Delaware Public Media
Delaware Public Media

Wagner won't run again for State Auditor

Delaware will have a new State Auditor for the first time in nearly 3 decades following this November’s election. Republican Tom Wagner says he will not seek another term. The 62-year-old Wagner has been state auditor since he was appointed to the post in 1989.

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Deborah Gump / University of Delaware

Front Page Café: David Cay Johnston and the Trump Presidency

The University of Delaware Journalism Program's recently launched speaker series – The Front Page Café – resumed this week. The series brings journalists to UD to highlight their work, and tell their stories. The latest guest to visit the Deer Park Tavern in Newark was Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston to discuss his latest book, It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.

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Jul 9, 2010

How dry is Delaware? How does Delaware stack up against the rest of the country and historically? DELAWARE IN FACT provides the numbers.

Current condition:

  • Kent County and Sussex County are in a "moderate drought"


  • Kent and Sussex County crops are “excessively dry"

Rain needed to end current soil-moisture drought:

  • Northern Delaware: 4.81 inches
  • Southern Delaware: 7.83 inches

Defining drought is difficult

Jul 9, 2010

As farmers struggle with drought conditions and Delaware policymakers struggle with how to support the state's agriculture economy, a key problem is how to define "drought."

DFM News talked with Professor Dan Leathers, deputy dean of the University of Delaware's College of Earth Ocean & Environment, who says the task is more difficult than you might think. 

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GEORGETOWN—A summer drought and this week's blistering heat wave has wrung the water from Delaware's sandy southern farmland. And the crippling weather has hit at the exact time when farmers—especially those who rely on Mother Nature to irrigate their crops—need water the most.

Corn needs the most water during the tassel to early-milk stage, according to Cory Whaley, a Sussex County agriculture agent with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, based in Georgetown.

Cathcart: "No regrets" leaving

Jul 8, 2010

House Minority Leader Richard Cathcart stunned many local political observers this week by announcing that he is retiring from the General Assembly after nearly two decades of service. The Republican lawmaker will not seek reelection as the representative from the House 9th District (Middletown).

Cathcart says the pressures and stress of holding the seat in the the General Assembly and his full-time job as associate vice president of university operations at Delaware State University led to his decision.

Interview: Retiring State House leader

Jul 8, 2010

House Minority Leader Richard Cathcart announced this week he's retiring from the General Assembly. He called it one of most difficult decisions he's ever had to make, but adds he leaves with no regrets.  The Middletown Republican sat down with DFM News to discuss his decision and reflect on the state of the General Assembly and the future of the Delaware GOP.

A full-time workload in a part-time legislature

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Erosion of "The Delaware Way"

When legislators banned texting and the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, they also passed—and Governor Jack Markell signed into law—two bills carving out important exemptions.

Here are the rules of the road for cell phone use starting January 2, 2011.

What you can’t do:

  • text while driving or use hand-held call phones
  • use pagers, PDAs, laptops, games, portable computers, or two-way communication devices while driving

Starting next year, most Delaware motorists will have to put down their cell phones while driving.

On Tuesday Governor Jack Markell signed a law banning text messaging and the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, claiming it will make Delaware roads safer.

“This year so far there have been 94 crashes involving cell phones as a distraction.  There have been others [17] involving texting as the primary distraction, and the number is growing because the number of devices is growing and more people are tempted to use them behind the wheel,” Gov. Markell said.

Delaware's aggressive use of its Strategic Fund continues, playing a role in this week's announcement that Sallie Mae will move its corporate headquarters from Reston, VA to the First State.  The move is expected to bring at least 15 hundred jobs to Delaware.  Delaware First Media detailed Governor Jack Markell's push to replenish the fund is part of its coverage of the budget process in the General Assembly. (See State ready to spend more to lure business.)

As a part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Delaware contributes to the streams of toxins that flow into the bay—the nation’s largest estuary—from its many distant tributaries. Efforts to clean up the heavily polluted bay must address causes such as fertilizer and animal-waste runoff from farms, including those in Delaware.

Delaware Senator Tom Carper believes that Congress can take comprehensive action to clean up the Chesapeake Bay while avoiding harm to farmers—and even potentially helping them.

In a new atmosphere of open hearing rooms, with the luxury of more money than expected, and with more time to read and digest the proposed spending bill, the Delaware General Assembly passed a balanced 2011 budget.

The election-year budget, signed by Gov. Jack Markell at 2:43 a.m. Thursday, is not nearly as painful as last year’s, nor as frugal as the Governor wanted. In the end, the most dramatic shifts may have occurred more in the process than the product.

For a look at what was accomplished—and what was left for another day—click on the stories and videos below.