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DHSS reports 1,200 new flu cases in a week, death toll rises to 11

NCC reports first death without underlying conditions

If anything can slow this flu season down, it’s vaccines and good handwashing. Prevention is considered more important than ever, as the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS) is rapidly updating its flu toll and on Wednesday confirmed the state’s 11th influenza-related death this flu season.

Tower 3 a beacon in state park’s economic contributions

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Tower 3, located south of Dewey Beach in Delaware Seashore State Park, took on a cobalt-drenched tone during a lighting ceremony on Monday, Feb. 12.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Tower 3, located south of Dewey Beach in Delaware Seashore State Park, took on a cobalt-drenched tone during a lighting ceremony on Monday, Feb. 12.Against the backdrop of a spectacular sunset, a World War II observation tower became a dramatically lighted landmark on Monday, Feb. 12, while state officials touted the results of a study showing the equally dramatic impact of Delaware’s state parks on its economy.

The addition of cobalt-blue lighting to Tower 3, located just south of Dewey Beach in Delaware Seashore State Park, signals the next step in the restoration of the tower, one of 11 built along the Delaware coast between 1939 and 1942. The towers were used to track enemy vessels off the coast. Using triangulation to plot the ship’s location, observers then transmitted the information to Fort Miles, now part of Cape Henlopen State Park, where the readings were plotted on a large map.

Using that information, large guns at Fort Miles could then be aimed in the direction of the ships. The guns — with 6-inch, 12-inch and 16-inch barrels — could fire 2,700-pound shells 25 miles. But the guns were never fired at an enemy ship.

Currently, only Tower 7 at Cape Henlopen, which sits next to Fort Miles, is open to the public. Once the restoration of Tower 3 is complete, plans include opening it to the general public as well, with interpretive tours available. Eventually, the Delaware Shore Preservation Foundation hopes to also open Tower 1 in Fenwick Island State Park and Tower 2 in North Bethany.

Curran taking readers to Africa in new book

Coastal Point • Submitted Photo: ‘On to Africa’ is the second installment in local writer Walter Curran’s series about a young Merchant Marine who travels the world on a cargo ship.Coastal Point • Submitted Photo: ‘On to Africa’ is the second installment in local writer Walter Curran’s series about a young Merchant Marine who travels the world on a cargo ship.While many know him as the mayor of Ocean View, Walter Curran has lived what might seem like 10 different lives. And, for those who love to read, he’s put those experiences in a series of books, with his latest story focusing on Africa.

“It’s great. I love writing, and I even enjoy the editing, because it’s a learning process for me,” he said.

Following that love, Curran recently published the second installment of his three-part “Young Mariners” series — “On to Africa.”

The series follows the life of William Connolly, a street kid from South Boston, as he embarks on his first job as a third-mate on the cargo ship the MorMacPride. The books are loosely based on adventures Curran and his shipmates had while they were in the Merchant Marines.

Milford Buccaneers pin IR wrestlers’ tournament hopes

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Indian River came up short in their quest for a state championship, falling to five-time champion Milford in their semifinal match in Smyrna on Saturday, Feb. 10.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Indian River came up short in their quest for a state championship, falling to five-time champion Milford in their semifinal match in Smyrna on Saturday, Feb. 10.Indian River High School wrestlers received a No. 2 seed in the DIAA Division II state dual tournament held last Saturday at Smyrna High School’s gym. IR had the first-round bye, facing in the semifinals Milford High School’s Buccaneers, who were seeking their fifth-straight DIAA Division II title.

Milford quickly showed the Indians why they are the five-time title winners.

The Buccaneers pinned their first three Indians opponents, starting with sophomore Will Keller in the 160-pound class. IR junior Zimmerman (170 pounds) was the next Indian pinned, followed by senior Collin Donaway in the 180-pound class. Junior Zach Schultz stopped the Buccaneers’ first run with a decision at 195 pounds. IR senior Brock Wingate lost the 220-pound class by decision.

Sophomore Raymond “Bam” Turner slammed his 285-pound Buccaneer opponent to the mat and quickly pinned him. Freshman Ian Shaubach lost a 25-14 decision at 106 pounds, and sophomore Will Rayne lost 25-14 at 113 pounds.

IR swimmers make podium finishes at conference championships

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Indian River swimmers fared well in the Henlopen Conference championships on Saturday, Feb. 9.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Indian River swimmers fared well in the Henlopen Conference championships on Saturday, Feb. 9.Athletes from the Indian River High School swim team competed against 10 teams during the Henlopen Conference swimming championships last Saturday at the Sussex Academy pool in Georgetown. Sophomore Joshua McIntire led IR with two first-place finishes, including a record-setting 500 freestyle time of 4:57.86 that was 10 seconds faster than the previous record.

“I was kind of out of it. I wasn’t feeling good,” described McIntire. “But I was able to use my training to hold onto my first place, and that was about it.”

McIntire also won the 200 individual-medley (IM) event. His seed time was 2:06.01, and for the top of the podium, his time was 2:04.16.

Junior Michael Barnes had two podium finishes. Barnes was second-fastest in the 100 freestyle and third in the 200 freestyle. In the men’s 100 freestyle, his seed time was 52.39. When it counted, Barnes cut through the water in 51.90 seconds. Barnes dialed in a seed time of 1:57.11 in the men’s 200 freestyle. Then, in the final, he covered the distance in 1:57.35.

IR wrestlers come up short against Laurel in final match of season

DII No. 2 team falls in semi-finals to tourney champs Milford

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce C. Walls: The Indians came up short in their match against Laurel on Wednesday, Feb. 7.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce C. Walls: The Indians came up short in their match against Laurel on Wednesday, Feb. 7.Laurel High School’s Bulldogs wrestling team came to Indian River High School on Wednesday, Feb. 7, (after Coastal Point press time), and after several hours of grueling bouts, the Bulldogs ended up taking a 37-28 bite of Indians hide home with them. The loss dropped the Indians’ season record to 16-5, while Laurel improved to 6-2.

“We wrestled a good team. They came ready to wrestle. Our kids came ready to wrestle. We just came out on the wrong side of the scoreboard,” said IR head wrestling coach Jeff Windish.

“I think my kids wrestled well,” he added. “We definitely have some things that we need to work on in two days to get ready for the state duels on Saturday. Like I told them in the wrestle room — you didn’t change the outcome of your season, you just changed your seed.

“We’re going to get another chance at them Saturday, hopefully,” Windish said, “so we have things to clean up and go back to work.”

IR boys’ basketball shoots down Sussex Academy 77-43

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Calvin James goes up strong for two points against Sussex Academy on Friday, Feb. 9.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Calvin James goes up strong for two points against Sussex Academy on Friday, Feb. 9.Indian River High School’s boys’ basketball team hosted and easily defeated a much younger Sussex Academy team 77-43 last Friday night, Feb. 9.

The 11-6 Indians team was certain enough that they could handle the 1-15 Seahawks that some of IR’s starters told their head coach, B. J. Joseph, they wanted to let some of the players who don’t get as much time on the floor start the first quarter and then let the usual starters finish the game in the second half.

“We still had to play our game. We couldn’t play around with this team,” said IR junior Jamier Felton, who had 17 points for the Indians. “They do play to their potential, and we had to play to ours.

“We started off slow,” Felton said. “We let the other guys who don’t get much time out there to play. We allowed them to start tonight to show we care for them and their sportsmanship on and off the court. Then, when the starters took over, we blew the game out. It was a great win.

Pickleball Points: Kathy Casey and First State Pickleball Club

Coastal Point • Submitted Photo: Mixed-doubles partners Dianne Milam and Rick Bell, gold medal winners, warm up prior to one of their matches.Coastal Point • Submitted Photo: Mixed-doubles partners Dianne Milam and Rick Bell, gold medal winners, warm up prior to one of their matches.Now that First State Pickleball Club has grown to almost 500 members, I was curious as to what plans might await the pickleball community. There were just a couple dozen members only three years ago.

Besides running First State Pickleball Club as a volunteer, President Kathy Casey maintains a fulltime job, so it was a rarity last week when she had a cancelation and could sit down for an hour.

We met at a coffee shop, and my first question was, “Why should I send my $25 check to First State Pickleball Club for the 2018 year?”

“In 2018,” she said, “we anticipate pickleball, the fastest growing sport in America, will continue to explode here as well, and we will continue to organize throughout the year periodic weekend events, such as social and competitive round-robins for our members.

ABC hearing the next step for Ropewalk in Bethany

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Ropewalk’s new 325-seat location in Bethany Beach is slated for a June opening.­Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Ropewalk’s new 325-seat location in Bethany Beach is slated for a June opening.­After expanding their restaurant from Baltimore to the Delmarva shore in 2013, the owners of Ropewalk have since set out to establish themselves in downtown Bethany Beach, constructing what will be a brand new 325-seat location one block off the beach at 107 Garfield Parkway, formerly the location of Fish Tales, which has moved across the street.

County continues work to update zoning code

As it works to update the county’s zoning code, the Sussex County Council this week reviewed some of the areas recommended for updates, with plans to hold public hearings on the amendments as they are introduced.

Insurance commissioner opens office in Georgetown

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: The Delaware Department of Insurance recently opened up a new office in Georgetown.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: The Delaware Department of Insurance recently opened up a new office in Georgetown.Those seeking help from the Delaware Department of Insurance no longer have to drive an hour away to speak with someone in person, as the department just opened its first offices in Sussex County.

“Almost two-thirds of walk-in visitors to our Kent County office are from Sussex County, and the majority of them are seniors,” said Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “I’m excited that we are now able to help them closer to their home.”

Located on the Circle in Georgetown, the office will be open to the public Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We saw the possibility of what a beautiful place this could be — I’m so proud to give folks who live right here in Sussex County,” he said.

Navarro said the new office came, in large part, thanks to House Bill 77, which addressed the issue of citizen accessibility to be able to speak with department personnel locally by opening a Department of Insurance office in Sussex County.

Navarro said the department has been working on many things, including workers’ compensation rates.

“Last year, workers’ compensation insurance went up 0 percent, which is great news for business owners… It was a big deal to have a 0-percent rate increase, but I said that wasn’t good enough,” he said.

Fenwick juggling commercial parking rules again

Parking is no easy feat in Fenwick Island during the summers. Any business able to succeed might run out of parking in its regular lot and could have to get creative.

But the Fenwick Island Town Council is trying to get a handle on things, and historically, they have not wanted cars migrating too far from the businesses their drivers are supposed to be patronizing.

Community asked to participate in mental health, addiction forums

Each day, more than 246 Americans die from suicide or a drug overdose in the United States. One in five Americans will experience a mental illness this year, half of which will result in a substance-use disorder.

Letters to the Editor — Feb. 9, 2018

Bethany resident opposes liquor license

Editor:

As a longtime fulltime resident of Bethany Beach, I totally agree with the concerned residents who oppose the acquisition of the liquor license by Ropewalk restaurant on Garfield Parkway.

My family has come to Bethany for 30 years. My children and grandchildren love the quaint town with the family atmosphere.

Civil War Profiles — A Civil War trip of a lifetime: Part 5

As our Civil War adventure continued, after leaving Wilson Creek National Military Park near Republic, Mo., we drove southwest for 35 miles just over the state line to Benton County in the northwest corner of Arkansas. Here in the Ozark Mountains, another battle took place, on March 7 and 8, 1862, to determine whether Union or Confederate forces would control of the state of Missouri.

Millville cancels 2018 election

Two candidates registered for the two seats up for election in 2018, so the Millville Town Council election has been canceled.

With no opponents, incumbent Steve Maneri and challenger Ronald Belinko will be sworn in at the regular council meeting on March 13 at 7 p.m. Each seat carries a term of two years.

New minister joins Ocean View Church of Christ

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Ocean View Church of Christ recently welcomed the Rev. Ethan Magee as its new minister.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Ocean View Church of Christ recently welcomed the Rev. Ethan Magee as its new minister.Ocean View Church of Christ recently welcomed a new minister to its halls.

“I want us to be a community-minded church. I believe the church is meant to help make the community a better place. We’re supposed to be salt and light in the community where we are, and I believe that means make it better,” said the Rev. Ethan Magee.

Magee and his wife, Stefanie, along with their three kids — ages 9, 11 and 13 — moved to the area in November after serving at a church in Columbus, Ohio, for six years. Prior to that, Magee served at a church nearby, in Lewes, for 12 years.

“I went to Cincinnati Christian University,” said Magee, an Ohio native. “We love the area, the beach, the beautiful people that are incredibly welcoming and friendly. It feels like home.”

Mardi Gras Benefit returns to Selbyville library

Coastal Point • File : Photo Supporters can slip into the Big Easy spirit at the Mardi Gras benefit for the Friends of the Selbyville Public Library.Coastal Point • File : Photo Supporters can slip into the Big Easy spirit at the Mardi Gras benefit for the Friends of the Selbyville Public Library.Break out the beads and feathers! Mardi Gras night returns to Selbyville Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The fundraiser benefits the Friends of the Selbyville Public Library.

“It’s a time for great food. We’ve got great music. … We’ll have silent auctions. There’s a 50/50,” said Friends President David Nilsson. “It should just be a fun evening that people will enjoy, hanging out with the neighbors and raising money for a good cause.”

Sedona restaurant of Bethany Beach will cater the event.

“We’re going to have a great New Orleans-inspired buffet again. Shrimp jambalaya, chicken gumbo, red beans-and-rice and crawfish étouffée. … It’s always good stuff,” Nilsson said. “You can just eat it all night lon-g.”

IR wrestlers fall to Division I foe Sussex Central

Coastal Point Photos • Bruce C. Walls: Despite a valiant effort, Indian River High School lost out to Sussex Central High School, 46-22.Coastal Point Photos • Bruce C. Walls: Despite a valiant effort, Indian River High School lost out to Sussex Central High School, 46-22.In a David-vs.-Goliath battle between Division II wrestling leader Indian River High School (16-4) and the powerful Division I’s third-ranked Sussex Central High School (6-3) on Monday night, Feb. 5, at IR’s gym, the Indians held their own but fell short, 46-22. IR wrestlers earned a pin and five decisions.

Indians sophomore Will Rayne pinned his opponent, Cole Jester, at the 4:33 mark. Sophomore Ta’Jon Knight won an 11-3 decision against Golden Knights wrestler Yony Morales in the 120-pound match. Also winning by decisions for IR were junior Dylan Ely, junior Reshawn Turner, junior Zach Schultz and sophomore Raymond Turner.

Ely edged out Golden Knight Junior Perez 5-4 in the 126-pound class. Reshawn Turner topped the 152-pound match with a 5-0 decision over Lankford, and Schultz defeated Central’s Yunior Cruz in 195-pound class, 5-2. In the evening’s final bout, at 285 pounds, IR’s Ramond Turner topped Central’s Tyler Karr.

“We won six matches, but only got 22 points. That hurts you on the scoreboard,” said IR head coach Jeff Windish. “But we took six matches from a tough team. They’re the No. 3 team in Division I.

IR boys win nail-biter against Seaford on the court

Indian River High School boys’ basketball fans were on the edge of their seats last Tuesday night, Jan. 30, as they watched their team take on Seaford High School’s Blue Jays.

IR girls grab home basketball win

Photo by Susan Taylor-Walls: Junior center Julia Jordan, in addition to a career-high 22 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots.Photo by Susan Taylor-Walls: Junior center Julia Jordan, in addition to a career-high 22 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots.Delmar High School’s Wildcats lived up to their mascot’s nature last Friday night, Feb. 2, at Indian River High School’s gym. The Wildcats girls had their claws drawn and ready for the Indians, but IR’s varsity squad tamed them, 46-35.

With less than a minute to play of the first eight, both teams made free-throws, giving IR a slim 10-9 lead going into the second quarter. With less than a minute off the second-quarter clock Wildcats shooters quickly took a brief 11-10 lead.

Indians senior guard Fabrea’ McCray tied it from the line, and junior center Julia Jordan, who bucketed a career-high 22 points on the game, added two points to put IR back in the lead. Delmar out-shot the Indians 11-10 in the second period, for a 20-20 tie at halftime.

The back-and-forth battle continued until halfway through the third period, when IR nailed nine unanswered points. IR outshot the Wildcats 16-6 in the third period, to take a 36-26 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

Pickleball Tips: The Leaning Tower of Pickle

In the previous pickleball lesson session, you learned how important it was to be balanced and focused early on the arriving ball.

With love of education, Millville man earns athletic honors

For Ron Belinko, a job in school athletics was the greatest career in the world.

“You have such an influence on young people. When you moved into administration, you transfer that influence on to the coaches, principals…” said Belinko, a retired coach, teacher and athletic administrator.

Years later, middle-aged adults still recognize him on the street, decades after he first coached them in Baltimore County, Md.

This winter, he was inducted to the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Hall of Fame.

Although he played organized sports in school, city kids played games all year ’round.

Mardi Gras benefit returning to Selbyville library

Tickets available through Feb. 7

Break out the beads and feathers! Mardi Gras night will return to the Selbyville Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The fundraiser benefits the Friends of the Selbyville Public Library.

Mountaire requests emergency sludge permit

After Mountaire Farms realized that its wastewater treatment system wasn’t doing its job, the company started brainstorming on how to fix the problem. And, on Dec. 12, 2017, they requested that the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) grant them emergency permission to temporarily store sludge in a spare lagoon.

Public input sought on mental health, addiction crisis

Over the next few weeks, Delaware’s Behavioral Health Consortium will host four community forums on mental health and addiction across the state.

Cathell appointed to Indian River School District board

Indian River Board of Education this week selected a Frankford man to fill a vacancy in their ranks. At a special meeting on Jan. 24, Derek Cathell was sworn in to represent IRSD District 5.

Cathell is a detective for the Major Crimes Unit of the Delaware State Police, working out of Troop 4 in Georgetown.

OVPD hosts deaf-sensitivity training for first-responders

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Luanne Kowalski of the Deaf Community Group offers some lessons on American Sign Language.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Luanne Kowalski of the Deaf Community Group offers some lessons on American Sign Language.The Ocean View Police Department has teamed up with deaf community members to host a joint public safety training seminar with local first-responders.

“We have a policy for communicating with people with disabilities,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin. “It’s a formal written policy. As a policy, we have to provide a training component to go along with it. We’re also required by federal law, through the ADA, to offer these services, and there’s a training component associated with that.”

At the training, law-enforcement officers, EMS and fire fighters were able to learn about deaf culture, act out scenarios and even learn a little bit of American Sign Language (ASL).

The training was conducted by members of the Delaware Deaf Senior Citizens of Sussex County.

“We have had a number of deaf people move to this community,” said Barbara White, one of the instructors, who also serves as the secretary of the Delaware Deaf Senior Citizens of Sussex County.

Sherry Duhon, a retired professor from Gallaudet University, taught the attendees about deaf culture.

“In America, there are 28 million people who have a hearing loss,” she said to the group. “Two million of that 28 million are deaf, like myself. Here in this community… [there are] about 70 deaf residents. Of course, in the summertime, you have to double that number or even triple that number.”

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