Capital City Trails Phase One Complete

Trail is vital link in Governor Markell’s First State Trails and Pathways Initiative

Dover – Governor Jack Markell, Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Shailen Bhatt, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Secretary Collin O’Mara, and Dover Mayor Carleton Carey are pleased to announce the completion of Phase 1 of the Capital City Trails project in Dover.

“We’re making our state a better place for walking and biking,” said Governor Jack Markell.  “One pathway at a time, we are improving Delaware’s quality of life and attractiveness to businesses by creating safe and scenic pathways for people to use.  When families want a great place to live and businesses want a great place to locate, we want them to look at communities like Dover.”

The first phase of the project includes a continuous walkway from Public Safety Boulevard, along the west side of U.S. Route 13, to the south side of Martin Luther King Boulevard and crosses in front of Legislative Hall.  The new pathway is ten feet wide with landscaping and lighting consistent with historic downtown Dover.

“As part of our long term efforts to provide transportation options, as well as reduce vehicle emissions and improve air quality, we’re providing more opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian travel in the Capital City.  We’re expanding our network by connecting existing bike and pedestrian pathways in the area and improving safety for all users,” said DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt.

The Capital City Trail in Dover’s pathways and trails system connects to the existing Silver Lake Trail at Division Street, continuing to Legislative Hall and along Court Street to the Public Safety Boulevard Pathway and the Isaacs Branch Trail. When completed, this trails and pathways system will extend a total of 4.5 miles in greater Dover – safely connecting city residents, visitors, and workers to parks, historic attractions, government offices, the Dover Air Force Base, schools, and businesses.

“The Capital City Trail fills a gap in trail work completed several years ago by the City of Dover on the St. Jones River Trail funded by local legislative Community Transportation Funds, as well as Kent County’s Isaac Branch Greenway Trail that was created with grant assistance from DNREC’s local Land & Water Conservation Trust Fund Grant Program,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “Together this network not only provides residents better community connections for walking and biking, but brings us another step closer to realizing Governor Markell’s vision of offering tremendous recreational and physical fitness opportunities in every part of our state.”

Mayor Carey stated, “This is a great milestone, with the completion of Phase 1 and moving on to Phase 2 – many people will see this project as a way to promote healthy living and will appreciate it as a user friendly means to get around our community.”

Phase 2 of the project will connect the pathway from Legislative Hall to Loockerman Street and is scheduled to being construction in spring 2014. Construction on Phase 3, which will connect the pathway from Loockerman Street to Park Drive is expected to begin the following fall.

The Capital City Trail is part of the Governor’s First State Trails and Pathways Initiative that creates a world-class statewide network of new and enhanced trails and pathways for residents and visitors to enjoy walking, biking, hiking, and active living. The Initiative has far-reaching advantages – boosting Delaware’s economy, benefitting local businesses, and promoting the continued growth of the state’s recreation and tourism industries. By offering people a place to walk, run or ride, trails and pathways allow them to connect with the outdoors and encourages healthier, more active lifestyles.

Governor Markell’s First State Trails and Pathways Initiative is a partnership led by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control with regional and local organization and government partners.

 For more information, please visit

NCSHA Recognizes State Rental Assistance Program with National Award

Christina M. Hardin
Chief of Community Relations, DSHA
Phone: (302) 739-4263

NCSHA Recognizes State Rental Assistance Program with National Award

November 4, 2013 (Dover, DE) – Delaware’s State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP)  received national attention last week when it was honored with an Award for Program Excellence during the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) 2013 Annual Conference & Showplace in New Orleans, LA. This year’s conference was attended by more than 900 affordable housing industry professionals.

The purpose of SRAP is to assist low-income individuals who require affordable housing and supportive services to live safely and independently in the community.  SRAP provides rental assistance to particularly vulnerable populations – people exiting or at risk of admission to state long-term care institutions, youth exiting foster care, and families for whom housing is a barrier to reunification.  The program was officially launched in December, 2011 and has assisted nearly 300 individuals and families find and maintain housing in communities of their choice.

Governor Jack Markell stated, “It’s great to see Delaware’s efforts recognized nationally.  Our state agencies are clearly demonstrating what we can achieve when we work together to help more individuals live independently.  The rental assistance program is a shining example of an initiative that is giving more people a chance to live in a community and increase their quality of life.”

“We are honored that NCSHA chose SRAP as a Program of Excellence.  Our goal is to provide the foundation of a stable home where individuals have access to continuing home- and community-based services,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi.  “They are able to live independently with safe, long-term housing and the appropriate services necessary to succeed.”

Now in its 29th year, the NCSHA Annual Awards for Program Excellence was created to identify and elevate industry best practices as well as encourage continued Housing Finance Agency (HFA) innovation.

“These awards are presented annually to honor the best work of HFAs nationwide,” said Brian A. Hudson, NCSHA president and executive director of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. “The NCSHA Annual Conference provides an outstanding platform to showcase award winners and entries in order to exchange best practices within the HFA community,” Hudson continued. “The ongoing ability to share information with each other enables all HFAs to be even more successful in achieving our common mission of providing affordable housing for those who need it.”

About the Delaware State Housing Authority
The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), formed in 1968, is dedicated to providing quality, affordable housing opportunities and appropriate supportive services to low- and moderate-income Delawareans. In addition to its role as the State’s Housing Finance Agency, DSHA is unique in that it also serves as a Public Housing Authority and acts as a Community Development and Planning Agency. As a Public Housing Authority, DSHA receives funding from HUD to build, own, and operate public housing in Kent and Sussex counties, two of Delaware’s three counties. For more information about the Delaware State Housing Authority, please call: (888) 363-8808 or visit our website at:

NCSHA award 2013Delaware

Seated Left to Right:  Matthew Heckles, Anas Ben Addi, Gary Hecker
Standing Left to Right:  Christina Hardin, Patricia Conley, Susan Eliason, Cynthia Karnai, and Cynthia Deakyne

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Christopher Wheeler arrested on child pornography charges

Wilmington – Attorney General Beau Biden’s office announced today that the Delaware Child Predator Task Force has secured the arrest of Christopher Wheeler.

An arrest warrant was obtained for Wheeler on October 30 after Child Predator Task Force detectives recovered multiple images of child pornography on computers seized by investigators during an October 22 search of Wheeler’s Wilmington home and office.

The Child Predator Task Force made arrangements for Wheeler to turn himself in to detectives this afternoon at Delaware State Police Troop #2, where he was taken into custody and  charged with 25 counts of dealing in child pornography.  Wheeler was subsequently arraigned via videophone by Justice of the Peace Court #2 and was taken to Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $1.5 million cash bail.

The criminal investigation conducted jointly by the Delaware Department of Justice and the Wilmington Police Department is ongoing.  A booking image of Wheeler is not available at this time.

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Governor Markell Appointed to White House Task Force on Climate Preparedness

(Wilmington) – Governor Jack Markell is one of eight Governors appointed today by President Obama to serve on a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience that will advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities dealing with impacts of climate change.    The President signed an Executive Order, Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change.   Below is the Governor’s statement and the White House news release follows.

“I am honored the President has appointed me to this new task force.  Climate change is not some far off problem; it is something we are experiencing now.   For a small state like Delaware, the lowest-lying state in the nation, we are staggeringly vulnerable. We need to have frank conversations about preparing for possible impacts from storms, droughts, and sea level rise.   Recent events have crystallized the importance of this work for a lot of states.   I believe we can strengthen the economy and improve the resiliency of the environment at the same time and I look forward to serving on this new task force.”   ~ Governor Jack Markell



Office of the Press Secretary


November 1, 2013


FACT SHEET: Executive Order on Climate Preparedness

President Obama Establishes a Task Force on Climate

 “We’re going to need to get prepared.  And that’s why this plan will also protect critical sectors of our economy and prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change that we cannot avoid.  States and cities across the country are already taking it upon themselves to get ready… And we’ll partner with communities seeking help to prepare for droughts and floods, reduce the risk of wildfires, protect the dunes and wetlands that pull double duty as green space and as natural storm barriers.” – President Barack Obama, June 25, 2013

Today, President Obama established a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change. The Task Force members include state, local and tribal leaders from across the country who will use their first-hand experiences in building climate preparedness and resilience in their communities to inform their recommendations to the Administration.

The President signed an Executive Order that directs Federal agencies to take a series of steps to make it easier for American communities to strengthen their resilience to extreme weather and prepare for other impacts of climate change.

President Obama has said that we have a moral obligation to our children and future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted or damaged. That is why in June, the President launched a Climate Action Plan to cut carbon pollution, prepare communities for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address this global challenge. The Climate Action Plan recognizes that even as we act to curb the carbon pollution that is driving climate change, we must also improve our ability to prepare for the climate impacts we are already seeing across the country. Across America, states, cities, and communities are taking steps to protect themselves from extreme weather and other climate impacts by updating building codes, adjusting the way they manage natural resources, investing in more resilient infrastructure, and planning for rapid recovery from damages that nonetheless occur.

The Federal Government has an important role to play in supporting community-based preparedness and resilience efforts by establishing policies and prioritizing investments that promote preparedness, protecting critical infrastructure and public resources, supporting science and research needed to prepare for climate impacts, and ensuring that Federal operations and facilities continue to protect and serve citizens in a changing climate.

State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience

State, local and tribal leaders across the country are already contending with more frequent or severe heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms and floods, and other impacts of climate change. The Task Force will provide recommendations to the President on removing barriers to resilient investments, modernizing Federal grant and loan programs to better support local efforts, and developing the information and tools they need to prepare.

Task Force members comprise governors, mayors, county officials and tribal leaders, representing a diverse range of communities. The members of the Task Force include:

State Officials:

Governor Neil Abercrombie (HI)

Governor Jerry Brown (CA)

Governor Eddie Calvo (GU)

Governor Jay Inslee (WA)

Governor Jack Markell (DE)

Governor Martin O’Malley (MD)

Governor Pat Quinn (IL)

Governor Peter Shumlin (VT)

Local Officials:

Mayor Ralph Becker (Salt Lake City, UT)

Mayor James Brainard (Carmel, IN)

Commissioner Paula Brooks (Franklin County, OH)

Supervisor Salud Carbajal (Santa Barbara County, CA)

Mayor Frank Cownie (Des Moines, IA)

Mayor Bob Dixson (Greensburg, KS)

Mayor Eric Garcetti (Los Angeles, CA)

Mayor George Heartwell (Grand Rapids, MI)

Mayor Kristin Jacobs (Broward County, FL)

Mayor Kevin Johnson (Sacramento, CA)

Mayor Michael Nutter (Philadelphia, PA)

Mayor Annise Parker (Houston, TX)

Mayor Patsy Parker (Perdido Beach, AL)

Mayor Madeline Rogero (Knoxville, TN)

Mayor Karen Weitkunat (Fort Collins, CO)

Mayor Dawn Zimmer (Hoboken, NJ)

Tribal Officials:

Karen Diver, Chairwoman, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (MN)

Reggie Joule, Mayor, Northwest Arctic Borough (AK)

An Executive Order to Protect Our Communities

The Obama Administration has taken significant steps to strengthen the climate resilience of America’s communities and economy.  More than 30 Federal agencies developed their first-ever Climate Change Adaptation Plans, outlining strategies to protect their operations, programs, and investments to better serve communities and safeguard our public resources in the face of climate change.  In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Administration has provided resources to rebuild the affected area to be more resilient than before, including support for more climate-resilient roads and infrastructure, and projects that protect drinking water and buffer communities from flooding.  In addition, Federal agencies have partnered with states, cities, tribes, and the private sector to develop strategies to address the impacts of climate change on our freshwater resources, oceans and coasts, and wildlife. Agencies have also built new, data-driven tools to help decision makers and resource managers map and plan for future sea level rise. From Florida to Minnesota, and from Alaska to New York, Federal agencies have partnered with communities to provide funding and technical assistance to address local climate impacts such as sea level rise, flooding, and water scarcity.

To build on this progress, the Executive Order (E.O.) “Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change,” signed today directs Federal agencies to:

  • Modernize Federal programs to support climate-resilient investments: Agencies will examine their policies and programs and find ways to make it easier for cities and towns to build smarter and stronger. Agencies will identify and remove any barriers to resilience-focused actions and investments– for example, policies that encourage communities to rebuild to past standards after disasters instead of to stronger standards – including through agency grants, technical assistance, and other programs in sectors from transportation and water management to conservation and disaster relief.
  • Manage lands and waters for climate preparedness and resilience: America’s natural resources are critical to our Nation’s economy, health and quality of life.  The E.O. directs agencies to identify changes that must be made to land- and water-related policies, programs, and regulations to strengthen the climate resilience of our watersheds, natural resources, and ecosystems, and the communities and economies that depend on them. Federal agencies will also evaluate how to better promote natural storm barriers such as dunes and wetlands, as well as how to protect the carbon sequestration benefits of forests and lands to help reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change.
  • Provide information, data and tools for climate change preparedness and resilience: Scientific data and insights are essential to help communities and businesses better understand and manage the risks associated with extreme weather and other impacts of climate change.  The E.O. instructs Federal agencies to work together and with information users to develop new climate preparedness tools and information that state, local, and private-sector leaders need to make smart decisions.  In keeping with the President’s Open Data initiative, agencies will also make extensive Federal climate data accessible to the public through an easy-to-use online portal.
  • Plan for climate change related risk: Recognizing the threat that climate change poses to Federal facilities, operations and programs, the E.O. builds on the first-ever set of Federal agency adaptation plans released earlier this year and directs Federal agencies to develop and implement strategies to evaluate and address their most significant climate change related risks.

To implement these actions, the E.O. establishes an interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, chaired by the White House and composed of more than 25 agencies. To assist in achieving the goals of the E.O., these agencies are directed to consider the recommendations of the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.


Newark man arrested on child pornography charges

Newark – The Delaware Child Predator Task Force has arrested a Newark man on child pornography charges following an online undercover investigation into the distribution of child pornography, Attorney General Beau Biden announced today.

“Child pornographers are predators, and experience has shown us that predators are attracted to organizations and to jobs that put them in contact with children,” Attorney General Biden said today.  “That’s why the mission of our Child Predator Task Force – to proactively seek out predators and take them off the streets – is so critical to keeping our kids safe.”

Yesterday, after the investigation led to a Newark residence the Child Predator Task Force along with a uniformed Trooper from DSP Troop #6 executed a search warrant at the residence, located in the 100 block of Wren Way in the community of Middle Run Crossing.  During the search, detectives identified a person of interest, 23 year-old Bradford L. Holstein, Jr., and took him to Troop #6 for further investigation.  Four computers and numerous digital storage devices were also seized and an initial forensic examination by the Child Predator Task Force discovered multiple video files of child pornography.

As a result of the investigation detectives arrested Holstein and charged him with 25 counts of dealing in child pornography.  He was arraigned via videophone by JP Court #2 and was taken to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in lieu of $875,000 secured bail.

Detectives have learned that Holstein, who is completing a degree in elementary education at the University of Delaware, served as a student teacher at Alfred G. Waters Middle School near Middletown and Old State Elementary School in Townsend and had worked as a seasonal employee for several years at the Western Family YMCA on Kirkwood Highway near Newark.  The Child Predator Task Force investigation continues.

A booking image of Holstein is below.

Holstien Booking Image

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