W. Virginia teachers end strike as governor signs bill giving them 5 percent pay hike

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(CHARLESTON, W.Va.) — West Virginia teachers and students could head back to class as early as Wednesday after the governor signed a bill which gives the educators a 5 percent pay hike and ends their nine-day strike.Gov. Jim Justice signed the bill at an afternoon news conference Tuesday, announcing the agreement also grants a 5 percent pay raise to all state employees.“I have always believed in education and believe it should be our centerpiece,” Justice said prior to signing the bill as he sat on a stage with lawmakers and teachers’ union officials standing behind him. “Today we are making an investment, we are making an investment in education.”He said he will also write a letter to the state superintendent asking for “flexibility” in the 180-day school requirement so that students and teachers won’t have to make up the nine days they were out of the classroom.“Our children have suffered enough. We need to return some sense of normalcy to the education process,” Justice said.The state Senate and House both voted unanimously to approve the bill.The 35,000 education employees walked off the job on Feb. 22, demanding higher pay and better benefits after the governor signed a 2 percent pay raise for next year. Justice reconsidered after an initial round of protests, and the House of Delegates later approved a 5 percent increase.But the Senate’s insistence on a 4 percent raise Saturday prompted the union to extend the strike.West Virginia teachers were among the lowest paid in the country, earning an average annual income of $45,240, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They had gone without a pay raise for four years.Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and AFT-West Virginia President Christine Campbell both praised the deal as a “victory.”“I’m proud to be in West Virginia today to stand with the educators and school personnel who stood strong and stood together to fight for what they need to do their jobs and stay in the profession, and for what their kids need to thrive,” Weingarten said in a statement.Campbell added: “The strike and its strong outcome should be seen as a shot across the bow to every lawmaker who may underestimate the support teachers have, the hard job they do and their willingness to stand up for what they deserve as they educate the next generation.”Earlier in the day, Justice announced on Twitter that a deal had been reached.“I stood solid on the 5% Teacher pay raise and delivered,” Justice wrote in his tweet. “Not only this, but my staff and I made additional cuts which will give all State employees 5% as well. All the focus should have always been on fairness and getting the kids back in school.”Justice said the pay raise will be paid for by reducing spending in other areas of state government.During the committee meeting earlier Tuesday, state Sen. Craig Blair said the deal included at $20 million spending reduction. He said cuts will likely be made to general services and Medicaid.But Justice noted the state’s Medicaid system ended the last fiscal year with a $173 million cash surplus.“There’s no need to worry one instant about a Medicaid cut,” Justice said. “We’re good there, we’re good.”Teachers said they were eager to get back to the classroom.“Hopefully this shows them we stand up for what we believe in,” middle school teacher Penny Light told ABC News. “When you truly believe in something, you can stand up for it — and the lawmakers work for us, not themselves.”Teacher Terry Moss added: “We’re very excited, ready to go back to school.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Millionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein on suicide watch after being found injured in jail: Source

first_imgRick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Millionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, facing charges of federal sex trafficking, was placed on suicide watch after being found unresponsive and with injuries to his neck at a federal lockup in New York City, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the incident.Epstein, 66, was discovered injured on Tuesday in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, where he is being held without bail, the source said.He was discovered with marks on his neck that appeared to be self-inflicted, the source said.He was medically evaluated before being returned to his jail cell and placed on suicide watch, according to a source with knowledge of the incident.The Bureau of Prisons, which oversees the Metropolitan Correction Center, is investigating the incident as a possible suicide attempt, the source said.“Jeffrey Epstein is currently housed at MCC New York and not in a local hospital as has been reported,” the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement released Thursday. “As with all inmates, for privacy and security reasons, we do not share information on an inmate’s medical status or their conditions of confinement.”Officials at the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, which is prosecuting Epstein’s sex trafficking case, had no comment.The incident came five days after U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman denied a request from Epstein’s attorney that he be released on bail, pending his trial.Berman made the decision over the objections of defense attorneys who had argued that Epstein was a “disciplined” defendant willing to pay a bond of $100 million or more.The judge also noted that during a search of Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, authorities found $70,000 in cash, an assortment of diamonds, and an expired Austrian passport with Epstein’s photo but not his name in a locked safe.Epstein has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of minor girls. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.The hedge fund manager — who at one time socialized with former President Bill Clinton, Great Britain’s Prince Andrew, and President Donald Trump — was arrested on July 6 for alleged sex trafficking of minor girls in Florida and New York. Some of the charges date back to the early 2000s.A team of law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) took Epstein into custody at the Teterboro Airport in Bergen County, New Jersey, after he returned to the United States by private jet from France, sources told ABC News.In 2008, Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution in a secret plea deal with federal prosecutors in Palm Beach, Florida, to avoid more serious federal sex trafficking charges. He received a 13-month jail sentence but was allowed out for work release 12 hours a day, six days a week. The deal, now under review by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, also gave Epstein and any alleged co-conspirators immunity from further federal prosecution in the Southern District of Florida.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Corporate bullying puts employees under strain

first_img Previous Article Next Article New research claims that “corporate bullying” such as excessivemonitoring is more damaging than intimidation by other members of staff. A study by a London University professor has found that employees are more likelyto suffer from an organisation’s institutionalised practices than from bullyingby managers. “Like the McPherson report on racism in the Met, this research showsthat by focusing solely on the bad apple in the barrel, institutionalisedpractices can continue unchallenged,” said organisational psychologist DrAndreas Liefooghe. “Companies can claim to have taken action because they have producedanti-bullying policies. In reality this means institutionalised bullying suchas excessive monitoring continues unchecked.” The research, which was presented at the British Academy of Managementannual conference last week, challenges the belief that workplace bullying isperpetrated by a few individuals. It reveals that employees feel their companies create policies andprocedures that are in themselves bullying. Most employees feel unable to speak out even through their unions for fearof reprisals which might damage their careers, Dr Liefooghe claims. The study also shows staff think they are bullied by organisational demandsto cut costs while striving to achieve ever-increasing targets. Dr Liefooghe, said, “I’m not denying that interpersonal bullying doeshappen at work but institutionalised bullying is much more insidious anddifficult to tackle. “Focusing on individuals lets companies off the hook. Whether they willbe prepared to do anything about it is a different question. As one directorsaid to me, ‘If that is what is they [the employees] call bullying, perhaps weshould do more of it’.” Dr Liefooghe talked to more than 500 employees working in the financialservices, telecoms, new media and catering sectors about their personalexperiences of bullying in the workplace. By Ben Willmott Corporate bullying puts employees under strainOn 11 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Subsea 7 secured EPCI contract for Hod field development in North Sea

first_imgThe re-development of the Hod field offshore Norway includes the new Wellhead platform tie back to Valhall Field Centre Illustration of the Hod field development project. (Credit: SUBSEA 7) Norwegian oil company Aker BP has awarded engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract to Subsea 7 for pipelines, umbilicals and tie-ins for the Hod field development project, located 12km from the Valhall area in the southern part of the North Sea.The re-development of the Hod field includes the tied back of new Wellhead platform (Hod B) to Valhall Field Centre with rigid pipelines and an umbilical.Under the contract, Subsea 7 will provide EPCI services for pipelines, umbilicals and tie-ins  for the Hod re-development project.In a press statement, Subsea 7 said: “The production pipeline is a pipe-in-pipe design and will include the world’s first application of mechanically lined pipe based on GluBi technology from BUTTING.”Subsea 7 to commence project management and engineering workThe firm plans to commence project management and engineering with immediate effect at its offices in Stavanger, Norway.Additionally, Subsea 7 will fabricate the pipelines at its spoolbase at Vigra, Norway while offshore operations are planned to be carried out in 2020 and 2021.Subsea 7 Norway vice-president Monica Bjørkmann said: “Subsea 7 is very pleased with this award by Aker BP, through the Aker BP Subsea Alliance. It acknowledges Subsea 7 as a key partner in the delivery of pioneering technology, transforming the economics of field development.“We look forward to continuing our alliance with Aker BP for the Hod Field Development, with safety, reliability and quality at the forefront throughout.”Aker BP is the operator of the field with the 90% ownership interest, while the remaining 10% stake is owned by Pandion Energy.Recently, Aker BP submitted the plan for development and operation (PDO) for the Hod field to the Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.last_img read more

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EMERGING JERSEY CITY Science Fiction?

first_img1 / 3    2 / 3    3 / 3  ❮ ❯ In March, the Jersey City Council voted to approve the land transfer of about 17 acres necessary for Liberty Science Center’s planned SciTech Scity, a mini-city that LSC boasts is “unique in the world.” The $280 million project will house a K-12 school dedicated to STEM; the world’s first business “optimizer” for 100 science, technology, and engineering startups; a small conference center; and Scholars Village with short-term accommodations for visiting scientists and entrepreneurs, and longer-term residences for STEM college students and people working at SciTech Scity.“We want Jersey City to become one of the East Coast’s premier innovation and STEM education hubs,” said Paul Hoffman, President and CEO of Liberty Science Center. “SciTech Scity may be the region’s answer to Silicon Valley.”Liberty Science Center trustee Minal Patel, a Jersey City native, said that SciTech Scity could make Jersey City a destination for science and technology innovators. “The original Silicon Valley was not in California,” she pointed out. “It was in Menlo Park, New Jersey.”Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop supports the project.“With an increasingly competitive global market, we must equip our children with the best education and skills possible, with a focus on STEM education,” Fulop said. “SciTech Scity will do just that by educating future generations in innovative ways to leverage data and technology, while also making Jersey City a science research destination and employment hub.”City Council member Jermaine Robinson represents Ward F, where Liberty Science Center is located. He said, “My vision is for the children of Ward F to become astronauts, brain surgeons, and engineers.”—JCM ×  1 / 3    2 / 3    3 / 3  ❮ ❯last_img read more

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Ocean City High School’s Alumni Red & White Weekend Set for Thursday and Friday

first_imgOcean City High School’s all-classes reunion opens with a kickoff party 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 18) at Yesterday’s in Marmora and continues Friday (Sept. 19) with the Red Raiders’ home football game against and a post-game Wing Night celebration at the Deauville Inn in Strathmere.The unique reunion started six years ago with an effort to bring together all alumni classes in a warm-weather homecoming. It’s now become an annual tradition.The event schedule is as follows:Kick Off Party: Yesterday’s in Marmora, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18. Tickets are $8 at the door. Wristbands will be provided and include $3 draft beers and $4 house wines. Table served food will be provided. (The event had originally been planned for DiOrio’s Cafe in Somers Point but was changed this week.)Barbecue Rally: The Red Raider Football Association will host a pre-game rally next to the Ocean City Civic Center at Sixth Street and Boardwalk, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for kids. Free face-painting, beads and more.Wing Night: The post-game party moves to the Deauville Inn in Strathmere from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. with a DJ, $1.50 beer specials and wing specials.For more information, visit the Ocean City High School Alumni Association Facebook page.last_img read more

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‘No Wake Zone’ Signs Popping Up in Ocean City — Far From the Bay

first_imgA property displays a new ‘No Wake Zone’ sign near the intersection of 32nd Street and Haven Avenue in Ocean City, NJ, where some road work is about to begin. A new set of “No Wake Zone” signs is starting to appear in Ocean City, and they’re being placed on front yards far from boats and the bay.Homeowners on flood-prone streets where houses are often splashed by the waves generated by passing vehicles are displaying the yard signs, which also read “Fix our flooding now.”The O.C. Flooding subcommittee of the community group Fairness in Taxes is distributing the signs and encouraging property owners to display them in time for the holiday weekend.The group is advocating for a comprehensive plan to quickly address all flooding and drainage problems in Ocean City.Although Ocean City regulates real estate signs and candidate signs (which can be displayed from 30 days before until five days after an election) and prohibits other signs, an ordinance that was amended in 2011 allows political signs to be displayed any time of the year.“Any matter of public interest” on a political sign is protected as free speech under the amended ordinance.The issue first arose in early 2011 when “Don’t Change Ocean City” lawn signs began to appear around Ocean City as petitioners gathered signatures calling for a public vote on allowing BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) restaurants in Ocean City.At the time, the ordinance prohibited homeowners from placing signs on their land or buildings unless they were real estate signs, identified a “use” on the property or were temporary political signs (then limited to the 35-day window around elections).Property owners can email [email protected] to request a sign.last_img read more

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Neighbourhood baker fights demolition plans

first_imgBaker Lynda Miles is fighting a planning application which could see her forced to leave the shop she has built up for 17 years.Miles Bakery Shop has been in Unsworth, Bury, since 1993, but its lease is up and North Hold Group in Prestwich has applied for permission to demolish the building and build a retail unit served by 16 parking spaces. Miles said she feared it could become a Tesco store and has won the support of more than 500 customers, who have signed a petition opposing the plan, while another 60 have sent letters to the council.  “It has come as a big shock,” she said. “I didn’t think the landlord could do that to us – it has hit us all very hard. We cannot relocate, because it took us five years to find these premises and it’s not easy to get somewhere that will accommodate all the equipment and ovens.”The shop employs a full-time baker and 10 part-time staff whose jobs would be at risk if the plan went ahead, she said. The bakery supplies Miles’ other bakery in Holcombe Brook, Bury. Miles added that she could not face thinking about a back-up plan. “We’re just going to wait and see – and hope – but it has been nice to get so much local support.”  Bury Council’s planning committee is meeting to discuss the plan in November, said a spokesman.last_img read more

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News story: Futuristic super-thin metal could create ‘solar-panel shirts’

first_img Graphene was only successfully isolated and measured 14 years ago, and by this sparked global interest in 2D materials. We’re only now starting to scratch the surface by looking into finding and exploiting these new materials. We’re working our way to mass production, but we can already see that this area has a huge potential. Work on new super-thin materials could mean front line troops have solar panel shirts and data storage in their combats.Nicola Townsend is researching the properties of new super-thin materials for a PhD at the University of Exeter with Prof Saverio Russo and Prof Monica Craciun, funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This work was carried out with Dr Iddo Amit, a Research Fellow funded through the European Commission Marie Curie Actions.Originally, Nicola was trying to find magnetic field sensors, but started looking at a layer-structured semiconductor, that can be thinned down to thickness of a few atoms, making it truly two-dimensional.The material, molybdenum di-telluride, is part of an exciting family of electronic materials that are promising to revolutionise the industry. Since the discovery of graphene, there’s been a push to discover new 2D materials. Most electronic gadgets are based on silicon, which is widely available – it can even be made from sand on the beach! While silicon is very common, there are things – wearable electronics, smart textiles – where silicon, due to its structure, cannot be used. The exciting new family of 2D materials offer transparency and flexibility, making them ideal for wearable tech.The project was modified to look at the problems with implementing the new materials into our everyday devices – and Nicola discovered that the problems could offer new solutions. Minute imperfections hinder the motion of charges in the material, requiring higher energy to operate them. Surprisingly, the same imperfections can also be utilised for advanced applications, like infrared photo-detectors or memory devices.Real-world applications for this novel technology include flexible solar panels – on backpacks or integrated into clothes, which wouldn’t add any weight. There is also potential for infrared sensing as part of cameras, which can allow their use in smoke or harsh weather conditions, or to sense organic chemical signatures in real time on packaging. There are also potential uses in communications, or for having data storage in your shirt.Nicola said:last_img read more

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Phish Is Currently Finishing Up Their New Studio Album With Producer Bob Ezrin

first_imgOf course, drummer Jon Fishman has been in Philadelphia, PA for the last two days, helping out the Bernie Sanders campaign. This doesn’t preclude Anastasio from working on some guitar overdubs or any additional tracks that he might need to record by himself. According to Relix, however, Fishman said that “The new album will mostly comprise of songs Phish fans have not yet heard… despite the band debuting several new songs on tour in 2015.” He also said that they’re mostly finished recording.We can’t wait! During Phish’s three-night stand in Mexico, guitarist Trey Anastasio let it slip that the group was planning to work on a new album in the few months’ time until summer tour. While the recent appearance of Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman and Page McConnell at a recent Kung Fu funk concert in Nashville, TN was certainly indication that the band was working together, today we have some more official word on the project.According to a post from Frank Brothers Guitar Co., Anastasio is pictured playing one of the company’s prized guitars in Nashville. Furthermore, the post says that the guitar itself belongs to Bob Ezrin, the famed producer who worked with Phish on the Fuego album. Ezrin has worked with Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd and more in the past, and, as we recently learned, he really doesn’t like Kanye West.Check out the post below:last_img read more

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