Local News

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LEWES, Del. (AP) - Scientists are trying to determine what killed the juvenile female humpback whale that washed ashore over the weekend in Delaware.

Suzanne Thurman with the Marine Education, Rehabilitation and Research Institute tells news outlets the whale is the sixth to wash ashore in Delaware since 2016. The whale was first spotted in Cape May, New Jersey, on Saturday, before it washed ashore at Cape Henlopen State Park on Sunday.

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - An internet troll who harassed a black college student with racist messages on social media has agreed to a court settlement requiring him to get "anti-hate training," apologize in writing and on video and publicly renounce white supremacy.

Tuesday's settlement agreement would resolve Taylor Dumpson's claims against one of the defendants she sued in April over an online harassment campaign orchestrated by a neo-Nazi website publisher.

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GLENELG, Md. (AP) - A judge says he won't drop hate-crime related charges against teens who argued the racial slurs and swastikas found at a Maryland high school were constitutionally protected free speech.

Four Glenelg High School seniors were charged with misdemeanors after the graffiti was found spray-painted in May. Attorneys for 18-year-old Matthew Lipp and 18-year-old Tyler Curtiss had filed separate motions to dismiss counts related to religious or racial harassment.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The former fire chief in Delaware's largest city has pleaded guilty to stealing from an association of minority firefighters he led.

The News Journal reports Anthony Goode entered his plea on theft and unlawful use of a credit card charges Monday, just over a year after he initially pleaded not guilty. According to court documents, additional theft and felony racketeering charges from his indictment were dropped. He was scheduled to go on trial in January.

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The town of Smyrna wants to be prepared for the next big thing when it comes to attracting new businesses.

It missed out on Amazon’s plans for another headquarters but it has begun work on the Duck Creek Business Campus on the north side of town.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that officials say it has the potential to attract up to 4-thousand jobs.

These include occupations in industries ranging from research and manufacturing to warehousing over the next 20 years.

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The Kent County Commissioners have voted to ease restrictions on 20 acres of land off State Route 1 that is to be partially re-zoned for commercial business.

WBOC reports that the land is owned by Bob and Cathy Murphy who wanted restrictions lifted on the land and the subdivision requirement that was aimed at preventing construction of an exit road.

The plan calls for an exit from Pritchett Road.

The okay was given on a 6-to-1 vote.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A U.S. Navy hospital ship has returned home after its crew treated thousands of people in Central and South America, including migrants who fled crisis-wracked Venezuela.

Kevin Buckley, the commanding officer for medical operations on the USNS Comfort, said Tuesday that 26,000 people were treated for anything from hernias to cataracts.

Buckley spoke on a pier at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia where the Comfort is based.

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A 12 screen theater could be coming to downtown Salisbury along with a parking lot.

It would be located at the intersection of Route 13 and Route 50.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Mayor Jake Day said at least three developers have submitted bids for the Lot 10 proposal.

Day said that the movie theater operator had considered several locations but found the city parking lot more to his liking.

The theater would cover up to 50-thousand square feet with at least 300 public parking spaces.

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Maryland lawmakers are pushing a number of renewable energy efforts and could aim at getting 100% of the state's energy from renewables by 2040. Jessica Ennis is the legislative director of Climate and Energy. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with her about Maryland's efforts including community solar projects.

Beached Humpback Whale

Dec 18, 2018
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A young female humpback whale was found on the shore at The Point in Cape Henlopen State Park.

It was discovered this weekend and volunteers came on Monday to examine the carcass before burying her.

WBOC reports that Suzanne Thurman with the MERR Institute said the whale appears to have been hit by a boat.

But it was not clear if that occurred before or after her death.

The while is a young teenager and is the sixth to wash up on the Delaware shores.

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CLAYMONT, Del. (AP) - An anti-bullying organization is offering some encouragement to a middle-school student who has been teased because his last name is Trump.

The News Journal reports that Pennsylvania-based national nonprofit Teach Anti Bullying awarded Joshua Trump the Teach Anti Bullying Medal of Courage at a ceremony in his Delaware home Saturday.

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - Citing his slave-owning past, a Virginia town outside DC has officially decided not to name a refurbished park after one of its founding fathers in a move that's fostered accusations of anti-Catholic and anti-Irish bias.

The Washington Post reports the Alexandria City Council unanimously decided to name the riverfront-area park "Waterfront Park," formerly known informally as "Fitzgerald Square."

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A lawsuit seeking to stop the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Charlottesville, Virginia, will now also cover the statue of another Confederate general, Stonewall Jackson.

The Daily Progress reported Friday that Judge Richard E. Moore approved the motion to amend the lawsuit more than a year after it was filed in October 2017. Moore also approved an amendment that seeks to hold individual city councilmembers liable for shrouding the statues.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is asking state lawmakers for an extra $21.6 million for affordable housing and to help tenants facing eviction.

The Democratic governor highlighted parts of his forthcoming budget plans on Monday. He'll present his full budget to the GOP-led General Assembly on Tuesday.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland panel that is considering recommendations to increase state funding for schools is meeting.

The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education is meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Annapolis. It's known as the Kirwan Commission, after the name of its chairman William "Brit" Kirwan, who is a former University System of Maryland chancellor.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware taxpayers have shelled out more than $680,000 in legal defense costs for 18 prisoners charged in a deadly prison riot last year, with most defendants still waiting to be tried.

The cost to taxpayers as of late November include more than $485,000 in attorney fees and more than $84,000 for investigative services. Taxpayers also are on the hook for more than $52,600 in transcription fees and $59,000 for litigation support services.

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Grotto Pizza in Rehoboth Beach is offering up a solution to the fight over a nativity scene.

It is providing a space on its patio on the resort’s main avenue for the display.

The move follows an order by the city for the St. Edmond Catholic Church to remove the nativity scene.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Grotto Vice President Jeff Gosnear said he wants to give the pace to the church for the display.

The new location will be not far from the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand that is about a mile from the church.

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Another pony has died on Chincoteague Island as a result of “swamp cancer”.

The announcement showed up on the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company’s Facebook page.

WBOC reports that treatments for the horse named Lyra worked for a time but the fungus eventually took her life.

A new drug will be used in hopes that it will help the four horses still fighting the disease.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Conservationists in Virginia and Maryland say a Trump administration proposal could undermine efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk reported last week that the measure would roll back federal protections for certain waterways and wetlands.

It would specifically impact "ephemeral" streams, which flow after a rainstorm or snowmelt. Also under threat are isolated wetlands that experts say help to filter pesticides and fertilizer from nation's largest estuary.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A new economic report says Virginia has finally pulled out of the doldrums caused by the Great Recession and past restrictions on federal spending.

Old Dominion University's 2018 State of the Commonwealth Report was released Saturday. It says Virginia's economy picked up pace and is likely to improve more rapidly next year.

A big reason is the increase in federal government spending, which makes up about a third of Virginia's economy. Military funding in particular will help sustain growth in 2019.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he wants lawmakers to approve spending $50 million to make it easier for people to get faster internet service.

Northam said Friday that his forthcoming state budget plan will include adding $50 million to the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative. The program encourages internet service providers to expand broadband access to underserved areas.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - After at least three wrecks that killed pedestrians, Delaware authorities are advising people to be careful when walking near roads.

The Delaware State Police are reminding pedestrians that the law requires them to wear reflective items and carry a flashlight when walking at night.

They also advise pedestrians to cross roads only at cross walks or intersections and to use sidewalks. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk facing traffic and as far off the edge of the road as possible.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - When Delaware's outgoing attorney general announced last year that he wouldn't seek re-election, political observers were surprised. But Matt Denn says he has no regrets about leaving government service for the first time in 14 years.

The 52-year-old Denn tells Delaware State News he plans to work for a law firm tackling issues involving children. He says he doesn't know if he'll return to politics.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Republican who lost the U.S. Senate race last month and also lost primaries for two statewide races in recent years says he's stepping back from statewide elections.

The Washington Post reports that Corey Stewart announced his decision to Republican Party activists and leaders at a weekend retreat in Norfolk.

About 350 people attended the gathering, down from about 500 in recent years.  Republicans haven't won statewide since 2009.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Supreme Court says cellphones should be allowed in courthouses, but with some restrictions.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the court announced the model policy in a news release Friday. It's meant to be a guide for courthouses statewide.

The policy acknowledges the inconvenience of having to leave a phone in an unsecured location outside a courthouse.

The release said the justices believe the model policy strikes a balance between promoting access to justice while maintaining security and order in courthouses.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan has appointed Maryland's 10th poet laureate.

The Capital reports that Hogan selected Grace Cavalieri, of Annapolis, as announced in a statement last week. Hogan called Cavalieri's dedication to the arts "nothing short of astounding."

The 86-year-old has published 24 books and chapbooks, produced 26 plays and hosted around 2,000 episodes of her radio show "The Poet and the Poem" over more than four decades.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Opioid-related deaths in Virginia are set to fall slightly this year compared to the year before.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Virginia Medical Examiner's Office predicts there will be 1,175 deaths due to opioid overdoses this year.

That's down from 1,230 in 2017, and but higher than any other year.

Deaths due to cocaine have increased since 2012 and are on pace to hit 445. Methamphetamine deaths are projected at 106 in 2018, up from only four in 2012.

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One of the most often phrases associated with the holiday season is , "Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men." But while images of the three Wise Men may come to mind, Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill writes that we are too often in love with war.

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Environmentalists in Maryland appear to believe they now have the wind at their backs offering up the prospect of getting the General Assembly to approve the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act in the next legislative session.

The measure calls for increasing the state’s renewal energy sources for the state’s electricity to 50 percent by 2030 and to come up with a plan for 100 percent by 2040.

While Governor Larry Hogan vetoed an earlier version of the measure that called for 25 percent by 2020 he has not weighed in on the current legislation.

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There were bomb threats made yesterday against in Maryland WBOC and Avery Hall Insurance.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the news producer Brooke Evans issued a Tweet announced that the building was evacuated and that police were on the scene.

Salisbury Police say that the threat came in just before 4 p.m.

As a result East Main Street between Route 13 and Popular Hill Avenue was shutdown.

Meanwhile, Beebe Hospital in Lewes also got a threat by email aimed at its nursing school in mid-afternoon.

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