A disabled woman with a new baby is set to be evicted a fortnight before Christmas because the Department for Work and Pensions stopped her benefits when she failed to attend a “fitness for work” test she had not been told about.Jacqui Madonia was left “in despair” as she was told to survive on one foodbank voucher a week, a single hardship payment of £80, and the “occasional tenner here and there” from her family.The assessment was supposed to take place just 13 days after Madonia gave birth to her second son Edward by caesarean on 4 July at Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport.The former civil servant told the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in an employment and support allowance (ESA) questionnaire that she was due to give birth by caesarean before she went into hospital.But she received a letter sent on 18 July which asked her why she had failed to attend a work capability assessment (WCA) the previous day.She explained that she had not been told – either by letter or by text – about the appointment, but then received a further letter saying that her ESA had been removed because it “can be assumed [the letter] was delivered as there was no evidence to the contrary”.She told Disability News Service (DNS) she had never missed an ESA appointment deliberately and never would.Along with her ESA, her housing benefit and child tax credits were also removed, leaving her with almost nothing to live on as she appealed the decision through DWP’s mandatory reconsideration process.She did not want to claim jobseeker’s allowance when her ESA was removed because she would have had to lie about being fit for work, when she knew she was not.Because her rent was no longer being paid, her private landlord told her she would be evicted on 12 December.She was also appalled that DWP subsequently claimed that the assessment she failed to attend had been booked for 17 August.She believes the department changed the date because ESA rules say a woman cannot be asked to attend a WCA within 14 days of giving birth.After DNS contacted DWP about her case, it reversed its position and placed her in the ESA work-related activity group.The mother-of-two said last night (Wednesday) that she felt as though she had been living through a “nightmare”.She had previously had seven miscarriages, before giving birth through IVF to her first son Harrison, who is now three, and Edward, who was conceived naturally.She said the ordeal DWP had put her through felt like “someone is standing on your head and pushing you under water”.She said: “I feel numb by the whole ease with which they can destroy somebody.“I know that some people have committed suicide [in situations like this] and I can totally see how something like that can happen. The system is so cruel.“They called me on Monday afternoon to say they were going to reverse their decision. They said they had simply made a mistake with the dates.”She was told she would now be asked to attend a rearranged WCA, and would have both a letter and a text reminder sent to her.But she said the civil servant who spoke to her told her he still could not guarantee if she would receive the text if the letter again failed to arrive.Even though her ESA has been reinstated, and she will have her payments backdated to the middle of August, there is no guarantee that her landlord will reverse the decision to evict her.She said: “It has just set me back so far when I should have been spending this really important time with Edward.“My mental health has suffered significantly, and the most precious time with my new-born has been taken away from me. It’s unforgivable and so cruel.”Her ex-partner is also in financial difficulties because he has had his own claim for ESA rejected, but is planning to move back in with her and their two children to try to support them.A DWP spokesman said in a statement that the decision to reinstate her ESA was made on Monday (9 October).He later tried to claim that the decision was made before DNS contacted DWP about the case, even though that contact was made on 6 October.He also claimed that the department had not been told that she was about to give birth “and therefore could not put the right support in place, including deferring her WCA”.He said: “A decision was made on 9 October to award ESA to Ms Madonia and place her in the work-related activity group.“She has been notified and will receive payment ASAP, which will be backdated to 18 August. We have written to Ms Madonia to inform her of the outcome.”He refused to comment on the failure to notify her of her assessment, or why the department had changed the date on which she was supposed to have been assessed.He has also refused to say whether DWP would apologise to her for leaving her facing eviction two weeks before Christmas.She contacted DNS after reading about another benefit claimant, Roy Bard, whose personal independence payment was stopped after he failed to turn up for an assessment he had not been told about.Concerns were raised then that DWP was using lost appointment letters for face-to-face assessments as an excuse for turning down disabled people’s benefit claims, to help it cut spending on social security.She told DNS: “I don’t want other parents to go through this. Anybody could end up in this position, and it is so, so wrong.”
SAINTS have announced new deals for winger Tommy Makinson and back rower Scott Hale, both aged 19.Makinson has signed a two-contract and Hale one year.Coach Royce Simmons praised both players for the progress they have made this year and considers they have real potential for the future as Saints’ players.“Both Tommy and Scott have had more first team opportunities than we envisaged this year due to first team injuries, but have both grasped them well,” he said. “They have showed that they have real potential.“I’m sure we’ll see more of each in the future.”Tom signed from Hindley and Wigan St Judes and has made 17 appearances this season; scoring nine tries and kicking one goal.Forward Hale joined the Saints from Haydock and has appeared twice off the bench in 2011.Both came through the Club’s famous Academy system.
‘OH When the Saints’ is the title of a special exhibition at the World of Glass, Chalon Way East which is a must see for fans of St. Helens RFC and rugby league in general.Featuring historic items from Saints’ past and present, the exhibition opens on September 17 and runs until Sunday November 13.“We are delighted to be hosting this exhibition about the Saints,” says Hannah Longworth, the Curator at the World of Glass. “The exhibition caters for all ages and I am sure that anyone who visits us will really enjoy the experience.”Saints’ superstar of the 1970s, George Nicholls, brought in a jersey from the 1976 club tour of Australia especially for the exhibition, which will feature in the ‘Greatest 17′ section.“There are certainly some unusual items on view,” adds Club Historian Alex Service, “including several poignant reminders of our former Knowsley Road home. But for me, the highlight has got to be Alf Ellaby’s four caps (Lancashire, England and the 1928 and 1932 Great Britain tours), when representative rugby was so important. They look stunning!“Visitors are also greeted by a larger than life image of James Graham running with the ball – an ideal photo opportunity!”Pictured is George Nicholls, a member of Saints’ Greatest 17, handing over a 1976 jersey to Hannah Longworth, Curator of the World of Glass.
OUR Team, Our Town, #OurSaintsEmotion you have to experience… Live.View this video on a mobile device here.
GIVEN the traumatic events concerning the U16’s from the night before, this should have been a much easier and more rewarding match, writes Graham Henthorne.However, having missed a glorious chance in the opening set of the game when a wide ball from Matty Costello instead of the short option taken would have seen Tom Nisbett in at the corner. Couple that with then allowing the Bulls to stroll downfield and go over untouched on the last and this turned into a much tougher assignment than it should.Buoyed by this early success the Bulls tore into the Saints both with and without the ball. The Bulls line speed was better than the Saints all evening and gave little room for manoeuvre to half backs Brad Billsborough and Elliott Jenkins.This should have been made easier on the quarter hour as the Saints drew level.Having delivered the inside ball to Costello which the fullback eventually fed inside to Josh Eaves who jinked his way over from 15 out, the half back was viciously hit late off the ball.Had he stayed down longer than he did the outcome may have been different but a talking to and no card was ever going to be enough.The two sides went set for set with each other for most of the half with the Saints showing little in the way of enthusiasm.Two penalties in succession gave the Saints just enough momentum to put the Bulls on their own line and on the last Costello did what he should have done earlier in shooting a miss pass out to his winger Nisbett who touched down in the corner.The harsh reality of the situation was spelled out in no uncertain terms at the break and seemed to have paid dividends as a good kick chase to Billsborough’s towering bomb forced the centre into dropping the ball.Three times the Saints were held short as firstly Matty Lees, playing against his old club, then Jenkins and finally Cameron Brown tried their luck. On the last and stuck in the right corner Kev Brown gave enough of a dummy to fool his opposite number and give himself enough space to touch down.Billsborough was again spot on with his kick off the touchline to give full rewards for the score.Lees again showed the rest of his pack the way with two good drives gaining two penalties on the way to the Bulls 30 metre line. From the play the ball Jordan Olmez showed what good hands he has taking the ball to the line before slipping a great short ball out to Sam Royle whose fabulous line and strong running saw him over untouched.The game was gone but instead of playing hard to rattle up some points the Saints almost ambled through the final 20 minutes and this lacklustre attitude cost them dear as with the last two plays of the game the Bulls went 70 metres and scored in the corner.Lacklustre is unfortunately the best description of most of the Saints team both I defence and in support of each other in attack.Thankfully not all, however, as Matty Lees again ran hard and with purpose in attack and defence. He was joined in that respect by two of the newest graduates to the team in Sam Royle and especially Chris Kellett who charged into the Bulls line on numerous occasions.Match Summary:Bradford:Tries: Wilf Moxon (3), Ryan Leadbeater (79).Goals: Alix Stephenson 2 from 2.Saints:Tries: Josh Eaves (13), Tom Nisbett (24), Kevin Brown (43), Sam Royle (61).Goals: Brad Billsborough 4 from 4.Half Time: 6-12Full Time: 12-24Teams:Bradford:1. Alix Stephenson; 2. Jay Panter, 3. Rowan Milnes, 4. Brandon Wood, 5. Ryan Leadbeater; 6. Mathew Fletcher, 7. Jack Wilson; 8. Evan Hodgson, 9. Reiss Butterworth, 10. Oliver Wilson, 11. Wilf Moxon, 12. Vytas Vaznys, 13. Thomas Doyle (C). Subs: 14. Ebon Scurr, 15. Lawrence Okanga-Ajwang, 16. Jake Lightowler, 17. Elliott Culling.Saints:1. Matty Costello; 2. Kevin Brown, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Owen Smith, 5. Tom Nisbett; 7. Brad Billsborough, 6. Elliott Jenkins; 19. Matty Lees, 9. Josh Eaves, 10. Jordan Olmez, 11. Joe Sharratt, 12. Mike Weldon (C), 13. Callum Hazzard. Subs: 14. Brad Pinder, 15. Sam Royle, 16. Christian Kellett, 17. Evan Bullen.
CHAPEL HILL, NC (UNCW SPORTS) — First-year Head Coach C.B. McGrath said the defending Colonial Athletic Association champion UNCW men’s basketball team gained a lot of valuable experience in a series of games to benefit the governor’s Disaster Relief Fund on Sunday at the Dean E. Smith Center.The Seahawks and McGrath, who spent 14 seasons on the bench with head coach Roy Williams, went 2-1 on the day, defeating UNC Greensboro and East Carolina – a pair of state teams they’ll face during the regular season – and falling to defending national champion North Carolina.- Advertisement – With Gov. Roy Cooper and several Tar Heel coaches and former players in attendance, UNCW navigated 40 minutes over three different segments, utilizing several lineup combinations.Junior forward Devontae Cacok, a First-Team All-CAA preseason pick, scored 20 points in the three sessions to pace the Seahawks. Senior playmaker Jordon Talley added 15 points and freshman shooter Jeff Gary collected 10 markers.“It wasn’t your true exhibition game because we saw three different opponents,” said McGrath. “We saw three different styles and it was terrific getting to play in front of some fans.Related Article: Top UNC leaders condemn Confederate statue toppling“It was the best-case scenario for us. We got to see some different styles and help people in North Carolina who really need some help after suffering from recent disasters. We were honored to be a part of it.”UNCW heads into its final week of practice for Saturday’s regular season opener vs. N.C. Wesleyan at Trask Coliseum. The Seahawks and Battling Bishops tip off at 7 p.m. in McGrath’s debut as UNCW’s head coach.Inspired by Houston head coach Kelvin Sampson’s charity efforts following Hurricane Harvey, Kansas head coach Bill Self originated the idea of charity games as president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).Each season, NCAA Division I programs are allowed to play two preseason games – any combination of exhibition games vs. non-DI programs or closed scrimmages vs. DI opponents. Since most schedules were already completed, a waiver from the NCAA was required, with all proceeds going toward charity. A total of 84 NCAA Division I programs have participated in the special games.Money from the governor’s N.C. Disaster Relief Fund is being distributed to non-profit and faith-based organizations that are helping with recovery efforts to offset the estimated $1.6 billion in damage incurred by Hurricane Matthew. North Carolina requested $929 million in disaster relief from the federal government, but received just $6.1 million.Disaster Relief Jamboree Game Results | Nov. 5, 2017North Carolina 21, East Carolina 20UNCW 19, UNCG 16UNCW 24, East Carolina 22UNCG 32, North Carolina 24UNCG 15, East Carolina 15North Carolina 38, UNCW 22UNCW 19, UNCG 16The Seahawks jumped out on the Spartans, 9-2, and survived a last-second shot by Justin Jordan to hold on for a 19-16 victory in the second of six mini-games on the day.UNCW shot 50 percent, canning 9-of-18 shots, and outrebounded UNCG, 12-10, as Cacok contributed eight points and added six boards.Five different players reached the scoring column for UNCW, which started Jordon Talley (G), Jaylen Fornes (G), Ty Taylor (G), Marcus Bryan (F) and Cacok (F) in the scrimmage.The Spartans and Coach Wes Miller enjoyed a record-setting season in 2016-17, winning the Southern Conference title and carving out a 25-10 record. UNCG was picked to finish third in the SoCon preseason poll behind junior guard Francis Alonso, who led the team with 14.9 ppg and a program-record 102 three-pointers one year ago.UNCW’s Devontae Cacok scores against UNCG during an exhibition in Chapel Hill on Nov. 5, 2017. (Photo: Dustin Dorsey/WWAY)UNCW 24, East Carolina 22The Seahawks used balanced scoring and a strong effort on the glass to edge the Pirates, 24-22, in a matchup of longtime rivals.After the Greenville club scored the first four points of the contest, the Seahawks rattled off 10 of the next 13 points for a 10-7 advantage after freshman Jay Estime’ sank a trey on the left side.Talley paced all scorers with eight points and Estime’ chipped in six points and two rebounds.ECU fashioned a 15-18 record last season and is picked to finish 11th in the American Athletic Conference. Kentrell Barkley is ECU’s top returning scorer and rebounder with 13.2 ppg and 7.6 rpg.North Carolina 38, UNCW 22The Seahawks ran into a fired-up Tar Heel squad in the day’s finale and lost, 38-22, to the hosts after UNC came up short, 32-24, to UNCG earlier in the afternoon.The Tar Heels made 15-of-25 shots for a sizzling 65.2 percent in building an early 20-11 advantage and used a 10-0 run late in the contest to pull away.Gary was a bright spot for the Seahawks. The Colorado Springs sharpshooter sank 3-of-4 from deep to lead the team with nine points. Cacok chipped in eight points on 4-of-6 shooting.The Tar Heels carved out a 33-7 record in 2016-17 with Joel Berry as the catalyst. Berry collected 14.7 ppg and dished out a team-high 138 assists. Theo Pinson added 6.1 ppg for UNC.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Two of the four people charged in a deadly armed robbery in Sunset Park are now in prison.Yesterday, Mark Steven Landreth, Jr., 31, pleaded guilty to second degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon in the death of David Leroy Clark, 55.- Advertisement – On March 20, 2016, just before 6:00 pm, Clark was attacked and robbed in his home at 513 Alabama Street. Investigators say Donna Beck drove Landreth, William Fought and Joshua Chavis to Clark’s home to sell him pain medication.Once they were inside, the three men beat Clark and stole money, prescription medication, and watches, according to the distric attorney’s office.Clark was able to call for help. EMS took Clark to New Hanover Regional Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He died a few weeks later, on April 8.Related Article: Police: Woman gave birth to 1st 2019 baby in car used for methPolice identified Beck as a suspect. She told investigators she gave the men a ride to Clark’s home, asked Clark if he was ok, then left the men there.Beck admitted to police she heard the men say that if Clark did not give up his property, they would beat him and take everything he had.Connie Jordan, the Assistant District Attorney assigned to handle this case, told the Court, “This was a brutal attack against an infirm man who was unable to defend himself. Once the men had access into Mr. Clark’s home, Mr. Clark had no chance.”Landreth received an active sentence of a minimum of 26 years and a maximum of 33.25 years in prison.Beck pleaded guilty to second degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon on June 15. She is serving a minimum of 18.41 years and a maximum of 23.16 years in prison.Charges against Landreth’s co-defendants, Fought and Chavis, are still pending.
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It has been six months since the Republican-led US Congress passed a tax overhaul. Wednesday morning business owners in the area got a chance to speak with two lawmakers about changes they hope will keep the economy growing.Tax reform and rolling back regulations were just a few topics discussed during a roundtable at the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce with Senator Thom Tillis and Congressman David Rouzer.- Advertisement – The pair of republican lawmakers sought insight into how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is doing across the state.“Apple and others are looking at North Carolina as a possible opportunity to expand their headquarters,” Tillis said. “We’ve seen minimum wage increases in terms of what the private sector wants to do and the retail, and banking, and a number of other areas. We’ve seen thousands of bonuses given out.”Tillis and Rouzer sat down with local business owners to discuss what works and what needs to be changed.Related Article: Rep. David Rouzer talks hurricane recovery efforts after assessing devastation“Additional infrastructure, additional access to broadband, additional access to roads so that you have the kind of corridors that a major employer needs,” Tillis said.Some business owners, like Kusek Financial Group owner Patricia Kusek, want more rollback of regulations.“You really don’t realize it until it really does get into your everyday operation and it’s like almost every week there was some other requirement or regulation that was making it take twice as long to do what I normally would do. Or maybe to make it so difficult you just couldn’t do it at all,” Kusek said.Another issue discussed, an aspect of the Farm Act and Rouzer’s push to have able-bodied people on food stamps work at least 20 hours.“More jobs are going to be created, and it means more workers are going to be needed,” Rouzer said. “So this is coming at a critical time where you have 3.9% unemployment. That means there’s not that many workers out there available for these jobs to be filled. This is going to enable those who are on the sidelines, who are able-bodied, to be able to get the training they need in order to move on and have a meaning career.”Other issues discussed at the roundtable were foreign trade and immigration.
The Beach Boys are known for hits like Kokomo, Surfin’ U.S.A., Barbara Ann, I Get Around and Good Vibrations.The band is led by Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, who, along with Jeffrey Foskett, Christian Love, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill, Keith Hubacher, Christian Love and Scott Totten continue the legacy of the iconic American band. Grammy-winning songwriter Bruce Johnston joined The Beach Boys in 1965, replacing Glenn Campbell, who filled in for Brian Wilson, on vocals/bass, when he retired from touring.The Beach Boys have continued to create and perform with the same bold imagination and style that marked their debut more than 50 years ago.Related Article: Witness photos lead to ID of downtown Wilmington hit-and-run suspectWith every ticket purchased, buyers will receive a digital copy of Mike Love’s new double album “UNLEASH THE LOVE”.Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday at 10 a.m. online at capefearstage.com and 2 p.m. through Ticket Central by calling (910) 362-7999 or by visiting the Wilson Center. The Beach Boys are coming to the Wilson Center on December 18, 2018. Photo: The Wilson Center WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Cape Fear Community College announced The Beach Boys will perform at the Wilson Center as a stop on their Reasons for the Season Christmas Tour.The performance is scheduled for Tuesday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m.- Advertisement –
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Sewer work could impact evening and overnight traffic on a busy road in Wilmington for a few weeks.The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority says drivers may experience temporary lane closures on portions of South College Road starting Monday.- Advertisement – Get realtime traffic updates from the Operation Gridlock teamCFPUA says a contractor will be doing inspections and maintenance on sanitary sewer mains. The work is scheduled nightly between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., approximately one block in each direction between Wilshire Boulevard and Lake Avenue.Click here to see a map of the work areaRelated Article: Bladen County crossroads to get roundaboutCFPUA says the work is expected to continue through the end of May. Contractors will do video inspections on and clean, repair and install lining as needed on sanitary sewer main. CFPUA says the program helps minimize issues within the sewer system.