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April 11, 2014     Cape Gazette
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April 11, 2014

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22 FRIDAY, APRIL 11 - MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014 NEWS Cape Gazette Phillips Continued from page 1 in the March 30 email. Phillips said he did take time to reconsider. 's long as it took me to respond 'nuts,'" he said. He officially filed to run April 10 at the Sussex County Board of Elections. During a March meet- ing, Sussex County Re- publican Committee Ad- visory Board voted not to endorse Phil- lips based on Phillips' Vance Phillips pending civil litigation, Rieley said. Katelynn Breana Dunlap of Lincoln filed a 17-page civil suit May 6, 2013, in Kent County Superior Court alleging Phillips sexually attacked and molested her on 10 separate occasions shortly after she turned 18 years old. The jury trial will take place in 2015. Delaware State Police and the Attorney General's Office investigated Phillips after an anonymous letter circulated throughout Legislative Hall in Dover alleging Phillips had acted inappropriately in a mat- ter involving a young woman. No criminal charges were filed against Phillips by either agency following the investigation. "There will be a cloud of un- certainty about your legal status that will almost certainly be exploited by your opponent and possibly the press as well;' Rieley wrote. Rieley also wrote that it was the collective opinion, not only of district officials but of oth- er Republican Party members throughout the state, that the 5th District is in jeopardy of being lost to another party. "And, if for some unforeseen reason, the 4th District race did not go as planned we would run a high risk of losing control of the county council," he wrote. The 4th District seat is held by Republican George Cole, who is undecided on seeking another term. "I am surprised at your ap- parent lack of awareness of the political landscape with regard to Sussex Tecl Continued from page 1 Lathbury said some positions are now empty and would not be filled, but reductions would be made in teaching, administra- tion and other school positions. Lathbury could not be reached to verify how many employees have been officially notified their jobs would be eliminated or how many current employees will be laid off. In March, Lathbury an- nounced that the Sussex County Vo-Tech School District needed to raise about $4 million in taxes orthe district would be forced to cut 24 jobs. The proposal calls for a vo- tech tax increase of $19 a year in 2015 for an average homeowner, plus an additional $5 more a year for the next five years. After the six-year period, an average tax- payer would pay about $42 more in school taxes, or a total vo-tech tax bill of $83 a year, more than doubling the current vocational tax pal&by Sussex County prop- erty owners. However, in order to raise Sus- sex County property taxes, the state Legislature first must pass a bill that would allow the tax increase. If the tax rate is approved by the Legislature, Lathbury said, it will assure the 24 positions slated for cuts would be saved. To date, no one has sponsored a bill. Rep. Darryl Scott of Dover, who is not seeking re-election, had indicated he might sponsor the bill, Lathbury said, but Scott has yet to file a bill. Despite the threat of job losses, Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth and other Sussex County legislators said no one from the Sussex County delegation would spon- sor the bill. "There must be a bill to go to committee," Lathbury said. "We can only hope." Following a Cape Gazette news article in March, members of an independent committee who reviewed the financial details of the tax increase proposal stressed that they did not ap- prove an increase. They simply reviewed the numbers and veri- fied that the proposed increase would cover projected student enrollment growth, said Ann Visalli, director of the Office of Management and Budget. "We did not weigh in on the need," she said. Her deputy, Brian Maxwell, said Sussex Tech was "looking to ramp up their enrollment." Lathbury estimated Sussex Tech will enroll 60 to 100 more students next year. About half of the students who apply to Sus- sex Tech are accepted each year, he said. 's enrollment and demand for services grow in Sussex County, our enrollment will probably grow," Lathbury said. "It is not so much of us trying to increase enrollment as it is attempting to meet a reasonable amount of the overwhelming demand for services." Along with growth will come more programs focused on train- ing for high-demand, high-skill and high wage careers, Lathbury said. These fields include surgi- cal technologies, biotechnologies for food science, information technologies, and manufacturing and robotic technologies, he said. your own race. This is surprising because you have always been very astute politically," Rieley wrote. PHILLIPS SAID HE DID TAKE TIME TO RECONSIDER. "AS LONG AS IT TOOK ME TO RESPOND 'NUTS,'" HE SAID. Phillips fired back at com- ments in the email. "For the chairman of the county party to be fighting a Republican when the Democrats have given us so much to fight them with is a sign of dysfunctional leadership," Phillips said. Phillips is council's second- most-senior member, having served two terms as council president. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Phillips is a sixth- generation farmer and lifelong Sussex resident who lives and farms near Laurel. Phillips was seriously injured in an Oct. 30, 2011 ultra-light plane crash in Virginia and still faces mobility issues. Phillips will face at least one other opponent in a Tuesday, Sept. 9 Republican primary; Harry Orvin Strickler of Frank- ford has filed for the 5th District seat. In addition, Democrat Bob Wheatley, the current chairman of the county's planning and zoning commission, recently an- nounced his candidacy. Products that we carry: Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Organic Garden Soil Humus and Manure Scotts Plant Food Specialty Soils Shake & Feed Osmocote Now carrying a full line of your favorite Miracle-Gro soil products. Look no further than Pepper Greenhouses for all of your gardening needs. We grow one of the area's largest and most diverse selections of quality plant material. Our selection of containers and statuary is second to none. Stop in or give us a call for any garden needs. Pepper Greenhouses Shrubs Trees Perennials Roses Groundcovers Grasses Container Gardening Vegetables Native Plants 13034 Cedar Creek Rd. 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