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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Division of Public Health has announced that a 61-year-old woman is the first confirmed influenza case in Sussex County.
The woman visited the emergency room Nov. 6 and is now recovering at home. She contracted the influenza B/Yamagata virus.
Information was not available on whether she had been vaccinated or if she had any underlying conditions that made her more susceptible to infection.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A New Jersey company has been given approval from a state health board to build a psychiatric hospital in Sussex County.
The Delaware Health Resources Board on Thursday unanimously approved the Georgetown facility, which will be built by Red Bank, New Jersey-based SUN Behavioral Health.

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The Delaware Supreme Court has turned back an effort to overturn 45 drug convictions after state drug-testing lab scandal.

The defendants from Sussex County all pleaded guilty to drug offenses before the revelations.

From 2010 to 2014 there were at least 55 piece of drug evidence from the office under the Delaware Medical Examiner’s office.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Chief Justice Leo Strine wrote that despite the scandal the high court would not overturn the decisions made by the defendants to plead guilty before the revelations came to public light.


GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Sussex County residents affected by last week's storm are being asked to submit damage claims.

WBOC-TV reports that anyone whose home or business sustained damage in the powerful coastal storm should call the county's Emergency Operations Center at (302) 856-7366. Property owners should be prepared to detail the damage, what caused it and whether they have insurance.

Only businesses and primary residences, not seasonal homes, are eligible.

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It’s a first for Sussex County employees.

Workers at the county’s water treatment plants have decided to unionize by a vote of 49-to-15.

They are now represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Staff members who did not want to be identified told WBOC that the problems focused on a lack of representation and a tightening of incentives and benefits.

Meanwhile, County Council member Rob Arlett told the television station that it was upsetting but could be a turning point.

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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.

A proposed moratorium in Sussex County on off-premises billboards has drawn sharp opposition from the industry.

Council member George Cole told a public hearing yesterday morning that they were distracting noting there were other jurisdictions that banned them.  

Cole said that the council was only looking to tighten restrictions.

But David Hutt, an attorney who represents most of those applying for a billboard, called the moratorium an extraordinary measure.

He said it stops current applicants in their tracks.

A proposed commercial shopping center on the Overbook property in Sussex County has gotten the attention of the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Secretary Ed Kee warned that it could force some east of Delaware Route 1 to abandon their farms.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Delaware official pointed to nearby farms not being able to carry out things like aerial chemical and seed applications because they are so close to the town center.

In addition, he said the center would make it more difficult to move tractors and other farm equipment in the area.

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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.

LEWES, Del. (AP) - State environmental officials say that the Gordons Pond Trail in Sussex County will be closed briefly because of mosquito control efforts.
Weather permitting, the state's Mosquito Control Section plans to spray insecticide for mosquito larvae Tuesday morning in Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware Seashore State Park and Fenwick Island State Park.
Officials say the helicopter spraying will require the closure of the Gordons Pond Trail adjacent to the state parks from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say a 6-year-old Sussex County girl is recovering after contracting West Nile Virus.
Officials said Thursday that the girl's illness, which resulted in a brief hospital stay, is the first human West Nile Virus case reported in Delaware since 2013.
Public Health director Dr. Karyl Rattay said the case is a reminder that mosquito-borne virus is still active in Delaware.

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The storm that moved through the region last night left some 63-thousand customers without power last night in Delaware and Maryland.

Late last night the company was able to bring that figure down to just over 23-thousand in the northern portion of the region.

The crews worked through the night restoring power after severe thunderstorms, high winds and intense rain hit the power grid.

The company also used contractors to help in the work.

But…the weather is still warming up with some temperature having reached the mid-90’s.

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The Sussex County Council has unanimously approved a $128.6 million budget for the 2016 fiscal year that begins July 1st.

That’s up by $11.3 million or 9.6 percent from the current year’s figure of $117.3 million.

That’s mostly due to the long-planned sewer construction projects.

The operational expenses in the general fund went up only 2.9 percent which is well below the 3.3 percent growth rate in the property tax assessments.

The new budget will keep the county’s property tax rate at 44.5 cents per $100 of assessed value.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Delaware nursery inspectors discovered imported red fire ants when they visited a Sussex County garden center for a routine check of palm trees trucked in from Florida in recent weeks.

The live ants were destroyed, but state agriculture officials are urging Delaware residents to inspect tropical plants carefully before buying them. The Delaware Department of Agriculture is advising other businesses and buyers of tropical nursery stock about the discovery.

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Sussex County leaders have unveiled their proposed $128.6 million budget for the upcoming year.

That’s increase of 9.6 percent increase over last year largely due to sewer construction projects.

The spending plan does keep the property tax rate steady at 44.5 cent per $100 of assessed value.

The budget does include the phase in of a one-time sewer connection fee along with an $8 increase in sewer rates for current and new customers.

For one district, Long Neck, the hike will be $12.57.

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A bill that will give the Sussex Tech High School some financial breathing room while bringing down its enrollment is now on its way to the Governor’s desk.

The measure was approved by the state Senate on a 16-to-4 vote with the three Sussex County Republicans opposed.

The measure would temporarily increase the property tax rate cap from 23.5 cents per $100 of assessed value to 30 cents next year.

The school district had hoped the cap would go up to 50 cents.

In addition, the district must begin to reduce its enrollment.


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Sussex County could be seeing yet another development that would turn around 50 acres of land into 120 single-family homes along with 44 townhouses.

The property has been owned by the Protestant Episcopal Church of Delaware in Ocean View.

A hearing was held last night by the Planning and Zoning Commission to review the project.  

The project is located near the Ocean Way Estates and the Ocean View Beach Club.

WBOC reports that there was some concern last night by neighbors who fear the loss of the countryside flavor of the area.


The Snow is Falling

Feb 26, 2015
Angela Byrd

The snow is coming down.

And forecasters say we should expect 4 to 6 inches of accumulation with the heaviest in Accomack County.

The Maryland Lower Shore is expected to get up to 3 to 4 inches while Sussex County could see up to 3 inches.

There’s also a winter storm warning in effect until around 4 p.m. this afternoon.

Temperatures should remain in the upper 20’s with some north winds of 20 mph.

The Maryland State Highway Administration is warning travelers to be cautious, especially on bridges, overpasses and at intersections.  

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The snow is coming, again.

The National Weather Service is expected 2-to-3 inches of snow to blanket parts of Delaware through midnight on Saturday.

For the Wilmington area the snow is expected to begin tomorrow evening and continue overnight.

During the day on Saturday residents and travelers should expect the precipitation should shift to sleet and rain.

Further south in Sussex County there could be as much as an inch of snow accumulation.



Plans for the Overbook Town Center are back before Sussex County government officials.

The 114-acre commercial development proposal was withdrawn during the election season but resubmitted for a zoning change late last month.

Developer Louis De Bitonto told the Wilmington News Journal that the project had become tangled up in the upcoming political election.

TD Rehoboth’s plan would build a shopping center on the east side of Highway One north of Lewes.

It would be located on Cave Neck Road near Milton.

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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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A Sussex County land-use board approval of a chicken processing plant got its day in Superior Court this week.

Challengers of the $100 million facility just outside Millsboro say that county officials allowed Allen Harim Foods to take shortcuts to get approval.

The plant would be capable of handling 2 million chickens a week and employ 700 people.

But opponents say that the industrial sized plant is too close to residential areas and too near already polluted waters.

A plan to construct the largest-ever retail complex in Sussex County has been delayed.

The developers of the proposed Overbrook Town Center have withdrawn their application for a required zoning change.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that they said that the project has become engulfed in the upcoming political election and that they want it to be judged on its merits instead of the political fervor of the day.

The center would stretch over 114 acres on the east side of Delaware Route 1 across from Cave Neck Road, just a few miles west of Lewes.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A specialized court for criminal cases involving military veterans is expanding in Delaware.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports Monday that Sussex County is establishing a veterans' court later this month, bringing the concept to all three Delaware counties.

The courts provide veteran mentors and access to health and other services. Defendants' charges are deferred during the program; those who successfully complete their treatment plans have their charges dismissed.

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Sussex County unveiled its new ‘Smart911” system yesterday.

The online service would allow any Sussex County resident to draw up a Safety Profile for their household.

This would provide the 911 emergency officials with information that would allow them to better assist those in need as well as save time.   

The service is completely voluntary and free.

Those who sign up would have control over their information that would travel with them wherever they go in the United States.

Sussex County included funding for the new service in its 2014 budget.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Many of the child migrants placed with Delaware families are living in Sussex County.

That's according to new figures released this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that 114 minors apprehended by immigration authorities without a parent or guardian since January have been placed with sponsors in Delaware's southernmost county while they await immigration hearings and potential deportation.

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Sussex County has approved blueprints for its first county-run park.

The Wilmington News Journal reports officials have approved plans to convert 20 acres of land formerly operated as a privately owned golf course into a county park. A design for the Woodland Park includes 5,000 feet of gravel trails, an improved parking lot, an information kiosk, forest and small lake. The plan has an estimated cost of $142,000.


DOVER, Del. (AP) - Health officials say Delaware has recorded its first heat-related death this year.

The Division of Public Health said preliminary findings indicated the death of a 56-year old Sussex County man on Wednesday was caused in part by heat exposure. Officials say the man had an underlying medical condition.

The agency says the medical examiner's office will not perform an autopsy.

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There are a lot of seniors in Sussex who need to get around but don’t or can’t drive.

Now, retired principal Nancy Reichtl says she’s trying to bring iTN America. a national senior citizen driving co-op, to Sussex County.

Last month she asked Sussex County for $35-thousand to help get the program started.

Under the program riders will pay an annual membership fee.

They would get a hold of a dispatcher and a driver will be sent out.

The cost per mile will be one dollar.

The company already operates in more than a dozen states.

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The New Castle county Council has unanimously approved a $174.2 million operating budget that does not raise property taxes.

There was some acrimony though when the council considered pulling a quarter of a million from the budget for the Wilmington Fire Department.

It was kept by a 10-to-3 vote.

But, Sam Guy, one of the top executive assistants to County Council Tom Gordon, compared this to the decision by two members of the Sussex County council not to provide $100 each in grant money for a youth program by the NAACP.

Guy is a former NAACP branch president.