Local News

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The eleventh time was a charm at Wallops Flight Facility.

At 4:25 this morning NASA launched its sounding rocket that will release vapor into the upper atmosphere to study the motion of particles in space.

The red and blue-and-green clouds could be visible along the mid-Atlantic coast from New York to North Carolina.

They are expected to reach more than a hundred miles in space.

The launch had been delayed 10 times before because of cloudy weather and rain.

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Education and non-profits are taking a hit in Delaware’s budget process.

The Joint Finance Committee has voted to slash $27 million for the state’s public schools.

In addition, the committee has approved eliminating state grants-in-aid for non-profits.

Those were just some of the largest cuts approved by the budget writing panel.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports that Democrats are hoping to still persuade Republicans to go along with some tax hikes to close a $350 million budget shortfall.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill opening Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry is facing a final vote in the General Assembly.

The bill, which easily cleared the House last week, is scheduled for a Senate 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.

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Aaron Thompson has been found guilty of murder-for-hire in the deaths of a newlywed couple.

The 33-year-old now faces life in prison for two-counts of first-degree murder.

The shooting took place in 2013 in front of the couple’s Paladin Club condominium.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that most of the trial centered around whether Thompson was one of the two shooters who shot and killed the couple that night.

The paper reports that four people were arrested and charged in the murders.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Advocacy groups are preparing to deliver petitions asking Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to halt the execution of an inmate who killed two men during an escape in 2006.

The groups say they will deliver almost 30,000 petitions Thursday asking McAuliffe to call off William Morva's July 6 execution. The groups include Amnesty International, the National Alliance for Mental Illness and the American Bar Association.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Tom Perriello is heading a new political action committee aimed at helping down-ballot Democrats.

Perriello said Wednesday he'll be running a group called Win Virginia, which will work to help Democrats running for the state House this year.

Perriello was defeated by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the Democratic primary earlier this month. 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Class of 2021 is arriving at the U.S. Naval Academy.

About 1,200 students will attend Induction Day in Annapolis on Thursday.

The incoming students are known as plebes. That's the academy's word for freshmen.

They will be processed through various stations to get uniforms, medical examinations and haircuts. They'll also be shown how to salute.

They finish their first day with the Oath of Office ceremony.

After that, they meet with their families for the last time until Plebe Parents' Weekend, which is in August.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Two railroad workers were killed when they were hit by an Amtrak train that was approaching a station in Washington.

In a news release, Amtrak says a train traveling from Boston and New York was approaching Washington's Union Station around 11:18 p.m. Tuesday when the two people on the tracks were struck. Railroad company CSX confirmed Wednesday that the two people who died were CSX employees.

Amtrak says none of the train's passengers or crew were injured.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland and Virginia will end their respective crabbing seasons early this year, following a report indicating a drop in the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population.

News outlets report that the Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that its crab season will end Nov. 20, 10 days earlier than 2016's extended season. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted 6-1 in a public hearing to end the season Nov. 30 and reopen it March 17, 2018, amounting to 16 fewer days than last year's extended season.

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The Senate will not vote on its health care bill this week after losing the support of GOP lawmakers and a bad review by the Congressional Budget Office. Maryland Senate President Mike Miller was in Salisbury for a luncheon at the Greater Salisbury Chamber of Commerce where we sat down with him to talk about the Senate measure what must be done to fix the health care system.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Legislative budget writers are scheduled to resume their work as negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders over a spending plan for the fast-approaching fiscal year have stalled.

The General Assembly's Joint Finance Committee was set to convene Wednesday, after a scheduled meeting on Tuesday failed to materialize.

Lawmakers are facing a gap of more than $350 million between estimated revenue and proposed spending for the fiscal year starting Saturday, according to Democratic Gov. John Carney's administration.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is repealing a policy on waste management that he says took authority away from local officials and caused problems.

The Republican governor announced the repeal in a speech to local officials Tuesday night.

The policy put in place by his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, limited new or expanded landfill capacity to encourage alternatives to storing waste in landfills.

But Hogan says the policy created unnecessary hardships and overflowing landfills. He says he's replacing it with a more balanced approach.

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Commercial poultry operations will no longer be allowed in residential or general business zoning districts in Accomack County.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to bar the practice.

Such operations had been allow in those areas after getting a special use permit.

The planning department asked the board to act after an application to build four poultry houses on over 200-acres in Horntown located near a residential area.

Concern over the rise in the number of chicken houses has grown over the years.

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Local law enforcement is trying to identify two bodies.

One was found in Pocomoke River on Monday morning and another two weeks ago in the Wicomico River near the downtown Salisbury Riverwalk.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that both are African American adult men.

The paper reports that there are no reports of missing persons matching their descriptions.

Police say the Maryland Medical Examiner is now determining the cause of death but they say there is no indication of foul play.

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Delaware Technical Community College marked the end of their $7 million energy project on the Terry Campus with the completion of the last solar installation.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this will result in a total production of 2.1 megawatts or about 12 percent of the college’s energy requirements.

The paper reports that this is one of the largest such installations in the state.

The state of Delaware hopes to get 25 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by the middle of the next decade.

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says he’s going to fight a bill that he says puts a knife into the backs of local craft brewers.

The Maryland official was on the Eastern Shore yesterday visiting local craft brewers during the Maryland Municipal League.

The legislation would force local brewers to buy back their own products from wholesalers as well as force them to close their doors as early as 10 p.m.

WBOC reports that Franchot says the measure would cost the Eastern Shore economy billions of dollars each year.

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DENTON, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is attending the grand opening of the Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center.

It's scheduled for Wednesday morning in Denton in Caroline County, which is the only county in Maryland that has been without a visitor's center.

The center will support the tourism industry and economy in Caroline County.

The project had been stalled for 14 years.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's highest court will consider a challenge to police's practice of keeping data from automated license plate readers.

The Washington Post reports that the Virginia Supreme Court will hear the case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Fairfax County, where police keep license plate data for one year.

Police say the data is crucial to help find missing people and stolen cars and solve other crimes. But critics say keeping the data past a short period of time presents privacy concerns.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - University of Virginia's president is urging students and faculty to stay away from an upcoming Ku Klux Klan rally in the city.

Local news media outlets report that University President Teresa Sullivan urged community members in an email to "avoid the rally and avoid confrontation" when the North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights come to Charlottesville on July 8 to protest the city's decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

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CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) - Chesapeake will soon overtake Norfolk as Virginia's second-most populous city.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that new projections from the University of Virginia put Chesapeake's population at 253,000 by 2020. Norfolk will have 250,700 people.

Norfolk currently leads Chesapeake by 7,000 residents.

The projections were made by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service's Demographics Research Group. The numbers are shared with policymakers for planning purposes.

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Governor Larry Hogan was in Salisbury for a luncheon where he told Delmarva Public Radio that he was frustrated by the plans on Capitol Hill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

During a luncheon in Salisbury he told Delmarva Public Radio that he had urged the state’s Maryland congressional delegation to seek compromise on reforming the Affordable Care Act.

As for the Senate bill the Maryland Republican said he did not believe that it would serve the interests of the state residents.

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There’s only a week left in the Delaware state legislative session.

And state Senate leaders told the Wilmington News Journal that they do not intend to hold votes on issues like hiking the minimum wage or re-instating the death penalty.

Much of the discussion is being taken up with last minute negotiations over the state budget which is facing a $350 million shortfall.

Legislative leaders say proposed tax hikes are still up in the air along propose budget cuts that proved extremely unpopular during the early going of the budgetary process.

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Congressman Andy Harris has co-sponsored a bill that would create a commission to celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of famed former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

In a statement issued by his office the Eastern Shore Republican called Douglass the father of the civil rights movement.

The measure to create the commission is co-sponsored by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Douglas was born in Talbot County in 1818 and escaped from slavery in 1838.

He later become a leader in the abolitionist movement as a speaker and writer.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An annual report has found the overall population of blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay has declined and it recommends limiting the number harvested in the fall.

The annual Blue Crab Advisory Report was released Monday. It was developed by scientists and other experts and will be used by state officials in Maryland and Virginia and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission to develop crab management strategies.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Maryland's senior senator says planned replenishment of Ocean City's beach has been moved up a year by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Sen. Ben Cardin says the $3 million project will begin after this summer is over, instead of the end of the 2018 season. The project is expected to be finished in time for the start of the 2018 summer.

Cardin and other politicians and officials announced the advance Monday on Ocean City's boardwalk.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers have introduced a resolution calling for Delaware's Department of Education to develop regulations with specific guidelines to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

The resolution says state employment policies and guidelines mandate that government employees not be discriminated against based on gender identity or expression. That includes the right to be called by their preferred names and pronouns, treated with dignity and respect, and allowed to use bathroom facilities corresponding to their gender identity.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - More than 30 employees at a Baltimore waterfront eatery didn't show up to work after an owner says Immigration and Customs Enforcement started reviewing its records.

The Baltimore Sun reports co-owner Gene Singleton says The BoatHouse Canton received an ICE request on Thursday to review I-9 forms. He says the more than 90 remaining staff had to keep pace with demand, including a 400-person event on Sunday.

ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke says the agency doesn't "confirm the existence of any ongoing investigation."

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State Senator Jim Mathias has a challenger in next year’s elections.

He’s Ed Tinus who ran for U.S. Senate Maryland in 2012 and 2016.  

But he was a Democrat then.

Now he wears the GOP label to challenge the Democratic incumbent in Senate District 38.

Tinus told the Salisbury Daily Times that he doesn’t really fit either party.

But, he added, with the current primary system it didn’t make sense to run as an independent.

And Republicans have a slight edge in the 38th District.

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Salisbury Police say they want help in finding 14-year-old Key' Asia Chanel Smith who was last seen early Friday morning on Adams Avenue.

She is described as 5-feet 5-inches tall weighing a 120 pounds.

She has black and purple hair with brown eyes.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that authorities say she was last seen wearing a black shirt with black pants and New Balance shoes.

The paper says she is considered critically missing because of her age.

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FEDERALSBURG, Md. (AP) - Maryland State Police say an ultralight aircraft has crashed and its pilot has died.

Police say Michael Malick, 71, died Sunday after being transported to Nanticoke Hospital from the crash site in Caroline County.

Police say Malick was flying an ultralight aircraft when he lost control shortly after takeoff at a privately owned grass airfield.

Police say they believe the plane hit a power line, and witnesses say the plane spiraled to the ground. Police say a parachute appeared to have been deployed from the aircraft.

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