Delaware Public Media
Delaware State Police

Delaware DOJ: Use of deadly force "justified" in stand-off with suspect in Cpl. Ballard shooting

A Delaware Department of Justice investigation into the use of deadly force by officers against the suspect in last spring’s fatal shooting of a State Trooper is complete.

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Courtesy of DNREC's Division of Parks & Recreation

State parks staff propose adding 13 miles of trails to Cape Henlopen

State parks officials are looking to expand on the trails system at Cape Henlopen State Park and are holding an open house Thursday evening in Lewes for the public to weigh in on the proposed changes.

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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.

Candidates weigh in on 2011 budget

Jul 1, 2010

As legislators in Dover wrapped up the 145th General Assembly, we spoke with some of their ballot-qualified competitors for the 2010 election, who hope to have a seat in the 146th session. Here is a sampling of their responses on key budget issues.

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As the sun set last night on the 145th Delaware General Assembly session, both Governor Jack Markell and state legislators had reason to cheer. The budget came in on time and with revenue to spare. Several noteworthy laws were passed. But ultimately something that was not accomplished may lessen the legacy of the legislature’s achievements.

[AUDIO] Governor's closing remarks

Jul 1, 2010

Governor Markell summarizes the new budget detailing changes in education, law enforcement, environmental spending:

[audio:|titles=Markell on the new budget]

Typically the final days of Delaware's two-year legislative session involve frantic, often secretive dealings to push through a budget and other bills.

The endgame of the 145th General Assembly was different, even historic in some ways.

While the usual mad signing scramble took place in the final hours of the mandatory June 30 budget completion deadline—and slid into the early hours of July 1, as is customary—the process was in many ways less harried and more transparent.