Protesters Return to Bus Stops as Supes Work Out Tech Shuttle Deal

first_imgAbout a dozen housing activists gathered at a designated commuter shuttle bus stop near 24th and Valencia streets this morning to protest against soaring rents and displacement that they say have been perpetuated by the shuttle buses that serve employees of Silicon Valley-based tech companies.The shuttle bus program, whose pilot expired February 1, was scheduled to be voted on at the Board of Supervisors meeting today. However, KQED reports that Mission Supervisor David Campos, along with supervisors London Breed and Norman Yee, came to an agreement last night with shuttle bus operators that would extend the program for another year. The extension would allow the buses to continue using Muni bus stops and give the city more time to study the program’s impacts over the next six months, including air quality and accelerated gentrification near the shuttle bus stops. The issue will come in front of the board again on February 23, when Campos will propose the compromise to the board.At about 8:45 a.m. today, a group that included organizers from the San Francisco Tenants Union, The Housing Rights Committee, as well as members from the “Last 3 Percent” movement, which refers to San Francisco’s dwindling black population, effectively blocked some five buses that transport Facebook and Yahoo employees from their Mission District homes to Silicon Valley, leaving workers stranded for about 45 minutes.To the sound of drumming and carrying signs that read “Save Our Homes,” “Reclaim The City,” and “Fire Ed Lee,” they protested an uptick of evictions, displacement, and skyrocketing housing prices in San Francisco neighborhoods that they say the commuter shuttle program fails to recognize and address. This morning’s protest was the first time in months that opponents rallied publicly around the issues. An 18-month commuter shuttle pilot program aiming to regulate the some 200 buses that operate on San Francisco’s streets fueled a lawsuit last November. The Board of Supervisors postponed a vote two weeks ago that would have made a decision on the permanent adoption of the program.Opponents of the shuttles have criticized city leaders and transportation officials for allowing the program to forego an Environmental Impact Review. Residents of neighborhoods in which the shuttle buses operate have said that the vehicles congest streets and pose danger to pedestrians and bicyclists.A shuttle bus enforcement official who declined to be named and was present at the intersection after the protest had concluded around 11:00 a.m. said that his job is to ticket shuttle drivers who illegally pull into bus stops to park and pick up passengers. The penalty citations run upwards of $300 but are rarely issued, according to this official, who added that shuttle operators “don’t always play by the rules,” despite the program’s regulations.“They are still parking in the bus zones,” the transit agency employee said.While an evaluation of the pilot program by the transit agency concluded that the shuttle service successfully reduced cars and congestion on the city’s streets, opponents point to the program’s negative impacts on public transportation and changes to the city’s demographics.A man who lives near the 24th Street shuttle stop said he sympathizes with the protesters, but has friends who use the shuttle service and added that he feels it’s benefits “outweigh the negatives.”“It allows people to get to work, and it takes cars off the roads,” said the man, declining to give his name. “The stops should be pre-arranged with the city so that they are not clogging up streets.”The man added that many of his friends, who work at Facebook, Apple and Google, do not own cars because of the shuttle program. “They would still live in the city, with or without the program, particularly the younger people because they like it here,” he said. Scene at the Google bus protest: At least the employees are getting some entertainment?— Jon Steinberg (@jonsteinberg31) February 9, 2016 Tags: protests • tech buses • Transportation Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% #Last3Percent blocking tech buses, disrupting tech privilege and fighting to #reclaimsf— Leslie Dreyer (@LeslieDreyer) February 9, 2016center_img Hearing today on the #Googlebus at 3pm #reclaimsf #last3percent— antievictionmap (@antievictionmap) February 9, 2016 0% Tech buses were blocked for about 45 minutes 2 yrs & 2 months after 1st #GoogleBus protest #sfbos #sfmayor #SB50— Steve Rhodes (@tigerbeat) February 9, 2016last_img read more

Attorneys File Federal Suit in Petrov Beating Case

first_imgAttorneys for Stanislav Petrov, the man beaten by Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies in a Mission District alleyway in November 2015, have filed a federal lawsuit against Alameda County, its sheriff, and the eight deputies who were present at the incident. Haddad & Sherwin LLP, the law firm representing Petrov, alleges excessive force, theft, and obstruction of justice on the part of the deputies. It also alleges that the department has an “unconstitutional custom and practice of permitting deputies to take trophy photos of individuals whom they have severely beaten and injured.” A few months after the incident, KTVU reported that a homeless couple who had been staying nearby on the street had received bribes — a gold chain, cigarettes, and change — which deputies allegedly stole from Petrov and gave to the couple to buy their silence.Sheriff’s deputies had pursued Petrov across the Bay Bridge in a car chase after encountering him at a San Leandro parking lot in what they say was a stolen vehicle, a spokesperson said after the incident. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department also told reporters after the incident that deputies had seen a gun in Petrov’s car. When Petrov crashed near Stevenson Street and Clinton Park in the Mission District, he left his car and ran down an alley. There, video cameras captured deputies pursuing, tackling, and striking him repeatedly with their batons. The suit follows San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón’s filing of criminal charges against two of the deputies, Paul Wieber and Luis Santamaria, on March 10. This suit, however, names eight deputies and Sheriff Gregory Ahern as its defendants and alleges civil rights violations.One of Petrov’s attorneys, Michael Haddad, said he is hoping to address the root of the problem within the department.“You couldn’t have had such an outrageous brutal criminal battery by police officers happen in front of many other officers unless there was some illegal criminal culture in the department that allowed it to happen,” he said. “We want to try to fix the problem in the department that allows this to happen in the first place so nobody else has to go through this.”A spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff, Sergeant Ray Kelly, said internal investigations are ongoing, though two deputies have been criminally charged and a third no longer works at the department. Kelly did not comment on the content of the federal suit directly.“We are aware that it is another part of this case that will need to be addressed,” he said. “We will continue to do a thorough, fair and cooperative investigation with all involved parties.” The firm filed a claim against Alameda County in late March alleging that the deputies painfully cuffed Petrov and robbed him. Because Alameda County did not respond to Haddad’s claim, his firm is free to pursue a lawsuit. The suit will allow Haddad to subpoena records, like the footage of the incident recorded when one of the deputies accidentally activated his body camera. That footage has so far only been seen by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.After the incident, Haddad said, Petrov suffered broken bones in his hands requiring surgeries, a concussion, and “permanent disability and disfigurement.” For his part, Petrov was not charged with any crimes in connection with the incident, but was arrested by federal agents in April for drug manufacturing and has a history of felony convictions and drug dealing arrests, the Examiner reported. His mother has said that the beating destroyed Petrov both physically and mentally. 0%center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Ethics watchdogs poll says San Franciscans would like this town to be

first_imgMore than 80 percent of respondents are concerned with reported behavior of former Mayor Ed Lee, billionaire donor Ron ConwayA poll commissioned by the good-government group Friends of Ethics indicates that San Francisco’s voters would prefer this to be a more ethical town — and might support stricter political ethics measures than the city has chosen to pursue.An overwhelming number of the 513 respondents to the March 28-29 phone poll additionally claimed they were ill at ease with purported heavy-handed pay-to-play politics practiced by former Mayor Ed Lee and Ron Conway, reported in Mission Local and elsewhere. A supermajority of them claimed they supported a proposed Ethics Commission investigation of it, “using subpoenas if necessary.” The poll was undertaken by the outfit Public Policy Polling, which also formulated the questions. “They are a reputable firm, and I paid them reputable money,” said Larry Bush, the founder of Friends of Ethics. You can view the poll, in its entirety, here. His motivation, Bush says, is to cajole the Ethics Commission and Board of Supervisors — which will hold their first-ever joint meeting Tuesday — to adopt stricter ethics rules rather than milder ones. To wit, 58 percent of respondents felt that San Francisco “should ban [political] appointees from fund-raising or contributing to candidates for election to City Hall offices.” (The city currently has no such prohibition, meaning appointees can donate to the elected official who appointed them, and also donate to the candidates of that official’s choosing.) A full 78 percent of respondents agreed that San Francisco should “ban developers from contributing to officials who approve their building requests.” (The city currently has no such prohibition. Lobbyists and contractors aren’t allowed to make donations, but contractors are permitted to bundle others’ money.) Those are pretty straightforward queries, but the 14-question poll quickly veered into a potential political minefield when it brought up the dearly departed Mayor Ed Lee and his preferred financier, Ron Conway. “It was recently reported that developers, union leaders and others seeking city approvals were told to contribute to a specific candidate and not to contribute to another candidate by then-mayor Lee, with the participation of his top staff and top city Board of Supervisors members, and that ‘we will be watching,’” read the preamble to Question 4. Sixty-two percent of the poll-takers said this gave them “very serious concerns.” Another 21 percent felt “somewhat serious concerns.” “At the same meeting,” begins the follow-up question, “billionaire City Hall insider Ron Conway also said that if the developer donated money to the mayor’s favorite candidate, Conway would make a donation in an equal amount to an organization supported by the developer.” Fifty-six percent of respondents said this gave them “very serious concerns.” Another 24 percent registered “somewhat serious concerns.” This meeting — which took place in 2015, and was reported on at the time — was recounted in a recent Mission Local article, reporting emails revealing Conway had, last December, brokered an introduction between then-acting Mayor London Breed and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a mayoral race he has claimed he’s “too busy” to participate in. Both Breed and Mayor Mark Farrell attended the 2015 meeting. This article caught the attention of Ethics Commissioner Quentin Kopp, who called for the commission to investigate that meeting. “I ask that staff begin an investigation … which I believe should be the subject of a special hearing by this commission,” Kopp said on March 16. “The San Franciscans who are voting on June 5 should have the benefit of the results of the investigation of the allegations contained in this article.”This investigation was approved by 73 percent of those polled. Bush said he’s “hopeful” a majority of supervisors will favor strict ethics rules of the sort he’d prefer — but less hopeful that these rules will be approved by the eight supervisors required to overrule a mayoral veto. 0% Email Address center_img Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Tags: London Breed Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Nobody leaves hungry from the Womens Building food pantry

first_imgA sanctuary with no judgment — that’s what Tania Estrada, the community programs director at the Women’s Building, calls their food pantry, established through a partnership with the SF-Marin Food Bank’s immigrant food assistance program. Estrada has worked at the Women’s Building for six years. She started as an intern, and began overseeing coordination of the food pantry two years ago. She shares that the two biggest populations their food pantry serves are Cantonese- and Spanish-speaking individuals. And they offer services in three languages total: Cantonese, Spanish and English. Unrelated to CalFresh or food stamps, registration for food pantry access is without restriction. All an interested individual needs to do is bring a form of identification and proof of residence in San Francisco, but even that’s not out-and-out required.  Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter “If they don’t have proof that they have an address because they don’t have stable housing, we waive that because obviously we don’t wanna give them any more restrictions than they already have, to have access to food,” says Kristen Acosta, the food pantry coordinator. Acosta adds, “When you sign up, you just get a card saying that you’re a food pantry participant.” The cards are color-coded; the colors determine what time you can shop at the food pantry. Those with CalFresh can still access the food pantry, and on Thursdays, a representative from the food bank comes to the Women’s Building to do free applications and screenings for the program. Estrada says this is “because immigrant families wouldn’t want to go anywhere else, because they will feel safe and protected about their rights, and also about the service that they were given without fear of anything, in terms of immigration.” The food available at the pantry, which is distributed by the food bank, is seasonal. Acosta says, “Whatever the farms have, it’s always seasonal. So, if it’s this month, we’ve got a lot of watermelons and honeydew, things like that, because that’s what they’re growing right now, which is awesome.”“So, all of it is donations from food companies, or directly from farms as well. And it’s all of their leftovers, so whatever they’re able to donate to the food bank.”Estrada includes, “We are giving good food. And also, it’s aimed for our communities. So, we can also request, like to the food bank, whatever our community sometimes needs the most or eats the most at their homes based on their cultures.” Set up like a farmer’s market, the food pantry operates every Monday from 9:10 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. It’s housed in a spacious events room on the first floor of the mural-adorned, historic building and there’s a line that stretches from the front. People in line wait to be checked in at the food pantry. Photo by Ashvini Malshe.People sit in a queue to the side, waiting their turn. And the pantry’s 13 volunteers stay focused on their task, organizing and distributing the groceries in stock from the foldable tables that form a row at the front. This Monday, offerings included veggies like Brussels sprouts, carrots and potatoes. There were also non-perishable items like grains and large plastic jugs of juice placed further down the tables. According to Estrada, there are 130 families registered for the food pantry program, but those without a food pantry card are welcome to take whatever leftovers are available, starting at 9:55 a.m. Estrada says, “The majority of the community that we serve are very low income families and most of them are in high risk of either being evicted or becoming homeless.”Volunteer Cecilia Aguirre distributes bunches of grapes at the food pantry, this Monday morning.She continues, “The majority of them are making less than $20,000 per year and with that they live in San Francisco, and they have to pay for rent, food, school, everything.” The Women’s Building is at 3543 18th St., #8. For more information about food pantries available in SF and Marin counties, you can access the food pantry locator at center_img Email Addresslast_img read more

SAINTS second preseason friendly went the way of

first_imgSAINTS second pre-season friendly went the way of Widnes Vikings who retained the Karalius Cup with a 30-16 win. Two tries in the opening five minutes of the second half did the damage before Jordan Turner’s second threatened a comeback. It didn’t materialise as Keiron Cunningham’s side were guilty of overplaying in the final stages – leaving plenty to work on as the season approaches. That said, there were promising performances from Jordan Turner, who bagged a brace, Theo Fages and Dominique Peyroux who looked assured at centre. Saints got off to the best possible start when Jon Wilkin’s 40:20 resulted in a fine Mark Percival score. Walsh, Travis Burns and Jack Owens were involved, each combining for the winger to go over in the corner. Ten minutes in, Widnes replied – and it was a tad fortuitous. James Roby was adjudged to have knocked the ball on when he clearly took it off his boot, giving Widnes another set. And Patrick Ah Van went over in the corner although he didn’t seem to have full control. From the restart Saints were penalised for offside and Joe Mellor, seizing his opportunity, took a tap and scampered 70 metres. Saints hit back when they forced a knock on right in Widnes territory.  Atelea Vea produced a strong run but on the last a high kick from Walsh saw Turner pluck it out of midair. Walsh with the extras to make it 10-10. The parity was short-lived as on 28 minutes Rhys Hanbury burrowed over the line. He looked held up, but the referee had other ideas. Walsh intercepted on 37 minutes but couldn’t take advantage and then Widnes blew a chance over on the right hand side. The second half began with a scuffle on the far side of the pitch as tempers overflowed. But it was Widnes who took advantage of the discord through Hanbury who extended his side’s lead thanks to a nice overlap. And it got worse as seconds later as Lloyd White scooted down the far side. Saints faired better after the tries; controlling the game well but failing to make any in-roads in the Vikings’ half. They finally did cross on 67 minutes thanks to a heap of pressure and a nice Turner run. Saints threatened on a couple more occasions as the clock counted down but they couldn’t find the killer touch. And Paddy Flynn sealed the Vikings’ win with a try right at the death. Match Summary: Saints: Tries: Percival, Turner (2),  Goals: Walsh (1 from 2), Owens (1 from 1) Vikings: Tries: Ah Van, Mellor, Hanbury (2), White, Flynn Goals: Thompson (3 from 4), Hanbury (0 from 1) Penalties: Saints: 7 Vikings: 5 HT: 10-16 FT: 16-30 REF: J Cobb ATT: 3,691 Teams: Saints:  22. Jack Owens; 21. Matty Dawson, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Mark Percival; 6. Travis Burns, 7. Luke Walsh; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 14. Lama Tasi, 12. Jon Wilkin, 11. Atelea Vea, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook. Subs: 2. Tommy Makinson, 15. Greg Richards, 16. Andre Savelio, 17. Luke Thompson, 19. Theo Fages, 20. Joe Greenwood, 28. Morgan Knowles, 30. Calvin Wellington. Vikings:  1. Rhys Hanbury; 2. Corey Thompson, 3. Chris Bridge, 17. Stefan Marsh, 5. Patrick Ah Van; 7. Joe Mellor, 6. Kevin Brown; 8. Eamon O’Carroll, 9. Lloyd White, 18. Gil Dudson, 15. Setaimata Sa, 14. Chris Dean, 13. Hep Cahill. Subs: 10. Manase Manuokafoa, 16. Paddy Flynn, 19. Macgraff Leuluai, 21. Tom Gilmore, 22. Matt Whitley, 34. Sam Brooks, 42. Danny Walker.last_img read more

SAINTS havent lost a home Challenge Cup tie again

first_imgSAINTS haven’t lost a home Challenge Cup tie against Hull FC since 1926 and have won their last four home meetings in comp since then.Hull FC have won on their last three Super League visits to Langtree Park however including a 17-16 win back in April.Previous Challenge Cup Meetings:2008 (FINAL) Hull FC 16 St Helens 28 (at Wembley Stadium)2005 (Semi-Final) Hull FC 34 St Helens 8 (at Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield)2004 (Quarter Final) St Helens 31 Hull FC 261997 (Round 5) St Helens 54 Hull FC 81990 (Round 2) Hull FC 12 St Helens 241984 (Round 2) St Helens 24 Hull FC 141981 (Round 2) St Helens 5 Hull FC 31976 (Round 1) Hull FC 3 St Helens 51969 (Round 1) Hull FC 3 St Helens 131961 (Semi-Final) Hull FC 9 St Helens 26 (at Odsal Stadium, Bradford)1936 (Round 1) Hull FC 16 St Helens 61926 (Round 2) St Helens 7 Hull FC 102016 League Meeting:St Helens 16, Hull FC 17 (SLR9, 1/4/16)Head to HeadSaintsHull FCTries5461Goals4852Metres1612817058Breaks6280Tackles40304179Penalties99103Point-Scoring Run:Luke Walsh has the longest scoring streak in the game, having registered points in St Helens’ last 26 matches.His scoring streak began with five goals and a field goal in a 35-34 home win against Huddersfield on July 10 2015.Walsh last failed to score in Saints’ 46-18 defeat at Leeds on July 3 2015.First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers) 142 = Jodie Broughton (Catalans Dragons), Corey Thompson (Widnes Vikings) 134 = Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Junior Sa’u (Salford Red Devils) 116 = Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves), Kevin Penny (Warrington Wolves), Stefan Marsh (Widnes Vikings) 1010 = Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons), Jamie Shaul (Hull FC), Joe Greenwood (St Helens), Ryan Atkins (Warrington Wolves) 9Goals:1 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 522 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 483 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 474 = Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 446 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 437 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 408 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 319 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 2910 Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 26Goals Percentage:1 Jordan Lilley (Leeds Rhinos) 88.46 (23/26)2 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 84.61 (44/52)3 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 81.03 (47/58)4 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 80.00 (52/65)5 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 78.57 (44/56)6 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 78.18 (43/55)7 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 77.77 (14/18)8 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 73.84 (48/65)9 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 73.80 (31/42)10 Michael Dobson (Salford Red Devils) 73.07 (19/26)Points:1 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 1322 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 1123 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 1114 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 1045 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 1006 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 927 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 918 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 729 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 7010 Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 60last_img read more

Bladen County deputies bust meth lab in Dublin

first_imgScott Bradley Richardson (Photo: Bladen County Sheriff’s Office) BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Deputies with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office busted a meth lab ready to begin production at a man’s home in Dublin Tuesday.Sheriff James A. McVicker said community tips of illegal drug activity led to the discovery on Old Highway 41 near Dublin.- Advertisement – Narcotics Investigators with my office teamed up with North Carolina Probation and Parole to search a residence on Tuesday.McVicker said officers began a search of the home and found a kit for taking methamphetamine along with precursors. Once they found these items they contacted the SBI’s Clandestine Lab Unit who came down, cleaned up the site and removed the kit and precursors.40-year-old Scott Bradley Richardson was arrested and charged with five counts of Possession of a Precursor for Manufacturing Methamphetamine. He is being held in the Bladen County jail under a $700,000 secured bond.Related Article: Three arrested, five businesses closed in Bladen County illegal video gaming bust“I am glad we have people who come forward with information on illegal activity,” said the sheriff. “We appreciate tips from the public and we follow up on them when we get them. This tip helped us stop a meth lab from operating and spreading these drugs in our county.”last_img read more

Pumpkin patch season has officially started

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington favorite is back! The Wesley Memorial UMC pumpkin patch is open for business.After 27 years, the Wesley Memorial UMC  pumpkin patch is still a crowd favorite.- Advertisement – “The pumpkins power a lot of things around here,” Pastor to youth and college students Mary Frances McClure said.From big to small, this pumpkin patch has them all.“I like the white ones and the pink ones because they’re really unique, you don’t see them a lot,” pumpkin patch worker Addie Gasher said.Related Article: Trick or treat safely at Pender’s EMS and fire departments“This ones my favorite because it’s really, I like it because it’s like the right size and it’s orange enough,” first time pumpkin patch visitor Tory Hilliard said.While some people pick pumpkins to carve and decorate, others go to start a family tradition.“We live pretty close by and with him being a newborn and stuff like that, we kinda wanted to make it a tradition around ya know the Halloween time, as far as pumpkins and ya know taking pictures and what not,” pumpkin patch visitor Nick Karagiannis said.McClure said she enjoys how much the community supports the patch every year.“We love when people come back and take more photos or ya know bring Grandma. It’s just fun to come out here and we have some people come and sit here and read or just hang out, because it’s just, it’s the pumpkin patch. It’s really fun to be here,” McClure said.Even though the pumpkins may not last forever, the memories at the pumpkin patch will.The pumpkin patch opened yesterday and will stay open until Halloween evening or after they run out of pumpkins.last_img read more

Man jailed for child sex crimes charges

first_imgSean Dell Johnson (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County man is behind bars under a $1 million bond for child sex crimes charges.The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office arrested Sean Dell Johnson, 39, today. He was taken into custody on Division Drive.- Advertisement – Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Lt. Jerry Brewer says the investigation into Johnson began two months ago. The victim is currently 16-year-old. The alleged assaults began two years ago, when she was 14.Johnson is charged with Indecent Liberties with a Child and 1st Degree Attempted Sex Offense.The Sheriff’s Office says more charges are likely.Related Article: Woman accused of stabbing boyfriendlast_img read more

Amy Wright returns home to celebration at Bitty and Beaus

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — As Amy Wright enters the door, tears are shed and hugs are shared at Bitty and Beau’s. 36 hours after being named the CNN Hero of the Year, Wright had no clue so many people would be at the coffee shop to congratulate her when she returned.“I knew when I showed up for work, we would have a dance party and just celebrate. But I had no idea that so many people would show up and surprise me like this,” Wright said.- Advertisement – They had plenty of balloons and cake to celebrate the honor. A moment Wright says is still hard to believe.“When they called my name, you could have pushed me over with a feather.I mean it was honestly the biggest surprise and just so validating because I feel like our employees now. People all over the world know who they are. Know what they’re worth is. And that’s the biggest prize of all,” Wright said.The first things that came to her mind when she won was her kids.Related Article: Bitty of ‘Bitty & Beau’s Coffee’ invited to appear on Sesame Street“Bitty and Beau. And, I thought of them sitting there at home in front of the television and i thought ‘Oh my gosh. What’s happening at home right now’ and I later did see the video tape of the celebration that they had, so it was awesome,” Wright said.With the honor, Wright also received $100,000. She says while they want to expand their business, she also hopes people get something else out of this.“I hope that people see what’s happened here and go back to their businesses and say ‘how can we incorporate someone with a disability where I work. And so that will be what really changes the statistic,” Wright said.Her employers are happy for her.“I wish you the best. Congratulations. And I always love your kids,” Richard Hansen, a barista, said.“Hey Amy! I am so proud of you and congratulations,” Grant Smith, a barista, said.“You’re so awesome. I love you. Congratulations,” Matt Dean, a cashier, said.Wright says even though she was named the CNN Her of the Year, she sees her employees as the true heroes. She says they make a difference in the world, one cup at a time.last_img read more

Crews continue to battle ice on state roads in southeastern North Carolina

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (Press Release) – N.C. Department of Transportation crews, supplemented by crews and equipment form across the state, continue their work on removing ice from the roads Sunday in Brunswick, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, Sampson and Duplin counties.Low temperatures are still hampering recovery efforts, especially in shady areas, where crews have had limited success breaking the ice loose. The same issue has also resulted in the temporary closing of Wrightsville Beach Bridge to boating traffic until Monday. Transportation officials anticipate the warmer temperatures forecasted for Monday to greatly improve conditions.- Advertisement – As of late Sunday afternoon, the interstates in the region are currently clear with icy spots, however, many primary and secondary roads remain covered by snow and ice. Primary roads in Brunswick County are now clear, except for N.C. 133, which remains partially covered with snow and ice. Primary roads in New Hanover and Onslow counties are also partially covered with snow and ice. Four-lane divided roads in Pender and Duplin counties are clear with icy spots, as are most primary roads in Sampson County.Most secondary roads throughout the region will remain covered with snow and ice. All supporting crews will remain in Division 3 through Monday to assist with ongoing operations.NCDOT’s first priority is to clear interstates and four-lane divided primary routes (N.C. and U.S. routes) that are essential to the movement of intrastate and regional traffic. After these roads are clear, the priority moves to clearing lower-volume primary roads, high-volume secondary roads, lower-volume secondary roads and then subdivision streets.Related Article: Improvements coming to U.S. 74/76 in Columbus CountyIn the meantime, transportation officials urge drivers to avoid travel if possible. Those who must travel are urged to slow down and leave extra space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them to lessen the chance of a collision. Travel at night is especially dangerous due to the combination of even lower temperatures and decreased visibility.In addition, drivers who encounter NCDOT road clearing crews and their equipment should leave plenty of distance to allow crews to spread salt and safely plow the road.For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter.last_img read more

This is just the beginning Whats next for local American Idol contestant

first_img 1 of 7 Joshua Ward auditions for “American Idol” in 2017. (Photo: Joshua Ward) Joshua Ward performs on the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC)Joshua Ward performs on the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC) Joshua Ward performs on the Hollywood Week of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless) The 16-year-old Ashley High School sophomore was featured briefly on last night’s episode of “American Idol.” His clips showed a range of emotions beginning with the thrill of being in Hollywood.“This is gonna be the most amazing week of my life. This is so exciting!” a smiling Ward told the camera. “This is it. This is the dream, and it’s coming true now.”But moments later, after a brief shot of Ward, who a graphic mistakenly said was from “Williamton, NC,” on stage in front of judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, Ward was part of a montage of heartbroken contestants who learned they were going home and would not advance.Related Article: Storm caused $140M in damage to UNCWSo now that the secret is out, WWAY caught up with Ward Tuesday.“My heart sank. I was like here it is it’s coming to an end. It’s over, the dream is over,” Ward said. “At the time I was crushed and I couldn’t tell a soul.”Ward beat thousands of hopefuls across the country for a golden ticket to Hollywood to compete on “American Idol.”“One of 169 out of thousands that tried out,” Ward said. “That’s, that’s within itself that’s a blessing.”His talent is undeniable, but it was not enough to win over the star judges during Hollywood week.“I honestly really thought that it went well,” Ward said.Joshua said it was hard seeing himself get so upset on TV the moment he got the news.“As I stood in that room, in that confessional room crying as y’all saw last night. I knew I was like, ‘Man, this sucks’ but it’s not the end I’m coming back. I’m not done,” Ward said. “I’m not going to let this knock me down, I’m getting back up again.”However, being sent home did not quite break his spirit.“This is just the beginning,” Ward said. “This was like, it’s just a stepping stone in God’s major plan for my life. He’s given me a gift. And this was the first part. It’s one little piece.”It is an experience that Joshua will never forget.“That within itself is a journey that I will always remember and will be in a special place in my heart. Because it was my dream,” Ward said.Joshua said he plans to keep fighting for his dream to become a star.“I can do this. They liked me and just because I got one no now doesn’t mean I won’t get a yes later,” Ward said. “I’m not gonna give up at all. I’m gonna be back next year. I promise.”As for now Joshua plans to continue singing and perfecting his talent. He is also preparing for his school’s upcoming football season. On Sundays he will be singing with his parents at his church, Impact Church.Ward will take his passion to the Azalea Festival Parade in downtown Wilmington on Saturday, April 14. He is scheduled to sing the National Anthem.“American Idol” airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. on WWAY ABC. Joshua Ward, fourth from right, listens to the judges during the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless)center_img WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Joshua Ward, a Wilmington teen, had to live with a secret for more than two months. For weeks he could not tell his friends and loved ones that his golden ticket to Hollywood did not get him very far.But Ward is not letting this defeat keep him down.- Advertisement – Joshua Ward, fourth from right, listens to the judges during the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless) Joshua Ward hugs another contestant during the Hollywood Week episode of “American Idol” that aired on March 26, 2018. (Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless) Joshua Ward reacts to learning he was cut from “American Idol.” (Photo: ABC)last_img read more

Deputies Teacher assaulted by student at Topsail Middle School

first_imgTopsail Middle School (Photo: Pender County Schools) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Pender County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after an 8th grade teacher said a male student assaulted her last week.Captain James Rowell with the sheriff’s office said the assault happened Thursday at Topsail Middle School.- Advertisement – Rowell said depending on if the teacher presses charges, since the student is a minor, the charges would be up to juvenile services.Rowell could not say anything more on the assault itself.last_img read more

New Whiteville police hires must stay two years or pay up

first_img If officers do not stay the full two years they will have to pay back costs for training, uniforms, and equipment.Whiteville Police Spokesman Alan May says it is an agreement, not a legally binding contract, and many other municipalities have similar policies. Whiteville Police (Photo: City of Whiteville Facebook) WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) — The City of Whiteville has created a new policy for new police hires: stay here for two years or pay up.The policy was proposed by Police Chief Jeffrey Rosier and unanimously approved by city council Monday night.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Almost 400 people winched from stricken cruise liner off Norway

first_imgA cruise ship Viking Sky drifts towards land after an engine failure, Hustadvika, Norway March 23, 2019. Frank Einar Vatne/NTB Scanpix/via REUTERSA cruise ship Viking Sky drifts towards land after an engine failure, Hustadvika, Norway March 23, 2019. Frank Einar Vatne/NTB Scanpix/via REUTERS Rescue services had airlifted 397 people to safety from a luxury cruise liner with engine trouble off the coast of Norway by Sunday morning and were preparing to tow the vessel to a nearby port.The Viking Sky, with 1,373 passengers and crew on board, sent out a mayday signal on Saturday as it drifted towards land in the Norwegian Sea.The ship was carrying 915 passengers, of whom “a large number” were from the United States and Britain, according to the rescue services.Some 17 injured passengers had been taken to hospital, a local rescue coordinator told a news conference early on Sunday, while others suffered minor cuts and bruises.One was taken to St. Olav’s Hospital in the town of Trondheim, which is central Norway’s most advanced medical facility. Others were taken to local hospitals in the region.“Many have also been traumatised by the experience and need care when they arrive on shore,” the Norwegian Red Cross said in a statement.The airlift had gone on through the night. The ship has been able to restart three of its four engines on Sunday morning but still needed assistance.“The evacuation continues at the request of the vessel … they need tugboats to get to port,” rescue service spokesman Per Fjeld said, adding that the plan was to bring the Viking Sky to the town of Molde.Rescue services have begun to attach lines to the ship from tugboats to begin towing it towards the port.BROKEN WINDOWSStormy weather conditions had improved in the early hours of Sunday, with winds blowing at 14 metres per second, down from 24 metres per second previously, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. The wind speeds are expected to fall further during Sunday.Images and film posted by passengers on social media showed furniture sliding around as the vessel drifted in waves of up to eight metres (26 feet), and passengers earlier described the ordeal.“We were having lunch when it began to shake. Window panes were broken and water came in. It was just chaos. The trip on the helicopter, I would rather forget. It was not fun,” American passenger John Curry told public broadcaster NRK on Saturday.The stretch of water known as Hustadvika and surrounding areas are known for fierce weather and shallow waters dotted with reefs.Viking Cruises, which owns the ship, on Saturday said the safety of passengers was its top priority. The company was not immediately available for further comment on Sunday. SharePrint WhatsAppcenter_img <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

UAE says it will show restraint after tanker attacks Irans behaviour a

first_img SharePrint WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: A sign of Fujarah Terminals is pictured at the Port of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, May 13, 2019. REUTERS/Satish KumarFILE PHOTO: A sign of Fujarah Terminals is pictured at the Port of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, May 13, 2019. REUTERS/Satish Kumar The United Arab Emirates will show restraint after attacks on oil tankers off its coast and is committed to de-escalation during a “difficult situation” caused by Iranian behaviour in the region, a senior official said on Wednesday.Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said he would not speculate about who was behind Sunday’s sabotage acts on four vessels, including two Saudi tankers, near Fujairah emirate while an investigation was under way and due to be completed within days.“We need to emphasise caution and good judgment. It is easy to throw accusations but it is a difficult situation, there are serious issues and among them is Iranian behaviour,” he said, mentioning concern about Iran’s missiles and regional policy.“We will actually with our partners also be deliberate in considering our response, what to do about it, how to deal with it,” he said, adding the United States and France were helping with the probe.France has a naval base in Abu Dhabi.A UAE official had told Reuters that Saudi Arabia and Norway were also involved. A Norwegian-registered oil products tanker was among the vessels hit, along with a UAE fuel bunker barge.Iran has distanced itself from the attack off Fujairah, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz. U.S. officials believe Iran encouraged Yemen’s Houthi group or Iraq-based Shi’ite militias to carry out the attack, two U.S. government sources said on Wednesday.Gargash said the attack took place in UAE territorial waters but declined to comment on whether the OPEC producer and regional trading hub was beefing up security after the incident.Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in comments after talks with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, said the most populous country in the Arab world regarded Gulf security as part of its own security.“The president expressed Egypt’s full solidarity with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in confronting all attempts to undermine the security and stability of the two sisterly countries,” Sisi spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.SANCTIONS ARE ‘BITING’Saudi Arabia shared the concerns of its fellow Sunni Muslim ally that Shi’ite Iran has for a long time been undermining stability in the region, Gargash said, and the U.S. commitment to its allies in the region is “very strong”.“U.S. sanctions on Iran are biting, and biting in a very effective way,” Gargash said.The attacks took place against a backdrop of U.S.-Iranian tension following Washington’s decision this month to try to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero and beef up its military presence in the Gulf in response to what it said were Iranian threats.Saudi Arabia and the UAE back the sanctions against Iran, a fellow OPEC producer but regional foe. After the United States ended sanctions waivers that had allowed some nations to continue importing Iranian crude, Washington said Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would help compensate for any shortage in oil supply.Tehran has called the U.S. military presence “a target” rather than a threat, and said it would not allow its oil exports to be halted.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that “extremist individuals” in the U.S. government were pursuing dangerous policies and that Tehran is not seeking confrontation.“On Iran, it doesn’t really help to hear Foreign Minister Zarif trying to offer a moderate voice with regards to Iran’s intentions,” Gargash said. “We have been bullied by Iran, we have seen aggressive Iranian actions in the region. So his words are very hollow in that sense.center_img <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

Facebook revenue doubles to 16bn

first_imgAdvertisement The leaked figures are the first indication of Facebook’s financial success since reports in June that it is preparing to make an initial public offering in October or November this year, valuing the company at around $100bn.Goldman Sachs is understood to be the frontrunner to lead the listing, which Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, described in May as “inevitable”.The $100bn valuation would reflect a phenomenal pace of growth at Facebook. In January, Goldman invested $450m in the social networking business, valuing it at $50bn. – Advertisement – Expectations of a Facebook flotation are already having a knock-on effect on property prices in Silicon Valley, which have risen around 20pc in the past year.Facebook has historically struggled to monetise its success, given its size and influence, but the leaked figures suggest a robust performance. However, usage appears to be reaching stauration point in some markets. According to Experian Hitwise, the number of visits to the site in the UK fell by 4pc in July to its lowest level since 2009, sparking concerns that Facebook has hit its peak and is declining in popularity.The company is understood to be working on a number of new functions to make the site more “sticky”, including a music-streaming service which would see it partner with existing market leaders Spotify, Mog and Rhapsody. It has also introduced new features for advertisers, designed to emulate “word of mouth marketing”.Last month Facebook scrapped its Groupon-style daily deals service in the US, after just four months.Source: Telegraph Newslast_img read more

Apple bought Lightning trademark from HarleyDavidson

first_imgAdvertisement Apple officially landed the European trademark over the weekend on the Lightning name for its new mobile connector, but local regulatory filings show that Apple had to buy the rights from motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson.As the patent blog Patently Apple first reported, Harley had been granted the Lightning trademark in Europe in 2005 for a line of motorcycles and parts, though it doesn’t appear that the company ever brought any bikes to market with that name. Harley-Davidson did not respond to a request for comment.Apple was officially granted two European trademark registrations for “Lightning” on Nov. 24. The trademarks were only partially transferred from Harley, meaning that Hogs could carry the Lightning name in the future. – Advertisement – Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.The trademarks Apple received cover a broad list of items, from motorcycle electrical parts and speedometers to audio and video equipment. They also cover vending machines, slot and pinball machines, Christmas tree ornaments, golf tees, cat toys, television sets and eyeglasses.Though the list was likely generated by Harley to cover all of its potential marketing bases, the TV and eyeglasses inclusions piqued some interest in the blogosphere. Could Apple be planning an iTV, or glasses that include the Lightning connector? If so, the company is now covered — in Europe, at least. An Apple spokeswoman was unavailable to comment for this story.Apple unveiled its new eight-prong Lightning connector in September when the company debuted the iPhone 5. It’s much tinier than the 30-pin connector that had been Apple’s standard since 2003, and it now helps power the iPad Mini, fourth-generation iPad and much of the iPod lineup, in addition to the latest iPhone.Though Apple says the smaller connector was necessary to miniaturize its product lineup, customers with legacy hardware have cried foul that Apple is charging $20 and up for an adapter. Cheap knockoffs have made their way to market, despite new restrictions put in place by Apple to prevent copycats.Credit: CNNlast_img read more

Google CEO Sundar Pichais Quora account hacked

first_imgImage credit;techniasia Advertisement Earlier this month a hacker group by the name of Ourmine team claimed to have gained access to Mark Zuckerberg’s social media accounts; Twitter and Pinterest.Later on Facebook spokesman told Reuters that the accounts had been re-secured using best practices.Well looks like the Ourmine team didn’t stop there as their latest target is Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The group made several posts to Pichai’s Twitter account, broadcast to his 508,000-plus followers, from his Quora account, and claimed to have hacked into both.However, unlike the Zuckerberg hack, where entry was gained into his accounts using a password obtained from the massive leak of LinkedIn data, access to Pichai’s Quora account seems to have been via vulnerability on the question-and-answer website’s end. Ourmine claims to have reported this vulnerability to Quora, with no response. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Spain again

first_imgSpain v ItalyConfederations Cup Semi FinalTIME: 8pm, BBC3SPAIN v BRAZIL FINAL ?Pacific Heights ran well to take third in the Carlisle Bell yesterday to give us a small profit on the recommended each-way bet.Back to the football tonight and the second Confederations Cup semi-final between Spain and Italy for the right to play Brazil in the final.As we can seen from the head to head records, Spain most definitely have the edge in recent encounters.01 Jul 2012 European Championship, Spain 4:0 Italy10 Jun 2012 European Championship, Spain 1:1 Italy22 Jun 2008 European Championship, Spain 0:0 a.e.t. 4:2 PSO Italy26 Mar 2008 Friendly, Spain 1:0 Italy28 Apr 2004 Friendly, Italy 1:1 Spain29 Mar 2000 Friendly, Spain 2:0 Italy18 Nov 1998 Friendly, Italy 2:2 Spain09 Jul 1994 World Cup, Italy 2:1 Spain14 Jun 1988 European Championship, Italy 1:0 Spain12 Jun 1980 European Championship, Spain 0:0 ItalyIt’s hard to see anything other than a win for Spain tonight and it’s no surprise to see them at short odds on Star Sports.Italy have been dealt a body blow of injury worries which include Mario Balotelli missing the game with Ignazio Abate and Andrea Pirlo likely absentees.It’s a predictable prediction but Spain and over 2.5 goals look the likely bets.STAR FORECAST(stake between 0.5 and 10 points)8 points win SPAIN to beat Italy (inside 90 minutes)5 points over 2.5 goals Spain v Italy(+2 points Wednesday)SLIP SIDING AWAYWe remain very hopeful about Andy Murray. And after the biggest day of shocks in the history of Wimbledon – who can blame us ?The All England Club has denied suggestions that the Wimbledon courts are too slippery, on a day when seven players withdrew with injuries.Maria Sharapova fell three times and asked for a medical timeout during her straight-set loss to world number 131 Michelle Larcher De Brito.Victoria Azarenka pulled out before her match with Flavia Pennetta because of a knee injury sustained during a slip in her first round clash.Richard Lewis, chief executive of the All England Club, said the lawns were “as they should be” and rejected suggestions that the court surface was to blame for the injuries.“We have no reason to think this is the case. Indeed, many players have complimented us on the very good condition of the courts,” he said in a statement.“The court preparation has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years and it is well known that grass surfaces tend to be more lush at the start of an event.”last_img read more