Checkers expanding in Delaware with more locations on the way | 0:28
Checkers, the popular fast food destination known for its burgers and fries, is opening two new locations as it plans on rapid Delaware expansion.
Produced by Jeff Neiburg
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UD student’s textbook app taking off | 0:31
Delaware’s Jim Jannuzzio started a textbook concierge app last year called BookBandit. Over the last year, BookBandit’s download totals have tripled and the business was selected by Google to participate in an invitation-only program.
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Siemens rolls into New Castle | 1:19
Siemens’ new East Coast Locomotive Service Headquarters, a 40,000-square-foot facility near New Castle that operates as the company’s digital service support, supply chain and technical field training hub in the region.
Suchat Pederson/The News Journal
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Gov. John Carney amends the Coastal Zoning Act | 0:37
Gov. John Carney signed a bill amending the Coastal Zoning Act Wednesday at the former site of General Chemical Corp. in Claymont.
Jerry Habraken/The News Journal
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AstraZeneca reaches $8.5B pact; drug fails in study | 0:40
AstraZeneca separately reported an $8.5 billion collaboration agreement with Merck and disappointing test results for a potential lung cancer drug.
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Ex-SevOne employee sues company over $2M stock sale | 0:40
A former SevOne employee has sued the company, alleging it has tried to block his sale of stock that could be worth as much as $2 million.
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Hercules Plaza mortgage sold for $23M | 0:40
The mortgage on Hercules Plaza was sold
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Sallie Mae to use state funds to hire former Barclays, HSBC workers | 0:35
A Sallie Mae executive said the $2.16 million taxpayer grant it has requested from the state will be used to hire Barclays and HSBC workers who will be laid off over the next two years.
Daniel Sato/The News Journal/WOCHIT
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The DuPont Country Club is officially for sale | 0:29
The DuPont Country Club has officially hit the sales block. The move comes nearly seven months after DuPont announced its intent to sell the property. 7/20/17
Damian Giletto/The News Journal
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Main Event Entertainment coming to Christiana | 0:30
Main Event Entertainment recently signed a lease for a 51,000-square-foot family entertainment center at the Christiana Fashion Center.
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Former UD President Harker tours Wilmington | 0:42
Patrick Harker, former President of the University of Delaware, toured parts of Wilmington Tuesday afternoon as part of his new role as the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. 7/11/17
Damian Giletto/The News Journal
11 of 14
AstraZeneca Completes Sale of Fairfax Campus | 1:17
AstraZeneca sold its U.S. headquarters in Fairfax to Delle Donne & Associates in a deal valued at $50 million, but company officials insist the pharmaceutical giant is not going anywhere.
Daniel Sato/The News Journal/WOCHIT
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Chemours stops leak into NC river | 0:40
Chemours said it has captured the wastewater leaking a toxic chemical into a North Carolina River. 6/27/17
Jeff Mordock/The News Journal
13 of 14
Work space for creators opens in Wilmington | 0:28
NextFab, a membership-based business, opened Wednesday in Wilmington and offers creators a place to make anything you want with tools ranging from a 3-D printer to wood cutting materials. 6/14/17
Damian Giletto/The News Journal
14 of 14
Checkers expanding in Delaware with more locations on the way
UD student’s textbook app taking off
Siemens rolls into New Castle
Gov. John Carney amends the Coastal Zoning Act
AstraZeneca reaches $8.5B pact; drug fails in study
Ex-SevOne employee sues company over $2M stock sale
Hercules Plaza mortgage sold for $23M
Sallie Mae to use state funds to hire former Barclays, HSBC workers
The DuPont Country Club is officially for sale
Main Event Entertainment coming to Christiana
Former UD President Harker tours Wilmington
AstraZeneca Completes Sale of Fairfax Campus
Chemours stops leak into NC river
Work space for creators opens in Wilmington
Maryland’s Department of Transportation has given conditional approval to the construction of a tunnel from Baltimore to Washington, giving a boost — or hype, depending on the viewpoint — to entrepreneur Elon Musk’s plan to build a super-high-speed transportation system.
The agency said Musk’s the Boring Company can dig miles of tunnel under state roads to be used for the privately financed Hyperloop.
The decision was soon followed by a tweet from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who videotaped a message backing the budding tunnel builder’s plans to bring “rapid electric transportation to MD — connecting Baltimore City to D.C.”
Transportation experts and engineers were left weighing what one U.S. official termed the “visionary/charlatan ratio” when it comes to Musk and his latest grand plan. Is it the beginning of something brilliant — or brilliant marketing hype?
The project will start near Fort Meade, in Anne Arundel County, said Hogan spokesman Doug Mayer. About 10 miles of tunnel will be under the state-owned portion of I-295, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, he said.
“It’s called a utility permit. That’s all they need to do the digging,” Mayer said. “It’s a private company, privately financed. The costs to the state will be extremely limited, if anything at all. The state has been working with them for multiple months on the permit process.”
The idea of digging a long tunnel — it’s roughly 35 miles from Penn Station to Union Station, though the actual route hasn’t been revealed — is not far-fetched, said Mike Mooney, a tunneling professor at the Colorado School of Mines.
“This is not outside the realm. It’s conceivable, certainly,” Mooney said.
“Is it a big project? Sure,” he added. But that’s by U.S. standards, where 5 miles is considered the high end. “It’s not a big project globally.”
Technology has dramatically improved tunneling, and in vast Chinese cities, or in Qatar’s capital Doha, subways, road tunnels and other projects might hit 50 or even 100 miles of digging within a five-year span, Mooney said.
Tunnel boring machines can cut through the earth, sometimes just tens of feet below the surface, leaving cement supports behind and causing no damage to the roads or buildings above, he added.
So Washington-area commuters could soon be inching along in traffic as Musk’s cheekily named the Boring Company inches below at 100 or 150 feet a day, or potentially faster if Musk’s promised technical upgrades to the digging process materialize.
“The knock on tunneling is it’s expensive. It’s more expensive than surface transportation. So anything that can be done to bring innovation to drive costs down is a good thing,” Mooney said.
But big questions remain on costs — to build the project and to use the system, which would work by shooting pods in vacuum-sealed tubes at high speeds.
Jose Gomez-Ibanez, a professor of Urban Planning at the Harvard Kennedy School, said he counts himself in the skeptical camp, but he does not count out Musk, who has succeeded against long odds in the past.
“I can’t understand why going that fast is going to be easier in the tube than through the air,” Gomez-Ibanez says. “There’s a reason why trains have lost out to planes over longer distances, and that’s in part because it’s hard to maintain a really high-quality right of way,” in this case an airtight vacuum tunnel.
“You’ve got to respect this guy, because he’s really got a record for making things that other people were skeptical about happening,” Gomez-Ibanez said of Musk, the electric car pioneer and rocket builder. But the “reality of so much infrastructure” will provide a major hurdle for the Hyperloop, he said.
That could translate to costs that may be “prohibitive to the general public,” said Kevin Chang, an assistant professor and transportation engineer at the University of Idaho.
And as with any mode of transportation, safety issues need to be thought through, Chang said. “If there’s an unforeseen crash that occurs along the corridor, how do you mitigate the loss of life?” he said.
Still, as an engineer, he’s excited by the prospect — and the freedom it could give people to live where they want.
Musk said this summer on Twitter that he had “verbal govt approval” to build a pod-and-tube transportation system, and one of his super-high-speed pod-and-tube transportation systems, known as a Hyperloop, could make the trip from New York to Washington in 29 minutes.
“I might consider working on one end of the route and living on the other end,” Chang said.
Musk also announced this summer that he had completed the first segment of his first tunnel, in Los Angeles. Another firm, Hyperloop One, is also pressing hard on the idea.
But last week’s announcement left more questions than answers.
Maryland officials did not immediately have information on what is involved in the conditional approval or whether any environmental reviews are necessary for the project. Mayer referred questions on the construction timeline, costs and sources of funds to the Boring Company, which declined to answer them, relying instead on a short statement released by the state.
“The Boring Company would like to thank Maryland, Washington, D.C., and the White House Office of American Innovation for their support,” the company said. In March, President Donald Trump appointed his son-in-law, senior adviser Jared Kushner, to lead the office.
A White House spokesman said the innovation office served as “a guide to the process and helped convene meetings and calls when appropriate” to advance the broader Hyperloop project.
As for the District of Columbia, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, Terry Owens, said: “We have had conversations with the Musk people. … We’re trying to better understand the concept as it’s been developed so far.”
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