MEDIA ADVISORY: DNREC, other state and local agencies to hold public meeting Dec. 20 in New Castle on accidental ethylene oxide release at Croda



WHAT:

Public meeting to discuss Croda’s Nov. 25 accidental ethylene oxide release, with the meeting organized by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and facilitated by the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA).

 



WHO:

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin;
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Rob Coupe;
DEMA Director A.J. Schall;
Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office;
Delaware Division of Public Health;
Delaware’s State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) members;
New Castle County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LERC);
New Castle County Department of Public Safety; and
Croda company officials.


 



WHEN:


6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20

 



WHERE:


McCullough Middle School, 20 Chase Avenue, New Castle DE 19720

 



CONTACT:


Joanna Wilson or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

 

Vol. 48, No. 335

 

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Division of Child Support Services Now Accepting Payments by Credit and Debit Cards

Delaware’s Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) began accepting payments by credit and debit cards through iPayOnline on Dec. 1, 2018. The iPayOnline service allows employers and individuals to schedule and make child support payments securely over the internet using their bank account, credit card or debit card.

Users will be able to schedule one-time or recurring payments, keep track of pending payments, as well as be able to view their payment history and print account records.

Division of Child Support Services Director Ted Mermigos

Payments made through iPay Online using a bank account are free. For service users choosing to make payments from a credit or debit card, there is a convenience fee of $3, plus 3 percent of the payment amount. During fiscal year 2018, the division collected $86 million in child support payments on 80,000 cases.

“We are pleased to continue offering additional ways for individuals and employers to make child support payments in Delaware,” said Ted Mermigos, Director of the Division of Child Support Services. “We hope to ease the burden of those paying child support by providing more options.”

For those looking to use the iPayOnline system to make payments, first time users will need to register online.

Those with questions about child support or questions related to iPayOnline can call and speak to a Child Support Specialist, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. In New Castle County, call (302) 577-7171; in Kent County, call (302) 739-8299; and in Sussex County, call (302) 867-5386.

DCSS’s Automated Assistance Line is also available 24/7 with information in both English and Spanish. Customers will need their case number when they call.

To learn more, visit DCSS’s website.




Four Delaware farm families honored for 100 years of farm ownership

MEDIA: Photographs from the event are available at Flickr. 

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Department of Agriculture honored four Delaware’s farm families for their continued commitment to farming the same land for a century or more. 

“Our Century Farms are extremely important and they help tell a story about the history of Delaware and about what agriculture means to this state,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “From the early 1600’s to today, during the transitions from one type of agriculture to another, and through the many challenges our producers have faced… they have been able to keep agriculture going and continue to be the number one industry in the state.”

The Delaware Century Farm Program was established in 1987 to honor farming families who have owned and farmed their land for at least 100 years. The farms must include at least 10 acres of the original parcel or gross more than $10,000 annually in agricultural sales. Including this year’s inductees, the program has honored 143 farms throughout Delaware.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year, as we recognize families who have persevered for at least 100 years in the farming profession. I think that is truly a remarkable accomplishment,” said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Austin Short. “Farming is hard enough year-to-year, much less for a hundred years through multiple generations. The fact that we have four families today who have achieved the Century Farm recognition – in some cases, more than a hundred years – is a terrific achievement.”

2018 Delaware Century Farm Awardees: 

Michael and Iris McCabe and Family (Millsboro, Sussex County): The McCabe family is recognized for their 100-acre family farm located in the Dagsboro Hundred west of Dagsboro.  

Garrison McCabe from Roxana purchased 100 acres in 1914 for $2,200. Mr. McCabe and his wife Martha had eight children – five sons and three daughters – and one of their sons, John F. McCabe, purchased the farm from his parents in 1918. The farm passed to John’s widow, Ella, in 1960. Upon Ella’s death in 1963, their son Clarence and his wife Anna inherited the farm. Clarence died in 1979 whereupon Anna owned the farm in entirety until her death in 2006 when the farm was purchased by their son Michael and his wife Iris, who still own the farm today. Their son Brandon, the great-great grandson of Garrison, and his family now live in the house that was built by John F. McCabe in 1920.

Over the last 100 years the McCabe farm has yielded wheat, corn, soybeans, and vegetables. Additionally, the farm produced poultry, swine, and cattle in the past. The McCabe family now farms over 1,200 acres in Sussex County.

Mark Mihalik and Family (Oak Haven Farm, Bridgeville, Sussex County): The Mihalik family if recognized for their 50-acre family farm located in Nanticoke Hundred east of Greenwood in Sussex County.  

Leroy and Bertha Webb of Greenwood purchased approximately 50 acres in April 1915 for $750. Mr. and Mrs. Webb had six children – three sons and three daughters – and one of their sons, Woodrow Webb and his wife Florence, purchased 48 acres of the farm from his parents in August 1960. Woodrow and Florence purchased the other two acres in December 1960 from Woodrow’s niece (she and her husband acquired the 2 acres earlier that year). Woodrow died in 1997 and Florence transferred 2 acres to Mark Mihalik (their grandson). Florence transferred an additional 5 acres to Mark in 2006 and the remaining acreage in 2017; therefore Mark now owns the entire original farm. 

Over the last 100 years the Mihalik-Webb farm has yielded corn, soybeans, vegetables, and timber. Mark and his family now live on the farm as well. 

Craig and Connie Mumford Truitt (Seaford, Sussex County): The 50-acre Truitt family farm is located in the Broad Creek Hundred, east of Seaford in Sussex County.  

Allison Henry Mumford purchased approximately 50 and 120 square perches on January 2, 1918 for $1,218.50. In May 1918, Mr. Mumford purchased an adjoining farm totaling 29 acres and 42 square perches for $877.88. Mr. Mumford and his wife Minnie had two children – Helen and Roland – and Roland and his wife Myrtle acquired the farm in 1947. Roland and Myrtle’s daughter, Connie Truitt, acquired Roland’s ½-interest in the farm upon his death in 1995 and her mother’s ½-interest in 2002. Connie and her husband Craig now own the farm as part of Mumford & Truitt Farms, LLC.

Over the last 100 years the farm has yielded corn, soybeans, wheat, cantaloupes, strawberries, sweet corn, and watermelons. The farm also produces broilers. In addition to the poultry houses, the buildings on the farm include a former livestock barn, pole shed, machinery shed, farm shop, old corn crib, and the house where Connie and Craig now live. Another interesting fact is that Connie’s father, Roland Mumford, operated a Massey Ferguson dealership on the farm from 1958 to 1963.

Thomas and Elizabeth Warren and Family (Georgetown, Sussex County): The fourth family to honor today with the Century Farm Award is the Warren family for their 112-acre family farm located in the Nanticoke Hundred west of Georgetown.  

In 1871, Hiram Isaacs acquires 122 acres and 23 square perches from his father’s (Minos Isaacs) estate for $704.55. Although it has not been verified, it is believed that Minos Isaacs acquired this farm in 1846 or perhaps earlier. Hiram and his wife Maria sold the farm in 1908 to his sister Sarah and her husband Elzey Wilson. In 1912, Elzey and Sarah sell the farm to their son Joshua Wilson and his wife Anna. Joshua died in 1957 and Anna in 1972, whereupon it transferred to their son Sudler Wilson. Following Sudler’s death in 1997, the farm was managed by his son Nelson as part of Sudler’s estate and subsequently 112 acres of the original farm was transferred to Nelson’s son, Thomas, in 2002. 

 Over the last 100 years the Warren farm has yielded wheat, corn, soybeans, and timber. Currently, Thomas and his wife Liz and their children live on the farm where their children raise sheep. Elzey and Joshua Wilson also operated a sawmill on the farm in the early 1900s. 

Delaware Century Farm families receive a sign for their farms, an engraved plate, and legislative tributes. According to Brandon McCabe, “We are going to be super-proud to put that sign out front. It shows the county and the area that we have been here for a hundred years and we are going to be here for years into the future. As long as it’s financially feasible, we are going to keep doing it.”

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Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, (302)698-4542, stacey.hofmann@state.de.us




2018 Education Preparation reports show programs’ progress

The Delaware Department of Education today released 2018 biennial reports on the state’s teacher and specialist educator preparation programs, part of a comprehensive effort to strengthen educator preparation programs in the First State.

 

The reports provide information ranging from the diversity of programs’ candidate classes to student performance outcomes of graduates, to employment placement and retention within the state. The reports show progress on some fronts, most notably that the state’s institutes of higher education are making some progress in attracting a more diverse class of future educators.

 

In 2018, across all educator preparation programs in Delaware, 1 in 4 candidates identified as an individual of color, compared to 1 in 5 two years ago. While about 56 percent of Delaware’s student population identifies as a race other than white, only 15 percent of the educator workforce does.

 

“Diversifying the teaching workforce is an important priority for the state as we strive to create an educator workforce that is more reflective of our student population,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said. “While we still have work to do, I commend the work our colleges and universities have undertaken to more successfully attract candidates of color to and retain them in their teacher preparation programs.”

 

The reports also show gains for specific programs.  Delaware State University has increased its program sizes across the board, for example. And University of Delaware’s Blended Early Childhood Program increased its overall score thanks to increases in student outcomes and the observation of teacher practices in PK-2 classrooms as well as supervisor perceptions of the program graduates’ level of preparedness.

 

The program reports garner programs continued approval to operate based on data.  Programs are classified into the following categories based on their performance – Renewed, Renewed With Conditions, or Probation.  Some particularly small programs are noted to be a Program Under Further Review due to extremely limited data. 

 

The reports provide prospective students considering educator preparation programs in Delaware a resource for learning about their options while the state’s districts and charter schools have additional information on the strengths of each program.

 

About half of Delaware’s novice educators are prepared by Delaware preparation programs; the reports are a part of the state’s overall strategy to strengthen such programs throughout the state. 

 

All available performance data is used to classify all programs, whether or not they generated a program report. Overall the 2018 results show 28 programs categorized as renewed, 9 programs renewed with conditions, and two programs on probation. Additionally, 14 programs are classified as a program under further review due to insufficient data. Programs that are renewed with conditions or placed on probation will be required to submit a plan of action for improvement to the Delaware Department of Education.  Programs under further review must demonstrate the workforce need the program is meeting and additional evidence of meeting program standards.   A state summary of all programs is also included in the release.

 

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

 




State of Delaware to Acquire Cooch’s Bridge Site, Continue Search for Remains of Revolutionary Soldiers Killed in Battle

COOCH’S BRIDGE – Hallowed grounds believed to be the final resting place of some two dozen American soldiers who perished in the only major battle of the Revolutionary War fought in Delaware will soon become property of the state’s historic preservation agency, according to an agreement announced Friday.

Gathered at the historic Cooch home just south of Newark, officials from the Department of State joined members of the Cooch family to announce plans for the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to acquire the home and surrounding property at the heart of the Cooch’s Bridge battlefield.

In addition to providing a new public resource for future generations of Delawareans to learn the story of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, the acquisition of the site will also allow for continued archaeological study of the property in an effort to locate the unmarked graves of the Americans who gave their lives there.

The agreement is the latest illustration of the Cooch family’s ongoing commitment to preserving the rich history of their lands, acquired by Thomas Cooch in 1746 and held in the family for nine generations since.

“Our father, Edward W. Cooch, Jr., would be very pleased with this announcement,” said Richard R. Cooch and Anne Cooch Doran. “He always said that he hoped that if the family house and battlefield, which he worked hard to preserve, ever left the Cooch family, that the property would be acquired by the State.”

“We as Delawareans are so fortunate to have such a variety of fascinating and beautiful historical sites up and down our state, and we should be proud of all the effort and cooperation that has allowed us to preserve another quintessential piece of our state’s history here at Cooch’s Bridge,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “I want to thank all the partners that came together to make this possible, with particular gratitude to Dick Cooch and Anne Cooch Doran for choosing to share this site with their fellow citizens.”

The acquisition includes the historic Cooch home, its adjacent outbuildings and 10 acres of surrounding property. The site will be purchased using $875,000 from the Delaware Open Space Council, plus $200,000 from the Crystal Trust and $25,000 from the Marmot Foundation (both independent, private philanthropic organizations based in Delaware.) Twenty percent of the sale proceeds will be donated by the Cooch family to the Cooch’s Bridge Historic District Fund administered by the Delaware Community Foundation. The fund, established by Edward W. Cooch, Jr., helps support maintenance and preservation efforts.

“The announcement of the permanent preservation of Delaware’s only Revolutionary War battlefield is another key example of the responsible stewardship for our shared history that we continue to practice here in our state,” said Tim Slavin, director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. “Next, we will begin to develop, with community input, a long-term vision for how these lands will be interpreted and made accessible to the public.”

The Cooch’s Bridge site also holds the potential to be among Delaware’s most sacred places. Written accounts from the 18th century cite the burial of approximately two dozen American soldiers on the Cooch farm after the battle.

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs launched an investigation into these accounts and, this summer, a team of archaeologists from Indiana University of Pennsylvania conducted on-site testing using ground-penetrating radar. Their initial findings have identified several areas which will now be investigated more thoroughly by archaeological excavation.

“The Cooch property is a remarkable tract with a remarkable story. The cultural history of the land encompasses not only resources that can be observed in the landscape, but also those items found below ground – the important and fragile archaeological record which provides information about the history of a place not found in texts or written documents,” said historical archaeologist Wade P. Catts. “Thanks to the Cooch family and their generations of stewardship, the Cooch’s Bridge battlefield is in excellent condition, retaining its context and integrity, and the story of the battle can be told to visitors.”