DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Jan. 21-27

Reminder for the week: Conservation Order allows snow goose harvest

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Jan. 21-27 made 1,209 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 56 citations. Officers responded to 42 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. An increased Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police in the Community

  • On Jan. 22, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers joined other first responders at Lake Forest Central Elementary School near Felton at the invitation of the school’s Kindness Club to greet students as they arrived at school.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

  • On Jan. 22, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Angelo J. Rispoli Sr., 51, of New Castle, for one count each of conspiracy third degree, failure to have hunting license in possession, failure to attach deer tag to an antlerless deer, failure to retain tag on an antlerless deer, failure to check an antlerless deer within 24 hours, and unlawful removal of antlerless deer parts prior to checking; two counts of possess or transport an antlerless deer that was unlawfully killed; and four counts each of hunt on a state game refuge and possess or transport an antlered deer that was unlawfully killed near Wilmington. Rispoli was video arraigned at Sussex County Justice of the Peace Court 2 and released on unsecured bond pending a future court appearance.
  • On Jan. 21, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested an individual for multiple deer poaching violations near Millville, issuing the following press release regarding the incident: DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrest Frankford man for deer poaching

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Failure to have hunting license in possession (1), license forgery or misrepresentation (1), unlawful possession of a game animal (white-tailed deer) (1), hunt deer during closed season (1), hunt deer at nighttime (1), possess or transport an antlered deer that was unlawfully killed (4), possess or transport an antlerless deer that was unlawfully killed (3), failure to attach deer tag to an antlerless deer (3), failure to retain tag on an antlerless deer (1), failure to check an antlerless deer within 24 hours (3), unlawful removal of antlerless deer parts prior to checking (2), hunting migratory waterfowl without required state waterfowl stamp (1), impede lawful hunting (1), and hunt on a state game refuge (4).

Boating and Boating Safety: Allow the use of a non-compliant vessel (1) and personal watercraft (PWC) rental without written acknowledgment of PWC educational materials (1).

Public Safety: Unlawfully loaded firearm in/on a motor vehicle (3), intimidation of a witness (1), failure to stop at the command of a police officer (1), failure to stop at a stop sign (4), driving a vehicle at unreasonable speed (1), operating off highway vehicle (OHV) on the roadway (1), failure to signal turn (1), and driving while suspended or revoked (1).

Other: Damage state property (2), trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (4)*, operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (3), trespass on division lands (1), littering/dumping on a state wildlife area (1), no Conservation Access Pass (1), conspiracy third degree (1), and no proof of vehicle registration (1).

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters, and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. Citizens are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters that the 2019 Snow Goose Conservation Order to harvest snow geese will be open Monday, Feb. 4 through Friday, Feb. 8, closing for the youth waterfowl hunting day on Saturday, Feb. 9, and reopening Monday, Feb. 11 through Friday, April 12, excluding Sundays.

The Snow Goose Conservation Order allows use of unplugged shotguns and electronic calls, with no daily bag and possession limits. Legal shooting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset. Federal and state hunting regulations otherwise apply.

To participate in the Conservation Order, hunters must obtain and keep in their possession while hunting snow geese a free Snow Goose Conservation Order permit number, available at https://egov.delaware.gov/htr. Individuals needing assistance in obtaining the permit number should call 302-735-3600 during business hours Monday through Friday.

Conservation Order participants are also required to have a valid Delaware hunting license or license-exempt number (LEN) or a Maryland resident hunting license (unless exempt in Maryland), a 2018/2019 Delaware waterfowl stamp (unless exempt), and a Delaware Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. A federal waterfowl stamp is not required.

The LEN and HIP number are available, and participants in the Conservation Order are required to report their hunting activity and success to the Division of Fish & Wildlife by Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at the website above or by calling 855-DELHUNT (855-335-4868).

For more information on the Snow Goose Conservation Order, please call 302-739-9912 or visit https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fish-wildlife/.

For more information on the 2018/2019 hunting seasons, click on 2018-2019 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide. Newly updated wildlife area maps with area-specific regulations are available online at Wildlife Area Maps.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Lt. John McDerby, 302-354-1386, or Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913


Ellendale Man Sentenced for 2017 Murder

Fatal shooting sends Wilmington man to prison; two others plead guilty to raping minors in two separate cases

An Ellendale man received a 35-year-prison sentence for murdering another man. Deputy Attorneys General Susan Schmidhauser and Stephen Welch secured the sentence for 36-year-old Don Martinez. In July 2017, Martinez fatally shot Kevin King in the parking lot of the Silver Lake Estates housing complex in Milford during an argument. In December 2018, Martinez pled guilty to Murder Second Degree, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. A Superior Court judge sentenced Martinez, barred from having a gun because of previous felony convictions on Burglary, Aggravated Menacing, and Conspiracy charges, to 35 years in prison, followed by 6 months of either home confinement or work release, then 2 years of probation. Milford Police Department investigated the case, with DOJ social worker Ester Powell and paralegal Sue Balik assisting with the prosecution.

Deputy Attorneys General Matthew Frawley and Jamie McCloskey secured a prison sentence for a 20-year-old Wilmington man who shot and killed another man on a Wilmington street. In January 2017, Antonio Russell fatally shot 21-year-old Jamiere Harris of Newark after Harris approached and threatened Russell over a drug debt. The incident occurred as the two argued about money just after midnight near the intersection of Seventh and Market Streets. In August 2018, Russell pled guilty to Manslaughter, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, and Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited. A Superior Court judge sentenced Russell to 15 years in prison, followed by 6 months of either home confinement or work release, then 18 months of probation. At the time, Russell was on juvenile probation for a 2016 drug dealing adjudication that prohibited him from having a gun.

A 62-year-old man is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to raping a teenager. Deputy Attorney General Kathleen Dickerson secured the plea to two counts of Rape Fourth Degree from Robert Halama of Camden. In September 2018, police stopped to check a car pulled over to the side of the road on Rabbit Chase Lane in Smyrna. As officers approached, they found Halama in the back of the car with a minor, and learned that sexual activity had just taken place. The victim told police that other encounters with Halama had taken place over the previous 2 months. A Superior Court judge will sentence Halama in March; there is no minimum prison time but the crimes carry as much as 30 years in prison. Detective Bill Davis of the Smyrna Police Department assisted on the case, along with DOJ social worker Lorraine Freese and administrative assistant Penny Mannering.

A Felton man will register as a Tier 3 sex offender and spend time in prison after his plea and sentencing on rape charges. Hector Hernandez-Vargas, 39, pled guilty in Superior Court to Rape 3rd Degree and Sex Abuse of a Child by a Person in a Position of Trust. Police arrested Hernandez-Vargas in May 2018 when authorities learned that he repeatedly raped a child in his care for a year beginning in 2013. In addition to having Hernandez-Vargas register as a sex offender, a judge immediately sentenced him to 8 years in prison, followed by 2 years of probation. Deputy Attorney General Alicia Porter prosecuted the case with assistance from social worker Lorraine Freese.


DNREC announces revised sediment and stormwater regulations for Delaware will go into effect Feb. 11

The logo for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ControlDOVER – Revised Delaware sediment and stormwater regulations from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will become effective Feb. 11, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced today. The regulations were developed with diverse public participation through a Regulatory Advisory Committee (RAC), Secretary Garvin said, with RAC members forging a consensus on a range of regulatory issues.

The revised sediment and stormwater regulations announced today correct a previous procedural flaw in the prior adoption of regulations by DNREC, as initially determined by the Delaware Superior Court, and later upheld by the State Supreme Court. Revisions to the regulations that go into effect this month included incorporating parts of the former DNREC Technical Document guidance into the actual regulations, consistent with the judicial opinions.

The revisions also address legislative changes with regard to the runoff from the most frequent rainfall event; stormwater volume control; stormwater management for redevelopment; and plan approvals for construction of residential, utility and poultry house projects.

In addition to addressing legislative actions, the revised regulations include simplified criteria for the approval of smaller, less impactful projects. The revised regulations include standards and specifications for each of 17 post-construction stormwater management best management practices (BMPs), and expand the section in the regulations on stormwater offsets to include details regarding fees-in-lieu, banking and stormwater management offset districts.

The revised stormwater and sediment regulations can be found at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/swc/Pages/SedimentStormwater.aspx

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 21

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Delaware continues focus on trauma-informed practices

This story is featured in the Delaware Department of Education’s January Take Note eNewsletter. For more information on the great things happening in schools across Delaware, sign up to receive Take Note: Education in the First State at http://www.doe.k12.de.us/takenote.

School psychologist Ryan Palmer believes that shifting our mindsets to better serve students and communities who have experienced trauma is difficult.

“It is also invigorating and enlightening, and I cannot recommend it enough,” Palmer said.

Palmer, who works at Caesar Rodney School District’s Kent County Intensive Learning Center (ILC) and Simpson (W.B.) Elementary School, recently attended one of the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) training sessions on childhood trauma. He recognizes that mental health awareness is on the rise in Delaware – especially its effects on public education – and is encouraged by this new focus.

“Through understanding the underlying trauma that roots itself in our communities, we not only better understand how to intervene and support our students, but we can start learning how to recognize the systemic, cyclical impact of trauma on the families we work with and the communities we serve,” Palmer said.

Agencies and organizations throughout the country have been looking deeper at the effects of childhood trauma and toxic stress and how it continues to impact so many facets of our lives – from social relationships and problem-solving to mental health, education, community safety and more.

Over the past three years, more than 7,000 Delaware educators have participated in professional development opportunities around trauma, including book studies, workshops, strategic planning and the multi-district Compassionate Schools Teacher Test Lab. So far this year, more than 400 educators have engaged in free DDOE training to better understanding why adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are so threatening and how they rewire the brain.

“By recognizing ACEs and the effect of childhood trauma on behavior, we can help lessen the impact of trauma that exists for many of our students,” said Secretary of Education Susan Bunting. “Our focus is also on making sure that the systems in place in our classrooms and schools do not create additional trauma but instead help build resilience in children, families and communities.”

Researchers have concluded that ACEs can contribute to significant learning and health issues for children and adults. Examples of ACEs include experiencing or witnessing abuse, divorce, substance abuse, incarceration, violence, or the death of a loved one.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) links ACEs to risky health behaviors, chronic health conditions, low life potential and early death. The CDC also states that as the number of ACEs increases, so do the risks for these damaging outcomes.

“All behavior is a form of communication,” said Dorrell Green, Director of Delaware’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. “By arming educators with a better understanding of how to support students as they exhibit negative behaviors, students have more opportunities to focus on succeeding in the classroom.”

The use of trauma-informed practices in Delaware classrooms is an idea repeatedly promoted by Delaware’s Compassionate Schools Learning Collaborative and subsequently the state’s Compassionate Connections Partnership (CCP), of which the department is a member. CCP is a multi-year project focused on addressing childhood trauma in Wilmington city schools.

Delaware’s Project LAUNCH and Delaware READ, formerly the Moving the Needle Project, are also providing training on trauma-informed practices to early learning professionals in high-risk and disadvantaged communities, starting in Wilmington. These collaborative projects have brought trainings to community centers, out-of-school networks, and other youth-serving agencies and leaders.

In October, Governor John Carney signed Executive Order No. 24 to make Delaware a trauma-informed state. This order provides direction for the Family Services Cabinet Council to help mitigate the impact of ACEs and build resilience in children, adults and communities. It also directs state agencies that provide services for children and adults to integrate trauma-informed best practices.

DDOE’s most-recent trauma-informed training helps attendees understand, recognize and respond to the effects of all types of trauma. It teaches trauma-informed practices, which provide educators a set of strategies that help trauma survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

Because educators often experience secondary stress when dealing with students impacted by trauma, Delaware’s trauma-informed practices training additionally includes a focus on self-care strategies. Educators also receive coaching and support on how to implement trauma-sensitive strategies throughout their schools.

“Since trauma and toxic stress tend to occur in relationships, they must be healed in relationships. Many of our strategies to build resilience focus on creating safe and supportive school environments where there are strong relationships, high levels of selfregulation, and opportunities to practice responsibility through rigorous problem-solving and restorative practices,” said Teri Lawler, former school psychologist and DDOE’s education associate for trauma-informed practices and social and emotional learning.

DDOE is the first state agency to invest in a position focused on building robust systems, policies, and practices to mitigate trauma. Lawler works in the department’s Office of Innovation and Improvement.

DDOE’s December and January trainings were highly rated by those in attendance. Based on the book “Fostering Resilient Learners” by Pete Hall and Kristin Souers, the training allowed attendees to deepen their understanding of key vocabulary and research around childhood trauma and the effect of toxic stress on brain development.

“We believe quite strongly that every teacher, every educator – indeed, everyone who works or is around kids in any capacity – has a strong foundation in trauma-invested practices,” Hall said. “This isn’t magic, though it’s magical. We advocate bringing the art of being HUMAN back to education.”

District and school personnel are invited to register for another opportunity to benefit from a free one-day training session on childhood trauma on Friday, Feb. 22 or Saturday, Feb. 23 at Wilmington University’s Doberstein Admissions Center. Register for PDMS course #27808, section #50254 (Feb. 22) or section #50255 (Feb. 23).

Media Contact:  Alison May, alison.may@doe.k12.de.us, 302-735-4006