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Baker receives state's highest honor
By Amy Cherry

Updated Friday, January 4, 2013 - 2:33pm

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Outgoing Mayor Baker talks with WDEL's Amy Cherry about receiving the award; Gov. Markell talks about giving it.

Mayor Baker gets quite a surprise on one of his last days in office.

WDEL's Amy Cherry explains.

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"It was another meeting with the Governor," says Mayor Baker, or at least that's what he thought it was.

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But when Governor Markell awarded Baker the Order of the First State, he was taken aback.

"It was really nice. I appreciate it very much. It was good to see all the people," says Baker.

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The Order of the First State is Delaware's highest honor.

"It's almost like getting the Medal of Honor for something you did on the national level or the freedom Award, which is for civilians, so it's sort of like that," says Baker, whose three-year term expires Tuesday when Mayor-elect Dennis Williams is inaugurated.

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Markell says Baker leaves quite a legacy that includes tackling drugs crime, and bringing new development and new jobs though he's probably best known for his brutal honesty.

"Chris Christie might even be able to learn something from Mayor Baker about being straightforward, and I think a lot of that is needed. You tell it like it is," says Markell.

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Markell tells WDEL there's no formula for giving out this rare award that he's only honored about ten people with during his tenure.

"Mayor Baker having served 12 years and 26 before that, it's just a really remarkable contribution," says Markell.

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