New Castle County

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers have introduced a bill allowing Delaware's most populous county to impose a new lodging tax on hotel and motel rooms.

The bill introduced Thursday would allow the imposition of a lodging tax of up to three percent for rental of a room in a hotel, motel or tourist home in unincorporated areas of New Castle County.

The new fee would be in addition to the state lodging tax, which is currently eight percent.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware public health officials say the death toll from the flu has risen to 18.

Officials are reporting eight new deaths, six in the past week and two others that occurred earlier in the flu season but were just recently reported.

All of the six individuals who died last week were from New Castle County, and none had gotten the flu vaccine.  All but one had underlying health conditions. The two previous deaths involved Kent County residents, both with multiple underlying health conditions and neither having been vaccinated.

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Del. (AP) - A Delaware county's officials are launching a new effort to ensure that first responders can meet the challenge of preventing fatal drug overdoses.

New Castle County officials were to gather with public safety officials, volunteer firefighters, addiction treatment advocates and others to announce a collaborative effort to equip New Castle County firefighters with an antidote that can save drug users from fatal opioid overdoses.

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Hurricane Irma may not have much effect on Delmarva except for some rain but it did strand one New Castle County Member Bob Weiner.

The council member and his wife were vacationing on the island of St. Thomas when the hurricane struck leaving behind widespread destruction.

The longtime council member was able to text about his experience and said that the roof blew off and water did get into where they were sheltered.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports that he added he and his wife fared better than others.

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In the past three weeks six people have died a heroin overdose in Delaware.

Authorities say they believe they deaths were caused by two types of the drug because the same stamp on has been found on the heroin bags.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that five of the deaths occurred in New Castle County and one in Sussex County.

Patrick Trainor with the Drug Enforcement Administration office in Philadelphia told the paper that such stamping leads to brand loyalty.

Authorities have not yet determine the type of heroin involved in the deaths.

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There were 13-thousand Delmarva Power customers without electricity this morning in the aftermath of the winter storm that brought, snow, sleet and rain.

The company hopes to have restored power to all of its customers by either late today or by noon tomorrow.

Its crews are getting assistance from other local utilities.

Most of the outages on Delmarva occurred in New Castle and Cecil counties.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that power has been restored to 76-thousand customers since the storm.

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There’s a high wind advisory for Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Accomack Counties until 6 p.m. tonight.

For Kent, Sussex, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties the advisory extends until 8 p.m.

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This week’s snow storm wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

But the combination of wind and ice caused 33-thousand New Castle County homes to lose power.

Authorities say residents should expect to see some continuing power outages along with icy roads.

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DuPont Company will receive $7.5 million from New Castle County in new economic development funds.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the money comes from tax reserves and will be paid out in annual installments over the next five years.

The paper adds that there is no plan for DuPont to repay the county.

Dow and Dupont are in the middle of a $130 billion merger and they have also received $9.6 million from the state government coffers.

County officials say the money is worth the commitment by the two companies for keep jobs in the First State.

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If you’re one of the 14-hundred who are employed by New Castle County you’re more than likely in line for a raise over the next three years.

It will cost the county around $5.5 million.

The raises are the result of a contract with the unionized employees which make up around 87 percent the county’s workforce.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that non-union workers will also be receiving pay increases.

The paper reports that there will be a one percent increase this year and a two percent increase for each of the following two years.

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State Senator Harris McDowell warns that it might be time to readjust funding services provided for local governments.

The Delaware Democrat is co-chair of the state’s Joint Finance Committee examining the distribution of services.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that he noted the government is running out of tricks to balance its budget and still maintain its low tax status.

Among the key issues are the services that the state has taken on that had been funded by the counties.

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