Delaware Public Media

Larry Nagengast


Larry Nagengast, a contributor to Delaware First Media since 2011, has been writing and editing news stories in Delaware for more than four decades.

A native of Babylon, N.Y., he began his career as a reporter and editor with The News Journal, where he covered schools, courts, government and consumer issues, guided the operations of the features department and supervised a team of staff and freelance writers to produce six zoned weekly community news sections. He has won national and regional awards for his education writing and regional awards for his coverage of consumer news and other topics.

Larry has written one book, Pierre S. du Pont IV, Governor of Delaware, 1977-1985, an oral history of the du Pont administration, and has edited three others, including Vietnam Mailbag, Voices From the War, 1968-1972, an award-winning social history by Nancy E. Lynch, and The Heart of America, a collection of images from all 50 states by photojournalist Kevin Fleming that was recognized as one of “America’s Best” by Reader’s Digest magazine.

A graduate of Fordham University and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Larry served as an officer in the U.S. Navy before beginning a career in journalism.

When not at work, he enjoys reading about U.S. history and politics and rooting for New York sports teams ... and the Baltimore Ravens.

Ways to Connect

For the current academic year, 22 schools in 11 districts are participating in the Delaware World Language Immersion Program. Ten more schools will join the program during the coming school year, according to the state Department of Education.

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Delaware Public Media contributor Larry Nagengast reported on the Wilmington school desegregation case from 1973 through 1976 and the start of school desegregation in New Castle County in 1978. He recently sat down with Jeffrey A. Raffel and Jea P. Street to discuss their experiences in the 1970s and the current state of public education in New Castle County.

Delaware Public Media

Thirty-eight years after the start of city-suburb busing to desegregate schools in Wilmington and its suburbs, the racial composition of most schools the city has reverted to the majority black ratios that prevailed in the early 1970s.

While discussing their work during the desegregation era, Jea P. Street and Jeffrey A. Raffel, also offered some insights into the current debate over high-poverty schools in Wilmington and its suburbs.

Wikimedia Commons/Frankie Fouganthin

New regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration have helped to clarify who can use drones – and how – for commercial purposes, but business use of unmanned aircraft systems has yet to soar in the First State.

After a year and a half of steadily plodding forward, Wilmington’s Creative District achieved a significant objective this week, as Philadelphia-based NextFab agreed to terms on a lease to locate a branch of its “Gym for Innovators” in a 10,000-square-foot horseshoe-shaped building at Fifth and Tatnall streets.

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

A citywide initiative and a new loan program designed to benefit Market Street businesses should have positive impacts on developments in Wilmington’s Creative District, the first fairly soon and the other in a couple of years.

Larry Nagengast / Delaware Public Media

New Castle, Russ Smith says, “is a place sort of caught in time,” and that time was more than 200 years ago.

Today, with one key construction project nearly completed and two others getting under way, the city is hoping to secure a brighter future by strengthening links to its historic past.

Larry Nagengast / Delaware Public Media

A 1799 one-room schoolhouse, once a Brandywine Hundred landmark but now an eyesore, will likely be torn down next year and replaced with a replica built from the original stone.

New Castle County’s Historic Review Board has approved the plan for the proposed replica of the Forwood School, just west of the Shoppes of Graylyn on Silverside Road.

Photo courtesy: Carvertise

Early last summer, Carvertise, Delaware’s first advertising business on wheels, had about a half-dozen clients and 50 vehicles on the road.

At the start of this week, the number had risen to 16 clients and 245 cars – most of them in the Delaware Valley, but some as far away as North Dakota.

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Following six months of uncertainty capped by votes resulting in unfulfilled expectations, the fate of the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission’s plan to strengthen schools in the city and to provide additional funding statewide for children living in poverty and needing additional educational services remains as murky as ever.