Ministers are considering plans to slash benefit payments to hundreds of thousands of disabled people, by scrapping a key part of the main out-of-work disability benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA), according to the BBC.The BBC reports that a leaked Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) document describes ESA as a “passive” benefit which does not “incentivise” people to find a job, and suggests abolishing the ESA work-related activity group (WRAG).This would mean that ESA claimants expected to move eventually into work – but not yet “fit for work” – would see their weekly payments fall from £102.15 to £73.10, the same amount as those claiming jobseeker’s allowance (JSA).The BBC report – published just days before the budget – provoked anger among disabled campaigners and disability organisations, although it is similar to a report by the same BBC reporter last October, in which he said he had seen leaked documents which showed ministers were considering cutting payments for those in the WRAG to just 50p more per week than JSA claimants.Disabled activist and blogger David Gillon, who tweets at @WTBDavidG, described the latest leaked plans as “clueless”.Another disabled activist and blogger, Steve Sumpter, who tweets at @latentexistence, said: “Losing ESA and going on JSA means more conditions attached, more chance of sanctions when sick people can’t comply.”Catherine Hale, tweeting at @octoberpoppy, said: “How is impoverishing disabled people and increasing #ESA sanctions a good way to Run the Country?”And Kate Green, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people, said on Twitter that the report was “more alarming news for disabled people”.The mental health charity Mind said such a move would “cause significant additional pain for vulnerable people, with very limited gain”.Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “It is insulting to suggest that people supported by ESA because they are living with illness or disability would be more likely to return to work if their benefits were cut.“We know that most people with mental health problems want to work but face significant barriers as a result of the impact of their condition and the stigma and discrimination they often face from employers.”He said the government had failed to provide appropriate support to help people in mental distress back into work, and should focus on improving this help “rather than looking to blame ill and disabled [people] by cutting their financial support”. Mind pointed out that the cut would see people in the WRAG, currently receiving a little over £5,000 a year, having that slashed by more than £1,500.Farmer said the proposed reduced rate of £73 a week was designed for people on a “short-term benefit for people who are between jobs and not affected by illness or disability like those on ESA”.He said: “Almost 60 per cent of people on JSA move off the benefit within six months, while almost 60 per cent of people in the WRAG need this support for over two years.“It would be totally inappropriate and irresponsible to cut support to people in the WRAG in this way and would do nothing to help them move into work.”
A pan-London disabled people’s organisation (DPO) has been given the chance to test “exciting” and “important” approaches to supporting young disabled people into work that reflect the social model of disability, after securing more than £750,000 in funding.Inclusion London has been awarded £775,000 over five years by the City Bridge Trust, which funds charities on behalf of the City of London Corporation, as part of a new £3.3 million Bridge To Work fund set up to support more young disabled people into employment.Inclusion London said the grant will allow it to “test and pilot and evaluate” models of employment support that reflect the ethos and values of DPOs and the social model of disability, in contrast with the unsuccessful approaches of large government contractors that have previously secured funding through the Work Programme and Work Choice.Tracey Lazard, chief executive of Inclusion London, said there was frustration that DPOs had not previously been funded for such work.She said: “You have a whole set of practices around mainstream employment support that just aren’t working and all the evidence shows that the success rates are so tiny… whichever way you look at it, the current approaches are not delivering.”She pointed to the “perverse incentives” for employment support providers not to work with disabled people perceived as being harder to find jobs, and the “non-social model understanding about what the barriers in the workplace really are”.She added: “That’s what was really frustrating in the government’s [work, health and disability] green paper, apart from all the really devious stuff, was just that it’s kind of going to be business as usual in terms of delivery models but with a lot less money, and that’s just not going to work.“It’s shocking but it’s not surprising.”She said DPOs had been excluded from the big government employment support contracts, although most of them would not want to bid for such contracts anyway because of the “whole range of mandatory and devious practices” they impose on out-of-work benefit claimants, such as the use of sanctioning disabled people’s benefits.Lazard said: “It is pretty shocking that there’s not any evidence of any real commitment to look again at models of employment support, because they are not working.“So this is an opportunity and City Bridge Trust are a great funder and they understand that this is strategic, long term structural work which is why I think there is five years of funding.”Inclusion London will work closely with Action on Disability (AoD), a user-led organisation based in Hammersmith and Fulham, and plans to develop some of the “innovative” work AoD has been doing to support disabled people into work.One of the models they will be developing is an AoD internship scheme, which has worked with people with learning difficulties who were previously “trapped in the revolving door of classroom based support” and has seen as many as 70 per cent of those taking part securing jobs.The aim is to identify job vacancies that a large employer is finding difficult to fill, find a young disabled person from a local college to fill those positions, and then provide “really quite high levels of ‘in situ’ job support”, using college and Access to Work funding.Action on Disability has been focusing its work on young people with learning difficulties, so one of Inclusion London’s aims is to expand that to other groups.Inclusion London will now aim to recruit five other London DPOs to work with this and other employment support models, providing those user-led organisations with the support they need to build their own capacity.Another support model will be to target small and medium-sized employers along a local high street, again providing high levels of support when the young person is in post.Inclusion London will also be trialling different ways that young disabled people can approach job-seeking, including direct approaches to a potential employer, even targeting the chief executive.There is also funding through the grant to train other DPOs in skills and approaches and tips that they can pass on to their members and service-users, and to work with public sector employers such as the NHS to open up their job opportunities to young disabled people.Through the five years, Inclusion London hopes to build evidence of what approaches work and share those conclusions with other organisations and the government.The Bridge To Work programme aims to use learning from the projects it is funding – including Inclusion London’s – to “better inform government and other funders” in how to support more disabled people into work.Other disability organisations awarded grants from the fund are Action for Kids (£250,000), the National Autistic Society (£199,000), Muscular Dystrophy UK (£276,000), Mencap (£350,000) and Whizz-Kidz (£384,000).In addition to the funding for the six organisations, there is a separate pot of more than £500,000 to support paid work experience and internships for young disabled Londoners in charities and the private sector, focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises.Jack McLellan (pictured), who has benefited from Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Moving Up programme, which has previously received funding from the trust and will now see that support continued for another five years, said: “I was so disheartened when I first tried to find work after university that I needed a real boost to my confidence and skills to get on the right track.“The Moving Up programme helped me gain experience, try out new roles and get that crucial break of a first job.“I hope this new support means lots more young people are given the same chance to show their worth.”Alison Gowman, who chairs the City Bridge Trust committee, said: “We are certain this new programme will really transform lives of young disabled people.“The charities we are funding will give employers the support, skills and resources they need to increase opportunities for disabled people.“The programme has a wider mission and is looking to influence policy in this area and make real long-term change for the disabled community.”
Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of ParliamentLabourList readers favour another referendum over other Brexit options in an ‘indicative votes’ scenario, our latest survey has found.Asked which route they would choose if they were a Labour MP who could participate in the likely upcoming series of ‘indicative votes’ in the Commons, 52% of 4,700 respondents opted for another referendum.Almost 42% chose Labour’s Brexit plan, involving customs union membership, while nearly 18% opted for the cross-party compromise Common Market 2.0, which would require single market membership.Just 4.8% would vote for ‘Theresa May’s deal with added protections for workers’ rights and environmental standards’, which Labour MPs including Gareth Snell and Lisa Nandy have in the past suggested they could have agreed to.The overwhelming majority of LabourList readers who took the survey said they thought John Bercow was a good Speaker of the House of Commons.Last year, Bercow faced calls to quit after a report found that there was a culture of “silence” around bullying in parliament and claims surfaced of the Speaker himself bullying staff members.But many Labour MPs defended Speaker Bercow, who denied the allegations, and grandee Margaret Beckett said it would be a mistake to replace him as dealing with Brexit “trumps bad behaviour”.It would seem our readers agree: 91% (4,328 respondents) said he was a ‘good Speaker’ and just 5.4% said he wasn’t. Bercow has recently been at loggerheads with the government over Brexit, and particularly clashed with Commons leader Andrea Leadsom.Offering an idea of the political persuasions of LabourList readers, the survey found that almost 30% of 4,654 respondents were supporters or members of the Corbynite group Momentum.Excluding those respondents who didn’t choose any groups, 60.5% selected Momentum.The left-wing Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) came next, supported by nearly 8%, followed closely by the Corbynsceptic organisation Labour First, which had the support of nearly 7%.The most factional groups – Momentum, CLPD, Labour First, CfS, Progress – were generally found to garner more support than policy-focussed lobby groups such as Labour Future and Blue Labour.1. This week, Labour moved to replace ex-Labour MPs Mike Gapes and Ian Austin from a select committee. Was this “vindictive”, as Austin claimed, or fair?Click to enlarge.Fair – 70.5% (3,346)Vindictive – 19.2% (910)Don’t know – 10.3% (491)2. Is John Bercow a good Speaker?Click to enlarge.Yes – 91.1% (4,328)No – 5.4% (257)Don’t know – 3.5% (165)3. Some MPs are calling for ‘indicative votes’, which would allow them to express their views on various Brexit options without being whipped. If you were a Labour MP and could vote on the following options, which would you vote for?Click to enlarge.Another referendum – 2,447Labour’s Brexit plan – 1,972Common Market 2.0 – 837Theresa May’s deal with added protections for workers’ rights and environmental standards – 230Don’t know – 1764. Which of these groups are you a member or supporter?Click to enlarge.Momentum – 29.1% (1,354)Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) – 7.9% (368)Labour First – 7% (329)Campaign for Socialism – 5.4% (258)Progress – 5.3% (250)Open Labour – 5.1% (240)Labour Representation Committee – 4% (190)Labour Together – 3.3% (156)Labour Future – 2.6% (124)Welsh Labour Grassroots – 1.9% (91)Blue Labour – 1.1% (52)The survey was open from 9am on Friday 22nd March until 8pm on Sunday 24th March. Thank you to all 4,782 readers who took part.Tags:Ian Austin /Weekly Survey /Mike Gapes /Brexit /Indicative votes /Speaker Bercow /
Email Address Kihagi has subsequently suffered a series of setbacks in court — including the largest payout in state history regarding a single housing unit. A conga line of former tenants, including Schreiber and Austin, have filed suit. And now, Mission Local has learned, the court-appointed receiver overseeing three of her properties has attempted to dislodge Mwangi from 195 Eureka Street. “During our inspection, we discovered that Julie (sic) Mwangi … was occupying unit 4,” receiver Kevin Singer wrote in his June report to Superior Court Judge Lynn O’Malley-Taylor. Evidently, she has belatedly moved in. “We requested Mwangi provide us a copy of her lease so we could confirm the validity of her tenancy. Mwangi did not provide us a lease but Mwangi did say she was paying $1,600 a month in rent.”Singer subsequently wrote to Kihagi requesting a copy of the lease. An answer was not immediately forthcoming and, Mission Local has learned, he subsequently hit Mwangi with a three-day eviction notice. It was, obviously, not honored.A 2015 protest against Anne Kihagi. Photo by Allen Timon via OnpublicaLast week, Kihagi belatedly answered Singer’s many missives, purportedly claiming Mwangi is not a tenant but an owner of the property, and thereby cannot be charged rent. And yet, land-use experts tell Mission Local, this maneuver may well have played into Singer’s hands. If Mwangi is not a tenant, she does not have tenancy rights. And, per the court documents appointing him receiver, Singer has the authority to “exclude and evict” the Kihagi-controlled LLC, “the defendant,” from the property, as well as “anyone claiming under or through the defendant therefrom who are not under valid lease or rental agreement.” In plain English, Singer is arguably empowered to eject the ownership from this property, and Mwangi has apparently just copped to being an owner. Should Singer move ahead with a motion for ejectment, a judge could, somewhat karmically, order Kihagi’s family out of the building they unlawfully pushed longtime tenants Schreiber and Austin out of. Reached for comment, Schreiber described this as an “evicting the evictors” moment, and said “Our legal system is not perfect. But, eventually, people who destroy other people’s lives and toss them out of a rent-controlled apartment after 20 years — eventually she’ll have her comeuppance. This is justice. This is great.”ADVERTISEMENT – Below Market Rate (BMR) Rental Apartments Available150 Van Ness Apartments at 150 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco CA 941023-Studios at $1140.00 a month; 27-1 Beds @ $1303.00 a month; 18-2 Beds at $1465.00 and 2-3 Beds at $1628.00 month.21 stacker parking spaces (size restrictions apply) available to BMR renters for an additional $100 a month and will be offered to households in lottery rank order. Must be income eligible and must not own a home. Households must earn no more than the maximum income levels below:55% of Area Median IncomeOne person – $45,600; 2 persons – $52,100; 3 persons – $58,600; 4 persons – $65,100; 5 persons- $70,300, 6 persons-$75,550, 7 persons-$80,750.00Applications must be received by 5pm on August 24, 2018. Postmarks will not be considered. Apply online through DAHLIA, the SF Housing Portal at https://housing.sfgov.org or mail in a paper application with a self-addressed stamped envelope to 150 VAN NESS BMR, P.O. Box 420847, San Francisco, CA 94142. Paper applications can be downloaded from https://housing.sfgov.org or picked up from one of the housing counseling agencies listed at https://housing.sfgov.org/housing-counselors. Please contact the 150 VAN NESS leasing team for more information at (916) 686-4126or email@example.com.Units available through the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and are subject to monitoring and other restrictions. Visit www.sfmohcd.org for program information. END ADVERTISEMENT Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Turnabout, they say, is fair play. Anne Kihagi is getting a taste of this. Kihagi, who beat out serious competition to earn a reputation as this city’s cruelest landlord, exhibited an impressive array of methods to harass and cajole long-term tenants out of her many San Francisco properties. Among the most devastating, however, was the deployment of her large family into properties to execute owner- and relative-move-in evictions — a number of which were determined to be unlawful. To wit, in 2015 Kihagi executed an owner-move-in at her property on 195 Eureka St. at 19th, dislodging longtime tenants Ray Schreiber and Jamie Austin so her sister, Julia Mwangi, could take the married couple’s unit. A judge later ruled this owner-move-in eviction to be fraudulent — for a plethora of reasons. Among them, Mwangi was discovered to be living in Fremont, not at the Eureka place where the tenants had been forced to leave. And, she even accepted a yearlong residency program in Portland during the timeframe when she was supposed to be residing on Eureka Street.
TOM Houghton is the proud winner of a Season Ticket For Life thanks to a unique competition between Saints and Wish FM.The 20-year-old was pulled out of the hat by double Man of Steel and Club legend Paul Sculthorpe at the radio station recently.He won a Saints Season Ticket for the rest of his life at the new stadium and a whole host of other prizes including a chance to watch the team train and appear on the 2012 team photo.“My granddad and dad have been massive Saints fans so I was always going to follow them,” he said. “I have been watching the Saints for as long as I can remember and I think my first game was watching Castleford at Knowsley Road.“I loved Knowsley Road as it had a great atmosphere even through the stadium was a bit old. I can’t wait to get into the new stadium! It is looking awesome and watching its progress on www.saintsrlfc.com has been great.”Tom says he used to stand on the Pop Side of our famous old ground and he’s replicated the ‘side on’ view by choosing the North Stand for his season ticket.“I was planning on buying a season ticket through direct debit so this has really worked well for me!” he said. “As a Wish FM listener I heard the competition on the station and thought I would go for it. Then my mum sent me a link to the competition from Wish FM’s website and I thought there’s nothing to lose.“To get the phone call from Chris Milow and Scully was superb. I couldn’t believe it. I was dead excited really and it was fantastic.“I’m so looking forward to being at that first game at the new stadium and being part of the history and feeling the atmosphere.“It will be exciting. We have a lot of players coming in and through the set up. Jonny Lomax is looking quality and Lance Hohaia will be great alongside him. I always knew our Youth Team was one of the best as we are always bringing quality players through.“I’m looking forward to see how Anthony Laffranchi gets on too and how he takes over from James Graham.“It’s really exciting to be a Saints fan at the moment.”You can buy your Season Ticket by clicking here.
SAINTS chairman Eamonn McManus believes the home opener with Leeds Rhinos on Thursday February 9 is a hugely important clash for both clubs.“It’s a big game,” he said at the club’s press day. “You cannot read anything into the fact Leeds had a bad season last year. Too many reasons were given for that and there is only one; half their team was missing for most of the season. A full strength Leeds side is still one of the strongest in Super League.“It is a huge game for us to kick off the season and one that is hugely important for both clubs. A lot is riding on it in terms of the atmosphere it creates in the respective clubs at the beginning of the season.”Saints fell at the semi-final stage of the competition last season and McManus says the squad is better equipped to challenge on all fronts this season.“We were very close to getting to a final and let’s face it we should have been there,” he added. “But that can’t disguise the fact there was a period in the season where a club like St Helens should have been doing better than it was. That said, in the second half of the season, when we got players back, results improved but I think we have a lot to make up for.“We should be having silverware on the table, that is the aim this season and I think we are better equipped to do so. We have recruited well, the younger players are more mature after last season and will be able to handle things better. We will approach the season with great sense of excitement and confidence.“I think the team has a better balance than last season. We want to win and want to win in style. The two isn’t always possible in the big games but we are capable of both so let’s see what the season holds.“We have made a huge effort in improving the team and we have had to as the competition is as strong as ever. There are five or six teams that can win it and no game is going to be straight forward.“We have gone a couple of years without silverware and that is something we really do demand at this club and is what we judge our success or on.”Tickets for the home opener are now on sale from the Ticket Office, online and via 01744 455 052.
Fages has missed the last two games against Catalans and the win over Warrington following a hip injury he picked up in the win over Hull KR back in March, but is included in the 19 man squad ahead of the derby. Jack Ashworth is the man that drops out.St.Helens 19 man squad:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Danny Richardson, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote.Stay tuned to saintsrlfc.com to hear from Justin Holbrook ahead of the derby. Wigan Warriors 19-man squad:Joe Bullock, Joe Burgess, Tom Davies, Morgan Escare, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Joe Greenwood, Chris Hankinson, Zak Hardaker, Willie Isa, Tommy Leuluai, Romain Navarrete, Sean O’Loughlin, Oliver Partington, Dan Sarginson, Jake Shorrocks, Morgan Smithies, Taulima Tautai, George Williams.Tickets are selling fast for the traditional Good Friday Derby vs. the Wigan Warriors. The North Stand, the main away end at the DW Stadium is now sold out with more than 5,500 Saints fans already securing their ticket for the biggest game in Rugby League.We have taken a new allocation of tickets in Block ES1 in the East Stand of the DW Stadium (the block closest to the North Stand.)You can purchase these online here, or by calling into the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium (open until 5pm on weekdays),1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Kevin Naiqama, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Regan Grace, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Danny Richardson, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Luke Thompson, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Joseph Paulo, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Dom Peyroux, 19. Matty Lees, 21. Aaron Smith, 23. Lachlan Coote.Stay tuned to saintsrlfc.com to hear from Justin Holbrook ahead of the derby.
COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Officials confirmed at least one is dead after fiery crash in Columbus County.Acme/Delco/Riegelwood Fire Chief Steve Camlin says the truck driver is in stable condition.- Advertisement – Fire rescue arrived on the scene shortly at 2:30 p.m. and saw two vehicles on fire.Chief Camlin says a truck collided into the car at the intersection of Livingston Chapel Road and Andrew Jackson Highway and dragged the car about 500 feet forward. The truck driver was able to evacuated his truck but was immediately transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.The driver of the other vehicle was pronounced dead on the scene.
The first suspect, Justin Whitaker, was arrested earlier in the day.The armed robbery happened at the CVS at Market Street and Gordon Road.Deputies say three hooded men forced the clerk to open the register. The suspects took cash and drove off, eventually crashing.Related Article: Lawyer: Incapacitated woman who gave birth not in comaOne person is still wanted. Sterling Whitaker and Justin Whitaker (Photo: NHSO) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two of the three suspects accused of robbing a Wilmington CVS early Wednesday morning are now behind bars.Sterling Whitaker is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, safecracking and kidnapping. He was arrested just before 9 p.m. He is in jail under a $300,000 bond.- Advertisement –
David Stuart survived the abuse when he was just a year old, and grew up in the Triangle with his adoptive parents.Beth Schmitt remembers the son her family adopted for his smile and his love of baseball.“His favorite thing was to play Miracle League, play baseball and to be with other people and be with friends and family,” she said.Related Article: Suspect ‘udder’ arrest after herd of cows chases her into custodyDavid’s room at his Durham home is full of trophies and ball caps, mementos of accomplishments a lot of people never expected. In 1997, when David was 14 months old and living in Brusnwick County, prosecutors say his biological mother, Robyn Noffsinger and her boyfriend David Tripp Jr., abused him so badly it caused permanent injuries including severe brain damage.“It was a tremendous amount of head trauma,” said Jon David, Brunswick County’s District Attorney. “His arm was pulled in such a way that he had a spiral fracture of his arm. He was dipped in hot liquids which produced a bad burn,” he continued. Noffsinger and Tripp were convicted of child abuse and prosecutors say they both spent about 10 years in jail.When David was three he was adopted and moved to the Triangle. Schmitt says David couldn’t, walk, talk, or eat on his own, and often had trouble breathing, but he immediately became part of the family even though his prognosis was grim.“At the time the doctors thought he would live to be about six maybe, just because of the brain damage and the extent of that, so every year we just felt very lucky,” said Schmitt.In January he celebrated his 22nd birthday. Sadly, it was his last. Prosecutors say David’s death, in March, resulted from the injuries he suffered as a baby and a grand jury indicted Noffsinger and Tripp for murder.“I tried not to have a lot of anger over the years because I felt like that was just wasted energy,” said Schmitt. “My energy just went in to taking care of him and focusing on what he could do focusing on what he did do.”She says his big smile inspired just about everyone he met.“He touched people and just reminded people everybody’s very lucky. We’re all lucky to be here.”She says she’s so thankful for the 18 years David spent with her family.“I was lucky more than anything. Everyone says he was lucky to have us, but we were so lucky to have him. I don’t know what else I would’ve done with my life other than have him.” BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WNCN/WWAY) — More than 20 years after enduring severe abuse, David Stuart, a young man who lived in the Triangle, died.Tuesday, Brunswick County’s district attorney announced his biological mother Robyn Noffsinger and her then-boyfriend David Tripp Jr. are charged with murder.- Advertisement –
One person shot near Broadway at the Beach on Highway 17 Bypass. (Photo: WPDE) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County man was shot and killed in Myrtle Beach.The shooting happened near 29th Avenue North and the Highway 17 Bypass Wednesday.- Advertisement – When officers arrived, they found 27-year-old Ryan Rasheed Bryant shot.Officers performed CPR until EMS arrived and took him to the hospital.Bryant later died from his injuries.Related Article: At least 2 handguns used in school shooting near ColumbineMyrtle Beach Police are still investigating.
The sign at the Chemours facility near Fayetteville (Photo: WWAY) FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WNCN) — Up to 30 people living near Chemours’ Fayetteville Works facility will have their blood and urine tested for the presence of GenX and other substances, state officials said.The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said it is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Bladen and Cumberland county health departments to test the samples.- Advertisement – The testing will look for 16 other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, officials said.The testing comes after Chemours tested drinking water from wells near its Fayetteville Works facility. That testing was done at the direction of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.Click here to read more.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Several area schools have announced closures ahead of Hurricane Florence.New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender County schools will be closed for students and most staff members from Tuesday until Friday.- Advertisement – Whiteville City Schools will be closed Wednesday through Friday.According to a news release, identified NHCS staff, including Senior Staff, principals, custodians, and some others, will be required to work on Tuesday to secure the schools and make preparations throughout the school system. Supervisors will inform employees if they are identified for work Tuesday.NHCS says Driver’s Ed is canceled from Tuesday until further notice.Related Article: Suicide raises Florence death toll to 41 in North CarolinaPender, Brunswick, and New Hanover County schools say all after school activities are cancelled.Whiteville City Schools says for faculty and staff, Wednesday, will be designated as an optional workday. Schools will be closed to faculty and staff Thursday and Friday.Click here for the latest closing and delays.
– A mother and her 8-month-old were killed when a massive tree crushed their brick house Friday in Wilmington.– A 78-year-old man was electrocuted in the rain while trying to connect extension cords for a generator, Lenoir County, North Carolina spokesman Bryan Hanks says.– Another man’s body was found after he went outside to check on his hunting dogs and was blown down, Hanks says.Related Article: Hurricane Florence leaves US 17 impassable by car-Two people died in Duplin County, North Carolina because of “flash flooding and swift water on roadways,” the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page.-A 61-year-old woman was killed late Friday when the vehicle she was driving struck a tree near the town of Union, South Carolina, Capt. Kelley Hughes of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said.Authorities say the storm did not cause some other deaths that occurred during Florence in North Carolina: a woman who died of undetermined causes in a shelter, a woman who suffered a heart attack at home during the storm, and a couple whose apparent murder-suicide was investigated during hurricane conditions in Otway.(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) By The Associated PressThe death toll attributed to Florence stands at seven Saturday, six in North Carolina and one in South Carolina. Authorities say some other fatalities were unrelated.- Advertisement –
Advertisement Sotheby’s sold an Apple-1 for $374,500 last year. A few months later in Germany, one sold for $640,000.Apple’s stock price may be well down from its peaks last year, but the market for the company’s oldest computers continues to set records.An Apple-1 computer, made in 1976, sold for a record $671,400 on Saturday at an auction in Germany. That surpassed the $640,000 record for an Apple-1, set last November at a sale at the same auction house in Cologne, Germany. The fall 2012 sale was a sharp rise from the previous record price for an Apple-1 of $374,500, set in June 2012 at an auction at Sotheby’s in New York.The high prices paid for the machines seem to be explained by the combination of scarcity, a fascination with the early history of the computer age, and the mystique of Apple and its founders, Steven P. Jobs and Stephen G. Wozniak. And some irrational exuberance in the prices, for a machine that can do very little and originally sold for $666 (about $2,700 in current dollars). – Advertisement – “This really confirms the value of Apple-1’s,” Uwe Breker, the German auctioneer, said in an interview on Saturday.The buyer, Mr. Breker said, was a wealthy entrepreneur from the Far East, who wishes to remain anonymous.Part of the allure of the earliest Apple machines, Mr. Breker said, is not what they are, but what they represent. “It is a superb symbol of the American dream,” he said. “You have two college dropouts from California who pursued an idea and a dream, and that dream becomes one of the most admired, successful and valuable companies in the world.”The anonymous buyer, who can afford to spend more than $670,000 on an old computer, seems to have enjoyed some version of the entrepreneurial dream come true, as well.Source: NY Times
ShareCONTACT: B.J. AlmondPHONE:(713) 348-6770EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.orgORCONTACT: Lisa ShieldsCouncil on Foreign RelationsPHONE: (212) 434-9888THIS SUMMER’SCOMPLACENCY ABOUT ENERGY COULD LEAD TOANOTHER CALIFORNIA-STYLE ENERGYCRISISEnergy Task Force report from Rice University and Council onForeign Relations updates findingsThe easing of energyprices this summer has diverted national attention away from the need for acomprehensive national energy policy — and the consequences of this neglectcould lead to a future energy crisis similar to the one California experiencedthis winter. Thus concludes a new report released today by two of America’sleading energy experts, Edward L. Morse of Hess Trading Company LLC and AmyMyers Jaffe of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of RiceUniversity.Though acknowledgingthat the energy sector is no longer in the critical condition it was in earlierthis year — when the Baker Institute and the Council on Foreign Relationsreleased the report of an Independent Task Force on Energy that Morse and Jaffeheaded — his new report warns that it would be wrong for the public orpolicymakers to assume that the energy crisis has been solved, or that it wasfabricated all along.Without a nationalenergy policy, the new report states, “energy shortages and temporarydislocations can easily reemerge for any one of a number of reasons: from theresumption of accelerated economic growth, to international politicaldevelopments, to the weather, to even an accident.” The report adds, “It wouldbe unwise to assume — barring intervention — that the world has seen its lastCalifornia-style blackout.”Echoing their originalindependent task force report of earlier this year, Morse and Jaffe remindpolicymakers that developing a national energy policy will involve hard choices.The United States will continue to face the threat of energy shortages, the newreport states, “if we fail to respond to the strategic challenge of merging aconcrete plan for sustainable energy supply with environmental protection andnational security.”Morse and Jaffe give theBush administration credit for trying to adopt a comprehensive national energypolicy, but urge the administration, and Vice President Cheney’s energy taskforce in particular, to refine their energy proposals. In today’s new report,Morse and Jaffe recommend: 1) Developing a strongerlead for U.S. diplomacy in the international environmental arena, and as atrade-off to enhanced exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the shortterm, offering a serious longer-term commitment to the development, deployment,and promotion of cleaner energy sources;2) Implementing, together withCongress, a more-effective and broader use of demand-management strategies andtechnologies so as to reduce the country’s reliance on oil;3) Implementing,also together with Congress, a more-effective program to open a broader area offederal lands for exploration and production of hydrocarbons, especially in thelower 48 states;4) Integrating into energy policy substantial efforts tofoster the development, deployment, and promotion of cleaner energy sources,including renewable energy, but also covering new alternative energytechnologies, nuclear energy, and clean coal technologies; 5) Reviewing theadequacy of current levels of strategic stockpiles, mechanisms for financingtheir expansion, definitions of an emergency that would justify triggering useof strategic reserves, and arrangements for coordinating stock draws on anequitable basis.In reviewing events inWashington since the release of the Baker Institute-Council on Foreign RelationsIndependent Task Force Report earlier this year, this new report states that thepublic debate over the Bush Administration’s proposal to open some 2,000 acresof the Alaska Wildlife Refuge “is diverting attention from other highlyprospective areas that could be opened for fruitful exploration and drillingactivities.”Morse and Jaffe areavailable for interviews on their new report, as they will be throughout thefall when Congress considers the energy proposals from the Bush administrationand others. Rice University is consistently ranked one of America’sbest teaching and research universities. It is distinguished by its: size-2,700undergraduates and 1,500 graduate students; selectivity-10 applicants for eachplace in the freshman class; resources-an undergraduate student-to-faculty ratioof 5-to-1, and the fourth largest endowment per student among private Americanuniversities; residential college system, which builds communities that are bothclose-knit and diverse; and collaborative culture, which crosses disciplines,integrates teaching and research, and intermingles undergraduate and graduatework. Rice’s wooded campus is located in the nation’s fourth largest city and onAmerica’s South Coast. FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis
AddThis ShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: email@example.comRobotics lab helps TIRR stroke patients with recoveryRice engineers, UTHSC doctors kick off two-year study of robotic rehab systemRobotics engineers at Rice University are teaming with doctors from Memorial Hermann|TIRR to develop a PC-based system for physical rehabilitation.“It can take months of physical therapy for stroke patients to regain the use of their limbs,” said system architect Marcia O’Malley, director of Rice’s Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Laboratory (MAHI). “We hope to refine our system to allow patients to recover faster and to allow therapists to more precisely monitor patients’ recovery.”O’Malley and doctors from Memorial Hermann|TIRR and the University ofTexas Health Science Center at Houston this fall began a two-year studyof a prototype rehabilitation system developed at MAHI that uses ajoystick to help patients with eye-to-hand coordination. The study involved 16 patients. In one exercise, the patients use the joystick to move an object from one part of the computer screen to another. Like all the systems in O’Malley’s lab, the rehab program uses force-feedback technology called “haptics” that allow people to “feel” their environment while they are in virtual reality.The term “haptic” refers to the perception of touch, and in the prototype rehab system, the joystick is outfitted with motors that push the stick to resist moves in the wrong direction. As a result, the patient’s hands are guided along the right path. By repeating the exercise over and over, patients can gradually learn to control the objects on the screen in a smooth, precise way.“We’re interested in measuring how smooth the movements are, compared to what might be optimal,” said O’Malley, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science. “The computer can precisely measure how a patient responds to every single exercise. This lets the doctors and physical therapists know exactly what their patient most needs to work on. This precise, measurable feedback provides a great advantage over the subjective evaluations currently in use.”O’Malley said researchers have been using computer-controlled robots for physical rehabilitation since the early 1990s, but so far the technology has been too expensive to use on a large scale. She thinks this will change within the next few years.O’Malley said patients’ enthusiasm for the technology is one reason it’s likely to catch on.“The patients who get a chance to try this tend to get very excited,” said O’Malley, who has previously worked with doctors and patients from the Department of Veterans Affairs. “I’ve been inspired to see how hard patients are willing to work to regain their mobility, and our technology really plays to that strength. The machine never gets tired. It allows them to work as long and as hard as they want.”
ShareDavid Ruth713firstname.lastname@example.orgMike Williams713email@example.comSynthetic gene circuits pump up cell signals Rice University research targets Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, other proteasomal diseases HOUSTON – (April 8, 2014) – Synthetic genetic circuitry created by researchers at Rice University is helping them see, for the first time, how to regulate cell mechanisms that degrade the misfolded proteins implicated in Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and other diseases.The Rice lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Laura Segatori has designed a sophisticated circuit that signals increases in the degradation of proteins by the cell’s ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS).The research appears online today in Nature Communications.The UPS is essential to a variety of fundamental cellular processes, including the cell cycle, DNA repair, immune response, cell death and the degradation of misfolded and damaged proteins. It has several components: ubiquitin molecules that tag misfolded proteins for degradation and proteasomes that latch onto the tagged proteins and break them down into harmless peptides.When there are too few proteasomes in a cell, or they don’t function properly, misfolded proteins that remain floating in the cytoplasm can aggregate. These aggregates can form plaques, as often seen in the brains of people with neurodegenerative diseases.The Rice team added to the cell a set of genetic circuits called Degradation On – “Deg-On” for short. These circuits produce a green fluorescent signal linked to UPS degradation and allow the researchers to monitor proteasomal activity.“The overall goal is to develop a technology to screen for molecules that would enhance or activate degradation,” said Segatori, Rice’s T.N. Law Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and an assistant professor of biochemistry and cell biology.“The proteasome is essentially a big barrel that unfolds and chops up misfolded proteins. We know how to inhibit degradation, but we want to find ways to activate it, because we think that will be useful to help prevent accumulation of misfolded proteins and aggregation, which are associated with the development of a number of human diseases.”The Deg-On circuit couples proteasomal degradation of an engineered tetracycline repressor to an easily detectable fluorescent signal. The tetracycline repressor is engineered to function as a UPS substrate; it essentially mimics a misfolded protein.Normally, enhanced degradation would dampen the output signal, but this genetic circuit makes it possible to link enhanced degradation to an increase in output. The engineered repressor can still be regulated by the antibiotic tetracycline, which allows calibrating the system for the detection of even minimal activation of UPS degradation. An additional synthetic circuit provides a feedback loop that enables the self-amplification of the repressor so that adding tetracycline further boosts the signal.The Rice team did extensive computer modeling of Deg-On to improve its sensitivity and dynamic range before building and testing the system on lab-standard HeLa cells. The team included graduate student and lead author Wenting Zhao, undergraduate Claire McWhite and Rice alumnus Matthew Bonem, in collaboration with Jonathan Silberg, an associate professor of biochemistry and cell biology at Rice.“We came up with the idea of having a feedback loop, which is a self-activation loop for the tetracycline repressor, in our second circuit (an enhanced Deg-On),” Zhao said. “We found that a small increase in UPS activity caused a small decrease in the TetR repressor protein. Because TetR activates its own expression in the enhanced Deg-On, the fluorescent output signal is amplified and the circuit gains in sensitivity and dynamic range.”“Wenting’s work was instrumental in predicting changes in the circuit architecture that would lead to enhanced sensitivity,” Segatori said.The lab’s immediate goal is to create assays for the rapid detection of small molecules or genes that can increase proteasomal activity, she said. “This will help us rationally design compounds or strategies that could enhance degradation not only for the study and treatment of misfolding diseases but also for a variety of other applications.“Misfolding and aggregation are among the main challenges in the fields of bioengineering and biotechnology. They are the bottleneck in the high-yield production of recombinant proteins, for example, in cells engineered to crank up expression of a protein of interest,” Segatori said.The National Science Foundation, the Welch Foundation and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, through a Rice Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering Medical Innovations Award Grant, supported the research.-30-Read the abstract at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms4612Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated Materials:Segatori Research Group: http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~ls15/segatori/Home.htmlSilberg Research Group: http://www.bioc.rice.edu/~joff/Rice Institute of Biosciences and Bioengineering: http://ibb.rice.eduImages for download: http://news.rice.edu/files/2014/03/0331_DegOn-2-web.jpgRice University researchers have engineered a synthetic circuit for a cell’s ubiquitin proteasome system to monitor its activities, among them the critical degradation of misfolded proteins implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. From left, graduate student Wenting Zhao, bioengineer Laura Segatori and graduate student Claire McWhite. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,920 undergraduates and 2,567 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6.3-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go here. http://news.rice.edu/files/2014/03/Graphic.jpgThe Deg-On system, an engineered regulator, controls the expression of a fluorescent reporter. Activation of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) enhances degradation of the regulator and leads to an increase in fluorescent output. Tetracycline, an inducer, can be used to fine-tune the system and optimize detection of different levels of UPS activation. (Credit: Segatori Group/Rice University) AddThis
AddThis ShareRice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsEXPERT ALERTDavid Ruth713firstname.lastname@example.orgWhat awaits Cruz in New Hampshire? Texas political expert weighs inHOUSTON — (Feb. 3, 2016) – With U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, coming off a win in the Iowa caucuses, what does the Feb. 9 New Hampshire primary have in store for his quest for the White House? Texas political expert Mark Jones, a professor of political science at Rice University and fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is available to comment on how Cruz and the other candidates in the crowded Republican field might fare in New Hampshire and the overall 2016 presidential race.Mark Jones photo courtesy Rice University“Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio both left Iowa with the wind at their backs as they traveled to New Hampshire to barnstorm in preparation for the Feb. 9 primary,” Jones said. “Neither expects to eclipse Donald Trump, whose lead in the New Hampshire polls looks at the present time to be unassailable.”Jones said the real battle Feb. 9 will be for second and third place, with both Cruz and Rubio attempting to create as much distance between themselves and the other candidates who remain in the hunt for the GOP nomination.“A strong second-place finish by Rubio with a considerable gap between him and the three other candidates competing for the establishment mantle (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich) would represent a tremendous boost for Rubio, since it could very well result in an establishment rally behind his candidacy as well as the withdrawal of Christie and Kasich from the race,” Jones said. “And while (in contrast to Christie and Kasich) Bush has a well-stocked campaign war chest, an even more well-endowed super PAC and a robust national organization, a dismal performance on Feb. 9 could ratchet up the rising pressure on Bush to withdraw to clear the way for Rubio.”Jones said the decisions made by New Hampshire voters will have a major impact on the options Texans have at the polls when early voting begins Feb. 16, with it quite possible that only four or five candidates (Cruz, Rubio, Trump, Bush and perhaps Carson) will remain standing.“With his victory in Iowa cementing his status as a front-runner and expectations for a strong performance in New Hampshire low, Cruz will only need a second- or third-place finish and a share of the vote somewhere in the teens to keep his campaign fully on track as he pivots to the crucial South Carolina primary,” Jones said. “In the Palmetto State, his goal will be to defeat Donald Trump and in doing so foreshadow what may occur on March 1 in the ‘SEC Primary,’ when Southern states with Cruz-friendly electorates such as Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and, of course, Texas will dominate media coverage on a day when approximately one out of every four delegates to the Republican National Convention will be chosen.”Jones is a leading expert on Texas politics. He has been quoted nationally about Cruz’s political career, which he has followed extensively since Cruz’s days as solicitor general of Texas to the launching of a long-shot U.S. Senate bid to today. To speak with Jones, contact him directly at 832-466-6535.Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7.-30-This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Related materials:Mark Jones biography: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/mark-p-jones/Photo link: http://news.rice.edu/files/2014/09/mark-jones.jpgMark Jones photo courtesy Rice UniversityPhoto credit: Rice University.If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Ho
AddThis Share1David Ruth713email@example.comJade Boyd713firstname.lastname@example.orgMore than 1.5 million students have used OpenStax’s free textbooks Rice-based publisher expects to save students $70 million this academic year HOUSTON — (Sept. 27, 2016) — More than 1.5 million college students have used a free textbook from OpenStax, the Rice University-based publisher announced today. The number of students using OpenStax textbooks has more than doubled since January, and OpenStax estimates it will save students $70 million in the 2016-17 academic year.Richard Baraniuk“More than 811,000 students are using our books this fall, which is a 106 percent increase over spring 2016, and the books are being used in over 4,500 courses at 2,688 universities, colleges and high schools,” said Richard Baraniuk, founder and director of OpenStax and Rice’s Victor E. Cameron Professor of Engineering. “Our books are making it possible for more students to afford college at a time when a college education has never been more important.”OpenStax’s 25 textbooks offer the best of both worlds for students: They feature full-color, peer-reviewed, high-quality content like expensive textbooks, but they are free online and low-cost in print like traditionally produced open educational resources (OER).“We specifically design our books to be easily adopted into almost any introductory college course,” Baraniuk said. “That strategy, coupled with the demand among both instructors and students for low-cost, high-quality alternatives to traditional textbooks and traditional OER are what’s helping us get ever nearer to our goal of saving students $500 million by 2020.”Based on the number of instructors who have notified OpenStax that they are adopting the books in their courses, OpenStax knows that 1.5 million students have used its books since 2012. Based on the date of adoptions, the one millionth student is among the students in instructor Shawna Brandle’s American Government course this fall at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y.“I’m so happy to be using the OpenStax American Government textbook,” said Brandle, an assistant professor of political science at Kingsborough. “I taught for years using expensive textbooks I didn’t like before trying a different free digital book that wasn’t great. I even tried making my own book, but nothing at any price is as good as the OpenStax book. I’m doubly happy knowing that my students are not paying for a book and are still getting the best resource available, regardless of price.”OpenStax launched in 2012 with two titles and a unique OER business model: Use philanthropic grants to produce high-quality, peer-reviewed textbooks that are free online and low-cost in print.Current titles include College Physics; Biology; Concepts of Biology; Anatomy and Physiology; Chemistry; University Physics, volume 1; Microbiology; Sociology 2e; Principles of Economics; Principles of Macroeconomics; Principles of Microeconomics; Psychology; American Government; U.S. History; Introductory Statistics; Precalculus; Calculus, volumes 1-3; Algebra and Trigonometry; College Algebra; and Prealgebra.OpenStax plans to publish Astronomy and University Physics, volumes 2 and 3, in time for spring 2017 adoptions.OpenStax is made possible by the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the 20 Million Minds Foundation, the Maxfield Foundation, the Calvin K. Kanzanjian Foundation, the Bill and Stephanie Sick Fund and the Leon Lowenstein Foundation.-30-A high-resolution IMAGE and INFOGRAPHICS are available for download at:http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoComp-lg-1dp4quz.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoMany-lg-122fd1w.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoSave-lg-2jh3gd7.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoWhere-lg-prap02.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/files/2016/09/0927_OSX-NUMBERS-InfoBooks-lg-u7nen1.jpg(Courtesy of OpenStax/Rice University)http://news.rice.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/0805_OSX-K12-rich-lg.jpgCAPTION: Richard Baraniuk (Photo by Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)More information is available at http://openstax.org.Related OpenStax news from Rice:Top 10: Which colleges save the most with free textbooks? — Aug. 1, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/08/01/top-10-which-colleges-save-the-most-with-free-textbooks/Eleven schools selected for national OpenStax partnership program — July 6, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/07/06/11-schools-selected-for-national-openstax-partnership-program-2/OpenStax, NACSCORP to offer low-cost textbook customization — March 3, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/03/03/openstax-nacscorp-to-offer-low-cost-textbook-customization/OpenStax already saved students $39 million this academic year — Jan. 20, 2016http://news.rice.edu/2016/01/20/openstax-already-saved-students-39-million-this-academic-year/This release can be found online at news.rice.edu.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for happiest students and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.