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Limping Western Greyhound saved

first_imgTroubled Western Greyhound (WG) has been bought by Michael Bishop, the sole Director of Hampshire-based Black Velvet Travel Ltd, from WG MD Mark Howarth, his wife Mari and Robin Orbell.It follows the sale of WG’s Liskeard operation to Go-Ahead. WG was put up for sale two months ago, and faced closure if it did not find a buyer.The deal, for an undisclosed sum, includes 65 buses (operated by 133 employees) and the freehold of WG’s Summercourt depot. It also runs from a small leased outstation at Wadebridge.Says Mr Bishop: “The company has a very exciting future ahead of it and will continue to be a well-respected local independent operator. We have identified areas of the business that would benefit from further development and investment to strengthen the commercial future of the company.”Mr Bishop, who becomes MD, is joined by Adam Smith as General Manager. Mr Smith owns Velvet Travel and has a 10% stake in Surrey-based BETC Ltd, trading as Buses Excetera, where Mr Smith was Group Operations Manager. Mr Howarth will be a consultant to WG “for a period of time”.A former Director of Countryliner Sussex Ltd and Sunray Travel, both of which are owned by Merchant Corporate Recovery and are now in liquidation, Mr Bishop is also a Director of Swiftbus Ltd and RJB (UK) Ltd, which have been dissolved and are in liquidation respectively.Western Greyhound was established in 1998 from scratch and quickly built up a reputation for innovation, increasing frequencies, turning loss-making rural routes round through regular clock-face timetables and all-day, seven-day-a-week quality operations on core routes.It was a regular year-on-year industry award winner and grew at its peak to over 120 vehicles.It encountered difficulties in recent years with cuts in concessionary travel reimbursement, two arson attacks destroying 38 buses, flooding and bad weather last winter severely disrupting services, followed by intensive competition and losses of key staff.last_img read more

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‘Landmark’ Sheffield service welcomed

first_imgA new direct bus route from Sheffield and Rotherham to Doncaster Sheffield Airport has been welcomed by business leaders.The new 737 service from Stagecoach Yorkshire starts in September and will operate seven days a week, linking the Sheffield city centre to the airport with a direct route for the first time.Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, says: “The new service is very welcome and is another part of our growing local infrastructure, connecting one of our region’s biggest transport hubs with the heart of the city and with direct connectivity to Rotherham as well.” Dan Fell, Chief Executive of Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, says: “This is great news and yet another landmark step in the continued growth of the airport.“Doncaster Sheffield Airport is a unique regional asset – providing better connectivity to Sheffield will ensure that more people are able to access flights and, crucially, will help more Sheffield residents think about it as ‘their’ airport.”Richard Wright, Executive Director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, adds: “Properly connecting DSA and the surrounding business parks with the rest of the region is vitally important as we grow the economy and offer better connectivity for business people and visitors.”last_img read more

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TC refuses to return impounded midicoach

first_imgA bid by Huddersfield-based David Croft for the return of a 33-seater vehicle, which was impounded on 27 April, has been rejected by Traffic Commissioner (TC) Tim Blackmore after David Croft failed to attend a Leeds Public Inquiry.The TC said that his staff had received a telephone call the previous day from a Steven Croft saying that David Croft was not up to it and was not attending.For DVSA, Stephen Thomas said that in 2014 two applications for a PSV O-Licence by Paramount Travel were refused on financial grounds. A further application was made in 2017 with David Croft as a director and Transport Manager. That was also refused. Despite the lack of a licence, the company openly advertised excursions online. On 27 April the coach was stopped by Traffic Examiner Tony Wood while carrying two passengers. It was on its way from Brighouse to Huddersfield to collect passengers for a trip to Scarborough on behalf of Paramount Travel. No O-Licence disc was being displayed and enquiries revealed that there was no O-Licence in force. Ten tachograph records showed journeys by the coach varying in distance between 181 and 460km, all consistent with the provision of a coach service for the public.David Davies, the sole Director of Paramount Travel, had been the registered keeper of the vehicle since 8 March 2018. A DVLA check on 3 June showed that Mr Davies was still the registered keeper. There was no evidence that Mr Croft was the owner of the vehicle apart from a leasing agreement which he suggested was invalid, said Mr Thomas.The TC commented that that agreement was one that was more like one for a hire car, as it stated that Mr Croft would provide a back-up vehicle if the vehicle was in for repair.Mr Thomas said that the agreement only asked for a driving licence, which would suggest that it was not for a commercial vehicle.The TC said that the vehicle had clearly been lawfully impounded. On the question of ownership, there was no evidence of any money passing between the parties. He harboured concerns that the leasing document had been produced in advance of the hearing to try and show ownership of the vehicle by Mr Croft.He was not satisfied that Mr Croft was the owner. He had asked Mr Croft to provide evidence of the rental transactions, together with any evidence of the vehicle’s MoT, its insurance and of its purchase. There had been no contact at all from Mr Croft. On that basis he had not been presented with any evidence of ownership with the background of the linkages with the previous licence applications. His staff had received a call from Mr Davies who asked that if the vehicle was returned who would be responsible for paying the storage costs.last_img read more

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Senior TC Turfitt reminds Directors of responsibilities

first_imgSenior Traffic Commissioner (STC) Richard Turfitt (pictured) has reminded company Directors that the ultimate responsibility for an O-Licence remains with them, and that they should undertake regular audits of compliance, remain up to date on legislation and action any shortcomings discovered.Speaking at the Confederation of Passenger Transport’s National Coach Conference last week, Mr Turfitt adds that it is incumbent on Directors to ensure that Transport Managers (TMs) are exercising continuous and effective control.“I still see examples of TMs who have lost sight of what they should be delivering,” he continues. “But TMs should also expect things from their bosses. They need your feedback and support, they need the right tools for the job, and they need to understand their worth.”To ensure that TMs remain in control of the transport operation Mr Turfitt says that Directors should be asking questions of them. But company leaders should also discuss the O-Licence and compliance in board meetings, adds the STC.“Directors have the ultimate responsibility for the O-Licence and for the transport operation. They should have an inquiring mind. An operator’s O-Licence is its key asset.”Mr Turfitt stresses that TMs must be able to correctly interpret brake test reports. But it is not always the case that they can, which gives rise to concern among the STC and his colleagues. In test reports, percentages are required, not just pass/fail.Additionally, it is important that control of drivers is maintained to ensure ongoing compliance. With agency or self-employed drivers, that becomes more difficult than with employed staff, but it remains a responsibility of the Directors to ensure that it happens.last_img read more

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Former TV host pleads guilty in Indiana poaching case

first_imgIndianaNews Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Former TV host pleads guilty in Indiana poaching case Previous articleIndiana steps aim to make it easier, cheaper to quit smokingNext articleWater main break on South Bend’s westside, Boil Order in effect 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. (“Court Gavel – Judge’s Gavel – Courtroom” by wp paarz, CC BY-SA 2.0) Christopher Brackett, 41, former host of the Outdoor Channel hunting show “Fear No Evil,” has pled guilty in federal court to unlawful transportation of wildlife, in violation of the Lacey Act.Brackett, of East Peoria, Ill., admitted to killing two bucks within minutes of each other in Indiana in December 2013 while filming an episode for his show. Indiana law only allowed hunters to kill one buck per season. Brackett also admitted to transporting the larger buck, which he nicknamed “Unicorn Buck,” across state lines to his home in Illinois.The footage featuring “Unicorn Buck” appeared on an episode of his show in 2014. Brackett also took steps to conceal the taking of the smaller buck by instructing staff to hide video footage and destroy the antlers.As part of the plea agreement, Brackett agreed to 30 months of probation, and a ban of his hunting privileges worldwide for the same time period. He has also agreed to pay $30,000 in restitution and fines. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 5. Facebook Google+ Twitter WhatsApp Google+ By 95.3 MNC – July 21, 2019 0 375 Pinterest Twitterlast_img read more

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Man injured in Niles Ave. shooting charged with gun theft

first_img Twitter Man injured in Niles Ave. shooting charged with gun theft Google+ Google+ Facebook By Jon Zimney – July 28, 2019 0 293 WhatsApp Twitter Facebook (Photo supplied/St. Joseph County Jail) A 25-year-old man who was hurt during a shooting on Niles Avenue has been charged with theft of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a handgun, according to the South Bend Tribune.(Photo supplied/ABC 57)The shooting happened around 3:35 a.m. on Sunday, July 21, near Corby’s bar. Christopher Chism, 32, of South Bend died from a gunshot wound.One of the other two people hurt, Jarell Seuell, was in a vehicle that was stopped by police as the driver tried to leave the area, the South Bend Tribune reported.Seuell was taken to the hospital for treatment of at least one bullet wound.He was found to be in possession of a loaded semiautomatic handgun that had been reported stolen, according to court documents.Seuell was booked into the St. Joseph County Jail and posted bond.He is due in court on Aug. 8.A 26-year-old man was also injured in the shooting and was treated for injuries.So far, there have been no suspects named.Read more details about the shooting in the original story from the South Bend Tribune. IndianaLocalNews Previous articlePretzels Inc. to Expand in PlymouthNext articleTrooper saves Merrillville woman’s life, finds drugs in her possession Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Pinterest WhatsApp Pinterestlast_img read more

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Homeless man found dead near St. Joseph River identified

first_img Pinterest Homeless man found dead near St. Joseph River identified By Tommie Lee – December 20, 2019 0 313 WhatsApp Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Facebook Previous articleChild support increase coming for some Michigan familiesNext articleGrant puts more money into Indiana’s Medicaid to help addicted expectant mothers Tommie Lee Twitter IndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market (Source: License: The St. Joseph County Coroner’s office has identified the man who was found dead near the St. Joseph River on Wednesday.Deputy Coroner Sam Walsh says the man died of hypothermia. He’s been identified as 44 year-old Anthony D. Young.Investigators believe Young was homeless, and the Deputy Coroner says he died of the cold despite wearing a few layers of clothing, three or four blankets, and a tarp to keep warm.He was found unresponsive on a path near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and the St. Joseph River, between LaSalle and Colfax Avenues. Twitter Facebook Google+last_img read more

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Synthetic drugs under scrutiny

first_imgAs part of an effort to stem the rapid proliferation of amphetamine-type drugs, she will call for a rapid information system to alert authorities to new concoctions which escape national laws.Gradin argues that the wide range of chemical ingredients which form the basis of these drugs, and the equally wide range of finished products, makes them extremely difficult to control“To put it bluntly, you hardly have time to legislate against one chemical drug before a new version with a slightly changed content appears on the market,” she warns.According to the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs in Lisbon, up to 10% of 18- to 20-year-olds in some EU countries have tried amphetamines, ecstasy or LSD-type drugs, with vast numbers of youths taking them for the occasional ‘big night out’. These drugs tend to be associated withhigh-energy middle-class lifestyles, attracting a different kind of clientele to the traditionalheroin user, and Gradin feels they are particularly dangerous. “They are clean, look nice and have pretty designs,” she says.The ecstasy-linked deaths of teenagers such as Leah Betts in the UK have highlighted public sensitivities to the potential dangers of chemical drugs.But the resultant moral backlash – often confused – as yet appears to have had littleeffect on users, according to drugs experts.As well as the rapid information system, Gradin will recommend the creation of an EU-level committee “capable of evaluating the alarm reports and quickly sending the result on to the Council [of Ministers]”.She hopes that this might lead to “generic definitions of various families of drugs” within member states, so that any slight change in chemical content would not allow manufacturers to escape the law.The Commissioner says there should alsobe greater cooperation between police and the pharmaceutical industry, and closer east-west ties. Chemical drug manufacture is fast becoming a boom industry in central and eastern Europe, providing work for highly skilled and otherwise unemployed engineers. Polish police are closing down two factories a month, according to Gradin, and similar problems are found in the Baltic states.But despite their commitment to fighting these drugs, national governments may well view the Commission’s proposals with suspicion. Under the Maastricht Treaty, the latter has no right of initiative in police or judicial cooperation and some believe that Gradin’s proposals may fall into that category.On the other hand, growing acceptance among members states of the need for international cooperation – demonstrated at the informal meeting of justice and home affairs ministers in Noordwijk earlier this month – might soften their stance.“We will have to wait and see what form her demands take,” said one diplomat.last_img read more

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Greece sees Turkish threat to EU borders

first_imgThe fresh tension, prompted by Turkish military manoeuvres in the area, comes a month after Ankara’s pleas to be included in the EU accession negotiations to be launched in the spring were rebuffed at the Luxembourg summit.The Turkish manoeuvres, dubbed Flexible Pincer and designed to discourage Greece from acting on its right to extend its territorial waters from six to 12 miles, are expected to grate on Greek official nerves until their scheduled termination on 25 January.So far, both sides have refrained from risky tactics. Apparently acting on quiet advice from Washington, during the first week the Turkish Air Force studiously avoided what had been originally a key exercise area: the 19-mile gap between the Greek islands of Ikaria and Mykonos, which Greece claims as its exclusive airspace. But any one of literally hundreds of disputed barren islets in the Aegean could become the focus of a showdown as Turkey probes Greek resolve in defending its sovereign rights.The Athens government has so far shunned the temptation to rattle the sabre, with Greek officials simply portraying the manoeuvres as a piqued reaction by Turkey’s generals to their EU rebuff, while emphasising the implicit threat to the Union’s common frontier.This frontier, however, has its disputed points. Apart from the islets issue, Greece claims a ten-mile airspace limit over its Aegean territory which is recognised neither by Turkey nor the US, nor NATO in general. The gap between that and the internationally acknowledged six-mile airspace limit is regularly used by Turkish warplanes to test Greek air defence and interception capabilities, accompanied by loud Greek charges of airspace “violations”.The main, yet unspoken, issue is whether Greece’s modest military establishment is strong enough to defend the country’s 1,450 Aegean islands along a 500-mile front from Samothrace to Rhodes without denuding other defence sectors. When a showdown over the islet of Imia was narrowly averted by American intervention in January 1996, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis all but admitted that the military might not be up to the job.As long as that capability is in doubt, Turkey can be expected to continue probing at Europe’s shaky south-eastern corner.last_img read more

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Old and wise head for the sun

first_imgA Eurostat survey has revealed that pensioners are taking full advantage of their remaining freedom of movement to flock to the warmer parts of the EU.In the Voreio Aigaio region of Greece, for instance, 62% of people are over 65, while the figure in the Italian province of Liguria is 61%. By contrast, in Ireland, no region has more than 26% of people over 65 and Denmark has none with more than 28%. The survey does not, however, confirm the widespread belief that virtually all British pensioners already live in Malaga, Spain.last_img read more