More notable Delaware State News headlines from 2015

Now that you’ve read about the top stories of the year, check out this long list of other memorable Delaware State News headlines from 2015:

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Hurricane scare: Delawareans feared the wrath of Hurricane Joaquin at the start of October. The hurricane went out to sea, but it dumped more than five inches of rain on the state and whipped it with 25-mph winds that gusted above 40 mph. Somehow, it cleared up enough for Dover International Speedway to hold its Saturday and Sunday NASCAR races.

Punkin Chunk canceled: On Oct. 9, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association announced it was canceling the event after failing to obtain insurance. It was to be held at the Woodlands next to Dover International Speedway, but was to be scaled down because there wasn’t room for the all-out firing of air cannons.

Election dispute: In April, La Mar Gunn argued before the Delaware Supreme Court, hoping to reverse a decision that led to Betty Lou McKenna’s Recorder of Deeds victory in the 2014 election. The Supreme Court ordered Superior Court to vacate a Dec. 30, 2014, decision that declared the election a tie and led to Ms. McKenna’s appointment to the office by Gov. Jack Markell. Thus, the result reverted to an earlier recount that had Ms. McKenna winning by two votes. On election night, the initial count showed Mr. Gunn winning by two votes before recounts.

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New to Dover council: Robin Christiansen took 65 percent of the vote in the race for Dover’s mayor in April. Carleton E. Carey Sr., who had stepped down months earlier, was second in voting. Five new members were elected: Fred Neil, James Hosfelt, Brian Lewis, Scott Cole and Roy Sudler Jr. Ousted from council were David Bonar, Beverly Williams and Wallace Dixon.

Business developments: The Fairways topless nightclub reopened in May nearly two years after it was destroyed by a fire. … After 62 years of photographing Kent Countians, Young’s Studio in Dover closed. .,. In July, the Kirby and Holloway Family Restaurant, destroyed by fire in February 2014, was demolished. … PPG Architectural Coatings celebrated its 40th anniversary in Dover. … After 40 years of business, Witt Brothers Market was sold. It will carry on as the Camden-Wyoming Market.

Sprucing up: At the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and DuPont Highway in Dover, a ceremony marked the start of the U.S. 13 Streetscape and Landscape Beautification Project designed to spruce up Kent County’s main artery.

Kicking up dust: In November, Ron Faison and his son, C.J., announced plans to build a quarter-mile dirt speedway just north of Felton. The project, protested by neighbors including Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery, was approved by the county’s planning department without a public hearing. The county Board of Adjustments will review the decision in January.

New care center: Eden Hill has plans to build a sub-acute rehabilitation facility in Dover that would provide short-term care for patients discharged from a hospital and still in need of medical services until returning home.

Deaths: In late January, prominent Dover developer Mike Zimmerman, who was embroiled in legal trouble over financial dealings with Wilmington Trust, was found dead in his home. He was 57, … Educator Jane Richter, the director of Dover’s Little School, died in February. She was 77. … W. Layton Johnson, Return Day’s Town Crier from 1992 to 2012 and mayor of Georgetown for 26 years, died in Georgetown at age 89.
DSN20150902_01 by . CR passes referendum: Caesar Rodney School District residents approved the referendum in October. Property taxes for residents in the district will increase over five years, reaching an additional 57 cents per every $100 of assessed property value by the end of the fifth year. Funds will be used for operating expenses, construction of a new elementary school and renovations and improvements to every school in the district.

Tearing it down: Demolition of the old Dover High on Pat Lynn Drive began. “I’ll just say it’s kind of an ugly building, but it was a beautiful place to learn and grow,” said Eugene Montano, district supervisor of instruction.

Other school newsmakers: Robert E. Clark II, a former commandant of the midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, became president of Wesley College in July. … Courtney Voshell was named the new principal of Dover High and Dan Shelton became the new superintendent of the Capital School District. … Sandra Hall of North Smyrna Elementary School was named the state’s Teacher of the Year in October. … The First State Military Academy welcomed its first cadets to the new charter school in September.

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Legislation: On April 2, the Delaware State Senate, by a vote of 11-9, passed a death penalty repeal bill. The bill never made it to the full House of Representatives for a vote after a House Judiciary Committee voted 6-5 to not move it forward on May 13. … Lawmakers approved a bill that added e-cigarettes to the Clean Indoor Air Act. … Animal control shifted from the counties back to the state’s Office of Animal Welfare in a move approved in a footnote in the state’s budget bill. … In June, on the first day of the Firefly Music Festival, Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill that decriminalized possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. The civil penalty is now a fine of $100. … Gov. Markell vetoed a bill that would have allowed parents to pull their kids out of Delaware’s standardized testing.

Crimes: Gunshots injured three people and disrupted a Field Day fun at Delaware State University in April. … In April, Cortez A. Martin was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder for the death of his wife, Keisha S. Hamilton, 35, of Smyrna. Police said she may been killed with a hammer. Her body has not been found. … In April, Dover Police said they had arrested a 49-year-old man for 18 burglaries. He was dubbed the “rat burglar” for his method of cutting holes into buildings and crawling in.

• Courts: Alex J. Harrington and Joseph T. Skochelak pleaded guilty to second-degree arson and second-degree burglary for fires that damaged three Kent County churches in 2014. … Reacting to the domestic abuse allegations case in Kent County Family Court, NASCAR suspended driver Kurt Busch just days before the Daytona 500. The judge said the former champion almost surely choked and beat his former girlfriend during a NASCAR weekend in Dover. In March, Delaware prosecutors said there would be no criminal charges pressed against him.

08dsn leg hall fire 1 by . Statehouse fire: An exhaust pipe from a basement generator ignited a fire that caused $1.5 million in damage to Legislative Hall in Dover in October.

• Prison death: The Department of Justice said no charges would be filed for the 2014 death of Ronald W. Shoup after he was restrained in the Sussex Correctional Institution. An autopsy said he died of blunt force injuries.

• Veterans’ honored: Just before the Fourth of July, “The Wall that Heals” — a mini replica of the Vietnam Wall — arrived in Dover. … In November, monuments to honor veterans who served in the Middle East were dedicated at Legislative Hall and the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park. Earlier in the year, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 850 dedicated a memorial to war dogs.

• Flu deaths: Delaware’s Division of Public Health said a record 28 people died of the flu in 2014-15.

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• Odds and ends: The Smithsonian Institution put out a call for donations to restore the suit Neil Armstrong wore on the moonwalk in 1969 and easily raised $700,000. The suit was manufactured by ILC Dover. … Brooke Mitchell, Miss Milford, was crowned the new Miss Delaware. … In August, more than 7,100 people attended the Dover Public Library’s Comic Con. … Imogene Tonnesen, 86, of Felton, won the “Price is Right!” grand prize package that included a trip to Buenos Aires and a Mini Cooper. … At Dover Air Force Base, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, scientists are testing DNA to identify scores of veterans who died at Pearl Harbor in 1941. … In a heartwarming holiday tale, Navy veteran James Pack was reunited after three months with his two dogs. While recovering from a heart attack, they were in the care of the First State Animal Center in Camden. Employees helped raise money for him to get his pets back.

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