The Weekender: Dollar General’s strategy + EMTs get a new role

Spotlighting original BirdDog reporting and why a few headlines from elsewhere matter for Tennessee.

Photo by ev on Unsplash



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1. Where even Walmart won’t go: how Dollar General took over rural America

Chris McGreal, The Guardian

A great read about a small town’s reaction to a company based just a short drive up I-65 in Goodlettsville. It’s the fastest growing retailer in the country, opening new locations at a “rate of three a day… targeting rural towns and damaged inner-city neighbourhoods.”

Excerpt: “Buhler’s mayor, Daniel Friesen, watched events unfold in Haven (Kansas) and came to see Dollar General not so much as an opportunity as a diagnosis. … As Friesen saw it, Dollar General was not only a threat to all that but amounted to admission his town was failing.” 


2. A new role for paramedics: treating patients at home

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey

Excerpt: “Under the supervision of physicians, and with special training, these paramedics — part of an emerging field known as community paramedicine or mobile integrated health — can examine patients, administer medications, and provide care instructions.”

Around Tennessee in areas where the hospital closed, EMTs are juggling more calls for more routine problems. They are becoming on-the-ground deliverers of care.

3. ‘We Are All Accumulating Mountains of Things’

Alana Semuels, CityLab

Excerpt: How online shopping and cheap prices turned Americans into hoarders

Shopping gives people a dopamine hit so hitting online stores makes you feel good.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, shoppers in the U.S. sent $240 billion in 2017 on goods, such as jewelry, luggage and telephones. That’s twice as much as in 2002 (adjusted for inflation).

4. Extreme Athleticism Is the New Midlife Crisis

Paul Flannery on Medium

You probably know someone.