Predicted snow totals increase

By DJ McAneny 3:30pm, February 8, 2016 - Updated 10:48pm, February 8, 2016
A Winter Storm Warning was issued by the National Weather Service for New Castle and Kent counties until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The NWS also issued a Winter Weather Advisory was issued for Sussex County while a Coastal Flood Warning is in effect in all three counties until mid-Tuesday afternoon.

Between weather officials with AccuWeather and the National Weather Service, northern Delaware is expected to get between 3 and 8 inches of snow, with AccuWeather's predicted snow accumulation totals skewing slightly lower than the NWS.

"We're talking about on the order of 3 to 6 inches," said AccuWeather meteorologist John Feerick. "Certainly, some spots my end up with 7 or 8. But, the difference between 6 and 8--the impacts are going to be pretty similar, we can have some plowable snow and, certainly, some dangerous travel out there."

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Snow could mix with rain in the Delmarva coastal region, which could cut down on snow totals in those areas, but would potentially create some flooding issues. Winds are expected to have gusts of up to 20 mph.

"It's going to be kind of a 'long-duration event,' where, sometimes it won't be snowing at all, other times it will have some pretty moderate snow."

A Coastal Flooding Warning in three

Snow may begin impacting commuter travel in the area late Monday night through rush hour commutes into late Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

The Snowmaker movement/Courtesy AccuWeather

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For a list of closures, check out WDEL SnoWatch.






Man fatally shot outside New Castle TGI Friday's

By WDEL Staff 10:23pm, February 8, 2016 - Updated 10:54pm, February 8, 2016
A man is dead after a shooting outside a New Castle restaurant. (NBC10/Jason Ryan/Manuel Noguera)
A man was shot and killed outside a restaurant in New Castle Monday night.

Police said shots were fired outside the TGI Friday's on North Dupont Highway in Airport Plaza around 6:50 p.m. When officers arrived, they said they found a man in the parking lot, who had been shot several times. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to NBC10.

Investigators said 30 people were inside the restaurant at the time of the shooting. Police continue to search for the gunman.




University of Delaware goes 'SAT optional'

By Amy Cherry 8:35pm, February 8, 2016 - Updated 8:43pm, February 8, 2016
The SAT will be optional for students seeking admission to the University of Delaware next year.

The university's Faculty Senate overwhelmingly approved a new admissions pilot program that would permit students to choose whether to submit their SAT or ACT scores as part of the admissions process.

The Faculty Senate said the decision was based upon recommendations from the admissions guidelines committee which conducted an analysis of national research and university data. Their research found that high school grade point average and class-ranking percentile were more effective at determining college success.

University officials said they hope the change promotes diversity --a goal that's been pushed by the university for the past several years --by removing the reliance on SAT scores that may discourage impoverished students from applying to UD.

"This is a big step forward for the University of Delaware," said Nancy Targett, acting president of the university. "The university's future is predicated on our commitment to equity and inclusion. We value diverse backgrounds and learning experiences, and this program aligns with that commitment."

"There are likely many outstanding Delaware students, students who challenged themselves, worked hard and performed well in their high schools, who are not applying to UD because they assume their scores on the SAT or ACT will disqualify them from admission," said Doug Zander, director of admissions at UD. "We know that these students can be successful in college and we want them to apply."

UD joins a list of approximately 850 schools that have removed SAT scores as a mandatory part of the application process; however, students seeking admission must still take the SAT--they'll be required to submit their scores after acceptance in order to enroll.

The decision goes into effect for UD's fall class of 2017.

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








Delaware's Tri-State Bird Rescue decontaminates geese after Potomac oil spill

By Amy Cherry 5:52pm, February 8, 2016 - Updated 6:00pm, February 8, 2016
VIDEO: WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.
Nearly two dozen birds made the 100-mile trek from northern Virginia for a decontamination and cleaning after an oil spill in the Potomac River last week.

Click here to listen



Members of the Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research Center rounded up 20 Canada geese and transported them back to headquarters outside Newark. The birds have been arriving in small groups since February 4, when the oily sheen was found on the Potomac.

"We're on call 365 days a year for a spill--so when we're activated, within two hours, we're heading to that site," said Lisa Smith, Executive Director of Tri-State.

Smith said the process of rounding up the birds, in this instance, was difficult because the animals they were trying to help were showing signs of distress--but they could still fly.

"They try to clean it off themselves," Smith said. "They try to preen it off, they're losing body heat, so, yeah, they know there's a problem."

The birds are given fluids, eye drops, and Pepto-Bismol to help stabilize them in preparation for the wash process. The wash process requires four tubs of different concentration of Dawn dish detergent. The birds are then rinsed to remove contaminants and soap before they're placed in a pen with a dryer. The whole process takes about 45 minutes and requires at least three personnel.

So far, Smith said one bird has died, but 19 others are on the road to recovery after what she called a "stressful experience" for these wild birds.

"They're thinking they've being held by three predators, and they're wondering whether they're going to survive," she explained. "We really try to keep the wash process short and effective, and also when we're housing the animals, we make sure that we minimize contact with them."

After washing, the birds are evaluated for up to 48 hours before they can be moved outside with access to a pool.

A three-person team from the Tri-State Bird Rescue works to decontaminate birds affected by an oil spill in the Potomac River. (Amy Cherry/WDEL)

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The exact contaminate isn't known, but Smith said it left a "medium-level oil coating" on the birds.

"The contaminate doesn't seem to be terribly toxic. Canada geese are fairly hearty species," she said. "Some birds have lost a few feathers just because their skin has been irritated."

The sheen that sat on the Potomac River for days as a result of last week's spill has faded, but the source of the oil remains unknown.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials will determine when the birds can be released back into the wild.

The Tri-State Bird Rescue is seeking donations of gently used and clean flat sheets and newspaper to assist with the birds' care. Donations can be dropped off at our center at 170 Possum Hollow Road in Newark, Delaware. Donations are accepted 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

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


Ramsey hopes to help Wilmington solve community policing

By Tom Lehman 12:01am, February 9, 2016 - Updated 1:06am, February 9, 2016
VIDEO: Wilmington Public Safety Consultant Charles Ramsey discusses community policing at a city council meeting on Monday.
Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, now serving as a public safety consultant in Wilmington, spoke about developing effective community policing strategies during a city council committee meeting on Monday.

Ramsey, who is also a former Washington D.C. police commissioner that also spent three decades with Chicago's police force, said he hopes to focus on improving the ways Wilmington law enforcement engages the surrounding communities as he works under a seven-month contract worth up to $112,000.

"The model here will not be what we did here in Philadelphia or Chicago, or D.C., for that matter. It has to be something that fits the city of Wilmington and its community," he said.

The city did away with its community policing unit last year months after its officers were first reallocated to assist with duties related to DISRUPT, a policing strategy aimed at flooding crime hotspots with officers, and then returned to the division following a police academy that filled vacancies in the department.

Police Chief Bobby Cummings, a veteran with more than 30 years of policing in Wilmington, defended the decision numerous times at Monday's meeting of the Wilmington Public Safety Accountability Committee.

The panel meets on a quarterly basis and is intended to review the police department's implementation of more than 100 recommendations issued by a state commission that evaluated city law enforcement last year.

Although the department had previously allocated particular officers to the community policing unit, Cummings said that role needs to instead be embraced throughout the department with all personnel routinely getting out of their patrol vehicles and engaging residents and organizations.

"Nowhere along these lines did we say this was going to occur overnight because I do have a culture of policing that I'm trying to implement some change in," he said.

Ramsey said most citizens would prefer that every officer have training consistent with community policing and that model tends to be the most effective because when someone calls 911, any officer could potentially respond to emergency.

"That's the one that's going to have that initial interaction. They're the one who needs to be solidly rooted in the whole concept of community policing," he said.

However, many residents have complained that removing the unit as it previously existed has eliminated liaisons between the public and police department.

Tom Baker, president of the Triangle Neighborhood Association, claimed detectives and officers are failing to follow up on incidents. He also said police captains who are supposed to attend community meetings have not been routinely appearing during those sessions or sending another officer in their place.

"Community policing is dead and our relationship with the police department is pretty much dead," he said.

Cassandra Marshall, a member of the state panel that evaluated the police department who also serves as president of the Quaker Hill Neighborhood Association, said

"Community policing is about helping people to resolve problems, not just responding to issues and that's the thing that communities are going to miss are the people who are going to help them resolve their long term problems. That's completely missing," she said.

Some council members warned Ramsey, who is also a co-chairman on President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, that he may have to steer clear of the political fighting often found between city lawmakers and Mayor Dennis Williams' administration.

"If the recommendation is go from A to B to make sure everyone's on the same page, I hope that we can there because we've been told so many different things," said Councilman Mike Brown (R-At Large).

Ramsey handled the advice in stride, saying he's experienced tougher political situations in his previous cities.

"My focus is to make this a better city, a safer city. All the squabbling, you guys do that stuff" he said before scattered applause broke out in the council chamber.


First Moral Monday protest in Dover focuses on death penalty repeal

By Joe Irizarry 8:21pm, February 8, 2016 - Updated 10:54pm, February 8, 2016
Groups rally outside Legislative Hall in support of the repeal of the death penalty as part of a series of new protests called "Moral Monday." (Joe Irizarry/Delaware 105.9)
Protesters gathered at Legislative Hall in Dover for a new movement called "Moral Monday."

The weekly protests are aimed at addressing racial injustices statewide.

Monday's topic focused on the death penalty repeal, which recently failed in the House.

Organizations at Monday's protest included the Complexities of Color Coalition, Delaware Repeal Project and Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty.





"Not only at Legislative Hall, but in particular, districts that did not vote in our estimation in the right way and are not on the right side of history," said Dr. Donald Morton, Executive Director of the Complexities of Color Coalition. "We will be knocking on doors, we will be holding rallies; we will continue to lend our voices and raise our voices for this particular issue."

"We are going to have another vote in the beginning of March--we only need three or four votes to push it over the top--and we're really working hard to get there," said Molly Keogh is the President of Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty. "We've been working on this for years and years; there are many, many people who are being wrongfully executed, and execution itself is murder."

The groups said they feel momentum is on their side in getting a repeal of the death penalty, and they will continue to put pressure on legislators.


Newark pair busted mid-Wawa robbery by Delaware State Police

By DJ McAneny 6:23pm, February 8, 2016
Joseph M. Nost Jr., left, and Jeffrey A. Cagle, right/Courtesy Delaware State Police
A pair of Newark men have been charged by Delaware State Police in connection to a string of robberies and attempted robberies over the weekend, authorities announced Monday night.

According to authorities, troopers were dispatched on February 7, 2016, at 2:30 a.m., to the Wawa located at 1605 Pulaski Highway for reports of a possible robbery in progress.

An off-duty employee of Wawa had been in the parking lot when he observed a white van enter the lot--which matched the description of a vehicle used during a previous robbery of the same store.

Police said the employee watched a suspect exit the van, pull a hood over his head, reenter the van and pull it around to the rear of the store, then enter the store.

The suspect, later identified by police as Joseph M. Nost Jr., 25, entered the store and demanded money from the register. The clerk opened the register to reveal it was empty. He exited the store, where he was immediately taken into custody by responding troopers.

The van operator, identified by police as Jeffrey A. Cagle, 54, was taken into custody as he sat in the van.

Investigative methods by Delaware State Police also tied the men to:
  • Wawa, 1605 Pulaski Highway, Bear on Friday February 5, 2016.
  • Valero, 770 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, on Friday, February 5, 2016.
  • Dollar General, 1679 Pulaski Highway, Bear, on Saturday, February 6, 2016.
  • Valero, 770 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Saturday, February 6, 2016.


  • Nost and Cagle were both charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree conspiracy, two counts of second-degree robbery, four counts of second-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree attempted robbery. Nost was additionally charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon.

    Nost and Cagle were both committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional institution, the former in lieu of $90,000 bond, the latter in lieu of $49,000.


    Dover couple collectively charged with over 250 counts of theft, trespass

    By DJ McAneny 1:24pm, February 8, 2016
    A pair of Dover suspects arrested by Delaware State Police in December are now facing hundreds of counts of theft and trespassing, Dover Police announced Monday.

    Richard Henderson, 24, and Eliza Agosto, 24, were arrested by state troopers after being found in a Bear-area neighborhood in "possession of a large amount of property," much of which police believed to be stolen.

    Between October 4 and December 1, 2015, Dover Police said they responded to 46 complaints regarding thefts from unsecured vehicles. After identifying Henderson and Agosto due to their arrests by New Castle County Police, also in late 2015, for thefts with a similar MO as those in Dover, police arrested the pair on the following charges:
  • 64 counts of theft under $1,500
  • 66 counts of second-degree trespass
  • theft over $1,500-victim over 62
  • two counts theft over $1,500
  • second-degree conspiracy
  • theft under $1,500-victim under 62
  • third-degree conspiracy
  • criminal mischief


  • Henderson was committed to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $44,700 secured bond. Agosto was committed to the Baylor Women's Correctional Center in lieu of the same bond amount.


    Alleged stolen-gun-toting suspect struck by Wilmington Police cruiser during foot chase

    By DJ McAneny 12:56pm, February 8, 2016
    Dhron Goldsborough/Courtesy Wilmington Police
    A suspect allegedly trying to hide a gun in his pocket while fleeing from authorities on foot was struck by a police cruiser responding to the chase Sunday, Wilmington Police said Monday.

    According to authorities, officers in the DISRUPT unit were on patrol in the 2200 block of North Washington Street at approximately 5:50 p.m. on February 7, 2016, when they spotted a man police identified as Dhron Goldsborough, 23, acting suspiciously while loitering with a group of subjects.

    As the officers approached Goldsborough, he allegedly ran, leading them on a foot chase during which he jumped and slid over the hood of a civilian vehicle in the 200 block of Concord Avenue.

    Police said Goldsborough slid off the hood of the car and directly into the path of an oncoming police cruiser which was responding to reports of the foot chase.

    The police cruiser struck him on the right side of his body, providing authorities the opportunity to take him into custody, police said. A search of his person allegedly turned up a fully loaded .357 caliber Ruger revolver which had been reported stolen out of another police jurisdiction, and 19 bags of marijuana.

    Goldsborough was transported to Christiana Hospital, treated for minor injuries and released into police custody, where he was charged with possession of a firearm by a person prohibited-previously convicted felon, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, receiving a stolen firearm, resisting arrest, and possession of marijuana. He was committed to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $15,000 cash bond.


    DEA agents to train Delaware law enforcement in heroin investigations

    By Amy Cherry 11:20am, February 8, 2016
    Agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency will be in Delaware over the next two weeks to train law enforcement in useful tactics during heroin-related investigations--for free.

    Four of every five new heroin abusers start by abusing prescription medications, according to statistics from the DEA. "Operation Trojan Horse" stresses the dangerous link between prescription drug abuse and heroin usage.

    "You'd be amazed at the amount of people who are abusing heroin, who are star athletes, who are members of the business community--who went in and maybe had their wisdom teeth pulled or maybe had a minor injury, who were prescribed these painkillers...they're very effective at what they do...but unfortunately, they're very addictive," said Pat Trainor, a special agent and public information officer with the DEA. "They start buying them illicitly, and when the money runs out, unfortunately, you can buy heroin for a significantly less amount."

    Trainor said law enforcement will be trained on what evidence is worth special attention at a scene, especially in cases involving overdose victims.

    "Pill bottles--some of the logos that might be on the bags of heroin--that information is very helpful to law enforcement to help us identify from whom and where these drugs come from," said Trainor.

    Officers will also be taught life-saving techniques and where they can go to purchase and be trained to use a heroin anti-dote many police forces are now using.

    "Perhaps a department that isn't currently using (Naloxone) might consider purchasing it from this training," said Trainor.

    The free, one-day training is open to any sworn law enforcement officer in the state. It's being offered on February 9 and February 16 in Glasgow at the Troop 2 barracks of the Delaware State Police. The DEA will also offer this training on February 18 in Dover at Delaware State University.

    "Operation Trojan Horse" also includes additional funding from the DEA to state and local law enforcement agencies to assist with heroin investigations, though Trainor couldn't provide specific details on funding initiatives.

    "Heroin is used by everyone--regardless of age, gender, social class, economic class," said Trainor. "The one thing that I've seen is there's hardly any family I know that has not been affected by the heroin epidemic."

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




    Truck driver dies after I-95 crash

    By Frank Gerace 4:17pm, February 8, 2016
    The utility truck and the debris field it left behind on southbound I-95 (Mike Phillips/WDEL)
    A truck driver ejected from his truck during a crash along Interstate 95 near Newport Monday morning died from injuries he suffered.

    The crash happened at 6:54 a.m. on

    I-95 southbound at Churchman's Marsh, and involved a utility truck being operated by a 29-year-old Lansdale, Pennsylvania, man that overturned, Delaware State Police said.

    The truck veered across four lanes of traffic struck the concrete barrier in the shoulder, veered back onto the roadway, and overturned, ejecting the operator, who had not been properly restrained by a seatbelt, out of the passenger side window, authorities said.

    The truck driver was taken to Christiana Hospital, where he died. An investigation into the crash continued Monday afternoon. The driver's identity was being withheld pending family notification.


    Drugs, gun, wanted probationer discovered following chase that ends in crash, Wilmington Police say

    By DJ McAneny 2:56pm, February 8, 2016
    Keith Covington, left, and Andre Harding, right/Courtesy Wilmington Police
    Three men and a juvenile led police on a brief vehicle pursuit that ended with a crash into a fence and ultimately two of their arrests, Wilmington Police said Monday.

    According to authorities, patrolmen in the area of East 12th Street at 2:55 p.m. Friday, February 5, 2016, spotted silver BMW traveling in the area with illegal tinting.

    When they attempted to initiate a traffic stop, police said the vehicle fled briefly before running into a fence while attempting to negotiate a turn onto Hay Road from 12th Street.

    In the vehicle, police said, were Keith Covington, 20, Andre Harding, 20, another 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old juvenile. Additionally in the vehicle, police located a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber handgun.

    After bringing all four to the police station, authorities said they located 27 grams of marijuana and $633 of suspected drug proceeds on Covington's person, and determined the weapon found in the vehicle belonged to him.

    He was charged with possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, and possession with intent to deliver marijuana with an aggravating factor. He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $8,700 cash bond.

    Harding was additionally found to be wanted on a violation of probation warrant. He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution for his violation of probation.


    Pike Creek crash hospitalizes woman

    By Frank Gerace 10:12am, February 8, 2016 - Updated 7:26pm, February 8, 2016
    A 62-year-old woman is recovering from injuries she suffered when her car and an SUV collided early Monday morning.

    Crews found both drivers at Linden Hill Road and Skyline Drive in Pike Creek around 6:45 a.m., New Castle County Paramedics said.

    The woman was treated at the scene for chest and leg injuries and taken to Christiana Hospital, where she's in stable condition.

    The SUV driver refused treatment.

    Delaware State Police are investigating the crash.


    Retired Superior Court judge tapped for Chancery Court post

    By Associated Press 7:14pm, February 8, 2016
    Joseph Slights III has been tapped to be a Vice Chancellor on Delaware's esteemed Chancery Court. (Photo/Morris James LLP)
    Gov. Jack Markell tapped a retired Superior Court judge to fill a vacancy on Delaware's Court of Chancery.

    Markell said Monday that he is nominating Joseph Slights III to become a vice chancellor following the retirement later this month of Vice Chancellor John Noble.

    Slights, a Dover native, served 12 years on the Superior Court before retiring in 2012 and joining the private firm, Morris James LLP in Wilmlington.

    As a judge, Slights presided over hundreds of civil and criminal cases and was instrumental in creating the Superior Court system's Complex Commercial Litigation Division.

    Delaware's chancery court has a national reputation as a venue where disputes involving many of the world's largest corporations are resolved.

    The state Senate will consider Slight's nomination when the legislative session resumes next month after budget committee hearings.


    Government creates new student aid enforcement office

    By Associated Press 7:18pm, February 8, 2016
    The Obama administration is taking new steps to protect students amid increased scrutiny of for-profits colleges and other schools.

    The U.S. Department of Education is creating a new student aid enforcement unit that it said will "respond more quickly and efficiently to allegations of illegal actions by higher education institutions."

    Critics complained that the government didn't move swiftly enough to take action against for-profits like Corinthian Colleges, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year amid fraud allegations, closing schools and leaving thousands of students with hefty student debt and frustrated efforts at securing degrees.

    The new unit tasked with investigating potential abuse and fraud will be led by a former Federal Trade Commission enforcement attorney, Robert Kaye.




    Honda to recall new Civics because engines can fail

    By Associated Press 7:23pm, February 8, 2016
    Honda recalled about 45,000 newly redesigned Civic compact cars in the U.S. and Canada because the engines can fail and stall while being driven.

    The recall affects 2016 Civics equipped with 2-liter four-cylinder engines.

    Documents, filed by Canadian safety regulators, said that a circular clip around the pistons may be missing or was improperly installed at the factory. That can cause a pin on the piston to rub against the engine block and possibly cause engine failure or a fire.

    It was unclear whether any crashes, fires or injuries had happened.

    Dealers will inspect the piston clips and fix them if necessary. In the U.S., dealers can't sell the affected cars until they are repaired.

    The recall covers about 34,000 Civics in the U.S. and roughly 11,000 in Canada.




    Mazda recalls SUVs due to risk of fuel filler pipe ruptures

    By Associated Press 7:23pm, February 8, 2016
    Mazda recalled some SUVs because the fuel filler pipe can rupture in a rear crash and cause a gas leak and possible fire.

    The recall covers nearly 237,000 CX-5 SUVs from the 2014 and 2015 model years.

    The problem was discovered in crash testing when the pipe ruptured and spilled fuel that exceeded limits set by crash test standards. Mazda said it has no reports of any fires or injuries.

    Dealers will remove a bolt on the left side of the pipe, redirecting the rear crash impact to prevent pipe ruptures, according to documents filed by Canadian safety regulators.




    Greyhound Lines resolves alleged ADA violations

    By Associated Press 7:23pm, February 8, 2016
    Greyhound Lines agreed to pay $300,000 to certain bus passengers and a $75,000 civil penalty to resolve allegations that it repeatedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Under the terms of a consent decree filed Monday in Delaware, the company also will implement several reforms, including hiring an ADA compliance manager.

    The consent decree resolves claims that Greyhound failed to provide proper services to disabled passengers, including failing to maintain features such as lifts on its buses and to assist passengers in boarding and exiting buses.

    Greyhound also agreed to compensate individuals who experienced barriers based on disabilities during the three years prior to Monday's filing.

    In addition, the company will separately pay $300,000 to individuals identified by the Justice Department as having experienced ADA violations.


    Johns Hopkins approved for HIV-positive organ transplants

    By Associated Press 7:14pm, February 8, 2016
    Johns Hopkins Medicine recently received approval to perform organ transplants between HIV-positive donors and recipients.

    The hospital announced in a news release Monday that it plans to perform the nation's first kidney transplant between a HIV-positive donor and recipient and the first such liver transplant in the world. These transplants could take place as soon as a suitable organ becomes available and a recipient is identified and prepared.

    Dr. Dorry Segev, associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, estimated that each year about 500 to 600 HIV-positive would-be organ donors had organs that could save more than 1,000 people if their organs could be used for transplants. The transplants are possible because of the 2013 HOPE Act, which allowed HIV-positive individuals to donate organs.


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