human right campaign

The Delaware towns of Dover, Rehoboth Beach and Newark have been found to be above average for their inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  

That’s according to a report released by the Washington-based Human Right Campaign, a major national gay rights group.

Meanwhile, in their 2014 Municipal Equality Index Wilmington and Middletown fell below the national average.

Overall, Delaware which made same-sex marriage legal last year scored 57 overall on a one hundred point scale.

Don Rush

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - A proposal to build a 14-story cellphone tower in a Delaware cemetery and camouflage it as a bell tower is angering some residents of the area.

The News Journal of Wilmington, Delaware reports a permit hearing will be held Thursday about the proposed  AT&T tower at All Saints Cemetery near Newark.

Opponents have gathered about 250 signatures of people who oppose the 142-foot tower, gathering some signatures online and others on paper.

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - The city of Newark has spent more than $577,000 on legal and consulting fees related to a data center at the former Chrysler assembly plant site that was ultimately rejected by the University of Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports city Finance Director Lou Vitola says the city paid $509,324 to the law firm Connolly Gallagher since October 2013. The city also paid $53,959 to the Dover firm of Prickett Jones & Elliott and $14,270 to Liberty Environmental Inc.


A third teen has been arrested in the videotaped beatings of a 26-year old man who suffers from a neurodevelopmental disorder.

The incident took place in the Newark area.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that in the first beating the man is slammed to the ground, punched in the face and stomped on.

In a second location one of the attackers bumps him then the video cuts to an attacker holding the victim in the air at the shoulder height and slamming him into the ground.

Dwight Burdette / creative commons

A $35 million facility is now being built at DuPont’s Stine-Haskell Research Center in New Newark for expanding its soybean operation.

The property has already been cleared for the nearly 134-thousand square-foot facility on Elkton Road.

This will be the second structure in Delaware that will be dedicated soy beans with the Pioneer name.

Plans include two modern greenhouses and three high-tech 60-thousand gallon water collection units to recycle run-off.

The Data Centers LLC

That data center turned down by the University of Delaware might not be so dead.

Officials in Kent County say they might be interested in the facility.

Dover’s Mayor Robin Christiansen told WBOC that Newark’s loss could be Dover’s gain.

He told the television station that his town was certainly interested in the center adding that he has a comparable site in mind.

But, he declined to say where that site might be.

Don Rush

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Newark council members have voted to expand the city's smart parking program after a smaller pilot program.

WDEL Radio reports the council voted 5-1 Monday to approve a $326,212 contract to purchase 425 new parking meters that accept credit and debit cards.

Officials say 401 of the city's existing 457 parking meters will be replaced with new devices. The remaining 24 meters will be set aside as spares. The first new meters could begin operating as soon as September.

megabus logo

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Megabus says it is discontinuing its service between Newark and New York City because of low ridership.

Megabus made the announcement Tuesday and said it would discontinue service to New York City on Wednesday.

Megabus will continue to offer service from Newark to five other destinations: Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Richmond and Hampton, Virginia.

The company says there is a possibility of resuming service to New York if demand allows.

creative commons

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Delaware transportation officials are warning motorists to keep windows closed and avoid unnecessary stops because of honeybee swarms near a highway ramp where a tractor trailer carrying hives overturned.

The ramp to Interstate 95 in Newark reopened Wednesday, more than 12 hours after the rig carrying an estimated 16 million to 20 million bees from Florida to Maine crashed Tuesday. Police cited the driver, 55-year-old Adolfo Guerra of Miami, for unsafe shifting of load or cargo. website

The Environmental Protection Agency says the agency has not given its blessing to the gas-fired power plant that would come with the data center at the proposed facility in Newark.

EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin said that a letter from his agency supporting the type of cogeneration technology planned for the site…is not an endorsement of the project.

And Representative John Kowalko (D-Newark) told the Wilmington News Journal that the letter should not be used as an endorsement.

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In Newark two candidates have decided to run against incumbent members of the city council.

Shirley Wilson is running against Council member Luke Chapman in District 5 and and M. Howland Redding has decided to challenge council member Stu Markham in District 6.

Redding has lived in the city for seven years and has served as president of the Newark National Little League.

Another potential contest is in District 2 where Sharon Hughes and Todd Ruckle say they’re considering a run to fill the seat being vacated by longtime council member Jerry Clifton.

religious symbol

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Police are trying to determine who vandalized a mosque and school in Newark.

Investigators believe it happened early Friday morning at the Islamic Society of Delaware's community center in Newark. Vandals tore down a fence and used rocks to damage a digital sign. Pieces of the fence were used to make a cross on the property.

Delaware State Police and the FBI are investigating the case.

On Monday, the group CAIR-Philadelphia will hold a news conference to respond to the vandalism.

In Claymont a street brawl last night drew dozens of police where authorities say five adults and a 15 year-old girl were arrested.

The Wilmington News Journal reports police and residents said that the fight was sparked by an ongoing dispute between to families but no injuries were reported.

Those arrested faced charges that included disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Don Rush

Some hikes in taxes and fees are being proposed for the residents of Newark.

The city administrators are recommending a 7.2 percent rate hike for water customers as well as a new storm-sewer fee.

In addition, there is a proposal for a 1.5 percent increase in the property tax raising it 70 cents per $100 of assessed value.

On an average home in Newark that would mean a $7.29 a year increase to nearly $496 a year.

I'm Shmacked logo

Tickets were sold for the recent disturbance at the University of Delaware in Newark by the company that sponsors “I’m Shmacked” -- a website that videotapes college life.

The decision to sell the tickets was caught by one of the company’s founders in a social media comment before thousands of students mobbed downtown Newark.

The comment asked a question about charging $20 to an event with no venue.

An investigation has begun into the stabbing death of 53 year-old Harold Medes in his Dagsboro home.

State troopers say that they were called to his house around 6 p.m. on Monday after receiving a report that someone had been stabbed.

When they arrived they found him with wounds in his upper torso.

WBOC reports that he was pronounced dead at the scene by Sussex County medics.


Don Rush

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - New Castle County Police are continuing to investigate reports that a child was kidnapped in Newark, although officers have not received any reports of a missing child.

Delaware State Police had activated an Amber Alert on Tuesday after county police said witnesses reporting seeing a 10-12 year old girl being pulled into an SUV.

However, officers say no one came forward to report a missing child, so troopers ended the Amber Alert on Thursday.

Data Center LLC website

Newark residents pushed back against a proposal for a data-processing center on the site of a former Chrysler assembly plant.

Developers say the facility’s gas-fire turbines would produce minimal amount of emissions and noise than a traditional power plant.

Data Centers LLC CEO Gene Kern emphasized that this was a data center not an electricity generating operation.

For two hours around 350 local residents filled the George Wilson Community center yesterday.

Newark Website

Newark Mayor Vance Funk III has put his home up for sale, saying he just doesn’t feel welcome anymore.

After nearly a decade in office the 70-year old Funk is stepping down at the end of September just four months into his fourth term.

He cited frustration and stress-related health problems as a result of a campaign by local residents who opposed a plan to bring a Wawa gas station to South Main Street.

Nearby neighbors put up yard signs reading, “No More Gas Pumps.”

SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - Delaware's largest men's prison is getting a new warden.

The Department of Correction announced Thursday that David Pierce will take over at Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna on Sunday.

Pierce will replace Perry Phelps, who was recently appointed Bureau of Prisons chief.

The prison houses about 2,500 inmates, including those sentenced to death, and carries out all court-ordered executions.

Pierce, who joined the department in 1996, has served as deputy warden at Vaughn since 2004.

official photo

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Newark Mayor Vance Funk, who last week said he would step down at the end of the year because of stress caused by opponents of a new convenience store, now says he will leave his post next month.

Funk said Monday that he will end his term effective Sept. 30 to accommodate the process to select a new mayor.

He said it was not good for his health to attend many meetings between now and the end of the year.

The 70-year-old Funk was first elected mayor in 2004 and ran unopposed for his fourth 3-year term this year.

Newark Website

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - The mayor of Newark is resigning because of stress caused by opponents of a new Wawa convenience store.

Vance Funk said in a letter sent to the city secretary and the media Tuesday that "the anti-Wawa campaign and other issues in the city" have caused his blood pressure to spike. He says he wants to live to see his grandchildren grow up.

The 70-year-old Funk intends to step down at the end of the year. He was first elected mayor in 2004 and ran unopposed for his fourth 3-year term this year.

wikimedia creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Public health officials say a third heated-related death has been confirmed in Delaware.

The Department of Health and Social Services said Tuesday that the medical examiner had ruled that the death of a 95-year-old New Castle County woman was heat related.

Officials say the woman was found dead in her Newark home on Sunday, and that heat exposure was a factor in her death.

Two people died during last week's heat wave.

G E Aviation

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is joining officials with GE Aviation to tout the addition of about 70 jobs at the company's Newark plant.

GE Aviation says it plans to add 70 jobs at the Newark site.

Markell is scheduled to join officials Tuesday in announcing a $27 million investment to support increased production of ceramic matrix composites, lightweight materials that can withstand high temperatures.

University of Delaware

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - The University of Delaware and the City of Newark are joining together to recycle furniture from students moving out of the school.

Students can start dropping off unwanted furnishings and home goods on Monday at the former Curtis Paper Mill site at 225 Paper Mill Road. Donations can include furniture, appliances, lamps, fans, clothing, televisions, bed frames and unopened toiletries.

The goods will be given free to local charities. Any items that remain after charities take their pick will be sold to the general public.

Data Centers LLC

Data Centers LLC based in Pennsylvania is looking at building a message date storage and management facility in Newark that could create over 300 jobs mostly in the technology sector.

The 900-thosuand square foot building would house computer servers and offices in the western corner of the former Chrysler assembly plant.

Crime Down in Newark

May 2, 2013
official photo

Crime is down in Newark for the first four months of this year compared to a year ago.

The police department said that robberies were down by 46 percent while simple assault declined by nearly 55 percent.

In addition, thefts dropped by 14 percent.

The department believes that the downtown camera system has helped to reduce the crime rate.

But there was some bad news.

Police say alcohol arrests were up 40 percent while criminal mischief arrests rose by 122 percent.

GE logo

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - With the approval of $1.1 million in state grants, GE Aviation says it plans to add dozens of jobs at its Newark plant.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports that the company, which has 88 permanent employees in Newark, plans to add 62 jobs by 2016. The state Council on Development Finance has approved $1.1 million in grants to renovate and expand the 110,000-square-foot facility.

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Businesses and residents in Newark are being asked to minimize their water usage while the city does its annual water main maintenance.

The work will begin Friday and continue through March 28. Officials say flushing the water system removes sediment and allows officials to check water valve operations and test fire hydrants.

Officials say businesses and residents may temporarily see changes in water pressure and water clarity as a result of the work.

The city of Newark has been able to lock in long-term electric rates for its largest long term consumer of electricity.

The town council has approved a 15-year contract with the University of Delaware.

WDEL reports that the city expects to get at least $300-thousand a year in sub-inventory funding from the school which will go into the town’s general fund.

That money will be credited to UD’s delivery charges which are expected to be a minimum of $2.6 million a year under the agreement.