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.

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Delaware Public Media

The State Board of Education on Thursday deferred action on the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission’s plan for redistricting public schools in Wilmington, telling the commission that it should return an improved plan to the board within 60 days.

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After a problem-plagued first month, the board of directors of the new Delaware Met charter school voted this week to keep the school open and vowed to get its operation on track.

Of the five new charter schools to open in the state this fall, Delaware Met, which serves ninth and tenth graders in downtown Wilmington, was the only one to experience major operational difficulties.

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With a little more than three weeks left before the start of the new school year for their 15,300 or so students, officials in the Christina School District are still crunching numbers on final budget cuts and about half of the teachers laid off following a pair of failed referendums are still looking for work.

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

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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After Christina School District residents resoundingly defeated a referendum to increase school taxes in February, Christy Mannering was so upset that she wrote a three-page letter to the board of education and the district superintendent, outlining mistakes she thought they had made in the campaign and what they might have done better.

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

At a community meeting next week, Claymont residents will get their first look at a Missouri developer’s proposal to transform the 425-acre site of the now-closed steel mill that has dominated the community in Delaware’s northeast corner since it was opened by the Worth Steel Co. in 1917.

The proposal, says longtime resident Carolyn Mercadante, a coordinator of the Claymont Historical Society, “is the biggest thing here in 100 years.”

Delaware Public Media

An office park, a manufacturing and warehouse center, a new commuter rail station, and maybe even a port, rail and trucking hub – all these project could become part of the First State Crossing redevelopment plan proposed for the now dormant 425-acre Evraz Steel Mill in Claymont.

New housing, a “maker space” where innovators can design and refine their creations, art galleries and artists’ studios, improved streetscapes with a dash of mural art – could this be the start of something big?

That’s the hope of the Wilmington Renaissance Corporation and the numerous organizations and individuals who are supporting the framework for the city’s proposed Creative District – a revitalization plan for the area bordered by Shipley, Fourth, Washington and Ninth streets.

Delaware Public Media

It’s not easy being small.

But, for small towns in Delaware, it’s better being small than having a bigger entity making decisions for you.

Photo courtesy: Carvetise

Ever hopeful of luring sun worshipers bound for the Jersey shore to the beaches of coastal Sussex, the Delaware Tourism Office is rolling out a fresh marketing tactic this year.

And “rolling out” really is the proper term, because the effort calls for using what amounts to mobile billboards  -- 20 cars neatly wrapped with a promotional message cruising highways in Montgomery and Chester counties in Pennsylvania from now until the end of July.