February 28th is deadline to change political party affiliation before Presidential Primary

Wilmington DE – The deadline to change your political party affiliation before the Presidential Primary is Friday, February 28, 2020.

You must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican in your party’s Presidential Primary. The deadline to change political party affiliation before the 2020 Presidential Primary is Friday, February 28, 2020.

Registered voters can change their party affiliation online via Delaware’s voter portal, at any Department of Elections office, or by completing an application and returning it to the elections office in their county by mail.

Eligible citizens not-registered to vote in Delaware who want to vote in Delaware’s Presidential Primary have until April 4th to register.

For more information contact any of the following:

  • Office of the State Election Commissioner: 302.739.4277, or by email
  • Kent County Office: 302.739.4498, or by email
  • New Castle County Office: 302.577.3464, or by email
  • Sussex County Office: 302.856.5367, or by email


Delaware Libraries Celebrate Reading and Back to School

Delaware’s First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney and Delaware Libraries celebrated libraries and reading during Summer Library Reading Celebrations at the Milford Public Library and Route 9 Library and Innovation Center. The First Lady, Delaware Libraries, United Way and other partners encourage all children and teens to continue to use their most valuable school supply, a library card, year-round!

“Promoting early literacy and school readiness is a critical part of giving all of Delaware’s children a ‘first chance’ to succeed,” said First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney. “The library habit is about literacy, as well as parent-child engagement and access to other services that support strong and healthy families. To support our families and a First Chance for all of our children, I encourage every Delawarean to get and use a Delaware library card.”

“Librarians help to generate a passion for reading and learning,” said Jeffrey Bullock, Delaware’s Secretary of State. “A healthy reading habit motivates, inspires, encourages creativity and ensures school success.”​

“Opening a book opens children’s minds to possibilities and expands their view of other worlds,” said Dr. Susan Bunting, Delaware’s Secretary of Education.  “Libraries are a wonderful place to start those adventures for all readers.”

“To borrow a line from Emily Dickinson, libraries allow us to ‘dwell in possibility,’” said State Representative Krista M.Z. Griffith. “They are lighthouses for learning and oases for imagination.”

The Colonial School District Libraries are members of the Delaware Library Consortium, and a new pilot program with New Castle County Libraries for teens in the district was launched at the Route 9 Library & Innovation Center. The new library card enables teens to check out up to twelve items fine-free from any library in New Castle County. The Colonial School District is including library card applications with their parent paperwork.

“Our library system enables countless residents to study, learn, and find work,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “I am excited for the new teen library card and the endless possibilities as well as help to overcome barriers such as library fines, a long-time challenge when it comes to continued literacy and growing appreciation for our libraries.”

By allowing students to check out multiple books, providing access to diverse literature across multiple genres, we are allowing our students to utilize books as mirrors, windows, and doors as a means to make connections, share perspectives, and learn more about the world and ourselves,” said Dr. Dusty Blakey, Superintendent, Colonial School District.

“Anytime is a great time for students and their families to engage in activities that nurture a love of reading,” said Schlonn Hawkins, Director, Get Delaware Reading. “United Way is excited to provide resources that will help children avoid summer learning loss and prepare for the upcoming school year.”

Frequent library use immerses children in “book floods” to support reading, rather than “book deserts,” said State Librarian, Dr. Annie Norman.  “Studies have shown that children who participate in public library summer programs score higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the new school year, experience less summer reading loss, and begin the school year with more confidence.”

About:

The Delaware Division of Libraries, a state agency dedicated to unleashing the potential in all Delawareans in partnership with Delaware Libraries, offers free access to the online catalog (delawarelibraries.org); Wi-Fi; computers/internet; eBooks, programs/workshops, community partnerships, and more.

 


DHSS Seeks Back-to-School Donations for Adopt-A-Student Program

NEW CASTLE (Aug. 7, 2019) – With back-to-school shopping already well under way for Delaware families, the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) asks you to considering helping students in need get off to a good start this school year by participating in the annual Adopt-A-Student program.

DHSS, in partnership with the Human Services Council, Inc., is seeking individuals, businesses and organizations to help thousands of children living in poverty or in low-income households by providing much needed backpacks, school supplies, and gift cards to purchase uniforms, or by choosing items to purchase for students via an online donation portal. The deadline for donations is Aug. 12 for online purchases and Aug. 19 for donations dropped off at Adopt-A-Student office locations.

“The work done by the Adopt-A-Student program – thanks to the generosity of sponsors and donors – helps make sure all Delaware children are ready to start learning on the first day of school,” DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker said. “I urge Delawareans to donate to Adopt-A-Student so our most vulnerable students are ready to take that next step toward success.”

Designed to encourage a positive attitude toward school by helping with the supplies that students need to achieve success, Adopt-A-Student accepts backpacks and school supply donations, as well as $50 gift cards to retail stores that carry school uniforms such as Rainbow and Walmart. In addition, merchant credit gift cards ($30) are recommended from Forman Mills.

“We are excited about the impact we can make in the lives of children in Delaware,” said Lisa MB Johnson, Program Administrator for the Adopt-A-Family program in DHSS’ Division of State Service Centers. “We truly appreciate the support we receive from the community for this annual program.”

From 2016 through 2018, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 15 percent of Delawareans lived below the poverty line.
To “adopt” a student or make a donation, please contact the closest Adopt-A-Family office:

New Castle County: Contact the Adopt-A-Student program at 302-792-6510 or email sharon.brown@delaware.gov. Donation hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Online donations for New Castle County: https://www.roonga.com/aas2019newcastle

Kent and Sussex counties: Contact the Adopt-A-Student program at 302-424-7260 or email elizabeth.senato@delaware.gov. Donation hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Online donations for Kent County: https://www.roonga.com/aas2019kent
Online donations for Sussex County: https://www.roonga.com/aas2019sussex

Any donor who needs to drop off donations outside of regular offices hours may call either office for an accommodation. More information can be found at: www.adoptafamilyde.org.

In 2018, the Adopt-A-Student program, through the leadership of the Human Services Councils, Inc., helped more than 900 Delaware students referred to the program by schools and social service agencies. Year-round, the various Adopt-A-Family programs aid families in crisis – those struggling with illness, homelessness, domestic violence, poverty or unemployment. The program, begun in 1973, is coordinated by the Division of State Service Centers in all three counties.

For these programs, Adopt-A-Family accepts financial and in-kind donations. All donations are tax deductible (Federal Tax ID# 51-0292966). Checks can be made payable to: Adopt-A-Family, and mailed to either 3301 Green St., Claymont, DE 19703; or 13 SW Front St., Milford, DE 19963.

For more information about Adopt-A-Family, go to www.adoptafamilyde.org/ or contact your nearest state service center.

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


Governor Carney, DTI Announce Rural Broadband Expansion Partnership

Partnership with Bloosurf aims to eliminate broadband deserts in Kent and Sussex Counties

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) Chief Information Officer James Collins, joined by Bloosurf, LLC Founder and CEO Vincent Sabathier and his team, announced a partnership to provide affordable wireless broadband in targeted, rural areas of Kent and Sussex Counties.

Last July, Governor John Carney and DTI issued a Request for Proposals to provide wireless broadband internet service to unserved and underserved residents and businesses in rural areas, and set a goal to eliminate broadband deserts in those regions within 24 months. DTI estimates target areas include approximately 127,700 homes and businesses in the rural parts of Sussex and Kent Counties. DTI will provide funding for startup costs of approximately $2 million to design, build, operate and commercialize a wireless network. DTI has placed prioritization on low-cost services for low-income families to enable them to take full advantage of the internet.

“Delawareans use the internet every day to search for jobs, acquire new skills, help their children do their homework, and run their businesses,” said Governor Carney. “High-speed broadband connectivity is essential for all Delaware families to succeed in today’s economy. This initiative will connect Delawareans in rural areas that have long been underserved by high-speed internet service – or not served at all. We are pleased to be moving forward with this partnership, and look forward to additional progress.”

“Technology is a part of nearly everything we do, making access to broadband as necessary as other public utilities in order for our state to thrive,” said CIO James Collins. “Without it, kids can’t do their homework and businesses are unable to operate effectively in the information age. The Carney Administration has made it a priority to bridge both the accessibility and affordability gaps of high-speed broadband to ensure that all Delawareans benefit from the unprecedented access to information and collaboration technology affords.”

“Bloosurf is honored to join forces with the State of Delaware and DTI in the important fight against the digital divide,” said Bloosurf CEO Vincent Sabathier. “Bloosurf will leverage DTI funding, DivComm towers, its know-how, its assets and its strategic partnerships to design, deploy and operate a LTE- advanced network. This network will significantly enhance coverage and speed in rural areas. We will also work closely with the State to make this new service affordable to low-income families.”

The first phase of Delaware’s broadband efforts focused on increasing fiber infrastructure. The state’s initial financial contribution of about $1.5 million resulted in over $30 million in private investment and 700 miles of fiber. Delaware’s broadband “backbone” features high capacity fiber-optic lines that run the length of the state from Wilmington to Georgetown, and from Seaford to Lewes, improving internet reliability for consumers and increasing internet access speeds by as much as 10 times since 2009. This current phase of the project is focused on fixed wireless solutions provided by public–private partnership opportunities to capitalize on the strengths of the both sectors to address gaps in broadband availability throughout Delaware.

For more information about Delaware’s broadband expansion efforts, please visit dti.delaware.gov.

 

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Tropical nursery stock a risk for red imported fire ants

Media: Images of fire ants can be found at the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) is alerting local businesses and purchasers of tropical nursery stock of the recent detection of fire ants in a shipment of palm trees imported from Florida. The red imported fire ants were detected during a routine check at a Sussex County business by DDA’s Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey team. A treatment program was immediately initiated to eliminate the fire ants.

“Buyers of tropical nursery stock – such as palm trees – should carefully inspect their plants for small, aggressive red stinging ants,” said Stephen Hauss, DDA Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator. “Red imported fire ants are not known to be established in Delaware. We intend to keep it that way, because they are a threat to human health and the agriculture industry. Quick and prompt reporting to the Department of Agriculture will help keep the imported fire ants from spreading or over-wintering in Delaware.”

Red imported fire ants are small (3-6 mm long) red to reddish brown ants. Mounds can be 18 inches high and three feet across, and have no visible external opening, unlike ant hills. Worker ants can sting repeatedly, and will attack anything that disturbs their mounds or food sources. Stings are very painful, and venom from a fire ant attack can cause a variety of symptoms in humans and animals. Anyone finding a suspicious ant should call DDA’s Plant Industries Section at 302-698-4500 or 800-282-8685 (toll-free for Delaware only).

A federal quarantine is in place for fire ants in part or all of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Puerto Rico, covering more than 367 million acres. The U.S. Department of Agriculture only allows shipments of nursery stock from quarantined states with an inspection certificate.

“We are urging caution on all fronts because of the ability of fire ants to spread quickly and the danger they pose,” said Jessica Inhof, DDA Plant Industries Administrator. “We have had good luck so far keeping the red imported fire ant from becoming established in Delaware. A lot is due to the vigilance of the vendors, and their promptness in reporting and inspecting imported tropical stock.”

Inhof said that anyone who travels in those states should not bring plants or plant material back into Delaware that has not been properly inspected. Plants should be accompanied by a state inspection certificate. In other states, pine straw mulch has been found to harbor red imported fire ants. Nurseries or other vendors should check each shipment received for the proper credentials and inspection certificates.

Imported fire ants pose a hazard to both human and animal health and to agriculture. Young animals and young trees are both susceptible to ant stings, while nests in fields can interfere with cultivation and harvesting. When their nests are disturbed, fire ants can be very aggressive. They will crawl up vertical surfaces, biting and stinging in a swarm. In addition, if red imported fire ants become established, their aggressive habits will negatively impact a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities. More information on red imported fire ants can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov.

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Media Contact: Stacey Hofmann, (302) 698-4542, Stacey.Hofmann@delaware.gov