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Join us on Thursdays in April at 9 AM on WSDL, 90.7 for a series of lectures by distinguished poet, Sue Ellen Thompson, on three emminent poets: Jane Kenyon, Robert Frost, and Jack Gilbert.

National Folk Festival

We take a look at the expanding role of women in politics and the upcoming Presidential elections.

In the second half, the next four performers at the National Folk Festival are revealed.

Essay: The Thinking Bird

15 hours ago
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When we spot a flock of birds flying across the sky Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes we don't think about the intelligence that lies within those small brains.

U.S. Air Force

Some $39 million that had been slated for an aircraft hangar at the Dover Air Force Base could be diverted to fund President Trump's border wall.

The project is on the list the Pentagon has put out of hundreds of projects around the U.S. that could be worth nearly $13 billion.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Defense Department has said it would not touch those projects for which money was awarded by September 30th.

The Dover project is budgeted for this April so that it might not be effected.

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Dorchester County teachers say violent student behavior is growing in the classrooms.

Last night they went before the school board to demand support in dealing with the incidents.

WBOC reports that Dorchester Education President Katie Holbrook told the board that they were being ignored in their requests for help.

Holbrook noted that one teacher was beaten so badly by a kindergarten student that she was hospitalized for three days.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan says former Gov. Harry Hughes restored integrity to Maryland's capital.

Hogan spoke at a funeral Thursday in Annapolis for Hughes, who was governor from 1979 to 1987. Hughes entered office after two of his predecessors were hit by scandal. He died last week at age 92.

Hogan praised Hughes for being a fierce advocate of environmental stewardship. He highlighted the former governor's work at building partnerships with the federal government and surrounding states to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A former congressional candidate in Virginia says she running for Congress again even though she'll be in federal prison.

Shaun Brown revealed her plans to reporters Wednesday before turning herself into authorities outside a federal courthouse in Norfolk.

The 59-year-old was sentenced last week to three years in prison for defrauding the federal government through a summer meal program for children. She continues to say she's innocent.

Brown was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Virginia's 2nd District on the state's coast in 2016.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A recent state report has found that Virginia's pension fund is in a worse position to handle a market meltdown than it was before the Great Recession.

That's despite a 10-year bull market and pension reform efforts by lawmakers to make the fund more resilient.

The Virginia Retirement System's recent "stress test" predicts that a market crash or several years of lower-than-expected returns would add billions to the plan's current unfunded liabilities.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Just in time for spring, Delaware lawmakers are targeting drivers who don't clear off ice and snow from their vehicles before getting behind the wheel.

A Senate bill introduced Wednesday is aimed at protecting motorists from chunks of ice and snow flying off vehicles in front of them.

The bill allows police officers to stop snow-covered vehicles and ticket drivers with penalties ranging from $25 to $75.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Joe Biden says he has "the most progressive record" of any Democrat running, or mulling a run, in 2020. But many progressive activists disagree.

As the former vice president nears a decision on a third White House run, several moments in his long career loom as political liabilities with a party that's moved to the left. They include his vote for the Iraq War and his key role in passing bankruptcy and crime bills unpopular on the left.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - While Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan isn't completely ruling out a potential primary challenge to President Donald Trump, he says that currently "it doesn't make any sense at all."

Hogan spoke to reporters Thursday with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Hogan friend who is in Maryland for a book promotion. Christie says he doesn't see a political path at the moment for challenging the president in the primary, because of Trump's approval ratings among Republicans.

Still, Hogan says it's unknown "what that might look like several months from now."

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Two intersections were closed in Delaware for four hours yesterday as state police returned to where the body of a woman was found.

Homicide detectives shutdown the intersection of Shell Bridge and Phillips Landing roads as well as Mt. Pleasant and Old Sharptown roads in Laurel.

WBOC reports that the body has been turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science for an autopsy on the cause and manner of death.

Police say they do not know the identity of the woman along with other details in her death.

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver says he plans to try to fully fund the additional $800-thousand for education as requested by Superintendent Donna Hanlin.

WBOC reports that the request is an effort to fulfill her top priorities as part of her “Imagine 2022” strategic plan.

Hanlin has had the backing of a grassroots online movement by parents known as “PUSH4Education” that includes support for universal pre-K.

Hanlin also wants funding to improve teacher turnover rates and graduation rates.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland General Assembly has given final approval to raising the state's minimum wage from $10.10 to $15 an hour by 2025.

The House and Senate voted Wednesday for a compromise. That sends the bill to Gov. Larry Hogan, who opposes the measure. The House and Senate passed the bill with enough votes to override a veto.

The minimum wage would increase to $11 in January. It would then go up 75 cents a year to $14 in 2024, and then reach $15 in the following year.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has approved a bill raising the legal age to buy tobacco products in Delaware from 18 to 21.

A bill was approved on a 14-6 vote Tuesday and now goes to the House.

The legislation would apply to all tobacco products and tobacco substitutes, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices.

Retailers caught selling tobacco to a person under 18 would be slapped with criminal fines ranging from $250 to $1,000. Those caught selling to people over 18 but under 21 would be subject to civil penalties of similar amounts.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's largest electric utility is defending its plan to spend hundreds of millions of dollars less on energy efficiency than what top officials say they agreed to last year in a sweeping overhaul of electric regulation.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware judge says prosecutors can't use cellphone evidence against a man charged with murder and accused of being a gang member.

Therion Reese was charged in the 2017 killing of 21-year-old Kaden Young after being arrested on an unrelated charge by Wilmington police, who obtained a warrant to search a cellphone Reese was carrying.

The judge ruled Monday that the warrant failed to establish a link between the phone and the crimes being investigated, and that supporting allegations by police were too vague and too general.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginians will soon be paying fewer taxes on tampons and diapers.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that he'd signed legislation that lowers the sales tax rate on essential personal hygiene products. The legislation taxes those products at 2.5 percent, instead of 5.3 percent or even higher in some parts of the state.

Supporters said the legislation was needed to help Virginians afford essential products. State officials estimate the new law will result in about $5 million a year in lower tax revenues.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has sued the owners of Pimlico Race Course in an effort to seize the horse racetrack and block the move of the Preakness Stakes out of the city.

News outlets report that on behalf of the city, Pugh is also trying to prevent the Stronach Group from using state bonds to fund improvements at Laurel Park, which is being eyed as the new home for the second jewel in the Triple Crown.

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Legislative Hall in Dover was evacuated briefly yesterday morning.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Department of Safety and Homeland Security said smoke was detected from an electrical panel.

Lawmakers their aides and others were forced to leave the building for around 30 minutes while fire personnel went over the building to ensure it was safe.

In light of recent events, we get a primer on the history of blackface in the first half of this program. In the second half, we look at the history of slavery on the Easten Shore.

Guests: Dr. Joshua K Wright, Associate  Professor  at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and host of UMES 30 on WESM 91.3

Jaqueline Simmons Hedburg, author of "Plantations, Slavery and Freedom on Maryland's Eastern Shore".

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The Chincoteague ponies will be getting vaccinated against swamp cancer.

The Facebook announcement this week said they officials plan to carry out a three phase process against the disease which left seven ponies dead last year.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it is a fungus-like disease that produces lesions on the skin.

The vaccinations will begin with the spring round up.

The round up begins on April 12th and 13th which allows for an overall health check and to discover if any foals have been born.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Senate president says he thinks his chamber will pass a measure to allow the terminally ill to end their lives with a doctor's help, but he's anticipating "a very, very close vote."

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller told reporters Tuesday he personally will probably vote against the bill, "but I think it's going to pass."

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has scheduled a meeting to discuss how to address revelations that about a third of the University of Maryland Medical System's board of directors has received compensation through the network's contracts with their businesses.

Hogan is scheduled to meet with Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, House Speaker Michael Busch and officials from the system on Wednesday afternoon in Annapolis.

Miller told reporters Tuesday he hopes the meeting will result in a unified response. The Senate president says there needs to be an audit.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to increase Maryland's use of renewable energy has moved forward in the state Senate.

The Senate amended the bill on the floor Tuesday to eliminate trash incineration as eligible for subsidies under the measure aimed at boosting the growth renewable energy like wind and solar.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has approved a bill raising the legal age to buy tobacco products in Delaware from 18 to 21.

A bill was approved on a 14-6 vote Tuesday and now goes to the House.

The legislation would apply to all tobacco products and tobacco substitutes, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices.

Retailers caught selling tobacco to a person under 18 would be slapped with criminal fines ranging from $250 to $1,000. Those caught selling to people over 18 but under 21 would be subject to civil penalties of similar amounts.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House has approved a bill establishing in-person early voting in Delaware, starting in January 2022.

The legislation was approved Tuesday on a 34-6 vote, will all dissenting votes cast by Republicans. It now goes to the Senate.

The proposal allows registered voters to cast ballots at least 10 days before an election at locations - at least one in each county and the city of Wilmington - to be determined by the state elections commissioner.

Thirty-eight other states already allow early voting.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia state park is set to be recognized for its efforts to make star gazing easier.

James River State Park in Buckingham County is set to be named next month an International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association.

The park has an outdoor lighting policy that minimizes light pollution. The project was spearheaded by Lora Callahan as part of her effort to win a Girl Scout Gold Award.

There's only one other state park in Virginia designated as a dark sky park and only 43 in the U.S.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe he'll soon decide whether to join the sprawling field of candidates seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

During a stop Tuesday at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, McAuliffe said he'll make that call "in the next couple of weeks." McAuliffe says he has "a lot of strength" in the state, which hosts the first primary voting in the South.

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Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki found himself facing controversy this St. Patrick’s Day weekend when his office retweeted an offensive trope that is popular among white nationalists.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Mayor’s office says the retweet was “inadvertent” making it appear that he had share its message.

The tweet was deleted after questions were raised by the News Journal.

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