Local News

bob culver campaign website

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver called it a witch hunt.

He was referring to an audit into – what has been termed – a potentially fraudulent letter recommending a raise for a county employee.

Culver charged that members on the county council were engaged in wasting taxpayer dollars to “advance their own political agenda”.

His criticism comes after the county council decided not to proceed because of what the auditor said was a lack of cooperation and transparency.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Department

JARRATT, Va. (AP) - Virginia has executed a man who killed a hospital security guard and sheriff's deputy after escaping from custody in 2006.

Thirty-five-year-old William Morva was pronounced dead at 9:15 p.m. Thursday after an injection at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt. He had no last words.

It was the first execution carried out in Virginia under a new protocol that makes more of the lethal injection procedure secret.

White Marlin Open logo

The White Marlin Open has made a decision on how to shell out the $2.8 million in winnings after the original winner was disqualified and a failed legal bid.

The big winner is now Richard Kosztyu from New Jersey who will wind up with $2 million.

Phil Heasley was the original winner but was disqualified when he failed a lie detector test about when he left the dock.

He would have taken the full $2.8 million.

With Heasley’s disqualification the prize money is now being split between 13 other anglers…who will also contribute to the legal fees.

Over The Rainbow Shop

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A Delaware church has removed an anti-LGBTQ sign following complaints.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports the sign, which read "It's Adam and Eve not Steve" and was signed "God," was up at Providence United Methodist Church for a week before being removed Monday.

Pastor Regina Reeves and former pastor Walter Reeves said in a statement that the message was unauthorized and had been posted by an individual member of the church without the knowledge of church leadership.

Don Rush

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Oyster restoration efforts are almost complete on one river in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. But officials warn that federal funding could be cut before the work is all done.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation said in a press release that environmental groups and two congressmen will meet Friday to highlight progress along the Lafayette River in Norfolk. They also plan to talk about the need for funding to complete the job.

The Trump Administration has proposed eliminating Chesapeake Bay cleanup dollars.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Democratic Party of Virginia has a new executive director a few months out from nationally watched elections.

The party announced Thursday that former deputy director Chris Bolling is returning to run the organization.

Virginia is one of only two states electing new governors and other state-level offices this year, and the contests are being closely watched as potential referendums on President Donald Trump.

Lt. Gov. website

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn has joined 29 other state attorney’s general calling on the Federal Communications Commission to stop unlawful robocalls.

The FCC is considering new rules that would allow providers the ability to block these computer generated calls.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the letter says many illegal robocalls hide their identity with illegitimate caller ID numbers to con the public.       

One such scheme claims to be from the IRS requesting payments.

Currently, the rule do not allow providers to block such calls.

Holiday in Ocean City

Jul 6, 2017
Don Rush

It was a busy weekend in Ocean City as thousands turned out for the Fourth of July holiday. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush paints this sound picture of the people along the boardwalk and on the shore.

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It was a Fourth of July surprise for a family out fishing in the waters off Ocean City.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that a whale shark was spotted by a Hebron man who donned a snorkel mask and reached it with great effort.

Whale sharks are docile filter-feeders that can grow to as large as 20 tons with a potential length of 32 feet.

Capt. Rob Skillman, with Moorebills Sport Fishing says he has seen a number of the creatures off the Mexican coast lines but never as largest as this one.

This is the second such sighting.

creative commons

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Attorneys for current and former Delaware officials are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of a guard killed in a prison riot and five other correctional officers who survived.

Inmates took over a building at the maximum-security Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna in February, setting off an 18-hour standoff during which correctional officer Steven Floyd was killed.

The lawsuit alleges that state officials have ignored staffing and security issues at the prison for years, creating an unsafe work environment.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland regulators have allowed the state's first medical marijuana dispensary to open its doors immediately even though the drug will not be available for months.

The Baltimore Sun reports the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved the license for the Wellness Institute of Maryland on Wednesday. The first crop is not expected to be ready until after Labor Day, but owner Michael Kline says the company will take "pre-orders" Thursday.

Don Rush

The investigation into a suspicious letter that called for a pay hike for a Wicomico County employee has been called off.

The reason cited by the firm hired to investigate was that County Executive Bob Culver and members of his staff have declined to answer questions about the affair.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the County Council decision comes on the same day that the firm said that the lack of “full disclosure” and “transparency” was “disconcerting”.

The company called the letter dated November 19th, 2015 “potentially fraudulent”.

family photo

BALTIMORE (AP) - As the homicide rate in Baltimore soars, the 173th victim this year has been identified as the brother of the police department's spokesman.

Twenty-four-year-old Dionay Smith is the younger brother of T.J. Smith. Smith was found fatally shot inside his home about 8 p.m. Sunday.

His brother posted about the death on social media.

T.J. Smith wrote in a statement on Facebook that "to many, he will be #173, but to me and my family, he's Dion, a brother, a son, a father, a friend, a nephew and a kind soul."

creative commons

The Wilmington Stock Exchange is up and running executing around 50 trades a day and is hoping for daily trades of 8 million shares to break even.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that currently the exchange posts 750 companies that range from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to technology and banking firms.

Dennis Toner, director of the organization, told the paper that each day the volume of trading has increased.

Currently, the operation has around 14 employees divided between offices in Wilmington, New York and New Jersey.

civilwar.org

SHARPSBURG, Md. (AP) - President Donald Trump's salary, which he promised to give away, will go toward two restoration projects at Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke made the announcement Wednesday at Antietam. He says Trump's first quarter salary donation is $78,333, and $22,000 was pledged by an anonymous donor. 

amnestyusa.org

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - When Virginia carries out its next execution, more of the process will be shrouded in secrecy.

Virginia is scheduled to execute 35-year-old William Morva on Thursday for the killings of a hospital security guard and a sheriff's deputy, unless the state governor intervenes.

Recent changes to the state's protocol means that if Morva is executed, he would remain shielded from the view of his attorney and media witnesses until after he has been restrained and IV lines have been inserted.

Don Rush

Delaware is turning down a request by the Presidential
Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to handover voter registration data.

The letter received by the Secretary of State Jeffery Bullock asked for such things as party affiliation and the last four digits of Social Security numbers.

State Election Commissioner Elaine Manlove said that providing that information to the White House would not serve the mission of safeguarding elections.

Manlove said that only names addresses and voter history are made available to the public.

creative commons

Thousands flocked to Delmarva to celebrate the Fourth of July.

In Hockessin Delaware Governor John Carney walked in parade alongside an antique car even as temperatures soared into the 90’s.

There were other celebrations in Bethany Beach, Smyrna, Newark and Laurel.

In Wilmington, there were many who braved predictions of thunderstorms during the annual fireworks display hour.

On Maryland’s Lower Shore there were fireworks displays from Red, White and Boom in Salisbury to Ocean City where thousands of tourists flocked to celebrate the holiday.

creative commons

The Arthur W. Perdue Foundation has pledged a $100-thousand to building a new library in Parksley, Virginia.

The donation was made to the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation and is part of Perdue’s commitment to education in the region.

Kitty Hall, chair of the library board, told the Salisbury Daily Times that the donation will provide a new regional library to the children of Accomack and Northampton counties.

In addition, there will be summer reading rooms and areas for activities involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Hurricane Sandy, noaa

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia has a new plan for dealing with hurricane evacuations that uses a zoned approach to prioritize getting the most vulnerable residents away from major flooding and reducing unnecessary travel.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Tuesday it's the most significant change in decades to the state's evacuation system, which computer simulations showed was unrealistic.

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LAUREL, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police say they have arrested a man wanted for robbery after he was found unconscious in a convenience store.

Police said in a news release that troopers responded to the store in Laurel early Tuesday morning after a report of a man found unconscious in a bathroom. Thirty-one-year-old Richard L. Oneal of Delmar was taken to a hospital for medical evaluation, and police say drug evidence was gathered.

Police say a computer check revealed Oneal was wanted for a June 25 robbery near Georgetown and as an absconder from probation.

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There are new complaints against the Dewey Beach Town Manager Marc Applebaum alleging sexual harassment and unprofessionalism.

The Salisbury Daily Time reports they come on behalf of several former resort employees and a businesswoman.

The paper reports this brings the total number to 15 including several members of the Dewy Police Department including Chief Sam Mackert.

The new complaints were filed with the Public Integrity Commission yesterday.

creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to strong-arm Republicans late Thursday as an impasse over a budget for the fiscal year starting Saturday continued to escalate.

Amid public criticism and partisan bickering over a decision by the Democratic-led budget committee Wednesday to zero out spending for an annual package of grants to nonprofit groups, community agencies and volunteer fire companies, Democrats drafted a bill to both restore that funding and increase personal income taxes to pay for it.

pbfenergy.com

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State lawmakers have given final approval to a bill opening Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry.

The bill, which easily cleared the House last week, passed the Senate on an 18-2 vote Thursday.

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

nasa.gov

The Wallops Flight Facility had a successful launch this week with the sounding rocket that went vapors into space to track the motion of particles more than a 100 miles above the earth's surface.

But the spaceport is gearing up for a set of more impressive launches -- the missions to resupply the International Space Station.

Kurt Eberly, vice president of Orbital ATK Antares, said there is a contract for a total of ten resupply missions.

Don Rush

A suspicious letter has shown up in the personnel file of a Wicomico County employee calling for a raise.

An independent audit calls the letter potentially fraudulent.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the document is dated November 19th, 2015 and made the case for a raise for an unnamed county employee by a department head.

The paper reports that the department head has denied any involvement in the letter.

mug shot

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The upcoming execution of a Virginia inmate has pushed to the forefront the debate over whether people with mental illness should be shielded from the ultimate punishment.

Thirty-five-year-old William Morva is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday for the killings of a hospital security guard and a sheriff's deputy in 2006. The killings came after Morva, who was in jail on attempted robbery charges, was taken to a hospital for treatment.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Several new state laws are going into effect Saturday in Virginia, potentially impacting how Virginians drive, what kind of alcohol they buy, and what they wear when they go hunting.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this year passed provisions that put in place a $100 fine for driving too slowly in the left lane on highways, allow state-owned liquor stores to sell the hard liquor Everclear, and let hunters wear blaze pink instead of blaze orange.

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ODENTON, Md. (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin is joining a discussion about connections between federal issues and local small business success in Maryland.

Cardin will join small business owners for the discussion on Friday in Odenton.

Cardin, a Democrat, is a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

He also will hear from business owners on issues at the federal level that affect their businesses.

historic photos

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Charlottesville is seeking bids from design firms to develop a new master plan for two downtown parks previously named for Confederate generals.

The city announced Thursday it had issued a request for proposals to have architectural design firms redesign Justice Park and Emancipation Park, which used to be called Lee and Jackson parks. It is part of an effort by the city to "tell the full story of race" in its public spaces.

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