Monthly Archives: July 2019

A nurse working for the controversial outsourcing

first_imgA nurse working for the controversial outsourcing company Atos Healthcare repeatedly lied about a disabled man he was assessing for the government’s new disability benefit it has been claimed.The Atos assessor stated in his report that claimant Colin Stupples-Whyley had attended the personal independence payment (PIP) assessment alone, even though his partner David* had sat with him throughout the interview.The couple, who arrived by car, had been accompanied by a friend, who stayed in the waiting-room, but the nurse claimed that Stupples-Whyley had travelled alone to the assessment in Barking on 5 June by public transport.The allegations raise fresh concerns about the decision of work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith to award two lucrative PIP assessment contracts to Atos, when the company had already been heavily and repeatedly criticised for its performance in delivering “fitness for work” assessments.Atos was allowed to pull out of that contract early after activists pointed to links between the way it carried out the assessments, and relapses, episodes of self-harm, and even premature deaths among those being assessed.But its performance on the two PIP assessment contracts in the two years since the new benefit was launched has plunged Atos back into controversy.Only last month, Disability News Service (DNS) reported how the proportion of disabled people stuck in the queue to be assessed for PIP was more than five times higher in parts of the country managed by Atos, compared with those in areas managed by rival outsourcing giant Capita.Stupples-Whyley, from Grays, Essex, has been able to prove that he was not alone at his PIP assessment by obtaining a copy of part of the Atos signing-in book under data protection legislation. The page shows his signature, as well as those of David and their friend.Stupples-Whyley has agoraphobia, general anxiety disorder, depression, fibromyalgia, and diabetes, but he said the impact of these impairments on his day-to-day life was completely misrepresented by the assessor.The report claims he was able to do sums and spell a word backwards, neither of which he said he was asked to do in the assessment.He provided a long list of his diabetes symptoms, but the nurse simply wrote down “urinates a lot”.He also had a panic attack during the assessment, but that was not mentioned in the nurse’s report.Among other inaccuracies, the assessor stated in the report that a counsellor had diagnosed his mental health conditions, despite being told it was a psychiatrist.Stupples-Whyley claims that the entire section of the form devoted to a physical examination supposedly carried out by the nurse was completely fabricated, as no such test took place.The nurse repeatedly claims on the form that difficulties reported by Stupples-Whyley were “inconsistent” with the findings of his assessment.As a result, he scored zero points on the test and was found ineligible for PIP, while the DWP confirmed that decision after he asked for it to be reconsidered.Stupples-Whyley said the assessment was “very unpleasant” and that the nurse had become “very rude and disrespectful” after he learned that David was his civil partner.He said: “The atmosphere was awful throughout and he was more interested in telling us why I wouldn’t get benefit. He would try and put words into my mouth, and he disputed anything I said.”He added: “I went to the assessment very naive and trusting. I had asked to be seen first or last so that I didn’t have to wait in the waiting room with lots of people.“When I arrived this had not happened, so I was already very anxious before we went in.“I honestly thought I would have the assessment, they would obtain my medical records to verify what I had said, then they would or wouldn’t grant PIP payment.”He now plans to insist that any future benefit assessment is recorded.He said: “I have no trust in Atos or DWP at all now. I feel angry that lies have been told, I feel angry that DWP refused to even investigate Atos when I said the report was fraudulent.“I feel hurt that the people I believed to be there to help people are in fact just a department that does everything in its power not to pay any money to claimants.“I just never in a million years expected to be treated the way I have.”Because of the experience, his psychiatrist has had to increase his mental health medication.Stupples-Whyley said he had become “obsessed” with his PIP experience, which had left him determined to prove that he was not a liar.He said he felt “huge relief” when he received the paperwork that proved all three of them had visited Atos Barking on the day of the assessment.He said: “I have found the whole complaints process overwhelming. DWP take no responsibility and in a few days’ time it will be two months and still no response from anyone at Atos.“The overall affect for me is that my world has just got even smaller, because now I do not trust government nor healthcare providers to have my best interests at heart, nor to act with honesty.”He plans to appeal to a tribunal, and his MP, Jackie Doyle-Price, has written to Atos to request a fresh assessment.Today (Thursday), two days after DNS contacted the company’s press office about his story, Stupples-Whyley was telephoned by Atos to inform him that his complaint was now being treated at the most serious level of internal inquiries.He was told that he would be interviewed soon about his complaint, and was offered a reassessment.An Atos spokeswoman only provided a comment on the condition that DNS did not name the nurse.She said in the statement: “A complaint was received by us from Mr Stupples-Whyley a few weeks after his assessment. It has been thoroughly investigated and we have spoken to him directly.“In the interests of fairness and transparency we have offered Mr Stupples-Whyley a reassessment.“It is distressing for all concerned that Mr Stupples-Whyley is so unhappy about his assessment and we are sorry that this is the case. All complaints to us are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.”But she has refused to confirm that the investigation is ongoing, if any disciplinary action has been taken against the nurse, whether the nurse is still carrying out assessments for Atos, and whether Atos accepts that Stupples-Whyley did not attend the assessment alone.*Not his real namelast_img read more

Urgent action is needed to address the plight of t

first_imgUrgent action is needed to address the plight of tens of thousands of mental health service-users who are subjected to detention and compulsory treatment under “intrinsically discriminatory” legislation, according to a leading disabled expert.Dr Rachel Perkins pointed to figures which show that the number of detentions under the Mental Health Act (MHA) rose by its highest proportion in 2014-15, to more than 58,000.This compared with 44,000 people in 2007-08, and less than 22,000 in 1987-88.Perkins (pictured) told Disability Rights UK’s annual conference in north London that MHA “deprives people of their human rights” and is “a law that only applies to you if you are deemed to have a mental health disorder”, but few if any organisations have been campaigning to address that discrimination.Perkins, vice-chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s disability committee, a senior consultant with Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change (ImROC), and herself a mental health service-user, said the issue would be raised with the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities.Evidence of the discriminatory nature of mental health legislation will be included in the shadow report being compiled by Disability Rights UK and other disabled people’s organisations on the UK’s implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.Perkins said the dominant narrative in mental health was the need for better access to treatment, and for service-users to be more open about their impairments.But she said the discriminatory Mental Health Act meant that people with mental distress were at risk of being locked up, forcibly treated and injected with drugs, even though most of them have the capacity to refuse or consent to treatment.There were more than 4,500 community treatment orders (CTOs) in 2014-15, compared with about 4,100 in 2009-10, the first full year after CTOs were introduced by the Labour government in 2008.The original estimates suggested there would only be 400 to 600 CTOs a year, she said.Perkins told the conference that Labour had argued that CTOs would lead to fewer people with mental health conditions being locked up, but detention had instead continued to rise.She said: “This should have reduced the number of people in hospital. It hasn’t.“The number of times we have used this law to detain people in hospital has gone up and up and up.”In 2014-15, she said, there were 58,000 occasions on which “we locked people up in hospital and injected them against their will, the largest increase ever seen in a year.“It’s getting serious and it’s getting much, much worse.”She pointed to research in The Lancet from 2013 which showed that the use of CTOs “does not confer patient benefits, despite substantial curtailment of individual freedoms”.She told the conference: “CTOs do not benefit people in any way.“We cannot talk about independent living while there is a whole class of disabled people for whom a completely separate law applies.”Perkins told the conference that once people are seen as having a health condition rather than being a disabled person they can become “trapped” and subject to “medical interventions, charity and good works”.And she said that people with mental health conditons have not seen the advances in rights enjoyed by other disabled people, and are still often forced into institutions, with only 60 per cent of people using mental health services having a “secure and stable place to live”.She told Disability News Service later that the issue was causing “huge amounts of distress” among service-users.She said: “People are extremely angry about it. People see themselves as doing something wrong, as being prisoners; they see mental health services as policing their treatment, rather than providing support.“Where do people turn to for help if those people supposed to be helping them just end up forcing them to [take medication]?”She added: “It feels to me that what has happened is we have moved towards the right to treatment and that has substituted for the right to life, the right to participate.“They are talking about parity of esteem for mental health services and not parity of esteem for people who experience mental health challenges.”And many CTOs lead eventually to service-users being recalled into detention, she said.She added: “I think there’s a reluctance for anyone to take [this issue] on because there is still some emotion that people with mental health problems are going to be dangerous and therefore we need to protect everybody or protect people from themselves – very much ‘looking after’ rather than a rights-based narrative.”She said the “disability world was still not seeing mental health as a core part of its business”, so the issue was not taken up.She added: “I don’t think there is a large, social-model, rights-based mental health movement.“My sadness is there has never been a joint working between the mental health world and the disability rights world, as there has been in other parts of the world. In Britain it still seems really separate.”last_img read more

The latest attempts by politicians and charities t

first_imgThe latest attempts by politicians and charities to push for a solution to the social care funding crisis risk ignoring the voices of service-users, according to disabled campaigners.They spoke out as representatives of the social care and health sector and a cross-party group of MPs tried to put further pressure on the government over the need for more funding.An open letter to the prime minister, signed by 75 individuals and organisations across the health and social care sector, was published on the same day that Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary Norman Lamb issued a joint statement from cross-party MPs that warned of “very serious” consequences if the government did not take immediate action to deal with the “unsustainable strain” on the NHS and the social care system.Lamb then raised the issue at this week’s prime minister’s questions, and Theresa May agreed to meet his group of MPs.Both the open letter – drafted originally by the older people’s charity Independent Age – and the MPs’ statement call on the government to establish a cross-party review of health and social care funding.But Professor Peter Beresford (pictured), co-chair of the national service-user network Shaping Our Lives, and the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG) both spoke out this week to warn that disabled people and other service-users needed to be at the centre of any such discussions and reviews.ILSG, chaired by the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell and whose members include Shaping Our Lives, says in its open letter to the prime minister that, while it supports the call for a cross-party review, there is a “need to ensure that the people who use such support are central to, and have opportunity to influence any proposed settlement”.It adds: “We are our own experts on the support we need and therefore we must be included in any discussion.”In the wake of continuing emphasis by politicians and the media on the care needs of older people, the ILSG letter also points out that a third of social care spending supports working-age disabled people.Beresford told Disability News Service that he was unhappy with the failure to put service-users and carers “fully and equally” at the heart of the Independent Age letter.He said: “They don’t call for the constituencies that are most affected by this crisis – the people that are dying as a result – for their involvement in it.”And he was critical of the decision of Helena Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, one of the organisations to sign the Independent Age letter, to accept a CBE in last week’s new year honours.He said: “How can you be part of a carers’ organisation in 2017 when you know what is being done to disabled people and carers and accept a CBE?”Beresford also said there was no point discussing social care “in isolation”, without also examining welfare reform and housing.He said there had been “minimal” involvement of service-users in social care policy development over the last six years.He agreed that there had to be “a root and branch review” but that it must be “inclusive”of user-led organisations, disabled people’s organisations, carers’ groups, trade unions and organisations of social care professionals, and must include them “on equal terms”.He said he was concerned that any inquiry might instead be tilted too much in favour of other “very powerful interests”.He said: “Without the stakeholders… you can’t provide the right answer and it’s as simple as that, and it’s got to be a long-term answer.”Beresford said there had been a history over the last 20 years of politicians “avoiding biting the bullet” on social care funding.He said that funding social care adequately would be cost-effective because it would cut costs in so many other areas, while the only acceptable solution was to do so alongside the introduction of a progressive system of general taxation.But he said that increasing funding for social care was not the only answer to the “desperate crisis”, because any solution also needed to address the culture of social care.There needs to be both an appropriate person-centred culture as well as adequate funding, he said, and added: “Anything else is just tinkering at the edges.”last_img read more

City debates how to spend 185M in windfall funding — but this

first_imgAnd yet, most tales of unanticipated riches, like The Pearl, take a more malevolent turn, with the recipients of windfall funds turning against one another and ending up worse off for their wealth. San Francisco, it seems, will fall somewhere between these extremes. The $185.4 million in “windfall” funds unearthed late last year from the “Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund” (ERAF) by the city controller will, undoubtedly, be put to good use. But just who is helped — and who is not, or who is helped more and sooner  — is a matter of some contention. Mayor London Breed, in a savvy political move for someone who loudly opposed November’s Prop. C homeless measure, wants all of these funds to go to the homeless. Among elected officials, however, this is a lonely view. Members of the Board of Supervisors have eyes on a number of additional priorities, including teacher salaries, early childhood education, or buying utilities out from under PG&E. This debate, which may be decided by Wednesday’s vote in the Budget Committee, has turned fraught; these funds have been portrayed as a one-time golden ticket descending from the sky, and everyone and their special-interest group wants their shot at it.  But is this really “windfall” money? And are these really “educational” funds? The answer to both is no.Photo by Jennifer CortezFirst, the facts: Barring unforeseen lunacy, San Francisco will be the recipient of a “windfall” of between $200 and $250 million next year. After set-asides, the city is looking at between $160 million and $180 million in discretionary funding from that money. And, barring unforeseen lunacy, this will be the case not only next year but the year after that and the year after that. Because this is, in fact, not a golden ticket from the sky. It’s tax money from San Franciscans placed into a fund administered by San Francisco. As George W. Bush put it, “It’s your money. You paid for it.” In 1992, during lean times, the state of California devised a method to fund its schools even less while, in effect, taking money away from its cities and counties. In a great and terrible bit of Orwellian branding, it called the method of accomplishing both of the above the “Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund.” Since the state is not permitted to simply yank away county property taxes, it created a shell game to accomplish the same end. It established this “Augmentation Fund” in every county, requiring counties to pay into it and disseminate the money to school districts. Subsequently, state funding of schools was reduced by an equivalent amount. See what they did there? That was a pretty neat trick. School funding, naturally, wasn’t augmented at all. In the late 1990s, additional state rules clarified that if a county collected more in its Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund fund than a state-imposed cap, the additional funds would be returned to the counties. This is what’s happening in San Francisco now. The Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund exceeded its cap last year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.Already, the Augmentation Funds have exceeded their caps in counties like Marin, Mono, Napa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara (where, for the most part, property tax revenue is surging and school enrollment is not). San Mateo, in fact, codified level-headed policies for spending ERAF funds all the way back in 2011; this need not be a melodramatic yearly battle royale.Because these excess dollars are, by no means, being yanked away from schools. San Francisco may yet choose to fund teachers with them because that’s a prudent thing to do, but these are, by no means, “educational funds.”The pitting of the homeless vs. educators is an unfortunate byproduct of jostling over the $185 million in “windfall” funding. Photo by Lola M. ChavezAnd this is, again — by no means — a “windfall.” Even fiscally cautious observers admit that San Francisco’s soaring property tax revenue (up 22 percent in the last two years alone) and stagnant public school enrollment mean this will likely happen again and again — “barring state action.” The optics of some of the state’s wealthiest counties receiving hefty amounts of money may not be well-taken at the statewide level. This is, in fact, our own money granted back to us after the city maxed out its state-mandated educational contribution, and our swelling property taxes actually reduced the amount of direct state aid to San Francisco schools — but optics are optics. Yet if the state decides it wants this money, or simply doesn’t want San Francisco to have it, what would “state action” even look like? Well, city sources say, it might require the Democratic supermajority Legislature to make a move. It would require this happening over the objections of Assemblyman David Chiu, Sen. Scott Wiener, Assemblyman Phil Ting — not insignificantly, the budget chair — and, of course, Gov. Gavin Newsom. And this money grab would supposedly be happening while the state is enjoying a multi-billion dollar surplus. That seems unlikely. But, according to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, it’s actually even more unlikely.   Ken Kapphahn, a fiscal and policy analyst for the LAO, says that if the state wanted to “play around the edges” on reducing the Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds for San Francisco and other counties, it could still, possibly, be done legislatively — though Kapphahn acknowledges all the factors listed above would render this unlikely.  And yet, he continues, California Proposition 1A of 2004 severely limited the state’s ability to redirect the allocations of local property taxes. So, “for wholesale change” of the sort that would be needed to really undo San Francisco’s ongoing “windfall,” this “might need to go back to a vote of the people.”That certainly seems far-fetched.For good or ill — mostly good — San Francisco is going to have to learn to deal with the ongoing situation of a hefty new funding source coming its way yearly. Both the mayor’s office and the Board of Supervisors desperately want to get this year’s “windfall” accounted for before negotiating no fewer than 29 open union contracts. But the unions, no dummies, know this money is coming back, no matter how much our elected officials prevaricate. And they want some. “Every time we go into negotiations, the city cries poor,” says John Stead-Mendez, the executive director of SEIU Local 1021, the city’s largest union. Referring to this revenue source as a “windfall” is untrue, he says, and plays into that. But he’s already thinking bigger.“I can remember the last administration [crying poor] in 2014 and, since then, revenue has grown by $2 billion. … This is one revenue source among many.”Update, 4:48 p.m.: Supervisor Gordon Mar today announced a compromise on how to spend the “windfall” funds that may make tomorrow’s vote far less contentious — and diffuse a potential hours-long, acrimonious public comment period pitting unionized teachers against other underfunded groups and their representatives.Mar’s Tuesday afternoon announcement did not go into detail, but Mission Local has learned it involves the creation of a fund that can be accessed by either the Board of Supervisors or San Francisco Unified School District drawn from $52 million in excess Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund money already placed in  “rainy day” reserves.These were the “one-time” contributions placed in the rainy day fund, per city law requiring such a move following a first instance of explosive revenue growth.In the event Prop. G — which would establish a parcel tax funding teacher raises — isn’t clear of legal hurdles by 2020-21, this funding source could be tapped. Future ERAF “windfalls” — which figure to come yearly now, as noted above — could also be directed to teacher salaries. If unused, the fund could be redirected back into the rainy day reserves.Mission Local is told that this solution, which guarantees teacher raises through the duration of their current contract, has met the satisfaction of the teachers’ union and has been approved by competing factions of progressive supervisors, who had been at odds regarding what percentage of ERAF funding should go to teachers. With the approval Wednesday of eight supervisors, the board would establish a veto-proof majority — Mayor London Breed has made it clear she desires all the funds go to the homeless. Email Address Barring a vote of the people of California or a legislative Hail Mary, San Francisco figures to get a $200 to $250 million “windfall” every year now Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Update: Compromise reached in “windfall” spending — see endWhen Jed Clampett discovered oil on his property, he moved the family to Beverly Hills and lived happily with his newfound wealth.last_img read more

SAINTS have announced their squad for Fridays Sup

first_imgSAINTS have announced their squad for Friday’s Super League home opener against Hull FC.Nathan Brown names the same 19 that featured against Warrington last week.They are:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Luke Walsh, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Paul Wellens, 18. Alex Walmsley, 22. Mark Percival, 24. Gary Wheeler, 27. Greg Richards.Lee Radford will choose his Hull FC side from:3. Ben Crooks, 4. Kirk Yeaman, 5. Tom Lineham, 6. Richard Horne, 7. Jacob Miller, 8. Mickey Paea, 9. Danny Houghton, 11. Gareth Ellis, 13. Joe Westerman, 14. Richard Whiting, 15. Joe Arundel, 16. Jordan Thompson, 20. Jamie Shaul, 22. Josh Bowden, 26. Iafeta Palea’aesina, 32. Jordan Rankin, 33. Aaron Heremaia, 34. Fetuli Talanoa, 35. Garreth Carvell.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Richard Silverwood.Tickets remain on sale for the big game from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.Stat Pack:Richard Whiting has scored a try in each of Hull FC’s last three meetings with St Helens.Super League Summary:St Helens won 24 (includes win in 2006 Grand Final & wins in 2001 and 2006 play-offs)Hull FC won 103 drawsUps and Downs:St Helens highest score: 74-16 (H, 1999) (also widest margin)Hull FC highest score: 44-6 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)Career Milestones:Paul Wellens remains one point short of 1,000 for his career.He has scored 953 points (218 tries, 40 goals, 1 field goal) for St Helens since 1998.He has also scored points for Great Britain (18 – 4 tries, 1 goal), England (16 – 4 tries) and Lancashire (12 – 3 tries).last_img read more

SAINTS head over to the DW Stadium this Friday to

first_imgSAINTS head over to the DW Stadium this Friday to take on Wigan in what is sure to be a mouth-watering derby.Backed by a large vocal away support, Nathan Brown’s table-toppers are seeking to stay on top of the Super League and record a vital win as they aim to back up the excellent victory over Castleford.Tickets for the match are now on sale from the Ticket Office priced at £21 for adults and £14 concessions (over 60-years-of-age, full time students, ambulant disabled and juniors) – in the North Stand.Junior Season Ticket Holders must swap their vouchers before they travel as cards will not be accepted on the day.Tickets will return to Wigan on Friday afternoon with online sales ceasing at midnight Thursday.Tickets are available from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

KEIRON Cunningham says he cannot wait for Saints t

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham says he cannot wait for Saints to take to the field on Sunday.After a long pre-season his side face Widnes Vikings at Langtree Park at 3pm.“I’m happy with how pre-season has gone but I just want to get going now,” he said. “The boys have bought in to what we wanted to do and have trained hard.“Nothing major has changed from last season; I was in charge of the attack and Sean Long has come in with Jamahl (Lolesi). They will look after the defence with me overseeing everything.“I’m really excited now and want to get started. As I player I know what it feels like at this time of year; the days before Christmas can be a drudge, it’s gloomy but once you’re back, and the ball is in your hands a little more, it is more exciting.”Saints will play a strong side in the match and there’s good news on the three players who were injured long-term in 2014.Jon Wilkin is back training, Jonny Lomax is there and thereabouts whilst Luke Walsh has a good chance of playing against Catalan in Round 1.“Jonny Lomax won’t be ready this week, but hopefully will be back the week after,” Keiron continued. “Walshy is back running and his leg is at 100 per cent. We had a little grumble with his ankle but hopefully, fingers crossed, if there isn’t a setback, he will be kicking a ball for us in round one“We targeted round one for him and thought if things went well he would be back for the friendlies. Obviously, the more we get him playing with the team the better. The thought of having him on the pitch with Travis Burns excites me. When Luke first came to the club and I saw him in training it was like having Sean Long back.”Speaking of Long, Keiron reported that Sean has settled into life at the club and is already making an impact.“When I came into the office to work for Nathan he asked me what my ambition was. I said I wanted to be a head coach. He said he liked assistants that wanted to be head coaches as they meant they challenged him more.“I’ve always felt like a leader from a young age and I like the responsibility of it. Myself and Nathan had a good relationship. I don’t know everything so I want my assistants to debate and challenge me as I did with Browny.“I worked well with Jamahl last year and have brought Longy in. I lot of people said I only brought back Sean as he was my friend. If he wasn’t right for the job he wouldn’t be here. I am here to do a job and win trophies and if Sean wasn’t going to fit in he wouldn’t be here. He is a great coach, smart and will bring something to us.”Tickets for Sunday’s friendly at Langtree Park, which kicks off at 3pm, are on sale now from the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.Prices in the Solarking South and Totally Wicked North Stands will be £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and Juniors £5.Hatton’s Solicitors West Terrace tickets are available for £10 (adult) £8 (concession), £5 (Junior).last_img read more

Corps of Engineers to begin erosion repairs at Snows Cut

first_img “For safety reasons, the portion of the Carolina Beach Recreational Trail from near the boat launch facility up to Bridge Barrier Road will be closed to the public until that portion of the project is completed,” said Wilmington District Navigation Program Project Manager Jim Medlock. “We ask that the public stay away from the construction area so that we can repair the eroded Snow’s Cut banks safely and as quickly as possible.”Medlock anticipates that the contractor will likely close the recreational trail starting on or about December 1. The Corps estimates that repairs will continue through Spring 2018. Snow’s Cut Bridge (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District is urging boaters to stay clear of construction along portions of Snow’s Cut as repairs for bank erosion begin today.The Wilmington District has awarded a $1.8 million contract to repair erosion damage to three areas of Snow’s Cut worsened last year from Hurricane Matthew.. Two locations are on the north and south side and east of the Snow’s Cut Bridge, and one is near the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission boat launch.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Trask shelter at capacity inland shelters open in Wake County

first_img Buses will be at the Government Center at 2 p.m. to take people to these locations. Please bring your own blankets/pillows, medications and other necessary items. You are asked to arrive 30 minutes before the buses are scheduled to depart. Buses are taking New Hanover County resident to shelters inland ahead of Hurricane Florence on Sept. 12, 2018. (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As of Wednesday morning, the Trask Middle School Shelter is at capacity. According to a news release, residents are encouraged to seek shelter inland at Southeast Raleigh High School and Garner High School. – Advertisement – last_img read more

Third ferry being eyed for SouthportFort Fisher route

first_img Tim Hass, spokesman for the DOT’s Ferry Division, said the route was identified for another ferry due to consistent rise in passengers over the last few years.“We continue to see growth on that route,” he said. “It is quickly becoming one of our more popular routes and we anticipate, at some point in the future, we will need to add capacity, which this ferry could handle.”Read more here from StarNewsOnline. Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry (Photo: @NCDOT_Ferry) WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — Within the next decade, the growing reliance on the Southport/Fort Fisher ferry for residents and tourists could get an assist from a third ferry boat.Included in the N.C. Department of Transportation’s 2027 Strategic Transportation Investments Funds (STIP) is a $14 million line item to build a new river class ferry to join the current two-ferry passage between Fort Fisher and Southport.- Advertisement – last_img read more

10 year old girl taken to hospital following car crash

first_img SharePrint Facebook – Facebook – A 10 year old girl together with two other woman, aged 44 and 32, have been taken to hospital after being involved in a car crash at Triq Tal-Barrani in Żejtun.A spokesperson for the Police told that the incident between the two cars happened at around 4:05pm. The 10 year old girl was being driven by the 32 year old from Fgura, while the other car was being driven by the 44 year old woman from Birkirkara.The condition of the three victims is still unknown.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

MTN Marathon raises Shs 300 million for Bududa

first_imgParticipants at the MTN Marathon 2012 Advertisement Participants at the MTN Marathon 2012The MTN Kampala Marathon 2012 successfully raised over UShs. 300 million to provide clean and safe water to BududaThe 9th successfully completed MTN Kampala Marathon 2012 which took place on Sunday, 25th November brought together participants from both Uganda and a number of neighbouring countries. This year’s marathon was special in that it saw more winners of the top prizes from Uganda.The MTN Kampala Marathon continues to be a significant platform for Ugandan athletes as it provides them with a great training opportunity to propel them to international sporting status. Some of the noteworthy elite runners that have participated in the MTN Kampala Marathon over the years include Dorcas Inzikuru, winner of the 2006 Commonwealth Games inaugural World title in women’s 3000 metres steeplechase race. She was also part of Uganda’s London Olympics 2012 team. Moses Kipsiro, another ardent MTN Kampala Marathon participant has won a number of regional and international athletic awards and also represented Uganda in this year’s Olympics. This year’s Olympic gold medalist in the marathon category, Stephen Kiprotich, has also previously participated in the MTN Kampala Marathon. – Advertisement – The MTN Kampala Marathon 2012 attracted 18,285 runners that came together in the biggest sporting and social Uganda event of the year. It’s arguably one of the biggest Marathon races on the continent. The runners included 150 corporate teams that entered the Corporate Challenge in a quest to be the best.“We have collected a total of over UShs. 300 million and together with our partner, the Uganda Red Cross, we will ensure the monies reach the most deserving people of Bududa. This year’s theme, “Run with your heart” was certainly befitting as the proceeds will be used to take clean and safe water to the people of Bududa,” said Ernst Fonternel the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer.“Over the last 3 weeks, MTN Uganda Social Media fans also assisted us in filling their “MTN Fan’s marathon Bag” as a donation to the people of Bududa. In line with “Every mile brings a smile”, MTN ran a campaign on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, tagged ‘Every like brings a smile’. For every fan that liked our Facebook page and everyone who joined our Twitter page, we contributed UShs. 100 into the “Fan’s marathon Bag”. At the end of Sunday, 25th November, 2012 we had a total of 71,200 Facebook fans and 5,405 Twitter fans giving us a total of 76,605 fans. The “Fan’s marathon Bag” raised a whopping UShs. 7,660,500 for the people of Bududa. Thank you all for supporting the good cause of taking Water to Bududa,” added Fonternel.Over the last two years Bududa has experienced two devastating landslides that have resulted in the loss of many lives. As a result, the survivors of this natural disaster continue to be resettled in areas around the country such as Kiryandongo District.“We would like to thank our sponsors – the Vision Group, Huawei and Rwenzori as well as our other partners Red Cross, Pinnacle Security, Uganda Athletics Federation and the Uganda Police for their support in making this year’s MTN Kampala Marathon a great success. I also commend all the corporate companies and individual runners that answered the call to participate in this noble cause,” said the MTN Uganda CEO, Mazen Mroué.Mroué reiterated that MTN Uganda is committed to partnerships with both the public and private sector to continue driving the national development of Uganda.This year’s collections of over UShs. 300 million show a marked increase from last year’s Marathon that raised UShs. 230 million. Last year’s proceeds assisted in the provision of clean and safe water for over 10,000 people in Amuria. The Amuria water project was recently commissioned in Willa Sub County in Amuria District, part of the Teso Sub Region. As part of the commissioning MTN handed over a number of water facilities to the community that included 6 boreholes, 24 rain water jars, 5 ferro cement tanks and 509 Bio sand filters.MTN Chief Executive Officer – Mazen Mroué said that MTN Uganda is committed to changing the lives of Ugandans in the less privileged and marginalised communities through its various corporate social responsibility initiatives and commended everyone who participated in the MTN Kampala Marathon 2012.The MTN Kampala Marathon, an annual event in its 9th year of existence has attracted over 120,000 entrants to date from local and international spheres. Since inception, the MTN Kampala Marathon has raised almost Ushs. 1 billion to help people in less privileged parts of the country.last_img read more

Facebook testing feature for selling goods in Groups

first_imgAdvertisement Social networking giant Facebook testing a feature that will allow users to  sell goods in Group.The new feature that’s appeared for some Facebook users allows them to sell goods using a new “Sell Something” option when posting to a group.The new selling option asks the user to share what’s for sale, the price, a description of the item, pictures and pick up/delivery options. – Advertisement – Once you share the post, it formats the details nicely and others can comment with offers or discussion like a normal post would allow. The new feature appears to be an attempt to bring order to groups made with the purpose of buying and selling goods on the social network.The feature appears to be in testing right now, with a linked help page.The page explains that Facebook is not responsible for purchases or sales made on the site .Credit: TNWlast_img read more

Stanbic Bank Uganda Announces The First Winners of 2017 Christmas Trolley Dash

first_imgAdvertisement In a bid to promote cashless banking by encouraging increased usage of debit and credit cards Stanbic Bank Uganda today held a trolley dash for three of its lucky frequent Visa and MasterCard users off the Stanbic card machines in a promo dubbed Stanbic Bank Christmas Madness.The three lucky customers Gad Rogers Tusiime, Tezire Ayugi and Christopher Ssekandi were given the chance to pick as much merchandise as possible within 60 seconds from Quality Supermarket Naalya.Speaking at the start of the trolley dash, Stanbic’s Head of Personal Markets, Shem Kakembo said digital banking provides options like using your bank card to make payments. – Advertisement – “It provides customers with diverse solutions that simplifies making payments while putting customers in control of their overall financial undertakings,” he said.The promotion is scheduled to run throughout December and the competition is to enter the trolley dash is running until 31st of December this year when the bank will announce the last winners of the Trolley Dash Grand Prizes. The bank partnered with Restaurants, Super markets, Fuel stations and Entertainment, and all Visa and MasterCard debit and credit card holders who participate in the promo stand a good chance of winning.Notably, the promo is meant to reward and encourage all Stanbic Bank Uganda clients to use digital channels because they offer a fast, convenient and safe transacting especially in periods like these where carrying large amounts of cash can be risky.How to participate Participants have to make transactions of up to 50,000 UGX or more using Visa or MasterCard at the partnered participating outlets and instantly win a voucher ranging from 10,000 to 60,000 UGX.Take a voucher selfie (or a pic of the Visa receipt) post it on the Stanbic Facebook or Twitter pages and get into the draw to win a supermarket trolley dash.Here are the partnered firms by category:Restaurants: Cafe Javas, The Bistro, The Lawns, Piato Restaurant, KFC, and Karveli.Supermarkets: Game Lugogo, Quality Supermarket, Capital Shoppers, Embassy, Jazz, TMT, Risco Kids, and Masters.Fuel stations: Total Bonjour, and City Oil.Entertainment: Dinners Lounge, Riders, Nexus, and Alchemist Kampala.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.Sunday 24 November2.05 ExeterSonofvic 6/4 > evens2.25 NavanGoonyella 10/1 > 7/12.35 ExeterBarlow 7/1 > 4/1The early football money has all been for Man City against Spurslast_img

STAR PREVIEW Wales v Andorra

first_img[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y nephew was telling me about his school sports day. Apparently, winning is no longer considered important – it’s the taking part that matters. EVERYONE who takes part gets a badge, no discrimination between coming first or last in the 100 metres !!Everyone goes home happy and everyone’s a winner.I feel the same way about the Euro 2016 Qualifiers which mercifully come to an end tonight. Even West Brom v Sunderland on Saturday is going to seem like punting heaven compared with some of the endless one sided encounters we’ve seen over the last couple of years – and yes, I REALLY do mean years.The bottom line is everyone has qualified who was meant to under the new ‘improved’ (their words) structure which sees more teams in the hat and endless tedium to arrive at the same outcome.Just like the school sports day, everyone goes home with a badge and everyone’s a winner. They’ve qualified, you’ve qualified, I’ve qualified ….. let’s just move on.One of the final acts in this undramatic drama is Wales v Andorra tonight.Wales have already qualified for their first major finals since the 1958 World Cup and Andorra are rooted to the bottom of Group B with nil points. With the pressure off, Wales will be fancied by many to go berserk tonight, scoring for fun, in what should prove a party atmosphere at the Cardiff City Stadium.I’m less convinced there will be too many goals. Wales have scored two goals or fewer in their last 41 competitive matches and only scraped past Andorra 2-1 in the reverse fixture.At this stage of the qualifiers, teams aren’t necessarily over-scoring. Just look at last night… Slovenia were amazingly held 0-0 by the perennial whipping boys San Marino at half-time before going on to ‘only’ win 2-0.Plenty of focus will now be switching to the respective domestic action and at the odds and handicap lines kindly relayed by Trevor Harris at Star Sports I quite like the look of Andorra (words I never thought I’d write). Let me finish the sentence… I quite like the look of Andorra at 6/4 with a three goal start on the Star Sports handicap line.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK ANDORRA (+3) for 5 points at around 6/4 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 161.90 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more


first_imgHORSE RACING12.55 KemptonZipple Back 7/2 > 9/41.40 LudlowVice Et Vertu 11/2 > 3/12.00 KemptonTons Dream 100/30 > 5/23.30 ChelmsfordGeorgian Bay 12/1 > 7/1MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALLPremier League20:00 Sky Sports 1 / Sky Sports 1 HD / Sky Sports Ultra HD20/21 West Brom 7/2 Burnley 23/10 DRAWBET WITH STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321 [dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Monday 21 Novemberlast_img read more

Six Rice faculty honored for their teaching

first_img About admin ShareCONTACT: David KaplanPHONE:(713) 348-6777EMAIL: dkaplan@rice.eduSIX RICE FACULTY HONORED FORTHEIR TEACHING Thirty-three years after winning the first George R. Brown Award for SuperiorTeaching in 1967, Alan Grob has won another — his fifth in all. Grob, a professor ofEnglish, says it is very pleasing to receive the honor over a span of decades.“At heart, I feel students remain the same,” he says, “and they’re receptive tothe same kinds of teaching approaches. I find that very satisfying.” He and five other Ricefaculty members are winners of the $1,500 George R. Brown Awards for SuperiorTeaching, based on voting by alumni who received bachelor’s degrees in ’95 and’98. The other winners areChandler Davidson, professor of sociology and political science; John Olson, theRalph and Dorothy Looney Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology; MiguelQuiñones, associate professor of psychology and management; Richard Stoll,professor of political science; and John Zammito, professor of history.Grob says he has“immensely enjoyed” teaching Rice students, who he describes as “exceptional.”Part of his success in teaching, he believes, is his strong commitment to thevalue of literature. “Because the literature is so good, half the battle is wonas a teacher,” he says. Grob also has won a George R. Brown Prize for Excellencein Teaching.For Davidson, “teachingis something of a contradiction. It’s not fun at all,” he says. “It’s stressful,particularly the preparation. I often feel like I’m not up to the task.” Butwhen a course works, Davidson says, it is “deeply satisfying.”“For me, face-to-face interaction withstudents is essential,” he says. “I can’t imagine teaching in a virtualclassroom. I want to engage real people, not computer screens.” Davidson says that after34 years, he is still trying to teach a course “whose parts fit togetherperfectly. So far, no luck.” Davidson has won three Superior Teaching awards andone Excellence in Teaching award. One of Olson’s more“interesting” teaching evaluations calls his lectures 3D: not three-dimensional,but “dry, detailed and demanding.” But the students must like it. This isOlson’s second Superior Teaching award, and he gets friendly e-mails from formerstudents telling him that he made medical school easier.When Olson prepares hislectures, he tries to determine what the problems are that he wants students tobe able to solve, based on what they’ll need for careers in academic research,biotechnology and medicine. The fundamental materialmay not always be exciting, he says, but he cares more about preparing themproperly for graduate school and medical school.“The satisfaction comeswhen people can solve real problems in life,” Olson says. Quiñones feels teachingis a two-way street. “I have a lot to learn from students, and I take aninterest in them,” he says. Quiñones likes to get students involved indiscussions and lets them know he is approachable. For him, it is important toget to know his students, even in his larger classes, such as statistics, arequired class for psychology majors. He arrives early to talk with them.“In some ways this awardis a validation of my style and commitment to learning and teaching,” Quiñonessays of his first teaching award. “It is a big honor from the students, toremember me even after graduation. I just really like the students, and I guessit shows.” When Stoll was agraduate student at the University of Michigan, he recalls one of his professorsgiving a definition of good teaching: It makes simple things complicated andcomplicated things simple. Stoll explains: On the one hand, a good teacher cantake a complex issue and show students how to identify its basic components and,on the other hand, when a topic seems straightforward, he or she can show itsadditional complexities. Stoll, who has won fiveSuperior Teaching Awards and one Excellence in Teaching Award, says the ultimategoal of a teacher is to enable students to think on their own, in the classroomand after they graduate.Zammito says two thingsmotivate him in a classroom. The first, he says, is “the material itself, whichI passionately love.” He also says there is “something utterly energizing aboutgoing into a classroom of students when I am able to put things together and seethat links and connections are being formed.” Zammito, who also hasreceived the George R. Brown Teaching Prize for Excellence and the Salgo Awardin the past, revisits his courses every year, adding new research andincorporating student input about what does and doesn’t work. “This is a universitythat really cares about teaching; I’m very proud of that and proud to be here,”Zammito says. AddThis last_img read more

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