Woods wins New Castle County Council special election

By WDEL staff 9:03pm, May 24, 2016 - Updated 10:19pm, May 24, 2016
Ken Woods (Photo/Ken Woods for NCCo)
Democrat Ken Woods overwhelmingly won Tuesday's special election for New Castle County Council's 1st District.

Woods earned 70 percent of the vote to defeat Republican Doug Suiter.

The Delaware Department of Elections reported Tuesday that a little more than 1100 people voted. Voter turnout was listed at 3.59%.

The district Woods will represent includes parts of Elsmere, Stanton, Newport, Bear, and Christiana.

"I want to thank everyone for their support at the ballot box and on the campaign trail. Special elections require a lot out of candidates, volunteers, and voters but we were able to rally together to secure a victory, and I truly appreciate that," said Woods, in a prepared statement. "I look forward to working with district residents, to learn how my fellow County Council members and I can best address their needs. Together we can help enhance the quality of life in the district and throughout the New Castle County."

Woods replaces former County Councilman Joe Reda, who died last month.

New Castle County Council passes budget

By Joe Irizarry 11:13pm, May 24, 2016
Councilman Penrose Hollins discusses New Castle County's finances.
As council members boast of New Castle County's good financial standing, the budget with no tax increases for the upcoming fiscal year easily passes.

The $267 million budget was approved 11-0 with no debate at Tuesday night's meeting.

Councilman George Smiley (D-New Castle) is also co-chairman of the council's finance committee.

"The county is good shape, our reserves are in good shape, above all else, the services to the people who provide the funding for New Castle County remains at a high level as it has for years," said Smiley.

Councilman Penrose Hollins (D-Wilmington North) says the county matches up well around the country.

"There are over 3,000 counties in the United States of America," Hollins said. "New Castle County happens to be 1 of 1.2 percent of those counties who maintain a "AAA" Bond rating from all three of the bond rating agencies."

Meanwhile, employee salaries are rising, New Castle County Council easily passes a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The $267 million budget has no property tax or utility rate increases, and the higher employee salaries are attributed to healthcare rates rising, step increases and collective bargaining agreements.

Smiley says the county has done its best regarding healthcare.

"I can say that there's been an outstanding job done over the last couple of years in trying to reign in our healthcare costs with bundling services, the prescription services and also we're trying to hold as best we can those things we do have control over, we're holding the line on," says Smiley.

Smiley adds the collective bargaining process is still ongoing, and whatever comes out of those agreements would come from funds within the passed budget.

Man shot in Rambleton Acres

By Amy Cherry/DJ McAneny 4:32pm, May 24, 2016 - Updated 10:07pm, May 24, 2016
The scene of a shooting outside Wilton/(Mike Phillips/WDEL)
Gunfire rings out near Wilton Tuesday.

Police said a man was shot at approximately 3:45 p.m. in the area of Holden Drive and West Balbach Avenue in the Rambleton Acres community, and was transported from the scene by emergency responders.

At last check, police said the victim was in stable condition.

The shooting remains under investigation. Anyone with information pertaining to the shooting is asked to call New Castle County Police at 302.573.2800.

Newark Police: Washington DC man found manufacturing weed gummies, cereal bricks, LSD, stealing area signs

By DJ McAneny 11:10am, May 24, 2016 - Updated 2:14pm, May 24, 2016
Dylan Nunn and some of the drugs with which he was found, according to Newark Police
A 22-year-old Washington, D.C., man was charged in Newark after police executed a search warrant at a Newark apartment and detailed on Monday they discovered LSD and edible marijuana in the form of gummy candies and Froot Loops.

Officers with the Newark Police Street Crimes Unit and the Natural Resources Police State Parks executed a search warrant in the 200 block of East Main Street on Friday, May 20, 2016, as part of an investigation that began back on May 8, authorities said.

According to police, parks officers came into contact with Dylan Nunn, 22, of Fern Place and a University of Delaware student, in the White Clay Creek State Park, where he was found to be in possession of 460 grams of of edible marijuana packaged for sale.

During the May 20 search at a location where police believed Nunn to have been manufacturing his product, police said they located almost 8 pounds of additional drugs, including 3,522 grams of raw and edible marijuana--including gummy candies and a "Froot Loop" style cereal brick--62 dosage units of LSD, assorted drug paraphernalia, and a number of stolen street signs belonging to the city of Newark and the Delaware Parks system.

Nunn was charged with dealing LSD-Tier II quantity, dealing marijuana-Tier III quantity, possession of a controlled substance-LSD, possession of drug paraphernalia, and two counts receiving stolen property. He was released after posting a $50,000 secured bond.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to contact Newark Police Master Cpl. Greg D'Elia at 302.366.7100, ext. 3446 or State Parks Enforcement Ofc. George Walton at 302.368.6900.

Outdoor classroom helps Postlethwait Middle students go back to basics

By Amy Cherry 9:54pm, May 24, 2016 - Updated 9:59pm, May 24, 2016
Kids get down and dirty in an outdoor classroom at Postlethwait Middle School. (Tom Nutter/DSCC, Delaware Business magazine)
Forget four walls: one middle school science teacher in downstate Delaware is using the great outdoors for his classroom.

"I looked out the window and said, 'Could I have that?' I was pointing at a drainage ditch," explained Todd Klawinski, a seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher at Postlethwait Middle School in Camden.

His boss looked at him like he was crazy, but that was the moment five years ago, Klawinski recounted, when his out-the-box idea for an outdoor classroom was born.

"It's got all the things a habitat needs--the water stays there--there's trees, space," he said, adding there's even a cost-saving district incentive!

"By the way, when we double the size of it, that's all that grass the custodians don't have to mow."

The middle school science teacher at Postlethwait said the classroom has come a long way since then--they've expanded the space and planted native vegetation.

"So we're building a 30-by-14-foot deck, so the kids and the teachers have a safe place that's like a classroom to attach to before they feel expected to go out...getting out there, getting dirty, getting uncomfortable, we need to get them feeling comfortable first."

He said at an elementary school in the district, they've got a giant field that's being restored as a rain garden.

"When the kids are asking to go outside, they don't really know why, they just know they want to be out there, they don't want to be tied up in the classroom--what they're really asking for is something different."

The facility will eventually be used by the entire Caesar Rodney School District. The approach ditches technology at the moment and truly gets back to basics.

"The human mind needs depth, so a screen or even just in the classroom, it's really limited for depth of view," he said. "In order to get better at school or learning or to become a really capable human being in the 21st century or in the 18th century for that matter, you have to get outside where there are unknown things that'll happen...little things just tripping over a hummock in the field...or getting stung by an ant...bitten by something--those things have to happen."

The approach lets kids take charge of their own education, but it's more than just an "if you build it they will come" mentality. The district is looking to purchase weatherproof computers and cameras so that all classes--not just science--can take advantage of the outdoor classroom, and Klawinski said curriculum and a cultural shift need to follow suit.

"Kids, who wander and explore, sense and colors, really at the little kids age--(a) sense of wonder," he said. "Middle school age...exploring nature...doing scientific experiments, but then at the high school level really solving real-world problems."


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

or Facebook.

Reports: UD to name Notre Dame's Ingelsby men's basketball coach

By Sean Greene 3:19pm, May 24, 2016
Martin Ingelsby (left) will leave Notre Dame and Mike Brey to become Delaware's next head coach (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
Former Notre Dame point guard Martin Ingelsby will be named the University of Delaware's new men's basketball coach, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Rothstein and other media outlets.

Ingelsby just wrapped up his 13th season as an assistant under Mike Brey, the former University of Delaware head coach who named him a captain on his first team in South Bend. Ingelsby started his coaching career as an assistant at Wagner before being named coordinator of basketball operations back at his alma mater.

In July of 2009, he was promoted to assistant coach and, according to Notre Dame's website, "played a key role in elevating (the) program's national recruiting efforts."

Those efforts would be put to the test immediately in Newark, as Delaware must replace two scholarship players who left the school at the end of last season--including leading scorer Kory Holden--and keep as many as three players who have reportedly requested out of their scholarships to potentially pursue transfer opportunities.

Ingelsby would replace Monte Ross, who finished a 10-year tenure in Newark with a 138-184 record, and saw his team go from a 2014 CAA Championship to 10-and-7 win seasons his final two years.

The Delaware men's basketball opening is the first significant hire being done by incoming athletic director Christine Rawak, who was just named 11 days ago.

The developments were first reported by CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish and Jon Rothstein.

Rothstein adds that a press conference to introduce Inglesby could happen "as early as Wednesday".

Powerful T-storm damages home in Hockessin

By Andrew Sgroi 7:51am, May 24, 2016 - Updated 10:30am, May 24, 2016
The storm's aftermath at this home in Brackenville Woods, Hockessin, DE (5/23/2016) / (Mike Phillips/WDEL)
A home in Hockessin took a beating during Monday evening's powerful thunderstorm.

Firefighters from Hockessin Fire Company 19 were called out to the home--in the Brackenville Woods community--around 6:30 p.m. as the storm blew through New Castle County.

A tree--which fire officials believed was likely struck by lightning--lost a huge limb, puncturing the roof of the house. A tarp was used by firefighters to cover the damage.

The home was occupied when the projectile struck it, officials advised, but no one was injured.

Cosby ordered to stand trial in Pennsylvania sex assault case

By Associated Press 2:10pm, May 24, 2016 - Updated 3:01pm, May 24, 2016
Actor and comedian Bill Cosby, center, arrives for a court appearance Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, in Norristown, Pa. Cosby was arrested and charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home in January 2004. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Bill Cosby waived his right to formal arraignment in a Pennsylvania sex assault case.

Cosby was ordered Tuesday to stand trial in the lone criminal case lodged amid dozens of accusations that he molested women.

He was initially scheduled to be arraigned on July 20, at which time he could enter a formal plea. Instead, he waived his right to appear at that proceeding. That sets the case on a trajectory for trial.

The 78-year-old actor faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of violating the accuser while she was impaired, unconscious or could not give consent.

Cosby insists their sexual encounter at his home was consensual and that she never told him to stop.

He has been free on $1 million bail since his Dec. 30 arrest.

Dover men charged after alleged Woodside foot chase with carrying heroin, knife

By DJ McAneny 1:41pm, May 24, 2016
Robert Farkas, Matthew Kerr, and the drugs with which Delaware State Police said they were found
Two Dover men were charged after a traffic stop in Woodside led to a foot chase and the recovery of 215 bags of heroin, police said Tuesday.

According to Delaware State Police, Robert E. Farkas, 35, and Matthew R. Kerr, 24, both of Dover, were pulled over in the area of Woodside East after officers "observed a teal Ford Ranger fail to signal its intentions."

When police conducted a computer inquiry into Farkas' driver's license and it was discovered he was driving with a suspended license and had two warrants for his arrest, they asked him to exit the vehicle, at which point Kerr fled from the vehicle on foot, according to police.

He was apprehended shortly thereafter, and found to be in possession of 215 bags of heroin with a total weight of 3.225 grams, police said, who added a check on Kerr also turned up three warrants out for his arrest, as well.

A search of Farkas turned up a metal pipe "commonly used to smoke crack cocaine," and .32 grams of marijuana, police said, and a search of the car turned up a large, fixed-blade knife in the center console.

Farkas was charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while suspended or revoked, possession of marijuana, and other traffic-related offenses. He was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution in lieu of $3,900 bond.

Kerr was charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin, possession of heroin, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, resisting arrest, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution on $24,500 secured bond.

Wilmington budget impasse seemingly resolved, Councilman Williams to support spending plan in special session

By Tom Lehman 4:16pm, May 23, 2016 - Updated 6:18pm, May 23, 2016
An impasse reached last week between Wilmington Mayor Dennis' Williams and a majority of city council over his $154 million budget is nearing resolution after one member who helped reject the spending plan announced on Monday that he would support it in a reconsideration vote.

Councilman Bob Williams said he will vote for the budget bill through a procedural move in a special meeting on Wednesday. He was among seven council members who helped narrowly vote down the spending plan in last week's meeting.

The council is required to pass a budget by the end of May. A $73 million water and sewer budget also failed 7-6 and will be up for reconsideration.

Williams, who is not related to the mayor, said he was given assurances that the administration will intensify contract negotiations with the police and fire unions and cut an additional vacant position from the budget.

"My bigger concern was that the stalemate with the unions was dragging on too long and I didn't see any assertiveness coming out of the administration toward the unions," he said.

If all of the other council members retain their original positions on the budget bill, Williams' vote would allow the bill to pass 7-6.

The spending plan transfers $1.5 million from the city's general unassigned balance for the city's Housing Strategic Fund for use with the land bank and other housing projects. It also eliminates of four vacant positions, reduces funding for IT consultants and contains a newly negotiated agreement to cut costs within the city's prescription drug program.

The budget would also use $2 million from a risk management fund to cover rising healthcare costs for the city.

Council President Theo Gregory, one of the six supporters in last week's failed vote, said he was pleased the budget would be passed before the May 31 deadline.

"I knew that we were close with one or two other of our council persons," he said. "You go back and hold some conversations and you get people comfortable to the point where they need to be to pass a budget."


You can contact Tom Lehman at tlehman@wdel.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Christina School District listens to parents, students, teachers on school discipline

By Lauren Huet 3:18am, May 24, 2016 - Updated 1:41pm, May 24, 2016
Community speaks out on Christina SD school discipline
The Christina School District held its first community forum on school climate and discipline Monday night under its new approach to tackle student behavioral problems through a community-oriented approach.

Parents, teachers, former teachers, students, and community members gathered at Glasgow High School to discuss problems, strengths, and ideas for change.

"Students don't take disciplinary action seriously," 7th grade student Katie Givens told the group when it was her turn to speak.

"I feel as though going from school to school, there's a different set of disciplines here, and a different set here, and a different set there," said Rosanne Murphy, who taught in Christina for about 30 years.

The district passed the microphone until everyone who attended had the chance to say everything they wanted to say.

"It was interesting to come out and see that everyone really did have the opportunity to share and continue to share until they got their point across," said Kim Givens, who is a teacher with the Christina district.

Givens said they need more staff.

"If we had more mental health (professionals) in the building, if we had people who could teach children alternative behaviors, or help them before there are problems," said Givens, "then maybe we wouldn't have as many behaviors to deal with in the end."

For more than an hour, people took turns sharing their ideas in the forum.

"I was a little skeptical at first," said parent Christy Mannering. "I was afraid there would be a lot of fighting and bickering, but the format stopped that. Sharing one idea at a time--a round table or square room format, passing the microphone and being able to listen to each other--because that allowed us to piggyback off each other."

Mannering says school climate and discipline is an important issue that needs to be discussed.

"If a student wakes up in the morning and their stomach is upset,

because they don't want to go to school, because they know there's going to be a fight or they're going to be picked on. They're not going to learn anything that day," said Mannering.

She spoke from experience. Mannering said her first grade son was bullied by other students when he was in kindergarten.

"I want him to love school. I want him to love learning, because that's going to be the rest of his life is learning, and that should be something that will help him thrive, not something that is going to crush him."

School climate and discipline was a top priority funded by the district's recent referendum. Christina hired consulting firm Demosophia to help it understand school discipline and climate problems, and therefore come up with the best solutions.

The first step in Demosophia's process is to gather key stakeholders, including parents, teachers, students, and community members.

"We want to talk to everybody, because if we are going to make changes, we would all rather see involvement on the front end, so, people have the chance to express their opinions and views," said Christina School District Superintendent Dr. Robert Andrzejewski.

One of the ideas the district is discussing is an alternative to suspension. The superintendent said putting students out of school and on the streets won't help them.

Mannering would like to see students perform more acts of service.

"If they're going to be there and if they're going to be in detention, why not provide them an opportunity for service? Whether it's service in the school to clean up the library or service in their community to help the food bank."

She shared her idea with the group Monday.

"I think that the format was really great and it allowed everyone to hear a different side of the story, which we often don't," said Mannering.

The transcript from the forum Monday night will be posted to Christina's website this week.

There are two more community forums this week. Tuesday, there will be a forum at Oberle Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, there will be a forum at Bancroft Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. The superintendent encourages community members to come share their views.

Newark City Council endorses Downtown Development District Grant plan

By Joe Irizarry 12:57am, May 24, 2016 - Updated 4:15pm, May 24, 2016
Councilwoman Jen Wallace discusses Newark Downtown Development District Grant proposal.
Making downtown an even more inviting destination is a big part of Newark's motivation to apply for a Downtown Development District Grant.

Applications have to be submitted by June 1, and city officials expect a decision by the state will be made sometime this summer.

Newark's goals include preserving and enhancing the economic vitality of its downtown, giving housing opportunities for people of different ages and incomes, providing affordable places for small businesses to increase employment and preserving and enhancing Newark's historic and cultural image.

Councilman Stu Markham has a vision of what he wants if Newark is awarded one of the grants.

"I would like to see funding be put toward more affordable housing for more residents in the city," said Markham.

Newark's proposal is featured on Main Street from Library Avenue to the Green, it also includes the College Square shopping center and Cleveland Avenue.

City council voted 5-0 to move forward with the application.

Use obesity surgery more often for diabetes, guidelines urge

By Associated Press 2:02pm, May 24, 2016
International diabetes organizations are calling for weight-loss surgery to become a more routine treatment option for diabetes, even for some patients who are only mildly obese.

Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are a deadly pair, and numerous studies show stomach-shrinking operations can dramatically improve diabetes.

But Tuesday's guidelines marked the first time the surgery is recommended specifically as a diabetes treatment rather than as obesity treatment with a side benefit. They expand the number of eligible candidates.

The recommendations were endorsed by the American Diabetes Association, the International Diabetes Federation and 43 other health groups, and published in the journal Diabetes Care. Insurance covers some bariatric surgery already, but it's not clear yet if coverage would be expanded to match the guidelines.

Goodbye, empty nest: Millennials staying longer with parents

By Associated Press 2:10pm, May 24, 2016 - Updated 11:13pm, May 24, 2016
For the first time on record, living with parents is now the most common arrangement for Americans ages 18 to 34, an analysis of Census data by the Pew Research Center has found. The sharp shift reflects a long-running decline in marriage age, amplified b
Many of America's young adults appear to be in no hurry to move out of their old bedrooms.

For the first time on record, living with parents is now the most common arrangement for people ages 18 to 34, according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Research Center.

Nearly one-third of millennials live with their parents--that's slightly more than the proportion who live with a spouse or partner. The remaining young adults are living alone or in college dorms or other circumstances.

The trend has been particularly evident among Americans who lack a college degree.

The pattern may be a contributing factor in the sluggish growth of the U.S. economy, which depends heavily on consumer spending. With more young people living with their parents rather than on their own, fewer people need to buy appliances, furniture or cable subscriptions.

The recovery from the recession has also been hobbled by historically low levels of home construction and home ownership.

As recently as 2000, nearly 43 percent of young adults ages 18 to 34 were married or living with a partner. By 2014, that proportion was just 31.6 percent.

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