A crucial report submitted to the United Nations by three national disabled people’s organisations has been criticised for failing to speak out strongly enough on the links between the UK government’s welfare reforms and the deaths of benefit claimants.The “shadow report” will be sent to the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD), which will question the UK government in public this year about its progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).The report, which is likely to have a significant impact on the committee as it draws up the “list of issues” it will raise with the UK government in public later in the year as part of the “periodic review”, concludes that there is “little evidence that government is consistently taking account of the [convention] in developing policy and making decisions”.It was drawn up by Disability Rights UK (DR UK), Disability Wales and Inclusion Scotland, with significant input from consultant Neil Crowther, who has worked at a senior level for both the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the Disability Rights Commission.It was funded by EHRC, and separate shadow reports have been published on Scotland (led by Inclusion Scotland), and on England and Wales (led by DR UK and Disability Wales).The report says: “Since the [UNCRPD] was ratified by the UK in 2009 there has been a dramatic programme of reform and public spending decisions that individually and cumulatively have severely impeded the rights of disabled people.“In some policy areas, practices are being encouraged or go unchallenged which are at odds with the principles and intention of the [convention], such as rising numbers of children attending special schools.”The report includes 20 “top issues of concern”.Among those 20 issues, the report points to how measures to reduce public spending are having a “disproportionate and retrogressive impact on the rights of disabled people”.This echoes the conclusion reached in November by CRPD, which found – followed a lengthy inquiry triggered by activists from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) – that the UK government’s social security reforms had led to “grave or systematic” violations of the convention.Among the other 19 key concerns, the shadow report criticises the lack of an overall government strategy on the inclusion of disabled children, and highlights the failure to counter negative portrayals of disabled people in the media, as well as the government’s failure to secure an adequate supply of accessible housing.The report also highlights the rising number of disabled people with mental health conditions and learning difficulties dying in state care, the absence of an independent system to investigate those deaths, and the significant increase in the number of people subject to compulsory detention and treatment under the Mental Health Act over the last decade.And it says that the absence of a statutory right to independent living “undermines disabled people’s ability to exercise choice and control in their care”.But the report says little about one of the key issues of last year’s UN report, which was fuelled by years of DPAC research and campaigning: the link between the UK government’s welfare reforms and the deaths of disabled benefit claimants.The report merely states that it is “concerned by evidence that suggests that the administration of social security benefits may have been an attributing [sic] factor in the decision of some people with mental health problems to take their own lives”.It says that this “may raise issues concerning the States [sic] obligation to protect people’s right to life”; and although it promises to “address this issue in more detail” later in the report, it fails to do so.Over the last two-and-a-half years, Disability News Service (DNS) has built up a substantial body of documentary evidence linking government ministers with the deaths of benefit claimants, particularly those with mental health conditions.Both DR UK and Disability Wales are paid subscribers to DNS, and so have received these stories throughout that period.Among those reports, DNS has repeatedly described how ministers failed to act on a coroner’s warning in 2010 that disabled people would die if they failed to improve the safety of the work capability assessment (WCA).A report by a second coroner and another by the Scottish Mental Welfare Commission showed that other disabled people lost their lives as a result of that failure to act.Ministers also deliberately loosened regulations that had been drawn up to protect people with mental health conditions whose lives could be at risk if forced into work-related activity.And ministers failed to show the 2010 coroner’s report and their own secret reviews into deaths linked to the WCA to the independent expert they hired to review the assessment.Neither DR UK, Disability Wales, Inclusion Scotland or Crowther have requested any of that documentary evidence while preparing this week’s report, and none of those concerns are mentioned in the report.There is also no mention in the report of Government-funded research by public health experts from the Universities of Liverpool and Oxford, which concluded in late 2015 that the programme to reassess people on incapacity benefit through the WCA was linked to 590 suicides in just three years.Tracey Lazard, chief executive of Inclusion London, criticised the shadow report, and said that an alternative report by the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance would ensure that these issues were properly addressed.She said: “The direct human cost of the government’s welfare reform policy, as so damningly evidenced in the UN disability committee inquiry report, represents a deliberate and systematic attack on disabled people’s rights and quality of life: attacks justified by an economic ideology that seems to view the support disabled people need as an unnecessary cost that needs to be eliminated . “The CRPD shadow report provides a key opportunity to publicly lay out an evidence base for the huge injustice disabled people are experiencing right now and no report can credibly claim to represent the voices of disabled people while overlooking the depth and impact of these attacks.“The Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance shadow report will fully evidence the extent of the injustice and attacks our community has faced and continues to face.”A DPAC spokeswoman said: “The UK government has repeatedly denied the causal link between benefit deaths and welfare reform and this shadow report presents no challenge to that disgraceful position.“It is an extreme insult to all the hard work that individual disabled people and our allies have put into exposing the facts and creating a robust evidence base.“If the authors of the shadow report disagree that the evidence base is strong enough then surely as organisations and individuals who purport to care about disabled people’s rights then they have a responsibility to put some effort into creating one.“In fact, they have had years to do so.”Asked to explain the lack of emphasis on the links between the government’s welfare reforms and the deaths of claimants, Crowther said he had worked as a consultant for DR UK and Disability Wales and so it was “for them to comment, not me”.Sue Bott, DR UK’s deputy chief executive, said the issue was raised twice in the report, which also endorsed CRPD’s findings, which itself “raised the matter of deaths of people following benefits assessment”.She said: “We chose not to reiterate the issues covered in the inquiry report, save to provide updates on some issues such as the [proposed cut to some claimants of employment and support allowance], in order to have space to raise other critical issues such as deaths in detention within the overall shadow report word limit. “On the issue itself, it is not clear from a legal point of view that these deaths would amount to a violation by the state of the right to life, hence the language we chose to use and our cross referencing to the right to health. “This should not be regarded as any downgrading of the seriousness of the issues raised.“We think the reports provide a comprehensive and robust account of current challenges facing disabled people and our rights in Britain today.”She added: “It seems likely that the [CRPD] will highlight the impact of austerity measures and benefits reforms when it selects its ‘list of issues’ in March and subsequently this will provide an opportunity to submit additional evidence. “We will explore the opportunity to do so at that stage.”She said the reference to providing “more detail” further on in the report was “a mistake that we overlooked during final editing”.
More than £2 billion in extra money for social care over the next three years – announced by the chancellor in yesterday’s budget – is “meaningless” when set against the scale of the funding crisis, disabled campaigners have warned.The spring budget contained few significant announcements on key issues of concern for disabled people, and there were no u-turns on two major, imminent cuts to disability benefits.But the chancellor, Philip Hammond (pictured), did confirm hundreds of millions of pounds in funding* to set up more than 100 more free schools by 2020 – in addition to the 500 already planned – a move that inclusive education campaigners say will lead to an expansion of selective education that will further discriminate against disabled pupils.Hammond failed to mention disabled people or disability once in his budget speech of more than 6,700 words.But he admitted that the social care system was “clearly under pressure”, and although he repeatedly referred to the needs of older people, and not to working-age disabled people, he announced extra funding for local councils in England of £1.2 billion in 2017-18, £800 million in 2018-19 and £400 million in 2019-20.He also said the government would publish a green paper on social care funding later this year.But Hammond made no mention of new amendments to personal independence payment (PIP) regulations, announced by the government last month following two tribunal rulings, which will tighten eligibility criteria and cut support to more than 160,000 people, particularly those with severe mental distress who need mobility support.The Office for Budget Responsibility confirmed in Treasury budget documents that the amendments to PIP regulations will save the government £3.7 billion over the next five years.Hammond also made no mention of cuts of nearly £30 a week to payments to new claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) placed in the work-related activity group, which will come into effect next month.Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) said the extra funding announced by Hammond would no nothing to address the social care crisis.A GMCDP spokesperson said: “The £2 billion announced in today’s budget to prop up adult social care over the next three years will do nothing to halt the massive cuts being rained upon disabled people trying to retain or access care funding.“With the Local Government Association estimating that local authorities will be facing a £5.8 billion shortfall in social care by 2020, the money pledged today is in reality a derisible amount.“The fact that there was not a single mention of disabled people within the budget seems to be in keeping with the government’s total disregard of the cumulative impact their austerity measures are having on us.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “Giving a paltry £2 billion for social care up to 2020 is meaningless when £4.6 billion has already been lost from that budget since 2010.“This also ignores additional pressures caused by an increasingly older population.”Disability rights activist Alice Kirby said she was “absolutely disgusted” that disabled people had been ignored by the chancellor in his speech.She said: “Disabled people were not mentioned once yesterday by Philip Hammond, despite every part of our lives being under attack by government cuts.“This is unforgivable. Hammond should have reversed the ESA cut and recognised that this will not ‘incentivise’ disabled people to find employment, but will force those unfit for work into poverty.“He should have also addressed the unjustified changes in eligibility for PIP which is expected to effect 160,000 disabled people.”Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of the national servicer-user and disabled people’s network Shaping Our Lives, highlighted the chancellor’s decision to increase national insurance for self-employed people.He said: “Ironically it is perhaps the hike in national insurance for self-employed people which in the longer term may have the most important implications of this budget for disabled people.“It shows that this government is quite prepared to ignore historical manifesto commitments, even when they negatively affect groups that it would most see as its own voters. “I mean the increasing number of people, including some disabled people, who have become self-employed, encouraged to do so by this government, seen by it as its natural electoral constituency and now seriously financially damaged by it. “This budget decision adds yet more people to the ranks of those, like disabled people, that the government is quite prepared to penalise in the interests of its own ideological preoccupations, adding to the numbers who in future may well withdraw their support from it.“There are indeed going to be many new alliances for disabled people to form, as this government alienates more and more people through its regressively redistributive policies.”Disabled researcher and campaigner Catherine Hale, who wrote a well-received review in 2014 on the failure of the ESA system to increase the number of disabled people in paid work, said the government had “buried without remorse” the “whole raft of cuts to disabled people’s livelihoods and opportunities”.Despite the booming economy, she said, the Tories “aren’t giving a penny back to the people who paid the most for their deficit reduction: [those who are] sick and disabled”.Hale, a member of the Spartacus online network, said: “When they say they want a country that works for everyone, they don’t really mean us.“The extra funding for social care is welcome. But there’s nothing in the government’s messaging to suggest it’s aimed at restoring the principle of independent living that was decimated by the closure of the Independent Living Fund, only on relieving the pressures on the NHS through bed-blocking.“No recognition that properly funding social care is a route to more disabled people in work.”Disabled activist Rick Burgess said the failure to mention disability was “ominous”.He said: “With the assessment regime revealed to be a fraudulent system of abuse, social care collapsing, and the UN condemning the numerous state-sponsored abuses of our human rights, that the Tories saw no need to address this, indicates they are happy with our persecution and intend to accelerate it.“And they perceive this to be of no detriment to their political support.“One has to ask are the 11 million Tory voters happy to be thought of as disablist abusers condemned on the international stage?”Disabled researcher Stef Benstead, another member of the Spartacus Network, added: “What can I say? The government doesn’t care about disabled people.”*The precise amount has yet to be confirmed by the Treasury, following confusion over contradictory figures in the budget documents
As 14 rent-controlled tenants of one Folsom Street building prepare to fight their evictions, housing rights advocates organized a block party on Saturday to support them. “There are a ton of evictions happening here on Folsom Street. There are buildings that are being demolished that are full of tenants,” said Maria Zamudio, housing rights campaign organizer for Causa Justa. “We decided to have a party with our community and neighbors to remind [people] why we are fighting for this neighborhood.”Zamudio and other advocates who hosted the afternoon block party drew a connection between rising rents, evictions and a number of market-rate development projects planned in the neighborhood.“Folsom street is being hit hard,” said Deepa Varma, director of the San Francisco Tenants Union. “These evictions are happening at the same time that a luxury development is being slated a block away. You can only imagine the kind of economic pressures that puts on the rest of this street.” 0% Tags: development • ellis act • evictions • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% While Ellis Act evictions, which legally allow landlords to evict their tenants in order to exit the rental market, are most prevalent in the Mission, activists said they are alarmed by a number of evictions specifically within a “two to three block radius” of a proposed market-rate development project at 2675 Folsom St. The project has been dubbed “the Fright on Folsom” by opponents, who say it fuels displacement. Throughout the afternoon, neighbors and passersby stopped on the block of Folsom between 24th and 25th streets to listen to music and speeches addressing the eviction crisis, and to show support for those in the middle of it. “We fight gentrification with our culture and our music,” said Susana Cortez of the salsa group Orquesta Adelante! “Let’s fight gentrification the fun way.”Photo by Lola M. ChavezDespite lighthearted moments as neighbors mingled and broke out in dance on the sidewalk, testimonies given by those whose lives are being uprooted by evictions set a more somber tone.“The future is very uncertain and my life is currently on hold,” said Leigh Ann Cavanaugh, who is one of the 14 tenants at 2820-24 Folsom St. facing displacement. “But we here to show that if you push us, we will push back.”Cavanaugh said she was touched by the outpouring of support by some tenants who also struggled with evictions but managed to stay in the neighborhood.“I’ve been down this road already,” said artist and Mission native Dogpaw Carrillo, who in 2015 was evicted from his Mission home of 31 years. “[The Mission] is a battle ground and I’m here to support [those tenants] in that fight.” Carillo said that often, the tenants who occupy rent-controlled units in the neighborhood are “artists, activists and long-term community members” much like himself. “Everyday I think about [having to leave] San Francisco. It is daunting when you’ve been in one place for a long time,” he said. “It’s a feeling of ‘the clock is ticking.’”After refusing an initial buyout offer made by their landlord around Christmas, the group of tenants at 2820-24 Folsom St., which includes seniors, artists, and fixed-income residents, have until April 2017 to remain in their homes.“Seeing the community come together for us today is an illustration of the fact that San Francisco doesn’t appreciate opportunistic landlords,” said tenant Brian Lucett, who is a teacher and has lived in the building for three years.Still, Lucett said that the looming eviction and legal battle has already taken a toll on many of the building’s tenants.“We have dealt with [a year] of uncertainty that has been full of anxiety,” said Lucett. “I’m willing to fight as much as I can, but none of us are wealthy by any stretch and court battles cost money.”Patricia Kerman and her roommate are two longtime Mission tenants who attended the block party in a show of support. Since 2012, they have been fighting two eviction attempts by their landlord.“The fight is more than personal, it’s for the city that I love,” said Kerman, who has been living at her 20th and Folsom residence for some 30 years. With the support of housing rights groups, Kerman has been involved in several actions, including a protest in front of her landlord’s office to draw attention to her own eviction. Varma said community organizing is a crucial component in fighting displacement.She pointed to the success of the neighboring Pigeon Palace, a six-unit apartment building at 24th and Folsom occupied by a group of artists, educators, and activists, who managed to avert displacement by staging actions to discourage potential buyers after their rent-controlled building was put on the market. Last June, they managed to buy their building at probate auction through the city’s Land Trust program.“They too were at risk of their house being flipped for a whole lot of money,” said Varma. “What we learned is that we don’t win if we don’t fight.”
SUPER League will break extraordinary ground next week with an innovative and perception-changing television advertising campaign to promote the start of the new season.Ahead of the big kick off of the 2013 season on the weekend of February 1-3, a specially-commissioned advert featuring some of Super League’s biggest stars will be transmitted in the Granada and Yorkshire Television regions.The 60-second ad is the latest phase of the ‘Rugby League of the Extraordinary’ campaign and will showcase the amazing exploits and talents of Super League players to millions of viewers.These include a bumper audience on the weekend of January 26 and 27 when the ad will be screened during the live FA Cup football matches on ITV.The first time the new ad will be seen is during ITV’s live coverage of the Stoke City v Manchester City tie on Saturday January 26 (kick-off 12.45pm) and then again on Sunday January 27 during live coverage of Oldham v Liverpool (kick-off 4.00pm).The ad will also be broadcast during the FA Cup highlights programme on the evening of Saturday January 26. Other spots will be spread through the week up to Friday February 1.Matt Lowery, the Super League marketing consultant who has engineered ‘Rugby League of the Extraordinary’, said: “The TV advertising campaign will expose the stars of Super League to a whole new audience.“It’s easy for some fans to take what they see on the pitch in a Super League match for granted: the ad is designed to convey the message that this really is a sport played by extraordinary athletes who are extraordinarily skilful, with great speed and energy.“Rugby League is a fast-paced, physical game that is hard to rival anywhere in sport.“The ad builds on the breakthroughs we experienced with the viral video which was a great internet success last autumn and I am sure it will be well received by all who see it.Almost a quarter of a million people downloaded the video on Youtube and Lowery is anticipating another positive response.He added: “Those who watched the viral had a huge appetite for it and how it conveyed the sport. There was a strong desire for it to be shown to a much a bigger and wider audience.“In the build-up to the Super League 2013 season we now have that opportunity and hope to reach three million adults on several occasions.”The advertisement features a range of Super League players, including our very own James Roby.The aim of the campaign is to take the excitement of Rugby League to a wider audience.Research conducted following the ‘Rugby League of the Extraordinary’ online and poster campaign around last season’s Super League Grand Final has indicated it was successful in changing the perception of non-Rugby League fans and increasing their likelihood to attend matches in the future.For more information and videos from the campaign visit www.extraordinaryrugby.com
Josh Simms bagged a brace and landed what proved to be the crucial conversation in a first 40 that saw Derek Traynor’s side lead 14-6.The Dragons pulled one back early in the second half and then hit the front after Ben Sims was stretched off with a neck injury.But Hazard’s late intervention sealed a deserved win.Josh Simm crossed for the first of his brace in the eighth minute as he took a neat offload from Tom Nisbet.Mathieu Cozza replied with a solid run down the middle that Saints were powerless to stop before Alex Eckley did the damage to set up the space for Nisbet to go over in the corner.And on the half hour mark Simm bulldozed over again after he chased an innocuous looking Elliot Jenkins’ kick.Saints should have made better use of two gilt edged chances early in the second half – but it was Catalans who scored first.Tom Nisbet lacked a little support as he broke from 20 metres off his own line and then couple of minutes later Joe Sharratt made an excellent break, coupled with three sidesteps, only to throw the ball into the hands of Guillaume Gorka.Ben Sims came off worse in a collision that saw the youngster put in a neck brace and sent to hospital, but thankfully he was later discharged and allowed to travel home with his teammates.The disruption affected Saints too as it allowed Robin Brochon to take advantage to score in the corner – Arthur Mourgue kicking it off the touchline.But anything other than a Saints win would have been a travesty and with the game entering its final stages Callum Hazard snatched it for the visitors with a piece of opportunism.Catalan lost the ball in their own half and the prop was on hand to put down.The coaching staff were pleased with Tom Nesbit and Josh Simm after the game and in particular pointed out the efforts and strong running of Alex Eckley and Jorge Lewtas too.A great win and a great confidence booster!Match Summary:Dragons: Tries: Cozza, Gorka, Brochon, Goals: Mourage (2 from 3)Saints: Tries: Simm (2), Nisbet, Hazzard Goals: SimmHT: 6-14 FT: 16-18Teams:Dragons: 1. Atba; 2. Brochon, 3. Carre, 4. Laguerre, 5. Gorka; 6. Lacans, 7. Mourgue; 8. Rouge, 9. De Macedo, 10. Vailhen, 11. Le Cam, 12. Delor, 13. Cozza. Subs: 14. Salabio, 15. Scimone, 16. Berdu, 17. Osuna.Saints: 1. Welsby; 2. Nisbet, 3. Brown, 4. Simm, 5. Hutchings; 6. Wingfield, 7. Jenkins; 8. Eckley, 9. O’Neill, 10. Hazard, 11. Follin, 12. Sims, 13. Royle. Subs: 14. Nash, 15. Sharratt, 16. Lewtas, 17. Horridge.
The residents of Lanvale Forest have dealt with this for years, after the original developer lost the community to foreclosure. They say it won’t get better with the developer’s plans to build another phase of the subdivision.“I think they’ll just get worse with all the equipment coming through here to build the 40 homes and so something needs to be done first.Brunswick County said developer Pat Mckee could not move forward with the new phase until the roads are paved in Lanvale Forest’s first two phases. For months, McKee and the residents here have discussed annexing into the Town of Leland. McKee is moving ahead with plans to add phase three, which he controls totally, into the town. But it could take a couple years before that happens for the people who live here now.Related Article: FEMA reimburses Leland for hurricane debris cleanup“Leland wants to annex us, we want to be annexed. But we need 100 percent of the vote of the homeowners and that’s impossible,” Bosley said.The Town of Leland says the applicant, M&JM incorporated, requested a delay due to boundary issues. McKee says there is some legal technicalities they needed to fulfill. 00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not foundhttps://cdn.field59.com/WWAY/1506639007-8d6b7ead544a08c51ca508b35f612d1cf4683d8a_fl9-720p.mp4 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Many neighbors in Lanvale Forest are upset and want help with the roads. But some are just hoping their concerns will not be forgotten. From manhole cover to sinkholes, homeowners like Bill Bosley are sick of their neighborhood’s poor road conditions.“We have to dodge the manhole covers because they stick out anywhere from an inch to three inches above the surface of the road, and then we have to dodge the sinkholes themselves where the water collects to supposedly drain off the roads,” Bosley said.- Advertisement –
The Sharks collected basketballs, baseballs, bats and much more to distribute to local charities who are in need of new gear.During the collection Santa Clause made a special appearance to help decorate a Christmas tree and collect donations.This was the first time the Sharks have done this event, but they hope to do it again next year.Related Article: Fairey’s walk-off lifts the Sharks past Holly SpringsSome of the organizations that will benefit from this event are Miracle League of Wilmington and Brigade Boys and Girls Club of Wilmington. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Sharks worked together during the off season collecting new and slightly used sports equipment to give back and show their support to the community during their Santa Jaws event.The event was held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Buck Hardee Field at Legion Stadium.- Advertisement –
They are given a personal shopper, provided fully catered food, outfitted with accessories and shoes and more.In its inaugural year, Grace helped five New Hanover County high schools and 30 girls.There are appointments on March 17 and April 21 this year.Related Article: Chorus teacher recognized as WWAY’s Teacher of the WeekEmail firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. Prom dresses (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Making dreams happen one dress at a time. That’s Grace United Methodist Church’s mission with its second annual Cinderella’s Closet Ministry.Grace collects gently used formal wear, shoes, and accessories from the community, and during a “shopping day” high school girls in the area who may not have the resources to afford prom find the dress of their dreams.- Advertisement –
The first question asked if individual teachers want to carry a firearm at school. 66.80 percent of teachers said no. 23.18 percent said yes, and 10.02 percent said they weren’t sure.The second question in the survey asked if they would like certain teachers or administrators at school to have access to guns. 50.40 percent said no, 39.68 percent said yes, and 9.92 percent said they were unsure.NC Teachers Surveyed on Guns in the ClassroomRelated Article: Linked by pain: 2 school massacre survivors, dad kill selvesState Superintendent Mark Johnson isn’t comfortable with teachers carrying guns, but he strong supports armed SROs.“I support the expansion of funding for more school resource officers. Firearms on school grounds should be in the hands of these trained, uniformed law-enforcement professionals who courageously choose a career protecting citizens from violent threats,” says Johnson.North Carolina Public Schools says it’s the most responses it’s received since survey started last August. (Cutout Photo: Ilmicrofono Oggiono / Flickr / CC BY 2.0) (WFMY) — Most North Carolina teachers say they would not like carrying a gun at school, according to a new survey by North Carolina Public Schools.Every teacher in North Carolina received a two-question survey from the state regarding firearms inside classrooms. More than 19,000 responded.- Advertisement –
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The NC Department of Health and Human Services reports 13 more people in the state died from the flu last week.That brings the total number of flu deaths this season, which started Sept. 30, 2018, to 68 in North Carolina.- Advertisement – The 13 deaths during the week ending Feb. 16 is the second highest total behind the 17 deaths reported one week earlier.According to state data, all 68 deaths have been in adults with most among patients 65 years old or older.NCDHHS says influenza-like illness (ILI) decreased slightly last week, but it was still categorized as widespread across North Carolina.