DelDOT to work all night clearing roads

By Amy Cherry 6:35pm, March 5, 2015
VIDEO: Check out the view from the front seat of a DelDOT snow plow with WDEL's Amy Cherry.
DelDOT crews work long, hard hours to keep roads clear in what is our heaviest snowfall of the season. WDEL's Amy Cherry has the view from the front seat of a snow plow.

Click here to listen



Heavy snow and winds made for difficult driving conditions even for experts like DelDOT snow plow driver Jim Herbert, who's been behind the wheel of a plow for the past seven years. He leads a crew out of DelDOT's Talley Road Yard.

Secondary roads were mainly snow-covered Thursday afternoon.
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"Because it rained first and then switched over to the wet, heavy snow, and now it's kind of like a powdery snow, you have three different layers so it makes it a lot heavier and you can't move as fast," he explained.

Herbert is responsible for clearing Route 202 from Interstate 95 to the Pennsylvania state line. Even with several passes, it was difficult to keep Rte. 202 clear.

Keeping Route 202 clear during a snowstorm is always a priority for DelDOT.
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"As the day goes on, the snow keeps getting heavier and heavier, so it's hard for us to stay on top of it, especially as more and more traffic is coming out," said Herbert.

Herbert is also responsible for secondary roads like Mount Lebanon Road and Thompsons Bridge Road, which were nearly impassable and downright treacherous Thursday afternoon.

"The curves are really bad, you never know what you're going to see on the other side like somebody walking their goats, which we just seen," he said. "We stay out on these roads as long as we can to try to give people a fighting chance to get home."

We encountered several stranded motorists during the three-hour ride-along through northern New Castle County. Herbert hopped out of his plow to help a driver stuck in snow in the middle of Alapocas Road.

A motorist gets stuck in heavy snow on Alapocas Road.
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"Alright, we're going to give you a push," he said. "Most of the people don't belong out here, but we still gotta get 'em home."

People like that man and others who are out and about running various errands make DelDOT's job more difficult. DelDOT and Gov. Jack Markell asked people to stay home, if at all possible, Thursday, but stopped short of calling a state of emergency in Delaware.

"I've heard people tell me that they have a hair appoint or they have to take their dogs to get groomed," he said. "Those are all things that could wait."

Herbert said a lot of people have no idea the efforts it takes to clear the roads. Crews will be out long after the snow stops falling, battling a record low temperature Thursday night that could cause icy patches on roadways to freeze.

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Contact Amy Cherry at acherry@wdel.com or follow her on Twitter at @acherry13.


Delaware hit with record breaking snow

By Frank Gerace and Tom Lehman 8:52pm, March 5, 2015 - Updated 9:46pm, March 5, 2015
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.
Thursday's snowstorm dumped between 5 and a half and 7 and a half inches of snow on Delaware, and State Police say that meant a busy day for troopers responding to accidents.

Police said they had responded to 60 accidents and 31 disabled vehicles in New Castle County as of 8 PM Thursday.

There were 48 accidents and 37 disabled vehicles in Kent County, and 57 accidents and 15 disabled vehicles in Sussex County.

If you do have to drive, police said you should take it slow--posted speed limits are for ideal conditions.

Even though many people were unhappy with the latest bout of winter weather, some people said they were fine with Thursday's snowfall. Wilmington resident Rita Hall, a retiree who lives in the Brandywine Hills section of the city, said she didn't mind clearing her car off during the afternoon.

"As long as I can (clean) it with a broom," she said.

Eric Nichols, an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, was less positive about the snow and was looking forward to warmer temperatures. He was home from work and began shoveling in the afternoon outside his house on West to cut down on the amount of snow he'd have to move once the storm finished.

"Hopefully, this is Old Man Winter's last stand," he said.


Record breaking day for snow in Delaware

By DJ McAneny 6:03pm, March 5, 2015 - Updated 8:09pm, March 5, 2015
Taken by WDEL's Sean Greene
As 6 p.m. approaches, Delaware prepares to wrap up the record snowfall it's been barely tolerating all day.

At roughly 6" to 7" of snow so far, Wilmington almost doubled its previous daily snowfall record.

"Our snow totals here--across the area, have officially broken the daily snowfall record here for Wilmington," said Accuweather's Danielle Knittle. "That (previous record) stood at 3.7", set back in 1981."

The system that brought Thursday's snow is reaching its endgame, and Knittle said within an hour or so from
6 p.m., Delaware should see the snow start to taper off.

"Luckily, we are starting to see the back edge here, working its way closer and closer towards our area," she said. "It is starting to work its way into extreme northwestern parts of Cecil County and northeast Maryland and we're seeing it push into Chester County as well, so, improving conditions here on the way."

The break from the snow doesn't mean an immediate respite from cold temperatures though, and Delaware won't see anything even remotely close to a "warm up" until at least the weekend.

"Some very cold temperatures to talk about as well, perhaps record cold here for (Thursday night)," Knittle said. "(We'll see temperatures) dropping down to about 10 degrees. We'll fail to get out of the 20s for the day (Friday) despite sunshine, but (temperatures will be) starting to recover by Saturday. We'll be in the upper 30s--with some sunshine as well."

At 3 p.m., according to Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS)



Delawareans can prevent winter injuries while they dig out by taking precautions

By Shana O'Malley 2:50pm, March 5, 2015 - Updated 6:38pm, March 5, 2015
Ambulance/WDEL file
DelDOT crews aren't the only ones staying busy when the snow falls. Local emergency rooms also see an influx in snow-related injuries.

It might seem like a harmless activity, but snow shoveling sends many people to the emergency room for back injuries and heart attacks, according to Linda Laskowski-Jones, vice president of emergency and trauma services for Christina Care Health System.

"They go out and shovel their driveway and perhaps they have not had a lot of exercise or maybe not be in the best physical condition," she said.

She said anyone with an underlying heart or medical condition should not participate in the activity.

If you feel lightheaded, dizzy or out of breath while shoveling, you should stop immediately.

You should also take frequent breaks and let a family member or neighbor know when you go outside so they can check in on you.

"Maybe they collapsed and no one knows they're out there or doesn't discover them right away, they can suffer from environmental hypothermia which is critically low body temperature from being exposed to the elements for a long period of time."

Other common snow injuries include fractures and lacerations from falling on the ice.

Laskowski-Jones said an easy way to prevent those injuries is by wearing proper shoes.

"The is probably the most common sense approach," she said. "You can't wear high heels or shoes that don't have good traction outside in the ice. Many injuries can be prevented with the proper footwear."

Lastly, she recommends using extreme caution when operating generators or space heaters, which produce carbon monoxide.

"It's an odorless, colorless gas and it can cause asphyxiation and it is certainly responsible for deaths each year across the county," she said.

Those devices should be used according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Installing a carbon monoxide detector can help determine if a room with a space heater is safe.


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Contact Shana O'Malley at somalleyy@wdel.com or follow her on Twitter at @shanaomalley.



Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service on modified schedule Friday

By Frank Gerace 10:20pm, March 5, 2015
Amtrak's Northeast Corridor service will operate on a modified schedule Friday.

The railroad announced Thursday it plans to operate a combination of Northeast Corridor and Acela Express service, with most adjustments on its routes between New York City and Washington, DC.

Keystone Service between Harrisburg, PA and Philadelphia or New York City will also run on a modified schedule.

Amtrak said it's notifying passengers with reservations on trains whose schedules are being changed, and you can confirm your train's status by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL or going to amtrak.com.



DART announces early shutdown due to Thursday snowstorm

By DJ McAneny 1:52pm, March 5, 2015
Due to Thursday's inclement weather, DART announced the early shutdown of services.

Fixed Route -- New Castle County
The last trip for regularly scheduled routes leaving Rodney Square will be between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., except for:


SEPTA Wilmington/Newark Line: operating regular service; however, the Route 59 Train Bus northbound from Newark at 9:15 p.m. and southbound from Wilmington at 9:35 p.m. are canceled.


Kent County:
Last trips for all regularly scheduled routes leaving Dover Transit Hub will be 4 p.m. with the following exceptions:
Route 109: Last trip leaving at 3:30 p.m.

Route 117: Last southbound trip leaving Walmart at 3:25 p.m.; northbound trip from Clarks Corner at 4:35 p.m.


Sussex County:
Route 206: Last trip leaving Georgetown Transit Hub at 4:30 p.m.; Boardwalk at 5:45 p.m.

Route 212: Last trip leaving Georgetown Transit Hub at 4:35 p.m.; Delmar at 5:55 p.m.

Route 303: Last northbound trip from Georgetown Transit Hub leaving at 1:50 p.m.; southbound trip leaving Dover Transit Hub at 3:10 p.m.

Flex Routes 901 & 902: Last trips leaving Georgetown Transit Hub at 4:00 p.m.

Flex Route 903: Last trip leaving Seaford Village Shopping Center at 4:00 p.m.

Paratransit - Statewide:
Last pick up at 5 p.m. Trips after 5 p.m. will be rescheduled. Call 1.800.652.DART.

DART Administrative Offices and Ticket Stores are closed.


Prosecutors: No charges for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch in Dover incident

By Randall Chase/Associated Press 10:28am, March 5, 2015 - Updated 10:34am, March 5, 2015
In this May 17, 2014 file photo, Kurt Busch walks with his girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, after arriving for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. (AP Photo/Terry Renna, File)
Delaware prosecutors said they will not file criminal charges against NASCAR driver Kurt Busch following allegations of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend.

NASCAR officials indefinitely suspended Busch last month after a Delaware Family Court judge said the former champion almost surely choked and beat Patricia Driscoll inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway last fall.

But the Delaware attorney general's office said Thursday that there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges.

Driscoll said Busch assaulted her in September after she drove from her Maryland home to Dover to check on him after receiving a series of disturbing texts.

Busch and his attorneys have portrayed Driscoll as a scorned woman who set out to destroy Busch's career after he ended their relationship.


Troopers still seeking to ID pedestrian killed on 495 in January

By Frank Gerace 11:45pm, March 5, 2015 - Updated 11:51pm, March 5, 2015
State Police now apparently know the name of the pedestrian killed on I-495 northbound in January, but they're asking anyone who knew the man for more information.

The man was hit by several cars on 495 northbound near the Edgemoor interchange around 8 PM January 22nd.

He's described as black, 45 to 65 years old and about 130 pounds, with a beard.

The man was wearing a blue winter coat with white trim and black lining, black sweat pants, blue jeans and low-cut blue-on-white Nike sneakers with red laces.

He was also wearing a yellow wristband with a white label that said "Timothy Moody" and "DOB 10/12/53."

Anyone with information can call Master Corporal J. Aube at Troop 2, Glasgow, at 302-365-8483.

Tipsters can also call Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, leave information online at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or text "DSP" and their tip to CRIMES (274637).


DSP seek MD woman charged with fraud, terroristic threatening

By Frank Gerace 12:09am, March 6, 2015 - Updated 12:15am, March 6, 2015
Amanda Husfelt
State Police are asking for your help tracking down a Maryland woman who's in trouble with the law for allegedly committing fraud and making terroristic threats.

Police say Amanda Husfelt threatened to burn a house down after arguing with the owner in February of last year.

She also allegedly rang up more than 470 dollars in charges on a credit card belonging to a 54-year-old man this past August, and is wanted on an outstanding warrant from Dover police and Kent County Common Pleas Court.

Husfelt lives in Henderson, Maryland, and police are asking anyone who knows where she may be now to call Troop 3 at 302-697-4454 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.

You can also leave a tip at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or send an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."



NCCPD warns about ID theft after rash of bogus tax filings

By Frank Gerace 12:43am, March 6, 2015
County Police are reminding you not to give personal information over the phone after they got several calls from victims of identity theft.

Police say the victims were taken in by a caller claiming to work for the IRS or another legitimate-sounding financial institution.

The caller asked for and got personal information, and the victims later found tax returns had been filed in their names.

Police say you should never give personal information over the phone unless you know the person you're talking to actually is from the organization they claim to represent, and if you've been victimized, you can call County Police at (302) 573-2800.

Some helpful resources for Identity theft and Income Tax Fraudulent filings can be found here:
www.IRS.gov
http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Scam-Phone-Calls-Continue;-IRS-Identifies-Five-Easy-Ways-to-Spot-Suspicious-Calls
http://youtu.be/yB8RtjHSpZw


Newark Police say pair hunched over in car in 7-11 parking lot found with 173 bags of heroin

By DJ McAneny 12:11pm, March 5, 2015
Saienni, left, and Hooks, right/Courtesy Newark Police
A Newark man and a Wilmington man are facing drug charges Thursday after police said they were caught with drugs and cash in an area 7-Eleven parking lot, according to Newark Police.

Authorities said 23-year-olds Stefano Saienni,of 818 Woodlawn Avenue in Wilmington, and Bradley Hooks, of 115 Locust Drive in Newark, were spotted Tuesday at approximately 10:30 p.m. hunched over in a vehicle.

Police said they approached the car in the lot at 235 East Delaware Avenue to check on the occupants and said they discovered Saienni to be in possession of 171 bags of heroin, a small amount of methamphetamine pills and $260 in cash. Hooks was allegedly found to be in possession of two bags of heroin.

Saienni was charged with drug dealing, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance-Tier 2 quantity, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was committed to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $81,200 bond.

Hooks was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was committed to Young in lieu of $3,200 bond.



Wilmington Police ask for help ID'ing cigarette snatcher

By DJ McAneny 1:18pm, March 5, 2015 - Updated 3:48pm, March 5, 2015
The suspect in question
Wilmington Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect in a robbery that occurred on February 28, 2015.

A second image of the suspect
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Police said on the date in question, the suspect entered a store in the 800 block of North Orange Street, grabbed a carton of cigarettes from the clerk and fled on foot. No weapon was displayed.

The suspect was described at 5'6" to 5'8" and was wearing a blue hoodie, khaki pants, glasses and a knit cap.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Wilmington Police at 302.576.3646.

The suspect in question
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Dover Police charge man in connection to armed holdup of women, baby in library parking lot

By DJ McAneny 2:19pm, March 4, 2015
Matthew Gannon/Courtesy Dover Police
A 30-year-old man wanted in connection to holding up two women and a baby at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Dover Library was apprehended Wednesday, police announced later that same day.

According to authorities, Matthew Gannon was arrested at approximately 8 a.m. by Dover Police officers while he was waiting at a bus station at the corner of Queen and Water streets.

Gannon allegedly approached two women exiting a vehicle in the parking lot of the Dover Library with an 11-month-old baby in tow and stuck a gun in the side of one of the women, demanding her wallet from the center console.

Gannon faces charges of first-degree robbery, possession of a deadly weapon during commission of a felony, aggravated menacing, second-degree conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child. Bond information was unavailable Wednesday afternoon.


Cops: Dover man, 26, busted with 641 bags of heroin weighing almost 10 grams

By DJ McAneny 2:01pm, March 4, 2015
Tarae Ingram/Courtesy Dover Police Department
A 26-year-old Dover man was arrested Tuesday afternoon after he was allegedly found with almost 10 grams of heroin packaged for sale on his person, city police announced Wednesday.

According to authorities, officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop at approximately 2:27 p.m. on a gold Jeep Liberty in the area of Martin Luther King Boulevard and River Road, but the operator refused to stop.

The driver, identified by authorities as Tarae Ingram, of the 400 block of River Road, fled in the direction of the Capital Green Development and drove his vehicle towards the rear of Admiral Tire before fleeing on foot, police said.

Following a brief pursuit, officers subdued Ingram without further incident and allegedly found him to be in possession of 9.6 grams of heroin packaged in 641 separate bags, prepared for sale.

Ingram was charged with possession of heroin-Tier 5 quantity, possession with the intent to deliver heroin, disregarding a police officer signal, resisting arrest, possession of a drug paraphernalia, reckless driving, and failure to stop at a stop sign. He was committed to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna in lieu of $71,602 secured bond.


DNREC investigating SO2 release from Delaware City Refinery

By Frank Gerace 10:26pm, March 5, 2015
DNREC is investigating a sulfur dioxide release from the Delaware City Refinery.

The agency says more than 100 pounds of the hazardous substance were released around 11 Thursday morning, due to flaring at the plant.


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