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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is poised to vote on a bill establishing a moratorium on new charter schools in Delaware.

The legislation to be voted on Tuesday creates a moratorium until June 2018 or until the state school board develops a strategic plan for the number of charter, traditional and vocational/technical schools in Delaware.

The legislation also calls for input to be accepted from the mayor and city council of Wilmington before any new charters are approved there.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - An annual survey by marine officials shows a significant increase in the number of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission says the overall bay-wide crab population increased from 297 million crabs to 411 million crabs, a 38 percent increase. The increased numbers followed regulations by Virginia, Maryland and the Potomac Fisheries Commission that reduced commercial crab harvests by 10 percent. Officials say that reduction helped rebuild the population.

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A drug lab scandal could jeopardize a number of closed drug cases in Delaware – even those where the defendant confessed.

The Office of the Public Defender is questioning another state chemist who was disciplined three separate times for not handling evidence properly.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that court documents show Assistant Public Defender Nicole Walker has argued that this misconduct could cause credibility problems in other cases.

Walker argued that the Division of Forensic Science is still not functioning as it should.

Towson University Website

TOWSON, Md. (AP) - Towson University officials have given an all-clear after the school's library and media center were evacuated after a man called school police and said he was in the library with a gun.

University spokesman Ray Feldmann said by phone that the man called the university police communications center about 6:30 p.m. Monday. Feldmann says the man said he was in Cook Library and armed with a gun.

Uber Comes to Salisbury

Apr 28, 2015
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You can now use the Uber car service in Salisbury.

City Council President Jake Day told WBOC that he was not aware that the service was now operating in the town but added he thought it was only a matter of time.

And, he called it, a great service.

The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation this year that requires drivers to have criminal background checks and vehicle inspections.

Day said there might be some needed alterations in city regulations with the coming of Uber.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic state lawmakers have introduced legislation making it easier for local governments to acquire and redevelop abandoned and vacant real estate.

The legislation, which is the subject of a committee hearing Wednesday, allows local governments to form "land banks" to acquire vacant and abandoned properties.

The bill allows local jurisdictions to form land banks if 3 percent of residential structures have been uninhabited for 6 months or more.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Six university presidents have formally agreed to work together on challenges facing Virginia's coastal and ocean communities.

The Virginia Sea Grant charter was signed Monday in Richmond by the presidents of George Mason, Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia and William & Mary.

Emerging Voices

Apr 27, 2015

Emerging student writers from Salisbury University will share their works during "Emerging Voices" Wednesday, April 29th at 7:30pm in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center.

Drs. John Nieves and Susan McCarty of the English Department will host the evenings program.

Admission is $10, $5 for SU faculty & staff with ID and free for SU students with ID. Additional donations are welcome.

Books by Dr. John Nieves and Delmarva Today: Writer's Edition host Hal Wilson will be available for purchase.

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Baltimore, Md. (AP)  - Members of Freddie Gray's family are among the last group of mourners filing into the church before the man's funeral in Baltimore.

His mother Gloria Darden was first to reach the casket on Monday sobbed and dropped to her knees.

She straightened out the tie on Gray's body before she was led to the front-row pew.

Other mourners approached her to offer condolences through handshakes and hugs.  

A projector aimed at two screens on the walls beside the pulpit show the words "Black Lives Matter & All Lives Matter" in red lettering.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says the head of President Barack Obama's initiative for minority males will attend the funeral of a Baltimore man who died after sustaining serious injuries while in police custody.

Broderick Johnson, the chairman of the My Brother's Keeper Task Force, will represent the administration at Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray. Johnson is also the Cabinet secretary.

Gray is the 25-year-old black man who died a week after an encounter with Baltimore police left him with grave spinal injuries. He is being buried Monday in Baltimore.

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There have been a large number of pardons being issued in Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Governor Jack Markell has issued nearly 16-hundred during his six years in office.

Most of them are for minor offenses.

The governor’s office says that the pardons are important in giving people with criminal records a second chance and not to be stigmatized for the rest of their lives.

But the paper reports that the state does not follow the outcomes of those who have been given a pardon.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state economic development panel is set to vote on a request by Wells Fargo Bank for more than $1.3 million in taxpayer grants to help offset costs associated with relocating and creating new jobs in New Castle County.

The Council on Development Finance was to meet Monday to consider the proposal, which state officials say involves the bank's commitment to add 180 jobs in Delaware by 2018.

Wells Fargo is asking for a Strategic Fund performance grant of up to $1.3 million and a Strategic Fund capital expenditure grant of up to $60,000. 

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Rehoboth Beach has a new noise ordinance that defines what it is and how loud it can be.

The town has established – what is called – a plainly audible standard in residential areas.

WBOC reports that this is a method that is used to identify a noise disturbance.

This is aside from simply measuring the number of decibels.

The measure is an effort to bring down the number of late night disturbances that involve rental units of more than 20 to 30 people

Appalachian Harvest Website

DUFFIELD, Va. (AP) - In Virginia's southwestern tip lies a produce aggregator that's become a standout success among Appalachian nonprofits by helping farmers in remote areas sell to big grocers.

Appalachian Harvest has grown to a $1.5 million business that derives only a sliver of its budget from grants while delivering vegetables to grocers including Whole Foods, Ingles and Food City.

To develop its business from scratch, Appalachian Harvest has fine-tuned how it helps farmers while expanding from organic to conventional crops and learning a crash-course in trucking.

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LURAY, Va. (AP) - An increase in entrance fees at Shenandoah National Park goes into effect this week.

The fee increases are being implemented in two stages.

Beginning Friday, the fee for an annual park pass will increase from $30 to $40. The fee will increase to $50 on Jan. 1, 2017.

Motorists will pay $20 per vehicle for up to seven days, up from $15. The fee will increase to $25 on Jan. 1, 2017. A similar fee for motorcyclists will increase from $10 to $15, and then to $20 on Jan. 1, 2017.

Police say a 29 year old man has died from a single gunshot around 4 a.m. Sunday on North New St. in Dover.

Police say they found the body of David Clark on the sidewalk with a gunshot to his upper body.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that police say he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The city police say they are continuing their investigation and said there was no additional information at this time. 

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - New Castle County Police are investigating the death of a 20-year-old man.

Police responded to a Middletown home after getting a call around 2 a.m. Sunday. When officers arrived, they found people attempting life-saving efforts on the man. Paramedics took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police say the investigation into how the man died is in its preliminary stages.

Tower Hill School Website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The former headmaster of an elite prep school founded by members of the du Pont family was sentenced to 50 years in prison for dealing in child pornography.

Christopher Wheeler was convicted in December on 25 counts of dealing child porn.

Wheeler is a former headmaster at Tower Hill school in Wilmington, whose graduates include DuPont Co. CEO Ellen Kullman, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons and television personality Dr. Oz.

Wheeler waived his right to a jury trial after the judge denied a defense motion to suppress evidence seized by police.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Authorities say a fire at Dover mobile home park has destroyed three house trailers and displaced 16 people.
The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says blaze was reported around 2:30 a.m. Friday at the Grandview Mobile Home Park on Little Creek Road.  When firefighters arrived, they found one home engulfed and flames spreading to two neighboring homes.  
Officials say 16 people, including eight children, were able to escape from the three homes and no injuries were reported.

Winning entries from the 2014 Rehoboth Beach Reads Short Story Contest were published in The Boardwalk. Edit | Remove

Nancy Sakaduski, founder of Cat and Mouse Press, stops is to discuss "The Boardwalk" the second publication from the Rehoboth Beach Reads short Story Contest.

Keith Phillips reads his short story, "The Watch" from the book.

Essay: Guns and College

Apr 24, 2015
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With more and more laws allowing guns in public places, some have suggested that college campuses be opened up for the right to bear arms. But, Delmarva Public Radio's Essayist George Merrill ponders mixing the age of innocence with the age of the gun. 

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Hundreds of people marched last night to the Baltimore City Hall to protest the death of 25 year old Freddie Gray who suffered a mysterious spinal injury while apparently in police custody.

This week saw a series of marches which have been largely peaceful.

Once incident caught by CNN showed police taking two demonstrators into custody.

Maryland State troopers were on hand to help commuters and traffic congestion.

Governor Larry Hogan said that he had sent 32 troops to the city at the request of the mayor.

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In the ongoing dispute over fire and EMS service Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver has some questions about any agreement with the city of Salisbury.

Mayor Jim Ireton has threatened to cut off city fire and EMS service to surrounding county areas by July 1st  if city taxpayers are not given some form of tax relief for those services.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that many of the questions center on funding mechanisms.

The two sides are to meet on April 28th to discuss the issue.

Salisbury University Website

Few get to work with the Hubble Space Telescope.

But Gerardo Vazquez an astrophysicist at Salisbury University got a chance of a lifetime.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that six years ago one of his ideas got the okay from the scientific committee that oversees the telescope.

And Vazquez even got a chance to work the telescope’s space arm for several years as he labored on his doctorate.

He told the Daily Times that he has been allowed to work on figuring out why the cores of some galaxies are brighter than others.

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Delaware lawmakers have moved to make Naloxone available to school nurses throughout the state to fight the rising use of heroin.

The drug reverses the effects of an overdose.

The state House of Representatives approved the measure yesterday afternoon.

Representative Mike Barbieri said the legislation would not require schools to keep the drug on hand.

Last year Governor Jack Markell signed a law that made the drug available without a prescription.

Lake Forest School District Logo

Parents and teachers are demanding to know why a popular principal at the East Elementary School in the Lake Forest School District won’t be coming back next year.

They confronted the school board last night after the school board unanimously decided not to renew principal Susan Plavis’s contract. Elementary School Teacher Bridgett Shea told WBOC that she thought Plavis had displayed strong leadership qualities.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The head of the State Highway Administration has resigned to spend more time with her family.

Forty-one-year-old Melinda Peters said Thursday she was leaving the job. She tells The Baltimore Sun that it's time to make her personal life her first priority.

Peters, the first woman administrator of the SHA, was appointed to the post in 2011 by Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat. She tells the Sun that her resignation wasn't related the continuing transition under Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who took office in January.

Virginia State Police

Charles Smith has been sentenced to 15 year in prison for string of arson fires that hit Accomack County in 2012 and 2013.

He had pled guilty to 65 counts of arson late last year and had testified against his ex-fiance Tonya Bundick.

She has entered an Alford plea to 61 counts for the string of blazes.

Bundick will be serving 17 and a-half years in prison for the crime.

The vast majority of the fires were set in Accomack County but there were no injuries from the blazes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The National Park Service says its Virginia attractions saw nearly 23 million visitors in 2014.

A report released Thursday by the park service shows that those visitors spent nearly $1 billion in the state, resulting in 14,753 jobs.

The 150th anniversary of the Civil War was marked at many national parks in Virginia, including Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Richmond National Battlefield Park and Manassas National Battlefield Park.