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Weather Channel

With the oncoming snow storm Maryland and Virginia have declared a state of emergency as Delaware Governor Jack Markell urges residents to prepare for the winter blast.

Delaware is expected to be hit the hardest on Delmarva with up to 8 inches in Sussex County while in Salisbury the snow is expected to be 2 to 4 inches deep.

Delaware

The National Weather Service has declared a blizzard watch for New Castle and Kent counties, while Sussex County is under a winter storm watch.

Governor's Office Flicker

Governor Jack Markell gave is last state of the state address yesterday hailing the changes that have taken place as Delaware emerges from the Great Recession.

The Delaware Democrat said the state must still evolve calling for higher pay for teachers and to meet the changing economy he wanted to expand job training programs.

In addition, he said it was time to revamping health care coverage for state employees.

Immanuel Shelter

Next week, the Sussex County Board of Adjustment will take up a question that has brought tensions to the West Rehoboth community. The Immanuel Shelter has proposed placing a permanent facility across the street from a children's center. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush takes a look at the battle that has erupted around the proposal. Delmarva Public Radi's Nathaniel Williamson provided reportorial work for this story.

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A federal lawsuit has been filed against Pocomoke City officials and law enforcement charging racial discrimination.

The suit was brought by former Police Chief Kelvin Sewell, the town’s first black chief, along with former Officer Franklin Savage and Lt. Lynell Green who is still on the force.

They claim that they faced discrimination and retaliation during their time on the force.

The Pocomoke City manager Ernie Crofoot told WBOC that he was reviewing the lawsuit and would not have any comment.

amnestyusa.org

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A death penalty repeal bill that had been languishing in a House committee is headed to a vote by the full House next week after the committee chairman agreed to release it.

Judiciary Committee members voted 6-to-5 last May not to send the bill to the full House after it cleared the Senate on an 11-to-9 vote.

But committee chairman Rep. John Mitchell, D-Elsmere, who opposes repeal, said Thursday that he had signed it out of committee with an "unfavorable" endorsement, allowing the bill to move forward.

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has issued a state of emergency ahead of an upcoming winter storm that threatens to bring heavy snowfall to the Washington area and the Northeast.
 
Thursday's declaration authorizes state agencies to assist local governments in response to the storm, which is expected to dump up to 2 feet of snow in parts of the state and bring strong winds.
 
McAuliffe says in a statement that residents should "take the threat of this storm seriously." He says that includes travel disruptions and possible power outages.
 

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A Republican lawmaker wants to make it easier for domestic violence to obtain guns for protection.
 
Del. Todd Gilbert unveiled a proposal at the Capitol Thursday that would allow a person who is protected under a protective order to carry a concealed handgun without a permit for 45 days.
 
Gilbert said the bill was aimed at helping women who are the victims of domestic violence be able to arm themselves without worrying about red tape.
 
Republicans are also proposing tougher penalties for those repeatedly convicted of domestic violence crimes.
 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has voted to override some of Gov. Larry Hogan's vetoes.
 
 The Senate voted 29-17 on Thursday to override a bill to decriminalize the possession of marijuana paraphernalia and smoking pot in public. The Senate also voted 30-16 to override a veto of a bill designed to ensure third-party travel websites pay all of the state's sales tax.
 
The Senate postponed a vote to override a veto of a bill to allow felons to vote while on parole or probation until Feb. 5.
 

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Don Rush

WASHINGTON (AP) - The South and East are bracing for a nor'easter at week's end with the potential for significant snowfall.

The National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center warns of heavy, "perhaps crippling" snow across the northern mid-Atlantic region, including Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia.

On Wednesday, the weather service issued blizzard and winter storm watches for parts of Maryland, Washington, Virginia and West Virginia. The watches start as early as Thursday and stretch into Saturday.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is set to give his final State of the State address.

The two-term Democrat, who is prohibited by law from seeking a third term, will address a joint session of the General Assembly on Thursday.

Markell will lay out his vision for the state during his final year in office, calling for Delawareans to build on the accomplishments of his administration and to expect more progress, even in challenging times.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is scheduled to consider overriding some of Gov. Larry Hogan's vetoes.

The measures to be considered Thursday morning include a bill that would decriminalize the possession of marijuana paraphernalia and a measure that creates a $300 threshold before money can be seized in criminal procedures.

The Senate also will take up a veto of a statewide bill to ensure third-party travel websites pay all of the state's sales tax. The Senate needs a three-fifths vote, or 29 votes, to override a veto.

nasa.gov

Two Antares Rockets are expected to make trips to the International Space Station in 2016 from Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The program has been on hold since a rocket exploded on the launch pad at the Wallops Flight Facility 15 months ago.  

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that they will go up sometime this summer and fall.

Meanwhile, there will be another series of seven sounding rockets that will take off starting in February.

In addition, there will also be around a dozen balloon launches.

Department of Justice

BALTIMORE (AP) - A judge has rejected prosecutors' request to force a Baltimore police officer to testify against three of his colleagues facing charges in connection with Freddie Gray's death.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Republican-controlled Senate panel has defeated several pieces of legislation backed by Democrats promoting gun control.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee made quick work of a slew of gun-related bills at a hearing Wednesday.

Among the bills that failed was legislation that would require background checks on all gun buyers at gun shows, something that's been a top priority for Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

The panel passed a GOP-backed bill that would allow Virginians to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam raised $660,000 last year for his gubernatorial campaign while his potential GOP challenger Ed Gillespie raised $483,000.

Gillespie raised virtually all of that amount in December, while Northam has been fundraising since April, newly filed campaign finance reports show.

Northam also raised an additional $63,000 for his lieutenant governor campaign account since October.

Republican attorney general hopeful Del. Rob Bell reported raising $635,000, with most of that coming from his House of Delegates account.

all-free-download.com

WASHINGTON (AP) - Brace for a blast of snow from a nor'easter at week's end with the potential for significant snowfall.

The National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center warns of heavy, "perhaps crippling" snow across the northern mid-Atlantic region including Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia.

On Wednesday, the weather service issued blizzard and winter storm watches for parts of Maryland, Washington, Virginia and West Virginia. The watches start as early as Thursday and stretch into Saturday.

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With the recent bomb threats in the region, Delegate Mary Beth Carozza has offered up a measure that would make it easier to prosecute offenders.

The bill would allow law enforcement to charge someone who makes a bomb threat to be prosecuted in the county, in which it occurs – even if the person lives in another state.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Worcester County State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby and the Worcester County Sheriff’s office.

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard and Maryland authorities are searching for two missing boaters in the Severn River.
 
Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson says two witnesses made a 911 call Tuesday morning, saying they heard a person yelling for help and saw a man go under water about 100 yards from shore near the Sherwood Forest community in Anne Arundel County.
 
Thomson says the two boaters are believed to have been duck hunters who had recently dropped off someone at Smith's Marina.
 

Don Rush

The FBI has been brought into the bomb threats against the region’s schools with three more made in Delaware yesterday.

WBOC reports those were Long Neck Elementary School, Woodbridge High School and Silverlake Elementary School.

The calls came in at around 9:30 a.m. accompanied by a computer generated voice.

Meanwhile, the FBI in Baltimore has formed a Bomb Threat Task Force to track down those responsible for the threats.

In addition, the Worcester County Public Schools reported that Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin also got a bomb threat call.

HomeGoods

The Centre at Salisbury will have a new tenet.

HomeGoods will be moving into the spot left vacant when J.C. Penney moved out of the mall in 2014.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it will take up around a quarter of the floor space or 21.600 square feet.

The rest will be available for future tenants.

HomeGoods would also not be connected to the inside of the mall as is the case for the Regal Theaters and the Men’s Wearhouse.

The façade will look substantially different with three signs and three entrances.

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In Melfa, Virginia a plane ran off the runway as it attempted to land at the local airport.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that smoke could be seen on the northwest side at around 3 p.m. yesterday.

The pilot and a passenger escape without injury.

The Accomack County Sheriffs, the Virginia State Police and the Accomack County Department of Public Safety responded to the crash.

The accident remains under investigation.

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland legislative leaders say they plan to act this session on concerns that children are being tested too much in public schools.

Leaders of a commission said Tuesday they believe progress can be made in improving the administration of standardized tests.

Sen. Paul Pinksy is the vice chairman of the legislature's Commission to Review Maryland's Use of Assessments and Testing in Public Schools. He says he thinks action can be taken without losing another year for students.

creative commons

A panel in Delaware has come up with six additional conditions under which infants born with substance addiction must be reported to state authorities.

WBOC reports these range from the caregiver not visiting or participating in the care of the child and substance abuse by the mother while not in treatment to illicit drug use that impedes adequate child care and multiple drug use at the same time.

In addition, the list includes concerns over caregiver for a child with serious medical problems and if the length of stay is more than 30 days.

Governor's Office

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's administration is releasing the state's budget for the next fiscal year.

David Brinkley, the Republican governor's budget secretary, is scheduled to discuss the roughly $40 billion overall budget on Wednesday morning. The state's general fund for fiscal year 2017 is about $17.1 billion.

The plan includes a budget surplus of about $449 million, and a Rainy Day Fund of about $1.1 billion.

Dover Downs Casino

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment has been notified by the New York Stock Exchange that the average closing price of its common stock has fallen below $1 over 30 consecutive trading days, the minimum price for continued listing on the exchange.

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates is set to vote on overriding Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill that would allow felons to vote while they are on parole or probation.

The House is scheduled to take up the override vote Wednesday.

The House has 91 Democrats and 50 Republicans. It will need 85 votes to override the veto. That's a three-fifths majority. The state Senate also would need a three-fifths vote. A Senate vote could come Thursday.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia legislative panel has rejected a bill to allow early voting by everyone up to three weeks before a general election.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the proposal by Del. Rip Sullivan of Arlington County was one of four Democrat-backed voting measures killed by a House subcommittee's Republican majority Tuesday. Two similar bills also were rejected, along with one to expedite getting 18-year-olds added to the voter rolls.

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There is a battle brewing over how charter schools are audited in Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state Representative Kim Williams (D-Wilmington) would like the state auditor to choose and oversee the companies that do the financial reports.

But state Senator Dave Sokola (D-Wilmington) wants a measure that would tighten the current practice of allowing the charter schools to work out their individual contracts with the auditing companies.

The measures come on the heels of a number of scandals that have hit the charter schools in the First State.

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