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Thursday, May 31, 2012

New Boat Law Affects Maryland Charter Boats

OCEAN CITY, Md.- Charter boats in Maryland are facing a steep price tag if they want to be in line with boating regulations passed by Congress.
The regulations will force boat operators to upgrade their life-saving materials. Instead of small rafts, boats with a certain number of people will have to get larger, water-resistant rafts.
The new rafts come at a hefty cost.
"The cost is pretty expensive," said Captain Michael Mizurak. "The initial cost and then you have to pay a yearly fee, it's anything from $1000 to $1500 a year to have them re certified."
Mizurak captains the Angler, a charter fishing boat in Ocean City. He says the cost will need to be eaten but you can't put a price on safety.
"I'm surprised the Coast Guard took this long to switch the rafts," he said. "The other ones are safer but it's the cost."
Safety is of the utmost importance to John Lewis, Talbot Street Watersports operator, but he doesn't think the boating industry can afford the changes.
"As far as the small boat industry carrying passengers, there's not a lot of profit margin in there with the cost of fuel and higher cost of insurance," he said. "Plus, the maintenance of the vessels."

Princess Anne Biofuel Plant Under Investigation

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - Greenlight Biofuels in Princess Anne is under investigation by the Maryland Department of the Environment for possibly illegally discharging vegetable oil into the storm drains.
There is a red film on top of the water in the storm drain next to the facility. While the oily red film may not be a hazard to the environment, residents are bothered by its presence. MDE says in March they found the vegetable oil in storm drains reaching down to Garland Hayward Park right down the road.
President of Greenlight Biofuels Jim Kingdon says, "MDE and Greenlight determined a very limited quantity of non-hazardous, biodegradable waste vegetable oil passed through an oil water separator that is part of the approved storm water management system."
Maryland Department of the Environment says they have been investigating the company since March.
"The company says it has been discharging from the oil water separator to the storm water pond but the storm water pond is only to receive storm water the company does not have a permit for this type of discharge," say Jay Apperson, MDE spokesperson.
Princess Anne residents say they pleaded with town government to not build the plant years ago but to no avail. Some say there was even an explosion coming from the plant a few years ago.
Lakeya Maddox says she's fed up. "If they have done that illegally I think that they should be shut down because that obviously let's the town know they have no respect towards them for even allowing them to place that area there to put the residents in danger."
MDE says Greenlight could face civic penalty fines of $10,000 a day if found guilty of unauthorized discharging.

Fatal Accident in Milford

MILFORD, Del.- A Delaware Department of Transportation spokesperson says there was a fatal crash involving a pedestrian in Milford Thursday morning.
DelDOT officials say it happened at the intersection of Rt. 113 and Rt. 14.
The DelDOT spokesperson could not confirm if the fatality was the pedestrian or driver of the vehicle.

Mobile Home Explodes in Dover

DOVER, Del. - Delaware fire crews say a mobile home exploded in Dover around 2a.m. Thursday.
Authorities say it happened at the Pinewood Acres Mobile Home Park and several of the homes are damaged.
A firefighter says five people, including three children, were taken to Kent General Hospital, but their injuries are not serious.

Some neighbors say the explosion felt like a tornado had passed by.
The Cheswold Fire Chief says they are investigating the possibility that the explosion could have been caused by a propane tank.
Neighbors say the owner of the mobile home was not there when the home exploded.

Some families told WBOC that their windows shattered and their homes were unleveled in the Kent County area.

Wicomico County Education Association Challenges County Budget Figures

SALISBURY, Md.- The Wicomico County budget has been at the center of debate for months, especially when it comes to our schools. Now, the Wicomico County Education Association says the county has it all wrong when it comes to revenue and available funds.
From FY2010 to FY2012, the county slashed education funding by more than $14 million. And more cuts could be on the way.
But the Wicomico County Education Association says "not so fast," claiming the county has more than enough money to fully fund its schools in the amount requested by the Board of Education.
in January, the WCEA brought in the services of R.J. Pellicoro and Associates to take a closer look at the county's budget going back three years.
The report claims the county underestimated revenue and can fund the $38.7 million requested for FY2013, without taking away from the general fund or other departments.
The county tells a very different story.
Bennett Middle School -- and specifically funding for a new one -- has been the source of heated discussion in the county for quite some time. The WCEA says based on the findings of an independent audit, projects like this can and should move forward.
"The results of the audit show that we can fund the budget for all departments. The days of cuts should be behind us at this point in time," said WCEA president David White.
The Association said Robert Pellicoro was hired to take an independent look into the county's budget in response to warnings of "doom and gloom."
"Revenues would more than cover the expenditures and add $5 million to the unassigned general fund balance," Pellicoro explained.
Pellicoro said the same revenue information he used to put together the audit is available to the county and he can't explain why county officials haven't come to the same conclusions.
The county said the explanation is simple: that this was no audit but a study based on assumptions.
"It's not an audit and I'm responsible for doing the revenue estimating and monitoring the expenses and I prepare the budget on behalf of the executive and we fundamentally disagree with some of the assumptions and assertions made by that study," said Wicomico County Director of Finance Andrew Mackel.
Mackel said providing additional funding to the Board of Education is not a possibility right now but the request may be revisited when more information is available at the end of the fiscal year.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Witnesses React to Fatal Memorial Day Hit-and-Run in O.C.

© Matthew Cheswick (Photo courtesy: Friends and family of Matthew Cheswick)

OCEAN CITY, Md.- It was a Memorial Day tragedy in Ocean City. Police say a 22-year-old Maryland man is dead following Monday morning hit-and-run drunk driving crash.

Witnesses describe a group of people crossing Coastal Highway at 54th Street and a north-bound vehicle flying down the road, slamming into one of them: 22-year-old Matthew Cheswick of Cooksville. Cheswick was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, where he was pronounced dead.
According to police, witnesses stated that the driver sped off but police caught the driver, 30-year-old Diogo Facchini, a short time later.
Facchini, who police said was not injured in collision, was arrested and charged with homicide by a motor vehicle while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a fatal collision, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol and a number of other traffic related charges. Bond information was not immediately available.
The fatal crash struck a nerve with Mike and Pam Hasson.
They have three young girls and a vacation home just feet from where it happened.
"It was horrible," Pam said. "I felt, the first thought that went through my mind was that mom's getting that phone call and that's the worst one to get."

"It's a little sobering," added Mike. "You come down here for a vacation and it makes us think twice. Instead of enjoying every moment, we're a little more careful."

People who spoke with WBOC said Coastal Highway can be very dangerous, especially after dark.
"From the moment I got here, there was people everywhere, cars driving, zooming by, a lot of alcohol involved and people's safety is very important," said German Patino of Queens, NY, who thinks more needs to be done to ensure something like this doesn't happen again.
Patino was visiting Ocean City with friends for the holiday weekend. The group saw the whole tragedy unfold before their eyes.
"You see the kid on the floor, it looked like he got hit from one corner and the car struck him, he got flown over to the other corner and next thing you know, everyone just started running towards him," described Leonardo Moscoso, also of Queens.

Colorado couple arrested on Rehoboth Ave while their kids watched

Rehoboth Beach police arrested a man and woman shortly after they pulled into the fire lane on Rehoboth Avenue at First Street Station around noon on Saturday. They had two children and a dog with them in the car. The couple had rented a property in the area and arranged to have packages shipped to a real-estate office where they would pick it up. At least one package allegedly contained drugs and was accidentally opened by an employee.
Once police became aware of the package contents, they were waiting when the couple arrived. Police put the adults into two different police vehicles while officers conducted an extensive search of the Toyota Camry.
A boy, girl and two small dogs, who had been in the car with the adults, waited on the curb as police searched. The girl cried and was comforted by a bystander.
The man, woman and children with dogs were taken to the police station in three separate vehicles.

Man injured in fall from rickshaw in Dewey Beach

An intoxicated man fell from the rear of a rickshaw as it made the turn from Dickinson Avenue onto northbound Coastal Highway around 10:50 p.m. Monday.
Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, Dewey Beach police spokesman, says he heard the crash and saw the 22-year-old passenger unconscious on the ground bleeding from the head. Several officers came to the man’s aid. He slowly regained consciousness but remained confused.
He was taken to Beebe Hospital with a one-inch gash to his head. Sgt. Dempsey said the Rickshaw has had a good safety record, especially given the number of intoxicated passengers they transport.

Dewey woman with gun defends home from intruders

An older couple living in a house on Cullen Street called for police assistance after two men had removed the sliding-glass door and entered the couple’s home around 4 a.m. Sunday.
Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, Dewey Beach police spokesman, says the woman was armed with a gun and threatened to shoot the men if they continued up the stairs. The men were not deterred, Sgt. Dempsey says, and the woman’s husband fought the intruders. There was a struggle in the yard when police arrived.
Sgt. Dempsey says both men were arrested and face felony charges. He said they had no recollection of the incident.

Supporting Maryland Blue Crabs

OCEAN CITY, Md. - According to the Department of Natural Resources, more than 90% of crab meat sold in Maryland is not from the Chesapeake Bay - now they're working to get more restaurants to buy locally.
Tourists are surprised. "When you go to Maryland, you get Maryland blue crabs - I guess it's just a myth," said Bert Haug of Long Island, NY.
Most agree that restaurants should support the local economy."That's messed up because you want to keep it home and keep the money in the family," said Kingston Holcomb of Baltimore, MD. "It should be here - the watermen here - that's what their job is. I don't know if there's a big difference between the crabs one way or the other - I couldn't tell. But it's the principle, it really is," said Bill of Ocean City.
Restaurant owner Dew Hansen says it's not about the money. "I'm buying strictly for quality and when I'm getting good quality, I'll continue buying there." He admits that a lot of the crab he buys are from the south. "If Maryland crabs are not running to the quality that we use, then we'll move down south, starting with Carolina crabs and as far down as Louisiana once in a while."But he's looking forward to buying more out of the Chesapeake Bay. "I think that the crabs in Maryland are a lot better in the last couple years than they had been in the past, so whatever Natural Resources are doing with them, I think it's been a big improvement."
The Department of Natural Resources has launched a "True Blue" program in which restaurants can voluntarily sign up and pledge to use Maryland crab meat. These restaurants can display a "True Blue" crab logo on their menus to help consumers know they sell Maryland crabs.

El Nino could hamper hurricanes, help Chesapeake

BALTIMORE (AP) - Forecasters says this hurricane season could be less active than last and that has environmentalists and researchers hopeful the Chesapeake will avoid a repeat of heavy rains that dumped pollution into the bay last year.
Last year's storms included Irene and Lee, which caused widespread flooding along the Susquehanna River, a major source of freshwater in the bay. Runoff from the pair is being blamed for algae blooms this spring that have led to fish kills.
Forecasters say the El Nino warming of the Pacific could develop this year and affect Atlantic winds, suppressing hurricane development.
Bay researchers say fewer storms mean less pollution, but they warn one big storm can seriously affect the bay. That's why controlling storm runoff from roofs, roads and other paved surfaces is important.

Man Arrested After Crashing Stolen Motorcycle

MILFORD, Del. (AP) - State police say a man was arrested after he crashed a stolen motorcycle while trying to elude a trooper. The crash occurred around midnight Monday near the intersection of Coastal Highway and Johnson Road in Milford. Police say a trooper on routine patrol tried to pull over a motorcyclist for speeding. The driver pulled to the shoulder and then sped away. Police say the trooper turned off his lights and watched the motorcycle weave in and out of tracking before crashing in the center median. The driver, 28-year-old Jonathan Hood of Frederica, is charged with receiving stolen property, resisting arrest and numerous traffic offenses.

Dagsboro American Legion Memorial Day Honors

DAGSBORO, Del.-- For years the Dagsboro American Legion has honored those who have served on Memorial Day in Bethany Beach, but that didn't happen today.

New rules and regulations by the town of Bethany Beach forced the American Legion to relocate the service. The ceremony was held at the beach's bandstand. But, today they remembered fallen war heroes at their home post.
On a day all about honoring the men and women who died while serving in the armed forces, the community said where the ceremony is held is less important than its meaning.
Veterans told their stories and local heroes were honored at the ceremony today.
"We're used to being in Bethany and we've been there for years, because of the catch 22's we pulled it out here at our post that we're proud of and we pulled it out well," said Darlene Hockman. Hockman added, when it came to honoring the fallen, location doesn't matter. "It is much more home-y because we are a close post, we didn't have a lot of the normal tourists that would be down at Bethany that we had, but we had turnout and respect and comradery.
The American Legion said it is not sure if it will consider the bandstand next year in Sussex County.

Delaware National Guardsmen Return Home

HARRINGTON, Del.- Members of the Delaware National Guard returned home Monday after a year-long tour of duty in Afghanistan.
A special Memorial Day welcome home ceremony was held at the Harrington fairgrounds and attended by hundreds of family members.
Pat Ettinger eagerly awaited the return of her grandson.
"To us he's a hero, to him he's not. And that makes us more proud, because he just did a job over there. And we're just so grateful, really grateful," she said.
The Milton grandmother said she wants to make sure her grandson doesn't miss out on anything that happened while he was gone.
"We're gonna have Christmas, his birthday, everything," she said. "Just a celebration of life for us, I tell ya."
164 Delaware National Guardsmen returned home Monday. The group returned to the US last week but we're at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey until Monday morning

Hebron Boater Killed in Kent Narrows Crash

KENT NARROWS, MD. - Rescue crews found the body of David Whitlow, 43, of Hebron, MD. right next to the concrete jetty in Kent Narrows.
Search and Rescue diver William Porter says by using sonar they were able to find the victim, but it was not easy. "The conditions were very tough in that the way the currents come around the jetty that was causing a lot of turbulence for our sonar," said Porter.
Police say around 11:15 p.m. last night the driver crashed the 20-foot boat into the unlit concrete jetty just beyond the Kent Island Yacht Club. Crews searched until 3 a.m. and resumed early this morning. They found Whitlow's body around noon today.
"We came back dressed up a diver, and made the dive and positively identified the victim," said Porter. John Jackson of Grasonville knows the concrete jetty well. He says at night it's tough to see.
"It's pretty opaque at night if you're not familiar with the area you should be going very slow and have a good view of what's in front of you if it's dark, in the day time it's no problem," said Jackson.
Carol Haskell of Grasonville has been boating for over 40 years. She says out on the water it's easy to become distracted. "Most of these people that have accidents like that are not paying attention in a lot of cases to hit a jetty," said Haskell.
The other three people onboard the boat are John Perry, 50 from Crownsville, MD and Brenda Werner, 47, from Riva, Md. both of which were transported to Shock Trauma and are in stable condition. The fourth occupant, John Bowlin, 49 from Linthicum, Md. was not transported.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day honors their sacrifices

Despite the retail sales, the travel, the parties, barbecues and long weekend away from work, the real reason for Memorial day is to honor the sacrifices made by our nation's fallen military members.
Memorial Day, established in 1868 following the Civil War as a a day of remembrance for those who have died serving our country, is like two holidays in one.
There's the long weekend that unofficially kicks off summer, filled with travel, barbecues, big sales and other fun activities.
And then there's the more serious side of Memorial Day, which takes on new meaning (or should) because today, we observe the dubious distinction of celebrating the 11th consecutive Memorial Day that our all-volunteer military has been in combat. Although we've now been at war for a longer continuous period of time than any other time in our history, the casualties are much smaller. The dynamics and methods of fighting have greatly changed over the years.
The bloodiest war in our history is the one that led to the establishment of Decoration Day, which is the precursor to the federal Memorial Day holiday. The Civil War ravaged a generation of Americans, taking approximately 625,000 lives over the course of four long and tragic years. Next in line is World War II, which in a similar period of time took 405,399 American lives. World War I saw 116,516 American lives lost in a roughly one-year span of involvement by the United States. Those are the only six-digit wartime casualty lists, and we can certainly be grateful for that.
The next-most deadly conflict was the Vietnam War, which claimed 58,209 American lives over a period of years roughly covering 1959-1975. Much like today's U.S. military engagements, there is no clear beginning because war was never officially declared. That technicality, however, is meaningless to anyone who was touched by that conflict or any other, either through direct involvement or loss of a family member or friend.
And that, of course, is the whole point of Memorial Day --remembering those who, whether by choice or accident, gave their lives in military service to the United States of America.
In Washington today, many parades, speeches and solemn wreath-laying ceremonies are planned, most notably the one at Arlington Cemetery's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Likewise, events are planned in communities across the Delmarva Peninsula in commemoration of these sacrifices -- wreath-laying ceremonies, speeches and more, at the veterans cemeteries on the Shore or at any of the numerous war memorials in the area.
It's no accident that Memorial Day takes place in the spring, when flowers are in full bloom and the weather tends to be warm and sunny.
There are many ways to observe this national holiday. You can attend a local ceremony or church service, visit a cemetery where you can place flags, flowers or wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers.
You can visit a cemetery and just sit quietly for a few moments and contemplate their sacrifice.Wherever you find yourself, you can stop what you are doing and observe a moment of silence in their honor.
The important thing is to remember, reflect and appreciate their sacrifice.

Md. on-farm breweries go into law later this summer

Mount Airy, Md. — Frederick County farmer Adam Frey has a lot of paperwork to do now that Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has signed the on-farm brewery bill into law on May 22.
The bill goes into effect on July 1, 2012.
“We’re busy, busy, busy,” said Frey, who grows three acres of hops on his farm. He will sell the beer under the name Frey’s Brewing Company.
The Alcoholic Beverages–Farm Brewery Manufacturer’s License, also known as House Bill 1126 and Senate Bill 579, created a Class 8 license which specifies that the brewery will be charged an annual fee.
The farmer can also sell and deliver beer manufactured in a facility on the licensed farm or in another facility to specified persons; it requires that the beer is manufactured in a specified manner; and specifies the privileges that may be exercised by a licensee.
The privileges include providing samples of beer, selling food, storing beer, and brewing and bottling the beer.
The bill, sponsored by Del. Kelly Schulz, R-Dist. 4A, produced a new category of brewery licenses for farm breweries, allowing farmers to sell beer that contains a Maryland agricultural ingredient.
A farm brewery is similar to an on-farm winery.
In Maryland, a winery makes and sells its wine from the grapes grown on the farm’s vineyard, and a farm brewery makes and sells beer from ingredients grown on the farm.
In Maryland, farm breweries are different from other breweries because they are allowed to sell certain food items including pizza, ice cream, cured meats, chocolates, chili and soups, bread, cheese, salads and vegetables.
The license carries a $200 annual fee — less than the $500 fee for a microbrewery or brewpub and the $1,500 fee for a standard brewery.
Frey, who has been growing hops commercially for two years, said he was not sure when he would open because of he is currently in the midst the state and federal permitting process.
“Little stuff like that really affects you time-wise,” Frey said. Frey said he hopes to be ready by a planned July 1 inaugural date.

Wicomico BOE urges parents to speak up

SALISBURY -- At the recent Wicomico County public schools budget hearing, school board members called out to the small audience to attend and be vocal at the upcoming County Council budget hearing -- lest the local government fund schools at a level near the minimum required by law.
Working with a different budget than what was submitted to the County Council by the County Executive's Office, the school system said it's amended budget includes a $38.7 million local appropriation request, which school officials said is fair and affordable for Wicomico County. It's a figure $2.5 million higher than what is required by law and $2 million higher than the original request sent to the County Executive's Office and County Council. Even if the higher $38.7 million figure is approved, the school system would still deal with local funding down more than $14.5 million than what it was three years ago.
"The amended budget does not allow us to gain what we lost," said school board President Ron Willey. "But it does allow us to make progress toward the most important goals for students."
District Superintendent John Fredericksen said the budget the school board is working with already includes the elimination of a supervisory and clerical position for next year, as well as reductions in after-school programs and bus transportation spending. He said it would also defer maintenance and renovations to schools, reduce the food service fund subsidy by 10 percent, reduce professional development programs and restructuring 12-month positions to 11-month positions.
He said other cuts would include the reduction of school-improvement initiatives, student health services, student mentoring program reductions and summer guidance services reductions as well as utility cost cuts found by closing facilities more often in the summer.
The cuts come as a voluntary retirement incentive program helps exchange more highly paid, more experienced employees for lower-paid, less-experienced employees. This tactic, aimed at reducing layoffs, was implemented in recent years as well. Then, it came along with major reductions in programs like adult education and in staff positions.
Fredericksen said if the county funded schools at the minimum required by law this year, it would be hard to avoid further staff member reductions.
The most recent budget wrangling between the school district and county this year came amid state legislative measures that many perceived as being aimed at Wicomico County in particular as a result of the more than $14.5 million reduction in local appropriations over previous spending levels.
The legislation in question forces a $14 million increase in school funding if the County Council doesn't increase local income tax to 3.2 percent, which it has already voted to do, as well as raise the local property tax to the maximum allowed by the county charter by July 1.
If that doesn't happen, the required local appropriation to the school system this year will be about $50 million, which even education officials said will mean long-term troubles for the county, considering the economic downturn.
School officials said this legislative action came as the state felt the county wasn't holding up its end of the bargain in funding schools -- as the state aims to be able to increase its contributions, without the local governments decreasing its in turn.
Indeed, Fredericksen said even though the school system is losing some $4.7 million in one-time fund balances used this year, it expects state aid to increase by $4.9 million due to enrollment increases and a 1 percent increase in the per-pupil allotment.
He said the partial pushback of teacher pensions from the state to local school boards would be phased in during a four-year period -- costing Wicomico County schools $2.17 million next year. Fortunately, he said the state would provide "revenue enhancements" to the county government next year as well -- to the order of $2.46 million, significantly higher than the cost of the pension pushback.
While that financial worry seems to be abated for now, he said without adequate funding from the county, the school system would face trouble closing achievement gaps between student subgroups and recruiting and retaining qualified teachers. He said it would also have trouble implementing the necessary programs and initiatives to promote a positive school climate and have a harder time implementing the new Common Core Standards, which are updating curriculums across the country.
Speaking to the importance of preserving school climate, district Director of Special Education Bonnie Walston gave an impassioned speech during the public comment session of the recent budget hearing. She commented on the importance of school staff members' ability to meet the needs of students "in crisis" due to economic, social and family troubles.
"Our community is strong, and we need to stand up for what is right," she said. "Education is the future. I don't want to have to give this county more money for jails --or for another ECI."
Following such public comments, board member Carolyn Elmore said it would be important for members of the public to speak out in support of education at the upcoming County Council budget hearing.
"Your voice speaks louder than ours. They expect us to take the position we hold," she said. "Your voice holds more credence. Bring your friends Tuesday night."

Propane Tank Lodges in Bedroom Wall After Exploding

Miraculously no one was injured Sunday night when a propane tank exploded at a home on Driftwood Drive in the Pot Nets Coveside Development in Long Neck and embedded itself into a bedroom wall.
Firemen from Indian River, Lewes and Millsboro were called to the home just before 10 p.m.; firemen say the residents of the home had been cooking on the propane grill located on the porch, when the gas line caught fire and the tank exploded and crashed through the exterior sliding glass door and became lodged in a bedroom wall.
Significant damage was done to the interior of the house, including the ceiling, the bathroom, the bedroom and the hallway.
The Delaware State Fire Marshal is now investigating

Pedestrian Killed by Drunk Driver in OC

A 22-year-old Cooksville, Maryland man was hit and killed by a drunk driver in Ocean City this (Monday) morning.
Ocean City Police say the Mathew Cheswick was attempting to cross Coastal Highway at 54th Street just before 1:30 a.m. when he was struck by an Isuzu Rodeo traveling northbound in the bus lane.
After striking the victim, the driver of the Isuzu, who was later identified as 30-year-old Diogo Facchini of Lorton, Virginia, continued to travel north on Coastal Highway; police say Facchini proceeded to travel east on 55th Street where witnesses followed his vehicle until he was apprehended by the police.
Cheswick was pronounced dad at PRMC in Salisbury.
Facchini has been charged with homicide by a motor vehicle while intoxicated, leaving the scene of a fatal collision, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol and a number of other traffic related charges

Remembering The Fallen

MARYLAND - A website to help connect our families with fallen soldiers has launched last week, and the webmaster is now asking for the publics help to fill in the blanks. Roll of honor together we served is a website that has "remembrance profiles" of service members who died. Each Roll of Honor profile can be searched by name and contains service pictures, cause of death, and medals earned. It also has places for family members to post pictures, letters and other memories. Click here to view website.

Fight Involving 100 Breaks Out In Milford Parking Lot

MILFORD, De. -- A giant brawl outside of a Milford restaurant lands several people behind bars.
Saturday night police responded to the Circles Restaurant Bar and Grill for a large fight.
We're told 100 patrons became disorderly, several later got into a physical altercation.
4 men have been arrested.

Crab Season Off to Slow Start

EASTON, Md. (AP) - Maryland watermen say the crabbing season is off to a slow start.
Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association, says there are a lot of smaller crabs out there but not many big ones. Talbot County Watermen's Association head Bunky Chance also says the season started slow.
And Dorchester County waterman Scott Todd said that he thinks last year's storms may be the reason.
The annual winter survey released earlier this year found blue crabs at record numbers, but also found a drop in adult females. Scientists said at the time that they were not sure if the number of adult females was actually down, or if they moved outside of survey areas because of an extremely wet fall and warm winter.

Missing Boater in Kent Narrows

KENT NARROWS, Md. - Grasonville Fire Department officials say one person is missing and three people were injured following a boat crash in Kent Narrows.
Authorities say a call about the boat crash came in around 11:15 p.m. Sunday. Fire officials say the driver of the 20-foot boat says it was too dark and he crashed into a concrete jetty.
A spokesperson at the fire department says crews returned from their search efforts around 3 a.m. Monday.
Fire officials say the Coast Guard and the Maryland Natural Resource Police plan to resume their search Monday morning in Kent Narrows

Search for Missing Boater in Chesapeake Bay Under Way

BETTERTON, Md. – A search for a missing boater started Sunday afternoon in the Chesapeake Bay.
Maryland Natural Resources Police say four people were on board a 35-foot power boat when the vessel stopped so the boaters could go swimming. According to authorities, a 21-year-old man jumped into the water but did not reappear.
Search efforts by NRP, the Coast Guard, Maryland State Police aviation and fire department vessels continued throughout the afternoon a half-mile west of Howell Point in Kent County. Sgt. Art Windemuth tells WBOC that emergency crews have suspended search efforts until daylight Monday.
The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Del. Purchases 339 Acres of Sussex County Farmland

DOVER, Del.— The state of Delaware has completed the purchase of 339 acres of Sussex County forest land that will now be part of the 12,400-acre Redden State Forest near Georgetown, the Delaware Forest Service announced Friday.
State Forestry Administrator Michael A. Valenti said the purchase from the Huff and Sposato families marks the latest phase of the multi-year Green Horizons Project to protect working forests, water quality, and wildlife habitat in key environmental regions on the Delmarva Peninsula. The U.S. Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program provided 75 percent of the funding and the Delaware Open Space Program contributed 25 percent.
"This forest land represents a permanent legacy for current and future generations of Delawareans who will enjoy free public access to its scenic natural beauty through a wide range of recreational activities such as hiking, hunting, and wildlife observation," Valenti said. "We would also like to thank the Sposato and Huff families for the willingness to offer their land to ensure the conservation of our vital forests."
Located east of U.S. 113 between Ellendale and Georgetown, the new acreage will provide a wildlife corridor that connects with existing tracts of Redden State Forest.
Valenti said the newly-acquired land will be sustainably managed by the Delaware Forest Service for multiple objectives including wildlife habitat, timber production, and improved water quality, and will be open for recreational uses such as hunting and hiking

Vlasic Pickle Plant in Millsboro to Close

MILLSBORO, Del.- It is not a good start to the holiday weekend for hundreds of people in Sussex County. WBOC received word Friday that the Vlasic Pickle Plant in Millsboro will be shutting down.
Pinnacle Food Group, which now runs the plant, says it will stop production in Millsboro by the end of the year. The company said its goal is to increase efficiency. More than 200 people work at the Millsboro plant, according to Pinnacle Foods.
The company said in a statement that it will be consolidating its Vlasic pickle production into one plant in Imlay City, Mich. The company said its decision to focus on its branded Vlasic business and de-emphasize its lower-margin, un-branded pickle business was the catalyst for this consolidation.
"It is never an easy decision to close a plant. We came to this conclusion only after a detailed analysis of all potential options, which determined that the Imlay City plant is the most viable choice for the long term," said Tony Fernandez, Pinnacle Foods' executive vice president and chief supply chain officer. "The employees in Millsboro have been a valued part of our business and their dedication and contributions to the company are appreciated."
According to Pinnacle Foods, all of its Millsboro employees will have the opportunity to apply for open positions at other Pinnacle facilities, as well as to receive professional career support services.
Pinnacle Foods said it will meet with union officials at the Millsboro plant to discuss specifics of the transition. A minimum of 60 days notice prior to final closure of the plant will be provided to all Millsboro employees, the company said.

Sobriety Checkpoint Leads to Arrest in Somerset County

EDEN, Md.- A cooperative effort overnight Friday between the Maryland State Police, the Somerset County Sheriff's Office, the Princess Anne Police Department, the Department of Natural Resources and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Police resulted in the arrest of one suspected impaired motorist.

This arrest was a result of operation "Checkpoint Strikeforce," conducted between 11:08 p.m. Friday and 1:15 a.m. Saturday at US Route 13 south of Eden Allen Road.

According to police, a total of 743 vehicles were checked during the operation.

Police said Saturday two motorists were pulled to the side for additional field sobriety testing during the checkpoint. Of these, one was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

According to police, two individuals were also arrested and charged with controlled dangerous substance and handgun violations

Federalsburg Police Seek Vandal at Elementary School

FEDERALSBURG, Md. - The Federalsburg Police Department is asking for the public's
help to identify who burglarized and vandalized an elementary school.
Surveillance photos show Friday around 5:25 a.m., a suspect unlawfully entered Federalsburg Elementary School on 302 S. University Avenue. Once inside, police say the subject used a BB pistol with a laser to shoot out windows by the school office.
Anyone with information can call Federalsburg PD at (410) 754-8966 or (410) 754-8971. Callers can remain anonymous.

Synthetic Drug Bust at Ocean City Boardwalk Businesses

OCEAN CITY, Md. - Police are cracking down on synthetic drugs sold by the beach.
The Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit, Worcester County Sheriff's Criminal Enforcement Team and investigators from the Worcester County State's Attorney's Office served a search and seizure warrant at boardwalk businesses "Cool Topics" and "New York, New York."
According to authorities, OCPD detectives made undercover purchases from the stores of illegal products. Police say officers were even given instruction on how to get high. Police seized over 500 bags of synthetic marijuana and several hundred other pieces of suspected drug paraphernalia and a computer.
An Ocean City ordinance and Maryland State Law bans the sale of synthetic drugs, synthetic drug paraphernalia and drug paraphernalia.
Police arrested the following people in this case:
  • David S. Lougasi, 52, of Berlin, Maryland
  • Nitzahn Lougasi, 27, of Ocean City, Maryland
  • Teodras M. Kassa, 22 of Ocean City, Maryland
  • Haileleul Mulugeta, 21, of Silver Spring, Maryland
Police say the department will continue to perform compliance checks and enforcement throughout the summer.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sussex County Citizen Corps wants volunteers

SUSSEX, Co., Del. - A group in the first state is looking for a few good men or women, for their Emergency response team. The Sussex County Citizen Corps wants residents who are willing to volunteer their services in a crisis situation. Informational meetings will be held all summer long, to train residents to become members. Classes will cover fire safety, medical operations, and light search and rescue.

Accident Ends With An Overturned Dump Truck

PHOTOS BY: Firefighter Moe Cropper, OCFD

OCEAN CITY, Md. - An accident is being investigated after a dump truck ended up in a ditch. Ocean City Fire Department reports that they arrived on scene at the intersection of Route 611 and Ocean Gateway to find a dump truck over turned after colliding with an SUV. They say that both drivers refused medical treatment.
The Maryland State Police is still investigating this incident, and information is very limited at this time

Md. Board Approves $161M in School Funding

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland board has approved $161 million in unallocated school funding.
The Board of Public Works approved the money on Wednesday. That brings the total amount allocated for school construction to $349 million for the next fiscal year.
The board approved $187 million in initial funding for school construction in January. Representatives from 19 jurisdictions came before the board to seek portions of the remaining $161 million.

911 Dispatcher Caught Sleeping on Job

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP)- A woman who called 911 after her husband was unable to breathe found a snoring Maryland dispatcher at the other end of the line.
The woman called 911 from her Montgomery County home on April 4. According to a recording of the call, she repeatedly says "hello" but gets no reply. A second dispatcher intervenes and gives her first aid advice as the first dispatcher can be heard snoring. The man was later taken to a hospital.
The slumbering dispatcher did eventually wake up and ask for the caller's address. He was apparently unaware the caller had been on the line for about six minutes.
The employee was removed and placed on administrative leave. The dispatcher was a uniformed firefighter who was 17 hours into a 24-hour shift.

Worcester County Appoints New Superintendent of Schools

SNOW HILL, Md.- The Worcester County Board of Education announced Wednesday that it has appointed Dr. Jerry Wilson as superintendent of schools, pending certification approval by the Maryland State Department of Education. Wilson will assume the position on July 1.
Wilson has served as superintendent of Colorado's Poudre School District since 2006. Having also served as Superintendent in Wyoming and Oregon, Wilson has 18 years of experience in this top-leadership position. Born and educated in Silver Spring, Md., Wilson has been an educator for 34 years.
The Worcester County Board of Education said its superintendent search, facilitated by the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, yielded four finalists in late April. In the final stages of the process, the Board of Education invited stakeholder groups to participate in interview sessions with each finalist. Feedback was considered in Board of Education deliberations.
"On behalf of the Board of Education," said Board President Robert A. Rothermel, Jr., "I would like to express our appreciation to those who took time out of their busy schedules to interview the finalists and provide feedback. We had four viable candidates. In the end, the decision rested with the Board of Education and ultimately, our selection was based on what is best for Worcester County students."
Wilson will fill the superintendent position held by retiring Superintendent Dr. Jon Andes. With 36 years of experience in education, Andes will retire on June 30 after serving as superintendent of Worcester County Public Schools for 16 years.
Worcester County school officials said in Wilson's capacity as superintendent of Poudre School District, PSD has realized increased student achievement, improved graduation rates, and reduced dropout rates.
"I am excited to be given the opportunity to serve as Superintendent in Worcester County, an outstanding school district renowned for high levels of performance," Wilson said in a statement. "My wife Liz and I are looking forward to meeting the educational community and learning about the culture of the district and how the educators have achieved such remarkable successes."

Offering Online Class on Open Meetings

BALTIMORE (AP)- Maryland now has an online class on the state's Opening Meetings Act.
Attorney General Doug Gansler and the University of Maryland's Institute for Governmental Service announced the availability of the class on Wednesday.
It is immediately available on the institute's website at
The class has been designed for elected officials, public employees, members of the media and anyone interested in becoming more familiar with requirements of the act.
The class includes six lessons and 10 quizzes. It takes about 2.5 hours.
The class covers the purpose, mechanics and applicability of the Open meetings Act.

Man in Boxers Charged With Making False Report

OCEAN CITY, Md.- Ocean City police say a man walking down the street in just his boxer shorts has been charged with making a false report after claiming to have been robbed of his clothes and other possessions at gunpoint.
Police said that at around 3:23 a.m. Saturday, May 5, officers observed an intoxicated man walking in the area of 10th Street and Wilmington Lane. Officers said the man, who was later identified as 22-year-old Alexander Kerr of Downingtown, Pa., was wearing only his boxer shorts.
According to police, Kerr stated that he had just been robbed at gunpoint by a white man wearing a hooded sweatshirt, during which all of his possessions- including his clothes- had been stolen.
Police conducted a search of the area for the armed suspect. The search included uniformed and plain clothes police personnel, as well as a police K9 officer. Police said that due to Kerr's state of intoxication, officers were unable to determine the exact location of the alleged incident.
During the investigation, detectives met with Kerr at his Ocean City hotel room. During this meeting, police said the detectives observed several items in the hotel room that Kerr had reported stolen. Investigators said that eventually, Kerr admitted that prior to police contact he had gotten very intoxicated and fell into the bay. Police said that Kerr stated he removed his wet clothes, which he later recovered.
Kerr later admitted to investigators that he made up the armed robbery story because he thought he would get in trouble for just wearing boxer shorts in public, police said.
Police said that after a total of eight hours of investigative time was spent determining that this report was false, officers charged Kerr with making a false police report

Punishment for Sending Texts to Drivers

CAMBRIDGE, Md. - What if the next text message you send is the reason for a car accident? A New Jersey judge will decide later this week if a teenager is responsible for an accident in 2009.
"I don't think the other person that is sending it should receive any punishment or any repercussions of any fashion," said Cheri Dews of Cambridge, Md.
A New Jersey teenager will learn later this week if she will be held accountable for an accident caused by a text message her boyfriend read while driving.
"I think it's kind of crazy it's the boyfriends fault for reading the text message while he's driving, it can always wait," said 17-year-old Max Marshall of Cambridge.
While some say it's in the hands of each driver to be responsible behind the wheel, others say those sending text messages should also be held accountable.
Melody Lachappelle is against any kind of cell phone use while driving. "I think both of them should be charged," said Lachapelle. "If a person is driving and they are reading a text, the people that are texting them have to know that it's dangerous. "
There are no laws in Maryland when it comes to sending a text message to someone who is driving.

Two Bodies Found at Kent County Farm

KENNEDYVILLE, Md.- Maryland State Police say they discovered a second body at a farm near Galena following what they believe is a farming accident. Police believe one person is still missing.
Authorities say they are searching a manure pit for the other missing man. A father and his two sons were last seen yesterday around 2 p.m. Police say they found a tractor still running at the scene right beside a two-million gallon manure septic pond.
Authorities say the incident occurred at the 12-thousandth block of Vansant Corner Road in Kennedyville, near Galena.
They say the men didn't arrive home from work on the farm and were reported missing around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Police haven't identified the men in this potential farming accident, but they say the men are from Pennsylvania. Police do not know if the bodies are the father or two sons.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Memorial Weekend Heat Wave!

Heat wave to impact the area this coming weekend and early next week. As a ridge builds temperatures will begin to drastically rise. Temperatures in the 90s will become common for Saturday through at least next Tuesday. Temperatures may even try to top out in the upper 90s on Monday. Humidity will also remain in the area making the high temperatures that much worse. The heat index is expected to top 100 degrees for several days. Make sure to dress properly and stay cool and hydrated.

Md. Leadership Sets Possible Date for Special Session

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's legislative leadership has announced a possible date for a special session to consider the expansion of gambling.
Gov. Martin O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch said Monday evening that if a work group reaches a consensus, a special session will be held the week of July 9.
The Work Group to Consider Gaming Expansion will study the issue and may propose legislation that the General Assembly could consider at the special session.
John Morton III, a business and financial services executive, will chair the work group. Its first meeting will take place June 1, with additional meetings set for June 12 and June 20.

Md. Bans More Than 4,000 Words for License Plates

BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland will gladly take $50 a year from residents who want vanity license plates. However, one can't put whatever one wants on a tag.
There are more than 4,000 words, phrases and letter-number combinations that the Motor Vehicle Administration has on its Objectionable Plate List.
Most of the list is too vulgar for publication.
When someone applies for a vanity tag online, a computer checks to see if there is a block.
Not all banned words are scatological or sexual. FBI and CIA are banned, as are HEROIN and KILLALL.

Laurel Woman Talks About Losing Leg to Flesh-Eating Bacteria

LAUREL, Del.- It's a rare but serious disease that is getting a lot of attention these days.

It's called flesh-eating bacteria. The disease sounds scary because it is.
Sixty-year-old Terry Layton of Laurel clearly remembers the day her life took a turn for the worst, seven years ago.

"I was just lying on the couch one night and all of a sudden I started having this excruciating pain in my left ankle," Layton said Monday.

Layton was rushed to the hospital where she said doctors diagnosed the pain as gout. Layton was sent home with pain medication.

"By the next day it burst opened and it was just oozing," she said.

Layton went back to the emergency room where doctors told her that her leg had gangrene.

"They cut it off right above the knee first and then it just kept going up farther and farther," Layton explained.

She said at first, doctors couldn't pinpoint what exactly was eating away at her leg, which they ended up amputating.

Layton was taken to Baltimore where she found the answer she was seeking.

"They had more cases, it was flesh-eating bacteria," she said.

According to the medical website WebMD, the flesh-eating bacteria is also known as Necrotizing Fasciitis. It can destroy skin, fat, and the tissue covering the muscles within a very short time. Several kinds of bacteria can be flesh-eating.

"This is what's left of my left leg, this is a stump," said Layton pointing to the area where her leg was amputated.

Layton said she wishes there was more awareness back in the day when her life changed.

She added that not enough is being done about the disease that's has made new headlines recently due to a handful of people being infected. That includes 24-year-old Georgia graduate Aimee Copeland and 36-year-old Lana Kuykendall, a South Carolina woman who gave birth to twins and then became ravaged by a flesh-eating bacteria.

"You are always in fear," Layton said, "The doctors in the medical world everybody needs to be aware of this, aware of the symptoms so it can be diagnosed right away."

Layton said she is on permanent medication because she still feels the pain even after seven years.
She said she is thinking about starting a local organization in her area to raise awareness about flesh-eating bacteria.

Fenwick Island Restaurant Reopens After Fire

FENWICK ISLAND, Del.- After more than nine months of renovations and rebuilding, Fenwick Island's Catch 54 is opening again after last summer's devastating fire.
Catch 54 owner Matthew Haley said the community has been a tremendous help in getting the restaurant back on its feet.
"It was amazing how the fire departments and local police departments worked to create such a safe environment through this tragedy," he said.
More than 300 people were inside the restaurant when the fire broke out in August of 2011, but luckily everyone was able to escape without injury. The building was destroyed and had to built again but that has allowed for a new design and a new menu.
"Local produce, local protein with local beer," said Catch 54 General Manager Jim Affeldt. "I don't think you can go wrong with those options."
The restaurant had a soft opening Sunday evening and will be open throughout the week but they expect business to really begin Memorial Day weekend.

Del. Officials Approve 2 Charter Schools, Deny 1

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware state board of education has unanimously approved applications for charter schools in Wilmington and Dover.
The board voted last week to approve a charter for Academia Antonia Alonso, which would serve students in kindergarten through fifth grade in Wilmington and would focus on Hispanic English-language learners.
It also approved Early College High School, which would be located at the Delaware State University campus in Dover and would focus on science, technology, engineering and math.
The board failed to approve a proposal for First State Montessori Academy, which would have served students in kindergarten through sixth grade based on the Montessori education model.

DelDOT Honors Eric "Smiley" Givens

DOVER, Del.-- He was hailed as a standout employee, father, son and brother. On Tuesday Eric Givens was honored in Sussex County when DELDot named its Ellendale Maintenance Yard as the Eric Givens Building. This comes 7 months after his death in last October.
Givens was a DELDot employee for about a year when he was in an accident. Givens' tractor was caught on a guy wire, he hopped out to untangle it and was electrocuted. Givens was just 24 years old.
DELDot, community lawmakers and Governor Jack Markell dedicated the building to Givens. His coworkers and family, including his daughter, Chloe, were there. Sherri Givens, his mother said, "I am absolutely sure he's looking down on us smiling right now, he was the most giving person, he would do anything for anyone."
She said she hopes their story is an eye opener for others. "We want everybody to go home to their families, we don't want any other families to have to go through this we would be there if anything should happen but we rather it not, safety is the utmost importance," said Givens.

'EpiPens' to be Required for Md. Schools

BERLIN, Md.- Gov. Martin O'Malley this week signed Senate Bill 621 into law, which requires Maryland schools to have on hand an emergency supply of "EpiPens" for students with allergies.
Lilliana Franklin of Berlin had an allergic reaction to peanut butter in school last year and she said the school nurse did not know how to administer the shot. Her mother, Marianne, said the law being passed will force staff members to be educated on how to use the pens.
"Now we're getting educated. Now all the staff, all the people who are with our child six hours a day will know how to keep her safe," she said.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation estimates 50 million Americans have allergies. Of that number, approximately 6 percent suffer from food allergies. The AAF said food allergies are more common in children.
SB 621 will go into effect on July 1.

All Lanes Open on New Indian River Inlet Bridge

INDIAN RIVER INLET, Del. - The second span of the new Indian River Inlet Bridge is open to traffic.
The Delaware Department of Transportation said the new northbound span opened to vehicles late Sunday. By Tuesday, all four lanes of the new bridge were open, spokesman Mike Williams said.
The southbound span opened in early February but crews needed to finish the approaches on the second span.
Businesses from Bethany Beach to Rehoboth Beach expressed relief, hoping the opening would ease congestion ahead of the holiday weekend.
The new, $150 million bridge should light up at night beginning Thursday. The pedestrian lane is expected to open by Friday, Williams said.
Crews are preparing to demolish the old bridge, which could take up to eight months, Williams said. Sand from the south side of the old approaches will be used to bolster the dune on the north side of the bridge.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Is This The End Of Wonder Bread, Twinkies and Ho Hos

Hostess Brands Inc. is moving to the next front in its bid to slash its labor costs: a trial on whether it can reject labor deals with its smaller unions.

On Monday, a White Plains, N.Y., bankruptcy judge will hear arguments over the fate of 67 collective bargaining agreements with 10 unions that represent 1,165 Hostess employees. The company wants to modify such employment terms as health benefits, pensions and work rules, warning the success of its restructuring is on the line.

The maker of Wonder Bread, Twinkies and Ho Hos completed a trial last month over whether it could terminate the labor deals with its two biggest unions, the Teamsters and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. Together, the two unions represent 14,101 of Hostess's 18,400 active employees.

The outcome of that trial was mixed: the judge said Hostess could reject bargaining agreements with 35 locals of the bakers' union but nixed its ability to reject deals with the Teamsters. As a result, Hostess must return to the drawing board and continue negotiations with the Teamsters.

The so-called "other unions" whose bargaining agreements are the subject of the upcoming trial include the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Hostess, based in Irving, Texas, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January and is searching for a new investor. Failure to secure new capital and cost savings from its workforce could lead to the baker's liquidation.

On Wednesday, Catalyst Paper Corp.'s creditors will determine which path the paper and pulp producer's restructuring will take.

Secured and unsecured creditors alike will meet in Richmond, British Columbia, to vote on the Canadian company's restructuring plan, which is subject to the approval of Canadian and U.S. courts. The company sought the protection of both courts earlier this year.

If creditors don't vote in favor of the plan, Catalyst has a backup strategy: a sale to its lenders for $275 million, subject to higher bids at a court-supervised auction.

Catalyst recently amended its restructuring plan to slash $435 million from its balance sheets, or $120 million more than originally expected.

Under the amended plan, first-lien noteholders would receive a smaller amount of new debt and more stock. Specifically, they would trade their $390.4 million in senior secured debt for $250 million in new first-lien notes and all of the new common shares in Catalyst, subject to dilution, versus $365 million in new first-lien and coupon notes and 80% of the new common shares.

Unsecured noteholders owed $250 million may now choose between equity or sharing in the proceeds from the sale of Catalyst's stake in a subsidiary that owns two hydroelectric dams. General unsecured creditors could also choose between receiving stock or cash.

In the event Catalyst's creditors don't vote in favor of the plan, the company's backup plan is to sell itself through a competitive auction process.

Catalyst operates plants in British Columbia and Arizona that together produce about 1.9 million tons of paper and pulp each year. Its coated papers are used to publish such magazines as Rolling Stone and Men's Journal. Its newsprint is used by such publications as the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp. (NWS, NWSA, NWS.AU) unit Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire.

Woman Killed in Laurel Crash

LAUREL, Del.- The Laurel community is mourning the death of a beloved member of a local school. Delaware State Police have identified a woman who was struck and killed by a motorcycle Friday morning in front of Epworth Christian School on Sycamore Road in Laurel.
The victim was identified as 78-year-old Eleanor B. Pusey of Laurel.
Pusey was a longtime teacher's aide at Epworth Christian School, according to Tim Dukes, who is pastor of the Central Worship Center (formerly Epworth Fellowship Church), located adjacent to the school. Dukes described Pusey as a "loving, gentle woman" who will be greatly missed by her family and the school, which is affiliated with Central Worship Center.

"She was a woman, a mother, a grandmother and also a teacher here at Epworth Christian School," Dukes said. "There's going to be a huge void for a long time."
Police said the accident occurred shortly after 9 a.m., as 28-year-old Matthew A. Kondash, also of Laurel, was operating his 1982 Yamaha motorcycle eastbound on Sycamore Road toward Beaver Dam Branch Road.
Troopers said Kondash was approaching a sharp right curve, while just ahead of him was a vehicle traveling in the same direction that was in the process of negotiating the same curve. This curve was marked with a solid double yellow line indicating a no passing zone, police noted.
Investigators said Kondash closed in on the vehicle and maneuvered his motorcycle into the westbound lane, while still negotiating the curve, and began going around the vehicle. Authorities said that as the motorcycle exited the curve, Kondash switched back into the eastbound lane of travel. Police said that at this same time, Pusey was walking from Epworth Christian School, which was located on the north side of the road, to the south side of the road where the school children were participating in a field day event. Pusey was then struck by the motorcycle in the roadway and later pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Kondash, who was thrown from the motorcycle, was flown from the scene by LifeNet to Christiana Hospital for serious injuries he sustained in the crash.
Troopers said the children and other staff where well off the south side of the road at the time of the collision and were not injured.
The roadway was closed for approximately three hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.
Authorities said that following his release from the hospital, Kondash fled to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. On Saturday morning, Virginia State Police located Kondash kayaking in the Kiptopeke State Park in Cape Charles. He was taken into custody and is being held in Virginia as a fugitive from justice pending his extradition back to Delaware.
Delaware State Police said that upon Kondah's return to Delaware, he will be charged with manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, operating a vehicle with no insurance, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, displaying a fictitious registration plate, no motorcycle license, operating a vehicle in a no passing zone and traveling at an unreasonable speed

Discarded Smoking Material MAY have Caused Grass/Field Fire in Millsboro

Millsboro-Firemen say discarded smoking material may have sparked Sunday afternoon’s fire in a field on Rivers Edge Road in the Stonewater Creek Development near Millsboro.
Firemen from Indian River were called to the area around 1:30 p.m.; it appears that the impacted area was protected by construction silt fencing which was newly installed to allow planted grass to germinate and prohibited the spread of the actual fire.

Tropical Storm Alberto Moving South-Southeast; Expected to Stay Offshore

While all eyes are on June 1 as the beginning of the 2012 Hurricane season, forecasters are continuing to keep a close eye on Tropical Storm Alberto today.
As of 5 a.m., Alberto was located about 100 miles east-northeast of St. Augustine Florida and 165 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina.
The storm is now moving south-southeast around 5-miles-per-hour; maximum sustained winds remain around 40-miles-per hour.
A turn toward the east is expected later today, followed by a northeastward motion with an increase in forward speed tonight and Tuesday. On this track, the center of Alberto is expected to stay offshore of the Georgia and Carolina coasts

Man Killed in Morning Crash in Millsboro

Delaware State Police and EMS personnel were called to the scene of single car crash on Hollyville Road just north of Harmony Cemetary Road near Millsboro.
The crash occurred just after 5 a.m. Emergency personnel are saying one man was ejected and has died from his injuries. Names are unknown at this time.

"Ring of Fire" Eclipse

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Millions of people across Asia and the western United States have gotten a chance to watch a rare "ring of fire" eclipse. The annular eclipse happens when the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges. Viewing parties were held in Reno, Nev., Oakland, Calif. and elsewhere.

Operation We Care

SHARPTOWN, Md. - "The war is still going on and we just need to remind people that we need to keep supporting our troops", says a local mother who's son is serving in Afghanistan.
The 5th annual Operation We Care packing party was held this year in Sharptown. Family members, Girl Scouts, and war vets gathered together at the Fire departments memorial hall with one goal in mind, supporting the troops.
"They don't know that this stuff is coming and that's the neat part about it", says Operation We Care coordinator Jeff Merritt. "The insides of these boxes are decorated by the local school kids and the girl scouts," he continues.
According to some war vets, being in a combat zone can be stressful to the body and mind. Many start to feel a sense of loneliness which can effect morale.
"Allot of the stuff they're sending today is not only helping with their hygiene but also helping them lift their moral by giving them food and candy and stuff like that", says one parent.
"When your half way around the world away from your friends and family and you get a box like this from someone you don't know it's a huge moral boost," says one of the volunteers.
Packaging the boxes with food, toiletries and love, each volunteer had their own personal reason and story to participate.
"She's commanding a group of army unit that is training afghan women how to become self-sufficient and not to depend on their men," says Gary Kleiman, who's daughter-in-law is currently in Afghanistan.
While others are just doing their part to support our troops, who have no family.

Jeep Wrangler Recall

Chrysler is recalling nearly 87-thousand jeep Wranglers due to a fire risk.
The recall covers 2010 Wranglers with automatic transmissions built before July 14, 2010. Debris can get caught between a transmission plate and the catalytic converter, causing a fire. Dealers will replace the plate with a bar that can't trap debris.
The company knows of at least 14 complaints of fires caused by the problem, but knows of no injuries.

2 Sought in Easton Walgreens Robbery

EASTON, Md.- Police are looking for two suspects wanted for robbing the Walgreens pharmacy on Route 50 in Easton.
Easton police said that at around 4:21 a.m. Sunday, May 20, two male suspects entered the store. One of the suspects distracted the register clerk, while the other went to the pharmacy. Police said the second suspect- who claimed he was armed- demanded painkillers from the pharmacist. After the robbery, the suspects then fled the store and were last seen running toward the Burger King.
The first suspect was described a wearing a black hat and brown shirt. The second suspect was described as between 6-foot-0 and 6-foot-2 and wearing a black hoodie and jeans.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the Easton Police Department at (410) 822-1111 or submit a tip to (410) 763-6140. Callers can refer to case #12-001446.

Bus Service Will Travel From DC to Delaware Beaches

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Starting on Memorial Day weekend a bus service will be offering rides from Washington to Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach in Delaware.
The Washington Post reports the bus service, DC2NY will offer the rides from Dupont Circle and Union Station.
The cost is $39 each way for riders who book ahead. Otherwise the cost is $45.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Delmar Dustpan On Another Rampage !!!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Close Down The Delmar Racetrack

I swear even in a new house with insulation and double pane windows all I can hear tonight is the Delmar US 13 Dragway and international speedway. There must be away to have them reduce the sound. Between the fire Department Alarm, the trains and the racetrack I can't imagine anyone moving to this town.

First Annual Batting For Boobies Tournament Champs

 The above photo is the first place team "Team Launa's New Rack" in the first annual Batting For Boobies softball tournament played in Delmar this weekend, the team name was in honor of one of the players wife who was recently diagnoised with breast cancer. The tournament was directed by Justine Seymore and all proceeds will be donated to Women supporting Women.

Wi Hi Football Coach Will Get Two Trials

SALISBURY -- David Nettles, the former Wicomico High School head football coach charged with child sex abuse, will have two trials instead of one.
Following a criminal motions hearing Friday, Judge Leah Jane Seaton granted a motion giving Nettles one trial to address the allegations from victim one and a second trial to address the charges from victim two.
"The evidence to counts one through three would not be admissible with counts four and five, and vice versa," said Nettles' defense attorney, Thomas Yeager.
Yeager also reserved the right to raise issues with the statute of limitations at a later motions hearing or at trial.
Nettles was charged in March following a five-month investigation by the Child Advocacy Center. The first trial is expected to focus on charges of child sex abuse by a custodian and two counts of fourth-degree sex offense, which he allegedly committed against victim one. During the second trial he will face the charges of third- and fourth-degree sex offense.
Nettles was placed on administrative leave in November, after the Wicomico County Board of Education learned police were looking into allegations he was distributing steroids. At the time, school board officials acknowledged Nettles was also under investigation for committing alleged sex offenses.
Nettles is the second coach in Wicomico County to be charged with a sex crime this year. Former Wicomico High School volleyball coach Steven Mark Kiggins of Hebron was charged and later pleaded guilty to sex abuse of a minor.
Kiggins was sentenced to four years in prison.
The maximum penalty Nettles could face for child abuse by a custodian is 15 years in prison. He could also face a maximum penalty of 10 years if convicted of third-degree sex offense and each count of fourth-degree sex offense holds a one-year sentence if he is found guilty.
Pamela Correa, child advocacy center prosecutor for the State's Attorney's Office, is also expected to narrow the time frame during which the alleged abuse took place.
"Obviously we can't defend giving that kind of time frame," Yeager said.
In previously filed charging documents, Nettles was alleged to have committed the crimes against victim one between Aug. 1, 1997, and June 30, 2001. The alleged acts against victim two were reported to have taken place between Jan. 1, and Dec. 30, 1998, according to court documents.
Because at least one of the alleged acts took place at about midnight, Correa said she would amend the charging documents with a smaller time frame, however it would likely include two days.
Nettles is scheduled to have his first trial on Aug. 28 and his second on Sept. 11.

Downtown Salisbury parking? No problem, Mayor Ireton says

SALISBURY -- There's no parking problem in the downtown, says Mayor Jim Ireton, who just released results of a study he contends will back up his claim.
"There's not a single politician, not a single blog that can argue with this," Ireton said. "(They say) there's a parking problem downtown. No, there's not."
During the past month-and-a-half, city staffers counted spaces used in the parking garage and in five nearby lots. Data collection was conducted at four time intervals throughout the day, Monday through Friday, and averaged. Ireton said the results indicate that if the five lots were eliminated and those vehicles were moved to the parking garage, there would still be 55 spaces available.
James Munn of Salisbury said he visits the downtown area a few times a month and generally has no trouble finding parking.
"The (Wicomico County District) Court lot is a problem area because it's tiny and you have to keep driving around in circles to find a spot," Munn said. "But the rest of (the downtown) is really not a problem."
Bryan Parker, also of Salisbury, said he uses the city parking garage several times each week and is afraid the elimination of several downtown lots will not leave as many spaces as the mayor thinks.
"There are a lot of people who use (the parking garage) during the day, and usually the top level is full," Parker said. "I think more people use it than (the mayor) realizes."
The parking study was conducted to supplement a plan rolled out by the mayor in February when he delivered the annual State of the City address.
The proposal is a conglomeration of several studies conducted through the past 30 years in the downtown, Ireton said, adding, "This plan is not mine. Any good teacher will tell you to find the best lesson plan you can and make it your own. That's what we've done."
The overall objective, he said, is to transform the expansive parking lots that now separate downtown from the riverfront into a mixed-use urban center by 2020. The plan stands to increase the number of jobs downtown by 300, the number of housing units by 500, the resident population by 750 and the amount of commercial square footage by 100,000. The plan removes 25 percent of the downtown's impervious surface area, which allows untreated stormwater runoff to enter the Wicomico River.
In addition to waterfront parking lots, city- and privately owned vacant buildings are being eyeballed for potential development.
City staffers plan to recruit developers from all over the country to undertake projects in the downtown. However, to attract developers, Ireton said the city needs to offer more incentives.
Already in place is the Revolving Loan Fund, the Enterprise Zone, the Sustainable Community Designation, the Historic District and the Arts & Entertainment District.
Now, Ireton is proposing an Equivalent Dwelling Unit Free Zone that would eliminate the fee charged to connect to the city's water supply. The zone would use 190 EDU credits belonging to the former Linens of the Week property. They would be applied to the charges levied upon development proposals in the downtown area on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ireton said he has confirmed with the city attorney this practice is legal.
"We can legally use them in the state of Maryland if we are creating jobs and creating commercial space," he said. "We need to send legislation to the City Council to approve the zone in the downtown and give the Department of Public Works and the Proposal Review Committee the ability to approve the use of those EDUs."
The mayor has also proposed a 65 percent reduction in the city's water capacity fee, which is now priced at $8,508 and is ranked the fifth-highest in the state. The reduction would change the cost to $3,873, dropping Salisbury down to the second-lowest in the state.
All of these changes must be approved by the council, and Ireton is asking residents to contact their representatives to bolster support. He also said development will not eliminate parking in the downtown.
"Remember that every one of these development plans will have parking spaces associated with them," he said. "It's not like all of a sudden you're going to come downtown and there will be no parking spaces left at all."

City of Salisbury to try again to demolish Thrift Travel Inn

The City of Salisbury will once again try to demolish the condemned Thrift Travel Inn.
The city has considered the inn on North Salisbury Boulevard to be a public nuisance for the last several years. According to the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services and Code Compliance, police officers, firefighters and code compliance officers have had to make over 1,500 visits to the property because it’s fallen into such disrepair.
A demolition order was issued last year. However, the possibility of the property being confiscated by the federal government, or being sold by the owner, as well as a lack of funding, all delayed the demolition. Mayor Jim Ireton is expected to submit an amendment to the city’s budget for $60,000 to pay for the demolition.
City Again to Pursue Demolition of Thrift Travel Inn
The City of Salisbury has long considered 601 – 603 North Salisbury Boulevard, also known as the Thrift Travel Inn, to be a public nuisance. The Neighborhood Task Force has been tracking the property since 2007 and since that time more than 1500 calls for service required visits by police, fire and code compliance responders. Those repeated calls for service placed an unnecessary burden on our public safety officials and obstructed service to other areas of the city.
Due to lack of maintenance, disrepair and ongoing life safety violations the structure was eventually condemned and ordered vacated. After the owner failed to bring the property into compliance a demolition order was issued. The demolition order was ignored and as a result a municipal infraction was issued. That municipal infraction was prosecuted on December 5, 2011 and a Wicomico County District Court Judge ruled in favor of the city.
After a guilty verdict was issued the city delayed execution of demolition order for several reasons. One, it was believed that the property would be seized by the federal government; that confiscation never occurred. Two, it appeared that the property would transfer ownership; however to date ownership has not changed. And thirdly, the Fiscal Year 2012 budget did not include funds for demolition.
Given the circumstances surrounding the delay in executing the order, the Legal Department of the City has suggested that a second demolition order be provided. Today the Department Neighborhood Services & Code Compliance (NSCC) reissued that order to remove the structure within 60 (sixty) days.
Director of Neighborhood Services & Code Compliance, Tom Stevenson estimates that it will cost somewhere between forty to sixty thousand dollars ($40,000.00 – $60,000.00) to tear the building down. Director Stevenson said “as Salisbury’s Housing Official I have a responsibility to citizens and the mayor to report this opportunity to remove this blighting influence once and for all”.
Mayor Jim Ireton will advance a budget amendment to the Salisbury City Council seeking sixty thousand dollars (60,000.00 dollars) to proceed with the demolition. The City’s cost for the demolition will become a lien against the property and collected when the property is sold or transferred.

Will Smith Smackdown

MOSCOW (AP) - He may be a Hollywood star, but Will Smith is not into smooches from just anyone. Smith slapped a male television reporter who he said tried to kiss him on the lips as he walked down the red carpet for the Moscow premiere of "Men in Black III." The same reporter made headlines at the Venice Film Festival in September when he presented an unappreciated bouquet to Madonna and called her "my princess."

Investigation Leads to Drug Bust in Millsboro

MILLSBORO, Del.- Delaware State Police executed a search warrant at a residence in Millsboro Friday following a several month long investigation into illegal drug sales in the area.

Police say three people were arrested at the home, located in the 200 block of Long Neck Circle in The Pines of Long Neck development. Those arrests included two residents of the home, Theresa Tolomeo and Vincent Tolomeo, as well as John J. Ford.

According to police, a search of the home resulted in the discovery of approximately 20 mg. of heroin packaged for sale, (2) Oxycodone 30 mg. pills, (8) Endocet 10 mg. pills, (81) Oxycodone 10 mg. pills, (4) Alprazolam 1 mg. pill, (44) Oxycodone 5 mg. pills, (1) Tramadol 50 mg. pill and approximately $49,000 in suspected drug proceeds.

The three suspects were arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including possession and conspiracy. Police say Theresa Tolomeo was arraigned and released on $3,000 unsecured bail, John Ford was arraigned and released on $750 unsecured bail and Vincent Tolomeo was arraigned and then committed to the Department of Corrections after failing to post $36,000 secured bail.

According to police, the relationship between Vincent and Theresa Tolomeo is unknown.

Suspicious Object Discovered in Salisbury Food Lion Parking Lot

SALISBURY, Md.- Several units responded to the parking lot of the Food Lion store located at 232 Tilghman Rd. in Salisbury Saturday morning, after the discovery of a "suspicious object."
Those inside the store were temporarily made to remain there until the situation could be investigated.
According to Salisbury Police, fire marshals wearing protective gear arrived on scene a short time later to assess the situation. Upon further investigation, police say it was determined the object, identified as a grenade, was not live. All responding agencies began clearing the scene just before 11 a.m.

Police Looking for Hit-and-Run Driver

TILGHMAN ISLAND, Md. - On Thursday afternoon, 51-year-old Samuel Douglas Lynn was walking along Route 33 in Tilghman Island when a car struck him so hard it knocked the shoes off his feet. The driver of the unknown vehicle just kept on going.
Joe Bradley has lived in Tilghman Island for over a decade. He believes the driver who hit Samuel Douglass Lynn was not from Tilghman.
"I would suspect it would involve two people who are not from around here. It's a very close community," said Bradley.
Not only did Lynn's shoes get knocked off his feet, he was thrown into the tall grass beside the road. A passerby stopped to help Lynn and called 911. Locals say the speed limit on that part of the road is 25 mph. Carter Grant drives through Tilghman every day. He said more people need to abide by it.
"People need to slow down," said Grant. "It's a small community and I live here, I work here and people drive too fast."
Bob Lemaire heard about the hit-and-run from friends. He said it is hard to believe it happened in broad daylight.
"I didn't know him but there are a lot of old guys walking dogs up the road and I could see after hours but not during brad daylight," Lemaire said. Police are asking that anyone with information about the driver who hit Lynn to call Maryland State Police in Easton.

New Jersey Man Charged With Assaulting Delaware Officer

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Dover police say a 25-year-old New Jersey man has been charged with assaulting an officer.
An officer responding to complaints of a disorderly person on Saturday morning found the man in the middle of the street near the intersection of South Bradford and Loockerman streets.
Police say Andrew Born of North Brunswick, N.J., yelled profanities at an officer, who tried to take him into custody despite Born's resistance. Police say the officer was cut and his uniform was damaged.
Born was charged with second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and several other offenses. He is being held on $26,000 bond.

Wanted Motorcycle Operator Located in Virginia

LAUREL, Del.-Matthew A. Kondash, the operator of the motorcycle involved in the fatal motorcycle crash in Laurel Friday morning, has been arrested in Virginia.
Investigators from the Delaware State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit had contacted the Virginia State Police after they received information that Kondash was possibly staying in a campground along the eastern shore of Virginia.
Virginia State Police found Kondash kayaking in the Kiptopeke State Park in Cape Charles late Saturday morning and took him into custody.
Kondash is currently being held in Virginia as a fugitive from justice pending his extradition back to Delaware.
Police said a 78-year-old woman was hit and killed as a result of the crash Friday morning on Sycamore Road.
Investigators obtained warrants charging the 28-year-old.

Kondash was flown from the scene of the crash to Christiana Hospital with what was thought to have been serious injuries he sustained in the crash. However, upon further examination at the hospital, it was determined that his injuries were not as serious as originally believed.

Kondash was then released from the hospital prior to investigators arriving. Police said, efforts to contact Kondash have been unsuccessful.

Kondash is charged with manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, operating a vehicle with no insurance,operating an unregistered motor vehicle
displaying a fictitious registration plate, no motorcycle license, operating a vehicle in a no passing zone and traveling at an unreasonable speed.