Houghton and Sunderland South MP, Bridget Phillipson, has notified the QCS Board that she is â€œunableâ€ to give oral evidence in respect of the proposed Quality Contract Scheme (QCS).One of the region’s most vocal and sharpest critics of private operators, mainly of Go North East which runs most commercial services in her constituency, she had previously said that she planned to appear in person to give evidence to the QCS Board.The public hearings, scheduled to take place over three weeks in March, will see the Combined Authority for the region, operators who will be affected, and other interested parties giving evidence in front of the QCS Board, which will then recommend if the QCS should proceed.Mrs Phillipson declined to speak to routeone, and her office refused to be drawn on the matter. It would not comment on speculation that Mrs Phillipson had pulled out either because of having to give evidence under oath â€“ which means she would have had to restrict her comments to facts â€“ or that she had been told not to appear by Labour bosses.Her office also declined to say whether she was unavailable due to other commitments.Originally, routeone understands that Mrs Phillipson had hoped to appear on the first day of the hearing, when it is likely that TV and national press would be present. However, in accordance with procedure, the main parties take precedence in appearing and routeone understands that Mrs Phillipson was told that her appearance would be later.In a brief statement Mrs Phillipson said: â€œDelays in the start of the inquiry process from January to March 2015 mean that regrettably, I will no longer be able to give evidence in person to the QCS panel.â€œThese delays mean we are already well behind the schedule set out in legislation.â€œThis emphasises the need for the Secretary of State to make sure the regional transport commissioner [sic] has everything required to complete the review in a timely manner.â€œI remain convinced that the proposals set out by the Combined Authority are the best way forward and enjoy considerable public support in the region.â€North East Bus Operators’ Association (NEBOA) Secretary Tom Dodds says: â€œThe oral evidence hearings in March will give everyone the opportunity to properly debate the proposal before the QCS Board.â€œIt’s a shame that Mrs Phillipson is no longer able to take part, especially as she has been such a vocal supporter of the scheme and critic of our local bus companies.â€œNEBOA members stand by their assertion that a partnership approach offers the travelling public a far better outcome than the QC scheme, as is being demonstrated every day across England.â€
Special case?London generates a significant portion of RWT’s cleaning work, but Bob asks why the rest of the country hasn’t followed the capital’s lead in cleaning up diesel engine emissions.â€œThe DPFs we take in for cleaning are filthy, and the material in them is carcinogenic. It kills people.â€œPeople will think I’m only saying this because I want more cleaning work, but that’s not the case. A lot of lung cancer cases are caused by air pollution, and the cost to the country is astronomical.â€œIf Low Emission Zone (LEZ) regulations are in place in London, they should be in place everywhere.â€With DPFs becoming ever more common in coaches and buses, it’s likely that RWT’s cleaning services will be in demand regardless of whether LEZs spread any further.It performs several hundred cleans a year, and has the capacity to grow this while maintaining its customer-focused engineering service. RWT, says Bob, â€œdoes the jobs others can’t or won’t,â€ and with over 1m worth of workshop equipment on hand, will continue to be many operators’ saving grace. Cracking the casePSVs dominate RWT’s workload. At the time routeone visited, three coaches and a Dennis Trident double-decker were at Lye for various tasks, one of which was of the infuriating kind that will have been encountered by all engineers.â€œThe engine was hunting, and the operator had drawn a blank in finding what was causing it,â€ Bob explains. â€œSo it sent the coach to us. We went through everything: the intercooler pipes, the fuel pump, anything it possibly could have been. It turned out to be a door sensor. If it wasn’t closed properly, engine revs were restricted.â€Other recent projects include major structural work on the Trident. RWT has a laser cutter on site, and where thicker precision pieces of metal are required it has an excellent relationship with a nearby machine shop.The Trident also had its Cummins engine rebuilt on site by RWT, while a similar recent project involved a Scania unit from the mid-1990s.â€œIt had put a con rod through the block, which is obviously a terminal failure,â€ says Bob. â€œSo to keep costs down for the operator we removed the re-usable parts, acquired a replacement block, built up the engine to as-new condition and put it back in the coach.â€RWT also has a good relationship with Feather Diesel Services in Bradford, well known as the UK’s foremost expert on fuel pump and injection systems. â€œWe only ever use Feather. It’s the best for a reason, so why go anywhere else?â€ Changing timesIt’s indicative of how things have changed in coach and bus maintenance that a sizeable chunk of RWT’s business now concerns the fitting and cleaning of diesel particulate filters (DPFs).RWT has invested 200,000 in on-site cleaning equipment and collects DPFs from throughout the country, returning them to the operator after cleaning. It doesn’t have an exchange policy for good reason, says Bob.â€œA DPF has a finite life. Regardless of how well it is looked after, it will require replacement at some point. It would be unfair if we took in a filter which had several clean and refit cycles left in it, and gave one back to the operator which was approaching the end of its life, or vice-versa.â€ Filters can be turned around in 24 hours; a small fleet of vans is used to collect and return them. Another van is equipped with diagnostic equipment and all the tools necessary to carry out work ‘in the field’ if required.A suite of diagnostic software is also within the workshop. The retrofit processRWT is a significant player in the DPF retrofit sector, and counts bus operators working under contract to Transport for London among its clients. Retrofit is not a ‘one size fits all’ operation, Bob explains, and duty cycle requirements have a bearing on which system is best.â€œIn an urban bus the DPF will need cleaning more often than in a coach, but even between cleans it should be monitored,â€ he says.â€œA diesel engine without a DPF in the exhaust gives a tell-tale sign of problems in the form of black or blue smoke. That disappears with the DPF present, even if the air intake filter is dirty. There is also a water trap, so head gasket issues are hidden, as no steam can pass through the exhaust.â€œBut there will be a build-up of material in the filter, creating backpressure. Operators need to check that backpressure and we enable them to do so with one of our DPF systems, which has a data logger.â€ It includes a small cab-mounted unit, showing backpressure plus various error codes.â€œWe advise operators with this system to monitor backpressure during preventative maintenance inspections and record it. If backpressure suddenly rises, it means that there is a problem, and the error code will give a good idea of what it is,â€ Bob explains.Looking after filters will also ensure a long and cost-effective life; catalyst coated DPFs have also proved to have much longer periods between cleans.â€œWe fitted 27 catalyst coated filters for a London operator at the end of 2011, and we haven’t cleaned any of them yet,â€ he says. â€œIt’s not unusual for uncoated filters in that application to require cleaning every six months; we know that because we keep track of serial numbers. A catalyst coated filter is more expensive, but it pays for itself.â€ Things are changing in the world of coach and bus maintenance, and it now requires a huge variety of skills in traditional and modern areas to keep on top of a fleet. Sometimes, a little help is required. That’s where RWT Commercial Services can come in. Tim Deakin reports from Lye.The time will come for any operator when an outside engineering contractor able to turn its hand to almost anything is worth its weight in gold. A small core of such businesses exists around the country, of which Lye, Stourbridge-based RWT Commercial Services is one.RWT was founded by Bob Turnock, an engineer with 50 years’ experience, and he remains head of the company. Bob began his career as a bodybuilder before moving on to various roles in the commercial vehicle sector, including a stint in the Middle East during the ’70s oil boom.Lots of the lessons learned during that period are part of RWT’s ethos today. â€œMany years ago I was mounting some springs on a chassis, but I was also drilling holes so that the shackle pin could be knocked out easily years down the line.â€œThe foreman asked me why I was doing it, so I told him. He said ‘that won’t be your problem when it’s out of warranty.’ But I believe that a good engineer always looks forward to what may happen in the future, and that’s a value I instil in my staff. I expect the job to be done right, and they know that.â€RWT’s team is diverse, and all can turn their hands to almost any task.Including Bob and his wife Sue, RWT employs 10 people; it also has an LGV O-Licence and a tractor unit and specialised low-loader trailer, which can be used for coach or bus recovery from anywhere in the UK or Europe.
Skills Coaches will help Derbyshire ‘strong man’ Simon ‘Power’ Plant break a world record at a local charity fundraiser in Sandiacre.Simon will attempt to singlehandedly pull two full-sized Skills double-deckers 100 feet. To add to the difficulty of the attempt, the double-deckers will also be loaded to capacity with passengers, each decker holding 70 people.Simon currently holds 10 world records and his most recent accomplishment was to pull a 13-tonne lorry for 50 feet using one hand.Simon Plant (centre) with Skills staff and vehicles for the record-breaking attemptSays Simon: “All of my records have taken a great deal of training and preparation before each event takes place. To train for this event I’m currently training every day, and to make sure my body maintains its strength, I’m eating a whole chicken, two steaks and eight jacket potatoes each day for dinner.”The world record attempt will take place on Sunday 17 July at the Bridge Inn in Sandiacre. This year’s event will be raising money for the fight against breast cancer.The full world record attempt will be officially adjudicated by an RHR (Record Holders Republic) judge in attendance on the day.
For nearly two decades Wrightbus has been at the forefront of electric bus technology. With a range of products under its belt, it has now unveiled the next generation about to go into production. Mel Holley reports from Northern IrelandBased on the StreetLite EV, the new StreetAir WF comes in 8.8 and 9.5m versionsIt was in 1998 that Wrightbus started work on its long-established ElectroCity brand. Its hybrid and electric development has been relentlessly driven by founder William Wright who, despite his 88 years, remains as sharp and up-to-date as ever. “Back then we were a lone voice in the wilderness as fare as pure electric battery buses were concerned,” he says.In 2002 its prototype single-decker battery-electric plug-ins used the best technology available. But while 30 miles on lead-acid batteries wasn’t going to hit the spot, demonstrations proved that a modern low-floor electric bus powered is the future. And it still is.Todays’ cutting-edge technology is a world away from what was available then and with 1,000 hybrids in service in London, Wrightbus has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience about the vital aspects of battery chemistry and the vital battery management systems (BMS).ChallengeThe challenge thrown down by London and Paris for large numbers of pure-electric buses has concentrated manufacturers’ minds. Says Wright Group CEO Mark Nodder: “We’ve never been frightened of taking on a challenge.”Welcoming the £30m Office for Low Emission (OLEV) announcement for 326 low-emission buses and infrastructure (routeONE News, 27 July) he says that while orders have yet to be placed, the firm is “actively engaged with customers.”The goal is clear, he says: “We all have a challenge of making this technology affordable, viable and operating without compromise.” He acknowledges that without the support of the Green Bus Funds and OLEV, we wouldn’t have the current quantity of electric and hybrid buses on the road.Launching its next generation – the StreetAir name will apply to all Wrightbus low-carbon vehicles – Mr Nodder says a battery-electric double-decker will follow along with a “new project” to be revealed later in the year.Adds Electric Vehicles Head of Product Development Jim Morrison: “Technology never stands still,” adding that this next generation of products will continue to evolve as fast as the technology allows.Two new busesWrightbus has taken its existing StreetLite EV design – the successful battery-electric running in Milton Keynes – as the basis for its StreetAir EV at 8.8m and 9.5m. In ‘wheel-forward’ form (door behind the front axle) the eight buses in Milton Keynes have clocked up 800,000 miles.The revised version’s range is 130-150 miles, depending on the route characteristics, with a maximum single-door capacity of 54.Its bigger brother – and the key subject of the launch – is the single-decker StreetAir EV at 10.6m. If it looks slightly familiar, that’s because it is.It uses Wrightbus’ StreetDeck integral diesel-double decker chassis, married to the strengthened roof section used on Wrightbus’ single-decker hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. This is required to carry the 1.5T of batteries.Available in single or two-doors, the latter has capacity for 72 passengers with a 150-180 range.A heavier future?Ultimately, the larger StreetAir could go to 12m, but only if weight limits are increased to 19T. Says Sales MD Ian Downie: “We will only build products that comply with existing legislation and that is what we have to work within.”However, BYD has obtained an exemption in London for its pre-production prototypes. This is not a route Wrightbus will pursue. But, says William Wright “Not having this limit puts us at a disadvantage against manufacturers from other parts of the world that already have 19T, such as China. We could easily go to 12m and we are calling for the government to make the change.”Battery technologyWrightbus is offering two battery chemistry and three charging options.Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC), with double the life cycle of a phosphate battery, is suitable for overnight charging and distance driving. It works best with overnight battery balancing and is offered for plug-in buses.Lithium Titanium Oxide (LTO) is suitable for rapid charge, such as hybrids or opportunity charging – it can cope with many more charge/discharge cycles – and needs less frequent battery balancing.The 2.5 years experience in Milton Keynes with NMC has proved that 17 hours service or 135 miles daily, with 12 minute opportunity charging, is achievable day-in, day-out.This uses inductive power transfer (IPT) – the contactless system using charging coils in the road at stops. The alternative is conductive charging using a drop-down pantograph onto charging rails on the bus’ roof, taking around seven minutes.It’s easy to buy batteries and electric motors and create an electric bus, but without a sophisticated BMS, it won’t work very well.All new 10.6m StreetAir battery-electric use StreetDeck chassis and Eclipse 3-style roofWrightbus has Active BMS under development. Based in the Cloud it is accessible anywhere via the web and shows a range of telematics. Aside from GPS and the route travelled, it shows battery condition, state of charge, current and past faults, and can provide alarms if there’s a problem.Remote live diagnostics is increasingly the way that engineering teams will track, monitor and plan maintenance for their fleets.Choices, choices…Another innovation is the development of zero-emissions heating systems, to avoid using a diesel-fired heater. One, a heat-pump is fitted to the two-door development vehicle, shortly to go to London for in-service trials. The other system has yet to be revealed. “We’re pushing the frontiers with technology here,” says ElectroCity Project Manager Robert Brayshaw.Other development is on a revised driveline. Currently a Siemens motor replaces the gearbox in a conventional driveline. An in-line motor arrangement is under development.In short the choices are different lengths (and hence passenger capacities), three types of charging and two types of battery. Wrightbus will recommend the best for each set of operating circumstances.On the roadA short test drive around a go-kart circuit revealed that both buses drive and ride very well. The StreetLite underpinnings of the 8.8m version retain the diesel cousin’s good road manners, along with precise steering and handling. Being smaller and lighter, it’s slightly quicker off the mark. Internally the Dana rear axle is quiet; this is offset by a gentle electrical ‘hum’ that doesn’t change in pitch or tone whether stationary or moving.While the weight on the roof isn’t noticeable, under hard cornering (not of the type you’d expect in normal bus use) there is some body roll. The test bus, which has been as far afield as Switzerland, has 6,500 miles on the clock.For both vehicles, an absence of noise and vibration that diesel drivelines mask means that other sounds become noticeable.At 65dBA, the 10.6m StreetDeck-derived version is 2dBA louder, but that’s mainly down to the noise from the ZF axles/final drive, which will be resolved shortly with some minor tweaks.It’s a pre-production development bus, but there was no electrical ‘hum’ and with the exception of occasional body creak, it’s very tight on normal roads as proved on the 20 mile road section.The interior is to TfL specification, and the rear’s DNA is clearly shared with StreetDeck, but with the attractive ‘barrelled’ roof of the single-decker Eclipse. The weight on the roof is not noticeable, either as a driver or passenger, despite being driven hard around the go-kart track.The regenerative braking on the 8.8m version is perfectly balanced for normal bus work, meaning the service brakes rarely need application. The regeneration software is still being refined on the 10.6m version, and it drives like a diesel bus, with more use of the brakes required.routeONE CommentThe experience that Wrightbus has gained clearly shines through in both StreetAir variants. With OLEV funding neatly meeting its production plans, we’d expect to see them on the streets next year. And we look forward to the EV ‘decker.Make no mistake, this is not the end of the story as Wrightbus’ continuous improvement is running at the same fast pace as battery technology. Not does the UK already have the largest battery-bus fleet in Europe, but it will also remain the most modern.
An up-and-comer for minicoach and minibus buyers is the latest-generation Ford Transit. Dealership David Fishwick offers a range of them to meet many needs, including accessible and minicoach modelsThe range of Transits offered by Fishwick includes several variantsLots can be said for the current-generation Ford Transit as a minicoach or minibus. It offers a respectable capacity and many options at prices that compare well with other models in its sector.Colne-based dealership David Fishwick supplies a range of Transit conversions to suit various applications, including minicoach, accessible minibus and even stage carriage work. All are proving popular.“We can do many things with a Transit because it’s an excellent starting point for conversion,” says Business Development Manager Matt Eames.Fishwick’s Transit range extends from 11 to 17 seats – with a wheelchair lift if required – and it includes a variety of higher-end configurations; as an example, recently supplied was a nine-seater with a large boot, a water cooler and a coffee machine.Transits are supplied by Ford as factory-finished minibuses. They are then converted to the desired layout without affecting the OEM warranty.Various base modelsThree base Transit models are utilised. The smallest, with a GVW of 3,500kg, carries up to 11 passengers, while the 4,100kg GVW long-wheelbase model goes as far as 14 seats. At both of these weights, vehicles are ordered specifically for the customer.Extra-long wheelbase examples are always in stock and thus finished conversions can be supplied quickly. GVW is 4,600kg, and a twin bench next to the driver delivers a 17-passenger capacity; with a single nearside front seat, 16 is the maximum.The largest Transit comes as standard with the highest roof option, allowing people who are over 6ft tall to stand easily. On all high-roof Transits, sizeable overhead luggage racks are factory fit and they have LED lights and, where applicable, rear air-conditioning vents.The heaviest Transit accounts for the vast majority of those supplied by Fishwick. To ex-factory specification, they have a payload of 1,589kg and a towing capacity of 2,100kg, both of which will be useful on luggage-heavy work.Transits well-equipped for their role and come with competitive price tagsTwo trim levels are offered: Base and Trend. The Base retails ex-factory at £26,995; the enhanced Trend has a £2,000 premium, but it is more popular because the value of its additional equipment more than outweighs that uplift. To those figures must be added an additional sum for the conversion work.Among the Trend’s additional items is independent saloon air-conditioning. Others include powered mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, parking sensors, metallic paint, titanium-effect grille and an upgraded driver’s seat.As standard, the Transit has a 125bhp engine, although a 155bhp option is available at extra cost, as are a rear-view camera, satellite navigation and a towbar.No automatic gearbox is yet available, and so all Transits come with the six-speed manual. All of those supplied new by Fishwick are Euro 6 models.Conversion workA basic conversion, which Fishwick calls the Operator’s Minibus, adds £1,000 to the ex-factory prices, putting a comfortably-specified 16- or 17-seat Trend at £29,995.This Operator’s Minibus includes PSV preparation – legal lettering, the addition of a first aid kit and a fire extinguisher, and the issue of a COC – along with relocation of the tachograph, lowered rear wheel arches and the addition of chrome trim. Additional options are available, including a boot in place of the rear row of seats, a powered sliding side door, and USB sockets.Fishwick is keen to work with buyers to deliver Transits that are suitable for niche applications. That is demonstrated by several that have been built for bus operators in the Outer Hebrides.They are configured with front LED destination display units and powered sliding side doors. They are covering high mileages in tough conditions, and are proving reliable.Accessible Transits can carry up to four wheelchair users at 4,600kg GVWAccessible alternativeThe Transit is a good base for a cost-effective accessible minibus, and on the 4,600kg GVW model Fishwick can offer a product able to carry up to four wheelchair users.As part of the conversion to accessible layout, the Transit receives a tracked Koller Smartfloor and a PLS cassette lift, and the seats are replaced with one of a choice of removable types.The latter point is important; the removable seats are lighter than those used by Ford, and thus the overall capacity of an accessible Transit is identical to an unmodified one.“We can do accessible variants at all three GVWs, but experience shows that buyers in this sector usually want the heaviest variant,” says Matt.“Even so, this year we will examine whether it is possible to uprate the 4,100kg GVW Transit to 4,250kg when a lift is fitted. That would retain a passenger capacity of 13 or 14.”Wheelchair-accessible Transits come with the necessary testing having been undertaken and the requisite paperwork to enable them to go straight to work.“On a 4,600kg GVW Transit, the cost of conversion to an accessible layout is £15,000, meaning that a Base model comes in at £41,995,” he adds. “The standard specification on an accessible Trend model blows many other welfare-type minibuses out of the water.”Fishwick converts accessible Transits in-house on a rolling programme, and the type accounts for around 20% of volume.Package for stage carriage work is available, including an LED blind unitWhy take Transit?The Transit’s capacity and the extent of its options list have made it a realistic option in the markets that Fishwick is targeting. Pricing and availability are good, and an anti-corrosion dipping process at the build stage will aid durability.Parts availability is via Ford’s extensive dealer network, and the manufacturer promises excellent fuel consumption.While its figures have been generated in a controlled environment, an unladen weight of little over 3,000kg at its heaviest and an efficient driveline should see in excess of 30mpg achievable in many applications.“We believe that the Transit will become a standard platform for many operators’ requirements, although for top-end and higher-capacity vehicles the Iveco Daily and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will remain the natural choice,” says Matt.“The Transit is so good that it has already taken a chunk of the 16-seat market. The gulf between the Ford and its competitors has shrunk a great deal in recent years, and it will continue to do so.”www.davidfishwick.com
Go-Ahead London’s Southend hop-on/hop-off commercial service is back this year, offering hourly services over a circular route in an open top bus.After the late May 2018 Bank Holiday the service then returns from Saturday 9 June and runs daily until Saturday 1 September. This means it will serve Southend for approximately six weeks longer than it did last year, with a higher frequency during the six week summer holiday, where it will run every 30 minutes*, as opposed to the usual hourly timetable.Thomas Drake, from Go-Ahead London’s commercial department and the driving force behind the service says: “We are very pleased Route 68 will again take to the streets of Southend, with an enhanced frequency during the summer break and an longer overall operating period. “This service has been really well received and we hope our regulars, plus some new users, take advantage of our competitive fares and improved timetable.”*with the exception of the late August Bank Holiday Monday (27 August) when the route will revert to hourly for reliability reasons.
Red & White Services, trading as Stagecoach in South Wales, escaped with a warning over failures to operate a registered local service and timetable problems after Traffic Commissioner (TC) Nick Jones was satisfied that the failures had been remedied by the time the firm appeared before him.Bus Compliance Officer Sian Thomas told the TC that monitoring between 4 and 16 January revealed an overall punctuality rate of 89.17%. Out of 223 observations during a subsequent monitoring, the only failures were 15 late departures. That equated to an overall punctuality rate of 93.27%.For the company, it was said that having experienced major traffic delays at the site of the University Hospital of Wales, a decision was made to revise routes to improve punctuality.Prior to implementing changes in August 2016, it received what it thought was positive news in relation to traffic management within the hospital complex that would further aid punctuality.Unfortunately, it transpired that it was not the case as the changes at the hospital simply increased the volume of traffic elsewhere on the route; negating any improvement in punctuality at the hospital.There was a relatively high degree of illegal on-road parking especially within the Caerphilly Borough Council area which was not enforced as effectively as the company would have liked. An additional feature contributing to timetable problems were major roundabout works. Another problem was that a bus lane was not laid out in accord with guidelines which resulted in insufficient road space to use it. That was eventually put right. Some of the failures were the result of staff misconduct, which was promptly identified, and proportion action taken.In his decision the TC said that the company had a large number of registered services in the area, most were not the cause of any significant complaint. He was satisfied that this was an operator that had sought to address the problems identified, some of which were relatively unusual. It would have been wholly disproportionate to have made decisions affecting the ability of the company to register further timetables, or to impose a financial penalty.Enforcement of timetable compliance was dealt with in a very different way in England, when compared to Wales. Historically, all traffic areas had a Bus Compliance Officer. However, the Welsh Government provided a subsidy to enable an additional two posts within Wales. The three bus compliance officers in Wales developed in a different way to their colleagues in England and their professional expertise was acknowledged as being to a very high standard. As a consequence, the standard of timetable compliance within Wales had for well over a decade been far higher than that within England outside of London.Existing legislation provided for a Welsh Minister to add to the list of sanctions available to a TC in the event of non-adherence with a registered timetable. Additionally, the Wales Act 2017 made provision for the relevant Welsh Minister to issue formal guidance to the TC in relation to bus punctuality. He noted that the Wales Act was yet to be implemented in that respect.
Stagecoach East Scotland has promoted its Commercial Director Douglas Robertson to the role of Managing Director.The appointment follows the death of former East Scotland Managing Director Paul Thomas last year.Douglas has more than 20 years’ experience within the bus industry, having started his career as with Stagecoach Bluebird in 1998. He then held management positions at a number of different organisations within the industry including First Edinburgh, Stagecoach Fife, Falkirk Council and Preston Bus before joining Transdev Blazefield in 2009.After taking on the roles of Business Director and Commercial Director at Transdev Blazefield he returned to Stagecoach in 2015 as Commercial Director with Stagecoach East Scotland.Robert Andrew, Stagecoach UK Bus Managing Director for Scotland, says: “Having been part of the East Scotland team for the past four years, Douglas has a vast knowledge of the business, the people and the network which will be of great benefit in his new role.“I’d also like to thank Jon Oakey for his work as Interim Managing Director. Jon will now return to his position as Financial Director, Scotland.”
IndianaNews Twitter (Photo supplied/Michigan News Service) GARY, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana school district has apologized after a teacher awarded an 11-year-old autistic student a trophy naming him the “most annoying male” of the school year.The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that a special education teacher at Bailly Preparatory Academy in Gary gave the boy the trophy May 23 during a fifth-grade awards luncheon attended by students, parents and the school principal.The boy’s father said his family was blindsided.Gary Community School Corp. issued an apology to the boy and his family in a statement Monday. Emergency manager Peter Morikis called it an “unfortunate occurrence” and noted that the district was taking disciplinary action against the school employees involved.Morikis declined to comment on the employment status of the workers. Previous articleHow do Indiana and Michigan rank for safety?Next articleEx-governor’s phone seized in Flint water probe Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications. WhatsApp Google+ Gary teacher awards autistic boy ‘annoying male’ trophy Google+ WhatsApp Twitter Pinterest Pinterest Facebook By Associated Press – June 5, 2019 0 314 Facebook
Twitter By Tommie Lee – July 3, 2019 0 723 IndianaLocalSouth Bend Market Facebook Google+ LaPorte Jaycees forced to cancel fireworks at the Fairgrounds Previous articleYour dog is probably not a fan of July 4th, but you can helpNext articleFormer Governor Rick Snyder withdraws from Harvard fellowship Tommie Lee WhatsApp WhatsApp Pinterest Pinterest Facebook Twitter (Krystal Vivian/95.3 MNC) The LaPorte Jaycees have had to cancel Wednesday night’s fireworks display, scheduled for the County Fairgrounds.ABC 57 reports that one of the workers setting up the display fell off a truck and broke his leg, according to an official with the fairgrounds.That worker, affiliated with the fireworks vendor, is the only licensed ‘shooter’ who is trained to set off the fireworks. Due to his inability to do so, the show has had to be cancelled.The July 4th parade will go on Thursday as planned.The La Porte Jaycees posted this statement to their Facebook page:La Porte Community,Due to a worker injury on site with our fireworks vendor, we regret to inform you that this evening’s fireworks celebration has been cancelled. Please understand that this is not an easy decision that we had to make, however we apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate our community and sponsors support.Sponsors, we will be reaching out to you directly very soon.Thank you for your continued support and we love our community and we will see you at the parade tomorrow. Google+