Nemours helps Eastside residents get back to school healthy

By Zachary Rendin 11:52pm, August 27, 2015
VIDEO: Nemours Get Back to School Healthy
Nemours, in conjunction with Urban Acres and the Eastside Community Center came together in Kirwood Park for a get back to school healthy event.

"We just want to show everyone that living a healthy lifestyle is very positive in this community," said Ken Livingston, one of the events' organizers.

"Also, when kids come to school and they're healthy, they have better academics, they're more focused to learn and they're just all around ready for school."

Nemours and Urban Acres were also able to supply the children with backpacks and free books for the upcoming school-year.

Urban Acres produce director, Mike Minor, made it a priority to engage local residents and explain how they can connect with the food services they offer.

"I think the most important thing is that the community can see that there is someone who really cares, about what they do and how they feel in the community," said Minor.

Urban Acres is no stranger to supplying locally-sourced fresh produce the residents of Wilmington. They have been offering their service's over the last five years--utilizing four stands around the city--in undeserved communities, according to Minor.

"It's about education. We believe that if people are educated they'll make some different choices, and different choices can mean the difference in our community," said Minor.

The event also featured a performance by Art Fusion, centered around why it's important to make the correct nutritional choices for young children. They surrounded that stage and sat in the grass on this warm summer afternoon, getting to share a laugh as one of the actors did their best grandmother impersonation.

The entire event was a total collaboration of the community. Volunteers cooked food, organized a basketball tournament, talked one-on-one with residents about nutrition and there was even a place to a fresh back to school haircut--free!



Contact Zach Rendin at zrendin@wdel.com or follow him on Twitter at @zrendin


Pedestrian killed by train in Middletown

By Shana O'Malley 7:07pm, August 27, 2015 - Updated 10:09pm, August 27, 2015
A pedestrian is dead after being stuck by a train in Middletown, police said.

The incident happened just after 2 p.m. Thursday, shutting down Route 299 westbound for several hours.

Police said a 32-year-old man was struck by a Norfolk Southern Train as the train was traveling northbound between West Main and North Broad streets.

First responders were unable to revive the man, officers said. His body has been turned over to the state Medical Examiner's Office.

Police didn't say why the man was on the tracks, but foul play is not suspected.


New Castle County Police: Man found dead in car in Hockessin was likely targeted

By Shana O'Malley 7:49pm, August 27, 2015 - Updated 10:11pm, August 27, 2015
Aerial view of the death investigation scene in Hockessin/Courtesy NBC 10 Philadelphia
New Castle County police said the shooting death of a man who was found dead in his car in Hockessin was not random.

The victim, 27-year-old Shazim Uppal, was found dead in his car with gunshot wounds to his upper torso on Monday night in the parking lot of Genesis Healthcare in Hockessin.

After further investigation, police found a substantial amount of marijuana in the vehicle and believe Uppal may have been targeted.

Police continue to search for suspects.

Investigators believe Uppal was operating his 2007 black Audi A8 in the areas of Pike Creek and Concordville, Pennsylvania between 10 p.m. Sunday and 2 a.m. Monday.

Anyone who may have seen Uppal in the days leading up to his death should contact New Castle County Police at 302.395.8068.


Smyrna woman killed as she leaps from, is struck by rear wheels of truck her husband is driving

By DJ McAneny 12:56pm, August 27, 2015
Delaware State Police have identified the victim killed in a serious crash Thursday as a 43-year-old Smyrna woman.

According to police, Michael E. Whitley, 46, was operating a box truck and was making a left turn from South DuPont Boulevard onto Holly Hill Drive when his wife, Evelyn M. Whitley jumped from the passenger's side door.

She fell to the ground and was struck by the right rear dual wheels before her husband could bring the vehicle to a stop.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Collision Reconstruction Unit is investigating the incident and the reason for her departure from the vehicle. The roadway was closed for approximately four hours while police investigated the scene, but has since reopened.


Brandywine Hundred middle school struck by vandals leaving behind 'fairly inappropriate' words, images

By Tom Lehman 1:13pm, August 27, 2015
Vandals defaced a middle school in Brandywine Hundred, but it shouldn't affect attendance by students.

A Brandywine School District spokeswoman said some "fairly inappropriate" words and pictures had been spray painted on the side of Talley Middle School.

After the vandalism was discovered Wednesday morning, workers spent Thursday clearing the graffiti.

Police were contacted about the incident. The start of the school year for students at Talley will not be affected.


The latest on live Virginia TV shooting: Shooting survivor doing better

By Associated Press 12:26pm, August 27, 2015 - Updated 2:43pm, August 27, 2015
Alison Parker and Adam Ward were fatally shot during a live shot on WDJB-TV/Courtesy WDBJ-TV
The latest on the fatal on-air shooting of two TV station employees in central Virginia:

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1:15 p.m.

The fiancee of the cameraman who was killed in an on-air attack says her life has been "flipped upside down."

Melissa Ott was engaged to WDBJ-TV cameraman Adam Ward, who was gunned down alongside reporter Alison Parker on Wednesday morning. Ott, a producer at the station, was in the control room when the shooting happened and saw it unfold.

Ott was slated to soon start work at WSOC-TV, the ABC affiliate in Charlotte, North Carolina. She posted on her Facebook page that her plans, and her life, were now on hold.

"Starting new adventures with my fiance, new jobs, a new city. Getting married, having a family, buying a home. That's now taken. I'm not ok. And I won't be for a long time," she said.

She said she is grateful for the outpouring of love and support she has received.

---

---





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12:10 p.m.

The woman who survived an on-air shooting is doing better at a hospital a day after a disgruntled former reporter wounded her and killed a TV cameraman and a reporter.

Hannah Cline, a spokeswoman at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, said Vicki Gardner was in good condition. Gardner was being interviewed by Alison Parker when Vester Flanagan began firing. Cameraman Adam Ward was also killed in the attack.

Gardner is the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce. Parker and Ward were doing a story about the lake's 50th anniversary.

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12 p.m.

Police identified Vester Flanagan as a person of interest in the on-air shootings of three people based on a communication with a friend.

In seeking a search warrant for the car Flanagan was driving Wednesday, Virginia State Police had to give a magistrate in Fauquier County probable cause.

"Investigators identified Vestor Lee Flanagan II as a person of interested based on a text message sent to a friend making reference to having done something stupid," police wrote. Flanagan's first name is spelled several different ways in the document.

Police said they put out a lookout for Flanagan and the car was spotted in Fauquier County.

"When troopers attempted to stop the vehicle, the subject operating the vehicle failed to yield and was observed to place an object to his head," police wrote. Flanagan shot himself in the head and died at 1:26 p.m. at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

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11:45 a.m.

An affidavit for a search warrant for the car of a man wanted in the on-air shootings of a local television reporter and videographer indicates the charges authorities were interested in pursuing against Vester Flanagan.

Virginia State Police wrote that Flanagan's offenses included capital murder, first- and second-degree murder, aggravated malicious wounding, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, reckless handling of a firearm and disregarding law enforcement. In addition to Alison Parker and Adam Ward, who died early Wednesday, Flanagan shot a third person who survived.

Police were granted the warrant to search Flanagan's car after he refused Wednesday to pull over in Fauquier County, then ran off the road and shot himself. He died about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at a trauma center.

Officers searched the car just before 5 p.m. Wednesday and reported their findings Thursday morning to Fauquier County Circuit Court.

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11:15 a.m.

The disgruntled former reporter who killed a WDBJ-TV cameraman and a reporter on air sued the station a month after he was fired in early 2013, claiming racial discrimination.

Court documents from the lawsuit say the station fired Vester Lee Flanagan for poor performance and an unending stream of conflicts with co-workers.

When Flanagan was fired, he refused to leave and the station called police. New director Dan Dennison wrote that as Flanagan was finally being escorted out, he placed a wooden cross in Dennison's hand and told him, "You'll need this."

The documents claimed cameraman Adam Ward recorded the incident and that Flanagan insults him and flips off the camera.

On Wednesday, Flanagan killed Ward and reporter Alison Parker.

In the suit, Flanagan, who is black, frequently mentions a watermelon that he saw at the station that he perceived as a racial slur.





In a letter to the judge, Flanagan writes, "How heartless can you be? My entire life was disrupted after moving clear across the country for a job only to have my dream turn into a nightmare. ... Your Honor, I am not the monster here."

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11 a.m.

The man wanted in the on-air shootings of a local television reporter and videographer was carrying extra license plates, a wig, sunglasses and a hat when police tried to pull over his rental car.

A search warrant return for the car driven by Vester Flanagan on Wednesday in Fauquier County shows an inventory of the contents of the silver Chevrolet Sonic sedan. Police obtained the warrant and searched the car after they tried to pull Flanagan over. He ran off the road and shot himself, dying a short time later at a hospital.

Flanagan was traveling with a Glock pistol with multiple magazines and ammunition. He carried a white iPhone, as well as letters, notes, cards and a to-do list. It's not clear what the to-do list said.

Police said they found a "briefcase w/3 license plates, wig, shawl, umbrella, sunglasses," as well as a black hat.

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9:40 a.m.

The boyfriend of a television reporter who was slain during an on-air interview says the two met at a Christmas party for WBDJ last year and hit it off. Their first date was New Year's Day.

Chris Hurst is an anchor at the station. He was dating Alison Parker, who was fatally shot along with her cameraman on Wednesday by a disgruntled former reporter at WBDJ-TV.

Hurst said outside the station Thursday that he made scrambled eggs and a smoothie for Parker early Wednesday before her shift. He also packed her lunch.

"I'd never done that before for any woman, for anyone, but I wanted to do it for Alison because I loved her so much and I just took so much joy in something so minor as cutting strawberries for her."

Hurst said they would text each other as they worked opposite shifts. She worked in the morning. He worked at night.

Her last message to him was "good night sweet boy."

"It's the last that I ever heard from her," Hurst said. "I saw it before I went to sleep. And then a few hours later I woke up to some calls telling me to come to the station."

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7:40 a.m.

As WDBJ-TV broadcasts its morning show a day after two of its journalists were killed, people are stopping by two colorful memorials outside.

WDBJ was in the middle of its "Mornin"' show on Thursday. During the same show one day earlier, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot by a former station employee who was fired in 2013.

Outside the station, the memorials are growing. They are full of balloons, flowers, candles and other tokens - even a Virginia Tech sweatshirt, because Ward was an enthusiastic fan.

During Thursday's "Mornin"' show, WDBJ did at least one interview outside near the memorials. A reporter visiting from a sister station in Missouri to help out spoke with Tim Gardner, husband of Vicki Gardner. She was wounded in the shooting as Parker interviewed her about local tourism. Tim Gardner told viewers that his wife is improving and is in fair condition.

Nearby, reporters and trucks from media outlets across the country lined up, doing their own live shots or working on stories about the shooting and the station. Police also kept watch as bystanders walked by or visited the memorials.

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6:45 a.m.

WDBJ-TV has observed a moment of silence on air for its two journalists who were killed in a shooting during a live interview.

The station marked the moment of silence at 6:45 a.m. Thursday. At that time Wednesday, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed by a former employee of the Virginia TV station.

During the moment of silence, WDBJ showed photos of the two victims during the live broadcast of its "Mornin"' show.

Just before the moment of silence, anchor Kim McBroom joined hands with weatherman Leo Hirsbrunner and anchor Steve Grant, who came in from sister station KYTV in Springfield, Missouri, to help the grieving station.





She said: "Joining hands here on the desk. It's the only way to do it."

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6:40 a.m.

The family of the gunman who fatally shot a reporter and cameraman during a live broadcast has issued a statement offering condolences to the victims' loved ones.

The statement from the family of Vester Lee Flanagan II, who went by Bryce Williams as an on-air reporter, was read on several TV stations, which said it was released by a family representative. Flanagan killed reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward on Wednesday morning. Vicki Gardner, a local Chamber of Commerce official who was being interviewed live, was wounded.

It says: "It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we express our deepest condolences to the families of Alison Parker and Adam Ward. We are also praying for the recovery of Vicki Gardner. Our thoughts and prayers at this time are with the victims' families and the WBDJ7 NEWS family. Words cannot express the hurt that we feel for the victims. Our family is asking that the media respect our privacy."

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6:30 a.m.

A moment of silence will be observed at WDBJ-TV at the time of the fatal shooting of two of the Virginia's station's employees during a live interview.

Anchor Kim McBroom said during Thursday morning's broadcast that a moment of silence will be observed at 6:45 a.m. At that time Wednesday, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed by a former employee of the station.

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6:20 a.m.

The husband of the surviving victim of an on-air shooting in Virginia says she's doing better and is in fair condition.





Tim Gardner appeared Thursday on the "Mornin"' show of WDBJ-TV. His wife was being interviewed Wednesday for a live segment of the same show when a former station employee opened fire, killing a reporter and a cameraman.

On Thursday, Tim Gardner stood before a memorial set up to the victims outside the station in Roanoke. A reporter from a sister station in Missouri who came to Virginia to help grieving staff interviewed him.

Tim Gardener noted the support from friends and the community, and said anyone who wants to help can pray for his wife or go out and enjoy Smith Mountain Lake. Vicki Gardner is the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, and she's been described as a champion for the area. She was being interviewed about local tourism when she was wounded.

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6 a.m.

The boyfriend of a reporter killed in an on-air shooting appeared at the station where both worked on Thursday, telling his co-workers and viewers that he wants to tell his girlfriend's story even as he grieves.





Station anchor Chris Hurst dated reporter Alison Parker. She and cameraman Adam Ward were killed Wednesday during a live interview segment on WDBJ-TV's "Mornin"' show.

Hurst appeared on that same show Thursday at the anchor desk to offer a remembrance. He recalled how Parker's voice could light up a room with its kindness and joy, and how excited she was about her work, including an upcoming piece on hospice care.

He said: "Alison, what great things she could have done."

Hurst also said he will take a brief break from his anchor role.

Morning anchor Kim McBroom told Hurst that he and Parker "were like Barbie and Ken - just the perfect couple."

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5:45 a.m.

A grief counselor has joined the WDBJ-TV newscasters at the anchor desk for a morning-show segment the day after two station employees were killed in a shooting during a live broadcast.

Anchor Kim McBroom, her voice faltering at times during the Thursday newscast, called it "a show like no other." She was on the air Wednesday morning just after reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot during a live interview.

McGroom asked the grief counselor: "As a community, how do we take steps to move forward after something like this?"

Counselor Thomas Milam said it's important to respect that people grieve in different ways and give them space to do so. He also said it's important to comfort children who may have seen coverage or had their schools on lock down.

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5:40 a.m.

During a live morning broadcast on WDBJ-TV, an anchor has read a statement from the father of the reporter killed on air just a day earlier.

Anchor Kim McBroom read the statement Thursday during the Virginia station's "Mornin"' show. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward worked as a team for the show, and it was during a live segment Wednesday morning that they were fatally shot by a former WDBJ reporter.





The statement from Andy Parker says: "Our vivacious, ambitious, smart, engaging, hilarious, beautiful and immensely talented Alison was taken from the world. This is senseless, and our family is crushed."

The station displayed the text of the statement as McBroom read it.

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5:20 a.m.

WDBJ-TV is broadcasting live for its morning show a day after two of its employees were killed by a former reporter at the Virginia station.

During the newscast, in a weather report, Leo Hirsbrunner recalled how one of the victims, cameraman Adam Ward, would check in with him every morning about the weather before he went out on assignment.

Hirsbrunner said: "I don't even know how to do weather on a day like this." His voice trembled at times while he finished giving the temperatures around the Roanoke area.

As the segment ended, anchor Kim McBroom told him: "Good job, partner. We're going to get through this together."

McBroom also read a statement from Parker's family, her voice faltering as well.

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5:10 a.m.

WDBJ-TV started its 5 a.m. newscast with an image of the two victims killed a day earlier in an on-air shooting with the words "In Memory."

Anchor Kim McBroom said on Thursday morning, "We come to you with heavy hearts. Two of our own were shot during a live shot yesterday morning." She noted the outpouring of support that followed the deaths.

"We've had a lot of help," she added, before introducing Steve Grant, an anchor from a Missouri station who came to town to help.





The station then went into a series of news pieces on the shooting, including ones about the criminal investigation, church services and a vigil at the White House.

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4:55 a.m., 8/27/15

The news team at WDBJ-TV is regrouping for its first morning newscast a day after two of their own were killed.

Morning anchor Kim McBroom briefly fought through tears as she prepared for the 5 a.m. newscast Thursday. She was on the air Wednesday when reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were fatally shot during a live interview.

On Thursday, McBroom was then joined on air by Steve Grant from sister station KYTV in Springfield, Missouri. While a few hugs were exchanged before the newscast, a dozen or so reporters and producers stayed focused on their work.

Senior Vice President of Broadcasting Marcia Burdick of parent-company Schurz Communications answered phones, greeted guests at the door, and did whatever she could to keep the newsroom moving.

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5:35 p.m.

Police trucks are removing items from the home of suspect in the fatal on-air shooting of two journalists, and no one is answering the door at the residence.

The home is in Roanoke, a few blocks from the station for WDBJ-TV, where suspect Vester Flanagan once worked with the reporter and cameraman authorities said he killed Wednesday morning.

A reporter knocked on the door Wednesday, hours after the shooting and after Flanagan died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No one answered. Several other neighbors also weren't home, and the parking lot was mostly empty.

The apartment complex is near the highway has a swimming pool, tennis courts and fitness center.

Sheriff's personnel were parked outside Flanagan's apartment, and apartment personnel showed up to order a reporter to leave. Virginia State Police were taking the items from the home and placing them in trucks outside.

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4:05 p.m.

A former co-worker of the man who shot and killed a TV reporter and cameraman during a live news broadcast said that Vester Flanagan was "off-kilter" and that he thought news anchoring was about "acting."

Kimberly Moore Wilmoth worked with Flanagan in 1999 when he was at a Tallahassee TV station. She said Wednesday that "he didn't laugh at our jokes or at himself when he would make a mistake."

Wilmoth describes Flanagan as a loner who didn't socialize with other reporters. She said he got mad when co-workers made light of on-air mistakes. She recounted one story in which he filmed an elderly man trapped inside a car during a flood even though the man was calling out for help.

She said: "Instead of helping the man, he used the man as a prop."

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3:50 p.m.

The father of the reporter killed during an on-air interview in Virginia said "my grief is unbearable" over his daughter's death.

Andy Parker told The Washington Post that his wife first learned of the shooting in a text message from WDBJ-TV, the station for which his 24-year-old daughter Alison worked. He said they did not know her condition at first but feared the worst when they didn't hear from her.

Andy Parker said she would have called immediately to say she was OK. About an hour after the shooting, a senior manager at the station called the family to say Alison Parker had been killed.

The gunman, Vester Flanagan II, apparently recorded the shooting that also left cameraman Adam Ward dead and posted video of it on social media. Andy Parker said he refuses to watch it.

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3:45 p.m.

The third victim in a shooting during a live TV broadcast is being described as a woman with a positive attitude who's full of energy.

Vicki Gardner is the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce. She was being interviewed Wednesday morning when gunfire broke out. The reporter and cameraman were killed, and Gardner was wounded. Officials said she's in stable condition.

Troy Keaton, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, said he was at the hospital with her for several hours after the shooting, along with her husband and one of her children. He said the family is remaining strong.

Keaton said Gardner emailed him before 4:30 a.m. Wednesday to let him know about the live television interview to promote the lake's 50th anniversary.

He said: "The fact she was there at 4:50 is sort of Vicki. And you know, not a lot of the other staffers would've been up for that. If she was here, she'd be saying 'Man, at least everybody gets to see our beautiful lake."'

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3:25 p.m.

Authorities said the suspect in the on-air fatal shooting of two journalists was found by Virginia state troopers after he switched from his vehicle to a rental car he'd gotten earlier this month.

Officials said suspect Vester Flanagan was found around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday on an interstate in Fauquier County with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They said he died about two hours later.

Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton said Flanagan fled the scene of the shooting, at a mall where the journalists were doing an interview, before deputies arrived. Shortly before 11 a.m., Roanoke police found his Ford Mustang at the city's airport. The Mustang is being treated as evidence.

Overton said Flanagan then left the airport in the Chevy Sonic he'd rented earlier in the month.

A Virginia state trooper located him driving on the interstate using license plate recognition equipment.

State Police Sgt. Rick Garletts said the trooper followed Flanagan until backup arrived, then turned on her flashing lights. The suspect tried to evade her but after a couple of minutes, he ran off the road into the median. That's where he was found with the gunshot wound.

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3 p.m.

ABC News said that someone using the name of the suspected gunman in the on-air shooting of two TV journalists sent the network a lengthy fax invoking several mass shootings.

ABC News reports that a man using the name Bryce Williams called the network in the past few weeks asking to pitch a story and wanting to fax information. The organization said the man never said what the story was.

Then, ABC News said, a fax arrived with a time stamp of 8:26 a.m. Wednesday, nearly two hours after the shooting in Virginia. He called the network just after 10 a.m., introducing himself as Bryce but saying that his legal name was Vester Lee Flanagan and that he had shot two people.

Police and WDBJ-TV have identified the shooting suspect as Vester Flanagan, who used the name Bryce Williams on air when he worked for the station as a reporter. Authorities said he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after the shooting.

ABC said in a story on its website that network officials immediately contacted authorities and provided them with the fax.

The 23-page document is a manifesto of sorts, saying he was motivated to kill his former co-workers after the recent Charleston church shootings. The document said Williams bought a gun June 19, two days after authorities said Dylann Roof killed nine people inside a black church. Police have called the massacre a racially motivated hate crime. The document also cites the Virginia Tech and Columbine High School killers as influences.

The TV station in Virginia has said that Flanagan alleged that other employees made racially-tinged comments to him and that he filed a complaint. But the station's general manager said the allegations couldn't be corroborated.

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2:50 p.m.

The third victim in the fatal shooting during a live TV news broadcast in Virginia is in stable condition.

Chris Turnbull, spokesman for Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia, gave the condition of Vicki Gardner at a news conference Wednesday, several hours after the shooting.

Gardner is executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. She was being interviewed about tourism in the area when gunfire erupted, killing reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward of WDBJ-TV.

Authorities said suspect Vester Flanagan, a former co-worker of the two slain employees, died later of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officials have said they don't know a motive. Flanagan went by Bryce Williams on air and has been described as a disgruntled, angry man who was fired from the station.

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2:25 p.m.

Officials said they don't yet know a motive in the fatal on-air shooting of a reporter and a cameraman from a TV station in Virginia.

Authorities said they know the suspect, Vester Flanagan, was a former employee at the station, WDBJ-TV. They said they don't know if the shooting was racially motivated. Flanagan was black and had formerly complained about racial bias at the station.

Flanagan died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after the Wednesday morning shooting. He went by Bryce Williams on the air.

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2:20 p.m.

A law enforcement official said the suspect in the on-air shooting of two TV station employees died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Franklin County Sheriff W.Q. "Bill" Overton Jr. gave that detail Wednesday during a news conference.

Officials said suspect Vester Flanagan died at 1:26 Wednesday at a hospital in northern Virginia. Authorities said the man killed his former co-workers - reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward - during a live broadcast for WDBJ-TV on Wednesday morning outside a shopping mall.

The station has said Flanagan went by Bryce Williams on the air. While he worked at the station, they said, he was angry and difficult to work with. He was fired.

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2:13 p.m.

A Virginia official said the suspect in the fatal shooting of two TV station employees during a live broadcast has died.

Virginia Secretary of Public Safety Brian Moran said Vester Flanagan died at 1:26 p.m. Wednesday.

Flanagan went by the name Bryce Williams on the air. He was a former employee at the station. The general manager said that he was known for being unhappy, angry and hard to work with, and that he was fired.

A reporter and a cameraman were fatally shot during a live interview outside a shopping mall Wednesday morning.

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2 p.m.

The fiancee of the cameraman killed during a live broadcast outside a Virginia shopping mall was marking her last day at the TV station before moving on to a job in North Carolina.

WDBJ-TV general manager Jeffrey Marks said Wednesday was cameraman Adam Ward's fiancee, station producer Melissa Ott, was in the control room Wednesday morning as the shooting unfolded.





In an interview with CNN, Marks said: "It's hard to imagine, isn't it? She was moving on to a station in Charlotte. It was going to be a day of celebration."

Ward and reporter Alison Parker were killed. Parker also was dating a co-worker, anchor Chris Hurst. Hurst tweeted that Ward and Parker worked together every day. He said: "They were a team."

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1:30 p.m.

The general manager of the TV station where the suspect in an on-air shooting used to work said he doesn't know whether he wants the man to survive.

Officials have named Vester Flanagan as the suspect in the Wednesday incident. WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed. Police said they apprehended Flanagan hours later as he sped away from troopers on the highway, crashing his car. Police said they found him with a life-threatening gunshot wound.

WDBJ-TV general manager Jeffrey Marks said Flanagan was a former reporter at the station, with a reputation as an unhappy man who was difficult to work with. Marks said Flanagan was fired after "many incidents of anger." Flanagan went by Bryce Williams on the air.

On Wednesday afternoon, Marks said of the former employee: "I'm not really sure whether I want him to live or die."

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1 p.m.

The general manager of a TV station where two employees were fatally shot during a live broadcast describes the suspect as an unhappy, angry man who eventually was fired.

Jeffrey Marks of WDBJ-TV in Virginia talked briefly on air about Vester Flanagan- who went by Bryce Williams on the air - on Wednesday afternoon. Marks said Flanagan was hired as a reporter a few years ago after a while out of the TV news business.

Marks said the man had a reputation of being difficult to work with and being on the lookout for people to say things he could take offense to.

Marks said: "Eventually, after many incidents of his anger coming to the fore, we dismissed him. He did not take that well."

Marks said that when Flanagan was fired, police had to escort him from the building.

Marks said that Flanagan alleged that other employees made racially-tinged comments to him and that he filed a complaint with the EEOC. But Marks said the allegations couldn't be corroborated. He said the claim was dismissed.

Marks said Flanagan remained in town after being fired, and every now and then, a station employee would run into him.

WDBJ listed Bryce Williams as a reporter at the station on its website on Jan. 17, 2013. By Feb. 8 that same year, his name no longer appeared on the site.

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12:45 p.m.

A woman shot and wounded while she was being interviewed by a television crew during a live broadcast is in stable condition after undergoing surgery.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital said on its Facebook page Wednesday that Vicki Gardner, a local economic development official who also was on the hospital's board of directors, was recovering after the surgery. It did not elaborate on the nature of her wounds.

The hospital statement also said that hospital staff had gotten to know the two journalists killed, 24-year-old Alison Parker and 27-year-old Adam Ward, through many live reports from the hospital's facilities. It said the two were more than just journalists - "they were good friends who will be missed."

The suspect, Vester Flanagan, was found with a gunshot wound after leading police on a lengthy chase. His condition is unknown.

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12:40 p.m.

The man suspected of killing a TV reporter and cameraman during a live broadcast sued a former employer over allegations of race discrimination in 2000.

Vester Flanagan, who also appeared on air under the pseudonym Bryce Williams, sued WTWC-TV in north Florida in March 2000. The lawsuit claimed that a producer called him a "monkey" in 1999 and that other black employees had been called the same name by other workers.

Flanagan also claimed that an unnamed white supervisor at the station said black people were lazy because they did not take advantage of scholarships to attend college.

The station generally denied the allegations of discrimination and said it had legitimate reasons for ending Flanagan's employment, including poor performance, misbehavior with regard to co-workers, refusal to follow directions, use of profanity and budgetary reasons.

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12:35 p.m.

Video of two TV station employees fatally shot on-air early Wednesday shows a fleeting image of a man in black pants and a blue top pointing a gun at the station's camera.

That image was part of an intense search that followed for a suspect police identified as 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II of Roanoke, who appeared on air at the TV station WDBJ in Virginia as Bryce Williams.

The shooting happened Wednesday morning outside a shopping center as a reporter interviewed an employee of the local chamber of commerce. The shooting played out during live TV on the broadcast from the station, WDBJ-TV, based in Roanoke and serving the southwest and central parts of Virginia.

Virginia State Police said they found the suspect about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. Police said troopers had pursued him on the highway, but he sped away and crashed. Police said he was found with life-threatening injuries.

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12:30 p.m.

Virginia State Police said that as they were pursuing the suspect in an on-air fatal shooting, he ran off the road and crashed, and was found suffering from a gunshot wound.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Wednesday that the suspect is being treated for life-threatening injuries.

The suspect has been identified as 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II of Roanoke, who appeared on air at the TV station WDBJ in Virginia as Bryce Williams.

A reporter and cameraman from WDBJ-TV were killed in the incident Wednesday morning.

Police said that shortly before 11:30 a.m., they initiated a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle on Interstate 66. Police said the driver refused to stop and sped away from the trooper, but ran off the road and crashed. Police said the troopers approached and found the driver suffering from a gunshot wound, and he is being taken to a hospital.

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12:30 p.m.

A Twitter account under an apparent alias of a man suspected of killing a TV reporter and cameraman describes what he claims were workplace conflicts with the pair.

The suspect, 41-year-old Vester Flanagan, appeared on air at WDBJ in Virginia under the name Bryce Williams. The tweets posted just hours after the killings of 24-year-old Alison Parker and 27-year-old cameraman Adam Ward claim she made racist comments.

The tweets also said Williams filed a report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and that she was still hired despite that report. The tweets also said Ward reported Williams to human resources after working with him one time. The nature of that complaint was not described.

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12:15 p.m.

The Virginia TV station that saw a reporter and cameraman fatally shot in a live broadcast went live for its noon broadcast, giving details about the suspect.

WDBJ-TV said Wednesday that suspect 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II appeared on air at the station as Bryce Williams.

Video of the shooting was posted on the Twitter account and Facebook page of someone under the name Bryce Williams. The video showed an outstretched arm holding the handgun and firing repeatedly at Parker as she tried to run away.

Also, ABC News reported that someone using the name Bryce Williams sent the organization a lengthy fax that it has turned over to authorities.

WDBJ-TV general manager Jeffrey A. Marks and an anchor spoke to viewers for the Wednesday broadcast, several hours after the early morning shooting. They told viewers more about the victims - reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. They spoke about the victims as family members at the station. Both were dating co-workers.





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12:12 p.m.









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11:55 a.m.

ABC News said it received a fax from someone who claimed to be Bryce Williams, a person on the staff at the Virginia station that saw two employees fatally shot on air.

ABC News said on its website that sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, it received the fax. It describes it as a lengthy document of 23 pages. ABC News said it has turned the document over to authorities. ABC News did not offer any other details.





About 6:35 a.m. Wednesday, a reporter and cameraman were killed while doing a live broadcast outside a shopping center in central Virginia for WDBJ-TV. The shooting was broadcast live.

Video of the shooting was later posted on the Twitter account and Facebook page of someone under the name Bryce Williams. The video showed an outstretched arm holding the handgun and firing repeatedly at Parker as she tried to run away.

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11:05 a.m.

A Twitter account belonging to a person using the name Bryce Williams, suspect Vester Lee Flanagan's on-air name posted two videos of the shooting from the gunman's perspective. The account has since been suspended. These are some of the tweets that appeared prior to the posting of the video. Click to interact

A Twitter account belonging to a person using the name Bryce Williams posted two videos of the shooting from the gunman's perspective. The account has since been suspended. These are some of the tweets that appeared prior to the posting of the video.

An official has identified the suspect in the fatal on-air shooting of a reporter and cameraman from a TV station in central Virginia.

Becky Coyner with dispatch and records at the Augusta County Sheriff's Office said the suspect is 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan II, of Roanoke.





Gov. Terry McAuliffe has said the suspect's arrest is imminent. He said police are in pursuit on the interstate, and he said the suspect is believed to be a disgruntled employee of the station, WDBJ-TV.

The station employees were killed in incident Wednesday morning at a shopping center, where an employee with the local chamber of commerce was being interviewed. The station said that person was injured in the shooting.

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10:55 a.m.

The Virginia TV station that saw two of its employees fatally shot during a live broadcast has identified a third person who was injured during the shooting.

WDBJ-TV said on its website that Vicki Gardner of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce was injured in incident Wednesday morning.





She was being interviewed by reporter Alison Parker around 6:45 a.m. about tourism. Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has said the arrest of a suspect in the shooting is imminent. He said police are in pursuit of the suspect, believed to be a disgruntled employee of the station, on the highway.

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10:45 a.m.

The general manager of a Virginia TV station that saw a reporter and cameraman fatally shot during a live broadcast said his employees have been told to stay in the building, with police protection.

Jeffrey Marks, the president and general manager of WDBJ-TV, said hours after the Wednesday morning shooting that police advised employees to stay inside.

He told The Associated Press: "Police have advised us that as long as this person is on the loose, we should stay in the building. We have police protection."

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has said police are pursuing a suspect on the highway. He said authorities believe the suspect is a disgruntled TV station employee. Federal law enforcement is assisting in the manhunt, and federal officials said they have no indication that the shooting was connected to terrorism.

Marks said about 50 people work at WDBJ7.

He said: "It's the kind of place where it's all brothers and sisters. We're all just real heartbroken."

Marks said a nearby TV station that is normally a competitor is covering other, unrelated news and will share video with the station.

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10:40 a.m.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said police are chasing the suspect in a fatal on-air shooting, and his arrest is imminent.

McAuliffe said on a radio show on WTOP that the suspect is believed to be a disgruntled employee of WDBJ-TV. He said police are pursuing the suspect on Interstate 64.

McAuliffe made the remarks during an appearance on the radio station's regular "Ask the Governor" show on Wednesday morning. Hours earlier, a reporter and a cameraman were killed on air as they worked on a live broadcast at a shopping center in Moneta, in central Virginia.

McAuliffe said that law enforcement personnel have a photo of the suspect and that he was known to the victims.

He said: "We believe it's a disgruntled employee of the station, and they're in pursuit."

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that video recorded by the station's camera shows the male suspect holding a weapon.

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10:10 a.m.

A spokesman for the Virginia TV station that saw two of its employees fatally shot on air describes the slain cameraman as WDBJ-TV's "go-to guy."

WDBJ spokesman Mike Morgan said 27-year-old Adam Ward was engaged to a producer at the station, Melissa Ott.

Morgan said Adam had been with the station for four years.

Morgan said: "Adam was our go-to guy. He pretty much was available to do anything that we asked. He did live shots during our morning show for several years."

Also killed in the incident - at 6:45 a.m. at a shopping center overlooking a manmade lake - was reporter Alison Parker, who was dating the station's 6 p.m. anchor, Chris Hurst.

No suspect has been identified, and no motive is known in the shooting.

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10 a.m.

An anchor at the Virginia TV station that saw two of its employees fatally shot on air said he was in love with the reporter who died and that they wanted to get married.

Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed in the Wednesday morning on-air shooting at a shopping center. Anchor Chris Hurst said in tweets that although the two didn't share their relationship publicly, they were in love and had just moved in together.

Hurst tweeted: "We were together almost nine months. It was the best nine months of our lives. We wanted to get married. We just celebrated her 24th birthday."





He also tweeted about the second victim, Ward, stating that Parker "worked with Adam every day. They were a team. I am heartbroken for his fiancee."





Hurst described the TV station as a family, tweeting: "I am comforted by everyone at (at) WDBJ7."





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9:40 a.m.

After the on-air fatal shooting of two employees of a central Virginia TV station, the general manager appeared on air and called it a terrible crime, saying authorities don't know who the gunman is.

WDBJ-TV general manager Jeffrey A. Marks called the Wednesday morning incident at a shopping center "a terrible crime against two fine journalists."

Marks said on air that neither the station nor officials know the motive for the shooting or any identify of a suspect. He said he has talked with authorities and they are working diligently to find out.

In the video of the incident, as the camera falls to the ground, it captures a fleeting image of a man in black pants and a blue top who appears to be holding a handgun.

The station has identified the two killed as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.

Marks said on air: "I cannot tell you how much they were loved. Alison and Adam."

"Our hearts are broken."

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9:40 a.m.

Video shows the fatal shooting of two TV station employees who were killed in an on-air shooting in central Virginia.

In the video from the Wednesday incident, a female reporter is interviewing someone about tourism on Bridgewater Plaza in Franklin County. She was smiling when suddenly at least eight shots were heard. The camera appeared to be dropped on the ground. The reporter can be heard screaming.

As the camera falls to the ground, it captures a fleeting image of a man in black pants and a blue top who appears to be holding a handgun.





The station then switches back to a shot of an anchor back at the station, who has a shocked expression on her face.

In tweets and on its website, WDBJ-TV identified the two killed as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.

The station is based in Roanoke, Virginia, and serves the southwest and central part of the state. The shopping mall where the incident happened is just off Smith Mountain Lake.

Moneta is about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke.

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9:30 a.m.

After the on-air fatal shooting of two TV station employees in central Virginia, a picture of the two victims has started to emerge.

WDBJ-TV, based in Roanoke, said reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed in the Wednesday morning shooting at a shopping center on a lake in Moneta.

According to the station website, Parker was a morning reporter. She graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and was news editor of its recognized newspaper, The Breeze. She also had been an intern at WDBJ-TV.

The TV station also linked to her Facebook page, which said Parker spent most of her life outside Martinsville, Virginia.

Parker previously worked at WCTI NewsChannel 12 in Jacksonville, North Carolina, near Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. She was an avid kayaker and attended community theater events in her spare time.

The station said Ward was 27 and a graduate of Virginia Tech.

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9:25 a.m.

Video shows the fatal shooting of two TV station employees who were killed in an on-air shooting in central Virginia.

In the video from the Wednesday incident, a female reporter is interviewing someone about tourism on Bridgewater Plaza in Franklin County. She was smiling when suddenly at least eight shots were heard. The camera appeared to be dropped on the ground. The reporter can be heard screaming.

The station then switches back to a shot of an anchor back at the station, who has a shocked expression on her face.

In tweets and on its website, WDBJ-TV identified the two killed as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.

The station is based in Roanoke, Virginia, and serves the southwest and central part of the state. The shopping mall where the incident happened is just off Smith Mountain Lake.

Moneta is about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke.

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9:20 a.m.

The TV station employees who were killed in an on-air shooting in central Virginia have been identified as a 27-year-old and a 24-year-old.

In tweets and on its website, WDBJ-TV identified the two killed Wednesday as Alison Parker and Adam Ward. The station's website said Ward was 27 and a graduate of Virginia Tech. Parker just turned 24 and attended James Madison University.

In a tweet, the station said "We love you, Alison and Adam."

It was not clear who the shooter was.

The station said in tweets and in a story on its website that the incident happened at a shopping center. The station said law enforcement officials are on the scene.

The station is based in Roanoke, Virginia, and serves the southwest and central part of the state. The shopping mall is just off Smith Mountain Lake.

Moneta is about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke.

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9:15 a.m., 8/26/15

The general manager of a TV station in Virginia said two crew members were fatally shot on air in central Virginia.

Jeffrey A. Marks, general manager of WDBJ-TV, identified the two killed as Alison Parker and Adam Ward.

The station said in tweets and in a story on its website that the incident happened Wednesday morning at a shopping center.





The station said law enforcement officials are on the scene.

The station is based in Roanoke, Virginia, and serves the southwest and central part of the state. The shopping mall is just off Smith Mountain Lake.

Moneta is about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke.




Wilmington man arrested with knife, toy gun outside courthouse after allegedly threatening to kill ex

By DJ McAneny 12:41pm, August 27, 2015
Elymas A. Mason/Courtesy Delaware Capitol Police
A Wilmington man was charged with threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend outside a New Castle County Courthouse after police said they found him to be in possession of a toy handgun and a knife.

A Delaware Capitol Police officer was approached by a 46-year-old woman as she entered the courthouse and was informed that her ex-boyfriend, Elymas A. Mason, 26, against whom she was currently at the courthouse to file a Protection from Abuse Order, had followed her to the courthouse and was threatening to end her life.

The BB gun of which Mason was allegedly found to be in possession/Courtesy Delaware Capitol Police

Click to interact

Mason was located by a trio of officers approximately two blocks away. A search of his person turned up a 3.5" blade in his right front pocket and a black BB gun in his backpack, police said, at which point he was taken into custody without incident.

The man was charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon and terroristic threatening. He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $3,000 secured bond.


Exhiled Middletown man arrested for allegedly causing ruckus

By DJ McAneny 9:58am, August 27, 2015 - Updated 11:19am, August 27, 2015
Kareem Tilghman/Courtesy Middletown Police
A 20-year-old man with a Middletown address was arrested on a litany of charges after officers attempted to stop him because he'd been issued a no-contact order from the Town of Middletown--at which point he allegedly: fled, hit another car, fought with police, and was found to be in possession of a quantity of drugs.

According to Middletown Police, officers on patrol observed Kareem Tilghman, of 434 Toftrees Drive, operating a Dodge Dakota in the area of Wood and West Lake streets at approximately 7 p.m. on Friday, August 21, 2015.

The officers, knowing Tilghman was not supposed to be in the area and that he has a suspended driver's license, attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but Tilghman allegedly attempted to speed through a stop sign, only to strike another vehicle.

Tilghman fled the vehicle on foot, police said, but was apprehended a short time later in the area of North Cass and Main streets following a brief struggle with a police officer.

The officer was injured in the struggle, police said, suffering an injury on his right hand. The 67-year-old operator of the vehicle Tilghman struck suffered injuries to her arm and head from the impact, police said. She was transported to the Middletown Emergency Room for treatment.

On Tilghman's person, officers alleged to have found 55 bags of heroin and 2.5 grams of crack cocaine.

Tilghman was charged with two counts possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance with an aggravating factor, two counts second-degree assault, resisting arrest with force or violence, leaving the scene of a personal injury collision, failure to provide information at a collision, driving while suspended, aggravated driving, breach of release, failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to signal 300 feet, unreasonable speed. He was committed to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $64,254 bond.


Delaware lawmakers won't change requirements for budget vote

By Associated Press 3:39pm, August 27, 2015
Democratic leaders of the legislature's budget-writing committee don't seem interested in changing voting requirements for passage of the state's annual spending plan.

But a task force meeting for the first time Thursday in response to a resolution sponsored by Republican Sen. Colin Bonini is trying to fashion an argument to defend the status quo.

The budget bill traditionally has been treated as needing only a simple majority, even though Delaware's constitution requires a three-fourths vote to appropriate public money to any corporation.

Two corporations receiving money in the budget bill every year are the University of Delaware and Delaware State University. Charter schools also are corporations funded through the education budget.

One idea the task force is mulling is to define what a corporation is, at least for budget purposes.


Demonstrators call on Senator Coons to support Iran deal

By Tom Lehman 3:54pm, August 26, 2015 - Updated 4:15pm, August 26, 2015
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports. PHOTO: A supporter of the Iran nuclear deal holds a sign outside of Senator Chris Coons' office in Downtown Wilmington on Wednesday. (Zachary Rendin/WDEL)
More than 30 advocates for the Iran nuclear deal held a demonstration on Wednesday in Downtown Wilmington, urging Sen. Chris Coons to vote for the treaty as the deadline for Congress to act on the agreement approaches.

Holding signs supporting the treaty, members of Pacem in Terris stood outside Coons' office along North Market Street, before eventually bringing their vigil to Rodney Square. There, the group handed out flyers with information about the deal and contact information for members of Delaware's Congressional delegation.

"This treaty--while it's not perfect and dealing with Iran will not be easy--it's much better than the alternative of rejecting it," said Harvey Zent with Pacem in Terris.

Supporters of the agreement have said they believe it is the best option for preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, though it has drawn criticism and opposition from members of Congress who think the U.S. is making too many concessions.

Congress has until September 17, 2015, to approve or reject the deal and Republicans have proposed a resolution disapproving of the treaty. Some Democrats, like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), have also indicated their opposition to the proposal.

Zent said Ami Ayalon, an Israeli politician and former admiral of the country's navy, spoke with Pacem in Terris, telling members that the rejecting the deal and not lifting certain sanctions would only further increase anti-American sentiments in the Middle East.

"He made the point that, if we reject the deal, that Iran will be able to use that politically to go out in the Middle East and raise even more money against America," he said.

According to a spokesman, Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has not made a decision yet on whether he will support or vote against the agreement, but is expected to announce his stance next week. He has publicly said on numerous occasions that he has serious concerns about the effectiveness of the deal and has met with opponents and supporters of the deal, including President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, and attended dozens of classified hearings about the agreement.

"Senator Coons has been weighing his decision extremely carefully over the past few weeks, considering dozens of factors of this complex deal," said Brian Cunningham, Coons' Press Secretary.

Delaware's senior Senator, Tom Carper, told the Hill, a publication covering Congress and the White House, that he is leaning toward a "yes" vote.

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




Four injured following fiery crash in Brandywine Hundred

By Shana O'Malley 11:17pm, August 26, 2015 - Updated 11:38pm, August 26, 2015
Delaware State Police continue to investigate a fiery crash which left four people injured in Brandywine Hundred.

According to police, 38-year-old Jennifer Ramsey of Bear was traveling westbound on Andy's Lane near Grubb Road in Wilmington just after 3 p.m. Wednesday.

As Ramsey entered the intersection, police say she failed to see two bikers traveling northbound Grubb Road approaching Andy's Lane at a high rate of speed.

A Suzuki motorcycle, operated by 19-year-old Dylan Desmond, stuck the left side of Ramsey's SUV. Desmond was ejected from the bike and landed in a nearby ditch.

The impact of the collision caused the bike's fuel tank to rupture, causing Ramsey's vehicle to become engulfed in flames.

The second bike, operated by 19-year-old Joshua Cortes, slid approximately 115 feet before striking the left rear door of Ramsey's vehicle where it came to rest.

Ramsey and her 4-year-old son were removed from the scene and transported by EMS to Christiana Hospital where they were treated for their injuries.

Desmond was treated at the scene by New Castle County Paramedics before being airlifted to the Christiana Hospital Trauma Center. He was admitted for his serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Police said Cortes was injured but refused treatment at the scene.

Ramsey was cited for failure to remain stopped at a stop sign. Charges are pending against both Cortes and Desmond.


Service on Wilmington/Newark line restored after person struck by Amtrak train in PA

By Shana O'Malley 6:37pm, August 26, 2015 - Updated 10:14pm, August 26, 2015
The scene at the Norwood Train Station after a person was struck by an Amtrak train. (Photo/NBC10)
Regional Rail Service along the Wilmington/Newark line was suspended for several hours after a person was struck by an Amtrak train around rush hour Wednesday afternoon.

NBC10 reported that the person was struck by a train near the Norwood Station in Norwood, Pennsylvania. The victim's condition is unknown.

Police continue to investigate. Service along the line re-opened around 8:30 p.m.


Philly officials want you to 'be there' to see Pope Francis

By Associated Press 8:46am, August 27, 2015 - Updated 10:11pm, August 27, 2015
Philadelphia officials are urging pilgrims to come see Pope Francis and are pressing businesses to stay open during the papal visit.

New marketing campaigns unveiled Wednesday include buttons and signs that say "I'll Be There" and the #OpenInPHL.

Officials said the initiatives are not in response to negative publicity about security plans. They say the visit is a joyous event meant to be experienced in person, not by watching TV.

Recently unveiled traffic restrictions have raised concerns about whether businesses can get deliveries, if employees can get to work, and how far visitors must walk to see the pontiff.

Francis will be in town on Sept. 26 and 27. His public events include a speech at Independence Hall, a family festival and an outdoor Mass.


DA: Chester County courthouse attacker had mental health, behavior issues

By Associated Press 1:29pm, August 27, 2015
Curtis Smith who was fatally shot after an attack at the Chester County courthouse, was also the same man who allegedly jumped the White House wall in March. (Photo/NBC10)
A prosecutor said a man fatally shot at a Chester County courthouse after attacking a deputy sheriff had a history of bizarre behavior.

A second deputy shot Curtis Smith twice in the torso Tuesday at the Chester County Justice Center as he slashed at the other deputy with a knife.

Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said Thursday the shooting was justified.

The 34-year-old Smith was arrested for climbing a perimeter wall at the White House in March. Hogan says a relative believed it was an attempted "suicide by cop."

Smith's also been arrested for burglary and assault and was subject to a restraining order. His brother pleaded guilty in 2013 to killing their father.

The slashed deputy is in stable condition. Standing close to Smith, a gunshot struck his hand.


Remaining panda cub healthy at National Zoo after twin dies

By Associated Press 3:49pm, August 27, 2015
Animal keepers said the National Zoo's remaining newborn panda cub is healthy and was active and nursing through the night after the cub's smaller twin died.

The zoo said Thursday that panda mother Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) is showing proper maternal care. She's been having short sleep cycles and adjusting the tiny cub in her arms for better positioning and grooming.

Panda keepers said the staff heard strong vocalizations from the cub overnight and observed it a couple of times. The cub is growing more hair. Keepers said it looks healthy with a plump tail.

The smaller of the twin cubs died Wednesday after animal keepers retrieved it from Mei Xiang in the morning. The zoo said the exact cause of death has not been determined.


Improving economy shares blame for worst US traffic ever

By Associated Press 3:58pm, August 27, 2015
U.S. roads are more clogged than ever now that the recession is behind us.

A report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and INRIX Inc., which analyzes traffic data, said American motorists are stuck in traffic about 5 percent more than they were in 2007, the pre-recession peak.

Commuters in Washington, D.C., suffer the most, losing an average of 82 hours a year to rush-hour slowdowns. And the study says Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York come next on the list of urban areas with the longest delays.

Cities with fast-growing economies and the most job growth are the most plagued by traffic. Other factors: Urban populations are increasing and lower fuel prices are making driving less expensive, so more people are taking to city roads.

Rounding out the Top 10 worst commuting cities are San Jose, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Houston and Riverside-San Bernardino.


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