Volvo's first US car plant not coming to Delaware

By Amy Cherry 8:41am, March 31, 2015 - Updated 10:48am, March 31, 2015
Volvo is planning its first car plant in North America, but it won't be in Delaware.

The Swedish automaker said it has a short list of possible locations for the $500 million assembly plant and will announce the location next month. But state Economic Development Director Alan Levin told WDEL that Delaware is not on the list.

Levin said he and Governor Markell reached out to Volvo and its owner, Chinese automaker Geely, but no interest or response was generated.

Levin said he'll continue to work towards bringing an automotive manufacturer to Delaware while focusing on new careers in biotechnology, computer coding skills for financial services, agriculture, and opportunities for the Port of Wilmington.

"All of these will add to Delaware's economic strength and assist in diversifying our economy," Levin said.

Cars haven't been made in Delaware since 2009 when General Motors shuttered its assembly plant on Boxwood Road near Newport. Fisker was planning to build electric cars in Delaware by occupying the former GM plant. Production was slated to begin in 2012, but the automaker filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

Chrysler closed its assembly plant in Newark a year earlier in 2008. That plant employed 2,100 people.

Volvo currently has two plants in Europe and two in China.

Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said the decision to open a U.S. plant highlights the car company's long-term commitment to the U.S. market. The brand hopes to almost double its U.S. sales to 100,000 over the next few years.

Datz said the new plant will also reduce shipping costs and insulate Volvo from currency fluctuations.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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

WDEL's Road Scholar: Developer backs Newport Gap Pike improvements

By Andrew Sgroi 6:32am, March 31, 2015 - Updated 10:31am, March 31, 2015
The heavy machinery at the SR-41 and Hercules Rd intersection / © WDEL
If you encountered the closure of Newport Gap Pike at Hercules Road over the weekend of March 27, 2015, you were likely wondering about the work being performed at the intersection.

Click here to listen

New Castle County required the work as a condition for allowing the development of luxury, single-family homes in Toll Brothers' Greenville Overlook, as Bud Freel, DelDOT's county liaison, explained recently to WDEL's Road Scholar.

"Part of the approval," Freel divulged, "was that Toll Brothers would have to fund the intersection improvements."

In order to appropriate land-use deals, Freel said the county often requires this sort of arrangement.

"It's not unusual to have a contractor have to fund improvements if the increase of traffic is being created by their development," he explained.

In most cases, Freel shared, "DelDOT actually does the work and then is reimbursed by the contractor."

However, with this project, Toll Brothers is performing the work themselves, with DelDOT acting as inspector.

The improvements to be made are additional travel lanes for either direction of SR-41 as well as the extension or addition of receiving lanes -- merge lanes which direct right-turn traffic into oncoming traffic flow.

Additionally, westbound Hercules Road welcomes additional travel lanes, and all four legs of the intersection shall receive extended left turn lanes.

The westbound Hercules Road left turn lane that's planned to be extended at SR-41/Newport Gap Pike
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Freel said these improvements will allow for the increased traffic, "so that you can have more cars queue at any one time."

Drivers can also expect median and drainage work, landscaping, and lighting improvements.

Though much of the work occurs on the fringes of the work zone during weekdays, Freel advised that additional weekend closures are still scheduled for later in April.

"Many times when you're coming close to the conclusion of a project, to try to speed things along," Freel admitted, "they'll do a weekend closure to get more work done."

Dover office complex targeted by thieves...again

By Andrew Sgroi 11:36am, March 31, 2015 - Updated 12:16pm, March 31, 2015
A Dover office complex which was robbed repeatedly late last year is once again the target of thieves.

Police say five businesses which occupy Treadway Towers, located at 9 East Loockerman Street in Dover, hosted a string of burglaries sometime over the weekend of March 27.

The office complex had been hit in November by the "Rat Burglar", dubbed by police for the enterprising manner in which the burglar used to gain access to the various businesses. Police have confirmed with WDEL that that suspect has since been caught, with further charges pending.

Police say the unknown suspects for the recent heists forced entry through the main doors of the businesses and stole undisclosed amounts of cash.

No surveillance video is available of the robberies.

Ex-University of Delaware student sentenced for recording women in bathrooms

By Associated Press 9:45pm, March 30, 2015 - Updated 10:31am, March 31, 2015
Javier Mendiolo-Soto
A former University of Delaware graduate student accused of secretly filming women in campus restrooms has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Javier Mendiola-Soto, 39, was sentenced Friday in Superior Court in Wilmington. A spokesman for the Justice Department told The News Journal that Mendiola-Soto, a Mexican national, likely will be deported when his sentence is complete.

Mendiola-Soto pled guilty in December to 49 counts of felony invasion of privacy.

Prosecutors said Mendiola-Soto hid cameras in at least 10 locations around the university and in Newark. Authorities said he also hid cameras in the restroom at the Goodwill and his home in Newark, where he lived with female roommates.

Wilmington man shot multiple times while sitting in car

By DJ McAneny 11:02am, March 31, 2015
Wilmington Police are investigating a shooting that occurred late Monday night, authorities announced Tuesday.

According to authorities, officers on routine patrol at approximately 11:10 p.m. were flagged down in the area of Lancaster Avenue and Delamore Place, on the border of Hilltop and Baynard Square, and told a man had been shot in the area.

Police located a 38-year-old male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his left arm, police said.

The victim was treated on scene by New Castle County paramedics, then transported to Christiana Hospital in good condition, according to police.

An initial investigation revealed the victim had been seated inside a vehicle at Lancaster Avenue and Delamore Place when an unknown suspect approached the vehicle and fired into it, striking the victim.

There was no description available from police at this time. Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Martin Lenhardt at 302.576.3668.

One teen trapped, another ejected from car in Middletown crash

By DJ McAneny 3:47pm, March 30, 2015 - Updated 9:31pm, March 30, 2015
The Saturn, which was operated by the 16-year-old female and from which the 13-year-old passenger was ejected/Courtesy Middletown Police
Two teenagers are recovering following an accident in which one was ejected and the other trapped inside the vehicle, police said Monday.

According to Middletown Police, a 2002 Saturn being operated by a 16-year-old female from Newark was traveling northbound on Middletown-Warwick Road Friday, March 27, 2015, at approximately 2:50 p.m. when she attempted to navigate a left turn onto Bunker Hill Road.

A 2001 Ford Mustang traveling southbound along Middletown-Warwick Road struck the car as it turned, ejecting a 13-year-old male passenger and trapping the female inside.

The Ford Mustang, following the crash/Courtesy Middletown Police
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Delaware State Police airlifted the male teen to Christiana Hospital. Both the female and the 23-year-old driver of the Ford Mustang were transported to the hospital by ambulance.

The operator of the Mustang was later released, but both teens suffered multiple broken bones and fractures. They were held for treatment and observation.

The teen driver of the Saturn was cited for failure to yield right of way and failure to wear a seatbelt. Police said neither teen was properly restrained.

Group riding to D.C. in honor of Sandy Hook victims stops in Hockessin

By Tom Lehman 9:33pm, March 30, 2015
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.
A group of bicyclists from Newtown, Connecticut, stopped in Delaware on Monday amid their four-day ride to remember the 26 children and school staff members killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The group, called Team 26 as a tribute to the victims, made a pit stop at Hockessin Police Athletic League on their way to Washington D.C. to press for tighter gun laws.

Organizer Monte Frank told WCAU/NBC 10 that group members are trying to preserve the memory of those killed while raising awareness about gun violence.

The group's cause, Frank said, has expanded beyond the mass shooting at Sandy Hook because such acts of gun violence can occur anywhere. He pointed to Chicago and Wilmington as locations that have experienced high rates of those crimes.

"With every stop, we're reminding people that what happened at Sandy Hook cannot fade into the national memory, that we've got to keep pressing for stronger gun safety laws so other communities don't have to go through what we went through," he said.

The riders are expected to arrive in the nation's capitol on Tuesday.

Wilmington crime comission to issue report, recommendations on policing

By Tom Lehman 1:31am, March 31, 2015 - Updated 10:31am, March 31, 2015
The Public safety Strategies Comission met for the first time earlier this month. (WDEL/File)
A state commission looking at policing in Wilmington meets for the final time Tuesday night and is expected to issue recommendations on ways to improve the deployment of officers to the governor and Delaware lawmakers.

After a handful of meetings, the Public Safety Strategies Commission will hear recommendations from consultants hired to evaluate the Wilmington Police Department.

The panel has also heard testimony for residents on what they would recommend to improve the agency.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Bayard Middle School, located at 200 N. Dupont Street in Wilmington.

Sweetened drinks might not be much healthier than soda

By Tom Lehman 11:31am, March 30, 2015 - Updated 9:31pm, March 30, 2015
U.S. sales may have dropped for the 10th straight year in 2014, but some nutrition experts say that doesn't mean Americans are making healthier beverage choices.

Industry analysts in a report last week said the overall volume of soda sales dropped by 0.9 percent. Since peaking in 2004, soda sales have dropped by 1.4 billion cases.

However, Alison Karpyn, an associate professor of Behavioral Health and Nutrition at the University of Delaware, said many Americans are choosing sweetened teas and lemonades instead of soda, even though there is still a significant amount of sugar in those drinks.

"There might be a slight difference in calories, but at the end of the day you're still putting a lot of tablespoons of sugar into a liquid that you're consuming," she said.

High sugar intake can contribute to poor nutrition, lead to weight gain and tooth decay. Researchers have also found
that even drinking one sugar-sweetened soft drink a day can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 22 percent.

Everyone, especially children, should drink more water and milk rather than sweetened drinks, Karpyn said.

Increased water consumption has been a focus of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Drink Up" campaign, a subset of the Partnership for a Healthier America.

She hopes the downward trend in soda sales leads to more people recognizing the need for healthier beverage choices.

"I hope...that it will kickstart more conversations at homes and with families to bring people back to these simple things of water and milk that we might have forgotten about in the past decades," she said.


You can contact Tom Lehman at Follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Traffic stop leads to arrested of wanted PA man

By DJ McAneny 2:13pm, March 30, 2015 - Updated 9:34pm, March 30, 2015
Emilio Freeman/Courtesy Dover Police
A burglary suspect was arrested and found to be in possession of a stolen handgun, Dover police announced Monday.

According to authorities, officers conducted a traffic stop on Friday, March 27, 2015, at approximately 10:58 p.m. in the area of Queen and Cecil streets.

Identified as Emilio Freeman, 23, of Darby, Pennsylvania, the operator of the vehicle was found to be wanted by Delaware State Police on a burglary warrant, police said.

Freeman was taken into custody and found to be in possession of a .40 caliber Glock handgun, placed where he had been seated in the vehicle, police said. The handgun had reportedly been stolen three days prior from a vehicle in the Dover area.

Freeman was charged with receiving a stolen firearm, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, and a burglary warrant. He was committed to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $20,000 bond.

New Castle Co. Police seek public assistance in IDing credit card thieves

By DJ McAneny 2:03pm, March 30, 2015 - Updated 9:36pm, March 30, 2015
A photo of the suspects/Courtesy New Castle County Police
Police are asking for the public's help in identifying two women who reportedly used a stolen credit cared at a local retail store.

On March 10, 2015, New Castle County Police responded to the 300 block of North Barrington Court in Glasgow for reports from a woman who said she lost her wallet in front of her home.

The vehicle in which police said the suspects were traveling/Courtesy New Castle County Police
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Police said she reported finding the wallet, but that the cash and credit cards were missing from it.

Officers obtained surveillance footage of two women traveling in a red Toyota Camry who made two large purchases at a local retail store using the stolen card.

Anyone with information on the identity of the two female suspects is asked to contact New Castle County Police at 302.395.8171 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.

Routine traffic stop turns into drug bust in Stanton

By DJ McAneny 9:33pm, March 30, 2015
Tehran Jacobs/Courtesy Delaware State Police
Two men are in custody after a traffic stop led to the discovery of more than $5,600 in cash, 75 grams of heroin, 151 grams of crack cocaine and 37 grams of powder cocaine, Delaware State Police said Monday.

According to authorities, a trooper conducted a traffic stop at approximately 2:45 p.m. Sunday, March 29, 2015, in the area of I-95 at Churchman's Road in Stanton.

As the trooper spoke with the operator, identified as Tehran Jacobs, 29, of Brooklyn, New York, he allegedly detected the smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Jacobs, police said, was unable to produce a valid driver's license at the time.

The trooper removed Jacobs and a front seat passenger, identified as Denzell Small, 23, of Durham, North Carolina, from the vehicle. A search of the car turned up the drugs and money in the trunk, police said.

Both men were charged with two counts possession of a controlled substance-Tier 5 quantity, possession of a controlled substance-Tier 4 quantity, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, second-degree conspiracy, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jacobs additionally faces a charge of speeding. both were arraigned and committed to the Howard Young Correctional Institution in lieu of bond, with Jacobs's set at $103,600 and Small's set at $103,500.

DelDOT unveils Work Zone Safety Awareness Week

By Andrew Sgroi 1:38pm, March 25, 2015 - Updated 10:31am, March 31, 2015
Claude Giroux is helping DelDOT promote work zone safety/Courtesy DelDOT
As the traditional start to the construction season begins, DelDOT and AAA Mid-Atlantic have joined forces to promote enhanced attention for motorist and worker safety in work zones.

Using the Smyrna Rest Area as a backdrop, Governor Markell and state officials officially observed National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week Wednesday morning.

The theme for this year's Delaware campaign is "Work Zones, Respect the Orange and Black".

DelDOT announcement
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Fittingly, the sponsors secured Philadelphia Flyers' captain Claude Giroux as this year's spokesman.

According to agency statistics, four-out-of-five victims from work zone crashes are actually drivers or their passengers. Primary causes for these incidents are inattentive driving and following too closely.

When encountering work zones, drivers are encouraged to follow these safety tips:

Amazon offering to help get jobs done around the house

By Associated Press 9:57pm, March 30, 2015 is introducing a referral service to help people to get projects and chores done around their homes.

The recommendation system, called Amazon Home Services, marks the e-commerce company's latest attempt to expand its empire beyond online shopping.

Amazon's move poses a potential threat to other online referral and business rating services, including Angie's List, Yelp and Thumbtack, a startup whose backers include Google.

About 700 different services in major U.S. cities can be booked through, spanning from housecleaning to goat grazing. Amazon isn't charging consumers a fee to use the service. Instead, the company will collect a commission ranging from 10 percent to 20 percent from most of the professionals.

Amazon said it's doing background checks on all professionals listed in its service and guaranteeing all the work.

No 'narsisstics': Music festivals ban fans' selfie sticks

By Associated Press 8:05am, March 31, 2015 - Updated 12:17pm, March 31, 2015
a beachgoer using a cell phone on a stick snaps a selfie as the sun sets at Venice beach in Los Angeles. You can bring your beach towels and floral headbands, but forget that selfie stick if you’re going to the Coachella or Lollapalooza music festivals.
You can bring your beach towels and floral headbands, but forget that selfie stick if you're going to the Coachella or Lollapalooza music festivals.

The sticks are banned this year at the events in Indio, California, and Chicago. Coachella dismissed them as "narsisstics" on a list of prohibited items.

Selfie sticks have become a popular but polemical photo-taking tool: Avid picture takers like perching their cellphones on the lengthening devices to snap their own shots in front of monuments and sunsets, but critics dismiss them as obnoxious and potentially dangerous to others.

Museums in the U.S. and Europe, including the Palace of Versailles outside Paris and Britain's National Gallery in London, have banned them.

A spokesperson for Coachella wouldn't comment on the restriction. Lollapalooza representatives didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Study finds equality between sexes at moment of conception

By Associated Press 9:47pm, March 30, 2015
Every year, slightly more boy babies than girl babies are born worldwide.

But a new study suggests that back when sperm meets egg, the two sexes are conceived in equal numbers. One of the researchers said it suggests that more females than males die before birth, resulting in the higher number of boy babies.

Researchers also estimated the ratio of males to females at various points in pregnancy. They found a see-sawing pattern over that time in terms of which gender is more prone to die in the womb, as various genetic influences take their toll.

In general, around 105 boys are born for every 100 girls worldwide. The imbalance, first noticed centuries ago, is a natural phenomenon not due to selective abortion of girls in some areas.

The research was released Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dunkin' Donuts eyes shift to all cage-free eggs globally

By Associated Press 9:57pm, March 30, 2015
Dunkin' Donuts is looking to transition to all cage-free eggs worldwide.

Dunkin' Donuts said Monday that 10 percent of eggs sourced for breakfast sandwiches in the U.S. will be cage-free by 2016's end. The company also said it will assess its international supply chain to figure out how feasible that will be.

In 2013, unkin' Donuts reached its goal to make 5 percent of its eggs cage-free by that year.

Dunkin' Donuts also said that by 2022 it will only source in the U.S. pork that does not use gestation crates. A gestation crate is a metal pen that houses a female pig. The cages are small and don't allow pregnant pigs to turn around. Animal rights advocates consider gestation crates to be cruel.

Program to put 'Kids Eat Right' logo on Kraft Singles ending

By Associated Press 8:05am, March 31, 2015
A program to put a dietetics group's "Kids Eat Right" logo on Kraft Singles will reach an early expiration date after an uproar among dietitians.

Kraft Foods said it and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics decided to end the partnership because "misperceptions are overshadowing the campaign."

The decision comes after a petition by dietitians called for an end to the partnership, saying the putting the logo on packages amounted to an endorsement of the cheese product.

Kraft and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said their partnership was intended to raise awareness about inadequate calcium and vitamin D intake in kids.

The logo will start appearing on products this week and will likely remain on shelves until at least July because packaging until then has already been manufactured.

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