Delmarva Public Radio News

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - The father of a black student slain while visiting a neighboring university says he's too consumed by shock to fully grasp the implications of the "horrific and senseless act."

Richard Collins Jr. tells WRC-TV that he's "in no place to feel very many emotions beyond sadness and just (a) deep sense of personal loss." Collins describes his son, Richard Collins III, as a competitor with "a loving and giving heart."

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Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver has named Dawn Parks to head up the Finance Department on an interim basis.

She replaces Leslie Lewis who was fired by Culver last week.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports it’s not the first time Parks has filled in.

She is a veteran of the Finance Department including serving as acting finance director two years ago.

Lewis was dismissed last week without explanation and her departure comes as the county begins its budget deliberations.

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Delaware lawmakers voted to cut the tax break enjoyed by senior citizens on their property by $100.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that many of the members of the Joint Finance Committee said they reluctantly did so.

They cited the prospect of a $400 million budget shortfall as a reason for the reduction.

But there were three dissenting votes with Representative William Carson calling it wrong to take this money away from seniors.  

The move will cut the maximum tax break from $500 to $400 on their property tax bill.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Health Care Foundation has announced a new $1.5 million program designed to increase access to mental health care for uninsured residents and those with little to no medical care.

Richmond Times Dispatch reports Beyond Blue was revealed on Monday as a two-year initiative beginning this summer. It will focus on the number of psychiatric nurse practitioners in Virginia, treating depression in diabetic patients and implementing a trauma-informed care approach.

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BOONSBORO, Md. (AP) - A Maryland high school senior has been barred from participating in her school's graduation ceremony because she is pregnant.

Media outlets report 18-year-old Maddi Runkles discovered she was pregnant in January. The teen attends Heritage Academy, a small private Christian school in Hagerstown. Upon Runkles' pregnancy announcement, school officials also suspended her for two days and removed Runkles from her student council position.

Runkles says she feels she has been treated more harshly than students who have been suspended for other reasons.

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Whales are the largest animals on the planet, but they haven't always been giants. Fossil records show that ancient whales were much smaller than the currently living behemoths.

So when did whales get so big, and how?

A new study suggests it might be due to changes in climate that affected the food that some whales eat: krill and small fish. Instead of being spread throughout the ocean, lots of krill started being packed into a small area. Bigger whales were simply more efficient at eating the dense pockets of krill, and they beat out their smaller cousins.

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Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Monday’s terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, has been dubbed an attack on many things, including freedom of expression.  

Pakistani American writer Rafia Zakaria says it was also an attack on culture.

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Tony Gentile/Reuters 

The differences between Donald Trump and Pope Francis are stark. And at times, those differences have erupted into a full public display.

But don’t expect fireworks when the two world leaders finally get together at the Vatican on Wednesday morning for their first one-on-one meeting.

“Pope Francis isn’t a confrontational or fireworks kind of guy,” says Meghan Clark, an assistant professor of moral theology at St. John’s University in New York.

“The disagreements are known,” Clark says.

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Richard Hall/The World

More than 50,000 migrants have tried to cross the Mediterranean to Europe this year. Many survived thanks partly to all the seaborne humanitarian personnel patrolling these waters.

They saved more than 1,550 migrants in the Mediterranean on Tuesday alone.

Save the Children took aboard 551 migrants from different boats that needed help after launching from Libya — one of the organization's biggest single-day hauls yet this year.

Leaders of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say they have issued subpoenas for documents from two businesses operated by former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in remarks to reporters, said the subpoenas were sent to Flynn Intel LLC and Flynn Intel, Inc. with a specific list of documents they are seeking. The senators did not say what to what those documents relate.

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