Delaware Public Media

Sophia Schmidt

Reporter/Youth Media Producer

Sophia Schmidt grew up in New Castle County and joined Delaware Public Media in 2018. She previously worked on NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced politics, science and culture interviews, and contributed to Gracie Award-winning coverage of the #MeToo Movement. She has also written about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and wrote for the college paper.  Sophia enjoys throwing pottery and hiking.

Ways to Connect

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Nationwide protests over police brutality have renewed outrage over the 2015 killing of wheelchair-user Jeremy McDole by Wilmington police. 

Time is running out to reconsider charging the officers involved. 

Courtesy of the Delaware Department of Justice

The state Department of Justice has determined a state trooper was justified in shooting a suicidal man in Lewes last fall. 

Delaware Public Media

Earlier this week the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed reports it is cutting short its count of every person living in the U.S. by a month. Local advocates worry not everyone in the First State will get counted. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Delaware voters should have received applications to vote by mail for September’s primary election. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The Nanticoke Indian Association Tribal Council decided to cancel what would have been the 43rd annual powwow this September because of the pandemic. It’s the second powwow to be cancelled in the last three years, after 2018’s was rained out.

Delaware Public Media

Experts and advocates predicted a wave of evictions once moratoriums lifted. That has not panned out locally, at least not yet.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Delaware have hit a low mark.

The state is reporting only 46 current hospitalizations statewide as of Thursday, with 11 people critically ill.

Carlino Commercial Development

New Castle County Council approved a controversial plan to build hundreds of housing units at an old country club near the Christiana Mall. 

Experts across the country have worried more cases of child abuse are going unreported during the pandemic, as stresses on families increase but reports of child abuse drop


State officials in Delaware have seen a similar reduction in reports.

New Castle County Police Department

New Castle County Council unanimously passed two police reforms Tuesday night after delaying them earlier this month. Many described the measures as just the beginning. 

The results are in for Newark’s City Council election. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut’s travel advisory lists were updated Tuesday— and Delaware is still on them. The First State has also been added to a new mandatory quarantine list by Washington, D.C. and will likely be impacted by a Massachusetts travel advisory next month.

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The state has not yet signaled to school districts whether they should reopen in-person, online, or some combination of the two. 

But with just about a month left until the start of school, William Penn High School has made a decision: to begin entirely online. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Bike stores in Delaware have seen a massive surge in business during the pandemic. But the new normal is not all good for these local shops. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

State public health officials reviewed death certificates and found an additional 49 coronavirus-linked deaths in May and June. 

Delaware’s virus-related death toll is now 578.

Courtesy of New Castle County government

New Castle County continues to track an estimate of coronavirus activity there based on its sewer. The estimates have varied widely week to week, but County leadership still sees them as useful.

Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s largest university announced Wednesday it will operate mostly online for the fall semester. City of Newark officials approve of the decision — but note it will affect local businesses. 

Nemours Children's Health System

As public officials weigh how to conduct school this fall, children are being held up as low risk for getting seriously sick from COVID-19. 

But some kids have suffered from a rare, mysterious syndrome linked to the virus—even in Delaware.

Delaware Public Media

The University of Delaware is backing off plans for in-person classes,  announcing Wednesday the majority of classes will be online-only this fall. 

Delaware is back on several northeast states’ travel advisory lists. And Gov. John Carney is not happy.

DelDOT traffic camera

State environmental regulators announced Tuesday that a spring fire at the Delaware City Refinery that injured two people violated the facility’s air quality permit. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Delaware added hundreds of cases of the coronavirus to its cumulative total over the weekend.

The state logged 102 new cases Sunday. The statewide total to date is up to 13,624. 

Courtesy of the Delaware Historical Society. © Hank Willis Thomas. Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

The Delaware Art Museum is open to visitors again, with an exhibit that resonates with the recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

A new outlook from federal oceanographic scientists reaffirms projections that coastal towns in Delaware will see more sunny-day flooding in the future.

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Police violence has come under renewed scrutiny this year as a result of the nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd.

Delaware has had its own police killings. Perhaps most well-known is the 2015 shooting of wheel-chair user Jeremy McDole by four Wilmington police officers.

Nearly five years after the incident, Jeremy’s sister, Keandra, is leading efforts to reopen the investigation into his death.

Delaware Public Media’s Sophia Schmidt talks with Wilmington resident and activist Keandra McDole about her journey seeking justice for her brother — and systemic change in our latest Building Bridges conversation. 

Building Bridges is a collaboration with the Delaware State News, offering conversations with Delawareans working in the community on social justice and furthering racial equality.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Delaware has added hundreds of cases of the coronavirus to its cumulative total in the last few days. 

Croda, Inc.

The chemical plant in New Castle where a toxic gas leak occurred nearly two years ago is applying for a state permit. Elected officials at the county level are already lining up against it.

New Castle County Police Department

New Castle County Council delayed voting on two proposed police reforms Tuesday. 

Delaware Public Media

Months into the 2020 census count, Delaware’s self response rate lags behind the national average—and the self response rates of Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Protesters took to the streets of Wilmington again Saturday to demand justice for Jeremy McDole, a wheelchair-user who was shot and killed in 2015 by several Wilmington police officers.