DEWEY BEACH -- An often attractions, while creating a skeptical and sometimes center that would support scolding crowd pressed Dewey year-round activity. Beach council members "We see Dewey Beach as a town Saturday on a potentially that's changing, and changing skyline-changing deal with in a way that's more family- developers that backers said oriented," Baeurle said. could settle lawsuits and He added that Ruddertowne's years of wrangling over Baycenter entertainment and redevelopment of the conference areas suffer from Ruddertowne complex. the lack of a hotel. More than 100 people packed "We believe that the catalyst the Lions Club center for the of a hotel is very important first of three public to the commercial use of the workshops on the "mutual property," Baeurle said. "We agreement and release" for see that as a critical part." the bayside commercial Midway through the public project along Del. 1, offered comments, Baeurle pointed out by Dewey Beach Enterprises. that DBE viewed the workshops Under the agreement -- slated as an expanded opportunity for a vote after a Feb. 26 for public participation, public hearing -- most of the despite complaints that restaurant, commercial and workshop public comments were meeting room facilities would being wrongly left off be replaced with a $100 official public records for million, mixed-use complex of the issue. hotel rooms, condominiums, "As with many of the things retailers and restaurants. with this project, the spin Building roofs would top out gets to the street before the at 45.67 feet, well above a reality," Baeurle said. "The 35-foot height limit that workshops are something that town residents endorsed in a we voluntarily entered into. 2008 referendum. No project in the entire Delaware's Supreme Court history of the town has had ruled that the referendum an application that has had limit could not apply to these workshops. DBE's already-filed proposal, Baeurle added: "It's the but critics said the council council's choice to follow should fight on. Some said through on the agreement or the plan leaves the town continue litigation." vulnerable to other height- Town property owner Rosemary limit lawsuits and bids for Twilley said land-use changes exceptions. in the past created the homes A community group, Citizens and businesses that residents to Protect Dewey, released a are now defending. multi-point critique calling "There's been a lot of change on council members to defend in Dewey Beach," Twilley said. the 35-foot limit and "I am in favor of this, questioning provisions for because I think it provides parking, public amenities and some opportunities for the access, extended building residents of the town." permit deadlines, and other Resident Mark Richardson saw terms. an entirely different picture, "We think that the town saying the town's 35-foot council needs to go back to building limits were a part the table on this," said of the community's character. resident Marcia Schiek, a He urged council members to founding member of the work with DBE to produce a opposition group. financially viable project Schiek said the agreement was without breaking that barrier. "riddled with loopholes" and "The scale of this town is wrongly included an offer by very important," Richardson the developer to defend the said. "This is about council against lawsuits that economics. It's not about could delay the project or architecture. That's the only that were "based upon reason that the developer allegations about the wants 45 feet. It's not about approved building permit." these amenities. It's not to She also chided the council make the town better. It's to for planning workshops and a make the numbers work." proposed public hearing Town Mayor Diane Hanson said during winter, when most of she supports the 35-foot the resort town's residents height limit, but also said, are elsewhere. "It was important for us at "I think that this many this point to present an people out here is a option to the public, and testimony to how important it's just that. It is an this issue is to the public, option. The bottom line is, I and we don't think it's your will go with the will of the right to decide on behalf of people." us to go above 35 feet," Additional public workshops Schiek said. are planned for Jan. 27 at 6 (2 of 2) p.m. and Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. James Baeurle, a principal A public hearing will be held with DBE, said the new Feb. 26, followed by a Ruddertowne would retain some special council meeting. of the current landmark's
Republican Tom Kovach's seek an opinion from the victory over Democrat Tim county ethics commission on Sheldon was a clear message the issue. It's unclear if he from voters that they are will still do so as a uneasy about potential district councilman. Sheldon conflicts between County represents the 9th District Executive Paul Clark and his and has two years left on his wife, a land-use attorney who term. represents developers on Kovach was traveling to major projects that require Colorado Friday to government approval, council participate in a weekend members from both parties conference as part of the said Friday. Aspen-Rodel Fellowship he was Kovach beat Sheldon by nearly recently given for working 16 percentage points in a for better government in special election Thursday. bipartisan fashion while a Kovach successfully portrayed state lawmaker from 2008 to himself as an outsider and 2010. noted that Clark and Sheldon From an airport in Denver, served on the council Kovach said he will increase together for six years. transparency in county "This wasn't a defeat of Tim government by using methods Sheldon -- it was truly a ranging from overseeing the referendum on Paul Clark," Clark administration's land said Councilman Bob Weiner, deals to tweeting from County one of three Republicans on Council meetings. the 13-member council. "I "My job as county council hope he understands that president is to gain people have real difficulty consensus on issues regarding believing he can create some responsible development and sort of Chinese wall between setting the agenda on things himself and his wife's law like transparency," Kovach firm. His employees will be said. "I plan to champion making decisions about the those issues as president. I firm instead of him, but won't stop yelling until the those decisions could still lack of transparency that benefit Clark financially and currently exists in county guarantee the continued government is corrected." employment of the county Weiner said Kovach's presence employees who make them." adds one more "vocal good- Weiner, who supported Kovach, government member" to the was referring to the council. executive order Clark issued "The only way that County that told county employees to Council is effective as a exclude him from all land-use watchdog is if individual cases handled by Saul Ewing, members find the courage to the law firm of his wife, Pam stand up when there is abuse Scott. of power," he said. "Having It was one of Clark's first Mr. Kovach as president will moves after he was sworn into make that easier." the office in November, when (3 of 3) he automatically replaced Democrats Street and George newly elected U.S. Sen. Chris Smiley don't think Kovach Coons because Clark was will have any extra influence. council president. The Democrats have a 10-3 Democratic Councilman Jea majority on the council and Street, a Sheldon supporter, the president's powers are agreed with Weiner's mostly minor administrative assessment. functions. "It was a masterful campaign: "I don't think anything Kovach ran against Paul, not changes regardless of who's Tim, and it worked," Street president," Smiley said. said. "That strategy combined "He's one of 13 and there are with bad weather and he independent minds on this prevailed. He also made it council. Party affiliation seem as though Tim would have doesn't seem to have an been part of some unholy impact. We'll simply move alliance with Paul, which forward with county business." wasn't true. Tim has always Street said Kovach needs to stood on his own principles. understand he's not the When we fellow Democrats council's boss. voted for tax increases, for "We'll work with him, but example, Tim said, 'I'm not he's just one vote," Street doing it and I don't care said. "He needs to understand what you say.' " that and not go off the deep A day after the election, end and sabotage fundamental Clark disputed those good government." assessments, saying an New Castle County Republicans election with a mere 7.4 spent Friday basking in a percent voter turnout can't rare countywide victory. The be a referendum on anything. last Republican council (2 of 3) president was Phil Cloutier, "If anything, I believe that who won in 1988. it was an anti-establishment "We had a good candidate, vote against Tim, because good media coverage of the he's been on council for six issues, a good organization, years," Clark said. "That's and people responded," county an easy stance to take when GOP Chairman Michael Fleming you're on the outside and you said. don't have to make the tough Weiner said The News votes." Journal's coverage of the Clark did say that news could controversial Stoltz be coming soon that could proposals for the Barley Mill ease citizens' minds about Plaza and Greenville Center potential conflicts between played a role, noting that him and his wife. He said Kovach did best in Greenville Scott could soon be modifying and Brandywine Hundred. Saul her law practice, but would Ewing represents Stoltz. not provide details or say "This election was anti-Clark, when that might happen. anti-Stoltz, anti-government "The executive order is very waste," Weiner said. "The sufficient right now," Clark 'enough-is-enough' vote from said. "Sooner than later, we northern New Castle County will resolve the issue. I carried the day." expect that she would be Weiner conceded that having making changes that will only one race on the ballot resolve the issue." helped. Scott could not be reached "There was no Obama at the for comment. top of the Democratic ticket During the campaign, Kovach and no Christine O'Donnell at suggested Scott could step the top of the Republican down as a partner in Saul ticket," he said. "Definitely Ewing. Sheldon said if a nice change of pace." elected president, he would
WILMINGTON -- A Simi Valley, Koyste acknowledged that Calif., man who tried to sell "useless" or not, the law was an F-5 fighter jet and a clear that the sales were a variety of military equipment crime, and that is why they to a man he thought was did not go to trial. working with the Islamic Though Koyste said none of Republic of Iran government the items ever presented a admitted on Thursday that he real threat to the United violated federal military States or its military, export bans. prosecutors disagreed. Marc E. Knapp, 36, haltingly Hall said the plane was in told District Judge Leonard P. working condition, and Iran Stark that he "knowingly" has F-5 fighters and has been shipped the prohibited items, seeking replacement parts for including ejector seats and them. flight suits, and attempted The sale price of the plane to sell others, including the was $3.25 million, and Knapp warplane, in violation of the was set to receive a law. commission of $250,000 when "My assumption was it was the plane was delivered from going to Iran," he said in California to the New Castle court. Airport and an additional Knapp now faces up to 30 $250,000 when it made it to years in prison for violating Iran. the International Emergency According to court papers, Economic Powers Act and the Knapp sold the other items -- Arms Export Control Act. including two ejector seats Under a plea deal, Knapp is for the F-14, five anti- expected to get a minimum of gravity flight suits, four two and a half years and a locator radios and copies of maximum of just under five emergency manuals for the F- years in prison. 14, F-5 and F-4 -- for Assistant U.S. Attorney David approximately $39,500. Hall said that during During exchanges with meetings with an undercover undercover officers, Knapp agent, Knapp said he was used code words, according to "starting to hate the U.S. court documents, calling the more and more" and did not ejector seats "office chairs, care where the arms ended up. " the radios "cars," and the He also told the agent that F-5s "trains." And one the equipment he was selling electronic message about the would help Iran "level the sales was titled "vacation playing field" with the plans." United States and expressed In a news conference held interest in selling to China shortly after Knapp entered and Russia, according to his guilty pleas, U.S. court papers. Attorney Charles M. Oberly Knapp's attorney, Christopher III displayed some of the Koyste, called prosecutors' items Knapp sold or was in descriptions "absolute the process of selling to puffery." undercover agents. Several He said his client is not an flight suits were arms dealer but is an out-of- successfully shipped by Knapp work human- resources manager to Hungary, where they were who was desperate for cash. recovered by agents. He dismissed the anti- The investigation of Knapp American statements began in late December 2009, attributed to his client and when a man charged in a questioned the utility of the previous arms case said he items. had an F-14 ejector seat from Koyste said the F-5 was a Knapp. "useless" antique that Undercover investigators then previously had been leased contacted Knapp to arrange a out to Hollywood production sale of another ejector seat, companies as a prop and that and during those exchanges, all the other items had been Knapp said that he had access acquired through the online to and could arrange the sale auction site eBay. of two F-5 fighter planes. Prosecutors said they could The sting operation concluded not say how Knapp acquired in July 2010 at a meeting set the items and acknowledged up at a "commercial business" most, if not all of them, in downtown Wilmington, where could have been sold legally Knapp was finalizing shipping to someone inside the United details for the F-5. States. The plan had been to fly the But Assistant U.S. Attorney plane from California to Robert Kravetz said once Wilmington using small Knapp acknowledged to the airports to avoid detection. agent -- as he did repeatedly, Koyste said in court he according to court papers -- planned to contest some of that he knew the items were the government's descriptions to be sent overseas and that of his client's motivations they were headed to Iran, it and the threat he presented became a crime. at sentencing, which Stark (2 of 2) set for May 23.
The first time water rushed "In an emergency, each plan through the dam at Hearns will show emergency officials Pond near Seaford, downstream what will be flooded," Twing resident Jim Brace had about said. a foot of water in his house. Officials working together Then, five years later, in Natural ponds are rare in 2006, it happened again. Only Delaware, and places like this time it was worse. Much Hearns once had lazy stream worse. or creek beds. The old Hearns When water overtopped the dam and Rollins Mill still sits at Hearns Pond, it came on the bank of Hearns Pond. rolling into downtown Seaford. It is one of the few Williams Pond flooded, too. remaining grain mills left in Brace had four feet of water the state. in his home, much of it in The dam at Hearns Pond was his basement -- where his built in 1912 to impound computer-based printing water to run the mill. The business was located. resulting pond encompasses 53 The computers were ruined. acres. His paperwork was lost, and These days, it is surrounded the business was in shambles. by houses and is an important In the weeks and months that fishing and recreational area. followed, he realized he The dam was badly damaged would not be able to rebuild during a sudden, 8-inch rain the business. in August 2001. A quarter of Like those at Hearns and the dam was breached. The Williams ponds, many of the pond drained, and the flowing state's dams -- created water caused flooding and decades ago when creeks were road damage. dammed to provide water to The dam was rebuilt, but in power mills to process grain, the June 2006 storm, water lumber and other products -- topped the dam and washed were not built to the flood- away about 2 feet of soil. control standards of today. Brace said his concern has Over time, roads and bridges always been that state were built across the dams. environmental officials Spillway capacity is lacking, control water levels at and the dam walls, in most Hearns Pond and state cases, are too low, state transportation officials officials say. control the floodgates at In a storm event with 2 to 3 Williams Pond. If the two feet of rain over two or agencies are not talking, three days -- the type of that in itself can be a rain Delaware could get in a bigger problem than the water hurricane -- many dams could levels, he said. be overtopped or undermined. (3 of 3) Typically, the amount of Twing said the owners of the water from a snow melt is not dams are working together a danger. more closely to try to avoid "The best thing we can do is problems. strengthen them," said David Later this month, state Twing, Delaware's dam safety environmental crews will engineer. remove trees and shrubs from That way, water can move the Hearns Pond and Hudson safely over the top of the Pond dams. The idea, Twing dam rather than breaking said, is that a clear dam is through, he said. easier to inspect. In a high Since an updated dam safety wind, for instance, an law was adopted in 2004, uprooted tree could remove Twing and other state significant soil from an officials have been assessing earthen dam, and root systems the conditions and downstream can form passageways that risks from eight regulated weaken the dam structure, he dams in New Castle County, 16 said. in Kent County and 29 in State transportation crews Sussex. plan to replace the spillway Potential for serious issues at Williams Pond later this Many of Delaware's public month. dams are labeled "high Last summer, they started hazard" -- meaning lives lowering water levels in the could be at risk in a failure pond to look at the condition -- because people live of the spillway. They downstream. In some cases, a discovered it was beyond series of ponds and dams are repair and decided to build a linked, and when there is a new one. problem at one, it can affect Mumford & Miller will build dams and ponds farther the 120-foot-long, downstream. Hearns and semicircular spillway using Williams ponds are examples steel-sheet piling with a of linked systems. concrete cap. A tide gate (2 of 3) with removable boards will be Most of those dams, if installed at each end of the breached, could have semicircle to allow crews to significant downstream impact, adjust the water level. including loss of life and Poplar Street will be closed property damage. during construction. Twing said state officials Tina Shockley, a spokeswoman are working on several tools, for the state Department of including emergency plans Transportation, said the that can be used to help transportation and local first responders such environmental agencies are as police and firefighters working together to set know when to evacuate priorities for dam upgrades downstream residents. They and improvements. also are creating inundation Shockley said transportation maps to show just how bad officials are using their flooding could be in worst- bridge-deficiency formula to case scenarios, and are assess which dams are most at formulating better weather risk. The formula assigns monitoring to have real-time points and will be based on data on water levels in ponds. factors like condition of the Sometimes in a thunderstorm, earth embankment, the Twing said, there can be spillway and the population heavy rain in one part of the that is at risk. state and it can be clear and The work to improve the dry elsewhere, so officials state's dams could take years, may be unaware of a potential Twing said. problem. Meanwhile, David Small, Here in Delaware, he said, deputy secretary of the state the biggest threat to the Department of Natural state's many earthen dams is Resources and Environmental from heavy, long-lasting Control, said state officials rainfall, such as a summer are working to get better thunderstorm that stalls over real-time data so crews in an area. That was the case in one part of the state know Seaford in August 2001 and when a problem might be again in June 2006. Similar emerging elsewhere. heavy rains have damaged dams "We are trying to minimize and caused flooding at Lake that situation," Small said. Como in Smyrna and in the "Dam safety is all weather- Frankford-Selbyville area. driven."
As Nadia Kiamilev thinks three pallets -- about 1,300 about Haiti today, a year pounds -- of white sheets to after a magnitude 7.0 Project Medishare's hospital. earthquake killed as many as Tide will turn at some point 300,000 people and left more Visions for Haiti is a than a million homeless in fledgling group hoping to the already impoverished offer college-level education Caribbean nation, she has to several young Haitians who lots of questions. provided translation services "It made me question to the first Delaware doctors everything," the Charter and nurses in Jacmel. Many of School of Wilmington senior the translators slept on the said. "Do I have any answers? streets at night, then No." reported for duty at the Kiamilev was one of a half public hospital each morning. dozen Charter students who The group hopes to offer traveled to Jacmel, Haiti, tuition and room and board to last summer as a volunteer students interested in with the Haiti Family subjects that will help Haiti Initiative, a Delaware-based long term, like agriculture, effort to provide summer camp sociology, education and activities for kids in nursing, Kaye said. Jacmel's tent city and "We're trying to help medical care and counsel for students who were in the their families. More than 80 middle of obtaining their volunteers took part in the education when everything was seven-week project. being destroyed," said Dr. "I always participated in Steven Johnson, a trauma fundraisers, and I thought it surgeon at Christiana Care was the most beneficial way who helped establish an to help," said Charter senior operating room in a tent at Mary Zheng, 17. "But after Jacmel's St. Michel Hospital actually going there, I think within 10 days of the I prefer human interaction. I earthquake. "And education, think for the kids, the my father once told me, can't interaction is what they be taken away from you." valued. Their parents are so (4 of 5) stressed out. And for the Johnson said Visions for children, just being able to Haiti will start with one or play and talk was more two students. valuable to them than giving "Even one student is better money." than none," he said. "We want The Haiti Family Initiative to aim high, start small and was one of several organized then expand and grow." efforts that arose in the Valmond, the Jacmel native wake of the Delaware Medical who helped DMRT in its early Relief Team's 90-day mission efforts, continues to support that sent doctors, nurses and education through her volunteers to help thousands "Success Children" of patients in Jacmel organization, which provides immediately after the tuition for 22 Jacmel kids. earthquake. She was able to help one of The medical team went to them -- 7-year-old Dukenson Jacmel at the suggestion of Vendredy -- when he, his Rose Astrid Valmond, a native mother and three siblings got of the southern port city who cholera. By the time word now lives in Bear. Valmond's reached Valmond, Dukenson's "Success Children" provides mother was in a coma. But all tuition for almost two dozen got treatment with help from children there -- including Valmond. one 7-year-old stricken by "God gives me the work to do, cholera. The boy and four " she said, "and he finds the other family members were money." able to get treatment and all Education is a focus for recovered, she said. Robert Ford, executive Some of the post-earthquake director of the Jefferson efforts are expansive -- such Awards, as he continues to as the Haiti Delaware work with students around the Alliance Foundation, which is nation to raise money to planning an earthquake- build a school in Jacmel. resistant village with a The school would be part of school and clinic on land in the village envisioned in an Jacmel. ambitious project steered by Others are smaller -- such as the Haiti Delaware Alliance Visions For Haiti, founded by Foundation. The village would two DMRT volunteers, nurse include housing, a clinic and Susan Kaye and University of other community services. Delaware senior Danny Childs, "Is this wholistic village which provides college-level realistic?" Ford said. "Well, educational opportunities for there's an organization in some of the translators who the Philippines -- Gawad assisted DMRT. Kalinga -- which hopes to end (2 of 5) poverty for 5 million people Doctors and nurses from the doing exactly what we're Alfred I. duPont Hospital for trying to do in Jacmel. I Children, which sent four spent an afternoon in one of teams of about a dozen each these villages. They've been to a makeshift hospital at doing it for the last five Port-au-Prince's airport, years: homes, livelihood, continue to offer support. schools, health care, a house Christiana Care neurosurgeon of worship. It's very, very Dr. Nadiv Shapira said transferable." medical professionalsare Nadiv Shapira is the engine planning trips to provide behind HDAF. When the cholera cholera treatment in February. crisis arose, he proposed All emerge as part of an shipping wood through a firm enormous and bewildering mix at the Port of Wilmington to of global efforts to help the the deforested country to devastated nation, which -- help families boil water as since the earthquake -- has they prepare their food. For been further crippled by a $150,000 in seed money, he cholera outbreak, a hurricane, says, he could ship the first continuing corruption and the load and prove the idea would morass of recent elections. help stem cholera. His Despite the compassion of broader proposal -- at a cost many, billions in promised of about $2 million -- aid and the continuing but includes building a charcoal disjointed work of production plant in Jacmel he organizations, problems says would provide jobs in remain -- the rubble, the Jacmel and Wilmington as the tent cities, the disease, the two ports exchange materials. poverty, the political He hopes the Clinton-Bush instability, the scarcity of Foundation will provide early clean water and necessities. traction. "I wish I had made more of a (5 of 5) long-term impact than a short- Planning, building support term impact," said Kiamilev, and partnerships, meeting who hopes to study commitments, dealing with international development in twists -- all are enormous college. "We did feed them challenges. and help -- but I wish we But Johnson, the surgeon, has could have been building hope for Haiti. roads or helping to build a "If you had asked me after we house. ... I feel like after returned [last January], I the earthquake it's almost would absolutely tell you 'no, gotten progressively worse. '" he said. "I saw the degree It's very hard to actually of dysfunction present there turn the situation around." in Haiti and how things work Crisis hits volunteers hard in a third-world country. ... In a December article Six months later, I would published in the United tell you there is hope. And Kingdom's Guardian newspaper, now, a year later, I continue Unni Karunakara of Medecins to tell you there is hope. Sans Frontieres (Doctors There are good people who do Without Borders) wrote: good things. As a result, the "Haiti should be an unlikely country will get better at backdrop for the latest some point in time. I may not failure of the humanitarian see it. We may not see it. relief system." The nation, But at some point in time, he said, is small, accessible the tide will be turned, and and has one of the biggest, they won't suffer anymore." best-funded international aid Facts about Haiti a year deployments. But thousands after devastating quake are dying of cholera, almost Some facts about Haiti in the a million remain homeless, year since the devastating and relief often does not Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake: reach those who need it most. The Haitian economy The cholera crisis hit home contracted by 7 percent for many Delaware volunteers following the magnitude 7.0 after they got an e-mail from earthquake that the Victoire Durand of Ottawa, government said killed an Canada, who has donated her estimated 230,000-300,000 family's land in Jacmel to people and destroyed more the Haiti Delaware Alliance than 100,000 buildings. Foundation. Last summer, More than 1 million Durand called that displaced people, including partnership a "dream come 380,000 children, are still true." in some 1,200 tent-and-shack (3 of 5) encampments. But last month, Durand sent a The U.N. estimates that 650, list of 23 names of cholera 000 people will still be victims in Jacmel during the living in camps at the end of weekend of Dec. 10. Fifteen 2011. of the dead were younger than More than 3,500 died from 10. cholera and more than 155,000 "We think most of those kids have been sickened since an were in our [summer] camp," outbreak began in October. said Lynn Shapira, a co- Americans have donated more founder of the Haiti Family than $1.4 billion to help Initiative. earthquake survivors and help Durand said her nephew, Monel, the impoverished country got four large tents and rebuild, with about 38 moved 350 children not yet percent of the total spent to affected by cholera there. He provide recovery and needs money and food, Durand rebuilding aid, according to said, to care for them. a Chronicle of Philanthropy "It's hard to come by survey of 60 major relief anything right now," Lynn organizations. The amount of Shapira said. aid was short of the $1.6 Dr. Karen Antell, a billion pledged by Americans Christiana Care family doctor after the South Asian tsunami who was among the volunteers and the share of donations with the Haiti Family spent is about the same, the Initiative, said she is survey found. amazed clean drinking water The government of Haiti has remains elusive . received $824 million of $4.6 "We've had the technology to billion pledged though the make clean water for what -- end of 2011 for 100 years? 200 years?" she reconstruction at an said. "But the water there -- international donors the municipal tap in the conference in New York. neighborhood -- is not clean. The earthquake created an You can get cell phone estimated 20 million cubic service everywhere. But you meters of rubble, enough to can't get safe, clean water. fill dump trucks parked It boggles my mind." bumper to bumper more than Several employees from duPont halfway around the globe, but Hospital are planning to work less than 5 percent of the in Haiti this year, including rubble has been cleared. a team of six medical Only 15 percent of the professionals who will work temporary housing that is with Project Medishare's needed has been built and Hydrocephaly Program at a relatively few permanent hospital in Port-au-Prince water and sanitation next month. facilities have been "You just can't forget them," constructed, according to the said Cathleen Rossi- aid group Oxfam. McLaughlin, who organized A.I. Sources: World Bank; UNICEF; duPont's trips last year. Her U.N.; Haitian Ministry of frustration at not having a Health; The Chronicle of sheet to wrap a child in Philanthropy; UN Office of sparked a "Wrap a Child in the Special Envoy; Oxfam Love" project that delivered
GEORGETOWN -- A conservative the Delaware Coast Press and Sussex County activist and the Delaware Wave, two weekly blogger who led an effort in papers owned by Gannett, November to censure state GOP which owns The News Journal, Chairman Tom Ross says he and worked briefly for an will run for the party's top Arizona newspaper. He also spot, the first such worked for a time as candidate to emerge after an spokesman for erstwhile GOP election season that split congressional candidate Kevin the party. Wade and now blogs at Party leaders say they expect redstate.com and others to come forward as delawarepolitics.net. well, but Don Ayotte's (2 of 2) campaign would be the first Ayotte said he would put his test of unity for the GOP's communications experience to north-south divide exposed in work in the party chairman's November's elections. job, which is unpaid. His Ross says he has not decided platform also includes moving whether he will run for the state party headquarters another two-year term and from Wilmington to Dover. will make that decision over "I just believe that Delaware the next few weeks, after needs new leadership, just Thursday's special election needs new blood," he said. for New Castle County Council "It needs a person that's a president. hard-charger and an extreme The chairman elected at self-starter." April's GOP convention in Ross was elected to the state Dover will lead a fractured chairmanship in 2008 to fill party into the 2012 elections, the remainder of former when Delawareans will pick a Chairman Terry Strine's term U.S. senator, congressman, and elected to a full term in governor and insurance 2009. He became the subject commissioner -- four seats of scorn and anger from now held by Democrats. O'Donnell supporters when he Republican leaders across the actively criticized and state are talking of unity in campaigned against her before the wake of an election cycle her upset primary victory that saw the ouster of U.S. over Castle. Rep. Mike Castle, who was In November, after running for Senate, and a O'Donnell's loss in the near-Democratic sweep general election, Ayotte statewide, as GOP organized a movement at a standardbearers Christine Sussex GOP meeting to censure O'Donnell and Glen Urquhart Ross, though there were went down to defeat despite questions about whether it tea party support. was valid or a quorum of "The party definitely has committee members was present. some rebuilding to do," said Ayotte and Sussex Chairman Hans Reigle, the Kent County Ron Sams said the censure chairman. "There are some matter is in the past. fences that need to be mended. "We've got to move on," Sams I do still see a little bit said. "I don't think anything of division with the results more's going to come out of of the primary." that." An O'Donnell supporter, Said Ayotte: "That matter is Ayotte said he would bring finished. It won't be both sides together to unite. revisited." "We need to work together to Michael Fleming, New Castle get people elected and quit County Republican chairman, the minor bickering over declined to comment on the minor ideological differences, party leadership struggle, " he said. "All we need to do saying he was too focused on is sit down and talk and winning this week's special actually listen to one election. another. People will realize "I don't want there to be any that the other side aren't distractions," he said. "We demons. ... It just seems really are trying to get the like people blow these party unified and turn out differences up and make a our vote for Thursday." mountain out of a molehill." Reigle said the conservative Ayotte, 64, has been involved groundswell that shook the in Republican politics for country in November has about a decade and now serves proved beneficial for Kent as a committeeman for the Republicans, with many 37th District. After owning a members of the 9-12 Delaware contracting business and a Patriots becoming involved deli/convenience store, he since the election. earned his bachelor's degree "We've had a lot of new faces in English from the ... and it's been positive," University of Delaware at age he said. "[They] have kind of 59, delving into journalism just come into the fold." for a time. He freelanced for
The luxury housing community Ribera-Odyssey LLC, had known as The Peninsula has intended to build the seen better days. Its homes clubhouse when there were 350 sold quickly during the club members signed up. But, heyday of the mid-2000s, with LandTech says, only a small second-home buyers and percentage of members were retirees loving the Jack full golf members and thus Nicklaus golf course, pools the club was losing money. and other amenities. In 2008, the developer But today, just more than 400 approached the county asking of its luxury homes on Indian for an extension, to raise River Bay have been built, the minimum membership level out of the 1,400 planned. A to 500. The county rejected builder auctioned off some that plan, instead ordering homes two years ago, with the clubhouse to be under way prices starting at 30 percent by December 2010 and of what they once were. The completed within 18 months. developer defaulted, and the The development was approved project was put into by the county in 2002 as a receivership. Chancery Court mix of single-family homes, appointed South Carolina- town homes, villas and condos, based receiver firm LandTech to include an 18-hole golf to run the company. course, fitness center, Now, homeowners and residents tennis center, pools and are locked in a fight that walking trails -- as well as could see them paying twice a clubhouse. Sales began in as much in homeowner dues, 2004, with 425 properties the latest struggle in a sold by 2008. But when the development downturn and bottom fell out of the real sales slump that has hit high- estate market, county records end homes especially hard. show, sales halted. January A clubhouse and nature center 2008 was the last developer at The Peninsula were sale. And in October 2009, supposed to have been built after the developer fell several years ago under behind on its bank loan, conditions set by the county. lender Wachovia/Wells Fargo LandTech wants to delay asked LandTech to be named construction of the $5 the receiver to protect its million, 18,000-square-foot assets. clubhouse until golf LandTech says that with 475 memberships rebound -- which members, even with changes could take several years. made, the golf club is Many residents support the operating with a deficit of plan, some saying they can't about $1 million. Building a afford to pay the monthly clubhouse would add $1.1 dues increase -- current fees million to that deficit and range from $157 to $420 force member dues to almost depending on the plan -- to double. That would hurt make up the shortfall if the homeowners, the company club is not self-sustaining. argues, and the development Standing in opposition is as a whole. Dennis Silicato, a developer "It would literally bring who lives in the community real estate sales activity to and says he was promised a a halt," the company's clubhouse and wants it built attorneys wrote the county. on time. "Peninsula real estate would . Sussex County officials now .. be priced out of the must decide whether to stick market when compared to the to principle and hold competition." LandTech to the timeline they (3 of 3) imposed two years ago or bow LandTech says it has to public opinion and grant relaunched the dormant sales another extension. The program, and the sales center project is expected to get a reopened in May. NV Homes has yes-or-no recommendation from contracted to purchase 115 county planners this month, lots for town homes, Miller & with the final decision up to Smith is actively building County Council. and selling, and Schell LandTech wants to make the Brothers is in negotiations clubhouse construction to build single-family homes. contingent upon hitting a Many residents say they certain number of club already have plenty of members -- 750 members with amenities, pointing to the at least 250 full-paying golf $48 million spent on the golf memberships (a $47,500 course, driving range, pro joining fee) or 950 regular shop, outdoor and indoor memberships ($7,500 to $25, pools and spas, health club, 000 to join). Once the tennis courts, volleyball threshold is hit, building courts and 10 miles of trails. would take 12 to 16 months. "Given the proper time, the (2 of 3) clubhouse will undoubtedly be But Silicato's attorney of further benefit [to] the argues those criteria mean community," wrote John and the clubhouse might never be Ellen Stovall. "Absent that built if the memberships time, the clubhouse could be never rise that high. the hardship that prevents "The requested 'extension' our successful recovery." actually asks Sussex County The current clubhouse, which to grant permission to never includes the health club, spa build the Clubhouse," land- and a restaurant, is use attorney Rich Abbot wrote perfectly adequate for the to officials. community at present, He contends that approving according to Washington, D.C., the request would be in real estate attorney Steven G. effect a "bailout" of a big Friedman, who has owned a bank -- noting that while condo at The Peninsula since LandTech is the receiver of 2006. the property appointed by "There is no need for an Chancery Court, the actual additional clubhouse at this owner, Wells Fargo, has deep time or for the foreseeable pockets. future," he wrote to the "It has more than enough county, urging an extension. money to immediately "It would be a mistake to construct the Clubhouse. It burden the community with just doesn't want to spend this additional and the money," he wrote. unnecessary facility." The original developer,
WASHINGTON -- President kinds of symbolic battles Barack Obama sees a clear and that so often consume encouraging trend on the Washington while the rest of economy, citing fresh reports America waits for us to solve showing private-sector job problems," the president said. growth and lower unemployment. "The tax cuts and other He used his weekly radio and progress we made in December Internet address Saturday to were a much-needed departure discuss the latest economic from that pattern. Let's news and press for bipartisan build on that admirable action in the newly divided example." Congress. Obama presented the (2 of 2) December jobs report in a Republicans devoted their positive light even though it weekly address to fell short of what economists spotlighting steps being had been looking for and even taken by the new GOP House though the drop in majority, including trimming unemployment came partly House members' operating because some stopped looking budgets and moving to repeal for work. Obama's health care law. The private sector added 103, The GOP contends the law 000 new jobs in December, and extending coverage to 30 the unemployment rate fell million uninsured Americans from 9.8 percent to 9.4 is a budget-busting job- percent. killer. The Congressional "Now, we know that these Budget Office said this past numbers can bounce around week that repealing it would from month to month. But the cost billions because the trend is clear," the law's numerous taxes, fees president said. and cuts in Medicare spending "We saw 12 straight months of would be lost. private-sector job growth -- Although the repeal is not the first time that's been expected to pass the Senate true since 2006," he said. and would certainly be vetoed The economy added 1.3 million by Obama, the new House jobs last year, and each majority leader, Rep. Eric quarter was stronger than the Cantor, R-Va., pledged that last, which means the pace of Republicans would try to hiring is picking up, he said. replace it with "a new vision Obama attributed increasingly to improve our health care optimistic economic forecasts system without bankrupting in part to the tax-cut deal our country." he negotiated last month with "We will provide Americans Republicans to extend Bush- with the mainstream solutions era tax rates for all, along they were denied when with unemployment benefits, a Democrats used dubious payroll tax cut and other tax procedural tactics to jam breaks. through the bill along He urged businesses to take strictly partisan lines," advantage of provisions, Cantor said. including one that allows "Looking ahead, the best businesses to write off 100 boost that Congress can percent of their capital provide to the economy is to investment expenses in 2011. send a credible signal that And the president said the we are serious about cutting deal stands as an example of spending and eliminating job- how Washington should work as killing regulations," he said. he confronts a Congress where "Our surging debt burden Republicans just assumed the hangs over the economy like a majority in the House and dark cloud, waiting to expanded their ranks in the unleash a storm of inflation, Senate. higher taxes and higher "What we can't do is refight borrowing costs upon the battles of the past two businesses and families. Only years that distract us from when the cloud is lifted can the hard work of moving our we get on the path to long- economy forward. What we term growth." can't do is engage in the
WILMINGTON -- At least two Wilmington would become the Wilmington City Council lead agency. members said Friday that the "We're following through," investigation into the death Szczerba said. "We do not of former Pentagon official know where this case is going John P. Wheeler III -- though to lead. Right now, we are important -- should not take assisting. Newark has the priority over any other lead, but ... at any point, homicide investigation in the that could change." city. Police have not said how Newark police, the lead Wheeler could have ended up investigative agency, in Newark. continued to release details On Friday, Newark police Friday about Wheeler's reported new surveillance movements on the day before video captures of another 15 he died. A newly discovered minutes of Wheeler's final surveillance video shows the hours, showing him exiting 66-year-old New Castle doors on the 11th Street side resident in the area of of the Nemours building Dec. Wilmington's Rodney Square on 30. Wheeler then begins to Dec. 30, walking toward a walk southeast on 11th Street, high-crime section of the past and through the Hotel du city about two blocks away. Pont valet parking area. He And according to a city continues southeast and cabdriver, who was questioned crosses Market Street and is by Wilmington police, it last seen in camera view at appears investigators may 8:42 p.m. walking on the west have recovered Wheeler's cell sidewalk of 11th Street, phone because he was informed toward the East Side. his phone number was on it. Wheeler is wearing dark pants The cabbie denies he ever and a dark blue hooded gave Wheeler a ride. sweatshirt with the hood worn None of the new details over his head. appeared to represent a major His body was found about 13 break in the case. hours later. The cause of Wheeler's death Wilmington detectives has not been released. Jay questioned cabdrivers working Lynch, a spokesman for the near the Wilmington train state Department of Health station, including City Cab and Social Services, declined Taxi driver Athel Scott, who to say if the body had been said he was taken to released, but an employee of Wilmington police Krienen-Griffith Funeral Home headquarters Wednesday for in New Castle said it had the questioning. Scott said body. Newark police declined police told him his phone to comment on the results of number was found in Wheeler's the autopsy. cell phone. Wilmington City Councilman (3 of 3) Kevin Kelley on Friday "I don't know who the guy is, cautioned Wilmington police " Scott said, adding that he not to go overboard in passes out his business card, investigating Wheeler's death. which has his cell-phone "I don't want any more number on it, to many people. resources dedicated to this Attorney Art Schulcz, a than we do any other homicide, longtime friend of Wheeler " Kelley said, adding that and a classmate at West Point, about half of the city's said Wheeler's Blackberry is record 27 homicides from 2010 important because he always remain unsolved. had it with him and was Kelley said he wants police constantly e-mailing with it to find the person and wouldn't have given it up responsible for Wheeler's without a fight. death, but not at the expense Scott said he'd seen Wheeler of other investigation. around the train station, but Councilwoman Loretta Walsh, insisted he didn't know him who heads the city's Public and that he did not give him Safety Committee, agreed, a ride. saying Kelley's comments were "I never gave him no ride," "absolutely appropriate." he said. "I know that." She noted that the FBI is While investigators assisting Newark police. "The interviewed him, Scott said, city is secondary, so we other officers searched his should not make ourselves out home. They also questioned to be a bigger deal than we his wife. are," she said. "She's mad," he said. "Why Wilmington Police Chief are they wanting to make my Michael J. Szczerba confirmed life a living hell?" that two investigators have The cabbie said he was been assigned to the case, concerned by the police but said that is no more or questioning and search. less than have been assigned "It looks like they want to to other homicide pin me into something," Scott investigations. And he said said. "I'm not a troublemaker. the detectives still have I don't get into trouble." their usual caseloads and are Other cabdrivers said not working the case plainclothes detectives have exclusively. been knocking on their car (2 of 3) windows, flashing their "We understand what our badges and showing photos of responsibilities are and we Wheeler. are committed to carry out Saferide Taxi driver Moussa our duty to bring each and Sangare said a detective every case to justice as asked him Wednesday if he had quick as possible. And that's given anyone a ride from New what we are doing here," he Castle to Newark. said. "I've never been to New Szczerba did not know what Castle to pick up somebody percentage of their time was these days," Sangare said, dedicated to this case. adding that he'd never seen Szczerba also said the city Wheeler. has made arrests in about 60 City detectives also visited percent of last year's the Sunday Breakfast Mission, homicides. said Pastor Dave Jones, the Wheeler's body was found men's program director at the about 10 a.m. on New Year's Poplar Street homeless Eve in the Cherry Island shelter in Wilmington. Landfill when it tumbled out "They asked me if Mr. Wheeler of a trash truck that had had stayed here as an made rounds in the Newark overnight shelter guest," area. That has led police to Jones said, adding that two believe Wheeler's body was detectives were there Tuesday. dumped in one of 10 trash Jones said they checked the bins on that truck's route. log from Dec. 27 to Dec. 31, Wheeler was an adviser to but did not find that Wheeler several U.S. presidents, led stayed there. "The fundraising efforts in the information they needed from 1980s to construct the here, we could give them a Vietnam Veterans Memorial in pretty sure answer: He has Washington and most recently not been here." worked part time for The Bill Perkins, director of MITRE Corp., which provides Friendship House ministry, systems engineering and was not aware of police information technology visiting any of the 14 services to the government. homeless shelters the group If evidence emerges that the operates. slaying occurred in the city,
A man who broke into an empty "He made it a point of Bellefonte home decided to telling us, 'I drank these stay and have a good time. five bottles,' " said Over the course of three days, Bingnear, who ran the man's he drank three bottles of gin name through the DELjis and two bottles of whiskey. computer and found that Finch At one point, he hid in a had a warrant out for his closet when the home's owner arrest on suspicion of stopped by to check on things. burglarizing the same house But at the end of the three in April. days, with the booze gone, he Fingerprints found at the tried to get out but couldn't. scene of the April burglary So he called 911 for help, linked Finch to the crime, saying he was locked in. Not police said. A warrant was surprisingly, he was arrested issued for his arrest at that Wednesday ... accused of time, but because he was burglarizing the same house homeless, officers could not twice in 10 months. find him. John Finch, 44, will be Bingnear said officers had charged after he's released some trouble taking him into from a hospital where he is custody Wednesday because of being held until he is sober, his condition. said New Castle County Police "We were trying to put his Officer John Weglarz Sr. shoes on, but he said they Officer Michael Bingnear, a weren't his shoes," he said. four-year police veteran who According to court records, responded to the call, said Finch told officers he he's never had someone -- in delivered oil to the the middle of a burglary -- residence a few years ago and call and ask for help. In knew the residents were not Finch's case, he was too home, so he broke in and "he intoxicated to climb back out drank all the bottles of through the window, police alcohol he could find" in the said. house. Bingnear and Officer Lauren When detectives contacted the McCafferty got the call about 82-year-old homeowner, 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and drove Shirley Wilson, she told them to the Bellevue Manor she had not invited Finch community. Two emergency into her residence. medical technicians with Wilson, who runs Don Wilson's Brandywine Hundred Fire Used Auto Parts at 800 S. Company arrived about the Walnut St. in Wilmington, same time. said when reached by phone The two officers knocked on Thursdya that she had not the front door, but did not lived in the house since the get a response. Meanwhile, roof blew off. the EMTs walked to the back She said that in the April and found the top half of a burglary, her husband's three window open. rings and her ring were taken They heard Finch yelling, along with a gold horn her "Help ... get me out of here . husband had given her for .. I can't open the door," Christmas. Bingnear said. The doors had "I had liquor bottles up deadbolts, which Finch there, but they didn't have couldn't operate. any liquor in them," said "If the door is secured, we Wilson, speculating that the are not going to make an burglar had brought the stash intoxicated subject climb out with him. of there," Weglarz said. "The house is all messed up Bingnear said the officers from the first burglary," she told him to turn the knob and said. "I was up there open the door. yesterday or the day before "He said, 'I can't. It's and I thought there was locked,' " Bingnear said. "At something awry." that point, we were getting The suspect told officers he frustrated with him. He was had hidden in a closet when sitting on the couch as we the owner had visited the were telling him to unlock house, police said. the back door. It took us "In all my 12 years on the about 20 minutes to get in, force, it's not something with him repeating himself." that's a usual occurrence," Finally, the two EMTs forced Weglarz said about the rarity open the back door, and the of a suspect calling for help two officers checked the rest in the middle of a crime. "If of the house to make sure no it were, it would make our one else was there. job a lot easier." (2 of 2)