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The new government dietary guidelines are coming in for some criticism from the American Insitute for Cancer Research. Specifically, the institute takes aim at the allowance for the consumption of alcohol, which it says is based on outdated gender assumptions. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush talked with Dr. Nigel Brockton, V.P. of Research at the insititute.

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A compromise appears to have been reached over the control of alcohol sales between the city of Salisbury and Wicomico County.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the legislation in Annapolis would expand the county’s existing Board of License Commissioners to include city residents.

That would mean expansion of the board from three to five members appointed by the governor.  

And three of them must be Salisbury residents.

The original bill would have stripped the county’s licensing board of its authority within the city limits.

Don Rush

The Salisbury City Council voted to support a measure in the General Assembly that would give it the ability to regulate alcohol permits for businesses and events.

The action follows objections by Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver about the serving of alcohol at last year’s National Folk Festival in a letter to then state Senate President Mike Miller.

Culver complained that the county licensing board was not consulted.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he wants a “strict” new ban on holding cellphones while driving, saying tough new laws are needed to cut down on fatal accidents.

The governor also wants to ban any open containers of alcohol in cars and to require all car passengers to wear seat belts.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Department of Justice thinks the state's southernmost county needs a specialized court to deal with drunken driving cases.

The Delaware State News reported Sunday that while DUI cases in Kent and New Castle counties have dropped by more than half in the past 10 years, Sussex County hasn't followed suit. Delaware Department of Justice spokesman Carl Kanefsky tells the newspaper DUI arrests there are "disproportionately and unacceptably high."

Don Rush

With the latest dust up over alcohol at the National Folk Festival by Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver the city of Salisbury may look at getting a separate liquor board.

Council member Muir Boda told WBOC that it would fit in with the one stop shop for business.

Culver accused Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot’s office of violating the law by providing a wine and beer festival permit for the event.

The comptroller’s office said…what it was legal and necessary because of delays by the county liquor board for the festival.

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A battle has broken out between Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Culver sent a letter to state Senate President Mike Miller charging that the alcohol license approved by the Comptroller’s office for the National Folk Festival in Salisbury was illegal.

Specifically, the county executive said that decision should have been left to the local alcohol commission.

In addition, he wrote that the comptroller’s nonprofit beer and wine festival permits were not proper.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have given final approval to bill expanding Delaware's decriminalization of simple possession of marijuana to juveniles.

Lawmakers voted 34-to-7 for the bill Sunday, the last day of this year's legislative session.

The measure now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney for his signature.

Don Rush

Somerset County may change its regulations limiting the place of businesses that sell alcohol.

Currently they cannot be within three hundred feet from a church, school, public library or youth center.

But a measure awaiting action of the governor would reduce that to 200 feet.

WBOC reports that there are a number of restaurants that would like to be able to sell alcohol but are not able to do so because of the regulation.

The legislation allowing the easing of the restriction was introduced by Delegate Charles Otto and State Senator Mary Beth Carozza.

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - A Virginia state lawmaker has pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that state Del. Matthew James made a plea agreement Monday that allows him to avoid jail time if he stays out of trouble for the next year.

He also will need a restricted license to drive and an ignition interlock for six months.

Police said he had a blood alcohol content of 0.18 after he was arrested last year.

Don Rush

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - A new initiative in Arlington, Virginia, is aimed at improving nightlife safety by providing effective standards for establishments that serve alcohol.

The Arlington Restaurant Initiative is a voluntary accreditation program that also streamlines processes within county government and helps develop working relationships vital to public safety.

Patrons, restaurant staff and members of the public are invited to attend a panel discussion about nightlife safety on May 1 at the John T. Hazel, MD Conference Center at Virginia Hospital Center.

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Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot denounced the veto override of a measure that removes the authority over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline from his office.

He said, “I salute Governor Hogan for doing the right thing in vetoing this disappointing piece of legislation. It’s going to cost the taxpayers fifty million dollars over five years. It’s a crazy bill.”

He added, “The governor described it as a solution in search of a problem.”

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland General Assembly has removed regulatory authority over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline from the comptroller's office.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate voted Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of the measure.

The bill created a battle between Comptroller Peter Franchot and fellow Democrats who hold a supermajority in both chambers.

Hogan Issues Vetoes

Mar 28, 2019
Don Rush (File Photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has vetoed a measure to raise Maryland's minimum wage to $15, as well as a measure to give local school boards the ability to decide whether school starts before or after Labor Day.

The Republican governor announced the vetoes on Wednesday. He also vetoed a bill that would remove regulatory authority over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline from the Maryland comptroller's office.

Hogan says the minimum wage increase would hurt the state's economy. He says the other two bills are "politically motivated legislation." 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An ongoing battle between Maryland's comptroller and lawmakers is focusing on the office's regulatory powers over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline and what's best for the health of state residents.

Comptroller Peter Franchot and sponsors of a measure to transfer regulatory powers to a commission held dueling news conferences Thursday.

Franchot says the bill is political retribution for trying to help small craft brewers. He cited a Bureau of Revenue Estimates report that says the bill could cost taxpayers $50 million.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's comptroller is denouncing a measure that would take regulatory powers over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline away from his office.

Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, said Wednesday the measure is an example of "the very darkest motivations of the Annapolis machine."

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CLAYTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware police chief has lost his bid to suppress evidence from a DUI investigation.

The Delaware State News reports that Clayton Police Chief Brian C. Hill argued that state troopers hadn't established probable cause before conducting an intoxilyzer test on him last August. Hill pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and failure to maintain a single lane in October.

In a 10-page opinion, the judge pointed to testimony that quoted Hill as saying, "This is totally my fault."

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new panel of state officials and business leaders has approved a new grant to help train Virginians in making wine, cider, craft beer and hard liquor.

Gov. Ralph Northam's office announced Wednesday the GO Virginia board had approved a $250,000 grant for Piedmont Virginia Community College and Germanna Community College. The funds will be used to establish two new training centers and to develop a new curriculum to help train candidates in making alcoholic beverages.

Don Rush

BALTIMORE (AP) - Johns Hopkins says it will continue taking part in a study into the health impacts of alcohol despite criticism prompted by an investigation that showed the trial is funded mostly by alcohol companies.

The Baltimore Sun reports the university is one of 16 institutions participating in the study, which will look at whether one drink a day can decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

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BERLIN, Md. (AP) - A Maryland man who police say crashed into a trooper's car has been charged with driving under the influence.

News outlets report that Maryland State Police said in a release that 33-year-old Denver Alan Shoemaker, of Berlin, was arrested early Saturday morning.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The number of babies who've been exposed to drugs and alcohol is growing in Delaware.

WDEL in Wilmington reported Thursday that the state reported 431 cases last year. That's an increase of more than 100 babies who were exposed to a harmful substance during pregnancy.

To fight the problem, Delaware's Division of Public Health has come up with materials for OB/GYN's on how to screen pregnant women for addiction. The materials also connect the women to treatment and educate them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Several new state laws are going into effect Saturday in Virginia, potentially impacting how Virginians drive, what kind of alcohol they buy, and what they wear when they go hunting.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe earlier this year passed provisions that put in place a $100 fine for driving too slowly in the left lane on highways, allow state-owned liquor stores to sell the hard liquor Everclear, and let hunters wear blaze pink instead of blaze orange.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A House committee has voted overwhelmingly to send a bill raising income taxes on Delawareans to the full House for a vote.

The legislation considered by the committee on Wednesday raises income tax rates across the board, eliminates itemized deductions while increasing the standard deduction, and creates a new tax bracket for income above $150,000.

Representatives of the real estate and nonprofit communities urged lawmakers not to eliminate deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House is set to vote on a bill expanding the hours for Sunday alcohol sales.

Under current law, the sale of alcohol for off-premises consumption is limited to the hours from noon until 8 p.m.

The legislation being voted on Tuesday moves up the opening time from noon to 10 a.m.

House lawmakers also are scheduled to vote on another bill creating a new type of liquor license for outdoor beer gardens.

The bill sets the biennial fee for a beer garden license at $2,000.

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An accident on Route 13 in Bridgeville left five people injured late yesterday afternoon.

Delaware State Police say the three-vehicle crash occurred around 5:45 p.m. near the Heritage Shores development.

WBOC reports that 65 year old James Wright’s Jeep Wrangler drove in the wrong direction going eastbound in the westbound lanes on Heritage Drive.

His jeep struck a Volkswagen approaching the entrance to Heritage Drive when he pulled into the northbound lanes on Route 13.

His vehicle then struck a Chevy work truck almost head on.

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SMYRNA, Del. (AP) - Some parents are raising concerns about a school administering breathalyzer tests to students attending a homecoming dance.

The Wilmington News Journal that some parents were annoyed by the practice at Smyrna High School and even felt it bordered on infringing on students' rights. But parents were most concerned about being unaware of the alcohol breath tests in the first place. 

Don Rush

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration is promoting five rules for teen driver safety.

The "5 to Drive" campaign is part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, which runs through Saturday. MVA workers are handing out brochures targeting behaviors that have been shown to reduce the risk of fatal car crashes involving young people.

Number one: No cellphones. The agency says a car going 55 mph can travel the length of a football field in the five seconds it takes to glance at a phone.

Don Rush

Businesses in Newark are gearing up to meet new set of regulations as they brace for returning students at the University of Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there will be a new nuisance point system for bars and restaurants.

Infractions will be based on a 1 to 10 scale.

And with enough points they could lose their liquor license.

Officials tried to assure local businesses that if they are making good faith efforts they should “not have to worry”.

The new regulations come after the death of a student at a house party in the spring.

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BRIDGEVILLE, Del. (AP) - The pumpkin-hurling competition in Sussex County will feature stricter alcohol regulations this year.

Punkin Chunkin President Frank Payton was quoted by WXDE-FM as saying that event organizers are asking spectators not to bring their own alcohol.

He says beer will be sold at the event, but says that if people want to bring their own alcohol, the event will feature designated camping sites where people will be allowed to drink.

Wicomico Youth and Civic Center website

The Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury will be allowed to serve alcohol.

The county Board of License Commissioners gave the okay for the facility to serve beer, wine and liquor at the events.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it had been thought that the original deed had prohibited the serving of alcohol at the Center but a recent legal investigation found that was not the case.  

County Executive Bob Culver has pushed for permission to serve alcohol and it could make the center more attractive to those looking for a site to host their events.