first_imgA disabled campaigner has sent an 80-page dossier of evidence to the new first minister of Wales in a last-ditch bid to persuade him to abandon plans to close the Welsh government’s independent living grant scheme.Nathan Lee Davies has written to Mark Drakeford with just two months left until the planned closure of the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG), which was itself set up as an interim scheme following the UK government’s decision to close the Independent Living Fund in June 2015.Davies, who has led the Save WILG Campaign, told Drakeford in an open letter this week that closing WILG would leave disabled people with high support needs “at the mercy of cash-strapped Local Authorities who seem intent on cutting vital support packages across the board with no guarantee that further cuts will not follow”.He said that local authorities “seem to be treating disabled people as a burden”.Davies points out in the letter that Drakeford had promised – during his successful campaign to lead the Welsh Labour party last year – that if an independent evaluation of the WILG closure showed the new system “not working as well as the old one” then he would be “prepared to reverse it”.WILG was set up by the Welsh government – with UK government funding – as a short-term measure to support former ILF recipients when the fund was closed in June 2015.But the Welsh government is now closing WILG and transferring the funding to local councils, and by April the 22 local authorities will be solely responsible for meeting the support needs of all former ILF-recipients in Wales.Davies said the “deep dive review” of cases in which WILG recipients were having their support cut was “full of errors” and had failed to consult the disabled people who will be affected.He pointed to his own experience at the hands of his local authority, Wrexham council, which he said had treated him “abysmally”.Davies, who has a life-limiting condition, said that the process to reassess his support needs, due to end in September 2018, had still not been completed and was having “a negative impact” on both his physical and mental health.He described how his social worker had laughed when he suggested he needed 24-hour support and told him that no-one in the borough received that level of support.He said that the lack of overnight support in his current social care package meant he had to stop drinking at 8pm at night and get ready for bed at 10pm, and often had to call his 68-year-old father to assist him in the night, even though he lives a 10-minute drive away and has arthritis in both hands.The dossier, which has already been shared with the deputy health and social services minister Julie Morgan, includes a description of a day in his life, from last January, showing the poor level of support he already receives – even before the closure of WILG – and the pain and indignity this exposes him to, as well as the lack of choice and control in his life.Davies says: “It is 2018 and I am still being treated like a second class citizen. “I have a progressive condition of the nervous system which is accelerating at quite a rate, yet I still have the same amount of inadequate care and support hours that I did in 2010 when I first began independent living.”He updated this by posting a new blog yesterday, showing that little had changed in the last year.In the dossier, he warns the Welsh Labour party: “I do not want to spend the last days of my life completely unnecessarily fighting against the party I have defended and campaigned for across many years.“But I will if I have to. Please don’t make me.”The dossier also includes a letter from a director of Disability Wales, Trevor Palmer, in which he says the planned WILG closure has “created serious disruptions” to his life, with local authority “incompetence and lack of understanding” that has led to his support package being “substantially” reduced. A Welsh government spokesperson said: “We believe that disabled people’s ability to live independently should not be compromised by any changes to the way in which support is arranged for those people who previously received payments from the WILG.“The first minister has just received Mr Davies’ open letter regarding the WILG and will carefully consider the detailed points it makes.“He has asked the deputy minister for health and social services to consider what further action may be necessary to ensure disabled people in receipt of the WILG are not adversely affected by this change.  “The deputy minister has provided Mr Davies and the National Assembly’s petitions committee with details of the deep dive review.“She also met Mr Davies at his home to hear his concerns and discuss the issues raised in his dossier.”He said the deep dive review had seen the 22 Welsh local authorities audit all cases where they intended to cut the WILG element of people’s support.This found planned reductions in about 157 cases, and increases in support in a similar number, out of 1,174 people.He claimed that the cuts had taken place because “some people had developed a need for healthcare rather than social care while some, due to their support being provided in a different way or being of a different type, had a reduced need for care overall”.He accepted that two questionnaires, commissioned from the All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers of People with Learning Disabilities, had had a low response rate, but he said that responses to it “have been positive about the way assessments have been undertaken and the outcomes people have received”.Charlotte Walton, Wrexham council’s head of adult social care, said: “We cannot comment on any individual’s care and support needs. “However we do not accept the allegations being made. “We have carried out all of the WILG reviews in a person centred and inclusive manner and working with the individual recipients of the fund [has] enabled them to achieve positive outcomes from the reviews.”Davies said he would now push for a meeting with the first minister.He said: “I am not going anywhere and will continue to fight this until justice is served.”Picture: Nathan Lee Davies with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn 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

first_imgYou can still reserve your tickets online here up until 5pm today while stocks last. There are mostly just single seats remaining in most blocks with some additional tickets still remaining in unallocated Bronze blocks.There will be limited cash turnstiles on the evening on a first-come first served basis in the Totally Wicked North Stand blocks NH and NI – tickets in these blocks will not be available from the Ticket Office.Any remaining tickets from other areas including South block SB, will be available at the Ticket Office while stocks last. We cannot guarantee there will be any tickets remaining before kick-off so we advise fans to secure theirs before gates open at 6pm.Those fans who have purchased their match tickets already and not yet collected them are advised to arrive early to avoid potential queues at the ticket collection point. Please note all PRE-BOUGHT match tickets can be collected from the Ticket Collection point only, which is located next to the ticket office.Please also be advised that the ticket office is only for purchases made on the evening and for collection of any 2019 Membership cards.The game will kick off at 7:45pm with gates open from 6pm.last_img read more

first_imgNAVASSA, NC (WWAY) — The assistant fire chief at the Navassa Volunteer Fire Department was caught driving with a revoked license in a vehicle he should not have been driving, according to the Navassa Police Department.On Saturday, a Navassa police officer pulled over Derrick Ballard, 46, around 10:00 p.m. on Old Mill Road.- Advertisement – Police say Ballard had a paper license that requires him to only drive a 2004 GMC with an ignition interlock device. According to the arrest report, Ballard was driving a 1993 Nissan truck that did not have an ignition interlock device.Ballard’s license was revoked after getting convicted of DWI.According to NC law, ignition interlock devices are usually required when a person had an alcohol concentration of .15 or higher, or if the person has previously been  convicted of impaired driving within seven years.Ballard is charged with driving with a revoked license.He is out of jail on a $500 bond.Navassa Fire Chief Donny Williams says Ballard has administrative duties and has not driven a vehicle that belongs to the fire department in around a year.last_img read more

first_img (Photo: WTKR) Padgett is accused of kidnapping, resisting arrest and probation violation, among other related charges.Captain Patrick Jacobs, who helped bring the suspect into custody after a more than 20-hour standoff.Deputies got a call at around 3:15 a.m. Monday.Related Article: Man accused of hitting Columbus County deputy, trying to grab gun during struggleThey said someone from Enviva Pellet Plant reported that a man possibly armed with a gun kidnapped a tractor trailer driver and forced him to drive from New Hanover County.The trip takes more than two hours.After authorities arrived on scene, they said they negotiated with Padgett for hours:“After about 3 hours of standoff officers were able to deploy OC pepper spray in cab of the truck. Approximately 30 seconds later Kylen Padgett Jr. exited the cab of the truck through the driver side window with his hands held high appearing to give up to law enforcement. At that point Kylen Padgett Jr. turned his attention to escaping from law enforcement and climbed through the rafters of the building never setting feet on the ground. Throughout the day officers were able to hear and see Kylen Padgett Jr. within the rafters and steel beams of the building interior roof but were unable to negotiate with Padgett and unable to reach his position as he was wedged in between the building exterior wall and steel beams.” – Northampton Sheriff’s Office.“He just climbed up in the ceiling area. He just climbed up, never even touching the ground. Negotiators tried to get him down,” said Captain Patrick Jacobs of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office.Captain Jacobs said he and other law enforcement officials even got onto a construction machine lift at the plant in their attempts to reach the suspect.“No matter how much we negotiated with him to come down, he would never respond to our commands. He would never even say a word to us,” said Captain Jacobs.He said Padgett was allegedly on the move in the building. 1 of 4 (Photo: WTKR) “We saw him a couple times, but he was in areas in between the walls and the steel beams,” said Jacobs.“Officers cut holes in the building deploying more OC Pepper Spray in an attempt to get Padgett to surrender to law enforcement. With no success officers then cut larger holes to use cameras and visually inspect the area Padgett was last seen wedged in wall of building. Law enforcement was no longer able to see Padgett upon late afternoon as he continued to evade capture. Late afternoon at approximately 4:00 pm Padgett was located within the building walls but he was able to successfully evade capture after a brief negotiation with law enforcement and refusing to comply with commands.Law enforcement stayed on scene as darkness fell and at approximately 11:30 pm law enforcement was able to cut additional holes in the opposite west side of the building where more negotiations were used with Padgett. Law enforcement on scene were eventually able to apprehend Padgett as he gave up from exhaustion. Medical care was provided to Padgett by EMS and later Padgett was transported to the Northampton Co. Jail where he was processed and served outstanding warrants. He was placed in Northampton Co. Jail under a $326,000 secured bond.Northampton Co. Sheriff Jack Smith stated that he is relieved that Kylen Padgett Jr. was apprehended with no officers from all responding agencies being hurt. I would like to thank Gaston Police Dept., Garysburg Police Dept, Roanoke Rapids Police Dept, NC Highway Patrol, Gaston Fire Dept., EMS Personnel, Enviva Pellet Plant employees, Halifax Co. Sheriff’s Office, the NC State Bureau of Investigations, New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office, and Northampton Co. Sheriff’s Office deputies for their assistance and everyone working as a collective team to get the job done.” – Northampton Sheriff’s Office.“It was a long and exhausting day,” Jacobs said.He praised the surrounding agencies that helped in their efforts.Luckily, no one was hurt.Padgett was served outstanding warrants for three counts of probation violation and one count of kidnapping, all out of New Hanover County.An additional warrant was served for resisting, delaying and obstructing arrest. He is currently being held in the Northampton County Jail on a $326,000 secured bond.He is due in court on April 16.According to the state Department of Public Safety, Padgett’s previous charges date back 15 years and include offenses like larceny, drug use, receiving stolen goods and possession of stolen goods.His troubles with the law landed Padgett a spot on reality crime show.An episode of “I (Almost) Got Away With It ,” which airs on the Discovery Channel, featured a 2007 crime spree by Padgett in Wilmington and New Hanover County.center_img Kylen Padgett, Jr. and scene photo (Photo: WTKR/Northampton County Sheriff’s Office) Kylen Padgett, Jr. and scene photo (Photo: WTKR/Northampton County Sheriff’s Office) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WTKR) — A Wilmington man is accused of hiding in the walls of a building for hours while trying to escape law enforcement, according to the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office.Sheriff’s officials also said Kylen Padgett, Jr. allegedly forced a tractor trailer driver to drive him two hours.- Advertisement – (Photo: WTKR)last_img read more

first_imgBURGAW, NC (WWAY) — The state baseball playoffs began this evening and the Topsail High School team did not suit up. Instead, parents and players spoke at the Pender County School Board meeting voicing their concerns and searching for answers.“We know what devastating consequences have been bestowed on our players and the Topsail baseball team,” one Topsail parent said. “But the important question that we need to ask now: what will the consequences be for the administrators that caused this?”- Advertisement – Parents and members of the Topsail baseball team spoke from the heart to the Pender County School Board, questioning the steps taken by Topsail High administration that left the team ineligible for the playoffs.“Losing my teammate that was in question crushed all of us,” one Pirate Baseball player said. “Not only was he taken from us, which left our hearts broken, but our dreams of winning states was ripped right out of our hands.”Pender County Schools told WWAY the investigation into the team and the ineligible player began May 2, the day before the final game of the season.Related Article: South Columbus, Hoggard top 5th Quarter preseason pollsBut parents believe administrators knew about the ineligibility far before and failed to announce it until the end.The school board is launching its heir own investigation into how the situation was handled, so the parents can get the closure they say they need.“The administrators that failed to do their job need to be held accountable for this,” a parent said. “We are looking to you for that.”“I am asking, actually I am begging, that you don’t let this happen to any more children. It’s wrong.”last_img read more

first_imgBetty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Photo: WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover Regional Medical Center Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital will remain open during Hurricane Florence for patients who must be there.According to a news release, because of the severity of the storm, the physicians of the OB/GYN Department are recommending pregnant woman who have the means to leave evacuate the area – particularly pregnant women at 37 weeks and above.- Advertisement – It will be difficult to travel to the hospital during the height of the storm, and emergency services may not be able to reach you if roads are blocked by flooding or downed trees. NHRMC EMS ceases operations when sustained wind speeds exceed 50 mph.Patients are encouraged to contact their primary OB office today to get a copy of their records prior to evacuating.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -– Award-winning and history-making chef Keith Rhodes stopped by WWAY to cook up some shrimp and grits, all while discussing the popular dish’s history with African American culture and the Carolina coast.last_img

first_imgDepartment of Motor Vehicles (Photo: MGN Online) RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Division of Motor Vehicles is adding 14 new driver license examiner graduates to its ranks as it tries to improve customer service.DMV officials said in a news release that the graduates will join 11 offices starting Monday after graduating Friday.- Advertisement – Officials say they’re hiring more examiners and using express lines to improve customer service. Representatives also help people in line to make sure they have the right documents.DMV announced some of these changes in August, when it faced an outcry over long waits.The new examiners will take applications for learner permits, driver licenses, REAL ID and basic identification cards. They’ll also conduct road tests for new drivers.Related Article: On your mark, get set, shop! Carolina Beach mayor dishes details on PublixThey’ll work in Nags Head, Jacksonville, Wilmington, New Bern, Henderson, Raleigh, Oxford, Fuquay-Varina, Hickory, Aberdeen and Greenville.last_img read more

first_img Hiwet Tesfamariam, sister of Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre reacts after hearing the verdict in the case of an alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified by the court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane Alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, reacts to the verdict in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane Michele Calantropo, the lawyer of alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified by an Italian court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, but who says his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, looks on as he awaits the verdict in the trial in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane SharePrint Alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, awaits his sentence in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane 1 of 5center_img WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Court president Alfredo Montalto delivers the verdict in the case of an alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified by the court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane Alleged people-smuggling kingpin identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, reacts to the verdict in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo MangiapaneAlleged people-smuggling kingpin identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered, who claims his identity has been mistaken and his name is really Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, reacts to the verdict in Palermo, Italy, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane An Italian court ruled on Friday that an Eritrean man extradited from Sudan in 2016 was the victim of mistaken identity and dismissed allegations that he was a ruthless, human-trafficking kingpin.However, judges ruled that the defendant was nonetheless guilty of abetting people smuggling and handed him a 5-year prison term. Because he has already spent three years behind bars, the court said he could be freed.The verdict represents a setback to both Italian and British investigators who worked together to secure the arrest of the man who was identified in court as Medhanie Yehdego Mered — a notorious Eritrean smuggler nicknamed “the General”.Both countries hailed his capture at the time as a rare victory in the battle against human trafficking. But he always insisted he was an impoverished refugee called Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre with no criminal background.“The court has accepted our position. He is not the General,” Medhanie’s lawyer Michele Calantropo told reporters outside the Sicilian court where the verdict was handed down.He said his defendant would appeal against the guilty verdict for the lesser offence and wanted to stay in Italy.“Today we have applied for asylum for him,” Calantropo said.Some of Mered’s alleged victims had testified in court that they did not recognise the arrested man, while relatives of the alleged smuggling mastermind also said it was a case of mistaken identity.However, Italian prosecutors Calogero Ferrara and Claudio Camilleri insisted during proceedings, spaced out over three years, that the right man had been caught, thanks partly to the help of Britain’s National Crime Agency.At the time of Medhanie’s arrest some 360,000 migrants had crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Italy in just two years, with many hundreds drowning while trying to reach Europe.The number of migrant crossings has since risen above 600,000, but the flows have slowed dramatically over the past two years as successive governments in Rome have cracked down on people smuggling.last_img read more

first_imgAdvertisement Novartis and Malaria No More, a leading global charity determined to end malaria deaths, announced today that they are joining forces on the Power of One campaign to help close the treatment gap and accelerate progress in the fight against malaria. Over the next three years, Novartis will support the campaign financially and also donate up to three million full courses of its pediatric antimalarial drug to match the treatments donated by the public, doubling the impact of these donations.“We believe that this innovative campaign will help speed malaria elimination,” said Joseph Jimenez, Novartis Chief Executive Officer. “Novartis has been striving towards this goal for more than a decade, and we just reached the milestone of providing 600 million treatments without profit to patients in malaria-endemic countries. No one should die from malaria today.”Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, yet a child dies from malaria every minute. This is against a backdrop of global funding gaps and concern that the gains made to defeat the disease could be reversed. The Power of One campaign aims to address this need by closing the global treatment gap between now and the end of 2015 through direct donations and existing government commitments. – Advertisement – “The Power of One campaign challenges the global public to help close the global treatment gap for malaria; Every dollar raised will buy and deliver a full course of life-saving child treatment,” said Martin Edlund, CEO of Malaria No More. “We are delighted to be partnering with forward-thinking companies like Novartis to help end deaths from this disease—one dollar and one child at a time.”Novartis has joined the Power of One campaign with some of the world’s most innovative companies, including Alere who will be providing malaria rapid diagnostic tests, along with Time Warner, Twitter and others. The campaign will use the latest social, mobile, and e-commerce technologies to rally the global public to contribute to the campaign.“Malaria is a complex issue and needs a multi-pronged collaborative approach. We can’t solve a problem like this on our own,” said Linus Igwemezie, Head of the Novartis Malaria Initiative. “Through partnerships, with organizations like Malaria No More, we can speed up progress toward the ultimate goal of malaria elimination.”Power of One will officially launch in the fall. Until then and to mark the announcement of this campaign, the first 10,000 people to sign up and register their interest on the Power of One website at will help provide a treatment to a child with a confirmed case of malaria in Africa.Novartis reaches 600 million treatment deliveriesPower of One builds on the Novartis Malaria Initiative’s efforts to eliminate malaria. Since 2001, a key focus of the company’s commitment has been to supply its artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) to malaria-endemic countries. Novartis is proud to announce today that it has delivered 600 million ACT treatments without profit to the public sector of more than 60 malaria-endemic countries. This includes the provision of more than 150 million treatments of the Novartis antimalarial especially developed for children. Never before have so many treatments been distributed in such a short time frame to assist children suffering from malaria.The Novartis Malaria Initiative is one of the largest access-to-medicine programs in the healthcare industry. Moving forward, Novartis is committed to malaria elimination by driving the development of the next generation antimalarials, with currently two new classes of anti-malaria drugs in development. The most advanced compound is in Phase II clinical trials.last_img read more