The father of a man who took his own life after be

first_imgThe father of a man who took his own life after being found “fit for work” believes his son would still be alive if he had not been failed by the benefits system the government and its contractor, Atos.Stephen Carre, 41, from Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire, died in January 2010, after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed its decision that he was ineligible for its new out-of-work benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA).His father, Peter, said his son had suddenly stopped working in July 2007, and then lived off his savings for two years until his money ran out in 2009. His parents then paid his mortgage until he finally began claiming benefits in April 2009.Stephen (pictured) had previously worked for the Civil Service and then various electronics and communications companies, including as a telecommunications consultant, with firms such as Cisco, Ericsson and Lucient, mainly on software installations which manage mobile phone charges.After he quit his job, he rarely left his home, refused to talk to friends and relatives, or answer the door or telephone, and often spent days on end in the same room, surrounded by his possessions.He finally began talking again to his father and step-mother, Frances, in early 2009, and in April 2009 they persuaded him to apply for ESA.Peter said his son had struggled to cope with his anxiety and depression, although he had a girlfriend he saw occasionally.He said: “He couldn’t go anywhere on his own for the first time. I had to go with him to his psychiatrist. He would only go to certain shops, and only on a certain day.”Peter even had to accompany Stephen to the assessment centre two or three times before he was comfortable with the idea of attending his benefits eligibility test on his own.ESA had been launched by the Labour government less than a year earlier, and concerns about the test, the work capability assessment (WCA), had not yet fully emerged.At his assessment, a doctor employed by the government contractor Atos Healthcare decided that Stephen failed to match any of the criteria for eligibility and awarded him zero points, when he needed 15 to qualify for ESA.The assessor concluded that there was “no evidence to suggest that the client’s health condition due to their depression, is uncontrolled, uncontrollable or life threatening”.When that conclusion was rubber-stamped by a DWP decision-maker, Stephen asked DWP to reconsider the decision, as he believed it “disagrees wildly” with the opinion of his GP, his community psychiatric nurse and his psychiatrist.On his appeal form, he wrote that the medical assessment “bears no relation to the medical I had”, and that the report was completed by the assessor eight days after the assessment took place.He found out early in January 2010 that DWP had agreed with its earlier decision, so he was ineligible for ESA.Although he began the next stage of the appeal process, he took his own life sometime in the next few days. His body was found on 18 January 2010.Frances said she believes Stephen had made a sudden decision to kill himself, as he had recently been shopping and there was fresh food in his fridge.Two months later, at his inquest, the coroner heard from Stephen’s GP and psychiatrist, who both said they had not been asked by the Atos assessor or DWP to provide details of his state of mental health.The coroner, Tom Osborne, announced that he would write a Rule 43 report, a letter warning of a risk of future deaths if changes are not carried out by individuals or organisations.In the letter, Tom Osborne said the evidence had shown that the “trigger” that led to Stephen’s decision to take his own life had been “the rejection of his appeal that he was not fit for work”.He added: “I feel the decision not to seek medical advice from the claimant’s own GP or psychiatrist if they are suffering a mental illness should be reviewed.“Both doctors who gave evidence before me confirmed that if they had been approached they would have been willing to provide a report of Mr Carre’s present condition and prognosis.”DWP were told of Stephen’s death by his father, but they failed to inform the tribunal service, so when Peter Carre attended the appeal on his son’s behalf, he brought Stephen’s ashes with him.Because of the inadequacy of the Atos assessment, the appeal had to be adjourned.The following year, the tribunal ruled that Stephen should have been eligible for ESA and that the form completed by the Atos assessor was “not a sound basis” on which to turn down his ESA claim because of the eight-day delay between the assessment and the completion of the form, while there had been “no indication how much [of the form] was completed”.The tribunal concluded that the Atos assessor’s report was “a suspect document”, because it did not appear to have dealt with the information provided by Stephen’s ESA50 claim form.Later that month, the manager of Stephen’s local benefit delivery centre, in Luton, wrote to Peter Carre and said she agreed with the tribunal appeal that Stephen should have been eligible for ESA.Peter wrote back, and told her there had been a “dismal failure” by both the benefits service and Atos and that he had attended Stephen’s tribunals on his behalf “to bring to notice the inept handling by the registered medical practitioner at Stephen’s medical review”.Peter Carre told DNS that Atos, its assessor and DWP had all failed Stephen.He said: “Anyone could have seen that Stephen was incapable of work. It is totally beyond me how they could have found him fit for work.“If they had gone to his GP or his psychiatrist, I have no doubt the result of his assessment would have been different and he would probably still be with us today.”In a written statement responding to questions from DNS, a DWP spokesman declined to comment when asked if ministers would apologise to the family of Stephen Carre.He said: “Suicide is a tragic and complex issue and there are often many reasons why someone takes their life, so to link it to one event is misleading. “Since this inquest took place under the previous government we have made significant improvements to the work capability assessment, including improving the process for people with mental health conditions.“The percentage of people with mental health conditions who get the highest level of support has more than tripled since 2010, and we will continue to ensure that those who are able to work get all the help they need to move into a job when they are ready.”He said improvements made since 2010 include “improving the opportunities people have to present medical evidence”.The DWP spokesman said claimants were “encouraged to provide all evidence that will be relevant to their case at the outset of the claim, including medical evidence supplied by their GP or other medical professionals, while WCA assessors are “expected to seek further evidence in situations where it would help them to place someone in the support group without calling a claimant in for a face-to-face assessment”.He said a DWP decision-maker will “assess all available evidence and seek more if required to reach their decision”.But he admitted that DWP was still in discussions with Maximus – which took over the WCA contract from Atos earlier this year – to “pilot new evidence-seeking processes for claimants with mental health conditions”.Atos refused to respond to requests for a comment.last_img read more

SF Four Barrel suspends business following sexual harassment allegations against founder

first_imgThe lawsuit also alleges that the company’s management dismissed employees’ concerns about Tooker’s behavior. One woman was fired after bringing up Tooker’s behavior with a manager. On Saturday, Tooker agreed to leave the company and divest from it, a note on the company’s website said. The note was signed by Jodi Geren and Tal Mor, the company’s current leaders. “ … we take issue with the claims being asserted in the lawsuit, and the mischaracterization of our current culture,” they say in the statement. The lawsuit claims Geren and Mor told employees who raised concerns about Tooker not to “raise drama,” the Chronicle reported.  A Four Barrel employee told Mission Local on Friday that she was contemplating finding a new job following the news. Some customers we spoke to said they would consider not coming back. Four Barrel Coffee suspended business this weekend following sexual harassment allegations by eight women against the coffee company’s owner, Jeremy Tooker, that were revealed Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, the Valencia store sat locked and dormant with a note taped to its door: “We are closed today, taking care of each other,” the note reads. “You’ll hear from us soon.” The Valencia Street store is one of three locations in San Francisco. The two other stores appear to be closed as well. Calls to the Portola location, as well as the Mill on Divisadero Street, went unanswered. It’s unclear how long they will remain shuttered.The lawsuit, first reported by the Chronicle, alleges that Tooker assaulted a female employee in a hotel room and forcibly kissed and touched others without consent. 0%center_img Tags: Business • coffee shops • sexual violence Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

Vacancies abound on Mission Street but less than half are for lease

first_imgBusiness was thriving when Marian’s Apparel first opened shop on 2046 Mission Street. But after 63 years of clothing and serving the community with its in-store credit system, the store was shut down in 2016. “The economy, the internet, and all the competition” led to the store’s demise, according to Joel Anker, who managed the store along with his brother-in-law. Two years, later the space remains vacant — an increasing condition along Mission Street: Mission Local counted 49 vacant properties along Mission from Duboce Ave. to Cesar Chavez.But, as is true with so many storefronts that look empty, not all stand vacant waiting for a tenant. In fact, of the 49 vacancies, only 19 are for sale or lease; eight are not on the market, eight are undergoing renovations, and 11 recently submitted permit applications or were recently approved to make renovations. The status of three vacant storefronts could not be confirmed. Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Vallie Brown last week announced the Storefront Vacancy Strategy, an initiative aimed at lowering the number of vacant storefronts across the city by streamlining the city’s response to the business permitting process.The initiative will attempt to alleviate the struggles many realtors face when leasing storefronts along Mission Street, and it theoretically would allow for more creative use of space, but specific restrictions remain. Large companies and businesses that sell alcohol, for example, will continue to face tightened restrictions in an effort by the city to fight gentrification and displacement in the area.Photo by JoeBill MuñozA microcosm of the vacancy problemThe addresses 2949, 2959, and 2967 Mission Street stand by side by side. Located between 25th and 26th Streets, the storefronts were most recently were known as The Fizzary, Mission Critter and Merlos Financial. Now they’re all vacant.The Fizzary, a retail shop with hundreds of soda options, closed in 2015 after three years in business. The storefront was subleased later that year to someone operating an illegal gambling den. Records from March show property owner Roberto Sanchez applied to change the building’s use from retail to restaurant. The storefront remains vacant.Mission Critter, a local pet shop, stood at 2959 Mission St. for five years. Then business slowed and Tim Costigan, the owner, closed shop in June, another victim of online shopping, according to Costigan. The 1,450 square foot space is ready to be leased for $2.75 month per square foot, according to Ed Maiello, president of Citivision Commercial Real Estate. He is working with HCM Commercial to lease out this space.“It’s hard to rent the space out,” said Maiello. “It’s not on the best block of Mission Street.”This kind of reporting takes real reporters – not bots. Support an independent press today. Merlos Financial once stood at 2967 Mission St, but Mission Local couldn’t confirm how long the storefront has been empty. It was sold in March of this year for $2 million, according to property records. It appears to currently be off the market, and no recent permit applications have been filed for this address. Neighbors could not confirm the status of the building. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter MAP KEY: For sale = yellow; For lease = red; For sublease = orange; Off-market = green; Renovating = brown; Permit in review or recently approved = black; Unconfirmed = purple.What used to be a coffee house and bakery business at 3017 Mission between Cesar Chavez and 26th Streets has now been vacant for about two years. The building owner, Philip Fernandez, said he does not know why the business shut down.After the bakery closed, new tenants planned to convert the space for restaurant use. But Fernandez said a contractor misled the tenants and they never managed to get the approvals needed to move forward with construction. It has remained without tenants for nearly a year now.Fernandez said he is in no rush to put it back on the market.The Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance years ago requiring properties left vacant for over a month to be registered with the Department of Building Inspection. Building owners would then be charged an annual fee as long as the space remained vacant. But the ordinance has largely gone unenforced. Planning Commissioner Dennis Richards said enforcement is an issue with any initiative.“When the Board passes something, they need to fund enforcing,” he said. “Without the enforcement funding, you have these rules that become kind of meaningless.”This lack of enforcement might change with new legislation introduced by Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer last week. If approved, owners of vacant storefronts would face tightened requirements, like paying four times the registration fee if they fail to register within the required time frame.Fernandez said 3017 Mission Street, part of a four-story building filled with corporate and local businesses, will probably end up being a coffee house or bakery when he puts it up for lease at about $2 per square foot.He blames the vacancy problem on Mission Street on tenants having to keep up with so many “regulations, rents, city approvals, and city fees.”That complaint became a repeated chorus as Mission Local worked to figure out why vacant properties line Mission Street. “The Mission is a very challenging place to bring new business,” said Santino DeRose, a managing broker at DeRose & Applebaum, a commercial real estate company. He lists zoning limitations as the biggest challenge because “finding contractors to go through all this is very difficult.”By “all this” he means the heavy permitting process that most realtors we spoke with want to be streamlined. It’s too early to tell if Breed’s new initiative will solve this. But restrictions are there. At present, many of the ground floor vacancies are limited to local retail businesses, even though, according to the realtors we spoke with, larger companies tend to have the time and money required to get through the city’s permitting process. “It’s the new entrepreneur that doesn’t have the money and time,” said Richards, referring to the long and expensive permitting process in the Mission and across the city. Those are the kinds of businesses the Mission community wants, according to Richards.But even small businesses need to apply for permits to get their sites up to code. Permits depend on the type of business they want to open.“I get what London Breed is trying to do, which is rethink our zoning,” said Louis Cornejo, president and founder of Urban Real Estate Group. As it stands now, “the city is requiring more retail — more supply than there is demand,” said Cornejo. “I’d love for businesses to be spending more on the Mission, but only certain businesses can be here.”Cornejo added that the large, narrow spaces available on Mission Street are difficult to fill — permit issues or not.“The only available product on Mission is too large for most uses, and then it only allows very few uses for that space,” he said.Take 2813 Mission as an example. It used to be a Western Dental, and then they moved down the street because they needed to renovate the space. “They found a better deal, and they didn’t want to renovate on their own,” said Alexander Kolovyansky, director of investment sales at Vanguard Properties.The building Kolovyansky is leasing has nearly 3,000 square feet of space on each of its two floors, according to, an online site for commercial real estate postings. The large spaces are “not for everyone,” according to Kolovyansky. “The people who can take those spaces are the people who also face formula retail.”Passed in 2007, formula retail restricts businesses with more than 11 stores anywhere in the world. If they want to start the 12th location in San Francisco, they must go through an additional public review process.Although these chain businesses have previously been approved on Mission Street, many simply don’t think it’s worth going through the process.“They just won’t go into the Mission because they’re scared of being rejected,” said DeRose. “And the neighborhood doesn’t really want them there, so there’s that.”Many realtors we spoke with agreed that people would rather do business elsewhere. “I really think San Francisco is in for a backlash of people leaving the city,” said Raoul Isaac, a real estate broker.It’s a sentiment several other realtors echoed.To alleviate these tensions, the Board of Supervisors recently approved a new Flexible Retail Use ordinance, spearheaded by Supervisor Katy Tang. The ordinance would allow different types of businesses to run out of the same space, including pop-ups — and it might help solve the large-space issue may realtors run into. This ordinance does not apply to the Mission District, but “each supervisor might want to consider this for their districts and make it city-wide,” said Richards. As with other initiatives in the city, legislation enforcement will be needed for this new use of space.That, once again, is also the case for another piece of legislation passed last week aimed at filling empty storefronts. Initially introduced by Supervisor Norman Yee and passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors, this new legislation will “help create affordable child care units for family child care operators in the ground floor space of new and existing mixed-use developments.”The ordinance is meant to be a compromise between building owners with vacant storefronts and home-based family child care providers who need a space for their business after facing housing displacement.Once again, permits will be needed to get buildings up to code. Child care facilities, per state law, must abide by additional, specific regulations to make buildings safe for children. “The regulations are important for the safety of the children, but it takes a lot for places to qualify,” said Kolovyansky, who has previously worked to find spaces for preschool businesses. “There’s a lot of good ideas but difficult implementation,” he said, because “unless it’s heavily subsidized, they still have to pay for a lot to keep the doors open.”Richards agreed: “They can’t open unless they have the right things in place. You’re dealing with children, so it’s a life-safety issue.”He likes the idea, though. “I hope that it’s successful. It certainly is a public use.”Public use is something Richards thinks about often when reviewing new businesses. It’s one of the reasons he said office use is not being considered for ground floor storefronts. “Office spaces aren’t active uses,” he said. “They aren’t open to the public.”If a business wants to put office space on the ground floor they might be considered only if they make the space available to the public in some way. He offered Umpqua Bank as an example. The bank, an Oregon-based corporation, has office space on their ground floor, but they also host night-time community events, making the building an active public use space. Even if the demand for office use were high, Proposition M, passed in 1986, caps the amount of office space that can be approved every year.And on Mission Street., the city’s planning code specifically restricts ground floor storefronts to active commercial use. No offices are allowed, unless they submit a permit application and undergo an extensive review process.“You can’t just go out and rezone the city,” said Richards, when asked if the city would consider changing zoning restrictions to meet demand for office or residential use. “There’s a long process.”Vacant lot at Mission and 22nd streets. Photo by Daniel MondragónThe Storefront Vacancy Strategy sponsored by Mayor Breed and Supervisor Brown does not amend zoning restrictions, but it will attempt to revise parts of the city’s planning codes. The strategy will be enforced with new legislation, new programs, and administrative reforms, according to the mayor’s office.To enforce the new strategy, Mayor Breed and Supervisor Breed introduced an ordinance the day after the strategy was announced that would make amendments to the city’s planning code.Businesses seeking to apply for a Place of Entertainment Permit, for example, would need to file an application with the Entertainment Commission who would forward the application to other departments who need to approve the permit. As it stands now, business owners need to independently seek approval from each department, lengthening the permit process.Several realtors we spoke with also mentioned special interest groups in the Mission make it difficult for new businesses to enter the Mission.Aside from zoning restrictions, “all the other impediments tend to be rooted in local special interest groups that try to make it more difficult,” said a realtor who declined to be named, citing company policy.“You’ve got local groups that are harassing local tenants, telling them what they can and can’t do. It’s unfortunate,” said Kolovyansky.Neither would name the groups they had in mind or provide further details. Others see such pressure as necessary to prevent the Mission from being overrun with businesses that do not serve the community. For those already here, many fear their own businesses might be the next vacant storefront. They blame increasing rents, parking restrictions along Mission Street that many seem to hate, and a changing economy.At Latin Bridal, business owner Silvia Ferrusquia, said she used to rent a space a few blocks away at 2631 Mission. She has owned the wedding and quinceañera dress store for 28 years.Now at 2644 Mission, she said she’s on a month-to-month lease because the building owner refuses to let her sign a longer-term deal. The space next door is empty, and the owner wants to keep his selling options open. With so many vacant spaces, she worries about the future of the Mission.“En donde esta la identidad de la Misión?” she asked. “El barrio latino? El barrio chino?”She doesn’t know how much longer she can stay open for business. Email Addresslast_img read more

SAINTS and Dewsbury are set to play their stronges

first_imgSAINTS and Dewsbury are set to play their strongest squads possible when the two sides meet this Sunday.Keiron Cunningham has indicated he will go with his best side possible at the match – and that will include all four of the club’s new signings.The head coach said this week Jack Owens would be at fullback with Lama Tasi, Dominique Peyroux and Theo Fages all featuring in the clash.Glenn Morrison at the Rams will match-up similarly too as he fine tunes his squad ready for the Championship season.“I am confident about the ability of the squad,” Cunningham said. “We are 12 months more mature too and I’m sure we can do something this year.“We’ll continue our preparation for the campaign on Sunday. We will start with a strong team and then mix and match as the game progresses.“Fans will get to see the new signings and then, as the match goes on, some of the younger talent in the squad. Only injured players will be missing.”Morrison added: “We see it as a good experience for the players. It’s an opportunity to test themselves against a top side on their own patch.“We’ll be going down there as strong as we can in order for us to give ourselves the best chance possible of producing a good showing.“We still have eight senior players on the sidelines with injury, and they won’t be available, but I’ll name the strongest side I can for the game.”Tickets for the match, which kicks off at 3pm on Sunday January 17, are priced at just £10 (adult), £8 (concession and 16-21) and £5 (junior) in both the Hattons Solicitors West & Solarking South Stands.You can buy your tickets from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.There will also be cash turnstiles on the day.last_img read more

Enjoy free family fun at Healthy Kids Day

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s time to get outside and get moving! Wilmington Parks and Recreation and the YMCA of Southeastern North Carolina have partnered up for Healthy Kids Day.This FREE family-friendly event is Saturday, April 28 at Emipe Park in Wilmington.- Advertisement – Kids of all ages can enjoy sports, obstacle courses, face painting, bouncy houses, Zumba and more!The day kicks off with a Fun Run at 9:30 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m.According to the event’s website, the live performance schedule is as follows:Related Article: Rescue takes in blind horse, its BFF donkey from Florence flood zone10 a.m. – Snipes Dribblers10:15 a.m. – G.I.R.L. Group10:30 a.m. – Zumba11 a.m. – Crossfit Reignited11:30 a.m. – ZumbaNoon – Ecological Marine AdventuresFor more information, click here.last_img read more

New gauge installed on Black River to help predict flood events

first_img Pender County says the gauges measure water levels to warn first responders and residents who live and work near flood-prone areas.The new gauge will join the more than 560 river and coastal gauges across the state. The Black River flooded parts of western Pender County on Oct. 11, 2016. (Photo: WWAY) PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Nearly two years after major flooding during Hurricane Matthew, people who live near the Black River in Pender County now have a better warning system in place to predict flooding.A new flood gauge, which provides real time data, has been installed in the river.- Advertisement – last_img

Pender County approves additional 600K for debris removal

first_img “Either you can get the trash removed, or you can resign for not doing your job,” yelled one man.At a county commission meeting, a contractor hired to remove debris estimated that 90 percent had already been removed.But the audience clearly did not agree, and argued that commissioners hadn’t approved debris removal on private dirt roads.Related Article: WARM discussed low-income home repair“A lot of those stories, and the heartfelt, and the pain they were feeling, they were able to get that off their chest,” said Daniel Blevins, who has been transporting supplies to those in need.After he and others addressed the commissioners, they agreed to do what people have been asking for, unanimously approving an additional $600,000 to remove debris from private dirt roads.“It was a standing ovation at the end of the vote. I think that says a lot about the people. They just want to move forward and this is a way for them to move forward,” said Blevins.Mathew Moore, who has lived in Pender County for five years, says he’s been amazed by the way the community has come together.“There was a lot of emotions for sure. It was a very emotional night for a lot of people.”Residents say there’s still more that needs to be done, like getting FEMA trailers.But most agree that this is a step in the right direction. BURGAW, NC (WWAY) —  Emotions were running high tonight at a Pender County commission meeting, where the main focus was storm debris removal.Pender County residents let their voices be heard Monday night, clearly frustrated with the way commissioners have handled Hurricane Florence recovery.- Advertisement – last_img read more

NCDOT announces when new Surf City bridge will open

first_imgSurf City Bridge (Photo: WWAY) SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — It’s been in the works for years and now the new Surf City Bridge will officially open next week.North Carolina Department of Transportation announced a grand opening ceremony will take place Tuesday at 10 a.m. for the high-rise bridge.- Advertisement – NCDOT broke ground on the project back in October 2016. The $54 million bridge replaces the existing swing bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway on N.C. 50/210 in Surf City. At that time, the bridge was expected to be completed by November 2020.The new bridge has 65-foot vertical clearance that will not need to open for vessels in the waterway, eliminating vehicle and vessel traffic delays from the bridge opening and closing.last_img

Wilmington man pleads guilty to three home burglaries

first_img Around 3:00 a.m. on March 18, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office responded to a break-in on Ashby Drive. The victim reported that he was asleep in his bedroom when two men broke into his home and kicked open his locked bedroom door. Once they saw the victim, they left the home stealing the owner’s TV. Investigators later found a cellphone in the yard that one of the suspects had dropped when running away.While detectives were on scene investigating the burglary, Graham and Marcquis Duren rode by the home acting suspiciously.Their vehicle was stopped, and deputies saw a large pry bar in the backseat as well as a jewelry box and coins. The jewelry and coins were from two other burglaries on nearby streets. The cellphone left in the yard was determined to be Graham.Related Article: New Hanover Government Center evacuated after emergency alert activatedSuperior Court Judge Kent Harrell sentenced Graham to at least five and half years in prison. Graham also pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge. Graham was ordered to pay restitution to the victims as part of work release and post release supervision.Graham’s prior convictions include Indecent Liberties with a Child, Felony Breaking and Entering, Felony Larceny, and Felony Drug Possession.Duren, who had no prior criminal record and was cooperative with law enforcement, pleaded guilty on December 13, 2018 to three counts of second degree burglary and three counts of felony larceny. He was sentenced to an 8-19 month active sentence followed by two consecutive 8-19 month suspended sentences, supervised probation, and to pay restitution to the victims. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man is headed to prison for breaking in and stealing items from three homes in March 2018.Randy Graham, 29 of Wilmington, pleaded guilty in court Tuesday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Carolina Beach town leaders support specific pigs as pets

first_imgCAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Town leaders in Carolina Beach saved the bacon by denying a change to the town’s animal laws.Town leaders had the request before them to ban Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs in town limits as pets. This came after a complaint was reported to the town code enforcement related to a pair of pigs. Town staff say this was an issue between a landlord and a tenant. The tenants had since moved from the home according to town staff.- Advertisement – Sandy Rundquist spoke before council to vouch for her pet pig Rudy, who she says is no nuisance to neighbors.“Excluding pigs is a drastic measure in my opinion for a one problem tenant, landlord situation,” said Rundquist. “A ban would only hurt people that have them here and care for them properly.”Council members like Steve Shuttleworth questioned why the issue made it before council, saying a text amendment to any ordinance should be based on more than one complaint.Related Article: Federal government cites NC exotic zoo over its animal careTown staff say the growing issue from the complaint was reported from code enforcement officers. They informed town staff that the pigs attracted flies and nuisance odors in the area around the home.Town council members denied the change in the end and said the issue should stay between landlords and tenants to resolve or if need be, animal control.last_img read more