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House of Representatives

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney is eyeing a revamp of Delaware's economic development efforts, possibly replacing a cabinet-level state office with a public-private partnership.

In his first official public act after taking the oath of office Tuesday, Carney on Wednesday signed an executive order creating a working group to study the feasibility of replacing the Delaware Economic Development Office with a partnership that includes private sector business leaders.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam has a slight early lead in the money race in Virginia's closely watched 2017 gubernatorial contest.

New campaign finance reports filed late Tuesday show Northam raising more than $1.6 million in the last half of 2016. Ed Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chairman who is his party's establishment favorite for the GOP nomination, raised nearly $1.5 million.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group of Virginia lawmakers says there is bipartisan support for reforming the state's mental health care system and the way inmates receive treatment.

Several lawmakers held a news conference Wednesday to discuss reform measures put forward this session. They were joined by family members of Jamycheal Mitchell, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and died in a Portsmouth jail after his arrest for stealing $5 worth of junk food.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Associated Press has obtained documents that show that the U.S. Department of Justice advised the office of Virginia's top prosecutors how it can work around strict federal rules for spending money seized in investigations.
 
Law enforcement agencies participating in investigations with federal counterparts can share proceeds of seized assets under "Equitable Sharing" programs run by the Justice Department and The U.S. Department of the Treasury. Both agencies have clear rules that generally prohibit the use of such money for salaries and pay raises.

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The Delaware congressional delegation be attending the presidential inauguration and will not be joining many of their other Democratic colleagues who have chosen to boycott the ceremonies.

Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons along with Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester plan to show up for the event.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Coons say he believes it is important to witness the peaceful transfer of power that so many other countries do not experience.

But the Delaware Democrat said he understood why his colleagues have decided not to attend.

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This Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump with see a contingent of Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputies.

Sheriff Mike Lewis told the Salisbury Daily Times that he is sending 25 of his deputies to provide security for the ceremonies.

But he told the paper that he did have some concerns given the tens of thousands of protesters expected to show up even though he believes they will be peaceful.

Lewis was a prominent local supporter of Trump during last year’s presidential election.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers say Gov. Larry Hogan is using some of the state's Rainy Day Fund to fill budget holes.

Lawmakers from both parties met at the governor's residence Tuesday morning to get a briefing on Hogan's budget proposal.

Sen. Richard Madaleno, a Democrat, says about $177 million in Rainy Day Funds help balance the budget. The fund contains more than the targeted amount of 5 percent of the state budget.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller says there are less cuts than lawmakers expected, and education is fully funded.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia inmate scheduled to be put to death this week for the slayings of two young girls has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution.

Ricky Gray filed an emergency appeal with the high court on Tuesday. Gray is scheduled to be executed Wednesday for the slayings of 9-year-old Stella Harvey and her 4-year-old sister Ruby. Gray was convicted of killing the girls and their parents at their home on New Year's Day 2006.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State public health officials are offering a final round of flu shots as they encourage Delawareans to get vaccinated.

Officials are holding their annual free flu vaccination event in Legislative Hall on Wednesday, the final community flu clinic for the 2016-2017 flu season.

Officials remind Delawareans that flu vaccinations also are available through doctors, pharmacies, many grocery stores, and public health clinics located at state service centers.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A record number of people visited Virginia state parks in 2016.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office announced Tuesday that park attendance rose 12 percent from the year before, with more than 10 million visitors.

State officials credited good weather, lower gas prices and a year-long celebration of the parks' 80th anniversary for the uptick in visitors.

Virginia has 37 state parks, including the newly opened Natural Bridge State Park in Rockbridge County. State officials say the parks have a $222 million impact on the state's economy.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker wants to allow hundreds of thousands of Virginians with suspended driver's licenses due to unpaid court debts to be able to get restricted licenses so they can continue to work.

The proposal is an alternative to one of Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's top legislative priorities: limiting the state's ability to suspend driver's licenses for unpaid court debts or for crimes unrelated to driving. McAuliffe has said 650,000 Virginians have lost their license for not being able to pay court-related debts.

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Judge Paula Price has been named by Governor Larry Hogan to Circuit Court in Somerset.

Hogan praised Price for her extensive legal background.

Price has been a judge for the District Court of Somerset County since 2009.

She began her legal career with a Salisbury law firm and graduated from Salisbury University and received her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Amazon is announcing plans to open a facility in North East, Maryland.

Amazon made the announcement Tuesday for the 1.2-million-square-foot fulfillment center.

Amazon now employs more than 3,000 associates at its fulfillment and sortation centers in Baltimore and plans to create 700 new positions at its third Maryland facility.

Employees at the North East fulfillment center in Cecil County will pick, pack and ship larger items such as big-screen televisions, kayaks and patio furniture.

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DOVER, Del. (AP/WSCL) - Democrat John Carney has been sworn in as Delaware's 74th governor.
 
Carney and Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, also a Democrat, took their oaths of office Tuesday morning in a rain-soaked ceremony on the steps of Legislative Hall.
 

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Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin says he will not join fellow progressive Democrats in boycotting the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump.

He told the Baltimore Sun that he saw this as his constitutional duty to attend.

The Takoma Park Democrat added he did not view this as support for Trump’s programs.

His fellow Democrat representative Anthony Brown has announced he will not attend the ceremonies while Representative Elijah Cummings has said he has not decided yet.

House of Representatives

John Carney will be officially sworn in as governor at Legislative Hall today replacing Jack Markell who defeated him eight years ago in the Democratic Primary.

The event is set to kick off at 11 a.m. with the swearing in of Lt. Governor-Elect Bethany Hall Long.

The ceremony will be held on the east side of statehouse for the first time.

WBOC that will allow officials to take advantage of renovations that were made in the 1990’s.

A Dover city official said this will ease the traffic congestion cutting down on the number of street closures.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown is joining the growing list of Democrats who plan to boycott President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday.

Brown, who represents suburban Washington in Maryland's 4th Congressional District, said Monday that he would be skipping the inauguration. More than 30 House Democrats plan to do so.

The number of lawmakers who have pledged not to attend increased after Trump lashed out at Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia on Saturday for challenging Trump's legitimacy to be the next president.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A rally is planned this week to welcome Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, back to Delaware after eight years in Washington.

The "welcome home" rally is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Chase Center in Wilmington. The Wilmington News Journal reports the Bidens are expected to attend Friday's inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump and then return to Wilmington by train.

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There was singing, dancing, speeches and poems as the Salisbury High School Association put on a three hour event at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center yesterday to mark the Martin Luther King Junior holiday.

Jerome Hudson who hosted the breakfast said that education was the key to the slain civil rights leader’s dream.

18 year old Raekwon Dashield who sang at the event told the Salisbury Daily Times that without King and the civil rights movement he would not be able to perform where he wants before a diverse audience.

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Two groups are appealing the recent permit issued by state officials to allow the shipment of up to 10 thousand barrels of unblended ethanol per day from the Delaware City Refinery.

The appeal has been filed by Delaware Audubon and the League of Women Voters.

They are asking the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board to reject the decision by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki has outlined a plan to help curb an increase in violent crime in the city.

Purzycki and Police Chief Bobby Cummings said in a news release that new policing actions will be taken immediately to address the recent spike in violence.

10 people were shot in Wilmington in the first two weeks of the year. This past weekend, police responded to three shootings, including one murder.

Effective immediately, police will implement an anti-violence police overtime strategy to deploy more officers to high crime areas.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A year after a rare compromise on gun legislation, a more familiar standoff seems likely at the Virginia General Assembly.

Advocates both for gun control and gun rights swarmed the Capitol Monday to advocate for and against gun-related legislation.

Gun rights advocates are pushing for fewer restrictions on where guns can be carried, including in schools. Gun control advocates want universal background checks on gun purchases. Both sides have uphill battles, as there's been no indication of any type of compromise brewing between lawmakers.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Slants aren't exactly a household name when it comes to music, but the Asian-American rock band has made its mark in the legal world.

The Oregon-based group has spent years locked in a First Amendment battle with the government, which refuses to register a trademark for the band's name because it's considered offensive to Asians.

That fight will play out Wednesday in the nation's highest court as the justices consider whether a law barring disparaging trademarks violates the band's free-speech rights.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Senate committee has voted down legislation supporters say would cut electric rates.

The Senate's Commerce and Labor Committee voted Monday to scuttle a bill by Sen. Chap Petersen to undo a 2015 law and revive the state's ability to lower the base rates of electric monopolies.

Virginia temporarily suspended its ability in 2015 to adjust the base rates of Dominion Virginia Power and Appalachian Power over concerns of carbon emission regulations.

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Across Delmarva local communities are marking the Martin Luther King Junior holiday.

Here in Salisbury a celebration will take place at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center.

It’s called the 31st Annual Youth Activity presented by the Salisbury High School Association.

That will be followed by the 32nd annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday banquet.

In Sussex County Catholic Charities will hold an event at the Cape Henlopen State Park at the Biden Center in Lewes.

The American Legion Auxilary Unit will be holding an event in Millsboro.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Hundreds of people gathered for a rally outside the Virginia Capitol to oppose Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

High-ranking Democrats including Sen. Tim Kaine, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and U.S. Reps. Bobby Scott and Donald McEachin spoke to the crowd Sunday in Richmond. The rally was one of many around the country in support of the federal health care law, which President-elect Donald Trump has promised to overturn and replace.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A film festival in Annapolis this weekend is honored a disabled Maryland man who died from asphyxiation in 2013 when three sheriff's deputies tried to forcibly remove him from a movie theater.

The Baltimore Sun reports the Ethan Saylor Memorial Film Festival featured works created by or about people with Down syndrome. It runs through Sunday.

Assawoman Bay Brewing Company

The Assawoman Bay Brewing Company is closing its doors in Ocean City.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Jason Weissberg, the head brewer, confirmed the October closing.

He told the paper that the problem was not one of success.

Production was up 68 percent 2015.

The owners said that the new hotel moving in on the 45th Street Village sealed the facility’s fate.

Weissberg said the company is now looking for other opportunities in the area.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The fatal shooting of an 18-year-old man by a Coppin State University police officer in Baltimore will be reviewed by prosecutors in suburban Carroll County.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the case was turned over to Carroll County after city State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby found that her office has a "potential conflict of interest in the case." Mosby's office said one of its employees is related to someone involved in the shooting, without being more specific.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia lawmaker wants school boards in the state to designate employees who can carry concealed handguns on school property.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the bill from Republican Del. Bob Marshall of Prince William County would require those who carry guns on school grounds to be trained and certified. They'd get training either from the state or from the National Rifle Association.

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