Today's top stories

Delaware Public Media

State prepares to move forward with drivers cards for undocumented immigrants

Supporters of a bill allowing undocumented immigrants to drive in Delaware narrowly scored a victory this week. House lawmakers approved the proposal by two votes, with several conservative Democrats and nearly every Republican voting against it.
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This week on "The Green"

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

Wilmington begins work on comprehensive plan

Visitors to the City of Wilmington’s website will learn that the last comprehensive plan prepared by the city government was completed in 2003. No matter that the 2003 document is posted online, Leonard Sophrin, the city’s current planning director, disagrees. “The last comprehensive plan in the city was done in the 1960s, when we tore down our neighborhoods, built Interstate 95 and lost 81 square blocks of beautiful buildings in 10 years,” Sophrin says, leaving little doubt that he’s hardly enamored with how Wilmington has evolved in the past half-century.
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Smashed Label

Brothers Crae and Corei Washington founded their company Smashed Label in 2011. Crae is the artist and Corei, the businessman. The pair began with creating graphic design concepts for logos and business cards as well as graffiti inspired screen-printing for clothing.

Annie Ropeik/Delaware Public Media

Right now, Delaware is in the midst of a race to educate its kids for the future. The state has funded new science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM classes in high schools -- and is pushing districts to write more STEM into younger grades, too.

Education officials are proud of their early successes -- but what happens when school's out for summer? It's up to summer camps to keep STEM on kids' minds -- especially concepts like coding, which they'll soon see at almost all grade levels.

Delaware Public Media's Annie Ropeik visited a pair of STEM camps answering that call by teaching kids kindergarten through eighth grade to create video games.



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

When sound travels through the water, it runs faster if the water is warm, but slower if it’s cold and salty. If it hits a solid object, like ice, the signal loses energy and becomes quieter.

There’s a lot to learn in the ocean environment from just looking at how sound moves through different bodies of water. Mohsen Badiey, a marine science professor at University of Delaware, says it’s the best way to interpret the oceans.


The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve

The state is looking for nature inspired artists for its third annual Arts in the Estuary. The event features artwork, activities and demonstrations at two of the state’s historic areas, the St. Jones Reserve and the John Dickinson Plantation near Dover.

Delaware Public Media

The ACLU is suing the Delaware Department of Corrections for details on how a man died at a Smyrna-area jail shortly after being detained last year.

Jason Cunningham, a 26-year-old African-American Dover resident, was detained in April 2014 at Vaughn Correctional Center. He'd failed to post bail on charges including attempted motor vehicle theft and resisting arrest.


The ACLU's suit alleges that Cunningham was in good health when he was placed in a "four-point restraint" and left unmonitored in a cell. He was found dead there later that day.

A new study has shown that the state’s energy efficiency projects have exceeded expectations.

The report, conducted by the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility, in collaboration with the University of Delaware looked at eight energy efficiency projects in state government and academic buildings. These buildings included Department for Corrections, the Legislative Mall, Delaware State University and Del Tech Community College.

Delaware will receive federal money to address White Nose Syndrome, an illness on the rise among the bat population nationally.

The government has awarded just over $18,000 to DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife to research, monitor, and respond to White Nose Syndrome in the First State.

The disease is spread by a fungus that thrives during the winter months. The sickness has killed off around 6.7 million bats in North America. These animals are integral to the state’s ecology because they eat insects like mosquitoes and other pests that feed off crops.

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

The First State’s only law school is opening a new chapter in its history.

Widener University’s Delaware Law School Wednesday celebrated its official separation from Widener’s other law campus in Harrisburg, PA.

Delaware Public Media

Despite objections and an attempt to amend it, state lawmakers passed a $3.9 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2016 early Wednesday morning.


The operating budget is a 2.6 percent increase over FY 2015.

Delaware Public Media

Republicans and Democrats brokered an infrastructure funding deal just before midnight Tuesday, with lawmakers set to recess for the rest of the year.

Much of the concessions come in the form of new thresholds in which prevailing wage will apply for state projects – something the GOP had been calling for since negotiations started.