Local News

Don Rush

The Nanticoke River has received a grade of C+ from an environmental group.

This is down from the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance report in 2015.

WBOC reports that the downgrade is probably due to localized rain fall during the summer and fall of 2016.

In addition, samples at the Transquaking River showed high bacteria levels than in the past indicating human activity including septic tank or other sewage leakage.  

Over 40 citizen scientists participated in the monitoring taking samples and measurements every other week from late March through early November.  

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginians are set to head to the polls Tuesday to pick a Republican and Democratic candidate in the closely watched race for governor.

The Old Dominion is one of only two states electing governors this year, and the primary could illustrate how voters feel about President Donald Trump's early months and the kind of response they want from Democratic candidates.

The highest profile contest is on the Democratic side, where Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is in a close race with former congressman Tom Perriello.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Democratic Party has elected a new chairman.

Erik Raser-Schramm was elected at the state party convention on Saturday.

He will succeed John Daniello, who has overseen the party in the state since 2005. He is one of the longest-serving state party chairs in the country.

The party also has approved a platform. It includes support for a $15 minimum wage, fighting to overturn the Citizens United court case and equal pay for equal work.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Virginia Beach police say two people were arrested at an anti-Sharia law demonstration.

Police say the event on Saturday was mostly a quiet display of people expressing their First Amendment rights. But two participants were arrested toward the end of the event at Mount Trashmore for assault and disorderly conduct.

About 40 people gathered at the event.

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On the Eastern Shore we are surrounded by Sea Gulls as they swoop through the air and alight on some distant perch high above us. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes there is a magic in how these creatures take flight.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - More than 2,000 people died of drug and alcohol overdoses in Maryland last year, an increase of 66 percent over 2015.

Calling the deaths a "grim tide," Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis Schrader said in a statement Thursday that the statistics represent the largest single-year increase ever recorded in Maryland.

Health officials say the biggest increase in fatal overdoses comes among people 55 and older. Those deaths increased five-fold between 2010 and 2016, from 86 to 424.

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There’s a petition being circulated to remove the historical marker of Confederate General John Henry Winder in Salisbury.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it sits outside the Old Wicomico County Courthouse.

James Yamakawa with the group Showing Up for Racial Justice is circulating the petition.

Before the location becoming the site for the courthouse it is the area was once occupied by the Byrd Tavern where slaves were bought and sold.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware libraries are kicking off their summer reading challenge.

The state's summer reading program is in its 38th year. There will be kick-off events Friday at the Dover Public Library and Saturday at the Milton Public Library and Newark Free Library.

Delaware first lady Tracey Quillen Carney is participating and said in a statement that research has shown that children who read over the summer perform better when they return to school in the fall.

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The Schwartz Center for the Arts is closing its doors in Dover at the end of this month.

It’s been in operation for 17 years.

Tracey Miller, president of the center, told the Wilmington News Journal that while sales have been up not enough money has been coming in to keep it open.

Factors in the decision range from the upkeep of the 555 seat theater to potential funding cuts in the arts and education.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Republican lawmakers say changes to Delaware's prevailing wage laws need to be part of discussions with Democrats as lawmakers try to hammer out a budget for the fiscal year starting July 1.

Under state law, the Labor Department sets minimum wage rates for laborers and mechanics on certain public works projects. The rates are based on employer surveys in each county and often driven by union wages.

Critics say the prevailing wage needlessly drives up the cost of taxpayer-funded construction projects.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden has purchased a vacation home near Cape Henlopen State Park.

Biden issued a statement saying he and his wife, Jill, had always dreamed of being able to buy a home at the beach where his family can get together.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Biden as Delaware’s longest serving senator secured the return of the federal land at Cape Henlopen.

The paper reports that the former Vice President used the advance on his upcoming book to buy the property.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Leaders of states in the Chesapeake Bay watershed have signed a resolution calling for continued federal support of the nation's largest estuary.

The Chesapeake Executive Council signed the resolution Thursday. The council also elected Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan as its new chairman.

Hogan, a Republican, says he will remain committed to protecting the bay.

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (AP) - A top executive at Dominion Energy says the company is unlikely to make a decision on whether to build a third reactor at its North Anna Power Station until the next decade.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recent granted the company a license to add a third reactor, but the company's chief nuclear officer Daniel Stoddard tells the Free Lance-Star Dominion remains undecided on the possibility.

He says a decision isn't expected until the early 2020s due to the uncertain future of carbon regulation.

Don Rush

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Women who sunbathe topless at a Maryland resort town used to get a scolding from beach patrol officers, but that has changed.
 
WBOC-TV reports Capt. Butch Arbin, thead of Ocean City Beach Patrol, said in a memo Tuesday that workers should document complaints of toplessness, but they shouldn't approach topless women - even if beachgoers request it.
 

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The Brandywine Valley SPCA be will taking over the Georgetown shelter that has been run by Delaware SPCA.

The Brandywine organization is set to upgrade and expand the shelter.

It intends to increase adoption services as well as neuter surgeries.

Meanwhile, in giving up the Georgetown shelter the Delaware SPCA will reopen its Stanton shelter for adopting animals and expanding the veterinary services.

Board President Diane Ferry said this will allow a much needed state-of-the-art facility.

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The shooting of 6-year-old boy and his mother in Wilmington has brought out community leaders as police search for the gunman.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Jashawn was talking with his mother Shaylynn Banner when bullets struck SUV she was driving.

His aunt Daylynn Banner said that the boy was struck three times including in the head.

His mother was hit once.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A proposal to open Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The bill cleared a House committee Wednesday despite complaints from environmental groups and other opponents about the lack of public input.

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

Don Rush

There's a great deal of construction going on in downtown Salisbury. Delmarva Public Radio's Eric Gaudreau files this report on efforts to revitalize the area.  Producers for this story were Talon Foreman and Brianna George.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware has cleared a House committee.

Lawmakers on the Democrat-led committee voted along party lines Wednesday to send the bill to the full House, even though some Democratic committee members said they don't support the legislation in its current form.

The legislation allows an adult diagnosed with a terminal illness and expected to die within six months to request prescription medicine to end his or her life. A consulting physician would have to confirm the attending doctor's diagnosis.

Atlantic General Hospital website

Atlantic General Hospital broke ground on their new cancer regional center.

It’s been named after John H. “Jack” Burbage Junior.

The facility will spread out over a single floor of 18-thousand square feetand will be located at the intersection of Route 113 and Old Ocean City Road.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that there will be a number of treatments and services.

These will include Pet scans and radiation oncologists as well as community education and support groups.

Don Rush

The City of Crisfield has been experiencing some water problems.

The town is working to upgrade its infrastructure lines.

But that has left many without water for the first part of this week.

High water levels on Monday led to a delay in the work.

And even with an additional contractor the water was not expected to be turned back on until today.

The water problems forced the closure of the Crisfield Academy & High School and Woodson Elementary school well as some businesses.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia horse racing industry is considering a new location in King George County to race thoroughbreds.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Virginia Equine Alliance is considering Powhatan Plantation as the site of a new racetrack.

Horse racing in Virginia has struggled since Colonial Downs racetrack in New Kent County was closed in 2014.

Jeb Hannum, executive director of the Virginia Equine Alliance, said his group has "exhausted all discussions" with the owners of Colonial Downs to reopen the track to racing.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Several environmental groups are suing the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality over part of the permitting process for two proposed natural gas pipelines.

The Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, Bold Alliance and Preserve Craig Inc. filed suit this week in Richmond Circuit Court. They're challenging an approval DEQ granted in April that allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct the broader of two types of water quality reviews for the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines.

Delaware River and Bay Authority

PENNSVILE, N.J. (AP) - Motorists are facing major delays between New Jersey and Delaware because of a construction fire under the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
 
The fire, which was reported around 10 a.m. Wednesday, forced officials to close both spans of the twin suspension bridge. But the New Jersey span reopened just before 11 a.m.
 
The bridges connect the New Jersey Turnpike with the Delaware Turnpike and are a key link for heavily-traveled Interstate 95.
 
The Delaware River and Bay Authority says more than 86,000 vehicles daily travel over the spans.

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Senator Chris Van Hollen announced that there will be nearly $18 million for federally funded projects on the Eastern Shore.

It’s part of the money going to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as part of the 2017 Omnibus Funding Bill.

The Maryland Democrats said that this funding will help maintain access to the Chesapeake Bay as well as improving communities in the region.

The projects range from $13.7 million for beach replenishment in Ocean City to $2 million for the dredging of the upper river near Salisbury.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - The B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber will make an appearance at the 10th anniversary of the Ocean City Air Show.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports the B-2 Spirit, also known as the B-2 Stealth, will appear at the air show on June 17. The B-2 Spirit is a strategic bomber designed to penetrate deep into hostile territory undetected.  It features stealth technology that renders it virtually invisible to enemy radar.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A proposal to open Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry is getting its first hearing in the legislature.

A House committee hearing on the bill was set for Wednesday amid opposition from several environmental groups.

The bill establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites, most of them abandoned and polluted brownfields.

Colonial School District

Voters approved a $10.9 million a year referendum that the Colonial School District says it needs to avoid cuts in staff and programs.

Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey told the Wilmington News Journal that this was a victory for the 10-thousand students and the staff.

This is the second time the proposal has been put up for a vote and resulted in just over 57-hundred for the funding and around 39-hundred against.

The voter turnout was also nearly twice as last time with around 96-hundred casting ballots as opposed to only around 5-thousand in February.

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A small outbreak of Tuberculosis has hit the Howard T. Ennis School in Delaware that provides education for those with significant disabilities from preschool through the age of 21.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state health officials are making contact with those who might have come into contact with the individuals.

Delaware officials say the state will offer free screenings and treatment.

Officials added that if parents are not contacted they should not be concerned.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - As the battle over abortion rights continues to spread from Washington to state capitals, Delaware lawmakers have taken the lead in ensuring that abortion remains legal if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned.

The state House on Tuesday gave final approval to a bill eliminating restrictions on abortion in current Delaware law, which has remained on the books despite being superseded for decades by federal law.

Democratic Gov. John Carney said he'll sign the measure, for which Planned Parenthood lobbied.

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