NEW MIDWAY, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Agriculture Department is offering Maryland farmers a chance to learn about changes in the 2014 Farm Bill affecting natural resources conservation.
The meeting Thursday morning in New Midway is the first of two in the state hosted by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. The second session is set for May 8 in Princess Anne.
The USDA says the Farm Bill passed by Congress earlier this year consolidates several conservation programs in an attempt to streamline the administrative process and reduce the burden on agency staff.
MIDDLETOWN, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court has ruled that the state's Department of Transportation must pay legal and other fees for a Middletown couple who successfully challenged an attempt to condemn their property for a highway project.
The state's high court found Wednesday that state law "clearly contemplates" that the reimbursement rule applies to reasonable attorney, appraisal and engineering fees incurred in a condemnation challenge.
SANDY POINT, Md. (AP) - Maryland transportation officials say they're considering building a nesting platform for ospreys who insist on building and rebuilding nests in front of a traffic camera pointed at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The Maryland Transportation Authority tweeted Wednesday that it is consulting with engineers about a platform after removing nests over Route 50 three times. Authority spokesman John Sales says officials got permission to move the nest from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The nest did not contain eggs or young birds.
WASHINGTON (AP) - An annual report on high school graduation says Delaware's high school graduation rate is 80 percent, the same as the nationwide average.
The "Building a Grad Nation" report released Monday shows that in 2012, the latest year for which data is available, schools nationwide posted the highest graduation rate ever. For the first time, the report says, the national high school graduation rate has hit 80 percent.
In Delaware, the graduation rate in 2012 was 80 percent. That's up from 78.5 percent in 2011.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is visiting Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands.
The governor is traveling first to Ireland and Northern Ireland as part of a congressional delegation led by the Faith and Politics Institute examining the historic divides on the island and peace and reconciliation efforts.
BALTIMORE (AP) - Attorney General Doug Gansler wants a task force to study options for high-speed rail service between Baltimore and Washington.
Gansler, a candidate for the Democratic nomination, says that if he's elected governor, he'll gather representatives from transportation agencies, housing and environmental advocacy groups and private businesses to submit recommendations.
He says it would boost Baltimore's economy.
There are two proposals in the works for a high-speed rail within Maryland, but they depend largely on the federal government.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Chesapeake Bay Foundation says more friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed in support of a massive restoration of the estuary.
The leading advocate for the bay's cleanup says one amicus brief has been filed by several cities, including New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles and San Francisco. A second was filed by Florida conservation groups.
This month, Virginia's attorney general filed an amicus brief in support of the plan.
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A report by a think tank at UCLA says legalizing gay marriages in Virginia could generate up to $60 million in spending in three years.
The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that about 7,000 same-sex couples may choose to get married in Virginia within three years of a change in law. In February, a federal judge in Norfolk struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriages. The decision has been stayed pending an appeal, and a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Richmond on May 13.
SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - A death certificate states the death of a Delaware inmate has been ruled a homicide.
The certificate provided Steve Hampton, an attorney representing the family of 48-year-old Ronald Shoup of Lewes, shows that the Sussex Correctional Institution inmate "sustained lethal trauma while being restrained multiple times by prison response team."
With the nation marking Earth Day, Alan Girard, Eastern Shore director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says much progress has been made in cleaning up the bay and dealing with population growth on Delmarva.
Delaware’s revenue forecasting panel says the state’s budget problems just got worse predicting that it will fall $75 million short of previous estimates.
The new projections by the non-partisan Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council means that the state’s governor and lawmakers may have to consider budget cuts as they head toward the June deadline.
The Wilmington News Journal reports that Governor Jack Markell is expected to put $20 million back into the general fund that agencies will not spend this year.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A pair of ospreys whose nest had been removed by state transportation workers because it was blocking a traffic camera rebuilt the nest, only to have it removed again.
The back-and-forth between the migratory birds and the Maryland Transportation Authority began Friday when the state agency tried to move the nest on a pole that holds a traffic camera on the Bay Bridge.
Agency spokesman John Sales said officials got permission to move the nest from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The nest did not contain eggs or young birds.
BETHANY BEACH, Del. (AP) - Delaware transportation officials are blaming the weather for holding up a streetscape project in Bethany Beach.
The Delaware Department of Transportation says harsh weather this winter slowed work on Garfield Parkway near the boardwalk and the project won't be complete before Memorial Day. Work will be put on hold during the summer tourism season and resume in the fall.