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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - For the first time since a state law took effect earlier this month, Virginia State Police were providing voluntary background checks for gun sales between private parties at a gun show in Richmond.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports State Police say three private background checks were conducted during the Richmond Gun Show on Saturday at the Richmond Raceway Complex.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Police in Newark have arrested a homeless man they say attempted to abduct two women over the Fourth of July weekend.

Newark Police Department spokesman Bill Hargrove tells local news outlets that police arrested 35-year-old Joseph Rudge on Sunday on charges of attempted kidnapping, attempted carjacking, attempted theft, failure to re-register as a sex offender and other related offenses.

Don Rush

There is a proposal backed by the Delaware Department of Transportation to substitute a mileage tax for the current gas tax to fund road construction and repair.

Delaware along with four other states on the East Coast have suggested that motorist pay a fee based on the distance that they drive.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the proposal is a response to a request by federal transportation authorities to come up with alternative ways to pay for road construction.

The request comes in the wake of stagnant funding form the current gas and diesel tax.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Federal prosecutors are recommending probation for a former state Senate candidate and local Republican Party official who pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges.

Matthew Opaliski faces sentencing next week after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful dealing in firearms. Prosecutors agreed to drop four other firearms counts.

Wor-Wic offers free tuition, hopes to help economy

Jul 8, 2016

 

On Tuesday June 21, the Wicomico County Council passed an unprecedented plan to provide eligible Wicomico County students free tuition to Wor-Wic Community College. Initiated by County Executive Bob Culver and Wor-Wic President Ray Hoy, the program they designed is based on the premise of economic development instead of merit-based scholarships.

 

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WINDHAM, Conn. (AP) - The first 85 students are slated to start classes this fall under a new scholarship program that assists immigrants in states where they face hurdles in attending public universities.

Eastern Connecticut State University and Delaware State University are partnering with TheDream.US, a national scholarship fund, to host the selected students. Forty-six have been accepted at Eastern, 39 at Delaware State.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delmarva Power says it is anticipating increased demand for electricity throughout the area Friday as hot weather continues to scorch the mid-Atlantic region.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Friday that includes northern Delaware, with temperatures near 95 degrees and a heat index of up to 101 degrees.

Delmarva Power says the region's power supply should be sufficient to meet high demand, but that customers can help conserve energy and save money through incentive programs during the period from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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Residents of Lewes gathered at the city hall this week as local officials heard them speak out about the proposed Gills Neck Village Center as the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission takes up the issue next week. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Lewes Mayor Ted Becker about the issues that concern the town.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Medical Examiner Carol Allan testified that she determined Freddie Gray's death in police custody was a homicide in part because he lacked the "extreme force" required to snap his own neck.

As the first prosecution witness in the manslaughter trial of Police Lt. Brian Rice, Allan said that "if a seat belt had been used, then the type of injury Mr. Gray sustained would not have occurred."

She did clarify that her homicide determination "is a definition that has no standing, legally," and that it simply means "death at the hands of another."

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Police say the manager of a Baltimore rapper killed in a "targeted attack" has been gunned down as well just days later.

Police announced Thursday that 24-year-old Trayvon Lee died at a hospital after being found shot in the upper body Wednesday night on the block where he lived in Baltimore.

Police say Lee managed the career of Tyriece Watson, a local rapper known as Lor Scoota, who was killed June 25. Lee is listed in state records as the resident agent of YBS Records.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia delegate to the Republican National Committee national convention who opposes Donald Trump's bid for the presidency is hopeful an upcoming federal ruling on state election law will serve as a spark for the GOP to pick a different candidate.

Carroll Correll Jr. said outside a federal courthouse in Richmond on Thursday that Republicans can do better than Trump.

Don Rush

The Port of Salisbury could be getting a new look.

The Salisbury City Council okayed the development of two pieces of property for commercial and residential use.

The vacant lots are wedged between a city park and a residential complex and encompasses around 15-thousand square feet.

WBOC reports that it would include retail along with apartments, a boat house and an outdoor recreation area.  

Completion is expected over the next three years.

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Democratic candidates running for office in Delaware may be getting a signal to reconsider their chances in the September primary.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that a letter has been sent out by state Democratic Party urging all of their candidates running for state and local office to give “a second and third thought” to their candidacy.

The state chairman John Daniello told the paper that the letter was not meant to single out anyone candidate but was sent out to all 63 candidates vying for office in the primary.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland panel has been formed to study ways to reduce Chesapeake Bay pollution that comes by way of the Conowingo Dam.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced the multi-agency work group Thursday.

The Hogan administration announced it will be looking to determine whether dredging the dam and re-use of dredged materials can be done efficiently.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials are trying to make it easier to sign residents up to vote.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Thursday that starting this month residents will be able to apply electronically for voter registration at Department of Motor Vehicle service centers and mobile offices.

Residents have been able to apply to register to vote at DMV locations since 1996. They currently have to fill out a paper application, which is then sent to the Department of Elections.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has picked a new secretary of agriculture and forestry for Virginia.

The Democratic governor said Thursday that Dr. Basil I. Gooden will take over for current Secretary Todd Haymore. Haymore is leaving to become secretary of commerce and trade.

Gooden has been serving as state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development for the Commonwealth of Virginia since 2014.

Prior to that, the Virginia native worked as chief deputy director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

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SYKESVILLE, Md. (AP) - Comptroller Peter Franchot is taking a walking tour of Sykesville.

The comptroller's visit on Friday comes after the town was named "Coolest Small Town in America" by Budget Travel magazine.

Franchot will visit several local businesses.

Mayor Ian Shaw, Town Manager Dawn Ashbacher and Economic Development Director Steven Colella will join Franchot at all stops.

It's the second time in three years that a Maryland town has won the magazine's "Coolest Small Town" contest. Berlin on the Eastern Shore won in 2014.

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Prosecutors said in opening statements that the highest-ranking officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray was criminally negligent when he failed to buckle him into a seat belt or direct other officers to ensure the man's safety.

Baltimore Police Lt. Brian Rice faces manslaughter, assault and other charges stemming from the Gray’s death, whose broken neck in the back of the police van last year sparked riots and upheaval.

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A heat wave is spreading across Delmarva with hot air that is expected to bring the temperatures up into the 90’s.

The heat index values are expected to reach over a hundred over the next three days.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that so far the emergency services in Salisbury have not gotten any heat-related calls.

But residents are urged to take precautions with Code Orange warnings.

Among the recommendations are to keep inside a cool place and drink lots of liquids, particularly water.

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A fiery crash along Route 50 in West Ocean City killed a driver late last night.

The accident occurred around 9 p.m. in the Grays Corner Road area and involved a single vehicle.

WBOC reports that authorities say 19 year old Nicholas Quental from Manassas, Virginia was driving his 2004 Infiniti west bound.

It then veered off into the center divider hitting a tree.

Quental was thrown from the car before it went up in flames.

There was no one else in the car and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore police officer who's facing criminal charges stemming from the arrest and death Freddie Gray whose neck was broken in the back of a transport wagon is slated to begin with opening statements.

Lt. Brian Rice is facing manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges stemming from the April 19, 2015, Gray’s death.

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Local residents packed themselves into the chambers of city hall in Lewes to criticize a proposed shopping center as the projects is set to go before the county Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission on July 14th.

The city council and local board of public works heard residents argue that the latest plan for the Gills Neck Village Center would result in potential pollution of the local water wells and create traffic congestion.

The developer JG Townsend Jr. and Company wants to build a 75-thousand square foot shopping center on 12 acres of land.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia State Police say a man driving on Interstate 64 near Richmond was shot several times by someone in an SUV that pulled up next to him on the highway.

Spokeswoman Corinne Geller said at a news conference that the shooting occurred about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on the interstate west of Laburnum Avenue.

Geller says the victim was driving east on I-64. Witnesses reported that a light-colored SUV pulled alongside the moving vehicle and several shots were fired from the SUV into the victim's car. The SUV then sped away.

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On the weekends it is not unusual to see venders selling their wares at the flea market in Salisbury in the parking lot at Route 13 and Church Street.

But that may be no more.

WBOC reports that developers are eyeing the property for commercial and mixed-use development.

Mayor Jake Day told the television station that it will take several years for such development to take place and will give the city time to plan for the flea market.

He said the city will ensure that development of the property fits into the Downtown Main Street Master Plan.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and a minor league baseball team are raising cancer awareness with the help of two bobbleheads: one depicting the chief executive bald and the other with hair.

The Bowie Baysox baseball team announced the promotion Wednesday.

The first 1,000 fans 18 or older will choose between the bobbleheads, and the one that runs out first will be declared winner of the "Bobblection."

Baysox players will wear lime green jerseys to spread awareness for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The jerseys will be auctioned to raise money for charity.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland panel reviewing how to reduce school testing practices has released its final report.

The recommendations will now be adopted or rejected by local school boards by Sept. 1, and the state school board by Oct. 1.

One suggestion is for local school systems to create district committees on assessments to review all local mandated assessments and propose testing reductions to their school boards.

Another would eliminate the state's social studies test for middle school students.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia delegate to the Republican National Committee who wants to avoid voting for presumptive nominee Donald Trump at the party convention later this month is set to make his case before a federal judge.

The delegate, Carroll Correll Jr. of Winchester, Virginia, argues in a lawsuit that being forced to vote against his conscience is a violation of his constitutional rights. Correll says he won't vote for Trump because he believes the billionaire businessman is unfit to serve as president.

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GERMANTOWN, Md. (AP) - Top officials in Montgomery County will be signing a statement reaffirming the county's solidarity with the Muslim community.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and County Council President Nancy Floreen will sign the statement on Thursday at an event hosted by the Islamic Society of Germantown.

Leggett says he and the council president want to make sure that the Muslim community knows they are valued and respected. He says they are an integral part of the county's celebrated and diverse makeup.

delaware.state.courts.gov

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge says a transgender teen shouldn't be blocked from using the boys' bathroom while the school board pursues an appeal in the student's discrimination lawsuit.

The school board immediately filed another appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. Doumar ordered the Gloucester County School Board in June to let Gavin Grimm use the boys' bathroom while the court considers his case.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are continuing discuss efforts to address the growing threat of sea level rise in the state's coastal areas, although any major projects are still far off.

At its first meeting this year on Wednesday, the two-year-old Joint Subcommittee on Coastal Flooding remained focused mainly on the possibilities of what can and should be done.

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