Local News

Essay: All A Twitter

Jul 21, 2017
creative commons

There was a time when a tweet was a sweet sound instead of 140 characters. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill yearns for the quiet moments of those bygone days.

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It’s another scorcher today with the highs expected to reach the upper 90’s.

In Maryland Worcester County is opening up cooling stations at their libraries in Berlin, Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Pocomoke and Snow Hill.

The first floor in the County Government offices will also be open with seating and water.

In Wicomico County the Youth and Civic Center has been set up as a cooling center.

For those over 50 the MAC Center will be open through the weekend.

Ocean City

Meanwhile Ocean City is gearing up for College Beach Weekend.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's administration has announced plans to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for failing to take required action under the Clean Air Act.

Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles notified the agency of the state's plans in a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday.

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MILFORD, Del. (AP) - Shellfish harvest in the Delaware Bay and inland rivers has been suspended for the second time this year because of wastewater discharge.

The Delaware State News reports Kent County Public Works Director Andrew Jakubowitch says the Kent County wastewater treatment plant has been discharging "undertreated" wastewater since July 5 because of operational issues, resulting in significantly elevated levels of the enterococcus bacteria.

House of Representatives

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. John Carney has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited Delaware charter schools from giving enrollment preferences to children living within a 5-mile radius.

Carney announced the veto Thursday, saying in a statement that he believes sponsors wanted to expand students' options and boost diversity, but the bill "unfairly excludes some of our most vulnerable students."  He says it created a new standard that limits options for at-risk students in the Christina School District portion of Wilmington.

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GLEN BURNIE, Md. (AP) - Maryland has launched its pilot program for a phone-based digital driver's license.

The state's transportation department said in a statement Thursday that volunteers are working with various institutions and businesses to test out the IDs.

The state said the APP will serve as a secure companion to physical IDs. They're also more private. Digital driver's license holders only have to display the information required in a particular situation.

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TYSONS, Va. (AP) - A second debate in Virginia's closely watched governor's race has been scheduled for September.

The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam will participate in a debate Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Capital One headquarters in Tysons.

NBC journalist Chuck Todd, who hosts "Meet the Press," will serve as moderator.

The Northern Virginia Chamber and George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government are hosting the event.

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LINTHICUM, Md. (AP) - Authorities have arrested a man at an airport in Maryland after they said he carried in a loaded gun and extra bullets.

The Transportation Security Administration said in a statement Thursday that the man was caught at a security checkpoint at BWI Airport.

The TSA said the man told officials he forgot about the .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun. They said it was loaded with nine bullets and found in his backpack. He also had an extra magazine containing nine bullets.

The TSA did not identify the man but said he was from Laurel, Maryland.

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There was a tasing incident on the Ocean City boardwalk when a husband claimed one of the trams had hit his wife’s foot.

The Ocean City Police Department says that the man became disorderly and was stunned with a Taser by the arresting officer.

WBOC reports that the incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. last night.

Police tell the television station that the woman would not move out of the way of the tram and then claimed her foot had been struck.

Officials say that the woman declined to be treated by the emergency medical services.

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Prospects for another span to alleviate the traffic jams on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is running behind schedule.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the $5 million study to examine the feasibility of such a span could hit a funding problem.

The paper reports that the Maryland Transportation Authority had hoped to have a preliminary draft by the end of this month.

But now that has been postponed until the end of October.

That means the list of alternative routes will not be unveiled until the end of the year.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - One child has suffered non-life threatening injuries after a school bus collided with an oncoming pickup truck.

Delaware State Police said in a statement Thursday that 15 students were on the bus. All were taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure.

Police said the children were between the ages of six and 11 and attended Passion Care Day Care Center in Bear. 

The crash occurred shortly before 3:30 p.m. on Wrangle Hill Road at River Road north of Delaware City.

Don Rush

It was hot and sunny as people crowded into the 41st annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake yesterday afternoon.

Daniel Thompson, president of the Crisfield Chamber of Commerce, told the Salisbury Daily Times that there were over 4-thousand pre-sold tickets with an expected 45-hundred more by the end of the day.

The Chamber had some 300 bushels of crabs on hand along with up to 334-thousand clams.

Of course, this is a semi-political event with Republican Governor Larry Hogan making his way through the crowd shaking hands with those gathered around the tables.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland environmental coalition is criticizing an amendment added to legislation by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris that they say could stop two offshore wind proposals near Ocean City.

The Maryland Climate Coalition said Wednesday the amendment approved by the House Appropriations Committee this week would prohibit the Interior Department from approving project construction plans, despite six years of debate and approval by state lawmakers and regulators.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is extending an invitation to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to visit a free health clinic for the state's poor later this week.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, said the Republican majority leader could hear firsthand stories from people who struggle to obtain adequate health care.

The governor has been critical of Republican efforts to repeal the "Obamacare" health law. McAuliffe's invite is his latest effort to draw attention to the issue. 

Brett Snow / U.S. Air Force

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Landing gear problems have prompted the Air Force to temporarily ground a fleet of cargo planes that operate out of Delaware's Dover Air Force Base.

The Air Force said in a statement Tuesday that the C-5 Galaxy planes experienced two malfunctions in 60 days. Both involved the nose landing gear. The order was issued on Monday.

Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II said crews inspecting the planes will figure out the problem and come up with a solution.

Dover is home to 18 of the Air Force's 56 C-5 cargo planes. Only Dover is affected.

Delaware Governor's Blog

Delaware Senator Tom Carper is getting some advice from the state's former environmental chief.

Collin O’Mara, now president of the National Wildlife Federation, urged the Democrat to oppose a measure allowing higher amounts of ethanol to be mixed in with gasoline.

The bill would lift a 10 percent cap during the summer months.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Carper has said he has not made a final decision on the measure that would change the limits in the Clean Air Act rule.

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The Accomack County Board of Supervisors has unanimously voted to shut down the Onley Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the unit has been embroiled in a series of issues ranging from changes in leadership and embezzlement to a member who was convicted of arson.

There has also been equipment problems making it difficult to respond to ambulance and fire calls.

The paper reports that the board was following a recommendation by the Accomack Fire and Rescue Commission last month to eliminate the company on a 12-3 vote.

mainstreetdelaware

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan and Maryland first lady Yumi Hogan are holding a cookout to urge Maryland residents to buy locally produced food.

The 10th annual Buy Local Cookout is scheduled for Thursday at Government House, which is the name of the governor's residence in Annapolis.

The event will recognize Maryland's Buy Local Challenge Week, which encourages state residents to incorporate at least one locally grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day.

House of Representatives

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware Gov. John Carney is expected to sign a bill intended to make it easier for people to access a potentially life-saving antidote for opioid overdoses.

The governor is hosting a ceremonial bill signing for the measure Thursday at a CVS pharmacy in Dover.

The Department of Health and Social Services said in a statement that the bill will expand community access to naloxone by ensuring pharmacists may dispense it responsibly without legal liability.

Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is used to reverse drug overdoses.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore officer's police powers have been suspended after defense attorneys released a body camera video that they said shows an officer planting drugs.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a news conference Wednesday that two other officers were put on non-public-contact administrative duty.

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SANDTOWN, Del. (AP) - A crop duster has crashed in a Delaware bean field and police say the pilot has been taken to a hospital.

Delaware State Police said in a statement that the privately owned aircraft crashed Wednesday morning with one person aboard in the area of Sandtown, which is near the Maryland border and about 12 miles (20 kilometers) southwest of Dover.

Police say the pilot has been taken to a hospital with undetermined injuries.

Photos from the scene show the damaged yellow aircraft on its side in a field.

Don Rush

CRISFIELD, Md. (AP) - A seafood festival with a political flavor is taking place on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

The 41st Annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake will take place Wednesday afternoon in Crisfield.

The festival deep in Maryland crab country is often visited by politicians. Next year is a big election year in state government, with the governor's office and all of the state's 188 legislative seats on the ballot. The primary is June 26, so this is the last Tawes crab feast before the primary.

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A measure by Congressman Andy Harris to require offshore wind turbines to be at least 24 miles off the coast could jeopardize their development in the region.

The amendment by the Eastern Shore Republican was approved by the House Appropriations Committee.

And it comes after Ocean City officials said the sight of the turbines could jeopardize the resort’s tourist industry.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports Harris points out that a similar project of the Virginia coast was 27 miles away from the shore.

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Governor John Carney has called on Delaware state educators to come up with anti-discrimination policies for transgender students in the public and charter school system.

The memo was sent to Education Secretary Susan Bunting calling for strong regulations that would prohibit unlawful discrimination against these students.

The new regulations are to be made available by November 1st for public comment.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports it is not clear how the state Department of Education would enforce the guidelines if there is noncompliance.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's seafood industry could benefit from President Donald Trump's administration permitting 15,000 more foreign workers to enter the United States under a visa program.

The Baltimore Sun reported on Monday that seafood producers will share the national allotment with other industries and are expected to be able to apply this week. Each year crab-picking and oyster-shucking houses have relied on a small number of workers allowed in the country on H-2B visas, which permit foreigners to take temporary nonagricultural jobs.

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Plans for a sports complex for the Georgetown area has been unveiled by a Lewes land developer and businessman.

It would sit along Sand Hill Road near U.S. Route 9.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the all-grass complex would cover 56 acres of donated farmland.

It would include six fields for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey in addition to a pavilion along with six pickleball courts and a 3-to-4 mile walking trail.

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MILFORD, Del. (AP) - Delaware's attorney general has ruled that a local school board violated the Freedom of Information Act.

The News Journal reported on Monday that state Attorney General Matt Denn's office ruled the Milford School Board violated FOIA when it failed to include a vote for the 2017 tax rate on its original June 2016 meeting agenda.

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OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings, says she is "strongly considering" running for governor of Maryland.

Rockeymoore Cummings, a Democrat, told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that the health care debate in Washington has shown that Republicans in the nation's capital are not considering the needs of women, children and minorities.

She says more decisions about important issues like health care will fall to state leaders, where governors will have a lot of say in who gets needed services.

Don Rush

The Wicomico County Council has confirmed the appointment of Dawn Mitchel Parks as the new director of finance.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Parks has work in the finance department and has served as acting director since the dismissal in May of Leslie Lewis by County Executive Bob Culver.

Parks is about to undergo examination to become a certified public finance officer.

She has also served as the Eastern Shore representative for the Maryland Government Employee’s Retirement Investment Trust.

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If you’re going to offer some cool water to one of the ponies on the Assateague Island National Seashore it’s best not to use the park’s spigots.

Park officials if the ponies get used to the idea that the faucets are a source of water they will come to territorial and protect them.

WBOC reports that, officials say, could become a safety issue for visitors as the ponies become accustomed to the spigots as a regular source of water.

Park officials note there are a number of ponds on the island that provide water for the horses.

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