State of Delaware
With the 2014 elections now history, all roadside signs must be removed by Dec. 5 or those posting them will face fines for each sign, the Delaware Department of Transportation reminded residents this week. According to state law, signs are allowed in some areas of the State-owned right-of-way for 30 days prior and 30 days after an election.
For the first time since he was elected state representative in 2000, state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. enjoyed his first election off. But he was back to work Wednesday morning, with a Nov. 5 “Coffee’s On Me” with constituents.
Tuesday night was an interesting one for Delaware politics, as there were a few upsets in the state and county elections this week.
This year’s DNREC-sponsored 28th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, held on Sept. 20, drew 1,805 volunteers, who collected 3.2 tons of trash from 46 sites along more than 80 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline stretching from Wilmington to Fenwick Island. About one-third of that trash — aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles — was recycled this year.
Voters will certainly have plenty to think about during this year’s mid-term elections, taking place next Tuesday, Nov. 4. As is our tradition, we have sent off a few questions to the candidates in our local elections, and here are the responses we received back before we went to press. Each candidate is listed in alphabetical order for each office.
As time-honored Delaware traditions go, Return Day may be the most unique of them all.
After a recent uproar about the potential impacts of shellfish aquaculture in the Inland Bays, local residents gathered at a massive meeting hosted by state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. and state Rep. Ron Gray this week to express their concerns.
Last week, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined local and state officials, and representatives from the University of Delaware and the Center for the Inland Bays to announce two federal grants to support the development of oyster farming in Delaware’s Inland Bays.
Through a partnership with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, a Delaware farmers’ market will be a featured highlight at the fifth annual Delaware Wine & Beer Festival on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover.
Sussex County launched Smart911 last week, an online service allowing any Sussex County resident the opportunity to create a safety profile for their household.
Ashley Conroe jokes that she’s done 4-H since she was born. So she followed through, earning the Diamond Clover Award earlier this summer, only Delaware’s second winner.
Also a lifelong athlete, Conroe’s community service project was helping other people stay active for years to come. She installed three exercise stations on the Indian River High School cross-country course.
“But it’s open to the community,” Conroe said. The grassy course is open to the public when students are not on campus (holidays, weekends and weekdays after 5 p.m.).
With help from her dad at home, Conroe built a wooden stepping station, balance beam and curl-up bar.
“All are wooden to make them safe for the environment,” Conroe said, also adding “birdhouses so people who weren’t exercising could take a nice walk.”
Conroe also installed a footbridge for the course, which earned her Girls Scout Gold Star Award.
The State of Delaware held primary elections on Tuesday, Sept. 9, in which 40 candidates vied to represent their parties on November’s general election ballot.
In an unusually busy primary election day for Delawareans, voters on Sept. 9 will decide which candidates will represent their parties in more than a half-dozen races in November, including candidates for U.S. senator, State Treasurer, Delaware Auditor of Accounts, Sussex County Register of Wills, Sussex County Council District 5 and Sussex County Sheriff.
U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and U.S. Rep. John Carney (all D-Del.) recently joined USDA Rural Development State Director Bill McGowan to announce energy-saving initiatives in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties through the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant Program.
Delaware Seashore State Park, located north of Bethany Beach, is offering two weekend vacation packages this fall: the Fall Fishing Weekend and the Autumn Shores Getaway. Each package will include a variety of programs, several meals and a discounted rate for a two-night stay at the beautiful, waterfront cottages positioned along the Indian River Inlet.
The Moms Club of Coastal Delaware is seeking child-centered certified non-profit organizations located in Sussex County to apply to receive funds from the 9th Annual Children’s Consignment Sale, to be held Oct. 4 and 5 in the Cape Henlopen High School gymnasium in Lewes.
Teenagers looking for a UV-based golden glow will have to go to the beach starting in 2015, when Delaware’s newest tanning law begins. Beginning at the new year, no one younger than 18 can use UV tanning devices at tanning facilities.
Traffic can get pretty backed up on a two-lane road. Imagine getting stuck behind the person who can’t turn left because oncoming traffic blocked his way. That’s why center turn lanes are such a timesaver. Drivers can wait there to turn off the roadway, or use it as a merge lane to slip into traffic.
It’s legal to use a center turn lane in either way, but state Rep. Ron Gray is among those concerned that multiple cars may travel in opposite directions in a single lane at the same time.
“I’m afraid for safety reasons,” Gray said. “People need to be aware that the center turn lane is very useful and it needs to be used with caution.”
He first heard eyewitness accounts of near-collisions from his tenants at Hit the Deck outdoor furnishings on Route 54.
“We witness it,” said owner Kebbie Crout. “We see a lot of people pulling out from their neighborhoods,” planning to merge into traffic. “Of course,” Crout added, “when you’re looking to merge, you’re looking behind you” at openings in your desired lane, not at the cars potentially sitting ahead.
“Or seeing people use it as a passing lane… pass my trucks, pass each other. It is becoming a major safety hazard.”
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced this week that the state’s Child Predator Task Force has surpassed the 200-conviction milestone.
On July 29, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs announced three awards for the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Assistance Grants for Historic Properties program, and the agency is seeking public comment on its finding that the selected projects will not adversely affect historic properties.
Delaware is again among the states leading the nation in solar energy — ranked seventh per capita for cumulative solar installations, according to a report released this week by Environment America Research & Policy Center, “Lighting the Way: The Top Ten States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2013.”
DNREC’s Division of Energy and Climate and the state’s Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) recently announced the Aug. 4 launch of the Joint Green Energy Program, with the intention of increasing small-scale photovoltaic installations in Delaware through the state’s Green Energy Fund.
Joined by elected officials, law-enforcement officers, first-responders, non-profit leaders and families who have lost loved ones to drug overdoses, Gov. Jack Markell recently signed legislation authorizing law-enforcement officers to carry Naloxone, a prescription drug that counteracts the effects of opioid-related overdoses.
After the outbreak of hostilities between the states in 1861, authorities in Washington soon acknowledged that the war would last longer than originally believed. Consequently, they called for men to join the Union army for a three-year enlistment.
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced recently that his office is sponsoring a Delaware Military & Veterans Resource Fair on Wednesday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Delaware State University in Dover. The free one-day event is open to active and reserve members of the United States military and Delaware National Guard, veterans and their families.
The Delaware Department of Justice announced on July 15 that the State of Delaware would be moving forward in retrying former state senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser on charges stemming from allegations that he had unlawful sexual contact with a boy more than 20 years ago, when that boy was as young as 10.
Incumbent John Atkins has filed for reelection to serve as representative of the 41st District in the Delaware House of Representatives.
Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, chairman, of the Delaware Criminal Justice Council announced this week that the group unanimously confirmed the appointment of Sussex County resident Christian L. Kervick as its executive director.