Month: July 2019

The closure of the Independent Living Fund ILF a

first_imgThe closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) appears to be in chaos this week, with many ILF-users yet to be told how much support they will be entitled to, just weeks before the fund shuts for good.Disability News Service (DNS) has spoken to 14 ILF-recipients, in an effort to build a picture of how local authorities across England are dealing with the closure and the transition to a system in which care will be solely funded by local authorities.ILF is a government-resourced trust which helps about 16,500 people with the highest support needs to live independently, but the coalition government decided that it should close on 30 June, with non-ring-fenced funding transferred to councils and devolved governments in Wales and Scotland.English local authorities will receive this transition funding for one year from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), but do not have to spend that money on their former ILF-users, or even on social care.The picture built up by DNS is one in which a small minority of local authorities appear to have planned carefully for transition by working alongside local disabled people’s organisations.But many ILF-users in other areas – which appear to be in the majority – are saying that their councils have not even told them yet how many hours of support they can expect once the fund closes.The Department of Health (DH), which is responsible for adult social care in England, has refused to answer any questions about these concerns.DH has made it clear that DWP is dealing with all queries on ILF and “any of the subsequent ramifications”, and so is refusing to answer any questions about what steps it has taken to ensure people’s support from 1 July onwards. DWP has also refused to comment.The Scottish government announced last year that it was setting up its own ILF, for both existing and new users in Scotland, using the UK government’s funding and an additional £5.5 million of its own money.The Welsh government has opted to transfer the Westminster funding to its local authorities – with conditions attached – and will protect the budgets of existing ILF-users for the first nine months, with funding after that dependant on the UK government’s next spending round.One leading activist and ILF-user, who has asked to remain anonymous, said she still had no idea about the size of her future care package, after being reassessed for her needs only this week.She said: “The whole process is a mess. Three weeks to go before abolition and they still haven’t reassessed everyone.“My fear is that next year, when the money transfer to local authorities from ILF has run out, that’s when the real cuts will bite.”Gabriel Pepper, one of the ILF-users who lost a legal bid to force DWP to reverse its closure decision, said Waltham Forest council in London had yet to tell him what his post-closure care package would be.An ILF-user from London, who asked to remain anonymous, has been told she will be reassessed before the end of June.She currently receives about 30 hours of support a week, but fears that that will be cut drastically, and has no idea when she will be reassessed.She said: “The whole thing is very, very stressful. I don’t have to worry about it right now, but it is still looming.“The question is whether they are going to give me enough notice after the assessment to make sure I can meet my responsibilities as an employer – I have to give (pictured, at an ILF protest) seven weeks’ notice to my PA because she has worked for me for seven years.”Mary Laver, who has played a key role in campaigning to save ILF, has been told by her council, North Tyneside, that it will fund her full hours, including those previously paid for by ILF, until her next review in January.But she said: “I live every day in fear of what my care hours that govern my life will be. I am to be imprisoned in my own home for the crime of being disabled.  “I will try to enjoy my last few months of freedom, but that enjoyment will be marred as I get ever closer to my assessment.”Another key campaigner, Jenny Hurst, said her London council, Greenwich, had only written to her in the last few weeks to confirm that it would continue to honour her ILF entitlement, but only until she was reassessed. It was unable to say when this assessment would take place.Peter Ashcroft currently receives 80 hours of support a week, a mixture of ILF and council-funded care.He has been told by his local authority, Liverpool city council, that he will be reassessed at some point, but has been given no guarantees about how many hours he will have after the assessment, or when it will take place.In the meantime, although he has been told by the council that he will continue with the same amount of hours, he has not been given enough money in the package to continue to pay his PAs at their current rate, which averages out at £7.25 an hour across the seven-day week.He said: “I have had ILF for 12 years and they are saying I have got to accept what they have offered.“I don’t think it is right, the way we are treated. When I ask about my future package, all they keep saying to me is they will keep on looking into it, but that is no guarantee.“When I was 18, I had to use agency staff and they would tell me to go to bed at 9pm, so I couldn’t go clubbing or do the other things that teenagers do.“Now I live independently on my own and they are putting me in a worse situation than I have ever been in.“I live for an active life, but now all I am thinking is that if they can do this, what is to stop them doing something else, like telling me to use an agency again, or cutting my hours even more.“They are being nice to my face, but I am scared of what they might do behind my back.”Another leading disabled activist, Anne Pridmore, who attended many of the protests against ILF closure, has been told her current package will be extended until October – after she complained about the way she was reassessed by her local authority – but she has been warned that her support is likely to drop sharply.She said: “One girl has worked for me for 18 years, another for 14 years, and all the rest except for one have been with me for eight years.“They don’t know if they will have a job after October. They have been extremely loyal. It’s frightening.“In a way, I don’t blame the local authorities. It is the government I blame.“What I fear is that the ones who keep shouting the loudest – like me – will persuade the council to keep their packages, but there are a lot who won’t do that.”She has been told that one of her options is for an agency to take over provision of her care – taking away the choice and control over staff she has fought for – and she fears that she will also be left alone at night, and be forced to wear overnight incontinence pads, even though she is not incontinent.She has said repeatedly during the campaign that she would rather take her own life than be forced into a residential home.Another prominent campaigner against ILF closure is Brian Hilton, campaigns officer for Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP), who told DNS earlier this week: “Until a few days ago, I had not heard from my local authority [Trafford council] with regard to my care package in over a year.“Following a phone call from my local authority a few days ago, I am now awaiting my care assessment, which is due to take place tomorrow.“I have been informed that the outcome of that assessment will go to panel for a decision the following week.“By my calculations, I should know the level of my care package a few days before the ILF closes.”The next day, he contacted DNS to say that the assessment had been cancelled two hours before it was due to take place.He said: “I now think 30 June will come and go, the ILF will close, and I still won’t know how or if my current level of support will continue.” Hilton needs assistance with everything from getting in and out of bed via a hoist, using the toilet, bathing, dressing, preparing food, and most other everyday activities.He said: “My fear is that with the loss of the ILF, local authorities will increasingly adopt a crude time-and-motion approach to support requirements and cut existing care packages accordingly.“The Independent Living Fund gives me choice and control. It enables me to get up early when the sun is shining or have a lie in if I am unwell or been out the previous evening.“It enables me to visit my elderly parents, keep clean, safe, nourished, and live within and be a part of my local community.“Without the freedom that the ILF brings disabled people with the highest support needs, we cease to live independent lives, we will merely exist.“That is a frightening prospect and sends out the clear message that the government simply considers disabled people a bad investment, and an unacceptable expense.”He added: “Even if my local authority keep my care package at its current level for now, what happens after April 2016, as the transition money is only guaranteed until then?“The government has made no announcement on whether the transition money would continue to be given to local authorities or not.”Mark Williams, co-chair of Bristol Disability Equality Forum, has also been left in the dark about his support.Although he has been told his 24/7 care package will continue until he has an assessment from Bristol city council, he has no idea when that assessment will take place.He said: “I have very little faith in what is going to happen after 30 June. The council have promised that they will carry on paying the money, but I have not got any faith in them at all.“It’s very worrying. The council has ring-fenced the money to its department of health and social care, but no-one knows where they are as individuals. There is no doubt that more cuts are coming.”If he lost his 24/7 care, he said, it would have a drastic effect on his life. “It would mean that I would not be able to use the toilet when I want, and have a drink when I want.“Also, it would curtail my working life, as I would not be able to attend or arrange meetings that I volunteer for, which would have an effect on other people who rely on me as well.”The picture in the London borough of Islington, where there has been a strong activist lobby against ILF closure, is slightly more positive.Islington council has agreed to fund people to the same level as the ILF when it closes, but only until June 2016. After that date, the picture is unclear.Another local authority where the picture is brighter for ILF-users – at least in the medium term – is the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.The council was lobbied strongly from late last year by a local grassroots disabled people’s organisation, Hammersmith and Fulham Coalition Against Cuts (HAFCAC).As a result, the council has written to every ILF-user in the borough with a series of promises, including that it will protect their current package of support until the end of March 2016, and provide every one of them with the details of a council officer to contact if there are any problems during the transition.Kevin Caulfield, HAFCAC’s chair and himself an ILF-user, said: “It has not been perfect, but at least the will is there, the understanding of what the anxieties are is there, and we feel we can approach them.“We were concerned that people might become isolated or just bury their heads in the sand.“That’s why we wanted to engage with them as a group rather than leave it to individual people having to take on different issues. A lot of people are not in a position to do that.“I feel reasonably confident now. I know what they are going to do, I know what they have committed to do.“Hopefully it will go through smoothly, and if it doesn’t I have the numbers of council officers to contact.”He said the situation in many other areas was “ridiculous”, and added: “You can’t be talking to people in the middle of June. We should be embarrassing these other local authorities.”Another ILF-user who has been prominent in fighting its closure is Stuart Bracking.Newcastle council and his local NHS clinical commissioning group have agreed a “shared care” arrangement when the ILF closes, which will continue his 24/7 support package. Because his impairment is deteriorating, he could soon move to his care being funded completely by the NHS.But he is pessimistic about the situation for other ILF-users, and believes that local authorities – thanks to the new Care Act – will eventually begin to apply policies that would mean they only provide up to the equivalent cost of a nursing home place.He said: “While it may take two or three years in some areas for that point to be reached for severely disabled people like myself with 24/7 personal assistance, it will, unless an individual can establish their ‘contribution to society’ is such that a move into nursing care would be disproportionate and unreasonable.”He believes that local authorities will put a “positive gloss” on the threat of institutionalisation, by arguing that disabled people can exercise their right to independent living in residential care.Meanwhile, a new Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) petition calling on the government to halt the ILF closure has been signed by nearly 18,000 people in just two weeks.The petition features a film including members of the cast of Coronation Street, such as wheelchair-user Cherylee Houston, ILF-users including Brian Hilton, and other disabled performers such as Lisa Hammond, Liz Carr – herself an ILF-user – Jack Carroll and Francesca Martinez.Houston, who plays Izzy Armstrong in Coronation Street, and is the driving force behind the petition, said: “I had to speak up. I realised I have a voice, and I couldn’t stand by and let this happen to my community. “I remember when I first became disabled I researched our history [and] the Independent Living Fund was the thing which allowed us to live in and contribute to the community.“Without this, we are going back to where disabled people were ‘locked up’. It makes me want to weep. We’ve fought so hard for equality… how can anyone take away another human being’s independence?”  DPAC is organising a lobby of parliament on 24 June to make a final effort to persuade parliament to reverse the closure, and is asking all ILF-users and supporters to attend if they can.last_img read more

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A disabled activist was at the Supreme Court yeste

first_imgA disabled activist was at the Supreme Court yesterday as judges heard his ground-breaking case that could finally force bus companies to ensure that wheelchair-users can use the spaces reserved for them.Doug Paulley’s long-running case is the first the Supreme Court has heard concerning disability discrimination in the provision of services.The importance of the case was underlined by the presence of both the president and the deputy president of the Supreme Court on a panel of seven judges.And its significance was also marked by the attendance among observers of Liberal Democrat president Baroness [Sal] Brinton and crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell, both wheelchair-users, as well as Green party leadership candidate Jonathan Bartley.A ruling on the case is expected before the end of the year.Paulley (pictured), from Wetherby, Yorkshire, originally took legal action after he was denied access to a bus operated by the company First Bus in February 2012, because the wheelchair space was occupied by a mother with a pushchair and the driver refused to force her to move.His appeal has been funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which told the court that bus companies must ensure that wheelchair-users have priority in using wheelchair spaces and that they must end their “first come, first served” policies.Paulley originally won his county court case against First Bus in 2013 but that ruling was overturned by the court of appeal the following year – a decision which left disabled campaigners “frustrated” and “appalled” – so he took it to the Supreme Court.Paulley said before the hearing: “It’s not right that I, and other wheelchair-users, should be nervously looking to see if anybody is in the wheelchair space and wondering what will happen. This can cause a great deal of distress.“Wheelchair spaces are the only place on the bus that wheelchair-users can travel in; if they aren’t available, wheelchair-users can’t travel.“This is the single biggest barrier experienced by wheelchair-users when accessing transport, and most wheelchair-users experience this.“Bus companies need to have clear policies so that we can have a culture where non-disabled people automatically move to other areas.“More needs to be done to ensure that this space is available to wheelchair-users when needed.”After the hearing, Paulley told Disability News Service that being involved in such a ground-breaking case felt “weird”, as there was nothing for him to do but watch his “excellent” barristers at work.He said: “It has happened around me and I get a load of credit but it is really great to have such a high-profile case, as long as we get what we want out of it.”Even if he loses, he said, the case will still have an impact, because it will show that the Equality Act has “major flaws around enforcement and is effectively unusable”.He said: “Either way it will hopefully make a change and certainly it has grabbed the public’s attention and people are more aware of disabled people’s right to transport.”Paulley paid tribute to the disabled people, including many wheelchair-users, who packed out the court-room and had earlier staged a rally outside the building.He said he was “incredibly lucky to have such a principled and supportive group of people behind this case”, and also thanked the user-led campaigning organisations Transport for All and Trailblazers for their “incredible support”.Chris Fry, Paulley’s solicitor, from discrimination law experts Unity Law, said: “Unity Law has been proud to support Doug on this case since 2012, and shared his ups and downs throughout this legal process.“We hope that the Supreme Court will finally make the correct legal and moral decision that supports the overriding objective of social inclusion for disabled people, and find in favour of Doug.”Rebecca Hilsenrath, EHRC’s chief executive, said that “priority should mean priority”, and added: “We are saying that bus companies must uphold their responsibility and make it very clear to travellers that those spaces are intended for wheelchairs.”Giles Fearnley, managing director of First Bus, said: “The previous judgment of the court of appeal gave much needed clarification around the priority use of the wheelchair space on board buses, following two previous conflicting rulings.  “We hope that the judgment of the Supreme Court will maintain that clarity for our customers, drivers and the wider industry.“We believe that our current policy, which is to ask other customers in the strongest polite terms to make way for a passenger in a wheelchair who needs the space, is the most feasible solution.”Fearnley claimed that First Bus was “leading the industry” in improving bus travel for disabled passengers. Transport for All (TfA), which has supported Paulley in his case, marked the Supreme Court hearing by releasing case studies of 12 disabled and older Londoners who struggle to access buses every day.One of them, Jeff Harvey, a TfA trustee, said: “Every time I try to board a bus, I feel stressed because I have to be ready for an argument with the driver and/or other passengers, ready to try to raise my voice enough to be heard from the pavement and get my mobile phone camera ready to take photos of the registration plate if I need to make a complaint.”Mark Wilson, who frequently uses buses both in the north-west of England and in London, told TfA: “I have been left at bus stops many, many times because there was a parent with a child’s buggy using the wheelchair space and they would not move, and the driver felt unable to ask them, let alone compel them, to move.”Another TfA trustee, Alan Benson, said: “London has one of the most accessible bus fleets in the country, yet it is still a lottery whether I will get to where I’m going.“Every week I’m stymied by ramps that are broken or too steep, drivers who don’t stop, or worse, don’t let me off, and by parents with buggies who are unwilling to free up the wheelchair space.“Each time I had a problem on buses I used to complain to Transport for London, but it didn’t seem to change anything and it happens so often I don’t bother anymore.”Faryal Velmi, director of Transport for All, said: “It is vital that wheelchair-users and also mobility scooter-users get access to the wheelchair priority space on buses.“Wheelchair and mobility scooter-users are heavily dependent on buses to get around London because so few Tube stations have step-free access.”last_img read more

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Plans by three NHS primary care organisations to t

first_imgPlans by three NHS primary care organisations to tighten restrictions on care and support spending for service-users with complex healthcare needs are a “huge concern” and could lead to disabled people being forced into institutions, say campaigners.The trio of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Leicestershire have been consulting on plans that could see service-users receiving NHS continuing health care (NHS CHC) only being allowed to continue with support in their own homes if it is no more expensive than a place in a nursing home or other institution.The user-led Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) has warned that such a “fundamentally unfair and cruel” policy proposal has made Leicestershire the “front line” in the campaign to oppose CCGs that want to use cost arguments to force service-users into institutions.SIA, which has launched a petition against the plans (pictured), warns that such a policy could mean “newly paralysed individuals never returning home from hospital and spending the rest of their lives in a nursing home”.In its response to the consultation, SIA warns the CCGs that their consultation is unlawful because of the lack of detailed information, while the “unacceptable” policy proposals “will clearly limit disabled people’s opportunities to live independently in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland by forcing them into residential care homes”.Dan Burden, SIA’s head of public affairs, said the proposals in Leicestershire were a “huge concern”.He said: “Our biggest fear is that this is the front line of a policy which could be widened out across the country.”He added: “We are running the risk of rolling back 30 years of disability rights campaigning.“That’s the great concern, that actually the clock gets turned back and before long we are all back in institutions.”Last month, research by disabled campaigner Fleur Perry, editor of  the website Disability United, showed that at least 44 CCGs – and probably many more – would be willing to move disabled people with high-cost support packages into institutions against their wishes.Most of these CCGs were suggesting that they would not fund NHS CHC packages in a service-user’s own home if they were more than 10 per cent, 25 per cent or 40 per cent more expensive than a residential placement.In two cases, the CCG’s policy stated that it would not pay any more for a package of care in a person’s own home than they would spend on a care home place, unless in exceptional circumstances.Now East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG (ELRCCG), together with Leicester City CCG and West Leicestershire CCG, have been consulting on plans that could further tighten their existing policy on NHS CHC.Their current spending limit allows them to spend up to 25 per cent more than the most cost-effective option to provide care in a setting of the service-user’s own choice.But their consultation offered those taking part in a survey which closed this week just two options for their future policy: spending no more than the cost of an equivalent care home placement, or spending only up to 10 per cent more on care at home.There was no option for those taking part in the survey to disagree with the two options.There are more than 1,300 people across Leicestershire and Rutland who receive NHS CHC, and the three CCGs claim that the current position on CHC spending “is not sustainable”.An earlier consultation by the CCGs found that all but one of 202 people who answered the question – nearly all of whom were service-users receiving NHS CHC, carers or relatives – said that the importance of healthcare being provided in a patient’s preferred setting was important, fairly important or very important.More than half agreed that there should be some kind of limit on how much extra funding can be spent to care for a service-user in their preferred setting.The Leicestershire CCGs claim their draft policy complies with their Equality Act duties as public bodies, and that it is “an attempt to balance the different interests (available resources vs meeting the desire for bespoke services at home or in an alternative setting)”.East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG had refused to comment by noon today (Thursday).last_img read more

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MPs looked exhausted during Prime Ministers Quest

first_imgMPs looked exhausted during Prime Minister’s Questions today, and it’s not just due to their late-night Brexit debates. Theresa May took her signature style of not answering a single question to its extreme this afternoon, as she refused to answer any of Jeremy Corbyn’s incredibly pertinent queries. They are angry, too. Because what she did reveal told the Commons that, despite suffering “the largest ever defeat for a government in the history of our democracy” (as the Labour leader said at kick-off) last night, she has no plans to change course on Brexit.Corbyn: “Her spokesperson suggested the government had ruled out any form of customs union with the European Union as part of a reaching out exercise. Can the Prime Minister confirm that’s the case?”May gives no clear answer, but says the 2016 referendum result means “opening up new opportunities to trade with the rest of the world”.Corbyn: “I understand the Business Secretary told business leaders on a conference call last night we can’t have no deal for all the reasons you’ve set out. Can the Prime Minister now reassure the House, businesses and the country, and confirm that is indeed the government’s position, that we can’t have no deal?”May rightly asserts that the Commons must pass a deal to avoid no-deal, but refuses to acknowledge that hers… hasn’t passed. Really, really hasn’t passed.The rest of PMQs proceeded as if nothing had happened at all this week, with both main leaders appealing to their own backbenches. Corbyn delivered probing questions on poverty, while May brought up antisemitism within Labour. The Prime Minister concluded that the opposition leader would threaten national security, weaken the economy, and so forth, we’ve heard it all hundreds of times before.May is refusing to speak to Corbyn directly in order to reach a compromise deal – and her red lines haven’t changed. “If she rings anyone on that basis then it’ll be a very short phone call,” Hilary Benn tweeted. So there is no hope for the talks between No10 and the “senior parliamentarians” with whom she is willing to engage, let alone the problems presented by the staggering arrogance of ignoring opposition party leaders. This ‘Conservative Party first’ approach made sense during PMQs, ahead of the confidence vote taking place at 7pm today, but this attitude will lead to absolute gridlock and no-deal Brexit if it continues.Tags:PMQs /Theresa May /Labour /Jeremy Corbyn /last_img read more

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Labour has tabled an amendment to the governments

first_imgLabour has tabled an amendment to the government’s neutral motion on Monday that would hand control of the Brexit process over to parliament.Noting that Theresa May’s deal has been defeated twice, the proposal sets out the various Brexit alternatives being put forward by MPs – including Labour’s plan, customs union membership, Common Market 2.0 and another referendum.The amendment calls on the government to allow MPs to hold ‘indicative votes’, which could allow the Commons to establish which Brexit options has the most support in parliament.Labour backbencher Yvette Cooper has also tabled an amendment for Monday. It instructs the government to set out on Thursday 28th March how it will avoid no deal and take into account the results of indicative votes.On Thursday, Jeremy Corbyn met with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and numerous EU leaders, after holding talks earlier in the week with MPs from across the House – Jack Dromey and Caroline Spelman, Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, the Common Market 2.0 group and other opposition party leaders.Below is the full text of Labour’s amendment.Jeremy CorbynKeir StarmerEmily ThornberryRebecca Long-BaileyValerie VazNicholas BrownDelete from House to end and insert:“notes the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement and Framework for the Future Relationship has been defeated for a second time; further notes the alternative proposals being proposed across this House including HM Opposition’s plan, Common Market 2.0, for a customs union, and for a public vote, and calls on the Government to provide sufficient parliamentary time this week for this House to find a majority for a different approach.”Tags:Labour /Brexit amendments /Indicative votes /last_img read more

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FourStory Building at Market St Suffers Small Fire

first_imgOne person was displaced and another is being treated for smoke inhalation after a one-alarm fire struck a four-story apartment building at 1751 Market St. on Tuesday afternoon.Fire officials responded to reports of a fire at the building, located at Valencia and Market streets, sometime around 1:35 p.m.By 1:48 p.m., the fire was reported contained.It is unclear how many people live in the 51-unit building, but all were evacuated after smoke filled the building according to Assistant Fire Chief Tom Siragusa. Upon arrival, firefighters saw smoke coming out what appeared to be the third story of the building, and later discovered that the smoke had spread throughout.  The displaced resident lived in the room where the fire presumably started, according to Siragusa.One ground floor retail space suffered damage from the activated sprinklers, and water dripped from its ceiling.“The good thing about sprinklers is [they] put the fire out – the bad thing is they do a lot of water damage,”said Siragusa.An employee of the dampened business, Ketama, managed to find humor in the circumstances: “I thought I’d get away from rain today and then it started raining inside,” said Spencer DeVine.Residents who were evacuated from the building reported a foul odor throughout. “It smelled really bad,” said one man. “I still have it in my nose.”While Valencia and Market streets were temporarily blocked off near the intersection, traffic has since resumed. Fire will be under investigation AVOID AREA due to fire apparatus https://t.co/GWMY1XYBui— San Francisco Fire (@sffdpio) February 21, 2017Market Street closed from the 1751 apartment fire. Photo by Lola M. ChavezFirefighters put equipment away at 1751 apartment fire. Photo by Lola M. Chavez1751 Market St. Apartments. Photo by Lola M. ChavezFire fighters help clean water out of Valmar Supermarket, 16 Valencia Street after a sprinkler system went off. Photo by Lola M. ChavezThe sprinkler system went off inside of Ketama, 14 Valencia Street. Photo by Lola M. Chavez #022117WF1 1751 MARKET LARGE CORNER BLDG Structure fire w/one adult being eval for smoke inhalation. FIRE CONTAINED unk. Displaced 156 Hrs pic.twitter.com/caToYTEOKu— San Francisco Fire (@sffdpio) February 21, 2017center_img 0% Tags: Fires Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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ROYCE Simmons spoke about lots of positives foll

first_imgROYCE Simmons spoke about “lots of positives” following Saints 31-6 win over Salford on Friday.He watched his charges defend well and run in five tries to secure third in the Engage Super League.“It was job done and I’m happy,” he said. “The game was very stop start stop start and there wasn’t much rhythm in it. Also, it doesn’t matter how much you tell the players… they know they have third or fourth wrapped up so it was difficult to get a lot of intensity in it.“We did what we had to do. They turned up, were aggressive and wanted to play for their new coach. But we came through it, won, got no injuries and some of the players got good game time.“We only had to make three replacements before half time which meant the likes of Sia could get 60 minutes. Matty Ashurst and Andrew Dixon got a long time out there too. And Scott Hale came on and got good experience too. There were plenty of positives to come out of the night.“If you would have said to me at the start of the year we would finish third with the amount of injuries we had – at one point we had 12 to 13 players out – and the changes in combinations over the field – then I would have taken it.“But at the end of the day we’ve now got to get the job done – we have to go on and make sure we finish it off.“We won’t rest players next week as they weren’t rested this week. The players out this week were busted and injured. I think it is important to go into games on the back of a good win.”He continued: “James Graham thought he scored his try but whatever the situation it’s not good enough of the captain to kick the ball away and then get sinbinned.“He knows that and apologised to the players at half time. He knows we can’t afford to have anyone in the bin let alone your captain and one of your most experienced players. He’s a winner but knows he has to curb that sometimes.”last_img read more

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THE youngest side that the Saints are capable of p

first_imgTHE youngest side that the Saints are capable of putting out still managed to easily sweep aside a Cumbrian side 64-10 liberally dusted with players from down the road in Widnes, writes Graham Henthorne.After a rocky start which saw the visitors twice denied tries due to last ditch defence over the line, the Saints put in a twelve try performance which underlined the gulf in class between the two teams.As has been said the opening eight minutes were all Cumbrian until Jorge Lewtas sprinted off his line to intercept a pass from the third consecutive set on the Saints line. Unfortunately due to an ankle injury it was the last action for the prop which tended to even up the numbers as the visitors, even with Widnes’ help only managed to turn up with fifteen players.The first of many attempted 40/20’s from Rob Fairclough in the afternoon saw a splendid chase from Jordan Gibbons who, assisted by an awkward bounce, was able to kick the ball out of the grasp of the full back, pick up and score at the sticks.From this point on the flood gates opened and the game ran away from the visitors. Lewis Furlong went in on the next set, quick hands setting him free, before a great fifty metre try to Elliott Jenkins. Ben Morris’ half break and quick play the ball saw Fairclough put the impressive Callum Hazzard through the line. He took it to the full back before feeding the supporting Jenkins for the try.An almost carbon copy five minutes later saw Captain Cooper set free down the middle. He fed the supporting Brad Pinder and the scrum half out lasted the chase over forty metres to the line.The final ten minutes became really scrappy. Hazzard saw a certain try from Pinder’s pass ruled out for a forward pass before three consecutive penalties allowed the visitors to score on the stroke of the break.The second half started as poorly as the first but as soon as Pinder had shot blind, dummied his way to the full back before feeding Gibbons to go around to the posts, the Saints were back in control.Trialist Owen Smith scored his second in as many games taking Jenkins’ great short pass to go in.Hazzard showed his ability with ball in hand as his miss pass put Jake Spedding in at the left corner.Chris Follin enlightened an unusually quiet game for the big second row reaching out to put the ball over the whitewash and on the hour Dave Eccleston scored wide out on the right on the third repeat set.Cumbria brought up double figures as they scored their second try, the left winger coming inside and dummying his way to the line on the right.Again the final minutes of the half became scrappy but produced two great tries to give Spedding his hat-trick.The first came after a fabulous mazy 40 metre break from Furlong who fed Spedding to finish his work off for him.Then the winger showed what he can do for himself as he finished a 90 metre move. A Cumbrian kick was picked up by Fairclough, fed quickly to Hazzard who took it to and committed the full back before feeding his winger. Spedding ran 50 metres, checked inside, handed off the chasing winger and cover before rounding off under the sticks for a fine try. Gibbons eighth conversion was the final act of the game.Billsborough and Pinder went well down the middle, Mike Weldon, Liam Cooper and Ben Morris who had to do big minutes out of position due to Lewtas’ injury all performed to their usual standards but Callum Hazzard probably edged it as the outstanding player due to his all-round work rate and blossoming talent with ball in hand.Next week it’s the big one as the Saints make the trip over the Lump to take on our nearest and dearest on Saturday afternoon at Orrell.Match Summary:Saints U19s:Tries: Jordan Gibbons (10 & 44), Lewis Furlong (14), Elliott Jenkins (20), Matty Costello (23), Brad Pinder, (28), Owen Smith (49), Jake Spedding (51, 66 &70), Chris Follin (56), David Eccleston (61).Goals: Jordan Gibbons 8.Cumbria U19s:Tries: Dan Norman (39), Patrick Noutch (66) .Goals: Kieran Mewse.Half Time: 26-4Full Time: 64-10Teams:Saints:1. Matty Costello; 2. David Eccleston, 3. Jordan Gibbons, 4. Lewis Furlong, 5. Jake Spedding; 6. Elliott Jenkins, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Jorge Lewtas, 9. Brad Billsborough, 10. Alex Eckley, 11. Liam Cooper (C), 12. Chris Follin, 13. Mike Weldon. Subs: 14. Brad Pinder, 15. Callum Hazzard, 16. Ben Morris, 17. Owen Smith.Cumbria:1. Billy Southwaite; 2. Ryan Dordan, 17. Jonathan Cameron, 4. Kieran Mewse, 5. Patrick Noutch; 6. Joe Satterthwaite, 7. Chris Wilson; 8. Grant Reid, 9. Jack Gordon (C), 10. Dan Norman, 11. Dan Caine, 12. Brad Walker, 13. Dom O’Brien. Subs: 16. Jack Bond, 19. Jack Armstrong.last_img read more

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Could strong winds force delays on Wrightsville Beach renourishment project

first_img Waves could be six feet or higher at area beaches from Sunday through Tuesday.Project Manager Jim Medlock says it is Weeks Marine’s call to delay any work due to weather, but he says they’re keeping an eye on the forecast.“If the surf causes safety concerns for either equipment, their people who work on the beach as part of the company, or the pipeline that’s out there, it’s really going to be the decision of the contractor to decide what to do based on what happens,” Medlock said.Related Article: Hurricane Florence officially makes landfall near Wrightsville BeachMedlock says Weeks Marine is trying to get the work done at Wrightsville Beach as quickly as possible because they are scheduled to start a similar project in Ocean Isle Beach in early April. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — As a nor’easter churns off the coast and causes big waves at area beaches, crews working on the Wrightsville Beach renourishment project continue to push ahead.Weeks Marine is the company that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracted to complete the renourishment work.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Surf City Elementary and Middle schools open in Pender County

first_img Pender County School Board Chairman Kenneth Lanier says it’s a great feeling to see the project finally complete.“When you have the finished project, it’s a great, you see it, the proof’s in the pudding. Here we have this beautiful school that can accommodate about 1,650 new students, and we need it because Pender County’s a very fast growing county,” said Lanier.Parents and students were able to tour the school, check out their bus routes, and meet their teachers.Related Article: Pender County Schools announce return dates for students and staff“It feels amazing to be a part of opening up a new building,” said first grade teacher Michelle Curry.Curry says it’s exciting to have teachers from different schools work together under one roof.“Some of the adjustments are hard for some people, but everyone has been chipping in and helping out,” said Curry.As far as adjusting to the new setting, the kids seem to be just fine.“It’s so beautiful! We are excited about having friends, and seeing everything like the cafeteria, I like the gym, we are just so excited for the first day of school,” said second-graders Isabella and Sophia.School begins Monday in Pender County.Click here for more information on your child’s school. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The doors finally opened to two brand new schools in Pender County Thursday.Nearly four years after voters approved a $75 million school bond, Surf City Elementary and Middle schools are ready to welcome students.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Boy Scouts recalls Cub Scout neckerchief slides due to lead levels

first_imgThe Boy Scouts of America recalled 110,000 neckerchief slides due to concerns about lead levels on Sept, 26, 2018. (Photo: CPSC) The Boy Scouts of America have recalled about 110,000 neckerchief slides due to concerns about lead.The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the colored enamel on the neckerchief slides contains levels of lead that exceed the federal lead content ban. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health issues.- Advertisement – The CPSC says no injuries or incidents related to the slides have been reported.The brass neckerchief slides, used by Cub Scouts, were sold between February and August of this year in four styles: red wolf, green bear, orange lion and blue Webelos. “Made in China” and P.O. number 200228276, 20023175, 200233281 or 200236630 are printed on a white label attached to the back of the neckerchief slide.Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled neckerchief slides, take them away from children and return them to any Boy Scouts of America retail store or distributor for a free replacement neckerchief slide, including shipping.Related Article: Tyson recalls nearly 12M pounds of chicken strips due to metal piecesFor more information, contact the Boy Scouts of America at (800) 323-0736 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at customerservice@scoutshop.org, or online at www.scoutshop.org and click on the Product Recall link at the bottom of the page.In Wilmington, the Cape Fear Scout Shop is located at 110 Longstreet Drive.last_img read more

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Police Construction worker stabbed during armed robbery attempt

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department is investigating after an construction worker was stabbed on the job during an attempted armed robbery Monday afternoon.Police say the incident happened at the 700 block of North 8th Street at 2 p.m. Monday.- Advertisement – WPD says the victim was working with a construction company at location and was taking trash to the dumpster when a man confronted him and demanded money. After the victim said he had none, the suspect reportedly stabbed him.The suspect drove away in a black two door Honda that is missing the front driver side hub cap, according to police.The suspect is described as a light skinned black male, 25-32 years old, six feet tall and around 170-180 pounds. He was wearing a brown and tan stripped toboggan hat, brown and orange shirt and tan pants.Related Article: Wilmington PD needs help identifying hit-and-run suspectsThe victim was transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.WPD is still investigating this incident, if you have any information you’re asked to call WPD or use text a tip.last_img read more

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Duke Energy gives land to Brunswick County wildlife rehab facility

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Duke Energy announced a special deal they have worked out with a local wildlife rehab facility. The Brunswick Plant will be leasing land to Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter to build a brand new facility.“The Brunswick plant has always been community supportive. They are environmentally sensitive right here, and I’m very, very glad to recognize that and to thank them for doing this because that’s their property,” said Mary Ellen Rogers, who is the President of the rehab facility.- Advertisement – Rogers and her volunteers at Sea Biscuit Wildlife Sanctuary are energized about this new property.Duke Energy’s Brunswick plant is giving the shelter almost four acres of land.“We realized they were running out of space. Every time they had an outreach with the public, they would take the birds somewhere rather than having a place where the public could come and see the bird’s in their home, of where they’re being rehabbed,” said Randy Gideon, who is the Site Vice President.Related Article: Study: Heavy metals in Sutton Lake bottom extensiveGideon says they will lease the land to the shelter.Rogers says this land will let them rehab more than just birds. It is also an opportunity for more events and much more room to grow.“In this new facility, we’re going to have a large classroom or mini auditorium. It’ll be enough room to handle 40 or 50 people, and to have them come in, sit down and look at them and listen to a presentation,” said Rogers.Rogers says the shelter has grown so much since it opened in 2007. She says this new land will make sure it stays growing.The new facility will near Bill Smith Park, just off Fish Factory Road.Rogers’s goal is to have it up and running in the next two years. She says they have already started applying for grants to fund the project.last_img read more

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The Freeport is causing inconveniences to residents – Tourism Minister

first_imgWhatsApp Photo taken last year by Malta Freeport showing the protective boom being used for the first time to protect Pretty Bay.Photo taken last year by Malta Freeport showing the protective boom being used for the first time to protect Pretty Bay. The Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi said that the Freeport is currently undergoing works to reduce the current inconvenience to residents.Mizzi stated that residents of Birżebbuġa are currently suffering from noise pollution due to machinery noises emitting from the Freeport. This statement came about after Nationalist Deputy Hermann Schiavone’s supplementary question about a gutter that was dug in Birżebbuġa.The Government has launched a discussion regarding changes that can be carried out regarding the Freeport. One of the proposals is to further the distance between the port and the residents by moving the operations through land reclamation.Moreover, there is also the idea of changing the 50 old cranes that still remain; this should not take longer than three years, said Mizzi. SharePrintcenter_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

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New blood sampling lab opens at Gozo General Hospital

first_img <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Credit: Steward Health CareCredit: Steward Health Care A new Clinical Laboratory has been inaugurated at Gozo General Hospital.Running at an investment of €1.2 million, the project by Steward Health Care Malta is understood to include a collection of new technologies and automation for greater sufficiency in blood sample testing and analysis.The new in-sourced technology for the lab include an automated immunoassay analyser, an integrated chemistry system, a robotic interface solution that performs intelligent sample processing, a fully automated, high-volume diagnostic haematology analyser, a digital morphology system and finally, a compact haemostasis analyser, the first of its kind on the Maltese islands.Inaugurating the new lab were the Maltese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne, Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana, and Gozo General Hospital Executive Director Joseph Fenech.Gozo General Hospital’s Executive Director Joseph Fenech emphasized the lab’s new capacity for self-sufficiency saying, ‘the new clinical laboratory has further strengthened our hospital operations, significantly reducing the need to send samples for testing outside of the hospital. The insourcing of such processes is a model that Steward Malta is focusing on within its hospitals to ensure higher operational efficiency and the ability to run quasi self-sufficient facilities. The high-tech equipment has been very positively received by our medical laboratory scientists and lab staff, as laborious and repetitive tasks have been reduced allowing them to focus on the higher-skills based components of their work.’Credit: Steward Health CareThe Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne explained that the lab was just the start for improving healthcare provision in Gozo.‘This augers well for health care in Gozo. The lab on its own however, will not give the necessary results, which is why we need to continue strengthening our personnel so that together we can deliver on our vision for quality care close to home for the Gozitan community,’ the Deputy PM said.MasterplanDuring the inauguration, Steward Malta also explained that it was nearing completion of its masterplan which will see the upgrading of infrastructure in the St Luke’s Hospital, Karin Grech Hospital and Gozo General Hospital.WhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

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Ethiopia to build new ICT park at 250m

first_imgAdvertisement The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT) of Ethiopia has fronted a new ICT park that will cost just over $250 million. More than 12 local and international companies have already booked space in the expansive knowledge facility, ‘The Ethio ICT Park”In three years time, Ethiopia will boast of an expansive knowledge facility, Ethio ICT Park will be situated on 200 hectares of land behind Bole International Airport in the Bole district.Private  operators have  signed up for  25,000 square metre plots including China’s  ZTE and Techno Mobile and Security Innovation Network (SINET) who will establish their own ICT incubation centres, manufacturing plants and software development centres. – Advertisement – The complex will have internal roads, such as a 50 metre wide access road, a 40 metre wide arterial road, a 30 metre wide primary road and a 22 metre wide secondary road, in addition to a convention centre and petrol stations. It will also include supportive facilities, such as a food court, restaurants, pubs and karaoke lounges, medical facilities, financial services, postal and banking services.The government wants to give the local ICT community a substantial push forward by investing in the Park. It also hopes that Ethio ICT Park will encourage more Ethiopians to buy smart phones. By the end of the year, Ethiopia will switch over to digital transmission from analogue.According to officials, the documentation process is done and implementation will soon begin.  Addis Alemayehu, a member o the high level board appointed to supervise the venture.“Software that operates in local languages will also be developed in the park” he said.The feasibility study and design of the Park is being handled by WiPro IT Consulting, an Indian firm, who have worked on  a similar project before.The Park will be divided into five zones, which include business, assembly and warehouse, commercial, administration and knowledge Park. It will have its own road infrastructure as well as supportive facilities including a food court, restaurants, pubs, karaoke lounges, medical facilities, financial services, postal and banking services.According a recent African Development Bank report, while public sector investment in ICT in Africa has improved considerably over the last decade, the private sector continues to be the key driver for investment and has invested close to $50 billion over the last decade. ‘In 2007, the private sector committed to increase investment in telecommunications from $35 billion to $50 billion by 2012,’ the report states.Credit: Business Weeklast_img read more

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Machine turns sweat into drinking water for Unicef

first_imgAdvertisement A machine launched on Monday  that takes sweat-laden clothes and turns the moisture into drinking water is in use in Gothenburg, Sweden. Sofar more than 1,ooo peope have drunk other’s sweatThe device spins and heats the material to remove the sweat, and then passes the vapour through a special membrane designed to only let water molecules get through.[related-posts] – Advertisement – The device was built for the United Nation’s child-focused charity Unicef to promote a campaign highlighting the fact that 780 million people in the world lack access to clean water.The machine was designed and built by engineer Andreas Hammar, He said the critical part of the sweat machine was a new water purification component developed by a company named HVR in collaboration with Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology.“It uses a technique called membrane distillation,” he said.“We use a substance that’s a bit like Gortex that only lets steam through but keeps bacteria, salts, clothing fibres and other substances out. They have something similar on the [International] Space Station to treat astronaut’s urine – but our machine was cheaper to build.“The amount of water it produces depends on how sweaty the person is – but one person’s T-shirt typically produces 10ml [0.3oz], roughly a mouthful.”The kit has been put on show at the Gothia Cup – the world’s largest international youth football tournament.Mattias Ronge, chief executive of Stockholm-based advertising agency Deportivo – which organised the stunt – said the machine had helped raise awareness for Unicef.Source: BBClast_img read more

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PREVIEW Wales v Bosnia

first_img[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o joy in the England game last night More qualifying action tonight and a much more even match on paper at the Cardiff City Stadium.Wales v Bosnia-HerzegovinaEuro 2016 Qualifier7.45p, LIVE SKY SPORTS 5HEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Maximum 10 matches)Aug 2012 InternationalWales 0-2 Bosnia-Hz.Feb 2003 InternationalWales 2-2 Bosnia-Hz.The first thing to point out is the length of the Wales injury list. 10 players injured:Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Joe Allen (Knee), David Vaughan (hamstring), Emyr Huws (ankle), James Collins (groin), Lee Evans (hamstring), Sam Vokes (knee), Andrew Crofts (knee), Adam Matthews (groin), Paul Dummett (hamstring) are all out.The good news for the Wales manager Chris Coleman is that Gareth Bale is not on that list and he certainly proved vital in Wales’ first win in Group 2 scoring both goals to beat Andorra 2-1.Bosnia surprisingly lost their opening game against Cyprus who face Wales on Monday.Wales haven’t managed to beat Bosnia in two previous head to heads and the injury woes definitely sway me towards Bosnia tonight and I will be supporting them on Star Sports at around 5/4.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK BOSNIA TO WIN at around 5/4 for 10 points with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 30.64 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

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STARTERS ORDERS Saturday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Saturday 11 OctoberRACING2.00 ChepstowBrook 11/2 > 2/12.40 NewmarketBlue Waltz 6/1 > 9/23.25 FairyhouseThe King Of Brega 7/2 > 5/23.35 MusselburghClear Spell 6/1 > 4/14.20 ChepstowDawalan 100/30 > 7/45.10 HexhamEndeavor 9/2 > 9/45.40 NewmarketMissed Call 11/1 > 7/18.20 WolverhamptonSwift Approval 11/2 > 5/2What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

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STARTERS ORDERS Tuesday

first_img[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to Starters Orders. Our daily midday update from the trading room at Star Sports with our key market movers for the day across all sports.Tuesday 4 NovemberRACING1.40 SouthwellLoud 7/1 > 7/21.45 ExeterKing’s Tempest 5/1 > 15/82.30 RedcarGreen Light 7/1 > 4/15.40 KemptonErtikaan 7/1 > 100/306.10 KemptonGhazi 6/1 > 3/17.10 KemptonStonefield Flyer 5/1 > 3/1What’s your view?CALL STAR SPORTS ON 08000 521 321last_img

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