I-495 Closure Update




Police: Stolen vehicle hits fire truck in Wilmington
By Tom Lehman

Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 11:17pm

A stolen vehicle fleeing police crashed into a Wilmington Fire Department ladder truck Tuesday night, hurting a firefighter and two others. (Tom Lehman/WDEL)
A vehicle pursuit Tuesday night ended with a stolen car colliding with a fire truck in downtown Wilmington, injuring a firefighter and two other people, officials said.

The crash happened about 8 p.m. at the intersection of West 11th and Washington streets, said Fire Chief Anthony Goode.

The car fled from police inside the city before leaving Wilmington. After returning to the city via Interstate 95, Goode said the vehicle was traveling eastbound on 11th Street and struck a ladder truck moving through the intersection with Washington Street.

The first responders, who were already heading to other fires reported in the area, turned their attention to a fire that developed in the car's engine compartment while a passenger inside the vehicle was rescued, he said.

"Firefighters grabbed extinguishers and put out and doused the flames that were in the car compartment," he said.

Officers used a Taser to subdue the driver of the stolen vehicle, Cpl. Jamaine Crawford said.

Both the driver and passenger were taken to Christiana Hospital for treatment. A firefighter riding in the rear of the ladder truck was being treated for a shoulder injury, Goode said.

The investigation was said to be in the preliminary stages Tuesday night. Information about those involved in the pursuit and crash was not immediately available.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Council plans veto override vote
By Amy Cherry

Wilmington City Council will meet next week to override Mayor Williams' veto of a budget amendment that cuts the funding for eight vacant firefighter positions.

In a written statement, Council President Theo Gregory says council is committed to the public safety needs of the city and that they support city firefighters, police officers, and emergency responders.

But Gregory says council must exercise fiscal responsibility and make tough decisions.

Council's vote to cut the half-million-dollars in funding to the city fire department sparked an outrage from Fire Chief Anthony Goode and the mayor's office, which vetoed the measure Friday.

Council will meet Tuesday, July 29, at 6 p.m. to vote to override the veto.




Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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New bills one more step in campaign finance reform in Del.
By Mellany Armstrong

Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 2:00pm

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VIDEO: WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.

Integrity and transparency are behind eight bills signed into law by Governor Markell at Delaware's historic first court in Old New Castle.

WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.

Click here to listen



Governor Markell signed one bill that reveals the identities of corporations and other entities that provide campaign contributions.

"Senate Bill 186 requires that these contributors disclose the name and address of one, we call them a responsible party, somebody who exercises direction or control over the entity's activities," he said.

Click here to listen



Dee Dunham of Common Cause of Delaware says the bills grew out of the Veasey report on campaign finance reform, and more work needs to be done.

"We were disappointed, there were a few bills, like the redistricting bill that didn't get passed this year, but we'll continue working over the summer," she said.

Click here to listen



Letty Diswood of the League of Women Voters in Delaware was pleased.

"And making it more transparent and accountable to the public, and also lobbyists that also have to be held accountable," she said.

Click here to listen



The other bills protect whistleblowers, mandate electronic filing of financial disclosure reports, and give the state election commissioner authority to investigate possible violations of election laws.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Newark area state rep critical of Dover mayor's comments on TDC
By Amy Cherry

A state representative responds to comments, heard on WDEL, from Dover's mayor about a controversial data center and power plant that was rejected by the University of Delaware.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

Click here to listen



State Rep. John Kowalko was highly critical of new Dover mayor Robin Christiansen, who told NBC 10 Monday that he would welcome The Data Centers in his city.

"His statement that they would welcome it here in Dover is premature, to say the least," said Kowalko.

Click here to listen



UD halted the proposal earlier this month and terminated its lease agreement with The Data Centers LLC, after a faculty working group said the company's plan didn't fit the school's sustainability goals.

"If this is something that's going to incubate more business and more jobs and more people coming to live in the city of Dover, I'm in favor of it," Christiansen said.

Christiansen also accused the citizens of Newark of not giving the project a fair chance.

"It's kind of a shame that they really didn't think it through. I don't think they did, but I guarantee you we here in Dover will think it through because we're in business to do business," Christiansen told NBC 10.

Click here to listen



Kowalko says that claim is simply untrue.

"He does say very specifically that he felt Newark residents unfairly opposed the plan. Well, I'm not even going to give that a dialogue of opposition. That is so wrong," said Kowalko.

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Kowalko says the mayor doesn't know the depth and scope of the project.

"Maybe it's because he's a new mayor, he feels that he can make political points, but quite frankly, that's not the way he should be doing business. He has a responsibility to the residents and to his constituents to investigate this further," said Kowalko.

Click here to listen



If Dover goes the data center route, Kowalko says they better think it through.

"Dover has to do what Dover thinks is right. I just think that if the mayor of Dover is going to make promises that he will create jobs at any cost, he should look and review what those costs may be," Kowalko said.

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Kowalko goes on to say jobs shouldn't be the sole reason to accept the project and that view is "short-sighted."

"You can't just look at it through a tunnel vision of here's jobs at the other end of this tunnel so we're going to reach into that. You reach into there and you might find a bear trap, take your arm off," Kowalko said.

Click here to listen






Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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EdWatch: Bunker Hill's 'Mission: Space' inspires young astronauts
By Amy Cherry

Spacesuits at ILC Dover (WDEL/file)
A hands-on program in the Appoquinimink School District seeks to help students, learn, explore, and ignite a passion in science at an early age.

WDEL's Amy Cherry has more in this week's WDEL Delaware EducationWatch.

Click here to listen



The Mission: Space program was launched through students' desire to DO more than read a textbook.

"They wanted to look through an actual telescope or do something or see something instead of just hearing about it," said Bunker Hill Elementary School science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teacher Amanda Bowen.

Click here to listen



Bowen ran with their desires and created the after-school event that attracted nearly 300 fourth and fifth graders and their families.

"Students could through a star lab and see a globe that was 24-feet tall, look through telescopes, try on space equipment, and they had a great time," she said.

Click here to listen



Such a great time, paraprofessional Mari Biscieglia, who helped plan the night, says the kids are still talking about it!

"What they did and the planispheres, and the star lab, and the space suits, and 'When are we doing to do it again, and next year, can we have an actual alien there?'" laughed Biscieglia.

Click here to listen



Biscieglia calls "Mission: Space" one of the most gratifying moments in her teaching career.

"To see the looks on the kids faces, they were so excited and full of wonder and full of questions," said Biscieglia.

Click here to listen



Students also learned that walking on the moon isn't the only way to pursue a space career.

"We tried to show them how ILC is a company right in Delaware, and if you're interested, you may not want to be an astronaut that flies to space, but you can be a part of that journey by helping in another way," Bowen said.

Click here to listen



Bowen says inspiring future astronauts is key to these students' success.

"At a young age, it's very important because they're still intrigued. If you wait until they're in high school, it might be too late," Bowen said.

Click here to listen



The program debuted in January and won a Superstars in Education Award from the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce in May.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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100+ come out to oppose country music festival downstate
By Joe Irizarry

Residents come out in droves against a proposal to bring a large country music festival to the Harbeson area.

The festival, to be held in August of next year, would offer temporary camping facilities on a land that's not zoned for that purpose.

"The land use, the possible degradation of EMS services, things of that nature that, I think, are of natural concern to nearby citizens," said Dick Coin.

Click here to listen



Resident Beverly Morgan said the music festival would disrupt every day life.

"The noise pollution that's going to come from the site. It's going to be well over 130 decibels of sound affecting the surrounding communities, people on the site are going to hear the vibration, it's going to be non stop," said Morgan.

Click here to listen



Businessman Alex Pires, who's behind the festival, expects thousands of people to attend.

DelDOT is tasked with coming up with a traffic plan to present at the next meeting on the proposal Tuesday.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Newark teen faces murder charge
By Michelle Provencher

The Delaware Attorney General's Office secures an indictment against a 15-year-old Newark boy charged with murder.

County officers arrested Michael Walley at his home on the 1400 block of Chelmsford Circle Tuesday.

Investigators suspect the teen is behind the death of 18-year-old Dewayne Barfield, who was shot and killed June 30th in the community of Sparrow Run Townhouses.

Walley faces charges of 1st degree murder, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited and possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Loaded gun gets felon in trouble
By Michelle Provencher

Dover Police arrest a convicted felon for firearm possession.

Officers report 25-year-old Dante Durham was stopped by police around 6:30 Monday morning in the area of Saulsbury and Walker roads.

During the stop, police say they uncovered a loaded .38 caliber handgun.

Durham was taken into custody charged with multiple weapons and ammunition offenses.

He was released from JP Court 7 on $15,000 secured bond.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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NCC Police search for missing man
By Michelle Provencher

A Gold Alert is issued by New Castle County Police for a Wilmington man who went missing early Tuesday morning.

County Police say 26-year-old Aurelio Vacquez was last seen leaving his apartment on the unit block of Scarborough Park Drive around 2:40 a.m.

Despite a police search of the area, Vacquez has reportedly not been seen or heard from since.

Police say Vacquez can't drive, and will likely be traveling on foot.

Due to his medical status, police say there is concern for his safety.

Vacquez is described as a Hispanic male, five-foot-five, with a medium build and likely wearing a red T-shirt.

Those with information on his whereabouts are asked to contact County Police.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Red-tailed hawks found under 495 returned to wild
By Tom Lehman

Updated Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 6:41pm

Photo courtesy of Tri-State Bird Rescue
A pair of juvenile red-tailed hawks displaced by work at the shuttered Interstate 495 bridge have been released back in the wild.

The hawks were returned to the wildlife on Friday after five weeks of care at Tri-State Bird Rescue near Newark, officials with the rehabilitation group said.

On June 10, DNREC rescued the hawks, which were nearly old enough to fly, after concerns were raised about their safety. The birds were housed indoors for several days before they were moved to a large outdoor flight cage where their activity could be watched on a camera.

After several weeks of flight exercise, they were flying strongly and released in a safe area along the Christina River across from their nest site.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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DPH warns to fight the bite, disease hits region
By Michelle Provencher

A disease transmitted by mosquito bites is on the Delaware Division of Public Health's radar, after cases are reported in surrounding states.

DPH says Chikungunya, a disease outbreak in the Caribbean carried by mosquitos, strikes victims in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with two cases reported in Philadelphia. Cases are believed to be attributed to travel.

Symptoms are described as a fever and joint pains, with possible headache and rash, after an incubation period of three to seven days.

DPH recommends you take extra mosquito precautions, especially at dusk and early morning hours when the pests are most active.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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2 dead after tow truck crash in Little Creek
By Mellany Armstrong

Troopers are investigating a single vehicle crash that killed two Dover men.

It happened last night around 7 p.m. Police say 26-year-old Benjamin Hibbler of Dover was driving a 2001 Chevrolet flatbed tow truck northbound on Bayside Drive (SR 9) north of North Little Creek Road. Police say Hibbler was speeding and lost control on a curve. The vehicle went off the road and spun around, and then hit a metal telephone pole.

Hibbler, who wasn't wearing a seatbelt, died of multiple injuries at the hospital.

A passenger, 23-year-old Michael Shahan of Dover, was also not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene.

State police say speed and alcohol may be contributing factors in this collision.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Woman arrested for allegedly stabbing ex-boyfriend
By Kelli Steele

A 29-year-old Dover woman wanted for stabbing her ex-boyfriend at the Holiday Inn July 4, is arrested.

Dover Police say they received an anonymous tip Monday night that Charmele Seymore was walking along Route 13 near White Oak Road;

Seymore was wanted for stabbing her 51-year-old ex-boyfriend in the chest and abdomen during an argument; police say she then stole his money and fled.

Police say the victim remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Seymore was arrested committed to the Baylor on 180-thousand-dollars baill.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Smyrna man charged with assaulting girlfriend, stealing her vehicle
By Mark Fowser

A Smyrna man faces charges after police say he assaulted his girlfriend, stole her vehicle and made threats to shoot and kill the woman and her daughter.

Smyrna Police also say the suspect made statements about suicide and "suicide by cop" in the presence of officers.

Smyrna and Dover Police arrested Matthew Stanford Saturday.

He was taken to Kent General Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, then was charged with two counts of terroristic threatening and assault.

Stanford was arraigned and released on $2,000 bail.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Comcast 2Q earnings top views
By Associated Press

Comcast Corp.'s second-quarter net income rose 15 percent to nearly $2 billion as it added high-speed Internet customers at a faster pace than a year ago and video subscriber losses moderated.

The nation's largest cable provider, based in Philadelphia, said Tuesday that net income rose to $1.99 billion, or 76 cents per share.

Excluding a gain on its sale of a stake in set-top box maker Arris Group Inc. and other items, Comcast posted adjusted earnings of 75 cents per share, beating the 72 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue grew nearly 4 percent to $16.84 billion, short of the $16.95 billion expected by analysts.

Cable hookup revenue, up 5 percent at $11.03 billion, was slightly better than expected, but NBCUniversal revenue, flat at $6.02 billion, was less than analysts predicted.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Chrysler ignition switch problem leads to more recalls
By Associated Press

Chrysler is recalling up to 792,000 older Jeep SUVs worldwide because the ignition switches could cause engine stalling.

The recall covers 2005-2007 Grand Cherokees and 2006-2007 Commanders. The company says an outside force such as a driver's knee can knock switches out of the "run" position, shutting off the engine.

This disables power-assisted steering and braking and the front air bags might not inflate. The recall comes as U.S. safety regulators investigate ignition switch problems across the auto industry.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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7th death blamed on 2013 Philly building collapse
By Associated Press

A building collapse in Philadelphia last year killed several people. (AP Photo)
A seventh death is being linked to a building collapse last year in Philadelphia that killed shoppers and workers inside a Salvation Army.

The family of 59-year-old truck driver Danny Johnson says he died three weeks after being pulled from the rubble. A lawsuit filed Tuesday says the trauma exacerbated his pre-existing heart disease and asthma.

Family lawyer Jeff Goodman says Johnson had a mild heart attack at the scene. Goodman says Johnson spent about an hour in the rubble and was hospitalized three times before he died.

He has previously been named one of 13 survivors of the June 2013 collapse.

Two contractors demolishing a building next door have been charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly ignoring safe practices before a huge brick wall crushed the Salvation Army.




Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Library honors Billy Joel with US pop music prize
By Associated Press

Billy Joel performing live (billyjoel.com)
The Library of Congress is honoring Billy Joel with its Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Librarian James Billington said Tuesday the singer-songwriter, whose hits include "Piano Man" and "Uptown Girl," will receive the prize in Washington in November.

The Gershwin Prize honors a living artist's lifetime achievement in music. Previous recipients include Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, the songwriting duo of Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, and Carole King.

Joel is among the world's most popular recording artists. He has said his piano-driven compositions spring from personal experiences, and that he strives to write songs that capture and transcend those moments.

With a career spanning 50 years in the entertainment industry, Joel is the sixth top-selling artist of all time.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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Md. state senator must drop Hershey-bar-like signs
By Associated Press

A federal judge says a political candidate whose last name is Hershey must stop using campaign materials that mimic the look of the famous chocolate bar.

The judge ruled that Maryland state Sen. Stephen Hershey Jr. must stop using his dark brown signs with white lettering for now. The company filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in June.

Hershey argued his signs, with a background of the Maryland flag in brown, are different enough to be permissible.

Judge William Quarles disagreed and issued a preliminary injunction, suggesting the company is likely to win its lawsuit.




Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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M.O.T. advances to state Little League tournament
By Brandon Bossert

Video player now loading; please wait...
VIDEO Highlights of M.O.T.'s Win

Middletown-Odessa-Townsend defeated Camden-Wyoming 11-1 Tuesday for the Delaware District 1 Little League Championship.

M.O.T. opened the game with a five-run inning powered by Riley Dean's three-run home-run. Brandon Anderson led the offense as he went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI.

Gabe Dermott stymied Camden-Wyoming's offense for 3 innings before eventually being relieved in the fourth inning by A.J. Pepper who proceeded to strike out the side.

Camden-Wyoming was led by right fielder Ethan Honey's solo home run in the fourth.

Ken Anderson, manager of M.O.T., when asked about his teams' character said, "they bounced back and they really wanted it, and different teams have different personalities but this was a team that's real close together and they really did want it."

M.O.T. lost the opening game of the regional to Camden-Wyoming, and proceeded to win five straight games, including beating Camden-Wyoming twice, to earn a repeat trip to the states.

They open up play in the Delaware Little League State Championship Thursday at 7pm when M.O.T. battles three-time defending champion Newark National.



Copyright © Jul 22, 2014, WDEL/Delmarva Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved.
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