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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered a study of the state's developing medical marijuana industry to ensure opportunities for minority participation.
 
Hogan directed the Governor's Office of Minority Affairs on Thursday to initiate the study.
 
The governor's office says he's ordering the study in response to concerns expressed by the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland.
 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A record amount of underwater grass has been reported in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that there are 59,277 acres of underwater grass in the state's portion of the nation's largest estuary.
 
Underwater grass is important, because it is a key indicator of improving water clarity and quality. It is the fourth straight year bay grasses have increased.
 

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - The family of a man who hanged himself outside a Delaware psychiatric hospital says in a lawsuit that the hospital had turned him away one day earlier.

The Wilmington News-Journal reports the lawsuit, filed Tuesday, claims 38-year-old Clay McInnis III was denied admission to the Rockford Center on March 28, 2016. McInnis had a history of bipolar disorder and suicide attempts.

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The suspect who barricaded himself in his family home  after reportedly killing a Delaware State Trooper is dead.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that its sources say the man was Burgon Sealy Jr. who had been firing at police throughout the night form his family home north of Middletown.

Sealy reportedly shot and killed state trooper Stephen Ballard after his car was stopped by the officer in the parking lot of a convenience store.

According to police one man got out of the car and shot Ballard several time before fleeing.

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police say officers have come under fire again at a home where the suspect in the fatal shooting of a state trooper is holed up.

Police said in a statement that officers came under fire at the home in Middletown about 4 a.m. Thursday. Police say they blew off windows with explosives, but have not entered the home. On Wednesday night, they blew the front door off its hinges, but did not enter.

Town of Laurel

Fellow firefighters from Laurel and Ocean City held a memorial service for Howard Schweitzer yesterday.. after he was killed in a motorcycle accident.

It was held at the St. Phillips Episcopal Church with a later gathering at the Laurel Fire Hall where many shared their memories of Schweitzer.  

Sherry Williamson, an honor guard at the Church the Salisbury Daily Times, that the 62-year old firefighter was a “lively, happy person.

In attendance outside the church were members from the motor cycle group Hogs & Heroes Foundation.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan plans to eulogize his father at a funeral this weekend.

Lawrence Hogan Sr.'s funeral will take place Saturday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Annapolis. Interment will be private in the city of Frederick.

The former Maryland congressman died last week following a stroke. He was 88.

The elder Hogan served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1969 to 1975. He represented Maryland's 5th congressional district, which included Prince George's and Charles counties near Washington.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore police officer who was acquitted in the high-profile death of a 25-year-old black man recently told his supervisors that he witnessed officers from a neighboring county kicking and punching a suspect.

Edward Nero was the first of six officers charged in the 2015 death of Freddie Gray to be tried and acquitted. The Baltimore Sun reports that Nero notified supervisors in January that he saw two Baltimore County officers abusing a suspect.

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Two worker advocacy groups held a rally in front of the Perdue Processing Plant in downtown Salisbury to deliver a petition to representatives of the company.

The rally was held by Oxfam and CATA a worker’s rights group.

They called on the poultry company to be more transparent about listening to their employees about working conditions.

Jessica Culley, a supporter, told WBOC that there were problems getting time off for medical appointments or taking vacation time.

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A rally held by the United Muslim-Americans of Delaware took place outside Legislative Hall in Dover yesterday.

On hand were Muslim, Jewish and Christian speakers who said they were there to promote peace and unity among all faiths.

WBOC reports that the rally took place just weeks after a state Senator made controversial remarks about Islam on the Senate floor.

But the rally organizers said they were not responding to those comments.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A redistricting advocacy group has appealed a judge's decision upholding 11 Virginia House and Senate districts.

OneVirginia2021 said Wednesday that it has appealed the case to the Virginia Supreme Court. The group argues that lawmakers during the 2011 redistricting process violated the requirement that election districts must be compact.

Richmond Circuit Court Judge W. Reilly Marchant ruled last month that the districts are constitutional.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An author on innovation in business has entered the Maryland governor's race.
 
Alec Ross announced Wednesday he will seek the Democratic nomination. He's the first Democrat to say definitively he is running.
 
The senior fellow at Johns Hopkins University advises startup and tech companies.
 
Ross says Republican Gov. Larry Hogan can't be defeated by using ideas from the same old politicians. He says his campaign will be about innovative ideas to better prepare students for the new economy and to make government more transparent.

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SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - Two 15-year-old boys have been charged with attempted murder in the shooting of a man in Smyrna.

Smyrna Police Department Cpl. Brian Donner tells news outlets that a 19-year-old man was shot Saturday afternoon in the Trevi Restaurant parking lot. The man suffered a wound to his upper torso area. He was treated at Kent General Hospital and released.

Donner says an investigation led police to believe that two local 15-year-olds shot the victim over an ongoing property dispute.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland Medical Examiner's Office is searching for additional examiners to help handle a surge in opioid overdose deaths.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the office said earlier this month that it was struggling to perform autopsies in a timely manner and was at risk of losing its accreditation.

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The search for a waterman who went missing off Tangier Island has been suspended.

He has been identified as Ed Charnock.

The island’s Mayor James Eskridge told the Salisbury Daily Times that the community is in mourning.

His brother-in-law Dan Harrison confirmed that Charnock and his son Jason were out on their vessel the Henrietta C.

The incident began with a report to the Coast Guard that the 40-foot crabbing vessel was taking on water yesterday afternoon.

Both went overboard without life vests and Jason was picked up by a nearby boat.

Wilmington News Journal

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware hospital says four private security officers and two supervisors are no longer employed after a videotaped incident in which a man was beaten and kicked while being restrained.

Christiana Care Health System spokeswoman Karen Browne said in a prepared statement Tuesday that the Feb. 24 incident at Wilmington Hospital does not reflect the company's values.

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Another dead whale has shown up at Port Mahon but strong winds kept officials from recovering the animal to find out why it died.

Suzanne Thurman, executive director of the Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, told the Wilmington News Journal that the mammal appeared to be a juvenile humpback.

This is the fourth such incident in Delaware.

Meanwhile, the Virginia coast also saw four such fatalities late last year.

All of this has led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to declare an unusual mortality event.

Delaware State University officials say there was a report of a man with a gun on the Dover campus late yesterday who evaded security police and fled the scene.

University spokesman Carlos Holmes told WBOC that campus security searched the area with the help city police but could not find the man.

A campus alert went out around 7 p.m. and lasted an hour telling students to stay indoors.

Firearms are not permitted on campus with the exception of police.

The television station reports that man is not believed to have been a student or an official. 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A longtime veteran of the Delaware Department of Correction has been named deputy commissioner of the agency.

Department Commissioner Perry Phelps announced Tuesday that Alan Grinstead has been appointed deputy commissioner effective Monday.

The deputy commissioner is a member of the executive staff, oversees various bureaus within the department and works on policy development, strategic planning and decision making.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A judge is holding an evidence suppression hearing for a murder suspect whose case led to Delaware's death penalty being overturned by the state Supreme Court.

Wednesday's hearing comes in the prosecution of Benjamin Rauf, who is charged in the 2015 drug-related killing of 27-year-old Shazim Uppal of Hockessin, a fellow Temple University law school graduate.

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) - One of Virginia's largest cities could officially declare that it's not a "sanctuary city" for immigrants.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that city officials in Chesapeake are considering drafting a resolution.

City Councilman Robert Ike says it would send a message to undocumented workers. Others say it's unnecessary and could send the wrong message to immigrant communities.

Sanctuary cities limit their cooperation with the federal government's enforcement of immigration laws.

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LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials are set to announce how many people were killed on the state's roads last year.

Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn will join other officials in Linthicum Heights on Wednesday to release the 2016 roadway fatalities in Maryland.

Officials will highlight Maryland's commitment to a statewide effort known as the Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The goal of the collaboration between federal, state and local officials is to cut traffic fatalities in half during the next 20 years.

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The waterman still missing from yesterday off Tangier Island has been identified as Ed Charnock.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that his brother-in-law Dan Harrison confirmed Charnock and his son Jason were out on their vessel the Henrietta C.

The U.S. Coast Guard had not released the names as of this morning.

The incident began with a report to the Coast Guard that the 40-foot crabbing vessel was taking on water yesterday afternoon.

Both went overboard without life vests and Jason was picked up by a nearby boat.

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CENTREVILLE, Md. (AP) - Authorities in Maryland say someone planted a tree and scratched "Earth Day 2017" in the dirt on the pitcher's mound of a high school baseball field in what may be a senior prank.

The Queen Anne's Sheriff Office said in a statement on its Facebook site that the incident was noticed Saturday at Queen Anne's County High School in Centerville. They say the tree sapling still had the $139.99 price tag attached.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland lawmaker has been sentenced to two days in jail for driving while impaired.

Media outlets report Del. Richard Impallaria, who represents parts of Baltimore and Harford counties, was sentenced last week in Worcester County Circuit Court to 60 days in jail with all but two days suspended. He was also sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine and court costs.

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There was a search under way last night for a waterman who went overboard around 5 miles of Tangier Island.

The incident occurred around early afternoon when the U.S. Coast Guard received a report that a 40 foot crabbing boat was taking on water.

WBOC reports that the island’s Mayor James Eskridge said the man and his son went overboard and that they were not wearing life jackets.

The Coast Guard said that the son was rescued by another boat.

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LAUREL, Del. (AP) - Mourners will gather this week to remember Alan Schweitzer, a firefighter, paramedic and Laurel town councilman who was killed in a motorcycle crash.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that a funeral Mass for Schweitzer will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Laurel.

The 62-year-old Schweitzer was killed on Thursday when an SUV pulled out in front of his motorcycle and he collided with the vehicle.

Delaware Center for Inland Bays

A Delaware task force says that the state needs to do more to clean up its waterways.

So, it has proposed that the First State’s residents shell out $40 to $80 a year to pay for it.

This would be added to an individual’s income taxes with a $45 surcharge on business license fees.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that officials say that would raise around $20 million each year.

That money would then go to deal with cleaning up pollution and investment in infrastructure.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has endorsed Tom Perriello in the Virginia governor's race.

Warren's endorsement means Perriello now has two of the leading progressive voices in the Senate backing his campaign. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont endorsed Perriello earlier this month.

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The 18 year old American-Israeli who has been charged with bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the U.S. also allegedly threatened a Delaware state Senator.

The Israeli indictment not only includes the centers a threat against state Senator Ernesto Lopez.

The young man is reported to have offered his intimidation services in exchange for Bitcoin.

WBOC says that Lopez had no comment but referred to a press statement in which he condemned the threats and thanked law enforcement agencies who worked on the investigation.

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