This Week's News
Lola Peters and Karin Harmon didn’t expect to lay their father to rest this year. But they made sure the Korean War veteran was honored during Wreaths Across America 2014. Nearly 500 evergreen wreaths were laid at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 13, including one for their father, James William Jones.
Ed Bintz was excited to save money on flood insurance when FEMA planned to lower the base-flood elevation (BFE) of his South Bethany house from 12 to 10 feet. But that was short-lived, after a letter from a member of the town council prompted FEMA officials to reevaluate the land — and raise the BFE to 13 feet.
Following a 16-year tenure, Sussex County District 5 Councilman Vance Phillips this week concluded his last council meeting.
“Today is my last day on county council after so many years,” said Phillips on Dec. 16. “During the course of this meeting, it has been a great joy to see so many faces. Everybody in this room means so much to me.”
A reception was held following the meeting, culminating Phillips’ time on council. Those in attendance included former council president Dale Dukes; state Reps. Ron Gray, Dave Wilson, Rich Collins and Tim Dukes, and former county administrators Bob Stickles, Joe Conaway and David Baker.
Phillips thanked all those in attendance for their guidance and friendship over the years.
“As I look around this room, it just fills my heart with joy to know that people like you care about me,” he said. “When I was injured and in the hospital, it was so many of you that prayed me up out of that hospital bed… Just day-by-day I felt God’s hand in it all. It was because so many people were praying for me.”
One controversial novel will remain on bookshelves at a local high school after students and adults spoke in favor of retaining access to “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” and against censorship.
Sussex Central High School had suddenly removed the novel from library bookshelves, student Bryce Molnar had reported at the November meeting of Indian River School Board.
The Sussex County Council this week was given a presentation by Chris Keeler, the County’s director of assessment, at the request of outgoing Councilman Vance Phillips, in response to a petition by a number of poultry growers who said they were concerned about the cost of their County property taxes.
Indian River High School this week announced its honor roll students for the most recent marking period in the 2014-2015 school year. Among the students receiving high honors were:
Delaware State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes in nine state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative.
The hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year by connecting with the outdoors on Jan. 1 at a state park close to home, officials said.
Hanukkah is now in full swing, and Christmas is only days away. We hope that all of you have holidays filled with family, friends and pure joy and love. This is indeed the season of religious celebration, togetherness and humanity, and despite all the headaches and pressures affiliated, we trust there will be plenty of smiles along the way.
And, of course, there are gifts.
There was a time in my life when the single most important thing in my entire existence was a Mattel handheld electronic football game.
When her coworker hit the ground during the Nov. 12 lunch hour, Wendy Webb’s training and quick thinking may have saved a life.
It was lunchtime at the Southern Delaware School of the Arts when chief custodian Glen Timmons collapsed in the cafeteria.
His heart had stopped.
“Everyone heard a loud bang, and he was down on the ground,” said Principal Neil Beahan. “Wendy Webb was there very quickly.”
She and other staff members had trained for situations like this. The SDSA response team assembled immediately.
“Glen was not responsive, so we shocked him and did some compressions,” Beahan said. “Slowly and surely, Mr. Glen came back to us, and by the time the paramedics arrived, he was a lot more coherent.”
“We do AED drills every year for a purpose, and it’s to make these kind of situations reactive,” Beahan said. “And it worked perfectly.”
Although the holiday season is viewed as a joyous time for many, there are some in the community who are dealing with difficult situations and losses in their lives. For those who may need comfort during this time of year, Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church offers a service of comfort and hope.
“The service is for the lost, lonely, grieving and overwhelmed,” explained Rev. Kay Lanasa, who organizes the annual service. “When people come, all they do is sit. They don’t have to sing or respond to a reading. It’s a very silent service.”
The service will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 23, the eve of Christmas Eve, beginning at 7 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary.
Lanasa brought the service to Mariner’s eight years ago, having held similar services in churches where she preached in Virginia, when she saw there was a local need.
“There are people who are not happy at Christmas. There are people that are dealing with all kinds of stuff. The reason we do it is that not everybody is happy at Christmas, so let’s speak to those people,” she said.
Those attending the service are being invited to bring a framed photograph of a loved one they wish to remember, which will be placed on tables in the sanctuary.
The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) this week alerted motorists that the removal and replacement of a crossroad pipe will close Substation Road between Burbage Road and Beaver Dam Road in the Ocean View area until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 23. Weather could postpone the closure to Wednesday, Dec. 24, at 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31.
The Town of Frankford will hold its annual election on Feb. 7, with voters to fill two seats, currently held by Council President Joanne Bacon and Secretary/Treasurer Cheryl Workman.
The Eating Rehoboth and Eating Lewes Food Tours were recognized this week by Southern Delaware Tourism with the organization’s 2014 tourism award. The award recognized an individual or organization that has made an outstanding and significant contribution to the enrichment of tourism in Sussex County in the year prior to October 2014.
Tuesdays are Endless Taco night at Papa Grande’s Coastal Taqueria in Fenwick Island. For $10, customers can tackle as many tacos as they can eat. But Dec. 2 was the first tap takeover event at the restaurant, and Burley Oak Brewing Company was the guest of honor.
Students interested in applying for several special programs in the Indian River School District for the 2015-2016 school year are required to submit state school choice applications and district supplemental forms, officials reminded students and their parents this week.
Two local students were among a total of 455 students who marched in Coastal Carolina University’s fall commencement ceremony Dec. 13, the largest group to participate in December graduation exercises at CCU.
After 10 years of working for the Clear Space Theatre Company, Artistic Director and co-founder Doug Yetter has submitted his resignation as artistic director of the Clear Space Company effective Dec. 31, to pursue his musical interests.
The Coastal Camera Club this week announced its Photo Beach Bash 2015, set for Saturday, March 21, 2015, at the Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center in Rehoboth Beach.
The Fort Miles Historical Association on Friday, Dec. 12, honored volunteers, a state lawmaker and board members for their contributions to the World War II fort, at its first Bunker Busters Awards Dinner in Lewes.
Members of the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) recently announced their new board of directors for the 2015 calendar year. The incoming directors of the association were named during the organization’s annual banquet on Friday, Dec. 5, this year held at the Sussex Pines Country Club in Georgetown.
The 2013 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data and annual report from Delaware’s industrial facilities shows a significant decrease in onsite releases as compared to the state’s 2012 TRI report, good news for Delaware’s environment and for improving public health.
I don’t usually bring up politics. Partly because this is a sports column, but mostly because I twice failed “Introduction to American Politics and Government” during my one-year stint at community college. In my defense, I didn’t go to class very often because I was busy surfing, which is a sport, and considering that I’m now a sports reporter, I’d say it all worked out for the best.
The Indian River High School girls basketball team was riding a three-game losing streak heading into Tuesday night’s matchup against Red Lion but turned things around with a convincing 44-23 win, to improve to 2-3 on the season.
“I think, the last couple games, it’s been an eye-opener for us. Coming out of the Tech game, we had some expectations,” explained Head Coach Matt Mayette regarding the team’s one-point loss to Sussex Tech earlier this season.
“These teams that we’ve been playing, they’re beatable,” added senior point guard Taylor Billinger. “We [had to] bounce back from those losses.”
The Lady Indians jumped out to a 12-0 lead by the end of the first quarter against Red Lion, spreading out the scoring with buckets from six different players early on. Eight different players would put up points by the end of the game — five of them underclassmen, including sophomore guards Maddie McGee and Maggie Ford, and freshmen guards Kealey Allison and Fabrea McCray, and freshman center Latayja Atkins.
“We’ve got some underclassmen that can really handle the ball,” Billinger said of the youth infusion. “They can really handle the pressure of the game.”
“The future is so bright,” Mayette added of the young roster.
By the end of the third quarter, the Lady Indians led 30-7, before Mayette began filtering in some junior varsity players and Red Lion went on a late scoring run.
The student section of the stands was fired up at Indian River High School last Tuesday, as Henlopen North powerhouse Sussex Tech narrowly escaped the Indians with a 68-62 win in a game that went down to the wire and, ultimately, was decided by a foul call in the final minute.
“I can’t be mad. I’m proud of our guys. They fought,” said Indian River Head Coach Mike Fabber of his team’s effort. “They never put their heads down. They never stopped. We just kept saying ‘one play.’”
Despite trailing the Ravens the entire game, Indian River was never out of contention, coming back from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit and bridging the gap to just two points nearing the end of the game.
Down 58-46, it was senior guard Kei Juan “Skeeter” Major who sparked the scoring comeback with a behind-the-back pass to his brother, junior guard KiAnté Sturgis, who finished the play and cut the Tech lead to 10.
After another Sturgis score, Major would draw a foul and hit both shots before stealing the ensuing inbounds pass and laying it up to pull the Indians within four points. Senior Da’Von Justice would notch a steal on the next Ravens possession, and Major would score yet again, to make it 58-56, before Tech finally ended the Indians’ 10-point run at the line.
With the Ravens leading 63-57 with time running out, Major would come through in the clutch for the Indians, draining a three-pointer and then coming up with a steal that he took to the net that would have made it a one-point game. However, a questionable foul call negated the play and all but sealed the win for the Ravens.
“They’re veteran-led. They have senior leadership. They’ve been in these games,” said Fabber of Tech’s performance on the night. “Our guys answered, and [their] guys answered. Both teams, their leadership showed up tonight and both teams played hard enough to win the game.”
Major led the Indians in scoring on the night, with 34 points.
After seeing nearly 700 participants and raising more than $7,000 in charitable donations last year, the Surfin’ Snowman 5-miler and Santa’s Helper 2-miler will be back in Bethany on Dec. 27, looking for similar success.
“Our registration numbers right now are up from where they were last year,” said Race Director Rick Hundley of the race being presented by Miken Builders. “We had just under 700 people last year register for a first-year event, so we were very happy with that. Last year, we were able to give each one of [the beneficiaries] $3,500. For a first-year event, that’s pretty impressive.”
The proceeds from this year’s race will again be donated to the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company and Justin’s Beach House, two organizations that rely on charity dollars to operate.
“They’re 100-percent volunteer organizations,” explained Hundley.
The Justin W. Jennings organization maintains Justin’s Beach House in Bethany, a home designed to allow families impacted by cancer to enjoy quality time together at the beach.
Prior to the formation of the Eastern Shore Soccer Club, youth soccer talent was scattered throughout the local area and struggled to compete against teams from across the bridge and beyond.
Just a few months after the club’s inception, however, they’ve already seen staggering success, with eight tournament championships and 12 finalists between the club’s 16 teams.
“[It] proves what a great job all the area clubs do with their individual youth programs,” said Harry Anderson, founder of Eastern Shore Soccer Club. “This immediate success comes from receiving players from clubs that are structured, that have volunteers, parents and players that are committed to the programs they offer.”
ESSC was formed this past summer, after Anderson — who also coaches one of the teams — suggested the idea to area coaches and found it well-received.
“In years past, there were only one or two soccer clubs in this area,” explained Anderson. “When they [would] travel they [would] have a tough time beating teams from across the bridge because the players [were] all split up. We went to each club, told them what we were trying to do, and now it’s growing.”
The 3rd Annual Camp Barnes Wrestling Classic will be held on Saturday, Dec. 27, at Sussex Central High School in Georgetown, with wrestling beginning at 9:30 a.m.
With sunny skies and moderate temperatures, 215 people participated in Sea Colony’s 12th Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk, held annually on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The event, which benefits Special Olympics Delaware, has become a tradition. Certificates were presented to the first-, second- and third-place male and female winners from age groups ranging from 9-and-younger to 80-and-older.
On Friday, Dec. 5, Diane Koch, assistant vice president of First Shore Federal Bank in Millville, presented a $1,000 check to Ernie Felici, president, and Shirley Price, vice president, of the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation.
For more than eight years, members of the Cripple Creek Bridge Club have raised money in order to donate Christmas gifts to local needy children. Judie Davis said they work with Phillip C. Showell Elementary School to find local children in need.
“Every year they have a huge list of families who are needy,” said Davis, noting that the families are screened by social services.
The club raises money in November, through donations from club members, and later purchases gifts.
“For each child there is a list of wants and needs,” said Davis. “We do the ‘needs’ first, and then a few of the ‘wants.’”
Club member Carolyn Corrigan praised Davis and Aimee Marvel for their involvement in organizing the effort each year.
“They collect all the coupons they can find in order to get the most for our money and make the children happy with both fun and useful gifts. Then, they organize each child’s gifts on a table and pair things together so each child will have the same number of packages,” she said. “Judie and Aimee go above and beyond.”
Carl M. Freeman Companies is recognizing 12 months of growth at its Bayside community in West Fenwick. The nearly 1,000-acre community added builders, opened a new sales center and introduced a member-only learning experience called Bayside Institute.
Tonight, people worldwide will light candelabras to begin the eight-day Festival of Light. And local synagogues are inviting people to celebrate the Chanukah miracle.
“The Jewish people’s … main job was to light the darkness of the world. And Chanukah is the most significant holiday because it’s showing that power of lighting the darkness,” said Rabbi Noam Cohen.
Businesses remain open during road closures
It’s time to plan your Route 26 detour route. This winter, the major roadway will be closed in two spots, as part of the 2.5-year road-widening project.
Two bridge culverts must be replaced where Route 26 crosses water, just east of Millville Town Hall and just east of Lord Baltimore Elementary School.
The road will only close in these two spots, but it will require a 24/7 detour through Millville and Ocean View.
“Vehicles will be able to get to every business on 26. No one will be cut off … customers will be able to get up and down the road,” said Ken Cimino, project manager for AECOM. “Customers will be able to get to your shop.”
The Town of Frankford’s Police Chief William Dudley, Jr. will be retiring
Earlier this week, Dudley said he officially announced to council that he would be retiring from his position as chief at the end of the year.
Residents were able to voice their opinions last week related to Mediacom Delaware LLC’s application to renew its franchise agreement to provide service in areas of Sussex County.
On Oct. 17, Mediacom filed an application with the Delaware Public Service Commission to renew its cable television franchise — currently serving certain unincorporated areas of Sussex County.
This weekend, the Town of Ocean View and the Ocean View Historical Society (OVHS) will be celebrating the holiday season, and is inviting the public to the festivities.
On Saturday, Dec. 13, from 1 to 4 p.m., the OVHS will be holding its annual Old Fashioned Christmas event at the society’s historical complex.