Bulletproof whiteboards to outfit classrooms at Gunning Bedford Middle

By Amy Cherry 2:09pm, October 30, 2014 - Updated 3:42pm, October 30, 2014
VIDEO: Hardwire says their bulletproof whiteboards will protect kids in schools. See them in action.
Colonial School District will be better prepared in the event of a school shooting.

WDEL's Amy Cherry explains.

Click here to listen



You can draw on them, teach your lesson, and wipe them clean. But these whiteboards go well beyond regular classroom use. They double as bulletproof shields.

"This white board right here will stop any handgun, any shotgun, and it will absorb multiple clips of ammunition, so it actually stops the same thing a police vest would stop," said George Tunis, CEO of Pocomoke City, Maryland-based Hardwire, which manufactures the boards.

The shields are made out of the same body armor that protects combat soldiers and Tunis says they can help teachers save precious time and lives before first responders arrive on-scene.

"In the Virginia Tech massacre, most of the shootings happened with teachers holding the door shut and they were killed through the door. This becomes a very offensive, non-lethal tool," in those scenarios, said Tunis.

The boards will be outfitted in every classroom at Gunning Bedford Middle School as part of a pilot program. State Senator Nicole Poore helped secure the 121 boards after talking with parents of kids, who died in the Sandy Hook school shooting.

"Locks don't stop a bullet; metal detectors don't stop a bullet, but we now have a tool that can help our teachers and our students," said Poore.

Tunis says the bulletproof whiteboards are in schools in all 50 states, and the way world is, he says they'll become as common as fire prevention tools.

"The Hardwire bulletproof white board is really that fire extinguisher for gunfire," said Tunis.

Counselor Tanya Aviola calls her district's approach to school safety "progressive and proactive."

"It makes you feel safer knowing that you do have something. It is just another tool that's going to be there and be available in case something tragic happens. Hopefully, it will never be used that way, but..." she said.


State senator's husband charged with campaign sign theft

By Tom Lehman 12:25pm, October 30, 2014 - Updated 3:28pm, October 30, 2014
Police say the man seen here is state Senator Bethany Hall-Long's husband Dana Long who's accused of stealing GOP campaign signs. (Youtube/Screenshot)
The husband of State Senator Bethany Hall-Long was arrested Thursday after he was videotaped taking down Republican campaign signs, Middletown police said.

Dana Armon Long, 54, surrendered at police headquarters about 7 a.m., Lt. Michael Kelly said.

Long was arraigned on one count of misdemeanor theft and released on $250 bail.

In a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, Long was seen carrying signs to his car about 4 a.m. that morning. Two GOP staffers confronted him with a video camera while investigating previous disappearances of two sets of GOP political signs, police said.

Hall-Long confirmed in a statement issued Wednesday night that her husband was the man seen in the video.

The Middletown Democrat said she was unaware of what her husband was doing and he "allowed his frustration over the campaign attacks to get the better of him."

Police said the previous disappearances of the other signs are still being investigated.

Hall-Long is running against Republican John Marino in next week's election.


Fatal Bird Street fire was arson

By Amy Cherry 4:19pm, October 30, 2014 - Updated 4:55pm, October 30, 2014
(WDEL/File)
A fatal house fire in June in Wilmington was arson.

The city's fire marshal says the June 16th fire at 100 Bird Street that killed Lamotte Scales was intentionally set.

An investigation revealed Scales spread an accelerant in the home and ignited it after a domestic dispute.

Three others, including a firefighter, were hurt in the aggressive fire. One of the victims, Francine Wallace, remains hospitalized in a critical care burn unit.

The residential structure had to be razed after the fire. Surrounding homes were also damaged, but residents have since been allowed to return to their homes.




CAUGHT: Pa. trooper shooter found hiding in airport hangar

By NBC 10 7:11pm, October 30, 2014
Eric Frein (Photo courtesy of NBC 10)
Accused trooper shooter Eric Frein is finally behind bars after a multi-million dollar manhunt that has been on-going for nearly two months.

NBC 10 reports Eric Frein, 31, was taken into custody on day 48 of a state-wide manhunt. He was found hiding in an airplane hanger at Pocono Airport on Cherry Lane and Birchwood Drive in Tannersville, Pennsylvania.

Frein is charged with opening fire outside the Blooming Grove barracks on Sept. 12, killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and seriously wounding another trooper.

Police linked him to the ambush after a man walking his dog discovered the suspect's partly submerged SUV three days later in a swamp a few miles from the shooting scene. Inside, investigators found shell casings matching those found at barracks as well as Frein's driver's license, camouflage face paint, two empty rifle cases and military gear.

Saying Frein was armed and extremely dangerous, officials had closed schools and urged residents to be alert and cautious.

Frein is charged with first-degree murder and various other offenses, including two counts of possession of weapons of mass destruction filed after police discovered the pipe bombs.


It's Halloween! What are you afraid of?

By Amy Cherry 7:59pm, October 30, 2014
Should you be inspecting your kids' candy this Halloween or are you just being a worry wart?

WDEL's Amy Cherry has more.

Click here to listen



Parents still play police when it comes to their children's Halloween candy, worrying their kids' treats could be tainted.

But University of Delaware sociology and criminal justice professor Joel Best says there's a lot more you should be worried about that night.

"Halloween's actually a fairly dangerous night. People can't see out of their costumes; they get hit by cars; they trip over their costumes and fall down," he said.

Best, who's the world's leading authority on Halloween sadism, says the urban legend of tainted candy coincides with people's perception of what Halloween is supposed to be like.

"Halloween's supposed to be scary. Most of us don't believe in ghosts and goblins anymore, we believe in criminals, so it's a good story," he explains.

Maybe one reason parents inspect kids' candy is so they can eat it, but Best believes it truly plays into today's biggest fears on a night when we're supposed to be afraid.

"We worry a lot about kids, and partly of course, we love our children and want to protect them, but also I think that kids sort of embody the future; they're the walking, talking future," Best explains.

He makes one exception--if you live in Colorado--you should inspect your kids' candy over fear of a new treat, marijuana-infused candy, which he says has a slim chance of making its way to Delaware.

"The candy is indistinguishable from regular candy; so I think that probably if I lived in Colorado, I would make sure that the kids' treats came with factory wrapping," he explains.

But largely, Best says the chance of your kids getting tainted candy is slim to none.

Parents worry every day about things like nuclear war, Ebola, and an economic collapse, and there's nothing anyone can really do about that. What they can do is worry about something they can control, this fear of tainted candy, and that makes them feel better.

"Halloween only comes one night a year. It's easy to manage this. You can forbid trick-or-treating; you can go with the kids; you can inspect the treats when you get home, and it's a great thing to be afraid of because this 'maniac' only strikes one night a year," said Best with a smile you could hear over the phone.



Wilmington police to hand out Halloween candy

By Tom Lehman 5:45pm, October 30, 2014
City cops will be handing out Halloween candy outside the Wilmington Police Department headquarters on Friday.

As part of Halloween festivities, officers with the community policing unit will be at East Fourth and North Walnut streets between the hours of 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., handing out candy to children who stop by.

The officers will also bring the department's Mobile Mini Station to four locations in the city.

Sgt. Walter Ferris said the event is part of a community outreach effort.

"Some of these areas do have trick or treating, but I think it would be kind of cool to have the kids come up and get candy from the police officers and interact with the police. Hopefully it will have an impact on the parent," Ferris said.

Officers will visit the following locations on Friday at the following times:




Del. casino industry eyes financial relief

By Associated Press 3:56pm, October 30, 2014
An industry group representing Delaware's three casinos is asking state lawmakers to revise revenue sharing models so that the casinos can remain profitable amid increasingly intense competition from casinos in other states.

The top priority for the Video Lottery Advisory Council is returning to a tiered rate structure for slots revenue, with the state's share fluctuating based on the amount of revenue taken in.

Casino representatives on the council also voted Thursday to ask that the tax rate on table games be revised, either through a lower rate or subtracting half the revenue to help cover casino payrolls before distributing the money among the state, the casinos and the horse racing industry.

Those and other recommendations will go to a commission studying how to help Delaware's casinos remain financially viable.


Teal Pumpkin Project promotes food allergy awareness for Halloween

By Amy Cherry 8:36pm, October 29, 2014
Teal pumpkins are popping up everywhere.

WDEL's Amy Cherry explains.

Click here to listen



All kids love to dress up and trick-or-treat for Halloween, even the ones who can't have candy due to food allergies.

That's why the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is encouraging you to paint a pumpkin teal and put it out front of your home to symbolize you'll have some non-food treats for kids.

"Things like glow bracelets and glow necklaces, pencils, crayon packets, little miniature puzzles, spider rings and other Halloween-themed toys as well," said Veronica LaFemina, vice president of communication for FARE.
According to FARE, one in 13 kids has a food allergy and trick-or-treating can be a dangerous for them and parents don't love being cops over their kids' candy.

"That usually involves having to trade or give away candy at the end of the night, so the part of Halloween that is the most fun for other kids can be either a disappointment or potentially scary for kids with food allergies," she said.

LaFemina says FARE isn't asking you not to provide candy, but rather just an extra option.

"By providing non-food treats, you're really making sure that every trick-or-treater that comes to your door has the opportunity to leave with a smile and a treat that they can enjoy," said LaFemina.

Are you participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project? If so, add yourself to FARE's
map.


Country music festival coming to Harrington, not Harbeson

By Joe Irizarry 3:51pm, October 30, 2014 - Updated 4:55pm, October 30, 2014
Here's the first look at a Country Music Festival on the Delaware State Fairgrounds. (WDEL/Joe Irizarry)
A country music festival which was originally planned for Sussex County, will now be held in Kent County.

The three-day festival at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington is scheduled for August 14th through the 16th next year.

The festival will take place on two stages on 26 acres of state fairgrounds, but the grandstand won't be used.

"They always liked this site; this was always their first choice, actually. I tried to bring it Sussex County because that's where I'm from, didn't work. For me, this was the second choice, but for them, when they came here initially, they loved this right from the get-go," said Sussex County businessman and organizer, Alex Pires.

Brian O'Connell, president of Live Nation's Country Touring Division confirmed that.

"I'm not looking to move. I'm as loyal as they come so these guys have welcomed us with open arms, and I like the vibe here," said O'Connell.

Pires says Live Nation liked the fairgrounds because it's more organized, better located, and right on a major road with plenty of woods and fields.



Pike Creek man charged with indecent exposure

By Amy Cherry 4:13pm, October 30, 2014
James Cotton
A Pike Creek man is arrested on charges of indecent exposure.

Police say James Cotton, 21, pushed a woman in a stairwell near the laundry room of the Drummond Hill Apartments Monday night. Police say Cotton then exposed himself to her.

The woman took off and called police. The cops found Cotton running in a wooded area near the complex and arrested him.

Cotton is being held on $3,000 bail at Howard Young Prison. Police believe he may be connected to other incidences of indecent exposure. If you've seen the man in the picture, the New Castle County Police Department is asking you to call them at 302.395.8110.


Sex offenders forced to stay in homes Halloween night

By Amy Cherry 4:55pm, October 30, 2014
Registered sex offenders will be forced to stay inside their homes on Halloween.

The Department of Correction requires all high-risk sex offenders and those with child victims who are on probation or parole to stay inside their homes with their outside lights off beginning at 6 p.m. Friday.

The sex offenders are also prohibited from distributing candy or adorning their lawn with Halloween decorations.

Homeless sex offenders must report to the office of probation and parole where they'll be forced to remain until 9 p.m.

DOC Commissioner Coupe calls the step an "extra measure" to protect parents and kids who are out trick-or-treating.

Last year, DOC says six sex offenders were re-arrested for violating these terms of their probation.


Two seriously hurt after tractor trailer crash in Stanton

By Tom Lehman 12:13pm, October 30, 2014
Two people were sent to the hospital Wednesday night after a crash involving a car and tractor trailer, New Castle County paramedics said.

The crash happened about 9:30 p.m. in the area of Del. 7 and Stanton-Christiana Road, Sgt. Michael McColley said.

Personnel form Christiana Fire Company extricated a 52-year-old man from the car and paramedics transported him to Christiana Hospital. He was last known to be in critical condition, McColley said.

A 44-year-old woman was also taken to the emergency room and was known to be in serious condition as of Wednesday night, he said.

State police are investigating the crash.



Holly Oak robbery suspect at large

By Andrew Sgroi 1:01pm, October 30, 2014 - Updated 3:56pm, October 30, 2014
Do you know this man?
County police are currently searching for a suspect involved in an armed robbery last week and have released this composite sketch to assist their efforts.

The forcible exchange occurred in broad daylight last Friday just before 10 a.m. at the Holly Oak Manor Apartments.

Police say a woman reported having left her apartment building and was approached from behind by an unknown man.

The man pointed a handgun and demanded money from her. She was pistol-whipped several times before supplying his demands by removing items from her pockets.

The man then fled the area on foot. The victim was treated and subsequently released from Wilmington Hospital.


Heroin's big brother seized in Dover

By Andrew Sgroi 10:47am, October 30, 2014 - Updated 3:56pm, October 30, 2014
A Dover drug bust Wednesday collars five people who are facing multiple drug offenses following the finding of nearly eight grams of fentanyl powder.

Dover police say their vice squad executed the search warrant at a home on the first block of South Governors Avenue around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and discovered the stash of opioid powder in quantities prepared for distribution.

According to the CDC, fentanyl is approximately 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine and many times more potent than heroin.

Defendant Daekwon Tilghman, already wanted by probation officers for cutting off his home-confinement bracelet, was arrested and charged, with four others, for possession with intent to sell.

Police say they seized over 500 bags worth of the deadly powder.


Bicyclist hurt in Ogletown

By Tom Lehman 12:23pm, October 30, 2014 - Updated 1:02pm, October 30, 2014
A bicyclist was seriously hurt Thursday morning when he was hit by a motor vehicle near Newark this morning, New Castle County paramedics said.

The crash happened about 8:40 a.m. at East Chestnut Hill Road and Salem Church Road, Cpl. Abigail Haas said.

A 23-year-old man was treated at the scene for head, leg and possible internal injuries, Haas said.

The man was last known to be in serious condition at Christiana Hospital, she said.

State police are investigating the crash.


Biden voices support for Northern Ireland talks

By Associated Press 2:30pm, October 30, 2014
Photo courtesy of NBC10
Vice President Joe Biden is throwing his support behind a new round of power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland.

Biden spoke with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. He also held separate phone calls with Peter Robinson, the leader of Northern Ireland's Catholic-Protestant government, and Robinson's deputy, Martin McGuinness.

The White House says Biden discussed with the leaders the role that former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart can play in the talks. The Obama administration recently tapped Hart, a former Democratic presidential candidate, to be its newest envoy to Northern Ireland.

The talks started this month in Belfast amid low hopes of progress. But Biden says the U.S. is willing to help however possible. He says Hart is willing to play a direct role facilitating the talks.


Fearing Ebola? Doctors say get a flu shot

By Associated Press 4:33pm, October 30, 2014
Hospital doctors and nurses say there are a lot of people turning up at the emergency room, thinking they have Ebola.

At a medical conference in Chicago, they've been swapping stories -- including one about an Ohio woman who thought she had Ebola simply because her husband had worked in Dallas, but not with the Ebola patient.

Then there was a New Mexico woman who sought ER testing for Ebola because she had visited Africa two years ago. And two patients in Alabama were worried they were infected after traveling through an airport in Atlanta, the same city where Ebola patients were treated.

Even though the chances are astronomically higher that people actually have the flu or some other bug, Ebola can't always be automatically ruled out. So a patient with the flu could trigger a full-court press in the ER -- with the patient being isolated, and ER staff grabbing the hazardous materials suits.

Doctors say it's one reason why it's especially important for people to get their flu shots this year. Fewer flu cases could mean fewer Ebola false-alarms tying up staff and resources in busy emergency rooms.


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