Wilmington

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A stock exchange could be coming to Wilmington.

Trade Holdings Incorporated will be coming to the New Castle County Council to ask for a $15 million when it meets tomorrow

The firm wants to create two alternative trading systems that would include one for small and medium businesses that do not qualify for the Nasdaq of the New York Stock Exchange.

The other would take care of U.S. and foreign securities.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the bond would raise money for the technology to set up the exchange.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State lawmakers are beginning to work in earnest on a capital budget for road and construction projects in the upcoming fiscal year.

The legislature's capital budget committee met Thursday to review Gov. Jack Markell's proposed $385 million capital spending plan.

At the same time, lawmakers added roughly $24 million in proposed additional spending items, while acknowledging they don't have a lot of money to work with.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware and Maryland transit officials are discussing the possibility of extending MARC, Maryland's commuter rail line, as far north as Wilmington.

The Wilmington News Journal  reported Monday DART CEO John Sisson says he will talk with Maryland Transit Administration officials next week. The service could begin as early as 2018, after the reconstruction of the Newark train station. The line currently runs from Washington D.C. to Perryville, Maryland.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware's first medical marijuana dispensary will open on June 26, more than four years after lawmakers and Gov. Jack Markell first legalized pot for medicinal use.

The Wilmington News Journal reports The First Compassion Center, located outside of Wilmington, will open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Patient orientations are planned for June 18 and June 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Officials have broken ground for a new hotel in downtown Wilmington, a hotel that will redevelop an office building that is currently vacant.

Mayor Dennis P. Williams and others helped break ground Thursday for the new Residence Inn Marriott located at 1300 North Market Street. The city says the new hotel will convert the building into a 96-room hotel.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A 38-year-old inmate has died at a Delaware corrections center.

A Department of Corrections spokesman told The Wilmington News Journal other offenders found Charles Williams unresponsive in bed Saturday morning at Plummer Community Corrections Center in Wilmington.

Correction staff called 911 but Williams was declared dead. His body has been turned over to the state to determine cause of death.

Williams arrived at Plummer Center April 22 after violating probation on a 2013 firearm conviction.

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$5.6 million in grants is set to revitalize the downtown areas in Dover, Seaford and Wilmington.  

There are thirteen projects in all from a state grant for areas designated as Downtown Development Districts earlier this year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that these include commercial and mixed use as well as residential developments.            

Officials hope that the state funds will generate as much as $114 million in private money.

The grants will provide up to 20 percent of construction costs for those projects that have already been completed.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate is poised to vote on a bill establishing a moratorium on new charter schools in Delaware.

The legislation to be voted on Tuesday creates a moratorium until June 2018 or until the state school board develops a strategic plan for the number of charter, traditional and vocational/technical schools in Delaware.

The legislation also calls for input to be accepted from the mayor and city council of Wilmington before any new charters are approved there.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic state lawmakers have introduced legislation making it easier for local governments to acquire and redevelop abandoned and vacant real estate.

The legislation, which is the subject of a committee hearing Wednesday, allows local governments to form "land banks" to acquire vacant and abandoned properties.

The bill allows local jurisdictions to form land banks if 3 percent of residential structures have been uninhabited for 6 months or more.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Delaware NAACP is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate a shooting by Wilmington police that left a man gravely wounded.

Twenty-four-year-old Marvin Jones is a quadriplegic on life support following the shooting during a traffic stop in January.

A police spokeswoman said after the shooting that the suspect had shot at officers and that one officer "returned fire." Police now say Jones never pulled the trigger, but they say he pointed a gun at officers.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A group formed by Gov. Jack Markell to study ways to improve educational opportunities for children in Delaware's largest city is continuing its work after issuing an interim report with a host of recommendations.

The Wilmington Education Advisory Committee was to meet Monday night at Stubbs Elementary School, with a focus on engaging the public in it work.

Among the recommendations the committee has proposed are getting rid of two of the four school districts that currently serve city residents and a moratorium on new charter schools.

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Delaware lawmakers were resistant to a proposal by Attorney General Matt Denn to use the $36 million from a financial settlement for social programs.

These ranged from housing programs and low-income schools to community policing and substance abuse.

During an appearance before the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee yesterday both Democrats and Republicans suggested they were more interested in funding other kinds of programs.

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In efforts to deal with the rising gun violence in Wilmington Delaware will be hiring two consulting firms to find a solution to reduce the number of shootings in the state’s largest city.

Delaware will spend $200-thousand to contract with Vigilant Resources International based in New York and the non-profit Police Foundation to work with the Wilmington Public Safety Strategies Commission.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that gun violence has gone up in the city with the New Year with police reporting 19 shootings so far including one last night.

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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.

 

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Governor Jack Markell delivered his seventh State of the State address yesterday hailing the economic progress in the First State.

But he called on lawmakers to help him close a $780 million spending gap in meeting the state’s transportation needs.

In addition, he focused on issues ranging from ways to improve education and to end veteran homelessness to dealing with substance abuse.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the address was well received by lawmakers.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Law enforcement officials have boosted security at the Delaware home of Vice President Joe Biden after several gunshots rang out from a vehicle speeding by the property over the weekend.

Authorities said Sunday that the vice president and his wife weren't at their Wilmington home Saturday night when the shots were fired and there were no reports of injuries.

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There has been a delay by the Christina School Board in its final decision on its three priorities.

Last night the school board said it wanted to allow the communities to have time to study a new compromise plan that is the result of discussions between the district and state officials.

The delay means that the months-long debate will continue on the board between those who want to compromise with the state and those who want to make a stand.

At issue is how best to turn around the schools that serve some of worst neighborhoods in Wilmington.

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Ten more officers will be added to Dover’s police force.

The Dover city council voted 7-to-1 to spend a more than a million dollars with another $4 million over the next five fiscal years.

This will bring the total number of officers on the force to 102.

But it is not clear where the funding will come from.

Dover Police Chief Paul Bernat that the request comes in the face of a recent increase in violent crime that hit Delaware’s capital last year.

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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.

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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.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A cleanup of coastal Delaware drew more than 1,800 volunteers who collected more than 3 tons of trash.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources said Friday that the volunteers fanned out along more than 80 miles of Delaware coastline on Sept. 20, from Wilmington to Fenwick Island.

The agency says about a third of the trash was able to be recycled, including glass and aluminum cans.

Volunteers found some unusual trash, too. That included an electric saber saw, a bowling ball, a car fender, crab traps and Christmas lights.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - An organization trying to promote a healthy and welcoming living and work environment in downtown Wilmington is asking a state panel for several hundred thousand dollars.

Downtown Visions is asking for a state Strategic Fund grant of up to $368,000 to expand its safety and patrol services in a targeted section of downtown Wilmington.

The state Council on Development Finance was scheduled to consider the request at its meeting Monday.

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The Wilmington City Council has decided not to ban smoking in all parks, playgrounds and covered bus stops in the city.

The vote was 6 nays and 5 yeas.

Several council members argued that the ordinance infringed on a personal freedom.

Other towns – especially along coastal Delaware – have banned smoking in parks and beaches.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Police officers were the highest-paid city workers in Wilmington last year.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports that the 14 highest-paid workers in 2013 were police officers, including two retired officers who left the force during the year for other jobs.

The 14 officers' earnings include overtime pay, which boosted their salaries to above $100,000 per year. Seventy-one percent of the city's total overtime was paid to police officers in 2013, totaling roughly $2.9 million.

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Delaware environmental officials have sent violation notices out to DuPont Company and Alma Properties LLC for illegally stockpiling soil that damaged the I-495 Bridge across the Christina River in east Wilmington.

This is the first legal move by the state to recover the $45 million price tag for repairing the bridge that was dramatically shutdown after its support columns were found to be titled.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The Blood Bank of Delmarva is looking for blood and platelet donors.

WDEL-AM  reports that the blood bank is requesting people schedule an appointment at one of four donation centers in the region. In Delaware, they include Wilmington, Christiana and Dover. The blood bank also has a location in Salisbury, Maryland.

Michael Waite, a spokesman for the blood bank, says the greatest need is for O Negative. The group also has a need for O Positive and Positive donors.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware's transportation chief says officials are hoping to reopen the southbound lanes of an important interstate bridge by Labor Day.

Officials closed the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River June 2 because supporting columns are tilting. The bridge typically carries about 90,000 vehicles a day.

Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt (SHAY-lin baht) said Tuesday that officials hope the northbound lanes can reopen a few weeks later.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The removal of a massive mound of dirt suspected of causing a nearby interstate bridge in Delaware to tilt is almost complete.

Officials have said removing the dirt is the first step in getting the bridge repaired and reopened to traffic, a process expected to take weeks, if not months.

Two backhoes continued to claw away Sunday at the dirt mound beside the bridge, which normally carries about 90,000 vehicles a day on the Interstate 495 bypass around Wilmington.

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Engineers have discovered that the steel piles under the I-495 bridge that has been closed have cracks across the widths of the two concrete footings as result of steel piles having been deformed.

That’s according to the Wilmington News Journal.

Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt also says there is evidence that the structural damage occurred over a shorter period of time noting that it looked much different by Thursday afternoon than it did on Tuesday.

He says it will be weeks to months before the tilted span can be leveled braced and reopened.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Highway engineers say a crucial bridge on the Eastern Seaboard's interstate highway system could imperil drivers if traffic is allowed back on it.

The bridge, near Wilmington, was closed Monday when its support pillars were found to be tilting. The Interstate 495 bridge won't reopen anytime soon, and the 90,000 vehicles that cross it every day are being diverted onto the main north highway, I-95, further overloading one of the most crowded arteries in America.

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