Police ID 2 dead in armed standoff at Elkton motel

By DJ McAneny/Mike Phillips 5:44pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 5:51pm, October 25, 2016
VIDEO: WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.
Two people are dead following a standoff with police at a Cecil County motel, Maryland State Police said.

A Maryland-based Fugitive Task Force attempting to perform an arrest at the request of Delaware State Police made contact with two individuals--identified by Maryland State Police as Brandon Jones and Chelsea M. Porter, both 25 and from Dover--inside a room at the New Eastern Inn along East Pulaski Highway in Elkton, Maryland.

Police said when officers knocked on the door and announced their presence at approximately 10:30 a.m., they witnessed Jones reach for a gun--later determined to be a BB gun.

One of the BB guns, according to Maryland State Police

One of the BB guns, according to Maryland State Police

Despite being informed to drop the weapon, the man reportedly pointed the gun at officers and was shot and killed.

Porter then came to the door, also armed, and pointed her weapon at police, authorities said. She, too, was shot and killed.

Chelsea M. Porter/Delaware State Police

Chelsea M. Porter/Delaware State Police

Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said officers had no choice but to shoot.

"They certainly weren't surrendering prior to this--they were both wanted on felony warrants in Delaware and were tracked to this location," said Shipley.

Authorities said the pair was wanted on charges out of Delaware which included:
  • four counts possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony
  • possession with intent to deliver heroin
  • possession of heroin
  • possession with intent to deliver marijuana
  • three counts possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited
  • receiving a stolen firearm
  • second-degree conspiracy
  • possession of marijuana, other than personal use quantity
  • possession of drug paraphernalia

  • Delaware State Police said a search warrant at Jones' residence in the 100 block of Stardust Drive in Dover resulted in the confiscation of 2,094 bags of heroin weighing 31.41 grams, 1,020 grams of marijuana, a .38 caliber revolver, a .357 revolver which had previously been reported stolen out of Queen Anne's County in July 2016, a .22 caliber rifle, an additional pistol, and $2,700 in suspected drug proceeds.

    Cannabis Bureau of DE invites public to town hall to discuss legalization in Delaware

    By Lauren Huet 5:29pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 6:54pm, October 25, 2016
    VIDEO: Lauren Huet previews Cannabis Bureau of Delaware's town hall.
    The Cannabis Bureau of Delaware invited the public to attend a town hall to discuss marijuana regulation in the First State.

    "The goal for the Cannabis Bureau of Delaware is to tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol for adults 21 and older," said Co-Chair of the CBD Zoe Patchell. "We'd like to create economic development, continue revenue source, and employment opportunities for Delaware while eliminating the illicit market and the number of other problems associated with cannabis prohibition."

    The town hall is Tuesday, October 25 at 7 p.m. at Camden Delaware VFW in Camden-Wyoming. The discussion is moderated by WDEL's Susan Monday.

    "We have award winning journalist Susan Monday moderating our event," said Patchell. "We have speakers including Neill Franklin, a Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Executive Director, as well as a drug task force expert. We also have registered nurse Sarah Bargas, local attorney Tom Donovan, and two veterans that are going to speak on the pitfalls for veterans in an era of cannabis prohibition, and that's Kim Petters and Dan Schmink."

    "We're looking to raise awareness about cannabis as well as the harms of cannabis prohibition. We'd like the public to come out and share their questions and concerns about this. This is a community issue and we're looking to create an open and honest dialogue in our community," said Patchell.

    Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington have all legalized the sale and recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and over.

    "Colorado and Oregon are great examples of what we could do with a policy that would tax and regulate cannabis," said Patchell. "Colorado has netted over 100 million dollars just in tax revenue in the last two years. They've issued over 27 thousand licenses for employment in this already existing industry. DUI arrests are actually down 18 percent overall in Colorado."

    Critics argue legalizing marijuana leads to increased crashes on the roadways.

    Patchell compared marijuana prohibition to alcohol prohibition.

    "Cannabis prohibition creates crime and violence in our communities just like during alcohol prohibition," said Patchell. "As well as the fact that it diverts police manpower and resources away from real crime to a completely victimless issue. Here in Delaware we spend over 22.3 million dollars arresting people like me that choose a safer, healthier alternative to alcohol."

    Delaware decriminalized the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana last year.

    "Decriminalization was a good step forward, however it doesn't address the many concerns with the illicit market, as well as the fact that people are still being arrested under the decriminalization policy," said Patchell. "It only applies to leaf cannabis, and not the oils, the edibles, or hash even. Smoking in public is still a misdemeanor arrest. We're looking to eliminate the illicit market and create jobs and revenue by taxing and regulating cannabis like alcohol."

    She said marijuana is safer than alcohol, and pointed out that according to the DEA Drugs of Abuse report there have been no marijuana overdoses.

    "Alcohol is associated with 40 percent of all homicides, 37 percent of sexual assaults, and 2/3 of domestic violence, while a Journal of Trauma article states cannabis is not associated with violent or non-violent injuries requiring hospitalization," said Patchell.

    Patchell also said legalization is dealing a blow to the cartels.

    "The Marijuana Policy Project put out a study that showed that 70 percent of all cartel sales in Colorado has diminished," said Patchell. "Instead of allowing all this revenue and employment opportunities to go to cartels and gangs, it's now being taxed and regulated so people in the states, law abiding citizens, can benefit from this already existing industry."

    California, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada are voting November 8th on whether or not to legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana.

    "So, basically with four states plus D.C. that have legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older with 5 more slated to follow suit on the November 8th ballot, it's inevitable," said Patchell. "We shouldn't be wasting state resources and arresting people for a plant that's safer than alcohol."

    Delaware Senator Margaret Rose Henry has said she plans to introduce legislation in January that would legalize marijuana for Delawareans 21 years and older.

    "We're very excited. We now have bipartisan support in the senate. Senator Henry has announced that she will introduce a bill in January at the start of legislative session. We also have support from Senator Bonini, a gubernatorial candidate, who's also pledged his support to tax and regulate cannabis like alcohol for adults 21 and older," said Patchell.

    Opponents of legalizing marijuana for recreational use said the drug--often referred to as a "gateway drug" could lead to increased use of other drugs by youth.

    A second town town hall November 17 at 7 p.m., at the Police Athletic League in Wilmington.

    Delaware Nat'l Guard: Little chance of incentive payment recall occurring here

    By DJ McAneny 6:02pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 6:14pm, October 25, 2016
    About a decade after the military establishment offered soldiers thousands in bonuses to veterans who would remain enlisted, officials are now calling for that money to be returned from California National Guard members due to it's "improper nature."

    Reports suggest upwards of $15,000 in bonuses were paid to soldiers whose job descriptions did not meet the standards set to receive them.

    Luckily, Delaware National Guard veterans shouldn't have a reason to worry.

    "The Delaware National Guard takes our responsibility--as does the California National Guard--for being a good steward of tax payer dollars(...)seriously," said Lt. Col. Len Gratteri. "We always want to make sure we do the right thing for our soldiers, for our state, and for our country."

    Traditionally, the DNG has a number of safeguards in place to protect against exactly what is occurring in California, Gratteri said.

    "I can tell you a little bit about the recruiting and retention incentive program. It's monitored, on an annual basis, both internally and externally," he said. "In 2011, the Delaware National Guard audited internal control systems to ensue we were operating under best practices. To date, all audits have verified our enlistment and reenlistment bonus contracts were made with eligible soldiers only."

    As to why other states may run into issues like California's current problems, he was reluctant to venture a guess, but noted sometimes it comes down to a single human error.

    "I can't tell you what's going on in another state, but it usually comes down to something on an individual basis," Gratteri said. "You might have one person make a mistake, and that could set off a lot of these problems. Another thing you have to look at, too, is, often, a soldier will enter into a contractual agreement--and then they don't fulfill that agreement. Therefore, that's going to make them ineligible, and then that money also has to be paid back."

    When pressed, Gratteri said he didn't think there was anyone who really even knew how the situation broke down, yet, but said, overseeing his station, good representation to and for the community is his main priority.

    "I don't think anyone knows what's happened yet. There are a number of different incentive programs. you just have to be careful and follow under the right guidelines," he said. "We really want to be good stewards of tax payer dollars, so we audit our systems, we audit our results, and we really keep good track of it."

    Firefighters rescue man and woman from capsized boat

    By Lauren Huet/Mike Phillips 5:03pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 5:30pm, October 25, 2016
    VIDEO: Firefighters rescue man and woman from capsized boat
    A man and a woman were tossed into the chilly waters of the Delaware River when their boat capsized Wednesday near Battery Park in Old New Castle.

    Firefighters from the Good Will of New Castle unit came to the rescue in their marine boat, and pulled the man and woman out of the water. Paramedics checked and treated the two on shore, then released them.

    Delaware City firefighters brought the capsized boat back to shore. White caps on the water showed it was a windy day.

    Wanted man trying to run down Dover Police shot 4 times

    By DJ McAneny 4:24pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 5:30pm, October 25, 2016
    The scene of an officer-involved shooting/Courtesy Dover Police
    Dover Police are investigating a shooting Tuesday between a member of the Delaware Probation and Parole unit and a suspect wanted on a failure to appear warrant.

    According to authorities, four officers from the Dover Police Department's Street Crimes Unit and two probation officers were in the area of New Castle Avenue on Tuesday, October 25, 2016, at 12:22 p.m. investigating information that suspect Jamera Fisher, 25, was armed and in the area.

    Fisher was reportedly observed entering the driver's side of a dark-colored sedan with another male, who entered the passenger's side of the vehicle.

    When police attempted to initiate a traffic stop in the 400 block of New Castle Avenue, Fisher allegedly rammed two occupied police vehicles--one in front of him and one behind him--in an attempt to leave the area.

    As officers exited their vehicles, police said Fisher "proceeded to aggressively operate his vehicle in the direction officers," at which point, the probation officer opened fire, shooting four times.

    The scene of an officer-involved shooting/Courtesy Dover Police

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    Fisher was struck multiple times. He was immediately provided first aid by offices on the scene, and transported in stable condition to Kent General, with graze wounds to his left arm, neck, and an entry wound to his torso, according to authorities.

    A loaded handgun was also located inside the vehicle, police said, adding charges against Fisher would be reported at a later time.

    Dover Police continue to investigate the shooting, and will release additional details as their investigation evolves.

    Last-minute visa issued so sick Pakistani child can get surgery at Nemours

    By Associated Press 2:38pm, October 25, 2016 - Updated 6:54pm, October 25, 2016
    The U.S. embassy in Islamabad issued a last minute visa to Maria, an ailing 6-year-old Pakistani child, afflicted with a painful genetic disorder, and her parents who turned to the media as the date for their child’s life altering operation in the U
    The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad issued a last minute-visa to an ailing 6-year-old Pakistani girl desperately, so she can get a surgery at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.

    Shahid Ullah, the father of Maria, said that the family is "so happy" at the news and thanked friends and supporters world over who helped them.

    Ullah, a poor merchant who owns a shop selling blankets in Rawalpindi, near the capital of Islamabad, has campaigned for nearly four years seeking treatment for Maria, who suffers from a genetic disorder known as Morquio Syndrome in which the vertebrae compress the spinal cord.

    The embassy said on Tuesday the visas were approved.

    Ullah said he and his wife will accompany Maria to the hospital, which has agreed to do the procedure for free.

    Cow truck tips on ramp to interstate south of Newport

    By Andrew Sgroi 9:16am, October 25, 2016 - Updated 11:30am, October 25, 2016
    A tractor trailer carrying cattle overturns on 295./Via @NBCPhiladelphia
    Delaware State Police cleared another unique crash involving a tractor trailer Monday night.

    Following recent interstate wrecks that left 40,000 spilled pennies and, just this weekend, an edible weed truck catch fire, troopers found the latest scene on northbound Interstate 295, underneath of West Basin Road near Newport.

    According to DSP, on Monday, October 24, 2016, at approximately 9:30 p.m., 32-year-old Travis Clark, of Ephrata, PA, was operating a 1991 International tractor and trailer loaded with 15 cows, and was traveling on the ramp from Route 141 southbound onto I-295. As the tractor trailer entered onto the merge lane at the bottom of the ramp, it struck a barrier, causing it to overturn onto its left hand side.

    The 15 cows were removed from the scene by a pet removal company, said police.

    Travis Clark, who had been wearing a seatbelt, was cited by troopers for operating an improperly loaded vehicle.

    The ramp from DE-141 southbound to I-295 northbound was closed for approximately six and a half hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.

    WaPo reporter: Biden urging fellow Dems to woo 'typical Trump supporters'

    By Frank Gerace 9:50pm, October 24, 2016 - Updated 10:06am, October 25, 2016
    Vice President Joe Biden (WDEL file)
    Vice President Biden is reportedly urging his fellow Democrats not to neglect so-called "typical Trump supporters" as the Clinton campaign closes out its run for the Oval Office.

    Biden's a "lone figure in the wind" in reminding members of his party that minorities, younger women and millennials in general may have helped President Obama to see two terms in the White House.

    "But Uncle Joe sort of looks at the future of the Party and keeps seeing these midterm blowouts where those groups don't turn out to vote, and the percentage of white voters goes up a lot higher," said Washington Post reporter Paul Kane.

    Kane said without adding the white vote, or what he called "typical Trump supporters" to that of the so-called "Obama coalition" in mid-term elections, Democrats won't win majorities in the House and Senate, even if Hillary Clinton becomes the next president.

    Delaware authorities to conduct statewide DUI checkpoints

    By Associated Press 1:16pm, October 25, 2016
    Delaware police will be out in force Halloween weekend in an effort to crack down on drunken driving, according to authorities.

    State highway safety officials said more than 100 police officers will gather in Wilmington, Bear, Dover, Rehoboth Beach, and Seaford to conduct checkpoints. Police will be conducting checkpoints in five different locations: two in New Castle County, two in Sussex County and one in Kent County.

    Two similar checkpoint operations, in July and September, resulted in 28 DUI arrests, officials said.

    Authorities said there have been 34 deaths attributed to impaired-driving in Delaware so far this year, and more than 3,200 DUI arrests.

    US official: Non-state actor likely to blame for cyberattack

    By Associated Press 2:38pm, October 25, 2016
    James Clapper (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    National Intelligence Director James Clapper said it appears that a "non-state actor" was behind a massive cyberattack last week that briefly blocked access to websites including Twitter and Netflix.

    Clapper said investigators are gathering a lot of data and preliminary indications are that a non-state actor is to blame. But he said he wouldn't want to completely rule out whether a nation state might have been behind it or not.

    Clapper spoke Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

    Last Friday, cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. Members of a shadowy hacker group that calls itself New World Hackers claimed responsibility for the attack, but that claim could not be verified.

    Pediatricians: Babies should sleep in same room as parents

    By Associated Press 2:38pm, October 25, 2016
    The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for infants to be kept in their parents' bedroom at night for six months to a year in order to lessen the risk of sleep-related death.

    The new recommendations say babies should sleep on a separate surface, in a crib or bassinet and never on something soft. The guidelines said babies should sleep in the same room as their parents, preferably until they're a year old. The AAP said room-sharing lessens the risk of sudden infant death syndrome by as much as 50 percent.

    Other recommendations include always placing a baby on its back to sleep and avoiding use of crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys.

    The AAP says about 3,500 infants suffer sleep-related deaths every year in the U.S.

    HealthWatch: Missing Senior Network helps families of loved ones with Alzheimer's

    By Lauren Huet 6:17am, October 24, 2016 - Updated 5:24pm, October 24, 2016
    VIDEO: Lauren Huet reports on Missing Senior Network
    Home Instead Senior Care recently launched the Missing Senior Network. It's a new, free alert system for families caring for someone with Alzheimer's. MSN allows a family member to put out an alert online to a network of friends, neighbors, relatives, if the senior wanders away and gets lost.

    Sign up here.

    "Sign up, and if they're lost can then send out an alert to family members, friends, folks that might recognize the person and understand that they're lost," said Bob Bird. "But after 15 minutes if you can't find your loved one or family member, you ought to call the police. Even if you're tracking or following the person."

    Bob Bird owns the Home Instead Senior Care Wilmington office. He said wandering is a big problem for people with Alzheimer's.

    "Most folks that have Alzheimer's have wandered at some point and have been lost and had to be found and returned," said Bird. "So, it's a big issue. The cause is really related to the fact that memory loss, the inability to recall where you are, where you need to go, causes people when they're restless to seek perhaps a place that they used to know, but no longer is where they live."

    Someone with Alzheimer's can walk outside of their home and become confused.

    "They travel halfway down the block, and look over their shoulder, they may look back at the house they've lived in for the past 20 years and not recognize it," said Bob. "They may be looking at a house they grew up in and that's not there. So, maybe it's around the next corner, or the next corner after that. The unfortunate thing is nothing really good can happen to an elderly person who has mental challenges when they can't find their way home."

    Nighttime is even more perilous for seniors with Alzheimer's.

    "People that awake in the night are often a little bit confused," said Bird. "Sometimes I'm confused if I wake up at 3 o'clock in the morning, but you can imagine if somebody has memory issues. They may get up to toilet, be confused about where they are. Is this my house? Is this where I grew up? Maybe it isn't. Maybe I should be going through that door over there."

    There are precautions families can take.

    "Alarms, GPS devices, so that we can track where you are if we can't find you," said Bird. "That's in addition to the Missing Senior Network. There are physical things that you can be doing, just common sense things like locking the door. Common sense things like not drinking a lot of liquid before you go to bed, because then you're going to be more likely to get up and toilet, and if you're confused you're more likely to make a wrong turn, fall, go outside, etc."

    November is Alzheimer's Disease Awareness/Caregivers Month. Bird said it's important to raise awareness and discuss the disease.

    "Alzheimer's disease is a pervasive issue that most families historically have not wanted to address in kind of an overt way. It's been kind of stigmatized. It's something that occurs behind closed doors," said Bird.

    Bird said raising awareness can help people understand the disease.

    "It's really important that people understand," said Bird, "that it is an actual pathological issue. It's a medical issue that is occurring, it's not anything that has to do with personality, or inherited qualities. It's basically a progressive issue, a disease that we're working, but have unfortunately not found a cure for."

    There are symptoms and signs you can look out for.

    "When dad's coming home from an errand that should have taken 15 minutes and an hour has gone by, that's a common sign," said Bird. "Another common sign is simply repeating and asking the same questions over and over again."

    Bird said more than half of people past their mid 80's have diagnosed Alzheimer's disease.

    "Its important that if you see these signs," said Bird, "recognize that something is going on underneath that's causing it. It's not something that people are doing to aggravate or frustrate you. It's something that's being caused by an underlying problem."

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