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There’s a new flood map out by the state of Delaware.

And, it finds things could be worse than expected.

This mapping project says that the 100 year storm flood level could be three feet higher than expected.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this would mean that places like the south end of Rehoboth Beach could be inundated with water within a hundred years.

The maps go far beyond those of the state’s sea level rise projections and those of Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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Delaware lawmakers said no to Governor Jack Markell’s proposal to cut $12.6 million in property tax breaks for seniors.

The plan cuts in half the $500 state subsidy paid to seniors to help with their tax bills.

During a hearing by the Joint Finance Committee yesterday Senator Bruce Ennis told the governor’s budget officials that the reduction would be difficult to get through the General Assembly.

It’s part of Markell’s effort to balance his $3.9 billion budget which still goes up by 2.4 percent over current levels.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Members of the General Assembly's budget-writing committee are set to begin hearings and discussion on Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $3.9 billion operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Joint Finance Committee was to convene Tuesday to begin a monthlong series of hearings on individual agency budget requests.

The committee was to begin its work with an overview of state revenues and Markell's budget proposal, followed by individual agency hearings for the state budget office and the Delaware National Guard.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - State officials are announcing a new website aimed at helping entrepreneurs find the information they need to form businesses in Delaware.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to join state employees and business leaders Monday in New Castle to tout the website, called Business First Steps.

Officials say the website will help businesses find information on licenses, permits, and other requirements. The site includes an index of almost 200 industries, professions and products that require state registrations, licenses, certifications or permits. 

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Jack Markell is fleshing out a proposal in his State of the State speech to improve substance abuse treatment and prevention programs in Delaware.

Markell plans to join Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf, Department of Correction Commissioner Robert Coupe, Democratic Attorney General Matt Denn and other officials on Monday to talk about his plan.

He's also scheduled to tour an Oxford House program in Newark for people in recovery.

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Governor Jack Markell delivered his seventh State of the State address yesterday hailing the economic progress in the First State.

But he called on lawmakers to help him close a $780 million spending gap in meeting the state’s transportation needs.

In addition, he focused on issues ranging from ways to improve education and to end veteran homelessness to dealing with substance abuse.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the address was well received by lawmakers.

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There has been a delay by the Christina School Board in its final decision on its three priorities.

Last night the school board said it wanted to allow the communities to have time to study a new compromise plan that is the result of discussions between the district and state officials.

The delay means that the months-long debate will continue on the board between those who want to compromise with the state and those who want to make a stand.

At issue is how best to turn around the schools that serve some of worst neighborhoods in Wilmington.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell's office is mulling a request to pardon three 19th-century Delawareans convicted of helping smuggle slaves.

Pennsylvania resident Robert Seeley has asked Markell to pardon his ancestor, Thomas Garrett, a prominent Quaker abolitionist credited with helping more than 2,700 slaves reach freedom. Seeley also is seeking pardons for John Hunn and his partner, Samuel Burris, a free black man. Hunn was convicted with Garrett in 1848 for aiding a slave family.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - New leaders are set to take charge in two of Delaware's statewide elected offices.

Lt. Gov. Matt Denn will be sworn in Tuesday as Delaware's new attorney general. Denn entered the attorney general's race last year, just days after incumbent fellow Democrat Beau Biden said he would not seek re-election.

This will be Denn's third statewide office, following his tenures as lieutenant governor and insurance commissioner.

Also Tuesday, Republican Ken Simpler will be sworn in as state treasurer, replacing Democrat Chip Flowers.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A descendant of a Delaware man credited with helping more than 2,700 slaves reach freedom is asking Gov. Jack Markell to pardon his ancestor and two others.

Sixty-four-year-old Robert Seeley of Havertown, Pennsylvania, got the idea after outgoing Illinois' governor granted clemency on New Year's Eve to three abolitionists convicted for hiding and helping escaped slaves.

Seeley says he sent Markell his request on Facebook on New Year's Day, and then again in an email Monday.

governor.delaware.gov

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - State officials are celebrating congressional passage of legislation that will lead to the creation of Delaware's first national park.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to join members of Delaware's congressional delegation and other officials in historic New Castle on Thursday to celebrate the creation of The First State National Historical Park.

the recent congressional approval was inserted into a defense spending package and comes almost 13 years since a committee examined the viability of a national park in Delaware.

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LEWES, Del. (AP) - State officials are celebrating a federal grant aimed at helping Delaware reduce air emissions from diesel engines.

Gov. Jack Markell will join all three members of Delaware's congressional delegation in Lewes on Monday to announce the $975,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Officials say the Delaware River and Bay Authority will use the money to upgrade the Cape May-Lewes Ferry with low-emission marine propulsion engines in order to reduce toxic air emissions.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A panel charged by an executive order from Gov. Jack Markell with studying and preparing for climate change impacts in Delaware is eyeing a reporting deadline on its findings and recommendations.

The Governor's Committee on Climate and Resiliency, which meets Wednesday, is scheduled to submit its report by Dec. 31.

The committee's responsibilities include overseeing development of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that benefits the economy.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Just in time for the holidays, plastic and glass drink bottles in Delaware are about to get a little bit cheaper.

A temporary four-cent tax on many bottles expired as scheduled on Monday. The tax was part of a universal recycling law passed by lawmakers in 2010 and funded programs meant to get more people to recycle.

Gov. Jack Markell joined lawmakers and environmental officials Monday to tout the success of the recycling law. Under the "single-stream" law, various recyclables are placed in a single container and taken to recycling centers.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell has nominated Judge Jan Jurden to become the first female head of Delaware's Superior Court system.

In a statement Monday, Markell praised Jurden's "skill, dedication, and integrity." If confirmed by the Senate, she would succeed James Vaughn as president judge of Superior Court. Vaughn recently became a state Supreme Court justice.

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Top Delaware State Police officials are looking at the idea of equipping state troopers with body cameras in the wake of the Missouri shooting of a black teenager by police officer.

Governor Jack Markell says he is open to deploying body cameras on police.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that for the last ten years state troopers have used in-car cameras with microphones.

A meeting with the governor is set between Delaware Police Colonel Nathaniel McQueen and Richard Smith, president of the Delaware NAACP, who has called for body cameras.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is among the scheduled speakers at a national awards luncheon for a program aimed at helping at-risk high school students graduate and find jobs.

Markell, who serves as chair of Jobs for America's Graduates, will join board members, supporters, and more than 500 of JAG's youth leaders from across a 32-state network in Washington on Thursday to celebrate the work of the program.

Officials say Jobs for America's Graduates has served more than 1 million youth and is currently assisting some 47,000 young people.

governor.delaware.gov

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware business and political leaders are gathering for a summit to discuss economic development initiatives and efforts to help small businesses compete for state procurement contracts.

Gov. Jack Markell and state economic development director Alan Levin will be among the participants at Tuesday's 2014 Delaware Small Business Summit in Dover.

Delaware Hispanic Commission website

Governor Jack Markell made a unique presentation for a sitting governor.

He came to the Delaware Latino Summit in Dover and addressed them in Spanish.

He told this fast growing population in the state, that many people are concerned that an ID that showed they weren’t citizens could be used against them.

WBOC reports that a Pew Research estimate in 2010 showed that the First state has between 25-thousand and 35-thousand undocumented immigrants.

In addition, there are 171 unaccompanied undocumented minors were in Delaware as of October.

Delaware Hispanic Commission website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Hispanic Commission is sponsoring a state summit on issues facing the Latino community.

Thursday's summit at the Delaware Tech campus in Dover is aimed at bringing elected officials, community representatives and others together to discuss a variety of issues.

Breakout sessions will include discussions on economic development, housing, education and transportation.

Invited speakers include Gov. Jack Markell and Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams.

Delaware State Supreme Court Website

Delaware Supreme Court Justice Henry duPont Ridgely will be stepping down as of January 31st.

That’s a year and half before his term actually ends.

It has long been rumored that the Justice would leave the bench and it gives Governor Jack Markell the opportunity to name a fourth Delaware Supreme Court Justice in less than a year.

This has been a historic turnover for the state’s highest court.

In December of last year Chief Justice Myron Steele left the bench.

That was followed by Jack Jacobs and Carolyn Berger earlier this year.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Government agency heads are asking Markell administration budget officials for additional funding in the next fiscal year.

Chief Justice Leo Strine Jr. told state budget office officials on Monday that the judicial branch would like about $3 million in additional funding in fiscal 2016 on top of the $95 million in general funds that the court system received this year. Strine says more than 80 percent additional funding would to to employee costs and technology infrastructure.

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Just days after the 2014 election, the race for governor in the state of Delaware has already begun.

Delaware state Senator Colin Bonini says he will seek the Republican nomination for the state’s top job.

He is joining Democratic Attorney General Beau Biden who has already expressed his interest in taking on the campaign for government two years from now.

Bonini told the Wilmington News Journal that that while it was important to focus on the winners of this week’s election he was already making his bid for governor.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware budget officials are starting to lay the groundwork for developing a budget for next fiscal year.

Budget director Ann Visalli and her staff are beginning meetings this week to hear budget requests from various state agencies.

The meetings begin Wednesday with agency hearings that include the agriculture and economic development departments, and the Department of State.

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Delaware Governor Jack Markell says there are 11 people who being monitored in the First State for Ebola symptoms.

He joined the state’s top health officials at the 3rd Annual Public Health Preparedness Symposium in Dover last night and said his administration has been preparing for the potential of any Ebola cases for months in order to keep the public safe.

So far, there have been no cases of Ebola in Delaware and the risk of transmission is low.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials are talking about steps they are taking in response to the public health threat posed by the Ebola virus.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to join Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf and public health director Dr. Karyl Rattay on Wednesday for a briefing on Delaware's efforts in response to the Ebola outbreak.

The briefing is being held in conjunction with the third annual Public Health Preparedness Symposium hosted by the Division of Public Health.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - School children in some of Delaware's poorest communities are about to get a clearer vision of their future.

Gov. Jack Markell and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons are joining other officials to celebrate the launch of Vision to Learn, a program that provides free eye exams and eyeglasses to students who live in poverty-stricken areas.

Officials say Vision to Learn already has helped more than 25,000 children in California, and that some 6,000 Delaware students could benefit from the program.

The Delaware state Senate has confirmed James T. Vaughn Jr. to the state Supreme Court.

Vaughn has been president judge of the Superior Court.

He was named by Governor Jack Markell to fill the vacancy left by Justice Carolyn Berger who retired on September 1st after being passed over for the Chief Justice position.

In a written statement Markell called Vaughn an accomplished and well-respected jurist, second to none.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - State officials are celebrating a milestone for Delaware's Drug Diversion Court, which has become a model for similar courts in other states.

Gov. Jack Markell and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper planned to join state health officials and judicial branch representatives Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of the Superior Court program.

The drug diversion court was established in 1994 and was among the first such courts in the United States. Officials now say there are 2,700 such courts nationwide.

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If Attorney General Beau Biden wants to run again in the First State the public opinion polls are looking good for him.

A new University of Delaware survey found that 60 percent of Delawareans viewed his second term as Attorney General favorably.

Only 24 percent did not.

The poll was taken in mid-September.

In April the Vice President’s son decided not to seek a third term.

His father Joe Biden also has good numbers among Delawareans with 64 percent viewing him favorably to 30 percent unfavorably.

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