first_imgA disabled campaigner is one of five blind and visually-impaired people taking pioneering legal action against their local councils over the failure to make voting in elections accessible to them.Graham Kirwan, who is visually-impaired, has been trying to persuade Dudley council for nine years to make the adjustments that would allow him to vote independently, and privately.Now he is one of five sight-impaired people who have enlisted legal firm Leigh Day to take up their cases, following complaints they made through the disability charity RNIB about problems they encountered in the run-up to the general election on 7 May.The five were either unable to vote in the election or had their right to a secret vote compromised.Kirwan and the other claimants say their councils unlawfully discriminated against them under the Equality Act, and also breached the Human Rights Act, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), and the Representation of the People Act.Article 29 of the UNCRPD, on participation in political and public life, protects the right of disabled people to “vote by secret ballot in elections”, and aims to guarantee that “voting procedures, facilities and materials are appropriate, accessible and easy to understand and use”.The Representation of the People Act requires polling stations to provide a large print version of the ballot paper for reference and a tactile voting device to enable electors with visual impairments to vote independently.But Kirwan and others say the system does not work in practice because the large print text is often not big enough, and the tactile voting device is not fit for purpose.Kirwan said Dudley council refused to send him his voting information via email, rather than in the post, and failed to provide CCTV magnification equipment at his polling station that would have allowed him to read information about the candidates, because the large print information available was not large enough for him to read.Even if that had been available, he believes he would still have been forced to ask someone else to help him cast his vote because the tactile voting device does not always work correctly.Council threats that he could be fined £5,000 if he failed to fill in its inaccessible forms had already helped cause severe depression and anxiety, for which he is still being treated.Dealing with the council, he says, changed him from “a confident blind person to one who went into rages, always angry [and] became anxious, could not sleep and found it difficult to communicate with others”.Kirwan, who represents Dudley Centre for Inclusive Living on accessible information issues, is now 55 years old, and has never been able to vote, because of his impairment.He told Disability News Service (DNS): “When you vote, it is private. I am denied that right. If I go and try and take somebody with me, somebody else could vote differently on my behalf and I wouldn’t know.“I have rights to independence, choice and control over my life. That is all I want.”Kirwan added: “It is just like I am excluded. It caused me stress. I don’t have a say in the decision-making that everybody else takes for granted.”He says he will not try to vote again unless he can do so electronically.Although there has been legal action around physical barriers to voting, this is believed to be the first involving the inaccessibility of the voting process to blind and partially-sighted people.Kate Egerton, a discrimination solicitor in Leigh Day’s human rights department, said: “Some of the five had problems registering to vote, some had problems with the postal vote, and some had problems in their polling stations on the day.“From start-to-finish, the whole system is inaccessible.”She said they would be asking the courts to force the local authorities involved to make the voting process accessible to blind and visually-impaired people, in time for next year’s local elections.Phillip Tart, Dudley council’s strategic director for resources and transformation, said: “Ballot papers are printed in the format as specified by the legislation relevant to each individual election. “All polling stations are provided with magnifiers and selector templates to aid partially-sighted people to vote independently, [and] electors with disabilities can also be assisted by a companion or the presiding officer.  “Whilst we would be happy to talk with Mr Kirwan to understand his particular issues, for reasons of data protection we are unable to comment further, and we are not aware of any legal proceedings against the council at this time.”Earlier this month, another legal action taken by Kirwan over the right to accessible information led to NHS England publishing its first accessible information standard (AIS).The agreement to publish the AIS came after Kirwan took the NHS to court over its failure to provide his health-related information in a format that was accessible to him, via email rather than by post.DNS first reported on Kirwan’s complaint two years ago, after NHS England agreed to set up an advisory panel to draw up the new “information standard”, as a result of his legal case.He said the result was “brilliant” and would make a “massive, massive, massive” difference to tens of thousands of disabled people with sensory and learning impairments.It will mean that all organisations providing NHS or adult social care will have to produce information in a service-user’s preferred format by 31 July 2016, and provide them with communication support if they need it.Kirwan said: “Many will receive accessible health information for the first time, and most importantly in private. It will save NHS a lot of money in missed appointments.”last_img read more

first_imgNATHAN Brown accentuated the positives as Saints were edged at home to Leeds last night.Although his side lost 20-12, the club’s head coach believes there is an upside to a team that can only get better.“I thought we played a very good side and we did some good things,” he said. “We weren’t so smart in the first half at times and I thought we let ourselves down in a couple of areas, but the overall picture is we scored three tries and they did. I am disappointed to lose but I can see there is a lot of upside in the team. We were in good control, but we didn’t play as smart as we should have done or play from the right areas.“Leeds are a very very good team and for the four young kids out there today, they all handled themselves well against good players. There is a lot of improvement in us with the amount of changing in positions and personnel but as the weeks go by we can improve.“I can’t complain about the result; of course we would have liked to have won. The game was an arm wrestle for long periods of time. They got the try from the kick and scored back-to-back on us, and then we did the same. Earlier in the second half we opened them up a few times but took the wrong option.”Saints lost Alex Walmsley in the warm up after his hamstring tightened up and Gary Wheeler damaged his in the second half – but one plus was the excellent debut of Mark Percival.“Percy did well didn’t he?” Brown added. “He is a talented young kid and Derek Traynor and the guys in youth development have done a great job with him.“To play well against a quality team and a quality player in Carl Ablett – his future is bright.”last_img read more

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham believes the final two games of the Super 8s are perfect preparation for the First Utility Super League Playoff Semi Finals.Saints take on Wigan this Friday at Langtree Park before hosting Warrington the following Thursday.And whilst positions in the top four are yet to be finalised – and could throw up a combination of opponents for his side in the semi-final – the tough run in is “ideal”.“We’ve not had the easiest of draws in the Super 8s and in anything we have the toughest finish too with Wigan and Warrington,” he said. “No matter how Warrington are going it is a local derby and always a tough game.“And when we face Wigan there’s always fireworks! There’s no better games for us as we head into the semi-finals.“We always work hard but in terms of motivation it doesn’t take a lot to get the players up this week. They would play now if they could.“We will look at our structures and the personnel we have this week and make some decisions closer to the game.“There might be a bit of an issue with Travis Burns, we will have to see, and Atelea Vea isn’t far off. He has started running and we’re hoping he is back in the next couple of weeks.“It will be a great game I have no doubt. We always want to win these games – the fans deserve it too. The diehards deserve as much success as they can get.”Saints have won their last two games although many supporters wouldn’t want to go through another match like the 42-38 win over Castleford again… Cunningham included.“I watched the game back a couple of times and we certainly did some good stuff with ball,” he added. “We were also defensively good for a large period. Certain individuals let us down a touch with missed tackles but we got the win. It was a typical Saints v Cas game, lots of points and we came good in the end.“We kept finding a way to get back into the game and showed a lot of resilience too. You show where you are as a club when your backs are against the wall and we did enough at the right times.”Cunningham confirmed that Alex Walmsley will miss the game with the ankle injury he sustained at Castleford but he should be fit for the semis.The big prop could even play against Warrington, if he continues to improve.Mose Masoe should return for the match.Tickets for Friday’s big game against Wigan at Langtree Park (kick off 8pm) are on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

first_imgWe’ve simplified our range of prices and introduced a new Youth price to make it even more affordable for 17–18-year-olds in full time education to back the club.And, our Direct Debit options make it simpler and easier to be a Saint.We have a 10 month ‘DD’ available now … with an eight or six package available later in the off-season.For a full breakdown of monthly payments for each Membership please click here.A Hattons Solicitors West Terrace Adult Renewal is just over £24 per month with an Adult and Junior just over £26! That’s great value and no upfront cost!Check out our Membership Section to find out more – and remember simply by being a Member for 2018 you have the chance to become our Ultimate Fan!We are Saints and Proud.last_img

first_img The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office says the shooting happened on New Year’s Eve on Jacobs Loop Road in the Buckhead community.The victim, Michael Powers, had to undergo extensive surgery to repair his food, Sheriff Jim McVicker said.Arp was transferred from Columbus County to the Bladen County Jail.Related Article: Body found floating in pond in Bladen CountyHe is charged with assault with a dangerous weapons inflicting serious injury and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Jesse James Arp (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff Office) COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The man accused of shooting his brother-in-law in the foot during an argument was arrested in Columbus County early this morning.According to court records, Jesse James Arp, 34, was booked into the Columbus County Detention Center around 1:00 a.m.- Advertisement – last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Area restaurants Guy Fieri visited for “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” will start airing at the end of March.The celebrity chef came to Wilmington in January to help raise money for GLOW, Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington. The school’s founder said Fieri’s visit helped raise more than $200,000 for a new building.- Advertisement – Fieri spent three days in Wilmington at several restaurants, including Fork-N-Cork, Copper Penny, Ceviche’s, Sweet N’ Savory Cafe, Cast Iron Kitchen, and Something Fishy.On March 30, episode 7 is called “Lights-Out Latin.” According to the episode description, in Wilmington, NC, a funky joint cooks up the flavors of Panama, which would be Ceviche’s.On April 6, episode 8 is called “Pizza, Pork, and Peru.” On this trip, in Wilmington, NC standout sandwiches bring a taste of Philly to the South. This episode will feature the Copper Penny.Related Article: GLOW stops by to discuss brand new schoolOn April 27, episode 9 is named “Seafood and Savory,’ where a down-home Southern seafood spot, Something Fishy, cooks up clam chowder and fries up favorites in Wilmington, NC.No word yet on when the episodes featuring Fork-N-Cork, Cast Iron Kitchen and Sweet N’ Savory will air.last_img read more

first_imgHow would you like to help raise money for the Community Boys & Girls Club and have a good time doing it? On Friday, The Community Boys and Girls Club will host their Champions For Children Gala. The event will offer a silent auction, live music, dinner and you can hear from some of the children they help.All proceeds will support our valuable programs designed to enhance the lives of community club members through academic success, healthy lifestyles, and character and leadership development. Champions for Children engages 250 guests representing our community’s social philanthropists, foundations, donors, alumni, and friends of the Community Boys & Girls Club of Wilmington.- Advertisement – The event will be Friday, December 14, 2018 at 6 PM – 11 PM at Terrace at Sir Tyler in Wilmington, North Carolina. Tickets are $100 and available at www.cbgcw.orglast_img read more

first_img00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) — History tells a fair share of war stories with men and women, who sacrificed their lives so we could now be free. One veteran tells us why he chose not to talk of the war for years following his return.58,307 names are chiseled in the black granite Vietnam Traveling Wall. Eight of those names are women.- Advertisement – “It’s probably a war that we should have never fought,” Joe Harvey said. “These poor fellas and even some women…their names shouldn’t even be on there.”This is the second time Harvey visited the wall. Just recently, Harvey began talking about his wartime experience.“It wasn’t until, unfortunately, that I was diagnosed with prostate cancer as a result of the exposure to the Agent Orange that I started talking about the war,” Harvey said.Related Article: Medal of Honor recipient who fought in Vietnam to speak in Pender CountyHarvey says he grew up in a town where many people left to fight, but only few returned. Now, their names are on the wall.Friday morning, he searched for three names.“There are three fellas, who I grew up with that come from a small town Wildwood, New Jersey, which is a seashore resort as they say,” Harvey said. “[Their names are] Jimmy Bechan, George Coleman, and Michael Callahan. They were three boys who I grew up with.”Harvey says the local Vietnam veterans chapter in Wildwood also re-created a wall to pay homage to veterans.“Without them, the freedom that you have in this country you wouldn’t have today,” Harvey said.The Vietnam Traveling Wall will be in Wilmington until Monday in the Mayfaire parking lot off of Military Cutoff Road.last_img read more

first_imgThe PN youth movement, MZPN, has resorted to Facebook with a statement demanding that political responsibility be shouldered after the 2mess emanating from last Saturday’s vote in the Executive Committee”. The MZPN said that in its proudly iconoclastic tradition, it was taking a stand and “saying what needs to be said…The current situation is untenable and represents a new low”, said the statement. In a poignant “Enough is Enough”, the MZPN demanded that responsibility be shouldered out of respect for the voters and the volunteers who supported the party.MZPN said that it will analyse the situation and pass on the analysis. “We must stand up to be counted – not just when the going is easy, but especially and more importantly,when the going gets tough” concluded MZPN.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

first_imgFILE PHOTO: U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019. New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout via REUTERSFILE PHOTO: U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019. New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout via REUTERS Jeffrey Epstein, the American financier charged with sex trafficking underage girls, is expected to argue in court on Monday that he should be freed from jail and allowed to await trial under house arrest at his Manhattan mansion.Epstein, 66, was arrested on July 6 after flying into New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport by private plane from Paris. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held behind bars at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a fortress-like jail in lower Manhattan that has been criticized by inmates and lawyers for harsh conditions.Epstein, who was once known for socializing with politicians and royalty, is accused of arranging for girls under the age of 18 to perform nude “massages” and other sex acts, and of paying some girls to recruit others, from at least 2002 to 2005.Prosecutors said a search of Epstein’s home uncovered nude images of underage girls, and they accused him of paying two potential witnesses against him last year in an apparent effort to influence them.He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.Seeking their client’s release from pre-trial detention, Epstein’s lawyers have said he is willing to pay for armed guards to monitor him round-the-clock at his Upper East Side home, which has been valued at $77 million.Epstein, his lawyers said in a court filing last week, had a “spotless 14-year record of walking the straight and narrow” since he pleaded guilty to similar offences in Florida, and had shown “perfect compliance with onerous sex offender registration requirements.”Federal prosecutors have argued that Epstein must remain in jail to prevent him from fleeing the country, citing his wealth and connections overseas, as well as the allegations he made large payments to potential witnesses.The bail hearing will take place before U.S. District Judge Richard Berman.In 2016, Berman rejected a bail proposal from Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab that would have let him remain in a leased apartment under the watch of privately funded guards, saying wealthy defendants should not be allowed to “buy their way out of prison by constructing their own private jail.” Other New York federal judges have agreed to such arrangements, however, including for Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff.When Epstein was charged in Florida, he reached a deal to avoid federal prosecution by pleading guilty to a state prostitution charge and registering as a sex offender. He served 13 months in a county jail, but was allowed to leave during the day to go to his office.That 2007 agreement has drawn heavy criticism. A federal judge ruled in February that it violated a federal law on crime victims’ rights, but Florida prosecutors have argued it should nonetheless remain in place.Alex Acosta, who oversaw the deal as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, went on to be appointed Secretary of Labour by President Donald Trump. Acosta resigned from that position on Friday, saying he did not want to be a distraction for the administration after Epstein’s arrest.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more