Heart 2 Heart Hugs Warm Clothing Drive Underway

Dover-The Governor’s Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) is once again hosting a warm clothing drive that will benefit children and youth who are homeless or in foster care in Delaware. Each year we collect New or Hand-Made warm items such as: sleeping bags, coats, pajamas, hoodies, socks, slippers or any other item that might bring warmth and comfort to a child in need. We need your help to spread the word and collect NEW, positive portable “hugs” for the children of Delaware who are either homeless or in foster care. For more information contact the office at 302-739-4553 or visit our website www.gacec.delaware.gov. Now is the time to take advantage of the after holiday sales and give a “hug” to a child in need!


National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu Visits Wilmington and Dover to Mark the NEA’s 50th Anniversary

FinalDivArtsLogoHorizColorNATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS CHAIRMAN JANE CHU
VISITS WILMINGTON AND DOVER TO MARK THE NEA’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY

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From left to right: Jeffrey W. Bullock, Secretary of State of Delaware; Carrie Gray, Executive Director of the Wilmington Renaissance Corporation; Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Mike Purzycki, Democratic candidate for the Office of Mayor of the City of Wilmington; Jack A. Markell, Governor in the Wilmington Creative District, Delaware.

Wilmington, DE – Chairman Chu concluded a day-long visit to the First State as part of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Her trip included a tour at The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington Creative District, The Grand Opera House, and the Biggs Museum of American Art.

“Thank you to the Delaware Division of the Arts for a meaningful tour of the state’s cultural community,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “I saw first-hand how the Division is creating experiences that connect people through the arts, instilling beauty in their world, deepening their sense of place and purpose, transforming their communities, and drawing out their own inner creativity. You are proof of why art matters.”

The visit, held on November 1, began with a tour of The Delaware Contemporary led by teaching artist Nanci Hersh and a presentation with the NEA-supported artist-in-residence, Alma Sheppard-Matsuo. Matsuo is working with the Kingswood Community Center on a 4-month printmaking residency engaging youth in the exploration of folktales from diverse cultures.

From left to right: Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts; David Keller, Interim Executive Director of The Delaware Contemporary; Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Nanci Hersh, Teaching Artist; Kerin B. Hearn, Officer, Board of Directors of The Delaware Contemporary; Leeann Wallett, Communications and Marketing Officer of the Delaware Division of the Arts; Laura Scanlan, Director of State and Regional Partnerships at the NEA; and Rick Rothrock, Visual Artist at The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington.
From left to right: Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts; David Keller, Interim Executive Director of The Delaware Contemporary; Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Nanci Hersh, Teaching Artist; Kerin B. Hearn, Officer, Board of Directors of The Delaware Contemporary; Leeann Wallett, Communications and Marketing Officer of the Delaware Division of the Arts; Laura Scanlan, Director of State and Regional Partnerships at the NEA; and Rick Rothrock, Visual Artist at The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington.

Next, was a walking tour through the Wilmington Creative District led by Carrie Gray, Executive Director of the Wilmington Renaissance Corporation. The Creative District project received an FY 16 NEA Our Town Grant of $75,000 to support the design of pocket parks and passages in Wilmington. This tour included Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Governor Jack A. Markell, Secretary of State of Delaware Jeffrey W. Bullock, and Democratic candidate for the Office of Mayor of the City of Wilmington, Mike Purzycki.

Then, Chairman Chu, Senator Coons, and Governor Markell gave remarks during the Town Hall meeting at the baby grand which was attended by over 150 guests. Chairman Chu spoked about the NEA’s 50th anniversary and took questions from the audience to learn more about how the arts play an important role in Delaware’s art community.

From left to right: J. Mack Wathen, Chair of the Delaware State of the Arts Council; Steve Bailey, Managing Director of Programming of The Grand Opera House; Mark Fields, Executive Director of The Grand Opera House; Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Paul Weagraff, Director of the Division of the Arts; Laura Scanlan, Director of State and Regional Partnerships at the NEA at The Grand Opera House, Wilmington.

From left to right: J. Mack Wathen, Chair of the Delaware State of the Arts Council; Steve Bailey, Managing Director of Programming of The Grand Opera House; Mark Fields, Executive Director of The Grand Opera House; Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Senator Chris Coons (D-DE); Paul Weagraff, Director of the Division of the Arts; Laura Scanlan, Director of State and Regional Partnerships at the NEA at The Grand Opera House, Wilmington.

Later, Chairman Chu visited the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, which included a tour of its galleries and an opportunity for a public meet and greet with the Kent and Sussex County arts communities.

From left to right: Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Ryan Grover, Curator of the Biggs Museum; Charlie Guerin, Executive Director of the Biggs Museum; Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts; J. Mack Wathen, Chair of the Delaware State of the Arts Council; John Schoonover, Board Member of the Biggs Museum at the Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover.
From left to right: Jane Chu, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); Ryan Grover, Curator of the Biggs Museum; Charlie Guerin, Executive Director of the Biggs Museum; Paul Weagraff, Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts; J. Mack Wathen, Chair of the Delaware State of the Arts Council; John Schoonover, Board Member of the Biggs Museum at the Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover.

About the Delaware Division of the Arts

The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit artsdel.org or call 302-577-8278.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016.

Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing
302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov

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National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to Visit Wilmington, Delaware on November 1, 2016

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Thursday, October 27, 2016

Contacts:

Judith Kargbo (NEA), kargboj@arts.gov, 202-682-5528

Leeann Wallett (Delaware Division of Arts), leeann.wallett@delaware.gov, 302-577-8280

Brian Cunningham (Senator Coons), Brian_Cunningham@coons.senate.gov, 302-573- 6345

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu to Visit
Wilmington, Delaware on November 1, 2016

Washington, DC – On November 1, 2016, Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will join Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) in engaging the Delaware arts community. Chairman Chu will tour The Delaware Contemporary and join Senator Coons in a public Town Hall meeting at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington. Chairman Chu will also tour the Biggs Museum of American Art and participate in a public meet and greet in Dover.

Chairman Chu will tour The Delaware Contemporary, an art museum and dynamic gathering place where art, design, and technology intersect to inspire creativity. She will have the opportunity to learn more about the many programs the museum offers, including its NEA-supported artist-in-residence program.

Then, the Delaware Division of the Arts hosts a Town Hall meeting at The Grand Opera House in Wilmington. Chairman Chu, Senator Coons, and Governor Jack Markell (D-DE) will give remarks. Chairman Chu will speak about the NEA’s 50th anniversary and take questions from the audience, giving her an opportunity to learn more about how the arts play an important role in Delaware’s arts community. Media who wish to attend this event should contact Leeann Wallett with the Delaware Division of the Arts at leeann.wallett@delaware.gov. After the Town Hall meeting, Chairman Chu is available for short one-on-one media interviews. Media should send their request in advance to Judith Kargbo, kargboj@arts.gov.

Later that afternoon, Chairman Chu will visit the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, an art museum dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of the fine and decorative arts of Delaware, the Mid-Atlantic Region and the nation from 1700 to the present. Following a tour of the museum, Chairman Chu will participate in a public meet and greet with the Dover arts community. Prior to the meet and greet, Chairman Chu is available for short one-on-one media interviews. Media should send their request in advance to Judith Kargbo, kargboj@arts.gov.

As part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ 50th anniversary celebration, the NEA created a story bank of multimedia content to showcase the impact of the arts. To date, hundreds of people from across the country, including Delaware, have submitted stories about how the arts and the National Endowment for the Arts have impacted their lives. In addition to a video about the arts and culture of Delaware, this section also includes a video from Senator Chris Coons, filmed at The Delaware Contemporary.

Media should contact Judith Kargbo at kargboj@arts.gov if they would like to attend any of the site visits or request an interview with Chairman Chu.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

9:00AM- 10:15AM The Delaware Contemporary Site Visit

Location: 200 S Madison St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Paul Weagraff, director, Delaware Division of the Arts
David Keller, interim executive director, The Delaware Contemporary Arts
Kathrine Page, board chair, The Delaware Contemporary Arts
Alma Sheppard-Matsuo, artist-in-residence, The Delaware Contemporary Arts

1:00PM –2:00PM Town Hall Meeting

Location: The Grand Opera House at the baby grand, 818 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Chris Coons, U.S. Senator, State of Delaware
Jack Markell, Governor, State of Delaware
Paul Weagraff, director, Delaware Division of the Arts
Mark Fields, executive director, the Grand Opera House

2:15PM –2:30PM Media Availability

Location: the baby grand, 818 N Market St, Wilmington, DE 19801

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Chris Coons, U.S. Senator, State of Delaware

3:45PM- 4:10PM Biggs Museum Tour

Location: 406 Federal St, Dover, DE 19901

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Paul Weagraff, director, Delaware Division of the Arts
Charles Guerin, executive director, Biggs Museum
Ryan Grover, curator, Biggs Museum

4:15PM- 4:30PM Media Availability

Location: Biggs Museum, 406 Federal St, Dover, DE 19901

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

4:30PM- 5:45PM Public Meet and Greet

Location: Biggs Museum, 406 Federal St, Dover, DE 19901

Participants:

Jane Chu, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
Paul Weagraff, director, Delaware Division of the Arts
Charles Guerin, executive director, Biggs Museum
Ryan Grover, curator, Biggs Museum

About the National Endowment for the Arts

Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016.

About the Delaware Division of the Arts

The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit artsdel.org or call 302-577-8278.


Governor Markell Lays out Vision to Position Delaware for Success in Years to Come

Photos from 2016 State of the State Address

Video of the 2016 State of the State Address

Final legislative and policy agenda seeks to leverage skilled workforce, high quality of life to create new opportunities for Delawareans

Dover, DE – In his final State of the State speech, Delaware Governor Jack Markell today proposed an agenda that positions Delaware to leverage its highly trained citizens and welcoming business climate to build opportunities for sustained job creation in an ever-changing economy. SOTS16

“It is our responsibility to provide Delawareans with the bridge to the life they want — workforce training for people who want to upgrade their skills; education that aligns with the knowledge they need in the new economy; affordable and high quality health care, safe communities, and more responsive government that supports their drive to succeed,” Markell said. “We have a lot more to do and new adversities to conquer. But our progress demonstrates that we are up to the challenge.”

“When I first stood before you, we faced a collapsing national economy and a growing deficit at a time of rapidly increasing demand for public services. As a result of the recession, more than five percent of Delaware’s jobs vanished. So we all got to work, improving our business climate and making difficult decisions to balance our budgets just as many Delawareans have had to do for their own. And we’ve done so while protecting the most vulnerable among us.”

“When we reflect on the challenges we have faced, we can be proud that even in the wake of the great recession, we did not settle for a return to the status quo.”

The Governor noted Delaware’s substantial progress over the past seven years:

  • Since the national economy bottomed out, Delaware’s job growth of 13 percent has outpaced all of our neighboring states, adding more than 50,000 jobs. During the past year alone an additional 13,700 Delawareans have found jobs.
  • Thanks to bipartisan compromise, construction workers are being put back on the job through investment of an additional nearly $400 million in roads and bridges over the next decade.
  • More students are graduating from high school – the best improvement of any state.
  • In 2011, only five percent of low-income kids attended the most highly rated early childhood programs. Today, that number has been increased to 59 percent.
  • A $5.6 million state investment in downtown areas in every county is leading to more than $114 million in private investment through the Downtown Development Districts program.
  • More veterans are finding jobs while fewer are living on the streets – during the past year, 284 homeless veterans were helped to get off the street.
  • Delaware ranks first in helping youth receiving social security disability benefits to successfully transition to employment.
  • Delaware’s air is cleaner – Delaware’s carbon dioxide emissions were reduced 16% from 2009 to 2013 – and recreational and cultural opportunities are more plentiful, from 50 miles of new trails to record investments in libraries and the arts community.
  • Prisons are less crowded – the statewide detention population has dropped 18 percent in two years and coordinated programs are helping to reduce recidivism.
  • Historic steps have been taken toward equality for Delaware’s vibrant LGBT community – legislation was enacted to approve marriage equality, prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation, and provide transgender Delawareans the same rights to protection from discrimination and violence.

SOTS16Recently, the Governor’s office issued a series of one-page fact sheets that outline progress that has been achieved during the past seven years on a range of areas.  Read those fact sheets HERE.

“Today, the state of our state is stronger than it has been in years.”

Markell urged lawmakers and other leaders to support several program, policy, and legislative initiatives that build upon the state’s progress and meet the shared expectation that more can be done to move the state forward.

BUILDING ON DELAWARE’S PROGRESS BY EXPECTING MORE

SPEECH EXCERPTS AND PROPOSALS

Growing Delaware’s economy by increasing access to job training

Last year, Markell announced the Delaware Promise, a partnership among the General Assembly, business community, and Delaware schools and colleges, to help ensure that 65 percent of our workforce will earn a college degree or professional certificate by 2025. Today he celebrated the progress of this initiative and announced its expansion.

“We help grow our economy by improving access to better education and training. Even as employment in our state has reached historic highs, we confront the odd reality that Delaware employers are hiring, but can’t find enough qualified applicants.”

  • Expand the availability of SEED higher education scholarships by expanding their benefits to part-time students and those who must take a break from their studies.
  • Expand the TechHire initiative beyond ZipCode Wilmington and add a new coding program at Delaware Tech, geared toward people who need to work part time while they train
  • Grow the Pathways to Prosperity initiative, which will create training opportunities this fall for 5,000 high school students to receive workplace experience and college credits that position them for careers in key industries. Business partners have agreed to double from 500 to 1000 the number of students who have the opportunity to work directly at a Delaware employer.
  • Increase the number of students studying computer programming to 1,000 by September, up from 80 two years ago.

Building a more affordable and welcoming place to do business

“Our strong workforce is the most important reason employers locate and expand in our state.  But we also know that our employers and entrepreneurs expect Delaware to be an affordable, welcoming place to do business.”

  • Enact legislation that helps Delaware businesses use online platforms to offer a stake in their companies to Delawareans. Much of this investing can be done through what is known as crowdfunding – a way for entrepreneurs to connect with investors.
  • Modernize our tax code to promote job creation through the Delaware Competes Act.

Sustaining responsible state finances

“Because of the work we have done over the last seven years, we are still one of a handful of states with a AAA credit rating. We have reduced headcount in executive branch agencies by nearly 5 percent, saved millions by changing the way we purchase energy, and renegotiated real estate leases. The biggest challenge we face is the sharply accelerating cost of health care.”

  • Build on efforts of the state’s healthcare community to move away from an expensive fee-for-service model and toward a system that emphasizes quality outcomes at an affordable cost.
  • Improve the long-term viability of state employee health plans by: giving employees information and better incentives to choose cost-effective, high quality care, like using urgent care instead of the emergency room or telemedicine instead of an office visit; and creating a new plan for future employees to limit changes for current employees.

Investing in quality education

“We have no better example of how higher expectations – along with significant additional resources, support, and innovation – have resulted in extraordinary progress than in our schools.  Over the past several years, our students, families, teachers, and staff have set and reached loftier goals in almost every possible way. And the more we have asked, the more they have achieved, like record high graduation rates – improving faster than any other state – while earning some of the nation’s best test scores in the early grades.”

  • Better support, retain, and attract high quality teachers by raising starting salaries and introducing opportunities for educators to earn more for taking on leadership responsibilities without leaving the classroom for administrative positions.
  • Provide stipends for educators who aren’t receiving compensation for their National Board Certification.

“As much as any other state, Delaware has committed to our youngest learners.”

  • Provide funding to give more low-income children access to high-quality early learning programs, well-educated teachers, and a healthy start.

Protecting public safety supporting reentry through common-sense criminal justice reforms

“More than 600 inmates are serving mandatory extended sentences because of Delaware’s habitual offender law. Today, a person can receive a mandatory life sentence solely for drug offenses, without any conviction for an act of physical violence. The cost to taxpayers of these automatic sentences and of keeping habitual offenders behind bars for decades is enormous.”

  • Reform sentencing laws to give judges discretion to sentence offenders on a case-by-case basis so that the state can focus limited resources on keeping dangerous offenders off the streets.
  • Amend Delaware law to remove the financial bar to exercising the right to vote. Right now, a person with a felony conviction can vote as soon as his or her sentence is complete, but only if he or she has paid all fines and fees.

Professional Licensing

“One way we must make strides towards a more equal society is by ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to build a better life. Many of our licensing and certification requirements are well-founded, however, some requirements may no longer be necessary and instead prevent many from pursuing professions in which they would thrive, particularly low-income individuals.”

  • Build on recent reforms to barber and cosmetology regulations by instructing executive branch agencies, along with the Chair of the Joint Sunset Committee to conduct a comprehensive analysis of licensing requirements, with input from board representatives and the public.

Increasing access to safe and effective contraception

“Delaware has one of the highest unplanned pregnancy rates in the country – 57 percent. When people become parents accidentally, we know the outcomes for them and their children, may be diminished. There are new methods that are much more effective than the pill – methods preferred by OB-GYNs and endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control – but here in Delaware our healthcare system doesn’t make it easy to choose these new methods.”

  • Launch a partnership with the national nonprofit Upstream USA to train our healthcare providers so that all Delaware women can conveniently access the full range of contraceptive choices at low or no-cost, consistent with federal law, which requires coverage and reimbursement for all contraceptives.

Treating addiction

“We have increased access to substance use treatments by as much as 100 percent, and we’ve made it easier for law enforcement, as well as friends and family, to help victims before it’s too late. These efforts are saving lives. I ask for your continued support in building on our progress.”

  • Fund a team of health care professionals who can serve more than 100 of our highest-need patients to provide the intensive services to end their constant cycle of hospitalization, withdrawal, and treatment.
  • Develop closer coordination between the Department of Health and Social Services and primary care doctors to screen for and identify more cases of substance abuse to reduce overall treatment costs and save more families from the anguish of a long battle with addiction.

The full remarks of Governor Markell’s 2016 State of the State address are posted at: http://governor.delaware.gov/speeches/2016StateOfTheState/SOTS_2016.pdf

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State of the State Address: Guests of Governor Markell

Dover, DE – Governor Markell delivers his annual State of the State Address today at 2:00 p.m. in Legislative Hall before members of the General Assembly, Cabinet members, and fellow Delawareans.

In addition to looking ahead to priorities for this year, the Governor will reflect on progress the state has made by “expecting more” during challenging times over the past seven years. Our series of one-page fact sheets covering a range of areas can be found here.

Several special guests who represent topics covered in the speech will attend at the invitation of Governor Markell.  These Delawareans serve as examples of those who have secured marketable skills to thrive in the state’s new economy, secured the opportunity for self-sufficiency through state and non-profit services, and represented the best of selfless service to others.  These guests are introduced below.

Members of the media interested in learning more or interviewing these individuals following the Governor’s address should email Courtney.McGregor@delaware.gov or Jason.Miller@delaware.gov. Dawn

Dawn Milnamow recently completed a 12-week computer coding course at Zip Code Wilmington through the Delaware TechHire initiative.  Less than six months ago Dawn was struggling to get a full-time job. Last month she was hired by JP Morgan Chase in an information technology position which nearly tripled her annual salary.

-Alex Kotanides with Solar Unlimited, a Lewes-based renewable energy hot water heating system manufacturer that anticipates $1 million in sales to Mexico thanks to the state’s export initiatives.

Liza Bartle with Agilent Technologies represents private sector employers who have joined the Pathways to Prosperity Initiative, which places students with employers to learn valuable job skills that today’s employers need, from manufacturing to computer networking, health care, and culinary arts. Business partners are committing to increase the number of students who gain the opportunity to work directly with employers.

Cheyenne Hinson graduated this past year as a certified nursing assistant through the Generation USA youth employment program, a training program facilitated by the McKinsey Social Initiative that serves unemployed and underemployed youth.  Through this training, Cheyenne has overcome the challenges of unemployment to secure a position in a Wilmington-area healthcare facility, and recently earned a promotion.

Alisson Murillo Navas is among the more than 4,000 students who have received SEED scholarships at Delaware Tech over the past five years.  Alisson, who enrolled at Delaware Tech this past fall as a SEED student majoring in biological sciences, had a successful fall semester but lost her scholarship because she was one credit short of being a full-time student as she tried to juggle her academics with a part-time job.  Alisson remains enrolled in coursework and plans to continue her pre-med education after graduating from Delaware Tech.

Briana Congo participated in Project SEARCH, a workforce development collaboration among state agencies, local public schools, and Christiana Care to prepare people with disabilities for employment.  Briana was placed at Christiana Care as a SEARCH intern, where she received work-based learning experiences that positioned her for employment, and she was subsequently hired by Christiana Care as a Materials Handler. Briana

-During a 24-hour period beginning last Christmas Eve, Newark Police Corporal Marc Difrancesco personally responded to three separate reports of individuals found unresponsive because of an overdose. Through a change in Delaware law that allowed police to carry and administer the overdose-reducing drug naloxone, all three of those individuals were saved.

Chief Warrant Officer Lloyd Massey and Master Sergeant Kevin Reading represent the hundreds of Delaware National Guard servicemembers who have deployed around the world during the past year.  Chief Warrant Officer Massey, a member of the Operational Support Airlift Agency, recently completed a deployment to the Horn of Africa and Master Sergeant Reading was stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Yashika Bailey is an Air Force veteran who had been facing homelessness and unemployment.  She has been able to land back on her feet through housing that she initially received through a local non-profit and an apartment she’s now renting with assistance from a government-sponsored housing program.  Yashika has also secured employment and is serving her state as a member of the Delaware Air National Guard.

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