Government ministers know their fitness for work

first_imgGovernment ministers know their “fitness for work” system is making disabled people’s health worse, and is increasing the risk of suicides, the award-winning film director Ken Loach has told Disability News Service (DNS).He was speaking ahead of the national release of his critically-praised new film, I, Daniel Blake, which tells the story of a man with a heart condition who becomes caught up in the work capability assessment (WCA) system.The film (pictured), which won the Palme D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, also addresses links between the complexity, unfairness and cruelty of the social security system and the increase in the use of foodbanks.Loach also backed the idea of seeking a criminal investigation into the failings of former Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ministers Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling.The Scottish-based grassroots group Black Triangle – supported by DNS – is seeking to persuade Police Scotland to investigate the refusal of Duncan Smith and Grayling to act on a letter written by a coroner weeks before the 2010 general election that warned ministers that the WCA process risked causing further deaths of people with mental health conditions.Black Triangle, other disabled activists, and the families of at least two claimants who are believed to have died as a result of those uncorrected flaws, want to see the ministers prosecuted for the Scottish offence of wilful neglect of duty by a public official because they failed to act on that letter.Loach told DNS that such a prosecution “sounds a good way of challenging them”, although he stressed that he did not know whether there was enough evidence to justify taking such a case.But he said: “I think they know what they are doing. They know they are making people’s health worse. They know they are increasing the risk of suicide.”The idea for the film came, says Loach, from the “extraordinary” stories he and his writing partner Paul Laverty kept hearing about the WCA, which he said came “one after the other” in the newspapers, through online campaigns and via Twitter.As they investigated the issue, Loach and Laverty visited about six towns and cities, including London and Glasgow, but mostly across the Midlands and the north of England, where they heard “story after story”.They also talked to organisations like Black Triangle, and individual disabled people, which Loach said was “hugely valuable in covering the ramifications and the details of the system”.Following that research, Laverty developed the two main characters, and then wrote the first draft of the script.Loach said the most striking aspect of what they were told was the “perversity” of the system, which he said was the “common denominator” of people’s stories.“You would find one route blocked off, so you would turn somewhere and go along another path to get resolution or solve a problem or get someone to speak to you and that would cut out and you would find somewhere else,” he said.“And the hours and the effort that goes into dealing with the bureaucracy that is actually going to bring you back to square one…“It’s snakes and ladders all the time. You go up a ladder and then you’re down a snake.“That was the common denominator that came time and time again.”The character at the heart of the film, who has to deal with the WCA system, is not, says Loach, “an extreme case”.“There are so many stories we could tell, so many different perspectives, much harsher experiences than there are in the film,” he said.“We were very conscious that we didn’t want to make it an extreme case.“We wanted to say to people who haven’t been through it, ‘This could happen to someone like you, as well as someone who has plainly got a serious health issue.’”He said he hoped that disabled people and those with health conditions who have been through the WCA system will feel that their experiences have been “recognised” by his film.He said: “I would hope they would feel that somebody was expressing a little bit of what they experienced, that there is something that rings true to them, given their experience, and they feel at least acknowledged.”And he said he hoped that it would encourage them to join people in similar situations and “make their voices heard” and campaign for change, and “just feel confident enough to carry it further”.Loach’s films stretch back over five decades and are known for their strong focus on issues of social justice, illustrating his own socialist principles, including Up The Junction, Poor Cow, and more recently Raining Stones, Bread and Roses, The Wind That Shakes The Barley – which also won the Palme D’Or – and Land and Freedom.But I, Daniel Blake is also released 50 years after Cathy Come Home, the hugely-influential film Loach directed for the BBC in 1966, and which led to the formation of Crisis, the charity for single homeless people.Loach said there was a “common denominator” between the two films.“The common denominator is a state that knows – in the 60s it was a housing issue that we made the film about – the social problems that they have created; they refuse to do anything about them to solve the fundamental issues, so they punish the people who are suffering because of it.“It was the same in housing [in the 1960s]; they weren’t building houses, they chose not to, and they dealt with people who were therefore homeless very harshly, and it destroys families, and they would sooner do that than solve the problem.”But Loach stressed that the film had to be character-driven, despite the many distressing stories and information they had heard about.“You just start with the stories you hear and try and tell the truth of the situation,” he said.“Once you have done the general research, which Paul did most of, and you have written the characters, then all the research is there to inform how you tell the story, but what’s going to drive it is the people in the film and they have to be individuals and not ciphers to make an argument.“You just want to tell a story that gets to the heart of it, to the essence of it.“There’s a million details and a million stories if you want to make an academic treatise of the situation, but just tell one story with a couple of people that gets to the nub of the situation if you can.”Meanwhile, Black Triangle used a local premiere of the film in Newcastle this week to launch a new campaign, in association with fellow grassroots network Cross Border Alliance.Their Cradle 2 Grave campaign – backed by both Loach and Laverty – highlights “the violation and systematic abuse of human rights of those unfortunately relying on the state for health and financial assistance”.They say that “time is running out” to save the NHS, the social security system, pensions and public services for future generations, and that health and public services are “overrun by an ideology where money and profits come before lives”. They hope to raise money through crowdfunding to launch a national poster campaign, with posters “in every town and city across the UK”. Donations can be made through the Cradle2Grave website.last_img read more

A note from the editor For nine years Disability

first_imgA note from the editor:For nine years, Disability News Service has survived largely through the support of a small number of disability organisations – most of them user-led – that have subscribed to its weekly supply of news stories. That support has been incredibly valuable but is no longer enough to keep DNS financially viable. For this reason, please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support its work and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please remember that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring, and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The government’s trade bill – which will give ministers powers to give up disability rights protections in exchange for deals with other countries – proves disabled people were right to be concerned about the impact of Brexit, say campaigners.Disability and human rights organisations have written to trade secretary Liam Fox to express alarm about the bill, which gives ministers “delegated powers” to change legislation including the Equality Act in exchange for future trade deals.These trade deals are those previously agreed with other countries by the EU, and which have already been scrutinised by the UK parliament and the EU, but which could now be altered post-Brexit.The trade bill was passed by MPs this week but will now be debated in the House of Lords.The letter, sent by Liberty and signed by organisations including Disability Rights UK (DR UK), Disability Law Service, RNIB and the UK human rights consortium Just Fair, tells Fox that the bill as it stands includes “no safeguards to prevent ministers from using these new powers to remove rights granted by Parliament”.And it says the powers could be used, for example, to change parts of the Equality Act that require public transport to be accessible for disabled people.The letter adds: “We urge you to add a commitment to the text of the Bill to protect human rights and equality laws during the process of legislating for the UK’s exit from the EU.”The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has told Disability News Service that it shares the concerns in the Liberty letter.EHRC’s own briefing document on the bill warns that the delegated powers currently in the bill are “wide enough to allow a future reduction in the protection of fundamental rights”, such as on worker’s rights, equality and non-discrimination, inclusion of disabled people and access to social protection.Sue Bott (pictured), deputy chief executive of DR UK, said: “Ever since the referendum result, we have been concerned about the potential impact of Brexit on disabled people. “We think it is a matter that should concern us all, however people voted.”DR UK has drawn up a manifesto on what the disability rights sector should be seeking from a post-Brexit Britain, including the need to retain the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Bott said: “The trade bill, in allowing ministers to change laws like the Equality Act to gain international trade agreements, demonstrates that we were right to be worried and for this reason we agreed to be a signatory to the letter put together by Liberty. “Words and platitudes are not enough. We need our rights guaranteed in legislation, not watered down. “This bill demonstrates that we have to be vigilant in defending our hard-won rights.”Martha Spurrier, director of Liberty, said: “This trade bill turns crucial protections into bargaining chips.“With no consent from parliament or the public, ministers would be able to dispose of vital protections against discrimination and prevent equal access to jobs, education, transport and public services simply because another country thinks equality gets in the way of trade.“Human rights are not up for negotiation – MPs must press the government for a cast-iron legal commitment that they won’t be undermined in the name of trade.”The Department for International Trade (DIT) failed to comment on the call for an explicit commitment in the bill that it would not be used to undermine rights.Despite the concerns raised in the Liberty letter and by EHRC, a DIT spokesman claimed it was “wrong to state that the continuity powers in the trade bill can be used without parliamentary scrutiny, and we have made a clear commitment to parliamentary debate on any changes which may have to be made in order to transition these from EU to UK agreements”.He said the trade agreements had “already been scrutinised by parliament and the EU” and the government had made clear that it would keep these agreements “the same as much as possible and only make technical changes when needed”.He said DIT would respond to Liberty’s letter in due course.last_img read more

SF Delays Controversial Housing Law Amidst Opposition Cry of Ethnic Cleansing

first_imgA controversial new housing law had its day in court Thursday when it went before the Planning Commission for seven hours of comments and deliberation. Minutes earlier, a press conference on the steps of city hall was held in opposition.“On its face, [this program] promises to increase affordable housing,” said Supervisor David Campos, flanked by more than 70 people crowding city hall steps. “But if you actually look at the specifics of this proposal, it will incentivize not affordable housing, but the displacement of thousands of San Franciscans.”The housing measure — known as the affordable housing density bonus program — would give developers two extra stories in exchange for building 30 percent affordable housing on-site. It has been bitterly debated for months, some calling it “Redevelopment 2.0” and others saying it is a common sense means of extracting more affordable housing from private developers.Regardless, the commission punted the proposal until February 25 in a 4-2 vote, an acknowledgement that the law as-is leaves too many questions unanswered. But testimony during the hearing — mostly against the proposal, with some in favor — once again showcased the tension that accompany any proposed housing fix in San Francisco.“This is ethnic cleansing,” said Calvin Welch, a longtime housing activist. Because the program is most prominent in traditionally ethnic neighborhoods like the Western Addition and Bayview, Welch said it should allow residents of those neighborhoods to take advantage of the affordable housing on-site.But the incomes of black, Latino, and Asian populations are much lower than for their white counterparts, Welch said, and the law rests on median income city-wide. It would effectively prevent minority populations from entering that housing, Welch said, clearing out those neighborhoods.John Rahaim, the director of the Planning Department, struck back against that characterization of his staff’s efforts.“It’s offensive,” Rahaim said to Welch. “We’re trying to have a reasonable conversation here.”“It is offensive to me that the city of San Francisco would propose a program that is higher than the median income in 60 percent of the neighborhoods you’re going to do it in,” Welch retorted.It was the only such exchange of the day, but talk of wholesale displacement — and comparisons to redevelopment from the 1950s to 70s — was common Thursday. Opponents of the program were particularly concerned about the destruction of rent-controlled units, which was initially allowed under the program. But in response, Supervisor London Breed drafted an amendment that would explicitly exclude rent-controlled units from the program.“President Breed’s intent is to amend the legislation such that there is a permanent prohibition on the destruction of rent controlled units,” said Connor Johnston, Breed’s aide, at the commission hearing. The news was well-received by those in the hearing room — which was filled to capacity, with dozens relegated to an overflow room down the hall — but only addressed one of myriad concerns that opponents say warrants the scrapping and re-imagining of the program. “Our goal is to kill it and go back to the drawing board,” said Fred Sherburn-Zimmer, the executive director of the Housing Rights Committee, before the hearing.Supervisor David Campos talking at the rally before the meeting. Photo: Joe Rivano Barros / Mission Local.Housing developers are currently required to make 12 percent of their on-site units affordable to those making about $39,000 a year for one person. They can also build 20 percent affordable off-site or pay an in-lieu fee.The new program requires an additional 18 percent. But those extra units only have to be affordable to individuals making some $86,000 to $100,000 a year. That threshold, which allows developers to charge more in rent, was a rallying call for those who said it amounted to subsidies for market-rate tenants.“You’re redefining affordable housing as market-rate,” said Deepa Varma, the new executive director of the San Francisco Tenants Union. “Who benefits from that? Only developers.”A flurry of other concerns were raised on Thursday. Many lambasted the lack of community input during the program’s creation, saying the Planning Department only reached out to community groups once the law had been drafted — a perennial concern in the creation of housing measures. “They’ve talked about this plan for two years,” said Marie Sorenson of the merchants association Calle 24. “They haven’t met with anyone in the Mission.”“I live in the Mission District, I have never heard about this,” said another speaker. “I heard about it by accident through a posting on Facebook.”The Mission District featured strongly in opposition to the program, though of the eligible parcels city-wide, just 1 percent of them are in the neighborhood — mostly on South Van Ness and Guerrero.“The majority of the Mission District does not apply here,” clarified Gil Kelley from the Planning Department.Still, some were concerned about commercial displacement. Since single-story buildings with ground-floor businesses are potential sites for new housing construction, meaning the displacement of a commercial tenant.“If they were to be displaced, they would lose their entire investment,” said Erick Arguello of Calle 24. Businesses cannot easily survive in another location during the time it takes to rebuild, Arguello said, resulting in permanent displacement and possible closure.Others said the technical details of the ordinance needed reworking. Fernando Martí, the co-director of the Council of Community Housing Organizations, said he wants “a much different, much more nuanced approach” that re-evaluates the size of units, their affordability, the relocation of displaced businesses, and other details.Though the law’s opponents outnumbered its supporters, the latter — wearing stickers that read “Build middle class homes” — said there was a dire need to extract affordable housing from private developers and that nit-picking over technicalities did not merit stopping the program altogether.“I feel like these concerns have been addressed thoroughly,” said Rob Poole from the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition. He said scrapping the program at such a late stage “is not progress” and that “slowing this down does not build more affordable homes.”Sonja Trauss from the San Francisco Bay Area Renters Federation agreed. Working out the kinks of the program “would be great — but guess what? [District 9 Supervisor David] Campos has been around for eight years” without addressing the housing crisis, she said, expressing “frustration” and “impatience” with the rate of progress.That frustration was widely echoed. Laura Clark from Grow SF said housing proposals in San Francisco are often shot down because they do not solve the city’s housing crisis in one fell swoop, and that the density bonus program be viewed as one more tool in the toolbox.“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” Clark said. “This is going to increase the amount of affordable housing in the city.”After consideration in February, the measure must go to the Board of Supervisors before it becomes law. 0%center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Developments in Development Drops in the bucket

first_imgDevelopments in Development is a “weekly” column recapping real estate, housing, planning, zoning and construction news.We’re building a fair amount, but Socketsite reports we’re going to be building less. Apparently, the total number of units in the pipeline has dropped to 63,300, about 400 fewer than its peak in 2016. Interestingly, Socketsite’s map points out something that activists who oppose new market-rate development often bring up: Much of the construction that is happening is concentrated in the Mission. Because of impending megaprojects, the Bayview’s pipeline is much more concentrated, and the area around Lake Merced is pretty heavy as well, but other than that, the Mission is matched only by SoMa.That’s all I’ve got for big-picture this week. But there were some interesting little projects that raised different issues at this week’s Planning Commission meeting. 0% Tags: development • Developments in Development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img You may have seen that the Planning Commission granted permission for a brewpub to open at 20th and Shotwell streets. The same body also rejected two proposals this week. The first one, based on the fact that it would remove a rent-controlled unit, was never gonna fly. Planning generally doesn’t go for removal of rental units, much less displacing existing tenants.The plan, at 2722 Folsom St., a three-unit building with an un-permitted cottage in the back and an additional un-permitted unit in the attic, was to merge two rent-controlled units on the ground floor. These (legal) units were possibly built without permits, but were ultimately found to be legal in 1975.But it’s unclear what the purpose of the merger would have been. And about the illegal units: Building inspectors found them be uninhabitable earlier this year. Which raised the question among Commissioners: How can they have been deemed uninhabitable when they were … well, inhabited? For that quandary, however, it was already too late, because on further inspection, the building department had determined there was really no way to bring those units up to code. Tenants of illegal units do have the protections of rent control, but landlords can remove the unit if inspectors say there’s no way to bring it to code, so out the tenants went. Then there was the the plan to demolish a single-family home at 792 Capp St. and replace it with four units. The proposal sparked a lengthy debate, and ultimately ended with an intent to deny that could result in some interesting follow-up.Neighbors opposed the plan, citing the historic value of the existing building (officially not recognized as historic, but built sometime in the 1800s). Historic or not, the new proposal’s style would have stood out. It also seemed neighbors objected because they believe the previous tenants had been evicted by the current owner and proposed developer and didn’t want to allow a precedent to be set for future demolition of existing homes. For his part, the developer said the previous tenant was the prior owner, and had vacated after the sale. The two sides hadn’t been able to meet extensively to find middle ground.In any case, single-family homes aren’t subject to rent control (though tenants do have some eviction protections), and the proposal would replace one living space with four. Because the proposal would have meant an increase in the number of units on the lot, there was some concern about running up against the state’s Accountability Act, which directs municipalities to approve any addition of housing unless there are problems — backed by law — that justify rejecting the proposal.In the end, the commission procedurally agreed to disapprove the proposal, based essentially on the idea that destroying a perfectly sound building doesn’t make sense. last_img read more

SAINTS secured their first win in four outings as

first_imgSAINTS secured their first win in four outings as they outgunned Hull 28-14 at the Stobart Stadium.It was a toil at times and a little ugly in parts but they were tenacious in defence and made it stick when it mattered to record a much needed win.Royce Simmons’ side flew out of the blocks to lead 14-0 after 23 minutes.Chris Flannery and a double from Francis Meli gave them a deserved advantage before Hull got back into the match through Tom Briscoe.In the second half, Jordan Turner put his side within six before Jamie Foster extended the gap to eight with a penalty.But Tommy Makinson increased the lead with his seventh of the campaign and then Jonny Lomax produced some fleet of foot to put the game to bed.Saints made two changes from the team that lost to Warrington last week, Josh Perry starting at prop in place of the suspended Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Shaun Magennis coming in on the bench.For Hull, Sam Obst didn’t make the 17 so Joe Westerman switched to stand-off with Reece Lyne given the final bench spot.The visitors started strongly and after finishing their sets off well, almost got in when Richard Horne chipped through.Tommy Makinson then was set free down the right hand side but was taken into touch.Moments later James Graham rampaged through the middle of the defence and fed Lomax – but the ball went to ground on the next tackle.But after Saints won the ball in the middle of the pitch, a typically-strong run from Chris Flannery saw him plunge over.Foster giving Saints a 6-0 advantage after 15 minutes.Three minutes later it was 10-0 as Francis Meli stormed on to a flat pass and showed all his strength to get in.He then doubled his tally for the match as Saints battered Hull down their left once more with a sweeping move – his 105th in the Red Vee.Hull hit back almost immediately when Cameron Phelps got a superb offload out to Tom Briscoe for the youngster to score in the corner.With their tails up, Hull were a different prospect and hammered at Saints line time and time again.But Saints defended well to keep them out – yet kept returning the ball through poor control.And it was that, plus some ill-discipline that almost saw Hull cross again. This time the ball went from left to right and Meli’s flying tackle just about stopped them getting back into the game.Half time: Saints 14 Hull 4Hull got off to the best possible start when Jordan Turner found a gap between three defenders to put down for the softest of tries.But Saints forged ahead when Jamie Foster kicked a penalty following a high shot on Graham.On 58 minutes, Saints thought they’d gone further ahead – Wilkin’s massive high ball was taken by Wellens who drove for the line… and was adjudged to have knocked on as he went over.But they made no mistake three minutes later – Sia finding space down the right for Tommy Makinson to bag his seventh of the season.Foster making it 22-8.Lomax added Saints fifth of the night as he stepped off both feet to cut through the defence – converted by Foster – to record a much-needed win.Hull gaining a consolation through Briscoe as the hooter went.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Flannery, Meli (2), Makinson, LomaxGoals: Foster (4 from 6)Hull FC:Tries: Briscoe (2), TurnerGoals: Tickle (0 from 2), Westerman (1 from 1)Penalties:Saints: 5Hull FC: 8HT: 14-4FT: 28-14REF: Ben ThalerATT: 7053Teams:Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 28. Thomas Makinson, 4. Sia Soliola, 5. Francis Meli, 22. Jamie Foster; 25. Lee Gaskell, 20. Jonny Lomax; 10. James Graham, 9. James Roby, 8. Josh Perry, 13. Chris Flannery, 12. Jon Wilkin, 11. Tony Puletua.Subs: 7. Kyle Eastmond, 14. Scott Moore, 18. Matty Ashurst, 21. Shaun Magennis.Hull FC:20. Cameron Phelps; 3. Richard Whiting, 19. Jordan Turner, 4. Kirk Yeaman, 5. Tom Briscoe; 11. Joe Westerman, 6. Richard Horne; 8. Mark O’Meley, 9. Danny Houghton, 23. Sam Moa, 16. Willie Manu, 12. Danny Tickle, 14. Danny Washbrook.Subs: 10. Lee Radford, 15. Epalahame Lauaki, 17. Ewan Dowes, 21. Reece Lyne.last_img read more

Produced in association with ONeills Sportswear

first_imgProduced in association with O’Neills Sportswear, it includes a great selection of t-shirts, polo shirts, hooded tops, Zip-up squad tops and Retro style jackets all in the new colourways for the 2019 season.The popular sky blue look from the new 2019 Away shirt features heavily in the designs, alongside the traditional colours of red and white and the casual favourites, navy and marl.The range co-ordinates throughout so that you can match up your hooded tops and t-shirts with a selection of pants or shorts.New lines are arriving throughout November including our vest range so look out for updates.The range is designed to offer the players the ideal clothing to wear when training and travelling, as well as offering fans a casual way to show their Saints colours.We have garments for men, women and children too – perfect gift ideas for all the family.Free click and collect in store is also available on all online orders placed at www.saintssuperstore.comThe Superstore at the Totally Wicked Stadium is open 10am – 4pm Saturday, and 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, with Christmas extended shopping hours to be announced soon.Don’t forget both our recently launched 2019 Home and Away shirts are now on sale instore and www.saintssuperstore.comlast_img read more

Exceptional needs students receive special Halloween costumes

first_img “I think it’s such a big part of all of our childhood and it should be a part of everyone’s childhood. Everyone should be able to go out that wants to go out to trick-or-treating and to dress up as whoever they want to be for a day,” said Hayley Meadows, an exceptional needs teacher at Codington Elementary School.101 Mobility in Wilmington is behind the project.They spent the last month making the costumes for Meadows’ class.Related Article: New Hanover school’s slavery role-playing game prompts investigation“It’s really hard, sometimes, for them to feel included, so taking something as simple as a costume that’s accessible for them, to be able to move around and go trick-or-treating is just a sense of inclusion for their families and for the students themselves,” said Meadows.It’s easy to identify the level of detail that the 101 Mobility employees used to create the special costumes.“This year was actually probably my favorite year. They were all just so colorful. Jasmine on the magic carpet, I just thought was such pretty colors and beautiful textures, and then the scarecrow and the jelly beans. 101 Mobility really went above and beyond this year and made it the best year I personally think that they’ve had,” said Meadows.So the kids in Meadows’ class get to have a wonderful Halloween, just like all of their classmates.The dress-up fun didn’t end Tuesday afternoon. The kids got to use the costumes Tuesday evening to go trick-or-treating. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s an annual Halloween tradition.Some special kids at Codington Elementary School got costumes created specifically for them.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Fire destroys van at The Salvation Army

first_img Dark smoke filled the sky as the fire tore through the 2001 van.The driver, Hannah Stone, says she smelled burning plastic, so she parked in front of The Salvation Army, cut the engine off and then went inside to look at a couple of items.Wilmington fire fighters responded and put out the fire quickly.Related Article: One displaced after accidental fire in WilmingtonNo one got hurt.No word yet on what caused the fire. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A woman who stopped by The Salvation Army in downtown Wilmington came out of the store to find her van on fire.It happened around 10:30 a.m.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Trio charged with trafficking heroin under 1M bond

first_imgJerry Colvin, Cherelle Hills, Kenneth Norman (Photo: Brunswick Co. Sheriff’s Office) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Three people are facing drug charges after deputies say they were trafficking heroin into Brunswick County from the New Jersey.Cherelle Hills, Jerry Hakeem Colvin, and Kenneth Bernard Norman were charged and arrested by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office working in conjunction with the Sunset Beach Police Department for trafficking heroin, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, and possession with the intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin.- Advertisement – The arrests comes after a month-long investigation. They were arrested during a traffic stop in the Leland area on Highway 17. The department seized 2,328 wax bindles of heroin, 36 grams of crack cocaine, and 15 suboxone strips.There were two children, ages 6 and 8, in the car at the time. Each are being held in the Brunswick County Detention Center under a $1,000,000 bond.Related Article: Sunset Beach man charged with child rapeThe hefty bond comes after district attorneys Jon and Ben David pushed for those arrested for trafficking heroin and fentanyl to be held in jail under at least a $1 million bond.last_img read more

Lightning strike sets garage ablaze in Wilmington

first_img They say no one was inside the garage when lightning struck it.A total of five fire engines responded to the fire. Fire officials told WWAY on scene that the blaze was out within ten minutes.Crews say the garage was the only structure affected. The say it is a total loss. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The severe weather rolled through the Cape Fear area Thursday evening causing damage in the Forest Hills/Brookwood area of Wilmington. Fire officials say lightning struck a garage, setting it on fire.Wilmington fire crews responded to a home off of Keaton Avenue just after 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Crews say the detached garage was up in flames when they arrived on scene.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Radiothon raises money for Womens Childrens Hospital

first_img According to NHRMC’s website, this two-day event, hosted in the lobby of the Women’s & Children’s Hospital, shares the stories of children and families touched by the care at the hospital and pediatric clinics.The fund provides financial assistance to qualified families of hospitalized patients.WWAY’s Randy Aldridge is there to help out with the cause.Related Article: Tide truck providing free laundry serviceIf you would like to donate, call (910) 661-KIDS or click here. (Photo: Sunny 103.7) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Sunny 103.7 is hosting their annual 2018 Caring For Kids Radiothon.They have teamed up with New Hanover Regional Medical Center to support the children cared for at the NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Emergency responders school officials plan for impending bridge closure

first_img “Our main goal is to make sure that the services that we do right now with that bridge open, are not interrupted when the bridge is closed. But to do that, we have to have the help of Sunny Point and St. James,” said Fire Chief Chris Anselmo.Anselmo says they are teaming up with St. James and Sunny Point Fire Departments.. to make sure every part of the island has enough emergency personnel. During the closure, Anselmo’s team will be split between the surrounding stations.“I’m sure there’s enough people on the island to take care of what we need to do. And they all work together,” said Oak Island resident Varie Warren.Related Article: Oak Island fire victim identified as homeownerWarren has been on the island for years, and she is confident that safety will remain a priority.“So really, it’s just a team effort with everyone in the area. And everybody has been willing to do whatever needs to be done,” said Anselmo.Emergency personnel are not the only ones prepping for change. Brunswick County Schools have already changed their bus routes and added two new routes.The district says it will take a few more days to figure out the best plan, but they are already acting like the bridge is closed.“Sometimes you have to just wing it to the best that you can, but we try to prepare for everything. You try to get as close to it as possible, but you just can’t prepare for everything,” said Anselmo.Anselmo says the county is dividing resources and making sure each resident is safe and accounted for. He also says the town has even increased his budget for an extra part-time responder.Brunswick County Schools have already been monitoring the new routes. OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — The Oak Island G.V. Barbee Bridge closure is a little more than a month away and Brunswick County Schools and Oak Island emergency personnel have been working to make this a seamless transition.Emergency responders on Oak Island are making sure they have all their bases covered for this closure.- Advertisement – last_img read more

NHRMC recognized again for heart attack care

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover Regional Medical Center is once again being recognized for a job well done.EMS and the critical care transport team have received the American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline Gold Plus award, for the second time!- Advertisement – The award recognizes efforts to rapidly identify heart attack patients.At NHRMC paramedics use an electrocardiogram to evaluate heart activity from an ambulance or AirLink helicopter.The results determine whether the patient is having a heart attack and if they need to be taken to new Hanover’s cath lab for treatment.Related Article: Publicist: Luke Perry hospitalized and ‘under observation’Kevin Collopy with New Hanover Regional’s critical care transport said every minute that passes can increase a patient’s risk of dying.“One of the most effective things that we’ve been able to do as a system here is develop not only here in New Hanover County but throughout the entire region,” Collopy said. “A system where paramedics are empowered to interpret and recognize a heart attack on a 12 lead ECG, which is an electric cardio gram, but they’re allowed to activate the cath lab by themselves without having to transmit that piece of paper to the hospital for a physician to interpret it.”Collopy added that this award encourages medical staff to perform the most effectively and efficiently, on wheels and in the sky.last_img read more

Nearly 80 granted US citizenship in Southport ceremony

first_imgNicola Sharp proudly holds her certificate of citizenship on 7/3/19.Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — Gaining U.S. citizenship is not easy for thousands who come into our country. On Wednesday, nearly 80 new Americans were given legal status in Southport after months or years of going through the process.For 23 years, Southport has hosted a naturalization of immigrants who have lived and work in the U.S. and applied to gain their citizenship.- Advertisement – There are a host of eligibility requirements that take three to five years of living in the U.S. before someone can begin the naturalization process.After applying and testing, these people take that oath of citizenship.New citizen Nicola Sharp moved to the U.S. from Quebec in 1978, and says this has been a long time coming.​Related Article: Cape Fear Regional Jetport receives funding for development project“It’s wonderful that it happened on the holiday. It’s fantastic, a feeling of relief as well as a feeling of achievement, and I’m just very excited to begin this new chapter in my life,” Sharp said.The new Americans then got to take pictures with their certificates of citizenship and eat with their families.Some fought back tears as they finally received those certificates.last_img read more

No evidence acquittal for IT corruption case accused

first_imgCMRUCMRU Two men, accused of corruption in the implementation of the IT system at Mater Dei were acquitted in Court.The Court decided that the manager of the project chose the best product that was available to him in the process. When the evaluation was being carried out by a committee, the system was found to be problematic, and would have therefore created a problem had government accepted the original contract.The accusations were made by the government company MITTS (now MITA), who served on the committee of the evaluation, and towards the consultant of Ins sPa consortium who had bid in a €30 million tender, which he ultimately won.The Court explained that the case started following suspicions from the Chairman of the Evaluation Committee, who was to choose and introduce the IT system at Mater Dei. The person who was originally awarded the tender was excluded because of financial problems abroad.However, the Court decided against the accusations due to the fact that there was no evidence.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Watch Free WiFi around our localities

first_imgLocalities around Malta and Gozo will be offering free Wi-Fi as part of the European Union WiFi4EU initiative. 27 localities have already applied for the EU grant and will each receive €15,000. Qala in Gozo is already benefiting from this scheme , as Major Paul Buttiġieġ explains.During a press conference Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Parnis said that assistance will not stop with the EU grant but that further financial help will also be provided. The Parliamentary Secretary reiterated that the government believes in the autonomy of the local councils and that is why they are being asked to indicate where the Wi-Fi service should be installed in their areas.Parnis also urged all the other local councils who still have not submitted their application to do so. He also announced that a new service, mservice will soon be launched to draw citizens closer to their local councils.WiFi4EU is a European Commission initiative that promotes connectivity in public spaces and public buildings around Europe. The budget of €120 million between 2018 and 2020 will support the installation and Wi-Fi equipment in the centres of community life. 23736 municipalities around the EU have already registered. SharePrint WhatsAppcenter_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Man fighting for his life after being hit by a car run

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> CMRUCMRU A man was seriously injured after he was hit by a car and run over by a second car in Blata l-Bajda.A 29-year-old Norwegian man was first hit by a car which was being driven by a 40-year old man from Żurrieq at about 1.10am on Saturday morning. While he was on the ground the man was run over by a second car which was driven by a 31-year-old man from Valletta.The incident happened on National Road.Civil Protection Department Officers, the Police and an ambulance were called on site.The man was rushed to hospital in an ambulance where he was certified to be suffering from serious injuries.Magistrate Victor Axiak is leading the inquiry.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

How DStv is fighting online piracy

first_imgAdvertisement John KotsaftisDStv Online CEO John Kotsaftis says quality, convenience, price and availability are the key ingredients in convincing consumers to pay for content.Broadcasting the latest television shows in South Africa soon after they have been aired in their home markets, and tying this to an affordable and convenient viewing experience, will go a long way in countering the growing threat posed by online piracy.That’s the view of John Kotsaftis, who heads DStv Online, the MultiChoice-owned business that develops the DStv BoxOffice and DStv On Demand services.He says if content suppliers don’t make it easy for broadcasters to make their content available timeously and easily to their customers, then consumers will “find a way of doing it themselves”. – Advertisement – “If you give someone a product that is easy to use at the right price and with minimum fuss and at high quality, then they will pay for it.”Kotsaftis says the content industry, including the big Hollywood studios, were fortunate in that they had a chance to study the impact of the Internet on the music industry and find ways of reacting before they were engulfed by it.The studios are reacting by making their content available to broadcasters much earlier than before. So, in the case of series such as the BBC’s Top Gear, the shows are aired in South Africa just weeks — and sometimes even just days — after they are broadcast in their home markets.“The studios used to give us their content in a later window,” Kotsaftis says. “We are now moving closer and closer to the release date in the US.”He adds that MultiChoice has also pressured its suppliers to release content earlier to offset the threat posed by online piracy where consumers are able to download the latest shows on peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent within hours of them being broadcast for the first time internationally.“If a movie comes out on BoxOffice on the same day as the DVD is released and it costs R25, why pirate it? Convenience, quality and price all play a role in this thing,” Kotsaftis says. “If you make it easy for people, they will choose the path that is easiest and most convenient.”Already, MultiChoice is renting out 400 000 movies a month to DStv subscribers who have the necessary personal video recorder (PVR) decoders to receive the BoxOffice service. Kotsaftis attributes this number to the relative simplicity of using the service. “You literally send one SMS and you’ve rented a movie,” he says.On the Internet, the company offers a larger volume of content because it isn’t constrained by the storage limitations of the PVR. Here, it charges subscribers R25/movie and non-subscribers pay R30. Older movies cost R10 each. Uptake has been “quite low”, a function, Kotsaftis says, of the relatively small broadband user base in South Africa and the fact that MultiChoice hasn’t actively marketed the product yet.He adds that the company is taking a “mobile first” approach to delivering content online, hoping to capture the youth market that may not pay for a subscription-TV service. “I’m talking about youngsters walking around with hard drives full of content. They might not go to pay TV, but I don’t want to lose them as customers,” he says. “If they’d prefer to consume on a tablet and they don’t want a full pay-TV package, they should still be able to get something from us.”Credit: TechCentrallast_img read more

Dr Dres Beats Might Buy Out the Struggling HTC

first_imgAdvertisement Struggling Taiwanese Smartphone manufacturer HTC is finding itself with less friends, according to a Wall Street Journal report that says the manufacturer of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones wants to buy out HTC’s 25 percent stake in the company.The founders of Beats Electronics – music mogul Jimmy Iovine and American hip-hop producer and artist Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre — are looking to expand their business into speakers, audio systems in cars, consumer electronics and an online streaming music service that could soon be launched.It is now in talks with an investor that could help finance its plans and maybe take a minority ownership stake in the coming weeks, the WSJ cited people familiar with the matter as saying. – Advertisement – HTC has included audio software from Beats into one of its lines of phones, and bundled other phones with Beats headphones.While HTC originally saw Beats as a way to court the youth market, the collaboration ended up souring with differences in opinion on strategy, said a person with knowledge of the partnership.Earlier this year, Beats approached HTC about selling its remaining stake, according to a person familiar with the matter.If Beats successfully expands its electronics business beyond headphones, it will further validate a widely quoted exhortation Mr. Iovine gave Dr. Dre when the rap star was deciding between signing a footwear endorsement deal or starting Beats: “F— sneakers, let’s make speakers.”Credit : WSJlast_img read more

SETI comes up with two new ways to contact aliens on other

first_imgAdvertisement The University of California Berkeley’s Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (Seti) programme has come up with two new ways to allegedly contact alien life on other planets.The first method involves using multiple radio telescopes in different countries to scan a wide range of wave-lengths from 30 stars near the sun, in order to detect narrow-bandwidth radio signals in space.Narrow-bandwidth radio signals are not known to occur naturally, so detecting such signals could signal the presence of extra-terrestrial technology. – Advertisement – Searching for radio signalsDan Werthimer, director of the Berkley Seti Research Center, told an audience during the Smithsonian Magazine’s The Future is Here Festival in May: “If we are polluting space, perhaps other extra-terrestrials are leaking signals. Maybe they’re sending something our way.”The project will look to examine signals coming from 30 stars that lie 16 light-years (or 5 parsecs) from the sun, including 13 single stars, seven binary systems and one triple system, as well as two white dwarfs and a moderately evolved F star, according to using the radio telescopes will start over the summer using the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope in the Netherlands and the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, and they will then be joined by the Californian Infrared Spatial Interferometer (ISI) at Mount Wilson Observatory and the Nickel Telescope at Lick Observatory.Lining up planetsThe second method of eavesdropping on aliens involves making use of Nasa’s Kepler telescope to detect signals sent from planets as they orbit – occasionally two planets will line up in the same orbital path, pointed towards Earth, and the Kepler telescope will then be able to pick up any signals that might be sent from one planet to another.So far, using the Green Bank Telescope, the team has picked up on this phenomenon happening 75 times, and the range of radio frequencies that can be picked up include those used by mission control on Earth to communicate with astronauts and spacecraft orbiting around other planets.“Our detection algorithms are sensitive to communications like those used by NASA’s Deep Space Network to communicate with spacecraft, so if E.T. broadcasts something similar at sufficient power, we could hear it,” SETI-Berkeley’s Andrew Siemion, chief scientist of the eavesdropping project told course, detecting signals is no easy feat, and some radio signals, for example, those transmitted by terrestrial television, would be too weak to be detected.What could be detected would be a signal like the US Air Force’s “space fence” high-frequency radar surveillance system which was built to detect objects in orbit over the US.Source: IBM Timeslast_img read more