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WGMD Local News

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BREAKING: Fire Breaks out at Mid-Atlantic Family Practice near Lewes

Apr 24, 2014 -- 5:22pm

Fire broke out at the Mid-Atlantic Family Practice on Route 24 west of Rehoboth around 3:45 this afternoon. Fire crews from Rehoboth, Lewes, Indian River and Milton were on the scene working to control the blaze which had flames shooting through the roof of the building, 

Director of the Mid Atlantic Family Practice, Gregory A Bahtiarian, DO, FAAFP, in an exclusive to WGMD says the blaze started from a smoldering cigarette inside a cigarette disposal unit just outside the front door of the practice about 3:45 Thursday afternoon.  A patient reported fire to the front desk attendant who notified staff.  A bucket of water did not slow the growing flames and by the time a staff member arrived with a fire extinguisher the flames had been fanned bythe wind and spread the flames to the shrubbery and front of the building.  All patients and staff were safely evacuated and Route 24 was closed to traffic.  Students and staff from Beacon Middle School were also evacuated.

Lacey Walks Across Delaware

Apr 24, 2014 -- 1:27pm

Lacey Lafferty is perhaps Delaware’s most conditioned candidate.  The Republican hopeful for Governor in 20-16 is going for a 3 day walk with some of her most ardent fans.  Lafferty is a former State Trooper, farmer and descended from early colonial settlers.  The walk is scheduled to end Sunday at the Pennsylvania state line.  It also benefits veterans organizations.

Sussex County Single-Family Home Sales Down, Prices Up

Apr 24, 2014 -- 10:44am

The number of home sales in Sussex County were down the first quarter of this year compared to this time last year. 

The Sussex County Association of Realtors say only 454 homes were sold in the first quarter of this year, which compares to 651 the same period last year.  However, the average three-bedroom home price increased 16% year-over-year.

More than $149 million in single-family homes were sold in the first quarter, about $44 million was sold in condo and townhouse sales, almost $4 million in mobile home sales, and over $19 million in land sales.

Two Arrested for Purse Snatching at Rehoboth Outlets

Apr 24, 2014 -- 10:27am

A Baltimore man and a Millsboro woman have been arrested for a purse snatching at the Seaside Outlets in Rehoboth. 

Thirty-six-year-old Jamie Queen grabbed the purse of a 77-year-old Millsboro woman as she was entering a store.  Queen ran to a car driven by 34-year-old Roger Spence. 

Troopers stopped the duo after a witness followed the car.  State Police found the stolen purse, another stolen purse from a prior robbery and drug paraphernalia.  Authorities also discovered the car being used had stolen plates.

They were arrested on robbery and drug charges.

UPDATE: Motorcycle and Dump Truck Involved in Route 1 Wreck

Apr 24, 2014 -- 9:09am

[UPDATED 4/24 9:09 a.m.] Delaware State Police tell WGMD the motorcyclist involved in the wreck suffered minor injuries and was transported to Beebe Medical Center.  That was the only injury in the incident and both vehicles were towed.


[ORIGINAL 4/24 8:43 a.m.] Milton Fire Department responded to a wreck involving a motorcycle and a dump truck northbound on Route 1 near Cave Neck Road.

Reports say the motorcycle is under the dump truck.  No official word on the condition of the motorcyclist.

A second accident happened in the same area of the original incident.

Keep it on 92.7 FM WGMD and WGMD.com for all of the updates.

Gov. Markell Backs Denn for Attorney General

Apr 24, 2014 -- 7:32am

Delaware Governor Jack Markell is offering his support to Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn in his pursuit of the Attorney General.

In a statement, Markell praised Denn for his work as Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Commissioner and called Denn a great partner.

Read the full statement below:

Matt Denn has served the people of Delaware well over the past decade as both Lieutenant Governor and Insurance Commissioner and he has been a valued partner in our efforts to create opportunities for Delawareans. His advocacy on behalf of our youngest citizens and his support of small businesses will have a lasting impact on the lives of so many who live and work in Delaware. I am proud to support him to be our next Attorney General.

Last Day for Wicomico Schools is June 13th

Apr 24, 2014 -- 5:57am

The last day for Wicomico County students will be June 13th

This comes after the state Board of Education approved a waiver so students would not have to attend school on the 16th.  The waiver also means students will have made up five days because of snow days this school year.

The last three days of school are early dismissal days.

City of Salisbury, Police Officers Sued for 2011 Incident

Apr 24, 2014 -- 5:34am

The City of Salisbury and three Salisbury police officers are being sued by two local residents and a Florida resident. 

WMDT reports the trio claim they were held by police for over four hours without being told why.  The three reportedly do not speak English. 

The incident happened back in 2011, but the suit was filed last year.

South Bethany Debates, Tables Home Elevation Vote

Apr 24, 2014 -- 5:11am

The South Bethany Council debated two proposed ordinances yesterday for over three hours and decided to table one and vote down the other.

WBOC reports the first proposal was for new homes at a higher risk of flooding be built with an extra three feet of elevation.  That proposal was tabled to a later date.

The second proposal would have extended the maximum building height in South Bethany to 34 feet to make up for the proposed extra elevation.  That proposal was turned down on a four-to-three vote.

Many who took part in the debate had doubts about the necessity of the proposals.

Delmar Man Pleads Guilty to Shooting at Officers' Homes

Apr 24, 2014 -- 4:47am

A Delmar, Maryland, man who is currently serving time for shooting at a police officer’s home in Delaware has pleaded guilty to doing the same in Maryland. 

Prosecutors say 21-year-old Orrin Joudrey shot at two Wicomico County deputies’ homes and a police officer’s home in December 2012.

Joudrey pleaded guilty to assault and malicious destruction of property.  He’s currently serving an 11-year sentence for his Delaware shooting activities.

WRDE Affiliates With NBC, Delaware's First 'Big 4' Station

Apr 24, 2014 -- 4:34am

Delaware will be getting its first Big-4 network affiliate this June.

WRDE-LD announced it has signed an affiliation deal with NBC.  The Rehoboth Beach-licensed low-power television station is currently affiliated with MyNetwork and Cozi TV.  That programming will move to the station’s subchannel, 31.2.

WRDE primarily covers Sussex County and will be focusing its local content on the Delaware portion of the Salisbury-Ocean City DMA.

WRDE will be branded as “Coast TV” and will be introducing 6 and 11 p.m. local newscasts.

UPDATE: Fire Warning Extended Until Thursday 8 p.m.

Apr 24, 2014 -- 4:15am

UPDATE: The Red Flag Warning has been extended until 8 p.m. Thursday.


[ORIGINAL 4/23 4:10 a.m.] The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, most of New Jersey and eastern parts of Pennsylvania and will be in effect from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. this evening.

The weather authority says the warning was issued due to low humidity and a high fire risk.

The National Weather Service warns that any fire that is started today can get out of control quickly and difficult to contain.  Authorities also warn to be extra cautious when it comes to outdoor activities and to ensure cigarettes are properly extinguished.

Dewey Beach to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Chihuahua Race and Dog Fashion Show

Apr 24, 2014 -- 4:10am

Dewey Beach will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a Chihuahua race. 

The fastest Chihuahua gets $100.  Those with other breeds of small dogs under 15 pounds can enter a second race with a winning prize of $50.  Dogs can also participate in a dog fashion show.

Events take place May 4th and 5th.  All participating dogs need a Dewey Beach dog license.

O'Malley in Ireland

Apr 23, 2014 -- 2:24pm

What is Martin O’Malley doing in Ireland and the Netherlands?  The Maryland Governor is traveling with several Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives.  Tomorrow he plans to attend a conference on liberal government while visiting Amsterdam.  O’Malley, potentially a candidate for the Democrat Party’s Presidential nomination in 20-16 was invited to join the trip by Georgia Democrat and Congressman John Lewis.  The trip is paid for by U.S. taxpayers.  

Wind Farm Fears

Apr 23, 2014 -- 12:53pm

Congressman Andy Harris is known as a conservative Republican, however.  On one issue he’s lining up with Democrats in his state’s Congressional delegation and against some of his constituents in Somerset County.  They would like a moratorium on construction of a massive wind farm in the county while the impact on Pax River flight lines is studied.  They’re being opposed by Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot who insists Somerset County needs the development.  

State Lawmakers Discuss on WGMD Delaware's Budget Shortfall

Apr 23, 2014 -- 11:50am

Delaware lawmakers will have to find a way to close a large budget gap the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) is projecting this year.  So exactly how large is this gap?

“For fiscal year ’14, which is current fiscal year we’re in right now, we’re $33.6 million in the hole,” House Speaker Peter Schwartzkopf explained to Jim Rash, “And in fiscal year ’15 we are $22.8 million short for a total of $56.4 million for the two-year period.”

Since Delaware builds its budgets off of the amount of money the state brings in, down revenues will lead to budget cuts.

“Escheat money is down this year a little bit,” elaborated Schwartzkopf, “Corporations are not back to where we thought they would be, the casinos are down, so a lot of things going on.”

However, that escheat money is a point of contention.

“Escheat money is what they called abandoned property or some of the detractors call found money,” said the Rehoboth Beach Democrat.  “It’s considered abandoned property.  When there are no heirs, it goes back to the state of incorporation.  That’s why it is so important for us to maintain these corporations.” 

The state holds on to that money for three years and if it goes unclaimed during that time period, the state can then use that money.  If the appropriate owner makes claim to that spent property, the state will give the money back to the appropriate person.

But Republican State Senator Brian Pettyjohn told WGMD’s Mike and Jake that money shouldn’t matter.

“Anytime that you have what I consider as an unreliable revenue stream and really escheat is one of big those unreliable revenue streams, that’s something that you really need to take a cautious look about putting into the budget,” noted Pettyjohn. 

“Unclaimed property, or escheat, is something that never got figured into the budget,” continued the Republican.  “It was one of those if you’ve followed Delaware politics for long enough, you’d hear at the last minute ‘We found $50 million, we found $100 million.’ That’s what that was.”

So how will the state make up the difference in the lost revenue?

“There’s money that’s available in different areas,” Schwartzkopf explained to Jim Rash.  “Money is put aside for a project that may be started could be pushed back a year, take that money and replenish that money next year.  We can do a lot of things like that.”

But Pettyjohn thought of another way to save some money.

“I’ve seen a lot of the street signs on the rural roads here in Sussex,” observed Pettyjohn.  “You’ve got the green signs with the white lettering on them being replaced with different green signs with white lettering on them with white boarding and I don’t know why.”

Milford PD Investigating Motorcycle Wreck

Apr 23, 2014 -- 10:20am

Milford Police are investigating a wreck on Route 1 Business that happened yesterday. 

Police say 61-year-old Alan Long was riding a motorcycle on Route 1 Business towards Evans Street when a silver pickup truck turned from the opposite direction onto Evans Street.  Long tried to avoid the truck and ended up laying the bike down and sliding about 25 feet.

Long was sent to Milford Bayhealth for non-life-threatening injuries.

Police are looking for anyone who witnessed the crash.  If you have any information, please contact Patrolman John Collins at (302) 422-8081.

UPDATE: One Killed, Another Injured in Millsboro Wreck

Apr 23, 2014 -- 6:52am

UPDATE [4/23 6:52 a.m.] Delaware State Police one person was killed and another was injured in a Millsboro-area wreck last night.

State Police say 75-year-old Frances Baskwill was driving south on Banks Road and was making a turn onto Friendship Drive.  While making a turn, Bankswill's car made contact with 38-year-old John Albright's car heading in an opposite direction.  Albright's passenger, 77-year-old Patricia Murphy, was killed in the accident.  

Baskwill suffered non-life-threatening injuries to her lower body.  Albright was not injured.


ORIGINAL [4/22 9:28 p.m.]: Emergency crews are responding to a multiple vehicle crash in the area of Banks Road between Green Road and Route 24 just after 9pm.  Crews from the Mid-Sussex Rescue, Indian River, Lewes and Millsboro Fire Companies are responding.  If you are traveling in that area – expect delays or to be detoured around the scene.

Selbyville Man Charged For Drugs After Crashing into Ocean View House

Apr 23, 2014 -- 6:45am

A 23-year-old Selbyville man was arrested last week at the scene of a wreck in Ocean View.

Ocean View Police say Joshua Kositzke was speeding down Cedar Drive, failed to stop for a stop sign, and crashed into a home on Central Avenue.

Police found more than 28 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, and drug paraphernalia in the car.  He was arrested on drug, reckless driving, driving with an expired license, and related charges.  Kositzke was released on $3,700 unsecured bond.

Delaware Republicans Look to Establish Right-to-Work Zones

Apr 23, 2014 -- 5:54am

The phrase “Right-to-Work” has often been associated with business friendly states.  Twenty-one states have such laws and it allows workers to opt-out of unions.

Now, Delaware Republicans are looking to establish Right-to-Work zones across Delaware.   

“The use of this cheap and gambling dollars to paper over structural problems with the operating budget are over,” proclaimed State Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle.

The Republican told WGMD News he thinks too many people refuse to change with the times.

“Looking to attract jobs to Delaware in 2014 and not continue to bemoan the change in market dynamics from the early 80s, or the 70s, or whenever manufacturing was much stronger here in Delaware and maybe across the country as well,” said Lavelle.

So, where will these zones be located?

“We’ve highlighted the Boxwood plant,” noted Sen. Lavelle.  “The Seaford, the old du Pont plant, is another one in Sussex County.”

The measure will likely be considered next week when lawmakers are back in session.

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