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Delaware marked Martin Luther King Junior day with parades and ceremonies.

In Wilmington seven high schools held a contest that included speeches, poetry and rap on how King had affected their hopes and dreams.

One 15-year old told the Wilmington News Journal that King was the foundation for a better future.

The event was sponsored by the YWCA Delaware and Christ Church Christiana Hundred.

Meanwhile, the Wilmington Riverside neighborhood saw around a 100 volunteers create a 882 square-foot mural at the Kingswood Community Center depicting their experiences.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has rejected a bid by Donald Trump supporters to block the use of a party affiliation statement in Virginia's Republican presidential primary.

U.S. District Judge Hannah Lauck declined to issue a preliminary injunction Thursday.

GOP leaders last month persuaded the Virginia State Board of Elections to require voters in the party's March 1 primary to sign a statement affirming that they are Republicans. Three black pastors are sued, arguing that the "loyalty oath" violates their civil and free-speech rights.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - The organizers of a Christmas parade in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, are having second thoughts about allowing a Southern heritage group to march in the parade with a Confederate battle flag.
 
The Sons of Confederate Veterans carried the flag in the parade one week ago despite complaints from the local chapter of the NAACP. The civil rights group wanted the flag banished from the parade.
 
But city officials and the parade organizers defended the group's First Amendment rights to fly the flag.
 

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During a Town Hall meeting last night in Wilmington civil rights activists called for a major reform of the criminal justice system and the repeal of the death penalty.

Charles Madden, executive director of the Hope Commission, noted that 62 percent of African American males in Wilmington have either been incarcerated or are on probation or parole.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that in Delaware of the 56-hundred people in jail last year around 56 percent of them were black.

On death row nine of the 15 inmates are black.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Advocates for police accountability reforms are calling for changes to the Maryland Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights.

Civil rights and police reform activists have set a news conference Monday to criticize the number of law enforcement officials who have been scheduled to testify before a panel of state lawmakers who are considering changes to the law, compared to the number of representatives from groups that are seeking reforms.

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Senator Chris Coons attended the ceremonies at the Edmund Pettus Bridge to mark the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march in Selma.

The Delaware Democrat told the Wilmington News Journal this was a good chance to connect with and be inspired by a critical moment in American history.

The march ultimately led to passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Coons took the occasion to push his own voting rights legislation after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision requiring federal approval of voting law changes in certain states – mostly in the south.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn says the state's Justice Department is being restructured to create a new office for civil rights and public trust.
 
Denn announced the move Wednesday, saying the new office will protect the rights of Delaware residents, enforce laws designed to hold government accountable, and conduct investigations in which the Justice Department's other responsibilities "might present the appearance of a conflict of interest." An example of that is police use-of-force investigations.
 

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As the nation marks the birthday of Martin Luther King Junior, Delmarva Public Radio Essayist Goerge Merrill considers that this civil rights leader may have saved the soul of a nation.

 

      Services for long time civil rights leader and community activist the Rev. Maurice J. Moyer are being held today at the Saint Paul UAME Church in Wilmington.

      Moyer was pastor and founder of the Community Presbyterian Church near New Castle.

      He also was the former head of the Wilmington branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

      He died at Christiana Hospital at the age of 93.

      Moyer lived in New Castle with his wife of more than 65 years, Vivian Cleopatra.