The new work and pensions secretary has suggested

first_imgThe new work and pensions secretary has suggested the government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap will face lengthy delays, after he said he wanted to spend a “few years” testing how to achieve the target.Stephen Crabb, who was appointed after the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith in March, was giving evidence for the first time to the Commons work and pensions select committee.Tory ministers have repeatedly referred to their commitment to halving the gap of about 30 percentage points between the employment rates of disabled people (less than 50 per cent) and non-disabled people (about 80 per cent).Halving the gap would mean finding jobs for more than one million more disabled people.Last year’s general election manifesto said a Conservative government would “aim to halve the disability employment gap”, one of just eight mentions of the words “disabled” or “disability” in the 84-page document.Labour MP Neil Coyle (pictured during the session), a former director of Disability Rights UK, asked Crabb what “milestones” he would use to measure the success of the “very welcome and ambitious manifesto commitment” to halve the disability employment gap, when the proportion of working-age disabled people in work had fallen over the last six years.Disability Rights UK has stressed the importance of setting milestones, in its submission to the committee’s inquiry into halving the gap, pointing out that “interim targets could be expected to drive institutional change and it could be expected that the government would wish to know if it was on track”.But Crabb said that rather than setting interim targets for narrowing the gap, he wanted instead to focus on what policies might prove successful.He said that 150,000 more disabled people were in work in the last year, but if the number of non-disabled people in work had also risen “there is no closing of the gap”.He said he did not think that setting out interim targets towards achieving the aim of halving the gap was “the more helpful approach”, and added: “The more helpful approach I think is testing what works and building the evidence base for how we do that and that’s what I want to spend the next few years really focusing on.”He appeared then to criticise the approach of his predecessor as work and pensions secretary, by adding: “I don’t know that whatever has gone on before has really built a strong evidence base for supporting people with disabilities and health conditions into work.”Crabb told the committee that he wanted to “take a step back” from previous plans to publish a white paper with “firm legislative proposals” on supporting disabled people into work.Instead, he said, there would be a “much more discursive green paper that starts to reframe the issue and points the way towards more meaningful long-term reform”.And he said he wanted to “restart conversations with disability organisations and disabled people themselves about how best as a government we can work with them to close the disability employment gap”.When Crabb said later in the session that DWP would provide more disability experts in jobcentres, Coyle asked him to clarify what this increase meant, as the number of disability employment advisers fell by a fifth in the last parliament.In another criticism of the Duncan Smith regime, Crabb said DWP would be placing another 500 disability employment advisers into jobcentres across the country, which he said was “a significant step forward”.He said: “Whatever decisions happened in the last parliament, that was then.“I’m pretty clear in my mind, whether it’s by employing more of our own people as disability specialists or partnering with expert organisations, we need to get more expertise under the roof of Jobcentre Pluses, in terms of how we support people with sicknesses and disabilities, and addictions as well.”A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said later that there was “no plan to abandon the target” of halving the disability employment gap.He said: “It is a long-term ambition, and the secretary of state was re-affirming government’s commitment to reducing the gap.”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… Rates of pay for personal assistants (PAs) are so low that local authorities could be in breach of their legal duties to families with disabled children, according to new research by Leeds University.Results of a survey of families found the average gross* hourly weekday rate they received from their local council to pay a PA was just £8.90.It found that almost all PAs were paid at rates “near or just above the minimum wage”, and that many families said these rates were too low to recruit suitable PAs, even though their local authority was willing to pay much higher rates for agency staff.Of 256 responses from families, there was just one report of a council increasing pay rates to make it easier to recruit a PA.The report says its findings “strongly suggest that there is a severe market failure in many local authority areas”, with councils “arguably in breach of their statutory and public law obligations to families with disabled children”.Even securing an assessment of a disabled child’s needs was often a “matter of chance”, with some families learning about services only “through word of mouth” and some waiting up to two years for an assessment.One parent who responded to the survey said: “At the moment it would seem the whole system is collapsing from health, education and social services.“I just keep getting told there is nothing else they can offer me, and there are no funds to help us.”More than half of the families that responded said the amount of direct payments they received was not enough to cover all their child’s needs that had been identified by their local council.The report concludes: “Strict rationing of resources is resulting in families experiencing stress, an acute lack of support and prolonged ‘battles’ to secure basic services that they are entitled to by law.”Alongside the survey, freedom of information requests were sent to 60 English councils with social services responsibilities.They reported an average gross standard hourly rate of £10.57, slightly higher than the £8.90 reported by the survey of families.The report says there are “deep levels of dissatisfaction” with the way that direct payments are run by local authorities.And it says there is an “urgent need” for the government to carry out a “fundamental review” of the direct payments scheme.It says the research suggests that health and social care secretary Matt Hancock has a public law duty to address the failings, while similar action may be necessary in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.A Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesperson declined to comment on the report, the findings on rates of pay for PAs, the concerns about market failure, or the call for a fundamental review of direct payments.Instead, he issued a statement about personal budgets, which are different from direct payments**.He said: “People can benefit from much greater choice, flexibility and control over their health and care support with personal budgets. “Local authorities are responsible for providing high-quality personal budgets that best meet people’s needs, and we are working to improve access, including supporting guidance to ensure individual choice is not limited.“We have given local authorities access to up to £3.9 billion more dedicated funding for adult social care this year, and a further £410 million is available for adults and children’s services.“We will set out our plans to reform the social care system at the earliest opportunity to ensure it is sustainable for the future.”The research was carried out by students at Leeds University’s School of Law, working with Cerebra, a charity for children with neurological conditions, under the supervision of Professor Luke Clements.It is part of the Legal Entitlements and Problem-Solving Project, based at the School of Law, and set up by Cerebra in 2014 to support disabled children and their families experiencing problems in accessing their legal entitlements to care and support.The report will soon be available from the university’s Cerebra research programme home page*The gross figure is how much the family is allocated to pay its PA before any extra employment costs – such as national insurance, holiday and sickness pay – have been deducted **Direct payments are one particular way of spending a personal budgetPicture: DHSC’s offices in Whitehalllast_img read more

Boris Johnson has won the Tory leadership contest

first_imgBoris Johnson has won the Tory leadership contest with 92,153 votes to Jeremy Hunt’s 46,656 on a turnout of 87.4%. The comprehensive victory saw the former London mayor win 66% of the vote. Almost 160,000 votes were cast by Conservative members.Following the announcement, Jeremy Corbyn said: “After almost a decade of austerity, we need a Prime Minister on the side of the many, not the few. Boris Johnson has won the support of fewer than 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative Party members by promising tax cuts for the richest, presenting himself as the bankers’ best friend, and pushing for a damaging no deal Brexit.“But he hasn’t won the support of our country. Johnson’s no deal would mean job cuts, higher prices in the shops, and risk our NHS being sold off to US corporations in a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump. The people of our country should decide who becomes Prime Minister. We need a Labour government for the many, not a Boris Johnson Conservative government for the few.”Johnson will soon address staff at Conservative Party HQ and later speak to members of his parliamentary party at a 1922 Committee meeting. He will go to the Palace to become Prime Minister tomorrow after Theresa May has officially stepped down.The new Conservative Party leader has described the withdrawal agreement as “dead” and the October 31st deadline as “do or die”. He has dismissed the possibility of passing a deal that includes a backstop, and the EU has dismissed the possibility of agreeing a deal without a backstop.Cabinet minister David Gauke has resigned in response to Johnson’s election, as did education minister Anne Milton earlier today, and others such as Philip Hammond have also promised to resign. Parliament breaks up for summer recess on Thursday, just one day after Johnson officially becomes Prime Minister. Labour has not confirmed whether it will move a motion of no confidence in him on the final day, which could potentially force an early election in September.However, it is thought unlikely that such a motion would be successful this week. Alternatively, Corbyn could put down the no-confidence motion when parliament returns from recess on September 3rd. This could technically lead to an election on October 24th, one week before the UK’s latest Brexit date.Responding to the leadership election result, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Prime Ministers should be elected by the whole country, not an out-of-touch few. If Boris Johnson really believes he’s ready to lead the country, he should call a general election.”TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “The election of this clown as Tory leader is sadly no laughing matter for the people of our country.”TUC leader Frances O’Grady commented: “Let’s be clear that working people cannot take the hit of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit… No Prime Minister who truly cared about uniting and rebuilding Britain would take that step.”President Trump tweeted: “Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He will be great!”Tags:Boris Johnson /Conservative Party /Jeremy Hunt /Tory leadership contest 2019 /last_img read more

Activists Rally for More Local Control of Housing

first_imgPhoto by Serginho RoosbladPhoto by Serginho RoosbladRobert Hernandez speaking to the protesters. Photo by Serginho Roosblad Although the South Van Ness development has been approved, many in the crowd said the 25 percent affordable housing level agreed to by Lennar Multifamily Communities in August is too low.“It should be 50 percent,” said Jennifer Fieber of the San Francisco Tenants Union.Photo by Serginho RoosbladAs it turns out, the South Van Ness project has second highest proportion of affordable housing in the Mission. The highest is at the 327-unit housing project on Bryant Street, where the developer Nick Podell agreed to a deal with the city earlier this year that brings the affordable housing generated by the Bryant Street project to 40 percent.Over the last year, seven fully affordable housing projects have been planned for the Mission District.On Tuesday, activists at the rally looked beyond the South Van Ness development, calling for the district to allow community non-profits and tenants first refusal rights to purchase buildings that may be at risk of being sold to developers. “We’re not gonna let nobody come in our neighborhood and build luxury housing unless they talk to us,” said Roberto Alfaro of Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth. He lives nearby on 26th and Lucky streets and said his family successfully fought eviction a year ago.Photo by Serginho Roosblad“They ain’t taking us out,” he said to a cheering crowd. “We ain’t going nowhere!”Many of the protestors’ speeches focused on Lennar highlighting its project at Bayview Hunters Point.“I want to talk to you about another shady Lennar development at Bayview Hunters Point,” said Fieber, addressing the crowd. “It’s Proposition O—”“No on O!” someone in the crowd yelled out.“No on O!” Fieber called back.The $8 billion project at Hunters Point redevelops 750 acres of waterfront property into new retail, housing, and office space.Proposition O would exempt the development’s office space from counting towards the city’s annual 950,000 square foot limit on new office developments. Activists argue that the development will not create jobs for lower economic tiers, and that under the proposition, new office space in the development would come without a commensurate requirement for additional affordable housing or funding for expanded public transportation to accommodate the increased workforce.“What’s really offensive is there’s been no community outreach in Bayview,” said Fieber. “They’re shoving this down their throats.”With cries of “They say Prop O, we say hell no!” the crowd turned to march down South Van Ness Ave.“Don’t let them take our land,” a man in a black t-shirt called out from his porch as the protestors passed. “They’re taking everything.”The protestors stopped at the corner of 22nd Street and South Van Ness Avenue, and Carlos Gutierrez addressed the crowd.“I’ve lived in this neighborhood my entire life,” he said. He pointed to the yellow, three-story building behind the group and explained that four generations of his family have lived there. It is for sale for the second time in recent years. Gutierrez is worried about eviction and is among those advocating for a community and tenant purchase opportunity program.He called on the candidates running for District 9 supervisor to sign a pledge in support of the program to allow community and tenant purchases. Joshua Arce, Iswari España, and Hillary Ronen all signed the pledge. Melissa San Miguel was not present.The agreement signed by all but one District 9 candidate. Photo by Serginho RoosbladFrancis Collins, who has lived in San Francisco for over 40 years, said he’s seen housing in the city change. “I came here in 1967 in the Summer of Love,” he said. “Things were really cheap.”As the rally wrapped up, he brought his guitar to the front of the crowd and sang “We Shall Not Be Moved,” albeit with some new verses.“We’ll overturn the Ellis Act, we shall not be moved,” he sang. “We’ve had it with these rent hikes, we shall not be moved.”Photo by Serginho Roosblad Rush hour drivers honked their support on Tuesday afternoon as anti-eviction organizations, community groups, and Mission residents protested what they say is a lack of community engagement by housing developers. The crowd of nearly 50 people spilled off the sidewalk and into the street as they listened to speeches calling for more community involvement in housing issues and greater transparency by development companies.“Calling for community lands—” shouted Julien Ball of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which helped to organize the rally.“—To be in community hands!” finished the crowd.The group gathered in front of 1515 South Van Ness Ave., which is slated to be redeveloped as a 157-unit housing project. Protestors called for more affordable housing in market-rate projects and advocated for increased input in and control over housing redevelopment projects. They also argued strenuously against Proposition O, which centers on a Bayview Hunter’s Point redevelopment run by the Lennar Corporation, the parent company of the developer of the South Van Ness project. Tags: displacement • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%last_img read more

Neighborhood notes GoFundMe for Marco Senghors legal defense fund 20th Street Block

first_img Email Address Sports Basement Cycle FestStarting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sports Basement off Bryant street will be hosting its first Cycle Fest. It’s free and open to the public, and you’ll be able to shop and trade your way into new cycle gear. View more on their event page. –ARPop-Up orchestra at Dance Mission SFHelp a local symphony and join this free pop-up orchestra in the Mission. Organizers are asking for donations to help support the Cambrian Symphony and be part of a two-hour musical experience at Dance Mission SF. The event starts on Saturday, August 18 at 7 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. More information here. –AR Donate to Marco Senghor’s Defense FundMarco Senghor, the owner of the Senegalese restaurant Bissap Baobab, was indicted by the federal government two weeks ago for allegedly “illegally obtaining his citizenship.” Senghor has been a beloved member of the community for two decades, and a GoFundMe has been set up for his legal defense fund. Contribute here. On Friday, mid-day, he was more than 30 percent toward a $50,000 goal. —Julian Mark  20th Street Block Party returns to the MissionThe sixth annual 20th Street Block Party is taking over parts of the Mission this weekend. Sections of 19th and 20th Streets will be blocked off between Harrison and Bryant, along with parts of Alabama and Florida Streets. A dozen bands will have live performances across three stages, and the event is filled with workshops, live yoga and even a radio show. There’s even space for dogs! The party starts at noon and ends at 6 p.m. View more at their website. —Abraham Rodriguezcenter_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletterlast_img read more

WarriorsRaptors Guide for the Perplexed

first_imgIt’s that time of year again: the National Basketball Association Finals, starring “your” Golden State Warriors, and we’re here to help all bandwagon fans. So if you’re up on your Dubs reading, go no further (Just kidding: Read the piece and click on all the links). If you need a fill-in on what’s been happening, Mission Local’s got your back with our award-winning Guide for the Perplexed.  Impress friends, grandparents, co-workers and maybe the good-looking person sitting next to you at the bar.Here are five easy pieces to help you sound like you actually follow the Warriors. Led by the winsome Steph Curry, they are entering their fifth consecutive NBA Finals.  This time around, they are going up against the Toronto Raptors, a Canadian team playing in its first NBA Finals ever. (If friends keep mentioning Cleveland, it’s because for four straight years, the Warriors faced the Cleveland Cavaliers and beat them all but one time.) The road to the NBA finals went through a regular season in which the Dubs struggled to put on their uniforms night after night. The regular season, 82 games spread over six months, was “a slog” (Coach Steve Kerr) and “a soap opera” (center DeMarcus Cousins). With another championship their only goal, the Dubs seemed to be playing an absurd version of Waiting for Godot.Okay, we get that no other team has been to five straight NBA Finals since the Boston Celtics in the ’60s. We can also appreciate how much workout time, study, game planning, etc. a professional basketball game requires.But seriously: Mass spectator sports are mass entertainment. When fans empty out their bank accounts for a once-in-a-lifetime ticket to the upper reaches of Oracle, they deserve to see more than a bunch of bored guys in shorts going through the motions and whining at the refs. Does the cast of Hamilton, performing the same play night after night, complain as much? No. But the Dubs do.Instead of playing their beautiful game, the Dubs spent most of the regular season as the greatest collection of whiners since the Clinton campaign. They whined about the refs, about the media, and at times – bad times – about each other. It got so bad that Draymond Green’s mother (his mother!!) stopped watching Dubs games, because, she said, she preferred to watch basketball.Throughout the regular season, the big question was whether the Dubs would, or could, “flip the switch” when the playoffs began.  They did. Leonard is a diva in his own right. And with his playoff success so far, many now consider him “the best player on the planet.”Can you hear KD hitting his head against the wall? Canadians play basketball?  Not really. [Editor’s note: Some do]The Raptors had the second-best regular season record and they beat the sleepwalking Dubs twice. They sport the best defense the Dubs have faced in the playoffs, paired with a more-than-capable offense. Though they lack experience in the Finals, and the Dubs’ firepower, the Raptors have Kawhi Leonard.A former Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, Leonard is called “The Claw,” thanks to his freakishly disruptive hands. Toronto is playing in the Finals this year because Leonard has played so well, on offense and defense, during the playoffs, including this last-second shot to win Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers.  What a long strange trip it’s been. As even bandwagon fans know, the NBA Finals can be an emotionally draining experience for spectators as well as players. The action whips back and forth and usually the games go down to the buzzer.Get plenty of sleep, eat well and exercise. If abusing substances is part of your in-game ritual, stick with red wine, a local gin and/or a light IPA.  Also, given the high anxiety produced by the games, an indica-dominant hybrid will help keep your synapses in check.Your favorite bar will probably be showing the games. If you are new to the Mission, crowds tend to be larger and rowdier in the north (around 16th Street). Two of ML’s favorites have been Bar San Pancho on 16th and The 500 Club on Guerrero. However, Bar Sancho has since closed and 500 Club is under new management. Otherwise, check out our map and let us know where you like the view. Prediction: In their last game at Oracle, in the parking lot called Golden State, the Dubs win Game 6 and close out the Oakland era with their fourth championship in five seasons. Who are the Raptors? Dubs’ players, coaches and fans can be forgiven if they thought the great Spanish poet Federico García Lorca was referring to Draymond Green after the Dubs-Blazers series when he exclaimed “Verde, verde, que te quiero verde!” (For the record, he wasn’t.)When Durant went down, the rest of the team showed up like “fucking giants,” said Kerr. None bigger than Draymond Green. While anchoring and directing the team’s defense, Green has been the offensive catalyst, a “one-man wrecking crew” (Kerr). With Green at the wheel, the Dubs are playing with a speed and passion rarely seen in any profession.Bored and out of shape during the regular season, Green added spice to the proceedings with his biting review of the KD Show. But by March, he lost 20 pounds, embraced KD, and stopped whining about the refs after watching his two-year-old son imitating his on-court antics.Green’s timing and his wrecking crew play will be tested, and needed, more than ever against Toronto.center_img  K Diva Email Address How to Survive the Finals  “Green! Green! How I love you, Green!” Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Kevin Durant is professional basketball’s answer to Maria Callas: talented, vain, domineering and demanding the spotlight — onstage or off. While the Dubs sleepwalked through the regular season, disgusted and anxious fans turned their attention to KD. Specifically, whether he would stick with the Dubs after this season, when he becomes a free agent. KD raised the issue last July when he agreed to play another year for the Dubs, but instead of proclaiming enduring love, he decided to leave his options open on next year. This meant that his every word and gesture, his style of play, his comments, his no comments — would all be deconstructed into an infinity of interpretations to predict whether he would return or leave.This kept the spotlight he pretends to shun directly focused on him: KD’s trials, his insults, his nightmares, his griefs, his style of play, his fit with the team, his insatiable search for self-validation, his “secret desires,” his business plans, etc. The drama calmed down after the playoffs  began. Durant was playing super basketball again — until he got injured. That happened in Game 5 of the Houston series. Suddenly, instead of subsiding, the KD drama careened into overdrive. Now the questions were not about KD staying or leaving, but about his worth to the team. Was he really that good? Do the Dubs really need him? After all, they finished off Houston and swept Portland without him. Are they better without KD?Whether he plays in the Finals, whether the Dubs win or lose, expect KD to be at the center of whatever storyline emerges.last_img read more

DAY 1 – The group set off bright and breezy from L

first_imgDAY 1 – The group set off bright and breezy from Langtree Park with a huge amount of excitement and a tinge of trepidation. Just before boarding we presented Lewis Furlong with his 18th birthday badge and then once boarded at Manchester the first 12hr leg went by smoothly.The lads were excitedly watching films other than Adam Causey, Cameron Brown and Matty Kilgannon who were busily working away on their college work. Oh and Rob Fairclough who easily slept for 9hrs missing one of the meals.We had a small stoppage at Hong Kong and the conversations started. Elliott Jenkins and Kieran O’Mara where discussing different nationalities. Elliott thought the term for Hong Kong nationalities is ‘Hongenese’ whilst Kieran was adamant that the correct term is ‘Hongonians’. Funnily enough we never did come to a collective conclusion…Onto the second flight and the lack of sleep really kicked in, other than poor Rob who fresh from a 9hr sleep only managed another 5 from the 8hr leg. Danny Edwards and Brad Pinder where particularly friendly with intertwined legs whilst you must feel sorry for Ian ‘the pest’ Talbot sandwiched between the snorers of Molyneux and Leonard!We eventually landed at Sydney fortunate – with no delays and a smooth flight, unlike the Eckleys’ and Lewtas’ who had a 16hr delay.A travel weary group headed on the bus out to Penrith. A quick feed, quick shower and off to bed. Tomorrow the tour starts with a 2 training session day and a short visit to the city to stretch the legs. I hope you enjoy the first few pictures. By Neil Kilshawlast_img read more

Whats OnRed Vee Cafe Bar – Opens at 5pmTurnstil

first_imgWhat’s On:Red Vee Cafe Bar – Opens at 5pm.Turnstiles – Open at 6.15pm.Club Face Painters – These will once again be operating in the Hattons Solicitors Family Stand and the Totally Wicked North Stand from around 6:30pm … come along and get your face painted in Saints colours for free!Bouncy Castles – We have rugby themed inflatables in the North and South West Stands.Member Offers – We have two great offers for you – any pie & alcoholic beverage is just £6, whilst a pie or hotdog & hot drink is just £4.Soft Drinks – Fruit shoots are now available for just £1.50 each.Carling Bar – Following feedback, fans in the West Stand can now get their hands on 500ml Carling PETs from our new bottle bar in the concourse. Price is £4.Contactless Payment – Will be available in the Karalius, Popular Side, Marching Inn, Eddington Arms and Voll’s bars to speed up your service. It is also available in the Red Vee Cafe Bar.The A-Star Saints Angels – Will be performing several new performances before the game and at half time.Half Time –See the new Simply Doughnuts Kicking Challenge! Contestants have three attempts to kick a ball into a large replica Simply Doughnuts pot in front of the West Stand. There’s a whole host of prizes to win and if you kick it in from the 40m line, you return at the final game of the season to kick again for the chance to win a Membership for the 2019 season.Sponsors:The Matchball is sponsored by Cheshire Taxation with Chris Foster celebrating his birthday in our Box 9.Team News:Both sides have named their 19-man squad for the match. You can find out more here.Tickets:Tickets for the game are available from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium or by calling 01744 455 052. There will be cash turnstiles on the Hattons Solicitors West and Totally Wicked North Stands. If you require a South Stand ticket then you need to head to the Ticket Office. The East Stand is closed for this fixture.Tickets are available online until 4pm.Remember, we are giving fans the opportunity to be at all of our four home Super 8s fixtures with our fantastic Super 8s package.This package offers you the chance to save up to £15 for Adults, £9 for Concessions, £13 for Youth and £28 for Juniors.Prices:West stand: £80 (Adult) £55 (Concessions) £45 (Youth) £20 (Junior)Bronze: £85 (Adult) £65 (Concessions) £50 (Youth) £20 (Junior)Silver: £100 (Adult) £75 (Concessions) £55 (Youth) £20 (Junior)Saints Superstore:The Saints Superstore will be open from 9am right up until kick-off.Spotify Playlist:Many thanks to all those who have suggested songs for our Spotify playlist for this evening’s game. We will continue to update it throughout the day. Check it out here: spoti.fi/2BJfn6QProgramme:The programme is priced at £3 and features an exclusive interview with Luke Douglas!A Message:Saints fans are the best in the world and known throughout the sport as being one of the most vocal and loyal group of supporters there is.As a family club we ask that fans are mindful of their fellow supporters and refrain from doing anything that would damage this reputation.There have been instances of beer throwing and other anti-social behaviour at some of our games this year and we ask that fans think of those around them and not do anything that could bring further action on the club.Anyone caught throwing beer, or any other liquid, risks being banned for a period of games, and/or having season tickets rescinded.last_img read more

No 1 – Our New Signings We have signed a wealth o

first_imgNo. 1 – Our New Signings We have signed a wealth of NRL experience for the 2019 campaign.Lachlan Coote: The NRL Grand Final winner joins us from North Queensland Cowboys and comes to the Totally Wicked Stadium with bags of experience and a winning mentality, proven in the NRL.The Scottish international has played 166 times in the NRL after making his debut for Penrith in 2008.“I’m really excited to have such a quality player coming to our club,” Saints Head Coach Justin Holbrook said. “He is an exciting player with a good kicking game and vision.”Kevin Naiqama: The experienced 29-year-old centre has scored 47 tries in 102 NRL appearances and is currently Captain of Fiji.“Kevin is a great coup for the club and we’re really looking forward to having him on board next season,” says Justin.And then there’s Joseph Paulo: Equally adept at second row or loose forward, the Kiwi will bring plenty of experience to the side having played more than 160 times in the NRL. He has also gained eleven caps for Samoa and captained the USA in the 2013 World Cup.“He has a high skill level, with good vision, and will be a good addition to the squad next season.”We’ve also signed an outstanding young talent in Joe Batchelor:2017 saw Joe named both the Player of the Year and The York Press Player of the Year following his debut season at the York City Knights, which saw him score 15 tries in 22 appearances.He’s kicked on in 2018 too – being a stand out player in Betfred League 1 – a competition the Knights topped to gain promotion.The 23-year-old back rower attracted interest from a number of Super League Clubs, but Saints won the race for his signature and we’re excited about seeing him play.To renew your Membership for 2019, and secure the best possible price before the Wednesday October 31 deadline, you can call the club ticket office at the Totally Wicked Stadium on 01744 455 052 or you can visit us in person, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 10am-4pm. All membership info including prices, Direct Debit payment plan details and other forms can be found here.last_img read more

County parks and gardens addresses trail camera at splash pad

first_img In fact, the cameras are the county’s.“The cameras are up for vandalism and graffiti purposes. They are checked after an incident has occurred if there is any sign on there of catching the perp that vandalized or graffitied anything, we take the pictures and give them to the Sheriff’s department and everything else on the camera is erased,” says New Hanover County parks and gardens supervisor Ryan Kondor.We reached out to many parents at the play area who were unnerved by the cameras because they are trail cameras, not a normal security camera most would expect a public entity to use.Related Article: Two men travel hundreds of miles to repair chainsaws in Wilmington“I mean at first seeing the camera, the type of camera, I was a little alarmed by that,” says Allie Worth who was enjoying the splash pad with her kids.Worth adds that the worry was calmed when a mother posted on social media that the camera’s belonged to the county.“I feel fine about it as long as we know that’s who it is,” Worth says.The cameras have been up for weeks now at the park according to Kondor. He says they are trail cameras that shoot multi-still images. He adds that, if there is no reported acts of vandalism that day they were in use, the memory cards are wiped and no images are even looked at.“That’s all it is is safety. I mean that’s what the whole purpose of us working here is keeping a clean, safe, friendly park for the visitors of New Hanover County to New Hanover County and park patrons, locals to come and enjoy,” Kondor says.We also reached out to the parks and gardens director Tara Duckworth who says the department apologizes for making families uncomfortable with the cameras, but that their intention is to protect taxpayer property. That’s because the park has had constant acts of vandalism.“People breaking glass bottles on the building, and some had set our park sign on fire. Those are the reasons why the cameras were put up,” says the supervisor.The parks department does intend to continue using the cameras on a rotation; using them at different locations in the park as well as at different times. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Parents want answers after several over the weekend noticed a trail camera mounted overlooking the splash pad at Hugh MacRae Park.This is the first official summer the play area has been open to the public. Images of the cameras mounted on a tree caused many on social media to be on edge. We went to the county parks and gardens for answers.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Professor worried about violence after Charlottesville protests

first_img Salwen is the Wilmington Jewish Film Festival co-chair. He says when he saw the images from the clash in Virginia and the way the white supremacists were speaking, he saw similarities to a propaganda video from the 1940s used by the US War Department to warn Americans against falling into Nazism. Their mentality lead to incidents, like what happened in Charlottesville. “This idea of splitting, you know, people into warring or opposing camps, but I mean yes the comparisons with what is happening now to Nazi Germany are flying all over and I don’t think we’re in danger of becoming a Nazi state but some of the rhetoric is distressingly similar,” Salwen said. Salwen says it is ironic this happened during their summer film festival because the films they are showing give an understanding of behavior in Nazi Germany.Related Article: Arts Friendly Foundation to donate thousands to area arts non-profits “We keep seeing the same things happen. History does repeat itself because human nature doesn’t essentially change. And again, if we improve we tend to also step back. So yes absolutely, there is a continuum,” Salwen said. And according to Salwen, this rhetoric will only bring more hate.“People need to realize this is a danger. It’s not just an extremist group that you can dismiss,” Salwen said. The International Jewish Film Festival will showcase at Thalian hall this Thursday “The people vs Fritz Bauer” at 7 pm. Tickets are still available. For more information, go to their website. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Videos online showcase the actions of the white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. UNCW professor, Barry Salwen, says this is just a reminder of what Nazi Germany was like. “So the parallel with Nazi Germany seems to have, the fear of the outsider, the disliking of the outsider and the using of the outsider for political purposes in this racial purity thing,” Salwen said.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Coast Guard rescues man after boat capsizes near Camp Lejeune

first_img Sector North Carolina watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crew from Station Emerald Isle.Once on scene, the boat crew picked up the man who was sitting on top the overturned boat’s hull. The other man had swum to shore.BoatUS is slated to salvage the vessel.Related Article: Three drownings prompt improved safety measures in Emerald Isle“A good Samaritan on the beach saw the boat capsize and did a good deed by calling the Coast Guard right away,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Brett Utz, the Station Emerald Isle watchstander for the case. “That immediate notification allowed our crew to reach the distressed person quicker and may have helped prevent an unfortunate situation from worsening.” WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Coast Guard rescued a man after his boat capsized near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Saturday.A person on the beach saw the boat capsize and called watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in Wilmington at about 11:55 a.m. to report that a 23-foot boat with two people aboard capsized in the vicinity of Browns Inlet.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Hundreds participate in Surf City Dolphin Dip

first_img It was the coldest it has ever been at the Dolphin Dip, but that didn’t stop many brave, brave souls from taking the ultimate dip.Cold or not, some said taking part in the extravaganza is just a tradition they have to do each year, but Barbara Hair said she decided this was a great time to do it for the first time.“2017 was a tough year for me, and I thought this would be a good way for to put the past behind me and it’s a new future and a great new year,” Hair said. “The water is warmer I hear than it is out here, so I think I have that going for me.”Organizers said the Dolphin Dip is a fun way to “wash away” the previous year by jumping into the Atlantic Ocean. Hundreds rush towards the Atlantic Ocean during the Dolphin Dip in Surf City (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY) SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — Hundreds of people came out to Surf City for the 16th annual Dolphin Dip extravaganza on New Year’s Day.Organizers were interested to see how many people would be watching instead of swimming this year.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Deputies Several drug dealers in jail following investigation

first_img On Friday, March 16, officers executed a search warrant on McLeod Street in Elizabethtown following a month long undercover investigation that lead to several undercover buys and culminated in a search warrant and warrants for arrest for one area drug dealer.Houston Junius Smith, 26, was charged with Possession of Cocaine, Possession With Intent to Manufacture, Sell, Deliver Cocaine, Maintaining a Dwelling for the Purpose of Selling Controlled Substances, Manufacturing Schedule II Controlled Substance (Cocaine), Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Adulterants, Felony Flee to Elude Arrest.Smith was booked into the Bladen County Detention Center on a $53,000 secured bond. He is also facing more narcotics charges and probation violation charges.Related Article: Court reinstates late Aaron Hernandez’s murder convictionJasmine Bryant, 26, was charged with Possession of Marijuana, and Maintaining a Dwelling for the Purpose of Selling Controlled Substances. Bryant was issued a citation and released at the scene.A second search was executed on Friday on Tobermory Road in Fayetteville. Narcotics agents seized heroin, marijuana, paraphernalia and money.Nancy Cain Pruett, 52, was charged with Trafficking heroin, Possession of Heroin, Possession With Intent to Manufacture , sell, deliver Heroin, Possession with Intent Manufacture, Sell and Deliver Marijuana, Manufacturing Heroin, Maintaining a Dwelling for Selling Heroin, Manufacturing Heroin, Simple Possession Cocaine, Simple Possession Schedule IV Narcotics (Prescription Medication), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.Pruett was held under a $1,012,500 secured bond. She is the first heroin dealer in Bladen County to receive a one million dollar bond following the announcement by the district attorneys office of their new policy for heroin dealers.Tara Leigh Atkinson was charged with Possession of Heroin, Possession With Intent to Manufacture, Sell, Deliver Heroin, Maintaining a Dwelling for the Purpose of Selling Controlled Substances, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Adulterants, Possession of Paraphernalia.Atkinson was placed under a $257,000 secured bond and is also facing a probation violation charge. Tara Atkinson, Nancy Pruett, Houston Smith. (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff’s Office) BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office arrested several alleged drug dealers following a joint investigation and search warrants at two different locations last week.“We have been working jointly with several agencies including the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE), Elizabethtown and White Lake Police Departments and the Robeson County Sheriff’s office,” said McVicker.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Former One Tree Hill stars working on new Lifetime movie

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We have solved the mystery of the possible “One Tree Hill” reunion photos that were posted and removed form social media.Actress Hilarie Burton tweeted a link to a “Deadline” article Wednesday confirming she, Danneel Ackles, Antwon Tanner, and Robert Buckley are working together on a Christmas movie.- Advertisement – The article says the Lifetime movie is called “The Christmas Contract” and will also feature a musical performance by Tyler Hilton.The holiday movie is set to premiere later this year.last_img read more

UPDATE UNCW discontinued longtime soccer coachs job

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The parting of ways with longtime women’s soccer coach Paul Cairney was the school’s decision.In an e-mail to WWAY, UNCW spokeswoman Janine Iamunno said Cairney’s “at-will employment has been discontinued.”- Advertisement – Iamunno would not provide any other details. The school confirmed yesterday that Cairney was no longer employed, but would not say whether the coach was fired or resigned.Last December, the school learned Cairney had been accused of sexual misconduct by a female attendee of a soccer camp in 1997 and placed him on paid administrative leave.After an investigation by the school and the SBI, the school also learned of a second misconduct claim against Cairney from 2004 made by a member of the university’s athletic department.Related Article: David Sedaris returning to UNCW in 2019Cairney has been part of the UNCW Women’s soccer program since its inception in 1994.Editor’s note: A previous version of this story included a headline that Cairney was “fired.” However UNCW does not have an action called “fired.”last_img read more

Pet Pals 2yearold Chihuahua mix searching for a furever home

first_img His spunky personality will bring light to anyone’s life and he loves to snack on treats. This little guy is already fixed, microchipped and up to date on his shots.He is looking for a home with no small children and requires a meet and greet if there are other pets in the home. Dep. Watson wants to remind pet owners to use harnesses rather than collars on little dogs.To meet him, head to New Hanover County Animal Services. County residents can adopt for $70. Adoption hours are Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to Noon. To see more pets available for adoption, click here. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — If you’re looking for a four-legged forever friend, there’s a little guy at New Hanover County Animal Services who needs a home!This week’s Pet Pal is a 2-year-old Chihuahua mix. He has a soft black coat and is a ball full of energy.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Former UNCW coach charged with child sex crimes bond reduced

first_imgNicholas John Walkotten (Photo: VineLink) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A former UNCW assistant swimming coach has been charged with sex crimes involving a child.Nicholas John Walkotten, 32, faces two counts of indecent liberties with a child and one count statutory sex offense with a child under the age of 15.- Advertisement – WNCN reports Walkotten served as a coach with the Marlins of Raleigh until he was fired Aug. 2, team officials said. According to warrants Walkotten was arrested at a Raleigh police station for alleged crimes that happened on or between June 1 and August 1.Walkotten was booked in the Wake County Detention Center. His bond was originally $2 million, but a Wake County judge reduced it to $1.5 million.WNCN reports Walkotten’s attorney asked in court for bond to be reduced saying his client has no criminal history, is a decorated swimmer, and has a 2-week-old child.Related Article: Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein faces sex trafficking and conspiracy chargesProsecutors said they felt given the nature of the charges the bond was too low, citing photo evidence, as well as text messages between Walkotten and the victim.In court, the prosecutor said there were concerns Walkotten could destroy evidence, adding there were text messages between him and the victim, and a text exchange where Walkotten asked the victim to delete their correspondence.The prosecutor also cited concerns about Walkotten’s past access to other children.Walkotten join UNCW’s staff in 2014, according to a post on UNCWSports.com. The story said he was an All-American swimmer at South Carolina and had previously spent four years as assistant director of competitive swimming at the YMCA of the Triangle Area. A university spokeswoman says Walkotten worked at UNCW from Aug. 27, 2014, until May 16, 2015.WNCN reports the head coach of the Marlins of Raleigh said Walkotten was fired as soon as he learned about the abuse earlier this month. The US Center for SafeSport, a non-profit aimed at eliminating abuse and sexual assault within sports, was also notified.Walkotten started coaching for the Marlins in the fall of 2015, according to the club’s head coach.last_img read more

Couple returns home almost two years after Hurricane Matthew

first_imgElijah and Dorthy Coleman cut the ribbon on their repaired home that was damaged during Hurricane Matthew.(Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  A Wilmington couple that Hurricane Matthew forced out of their house almost two years ago, is finally back home thanks to some charity work.The Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, or WARM, hosted a ribbon cutting this morning.- Advertisement – Using money from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, WARM organized the repairs, which included a new roof, siding, repairs to walls, floors, and ceilings, a new HVAC unit, fridge, oven, and more.The owners of the home were extremely grateful.“They did it with so much love, like they wanted to be here, You know, sometimes you get contractors, they come in they work, but these people, they did it like it was their own home. They treated it real nice, and then they were nice to us too, so that made us feel good. And, I don’t know, I’m just happy. And I just thank God for us to be able to get back into our home,” said homeowner Dorthy Coleman.Related Article: Cutting down on some, but not all flooding in WhitevilleIf you or someone you know is interested in applying for assistance, contact WARM at 910-399-7563. To find local partners providing assistance in other disaster-affected counties, click here.last_img read more

Hurricane Florence has ingredients that make experts worry

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — To whip up a monstrous storm like the one chugging for the Carolinas you need a handful of ingredients — and Florence has them all.Warmer than normal sea temperatures to add energy and rain to a storm. Check.- Advertisement – A wind pattern that allows a storm to get strong and stay strong. Check.Higher sea levels to make a storm surge worse. Check.A storm covering enormous area, to drench and lash more people. Check.Related Article: To prep for Hurricane Florence, investors sell off insurersAnd an unusual combination of other weather systems that are likely to stall Florence when it hits the Carolinas, allowing it to sit for days and dump huge amounts of rain. Check.“The longer it stays, the more wind, the more rain. That means the more trees that could fall, the more power outages,” National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.“This one really scares me,” Graham said. “It’s one of those situations where you’re going to get heavy rain, catastrophic, life-threatening storm surge, and also the winds.”The National Hurricane Center Tuesday afternoon increased its rainfall forecast to 15 to 25 inches of rain and 35 inches in isolated spots. But a computer simulation known as the European model predicts some places could get 45 inches. Sound unlikely? It’s the same model that accurately predicted that last year’s Hurricane Harvey, which also stalled over land, would drop 60 inches.“It does look a bit similar to Harvey in a sense that it goes roaring into shore and then comes to a screeching stop,” said MIT meteorology professor and hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel. “This is not a pretty sight.”Florence is unusual in that it is aiming at the Carolinas from the east. Usually storms come to the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic from the south — and those usually curve safely out to sea.But a weather formation known as a high-pressure ridge is parked over the U.S. East coast, preventing Florence from doing the normal turn, said University of Miami hurricane expert Brian McNoldy.After Florence makes landfall, that ridge, now over Washington and New York, will move east — but be replaced by another one forming over the Great Lakes that will likely keep the storm stuck, McNoldy said.Florence’s path remains uncertain. It may move a little north into Virginia or a little south into South Carolina. But it’s such a large storm that the rain will keep coming down in the region no matter where it wanders. And with the Appalachian Mountains to the west, there could be flooding and mudslides, experts worry.Florence’s large size — tropical storm force winds extend 170 miles from the center in all directions — means its fury will arrive long before the center of the storm comes ashore, Graham said.Some of Florence’s behavior, both what has been seen so far and what experts expect, show the influence of climate change.Its expected sluggishness is becoming more common, a result of climate change, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate scientist and hurricane expert Jim Kossin.The ocean waters that Florence is travelling over are about 2.7 degrees (1.5 degrees Celsius) warmer than normal, McNoldy said. Even normal water is warm enough for a storm to form there, but this adds to the storm’s fuel and its rainfall. The air is holding 10 percent more water that can be dumped as rain.And the storm surge, which could be as much as 12 feet in some areas, will be on top of sea level rise from climate change. For example, the seas off of Wilmington, North Carolina have risen 7.5 inches since 1935, according to NOAA.last_img read more