A Conservative election candidate has been caught out misleading disabled constituents about the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF).A transcript of an election hustings event in Merton, south-west London, has been published which shows that the Conservative candidate Paul Holmes misled voters when asked about the ILF.Holmes told the audience on 9 March that he knew there was “a lot of concern” about the ILF, but that “people that were on the ILF from quite a while ago will continue to receive that money, but for new applicants it has closed, and it’s going down to local authorities”. This was inaccurate because the fund will close to all ILF-users at the end of June, with the UK government passing the non-ring-fenced funding to English local authorities and the Welsh and Scottish government.The hustings was organised by Merton Centre for Independent Living (CIL), Merton Seniors Forum, Merton Mencap and Age UK Merton.Holmes should have been aware of government ILF policy because he has been working in the Westminster office of Tory Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond, who has been briefed several times on the issue by Merton CIL.Holmes has so far not responded to a request for a comment from Disability News Service.The decision to close ILF has been one of the most controversial of the last five years among disabled people and their organisations, and has been the subject of a series of legal actions, protests (pictured) and direct actions over the last four years.The government has continued to argue that the care and support needs of ILF-users are better met within a single care and support system, run by local authorities.But many campaigners believe that closing ILF – a government-resourced trust which helps about 16,500 people with the highest support needs to live independently – will threaten disabled people’s right to live with dignity, and could force many of them into residential care or make it impossible for them to work or take part in everyday activities.The Scottish government announced last year that it would set up its own ILF, for both existing and new users, while the Welsh government has opted to transfer the government funding and responsibility to local authorities, but with conditions attached on how it should be spent, protecting the budgets of existing ILF-users for at least the first nine months.ILF-users in Merton do not yet know whether the government funds will be ring-fenced for their use, according to the latest research by Disability Rights UK.Of 96 English local authorities that responded to the charity’s latest Freedom of Information Act requests (out of a total of 152 councils), only 24 said they would ring-fence the government funding.And some of these 24 are only ring-fencing the money because they have not yet carried out assessments of existing ILF-users.Merton is one of 22 local authorities that have yet to decide how the ILF funds transferred by the government will be used.Meanwhile, a prominent ILF-user, Mary Laver, marked the 61st birthday of Conservative work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, by riding her powered wheelchair from the House of Commons to the MP’s constituency in Chingford, east London.Laver, an ILF-user for 25 years and herself a member of the Conservative party, yesterday (9 April) travelled the 14 miles to deliver a “very special birthday card” to Duncan Smith.She says Duncan Smith is the man who is “going to imprison me in my own home for the rest of my life without a parole or right to appeal” by closing ILF, which has helped her live an independent life for the last 26 years.
The minister for disabled people has again misled MPs, after she claimed that the UK had “volunteered” to take part in a public UN examination which concluded that her government’s disability policies had caused a “human catastrophe”.Penny Mordaunt was responding to Labour’s new shadow minister for disabled people, Marsha de Cordova, who told the Commons this week that the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities had “condemned” the government’s progress on disability employment.De Cordova had asked Mordaunt if the government would respond to those concerns.The committee’s “concluding observations” report, in August, examined how the UK had implemented the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).Among more than 80 recommendations for improvements – a record number for any country being examined by the committee – it was heavily critical of the UK government’s failure to take action to close the disability pay gap and the disability employment gap, as well as raising concerns about serious flaws in the work capability assessment process.But Mordaunt told MPs on Monday (pictured) that the Office for Disability Issues was looking at the UN report and that the UK government had “volunteered to put ourselves through this process”.The process that led to the report is not voluntary, as is made clear in articles 35 and 36 of the convention.Countries that ratify the UN convention, like the UK, have to send an initial report to the committee and then provide “periodic” progress reports every four years, which eventually lead – following various stages that include a public examination – to a concluding observations report.It is not the first time that Mordaunt has been accused of misleading MPs.Last November, she misled the Commons work and pensions committee about the government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap, less than two minutes after she began giving evidence to MPs.And last October, she told the Commons that under personal independence payment, compared with disability living allowance, “more people are entitled to use the Motability scheme”.Motability’s own figures showed that of their customers who had been reassessed for PIP at that stage, 44 per cent had lost their entitlement to the scheme and had had to return their vehicles.She has also faced questions after telling a disability hustings event in May that a Conservative government would “dismantle” the work capability assessment (WCA), and that this pledge had been included in the party’s general election manifesto.The WCA pledge was not in the Tory manifesto.When asked why Mordaunt appears to have misled MPs and whether she would apologise for doing so, a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesman claimed she had been referring to a report published last November under UNCRPD’s optional protocol procedures.He said: “We are one of the few nations that have ratified the CRPD’s optional protocol, which allows the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to undertake an inquiry.”This report found Mordaunt’s government guilty of “grave and systematic violations” of the convention’s articles on independent living, work and employment, and social protection, through policies introduced by Conservative DWP ministers between 2010 and 2015.It was the first such high-level inquiry to be carried out by the committee, and was a result of years of research and lobbying by Disabled People Against Cuts and other disabled activists.But again, the UK government’s involvement in the optional protocol was not voluntary.The UK is also not “one of the few nations” to have ratified the optional protocol, as a UN document published last year shows it has been ratified by at least 89 countries and regional organisations.It was also ratified by the last Labour government, rather than by the Conservatives.When DNS told the DWP spokesman that de Cordova had clearly been referring to the August report and that even if she had been referring to the optional protocol it would still have been wrong to suggest that the UK “volunteered” to take part, a more senior DWP spokeswoman replied instead, and said: “There’s no evidence that MPs have been misled.“We’ve nothing further to add to the response below.”
And yet I fear that extrapolating the future from the past is growing tenuous in the here and now. Yes, San Francisco has experienced outrageous unaffordability in the past — an egg in the Gold Rush era could set you back $3, which is about $90 in today’s money (more than any avocado toast). But this is cold comfort. The tribulations of desperate miners willing to be fleeced in our inchoate, dirt-road town do not jibe with today’s San Francisco, a mid-sized North American city with a projected budget of $12.3 billion. Institutional memory is a powerful ally. But San Francisco in an era of $1.77 million shacks and cleaning ladies paying $3,200 rents in Visitacion Valley and tsunamis of IPOs and jarring public misery and filth in the face of it all may have transcended history. We’ve gone off book. We’ve sailed off the edge of the map. George R.R. Martin couldn’t write quickly enough and now we’re making stuff up as we go along.Carnaval 2019. Photo by Samuele Marro.The recent Post article started — as they all seem to do — with the poignant scenes of a business closing here in the Mission. In this case, it was Lucca Ravioli Co., which on April 30 shut its doors after 34,439 days in operation. Yet another vestige of the past chased out of the neighborhood in the era of big tech and big money, eh? And yet, left unexplained in the Post story, is that this family-owned business scuttled itself, selling its land and buildings for more than $11 million. The villain here, insofar as there is one, isn’t some cigar-chomping landlord or developer. It’s the market. That’s not the same story. But it is a story. It is the story here in San Francisco. Every business that owns property is in the real-estate business now; video-game company Zynga recently sold its building for three times what it paid in 2012 (and far, far more than it was making with its inane successors to Farmville). But the same goes for families and individuals who own land. And, if you don’t, you’re often living in a constant state of anxiety. The clock is ticking. Your San Francisco phase may be truncated. So, no, San Francisco isn’t dying. There’s lots going on here in the neighborhoods out-of-towners don’t visit (and even in the ones they do). New people (who may or may not give a damn about our public schools and hospitals or any other problem not encountered while walking between the condo and the Uber) will always beat a path here. Individuals are being forced out or prospering — or both. But the city is in a boom. San Franciscans suffer. San Francisco thrives.And it isn’t rotting, either. Quite the opposite: The city, increasingly denuded of its creative class and its middle class and its children, is still gorgeous. Like a lake permeated by acid rain, the pristine nature of swaths of San Francisco obscures a lifelessness of sorts.San Francisco is built between two major fault lines. Everybody knows what lies in our city’s future. But nobody knows what happens before that. Or after. Photo by David Lewis-Baker.*Astute commenter Laura A. Ryan correctly notes that Crazy Crab didn’t make his appearance at Candlestick Park until 1984, which was quite a different time than the 1970s. In the 1970s, however, the 49ers did sign O.J. Simpson, so there’s that. As such, while you and I live here — pay our taxes here, hopscotch over human effluvia here, get married here, have children here, transact business here — San Francisco, for others, exists as an allegory and a concept more than a city and county. Nobody writes allegorical or conceptual pieces about Columbus or Winnipeg. Perhaps they should. I would read them. But they do write such stories about San Francisco. These aren’t fun stories because there’s so much in San Francisco today that’s not fun. The disconnect between this city’s vast wealth and its vast poverty — and its cavalcade of ascendant arrivistes and dwindling, often put-upon locals — is positively Dickensian. To be a San Franciscan is to become inured to misery and filth and property crime and desperation, and to navigate — by Uber, likely — between this city’s shabbiness and squalor and opulence and aloofness. The latest entry in the growing cottage industry of out-of-town publications bemoaning the ruination of this city was a May 21 piece in the Washington Post titled “How San Francisco Broke America’s Heart.” It strokes San Franciscans’ vanity to depict all of America as being that tied up in San Francisco one way or another. San Francisco politicians like talking about how other cities look to us as an example. And they’re right — but not in the way they’d like to think. Believe it or not, the rest of America can go a few minutes without thinking about us. Maybe even a few hours. The stroking would be short-lived. The Post story felt like stumbling into a Wikipedia entry on San Francisco tech dystopia stories; it was saturated with every last example of ostentatious wealth or filth or both you’ve read about in the paper in recent years. And, yes, this article really did read eerily like this 2014 Chronicle parody of the out-of-town publication pondering San Francisco genre or this faux-algorithm producing similar fare. And yet, the anecdotes and lamentations shoehorned into this article the way Marvel Studios shoehorns superheroes into movies are true. Quantifiably true. And that’s always worth remembering. But it doesn’t tell you the whole story. There are three things you must always ask yourself before you say anything, which is: Does this need to be said? Does this need to be said by me? Does this need to be said by me — now? —Craig FergusonSan Francisco is a mid-sized North American city with a population almost exactly that of Columbus, Ohio, and a shade higher than that of Winnipeg, Manitoba. That’s quantifiably true, and always worth remembering, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. San Francisco is a fantastically prosperous city and an economic powerhouse. If you’re running from something, you’ll end up here, the furthest west you can travel without getting wet. But this is also a place to run to: with your big idea, for a big job, or as elected officials and vagrants and cops and criminals have all told me, to simply be who you are. And this is true even if, like your humble narrator, you were born here. San Francisco is a place to be who you are. In the 1970s, your humble narrator’s mother lugged her clothes to a laundromat not far from Army Street. Some guy walked in with his laundry basket and a Kahlua cheesecake. And he shared it with everybody while they waited for their clothes to dry. Yes, everyone was stoned. Your humble narrator’s parents lived on Montcalm Street in a house they rented for a dollar and a quarter. There was a literal hole in the bathroom floor — you could, if so inclined, stick your head through and see the hard-packed dirt below — and the place was a bit of a squeeze for a man, woman, and terrier dog. Redfin currently estimates you could get $1.77 million for this manse. Presumably they’ve fixed the bathroom (but maybe not!). Nostalgia is a hell of a drug. This city is to nostalgia what Miami is to cocaine. We consume vast quantities of it. Uncut and pure. So it’s worth noting that, while my mom was eating that cheesecake, not one but two serial killers — in fact, roving teams of serial killers — were terrorizing San Francisco. In fact, literal terrorists were terrorizing San Francisco. Police were raiding gay bars and beating up homosexuals. The Navy was busy irradiating its neighbors in the largely black southeast of the city, a situation we are still very much dealing with (and, locals will tell you, is getting a lot more attention now that luxury housing there is being sold to well-off white people). The city was railroading Latino kids for murder. The Giants had a crab as a mascot* and played in pullover uniforms on Astroturf.Nostalgia for this era of San Francisco is understandable. We pine for the sense of community and the neighborhood eccentrics right out of Cannery Row (“a little group of men who had in common no families, no money, and no ambitions beyond food, drink, and contentment.”). Artists and bohemians could afford to live here. Regular folks with kids could afford to live here. Teachers and firefighters and waiters could afford to live here. That’s a plus. But the San Francisco of Kahlua cheesecake in the laundromat is also the Zebra Killers’ San Francisco or the Jim Jones San Francisco or the Dan White San Francisco. We choose to decouple these memories. But, at the time, they coexisted. That was, in large part, the message of a rejoinder to the Post article from the Chronicle’s Peter Hartlaub. With the paper’s vast archives as his arsenal, he ably documented the many premature reports of this city’s demise, and assailed the lamenting of a lost, golden age as a product of selective amnesia. This was a good and necessary article. Institutional memory is a powerful ally. This city’s mascot ain’t a phoenix rising from the ashes for nothing. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address
SAINTS have been put through their paces at the University of Chester, as part of a joint project between the Rugby Football League (RFL) and the University, evaluating the physical qualities of professional rugby league players.The project, which is being led by Professor Craig Twist and PhD student Nick Dobbin, both from the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, is aiming to collect data from players with all Super League clubs in the UK, to inform training and talent development practices within the sport. It is being run in collaboration with the RFL’s performance department.Professor Twist said: “St.Helens R.F.C. is a long-time partner of our Department. The club’s Head of Strength and Conditioning, Matt Daniels, has always taken an innovative approach to preparing and managing his players and, over the last five years, he has engaged in several applied research projects with us.“These have been used to inform the club’s own training, rehabilitation and selection practices, as well as contributing to several peer-reviewed papers and postgraduate projects.“St Helens is also very supportive when it comes to student learning opportunities, and has provided numerous placements for both undergraduate and postgraduate students in several areas of sport science.”For the research project, both first grade and academy players attended the University recently, to be put through a battery of rugby specific tests that assess each player’s physical qualities.The data gathered will also be used by the club to monitor individual player training and evaluate adaptations as the pre-season progresses.The University is also helping the club’s medical team with some neuromuscular screening, which will be useful if players get injured later in the season.As well as St.Helens R.F.C., the University also has strong connections with other rugby league clubs, including Warrington Wolves.Craig added: “Over the last 10 years, the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences has developed a very strong research profile in rugby league. In collaboration with the RFL and a range of professional and amateur clubs, we believe this work has enabled us to produce some impactful research that continues to inform practitioners’ work across the game.“St.Helens R.F.C., and Matt Daniels in particular, is one of those professional clubs that has been integral to the success of our work, and we’re extremely grateful that the club and players are helping us with the RFL-funded project. We value the fantastic opportunities that the club offers to our students.“These real world experiences of sport science, and how it influences rugby performance, are fundamental to students’ learning experiences, and it also enhances their employability.”Matt Daniels, Head of Strength and Conditioning at St.Helens R.F.C., added: “Our partnership with Craig and Chester University is key to ensuring we are prepared in the best possible way for our Super League season.“Their expertise is second to none and we use the data gathered from these sessions to enhance and inform our own training and preparation methods.”
The full back has crossed for 18 so far this season including the spectacular hat-trick in last Saturday’s Cup win over Castleford.Plaudits are naturally flowing his way as a result but Barba is keen to point out the work of his teammates.“I seem to be getting all the rewards off the back of their hard work,” he said. “I think so much about my teammates and what they do for me to be able to do the stuff I do.“Those forwards work hard whilst Danny Richardson is level headed. I would gladly split that bottle of wine [for winning man of the match] into 17 and share it out. Everyone does their job in this side.”He continued: “It’s a case of backing yourself when those chances come. Justin said when I make a break I should just pin them back and the passes and offloads would come off the back of that. I did that a few times on Saturday and some came off whilst other’s didn’t.“It was a tough game and the scoreline doesn’t really speak about how tough it was. Cas set a standard when they named a strong forward pack but credit to the boys we fought through it.“We hung on in there, got to half time, fixed things up and tried to finish them off in the second half.”
What’s On:Red Vee Cafe Bar – Opens at 5pm.Turnstiles – Open at 6pm.LDRL Rugby League – Saints will take on Warrington in a special exhibition match before the main event. It kicks off at 6:15pm.Club Face Painters – These will once again be operating in the Hattons Solicitors Family Stand and the Totally Wicked North Stand from around 6:30pm … come along and get your face painted in Saints colours for free!Bouncy Castles – We have rugby themed inflatables in the North and South West Stands.Member Offers – We have two great offers for you – any pie & alcoholic beverage is just £6, whilst a pie or hotdog & hot drink is just £4.Soft Drinks – Fruit shoots are available for just £1.50 each.Carling Bar – Fans in the West Stand can continue to get their hands on 500ml Carling PETs from our bottle bar in the concourse. Price is £4.Contactless Payment – Will be available in the Karalius, Popular Side, Marching Inn, Eddington Arms and Voll’s bars to speed up your service.The A-Star Saints Angels – Will be performing several new performances before the game and at half time. Today the Warrington Wirettes join them for a special routine too.SeatServe – We are continuing to link up with SeatServe to offer a trial of a new in-seat, food and drink delivery service on matchday. The SeatServe app, which enables fans to order food and drinks from their smartphone for efficient delivery to their seat, will be tested in the Totally Wicked North Stand and South Stand at tonight’s game. Click here to find out more.Bucket Collection – Dig deep as the Academy continue their fundraising for the 2019 Academy Tour of Australia.Half Time – See the Simply Doughnuts Kicking Challenge! Contestants have three attempts to kick a ball into a large replica Simply Doughnuts pot in front of the West Stand. There’s a whole host of prizes to win and if you kick it in from the 40m line, you return at the final game of the season to kick again for the chance to win a Membership for the 2019 season.Sponsors:The Match is sponsored by Elcons whilst the Man of the Match will be selected by Bidfood. Betfred are our Corporate Sponsor.Team News:Both sides have named their 19-man squad for the match. You can find out more here.Tickets:Tickets for the game are available from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium or by calling 01744 455 052. There will be cash turnstiles on the Hattons Solicitors West, Totally Wicked North and East Stands. If you require a South Stand ticket then you need to head to the Ticket Office.Tickets are available online until 4pm.Saints Superstore:The Saints Superstore will be open from 9am right up until kick-off and for 45 minutes after the final whistle.Programme:The programme is priced at £3 and features an review of the season, plus tributes to Ben Barba and Jon Wilkin.A Message:Just a reminder: Saints fans are the best in the world and known throughout the sport as being one of the most vocal and loyal group of supporters there is.As a family club we ask that fans are mindful of their fellow supporters and refrain from doing anything that would damage this reputation.There have been instances of beer throwing and other anti-social behaviour at some of our games this year and we ask that fans think of those around them and not do anything that could bring further action on the club.Please note the use of smoke grenades and flares at the stadium is prohibited.Anyone caught throwing beer, or any other liquid, alongside smoke grenades or flares, risks being banned for a period of games, and/or having Memberships tickets rescinded.
Grace is Saints’ leading try scorer this season thus far scoring four times in the first five Super League rounds.The 22-year-old Welsh international scored 18 tries in 33 appearances for the Red Vee last season. He joined the club after playing rugby league for South Wales Scorpions at Under 16s and Wales at Under 18s and he was part of the unbeaten Academy Championship side in 2016.Grace went on to score on his Saints first team debut against Wigan Warriors back in the 2017 Good Friday fixture and alluded to his debut when signing his new Saints deal.Grace spoke exclusively to Saintsrlfc.com and was naturally delighted with his new contract.“I’m delighted to have signed a new contract. I would like to thank CEO, Mike Rush, Chairman, Eamonn McManus, Head Coach Justin Holbrook, all of the coaching staff and everyone else who have helped me get to this point since my debut back in 2017.“I am still young and have lots of learning to do, but I’m excited for what the future holds.”Saints Chairman Eamonn McManus said: “It’s great that Regan has committed to the Saints and to Super League despite a great deal of interest in him in rugby union.“He brings speed and excitement to the team and can only improve further with experience and with age. He’s yet another great product of our academy system and it’s great to see so many of them in our current side.”Head Coach Justin Holbrook added: “It’s exciting news for the club to have Regan committing his future here.“He is a young player who listens and is good to coach. He has learnt a lot in the last couple of years and although he still has a lot more to learn, he is such an explosive, natural runner, who is great to watch.“He is an exciting young player to have on the end of our back line plays and I am confident he will achieve great things in a Saints shirt.”Grace has been named in Justin Holbrook’s 19 man squad to face Huddersfield Giants on Thursday (kick off 7:45pm).
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A judge reduced the bond for the validated Hells Angel member accused of stabbing two men and fatally shooting one of them.The New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office confirms Aaron Stephens’ bond was reduced from $4.5 million to $300,000 based on it not being a capital case.- Advertisement – The District Attorney’s Office asked for the bond to be set at $1 million, but the judge granted the defense attorney’s request of $300,000.Stephens is charged with murder in the death of Terry Greenwood. The other victim, Anthony Lanza, was stabbed multiple times.The stabbing and shooting happened March 22 on Julia Drive.Related Article: Affidavit: Witness told police campus shooter targeted tableIn a previous court hearing, Assistant District Attorney Dru Lewis says Stephens and Greenwood had prior altercations about Stephens’ wife. Investigators say on the night of the murder the two argued elsewhere, it then led back to Stephens’ home on Julia Drive.Lewis said a neighbor’s security camera showed the victim’s truck driving down to a culdesac in the neighborhood, followed by Stephen’s car. That culdesac is where Greenwood and Lanza were found.If Stephens makes bond, he will be on monitored house arrest.According to the New Hanover County jail website, Stephens had bonded out.
Investigators say they found a meth lab in this home in Dublin (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriffs Office) BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Five people face drug charges after a joint operation uncovered a methamphetamine lab in Dublin, investigators say.(Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriffs Office)The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office, White Lake Police Department and the North Carolina Highway Patrol dismantled the methamphetamine lab late Thursday night, according to a news release from Sheriff James McVicker.- Advertisement – The lab was at 1105 Bethel Church Road .Andy Holder Walters (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff)McVicker says officers received an anonymous tip which lead to the investigation.“Sgt. Richard Allen with the Sheriff’s Office and Lt. Mike Salmon, with White Lake Police Department have received advanced training in clandestine labs and this is the second lab they have located in the county in the last month.Franklin Neal Taylor (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff)Related Article: Man charged with kidnapping, rape in New Hanover CountyThese labs can be very dangerous and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has a team specially trained to break down and clean up these sites,” said McVicker. “They can be dangerous for those “cooking the meth, dangerous to the community and dangerous to officers. We always treat them as a toxic environment.”James Crawford Johnson (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff)Investigators arrested Andy Holder Walters, 46, of Tar Heel, Franklin Neal Taylor, 40 of Elizabethtown, James Crawford Johnson, 41, of Elizabethtown, Monica Reaves Britt, 31, of Tar Heel, and Sandie Shaw Britt, 34, of Whiteville.Monica Reaves Britt (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff)Each are charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine. They are in jail under a $100,000.00 secured bond.Additional charges are expected.Sandie Shaw Britt (Photo: Bladen Co. Sheriff)“We are aware of other labs in the county and are actively working to shut them down,” McVicker said. “Investigations such as this take some time to come to a point where we can make arrests but we are zeroing in on several possible labs hope to shut them down very soon.”
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — When it comes to your child’s education, learning how to read is a key component. That is why State Superintendent Mark Johnson says he is making sure teachers have what they need for kids to succeed.“Last week we announced that we were getting $5 million out of Raleigh and sending it out to schools so that every teacher in a K-3 classroom would have $200 to buy reading supplies,” Johnson said.- Advertisement – It’s extra money teachers like Savannah Crangle are honored to receive.“So a lot of our students come from, you know, families that don’t have a lot of money. So having this extra funding in the classroom they’re going to have so much more access to books that they can bring home,” Crangle said. “To the outside world.”Johnson stopped by Union Elementary School in Shallotte and Mary C. Williams Elementary School in Wilmington Friday to share the good news and a check.Related Article: Report finds Ohio State doc abused 177, officials were aware“To show our appreciation to teachers,” Johnson said. “But also let teachers decide how this money should best be spent. Because they know their students the best and they know what their students need.”Johnson said the money comes from the Read to Achieve Program which focuses on helping students learn how to read, training teachers, and providing materials necessary for success.Teachers say they are more than excited to put the money to good use.“I’m gonna get some bagged books to send home with my children,” Crangle said. “They love choosing their own titles, their own topics, and sharing with their families what they’re learning. So I can’t wait to put that in their hands to take home with them.”Every public school teacher in kindergarten through third grade across the state will get $200 to spend on reading supplies. Charter schools are also included.