2018: A year in review
In 2018, we saw justice for hundreds of animals on Delmarva and weather events that left many of our cities and towns underwater. We saw a heated midterm election and we grieved the lives lost in one too many mass shootings.
On Monday, we took a look back at some of the most newsworthy events on Delmarva in 2018.
2018 began with snow shovels, snow plows and cabin fever.
Amanda Jackson, a local we spoke to said, “We’ve eaten most of the food in the house, the dogs are going nuts, they hate it and the cat is too.”
A major storm system brought blowing snow to the shore in early January presenting nearly impossible conditions for snow plowers.
Alastair Probert, the Maintenance Engineer for DelDOT said, “Well currently we’re out plowing. That’s about all we can do at this point in time. So we’re just out plowing and addressing drifts as they come up. Unfortunately we’re not making much process based on the wind going 50 miles per hour in some areas.”
Weeks later when all the snow had finally melted, a horrific secret was uncovered in Mardela Springs.
Two women had been abusing their children. Amanda Wright and her live-in girlfriend Besline Joseph were accused of keeping their elementary-aged children in locked closets, feeding them a starvation diet, forcing them to eat dog feces and hurting them with extension cords, belts and a stun gun.
Later in the year, both women pleaded guilty to their charges and both women now face a combined 40 plus years in prison.
Wicomico State’s Attorney Jamie Dykes said, “This verdict, these sentences are as close to justice as we get.”
On February 14th, 2018, shots rang out at Parkland High School in Florida sparking a national debate about gun control.
A month later on March 14th, students across Delmarva walked out of their schools and sat in silence for 17 minutes, honoring each and every one of the lives lost in the shooting.
Also in the month of March, Delmarva was hit with a series of Nor’easters, causing severe damages.
On 23rd street in Ocean City, the Days Inn Hotel’s siding was ripped off by powerful tropical storm force wind gusts causing a window to shatter and debris to fall into the street.
Around the same time, a horrific discovery was made in Quantico, Maryland.
47ABC’s Brandon Bosser reported, “A shocking and disturbing scene here in Quantico, with this 150 acre farm as police were called and discovered at least 25 deceased horses.”
Officials found 98 live horses on the Pilchard’s Cherry Walk Road farm in unlivable conditions. Those horses are now in the care and custody of multiple rescue organizations.
The owner of the farm, Barbara Pilchard, was charged with 16 felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and 48 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse and neglect.
In 2018, another first for the First State, sports betting launched in Delaware in June and Governor John Carney was the first one to place a bet.
Weeks later, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and Dog Control stormed Linda Browns property, better known as Jolindy’s German Shepherds, after receiving a complaint from a prospective buyer.
Sheriff Ronnie Howard said, “She provided information that the kennels were very unkept, a lot feces piled up, just very dirty, property concerns about the health of the dogs.”
Linda Brown recently pleaded guilty in court but she still claims she is an innocent woman and would never neglect the dogs she says she loves.
2018 marked a big election year here on Delmarva.
47ABC sat down with politicians throughout the year for Political Insider, hearing what issues they cared about and what actions they wanted to take if elected into office.
Finally, three men were charged with 11 counts in the James T Vaughn Riots. Dwayne Staats was found guilty on every count except for intentional murder. Jarreau Ayers was found guilty for all counts except the three murder charges. For Deric Forney though, he was acquitted of all his charges.
Commissioner Perry Phelps said, “I believe the jury came to a conclusion and we respect their decision and I think justice is served.”
So from all of us here at 47ABC, thank you for trusting us to tell your stories.
It’s you, our viewers, that are at the center of all of these historic moments and we look forward to telling your stories once again in 2019.