Disabled activists say they are deeply concerned

first_imgDisabled activists say they are “deeply concerned” by the “troubling” decision to appoint an outspoken supporter of legalising assisted suicide as the new minister for disabled people.Penny Mordaunt was appointed minister for disabled people, health and work, in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) this week after the sacking of Justin Tomlinson.In an expanded brief – and at the level of minister of state, rather than junior minister – she will have responsibility for a string of divisive policy areas, including employment and support allowance (ESA), the government’s Disability Confident employment campaign, and personal independence payment, as well as for cross-government disability issues.But Mordaunt (pictured) is a long-term advocate for changing the law to allow assisted suicide, an issue that will cause deep concern among large parts of the disabled people’s movement.In 2010 she was appointed to the Commission on Assisted Dying, which was criticised for its bias after it was set up by the pro-assisted suicide charity Dignity in Dying with money from author Terry Pratchett and River island founder Bernard Lewis, both supporters of legalisation, and chaired by the Labour peer Lord Falconer, also a supporter of legalisation.Mordaunt, a former director of the charity Diabetes UK, made it clear on her appointment to the commission that she was in favour of changing the law to allow assisted suicide, telling her local newspaper in Portsmouth: “My personal view is that assisted dying should be allowed for the terminally-ill.”She was also founding chair of the pro-legalisation All-Party Parliamentary Group on Choice at the End of Life, for which Dignity in Dying – formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society – provides secretarial support.Mordaunt’s appointment is causing alarm and shock among disabled people and their organisations.Brian Hilton, campaigns officer for Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP), said: “GMCDP is deeply concerned by the appointment of Penny Mordaunt MP as the new minister for disabled people. “The minister is a well-known supporter of legalising assisted suicide, which is opposed by all leading disabled people’s organisations in the UK. “At a time when disabled people are still facing huge cuts to their support, services and benefits we need a minister who is willing to champion our right to live.”Journalist and presenter Mik Scarlet, a prominent member of the disabled people’s campaign network Not Dead Yet UK (NDY UK), which opposes assisted suicide, said her appointment was “very troubling”.He accepted that some disabled people were in favour of a change in the law, but he said Mordaunt’s strong support for legalisation meant that she should withdraw from the debate around assisted suicide or resign from her new post.He said: “She can’t represent the people she is meant to be representing if she continues to have an outspoken view on something which a large percentage of the disabled community are not in favour of.“It’s another example of a government that doesn’t understand disability trying to claim it represents us, and it just doesn’t.”Another disabled activist and anti-euthanasia campaigner, Deborah Caulfield, said Mordaunt’s appointment was “bad news”.She said: “It fills me with dread. I don’t see how she can consider herself a friend of disabled people.”Caulfield said she believed Mordaunt’s role as minister, to support people to lead fulfilling lives, was “incompatible” with “arguing about making provision for people to end their lives early on the basis that they are severely disabled and need lots of help”.A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokeswoman said that Mordaunt’s views on legalising assisted suicide were “an issue of individual conscience and a matter for parliament”.Despite a private members’ bill proposed by the Labour MP Rob Marris being heavily defeated in a Commons vote last September – although Mordaunt did not vote – the Tory peer and former MP Lord Hayward, treasurer of Dignity in Dying, launched another push for legalisation last month by introducing a new assisted dying bill in the House of Lords.Meanwhile, work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb has left the government and has been replaced by former home office minister Damian Green, while employment minister Priti Patel has been promoted to international development secretary, with her role – minus responsibility for ESA and issues of “health and work” – taken by Damian Hinds, who was formerly exchequer secretary to the Treasury.Welfare reform minister Lord Freud, one of the most divisive members of the department among disabled activists, has kept his ministerial job, although he will be joined by Caroline Nokes in a new post, minister for welfare delivery.When asked whether Crabb’s plans to publish a green paper this year on supporting disabled people into employment were still on course, a DWP spokeswoman said: “Government business continues as normal.“We will provide further detail on forthcoming announcements in due course.”The Department of Health has yet to announce its new minister for social care, although health secretary Jeremy Hunt has retained his post.The government frontbench will include at least two disabled ministers, with Paul Maynard appointed as a junior transport minister – in charge of the rail system – and Robert Halfon, previously a cabinet minister without portfolio and the first MP to hire a parliamentary apprentice, appointed as minister of state for apprentices and skills in the Department for Education.Maynard appeared before the transport select committee yesterday (20 July), just three days after his appointment, to give evidence on the experience of rail passengers.Justine Greening, previously international development secretary, replaces Nicky Morgan as education secretary and minister for women and equalities.Last month, Greening announced on Twitter that she was in a same-sex relationship, becoming the first openly gay female cabinet minister.last_img read more

More than 160000 people are in debt to their loca

first_imgMore than 160,000 people are in debt to their local authority because of the charges they are having to pay for their own social care, new figures have revealed.The figures, which came from freedom of information requests by the GMB union, also show that nearly 1,200 people in just two years were taken to court for non-payment of these debts.The number taken to court rose from 530 in 2015-16 to 648 in 2016-17 across England, Scotland and Wales, an increase of more than a fifth (22 per cent).More than 78,000 people have had debt management procedures started against them by their local authority over social care debts.The true figures are likely to be even higher because some local authorities did not respond to the freedom of information requests.Ken Butler, welfare rights adviser for Disability Rights UK, said: “This high level of debt among social care users shows the urgent need for [reform] of the whole social care system.“Many disabled people are told that their care needs are not high enough to receive social care.“Disabled people have been the worst hit by welfare benefit cuts. The introduction of personal independence payment (PIP) has led to 25 per cent of people losing their disability living allowance and many with a reduced award.“Around half of new PIP claimants receive no award at all. One consequence of this is that disabled people have even less money to fund what is often an inadequate care package.“The situation uncovered by the GMB shows the need for urgent reform of both the welfare benefit and social care systems.“Good social care should be a right to all that need it and should not mean falling into a spiral of debt in order to pay for it.”Sharon Wilde, GMB national officer, said: “These stark figures show the UK’s social care ticking timebomb has now blown a gaping hole in families’ finances.”The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) refused to say if it was concerned about GMB’s figures.But a DHSC spokeswoman said in a statement: “This government is committed to ensuring everyone receives affordable and dignified care, which is why we backed the sector with an extra £2 billion of dedicated funding, and will shortly outline the government’s plans to reform social care to ensure it is sustainable for the future.“The current social care means testing ensures people are charged for their care based on what they can afford.“We changed the law so legally the local authority must ensure that people have a genuine choice of accommodation by making at least one option available and affordable within the person’s budget.”Meanwhile, a survey of people with care needs and carers by the Care and Support Alliance has found that one in five had gone without meals, and more than a third had not been able to leave the house, because of a lack of care and support.One of those surveyed said: “I can’t prepare meals so don’t eat properly and haven’t taken my medication properly in years. I’m very depressed and have no social life.”Another said: “Although I am in a care home, I receive no attention other than being washed and dressed.“I am left to walk myself to the toilet even though I’ve had falls in this care home before. I have food put in front of me that I can’t see, can’t cut, and can’t balance on cutlery.”Another care recipient said: “I haven’t been washed for over two months. My bedroom floor has only been vacuumed once in three years.“My sheets have not been changed in about six months, and my pyjamas haven’t been changed this year. My care workers don’t have time for cleaning, washing or changing me.”More than a third of those who took part in the survey said they had felt lonely and isolated because of a lack of support, and a third said their health had deteriorated because they had not received the care they needed.The survey of nearly 4,000 people was released in a bid to pressure the government to secure a long-term funding settlement “that addresses the shocking levels of unmet need and takes unnecessary pressure off the NHS” as ministers prepare to publish a green paper on social care for older people by the end of July.last_img read more

Ronen Pledges Housing Fights Mayor in Announcement for SF Mission Supervisor

first_img 0% The district already won $50 million for affordable housing in November’s bond, and some 480 units have been planned for construction in the last eight years under Supervisor David Campos, Ronen pointed out. But that is only 10 percent of the pledge Ronen is making, and for her to live up to the campaign promise Ronen would need to build more than 600 affordable units every year of her tenure.“For her to be talking about building housing is rich,” said political consultant David Latterman, who recently worked with Julie Christensen’s losing campaign in District 3 and helped David Chiu defeat Campos for State Assembly in 2014. Hammering Campos’s housing record was a key strategy in the 2014 campaign, he said, and Latterman predicts Ronen will have to juggle Campos’s endorsement against this legacy.“She’s going to try to embrace ‘I am Campos’s chosen successor’ and slowly back away from his housing record,” he said.Ronen says she will be “laser-focused” on her district and building these units, while Campos was “more of a supervisor for the entire city.”“He worked on big initiatives that are going to make change for all San Franciscans,” Ronen said. “I am going to be a supervisor with a laser focus on District 9. I am going to build 5,000 units and that requires an attention to the district like never before.”While neither side of the political aisle is against rapid construction of affordable housing, all acknowledged it would be a tremendous task.“It’s a great idea, but it’s going to be very difficult,” said Tommi Avicolli Mecca, director of counseling at the Housing Rights Collective. The lack of funding from city hall is the major factor, and Ronen would be a reliable vote at the Board of Supervisors for pushing such construction, he said. “You gotta go for it.”Ronen is running against three other candidates. Joshua Arce is the more moderate of the four, with ties to labor unions and friendly to the mayor, the latter a possible detriment in the Mission and Bernal Heights but perhaps a boon in the Portola, with its more moderate Asian voting bloc.Sharing most of Ronen’s political positions is Edwin Lindo, vice-president of external affairs at the Latino Democratic Club, whose campaign lacks the resources and heavy backing of Ronen and Arce — though he does split Supervisor Mar’s endorsement with Ronen. Instead, Lindo has underscored his status as a Mission native and emphasized an impoverished background in the neighborhood. Though Ronen has worked in the district for 13 years and lived in the Mission previously, she moved to the Portola just four months ago from Sunnyside.A fourth candidate is Iswari España who is running on a platform to “stop playing politics and focus on accountability of services for residents of District 9.” A Guatemalan immigrant who settled in the Mission in 1987, España is a little-known candidate who characterized his opponents as “well-established attorneys with the same lines.” He has a background in non-profit and government work and is currently at Success Center San Francisco, a non-profit that educates juvenile youth.Despite the full field, Ronen’s kick-off has been the most momentous so far. More than 100 people braved the downcast weather to hear Ronen’s speech outside St. Luke’s Hospital, a venue chosen for its symbolic value as a victory of Ronen’s against Mayor Lee’s plan to shut it down in favor of a Cathedral Hill hospital.“Unfortunately, this is what we have come to expect from this administration,” said Ronen, lambasting Lee for “shortsighted thinking” and “shutting out community voices” while simultaneously garnering praise from a crowd that included local nurses. An obligatory moment of political awkwardness accompanied Ronen’s speech when she asked how many in the crowd had been born at St. Luke’s and just one raised his hand. Ronen quickly revised her question to how many had been treated at the hospital — and dozens shot up.Ronen’s supporters unequivocally viewed their candidate as a competent, connected choice.“I think she’s a political superstar,” said Karen Gee, a Portola resident since 1983. “She’s young, she has work experience, and she’s a mother so she has family values.”Juana Flores, a Mission resident who met Ronen when she was an attorney at La Raza Centro Legal, said Ronen “always supported the immigrant community and the female community” and praised her work with laborers and domestic violence victims.“I know she has a lot of community support,” she said. The District 9 race is key for future city politics. Not only will its outcome affect the Board of Supervisors in an election when the progressive majority is in question, but with the Mission as ground-zero in San Francisco’s gentrification wars, a progressive loss there would be both an embarrassment for and hindrance to progressive housing plans city-wide.All of which will bring street canvassing and donor money. Whether or not infighting marks the discourse between the two progressives, Lindo and Ronen, or there is an attempt to tackle the more moderate Arce — and what role España will play in shaping the debate — the District 9 race is heating up to be one of the most important in the 2016 elections.“From an ‘I like watching San Francisco politics’ point-of-view, this is going to be a fun one to watch,” said Latterman. “Sit back with your thing of popcorn and just watch the show.” Tags: Board of Supervisors Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Standing in the drizzle outside of St. Luke’s Hospital, Hillary Ronen officially announced her candidacy for District 9 supervisor Thursday afternoon, pledging the construction of thousands of units of new affordable housing and attacking Mayor Ed Lee for ignoring community input.“I will build 5,000 units of affordable housing in District 9 in 10 years,” she said, flanked by supervisors David Campos, John Avalos, and Eric Mar. Ronen, who has worked as Campos’s chief of staff since 2010, outlined her plan to Mission Local a day before the announcement, saying she would build up empty lots and raise heights when feasible to accomplish her goal. Funding, not space, will likely be the main obstacle, however, and Ronen’s commitment to fight for state and federal funds, as well as her position that corporations should contribute to solving the affordability crisis, presents an uphill climb for a city supervisor.last_img read more

Google Reveals Plans to Tap into SFs Fiber Cables

first_imgGoogle announced plans last week to bring high-speed broadband internet to San Francisco to serve disconnected communities throughout the city by plugging in public and low-income properties at no cost to residents. The company will use existing fiber optic cables that are largely owned by third-party companies. It is also talking to the city about leasing access to some of the city’s high-speed cables.  “We’re just starting to reach out to property owners and managers today, so we don’t have specifics to share just yet about where we’ll be able to offer service,” said Google spokesperson Lauren Barriere.For years, different companies have talked about offering free Wi-Fi in San Francisco, but none of the plans have managed to succeed. The Mission-based internet service provider Monkeybrains, for example,  has long tried to tap into the city’s unused fiber network to make high speed internet accessible to all, but without success. Owner Rudy Rucker said he has reached out to the city “multiple times over the past four years,” but “we have had no traction.” The Department of Technology told him that fiber for non-government projects is not a priority.  “They could extend that fiber and allow us access to it, to allow higher speeds to those residents,” added Rucker. “Historically, the city has been reluctant to work with us, but they will work with Google. It’s a political issue, not a technology issue.”Department of Technology spokesperson Kathleen Clark confirmed that the city is not currently leasing to any local providers, but said the department is “exploring what that could look like.”Last December, the city made some strides in preparing for expanding its fiber assets, when District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell introduced legislation directing various city agencies to map their fiber optic wires. These assets are largely built and owned by the Department of Technology but also belong to other city agencies, such as the Public Utilities Commission and the transit agency. Some “dark fiber,” or unused cable, belongs to private companies, such as PG&E, according to Miguel Gamiño, the Department of Technology’s executive director.Some 260 miles of fiber wires currently run through various areas of the city, including parts of District 9, where cables run along Valencia, Folsom, 16th and 26th streets, according to Clark.Farrell’s legislation passed at the Board of Supervisors earlier this year, and soon the city will have, “a better idea of where all fiber assets are,” said Jesse Montejano, Farrell’s legislative aide. This mapping, he said, is a crucial step in engaging in any future discussions about broadband expansion and in bridging the digital divide.A 2013 survey by the City Controller’s Office found the digital divide most affects people of color, low-income, uneducated, and elderly populations, but ranked the Mission as fairly well connected compared to other neighborhoods, with 87 percent of its population having access to the internet at home.Data collected by Mission Promise Neighborhood found that 46 percent of households in the Mission did not have a home computer with internet access in 2014. As for the Google program, the neighborhood could be included in the coverage area, said Gamiño.  At 1,000 megabits per second, fiber optic cables provide the fastest internet in the country. For technology advocates working to bridge the digital divide in low-income communities, the question of digital equity is at the forefront with the prospect of fiber service. “The speed is higher, the bandwidth is humongous, and you have the ability to connect more families to that type of bandwidth,” said Leo Sosa, technology training coordinator at the Mission Economic Development Agency. “There still are a lot of families that live in the dark.” Sosa has been involved in helping some 1,000 low-income homes get connected through Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, a $10-a-month plan at 10 megabits per second for eligible families. That is decidedly lower than the 1,000 megabits per second that Google is promising.Excited about Google’s announcement, Sosa called the expansion of fiber in the city a “next-level opportunity” for disadvantaged residents, including the Mission’s low-income families and seniors, to improve their lives.Local nonprofits and digital equity advocates say they are ready to jump on board to help underserved communities connect at high speeds, when the time comes. “[Fiber] needs to be rolled out in partnership with trusted community partners…to ensure the resource gets into the hands of the people,” said Stevon Cook, CEO of Mission Bit, a nonprofit that aims to eliminate the digital divide in low-income communities through coding courses.“This is not an ‘if you build it they will come’ type of environment,” added Cook. “Access to the internet is an economic justice issue. With Google Fiber, we have an opportunity to fully integrate low-income communities in San Francisco to all the resources the internet has to offer.”In a blog post, Google said that it will tap into San Francisco’s existing infrastructure when it comes to selecting the properties that will be connected to fiber, following a similar model used in Huntsville, Alabama. Rather than building “organic” fiber infrastructure from the ground up, as Google has done in other cities, using San Francisco’s existing networks will speed up Google Fiber’s availability.“A city like San Francisco, where the infrastructure is really challenging and difficult, the opportunity to leverage existing fiber assets is the component that makes this deal possible,” said Gamiño. If this happens, Gamiño said, the city could have a more active role in which locations and properties will have access to fiber. “If Google strikes a deal with a private entity, we may not be in that conversation in a formal way. But if they ever do come to us and want city fiber, we can  certainly be the stewards of that equity component.” 0%center_img Tags: mission • San Francisco • tech Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

WE have received hundreds of messages of support a

first_imgWE have received hundreds of messages of support and well wishes for Luke Walsh following his injury on Friday.Luke is comfortable as he can be at the present time and the Club will update fans as soon as it can on his progress.We will pass on any messages we receive for Luke and have set up a special post on our Facebook site.Feel free to log on and leave your ‘get well’ and we will make sure the scrum half gets them as he begins his recovery.last_img

KEIRON Cunningham paid tribute to Saints resilien

first_imgKEIRON Cunningham paid tribute to Saints’ resilience after they progressed to the Grand Final.Five tries and a 30-12 win over Catalan saw them ease into next Saturday’s showpiece and a date with either Wigan or Warrington.“We knew if we stuck to our gameplan and were resilient we could grind them down,” he said. “They have had a difficult task and all credit to them for what they have done over the last few weeks.“But we knew if we stuck in there and kicked the ball well, chased hard and made tackles, we would get the result in the end.“We started a little nervous but defensively we were great and fronted up well. We scrambled so well again and James Roby proved he is superhuman. He saved tries and tracked back when he didn’t really need to.”Saints had stand out performances all over the field and Cunningham paid tribute to the youngsters in the squad.“We have always had that thing at this club, had young kids coming through,” he continued. “I came through at 17. The theory is if you are good enough it doesn’t matter about your age. The kids are the future of this club. Both Luke Thompson and Greg Richards have massive careers ahead of them and are future internationals in my eyes too. They will get better and better.”He continued: “Six weeks ago was a real pivotal moment for us. After the Hull game… we had lost Luke Walsh the week before and the coaches came in on the Saturday morning and came up with a masterplan that would make or break us.“Working with this group of players has enabled us to do what we have done. They have all bought into it and the victory over Castleford at home was the stamp on it. We believed it could work and it did and now we are at the big dance.“This group of young players have finished first and to make a Grand Final is the making of them and the building blocks of the future.“I am proud as punch for the lads, because I know what it means for the club and the players going forward.“The easy option would have been to lie down and take the adversity. There would be 1,000 excuses not to do it and they could have said let’s wait until next season. We lost three of our best players but the boys have stood up and going forward that shows special things will happen at this place.”last_img read more

SAINTS seek their first home win over Warrington s

first_imgSAINTS seek their first home win over Warrington since Knowsley Road when the sides lock horns tonight.The Wolves have won their last five away meetings with St Helens, including all four fixtures between the sides at Langtree Park.Saints’ last home win against the Wolves was a 28-12 play-off victory at Knowsley Road on 10 September, 2010.Last Ten Meetings:St Helens 12, Warrington 39 (SLR26, 4/9/14)St Helens 24, Warrington 41 (SLR13, 18/5/14) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)Warrington 8, St Helens 38 (SLR1, 13/2/14)St Helens 16, Warrington 29 (SLR26, 30/8/13)St Helens 22, Warrington 48 (SLR16, 25/5/13) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)Warrington 10, St Helens 22 (SLR6, 8/3/13)St Helens 18, Warrington 36 (SLQSF, 29/9/12)Warrington 6, St Helens 28 (SLQPO, 15/9/12)St Helens 12, Warrington 22 (SLR23, 6/8/12)Warrington 16, St Helens 28 (SLR9, 30/3/12)Super League Summary:St Helens won 39 (includes wins in 2010 and 2012 play-offs)Warrington won 9 (includes win in 2012 play-offs)2 drawsHighs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 72-2 (H, 2002) (also widest margin)Warrington highest score: 56-22 (H, 2001) (also widest margin)Career Milestones:James Roby needs one appearance to reach 350 for his career. Roby has played 316 games for St Helens since 2004, to go with representative appearances for Great Britain (7 Tests, 2006-2007) and England (26 games, 2008-2013).Super League Milestones:Jamie Peacock needs one appearance to overtake former Leeds teammate Keith Senior and move into third place in the list of all-time leaders for Super League games played.1 Paul Wellens (St Helens, 1998-present) 4372 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds, 1997-present) 4333 = Keith Senior (Leeds/Sheffield, 1996-2011), Jamie Peacock (Leeds/Bradford, 1999-present) 4135 Lee Gilmour (Wakefield/Castleford/Huddersfield/St Helens/Bradford/Wigan, 1997-present) 4076 Leon Pryce (Hull FC/Catalans Dragons/St Helens/Bradford, 1998-present) 4037 Andy Lynch (Castleford/Hull FC/Bradford, 1999-present) 3988 Danny Orr (Castleford/Harlequins/Wigan, 1997-2012) 3829 Keiron Cunningham (St Helens, 1996-2010) 38110 Lee Briers (Warrington/St Helens, 1997-2013) 380Tommy Makinson – 1 appearance away from 100 (99 for St Helens, 2011-2015)Paul Wellens – 1 try away from 200 (199 for St Helens, 1998-2015)Winning Runs:St Helens have won their last eight Super League matches. Their last league defeat was 17-16 at Huddersfield on September 12 2014.Consecutive Appearances:Hull FC’s Joe Westerman has the longest run of consecutive appearances amongst Super League players, with 49. Westerman last missed a Hull game on May 25 2013 – a 22-16 Magic Weekend win against Hull KR at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium. His streak then started on May 31 2013 – an 18-6 home win against Leeds.1 Joe Westerman (Hull FC) 492 Zeb Taia (Catalans Dragons) 393 Morgan Escare (Catalans Dragons) 374 Mose Masoe (St Helens) 355 Ben Pomeroy (Catalans Dragons) 32First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 = Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers), Ken Sio (Hull Kingston Rovers) 63 = Danny McGuire (Leeds Rhinos), Jordan Turner (St Helens) 55 = Michael Oldfield (Catalans Dragons), Albert Kelly (Hull Kingston Rovers), Tom Briscoe (Leeds Rhinos), Jacob Miller (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Chris Riley (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings), Joel Tomkins (Wigan Warriors) 4Goals:1 = Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 233 = Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons), Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 175 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 14Goals Percentage:1 = Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 85.18 (23/27)3 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 84.61 (11/13)4 Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 80.95 (17/21)5 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 80.00 (12/15)Points:1 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 552 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 543 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 404 Craig Hall (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 385 Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons) 35last_img read more

Residents encouraged to stay out of flood waters

first_img Of particular concern is the risk of infections from vibrio bacteria, which is naturally occurring in coastal waters. The bacteria may be present in brackish waters and flood salt waters following Hurricane Florence, and in some seafood.“Everyone should stay out of flooded water if possible,” said New Hanover County Public Health Director Phillip Tarte. “If you have a cut or scrape, or have a compromised immune system or liver disease, you are more susceptible to a bacterial infection from those waters.”If contact with flood waters cannot be avoided, protect yourself with these CDC and Public Health tips:Wear clothes and shoes that protect you from cuts and scrapes when in brackish or salt waterWear protective glovesWash wounds and cuts thoroughly with soap and water if they have been exposed to brackish, salt, flood waters, or even raw seafood or seafood juicesCover your wound with a waterproof bandage if there’s a possibility it could come into contact with brackish, salt, flood waters, or even raw seafood or seafood juicesIf you develop a skin infection, tell your medical provider if your skin has come into contact with brackish, salt, flood waters, or even raw seafood or seafood juicesAlways wash your hands with soap and water after handing raw shellfishAvoid contaminating cooked shellfish with raw shellfish and its juicesFor further protection, residents should have the following vaccines: Hepatitis A, Td (Tetanus & Diphtheria), and Tdap  (Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis). New Hanover County Public Health will have these vaccines available to the public, through insurance or self-pay. Residents check out the flooding in a Leland neighborhood after Hurricane Florence on Sept. 16, 2018. (Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (Press Release) — New Hanover County Public Health is encouraging all residents to use caution and remain out of flooded areas.According to the Center for Disease Control, “flood waters and standing waters pose various risks, including infectious diseases, chemical hazards, and injuries.”- Advertisement – last_img read more

EPA drops 26 North Carolina counties from emissions program

first_img According to the EPA, the state showed that the counties comply with ozone air quality standards. It said removing the requirement won’t interfere with their ability to remain in compliance with any air quality standards.The counties approved for removal from mandated vehicle emissions testing include: Brunswick, Burke, Caldwell, Carteret, Catawba, Chatham, Cleveland, Craven, Edgecombe, Granville, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Lenoir, Moore, Nash, Orange, Pitt, Robeson, Rutherford, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Wayne, Wilkes and Wilson.(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) (Photo: MGN Online) ATLANTA (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dropped 26 counties from North Carolina’s requirement for vehicle emissions inspections.A statement from the EPA said it finalized a rule approving the state’s revision of its air quality plan. The agency said the action removes regulations that are no longer needed and is expected to save consumers money.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Crews fight 14acre fire near Holly Shelter Game Lands

first_imgPENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Crews say a fire near the Holly Shelter Game Lands is under control.Bryan Haines with the NC Forest Service says a 14-acre blaze broke out Wednesday afternoon near Pinnacle Parkway. As of 5:15 p.m., the fire was under control.- Advertisement – Haines says seven tractors put lines in and a single engine air tanker did air drops.Crews from across Pender County responded, but have since been given the all clear.No injuries were reported.Related Article: Lightning hits at least two Leland homesThe cause of the fire is still under investigation.last_img read more