Local News

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Shoppers in Virginia won't have to pay sales taxes this weekend on certain items.

The state's annual sales tax holiday starts Friday and runs through Sunday. The state will waive taxes on certain school supplies and clothing, energy and water efficient appliances and hurricane preparedness items.

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Those who ride DART bus service will now be able to pay their fares with a mobile app.

The Delaware Department of Transportation announced that the new payment option will be available free of charge and can be downloaded on the Apple and Google Play stores.

A digital screen will substitute for paper tickets and cash.

WBOC reports that the fares will include one-way rides and a daily passes as well as new seven day and 30 day passes.   

The mobile passes are sold for individual zones.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's insurance commissioner says there was an error in the proposed rate increase request from the lone insurer offering coverage under the Affordable Care Act in Delaware.

The Department of Insurance announced last month that Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware was seeking an average rate increase of 5.7 percent for individual plan coverage for next year.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A leading Maryland lawmaker says he will introduce a constitutional amendment next year to protect abortion rights.

House Speaker Michael Busch announced Thursday he will introduce the proposal in next year's legislative session. If approved by the General Assembly, it will go on the ballot for voters to decide in 2020.

The Democrat says he is introducing the proposal because the Supreme Court is "currently hanging in the balance" and due to "increasing hostility" toward "women's reproductive rights by this federal Administration."


NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - High school students in Virginia got to learn about the challenges of life in microgravity directly from an American astronaut aboard the International Space Station.

Astronaut Drew Feustel spoke to students visiting NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore on Thursday using a video link. It's part of an effort to boost interest in science, technology and math.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A federal judge is siding with Baltimore police in a civil lawsuit over the use of a clandestine cellphone-surveillance device.

The Daily Record reports that U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake ruled Wednesday that an order obtained by police met the requirement for a warrant.

Blake reached the opposite conclusion of the Court of Special Appeals. The state appellate court ruled police violated Kerron Andrews' Fourth Amendment right when they used a cell site simulator to track and arrest him in 2014.

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BOWLING GREEN, Va. (AP) - Work is underway to get a former regional jail in Virginia ready to house people who have entered the U.S. illegally.

Matthew Munroe is assistant field office director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Richmond sub-office. He tells The Free Lance-Star the detainees will begin arriving at the Caroline Detention Center "soon." He could not provide a more specific date.

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Heavy rains have prompted authorities to evacuate parts of a Virginia city in case a dam fails.
Citing statements from the National Weather Service, news outlets reported Thursday evening that a failure of the College Lake Dam near Lynchburg could flood the city with 17 feet (5 meters) of water in seven minutes. The service says county officials reported the dam's "imminent failure" at around 9:30 p.m.

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There’s a swimming advisory for Cape Charles beach as the result of high levels of bacteria.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Northampton County health officials say recent testing shows that the bacteria levels have reached above State Water Quality Standards.

Warning signs have been posted at the Cape Charles Town Beach.

When the bacteria levels decline officials said the public will be notified.

Last June another advisory was issued for Cape Charles Beach while a similar one was issued recently for Bloxom Beach in Accomack County.

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Comcast says it may not be able to broadcast live meetings of the Wicomico County Council and Salisbury City Council on PAC 14 next week due to technical difficulties.

Salisbury Daily Times reports that if the problem is not resolved those meetings will be streamed by the Public Access Television on its website and YouTube.

In addition, the meetings will be recorded and televised by PAC 14.

There’s a work session for the city council set for 4:30 p.m. on Monday.