Local News

Essay: The Divine Spark

Jun 23, 2017
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What is the truly Divine spark? Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes he believes it can be found in one's humanity.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says health care bills in Congress "do not work for Maryland."

Amelia Chasse, the Republican governor's spokeswoman, wrote in an email Thursday that the current health care system "needs to be fixed." But she says Congress "should go back to the drawing board in an open, transparent and bipartisan fashion to craft a bill that works for all Americans."

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There is an online petition being circulated opposing the removal of a historical marker for Confederate General John Henry Winder in downtown Salisbury.

It’s sponsored by Jonathan Taylor a local conservative blogger in response to a Salisbury civil rights organization Showing Up for Racial Justice that has called for its removal.

Taylor told the Salisbury Daily Times that calls for removal was just another example of political correctness adding it was important not to let “this movement take away our history.”

Don Rush

Commercial jet service is coming to the Salisbury airport.

Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, will be replacing its turboprop aircraft with jets in August.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that there will be one early morning jet flight per day to Philadelphia.

The full complement of flights will commence by next year.

The announcement yesterday was made by Lyle Hogg, president of Piedmont Airline which has its headquarters at the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware state senator missed his flight after his 9mm handgun was found in his carry-on.

The News Journal reports that Sen. Brian Pettyjohn was temporarily detained after Transportation Security Administration workers at Salisbury Regional Airport found the gun as he was headed on Thursday to a conference in New Orleans.

TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein says a loaded handgun was discovered when a carry-on bag went through a checkpoint X-ray machine.

Pettyjohn says in a rush to pack, he forgot to properly stow the weapon.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Senate lawmakers have given final approval to a bill prohibiting Delaware charter schools from giving enrollment preferences to children living within a 5-mile radius.

The bill was approved on a 12-to-4 vote Thursday and now goes to Gov. John Carney.

The bill applies to all charter schools but is aimed at Newark Charter, a predominantly white, high-performing school with a waiting list of more than 3,000 students.


BALTIMORE (AP) - Dozens of Baltimore business owners are suing city officials for allegedly mishandling the city's response to rioting following the death of Freddie Gray.

News outlets report more than 60 plaintiffs filed a nearly 700-page complaint in federal court this week. The lawsuit names several defendants including Baltimore police, the city council and former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

The plaintiffs are suing under the Maryland Riot Act statute, which allows parties to bring a claim against the city for property damage during civil unrest.


A search for two men who jumped off the eastern side of the Route 90 bridge into Ocean City has come up empty.

WBOC reports that Ocean City officials got a call about the jumpers around 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

A number of agencies including the Ocean City Fire Department immediately commenced a search.

The television station reports that officials believe the two were probably picked up by another boat before search crews arrived.

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Salisbury Mayor Jake Day has joined a petition to remove the marker at the historic Wicomico County Courthouse commemorating Confederate General John Henry Winder.

Day told the Salisbury Daily Times that Winder had not connection with Salisbury.

He noted that the confederate general was from Nanticoke adding that was the place for such a marker.

Day also said that the marker should include that the general was a war criminal because of his time with confederate prisons that saw abuses – including the  Andersonville facility.

Don Rush

Around a dozen or so protesters stood outside the offices of Congressman Andy Harris in downtown Salisbury as the Senate Republicans work out a measure to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Progressive Maryland sponsored the protest opposing the House measure and calling for a single payer system instead.

The group says research shows that 56 percent of Maryland residents oppose the American Health Care Act already approved by the House.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A House committee has voted overwhelmingly to send a bill raising income taxes on Delawareans to the full House for a vote.

The legislation considered by the committee on Wednesday raises income tax rates across the board, eliminates itemized deductions while increasing the standard deduction, and creates a new tax bracket for income above $150,000.

Representatives of the real estate and nonprofit communities urged lawmakers not to eliminate deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

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STERLING, Va. (AP) - The depth of community sorrow at the death of a 17-year-old Muslim girl attacked as she walked to her mosque has been made clear after thousands attended her funeral and a subsequent community vigil.

Many who turned out in support of Nabra Hassanen and her family Wednesday said they're fearful for their children's safety after the attack.

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There could be fewer school districts in the future for Delaware.

Some members of the General Assembly are making the suggestion as a way to save some money as the state faces a flood of red ink.

Currently, the state has 19 school districts with nearly 15-thousand students in the Red Clay school system alone.

State Representative Earl Jaques (D-Glasgow) chair of the House Education Committee has sponsored a bill that would create a taskforce to see if district consolidation would actually save money.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new state report says people with disabilities continue to struggle to find employment, particularly in rural areas.

A report released recently by the Virginia Board of People with Disabilities said the employment rate for people with disabilities has not improved noticeably.

The employment rates are lower than the Great Recession and only about a third of the state's disabled population was employed in 2015. The employment rate gap between the disabled and those without disabilities is greater than it was pre-recession.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker is running for governor of Maryland.

In a campaign video released Wednesday, Baker said he's running "to build a future that works for all of us." In the video, Baker discusses his work as county executive in the state's second-largest jurisdiction, touting crime reductions and progress in education and economic development.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia's largest city has taken a position against offshore drilling.

Media outlets report that the Virginia Beach city council voted Tuesday to oppose any operations in the Atlantic Ocean.

The vote is a recommendation to President Donald Trump. The president has ordered a review of the Obama-era ban on drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Trump will make the final decision.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Fishermen in Maryland have claimed $15,000 total after catching 2017's first white marlins.

The Daily Times reports Charlie Horning caught this year's first white marlin on June 16. Horning was only two hours into a trip on the Fishing Whistle, his Delaware-based boat out of Indian River Inlet, when the billfish had "the pole bend and luckily he just got hooked and hung there."

Horning didn't initially realize it earned him a $5,000 prize from the Ocean City Marlin Club, who rewards the money to the member who snags the season's first white marlin.

Wallps Flight Facility

The new date for the launch of the sounding rocket at Wallops Flight Facility is now June 24th.

This will be the 10th attempt after previous missions were scrubbed because of weather conditions.

The area in recent weeks has been hit with high winds, thunderstorms and cloud cover.

If the sky is clear Wallops officials expect to make another try around just after 9 p.m. on Saturday.

The rocket will contain canisters that will release red and blue-and-green vapors that will form clouds over a 100 miles above the earth.


There was a tornado in Sussex County on Monday.

The National Weather Service says it was an EF-0 which tripped trees out of the ground and damaged building near Greenwood.

The federal agency says the tornado touched down near Route 13 between the Nanticoke River and the intersection of Sugar Hill Road and St. Johnstown Road and headed northeast for around a half a mile.

Damage included the end of a warehouse at Delaware Electric Cooperative blowing out two large garage doors along with overturning some trailers.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A budget airline will begin offering new service to Florida out of Norfolk International Airport this fall.

The Virginian-Pilot reports Allegiant Air, a low-cost airline focused on vacation travelers, will offer nonstop flights to St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, Orlando Sanford International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Introductory fares start at $39 for one-way tickets. Regular price information isn't yet available.

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Correctional officers in Delaware will be getting a raise and a pledge for safer working conditions.

The deal was struck by Governor John Carney and the union that represents correctional officers.

New hires will get $40-thousand dollars a year – a $5-thousand increase in the next budget year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that will go up to $43-thousand the following year.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers are giving initial consideration to host of proposals by Democratic lawmakers to increase taxes on Delawareans to help balance the state budget.

Among the bills up for discussion Wednesday in a House committee is a proposal to raise income tax rates across the board, eliminate itemized deductions and increase the standard deduction, and creating a new tax bracket for income above $150,000.

The committee also will consider a competing proposal to create two new tax brackets at $125,000 and $250,000.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House has overwhelmingly approved a bill opening Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry.

The measure cleared the House on a 34-to-7 vote Tuesday and now goes to the Senate

The bill, supported by Gov. John Carney establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites, including abandoned and polluted brownfields.


DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House has approved legislation authorizing the establishment of a public-private partnership to lead Delaware's economic development efforts.

The measure was approved 34-to-6 on Tuesday despite concerns about potential conflicts of interest and a lack of transparency regarding the partnership's work.

Critics also noted that the partnership itself, rather than Delaware's Public Integrity Commission, would ensure compliance with its conflict of interest of policy.

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(AP) - A chaplain at the mosque where a slain teen worshipped says members have faith in the police investigation of the fatal attack.

Joshua Salaam of the ADAMS Center said at a press conference Tuesday that police "have given us complete confidence." Seventeen-year-old Nabra Hassanen was slain over the weekend in northern Virginia.

Salaam said the community is struggling because Hassanen was beloved by so many and well-known for her kind spirit.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorneys for a Virginia inmate convicted of killing two people during an escape in 2006 are asking Gov. Terry McAuliffe to spare his life.

William Morva's attorneys said Tuesday that they have filed a clemency petition urging the Democratic governor to stop the man's execution scheduled for July 6. His attorneys say jurors didn't know that Morva suffers from a severe mental illness that they say led to his crimes.

They're asking McAuliffe to commute his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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(AP) - Vigils are being held around the country to honor a Muslim teen who police say was fatally beaten with a baseball bat by an angry driver as she walked with friends to a Virginia mosque this weekend.

Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment CEO Rana Abdelhamid said by telephone that her group partnered with groups in cities around the nation to hold vigils Tuesday for 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen and stand in solidarity with her family.


Delaware Electric Cooperative has restored power to most of its members after last night’s storm put nearly 2-thousand homes in the dark.

WBOC reports that they worked all night to do so even as the storm damaged several of the buildings at the cooperative’s headquarters.

The structures held electrical equipment.

Two trailers were also reported to have been blown over.

No injuries were reported.

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The on-ramp for US Route 13 south onto the Salisbury Bypass is now closed.

Large cranes and work crews will now be repairing the road for the next three months.

WBOC reports that State Highway officials say closing the ramp over the next 90 days will make it safer for the workers and motorists.

If the ramp was not closed the state believes it would have taken six months for the repairs.

Officials emphasized that there was no problem with the span that was built in 1972.

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - A state panel has increased Delaware's revenue forecast for the current and upcoming fiscal years.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council on Monday boosted its current year revenue estimate by $12.5 million compared to its May projections. The revenue estimate for fiscal 2018, which starts July 1, increased by $13.5 million.

Adding reversions of unspent funds, available revenue for fiscal 2018 increased by $27.4 million. That still leaves a gap of more than $350 million between estimated revenue and proposed spending for next year.