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The aftermath of the closure of the Independent Li

first_imgThe aftermath of the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) has descended further into confusion after several local authorities disputed the government’s funding claims.The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has repeatedly insisted that it told every local authority in the country on 1 July exactly how much money they would be given to support former ILF-users after the fund closed.But a series of freedom of information responses from local authorities to campaigning journalist Kate Belgrave, who has played a major role in the campaign to reverse the fund’s closure show some councils claiming they were not told how much money they would be given until days after the ILF had closed.The ILF – which was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and helped nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently – closed on 30 June.Ministers promised that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced ILF funding would be transferred through DCLG to councils in England, and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland.But the transition process has been littered with reports of delays in reassessments for former ILF-users and cuts to their individual care packages, compounded by many local authorities failing to plan ahead for the closure.DCLG insists that every local authority in England was told on 1 July exactly how much funding they would be given.But responses from local authorities to Belgrave’s freedom of information requests tell a different story.Cheshire West and Chester council told her on 8 July that it was still waiting to be told by DCLG how much funding it would be given. Lewisham council gave a similar response on 7 July.Rochdale council originally said this week that it was still waiting to be told about its funding, but changed its mind after talking to civil servants at DCLG, and issued a fresh response to Belgrave which stated that it had actually been told on 7 July.Stoke council said in its freedom of information response that it was not told until 20 July how much it would be receiving from DCLG.When questioned by Disability News Service (DNS), Rochdale said it was only “given an indication” of its funding on 1 July, and the final amount was not confirmed until 7 July.Lewisham council told DNS it was given an “indicative” amount in mid-June, but failed to clarify by 11am today (Friday) whether it has now been told the precise amount of funding it will receive.Cheshire West and Cheshire council said it did receive notification of the funding it would receive on 1 July, but the freedom of information response had been prepared a few days earlier and was not sent to Belgrave until 8 July.Stoke council said it was told on 2 July by DCLG how much funding it would receive, but this information was not passed to its assistant director for social care until 20 July.A Stoke council spokesman said: “Somewhere along the line that message had not worked its way up the chain.”Despite the claims of local authorities, a DCLG spokeswoman insisted that every council was sent an email on 1 July stating exactly how much they would receive for the remaining nine months of the year.She said: “We are telling you the truth to the best of our knowledge. We don’t understand why the FOIs are coming back differently. We can’t say why councils are saying something different.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “The difference in responses between local authorities and DCLG only helps to illustrate the complete mess that has been allowed to happen during the ILF transfer process, with DWP typically washing their hands of any responsibility.“It is totally unacceptable that disabled people are the ones left in the middle of such a chaotic situation, many still having no idea what funding they will get.”Belgrave said: “I find it utterly bizarre that I’ve been sent FOI responses from councils that clash with the official line to this extent.“This whole experience just adds to the general conviction that the ILF transfer to local authorities is a complete shambles that nobody is properly in charge of.” Burnip added: “Since DCLG insist that every local authority had details of how much money would be devolved sent to them by 1 July whereas several local authorities have said they did not receive the information until after 7 July, we can only assume that pigeon post was used rather than some more modern form of electronic communication.”Last week, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) insisted in a statement to DNS that councils were all told on 1 July via an email from DCLG how much they would receive, “based upon the number of confirmed ILF individuals within their council boundary and at the ILF rate received by those individuals”.But after some of Belgrave’s freedom of information responses were passed to ADASS this week, a spokesman was unable to say how widespread the delays were and whether they had caused any problems to local authorities in planning the ILF transition process.The ADASS spokesman said: “The decision to make this transfer was not one which was willed by ADASS or local government as a whole, and we simply do not know the answers to these questions in detail. The situation will differ as between authorities.“We do, however, urge our members and their authorities to deal with this transfer as a priority.“We are aware of its importance to many people with disabilities and we urge members to do all they can to avoid needless anxieties which might arise through the process.”last_img read more

Disabled activists have given a muted welcome to t

first_imgDisabled activists have given a muted welcome to the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) while some have criticised charities for trying to use the occasion to “further their own agendas”.The DDA received royal assent on 8 November 1995, but was seen by many disabled activists at the time as a “watered down” version of the civil rights legislation they had been fighting for.The Conservative government that brought in the act said in 1995 that its aim was to “end the discrimination which many disabled people face, and gives them rights in employment, access to goods, facilities and services and buying or renting land or property”.But critics said the legislation failed to provide sufficient protection in transport and education and did not include measures to set up a commission to enforce the rights laid out in the act, something introduced later by the next Labour government through the Disability Rights Commission.In Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People’s (GMCDP) annual report for 1995-96, the organisation said: “Important areas of our lives, such as transport and education, remain inadequately addressed, and there are gaping holes and ‘get-out’ clauses disguised as issues of reasonableness and high cost.”GMCDP warned then that the “shameful” and “invidious” DDA “threatens to polarise the movement into those who will work with the government on implementing the Act and those who refuse to do so”.But Anne Rae, a former member of the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS), which is often credited with giving birth to the social model of disability in the 1970s, and herself a former chair of GMCDP, said the DDA was still “incredibly important”, if only because it “took into statute that disabled people were a discriminated-against group in mainstream society”.She was one of the UPIAS representatives on a group set up by the big charities such as Scope and RADAR to push for disability discrimination legislation, although UPIAS pulled out when it became clear that “the charities’ opinion was that we were too precise about what should be in the bill”.But Rae told Disability News Service (DNS) that the DDA was “very influential” at local authority level, with well-funded disabled people’s organisations which had “enormous input and influence” on councils’ disability policies, including improvements to access, the establishment of Dial-a-Ride services, and moves to implement independent living.   In a short film released by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to mark the 20th anniversary, the disabled crossbench peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell, one of those who protested on the streets for civil rights for disabled people, and was later both a DRC and an EHRC commissioner, says campaigners held “one massive party” when the act became law.She says: “You have to remember, this had been 11 or 12 years hard campaigning by disabled people on the streets.“We became full citizens. What can be better than that?”She adds: “I suppose the DDA more than anything has given disabled people… confidence, self-belief and a greater sense of equality, and that’s got to be more important than anything else.”Tracey Proudlock, who was a co-founder of the influential Campaign for Accessible Transport in the late 1980s and is now a leading disability consultant, said she was “very positive” about the DDA.She said: “Maybe having the employment aspects come in first [through the original DDA] to road-test it meant we could legitimately say to the Labour government [post-1997], ‘This is how it is working, it’s nothing to be afraid of, and it should rightly be extended to other areas of life.’“For me, it was a very big landmark, because we hadn’t had anything around rights before. It gave us status.“Today we have the Equality Act. Had we not had the DDA, we probably would not have been able to influence the Equality Act as strongly as we have.”But some other prominent disabled activists do not feel as positive about the DDA as Rae, Proudlock and Baroness Campbell.Brian Hilton (pictured), GMCDP’s digital campaigns officer, said: “The DDA was not what the majority were fighting for in the early 90s.“We campaigned for a disabled people’s civil rights bill and not the watered down bill put forward by the government, which later became the DDA.”He added: “The DDA was not the victory that some would have you believe, and if it was a victory, it was a shallow one.”Another prominent disabled activist, Doug Paulley, said: “The DDA was incredibly important and we should be very grateful to the people who pushed for it, but it wasn’t the piece of civil rights legislation that we wanted and it has largely proven unenforceable.“It is not as brilliant as the people who campaigned for it would have hoped it would be.”Three months ago, Paulley published a guide to help other disabled people take legal action against organisations that discriminate against them.He has taken more than 40 disability discrimination cases against service-providers in England over the last 10 years, originally under the DDA and then the Equality Act, but he said service-providers still give “largely no thought whatsoever” to their legal duties to make their facilities accessible to disabled people.He said: “What’s the point of it being in the statute books unless it is enforceable? I am very unusual in being able to take these cases. Most disabled people would not have a chance in hell.”Paulley, Hilton, Proudlock and Rae say they have been angered by attempts by non-user-led charities to associate themselves with the DDA and the activists whose efforts persuaded the government to legislate.One of them, Scope, has marked the DDA anniversary with an exhibition at the People’s History Museum in Manchester – which includes films, photographs, badges, banners and leaflets – as part of its own project to celebrate “the campaigners and activists who made this kind of change possible”.And when Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) announced last month that it had been awarded nearly £300,000 to research disabled people’s history, the Heritage Lottery Fund pointed out in an LCD press release that the 20th anniversary of the DDA was “the perfect time to uncover this largely hidden part of our history”.Hilton said that LCD and Scope [which changed its name from The Spastics Society in 1994] securing support to “document our history and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the DDA” was “an insult to our movement” and “like giving UKIP a grant to celebrate multiculturalism”.He said: “Both Scope and Leonard Cheshire have made millions off the backs of disabled people, incarcerated our brothers and sisters in their care homes and residential special schools, perpetuating the myth that as disabled people we were too weak and pathetic to speak on our behalf or that we needed them.“Some would say that such charities have changed beyond recognition and are now our allies, but I would not be one those people.“Where were they when the Independent Living Fund was closing?” Proudlock accused Scope of being “disingenuous and opportunistic”, and said: “At the time, they were one of the problems.”She said very few disabled people in the 1980s who were part of the disability movement in the 1980s would have seen Scope and Leonard Cheshire as “allies”.She said: “It’s almost as if [Scope] have sanitised their own history. They were not really part of the solution, they were often part of the problem.“I am disappointed that they have jumped on it and seen it as an opportunity to talk about themselves again.”She added: “Scope have tried to say [the exhibition] is about respecting the people and the campaigners, but the people in the pictures would turn in their graves.”Proudlock said LCD’s decision to take the lottery funding was “outrageous”.She said: “They should know better than to even ask for that money. It’s incredibly bad taste, bad form and bad attitude.”Paulley, who lives in an LCD residential home and has campaigned for years to expose the charity’s failings, pointed to the celebration of slogans such as Nothing About Us Without Us in the Scope exhibition.He said: “Charities suck up the language and devalue it and disempower it.“Their campaigns are fairly transparently furthering their own agenda. I think it’s fairly disingenuous.”Paulley said it worried him that charities appeared to be “claiming credit” for the DDA.He said: “It is disabled people who have done it, not the non-disabled people who have self-appointed themselves as our representatives.”Rae criticised the “lying, distorted claims” of the big charities, and said: “It should be a given by now that the big charities will start the wheels of their PR machines turning whenever a significant, and possibly celebratory, date relating to disability landmarks is reached, to claim playing a major part in ‘making it happen’.”So angry was GMCDP at the LCD lottery award that it re-published a controversial article written in 1986 by disabled activist Ken Davis, which drew links between the dropping of a nuclear bomb on Nagasaki in Japan in 1945 – at which Leonard Cheshire, the charity’s founder, was an official British observer – and the damage caused by the “mass incarceration of disabled people in a chain of segregated institutions” by LCD.Meanwhile, the Conservative architect of the DDA has spoken to a Tory website about his memories of the events that led to the act.In an interview with Conservative Home, William Hague, the minister for disabled people responsible for bringing in the act, said he had visited the US after his ministerial appointment to study the Americans with Disabilities Act, and had sketched out the framework for the DDA on the plane on the way home in September 1994.He says: “On the right of politics, of course we are opposed to excessive legislation. But on the other hand, we are in favour of equality of opportunity.“And there is no reason why anti-discrimination should be the cause of the Left. We do not stand for equality of outcomes in life, but we do stand for equality of opportunity – or we should.”He also reveals that right-wing ministers such as Michael Portillo and Peter Lilley supported the bill – as did the prime minister, John Major – while some of those on the left of the party, like Kenneth Clarke and Michael Heseltine, were initially “not keen on this legislation” because they were “determined to avoid more regulation”.Hague says in the interview that he believes the DDA “pushed along the change in attitude to disabled people”.But he admits that he was not able to persuade the party to introduce a “rights commission” to enforce the rights laid out in the act, which was why he claims he was forced to block the rival civil rights (disabled persons) bill introduced by the Labour MP Harry Barnes.The Barnes bill had the overwhelming support of disabled campaigners and their organisations, was more comprehensive, and offered a more “social model” definition of disability.last_img read more

Halloween no holiday for SF cops but they get in the spirit

first_imgThe other serious incident this year took place at approximately 8:10 p.m., when a driver traveling on Sloat Blvd. in the Sunset fatally struck a pedestrian.Most incidents were the usual, common crimes — public intoxication and public nuisance, according to SFPD spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan.“You can drink at the bars, but you can’t drink in the streets,” Gatpandan said.Tell that to the drunk man who stumbled around outside Smoke Plus on 18th Street, dressed as an almost-too-convincing Captain Jack Sparrow. Or, to Troy, a homeless man perched on Haight Street with his dog Moxy. Both were clad in pirate apparel.“I’m just trying to get some money for some rum to celebrate Halloween,” Troy said.“You ever see a pirate dog? She’s got a patch, a striped shirt and even some little shorts.” Troy sits with his dog, Moxy, on Haight Street, where there was less police presence than usual as officers focused patrols elsewhere in the city for the holiday. Photo by Nikka Singh. Other parts of the city were like ghost towns. Haight-Ashbury was quieter than usual all afternoon. Once it turned dark, Park Station was so still, it seemed asleep.The only soul who wandered into the station was Officer Delaney, who said nothing really happened “until 10 or 11 at night.”Early in the evening, more than a hundred witches encircled the foyer of City Hall and made rounds through the building, casting spells and praying for housing and sanctuary-city laws, among other legislation.An officer from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department interrupted the witches, who were then forced out of the building because they had brought burning materials inside.Witches at City Hall Photo by Carlos MureithiOut in Civic Center Plaza, few wandered in front of City Hall as the night grew darker, the building’s architecture illuminated with a soft blood-tinted light. The only evidence of police was an unoccupied police car parked nearby.In the lobby of SFPD’s Central Station that afternoon, another witch — a little one dressed in purple — sat with her feet dangling off a bench, popping M&Ms into her mouth.Two SFPD officers, clutching plastic pumpkins and big bags brimming with candy, burst through the front doors of the station, soon to greet a small dinosaur, a construction worker and a young girl dressed as a strawberry.“Want to see how the lights work?” asked Officer Brendan Mannix.The lime-green dinosaur nodded and was then hoisted into the driver’s seat of a patrol car. Mannix showed the little boy how to turn the car’s lights on and off.Central Station Officer Brendan Mannix teaches a young dinosaur how to operate the lights in an SFPD patrol car during a candy-filled afternoon. Photo by Susie Neilson. Bo Kovitz wrote this post with contributions from the other reporters. Halloween wasn’t exactly a holiday for San Francisco police officers.Early in the day, they prepared to increase foot patrols throughout the city, shifted work hours for some and got ready for the evening hours. Officers are not allowed to take the 31st off and there’s no overtime. It’s a different kind of day.With daylight still shining, many officers spent their shifts in the community, some even trick-or-treating with residents. But as night fell, crowds of monsters, ghouls, superheroes and flashy characters slipped into the moonlight. More and more officers emerged, too, stationing themselves on the city’s heavily populated streets. Throughout Tuesday afternoon, officers at various stations, including the Bayview district, ramped up community policing efforts for Halloween. They passed out candy to children who went trick-or-treating as soon as school let out.Similarly, in the Tenderloin, foot-beat officers joined kindergarteners through eighth graders at the City Academy in a show-and-tell, before walking with them through the neighborhood Tuesday morning.Central District officers decorated the station’s lobby with pumpkins, with goofy faces scrawled on with Sharpie pens, and spent about $300 on Halloween candy to hand out to the community.Sgt. Culbert Chu, who saw several kids throughout the day dressed up as cops, joked, “hopefully the officers won’t eat all the candy.” Tags: Events • Halloween Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% “We want to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween,” said SFPD Commander David Lazar, who also heads the department’s community policing division. “We’re vigilant every night, but on Halloween especially.”Just after midnight, at 18th and Diamond streets, a call about a suspicious vehicle ended in an exchange of gunfire that sent an officer and a suspect to the hospital.Earlier on, plenty of police presence was seen in the Castro, where dozens of officers were positioned in pairs or clusters. Some stood on empty street corners, “to be prepared,” said Officer C. Arew, who was one of nine officers standing at 18th and Dolores streets, backlit by the bright beams from Dolores Park’s tennis courts.ADVERTISEMENT 5 Below Market Rate (BMR) Rental Apartments available at 3000 23rd St., San Francisco, CA 94110. Applications must be received by 5PM, Nov. 7, 2017, and must either be submitted online here or mailed in with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 3000 23rd St. BMR, P.O. Box 420847, San Francisco, CA 94124. Applications available here or picked up from an agency listed here.As they watched,  hundreds of costumed San Franciscans danced and partied deep into the night. A dog dressed as a bush howled in unison with the siren of a passing cop car, the sound enveloped in the noise of the neighborhood.When Officer Christian Serrano spotted a bundle of pastel balloons, strings wrapped around the enormous white gloves of two frighteningly made-up clowns, she lunged to intercept the clowns. She asked them to stop — and take a picture with her.Serrano beamed as she posed between the clowns. She has worked at least six Halloweens, a holiday she said she enjoys “because the public tends to be more thankful for their service.”On cue, someone in costume walked by.  “Thank you,” he said.SFPD officers stand outside a gas station in the Castro district, where the department sent most of its cops to patrol the streets. Photo by Kaitlin Benz.last_img read more

KEIRON Cunningham felt his side deserved a lot mor

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham felt his side deserved a lot more following their 32-24 loss at Hull FC this afternoon.He pointed towards the lop-sided penalty count but praised the players for their effort – especially after they lost Luke Walsh in the first minute.“My players were outstanding and were hard done to,” he said after the match. “They should have got more from the game. The level of effort went through the roof. Hull are on the crest of a wave and we just fell a little bit short in certain areas.“But we lost Walsh in the first minute and the penalties were 10-2 in the first half. If anyone says they were eight penalties cleaner than us, I’ll call them a liar. We couldn’t build any pressure.“It’s frustrating for me as coach but I feel for the players because they don’t get any reward for their efforts. We definitely deserved something out of the game. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.”He continued: “I’d told my players they should be proud. We fought really hard for each other. If we can bring that fight and resilience every week, we’re not going to be far short.”Saints will assess Luke Walsh in the next few days but KC suggested his ‘seven’ wouldn’t be available for “a few weeks”.Tickets for Saints next game against Warrington at Langtree Park are now on sale.The game kicks off at 8pm on Friday June 3.You can buy from the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

Wilmington PD investigating Creekwood shooting

first_img No arrests have been made, the investigation is continuing. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – A Wilmington man has minor injuries after a bullet came through an apartment window in Creekwood shortly before 7 p.m. Sunday.Officers responded to an apartment in the 600 block of N. 30th Street after a Shotspotter alert. Witnesses told police that two women were arguing, when one left.Then, a short while later a black male driving a gray Jeep Cherokee arrived and shot into the apartment.The bullet hit a wall inside and grazed a man in the knee. He was treated by EMS at the scene.- Advertisement – last_img read more

VIDEO BCSO finds lost Leland man using infrared technology

first_img The victim wrecked his ATV in a ditch and when contacted by phone, was unable to advise deputies as to his whereabouts. While deputies, along with members of the community, fire and EMS crews searched on the ground, Air 1 was launched.The Pilot and Tactical Flight Officer were able to find him within 20 minutes, despite the dark and cloudy conditions, using the helicopter’s forward looking infrared camera (FLIR) system. They were able to direct those working on the ground directly to him. He was pulled from the ditch and was able to return home with no injuries. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office were able to located a lost Leland man within 20 minutes earlier this week thanks to infrared technology.BCSO utilized Air 1 on Tuesday evening to find the man who was lost in a wooded area off of Highway 74/76.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Report Man shot while trying to buy engagement ring

first_img She told police he “noticed the transaction was going bad and went to snatch the money back out of the sellers hands,” and when he want to run away he got shot in the back and arm, according to the report.The woman told police he went to his sister’s house in Whiteville “while trying to self heal,” but was eventually convinced to go to the hospital.She also told police he is a heavy drug user, using heroin.Related Article: Man found dead in Little RiverThe man was not cooperating with police, according to the report. Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) — A man was reportedly shot while trying to buy an engagement ring for his girlfriend, according to an Horry County police report.The man’s fiance took him to the hospital and told police that he had told her he went to meet someone in Little River to buy the ring from “the Offer Up web site,” the report stated.- Advertisement – last_img read more

American adds seasonal nonstop flights from ILM to Dallas in 2018

first_img American Airlines offered the non-stop route (ILM-DFW) during a 2 week trial period over the holiday season Dec 23-Jan 7, 2018.  Due to the response from the community, American informed ILM it will offer the non-stop flight during the spring and summer season in 2018.Earlier this week, ILM announced American will begin daily, year-round, non-stop service to Regan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, DC, in May and summer seasonal service to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (ORD) in June. The airline offered weekend flights to DCA during the summer.The Chicago route, which American will offer daily starting in June and running through Labor Day, will be the second between the Port City and the Windy City. Just last month the airport announced United Airlines would begin flights to ORD and Washington’s Dulles Airport next year (IAD).Related Article: Mother, infant killed after tree falls on Wilmington homeEarlier this year American also announced service between Wilmington and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) during the holidays. The airline already offers service to Charlotte (CLT), New York-LaGuardia (LGA) and Philadelphia (PHL).Delta Air Lines offers non-stop service between Wilmington and Atlanta (ATL).For more information on flights, visit FlyILM.com American Airlines jets on the runway at Wilmington International Airport. (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The good news continues for Wilmington International Airport, and that could mean good news for travelers.ILM announced today American Airlines is expanding its services once again by adding non-stop flights to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) on Saturdays April through August 2018.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Hundreds come out for Memorial Day ceremony despite heavy downpour

first_img “It helps me to stop and remember, ‘I really have no problems’ when I consider the amount of sacrifice and the amount of work that’s come before me so that I can be here today with this crowd that’s out here and pay respect. It just means a lot to me,” Zapple said.Despite the rain, people stayed outside for more than an hour, thanking those who fought for our country and some grieving. David Ward and his friends are veterans and walked in the rain all the way to the cemetery from Ogden. They wanted to show their respect for those who fought before them.“I was a marine, another friend of mine was a marine, army. We just got together. It’s fun and like on a day like today, it’s a way for us to help remember those who went before us who fell. Memorial Day is very special,” Ward said.Related Article: New mixed-use complex proposed for S. College Rd.He says it’s also a time they can remember those who served alongside them, but whose lives were cut short.“Whether it was going fishing, running, just having fun with them. You celebrate what you did with them and you also remember who’s out here still,” Ward said.A remembrance filled with many thanks and honor. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s the sound of Memorial Day at the Wilmington National Cemetery. Each name read is a veteran who died in 2017.Those who attended the “Tolling of the Bell” ceremony were silent as more than 600 names were read. New Hanover County Commissioner Rob Zapple says while he remembers his family members who served, today serves as a reminder to be thankful.- Advertisement – last_img read more

City breaks ground on longawaited transit center

first_img The initial vision for the multimodal transit center started with rail service between Raleigh and Wilmington.Now, the new facility at North Third and Campbell streets will include a Wave Transit Administration Office and slips for 11 buses.The estimated cost of $2.4 million grew to $4.1 million after changes to the original plan.Related Article: Crime Stoppers offer reward for info in two hit-and-run accidentsWave Transit Chair Beck Smith says this is a great first step.“We were able to get the buses off 2nd Street, provide a great anchor location and really a stepping stone to plan toward the future, if and when local rail and inter-city rail might happen,” Beck said. “In the meantime, we have a great facility.”Smith says this new transportation center will be safer for both riders and drivers. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s been in the works since the 1990s.City leaders finally broke ground Thursday on a downtown Wilmington project that will be quite different than what was originally planned.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Man wanted for several burglaries escapes custody in handcuffs

first_imgWHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — A man who was wanted for several burglaries in Whiteville escaped custody after the Tabor City Police Department arrested him for fighting an officer.Whiteville Police spokesman Allan May said Mhalik Jamal Graham is wanted for numerous burglaries throughout Whiteville and the surrounding Columbus County.- Advertisement – May said on November 9, Graham was involved in a high speed chase after detectives with Whiteville Police attempted to take him into custody. May said the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office joined in the search for Graham after he hit a sheriff’s patrol vehicle. May said Graham then ran into a nearby wooded area where he got away.On Monday, Capt. Greg Sibbet with the Tabor City Police Department said officers responded to a call about a man walking around the parking lot of the Ritz on Hickman Road. Sibbet said officers saw the man and he started running. The officers got him and the man started fighting the officers, so they arrested him.Sibbet said they took the man to the Tabor City Police Department. Sibbet said the man gave them a fake name, but later they realized it was Mhalik Graham.Related Article: Camp Lejeune police officer accused of having sex with teenSibbet said while at the police department, the man told them he left a wallet and guns near the Ritz. One officer left to go look for them leaving one officer with the man.Sibbet said the man then jumped out of a chair with his hands cuffed behind him, ran through the building, out a door and got away. The officer chased him, but it was unsuccessful.Sibbet said they did not know at the time, it was Mhalik Graham. Sibbet said they never found a wallet or gun at the scene, but they did notice the man had broken into an insurance agency and they found he had stolen guns from the owner of the store.May said there are numerous warrants for Graham’s arrest and the U.S. Marshalls are actively engaged in attempts to locate him.Graham is considered armed and dangerous.last_img read more

Students prep for March STEM competition

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY (WWAY NEWS)- Brunswick County High students are getting ready to take home the gold in science competitions. Students put their talents to the test at an invitational Saturday.Each of the groups represent schools across the county in chemistry, biology, physics and other STEM-related studies. This is a chance for the students to compete on a smaller level before the regional competition in march at UNCW.- Advertisement – Based on their performance at the invitational, students get a chance to improve their project or study harder.“Events like this help what is in the classroom and bring it beyond,” said Jamie Smith, Brunswick County instructional science coach. “It gives them a hands-on experience in where they would use the information learned in the classroom. This is just one of those events where we can just make science come alive.”Smith says students have benefited from this invitational, as students received national awards last year.last_img read more

Deputies search for missing Leland teen

first_imgBriannah Marie Alvarez Joyner (Photo: BCSO) UPDATE: Briannah has been located and back home.BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a missing teen.- Advertisement – The sheriff’s office says Briannah Marie Alvarez Joyner, 13, was last seen at her home on NE Pinecliff Drive in Leland Wednesday evening.She is 5’4″ and weighs about 150 pounds.Anyone with information should contact Det. McMillian at (910) 770-0266 or call 911.last_img read more

Cyber security was hot topic at Wilmington Information Technology eXchange

first_img The event was open to students, staff, and the local community at UNCW’s Computer Information Systems building.“We’re doing a workshop on agile development, there are some programming workshops, we have some on cyber defense and security, cause that certainly is an important topic. We have another one called disaster planning and hurricanes,” said Tom Janicki, Information Systems professor at UNCW.Featured speakers discussed the global cyber security landscape and cyber threats, hacktivism, cyber espionage, cyber terrorism, and more.Related Article: Popular Wilmington restaurant Bon Appetit to serve up its final mealsBack in November, the university was named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education, known as a CAE designation, which will enable students to compete for federal and private cyber security jobs.Ulku Clark, director of UNCW’s Center for Cyber Defense Education, says only about six percent of more than 3,000 U.S. higher education institutions have that CAE designation.“With that, our students have opportunities to be recruited by government agencies that require security clearance, and that require degrees from CAE designated schools,” Clark said.One of those students is Marine Corps veteran Jay Richardson. He’s a junior, and a member of UNCW’s cyber defense club.Richardson actually helped get the ball rolling to apply for the CAE designation.“I’m really passionate about it, and when I saw the program at another UNC system school, I thought we should have the same thing, those same benefits,” Richardson said. “And growing the program, I had heard talks about a cyber security minor here, and how we can kind of expand on that, with potential of ethical hacking, malware analysis, cyber warfare talks, and things of that nature.”Featured Speaker Retired Lieutenant General William Mayville Jr. says there’s two main issues we face in regard to cyber security.“We need to address the gaps in cyber literacy, and we need to generate a workforce that can fill a significant gap in cyber security specialties,” Mayville said. “If we can do those two things, we can fix many of the challenges we have in our communities and our businesses.”Mayville says additional education plays an important role in preparing for the digital revolution, and UNCW’s CAE designation can help make that happen.“What it does is it creates a foundation by which we can develop programs for cyber security specialties and majors,” Mayville said. “And in time, I think we could look at how we can partner with industry and businesses and local community, so there can be continuing education.”Other topics and workshops included the future of healthcare, disaster recovery, virtual reality presentations, and more.Several businesses were here today to discuss internships and potential jobs with attendees.Janicki says 80 percent of students with technology degrees have jobs on graduation day, and ten percent go to grad school. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Cyber security is one of the main focuses at this year’s Wilmington Information Technology Exchange at UNCW.Attendees could go to several different learning workshops, hear from featured speakers, and speak to those in the local industry.- Advertisement – last_img read more

African Startups Get Business Training Online

first_imgAdvertisement The startups get solid business plan, clear market review, working pilot, skills and teams skills. The subjective criterion is that we need to believe in your business opportunity in order to explain the opportunity to investors. We need to be convinced to such an extent that we would want to invest our last money in your venture.Saskia Reus-Makkink, Head of Investor Relations and Mentorship Program at VC4Africa, said, “We know that most of the added value of the VC4Africa platform is in screening and preparing entrepreneurs to get them ready for investment.Therefore in our coaching program we do series of interviews,training and VC-startup link “.In the Booster Program startups get 3 months of about 2 hours per week of online coaching and feedback on their plans and financial projections.The mentors share their best practises to help boost businesses, marketing and finance skills  among the startups.  – Advertisement – Three startups have signed up already and five more will be selected at the end of March.The firm also has a peer to peer coaching program which is albeit different from the Booster program.VC4Africa Booster program was awarded to ‘Very Sol ,a energy solutions startup in Nigeria with modest sales already  made in Europe which only expanded to Africa with about 50k EUR personal savings. The startup is looking for for 350K EUR, mainly to be invested in fixed assets.Penda Health,which is building quality women health centres for middle and low income women across Kenya with an already profitable track record of a few months is looking at EUR 500,000 for its expansion into East Africa while m-KAZI ,a Kenyan online,SMS and mobile mass market job search application banking on the 28 million mobile phone users in Kenya with a need of 50k to speed up their market penetration. The third firm,The African Alternative Energy Solutions in Uganda , which is aiming at providing backup power for African homes  is looking for 500k EUR for expand.Several firms in Africa also offer mentorship to startups with seed capital for take off.88mph in Kenya has invested several USD in startups and time. It also has a working space of more than 120 startups and has a wide network of serial investors who coach and train startups.Africa has hubs for grooming this startups into successful businesses. Such hubs include iHub,Mlab,Nailab among others.What VC4Africa has done is just a show of investor confidence in African startups and the fact that investors are putting in their money and time;there is a great possibility for the continent to have internet millionaires.last_img read more

MTN Rwanda fined over poor services

first_imgAdvertisement MTN said an independent technical team had carried out another survey of its Rwandan networks the following month and found no major problems.The September survey found that “despite hitches that sometimes might be beyond our control like fibre cuts, our network is operating within all Key Performance Indicators in our license obligations,” MTN said.A significant percentage of MTN Rwanda’s subscribers have complained to RURA about dropped calls, network failures, fuzzy calls, and poor internet speed. – Advertisement – “I know they are trying to fix it, but it has persisted since March this year and this is appropriate according to the policy,” said Regis Gatarayiha, the Director General of RURA during a press briefing.“Within its mandate and powers conferred to it by the Law No. 44/2001 governing communications, RURA decided to issue a confirmation enforcement notice and to impose a penalty to MTN Rwanda over persistently poor quality services.”According to her, the fine will hold for as long as the problem persists. According to the country’s regulation, MTN has a period of one month to fix the problem in order to avoid stricter measures.Gatarayiha said MTN’s operational plan submitted to RURA is not reflected in its service parameters, which are reportedly below minimum threshold.“MTN Rwanda apologises to all Rwandans for all inconveniences caused while we carry out continuous optimisation processes to fine tune the upgrades while keeping our clients on-line,” a statement from MTN Rwanda reads.In 2009, the regulator fined MTN Rwanda $140,000, saying it had failed to roll out network upgrades or address problems such as dropped calls.The telecoms regulator also issued a warning, but no fine, for poor service to MTN’s rival Tigo Rwanda owned by Millicom International Cellular, giving it one month to improve some of its services found in a survey to be wanting. Source: Reuters, dailytimes.com.nglast_img read more

Could Mobile Money be the Answer to Financial Inclusion in the Developing

first_imgA bodaboda man pays for fuel using MTN mobile money in Kampala, Uganda. [File Photo] Advertisement With its mobile money segment showing “encouraging growth” in the first half of 2015, leading emerging mobile markets operator in Africa and the Middle East MTN emphasized that “the continued roll-out of MTN Mobile Money and broader financial services remains a priority”. Priority, both because of its contribution to the operator’s revenues and its projected significance in Africa’s financial future.Approximately a week ago, the same launched a new payment feature in cooperation with Vivo Energy – the operators of Shell in Uganda. This feature,the latest in a series of mobile money-driven initiatives launched this year alone, allows customers to purchase fuel and other Shell products using Mobile Money. Brian Gouldie, MTN’s CEO in Uganda was quoted as to say, “we’re embedding Mobile Money into the fabric of society.”Still in East Africa, payments and transfers provider MoneyGram expanded mobile money choices in Tanzania, authorizing subscribers of Vodacom – the leading telecommunication company in the country – to receive money from MoneyGram transfer services directly into their mobile money accounts. – Advertisement – Earlier this year, even international electronic payment processor Visa announced a cross-border mobile money platform to be introduced this October, which is set to enable cross-platform remittance transfers, breaking the current barrier where there is restriction based on the user’s network.Bypassing these operators might stifle the predominantly telecom-operated mobile money systems and will certainly exert pressure on them to come up with creative counter-solutions to secure their leading position in the mobile money market.Nevertheless, if Visa’s platform is successful, mobile money will become available to a broader range of consumers, presumably further narrowing the gap between the banked and unbanked.So why this inclination to tapping into mobile money ventures and why does it work so well?Since 2003 a rapidly growing mobile penetration has been observed and more and more people have gradually been gaining access to telecommunication and other mobile services – not only in the developed but also in the developing world. The Global Mobile Economy report from GSMA found that by end 2014 the number of mobile subscribers had increased to 3.6 billion. In comparison to about 10 years ago when only one billion had access to a mobile handset and services, today more than half of the global population own mobile devices and are subscribed to mobile networks.[related-posts]This number is predicted to rise by an additional one billion subscribers within the next five years, which will boost global mobile penetration to 60%.Although the mobile industry continues to face challenges with regulators and policy-makers who risk constraining its growth potential, the speedy progress and promising prognosis have driven the industry to become a platform for creative innovation as well as an indisputable facilitator of a vast number of opportunities in both the commercial and social sector.In the developing world – specifically in Africa – where the mobile industry struggles to balance steady rising mobile penetration and higher demand for network services with providing affordable high quality broadband, it is remarkable to note that a unique feature has gained momentum. Sub-Saharan Africa has managed to leverage the advancements in mobile technology and now celebrates “Mobile Money” as an alternative to traditional banking systems and interactions.For instance, there were 255 live mobile money services worldwide and with 53% Sub-Saharan Africa constituted the majority of them, according to the GSMA report 2014. In Kenya alone, the leading country for mobile money payments, African Business Central found that one in six mobile subscribers uses mobile payment, and World Bank revealed that 90% of money transfers through online service WorldRemit are received by clients of Kenya’s prominent mobile payment system “M-Pesa”.Aside from the obvious technical reasons, to some extent mobile money’s huge success can also be attributed to the financial infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa where about two and a half billion people in lower and middle-income households are unbanked.Yet one billion of them have access to a mobile phone.This places mobile money in a position to bridge the insufficient financial structures and possibly become the answer to financial inclusion.Another World Bank report states, remittance flows to the region amount to $33 billion and are estimated to scale up by one billion annually for the next two years. The Diaspora sending money back home greatly contributes to emphasizing the relevance of mobile banking and payment services, thus intensifying and sustaining the demand.Economist and PhD student Rukundo Nshakira adds that “diaspora remittances make up close to 10% of GDP in Uganda, surpassing the percentage of foreign aid like USAID, who is the country’s largest employer after the public service sector”.Uganda’s Evelyn Namara, a technologist and social entrepreneur who worked on mobile payment platforms as Beyonic’s Regional Manager for East Africa notes that in general remittances from the Diaspora are instrumental to improving local and domestic savings.“The ability to use [their] mobile wallets to receive payments in very easy steps means that financial services in turn become easier for everyone to access and that boosts the economy,” she notes.With reference to the budding agriculture sector, Namara says “Mobile Money technologies can further be leveraged by building an ecosystem where money stays mobile and thus eliminating the need to cash out.”“If manufacturers, producers of products and consumers can all be connected within the same mobile money ecosystem, it becomes easy to make transactions across the board,” she adds.As such mobile money services harbour immense capacities for the development of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Harnessing these capacities to their full potential not only promises economic progress in the region but also empowers marginalized individuals and societies.Consequently, it is crucial that building a unifying ecosystem that encompasses all sectors and seamlessly traverses spheres of banked and unbanked remains an utmost priority and long-term investment, serving to reinforce sustainable economic development.Irene Najjemba is a media development enthusiast who advocates for youth engagement in social entrepreneurship ventures in the African Diaspora and beyond. She is a Media and Communication graduate based in Bonn, Germany. You can follow her on Twitter @EyeRainVerseslast_img read more

Facebook brings its Internetorg Innovation Challenge to Africa

first_imgRecognition for African developers who are working to deliver apps, websites and services for learning/education and economic empowerment; $US150, 000 awards for winners in two categories.Image Credit: Blogspot Advertisement Facebook is launching the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa  with the aim of recognizing developers and entrepreneurs who are using the internet to improve the standard of education and economic health in their communities. Developers across Africa are invited to enter the challenge.Facebook will present an Innovation Challenge Award of US $150,000 to the app, website or service judged to be the best in two categories: learning/education and economic empowerment. Each Innovation Challenge Award winner will also receive a package of tools and services worth up to $60,000 from Facebook’s FbStart program . Two apps, websites or services in each category will receive an Impact Award prize in the amount of $50,000.Connecting people across growth economies This follows the success of Facebook’s Internet.org Innovation Challenge in India , an award designed to recognise people making the internet more relevant for women, students, farmers and migrant workers in India. Facebook awarded prizes to services working on these challenges in India, where it was inspiring to see the range of entrepreneurship devoted to improving people’s lives.[related-posts] – Advertisement – “The Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa supports our vision of a connected world by recognizing those who are working on solutions that aim to improve education and economic health of communities in Africa,” says Ime Archibong, director of strategic partnerships at Facebook. “We’re looking forward to seeing how African developers are providing real value for their communities. By connecting people and empowering them with access to services and information, we can help them achieve extraordinary things and help them to enhance their lives.”The details of the awards The awards are open to developers of apps, websites and online services that provide real value to African communities under the following pillars:Learning/education (apps, websites or online services that make use of technology to inspire and deliver learning) Economic empowerment (apps, websites or online services that help to advance the economic strength and ability of communities)All entries must be received by 1 May, 2016. Winners will be announced in August/September 2016.last_img read more

Huawei Commits to Driving Social and Economic Growth in Africa by Mobile

first_imgHuawei invested 9.2 billion USD in the research and development of new technologies, new products, and wireless communications standards in 2015. Image Credit: ibtimes Advertisement Huawei says it is ready to partner with African governments, operators and private companies to advance economic and social development in the continent through enhancing mobile broadband; it made this announcement at the GSMA Mobile 360 Africa which started in Dar es Salaam today.Huawei stressed its commitment to creating value for communities by collaborating with operators to support them maximize network assets and deploy wireless broadband to the home to enhance Mobile Broadband (MBB) penetration and narrow the digital divide between urban and rural areas. Extending MBB coverage across African countries will help to alleviate poverty, improve healthcare and education, and expand financial inclusion.The GSMA predicts that over the next five years there will be 720 million smartphones in use and up to 60% MBB connections in African markets. The enhanced connectivity will result in the increase of national competitiveness, innovation capacity and overall productivity. – Advertisement – The main challenges the industry faces in expanding coverage in both rural and urban areas include high CAPEX, difficulties in site acquisition, high infrastructure cost and long return on Investment.To seize the growth opportunities in Africa, Huawei’s approach is to support operators through optimizing total cost of operation, shortening ROI and enhancing site efficiency. Huawei is raising Three-Star Site Solutions, namely PoleStar, TubeStar, and RuralStar. These scenario-specific solutions will help enable more sites in a simple, fast and cost-efficient manner.Dr. Mohamed Madkour, Huawei’s Vice President of Wireless Networks Marketing & Head of Global Demand Generation, in a press statement, said: “Beside optimum network solution for different deployment scenarios in Africa, we identified three business and industry alliances. Number one, content aggregation.”Rapid deployment of home broadband and indoor digital business will improve coverage and the user experience by utilizing operators’ mobility resources like 4G, 4.5G and the coming 5G.“We are very optimistic in terms of opportunities in Africa despite all of the challenges that have been mentioned. So telecos just need to take actions and deploy the right business solutions in order to capture those opportunities,” Mohamed said.[related-posts]last_img read more

Premier League – Video Preview

first_imgLuke Tarr and Alex Wheeler from Star Sports video preview the Premier League.The season kicks off at 12.45pm on Saturday 17 AugustLiverpool v Stoke CitySaturday 17 August, 12.45pm (BT Sport)last_img