Carrcroft Elementary School teacher, 50, from Claymont, charged with dealing in child porn

By DJ McAneny 4:29pm, June 28, 2016 - Updated 4:36pm, June 28, 2016
William M. Herkins IV/Courtesy DOJ
A 50-year-old elementary school teacher from Claymont is facing 25 counts of dealing in child pornography, the Delaware Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

According to the DOJ, William M. Herkins IV was charged with downloading and sharing multiple files containing child pornography via the internet over an extended period of time.

A search warrant executed at his house on June 28, 2016, led to the seizure of multiple electronic devices and other related evidence, which was found in a "forensic preview" to contain over 25 files of child pornography, as defined by Delaware law, according to the DOJ.

Herkins was reported to be a teacher at Carrcroft Elementary School in the Brandywine School District at the time of his arrest.

Anyone with concerns about Herkins should reach out to the Child Predator Task Force at 302.739.2030.

Herkins was committed to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $1,250,000 secured bond.

Alexis Andrianopoulos, spokeswoman for the Brandywine School District, wouldn't comment on Herkins' position at the school or his employment status and added the district is cooperating fully with law enforcement and the attorney general's office.

"The number one priority of the Brandywine School District, or any school district, is the safety of our students and staff. We know that child pornography is terribly harmful to children and at odds with our responsibilities as educators and adults," she said. "The Brandywine School District will not employ anyone who puts a child in harm's way, period.


2 explosions rock Istanbul airport, multiple people injured

By Dominique Soguel/Associated Pres 3:53pm, June 28, 2016
Turkish Police standing guard at Istanbul's Ataturk airport following a hijacking in 2003 in this AP file photo
A Turkish official said two explosions have rocked Istanbul's Ataturk airport, wounding multiple people.

The official said Tuesday it was unclear whether the explosions were caused by bombs or a suicide attack.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol.

Turkish media reported the sound of gunfire at the scene.

Turkey has suffered several bombings in recent months linked to Kurdish or Islamic State group militants.


Wilmington man, 37, charged as peeping tom in months-long investigation

By DJ McAneny 3:39pm, June 28, 2016
Nathaniel Barksdale/Courtesy New Castle County Police
A 37-year-old Wilmington man was arrested by New Castle County Police on trespassing and peeping charges.

According to authorities, Nathaniel Barksdale, of the 600 block of West 28th Street, was charged at the culmination of an investigation regarding a man exposing his genitals and peering through windows in the Chateau Orleans Apartment Complex beginning in October 2015.

A 26-year-old woman reported seeing a peeping tom twice, once in October and once in November--both times masturbating, and a 52-year-old woman reported a similar incident shortly thereafter.

On Sunday, June 19, 2016, police said they received a 911 call regarding a man observed outside a woman's glass sliding door, and a witness gave chase, but lost sight of the man before authorities arrived.

The witness described the suspect, and Special Investigations Squad members observed a man on Tuesday, June 28, 2016, peeping into the sliding glass door of another apartment on the first floor. The man, identified by police as Barksdale, was taken into custody without incident and was wearing an outfit matching the description from the incident on June 19, police said.

He was charged with seven counts trespassing with intent to peer, five counts lewdness, stalking, and wearing a disguise. He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $3,900 secured bond. Barksdale was additionally issued a no contact order.




Volkswagen settles EPA violations suit: Delawareans eligible for cash and either buybacks or mods

By DJ McAneny 11:54am, June 28, 2016 - Updated 12:09pm, June 28, 2016
On Tuesday, Volkswagen announced the resolution and settlement of a number of state and federal emissions fraud suits, leading to buybacks and modifications for eligible car owners.

More than 1,700 Delawarean VW and Audi 2.0-liter diesel owners with model years between 2009 and 2015 are now eligible to receive cash payments, and have their vehicles bought back or modified free-of-charge.

Volkswagen is also expressly prohibited from "engaging in future unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection to its dealings with consumers and regulators."

Volkswagen will be implementing a "restitution and recall program" for more than 475,000 owners and lessees across the nation at a cost of $10 billion. The company will also pay $570 million to 44 states for violating deceptive trade laws.

Affected owners will received $5,100 and a choice between:
  • A buy back of the vehicle (based on pre-scandal NADA value); or
  • A modification to reduce NOx emissions provided that Volkswagen can develop a modification acceptable to regulators. Owners will still be eligible to choose a buyback in the event regulators do not approve a fix. Owners who choose the modification option would also receive an Extended Emission Warranty; and a Lemon Law-type remedy to protect against the possibility that the modification causes subsequent problems.
  • The vehicles in question were found to be misrepresented as "green" or environmentally friendly vehicles when, in fact, they were emitting harmful nitrogen oxides at rates many times higher than law permitted.

    The vehicles included in the program

    Click to interact

    By EPA Test Group

    Click to interact

    To check a specific vehicle by VIN number, use the Volkswagen/Audi Diesel Emissions Settlement Program website.




    Dow Chemical to cut about 2,500 jobs globally ahead of DuPont merger

    By Associated Press 11:54am, June 28, 2016 - Updated 1:14pm, June 28, 2016
    Dow Chemical said it will eliminate about 2,500 jobs worldwide, or about 4 percent of its workforce, as it looks to close some plants ahead of its merger with DuPont.

    The two agriculture and chemical companies announced their plan to merge in December. After the merger, the companies plan to split the combined company into three separate publicly traded companies focused on agriculture, material science and specialty products.

    Dow said Tuesday that it will shutter silicone manufacturing plants in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Yamakita, Japan. It's also looking to close some administrative, corporate and manufacturing facilities, but did not give further details on their locations.

    Dow Chemical and DuPont plan to hold separate shareholder meetings on July 20 to vote on their merger.


    Police-involved shooting near Frederica after harrowing pursuit led by wanted suspect

    By Andrew Sgroi 7:41am, June 28, 2016 - Updated 10:29am, June 28, 2016
    A police chase that started on Maryland's Eastern Shore ended in deadly gunfire in Frederica late Monday night.

    Delaware State Police said they joined sheriff deputies from Caroline County, Maryland, when a stolen pickup truck--driven by a Greensboro, Maryland man, who was wanted for burglaries across Delaware and his home state--recklessly fled between western Kent County near Barratts Chapel Road late on June 27, 2016.

    According to troopers, the runaway 1994 Ford pickup had forced multiple vehicles off of roadways and, when state police took on the pursuit in Felton, the unidentified suspect was seen displaying a handgun in his left hand.

    The chase continued eastbound on Route 12 into the town of Frederica, troopers advised, when the truck drove on the wrong side of Front Street before using Frederica Road to access SR-1. The truck proceeded to travel northbound in the southbound lanes of Bay Road, police said, before it finally stopped on the southbound shoulder near Barratts Chapel Cemetery.

    State police--who issued several verbal commands to surrender at the suspect--described the fugitive as obstinate as he continued to wave the weapon in the direction of authorities. A trooper then discharged his divisionally-issued patrol rifle and struck the suspect, who was still seated in the driver’s seat of the pickup truck.

    The 25-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene by responding EMS. His body was later turned over to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science Office to determine the cause and manner of death. The name of the suspect was being withheld until notification of next of kin.

    The suspect was wanted out of Kent County Superior Court for third-degree burglary, violation of probation and disregarding a police officer signal while driving suspended or revoked, reckless driving, and speeding, police said.

    At the time of publication, Delaware State Police homicide detectives were conducting the ongoing investigation with evidence processing and interviews.


    Delaware City refinery releases 25,000 lbs. of sulfer dioxide into the air

    By DJ McAneny 1:30pm, June 28, 2016
    Officials announced Tuesday the release of 25,000 lbs. of sulfer dioxide into the atmosphere early that morning from a Delaware City refinery.

    According to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, the sulfer dioxide--considered a toxic substance of chemical by the EPA--was released around 12:30 a.m. on June 28, 2016, from the DRCR at 4550 Wrangle Hill Road.

    DNREC officials are investigating the incident, and officials said a "process upset condition led to the flaring."


    Legendary former Eagles Coach Buddy Ryan dead at 82

    By Associated Press 9:13am, June 28, 2016 - Updated 12:27pm, June 28, 2016
    Buddy Ryan
    Legendary former Philadelphia Eagles coach Buddy Ryan, who coached two defenses that won Super Bowl titles and whose twin sons Rex and Rob have been successful NFL coaches, has died.

    He was 82.





    His agent, James Solano, said Ryan died Tuesday in Kentucky. He did not give a cause.

    The always outspoken Ryan was a linebackers coach for the 1968 New York Jets and coordinated the ground-breaking 46 defense for the '85 Chicago Bears, one of the NFL's greatest defenses. He was a head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1986-90, and for the Arizona Cardinals in 1994-95, compiling a 55-55-1 overall record.

    A few years ago, Ryan attended a Cowboys-Jets game, traveling to New Jersey despite battling cancer to see then-Jets head coach Rex go against then-Dallas defensive coordinator Rob.










    Trio forces way into Newark Super 8 Motel, beat victim with guns

    By DJ McAneny 11:19am, June 28, 2016 - Updated 11:21am, June 28, 2016
    A Super 8 Motel in Newark was raided by three invaders, who forced their way into the victim's room, pistol-whipped him and took his property, city authorities said Tuesday.

    According to Newark Police, three black males knocked on the door of a room at the motel at 268 East Main Street and forced their way into the room when the victim opened the door in what police called a "home invasion-type robbery".

    After they beat the victim, a 21-year-old male from Wilmington, the trio took undisclosed property and fled toward East Main Street in a silver four-door sedan with Delaware plates.

    The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries and refused medical treatment.

    Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Newark Police Det. Billy Anderson at 302.366.7100 ext. 3469 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.


    Lawmakers favor golden retriever as Delaware's state dog

    By Associated Press 9:29am, June 28, 2016
    Delaware lawmakers have important work to do before ending their legislative session later this week, including passing spending bills for the fiscal year that starts Friday and considering a controversial school redistricting plan for Wilmington.

    Meanwhile, the Senate was set to vote Tuesday on a bill naming the golden retriever as Delaware's official state dog, a proposal that cleared the House unanimously in April.

    The bill outlines a host of attributes for the golden retriever, such as its intelligence and friendliness, its love for hunting, and its ability to be trained for search and rescue work.

    Lovers of other breeds should not despair. The golden retriever would be Delaware's official dog for only one year, meaning fans of other breeds could also seek the state's official imprimatur for their favorite.


    Wilmington gun violence victim for 6/28/16: Male, 22, shot in hand and back

    By DJ McAneny 12:13pm, June 28, 2016
    A 22-year-old man was shot in the hand and lower back in Wilmington during the early morning hours Tuesday, authorities announced that afternoon.

    According to Wilmington Police, the victim was found in the 800 block of North Adams Street on June 28, 2016, suffering from gunshot wounds to his hand and back, and received treatment at the scene before being transported to Christiana Hospital.

    The "circumstances of the incident remain under investigation," police said, and anyone with relevant information is urged to contact Det. Devon Jones at 302.576.3620.


    Wilmington gun violence victim for 6/27/16: Male, 20, shot in neck and abdomen

    By DJ McAneny 11:34am, June 28, 2016
    A 20-year-old man was shot in Wilmington on Monday, authorities announced Tuesday.

    According to Wilmington Police, the victim was found shot in the neck and abdomen by officers dispatched to the 1300 block of North Walnut Street at 5:47 p.m. on June 27, 2016.

    Police said the victim was treated at the scene and transported to Christiana Hospital.

    The "circumstances surrounding the incident remain under investigation," Wilmington Police said, any anyone with relevant information was urged to contact Wilmington Police at 302.675.3620.


    Meyer pushes transparency, ethics while blasting Gordon on cronyism in New Castle County Executive race

    By Amy Cherry 9:49pm, June 27, 2016 - Updated 10:38am, June 28, 2016
    Candidate for New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer in-studio at WDEL. (Tom Lehman/WDEL)
    A candidate running for New Castle County Executive pushes for ethics--something he claimed the incumbent lacks--as he appeared on WDEL to discuss his ethics reform plan.

    Click here to listen



    Democrat Matt Meyer said there's a crisis within current county government; he called it it one of "cronyism and self-indulgence." At its root he said is incumbent County Executive Tom Gordon, who's running for an unprecedented fourth term.

    "We have an administration of self-service not public service," said attorney Matt Meyer on WDEL's Rick Jensen Show. "He has given salary increases to people in his executive office while the Fraternal Order of Police, they still don't have a contract."

    Meyer, who announced his candidacy in March, said financial moves that Gordon made over the last three-and-a-half years are shrinking the county's reserves.

    "If the current spending of the county executive continues, the reserve is going to be depleted in about a year-and-a-half--and we are going to need to raise taxes," Meyer said.

    Gordon has always touted that he hasn't raised taxes during any of his terms. He did not respond to WDEL's request for comment.

    Meyer attacked Gordon on allegations of nepotism and cronyism, saying relatives shouldn't be hired without a transparent process in his blueprint for ethics reform released Monday.

    "Choose the best that are out there. You do a job search...I want a mix, to be honest, of some people from outside the county--people who are national leaders in the field--and some who are locals who have decades of service," said Meyer.

    The Democrat, who grew up in Brandywine Hundred, attended Brown University. At 21, he traveled abroad to Kenya, where he created a sandal making company. Meyer taught for Teach for America in Washington, D.C. and attended law school at the University of Michigan. He also served as a diplomat through the State Department in Iraq, using his economic and legal background to fight a "hearts and minds war" in Mosul--aiming to get Iraqis to choose peace over violence.

    "There was a lot of corruption in Iraq--it's two completely different settings--what's missing in both instances is high-quality leadership at the top who's looking out for the people," Meyer said.

    During his hour-long interview, Meyer also called New Castle County's farmland preservation program "corrupt."

    "Deciding what one or two friends, well-connected guys get is not the right way to go about it," he said. "Deals like that need to be transparent--this was done in a backroom deal fashion that looks like something that was done out of the fifties or sixties, the only thing missing was cigarette smoke."

    If elected, Meyer said he would implement a farmland policy that includes fair appraisals and links the county's program to the state's program.

    "Our local governing entities are fighting among themselves when they should be collaborating, working together for the benefit of everyone," he said.

    Meyer will square off against Gordon in the September 13 primary and will face

    Republican Barry Nahe, who's a New Castle County employee, in the General Election.

    With less than three months until the primary, Meyer claimed he was slightly ahead of Gordon in internal polling, but wouldn't give a specific number.

    "We're doing great ,and our momentum's growing, (regarding) the number of people each week, who I talk to who say they supported Mr. Gordon four years ago and they just can't do it again," said Meyer.

    ---

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

    or like her on Facebook.






    New Castle County Police investigating shots fired into New Castle-area home

    By DJ McAneny 11:01am, June 28, 2016
    Three men were found at a home near New Castle where police responded to reports of shots fired, New Castle County Police announced Tuesday.

    According to authorities, officers were dispatched to the 600 block of Moores Lane in the Jefferson Farms at 2:30 p.m. on June 27, 2016, for reports that shots had been fired into a residence.

    At the scene, police said they found an 85-year-old man seated in the living room, a 51-year-old man in a bedroom and a 47-year-old man in a bathroom.

    There were no injuries.

    A witness alleged to police two black males wearing dark hoodies had shot into the home, then fled in a gold Pontiac.

    Police located multiple shell casings at the scene, which were collected and submitted as evidence, police said.

    Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact New Castle County Police at 302.573.2800 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.


    Newark to look into a possible parking garage

    By Joe Irizarry 2:54am, June 28, 2016 - Updated 11:06am, June 28, 2016
    VIDEO: Newark to gauge developers' interest in potential parking garage.
    Listening to Main Street business owners, Newark will gauge developers interest in building a downtown parking garage.

    City Council voted 4-2 to move forward with a Request for Proposal for the garage.

    The garage would be at Municipal Parking lot #1 off Delaware Avenue at the Galleria.

    "I have a lot of elderly folks that want to come down, and there's not parking for them. I've been screamed at by Washington House, a lot of residents of Stafford, Lumbrook," said Councilman Todd Ruckle.

    Councilman Mark Morehead believed the garage would make traffic worse without really dealing with parking issues that plague the city.

    "This is a very limited solution to one of those issues, that I believe makes the other issue worse," said Morehead.

    At a meeting earlier this month,several Newark business owners said they wanted the garage.

    City Manager Carol Houck has said the proposal could be expanded for other garages downtown.


    Bank of America donates $65K to Wilmington summer youth employment program

    By Tom Lehman 5:49pm, June 27, 2016 - Updated 11:55am, June 28, 2016
    VIDEO: April Birmingham with Bank of America and Wilmington Parks and Recreation Director James Lane discuss the summer youth employment program.
    Wilmington officials on Monday accepted a $65,000 contribution from Bank of America that will allow 50 additional teenagers to participate in the city's summer youth employment program.

    As a result of the donation, 548 teenagers and young adults will earn wages through the program during two six-week sessions this summer. They will work at Christiana Care, local hotels, law offices, and the city's Parks and Recreation department.

    April Birmingham, Senior Vice President and Delaware Market Manager with Bank of America, told program participants at an event that the skills and experience they'd gain at their summer jobs would benefit their long-term employment opportunities.

    "When you can't access these early employment opportunities...you're at risk of being left behind in the workforce," she said.

    Participants in the program range in age from 14 to 21 years old. After a registration process, they are randomly chosen to participate in youth employment sessions.

    The program has grown in recent years; In 2013, there were only 425 young people participating.

    Parks and Recreation Director James Lane said the program, which receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city and state, offers positive work experiences for children and young adults in the city, many of whom live in difficult economic circumstances.

    "It's a great opportunity for the youth in our city," he said. "It's something positive; (they can) make money, and also get job skills."

    ---

    You can contact Tom Lehman at tlehman@wdel.com.

    or add him on Facebook.





    Justices reject challenge to Delaware campaign finance law

    By Associated Press 4:19pm, June 28, 2016
    The Supreme Court has rejected a conservative group's challenge to a Delaware campaign finance law.

    The justices on Tuesday left in place a lower court ruling allowing the 2012 law to be enforced. The measure requires third-party groups working independently of candidates to influence elections to disclose the source of donations.

    Delaware Strong Families challenged the disclosure requirements.

    Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have heard the group's appeal.

    The case is Delaware Strong Families v. Denn, 15-1234.

    In a written statement, Governor Markell said he's grateful that the constitutionality of Delaware's law has been reaffirmed.

    "In 2012, I was proud to work alongside Speaker Bob Gilligan, Common Cause of Delaware, and many others to enact the first major update to Delaware campaign finance laws in 20 years. The Delaware Elections Disclosure Act closed loopholes that allowed anonymous campaign-related advertising and required prompt reporting of third-party spending on campaign ads," he said.


    NJ Assembly approves gas tax hike, sales tax cut in midnight vote

    By Associated Press 9:29am, June 28, 2016
    Gas may not be cheaper in New Jersey much longer.

    The Assembly has passed sweeping legislation to hike the gas tax by a whopping 23 cents per gallon.

    The measure also cuts the state's sales tax from 7 to 6 percent.

    The vote early Tuesday came after a day of backroom talks between Christie and legislative leaders, including Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.

    The plan to fund the state's transportation trust fund at $2 billion a year over the next eight years now heads to the Senate, where lawmakers adjourned on Monday before taking up a competing measure.

    Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said her colleagues wanted to review the costs associated with the proposed sales tax cut before weighing in.


    Ikea recalls 29M dressers after 6 kids killed

    By Associated Press 9:40am, June 28, 2016
    (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
    Ikea recalled 29 million chests and dressers after six children were killed when the furniture toppled over and fell on them.

    The company said that all chests and dressers should be attached to a wall to prevent them from toppling over. Ikea said anyone who owns a chest or dresser that is not mounted to a wall should remove them out of reach from children.

    Ikea is offering free kits to attach the chests and dressers to a wall. Customers can also ask Ikea for a refund.

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that at least six children, all of whom were 3 years old or younger, were killed when an Ikea chest or dresser fell on them.