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Don Rush

Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill recently went to check the shore line of his property as weather reports indicated it could be stormy day. It wasn't just the wind and rain but the rising water line produced by climate change that made him ponder the propsects for our the home we call earth.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A commission assigned to research racist laws from Virginia's past recommended Thursday that dozens of them be repealed, including measures that resisted desegregation, prevented black voters from casting ballots and prohibited interracial marriage.

While most of the measures are outdated and “have no legal effect,” they are still enshrined in law, the nine-member commission of attorneys, judges, scholars and community leaders wrote in an interim report.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A bear has caused an uproar after running through the streets of Wilmington, Delaware. The News Journal reports that police spent part of Thursday morning trying to catch the animal while bystanders rushed to get a look.áSome residents were told to shelter in place.

But by 11:15 a.m., police in Delaware's largest city said the bear left their jurisdiction. It's unclear where the animal went.

The animal had caused widespread excitement in a city - and a state - that rarely sees bears.

Don Rush (File Photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is proposing $3.8 billion for Maryland school construction over five years. The Republican governor made the announcement Thursday, along with an initiative aimed at improving accountability in academic performance in schools.

Education funding is expected to be a top issue before the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, which convenes next month for its annual 90-day legislative session.

Lawmakers will take up wide-ranging recommendations from a state commission that include raising teacher pay and expanding prekindergarten.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Two former volleyball coaches who claimed they were fired from the University of Delaware based on age and sexual orientation are appealing a judge's ruling in favor of the school.

A federal judge ruled last month that Bonnie Kenny and Cindy Gregory had failed to show that the university's stated reasons for firing them were pretext for discrimination.

Attorneys for Kenny and Gregory filed a notice of appeal on Thursday. Kenny and Gregory are a lesbian couple in their 50s.

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A new report finds that the Delaware Department of Correction has found a series of problems with its health care system.

The ChristianaCare report found that there is a lack of communications within the department as well as poor morale among the staff.

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There’s a new report that finds that overall Delaware ranks as the 30th healthiest state in the country similar to the previous two years.

The United Health Foundation report found that for drug-related deaths it came in 42nd for among the nation’s states.

In air pollution, it ranked 40th while for infant mortality it came in 47th.  

But the Wilmington New Journal reports that the America’s Health Rankings study did find a low percentage of uninsured and high rate of HPV immunization among young women.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments on whether he should toss out a libel lawsuit filed by Virginia's lieutenant governor.

Justin Fairfax sued CBS in federal court in Alexandria after it aired interviews with two women who have accused him of sexual assault. The Democrat has said the sexual encounters were consensual.

He argues that the CBS interviews were one-sided and reported the allegations in a way that implied his guilt. CBS says its reporting was fair and says the lawsuit is an attempt by Fairfax to silence his accusers.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state of Delaware will host events throughout 2020 to mark the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in the United States.

Delaware State News reported Sunday that the planned celebrations include a march around Legislative Hall that will end with the erection of a monument honoring the women's suffrage movement.

The Women's Suffrage Centennial Committee also plans to have historical markers installed in each county.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - A prosecutor says an investigation that led to the indictment of 25 correctional officers in Baltimore started in 2018 with "rumors and anecdotes" about excessive force against jail inmates.

Some of those indicted officers faced excessive force claims before the investigation began.

In one of those cases, an inmate accused tactical team members of severely beating him while he was handcuffed and shackled at the Baltimore City Detention Center in October 2008. A settlement resolved the case in 2015.

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Vaping has become a major concern nationwide with incidents of associated deaths and illnesses. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is heading up a taskforce that will eventually provide recommendations to lawmakers in the next legislative session on how to handle its growing use. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with the Comptroller about what might be done about the e-cigarette phenomenon.

Salisbury University

Salisbury University will be implementing new initiatives to up diversity and inclusion.

The move comes after racist language was found in a building last November.

The incident spurred anger by university students who felt the institution had not done enough to deal with the issues.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that University President Charles Wright announced the creation of a new position do focus on diversity on campus.

In addition, a special task force will be formed that will be made up of students, faculty, staff and community leaders.

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DOVER, Del. (AP)- A judge who dismissed Walgreens as a defendant in Delaware's lawsuit against the drug industry over the opioid crisis has denied the government's request to certify an appeal to Delaware's Supreme Court.
           
Wednesday's ruling follows the judge's denial in September of the state's request for reargument on her dismissal ruling.
           
State officials have accused the pharmaceutical industry of misleading doctors and consumers about addiction and other risks from prescription painkillers.

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Virginia is taking steps toward dropping requirements that new Medicaid enrollees have a job and pay part of their premiums.

Those provisions were key parts of a bi-partisan compromise nearly two years ago that allowed Virginia to expand Medicaid to low-income, able-bodied adults.      

Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam said Wednesday that he's pausing the state's pursuit of federal approval for those provisions.

He said Virginia is unlikely to implement those provisions after Democrats won control of the General Assembly last month.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Four chambers of commerce in Maryland are endorsing a plan to build a $10 billion high-speed maglev train between Baltimore and Washington.

The chambers of commerce for the city of Baltimore, Baltimore County, northern Anne Arundel County and Prince George's County voiced support for the first phase of the project on Wednesday.

The groups say it would help economic development and local business opportunities. The high-speed train could connect the two cities in 15 minutes along a 36-mile route.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police say they've been receiving reports of bear sightings in the northern part of the state.

The News Journal reported that three sightings were reported in North Wilmington on Wednesday morning.

Two were on I-95.áThe sightings in Delaware follow multiple sightings in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania during the past week.

Those sightings were in the Philadelphia suburbs.

State police in Delaware are investigating the sightings along with the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Natural Resources.

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There will be no nativity scene by the Wesleyan Church at the town circle in Georgetown.

It’s the result of a new ban on unattended displays.

The town manager Gene Dvornick told WBOC that the unattended displays could be a safety hazard such as winds blowing material into the traffic lanes.

Attended displays are still allowed such as those by protesters.

All displays must be approved by city officials with organizations filling out an applications.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - Officials of a Virginia city have rebuffed pleas by gun advocates asking it to declare the city a so-called "Second Amendment Sanctuary."

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea on Monday announced at a packed city council meeting that he sees no benefit in validating what the U.S. Constitution already guarantees. The declaration to a room mostly filled with people wearing stickers claiming "guns save lives" was met with shouted comments, most audible was "We will not comply."

Wesley College Website

Delaware is providing a $2 million grant to Wesley College as it faces declining enrollment and financial difficulties.

It received half of the grant last month from the Higher Education Economic Development Investment Fund.

Wesley President Robert Clark told WBOC that like many private colleges of similar size it is having to deal with the issues of enrollment and revenue.

Clark said there have been cost-cutting measures in addition to partnering with other institutions like Rowan University.

It is working with two other institutions as well.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby says she's concerned about the integrity and credibility of about 305 city police officers, most of whom the department stands by.

News outlets report Mosby on Tuesday presented a list of the officers to a state policing commission formed to identify department issues that fostered a corrupt police unit. She says the integrity concerns essentially mean those officers won't be able to testify in court.

Don Rush

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Virginia woman and her family have gifted coats to homeless people by leaving the winter weather gear hung about the city for years but may soon have to change tactics.

Brenda Parker says she was told this year that the tradition is considered littering. The Virginian-Pilot reports Norfolk instead wants Parker to work with an outreach program. City spokeswoman Lori Crouch says that would ensure the coats are delivered in better condition than if left outside.

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Maryland State Police say there were 409 accidents over the Thanksgiving Holiday running from Wednesday through Sunday.

In addition, they reported 119 driving while impaired with another 44-hundred citations.

WBOC reports that there an additional 124 criminal arrests.

Meanwhile, Maryland police report three deadly accidents including on late Sunday night in St. Mary’s County, another in Caroline County and one in Beltsville, Prince George’s County.

There was also a multi-vehicle crash on Sunday night on the Eastern Shore along Route 50 near Hebron. 

Dover Police Department

Then there were six.

That’s how many remaining candidates in the running to become the next police chief of Dover.

The selection committee met with two men and one woman in closed door sessions for more than three hours.

WBOC reports that there are three additional interviews scheduled before making its recommendation as to who will succeed former police Chief Marvin Mailey.

The television station reports that it has learned former U.S. Marshall and Lieutenant in the department Tim Mullaney is one of those candidates.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new report by the Virginia State Board of Education says there remains a persistent achievement gap for certain student groups and the state faces a growing shortage of high-quality teachers.

The report was officially presented to lawmakers and Gov. Ralph Northam on Sunday, and it calls for elected officials to rethink how schools are funded.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A state report says medical care in Virginia's prisons accounts for a fifth of operating expenses.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported last week that the information on prison medical costs comes from the Virginia House Appropriations Committee.

The report said the cost of inmate health care grew from roughly $140 million a year to more than $230 million a year during the past decade.

The report also found that 14% of state prisoners are at least 55 years old. That's an increase of more than 5% since 2012.

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MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - A northern Virginia county will consider whether it wants to join other jurisdictions and declare itself a "Second Amendment Sanctuary."

Corey Stewart, the outgoing Republican chairman of Prince William County's Board of Supervisors, will introduce a resolution at Tuesday's board meeting to declare the county a sanctuary.

Delmarva Review

Delmarva Today: Writer’s Edition is on the road this  week at The University of Delaware in Georgetown, Delaware. Wilson’s guests are Wilson Wyatt, Executive Editor of the Delmarva Review and Anne Colwell, poetry editor as well as associate professor of English at the University. The program features discussion of the latest edition, volume 12, of the literary journal.

Don Rush

A number of overnight shelters have opened up in Sussex County as the temperatures begin to drop.

Nine shelters are expecged to be in the county open every night through March 15th.

WBOC reports but there may not be enough overnight volunteers to staff the shelters.

Code Purple County Executive Director Nikki Gonzalez told the television station that Milford may not open because of the staffing problem and that Georgetown is also in what has been called critical condition.  

The 2019-2020 season of live Saturday Matinee broadcasts from the Toll Brothers- Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network  begins this Saturday, December 7th at 1PM on WSCL 89.5 FM with a broadcast of Phillip Glass' opera,  Akhnaten.

For more information on the opera selections for this season, please click here.

bluedelaware.com

Expect new restrictions on Middletown’s Hummer’s Parade in the wake of a float last year that mocked undocumented immigrants in cages.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the float created a backlash with town officials saying the has been “haphazardly thrown together by the participants.

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