By Andrew Rice
In local news, the Watauga County Public School system created a mental health specialist role in the beginning of the school year. According to the Watauga Democrat, Jennifer Smith, a licensed clinical social worker, has been recruited as the district's full time mental health specialist. Paul Holden, Watauga’s director of student services said the new role is wide-ranging in its responsibilities and is an important part of the district's overall student services mission going forward. Over the past several months, Smith has been meeting with different schools in the county in order to assess the mental health needs and how her team can best help address them throughout the school system.
In state news, a North Carolina Congressman will lead bipartisan hearings on the demise of FTX, a cryptocurrency giant. According to the Carolina Journal, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina’s 10th congressional district said that the bipartisan effort would focus on broader consequences for cryptocurrencies. Much of the money for the cryptocurrency giant was used to donate to the democratic party with nearly $40 million dollars given to candidates running for various offices throughout the country. This made the founder of FTX the second largest contributor to the party before filing for bankruptcy.
In national news, the Walt Disney company announced late Sunday that former CEO Bob Iger would return to head the company for two years. According to NPR, Disney’s current CEO Bob Chapek stepped down from the position after taking the mantle in 2020. Iger previously steered Disney through its absorption of Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, Fox’s entertainment and the launch of Disney Plus. Some speculate the move could have been due to Disney pulling in lower than expected numbers from the past fiscal year.