Local News

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions is continuing to push his tough-on-crime agenda, this time to law enforcement officials in Virginia.

Sessions will speak to police and federal officials Wednesday in Richmond. He is expected to further underscore his efforts to make fighting street violence a top mission of the Justice Department.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland measure aimed at keeping antibiotics effective is headed to the state Senate.

The Keep Antibiotics Effective Act will be before the Senate this week. The Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee passed the bill out of committee Tuesday on a 7-4 vote.

The bill is in response to "superbugs" that are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics. Supporters say part of the problem is the inappropriate and excessive use of human antibiotics in agriculture.

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a Virginia law automatically suspending the driver's licenses of people who can't pay court costs and fines.

Judge Norman K. Moon said Monday that his court does not have jurisdiction over the matter. He did not make a judgment on the merits of the case.

The Legal Aid Justice Center filed the lawsuit against the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles on behalf of low-income drivers who lost their license for failing to pay court debts.

National Weather Channel

As the rain and snow descend on Delmarva some 30-thousand residents are now without power in New Castle County.

Some of those outages are not expected to be restored until this afternoon.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the storm may be less than predicted.

Forecasters are now saying there could be from 1 to 3 inches instead of predicted 8 to 12 inches.

Roads were reported to be pretty clear with the sleet and rain washing away the snow.

Storm Hits Delmarva

Mar 14, 2017
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There is a high wind warning in effort for Sussex County until 4 p.m. this afternoon.

For Dorchester, Wicomico and Somerset Counties, a wind advisory is in effect until 1 p.m.

Also be mindful of a coastal flood warning until 3 p.m. for Kent and Sussex Counties.

There a winter weather advisory for Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot and Caroline Counties until 4 p.m.

In northern Delaware forecasters say that over 2 inches of snow has already fallen overnight and is expected throughout the day.

They expect up to 12 inches in New Castle diminishing further south.

Courtesy of Joe Simon

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's governor wants to hire 75 prison guards next year following an inmate uprising and hostage taking in which a correctional officer was killed.

Gov. John Carney said Monday that his fiscal 2018 budget proposal will include $2.3 million to hire 50 new guards at the maximum-security Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna and 25 new guards at the Baylor women's prison in New Castle.

Carney also is proposing $1.2 million in new spending next year for equipment, and additional funding for training and recruitment.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland Senate panel has rejected Gov. Larry Hogan's nominee to head the Maryland Department of Planning.

The Senate Executive Nominations Committee voted 11-6 Monday against the appointment of Wendi Peters.

Democrats who control the panel say they felt she was unqualified for the Cabinet post. 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's attorney general has joined 13 other states in opposing President Donald Trump's revised travel ban.

Brian Frosh said in a news release that on Monday he filed an amicus brief in the District Court for Hawaii.  Hawaii has asked for a temporary restraining order blocking the enforcement of the president's revised travel ban.

Frosh says the proposed ban will hurt Maryland's universities and economy.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland measure with bipartisan support would expand Medicaid to establish an adult dental option.

The bill is scheduled to have a hearing on Tuesday. It's sponsored by a Maryland Republican, Del. Mike McKay, of western Maryland.

He says oral health is a critical part of overall health care, and it's time for Maryland to include it in Medicaid coverage.

The dental option would be authorized under the legislation. It would not be mandated.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate is scheduled to vote on a measure to allow workers at companies with 15 or more employees to earn paid sick leave.

The Senate is set to vote on the bill Tuesday.

The Senate measure would enable employees to earn up to five paid sick days a year. The House of Delegates already has passed a bill to enable employees to earn up to seven paid sick days a year.

The two chambers will have to work out differences between the two measures to pass a bill this year before session ends April 10.

Snow Set to Hit Delmarva

Mar 13, 2017
Don Rush

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for Sussex and Sussex Counties through 11 a.m. with and coastal flood advisory in effect through 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, a winter weather advisory has been issued for Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot and Caroline counties in Maryland for this evening starting at 8 p.m. and running through 4 p.m. tomorrow.

For northern Delaware forecasters expect somewhere between 8 and 12 inches of snow beginning tonight.

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BEL AIR, Md. (AP) - Maryland's only congressional Republican is telling constituents that he supports efforts underway in Congress to reform the health care system.

Rep. Andy Harris, a physician who represents Maryland's Eastern Shore and parts of the greater Baltimore region, met Saturday with small groups of constituents during "office hours" in Bel Air.

Harris has not yet held a formal town hall meeting constituents since President Donald Trump took office, though on Friday he announced one scheduled for March 31.

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Despite the cold around 50 supporters of President Donald Trump were out along Route 50 in West Ocean City on Saturday as tourists flooded into the resort to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

They carried Trump campaign signs along with homemade ones reading “Law and Order on the Border” and “America First”.

During an interview with the Salisbury Daily Times rally organizer Steve Lind accused opponents of the President of being “haters”.

The rally was organized by the national group called Main Street Patriots.

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Gander Mountain is closing 32 stores nationwide over the next several weeks.

But the store located in Salisbury will not be one of them.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the shutdowns follow the announcement that the company is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The firm said the key problem was that many customers had switched to the internet to buy the same products.

Salisbury has recently survived a number of nationwide chains closing their stores including Macy’s and Kmart.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware's outgoing U.S. attorney says he learned about his departure from a friend, who heard about it on the news.
    
Charles Oberly is one of 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama asked to submit their resignations Friday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
    
Oberly told The News Journal in Wilmington Saturday that he learned of the decision from a friend who called to offer condolences.
    

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A lawsuit challenging several Virginia legislative boundaries is going to trial.

The trial starts Monday and could last through Thursday in Richmond Circuit Court.

The lawsuit was brought by OneVirginia2021, a redistricting advocacy group. The group says lawmakers during the 2011 redistricting process violated the requirement that election districts must be compact.

The group is challenging 11 House and Senate districts, which are currently held by both Democrats and Republicans.

Joe biden, us.gov

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Former Vice President Joe Biden is joining officials at the University of Delaware, his alma mater, for the launch Monday of the Biden Institute.

The Institute is a new research and policy center focused on domestic issues including economic reform, environmental sustainability, criminal justice and civil rights.

Biden will be the founding chair of the Institute, which will be part of the university's School of Public Policy and Administration.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - More than 100,000 Virginia taxpayers who had their tax refunds issued on prepaid debit cards never used them, leaving $14 million in refunds unclaimed.

Virginia issued the prepaid cards from 2013 to 2015, in an effort to save money on paper checks. Taxpayers due refunds had the option of a direct deposit or a prepaid debit card.

The program proved unpopular and was discontinued after tax year 2014. Recipients complained the cards were unwieldy and carried hidden fees.

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - Jail officials in Portsmouth are investigating the death of inmate who was found unresponsive in his cell.

The Hampton Roads Regional Jail says inmate Jakim Funderburk was found in his cell with a bedsheet tied around his neck hanging from the top bunk.

Guards doing a security check found Funderburk at 12:30 a.m. Sunday and administered CPR until paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead an hour later.

Portsmouth police are investigating, along with jail officials.

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We seem to live in an era of Fake News. Telling fiction from truth has often become difficult in this age of twitter. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes it is an age in which we must find a way beyond the 140 characters.

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The GOP efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act has gotten underway in Washington. But, there are words of caution from Maryland officials. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush breaks down what the impact of the Republican plan might have on the Free State with Vincent DeMarco, president of Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, which has been critical of the GOP plan.

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In southern Dorchester County climate change is threatening one of the most important historic sites on the Lower Eastern Shore.

It’s the property that saw the enslavement of Harriet Tubman who escaped bondage only to return to the region to free other slaves.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the land designated as part of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad could eventually wind up being underwater.

The forecast comes as official celebrate the grand opening of the site’s $22 million visitor center tomorrow.

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Maryland state officials have issued a drought warning for the Eastern Shore.

The counties range from Caroline, Dorchester, Kent and Queen Anne’s to Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester.

This follows on a more serious drought warning that has been issued for central Maryland that include counties such as Baltimore, Carroll and Montgomery among others.

The Maryland Department of the Environment points to lower than normal stream flows and underground water levels.

Rain fall for the last six months has been 6.5 inches below normal.

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Delaware Governor John Carney says that the state’s property tax is “too competitive”.

His remarks came during an interview on WDEL

The Wilmington News Journal reports that in a written statement Carney stopped short of calling for an increase.

He said he did not believe that the state’s budget challenges should shifted to local and county governments.

But he added Delaware must recognize that the property is very low compared with other states.

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer says the county will save $2.5 million to preserve local farmland through a partnership with Delaware's farmland preservation program.

Meyer has announced a $500,000 contribution to preserve county farmland, which he says saves taxpayers $2.5 million compared to the prior county administration's plan to purchase development rights on two farms in the Port Penn area.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Three advocacy groups in Virginia want federal regulators to rescind or revise an environmental assessment of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline because they say it was released prematurely and lacks meaningful analysis.

The groups made their arguments in a filing this week with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has the final say on interstate pipelines.

The groups say the pipeline company has filed a "copious amount" of important information about the project since December, when FERC issued its draft environmental impact statement.

delaware.state.courts.gov

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The upcoming trial of two Pennsylvania men charged in alleged murder-for-hire scheme will have an unusual feature - two juries.

A judge this week granted a prosecution request to sever the scheduled January trials of Ryan Shover and Michael Kman. But he also granted the state's request to try the defendants simultaneously, before two separate juries.

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Congressman Elijah Cummings says he told President Trump that his language has been “hurtful” and “insulting” the African American community.

The Baltimore Sun reports that he also urged the president to take a look at voter suppression as well as election fraud.

The paper reports that the conversation occurred during an Oval Office meeting in which the Maryland Democrat provided the President and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price with a plan to allow the federal government to negotiation drug prices under the Medicare program.

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Two people have been arrested after officials say they attempted to catch a house on fire in Salisbury.
 
The Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office tells local media that 38-year-old Netisha Black and 62-year-old Gregory Wilson tried to detonate a Molotov cocktail on Feb. 12 next to a Salisbury home.
 
According to a statement, the homeowner found the device burning next to his home. Fire investigators later determined the attack was the result of a family dispute.
 

Perdue Farms

Perdue Farms has a new Chief Executive Officer.

Randy Day has been named to that position after serving as the Chief Operating officer since May of last year.

Jim Perdue, chairman of Perdue Farms, noted that Day has been with the company 36 years and has embraced the need for change and innovation.

Day is a native of the Eastern Shore and earned a master’s degree in poultry nutrition from the University of Maryland College Park.

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