Delaware Public Media
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Newark Area Transit Study seeks feedback

The four transit providers in Newark are working together to study how to make their systems more effective.

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As a state agriculture expert—and as a third-generation Delaware farmer—Donald Clifton grapples with the issue of irrigation.

Clifton, Delaware Executive Director of the USDA’s Farm Service Agency,  grows corn on his 1,000-acre farm in Milton. He has irrigated one quarter of his land and allows nature to water the rest of it.

Each year Clifton does a cost-benefit analysis to decide whether to expand his irrigation system. So far he has held off.

DELAWARE IN FACT: Droughts

Jul 9, 2010

How dry is Delaware? How does Delaware stack up against the rest of the country and historically? DELAWARE IN FACT provides the numbers.

Current condition:

  • Kent County and Sussex County are in a "moderate drought"

Crops:

  • Kent and Sussex County crops are “excessively dry"

Rain needed to end current soil-moisture drought:

  • Northern Delaware: 4.81 inches
  • Southern Delaware: 7.83 inches

Defining drought is difficult

Jul 9, 2010

As farmers struggle with drought conditions and Delaware policymakers struggle with how to support the state's agriculture economy, a key problem is how to define "drought."

DFM News talked with Professor Dan Leathers, deputy dean of the University of Delaware's College of Earth Ocean & Environment, who says the task is more difficult than you might think. 

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GEORGETOWN—A summer drought and this week's blistering heat wave has wrung the water from Delaware's sandy southern farmland. And the crippling weather has hit at the exact time when farmers—especially those who rely on Mother Nature to irrigate their crops—need water the most.

Corn needs the most water during the tassel to early-milk stage, according to Cory Whaley, a Sussex County agriculture agent with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, based in Georgetown.

Cathcart: "No regrets" leaving

Jul 8, 2010

House Minority Leader Richard Cathcart stunned many local political observers this week by announcing that he is retiring from the General Assembly after nearly two decades of service. The Republican lawmaker will not seek reelection as the representative from the House 9th District (Middletown).

Cathcart says the pressures and stress of holding the seat in the the General Assembly and his full-time job as associate vice president of university operations at Delaware State University led to his decision.

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.

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