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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A state board has ruled that the former top deputy in the Delaware auditor's office was wrongly fired.

The Merit Employee Relations Board voted 2-1 Monday to order that former chief administrative auditor Kathleen Davies be reinstated to her previous position within 30 days, and that her termination be changed to a 60-day suspension, beyond which she is entitled to lost wages.

Davies was fired by former auditor Tom Wagner in December 2017. The state Department of Labor ruled last year that Wagner did not have sufficient cause to fire her.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials are planning to outline legislation aimed at improving education in the state.

House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller are scheduled to make the announcement with William Kirwan on Tuesday. Kirwan chaired the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware is joining other states in reviewing criminal convictions involving potentially questionable hair evidence following the FBI's acknowledgement of a decades-long pattern of flawed testimony about the strength of microscopic hair analysis.

The attorney general's office said Monday that a nonprofit group called the Prosecutors' Center for Excellence began working last month to review criminal convictions prior to 2000 that involved FBI testimony on hair evidence. 

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The Naval Academy's oldest alumnus has died at the age of 104.

The Baltimore Sun reports retired Rear Admiral Edgar Keats died of complications from a fall Saturday. Keats was a decorated World War II veteran who served in the Pacific theater.

Keats was born in Chicago and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at age 13. Three years later, he won his appointment to the Naval Academy, from where he graduated in 1935.

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25-year old Margie Mays from Wilmington, Delaware has won a spot on American Idol.

It was an excited Mays who sang “Shot”.

But judges Luke Bryan and Katy Perry gave her the go ahead to make her way to the stage in Hollywood.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that last spring she sent her father a clip of her singing the “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Her father Chris encouraged her to try out for American Idol.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis got some company from his counterparts in Somerset and Worcester County in opposing gun legislation being considered by lawmakers in Annapolis.

Worcester County Sheriff Matthew Crisafuli and Somerset County Sheriff Ronnie Howard say they agree with Lewis’s recent comments opposing the measures.

One measure would add the Colt AR-15 heavy Barrell rifle to the list of regulated firearms in the state.

The other would require a license to buy or obtain shotguns or rifles.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Public health officials are reporting 16 flu-related deaths so far this season in Delaware.

The Delaware Health and Social Services said Friday in a statement that all the cases were people who had underlying health conditions and who were infected with the influenza A strain.

The most recent case was a 90-year-old man of Sussex County man who died this week.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An emergency commission is proposing a new congressional map for western Maryland that restores the Republican tilt it had a decade ago.

The new map approved Friday by Gov. Larry Hogan's Commission on Sixth Congressional District Gerrymandering returns parts of conservative Frederick and Carroll counties to the 6th District. More liberal parts of Montgomery County, closer to the nation's capital are returned to the 8th District.

No other congressional districts are affected.

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BEL AIR, Md. (AP) - Harford County Democrats are calling on one of their own to resign from Maryland's House of Delegates after she admitted using a racial slur.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the county's Democratic Central Committee voted Saturday at a special session to call for Del. Mary Ann Lisanti's resignation.

Lisanti, a Harford County Democrat, was censured by the House Thursday after she admitted using the n-word at an Annapolis cigar bar to describe door-knocking efforts she conducted in Prince George's County, a majority black jurisdiction.

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DEWEY BEACH, Del. (AP) - A popular bar restaurant and bar in a Delaware beach town will be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up.

Developers say the Lighthouse restaurant on Dewey Beach's bayside will be completely demolished rather than renovated.

The Lighthouse is best known for its Taco Toss happy hour, which draws a crowd in a town known for its appeal to a young, partying demographic.

The tacos are not actually tossed.

The faux lighthouse that anchors the complex will remain.

The new restaurant is expected to open in 2020.

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence has been chosen to deliver the commencement address this spring at Liberty University.

Pence will speak May 11 to an expected crowd of 18,000 graduates and 40,000 guests.

Pence announced his speaking plans Friday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Liberty, founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, is one of the nation's largest Christian universities and is frequently a preferred platform for conservative speakers and politicians. President Donald Trump delivered the graduation speech there in 2017.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - Protesters rallied outside the Roanoke police department to decry comments by the city's police chief that critics believe are insensitive to rape victims.

The Roanoke Times reports that about a dozen people attended the protest Saturday.

Protesters were responding to comments made by Chief Tim Jones at a City Council meeting last month. Asked about an increase in reported rapes, Jones told the council that "all too many young women put themselves at risk when alcohol and social behavior goes bad."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is launching a new livestream of a peregrine falcon nest in downtown Richmond.

A nesting pair of falcons have made their home on the 21st floor of the Riverfront Plaza building. Peregrines historically nested on rocky cliffs in Virginia's mountains and now choose bridges, tall buildings and other artificial structures.

The first egg is expected to be laid in mid- to late-March. 

The feed can be accessed at: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/falcon-cam/

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The television show American Idol will be getting a little of Chincoteague on its stage.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that 26 year-old Dalton Elliott has appeared on stages on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland.

He is originally from Nashville but has been in the region for the last three years.

Elliot is employed as a maintenance worker at the Refuge Inn on Chincoteague.

He sang the hit “Boy” by Lee Brice for his audition in New York.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland House of Delegates has voted to censure a white lawmaker who made a racial slur about a majority-black county.

The House voted 136-0 on Thursday for the expression of severe disapproval against Del. Mary Ann Lisanti.

In addition, House Speaker Michael Busch is kicking Lisanti off her seat on the House Economic Matters Committee. The speaker already had stripped Lisanti of a leadership post she held earlier in the week.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia first lady Pam Northam has expressed regret after the mother of an African-American teenager complained that a tour of the governor's mansion was racially insensitive.

Northam said Wednesday that she's working to make sure the stories of slaves who worked in the mansion's kitchen pre-Civil War are told properly.

Northam's statement comes amid heightened racial tension in Virginia politics. Gov. Ralph Northam apologized recently for wearing blackface decades ago.

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(AP) One of the largest and oldest neo-Nazi groups in the U.S. appears to have an unlikely new leader: A black activist who has vowed to dismantle it.

A court filing Thursday suggests James Hart Stern wants to use his new position as director and president of the National Socialist Movement to undermine the Detroit-based group's defense against a lawsuit.

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New gun safety legislation has been introduced in the Delaware legislature aimed at preventing minors or others from obtaining their loaded weapon.

The measure makes it a crime to unlawfully permit a child or others who are not allowed to have a gun access to a loaded firearm.

WBOC reports that it would be a misdemeanor but the severity of the offense could increase if it is used in a crime.

Rep. Sean Lynn is the main author of the measure.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed a package of bills aimed at reducing the state's eviction rate.

Northam announced Thursday he'd signed several pieces of tenant-friendly legislation that's part of his affordable housing priorities. Among the legislation are bills that give tenants more time to pay rent and fees ahead of an eviction notice and limit the number of legal actions a landlord may file.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Under Armour is laying off 50 people at a headquarters in Baltimore as part of the cuts it announced last year.

The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday that the company has told the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation that the workers will be let go between March 8 and June 30.

The Baltimore-based athletic apparel company announced in September that it planned to cut its global workforce by 400 workers. It said then that the 3 percent cut in its workforce was necessary to rejuvenate stagnating sales growth.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Board of Pardons is recommending that a former county police chief who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a government corruption case be pardoned.

Following Thursday's recommendation, John Cunningham's pardon request now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney.

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Billionaire presidential prospect Michael Bloomberg will deliver the University of Maryland's spring commencement address.

The Baltimore Sun reports the school announced Thursday that the former mayor of New York City will address thousands of graduates during a May 24 ceremony in College Park.

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The National Folk Festival has made its first announcement of the performers who will be taking the state this year in Salisbury.

The acts range from musicians to dancers.

Among the Latin performers are Adonis Puentes & The Voice of Cuba Orchestra and Aurelio Martinez who brings the sounds of the Central American Caribbean coast.

Swing guitar and fiddle in the Western music tradition will be delivered by the Hot Club of Cowtown while the Jerry Douglas Trio will feature blue grass on steel guitar.

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Three mares are missing on Assateague Island.

The National Park Service says it is believe they have died.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that word of their disappearance came in a survey of the population of wild horses on the island.

One was identified as Bessy Twister N6BK while the other two were identified as N6H and X24 Patty.

The census found there are a total of 76 horses.

They breakdown to 21 stallions and 55 mares.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court seems inclined to rule that a 40-foot-tall cross that stands on public land in Maryland is constitutional, but shy away from a sweeping ruling.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to raise Maryland's minimum wage has advanced in the House of Delegates.

The House gave the bill preliminary approval on Wednesday. Delegates may vote on the legislation this week. The measure would then go to the Senate.

The measure would raise the minimum wage from $10.10 to $15 in increments by 2025.

It would first rise to $11 at the start of next year. It would then go up 75 cents each year to $14 in 2024, before reaching $15 in 2025.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware lawmakers are proposing to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

A bill introduced Wednesday would apply to all tobacco products and tobacco substitutes, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices.

The legislation also eliminates an existing provision allowing a parent or guardian to buy tobacco for an underage person.

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Virginia’s First Lady Pam Northam has gotten into some hot water.

During a tour of the governor’s mansion cottage by some African American children she handed them some cotton and asked them to image being slaves.

That’s according to Leah Walker director of the state Office of Equity and Community Engagement in the Virginia Department of Education.

She wrote that during the tour which included Walker’s daughter and two of her fellow pages – the only African Americans in the group -- were asked to hold the cotton the First Lady retrieved from a bowl.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The leaders of the Maryland Democratic Party and the state's Republican Party are supporting calls for the resignation of a state lawmaker after she used a racial slur for African-Americans at an after-hours gathering.

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who chairs the state's Democratic Party, and Republican Party Chairman Dirk Haire, both called on Del. Mary Ann Lisanti to resign Wednesday.

Lisanti, a Democrat, apologized Tuesday for making the comment last month in reference to Prince George's County, which is majority black.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A Delaware man has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for cyberstalking a Georgetown Law School interviewer who didn't recommend him for admission.

The Wilmington News Journal reports Ho Ka Terence Yung was sentenced Wednesday for what prosecutors say was a "graphic and psychotic course of intimidation" that spanned 18 months. They say Yung shared solicitation posts involving the victim's wife and created online accounts detailing the victim and his family's white supremacy.

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