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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Jack Markell has come out in support of an effort to repeal Delaware's death penalty.

Markell said Thursday that if a bill to abolish capital punishment reaches his desk, he would sign it.

In recent years, Markell has refused to say where he stands on the issue.

But Markell said the recent acknowledgment by the FBI that examiners in its microscopic hair comparison unit gave flawed testimony in more than 250 criminal cases, including death penalty cases, before 2000, helped him reach a decision.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A police dashcam video shows a black suspect being kicked in the face by a white Dover police officer who was charged this week with assault.

The video released Thursday by police is part of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union over the August 2013 incident.

The video shows Cpl. Thomas Webster IV, who was responding to a disturbance at a gas station, kicking Lateef Dickerson. Dickerson, responding to commands to get on the ground, is on his hands and knees.

Accomack County Schools Website

There are more details emerging about the threats that led to the lockdown of the Accomack County Administration Building at 4 p.m. yesterday.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the offices on the second floor were locked down after several threatening calls were received that included profane language.

Accomack County School Superintendent Kregg Cuellar, whose board has offices on that floor, said that the Sheriff’s Office was immediately contacted as the building was put on lockdown.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia Beach's hotel association has voiced its disapproval of offshore drilling.

The Virginian Pilot reports Virginia Beach hoteliers are against exploring for oil and natural gas off the city's beaches.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced a plan to allow drilling in federal waters in an undetermined area somewhere off Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The site would be at least 50 miles offshore, according to the proposal.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club anticipates a record crowd at the Preakness next Saturday, despite recent unrest and rioting in Baltimore.

Salvatore Sinatra says, "Sales have been very strong. Hopefully the weather holds, and we will probably break a record."

Baltimore was engulfed in violence last week amid protests over the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died from injuries he received while in police custody.

As a result, security at Pimlico Race Course has been "beefed up," according to Sinatra.

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The Delaware state House of Representatives has given its blessing to a measure that would allow parents to opt out of standardized testing without their children suffering any disciplinary or academic consequences.

The vote was 36 to 3 with two lawmakers absent.    

Governor Jack Markell has said that he opposes the legislation.

Fellow Democrat Representative John Kowalko who sponsored the bill said that this was not meant as any criticism of the governor’s record on education.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has hired a former aide to President Barack Obama to be his national political director, as he prepares to announce a decision about running for president.

O'Malley spokeswoman Lis Smith confirmed Thursday the hiring of Karine Jean-Pierre.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says one man is dead after a fire broke out at a Newark home.

Firefighters were called to a home in the 400 block of Feather Drive on Thursday night and found smoke pouring from the home. The fire marshal says firefighters found a 61-year-old man unconscious on the second floor. He was taken to Christiana Hospital, where officials say he died a short time later.

Deputy fire marshals are investigating the cause of the blaze.  Damage is estimated at $50,000.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Transportation officials in Maryland are warning of higher than normal volume on the Bay Bridge because of Springfest in Ocean City, a celebration that includes food, arts and craft displays and free entertainment.

Officials say motorists should expect higher than normal traffic from Thursday through Sunday. Officials say that they will monitor traffic conditions throughout the weekend and, weather permitting, open an additional lane to eastbound traffic to help ease congestion.

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After the withdrawal of National Guard units and the extra law enforcement, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has lifted the state of emergency imposed after a night of rioting followed by a curfew last week.

Over 3,000 Maryland National Guard and 1,000 law enforcement officers were called in to restore order.

The governor said it was not time to rebuild the city as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called in the Justice Department to examine police practices that might have led to the unrest.

CVS to Rebuild

University of Maryland College Park Website

ADELPHI, Md. (AP) - Students at University System of Maryland schools will be paying more next year.

The Board of Regents approved an increase in tuition rates and student fees Wednesday. The increases are expected to boost the system's revenue by $50 million.

Most undergraduates who are Maryland residents will see a 5 percent increase. But University of Maryland, Baltimore County students will see a 7 percent increase since the school deferred a mid-year 2 percent tuition hike.

Tuition for in-state graduate students could rise as much as 13 percent.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware has filed a lawsuit challenging a state law requiring high-risk sex offenders on probation to wear a GPS monitor and pay a daily charge.
 
The News Journal of Wilmington reports the ACLU filed the suit this week on behalf of three unidentified sex offenders. The ACLU says the three plaintiffs were convicted before the 2007 law was enacted. The organization says the rule is unconstitutional when applied to those who convicted crimes before 2007.
 

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has decided to maintain a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees.
 
Hogan said Wednesday that $68 million will be made available for the increase in the next fiscal year.
 
The Republican governor says he saw firsthand how committed state employees are to Maryland citizens during last week's handling of unrest in Baltimore. He says state employees need and deserve the pay increase.
 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill that allows public school students to opt out of state standardized testing.

The bill, which was the subject of a contentious committee hearing last month, was scheduled for a House vote on Thursday.

The legislation allows parents and guardians to have their children skip the annual assessment without any academic or disciplinary repercussions for the students.

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A bill that will give the Sussex Tech High School some financial breathing room while bringing down its enrollment is now on its way to the Governor’s desk.

The measure was approved by the state Senate on a 16-to-4 vote with the three Sussex County Republicans opposed.

The measure would temporarily increase the property tax rate cap from 23.5 cents per $100 of assessed value to 30 cents next year.

The school district had hoped the cap would go up to 50 cents.

In addition, the district must begin to reduce its enrollment.

 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana has cleared a Delaware legislative panel and is headed to the House floor for a vote.

House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee members voted 5-to-4 Wednesday to release the bill after its chief sponsor said she would make several revisions to address concerns of police officials.

Law enforcement groups, including the Delaware State Police, nevertheless remain opposed to the bill.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The former chief credit officer and former controller of Wilmington Trust have been indicted on charges of making false statements to government officials about the troubled loan portfolio that led to the bank's demise.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday's indictments involve statements made by 55-year-old William North and 61-year-old Kevyn Rakowski to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve. Authorities say the charges involve concealing the amount of past due loans on the bank's books in the fall of 2009.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The family of an American captive killed in a drone strike would welcome the creation of a hostage czar to coordinate government efforts to free those held.

Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., introduced legislation last week to create a "czar," soon after President Barack Obama apologized for a drone strike in January that accidentally killed Warren Weinstein of Maryland and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian citizen.

Salisbury University's Cultural Calendar week of May 11th, 2015

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police say a chicken truck has crashed and overturned in Georgetown.
 
Police say the truck crashed early Wednesday on Gravel Hill Road between Milton Ellendale Highway and Sand Hill Road. Police are urging commuters to find alternate routes because wires are down. Delaware Electric Cooperative tweets that the truck took down one of the utility's poles.
 
Police have not said what caused the crash or whether anyone was injured.
 

baltimorecity.gov

BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore's mayor is asking federal investigators to look into whether the city's police department uses a pattern of excessive force or discriminatory policing.
 
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Wednesday that the community has a "fractured" relationship with police. Her request came a day after new Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited the city. The mayor says Lynch understands the urgency of her request.
 

dover police

There is a war being waged in and on the black community in Dover.

That was the charge by La Mar Gunn, president of the Central Delaware Branch of the NAACP yesterday.

After an indictment city police officer Cpl. Thomas Webster was arrested for assault for allegedly kicking suspect Lateef Dickerson in August of last year.

During a press conference in front of City Hall the NAACP official stood with other local leaders and said that the incident had hit a nerve in the community.

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ASSATEAGUE, Va. (AP) - A 16-foot-long, 3,456-pound great white shark named Mary Lee has emitted a signal, or "pinged" of the Virginia-Maryland coast.

Multiple news outlets report the shark, which is being tracked by OCEARCH, pinged off Assateague Island around 5:20 a.m. Tuesday and again in or near Chincoteague Bay at 8:12 a.m.

OCEARCH is a non-profit group that researches great white sharks and other large predators. The group has been tracking Mary Lee since September 2012.

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In the wake of the deaths of a family of 8 earlier Princess Anne last month Somerset County resident and former NAACP leader Kirkland Hall says it’s time to change the way utilities turnoff power.

He wants them to be required to get in touch with law enforcement before cutting off power when it is found that a resident has been using a stolen or illegal meter.

The Todd family died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a portable heater after their power was shut off by Delmarva Power.

Wilmington Flower Market website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware's annual Wilmington Flower Market will kick off its 95th year this weekend.

The News Journal reports the three-day festival, featuring flower sales, live music, carnival rides and food vendors, begins at 10 a.m. Thursday. Los Angeles rock band Lifehouse will headline the event in a performance Friday at 6:30 p.m. Other live music acts include The Veronicas, Katy Tiz and Oh Honey.

About 75 vendors will sell crafts, food, donated flowers and plants. Master gardeners from the University of Delaware will be on hand to answer questions.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House of Representatives has approved legislation adding electronic cigarettes to Delaware's indoor smoking ban.

The bill passed 29-to-11 Tuesday and now goes to the Senate. It adds electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or digital cigarettes, to the existing prohibition on smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places.

The bill was amended to exempt businesses that sell electronic cigarettes if 80 percent of revenue comes from such products and the business meets certain other conditions.

Don Rush

The Indian River District Schools have been placed on lockdown.

The East Millsboro Elementary School got a phone call from an unknown person at around 9:50 a.m. who threatened to do harm to the students.                         

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that all of the students were called back to their schools while police looked into the situation.

The lockdown was a precautionary measure with an automated alert sent out by the school officials, which said that the students were secure and that teaching had resumed.  

 

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other Department of Justice leaders are visiting Baltimore.

The new attorney general's visit Tuesday comes after protests over the death of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody, and riots that prompted the governor to bring in the National Guard.

La Quinta Hotel Website

The great recession may not be completely over but in Ocean City there’s some building going on.

Delmarva Public Radio’s Diamond Holton prepared a report.

Don Rush

It’s another day at the polls for residents of the Milford School District.

The polls open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Voters will be asked to approve a property tax increase to help deal with overcrowding in the district as well as reductions in spending by the state and federal governments.

The money would go toward a new 14-hundred student high school spread out across 190 acres.

It would sit along Route 113 near Redners.

The old high school site will be used as a new Junior High School for seventh and eighth graders.

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