Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock on 'Star Trek', dies

By Associated Press 12:47pm, February 27, 2015 - Updated 1:31pm, February 27, 2015
Leonard Nimoy (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Leonard Nimoy, world famous to "Star Trek" fans through a beloved cult TV series and a half-dozen films as the pointy-eared, purely logical science officer Mr. Spock, has died.

Nimoy's son, Adam, says the actor died Friday morning in Los Angeles of end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.

Although Nimoy followed his 1966-69 "Star Trek" run with a notable career as both an actor and director, in the public's mind he would always be Spock.

His half-human, half-Vulcan character was the calm counterpoint to William Shatner's often-emotional Captain Kirk on one of television and film's most revered cult series.


62K Delaware residents information might be compromised in Anthem health insurer cyberattack

By DJ McAneny/Amy Cherry 4:47pm, February 26, 2015 - Updated 2:26pm, February 27, 2015
As many as 62,051 Delaware residents may have had their personal information compromised following a hacking attack on the computers of health insurer Anthem, Inc.

Nationwide, 78.8 million may be affected.

"That's a big number, probably 1 in 4 people in the United States on average," said University of Delaware computer and engineering research professor Chase Cotton.

"They went in through some malware and captured their social security numbers and a lot of information, but did not take their health records," said Delaware Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart.

But the hackers got enough to assume someone's identity, including names, birth dates, addresses, member IDs and employment records may have been stolen in the attack.

"The fact that this one has social security numbers is kind of problematic," Cotton said. "As soon as you have the real name, the birth dates, and the social security number, that's kind of the keys to opening credit accounts," said Cotton.

Anthem did not believe banking and credit card information was compromised like in the 2013Target data breach.

"Target was specific credit card information--that card was in jeopardy, but not your whole identity," Cotton explained.

This is an important distinction as the hackers may call victims pretending to be Anthem in order to coax additional credit card or banking information out of them.

"Anthem is not calling members regarding the cyberattack and is not asking for credit card information or Social Security numbers over the phone," warned Commissioner Stewart. "Policyholders will be contacted only through the U.S. Postal Service. Beware of contact by telephone or through the Internet; it is most likely a scam."

The company said customers can access the provided services even before they receive written notification

"All impacted members, former members and impacted affiliated plan members will receive notice via mail which will advise them of the protections being offered," Anthem said in a statement posted online.

While Anthem does not currently sell health insurance policies to individuals in the state, residents who receive coverage through an employer may have coverage by an Anthem policy.

Highmark BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) who utilize BlueCard may have been affected by the breach.

"If you travel, you might have what's called a 'BlueCard' to be covered, and that will come under a lot of the BlueCross and BlueShield companies, and that card is caught up with this Anthem breach," Weldin Stewart explained.

Consumers with policies dating back as far as 2004 may have had their personal information compromised.

Current and former policy holders can visit AnthemFacts.com to enroll in two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft repair services. They have also established a toll-free number for residents with questions about the incident. That number is 1.877.263.7995.

Weldin Stewart also recommended reaching out to the three main credit bureaus.

"Notify them that you want a hold on any new accounts being opened in your name just to protect yourself," she said.

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Contact Amy Cherry at acherry@wdel.com or follow her on Twitter at @acherry13.




A.I. duPont Hospital raises awareness for rare diseases

By Shana O'Malley 6:04pm, February 27, 2015 - Updated 6:07pm, February 27, 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 poster presentation. 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 auto inflammatory 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 effect fewer than 200,000 people at a time in the United States.


Firefighters respond to industrial fire in Edgemoor

By Tom Lehman 6:58pm, February 26, 2015 - Updated 9:10am, February 27, 2015
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.
Overheated roofing tar sparked an industrial fire Thursday afternoon in Edgemoor, officials said.

NBC10 reported the fire happened about 3:30 p.m. at Iko Manufacturing Inc. at 120 Hay Road.

A spokesman for the plant told the station that workers called in firefighters after temperatures began to rise inside the tank.

Smoke and flames could be seen coming from the top of the tank. Firefighters were seen spraying the tank with water to cool it down.

As a precaution, the plant was evacuated. No injuries were immediately reported.


Snowstorm misses most of NCCo, but hits Kent and Sussex hard

By Frank Gerace 10:55pm, February 26, 2015 - Updated 9:10am, February 27, 2015
WDEL's Frank Gerace reports.
Much of New Castle County was spared, but Kent and Sussex Counties were hit pretty hard by a snowstorm Thursday.

DelDOT crews spread salt and sand and plowed about half an inch of snow in New Castle County, but Kent and Sussex Counties posed more of a challenge--Kent County got about 3 inches while parts of Sussex got more than 4 inches.

Dolle's Salt Water Taffy store owner Tom Ibach told NBC10 the snow forced him to close his business.

"For safety reasons--I mean, you don't need cars coming in here when it's unsafe, people getting out and trying to shop, employees--the back roads were terrible, they tell me," said Ibach.

DelDOT said one thing that helped their crews clear the snow was relatively-high temperatures--they reached the 30's statewide, which makes salt more effective in melting snow and ice.

Some snow totals, courtesy of UD's Delaware Environmental Observing System, or DEOS:

New Castle: .5 inches

Dover: 2.3 inches

West Dover: 2.7 inches

Ellendale: 4.1 inches

Georgetown: 4.2 inches

Selbyville: 4.4 inches


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.



Last construction phase for Castle Trail about to begin

By Frank Gerace 12:45am, February 27, 2015 - Updated 3:34pm, February 27, 2015
The Michael N. Castle Trail (WDEL/Amy Cherry)
The last phase of construction of a new nature trail named for a former lieutenant governor, governor and congressman is about to get underway, DelDOT and DNREC said.

The agencies announced Thursday building the final part of the Michael N. Castle Trailat the C&D Canal is slated to start in early March.

Construction is expected to take 75 days, and when it's completed, the trail will span 16 miles between Delaware City, Delaware and Chesapeake City, Maryland.

The part of the trail along the canal bank will accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, anglers and equestrians, with activities like hiking, cycling and running.

GrassBusters Landscaping of Newark won the contract to build the last section, which will extend from the Maryland border to Guthrie Run.


Pennsylvania man alleges brutality by Dover police

By Associated Press 3:31pm, February 27, 2015 - Updated 3:32pm, February 27, 2015
A Pennsylvania man has filed a federal lawsuit alleging he was the subject of brutality by Dover police officers.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Stephen DiFlorio of West Chester said he and a friend were leaving a restaurant in 2013 when they were attacked by a group of people.

DiFlorio said his attackers fled when police arrived, but that officers, without warning, used a stun gun on him. He says police then showed up at his house the next day, threw him to the ground, and punched and kicked him as they took him into custody.

DiFlorio said police submitted bogus paperwork to justify charging him with resisting arrest, underage possession of alcohol and disorderly conduct.

A police spokesman said Friday that the department does not comment on pending litigation.


Police: Convicted felon nabbed with gun, drugs in Dover

By Amy Cherry 2:52pm, February 27, 2015 - Updated 4:06pm, February 27, 2015
Wayne Kersey
A Dover man has been arrested on weapons and drug charges, police said.

Dover police, conducting a traffic stop, pulled over Wayne Kersey, 23, at River Road and East Water Street in the Capital Green development at 6:17 p.m. Thursday.

Police say they smelled marijuana coming from Kersey's car. A search of the car allegedly turned up a 9mm handgun and 18.7 grams of pot.

Kersey was charged with drug possession with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, carrying a weapon by a person prohibited, and failure to use a turn signal.

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Contact Amy Cherry at acherry@wdel.com or follow her on Twitter at @acherry13.


Lower drinking age for servicemembers proposed by Maryland lawmaker

By ssociated Press 4:20pm, February 27, 2015
Eighteen-year-old active duty service members can vote, smoke and fight for their country, but they can't have a drink - a Maryland state Senator is looking to change that.

A bill proposed by Maryland Senator Ron Young, would allow 18-year-old active duty service members to be served beer and wine. The service member would be required to show their armed forces identification at the bar or restaurant where they are being served.

The Washington Regional Alcohol Program has already spoken out against the bill, saying that supporting troops and supporting the national minimum drinking age are not the same thing.


Flu deaths in Delaware reach 26

By DJ McAneny 9:09am, February 27, 2015 - Updated 2:53pm, February 27, 2015
On Thursday, Delaware's Division of Public Health announced three more deaths blamed on the flu this year, bringing the total number to 26.

On Feb. 23, the number dead from the illness rose to 23 when two fatalities were announced.
"The number of flu-related fatalities keeps growing even as we see a reduction in new lab-confirmed cases," said Delaware Public Health Division (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. "I cannot emphasize enough the importance of prevention like washing hands and staying home when sick. And, we know that over half of the deaths--60 percent--occurred among people living at home. Checking on elderly or medically vulnerable relatives and neighbors is vital."

All three of the deaths announced Thursday occurred in New Castle County, bringing the total number of deaths to 21 on the season. Kent County holds steady at two while Sussex County remains at three.

There are a total of 2,196 lab-confirmed flu cases to date. While the number of cases achieving lab-confirmation has dipped, deaths relating to the illness do not appear to be slowing down.

"The flu strain that happens to be circulating this year is particularly deadly for seniors and people with underlying conditions," said Department of Health and Social Services Cabinet Secretary Rita Landgraf. "This year is almost four times as deadly as 2009-2010, the year that the Swine Flu was circulating."

In addition to Influenza Strain A causing the high rate of illnesses among seniors and those with underlying conditions, the vaccine may be offering unusually low protection this year for seniors. Initial evidence from the Centers for Disease Control shows the 2014-2015 flu vaccine's effectiveness is particularly low in protecting the elderly who contract a mutated influenza strain.

All but three of the deaths occurred in someone over the age of 65, and each of the fatalities not attributed to someone of an advanced age were in their 50s. All 26 had underlying medical conditions, the DPH said.


Mayors' Ball rolls out in Delaware City

By Andrew Sgroi 1:18pm, February 27, 2015 - Updated 2:56pm, February 27, 2015
Delaware City...

It's not just the safest place to live in the First State, as it was recently acknowledged by a national website.

The Delaware Mayors' Charity Ball, to be held Saturday night at the Delaware City Fire Company's Grand Ballroom, is a chance for mayors from area municipalities, and citizens alike, to raise money for worthy benefactors.

Lisa Webster is co-chair of the Mayor's Ball committee and she told WDEL that Historic Fort Delaware won't be the only recipient for this year's proceeds.

"We've chosen the William 'Bubby' Sadler Ball Field, which is actually a part of the Babe Ruth League, " Webster revealed, citing the other main charity. She said the committee anticipates over $40,000 to divvy up between them and the Delaware Human Association.

The gala begins at 7 p.m. and will feature light dining and desserts, open bar, live and silent auctions, as well as entertainment from Wilmington's The Big Package Band- a 10-piece band comprised of "5 tightly wrapped horns, a rhythm section that just doesn't quit, and the exceptional lead vocalist Steve Miller".

Tickets are $100 and can be purchased here.



Man assaulted in attemtped robbery

By Amy Cherry 2:37pm, February 27, 2015 - Updated 4:06pm, February 27, 2015
A man was assaulted on his way home from a convenience store, Delaware State Police said.

State police said the attempted robbery happened at 4:15 a.m. Thursday on the 2000 block Limestone Road just south of Kirkwood Highway.

Police said the 61-year-old man was walking home from Wawa when four men demanded cash and knocked the victim to the ground.

The wanna-be robbers fled without obtaining any cash or property.

The victim returned to his residence, where he called 911 and was taken by emergency medical services to Christiana Hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

If anyone has any information in reference to this incident, they are asked to contact the robbery unit at Troop 2, Glasgow, at 302-834-2630. Information may also be provided by calling Crime Stoppers at t 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."

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Contact Amy Cherry at acherry@wdel.com or follow her on Twitter at @acherry13.


Port of Wilmington to be Chrysler export hub

By Frank Gerace 12:45am, February 27, 2015 - Updated 1:56pm, February 27, 2015
Photo/Port of Wilmington
The Port of Wilmington will now be an export hub for Chrysler cars and trucks headed to the Middle East.

Diamond State Port Corporation, which operates the port, announced Thursday that FCA US, formerly the Chrysler Group, would export Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles produced at FCA's North American plants to the Middle East from Wilmington.

The cars and trucks will come to the port by rail from plants in the Midwestern US and Ontario, Canada to be readied for export by AutoPort, a 34-year-old car-modification company with facilities at the port.

Senator Carper hailed FCA's decision, calling it "smart" and saying the partnership between the port and FCA will "create jobs, grow our economy and bolster our country's exports."


Markell nominates Jeffrey Clark to Kent County Superior Court

By Kelli Steele 4:55pm, February 27, 2015
Attorney Jeffrey Clark (Photo/Schmittinger & Rodriguez)
Governor Jack Markell has nominated Jeffrey Clark, a veteran of the U.S. Army and well-respected attorney with 18 years of legal experience, to serve on the Kent County Superior Court.

If confirmed by the Delaware Senate, Clark will fill the vacancy left by Judge Jan Jurden, who was sworn in as President Judge of the Delaware Superior Courton Feb. 16.

Clark is a partner at Schmittinger & Rodriguez, P.A. In that capacity, he regularly litigates personal injury, criminal defense law and commercial cases. He also served as a legislative attorney for the Delaware State Senate for sixteen years and has served as a Commissioner on the Delaware Public Service Commission since 2005.

In addition to his professional work, Clark has taken an active role in his community. He was a member of the Smyrna School Board for 15 years, serving as its president for three terms. He also served as director of the Smyrna Opera House for two years.

In addition, Governor Markell announced Friday that he's nominated the Honorable Mary McDonough for reappointment to the New Castle County Court of Common Pleas and the Honorable Susan Tussey for reappointment to the New Castle County Family Court.


Milford man charged with having sex with teen

By Kelli Steele 4:59pm, February 27, 2015
Kevin Smith Jr.
A 28-year-old Milford man is charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old.

Police arrested Kevin Smith Jr. on Tuesday stemming from an alleged sexual assault that happened on Feb. 15 at a home at the Brightway Commons Apartment Complex.

Police said Smith was trying to start an intimate relationship with the victim.

Smith is charged with first-degree unlawful sexual contact; he's been committed to the Sussex Correctional Institute in lieu of $10,000 bail.




Fighting a bad cold, Biden cancels trip to Uruguay

By Associated Press 11:55am, February 27, 2015
(WDEL file)
Vice President Joe Biden is canceling a planned trip to Uruguay because of an illness.

The vice president's office says Biden has a bad cold and won't attend incoming President Tabare Vazquez's inauguration on Sunday. Biden had been expected to lead the U.S. delegation.

Instead, Biden will travel directly on Monday to Guatemala, the second and final stop on his Latin America trip. Biden plans to meet with Central American presidents and the head of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Biden will still be out of the country for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's controversial speech to Congress Tuesday. Netanyahu's speech was engineered without consulting with the White House, which has called it destructive. Biden and other officials later announced trips that appeared arranged to make them unavailable to attend.


Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta's High Museum takes a look

By Associated Press 3:41pm, February 27, 2015
(Photo/High Museum of Art)
A new exhibition at Atlanta's High Museum of Art explores the origin and artistic influence of the distinctive, curvy Coca-Cola bottle.

"The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100" opens Saturday and is set to run through Oct. 4. The collaboration between the High and Atlanta-based Coca-Cola marks the centennial of the bottle's design.

The exhibition walks visitors through the history of the design, which was conceived to distinguish Coca-Cola from imitators.

The exhibition also features works of artists influenced by the bottle, including Andy Warhol paintings inspired by Coca-Cola advertisements from the beginning of his Pop art period. Some photos on display show the bottle or logo as art, while in other images, the bottle and logo just happen to be present.



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