News

BLADES, Del. (AP) - Voters are picking a new mayor in the town of Blades.

The polls at Hardin Hall are open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday.

Councilmen Robert Atkinson, John Reiss and David Ruff are running for mayor. Current Mayor Michael Smith is not seeking re-election. 

WXDE-FM reports that two council seats are uncontested and Lee Benningfield and Russell Joseph will be sworn in next week with the newly elected mayor.

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RHODESDALE, Md. (AP) - A Maryland woman has shot her husband dead after police say he may have wounded her head during a fight.

Maryland State Police say 57-year-old Nancy Tolley of Rhodesdale called 911 at 3 a.m. Sunday to report that her husband was shot. Emergency responders found 59-year-old Eugene Tolley dead in his driveway.

Police say Nancy Tolley is now hospitalized with a head injury and other complications. No charges have been filed against her.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Bills giving law-breakers a chance to get back on their feet are making progress in the Maryland General Assembly - and with bipartisan support.

The legislation ranges from removing certain mandatory minimum sentences to restoring voting rights to ex-offenders once they leave prison.

Even Gov. Larry Hogan has publicly backed one bill that would shield certain non-violent offenses from the public eye.

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Today Delaware State Transportation officials will give the Millsboro town council a look at their plans for a scaled-back bypass around the city.  

It is part of a controversial plan to move much of U.S. 113 in the southern portion of Sussex County.

The project will have two lanes that would connect Route 24 with Route 113.

This would give motorists another route instead of driving through Millsboro’s downtown.

Two years ago the state decided not to fully bypass Millsboro  as  envisioned by an $839 million, nearly 17 mile plan for Route 113.

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The former editor of the Wilmington News Journal has died.

John Taylor was 71.

He worked for the paper for 37 years and occupied positions ranging from reporter to the editorial editor.

Taylor left the paper in 2005.

The News Journal says that he had an interest in education and became the assistant to the superintendent of schools for Wilmington’s School system in the late 1960’s to 1971.

David Ledford executive editor of the News Journal has described Taylor as a tenacious journalist who understood and loved Delaware.

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The new alcohol is now coming in a powdered form.

And Maryland officials aim to keep it from being sold in the state.

Comptroller Peter Franchot has already gotten an agreement from distributors and wholesalers not to offer the powdered form.

But the sale of Palcohol is still legal in the state.

So, Maryland lawmakers are considering a ban on the powdered stuff with one piece of legislation calling for a two year moratorium.

Legislators say the accessibility to powdered alcohol could encourage  children to try it.

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The Delaware General Assembly is looking at legislation that would require school boards to keep an audio recording of their meetings.

In addition, it would require them to put those online.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the lawmakers and their open-government allies say these would help people to check on their local leaders and keep up on what is happening in the schools.

The paper reports that Christina, Red Clay and Capital school districts already put recordings of their meetings online.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - An arbitrator has awarded $250,000 to a former Hooters waitress and found the chain's "image policy" discriminates against African-American waitresses.

The arbitrator's ruling issued this week states that Farryn Johnson, who is African American, alleged that a manager at the Inner Harbor location in Baltimore said her blond highlights weren't allowed because "black people don't have blonde hair." Johnson, who was fired in 2013, claims waitresses of other races were not disciplined for having unnatural hair colors.

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ROCKLAND, Del. (AP) - New Castle County has canceled a deer hunt planned for next week in a Rockland public park after neighbors raised concerns.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that County Executive Tom Gordon says officials will look at nonlethal ways to thin the deer population around Woodley Park.

Gordon says there are serious health and traffic problems associated with the deer, but the community is split.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Department of Agriculture says it wants to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and nursery crops.

The agency said Thursday it will administer $340,000 in grant funds provided by the 2014 federal farm bill.

The department says it's seeking applications for projects that aim to promote or enhance production and access to Maryland specialty crops.

The deadline for submitting applications is May 8.

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has proposed a $5.2 million tax relief package for military and first responder pensions in his supplemental budget.

In addition, there is a $7.4 million proposal to eliminate personal property taxes on businesses that have less than $10-thousand in personal property.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the supplemental plan has drawn criticism from the Maryland State Education Association for not including the $70 million that was cut from Hogan’s original budget.

E-Cigarettes may be the new thing.

But a Delaware legislative committee has approved a measure that would ban the new nicotine delivery devices in from being used in restaurants bars or other indoor public places.

The vote was 9-3 in the House, Health and Human Development  Committee.

The vote came after vape shop owners said that it would hurt their business not to allow customers to smoke indoors.

Oscar Gonazalez is a disabled veteran who told the committee that vaping helped him kick a 12-year smoking habit.

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A “Right to Die” bill in the Maryland legislature has been shelved for more study.

The legislation that would allow certain terminally ill patients the right to end their lives with prescription drugs is expected to be examined this summer.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the measure is sponsored by Delegate Shane Pendergrass who said she was not surprised by the resistance to the measure given the emotional testimony in Annapolis.

There are only five states that have right to die laws.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Democratic Party has elected an interim chair.

The party's executive committee on Thursday elected D. Bruce Poole as interim chairman. He succeeds Yvette Lewis, who announced last month that she was resigning to spend more time with family.

Poole, a lawyer, is a partner at Poole & Kane, P.A. in Hagerstown. From 1987 until 1999, he served as a member of the House of Delegates, including 3 years as House Majority Leader.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill that would create "right-to-work" zones in Delaware in an effort to spur economic development.

Under the legislation introduced Thursday, a person would not be required to be a member of a labor union or to pay for the maintenance of the contract as a condition of employment.

On today's Program, reporter Jeremy Cox from the Salisbury Daily Times stops by to discuss his recent series of articles about income  inequality on the Eastern Shore.

Guests, Jeremy Cox

Daily Times Article

Note: Today's program in shorter than usual due to our membership drive. If you would like to help support this station, please call 410-543-6895 or click the red donate button at the top of this page.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - One Delaware county is barring government-funded travel to Indiana over a new religious-objections law that has raised concerns that gays and lesbians could face discrimination.

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon signed an executive order Wednesday, saying the county is reviewing travel plans for all employees. Gordon says he's not aware of any upcoming government trips to the state, but the order was meant to send a message.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland State Police are cracking down on distracted driving this month.

During April, the agency says that troopers from all 22 barracks statewide will conduct additional patrols to identify distracted drivers. They say they'll be on the lookout for people who are texting, talking on the phone, grooming, reading, watching videos, using navigation systems, or even adjusting the radio.

Don Rush

The Executive Director of the Maryland Public School Construction Program David Lever says simply renovating the West Salisbury Elementary school is not an option.

The Salisbury Daily Times obtained a letter from Lever under and Freedom of Information Request in which he says that the current situation does not represent a safe environment for students in case of fire.

In addition, the state official says that the design of the school also has problems if there is an active shooting as well as accessibility for the disabled.

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A measure aimed at ensuring Punkin Chunkin stays in Delaware has died in a state Senate Committee.

The bill would have put a $1 million liability cap on non-economic damages for personal injury or wrongful death at special events.

WBOC reports that Senator Brian Pettyjohn called "It a sad day" with an event that had a $15 million impact on the state.

He noted that the organization gave around $100-thousand to charities in the First State and $50-thousand in scholarships to local school children.

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Phase three is about to begin in the expansion of the Ocean City Convention Center.

Officials said that a tentative plan has been discussed by the Town Council that would expand the north end of the center and add 28-thousand feet to the main exhibit hall.

The first two phases added a new bay front exhibit area and a 12-hundred seat, two-story auditorium at a cost of $23 million.

City engineer Terry McGean told WBOC that the third phase will begin with a marketing and feasibility study to assess the demand.    

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - An email obtained by The Associated Press shows that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office rebuffed interview requests with a federal agent investigating the U.S. government's investor-visa program.

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General twice asked McAuliffe for an interview in the summer of 2014 but said in a recent report that the efforts were "unsuccessful." 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State officials have ordered the closing of a medical practice in Lewes following an inspection this week prompted by patient complaints.

Officials ordered the closure of Delaware Otolaryngology Consultants after being unable to confirm that proper sterilization processes were followed.

They encouraged people who may have been treated there to consider being evaluated for hepatitis and HIV. 

Dr. Beth R. Duncan, who runs the medical practice, said she wasn't aware of the order and that she thought it was premature.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is set to vote on a bill to abolish Delaware's death penalty.

The legislation, which cleared a Senate committee last week, mirrors a bill that passed the Senate in 2013 by only one vote before dying in a House committee.

The legislation removes execution as a possible punishment for first-degree murder, leaving life in prison without the possibility of parole as the only sentence.

The bill, which faces opposition from the law enforcement community, would not apply to inmates currently on death row.

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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is adding his voice to the growing rally against bullying.

On Thursday, Hogan is visiting Six Flags America in Prince George's County, where he will speak to about 200 local public school students on the importance of standing up to bullying.

Erin Montgomery, spokeswoman for the governor, said the severity of bullying has increased throughout the years, as social media have developed new ways for someone to be bullied.

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GUMBORO, Del. (AP) - Fire investigators say a fire in a Gumboro poultry house has killed 21,000 6-week-old chickens.

The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office says the fire broke out Wednesday evening in the poultry house on Jones Church Road.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Michael Chionchio says investigators determined that the blaze in the 500-foot-long building was accidental. He says the fire started with an electrical malfunction at an outlet at one end of the building and spread, killing 21,000 chickens and destroying the building.

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Street performers are coming out of their winter hibernation and will soon be plentiful in the resorts along the Delmarva coastline. However, Ocean City is trying to bring some order to the chaos. And the town council is set to take up the issue today.  Delmarva Public Radio's Melodi Gaus prepared this report.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen is flexing his fundraising muscles.

The Democratic congressman reported Wednesday that he has raised more than $1 million in the four weeks since Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced she won't seek re-election in 2016. Maryland's primary is set for April of next year.

Van Hollen is reporting that he raised more than $1.15 million in the first quarter of 2015. That brings his cash-in-hand total to more than $2.5 million.

Van Hollen was quick to announce his candidacy for the Senate seat.

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The son of Delaware congressman John Carney has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit involving a hazing incident that resulted in the death of a 19-year old Clemson University Student.

The incident occurred on September 22nd when Tucker Hipps tumbled off a bridge headfirst into the shallow waters of Lake Hartwell after a dispute with a fellow student.

The body was later found by authorities.  

The Wilmington News Journal reports that his parents have filed two lawsuits seeking $25 million.

They claim that Hipps was the victim of hazing.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to dismiss an indictment against the widow and children of a man who killed two people at a Delaware courthouse.

David Matusiewicz, his mother and his sister are charged with conspiracy and stalking of his ex-wife, Christine Belford.

Belford and a friend were shot by Thomas Matusiewicz in 2013 at the New Castle County courthouse before he exchanged gunfire with police and killed himself.

Prosecutors claim the family spied on and harassed Belford for several years, including posting disparaging remarks about her online.

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