Insurance Commissioner Stewart Announces an Agreement with Carriers in Delaware to Extend Cancelled Policies
DOVER – As a result of President Obama’s federal waiver, Commissioner Stewart entered into a dialogue with the health insurance carriers in an effort to provide earlier renewals of existing health insurance plans. The Commissioner is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with the carriers to offer early renewals for current policies whose term of coverage was to end on or before March 31, 2014. Commissioner Stewart is very concerned with individuals that may be in a position of being without any coverage as a result of the inability to renew these policies. Commissioner Stewart stated that she is, “very happy that the carriers have agreed to provide an early renewal opportunity for these policyholders.”
Consumers that are affected by this agreement and take advantage of this option must renew their policy on or before December 31, 2013. All policies with an effective date after January 1, 2014 must be in compliance with Delaware law. The carriers have indicated that individuals with questions regarding their policies should direct those questions to their agent or broker.
“Protecting Delawareans through regulation and education while
providing oversight of the insurance industry to best serve the public.”
Recipients of $2.1M in After School Prevention Funding Announced
Wilmington – On Monday November 25th, Governor Jack Markell, and Lt. Governor Matt Denn joined officials from the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF/The Children’s Dept.) to announce the names of 12 organizations that have been selected to receive nearly $2.1 million dollars in after school and summer prevention program funds. The announcement was held at the Clarence Fraim Boys and Girls Club in Wilmington. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware is one of the funding recipients.
The initiative to support positive prevention activities for youth was part of Governor Jack Markell’s FY 14 Budget proposal. The General Assembly supported his budget request with $2.2 million as part of DSCYF’s budget for after school programs this session. This is the second round of funding allocated under the budget initiative. In September, a small portion of the budget was distributed to 13 organizations in the form of mini grants.
Applicants for the remainder of the funding were required to submit proposals that included evidence based practices or programs related to preventing youth violence and/or youth suicide. They were also required to include positive opportunities for youth that they might not otherwise have a chance to be exposed to. The grant recipients will be funded through June 2015 subject to continued funding appropriation in the Department’s FY 15 budget
“These places will be providing children with safe and welcoming spaces to do homework, play and enjoy being a kid,” said Governor Markell. “This is about creating opportunities for young people with positive experiences and after school activities that promote their intellectual growth and self-esteem.”
“The programs that were selected are very diverse in their makeup. They cover academics, exposure to nature, music and the arts, bullying, suicide and pregnancy prevention programming, sports and athletics, healthy living, life skills, and self-esteem building,” said Lt. Governor Matt Denn who read off the list of awardees at the event. “I feel confident that the programs being offered are going to have a long term impact on the kids who participate in them.”
The selected funding recipients will enter into contracts with the children’s Department’s Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services. Three of the 12 organizations will have programs running in all three counties, four will operate only in New Castle County, three will operate programs in both Kent and Sussex Counties only, and two will conduct their programs in Kent County alone. The Criminal Justice Council is partnering with the Children’s Department to provide monitoring and quality assurance for the contracts.
Additionally, suicide prevention training will be provided to staff of all of the selected programs so that they can assist in identifying at-risk youth. The prevention program initiative is partly an outgrowth of the initial recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the 2012 adolescent suicides in Kent County which pointed to a lack of after-school activities for youth in Kent and Sussex Counties.
“We were looking for programs that would provide positive experiences for youth, while also giving them safe and productive opportunities outside of school hours,” said DSYCF Secretary Jennifer Ranji. “The programs that were selected, coupled with the training they’ll receive, help support our mission of prevention or early identification of mental health needs so that we can prevent deeper entry into our system.”
The programs that were selected to receive after school and summer prevention program funding will serve approximately 1,500-1,800 youth. Roughly half of those children are in New Castle County, 25% are in Kent County and 25% are in Sussex County. The funding recipients are:
• Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware – to implement youth leadership clubs, operate a weekday drop in teen program and a Friday night program for academics, athletics and special events.
• Children and Families First – operating in Kent and Sussex counties. Activities will include academic support, life skills like cooking and computer classes and outdoor education.
• The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension – will operate four sites in both Kent and Sussex Counties. They will provide after school tutoring, music and art enrichment and summer programming that focuses on healthy living.
• Providence Service Academy – to operate in the city of Wilmington serving youth ages 12 – 18. They’ll implement a Youth Empowerment program to provide a variety of enrichment activities.
• West End Neighborhood House – also will operate in the City. Their focus will be on youth violence and suicide prevention through the use of several evidence based programs.
• Police Athletic League – will operate in Wilmington and NcCo in four locations. Their focus is on suicide and violence prevention through parent engagement, and after school and summer programs that promote homework assistance and fitness activities.
• Courageous Hearts – this equine assistance program operates in Kent and Sussex and will serve youth ages 12 – 17. They use horses as an equine assisted intervention to help youth overcome anxieties and build self-esteem, as well as provide a mechanism for family engagement.
• DEMCO – this Kent county program will serve children in grades 5 – 8. It provides tutoring and homework support, and sports and fitness enrichment for youth in at risk communities in Downtown Dover.
• The YMCA – will operate in Wilmington, and Kent and Sussex Counties and serve children ages 11 – 18. They will provide memberships to teens and leadership camps.
• Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Delaware – operating in all three counties, this program will serve youth ages 9 – 17 and provide mentoring services for at risk youth, particularly for LGBTQ youth.
• Delaware State University – Summer Youth Academy – this program will expose youth to opportunities for secondary education and mentoring, and promote self-discipline and self-confidence.
• The Mother African Union Church’s Peter Spencer Family Foundation project – operating in the City of Wilmington this program will provide evidence based, academically focused after school programming and gender specific summer programming at two sites.
The Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance problems, have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts, as well as prevention services targeted toward all youth. For more information, please visit www.kids.delaware.gov.
OHS Launches 15th Annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign Thanksgiving Week
Enforcement focus is on DUI, Aggressive Driving, and Seat Belts.
Dover – Once again thousands of Delawareans will be hitting the road to visit family and friends and even do some after Thanksgiving shopping. The Office of Highway Safety wants to remind motorists as they travel this holiday season to buckle up, practice patience behind the wheel, and if partaking in some holiday ‘spirits’ use a designated driver because Delaware law enforcement will be on high alert to make sure you arrive safely to your destination.
Wednesday November 27th will begin the Delaware Office of Highway Safety’s 15th annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign. Safe Family Holiday enforcement activities over the next six weeks will include 28 local law enforcement agencies statewide & Delaware State Police conducting overtime patrols focusing on aggressive & impaired driving, and seat belt use.
Overtime aggressive driving enforcement will run November 26th– December 7th, and then again from December 19th-28th. Seat belt enforcement begins December 11th and runs through December 19th. The DUI saturation patrols will begin November 27th and will run through the entire holiday season and will supplement already scheduled Checkpoint Strikeforce DUI checkpoints.
There is one DUI checkpoint scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday as follows:
Wednesday Nov. 27th Wilmington (New Castle County DUI Task Force)- Checkpoint
Since January 1st of this year, 91 people have lost their lives on Delaware roadways in 87 fatal traffic crashes, compared to 103 people killed in 98 fatal traffic crashes this time last year. Aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding, running stop signs, and not granting right of way, have contributed to 32% of the fatal traffic crashes so far this year. To date alcohol consumption has been involved in 34% of the traffic deaths, and 49% of vehicle occupant fatalities were individuals not wearing their seat belts.
Over the last decade, several public awareness activities have become Safe Family Holiday traditions including the OHS “Mocktail” party and the DUI Tree project. “Mocktails” are non-alcoholic cocktail parties, where safety information, responsible party hosting tips, and samples of “smart” party foods will be provided for employees. Get your Mocktail party guide online at http://ohs.delaware.gov/pdfs/2013/mocktail/Safe-Sober_MocktailUpdate_HolidaySeason.pdf.
The DUI Tree memorializes those who were injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash during the campaign period by placing colored light bulbs on the tree to represent each victim. Several OHS corporate partners have volunteered to set up and display the trees at their locations to remind employees to be safe this holiday season. OHS has created a virtual DUI Tree for the public at www.DUIRealTime.com/Safe-Holidays. Last year, 3 people were killed and 54 were injured in alcohol-related crashes in Delaware during the holiday season.
The Safe Family Holiday Campaign, which runs from Thanksgiving Eve to New Year’s Day, in conjunction with the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign, is OHS’ major traffic safety initiative for the holiday season. It includes a combination of high visibility enforcement, public awareness activities, and media messaging aimed at stopping impaired and other dangerous drivers.
New Castle man arrested on child pornography charges
Wilmington – A proactive undercover online investigation by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force into the distribution of child pornography has led to the arrest of a New Castle man, Attorney General Beau Biden announced today.
“Thanks to the proactive undercover investigations initiated by our Child Predator Task Force we’re weeding out dangerous predators who victimize our kids,” Biden said.
After undercover detectives received files containing child pornography from a subject in Delaware, investigators tracked the source of those files to a residence in New Castle. On November 21 detectives executed a search warrant at the residence, located in the 600 block of Central Avenue, and seized one computer, multiple digital storage devices, and numerous pages of printed material containing child pornography. During the search, 65 year-old Thomas E. Noble, AKA Thomas Guyer, AKA Walter Guyer, the owner of the residence, was taken to DSP Troop #2 for further investigation.
As a result of the investigation detectives arrested Noble on November 21 and charged him with 26 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 $520,000 secured bail.
The Delaware Child Predator Task Force investigation continues. A booking image of Noble is below.
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Deadline for Submission of Nominations for the 2014 Hall of Fame of Delaware Women is November 29
The Delaware Commission for Women is seeking public nominations of women for induction into the Hall of Fame of Delaware Women. The Hall of Fame showcases women who have made significant contributions in their field of endeavor inclusive of professional and volunteer careers, and whose impact is made locally, nationally or internationally.
Nominees must be native-born Delawareans or have resided in the state for at least ten years and can be posthumously nominated. A selection committee receives and reviews all nominations then collaboratively and impartially determines the 2014 inductees.
The 2014 inductees will be honored at the 33rd Annual Hall of Fame of Delaware Women Award Ceremony and Reception on March 27, 2014, joining a prestigious group of 124 women from Sussex, Kent and New Castle Counties.
The Hall of Fame of Delaware Women was established in 1981 by the Delaware Commission for Women. Since its inception, more than 120 women have been inducted and its distinguished list includes names of women from a variety of backgrounds such as sports, medicine, public service, and civil rights—all of which are commonly associated with acts of heroism, excellence and perseverance.
Among its members are Annie Jump Cannon, a Dover native who developed a system for classifying stars at Harvard University which is still in use today; Mary Ann Shadd Cary, who became the first African-American publisher in North America, second African-American female to earn a law degree, and the first to cast a vote in a general election; as well as Margaret Irving Handy, a Smyrna native, first native-born female Delawarean to become a doctor, Delaware’s first pediatrician, and who was one of the first doctors to specialize in pediatric medicine.