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2:14 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

MD Legislature Approves Pot Bills

Credit all-free-download.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's legislature has given final approval to a bill that would eliminate criminal charges for possessing small amounts of marijuana and the governor says he plants to sign it.

The Senate voted Monday to accept several compromises the House added over the weekend.

The bill would keep marijuana use illegal but make it akin to a traffic violation. The House opted to require all teen offenders to be evaluated for treatment. It also voted to raise the penalties to $20 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense, up from a maximum of $100.

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2:00 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

New OC Beach Patrol Facility Approved by City Council

Credit OC Beach Patrol logo

The Ocean City town council has approved a $2 million three story facility to house the resort’s Beach Patrol.

It is expected to be in operation by May of next year.

The final design raises the structure to protect it from flooding and widens the sidewalk along Talbot Street.

In addition, there will be a larger work space for police officers.

The exterior has been inspired by historic Ocean City buildings such as the Life-Saving Station Museum.

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Local News
1:43 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Effects of Hurricane Sandy Closes Bridge in Brandywine Creek State Park

Brandywine Creek
Credit Brandywine Creek State Park website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - State parks officials say they have permanently closed a bridge in a park near Wilmington after damage from Superstorm Sandy and flooding rendered it unsafe.

According to a notice posted on the website of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Rocky Run Bridge in Brandywine Creek State Park has been found to be unsafe for any use. Officials say that includes foot and cycling traffic.

After Sandy in 2012, traffic was limited to pedestrian use. Further flooding weakened the bridge's support structure.

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1:23 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

"House of Cards" Tax Credit Falters in Annapolis

Credit House of Cards netflix

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's General Assembly has run out of time to increase the yearly limit on tax credits designed to attract film projects and TV series.

The company that owns the series "House of Cards" has threatened to move operations out of state if they don't receive $15 million next season. A budget committee reached a last-minute deal last week to put $18.5 million in the tax credit fund next year, leaving cash for other projects.

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Local News
1:14 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

MD Legislature Cracks Down on Distracted Drivers

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to increase penalties for distracted driving that cause serious accidents has been passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

Lawmakers gave the bill final approval Monday. It now goes to Gov. Martin O'Malley.

The measure would increase penalties for people who cause accidents resulting in death or serious injury while text messaging or using hand-held cellphones.

Offenders would face penalties of up to a year in jail and a fine of $5,000 under the bill.

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Local News
1:04 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

MD Governor Looks to Overhaul Bail Hearing System

Credit freeclipartnow.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Martin O'Malley says he plans to work on overhauling Maryland's bail hearing system, after a bill that would have done so stalled in the Legislature.

O'Malley told reporters Monday that he will work with stakeholders who supported the overhaul approach backed by Sen. Brian Frosh.

That would use data on each defendant, such as criminal history, to assess the person's risk of committing more crimes if they were released from jail. Low-risk defendants would be released automatically.

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Local News
12:55 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Rehoboth Beach Tanger Outlet Renovations, Right Through Summer

Credit Tanger Outlets

If you’re shopping in the Rehoboth Beach area this summer you might run into some congestion around the Tanger Outlet Midway Center where renovations are now in their third month and are expected to continue on through the summer.

The project is expected to be completed within a seven month period.

Amy Norgate, the center’s general manager told WBOC, that there will be a raised pedestrian walkway across the parking lot and believes when finished it will bring in more customers.

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Local News
12:43 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Governor Jack Markell Praises "Race to the Top" in Delaware

Credit Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell says Delaware should be proud of the progress it's made under the federal Race to the Top education reform program.

Markell discussed the state's Race to the Top progress Monday in a speech to the P-20 council, a group formed a decade ago to coordinate and align education efforts across all grade levels.

Markell said the state has used more than $100 million in federal Race to the Top funding to develop a sound foundation for school improvement, but he knows there's much hard work still left to do.

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Local News
1:28 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Somerset Wind Project Faces Uncertainty After MD Senate Vote

Credit cleanenergycouncil.org

With the overwhelming Senate vote to delay the $200 million wind project in Somerset County state Senator Jim Mathias said that this vote would be a $45 million loss for local residents.

Developers had hoped to move forward with construction of the Great Bay Wind Energy projection by next summer.

But the measure would delay that for another 15 months while a study is conducted to examine the impact of the wind turbines the U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

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Local News
1:16 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Pollution Lawsuit to Go Forward Against Former Steel Plant in Delaware

Credit Evraz website

A pollution lawsuit by dozens of residents against the now-closed Evraz Claymont Steel plant will continue after all.

Superior Court Judge John Parkins said the fact that at least 82 people have allegedly been harmed supports continuation of the lawsuit.

He noted that they complain of specific injuries to them.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that for years residents around the plant said that the scrap steel recycling and plate-making operations produced damaging metallic slag dust and toxic pollutants.

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Local News
1:05 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Proposed Roundabout for Route 7 in Christiana

Credit fotosearch.com

There will now be a round-about along Delaware Route 7 on Main Street just north of Delaware Route 273 in Christiana.

This would still give full access to the Village while addressing safety concerns at the intersection.

Originally, The Delaware Department of Transportation had planned on creating a dead-end on East Main Street.

But, the Wilmington News Journal reports that local resident argued that this would hurt the delivery of emergency services and trap people in the community when there was a flood.

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Local News
12:48 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

All-Boys Catholic School Gets $10 Million Endowment

Credit Salesianum School website

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Salesianum School has received a $10 million donation to its endowment.

The News Journals reports that the school announced the donation from developer Anthony Fusco Sr. in an advertisement in the newspaper. The ad says the donation means that the school will "remain open to all who wish to learn."

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Local News
12:36 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Countdown to Midnight for MD Legislature

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland lawmakers will be putting finishing touches on measures related to marijuana and an increase in the minimum wage on the last day of the state's legislative session.

The session is scheduled to end at midnight Monday.

The House of Delegates approved a marijuana decriminalization bill on Saturday. The state Senate approved a similar bill earlier, but there are some changes senators would have to approve to send the bill to Gov. Martin O'Malley.

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Local News
12:25 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Delaware Officials Review "Race to the Top" Implementation

Credit Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - State officials are reviewing Delaware's progress in implementing Race to the Top education reforms.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to join education secretary Mark Murphy on Monday to update state Board of Education member on what Delaware has done with the four-year $119 million federal grant it received in 2010.

Monday's discussion will be followed by a visit to Wilmington on Wednesday by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to mark the four-year anniversary of Delaware's selection as one of the first two states to receive Race to the Top funding.

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Local News
12:47 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

MD General Assembly Approves Pre-K Expansion

Credit RF123.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A $4.3 million expansion of pre-kindergarten has been approved by the Maryland General Assembly.

The Senate voted 46-1 for the bill Friday.

The measure now goes to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who proposed the bill. It will enroll an additional 1,600 children around the state for children whose families make up to 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

It also creates a pre-K expansion fund for business and philanthropic entities to contribute money to support future expansion.

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Local News
11:39 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Warden killed in accident

Credit RF123

James Henderson, a former warden at the Somerset County Detention Center,  was killed in an industrial accident in Harrington Delaware.

Henderson was working for AET Electric of Parsonsburg installing electrical service in a vacant warehouse on Cluckey Drive when he was caught between a forklift and a pole.

Authorities do not suspect there was any foul play.

As warden he was the subject of an investigation into the Detention center back in January of 2007 over an alleged assault.

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Local News
11:08 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Minimum Wage Bill

Credit Don Rush

The Senate could take up the bill as early as Friday.

The measure phases in increases over the next several years, topping out at $10.10 in July of 2018.

It also freezes the minimum wage for tipped workers at $3.63.

An employer may pay an employee who is 19 or younger 85 percent of the minimum wage for the employee's first six months.

It includes a four-year 3.5 percent mandated increase for community service providers who work with the developmentally disabled to keep their pay above minimum wage.

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Local News
10:55 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Flawed Health Exchange Website

Credit Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland auditors say a review of the state's badly flawed health exchange website is limited and does not provide a complete understanding of decisions that were made.

The audit was released Thursday as members of a legislative oversight panel were scheduled to meet in Annapolis.

Thomas Barnickel, the state's legislative auditor, wrote that many of the documents reviewed by the state's office of legislative audits were redacted. He wrote 26 percent of the documents were redacted, with the procurement documents being "heavily redacted."

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Local News
10:37 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Raising Annual Cap on Film Tax Credits

Credit Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Lawmakers have agreed to pony up extra money next year to keep "House of Cards" filming in Maryland.

During budget negotiations Thursday, they also rejected the possibility of seizing film companies' property if they leave the state after accepting tax credits.

Warren Descheneaux, the legislature's top budget analyst, says a House committee will likely vote to raise the annual cap on film tax credits from $7.5 million to $11 million.

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Local News
10:21 am
Fri April 4, 2014

The Centre at Salisbury

Credit Don Rush

The recent bomb hoax at the Centre at Salisbury could have cost the mall as much as a quarter of a million dollars.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that’s according to past year financial statements at the anchor stores.

For the nearby restaurants that include the Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse the potential loss was $33-thousand.

Meanwhile, Macy’s loss was a potential $90- thousand.

The National Retail Federation says that retail centers do prepare for emergency closing anticipating at least one during a period.

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Local News
10:05 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Proposed Amendment to Delaware's Constitution

Credit Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State House members have postponed a vote on a proposed amendment to Delaware's constitution allowing bail to be denied for defendants charged with non-capital crimes.

The proposed amendment, which was pulled from Thursday's House agenda, is aimed at stopping the release of violent offenders who wind up being charged with more violent crimes after being released on bail.

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Local News
9:40 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Delmarva Power

Credit Don Rush

Delmarva Power is getting a $15.1 million rate increase from the Delaware Public Service Commission.

The vote was 4-to-0.

That gives the company a profit margin of 9.7 percent.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that it is still not clear what the increase will mean for individual customers.

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Local News
2:38 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Delay in Somerset Wind Project Heads to MD Senate Floor

Credit cleanaircouncil.org

A measure that would delay a wind turbine project in Somerset County by 15 months has made it out of the Senate Finance Committee.

The delay would allow for the results of a $2 million study on the impact of the project on radar at U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

In addition, the measure would limit the height of wind turbines at varying distances at varying distances from the naval base.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Eastern Shore Democrat Jim Mathias voted no saying the issues could be dealt with through existing state and federal laws.

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Local News
2:26 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Prevailing Wage Expansion Approved by MD General Assembly

Credit all-free-download.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to expand Maryland's prevailing wage law has been passed by the Maryland General Assembly.

The state Senate passed the bill 32-15 on Wednesday, sending the measure to Gov. Martin O'Malley.

The bill lowers the share of total school construction project costs paid by the state from 50 percent to 25 percent for the prevailing wage law to apply.

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Local News
2:17 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Pot Decriminalization May Have to Wait in Maryland

Credit creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's legislature apparently won't eliminate criminal policies for marijuana possession this year, but it will likely take a step in that direction.

The House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to create a task force to study decriminalization policies. The task force would make a recommendation after two years.

This is a reworked version of a Senate bill that would decriminalize the drug right away. In the same situation last year, this committee let the bill die without reaching the House floor.

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Local News
2:07 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Education Funding Referendum Approved by Cape Henlopen District Voters

Credit clipart 101.com

A referendum to raise property taxes to build a new school in the Cape Henlopen District was approved by a thousand vote margin out of 6-thousand cast yesterday.

In addition to building a fifth elementary school that will hold 720-students that money will also pay for additional classrooms at Beacon Middle School and Mariner Middle School.

The referendum means that the average property tax will go up by $22 in the next fiscal year and $37 in the following year.

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1:57 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Attempted Murder Suspect Arrested in Salisbury Case

Edwin Fletcher
Credit police mugshot

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Maryland State Police say a man sought after three law enforcers were injured during when their cruiser was struck has been arrested in Delaware.

Troopers said that 32-year-old Edwin Fletcher of Salisbury was arrested about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Dover. Authorities say he is awaiting an extradition hearing.

Authorities say two state troopers and a sheriff's deputy were injured when Fletcher drove onto and over their vehicle on March 26 in Salisbury. Authorities were trying to arrest Fletcher on a drug felony warrant in Wicomico County.

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Local News
1:47 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Minimum Wage Bill Out of MD Committe, But With Changes

Credit Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland Senate panel has made some substantial changes to a measure to raise the state's minimum wage.

The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill Wednesday.

In one of the biggest changes, community-based workers who work with the developmentally disabled would get paid more over several years in order to keep their pay above minimum wage.

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1:38 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Vote Set in Dover for Tightening Bail in Non-Capital Cases

Credit delaware state courts website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - State House members are set to vote on a proposed amendment to Delaware's constitution allowing bail to be denied for defendants charged with non-capital crimes.

The proposed amendment, backed by Attorney General Beau Biden, is aimed at stopping violent offenders from getting released on bail, only to be charged with committing more violent crimes after being put back on the street.

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1:26 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Film Industry Vital to Maryland's Economic Health

Credit netflix

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Sen. Edward Kasemeyer says Maryland should look to the film industry for jobs it has lost in manufacturing.

Kasemeyer, a Democrat who represents Howard and Baltimore counties, urged the House Ways and Means Committee Wednesday to pass his bill aimed at keeping the show "House of Cards" filming in Maryland. The committee will likely vote on the bill later this week.

Kasemeyer wants to raise the cap on tax credits for film production companies to $18.5 million yearly, up from $7.5 million.

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