Wilmington man charged in connection to 2008 murder of dad walking with daughter

By DJ McAneny 4:18pm, October 12, 2015
Rydell Mills/Courtesy Department of Justice
A 23-year-old Wilmington man was indicted on first-degree murder charges in connection to a 2008 shooting, the Delaware Department of Justice announced Monday.

According to Attorney General Matt Denn, Rydell Mills has been indicted seven years after the alleged murder.

Authorities said Mills shot and killed 26-year-old Jerome "Boomer" Green on February 3, 2008, as Green walked along the 300 block of East 23rd Street with his 9-year-old daughter.

"We do not give up on unsolved cases," said Attorney General Denn. "We will do anything in our power to bring some comfort and closure to the families of victims, and bring those responsible for crimes to justice. We appreciate the cooperation of the Wilmington Police in helping us bring these charges and our partnership in working together to solve cold cases."

Mills is currently serving a two-year sentence for dealing heroin, violation of probation and conspiracy to commit criminal racketeering. He now faces charges of first-degree murder and two counts possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, and reckless endangering.

Eugene Young announces 2016 candidacy for Wilmington mayor

By Tom Lehman 10:41am, October 13, 2015 - Updated 10:47am, October 13, 2015
Eugene Young. (Courtesy of www.eugeneyoungformayor.com)
Wilmington resident Eugene Young, a former aide to representatives in the Delaware legislature and U.S. Senate who also founded a local nonprofit, announced Tuesday that he is running for mayor in 2016.

Young, 33, a city native and advocacy director at the Delaware Center for Justice, is the fourth challenger to announce they will try to unseat Mayor Dennis Williams in 2016. He said in an interview that he would be bring a fresh perspective to the office, if elected.

"I believe that the time is now to move our city in a different direction," he said.

Young said the city needs a unified approach to dealing with issues like public safety, youth development and economic development. He also plans to focus heavily on constituent engagement and involvement.

"Our team has a greater idea of service and solution, not just in service to the city but in how we can provide solutions, through partnerships (and) collaborations," he said.

Although he understands some may criticize his lack of experience as an elected official, Young said his longtime residency in the city and previous work as an aide for Delaware Reps. Stephanie Bolden (D-Wilmington East) and Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey).

"I was born and raised on the East Side and I lived in Wilmington my entire life but I'm an outsider because I'm not in the normal political status quo--in many cases--that often permeates through our city," he said.

Young enters a field of announced candidates that include City Council President Theo Gregory (D), Norman Griffiths, a former council president and longtime city lawmaker, and former Wilmington Councilman Kevin Kelley, who finished second to Williams in the 2012 Democratic primary for mayor.

City Councilwoman Maria Cabrera (D-At Large) is also considering a bid for mayor.

Williams himself announced his re-election bid earlier this year.


You can contact Tom Lehman at tlehman@wdel.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Young burglars bungle Stanton church break-in

By Andrew Sgroi 9:54am, October 13, 2015 - Updated 10:36am, October 13, 2015
The pair of teens, shown in surveillance from September 20, 2015 (Photo Courtesy/Delaware State Police)
A pair of burglars' failed attempt at getting into a Stanton area church succeeded at one thing--getting them captured on surveillance video.

Surveillance photo of the pair (Photo Courtesy/Delaware State Police)

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State Police released the photo stills of the wanna-be thieves, who managed to damage a door at the Saint Mark's United Methodist Church--on Limestone Road-- back on September 20th.

Troopers said the suspects--who appear to be youngsters--used burglary tools to try to break in.

Surveillance photo of one of the juveniles (Photo Courtesy/Delaware State Police)

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Surveillance photo close-up of one of the juveniles (Photo Courtesy/Delaware State Police)

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Anyone with information about the incident or knows the identity of these suspects is asked to contact the Delaware State Police, Troop 2 Burglary Unit, Detective D. DeFlaviis at 302-365-8388. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.

WDEL's Road Scholar: Electric vehicle charging stations in Delaware expand with the demand for the technology

By Andrew Sgroi 12:34pm, October 13, 2015
One of UD's electric vehicles fitted with UD’s patented vehicle-to-grid technology (Photo Courtesy/University of Delaware)
Going green with an electric vehicle has now been made even easier with expansion of the statewide network of electric vehicle charging stations.

The blooming technology--and the dent its making in the new car marketplace--is poised to grow further with the placement of these 11 new EV stations at five strategic locations across Delaware.

Doctor Willett Kempton--professor in the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, and research director for the school's Center for Carbon-Free Power Integration--told Road Scholar recently that the demand for EV cars has surged to impressive numbers in recent years.

"About a 30 percent per year growth rate in purchases," he disclosed. "Still a very small fraction of new car sales, but its growing at a very rapid rate."

The newest 'en route' locations--which bolster the entire network to 21 venues--foster the capability for EV drivers to navigate Delaware on an "as necessary" charge.

"People have the idea that you go, and you plug in, and you fill all the way up," Kempton explained. "But, really, it's more strategic in terms of the trip. How many more miles do I have to go?"

With Delaware reaching just 96 miles from its northern- to its southern-most border, electric vehicles offer consumers that convenient, pollutant-free mode of transport--with a reliable source for power.

"We have a more powerful charging station than is typical," Kempton revealed. "The speed of charging is measured in kilowatts. We have an 18 kilowatt charging station which means you could mostly fill an electric car in one hour."

Selecting the areas to place the new charging stations required a great deal of planning, according to Kempton.

"EV's have no backup," he reminded. "A plug-in hybrid, you have gasoline as backup, so (with) an EV you really need to have the charging stations well placed."

Kempton revealed that researchers' analysis consisted of determining charge scenarios for EV cars with the smallest batteries to weather related conditions--e.g., on a really cold day-- that would inhibit range for a given number of kilowatt hours.

"It turned out, with five or six locations, we could really well cover the entire state of Delaware."

The locations, from north to south, deemed to be most useful:

  • Delaware Welcome Center, on I-95 near Newark
  • Smyrna Rest Area, on US-13/DuPont Parkway
  • Bridgeville Royal Farms, on US-13/Sussex Highway
  • Cape-May-Lewes Ferry Terminal
  • Surfside Park, Rehoboth Beach

  • With the expanded network for in-transit charging--and the continued improvements to the technology itself--the road appears limitless for more universal electric vehicle usage.

    Dover's Legislative Hall expected to re-open this week following multi-floor fire

    By Joe Irizarry 5:01pm, October 12, 2015 - Updated 6:05pm, October 12, 2015
    Legislative Hall cleanup efforts/(Joe Irizarry/WXDE)
    Dover's Legislative Hall is expected to re-open later this week following cleanup from last week's fire.

    According to a source, Legislative Hall will be closed to the public again on Tuesday, but is currently targeted to re-open Wednesday for employees. The source said the building had to be inspected prior to its occupation following the multi-floor fire.

    Monday afternoon, the cleanup crew was still inside the Capitol building, which caught fire last Wednesday when an exhaust pipe ignited nearby combustible materials within the attic space during a "full-load test" of a basement generator. The incident has since been ruled accidental.

    Fire, smoke, and water damage all had to be dealt with inside the structure following the blaze.

    Claymont Elementary recognized by DelDOT for providing safe routes to school

    By Amy Cherry 5:40pm, October 12, 2015 - Updated 8:50am, October 13, 2015
    VIDEO: Amy Cherry reports.
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    College football player from New Castle stabbed

    By Associated Press 12:34pm, October 12, 2015 - Updated 1:01pm, October 12, 2015
    Dhameer Madison/Courtesy the Albright College Football website
    A former St. Georges Tech football player is recovering after police said he was stabbed by a Albright College teammate.

    Dhameer Madison, from New Castle and a freshman at Albright, was taken to Reading Hospital in Pennsylvania, where he was in stable condition.

    Police said another freshman, Marquis Stewart, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, stabbed Madison with a corkscrew during a fight in a dorm.

    The men fought after an earlier altercation on which investigators did not elaborate. Madison allegedly punched Stewart, who then grabbed a multi-tool device and used the corkscrew portion to stab Madison three times in the left rib cage, according to police.

    A school spokesman said Stewart has been suspended from school. He's facing attempted homicide and other charges.

    Madison was a third team all-state offensive guard in 2014.

    Fatal crash between motorcyclist, tractor outside Townsend

    By DJ McAneny 4:49pm, October 12, 2015 - Updated 7:33am, October 13, 2015
    The scene of the crash/(Mike Phillips/WDEL)
    A fatal motor vehicle crash occurred Monday outside Townsend when a motorcycle collided with a farm tractor, according to Delaware State Police.

    Authorities said one person died when the vehicles crashed along Taylors Bridge Road--between Fieldsboro Road and Union Church Road.

    One of the motorists died--33-year-old Timothy Giffing, of Wilmington--after his 2006 Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle skid and then struck the farm equipment, which had been had been turning onto Route 9 from a driveway.

    Troopers said the operator of the tractor- 88-year-old Wills Passmore--suffered severe burns when the sport bike's gas tank ruptured and set fire to the machinery. Passmore was flown out by helicopter to Christiana Hospital in critical condition, said police.

    Wilmington work release convict fails to return to correctional center

    By DJ McAneny 4:34pm, October 12, 2015
    Herman Lynch III/Courtesy Department of Correction
    Delaware Department of Correction officials are asking for the public's help locating a work release offender who failed to return to the Wilmington correctional center Sunday night.

    According to authorities, Herman Lynch III failed to return to the Plummer Community Corrections Center on October 11, 2015.

    Lynch, 48, with a last known address of Wilmington, is a black male described as 5'11" and 230 lbs. with brown hair and black eyes. He is said to have had a full beard when he was last seen, with scars on his right arm, hand, and forehead, with tattoos on his left arm.

    He was currently serving a 6-month work release for an attempted burglary conviction, but will face charges connected to an escape warrant issued against him.

    Court rejects appeal in shooting of Wilmington officer

    By Randall Chase/Associated Press 3:52pm, October 12, 2015
    Justin Wilkers/WDEL file
    The Delaware Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a man serving life in prison for shooting a Wilmington policeman in the face during a traffic stop.

    Frederick Gray was convicted of attempted murder in the 2013 shooting of Patrolman Justin Wilkers.

    Gray argued on appeal that the trial judge erred in allowing a statement Gray's mother gave to police into evidence. He also argued that the judge should have declared a mistrial after prosecutors did not turn over potentially exculpatory evidence about inconsistent statements made by Wilkers' partner until after the trial had started.

    The Supreme Court rejected those arguments last week, saying Gray's mother gave a voluntary statement, and that the late-submitted evidence was contradicted by other evidence and given to Gray's attorney before he cross-examined Wilkers' partner.

    State task force examines proposal for Delaware public works employment program

    By Tom Lehman 3:49pm, October 12, 2015 - Updated 3:59pm, October 12, 2015
    VIDEO: State Sen. Robert Marshall discusses his $2 million proposal to create a public works employment program in Delaware.
    A state task force is examining how a $2 million proposal from a Delaware lawmaker to pay unemployed residents to work on improvement projects in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors could be implemented ahead of next year's legislative session.

    The "Work-a-Day, Earn-a-Pay" Task Force, created in the previous General Assembly session, will issue a report in early December on a pilot program's possible funding opportunities for "public works projects." Workers in the program would be paid wages of $10.25 to $15 per hour.

    State Sen. Robert Marshall (D-Wilmington West), who is a chairman of the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations committee, proposed the plan during the previous budget cycle, but it was not appropriated--though the task force was formed to look at the merits of the proposal. The program was modeled after the Depression-era Works Projects Administration.

    "We have untold opportunities," he said. "We could clean rivers, streams, streets. We could do enormous work that would benefit the public."

    Under the plan, about $1.6 million would be allocated for 160,000 work hours for those employed in the program. The proposal also calls for using $300,000 on "management and crew leader support" and $100,000 for private sector grants.

    Marshall said much of the money paid to participants would also stimulate economic growth, because they would spend that money and pay income taxes.

    Hope Bellamy, of Wilmington, attended Monday's task force meeting, the panel's first session, and said he generally supported the idea of the program, but questioned its financial longevity. He said he felt there needs to be greater focus on educating participants so they can be successful beyond their involvement in public works projects.

    "If you don't educate them, how can you employ them," he said. "That's what businesses look at---not just criminal background, but, 'Are you employable?'"

    Rep. Michael Mulrooney (D-Pennwood) said after Monday's meeting that he is hopeful the program can be eventually be expanded to offer more in-depth training for participants.

    "There's a need for the program, but I also I sense there's a lot of frustration in the room that we've tried a lot of things and people don't feel the money is trickling down into the community and it's trickling (more) down into the business community, the corporate sector," he said.

    Marshall said he believed the state will be able to pay for the program using the strategic fund. He is hopeful the money will be appropriated next year.

    "The money is there, it's a question of whether there's the political willpower to decide if this is the correct direction to go for Delaware," he said.


    You can contact Tom Lehman at tlehman@wdel.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

    New Castle County Police searching for suspect who stabbed a man at apartment complex

    By DJ McAneny 2:05pm, October 12, 2015
    Joselito Rojas/Courtesy New Castle County Police
    A 57-year-old man was stabbed at a New Castle County apartment building Sunday night and police are hunting for the suspect, a resident of the building, authorities announced Monday.

    According to New Castle County Police, officers were dispatched to the Robinson Court Apartments in the 700 block of Robinson Court just outside Wilmington at approximately 9:45 p.m. for reports of a stabbing.

    Arriving units found the man in a semi-conscious state with a stab wound to the upper torso. Police said Joselito Rojas, 36, a resident of the building, was identified as the suspect.

    An altercation that began outside led to the stabbing, according to authorities. Rojas fled in an unknown direction, and police issued a warrant for his arrest.

    They described Rojas as approximately 5'7", weighing 140 pounds, and is believed to still be in the area and armed with the weapon he allegedly used to stab the victim.

    The victim was treated at the scene by paramedics and transported to Christiana Medical Center, police said.

    Anyone with information on Rojas' whereabouts is urged to contact New Castle County Police at 302.573.2800 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.

    Middletown Police charge teens in BB gun drive-by

    By DJ McAneny 11:21am, October 12, 2015
    The weapon police said they recovered during the traffic stop
    Two juvenile males were charged for allegedly firing an airsoft gun from a car at a group of 13- and 14-year-old victims, Middletown Police announced Monday.

    According to authorities, the three victims--one 14-year-old female and two 13-year-olds, a male and female--were walking along the sidewalk near Greenlawn Boulevard when a white Cadillac Escalade drove past them.

    Police said the vehicle performed a U-turn and drove past the victims a second time, slowing its speed in front of the victims.

    As the teens walked past the vehicle, they reported hearing several pops and one of the teens was struck in the head by an unknown projectile, police said. The victims all fled toward Marldale Drive and called 911.

    Police said the victim who had been struck had a small, circular abrasion on his head.

    A white Cadillac Escalade was stopped by police in the area of Weston Drive and Lindsey Court. The vehicle was occupied by two juvenile males matching the victims' descriptions, and an airsoft gun was found in the vehicle, police said.

    They were taken into custody and charged with reckless endangering, third-degree assault. and third-degree conspiracy.

    Pedestrian struck in crash near Milltown

    By DJ McAneny 2:36pm, October 12, 2015 - Updated 8:15am, October 13, 2015
    A Newark man was struck by a motor vehicle near Milltown Monday, Delaware State Police said while announcing their investigation.

    According to authorities, 28-year-old William Stasis was on foot along Route 2--just east of Milltown Road--at approximately 1:30 p.m. when he was struck. Police said Stasis had walked into the path of a 2013 Hyundai Sonata that was in the process of making a right turn from westbound Kirkwood Highway onto Milltown Road.

    Police said Stasis suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Christiana Hospital for treatment. He was ticketed for failure to use a marked crosswalk.

    The driver of the Sonata--33-year-old Michael Brown--and his passengers were not injured, police said. They added that Brown was ticketed for driving with a suspended or revoked license.

    Only the shoulder lane of Kirkwood Highway westbound was closed during the investigation.

    Judge refuses to force Red Clay schools to enroll outside residents

    By Randall Chase/Associated Press 1:46pm, October 12, 2015
    A federal judge refused to force the Red Clay school district to enroll three children living outside the district.

    The children previously attended a Red Clay school but have been living outside the district since their mother was placed on unpaid leave and lost her apartment. Their father, who shares custody, enrolled the children in the Christina school district, and the children now reportedly live with their godmother in the Colonial district.

    The American Civil Liberties Union argued that the children are entitled to attend Red Clay, and to have transportation provided as well.

    The judge ruled last week that the plaintiffs haven't shown they are entitled to the "extraordinary remedy" and are unlikely to succeed in arguing that the children are entitled to it because they are "homeless."

    Bridgeville PD: Cars shot up with BB gun at Apple Scrapple Festival

    By Chris Carl 1:40pm, October 12, 2015
    Bridgeville Police are looking for the person who shot out car windows at the Apple Scrapple Festival over the weekend.

    Police said several people left the festivities on Saturday to find shattered car windows and damage to the body of their vehicles.

    Poll: Christie's favorability in New Jersey at 35 percent

    By Associated Press 9:23am, October 13, 2015
    A new poll shows Gov. Chris Christie's favorability among New Jerseyans remains in negative territory.

    The Rutgers-Eagleton poll on Tuesday found that 55 percent of those asked had an unfavorable view of the Republican governor. Thirty-five percent had a favorable view.

    The poll shows a slight bump for Christie, though. Thirty percent viewed him positively in August while 59 percent had an unfavorable opinion in the same survey.

    The survey comes about four months since Christie launched his presidential campaign. He has been campaigning mostly outside New Jersey.

    The poll of 935 people was conducted from Oct. 3 to Oct. 10. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

    Ten percent of those surveyed said they had no opinion or didn't know Christie.

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