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The Maryland legislature has approved a sweeping reform of oversight for law enforcement placing civilian review boards at the heart of the process. Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis told Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush that he was distressed over some of the changes but vowed to make the new laws work.

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Sheriff Mike Lewis issued a proclamation this week declaring Wicomico County a Second Amendment Sanctuary instead of seeking a resolution from the Council. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush talked with Lori Haas, director of advocacy for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, who viewed these efforts as part of a fading movement.

Don Rush

A memorial service was held for Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center who died this month after succuming to liver cancer at the age of 67. Delmarva Today presents exerpts from that memorial.

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A memorial ceremony was held at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center for Bob Culver. He had been in his second term as County Executive when he developed liver cancer. He died at the age of 67. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush attended the memorial and files this report.

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This past week saw two unexpected moves in Wicomico County. On Tuesday Sheriff Mike Lewis withdrew his resolution calling for making the county a second amendment sanctuary. Then, last Friday County Executive Bob Culver ordered the removal of a plaque for the notorious confederate general John Winder. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush talked with county council member Josh Hastings about these major local events.

Don Rush

Sheriff Mike Lewis withdrew his Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution that was set to be heard by the Wicomico County Council on Tuesday. He told the council that given the current atmosphere with the widespread unrest over the death of African Americans at the hands of police this was not the time for such a resolution. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with Lewis after his appearance before the council.

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Resolution Compromise offered by Dave Cooper with Wicomico County for the Preservation of the Second Amendment

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The Wicomico County NAACP Branch says it’s concerned about a proposal that would make consuming marijuana in public a criminal offense.

The measure has been proposed by Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis and Wicomico County State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes.

Possession of 10 ounces of marijuana or less has been decriminalized under state law.

Lewis compares the issue with law regarding alcohol possession in an automobile.

But local NAACP Branch President Mary Ashanti said she worries that it will lead to more people with criminal arrests for non-violent offenses.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis says if his deputies find you consuming marijuana in a public space you will be arrested.

That’s the stance he took last night at a county council meeting adding that his deputies would not be simply issuing a civil infraction.

Lewis noted that while less than 10 grams of marijuana in a car has been decriminalized he said he wanted to tighten up the law making it comparable to arrests for drinking and driving.

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The Wicomico County Council has put off a vote on whether to join a national lawsuit against the manufacturers of opioid.

WBOC reports that the council has come under community pressure to reconsider a previous decision not to become part of the legal action.

The council intends to take a vote on the issue at its July 16th meeting.

County Sheriff Mike Lewis has been a strong supporter of taking the pharmaceutical companies to court and expressed some disappointment at the delay.

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Proposed gun safety legislation was shelved this legislative session in Delaware.

This included a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons, requiring a permit and training course to purchase a firearm and a 15 round cap on magazines.

The measures stalled in committee as the group Delaware Gun Rights group held a rally outside Legislative Hall at the end of the session.

Among the featured speakers was Maryland Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis who has been an opponent of such laws in his state.

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An independent investigation by the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office is now being carried out into the drowning death of a man who was being chased by authorities.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis says officials are reviewing body cam footage patrol footage and video from security cameras.

Lewis told WBOC that one question to be answered is whether 19 year old Jakeem Jackson intentionally jumped into the Wicomico River to escape authorities or fell in.

Authorities say he was traveling with a female passenger when a deputy tried to pull him over.

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75-year-old Barbara Pilchard has been convicted of more than 30 misdemeanors for animal cruelty.

But the Wicomico County horse owner will face not jail time.

Instead she will be on probation for five years.

She will also be ordered to pay one thousand dollars for each of the 13 horses during her probationary period.

The case included counts that range from abuse or neglect of an animal to failure to provide nutritious food and the necessary care.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis say he will defy any law that he deems violates the Second Amendment.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Lewis appeared in Annapolis to testify on a number of bills related to firearms.

The paper reports that he told a crowd afterwards, “We are sick and tire of being penalized for Baltimore city’s inability to control crime. He added, “If these bills pass, we will not comply.”

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EDEN, Md. (AP) - A Maryland sheriff says the trial of a woman accused of keeping 310 dogs in awful conditions has been delayed.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis tells The Daily Times of Salisbury that the case's key witness is under investigation for misuse of a credit card. He says the investigation of the director of the Humane Society of Wicomico County, Aaron Balsamo, may take weeks.

The trial of 69-year-old Susan Murphy was set to start this week. She was charged with animal cruelty following the 2016 raid of a suspected puppy mill in Eden.

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Wicomico County officials met last night for their fifth Take Back Our Community event.

And Sheriff Mike Lewis told WBOC that with opioid deaths up by 27 percent over the last year the problem is not going away.

Opioid overdoses this year for Wicomico County are up to 82 with 16 deaths.

But officials expressed disappointment that not many in the community showed up for the meeting.

Lewis told the television station that he believes the community has become desensitized to the problem.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis along with dozens of other sheriffs from around the country to meet with the president in Washington.

WBOC reports that Lewis argued for tougher border security.

He blamed undocumented immigrants for making it harder to protect the people of the county.

Speaking with the television station after the event Lewis claimed that thousands of undocumented immigrants have contributed to the nation’s drug problem.

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - A special education teacher in a Maryland high school has been charged with selling drugs on school property.

The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office tells The Daily Times of Salisbury that 51-year-old Monica Snee of Salisbury was arrested Tuesday. She is charged with possession of heroin, distribution of heroin and distribution of heroin on school property.

Donna Hanlin, superintendent of Wicomico County public schools, says the alleged drug sales took place in a parking lot behind Parkside High School.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis has stirred up more controversy a Facebook post that sharply criticized protesters outside the Ravens game M&T Bank Stadium.

He denounced them as Fist Wielding, Black Power Activists who ignored the rising crime rate in Baltimore.

WBOC reports that the post has subsequently been deleted.

Lewis said it was shameful that they were not taking responsibility for the violence.

Wicomico County NAACP President Mary Ashanti told the television station that Lewis’s post was not representative to law enforcement.

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Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver says he wants those who wrote anti-Confederate graffiti in colored chalk on the sidewalk and steps around the County Courthouse to be charged.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the State’s Attorney had advised the County Sheriff’s office that it can file malicious destruction of property charges for writing on the building.

On his Facebook page County Sheriff Mike Lewis said he intended to file charges calling the perpetrators “thugs” and “punks”.  

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There were around a half a dozen arrests at James M. Bennett High School yesterday in the wake of several fights on campus.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis told the Salisbury Daily Times that more arrests were expected.

The paper reports that there were multiple fights that included six to eight students punching throwing the punches.

The incident began sometime around 10:30 a.m. with two students attacking another classmate.

The school’s security officer eventually stopped the fight but not before others joined in.

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This Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump with see a contingent of Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputies.

Sheriff Mike Lewis told the Salisbury Daily Times that he is sending 25 of his deputies to provide security for the ceremonies.

But he told the paper that he did have some concerns given the tens of thousands of protesters expected to show up even though he believes they will be peaceful.

Lewis was a prominent local supporter of Trump during last year’s presidential election.

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EDEN, Md. (AP) - Wicomico County authorities have arrested the owners of 310 dogs living in an alleged puppy mill.

Media outlets report that 60-year-old Robert Murphy and 67-year-old Susan Murphy were arrested Monday on 84 counts of animal cruelty.

Wicomico Sheriff Mike Lewis says the dogs - mostly Pomeranians - were seized following a kennel check April 6. Inside the house, authorities found 166 dogs, while 144 more were in three other buildings on the property.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is holding President Barak Obama responsible for the tragedy that took place in Dallas that five police officers dead and at least 7 other wounded.

Appearing on the Hannity Show on Fox he said that, ”It’s his attitude to law enforcement, he clearly does not like law enforcement.”

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Lewis has been highly critical of the President’s sympathy for the Black Lives Matter movement that has brought attention to the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement.

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Local leaders in Wicomico County and Salisbury gathered this week to figure out how to combat rising heroin and opiod addiction rates.

Just this week the county council voted to fund a program called Community Outreach Addiction Team that uses peer counselors to help those with addiction.

Among the attendees were law enforcement officials Sheriff Mike Lewis, County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello and Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan as well as political leaders County Executive Bob Culver and Mayor Jake Day.

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Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan told a community meeting last night that the emphasis by law enforcement has shifted over the years from the number of arrests to a focus on community policing.

Delmarva Media Group along with the Salisbury University’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement sponsored the meeting.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Salisbury University Police Chief Edwin Lashley said he viewed his agency as a resource beyond making arrests.

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Tonight Wicomico County law enforcement will be attending a forum at Salisbury University on the police community relations.

The meeting at the Guerrieri University Center at 7 p.m. will take up changes in law enforcement over the last thirty years.

It will also allow citizens to ask questions.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that among those in attendance will be Salisbury Police chief Barbara Duncan and Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis says a 4 year old boy drowned last night in Delmar.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that deputies arrived on the scene and got the boy to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center to be with his family.

WBOC also reports that officials say the death appears to be accidental.

The death is still under investigation.           

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis expressed disappointment over his experience in Baltimore where he joined thousands of police officers to impose a curfew in the wake of Monday’s rioting.

The unrest broke out with the death of Freddie Gray who suffered a mysterious spinal injury while in police custody.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Lewis said his deputies were repeatedly told to stand down and retreat as authorities imposed the 10 p.m. curfew over the last few days.

This was done, he said, while multiple felonies were being committed in their presence.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore streets once filled with rock- and bottle-throwing protesters were quiet and nearly empty of civilians as residents heeded an overnight curfew enforced by 3,000 police and National Guardsmen.

The curfew, in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, got off to a rocky start, when as many as 200 protesters showed no immediate signs of going home.

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Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis says a man has been killed in a shooting in Salisbury.

The shooting of the suspect took place overnight on Dennis Street between East Road and West Road.

WBOC reports that the deputy suffered a broken bone during the shooting and was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center.

He has been released.

The television station reports that Lewis told them that his deputy would have been executed if he had not fired on the suspect.

The man has not been identified.

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