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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

Credit creative commons

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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Local News
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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Local News
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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Local News
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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Local News
12:04 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Audit Finds Credit Card Abuse By At Least 4 State Employees

Credit creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An audit has found that four Maryland workers used state-issued credit cards to buy $255,000 of inappropriate items in recent years.

The Department of Legislative Services audit found questionable purchases by at least four cardholders. The workers were prosecuted and some supervisors also faced repercussions.

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Local News
11:02 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Top Democratic Leader Returns to Annapolis to Back Delay of Somerset Wind Project

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md)
Credit official photo

Congressman Steny Hoyer made an appearance in Annapolis lobbying for a measure that would impose a 15 month delay on the Somerset County wind turbine project.

Speaking before a legislative panel the House minority Whip from Southern Maryland said the delay and study was needed to ensure that the wind turbines do not interference with the radar from the U.S. Naval Air Station on the Patuxent River.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Hoyer also provided a letter co-signed by Maryland’s two senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin supporting the legislation.

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Local News
10:37 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Property Tax Hike Up to Voters Today in Cape Henlopen School District

Credit all-free-download.com

In the Cape Henlopen School District voters will be casting their ballots for a referendum today.

The measure calls for a hike in the property tax which would cost the average property owner an extra $59 a year.

It would take effect over the next three years.

The measure would help pay for the construction of a new elementary school with enrollment having grown by nearly 1-thousand students over the last 12 years.

The new elementary school would be located in Rehoboth Beach along Route 24.

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Local News
10:25 am
Wed April 2, 2014

MD Panel Votes to Replace Health Exchange Website

Credit Maryland Health Connection logo

HANOVER, Md. (AP) - A Maryland board has voted to replace technology in the state's badly flawed health exchange website with technology that has worked much better in Connecticut.

The board of directors of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange voted Tuesday night to adopt technology developed by Deloitte Consulting.

Maryland's website crashed shortly after it opened Oct. 1. The state has had one of the worst exchange websites of the 14 states that developed their own.

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Local News
10:04 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Mosquito Spraying to Begin in Delaware's Wooded Wetlands

Credit creative commons

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware is starting its annual spring woodland-pool spraying this week.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control says its mosquito control section will treat wooded wetlands near select populated areas in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties.

Officials say about 4,000 to 7,000 forested acres that produce large numbers of early season mosquitoes will be strategically sprayed by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft.

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Local News
9:54 am
Wed April 2, 2014

OC Church To Be Demolished After Fire

St. Paul's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church
Credit Church website

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Leaders of St. Paul's by-the-Sea Episcopal Church have decided to demolish its rectory, which was destroyed in a fire that killed the pastor.

According to a church newsletter, leaders decided last month to demolish rather than renovate the rectory, which was destroyed on Nov. 16.

The Ocean City Fire Marshal's Office has said that 56-year-old John Sterner purchased gasoline, poured it on himself and set himself ablaze. Authorities say Sterner then ran into the church, and the fire to spread from him to the structure.

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Local News
9:02 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Making Up Snow Days in Red Clay School District

Credit Don Rush

To make up for the  days lost to the snow storms the Red Clay School District will be converting four half-days into full days and add another half-day at the end of the school calendar.

May 9th and June 2nd though the 5th will be now be full days.

And the last day of school will now be June 6th.

Superintendent Merv Daugherty told the Wilmington News Journal that alternatives like reducing spring break or adding minutes to the school day was deemed too disruptive.

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Local News
8:44 am
Wed April 2, 2014

New Castle County Firefighters Seek Property Tax To Fund EMS

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon
Credit official photo

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - New Castle County firefighters are calling for a new property tax to help pay for emergency medical services.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports that County Executive Tom Gordon says he'll fight it. State legislation would be needed to allow the county to create a special assessment to pay for emergency medical services.

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Local News
8:26 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Delaware Panel Takes Up Cash Portfolio Board Issue

Treasurer Chip Flowers
Credit official photo

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state legislative committee is reconvening to begin its review of the board that oversees Delaware's $2 billion cash portfolio.

Members of the Joint Sunset Committee were forced to postpone a hearing on the Cash Management Portfolio Board last month after the board chairman failed to appear.

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