Thunder Over Dover edition nets awards for Team Dover

Col. Ethan Griffin, 436th Airlift commander, watches the Thunderbirds soar past the control tower at Dover Air Force Base in August. This photo was included in the award-winning Sept. 1 edition of The Airlifter. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

DOVER — Some notes and quotes between headlines and deadlines …


Congratulations to Team Dover.

Members of the 436th Airlifter Wing Public Affairs group are soaring after learning they won first place for printed publication in the U.S. Air Force Media Contest at the Air Mobility Command level.

The team won with the Sept. 1 edition of The Airlifter — the base newspaper published in partnership with the Delaware State News.

The edition featured several photos and stories on the August Thunder Over Dover open house, which attracted 75,000 people to the base.

The event featured the elite U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

Photos of Thunderbirds and aviation enthusiasts were among those selected for a centerspread photo package.

Additional 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs awards:

•Second place, broadcast team, Short-Form Production Video for their Mission Video featuring the Airmen and Aircraft of Team Dover;

•Second place, broadcast team, Long-Form Production Video for their Airman Leadership School retreat training video;

•Second place, Airman 1st Class Dedan Dials, Video Spot category with his “Four Things Not to do During the Holidays”;

•Second place, Roland Balik, 436th Airlift Wing photographer, Portrait category for his photo of Lt. Col. Goldie, the Air Force therapy dog, who visited Dover AFB;

• Third place, Staff Sgt. Aaron J. Jenne, Training Photo Series category for his coverage of Exercise Rapid Rescue in May 2017.

The awards process continues with winners to be selected from all of the U.S. Air Force. Winning submissions there complete at the Department of Defense level.


Often, coverage of state government gives us a sense of déjà vu.

Today’s top story takes us back to 2014 when then-Delaware Gov. Jack Markell put forth a proposal to tax property owners to fund water projects in the state.

He pitched the “Clean Water Initiative” at several engagements around the state, including the annual Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, but did not always find welcoming audiences. Legislators did not respond kindly, either.

At the same time, he was pitching a need for a 10-cent hike in the gas tax for transportation funds.

Gov. Markell’s idea was pretty much dead in the water, so to speak, from the start.

In 2015, when he addressed the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce gathering, he reflected on the idea.

“If anything could have been less popular to the gas tax, this thing was even less popular,” Gov. Markell said that day. “I set a pretty high bar in terms of unpopular proposals, and this one exceeded that.”

After reading today’s story on the newest initiative to tax Delawareans and earmark those funds for water projects, let us know what you think.

Are you willing to pay $40 more with your individual income taxes or $80 more on a joint return?

We welcome comments under our stories at and greatly appreciate letters to the editor sent to


Readers likely recognize the byline on today’s People story about the Citywide Black History Celebration art exhibition at the Biggs Museum.

It was written by Arshon Howard, a former staff reporter here at the Delaware State News.

Mr. Howard is also making news in the music world. You likely did not know that Mr. Howard is one of the members of a hip-hop group, Champagne Gang, that will be performing at the Firefly Music Festival this year.


Thanks to freelancer photographer Chuck Snyder for the great images of last weekend’s Lewes Polar Bear Plunge Benefiting Special Olympics Delaware.

He captured the warmth of the cold affair nicely.

Special Olympics Delaware reported that 3,383 “bears” took the plunge and raised more than $875,000.

The water temperature was 37 degrees. The air temperature was a balmy 47.


“Jeopardy!” stumped its contestants Wednesday night with an answer that seemed like an easy one for folks around here.

“Remove VA from Virginia for the name of a peninsula and you get this ‘Little town too big for one state,’” read host Alex Trebek.

The contestants were stumped. Three beeps ended the long silence.

“It would be Delmar,” said Trebek, “on the Delmarva Peninsula.”

This editor was in Delmar Thursday for the funeral of former Salisbury, Maryland, Daily Times sports editor Rick Cullen, who no doubt would have chuckled about it. Delmar was his hometown and he always had a great appreciation for its small town charm and underdog sports personality.

Back in 1959, he was on one of little Delmar’s state championship football teams.

By the way, we learned this week that Mr. Cullen will be posthumously inducted into the Maryland-Delaware D.C. Press Association Hall of Fame this year.

Among those he’ll join in the Hall of Fame are Jack Smyth, founder of the Delaware State News as the first daily in the capital of the First State, and Wright Robinson, whose newspaper career spanned eight decades in Western Sussex County.

Mr. Cullen, as this column noted last week, helped launch this editor’s career in journalism.

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