One of the countrys 20 top football clubs has adm

first_imgOne of the country’s 20 top football clubs has admitted that it will breach a promise made by the Premier League that all of its stadiums would meet strict access standards by August 2017.When the Premier League, the governing body for the top 20 club sides in England and Wales, made the pledge in 2015, it was welcomed by the minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, and was seen as one of the few successes of his time in office.But the Premier League club Watford has now admitted that it has no intention of honouring the pledge to meet standards laid out in guidance 13 years ago in The Accessible Stadia Guide.Only four months ago, Watford told Disability News Service (DNS) that it was “very confident in its ability to be fully compliant with the Accessible Stadia Guide by August 2017” and was “fully focused upon delivering our part of the Premier League’s public commitment”.Watford has a capacity of 21,000, which under the guide and other guidelines means there should be at least 153 wheelchair spaces and another 153 “ambulant and easy access” (AEA) spaces. Three-quarters of these spaces should be in an elevated position.But Watford (pictured) only has 61 wheelchair spaces, and will increase this to just 92 – still more than 60 short of the target – by August, although the number of AEA seats will increase from 124 to 173.The club says the extra 61 necessary wheelchair spaces will be achieved in the future through “planned stadium development works”.The disabled supporters’ charity Level Playing Field, which campaigns for better access to sports stadiums, said it was “very disappointed” that the club was “reneging” on the Premier League pledge, although it welcomed its recent opening of a sensory room for young disabled fans, with equipment funded by charity.The club’s disabled suporters’ organisation, Watford Football Club Enables (WFC Enables), is backing the decision to increase spaces only to 92, which it claims will “satisfy current demand” from wheelchair-users and leave a “healthy 30 per cent reserve capacity for the future”.David Butler, chair of WFC Enables, said in a statement released by the club about its decision that he feared a “potentially negative attitudinal change” if extra wheelchair spaces were introduced that were then not taken up by disabled fans and left empty.He said that each wheelchair space and seat for a personal assistant can mean the removal of between nine and 12 seats for non-disabled fans, as well as further losses to make way for ramps for those seats in elevated positions.This could mean a four per cent reduction in the ground’s overall capacity, if the club was to meet the Premier League’s pledge, he said, at a time when matches are currently sold out.He said: “If these additional spaces were to be provided, 700 able-bodied supporters would be displaced from cherished seats that they may have occupied for many years.“If these supporters subsequently see that these positions are not appropriately occupied due to lack of demand, they will be at best disgruntled and at worst antagonistic.”He told DNS that he was “genuinely concerned abut the safety of my disabled members” if such changes were made, and that he did “not want to put them unnecessarily in that position”.But he did say that he was “not happy” that the club had not carried out the necessary work to improve access previously, during the two decades since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act.He also pointed out that the club has just opened the sensory room, and that its plans for increasing wheelchair spaces had been unanimously approved at WFC Enables’ annual general meeting.But he said he was “reluctant to comment” on the club’s previous promise to meet the Premier League pledge by August.Tony Taylor, chair of Level Playing Field, was critical of the stance taken by the club and WFC Enables and their “inappropriate” and “over-simplified supply and demand argument”.He questioned why there was not more demand from wheelchair-users when there were lengthy waiting-lists for tickets at many other clubs.He said: “It may well be that accessing tickets might be more difficult for disabled supporters or that the overall match day experience is lacking for disabled people.”He said clubs had made “significant revenue” from the seats “occupying the spaces wheelchair users should have been able to occupy” in the years since the Accessible Stadia Guide was introduced.Taylor added: “As an organisation representing disabled people, we know only too well that many disabled football fans are regularly disappointed by their matchday experience – inaccessible websites and lack of information, shortage of wheelchair-user spaces, transport and parking problems, insufficient easy access seats for ambulant disabled people, a lack of adequate audio descriptive commentary for blind and partially-sighted fans and all too often as an away fan, having to sit among the home supporters.”In October, the Premier League was branded dishonest by the equality watchdog’s disability commissioner, Lord [Chris] Holmes, over its attitude to access and inclusion.He told MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee that there had not been “anything like an inclusive culture” in the Premier League and among Premier League clubs, which was “a great shame when it is our only national game”.He warned that the commission could take legal action under the Equality Act against individual clubs, and even against the Premier League itself, while he believed that probably more than a third of the clubs would fail to meet the Premier League’s August 2017 deadline.The Premier League is due to publish a club-by-club account of progress on meeting its access pledge later this month.A Premier League spokesman said: “It is for Watford to communicate the work they are doing in this area, and they have done so in great detail in the article you have referenced.“Clearly the club has consulted its disabled fans and significant progress has and continues to be made.“Any follow-up questions about Watford’s future work in this area should be put to the club.“In terms of the Premier League, as previously communicated we will at some point in January provide an update to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the culture, media and sport select committee on the progress all clubs are making in their work to enhance disabled access.”last_img read more

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San Francisco Will Add New Centers for the Homeless

first_imgThe Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a measure Tuesday that requires the city to build six more so-called Navigation Centers in the next two years to get more homeless residents off the streets. The vote follows the success of the nationally-lauded 75-bed Navigation Center located on Mission Street near the 16th Street BART Plaza. The transitional shelter focuses on moving small groups from encampments off the street and into permanent housing and opened in March 2015. As of June 6, the Navigation Center had moved 354 individuals into permanent housing out of 522 total, including 201 sent home to family or friends through the Homeward Bound program.The measure, introduced by Supervisor David Campos, passed with little discussion, though it faced significant controversy over time and feasibility when it was first proposed. Earlier this year, Campos called on the mayor to more adequately address the city’s homelessness crisis by asking that the city declare a state of emergency on the issue and pushing for the creation of six more Navigation Centers in a year.That timeline has been extended to two years, and three of the Navigation Centers must be opened within the first year. A second Navigation Center at the Civic Center Hotel at 12th and Market announced earlier this year will count towards the total, as would another possible site in the Dogpatch.The measure also requires the city to study the success of the Navigation Center model and identify revenue sources for housing some 8,000 homeless people in the next four years, a commitment the mayor has made.Homeless residents can enter the shelter with all their belongings, their partners, and pets — an exception to the rules which advocates say has helped with the center’s success.But it has also put pressure on the Mission District, Campos has said, as more homeless people move into the neighborhood in hopes of entering the shelter.The new legislation also allows for existing shelters to be converted to Navigation Centers, and states that all Navigation Centers be temporary for no fewer than six months but no more than two years. All centers will have capacity for no less than 40 and no more than 100 at a time.The original center at 1950 Mission St. is slated to be demolished and replaced with a fully affordable housing building, and will be closed by March 2017.The new legislation also requires that the city investigate the creation of a so-called “wet house,” a shelter that would allow alcohol consumption on premise and provide treatment services. A previous version of the measure required that one of the Navigation Centers be a wet house, a notion met with vehement opposition from the mayor.The creation of a safe-injection site — in which drug users would be allowed to use intravenous drugs on-site under supervision — has also been removed from the measure, though staff from Campos’s office said they would look to introduce the safe-injection site as a stand-alone item. For his part, the director of the newly created Department of Homelessness, Jeff Kositsky, said he was skeptical of the safe-injection sites but that he would go where the evidence took him.“Nothing should be off the table,” he said. “I need to see data and facts.”Orlando Shooting HonoredAlso on Tuesday, Campos said he would draft a resolution to create a plaque in San Francisco dedicated to the victims of the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. He said members of the Latino LGBT community urged him to ensure that they were not forgotten in remembrance of the tragedy.The nightclub targeted in the shooting, Pulse, was a well-known gay Latino hotspot in Orlando and was attacked on Latin night.“It has been a very difficult few days for me, not only as a gay man, but as a Latino man, to see the tragedy that unfolded, and then as a gay Latino man to see the names and pictures of the members who perished,” he said.Each supervisor then read from the list of names of the 49 people killed in the shooting. The overwhelming majority of the victims had Latino-sounding last names.“Shane Tomlinson, 33. Stanley Almodovar III, 23,” Campos said, shakily. “Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25. Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35.”The supervisors unanimously voted to end the meeting in honor of the victims. 0%center_img Tags: homeless Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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With land offer for affordable housing on the table no buyer steps

first_imgAs it turns out, however, selling one’s property to the city is not so easy. After the community  meeting Tillman followed through, sending emails to the Mayor’s housing liaison Jeff Buckley, to District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, and to various neighborhood groups. He said he got no response from the supervisor, but has been in talks with the advocates. Housing specialists say that selling property to the city is not as easy as one might think. For one, some say owners like Tillman want more than what the city can offer. To set his price, Tillman looked at what the city paid in 2015 for 490 South Van Ness Ave at 16th St.  The developer planned 72 units, had all of the permits ready to go and the city forked over $260,000 per unit, or $18.5 million. So Tillman estimates that in today’s market his 75 planned units are worth between $200 to $250,000 per unit. Others say that is too high. First, unlike 490 South Van Ness, Tillman is close to, but not all the way to, completing the permitting process – a turn-key plus. Estimates of how much value that adds range from thousands of dollars to double the property value. Moreover, the per-unit basis could be thrown off in this case, because while studios are appealing to market-rate developers, city planners have noted a shortfall of family-sized units. If the floor plan changes, the unit count comes down. Current plans at 2918 Mission call for 18 studios, 27 one-bedrooms, and 30 two-bedroomsAnd, in retrospect, some say the city paid too much for 490 South Van Ness. “The 490 South Van Ness property kind of sold for more than it was worth, but that’s kind of set a very high bar,” said J. Scott Weaver, a retired attorney who now volunteers his time filing appeals, assisting tenants, and acting as an intermediary for a variety of neighborhood nonprofits. He has worked as an unofficial liaison between neighborhood groups and Tillman.Weaver noted that the turn-key attraction of the property did increase its value. “In one sense it’s appealing, because you have [it all] entitled, so you can build so much faster. In the other sense it’s not appealing, because you pay more for it,” Weaver said. Another factor is simply the market cycles, said Louis Cornejo, a realtor with Urban Group. The money that fuels development is managed by people with an eye on the market’s cycles. “You have to keep in mind, at that point in time, buying properties was very competitive, it’s not like today. There was an abundance of capital out there,” Cornejo said. That has changed and the market is now correcting, Cornejo added. “The city doesn’t have a great deal of funding for affordable housing,” said Phil Lesser, President of the Mission Merchants Association. “If the city had a unique situation of a bundle of cash like it did with 490 South Van Ness, yes Bob would sell to them.”While it’s unclear how much money is in the city’s coffers from inclusionary fees from other developments, funding from a major $350 million housing bond has long been spoken for.  With the 2016 election upset, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, and with it state and local housing departments, are facing cuts.“When he first started asking …Obama was president and we weren’t facing a $6 billion hit for HUD,” said Mission Housing Development Corporation Executive Director Sam Moss, who had early talks with Tillman about the property. Plus, “It’s not like there’s a specific pot of money to apply for for what Bob’s suggesting.” Realtors and others said Tillman might have more luck on the open market. According to Cornejo, a comparable property with approvals for 24 units recently sold for $5.5 million on Cesar Chavez Street, which works out to about $229,000 a unit. Still, Tillman has other ideas for keeping the land for affordable housing. “If San Francisco does not have the up-front money to purchase the property, I am also willing to provide a long-term ground lease on the site,” he wrote in an email. The Mayor’s housing liaison, with whom Tillman said he had met, did not respond to requests for comment, but it has appeal.“Personally I think it’s an elegant solution, because the city doesn’t have to put millions and millions of dollars right away,” Weaver said. For now, it remains to be seen how administrators will respond to Tillman’s offer — though it’s clear most everyone involved sees the site as a good one for sorely needed affordable housing. “Personally, I think that the site would be ideal for teacher housing, particularly as it is next to a school,” Tillman wrote. Tags: Affordable Housing • development • housing • mission street • real estate Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% 0%center_img The idea for property owner Robert Tillman to strike a deal with the city was first floated publicly at a community meeting in 2016. He was pitching 55-unit development on his property at 2918 Mission St., currently home to a laundromat, and neighbors didn’t take kindly to it. Amidst the angry exchanges in the meeting, there was one that might actually lead to more affordable housing being built: “The best thing to do is to sell the property to the city,” Calle 24 Latino Cultural Corridor President Erick Arguello told Tillman at the meeting.Tillman didn’t hesitate. “Where do I sign?”last_img read more

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THE first Super League game at Langtree Park will

first_imgTHE first Super League game at Langtree Park will be against Salford City Reds on Friday February 10.Saints’ will welcome former alumni Phil Veivers and Sean Long – now at the helm of the Reds – to the brand new 18,000-capacity stadium.The match will come six days after Saints’ tough Super League opener at the ‘newly’ named London Broncos on Saturday February 4.The traditional Good Friday fixture will see Wigan travelling to Langtree Park before Saints make the trip to Castleford on Easter Monday.The Magic Weekend will take place on May 26 and 27 at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.Saints have drawn Wigan in the Round 15 games with the exact date of the game to be confirmed in the New Year following consultation with Super League’s broadcast partners Sky Sports and the Etihad Stadium, which last hosted a Rugby League match in October 2004 when over 40,000 people saw Australia defeat Great Britain in the Tri-Nations tournament.The fixtures:Friendly: Friday January 20, 8pm: Widnes Vikings (H)Round 1: Saturday February 4, 3pm – London Broncos (A)Round 2: Friday February 10, 8pm – Salford City Reds (H) SKYRound 3: Sunday February 19, 3pm – Hull KR (A)Round 4: Friday February 24, 8pm – Catalan Dragons (H) SKYRound 5: Sunday March 4, 3pm – Huddersfield Giants (A)Round 6: Friday March 9, 8pm – Hull FC (H)Round 7: Saturday March 17, 5.45pm – Bradford Bulls (A) SKYRound 8: Saturday March 24, 5.45pm – Leeds Rhinos (H) SKYRound 9: Friday March 30, 8pm – Warrington Wolves (A) SKYRound 10: Friday April 6, TBC – Wigan Warriors (H) SKYRound 11: Monday April 9, 3.30pm – Castleford Tigers (A)Challenge Cup Fourth Round: Saturday or Sunday April 14 or 15.Round 12: Friday April 20, 8pm – Widnes Vikings (H)Challenge Cup Fifth Round: Saturday or Sunday April 28 or 29.Round 13: Friday May 4, 8pm – Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (H)Challenge Cup Quarter Finals: Saturday or Sunday May 12 or 13.Round 14: Friday May 18, 8pm – Leeds Rhinos (A)Round 15: Saturday or Sunday May 26 & 27, TBC – Wigan Warriors (MAGIC)Round 16: Sunday June 3, 3pm – Hull FC (A)Round 17: Friday June 8, 8pm – Bradford Bulls (H)International Weekend: June 15, 16 & 17Round 18: Friday June 22, 8pm – Salford City Reds (A)Round 19: Friday June 29, 8pm – Hull KR (H)Round 20: Sunday July 8, 3pm – Widnes Vikings (A)Challenge Cup Semi Finals: Saturday or Sunday July 14 or 15.Round 21: Friday July 20, 8pm – Catalan Dragons (A) SKYRound 22: Friday July 27, 8pm – Huddersfield Giants (H)Round 23: Friday August 3, 8pm – Warrington Wolves (H)Round 24: Sunday August 12, 3.30pm – Wakefield Trinity Wildcats (A)Round 25: Friday August 17, 8pm – Castleford Tigers (H)Challenge Cup Final: Saturday August 25Round 26: Friday August 31, 8pm – London Broncos (H)Round 27: Friday September 7, 8pm – Wigan Warriors (A)Please Note All Fixtures Are Subject To Change and you should check the Saints Website before you travel.Season tickets for the exciting Super League XVII are now on sale with the Early Bird period ending on November 30.To find out more click here and to buy log on to www.saintssuperstore.comlast_img read more

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The duo will be at the Totally Wicked Stadium from

first_imgThe duo will be at the Totally Wicked Stadium from 1pm until 2pm.Pop along to get their signatures and pose for a selfie or two!2018 replica kits, training wear, gifts… you name it, we have the perfect present for your loved one.You can check out the store here – or pop in and see us this Saturday!We’re also open this Sunday from 12pm until 4pm.,The duo will be at the Totally Wicked Stadium from 1pm until 2pm.Pop along to get their signatures and pose for a selfie or two!2018 replica kits, training wear, gifts… you name it, we have the perfect present for your loved one.You can check out the store here – or pop in and see us this Saturday!We’re also open this Sunday from 12pm until 4pm.last_img read more

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The 25yearold links up with the side in time for

first_imgThe 25-year-old links up with the side in time for their first match of the year against York City Knights.“Roxy is a great signing for us and adds both great experience and leadership skills to the team,” Head Coach Mark Brennan said. “I am really looking forward to working with and developing her further.“Her dynamic style and handling skills will complement the style of rugby we want to play.“We intend to work towards a brand that complements the Saints tradition of entertaining rugby league.”Roxy is originally from New Zealand but played her rugby in Australia.“Back in Australia I played for a club called South East Queensland before moving over here,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it. I think Saints is a good club run by good people and the players here are awesome.“Hopefully, I can bring some good defence into the side as well as great communication skills – and also a bit of fun!”last_img read more

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Parole possible for Columbus County convicted murderer

first_img The victim was asleep. In court, Womble admitted to beating the man first with his fist, then a glass object until it shattered, then a phone, and finally, a frying pan.Womble searched the victim’s pockets and his home for money but did not find any.The autopsy revealed Brown had multiple skull fractures, bruises to the brain and other brain injuries. Brown died as a result of head trauma inflicted by a blunt object.Related Article: Columbine honors 13 lost with community service, ceremonyWomble pleaded guilty to burglary and first degree murder and was sentenced to death by a jury.According to the North Carolina State Bar Journal, the 1996 post-conviction discovery law gave the defense attorneys access to statements which contradicted the date of death of the victim. The documents revealed “five witnesses interviewed by police had said they saw Brown alive the day after the burglary.”As a result of the disclosures, the convictions and death sentence were vacated by a superior court judge and in July of 1998 Womble pleaded guilty to second degree murder, burglary, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery and received two consecutive life sentences plus ten years.The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission is investigating Womble’s case for parole.Structured sentencing eliminates parole for crimes committed on or after October 1, 1994, but the Commission can parole offenders who were sentenced under previous sentencing guidelines. COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The man who beat a man to death as a teenager could be up for parole.Curtis Ray Womble, 42, killed Palmer Ray Brown, 60, in March of 1993 during a burglary. According to online court documents from his appeal, Womble, who was 17 at the time, went to Brown’s home for the purpose of “messing with” the victim and taking his money.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Belville town commissioner passes away

first_img Donna Schardien began serving as a Commissioner for the Town of Belville in 2009, and she continued to serve until the time of her death.She was an advocate for the Town and its citizens, and she was committed to making Belville a better place to live and visit.McGill went on saying that, “Donna exemplified the true meaning of a ‘dedicated public servant,’ engaging with such organizations as the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Belville ABC Board.”“She was devoted to her family and friends and will be missed by all those whose lives she touched.  We extend our deepest respect and utmost sympathy to members of her loving family.”Related Article: Belville offers counter to Leland’s plan for H2GO, RO plantTonight, at its board meeting, the Board of Commissioners will memorialize Donna for her distinguished and impressive career in local government, and for her highly cherished and revered life.The Board has also lowered the flags in front of the Town Hall to half-staff in her honor. Commissioner Donna Schardien BELVILLE, NC (WWAY) — The town of Belville loses another town commissioner with the passing of Donna Schardien. Schardien has spent nearly a decade on the town commission.Town spokesman Mike McGill releasing a statement, “The Town of Belville mournfully announces the passing of Commissioner Donna Schardien after a long illness,” adding that, “The citizens of Belville have lost a dedicated public servant, and the Board of Commissioners and staff of the Town of Belville have lost a valued friend.”- Advertisement – last_img read more

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USDOJ Wilmington gang leader sentenced to 20 years on gun drug charges

first_img During the course of the investigation, law enforcement was able to conduct a large numbers of controlled purchases of contraband from Dorm and each of his six co-defendants, as well as from five additional men who have pleaded guilty in separate federal cases.The confidential informant and undercover agents conducted roughly three-dozen transactions, purchasing cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, counterfeit currency, and multiple firearms. Dorm himself made 13 of the sales.In transactions dating from December 14, 2016, to July 10, 2017, Dorm sold the cofidential informant nearly 600 doses of heroin, 100 doses of fentanyl, 4 grams of crack cocaine, over $1,000 in counterfeit currency, an M4 assault rifle, a second rifle, and five handguns, including two M-11 9mm pistols with high capacity magazines. On another occasion, law enforcement witnessed dorm manufacturing crack cocaine.Related Article: R. Kelly tells CBS ‘I didn’t do this stuff’ in interviewOn November 14, 2018, Dorm pleaded guilty to five counts: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine and 28 grams or more of crack cocaine; distribution of a quantity of heroin; manufacture, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base; use and carry a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.Dorm was the fourth of six co-defendants to be sentenced in this case. Three men have received sentences ranging from 60 to 204 months: On May 23, 2018, Eugene Telphia Grady, Jr., was sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment and 6 years of supervised release, following his guilty plea to a charge of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine.On October 3, 2018, James Flowers was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release, following a guilty plea to conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess cocaine and 28 grams of more of crack cocaine; manufacture, distribution, and possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine; and use and carry a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Also on October 3, 2018, Sylvester Lorenzo Hooper, Jr., was sentenced to 204 months’ imprisonment and 8 years of supervised release, following his guilty plea to conspiring to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; and distribution of a quantity of crack cocaine.Two additional co-defendants have entered guilty pleas and have sentencing hearings pending: On July 9, 2018, Rufus “Rudy” Parker pled guilty to six counts of distributing cocaine, and on November 30, 2018, he pled guilty to an additional count of conspiring to distribute powder cocaine. On January 22, 2019, Joseph Anthony Vaught pled guilty to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine; and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.Parker and Vaught are currently scheduled to be sentenced in April of this year. Victor Dorm (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man authorities say is the leader of a subset of the Bloods street gang known as the Bounty Hunter Bloods, will spend two decades in prison.According to the US Department of Justice, Victor Dorm, 30, was the target of long-term undercover operation conducted by ATF and Wilmington Police Officers. Dorm had three prior state felony drug convictions and two prior state convictions for being in felon in possession of a firearm.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Wilmington teen accused of hitting parked bus driving off

first_img Video shows the bus driver attempting to alert Watts, who did not stop after the incident, by honking his horn several times. Police say he was able to obtain a partial registration plate number before exiting the bus and running after the suspect vehicle. WPD says the driver ran nearly one city block when he caught up to Watts, who was stopped in traffic at 14th and Market Street. Police add the bus driver then was able to obtain the full plate number, which helped investigators find Watts.Watts is charged with hit and run leaving the scene of an accident and  failing to maintain lane control. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A 19-year-old Wilmington woman has been charged after police say she hit a parked school bus at New Hanover High School earlier this week.Wilmington Police say Amelia Rae Watts failed to maintain lane control as she drifted into the school bus loading zone around 8:20 a.m. Monday. The students reportedly got out of the bus approximately three minutes before the crash.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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