20 Apr

Press release: Spring announcement due for A358 route solution

first_imgThree options were presented during consultation and more than 1,500 groups and individuals responded.The engagement will start early next year with the first of a series of community forum events with representatives from local authorities, parish councils, local businesses and community groups.Invitations to the community events will be issued shortly and updates will also be posted on the scheme web page.The Government is committed to upgrading all remaining single carriageway sections of the A303/A358 corridor, and together with the A358 scheme, Highways England is also delivering the A303 Stonehenge and A303 Sparkford to Ilchester schemes as part of the £15 billion first Road Investment Strategy.Planning applications for the latter two schemes have been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate.General enquiriesMembers of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.Media enquiriesJournalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer. Earlier this year members of the public gave Highways England their views on proposals to dual the route, which, with the A303, forms a vital link between London, the South East and the South West.The Government company has been busy analysing responses and in an update today said that further engineering and economic evaluation was required to help ensure that the route finally proposed is the right one.It also announced the start of new engagement activities with community representatives early in the new year to help ensure local people are kept informed of progress.David Stock, Highways England Project Manager for the A358 scheme, said: We’re very grateful to everyone who participated in our consultation, and we completely understand that people want a solution as soon as possible to the congestion and long delays they currently experience and the harmful impact on the region’s economy. The A303/A358 corridor is a vital connection between London, the South East and the South West, and we are committed to improving it, but we have to ensure we have the best solution possible. We hope to announce the preferred solution in the spring, we’ll be keeping community groups informed in the meantime, and the public will have another chance to comment on the proposals after we have developed the design of the preferred route.last_img read more

16 Sep

Badgers to take national stage

first_imgWisconsin will count on the help of senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell, who ranks second on the team in kills this season, against two ranked opponents this weekend.[/media-credit]The Wisconsin volleyball team will gain national attention this weekend as it travels to Ohio State and Penn State, two of the top teams in the conference.The Badgers will take on the No. 15 Buckeyes Friday and will then have a date with third-ranked Penn State Sunday, a match that will be televised nationally on ESPN2.Wisconsin will look to build on last weekend’s range of highs and lows. The Badgers beat Illinois Friday, something they had not done in five years, and then lost a heartbreaking five-set match Sunday to Northwestern.Together, the matches featured some of the best volleyball of the season for Wisconsin and also some of the worst in Sunday’s gut-wrenching loss. UW head coach Pete Waite said moving on from that disappointment will be key in the upcoming weekend.“We don’t dwell on it,” Waite said of the loss. “We won’t dwell on that because we did a lot of good things in the match. From the way we started to the way we finished was actually really good. We need to focus on the things we need to get better at.”Wisconsin will need to improve if it wants to beat an Ohio State team loaded with talent. The Buckeyes took care of Wisconsin 3-1 in Madison earlier this season. Ohio State is coming off a weekend in which it upset fourth-ranked Nebraska on the road and swept Iowa, part of a three-match winning streak.The Buckeyes are paced offensively by senior outside hitter Mari Hole, who leads the team with 4.06 kills per set. Defensively, they are led by junior libero Davionna DiSalvatore, who averages a team-best 3.85 digs per set.The country’s No. 15 squad also features a two-setter system. Wisconsin senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell said the Ohio State match is the first priority.“We need to focus on Ohio State first, definitely,” Mitchell said. “It’s a match that we know that we can win and our teams are very similar. We have to come back and beat Ohio State this weekend.”The Badgers will then take on perennial powerhouse Penn State after the match with Ohio State. The Nittany Lions made quick work of Wisconsin earlier this season in Madison, dominating the match to earn a three-set sweep.However, the Nittany Lions showed their vulnerability this past weekend, losing their first Big Ten match of the season to Nebraska by a score of 3-2, breaking a 15-match winning streak for Penn State.On the offensive end, Penn State is led by junior outside hitter Ariel Scott, who leads the team with 3.63 kills per set. Junior Deja McClendon adds 3.33 kills per set.Penn State is led defensively by junior middle blocker Katie Slay (1.41 blocks per set) and sophomore libero Dominique Gonzalez (3.59 digs per set). Sophomore setter Micha Hancock averages 11.61 assists per set and boasts one of the best serves in the Big Ten (41 service aces).Wisconsin junior defensive specialist Annemarie Hickey said despite their stellar r?sum?, the Nittany Lions are beatable.“I think on any given day and on how we’re playing, we can beat any team in the Big Ten,” Hickey said. “We need to have that confidence and know that we are a good team to beat these teams. It doesn’t matter if they’re ranked or how good they are. It’s just another team on the other side. We need to worry about our side and what we can do best to win that game.”The Penn State match will mark the first time since 2008 the Badgers will be featured on ESPN. The 2008 match was a loss to then-top ranked Penn State. Wisconsin is 11-7 all-time on ESPN network appearances, five of which have been against Penn State, in which the Badgers are 2-3. Waite said it will still just be another match.“Any match you go to, there are a lot of cameras and a lot of things going on,” Waite said. “For the most part, I just think they’re focused on the match and their opponent. It would be great if we play a great match and get the win on national television, but the biggest thing is us competing well and not being distracted by too many things.”last_img read more

3 Jan

Spector judge changes his mind

first_imgBut Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler called jurors in and asked them how the court might help them break the deadlock, which the foreman said is a 7-5 split without indicating which direction the panel was leaning. Several jurors spoke up, citing differences of opinion among them on the evidence and on the concept of reasonable doubt. The judge said outside their presence that he would have to tell the jury that deciding reasonable doubt is “an individual determination” that is part of the deliberation process. However, he later decided to withdraw a jury instruction that seemed to confuse a few jurors. In order to convict Spector of second- degree murder it required them to find that “the defendant must have committed an act that caused the death of Lana Clarkson.” It went on to specify that the act was pointing a gun at her, which resulted in the gun entering her mouth while in Spector’s hand. TRIAL: He says deadlocked jury would be influenced if he let it consider lesser charge. By Linda Deutsch THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The judge in Phil Spector’s trial retracted his idea of giving the deadlocked jury a new instruction Wednesday on a lesser charge than second-degree murder, saying it would be tantamount to telling them to convict the record producer of involuntary manslaughter. “I think some jurors may have a question about whether every element of that instruction must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” one juror had said. The judge said that after re-reading the instruction, he decided that it misstates the law and was going to withdraw it. The defense objected, saying he would be sending a message to jurors who relied on the instruction that they had been wrong in their opinions. Fidler offered defense attorneys a chance to present new final arguments on the issue but they declined, saying that would just draw undue attention to it and would allow the prosecution to present a new theory of the case. The defense once more moved for a mistrial, which the judge refused. The possibility of giving the jury a new instruction to consider involuntary manslaughter was raised by the judge after the impasse was revealed, but he ultimately reasoned against it. “We’d all like this case to get resolved and have the jury arrive at a result,” said Fidler, who cited the five-month ordeal for jurors, the defendant and the family of Clarkson, the actress who died of a gunshot in the mouth at Spector’s mansion in 2003. “But at a certain point in deliberations after the jury has arrived at an impasse, to give them a new offense ? is essentially saying to them, `If you can’t find him guilty with what you have, try this,”‘ he said. “It would be inappropriate to instruct the jury at this time on a lesser offense of manslaughter,” he said. The judge rejected strenuous arguments from prosecutor Alan Jackson urging the instruction and accepted equally vigorous statements of law by defense attorney Bradley Brunon, who noted that the prosecution had never asked for an instruction on involuntary manslaughter and would be changing their theory of the case in midstream. Jackson said he wasn’t changing his theory, which could be applied to manslaughter as well as murder. But the judge challenged him: “If the facts are so clear why didn’t you argue them? Why didn’t you ask the court to include lessers?” Jackson said it was “our strategic position at the time.” More than an hour of arguments revolved around interpretations of California Supreme Court precedents, one dating to 1904. Fidler had thrown defense lawyers into a panic Tuesday when jurors reported the deadlock and he suggested that a case he had found might support giving an instruction on a lesser offense. But overnight, he said, he did further research that changed his mind. He said a new instruction would be perceived as telling them what to do. Spector, 67, is charged with murdering Clarkson in his Alhambra mansion on Feb. 3, 2003, a few hours after she met him at her job as a nightclub hostess and went home with him. The defense maintains Clarkson, 40, was depressed and shot herself either on purpose or by accident.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img