A county court has delivered a devastating judgment against the Local Government Ombudsman, after it discriminated against a disabled woman by failing to provide the reasonable adjustments she needed to lodge a complaint against a local authority.The ombudsman has been ordered to pay £12,500 in damages to Jeanine Blamires to compensate her for the ordeal, following breaches of both the Equality Act and the Data Protection Act by the ombudsman.Although the judgment is only in draft form, its conclusions are unlikely to be altered.District judge Joanna Geddes even awarded aggravated damages against the ombudsman over the breach of the Equality Act, because she said it had defended the case in a way that “added to the injury, frustration and distress” felt by Blamires, which had “exacerbated” the symptoms of her long-term health conditions.She also awarded aggravated damages for the Data Protection Act breach, because of the ombudsman’s “continued denial” that it had broken the law.Blamires has told Disability News Service that she was “disgusted” and “sickened” by the ombudsman’s behaviour and that she believed it had now “lost its moral authority to adjudicate over others”.Judge Geddes said Blamires’ husband David (pictured with his wife at a parliamentary evidence session) told the court that his wife had “found the whole process extremely distressing and has on several occasions been reduced to tears by the intransigence of the defendant in not meeting her disabled needs by making reasonable adjustments.“This has led to a deterioration in her condition and a reduction in her ability to fulfil her role as a housewife and mother.”The case relates to her attempt in March 2012 to help her daughter lodge a complaint through the ombudsman against North Yorkshire County Council over a housing issue.She then complained herself about the council five months later.Blamires, who represented herself in the legal case, had told the ombudsman – when lodging the complaint against the council – that she had severe ME and dystonia, while her husband also had ME, as well as chronic pain and dyslexia, and that they would need help to use the service.She told the ombudsman that they both found telephone conversations difficult, and that “though e-mail is useful, regular meetings are better, we have a lot of evidence and we are not sure about what you will need”.But the ombudsman lost this information in transferring her application form to a different format, and then took two years to admit to the court that it had done so.It had originally claimed that Blamires failed to fill in the part of the form that related to requests for reasonable adjustments.As the process of lodging a complaint against the council progressed, she told the ombudsman that she was struggling – for impairment-related reasons – to submit all of the necessary paperwork.But the ombudsman ignored this and without warning reached a provisional decision in the case against the council – one which she found unacceptable – in December 2013.She complained that she had not been allowed to present all of her evidence, and that the ombudsman had failed to provide reasonable adjustments, and she asked it to arrange face-to-face meetings and some support to help her with the complaint.Blamires told Disability News Service this week: “The defendant didn’t provide it. They only offered extra time. I just cried.“They didn’t have all the evidence and they didn’t understand my complaint.”Judge Geddes says in the draft judgement that the ombudsman had issued the provisional decision without exploring the issue of reasonable adjustments, and even though it knew that Blamires had expressed more than once “how overwhelmed and fatigued she was by the process”.The judge added: “They were aware that she found the volume of paperwork she had ‘overwhelming’ and was struggling both to know what to submit in support of her claim and to physically complete the task of sending it by reason of her disabilities.”Judge Geddes even suggested that the ombudsman’s argument that its limited resources did not allow it to offer face-to-face meetings or advocacy as a reasonable adjustment – when one of its own leaflets said that it did – implied that such promises were published to “pay lip service only to the duties the [ombudsman] has to anticipate and make reasonable adjustments”.The judge even had to withdraw some of her own statements made earlier in the case because the ombudsman had provided her with misleading information about the extent of its powers.As well as being ordered to pay £12,500 in damages to Blamires, the ombudsman was also ordered to pay her costs of £750.Blamires said she was “disgusted” by the ombudsman’s behaviour during the lengthy case – including misleading the court, failing to disclose documents and submitting false information – when its own purpose was “supposedly to ensure justice”.She said: “It has been an horrendous ordeal for my family who care for me who have had to watch as I have got worse due to this fight.“I am so glad that District Judge Geddes listened to me. It’s taken too long to do this – four years – much of that time and public money has been wasted by the ombudsman due to its behaviour. I am sickened by it.“I am not sure it is now possible for the Local Government Ombudsman to sustain its role to remedy injustice. It has lost its moral authority to adjudicate over others.“Councils are not going to respect the Local Government Ombudsman’s decisions because the Local Government Ombudsman chose not to respect the county court.”She wants communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid to replace the ombudsman with a new organisation.But she also praised Leeds Combined Court, which “did the exact opposite” of the ombudsman by providing her with reasonable adjustments, including arranging video conferencing for one of the court hearings, and supporting her when she became ill in court.And she thanked the charity, the Personal Support Unit, which helps people who have to represent themselves in court, and supported her by reading documents, and helping her write witness statements and skeleton arguments.Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman*, said in a statement: “We didn’t get things right for Mrs Blamires and I have personally apologised to her.“We hold ourselves up to the same standards we expect of those bodies we investigate and we will fully accept the final findings of the court when we receive them.“This is a salutary reminder that mistakes happen and when things do go wrong, it’s how you deal with them that matters.“This case highlighted some issues with our IT system and the way we were doing things that we needed to change. We’ve done that and we’ve strengthened our quality checks and revised our guidance.“But we won’t stop there. We will use this as an opportunity to look at what else we can do to be flexible and find more creative ways of helping people access our service.” He added: “We are sorry if the judge felt we provided her with misleading information, this was not our intention.”*It was renamed earlier this month
Rulings by an ombudsman that show how three London councils discriminated against disabled people with invisible impairments by failing to make their services accessible are just “a tiny tip of an iceberg”, according to a disabled people’s organisation.Inclusion London spoke out after the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman published reports on investigations into three local authorities in the capital.All three of the councils – the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Lambeth and Wandsworth –failed to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people who were trying to use its services.Svetlana Kotova, Disability Justice Project co-ordinator for Inclusion London, welcomed the ombudsman’s rulings, but she said that the three cases were “just a tiny tip of an iceberg”. She said: “Despite it being a legal requirement, we often come across failures to provide information in accessible formats, refusals to change standard procedures and practices or provide support for people to engage in the processes.“We’ve seen people losing their homes or money or not getting information or support they are entitled to as a result. “Unfortunately, many of us got used to this discrimination, but we believe it is time we started to challenge it.”She said Inclusion London had developed interactive guides that can help disabled people to challenge these practices*.In the first of the cases dealt with by the ombudsman, Hillingdon council failed to suspend an autistic and dyslexic woman’s housing benefit payments after she told the local authority she had returned to work.When Ms X received an overpayment of more than £1,000, the council then failed to help her find her way around its complicated system after demanding she repay the money.It refused to provide her with a named officer she could email and often insisted she telephone the council with her queries, even though she explained she struggled with phone calls.The ombudsman concluded that the council “failed to consider any reasonable adjustments for Ms X, although she told it many times what her problems are and how she struggled”.He also concluded that the council had no policies on providing reasonable adjustments.Hillingdon council has agreed to take a series of measures, including apologising to Ms X, paying her £1,000 compensation, and providing an equality refresher course for frontline staff.In the second case, Mr X, who is dyslexic, complained that Lambeth council failed to make reasonable adjustments when he tried to challenge a parking penalty charge notice (PCN), forcing him to do so in writing rather than verbally.And when the council sent enforcement agents to his home to recover the money he owed, those agents also refused to make reasonable adjustments for him.Lambeth council has agreed to pay Mr X compensation of £750 and apologise to him.It has also been asked to take other measures, such as arranging Equality Act training for customer service staff and other steps to ensure it meets its obligations under the act.In the third ombudsman case, Wandsworth council failed to make similar reasonable adjustments for the same man when he tried to apply for a residents’ parking permit and challenge the PCNs he later received because he did not have a permit.The council has agreed to pay Mr X £300 compensation, apologise and allow him to appeal the PCNs on the telephone, while the ombudsman has also asked the council to take other measures, such as arranging Equality Act training for customer service staff, and reviewing its systems and procedures relating to reasonable adjustments.Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “The Equality Act 2010 requires councils to anticipate the needs of people who may need to access their services.“This means when councils are alerted to the fact someone might need to be treated in a different way, they should ask that person what adjustments are needed, and consider whether these are reasonable.“It can be difficult for people to navigate complex council procedures, yet in all three cases, the councils were made aware that these people needed additional help, but none was given.“We recognise the significant challenges faced by public service providers in adapting their processes to the needs of people who may require adjustments, particularly where the services have been automated.“But this is a duty councils must meet and needs they must anticipate.“I welcome Wandsworth and Hillingdon councils’ commitment to improve their wider processes for people who need help accessing services.“I urge Lambeth council to reflect on the lessons it can learn from my investigation and make the changes I have recommended.”*https://www.disabilityjustice.org.uk/learn-more-and-take-action/ A 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 country’s biggest disability charities have refused to back a petition that calls for an inquiry into the links between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the deaths of disabled benefit claimants.The charities – none of which are led and controlled by disabled people – are refusing to support the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition*, with many of them rejecting its calls for any evidence of criminal misconduct by civil servants and ministers to be passed to police.And many of them are also rejecting the petition’s demand for DWP to be branded institutionally disablist and not fit for purpose, and for it to take urgent steps to make the safety of benefit claimants a priority.Jodey Whiting (pictured) died in February 2017, 15 days after she had her out-of-work disability benefits mistakenly stopped for missing a work capability assessment.The Independent Case Examiner concluded earlier this year that DWP was guilty of “multiple” and “significant” failings in handling the case.But her death was only the latest avoidable tragedy linked to DWP’s actions, stretching back nearly a decade.The lukewarm response to the petition is likely to highlight concerns among grassroots groups that many of the disability charities that are run by non-disabled people are too close to the government, and particularly to DWP.Only last week, Scope and Sense were included in a government press release, praising the prime minister for a much-criticised series of announcements on disability.Only one of the 13 charities approached this week by Disability News Service (DNS) – Mind – has agreed to back the petition and its four demands.None of the others have been willing to support the petition or issue a public statement supporting its aims.At least two of these charities – RNIB and Leonard Cheshire – have signed Work and Health Programme contracts that include clauses preventing them bringing DWP and work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd into disrepute.RNIB refused to back the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition this week, or to answer questions about its demands**.Leonard Cheshire has also refused to back the petition, or answer questions about it, saying instead that it had “very real concerns about some of the ways the welfare system impacts disabled people”, and adding: “Clearly there needs to be further investigation into deaths connected to changes in benefits.”Scope refused to back the petition and answer questions, calling instead for “urgent reform” to the benefits system and action to prevent further deaths like Jodey Whiting’s.Sense, the other charity that supported the government last week, had refused by noon today (Thursday) to back the petition or answer questions about it.Parkinson’s UK refused to back the petition or answer questions about its demands, saying instead that it continued to work with DWP to improve the system.The National Autistic Society refused to support the petition or answer any questions about its demands.Instead, it praised DWP for apologising for its failings in the Jodey Whiting case.It said that “for any public body, any evidence of misconduct, criminal or otherwise, should be addressed by the appropriate authority”, and that “if there’s evidence of any criminal misconduct, then this of course must be investigated by the police”.NAS said there was “a clear and urgent need to improve benefits assessments for autistic people”.John McArdle, co-founder of Black Triangle, one of the grassroots, disabled-led organisations supporting the petition, said: “By their failure to oppose and condemn these systems and policies and join us in calling for an independent judicial inquiry they have blatantly betrayed all those for whom they were set up to support and defend.“They are not on the side of disabled people.”Mind is the only one of the 13 non-user-led disability charities approached by DNS this week to support the petition.Vicki Nash, Mind’s head of policy and campaigns, said: “We support the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition.“Jodey’s story is tragic and it’s also too common. We hear every week from people with mental health problems who have struggled to cope with the impact of sanctions and other changes to their benefits.“While the causes of suicide are many and complex, the Department for Work and Pensions has a particular responsibility to make sure that its processes and policies do not cause avoidable harm.“We believe an independent inquiry could hold the DWP accountable, shine a light on these issues and bring about changes to the system.“An inquiry would need to establish what changes to the structure and culture of the DWP are needed to make it capable of providing safe and compassionate support to all disabled people navigating the benefits system.“However, we also know that these inquiries are often slow-moving. An independent inquiry cannot be a substitute for immediate action to make the benefits system safer for people going through it.”She added: “We are not aware of any evidence of criminal misconduct in these cases and so we have not been calling for such an investigation.“But of course if any inquiry were to find evidence of criminal misconduct, it should be investigated appropriately.”Other large disability charities have been far less supportive of the petition.The MS Society has refused to back the petition or respond to questions about it, as have Action on Hearing Loss and Turning Point.The mental health charity Rethink refused to support the petition or to answer questions about its demands.It said instead that “changes in welfare policy have had a devasting impact on disabled people” and that the “most vulnerable are being left with the least support and the process of claiming is known to worsen health, including the mental health of claimants – including our supporters and members”.Two of the charities did offer some support to some of the petition’s demands.Mencap, while refusing to support the petition, said that the deaths of claimants such as Jodey Whiting should form the basis of an “independent examination” into DWP policies and practices in relation to “vulnerable claimants”.A spokesperson said: “As part of this, the department must commit to act on recommendations to prevent future deaths.“Should any evidence of criminal misconduct emerge though an independent review, this must, as part of a standard procedure, be passed to the police for investigation.“We would also expect an independent investigator to consider allegations of institutional disabilism and draw conclusions on this from the evidence they have gathered.”Epilepsy Action also gave some support to the petition’s demands, without backing the petition itself, saying: “We would support an inquiry into any links between DWP failings and the deaths of benefit claimants.“We are not aware of any evidence of criminal misconduct by senior civil servants or ministers in relation to this issue, but would of course be in favour of any such evidence being passed to police.“Any conclusion as to whether the DWP is institutionally disablist – or not – should be a function of any inquiry.“While we are aware of many problems experienced by disabled people in their dealings with the DWP, we believe that whether this extends to institutional disablism needs to be evidenced by a thorough inquiry.“As such, while we support the aims of an inquiry, including the conclusive statement makes it difficult for us to actively support the petition.”*Sign the Jodey Whiting petition here. If you sign the petition, please note you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committee**RNIB claims that relevant clauses in its Work and Health Programme contracts have now been changed or deleted “so there was no ambiguity whatsoever that RNIB still maintains the right to campaign on issues that matter to blind and partially sighted people”, but it had refused to show these new clauses to DNS by 1pm today (Thursday) A 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…
Tags: violence Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0% The incident on Stevenson Street, an alley off 14th Street near Valencia Street, happened in November 2015 after a confrontation with Petrov in Alameda led to a car chase across the Bay Bridge, a crash on Stevenson Street, and a pursuit on foot into the area where the beating occurred.Alameda County officials are investigating the allegations. One unnamed deputy was put on paid leave as a result of the couple’s claims, and the two deputies involved in the beating — Santamaria and Wieber — were put on paid leave immediately after the incident in November.J.D. Nelson, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, said he did not know how long an internal investigation might take or how it might be structured.“It depends on how difficult it is. It’s like anything else…If there’s a lot of tentacles, [it will take longer],” he said.Deputies wrote in their report of the incident that after they approached Petrov, who was sitting in a stolen car, he rammed several law enforcement cars before driving off. They also said in a statement last week that they feared for their lives during the confrontation.San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi has been calling for criminal charges against the deputies since he published a video of the incident on his department’s Facebook page. He said George Gascón, the San Francisco District Attorney, should be the one to bring charges against the Alameda deputies, though he has not yet done so. A spokesperson from the District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case. “Anytime you have police or law enforcement, they have the ability to hire the best lawyers, the most expensive lawyers,” Adachi said. “So any DA knows that if you take on a law enforcement agency, you’re gonna be in for a fight.”Adachi said the standard practice of putting law enforcement officers either behind a desk or on paid leave after incidents like these — rather than putting them on unpaid leave — is just one way in which law enforcement officers are treated with kid gloves after use-of-force incidents. “The irony is that if it were you or me caught on video beating somebody with a stick 30 times, we would have been in jail weeks ago,” Adachi said. “Because they’re law enforcement, they seem to be able to act with impunity.”In a civil suit, unlike the criminal suit the District Attorney would bring against the deputies, the standard of proof is slightly lower, Adachi said. But even if a court found the deputies responsible for violating Petrov’s rights, the punishment would be monetary only. Adachi said this is often the only way to get redress in a law enforcement use-of-force case.“It does bring a measure of [justice],” Adachi said. “Every year cities and counties and states shell out hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements, police brutality, wrongful death…Very rarely are police prosecuted.” An attorney representing Stanislav Petrov, the man beaten by Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies, has filed a civil suit against Alameda County alleging that the deputies painfully cuffed Petrov’s broken wrists and robbed him.A homeless couple claims the deputy gave them Petrov’s stolen belongings to bribe them. The couple — Jerome Allen and Haley Harris — told the Chronicle that deputies gave them a gold chain, cigarettes, and other belongings they had lifted from Petrov, and Allen believed them to be “hush goodies.”Michael Haddad, the attorney representing Petrov, brought a claim on Tuesday against Alameda County alleging that deputies both stole from Petrov and beat him badly when arresting him. Video of the incident showed officers Luis Santamaria and Paul Wieber beating Petrov with their batons at least 40 times in the Mission District alley.
IT would have been very easy for the U18’s to have seen the ease with which the U15’s & U16’s had won both their games and then succumbed to the pressure of keeping the run going especially seeing one or two familiar names in the City Reds line-up. However, this was not the case with the U18’s probably producing the most convincing display of the day – a 58-10 win.The game was over as a contest at quarter time with the Saints three tries to good. André Savelio opened the scoring with the first of his hat-trick pushing through at the posts.Ben Roberts scored a great wingers try weaving in and out, mesmerising his former team mate jack Jones in the process to touch down in the corner for the second.The third was a simple reach out by Lewis Foster punishing a poor kick from the visitors.An overlap down the Saints left allowed Salford for a try but a trademark surge from Brad Ashurst saw him halted inches short. From the play the ball Tom Roughley dummied his winger before cutting back inside to score a good try.The forwards were in total command now with the visitors finding it increasingly difficult to stop the rampaging runs from Ashurst, Matt Cook, James Tilley and the pick of the bunch Luke Thompson. Savelio scored his second from one of these runs reaching over to score.The second half continued in the same processional fashion as the first. A neat drop off pass from Lewis Sheridan put Galbraith in and a hard miss pass from Roughley, now operating at hooker, gave Chris Webster a well-deserved try.The visitors punished Saints sleeping marker defence with a try from dummy half unfortunately just after Leon Tatlock had done well to save a try in the corner.Savelio completed his hat-trick as he stole the ball from the hands of the full back as he tried to gather Jordan Heaton’s grubber kick to the corner.Lewis Charnock cleaned up a scrappy piece of play making a neat break down the middle before offloading it to the supporting Brandon Lewis for his first try in the red vee.And it was Charnock who finished the scoring stretching out to score himself from Savelio’s inside ball.This wasn’t the best that the 18s have played but it was far too good for a poor City Reds side which flattered to deceive.It was good to see the return of Connor Dwyer in Saints colours after his injury worries adding to an already destructive pack led by the ever improving tourist to be Luke Thompson and an encouraging debut from Matt Wood.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Lewis Charnock, Lewis Galbraith, Ben Roberts, Lewis Foster, André Savelio 3, Chris Webster, Brandon Lewis, Tom Roughley.Goals: Lewis Charnock 9.Salford:Tries: Ryan Kelly, Dan Lomax.Goals: Dan Lomax.Half Time: 28-4Full Time: 58-10Teams:Saints:1. Lewis Charnock; 2. Leon Tatlock, 4. Tom Roughley, 18. Lewis Galbraith, 5. Ben Roberts; 6. Jordan Heaton, 7. Lewis Sheridan; 8. Brad Ashurst, 9. Lewis Foster, 10. Matt Cooke, 11. Luke Thompson, 12. André Savelio, 13. James Tilley.Subs: 14. Brandon Lewis, 15. Matt Wood, 16. Chris Webster, 17. Connor Dwyer.Salford:1. Jack Holmes; 2. Ryan Kelly, 3. Edwin Okanga-Ajwang, 4. Jon Ford, 5. Jack Moses; 6. Jack Jones, 7. Theo Fages; 8. Jonny Griffiths, 9. Harry Files, 10. Jack Green, 11. George Tyson, 12. Connor Partington, 13. Connor Hesketh.Subs: 14. Dan Lomax, 15. Matty Gee, 16. Tom Goffath, 17. Danny Wells.
SAINTS new kit is made to the highest specification to provide perfect performance for both the fans and the players.O’Neills Sportswear replica and playing shirts are manufactured from range of high quality advanced fibres to produce an end fabric called Koolite.This is breathable, cool and offers high wicking properties for enhanced wearer comfort.It also compromises antibacterial properties with good shape retention after multiple washing.The pro playing jersey is available in a skin tight fit and is fully reinforced using a felled seam to withstand the toughest of treatment.Personalised silicone clear gripper is added to the finished garment in order to enhance ball retention in close tackle contact.You can buy your shirt by calling into the Saints Superstore, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.
Locally, Bladen County schools say they followed a 2011 memo to inspect buses that may have the faulty engines and removed them from their fleet. School district spokeswoman Valeria Newton saying:“A service bulletin (DPI Msg #539) was sent out several years ago (2011) from the state school bus transportation department requesting LEA’s to replace an engine equipment part (the same part currently in question) that could potentially cause a bus fire. Our district transportation department complied with the request and replaced the part on a couple of buses at the time the service bulletin was sent out. We’ve had no problems prior to or since related to the replacement part that is currently in question.We do not have any buses involved in the current directive due to our response to the request in 2011.” Brunswick county has thirty active buses that have been inspected with nine to be retired by the end of the school year. The district Director of Transportation and Emergency Operation Bobby Taylor saying:“Every 28 days these buses are inspected to meet North Carolina General Statute 115C-248(a) and (NCSBP -TCS-H-011). Twice a year we run a special campaign to check wear and deterioration.”New Hanover county schools said they too are addressing the state’s request. New Hanover County school Transportation Director Ken Nance saying:“We do have buses with the Cat engines. About 7 years ago, we made the repair/modifications based on guidance from DPI. All buses are also inspected monthly. This past Wednesday, we specifically inspected all the yellow buses with the Cat engines and all but three of the activity buses with the Cat engines. The remainder will be inspected next week.”We were not able to get a hold of Columbus or Pender County schools before the story aired. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – The state is asking school districts to inspect their buses for engine wiring that could lead to the engines exploding.The directive comes after several explosions around the state that left buses charred … and students as well as parents on edge.State leaders asked districts that have buses with a Caterpillar engine in them to be inspected.- Advertisement –
Yelp looked at every place that opened in the past year and used an algorithm that takes into account the number of reviews and star ratings for every new restaurant on the site.Savorez, which is located at 402 Chestnut Street, ‘serves up the best Latin American inspired dishes daily’, according to its website.Executive Chef and owner Sam Cahoon has spent more than a decade working at several local restaurants such as Dockside, K38, Sweet N Savory, and Ceviche’s.Related Article: Giuliani: ‘So what’ if Trump and Cohen discussed testimony Savorez (Photo: Matt Bennett/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Savorez in downtown Wilmington is the best new place to eat in North Carolina in 2018, according to Yelp.Buzzfeed asked Yelp for the top restaurants in every state.- Advertisement –
Meanwhile N. 3rd and Chestnut streets, which border City Hall, were at best slushy and at worst still covered in ice and snow.City spokeswoman Malissa Talbert says the lot was cleaned to ensure the safety of employees when they get back to work.“Because there is ice on the roads that can’t really be removed effectively with a plow and we expect anything that might happen to thaw out today to refreeze tonight, we aren’t clearing the street,” Talbert said in an e-mail to WWAY. “Of course, most major roadways in town are maintained by (the North Carolina Department of Transportation).”Related Article: NCDOT announces when new Surf City bridge will openLater Talbert told WWAY the temperature had warmed up enough and there had been enough melting that crews were in the process of clearing some of the major city streets. While they wait for the ice to melt to be able to do more clearing, she said they are putting brine on these streets as the ice melts in hopes of keeping them from refreezing tonight. Talbert says this afternoon the city also activated a couple of contractors.Talbert says the city hopes to have these streets cleared before it starts to freeze up again tonight:-Parts of Independence Blvd.-Part of River Road-17th Street-Greenville Loop Road-41st Street-Maybe Holly Tree if crews can get to it in timeTalbert says the city has only two plows, which are actually retrofitted trucks. She says other equipment can be used to clear parking lots like the City Hall lot.Talbert also said the Wilmington Police Department and the Wilmington Fire Department are asking drivers to stay off roads if possible because ice remains on most if not all of the roads. She said the situations with smaller side roads and neighborhood streets used to get to major roads is a particular concern.By early afternoon, WPD said its officers had worked more than 50 crashes due to the snow and ice. City crews clear snow from the parking lot at Wilmington City Hall on Jan. 4, 2018. (Photo: Kevin Wuzzardo/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — When Wilmington City Hall reopens for business, the parking lot should be in pretty good shape even if the roads around it are still a mess.At lunch time we saw crews plowing snow and dumping sand in the lot at City Hall, which was closed today.- Advertisement –
Echo Farms (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioners have given the green light to purchase a portion of Echo Farms.County commissioners met Monday to vote on purchasing the land and enter an inter-governmental agreement with the city to develop it.- Advertisement – A county spokeswoman said they approved the resolution.The cost for the land is $1.7 million.The deal would be for 14 acres at echo farms, including the tennis courts, swimming pool, tennis clubhouse, former golf clubhouse, parking lots and enough land to build a walking trail.Related Article: Two Wilmington officers injured in crash after driver runs red lightThe city will vote Tuesday.