Delaware Public Media
James Morrison, Delaware Public Media

No guilty verdicts in second Vaughn prison trial

A verdict in the second trial of inmates allegedly involved in the Vaughn prison riot is in. A jury made up of 11 women and one man did not deliver a single guilty verdict Monday.

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Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

AG's new guidance looks to shorter sentences, alternatives to prison

The state’s new Attorney General has announced her first criminal justice reform initiative.

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Normally, the swearing in of Delaware’s state treasurer does not draw significant attention.  But when Chip Flowers took the oath of office Tuesday at the Delaware Art Museum, it was standing room only with the state’s entire congressional delegation on hand, along with Governor Jack Markell, Lt. Governor Matt Denn and other major state political figures.

“It never happened for any of my state treasurer swearing ins,"  said Governor Markell (D), who served two and a half terms as state treasurer before being elected governor in 2008.

In many ways, 2010 turned out to be a surprising and unpredictable year. Will 2011 be any different? After asking a handful of political observers to reflect on the political year gone by and offer their analysis, DFM News asked that same panel to tell us what they’ll be keeping an eye on in the new year. Today, they weigh in with their thoughts, submitted via email, on the stories to watch in 2011.

Governor Jack Markell discusses his 2011 resolutions to move Delaware forward in the new year.

Governor's Weekly Message

Governor Jack Markell discusses the benefits that young leaders gain while participating in the Boys and Girls State Program.

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Full text of Governor Jack Markell’s weekly message:

Let me start by saying – Happy New Year!

Generally, year in review pieces are by definition a snapshot of people and events from the year gone by. But some news stories are not readily confined to a calendar year. They have repercussions that will be felt for months or years to come. As 2010 turns into 2011, DFM News asked a handful of political observers to reflect on the political year gone by. Today, they weigh in with their thoughts, submitted via email, on what story from 2010 will have the greatest impact in the coming years.

Not every story is front page news. And even some that are on page 1 aren’t fully understood as they happen. But just because some stories fly under the radar or take time to develop doesn’t diminish their significance. As 2010 turns into 2011, DFM News asked a handful of political observers to reflect on the political year gone by. After getting their thoughts on the 2010’s top stories, we asked them to look beyond the headlines. Today, they weigh in with their thoughts, submitted via email, on the most underrated or underreported political stories of 2010.

The calendar is just about to change from 2010 to 2011 - leaving behind one of the more memorable Delaware political years in recent history for an new year that is filled with unanswered questions and unresolved issues.

DFM News asked a handful of political observers to reflect on the political year gone by and what they’ll be looking for in 2011. They weigh in with their thoughts, submitted via email, starting today. The first topic: Delaware’s top political story of 2010.

Governor Jack Markell discusses the importance of Delaware’s ongoing conversation about improving education in the state.  The state’s series of town hall style meetings about education, "Conversations about Stronger Schools”, concluded this week.

Governor's Weekly Message

Governor Jack Markell discusses the benefits that young leaders gain while participating in the Boys and Girls State Program.

Signs of an economic recovery have yet to show up in the jobless rate - both nationally and in Delaware.  Unemployment in First State stood at 8.4 percent in November.  That means 35,500 Delaware residents out of work.  While that number is down about 15 hundred from a year ago at this time, it still leaves many Delawareans looking for assistance.  DFM News’ Patrick Mairs visited the Food Bank of Delaware to see how one organization that is on the front lines of providing that assistance is keeping up with the continued demand.

State coffers are not likely to fill quickly in the near future. The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) offered its December revenue forecast Monday, and there is little change in the outlook for the remainder of this fiscal year or next. But DEFAC members rejected a characterization that the numbers are stagnant.

“That’s a little too negative a word,” said DEFAC’s chairman of the revenue subcommittee, University of Delaware economics professor Kenneth Law. "It’s not all bad, and it does give us a little confidence."

The $856 billion tax deal passed by Congress in a lame duck session and signed into law by President Obama Friday offers the nation’s unemployed, including those in Delaware, some good news - a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits.  Without that extension, an additional 7 million long term unemployed Americans might have lost their benefits between now and next November.  But with the nation’s unemployment rate at 9.8 percent and Delaware’s at 8.4 percent, the struggle to find work will continue for thousands through the holiday season and into 2011.

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