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Monthly Archives: July 2019

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Labour has promised that it will take a rightsba

first_imgLabour has promised that it will take a “rights-based approach” to protecting the interests of disabled people, if it wins power at next week’s general election.At the centre of that approach will be incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into UK law for the first time.Labour’s Kate Green, a former shadow minister for disabled people, made the pledge at a disability hustings event in Westminster that had been organised by the Disability Charities Consortium, the Disability Benefits Consortium and the Care and Support Alliance.She said a Labour government would produce a “comprehensive strategy to advance the rights of disabled people”.She also told the event that an incoming Labour government needed to introduce a “comprehensive and holistic strategy to make disabled people’s rights a reality”, including investing in services and financial support and “the access they need to fulfil their full potential”.She said: “It means reversing the damaging cuts that have taken place since 2010 to social security benefits, to public services.“It means investing in the support and the means of enabling disabled people to reach and fulfil their ambitions, and in particular ensuring maximum access to and participation in top quality education.“It means under-pinning our ambitions with an institutional and legal infrastructure through domestic legislation, our Equality Act, compliance with international obligations, and with adequate resources for our watchdogs, [including] our Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), to ensure that the interests of disabled people are kept at the forefront of the incoming government’s agenda.”She told Disability News Service later that incorporating the UN convention into UK law was “all the more important now because of the whole uncertainty following the Brexit result and the opportunity that that may be seen to be to water down rights.“So having a firm, clear legal basis in UK law becomes even more significant.”She said that ensuring the convention was part of UK law would have significant implications, including placing “a lot more expectation on public service design and provision”.But she warned that such a move could not be made immediately, and would need a “comprehensive strategy” that would lead eventually to full implementation of the convention.Green agreed that Labour’s manifesto was stronger on disabled people’s rights than it had been at the 2015 election.She said: “The party is more confident about some of its political stances. I guess that reflects Jeremy’s leadership.“He’s confident about his stance and that’s filtering I think into the policy agenda.”She said Labour was “absolutely committed” to investing in public services, such as education, health and care, and built environment infrastructure.But she said it was also committed to disability equality and disabled people’s rights “through the UN convention, through the Equality Act and through strengthening the EHRC’s capacity, resources and its authority”.And she stressed that this would mean increased funding for the commission.last_img read more

Local authorities have failed to prosecute a singl

first_imgLocal authorities have failed to prosecute a single taxi-driver for discriminating against wheelchair-users under new legislation introduced more than a year ago, according to new figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.The figures show that not one taxi-driver out of more than 30,000 so far covered by the new legislation has appeared in court, despite widespread reports of discrimination.On 6 April last year, the government finally brought into force laws that impose fines of up to £1,000 on drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles who refuse to accept wheelchair-users, try to charge them extra, or fail to provide them with appropriate assistance.But the new laws only apply in those areas of England, Scotland and Wales where the local authority has drawn up a list – under section 167 of the Equality Act – of all the wheelchair-accessible taxis and private hire vehicles in their area.So far, only about 120 of 347 councils have drawn up a list under section 167 – just seven local authorities have failed to respond to freedom of information requests – even though the Department for Transport (DfT) has said that it should take no more than six months from April 2017 to bring in the new measures.Those that have compiled a list cover more than 30,000 wheelchair-accessible taxis, according to figures compiled by transport access campaigner Doug Paulley through the freedom of information requests, which were sent last November.But Paulley’s figures also show that, of the councils that have drawn up a list, not one of them has prosecuted a taxi-driver for discriminating against a wheelchair-user – under section 165 of the act – or is aware of any drivers in its area facing prosecutions by other organisations or individuals.Only Transport for London appears to have taken any steps towards a prosecution, telling Paulley in its freedom of information response that it had launched 19 investigations under section 165.It said this week that two taxi-drivers were being prosecuted under section 165, with the first due to appear in court later this month.Paulley (pictured) said he was “really disappointed” by the implementation and enforcement of the new laws, which he said had been “lamentably poor, with no sign of improvement”.He believes the figures show the legislation is not fit for purpose and needs to be replaced.He said: “I find it difficult to believe that there haven’t been any offences committed under section 165 of the Act.“It is not credible to believe that since this legislation was implemented, none of the drivers of any of those taxis have refused a wheelchair-user travel, failed to strap the wheelchair-user or their wheelchair in properly, left the meter running whilst loading a wheelchair-user or failed to assist the wheelchair-user into or out of their taxi.“I have personally experienced discrimination in these terms, by drivers of vehicles on a section 167 list.”The Department for Transport (DfT) declined to say if it was concerned about the figures or if it believed the legislation needed to be redrawn.But it said it was encouraged by the response from local authorities which have drawn up a list under section 167, and that it had provided guidance to help councils implement the requirements of the new laws, and expected all authorities to make the most of their new powers.A DfT spokesman said: “We are clear that disabled people must have the same access to transport services that others take for granted.“It is unacceptable that a minority of taxi and private hire vehicle drivers discriminate against wheelchair-users.“We have provided councils with the means to challenge such behaviour, and they should use these powers to ensure that drivers provide wheelchair-users with assistance and cannot charge them extra.“We expect all councils to take the steps necessary to ensure that all passengers can travel free from the fear of discrimination.”last_img read more

SF Mission AntiEviction Block Party Targets Serial Evictor

first_imgSome 45 people gathered to hear speeches and eat burgers at an Anti-Eviction Block Party Saturday afternoon, thrown to protest the eviction of five tenants who claim they’ve been harassed by a property manager who glued their doors shut and has stopped accepting rent checks.“My rent’s no good after 15 years?” said Bill Condon, one of the tenants facing eviction and the organizer of the block party. “Now I’m the villain?”Their eviction is being carried out by Vlad Chernoguz, a property manager tenants say entered the picture when their building at 2693 22nd Street was sold to Martha Miranda and Rosa Marcano last year for $1.5 million. Two of the three units in the building took a buy-out earlier this year, and renovations in those units have convinced the remaining tenants that their new landlords plan to evict them and flip the property.The owners could not be reached for comment. Tags: evictions • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% “They want to try to sell each unit for $1.3, $1.4 [million],” said Condon. He said Chernoguz emptied out the other units by threatening owner move-in evictions and offering tens of thousands of dollars.“He’s threatened me several times with an owner move-in,” Condon said. “[When that happened,] I go ‘Vlad, you’ve already tried that twice.’” “Bill has had more than one conversation with him,” said Sara Coe, Condon’s girlfriend who also lives in the building. “He wanted us to sit down, and Bill [said] ‘Well, what’s going to happen here, Vlad? What’s the worst-case scenario? I really want to stay.’ And he says ‘Well, that’s not going to happen. We’re going to remodel and build a luxury TIC [tenants-in-common].’”“After that we kind of realized what he was up to,” she added. Condon received a 3-day eviction notice Friday night, alleging that two of the tenants — who Condon says are on the rental agreement — are guests and therefore in violation of the 30-day guest limit. It’s the latest in a series of back-and-forths that have seen Condon’s door glued shut twice (once fixable with tools, the other time requiring a change of locks) and his floor almost destroyed.“Soon after [the glue incident], [Chernoguz] made an appearance in the building and he went up to Bill and said ‘We’re going to have to cut a hole in the floor up here because we need to ventilate,’” Coe said. “Then [he] started asking him how much he paid in rent and said ‘Well, you could move into an SRO, you’d be happy in an SRO.’”Shortly after, Condon decided to communicate only in writing, and he hasn’t spoken to or seen Chernoguz since. While little is known about Miranda and Marcano, Chernoguz is no stranger to evictions. In 2014, he attempted to evict a family from a building he owns just around the corner from Condon’s, claiming their lack of cleanliness was a nuisance. Tenants there said Chernoguz illegally entered their apartment and photographed the alleged disorder just after the head of the household had been struck by a drunk driver and hospitalized.“At the time they were going in there and taking pictures, Estela Martinez was in the hospital having had both her legs amputated and was on the brink of death and had already been given last rites,” said Tom Drohan, her lawyer for the case. “It’s true that the family wasn’t spending a lot of time tidying up the kitchen, because they were all staying with [her] in the hospital.”Martinez, then 60, spent five months in the hospital before returning to her 23rd and York home. She beat her eviction case against Chernoguz in a trial by jury late in 2014, and came to the block party with her family to support Condon and his co-tenants.Chernoguz was also behind the attempted eviction of 86-year-old Guillermo Manzanares earlier this year, a case that drew attention city-wide after the Chronicle publicized it as a “gotcha” eviction in a July story. Manzanares, also represented by Drohan, won as well.“[Chernoguz’s] model seems to be to buy older buildings in the Mission that are filled with tenants who are mainly monolingual Spanish speakers, and he figures out ways to get them out,” Drohan said. “If he does this six times and is only successful once, it’s worth it,” said Donald Simon, a friend and neighbor of Condon. As a lawyer, he’s been looking at the papers Condon receives from Chernoguz and says they’ll wait for something substantive before taking action.“We’ll wait for him to bring an unlawful detainer action, and if it comes to that, then we fight, we fight ‘em,” he said. With a 3-day eviction notice just posted, the conflict may come to a head as early as next week. If Chernoguz posts an unlawful detainer notice and Condon contests it, the case could take months.Fighting evictions, however, was a rallying call at Saturday’s barbecue.“You owe it to yourself, you owe it to your dignity, you owe it to your community — to step up, speak out, and take action,” Simon said to the attendees. The block party, organized by Condon and Coe as well as the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), heard rounds of testimony from neighbors on their own conflicts with landlords and saw organizers and neighbors informing speakers of the resources available to them. ACCE, the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), the San Francisco Tenants Union, and other housing organizations had tables with “Yes on Prop I” flyers and other informational literature they passed out to those present.“That’s the whole purpose of this afternoon, to let people know about the organizations and service out there,” Condon said. This story will be updated if the owners or the property manager return requests for comment.  center_img 0%last_img read more

Play Highlights Mission District Gentrification Death of Arts

first_imgThat fight is one of the local events the play features. Another is activist and poet Tony Robles’s poetry reading on the Frisco Five hunger strikers, who protested police shootings by fasting for 17 days in the Mission District.“The Frisco Five were some friends of mine,” he says, in one of the many asides from the “Christmas Carol” storyline. “They stay hungry, Frisco stays alive.”Tony Robles performs his “Hunger Strike Reflection” about the Frisco 5. Photo by Jon Bauer. Courtesy of Peter Papadopoulos.The displacement of various arts organizations from the Mission District is a running storyline. A list of dozens of displaced and shuttered groups  including Cellspace and Studio 17 is projected against the wall at one point, with the narrator muttering, “Don’t worry, there’s no money to be made in the arts.”Near the end of the play, institutions like the Mission Cultural Center, the Red Poppy Art House, and the Mojo Theater — still alive for now — are given hypothetical end dates. Papadopoulos said such groups always live on a thin margin, but San Francisco’s affordability crisis makes it that much worse.“There’s no question that Mojo Theater is not safe in any way,” he said. “You really feel like you’re going month to month just getting on, and that in this environment every month could be your last.”But a lot of the play is often funny, an objective for a group used to losing fights against market-rate development or police shootings. Ron Conway, the tech investor who has become a San Francisco kingmaker, gets a special music and dance diddley in what may be the most entertaining scene in the play. Articles describing the investor’s influence over San Francisco politicians — and Mayor Ed Lee in particular — are flashed on a wall, reminding the audience of the tens of thousands he has poured into city elections.In front, a group of women decked out in disco garb and leggings — and a man in drag — sing a catchy ukulele number: “It’s Ron Conway’s San Franciscooo, and we all do the discooo to his 1–2–3: plunder, pillage, and destroy.” Buying elections is no light topic, but the breezy dance makes you feel a little better about plutocracy. After some five minutes, the play begins lambasting other icons of the San Francisco “right.” Planning commissioner Michael Antonini is targeted, and Supervisor Scott Wiener, brooding over a Board of Supervisors meeting with dark eyes, is also criticized for his pro-development stance.If you don’t know all of those names, you don’t spend your weeks following various hearings at City Hall, which is a slight issue: The play’s hyperlocal focus is likely to be inaccessible to anyone who is not a reporter, politico, or activist daily engaged in these conversations. You’ll be able to follow the basic anti-gentrification themes, but might not understand the significance of the particular names or places referenced, like the “Monster in the Mission” or the Midtown eviction fight.Which is fine. You don’t need to know that Antonini was once called the “Donald Trump” of San Francisco to know that the housing crisis is devastating the Latino community. But the emotional impact of the marches and protests periodically projected during the play is likely to be minimal for those not engaged in those actions.Papadopoulos, for his part, acknowledged as much.“I’ll be honest, even I don’t get all of the references in the show and I’m the director,” he said. “There’s no question that to people that are more involved in Mission politics, they’re gonna get more out of it.”The play is also weird throughout and deviates from its core themes often. A magician takes the stage for some 20 minutes to do tricks, and a woman dressed in a janitor’s uniform sweeps the room and cracks a laugh when she pretends to be Super Mario with the broom as a moustache. Both are high-points for the play’s comedy, but their relation to the theme at hand is tangential. In a hopeful, if satirical, note, the Wolf learns the error of his market-rate ways. Instead of pursuing profit, he decides to renovate SROs, fund more homeless Navigation Centers, and pour money into affordable housing, becoming beloved by the community.A pipe-dream, to be sure, but a refrain often heard in activist circles. If only developers could be less greedy and cut into their profit margins, the neighborhood might grow more equitably. No one really believes this will happen, and the play ends with a line that will never be true of a housing developer in the Mission District.“Scrooge became as good a guy as the Mission knew,” the narrator says.“The Wolf in the Mission” will be playing at the Mojo Theater at 2940 16th St. on Saturday, July 9 at 8 p.m., or Thursday through Saturday, July 14-16, also at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 online or $20 at the door.Little Red (Barbara Huxley) goes to city hall to try to fight against the Monster in the Mission and save her grandmother from eviction. Photo by Jon Bauer. Courtesy of Peter Papadopoulos.Climate change comes to San Francisco in “The Last Great Climate Change Debate.” Photo by Jon Bauer. Courtesy of Peter Papadopoulos. It’s only natural that the Mission District would respond to its gentrification crisis through theater. Artists and their organizations have been under siege in the increasingly unrecognizable neighborhood, and putting on a play is “a rare opportunity to find humor in front of the somewhat devastating,” as its director says.Peter Papadopoulos is behind “The Wolf in the Mission,” a two-hour retelling of the “Christmas Carol” story with a developer-type character — the “Wolf” — playing the Scrooge. Interwoven with cabaret-style skits, the play — on at the Mojo Theater on 16th Street this weekend and next — presents the Wolf, already hungrily eyeing Mission real estate, visions of the American dream past, present, and future.“What a shabby mess of a building,” the Wolf says looking at the Redstone Building where the Mojo Theater is based. “Surely I can flip it and turn a healthy profit.”Papadopoulos also has a past fighting the market-rate housing that so many activists see as the enemy of the neighborhood. He heads the Cultural Action Network, which was formed to fight a project activists dubbed the “Beast on Bryant.” Although recently approved for construction, Papadopoulos and others won significant concessions from the developer and are still hoping to kill the project on appeal. 0%center_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Expanded 20th St Party Honors SF Mission Icon

first_img 0% A Mission leader credited with helping to place some 40,000 Latino and immigrant community members in jobs will be honored at this Saturday’s 20th Street Block Party– a free, day-long neighborhood party expected to draw some 15,000 revelers to the 20th Street Corridor.The building that houses the Mission Language and Vocational School at 2929 19th St. will be named after its founder, education and immigrant right activist Rosario Anaya, during a fundraiser hosted outside of the school and in conjunction with the music, food and art festival. Anaya died in August 2015, leaving behind a legacy in the community that includes providing thousands of immigrants and non-native English speakers with access to the vocational and language skills needed to enter the local workforce.Noise Pop, the Mission-based music promoter behind the block party, has for the first time partnered with the vocational school to honor Anaya. The newly formed alliance is also a way to encourage party-goers to help the school raise awareness about the local community’s needs and the necessary funds to expand its workforce development programs. “One woman created an entire Latino middle class in the Mission over some two-and-a-half decades,” said Daniel Brajkovich, the school’s current director.  On Saturday, the building will be adorned with a plaque “commemorating [Anaya’s] tremendous influence, not just in this neighborhood, but throughout the city.”The new partnership will also make this year’s block party the biggest yet. Traditionally spanning three blocks between Harrison and Bryant streets on 20th Street, the festival will be expanded to include a three-block section on the 19th Street Corridor where the vocational school is located.On that corridor, Brajkovich said the school will curate a stage with performances by local bands such as the Bay Area Cumbia and reggae group La Gente, and will host tables that give space to community organizations. The building naming ceremony will take place during a fundraising brunch starting at 11 a.m. on the street and sidewalk outside of the school.Tickets to the brunch can still be purchased through the school’s website, and Brajkovich hopes that the Noise Pop partnership will help the school reach a wider audience willing to support and contribute to the community it serves. As gentrification has uprooted much of the Mission community at the heart of Anaya’s life’s work, Brajkovich said that remembering her decades-long fight for equity and opportunity for the under-privileged is critical. “People come to this neighborhood for the diversity and to be part of the continuing Latino character of the Mission that now makes it cool and chic,” said Brajkovich.  “But the equity and value is built on the backs of generations of renters and some homeowners that have now been displaced.”With the help of the block party’s organizers, he hopes to foster a sense of community among the neighborhood’s newcomers and long-time residents alike, while ensuring that local institutions also benefit from the massive neighborhood party.   “We want a seat at the table,” said Brajkovich, adding that the partnership could serve as a “greater model for community re-investment.”“Looking at the Mission’s new demographics and who’s at the 20th street block party, we felt that there is no reason the families and businesses that are in this neighborhood now can’t be a part of what MLVS does and help us,” he said.Dawson Ludwig, manager of Noise Pop, echoed this sentiment. The festival’s ultimate goal, he said, is to bridge the “progress made in the city” with the traditions and values of local communities. “This is our love letter to this neighborhood,” said Ludwig. “We are sensitive to the role that we play in the community, and this partnership gives us a chance to be more connected to it.”The Mission Language and Vocational School brunch fundraiser and building naming ceremony will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 20. Tickets ($150) are available for purchase here.  The annual block party will kick off shortly afterwards, from noon to 6 p.m. and is free to the public.  center_img Tags: 20th Street • education • festivals • immigrants Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

TICKETS are still on sale for Saints next Super Le

first_imgTICKETS are still on sale for Saints next Super League home match.Nathan Brown’s side will take on Catalan Dragons on Friday April 12 (8pm) looking to avenge last season’s last gasp defeat.You can secure your spot in any of Langtree Park’s four stands and prices start at £6. Details are here.There’s also tickets remaining for Paul Wellens and his teammates’ trip to Hull KR on Sunday (3pm) too.You can find out more by clicking here.And, finally, tickets for our away trip to Leeds are now on sale too.Tickets are available by popping into the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.last_img read more

SAINTS have agreed to allow Travis Burns to join L

first_imgSAINTS have agreed to allow Travis Burns to join Leigh Centurions on loan for the rest of the season.The 32-year-old half back signed for the club from Hull KR for the 2015 season – and to date has made 34 appearances in the Red Vee.But chances for first team action this year have been limited and the former Penrith Panther has been playing in the Reserves competition.Saints CEO Mike Rush said: “Travis has been a true professional this season and his dedication in training and in guiding our younger players around the field in the Reserves competition second to none. His experience has been invaluable.“It’s clear though at this stage of his career he needs to play regular football at the highest level and we thank Neil Jukes and Derek Beaumont at Leigh for making this move happen.“We wish Travis all the best for the rest of the season.”last_img read more

HERE are some great images from our Members evenin

first_imgHERE are some great images from our Members evening on Thursday night.Close to 300 2016 Members came to the event at Langtree Park to meet the players and enjoy a whole host of other fun and games in the concourse before the Saints v Warrington Reserves game.And, it was all FREE!Members gain access to great events like these and there will be more so watch this space! @Saints1890 brilliant event this evening thank you x— Genix (@Genix71) July 28, 2016  Players showing the kids some moves— St.Helens R.F.C. (@Saints1890) July 28, 2016  @Saints1890 well done lads you done us all proud— Saintjue (@Saintjue11) July 29, 2016last_img read more

Two accused of breaking into Boseman Sporting Goods selling stolen merchandise

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police say two men broke into a local sporting goods store, stole items, then sold the merchandise.Wilmington Police have charged Deshawn Hankins, 21, Rashon Roberts, 40.- Advertisement – Police say Hankins and Roberts broke into Boseman Sporting Goods on New Centre Drive early Wednesday morning and took more than $20,000 worth of merchandise, including the new Jordan 6 shoes that are scheduled to be released on Saturday.The suspects then sold the stolen goods.Police have recovered a portion of the merchandise.Related Article: Waffle House good Samaritan shot to death paying for meals, handing out $20 billsHankins is being charged with Breaking & Entering Felony, Larceny after B&E, and Possession of Stolen Goods and is being held under a $100,000 bond.Zakia Downey (Photo: Wilmington Police Dept.)Roberts is being charged with Breaking & Entering Felony and Larceny after B&E and is being held under a $12,000 bond.Zakia Downey, 25, is charged with Buying/Receiving Stolen Property. No word on any bond amount for her.last_img read more

Memorial Day events around the Cape Fear

first_img(Photo: Samuel Morse/US Air Force) (WWAY) — There are several Memorial Day events happening around the Cape Fear today, to honor those who gave their lives for our country.In Brunswick County, The VFW Calabash Post 7288 Memorial Day Ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at 900 Carter Dr SW.- Advertisement – The keynote speaker is Henry Payne, a retired US Army Colonel. There will also be remarks by Calabash mayor Mary Louise Knight. The ceremony includes laying wreaths by the post and auxiliary, in memory of those that have passed.The Memorial Day ceremony in Sunset Beach also begins at 10 a.m. Due to the rain, the ceremony has been moved from Town Park to Fire Station #1 at 102 Shoreline Drive West. The event is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to bring a chair, as seating is limited.The Compass Pointe Veterans Club is sponsoring a fundraiser to send children of wounded, disabled or fallen soldiers to Camp Corral. The community Memorial Day celebration and fundraiser starts at 10:30 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. at the Grand Lanai Lawn. There will be a flag presentation, a silent auction, food, music and more.Related Article: Fayetteville VA inland sites open; coastal sites closedThe New Hanover County Veterans Council will present its annual program at Wilmington National Cemetery. Starting at 11 a.m., a tolling of the bell ceremony will read aloud the names of more than 600 local veterans who passed since Memorial Day 2017.There is also a Memorial Day ceremony on the Battleship North Carolina today. The ship will open to the public at 4 p.m. and the free event starts at 5 p.m. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held under a tent in Battleship Park. A spokeswoman suggests arriving early and carpooling if possible.last_img read more

Police search for Shallotte Walmart pursesnatcher

first_img Police say the victim ran after the suspect, following her to the front the doors of the business. According to a Facebook post, the two women fought and the victim sustained severe injuries to her knee.“Witnesses observed the suspect get into an older model 4 door Honda passenger car with a male driver,” the post states. 1 of 1 SHALLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — Police are looking for a woman who allegedly stole another woman’s purse at the Shallotte Walmart earlier this month.Police say the woman came into the Walmart around 9 p.m on December 4. She then reportedly walked up to another customer, snatch the victim’s purse from her and ran away.- Advertisement – Woman wanted for stealing purse from customer at Walmart in Shallotte on Dec. 4, 2018. (Photo: Shallotte Police Dept.) Anyone with information about the woman’s identity is asked to call the Shallotte Police Department at (910) 754-6008 and ask to speak with a detective.last_img read more

Local elected officials on route to Raleigh

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Elected officials as far north as New Bern and as far south as Boiling Spring Lakes are joining forces to address critical issues since Hurricane Florence to state and local leaders in Raleigh, Wednesday.Wilmington’s Mayor Bill Saffo and Pender County Commission Chairman George Brown co-chaired a meeting with over 20 southeastern North Carolina government leaders a few weeks ago. At this meeting, leaders came up with five key priorities to be unveiled at Wednesday’s meeting.- Advertisement – From infrastructure to affordable housing, the Eastern North Carolina Recovery and Resiliency Alliance wants to better prepare for the future.“Here in Wilmington and in the surrounding communities, we were literally cut off, during Hurricane Florence, due to the damage to I-40 so, that’s going to be an item that they are taking to the legislature,” said Tony McEwen, City Manager Assistant for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. “There needs to be a way to expedite funds to some of these critical transportation infrastructure projects that have impacts on literally life and death.”About a dozen elected officials will be in attendance Wednesday including the Whiteville Mayor, Onslow County Commissioner, Boiling Springs Lake Mayor, Belville Mayor, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce CEO, Wallace Mayor, Chair of Pender County Commissioner and Wilmington’s Mayor.last_img read more

Man suffers grievous injuries in San Gwann car collision

first_img SharePrint <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Malta Police ForceMalta Police Force A Maltese man has suffered grievous injuries after being involved in a collision between two cars in San Gwann.The incident occurred at 11.55am today at Vjal ir-Riħan, where the two cars, one driven by a 49 year old Maltese man of and the other driven by a 28 year old Latvian, clashed.An ambulance was called where the Maltese man was taken to Mater Dei Hospital. He was later certified as grievously injured.WhatsApplast_img read more

Meet the winners of the 2015 MTN Innovation Awards

first_imgSolomon King receives his award from the guestof honor, ICT Minister Hon Nyombi Thembo during the MTN Innovation Event gala at the KampalaSerena Hotel on November 14th, 2015. Advertisement Solomon King Benge, often referred to as The King of Robotics, emerged the overall winner of the 2015 MTN Innovation Awards. The round of applause that the guests gave him confirmed that he indeed deserved this win. Solomon King and the other 7 winners were awarded at a colorful event last night that took place at the Kampala Serena Hotel Victoria Ballroom.The winners of each of the eight categories walked away with an award plaque and a gift pack containing a fixed phone, smartphone, 4G MiFi, bag, as well as $1,000 cash prize. In spite of the loaded prize spoils of the night, the bigger value to these winners is going to be in the recognition that they have got as people who have excelled at what they do.The ICT Minister, Hon Nyombi Thembo who was the guest of honor commended MTN for their continued support to ICT and innovation. The Awards Gala was also graced by several other big shots from partner organisations including National Information Technology Authority, Uganda Communications Commision, Huawei, ZTE and MTN’s top management. – Advertisement – MTN CEO, Brian Gouldie emphasized that Innovation is part of MTN’s DNA, and that MTN, in its own right is a result of innovation, and that they are always innovating in order to improve customers’ experience.The MTN Innovation Awards was different from other tech awards and challenges that we’ve seen in Kampala in the past in the sense that it sought to award those who have been in the trenches, done the time, learnt the lessons the hard way, and risen up to shine and overcome all obstacles to be the leaders. On the other hand, many other awards that have been given in the past couple of years have been to those who are just starting the journey, brilliant ideas and all, but just at the beginning.The MTN App Challenge that took place in May this year at which the Yoza app emerged overall winner put together teams on the spot who left after 48 hours with their products. However these products had not yet seen the light of day, had no users, hadn’t been tested in the harsh world, or been monetized. Yoza has since launched their app and service, signed up several users and are well on their journey.The winner of the “Education App” category, BrainShare started their journey at the Orange Community Innovation Awards that was running for a couple of years, seemingly targeting specifically university students. I was one of the judges that vetted the finalists and presented winners in 2013, and I’m glad that not winning first place did not hold BrainShare back, they’ve grown leaps and bounds, and fully deserved their award last night.A few weeks ago Total announced the “Startupper of the Year Challenge” which they explicitly state that they want to help young people “get their business off the ground”, also targeting innovations that are at the start of the journey. So it was refreshing to have a moment to recognize those who have already gone through the “Startup” stage.The winners were selected by a very capable panel including Vision Group’s Head of Marketing, Ms Susan Nsibirwa, Michael Niyitegeka, ICDL Africa Accreditation Consultant for Uganda and Eng. Bainomugisha, Head of the Department of Computer Science, School of Computing & IT – Makerere University.Here is the list of the winners by category:Best Health Application: ClinicMaster (Wilson Kutegeka)Wilson Kutegeka is a software developer with over 15 years experience, with a special focus on developing solutions for the health sector.ClinicMaster is an integrated healthcare information management and medical billing software that automates patients’ transactions in the clinic or hospital on a visit basis and daily procedures.ClinicMaster’s features include real-time alerts to healthcare providers and patients, including reminders for ARV medication, following up patients which reduce turnaround time, save patients waiting time and facilitate easy flow of information around healthcare facilities.Wilson Kutegeka was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award in Visual Basic 5 years in a row, among other awards and recognition.Best Education Application: BrainShare (Charles Muhindo)Using BrainShare, students can access low cost educational content and teachers, both online and offline. Through multiple delivery modes including website, USSD, SMS and a smartphone app, BrainShare is able to reach underprivileged learners.BrainShare was launched in 2013 with the objective of connecting students to top content and giving them a better shot at the national examinations, as well as empowering teachers and giving them an opportunity to earn more from their efforts.The app currently has close to 200,000 active users in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.Best Financial Services Application: Yo! Payments Gateway (Gerald Begumisa)Developed in Uganda with Local Talent, the Yo! Payments Gateway is a platform that enables organizations and individuals integrate Mobile Money payments into their day-to-day operations.  The Yo! Payments Gateway offers Online Payments, Bulk Payments, Banking Integration and Merchant Payments.Yo! Payments gateway reaches both the individual and small business users as well as financial institutions and large corporations. Small businesses are able to receive payments by Mobile Money in a way that is structured and accountable, and larger institutions can use the Payment gateway to integrate Mobile Money services in their operations at a larger scale.With over 300 businesses and institutions using Yo! Payments gateway to process millions of dollars of transactions every year, this win was well deserved for their role in the financial services sector.Best SME Application: School Management Dynamics – Intelligent WorksLaunched in 2012, the School management Dynamics app has helped over 60 schools solve their problems with record keeping and data management.The app meets all the administration needs of a typical school related to managing data including academic records, financial records for both students and the procurement side, and payroll data. It helps schools produce documetns like academic report cards, meal cards, student and staff IDs, invoices and receipts among others.Best Enterprise Effort to support Innovation: Outbox (Richard Zulu)Richard is the founder and lead at Outbox, a Google for Entrepreneurs partner hub that supports new and upcoming African entrepreneurs interested in using technology with workspace, mentorship, and training programs.Outbox supports new and upcoming African entrepreneurs interested in using technology with workspace, mentorship, and training programs.Richard said their mission is to provide the entrepreneurship, innovation and technology infrastructure that supports African entrepreneurs through the growth of inclusive communities that foster talent and create value where they operate.Outbox also works with organizations interested in leveraging mobile and web products in their work.Most Innovative Mobile App: Fezah (Ham Namakajjo)Fezah is the simplest way to book a musician, band or DJ for your next event. In addition to viewing the artists’ profile information & content users can find price, availability, and ratings info that helps them make a more informed decision on who to book. Booking is done through the app with Fezah handling the negotiations, contracting, payment and fulfillment with the artist on behalf of the user/customer. They have a fast growing roster of musical acts in Uganda and Kenya for event planners to choose from, and have plans to expand to 5 African cities by end mid next year.Steve Keys who blew guests away last night is also listed on Fezah.Available on: Google PlayOutstanding Woman in Innovation: Lyndsay Handler (ReadyPay)ReadyPay Power is a “pay-to-own” solar and mobile financial services platform for the 30 million off-grid households and businesses in Uganda.  ReadyPay’s flexible and affordable payment platform enables our customers to finance the ReadyPay Power system and other life-changing products over MTN Mobile Money for as little as 800 UGX per day, enabling over 50,000 households across Uganda to power their lights, phones, radios and TVs safely.Lyndsay Handler is the Managing Director for Fenix International Uganda, and in this role, Lyndsay grew the Fenix East Africa team from one to two hundred employees to launch ReadyPay Power, Fenix’s “pay to own” solar and mobile financial services platform.Lyndsay has vast experience in starting and growing social enterprises in the fields of renewable energy, microfinance and education.Innovation Achiever of the Year: FundiBots (Solomon King Benge)Solomon King is the founder of Fundi Bots, whose mission is to use robotics training in African schools to provide better science education, better career prospects and to create and inspire a new generation of problem solvers, innovators and change-makers.Solomon says their long-term goal is to have a learning, innovating and career cycle that is self-sustaining while changing the face of education in Africa.By enhancing the quality of science education in schools and providing continued career exposure opportunities, Fundi Bots is changing the way science is taught in classrooms and improving the quality of science students graduating. The net result of this is an increase in both the skills and innovation capacity of young Ugandans in their various communities.Fundibots facilitated the MTN Junior Robotics Camp at which we saw firsthand the transformation in the children’s thinking in only 3 days.Fundi Bots has been featured on CNN, BBC, Voice of America and Wired Magazine.last_img read more

Apple discontinues iPhone 5s 6 6 Plus after iPhone 7 launch doubles

first_imgAdvertisement Apple with its new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus has acknowledged the biggest user complaint for its smartphones, and has discontinued 16GB storage for the base model – replacing it with 32GB storage.The new 32GB base storage is not meant for just the new iPhones however, the Cupertino-based company has also doubled the storage of all the available iPhone models except the iPhone SE.Additionally, Apple has discontinued the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus models which are no longer on the company’s website. The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in new 32GB, 128GB, and the highest capacity 256GB model. – Advertisement – The earlier iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will now come in 32GB and 128GB storage models which means there will be no 16GB and 64GB options. The iPhone SE, launched earlier this year, will be available in 16GB and 64GB storage options as before.[related-posts][NDTV, CNET]last_img read more

MTN MoKash Savings Loan Service Launched in Rwanda

first_imgAdvertisement MTN Rwanda in partnership with the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) has launched MoKash, a mobile savings and loan service plan for MTN mobile money subscribers.The service allows MTN Mobile money users to save money, earn interest on their savings as well as acquire loans on a short term basis via their mobile phones. It will go a long way in extending banking services to the local folk that don’t have access to the mainstream banking system.The Rwanda launch follows the success of the same product on the Ugandan market since its inception in August 2016. – Advertisement – According to sources inside MTN Uganda, by the end of 2016, MoKash subscribers had grown up to more than 1.3 million, with more than 3,000 MoKash loans were processed every day.“The launch of MoKash is in line with the government’s objective of making Rwanda a cash-less transaction economy, and we are proud to play our part to this vision,” Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning told local Press.L-R: MTN Rwanda chief executive Bart Hofker, Rwanda central bank vice governor Monique Nsanzabaganwa, and Isaac Awuondo, CBA’s group managing director during the launchOn his side, Isaac Awuondo, the CBA’s group managing director said; “we believe that we are aiding financial inclusion and will thereby add substantial value to the development and social well-being of Rwandans across the country.”He added that making a deposit into MoKash Bank account for MTN mobile money subscribers will be done free with no ledger fees or minimum balance requirements.MTN Rwanda subscribers can dial *182# to access the product for as long they are registered on mobile money.Rwanda Utility regulatory agency (RURA) estimates the number of mobile phone users at over 8.9million with over 4 million registered on the MTN network.Photo Credit: Inspire Rwanda (Twitter)last_img read more


first_imgSTAR SPORTS GREYHOUND DERBY: In her third weekly countdown blog to the big race, Julie Collier has news on Bruiser’s Bullet, defending champ Dorotas Wildcat and the latest from the Hennessy, Hutton and Dowling kennels. Trainer Paul Hennessy and his leading owner John Turner wasted no time at all in snapping up impressive Irish Juvenile heat winner Lambeth Walk last week. The puppy caught Hennessy’s eye at Tralee after the son of Droopys Cain and Luminous Flower raced to a 28.69 success. A deal was quickly struck and the dog has now been renamed Jaytee Churchill. He’ll be aimed at the Kirby Memorial and then will make up part of Hennessy’s Derby team for Nottingham. He’s clearly full of ability and potential but also apparently a friendly dog in the kennel who responds to his kennel name, Benny – so you know what to shout from the terraces if you back him for the Derby!! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS Bruisers Bullet who made the Star Sports Greyhound Derby final last year at Towcester isn’t now a certainty to make this years Star Sports Greyhound Derby. The May 2015 dog had a handslip trial at Monmore last week and came off lame. That said, the swelling has healed well and so he will be taken to greyhound vet Stefano for assessment. Fingers crossed for the Bullet! LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS Reigning Star Sports Derby champion Dorotas Wildcat went out in the heats of the Winter Derby last Thursday at Hove at odds of 1/5 after failing to make the bend and then finding all the trouble in running. He was reported by the Hutton camp to have come out of the race ‘ok’ albeit slightly stiff. It looked like the lack of competitive racing action since November 2018 may have caught up with the him but all being well there is now plenty of time to get the superstar in tip top shape ready to defend his Derby title. That said, he’s now a drifter at – 14/1 out to 16/1. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS The Hutton kennel have another contender that’s floating the boat of many ante-post punters already in the shape of Magical Bale (pictured). He’s currently trained by Pat Guilfoyle in Ireland and racing in the Easter Cup (he finished 2nd in his heat on Saturday.) The dog looks a different animal to the one that competed as a puppy in last years Star Sports Greyhound Derby and will head back to Hutton as and when he is eliminated from the Easter Cup. Irish commentator Ian Fortune and RPGTV pundit both tweeted this week that Bale was the first dog to be added to their ante-post portfolios. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDS Liam Dowling’s Irish team bound for Nottingham seems to be getting stronger by the week. Akelaware is the latest dog to really step forward. After looking a nice, strong running type as a pup, his style of running appears to have changed and he is now going up much faster. On Saturday he clocked the joint-fastest time in the Easter Cup at Shelbourne leading Magical Bale to the bend and coming home clear in 29.32. He seems to be getting better all the time and is yet another Irish dog that will relish the Nottingham test. LATEST STARSPORTS.BET ODDSLATEST VIDEOSRICHARD HARKNESS PREVIEWWith just over 3 months to go before the Star Sports Greyhound Derby gets underway, RPGTV pundit and former Derby-winning part-owner Richard Harkness gives his early thoughts on the contenders this year and tells us who he will be backing anti-post.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>ANTIGUA ROMEONic Jeal has enjoyed much success in his relatively short time as a greyhound owner. Now he has new purchase Antigua Romeo aiming to be a real contender in this years Star Sports Greyhound Derby. Here, his trainer Matt Dartnall tells us more about this May 2017 son of Romeo Recruit and why he is expecting a lot of improvement over the coming months.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>RISING BRANDYRising Brandy was nothing short of stunning in the 2018 Star Sports Greyhound Derby. But after winning his quarter final, connections were devastated to find the dog was lame at the pick-up with a shoulder injury that kept him off the track for six months. His trainer Matt Dartnall tells us how he is now on the road to recovery and how realistic a chance he is for the 2019 Derby.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span><span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>last_img read more

Educator to Talk on Relevance of Cultures in Teaching

first_imgShare CONTACT: Philip Montgomery PHONE:(713) 831-4792E-MAIL: EDUCATOR TO TALK ON RELEVANCE OF CULTURES INTEACHINGGloria Ladson-Billings, theaward-winning author of “The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of AfricanAmerican Children,” will deliver a lecture at Rice about her theory ofculturally relevant teaching, which stresses the strong link between teachers’understanding of children’s home culture and their students’ academicsuccess.Ladson-Billings will deliver the Hazel Creekmore Symposiumtitled “Can’t Anybody Teach These Children? The Promise of Culturally RelevantTeaching” at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 25, in the Grand Hall of the RiceMemorial Center on the Rice campus. The symposium is free and open to thepublic.She is a professor of curriculum and instruction at theUniversity of Wisconsin and a senior fellow for urban education at the AnnenbergInstitute for School Reform at Brown University. Ladson-Billings will also participate, along with projectdirectors from the Rice Center for Education, in the Hazel Creekmore Seminartitled “Research in Communities of Color: Moral and Ethical Considerations ofCultural Work” at 10 a.m., Friday, March 26, in the Kyle Morrow room in FondrenLibrary on the Rice campus. The event is free and open to the public.The events are sponsored by the Rice Center for Education andthe Hazel G. Creekmore Memorial Curriculum Collection, which is housed in Rice’sFondren Library. The symposium is endowed by a gift from Houston EndowmentInc.For more information about the Creekmore symposium or seminar,call (713) 285-5145.### FacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThislast_img read more

RAMBO a small but powerful magnet

first_imgShareJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduRAMBO a small but powerful magnetRice University system allows high-magnetic-field experiments on a tabletop HOUSTON – (Jan. 6, 2014) – Rice University scientists have pioneered a tabletop magnetic pulse generator that does the work of a room-sized machine – and more.The device dubbed “RAMBO” – short for Rice Advanced Magnet with Broadband Optics – will allow researchers who visit the university to run spectroscopy-based experiments on materials in pulsed magnetic fields of up to 30 tesla. (A high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging system is about 10 tesla in strength.)The Rice lab of physicist Junichiro Kono created RAMBO in collaboration with Hiroyuki Nojiri at the Institute for Materials Research at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. Details appeared online recently in the American Institute of Physics journal Review of Scientific Instruments.The advantages of such a small machine are many, said Timothy Noe, a postdoctoral research associate in Kono’s group and lead author of the paper. Aside from its size and powerful performance, RAMBO has windows that allow researchers to directly send a laser beam to the sample and collect data at close range.“We can literally see the sample inside the magnet,” Kono said. “We have direct optical access, whereas if you go to a national high magnetic field facility, you have a monster magnet, and you can only access the sample through a very long optical fiber. You cannot do any nonlinear or ultrafast optical spectroscopy.“RAMBO finally gives us the ability to combine ultrastrong magnetic fields and very short and intense optical pulses. It’s a combination of two extreme conditions.”The device’s unique configuration allows for the best access ever in a powerful magnetic field generator meant for scientific experimentation. Researchers can collect real-time, high-resolution data in a system that couples high magnetic fields and low temperatures with direct optical access to the magnet’s core, Kono said.In addition, the unit can run a new experiment in a 30-tesla field every 10 minutes (or less for smaller peak fields), as opposed to waiting the hours often required for field generators to cool down after each experiment at large laboratories.The device has already paid dividends for Kono’s group, which studies superfluorescence by hitting materials with femtosecond laser pulses to trigger quantum effects. RAMBO allows the laser pulse, the magnetic field pulse and the spectrometer to work in sync.RAMBO is possible, he said, because of Nojiri’s development of a small and light mini-coil magnet. A little bigger than a spool of thread, the magnet allows Rice researchers to perform on campus many of the experiments they once carried out at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University or at Los Alamos National Laboratory.The Florida State facility has produced continuous magnetic fields of 45 tesla; Los Alamos has produced pulses over 100 tesla.“I would say we’ve been able to do 80 percent of the experiments here that we used to have to do elsewhere,” Kono said. “And that’s not all. There are things that only we can do here. This is a unique system that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.“High magnetic fields have been around for many years. Ultrafast spectroscopy has been around for many years. But this is the first combination of the two,” he said.Kono’s group built the system to analyze very small, if not microscopic, samples. A sample plate sits on a long sapphire cylinder that passes through the coil’s container and juts through one end of the magnet to place it directly in the center of the magnetic field.The cylinder provides one direct window to the experiment; a port on the other side of the container looks directly down upon the sample. The coil is bathed in liquid nitrogen to keep it cool at around 80 kelvins (-315 degrees Fahrenheit). The sample temperature can be independently controlled from about 10 K to room temperature by adjusting the flow of liquid helium to the sapphire cylinder.Kono said he expects RAMBO to make Rice one center of an international network of researchers working on modern materials. “This opens up all kinds of possibilities,” he said. “Scientists working in different areas will come up with new ideas just by knowing such a thing is possible.”He said the team has already collaborated with Jean Léotin, a co-author of the paper and a professor at the Laboratoire National des Champs Magnétiques Intenses in Toulouse, France, to perform one of the first time-domain terahertz spectroscopy experiments in high magnetic fields.Co-authors include Joseph Lee, a student at Clements High School, Sugar Land, Texas, who works in Kono’s lab, and Gary Woods, a professor in the practice of computer technology and electrical and computer engineering.The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Robert A. Welch Foundation supported the research.-30-Read the abstract at Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNewsRelated Materials:RAMBO system: Kono Laboratory: for Materials Research: for download: palm-sized coil is the heart of RAMBO, a Rice-built tabletop system to expose experiments to high magnetic fields. The coil developed by Hiroyuki Nojiri at Tohoku University in Japan provides a pulsed field of up to 30 tesla and allows for the collection of data at close range. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) If you do not wish to receive news releases from Rice University, reply to this email and write “unsubscribe” in the subject line.  Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005 AddThis, the Rice Advanced Magnet with Broadband Optics, is a powerful magnetic pulse generator that allows scientists to test materials in high magnetic fields. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to center_img of the Kono Lab at Rice developed RAMBO to allow tabletop experiments with magnetic fields that once took a room-sized device to carry out. From left: Tim Noe, Professor Junichiro Kono, Trevor Smith and Qi Zhang. (Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University) Tohoku University is a member of the Japanese National Seven Universities, and considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, with an enrollment of 18,000 students. small coil is at the heart of a tabletop system that generates powerful magnetic pulses developed at Rice University. The Rice Advanced Magnet with Broadband Optics – RAMBO – will make it possible to run experiments that once took a room-sized generator. (Illustration by Tanyia Johnson/Rice University)last_img read more

Free online course focuses on health care in the Digital Age

first_imgAddThis ShareRice UniversityOffice of Public Affairs / News & Media RelationsNEWS RELEASEB.J. Almond713-348-6770balmond@rice.eduFree online course focuses on health care in the Digital AgeHOUSTON — (April 13, 2015) — A new free online course aims to help anyone interested in health care understand how social media and other digital technology are changing the field of medicine.Medicine in the Digital Age is a massive open online course (MOOC) that will be offered on the edX platform by Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine starting May 5.“Medicine is undergoing a transformation that is changing the ways that doctors and patients communicate, access information and solve problems,” said Kirsten Ostherr, a professor of English at Rice who specializes in health and medical visualizations and is co-teaching the new MOOC.“Technology and the reality of a connected global community are conspiring to redefine both health and disease,” she said. “Patients are driving conversations about health care and are finding value in peer-to-peer, not just patient-to-doctor, problem-solving. This course offers participants an engaging, never-before-seen view of medicine and health care.”The five-week course will explore the role of social media in health care communication, the uses of wearable technologies such as personal sensors and tracking devices that monitor activity and heart rate, the potential for “big data” to reshape health behaviors, the ethics of personalized medicine and the impact of these new developments on the doctor-patient relationship.“The future of health care is connected, patient-centered, mobile and social,” said Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, who is co-teaching the course. He directs programs in digital literacy and advises leadership in the area of training and emerging technology at the college. His blog,, explores “the edges of medicine and technology” and is archived by the National Library of Medicine as part of a project to convey early 21st-century physician thinking.“Self-tracking devices are empowering patients to take charge of their own health. Information and knowledge that was once controlled by physicians is accessible by patients,” he said. “Mobile platforms are beginning to allow secure, real-time communication between patients and providers. By the end of this course, participants will be fluent in the language of digital innovation.”Ostherr, who has a master’s in public health, said she and Vartabedian expect the course to be of interest not just to medical students, residents and practicing physicians, but also to professionals in telecommunications, health insurance, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment manufacturing, policy and government and other related fields, as well as to family members taking care of a loved one who has a chronic health condition and people who are just interested in becoming better informed about health care options.The course will consist of video lectures, discussion forums, live Twitter assignments, video interviews with experts, quizzes and short written assignments. Rather than a final exam, the course will conclude with a project involving critical analysis and reflection on what the shift from analogue to digital health means, on the risks and opportunities in this new era and on the ethical implications of digital health.To register for Medicine in the Digital Age (hashtag #MedDig) or for more information, including a short video about the course, go to # #Images for download: Kirsten Ostherr from Rice University and Dr. Bryan Vartabedian from Baylor College of Medicine are co-teaching the free online course Medicine in the Digital Age. artwork)Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,888 undergraduates and 2,610 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked among some of the top schools for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005last_img read more