A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… Many of the disabled activists who have played a key role in exposing the harm caused by the government’s social security cuts and reforms have come together for a “breakthrough” campaign meeting attended by five Labour shadow ministers.Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who chaired the meeting, said afterwards that he believed that it could herald the start of “a significant movement to expose the brutality of the system” and secure “permanent change”.The meeting was welcomed by disabled activists who attended, but some of them also warned Labour that they now needed to see “concrete action”, with two saying separately that “the proof of the pudding will be in the eating”.The meeting focused on the deaths and other serious harm caused by the much-criticised work capability assessment (WCA), but it also covered many other areas of concern, particularly the damage caused to disabled people by the government’s new universal credit.The meeting is set to be the launchpad for a new series of campaigning efforts linking the party with disabled activists and allies, with Labour hoping eventually to secure support from members of other political parties.A follow-up meeting is set to take place later this autumn.It is believed to be the first time that representatives of so many of the disabled-led grassroots organisations who have campaigned against cuts and reforms – in many cases since 2010 – together with researchers, journalists and union representatives, have gathered together in the same room* to discuss the concerns and plan a campaigning response.The key theme of the meeting was the importance of campaigning around the links between the WCA and the deaths and other serious harm caused to claimants.This included the repeated failure of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to ensure that the “further medical evidence” needed to demonstrate benefit eligibility is always collected, particularly for claimants with mental health conditions.Another theme was the need to hold Conservative politicians such as Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling to account for the decisions they made within DWP in 2010 that many believe led to the deaths of claimants of out-of-work disability benefits.But those present also said that it was vital to “look at the bigger picture”, and they brought in other crucial issues such as the introduction of universal credit and personal independence payment, the benefit sanctions and conditionality regimes, the impact of the reforms on disabled women, and the cuts to social care support.One contributor said: “People are having their lives utterly destroyed today.”One disabled activist told the meeting that there was a need both for “harm reduction”, to address the immediate problems with the assessment process, and “system change” to secure the eventual abolition of the WCA altogether.He said: “Saying ‘change the WCA right now’ is not saying ‘keep the WCA’, it is saying ‘stop it killing so many people’.”Other contributors said the government had made a deliberate attempt to create a “hostile environment for disabled people”.One activist who had provided unpaid advocacy for other disabled people said they and colleagues had been “inundated with people terrified of the introduction of universal credit”.People were realising that they could not move out of their local authority area in case they were forced to move onto the government’s new working-age benefit ssytem, they said.The meeting heard from one attendee about the importance of putting the government’s reforms into historical perspective and highlighting how they had been strongly influenced by the US insurance industry, which had wanted all disabled people seeking benefits “to be treated as bogus claimants”.She added: “The WCA was brought in to destroy public confidence in the welfare state.”There was also a call for nurses and GPs to be held to account for the way they had “compromised” their own medical ethics in dealing with requests for evidence to support disability benefit claims and in acting as assessors for private contractors.And there was concern at the continuing roll-out of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, which was leading mental health professionals to “come out with the sort of language we are hearing from the Department for Work and Pensions”.One contributor told the meeting: “You can’t divorce what’s happening in DWP with what’s happening in psychiatry.”The idea for a meeting of politicians, activists and researchers had originally come from Black Triangle’s John McArdle, who had put the idea to McDonnell. McDonnell told Disability News Service (DNS) after the meeting: “I think this is a breakthrough meeting in terms of getting many of the relevant organisations and individuals together who have their concerns about what is happening to disabled people and their treatment in the welfare system.“I think it is the start of what could be a significant movement to expose the brutality of the system, but more importantly to secure permanent change.”McArdle told DNS afterwards: “I’m really glad the meeting happened. John McDonnell seems to be taking this seriously.“I am encouraged that we are going to be having another meeting in the next six weeks and that a strategy will be formulated to really take the fight for disability rights to the heart of Westminster politics.“But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We want some concrete action.”Marsha de Cordova, the shadow minister for disabled people, told DNS that it was the first time that the various groups had been brought around the same table to talk about different issues – including crucial concerns about the imminent “migration” from benefits such as employment and support allowance onto universal credit – that all fed into the idea that the government had created a “hostile environment towards disabled people”.She said: “It is good that we are talking about it. It’s great that we are bringing people around the table, and mainly disabled people.”Paula Peters, from Disabled People Against Cuts and the Mental Health Resistance Network, said the meeting had provided “ideas to go forward”.But she echoed McArdle’s words, saying: “Actions speak louder than words. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.“We have heard words for a long time while disabled people continue to die.”She also said there was “a lot more work to do” on Labour’s position on universal credit, which her two groups believe needs to be “stopped and scrapped” rather than paused and fixed, as is the current Labour policy.She said: “We still have to persuade them to stop and scrap. The system is at breaking point.”Researcher and campaigner Catherine Hale, lead researcher and project manager of the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project, and a member of the Spartacus Network, said the meeting was “very exciting”.She said: “In 2015 it felt like the Labour party turned its back on disabled people because the leadership thought that showing us support would work against them in the election. We all know how that ended.“Now John McDonnell has given new momentum and hopefully new unity to our campaigns against the WCA, sanctions, PIP and universal credit.“I hope that with Labour now standing squarely behind disabled people we can overturn the Tories’ cruel policies and vicious rhetoric that have devastated our communities.”Researcher Mo Stewart added: “It was a very welcome meeting, demonstrating Labour’s commitment to changing the plight of claimants of disability benefit for the better.“There is a tendency to overlook the American corporate influence behind the introduction of the fatally flawed WCA. That needs to change.“The disabled lobby petitioned for years to stop being identified by a medical label, and so the social model was adopted.“Along comes big business to play them at their own game, advising the DWP to disregard medical opinion in favour of the flawed biopsychosocial model, and a world of pain and persecution followed with the adoption of the WCA.“Labour plans to stop the WCA when elected to office, which has given a lot of hope to the persecuted sick and disabled community.”Five Labour shadow ministers attended the meeting: McDonnell and de Cordova; Margaret Greenwood, the shadow work and pensions secretary; Mike Amesbury, the shadow employment minister; and Lyn Brown, the shadow Treasury minister with responsibility for social mobility.*The meeting was conducted under the Chatham House rule, so although the contributions made during the meeting can be reported, the names of those who spoke and their organisations cannot, unless they spoke afterwards on-the-record. Labour has allowed DNS to report the names of the five shadow ministers who attendedPicture: Disabled activists, Labour shadow ministers and researchers after the meeting in Westminsterlast_img read more

Neighborhood Notes Hot tub prank fire aid and too many birthdays

first_imgSFPD sends aid to wine country 0% San Francisco Police officers load up trucks outside of Mission Station. Photo by Julian MarkLate Friday morning, as a smoky haze enveloped Valencia Street, some 10 police officers hustled to load crates of food, clothes, toiletries and other everyday items onto flatbed trucks outside of Mission Station. Those trucks and officers would soon head north into the fire-ravaged wine country. “We are going up there today and are going to distribute them,” said Officer Jamie Garon of the department’s community engagement division. She and some 15 other officers and cadets will be stopping at various addresses in affected areas to drop off the items, which she said had filled three rooms in the station. They were donated by personnel from the police department, the Sheriff’s Department, Department of Juvenile Corrections, the fire department and other city departments. Garon said another platoon of roughly 30 SFPD officers were already providing support in the areas affected by the fires that have so far killed 33 people and blackened some 222,000 acres. “They’re working continuously,” she said. “One of the guys I talked to worked for 18 hours.” She said passersby on Valencia had run home for items to bring back. “It is a whole community effort,” Garon said. Other parts of the Mission continue to mobilize for North Bay fire relief efforts — check out our running list of donation collection sites and useful links here and let us know if we’ve missed anything.  –JMFord peddles rides on 24th Street — but not the bike kindSign offering vouchers to anyone who wanted to test drive a Ford vehicle. Photo by Laura Wenus.Walking down 24th Street today, I came across a few signs and banners prominently displaying the Ford logo. But no, it wasn’t related to the Ford GoBikes that have caused such a stir — rather, a promotion staff member told me the company had set up a promotion with La Palma Mexicatessen, offering customers a $10 voucher for the deli with every test drive of one of their new cars, lined up along Florida street for a short stretch off of 24th. An employee at La Palma said the promotion was happening Thursday and Friday. –LWHappy birthday(s)! With all of the businesses closing on Valencia, there’s also good news of perseverance: Dog Eared Books is turning 25, and throwing a birthday party with drinks, snacks and some mysterious, not-yet-announced entertainment on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 7 to 10 p.m. Plus, they’re offering 25 percent off all merchandise that day, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. –LWFinally, the venerable octogenarian: Pop’s Bar is turning a stunning 80 on Oct. 25, but partying like a youngster. DJs will spin from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. while guests toast with tequila drink specials. There will also be BBQ bites cooked by grillmaster Harold and participate in a raffle benefitting the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. More details here. –LWThe Clarion Alley Mural Project will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 21 from noon to 10 p.m. The event will feature live music, street performance, film and video projections, and children’s activities — all in support of the volunteer-run project that has supported, produced and curated socially engaging and aesthetically diverse art for two and half decades. This year’s band lineup: Shellshag, 50 Million, Pins of Light, Badr Vogu, Equipto & Old Soul Kollective, CCR Headcleaner, Alia Sharrief, Future Twin feat. Thea Matthews, Younger Lovers, Moria Scar, Bitter Fruit, Remnants, Nobby Styles, Goop, Grosero, Libby Schaaf’s Guillotine, Ripe Species and Stranger Than Fact — plus Txutxo Perez DJ-ing between sets! –JM“Mission Murals: Art, Politics and Community Preservation” coming to Jewish Community Center The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco is opening a new exhibit that celebrates the power of Mission District Murals on Wednesday Oct. 18 in the Katz Snyder Gallery. The exhibit, running through January 2018, will feature documentary photographs, posters, handbills, tools and ephemera provided by Precita Eyes. An opening reception for the exhibit, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday Oct. 17, will include a conversation with photographer Dick Evans and other special guests, followed by a reception in the gallery. Don’t forget to RSVP for the opening at [email protected] –-JMSon’s Addition coming soon to 24th StreetHoodline brings us the story of Son’s Addition, a restaurant opening soon on 24th and Harrison streets, brought to the neighborhood by husband-and-wife team Nick Cobarruvias and Anna Sager Cobarruvias. The menu? “Eclectic and hyper-seasonal” fare. A sign in the window indicates the restaurant is looking to hire a staff of Mission residents as soon as possible. “Public hot tub” NOT coming to Valencia Street For anyone who wet themselves over a sign outside of Valencia Street’s Betabrand store that reads, “COMING SOON, Betabrand PUBLIC HOT TUB” — sad news: the only thing being installed in front of the store is a sidewalk. The sign, said a Betabrand employee, is a prank — “just one of the stunts we’re pulling,” she said. –JM Tags: 24th Street • Clarion Alley • Events • murals • police • precita eyes Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

SFPD puts more officers on foot patrols to curb car breakins

first_img 0% Six weeks after a Cadillac Escalade was robbed at an Ocean Beach parking lot, the San Francisco Police Department put out a press release asking anyone with information to speak up. Stolen in the Aug. 24 smash-and-grab was some $900,000 worth of jewelry. The prospects of bringing the thieves to justice aren’t promising. Moreover, at the beginning of the year, smash-and-grabs — as auto-break-ins are known — were more popular than ever.A different crime-fighting strategy was needed, and in August, new SFPD Chief Bill Scott decided the new approach would be to put more cops on the street. In his announcement, Scott called foot beats “a visible deterrent to crime.” Tags: crime • police • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img To get more officers on the street, Scott dissolved the 18-member Patrol Bureau Task Force that, since 2015, had been investigating car burglaries and making arrests. In a sense, Scott opted for deterrence rather than focusing on the crime after it has been committed.  The District Attorney’s office will continue to work closely with police on prosecution, but it appears that Scott wants to see if he can stop some of the incidents from happening in the first place. A difficult crime The wave of car burglaries first appeared on the SFPD’s radar in July 2014, and by 2015, more than 26,000 car break-ins were reported to police — an increase of 18 percent over the prior year. The strategy, first devised in 2015, called for a plainclothes Patrol Bureau Task Force officer to investigate, make arrests and build cases that the District Attorney could make stick. Doing so is incredibly difficult because police essentially have to catch someone in the act or have video or eye-witness accounts. Yet without ubiquitous eyes and cameras, “there are a lot of cases out there without a lot of evidence and suspect information,” SFPD officer Robert Rueca said. “If we don’t have any suspect information, how do we get to an arrest?”ADVERTISEMENT 5 Below Market Rate (BMR) Rental Apartments available at 3000 23rd St., San Francisco, CA 94110. Applications must be received by 5PM, Nov. 7, 2017, and must either be submitted online here or mailed in with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 3000 23rd St. BMR, P.O. Box 420847, San Francisco, CA 94124. Applications available here or picked up from an agency listed here.The task force netted some 230 arrests between its start-up in late 2015 and Scott’s Aug. 31 announcement. The percentage of cases prosecutors take action on has hovered right around 80 percent since 2015, or about 32 cases a month, according to District Attorney’s data. In the end, an average of 68 percent of cases SFPD forwards result in charges. How many lead to convictions remains unknown. All of this was somewhat effective. Auto burglaries dipped five percent between 2015 and 2016, and a grand jury looking at auto burglaries wanted to bolster the task force’s resources. The cross-precinct unit, the grand jury report said, “pioneered a tactic of tracking serial offenders through multiple break-ins before making the arrest,” which enabled “the possibility of bundling cases for the DA.” Bundling refers to tying thieves to multiple cases. “We believe that the vast majority of those auto burglaries are committed by just a few number,” Rueca said.While the charge rate went up by four percent, arrests proved stubbornly difficult, staying at the two percent of 2014. What’s more, after dipping slightly in 2016, auto burglaries surged in the first four months of 2017 — jumping by 30 percent compared to the same period of 2016. Enter the new foot and bike patrols that started only a month ago.  Capt. Paul Yep, who runs the Central Police District in the city’s landmark and diversity-rich northeastern tip — where car burglaries were among the city’s highest — led the charge for more beat cops on his streets.  A three-pronged plan he shared with Mission Local included educating the public, revamping enforcement and more effective prosecution. “When criminals are out there, let’s do our best to … not only apprehend them, but make sure we’re working with the DA’s office to prosecute,” Yep said. “I’m confident that to the best of our ability — and we’re outnumbered — we’re doing this.”Rueca said the implementation of that blueprint in the other nine police districts varies, but in just a couple of months, they’ve seen an uptick in auto-burglary arrests. But Rueca cautioned that it’s too early to tell whether the increased number of beat cops is the reason. It also remains to be seen whether the recent change will cut down on the number of break-ins. Graphic by Sam Goldman last_img read more

Nicaraguans return to Sandino Plaza in the Mission to oust Sandinista leader

first_imgJose Maria Ibarra, who owns a printing business on Valencia Street and fled Nicaragua in 1983 during the U.S. backed contra war, was busy coordinating with members who favored black or red shirts, the color of the original Sandinista movement. Others wanted the white-and-blue schemes found on the national flag.But all of the organizers — including Werner Eger, who arrived to San Francisco as a student in 1979 — agree: country above politics.“We want the president to call elections, soon. That would be the best thing for all Nicaraguans,” Eger said.Ortega did away with term limits and won a third term as president in 2016 with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as his vice president. Few considered the elections fair, as Ortega maintains tight control over every level of government and much of the media. In a sense, the protests flaring now have been building for years.Even after giving in to some initial demands from the opposition, the protests continued using the hashtag “SOSNicaragua.” The national police have responded with force and, so far, 70 protesters and one journalist have been killed, according to Ibarra.In response, the unrest has spread.The fear, Ibarra said, is that the country could fall back into civil war.The youth have a saying: “They have taken everything from us, even our fear,” Ibarra said. “The people aren’t scared anymore.”“What people always say is that the capitol is pretty. It’s all cosmetics. The reality is there is a lot of need and unemployment,” Ibarra said.Ibarra and other first-generation immigrants are organizing Saturday’s protest to speak out against violence and raise awareness about the events unfolding in Nicaragua.Erik Leiva, founder of the organization called “Chavalo,” said he and his fellow members are concerned about humanitarian needs of the protestors. They want to send supplies, aid and even foreign doctors to care for injured protesters, many of whom are students. Chavalo is a nonprofit organization that means “youngster” and organizes cultural events and lectures, and provides support for youth in California and in Nicaragua.With demonstrations sparking across the country, Leiva said the movement has grown even bigger.“The Social Security issue is non-issue, the straw that broke the camel’s back. A lot of events that led up to it, the main issue is now who is taking responsibility,” Leiva said. So many protests against U.S. involvement in Nicaragua took place at the 24th Street BART station in the late 1970s and 1980s that it became known as Plaza Sandino. Nicaraguans will return to the plaza on Saturday — this time, to call for the ouster of President Daniel Ortega, a leader who was one of the revolutionaries that in 1979 overthrew the dictatorship of General Anastasio Somoza.In the 40 years since that revolution, there has been a U.S. backed counter-revolution (in the 1980s) and elections in 1990 that ended the Sandinistas’ rule to install a series of presidents. Then in 2006, the Sandinistas, returned to power with the election of Ortega.Almost immediately, Ortega offered a different, more personal and increasingly autocratic style of government. And, when he proposed cuts to the Social Security system earlier this year, unhappiness with his leadership exploded into protests around the country.This week, the complexities of that history became evident in the discussion around the tee-shirt to be worn at Saturday’s protest in San Francisco. Tags: 24th Street BART • Nicaragua Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more

SAINTS will kick off their preseason campaign wit

first_imgSAINTS will kick off their pre-season campaign with a friendly against Batley Bulldogs.John Kear will bring his side to Langtree Park on Friday January 24 (8pm) as Nathan Brown steps up preparations for Super League XIX.It will be the first chance for fans to see Saints in the flesh as they look ahead to what promises to be a very exciting Super League season.Up to five new signings could be on show – including Luke Walsh – and the likes of Alex Walmsley (pictured) will be looking forward to line-up against his former club.Tickets are priced at Adult £12, Conc £10, Junior £5 (seating) and Adult £10, Conc £8, Junior £5 (standing).Tickets are available now via the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455052 or online at www.saintssuperstore.comlast_img read more

SAINTS travel to Perpignan this evening to take on

first_imgSAINTS travel to Perpignan this evening to take on Catalans Dragons.Last 10 Meetings:Catalans Dragons 33, St Helens 26 (SLR14, 9/5/15)St Helens 18, Catalans Dragons 7 (SLR1, 6/2/15)St Helens 30, Catalans Dragons 12 (SLQSF, 2/10/14)Catalans Dragons 42, St Helens 0 (SLR16, 14/6/14)St Helens 40, Catalans Dragons 22 (SLR5, 14/3/14)Catalans Dragons 6, St Helens 26 (SLR23, 3/8/13)St Helens 12, Catalans Dragons 22 (SLR12, 12/4/13)Catalans Dragons 15, St Helens 20 (SLR21, 20/7/12)St Helens 32, Catalans Dragons 34 (SLR4, 24/2/12)St Helens 40, Catalans Dragons 18 (SLR22, 15/7/11)Super League Summary:Catalans Dragons won 9St Helens won 13 (includes win in 2014 play-offs)Highs and Lows:Catalans Dragons highest score: 42-0 (H, 2014) (also widest margin)St Helens highest score: 53-10 (H, 2007) (also widest margin)Career Milestones:Alex Walmsley needs one appearance to reach 100 for his career. Walmsley has played 77 games for St Helens since 2013, to go with 22 appearances for Batley (2012-2013).Jordan Turner needs one try to reach a career century of touchdowns. His total of 99 has been scored as follows: 24 for Salford (2006-2009), 34 for Hull FC (2010-2012), 39 for St Helens (2013-2015) and 2 for England Knights (2012).Jon Wilkin needs one try to reach a career century of touchdowns. His total of 99 has been scored as follows: 8 for Hull KR (2000-2002), 90 for St Helens (2003-2015) and 1 for England (2004-2005, 2008-2009 & 2011-2012). Wilkin also made 6 non-scoring appearances for Great Britain (2006-2007).Consecutive Appearances:Mose Masoe has the longest run of consecutive appearances amongst Super League players, with 56.He made his Saints debut as a substitute in a 38-18 win against Hull KR at Langtree Park on March 7, 2014. He is an ever-present in the St Helens side since then.1 Mose Masoe (St Helens) 562 Elliott Whitehead (Catalans Dragons) 433 = Paul Aiton (Leeds Rhinos), Chris Hill (Warrington Wolves) 405 Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants) 39First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Joe Burgess (Wigan Warriors) 212 Tom Lineham (Hull FC) 193 = Justin Carney (Castleford Tigers), Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers), Albert Kelly (Hull Kingston Rovers), Jordan Turner (St Helens) 157 = Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Kieran Dixon (Hull Kingston Rovers), Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers), Ken Sio (Hull Kingston Rovers), Kevin Brown (Widnes Vikings) 14Goals:1 = Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 763 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 744 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 715 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 706 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 687 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 498 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 469 Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings) 4110 Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) 37Goals Percentage:1 Jamie Ellis (Huddersfield Giants) 92.85 (13/14)2 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 86.95 (20/23)3 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 85.39 (76/89)4 Danny Tickle (Widnes Vikings) 84.61 (11/13)5 Tom Makinson (St Helens) 82.60 (19/23)6 Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons) 81.72 (76/93)7 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 78.72 (74/94)8 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 75.55 (68/90)9 Stefan Marsh (Widnes Vikings) 75.00 (9/12)10 Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils) 74.19 (46/62)Points:1 Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 1962 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 1773 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds Rhinos) 1664 Scott Dureau (Catalans Dragons) 1625 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 1586 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 1577 = Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils), Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 1169 Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings) 11410 Stefan Ratchford (Warrington Wolves) 102last_img read more

CALLING all Rugby League fans Have you ever wante

first_imgCALLING all Rugby League fans. Have you ever wanted to step on to the famous Wembley pitch wearing your team’s colours in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final? Well this is your perfect opportunity!BBC’s Songs of Praise have launched of the Rugby League Challenge Cup Fans Choir. The competition will see fans from 32 of the teams in this year’s Challenge Cup lead the capacity crowd of more than 80,000 at Wembley in a stirring rendition of ‘Abide With Me’ ahead of the final which takes place August 27. A special edition of Songs of Praise following their journey will also be broadcast on BBC One the following day.The competition follows on from last year’s successful Songs of Praise fans choir which saw 64 football fans chosen from thousands of entries to sing at Wembley ahead of the FA Cup Final.If you have an uplifting, exciting or imaginative tale about supporting your team then you have until 12th June to apply. Maybe you’ve hitchhiked from Aberdeen to Toulouse to follow your club, raised money for charity while supporting your team, or gone the extra mile to help a fellow fan – Songs of Praise want to hear your stories.The final 32 winners will be decided by a judging panel that will include the popular singer and Songs of Praise presenter, Aled Jones, the Leeds Rhinos and England international player Jamie Jones-Buchanan, and Lizzie Jones. Lizzie sang before last year’s final in memory of her husband the former professional Rugby League player Danny Jones.Lizzie Jones, Rugby League Challenge Cup Fans Choir judge, said: “I’m delighted to be part of the judging panel for this competition. Singing at Wembley before last year’s Challenge Cup final is an experience I will never forget.“Rugby League fans have some amazing stories to tell. I’m sure this competition will find some of the best and will reward them with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in front of thousands of people in one of the best stadiums in the world.”Matthew Napier, Songs of Praise Series Producer, said: “We know Rugby League fans are some of the most passionate sports fans out there. This is their chance to show their love for their club by stepping on the Wembley turf and leading a sold out crowd in a rendition of one of our nation’s favourite hymns live on BBC One. So whether you spend your time cheering St Helens in the stands at Langtree Park, or trekking up and down the motorway to support the London Skolars, we want to hear your uplifting and unusual stories about supporting your club and why you think you deserve a place representing your team in the Rugby League Challenge Cup Fans’ Choir.”The competition is also open to UK residents who support the French sides Toulouse and Catalans Dragons, providing an international flavour.The 32 strong choir will be made up of 16 people representing the clubs still in the competition at the sixth round stage and a further 16 fans representing clubs in all the previous rounds.Details of how you can enter the competition can be found on the Songs of Praise page.last_img read more

The game kicks off at 745pm on May 18 at Kingston

first_imgThe game kicks off at 7:45pm on May 18 at Kingston Park and the Thunder are once again inviting all Super League fans down to watch the game.Tickets are available to Super League Fans at £12 per adult and £5 for juniors if pre-booked on 0871 226 6060. On the night they are £15.Kingston Park Stadium is situated just north of the city and is on the main Airport Metro line. The stadium is served by two metro stations – Kingston Park and Bankfoot.Both are less than five minutes from the ground.last_img read more

DA Trial begins for man accused of kidnapping New Hanover Co 6yearold

first_imgSAMPSON COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – Jury selection is still set for tomorrow in the case of a man accused of kidnapping a girl in New Hanover County last year.District Attorney Ben David says prospective jurors for the trial of Douglas Edwards are scheduled to arrive at the Sampson County courthouse first thing Monday morning.- Advertisement – Edwards is a registered sex offender. He is accused of grabbing a girl in front of her home as he rode his moped.She was found safe, but chained to a tree the next morning.last_img read more

Insurance commissioner wants to help fire rescue volunteers

first_imgLELAND, NC (WWAY) — Volunteer firefighters donate their time and effort to help others. But Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal, Mike Causey says volunteer fire departments face struggles recruiting people. And he wants to change that.Commissioner Causey went to Leland Fire Rescue to speak with the volunteers there. He says the issue is not new to the state, and he wants to offer help and options to these volunteers. His team is reaching out to different fire departments to recruit more and to retain more through different methods, like utilizing junior firefighter programs.- Advertisement – “So their junior firefighter programs encourage students to get interested in the fire service and look to possible careers as firefighters and how to earn their volunteer firefighter certification. That type of thing,” Causey said.He visited different fire departments throughout Brunswick county today. He also spoke in Supply about Medicare benefits and helping those who need it.last_img read more