Daily Archives: August 10, 2016

Man admits manslaughter of South Shields dad – but prosecution press on with murder trial

A man accused of murdering a dad-of-two during a violent disturbance at a South Shields pub has admitted manslaughter.

Michael Wilson, 35, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court via video link to HMP Durham, where he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Ronnie Howard, who died following an attack.

Police outside The Prince Edward pub after the disturbance in which Ronnie Howard died.

Police outside The Prince Edward pub after the disturbance in which Ronnie Howard died.

Wilson, of Hylton Avenue, South Shields, pleaded not guilty to murder at a previous hearing last month.

Mark Guiliani, prosecuting, told the court how the plea was not acceptable to the prosecution and he will now go on trial for murder in October.

Mr Howard, 31, was found unconscious by police who were called to a disturbance at The Prince Edward pub, in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, on May 4.

He was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital.

Four other men arrested at the time of the incident appeared in the dock at the hearing.

David Wood, 28, of Sunderland Road, Anthony Kenrick, 33, of Centenary Avenue, and Paul Haley, 26, of Ascot Gardens, all South Shields, have all admitted a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Anthony Jefferson.

They have all been given bail until after Wilson’s trial.

A charge of affray has now been dropped against John Hayes, 58, of Moor Lane, South Shields.

Wilson will go on trial at Newcastle Crown Court on October 5 and has been remanded in custody.

The Recorder of Newcastle, Judge Paul Sloan QC, told him: “I’m going to adjourn your case to trial.

“The trial will be on 5th October this year, that is when you will next be brought to court.

“You must attend, you must travel to court. If you refuse to do so the trial will take place in your absence.

“In the meantime you will be remanded in custody.”

Kayleigh proves she’s a warrior to raise awareness of health condition

An energetic South Tyneside woman faced the elements to raise awareness of a hair loss condition.

Kayleigh Winter from South Shields took part in the 10km Total Warrior Challenge which was held in the Lake District at the weekend.

The 27–year–old, who was one of 21 members of the Apatchy Warriors team, faced ice, fire, heights, electric shocks, tunnels and lots of mud to complete the obstacle course.

The event was extra poignant as it also took place on International Alopecia Day – a condition that causes hair loss, which Kayleigh has experienced since she was a youngster.

She said: “I’m 27 and I’ve had alopecia areata since the age of 11 and eventually lost all of my head hair at age 20.

“I wear wigs most days but am slowly becoming more confident to go hair free.”

I am slowly becoming more confident.

Kayleigh Winter

Alopecia areata is a condition in which the auto-immune system attacks hair follicles causing permanent total or partial hair loss from the head and/or body.

The cause isn’t known and there’s no known way of effectively treating it and permanently reversing the loss.

The team represented Alopecia UK, a small national charity working to improve the lives of those with Alopecia by supporting sufferers, raising awareness and enabling research into the condition.

Collectively they raised more than £4,500.

Former Italian Rugby League head coach, Carlo Napolitano, was also involved with the event as he’s had alopecia since the age of four.

He received support from his best friend, former Great Britain and England Rugby League Player Adrian Morley, who was also a team member of Apatchy Warriors.

Carlo said: “I used to wear hats but I got comments and stares and that’s when Moz [Adrian] would step in.

“He became very protective of me.”

Nova Academies Brings Flagship Campus To Rendeavour’s Tatu City In Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Students will soon be resident at Tatu City, the satellite city development near Nairobi, Kenya.

Nova Academies, a leading Kenya-based education provider, has announced that it will establish its flagship East African campus at the 2,500-acre mixed-use development.

Nova Academies will begin construction of its 25-acre site this year, with plans to open its Girls High School to over 120 students in 2017.

“We have found the ideal location for Nova Academies’ flagship campus,” said Chris Khaemba, Director, Nova Academies. “We’re delighted to be the first school to open at Tatu City and to widen the offering of our unique learning model to even more future innovators and leaders of Kenya.”

Nova Academies’ first school in Kenya launched in 2016, as a secondary boarding school for young men that uses the Kenyan national curriculum (8-4-4) integrated with methods from top schools from around the world. The same curriculum will be used at the Tatu City campus. Nova Academies also operates three schools in South Africa, ranging from pre-primary to secondary.

“Providing an education platform for residents is vital to the Tatu City community,” said Nick Langford, Kenya Country Head for Rendeavour, Tatu City’s owner and developer. “It is clear that Nova Academies’ leadership team has decades of experience working with some of the leading educational institutions and companies, both in Africa and around the world. Nova Academies is a perfect fit with the ethos of Tatu City.”

By 2019, the campus will welcome pre-school, primary and high school students. School fees will be affordable to middle class Kenyan families.

Tatu City has continued to roll out its mixed-use development in recent months, announcing new residential areas, as well as well-known local, regional and international companies moving to Tatu Industrial Park.

About Nova Academies ( www.novaacademies.com/ )
Nova Academies is a rapidly growing education company developing and operating world class, affordable secondary, primary, and pre-primary schools across the African continent. Nova Academies is currently operational in both Kenya and South Africa and will have five school campuses by 2017. The schools learning approach prepares students to be globally competitive innovators and leaders in the 21st century. Their signature pedagogy weaves together techniques used by the most forward-thinking schools globally to develop critical thinking, problem solving and other 21st century skills, in addition to the exceptional exam results students need to secure top university places.

About Tatu City ( www.tatucity.com )
Tatu City is a 2,500-acre, mixed-use and mixed-income development with residential, commercial, industrial, tourism, social and recreation amenities for more than 100,000 residents and 30,000 day visitors. Underlying Tatu City’s design is a visionary concept aiming to shift urban development in Kenya from the familiar single node model to a decentralized urban environment. By doing so, Tatu will significantly de-congest the City of Nairobi by offering a unique live, work and play environment.

Contact

Tim Beighton
Email: tbeighton@rendeavour.com
Phone: +234 8070 992 935
+234 8094 000 065

High risk of terrorism financing through charities: report

NNA – Bali: Justice Minister Michael Keenan has urged Australians to ensure they are donating to legitimate charities after a report revealed there was a high risk of terrorism funding being channelled through non-profit organisations.

“We do make very large donations to charities and the nature of that money is that a lot of it goes overseas,” Mr Keenan said at a counter-terrorism summit in Bali.

“So clearly that is something that we need to be concerned about and we have seen an example highlighted in the Middle East as recently as this week that some of that money can be diverted to the wrong purposes.”

Mr Keenan said there were ways of verifying that charities were legitimate, suggesting the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) was a good first stop.

Paul Jevtovic, the chief executive of Australia’s financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC, said not-for-profit organisations were often legitimately sending money to trouble spots around the world to help civilians who had suffered.

“Unfortunately intelligence tells us that some of these funds do not get to their intended destinations and are in fact hijacked by terrorist groups and used for propaganda and/or actually committing terrorist acts,” he said.

The world-first regional risk assessment of terrorism financing in South-east Asia ranked non-profit organisations as the second highest risk for raising terrorist funds.

“In Australia, two cases from the mid-2000s involved community-based non-profit organisations that raised close to $A1 million each, which was funnelled to foreign-based terrorist groups,” the report said.

“Australia has also experienced suspicious ‘pop-up’ non-profit organisations that appear to dissolve after raising funds for ‘humanitarian efforts’ in Syria and Iraq.”

The report, which examined Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, found self-funding from legitimate sources posed the highest risk for raising terrorist funds in all countries except the Philippines.

The risk assessment was a collaboration between AUSTRAC and its Indonesian counterpart with input from the four other nations.

It said funds were mainly derived from legitimate sources such as income, sale of personal items, credit cards, loans or welfare payments.

Detection of self-funded terrorism activities is very difficult because the amounts of money are usually small and the sources legitimate.

The report found that in Australia and Malaysia, self-funding was primarily used for planning and staging small-scale attacks or to fund travel by would-be militants.

“We do know that very small amounts of money can finance terror attacks and we have sadly seen that here with the small sums that were moved into Indonesia to finance the attacks here in Bali,” Mr Keenan said.

“We need to do absolutely everything we can to make sure we have robust mechanisms to identify that funding so the countries in the region can work together.”

About 110 Australians and 568 Indonesians are currently engaged with terrorist groups in the Syria-Iraq conflict, mostly associated with Islamic State.

“The international forces driving extremist ideology and capabilities are becoming more sophisticated, with extremist narratives particularly from [Islamic State] resonating with small sections of the Australian community,” the report says.

Mr Keenan said Australia would also look at stored value cards, following revelations that jihadists used prepaid credit cards in the 2015 Paris attacks.

Strengthening the regulation of stored value cards was a key recommendation to come out of a review into Australia’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation, which was tabled in Parliament in April.

The review also recommended reforms to Australia’s ability to track and disrupt the movement of cash across borders that may be used to fund terrorist activities, better sharing of information with the private sector and the regulation of e-currencies such as bitcoin.

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U.S. 301 quickly becoming reality near Middletown

Some residents express frustration with detours as 14-mile artery takes shape

Massive 36-foot-long dump trucks for months have been distributing loads of dirt — 40,000 pounds at a time — onto the strip of land that will become the U.S. 301 tollway near Middletown.

For Delaware Department of Transportation consultant Ken Cimino, monitoring the work last week, it was “just another day moving dirt.”

But for southern New Castle County residents, it is a visible display of the four-lane tollway that will transform the area into a fully-fledged part of the Northeast Corridor – connecting the once rural enclave to some of the nation’s largest cities with a high-speed expressway.

“The project’s pretty basic,” Cimino said, who is in charge of community outreach for the project. “Right now, it’s just a massive dirt-hauling operation.”

The highway was just an abstraction during two decades of controversy over whether and where to build it. Now, with the nearly 14-mile-long, 160-foot-wide blanket of graded, exposed dirt that stretches from the Maryland state line to Del. 1 south of the Roth Bridge, the highway points southern New Castle County on a heading that officials have said will lead to new job and residential growth.

While residents have expressed frustrations with detours caused by the construction, most accept that their community will soon become interconnected with the region’s urban areas.

“It’s a refreshing surprise to see how much progress they have made,” said retiree Sharon Dudley, a resident of the Woodland Estates, north of Middletown.

Businesses owners in the area too are planning for southern New Castle County’s new normal. Brian DiSabitino is banking on the new U.S. 301 expressway bringing growth. His company, Wilmington-based developer EDiS Co., is building the Town of Whitehall, a 2,000-acre community of townhomes, stand-alone homes and businesses just north of the new expressway on Lorewood Grove Road. The expressway could not only encourage business investment, but will make local roads safer and more inviting to future residents, he said.

Recently, DiSabitino flew in a helicopter over the construction site and was shocked by how much had been accomplished, he said.

“It has been a refreshing surprise to see how much progress has been made,” he said.

Construction kicked off with crews clearing land in March. By mid-July, a total of 2.3 million cubic yards of dirt had been transported to the highway site, and tens of thousands more is being deposited each day, to form the substructure of the roadway. In comparison, the Hoover Dam was built using 3.3 million cubic yards of concrete.

“Because the road has an elevation to it. We’re not just going to a farm field and mowing it flat and putting pavement down,” said DelDOT spokesman Geoff Sundstrom.

The dirt is excavated from pits directly adjacent to the new highway. The floor of one, located southwest of Middletown, on Friday sat more than 25 feet deep, with an estimated 10 acre expanse.

“We’re just moving dirt and getting started on some of the structures, driving steel pile, concrete pile,” Cimino said.

Although concrete has yet to be poured onto the roadway, there is already a highway at the site, Cimino added. It is just being used by dump trucks, bulldozers, and dirt-compacting rollers.

“We have trucks going up the roadway all day,” Cimino said.

The U.S. 301 toll road relief route appears to be on track following the August $211.3M loan from a federal program that assists regionally important transportation projects. This animation shows how the bypass will change the region’s landscape. Video courtesy of the Delaware Department of Transportation

Despite the enormous scale, many neighbors contacted by The News Journal said construction crews are mostly containing the dirty project to the work site. While some sediment has escaped special silt fences that line the highway during severe summer storms, residents said it has not disrupted their everyday lives.

What concerns Dudley are tractor-trailers that rumble down Bunker Hill Road west of Middletown. She worries the trucks do not have enough space to maneuver on the road near Appoquinimink High School. Bunker Hill Road is the detour route for the closed Middle Neck Road.

“To watch how fast those trucks are going is frightening,” Dudley said..

Another area resident, Robin Ward, echoed Dudley’s thoughts. The detoured vehicles will face increased congestion caused by school buses and novice drivers when school begins at the nearby high school and Bunker Hill Elementary School in September.

“Bunker Hill Road at (the) 301 construction site is very dangerous,” Ward said. “There is no shoulder with the ground dropping off precariously.”

Cimino agreed that many roads around the construction site are narrow, but some have been widened when possible, he said, including Middle Neck Road west of its closure.

“We have Middle Neck Road closed right now, and we have a detour so we had to make sure that those detour routes are wide enough to accommodate the 18-wheelers,” he said.

Some of the trucks in the area are bound for Puglisi Egg Farms on Middle Neck Road. Owner Michael Puglisi said his shipments, and his 30 employees, can still access the farm from the west along the widened route, but drivers must pay close attention to the precarious situation.

“Our trucks are on roads that they are not built for,” he said. “They work but you got to be careful.”

The idea of an expressway that connects Del.1 to points southwest, including the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Annapolis, and Washington, D.C., had been proposed since at least the 1990s. In the time since, millions of dollars funded studies for options that never materialized, as acrimony over location choices and land deals sometimes divided the once-quaint Middletown area.

Proponents have argued the highway is necessary to divert increasing numbers of tractor trailers passing through southern New Castle County off local roads. Opponents countered that it would only encourage more growth to the already booming residential area.

Dudley said area residents concerned about the changing rural nature of southern New Castle should look to cities to the north to gather some perspective.

“I can understand a lot of the complaints of people (about growth), but all they have to do is drive to northern New Castle County and they’ll realize we have air to breeze,” she said.

STORY: Low bidder asks $93.8 million for major leg of US 301​ 

STORY: US 301 toll road project gets financial green light​

The yellow bulldozers, dump trucks, and dirt-compacting rollers, filling and flattening the roadway with earth fill are operated by companies who won their construction contracts at the end of last year – the culmination of the decades-long debate.

In October, DelDOT awarded the first contract to Fallston, Maryland-based Allan Myers. Contracts for four other sections of the highway were awarded later that year, when the state transportation agency received a $211 million loan from the Federal Highway Administration. The total cost of the project, including land purchases and the maintenance of a reserve fund, is estimated at $643 million Construction costs are $470 million. .

One short segment of the highway project – a spur that will cut north of the mainline tollway along the current U.S. 301 – has yet to be awarded.

The new U.S. 301 is expected to open in December 2018. The completion date must be followed because the highway’s toll revenue will be used to pay back the federal loan. Construction is on schedule, Cimino said.

After all is complete, the highway project will have created about 5,200 construction-oriented jobs and 2,400 jobs in supporting industries, state officials have said.

Other large construction projects are currently occurring in the state, including the rebuild of the Interstate 95, Del. 141 interchange, and work on Del. 1 intersections in Little Heaven. Delaware has increased the amount of road construction after it secured additional money in 2015 from higher fees at the Division of Motor Vehicles, said DelDOT spokesman Geoff Sundstrom.

“I would say Delaware is in a sweet spot in terms of its transportation budget,” Sundstrom said. “We’re really knocking down some of the projects that we need to do.”

In addition to impacts on Bunker Hill Road and Middle Neck Road, Jamison Corner Road is also closed between Boyds Corner Road and Hyetts Corner Road as crews build a bridge across the new U.S. 301. The bridge should be complete in December and Jamison Corner Road will reopen then.

Summit Bridge Road, which is the current U.S. 301 that connects Middletown with points north of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, will close between Marl Pit Road and Old School House Road during the weekend of Sept 9-12.

Crews will build a new drainage culvert along the highway. Drivers will be detoured onto Del. 896, over to U.S. 13, and then onto Marl Pit Road where they reconnect with the highway.

Starting on Thursday, Del. 1 traffic could be impacted as well as crews begin preparing the highway for the construction of its interchange with the new U.S. 301. Initially work will only be on the shoulder of Del. 1, but eventually “there will be daily and nightly lane closures,” said Cimino.

Also at an undetermined future point, Del. 1 will be closed as crews place a “flyover” bridge across the highway.

“The major impact on (Del.1) will be when they actually set the (deck) beams across the road, and that’s usually an overnight operation, and we’ll actually have to shut down, because you can have people going underneath,” said DelDOT’s Sundstrom.

Contact Karl Baker at kbaker@delawareonline.com or (302) 324-2329. Follow him on Twitter @kbaker6.

By the numbers 

5,200

Construction-oriented jobs created by U.S. 301 project 

14 

Length, in miles, of new tollway 

2.3 million

Cubic yards of dirt hauled away from site 

2018 

Expected completion year for construction

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