Month: July 2019

An activist has lost a bid to prove that a public

first_imgAn activist has lost a bid to prove that a public consultation on plans to tighten eligibility for the new disability benefit was unlawful, but says the legal case has still exposed the government’s “callous disregard for disabled people”.The court of appeal ruled this week that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had carried out a proper consultation on its plans to slash the qualifying distance for the higher rate of mobility support from 50 metres to just 20 metres.Campaigner and blogger Mx Sumpter failed last year in a judicial review of the consultation process, but appealed that decision.The appeal was heard in July this year, and this week the court of appeal ruled that DWP’s consultation was not unfair or unlawful.Sumpter, who can only walk a few metres with a stick, and otherwise uses a wheelchair, was assessed as eligible for the higher rate mobility component of disability living allowance (DLA), and uses that to lease a car through the Motability scheme.But Sumpter fears losing the higher rate entitlement when transferring to the new personal independence payment (PIP), and consequently losing access to a Motability vehicle.Under DLA, someone is eligible for the higher rate if they cannot walk more than 50 metres, but under the new rules for PIP – which is gradually replacing working-age DLA – this walking distance criteria has been set at just 20 metres.DWP consulted on the introduction of PIP in 2012 but did not mention its plans to cut the criteria from 50 metres to 20 metres until after the consultation had closed.Last year, a judge suggested that if the consultation process had stopped at this point, he would probably have found it unfair and unlawful.But after Sumpter’s judicial review was issued, the disabled people’s minister Esther McVey carried out a second consultation, limited just to looking at the 20 metres measure.When McVey’s ministerial successor, Mike Penning, published his response to the consultation, he made it clear that the walking distance criteria would remain at 20 metres.Sumpter’s legal team argued that this second consultation was irrelevant because the decision had already been made.But the court of appeal concluded that the government had approached the second consultation “with an open mind”.Lord Justice McCombe, one of the three appeal court judges who heard the case, said in the judgment that Sumpter’s argument would prevent decision-makers in the government’s position from “trying to put right errors in consultation processes that are pointed out to them by looking again at the areas of criticism”.He added: “As I understand the law, consultation has to be fair; it does not have to be perfect.”Sumpter, who blogged about the judgment today (Thursday), told Disability News Service: “I am disappointed that we were unable to change anything about PIP, but I am glad that we tried.“The DWP imposed a cruel trade-off on disabled people in increasing support for some disabilities only by cutting help for those with physical impairments.“In forcing the government to defend this we exposed their callous disregard for disabled people and our ability to go about our lives.“It certainly does not fit in to their mantra that disabled people will work their way out of poverty, since for many people the loss of support will mean they can no longer work, or even leave their homes.”Alastair Wallace, a specialist public lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who acted for Sumpter in the case, said: “Our client originally challenged the consultation during the creation of the PIP system and while our challenge was unsuccessful, we still believe that the current proposals are unfair.“We are disappointed by this outcome and our client’s focus will now be to ensure that the new scheme is properly implemented.”A DWP spokesman said: “We are pleased that the court of appeal has unanimously endorsed the decision of the high court that the consultation process was fair and lawful.“We remain committed to the full rollout of PIP, a benefit which helps disabled people to live independently by ensuring support is focussed on those who need it most.”Only five individuals out of the 1,142 organisations and individuals who took part in the second consultation agreed with the government that the walking distance criteria should be set at 20 metres.Government figures predict that, with the criteria set at 20 metres, the number of people receiving higher rates of mobility support – and therefore eligible for a Motability vehicle – will plunge from 1,030,000 (if DLA had not been replaced by PIP) to just 602,000 by 2018.They also predict that 548,000 of the 892,000 working-age people who were receiving the higher rate of the DLA mobility component in February 2013 will not receive the enhanced mobility rate of PIP once they are transferred to the new benefit.last_img read more

George Michael – who died on Christmas Day – finan

first_imgGeorge Michael – who died on Christmas Day – financially supported some of the country’s leading disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) with secret donations for nearly two decades.The singer-songwriter provided grants through a charitable trust he set up in 1990, supporting organisations including the British Council of Disabled People (BCODP), The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and the LGBTQ disabled people’s organisation Regard.Michael (pictured) asked that his financial support was not publicised, but his generosity has been an open secret among leading disabled activists for many years, and they have only agreed to speak about it publicly following his death.The grants he provided through The Platinum Trust, administered largely through the work of his sister Yioda, helped at least two DPOs stay afloat when their existence was threatened by the withdrawal of other grants, including government funding.Now some of the organisations whose work he supported have paid tribute to his generosity and his commitment to the principles of inclusion, disability rights and independent living.Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s director, said: “There is no doubt that George Michael’s quiet and long-lasting support for ALLFIE’s campaigning work gave us the freedom to challenge the very worst that governments of all political flavours could throw at us.“[The] support from The Platinum Trust enabled us to stay true to our inclusive education principles.”Andy Rickell, former chief executive of BCODP (which later became the UK Disabled People’s Council), said Michael’s trust was already providing core funding to the organisation when he joined in 2001.He said: “There were very few funders that could or would support the continued existence of BCODP as a radical campaigning organisation, and The Platinum Trust was one of those. “BCODP would have struggled to exist without that funding, so it is fair to say that George Michael’s support had a material impact on the success of the movement. “I have the greatest respect for him as a result.”He said he believed that The Vassall Centre Trust, a DPO based in Bristol that previously owned and ran the accessible Vassall Centre – one of the earliest barrier-free workplaces in the UK – also received funding from The Platinum Trust.Julie Newman, former chair of the UK Disabled People’s Council and currently treasurer of Regard, said Michael had kept BCODP and then UKDPC afloat for many years, at a time when other funding was “falling away”, including grant funding from the Department of Health.She said that she and other disabled activists were visited by Michael’s sister, Yioda, who was a “lovely, lovely woman”, and collected information on applicants for grants, and then took that to trustees of The Platinum Trust, including her brother.She said that Michael’s support for Regard – which has always operated “on a shoestring” – had been crucial.She said: “There would be no Regard today without The Platinum Trust.“When its lottery funding came to an end, Regard was practically bankrupt and couldn’t have continued without the support of The Platinum Trust.”Newman said she was “devastated” to hear of George Michael’s death.She said: “It is a tremendous loss to our movement. He was a great supporter and extremely generous.“He wanted it done quietly and discretely. The way it was handled, it was so gentle. We didn’t have to jump through hoops.“What George did was massively generous, at a time when other people were not.”Picture: George Michael in a BBC documentary featuring a live solo performance at the Palais Garnier Opera House in Paris in 2012last_img read more

The Department for Work and Pensions DWP appears

first_imgThe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appears to have gone back on its promise to a tribunal to address a fatal flaw in its “fitness for work” test that has led to the deaths of multiple benefit claimants with mental health conditions.More than two years after ministers promised the upper tribunal that it would test improvements to the work capability assessment (WCA) process, DWP has finally released some details of the measures it has introduced.The details – which were heavily redacted – emerged following freedom of information requests from Disability News Service and lawyers from The Public Law Project (PLP), which represents the claimants who took the case.But PLP says the DWP’s response “must call into question whether there is any political will to stop the discriminatory effect of the WCA on people with mental health problems”.In May 2013, the upper tribunal administrative appeals chamber had ruled that the WCA discriminated against some people with mental health conditions.DWP promised the tribunal it would work with its contractor – which at the time was Atos, which has now been replaced by the discredited US outsourcing giant Maximus – to develop a pilot programme to test ways to ensure that medical evidence relating to claimants of out-of-work disability benefits was collected more often from health professionals who knew them well.This would ensure that fewer claimants would be found unfairly fit for work or would have to go through the WCA if it was unnecessary or harmful to them.Previous guidelines for Maximus assessment staff stated that further medical evidence must be obtained if, for example, there was evidence of a previous suicide attempt, suicidal ideation or self-harm, and in certain other cases, such as when a claimant had an “appointee” to make important decisions on their behalf.But DWP has now drawn up new guidance, following a small-scale study involving less than 250 claimants.The new guidance, implemented this week, states that further medical evidence can now also be requested at the “filework” stage – the stage before any face-to-face assessment is carried out – if it is felt that “further information would be helpful”.But if the Maximus healthcare professional decides there is no need to seek this further medical evidence, they will not need to justify that decision.This shows that DWP has disregarded the recommendation made more than four years ago by Professor Malcolm Harrington, who carried out the third independent review of the WCA on behalf of ministers.He said that DWP decision-makers should, at a later stage in the process, “actively consider the need to seek further documentary evidence in every claimant’s case”, and that any decision not to seek further evidence “must be justified”.And he said that “particular care” should be taken to ensure this evidence was obtained when the claimant has a mental health condition or learning difficulty.The information released by DWP reverses Professor Harrington’s recommendation, as it says the Maximus healthcare professional “must provide an appropriate justification” in every case in which they make a request for further medical evidence, rather than in those in which they do not.There are also concerns that DWP never carried out the large-scale pilot, as it said it would, but only a feasibility study involving less than 250 people, which led to further evidence being requested in just 11 more cases.It originally planned a pilot of 4,000 people, before reducing this to 1,000 people, and telling the tribunal that it first had to carry out a feasibility study before any pilot.It now appears that no proper pilot was ever carried out, even though the upper tribunal had said its evidence was “clearly needed” to show what reasonable adjustments were needed to address the “substantial disadvantage” experienced by claimants with mental health conditions.A freedom of information response sent to The Public Law Project by DWP refers only to “a small scale test” rather than a pilot.DWP’s efforts to avoid taking meaningful steps to improve the safety of the WCA – by ensuring that all the necessary evidence is gathered before a decision on a claim for out-of-work disability benefits is taken – stretch back all the way to April 2010.More than seven years ago, coroner Tom Osborne wrote to DWP to express concerns that it did not automatically seek further medical evidence from a claimant’s GP or psychiatrist if they had a mental health condition, following an inquest into the death of Stephen Carré in January 2010.Four years later, another letter was sent to DWP by a coroner, raising the same concerns and making almost identical recommendations, this time following the death of a north London man.The deaths of other claimants have also been linked to the failure to ensure that further medical evidence was obtained, including those of Mark Wood, Paul Donnachie, David Barr, and a woman known only as Ms D E.Rakesh Singh, a solicitor with The Public Law Project, said: “I am seriously concerned that the DWP has failed to carry out the pilot it promised several years ago to the tribunal, that it has failed to implement the change recommended by Professor Harrington in 2012, and that it has failed to give any reasons for not doing so.  “The new guidance that has come into force this week shows that the DWP is simply not willing to listen to its own independent reviewer or to the courts about what needs to be done to make the WCA process safer and fairer for people with mental health conditions, or to learn lessons from the tragic suicides of those who had been subjected to the WCA and follow the recommendations of the independent bodies who had investigated their deaths.“This must call into question whether there is any political will to stop the discriminatory effect of the WCA on people with mental health problems.”A DWP spokesman said: “The pilot* in Glasgow fulfilled our commitment to test gathering further evidence at the relevant stages of the WCA process (filework, post face-to-face assessment and decision-making stages).“A learning outcome of the pilot is that we should request additional medical evidence before the face-to-face assessment (at the filework stage).”He added: “Additional medical evidence is not needed in every situation.“The medically-trained healthcare professional can therefore decide whether it is necessary and we simply ask that they record the reason for requesting the additional medical evidence for the claimant’s case file.”He said DWP had put other safeguards in place for people with mental health conditions, including giving them more flexibility with returning their “ESA50” questionnaire, and attempting to contact an ESA claimant by telephone if they have been identified as “vulnerable” and do not attend their face-to-face assessment, and, if appropriate, arranging a “safeguarding home visit” before making a decision on their ESA entitlement.*The DWP freedom of information response refers to “a small scale test” and not a pilotlast_img read more

Mission Promise Neighborhood to continue with 6 million federal grant

first_imgThe Mission won its “Promise Neighborhood” grant this funding cycle along with Chula Vista, California, and Indianola, Mississippi. Nine other municipalities did not have their grants renewed. “Other promise neighborhoods are faced with the uncomfortable reality of having to scale down services and lay off staff,” Raya said. “I’m thankful we didn’t have to do that.”MEDA only in May discovered that the extensions were an option. It had begun to explore other funding options in January as its grant dollars were exhausted and the program was operating on the reserves it had accumulated over the last five years. “At the beginning of the year, we didn’t know if this funding would be in the federal budget,” Raya said, noting that MEDA was in touch with the research institute PolicyLink, which had a Promise Neighborhoods lobbyist in Washington D.C. “We started calling them to get the word across to our federal representatives.” In addition to providing services at Bryant and Cesar Chavez elementary schools, Everett Middle School, and John O’Connell High School, Mission Promise Neighborhood will now be present at James Lick Middle School, Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8, Flynn Elementary, Sanchez Elementary and Mission High School.Expanding to five new schools with fewer dollars, he claimed, was feasible. He said this was because MEDA no longer pays a large portion of the funds to the San Francisco Unified School District, which staffed the schools with coordinators that connected students and parents with services. Now, Raya says, the city itself pays for those roles by way of San Francisco’s Beacon Initiative, which also provides extra services for students and their families. In the last five years, the program has been successful at the four schools where it provides social workers, medical care, after-school programs, and mentoring. The program cites its “cradle to college” approach – meaning, it starts offering services and education to parents with newborns, and follows the child until it’s time to apply for college. The results are encouraging. At John O’Connell, for example, the graduation rates for Latino students increased from 62 percent to 82 percent between 2012 to 2016, and that of African Americans increased from 46 percent to 93 percent in the same period, according to data from the San Francisco Unified School District. The school’s overall graduation rate has increased from 68 percent to 86 percent. “I have great confidence that this Promise Extension Grant will boost educational opportunity for all disadvantaged students living in the Mission, helping them to thrive and succeed,” said Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said in a statement announcing the grant. Raya acknowledged the money will dry up in the next two years, and it’s far from certain another grant from the federal government will be available. “For sure we will go after federal funding again,” he said. “But I think the long-term vision is for our city and our state see the value (in the program), and that this become a normal way of doing business. That is good government.” Email Address A community-based education program called Mission Promise Neighborhood plans to double in scope while operating on half the federal funds. But its directors still consider themselves lucky because, unlike related programs nationwide, it didn’t lose its funding altogether.  The program – which provides resources to students and their parents to help ensure students make it college – will be reinfused with $6 million in federal dollars to continue its work in the neighborhood for the next two years. This comes after an establishing $30 million/five-year grant awarded in 2012. Mission Promise Neighborhood was one of only three programs to receive any money this cycle, out of 12 applicants that had previously won the grants.Despite the sharp reduction, the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), which runs the program, plans to bring its mental health services, college counseling, and after-school programs into five more schools, up from the current total of four. “We’re in a position where we’ve learned a lot from the last six years,” said Richard Raya, the director of the program. “We’ve learned how to do more with less.” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newslettercenter_img 0% Tags: education • meda Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Peruvian restaurant El Porteño lays foundation for an empire in the Mission

first_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Restaurateurs scooped up buildings housing Bissap Baobab, Alba Ray’s on the same day The first is the current home of Bissap Baobab at 3376 19th St., which the Ormeños bought for just over $2 million March 13. In the same stroke, they purchased the liquor license from Bissap’s owner, Marco Senghor, who purportedly off-loaded both items in connection to federal immigration case he’s been fighting since last August. The liquor license sold for upward of $200,000, according to a source familiar with the deal. The family also purchased the current home of Alba Ray’s, a 2-year-old Creole-Cajun restaurant at 2293 Mission St., for $1.65 million, also on March 13. The Ormeños’ plans for the buildings are unclear. Senghor announced in February: “The new owners, a wonderful Latin American family with a long history in the Outer Mission, are bringing their Peruvian cuisine to 19th Street.”  The family might also be bringing that food to Mission Street. In February, Victor Ormeño registered a business called El Porteño 2 LLC, with one of the addresses being 2293 Mission St., where Alba Ray’s currently operates. The second address is its location in the Excelsior. Sylvia and Victor Ormeño could not be reached for this story despite repeated attempts. A representative from Alba Ray’s declined to comment. The Ormeños’ El Porteño should not be confused with El Porteño Empanadas, which operates in the Ferry Building and is a separate business with separate owners. The Ormeños’ El Porteño serves a variety of Peruvian-inspired cuisine, including their “Criollo” menu (traditional Peruvian food) and their “Chifa” menu (Chinese-inspired dishes). And, of course: ceviche. El Porteño will have a bit of competition. Just across 19th Street, the neighborhood favorite Cholo Soy is expected to reopen soon. Moreover, the Mission District has become a destination for Peruvian fare, with Limon Rotisserie’s two locations in the neighborhood, as well as Cholo Soy’s sister restaurant, El Aji. Email Address The Excelsior-based Peruvian restaurant El Porteño — or at least the restaurant’s owners — will soon have a major presence in the Mission, particularly at the corner of 19th and Mission streets. Sylvia and Victor Ormeño, the 7-year-old restaurant’s proprietors, purchased two buildings on the corner on the same day in mid-March. last_img read more

It is one of the biggest tests the centre said

first_img“It is one of the biggest tests,” the centre said. “They are very physical and strong and it is a challenge I am ready for. I want to test myself against them.“It is a big game and a lot of people will be watching in a massive stadium.”He continued: “It’s been a good camp so far. I’ve been on a few now so it is quite easy to come back in. Even though I haven’t played that many games for England, I have enjoyed being in the camps and learning from the best players in the world.“It’s been good and I am looking forward to the rest of the week.“It’s important to get a game in mid-season and I’m sure a lot of people will be watching it back home. We’re all looking forward to it. It is going to be a good occasion.”England v New Zealand kicks off at 9:10pm on Saturday. You can watch live coverage of the game on BBC from 9pm.last_img read more

The ballot supported the proposal by 68 of votes

first_imgThe ballot supported the proposal by 68% of votes cast.Following the Council ballot, the Rugby Football League Board has met and confirmed that it will now move forward with Super League (Europe) on the above basis.The Rugby Football League and Super League (Europe) have evolved the Super League structure for 2019 onwards and ensured game-wide financial and partnership commitments.The Betfred Super League structure guarantees one-up, one-down pomotion and relegation in a 12-team competition. All teams will play each other once home and away, plus six additional fixtures and the Dacia Magic Weekend, ending with the top five teams in a play-off series which culminates in a Grand Final to crown the Super League champions at Old Trafford.Separate discussions between Championship and League 1 Clubs on the proposed structure of those competitions is ongoing and a further announcement will follow shortly.The revisions follow substantial discussions within all levels of the professional game, led by the Rugby Football League.Ralph Rimmer, Chief Executive, The Rugby Football League: “Today’s announcement is about a number of things: structure simplification, funding certainty, shared responsibilities and growing the sport together with clearly defined responsibilities.“It follows a scheduled mid-cycle review and substantial negotiation. The Rugby Football League governs the whole game. Its focus throughout has been securing clear commitments for the whole sport post-2021 so that the sport has certainty and can move forward, focused on growth.“Structure is one of many vital components of any sport. Everyone is focused on a vibrant and successful Super League, and Championship and League 1. We have secured guaranteed promotion and relegation to and from Super League. It is essential that aspiring clubs, owners and fans can see their path to the top. We can now move forward and focus on all the areas which contribute to a strong, thriving sport.“Rugby League has outstanding assets including all competitions, the Challenge Cup, the community game and England.“It is vital that we now draw a line under the last period; and focus our collective energies on promoting the sport and the fantastic players on the pitch who should be the ones making the headlines. The whole sport has a massive opportunity in the home World Cup in 2021. All of us now need to look forward together and focus on the job in hand.”Robert Elstone, Chief Executive, Betfred Super League, added: “Super League is the game’s elite competition and the whole sport benefits from a strong, attractive, well-resourced and exciting Super League. The game faces a pivotal moment in two years’ time when Super League negotiates a new broadcast deal.“Throughout this process Super League (Europe) has worked with the Rugby Football League and will continue to do so to strengthen and grow the game. This has been a professional and tough negotiation. We have clear accountability and duties as Super League (Europe), and the Rugby Football League as the governing body for the whole sport, which enables a sharper focus for both organisations.“We share the same drive and commitment to progress the sport and look to 2019 with confidence and excitement.”last_img read more

Academy Reserves Match SAINTS TV

first_imgThe game, played in bright sunshine in marked contrast to the wet rainy conditions experienced by the first team only minutes later, saw the debut of Brad Holroyd on dual registration terms from Leigh. Having played first team rugby for the Centurions last week he showed his quality with some powerful runs.Three tries in 14 glorious minutes saw the Saints 18 points to the good and in total control until the game turned on its head in a two minute period.Nico Rizzelli had opened the scoring after five minutes. Drives out of defence from Tom Nisbett, Sam Royle and Josh Simm saw the Saints on the attack and as the ball was swung left Rizzelli beat his opposite number on the outside on his way to the corner.Five minutes later and Simm was strolling under the sticks from Jake Wingfield’s short ball four metres out courtesy of a scrum from a Broncos missed 40/20. Lewis Dodd’s simple conversion complemented his fine one off the touchline to Rizzelli’s try.Minutes later and the Saints left side produced the goods again. Dodd set Rizzelli away and his offload to Matty Foster saw the second row punch through the line. Committing the full back he passed inside to the supporting Dodd to go in under the posts untouched.But, to their credit, the Broncos responded. Saints conceded a penalty in their own half, but managed to keep the hosts out with some fine defence.However, in moving down field Ryan Horne’s cut-out pass to his right was intercepted by the lively Broncos stand-off who raced 60 metres to the posts.On the half hour a short last tackle kick from the Saints was easily mopped up by the Broncos and four tackles later their stand-off was in again as he raced 60 metres down the right edge to score.The Saints responded as Foster broke the line and again fed Dodd on the inside allowing him to go in under the black dot and convert his own try easily.The Broncos were the first to score in the second half as Oliver Leyland’s chip, regather and grubber to the corner saw the Broncos draw closer again as the winger touched down in spectacular fashion albeit with a hint of a knock-on.The Saints hit back straight away. A big hit forced the error and from the scrum on the Broncos 40, drives from Warren Smith and the impressive Harry Brooks put the Saints on the front foot. From the play the ball Nisbett pushed away one tackler and stepped another on his way to the right corner. Dodd missed the conversion but gap was back to 10.But as ever, the Broncos never go away and back they came. With 15 minutes to go a grubber on the last produced a repeat set. A scrum from a Saints knock down resulted in a scrum 10 metres from the line from which the ball was spread right where the big substitute winger powered his way over.All of a sudden the Saints decided enough was enough and despite losing two more players to injury shored up the last 10 minutes controlling the game again.With five minutes to go Josh Simm put the game to bed, punishing a Broncos knock-on and going 90 metres direct from the scrum to score the sixth and final try.Match SummaryLondon BroncosTeam: Charlie Gamble; Alfie Edwards, Jonah Varela, Josh Hodson, Teddy Davidson; Oliver Leyland, Rian Horsman; Christian Gale, Robert Oakley, Adam Green, Christopher Ball, Kai Pearce-Paul, Rory Gray.Interchanges: Elliott Hutchings, Delaine Bedward, Will Budd, Joel Fosuhene Gray.Tries: Oliver Leyland (21 & 32), Alfie Edwards (54), Joel Fosuhene Gray (66).Goals: Rian Horsman 1 from 3, Robert Oakley 0 from 1.Saints U19’sTeam: Tom Nisbett; Brad Holroyd, Josh Simm, Nico Rizzelli, Harvey McDaid; Ryan Horne, Lewis Dodd; Jamie Pye, Paul Nash, Sam Royle (C), Matty Foster, Lewis Baxter, Jake Wingfield.Interchanges: Keenan McDaid, Harry Brooks, Kye Siyani, Warren Smith.Tries: Nico Rizzelli (5), Josh Simm (10 & 75), Lewis Dodd (14 & 38), Tom Nisbett (58).Goals: Lewis Dodd 5 from 6.HT: 10-24FT: 18-34last_img read more

Wilmington Police investigating minimart shooting

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Officials are investigating a late night shooting that shattered the front window of a store in Wilmington.According to Linda Rawley Thompson with Wilmington Police Department, the call came in just after 10:45 p.m. Sunday night.- Advertisement – Officers responded to Sam Food Mart at 4129 Princess Place Drive after reports of a shot fired into the business.Witnesses told police that a dark Ford was pulling out of the parking lot when a man in the back seat fired a shot at the mini-mart.Thompson says the front window of the business was shattered; however, officials couldn’t find anything inside.Related Article: WPD gives all clear after suspicious package reported at apartment complexThe investigation is ongoing. If you know anything, please call police.last_img read more

Wilmington Church feeds thousands on Christmas Eve

first_img One of the volunteers, Izzy Magill, says this is one of her favorite times of the year.“This is one of the things I look forward to during the holidays. I get to spend time with my friends, my church family and I get to help people and make peoples’ holidays warm and happy. I think it’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing with gifts and the shopping, the hustle and bustle, but it’s nice to just take time out of your day, out of your Christmas Eve and just remember who really needs it.”Some volunteers cooked and served food, while others dropped off meals to those who couldn’t make it to the church.Related Article: Teacher who spoiled Santa will not return to schoolWilmington Fire Department Assistant Chief Sammy Flowers was one of those who received a meal from the church, and says he’s grateful for the community support.“It’s good to get a pat on the back every so often from the community, and it shows the community cares about us as much as we care about them.”After serving meals throughout the afternoon, Pine Valley held a dinner welcoming anyone and everyone to spend Christmas Eve with them. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A church in Wilmington worked all day long on Christmas Eve to bring meals to others in the community.Pine Valley United Methodist Church gathered more than 100 volunteers to provide thousands of people with traditional holiday meals.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Pender Co Emergency Services prepared for winter weather

first_imgPENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The entire Southeastern part of the state of North Carolina is preparing for harsh winter weather.Pender County Emergency Management is no exception as they prepared today for what’s to come.- Advertisement – Pender County Emergency Management met around 11 this morning and spoke with the National Weather Service. Director Tom Collins said the plan is for staff to stay overnight.As for transportation, they’re not concerned because Collins says they have plenty of 4 wheel drive vehicles.All main roads have been salted, but they do urge everyone to be careful and don’t go outside unless it’s an emergency.Related Article: DOT adding brine to some NC roads ahead of possible snow“What we just urge citizens to do not only in Pender County, New Hanover and surrounding counties just if you have to go out it just needs to be a dire emergency,” Collins said. “If you do need emergency services normal 9-1-1 call will get what you need.”Collins also said that his staff is ready and prepared to address any of those emergency situations as needed.last_img read more

Wilmington man charged after Friday crash leaves three dead three injured

first_img Trooper Corey Blackwell tells us Michael Anthony Johnson of Wilmington was travelling south on U.S. 17 in a pickup when it swerved into the left-hand turning lane rear-ending a van.The truck reportedly pushed the van into northbound traffic where it collided with two more cars. 82 year olds Frances and Leroy Carlisle of Brunswick County, were killed in that van as it collided with two northbound vehicles.A Wilmington woman also died of her injuries after being transported to the hospital. Blackwell said three other people were also injured in the wreck.Related Article: State abortion bans spark hundreds to protest in Wilmington streetsJohnson has been charged with felony death by motor vehicle.The cause of the wreck remains under investigation. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) –  A Wilmington man has been charged in connection with a crash Friday near Ocean Isle Beach that left three people dead.The N.C. Highway Patrol says the crash happened around 8:00 P.M. Friday on U.S. 17 near the turn to Ocean Isle Beach.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Confederate statues stand strong backed by powerful groups

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The presence of Confederate statues still runs deep, even in Wilmington. Investigative journalist Shaun Assael shares that the monuments are backed by one group in particular that may be quiet, but they are mighty.“Confederate monuments have turned into tribal dog whistles,” said Assael.- Advertisement – Assael says the monuments throughout the South have driven a wedge between the nation that is wider than ever.“Seeing the shouting matches that were going on in front of these monuments. And the groups are divided into two camps. They’re called “Hate vs. Heritage.” At least, that’s what the bumper sticker slogan is,” said Assael.That led Assael to dig deeper to uncover what the supporters really stood for. This resulted in his recent article in Glamour Magazine titled, “The Secret Fight to Save Confederate Monuments.” He found out what these supporters really think about the statues.Related Article: Omar the flashpoint as Democrats confront divide over Israel“Building the narrative of the Civil War not being about slavery – about being about states’ rights, secession. About all the things that matter today. And that’s why I think it’s a fight over political power, and not over the meaning of slavery,” said Assael.Assael spoke with the United Daughters of Confederacy and discovered that the group is very much alive, and has a lot of soft power.He says the group’s belief is that these monuments signify their history and ancestors who lost their lives.But the opposition sees the statues from a different perspective.“They find it offensive. They find these statues as constant reminders of a time when they were disenfranchised. When horrible things happened,” said Assael.Assael says political power has fueled the fight. Ultimately, he sees one solution.“Contextualization about adding language. Not necessarily toppling history, but adding to history with more speech,” said Assael.Assael thinks there can be a happy medium, but that the divide between the groups is just so powerful.We reached out to the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans for comment, but they did not respond.Click here to read Assael’s article in Glamour Magazine.last_img read more

Deadline extended again for STEP program for Florence home repairs

first_img “We’ve seen a great response from homeowners interested in the STEP program and we want to encourage even more people to participate so they can stay in their homes and communities as they recover from Hurricane Florence,” Gov. Cooper said in a news release. “I’m pleased FEMA has agreed to give North Carolinians more time so that more North families can benefit, and I urge eligible homeowners to sign up right away.”The STEP program provides rapid, partial repairs to homes to make them livable and allows survivors to leave temporary housing and return home. The STEP program does not return a home to its pre-storm condition, but it does make it possible for families to return home while long-term repairs take place.The program is available to homeowners in Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson counties.Related Article: ‘Backcountry style’ advised for visitors on these Outer Banks islandsTo participate in the STEP program, eligible homeowners must now sign a Right of Entry (ROE) form by Sunday. Click here for more information about the STEP program.Eligible homeowners may also visit the application portal at or call (833) 257-1100 Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.STEP program representatives will be available Monday through Friday this week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in three state disaster recovery centers to assist potential participants with questions, verify eligibility and assist in filling out forms. Those locations are:Brunswick County – Emergency Operations Center, Old Ocean Highway, Building C, BoliviaCraven County – 2825 Neuse Blvd., New BernNew Hanover County – Old Independence Mall, 3500 Oleander Dr., WilmingtonRobeson County – Department of Social Services, 120 Glen Cowan Rd., LumbertonPotentially eligible North Carolina storm survivors have received telephone calls, text messages and postcards to encourage them to apply to participate in the STEP program. Eligible homeowners were selected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) based on data gathered from storm survivors who registered with FEMA.Once a homeowner completes the Right of Entry form, an inspector will visit the home to assess the damage. For homes confirmed eligible for STEP, the inspector will develop a repair plan. Depending on the level of damage, the repairs will be made by either a volunteer disaster relief group (NC Baptists on Mission or United Methodist Committee on Relief) or a professional contractor managed by the state.To date, more than 100 homes have been repaired or are under repair through the STEP program, and work is ready to begin on many more homes. As of Friday, more than 3,100 homeowners have returned their ROE forms to indicate they wish to participate in STEP.Among the kinds of repairs made through the STEP program:Exterior repairs include secure and watertight doors, windows and roof, and safe entrances.The home’s electrical and plumbing systems will be made safe and operational.Interior repairs include a functional kitchen – including a base cabinet under the sink, a surface to prepare food, basic refrigeration and cooking surfaces, a working sink – and a functional, private bathroom.“Getting people back in safe, livable homes in their own communities is key to recovering from Hurricane Florence and the STEP program can help. If you’ve been notified that this may be a good fit for your family, apply now,” Gov. Cooper said.The cost of the STEP program is being shared by the State of North Carolina and FEMA. There is no cost to homeowners to participate in the voluntary STEP program.For survivors who choose to participate in the STEP program, completion of STEP repairs will end their eligibility for a FEMA travel trailer or mobile home and for Transitional Sheltering Assistance to stay in a hotel. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Residents in our area still waiting to make repairs on their homes damaged by Hurricane Florence have a little more time to get some help after another deadline extension for a state program.The deadline for a special program to provide rapid repairs to homes damaged by Hurricane Florence has been extended to Sunday, February 10, according to a news release from Gov. Roy Cooper. That’s the date by which eligible homeowners need to complete the forms to participate in North Carolina’s Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program. The program provides partial repairs at no cost to homeowners so Hurricane Florence survivors can return to and remain in their homes while longer-term repairs continue.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Work Life Balance Directive has goahead for Malta and EU

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> The European Parliament has voted in favour of the European Work Life Balance Directive.The new law which has been led and negotiated by the Nationalist MEP David Casa, will provide 10 days of paid paternity leave, 2 months of paid parental leave for each parent, 5 days of annual carer’s leave to care for sick relatives and the right to request flexible working arrangements.Read more:Watch: Work Life Balance Directive set to help lessen Gender Wage Gap – CasaWatch: EP Committee votes in favour of Casa’s Work Life Balance DirectiveHaving passed through all of the legislative stages of the European Union, it will now become law across the Member States, including Malta.‘This law is good for women, good for men, good for families, good for the economy and a crucial step towards a more social Europe. My work does not stop here. We must now ensure that this law is effectively transposed into Maltese legislation and we continue our work to eliminate gender equality and to invest in families across Malta and Gozo.’Now it is time for the Maltese government to implement the regulations of this new Directive.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

State Advocate Bill approved in Parliament as Opposition votes against

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> The State Advocate Bill was approved during its third reading with 34 votes in favour, 28 against, after a division of the House was held on Wednesday. The Opposition criticised the government for having passed the bill without consulting it, with the Opposition leader Adrian Delia stating that the government missed an opportunity to send a strong message on reforms concerning the justice system.Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said that over the coming days, the government will approach the Opposition in order to address issues which were identified by special rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Pieter Omtzigt but were left out in this bill.The issues include not subjecting the Attorney General’s prosecutions to judiciary review.The Justice Minister also announced that the AG will not chair the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit after Grech’s term is over.Another recommendation which has been left out is that on assigning the Attorney General with the responsibility of inquiries instead of the Duty Magistrate, with Bonnici saying that such a proposal required a more thorough analysis.The bill which was approved in parliament was described as a parody of the Venice Commission report in a paper penned by the former dean of the Faculty of Laws at the University of Malta, Kevin Aquilina.READ: Bill on separating AG’s role is a parody of the Venice Commission report – Professor AquilinaOpposition leader Adrian Delia stated that the government should have first consulted with the Opposition prior to taking a vote on the bill. Adding that the Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne had given the impression as though the government was willing to accept proposals put forward by the Opposition.Read more:State Attorney and Attorney General offices set for Admiralty HouseVenice Commission: Justice Minister announces new State Attorney roleWhatsApplast_img read more

Higuain joins Chelsea until the end of the season

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=a7617b59&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Gonzalo Higuain has joined Chelsea on a six-month loan deal from Juventus. The Argentine striker spent the first half of the season with AC Milan where he scored 8 goals.The former Real Madrid and Juventus striker, who played for one season under Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri whilst at Napoli, travelled to London on Wednesday morning to undergo the necessary medical tests.During a press conference, Sarri told reporters:“He’s a very strong striker. Especially in my first season in Naples. He scored 36 goals in 35 matches in Serie A. For sure, he is one of the best strikers in my career.”WhatsApplast_img read more

Huawei P9 Smartphone Review A Phablet Held Back By its Ultimate Dual

first_imgAdvertisement Huawei P9 is Huawei’s new flagship phone. The 4th model in the P series, that began with the Ascend P6 way back in 2013, has a lot going for it in comparison to its direct predecessor, the Huawei P8 that was released last year in April.With the latest iteration comes more power, a dual camera and a higher price which still hovers below competing devices. After thorough testing, here’s our review of the Huawei P9.Design The Huawei P9 is the same size as its predecessor (P8), at 5.2 inches. It has an aluminum unibody, which gives the device a cool touch. The sandblast finish on the back avoids greasy fingerprints. – Advertisement – With dimensions of 145 x 70.9 x 7mm and a weight of 144g, the P9 is quite compact and light compared to most other Android smartphones.Display The 5.2-inch display uses a Full HD LCD panel, providing reasonable contrast and good sharpness. The competition boasts 1080 x 1920 higher resolutions, more contrast and saturation, and with brighter displays.Camera The dual-lens Leica camera makes the P9 a pretty fantastic camera to have in your pocket. Under each lens is a 12 megapixel sensor designed to achieve as much detail as possible in low light conditions. Having two lenses also gives the camera better depth perception, giving it a wider focal range.The 8 mega pixel front camera designed to achieve as much detail as possible in low light conditions.Battery Despite the 7mm phone’s thinness, Huawei did manage to shoehorn a 3000 mAh battery inside which isn’t replaceable. However, I will say, the battery life of the P9 lasts for a decent amount of time which is very good and suitable for heavy users even after several hours of playing games, videos, musics, chating and so forth. It’ll last you for a full day before needing to be charged.Overall, the battery takes about three and half hours to charge till full and is estimated to last for 75 hours after charge.Storage In terms of storage, there’s 32GB on board, however, if you’re after more space you can use a microSD card of up to 128GB.Performance The LTE performance of the P9 is above average. It’s powered by a Quad-core 2.5 GHz Cortex-A72 HiSilicon Kirin 955 processor, which is largely the same as that of the Huawei Mate 8.User experience The Huawei P9 makes a very competitive flagship and definitely worth your consideration.[related-posts]Huawei P9 Full SpecsGeneralForm factorTouchscreenDimensions (mm)145 x 70.9 x 7Weight (g)144Battery capacity (mAh)3000Removable batteryNoColoursCeramic White, Haze Gold, Rose Gold, Titanium Grey, Mystic Silver, Prestige GoldDisplayScreen size (inches)5.2TouchscreenYesResolution (pixels)1080 x 1920HardwareProcessorQuad-core 2.5 GHz Cortex-A72 & quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53Processor makeHiSilicon Kirin 955RAM4GBInternal storage64GBExpandable storageYesExpandable storage typemicroSDExpandable storage up to128GBCameraRear cameraDual 12-megapixelFlashYesFront camera8-megapixelSoftwareOperating SystemAndroid 6.0.1 (Android Marshmallow)ConnectivityWi-FiYesWi-Fi standards supportedWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/acGPSYesBluetoothYes, v 4.20NFCYesUSBType-C 1.0 reversible connectorWhat we likedThe dual Leica camera.Level 4 fingerprint scanner on its back.Fingerprint sensor is simply brilliant, accurate, fast and responsive.Battery can work up to 75 hours.Its slimmest measuring just 7mm in thickness.What we didn’t likeThe non-removable battery.Does not have a dedicated slot for microSD at dual sim card model. You have to share with the secondary sim card slot when you want to use the external microSD card.The price is high.last_img read more

Samsung Galaxy S8 PreOrders Exceed Those of its Predecessor

first_imgThe Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ during their launch event last year, as the Galaxy S9 is set to launch this year. (Photo Credit: Android Authority) Advertisement Pre-orders for Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone have exceeded those of the S7, mobile business chief Koh Dong-jin said on Thursday.The Galaxy S8, which begin sales in South Korea, the U.S. and Canada on April 21st, will be central to the South Korean firm’s recovery from the swift withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 phablet.The new device has been well-received, and some investors and analysts said it could set a first-year sales record for the smartphone giant. – Advertisement – “It’s still a bit early, but initial response to the pre-orders that have begun at various places across the world have been better than expected,” Koh said at a media briefing.The S8 will be the safest Galaxy smartphone to date due to safety measures implemented to avoid the battery failures that caused some Galaxy Note 7s to spontaneously combust, he said.[related-posts]Analysts expect Samsung to record its best-ever quarterly profit in April-June, buoyed by strong S8 sales and a memory chip market boom that is widely expected to deliver record revenue for the industry this year.The new device, equipped with either 5.8-inch or 6.2-inch curved screens, sports the largest screens to date among all of Samsung’s flagship phones due to a redesign.Koh also said the firm plans to use the S8 to try to recover in China, where Samsung has been out of the top five vendors in recent years due to heightened competition from local rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.He said Samsung will aim to regain market share in China even if it takes time, without elaborating on specific strategies.source: Reuterslast_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Arsenal v Man U

first_img[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ack to the football after a successful trip to Towcester midweek with one of the two selections, Some Finish, winning at 9/4 and adding 1.5 points to the P&L.Game of the weekend is without doubt Arsenal v Man U at the Emirates and check out the full range of Star specials on the match below.It’s usually a tightly fought battle as our head to head stats reveal below, and perhaps even more so this year with both sides in the top four and remaining in the title hunt should Man City slip up.Arsenal proved they can raise their game for the big occasions with a 2-0 victory over arch rivals Spurs here a few weeks ago and since then have beaten Burnley 1-0 and Huddersfield 5-0 in the league.If there is a weakness in Man U it is that their away form is not as strong and since October they have been beaten on the road at Huddersfield, Chelsea and in the Champions League at Basel.Arsene Wenger expects the Man U side to attack as well as defend. He said: “Manchester United is a strong team and I expect us just to cope with the problems they will give us. They will attack as well. They will not only defend.“I just want to focus and to prepare well my team, and give my team a good chance to win the game.“Manchester United is doing well at the moment, we are doing well at the moment, so it looks to be a promising game.”Arsenal v Man UtdPremier League17:30 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 4K UHDHEAD TO HEAD(Maximum 10 matches)May 2017 PREMIER Arsenal 2-0 Man UtdNov 2016 PREMIER Man Utd 1-1 ArsenalFeb 2016 PREMIER Man Utd 3-2 ArsenalOct 2015 PREMIER Arsenal 3-0 Man UtdMay 2015 PREMIER Man Utd 1-1 ArsenalMat 2015 FA CUP Man Utd 1-2 ArsenalNov 2014 PREMIER Arsenal 1-2 Man UtdFeb 2014 PREMIER Arsenal 0-0 Man UtdNov 2013 PREMIER Man Utd 1-0 ArsenalApr 2013 PREMIER Arsenal 1-1 Man UtdYou can argue a cogent case for all three results here and it’s a game I’d rather enjoy than get too stuck into punting wise – so will stick on the fence and go with the draw at around 12/5 with Star Sports.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)BACK DRAW 3 points at 12/5 with Star SportsPROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 81.57 points BET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more