Governor and Lt. Gov’s Inaugural to be Moved Indoors to Central Middle School Auditorium

The Tuesday inauguration ceremony for Governor Jack Markell and Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn is being moved due to the threat of inclement weather.  The ceremony will now take place in the auditorium of Central Middle School, 211 Delaware Ave., Dover, 19901.

The ceremony time remains 11:00 a.m.

Notes on the change for the media:

  • Media should be situated in the auditorium no later than 10:30 a.m.
  • Parking is first-come, first serve.    No special parking allocated except live trucks.   See public parking notes below.
  • If you have a live truck,  you will park be on the west side of Pennsylvania Avenue, facing south. Best access for this area is North State Street to Hazel Road to right on Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • Locations for media video cameras/tripods are reserved along an aisle behind the auditorium’s main seating section.
  • A mult box will be provided.
  • Seating for reporters will be open.   There will be no tables because of space constraints.
  • WIFI will be available at the school.   You will need to get the password from Cathy Rossi, Kelly Bachman or Jessica Eisenbrey (OMB).

Notes on the change for the public:

  • For the general public, parking will be available on the streets around the school (Kent Avenue, Maple Lane, Delaware Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, American Avenue, Hazel Road, Smith Street).
  • Streets in Dover will be open.
  • Some state building parking lots around the capitol complex (Tatnall, Townsend/ Haslet/Cooper) will still be closed to state employees Tuesday, so employees may still park at the Blue Hen Corporate Center and use the previously announced shuttles, which will still operate.
  • RSVP’d guests with assigned parking near Legislative Hall may still park in the same lots at the capitol and be transported via a shuttle that will make two stops: one on Legislative Avenue between Water and William Penn streets (next to the Tatnall Building); and one on Legislative Avenue between Duke of York and Loockerman streets (next to the Archives, across from the Townsend Building parking lot). This shuttle will begin running at 9:45 a.m.
  • Doors to Central Middle School auditorium will open at 10 a.m.  Security screenings will be in effect, so attendees are encouraged to arrive by 10:30 a.m.
  • There will be reserved seating in the auditorium for distinguished guests and open seating for the general public and media

The public greeting event for guests to meet the Governor and Lieutenant Governor after the ceremony will now take place at Central Middle School following the inaugural ceremony.

The ceremony will still be streamed live at and audio and video will be made available afterwards.

Governor Markell, Lt. Gov. Denn, AG Biden Join Forces to Unveil Responsible Gun Safety Proposals

(Wilmington, DE) – With the support of legislators and law enforcement agencies statewide, Governor Jack Markell, Lt. Governor Matt Denn and Attorney General Beau Biden joined together to unveil a series of gun safety proposals to keep guns out of the hands of persons who should not possess them and make our communities safer.

Joined by Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security Lew Schiliro, and surrounded by members of the General Assembly, police officers, members of the faith-based community, and other advocates, the Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General announced that they intend to introduce five proposals to address gun safety issues in the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  Today’s announcement coincided with the one-month anniversary of the tragedy in which 26 people (including 20 children) lost their lives in the second-deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

“The gun safety measures we are proposing will strengthen our ability to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them,” said Governor Markell.  “I am pleased to stand together with Lt. Gov. Denn and Attorney General Biden to unveil these proposals. No one wants guns in the hands of people with ill intent. We must not arm those who would harm.  Instead, we must enact stronger laws to protect our communities. Reasonable gun safety laws, improvements to school safety and increased access to mental health treatment are three ways we can do better.  This package of gun safety measures is directed at individuals who might impose violence with a gun.”

“These proposals are part of a comprehensive approach to gun violence that includes improvements in our mental health system, improvements to school safety, and responsible oversight of guns,” said Lt. Gov. Denn. “With respect to guns, our proposals focus on two important goals: keeping guns away from dangerous people, and protecting victims from the weapons most likely to be used illegally.”

“The new laws we are proposing today will make Delaware a safer place to live, especially for our children,” said Biden, who has successfully sought to change state laws to increase prison terms for criminals who use guns when they commit crimes. “As a father, veteran and the state’s top law enforcement officer, I know that military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips designed for battle have no place on our streets. These proposals are a reasonable and sensible approach that will improve public safety and respect the Second Amendment.”

Legislation on each of the proposals below will be introduced in the General Assembly over the next two weeks, with all bills expected to be introduced by January 24, 2013 (the last legislative day before the General Assembly breaks for Joint Finance Committee hearings).

The proposals are as follows:


1. Requiring Background Checks for Private Firearm Sales: Under existing law, when the sale or transfer of a firearm involves a licensed dealer, a background check must be performed.  But when the sale or transfer does not involve a licensed dealer, and occurs between private buyers, no check is required.  Because approximately 40% of all firearms nationwide are acquired from unlicensed sellers, this is an enormous loophole—one in which convicted felons, minors and other prohibited purchasers can readily avoid background checks and easily acquire guns. This bill would require that licensed dealers perform background checks in connection with the sale or transfer of all firearms, including sales between private buyers, except for transfers involving immediate family (parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling or spouse).  The background check requirement would not apply to the sale or transfer of shotguns, as no such check is required under current law for licensed dealers.

2.  Requiring the Reporting of Lost and Stolen Firearms:  There are two primary public safety benefits to requiring the reporting of lost and stolen firearms.  First, it discourages straw purchases and deters gun trafficking.  When a gun is found at a crime scene and later traced back to the original owner, the owner may falsely claim that a gun was lost or stolen in order to hide his involvement in trafficking or straw purchasing.  A mandatory reporting requirement provides law enforcement notice of suspicious patterns of behavior by persons who repeatedly fail to file reports yet claim that their guns were lost or stolen after the guns were recovered from a crime scene. And second, it helps prevent unwarranted criminal accusations against owners whose guns have been lost or stolen.  This bill would require individuals report a lost or stolen firearm within 48 hours of discovery.  Individuals would file a report with either the police agency having jurisdiction over the location where the loss or theft occurred, or any Delaware State Police Troop.

3. Banning the Sale, Manufacture, Delivery and Unlawful Possession of Large-Capacity Magazines: According to the Citizens Crime Commission of New York, 30 mass shootings (with four or more victims killed) occurred in the United States from 1982 through 2012.  Although the circumstances of such mass shootings varied, each incident had one thing in common: they all involved one or more large-capacity ammunition magazines.  This bill would prohibit the manufacture, sale, purchase, transfer or delivery of large-capacity magazines.  Large-capacity magazines are defined as magazines having the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds for any handgun and more than 5 rounds for any rifle or shotgun.  Acknowledging that thousands of law-abiding Delawareans currently possess large-capacity magazines lawfully, the bill would make such possession unlawful only if it occurs (1) in a public place (which would include highways, schools, parks, restaurants, bars, and similar locations), and (2) within 20 feet of a firearm capable of accepting such magazine.  The bill would exempt certain shooting ranges from the definition of “public place,” so that the possession and use of large-capacity magazines at such ranges would not be prohibited.

4.  Banning the Manufacture, Sale, Delivery and Unlawful Possession of Military Weapons: The sale of military-style assault weapons – firearms that are made for the battlefield and have no place in our communities – was outlawed in 1994, but the ban expired a decade later.  One such weapon – the Bushmaster AR-15 – was used in the Newtown shootings and also in the murders of two firefighters in Webster, NY, on Christmas Eve last year. This bill would prohibit the manufacture, sale and delivery of these military weapons, while allowing the continued possession and use under certain circumstances of weapons purchased prior to the effective date of the ban.

5.  Banning Possession of a Firearm Within 1,000 Feet of a School: This bill will help to ensure the safety of children in our schools.  By outlawing possession of a firearm in close proximity to school, we will enable law enforcement to interdict those individuals who knowingly possess firearms and do so in near school buildings and school yards. The purpose of this law is to create safe school zones, where children are secure, where parents can have peace of mind that upon leaving them in the morning, they will not be subjected to gun violence, and where teachers can go about their important task of educating our youth without fear of violence.  This is not intended to restrict the right of law abiding citizens to own guns.  Nor is it intended to restrict those law abiding citizens who reside near schools, as the law specifically exempts them from its prohibitions while the guns are on their property.  The law, likewise, is not intended to inhibit those individuals who possess concealed weapons permits from carrying firearms in conformity with the permits.

Photos from the press release are on the Governor’s Flickr page.

Lieutenant Governor Forms Statewide Small Business Advisory Committee

Committee Will Provide Input to State Government on Needs of Small Business

WILMINGTON, Del. (Friday, January 11, 2013) – Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn announced today the creation of a statewide Small Business Advisory Committee that will meet with him on a regular basis to provide better input from the state’s small business community in the operations of state government.  The Committee’s members represent a variety of small businesses throughout the state.

Among the issues that the Committee will be discussing at future meetings will be improvements to the state’s small business loan programs, providing better information to small businesses about requirements of the Affordable Care Act, controlling workers compensation premiums, and state and county regulations.  The Committee’s meetings will rotate between Wilmington and Dover, and will be posted in advance and open to the public.

“One of the things I have frequently heard from small business owners is that they appreciate our site visits and the other efforts we make to get their input, but that they would also like a more formal and regular way of interacting with state government,” said Lieutenant Governor Denn.   “This committee is an effort to make that happen, and I hope it becomes a vehicle for small business owners to let us know in very specific ways how we can better help them.”

The committee has started with 17 members, and Denn said that others may be added in the future if the Committee thinks it would be helpful.

Small Business Committee Members

  • Greg Ballance (Diamond Technologies)
  • Gemma and Jack Buckley (Ninth Street Book Shop)
  • Fred Fortunato (Benchmark Builders)
  • Wes Garnett (The coIN Loft)
  • Ben Hsu (Quest Pharmaceutical Services)
  • Trina Joyner (Coldwell Banker Real Estate)
  • Paul Kuhns (Arena’s Deli)
  • Dave McGuigan (George & Lynch)
  • Bob Older (Creative Travel)
  • Chip Rankin (EBC Carpet Service)
  • Joseph Richichi (Healthcare Operations Management Enterprises)
  • Robert Rider (O.A. Newton)
  • Candace Roseo (Bella Vista Trattoria)
  • Victor Schimp (Sheraton Hotel)
  • Beverly Stewart (Back to Basics Learning Dynamics)
  • Justen Wright (House of Wright Mortuary)

Markell, Denn To Begin Second Term with Week of Service and Inaugural Events

(Dover, DE)   Governor Jack Markell and Lt. Governor Matt Denn are announcing their inaugural events will include an interfaith prayer service, a public inaugural ball, a series of volunteer projects during a Week of Service and a call for donations to a new Boys & Girls Club revitalization initiative, in addition to the traditional swearing-in ceremony.

The Governor and Lt. Governor, along with their spouses, are urging Delawareans to join in service projects scheduled between January 11 and 21, listed at

“I often say that this is a state of neighbors, and one of the great things about neighbors is they take care of each other,” Governor Markell said.  “The start of my second term serving the state is a great time to highlight that effort.”

“Thousands of Delawareans volunteer their time and their talents every day, and our state wouldn’t function as well without their efforts,” said First Lady Carla Markell, who has spearheaded volunteerism efforts during the first term and is leading the Week of Service for the inaugural. “We want to celebrate all those who already volunteer while encouraging others to participate.  It’s easy to get involved.”

The Markells and Denns will participate in the following projects to illustrate some of the many ways that Delawareans can serve others.

Friday, January 11, 10 a.m.: A kickoff of the Week of Service with the Governor, Mrs. Markell,  cabinet secretaries and staff from the office of the Governor doing renovations and repairs at the Boys & Girls Club, 454 Central Ave., Laurel.

  • Friday, January 11, 11 a.m.: Lt. Gov. Denn, who has encouraged companies to allow employees to mentor in schools, will speak to potential mentors at Chesapeake Utilities, 909 Silver Lake Blvd., Dover.
  • Saturday, January 12, 1 p.m.: Gov. Markell will take part in a work day at the DuPont Nature Center, 2992 Lighthouse Road, Milford.
  • Sunday, January 13, 8 a.m. – Mrs. Markell will help serve breakfast to women and children at the Sunday Breakfast Mission, 110 N. Poplar St., Wilmington.
  • Monday, January 14, 1 p.m.: Lt. Governor Denn brings four U.S. Army veterans to William Penn High School to talk with the AFJROTC about their service to our country.  They will share stories of their 53-man remote deployment near the Pakistan border.  William Penn High School, 713 East Basin Road, New Castle.
  • Wednesday, January 16, 11 a.m.: Lt. Governor Denn will join the Delaware Mentoring Council during their “Forum on Mentoring in Juvenile Justice Settings” at Delaware State University Student Center, Parlor C,  1200 N. DuPont Highway, Dover
  • Wednesday, January 16, 2 p.m.: Gov. Markell and Lt. Gov. Denn will help sort donated food at the Williams State Service Center, 805 River Road, Dover.
  • Thursday, January 17, 11:30 a.m.: Mrs. Markell will read to preschoolers at the Latin American Community Center, 403 N. Van Buren St., Wilmington
  • Friday, January 18, 11 a.m.: Gov. and Mrs. Markell will attend a Blood Bank of Delmarva Community Blood Drive at the Springer Building on DHSS’s Herman Holloway Campus, U.S. 13, New Castle.

“One of the great things about volunteering is how rewarding it can be for the person doing the volunteer work,” Lt. Governor Denn said. “I’ve been mentoring a young man once a week at his school for the last four years.  He is now in sixth grade and it has been gratifying to me to see him mature.”

In commemoration of the inauguration and in keeping with the theme of service, the Markells are also requesting donations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware “Project Renewal.”  Project Renewal aims to mobilize volunteers, community leaders, and resources across the state in a coordinated effort to renew and upgrade the facilities at Boys & Girls Clubs in Delaware. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware serve 20,000 children annually at 41 sites around the state.  Donations can be made online at

The inaugural events, all of which are open to the public, include:

Sunday, January 13, 4 p.m.: An Interfaith Prayer Service, Arts & Science Center Theater, Delaware Technical Community College, Georgetown.

  • Tuesday, January 15, 11 a.m.: The Inauguration Ceremony, Legislative Mall, Dover, followed by Public Greeting inside Legislative Hall (inclement weather location is Central Middle School Auditorium, 211 Delaware Avenue, Dover).
  • Tuesday, January 15, 7 p.m.: The Inaugural Ball, Chase Center on the Riverfront, Wilmington – advance registration and $25 per person ticket required from


The interfaith prayer service participants will include Dr. Jeffrey Hawtof of the Seaside Jewish Community, Delaware National Guard chaplain Lt. Col. Ed Brandt, Seaford City Councilwoman Pat Jones, Common Pleas Judge Kenneth Clark, the Rev. Max Wolf, St. George’s Chapel/ All Saints Episcopal Church, Sister Rosa Alvarez of the Carmelite Sisters of Charity, Mouad Bekka Imam, Islamic Society of Central Delaware and representatives of other faiths. Music will be provided by the Sussex Vo-Tech High School Choir and by Dover High School music teacher Brad Whitenight.

The inaugural ceremony, where Gov. Markell and Lt. Gov. Denn will take their oaths, deliver their inaugural addresses and officially begin their second terms, will feature the Newark High School Band and the 287th Army Band of the Delaware National Guard, as well as singing by University of Delaware student Elizabeth I. Rivera and Cab Calloway School of the Arts student Chad Michael Jervis. Participants in the program will include Delaware State University President Dr. Harry Williams, Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Bishop W. Francis Malooly, and Rabbi Peter Grumbacher. The ceremony will feature a 19-gun salute by the Delaware National Guard and posting of the colors by the Delaware State Police. Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele will administer the Governor’s oath and Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden will administer the oath to Lt. Governor Denn. The swearing-in is an outdoor ceremony in front of Legislative Hall in Dover, but if the ceremony must be moved inside nearby Central Middle School for weather, an announcement will be made at 7 a.m.

A public greeting will follow the ceremony, where residents can meet Gov. Markell and Lt. Gov. Denn in the Governor’s office on the second floor of Legislative Hall. Captain Shane Mason, Commander of the 1049th Transportation Company of the Delaware Army National Guard, will act as Military Aide to the Governor for the greeting.

The theme of the inaugural ball is “Celebrating Volunteerism In Our State” and will feature photos of volunteers in action around Delaware. The ball will highlight the culinary creativity and talent of the state with hors d’oeuvres provided by restaurants of the Delaware Restaurant Association as well as beer and wine tastings by Delaware breweries and wineries. Entertainment is by legendary Delaware band Love Seed Mama Jump and disc jockey Marc Emerick. The ball, which is black tie optional, requires advance registration and space is limited. Tickets are $25 per person and there will be a cash bar with complimentary soft drinks.

Those interested in attending any of the events – but especially the ball — can RSVP at or by calling (302) 528-0207. The deadline for ball RSVPs is Thursday, January 10. Inauguration security protocols will be in effect at all events, so attendees should allow adequate time to enter.

Note for Media Coverage:

Reporters and photographer should plan to prominently display their media outlet employee identification on their person for inaugural events.  It will be required for entry to the designated media area.  To register for the three main inaugural events, reporters should email Cathy Rossi to confirm their attendance at the Prayer Service, Inaugural Ceremony, Inaugural Ball. Security protocols will be in place and media representatives’ names will need to be on the media list for admission to designated media areas.  Special instructions and more detailed information will be added to our day-ahead schedules.

Photos can be viewed here.

Untold Stories of American Valor

U.S. Army Veterans join author and former ABC White House News Correspondent Jake Tapper for Moderated Discussion

WILMINGTON – On Monday, January 14, 2013, Delaware will welcome four American heroes to our great state.  We are honored to announce that four U.S. Army veterans who participated in one of the most storied battles of the ten-year U.S. engagement in Afghanistan will be in Wilmington the evening of the 14th for two public events.

Their stories were recounted in Jake Tapper’s best-selling book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.  They were part of a 53-man remote deployment near the Pakistan border that was nearly overrun by 400 heavily armed Taliban troops.  Eight of their colleagues died during the battle and many more were seriously injured.

We encourage you to hear them tell their extraordinary stories during an event the evening of January 14th at The Grand entitled, “Untold Stories of American Valor.”  This will be a special event, as the four men are joined by the author of the book, Jake Tapper, who will facilitate the discussion.  Mr. Tapper, a former senior White House correspondent for ABC News, begins as chief Washington D.C. correspondent and daily news anchor for CNN in February.  Their visit to Delaware is the first time the men have been together since Afghanistan and their first appearance with Mr. Tapper since his writing of the book.

The event will begin promptly at 6:30pm and is free to the public.  Seats will be on a first-come, first-served basis.  Major General Frank Vavala, The Adjutant General, Delaware National Guard, will also be in attendance and make remarks.

This event will include decorated members of the Delaware National Guard who have also served in harm’s way in ongoing deployments to the Middle East. It is our way of highlighting and honoring the ongoing sacrifices made by First State veterans, some of whom were recently deployed from Delaware to Afghanistan for a year’s tour.

From 5:00pm – 6:00pm, Mr. Tapper will sign copies of his book and all four veterans will be on hand to meet the public at Ninth Street Bookshop.  Additionally, Mr. Tapper will sign books immediately following the discussion in the lobby of The Grand.

From 1:00pm – 2:00pm, the veterans will visit William Penn High School to speak to the 200 members of William Penn’s JROTC program.  The discussion will be moderated by Dave Skocik, President of the Delaware Veterans Coalition and is open to press but closed to the public.  The William Penn AFJROTC will present the colors at the evening event.

Delaware Boots on the Ground and Lt. Governor Matt Denn, with the support of the Delaware Veterans Coalition, Vietnam Veterans of America, The Grand, and the sponsorship of AstraZeneca worked together to bring these men to Delaware.  Additionally, many thanks to AstraZeneca, The Grand and Kent County Motors for contributions that made this visit possible.

For future planning, Delaware Boots on the Ground and the Lt. Governor are planning on welcoming two more groups of veterans to Delaware in May and November, to coincide with Memorial Day and Veterans Day events.

Monday, January 14, 2013

1:00pm – 2:00pm
Veterans Speak to William Penn High School AFJROTC

William Penn High School
713 East Basin Road
New Castle, DE 19720

*Press should check in at main office with proper credentials.  This event is not open to the public.

5:00pm – 6:00pm
Jake Tapper Book Signing

Ninth Street Book Shop
730 N. Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

*Author and veterans will be on hand to greet members of the public.  Books may be bought at that location or brought with you.  There will be an additional signing at The Grand after the event.*

6:30pm – 7:30pm
Moderated Discussion with Jake Tapper – “Untold Stories of American Valor”

The Grand, Copeland Hall
818 N. Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

*A book signing will follow until 8:15pm.