Nearly half of disabled people subject to “planned reviews” of their eligibility for the government’s new disability benefit are having their existing award either cut or removed completely, according to new figures obtained by Disability News Service (DNS).The unpublished Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show that the proportion of claimants of personal independence payment (PIP) who had their payments reduced after a planned review of their entitlement rose from less than 10 per cent in 2014 to nearly 20 per cent in 2016.The proportion who lost their PIP completely after a planned review increased from 13 per cent in 2014 to nearly 25 per cent, or one in four of all reviews, in 2016.This means that nearly half of PIP claimants (44 per cent) who had a planned review of their award in 2016 either saw it cut or lost it entirely.But the proportion of claimants of PIP – which was introduced in April 2013 and is gradually replacing disability living allowance (DLA) for working-age claimants – who saw their award increased fell from 23 per cent in 2014 to less than 16 per cent in 2016.The figures, which refer to the initial outcomes of the reviews – before any appeals – were obtained by DNS through a freedom of information request*, and suggest the government has secretly made it more difficult for disabled people to continue to claim PIP, which provides financial support to pay for the extra costs they face as a result of their impairments.They also confirm anecdotal reports from welfare rights advisers, activists and MPs – as well as cases received by DNS – of growing numbers of disabled people who should have continued to be found eligible for PIP but have had their payments either cut or stripped away entirely.Many of them have previously spoken to DNS as part of its ongoing investigation into claimants who have had their PIP reduced or removed after dishonest assessment reports compiled by healthcare professionals working for DWP contractors Atos and Capita.Only last week, Labour’s Derek Twigg told fellow MPs: “I just cannot understand why some of the people who come to see me have not been awarded their [PIP].“I have had experience of cases such as these over a number of years now, and I have never come across such difficult cases as those I have seen recently.”In the same debate, Labour MP Clive Efford told MPs that he found it “impossible” to understand some of the decisions made on the PIP claims of his constituents and that he believed something was clearly “wrong” with the system.DWP has previously published figures showing the proportion of DLA claimants who were awarded PIP after being assessed for the new benefit for the first time, with 23 per cent receiving a cut to their benefit, 25 per cent losing entitlement completely, but 40 per cent seeing their awards increased.But this is believed to be the first time DWP has released figures showing how it has cut the benefits of disabled people who had already been found eligible for PIP, and they show a much bigger gap between those who lost out and those who gained from the new assessment than the DLA reassessment figures.Disabled researcher Stef Benstead, from the Spartacus Network, said PIP was aimed at people with long-term conditions, most of which do not improve, so she “would be surprised to learn that 44 per cent of PIP claimants actually have a condition which improves within a few years”.She said it was difficult to know the explanation for the figures “without the government being transparent on this”.She said: “I think any change made, whether to guidelines or training or legislation, should be publicised, so sick and disabled people know what they’re facing.“The government will probably argue that it is improving the accuracy of assessments.“But its arguments regarding the mobility threshold, aids and appliances, and now on mental health, show that it has no evidence that people are getting more help than they need, and plenty of evidence that people are getting less help than they need.“It’s disturbing that the government plays with benefit assessments in this way without any scrutiny, justification or decent evidence.“If it’s going to shaft people, at least let it do so in the open.”Anita Bellows, a Disabled People Against Cuts researcher, said the figures “show a very worrying trend over three years in the number of PIP claimants being reassessed and either losing their award or having their award decreased.“They show that 44 per cent of PIP claimants lost out and only 16 per cent gained [in] 2016 when they were reassessed.“Interestingly, and unlike employment and support allowance, these reassessment statistics are not published as part of DWP normal statistics releases.“It looks like DWP is not keen to have these figures in the public domain.”When asked for an explanation for such a sharp rise in disallowances and reductions in PIP awards, and whether this was taking place because DWP was trying to cut spending on disability benefits, a DWP spokesman failed to provide any explanation for the figures.Instead, he provided a lengthy statement** which included information about levels of spending on PIP, why the government had introduced the new benefit, and why there was a need for regular reviews.But he also said that DWP “did not start most reassessments of DLA cases onto PIP until mid-2015.“As we’ve explained, many claimants moved across to PIP will not have had award reviews yet and therefore will not be represented in the data.“We will have to wait many years to see the full outcome of transferral from DLA to PIP represented in statistics.”Meanwhile, members of the House of Lords will next week debate new regulations that will make it more difficult for people with severe mental distress to secure the mobility-related support they need through PIP.Peers will debate both a motion to “annul” the regulations, brought by the Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokeswoman Baroness Bakewell, and a “regret” motion, brought by the Labour work and pensions spokeswoman Baroness Sherlock.The motion to annul could see the new regulations thrown out, if backed by both peers and MPs, but the motion of regret would have no affect on the regulations even if it was passed by peers.A similar attempt to secure a debate on the regulations in the Commons has so far been ignored by the government, with Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams raising a point of order with the Commons speaker on Tuesday about the failure to schedule a debate before the Easter recess.She said this was a “sad reflection” on the government’s attitude to the House of Commons, as more than 160 MPs had signed an early day motion “praying” against the introduction of the regulations.DNS was unable to contact the government whips’ office for a comment on the failure to schedule a debate in the Commons because of yesterday’s terrorist attack outside parliament.The new PIP measures came into force last week and were brought in to reverse two upper tribunal rulings.The government’s decision to reverse the rulings means an estimated 164,000 claimants will not now be eligible for the mobility component of the benefit or will receive a lower level than they would have received, while an estimated 1,500 PIP claimants who need support to take medication and monitor a health condition will now either not be eligible for the PIP daily living payment or will receive a lower level.*In its freedom of information response, DWP warned that the release contained “unpublished data” and “should be used with caution” and “may be subject to future revision” **This is the rest of the DWP statement in full: “Spending on disability benefits (PIP and DLA) is at a record high – up by more than £3 billion since 2010 and higher every year to 2020. “27 per cent of claimants are now receiving the highest rate of support under PIP, compared to just 15 per cent under the outdated DLA. “PIP award rates and their durations are set on an individual basis, based on the claimant’s needs and the likelihood of their needs changing. “Regular reviews for PIP claimants are a key feature of the benefit, and ensure that benefit payments accurately match the current needs of claimants – something fundamentally missing from DLA, which PIP began to replace in 2013.“Under DLA, 70 per cent of all claimants had indefinite awards with little prospect of a review. “As a result, a significant number of claimants (whose condition had deteriorated) were not receiving the right amount of benefit. “We designed PIP to be a more interactive benefit with enough contact with claimants to ensure any changes in functional ability can be identified and that claimants receive the right support at the right time.“PIP is a different benefit to DLA; moving from DLA to PIP does not mean someone is automatically entitled to PIP, nor guaranteed the same level of award. “PIP has also been designed to focus support on those who need it most: 34 per cent of reassessed cases given an award of PIP were given the highest possible rate of benefit compared with only 15 per cent on DLA (working age, April 2013).“DLA was in urgent need of reform and many DLA claimants had not undergone any kind of assessment of their needs for several years. “PIP is a better – and fairer – system designed to focus support on those experiencing the greatest barriers to living independently. “In all cases, the outcome depends very much on individual circumstances and the needs arising as a result.”Picture: Penny Mordaunt, minister for disabled people and responsible for PIP
The mother of a disabled woman who died as a result of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) failings stood outside its headquarters in Whitehall this week to remind civil servants and ministers how their actions caused her daughter’s death.Joy Dove, whose daughter Jodey Whiting died in 2017, was taking part in an action being staged by disabled artist-activist Dolly Sen in front of Caxton House.She and others held up heart-shaped boards, on which Sen had written the names of four disabled men and women who had lost their lives because of DWP’s benefit assessment regimes: Jodey Whiting, Stephen Carré, Mark Wood and Susan Roberts.Other hearts showed the phrases “broken hearts for the DWP” and “hearts stopped by DWP policies”.The action aimed to highlight how DWP policies have caused thousands of “broken hearts”.Sen (pictured, left) said: “Joy is here to mourn that her daughter has passed because of this building behind us.“We want these hearts to be still beating. The more hearts that are stopped by the building behind us, the stronger our hearts will get.“We will fight for every person who is let down by the building behind us.”As DWP staff entered and left the building, Sen asked each of them if they would personally sign off the next death to be caused by DWP.Every DWP civil servant she asked ignored her question.Sen said: “The workers who are going in and out may not have physically killed somebody, but they are the cogs in a system that is churning out coffin after coffin after coffin.”She added, addressing staff in the building behind her: “Do you understand that hearts have stopped because of what you’re doing? Shame on you.”This week’s action is one of several being devised by Sen that will be edited into a film, to be shown at film and art festivals, schools and universities, while there will also be “guerrilla projections” of the film onto bus stops and the walls of buildings, including – possibly –Caxton House itself.Sen said afterwards: “We want more people to know what’s going on.”She added: “It was a symbolic protest: a heart that goes de-dum, de-dum, de-dum, and it just stops because of this building.“To me it is just a horrific and really painful thought. If you took this building out of the chain of decisions, people would still be alive.”She said she had not expected DWP staff to engage with the protest.She said: “How could they really justify what they are doing? The machine can’t work without the cogs and these people are the cogs.”Joy Dove (pictured, second from left), who travelled from her home in the north-east to take part in the action, said afterwards that she had wanted DWP to know that she was there.Dove, who was supported by her son Jamie, Jodey’s brother, thanked Sen and her producer, disabled artist Caroline Cardus, for asking her to take part.She said: “When I saw the heart I wanted to cry, but I had to be strong for Jodey.”She said it had been her first visit to London since 1983. “It was a big step but I’m glad I have done it. I will carry on as long as I can.“I knew from the start that what they did to Jodey was wrong. The day they said she was fit for work I knew it wasn’t right.”Her daughter 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.Dove said she was still pursuing legal action through her solicitor, with the hope of a second inquest into her daughter’s death, while she continued to support the Justice for Jodey Whiting parliamentary petition* and its call for an independent inquiry into deaths linked to DWP.She said: “I want justice for Jodey. I won’t give up.”Dove was joined at the protest by Gill Thompson, whose brother, David Clapson, died in July 2013 as a result of an acute lack of insulin, three weeks after having his jobseeker’s allowance sanctioned.Because he had no money, he couldn’t afford to pay for electricity that would have kept the fridge where he kept his insulin working, in the height of summer, and he had also run out of food.His sister told the protest: “I just want all the suffering to stop. No more deaths and no more benefit cuts.”Another disabled artist-activist, Julie McNamara, said the action and other protests were “gentle steps… towards having our voices heard. Remember there is still hope.”She said: “People in a room together created this system. We intend to dismantle this system.“It was people who created the system and it will be people who dismantle it.”Paula Peters, a member of the national steering group of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “We are here to mourn every human being affected by welfare reform.“We mourn every name. [Each of them] is a person with a story.”Peters asked supporters of the protest and passers-by to sign the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition*, which calls for an inquiry into deaths linked to DWP’s failings, and for any evidence of criminal misconduct by civil servants and ministers to be passed to police.It also calls on MPs to brand DWP institutionally disablist and not fit for purpose, and for the department to take urgent steps to make the safety of benefit claimants a priority.Peters said that all disabled people should see what was happening at the action and “live in hope” because the “resistance” to the welfare reforms of successive Conservative-led governments was “very much still here”.And she promised those who have lost loved ones that “the quest for justice will never stop”.*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
Tags:Labour /Jeremy Corbyn /Antisemitism / Labour has launched new antisemitism education material developed by the party itself, and Jeremy Corbyn has sent the first resources on anti-racism to all members this afternoon.“Over the coming months, the party will produce educational materials on a number of specific forms of racism and bigotry,” the email reads. “Our first materials are on antisemitism, recognising that anti-Jewish bigotry has reared its head in our movement.”The email includes links to an ‘antisemitism minisite‘ and a new five-page document that LabourList understands has been written up by party officials and particularly the leader’s office. Both are titled ‘No Place For Antisemitism’.The website page is comprised of a video from the Labour leader released in August 2018, text from the document (on “understanding” antisemitism, its history, conspiracy theories and Zionism), “helpful links and resources” that include the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition, an article by Corbyn in the Evening Standard and a Birkbeck university course, plus videos by Momentum.The document specifically cites a number of examples of antisemitic claims, such as: “presenting Israel as controlling the world’s media and finances”, “Israeli responsibility for 9/11 or control of ISIS” and “holding all Jews in the UK and elsewhere responsible for what Israel does”.Earlier this month, PoliticsHome revealed that Labour general secretary Jennie Formby asked both the Jewish Labour Movement and Jewish Leadership Council to endorse the document, but they refused.JLM chair Mike Katz commented: “If they think we are going to mark their overdue homework for them then they have another thing coming.” A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party has sought to consult Jewish community organisations. Jennie Formby sent a draft leaflet to the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Community and Security Trust and the Jewish Labour Movement and asked if they wished to share their views, which would have been welcome.”Below is the full text of the email sent to Labour members today.Dear member,The struggle for liberation of all people is never complete and must always be renewed. As a movement, we educate ourselves and each other to better stand in solidarity with and unite all those facing oppression and discrimination.That’s why we are launching education materials for our members and supporters to help them confront bigotry, wherever it arises. Over the coming months, the party will produce educational materials on a number of specific forms of racism and bigotry. Our first materials are on antisemitism, recognising that anti-Jewish bigotry has reared its head in our movement.Browse our new antisemitism minisiteRead our new leaflet on antisemitismHatred towards Jewish people is rising in many parts of the world. Our party is not immune from that poison – and we must drive it out from our movement.While other political parties and some of the media exaggerate and distort the scale of the problem in our party, we must face up to the unsettling truth that a small number of Labour members hold antisemitic views and a larger number don’t recognise antisemitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories.The evidence is clear enough. The worst cases of antisemitism in our party have included Holocaust denial, crude Jewish-banker stereotypes, conspiracy theories blaming Israel for 9/11 or every war on the Rothschild family, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.So please engage with the materials we are producing, which will be placed on a page on our website, along with other resources, so our movement can be the strongest anti-racist force in our country.I have learned so much, I hope you will too, so that together we can fight these evils.In solidarity,Jeremy CorbynLeader of the Labour Party
DUE to current weather conditions and the anticipated forecast, the London Broncos have had to call off the U20s fixture that was to be played at 12.45pm on Saturday as a curtain raiser to the Stobart Super League match.The fixture will be rearranged and the new date will be communicated as soon as it is confirmed.Phil Jones, Head of Youth Development at the Broncos said: “We’re really disappointed but this is beyond our control. We will reschedule the match for a later date.”This will provide the groundsmen with the appropriate time to prepare the pitch for the Stobart Super League fixture between London Broncos and St Helens.The Super League match is scheduled to go ahead as planned, but if the weather changes, the match commissioner will make a decision at 11am tomorrow morning.Gates to The Stoop will open from 12pm tomorrow.
A LAST gasp drop goal from Paul Sykes saw Saints lose 33-32 at Wakefield.Although Francis Meli grabbed a hat-trick it was the home side’s composure in the final few minutes that handed them a big two points.Two drop goal efforts went awry, but when Saints lost the ball in their own 40 in the last minute Sykes did the rest.Before that the match was not one for the feint-hearted nor the defensive coaches from either side,A pulsating start saw Tony Puletua fire Saints into a four point lead after just 27 seconds before Wakefield turned the match on its head.Lee Smith and Andy Raleigh sandwiched a sole Francis Meli try before Danny Kirmond added a brace.But Saints hit back at the death as Jonny Lomax conspired to put Paul Wellens in for his 19th of the season.Meli tagged on his second 10 minutes into the second half before Wellens did the same.But Lee Smith levelled up matters immediately to leave the game on a knife-edge with less than 16 to go.Kyle Amor nudged the game the home side’s way as the game entered its final stages, before Meli grabbed his hat-trick.But Saints let Wakefield have too much ball in their final third and it was no surprise when the drop goal went over.Saints were depleted heading into the match but as Mike Rush said, if the club is relying on injured players to turn round a performance then Saints have problems.Mark Flanagan came in for only his fifth start of the season but Sia Soliola and Jon Wilkin were both out. Lee Gaskell returned to the bench.Despite those enforced changes Saints couldn’t have asked for a better start.After just 27 seconds the ball was fed to Francis Meli and the big man went 70 yards, through a couple of tacklers and offloaded to Tony Puletua who made no mistake.But Wakefield hit back almost immediately as a dropout was forced and then bettered by Lee Smith.Paul Sykes’ conversion hitting the post and then sneaking over.Then on 14 minutes the home side took the lead – and although fortuitous it was nothing more than they deserved.Tim Smith ran the ball on the last, reversed a neat chip and Andy Raleigh cleaned up after a couple of bounces. Sykes making it 12-4.Saints hit back three minutes later through Meli – his 15th of the season – as he gathered Lomax’ perfect kick.But poor discipline was once again letting the visitors down and Danny Kirmond profited on 29 minutes to extend the advantage.Less than a minute later it got worse as Kirmond popped up for his second after a massive charge down the middle.But with less than six minutes to go Lomax pulled Saints with touching distance with another inside ball to Paul Wellens on his shoulder.Tommy Makinson kicking his first of the afternoon to cut the deficit to eight at half time.That gap almost got wider early in the second half as a high ball was dropped giving the Wildcats a set right on Saints’ line. The defence held firm.Saints then got right back into the match. Jonny Lomax pushed it on the last and fed Andy Dixon who made a superb break.His looping pass found Meli and with everyone stopping expecting a forward pass the winger coolly put down.Makinson tagging on the extras from the touchline.And with 20 minutes to go Saints regained the lead. Jonny Lomax switched the ball to Lee Gaskell who produced a wonderful drop off ball for Wellens’ second of the afternoon.Makinson converted but within seconds Lee Smith had levelled it up from a superb Ali Lauitiiti pass.Kyle Amor drifted through some tired defence with 11 left but not before Meli bagged his hat-trick after an amazing passing sequence involving Lomax, Wellens and Chris Flannery.But, as has been the case over several matches this season, a penalty handed Wakefield the impetus and with great field position Sykes just screwed his drop goal effort to the right.Saints were too far out though to try an effort on their own and after losing the ball in their own 40 they were thankful for Tim Smith’s skewed effort.But the home side made no mistake with 16 seconds to go. Gaskell forced out a ball for no reason and Paul Sykes duly slotted over the one-pointer.It was heart-breaking for the Saints who gave it their all but they lost their shape in the final stages and were made to pay.Match Summary:Wildcats:Tries: Smith L (2), Raleigh, Kirmond (2), AmorGoals: Sykes (4 from 6)Drop Goal: SykesSaints:Tries: Puletua, Meli (3), Wellens (2)Goals: Makinson (4 from 6)Penalties:Wildcats: 8Saints: 5HT: 14-22FT: 32-33REF: Thierry AlibertATT: 7876Teams:Wildcats:1. Richard Mathers; 2. Peter Fox, 27. Danny Cowling, 35. Lee Smith, 5. Ben Cockayne; 34. Paul Sykes, 20. Tim Smith; 15. Kyle Amor, 9. Andy Ellis, 10. Andy Raleigh, 11. Ali Lauitiiti, 17. Danny Kirmond, 13. Danny Washbrook.Subs: 7. Kyle Wood, 8. Oliver Wilkes, 16. Paul Johnson, 19. Frankie Mariano.Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 21. Tommy Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 26. Josh Jones, 5. Francis Meli; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 8. Josh Perry, 9. James Roby, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 11. Tony Puletua, 13. Chris Flannery, 15. Mark Flanagan.Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Paul Clough, 19. Andy Dixon, 20. Lee Gaskell.
SAINTS have options at ‘seven’ following Matty Smith’s injury with Danny Richardson, Theo Fages and Tommy Lee all likely to be considered.The trio featured on Sunday with Danny getting first taste of first team action in the second half to partner Fages at 7.And Keiron Cunningham says the youngster will get his chance again this week.“Danny did a fine job on Sunday and he will get another shot this week,” he said. “Theo will too alongside a number of different people. We will find something that works but we do have options.“On Sunday a lot of the good things we did revolved around Matty but I think James Roby and Tommy Lee did well as did the front rowers. Ryan Morgan looked like a threat every time he got the ball. We had an allocated game time for each player so he came off a couple of minutes early as a precaution. He will feature this week.“Mark Percival and Jonny Lomax showed good touches and I thought Tommy Makinson looked sharp and direct. If we had gone with our strongest side and rolled 20, 21 players it would have blown out a bit. We had lots of opportunities but now we have to polish up our execution.”Saints take on Castleford this Sunday with Cunningham reducing the size of his squad to around 22.But one player who won’t feature is Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook who is continuing to recover from a hip operation.“Louie won’t be in the reckoning for a little while,” KC added. “Dominique Peyroux and Morgan Knowles have run in the second row in pre-season and he is behind those boys. I would be doing Dom and Morgan an injustice if I slotted Louie back in when he is fit.“He has to earn his stripes to come back into the starting 17. Dependant on the fitness of the side, he would be earmarked for round 2.“We will face a different side in Castleford his week. They will be stronger. Widnes weren’t that far off but Daryl (Powell) will reduce his squad and it will be a good benchmark for us. We’re looking for improvement on what we did on Sunday.”Tickets for the game are on sale from the Ticket Office, online and by calling 01744 455 052.They are priced at: Adult Adult Member Conc Conc Member Junior Junior Member Young Adult Young Adult Member West & East Terrace £12£10£10£8£6£5£10£8North & South Seats £14£12£12£10£6£5£12£10Tickets will revert to non-member pricing on Matchday – there will be no member prices available.To secure your spot you can call into the Ticket Office, telephone 01744 455 052 or log on here.
Milestones:James Roby is just one appearance away from 400 for the club.He made his debut as a substitute in a 38-20 win against Widnes at Knowsley Road on March 19 2004 and he also needs just three tries to reach a century of touchdowns for the club.You can read an extended interview with Roby in this week’s programme.Tommy Makinson needs three tries to reach a century of touchdowns for Saints. He has scored 97 tries in 167 games since 2011.Jonny Lomax needs eight points to reach 500 for the club. His total 492 has been reached with 71 tries, 103 goals and 2 field goals in 158 games for us since 2009.Head To Head:Saints are seeking to avoid their first home defeat in the summer era against Castleford.In the 15 visits the Tigers made to Knowsley Road between 1996 and 2010, they were defeated on 14 occasions – a 32-32 draw coming on September 13 1998.The Tigers have also lost at Anfield (1997), Widnes (2011) and eight times at the Totally Wicked Stadium since 2012.Castleford’s last win at St Helens was 12-8 in the third round of the Regal Trophy on December 19 1992.Last Ten Meetings:Castleford 23, St Helens 22 (SLSF, 28/9/17) Castleford 12, St Helens 26 (SLS8-R1, 3/8/17) Castleford 16, St Helens 12 (SLR17, 4/6/17) Castleford 53, St Helens 10 (CCR6, 13/5/17) St Helens 26, Castleford 22 (SLR10, 17/4/17) St Helens 40, Castleford 16 (SLS8-R5, 8/9/16) Castleford 20, St Helens 30 (SLR13, 1/5/16) St Helens 28, Castleford 22 (SLR4, 4/3/16) Castleford 38, St Helens 42 (SLS8-R5, 10/9/15) Castleford 25, St Helens 24 (SLR19, 18/6/15)Super League Summary:St Helens won 40 (includes wins in 1999 and 2014 play-offs) Castleford won 7 (includes win in 2017 play-offs) 1 drawHighs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 72-4 (A, 2006) (also widest margin) Castleford highest score: 36-22 (H, 2002) (Widest margin: 35-16, H, 1997)
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hurricane Irma left a path of devastation in Florida. The National Weather Service in Wilmington is sending someone down to help with forecast operations in the sunshine state.One of their meteorologists will go down to help enable staff impacted by Irma to get them back on their feet.- Advertisement – He is currently set for a one week deployment but it could change as the situation evolves.Steve Pfaff, NWS warning coordinator meteorologist, says this is a way to help out others in their national weather service family.“There could be times where we are significantly impacted in the future,” Pfaff said. “We would expect the same help from the surrounding offices and other regions of the national weather service. So it’s important for our family to get back on its feet so that they can continue to get back to work and focus on, you know, what’s important at home, right now.”Related Article: Mother, infant killed after tree falls on Wilmington homePfaff says the meteorologist will help in the Miami area and they’ll have expanded coverage forecasts for Miami and Key West.
Bryan Thomas Barbour is charged with felony Financial Card Fraud.(Photo: PCSO) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Pender County Sheriff’s Office has made a second arrest in connection to the Wilmington Boy Scout troop embezzlement case.Deputies were searching for Bryan Thomas Barbour Tuesday but surrendered to deputies today and was served with a warrant for arrest for felony Financial Card Fraud.- Advertisement – Investigators say Barbour’s mother, Catherine Rich Barbour, embezzled almost $4,000 from Boy Scout Troop 274 in Wilmington between July and December of 2017.Bryan Barbour was charged with felony Financial Card Fraud in connection with the case.He was released on an $10,000 and has his first appearance schedule for Thursday.Catherine Rich Barbour of Hampstead was arrested by deputies Monday and charged with five counts of embezzlement. (Photo: PCSO)