Local news briefs for the week of Feb. 25:



School to present black history celebrations


Dover/Kent MPO to discuss transportation plan


African-American empowerment fund to launch in Kent County


Markell’s Energy Advisory Council seeks public input


Consumer protection week forums planned


Grant workshop planned for farmers and small businesses


Closures planned for Route 1 and Route 9

School to present black history celebrations

    The Faith Elementary and Middle schools will present a Black History Month celebration program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Healing Wings Christian Center, 1420 N. McKee Road, Dover.

    The student presentation will have the theme, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” and will include student songs, recitations, drama and prayers. A free-will offering will be collected.

    The elementary school’s students also will present their annual live Blacks in Motion Museum from 12:15 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at the school, located at 90 Saulsbury Road, Dover. Students will be wearing appropriate period dress and will exhibit their selected black history personality profile project as well as deliver short oral background information on their personality of choice. Two class presentations will be occurring simultaneously. Guests will be able to arrive and leave as they like.

Dover/Kent MPO to discuss transportation plan

    The Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization Council will hold its regular bi-monthly meeting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in the MPO conference room on the second floor of the Blue Hen Corporate Center, 655 Bay Road, Dover.

    A variety of issues will be covered during the meeting, including proposed amendments to the FY 2006-2009 Transportation Improvement Program.

    The meetings are open to the public, which is encouraged to attend. Information can be viewed on the MPO’s website, www.doverkentmpo.org.

African-American empowerment fund to launch in Kent County

    Organizers of the African American Empowerment Fund of Delaware, a new philanthropic initiative of the Delaware Community Foundation, will launch the fund in Kent County at Delaware State University at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28. The reception will be held as a prelude to DSU’s production of “Tears of a Teenage Mother,” part of the university’s Black History Month celebration.

    The fund’s mission is to promote philanthropy to fund causes important to the education, social and economic empowerment of black Delawareans, said Sylvia S. Banks, interim AAEFD chairwoman and manager of Corporate Contributions and Memberships for DuPont.

    The initial goal of the 30 original organizers of the AAEFD is to obtain 100 “founders” to contribute $1,000 or more to begin to build a lasting endowment. Since AAEFD’s official launch in June 2008, 54 people have contributed more than $20,000 in gifts to the fund. The effort mirrors the successful Fund For Women, a Delaware Community Foundation fund created to improve the lives of women and girls in Delaware. That fund, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, has more than 850 founders and an endowment exceeding $2.75 million. This year they awarded $130,000 in grants to 13 nonprofit organizations.

Markell’s Energy Advisory Council seeks public input

    Gov. Jack Markell’s Energy Advisory Council is looking for citizens to attend a public input session on the Delaware Energy Plan Executive Summary of Recommendations. Three sessions, one in each county, will be held for Delawareans to provide comments on the new Delaware Energy Plan recommendations that were developed by the council over the past several months.

    In Kent County, the session will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 4, in the Richardson and Robbins Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover.

    Sessions also will be held March 2 in Lewes and March 5 in New Castle.

    The council has been tasked with updating Delaware’s Energy Plan. The guiding principles for this effort include increasing energy and end-use efficiency and conservation; reducing the environmental impacts of energy used and generated in Delaware; reducing energy used for transportation; maximizing clean energy economic development opportunities; maintaining and improving the reliability and security of Delaware’s energy systems; and minimizing energy-related costs and impacts to Delaware citizens

    The executive summary, background information and directions to the session locations may be accessed at www.dnrec.delaware.gov or www.energy.dnrec.delaware.gov.

    Written comments also will be accepted and must be submitted by 4:30 p.m., Thursday, March 12, by email to DNREC_EnergyPlan@state.de.us. 

Consumer protection week forums planned

    The Delaware Department of Justice will sponsor several public forums over the next week in conjunction with the 2009 National Consumer Protection Week.

    In Kent County, a session will be held at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, March 4, at the Modern Maturity Center, 1121 Forrest Ave., Dover.

    Each session will last approximately one hour and will be lead by a deputy attorney general from the consumer protection unit.

    Each presentation is free and pre-registration is not required.

Grant workshop planned for farmers and small businesses

    The USDA Rural Development and Delaware State University will hold a free workshop for farmers, agricultural producers and small businesses interested in starting a cooperative or learning more about energy grants for a farm operation or small business.

    In addition, the workshop will provide information to agricultural producers on Value Added Producer Grants.

    The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, March 10, at the Bank of America Building, Room 309, on the Delaware State University campus.

    To register, call Delaware State University at 857-6950 or 857-6951.

    The deadline for registration is Friday, Feb. 27.

Closures planned for Route 1 and Route 9

    As part of the Route 1 and Route 9 overpass project, DelDOT will have lane closures and intermittent rolling road blocks on Route 1 at the intersection of Route 9 in Dover.

    The closures are part of the project to set bridge beams for the overpass.

    The area of Route 1 northbound at the intersection of Route 9 will be closed from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday, March 9.

    Route 1 southbound at the intersection of Route 9 will be closed from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Tuesday March 10.

    State police troopers will be on hand to hold traffic long enough for the beams to be set. Travelers should expect delays and lane shifts.

    The work may be rescheduled to another date, depending on weather conditions.