Brandywine Hundred Rotary Club honors veterans and first responders

By Zachary Rendin 3:14pm, September 4, 2015 - Updated 7:31pm, September 4, 2015
VIDEO: WDEL's Zachary Rendin reports.
More than 20 volunteers from the Brandywine Hundred Rotary Club spent their Friday morning pounding in pickets and planting American flags to honor first responders and military veterans.

The collection of 115 flags are part of a memorial at the corner of Concord Pike and Mount Lebanon Road, and will be featured in a ceremony set to take place on September 11, 2015, at 8 a.m.

"Each flag someone donated (represents) a $50 donation that's going to Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans," said Chris Vanderslice, Brandywine Hundred Rotary Club chapter president.

"Each flag has a tag on it. So, whoever someone honored (with) that flag, they'll have a map and can walk down the row and find their specific flag of the person they honored."

Vanderslice said many club members wanted to put together an event like this for sometime, and combining it with a memorial also honoring the victims of September 11 just made sense.

Chris Blackwell, owner of Jamestown Painting, is a charter member of the club and lent many of the tools and labor during construction of the site.

"It's great; it's gratifying doing this for the Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans," said Blackwell. "I was born and raised in Delaware, so it's great to get the chance to honor these heroes in the military and first responders."

The club procured the land and materials they needed by utilizing the resources of their members and their relationship with New Castle County officials.

"All sorts of people really just pitched in to do a lot of work," said Vanderslice. "The county donated the land and even made sure to cut the grass for us."

The flags memorial will be on display until September 14.

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Contact Zach Rendin at zrendin@wdel.com or follow him on Twitter at @zrendin




Tickets for Pope's address in Philly available next week

By Shana O'Malley 7:43pm, September 4, 2015
Tickets for Pope Francis' address at Independence Hall in Philadelphia will be available to the public beginning next week.

According to the Archdioceses of Philadelphia, 10,000 tickets will be released at noon on Tuesday September 8th.

The Pope will speak at noon on September 26th at Independence Hall.

Those interested in obtaining tickets should click here

Tickets will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Individuals may reserve up to four tickets.


Car crashes into utility pole in Wilmington

By Shana O'Malley 7:30pm, September 4, 2015
Photo by Mike Phillips/WDEL Traffic Watch
Delaware State Police officers are investigating a vehicle that crashed into a utility pole west of Wilmington.

According to police, a single vehicle struck the utility pole around 4:45 Friday afternoon while traveling in the eastbound lane of Lancaster Pike near Court Drive.

The crashed closed Lancaster Pike eastbound in the area for about five hours.




Blue Hens offense squished by Jacksonville

By Don Voltz 10:51pm, September 4, 2015 - Updated 1:36am, September 5, 2015
VIDEO: Highlights of Jacksonville vs. Delaware (Sean Greene)
Delaware had won ten straight home openers before the Jacksonville Dolphins made themselves at home Friday night in the 2015 home opener with a 20-14 win.



The Blue Hens never led, allthough they were tied at the half 7-7. The Dolphins got on the board first, on the first drive of the game, a 14 play drive that covered 90 yards, ended with a 2 yard pass from Kade Bell to Andy Jones that made it 7-0 Jacksonville.



Delaware came back in the second quarter on a long drive of their own, that covered 80 yards in 10 plays, capped with a trick play, wide receiver Dionte Cherry taking a handoff then finding running back Jalen Randolph on a 21 yard touchdown pass.



It would end 7-7 at the half. But the second half, for the most part, would belong to the Dolphins. They scored on two field goals by Brandon Behr of 42 and 41 yards, then looked like they put the game away on a defensive play. After Ryan Torzsa picked off a Jacksonville pass at the Delaware 3 with a little more than two minutes to go, two plays later Blue Hens quarterback Joe Walker was stripped of the ball in the end zone and it was recovered by Justin Horton to make it 20-7 with 2:09 left.



Because of a celebration penalty, Delaware got the ball in good field position and ultimately scored on a one yrad run by Jalen Randolph to make it 20-14 with 1:20 to play.



But Delaware touched the on-side kick before it traveled ten yards, Jacksonville got the ball at the Delaware 42 and ran out the clock.



Jacksonville quarterback Kade Bell was 25 for 43 for 269 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Delaware's quarterbacks, Blake Rankin and Joe Walker, were a combined 9 of 19 for 112 yards.



Now the Blue Hens will have to regroup to get ready for Lafayette Saturday night at Delaware Stadium at 6pm.


Eagles trade Barkley to Cardinals, clear spot for Tebow

By Rob Maaddi/AP Pro Football Write 5:44pm, September 4, 2015
Eagles guard Dennis Kelly blocks the Jets' Deion Barnes as Matt Barkley throws a pass during the first half of a preseason game Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015/(AP Photo/Mel Evans)
The Philadelphia Eagles have traded quarterback Matt Barkley to the Arizona Cardinals, clearing a roster spot for Tim Tebow.

Arizona sent a conditional seventh-round draft pick to Philadelphia for Barkley. He'll provide depth behind Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton. Logan Thomas and rookie Phillip Sims were competing for the No. 3 job.

Tebow outplayed Barkley in the preseason and appears to have locked up the No. 3 job behind Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez. He signed with the Eagles in March, after having last played in the regular season in 2012 with the New York Jets.

Barkley was a fourth-round pick in 2013. He completed 30 of 50 passes for 300 yards and four interceptions in four games. He is the all-time leading passer in Pac-12 Conference and USC history, when he had 12,327 passing yards and 116 touchdowns for the Trojans.


Thousands to hit the roadways this weekend for Labor Day weekend

By Tom Lehman 5:44pm, September 4, 2015
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports. (Footage courtesy NBC 10)
About 169,000 Delawareans are about to travel for the Labor Day weekend, according to AAA MidAtlantic.

Click here to listen



The auto club forecasts 87 percent of them will be traveling by car. AAA MidAtlatnic spokesman Jim Lardear said low gas prices are a major reason why roadways will be busy, especially in places like the Delaware beaches.

"It's a great opportunity with gas prices so low to take one last road trip this summer," he said.

AAA reported that gas prices for this holiday weekend are at a 10-year low and a dollar per gallon cheaper than this time last year.

Lardear said that means travelers will have a few extra bucks to spend when they get where they're going. He suspects that some people who normally travel for the holiday may be staying home this year, because Labor Day falls on September 8, later than it would typically.

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




North Brandywine Village robbery/homicide victim ID'd by police, two other victims charged

By DJ McAneny/Andrew Sgroi 3:39pm, September 4, 2015
A robbery in Wilmington Thursday night led to three victims shot--including one fatally--and charges for one of the victims in connection to another robbery incident.

City police said the robbery happened around 11 p.m. on September 3, 2015, on the 2500 block of North Market Street in the North Brandywine Village neighborhood.

The holdup led to an exchange of gunfire, and a 23-year-old victim was found in front of a residence in the same block of the robbery location, shot in the arm and buttocks. Police believed he was the target of the robbery, they said, and also discovered he had active warrants for his arrest on the charges of possession of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited.

Wilmington Police said they then discovered the second victim, 20-year-old Shaiquen Brown, in a vehicle in the Ninth Ward. He was shot in the head and torso. Brown ultimately died in the early morning hours Friday from the injuries suffered in the shooting.

The third victim, 18-year-old Raquan Stevens, drove to the hospital in a private vehicle while suffering from a gunshot wound to the shoulder area. Police said Stevens was listed in stable condition, but had active warrants for his arrest in connection to charges of first-degree robbery and second-degree conspiracy.

Police said the incident began in a residence where the 23-year-old victim was located, and the 20-year-old victim who died had been attempting to flee the scene in a passerby's vehicle when he was shot.

Police urge anyone with information about the shooting to contact Det. McKenzie Kirlin at 302.576.3620 or Delaware Crime stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.


WDEL finds $70M in new debt taken on by New Castle County

By Amy Cherry 11:08pm, September 3, 2015 - Updated 7:45pm, September 4, 2015
New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi talks about new debt taken on by the county.
WDEL has combed through the New Castle County FY 2016 budget and discovered tens of millions in new spending that has gone largely unmentioned by county officials.

Click here to listen



The $70 million in new debt was borrowed by New Castle County at the same time it refinanced $119 million in loans to generate what was being touted "savings" by representatives of the county.

WDEL found the debt in the budget and questioned New Castle County Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi about why it's never been announced publicly.

"Huh?" Grimaldi said, at first seeming puzzled. "Well, it was in the capital budget."

The only way the public would've likely known about the debt for new spending is if they attended the county council meeting in December when the proposal was approved. WDEL discovered the new debt wasn't mentioned by the county in any news releases, especially not the county's announcement detailing the refinancing $119 million in debt at a lower rate for an anticipated $12 million in savings. The new debt for capital projects was taken out at the same time, according to Grimaldi and analysts from New Castle County with Fitch Ratings.

At the time of questioning, Grimaldi said he thought it was included in news releases and after WDEL pointed out that it was not, he admitted it should have been.

"That's a good point--when I re-read the press releases, we could've or maybe should've done it that way. That story was really about the refinancing of the debt, which didn't really include that," he claimed. "We were assuming that the capital budget that passed a few months ago was sufficiently covered. But having read the press releases, I actually thought it was all in it--it probably should've been."

The new debt was taken out after the New Castle County executive heralded his Fiscal Year 2016 budget that included no tax increases and a budget surplus, and no mention at all of the new debt.

Grimaldi said the newly-borrowed money will be spent on numerous projects.

"Glasgow Park--we're spending money there (to) build a hermitage, and I believe a maintenance base; we're investing in Carousel Park--we're going to have a new barn there--and Rockwood, the conservatory," Grimaldi said. "The county executive believes if you invest in parks and libraries, it's a great way to drive value and bring property values higher."

This fiscal year's capital budget outlined $60 million in new debt being spent on sewer projects. Grimaldi touted a recent effort to reverse sewer flows from Middletown, which will help avoid sewer fee hikes in the near future. The county claims that project cost $2 million.

The new Route 9 Innovation Center will also get a big influx of cash from the new debt. Ground is expected to be broken on the project later this month.

Grimaldi said interest rates were so low borrowing was a better choice than taking money out of reserves.

"Strategically, I think you want to be a borrower rather than using reserves when interest rates are so low," Grimaldi explained. "So, if you can borrow--I think our rate was around 3 percent or a little around there--which is basically the cost of inflation, so in essence it's sort of free money."

The new debt contains $15 million in bond proceeds to account for a total of $85 million.

Grimaldi said county officials head to the bond market each year and that New Castle County is surviving along with many other governments because of historically low interest rates.

"We have a decent size reserve and that's really what's keeping our AAA bond rating, so I would hate to dip into that," he said.



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This article was revised to clarify how much money was spent on the Middletown sewer project. In a press release, the county disputed the facts in this article, but WDEL stands by its reporting. This story was vetted by a financial expert, who has re-examined and confirmed its contents based on documents and interviews. No county officials have directly contacted WDEL about any alleged factual inaccuracies.

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




Dover's Brengle knocked out of U.S. Open

By Sean Greene 4:38pm, September 4, 2015
(WDEL File)
Dover's Madison Brengle battled hard in the 2nd set, but couldn't withstand the power of Estonia's Anett Kontaveit as Brengle fell in three sets in the U.S. Open's 3rd round Friday afternoon.

After losing the first set 6-2, Brengle won a series of long games towards the end of the 2nd set, ultimately claiming a 6-3 victory.

That momentum was erased during the Dover native's first service game of the 3rd set.

Trailing 0-1 and facing a break point, she hit a shot that was initially ruled to have clipped the baseline. Kontaveit challenged the call, and the official review showed it landed millimeters outside the line, giving the break to the Estonian.

Things steadily fell apart from there, as Kontaveit managed 16 winners against 3 unforced errors in the final set. Brengle could not answer, as she connected on just one winner against 7 unforced errors.

The 6-0 scoreline put an end to a fantastic Grand Slam season for Brengle, who reached the 4th round of the Australian Open in January, and her 3rd round appearance in New York was her longest run in America's biggest tournament.

She will likely see her 47th-placed ranking in the world go up after the tournament.


Man convicted of killings at Wilmington soccer tournament sentenced to die

By Associated Press 4:55pm, September 4, 2015
The scene of a gang shooting that killed two men/WDEL File
A gang member has been sentenced to death in the fatal shooting of two men at a soccer tournament in Wilmington.

New Castle County Superior Court Judge Calvin L. Scott Jr. on Friday sentenced 38-year-old Otis Phillips to be executed November 17, 2015. The News Journal reported that will almost certainly be stayed when appeals are filed.

Otis Phillips and 23-year-old Jeffrey Phillips, unrelated, were convicted in December of murder in the death of Herman Curry, and manslaughter in the death of 16-year-old Alexander Kamara on July 8, 2012. Jeffery Phillips was sentenced to life plus 76 years in prison at the same hearing.

Authorities said the getaway driver for the men died after being hit by gunfire from tournament spectators.


Work release fugitive spotted, apprehended in Wilmington

By DJ McAneny 3:48pm, September 4, 2015
Sayyid Perez/Courtesy Department of Correction
The Department of Correction announced Friday the capture of a work release fugitive who went missing in mid-August.

According to authorities, Sayyid Perez, who went unaccounted for during a late evening roll-call on August 19, 2015, was spotted in the area of the 800 block of Kirkwood Street in Wilmington's East Side neighborhood late Friday morning.

A probation officer and Wilmington Police officer approached Perez, who fled into a nearby building but was located and apprehended without further incident.

Police did not have information on additional charges or bail for Perez.


Man provides ride to 7-11 in Dover, is robbed and carjacked at gunpoint for his deed

By DJ McAneny 11:16am, September 4, 2015
A man who had provided a ride for two other individuals was punished for his good deed by having his money and car stolen at gunpoint Thursday night in Dover.

According to Dover Police, the victim gave a ride to two suspects and dropped them off in front of the 7-11 on 1019 Walker Road at approximately 10:22 p.m. on September 3, 2015.

When he pulled the black 2005 Cadillac CTS into the parking lot of the Hamlet Shopping Center to let them out, the suspects displayed weapons, took cash and a cellphone from the victim, and then drove away in his vehicle.

Police said the suspects were black males, ages 18 to 25, but could provide no other details.

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact Dover Police at 302.736.7111 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.


In-house drug sweep nets Elsmere Police a motley sum

By Andrew Sgroi 6:59am, September 4, 2015 - Updated 1:36am, September 5, 2015
The haul, including: $611 suspected drug proceeds, (97) oxycodone pills, (3) 50mg Fentanyl patches , (5) 8mg Suboxone strips, (23) 750 mg methocarbamol pills, (2) 350 mg Carisoprodol pills, (1) 325mg Acetaminophen pill, 83 grams of marijuana. (Elsmere Po
A man allegedly dealing prescription drugs from his home in Elsmere was charged Thursday.

Elsmere Police said they nabbed 52-year-old Charles Longacre at his home--on the 300 block of Mansion Road--after an investigation revealed he was selling prescription drugs from the residence.

Police used a warrant to search Longacre's home and allegedly found approximately $1,500 worth of prescription medications--including 97 oxycodone pills in 10mg, 15mg, and 30mg doses, which officers said were found in Longacre's pants pocket--as well as 83 grams of marijuana. Police said they also confiscated $611 of suspected drug proceeds.

Longacre faces charges of possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance-Tier 4 quantity, multiple counts possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and endangering the welfare of a child. He was committed to the Howard Young Correctional Institution after failing to post $35,000 secured bail.


Maryland's Cardin to oppose Iran nuclear deal

By Erica Werner/Associated Press 12:49pm, September 4, 2015
Ranking Sen. Ben Cardin is seen during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill to review the Iran nuclear agreement. Cardin announced he opposes the nuclear deal./(AP File Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, announced he opposes the nuclear deal with Iran.

The announcement is a blow to the White House and will make it harder for the administration to block a vote on a disapproval resolution in the Senate.

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Cardin said, "This is a close call, but after a lengthy review, I will vote to disapprove the deal."

He said the agreement would end up leaving Iran closer to a nuclear capability.

Cardin's position is critical because he is a top-ranking Jewish Democrat.

Democrats still command enough support to sustain Obama's veto of the disapproval resolution, if necessary. They are three votes short of the number needed to block it from passing.


No decision issued for outdoor music at Kelly's Logan House in Wilmington

By Tom Lehman 1:22am, September 4, 2015 - Updated 11:08am, September 4, 2015
VIDEO: WDEL's Tom Lehman reports.
No decision was made by a state official on Thursday about whether a popular bar in Wilmington's Trolley Square area can offer live music outdoors.

Kelly's Logan House owner Michael Kelly argued to the state alcoholic beverage control commissioner that he wants the bar to be allowed to offer bands outdoors, saying it shouldn't be denied a competitive advantage enjoyed by a neighboring establishment.

"We just want to be treated fairly," he said, noting that the bar is currently limited to having outdoor bands play for charitable events.

Kelly is seeking a variance that would allow the bar, which celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, to offer live outdoor music until 11 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. For the rest of the week, he intends to have bands play music until 1 a.m.

A decision was postponed at Thursday's hearing, which featured tense testimony and questioning at times between Kelly, residents from Forty Acres neighborhood and the Trolley Square area, and a city councilman.

The chief concern raised by many residents was that the resumption of live music from the bar's back deck, something that was interrupted a couple years ago after it was discovered the variance had not been obtained, would cause too great a noise disturbance.

John Cherney, a resident of Laurel Street, said he had no problem with existing indoor music but didn't want musicians playing loud music outdoors with loud, amplified instruments that would "rattle" the area.

"There's just too many residents living in that cluster of homes," he said.

Kelly maintained that much of the undesirable noise was coming from another bar on Delaware Avenue and that residents could not prove the sounds were coming from the Logan House.

Some current residents in the area, like Nellie Manlove Hill, an aide to a New Castle County council member, said they didn't mind the noise the emanating from the bars and shops in the Trolley Square area, and felt it's a sign of a thriving neighborhood.

"Those sounds are comforting to me," she said.

Jim Lee, president of the Delaware Avenue Community Association, advocated for a plan that would limit outdoor bands to acoustic sets and no performances on Sundays. He said the proposal should be adopted and the issue revisited, once the impact on noise to neighbors and a nearby senior living center can be determined.

"If people are happy and there are no complaints, we can have this conversation again," he said.

Kelly said previous compromise plans had been floated to residents and neighborhood groups, but were rejected. He said that may have included a rough schedule posted from the bar's official Facebook account that listed 10 p.m. end times intended for outdoor performances on weeknights with bands finishing up by 8 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively.

The posting was made in relation to an online petition with hundreds of signatures supporting the variance that was added as evidence during the hearing.

Councilman Charles "Bud" Freel (D-District 8) also pushed for a stricter compromise, hoping that more amenable terms could be reached, even if neither the residents or Kelly are completely happy with the outcome.

"Somehow we have to make the commercial and residential communities compliment each other," he said.

Kelly said resuming outdoor music fits the neighborhood, saying people come to the area for the nightlife and entertainment, including indoor and outdoor music.

"If you don't want that then you should move somewhere else," he said. "I think we're good for the city, bring people to the city, and we want to continue to be competitive so we can continue doing the charitable works we do."


Newark police officers to teach Citizen's Police Academy

By Shana O'Malley 11:39pm, September 3, 2015 - Updated 11:03am, September 4, 2015
Newark Police are giving a handful of residents a first-hand opportunity to experience what it's like to be an officer.

After a several year hiatus, the department is bringing back its Citizen's Police Academy.

Through the program, adults aged 21-and-up will spend eight weeks learning basic police training.

"It is basically an opportunity for community members to come inside the police station, quite literally, and learn about our different units, how we operate, the personalities, and all the moving parts to our organization," explained Cpl. James Spadola.

Participants will learn how to conduct field sobriety checks, collect evidence and use speed radar.

They'll also learn about the department's use of force policy and other department procedures.

Spadola said they hope the program will give participants a well-rounded prospective on what officers have to deal with on a daily basis. The department has done several community outreach efforts, and Spadola said officers are looking forward to sharing their expertise with the community.

"I think for the officers involved, they'll enjoy showing interested community members what they do, and I think there will be a lot of satisfaction from reaching that audience and changing some hearts and minds," he said.

In addition to the Citizen's Police Academy, the department is also offering the Newark Police Explorers program for teens ages 13-19, who are considering a job in law enforcement.

An informational meeting on that program will be held on September 21, 2015, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Newark Police Department.

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Contact Shana O'Malley at somalley@dbcmedia.com or follow her on Twitter at @shanaomalley


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