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Essay: Get a Listen

8 hours ago
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To be listened to. That's what most counts. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes that it doesn't matter whether it's by a priest, a psychologist or God.  We all need to be listened to.

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A 28-year-veteran of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been terminated this week after meeting with watermen.

The Chesapeake Bay Journal reports that Brenda Davis has been a longtime advocate for limits on blue-crab fishing in the bay.

The Washington Post reports that some watermen who have been critical of the limits recently meet with Governor Larry Hogan.

And the Maryland Republican has been critical the state’s restrictions on fishing.

DNR has declined to comment on the issue noting that it is a personnel matter.

Don Rush - File Photo

Mayor Jake Day reassured Salisbury residents that the departure of the volunteer fire company 1 will not affect the response time by the department.

He said, “It’s not a crisis” and added that the city will be stronger for it.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the mayor also said that neither the city nor Wicomico County leaders were interested in another fire station.

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During a Delaware Senate panel hearing correctional officers told lawmakers that staff were so outnumbered many of the inmates have unprecedented power.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the officers said this power contributed to the 18 hour hostage standoff that resulted in the death of Officer Steve Floyd.

Officer Aaron Forkum described the situation as “a three ring circus” at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center where the uprising took place.

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EASTON, Md. (AP) - The only Republican in Maryland's Congressional delegation says he will hold an in-person town hall to discuss Congress' plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

First District Rep. Andy Harris' office said in a news release Thursday that the in-person town hall will be held on March 31, when it is expected a new plan will be available by the end of March.

Harris, who conducted a teleconference town hall last week, will hold two more, on Feb. 27 at 5:30 p.m. and Feb. 28 at 6 p.m.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Health officials say two more people in Delaware have died after contracting the flu.

Delaware Health and Social Services said in a news release Thursday that an 86-year-old Kent County man and a 90-year-old New Castle County man died earlier this month. Both had multiple underlying health conditions.

The department says this month's deaths bring the number of people who died of flu in Delaware this season to five.

It's not too late to get a flu shot, officials say.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A panel formed by Gov. John Carney to study the feasibility of revamping Delaware's economic development efforts is getting down to work.

The Delaware Economic Development Group was formed by an executive order that Carney signed shortly after taking office last month.

Carney was scheduled to speak Friday at the inaugural meeting of the group, which will consider overhauling Delaware's economic development efforts, possibly replacing a Cabinet-level state office with a public-private partnership.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the Republican leaders in the General Assembly are both set to claim victory when the 2017 session ends this week.

When the session concludes on Friday or Saturday, both are likely to tout successes they've had passing bills dealing with mental health care, the opioid crises, and other issues.

But both sides have had their fair share of defeats, too, as numerous priorities they touted before session began died unheralded deaths.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia GOP House caucus has named its leadership team in an important election year.

The Republicans officially named House Majority Leader Kirk Cox as speaker designee, the de facto replacement for retiring Speaker William J. Howell. Cox would be named speaker in January if Republicans hold on to a majority.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia state senator says she found a colleague's loaded handgun unattended on a chair in a conference room in the General Assembly building.

State Sen. Jennifer Wexton, a Democrat, tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch she found the holstered gun on Monday. She says she showed the gun to members of a subcommittee, and a state trooper there returned the weapon to its owner, Republican State Sen. John Cosgrove Jr.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a set of bills that aim to stem Virginia's growing opioid epidemic.

McAuliffe's office said in a statement Thursday that among the measures he signed into law is one allowing community organizations to possess and dispense naloxone, an overdose-reversal drug.

Another measure mandates that all opioid prescriptions be transmitted to pharmacies electronically by 2020. 

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Delaware's 10th District Senate race has seen nearly a million dollar poured into the campaign that will decide if the upper chamber will go red.  The seat was vacated by Bethany Hall-Long when she became Lt. Governor after the last election. Now, Democrat Stephanie Hansen and Republican John Marino are vying for the seat. But, there is another candidate in the race: Joe Lanzendorfer with the Libertarian Party. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with him to see how he differs from the two main contenders.

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Congressman Scott Taylor faced a crowd of over 200 constituents 50 whom found themselves left outside the hall on the campus of the Eastern Shore Community College in Melfa.

The Virginia Republican took 22 questions with the audience sometimes booing, sometimes cheering.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that overall the meeting was civil unlike many of town hall faced by his Republican colleagues around the country.

Taylor said that encouraged engagement by citizens but felt disrupting a meeting was wrong.

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Fire Company 1 is leaving the city of Salisbury.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the company will no longer operate under the Salisbury Fire Department and will move from the station on Beaglin Park Drive.

The company’s president and vice president issued a statement saying that the volunteer firefighters and their emergency medical services operation will move out by July 1st to a new, but yet to be announced, location.         

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - More than two dozen medical workers at a Delaware prison have quit in the aftermath of an inmate uprising and hostage taking in which a prison guard was killed.

Department of Correction officials said Wednesday that Connections Community Support Programs, the medical contractor at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, has reported 29 resignations since the Feb. 1 uprising.

Don Rush

Plans by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources would give watermen more room to harvest oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports the agency has plans to reduce the sanctuary acreage by 11 percent or around 1-thousand acres.

For the Lower Shore around 100 acres would be opened up in the Tangier Sound while the 17-thousand sanctuary acres on the Nanticoke River would be expanded by over 800 acres.

The paper reports that the Manokin and Nanticoke rivers could be two of eight potential sites for oyster reef restoration.   

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The sea level may be rising but the marshes along the Delaware coastline appear to be holding their own.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that mud and silt from the streams flowing into marshes appear to be keeping them healthy.

That’s the result of a new report that looked at 16 sites in the National Coastal Reserve System.

The report found that two marshes in Rhode Island and Massachusetts were the most vulnerable.

But overall it found that Atlantic marshes appear to be in better shape than those along the Pacific coast.

Don Rush - File Photo

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Activists opposed to President Donald Trump are calling on Gov. Larry Hogan to take a stand against his policies.

Three women interrupted the Board of Public Works meeting Wednesday to ask why the Republican governor wasn't speaking out against Trump.

In video recorded by a Baltimore Sun reporter, Samantha Easton asked Hogan "to speak up against the current administration's agenda." She specifically noted concerns about repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The House Appropriations Committee has approved a compromise that would empower the state Board of Corrections to investigate inmate deaths in local and regional jails.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the panel unanimously approved the bill Monday.

If the General Assembly adopts the bill, it would allow the Board of Corrections to ask the Office of the Inspector General to conduct jail death investigations.

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HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - With work set to start on a new $95 million lab, NASA Langley Research Center is warning nearby residents to prepare for construction noise.

The Daily Press reports test piles 70 feet long will be driven into the ground Thursday at the site, setting off loud booms and vibrations throughout the area.

Project manager Gary Stergin says the center will try to minimize the noise disturbance.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly have approved legislation banning localities from restricting the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

The Senate voted along party lines Wednesday to approve the measure after a contentious debate about what kind of message it would send.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld Maryland's ban on 45 assault weapons and a 10-round limit on gun magazines.
    
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, issued the ruling Tuesday.
    
The court ruled that the banned assault weapons are – in its words “…not protected by the Second Amendment."
    
 The court wrote that it had not power “…to extend Second Amendment protections to weapons of war."

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The Worcester County public school teachers will be getting a raise next year.

It will be a 1 percent cost of living increase.

In addition, there will be no staff cuts.

That’s the unanimous decision by the Board of Education when they approved their budget yesterday.

School Superintendent Louis Taylor told the Salisbury Daily Times that this would help hire and retain the highest quality of instructors.

Meanwhile, negotiations between the school board and Worcester County Teachers Association have been completed.

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The Wicomico County Council wants to know why a commercial hauler got a 50 percent price break at the county landfill resulting in a loss over $87-thousand.

Assistant Director of Administration Weston Young asked for a waiver on the uncollected tipping fees from the hauler and for a way so that it would not happen again.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the council did consider a price break for the construction and demolition waste but never took final action.

The paper reports that the regular price is $60 a ton while the reduced price was $30 a ton.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Supporters of doing more to protect forests in Maryland are holding a rally.

It's being held Wednesday in front of the Maryland State House before a hearing on legislation to strengthen the state's Forest Conservation Act.

State reports indicate more than 14,480 acres of forest have been lost to development statewide in the past eight years. That's despite a law intended to minimize the clearing of forests, which helps reduce pollution runoff into the bay.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a bill that would have restricted funding for Planned Parenthood clinics.
The Democrat vetoed the measure Tuesday during an event outside the executive mansion. He vetoed the same measure last year and said Tuesday it would harm tens of thousands of Virginians who rely on Planned Parenthood.
The organization provides abortions as well as other health services such as cancer screenings.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A civil rights group and officials at Old Dominion University are condemning a racist video that was circulating online until YouTube removed it.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the video shows a white woman in an ODU sweatshirt using expletives and racial slurs in a rap rant against black people. The video is titled "White Gal - White Power."

YouTube posted on its website that the video had been removed Tuesday morning for violating the site's policy on hate speech.

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BEL AIR, Md. (AP) - Constituents of Maryland's lone Republican in Congress took part in one of several town halls planned to provide information on the future of the Affordable Care Act.

About 180 people attended a town hall Tuesday night at Harford Community College. A spokeswoman for Citizens for Health Care says Rep. Andy Harris was invited to the event, but he did not attend.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A man who spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit could be getting $1.55 million from Virginia.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a bill to provide compensation to 60-year-old Keith Allen Harward is awaiting Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe's signature.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Delaware lawyer says the state's constitution is unconstitutional in requiring a political balance among judges on Delaware's courts.

James Adams sued Gov. John Carney on Tuesday over the provision, which mandates that judicial nominations and judgeships be split between the two major political parties.

Adams says selecting judges partially on political affiliation, and excluding members of minority parties, is unconstitutional. He claims that violates the freedom of political association guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

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