Local News

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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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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A renewed push to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia has failed by a single vote.

The House of Delegates deadlocked 50-50 on a bid to force a full floor vote on the gender-equality measure Thursday. The tie vote meant the effort failed.

ERA proponents had hoped Virginia will become the 38th state to approve the amendment. It would then have met the threshold for ratification in the U.S. Constitution.

But even if it's ratified, court battles would likely ensue over a long-passed 1982 deadline set by Congress.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore has apologized for a past admission policy that barred black students.

The Baltimore Sun reports school President Samuel Hoi publicly apologized Thursday in a memo that detailed some of the school's racist history. The memo says the school was forced by "legal appointment" in 1891 to admit its first black student, which reportedly led to about 100 students dropping out.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - An attorney says his client continues to be banned from a Delaware city for panhandling, despite a 2014 state Department of Justice finding calling that ban unconstitutional.

The Wilmington News Journal on Wednesday obtained the 2014 pleading saying Wilmington's citywide no-contact bail condition was unconstitutional as applied to Shawn Burgan. In 2012, Burgan's public defender, Daniel Strumpf, fought back against Burgan's repeated arrests for loitering by arguing the charge restricted Burgan's free speech.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says he is forgoing a racial reconciliation event at a historically black school after student leaders asked him not to attend.

Local news outlets report student leaders at Virginia Union University asked Northam in a letter dated Monday not to attend Thursday's scheduled commemoration of students who protested segregation in Richmond almost 60 years ago. Student government president Jamon Phenix said Northam's visit could overshadow the tribute.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Another Maryland county will stop having law enforcement officers ask sexual assault victims to waive their rights to an investigation.

Anne Arundel County spokesman Chris Trumbauer tells The Capital that Police Chief Timothy J. Altomare was told Tuesday to end the practice. The move follows a Baltimore Sun report and survey on the practice.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A measure to enable Maryland residents to select an unspecified gender on their driver's licenses has advanced in the state Senate.

Senators gave the measure preliminary approval Wednesday.

The bill requires an application for a license to allow someone to identify as female, male or unspecified. If an applicant identifies as an unspecified sex, the Motor Vehicle Administration would have to ensure the license displays an "X" in the appropriate location.

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How good is Salisbury water?

It was awarded a silver medal from the National Rural Water Association in 2018.

And the competition in May will take place in Ocean City to see how it has been doing.

In past years the city has won the association’s award for best water in the state in 2008 and 2009 and again from 2015 on.

Ron Clapper, the city’s water superintendent told the Salisbury Daily Times that the quality of the water is helped by coming from the deep underground Paleochannel.  

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Superintendent Dr. Donna Hanlin found herself reassuring parents that the Wicomico County Public Schools were safe.

WBOC reports that the statement comes after an increasing number of fights at the Salisbury Middle School.

She urged parent to join students to make sure they know of their role in confidentially reporting any safety concerns to school officials.

She added that parents need to “reinforce appropriate behavior” in addition to supporting school discipline when it is required.

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A report has been delayed that would look at how to better the efficiency between the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Goddard Space Flight Center I n Greenbelt, Maryland.

It had been expected to be released last October.

But that did not materialize.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it was supposed to assess how the roles between the two facilities overlap.

Goddard is Wallops’ parent agency.

The government shutdown last month may also have contributed to its delay.

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GLOUCESTER, Va. (AP) - A Virginia school district that has drawn national attention for its transgender bathroom ban appeared starkly divided at a public forum over the prospect of ending the policy

The Gloucester County School Board held a public forum Tuesday evening to discuss the possible policy change. It would allow high school students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors in Virginia investigating the 2015 death of a mentally ill man jailed for stealing $5 in snacks say they are still missing information that could help them determine if criminal charges could be filed.

A report released Wednesday by Portsmouth prosecutors says the jail's medical provider has failed to make eight witnesses available for interviews.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware State Police say they are reviewing a traffic stop in which a trooper is seen on cell phone video pulling a gun on the driver.

Forty-year-old Mack Buckley of Lincoln captured the Feb. 14 encounter on video and posted it on Facebook.

The trooper opened the car door after Buckley refused a command to get out of the car. The officer then drew his gun after Buckley continued to resist.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation says it cost about $1 million per hour for the agency to respond to this week's snowstorm in northern Virginia.

WTOP-FM reported Thursday that Commissioner Stephen Brich says the agency had about $55 million left in its original budget before the storm. The total cost is unclear.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a Philadelphia man serving life in prison for killing a wheelchair-bound man in a 2015 home invasion.

Forty-year-old John Harmon was fatally shot after Abdul White and two accomplices broke into his home and held several people hostage.

Snow Arrives on Delmarva

Feb 20, 2019
Don Rush

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Kent DE, Queen Anne's, Talbot, Caroline, Sussex, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset through this afternoon.

Wednesday

Snow before 10am, then snow and sleet between 10am and 1pm, then rain after 1pm. High near 41. East wind 6 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Wednesday Night

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Ocean City could get some help in dealing with problems such as excessive speeding and reckless driving at special events.

Delegate Wayne Hartman (R) has put in a piece of legislation that would up the fines for certain traffic violations to a thousand dollars.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that at present higher fines are only affect those who exceed the speed limit.

The resort did lower its speed limit to 30 mph hour last summer for events such as Endless Summer Cruisin’ and the H2Oi.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has upheld a judge's ruling that a local government board in southern Delaware erred in granting an exception to zoning laws to allow the establishment of a homeless shelter.

The court on Monday upheld a Superior Court ruling last year that overturned a decision by Sussex County's Board of Adjustment that had cleared the way for the proposed Immanuel Shelter home in Lewes.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Delaware judge has pushed back trial dates for remaining inmate defendants charged in a deadly prison riot.

Seven inmates have been tried in two groups. Only one, who admitted planning the uprising knowing it could become violent, has been convicted of murder in guard Steven Floyd's death.

The second trial ended Monday with no convictions.

In a letter last week, the judge acknowledged attorney concerns about jury selection in the third trial starting March 4, barely two weeks after the second trial. Jury selection is now set for April 29.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland General Assembly has re-elected Nancy Kopp to a fifth term as the state treasurer.

The vote was held Tuesday during a joint session of the legislature.

The treasurer serves as one of three members of the Board of Public Works, a panel that approves state contracts. The governor and comptroller are the other two members.

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TOWSON, Md. (AP) - A Baltimore Sun survey found Baltimore-area police departments prompted sexual assault victims to waive their rights to an investigation more than 200 times in 2017 and 2018. The newspaper reports that the practice is contrary to guidance from experts and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault Executive Director Lisae Jordan called the practice "totally and completely inappropriate," citing the impaired decision-making and memory that often accompanies recent trauma.

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BLADES, Del. (AP) - A police officer in Blades, Delaware, is accused of stopping an arrest by a state Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement officer outside his family's bar.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports court records say William Joseph Paskey on Saturday shoved the officer, who was attempting to check the ID of a Paskey's Owl's Nest patron. Records say Paskey was armed and wearing his badge when he stepped in front of the officer and told the patron to run.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Authorities say a Delaware man prohibited from having guns has been charged after police found a semi-automatic rifle with a bump stock attachment at his home.

Dover police say 45-year-old Joseph Carter was arrested Monday.  A search of his home turned up an AR-15 with a bump stock.

Carter, who was already wanted on an offensive touching charge and animal welfare offenses, was charged with possession of a firearm by person prohibited, possession of a destructive weapon and being a fugitive. Bail was set at $20,500.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's embattled governor has hired a state agency director removed by lawmakers following an audit showing mismanagement.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the General Assembly voted this month to remove Jay DeBoer from the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations. Days later, Ralph Northam appointed the 65-year-old as a special assistant.

Northam's press secretary Alena Yarmosky says DeBoer's salary will remain at $151,759. She says "options continue to be assessed" following his "abrupt termination."

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a Maryland appeal to uphold the state's law against pharmaceutical price gouging.

The high court on Tuesday denied Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh's appeal without comment, letting a lower court ruling against the law stand.

The law approved in 2017 enabled the state's attorney general to sue makers of off-patent or generic drugs for price increases that state officials considered "unconscionable." That was defined as an excessive increase, unjustified by the cost of producing or distributing the drugs.

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Delaware has become one of 16 states who have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the President Trump’s emergency declaration from going into effect.

The president is looking to reallocate several billion dollars from other parts of the federal budget for building a wall along the southern border.

Delaware argues that any diversion of funds from the state National Guard, the Dover Air Force Base and other military projects along with drug interdiction would harm residents of the state.

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There were no convictions in the trial of four inmates charged with murder in the 2017 prison uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

It took the jurors five days before acquitting Abednego Baynes and Kevin Berry, on all charges from the riot that saw the death of correctional officer Steven Floyd.

Meanwhile, the jury could not reach verdicts on riot and assault for John Bramble or Obadiah Miller.

They were acquitted on all other charges.

WBOC reports that prosecutors must now decide if they will retry the two.

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Annexing more of the Salisbury University campus into the city of Salisbury is now under consideration.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that a memo from the city’s infrastructure and development director Amanda Pollack said that the university and the Greystar development group are proposing a mixed-use project.

It would be located between Pine Bluff road and Kay Avenue near the Court Plaza.

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Goodloe Sutton, publisher of a small Alabama town newspaper has called for the Ku Klux Klan to take a night ride in Washington D.C.

The owner of the Democrat-Reporter confirmed that he wrote the editorial pushing the idea of a night ride by the KKK “against Democrats in the Republican Party and the Democrats” who are plotting to raise taxes in his state.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that when asked what he meant he replied “lynching”.

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WINCHESTER, Va. (AP) - A bill that requires religious leaders to report suspected child abuse or neglect is now before Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam for his signature.

The Winchester Star reports both the House and Senate have approved the bill, which requires ministers, priests, rabbis, imams and other religious leaders to report suspected abuse to law enforcement.

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