Delaware and the World Observe World AIDS Day Dec. 1

Delaware’s Division of Public Health – For Immediate Release

Reporters’ contact: 302-744-4704

One Of The Most Destructive Pandemics In History Is Still A Fight In Progress

Despite progress, HIV/AIDS remains one of the most frightening yet preventable diseases of our time, killing over 25 million people worldwide from 1981 to 2007 and identifying itself as one of the most destructive pandemics in history. Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) asks all Delawareans to unite in the fight against this disease and, as part of the world community, observe the 24th annual World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

“World AIDS Day marks an opportunity to educate Delawareans on preventing this devastating disease and the community resources available to help,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “With partners in our communities, we will continue to work every day to prevent more Delawareans from being infected with HIV/AIDS, and to treat those with the disease with the utmost care and compassion.”

Delaware has more than 3,600 people battling this disease—two-thirds who are African Americans. Long-term and steady efforts by DPH and its partners continue to educate, treat and prevent HIV/AIDS. However, new cases among young homosexual and bisexual men ages 15-29 are rising, from 15 cases in 2001 to 31 in 2010.

“Now more than ever it is important that people get tested if they are at risk of being infected,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, DPH director. “This is because people who test positive can be treated and treatment is prevention. The drugs that are available today often reduce the levels of virus in the blood to such low levels that they are unlikely to infect others.”

For those coping with HIV/AIDS, there is hope. New studies are encouraging, showing that proper treatment of HIV/AIDS can not only extend the healthy life of those with HIV, but can also greatly decrease the chances of transmission. If you have HIV and are not getting treatment, please call the Delaware HIV Consortium at 302-654-5471. There is no waiting list for treatment in Delaware! Go to to find a testing center near you and a counselor that can help you figure out which safer practices are best for you.

World Aids Day events scheduled statewide include:

Dec. 1
7 p.m.
AIDS Delaware Opera Delaware
4 South Poplar St.
Wilmington, DE 19801
Sponsoring a cabaret that celebrates life through music. Contact: Michelle (302) 652-6776
Dec. 1
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  
Beautiful Gate Outreach Center 604 N. Walnut St.
Wilmington, DE 19801


“A Healthier Community Starts With You – Get Tested!” Free, rapid HIV antibody testing with same day results from

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Valid photo ID required. Free blood pressure and glucose screening also offered. Assistance to access medical care and other supportive services also available to those living with HIV.

Contact: Suzanne Tait (302) 472-3002

Website at: / Email:

Dec. 1
5 – 8 p.m.
Latin American Community Center Waterfall Banquet and Conference Center 3416 Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, DE 19703
“Entre Nos…Religion, Sexual Morality and HIV” Speaker will address how religious beliefs and relationship dynamics can influence HIV infection. Personal testimony will be made by an individual affected and infected with HIV/AIDS.

Contact: Marco Ramos (302) 655-7338 ext. 7721

Dec. 1
6 p.m.  
Kent/Sussex Counseling Services John Wesley Church
217 W. Division St.
Dover, DE 19904
Guest speaker, reading of the names of those who have passed, and music soloist. Refreshments served after the event. Contact: Constance Johnson (302) 382-7284


Dec. 1
4:30 p.m.
CAMP Rehoboth 37 Baltimore Ave.
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
“Service of Remembrance and Hope” Begins at Camp Rehoboth with a reception for the World AIDS Day Art Exhibit. Afterward, there will be a gathering for a candlelight walk leading to All Saint’s Church on Olive Avenue for a remembrance service and light supper at 7:45 p.m.

Contact: (302) 227-5620

Dec. 1
12 p.m. – 6 p.m.  
La Red Health Center The Circle
Georgetown, DE 19947
Information on HIV/STDs  At 5-5:30 p.m. there will be a moment of remembrance along with lighting of the candles and reading of the names of those who have passed. Light refreshments.

Contact: Angel Rivera (302) 236-0514

Dec. 1
6 p.m.  
Kent/Sussex Counseling Services Grace Tabernacle of Deliverance Church
136 Brooklyn Ave.
Laurel, DE 19956
Candlelight vigil including a guest speaker, praise team performance, and reading of the names of those who have passed. Refreshments served after the event. Contact: Haley Truitt (302) 387-5495



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

Another Banner Year for Delaware Farmers’ Markets

News from the Delaware Department of Agriculture

Contact: Anne Fitzgerald – Phone: 302.698.4520 (Office) 302.242.4092 (Cell)

2011 sales top $1.8 million

For the 2011 Delaware Farmers’ Market Season, sixteen Delaware farmers’ markets grossed more than $1.8 million in sales (more than a $400 thousand increase over 2010). As in past years, the season began in April and ended in October. 2011 is the sixth straight year of Delaware Farmers’ Markets increasing sales to consumers.

“Farmers’ markets bring us local fresh fruit and vegetables, support our farmers and contribute to our local economy” said Governor Jack Markell. “Thanks to all the consumers who made this a banner year for our local farmers’ markets. My wife, Carla, and my family have enjoyed many Delaware farm products this year and we look forward to enjoying next season’s harvest.”

“Congratulations to all of our farmers’ markets, our farmers, and other vendors for an outstanding season,” said Ed Kee, Delaware Secretary of Agriculture. “The success of these markets is a reflection of the quality of Delaware’s agricultural products and the hard work of Delaware farmers that are second to none. Our farmers’ markets provide consumers with a direct connection to those who produce the food that they put on their table. The concept of “knowing where your food comes from” continues to grow in popularity and drives people to farmers markets and grocery chains that carry local agricultural products.”

Of the $1.8 million in sales:

  • Produce (vegetables and fruits) – 57 %
  • Value-added products, eggs, meats, honey, breads/pastries, and miscellaneous items – 43%

The resort area markets continued to lead in sales. Newcomer markets, Milton Farmers’ Market, Sea Colony Farmers’ Market, Cool Spring Farmers’ Market, launched successful first seasons.

2011 Farmers’ Markets

New Castle County

  • Cool Spring Farmers Market (a Bright Spot Venture), Wilmington, DE
  • Carousel Park Farmers Market, Wilmington, DE
  • Co-Op Farmers Market, Newark, DE
  • Little Italy Farmers Market , Wilmington, DE
  • Wilmington Farmers Market

Kent County

  • Delaware State University Farmers Market, Dover, DE
  • Harrington Farmers Market, Harrington, DE

Sussex County

  • Bethany Beach Farmers Market, Bethany Beach, DE
  • Fenwick Island Farmers Market , Fenwick Island, DE
  • Georgetown Farmers Market, Georgetown, DE
  • Good Earth Farmers Market , Clarksville, DE
  • Historic Lewes Farmers Market, Lewes, DE
  • Milford Farmers Market, Milford, DE
  • Milton Farmers Market, Milton, DE
  • Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market
  • The Farmers Market at Sea Colony
  • Western Sussex Farmers Market

Community interest in farmers’ markets continues to grow. Stay tuned to see an expanded list of 2012 farmers’ markets that will be placed on the DDA website and available via the Delaware Fresh App ( in early spring. Farmers and others that are interested in becoming a vendor at any of the state’s farmers’ markets in 2012 may contact David Smith at (302) 698-4522, or by e-mail at, or log on to and click on farmers’ markets for a current list of markets and market masters for direct market contact.

Note: The Delaware Fresh App was launched this year to help promote farmers markets, on-the-farm markets, Delaware Christmas trees, holiday items and much more. During the holiday season us the App to find a Christmas tree farm near you, holiday decorations, fresh local turkeys, pies, etc. See

State Issues Permit to Transform NRG Dover Energy Center


Contact: Carol Riggs, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Project will reduce air emissions by more than 90 percent and create up to 75 jobs

DOVER (Nov. 22, 2011) – Governor Jack Markell and DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara announced that an air quality construction permit has been issued to NRG Energy Center Dover for a project that will transform its current coal-fueled facility in Kent County into one of the nation’s cleanest power plants.

The Governor and Secretary O’Mara met with NRG Thermal President Michael Carroll at the facility today to tour the plant and see the numerous planned improvements. The Governor also announced that NRG will receive a $500,000 grant from the Delaware Energy Efficiency Investment Fund, its first, which was established last year by the Delaware General Assembly (HB 129). The program helps local businesses making strategic capital equipment investments that reduce operating costs and support job creation, while reducing energy consumption and improving environmental performance. The project will create up to 75 construction jobs over the course of a year.

“This project represents another significant milestone for Delaware, as we transition to a cleaner energy economy,” said Governor Markell. “NRG’s investments in Kent County will create local jobs, reduce energy consumption and improve air quality for citizens. The state’s energy efficiency grant supports NRG’s investment in technology that powers a cleaner future for the company and the community.”

According to Lee Davis, President of NRG’s Northeast Region, “We welcome this grant as we move forward to repower the plant, helping fulfill NRG’s commitment to operate our generation assets as cleanly and efficiently as possible. The project will also create a significant number of construction jobs over one year, and when complete, the facility will generate enough electricity to power more than 50,000 average Delaware households.”

“NRG’s investment in this initiative is a testament to the company’s commitment to a sustainable future” said Alan Levin, director of the Delaware Economic Development Office. “It is also an example of what can be accomplished with public-private partnerships. Together, we will ensure a cleaner, safer and more economically secure state for our citizens.”

NRG Energy, through its wholly owned subsidiary, NRG Thermal LLC, owns and operates the NRG Energy Center Dover LLC. The facility was built in 1984, commissioned in 1985 and currently consists of a 190,000 pound per hour coal-fueled steam boiler, two existing 45 MW simple cycle combustion turbines, and an 18MW electrical steam turbine generator that produces electrical power and heat, or steam production, as a combined heat and power cogeneration unit. Electric power is sold to PJM, part of the Eastern interconnection grid operating an electric transmission system serving Delaware and other states. The steam is sold to Kraft Foods and Procter and Gamble for their process needs.

Under the permit, NRG Energy will retire its existing coal-fueled steam boiler, while continuing to serve its steam and electric customers. The company will install a natural gas low nitrogen oxide (NOx)-fired boiler and will convert one of two existing combustion turbines to a combined cycle operation that includes installing a heat recovery steam generator, replacing an existing stack, and adding emissions control equipment to reduce emissions of NOx, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Fuel efficiency of the natural gas fired cogeneration facility is expected to improve by 30 percent per unit of energy delivered.

The project aligns with the state’s public health, environment, and energy goals of reducing air emissions and providing clean, reliable and cost-effective power from existing sources as the state transitions toward cleaner sources of energy, including combined cycle natural gas and renewable energy.

DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara noted that NRG Energy’s transition from coal to natural gas will significantly reduce or eliminate releases of NOx, sulfur dioxide (SO2), mercury, acid gasses, and other chemicals related to the combustion of coal. In 2010 NRG Energy Center Dover was the sixth highest ranked facility on Delaware’s Air Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report. The project will virtually eliminate all hydrochloric acid emissions, substantially reduce harmful emissions, and drop NRG Energy Center Dover from the TRI report entirely, once the natural gas fired cogeneration facility is operational.

“This project will transform the state’s last legacy coal-burning unit into one of the cleanest heat and power generators in the country,” said Secretary O’Mara. “NRG deserves recognition for taking this bold action to move towards a high efficiency natural gas facility, cutting down on their emissions and contributing to the goal of improving air quality in Delaware.”

Following NRG’s investment at the Dover Energy Center and the shut down of Indian River Unit 3 at the Indian River Power Plant in 2013, the only remaining coal unit in Delaware will be Indian River Unit 4. NRG is currently investing $360 million in emissions control upgrades that will make the plant among the cleanest existing coal-fired units in the nation.

Using cleaner-burning natural gas at the Dover plant will result in significant emissions reductions, including SO2, NOx, particulate matter, mercury and other air pollutants. The project will prevent more than 4 million pounds of SO2, 800,000 pounds of NOx and 120,000 pounds of particulate matter from being emitted into the air annually. This results in reductions of 99 percent of SO2 and 92 percent of NOx emissions – two air pollutants that can cause serious respiratory conditions – and more than 65 percent of the smokestack particulate emissions. In addition, 117,000 pounds of hydrochloric and sulfuric acid, 14 million pounds of fly ash and bottom ash, and virtually all mercury and lead emissions produced from coal combustion will be eliminated.

Delaware Celebrates 100 Years of Fish & Wildlife Conservation

Governor Markell, Sen. Coons join DNREC Fish and Wildlife, partners to celebrate 100 years of fish and wildlife conservation in Delaware

Photos available for media use on Flickr

Fish and Wildlife LogoWILMINGTON (Nov. 21, 2011) – Governor Jack Markell and U.S. Senator Chris Coons today joined DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, the staff of the Division of Fish and Wildlife and a host of conservation partners and supporters to officially celebrate the 100th anniversary of fish and wildlife conservation in Delaware with a special ceremony at the Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington.

Governor Markell Celebrating 100 Years of Conservation“Over the past century, fish and wildlife conservation has improved our quality of life, provided a wide range of recreational opportunities and contributed to our economy,” said Governor Markell. “Our state parks and other natural resources help draw thousands of visitors every year who support local jobs and businesses. Delaware has also become an ecotourism destination, with visitors from all over the world coming for the spring spectacle of spawning horseshoe crabs and the thousands of migratory shorebirds.”

Governor Markell also presented a tribute in honor of the past century’s conservation achievements, which began in October 1911, when one of his gubernatorial predecessors appointed the state’s first Board of Game and Fish Commissioners.

Among the accomplishments of the Commission and later, the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife cited today:

  • Restoration of many species of fish and wildlife including deer, turkey, bald eagle, striped bass and summer flounder populations;
  • Acquisition of thousands of acres of land and waterways for habitat conservation, management, restoration and public use;
  • Habitat management and restoration on thousands of acres of private lands and waterways;
  • Statewide quality outdoor recreation and access for resident and visiting anglers, hunters, nature enthusiasts and the general public;
  • Environmentally compatible mosquito control;
  • A modern and professional enforcement section that protects our resources and improves boating safety.

Senator Coons Celebrating 100 Years“For the past 100 years, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has protected a wealth of natural resources in our great state,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “Delaware’s natural resources support countless recreational activities that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, which helps support local businesses and our regional economy. I congratulate the Division of Fish and Wildlife for 100 years of building a true conservation success story.”

Delaware’s future conservation priorities will include restoring populations of bobwhite quail, shorebirds, weakfish, sturgeon, oysters and other species; managing large populations of deer and geese; controlling invasive species; conserving and expanding biological diversity and habitats; improving and increasing outdoor recreational opportunities; and preparing for the challenges of climate change and sea level rise.

Delaware Hunting Trapping Guidecover“As we move ahead, the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife expects to continue its mission, using sound science to guide policies that protect and enhance our fish, wildlife and natural habitat,” said Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis. “We will continue to educate and engage the public on the benefits of conservation and outdoor recreation, and to promote understanding that healthy fish and wildlife populations and habitats – and the diverse recreational and commercial opportunities they provide – are a vital part of Delaware’s economy and identity.”

Looking forward, Secretary O’Mara spoke of building on partnerships and of incorporating the best of science and technology into developing new, innovative conservation approaches. As an exciting example, he offered a preview of the Delaware Bayshore Initiative, which was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior as one of the country’s most promising ways to reconnect Americans to the natural world.

“For the past half century, strong partnerships among the conservation community, state government, and landowners have preserved the Delaware Bayshore as an ecological treasure. As a result of generations of effort, this area today is known to birders and biologists around the globe as a hotspot for migrating shorebirds and as a destination for low-impact hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching,” said Secretary O’Mara. “The Delaware Bayshore Initiative will build upon the past century of Fish and Wildlife conservation, honor the legacy of the Coastal Zone Act, and help strengthen local economies by focusing strategic investments on ecological restoration and low-impact recreation for the enjoyment of current and future generations.”

2011 fishing guide cover webThe celebration concluded with the ceremonial planting of a native Delaware sycamore tree – a tree known for its longevity, solidity and mature size – and the last of 100 special trees to be planted on the Peterson Refuge in honor of the anniversary. The site is an area recently cleared of invasive plant species beside the DuPont Environmental Education Center, one of several areas on the refuge that have been under restoration.

Owned by the Wilmington Riverfront Corp. and managed by the Division of Fish and Wildlife in partnership with the Delaware Nature Society, the refuge was established in 1998. Located in the northernmost part of Delaware’s Coastal Zone, the refuge is named for Russell W. Peterson, widely known as the father of Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act and of DNREC, the agency he created in 1971 to join the state’s various environmentally-related commissions including the Board of Game and Fish under one banner and one mission: to conserve, protect and enhance Delaware’s precious natural resources and the quality of life for today’s residents and for the generations that will follow us.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of fish and wildlife conservation in Delaware, the Division of Fish and Wildlife has planted trees, stocked trophy trout, printed special edition hunting and fishing guides and held hunting and fishing photo contests this year. A series of press releases on the history of the Division’s various sections have been issued, with the stories of Fisheries and Wildlife still to come. For more information about the anniversary, including the photo contests, or the Division’s programs, please visit

Return to Governor Markell’s page

For Journalists: Please contact our press team with inquires and feel free to use photos posted on Flickr.

Governor Markell Names DSU Professor to be Delaware’s Ambassador to Mars

Dr Melikechi w Proclamation and GuideDover, DE – Governor Jack Markell named Dr. Noureddine Melikechi, the Vice President for Research at Delaware State University (DSU), Delaware’s “Ambassador to Mars,” in recognition of his achievements and role in the launch of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory planned for November 25th.

“As Delaware’s new Ambassador to Mars, we would very much appreciate it if you could let any Martian tourists or investors know that Delaware is conveniently located on the East Coast with a great port, strong community, excellent workforce and top-notch research facilities,” wrote Markell in a letter to Dr. Melikechi.  “We have beautiful beaches, important historic sites and, of course, tax-free shopping.”

2012 Delaware Travel GuideThe Governor provided a copy of Delaware’s new State Travel Guide to Dr. Melikechi.  Although the guide is available at, Melikechi will bring a paper copy in case Martian operating systems are not compatible with our technology.

DSU held a “send-off” today for Dr. Melikechi, who is also DSU’s Dean of the College of Mathematics, Natural History and Technology.  He will be traveling to Cape Canaveral where he and his colleagues will be working in preparation for the launch.

The Governor was unable to make the event, but invited Dr. Melikechi and his colleagues to visit his office for a debriefing.

“We are so proud to see your research featured so prominently. While we are joking today about what might be out there, the hard work you are doing right here in Delaware is having a dramatic impact,” wrote Markell. “We appreciate your commitment to scientific excellence, your significant contributions to our state’s reputation as a cradle of innovation, and the esteem your work is bringing to the First State.”

Tribute to Dr MelikechiThe full text of the letter and a photo of the proclamation are included below:

November 18, 2011
Dear Dr. Melikechi,

Thank you very much for your contributions to interplanetary research and relations.

As Delaware’s new Ambassador to Mars, we would very much appreciate it if you could let any Martian tourists or investors know that Delaware is conveniently located on the East Coast with a great port, strong community, excellent workforce and top-notch research facilities.  We have beautiful beaches, important historic sites and, of course, tax-free shopping.

This new Delaware State Travel Guide could prove useful.  It is available online at, but—just in case their mobile operating systems are not compatible with ours—we’ve also provided this hard copy.

We are so proud to see your research featured so prominently. While we are joking today about what might be out there, the hard work you are doing right here in Delaware is having a dramatic impact. We appreciate your commitment to scientific excellence, your significant contributions to our state’s reputation as a cradle of innovation, and the esteem your work is bringing to the First State.

Good luck on your mission!  When you return to Delaware, I would like to invite you to visit our office for a debriefing.

Thank you and best regards,
Jack Markell
Governor of Delaware