Monthly Archives: July 2019

A senior civil servant has refused to allow the mo

first_imgA senior civil servant has refused to allow the mother of a woman who took her own life – after being repeatedly failed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – to see a secret report into her daughter’s death.Jodey Whiting (pictured) died in February 2017, 15 days after she had her out-of-work disability benefits mistakenly stopped for missing a work capability assessment (WCA).But Emma Haddad, DWP’s director general for service excellence, has now told Joy Dove, Whiting’s mother, that she cannot see a secret internal review that was carried out into her daughter’s death.She told her in a letter: “We do not share Internal Process Reviews due to the personal customer data they contain.”But only last week, work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd revealed key details from another internal process review (IPR) to MP Frank Field, the chair of the Commons work and pensions committee.That review was carried out following the death of Stephen Smith, who died in April, months after he was found fit for work by DWP despite being in hospital with such severe health problems that his weight had fallen to six stone.There appears to be no legal reason why an IPR cannot be released to the next-of-kin in full, if the work and pensions secretary gives her or his permission for it to be released.This week, a DWP spokesperson said the letter to Field was simply “outlining the outcome of the Internal Process Review into Stephen Smith’s case rather than a full copy of the report”.She added: “We do not share Internal Process Reviews due to the personal customer data they contain.”John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, said today (Thursday): “It is morally reprehensible that the DWP is attempting to hide behind a cloak of secrecy.“Joy has an absolute right to know the contents and conclusions drawn from the DWP internal review into her daughter Jodey’s death.“This denial only strengthens our case for a full independent judicial inquiry into Jodey’s case.“We would like to add our voices to Joy’s in demanding full disclosure of the entire review immediately, no ifs, no buts.”The letter from Haddad contained written answers to questions put to her by Dove – and prepared with the help of Disability News Service (DNS) – during a face-to-face meeting that took place earlier this month.In the letter, Haddad also refused to tell her whether any DWP civil servant had been disciplined for the failings that led to her daughter’s death.The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) concluded earlier this year that DWP was guilty of “multiple” and “significant” failings in handling the case.But a DWP spokesperson said this week: “We discussed with Mrs Dove the actions taken as a result of Jodey’s case, including corrective actions, but we cannot discuss any specific actions taken in relation to individual members of staff.”Haddad also refused to say if she believed that it was ministers or civil servants who were responsible for Jodey Whiting’s death, stating only that ICE “provided a thorough and in-depth review of how we dealt with Jodey’s case and what failings had taken place”.A DWP spokesperson added: “The Independent Case Examiner did not find any evidence of misconduct by Civil Servants or Ministers.”*Sign the Jodey Whiting petition here. If you sign the petition, please note you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committeeSamaritans can be contacted free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.orglast_img read more

Affordable Housing Buyer in SF Mission in Limbo

first_imgWhile he said that it was typical for the below-market-rate units, commonly referred to as BMRs, to close last, it has been five months since the last of the market-rate units were sold.  Many of those were sold as early as January of this year. Bill Lightner, head of the Lightner Property Group, which developed the project where Ramos is hoping to move, blamed what he called the city’s convoluted, lengthy process.“The city has a distorted vision,” Lightner wrote in an email, referring to the Mayor’s Office of Housing’s requirement that a BMR unit be marketed for at least 45 days. “The process for selling the BMR units can be very cumbersome and time-consuming. As a consequence, these units were the last to sell.”They may have been the last to sell, but the affordable units were spoken for quickly. It’s moving in that’s proving difficult. Ramos even changed the school she teaches at and planned to sell her car to make back some money, anticipating a shortened commute, but that didn’t pan out.“I’ve been having this feeling, oh, next weekend I’m gonna move,” Ramos said. “I’ve been rallying all the resources and I’m always like, oh… never mind. It’s a high-stress situation for me.”Ramos and her daughter Elena read together. Photo by Laura WenusThe Planning Department says the below-market-rate units should have been the first to sell, and has opened an enforcement case against the developer.The delays appear to be a mixture of construction deficits, procedural snags, and legal disputes between the builder and a subcontractor. Ramos was told by her realtor she would be closing by May. She had paid the first half of her down payment and entered into contract in March. By June, she hadn’t closed, and was being told testing needed to be done due to water intrusion related to issues arising before the building was sealed during construction. Lightner said these were due to construction deficiencies that were never fixed by the building contractor. Fuller was unimpressed.“This developer was such a mess, it was just so ridiculous. We’re in the middle of a four-year drought and you’ve got a brand-new building where it’s never rained that you have a concern about water intrusion. How do you manage that?” he wanted to know. “And if this was a building-wide issue, was there a reason you didn’t catch it earlier? It puts the BMR buyer in a really no-win situation.”Meanwhile, in June, Ramos was walking by her highly anticipated future home when she noticed that a street-facing porch door, made of glass, had been smashed and taped over with a sign:  “Danger, Do Not Enter.” A few weeks after she noticed the sign, a final walk-through inspection was delayed because a realtor for the developer finally noticed the broken glass. “They acted as if they had no idea it had happened,” Ramos said. “I was like, how did you not know about it? There’s a sign that says ‘Danger, Do Not Enter’!”Lightner said his company had planned to put sturdy fences in place to protect the ground-level units from unwanted attention and security threats from the street. But, he said, the Planning Department nixed that idea.“They told us that fencing does not create as attractive a street scene, and was contrary to neighborhood norms,” Lightner wrote in an email.He said his firm is working on getting approval for some kind of fence to prevent similar issues in the future, and that safety demands that couldn’t be met convinced one BMR buyer to back out of the deal.After further delays due to the discovery and remediation of mold growth, Ramos was told she could deliver the second half of her down payment and sign the final papers in October. She’d have the keys in hand. But it wasn’t to be. After paying the rest of her down payment, she was informed while getting ready to sign the last of her papers that a legal conflict had arisen between the builders and the developer of 35 Dolores. The builder, Build Group, blamed a subcontractor for the problems with construction. Build Group withheld payment, the developer alleged in a lawsuit, to which the subcontractor responded by placing a lien on the building. That lien meant that the building couldn’t be sold. Ramos, again, could not move in.“I felt like the developer should have known about the liens,” Ramos said.“Frustrated with Build Group, we have hired a new contractor to deal with the remaining construction defect issues. The new firm is on the job,” Lightner said. “We are pursuing Build Group vigorously. They are bad actors,” he later added.That hasn’t translated to any tangible progress for Ramos, however. She is starting to worry that the delays will go on forever. She has tried to enlist the help of tenant advocates and lawyers, but in this situation, she is a buyer rather than a tenant and didn’t qualify for assistance. A lawyer with experience in the field offered her his help, she said, but for a deposit she couldn’t afford.“My perception is that the mayor’s office has no teeth to make them sell me this unit,” Ramos said. She’s right. Maria Benjamin, Director of Homeownership & Below Market Rate Programs at the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, which selects candidates for the BMR program, said her agency does not have any enforcement capacity if parties in a housing deal are not acting in good faith. “MOHCD only ensures that the unit is being sold to an income-qualified household under the Inclusionary Affordable Housing Program enforced by the Planning Department,” Benjamin wrote. Fuller, the realtor, agreed. “When there’s delays they can certainly say, ‘Hey, stop delaying’ but they have no power,” he said. “All they can really do is kind of be squeaky wheels.”The Planning Department, on the other hand, may have some ability to move things forward. Having a BMR sale escalated to planning enforcement is rare – Kate Connor at Planning said that in the five years of her role at the department, she hadn’t seen it happen. Another planner said she has a handful of other cases at the moment, but none in the Mission.The department has opened an enforcement case and sent a notification (which Lightner said he was unaware of). If planning receives no response, fines of up to $250 per day can be levied. But it’s unclear how those fines would move along a legal battle between the developer, a builder, and a subcontractor – a legal process that is already under way, but with a mediation conference scheduled for March 2016. Lightner’s group has agreed to pay Meanwhile, Ramos and the other BMR buyer are still waiting. 0% En Español.Sanchez Elementary teacher Tara Ramos won the lottery in March to buy a below-market-rate housing unit – one of four affordable units at 35 Dolores Street, a four-story building completed in late 2014. Instead of paying the market rate of $1.38 million for a two-bedroom at that site, she could buy the unit for $270,000. “It wasn’t even a year before my number came up,” marveled the mother of a two-year-old, who has been teaching in the city’s public school system for 11 years. While the market-rate tenants have moved in, however, Ramos and another of the affordable-unit buyers remain in limbo, unsure of when they will be able to move in as they find themselves caught in a number of conflicts. The developer blames the city process, while the city says it is doing what it can to move things along. Meanwhile, only one of the four buyers of the below-market-rate units has settled in, while the last has backed out of the deal entirely. “I’ve never had a BMR buyer kind of sit with these delays for months and months,” said Matt Fuller, a realtor who worked with the one below-market-rate buyer at 35 Dolores, who did eventually close on her home. center_img Tags: Affordable Housing • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

SF Mission historical auto livery adjusts — or not — to the

first_img 0% The firm proposed to demolish the 2,024-square-foot site and build a five-story, 28-unit housing development in its place.That plan failed when the Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association wrote a letter to Phil Lesser, past president of the Mission Merchants Association and community liaison for the project, objecting to the proposed demolition. “The city backed us up,” said Peter Lewis, president of the board of the neighborhood association. The city’s Historic Preservation staff, led by Tim Frye, had already categorized Superior Auto as a “Grade A” historic building and a key element in the 16th and Valencia street post-fire historic district. Moshayadi came up with a new plan. The proposed building would be re-purposed and transformed into an event site. The building’s stucco exterior and design features would be repaired and restored. Three restaurants would occupy the ground floor, with an event space on the second floor. A section of the undulating, wave-shaped roof would be leveled to accommodate a deck for a rooftop bar and movie screen. The proposed name of the venue? “The Albion.” How far this goes on a block already lined with bars, is unclear. Its history, however, is set.  The future home of the proposed venue started life as an undeveloped parcel on Center Street, the 19th-century name of 16th Street, which got its name from its centrality to navigating the swampy flatlands of Mission Creek. In 1907, Ada F. Simpson sold her parcel on the corner of 16th and Albion to Rudolph Taussig, president of the Louis Taussig Company, a wholesale wine and liquor business, which also owned the adjoining parcel of land. “This gives the Taussig family 100 feet on Sixteenth Street on which they will erect a two-story building for their increased business,” noted the San Francisco Chronicle. Taussig hired San Francisco architect Joseph L. Stewart, who was busy building other monumental auto garages in San Francisco. At least two still exist: the Hub Garage Company on 150 Turk St., and a warehouse for the Michelin Tire Company at 180 12th St., now the European Collision Center. These garages, with their vast, shed-like interiors and marquee-like ornate frames, give a sense of the opulent glamour as automobiles rolled out and onto the streets. Most of these garages have been demolished or drastically redesigned, Mark D. Kessler, associate professor of design at UC Davis, writes in his book The Early Public Garages of San Francisco, An Architectural and Cultural Study, 1906–1929.A conditional-use permit is needed before the redesign of Superior Auto gets underway. The San Francisco Planning Department, which accepted the application for a conditional-use permit in July, has yet to schedule a hearing. Approval by the Mission Dolores Neighborhood Association and other merchants is pending as well. Lewis, who noted that the group has yet to vote, sounded guardedly optimistic. “We support adaptive reuse and quality new construction, as long as no historic building is demolished,” he said, noting that they had no objections to housing. “There’s nothing to stop them from putting housing there,” Lewis pointed out. “It’s their choice.”Neighbors were informed of the change of use for the site at a December meeting. Lesser contends that support for the plan was high. “We had a lot of people from Albion Street there. And what we heard from them was that they’re anxious to have an occupied building. An empty building is a magnet for quality-of-life problems.” Unsurprisingly, the project has its critics. The parcel falls within the Valencia Street Neighborhood Commercial Transit District, a designation assigned to locales that need affordable commercial developments. Peter Papadopoulous, media coordinator for Cultural Action Network, is unsure that another restaurant achieves that goal, pointing out that wine bars and expensive restaurants crowd out inexpensive restaurants, as well as neighborhood services — cleaners, printers, the staple service retail of any neighborhood.“We’d prefer spaces with modest price points,” Papadopoulous said. “We’re concerned about the sheer number of restaurants opening in that area, and the loss of neighborhood services when higher price point retail opens.Jessica Flores, who works across the street at Ampersand, a florist’s shop, attended the December meeting. She has mixed feelings. “There have been so many proposals for that place,” said Flores. “It fits the new Mission, not the old Mission.” Brett Critchlaw, owner of Juice, an advertising firm whose offices are upstairs from Kilowatt, wondered where the restaurant workers would live. “I like the idea of below-market-rate housing. I think it would be better to build housing, especially for workers.” He gestured across the street. “Where are the people who will work there going to live?”RelatedGarage sells for $8.7 million, April, 18, 2014Auto Repair shops: Two views of the tech boom. November, 2013.One car owner rents many spaces in the old Superior Auto shop. Photo by Elizabeth Creely. For nearly 100 years, the Superior Auto garage has visually dominated the corner of 16th and Albion streets. Built by famed architect Joseph L. Stewart, the monumental garage was built to herald the arrival of the single-occupant automobile, San Francisco’s newest transit option after 1906. They were built to park and repair cars in a city whose apartment buildings had no garages and, in a nod to the more-familiar horse stables, they were called “auto liveries.”Nowadays, however, historic buildings – beloved by preservationists for the classic beaux-arts formalism that characterized the post-earthquake period – can pose a challenge for developers and housing-rights advocates.  Superior Auto is a case in point. Sold four year ago to developer Manouch Moshayedi, head of MX3 Ventures, a family-owned real estate and development firm based in Newport Beach, California, for $8.7 million dollars, it seemed perfect for housing.center_img Tags: development • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

CHECK out our match gallerySaints beat Batley 20

first_imgCHECK out our match gallery!Saints beat Batley 20-0 in their first warm-up game of the new season at Langtree Park on Friday – and our official snapper Bernard Platt was on hand to grab some of the best action shots!last_img

SAINTS meet Castleford for the second time this se

first_imgSAINTS meet Castleford for the second time this season having secured a 28-22 win back in March at Langtree Park.Super League Summary:Castleford won 5St Helens won 36 (includes wins in 1999 and 2014 play-offs)1 drawHighs and Lows:Castleford highest score: 36-22 (H, 2002) (Widest margin: 35-16, H, 1997)St Helens highest score: 72-4 (A, 2006) (also widest margin)Career Milestones:Paul Clough needs one appearance to reach 250 for his career.Clough has played 39 games for Bradford since 2015, and was previously with Widnes (15 games, 2014), Whitehaven (4 dual-registration games, 2013) and St Helens (189 games, 2005-2013).He has also played 2 games for England Knights (2011-2012).Steve Tyrer needs one appearance to reach 200 for his career.Tyrer has played 110 games for Halifax since 2012, and was previously with Widnes (38 games, 2011 & 2008-2009), Salford (20 games, 2010), Celtic Crusaders (9 games, 2009) and St Helens (22 games, 2006-2008).Super League Milestones:Pat Richards needs four points to draw level with Lee Briers in fourth place in the list of all-time Super League pointscorers.1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds, 1997-2015) 3,4432 Paul Deacon (Wigan/Bradford/Oldham, 1997-2011) 2,4133 Andy Farrell (Wigan, 1996-2004) 2,3764 Lee Briers (Warrington/St Helens, 1997-2013) 2,2325 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons/Wigan, 2006-2013 & 2016) 2,2286 Sean Long (Hull FC/St Helens/Wigan, 1996-2011) 2,2007 Danny Tickle (Widnes/Hull FC/Wigan/Halifax, 2000-2015) 2,1878 Danny Brough (Huddersfield/Wakefield/Castleford/Hull FC, 2005-2006 & 2008-2016) 1,9629 Iestyn Harris (Bradford/Leeds/Warrington, 1996-2001 & 2004-2008) 1,67410 Michael Dobson (Salford/Hull KR/Wigan/Catalans Dragons, 2006, 2008-2013 & 2015-2016) 1,501Point-Scoring Run:Luke Walsh has the longest scoring streak in the game, having registered points in St Helens’ last 25 matches.His scoring streak began with five goals and a field goal in a 35-34 home win against Huddersfield on July 10 2015.Walsh last failed to score in Saints’ 46-18 defeat at Leeds on July 3 2015.First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 = Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers), Jodie Broughton (Catalans Dragons), Corey Thompson (Widnes Vikings) 134 = Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves), Stefan Marsh (Widnes Vikings) 108 = Jamie Shaul (Hull FC), Kevin Penny (Warrington Wolves) 9Goals:1 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 462 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 453 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 424 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 415 = Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 397 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 388 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 289 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 2710 Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 22Goals Percentage:1 Jordan Lilley (Leeds Rhinos) 86.36 (19/22)2 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 84.78 (39/46)3 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 80.39 (41/51)4 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 79.31 (46/58)5 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 79.24 (42/53)6 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 77.77 (14/18)7 Michael Dobson (Salford Red Devils) 77.27 (17/22)8 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 76.47 (39/51)9 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 75.00 (45/60)10 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 73.68 (28/38)Points:1 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 1182 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 1043 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 994 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 945 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 90 6 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 877 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 828 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 689 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 64last_img read more

Saints bounce into this Fridays match with the Ai

first_imgSaints bounce into this Friday’s match with the Airlie Birds on the back of a successful Easter programme – but it is usually the third game of the period that is toughest.“Friday’s game will be another good test for us against a good side,” he said. “They have been very good over the last few weeks and have Albert Kelly back too. With him and Marc Sneyd they have two great halves. They are a quality team and we will have to play well.“We have no fresh injury worries, just the standard bumps and bruises which is good. Jonny Lomax will come back in – he was rested but wanted to play on Monday.“But we wanted to give Matty Smith a run and it was good to be able to do that.“My opinion hasn’t changed on him; he covers a number of positions and I see him as a core part of our 19. At the moment he isn’t sneaking into the 17 which is hard for him. He has been in the 19 every week and is only one opportunity away from playing.“I know that’s easy for me to say that but it must be hard for him. I can’t fault him at all, he has been fantastic for the squad and great in training.”He continued: “We’re going well but there’s no issue with keeping the lads’ feet on the ground. Although we lost to Leeds and were disappointed in how we played that night, I can’t fault our application in the games or training.“Monday was a real sign of that. A lesser side perhaps wouldn’t have bounced back so well from Friday’s physical game with one change. It was a good performance.”Tickets for the clash are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

First Team Match

first_imgThe scrum half scored a wonderful try and set up two others as Justin Holbrook’s side went two points clear at the top of the table and improved the for and against column, keeping the Broncos scoreless.Holbrook made three changes following the win over Salford with Kevin Naiqama coming in for Matty Costello, Jack Ashworth came in for Matty Lees and Aaron Smith started in place of James Roby, who missed out due to a small niggle.On a wet and windy evening, it didn’t take long for Saints to take the lead. Dom Peyroux picked up a short ball from Fages and crashed his way over the line for the perfect start. Lachlan Coote with the conversion gave saints a 6-0 lead.The Broncos impressed in defence and held firm for over 20 minutes, until Saints broke their resistance and doubled the lead as Kevin Naiqama’s run set up the space for Regan Grace to power over form 20 metres.Saints began to stamp their authority on the game, racking up back to back sets on the Broncos line. Finally the pressure tolled in the 33rd minute as a jinking run from Zeb Taia followed by a fantastic offload to Fages gave him the simple task of scoring to the left of the sticks. Coote tagging on the extras to make it 16-0 at half time.London came out for the second half attempting to get back into the game. Danny Ward’s side had two great spells of pressure on the Saints line, but the defence stood firm with a huge shot from Dominic Peyroux on Morgan Smith which drew cheers from the Totally Wicked crowd.Our little Frenchman Fages found the gap in the defensive line on the 62nd minute and made a 40 metre break before Coote latched onto a pass from the Frenchman to go under the sticks, for his first try in the Red Vee making it 22-0. Coote added the conversion to his own try making him 3 from 4.Naiqama added the icing on the cake after he took a short pass from Fages before rounding the defender to score in the corner to secure a 26-0 win as Saints march on.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Peyroux 2’, Grace 25’, Fages 33’, Coote 62’, Naiqama 77’.Goals: Coote (3 from 5)Starting 13: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, Aaron Smith, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Dom Peyroux, Morgan Knowles.Interchanges: Joseph Paulo, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor, Jack Ashworth.London Broncos:Starting 13: Alex Walker, Elliot Kear, Matthew Fleming, Jacob Ogdenm Rhys Williams, Jordan Abdull, Morgan Smith, Eddie Battye, Eloi Pelissier, Robert Butler, Luke Yates, William Lovell, Matthew Davies.Interchanges: Mark Ioane, Matthew Fozard, Matthew Gee, Sadiq AdebiyiHT: 16-0 FT: 26-0REF: M GriffithsATT: 9090last_img read more

Retired Brunswick Co investigator passes away

first_img Since his retirement in 2011, Captain Perry worked in the Sheriff’s Unsolved Case Unit.He started his law enforcement career in 1966, serving the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office for nearly 45 years.Captain Phil Perry was 78. Captain Phil Perry (Photo: Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A retired investigator who helped WWAY on some of our unsolved stories has passed away.Retired Brunswick County Sheriff’s Captain Phil Perry died Thursday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Scientists using alligator fish samples to learn more about GenX

first_img “They were talking about their houses’ pipes and their water and all this,” Belcher said, “and they kept asking: The fish out of (the Cape Fear River), is it safe?”Belcher’s team hopes not only to start answering that query, but also to determine if GenX and several other perfluorinated compounds “bioaccumulate,” or linger, in the alligators and striped bass.Click here to read more from StarNewsOnline. American Alligator (Photo: Postdlf / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0) WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — A team of researchers will use samples taken from alligators, catfish and striped bass in the Cape Fear River and surrounding areas to attempt to answer some lingering questions about GenX.Scott Belcher, an N.C. State toxicologist, said the study stemmed from a Nov. 10 community forum hosted by the Stop GenX in Our Water group.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Brunswick County asks for federal help with mosquito problem

first_imgMosquitoes (Photo: Franco Patrizia) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County is asking the federal government for help dealing with the mosquito problem in the wake of Hurricane Florence.The county says it has submitted a request for an emergency aerial response for mosquito control. The county is also encouraging the public to take steps to prevent mosquito bites.- Advertisement – The county says its mosquito control division actively monitors mosquito population trends throughout the county and conducts adulticiding efforts as the mosquito populations dictate.According to a news release, Jeff Brown, Brunswick County Vector Control Supervisor, says the growing mosquito populations are hampering reconstructive efforts throughout the county. Officials are asking for an aerial response to help ease the lack of accessibility to certain areas. Mosquito Control will spray mosquitoes daily to address the increased mosquito population from the recent rains.“The mosquito trucks will begin ground-based spraying on September 24, 2018, and emergency mosquito response will begin on September 25, 2018,” Brown added.Related Article: Nine nurses in hospital’s labor unit pregnant at same timeNew Hanover County also says it will spray for mosquitoes over the next couple of weeks.Heavy rains and flooding can lead to large populations of mosquitoes. Some mosquitos can carry viruses that may cause illnesses such as La Crosse encephalitis, West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis. Spraying for mosquitoes reduces adult mosquito populations, but every citizen needs to do his part to avoid being bitten. Sometimes the solution is as easy as going in the house a little earlier than you usually would.David Stanley, the County Health and Human Services Executive Director, urges residents to wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, avoid being outside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and apply mosquito repellant. If using repellant with DEET, make sure to follow label instructions, and keep DEET out of the eyes, mouth and nose.“We just can’t stress this message enough – you need to be careful, taking every possible precaution to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes,” Stanley added.For more information regarding mosquitos or mosquito control activities in your area, please contact Brunswick County Mosquito Control Division at 910.253.2515, or click here to submit a mosquito control service request online.last_img read more

Elderly woman dies during late night house fire

first_img Deputies say someone driving by saw flames coming from the house and stopped to get a neighbor to call 911 at approximately 11:45 p.m. Flames could reportedly be seen coming out a bedroom window.The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Bladen County Fire Marshall and the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.We will release more details when they come available. BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bladenboro woman was killed during a house fire late Wednesday night, according to Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.Sheriff Jim McVicker says Joyce Beard Dowless, 82, was found dead in her home located at 8511 NC Hwy 41 in Bladenboro.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Former Oak Island police chief named top cop in Boiling Spring Lakes

first_img “Greg’s 28 years in law enforcement in Brunswick County with the last 19 with the Town of Oak Island Police Department prior to coming to work here in the city will bring tremendous experience and knowledge to our department and the city,” BSL City Manager Jeff Repp said in a statement. “In the short time that he has been with our department he has gained the respect and trust of the other officers and I look forward to working with him.”Jordan joined BSLPD in November as an officer. The move came a little more than a month after Jordan resigned as chief in Oak Island.BSL has been looking for a new police chief since Brad Shirley resigned late last year to become deputy chief in Leland.Related Article: Boiling Spring Lakes: Only 40% of recovery completed since historic hurricaneRepp said the city received 30 applications for the open position and interviewed five candidates before deciding on Jordan. Greg Jordan (Photo: Town of Oak Island) BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) — Boiling Spring Lakes has a new police chief, and the city did not have to go far to find him.According to a news release, Greg Jordan will start as police chief Monday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

In divided America Mueller report hardens the most strident

first_imgOfficial binders given to reporters with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are seen in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstOfficial binders given to reporters with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are seen in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst After months as volunteer activists demanding that President Donald Trump be impeached, Eileen and Michael O’Brien sat on their couch on Thursday, cracked open a laptop and began to read the 448-page special counsel report that liberals have dreamed would make impeachment a reality.“Hmm, seems like there’s a lot of grey area here,” said Eileen O’Brien, 65, of Clearwater, Florida, reading aloud a line about the findings falling short of a criminal case. “Legally wrong and morally wrong are two different things.”The release of the long-anticipated report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on his inquiry into Russia’s role in the 2016 election landed in a stridently divided America: one side convinced Trump acted improperly, the other adamant that the investigation was a politically driven farce.Mueller built an extensive case that Trump committed obstruction of justice but stopped short of concluding he had committed a crime, though he did not exonerate the president.For those like the O’Briens who have been pining for impeachment, the report renewed a resolve to oust the president. For those who want to see the president reelected, there was a sense of vindication.“The White House is going to put out their own version of things, which is basically fish wrapper,” said Michael O’Brien, formerly a service technician who now works on houses. His wife, who a day earlier delivered a can of “impeaches” peaches to a lawmaker, looked up with a quizzical expression.“It’s worthless,” he explained. “You can use it to wrap fish.”Several redacted pages of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are seen in a photo illustration April 18, 2019. Reuters Graphics via REUTERS/Illustration“ONE BATTLE IN A WAR”Lee Mueller and his wife, Michele Mueller, no relation to Robert Mueller, also paused their Thursday to read through the special counsel’s report. They printed out the table of contents for both volumes along with the executive summaries.“I view the Mueller report as being one battle in a war against the United States of America’s founding principles and against Donald Trump,” Michele Mueller, 61, said in a suburb of Las Vegas.After Attorney General William Barr released his four-page summary of the Mueller report late last month, Americans were dug in on their views. Nearly half of all Americans still believe Trump worked with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, despite the report’s saying no collusion had occurred, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted shortly after the Barr summary was released.Among those familiar with Barr’s summary, only 9 percent said it had changed their thinking about Trump’s ties to Russia, the poll found.Ahead of Thursday’s release of the Mueller report, Trump ramped up his insistence that he was the victim, not the perpetrator, of crimes.James Stratton, 65, of Clearwater, Florida, caught snippets of the news about the report from conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. He looked up Barr’s news conference, held Thursday morning before the report was released online, on YouTube.“Nobody on our side is going to change,” the Republican president of the local Tampa Bay Trump Club said in a phone interview, adding that liberals will grow tired of hearing predictions about Trump’s downfall that never materialise. “We stay focused on the issues. How do we stop socialism? How do we protect our borders?”“IT WILL ONLY AFFIRM”For the most invested, though, Mueller’s report offered hope for further investigation, but by Democrats in Congress this time.Tom Steyer, a billionaire activist who has spent millions of his own dollars directing pressure at Congress to impeach Trump, said while he thinks the contents of the report implicate the president, he acknowledges the findings alone are unlikely to convince Americans to change their minds.“I think the only way to get voters to notice is to directly publicize, televised hearings,” Steyer said. “We’re all for public hearings so the American people can see and can react themselves.”In Florida, Margo Hammond, 69, who considers herself an independent voter, gleaned highlights by toggling through the coverage of MSNBC, CNN and Fox News. She was unimpressed with Barr.“It’s kind of an insult to the American people that we can’t decide for ourselves,” she said while in an art class. She planned to read as much as she could of the report.“I think it will only affirm what I originally thought,” she said. Then she repeated something she had heard earlier from a news commentator: “There was a whole lot of cheating going on.”WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Jean Pierre Debono says he earns humble monthly sum from PN

first_img SharePrint Facebook – Jean Pierre DebonoFacebook – Jean Pierre Debono The Nationalist Party’s Political Chief Co-Ordinator Jean Pierre Debono has said that he earns around € 2,000 a month from the PN. This came from a screenshot Debono published on Facebook.On Facebook, Debono said that during a fundraising marathon which took place a few months ago, along with his wife Kristy Debono collected “a little less than the sum of his salary amounted to in a full year.”‘It is far cry from the € 50,000, € 70,000 and € 100,000 that have been mentioned by some individuals,’ Debono says adding, ‘This is not to fail to mention the limitless hours and condition given to the Party.’Debono concluded by saying that if it the lies will not stop, the PN will not progress.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more


first_imgWelcome to Starters Orders. Our new daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Monday 1 July2:30 PontefractEl Bravo 12/1 > 6/12:45 WolverhamptonCoconut Kisses 11/1 > 4/14:00 PontefractMisplaced Fortune 11/2 > 5/2last_img

It isnt just about Man City Arsenal Chelsea or Liverpool you know…

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s Christmas (almost)…..So at this stage who wins the Premier League for you? The market says Man City or Chelsea or Arsenal or current leaders Liverpool……But in the most open of seasons can you not add ‘or Everton’ to that list or even ‘or Newcastle’. Whatever you think of either side the odds are a mile away from the table positions and the odds on Newcastle winning are frankly insulting to them. They are two points clear of Man U yet 50 (FIFTY) times the price.Before you e-mail or tweet in saying I’ve lost the plot I’m not saying they WILL win just pointing out that the odds are not in kilter with current form.Big game for Everton if they are to get themselves in contention today. A win would see them move into fourth.They travel to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea who have failed to win any of their 17 league and cup games against Everton (D5, L12).Worse still, Swansea have failed to score in the four previous Premier League meetings between the sides.HEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Max last 10 only)Jan 2013 Premier Everton 0-0 SwanseaSep 2012 Premier Swansea 0-3 EvertonMar 2012 Premier Swansea 0-2 EvertonDec 2011 Premier Everton 1-0 SwanseaFeb 1983 Div 1 (old) Everton 2-2 SwanseaOct 1982 Div 1 (old) Swansea 0-3 EvertonMay 1982 Div 1 (old) Swansea 1-3 EvertonDec 1981 Div 1 (old) Everton 3-1 SwanseaMar 1954 Div 2 (old) Swansea 0-2 EvertonJan 1954 FA Cup Everton 3-0 SwanseaTo add to Swansea’s woes they are without goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who underwent knee surgery on Thursday, while winger Nathan Dyer is out with an ankle ligament injury.Everton at 7/5 doesn’t look too bad in my books. A win today might just see register a reaction from the compilers on the Premier League outright market. But I wouldn’t bet on it.RECOMMENDED BET (1-10 points)10 points EVERTON at around 7/5 with Star SportsWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

STAR PREVIEW Norwich v Liverpool

first_img[dropcap]A[/dropcap] busy Saturday of sport kicks off at 12.45pm in the Premier League on Saturday at Carrow Road for the visit of Liverpool (LIVE ON BT SPORT).It’s one of those head to heads that usually produces goals as you can see from our stats below.With North East rivals Newcastle and Sunderland finally starting to hint at improved form in recent weeks, Norwich are one of several clubs that could easily get sucked into the relegation zone and are only a perilous two points off the bottom three as things stand. They won the play-off final last year against Middlesbrough so will be acutely aware of just how hard it is to get into the Premier League.Norwich are on a losing run of three matches – knocked out of the FA Cup against Man City but more importantly successive away losses at Stoke and Bournemouth. They now have two tricky home ties to navigate – against Liverpool today and then Spurs on the 2nd February and surely need to get at least SOME points from those two games.Liverpool have undoubtedly looked better under Jurgen Klopp but have started to become unpredictable and could probably have done without their midweek FA Cup replay against Exeter – even though it turned out to be a comfortable win (as indeed it should have been).Klopp must be frustrated by Liverpool’s injury list which now includes Adam Lallana who has a muscle problem and star striker Daniel Sturridge remains sidelined.They are a shade of odds-on for this match which isn’t surprising given they are playing well away from home and have a good recent record over Norwich who have lost nine of the last 11 league meetings with Liverpool and drawn the other two.Norwich City v LiverpoolPremier League12:45 BT Sport 1 / BT Sport 1 HD / BT Sport Ultra HDHEAD TO HEAD(Maximum 10 matches)Sep 2015 PREMIER Liverpool 1-1 NorwichApr 2014 PREMIER Norwich 2-3 LiverpoolDec 2013 PREMIER Liverpool 5-1 NorwichJan 2013 PREMIER Liverpool 5-0 NorwichSep 2012 PREMIER Norwich 2-5 LiverpoolApr 2012 PREMIER Norwich 0-3 LiverpoolOct 2011 PREMIER Liverpool 1-1 NorwichJan 2005 PREMIERSHIP Norwich 1-2 LiverpoolSep 2004 PREMIERSHIP Liverpool 3-0 NorwichApr 1995 PREMIERSHIP Norwich 1-2 LiverpoolGiven Liverpool’s recent unpredictability and Norwich needing to battle for everything here I am playing the draw at around 12/5 with Star Sports.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK DRAW for 7 points at around 12/5 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: LOSS 8.51 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

DAVY RUSSELL Gowran Park Saturday

first_imgPleased to ride a winner at the rescheduled Leopardstown meeting earlier. Pallasator has improved with each start and really impressed me today staying on very strongly. He had plenty of class on the flat and is definitely going the right way over jumps.Obviously it’s all about Cheltenham now but I’m taking one day at a time and I have a busy weekend ahead at Gowran Park on Saturday (7.30am inspection) and Naas on Sunday.I’ve just finished a Cheltenham Preview interview for the Star Sports betting shop in Mayfair running through each of my rides next week. Don’t forget I’ll be blogging daily for Star Sports on each day of the Festival.In the first blog this weekend I’m looking at Gowran Park and I’ll be back with a new blog on Sunday for Naas.SATURDAYGOWRAN PARKFingers crossed racing goes ahead. The course was fit for racing today but they’ve announced a 7.30am precautionary inspection as there is the chance of heavy overnight rain. It’s already heavy so it is sure to be challenging.ICARIO 1.25pmMy fella is very consistent and brings plenty of experience to the table which might prove crucial on the testing ground. I was onboard the last day at Punchestown where he was staying on well at the end to finish a two length second to Call A Cab. The Willie Mullins trained Saglawy looks the one we all have to beat after he finished third on debut at Thurles and looks set to improve for that experience. He was quite classy on the flat when trained in France.BACK BAR 2.30pmRan well for me the last day at Naas when third and hopefully if he comes on from that he should go close over this longer 2m 4f trip. He’s very consistent and loves the ground but this does look an open contest.ROBIN DES MANA 3.05pmVery competitive race and my lad is having a great season and ultra consistent. He’s back in handicap company after two runs. He shot up the weights after his easy win at Punchestown which would be my concern in that he has a lot of weight to giveaway on the ground and might be vulnerable to something better handicapped down the weights.SPACE CADET 3.40pm (Leinster National)As always a competitive renewal but it’s a race that’s been good to me with back to back wins on Toon River a couple of years back. My fella this year Space Cadet has a nice racing weight and deserves a big prize. He’s running well enough. The intriguing horse is Pairofbrowneyes who is having his first start for Willie Mullins since moving from Barry Murphy.FIRE IN HIS EYES 4.15pmRunning well with two close up seconds on heavy ground at Thurles and Clonmel but there’s a big gun running here in Up For Review who was second to Some Neck over course and distance last time out.DAVYYOUR SAYIf you have a question for Davy drop us a line at and we’ll try and include in the next blog…BET WITH STAR SPORTS or 08000 521 321last_img read more

Plensa sculpture to be dedicated today at Rice University

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareFranz Brotzen713-348-6775franz.brotzen@rice.eduPlensa sculpture to be dedicated today at Rice University‘Mirror’ is latest Houston work by renowned Catalan artistRice University will dedicate “Mirror,” a site-specific installation by renowned international artist Jaume Plensa, during an outdoor ceremony at 5:30 p.m. today. Plensa will speak at the ceremony in the Herring Hall Grove on the Rice campus, 6100 Main St.“Mirror” features two 10-foot-tall human figures positioned in conversation with one another. Up close, their physical forms are an intermingling of white coated marine steel letters from many alphabets. Viewers are provided with an entry point to each figure, where they can physically walk inside the sculpture.“You go in and suddenly the world is on the other side,” Plensa said about his work. “You look through this form of expression that is calligraphy. I suppose it’s a bit of a romantic attitude. In a sense, you see the world through art, through a motion, through the expression of an idea.”Plensa was inspired to create “Mirror” after visiting the Rice campus and observing students convening under the oak trees, in similar spaces to the Herring Hall Grove, where his installation will now live.Described by the New York Times as “one of the world’s most celebrated public artists,” Plensa is known for his monumental sculptures that call home cities such as, Chicago, New York, London, Dubai and Vancouver, among others. Plensa’s “Tolerance,” which consists of seven figures, was installed in 2010 along Houston’s Buffalo Bayou at Montrose Boulevard and Allen Parkway.“As Rice University moves into its centennial year, we are deeply honored by the generosity and vision of alum Bill Sick ’57 and his wife, Stephanie,” said Rice University President David Leebron. “They have provided us with the opportunity to have such an important work by Jaume Plensa — one of the world’s foremost sculptors. An iconic work by a major, internationally recognized artist, ‘Mirror’ is in many ways emblematic of Rice’s commitment to the visual arts on campus.”University Art Director Molly Hipp Hubbard said, “Jaume Plensa’s work brings international notability to the campus. ‘Mirror’ seamlessly pushes further our mission to provide the Rice community with art that is transformative and can expand our perception of the world.”Light refreshments will be served after brief remarks by Leebron, Bill Sick and Plensa.Members of the news media who want to attend the dedication ceremony should contact Franz Brotzen at or 713-348-6775.last_img read more

Study boosts hope for cheaper fuel cells

first_img Return to article. Long Description by Rice University scientists show how carbon nanomaterials may be optimized to replace expensive platinum in cathodes for electricity-generating fuel cells for transportation and other applications. (Credit: Yakobson Research Group/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to Return to article. Long DescriptionSimulations by Rice University scientists show how carbon nanomaterials may be optimized to replace expensive platinum in cathodes for electricity-generating fuel cells. Courtesy of the Yakobson Research GroupTheoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his Rice colleagues are among many looking for a way to speed up ORR for fuel cells, which were discovered in the 19th century but not widely used until the latter part of the 20th. They have since powered transportation modes ranging from cars and buses to spacecraft.The Rice researchers, including lead author and former postdoctoral associate Xiaolong Zou and graduate student Luqing Wang, used computer simulations to discover why graphene nanoribbons and carbon nanotubes modified with nitrogen and/or boron, long studied as a substitute for expensive platinum, are so sluggish and how they can be improved.Doping, or chemically modifying, conductive nanotubes or nanoribbons changes their chemical bonding characteristics. They can then be used as cathodes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. In a simple fuel cell, anodes draw in hydrogen fuel and separate it into protons and electrons. While the negative electrons flow out as usable current, the positive protons are drawn to the cathode, where they recombine with returning electrons and oxygen to produce water.The models showed that thinner carbon nanotubes with a relatively high concentration of nitrogen would perform best, as oxygen atoms readily bond to the carbon atom nearest the nitrogen. Nanotubes have an advantage over nanoribbons because of their curvature, which distorts chemical bonds around their circumference and leads to easier binding, the researchers found.The tricky bit is making a catalyst that is neither too strong nor too weak as it bonds with oxygen. The curve of the nanotube provides a way to tune the nanotubes’ binding energy, according to the researchers, who determined that “ultrathin” nanotubes with a radius between 7 and 10 angstroms would be ideal. (An angstrom is one ten-billionth of a meter; for comparison, a typical atom is about 1 angstrom in diameter.)They also showed co-doping graphene nanoribbons with nitrogen and boron enhances the oxygen-absorbing abilities of ribbons with zigzag edges. In this case, oxygen finds a double-bonding opportunity. First, they attach directly to positively charged boron-doped sites. Second, they’re drawn by carbon atoms with high spin charge, which interacts with the oxygen atoms’ spin-polarized electron orbitals. While the spin effect enhances adsorption, the binding energy remains weak, also achieving a balance that allows for good catalytic performance.The researchers showed the same catalytic principles held true, but to lesser effect, for nanoribbons with armchair edges.“While doped nanotubes show good promise, the best performance can probably be achieved at the nanoribbon zigzag edges where nitrogen substitution can expose the so-called pyridinic nitrogen, which has known catalytic activity,” Yakobson said.“If arranged in a foam-like configuration, such material can approach the efficiency of platinum,” Wang said. “If price is a consideration, it would certainly be competitive.”Zou is now an assistant professor at Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute in Shenzhen City, China. Yakobson is the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering and a professor of chemistry.The research was supported by the Robert Welch Foundation, the Army Research Office, the Development and Reform Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, the Youth 1000-Talent Program of China and Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute.-30-Read the abstract at!divAbstractFollow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated materials:Yakobson Research Group: http://biygroup.blogs.rice.eduXiaolong Zou: University Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering: https://msne.rice.eduImage for download: Simulations by Rice University scientists show how carbon nanomaterials may be optimized to replace expensive platinum in cathodes for electricity-generating fuel cells for transportation and other applications. (Credit: Yakobson Research Group/Rice University) Share3NEWS RELEASEEditor’s note: A link to a high-resolution image for download appears at the end of this release.David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduStudy boosts hope for cheaper fuel cells Rice University researchers show how to optimize nanomaterials for fuel-cell cathodesHOUSTON – (Jan. 5, 2018) – Nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes or modified graphene nanoribbons may be suitable replacements for platinum for fast oxygen reduction, the key reaction in fuel cells that transform chemical energy into electricity, according to Rice University researchers.The findings are from computer simulations by Rice scientists who set out to see how carbon nanomaterials can be improved for fuel-cell cathodes. Their study reveals the atom-level mechanisms by which doped nanomaterials catalyze oxygen reduction reactions (ORR).The research appears in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Nanoscale. Simulations by Rice University scientists show how carbon nanomaterials may be optimized to replace expensive platinum in cathodes for electricity-generating fuel cells. Courtesy of the Yakobson Research Group FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more