Bill Pheiffer, former Del. sports announcer, passes

By Don Voltz 7:27pm, February 28, 2015
Bill Pheiffer (Courtesy of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame)
Long-time WDEL sports director Bill Pheiffer passed away Saturday morning at his home at the age of 90.

Pheiffer was a native of Easton, Pennsylvania and graduated from Lafayette College

He began his radio and TV career in 1949, and worked at WDEL more than 30 years, as both news and sports director. For many years, starting in the 1960's, Pheiffer broadcast Salesianum football games on WDEL. He also worked with the late Bob Kelly broadcasting University of Delaware football and basketball games in the 1960's and 1980's.

When Kelly passed away in 1987, Pheiffer became the voice of the Blue Hens, doing play-by-play for several years before doing color for the last five years until 1999. Pheiffer retired from WDEL in 1989 but continued doing Blue Hen sports for ten years after his retirement.

Pheiffer was given the Herm Reitzes award by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association and was also inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2003. Pheiffer also received the Bill Knight award for football coverage by the Yankee Conference.

In addition to his work at WDEL, Pheiffer did TV play-by-play for the Philadelphia Warriors, Big 5 basketball, the Wilmington Blue Bombers as well as calling horse races at Brandywine Raceway and Delaware Park. Bill Pheiffer broadcast more than 1,000 professional, collegiate and high school games during his career at more than 200 sites in 32 states.



March roars in with snow, ice

By Amy Cherry 6:15pm, February 28, 2015 - Updated 6:36pm, February 28, 2015
A look at Sunday's storm. (Graphic/AccuWeather)
Ice and snow are on the way to start off the month of March.

AccuWeather said Wilmington will see a few hours of snow that will changeover to an icy mix and rain Sunday afternoon into Sunday night.

Snow is expected to move in from west to east, reaching the Delaware coastline by early Sunday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The NWS says snow will changeover to sleet and freezing rain in southern Delaware with total snowfall of an inch or less. One-tenth of an inch of ice is expected with this storm.

A winter weather advisory goes into effect at 10 a.m. Sunday until 4 a.m. Monday.

AccuWeather said to expect slick travel in Delaware for the Monday morning commute.

Temperatures Monday are expected to be well above freezing before dipping back into the teens and single digits Monday night and Tuesday morning.


UD's 'Forest to Pharmacy' exhibit on display at Philly Flower Show

By Shana O'Malley 10:01am, February 28, 2015 - Updated 3:35pm, February 28, 2015
VIDEO: WDEL's Shana O'Malley reports
University of Delaware students are showing off their skills outside of the classroom with an exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Students in the design practicum class have spent countless hours picking out plans and drawing up designs for the exhibit.

Tony Middlebrooks, associate professor of Organizational and Community Leadership, said the students come from a mix of majors and bring a variety of skills to the project.

"We pull together students from engineering, from leadership, from horticulture, from art, from business, and the students learn what its like to work with students from disciplines they're not familiar with," he said.

UD senior Paige Gugerty was one a few in the class that traveled to Florida with Sam Lemheney, UD alum and director of the flower show, to learn about plants for the exhibit.

"After Florida we picked out all the plants, figured out all the quantities we needed, and I've been overseeing a lot of that process to get them here on the convention center floor," she said.

Jules Bruck, associate professor of Landscape Design, said students designed the "Forest to Pharmacy" exhibit after working with the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research.

"They are interested in conservation of the Rainforest, and they were helping us understand the idea of how plants can be used as medicines," she said.

The Flower Show runs Feb. 28 through Mar. 8.

After the flower show, plants from the exhibit will be available for sale at UD's Ag Day in April.


Delaware weighing new vaccination requirements for 9th-graders

By Associated Press 6:52pm, February 28, 2015
Delaware health officials are considering a new requirement that school children receive vaccines before entering the 9th grade.

The News Journal of Wilmington reports that the new requirements would be intended to prevent the spread of whooping cough and meningitis.

State health division director Dr. Karyl Rattay said in a statement this week that she's weighing the "the pros and cons of mandating vaccinations for adolescents."

Public school students in Delaware are required to receive vaccinations against polio, measles and other diseases. But the state is one of just four that doesn't require a booster shot for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis before high school. The meningitis vaccine is required before college, but not for 9th-graders.


A.I. duPont Hospital raises awareness for rare diseases

By Shana O'Malley 6:04pm, February 27, 2015 - Updated 3:37pm, February 28, 2015
WDEL's Shana O'Malley reports
In honor of national Rare Disease Day, A.I. duPont Hospital for Children teamed up with students involved in the Delaware chapter of the Health Occupations of America to raise awareness.

Hospital social worker Jennifer Fenstermacher said students have spent months learning about rare diseases.

"They selected a rare disease and they presented posters. They also had to speak with a family with a child who has the disease and also speak with a researcher," she said.

The students worked with people like Gina Castelli, the mother of 3-year-old, LillyAnna, who is battling an extremely rare disease.

"She has a disease called idiopathic infantile pyoderma gangrenosum. She is the 17th reported case of her disease in the world," Castelli said.

The disease causes the child to develop deep skin lesions all over her body. Doctors believe she may have a new strain of the autoinflammatory disease.

Rare Disease Day is held each year on the last day in February to help support research for various rare diseases, which are defined as diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people at a time in the United States.


Help dogs find their 'furever' home

By Amy Cherry 3:25pm, February 27, 2015
So you can't adopt this dog, but maybe there's a Frenchie like him available at "Find a Fido!"
If you're thinking about adopting a dog, then don't miss the Camp Bow Wow's "Find a Fido" event this weekend.

Camp Bow Wow is hosting nine different shelters and adoption agencies this weekend at "Find a Fido."

"Usually they bring big dogs, little dogs, old dogs, young dogs, all kinds so it's really fun to see all the happy, healthy dogs looking for great homes," said Camp Bow Wow owner Laurie Williams.

She said each shelter can bring up to five dogs at a time; some participating shelters rotate dogs in and out so people can see more of a selection.

You won't be able to adopt a dog right on the spot--you'll still have to go through the application process.

But she said be ready to answer some questions.

They should come to it in mind with what they have setup to care for the dog, a little bit about the types of characteristics that they're looking for in a dog--like do they want a high energy dog? Do they not want a dog with kids? Do they want a companion type dog? They should also think about how often they can exercise the dog," she explained.

Williams said the event is great for those who are in the early stages of thinking about bringing a faithful friend into their lives too.

"So people are welcome to come, even if they're not interested in adoption right now. If they're just checking things out to adopt in the future, they're more than willing to come and talk to the different adoption agencies about the processes and the types of dogs that they usually have," she said.

Williams has asked you to leave your current pets at home since there's already so many dogs at the event.

The event is Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Camp Bow Wow Delaware North, located at 301 Ruthar Drive near Newark.



Newark man booked on drug, child endangerment counts after DSP raid

By Frank Gerace 10:29am, February 28, 2015 - Updated 4:08pm, February 28, 2015
Robert Rivera
A Newark man is out on bail after his arrest on drug possession and child endangerment counts.

State Police say a raid on Robert Rivera's home on Greentree Road Friday morning turned up 126 bags of heroin labeled "Block Party", along with half a gram of pot.

Rivera's 8-year-old and 12-year-old daughters were in the house; troopers turned them over to a family member.

Police say the raid came after a month-long investigation. Rivera was released on bail after arraignment.


Net neutrality fans use Grumpy Cat in aerial jab at Comcast

By Associated Press 4:50pm, February 28, 2015 - Updated 6:05pm, February 28, 2015
Internet activists took an aerial jab at Comcast to celebrate new government rules affecting the Philadelphia-based corporation.

A plane towed a banner Friday past company headquarters that said, "Comcast: Don't Mess With the Internet." It featured a picture of Grumpy Cat and the hashtags SorryNotSorry and NetNeutrality.

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to impose strict regulations on Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon. The rules aim to enforce net neutrality, the concept that companies shouldn't block or slow Web traffic or create paid fast lanes.

The net neutrality groups Fight for the Future, Demand Progress and Free Press supported the decision. They hired the plane.

Comcast said the FCC shouldn't oversee the Internet using regulations designed for the 1930s phone system. A representative didn't comment on the stunt.


Supplier diversity highlighted in Markell's weekly address

By Joe Irizarry 3:51pm, February 28, 2015
(Photo/YouTube screenshot)
Governor Jack Markell said the state is helping supplier diversity providers grow in Delaware.

In his weekly address, broadcast on WDEL, Markell said he's committed to providing the supplier diversity community the supportive environment they need to thrive, and that ongoing efforts already reflect that.

Markell points to Executive Order 44 signed last spring which ensures businesses owned by individuals with disabilities and certain small businesses are able to successfully compete for state contracts as certified diverse suppliers.

"It builds on previous efforts to support minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses throughout the state, which combined has resulted in nearly a 200 percent increase in Delaware's supplier diversity community over the past six years," Markell said.

Markell added there are more than 2,000 supplier diversity providers in the state, and the list is growing.

He said that entrepreneurs and small businesses are a key part of Delaware's overall economic success, and that creating more opportunities for the diverse community of entrepreneurs will encourage new innovators to step forward and put more people back to work.

Check out video of Governor Markell's weekly address click here.


President of Sussex County Republican Women's Club delivers GOP weekly address

By Mark Fowser/Amy Cherry 3:51pm, February 28, 2015 - Updated 3:54pm, February 28, 2015
Alana Keeley, President of the Sussex County Republican Women's Club delivers this week's Delaware GOP address. (Photo/YouTube screenshot)
As women take charge in business and are growing in numbers as registered voters, they're speaking out about concerns.

In the weekly Delaware Republican Party address, broadcast on WDEL, Sussex County Republican Women's Club President Alana Keeley said a study shows 40,000 more women are registered to vote than men in Delaware.

"Women are great leaders. Whether it's leading campaigns or becoming candidates ourselves, we know we have the capacity to impact policy in a serious way. This engagement has the potential to help reshape the discussion in Delaware, and the impact women make has only just begun," she said.

Keeley also highlighted concerns in Delaware about educational and economic issues as well as crime throughout the state and a growing heroin problem.

"Crime, education and the economy are as much women's issues as they are men's, and the Democratic stewardship in Delaware has led to unsafe streets, less opportunity and a weak education system that's starting our children at a disadvantage," she said.

Keeley said women need to be empowered to engage in the political process and bring a fresh perspective.

Check out video of the GOP weekly address:




Troopers seek suspect in Sussex grocery store rob attempt

By Frank Gerace 10:29am, February 28, 2015 - Updated 3:47pm, February 28, 2015
Delaware State Police are looking for a masked man in connection with a robbery attempt at a Sussex County grocery store this past week.

Police said the would-be robber demanded cash from the clerk at Hocker's Supermarket on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View Thursday night and implied he was armed.

The clerk refused and alerted another worker, and the suspect took off out the front door, police said.

The suspect is described as white, 6'1" to 6'4", with a gray mask, black jacket and blue jeans.

Anyone with information can call Troop 4 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-TIP-3333. Tipsters can also send an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP".


Joint birthday party planned for NY couple married 82 years

By Associated Press 6:02pm, February 28, 2015
Photo/Amalia Thomas
One of the oldest married couples in New York will celebrate their birthdays this weekend - and their combined ages will be 212.

The Journal News of White Plains reported that Duranord Veillard will turn 108 on Saturday. His wife, Jeanne Veillard, turns 105 in May.

They'll celebrate this weekend at the Spring Valley home they share with their daughter.

Veillard is a native of Haiti who was a judge there. He and his wife moved to the United States in 1968, raising five children while he worked as a hospital laboratory technician.

Though nearly blind and hard of hearing, Veillard still cracks jokes in Creole and does push-ups after getting up before dawn.

The Veillards have been married 82 years.


Uber says database containing driver info was breached

By Associated Press 6:02pm, February 28, 2015
A database containing the names and drivers' license numbers of 50,000 of Uber drivers was breached in May.

The ride-sharing service said it has notified the drivers and hasn't received any reports of the information being misused. Uber said it will offer a one-year membership in Experian's ProtectMyID Alert identity theft protection service to the drivers involved.

The company said the breach affects drives in multiple states, but only involves a small percentage of its current and former drivers.

Uber said it discovered a potential breach in September. It announced the events it a statement posted on its blog and described it as a one-time occurrence. The San Francisco company said it has changed the access protocols for its database to prevent similar breaches.



Hyundai recalls 263K cars due to power-steering problem

By Associated Press 6:02pm, February 28, 2015
Hyundai is recalling about 263,000 cars in the U.S. and Canada because a sensor problem could cause drivers to lose power-assisted steering.

The company has not reported any injuries or accidents. A representative for Hyundai Motor America wasn't immediately available for comment.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said a sensor in the affected cars could detect a discrepancy in the steering input and signals and disable power-assisted steering as a result. Cars would revert to manual steering and require greater effort to steer at low speeds, raising the risk of a crash.

The affected cars include model years 2008 to 2010 of Elantras and Elantra Touring vehicles made between Nov. 1, 2008 and April 30.

Owners can contact Hyundai's customer service at 1-855-671-3059.



New York exhibits mark centennial of Frank Sinatra's birth

By Associated Press 6:04pm, February 28, 2015
Frank Sinatra (Photo/NY Public Library for the Performing Arts)
A couple of New York exhibits are paying homage to the centennial of Frank Sinatra's birth by displaying rare photographs and mementos, many of them from the family archive.

"Sinatra: An American Icon" opens Wednesday at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. It will also feature recordings, clothing and new paintings of Sinatra by Peter Max. The show will travel to the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles after it closes Sept. 4.

"The Sinatra Experience" at Morrison Hotel Gallery in SoHo includes a selfie taken by a 23-year-old Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey. The show runs Thursday through March 26.

Sinatra centennial panel discussions will also be held throughout the year, including at Yale University.

Sinatra was born Dec. 12, 1915, and died at 82 in 1998.



Buffalo engineers seek to build better NFL schedule

By Associated Press 6:02pm, February 28, 2015
Two industrial engineering students at the University at Buffalo have been working on a new NFL schedule to minimize competitive imbalance.

Kyle Cunningham and Niraj Pandy said they've developed an algorithm that comes close to matching - and in some cases improving - a schedule the NFL produces each year.

They said they've reduced the number of times that teams play more-rested opponents coming off a bye week or a Thursday night game. They eventually developed a program that produced a variety of schedules in which no team played more than two games against more-rested opponents per season.

The study was prompted in 2013 when the Buffalo Bills complained their schedule included six games against opponents coming off extended breaks.


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