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The Mayor of Tangier Island James Eskridge got an unusual phone call yesterday afternoon.

It was from President Donald Trump.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the president made contact after seeing a report about the island last week on CNN.

Eskridge told the paper he got the call around 2 p.m. and called it “unreal”.

He said that the president told him, “You’ve got one heck of an island there.”

Eskridge told the president that the island residents were big Trump supporters.

Don Rush

Virginia voters have begun casting their votes in the state's closely watched primary contests for governor that could be an early referendum on President Donald Trump.

Polls in Tuesday's primary races are open until 7 p.m.

The Democratic primary contest has been a hard fought battle between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the state party establishment's favorite, and insurgent candidate Tom Perriello. Both candidates have pledged fierce opposition to Trump and his policies.

Brooke Mulford Foundation

A silent vigil was held last night at the Salisbury City Park for Brooke Mulford who lost her battle with cancer.

She was only 12 years old.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that those gathered at the park held hands and sang “Amazing Grace”.

The gathering was quickly organized after being urged by Mayor Jake Day who is on military duty.

There were no speakers but rather many sat in silence in support of the Brooke family.

Rob Mulford simply thanked them and said they should remember to enjoy the little things in life.

nasa.gov

The Sounding Rocket launch at Wallops Flight Facility has been canceled yet again due to cloud cover.

It was the sixth attempt and another is scheduled for this evening after 9 p.m.

The mission requires clear skies so that scientists can track the red and blue-green vapors that will be released over a 100 miles above the earth.

Scientists will use the vapers to track the motion of particles in space.

When dispersed they will be visible in the mid-Atlantic region from New York to North Carolina.

destateparks.com

DOVER, Del. (AP) - As Delaware lawmakers try to hammer out a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, much of the work is still being done in secret.

Republican and Democrat leaders of the House and Senate continue to negotiate behind closed doors after the Democratic House speaker and Senate president directed the budget-writing committee to halt its work last month amid public outcry about cuts the panel had approved.

Meanwhile, the budget committee and legislature's controller general are refusing to release documents outlining further potential cuts.

Don Rush

Wicomico County will resume – what’s known as – tax sales.

That is property sold by the county to bidders who promise to pay the tax and sometimes more.

County Executive Bob Culver cancelled last year’s sales trying to recoup the back taxes by other means including payment plans.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that this year Wicomico County put out the required ads in the Daily Record which has a greater focus on legal, business and government affairs.       

They have a much smaller circulation in Wicomico County than the local papers.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House is set to vote on a bill expanding the hours for Sunday alcohol sales.

Under current law, the sale of alcohol for off-premises consumption is limited to the hours from noon until 8 p.m.

The legislation being voted on Tuesday moves up the opening time from noon to 10 a.m.

House lawmakers also are scheduled to vote on another bill creating a new type of liquor license for outdoor beer gardens.

The bill sets the biennial fee for a beer garden license at $2,000.

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The staff of the Delaware Auditor’s office gave its assessment of financial irregularities to the Sussex Technical School District.

WBOC reports that these included a Sussex County businessman selling a piece of property to the district for twice what he paid for it two weeks earlier.

In addition, the auditors the businessman then got millions of dollars for construction management without state bidding and purchasing requirements.

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Longtime men’s soccer coach at the Salisbury University Dr. Gerry DiBartolo has just been named the school’s athletics director.

He has held that position on an interim basis over the last two years.

University President Janet Dudely-Eshabach noted that DiBartolo is the 17th winningest coach in Division III history.

While the interim athletics director DiBartolo oversaw the opening of the Sea Gull Stadium.

He began his coaching career as an assistant men’s soccer coach in 1979.

NASA Wallops Flight Facility

There’s been another delay for the Sounding Rocket launch from Wallops Flight Facility.

It’s now scheduled for liftoff in the 9 o'clock hour this evening.

This will be the fifth attempt with the scrubbing of the mission on Sunday morning.

The takeoff should be visible in the mid-Atlantic region from New York to North Carolina.

The rocket will disperse red and blue-green clouds that to heights of over a 100 miles above the earth to track the motion of particles in space.        

creative commons

WASHINGTON (AP) - It's been 50 years since the Supreme Court threw out laws that prohibited interracial marriage in the United States.

But some interracial couples say they still face discrimination and distrust in America from strangers and sometimes their own families.

Interracial marriages became legal nationwide on June 12, 1967, after the Supreme Court threw out a Virginia law used to arrest Mildred and Richard Loving. The Supreme Court's unanimous decision struck down the Virginia law and similar statutes in roughly one-third of the states.

Don rush

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Ocean City officials want to be clear: women can't go topless on the Maryland beach.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports that Ocean City's Town Council unanimously passed an ordinance in an emergency session Saturday to make that point.

The newly refined ordinance says "there is no constitutional right for an individual to appear in public nude or in a state of nudity."

Rehoboth Beach Website

A letter is being circulated in Rehoboth Beach demanding answers to complaints about a law that caps the amount the city can pull in from real estate taxes.

The letter charges that the resort a million dollars more than the $3 million cap allows.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports that a $4 million figure relies on a broad definition of real estate taxes.

The paper reports that the letter so far has 13 signatures but supporters say it has been sent to all the members of the state legislature.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is poised to vote on legislation increasing Delaware's current $8.25 minimum wage by $2 over four years.

Tuesday's scheduled vote comes after a similar measure stalled in the General Assembly last year.

The bill would increase the minimum wage in four 50-cent increments, starting Oct. 1, to $10.25 an hour in October 2020.

After 2020, the minimum wage would increase by a percentage equal to the cost-of-living adjustment under the federal Social Security Act.

Don Rush

The Nanticoke River has received a grade of C+ from an environmental group.

This is down from the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance report in 2015.

WBOC reports that the downgrade is probably due to localized rain fall during the summer and fall of 2016.

In addition, samples at the Transquaking River showed high bacteria levels than in the past indicating human activity including septic tank or other sewage leakage.  

Over 40 citizen scientists participated in the monitoring taking samples and measurements every other week from late March through early November.  

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginians are set to head to the polls Tuesday to pick a Republican and Democratic candidate in the closely watched race for governor.

The Old Dominion is one of only two states electing governors this year, and the primary could illustrate how voters feel about President Donald Trump's early months and the kind of response they want from Democratic candidates.

The highest profile contest is on the Democratic side, where Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is in a close race with former congressman Tom Perriello.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Democratic Party has elected a new chairman.

Erik Raser-Schramm was elected at the state party convention on Saturday.

He will succeed John Daniello, who has overseen the party in the state since 2005. He is one of the longest-serving state party chairs in the country.

The party also has approved a platform. It includes support for a $15 minimum wage, fighting to overturn the Citizens United court case and equal pay for equal work.

Virginia Beach Police facebook

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia Beach police say two people were arrested at an anti-Sharia law demonstration.

Police say the event on Saturday was mostly a quiet display of people expressing their First Amendment rights. But two participants were arrested toward the end of the event at Mount Trashmore for assault and disorderly conduct.

About 40 people gathered at the event.

creative commons

On the Eastern Shore we are surrounded by Sea Gulls as they swoop through the air and alight on some distant perch high above us. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes there is a magic in how these creatures take flight.

Grumpy-Puddin / creative commons

BALTIMORE (AP) - More than 2,000 people died of drug and alcohol overdoses in Maryland last year, an increase of 66 percent over 2015.

Calling the deaths a "grim tide," Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis Schrader said in a statement Thursday that the statistics represent the largest single-year increase ever recorded in Maryland.

Health officials say the biggest increase in fatal overdoses comes among people 55 and older. Those deaths increased five-fold between 2010 and 2016, from 86 to 424.

Historical Photo

There’s a petition being circulated to remove the historical marker of Confederate General John Henry Winder in Salisbury.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it sits outside the Old Wicomico County Courthouse.

James Yamakawa with the group Showing Up for Racial Justice is circulating the petition.

Before the location becoming the site for the courthouse it is the area was once occupied by the Byrd Tavern where slaves were bought and sold.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware libraries are kicking off their summer reading challenge.

The state's summer reading program is in its 38th year. There will be kick-off events Friday at the Dover Public Library and Saturday at the Milton Public Library and Newark Free Library.

Delaware first lady Tracey Quillen Carney is participating and said in a statement that research has shown that children who read over the summer perform better when they return to school in the fall.

Center Website

The Schwartz Center for the Arts is closing its doors in Dover at the end of this month.

It’s been in operation for 17 years.

Tracey Miller, president of the center, told the Wilmington News Journal that while sales have been up not enough money has been coming in to keep it open.

Factors in the decision range from the upkeep of the 555 seat theater to potential funding cuts in the arts and education.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Republican lawmakers say changes to Delaware's prevailing wage laws need to be part of discussions with Democrats as lawmakers try to hammer out a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Under state law, the Labor Department sets minimum wage rates for laborers and mechanics on certain public works projects. The rates are based on employer surveys in each county and often driven by union wages.

Critics say the prevailing wage needlessly drives up the cost of taxpayer-funded construction projects.

Joe biden, us.gov

Former Vice President Joe Biden has purchased a vacation home near Cape Henlopen State Park.

Biden issued a statement saying he and his wife, Jill, had always dreamed of being able to buy a home at the beach where his family can get together.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Biden as Delaware’s longest serving senator secured the return of the federal land at Cape Henlopen.

The paper reports that the former Vice President used the advance on his upcoming book to buy the property.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Leaders of states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have signed a resolution calling for continued federal support of the nation's largest estuary.

The Chesapeake Executive Council signed the resolution Thursday. The council also elected Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as its new chairman.

Hogan, a Republican, says he will remain committed to protecting the bay.

creative commons

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) - A top executive at Dominion Energy says the company is unlikely to make a decision on whether to build a third reactor at its North Anna Power Station until the next decade.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recent granted the company a license to add a third reactor, but the company's chief nuclear officer Daniel Stoddard tells the Free Lance-Star Dominion remains undecided on the possibility.

He says a decision isn't expected until the early 2020s due to the uncertain future of carbon regulation.

How does the United State's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement affect the health of the Chesapeake Bay? In the second half, our political panel reacts to the recent events in Washington regarding James Comey.

Guests:

Michael O'Loughlin, Political Science Professor at Salisbury University

Dr. John Bartkovich,  former chair of the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee

Mike Pretl- with the Wicomico County Democratic Club

Don Rush

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Women who sunbathe topless at a Maryland resort town used to get a scolding from beach patrol officers, but that has changed.
 
WBOC-TV reports Capt. Butch Arbin, thead of Ocean City Beach Patrol, said in a memo Tuesday that workers should document complaints of toplessness, but they shouldn't approach topless women - even if beachgoers request it.
 

creative commons

The Brandywine Valley SPCA be will taking over the Georgetown shelter that has been run by Delaware SPCA.

The Brandywine organization is set to upgrade and expand the shelter.

It intends to increase adoption services as well as neuter surgeries.

Meanwhile, in giving up the Georgetown shelter the Delaware SPCA will reopen its Stanton shelter for adopting animals and expanding the veterinary services.

Board President Diane Ferry said this will allow a much needed state-of-the-art facility.

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