Deputy Commissioner retires after 33 years of service to the Department of Correction

Dover – Today, Commissioner Robert Coupe commended Karl Hines, Deputy Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction, for his 33-year career of dedicated public service to the State of Delaware, as Hines retires from government service this week.

“Karl’s tireless dedication to his work has helped make our families and our communities safer, and has helped thousands of Delaware offenders return to the community with the ability to lead more productive lives,” Commissioner Coupe said. “He has led by example through his humble demeanor, strong work ethic, and able leadership and leaves the Department of Correction in a stronger position to fulfill its mission. It has been my honor to work with him and I wish him a long and enjoyable retirement.”

Hines began his Department career in 1981 as a Correctional Counselor. He was promoted to Probation & Parole Officer in 1985, and was subsequently promoted Supervisor, Manager, and then Regional Manager within the Division of Probation and Parole before being named Deputy Bureau Chief of Community Correction in 2008. A year later he was promoted to Chief of Community Correction, and he served in that position until Commissioner Coupe appointed him Deputy Commissioner in April, 2013.

As Regional Manager of Probation and Parole, Deputy Commissioner Hines helped implement the Department’s automated offender tracking system and he oversaw construction of the State’s largest Probation and Parole Office, a facilitate on Cherry Lane in New Castle that houses more than 150 probation officers who together supervise more than 6,000 community-based offenders. As Deputy Bureau Chief, and later as Bureau Chief of Community Correction, Hines led 350 staff statewide who are responsible for supervising more than 16,000 community-based offenders. As Deputy Commissioner, he has helped lead the State’s implementation of I-ADAPT, a innovative effort to marshal the collective efforts of state agencies to work with incarcerated offenders who are nearing their release in order to assist them in their reentry to society, and he has helped spearhead the Department’s ongoing multi-year effort to secure accreditation by the American Correctional Association.

Deputy Commissioner Hines has received numerous awards and commendations for his performance and leadership by the Department, including commendations for exemplary service on eight occasions, as well as the Correctional Supervisor of the Year Award (1997), Special Forces Award for Safe Streets (1998), Department Supervisor of the Year Award (2007), and he has been recognized for perfect attendance for the past 18 years.

Traditional fabric-arts to be featured at Dover, Del.’s John Dickinson Plantation in January 2015

-Listing of plantation events through June 2015 also included-

(DOVER, Del.—Dec. 30, 2014)—During the month of January 2015, the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Rd. in Dover, Del., will present five special programs that explore traditional fabric-arts (weaving, spinning and knitting) that would have been practiced during the 18th century when John Dickinson was in residence at the property. Admission is free. For additional information, call 302-739-3277.

Eleanor Matthews, historic-site interpreter at the John Dickinson Plantation, conducting a weaving demonstration.
Eleanor Matthews, historic-site interpreter at the John Dickinson Plantation, conducting a weaving demonstration.

On Wednesdays, Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the plantation will present “Weaving Wednesdays,” hands-on activities in which visitors will learn how to weave a blanket or rag rug; while on Saturday, Jan. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m., the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild will be conducting hands-on demonstrations.

The John Dickinson Plantation was the boyhood home and country estate of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, signer of the U.S. Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution.” The plantation features Dickinson’s original 1740 brick home, reconstructed farm buildings and a log’d dwelling, surrounded by rich agricultural lands stretching down to the banks of the St. Jones River.

Following is a schedule of plantation events through June 2015. All programs take place at the John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, Del. The property is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Times for special programs are indicated. Admission is free for all events listed. For additional information, call 302-739-3277.

John Dickinson Plantation special events through June 2015

Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel —that constitute the elementary building blocks of which all complicated machines are composed.

Wednesdays, Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2015
“Weaving Wednesdays.” Indoor, staff-led program in which visitors will learn how to weave a blanket or rag rug. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturdays, Jan. 10, Feb. 14, March 14, April 11, May 9 and June 13, 2015
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. 1–3 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015
“A World Apart.” African-American-history-based tours. Learn about Dinah and her family and their journey from enslavement to freedom. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015
“John Dickinson’s 207th Remembrance Day.” Program commemorating the death of John Dickinson explores 18th century mourning practices including a letter written in Dickinson’s memory by then President Thomas Jefferson. Wreath laying ceremony at Samuel Dickinson’s gravesite at Noon. Program 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015
“Stories of Runaway Slaves.” African-American-history-based tours. Learn about three runaway slaves and how they escaped from St. Jones Neck. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
“A World Apart.” African-American-history-based tours. Learn about Violet Brown and read her recollections. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 7, 2015
“A Woman’s World.” Explore cloth production and learn how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 14, 2015
“Pi(e) Day at the Plantation.” Celebrate Pi Day by exploring pie recipes from the 1700s and baking pies 18th-century-style. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 21, 2015
“A Woman’s World.” Experience the art of water coloring, view family drawings and paint your own watercolor creation while learning how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 28, 2015
“A Woman’s World.” Explore the art of paper quilling and learn how women lived on the estate of the “Penman of the Revolution.” 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Earth Day at the John Dickinson Plantation. Explore the natural beauty at the home of the “Penman of the Revolution,” enjoy tours of the colonial-revival garden and create a scented sachet. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Dover Days at the John Dickinson Plantation. Activities include tours, Colonial games and hearth cooking utilizing 18th-century recipes. Part of the Dover Days Festival. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Thursdays, June 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2015
“Thirsty on Thursdays.” Learn how to make cool 18th-century drinks including switchels, lemonade and tea. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.


Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-736-7413

Commissioner Schedules Workers’ Compensation Rate Hearing

Commissioner Schedules Workers’ Compensation Rate Hearing

Decreases in rates supported by independent actuaries

DOVER, DE – Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart announced today that the Department of Insurance has scheduled a public hearing for January 12 and 13, 2015, to receive public comment on proposed rate decreases for Workers’ Compensation insurance for the upcoming year.


Commissioner Stewart has received filings from Milliman, Inc. and INS Consultants, Inc., two independent actuaries engaged by the DOI, and by a third independent actuary, AIS Risk Consultants, working for Delaware’s Ratepayer Advocate. All agree that an overall reduction in both residual market rates and in voluntary market loss costs, as proposed by the Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau under Filing No. 1404, is in order. All documents are available on the DOI website at


Public hearings on the filings are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, January 12 and 13, at 9:30 a.m. in the Carvel State Office Building at 9th and French Streets in Wilmington. January 12 will be reserved for the receipt of oral comments from members of the public, and January 13 will be reserved for the introduction of evidence by the parties to the proceeding. If all parties agree, introduction of evidence by the parties may begin on the first day.


Public comment may be in writing or may be presented orally at the Hearing. Written comments must be received no later than Monday, January 5, 2015 by 4:30 p.m., and should be addressed to the attention of Nicole Holecek, Paralegal, Delaware Department of Insurance, 841 Silver Lake Boulevard, Dover, DE 19904. Also, those intending to provide oral comments at the hearing must notify Nicole Holecek at 302.674.7316 or, no later than 4:30 p.m., Monday, January 5, 2015.



For more info contact Jerry Grant at 302-674-7303

Delaware Ag Week marketing workshop grows to full day

DOVER  — Farmers and agricultural professionals attending Delaware Ag Week 2015 can now get even more business advice and expertise, as the Delaware Department of Agriculture is expanding its popular direct marketing workshop to a full day.

The Jan. 15 workshop will include presentations in the morning on website development, selling to grocers, roadside farmstand traffic safety, Delaware’s Buy Local initiative, and other topics. The afternoon will feature presentations and a Q&A forum on federal, state and private grant and loan programs that can make farming more profitable.

“An important part of our mission is to help farmers maintain profitability and expand into new markets,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. “These workshops will help teach some new business techniques and opportunities to farmers who are already growing the best farm-fresh products out there and want to make the right connections.”

The marketing workshop, normally held on Tuesday or Wednesday, was moved to Thursday to avoid conflicting with attendance at the Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association sessions. It will be held in the Department of Agriculture’s Education Building, near the Dover Building. Attendance is free, and registration is not required.

Delaware Ag Week is attended by more than 1,900 Delaware farmers, and includes sessions on topics including fruits and vegetables, poultry, grain crops, marketing, beef cattle and irrigation. It runs from Jan. 12-16 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington, and is sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University Cooperative Extension, and the Delaware Department of Agriculture. For a complete schedule and more information, visit

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Media contact:
Dan Shortridge
Chief of Community Relations
Delaware Department of Agriculture

Media notification: offender fails to return from weekend pass from work release center

Dover – The Delaware Department of Correction announces that an offender has failed to return from an authorized weekend pass issued by the Plummer Community Corrections Center in Wilmington. Ongoing attempts to make contact have been unsuccessful and at this time the offender’s whereabouts are unknown. An escape warrant for the offender’s arrest has been issued.

Community Corrections Centers are Level 4 facilities where the Department of Correction manages offenders who are transitioning back into the community. These centers are not secured like Level 5 prisons, as offenders are permitted to the leave the facility to go to work, seek jobs or attend approved treatment sessions.

Anyone with information on this offender is asked to call (800) 542-9524 or their local police department.

Offender name: James Thomas
Age: 27
Last known address: Wilmington, DE
Race/Gender: Black male
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 150 pounds
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown, with beard
Aliases/Nicknames: N/A
Scars/Marks/Tattoos: Scar on left knee, tattoos on left arm, and left and right forearms
Current Offense: Thomas is currently serving a sentence of level 4 work release or home confinement following a conviction for Reckless Endangering

James Thomas
James Thomas