Local News

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Dover city council member Roy Sudler wants Mayor Robin Christiansen to step back as chair of the police chief search committee.

Sudler sent an email to the council president and other members pointing to recent remarks made by the mayor.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that during a January 9th meeting Christiansen said he was angered by a Facebook post made by a state representative asking why the appointment of Deputy Chief Marvin Malley as the next police chief has been delayed.  

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The battle over the ethanol expansion request by the Delaware City Refinery has pitted lawyers for the state and the refinery against citizen groups as they go before the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control along with the company claim that five of the seven arguments against the expansion are erroneous and reflect desperation.

But Delaware Audubon and the League of Women Voters of Delaware call the claims misdirection and say they are failing to follow the law.

creative commons

Generally, students in Maryland public schools automatically get President’s Day and the day after Easter off.

But there’s legislation in Annapolis that would allow the school districts to decide if they want give students to do that.

WBOC reports that supporters of the measure say this would give schools more flexibility.

They point to Governor Larry Hogan’s decision to require schools to start after Labor Day and to end before June 15th.

Supporters say this makes fitting in classroom time more difficult.  

governor's office

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed legislation that would allow people to carry concealed switchblades and a bill that would allow home-schooled students to participate in public-school sports.

The governor announced the vetoes Monday. He also vetoed a bill that would lower the allowable age of conceal handgun permit holders from 21 to 18 for active duty military members and veterans.

Don Rush

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - Frederick County officials are considering relaxing restrictions on farm distilleries, wineries, breweries and tasting rooms.

The bills are up for discussion by the County Council on Tuesday afternoon.

County Executive Jan Gardner has announced bills to allow tasting rooms on farms and distilleries in areas zoned for agriculture.

Council Member Tony Chmelik is proposing legislation to define tasting rooms as agri-tourism.

virginiageneralassembly.gov

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - One of Virginia's most powerful politicians is stepping down.

Republican House Speaker William J. Howell said Monday he is retiring will not seek re-election when his term ends in January.

House Majority Leader Kirk Cox is expected to be Howell's successor, though other Republicans may try to challenge him.

Elected as speaker in 2003, Howell helped grow a near GOP supermajority in the House thanks in part to the favorable legislative boundaries drawn during the last redistricting.

Don Rush

Several hundred protesters showed up in front of city hall in downtown Salisbury on Saturday.

The principle rally was called by opponents of President Donald Trump’s policies in particular on immigrant rights and the travel ban that affects seven Muslim majority countries.

City council member and former Mayor Jim Ireton told the crowd that people must “…rise up against this Muslim ban and this ridiculous wall.”

That latter refers to President Trump’s promise to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border.

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Delaware’s two Democratic senators have gotten an earful from constituents when it comes to President Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees.

Senator Chris Coons told the Wilmington News Journal that he has gotten dozens of calls in a day.

He said, “They have been ringing off the hooks in Dover and Wilmington and Washington."

Delaware’s senior Senator Tom Carper told the paper his constituents don’t want them to be timid in opposing some of Trump’s nominees.

North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Senate panel is scheduled to vote on the appointment of Maryland's acting lottery director - more than 21 months after Gov. Larry Hogan appointed him to the job.

A vote by the panel on whether to send Gordon Medenica's appointment to the full Senate is expected Monday.

Some senators have expressed confidence in his experience. Others, however, have had questions about him.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republican hopefuls for governor have played nice during their first debate.

The candidates avoided attacking each other Saturday at an event in Charlottesville and instead stuck largely to GOP talking points.

Corey Stewart, a one-time chairman of President Donald Trump's campaign in Virginia, has blasted former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie several times in interviews and social media accounts.

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - A former Virginia news anchor whose girlfriend was fatally shot during a live broadcast in 2015 says he's raised more than $30,000 during the first week of his campaign for the House of Delegates.

The Roanoke Times reports that Chris Hurst announced the fundraising total during a campaign kickoff event on Saturday. He has yet to file a campaign finance report.

Hurst quit his job as an anchor at WDBJ-TV to run as a Democrat in Virginia's 12th District, which is currently represented by Republican Del. Joseph Yost.

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SYKESVILLE, Md. (AP) - No one won the massive Powerball jackpot on Saturday night, but someone in Maryland got richer anyway.

The Maryland Lottery says a $1 million winning ticket was sold at a convenience store in Sykesville.

The ticket matched all five white balls that were drawn but not the Powerball. The jackpot for Saturday night's drawing was $349 million.

The ticket sold in Maryland was one of nine $1 million or $2 million winners around the country.

The store in Sykesville will get a $2,500 bonus for selling the ticket.

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Salisbury will be the scene of two demonstrations Saturday reflecting the divisions in the country.

One will be led by Molly Likovich called “No Ban, No Wall, No Registry Rally.

Likovich a recent Salisbury University Graduate told the Salisbury Daily Times that the protest is aimed at reflecting opposition to President Trump’s policies ranging from immigration to the proposed travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries.

But they will be met by a conservative counter protest led by the Somerset Central Republican Committee.

Lord's Prayer, 123rf.com

The Wilmington City Council has decided to resume opening its meetings with a prayer.

And the term universal prayer was removed from this week’s resolution before passage.  

The measure was approved by 11 of the 13 members.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the new prayer will be done in conjunction with faith leaders and will be heard at the next council meeting.

The council had replaced an overtly Christian prayer with a moment of silent reflection.

Jeopardy

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A student studying at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis will be among the contestants on the college championship of "Jeopardy!"

The school says 18-year-old freshman Gary Tse of Ellicott City, Maryland, will compete on the show that airs Friday at 7 p.m. The school says he'll face off against a Georgetown University student and a student from the University of Kentucky.

The show's college championship runs from Feb. 13 to Feb. 24 and features 15 students competing for a $100,000 grand prize.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A Baltimore school police officer accused of standing by while another officer was caught on video slapping a teen has been acquitted of charges.

News outlets report a jury on Wednesday found 53-year-old Saverna Bias not guilty of second-degree assault and misconduct in office.

Documents show a witness to the March 1 encounter said Bias told Officer Anthony Spence to hit the youth, and Spence then hit and kicked the teen. Spence said the student spat on him.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - An offender held at a Delaware prison where a hostage died during an inmate uprising says tactical responders who stormed the building to end the siege injured nearly every prisoner inside.

Donald Parkell filed a federal lawsuit this week against the warden and unnamed prison staffers.

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The Day Without Immigrants protest found 27 percent of students in the Indian River School District were absent yesterday.

In addition, WBOC reports that the North Georgetown Elementary school where over 60 percent of the students are Hispanic 47 percent were absent.

In addition, Georgetown saw two of his Hispanic restaurants were closed for the day.

Meanwhile, in Salisbury the manager to Plaza Tapatia… decided not report to work in solidarity with the protest even though his restaurant stayed open for business.         

Don Rush

The Assateague State Park has decided to end the use of 8 of its campgrounds.

The reason: Sea Level Rise.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it is part of the Campground Improvement Project -- an effort to boost the sustainability of the coastal barrier island.

The paper reports that five camp loop roads will be shifted 20 to 100 feet to the west.

That will mean 18 campsites will be moved inland while the other 8 will be closed.

The plan will require approval by the Critical Area Commission before it moves forward.

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Two top Delaware Republican legislative leaders are demanding to know how a former high ranking state senator got the job of heading the Office of Animal Welfare.

The demand revolves around former Senate Pro Tem Patricia Blevins who lost her seat in the November election.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that she headed the taskforce that led to the creation of the job she now holds.

Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson and Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle have written to the Health and Social Services Secretary Kara Walker demanding an answer.

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Women in Virginia may soon be able to buy a year's supply of prescription birth control instead of a few months' worth.

Legislation that would require health insurance companies to cover a 12-month supply is on its way to Gov. Terry McAuliffe's desk after the General Assembly approved it Thursday.

Supporters say it will ease a burden for women and prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Women's group said the legislation was the first "proactive reproductive health" measure to pass the General Assembly in more than a decade.

msa.maryland.gov

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Republican lawmakers are proposing some options to modernize the state pension system.

Legislation discussed Thursday would give employees the ability to move all retirement benefits to a new job after three years.

Sen. Andrew Serafini, a Washington County Republican, says the proposals are aimed at starting a conversation that Maryland needs to make changes to its pension system. He says the options would help create predictability and stop the state from digging deeper unfunded liabilities.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - A Maryland appeals court has reversed a man's rape conviction four days after he was found beaten to death in a state prison cell.

The Court of Special Appeals issued the ruling Wednesday in the case of 69-year-old Roger Lee Largent. Maryland's second-highest court found that Largent's jury conviction last year for second-degree rape was based on the testimony of a nurse who gave an unqualified expert opinion that a woman can be raped but show no physical signs of an assault.

Largent maintained the sex was consensual.

Delaware State Fair

The 98th Delaware State Fair has revealed its headliners for this year.

Country trio Rascal Flatts, former Hootie & the blowfish member Darius Rucker and country rocker Brantley Gilbert will all be on the main stage.

Tickets range from $44 to as high as $89.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that other performers include country singer Big Barrel Country Music Festival alum Joe Pardi and comedian Gabriel Iglesias.

The fair runs from July 20th through the 29th in Harrington. 

Northrop Grumman

The Wallops flight facility will not be getting an important Navy drone program.

Instead it is going to the Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville, Florida.

The decision comes despite efforts by local government and business leaders to who urged the Navy to bring the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft to Wallops.

Many local leaders noted that it would have brought some 400 jobs to the area boosting the local economy.

Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Department

Security is being beefed up with sheriff’s patrols at Queen Anne’s County High School.

WBOC reports that the school board said it had received a number of phone calls from parents last night about a rumor that a student was going to bring a weapon to school today.          

Despite an investigation by the sheriff’s office authorities could not turn up any evidence for the alleged threat.

Nonetheless the sheriff’s office committed extra officers to the area out of a need for caution.

Don Rush

Delmarva Power will be upping its customers’ electric bills by $10.40 a month or a 7 percent increase.

The hike was approved by the Maryland Public Service Commission.

The increase is effective February 15th.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Delmarva Power says it needed the money to help pay for $330 million it laid out for upgrades it carried out from 2012 to 2015.

The power company had sought $66 million from the commission last year but wound up with $38 million from the hike this year. 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello is apologizing for comparing President Donald Trump's victory to the attacks in the United States on Sept. 11.

Perriello said Trump's election was "a little bit like, you know, a political and constitutional September 11" during a recent campaign stop. The comments were recorded and posted in a video online.

The former congressman apologized for the comparison Wednesday on Twitter and said he would not do it again.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Supporters of requiring paid sick leave in Maryland will be praying for the sick.

They are hosting a day of prayer in Annapolis on Thursday afternoon in front of the Maryland State House.

They will be highlighting how nearly 300 faith leaders have signed a clergy letter in support of the Health Working Families Act.

Last year, the House of Delegates passed a measure to require paid sick leave, but the bill died in the state Senate. Lawmakers are trying again.

Gov. Larry Hogan also has proposed a bill.

MPT

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Democratic Party says it has hired a strategist to focus on "holding Gov. Larry Hogan accountable."

Citing a statement from the Maryland Democratic Party, The Baltimore Sun reports that Bryan Lesswing has been hired as a communications adviser.

Democrats have not coalesced around a candidate to face Hogan, a popular Republican who has amassed a $5.1 million war chest for his 2018 re-election bid.

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