William Penn earns Div I title shot

By Marcus Saunders 6:24pm, November 22, 2014
VIDEO: Highlights
William Penn and its explosive offense defeated St. Mark's Saturday afternoon in the DIAA Div I semi-finals 42-14.

Penn displayed poise, maturity and pure talent throughout the game especially early when it was tied 7-7. Senior running back, Reggie Carroll took the kickoff in the 2nd quarter which most of the Spartan crowd cheered about because he had to make a difficult catch deep in Colonial territory but Carroll started left, then looked back right and almost at the same time there was a gasp from the Spartan sideline as everyone saw what he could see, a lane that could spring him to the end zone. Without hesitation he made his cut back right and he was off to the races, making it 14-7.

St. Mark's had some shining moments on both sides of the ball but they could not find the end zone in much of this game. They were also plagued by penalties which disrupted any rhythm. Their running back Markquise Normand ran hard for the Spartans all game and quarterback Matt Williams was impressive.

But William Penn's dual attack proved too much, Marvell Watts had 2 big runs including one in which he exploded out of the back field to a 50 yard touchdown, late in the 3rd quarter. He and Carroll both gained over 100 yards in the contest.

William Penn (11-0) will look to complete their perfect season in next week's State Championship game against Middletown who defeated Sussex Tech.



Hodgson shows heart of a champion

By Brandon Bossert 8:11pm, November 22, 2014
Hodgson, having knocked off second-ranked Lake Forest last week had the tall challenge of playing undefeated St. Georges. The Silver Eagles showed heart, focus, and character in their 32-7 rout Saturday afternoon.

Quarterback Ray Jones was the inspired leader for Hodgson. Jones scored from 1-yard out three times in the first half. Going into halftime, the visitors held a stout 20-0 advantage.

The Silver Eagles received the ball to begin the second half, and again began to drive on the St. Georges defense. Facing fourth-and-goal from the one, Jones again plunged in for his fourth touchdown.

Taronn Selby's 82-yard touchdown run was the Hawks' lone bright spot on the afternoon.

Following the Selby touchdown, Jones was there to snatch up the onside kick. Jones would cap off his day with a third-down-and-long conversion in the red zone, and follow it up with his fifth and final touchdown.

Hodgson (9-3) will play Laurel next Saturday at 2 pm at the University of Delaware. St. Georges finishes their season an impressive 11-1.


Laurel takes down undefeated Friends

By Brandon Bossert 8:13pm, November 22, 2014
A year ago the Bulldogs were a 2-8 football team, now they are heading for the Division II championship game against Hodgson after their 14-0 win over Friends.

This game was a struggle for both offenses, as both Laurel and Friends had stout, active, ball-hawking defenses.

Laurel failed to convert a fourth down from inside of the Friends 5-yard line. With under a minute left in the first quarter, on that same drive, Perez Nichols picked off quarterback Justin Beneck for a touchdown to put Laurel up 7-0. This was the first time Friends trailed all season.

Both teams would continue their lackluster offensive play, and that remained the score into halftime.

In the third, the Bulldogs would get some breathing room. Jarrett Johnson received a punt and returned it roughly 75-yards for the touchdown. With a quarter to play Laurel was ahead 14-0.

Yermour Auguste was the workhorse for Laurel on the ground, as they used the ground and pound to run down the clock in the second half.

Laurel (10-2) will play Hodgson next week at the University of Delaware for the Division II state title. Friends finishes their season an impressive 11-1.


2 convicted in Delaware soccer field shootings

By Randall Chase, Associated Press 6:05pm, November 21, 2014
Two gang members who prosecutors say were out to avenge a friend's death and to silence a witness to an earlier killing have been convicted of murder in a 2012 soccer tournament shooting in Wilmington that left three people dead.

A jury on Friday convicted 38-year-old Otis Phillips and 23-year-old Jeffrey Phillips of first-degree murder in the death of 47-year-old tournament organizer Herman Curry. The two defendants, who are not related, also were convicted of manslaughter in the death of 16-year-old soccer player Alexander Kamara at Wilmington's Eden Park.

Otis Phillips also was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2008 killing of Christopher Palmer, a friend of Curry.

Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty.

Authorities say some spectators returned fire on the suspects, killing a third alleged gang member.


Incyte moves into Wanamaker building

By Tom Lehman 2:14pm, November 21, 2014 - Updated 2:26pm, November 21, 2014
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.
Pharmaceutical company Incyte marked its moving into the John Wanamaker Building on Augustine Cut Off during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.

More than 550 employees will work in the newly-converted 191,000-square-foot headquarters just outside Wilmington. Incyte researches and develops small-molecule drugs for cancer treatment, a sharp contrast to the facility's retail use decades ago.

Company officials said remaining in Delaware offers advantages, even though cities like San Francisco are more likely to be considered pharmaceutical hubs.

"In some ways we have less competition for the talent that is here locally, so the situation is that we have some pluses and minuses but the pluses are what really help us in becoming successful," Incyte President and CEO Herve Hoppenot said.

The average salary for an employee at Incyte tops $125,000. Hoppenot said one new advantage the former Wanamaker building offered is the ability to house the entire staff under one roof, as opposed to the company's previous offices that were leased at the DuPont Experimental Station near Alapocas.

The company got more than $11 million dollars in funds from the Delaware Economic Development Office for meeting its employment goal of 550 workers. Officials said Incyte made more than $35 million in capital improvements to the site.

"They have to maintain the jobs for a period of five years, and truthfully we didn't think they were going to hit their number initially but they've already blown past it within a year," DEDO Director Alan Levin said.


NJ state police organizations add to reward for Del. trooper shooter

By Amy Cherry 5:34pm, November 21, 2014 - Updated 5:36pm, November 21, 2014
New Jersey state police organizations pitch in to help find whomever shot a Delaware State Trooper in Wilmington this time last year.

The $5,000 contribution from the State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Troopers NCO Association now brings the total reward to $15,000 for the arrest of the gunman.

Corporal Rick Deskis was shot in the arm almost exactly on year ago at 24th and Market Streets in Wilmington reports of a stolen clothing.

State police say more than 20 people witnessed Deskis get shot and none of them have spoken up.

The reward, for an anonymous tip through CrimeStoppers is a rare offering in that it only requires the arrest of the gunman and not necessarily a conviction.


Former Del. firefighter gets 18 months for thefts

By Associated Press 5:18pm, November 22, 2014
A prominent firefighter has pleaded guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from a volunteer fire company he headed in Delaware and a union representing the Wilmington Fire Department.

The News-Journal reports 38-year-old Vaughn Rider was sentenced to 18 months probation after admitting to two counts of theft and one count of forgery. The paper said neither Rider nor his attorney could be reached for comment Friday. A telephone listing for Rider rang unanswered Saturday.

Prosecutors say Rider stole money from the Wilmington Firefighters Association and the Belvedere Fire Company. He resigned from the Wilmington Fire Department Nov. 12, the same day he pleaded guilty in the case.

Rider was ordered to reimburse the union and Belvedere more than $33,000, the money he took plus additional costs.


Frankford man stands up to armed suspects

By Michelle Provencher 8:04pm, November 22, 2014
State Police say a Frankford man had a gun pulled on him during an attempted robbery in front of his own home.

Investigators report the 62-year-old victim pulled into his driveway, on the 35,000 block of Bay Lane in the Enchanted Meadows community, around 7 p.m. Friday.

As he got out of his car, police say three suspects descended on the victim and demanded he hand over any property.

One of the suspect's was allegedly carrying a rifle.

Troopers say the victim refused and a physical struggle ensued.

The suspects reportedly took off empty-handed, leaving the scene in an SUV.

Police say the victim suffered a minor injury to his face, but declined medical treatment.

State Police describe the trio of suspects as black males, about 5'5", weighing 180 lbs. and dressed in all black clothing. No further physical details were available.

Anyone with information is asked to call Troop 4, at 302-856-5850, or Crimestoppers.


Bank robbery suspect at large

By Michelle Provencher 4:15pm, November 22, 2014
State Police are searching for the suspect behind an afternoon bank robbery in Wilmington.

Investigators report the male suspect entered the Wells Fargo Bank, located at 814 Philadelphia Pike, around 1:15 PM Friday.

Troopers say he approached a teller and handed over a note demanding money.

Police say the teller complied, and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

No one was hurt.

Police describe the suspect as a white male, 5'9" to 6' tall and weighing 150 to 160 lbs., last seen wearing a green jacket and jeans.

State Police ask anyone with information to contact Troop 2 or Crimestoppers.


Disorderly conduct arrest at Family Court

By Michelle Provencher 6:21pm, November 22, 2014
Delaware Capitol Police arrest a man for disorderly conduct at Kent County Family Court.

Officials report 19-year-old Damir Hughes-Warren, of Houston, was questioned by police following his court hearing Friday.

Police say Hughes-Warren allegedly took his estranged girlfriend's cell phone from her earlier that day.

Officers say Hughes-Warren became agitated and refused to comply with their orders.

He reportedly became combative with arresting officers, grabbing one around the waist.

Hughes-Warren was eventually taken into custody, charged with Disorderly Conduct, Offensive Touching of a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting Arrest.

Hughes-Warren is committed to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of posting $3,500 secured bond.



Wilm. City Council wants FCC crackdown on 'graphic & vulgar' radio content

By Tom Lehman 12:58am, November 21, 2014 - Updated 8:38am, November 21, 2014
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.
Wilmington City Council is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to clean up the airwaves by enforcing its own regulations on radio stations that violate regulations on graphic and vulgar content.

A resolution passed unanimously on Thursday by the seven council members present at the meeting asked the FCC to crack down on media outlets violating policies on inappropriate content.

Councilman Nnamdi Chukwuocha (D-District 1) sponsored the resolution and said it calls upon federal regulators to enforce their rules, particularly when it comes to urban contemporary stations that play songs, including vulgar or graphic language when young people are listening.

The FCC prohibits "obscene broadcasts" at all times and disallows "indecent or profane broadcasts" except during certain hours.

Violators, according to the agency's website, are subject to sanctions that include fines, criminal charges, or license revocation and possible imprisonment.

"Unfortunately our children--our young children--are on the way to school listening to messages about murder and drug use," Chukwuocha said.

The resolution garnered some concern over free speech, but was passed in a 7-0 decision.


Future of Northeast Corridor discussed in Wilmington

By Tom Lehman 5:17am, November 21, 2014 - Updated 9:44am, November 21, 2014
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.
Federal officials held an open house in Wilmington on the future of the rail system in the Northeast corridor.

The Federal Railroad Administration is giving the public a chance to participate in the Northeast Corridor FUTURE program, which looks at options for the rail network's future based on population and usage trends.

Program Manager Rebecca Reyes-Alicea says the agency is studying three long-term options, including strategies that would add more rail capacity to certain areas. Bypasses for certain areas are one potential strategy.

"We want to just explore what the options are, see what the possibilities are and figure out what's the best service mix when we start to introduce new trackage, new capacity, how we can more efficiently move rail operators through the corridor," Reyes-Alicea said.

She said over the next year, the agency will study the Northeast Rail corridor before starting to formulate a plan and hold public hearings. A proposal from the program could be introduced in 2016.



Drug, gun arrests in traffic stop

By Michelle Provencher 6:57pm, November 22, 2014
Wilmington Police say they spotted suspicious activity, which led to drug and gun arrests.

Officers report they were patrolling the 400 block of North Clayton Street around 10 p.m. Friday night when they pulled over a suspicious car.

Police say a passenger in the backseat, later identified as 29-year-old Maurice Washington, took off running.

Upon catching up with Washington, officers say they had to use a TASER to take him into custody.

Washington was allegedly carrying a fully loaded Ruger 9 mm handgun.

Police report another passenger in the car, 22-year-old Eric Henry, had two grams of crack cocaine on him.

Both were taken into custody.


Police: Houses broken into, vehicles stolen in Alapocas, Brandywine Hundred

By Tom Lehman 6:02pm, November 21, 2014
New Castle County police are asking residents in Brandywine Hundred and Alapocas to be on the lookout for at least one burglar who may try to break into homes and steal motor vehicles.

A car and truck were stolen during the overnight hours this week after someone broke into homes and took sets of keys for the vehicles from the driveways, Sgt. Jacob Andrews said.

On Monday, a silver 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid was taken from a home in the 4600 block of Sylvanus Drive in the Rockwood Hills community, Andrews said.

A gray 2011 Toyota Tundra was also stolen early Friday from the 100 block Edgewood Road in Alapocas, he said.

The Honda had a license plate of PC2031 while the Toyota was registered under C108032.

The truck also had a New England Patriots sticker on the back window and a Delaware Surf Fishing tag on the front.

Police are reminding residents to lock doors and windows when leaving a residence and during overnight hours. Vehicles should also be locked after arriving home.

Anyone with information or video surveillance of the thefts can contact Detective David Graham at (302) 395-8110 or by email at DGraham@nccde.org.


Vacant building to stay unoccupied after Thursday night inferno

By Andrew Sgroi 10:21am, November 21, 2014 - Updated 5:37pm, November 21, 2014
(WDEL/Amy Cherry)
A two-alarm fire wipes out a vacant, multi-unit building in Wilmington's West Center City neighborhood Thursday night.

Firefighters were called to the three-story shell at 5th and Jefferson Streets just after 6 p.m. to find it fully ablaze on all floors of the uninhabited dwelling.

It took crews just over an hour to knock down the flames.

Though initial reports suggested that persons were trapped inside, multiple searches of the charred remains confirmed the building was empty.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Local organization welcomes Obama's executive action on immigration

By Amy Cherry/Allan Loudell 2:47pm, November 21, 2014
A local organization applauds President Obama's executive action on immigration.

Maria Matos, President and CEO of the Latin American Community Center in Wilmington, tells WDEL the president's actions will save millions of immigrants from deportation, but she cautions the measure is not a path to direct citizenship.

"You have three years of not having to worry that you will be picked up and deported away from your family," she said.

The executive order allows undocumented immigrants, who are parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders to live and work in the U.S. for three years.

In his speech, the president said it would make no sense to deport the more than 11 million immigrants in this country. Matos agrees.

"These people work hard. They don't come here to take advantage of benefits of what's in it for me. These are hard working people," she said. "Just this action alone will create three million new homeowners, which will dump about $500 billion into the economy," Matos said.

Critics say the U.S. should seal its borders and that illegal immigrants should be forced to live in the shadows. Republicans have vowed to fight the president's executive action by "any means necessary."


Early Friday shooting in Wilmington

By Peter MacArthur 11:29am, November 21, 2014 - Updated 2:47pm, November 21, 2014
700 block of E. 10th St. (Amy Cherry/WDEL)
A man was shot early Friday morning in Wilmington.

At about 1:45 a.m., officers got to the 700 block of East 10th Street and found a man inside a residence there with multiple gunshot wounds.

He was taken to Christiana Hospital in critical condition.

Police believe he was shot outside and then fled inside and collapsed.

No word on the victim's identity, or on suspects or arrests in the case.


Four thousand bags of heroin found in Wilmington drug sting

By Peter MacArthur 11:30am, November 21, 2014
Police in Wilmington executed a search warrant and uncovered a drug and weapons cache.

They entered a home on the 900 block of Clifford Brown Walk and found close to 4,000 bags of heroin with a street value of more than $36,000.

They also found pot and a loaded .32-caliber gun.

Police arrested 47 year old Ryan Briscoe, who lives there, charging him with drug and weapons possession.

He's in the Howard Young Prison in lieu of $125,000 bail.


Christiana man busted in jewelry theft

By Amy Cherry 5:49pm, November 21, 2014
Here's some of the jewelry police say Aaron Cushing stole from a Hockessin home.
County police arrest a Christiana man on burglary charges.

Police handcuffed Aaron Cushing in connection with a jewelry theft from a home on the 2200 block of Brackenville Road in Hockessin last month.

Cushing is being held in the Howard Young prison on more than $12,000 bail on charges of second-degree burglary, theft under $1,500, and criminal mischief.




Phone scammers targeting Wilm. residents

By Tom Lehman 6:23pm, November 21, 2014
City police are advising Wilmington residents to be wary of phone calls from people trying to scam them.

Sgt. Andrea Janvier said the phone calls involve people from impersonating persons from different organizations, requesting payment of overdue bills.

On at least one occasion, officers responded to a bank after a customer who got a fake check, telling them to make a deposit, Janvier said.

Police are reminding residents that they should not provide any personal information or make any arrangements to meet an unknown person who might be aggressive in requesting payment.

Janvier said residents should also call the organization the businesses or organizations purported to be involved by callersto verify details regarding any potential delinquencies.

Anyone who receives a phone call believe to be a scammer should hang up and call the Wilmington Police Criminal Investigations Division at (302) 576-3620.

You can also submit an anonymous text message tip by texting the words TIP WILMINGTON and then your tip to 888777.

Tips can also be submitted to Delaware CrimeStoppers at 1 (800) TIP-3333.

You can contact Tom Lehman at tlehman@wdel.com or follow him on Twitter at @teelehman.


Electrical malfunction sparks fire, killing 20,000 chickens in Laurel

By Associated Press 10:15am, November 22, 2014
Officials say some 20,000 birds were killed in a chicken house fire in Laurel.

The State Fire Marshal's office says the blaze was reported about 5 a.m. Friday on Trap Pond Road. Firefighters from several companies battled the blaze in the 400-foot-long structure. No injuries were reported. Damage was estimated at $75,000.

Investigators say the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in the bird feeder system.



NJ fights judge's ruling on sports betting

By Associated Press 10:15am, November 22, 2014
A spokesman for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the state has filed a notice of appeal against a judge's decision blocking sports betting.

A federal judge said Friday New Jersey cannot partially lift a prohibition on sports betting in an effort to boost its struggling horse racing and casino industries. The ruling from Judge Michael Shipp was the expected outcome since he had ruled similarly in the past.

A federal law bans New Jersey and most other states from authorizing betting on sports. But the state contended it didn't want to license or authorize the betting. Instead, it was seeking to end a prohibition.

The judge agreed with the NCAA and the four major U.S. sports leagues that setting parameters such as limiting sports gambling to certain places amounts to regulation.


Univ. of MD Ebola vaccine study progresses

By Associated Press 10:19am, November 22, 2014
The University of Maryland School of Medicine says it has administered an experimental Ebola vaccine to 20 volunteers in Baltimore.

Officials said Friday they expect preliminary results in four to eight weeks.

The clinical trial will evaluate different dosages of a vaccine developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline.

The school says half of the subjects received one dosage and half received another. Researchers hope to learn about the safety of the different doses and their ability to stimulate immune responses.

The study is being conducted by the school's Center for Vaccine Development. The center began a similar trial on volunteers in Mali last month.

Versions of the same vaccine are also undergoing clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Switzerland.


NJ online gambling underwhelms in first year

By Associated Press 10:23am, November 22, 2014
Internet gambling in New Jersey has been underwhelming in the year since it began. It's under attack by opponents looking to shut it down, even as it provides a bit of help to Atlantic City's struggling casinos.

When it started, Internet gambling was hailed by many as a potential game-changer that would help reverse years of declining revenues at Atlantic City's 12 casinos. Gov. Chris Christie's administration expected online betting to bring in $1 billion in its first year.

But only one-tenth of that has materialized. And since Internet gambling started, four casinos closed. A fifth is poised to shutter next month.

But even the small revenue boost from online gambling is helping the casinos that offer it. In several months, Internet winnings were the difference between the surviving casinos posting a revenue decline or an increase compared with a year earlier.


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