Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Page 79

Meeting to address concerns about water quality in Sussex County

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After recent discoveries of contaminated water near Millsboro and in the Town of Blades, water quality is a bubbling issue throughout Sussex County, especially for people relying on private wells for their drinking and cooking water. Tonight there is a public forum in Millsboro to discuss how you can be sure you’re water is safe. A panel of public health experts, doctors, and scientists share information, provide answers and learn about the real-world impacts of private well contamination and health risks in Sussex County. Meeting takes place tonight (Friday) at 6 PM in the Indian River Senior Center.

UPDATED: Search ends for passengers of Ocean City plane crash

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UPDATED 3/16: Maryland State Police abandoning their search for victims in a plane crash in the Atlantic off Ocean City. Police began their search after being notified of the plane crash March 1st. They found an oil slick about a mile and a half off the coast, and a 5 mile debris field underwater. Dive teams were able to recover one body, identified as the pilot Marcson Ngwa of Windsor Mill, MD, before the search was suspended due to an incoming noreaster. Dive teams were able to resume operations March 8th and concluded two days later. Police believe there may have been a second passenger on the plane,  Benica Richards-Robinson of Gwynn Oak, MD. However, her body was not recovered. There is an open and active missing persons report for Richards-Robinson. Police ask anyone with information about her whereabouts to contact state police.

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Search and rescue teams recovering one body in the water off of Ocean City Thursday evening, after a plane crash. The single engine 4 seater flew out of Martin State Airport in Baltimore the night before, but never made it to Ocean City. Search and rescue operations found an oil slick in the Atlantic Ocean and mile and a half debris field underwater.

Divers recovering the body one man, thought to be the pilot, before operations were called off due to the impending nor’easter. Officials say Dive teams will resume their search for the remaining passengers as soon as ocean conditions allow it.

DNREC holding ‘living shoreline’ workshop for Contractors, Landscapers, Engineers in Lewes

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Next week in Lewes, DNREC is sponsoring living shoreline workshops for engineers, contractors and landscape professionals interested in learning about the popular and eco-friendly shoreline management technique. Topics include site evaluation, design, permitting, and site visits.  Living shorelines are engineered using plant material, shellfish, and sand to prevent erosion, reduce wave energy, trap sediment and filter runoff while maintaining a natural looking habitat. There are two workshops, March 6th and 7th. It’s free to attend, and lunch is included.

Space is limited to 25 workshop participants per day, and participants may attend one or both days. To sign up, visitwww.deshorelineworkshop.eventbrite.com. Participants currently working in Delaware will be given preference. For more information, please email communications@inlandbays.org.

Worcester County wants to make sure it doesn’t miss the next Nicholas Cruz

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Worcester County
Worcester County Courtesy Worcester County Government

Worcester county officials banding together to make sure they don’t miss the warning signs of a troubled youth. The States Attorney for Worcester County, Sheriff, Superintendent of County Schools, State Police, and detectives from Worcester County Bureau of Investigation met yesterday to create the “Advisory Council for Worcester County Schools” in order to ensure lines of communication are intact.

They say the group was formed after the failures of US and Florida law enforcement to properly identify the threat Nicholas Cruz posed came to light. They hope the advisory council will be able to more effectively share and identify potential threats to schools and students before a tragedy strikes.

WGMD Fishing Report 3-2-18

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Rep. Ruth Briggs King wants to see changes to Delaware’s “Money Bills”

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Image courtesy DE General Assembly

A local representative wants to make sure Delaware does not continue politics as usual. State Representative Ruth Briggs King is sponsoring a bill that would require the state’s operating and capital budgets, as well as the Grants in Aid Bill, be filed at least two days before being acted on by the General Assembly. Collectively known as Delaware’s “Money Bills”, Rep. Briggs-King says currently funding bills sometimes get introduced late at night and voted on minutes later. She says rushing major spending bills through the legislature is not good governance and a disservice to all Delawareans.

First signs of Spring: Entrance fees begin at DE State Parks

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The first signs of spring: robins returning, days getting longer, and entrance fees in place at Delaware State Parks. Starting today you’ll need to pay to play at any state park in the First State. Daily entrance fees are $4 at inland parks and $5 at ocean parks for vehicles with Delaware tags; the fees double if you have out of state plates. Delaware residents can also get an annual pass for $35, people 62 and older get a discounted rate of $18. DNREC officials say the state park system is largely self-funded thanks to the fees, which will be in place through the end of November.

Text 9-1-1 services now available in Delaware, Maryland

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You can now text 911 in an emergency in Delaware and Maryland. Starting today, you can send messages from your mobile device to request emergency services. Officials say Text for 9-1-1 is ideal for if you’re in a situation where its not safe to place a 9-1-1 call, emergency scenarios where the person is deaf or has a speech disability, or a medical situation that makes you unable to speak. However, the new service will not be available everywhere, and voice calls are still the quickest and most reliable option to report an emergency. When texting, keep messages short and use simple words, and DON’T use slang or emojis, or send photos or videos.

Sen. Chris Coons hosting Facebook town hall to discuss guns (3/1)

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Image courtesy senate.gov

Delaware Senator Chris Coons holding a Facebook Town Hall tonight to discuss gun violence and legislation. The senator says he wants to hear your questions comments and concerns about gun violence. The town hall will take place at 4 PM today. You can submit a question by commenting on his facebook post, or emailing the senator’s office at townhall@coons.senate.gov.

Wicked Nor’Easter takes aim at Delmarva

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A storms a-brewin’ off the coast. For the Delmarva Peninsula there is a costal flood watch for Worcester, Sussex and Kent counties as well as Cape May NJ. For the remainder of the peninsula there is a high wind watch starting tomorrow morning and lasting through the weekend.

“After midnight is when the wind will start to crank up and then its just going to howl throughout the day tomorrow and all the way through Saturday,” says Accuweather meteorologist Joe Lundberg. “You’ve got the danger of coastal flooding with that, maybe some beach erosion.”

The US Coast Guard is warning mariners, boaters, and watermen to use extreme caution over the next 72 hours as well. According to the National Weather Service, the storm could bring in winds of up to 65 mphs and 30 foot waves in some spots offshore. Coast guard saying boaters should not go out to sea in recreational craft as the storm approaches, but should secure emergency beacons, and make sure boating gear like life jackets or life rafts are properly stowed, so they don’t perform unnecessary searches following the storm after spotting floating debris.

Harrington police brings in outside agencies for internal affairs investigation

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HarringtonPD-Patch
Harrington PD- Patch Image courtesy Harrington PD

Harrington Police Department says they’re bringing in outside investigators to look into what exactly happened at the Harrington Casino last weekend. They say they are aware of the incident, where an officer was captured on film punching a man in the face while a K9 unit bit his lower legs. Police say they have contacted an independent agency and the Wilmington Police Department to conduct an internal affairs investigation. Many have cried foul accusing the department of excessive force. In an earlier statement, Harrington Police said the suspect resisted arrest when officers tried to detain him.

Milford man exposes himself in parking lot of Boys and Girls Club

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A Milford man arrested for exposing himself in the parking lot of the Greater Milford Boys and Girls Club. According to Milford Police, Kenneth Garrison of Milford flashed someone at the boys an girls club on Tuesday morning. He turned himself in the next day, and was charged with indecent exposure in the 2nd degree, which means he exposed himself to a person deliberately to a person 18 or older. Garrison was released on $500 unsecured bail, and is scheduled to appear in Kent County Court of Common Pleas at a later date.

Dog warns family of fire

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FIRE© Copyright MikhailBakunovich/Shutterstock_529057891

A family dog lives up to its reputation as man’s best friend, after it alerts its family about a house fire. Coast Dispatch reporting a Bishopville family was able to escape an inferno thanks to one of their dogs. The fire started in the garage and quickly spread to the house. The two family dogs escaped and warned the humans in the house, two adults and three children were able to get out of the home in time.

WGMD Fishing Report 03-01-18

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Right now fishing is pretty slow.  There are no charter boats running out of Lewes and the boats from Fisherman’s Wharf are only doing deep drop trips.  There were three charter boats running out of Indian River and two of them left.  One went to Virginia and the other went to North Carolina.

The only fish I have seen caught were perch taken from the Broadkill River.  I gave this a shot on Tuesday and came up empty.

It looks like most of the regulations from 2017 will carry over to 2018.  Sea bass will open on May 15 with a 12.5-inch minimum size and a 15 fish bag limit.  There is still a question on flounder.  We may get a reduction in minimum size from 17 to 16.5 inches.  That should be finalized soon.

The best place to fish right now is a local spillway.  Live minnows and earthworms are producing bass, pickerel and perch.  I like to use a bobber so the bait moves around the spillway with the current.

This is Eric Burnley with your WGMD Fishing Report.


 

Wilmington deliberately understaffs fire departments; Republican Attorney General candidate Tom Neuburger drops out of race to file lawsuit

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The City of Wilmington has enacted a deliberate policy to understaff fire stations, implementing a rolling closure of stations throughout the city for the past 16 years. That policy that has led to the deaths of firefighters and civilians.

That is according to Republican candidate for Attorney General Tom Neuberger, which he says left blood on the hands of former mayors Dennis Williams and James Baker as well as retired fire chief Anthony Goode.

“Numerous civilian deaths and now 3 firefighter deaths were caused by a 16 year long ‘rolling bypass’ policy where the city deliberately undderstaffs the fire department and regularly closes one entire fire station on a rotating basis, leaving vast areas of the city unprotected,” says Neuberger.

He says because of this response times are increased by 3 or 4 minutes, enough time for a small blaze to turn into a deadly inferno. Neuberger says the fire station closest to the Canby Park fire in September 2016 was closed on that fateful night.

“Just as in the [Vaughn Correctional prison riot] where deliberate prison understaffing for 16 years was illegal, this policy shocks the judicial conscience and is also illegal,” says Neuberger.

Neuberger will represent the surviving firefighter, Brad Speakman, in a federal lawsuit against town officials. However, he says he cannot pursue justice and campaign for attorney general at the same time, so will drop out of the race.

Neuberger says that should leave Republican party enough time to find a suitable replacement.

SCAM ALERT: Person tries to gain access to home in South Bethany

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Red Scam Alert - Image: © Copyright chrisdorney/shutterstock
Red Scam Alert - Image: © Copyright chrisdorney/shutterstock

In South Bethany police warning of a potential scammer trying to get inside your home. According to the chief of police, a resident got a phone call from someone claiming to be from Artesian Water, saying they needed to test the water inside her home. However, when contacted, Artesian says they only collect water onsite outside of peoples homes, and test at a separate location. There was also no record at the company for requests for tests at the home. If you experience something similar, call the South Bethany Police Department.

Public comment open for Maryland’s 2018 – 2020 hunting seasons

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Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources wants your input on hunting and trapping proposals. The department reevaluates changes every two years, and decisions made this year will affect the 2018-2020 hunting seasons.

Among the proposals being considered: adding additional hunting days for some migratory birds to make up for a ban on Sunday hunting, removing the requirement to take two antlerless deer before bagging a third antlered deer, and reducing the archery antlerless deer bag limits from unlimited to 10.

You can view the proposed regulations and comment online. The department is also accepting feedback by phone at 410-260-8540; by fax at 410-260-8596; or in writing to: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, 580 Taylor Avenue, E-1, Annapolis, Maryland, 21401.

The comment period will close March 13.

Maryland counties back “Reform on Tap” bill

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County-level officials across Maryland joining together to support craft breweries. Every county commissioner in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester along with 7 other county councils and commissions, signed the letter to members of the Maryland general assembly to urge the passage of the Reform on Tap Act of 2018.

Proponents say the legislation overhauls antiquated laws and burdensome regulations, and lets local jurisdictions set regulations like tap room hours, while opening up the practice of contract brewing. Comptroller Peter Franchot says county leaders know firsthand how strong craft beer industry can increase tourism and revenue to rundown areas of the state.

“Climate Mayors” voice concern about EPA dismantling Clean Power Plan

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Photo from Delmarva Power - Ocean City.

Salisbury Mayor Jake Day and Rehoboth Mayor Paul Kuhns join mayors across the nation voicing opposition to the EPA dismantling the Clean Power Plan. The mayors sending a letter to the EPA saying that climate change is felt locally, but cities depend on state and federal governments to enact responsible legislation and regulation. Mayor Day says the letter expresses concerns with lowered priority of the health of the environment, which in turn affects all citizens living in it. The group, known as the “Climate Mayors” previously voiced concerns when President Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate agreement last June.

Who you gonna call? DE State Police arrest man wearing “Proton Pack”

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Who you gonna call? Delaware State Police arresting a man after he was acting strange while brandishing a firearm at a Lewes apartment complex. On Tuesday evening around 6 PM Police got a call about a man acting odd in an apartment complex near 5 Points.

Residents on the 2nd and 3rd floors were evacuated before police tried to make contact. Shortly afterwards, Michael Gallo of Lewes came out of his apartment wearing a replica “Proton Pack” from the movie Ghostbusters. Police detained Gallo and searched his home, recovering a handgun.

No one was injured – or slimed – during the incident. Gallo was arrested for aggravated menacing and possession of a firearm while intoxicated, he was released on $24,000 unsecured bond.

DelDOT Unveils Route 113/404 Intersection Improvement Options

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DelDOT has been working to improve the traffic flow and safety along the Route 113 Corridor through Sussex County.  The project includes 17 intersection upgrades – with many involving overpasses to keep traffic on the highway flowing.  A public workshop on the Route 113/404 intersection improvements was held Tuesday afternoon at Delaware Tech with five alternative options presented for public comment.

All of the options will impact businesses in the current intersection area in varying ways and right of ways would still have to be purchased.  However Transportation officials say that recent and proposed development in the surrounding area and throughout the US 113 Corridor will continue to increase traffic volumes and congestion at the intersection.  DelDOT is taking public comment for 30 days on the alternative options.

Click here for the DelDOT Project website


 

UPDATED: Sussex County Approves New Commercial Zoning Ordinance, Turns Down East Gate Farm Application

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Sussex County Council-2017
Sussex County Council-2017 Image courtesy Sussex County Government

UPDATED – 2-27-18  2pm – The Sussex County council has approved a new commercial zoning ordinance. The new ordinance has been under discussion for several months and included public comment as well as staff recommendations. The council approved the new commercial zoning ordinance by a 5 to 0 vote – it will go into effect on July 1st.

A change of zone application (CZ 1831) for the East Gate Farm near Milford has been denied by the County Council. Residents spoke during a public hearing in late November that the east side of Route 1 was not the place for a commercial zone and that it should remain AR-1. Councilman I-G Burton agreed as did the rest of the council who voted 5 to 0 to deny the change of zone application.

The council also denied an conditional use application (CU 2107) for a mini storage facility proposed for Muddy Neck Road west of Bethany Beach and they approved a change of zone (CZ 1839) for property on the north side of Route 9 in the area of Cool Spring. The council felt that other property owned by the same company was already zoned commercial and this would provide the full property with uniform commercial zoning. The council was unanimous in all four votes.

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The Sussex County Council revisit several items during Old Business Tuesday.  Over the past several months, the council has been working to update and amend the Commercial Zoning Districts.  The council will hear more on that as well as a Change of Zone for the East Gate Farm property near Milford.

During a public hearing before the council in November, area residents spoke out against a proposed change of zone (CZ 1831) from A-R-1 to Business.  The council will also revisit a Change of Zone (CZ 1839) for a 4 acre property on Route 9 near Cool Spring which the developer is asking be changed from A-R-1 to C-R-1 (commercial-residential).

There is also a conditional use application (CU 2107) back before the council for a mini-storage facility on Muddy Neck Road west of Bethany Beach.  The council meets Tuesday morning at 10am on the Circle in Georgetown.


 

Laurel drug bust following traffic stop

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DSP-shoulderpatch
DSP-shoulderpatch

A traffic stop in Laurel leads to the discovery of drugs. Around 11 AM Monday morning Delaware State Police pulled over a car for speeding on Sharptown Road. The driver, Dean Lloyd of Georgetown, had a warrant out for failure to pay a fine. Police placed Lloyd under arrest, and during a pat down discovered drug paraphernalia. Troopers searched the car as well, turning up a couple grams of marijuana, 4 grams of cocaine, and half a gram of heroin. Lloyd is charged with possession with intent to distribute and taken to Sussex Correctional on over $10,000 secured bond.

Coastal towns have to wait until Summer for beach replenishment

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Some of Delaware’s coastal towns will not get beach replenishment until Summer. Bethany Beach replenishment operations set to begin in May and last into June. Meanwhile, Fenwick Island will have to wait until July for their beach replenishment.

According to Bethany Beach Town Manager Cliff Graviet, the Army Corps of Engineers will begin work May 15th and work 24/7 for four weeks to pump 1.5 million cubic yards of sand onto the beach. He says when the two hopper dredges will begin work there will be a 1000 foot rolling closure of some portions of the beach to give the Army Corps room to work. Graviet says the timing is not ideal, but Delaware and Bethany do not have the ability to schedule beach replenishment for their convenience, and the Army Corps has their own constraints to worry about as well.

Fenwick Island town officials estimate the Army Corp will take about two weeks to complete their beachfill operations. Dunegrass planting will be completed pushed back until November and through April.

Maryland receives AAA bond rating

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Maryland retains its AAA bond rating. State Treasurer Nancy Kopp announcing all three bond rating agencies affirmed the AAA bond rating with stable outlooks, leading into the sale of state bonds next week. Kopp says the rating affirms the state’s commitment to smart financial management and overall fiscal strength, which she attributes to a diverse economy, educated workforce, and above-average wealth and income levels. Maryland is one of 11 states with a AAA bond rating, as is Delaware and Virginia.