Man shot four times in Middletown causes several accidents fleeing in vehicle

By DJ McAneny 11:25am, October 26, 2016
A man who had been shot several times caused an accident when he attempted to flee the scene of the shooting in a vehicle, Middletown Police announced Wednesday.

According to authorities, officers were dispatched to the area of Route 299, west of Brickmill Road at 5 p.m. on October 25, 2016, for reports of a motor vehicle accident.

Arriving officers found a victim who had been shot several times in the area of the 500 block of New Street before fleeing in a silver Buick Lacrosse, causing several accidents, police said.

The shooting victim was transported to a local hospital, where he was listed in critical, but stable, condition.

The victims involved in motor vehicle accidents were all treated and released from a local hospital.

A suspect is still sought in connection to the shooting, and police had few details to provide. Anyone with information regarding that incident is urged to contact Middletown Police Det. Joseph Womer at 302.376.9950 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.

Would a CVS fit at the Dempsey's Service Center site in Pike Creek? County Council thinks so

By Joe Irizarry 2:35am, October 26, 2016 - Updated 12:18pm, October 26, 2016
VIDEO: Different opinions on whether CVS fits at Pike Creek location or not.
While there were arguments for both sides, New Castle County Council approved a resolution Tuesday night which will allow a drug store to be constructed in the place of a long-time auto service center in Pike Creek.

The corner of Paper Mill and Corner Ketch Roads has been the home of Dempsey's Service Center for decades, but the owners wanted to sell the property. Thanks to County Council amending a declaration of deed restrictions, a proposed CVS will be allowed to go there.

In the late 90's, in order to expand their garage, the Dempsey's agreed to the rezoning, which allowed the property to only house an automotive service center.

The Department of Land Use and the Planning Board both recommended disapproval, forcing the necessity of a super-majority council vote to approve the resolution. Council did get that the nine votes needed to make the change in deed restrictions.

"People should have, within their village, their community, the opportunity to walk where they live, shop, work, and play, without being a hostage to an automobile," said Councilman Robert Weiner, who was among the nine votes for the resolution.

Many in the community disagreed with Weiner's assessment. The main arguments were there are enough drug store and pharmacies in the area.

"There are five full service pharmacies within about three miles of that particular location," said Helen McArdle Stewart, a local resident against the passage of the resolution. "And another two pharmacies in grocery stores."

Other arguments against it dealt mainly about safety. Some were worried, that it would bring a crime element, citing robberies at other local drug stores, while others were worried about kids coming from the adjacent soccer field and crossing the busy roadway to frequent the store.

Some thought the store wouldn't fit in the area.

"I don't think that the (store) fits the character of the community," said Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick. "I don't think it's what is in our comprehensive plan. I just felt that I needed to vote no on this."

Those supporting a change cited the worry that if the zoning remained the same, an undesirable automotive center would eventually move in to the property and still have 80 percent of open space preserved.

Many were also worried about the building becoming another Pike Creek Bowling Center which has been abandoned.

Others just wanted another pharmacy in the area.

"Some people prefer a CVS. Financially it's better for them, my particular health plan prefers CVS. So, I take my business to Pennsylvania because that's the most convenient CVS," said Cliff Mitchell, a local resident in support of the change.

The developer's attorney, Larry Tarabicos, said the CVS should be open in about three years.

Suspects in Dover officer-involved shooting officially charged

By DJ McAneny 12:01pm, October 26, 2016
Jamera Fisher, left, and Kylen Ewell, right/Courtesy Dover Police
A wanted man reportedly shot four times by a Delaware Probation and Parole officer working with Dover Police as they attempted to serve a warrant Tuesday has officially been charged, authorities announced Wednesday.

According to Dover Police, Jamera Fisher, 25, and Kylea Ewell, 22, were both ultimately charged as a result of the October 25, 2016, incident.

Police attempting to make contact with Fisher--who authorities said was a wanted individual, and operating under the belief he was armed--attempted to pull him over with Ewell as a passenger in his vehicle when Fisher allegedly began driving aggressively towards the officers and crashing into their cars.

A Probation and Parole officer then shot him four times, twice in the left arm, once in the neck, and his left torso, police said.

The scene of an officer-involved shooting/Courtesy Dover Police

The scene of an officer-involved shooting/Courtesy Dover Police

Fisher was found to be in possession of a loaded handgun, 39 bags of heroin weighing .58 grams, prescription drugs, and 9.5 grams of marijuana.

He was charged with four counts first-degree reckless endangering, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, and third-degree conspiracy, and committed to the custody of the Department of Correction in lieu of $90,000.

Ewell was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of heroin, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and third-degree conspiracy. He was committed to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $1,100 secured bond.

Lessons of life influence Brandywine educator's teaching style, earn her exemplary distinction

By Andrew Sgroi 12:44pm, October 26, 2016 - Updated 12:51pm, October 26, 2016
Wendy Turner, Delaware's 2017 Teacher of the Year, posing with Governor Jack Markell on October 25, 2016. (Delaware Department of Education)
A former accountant has been named Delaware's 2017 Teacher of the Year.

Wendy Turner---a second grade teacher at Mount Pleasant Elementary School in the Brandywine School District---learned of the distinction from Governor Jack Markell, in front of 500 invited guests at the Dover Downs Hotel and Conference Center on Tuesday, October 25, 2016.

The honor nominated Turner for the national competition, as well as bestowed upon her the responsibility of representing Delaware's teachers in addresses with community groups, business leaders, legislators, and educational organizations.

The recognition, and its related responsibilities, justified the professional trajectory for Ms. Turner, who began her career working in a large public accounting firm.

"I just did not want to work in corporate America anymore," she said in a release from the Delaware Department of Education. "Being a parent greatly changed my perspective and was a significant factor in influencing my deep desire to do something meaningful."

By returning to school to earn a master's degree in elementary education, all while taking night classes and working full time, Turner achieved the full migration to teacher at age 40.

As an educator, she strives to make learning relevant to life outside the classroom, teaching every lesson through a real-world lens.

In each subject area, if I present opportunities for students to connect the work they do in class to the real world, students overflow with enthusiasm," she said. "Writing about current issues that reflect student's personal beliefs has meaning and passion. Learning science is more compelling when students cultivate plants in an outdoor garden."

One challenge during Turner's first year reflected that real-world approach to teaching. On the seventh day of school, one of her students lost his mother to cancer.

"I was terrified about how to help him and how to guide others in supporting him," she recalled.

When the boy's father revealed to her that he needed to learn how to cook, Turner developed a cookbook project, collecting simple recipes from school families and staff to create a family-friendly cookbook. The class presented an illustrated copy to the family, which then inspired selling copies of the book to raise $5,000 for the American Cancer Society.

"Through the process, we engaged the community in a project that helped many trying to process a senseless loss. We channeled grief into a positive endeavor, (learning) how to organize, work together and champion a cause they had a direct connection to. With guidance, second graders benefited the community and helped a friend."

That project served as quite the endorsement when Brandywine Superintendent Mark Holdick offered his letter of recommendation.

"The lesson was not only academic in nature because it included Common Core math, science, technology, and language arts standards," he elaborated, "it (also) was steeped in community, collaboration, caring, and empathy."

Ms. Turner is also a 2016 state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, and has been previously honored by the Delaware Valley Green Building Council for and the Delaware Nature Society for environmental education and stewardship.

By action of the General Assembly, Turner will receive a $5,000 grant, to be used for the educational benefit of her students as well as two personal grants totaling an additional $5,000.

Police ID 2 dead in armed standoff at Elkton motel

By DJ McAneny/Mike Phillips 5:44pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 5:51pm, October 25, 2016
VIDEO: WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.
Two people are dead following a standoff with police at a Cecil County motel, Maryland State Police said.

A Maryland-based Fugitive Task Force attempting to perform an arrest at the request of Delaware State Police made contact with two individuals--identified by Maryland State Police as Brandon Jones and Chelsea M. Porter, both 25 and from Dover--inside a room at the New Eastern Inn along East Pulaski Highway in Elkton, Maryland.

Police said when officers knocked on the door and announced their presence at approximately 10:30 a.m., they witnessed Jones reach for a gun--later determined to be a BB gun.

One of the BB guns, according to Maryland State Police

One of the BB guns, according to Maryland State Police

Despite being informed to drop the weapon, the man reportedly pointed the gun at officers and was shot and killed.

Porter then came to the door, also armed, and pointed her weapon at police, authorities said. She, too, was shot and killed.

Chelsea M. Porter/Delaware State Police

Chelsea M. Porter/Delaware State Police

Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said officers had no choice but to shoot.

"They certainly weren't surrendering prior to this--they were both wanted on felony warrants in Delaware and were tracked to this location," said Shipley.

Authorities said the pair was wanted on charges out of Delaware which included:
  • four counts possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony
  • possession with intent to deliver heroin
  • possession of heroin
  • possession with intent to deliver marijuana
  • three counts possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited
  • receiving a stolen firearm
  • second-degree conspiracy
  • possession of marijuana, other than personal use quantity
  • possession of drug paraphernalia

  • Delaware State Police said a search warrant at Jones' residence in the 100 block of Stardust Drive in Dover resulted in the confiscation of 2,094 bags of heroin weighing 31.41 grams, 1,020 grams of marijuana, a .38 caliber revolver, a .357 revolver which had previously been reported stolen out of Queen Anne's County in July 2016, a .22 caliber rifle, an additional pistol, and $2,700 in suspected drug proceeds.

    Cannabis Bureau of DE invites public to town hall to discuss legalization in Delaware

    By Lauren Huet 5:29pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 8:12am, October 26, 2016
    VIDEO: Lauren Huet previews Cannabis Bureau of Delaware's town hall.
    The Cannabis Bureau of Delaware invited the public to attend a town hall to discuss marijuana regulation in the First State.

    "The goal for the Cannabis Bureau of Delaware is to tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol for adults 21 and older," said Co-Chair of the CBD Zoe Patchell. "We'd like to create economic development, continue revenue source, and employment opportunities for Delaware while eliminating the illicit market and the number of other problems associated with cannabis prohibition."

    The town hall was set to be held Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m. at Camden Delaware VFW in Camden-Wyoming, moderated by WDEL's Susan Monday.

    "We have award winning journalist Susan Monday moderating our event," said Patchell. "We have speakers including Neill Franklin, a Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Executive Director, as well as a drug task force expert. We also have registered nurse Sarah Bargas, local attorney Tom Donovan, and two veterans that are going to speak on the pitfalls for veterans in an era of cannabis prohibition, and that's Kim Petters and Dan Schmink."

    "We're looking to raise awareness about cannabis as well as the harms of cannabis prohibition. We'd like the public to come out and share their questions and concerns about this. This is a community issue and we're looking to create an open and honest dialogue in our community," said Patchell.

    Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington have all legalized the sale and recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and over.

    "Colorado and Oregon are great examples of what we could do with a policy that would tax and regulate cannabis," said Patchell. "Colorado has netted over 100 million dollars just in tax revenue in the last two years. They've issued over 27 thousand licenses for employment in this already existing industry. DUI arrests are actually down 18 percent overall in Colorado."

    Critics argue legalizing marijuana leads to increased crashes on the roadways.

    Patchell compared marijuana prohibition to alcohol prohibition.

    "Cannabis prohibition creates crime and violence in our communities just like during alcohol prohibition," said Patchell. "As well as the fact that it diverts police manpower and resources away from real crime to a completely victimless issue. Here in Delaware we spend over 22.3 million dollars arresting people like me that choose a safer, healthier alternative to alcohol."

    Delaware decriminalized the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana last year.

    "Decriminalization was a good step forward, however it doesn't address the many concerns with the illicit market, as well as the fact that people are still being arrested under the decriminalization policy," said Patchell. "It only applies to leaf cannabis, and not the oils, the edibles, or hash even. Smoking in public is still a misdemeanor arrest. We're looking to eliminate the illicit market and create jobs and revenue by taxing and regulating cannabis like alcohol."

    She said marijuana is safer than alcohol, and pointed out that according to the DEA Drugs of Abuse report there have been no marijuana overdoses.

    "Alcohol is associated with 40 percent of all homicides, 37 percent of sexual assaults, and 2/3 of domestic violence, while a Journal of Trauma article states cannabis is not associated with violent or non-violent injuries requiring hospitalization," said Patchell.

    Patchell also said legalization is dealing a blow to the cartels.

    "The Marijuana Policy Project put out a study that showed that 70 percent of all cartel sales in Colorado has diminished," said Patchell. "Instead of allowing all this revenue and employment opportunities to go to cartels and gangs, it's now being taxed and regulated so people in the states, law abiding citizens, can benefit from this already existing industry."

    California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada are voting November 8th on whether or not to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana.

    "So, basically with four states plus D.C. that have legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older with 5 more slated to follow suit on the November 8th ballot, it's inevitable," said Patchell. "We shouldn't be wasting state resources and arresting people for a plant that's safer than alcohol."

    Delaware Senator Margaret Rose Henry has said she plans to introduce legislation in January that would legalize marijuana for Delawareans 21 years and older.

    "We're very excited. We now have bipartisan support in the senate. Senator Henry has announced that she will introduce a bill in January at the start of legislative session. We also have support from Senator Bonini, a gubernatorial candidate, who's also pledged his support to tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol for adults 21 and older," said Patchell.

    Opponents of legalizing marijuana for recreational use said the drug--often referred to as a "gateway drug" could lead to increased use of other drugs by youth.

    A second town town hall November 17 at 7 p.m., at the Police Athletic League in Wilmington.

    Delaware National Guard: Little chance of incentive payment recall occurring here

    By DJ McAneny 6:02pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 8:18am, October 26, 2016
    About a decade after the military establishment offered soldiers thousands in bonuses to veterans who would remain enlisted, officials are now calling for that money to be returned from California National Guard members due to it's "improper nature."

    Reports suggest upwards of $15,000 in bonuses were paid to soldiers whose job descriptions did not meet the standards set to receive them.

    Luckily, Delaware National Guard veterans shouldn't have a reason to worry.

    "The Delaware National Guard takes our responsibility--as does the California National Guard--for being a good steward of tax payer dollars(...)seriously," said Lt. Col. Len Gratteri. "We always want to make sure we do the right thing for our soldiers, for our state, and for our country."

    Traditionally, the DNG has a number of safeguards in place to protect against exactly what is occurring in California, Gratteri said.

    "I can tell you a little bit about the recruiting and retention incentive program. It's monitored, on an annual basis, both internally and externally," he said. "In 2011, the Delaware National Guard audited internal control systems to ensue we were operating under best practices. To date, all audits have verified our enlistment and reenlistment bonus contracts were made with eligible soldiers only."

    As to why other states may run into issues like California's current problems, he was reluctant to venture a guess, but noted sometimes it comes down to a single human error.

    "I can't tell you what's going on in another state, but it usually comes down to something on an individual basis," Gratteri said. "You might have one person make a mistake, and that could set off a lot of these problems. Another thing you have to look at, too, is, often, a soldier will enter into a contractual agreement--and then they don't fulfill that agreement. Therefore, that's going to make them ineligible, and then that money also has to be paid back."

    When pressed, Gratteri said he didn't think there was anyone who really even knew how the situation broke down, yet, but said, overseeing his station, good representation to and for the community is his main priority.

    "I don't think anyone knows what's happened yet. There are a number of different incentive programs. you just have to be careful and follow under the right guidelines," he said. "We really want to be good stewards of tax payer dollars, so we audit our systems, we audit our results, and we really keep good track of it."

    Firefighters rescue man and woman from capsized boat

    By Lauren Huet/Mike Phillips 5:03pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 8:18am, October 26, 2016
    VIDEO: Firefighters rescue man and woman from capsized boat
    A man and a woman were tossed into the chilly waters of the Delaware River when their boat capsized Wednesday near Battery Park in Old New Castle.

    Firefighters from the Good Will of New Castle unit came to the rescue in their marine boat and pulled the man and woman out of the water. Paramedics checked and treated the two on shore, then released them.

    Delaware City firefighters brought the capsized boat back to shore. White caps on the water showed it was a windy day.

    Last-minute visa issued so sick Pakistani child can get surgery at Nemours

    By Associated Press 2:38pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 12:51pm, October 26, 2016
    The U.S. embassy in Islamabad issued a last minute visa to Maria, an ailing 6-year-old Pakistani child, afflicted with a painful genetic disorder, and her parents who turned to the media as the date for their child’s life altering operation in the U
    The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad issued a last minute-visa to an ailing 6-year-old Pakistani girl desperately, so she can get a surgery at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

    Shahid Ullah, the father of Maria, said that the family is "so happy" at the news and thanked friends and supporters world over who helped them.

    Ullah, a poor merchant who owns a shop selling blankets in Rawalpindi, near the capital of Islamabad, has campaigned for nearly four years seeking treatment for Maria, who suffers from a genetic disorder known as Morquio Syndrome in which the vertebrae compress the spinal cord.

    The embassy said on Tuesday the visas were approved.

    Ullah said he and his wife will accompany Maria to the hospital, which has agreed to do the procedure for free.

    Cow truck tips on ramp to interstate south of Newport

    By Andrew Sgroi 9:16am, October 25, 2016 - Updated 11:30am, October 25, 2016
    A tractor trailer carrying cattle overturns on 295./Via @NBCPhiladelphia
    Delaware State Police cleared another unique crash involving a tractor trailer Monday night.

    Following recent interstate wrecks that left 40,000 spilled pennies and, just this weekend, an edible weed truck catch fire, troopers found the latest scene on northbound Interstate 295, underneath of West Basin Road near Newport.

    According to DSP, on Monday, October 24, 2016, at approximately 9:30 p.m., 32-year-old Travis Clark, of Ephrata, PA, was operating a 1991 International tractor and trailer loaded with 15 cows, and was traveling on the ramp from Route 141 southbound onto I-295. As the tractor trailer entered onto the merge lane at the bottom of the ramp, it struck a barrier, causing it to overturn onto its left hand side.

    The 15 cows were removed from the scene by a pet removal company, said police.

    Travis Clark, who had been wearing a seatbelt, was cited by troopers for operating an improperly loaded vehicle.

    The ramp from DE-141 southbound to I-295 northbound was closed for approximately six and a half hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.

    Delaware authorities to conduct statewide DUI checkpoints

    By Associated Press 1:16pm, October 25, 2016
    Delaware police will be out in force Halloween weekend in an effort to crack down on drunken driving, according to authorities.

    State highway safety officials said more than 100 police officers will gather in Wilmington, Bear, Dover, Rehoboth Beach, and Seaford to conduct checkpoints. Police will be conducting checkpoints in five different locations: two in New Castle County, two in Sussex County and one in Kent County.

    Two similar checkpoint operations, in July and September, resulted in 28 DUI arrests, officials said.

    Authorities said there have been 34 deaths attributed to impaired-driving in Delaware so far this year, and more than 3,200 DUI arrests.

    US official: Non-state actor likely to blame for cyberattack

    By Associated Press 2:38pm, October 25, 2016
    James Clapper (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    National Intelligence Director James Clapper said it appears that a "non-state actor" was behind a massive cyberattack last week that briefly blocked access to websites including Twitter and Netflix.

    Clapper said investigators are gathering a lot of data and preliminary indications are that a non-state actor is to blame. But he said he wouldn't want to completely rule out whether a nation state might have been behind it or not.

    Clapper spoke Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

    Last Friday, cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. Members of a shadowy hacker group that calls itself New World Hackers claimed responsibility for the attack, but that claim could not be verified.

    Pediatricians: Babies should sleep in same room as parents

    By Associated Press 2:38pm, October 25, 2016
    The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for infants to be kept in their parents' bedroom at night for six months to a year in order to lessen the risk of sleep-related death.

    The new recommendations say babies should sleep on a separate surface, in a crib or bassinet and never on something soft. The guidelines said babies should sleep in the same room as their parents, preferably until they're a year old. The AAP said room-sharing lessens the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by as much as 50 percent.

    Other recommendations include always placing a baby on its back to sleep and avoiding use of crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys.

    The AAP says about 3,500 infants suffer sleep-related deaths every year in the U.S.

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