People from all walks of life joined together earlier this week to help give those in need a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
Problems can be ‘easily fixed,’ Wagner says
Many Indian River School District staff and residents were holding their breaths this week in anticipation of the Delaware Auditor of Accounts’ report on the district, which was released Nov. 17.
The good news? The problems are easily fixed, said Delaware State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner Jr.
The South Bethany Police Department doesn’t have room to properly do its job. It’s not because the SBPD suddenly grew in staff. (It hasn’t.) In reality, the police department wasn’t built for all of today’s needs.
Bethany Beach could move in the near future to switch from its signature trolley-style bus for in-town public transportation to instead using a jeep pulling a tram.
After the dishes have been put away and the whole family is over-stuffed with turkey and fixings, many begin their Christmas holiday decorating. And, this weekend, two area towns are inviting the public to join in on lighting the towns’ Christmas trees and get into the holiday spirit.
After a successful turnout in the first year of its new holiday tradition, the Town of Millsboro is bringing back their free holiday event and tree-lighting ceremony this Saturday, Nov. 26.
“I think it’s a nice community event — very family-friendly,” said Millsboro Town Manager Sheldon Hudson. “It’s like mini Rockefeller experience, Millsboro-style.”
Project to be pedestrian- and eco-friendly
Wetlands are coming to the highway between Bethany Beach and South Bethany, for the good of Mother Nature and pedestrians.
Sea Colony’s Route 1 intersection will likely be reconfigured in 2018 to allow for a small stormwater wetlands project just east of the highway.
Northbound traffic currently splits near the Sea Colony traffic signal. Cars either curve left on the highway or shoot down a right-hand fork to Pennsylvania Avenue and downtown Bethany.
“We’re going to take that slip ramp of Pennsylvania Avenue out,” said Marianne Walch of the Center for the Inland Bays, “so that, instead of just coming off at full speed off the highway into Bethany there, people will have to turn right at the light.”
There was a look of pride on the face of Mike Cummings as he sat in his conference room earlier this week.
The driving force and CEO of Miken Builders in Millville was enjoying the fact that his company was celebrating 30 years of doing business, and that their spinoff, BetterLiving of Delmarva, was in its eighth year of constructing sunrooms, porch enclosures and awnings.
He was proud of the fact that his average employee has worked with Miken for more than 10 years, that he has worked with Contractors for a Cause for nearly 20 years and was actively involved in the construction of Justin’s Beach House — the respite home in Bethany Beach for families affected by cancer. And he was most certainly proud of the two young men who shared the conference-room table with him.
Patrick is the sales manager at BetterLiving, and Sean is a project manager for Miken. They are both well-versed in the ways of Miken and know that each project they take on must live up to the high standards long-attributed to the company.
Dear readers and advertisers,
Ours is a nation that excels the most when our eyes are planted firmly on the future.
Poll worker grateful for food donations
On behalf of my 12 co-workers and myself who worked at the polls, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Hocker’s G&E and DiFebo’s restaurant for the delicious food they provide for our lunch and dinner.
“Our veterans are very special to us. We pray our program shows them how much we care,” said second-grader Megan Brining, who opened Lighthouse Christian School’s (LCS) annual Veterans Day program with a prayer.
The program, held on Nov. 18, featured a presentation of the colors, the “Pledge of Allegiance” and seventh-grader Izzy Donihue singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” and focused on honoring all branches of the military services.
Eighth-grader Danny Williams introduced Airman 1st class Rudy Viguie, who served as F-86 crew chief in the U.S. Air Force, noting the branch was created in 1947, after President Truman signed the National Security Act.
“What did the Air Force do to me as an individual?” said Viguie. “In 1952, I was a 16-year-old kid growing up on the streets of New York City, totally unsupervised. I came from a single-parent home, basically did what I wanted. I don’t know how I stayed out of trouble.
The Delaware State Police this week were in the midst of investigating a homicide that occurred last week.
On Wednesday, Nov. 16, around 11:50 p.m., the Millsboro Police Department responded to a call about an unconscious man lying partially in the roadway on West Monroe and Houston streets.
Beside a quiet country road, sunny fields stretch toward a leafy forest that hides beauties within. A 37-acre public garden is coming to Dagsboro, and the public is being invited to the groundbreaking of Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek on Thursday, Dec. 1.
Public tours will begin at 10 a.m., focusing on the Woodlands pathways down to Pepper Creek. The ceremony will begin sometime between 11 and 11:30 a.m.
It’s been several years since the volunteer group formed to create a “world-class, inspirational, educational” public garden on Piney Neck Road, just outside of Dagsboro.
“It’s a seminal event,” said Ray Sander, board treasurer. It’s perhaps the first public opportunity to witness what’s happening behind the scenes. “They can take a tour there and see what we’ve done. … We’re moving ahead.”
A “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” evening of socializing, shopping, entertainment, food and drink in Bethany Beach will benefit girls thousands of miles away who just want an education.
The irony of that is not lost on the event’s coordinators, Harriett Nettles and Sedona restaurant owner Marion Parrott.
The event, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1, is a fundraiser for the Helambu Education & Livelihood Project (HELP), which seeks to build schools in remote parts of Nepal. Helambu, Nettles said, is “one of the poorest and most illiterate regions of Nepal. The only way to get there is to trek from Katmandu.”
Nettles, who lives in Asheville, N.C., first traveled to Nepal as a volunteer with Children of the Earth. There, she said, she met a young man named Jimmy Lama, who was the first person in his village to graduate from secondary school and had started HELP as a way to give back to his community.
You know the old saying: “Good things come to those who wait.”
Before local restaurateur Matt Haley went to India for ongoing humanitarian efforts in August 2014, he and I chatted at a fundraising event. I told him that I’d tried without success to highlight a couple chefs at his SoDel restaurants. We exchanged business cards and he said, “I’ll fix that when I return from India.” Sadly, he was killed in a motorcycle accident on that trip.
About a year ago, Debbie Ruley, a member of the Post 17 Lewes American Legion Auxiliary (as am I), and mother of chef Doug Ruley, vice president of SoDel Concepts, told me that she would put me in touch with her son to highlight in my column.
Doug and I finally met at the American Legion in September, to celebrate his sister Nichole’s birthday. Well worth the wait! Like my husband, Jim, Nichole enjoys singing on karaoke night. She’s a big fan of her older brother’s cooking.
Bethany Beach firefighters were among those who recently rescued a dog who had been swept out to sea.
According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare’s Delaware Animal Services (DAS) dispatch center received a call just after 11 a.m. on Nov. 6 about a dog that needed to be rescued from the water about a mile south of the Indian River Inlet.
While swimming, Cruz, a 4-year-old black Labrador retriever, was swept about 500 yards offshore and was unable to return to land on his own. DAS officers were immediately dispatched and requested water rescue equipment and assistance from the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
After two and a half years of sectional conflict, President Abraham Lincoln believed it prudent to “give thanks for the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.”
The best plays from Fall 2016
What… a… season.
While the 2016 fall sports calendar may not have shaken out as planned for a few teams at Indian River High School, this one has certainly been one for the record books for the Tribe.
Sudden weather lifts Tower Hill over IR in state title game
It was very much like a scene out of “Twister.”
The clouds swept over ominously during the singing of the national anthem. The winds began to gently rattle nets and backdrops during a moment of silence before the opening draw. Then, out of nowhere, the world began to howl.
By the opening whistle, all that was missing was the flying cow — although, considering the circumstances, some Indian River fans would go on to mutter something metaphorical about pigs taking flight.
Facing the wrong direction against wind gusts clocked between 30 and, in some cases, up to 50 mph to start the DIAA Division II state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 19, the Indian River High School soccer team saw their title hopes whisked away with that wind, as No. 3 Tower Hill took full advantage of the early aid and drained four first-half goals, to go on to an eventual 4-2 victory.
“There was no wind during warm-ups,” said IR head coach Steve Kilby after the game. “As soon as they blew the whistle, it started, so nobody knew what was going on at that point.”
The Slam Dunk to the Beach basketball tournament is back for the third year after its resurrection, and it’s bringing the game’s brightest future stars from across the nation with it.
The Delaware Youth Soccer Association (DYSA) announced this week that long-time Indian River High School and River Soccer Club coach Howard Gerken will be honored this January as the DYSA TOPSoccer Coach of the Year.
“Howard is a leader in every sense of the word,” said River Soccer Club President Rebecca Mais. “He does it so smoothly you don’t even know what just happened and he’s got things done. But the greatest gift of all is Howard’s real caring and love of other people.”
TOPSoccer is short for “The Outreach Program for Soccer,” a program designed for players with special needs.
Not only did Gerken help pioneer that program but also the River Soccer Club as it’s known today, holding practices at area schools before the club found its home at the River Soccer complex along Gum Road near Frankford.
IR’s Cordoba named NSCAA Regional All-American
Only three players from each region are selected by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) as All-Americans, and this year, Indian River High School senior forward Johan Cordoba is one of them.
Audit to be released Nov. 17
The Indian River School District is asking taxpayers to think local when it comes to funding education. The public will vote in a Nov. 22 referendum on whether to approve a 49-cent increase in the local tax rate — primarily to keep up with skyrocketing student enrollment.
Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, wears many hats. This week, she dons one more.
Grimes has been named 2016 Sussex County Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay. She received the award on Wednesday, Nov. 16, during a luncheon at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Honorary co-chairs for the event were Delaware First Lady Carla J. Markell and Michelle Freeman; co-chairs were Sandy Taras and Twig Burton.
Grimes, who was a Girl Scout as a child growing up in Boonsboro, Md., has a grown daughter, Marisa, and said she hopes all young girls realize just how much they can change the world.
“I want them to know how valuable they are and how unique and special each person is,” she said.
The Sussex County Council, along with members of the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission and County staff met earlier this week for a workshop on the County’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan.
A comprehensive plan, which is required by state law, is a long-range policy guide for decision-making regarding the future of the natural and built environment of a community.
A group of 20 boys from Sussex County marched proudly in New York City’s Veterans Day parade on Friday, Nov. 11. Members of Troop 382 in Dagsboro were joined by members of Troop 105 from Long Neck for the appearance.
Vinny Tallarico, assistant scoutmaster of Troop 382 and a New York City native, said he was “tour guide” for the three-day trip. In addition to marching in the parade, along with 25,000 others, the boys visited the World War II aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Intrepid, as well as the 9/11 Museum.
While in New York, the boys camped on Staten Island, at the Camp William H. Pouch Boy Scout Camp, Tallarico said, which included cooking their own breakfast, packing lunches and cooking dinners at the campsite. Taking advantage of free subway fares and ferry tickets available to non-profit groups, the troop members were able to keep costs for the trip down to $90 per person.
This Friday, the students of Lighthouse Christian School will be hosting a special tribute to all the branches of the military and thanking veterans for their service to the country.
“It’s a labor of love. I just love it,” said Pat Viguie, who works at the school and has been coordinating the event for nine years.
The program will be held on Friday, Nov. 18, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Dagsboro Church of God. The program will feature children showing their love of country and freedom, while also expressing their appreciation for the men and women who have served and are serving in the military.
“They are trying to pay back in their own way — whether it be with songs or poems or a letter of thanks — just to let them know how much we love them, we appreciate them, and that we know without them we could not have the freedoms that exist in this great land.”
It’s not a beach without sand, and local coastal towns are meeting to discuss beach replenishment and possibly lobbying federal agencies for previously promised funding.
Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon said at Monday’s council workshop that he planned to meet this week with South Bethany, Fenwick Island and Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) officials.
While Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for what one is grateful for, not everyone is able to enjoy the holiday. Recognizing those who are in need in the community, Mountaire Farms created Thanksgiving for Thousands two decades ago, in order to provide those families the opportunity to have a happy, food-filled Thanksgiving.