See The Light, Buckle Up At Night.

Officers are on the lookout for unbelted motorists day and night.

Dover – Did you know that you are three times more likely to be in a car crash at night and wearing a seat belt decreases your risk of being injured or killed by approximately 50%? Delaware law enforcement officers are currently on the lookout for unbelted motorists during the first seat belt enforcement campaign of 2013. Drive without a seat belt and a ticket could be the least of your worries.

Delaware’s seat belt use rate dropped from 90% in 2011 to 88% in 2012 with Kent County having the lowest use rate of 79%.  Sussex County had the highest use rate of the three counties at 90%.  Last year, only 50% of the vehicle occupants killed in a car crash were wearing their seat belts.

Delaware law requires drivers and all passengers, including those in the back seat, to wear a seat belt.  The lap and shoulder belts must be worn and shoulder belts must not be placed behind the back or under the arm.  An officer can pull over a driver if they see any person in the vehicle not wearing a seat belt, even if there is no other violation.  Officers  are issuing citations for seat belt violations as part of a zero tolerance policy.

Enforcement will be accompanied by a statewide public awareness and paid media campaign that reflects on real life unbelted crashes, injuries, and fatals encountered by Delaware paramedics.  Paramedics see first-hand the life changing consequences of being involved in a crash and not buckling up.

Paid media will be in the forms of radio ads, Pandora radio, T.V. ads, and internet advertising and will also be accompanied by community outreach events to promote seat belt safety.

Get the facts:

  • Did you know that fewer than 1/3 of Delaware’s unrestrained fatals occur during the daytime?
  • Hospital data shows that unbelted occupants in crashes are 3 times more likely to require a hospital stay. On average, hospital costs for an unbelted crash victim are 55% higher than those for a belted crash victim.
  • Strong seat belt laws protect families.  When parents are buckled up, 90% of the time their children are too.

For more information on seat belt enforcement results and a look at updated campaign materials, please visit www.ohs.delaware.gov, like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe .


National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils Brings Youth Fitness Campaign to Delaware

Fitness Icon and Chairman Jake Steinfeld and Governor Jack Markell Announce Campaign to Support Fitness Programs in Delaware Schools

Dover, DE – The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils is bringing its multi-million dollar physical fitness campaign to Delaware. The National Foundation encourages and rewards innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness.  The program is open to all public or public charter elementary or middle schools throughout the state.  Three schools selected by the National Foundation will be named National Champion Schools and will be awarded $100,000 state-of-the-art Live PositivelyTM Fitness Centers for their efforts.

“We’re lucky to have a great role model like Jake Steinfeld bringing the National Champion Schoolscampaign to Delaware schools,” said Governor Jack Markell.  “The idea of having fitness centers at schools where students can find fun in working out is a win for everyone.  If more of our students can develop good fitness habits early, there’s a better chance they will stay healthy and fit as they get older. This helps our goal of creating a culture of health and wellness among all Delawareans.”

The National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils program plans to challenge all 50 states in the coming years.  Making this program even more attractive is that it does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding.  Each fitness center is financed through a public/private sector partnership with companies like The Coca-Cola Company.

“Our National Champion Schools campaign has been well received all around the country and I’m looking forward to working with Governor Markell to make this campaign a great success in Delaware,”  said Jake Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils.  “I’ve always said that academics and fitness go hand in hand and that if you provide the schools the tools, we will build strong bodies and minds while boosting confidence, self-esteem and focus in the classroom.  Our children are our most precious resource and by providing them with a strong foundation in health and fitness, we can feel confident that they’ll excel beyond their wildest dreams.”

For more information about the National Foundation or to download a nomination form, visit www.nationalgovcouncil.org.

Background

Physical activity and exercise are shown to help prevent and treat more than 40 chronic diseases, enhance individual health and quality of life and reduce health care costs.  In schools, studies show that physical activity improves academic achievement, increases confidence and self-esteem, reduces discipline problems, cuts absenteeism and fosters better interpersonal relationships.

The National Foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.

The Governor’s plan for strengthening Delaware schools laid the foundation for Delaware’s 2010 first-place win in the federal Race to the Top (RTTT) and 2011 win in the federal Early Learning Challenge grant competitions.  Delaware is implementing higher standards and online growth measures for students, new evaluation systems for educators, focused supports and new strategies to improve the lowest performing schools, and significant investments and quality initiatives for early learning programs.   The Governor recognizes that great schools help students achieve their full potential and are an important factor for a robust economy.

About the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils

The National Foundation seeks to encourage and reward innovation in the field of youth fitness by awarding fitness centers to schools that use new and unique methods to promote student physical activity and wellness.  The National Foundation envisions a fitness center in every school in the U.S., helping to build a nation that—through innovation and a “Don’t Quit” attitude—boasts the fittest kids in the world.


Governor’s Weekly Message: Governor Markell Offers Poetic Toast at National Governors Association White House Dinner


Washington, D.C. – As Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA), Governor Markell offered a poetic toast on Sunday, February 24, at a dinner hosted by the White House that took place during the NGA’s Winter Meeting weekend (Feb. 23 – 25, 2013).

“On this one night it’s a relief – politics doesn’t drive the conversation.  We don’t speak of partisan issues or presidential aspirations,” said Governor Markell. “Instead, we gather to reflect on the blessings we’ve received — to serve our states and country the best that’s ever been conceived.  We may come from the mountain states or from the South or plains or coast, we’re one country and one people, in important ways we are united, and for the chance to offer you our greatest thanks, I really am delighted.”

This video is being shared in lieu of the weekly message released every Friday from the Governor’s Office. It is available in video, audio, and transcript form.  The message is available on:

Transcript of the Governor’s Weekly Message: Governor Markell Offers Poetic Toast at National Governors Association White House Dinner

YouTube: http://youtu.be/BP0ULlzjGpA

Delaware.Gov: http://governor.delaware.gov/information/podcast_video.shtml

To view the full White House video, which includes remarks by President Obama, visit: http://youtu.be/flYg8Q0J_C4

Additional videos from the NGA Winter
Meeting are available online
: http://www.nga.org/cms/WMVideos

By email: Please contact our press team to subscribe to our press list

Facebook: www.facebook.com/governormarkell

Twitter: www.twitter.com/governormarkell


Governor’s Weekly MessageTranscript: Governor Markell Offers Poetic Toast at National Governors Association White House Dinner


On behalf of my fellow governors, to the President and Mrs. Obama, I offer you this toast, I hope with humor and little drama  To the two of you and the Bidens, who hail from my home state, we appreciate your hospitality, we  all look forward to this date.

On this one night it’s a relief — politics doesn’t drive the conversation.  We don’t speak of partisan issues or presidential aspirations; instead, we gather to reflect on the blessings we’ve received — to serve our states and country the best that’s ever been conceived.  You’ve tackled the big issues, there are many to address and dealing with them all at once is much like 3D chess.  One thing for sure is certain — you don’t let issues fester.  You get to deal with education and health care, and even the sequester.  You’re probably jealous of the First Lady, she’s Jimmy Fallon’s trainer — while you, on the other hand, deal with Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner.

Tonight, we leave out the specifics of the issues of the day, except one on which we all agree, and on which I’d like to convey our thanks for the efforts of the First Lady, Dr. Biden, and many other groups who work so hard on behalf of families of our military troops.  Our soldiers and our sailors, our airmen and marines, so often leave their families because they know what freedom means.  In return, we take care of the objects of their affection, and for all of us it’s more important than party or reelection.

Mr. President, we’re grateful for your service, for your leadership and grit, for your belief in the American dream and I expect that all of us commit to work together and to strive to leave our nation stronger.  Our time in office is rather limited so I won’t go on much longer.

To the President and First Lady, and to the Bidens, here’s our toast.  We may come from the mountain states or from the South or plains or coast, we’re one country and one people, in important ways we are united, and for the chance to offer you our greatest thanks, I really am delighted.


Governor Nominates Law Enforcement Leader and Experienced Policy Expert for Two Cabinet Posts

Former Delaware State Police Superintendent Colonel Robert Coupe Nominated for Commissioner of Correction

Education Policy Expert Jennifer Ranji Nominated for Secretary for the State Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families

(Dover, DE) Governor Jack Markell today announced his nomination of recently retired Delaware State Police Superintendent Colonel Robert Coupe for Commissioner of Correction and attorney and former Education Policy Advisor Jennifer Ranji to be Secretary of the State Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families.

Colonel Coupe served as Delaware State Police Superintendent from July 2009 until December 2012.  He had 28 years of service to the State Police upon retirement. As Superintendent, he commanded 676 Troopers and 270 civilian employees.

“Colonel Coupe is a proven manager, well-respected leader, and people person,” said Governor Markell.   “He earned accolades throughout his Division for creating a climate of trust through open and honest communication and transparency.    I am pleased Colonel Coupe may continue to serve the state as a Cabinet Secretary with a critical public safety role.”

“I am humbled by the Governor’s nomination and the confidence he has placed in me and excited at the possibility to again serve the State of Delaware,” said Colonel Coupe. “ If confirmed by the Senate as Commissioner, I would be honored to serve with the men and women of the Department of Correction.”

The Department of Correction is the second largest Executive branch agency in the State and the largest law enforcement agency in the state with over 2,500 employees.  The Department is comprised of the Office of the Commissioner, Bureau of Management Services, Bureau of Correctional Healthcare Services, Bureau of Prisons and Bureau of Community Corrections.  The Department supervise between 6500-7000 inmates and approximately 17,000 probationers within the community.

Jennifer Ranji served as Educational Policy Advisor in the Office of Governor Markell from September 2009 to July 2012.  She was the lead staff person on Race to the Top and Early Childhood Race to the Top initiatives and played a leading role in developing the Governor’s education policy agenda, working closely with the Department of Education, the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Families, and other agencies and stakeholders.   Prior, Ms. Ranji was in private legal practice, served as Deputy Legal Counsel in the Office of Governor Thomas Carper and as Director of Legal Affairs for Family Court of the State of Delaware.  While in private practice, she provided pro bono representation to domestic violence victims through Delaware Volunteer Legal Services and to child abuse victims through the Office of the Child Advocate.

“Jennifer has been engaged with family, child protection and education issues, as an advocate and policy expert,” said Governor Markell.  “Her work ethic is unparalleled.  Jennifer carries the credentials as well as the compassion needed to lead an agency that cares for some of the most vulnerable among us.”

“I am truly honored by Governor Markell’s nomination of me for the Secretary of the State Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families,” said Ranji.  “Having worked as the Governor’s Education Policy Advisor, I know first-hand the commitment that this Governor and Administration have to ensuring that every child in Delaware has the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential.  I am, therefore, particularly excited to be nominated to lead the efforts of an agency whose work is critically important to that goal.”

The State Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families provides and manages a range of services for children who have experienced abandonment, abuse, adjudication, mental illness, neglect, or substance abuse. Its services include prevention, early intervention, assessment, treatment, permanency, and after care.  The Children’s Department employs approximately 1200 staff at 31 locations, who serve over 8,000 children on any given day. Among the workforce are 52 Family Crisis Therapists (FCTs), who work in elementary schools throughout the state. Additionally, the Department provides licenses to nearly 2,200 daycare operations, which provide services for more than 49,000 children in Delaware.