LIVE: Democratic New Castle County Council President candidates debate

By DJ McAneny 2:55pm, August 24, 2016 - Updated 7:09pm, August 24, 2016


From left, Penrose Hollins, Karen Hartley-Nagle, and David Roberts.

Tonight, WDEL will host a one-hour debate between the democratic candidates for New Castle County Council president.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016, marks the first of back-to-back debates on consecutive evenings being broadcast from the WDEL Boulden Brother's Performance Center at 2727 Shipley Road.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the debate can be heard on WDEL 101.7 FM/1150 AM, on WDEL.com's streaming app, or watched live on this very page or on our Facebook page, thanks to Facebook Live streaming.

There will be seating available for those interested in attending in-person, however, seating is limited to roughly 40 individuals on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

If you have a question for the candidates, leave it in the comment section below or on Facebook, and it will be passed along to the moderator, Allan Loudell.


Bear-area woman, 59, dies after fall from Lums Pond Go Ape zip line course

By Amy Cherry & DJ McAneny 4:38pm, August 24, 2016 - Updated 7:03pm, August 24, 2016
(WDEL file)
A 59-year-old woman who fell from a zip line course at Lums Pond in Bear died from her injuries, Delaware State Police announced Wednesday evening.

The accident occurred on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, at the Go Ape Zip Line and Tree Top Adventure course, which has been a popular addition to the state park since it opened in 2013.

Delaware State Police said the woman fell approximately 40' around 1:40 p.m. and was treated at the scene by paramedics, but was pronounced dead at Christiana Hospital.

The adventure course closed for the day immediately after the incident.

A person is injured on the Go Ape course at Lums Pond. (WDEL/file).

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The victim's name was being withheld pending notification of her next of kin.

There were no other reported injuries.

"The Go Ape team is deeply saddened by this tragic occurrence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends and in particular to those who were on the course with her at the time," said Chris Swallow, director of Go Ape, in a written statement.

The circumstances surrounding the woman's death remain under investigation. Swallow said Go Ape will cooperate with authorities throughout the investigation.

The Go Ape Tree Top Adventure Course will be closed Thursday. It's unclear when the course will reopen.

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

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Local business owners glad to see Vandever Ave. revitalization project in Wilmington

By Lauren Huet 6:24pm, August 24, 2016 - Updated 6:51pm, August 24, 2016
VIDEO: Lauren Huet reports on groundbreaking for Townhomes at Walt's Way
Local business owners said the Vandever Avenue neighborhood in Northeast Wilmington needs revitalization, and they were glad to see the city break ground Wednesday on a new project meant to improve the area.

The Wilmington Housing Project broke ground on the Townhomes at Walt's Way--a name which honors Harry Sheppard, the former owner of Walt's Flavor Crisp Restaurant. The homes will stand where the restaurant once stood.

Sheppard died in 2011 and the restaurant moved locations in 2014. The WHP demolished Walt's Restaurant last November.

The new town houses are part of the city's plan to revitalize the Vandever Avenue corridor.

"I think it's an excellent opportunity for this community to be revitalized," said the owner of Ark Learning Center Richard Dyton. "I think that's what we need, more mixed income homes in our community so people have a sense of pride."

Richard Dyton owns ARK Learning Center at the corner of Vandever Avenue and North Pine, right across the street from where the beloved Walt's Flavor Crisp Restaurant once stood.

"As a child growing up, I ate at Walt's chicken all the time and, for a year before they closed down, I ate there all the time. I ate there four, five times a week," said Dyton.

The owner of Walt's, Harry Sheppard, died in 2011. The restaurant moved in 2014, but the city has plans for the property.

"I think it's an excellent opportunity for this community to be revitalized," said Dyton.

The purchase price for the new homes will be between $140,000 and $160,000 each.

"I think that's what we need. More mixed income homes in our community so people have a sense of pride. So, any home ownership in our community is great," said Dyton.

"I'm just grateful that they are going to do something with the lot," said Matthew E. Allen, Sr. "There are a lot of empty lots and a lot of boarded up houses throughout the city of Wilmington."

Allen owns a business next door to ARK Learning Center, Matthew E. Allen, Sr., Catering. He said the Vandever area needs projects like this one.

"Not only to build up the neighborhood, but to bring confidence to people in the neighborhood that everything is not going outside of these neighborhoods, because they categorize this neighborhood as a poor rundown neighborhood," said Allen, "but if they start revitalizing it and building up then that might bring some confidence into the people in the neighborhood."

The project is part of the city's efforts to change the face of the Vandever Avenue corridor.

"We want to continue to revitalize the Northeast area of the city of Wilmington," said City Council Member Darius Brown, "and home ownership helps us stabilize communities within our city, many under-served communities in our city, by creating more home ownership opportunities."

The city also recognized the impact Walt's Restaurant had on the community and recognized Sheppard. To honor Sheppard and the original owner Walt Samuels, officials revealed a new street sign. The 500 block of Vandever Avenue will be renamed Harry Sheppard Way and the 2100 block of North Pine Street will be renamed Walt Samuels Way.

Sheppard's wife Symanthia Lynch Sheppard said he was dedicated to the neighborhood.

"I'm happy today that we are here and we can continue his legacy and we can celebrate all that he meant to this area. Vandever Avenue and this entire area meant so much to him," said Lynch Sheppard.

"This whole community misses Walt's," said Dyton, "but we welcome home ownership. We welcome that because we're tired of transient people coming in and out of communities who don't have a sense of pride. This is stabilization. This will allow people to come in who are going to be here. Who are going to be home owners and they can help build this community up one block at a time. One house at a time."


Ex-Smyrna High School teacher awaiting trial on sex charges can do yard work

By Associated Press 10:39am, August 24, 2016
Joshua Rutherford
A former teacher and coach awaiting trial on child sex charges can do yard work while on home confinement, a federal judge said.

The judge granted a request by Joshua Rutherford's attorney to modify his pre-trial release conditions so he can work in his yard between noon and 2 p.m. each day.

Rutherford of Camden-Wyoming is subject to home confinement other than for court appearances and appointments with his probation officer and lawyer.

Authorities said Rutherford, who worked at Smyrna High School and was also an assistant football coach for the Division I State Championship team, began an on-line chat with an undercover investigator in February, thinking he was communicating with a teenage girl's father. Officials said Rutherford expressed interest in meeting the girl for sex and requested nude images.

He stands accused of seeking child pornography, and attempted inducement of a minor.


AstraZeneca's sale of molecule antibiotics to Pfizer to have 'minimal' impact on Delaware

By Amy Cherry 11:16am, August 24, 2016 - Updated 12:05pm, August 24, 2016
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca's sale of its molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer for $1.5 billion, including rights and royalties, will have a "minimal impact" on Delaware.

AstraZeneca spokeswoman Abigail Bozarth declined to provide specific job loss expectations that may be associated with the sale of the company's commercialization and development rights to its late-stage small antibiotic business.

"The impact in the US and Delaware is minimal," she said. "A very small number of employees currently support development activity for our small molecule antibiotic business at our US sites. These employees are located at our Boston, Wilmington, and Gaithersburg sites."

AstraZeneca has cut jobs at its U.S. headquarters in Fairfax in recent years.

When asked whether "very small" could be defined by less than 50, she declined further comment.

The sale marks a thawing of relations between the British company and New York-based Pfizer after an acrimonious battle to avoid a takeover just a few years ago.

Under the deal, AstraZeneca will sell the commercialization and development rights in most markets globally outside the United States. It includes an upfront payment of $550 million.

"This transaction is in line with our business strategy and something we have previously discussed as part of our plans in Infection," said Bozarth. "It supports our sharper focus on our main therapy areas, while helping to realize value from our antibiotics portfolio--Pfizer will be able to provide the long term investment in the development and commercialization of these assets that is needed to maximize their potential, delivering greater value to patients and customers."

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

or like her on Facebook
.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.






Bear man, 19, charged in just shy of a dozen burglaries, trespassing incidents

By DJ McAneny 11:10am, August 24, 2016
Thomas Lowe/Courtesy New Castle County Police
A 19-year-old man has been charged by New Castle County Police in connection to just shy of a dozen burglaries and related crimes in the Newark and Wilmington areas.

According to authorities, Thomas Lowe was connected to 10 different burglaries and a trespassing complaint involving theft from motor vehicles.

Lowe was developed as a suspect, and a search warrant served at his residence in the 700 block of Seymour Road in Bear turned up evidence linking him to the alleged crimes, police said Wednesday.

The locations of the incidents were listed as:
  • two in Grendon Farms
  • four in Murray Manor
  • two in Elmwood
  • one in Penndrew Manor
  • one in Heritage Farm
  • one in Eastburn Acres


  • Lowe was charged with 10 counts of third-degree burglary, four counts felony theft, seven counts misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor trespassing, and unlawful use of a credit card. He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $44,001 secured bond.


    Milford man extradited, charged in years-long, multi-agency heroin and money laundering investigation

    By DJ McAneny 12:15pm, August 24, 2016
    Luis A. Manzanet-Galarza/Courtesy Delaware State Police
    Authorities announced Wednesday the arrest of a 27-year-old Milford man in connection to a joint investigation that resulted in 13 arrests.

    On Tuesday, August 16, 2016, Luis A. Manzanet-Galarza was extradited from Puerto Rico back to Delaware to face charges of organized crime and racketeering, two counts second-degree conspiracy, felony criminal conduct, and two counts possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance-Tier IV quantity.

    He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $755,000 cash bond.

    Manzanet-Galarza was part of an alleged large-scale heroin distribution and money laundering ring throughout the two southern-most Delaware counties, according to a joint investigation by a number of Delaware State Police units and divisions, Delaware Division of Revenue, Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement, Dover Downs Casino and Surveillance Unit, the DOJ, FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, and National Guard, and local Georgetown, Seaford, Smyrna, and Dover police departments.


    Smash-and-grab suspect stopped during shopping spree in Wilmington

    By Andrew Sgroi 8:23am, August 24, 2016
    Yolanda Bowden, 32, of Wilmington (Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control)
    A Wilmington woman was arrested on Monday afternoon for the alleged break-in of a vehicle and a subsequent unlawful shopping spree.

    The incidents happened earlier on Monday, August 22, 2016, according to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), when a visitor to Bellevue State Park had reported several valuables, including credit cards, had been stolen from a vehicle in the park's main lot.

    As DNREC Parks & Recreation Natural Resources Police began an investigation into the theft, they learned that the victim's credit card companies had reported that new purchases had been made at various stores along the Philadelphia Pike corridor.

    Park Rangers advised they then viewed surveillance video at several of the businesses, and were able to link a vehicle in those videos to a woman making the purchases that had been reported by the credit card issuers.

    Natural Resources Police then described that, later that day, one of the theft victim's family members spotted the described vehicle, from the surveillance videos, in the parking lot of the Home Depot, located at 3600 Miller Road in Wilmington. Both Natural Resources Police Park Rangers and the Delaware State Police waited for the driver to get back to the vehicle and were able to identify 32-year-old Yolanda Bowden as the suspect in the earlier theft. She was taken into custody without incident.

    Yolanda Bowden was arrested on an assortment of charges that included six felonies and four misdemeanors related to the incident. Charges included burglary third degree; possession of burglary tools; forgery second-degree; unlawful use of a credit card; criminal mischief; theft, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was committed to Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in Wilmington for lack of $12,600 secured bond. She was also wanted on outstanding charges in Delaware related to shoplifting, as well as had outstanding warrants from Whitpain Township, Pennsylvania, on similar offenses.


    Starboard hosts fundraiser for Dewey Beach restaurant destroyed in fiery crash

    By Associated Press 10:47am, August 24, 2016
    One prominent Dewey Beach businessman is stepping up to help another prominent Dewey beach businessman who lost his restaurant to a massive fire two weeks ago.

    Chicken Ed's, located at Route 1 and Swedes Street, burned to the ground on Tuesday, August 9 after a Kent County woman, accused of speeding and driving drunk, lost control of her car on Route 1 and slammed into the iconic eatery.

    Now, Steve "Monty" Montgomery said he's hosting an event at his restaurant, The Starboard, Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m.; he said that proceeds from admission fees will go towards helping Chicken Ed's owner Ed Riggin clean up the aftermath of the fire and to aid his employees, who are out of work.

    Monty said he plans to salvage one of Chicken's Ed's picnic tables to bring to The Starboard so Riggin can "hold court" during the event which the general public is invited to attend.

    Riggin meantime, has said he has NO plans to re-build; he also has pointed out that he has one year remaining on his current lease of the property.

    A fiery crash destroyed the iconic Chicken Ed's in Dewey (Rehoboth Beach Fire Co. 86).

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    Ford recalls over 88K vehicles due to stalling problem

    By Associated Press 11:02am, August 24, 2016
    Ford has recalled more than 88,000 cars and SUVs in North America because the engines can stall without warning due to a fuel pump problem.

    The recall covers certain Ford Taurus and Police Interceptor sedans, Ford Flex wagons, Lincoln MKS sedans and Lincoln MKT SUVs from the 2013 through 2015 model years. All have 3.5-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engines.

    Ford said the fuel pump control modules can fail, and the engines may not start, or they could stall, leaving drivers without the ability to restart them. The company says it's not aware of any crashes or injuries from the problem.

    Dealers will replace the control module at no cost to owners.


    Bigger numbers of high school grads taking ACT college test

    By Associated Press 11:02am, August 24, 2016
    AP Nearly two out of three of this year's high-school graduates took the ACT college entrance exam, and the scores suggest many aren't ready for the rigors of college-level courses.

    The testing company said only 38 percent of graduating seniors who took the exam hit the college-prepared benchmark in at least three of the four core subjects tested - reading, English, math and science. That's down from 40 percent last year. Reaching three of more benchmarks indicates a strong readiness for college course work.

    ACT's Paul Weeks said a decline in scores was expected because the pool of test-takers has increased sharply. More states are paying for ACT testing of public school students.

    Nearly 2.1 million graduating seniors took the ACT, up from 1.9 million in the last school year.


    Maryland State Fair planning Pokemon Go contests, prizes

    By Associated Press 10:47am, August 24, 2016
    The Maryland State Fair is embracing Pokemon Go.

    Fair officials say Sunday will be "Pokemon Go Da" at the fairgrounds in Timonium. They're inviting players to spend the afternoon using smartphones to capture Pocket Monsters at five fairground locations, and do battle in two virtual gyms.

    Pokemon contests will take place Sunday through September 1, featuring prizes such as day-passes, ride-vouchers, and gift certificates to a sponsoring restaurant.

    Workers noticed Pokemon players searching the fairgrounds in recent weeks, so fair officials added more Pokespots for fair visitors.

    The fair opens Thursday and continues through the 5th of September.


    New study reports First State not 1st in women's equality

    By Lauren Huet 5:16pm, August 23, 2016 - Updated 7:28pm, August 23, 2016
    A screenshot from Wallet Hub's disparity breakdown
    Ladies in Delaware: a new study by WalletHub said the First State is not first in terms of women's equality.

    Delaware ranked in the middle tier while Pennsylvania and New Jersey fared much worse, finishing in almost last place.

    In anticipation of Women's Equality Day on August 26, WalletHub conducted a study which identified the most gender-egalitarian states. WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez said analysts looked at 15 metrics across three different categories.

    "Workplace environment, things like, of course, the gender pay gap," she said. "Also, how many women executives there are versus male. We looked at education and the disparities between the different types of degrees that men and women have in each state, and finally political empowerment. Everything from the House to the Senate to the State legislature."

    Delaware ranked in 29th place, but Gonzalez said the state fared pretty well in some areas.

    "The workplace environment is not too shabby in Delaware as far as work hours--not a huge disparity between women and men--and even with pay, women right now make 88 cents on the dollar. Of course, we want that to be equal, but that's the 5th best right now in the country," said Gonzalez.

    Pennsylvania finished 47th and New Jersey came in 48th place.



    "Although there were no strong regional ties, almost every Northeastern state was in the top half of the list. So, those two did surprise me being so close to the bottom," said Gonzalez.

    Women in nearby Maryland can boast their state made it into the top ten, finishing 8th.

    Hawaii took first place while Alaska took second. Gonzalez said grassroots efforts make the difference between high ranking and low ranking states.

    "A lot of this has to do with the grass roots initiative that then gets passed on to government," said Gonzalez. "Grassroots policies that women have implemented within their organizations, within their workplaces, that have kind of sprang up and really had some help with their local legislation getting policies state mandated."

    A full description of the analysts' methodology is available at WalletHub.com.


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