New Castle County


There will be no investigation by New Castle County into the traffic stop that caused the dismissal of former chief administrative officer David Grimaldi.

The county council turned back a call for an outside investigation into the offer by Elsmere Mayor Steve Burg to  “yank” the ticket given to Grimaldi.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that on October 27th police discovered that Grimaldi was driving with a suspended license for failing to pay a ticket after he was pulled over.

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There has been a call from local government officials for an investigation into the traffic stop that officially led to the dismissal of former New Castle County Chief Administrator David Grimaldi. 

The Elsmere town Council and New Castle County Council member Lisa Diller want a probe by state Attorney General Matt Denn.

Diller is planning on co-sponsoring a measure that calls for an independent investigation into the dismissal by New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon.


MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - State officials are touting new milestones in the effort to protect Delaware's bayshore region and promote the recreational opportunities it offers.

Gov. Jack Markell plans to join state and federal officials Friday to announce the preservation of a key property at Thousand Acre Marsh. They'll also discuss the launch of a byway, the opening of a new trail and wildlife viewing platform and a new branding design. 

The Delaware Bayshore Initiative promotes the bayshore as a conservation and recreation area.

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HOCKESSIN, Del. (AP) - The New Castle County Police are investigating the death of a 55-year-old woman found at a Hockessin home.

Police say officers were called to Withers Way around 4 a.m. Wednesday after a 911 caller reported finding her mother dead.

About half an hour later, police say a man called 911 and claimed to be responsible for the woman's death. Officers responded to a home in another community where the man was arrested. Police say the man provided details about the incident that indicated he was involved and no other suspects are being sought.

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The Delaware Chapter of the Association of Building Contractors is objecting to a requirement that they have apprenticeship programs before they can bid on New Castle County government projects.

The group filed suit earlier this month seeking a legal judgment against the rules that require companies with a contract of more than $100-thousand to have such a state approved program.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the requirement was approved in 2008 with high praise from state union leaders.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A coalition of pastors and the NAACP that is investigating accusations of discrimination in state government is beginning to seek testimony at hearings in Kent and Sussex counties.
The Wilmington News Journal  reports that the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, a coalition of churches in the Dover area, and the Central Delaware NAACP have joined black pastors in New Castle County to conduct the hearings starting Tuesday.

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First State Animal Center and SPCA has a deal for local governments that is ending their animal control contracts.

First State says it is willing to cover animal control services through June of next year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that in exchange it wants the local governments to pay for their employee’s severance, unemployment compensation and bonuses.

The price tag: $780-thousand.

Local governments were caught up short when First State decided to end all of its contracts in September instead of fazing them out over 18 months.

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If you are one of the 15-hundred who work for the New Castle County government you could get a onetime bonus of $750.

County Executive Tom Gordon wants the County Council to approve the payment to reward employees for their efforts during a time of austerity.

The county budget had a surplus of $1.5 million at the end of the last fiscal year.

The cost of the bonus would eat up most of that coming in at just over a million dollars.

It would still leave $300-thousand in the till.

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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - New Castle County has approved plans for a 132-acre development with 513 housing units near Middletown.

The Wilmington News Journal reported Thursday the plans for the new Winchelsea subdivision call for a mix of 359 homes, including single-family detached, village, twin and townhome units. The plan also calls for 154 apartments situated in 14 three-story apartment buildings. The subdivision ties into the Bayberry development and a planned shopping center north of Boyds Corner Road.

Property owners got a break as the New Castle County Council turned back the idea of bringing all assessments up to the current market price.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that several council members admitted that this was a political decision even though they supported reassessment.

Property assessments have not been revised since 1983 which the paper says are around a third of what they are today.

Council member Janet Kilpatrick said that there needed to be an education campaign before property values could be updated.

ROCKLAND, Del. (AP) - New Castle County has canceled a deer hunt planned for next week in a Rockland public park after neighbors raised concerns.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that County Executive Tom Gordon says officials will look at nonlethal ways to thin the deer population around Woodley Park.

Gordon says there are serious health and traffic problems associated with the deer, but the community is split.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - One Delaware county is barring government-funded travel to Indiana over a new religious-objections law that has raised concerns that gays and lesbians could face discrimination.

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon signed an executive order Wednesday, saying the county is reviewing travel plans for all employees. Gordon says he's not aware of any upcoming government trips to the state, but the order was meant to send a message.

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New Castle County Auditor Robert Wasserbach denounced – what he called – a “cowardly” effort to diminish his probe into the county’s second in command David Grimaldi.

The investigation is looking into switching of $92 million to money manager UBS without going through the bidding process.

Wasserbach says that his report will look at whether the county’s finance managers actually abided by county policy when investing the county surplus.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - New Castle County officials are launching a new initiative to warn people about the dangers of heroin.

The campaign, to be discussed at a news conference Thursday, is aimed at teenagers and at making suburban, middle class families aware that heroin use is happening in their communities as well as in the inner city.

County Executive Tom Gordon and County Police Chief Col. E.M. Setting were among the officials scheduled to be on hand to discuss the effort.

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - New Castle County police are seeking the public's help in investigations of three fatal shootings, including one at a local community center earlier this week.

County executive Tom Gordon and Attorney General Matt Denn planned to join police officials at a news conference Friday to discuss the shootings.

Police have not yet identified a suspect in Monday's shooting of 30-year-old Jamar Kilgoe inside a basement recording studio at the Rose Hill Community Center.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials are wrapping up a series of public meetings on proposed increase in user fees at Delaware's state parks.

The fiscal 2015 capital budget approved by lawmakers earlier this year authorized the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to propose a fee increase after receiving public comment and approval of advisory councils.

Officials have held public comment sessions in Sussex and New Castle counties, and the final session was scheduled for Tuesday at Killens Pond in Kent County.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New Castle County and the city of Wilmington are planning to release new strategic plans for economic development.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the county paid consultants $49,500 for its report, while Wilmington paid the same two firms $25,000 for its plan. The same companies crafted an economic development plan for Newark three years ago. They are Wadley-Donovan Growth Tech LLC of New Jersey and Garnet Consulting Services of Connecticut.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Gusty winds have taken down trees, causing power outages in Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Delmarva Power reported more than 2,000 customers had lost electricity on Sunday morning. The outages were centered mostly in New Castle County and Cecil County, Maryland.

By mid-afternoon, Delmarva Power was still showing outages affecting about 1,500 customers.

In the Lewes area, the Delaware Electric Cooperative reported about a dozen customers lost service.

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - An investment firm that managed millions of dollars in New Castle County funds is defending its work after a county administrator said it charged excessive fees.

At issue is a decision by the county's chief administrative officer, David Grimaldi, to transfer $92 million in county reserve funds to United Bank of Switzerland back in 2012.

Last month the county auditor questioned the transfer and said he was reviewing whether the transfer should have been put up for bid.

Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - The New Castle County auditor is examining the transfer of $92 million of the county government's reserve account to the United Bank of Switzerland.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the transfer was made shortly after New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon took office in November 2012.

Auditor Bob Wasserbach says he's reviewing whether the County Council should have voted on the transfer or whether it should have been put up for a public bid.

New Castle County Council member Stu Markham is calling on the University of Delaware to more thoroughly vet major projects.

He says he wants to avoid the drawn out battle that developed over the proposed data center that included a gas-fired power plant at the old Chrysler site which drew sharp local opposition.

The University announced the termination of its 75 year lease with The Data Centers LLC with the viability of its plans for the 279-megawatt power plant coming into question.

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New Castle County would pay $9 million for the old General Motors plant on Boxwood Road near Newport.

The site was supposed to have housed a facility for Fisker Automotive – a deal that fell through when financing collapsed.

Councilman George Smiley said the county is looking for some kind of manufacturing but not an automotive company.

County Executive Tom Gordon told the Wilmington News Journal that he was looking to attract high-paying jobs.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Authorities are warning residents of the Stonebridge Apartment complex in New Castle County to stay off their balconies after a 51-year-old woman was injured when a second-floor balcony collapsed at the complex.

New Castle County police spokesman Cpl. John Weglarz says it happened around 3 p.m. Monday. The woman was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New Castle County firefighters are calling for a new property tax to help pay for emergency medical services.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports that County Executive Tom Gordon says he'll fight it. State legislation would be needed to allow the county to create a special assessment to pay for emergency medical services.

Don Rush

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New Castle County officials say they expect an $8.4 million surplus by the end of the fiscal year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the surplus is a big change, since the year was expected to end with a $2 million shortfall.

The latest projections show that revenue will be up by $5.7 million and expenses will be $2.7 million lower than expected. Officials say most of the new revenue expected comes from $5.5 million more in real estate transfer taxes.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit stemming from a controversial redevelopment project in suburban Wilmington.

The justices were to convene Wednesday to hear arguments over a Chancery Court decision nullifying a New Castle County council rezoning vote for the proposed Barley Mill Plaza redevelopment project.

Don Rush

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Officials in one Delaware county say they won't try to collect on about $218,000 that inadvertently went unbilled from thousands of public utility customers.

Nearly 7,000 residential customers of Artesian Water were not properly billed after the utility changed its billing system last year.

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This Saturday law enforcement is set up another DUI checkpoint in New Castle County after snagging 16 people for drunk driving last Friday.

So far this year more than 3-thousand people have been arrested in Delaware for drinking and driving.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon is enacting the county's first-ever nepotism policy.

WDEL-AM reports that the policy forbids hiring anyone to a position in which they'll be supervised by a relative. However, relatives are allowed to work in the same department.

The nepotism policy applies to all new hires, re-hires and future promotions or transfers.

Gordon says he hopes the new policy will ensure hiring, supervision and management are fair and that will boost public confidence in the county.

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New Castle County officials did not act to quickly enough to correct the problem of some Artesian Water customers being over charged on their sewer bills for last year.

The auditor says that fiscal Manager Denny Hardman has known about the billing errors since last December and the Chief Financial Officer Michael Coupe has known about them since February.