing the judges with his powerful and deep voice. After a standing ovation, Howie called her a “powerhouse” and predicted she would perform in much bigger venues in the future. Simon remembered “American Idol” when great singers came to the show and were discovered from “fantastic auditions”. The judges’ praise meant that there were four “yes” votes to advance in the competition.

8:30 p.m. – Joining the show from Israel was Roman Kricheli to surprise the judges with a “yoga show”. What quickly became an act of contortion caused Simon to press his X button, but that was before Roman folded into a glass box far too small to fit an adult’s body. At the end, Simon stood with the other judges as they applauded his daring art. Sofia admitted that while she didn’t want to watch the stage, she loved the performance, adding her vote to the total of four to move it to the next round.

SEE Ranking of judges “America’s Got Talent”: the 13 judges ranked from worst to best

8:42 p.m. – Members of JW Inspirational Singers of NYC showered their leader with praise ahead of their hearing before the judges for having a dream and inspiring them to be a part of it. Their arrangement of “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo incorporated several solos, tap dancing and the beautiful harmonies we expect from backing vocals. Earning another standing ovation for the night, it was clear the group would move on to the next round. Howie recognized them as “an event” more than a choir because of the humanity and appreciation they brought to their show. Simon said “that’s what we call a moment” and applauded their efforts to take a song and make it their own at the right time.

8:54 p.m.The Incredible Shoji came on stage inspired by the many magicians who have graced the AGT stage in the past. Risking the proximity of being right in front of the judges’ faces, Shoji spun rounds of pieces at their table, causing a quarter of his hands to appear and disappear. The judges were very kind to the young magician, encouraging him to continue to improve and giving him the assurance that he will one day be like his idols. Although he knew he only needed three “yes” votes to qualify, Shoji got Heidi a fourth to be seen again in the next round.

9:04 p.m. – The second hour of the episode kicked off The other sense, the “gayest boy band in the world”. Their original song “Girl, You’re the Best” was an ode to girls who want to be romantic with men who are just their gay best friends. The comedic elements of the lyrics and the performance impressed the judges, leading Heidi to complain that she didn’t want this to end. Howie and Sofia were eager to hear what song they would sing next so they joined Heidi and Simon to give the guys the four “yes” votes they needed.

9:14 p.m.Charley loffredo surprised the judges by appearing on stage in women’s drag to show off her ventriloquist act. Before singing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” Charley and her puppet mumbled through dialogue the judges couldn’t understand. Quickly, all four judges hit their X button and Simon declared him the worst ventriloquist they had ever seen.

9:17 p.m. – Charley was followed by the standing comedian Josh Blue. He prefaced his set by saying that “after the year we have had, I think the world is just ready to laugh”. As someone with cerebral palsy, Josh says he likes to eliminate this right away and then used it as a punchline for several of his jokes, including ending his set calling it the “Best Make One.” wish of all times “. Heidi told him that she loved him the second he walked in, Howie called him a “superhero” for bringing the smiles, and Sofia said that the comics that laugh at them- same are his favorite genre of comedy. Simon ended the praise by saying that he is “funny with good material”. The judges couldn’t drop their “yes” votes quickly enough to send Josh through.

9:27 p.m.Michael spencer said he was inspired to come to AGT because his singing made him go viral online with a million views overnight. Unfortunately, the judges and the audience did not resent his interpretation of “Hopelessly Devoted to You”. Instead, 17 years old Fallyn was ready to claim that next place in the next round. Sadly, Simon said she wasn’t ready at the moment and urged her to come back next year. Hoping that the third singer in a row would be the charm, Jimmie herrod entered the fray with the song “Tomorrow”, a song Simon called the world’s worst. With no other song planned, Jimmie sang it anyway and it was immediately evident on Simon’s face that he was shocked at the talent. Surprisingly, Simon wasn’t the judge who didn’t join in the standing ovation for Jimmie – it was Sofia. She kicked off the reviews saying she didn’t like it that much, but that she “loved it” and hit the Golden Buzzer! The rain of golden confetti rained down on Jimmie, meaning Sofia was sending him straight to live broadcasts after changing her mind on her least favorite song of all time.

9:41 p.m. – Determined to appropriate her femininity as an athlete, Danila Bim came to AGT to “show the world who [she is]. “For her act, she hung on a cable from the ceiling by a hoop in the bun in her hair. The device allowed her to perform dances and tricks in the air, hanging only from her own hair. All of the judges stood up at the end of the performance. Sofia said she didn’t even know it could be done, calling it “spectacular.” Heidi said it was a unique aerial act and a. ” big surprise. ”The four judges loved the act and came together to give Danila four“ yes ”votes in the next round.

21:51 – If Danila’s act was dangerous, the judges weren’t ready for the comedic danger act’s return Ryan Stock & Amerlynn of season 11. Simon was a big fan of them then and he called them back on stage (for the third time) this season to play a joke on the other judges. For the joke to work, it took Ryan and Amerlynn first to pull off a few acts before asking Simon and Sofia to take the stage as assistants for their final act. In the act, they made Simon stand with a ball over his head and gave the crossbow to a blindfolded Sofia. While Sofia was receiving instructions, Simon and the crew fixed a fake arrow in Simon’s chest and had him lay on the ground as if Sofia had shot him. After her shot, screams rang out in the auditorium and Sofia tripped over Simon’s body just in time to hear him say “I got you.” The joke ended the episode without a vote to send Ryan and Amerlynn in, as it was only a staged comedy and not an actual audition. Phew!


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June 23, 2021 | In short

Highlights from the June Board of Directors meeting

At its June meeting, the Board of Regents heard a report on enrollment projections for the next fall semester. System-wide confirmations for students coming straight from high school have jumped about 12% from the same period last year and are up about 7% from the university’s five-year average. Both Duluth and Morris have seen notable increases, while the Twin Cities total is an all-time high. The regents also approved the capital improvement budget recommended by President Joan Gabel for fiscal 22, reviewed the recommended operating budget for fiscal 22, and discussed strategic planning with leaders at the Duluth campus. See the press release for more details.

Go beyond volunteering

As an undergraduate student at the U of M, Breanne Retherford helped redesign a 7-year-old’s 3D printed prosthetic hand, helped visually impaired people who wanted to play hockey, and collaborated with Ugandan students to develop health center device solutions in their country. Overall, Retherford has volunteered over 400 hours, receiving a special mention on her transcript as a University of Minnesota Community Engagement Fellow.

The night of the train

Shannon brooks

18 months ago, Shannon Brooks, a U of M student and Gopher football player, was struggling with depression and overwhelming grief. On a cold night in December 2019, he remembers saying to himself, “I want to be with my mom,” before running to the side of a high-speed train. Today, he wants to share his mental health journey with others.

A new way to promote mental health

Carmen Aguirre holding chains

The year before Carmen Aguirre started medical school, a mentor advised her to find a hobby unrelated to medicine. Lover of music and art, she decided to step aside as a video jockey. She later became the one who made the visuals on the screen. Aguirre has now completed two years of medical school and his art has really taken off. She sold at least 20 pieces and started donating 10% of her sales to support U of M mental health resources.

housewives with holes

two red-headed woodpeckers

The fiery red-headed woodpecker is in decline in many parts of the country, but not in the U of M’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, which has plenty of savannah and the largest known population of birds. of Minnesota. Postdoctoral fellow Elena West leads a team of volunteers, land managers and community scientists from a variety of disciplines who study these woodpeckers, noting what features of their environment provide good habitat for them and other species.

Awards and recognition

Dziwe Ntaba and Michael Westerhaus have been selected as Bush Fellows 2021; the Board of Regents approved the appointments of deans for the College of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Dentistry, and the College of Education and Human Development; Paul Dauenhauer was named a 2021 finalist for the National Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists; Tasoulla Hadjiyanni has been selected for the Imagine Fund 2021-2023 Arts, Design, and Humanities chair; George Karypis received the Distinguished Contributions Award at the 2021 Pacific-Asia Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Conference; Douglas Kearney received the first Campbell Opera Librettist Prize; Joachim Savelsberg is the recipient of the 2021 Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Award; Johnson Brothers, based in St. Paul, is offering a million dollar scholarship to the Carlson School for under-represented Minnesota students in financial need; the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior was recently ranked number two in the world by the Shanghai Ranking; U in the news presents highlights of U professors and staff cited in the media. Awards and recognition


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GameStop Raises Over $ 1 Billion In Latest Stock Offering

June 22 (Reuters) – Video game retailer GameStop Corp (GME.N) said on Tuesday it had raised around $ 1.13 billion in its latest stock offering, further benefiting from a price hike in its social media-induced action.

The company, whose shares have risen more than 960% this year, was the spark in January in a battle between hedge fund short sellers and a group of small investors organizing online.

It remains one of the hottest and most visible “memes stocks” and rose nearly 9% in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

The company, like other social media stocks that have lit Wall Street since January, has sold millions of dollars in new stocks in the wake of what institutional players say are speculative stock moves unwarranted by their activities .

US dollar bills can be seen in front of the GameStop logo displayed in this illustration taken on February 8, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration / File Photo

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Movie operator AMC Entertainment (AMC.N), another play, made two stock shows in three days earlier this month, while Torchlight Energy (TRCH.O) on Monday increased its own. sale of shares at $ 250 million.

GameStop said it would use the net proceeds of the offering, which is in addition to the $ 551 million raised in late April, for general corporate purposes as well as to invest in growth initiatives.

The company is trying to shift to e-commerce and recently hired a former Amazon manager as the new CEO to help them make the transition.

Its shares fell sharply when she announced the stock offering earlier this month and has fallen another 10% since, even after the first moves on Tuesday.

White Square Capital, a London-based hedge fund that suffered losses betting against GameStop in the first meme stock rally in January, is shutting down, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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Dating Apps Find Users Want Friends, Not Sex, In Post-COVID World | Business and Economy News

I have just come out of long-term confinement. Can we be friends?

The entanglements of love are not what comes first on the minds of many people emerging from long periods of pandemic isolation. Instead, they seek out the friendships and social groups that they have been deprived of over the past year.

That’s the verdict of dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, which are launching or acquiring new services entirely focused on making and keeping friends.

“There’s a really interesting trend that’s happened in the connection space, which is this desire to have platonic relationships,” said Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of Bumble.

“People are looking for friendship in a way they would only have done offline before the pandemic. “

Her company is investing in its Bumble BFF (Best Friends Forever) feature, which she says accounted for around 9% of total monthly active Bumble users as of September 2020 and “has room to grow as we focus. more about this space “.

Meanwhile, its big rival Match Group – owner of a series of apps including Tinder and Hinge – is also going beyond love and lust. It paid $ 1.7 billion this year for South Korean social media company Hyperconnect, whose apps allow people to chat around the world using real-time translation.

Hyperconnect revenue jumped 50% last year, while Meetup, which helps you meet like-minded people at local events or online, saw a 22% increase in newcomers. members since January.

The most searched word for Meetup this year was “friends”.

‘Find companionship and connection’

These friendship services have seen increased engagement from users since COVID-19 restrictions were gradually lifted around the world, allowing people to meet in person, according to Evercore analyst Shweta Kharjuria, who said it made sense for the business to court more clients.

“This opens up the total available market from targeting singles to singles and married people,” she said.

The importance of physical contact was echoed by Amos, a 22 year old French au pair using Bumble BFF in London.

“It’s hard to gain momentum online and if everything in IRL (in real life) is closed,” he said. “You never really connect until you meet in person.”

Bumble invests in its BFF (Best Friends Forever) feature [File: Jillian Kitchener/Reuters]

Rosie, a 24-year-old dental nurse living in the city of Bristol in the south-west of England, struggled to connect with her older colleagues during the lockdown and started using Bumble BFF ago three weeks to meet new people.

“I’m a very outgoing person and I love meeting new people, but never found any opportunities. I went from just texting from Vodafone to this buzzing app a lot, which is good, it looks like a lot of girls are in my shoes, ”she said.

Nupur, a 25-year-old teacher from the western Indian city of Pune, who uses both Tinder and Bumble, said the apps’ efforts to promote themselves as a way to find friends rather than simple relationships and love “could work very well”.

“I have met a few people online and we have met and been friends for over a year now.”

Indeed, friendship networks like MeetMe and Yubo have even overtaken some popular dating apps in terms of daily engagement in recent months, according to market research firm Apptopia.

Jess Carbino, online dating expert and former Tinder and Bumble sociologist, told Reuters the social isolation has been “staggering” due to the pandemic, especially for singles living alone.

“(It) inspired people to use the tools at their disposal, namely technology, to find companionship and connection.”

“Trends are here to stay”

According to brokerage firm Canaccord Genuity, LGBTQ + dating apps have done a lot to promote the social aspect of dating, with Chinese Blued offering surrogacy services, for example, and Taimi providing live streaming.

The Hornet gay dating app, on the other hand, aims to be more of a social network focused on users’ personal interests, rather than just a hookup service focused on physical appearance and closeness.

Hornet founder and CEO Christof Wittig said people were unlikely to revert to “old ways” of connecting with their exclusively offline community, such as nightlife, activism or LGBTQ sporting events.

Witting said the number of users using the news feed, comments and videos increased by 37% in the year through May.

He said the number of people looking for friendship and online community increased during the closures as people turned to digital platforms for a sense of belonging when bars, gyms and events in pride were closed.

“These trends are here to stay,” he added. “Just like videoconferencing and teleworking.


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Smith named recipient of Steel Magnolia

Amber Smith has been selected as the Columbus area Steel Magnolia Award winner, the Middletown Community Foundation has announced.

The award honors women who have overcome obstacles to positively impact the community.

The program is administered by the Middletown Community Foundation and funded by the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation.

Smith was appointed by her manager, Craig Lyness, who says that after Smith endured the sudden and unexpected death of her son, she was able to continue working, raising children and helping those in need in the community.

Smith is also an active volunteer in his community. Every Christmas, she volunteers her time to deliver meals to families in Jackson and Jennings counties.

She also volunteers her time to help young children in gymnastics and serves as a mentor and friend for adults and teens in difficulty. Smith is selfless and after losing her son, she donated her car to a young man in need.

She will receive $ 2,500 from the Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation for her charity of choice, Blessing in a Backpack of Jackson County.

The Steel Magnolia Award honors women of all ages who face personal adversity and who have demonstrated exceptional strength, courage, compassion and leadership through their work on behalf of their communities.

Trial nominations were solicited from the public in 15 communities where Cleveland-Cliffs operates a facility. Applicants had to live near a Cleveland-Cliffs facility.

The company, which has been manufacturing electrically resistant welded pipe since 1977, has a plant in Columbus.

The proposers and candidates did not have to be associated in any way with the employees of Cleveland-Cliffs. Nomination forms for the 2021 Steel Magnolia Awards will be available this summer.


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DSWD 7 Launches Online Mental Health Support Program

TO HELP meet the mental health and psychosocial needs of individuals during the pandemic, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 has launched the “WiSupport Project” which will provide mental health care services using technological platforms.

Individuals and their family members can send a request for a free consultation through various channels, such as:

• send an email to [email protected]

• by visiting the website ekwentomo.dswd.gov.ph

• access a mobile application called WiSupport (available on Google Play Store)

• using WiServ SMS at 0918-912-2813

According to DSWD 7, these wireless and online tools are used by WiSupport service providers every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except holidays.

In a statement, DSWD 7 said the recently launched program aims to provide assistance to Filipino workers repatriating overseas, employees affected by flexible working arrangements or temporary closures, heads of households in need of support. and other people and families in distress.

“There are many types of mental health care providers who diagnose and treat mental illness. But DSWD, as a social welfare agency, offers free help to all members of the community by determining what kind of intervention an individual or family might need by providing referral pathways, ”he said. said Antonio Dolaota, DSWD 7 deputy regional director for administration.

Clients requiring additional psychosocial and mental health assistance will be referred to the DSWD 7 service network provided by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and Employment, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Philippine Red Cross, Philippine Association for Mental Health Cebu Cluster and United Registered Social Cluster of Visayan Workers.

Immediate interventions are planned based on clients’ needs and current situation, DSWD 7 said.

Central Visayas is one of the pilot regions implementing the WiSupport project, with the exception of the National Capital Region and Caraga. (CNRC, RP)