AG Beau Biden to run for governor in 2016
By WDEL Staff

Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 4:06pm

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VIDEO: WDEL's Amy Cherry gets reaction from Sen. Chris Coons.

Attorney General Beau Biden says he will not seek re-election this November and will run for governor in 2016.

Biden sent a letter to his supporters Thursday morning, his political director Molly Magarik said.

"He released a letter to his supporters and notified the staff at the Department of Justice that he intends to run for governor, and therefore cannot ask the voters to elect him to another term as A.G. since he would be unable to fulfill that commitment of a full term," she said.

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Biden, who suffered a mild stroke in May 2010, last August had surgery at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, after becoming weak and disoriented, but he has never spoken publicly about it. The younger Biden has been seen with a significant scar on the side of his head.

Magarik says his health isn't an issue.

"As you all saw from the doctor's statement that was released back in February, he has a clean bill of health, and he's feeling great. Actually, I think ran five-some-odd miles the other day, so he's doing very well, and that played no part in this decision," she said.

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Magarik says Biden will not speak about his decision until his term as Attorney General is finished eight months from now.

Biden says in the letter, "After careful consideration, I have concluded that it is not right to ask for your support in 2014, knowing that my focus would be divided between doing my job as Attorney General while at the same time running as a candidate for Governor."

He continues, "After my term is completed, I look forward to meeting with Delawareans and continuing to discuss my plans as a candidate for Governor."

Biden facing criticism

Biden has faced criticism in the last few weeks after it came to light that Robert Richards IV, a wealthy du Pont heir, pled guilty to raping his young daughter, but did not serve any prison time.

"That's going to be a bad mark against his record. I think that any time you have a convicted rapist, which Richards was, just walking away with probation, I think you have to have some questions to answer there, particularly when you talk about defending the interests of children," says John Flaherty with the Delaware Coalition for Open Government.

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Biden has also come under fire recently for keeping a low public profile and not being as accessible to the media as he was before his health problems.

"Obviously, in today's environment, you have to be accountable to the media to defend your actions. And his inability or his unwillingness to answer (the media's) questions and many other questions personally is quite perplexing," Flaherty says.

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Reaction to Attorney General Beau Biden's Decision to Run for Governor

Senator Chris Coons tells WDEL the announcement that Attorney General Beau Biden would not run for Attorney General again and instead would run for governor in 2016 came as a surprise to him.

"Attorney General Biden has been a very effective law enforcement official. I'm very sorry to hear he's not going to pursue another term in this critical law enforcement post," said Coons.

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AG Biden hasn't been seen much in public since his latest health scare. But Senator Coons says he saw Beau recently, and he was both energetic and engaging.

"He was energetic, he was engaging. He's been an effective attorney general, he's been engaged in his service to our state. This announcement today came somewhat as a surprise to me, but as he's also announcing his intent to seek the governorship, I think we can all agree he has a determination to continue in public service to our state, and I welcome him in that," said Coons.

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WWII veteran receives decades overdue honor
By Amy Cherry

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VIDEO: WDEL's Amy Cherry has the story.

It's been a long time coming, but a World War II veteran finally gets recognized for his service.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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Former Army Technician Franny Weaver had tears in his eyes and was surrounded by loved ones as Senator Chris Coons pinned him with five long-overdue medals for his service.

"I had no idea about these medals or anything," said Weaver.

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Weaver thought he was attending a Bronze Star Medal presentation for his nephew, Air Force Major David Strawbridge, who also pinned for his service in Afghanistan Thursday. Strawbridge says it brings a smile to his face to share the day with his uncle.

"This was, obviously, an incredible honor to have Uncle Franny get all of his recognition and his awards. I expected one or two, did not expect the bling that he's wearing now," said Strawbridge.

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Weaver's bling comes so late because his military records were destroyed in the National Archives fire.

"They wanted paperwork that never existed. It burned up in a fire in St. Louis in 1973 so there's a lot of servicemen and women like Uncle Franny, who will not get their just reward, because the records no longer exist," said Major Strawbridge.

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Senator Coons' staff did the research and found sufficient evidence to award Weaver with his medals.

Weaver was humbled.

"When I landed in Seattle to come home off the boat and caught a train home, there was no medals. We just came home, and that was it," he said.

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Weaver was pinned with five WWII medals including the: Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and Philippine Liberation Medal.



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See a preview of the new Cabela's at Christiana Mall
By Mellany Armstrong

Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 5:36pm

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VIDEO: WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.

They're putting the finishing touches on the new Cabela's outdoor store at Christiana Mall.

WDEL's Mellany Armstrong reports.

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You can get a taste of the outdoors INDOORS at the new Cabela's. Spokesman Eric Williams stands near the indoor waterfall that runs down a mountain dotted with stuffed deer and a mountain lion.

"With retail anywhere from camping to fishing items. We have two 8,000 gallon aquariums in the store, which house brook trout to striped bass to catfish," he said.

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You can also get guns and eat game.

"We have your hoagies, we have your hams, and things like that, but we have unique sandwiches, we have elk, bison and boar sandwiches you can have here. Little different taste to them, but they're really lean, they're very good," he said.

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More than 250 local workers have been hired to staff Cabela's Christiana. Thousands are expected to line up outside on opening day May 1. An archer will shoot an arrow through the grand opening ribbon.



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Revere's RBI single lifts Phillies over Braves 1-0
By Rob Maaddi/AP

Ben Revere's RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning lifted the Philadelphia Phillies to a 1-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday afternoon.

A.J. Burnett tossed three-hit ball over seven innings to outpitch Alex Wood (2-2). Atlanta's Julio Teheran beat Cliff Lee 1-0 less than 24 hours earlier.

Dominic Brown led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. He advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored on Revere's hit up the middle.

Antonio Bastardo (2-1) worked the eighth and Jonathan Papelbon finished off the four-hitter with a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five tries.

Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg successfully challenged a call in the fifth inning when Andrelton Simmons was ruled out trying to steal second base.



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No Biden endorsement from Obama
By Chris Carl

President Obama isn't saying who he favors in the 2016 Presidential race.

On "CBS This Morning," the President had high praise for Joe Biden, but didn't endorse a Biden run for the White House.

"I've got somebody who I think will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history. And he has been a great partner in everything that I do. I suspect there may be other potential candidates for 2016 who have been great friends and allies," President Obama said.

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And Mr. Obama made reference to - but didn't name - another potential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

"I know that we've got an extraordinary Secretary of State who did great service for us and worked with me and Joe to help make the country safer," the President said.

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Biden is saying once again that he hasn't decided whether to run. Clinton has also not said if she'll run.



The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.




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Alleged "Brandywine Park flasher" charged
By Tom Lehman

Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 4:09pm

Nicholas Saienni. (Courtesy of Wilmington Police Department)
A 29-year-old Wilmington man who exposed himself to a woman in Brandywine Park on Saturday has surrendered to police.

Nicholas Saienni, who lives on the 1400 block of N. Clayton Street, turned himself into police on Wednesday after he was identified from a photograph released by authorities, said Cpl. Mark Ivey.

Police said a man in athletic attire flashed his private parts to a 55-year-old woman jogging on a path along North Park Drive on Saturday.

The woman took a photo of the man and gave it to authorities. Police distributed the photo which led to numerous tips from the public identifying the suspect as Saienni, Ivey said.

Investigators then contacted Saienni, who turned himself into police, Ivey said.

Saienni has also been charged with an additional count of indecent exposure for another alleged incident at Brandywine Park last year. He was released on $2,000 unsecured bond



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Dover PD: Elderly man brutally beaten stabbed in home invasion
By Amy Cherry

Police say an elderly man has been beaten and stabbed in a home invasion.

It happened on the 700 block of South Hasley Road in Dover after midnight.

The 82-year-old victim tells police when he arrived home he was confronted by an acquaintance named Shirley Smith and another man.

Police say the couple threw the victim onto the ground, tied him up, cut his ear and stabbed him several times in the back.

The duo stole the man's bank cards, some cash, and his car, but later ditched it at a local housing complex.

The victim remained tied up for seven hours before he escaped and was taken to the hospital. He's expected to make a full recovery.



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Country Maid deli in Milltown robbed
By Tom Lehman

Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 9:12pm

A deli in Milltown was robbed by a man with a demand note on Thursday, state police said.

The entered the Country Maid at 5605 Kirkwood Highway about 9:45 a.m. and presented a demand note to a cashier, police said.

The employee turned over money to the robber, who fled from the scene.

No one was hurt.

The suspect is described as being white, 25 to 40 years old, about 6 feet 1 inches tall with an average to thin build.

No video surveillance of the robbery was available for release, police said.

Anyone with information can call the Troop 2 Robbery Unit at (302) 834-2630 ext. 6 or by using the Delaware State Police Mobile Crime Tip application.

Tips can also be submitted to Delaware CrimeStoppers at 1 (800) TIP-3333, online at www.tipsubmit.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."




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DNREC reports sulfur dioxide release at Del. City refinery
By Tom Lehman

Nearly 200 pounds of sulfur dioxide was released into the air at the Delaware City Refinery on Thursday, state environmental officials said.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said the release was tied to a flaring incident caused by a mechanical malfunction at the facility, located on the 4500 block of Wrangle Hill Road.

The agency said 195 pounds of sulfur dioxide, a chemical compound considered hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency, was released into the air.

The malfunction was reportedly corrected, officials said.






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Wilm. center opens to help ex-offenders
By Amy Cherry

Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 5:43pm

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VIDEO: WDEL's Amy Cherry talks with the Executive Director of the Wilmington HOPE Commission.

Ex-offenders will have a place to go to learn about employment opportunities and to get substance abuse help.

Charles Madden, Executive Director of the Wilmington HOPE Commission, says he's long been dreaming for a place like the brand new Achievement Center on Vandever Avenue.

"I have spent the last five years of my life, almost every waking moment trying to figure out how we can this to work," said Madden.

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Statistics show that 75 percent of offenders in Delaware end up back in jail. Madden says the Achievement Center aims to end that.

"They're left to their own devices, and they only parent the way they know how. So this is an opportunity for us to do some family reunification, to help support men so they can become productive members of the community," Madden said.

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The facility is just for men. Madden hopes to help 50 offenders in the first year and several hundred in the years that follow.

The center comes after Gov. Markell focused a portion of his State of the State Address on recidivism.



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DuPont ag sales lag due largely to winter weather
By Peter MacArthur

Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 3:52pm

DuPont's agricultural sales suffered and its operating costs rose during extensive winter storms that dragged on first-quarter earnings, although volumes increased in the company's industrial segments and margins improved in almost every one of them.

The Wilmington, Del., chemical maker reported net income Thursday of $1.4 billion, or $1.54 per share, for the quarter ended March 31. That's down from $3.35 billion, or $3.58 per share, for the same quarter a year ago, which included a one-time gain from completion of the sale of DuPont's performance coatings unit.

Is the company considering spinning off any other units?

"We look at each of our businesses continuously. They earn their right into our portfolio, so at this point in time, we always are looking at it, but we are very pleased with where our portfolio will be," said CEO Ellen Kullman.

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Excluding one-time items, DuPont reported operating earnings of $1.58 per share, up from $1.56 per share on an adjusted basis in last year's first quarter, but slightly off the consensus Wall Street estimate of $1.59 per share.

Sales declined threeent to $10.1 billion for the quarter, mainly due to differences in timing and planted area for agriculture sales, negative currency impact, and adverse weather conditions in North America. Analysts were expecting revenue of $10.4 billion



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Wilmington man honored for thousand of volunteer hours
By Mellany Armstrong

Updated Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 2:36pm

Honoree Ralph Smith with Ruby Holdeman, Community Services, Home Instead Senior Care
A Wilmington man is a super volunteer.

Mellany Armstrong has more in WDEL's Delaware Stories.

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It would be hard to beat 82-year-old Ralph Smith's number of volunteer hours.

"I think I've got 58, 59,000 hours that I've dedicated here to the VA," said Smith.

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Smith gets to the Wilmington VA Medical Center in Elsmere at 6 a.m. and he doesn't leave until 4:30 p.m. He's an ambassador volunteer, giving directions to veterans and other visitors, among many other things.

"I know where most of the doctors are and where most of the nurses are, so I let them know where to go," he said.

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Smith, a veteran of the Navy who served in Korea, has been in a wheelchair for the last 20 years.

"I had a stroke and the people here did an awful lot to help me get through it," he said.

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"And I could not sit home and look at the walls, so I decided to allocate myself here and try to volunteer and things," Smith said.

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Ralph Smith is the 2014 'Salute to Senior Service' winner for Delaware. His boss is volunteer coordinator Pat Caldwell.

"He's a devoted volunteer, I can always count on him. The only problem I have with Ralph is when I tell him he can't come in because there's a snowstorm, he gets upset," she said.

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Smith has donated his award of $500 to the VA hospital.



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Del. Art Museum paintings vandalized with stickers
By Associated Press

(WDEL/File)
The Delaware Museum of Art says a group of visitors recently vandalized paintings and a statue with stickers.

The News Journal reports in an email obtained by the newspaper, museum Registrar Amy Hussey says the small stickers displaying religious script and iconography were placed on Pre-Raphaelite paintings and an outdoor statue.

A conservator removed the stickers, but the amount of damage to the collection considered one of the best outside Britain is unknown. A museum spokeswoman says the museum does not comment on vandalism.

In the email Hussey asks members of the Registrars Committee of the American Alliance of Museums if they have encountered similar situations. She says security footage indicates the group "tried to hide from cameras when in the act."



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Ill, hospitalized Miley Cyrus postpones more shows
By Associated Press

A Cyrus spokeswoman says the 21-year-old entertainer canceled her performance Tuesday, April 15, 2014, after she was hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, file)
Miley Cyrus is postponing more concerts as she remains in a hospital for a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics.

A representative says the singer won't perform in Nashville, Tennessee, on Friday and Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday. Those concerts will be rescheduled.

Cyrus suffered from a sinus infection last week during her "Bangerz" tour. Her rep says she had "an extreme allergic reaction" to the antibiotic cephalexin.

This week, Cyrus also canceled concerts in St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri. She postponed a show in Charlotte, North Carolina, last week because of the flu.

The 21-year-old "Wrecking Ball" singer's next scheduled tour date is Monday in Philadelphia.



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2 workers hurt in reported explosion in Lewes
By Joe Irizarry

The state Fire Marshal's office is investigating a reported explosion in the 30000 block of Park Terrace at the Ridings of Rehoboth in Lewes.

The Lewes Fire Department responded to the scene shortly after the incident was reported at 2:45 Thursday afternoon.

Two works from the Schagrin Gas Company were found with very minor injuries and were transported to Beebe Medical Center.

State fire investigators say the incident was caused when the two workers were trying to repair a gas line.



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$10K endowed scholarship established at DSU
By Mark Fowser

Two alumni of Delaware State University establish a $10,000 endowed scholarship, available for undergraduate students.

Students must have a GPA of at least 2.75 and demonstrate financial need.

The Dr. Berlin N. and Dr. Reba Hollingsworth Endowed Scholarship is named in honor of the two longtime supporters of DSU.

The duo has contributed more than $23,000 to Delaware State University over the years.




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St. Mark's rallies past Caravel in baseball showdown
By Sean Greene

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VIDEO: Highlights and Reaction to St. Mark's victory

St. Mark's Tommy Freeland smashed a 2-run triple to the wall in right-centerfield to highlight a 5-run, 5th inning in a 6-3 come-from-behind victory over Caravel Thursday afternoon.

The battle of undefeated in-state programs came down to a pair of big innings, one by each side.

The Spartans took the first lead at 1-0 in the bottom of the 2nd on Ethan Brancato's RBI single to drive home Freeland with the initial run of the game.

Caravel immediately responded in the next half inning with a 3-run frame taking advantage of a failed pickoff which allowed a run to score, an RBI single by Tyler Juhl, and then a double steal where Brandon Fraley scored on a delay to boost the Bucs to a 3-1 advantage.

A pitching duel between Caravel's Cory Hart and St. Mark's Billy Phillips kept the game that way until the bottom of the 5th, when the Spartans did their decisive damage.

Peter Berardi led off the inning with a walk, and then Calvin Scott singled. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, which proved important because 2-hitter Billy Phillips said after the game he was planning to sacrifice them into scoring position.

With the advancement already done, Phllips got the green light to swing away, and he singled to right field to plate both runs and tie the game.

Dominic DiSabatino singled, and then after a popout it was Freeland who would plate the two runners by smashing a line drive and getting all the way to third base. He would score the game's final run on a wild pitch.

Phillips earned the victory by striking out 10 in a complete game 5-hitter. He retired the last 11 Bucs in order.

Next up for St. Mark's (8-0) is a battle with rival Salesianum at Frawley Stadium Thursday night. Caravel (6-2) is home on Monday to take on the Delbarton School from New Jersey.



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Westin Wilmington opens at city riverfront
By Tom Lehman

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VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.

The new 180-room Westin hotel at the Wilmington Riverfront opened for business on Thursday.

The Westin Wilmington, which is connected to the Chase Center at the Riverfront, is the first Westin-branded hotel in Delaware and the first such lodging to be built in Wilmington since 1980.

PM Hospitality Strategies will operate the hotel under a long-term lease agreement. The facility is owned by a joint partnership between the Buccini/Pollin Group and Westport Capital.



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