Month: July 2019

A graphic designer who was prevented from taking a

first_imgA graphic designer who was prevented from taking a disability discrimination case against his former employer because he could not afford the tribunal fees has welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling that the government’s decision to introduce the charges was unlawful.The fees were introduced in 2013, a year before Ross Minton (pictured) was made redundant from his job with a large UK company.Because he could not afford to pay the fees, in case he lost the case, he could not challenge his employer in a tribunal for alleged disability discrimination.He spoke out after the Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday (Wednesday) that the introduction of tribunal fees of up to £1,200 by the government in July 2013 was unlawful under UK and European Union law because it “effectively prevents access to justice”.The court also ruled that the fees introduced by the government discriminated against women.The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that it will scrap the fees and provide “full refunds” to those who have paid tribunal fees since 2013, although it has not ruled out reintroducing fees at a different level.The case against the lord chancellor was taken by the union Unison, which said the “landmark” court victory – following a four-year legal battle – meant that anyone treated illegally or unfairly at work would no longer have to pay to take their employer to court.In April, the Equality and Human Rights Commission pointed out that the number of employment tribunal claims for disability discrimination fell from 7,492 in 2012-13 to 3,449 in 2015-16, in the wake of the introduction of the tribunal fees, a drop of more than half (54 per cent).Ross Minton, from Shropshire, was one of those disabled people who would have taken their cases to tribunal if it had not been for the introduction of the fees in 2013.He has a very rare muscle condition and had asked his employer to provide him with a high-backed chair, on his doctor’s advice.But it took more than a year for the company to buy the £150 chair, and soon after it arrived he was made redundant.He was later told that the company removed the high-backed chair and sent it back for a refund just half an hour after he was escorted from the building in 2014.Shortly after he left, his employer recruited a replacement, who was given a similar job title and even sat at his desk.But the father-of-two decided he could not risk taking his former employer to a tribunal, because the fees were likely to be between £500 and £1,000, and could have reached as much as £1,200.He said: “£1,000 was a hell of a lot of money, especially when you haven’t got a job. Even £500 was a month’s rent.“Do you gamble £1,000 just to get justice? Eventually we decided that we had to let them get away with it. It was completely unfair.“It was obviously cheaper for them to get rid of me than to get me a chair. My employment status wasn’t even worth the value of a bog-standard, high-backed office chair.“I would have loved my day in court, just to tell my story, even if I had been proved wrong.”He was given just one month’s pay as a redundancy settlement, having worked at the company for nearly two years.last_img read more

A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note 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 should implement major changes to the scheme that provides funding for disabled people in England to make access improvements to their homes, according to an independent review.Among the suggested improvements, the review says the government should increase the upper limit on disabled facilities grants (DFGs) from £30,000, although only in line with inflation.It also suggests renaming the grant as part of a national awareness-raising campaign, with a new name that is “up to date and easily recognisable”; producing a fairer and more transparent funding formula; and introducing a national accreditation scheme for builders and tradespeople carrying out adaptations.In October’s budget, the chancellor announced another £55 million in funding for DFGs for 2018-19, following a previous decision to increase funding for DFGs from £220 million in 2015-16 to £505 million in 2019-20.But the review points out that, although the government has already more than doubled DFG funding in recent years, the contribution of local authorities has fallen, which has meant the number of homes adapted – at least until 2016-17 – “has not significantly increased”.The review, Disabled Facilities Grant and Other Adaptations, says the DFG is “often seen as simply providing level access showers, stair lifts and ramps”.Instead, the review suggests, there should be “a fresh approach that is all-encompassing and creates a home environment that enables disabled people to live a full life”.It adds: “Districts and counties, housing and social care, occupational therapists and grants officers will need to work together to establish person-centred services that meet a disabled person’s needs in a more preventative, holistic and timely way.”The review says the way the DFG system is delivered varies widely across different areas, and it makes recommendations for improvements, including the need to bring together occupational therapists and housing staff into single integrated teams, which is already happening in some areas and will “simplify and speed up customer journeys”.Among other recommendations, the review says that housing and health partnership boards should be set up in every part of England to have responsibility for meeting the housing needs of disabled and older people in their area and maximise the impact of DFGs.The review was commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health and Social Care and was carried out by the University of the West of England; Foundations, the national body for home improvement agencies; the Building Research Establishment; and Ferret Information Systems.The government said it was “carefully considering the findings”.last_img read more

Disabled standup comic and actor Jack Carroll has

first_imgDisabled stand-up comic and actor Jack Carroll has blamed the government for creating a “hostile environment” that led to him being treated with “derision and suspicion” during a routine disability benefit assessment.Carroll,whose new film Eaten by Lions is released tomorrow (Friday), saidhe was shocked by the “semi-dehumanising” tone used by the assessor lastAugust.He declinedto say where the assessment took place becausehe believes his treatment was due to “learned behaviour” taught bythe government, but he told Disability News Service (DNS) that his personalindependence payment (PIP) assessment was a “strange and Orwellian experience”.He said: “Ifelt like I was being treated with derision and suspicion.”Carroll, whouses a walking-frame and had turned up five minutes late because he had troublefinding a parking space, was at first told that the assessment would not now goahead.“Imagine if someonewas a lot more disabled than I am,” he said. “I could not believe that. Thatreally just brought home the system as a whole.”He told DNSthat his experiences as a disabled person have been “generally positive”,and that he has found most people “decentand relatively compassionate”, adding later: “I try not to get too outragedabout things.”He is, he said,naturally “quite a gregarious, affable person”, but even he became “a bitangry” after the initial confrontation. Carroll saidhe found it shocking to be confronted with “a semi-dehumanising tone which Idon’t really come up against in my day-to-day life”.He added: “Atthe time I got annoyed with the person but… then I took a step back and Ithought that was just learned behaviour from a government policy that is tryingto marginalise and destroy, for a lot of people, any hope.”Heeventually received the level of benefits he feels he was entitled to, but he said:“The former system [disability living allowance] was an awful lot easier andmore human.”He said thePIP system must change.Thebehaviour he came across at his assessment, and the failure to “weigh up theemotional impact on the person” was, he said,“systemic rather than individuals being knowingly horrendous, soyou’ve got to change the system.“I’d broughta paper copy of my ID, which the assessor wasn’t for accepting, so that’s anotherhurdle, and then general questions about how far I could walk, how far I couldlift my leg up, things that I don’t think about, and hate really to put themicroscope on in that minute detail, at whatever level is some level of ahumiliating experience.“I don’tthink there is any care to make people feel human in that environment.”He said heblamed the government for the “inhumanity” of the system, because it “createdthe climate for it”, and he added: “I think the government creates a hostileenvironment for most people who aren’t Jacob Rees-Mogg. “If you wantto change that you have got to change the system. That’s what it will take.”He also believesthat the “constant hammering of Brexit” acts as a “mass hypnosis technique” todistract people from “the things that are really going on in the world”,such as the way disabled people aretreated, the PIP assessment system and the Windrush scandal.Fans of hisstand-up – he has become a regular on the comedy circuit in the years followinghis breakthrough as a 14-year-old in 2013, when he was runner-up on Britain’sGot Talent – can expect a routine based on the PIP assessment process to appearin his act soon, he said.Eaten ByLions is his first film, but it follows television appearances in shows such asthe Sky sitcom Trollied, CBBC’s The Ministry Of Curious Stuff and BBC1’s BigSchool, as well as stand-up slots on ITV1’s Sunday Night At The Palladium and BBC2’s Live At The Apollo.He said his role in the film – a “classic road movie” about two half-brothers, one white, Pete, and one Asian, Omar (pictured), who go to Blackpool in search of Omar’s dad –gave him greater freedom to improvise and “play around” than his work on Trollied, with its “tight scripts”.He enjoyedthe filming process, which took place two years ago, and said it felt like going“on a journey” with a “good group of people”.One of thethings he likes about the film, he said, is that although it deals with issuesof diversity, it doesn’t do so in a self-conscious way. He looks forward to afuture where disability is just an everyday fact of life on television.“In five or10 years it would be nice to see disabled characters on TV and presenters andthings just be existing and people referencing it in a less overt manner,” he said.Askedwhether his generally positive view of how disabled people are usually treatedcame as a result of his own experiences – he was discovered at the age of just12 by comedian Jason Manford and opened for him at three of his shows in 2010 –he said: “You can make that argument.”But he alsoputs it down to his family, and the attitude they “instilled” in him about hisimpairment. “Obviously acompassionate one, first and foremost, but also a belief that anything you putyour mind to, with the help of others, you can achieve. That has played a partin my outlook as well.”He alsobelieves that growing up as a disabled child helped his development as acomedian.He said: “Iprobably wouldn’t have developed the sense of humour or the ability withlanguage that I’ve developed if I didn’t have a disability, because as a kid Icouldn’t necessarily move around as quickly, I had to get good at talking andbeing able to communicate things to people.“I’d like tothink that played a part in the development of being able to do what I do for aliving.”Hisinterview with DNS came a few weeks after the latest controversy over “crippingup” – the issue of non-disabled actors playing disabled characters – this time followingBryan Cranston’s role as a wheelchair-user in The Upside.Carroll saidhe understood why the film’s producers chose Cranston instead of an unknowndisabled actor. “I knowthere are issues of representation and not everyone getting a foot in the door,but for any actor if you had a choice between Bryan Cranston and an actorwithout a profile they are always going to go for Bryan Cranston.”He said thesolution was to improve representation of disabled actors at the grassrootslevel and build from there.“It’s aboutgiving disabled actors a platform where they can compete with Bryan Cranston,”he said, “but that begins at a grassroots level.”Now 20 andno longer a teenage prodigy,he is writinga sitcom, as well as continuing with his stand-up and enjoying acting jobs whenthey come along. “I enjoy itall,” he said. “I would like to keep doing a little bit of everything. “I have got goals and things I would like to accomplish but the best stuff in my career has come from leaving a gap to let the thing happen and let whatever it is do its work.”A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note 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…last_img read more

Sign up to LabourLists morning email for everythi

first_imgSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.MPs are back in their constituencies, taking a break from Brexit rows in the Commons during parliamentary recess. The news is slower than it has been over the last few months, no longer moving at a breakneck pace. And I’m also only briefly reappearing today – chiefly to let you know about a new book that is bound to interest LabourList readers.If you’re a fan of literature on the Labour Party, you’ll be familiar with the 1981 book The Battle for the Labour Party, which chronicled the party from 1973 to 1981. Now its author David Kogan has penned a follow-up, coming out this week. Protest and Power: the Battle for the Labour Party picks up pretty much where its precursor left off, offering a comprehensive overview of everything Labour between 1980 and now.For those already familiar with the main events of that time – from Michael Foot’s leadership, marking the beginning of the wilderness years for both the Labour Party and the Labour left, through to the unexpected success of Jeremy Corbyn – it’s the details that will keep you captivated. LabourList’s bread and butter: conference motions passed, party processes manipulated for faction gain and rule changes implemented with unintended consequences. Jon Lansman, Pete Willsman and other figures on the left, who appear so frequently on the web pages of our site today, are placed at the scene in the early 1980s. Those who have become key players amid the Corbynite revolution made crucial moves back then too, and used many of the same tactics.There are lessons in this book for everyone who wants to get their way in the party and shape its direction. Without shoving any particular interpretation of events down your throat, Kogan shows that factions keep making the same mistakes. In both 1980 and 2015, the ego-driven Labour right was blindsided, by a small group of Campaign for Labour Party Democracy activists then and later by new members, Corbyn-inspired and austerity-hardened. As for the Labour left, the split between the Bennite left and the soft left made way for the Kinnock era, which cleared the path for Blairism. And that prompts the question: will we see a similar divide play out in the same way? Could that timeline be taken as a warning about the differences between loyal Corbynites and the soft (Remain) left now?As editor of LabourList, I see it as my responsibility to keep a close eye on the parliamentary party and a firm grip on grassroots activities. Kogan appears to take a similar approach. It would be easy to focus only on Westminster battles; instead, he is careful to show that the behind-the-scenes plotting of ordinary activists underpins all the headline-grabbing stuff. This is a no-nonsense, straightforward account of what has happened within the party over the last four decades – and it’s truly thorough. You’ll get to the bottom of each page and think, ‘I need to remember every word of this’. Or at least I did.For a taster, read Kogan’s piece for LabourList on his time travelling through party history. For a 25% discount on the book, order from Bloomsbury.com and quote LABOURLIST25 at the checkout. We will get £1 for every copy bought using this code – so you’ll be donating to LabourList as well as buying a must-read.Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Labour /David Kogan /The Battle for the Labour Party /last_img read more

Welcome to our latest LabourList survey Share you

first_imgWelcome to our latest LabourList survey.Share your thoughts about the local elections results, the upcoming European elections and the shadow cabinet.Answer the five questions below or click here to open the survey in a new window.This survey will close at 1pm on Monday 13th May, and we’ll be releasing the results soon after that. Tags:Weekly Survey /Local elections 2019 /European elections 2019 /last_img

Without Permission at 16th St past present and a cat on her

first_imgWalking through the 16th Street BART station, I hear a guy who calls himself The Jonah Kit playing Take a Walk on the Wild Side. 1970’s Lou Reed glam rock about transvestites sounds downright futuristic in Betsy DeVos’ 2017, where we’re all meant to use the bathroom God meant for us. As usual, the past and present are living side by side in the Mission. And I haven’t even left the BART station.As I walk up the escalator, I accost an entrepreneurial-looking young man to find out what exciting thing he’s up to on this warm spring night in the city of sin. He tentatively takes out an earbud and looks at me like I’m going door-to-door selling solar.“No thanks,” he says, but instead of slamming the door on my face, he sticks his earbud back in.As I walk across the BART plaza, I see a woman feeding pickle popcorn to a flock of pigeons and a woman with a hat on her head and a cat on the hat. I take out my smartphone to snap a shot of the woman with the cat on her hat when a guy interrupts me with a half-hearted attempt at interaction. As I make a half-hearted attempt to avoid this interaction, I lose sight of the woman with the cat. I remind myself that the entire reason I’m here is to interact with people in the Mission, so I turn to the guy and ask what he’s up to tonight.“Trying to meet a beautiful woman like you,” he says. But even he doesn’t seem to believe the line. “Actually I’m out here panhandling. Can you help me out with a dollar?”His name is Jay and when he finds out that I’m writing an article, he asks if he can get a job at Mission Local.“I write pretty good,” Jay informs me. “I can tell a story, ask anyone.”When I want to know how long Jay’s been in the Mission, he gets defensive. “Why are you even asking me these questions?”“I’m asking you because you came up to me. Before that, I was watching a woman who had a cat sitting on a hat on her head.” We both look around and I feel like I’ve made the whole thing up: was there really a woman with a cat on her head?Jay relaxes as he remembers that it was he who initiated the conversation. “Well, this is my home so I’ve been here my entire life.”“In the Mission?” I ask.“Whole city. Like the concrete, I’m everywhere.”I nod, thinking this is a nice line and wondering if he’s used it before when he taps my arm excitedly.“Hey! The woman with the cat on her head!” She’s walking across the BART plaza, but by the time I get my phone out, she’s disappeared into the crowd.Leaving the plaza, the first thing I see on 16th Street is a mom pulling her son’s pants down so he can water the concrete. He’s about four years old with sneakers that light up and Spiderman underwear. The mother seems embarrassed to be orchestrating such a public pee, but from the look of things, he couldn’t wait.Further down the street, I stand outside City Smoke on 18th and Mission and watch a petite young woman, around twenty-one, with long curly hair. She sits against a street lamp smoking a cigarette when a stocky guy with a blond buzz cut approaches. He’s wearing an oversized t-shirt and ill-fitting cargo pants.“Are you busy?” he asks.“Me?” she wonders, even though she’s the only one there.“Did you just get off work?” he asks. He’s a few years older than she is and speaks as if he knows her well.“Yeah,” she confirms. “We just closed at Project Juice.”“If I was the boss at Project Juice, I’d close when you left too.”She laughs nervously at the awkward compliment and he decides to take it a step further.“In fact, I’d like to open a Project Juice just for you and let you choose your own hours.”“That’d be nice,” she says, followed by more nervous laugher.“Could I buy it with gold?”“Doubt it. No one takes gold anymore,” she says, as if gold is as obsolete as a floppy disc.“The city of gold! This could be our destiny!” He exclaims.“El Dorado!” She calls out excitedly.“Really? You’ve seen it?” he asks. “I love that movie!”“Me too!” she says.At the beginning of the interaction, I doubted the guy had a chance, but I’m starting to wonder if this evening might end well for him after all.A little boy on a skateboard asks the petite woman for a cigarette. “A cigarette?” she asks incredulously. “You can’t smoke!”“Can I have a cigarette?” he asks again. His little brother follows behind him and next comes his mother sucking hard on a cancer stick.“Is it for your mother?” she wonders, but the boy keeps asking her the same question until finally she snaps, “I’m not giving you a cigarette!”Throughout the interaction, the family has never stopped moving and now they’re crossing the street.“That was weird.” The young woman turns to the guy who’s hitting on her. “That kid was like five years old; he can’t smoke!”“Not unless he’s a polar bear,” he says, as if this somehow followed. “Polar bears can withstand anything.”“Except global warming,” she cautions, taking a hit off her smoke.“Global warming is all part of God’s plan,” he says with confidence.“I don’t think so.” She shakes her head and flicks an ash.“No, it’s cause the carbon goes back into the ocean. The trees produce the oxygen and the gravity holds it all down.”“I don’t think so,” she says again, and now it’s clear he’s losing whatever ground he’d gained with their El Dorado movie bond.“If we don’t have enough trees, we’ll die,” she says.A shiny blue car pulls up with a handsome, well-dressed guy inside, presumably her boyfriend.“Well, nice to meet you,” she says, stubbing out her cigarette and opening the passenger door.“Gravity! It keeps everything down!” he yells as they pull away from the curb.Back at the 16th Street BART Station, I see the kid who peed on the sidewalk. He’s with his mom and they’re waiting for the same train as me. He’s sucking down juice through a straw and holding his crotch like he’s desperate to pee again.And so the night comes full circle: the smoke, the gravity, the warming globe and dying trees. And then there’s the small bladders full of juice with nowhere to empty them but onto the concrete. 0%center_img Tags: 16th Street • 16th Street BART Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

SAINTS have a double reason to celebrate after sec

first_imgSAINTS have a double reason to celebrate after securing two of the hottest properties in the game.Ahead of the new First Utility Super League XIX season, Adam Swift and Alex Walmsley have committed themselves to the club.Adam, 19, has extended his contract through to the end of season 2017 as has prop forward Alex.Adam said: “I’m over the moon to sign a new contract at Saints. It’s a club I have always wanted to play for and I have enjoyed my time here so far.“I know I have been given the number 5 shirt, but that isn’t a guarantee of a spot especially with the quality of the players we have here. I know I have to continue to work hard and keep learning.”Alex, 23, added: “I’m delighted the club has rewarded me with a new contract and I would like to thank both Eamonn McManus and Mike Rush for showing faith in me. I am happy to commit my future to the club.“We have recruited well in the off-season and I can’t wait to get started. There will be a lot of competition for places and that strength in depth is not only good for the club this season but in the future too – something I am excited to be part of.“I had a good season last year and now I am looking forward to getting stuck in and showing the fans the improvements I have made in pre-season.”Swift joined Saints from Blackbrook and made his debut against Widnes in 2012 – scoring a hat-trick.He combined training at the club with a HNC mechanical engineering apprenticeship and became a full time professional the following year.2013 was his breakout season adding 13 tries in 11 matches on the wing – including two when Saints beat Wigan in a dramatic clash in July.Alex’ rise to Super League rugby has been nothing short of remarkable.The no nonsense mountain of a prop came to the club from Batley Bulldogs and was one of the real finds of the season.He made his debut at home against Hull FC and went on to make 26 appearances for the club.Considering in consecutive seasons he played for GB Students, Dewsbury Celtic and Batley, his transition to Super League was unheralded.Saints CEO Mike Rush said: “We are delighted to secure the signatures of these two players. Both are on the rise in the British game and we have no doubt they will continue to get better and improve.”Head Coach Nathan Brown added: “Adam is a good young kid who took his chance last season. He is quick and eager to learn and I’m sure if he continues to develop will have a very good future in the game.“Alex surprised everyone with how well he coped with the rigours of Super League but he thoroughly deserved the accolades that came his way. He adds a lot of size to our pack and like Adam will continue to develop and have a bright future.”last_img read more

The waste management expert will help the club mee

first_imgThe waste management expert will help the club meet its recycling targets at the Totally Wicked Stadium, whilst engaging in a number of community and education based projects as the club looks to create a better environment.Up to 95 per cent of the waste that is produced at the stadium can be recycled so this exciting new contract also supports Saints’ Official Kit Partner O’Neills’ vision of developing a recycled yarn suitable to be used in the manufacture of St Helens replica shirts in the future.“We are delighted to partner with Biffa who demonstrated a complete understanding of the challenges we face to best manage our waste,” Saints Stadium Manager John Murphy explained. “To be able to achieve a recycling target of up to 95 per cent will make a huge difference to us.“With their guidance, we want our fans and staff to work with us to correctly use the new bins we will place around the Stadium over the coming weeks to start the recycling process.“Biffa have several excellent ideas to help us, including being one of the first providers to have the ability to recycle coffee and tea paper cups and to introduce reverse vending machines.“We fully intend to introduce these ideas across the length of the contract and the added incentive for supporters is that for every item they recycle they are supporting the ambitions of both the Club and O’Neills to develop suitable recycled yarns for use in St Helens merchandise in the years ahead.”As part of the agreement and to continue our aim of being fully integrated in the community, Saints staff and players will also spend time in the local area helping to clear waste from local waterways.They will also be encouraging supporters to join us, whilst the club’s Community Development Foundation will be working alongside Biffa to deliver their Wasteaters education programme to local primary schools encouraging children to learn how to recycle from an early age.Nick Rushton, Regional Manager at Biffa, said: “We are really proud to be St.Helens R.F.C.’s official recycling partner, and the whole Biffa team are fully behind supporting them in delivering their recycling targets.“As part of our offer across the North West we offer a range of zero to landfill solutions and St. Helens already benefit from a 100% diversion from landfill which includes Food, Glass and mixed recycling recovery.“Our aim moving forward with our partnership is to further develop recycling solutions so as to recycle and reuse as much of the waste produced by the club and their supporters as possible including challenging items such as coffee cups which we now offer a solution to.“We are confident and totally committed to supporting St Helens with achieving their ambitious and commendable recycling targets.”Biffa’s livery will appear on the rear of the players’ shorts for the remainder of the 2018 season whilst for 2019 and 2020 it will also be included on all replica versions which will be available to buy from saintssuperstore.comBiffa will also have a strong presence around the stadium through perimeter advertising and supply of their bins throughout the concourses to help with the club’s drive to recycle.“We would like to thank Biffa for their partnership with the Club over the next two-and-a-half years,” added Dave Hutchinson, General Manager at Saints. “We were very impressed with their vision to improve our waste management through recycling. We are fully aware of our responsibilities as we generate so much waste at the Stadium, particularly on Matchday, so they will help us manage that far more effectively than before.“They will also help us to advise our supporters on how best to recycle within the Stadium and in their own homes, and with Saints in the Community delivering their programme to local schoolchildren, we want everyone to think twice on how they should recycle their waste.”Research has shown that the degradation of approximately 25 x 500ml plastic bottles could potentially result in enough recycled yarn to produce a Saints replica shirt.This is something that O’Neills are actively testing at the current time in the hope of utilising such yarn for future Saints merchandise.“We have had requests from other Clubs but Saints are the first to commit to assisting us in the development of recycled yarns suitable for production of their replica kits in future seasons,” Neil Williams, Sales Manager at O’Neills, said. “By partnering with Biffa to allow supporters to directly influence this process and impact on their own Clubs’ kit this represents a huge step forward for all parties involved.“We are really looking forward to working with the Club to develop this product.”Picture shows: Neil Williams – Sales Manager at O’Neills, John Murphy – Stadium Manager at St.Helens R.F.C., Nick Rushton – Regional General Manager, North West, at Biffa, Justin Holbrook – Saints Head Coach, Peter Hale – Regional Sales Manager at Biffa.last_img read more

Annual Black History Month art contest kicks off

first_img US Cellular said students ages 6 – 18 are encouraged to create an original 8.5 x 11″ piece of artwork in tribute of influential African Americans both past and present.“This is a way for them to learn about some of those people and a way to express themselves artistically through drawing,” US Cellular Agent Sales and Development Manager Steven Westbrook said.From the original works of art, 10 finalists will be chosen by a panel from the Brigade Boys & Girls Club and will be displayed in local US Cellular stores.Related Article: Storyteller reenacts Harriet Tubman’s storyMembers of the community can vote on the artwork at the stories from February 1 – 28, 2018.The first place winner will win a $250 gift card, second place will win a $150 gift card, and third place will win a $100 gift card.The winners will be announced in early March. Students create artwork for the annual Black History Month Art Contest (Photo: Sarah Johnson/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The third annual Black History Month art contest is kicking off in Wilmington just days ahead of Martin Luther King Day.US Cellular and the Brigade Boys & Girls Club came together for the event on Thursday afternoon at the Brigade Boys & Girls Club.- Advertisement – last_img read more

NHRMC sees drop in overdose patients in the Emergency Room

first_img They spoke about the efforts to reduce opioid prescriptions, disposing of medications and the challenges of addiction. So far, their efforts have slightly brought down the number of overdoses which come in to New Hanover Regional’s ER.“The numbers are small. We’ve seen about a ten percent reduction and it’s just initial. But we expect with our efforts and as we continue, we hope to continue to drive this down,” Clinical Support Service VP Laurie Whalin said.One major contributor to the lowered rates is the medical drop system put in place in 2010.Related Article: Increase in respiratory emergencies at NHRMC“We have collected through operation medicine drop over 100,000,000 pills that could have ended up in our streams, our waterways, or in drug dealers hands and that type thing,” Causey said.Scott Whisnant, New Hanover Regional Community Relations Administrator wants a bill brought forward for telemedicine insurance, to allow rural patients dealing with opioid addiction to video call a physician.“What we’d like to is uniformly accepted as a physician encounter, provider encounter that gets reimbursed,” Whisnant said.The staff and commissioner are also hoping medical insurance companies will continue their efforts to reduce opioid prescriptions.So far efforts from the hospital have managed to prevent more than 800,000 opioid pills from entering the community. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The opioid epidemic continues to be an issue in the Cape Fear. It’s a problem Wilmington’s New Hanover Regional Medical Center is addressing, head on. Today, members of the staff spoke with insurance commissioner Mike Causey at a roundtable.“All of these efforts in combination are a big help to reducing opioid abuse,” Causey said.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Bolivia teacher incorporates technology to aid 21stcentury learners

first_imgBOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — Riley Higgins enjoys talking with her fourth-grade students about the books they read.She teaches language arts and social studies at Virginia Williamson Elementary School in Bolivia.- Advertisement – “I love just coming in and working with my students everyday, and being able to engage and interact with them,” Higgins said.A graduate of East Carolina University, Higgins has been teaching for three years.The person who nominated her for WWAY and Mattress and Furniture Liquidators’ “Teacher of the Week’ said her students are learning all their content in creative and engaging ways.Related Article: Area schools to close due to Hurricane FlorenceOne way they’re doing that is with the aid of technology. During our visit, the students were sitting on the carpet listening to one another present projects in front of a Smartboard.They had to research a North Carolina city and design a magazine-style article highlighting attributes of that location.“I love being able to see them research the material we’re learning, being able to dive deeper into it from what they find and take it, and put into these multimedia presentations whether they’re putting it into a book or a magazine, or a paper on it and then sharing it with their classmates,” she said.When Higgins was a child, she knew she wanted to become a teacher.“I also had a fifth-grade teacher who made learning fun every time we walked in, every lesson we would sing songs to learn and I just remember thinking I want to be like that when I’m older, I want to make learning fun for kids as well,” she recalled.Higgins not only makes lessons fun, but also inspires her students to use what they’ve learned to make a difference.Recently, she taught her students about the endangered Red Wolf population in northeastern North Carolina.  After learning about the animals’ plight, Higgins’ students were moved to take action.“They were able to write to the federal judge explaining why it was so important that those Red Wolves did not go extinct and how it would change the ecosystem of North Carolina if they did,” she said.During a lesson about the disappearance of the first English settlement, Higgins used it as a way to remind her students that there’s history yet to be written.“We just got learning about the lost colony of Roanoke Island, and they’re still studying and trying to figure out what happened,” she said. “Its so much fun to tell them you all have these tools in front of you. You go find out what you can, research, maybe you can grow up, go to college and see what happened to the colony of Roanoke Island, where did they go? You could solve that mystery.”Because of the innovation she uses to engage students in her classes, we’re recognizing her as WWAY and Mattress and Furniture Liquidators’ “Teacher of the Week.”“I’m just very proud that Ms. Higgins is the Teacher of the Week, she is so very deserving of it,” said Helen Otto, principal of Virginia Williamson Elementary School. “She’s very dedicated and she makes learning fun as you can see through the project learning she does with the children and it makes it very purposeful.”So what does Higgins think about our surprise visit and the $100 Staples gift card she received?“It feels awesome,” Higgins said. “I feel honored to have been mentioned, to have been chosen.”Ultimately, Higgins says seeing her students get excited about reading and learning brings her the most joy.“Its just very rewarding to come in everyday and to watch them to want to get to work on whatever they’re working on in class and to watch them grow in what they’re learning and watch them being challenged but meeting your expectations and exceeding your expectations rather than just saying ‘Its too hard, I can’t do it,’” Higgins said.Because of her passion for incorporating technology to aid these 21st-century learners, we’re proud to recognize Higgins as our “Teacher of the Week.”If you would like to nominate a teacher who’s making an impact in the classroom, click here to send us your nomination.last_img read more

Investigators Dispute over woman leads to shooting at Rocky Point store

first_imgFrank Lee Johnson and Joshua Allen Watkins (Photo: Pender Co. Sheriff’s Office) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — An argument over a woman led to a shooting at the Freshway Food Mart in Rocky Point, according to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office.On Thursday afternoon at around 2:15 p.m., deputies responded to a report of two men in a fight outside of the Freshway Food Mart at 8117 US Hwy 117 South.- Advertisement – It was reported that one of the men had fired a gun during the fight.Deputies responded and found Joshua Allen Watkins of Rocky Point and Frank Lee Johnson of Castle Hayne at the scene.Investigators determined that during the fight over a woman, a pistol that Watkins had on him fell onto the ground. Johnson grabbed the pistol and shot towards Watkins’s foot but did not hit him.Related Article: 2 men charged after NC police officer shot multiple times; Officer ID’dWatkins was taken into custody and charged with possession of firearm by convicted felon. He is being held under a $10,000.00 secured bond.Johnson was taken into custody and charged with assault by pointing a gun, simple assault and discharging a firearm near occupied structure. His bond is set at $1,500.00.last_img read more

Watch Stop breaking the law leave 76cm – Commissioner for Environment and

first_imgArchitect Alan Saliba who also serves as the Commissioner for Environment and Planning within the Office of the Ombudsman reminded that the Civil Code precludes any developers from excavating within 76cm of a common wall. He underlined that whoever does not do this, would be breaking the law.On the other hand, Malta Developers Association President Sandro Chetcuti claimed that some architects have allegedly told him, that it could be dangerous if a 76cm distance is left when excavating.Saliba was speaking during current affairs programme Newsline aired on 103FM presented by Fr Joe Borg and resident guest Peppi Azzopardi.Saliba as the Commissioner for Environment and Planning within the Office of the Ombudsman had already expressed its concern at the present situation, in a letter sent to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat last Monday. During the programme he referred to Article 439 in the Civil Code which precludes any developer from carrying out any excavations within 76cm of common walls.“Sometimes neighbors forgo the rights”Saliba maintained that 76cm is the minimum distance as there exist cases where the distance required is greater than that.He explained that it has become common practice for residents to forgo their rights in return for monetary compensation, a practice which in his letter to Muscat he pointed out that this is illegal as well as a public safety concern. He remarked that ‘it is a pity that some people enter into such agreements putting themselves and others in danger in return for monetary compensation’.He further added that since the law is found in the Civil Code, one is required to file a warrant for inhibitory injunction which would require time and would require one to seek the services of a lawyer and an architect.“Money became god”Peppi Azzopardi during his intervention said that money became god in Malta. He maintained that children and youths in Malta have learnt that one succeeds when they have money however they did not learn that money does not buy happiness. This, according to Azzopardi has led people to enter into agreements which are not legal. He also referred to construction site injuries and fatalities.“The 76cm rule can pose a risk” – ChetcutiMDA president Sandro Chetcuti said that the 76cm allowance was done with buildings without a basement in mind. He argued that when digging to make way for a basement such an allowance can pose a risk, as the house is being build over a small surface. Saliba argued that the 76cm rule is a minimum and an architect may decide to have a wider space left between the common wall.According to Chetcuti, if the Association had power, it would warn those contractors who do not follow the rules, and if they fail to remedy they would be prevented from working.“Do your part”Saliba referred to the recent government announcement which said that a bill on construction will be put forward on Monday. He urged the public to participate in the five-day consultation period which will open from Monday up to Friday. He warned that he will be submitting his proposals and recommendations in this regard, which he described as “harsh”.The architect informed that all those who require the assistance of the Ombudsman can either visit its website or call on 2248 3200. For those who would like to visit the Office of the Ombudsman, it is situated in 11 St Paul Street, Valletta. WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>center_img SharePrintlast_img read more

The blind now have hope to see – Bionic eye

first_imgAdvertisement Researchers at Australia’s Monash University are working on a brain implant that could restore vision to those with conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration.The device, expected to begin trials next year, works via a combination of a wireless camera and a brain implant that stimulates the visual cortex, allowing users to see basic shapes.World’s first smartphone for blind invented in IndiaAs project director Arthur Lowery told The Guardian, the system is all about allowing the visually impaired to more easily navigate their environments.“It means people can go into a meeting and know who is there and how many of them there are. People can venture outside because they can see trees,” he said. – Advertisement – Bionic eyes, more formally known as “visual prostheses,” have been in development for over twenty years. While lots of people are researching the concept, the Monash bionic eye is interesting because it completely bypasses the optic system. Translation: You don’t even need eyeballs to use it.Credit: VentureBeatlast_img read more

Microsoft to donate Office 365 licences to charities worldwide

first_imgAdvertisement Charities in 41 countries around the world will be able to use Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity suite Office 365 for free or at a substantially reduced price.Organisations that qualify will be given the free licences to use in their workplace, once they prove their charitable status.The company said the initiative will be available in 90 countries by July 2014.“Choosing the right cloud solution increases your organisation’s efficiency, saves on technology costs, and fosters your best collaboration,” Microsoft said on its charity website. – Advertisement – Charities that want to use desktop versions of the software will be able to get them for a reduced rate of $4.50 instead of the usual $20.[related-posts]The free E1 package includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint and Lync available through the browser. The second, paid version, has the desktop versions of the software as well as Excel, Access, Visio, Yammer and InfoPath.Last year, Microsoft made the A2 version of its Office 365 for Education available to students and academic staff for free.“Today we are donating to non-profits and NGOs access to Microsoft’s best-in-class cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools, enabling them to spend fewer resources and time on IT and focus on their missions addressing global issues, such as disease eradication, education and literacy, and environmental sustainability,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International.“Non-profits operate in the same way as any other organisation or business. However, many lack the resources to implement the latest technology. The donation of Office 365 allows them to be more effective and efficient in the work they do.”Microsoft donated $795 million in cash, software and services to 70,286 non-profits in more than 115 countries around the world this year, it said.Source: CloudProlast_img read more

UTL Boss Shoebridge Blames Collapse on Internal Fraud Theft

first_imgPhoto Credit: Mark Keith Muhumuza‏ (Twitter) Advertisement The Managing Director of Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), Mark Shoebridge has blamed the collapse of the telecom to internal fraudsters and thieves who he says have sucked the company since 2008.“This company had the problem of fraud and theft of money that was being executed by some people internally,” he said.Mr. Shoebridge was addressing journalists, just days after government announced takeover of management and all affairs of the State Owned telecommunications company. – Advertisement – PC Tech Magazine on Wednesday evening broke the news of the takeover which was due to the withdrawal of the company’s major shareholder, Ucom, a subsidiary of LAP Greencom Network, a subsidiary of Libya Post Telecommunications and IT company (LPTIC) which is wholly owned by the Libyan government.Photo Credit: Mark Keith Muhumuza‏ (Twitter)Government however announced that the company would remain operational assuring customers, stakeholders and the general public to remain calm.Although he could not disclose figures of how much “internal thieves and fraudsters” had stolen, Shoebridge claimed he had cut the fraud by over 50 per cent in one year of his leadership.He also admitted that UTL’s technology and equipment had become outmoded with the last upgrade having been done a decade ago in 2007.This, Shoebridge said, had put UTL at a disadvantage in the telecom market’s competition.[related-posts]At the time of the takeover, UTL had lost many customers in the sms and calls market, remaining with providing fixed line services and data to government ministries Departments and Agencies.last_img read more

Facebook Exec Admits Impossible to Weed Out Hate Content Completely

first_imgOver 170 million people in Africa access FaceBook each month, 94% being on mobile. (Photo Credit: New Vision Uganda) Advertisement With the growing debate around spread of violence and crime-related content on Facebook, a top executive of the social media giant has said that it is impossible to completely weed out such content from the platform.“Our policy is zero tolerance — that doesn’t mean zero occurrence,” a report in CNBC on Tuesday quoted Carolyn Everson, Global Head (Sales) Facebook, as saying.There have been several incidents on Facebook where Live videos broadcast murders, rapes, suicides and other crimes. – Advertisement – Facebook has been criticised for not doing enough to prevent videos showing violent incidents, including a murder in Cleveland, Ohio, and a killing of a baby in Thailand, from spreading on the social network.“There are bad things that are going to happen. That is reality. That is life. Facebook is a reflection of that life. It is our ob to make the community as safe as possible,” Everson said.[related-posts]The social media giant has created a “blacklist” for websites that includes content which will not be allowed to advertise in-stream during videos, on Instant Articles and through its Audience Network of websites it serves ads to.The brands can also opt out of advertising on certain videos.“Facebook is a safe place for brands, let me start there. The second thing I would say is we have zero tolerance, zero tolerance for hate speech and terrorism. There is no place for any of that on our platforms, and we have already made a commitment,” Everson noted.Facebook has announced continued investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify offensive posts. The company relies on its 1.9 billion users to report offensive content.The company announced last month that it will be hiring 3,000 additional employees over the next year to monitor content and remove violent videos from its platform.Facebook has also taken measures to stop fake news on its platform by introducing several fact-checking tools.source: TOIlast_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Wednesday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Wednesday 4 JuneRACING2.20 Nottingham Osaila 4/1 > 11/44.20 Nottingham Tea In Transvaal 8/1 > 9/24.50 Nottingham Taws 9/1 > 5/1What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

STARTERS ORDERS Sunday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Sunday 7 JuneRACING2.05 CurraghAir Vice Marshall 15/8 > 5/43.00 GoodwoodEton Rambler 3/1 > 2/13.20 PerthRussian Royale 13/2 > 7/24.15 CurraghParish Hall 6/4 > 11/105.10 GoodwoodDonncha 6/1 > 3/15.40 GoodwoodSilver Lining 11/1 > 6/1FOOTBALL1pm14/5 Republic Of Ireland 11/10 England 23/10 DRAWFRENCH OPEN FINAL2pm1/7 Novak Djokovic 9/2 Stan Wawrinka(All prices subject to fluctuation) What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img read more

STARTERS ORDERS Sunday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Sunday 30 October HORSE RACING1.20 HuntingdonMoss Street 15/2 > 3/11.25 WexfordBilly’s Hope 15/8 > 6/52.45 CarlisleFull Jack 14/1 > 13/23.35 HuntingdonTasty Ginger 14/1 > 7/1LIVE FOOTBALLChampionship12:00 Sky Sports 2 / Sky Sports 2 HD2/1 Birmingham City 6/4 Aston Villa 21/10 DRAWPremier League13:30 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports Ultra HD10/11 Everton 100/30 West Ham 13/5 DRAWPremier League16:00 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports Ultra HD21/10 Southampton 6/4 Chelsea 11/5 DRAWBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more