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Sunday, May 9, 2021

Ron's Roundup: Defiant Texters and County Muckrakers

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As COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths decline, state stops vaccine waiting list

State health officials said vaccines are so widely available now that its own system is no longer needed.

Body camera training underway in Wilmington as new bill calls for statewide policy

The bill would require all law enforcement and some correction and other officers to wear a body camera

Republicans announce legislation to review voting roll laws, require photo IDs for voting

One measure would require all voters to show photo IDs when they vote or seek an absentee ballot.
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Ron Williams
Ron Williams, a Delaware native, has been writing and editing politics in New Jersey and Delaware for more than 40 years. He’s won numerous journalistic awards over his career. He is somewhat retired and lives in Middletown with his wife.

One of the biggest legislative jokes in recent years is the abortive attempt by Delaware’s Generous Assembly to outlaw cellular phones and text messaging while driving. It is an absolute failure.

Traveling Del. 1 and U.S. 13 on a daily basis is proof enough that either most drivers, especially younger ones, either don’t know it’s against the law, they don’t care if it is or it’s purposely defiant. I tend to go with the latter.

We do finally have signs at the borders warning drivers about the ban on cell phones and texting, but I still tend to give the out-of-staters a bit of a break. One quick turn of the head, for instance, on U.S. 301 border wouldn’t inform foreign drivers of the law.

But that shouldn’t be an excuse for in-staters. Forget the newspapers. They aren’t much good for daily information anymore. But there have been billboards, a few news articles and plenty of television exposure. Delaware do still fails miserably in reminding drivers in state about the law, especially those who leave and come back in the state. Those folks get no heads up, not even a cheap little green road sign.

Retired State Police Superintendent Robert Coupe had an excellent idea that, even though Gov. Markell supported it, couldn’t get General Assembly approval. He wanted to replace the existing, fully trained state police officers (homicide, arson, violent crimes, etc.) in the schools with TRAINED school resource officers. The millions saved would go toward operating a new state highway patrol that would enforce driving laws such as the no cell-phone prohibition, not to mention that nearly non-existent speeding enforcement.

I’m not exactly sure which lobby got to the General Assembly (cell phone, pro-speeders, Texters Inc.?) Somebody did.

It’s a shame, really. Cell phone and texters go on being hazardous to everyone’s driving while taxpayers continue to fund fully trained police officers to guard and protect our kids in school.

WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR?

I like to think I know a little something about newspaper reporting and editing, have done both for 42 years in Delaware and New Jersey. Jersey is not among the heavy weights in ethical and legal politics. The first three Jersey secretaries of state when I worked there were indicted for varvious nefarious deeds.

One of the papers I worked for in Trenton was the same as News Journal editor David Ledford tried for a while.

But I can’t figure out what the Journal reporters are trying to prove with all their ink on Pam Scott, the real estate attorney wife of former county executive Paul Clark. Several prominent attorneys agreed in the paper’s latest fumbling attempt last Sunday to do whatever it is it’s trying to do to Scott. They don’t see anything illegal or odd in her real estate handling of the now famous Greenville Center-Barley Mill development.

Maybe I’m just missing something.

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Latest News

As COVID cases, hospitalizations, deaths decline, state stops vaccine waiting list

State health officials said vaccines are so widely available now that its own system is no longer needed.

Body camera training underway in Wilmington as new bill calls for statewide policy

The bill would require all law enforcement and some correction and other officers to wear a body camera

Republicans announce legislation to review voting roll laws, require photo IDs for voting

One measure would require all voters to show photo IDs when they vote or seek an absentee ballot.
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