New Castle County

Don Rush - file photo

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.

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.


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.

Du Pont logo

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.

Don Rush

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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MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - New Castle County is spending $718,000 to buy land for a new paramedic station in one of the fastest growing areas in the state.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that county council approved the purchase last week following years of discussion over where to expand emergency services in the southern part of the county.

The money will be used to buy five acres of land south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, where officials hope to improve response times as the area continues to grow.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Attorney General's Office says New Castle County officials violated the Freedom of Information Act by not responding in a timely fashion to a request from former county chief administrative officer David Grimaldi.

In an opinion dated Friday, authorities said the county did not explain why more time was needed to handle the request or give a good-faith estimate of how much time it needed.

But officials say no further action is required because the records are exempt from FOIA because of pending litigation.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - In an effort to attract industrial jobs, New Castle County has appropriated $4 million to extend sewer service to unincorporated land north of Delaware City.
The Wilmington News Journal reports that the project was included in the county capital budget, which was approved last week and outlines more than $55 million in spending on sewer, building and park projects for the upcoming fiscal year.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Division of Public Health has announced that three more people have died of flu-related complications.

This brings the total to six flu-related deaths during the 2015-2016 flu season. The DPH says the flu season is ongoing, so the number can still rise.

The deaths include two New Castle residents - a 69-year-old woman with swine flu and a 54-year-old man with influenza B - and a 42-year-old Sussex County woman.

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The case of David Grimaldi, the former chief administrative officer under New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon, just got more complicated.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Grimaldi says he believes that a cache of secretly recorded telephone conversations with Gordon will show the County Executive to be an ethically bankrupt liar.

Grimald was fired last year by Gordon.

The former chief administrative officer claims that the recording will show Gordon using profanity as he talks with top officials about a range of issues during a two year period.

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The $3 million taxpayer loan given by New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon to a startup stock exchange was unlawful.

That’s the conclusion of an investigation by the County Council in an 11 page advisory document.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the opinion found Gordon had gone beyond the powers of his office to extend the loan to the Delaware Board of Trade.

The News Journal reports that the opinion also found that Gordon’s attempt to restore the money with a county tax reserve funds, in effect, avoided council involvement.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - New Castle County council members have approved giving DuPont Co. $7.5 million over five years in an effort to keep the company from leaving the state.
News outlets report that council members unanimously approved legislation Tuesday that will create a new economic development fund. The fund will allow the county to allocate money to retain or create jobs or improve its tax base. The money comes from tax reserves.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of Delaware residents deciding to rent rather than own their home.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the state saw a rise from 209-thousand at the beginning of the recession in 2008 to 262-thousand in 2014.

As a result there has been an uptick in the development of multi-family dwellings including a major development proposed for New Castle County.

The county last year issued permits for more than 800 multi-family units.

The paper reports that’s up from 500 the year before and 66 in 2010.

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With the oncoming snow storm Maryland and Virginia have declared a state of emergency as Delaware Governor Jack Markell urges residents to prepare for the winter blast.

Delaware is expected to be hit the hardest on Delmarva with up to 8 inches in Sussex County while in Salisbury the snow is expected to be 2 to 4 inches deep.


The National Weather Service has declared a blizzard watch for New Castle and Kent counties, while Sussex County is under a winter storm watch.


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.

First State Animal Center and Society

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.

New Castle County Website

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.