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.

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Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

New Castle area residents exposed to a toxic group of chemicals are learning how much remains in their bodies.


Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Police in Philadelphia have used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters — and made mass arrests. But police responses to protests in Delaware so far have been comparatively restrained.

Capt. Brendan Mackie

The Federal Government apparently requested the Delaware National Guard to assist with response to protests in Washington, D.C., Monday. Gov. John Carney declined, say his spokesperson, Jonathan Starkey.

Sophia Schmidt / Delaware Public Media

Public health officials are concerned this past weekend’s protests against police brutality and racial injustice could lead to increased spread of the virus locally. Meanwhile, some see the virus’ disparate impacts as one factor that led to the protests.


Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Elected officials in Delaware say they are listening to the pain and anger over racial injustice expressed through this past weekend’s protests. Some hope to change oversight on use of force by police. 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Delaware’s known cases of COVID-19 grew by more than a hundred Monday as the state enters Phase 1 of its formal reopening plan. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

A day of peaceful protest in Wilmington Saturday over the killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer turned destructive as night fell. Businesses started cleaning up Sunday morning. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Delawareans joined protests across the country Saturday over the death of an unarmed black man in police custody.

Delaware Public Media

As the state struggles to reach its goal of 80,000 COVID-19 tests per month, it is encouraging some businesses to get employees tested regularly. It is unclear whether they will do so. 


Sophia Schmidt / Delaware Public Media

The coronavirus dramatically altered life for high schoolers in Delaware. 

Many are getting more sleep, trying out new hobbies or playing more video games. Others are struggling with online school, social isolation and persistent worries about the virus.

Delaware Public Media partners with McKean and Mount Pleasant High Schools in the Red Clay and Brandywine school districts to work with students in those schools when classes are in session in those buildings.

But with students all working remotely, Delaware Public Media’s youth media producer Sophia Schmidt tried something different - collecting audio journal entries from radio students at these schools over the past month.  The result is their pandemic experiences, in their own words. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The City of Wilmington has a budget for next fiscal year — at least for the time being. 


Delaware Public Media

The long contract impasse between the City of Wilmington and its firefighters’ union has come to an end. 

The union is unhappy with the resolution. 


Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer’s plan to use federal COVID-19 relief funds for so-called “hero’s pay” for some first responders is meeting increased resistance.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The state announced an unusually low number of new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday. Public health officials reported just 30 new cases as of Tuesday evening, along with nine new virus-related deaths.

 

Delaware Public Media

Delaware will lift its ban on short-term rentals June 1st. Gov. John Carney announced Tuesday he’s also lifting the mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers and stay-at-home order that same day.

 

 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

Use of public transportation has plummeted as a result of the coronavirus. It is unclear whether fare revenue will rebound next fiscal year, and some government subsidies in the region look uncertain.  


Nick Ciolino / Delaware Public Media

Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children is investigating another possible case of the mysterious Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children linked to COVID-19.


Sophia Schmidt / Delaware Public Media

After a slow uptake, the state will require long-term care facilities to implement universal COVID-19 testing of staff starting next month. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The plan to test every resident and staff member of long-term care facilities in Delaware for COVID-19 took longer to get going than expected. 


Delaware Public Media

While Delawareans deal with a deadly pandemic and record unemployment, the U.S. Census Bureau continues to collect responses to the 2020 Census. 


Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney is facing increasing criticism from some Republican state lawmakers over his response to the coronavirus. 


Gov. John Carney announced Tuesday additional allowances for retail and restaurants ahead of the planned start of phased reopening next month.

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The new Wilmington Transit Center opened Sunday during a tough time for public transit. 


Sophia Schmidt / Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney has announced the creation of several working groups to plan for the safe reopening of Delaware school buildings. 

Carney ordered school buildings closed for the rest of the school year last month in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Sophia Schmidt / Delaware Public Media

The state partnered with Nanticoke Hospital Thursday to host the first testing event using saliva-based tests made by the company Curative.

The state purchased 200,000 of these test kits.

Delaware Public Media’s Sophia Schmidt talks with Dr. Rick Hong of the Division of Public Health about the new tests and how they fit into the state’s plan to more than quadruple monthly testing as it moves toward gradual reopening.


Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 (Facebook)

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer plans to give first responders “Hero’s Pay” out of federal CARES Act funds. The county police union claims the promise is being leveraged to suppress a grievance.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Delaware’s latest COVID-19 numbers include 11 new virus-related deaths and 150 new cases.

Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney announced Thursday that restrictions on beaches and community pools will be lifted 5 p.m. May 22, allowing them to open for Memorial Day weekend.

Delaware Public Media

The chief justice of Delaware’s Supreme Court has extended the state’s Judicial Emergency for another 30 days in response to what he sees as a continued public health emergency. 

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

New Castle County is seeking to allocate millions in federal coronavirus relief funds with less oversight from County Council.  That makes some Council members feel uneasy. 


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