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Quick Takes

Pandemic fallout: The NCAA will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June, $375 million less than had been budgeted this year because the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the men’s basketball tournament.

The NCAA said Thursday $50 million will come from its reserve fund. A $270 million event cancellation insurance policy will be used to pay off a line credit that will cover the remaining distribution.

The NCAA had been scheduled to distribute $600 million to more than 300 Division I schools from April to June.

The NCAA pulled in more than a $1 billion in revenue last year, $867.5 million from the television and marketing rights for the the Division I men’s basketball tournament.

The tournament was canceled March 19, a week before the first round was scheduled to begin.

Claims surge: The number of businesses closing or scaling back operations in West Virginia has sent claims for unemployment benefits surging.

A total of 3,435 West Virginia residents applied for unemployment assistance last week, compared with 865 claims in the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

That number is destined to go higher. Gov. Jim Justice ordered nonessential businesses to close on Monday.

It’s the highest number of claims since 3,791 claims were made on Jan. 9, 2016, when economists said the state was in a recession, mostly due to job losses in the coal industry.

The highest numbers of claims this century in West Virginia was in January 2010 when claims peaked at 5,445, the Labor Department said.

WorkForce West Virginia said unemployment claims can be done through one of its local offices, online or by mail.

Weekly benefit amounts are based on the wages paid during the base period, which must have exceeded $2,200. Applicants could be asked to provide a Social Security card and a photo identification, such as a valid driver’s license.

CHANGE OF PLANS: Hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer has shifted from making visors for helmets to medical visors for those fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

When hockey came to a halt amid the global pandemic, Bauer faced the possibility of closing its manufacturing plant in Blainville, Quebec, but engineers there instead brainstormed the idea of producing medical shields to help protect people on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

They came up with a prototype, and Bauer vice president of global marketing Mary-Kay Messier said there were 100,000 devices ready for distribution by this week. They’re expected to first go to doctors and nurses in Canada, then the U.S.

The medical shields are being produced in Quebec and a facility in Liverpool, New York, that primarily makes Bauer’s lacrosse equipment. The company’s corporate headquarters is in Exeter, New Hampshire.

SWEETS STOPPED: No more Peeps are being hatched for at least a couple of weeks — but it shouldn’t affect Easter baskets.

The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based Just Born confections company said its production facilities there and in Philadelphia closed Wednesday through April 7.

But the company says it had already produced and shipped the Easter supply of its signature marshmallow confection to outlets.

Just Born says the popular Peeps & Company retail store in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, is also closed for now.

The store is billed as a Peeps “experience” and features light displays, historical videos and merchandise.

The company also makes other candies, including Mike and Ikes and Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews.

Just Born officials say that inventories of those candies had been shipped prior to the production stoppage, but that they might be in short supply at some retailers.

From wire reports

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