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Don Rush

The First State is facing a $350 million budget deficit as it enters the New Year.

That’s the word from the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council yesterday.

This year the panel said there would be a $150 million shortfall and in the next the next fiscal year it would grow the around $200 million.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Finance Secretary Thomas Cook said that the state was at a crossroads and would have to look at restructuring its revenue portfolio.

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U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch praised programs like the Violence Reduction Network which have helped the Wilmington Police Department cope with its high homicide rate.

During an appearance with U.S. Senator Chris Coons in Wilmington the nation’s top law enforcement official noted that the program had helped increase its ability to solve the town’s murder homicide cases.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that clearance rate has gone from 10 percent just two years ago to 40 percent.

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MITCHELLS, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has granted a full pardon to a man who was cleared of committing a double murder he was serving a prison sentence for.

The Daily Progress reports Robert Paul Davis learned Friday that he had been granted a full pardon. Davis had been granted a conditional pardon in December 2015 that allowed him to leave the Coffeewood Correctional Center in Culpeper, where he had been serving a 23-year sentence.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge will hold a hearing early next month to consider a Virginia death row inmate's request to halt his upcoming execution.

A hearing will be held in Ricky Gray's case at the federal court in Richmond on Jan. 3.

Gray's attorneys filed a complaint last week asking the court to block Virginia prison officials from executing him using lethal injection drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy. Gray's attorneys say the state risks "chemically torturing" the man.

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In the Tri-State region it was a clean sweep for Hillary Clinton in the presidential race.

But despite garnering the support of the Electoral College members in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia the Democrat lost nationally to president-elect Donald Trump.

Clinton picked up three delegates in Delaware, ten in Maryland and 13 in Virginia.

But the Republican nominee won the Electoral College by 304 votes to Clinton’s 227.

Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has lifted a roadblock in a shareholder lawsuit over the collapse of Wilmington Trust.

The judge on Monday granted a plaintiffs' request to lift a stay of discovery in the lawsuit pending resolution of criminal charges against four former bank executives.

In her order, the judge noted the age of the civil case, which was filed in 2010, the pace at which the criminal proceeding is progressing, and the interests of justice.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A panel of Maryland lawmakers is set to discuss proposed regulations for gas drilling in western Maryland.

The regulations proposed by the Maryland Department of the Environment will be taken up by the legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review.

Last month, environmental regulators opened a 30-day window for public comment on proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations that could be adopted by the end of this year. That would enable the state to permit drilling next October, unless the General Assembly intervenes.

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More than 100 firearms have been seized by the Dover Police Department this year.

Chief Paul Bernat told WBOC that some of this was due to initiatives taken by the department and that more guns were being used in committing crimes.

He said that he believed drug dealers are arming themselves for protection.

Bernat added that most gun violence is related to the drug trade.

So far this year there have been more than 35 people who have been shot in the city.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch is making her first official visit to Delaware.
 
The nation's highest ranking law enforcement official is in Wilmington on Monday to focus on juvenile justice and the effects of crime on children.
 
She will be joined by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons during a town hall meeting with community leaders on juvenile justice at the Delaware Historical Society in downtown Wilmington.
 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Authorities in Maryland say everyone is accounted for after 16 sailboats overturned during part of a sailing event in the Severn River off Annapolis.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police say 22 people ranging in age from 16 to 70 were pulled from the water and that everyone was unharmed and accounted for.

Officials said the incident happened around 2:30 p.m. Sunday when the boats encountered strong gusts of wind and the water turned rough.

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A teenager from Wallops Island was killed in a single-vehicle car crash on Friday in Accomack County.

Police told the Salisbury Daily Times that police arrived on the scene at around 10:40 p.m. on Atlantic Road in Assawoman.

18 year old Shyasia Davis was killed when the 17 year old driver from Parksley was unable to handle a turn and ran off the road hitting a tree.

The paper reports that Davis was a student at Chincoteague High School and the passenger in the car.

The driver was not identified because that person is a minor.

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It was called a Silent Solidarity March for Unity, Justice and Equal Rights.

Around two dozen people gathered on Main Street in Newark yesterday to raise their concerns about feeling marginalized by the election of Donald Trump to the White House.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Reverend Derrick Porter told the marchers that the discourse of the country must change.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland members of the Electoral College are meeting in Annapolis to cast their votes.

State Board of Elections spokeswoman Donna Duncan says the 10 electors are meeting at 1 p.m. Monday in the Maryland State House.

They're required by law to vote for the presidential and vice presidential candidates who received the plurality of votes cast in the state in the Nov. 8 general election.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - AAA is estimating that nearly three million Virginians will travel for the year-end holidays.

That's up more than 2 percent since last year. The group says it expects more Virginians to travel for the holidays this year than in any other year on record.

AAA says more than 100 million Americans will travel for the holidays between Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Jan. 2. They're expecting 1.5 percent more people nationwide to travel this year than last year.

The group says more people are traveling thanks to rising incomes and lower gas prices.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Department of Justice's Family Division is getting a new director.

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn announced Friday that Deputy Attorney General Abigail Rodgers Layton has been named the next director of the division. The division's duties include overseeing the adjudication of juveniles in Family Court, prosecuting child dependency and neglect cases, securing and enforcing child support orders and enforcing truancy laws.

This week we will dip into our archives to hear some of the of the history of Assateague Island. And, naturalist Jim Rapp will tell us about another one of those bird tourists who visit our region - the snowy owl. But first up here is an all new interview with Dover jeweler and sculptor Arden Bardol.

Don Rush

The Sussex County Council gave the okay to rezone land near Lewes for the Gills Neck Village Center that was first put forward in 2008.

It has been scaled back from over 500-thousand square feet to 75-thousand square feet.

It sits just across from Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes and near the wellheads for the town’s water.

The vote was unanimous.

But council member Bob Arlett conceded that the traffic and environmental concerns by the public were legitimate.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A legislative task force reviewing juvenile justice issues is recommending limiting the situations in which juveniles accused of crimes can be shackled.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the task force recommended some changes Thursday, but voted against a proposal to drastically overhaul shackling practices.

The panel agreed that the Department of Juvenile Services shouldn't detain youths under 13 and should be required to share more information about shackling.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe wants to force certain internet retailers to collect sales taxes to help close a more than $1 billion state budget shortfall.

McAuliffe's proposals to plug the budget gap outlined Friday include requiring out-of-state retailers with facilities in the state to collect taxes for online purchases from Virginia residents.

McAuliffe also wants to slow the rollback of a budget-balancing gimmick that requires some merchants to pay early estimated sales taxes.

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In the first half, we get local Republican reaction to the election of Donald Trump. In the second half, we look at the role social media played in this past election season.

Guests:

Mark Edney, Vice Chair of the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee

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

Greg Bassett, Editor and General Manager of the Salisbury Independent

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With our self-absorbed world of high tech devices we may have lost our sense of connection with the world around us. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes that we could take a lesson from the tree.

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With the promise by a new congress and President-elect Donald Trump to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act some fear many will be left without health insurance in Maryland. Maryland News Connection Veronica Carter prepared this report.

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The Cape Henlopen School Board voted 6-to-1 to offer students contraceptives and HIV testing next year.

WBOC reports that currently the wellness center provides such services as immunizations, STI and & pregnancy tests.

The contraceptives to be offered next fall will involve condoms, oral contraceptives, birth control implants and Depo-Provera.

The television station reports that a major issue has been parental consent.

That is now required for students to use the wellness center.

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Doug White was a runner.

He ran 43 straight Boston Marathons and the last 44 Caesar Rodney Half-Marathons.

And he was inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

This week he died at the age of 74.

Dave Pie, co-founder of the Pike Creek Valley Running Club, remembered not as much for his running as for his generosity and enjoyment of life.

He said, “God put him on this earth to make people laugh.”

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The work on improving Main Street in downtown Salisbury has been suspended.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the area between Route 13 and Poplar Hill Avenue will need a permit from the Maryland Department of the Environments because workers have come across some contaminated soil.

The city will be required to remove and dispose of the soil and ensure that the ground water is property taken care of.

The Daily Times reports that at one time there were four service stations in the area.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with few exceptions, has been introduced to the Virginia House of Delegates.

The Staunton News Leader reports the bill is known as the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," or HB 1473, and will make its way to the House floor in January.

The law allows for an exception if the life of the mother is at risk, or if there is "serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to lay out his proposed amendments to Virginia's two-year state budget.

The Democratic governor will address a joint meeting of the General Assembly's money committees on Friday.

McAuliffe announced a $1.5 billion budget shortfall this summer, which forced him to scrap planned raises for state employees and ask agency directors to plan for cuts.

The governor said late last month that the economy is improving enough to avoid some of the toughest budget cuts being considered, but didn't discuss specifics.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Loretta Lynch says it's possible that the Justice Department and the city of Baltimore could reach a deal in the next month to overhaul the city's police practices.

She says the "ball is in the city's court" and that she'll return to Baltimore in January for an update on the progress in reaching a court-enforceable consent decree.

The city and the federal government have been working for months on a plan to improve police practices and procedures following a Justice Department report in August that found pervasive civil rights violations.

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CLARKSVILLE, Md. (AP) - Howard County police have arrested a man they say vandalized 15 properties in Clarksville.

The department said in a news release that 24-year-old Taylor Richard Allen was charged with 42 offenses, including destruction of property, malicious burning and committing a hate crime.

Police say between April and December, they responded to numerous vandalism incidents, including swastikas and other graffiti being written or painted on sidewalks, footpaths, playgrounds, mailboxes, cars and other property.

Cold Winds Blow

Dec 15, 2016
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BLACKSGURG, Va. (AP) - An arctic cold front is set to sweep into Virginia, bringing dangerously cold wind chills.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind child advisory through tomorrow morning in parts of southwest Virginia.

Temperatures are expected to be in the teens to lower 20's and then drop into the single digits tonight. Wind chill values could be 5 -to-10 degrees below zero.

Meanwhile, here on Delmarva expect the temperatures to drop down into the mid-teens tonight with some gusty winds. By tomorrow night expect freezing rain for the weekend.

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