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Emergency responders were called to a University of Delaware biomedical engineering building last night.

The incident involved only one student who pressed the alarm at around 8 p.m. when a fire broke out.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the student was mixing hydrochloric and nitric acids when the blaze occurred.

After fire was put out firefighters took the extra precaution of calling in in Hazmat Teams from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Authorities say most of the damage took place in the water bath and fume hood.

Don Rush

The town of Lewes may still be open for business but it’s going to be more difficult to get around.

WBOC reports there are three construction projects now underway.

The Delaware resort is finishing up a sewer line and putting in a new water line on Savannah Road.

In addition, it is renovating the 1812 parking lot on Front Street.

The work is expected to wrap up by May 1st.

But Board of Public Works Director Darrin Gordon told the television station that there are incentives for a completion date of April 1st.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

There might be a partial government shutdown but the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is still mostly open.

WBOC reports that many of the park’s sections still remain open although the visitor’s center is closed.

Upon entering the park visitors are warned that they do so solely at their own risk.

The television station reports that some trash such as plastic bags have been seen at the entrance of Bombay Hook as a result of the partial shutdown.

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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) - Police in Maryland say a 14-year-old girl threatened mass violence against three area schools.

Prince George's County police say the girl was arrested Wednesday on charges including making threats of mass violence.

Police say she admitted to writing a series of emails threatening two high schools and a middle school. One of the emails included obscene photos, leading her to also be charged with possession of obscene matter with the intent to distribute it.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A board of high-ranking Maryland officials has rejected a pipeline across the western part of the state that would carry natural gas produced in Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

The Board of Public Works voted 3-0 Wednesday against an easement for TransCanada's proposed pipeline. It would run under the Potomac River and extend 3 miles (4.83 kilometers) from Columbia Gas' network in Pennsylvania to Mountaineer Gas' distribution system in West Virginia.

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Outgoing Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Brat has been named the new dean of Liberty University's business school.

The nation's most high-profile evangelical university announced Brat's hiring Wednesday.

Brat is a former economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia who scored one of the biggest upsets in U.S. political history when he defeated then U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a 2014 Republican primary. Brat lost the Richmond-area congressional seat last year to Democrat Abigail Spanberger in a closely watched race.

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The casualness of today stands in contrast to the formality of the past. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes that something may have been lost.

Don Rush

There are a number of new laws that went into effect in Delaware this New Year.

Starting today most Delawareans who make minimum wage will get a 50 cent raise per hour.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that those exempt include new hires or those under the age of 18.

When it comes to cash bail the state legislature approved a measure that encourages judges to consider alternatives such ankle monitors or mandatory check-ins.

Cash bail has been criticized for penalizing the poor in efforts by the court to ensure they show up for their appearances.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Thousands of uninsured, low-income Virginians will have new health care coverage starting in the new year.

Virginia is joining more than 30 states that have expanded Medicaid, a key part of former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The state's Medicaid office has been working with hospitals, advocates for the poor, insurance companies and others to help enroll the newly eligible into Medicaid.

Coverage starts Jan. 1 and the state said in mid-December that more than 180,000 people have been enrolled.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Several new laws mandating health insurers cover procedures and instructions for handling certain health conditions are taking effect in Maryland in the new year.

A new law taking effect Tuesday expands coverage for equipment, supplies and self-management training to apply to elevated or impaired glucose levels caused by prediabetes. That's a condition when blood sugar levels are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The new mandate also will apply to treating impaired glucose levels induced by pregnancy.

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Chincoteague lost four more ponies to the mysterious disease known as swamp cancer.

Officials on Friday announced on Facebook that they had been euthanized marking a long battle with the panful disease.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that brings the total number up to seven over the last few months.

Denise Bowden with the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company said on Facebook that there were surgeries and more medicine than one can image along with round-the-clock care.

But, she said, it was to no avail.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Police say a man has died 11 years after he was shot, bringing Baltimore's homicide total to 309 for 2018.

Baltimore police announced the death of Clinton Anderson in a statement Tuesday. Police say Anderson was shot in 2007 when he was 37 years old and died Nov. 10 at the Overlea Health and Rehabilitation Center at the age of 49.

Don Rush

POCOMOKE CITY, Md. (AP) - Police say a man reported missing in Delaware died after driving a van off a dock into the Pocomoke River, about 90 miles away from where he was last seen.

Dover police said in a statement Tuesday that 86-year-old Wilbert "Eugene" Bray was reported missing Monday. Police said Bray was last seen Monday morning driving a van in Kent County and reportedly suffered from a condition that could pose a threat to his well-being if not properly monitored.

Interfaith Power and Light

Longtime political and environmental activist Mike Pretl suffered a massive heart attack on Saturday morning and was flown to the University of Maryland Hospital after his conditioned weakened over the weekend.

He died this week when efforts to revive him failed.

For Delmarva Public Radio listeners he was a strong progressive voice on our Friday morning talk show Delmarva Today and a big supporter of the station.

Don Rush (File Photo)

Maryland will become part of a lawsuit by eight other states against seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean for offshore exploration.

Governor Larry Hogan gave the okay to the suit and called the federal action misguided that could jeopardize the hard work to improve the state’s air and water quality.

The Salisbury Daily times reports that Hogan has authorized the Department of Natural Resources to move ahead with the suit.

Seismic testing uses air guns to look for oil and gas deposits along the coast.

Don Rush

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - A judge has ruled a Maryland resort town can continue for now to enforce an ordinance prohibiting topless women in public while a lawsuit challenging the ordinance continues.

The Daily Times of Salisbury reports Chief Judge James Bredar of the U.S. District Court of Maryland ruled Tuesday in the case involving Ocean City.

Officials had passed the emergency ordinance in June, and several women filed suit earlier this year against the city. The woman argued it was their constitutional right to appear topless in public, like men.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic state treasurer-elect Colleen Davis has pleaded guilty to speeding after being charged with driving on a suspended license and other offenses.

Davis entered the plea Thursday morning in Sussex County Court of Common Pleas. She was assessed two points on her driver's license and fined $43. Criminal charges were dropped.

Earlier this month, Davis pleaded not guilty and demanded a jury trial, which had been scheduled for Jan. 30, after she is sworn into office early next month.

Don Rush

Salisbury is planning to develop a town square.

It would be located in the downtown area and would host the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop as well as concerts and other events.

WBOC reports that it will face the parking garage and reach into a section of Parking Lot 1 that reaches from the library to the First Shore Federal building.

Mayor Jake Day said he expects of the first phase to take place in the spring with completion by the end of the year 2020.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A fundraising campaign is being launched to build a memorial to honor the five people killed in a shooting at a Maryland newspaper.

Plans for the memorial that will also honor the First Amendment were discussed Thursday at the Annapolis City Council meeting with Mayor Gavin Buckley and other city officials.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A new report tracking sexual harassment in the Maryland General Assembly says there were 11 complaints against lawmakers over the last year, but it's unclear how many lawmakers were involved.

The Department of Legislative Services released the report Thursday to a panel of lawmakers that sets policy for the General Assembly.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Norfolk Southern says it plans to pay about $2.4 million to Virginia and the city of Norfolk for breaking its promise to stay headquartered in the city until 2026.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the company ended talks to repay Virginia incentives Wednesday, just over a week after the company announced it was moving its headquarters to Atlanta.

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Croda Incorporated says it has shut down the facility that caused a toxic gas leak to close the Delaware Memorial Bridge

The company says the leak was the result of an incorrectly installed gasket.

But residents are not satisfied.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Ken Dryden with the Delaware Concerned Residents for Environmental Justice called the company’s explanation for the leak after only three months in operation “a disgrace”.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A survey to measure the financial well-being of Virginia farmers and ranchers will begin next month.

From January to March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service will distribute the survey about farm economics and production practices to more than 30,000 producers nationwide, including 750 in Virginia.

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A new report finds that the Eastern Shore will be far more susceptible than other parts of the state to sea level rise if the emission of greenhouse gases continue to increase over the next 100 years.

That’s according to new projections by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

Revenue Up in Delaware

Dec 20, 2018
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The Delaware state government is expected to take in an additional $102 million in revenue this fiscal year than was projected earlier this year.   

That’s according to the Delaware Economic and Financial Council.

In addition, the panel predicted that there would be $46 more million dollars for the fiscal year of 2020.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Discussions are underway between a Virginia Indian tribe and officials in the Hampton Roads region to build the state's first casino.

Pamunkey Indian Tribe spokesman Jay Smith said Wednesday that it's negotiating with officials in Norfolk. The Pamunkey are eyeing 20 acres along the Elizabeth River that sit between a minor league baseball stadium and an Amtrak station.

The Pamunkey announced plans earlier this year to build a $700 million resort and casino somewhere in its ancestral region.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - More than 182,000 Virginians have enrolled in new health coverage that begins in the new year.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced the enrollment in the new coverage under Medicaid expansion on Wednesday.

The coverage is available to 19- to 64-year-olds who are not eligible for Medicare and meet income requirements, which vary by family size. SNAP recipients and parents whose children receive Medicaid coverage can use a short-form application to sign up by Jan. 4.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's attorney general has announced that he will no longer take campaign contributions from state-regulated monopolies or their key executives and lobbyists ahead of his run for governor.

Mark Herring told the blog Blue Virginia on Monday that he decided to stop taking contributions from entities like Dominion Energy after last year's election "to help restore the public's trust" in government.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project , Herring accepted $134,500 between 2006 and 2017 for his campaigns for state Senate and attorney general.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland county has ended its participation in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program, but the exact circumstances of its termination are muddled.

The Capital reports that Anne Arundel County Detention Facilities Superintendent Terry Kokolis ended the county's participation in the federal 287(g) program Dec. 4, less than 24 hours after County Executive Steuart Pittman pledged to "kiss" 287(g) "goodbye."

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ARNOLD, Md. (AP) - The first company to be licensed as a medical marijuana grower in Maryland has been fined for using banned crop-protection pesticides.

News outlets report the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission on Tuesday ordered ForwardGro to pay $125,000, destroy products produced before May 31 and issue refunds on certain products. The company has been placed on two years' probation.

ForwardGro products were removed from Maryland dispensaries with little explanation in October.

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