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Tools can help Delawareans fight fat

We all know that being overweight or obese is a very serious health problem. For Delawareans, the statistics are sobering. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 34.7 percent of Delawareans are obese. The statistics for our kids are just as troubling, as 35.2 percent of 10- to 17-year-old Delawareans are overweight, too.

Ocean to Bay Bike Tour offers weekend events for 25th anniversary

The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce announced this week that PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor of the 25rd Annual Ocean to Bay Bike Tour. The silver anniversary of the tour, scheduled for Saturday, April 26, is an opening ride to the Mid-Atlantic cycling season and offers something for beginners and experienced cyclists alike.

Local girl, Clara Robinson, 6, earns black belt

Coastal Point • Aaron Mushrush: Clara Robinson, 6, practices a kick on a dummy during a Taekwon-Do class.Coastal Point • Aaron Mushrush: Clara Robinson, 6, practices a kick on a dummy during a Taekwon-Do class.When Clara Robinson was almost 5 years old, she approached her grandparents, Skip and Kathy Robinson, about learning International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Taekwon-Do at New Dragon Martial Arts and becoming a student of the nearly half-century-old discipline.

The Robinsons, both black-belts themselves, were delighted to hear that Clara was interested in learning, and she began to remind them of their son Josh — the very reason they became students of the discipline. Kathy Robinson had some worries about Clara’s age and whether she was too young.

“At first, I have to say, I was thinking she was too young — way too young. But she really took to it like a duck to water,” Kathy Robinson said about Clara’s first experience.

Delaware Budokan honors three students

Delaware Budokan recently held a ceremonial exhibition and test of the martial arts karate and kenjutsu, honoring Jeffrey Quillen, William Bails and Matthew Atkins with two black belts and a third-degree scroll, respectively. The ceremony was held on March 20, in front of friends, family, fellow students and the instructors who oversee the students’ test routines.

Mailboxes, utility boxes a casualty of snowy weather

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: A utility box on Omar Road was reportedly knocked down by a snowplow during a recent heavy snowstorm in the area. Coastal Point • Maria Counts: A utility box on Omar Road was reportedly knocked down by a snowplow during a recent heavy snowstorm in the area. This winter, the coastal area has been hit with numerous snowstorms and, as a result, many mailboxes have suffered damage from plowing. But some residents on Omar Road say this is the first year in many that they’ve dealt with such extensive damage.

“We’ve lived on Omar Road for 19 years,” said Alex Pszczola. “This has been the first year we’ve had any issues with the mailboxes… There are mailboxes down the street that are completely demolished.”

“In 30 years, we’ve never had this experience, but we did in this snowfall, and the one before it,” added Hal Barber.

Along Omar Road, 25 mailboxes have obvious damage, as well as about 10 green utility boxes that have also been damaged.

Millville officials to investigate new police-friendly building

The Town of Millville needs to build a new garage, so the town council is considering making the structure something the Delaware State Police would like to use, too. The town council at its March 25 meeting unanimously approved a feasibility study for a new building, which may include space for DSP.

Bethany streetscape projected to be mostly done by Memorial Day

Coastal Point • Shaun Lambert: A sign in Bethany Beach declares to passersby that downtown businesses are open, despite the construction going on.Coastal Point • Shaun Lambert: A sign in Bethany Beach declares to passersby that downtown businesses are open, despite the construction going on.Bethany Beach officials this week underscored the Memorial Day deadline that has been a target for the town’s Streetscape improvements project, aiming to calm concerns that the project could still be ongoing when the summer season begins.

Currently, they’re in the middle of the second phase of the project, which is set to offer sidewalk and curb improvements, ADA-standard upgrades to existing curb ramps, traffic calming elements and new lighting and parking configurations.

The project was anticipated to start in September 2013; however, due to delays, construction did not begin until Dec. 2, and progress has been further hampered by the cold, wet winter. That led Town Manager Cliff Graviet to report last week that the project could potentially run past Memorial Day or need to be finished in the fall.

OV discusses insurance, prepares for budget adoption

Ocean View officials continued discussions of the impacts of increasing insurance costs on the town budget at a workshop this week, leading up to the looming council vote on the 2015-fiscal-year budget.

During the meeting, Town Manager Dianne Vogel and Finance Director Lee Brubaker reviewed the projected increase in health insurance premiums for Town employees.

Springtime Jamboree to benefit Dagsboro fire company

Calling all lovers of country, Western and gospel music: It’s almost time for the 32nd annual Springtime Jamboree.

Created more than three decades ago by now-state-Sen. Gerald Hocker to benefit the Lower Sussex Little League, the annual musical event has helped raise thousands of dollars for area nonprofits.

Crabcake Factory sinks its claws into Delaware with new bayside location

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The ‘Triple Threat’ Bloody Mary features a half pound of jumbo lump crab meat, four strips of bacon, and four cane-skewered shrimp to go along with choice vodka and house-made Bloody Mary mix.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The ‘Triple Threat’ Bloody Mary features a half pound of jumbo lump crab meat, four strips of bacon, and four cane-skewered shrimp to go along with choice vodka and house-made Bloody Mary mix.Every year, the surrounding beach resort communities of Sussex County see more than their fair share of restaurants come and go. While not every establishment has the same reasons for eventually closing its doors, the good ones tend to stick around — and the really good ones tend to continue to open up new locations.

The Crabcake Factory USA has seen that kind of growth, most recently opening up its third location — its first location in Delaware — right off Route 54 west of Fenwick Island, on the bayside, next to Captain Mac’s.

The location offers striking bay views. After completely renovating the property, and with more than 18 years of popularity just down the road in Ocean City, Md., the Crabcake Factory management team has no doubts that their newest location is right where they’re supposed to be.

“We’ve got a good local following up here,” said Crabcake Factory Bayside General Manager (and former general manager of the original Crabcake Factory on 120th Street in Ocean City) Eric Morris. “We wanted to grow into Fenwick. A lot of our existing 120th street client base lives up here. We just felt like it was a real need in this corridor to have a nice quality, casual atmosphere.”

Millville being smart with police coverage

The Town of Millville has seen a lot of change over recent years. That change does not only involve a significant shopping center on Route 26, more retail and new houses being constructed. No, the actual operations of the Town have undergone a major facelift, as well, as ordinances have been drafted and approved, and a beautiful building now houses all the Town’s operations.

OVHS offers April 9 talk on area’s maritime history

The Ocean View Historical Society will be offering a lecture on “The Maritime Side of the Coastal Towns” on Wednesday, April 9, led by Richard Nippes, president of the OVHS and Ocean View Mayor Gordon Wood, at Ocean View Town Hall at 7 p.m.

Public invited to Route 26 project meetings

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) announced mid-week that the Route 26 Project Team Construction Advisory Group would begin meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. at Bethany Beach Town Hall.

The next meeting is set for Tuesday, April 8.

School safety monitors to gain legal power of constables

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Visitors at all Indian River schools have found a stricter open-door policy. This outdoor buzzer and camera allows secretarial staff to admit guests. Staff can enter with electronic swipe cards.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Visitors at all Indian River schools have found a stricter open-door policy. This outdoor buzzer and camera allows secretarial staff to admit guests. Staff can enter with electronic swipe cards.The Indian River School District aimed to better protect its schools this school year by hiring full-time school safety monitors, all of whom were required to have law-enforcement experience. Now, the monitors are likely to officially become constables, beginning next fall.

But, though Delaware law allows constables to make arrests, the IRSD School Board does not plan to allow employees to exercise that power, due to the complications that result.

“We want to make sure these people are in the building for safety and security, but we don’t want to take them away for one minute from a thing they have to do,” said Assistant Superintendent Mark Steele. “If it gets to the point where they make an arrest, then [they’re stuck] in an office for paperwork or in court,” he emphasized.

The monitors themselves echoed that concern. But when the final decision on the issue of constables was announced, Preston Lewis, administrator of student services for the district, said, “There were no concerns. They certainly understand the direction the district is taking.”

School board President Charles Bireley said the highlight of the decision was “the fact that they would get more training. It is always better for anyone in any position — police officers, nurses, anyone.”

“Constables are considered sworn officers,” emphasized W. Scott Collins, school board member and Selbyville police chief.

From bombs to burst pipes: Indian River finishes school safety plans

Coastal Point • Submitted: School safety monitors are recognizable in uniform gray polo shirts. As constables, these Indian River School District employees would also have unique IR badges.Coastal Point • Submitted: School safety monitors are recognizable in uniform gray polo shirts. As constables, these Indian River School District employees would also have unique IR badges.At 10 a.m. on a Monday morning, children at John M. Clayton Elementary were busy with schoolwork and class projects.

One minute later, they were huddled in the dark, silently waiting behind locked doors.

“This is what you want to see,” said Assistant Principal Matthew Keller, walking into a ghost-town gymnasium.

JMC was practicing a high-level security lockdown. Part of the new comprehensive school safety plan, such drills “make sure everyone responds the way they’re supposed to,” said Principal Charlynne “Char” Hopkins.

To effectively see how things work on their first high-level drill, Hopkins hadn’t even warned the school safety monitor, Deborah Jester, a retired Delaware State Police trooper. At the last minute, she announced it as a practice drill, so no one would call 911.

IRHS alumni ready for ‘FUN-raiser’

Coastal Point • Submitted: Green and gold, anyone? Built by Indian River High School students, this cornhole set will be auctioned this weekend at the IRHS Alumni Food & FUN-raiser.Coastal Point • Submitted: Green and gold, anyone? Built by Indian River High School students, this cornhole set will be auctioned this weekend at the IRHS Alumni Food & FUN-raiser.Proud graduates and friends are being invited to the Indian River High School Alumni Association’s second annual “FUN-raiser” on Saturday, April 5. Alumni can celebrate the green-and-gold with all-you-can-eat food, music, prizes, cornhole games and IRHS alumni license plates from 6 to 10 p.m. at Frankford Fire Hall.

Guests can enjoy home cooking: homemade pit beef, hot sausages, macaroni-and-cheese, the Tribbitt Family’s Famous Clam Chowder and desserts. Drinks are free, including beer, wine and soda.

Guests might get lucky with “Chinese,” silent and live auctions. They can bring up to three canned goods for the local food pantry to receive up to three “Chinese auction” tickets.

After 100 people enjoyed last year’s inaugural event, the alumni group said they are looking forward to another fun night.

“It was successful, especially the license plates,” said IRHSAA President Marla Daisey.

This year’s event will include the return of the Indian River license plates, with the Indian-head logo designed by IR students.

People can submit bids on particular plates in the week before the event, aiming to take home one with their lucky number, graduation year or other combination. Numbers such as 8 and 9 will be done through live auction. A mail-in auction will determine all other numbers. Any numbers not sold beforehand will be available that night.

Sussex Academy announces honor roll

The Sussex Academy recently announced the names of students on its honor rolls for the third marking period of the 2013-2014 school year.

State park offers Beach Driving Clinic

Beach driving has been part of the Delaware Seashore tradition for years; however, officials said, many drivers are uncertain when it comes to driving off the road and onto the sand. For these people, the Beach Driving Clinic offers help on Friday, April 11, at 2 p.m.

‘Karlie Clutch’: Smith’s seventh-inning homer allows for 3-2 victory at Delmar

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Karlie Smith heads home to meet a fired up Lady Indians squad after blasting a seventh inning three-run homer.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Karlie Smith heads home to meet a fired up Lady Indians squad after blasting a seventh inning three-run homer.Top of the 7th. Down 2-0. Runners on first and second. Two outs.

The pressure was certainly on when Indian River High School senior shortstop Karlie Smith stepped up to the plate against Delmar last Friday, March 28, but for Smith it was just another at-bat.

“I was just in the zone,” she explained of her cool demeanor during one of the most pressured situations of her high school softball career. “It’s one of those moments. I just knew I had to do something.”

But Smith didn’t just do “something,” she did exactly what the Lady Indians needed and have come to expect from her over the years — waiting for her pitch and connecting with a shot that would fly well over the fence in left-center, giving IR a 3-2 lead.

IR soccer bounces back against Lady Blue Jays with 10-0 win

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Senior forward Devin Thune pushes the ball upfield in the Lady Indians, 10-0 win against Seaford last Tuesday, April 1.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Senior forward Devin Thune pushes the ball upfield in the Lady Indians, 10-0 win against Seaford last Tuesday, April 1.Head coach Steve Kilby had already started pulling some of his starters when the Lady Indians’ soccer team headed into halftime up 8-0 against a struggling Seaford squad. However, even playing a man down and just trying to work possession in the second half, IR still managed two more goals, eventually locking in a 10-0 victory against the Henlopen South opponent.

“We asked them to play possession in the second half,” Kilby explained of how he approached the mismatched game. “I told them we’d be pulling some players off the field so we actually played a man down in the second half, which meant there were less forwards to play the ball to, so we had to keep the ball moving and play possession.”

The scoring started early when sophomore midfielder Ailene Guzman struck first, unassisted, in the fifth minute. Sophomore forward Brooke Beam made it 2-0, knocking one in off the assist from junior midfielder Brianna Belfiore a few minutes later. Both Guzman and Beam would get on the board again soon after, with Guzman notching another unassisted goal in the 11th minute, and Beam following the scoring pattern with an unassisted goal of her own, to make it 4-0.

2014 Shorebirds Preview

Coastal Point • Submitted: Current Manager Ryan Minor looks on as former Shorebird outfielder Roderick Bernadina eyes up a pitch during a 2012 game.Coastal Point • Submitted: Current Manager Ryan Minor looks on as former Shorebird outfielder Roderick Bernadina eyes up a pitch during a 2012 game.After a disappointing 2013 campaign, the Delmarva Shorebirds are headed into the 2014 season with a new manager and new expectations for the stars of their 2013 draft class, with pitcher Hunter Harvey, outfielder Josh Hart and catcher Chance Sisco — the Baltimore Orioles’ top three draft picks last season — all expected to make strides.

Former Shorebirds Manager and Orioles infielder Ryan Minor makes his return to Delmarva after managing the Frederick Keys, an Advanced A Orioles affiliate, for the 2013 season. Prior to managing the Keys, Minor had spent five seasons as a coach for the Shorebirds, serving as manager for the 2010-2012 season and a hitting coach in 2008 and 2009.

“I live here. I love it here. So I’m happy to be back,” said Minor on his return. “It’s great for me. I’ve been here since 1997, and my wife’s from here — it’s a good situation.”

Minor will be joined by 12-year Major League Baseball veteran and former Orioles reliever Alan Mills, who will be the team’s pitching coach, and former Shorebirds second baseman Paco Figueroa, who will serve as the team’s hitting coach and is already familiar with a few players on this year’s roster after having coached them in Aberdeen last season.

Indian River track can’t catch Cape in season opener

Coastal Point • Aaron Mushrush: Junior Shaquille Hall leads the pack in the 110-meter hurdles event during a meet against Cape Henlopen last Tuesday, April 1.Coastal Point • Aaron Mushrush: Junior Shaquille Hall leads the pack in the 110-meter hurdles event during a meet against Cape Henlopen last Tuesday, April 1.The Indian River High School track-and-field team started off the season in a tough dual meet at Cape Henlopen last Tuesday, April 1, with the boys falling to the Henlopen North squad by the final score of 109-37 and the girls 135-10.

Senior Tim Roberts was excused from lacrosse practice to establish himself as high-scorer in the meet, winning the long jump at 19 feet, 4 inches; the triple jump at 40 feet, 4 inches; and high jump at 6 feet even.

On the track, sophomore KiAnté Sturgis ran competitively for the first time this season without shoulder pads and a helmet, notching a win in the 200 with a time of 24.2 seconds.

The boys’ only other top finish on the day was junior Shaquille Hall’s 17.1-second finish in the 110 hurdles.

For the girls, senior Shanice Waley locked in the only first-place finish, with a time of 1:11 in the 400-meter dash.

“It’s a good learning experience for us,” said head coach Bob Hahn after the meet. “Cape’s always been one of the more powerhouses in track-and-field, so we’re getting good experience. There’s only two teams here, so we can see where we stack up against Cape. They’re a top team.”

Indian River tennis racking up conference wins early

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Seniors Emily Engh and Ashlyn Calhoun defeated Seaford's Samantha Cotten and Abby Pearson 6-0, 6-0 last Thursday, March 27.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Seniors Emily Engh and Ashlyn Calhoun defeated Seaford's Samantha Cotten and Abby Pearson 6-0, 6-0 last Thursday, March 27.Both the boys’ and girls’ Indian River High School tennis teams started off the season with multiple conference wins last week, with the girls starting 3-0 with wins against Seaford, Milford and Lake Forest and the boys starting off 2-1 against the same teams — their only loss against Milford, 3-2 — last Friday, March 28.

After a rainy pre-season eliminated many of the team’s planned outdoor practices, the girls got one of their first opportunities to play together when they faced Seaford last Thursday, March 27.

“This was one of the first times they’ve played together, because of the weather,” said head coach Stefanie Riddle after that match. “I think they did really well. I think they mentally were prepared.”

Kelsey Waite — who is now serving as head coach of the boys’ team while continuing to assist with the girls’ team — had similar thoughts on finally being about to get back out on the courts.

Customers can get digital adapters at Mediacom open house April 11-12

Mediacom announced this week that it had distributed more than 22,000 digital adapters to area customers over the past eight weeks in preparation for a phase-out of analog television reception that begins April 8 and will affect viewing for cable channels 18-66.

Central Avenue intersection to close Monday for Route 26 project

Let the detours begin. A month of Central Avenue road closures begins in Ocean View on Monday, March 31, related to the State Route 26 construction project.

Due to relocation of the sewer force main, Central Avenue will be closed at the Route 26 intersection full-time until May 9. Construction continues 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, pending weather.

School board talks Sussex Tech, Common Core

It’s almost a joke to see some of the misconceptions about Common Core educational standards, said Donald Hattier at the March Indian River School Board meeting.

“I ask that we get as a board as basic rundown of how we are approaching it, as opposed to other districts,” Hattier said.

Weather delays could push Bethany’s Streetscape into summer

There’s no question that the winter of 2013-2014 has been an unusual one for its severe weather, with extended below-freezing temperatures and numerous snowstorms. The question now is whether that weather will extend Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project so far past its original timeline that it extends into the summer season.

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