Markell on the Passing of Reverend Maurice J. Moyer: “Few in their lives inspire as many.”

Delaware State Seal

Governor Jack Markell today said that the state mourns the passing of Rev Maurice Moyer but celebrates the difference he made in life.

“Few in their lives awaken as many hearts and minds, inspire as many to action or knit as strongly so many social bonds as Reverend Moyer,” Markell said. “I’m honored to have known him.”

Delaware flags will be ordered to fly at half-staff in the city of Wilmington and New Castle County beginning Wednesday morning until further notice.


Biden Warns Consumers to be Wary of Financial Scams

Fraudsters targeting Delaware residents in social networking, sweepstakes schemes

Wilmington – Attorney General Beau Biden today marked the start of National Consumer Protection Week, which runs from March 4-10, by alerting consumers to be aware of several financial fraud scams that have victimized consumers across the state in recent weeks. Each scam, including sweepstakes schemes and a scam that originated on a social networking website, employed attempts to convince Delawareans to ship or wire thousands of dollars to locations outside the state.

“Fraudsters are always inventing new schemes to victimize consumers, and they prey on victim’s trust to steal their money,” Attorney General Biden said.  “The best way to avoid losing your hard-earned money to a scam is to be alert to the signs of fraud.  I urge consumers who suspect they are being targeted in a scam to call our Consumer Hotline at 1-800-220-5424 so that we may review the solicitation with them before they provide any personal information or make any payments.”

In the first case, a Delaware consumer reported being defrauded out of hundreds of thousands of dollars after she met the scammer through an online social networking website.  After building a relationship and securing her trust, the scammer claimed that he had been robbed while on a business trip out of the country and that he could not return to the United States until he paid a substantial amount of money.  Over a period of several months the victim wired more than $250,000 through multiple transactions before reporting the scam to the Attorney General’s office.


In addition, in two separate incidents, investigators from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit have responded recently to sweepstakes scams targeting Delawareans:


·         The Attorney General’s office received a report that an elderly the couple was attempting to withdrawal $1,000 in an effort to collect a lottery sweepstakes prize.  The couple were told that in order to receive $2.5 million in prize money, they had to pay $1,000 in taxes.  The scammers directed the couple to purchase prepaid money cards at a local pharmacy and wait with the cards at their home for delivery of their winnings.  Investigators learned that the scammers intended to contact the victims and obtain information over the phone that would allow them to access the funds from the prepaid cards without visiting the victims in-person.  The Attorney General’s office intervened to stop the transaction.

·         A Sussex County consumer received a call from Canada claiming said she had won millions of dollars in a Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes, but that they needed $12,000 up front for tax purposes.  The consumer sent $12,000 in cash to a woman in Canada before reporting the scam to the Attorney General’s office.

Biden noted that if an offer appears to good to be true, it probably is.  He urged consumers to follow these tips to avoid these scams:

·         Never believe an unsolicited letter, phone call or Internet message from anyone who claims that you have won a lottery or sweepstakes prize.

·         Never wire money to someone you do not know. Don’t ever wire funds from a check you’ve received to pay “taxes or fees” for a promised lottery or sweepstakes prize.  Legitimate lotteries do not require winners to pay money up-front for taxes or fees.

Beware of callers requesting money be sent via a wire service, electronic transfer, or overnight delivery. This is a quick, easy and anonymous way for scam artists to get the money and run.
·         Do not give out your personal information, including social security number, credit card and bank account numbers to anyone without verifying that the use of your information is legitimate.

·         When in doubt, call the Attorney General’s consumer fraud hotline at (800) 220-5425 to report suspected scams and fraud.

Consumers are encouraged to visit the Attorney General’s website at to view tips and educational information, instructions for filing consumer complaints, and “consumer alert” notices about specific frauds and scams.


# # #


Lt. Gov. Denn & Attorney General Biden Announce Improved Anti-Bullying Legislation

Rep. Schooley, Sens. Henry and Sokola sponsoring measure to increase reporting of bullying, promote Attorney General’s bullying hotline


Wilmington – Noting that one out of every three middle and high school students report being bullied but many other incidents go unreported, Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, Attorney General Beau Biden and legislative leaders unveiled legislation on Friday that would protect students against bullying and add consistency in how such incidents are reported.


Nationally, 8.2 million students are bullied each year and 1 million are cyber-bullied. About 160,000 students stay home from school on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied. In Delaware, nearly 20 percent of students surveyed last year reported that another student issued a verbal threat against them, while 30 percent reported that they said something to another student to hurt them.


Lt. Gov. Denn said the proposal contains an important provision requiring the Department of Education to annually audit schools to ensure that they are properly investigating and reporting bullying allegations.


“It’s not just having the numbers, though those are important. Letting parents of kids who were bullied know about it is obvious,” Lt. Gov. Denn said. “Less obvious, but just as important, is letting the parents of kids who are doing the bullying know what is going on. Many of these kids, perhaps most, come from families with interested and active parents, who want their kids to do the right thing in school. If those parents know that their kids are engaged in bullying, they will start taking some strong steps at home to deal with the problem.”


The legislation was developed from multiple community forums Attorney General Biden has held talking to students and parents about bullying, and from conversations he and Lt. Gov. Denn have had with district superintendents.


“Kids deserve to be safe at school, but we need to fully understand the challenges we face in order to hold bullies accountable, prevent future incidents, and help students – both bullies and victims – stay on the right path,” Attorney General Biden said. “This legislation addresses the gaps in Delaware’s law that have led to uneven and inaccurate reporting.”


The legislation, which will be filed next week, would address a lack of consistency in how bullying incidents are reported by school districts. For example, Laurel Middle School, which has a four-star commendable rating, had the highest number of incidents (38 in a 344-student school) during the 2010-11 school year, but William Penn High with 1,981 students had zero reported incidents. And only one incident was reported in the entire Smyrna School District.


Under the bill, school districts would be required to report unsubstantiated claims of bullying to the state Department of Education, in addition to the current requirement for reporting substantiated claims. The current law says substantiated claims must be reported within five business days. Often it takes longer than that for a school administrator to verify a student’s claim, so the incident never gets reported.


Additionally, DOE must audit the districts’ reports of bullying statistics annually. Lastly, the Attorney General’s Office’s bullying hotline (1-800-220-5414) must be posted on each school district’s website and in a conspicuous place in each school.


Rep. Terry Schooley, who is the lead House sponsor of the legislation, said that reducing the instance of bullying starts with everyone treating all instances of reported bullying seriously and not tolerating any form of bullying.
“We’re not talking about the old-fashioned ‘kids will be kids’ instances, these are serious situations that are putting kids at risk. Bullying creates fear and intimidation in our schools, and it leads to students performing poorly in school, not going to school for fear of being bullied or in some cases, committing suicide,” said Rep. Schooley, D-Newark. “There is a reluctance to report bullying, but we need everyone – parents, teachers, administrators and students – to say that they will not tolerate bullying and to report all instances, so we can better address this problem.”


Senate Majority Whip Sen. Margaret Rose Henry, one of the prime sponsors of the legislation, said that protecting children from bullying is paramount.


“There’s no magic fix for bullying, much as all of us wish there were one,” said Sen. Henry, D-Wilmington East, a longtime champion of anti-bullying measures. “But these changes will increase accountability on the part of our schools and conspicuous posting of the bullying hotline number, I think, will give parents another tool to address this problem.”


“Schools need to be a place where students feel safe, and all adults and students need to be willing to respond to any physical, verbal and cyber threats,” said Sen. David Sokola, D-Newark, chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a strong backer of anti-bullying measures.




Governor’s Weekly Message: Finding Common Ground on Jobs, Schools and Curbing Costs

Dover – In his weekly message, Governor Markell talks about the issues that governors from across the country focused on during discussions this past week at the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington, D.C.

“Education, energy, health care and jobs. By the time the members of the National Governors Association had finished their deliberations, Governors representing different ideologies and geographies, some early in their terms and others in their last few months until retirement, unanimously endorsed a series of proposals on jobs, schools, energy, and health care costs,” said Governor Jack A. Markell. “ These are problems we need to keep tackling together – instead of tackling each other – in an effort to keep Delaware, and the nation, moving forward.”

At noon every Friday, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form. The message is available on:

By email: Please contact our press team to subscribe to our press list

Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Finding Common Ground on Jobs, Schools and Curbing Costs

Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Finding Common Ground on Jobs, Schools and Curbing Costs

Education, energy, health care and jobs. When it comes to high profile public policies, there’s enormous amount for some pretty substantial fights on those and other issues.

And as time goes on, it feels like those fights are getting more heated, more personal and – at the same time – less productive. When a fight’s focus is on the person you’re fighting against – instead of the problem you’re fighting to solve – something critical gets lost. When you’re working against some-body instead of working towards some-thing meaningful – the work can lose its purpose. Yet so much of what passes for policy debates can look just like that – picking fights, antagonizing opponents and rallying supporters simply to keep the fight alive.

Governors around the country came together in Washington last week to try to make a very un-Washington argument that the point of a jobs policy is to fight unemployment, not to fight people who’d implement it differently. That the point of education policy is to make sure our kids graduate ready to fight and win the future, not to pit people involved in the current system against each other. That the point of health care policy is fight against the catastrophic costs that come when coverage isn’t accessible or reliable.

Now– it was by no means a perfect meeting. At the edges of most common ground, there’s almost always disputed territory. But by the time the members of the National Governors Association had finished their deliberations, Governors representing different ideologies and geographies, some early in their terms and others in their last few months until retirement, unanimously endorsed a series of proposals on jobs, schools, energy, and health care costs.

These are problems we need to keep tackling together – instead of tackling each other – in an effort to keep Delaware, and the nation, moving forward.