Local News

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Health organizations in Maryland are backing a proposal to create an individual health care mandate at the state level.

Several groups and lawmakers will gather in Annapolis on Wednesday to endorse legislation in the Maryland General Assembly that would revive the mandate that was gutted at the federal level. But instead of requiring those who remain uninsured to pay a penalty, the measure would require them to pay a down payment on health insurance.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland General Assembly will conduct a workplace climate survey as part of ongoing efforts to stop sexual harassment.

The House speaker and Senate president made the announcement Tuesday. The survey will be conducted this month.

The state has retained TalentKeepers, a company with experience conducting legislative climate surveys, to conduct the independent review of the workplace climate and culture in the General Assembly.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has voted to enable local school boards to decide when public schools start.

Senators voted 31-13 for the bill Tuesday. It now goes to the House.

The measure in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly has prompted a battle with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who signed an executive order in 2016 requiring schools to start after Labor Day. 

Supporters of the later start say longer summer breaks give families more time together and help tourism. But opponents say it shortchanges education.

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POTOMAC, Md. (AP) - Students at a high school in a Washington suburb of Maryland have been caught distributing passes that gave the bearer permission to use a racial slur for black people.

According to police data and school officials, Winston Churchill High School has been the site of multiple bias-related incidents since the 2016 school year, including a swastika drawn on a desk just days before the passes were exchanged. Citing statements from principal Brandice Heckert, WJLA-TV reports students participated in the distribution of the paper passes during Friday's lunch period.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Energy says it plans to cut methane emissions from its natural gas infrastructure by 50 percent over the next decade based on 2010 levels.

Dominion announced Tuesday that the initiative will prevent more than 430,000 metric tons of methane from entering the atmosphere. The company says over the last decade it has prevented more than 180,000 metric tons of methane from entering the atmosphere. It says the effort builds on a 50 percent carbon emissions cut across its electric fleet since 2000.

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The Salisbury City Council has a new representative of District 5.

She is Angela Blake who replaces R. Hardy Rudasill who announced his resignation in January.

Blake was sworn in on Monday and becomes the second woman on the five member council along with April Jackson.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Mayor Jake Day said she was community oriented and not a partisan politician.

Blake will be up for election November like the rest of the council.

Rudasill’s last council meeting was January 29th.

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(AP) The lawyer representing one of the women who has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault is urging state lawmakers not to delay a public hearing on the matter.

Attorney Nancy Erika Smith released the statement Monday on behalf of Meredith Watson after it became clear that lawmakers are not moving forward anytime soon with impeachment proceedings against Fairfax.

Smith said Fairfax should have to testify publicly. There's been no indication so far that legislative leaders want public hearings on the matter.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware state health officials say the flu has killed 11 residents so far this season and hundreds of more have been hospitalized.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports health officials said Monday that the three most recent deaths involved Kent County residents who had underlying health conditions and were infected with the Influenza A strain.

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GREENSBORO, Md. (AP) - Maryland officials in charge of police certification want to know why they weren't told about disciplinary filings in the record of an officer later involved in the death of a black teenager in an Eastern Shore town.

Video shows Thomas Webster IV using a stun gun on and struggling with 19-year-old Anton Black, whose September death fueled an outcry. Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Gerard Shields tells The Baltimore Sun that Greensboro police hadn't provided Webster's complete policing history including disciplinary filings.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A vote is near on a measure to enable local school boards in Maryland to decide when public schools start.

The Maryland Senate could vote as soon as Tuesday on a bill.

The measure in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly has prompted a battle with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

The governor signed an executive order in 2016 requiring schools to start after Labor Day. 

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A jury has ruled that a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee must pay over $1.5 million to a former Delaware employee who said she was demoted because she wanted to pump her breast milk.

The News Journal reports Autumn Lampkins was awarded $25,000 in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages Friday.

A lawsuit says co-workers and supervisors at KFC and KFC/Taco Bell restaurants made it so difficult for Lampkins to pump during her shift that her milk supply dried up.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say they've completed an investigation into why 1,600 criminal DNA samples were not entered into a national database for years.

The News Journal reports that Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Robert Coupe announced Monday that the Delaware Department of Justice determined no criminal action would be taken after reviewing his department's probe. Coupe says new policies will ensure it doesn't happen again.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A Florida man charged for his role in the beating of a black man during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, has entered an Alford plea.

The Daily Progress reports 50-year-old Tyler Watkins Davis acknowledged prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of malicious wounding without admitting guilt Friday. Davis was one of four charged in the Aug. 12, 2017, beating of DeAndre Harris.

Prosecutor Nina-Alice Antony said video shows Davis striking Harris in the head with a tire thumper, which resembles a club.

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(AP) A group of black clergy and community leaders is asking for a moratorium on the widespread calls for Virginia's governor and attorney general to resign over their admissions they wore blackface in the 1980s.
 
The Rev. Rodney Hunter is co-director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and pastor of Richmond's Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.
 
He said Monday that the records of Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring show "they are different people" than they were when they wore blackface more than three decades ago.
 

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Universities in Maryland are now grappling with racist images in yearbooks from the 1960s and 1970s.

The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday that a fraternity page from a 1970 University of Maryland yearbook shows members imitating a lynching.

Yearbook pages from another fraternity in the 1960s include references to minstrel shows as well as photos of men in blackface. A 1965 yearbook photo shows a man in black paint at a football celebration.

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It was a moment of joy on Sunday in Newark for families who saw more than 200 National Guard Members return home from their overseas deployment.

19 of the service members in the 166th Airlift Wing came from Kent and Sussex Counties.

WBOC reports that during deployment last year in Afghanistan and Iraq one airlift unit flew over 180 evacuation missions.

The television station reports they were considered to be critical and were celebrated by Delaware leaders.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says she was grabbed and shaken by a woman at a Mexican restaurant in Bethesda late last year.

In a CNN interview broadcast Friday, Conway claimed the woman came up to her from behind, grabbed her arms and shook her. Conway says Mary Elizabeth Inabinett was "screaming her head off."

A charging document says the woman was disagreeing with Conway's political views.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A police chief in Delaware has admitted to ordering the deletion of security video that showed him crashing into another vehicle in the department's parking lot.

The News Journal in Delaware reported that Newport police Chief Michael Capriglione admitted in court on Friday to two misdemeanor charges. They are careless driving and official misconduct. Prosecutors dropped other counts that included a felony charge of tampering with physical evidence.

Capriglione faces up to a year in prison. A tentative sentencing date is scheduled for June.

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What could we say about our lives and their meaning? Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill pondered that question as he wondered about what his own obituary might say.

Virginian Pilot

(AP) A top Virginia Republican served as an editor for a college yearbook that includes racial slurs and at least one image of a person in blackface.

Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment was managing editor of the 1968 yearbook for the Virginia Military Institute.

The yearbook includes a photo of a man in blackface standing with others in costumes and uses racial slurs to describe a student from Bangkok, Thailand.

The contents of the yearbook were first reported Thursday by The Virginian Pilot.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Pennsylvania-based Forever Media has agreed to buy Delmarva Broadcasting Company for $18.5 million, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Senate has approved a measure to update the state's law against online bullying of children.

The Senate voted 45-0 Thursday for the bill, sending it to the House.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Robert Zirkin, says the measure modernizes the definition of electronic communication to keep up with changes in technology. The measure changes the law so that a single significant act could apply, rather than requiring multiple examples of bullying.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan says he wants to resolve a long-running dispute over Maryland's treatment of its historically black colleges, but members of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland say the state needs to do better than the $100 million settlement offer over 10 years proposed last year.

Hogan met with caucus members over breakfast Thursday at the governor's residence.

The governor says there are offers on the table, and he's hoping both parties can reach agreement. But he says the state is under a court order to not discuss mediation efforts.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Researchers are trying to learn more about the first Africans who arrived in North America as slaves almost 400 years ago.

Historians have focused on a group of 20-some Africans they say were critical to the survival of Jamestown, England's first successful settlement in North America.

Many are known today only by their first names: Antony and Isabella, Angelo, Frances and Peter. They were kidnapped from what is now Angola and forcibly sailed across the ocean aboard three slave ships before being sold into bondage in Virginia.

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - A Salvadoran woman who successfully sued a Maryland county over wrongful profiling and arrest has been released from immigration officials' custody after being unexpectedly detained during a routine check-in.

The Baltimore Sun reports immigration officials released Roxana Orellana Santos on Monday evening, three weeks after she won a restraining order against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - Melania Trump, addressing an anti-drug conference, says "recovery is possible."

The first lady traveled to Maryland on Thursday to address the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's annual youth leadership forum. Her signature "Be Best" campaign focuses on a number of issues, including the opioid crisis.

Mrs. Trump spoke about a former opioid and substance abuse addict who joined her for Tuesday's State of the Union address.

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Governor Larry Hogan has called his fellow governor in Virginia to step down.

The Maryland Republican’s remarks on a CBS affiliate comes on the heels of racist photos in Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook.

Hogan said, “It’s completely unacceptable. I’m sure he has lost the confidence of the people.”

WBOC reports that the scandal led to the postponement of an event that had been scheduled for Salisbury University in which Hogan, Northam and Delaware’s governor John Carney were the appeared.

Lt. Governor's Accusers Goes Public

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's comptroller is denouncing a measure that would take regulatory powers over alcohol, tobacco and gasoline away from his office.

Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, said Wednesday the measure is an example of "the very darkest motivations of the Annapolis machine."

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - A report by the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation says a state prison inmate serving six months for a probation violation died after "incompetent" actions by a contracted nurse.

The report says the nurse took nearly 20 minutes to call 911 for the unresponsive Sussex Community Corrections Center inmate, who had no pulse by then. The News Journal of Wilmington reports that the now ex-Connections Community Support Programs nurse didn't comply with "legal and acceptable standards of nursing" before James Daniels' 2016 death.

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It may get a little safer for cyclists along Route 1 this summer.

WBOC reports that the Delaware Department of Transportation Bicycle Council is looking at adding signs and sidewalks in Rehoboth Beach.

They would be designed to keep motorists and cyclists aware of each other.

The Bike Route 1 corridor would run from Fenwick Island to the Pennsylvania state line.

The council is expected to hear a report on the proposal.

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