Governor’s Weekly Message: Honoring the Memory of Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III

(Dover, DE) – In his weekly message, Governor Markell remembers and honors the life of Beau Biden.

“Beau was a model for determinedly pursuing success, while also demonstrating exceeding humility and grace – a dedicated public servant who had a fierce devotion to family above all else,” said Governor Markell. “While Beau Biden left us far too soon, his accomplishments, his example, and his love leave an everlasting imprint on our state.”
Every week, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form. The message is available on:

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Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Honoring the Memory of Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III


Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Honoring the Memory of Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III

As Delawareans mourn the loss of Beau Biden, our hearts are heavy. We grieve – and we honor a remarkable life of service, courage and love. Beau had an incredible heart. And from that heart, he lived a life that offers something to teach all of us. Beau was a model for determinedly pursuing success, while also demonstrating exceeding humility and grace – a dedicated public servant who had a fierce devotion to family above all else – an Attorney General, a Major in the Delaware National Guard, and a father, husband, and son whose every life decision reflected a passion for giving back. We remember his tireless commitment to improving the lives of Delawareans and serving his state and nation – including through an extraordinary record fighting to protect and ensure opportunity for our children. And we remember the heart that touched so many lives. The proverbs teach us to say not in grief ‘he is no more’ but in thankfulness that he was. While Beau Biden left us far too soon, his accomplishments, his example, and his love leave an everlasting imprint on our state.


Governor Markell Orders Flags Lowered on Friday, May 15 for Peace Officers Memorial Day

DOVER – Everyday across Delaware, thousands of police officers put their lives on the line to protect the citizens of the First State. In honor of the men and women who have died while serving and protecting Delaware, in recognition of Police Week and in concurrence with an order from President Obama, Governor Markell has ordered the American and Delaware flags at state buildings and facilities be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, Friday, May 15.


Governor Markell Announces State Employees of the Year

DOVER – Governor Jack A. Markell today recognized and celebrated the efforts of the 2015 recipients of the Delaware Award for Excellence and Commitment in State Service. The award winners and nominees were recognized for their exemplary efforts in service to the State of Delaware.

“These individuals exemplify what it means to be a public servant,” said Governor Markell. “Their commitment and dedication to serving Delawareans is to be commended, and I thank them for the work they do every day for our State.”

The 2015 recipients are:

Grace Alexander – Ms. Alexander has been employed by DHSS at Terry Children’s Center (TCC) since November 1979, providing well over 30 years of exceptional service to some of Delaware’s most difficult children. Over the past several years TCC has been undergoing a culture change and a shift to a more Trauma-Informed approach of dealing with clients. One of the measures used to assess progress has been how often employees are forced to use physical restraint. This past quarter TCC had its lowest number of the use of physical restraint of any three month period in its history, and this was due in large part to Ms. Alexander’s embrace of a new approach to working with kids and her ability to assist her staff with the transition. In the month of February, TCC had no physical restraints. This is the first time this has happened at TCC for a calendar month. Given the level of aggression and dysregulation of the kids, this is a phenomenal accomplishment for TCC.

Dr. Richard Greene – Dr. Greene is a longtime employee of DNREC and was the architect of a new interagency initiative that takes a watershed approach and applies it to toxic contaminants. This new approach was applied recently to the Mirror Lake Remediation and Restoration Project in Dover. Contaminants in the sediments of Mirror Lake and the Saint Jones River make fish unsuitable for human consumption and have other aquatic life impacts. Using approximately $150,000 worth of volunteer labor, construction was completed in November 2013. Plantings were completed in the spring of 2014. This centerpiece of downtown Dover will no longer be an environmental liability and its stability and appearance will be enhanced dramatically, all due to the efforts of Dr. Greene and his colleagues. The Mirror Lake project received two national awards from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Honor Awards for Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science were given in both the Small Project and University Research categories. The project is also being considered for the Chesapeake Bay Best Urban Management Practice Award in a category for projects outside of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Michael Haddadin – Mr. Haddadin’s 25-year career with DelDOT began as a casual seasonal toll collector in August 1989. After six months, he became a full-time toll collector and then moved into supervision. In January 2014, he transitioned to the Operations Manager at the Dover Toll Plaza. With a “fresh set of eyes,” he immediately began to make improvements to the plaza. After consulting with employees, the facility improvements he made included: relocation of the parking spots for the disabled closer to an entrance to ease accessibility; replacement of the old and soiled ceiling tiles; painting of the interior areas; installation of new flooring; the enhancement of lighting; repairing of sidewalks and a stone walkway; upgrading of the landscaping around the building; relocation of the employee uniform room to ease staff access; and logistical and operating procedures. Cameras in the toll booths were repositioned to provide better visibility to both the customer and to the collector’s money drawer. The cosmetic changes immediately improved employee morale, and the repairs increased safety for both the employees and the customers.

Randall “RL” Hughes – DSHS Deputy Principal Assistant RL Hughes, was selected as Acting Director of the new Division of Forensic Science (DFS). In just six months, with Mr. Hughes at the helm, the new agency transformed its operations and embraced every challenge as an opportunity for success. Mr. Hughes assembled a leadership team from the various units within the new Division to restore the integrity of the operation and ensure the Division maintained the highest scientific standards. Much of the work of this team focused on addressing the nearly 100 recommendations outlined in the Andrews International Report. In early 2014, Andrews International, a risk mitigation consulting company, conducted an assessment of the OCME organization. As a result of the assessment, 94 recommendations were documented as areas requiring improvement. In January 2015, Andrews International was asked to conduct a follow-up assessment of the new DFS. Due to the hard work and dedication of the DFS team, all but eight recommendations have been completed, significantly improved or are no longer applicable. The eight remaining recommendations are currently under review but require longer implementation timelines due to IT infrastructure, facility, or budget issues.

Kathrina Stroud – Ms. Stroud has served the State for 23 years, and in 2013, she became DelDOT’s Civil Rights Administrator. Under her direction, the Civil Rights Section highlighted the Small Business Element of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program in 2014. This Small Business Element program launched its first project last year. The project was designed to educate and offer more opportunities for small businesses under the Small Business Administration to more successfully bid on specific jobs. Outreach of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and On-the-Job Training programs to grassroots and community organizations greatly increased in 2014. This outreach effort aimed to assist the organizations with finding training and jobs for underemployed and underutilized women and minorities. This outreach also incorporated educational training and experiences for elementary and high school students. Due to this outreach and creation of educational workshops, the section saw a 31 percent increase in 2014 in the number of businesses who successfully completed the certification process (42 businesses in 2014 versus 32 businesses in 2013) along with expanded diversity of business owners who applied in 2014.

Governor Jack A. Markell recognized nominees and recipients of the Delaware Award for Excellence and Commitment in State Service at a ceremony on May 5, 2015 in Dover.
Governor Jack A. Markell recognized nominees and recipients of the Delaware Award for Excellence and Commitment in State Service at a ceremony on May 5, 2015 in Dover.


Governor Jack Markell to Announce the Delaware Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness: May 4, 2015

Where/When: American Legion Post 2, 835 South Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901 on Monday, May 4, 2015 @ 10:00.

Governor Jack Markell to Announce the Delaware Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015.

At 10:00 AM on Monday, May 4th, at American Legion Post 2, Dover, DE, Governor Markell will gather state and local leaders together to announce the Delaware Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015. This is one of the goals the Governor included in his State of the State Address on January 21, 2015.

The Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is an initiative begun at the suggestion of First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden and organized under the auspices of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). USICH, in cooperation with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), developed the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015, challenging mayors and community leaders throughout the nation to create new local initiatives to reach the goal of ending veteran homelessness in their communities. Since then, local initiatives have become active across the nation.

In October, 2015, Mayor Christiansen of Dover officially accepted the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness and he formed a working group of local volunteers to begin working toward the goals of outreach to identify homeless veterans; prevention of homelessness by promoting stable housing solution; and diverting veterans from temporary shelters to alternative housing arrangements and supportive services leading to permanent solutions. Mayor Christiansen asked the Vice Chairman of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs to lead the efforts of the working group. In collaboration with HUD, VA, Delaware State Housing Authority, Dover City Planner, Dover Housing Authority, Kent County Levy Court and a host of other federal, state and local agencies as well as local private shelters, veteran service organization, businesses and interested individuals, the Dover Working Group brought together volunteers for a training program based upon strategies being successfully employed in various locations throughout the country. Through that effort the volunteers organized the Dover Veterans Welcome Home Team with the specific goals designed to end veteran homelessness in Dover in 2015. The team meets regularly to review the status of cases for veterans they are assisting.

From this initiative, the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs and the Delaware State Housing Authority in conjunction with the Delaware Joining Forces Coalition have developed the Delaware Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015 and to assist local communities throughout the state to create their own local goals and initiatives to end veteran homelessness.

On May 4th, Governor Markell will officially challenge state and local leaders to join the effort to end veteran homelessness in 2015.