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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore Police and a mental health organization are launching a pilot program to offer some drug offenders treatment instead of jail.

Police and Behavioral Health System Baltimore announced Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, at a news conference Monday.

Through the program, police officers can refer people suspected of low-level drug or prostitution crimes to case managers, who will help them get services, including drug treatment, mental health services and housing assistance.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young is joining a coalition of council members pushing for a $15 hourly minimum wage in Baltimore.

Media outlets report that legislation is expected to be introduced Monday evening.

Maryland's current minimum wage is $8.75 and the city would follow the state's minimum wage schedule until 2018, when it reaches $10.10.

Under the proposal, hourly pay in Baltimore would continue to increase incrementally to $15 in 2022. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees would have until 2026 to reach that level.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Democrats are scheduled to discuss a plan they say is aimed at protecting the state's schools from privatization.

They will be joined by representatives of the Maryland State Education Association on Tuesday.

The news conference in Annapolis comes as Betsy DeVos is up for a close vote in the U.S. Senate to become the head of the U.S. Department of Education.

Salisbury University website

Salisbury University's Cultural Calendar week of February 13th , 2017

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin is voicing his fierce opposition to an executive order barring people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States and halting the refugee program, calling it "against America."
The Maryland Democrat spoke at a news conference at Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore on Monday.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware wildlife officials will again allow hunters to pursue snow geese due to the high population.

WXDE-FM reports that the DNREC's Division of Fish & Wildlife is implementing a federal Snow Goose Conservation Order, beginning Monday. People will be able to hunt snow geese every day except Sunday, with no daily bag or possession limits.

It will remain in effect through Friday and then reopen Feb. 13 and run through April 7.

Polar Bear Plunge website

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Organizers of the Special Olympics Lewes Polar Bear Plunge raised $900,000, the largest amount in the event's 26-year history.

Media outlets report about 3,600 people participated in the event Sunday, plunging into 41-degree water at Rehoboth Beach.

Submitted by Carol Wood

This past Sunday Angela Byrd, Delmarva Public Radio’s former membership director, succumbed to cancer at the age of 56.

She attended Pfeiffer University and Penn State at Harrisburg.

Before coming to Delmarva she worked at the ABC affiliate in Harrisburg.

She was a favorite of our volunteers and the interns from the Salisbury University.

In addition, Ms. Byrd was a photographer, writer and poet who had an abiding love for animals.

She also had a great passion for efforts to save the elephant from extinction.

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Talbot County will see Route 50 cut down to one lane in each direction in the coming weeks.

WBOC reports that the Maryland State Highway Administration will reduce the lanes between Backtown Road and Timberwind Lane in the town of Trappe.

If all goes well state officials expect to have that stretch of highway back to normal by March.

The work will involve installation of a new 42-inch 160-foot long concrete pipe.

It will replace an existing corrugated metal structure.

The pipe replacement itself will take around four weeks.

Courtesy of Joe Simon

There was a solemn crowd at Georgetown’s Circle to pay honor this weekend to 47 year old Lt. Steven Floyd who died during a hostage standoff at the James T. Correctional Center.

In attendance was Delaware Governor John Carney who met privately with the family before joining the others at the Circle.

The Daily Time reports that the governor told the crowd that Floyd was a man who went to work every day in a very difficult and dangerous job.

He added that Floyd did it with courage.

governor's office

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state employees could be getting their biggest overall raise in nine years, but a showdown could be looming between Gov. Terry McAuliffe and some Republicans over teacher pay.

Republican budget leaders in the GOP-controlled General Assembly released their proposed budgets Sunday. Both the House and Senate versions include a 3 percent raise for state workers and an even greater pay increase for law enforcement officers and front-line mental health workers.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A George Mason University student from Libya who was stuck overseas for a week is back in the U.S. after a federal judge put President Donald Trump's immigration executive order on hold.

WRC-TV reports Najwa Elyazgi, a senior with a student visa, was in Istanbul last week when she was told she couldn't board a connecting flight back to the U.S. because of Trump's order halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Chesapeake Bay and Tunnel website

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - A Virginia Aquarium official says a juvenile humpback whale found dead near the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel might have been injured by a ship's propeller.

Matt Klepeisz, spokesman for the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach, tells WTOP-FM for a story Sunday that official lab results are pending. But he says an initial exam showed wounds on the whale consistent with a strike by a large propeller.

The carcass was found Thursday morning. The aquarium's Stranding Response Team towed the body to Craney Island near the mouth of the Elizabeth River.

Superbowl logo

Superbowl Sunday is just day away. So, we check in with East Coast sports writer and commentator Mike Lurie takes a look at the quarterbacks and a Salisbury University connection in this interview with Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush

Courtesy of Joe Simon

SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - A corrections union official says the guard killed at Delaware's largest prison saved his colleagues' lives by warning them that inmates had set a trap.

Union President Geoffrey Klopp says that after inmates forced Sgt. Steven Floyd into a closet, the 47-year-old called out to warn other officers coming to his aid. Klopp says Floyd "absolutely" saved lives.

Floyd was found dead early Thursday after authorities used a backhoe to smash through a barricade of footlockers and end a nearly 20-hour hostage standoff at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

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Peninsula Regional Medical Center has named a new president and CEO.

He is Steven Leonard.

And he will replace Dr. Peggy Naleppa who is retiring in January of next year after working at the hospital for the last 15 years.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Leonard has been at the hospital for the 13 years as vice president of operations.

The hospital board said that he was chosen from some 200 candidates.

What would the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act mean to the residents of the State of Maryland? 

In the second half, we get local reaction to recent events regarding Muslims and immigration.

Guests: Caroline Kirk Robbins, with Healthcare for All

Dr. Charles Stegman, a local physician

Wasim Amir, Delmarva Muslim Community

Ashraf Ahmed, Imam

Usman Sandhu, with the Islamic Society of Delaware

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has voted to override Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a bill to increase the state's renewable energy standards.

Media outlets report that the Senate voted 32-13 Thursday to override the veto, two days after the House of Delegates voted on the measure. It means the law is now in effect.

The Senate needed a three-fifths vote, or 29 out of 47 senators. The measure passed last year on a 32-14 vote in the Senate.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A judge will hear arguments on a lawsuit challenging aspects of President Donald Trump's travel ban.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, is seeking to join the lawsuit and broaden its scope. When it was first filed, it focused primarily on lawful permanent residents - commonly known as green-card holders - who were affected by the ban. Herring's motion indicates he would seek protections for those on student and work visas and those with refugee status as well.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers have spiked legislation that would prohibit using campaign funds for personal use.

A Republican-controlled House panel Thursday voted down the last remaining piece of legislation that would put new limits on how lawmakers use their largely unregulated campaign accounts. Similar pieces of legislation have already been defeated this year.

Virginia has one of the least restrictive campaign finance systems in the country, with lawmakers only barred from using campaign funds for personal use once they close out their accounts.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates has given preliminary approval to legislation that would allow people protected under a court order to carry a hidden handgun without getting a permit.

The House voted Thursday to advance the measure. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed similar legislation last year.

Republican supporters of this year's bill said it would help victims of domestic violence better protect themselves. The bill would grant people protected by a protective order the temporary right to carry a concealed handgun.

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(AP) - Delaware prison officials say one hostage is dead and a second is alert and talking after authorities went into a building at the state's largest prison where inmates took staff members hostage.

Officials announced in a statement Thursday morning that the building where the disturbance occurred at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center is now secure. The prison is in Smyrna, about 15 miles north of the state capital of Dover.

Officials say after police breached the building, one Department of Correction worker was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is highlighting economic concerns in his third State of the State speech.

The Republican governor urged members of the Democrat-controlled legislature Wednesday to support incentives to attract jobs and help parts of the state that are struggling.

Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush prepared this report on the governor's remarks and the Democratic response.

Expected Override of Renewable Energy Veto

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A settlement agreement has been reached between the U.S. Justice Department and the Wicomico County Public Schools.

A two year investigation found that the district discriminated against minority students in its discipline of minority students.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the settlement requires the school district to report discipline and behavior information to the feds every six months.

This will last until 2019 when the settlement expires.

Delaware Civil Rights Coalition

More than 35 people gathered outside Legislative Hall in Dover denouncing the President’s executive order suspending the Syrian refugee program and banned immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

At the rally held by the Delaware Civil Rights Coalition Iram Shauka with the Women of the Islamic Society of Delaware read out a poem urging tolerance.

“I am your equal. I am your ally. I am your friend, your neighbor, your family. Not a terrorist, and not a spy.”

campaign website

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is asking the Department of Homeland Security for information about how the U.S. is implementing President Donald Trump's order restricting refugees and immigration in the state.

Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach is once against listed as an influential Marylander in a list compiled by the Daily Record.

Dudley-Eshbach told the Salisbury Daily Times that this reflected the hard work of the faculty and staff of the university in shaping the lives of the school’s students.

The only other Eastern Shore representative on the list was Peggy Naleppa president and CEO of Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Mayor Catherine Pugh says she's confident Baltimore can afford to implement the police reforms outlined in a proposed consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department.

Pugh made that assurance to U.S. District Judge James Bredar (breh-DAHR') at the opening of a hearing on the agreement Wednesday. Once the judge is satisfied that the sweeping reforms are fair, adequate and reasonable and enters the decree, it becomes court-enforceable.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia lawmaker wants to forbid a police chief or any public official from naming an officer who discharges a gun, or is under investigation for using force, until an investigation is complete.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Republican-controlled House of Delegates has passed legislation to require proof of U.S. citizenship before registering to vote in state and local elections.

News outlets report that the GOP-sponsored bill passed Wednesday on a 64-33 vote along party lines.

The bill would require state registrars to ask for proof of citizenship, instead of just a photo ID. Citizenship tests are not allowed in federal elections.

Citizenship could be proved with a birth certificate, passport, or other record accepted under federal law.