Governor Carney’s Statement on Senate Confirmation of Shawn Garvin

“Thank you to the members of the Delaware Senate for confirming Shawn Garvin to Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. We need to continue to protect Delaware from the threats of climate change, to work with our farmers to help them operate in more environmentally friendly ways, and to invest outside, in our beaches and our tourism economy. With important environmental issues to address in our state and his extensive background, I know he will be a strong leader.”

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The Delaware Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Shawn M. Garvin as the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control:

Shawn M. Garvin was confirmed to serve as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, leading the state department tasked with protecting and managing the state’s natural resources, protecting public health, providing outdoor recreational opportunities, and educating Delawareans about the environment.

Garvin was appointed in November 2009 by President Barack Obama to serve as Regional Administrator of Region III of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since that time, he has overseen the agency’s work in the region, which includes the states of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.

Garvin previously had been the Senior State and Congressional Liaison for the EPA’s Region III office. Earlier, he served as an aide to then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden and as Executive Assistant to former New Castle County Executive Dennis Greenhouse.


Governor Carney Lifting Level 1 Driving Warning in New Castle County

Drivers should continue to exercise caution on roadways

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney will lift the Level 1 Driving Warning in New Castle County effective at noon on Tuesday, March 14. The warning has been in effect since midnight. The Delaware National Guard will continue to provide assistance to state and local authorities responding to the winter storm, at the discretion of the Adjutant General.

Full text of the Governor’s order is available below.

Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) crews continue to plow and salt roadways in New Castle County. State officials are monitoring today’s forecast that is producing a wintry mix and wind gusts in New Castle County; and heavy rain and wind gusts in Kent and Sussex counties.

Motorists should continue to exercise caution when driving today, and be on the watch for hazards such as water on roads, icy patches and snow-covered roadways. With the high wind gusts, motorists should be alert and careful for fallen tree limbs and power lines and debris on the roads.

Click here for DelDOT’s full update on road conditions.

The Governor urges media and Delaware residents to continue monitoring social media for updates:
https://twitter.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://twitter.com/DelawareDOT
https://www.facebook.com/delawaredot/
https://twitter.com/DelawareEMA

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TERMINATION OF STATE OF EMERGENCY
FOR NEW CASTLE COUNTY

WHEREAS, on Monday, March 13, 2017 through Tuesday, March 14, 2017, New Castle County experienced a winter storm with snowfall, sleet, and gusting winds, resulting in decreased visibility and other road hazards that made driving dangerous.
WHEREAS, in light of the foregoing conditions, I declared a State of Emergency including a Level 1 Driving Warning on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. E.S.T.; and
WHEREAS, although cold temperatures and high winds remain, the winter storm that resulted in snow, sleet, and decreased visibility has passed; and
WHEREAS, through the significant efforts of the Delaware Department of Transportation and state and local emergency responders, travel on many Delaware roads is possible again, although not all roads may be passable and motorists should exercise extreme caution; and
WHEREAS, the foregoing emergency has been dealt with to the extent that conditions necessitating a State of Emergency no longer exist.

NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN C. CARNEY, do hereby declare that:

  1. My declaration of a State of Emergency for the State of Delaware dated Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 12:00 a.m. E.S.T. is hereby terminated as of Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. E.S.T.
  2. Pursuant to 20 DEL. C. § 3116(a)(11), the Delaware National Guard shall continue to provide necessary assistance to state and local authorities, at the discretion of the Adjutant General or her designee.

APPROVED this 14th day of March, 2017, at 12:00 p.m.


Governor Carney Closes State Offices in New Castle County

Level 1 Driving Warning remains in effect

WILMINGTON, Del. – With the winter storm continuing to impact Delaware, State of Delaware offices in New Castle County will be closed during regular business hours — 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Non-essential employees who live or work in New Castle County are not to report to work during this period. Essential employees are to report as scheduled.

Governor Carney’s Level 1 Driving Warning remains in effect in New Castle County. Under a Level 1 Driving Warning drivers are discouraged from operating a motor vehicle on the state’s roadways, unless there is a significant safety, health, or business reason to do so.

The Governor urges media and residents to monitor social media for continuous updates:
https://twitter.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://twitter.com/DelawareDOT
https://www.facebook.com/delawaredot/
https://twitter.com/DelawareEMA

Read the latest update on roadway conditions from DelDOT:

Delaware Department of Transportation crews have been working steadily to prepare the state’s roadways for removal of snow and ice. Snow began to fall overnight, and storm activity is expected to last until the late afternoon hours in New Castle County.
DelDOT’s maintenance forces will continue snow removal operations throughout the day. Motorists should continue to exercise extreme caution when driving today, and be on the watch for hazards such as icy patches and snow covered roadways. With the high wind gusts, motorists should be alert and careful for fallen tree limbs/power lines and debris on the roads.
Every effort will be made to keep the state’s roadways open and operating, the public may expect disruption and delays as the storm progresses.

Once primary roads are passable, DelDOT’s crews will move to the secondary roads. Crews may be forced to return to the primary roads even after operations have started on secondary roads, due to the changing of weather conditions.

DelDOT wants to stress the importance of staying off the roads, if possible, during major storms and slow down when you drive. There is a potential for snow squalls to develop, which could lead to hazardous driving conditions.

DelDOT Transportation Management Center (TMC)
DelDOT’s Transportation Management Center (TMC) and WTMC-1380 AM provides motorists real-time traffic conditions throughout the state.  Motorists can contact the TMC 24/7 to report any travel or traffic related issues at the following numbers:  Dial #77 from any cell phone; (302) 659-4600; or 1-800-324-8379.

DelDOT App
The DelDOT App is available for Apple & Android smart phones and tablets, and can be downloaded free, search for “DelDOT” at the Apple and Google Play stores. With the DelDOT App you can view real time traffic cameras, travel times, delays, advisories, DART’s Real-Time Transit Information, and also listen to WTMC 1380 AM.

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Governor Carney Announces Level 1 Driving Warning for Winter Storm in New Castle County

Driving warning begins at midnight, urges extra caution on roadways

WILMINGTON, Del. – With an impending winter storm expected to impact Delaware, Governor John Carney on Monday evening issued a Level 1 Driving Warning for New Castle County effective Tuesday, March 14 at 12:00 a.m., and authorized the Delaware National Guard to assist state and local officials with any necessary response and recovery for this severe winter storm effective Monday, March 13, 2017 at 9:00 p.m.

A Level One Driving Warning means that any person operating a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways must exercise extra caution. Driving is not banned, but nonessential employees (both public and private) are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.

Updated information from the National Weather Service indicates the following for Delaware:

New Castle County

  • A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from Monday, March 13 at 8:00 p.m. until Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 6:00 p.m..
  • Expect heavy snow and sleet, with snow accumulation 6-10 inches.
  • Snow is expected to start between 8:00 p.m. and 10 p.m. this evening, heavy at times after midnight. Snow will mix with sleet between 2:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., then change back to snow in Tuesday morning.
  • A Coastal Flood Advisory in effect Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Kent County

  • A Winter Storm Advisory is in effect from Monday, March 13, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. until Tuesday, March 14 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Expect snow and sleet, with snow accumulation 2-4 inches.
  • Snow is expected to start Monday evening between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., change to or mix with sleet and rain Tuesday morning, then back to snow.
  • A Coastal Flood Advisory in effect Tuesday from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Sussex County

  • A Coastal Flood Watch in effect Tuesday, March 14, 2017 from 7:00 AM until 3:00 p.m.
  • A High Wind Warning will be in effect Tuesday from 2:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

The Delaware Division of Public Health reminds residents to protect themselves and animals ahead of the winter storm.

The Governor urges media and residents to check social media for continuous updates:
https://twitter.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://www.facebook.com/JohnCarneyDE
https://twitter.com/DelawareDOT
https://twitter.com/DelawareEMA

 

 

Click here for a PDF of the Declaration of a Limited State of Emergency and Level 1 Driving Warning for New Castle County due to a Severe Winter Storm.


Governor Carney Takes Steps to Address Security Concerns at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center

Measures include new staffing at JTVCC, equipment, security teams

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Monday that he is taking important steps to address security risks for employees and inmates at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC), and across Delaware’s correctional system, following the February 1 hostage incident.

Initial steps include:

  • An investment of $340,800 in new security and communications equipment to better equip correctional officers to respond to and prevent violent incidents at JTVCC and in Level V facilities statewide. Governor Carney will propose another $1.2 million for equipment purchases in his Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal – which will be released March 23.
  • Increasing the presence of specialized security teams and the frequency with which they perform random security sweeps at JTVCC.
  • A proposal in Governor Carney’s recommended Fiscal Year 2018 budget plan to add 50 correctional officers at JTVCC – and an increase of 25 correctional officers at the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution – at a total cost of $2.3 million.
  • The relaunch of a consistent email address – AskDOC@delaware.gov – to improve communication between family members of inmates and Department of Correction personnel. Family members can send questions and concerns to that address, or reach DOC personnel at (302) 857-5470.

The Delaware State Police and the Delaware Department of Justice continue to lead a criminal investigation into the events of February 1 and February 2, including the death of Lieutenant Steven Floyd. The Delaware Department of Correction is also conducting an internal investigation.

Given the duration of the criminal investigation and his sense of urgency surrounding this issue, Governor Carney also announced Monday that the Independent Review – led by Justice Henry duPont Ridgely and Judge William L. Chapman Jr. – will commence this week. The reviewers have contracted with the Police Foundation to assist in the review, and they will coordinate with the Delaware State Police and the Delaware Department of Justice to ensure they do not compromise any aspect of the criminal investigation.

“Once Justice Ridgely and Judge Chapman complete their review, I will take their recommendations seriously and take appropriate action to address safety and security risks at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center,” said Governor Carney. “In the meantime, however, it’s our responsibility to do whatever is in our power to make the environment at Vaughn safer for correctional officers and inmates. Prisons are inherently dangerous places. But everyone inside that prison, and their loved ones, deserves to know that their government takes their safety seriously, and that we’re doing what we can right now to right the ship at Vaughn.”

“Maintaining the security of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and all of Delaware’s correctional facilities remains our number one priority,” said Perry Phelps, Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction. “The short-term investments in state-of-the art equipment will help our officers identify and respond to security threats, and longer-term investments in staffing, recruitment and officer training will go a long way to helping ensure public safety, and the safety and security of employees and inmates at all of our facilities.”

“I appreciate the governor taking these first steps toward addressing the issues facing our correctional system,” said Representative James “J.J.” Johnson, who chairs the House Corrections Committee. “While today’s announcement represents a positive step, we also must commit to looking at the whole issue and take action to rectify it. We cannot go halfway, and we cannot look at only one aspect. I look forward to hearing more in the coming weeks and months ahead as the independent review takes place.”

“I’m pleased to hear the Administration is taking important steps to beef up security in our prisons prior to the conclusion of the Vaughn investigation,” said Senator Bruce Ennis, who chairs the Senate Corrections & Public Safety Committee. “We must move swiftly to give our correctional officers the tools and resources necessary to keep our prisons safe while we consider broader staffing solutions and other recommendations that may come out of the independent investigation.”

“The severity of the situation in our correctional system requires swift action, not only to produce results in safety within the confines of our prisons, but also to restore the confidence of our correctional employees,” said Representative Deborah Hudson, the House Minority Whip. “I am hopeful that these measures will send an important message that we support their work. I also commend the Governor for working quickly to address these problems that are years long. The tragedy at the Vaughn Correctional Center happened after only weeks of the Governor taking office, and, already, he is showing his commitment to making immediate, as well as systemic, changes within our correctional system.”

The following is a fuller description of the measures the Governor is taking:

Equipment
The Governor has authorized the Department of Correction to work with the Office of Management and Budget to purchase new communications equipment to enable more effective coordination of officer response to incidents; equipment that will allow officers to conduct safer, more effective searches; and new protective gear for correctional officers.

Security Teams
The Department of Correction has increased the presence of specialized security teams and the frequency with which they perform random security sweeps at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. Where warranted, those identified as security threats are being relocated to higher-security housing units.

Officer Retention, Pay & Staffing
The Department of Correction and the Office of Management and Budget are working expeditiously to review and address recruitment and retention of quality correctional officers. This review includes an examination of hiring strategies and potential adjustments to the entry salary for correctional officers through collective bargaining starting in the spring.

Governor Carney will include an increase of 50 correctional officers at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and a further increase of 25 correctional officers at the Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in his recommended budget for FY 2018. In addition, Governor Carney will recommend providing additional funding for correctional officer training, as well as funding to broaden recruitment efforts and advertising, to ensure correctional officer positions are filled as quickly as possible.

Communication
Family members of inmates may send questions and concerns to an email address – AskDOC@delaware.gov – that will be monitored by Department of Correction personnel. They also may contact the Department of Correction at (302) 857-5470. Department of Correction staff also now have access to a new, internal email to communicate concerns and ideas with agency leadership.

Correctional Officer Well-Being
The Department of Correction has worked with behavioral health volunteers from the Delaware Medical Reserve Corps and the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) Mobile Crisis Team in order to provide behavioral health support teams to correctional officers statewide. The Department has partnered with churches, police agencies, and other organizations to provide free services to DOC staff and their immediate family members since the February 1 incident. Additionally, the Department has worked with members of the Delaware Psychological Association to provide free short-term crisis counseling for DOC and provider staff affected by the incident.

Behavioral health resource guides have been distributed to DOC staff members who wish to find a provider in their community. DOC staff who sought faith-based support were provided contact information for the “Clergy Group” through the Salvation Army. Facility staff has been provided behavioral health support through partnerships with the K9 First Responder Therapy Dogs and Delaware’s Paws for People. During the incident, DOC worked with DSAMH’s Mobile Crisis, K9 First Responder Therapy Dogs, and the State’s Employee Assistance Program to provide behavioral health services within correctional facilities and directly to staff.

 

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