Local News

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials are still trying to determine what caused a chemical gas leak that force the closure of a heavily used bridge connecting Delaware and New Jersey on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The leak of highly flammable ethylene oxide from a Croda production facility on Sunday forced the precautionary closure of the Delaware Memorial Bridge for about six hours as the Thanksgiving holiday weekend wound down.

The bridge carries traffic along Interstate 295, a major East Coast artery.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's governor says a "nonpartisan" emergency commission will be created to draw new boundaries for a congressional district.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says the commission will craft a redistricting plan for its sixth congressional district that isn't tarnished by gerrymandering. In Maryland, Democrats were in charge of the last controversial redistricting.

Monday's announcement comes weeks after a panel of federal judges ordered Maryland to submit a new map for its sixth district.

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The Delaware GOP wants a probe into the recent arrest of the Treasurer-elect Colleen Davis for driving with a suspended license.

Specifically, they want to know if it violates the state’s ethics rules.

The state GOP Party Chair Mike Harrington called the incident “disrespectful behavior”.

He added that a candidate claiming to be too busy to show up for a court date was unacceptable.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Davis declined to comment on the letter by the GOP.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Newseum in Washington, D.C., has a new exhibit about the shooting that killed five staff members at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland in June.

The Baltimore Sun reported Monday that the new installation will be open through at least the end of the year.

"Behind the News: A Deadly Attack on a Community Newspaper" examines the risks journalists face and how the Capital Gazette staff published a newspaper the day after police say a man with a shotgun fatally shot five people at the news outlet's offices in Annapolis.


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Jury selection in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Virginia has gotten off to a slow start.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, is charged with murder in the 2017 death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Fields is accused of driving his car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalists, killing Heyer and injuring dozens more.

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PENNSVILLE, N.J. (AP) - the Delaware Memorial Bridge that was shutdown by a gas leak has been reopened in both directions.
The Delaware Department of Transportation tweeted late Sunday that the bridge was "REOPENED to traffic" and urged travelers to drive safely.
The Delaware River and Bay Authority tweeted earlier in the day that the leak stemmed from a chemical facility near the twin suspension bridges that are a major connector between Washington, D.C., and New York City.


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Jury selection is set to begin in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year.

James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Fields is accused of driving his car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalists. Heyer was killed and dozens of others were injured.

Fields' trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Charlottesville Circuit Court.

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — High school students could skip classes to attend political protests under a proposal up for debate in a Maryland public school district.

The Washington Post reports that Montgomery County's school board is expected to approve the proposal as early as January.

The proposal is considered to be one of very few in the country that would allow students to take up to three excused absences per year to participate in protests or other forms of civic engagement during the school day.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Medical marijuana sales in Maryland are surpassing a previous forecast and could reach $100 million this year.

The Baltimore Sun reports that medical marijuana sales totaled $67 million for the first nine months of 2018.

A market research firm predicted last year that the state's sales in 2018 would be about $46 million. New Frontier Data Senior Economist Beau Whitney said sales could now hit $100 million in December.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new study shows the price tag for long-term care in Virginia is rising.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that a report shows the median annual cost of a private room in a nursing home went up nearly 7.7 percent to $102,200 from 2017 to 2018.

Costs for home health aides in Virginia also rose.

The survey was conducted by Genworth Financial. Senior Brand Marketing Manager Gordon Saunders said a shortage of skilled workers helped explain some of the price increases.

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A car with no occupants was found in water off Warwick Road Drive near Millsboro on Sunday morning.

The Indian River Volunteer Fire Company was alerted around 8:45 a.m. and found the vehicle completely submerged.

WBOC reports that diving teams found no one inside the car.

The Delaware Division of Natural Resources and Environmental Control took over to pull the vehicle out and investigate the incident.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Law enforcement and school officials in Maryland are starting a program aimed at helping students linked to traumatic incidents.

The Capital reports that Anne Arundel County is one of a handful of counties where law enforcement officers are now notifying school principals after a child is either a victim or a witness of a traumatic event. The aim is help school administrators provide special care to students as needed.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Some state lawmakers in Virginia say they're drafting legislation to allow sports betting in the state.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported last week that the proposals follow a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May that allows states to legalize and regulate wagering on sports.

Sports gambling had been limited to Nevada. Now it's allowed in six states. And several others are considering similar legislation.

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GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - Maryland's two biggest counties are suing two major banks over alleged predatory and discriminatory mortgage practices.

The Daily Record reports that Montgomery and Prince George's counties accused Wells Fargo and Bank of America in a recently filed federal lawsuit of exploiting minority borrowers.

The counties said the banks have for several years been pushing minorities toward expensive and riskier types of mortgages.


DOVER, Del. (AP) - Recent graduates from the Delaware Department of Correction's training academy are set to start their new careers.
The Delaware State News reports that 35 men and women graduated last week from the program.
The 11-week course focused on inmate supervision, defensive training, first aid, report writing and other areas.
The graduates are set to report this week to corrections facilities around the state.
The announcement comes in the wake of the trials of inmates charged in the prison uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - One of three inmates on trial for a deadly Delaware prison riot has been found guilty of murder.

A New Castle County jury on Tuesday found Dwayne Staats guilty of felony murder and other charges. The jury found Jarreau Ayers guilty of several charges including riot, kidnapping and assault. Deric Forney was found not guilty on all charges.

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An eleven year old has been connected to a bomb threat at the Easton Middle School.

The Talbot County Sheriff’s Office says that the incident occurred on October 25th.

They said students found a note that said a bomb would explode during lunch hour.

WBOC reports the students gave it to their teacher who notified the principal.

The television station reports that the authorities say the child admitted to writing the note and was charged with a false statement about a destructive device and disturbing school activities.


Ocean City is making an effort to cut down on the amount of cigarette butts lying around in the resort.

Ocean City and the Maryland Coastal Bays Program have been given $2-thousand each to install cigarette butt receptacles on the west end of the boardwalk.

That will run from the Inlet to 27 street.

WBOC reports that the money comes from the Worcester County Health Department.

They will be distributed to local businesses for free if they will in turn install them and keep them clean.


Looking for that unusual buy on Black Friday.

The state of Delaware may have something.

It’s the low-digit surf tag for your car.

The First State is making it a Black Friday special.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the lowest number is 27.

Delaware State Parks noted on Twitter that they could make a great holiday gift.

The tags start at $250.

As for the surf fishing sticker or decal, that will allow you to drive onto certain Delaware State Park surf fishing beaches.

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As the deadline approaches for a ban on bump stocks in Delaware a state buyback program has received nearly three dozen of the devices.

Thirty-one of them and a trigger crank turned into official this month at a cost of just over $31-hundred dollars.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst called the haul “a success”.

The Delaware Democrat was the prime mover behind getting the devices off the street.

They are used to convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic weapons.

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DOWNSVILLE, Md. (AP) - Officials say a Maryland couple was killed when their boat went over a dam on the Potomac River.

The Herald-Mail reported that rescue workers initially found a woman's body following the Sunday morning discovery of an overturned Bass Tracker fiberglass boat. News outlets report the Maryland Natural Resources Police identified the woman as 62-year-old Susan Lynne King, and found the body of her husband, 63-year-old David Robert King on Monday.

Police spokeswoman Catherine Medellin says a preliminary investigation shows their boat went over Dam No. 4.

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Dozens of people gathered outside of a National Park Service office in Maryland in a push to stop construction of a pipeline under the Potomac River that would connect natural gas produced in Pennsylvania to industries in West Virginia.

News outlets report around 50 people gathered Monday outside of the park service office in Hagerstown to deliver signatures opposing the TransCanada project. The pipeline would cross a narrow band of Washington County before passing under the Potomac River.


COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - A freshman at the University of Maryland, College park has died of complications from a respiratory virus with which the university says five other students have been diagnosed.

Olivia Paregol of Howard County died Sunday.

University Health Center Director David McBride says the school learned Nov. 1 of what was then an "isolated case" of adenovirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified one of the six reported cases as adenovirus 7, a strain that can cause more severe illness.

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The jurors in the prison uprising case have asked for a number of clarifications as they deliberate the fate of three inmates charged with murder among other counts.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that in their first note they asked for a clarification of restraint for those not involved in the initial kidnapping.

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Police are searching for a man who is believed to be connected to a shooting near a Walmart in Pocomoke City.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that police say they found one victim in the Walmart parking lot with an apparent gunshot wound in the leg.

He was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center with non-life threatening wounds.

The Worcester County Bureau of Investigations said that the suspect left in a black sedan.

He is described as a white male, about six feet tall weighing around 250 pounds.

The suspect is said to go by the nickname “Wreck”.


SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Authorities say a school resource officer used a stun gun on a student at a Maryland high school.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Wicomico High School spokesman Paul Butler says the officer stunned a student who didn't respond to attempts to calm him down during a fight with another student Friday.

The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office charged 18-year-old Da-Mond Moore with assault and resisting arrest. Butler says he was hospitalized as a precaution.

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Maryland is looking to boost its output of renewable energy this legislative session.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports there is a supermajority in the Maryland legislature that is likely to approve the state’s commitment.

The paper reports that when the General Assembly meet in January it is likely to approve the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act.

The measure would set a goal of 50 percent from renewables by 2030.

That would ensure that a certain amount of electricity would come from renewable energy sources.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University.

Bloomberg and the Baltimore university said Sunday that the gift is the largest ever to any education institution in the U.S.

University President Ronald Daniels is calling the gift "transformative." He says the contribution will allow Hopkins starting next fall to eliminate student loans in financial aid packages and commit to admitting the highest-achieving students regardless of ability to pay.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A private liberal arts college with campuses in New Mexico and Maryland has seen a spike in donations since announcing plans to decrease tuition.

St. John's College reported more than 1,000 small gifts in its annual fund, totaling more than $750,000 since September. The Capital Gazette reports the amount is nearly twice as much what the annual fund raised during the same period in 2017.


NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The largest airport for Virginia's Hampton Roads region says it will offer its first-ever direct commercial flight to the West Coast.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Monday that Southwest Airlines will offer seasonal flights next summer from Norfolk International Airport to San Diego. The flights will be available on weekends and scheduled to begin June 9 and run until Aug. 5.