Bangladesh under spotlight as terror attacks escalate

By Matthew Pennington/Associated Pr 4:07pm, July 1, 2016 - Updated 4:43pm, July 1, 2016
Bangladeshi security personnel cordon off the area after a group of gunmen attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in a diplomatic zone of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka /Associated Press
The taking of hostages by gunmen in Dhaka's diplomatic quarter is the latest in a string of attacks that have sparked international alarm.

Two officers were killed in an exchange of gunfire with as many as nine attackers, who were also holding dozens of hostages at a restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, authorities said.

Hospital officials said another 25 officers and one civilian were being treated for injuries, including 10 people listed in critical condition. The injuries include bullet wounds and broken bones, they said.

"We are trying to talk to the attackers, we want to listen to them about what they want," the head of an elite anti-crime force told reporters.

A kitchen staffer who escaped the attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery said the attackers were armed with firearms and bombs as they entered the restaurant around 9:20 p.m. local time Friday and took customers and staffers hostage at gunpoint.

The United States and Bangladesh have promised more cooperation against violent extremism in the Muslim-majority nation.

"We are aware of reports of what appears to a hostage situation in the Gulshan neighborhood of Dhaka," said State Department spokesman John Kirby in Washington. He said the embassy has accounted for 100 percent of American citizens that are under the authority of the diplomatic chief of mission in Dhaka.

But the two governments still tiptoe around whether transnational terror groups like the Islamic State group are involved in the mounting bloodshed, which has included a wave of killings of liberals, foreigners and religious minorities.

The identities of those who attacked the Dhaka cafe late Friday were not immediately known.

IS and al-Qaida affiliates have claimed responsibility for many of the previous attacks, typically by smaller groups of machete-wielding assailants, that have claimed nearly two dozen lives since 2013. The frequency of attacks has increased in recent months.

New Castle County Police issue wanted bulletin for alleged fraudulent home contractor

By DJ McAneny 11:18am, July 1, 2016 - Updated 11:53am, July 1, 2016
Mario Mareno
On Friday, New Castle County Police issued a wanted bulletin for a contractor who would allegedly receive money up-front for work he never completed.

According to authorities Mario Mareno, 49, with a most recent address in the Misty Vale Farm community of Middletown, has so far evaded re-apprehension following a previous arrest.

Mareno is wanted on felony-level home improvement fraud charges in multiple jurisdictions while working under the Tradesmen Services moniker. Most recently, the Department of Justice's Consumer Protection Unit sought victims of Mareno they believe have yet to come forward.

Mareno would typically solicit and correspond with victims via Facebook, texting, or emails, according to authorities, and get victims to make large, up-front payments in order to "obtain required permits and purchase materials," then never complete the work for which he was hired.

Mareno was in taken into police custody in Dover on Friday, May 13, 2016, but was released after posting $4,000 secured bond.

He's described as being 5'10" and 217 lbs., with greying-black hair and hazel eyes.

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Moreno or Tradesmen Services is urged to contact CPU Special Investigators Jose Ortiz at 302.577.8421 or Alan Rachko at 302.577.8309.

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

Wilmington's Crossroads of Delaware to close its doors for good a year after rape charges brought against counselor

By DJ McAneny 11:43am, July 1, 2016
Rebecca Adams was charged with raping a juvenile patient/WDEL file
Just a month shy of a year after a 30-year-old drug and alcohol counselor was charged with rape and sexual abuse of a child for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old patient, Crossroads of Delaware announced it will be closing its doors for good.

In August 2015, Rebecca Adams was charged with conducting a sexual relationship with a juvenile male patient from June 1 to August 15 of that year. She was charged with 12 counts fourth-degree rape, 12 counts sexual abuse of a child by a person in a position of trust, two counts providing alcohol to a minor, and continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The website for the rehabilitation center in Wilmington said it was celebrating more than 20 years of providing behavioral healthcare.

"Perhaps that is where our choice lies -- in determining how we will meet the inevitable end of things, and how we will greet each new beginning."

Elana K. Arnold

With a mixture of anticipation and fond memories I am announcing the closing of Crossroads of Delaware effective 7/15/2016. And I am very excited to announce the same quality of service we have always provided will be available at Gaudenzia. I am looking forward to a future with this company that shares my vision of helping those with addictions. As always you can reach me on my cell phone at 302-420-6565. And please look for postings with more information regarding Gaudenzia. And look for us at

Senator Carper discusses airport security in Philadelphia

By Joe Irizarry 9:20pm, July 1, 2016
Senator Carper talks airport security at Philadelphia International Airport.
Days after the attack at an airport in Turkey, and leading up to the 4th of July and Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Senator Carper visits Philadelphia International Airport to discuss security.

Senator Carper met with officials from the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection as well as airport, airline and local law enforcement officials to discuss efforts to ensure passengers reach their destinations safely and expeditiously.

"I must say I am impressed, and I am grateful for the teamwork that has been on display here," said Carper.

He does say more needs to be done.

"The threat continues to evolve, a good example of that, we have dogs that are operating here, we need more dogs, one of the things we asked for," said Carper. "We have VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams here, we need more VIPR teams, we're working on providing more VIPR teams. We need more TSO's (Transportation Security Officers) we're working to provide that through the budget process."

He adds that aviation security is a shared responsibility between federal agencies, law enforcement officials and the airlines.

Accident takes life of motorcycle driver in Bear

By Joe Irizarry 9:42pm, July 1, 2016
One dead in accident in Bear.
A motorcycle crash in Bear takes the life the of the driver.

Delaware State Police say the accident on Porter Road at Woods Drive happened shortly after 8 p.m. The road has been closed since the accident between the motorcycle and a car.

The motorcycle driver was taken to Christiana Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Seaford man pleads guilty, gets 7 years in prison for slashing ex's throat during argument

By DJ McAneny 2:52pm, July 1, 2016
Darrnell Aiken/WDEL File
A 21-year-old Seaford man initially charged with attempted murder for slashing his ex-girlfriend's throat during an argument pled guilty to first-degree assault charges and was sentenced to seven years in prison, Department of Justice officials announced Friday.

Darnell Aiken had been arguing with his girlfriend in August of 2015 in her Bridgeville home, in the 12000 block of Nat Turner Street, when he grabbed a knife from the kitchen and slashed her throat. Aiken and another woman then drove the victim to the hospital, where he threatened both if they told anyone what happened, officials said.

He pled guilty to first-degree assault and weapons possession charges, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Middletown man charged after police say they found 100 grams of cocaine on him

By DJ McAneny 1:56pm, July 1, 2016
Nakia Wiggins and the drugs and cash Delaware State Police said they confiscated off his person
A 41-year-old Middletown man was charged following a traffic stop that led Delaware State Police to the discovery of almost 100 grams of cocaine, police said Friday.

According to authorities, a silver Chrysler 300 being operated by a man police identified as Nakia Wiggins committed a number of traffic violations in front of state troopers at approximately 9:50 p.m. on June 30, 2016.

Wiggins had been operating the vehicle with a suspended license, police said, and a black digital scale was observed in plain view within the car.

Wiggins was removed from the vehicle and a search was conducted on his person, authorities said, adding it was at this point he was found to be in possession of 95 grams of cocaine and $558 in suspected drug proceeds.

Wiggins was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance-Tier V quantity, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-Tier II quantity, possession of a controlled substance-Tier II quantity, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to signal a lane change, and failure to remain in a single lane. He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Center in lieu of $250,000 cash bond.

Wilmington brothers sentenced to 16, 4 years in prison for shotgun shooting in June 2015

By DJ McAneny 2:32pm, July 1, 2016
A pair of Wilmington brothers convicted of shooting three individuals with shotguns outside a Lancaster Court Apartments residence have been sentenced to prison.

Nathaniel Gonzalez, 21, and his brother Isaiah, 19, were convicted of shooting Gabriel Jaurez Sr., 50, Gabriel Juarez Jr., 26, and Felipe Cruz-Flores, 26, in June 2015.

Nathaniel was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment, while Isaiah was sentenced to four years.

Pennsylvania angler makes record-setting catch in Delaware

By DJ McAneny 2:08pm, July 1, 2016
Tim Parrill, left, and a friend hoist his record-setting catch/Courtesy DNREC
A Pennsylvania angler set a new Delaware catch record for his 20.5-pound false albacore take, officials announced Friday.

According to DNREC officials, Tim Parrill, of Wellsville, Pennsylvania, caught on June 29, 2016, a false albacore in Masseys Canyon that measured 30.75", had a 22" girth, and weighed 20.5 lbs.

Parrill was in the fishing boat Get Bent about 35 miles offshore in the Indian River Inlet off the Atlantic Ocean, near Lewes, when he made the catch. The new record was confirmed by the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament, and outweighed the previous record, set by Christian Anderson in 2008, by a half-pound.

Wilmington man pleads guilty to assault in July 2015 robbery-turned-shooting

By DJ McAneny 2:41pm, July 1, 2016
Chayee Doe/WDEL File
A 28-year-old Wilmington man pled guilty to first-degree assault charges after shooting an individual during a July 2015 robbery.

According to Department of Justice officials, Chayee Doe shot a 37-year-old man in the area of 6th and North Madison streets in the West Center City section of Wilmington.

Doe was prohibited from possessing a weapon at the time due to a motor vehicle theft conviction in 2007.

Doe pled guilty to first-degree assault an weapon possession charges in connection to the case. He faces a five-year minimum mandatory term when he's sentenced in September.

Dover Police ask for public's help in breaking open assault case

By DJ McAneny 10:54am, July 1, 2016
Dover Police are asking for the public's help identifying a suspect in an assault from earlier in June.

Authorities said the victim was in the "common area" of Lamplighter Lane at 2:34 p.m. on June 11, 2016, when a suspect assaulted the individual.

Police said a heavy-set black male with a brown bandana covering part of his face, a large nose, a white T-shirt, and black pants.

The suspect fled on foot toward Independence Boulevard after causing multiple facial fractures and lacerations. He may have fled in a tan SUV.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Dover Police at 302.736.7130.

Bicyclist critically hurt in hit-and-run crash in Delaware

By Associated Press 4:27pm, July 1, 2016
Delaware State Police said a bicyclist is in critical condition after being hit by a car troopers said left the scene in Bethany Beach.

Anastasia Ciolpan, 20, of Moldova, was in critical condition at Christiana Hospital, where she was taken after the Wednesday night crash, police said Friday.

Ciolpan was riding her bike south on the southbound shoulder of Kent Avenue when police said a car hit her from behind, knocking her to the ground, then drove away without stopping. Troopers said the driver of the car has been identified, but no charges have been filed. The incident remained under investigation.

Delaware Senate rejects school redistricting plan

By Associated Press 11:27pm, June 30, 2016 - Updated 10:31am, July 1, 2016
The Delaware State Senate has refused to endorse a controversial school redistricting plan aimed at helping low-income minority students in Wilmington.

The Senate on Thursday rejected a House joint resolution formally endorsing the boundary changes, as required by state law for the plan to be implemented.

The Senate instead passed its own joint resolution noting that there is no funding for the plan this year but encouraging the commission that developed the plan to provide details for its implementation.

The Senate passed a related bill clarifying that legislative support of the redistricting plan does not constitute approval of any particular revenue or spending measure. The bill also provides $200,000 to study the costs and funding options for moving Wilmington students from the Christina School District to the Red Clay school district.

Bill that toughens penalties for texting while driving motors to Governor's desk

By Associated Press 10:46pm, June 30, 2016 - Updated 6:40am, July 1, 2016
Delaware lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that toughens penalties for texting or otherwise using a hand-held phone while driving.

The legislation cleared the Senate on a 14-to-7 vote Thursday after winning unanimous approval in the House two weeks ago. It now goes to Gov. Jack Markell.

The bill increases the penalty for a first offense from $50 to $100. It also increases the penalty for subsequent offenses from between $100 and $200 to between $200 and $300.

Lawmakers amended the bill to delete a provision calling for points to be assessed on a person's driver's license for second or subsequent offenses.

Supporters say many drivers, particularly young people, are ignoring the current prohibition on texting while driving and that existing penalties are not enough to discourage such behavior.

Bill scrapping requirement for ex-felons to pay financial obligations before getting voting rights passes

By Frank Gerace 11:22pm, June 30, 2016
The General Assembly Thursday passed a bill eliminating a requirement that convicted felons who served their sentences had to pay off all financial obligations before getting their voting rights back.

Senate Bill 242's passage means Delaware joins 39 other states in enabling felons who've served their time to vote again.

Delaware had been one of three states requiring payment of financial obligations before voting rights were restored, and the only state to require full payment before restoration of rights.

In 2013, the General Assembly passed House Bill 10, eliminating a 5-year waiting period for felons who'd paid their debt to society to regain their voting rights.

Common Cause of Delaware hailed Senate Bill 242's passage, calling it "an important step to strengthen justice and democracy in our state."

Markell signs bills dealing with women's issues

By Associated Press 10:53pm, June 30, 2016 - Updated 9:53am, July 1, 2016
Governor Jack Markell has signed a series of bills regarding pay equity and other women's issues.

Lilly Ledbetter, an Alabama woman whose fight for equal pay led to Congress passing a 2009 law that bears her name, was the featured guest at Thursday's bill signing ceremony.

One new law makes it illegal for employers in Delaware to prohibit employees from talking about how much they are or their co-workers are paid.

Another reinforces the right to workplace privacy regarding reproductive health care decisions, while a third prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on their obligations as family caregivers.

Markell also signed bills ensuring that sexual violence victims on college campuses are told of their rights and legal options, and that health care providers give patients information about post-partum depression.

Needle exchange bill passes House, goes to Governor

By Associated Press 10:53pm, June 30, 2016
The state House has given final approval to a bill authorizing the statewide expansion of a needle exchange program aimed at reducing the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other diseases.

The bill cleared the House on a 32-7 vote Thursday night after passing the Senate earlier this month.

Gov. Jack Markell praised lawmakers for approving the measure, which will expand a needle exchange program currently confined to the city of Wilmington, where drug addicts can exchange used needles and syringes for clean ones provided by the Division of Public Health.

Supporters of the bill contend it will help prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and other blood-borne diseases, while encouraging drug addicts to seek substance abuse treatment.

Senate OK's $46M in grants for FY 2017

By Associated Press 10:16pm, June 30, 2016
The state Senate has approved roughly $46 million in grants for community groups and nonprofit agencies in Delaware for the fiscal year starting Friday.

The grants package cleared the Senate unanimously Thursday night and was sent to the House on the final night of this year's legislative session.

Lawmakers have already approved a $4 billion operating budget but must still sign off on a capital budget for roads, schools and other construction projects.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Thursday refused to formally endorse a controversial school redistricting plan for Wilmington backed by Gov. Jack Markell, citing concerns about the potential costs.

The Senate instead passed and sent to the House a resolution calling for further study on the plan, including how much it will cost and how funds would be spent.

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