Local News

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed a bill to provide $1.55 million to a man who spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Keith Allen Harward was released from prison in April 2016 at age 60 after DNA evidence proved him innocent of the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife in Newport News. Harward was a sailor on the USS Carl Vinson, which was stationed at the shipyard near the victims' home at the time.

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GLOUCESTER POINT, Va. (AP) - President Trump's budget proposal would slash funding by 25 percent at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Associate Dean Mark Luckenbach says the impact would be felt throughout the Tidewater region.

For instance, VIMS gives guidance to communities trying to comply with Chesapeake Bay pollution standards. It also provides significant support to the growing oyster industry, including its breeding program.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's attorney general, who has criticized an effort by a committee established by lawmakers to overhaul the state's criminal code, is proposing a more narrowly tailored approach focusing on drug laws.

Attorney General Matt Denn on Thursday unveiled legislation aimed at making Delaware's drug laws less complicated and more fair while increasing penalties for repeat convictions for drug dealing.

Denn said the revision will result in a more straightforward, coherent criminal drug code to ensure fair and proportional sentences.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has passed the state's $43.5 billion budget.
    
The House voted 135-6 for the measure Thursday. The bill now goes to the Senate.
    
The House also voted 112-29 for a companion bill that is working in tandem with the budget legislation to balance the state's books.
    
The measures passed with little debate, but lawmakers have expressed concerns about how changes in the federal government could affect the state's workforce and budget.
    

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has passed a measure to require paid sick leave for businesses that have 15 or more employees.

The Senate voted 29-18 for the bill on Thursday.

The vote is significant, because the Senate would need 29 votes to override a veto from Gov. Larry Hogan, who said Wednesday he would veto the bill in its current form.

All of the senators who supported the bill were Democrats. Four Democrats joined 14 Republicans to vote against it.

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - A statue of the U.S. Supreme Court justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision affirming slavery will be removed from a City Hall courtyard in western Maryland this weekend.

Frederick officials announced Thursday that busts of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney (TAW-nee) and a bust of Maryland's first governor and slave owner Thomas Johnson will be moved Saturday. Both will go to Mount Olivet Cemetery, where Johnson is buried.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A political newcomer running for Virginia governor in a populist style similar to President Donald Trump's has suspended his campaign.

Republican Denver Riggleman announced Thursday that he had no choice but to stop campaigning because of "resource shortages" and other considerations.

A distillery owner with no previous political experience, Riggleman had struggled to raise money.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ed Gillespie says he's going to make cutting taxes a centerpiece of his campaign.

Gillespie said Thursday he would trim state income tax rates for all tax brackets in Virginia. The plan would lower taxes on income over $17,000 a year from 5.75 percent to 5.15 percent.

Gillespie says the move would grow the economy. He says he would pay for the tax cuts with a portion of expected state revenue growth, not with cuts to state spending.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has refused to put a Virginia death row inmate's execution on hold so he can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond issued an order Thursday declining the request from Ivan Teleguz, who is scheduled to be executed April 25.

Teleguz was sentenced to death in 2006 for hiring a man to kill his ex-girlfriend but maintains he's innocent. He asked the 4th Circuit last week to stay his execution so the high court could review his argument that he was denied the right to effective counsel.

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President Trump’s federal budget would eliminate cleanup funds for the Chesapeake Bay.

The fund had been at $73 million

And last year Virginia and Maryland along with local governments got $9 million each from the program.

Said one environmental group without the money there is no cleanup.

The states in the Chesapeake Bay region and the District of Columbia use the money to upgrade sewer facilities and limit runoff from agriculture.

Governor's Office

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is hailing legislation that would delay the scoring and ranking of road projects saying that it would prevent the cancelation of 66 projects.

Maryland lawmakers agreed to delay implementation for two years – that is just beyond next year’s gubernatorial election.

Hogan had wanted full repeal of the measure.

The governor had said that the scoring system would have favored projects in just a few urban counties.

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - Officials say an equipment malfunction caused the Delaware City Refinery to release a hazardous chemical into the air.
 
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental control announced that the facility released 100 lbs. of sulfur dioxide into the air Wednesday morning.
 
WDEL-FM reports that the chemical is considered hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
 
The state environmental agency says the facility has fixed the equipment malfunction that was to blame.

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(AP) A federal judge in Greenbelt, Maryland, has blocked President Donald Trump's revised travel ban targeting six predominantly Muslim countries.

Judge Theodore Chuang ruled Thursday in a case brought near the nation's capital by the ACLU and other groups representing immigrants, refugees and their families. The groups argued that the underlying rationale of the ban was to discriminate against Muslims, making it unconstitutional. Chuang granted a preliminary injunction nationwide basis.

It was the latest ruling against Trump's revised travel ban.

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The Salisbury Regional airport has a new pilot.

Dawn Veatch is taking over as manager of the facility replacing Bob Bryant.

She called the airport a “diamond in the rough” and said it was time that the facility develop a stronger relationship with the nearby industrial park.

WBOC reports that she said that one of her first tasks will be renovations at the air terminal bringing in local restaurants that have off site permits to provide food service for those waiting for their flights.  

Courtesy of Joe Simon

The widow of Officer Steven Floyd killed in the Vaughn Correctional Center says she will not meet with Governor John Carney.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Sandra Floyd issued a statement saying that she has been “threatened by lawyers for the state” demanding repayment for her husband’s funeral expenses.

Her statement comes after a request by Governor Carney to stop by to see how her family was doing.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan says he would veto a bill requiring businesses with 15 or more employees to provide paid sick leave.

The Republican governor announced his intention during a news conference Wednesday

He says either a bill passed by the House or a measure nearing a vote in the Senate would be "dead on arrival." Hogan has his own proposal that would provide for paid sick leave for businesses with 50 or more employees. It hasn't moved forward.

NCSHA

Some $5.5 million will be provided to deal with abandoned and foreclosed properties in Delaware.

It comes through Delaware’s Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund which will leverage $15 million in private and other funding sources.

Governor John Carney who was joined by State Housing Authority Director Ana Ben Addi said this would help families cities and town across the state.

Under the program there will be around a 100 new or rehabilitated housing units.

Accomac Gets New Library

Mar 16, 2017
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The Virginia’s Eastern Shore is about to get new library.

It will be located in Accomac in a former grocery store building.

The facility will include expansion and renovation of the structure that will ultimately provide 11-thousand square feet of space.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that is around half of the size recommended for the surrounding population.

The local government did explore expanding the current building even the possible purchase of adjacent property.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal judge has granted Gov.  John Carney more time to respond to a lawsuit challenging the requirement for political balance on Delaware's courts.

The judge agreed Wednesday to give Carney until Tuesday to respond to the lawsuit.

Attorney James Adams sued Carney last month over a provision in Delaware's constitution that mandates that judicial nominations and judgeships be split between the two major political parties.

EPA

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has approved Gov. John Carney's nominee to lead Delaware's environmental agency, more than a month after a vote was postponed amid Republican opposition.

Shawn Garvin, a former regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency was confirmed on a 14-to-5 vote Wednesday to lead Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

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MILFORD, Del. (AP) - A Delaware-based perishable food distribution and warehousing company says it is laying off workers in its home state, Maryland and Georgia.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Burris Logistics will lay off workers in New Castle, Delaware and Elkton, Maryland in the coming weeks after losing a major contract with the grocery store chain The Fresh Market.

The company is also shutting down its Atlanta warehouse, resulting in up to 160 job cuts in Georgia.

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There were 13-thousand Delmarva Power customers without electricity this morning in the aftermath of the winter storm that brought, snow, sleet and rain.

The company hopes to have restored power to all of its customers by either late today or by noon tomorrow.

Its crews are getting assistance from other local utilities.

Most of the outages on Delmarva occurred in New Castle and Cecil counties.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that power has been restored to 76-thousand customers since the storm.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general is supporting Hawaii's lawsuit against President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement Tuesday that he joined 13 other attorneys general in filing an amicus brief Monday in the District Court for Hawaii.  Hawaii has asked for a temporary restraining order blocking the enforcement of the revised travel ban. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday.

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There’s a high wind advisory for Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Accomack Counties until 6 p.m. tonight.

For Kent, Sussex, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties the advisory extends until 8 p.m.

Storm

This week’s snow storm wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

But the combination of wind and ice caused 33-thousand New Castle County homes to lose power.

Authorities say residents should expect to see some continuing power outages along with icy roads.

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Dover City Manager Scott Koenig is calling it quits.

He announced his surprise retirement during a city council meeting on Monday.

His last day will be this Friday March 17th.

Koenig has been with the city for nearly 30 years in a number of jobs.

WBOC reports that the council appointed Donna Mitchell to fill the position in an acting capacity as the town searches for a replacement.

A formal ceremony for Koenig will be scheduled at a later date.

Correctional Officers Association of Delaware

The correctional officers union in Delaware has issued a set of demand as it begins contract negotiations.

The union wants an end to the agreement between the Department of Correction and the American Civil Liberties Union that it says led to the death of Officer Steven Floyd during inmate upraising at the Vaughn Correctional Center.  

WBOC reports that the union said that mental health requirements led to dangerous inmates being placed in lower security facilities.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An alternative headline on Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's Facebook page has been littered by "road kill."

The governor's page altered a headline Tuesday from The Baltimore Sun and changed it back to the newspaper's original one after a couple of hours.

The headline referred to a bill before lawmakers that has been contentious for the Republican governor and the Democrat-controlled legislature. Hogan has derisively called the measure the "road kill bill," because he says it will end up blocking projects.

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GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A Maryland judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on a lawsuit stemming from President Donald Trump's travel ban.

Several individuals and groups including the American Civil Liberties Union originally filed the lawsuit in February over the initial ban, which was blocked in court and later revised. On Wednesday, the groups will be asking a Maryland judge to issue an order that would keep the revised ban from taking effect. It's scheduled to take effect Thursday.

A federal judge in Hawaii has also scheduled a hearing Wednesday on the revised ban.

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BETHANY BEACH, Del. (AP) - Authorities say a firefighter suffered a minor injury while battling a blaze in an unoccupied beach house.

The State Fire Marshal's Office said in a news release says the Bethany Beach fire was reported about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials say firefighters from several companies battled the blaze in the four-story wood frame house that is a block from the beach. Fire fighters arrived to find heavy fire showing from the roof.

One firefighter treated and released from a hospital with a minor hand injury.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Two Baltimore police officers have been suspended from the force for reasons related to a federal indictment that landed seven other officers behind bars.

The Baltimore Sun reports that two officers, whom the department would not name, have been suspended with pay for reasons that involve a sweeping indictments announced earlier this month in which seven officers were charged with stealing from victims, faking police reports and lying to investigators, among other things.

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