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15 people have died of the flu so far in the state of Delaware.

All had the influenza A strain with underlying health conditions.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that six of them had not been vaccinated.

This number compares with 19 who had died during the last flu season at this time.

As of mid-February officials said there were just over 32-hundred confirmed flu cases.

Last year at this time there have been over 77-hundred.

This year there have been 537 hospitalizations compared with 813 during this period last year.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials at Delaware State University are investigating alleged hazing after a crash that seriously injured four students.

University officials said Tuesday that the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity is prohibited from conducting gatherings, programs or recruitment activities at the school during the investigation.

The national director of the fraternity didn't immediately return a telephone message left at the group's headquarters in Philadelphia.

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(AP) Former Vice President Joe Biden is strongly signaling he could soon launch a presidential campaign while still giving himself room to decide against a run.

Speaking Tuesday in Delaware, Biden said, "I haven't made the final decision but don't be surprised."

Biden says his family supports a campaign, which is important because he has long said that would be a major consideration for him. He added, "There is a consensus that they ... want me to run."

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Just weeks after a school shooting in Baltimore, the city's school board has reversed its initial rejection of legislation that would arm school police officers.

The Baltimore Sun reports debate surrounding the board's unanimous decision to reject the legislation last month was revived after the Feb. 8 shooting that wounded a high school special education assistant. Police have said a student's 25-year-old relative, Neil Davis, entered Frederick Douglass High School that day and shot Michael Marks, who survived.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's House speaker has removed a white lawmaker from a leadership position for using a racial slur for black people.

House Speaker Michael Busch announced Tuesday he has removed Del. Mary Ann Lisanti as chair of a subcommittee. Lisanti, a Democrat, told reporters she would issue a statement later in the day.

She apologized to the House Democratic Caucus Tuesday morning, after apologizing to leaders of the state's Legislative Black Caucus on Monday. The speaker says Lisanti also has agreed to take sensitivity training.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Authorities have arrested three people following a three-month, multistate investigation into drug trafficking on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Delaware State Police say 33-year-old James M. Frazier of Cambridge, Maryland, the alleged ring leader, was arrested Saturday near Dover. His bond was set at $809,000 cash. A passenger in Frazier's car, 37- year-old Trivette Jackson of Federalsburg, Maryland, also was arrested.

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Criminal justice advocates want an investigation in the medical treatment in Delaware prisons.

It involves a $60 million contract with Connections Community Support Services.

State Representative Melissa Minor-Brown who chairs to House Corrections Committee told the Wilmington News Journal that the non-profit needs to demonstrate that it is doing its job.  

The move comes after the paper ran a story on the death of 40-year old James Daniels an inmate at the Sussex Corrections Center.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan's administration says it expects a pilot program to test removing dredge materials from the Conowingo Dam to be "substantially complete" this year.

The administration announced Monday that Northgate Dutra JV will carry out a $3 million pilot project to test the quality of sediment throughout the dam reservoir. It also will dredge and reuse a small portion of it to create a market for cost-effective recovery of material that has greater value on the land than as a threat to water quality in the river or Chesapeake Bay.

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Management of septic systems in Wicomico County has come in for criticism by industry professionals.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the problems involve permit delays and inconsistent staff recommendations.

Frustration boiled over during a recent meeting of more than a hundred county residents and professionals.

The paper reports they complained about delays in getting septic permits.

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With the ban on camping within the town limits of Georgetown there is concern that this may adversely affect the homeless in Sussex County.

WBOC reports that some of the homeless population finds shelter in the woods.

Jim Martiin, director of Shepherd’s Office, told the television station that the new ordinance punishes those who cannot afford a place to stay.

But, Town Manager Gene Dvornick said the goal is not to ban the homeless from camping but to create guidelines.

He added the camping is allowed on private property with the owner’s permission.

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Governor John Carney stopped by the White House yesterday along with other state governors.

And they talked with the president about revitalizing low-income communities and dealing with the drug epidemic.

The Delaware Democrat was there while attending the National Governors Association Winter meeting.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there are over 87-hundred Opportunities Zones in the country with 25 in Delaware.

Many of those are near Wilmington.

Meanwhile, the governors also discussed methods to combat the opioid crisis.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore County officials say they will again review how police conduct sexual assault investigations after continued complaints about how authorities handle the cases.

The Baltimore Sun reports county officials face criticism on sexual assault investigations from several fronts. County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. says he's charged a task force with examining police and prosecution policies and training. The goal is to make investigators more accountable and ensure that police consider the trauma that victims have experienced.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bid to tighten Virginia laws around using cellphones while driving will have to wait another year.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that lawmakers rejected legislation aimed at keeping drivers off their phones died during the final moments of the 2019 legislative session.

Both the House and Senate passed legislation that would have outlawed hand-held phone use while driving but the two chambers couldn't agree on compromise language to get a single bill through both chambers.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The police chief in Maryland's capital has been fired after less than two years on the job.

News outlets report Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said he was firing Chief Scott Baker on Friday, citing poor relationships with residents in high-crime areas. Baker will leave March 20, after a little more than 18 months at the helm.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The school district serving Maryland's capital region says officials have found unacceptable levels of lead in 5 percent of all outlets that have undergone testing since March 2018.

The Capital reports that number represents 672 outlets with unacceptable levels of lead in Anne Arundel County. Consumable outlets with high levels represent less than 1 percent of the district's 13,322 outlets at 116 school sites.

A spokeswoman for the school system, Maneka Monk, says nine schools have yet to post results.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court has denied a request to reconsider a ruling throwing out a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday rejected a request from lead pipeline developer Dominion Energy and the U.S. Forest Service to hold a full-court rehearing.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning and high wind advisories for the Delmarva peninsula as a strong cold front moves through the region.

A high wind warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Monday for northern Delaware, with forecasters expecting sustained winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and gusts of 55 to 60 mph.

A wind advisory is in effect for central and southern Delaware until 6 p.m. Monday, with the possibility of wind gusts of 45 to 55 miles per hour. Maryland's Eastern Shore is also under a wind advisory.

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Last year could be the deadliest year yet for deaths from drug overdoses.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the First State has witnessed 344 overdose deaths in the first ten months.

The paper reports that preliminary estimates put the numbers for 2018 at 419.

Deaths in Sussex County have been rising rapidly with the first ten months seeing 67 people dying from drug overdoses.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Embattled Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is compared himself to Jim Crow-era lynching victims as he resists widespread calls to resign, prompted by allegations of sexual assault.

In a surprise speech Sunday in the state Senate at end of the 2019 legislative session, Fairfax denied the allegations and said the truth is on his side.

He mentioned legislation that the General Assembly passed expressing "profound regret" for lynchings in Virginia between 1877 and 1950. Fairfax, who is black, said his opponents were "willing to do the same thing."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers have approved a sweeping overhaul of how legislative and congressional maps are drawn, despite strong objections from some black legislators.

The House and Senate on Saturday approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would create a new commission empowered to draw legislative and congressional maps during the next redistricting process, a change from the current practice of lawmakers drawing the maps themselves.

The measure must be approved again by the General Assembly next year, and then by voters, to take effect.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court this week is hearing a case challenging the location of a nearly 100-year-old, cross-shaped Maryland war memorial.

Three area residents and the District of Columbia-based American Humanist Association argue the cross' location on public land violates the First Amendment's establishment clause. The clause prohibits the government from favoring one religion over others. They argue the cross should be moved to private property or modified into a slab or obelisk.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delmarva Power is asking state utility regulators for permission to build a liquefied natural gas storage facility in northern Delaware.

According to a docket filing last week, the facility would be built on property near Red Lion that is already home to a Delmarva Power substation and a Bloom Energy fuel cell generation facility.

Delmarva is proposing to build five 100,000-gallon gas storage tanks, with the possibility of adding five more to meet future customer demands.

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The results are in from the Wyoming, Delaware town council elections.

And the in’s keep their jobs.

WBOC reports oncumbents Doug Denison and Carlin Kenley kept their seats.

Denison got 129 votes and Kenley 94.

Seth Greenberg picked up 79 votes.

There was a total of 155 ballots cast.

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It sometimes seems we are either ahead of ourselve or just trying to catch up. Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill pondered that question as he gazed at an Inchworm.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he's not launching a primary challenge against President Donald Trump unless the president's political standing within his own party weakens dramatically.

Hogan has emerged as the new best hope of a small group of so-called Never Trump Republicans seeking a prominent GOP official to take on Trump in 2020. He raised serious concerns about Trump's leadership in a Thursday interview but said he had no interest in a "kamikaze mission."

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There are inconsistencies between a video of traffic stop in the Fleatown Road and Cubbage Pond Road area and court documents submitted by the officer.

Delaware State Police Cpl. James O’Neal wrote that he stopped Mack Buckley who began arguing with him.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that O’Neal says at one point Buckley turned his back towards him as he reached for the center console obscuring the officer’s view.

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GLOUCESTER, Va. (AP) - A school board in Virginia says it won't take any immediate action to overturn its transgender bathroom ban after some community members spoke in favor of keeping it.

The board's announcement Thursday comes two days after it met some resistance at a public forum over changing the policy. A policy was proposed to allow transgender high school students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

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It was a frustrating morning for air travelers.

Just before 7 a.m. Southwest Airlines announced all flight at the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport have been grounded.

WBOC reports that an airline official said this was the result of a computer glitch but added the company was working on the problem.

The company said that it knew this has caused a stressful situation this morning but thanked passengers for their patience.

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Millsboro officials are looking at building a new bridge over Indian River to catch up with the increasing population.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that state Rep. Richard Collins wants the Delaware Transportation Department to study whether the project is feasible.

The paper reports that the town has issued 48 building permits for new homes since the beginning of this year.

Officials say that would mean an additional 100 residents.

Collins says that there is one site that would not impact housing construction but he did not say where that would be.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed legislation banning people under 21 from buying tobacco and nicotine products, a measure enacted in a state known historically for its tobacco production. 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the bill, signed Thursday, received bipartisan support as well as backing from Altria, the nation's largest tobacco company.

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