Campaigners have been left shocked and appalled

first_imgCampaigners have been left “shocked and appalled” by the government’s decision to hold a workshop on the barriers facing disabled people without inviting a single disabled people’s organisation (DPO) to take part.The Cabinet Office workshop is due to take place tomorrow afternoon (Friday), and its purpose is to “convene leading external experts and officials to discuss the key issues facing disabled people and identify opportunities to address these”.But it has failed to invite representatives from organisations such as the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) – which represents many leading DPOs – or The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), and then snubbed their requests to take part when they found out about the event.Another disabled-led organisation missed off the list of invitees was Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC).The Cabinet Office did invite Philip Connolly, policy manager for Disability Rights UK (DR UK), but he was invited as a policy specialist and not as a representative of DR UK.Mark Harrison (pictured, left), from ROFA, wrote to the Cabinet Office this week to ask if he could attend the workshop but was told it was “already at capacity” and that it was only “an initial exploratory meeting, including officials from Cabinet Office and the Office for Disability Issues [ODI] and a small group of academics and disability charity representatives”.The civil servant added: “If this initial work develops into a more significant work stream, then we intend to engage with a wide range of disabled person led and smaller groups and will be in touch with details.”Harrison told her he was “shocked and appalled” by the exclusion of DPOs and said this suggested the government had learned nothing from the recent examination by the UN of the government’s record in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).In its “concluding observations”, following the examination, the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities said in August 2017 that it was concerned about the UK government’s “lack of mechanisms to ensure effective participation of all organisations of persons with disabilities, in decision-making processes concerning policies and legislation in all areas of the Convention”.Harrison said he would now write to the UN committee “with this example amongst many others where the UK Government is still failing to comply with the [UNCRPD] which it has signed and ratified”.Sue Bott, DR UK’s deputy chief executive, said her organisations only found out about the event from the University of Bristol.She has been told the workshop will be based on research the university has co-produced with disabled people, including DR UK.Bott told Disability News Service (DNS): “[The university] did not want to attend the event without disabled people who had worked with them and asked if we had had an invitation.“Philip will be making our objections known at the workshop as will colleagues from Bristol University.“We were disgusted with the response given to ROFA from the Cabinet Office. “Either they have no knowledge of the CRPD, which is disgraceful in itself, or have chosen to ignore it and the need to engage with disabled people from the very beginning, not at some point down the line.”She said that DR UK would be happy to sign any joint letter of complaint from the coalition of DPOs – which also includes ROFA, ALLFIE and DPAC – that played a significant role in the review of the UK’s progress in implementing the UNCRPD.DPAC is also set to inform the UN committee of the government’s actions, which it says are an “ongoing and flagrant violation of our human rights enshrined in UNCRPD to which this government are committed to supporting”. DPAC has told the Cabinet Office that it is “horrified and angry” at its behaviour and that of the ODI, and added: “Oh, the irony of holding a workshop to address the barriers faced by disabled people which actually does not include disabled people – only a government department could do this without realising just how appalling it is.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of DPAC, told DNS that the decision to exclude DPOs from the workshop “ironically serves to illustrate the major barriers disabled people face.“This exclusion highlights the ongoing contempt which this government and its officials show towards disabled people and their lives.“It flies in the face of UNCRPD and the findings of the UN disability committee and can only be described as an utter and total disgrace.”Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s chief executive, told DNS she was “really cross” at her organisation being excluded from the workshop.She said: “We are the only DPO working in this area, so who the hell is on this invite list?“Where does this leave article 33 [of the UN convention, which describes how DPOs should be “fully involved” in monitoring the treaty’s implementation] and ‘nothing about us without us’?“If this is genuinely about tackling the barriers that disabled people face, where will disabled children and young people’s barriers fit in that? My feeling is that they are very unlikely to feature.”A government spokesperson declined to answer a series of questions about the workshop and its UNCRPD obligations, but said in a statement: “We recognise that a variety of groups have important insights to offer – and we will shortly be launching Regional Stakeholder Networks, providing forums for a wide range of people to contribute.”Only two months ago, the Department of Health and Social Care insisted that it was complying with the UN convention by consulting on its mental capacity (amendment) bill with non-user-led charities like Mencap and Sense.But the UNCRPD makes it clear that, when developing laws and policies relating to disabled people, governments “must closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative organizations”.It defines “representative organizations” as those that are “led, directed and governed by persons with disabilities”, a definition which the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities included in its “general comment number seven”, which was adopted last September. A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more

Protesters March to Doorsteps of Real Estate Firm to Save Thug Mansion

first_img 0% Tags: evictions • housing • mission • protests • real estate Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Protesters blocked off the entrance to Vanguard Properties at 21st and Mission streets this afternoon during a rally against the sale of a Bernal Heights home, facilitated by one of the real estate firm’s agents, that would displace its tenants — a group of longtime Mission residents, teachers, artists, children and a senior citizen. The protesters accused real estate agent Shelley Trew of “fraud, elder abuse, and greed” for coercing the 76-year-old owner of the house at 117 Ripley St. into signing over the rights to her family home in 2013. The elderly woman, they said, signed the contract after Trew offered to help her “find out how much her house is worth,” but was unaware that its stipulations included the sale and evictions of herself and some nine tenants. “She is being railroaded,” said the owner’s nice, Nancy Pili Hernandez, a Mission muralist and the youth program manager at the Good Samaritan Resource Center, who also lives at 117 Ripley St. “This contract should have never been signed because she was not aware of what that contract said.”“[Trew] lied about what the paper said that she initially signed,” said Pili Hernandez, adding that  the house’s perspective buyer is currently suing her aunt for breach of contract for not going through with the sale.center_img Trew could not be reached for comment, and Vanguard did not respond to Mission Local’s inquiry into the sale at press time.Among Mission community members, 117 Ripley St. is lovingly dubbed “thug mansion.”“We call it that because that’s the roughness of the Mission, but it’s all love,” said Oscar Salinas, an organizer of the Justice for Alex Nieto Coalition, the group seeking justice in the controversial 2014 police shooting of Alex Nieto. Salinas called the house “iconic,” and said that his group has used the space to plan their marches.“It’s a sacred space,” he said. “That’s why you see so many people out here today – there is so much love for all the work that this family has done.”The elderly owner, a former hairdresser, bought the plot of land on Bernal Hill and enlisted her brothers, who were construction workers, to help her build the family home in 1980, according to Pili Hernandez.The woman has sought legal help in filing paperwork to break the contract, a process that included a ten hour mediation between the elderly woman, Trew, and the prospective buyer. “She’s 76 and has diabetes – at the end of a ten hour meeting she would sign her own death warrant,” said Pili Hernandez. “They are threatening to take the house and make her pay their legal fees if she doesn’t sign the the sale agreement.”The elderly woman is refusing to sign the paperwork that would finalize the sale and give her tenants 90-day eviction orders. But breaking the contract she signed with Trew could entail a costly legal battle for the elderly woman. With her signature, the woman unknowingly agreed to assume all legal costs, including the costs of Trew’s lawyer, said Pili Hernandez. “We are here to support her and tell her that we will help her to fight, but we don’t have money to pay for her lawyer, let alone his,” Pili Hernandez said about her aunt.  Nancy Pili Hernandez. Photo by Laura WaxmannHolding posters that read “Vanguard Vulture” above Trew’s headshot, some 50 protesters that included artists, community activists, city government representatives, teachers and their  elementary schoolchildren, first held a ceremony at the site of the 22nd and Mission street building that was demolished after it was ravished by fire in 2015, before marching to Vanguard’s office at 2501 Mission St. to hold Trew’s employer accountable.“This guy is very much a predator,” said Jesus Varela, performing arts manager at the Mission-based non-profit Accion Latina, who is a resident at the home at the center of the dispute. “This man goes around harassing elderly people into signing away the rights to their homes.”The 117 Ripley St. home is valued at just under $2 million and is not the only property that Trew has managed in San Francisco. Research by Mission Local revealed that Trew bought or sold some 64 properties in Bernal Heights and 110 city-wide. His online profile claims $100 million in sales in the last three years alone and states he is one of San Francisco’s top 25 real estate agents, and in the top half a percent nationally. Varela said that Trew has referred to himself as “the king of Bernal Hill.”Joe Colmenares, a local art teacher and a resident at 117 Ripley St., also confirmed that Trew “put the house on the market without the owner’s consent” and called the deal and “inside job.” “They offered to sell it to an inside client, so the real estate agent gets a double commission,” he said, although the sale of the house has not been finalized. “Trew’s M.O. is to go harass people until they give in or don’t understand what the documents are saying, and today we are here to expose that.”The protesters set up in front of the firm’s entrance, locking the doors from the outside “for bad business” as members of the local band Soltron performed on the sidewalk. The group is among a multitude of Mission bands that practiced at 117 Ripley St. over the years.Varela called the house one of the last standing “art incubators” – a rarity in a city where housing is a commodity that many artists and musicians can no longer afford. “There’s not a lot of places where you can house a band for practice every Tuesday,” said Varela. “That house incubates artists of any craft.” It is also an affordable space for teachers and youth workers to live, said Colmenares.“It’s provided me with a safe haven to teach art and to continue to do art for the community that represents the culture of this neighborhood,” he said. “This house has been a real positive place for everyone – it’s where Carnaval starts and ends every year.”Colmenares said the houses’ tenants reached out to many local organizations for help, but that the legal contract is binding.“Those documents are legal documents, and they are irreversible through the court,” he said. “Because the documents are legal, the transaction is too – but what he did to get those documents signed, harassing the owner until she ultimately gave up – its fraud.” The tenants are organizing to oppose the contract and stop the sale.   “We have 90 days to fight back or find a new home. For many of us, this has been our home for many decades,” said Colmenares. “I don’t know where I would go.” last_img read more

Alex Walmsley grabbed a brace whilst Mark Percival

first_imgAlex Walmsley grabbed a brace whilst Mark Percival tallied 14 points in a victory that takes Justin Holbrook’s men into third.But they were pushed all the way by a Salford side that ended the game with 12 men after Ryan Lannon’s rash challenge on Theo Fages in the first half.Up until that moment the Devils had been a real thorn in Saints’ playoff hopes.Within the first couple of minutes Tommy Makinson had produced an important tackle on Manu Vatuvei to stop a certain try.But on the very next set, Niall Evalds profited from a sweeping move.Saints almost replied immediately through Jon Wilkin and James Roby but had to wait until around the 15th minute to finally get on the board.Fages found Ben Barba on the left hand side, and the fullback unlocked the defence to put Percival over.The game was end to end, and physical too, with Salford shading the main scoring chances.They had one chalked off for a Vatuvei knock on in the build up on the half hour mark – but three minutes later Saints took the lead.Barba did the damage once again, getting Saints into great field position before Roby found Walmsley on the burst for his 10th of the season.Saints were buoyed and gained a further numerical advantage when Lannon was sent off for a late and high hit on Fages after he had kicked the ball.Salford were incensed at the decision as on the tackle previous, Jordan Walne had left the field following a forearm from Walmsley as the big prop charged up the ball.Percival knocked over a penalty to calm it down and take it out to 12-4 – but missed another shot at the end of the half after Junior Sa’u had gone in high on Barba – and then hit him on the floor.Salford came out in the second half throwing big hits on Saints’ charges – and it worked as they rattled the visitors and forced a number of errors.But Saints steadied the ship, going close on 48 minutes through LMS before Regan Grace polished off a fine move involving Matty Smith, Barba and Percival; only for it to be called back as the winger had his foot in touch.Saints did finally cross and take the game away from Salford with 15 minutes to go.After shunning the opportunity to take a simple penalty in front of the sticks, a lovely short ball from Fages saw Zeb Taia increase the lead.Walmsley then crossed for his second after Smith’s short pass.The double underlined Saints’ dominance in the second half and that was further cemented when, at the death, Barba sidestepped and handed off a would be tackler to dance his way under the posts.Match Summary:Devils: Tries: Evalds Goals: O’Brien (0 from 1)Saints: Tries: Percival, Walmsley (2), Taia, Barba Goals: Percival (5 from 7)Penalties Awarded: Devils: 4 Saints: 12HT: 4-12 FT: 4-30REF: J ChildATT: TBCTeams:Devils: 5. Niall Evalds; 24. Jake Bibby, 22. Kris Welham, 4. Junior Sa’u, 31. Manu Vatuvei; 6. Robert Lui, 1. Gareth O’Brien; 26. Daniel Murray, 9. Logan Tomkins, 12. Weller Hauraki, 11. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 3. Josh Jones, 32. Tyrone McCarthy. Subs: 8. Craig Kopczak, 15. Ryan Lannon, 18. Jordan Walne, 20. Kris Brinning.Saints: 37. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 28. Regan Grace; 6. Theo Fages, 24. Danny Richardson; 14. Luke Douglas, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 36. Zeb Taia, 20. Morgan Knowles, 12. Jon Wilkin. Subs: 7. Matty Smith, 8. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 18. Dominique Peyroux.last_img read more

Jury returns guilty verdict in Douglas Edward trial

first_imgNEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It was a child abduction that gripped our community one year ago. And today, after deliberating for hours a jury found Douglas Edwards guilty of multiple charges including kidnapping and attempted murder of a six-year-old girl.The jury also found Edwards guilty of two counts of indecent liberties with a child, assault with a deadly weapon and statutory sexual offense. Edwards however was found not guilty of obstruction and intimidating the witness.- Advertisement – Earlier today, closing arguments were made.Yesterday, Edwards took the stand in his own trial before testimony wrapped up for the case. Edwards told the jury he did not remember leaving work on September 14, 2016 or taking a six-year-old child on his moped. Edwards said the next thing he could remember was being in the middle of a neighborhood he had never been in before and a little girl was on his moped. Edwards also denied sexually assaulting the girl contradicting what the now seven-year-old child testified on Monday. Related Article: Bladen County couple tied up during home invasionCourt resumed at 9:30 a.m. Neither side objected to the instructions that will be given to the jury after closing statements.The defense started closing arguments by saying they hope the child in this case never has to answer any more questions again.“This is about a man who took the girl and chained her to a tree,” Defense attorney Ken Hatcher said. “My client is an easy target.”Hatcher began talking about the attempted first degree murder charge.“Has the state presented sufficient evidence of the guilt of intent to kill?” Hatcher asked the jury.Hatcher started reiterating Edwards’ testimony from yesterday. He said Edwards took the girl into the woods, chained her to the tree. Then, he said Edwards got on a scooter to go to his mother’s house. Hatcher said Edwards got pulled over on his way home.Hatcher then goes over the FBI investigation on the cell tower reports from Edwards’ cell phone that day. Hatcher said the point he was trying to make is that Edwards and the girl were not together that long according to the cell phone data.Hatcher talks about the DNA evidence from both Edwards and the girl. Hatcher said there is no DNA evidence to support sexual contact.Hatcher reminded the jury that Edwards took detectives to the recovery site and Edwards did not know the girl had been recovered at that point and he acknowledged that he took her. Hatcher told the jury to take Edwards the way he comes.“Edwards is not a sophisticated guy,” Hatcher said.Hatcher said Edwards grew up around a mom who had drug problems. Hatcher said Edwards does not know much about the outdoors and wildlife that could have been in the woods.Hatcher said there is no evidence of premeditation, deliberation or intent to kill. He said Edwards used a chain from his moped to lock the girl up. Hatcher said the state has overcharged. Hatcher said it is a stretch to say Edwards was trying to kill the girl by not considering the wildlife in the woods that day.Hatcher said the fact that Edwards told police he would take them to the girl is proof that he did not intend to kill her, so you (the jury) should find him not guilty.Hatcher started talking about the girl’s testimony about Edwards sticking his finger in her genitals. Hatcher said the word the child used for her genitals is an adult word. Hatcher thinks that testimony (about sticking his fingers there) was suggested by the adults the child talked to over several weeks.Hatcher also said when the child said “nuts”, that was also a word she got from adults. Hatcher said she was coached, but he said he wasn’t saying that she lied, just that she was coached.Hatcher suggested that the blunt force trauma on the girl could have been her own finger, because there was no DNA evidence on her. Hatcher said Edwards’ finger nails were dirty. Hatcher said if he had touched her then, that should have shown up in the DNA evidence.In regards to the assault with a weapon inflicting serious injury charge, Hatcher said Edwards used the chain to keep her safe not to injure her. Hatcher said he just chained the girl to a tree around her neck to restrain and secure her.Hatcher also said Edwards is not guilty of first degree kidnapping. He said it should be felonious restraint, not kidnapping.Hatcher said the girl said Edwards kissed her on the mouth, and exposed himself to her, but there is no DNA evidence. Because of that, Hatcher said Edwards is not guilty of indecent liberties with a child.Hatcher said Edwards was so worried about the harassment in the media and that is why he sent a letter to the child’s parents.Finally, Hatcher finished by telling the jury he knows this case involving a 6-year-old child is surrounded by emotions. He asked the jury to make a decision not based on those emotions, but on reason.District Attorney Ben David started closing arguments talking about beauty in the world that many parents see through their children.David said this trial is about a very dark place. David called the CAD report, on the initial 911 call, real life horror.“Who would do this to a child?” David said.David said he picked this jury for a reason, because he said they follow the law.“You don’t base verdicts on emotion,” David said. “I agree with Mr. Hatcher on that.”David said addressed the tactic of deceiving the jury that Hatcher talked about.“Guilty,” David said. You know why we did that? Because the only way they can get the defendant’s version out is to make him testify and he did.”David started talking about Edwards’ testimony and how he tried to say the kiss on her forehead was to reassure her and the chain was to keep her safe.“The chain was to keep her safe if you can believe that? That’s insulting to your intelligence,” David said.David talks about the chain and how Edwards’ story did not add up about why he used that to keep her safe. David said the chain is a deadly weapon.David said just because there are not marks on the girl, that does not mean this is not something that is going to affect her for the rest of her life.Then, David starts talking about the indecent liberties with a child charge. David said the girl knows how to say those adult words because it happened just like the other assault victim.David talking about why they initially charged rape, but he says they didn’t overcharge. David said he was the one who dismissed the rape charge, because there was no evidence, not the judge.David said 7-10 minutes is a lifetime. David said Edwards could have done all of these things five times in that amount of time. David said it does not take you 10 minutes to put a chain around a child’s neck.David said if Edwards kissed the girl on the forehead like he said, then why was there no DNA?David started talking about attempted murder. He said the state has to prove intent and that he failed.David said the chain is the deadly weapon. Then, he starts talking about premeditation. David said Edwards had two locks on him. He said that is premeditation and deliberation.“He chained her to the ground,” David said. “That was torturous. He didn’t put a jacket on her.”David said Edwards is not credible.“He was not thinking about her well being. He was thinking about his,” David said.David talked about Edwards’ testimony.“No remorse, no compassion, no empathy,” David said. “That was damage control what you saw up there.”The state wants the jury to find Edwards guilty of first degree kidnapping, taking indecent liberties with a child (two counts), assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted murder.Closing arguments finished up around 12:30 p.m. and then the judge read instructions to the jury. Jury deliberations began this afternoon.It took nearly three hours for the jury to reach a verdict. The jury is responsible for Edwards’ sentencing as well, that will be decided tomorrow morning.last_img read more

SATURDAY Paint with a Hero Day

first_img00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not foundhttps://cdn.field59.com/WWAY/1506638286-270603a437b7c62d04bb84d3cc8d23442db2edef_fl9-720p.mp4 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Kids can hang out with local police officer, firefighters, and service members while creating a masterpiece this weekend for free!This Saturday, Painting with a Twist on Oleander Drive is hosting “Paint with a Hero Day”!- Advertisement – Owner Samantha Miller says it is a chance for kids to get to know the men and women in town who are true heroes.“It’s a way to get the first responders and service members kind of connected with the kids in the community,” Miller said, “and a way to honor them and give the kids who haven’t been able to paint with us yet an opportunity to come check out the studio.”The community outreach event is free for kids 12 and under.  Miller says in less than three years, the Painting with a Twist Wilmington studio has donated over $10,000 to our local Wilmington community through fundraisers, donations and sponsorships and are beginning quarterly outreach events to help enrich the community and cultivate deeper relationships.  This is their first major outreach event of the mission.Part of the parking lot will be blocked off for a fire truck and food truck and there will also be a “Hero Photo Booth” where kids can take pictures with the heroes.Event Details:September 30th, 2-5pmPainting with a Twist, 5732 Oleander Drive, Unit Blast_img read more

Audit Community colleges should limit paid holidays

first_imgBy GARY D. ROBERTSON, Associated PressRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Lots of North Carolina community college employees will be having fewer “happy holidays,” or at least paid ones.- Advertisement – A state audit released Thursday found more than half of the state’s 58 community colleges give their workers more paid holidays than the 12 that state and county employees receive.State Auditor Beth Wood’s office uncovered the disparity while investigating a complaint to her hotline about one campus where employees received nearly double that number. That difference at Central Carolina Community College equaled hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries that other public employees could receive only through accumulated leave, the audit’s investigative report said.Wood’s staff said the inconsistency occurred because the State Board of Community Colleges hasn’t adopted a policy addressing the issue, leaving it to local community college boards to decide.Related Article: Teachers shot ‘execution-style’ with pellets during shooting drillState community college leaders say they will approve a rule requiring campuses to meet that standard and work to enforce it.“Even though community colleges are managed by local boards of trustees, most employees’ salaries are paid with state funds, and as such, community colleges should conform with certain expectations and norms,” state board Chairman Scott Shook and system Acting President Jennifer Haygood wrote in a letter attached to the audit. “It is not good policy for community colleges to offer more paid holidays than the state government standard.”Central Carolina, which operates campuses in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties, gave workers 23 paid holidays during the last fiscal year, resulting in $862,424 in pay for the 11 extra days for which employees did not take paid leave, according to the audit. The additional days off included the day before Thanksgiving, on Election Day and several days in and around Christmas when students were on break.The local board approved the expanded vacation as an employee benefit and recruiting tool, the audit said. The value of the additional holidays would equate to a 4.2 percent pay raise for employees when no additional money for salary increases were available, Central Carolina board chairman Julian Philpott Jr. wrote in the campus’ response.Philpott said the college didn’t violate any rules or laws because no guidance has existed on days off.Central Carolina’s policy led auditors to ask the other community college campuses about their holiday policies and the number of holidays. In all, 31 colleges appear to have provided employees more than 12 paid holidays during the past fiscal year, the report said. The trustee board at Central Carolina, which had the most paid holidays, changed its policy last year to 12 days.The North Carolina public schools and University of North Carolina system direct its employees to receive 12 paid holidays, just like other rank-and-file state workers under the law. When UNC system schools are closed, employees must use paid leave or other accrued time to be off at that time, the report said.Auditors said the issue of paid holidays on local campuses surfaced in 2003 and again in 2014, but the state board or community college system office didn’t provide guidance or clarification on expectations.last_img read more

CFPUA forms new department to focus on emerging contaminants

first_img “This department will allow CFPUA to incorporate internal and external expertise into the organization’s policy-making process,” CFPUA Executive Director Jim Flechtner said in a statement. “Creating meaningful partnerships with local stakeholders will be the most effective way to address the environmental challenges facing our area.”The new department will work with existing CFPUA environmental programs and work with local government, environmental groups and members of the community to create new programs. The main goal of the department will be to monitor the issue of emerging contaminants, CFPUA said.CFPUA promoted Lindsey Hallock to head up the new department. CFPUA says Hallock has a Master’s degree in Agrarian and Environmental Studies from the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands. She has five years of experience researching and developing public policy in the governmental, academic and non-profit sectors. Prior to being selected for this position, Hallock worked in administration at CFPUA where she has been involved with programs related to water quality and unregulated contaminants.Related Article: Several sanitary sewer overflows reported along Burnt Mill CreekHallock started at CFPUA in March of last year as an environmental data analyst. Less than a month later she was transferred to executive administrator. Then in June she was reclassified to executive administrator/assistant communications officer, though she’s been listed on the CFPUA website as “Assistant to the Executive Director.” Her promotion to the new position pays Hallock $85,000 a year. She had been making $55,146 in her previous post after starting at $52,000 last spring. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has created a new department to focus on emerging contaminants.According to a news release, the move to create the Public and Environmental Policy Department comes in light of the discovery of contaminants like GenX in the Cape Fear River.- Advertisement – last_img read more

North Carolina legislature back to work on Florence relief

first_imgBy GARY D. ROBERTSONAssociated PressRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina legislature is back at work barely two weeks after Hurricane Florence left the state to address challenges for public schools and voters and to set aside matching money to tap into federal recovery dollars.- Advertisement – The General Assembly convened a special session Tuesday called by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to address initial Florence relief. The GOP-controlled legislature has offered bills expected to receive overwhelming bipartisan support from colleagues and Cooper.One bill eases calendar rules for school districts closed for days or weeks because of damage or stubborn flooding and ensures district employees get paid even when school doors are shuttered.Another bill would put $50 million in a special Florence disaster fund and extend the deadline for traditional voter registration by three days to Oct. 15.Related Article: Hurricane Florence could produce extreme flooding to North Carolina(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

Instagram Deletes Millions Of Accounts

first_imgAdvertisement The crackdown on spammers and fake accounts promised last week  by Instagram has started.As Instagram removes accounts, users have watched their follower numbers plummet.One account reported losing over 100,000 followers in a matter of days. Thousands of users have been flooding the official Instagram account’s comments section to voice their fear and anger. – Advertisement – A mass campaign to unfollow the official Instagram account has ensued.“Everyone, if we all work together Instagram could have no followers, get what I’m saying?” wrote user coloured.pixels.Instagram’s community guidelines are clear: Photos posted on a user’s Instagram account must have been taken by that user. Moreover, Instagram clearly states: “Don’t share photos or videos that aren’t yours. This includes other people’s posts, and/or things that you have copied or collected from the Internet. Accounts that solely consist of only this type of content may be disabled at any time.”However, some of the most popular accounts on the service share solely meme-based or fan-focused content, even accounts with millions of followers could themselves be in jeopardy.Source: Business Insiderlast_img read more

Google to launch secondgeneration Chromecast with improved WiFi and Spotify

first_imgAdvertisement Information coming in indicates that Google is in the process of preparing to  launch the second-generation Chromecast later this month.The chromecast will be offering improved hardware and new features including Wi-Fi ac connectivity, which will be an upgrade from the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n on offer with the first-gen model.The media streamer will allegedly come with a “feeds” option through which you can select content or image feeds that will show up on the home screen and a Fast Play mode, which allows the Chromecast to establish a connection and play content from connected devices faster than before. – Advertisement – Spotify is also expected to announce Chromecast support during the unveil.Sofar, Itis not clear as to how the Chromecast will connect to your TV or monitor.Via: Android Centrallast_img read more