Local News

Summer season comes with changes

Coastal Point • File Photo: Heavy equipment on the beach will be a familiar sight again, as the beaches of Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island will get replenished this fall. This is not all that’s new this season.Coastal Point • File Photo: Heavy equipment on the beach will be a familiar sight again, as the beaches of Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island will get replenished this fall. This is not all that’s new this season.

Summer at the Delaware shore is full of fun and busy with people and activities. It’s during the “off-season” when many of the practical things get done. So, what happened while all of our summer visitors were gone, and what’s coming to a beach town near you?

Spanish Immersion safe for now

Some local elementary school parents rejoiced this week to learn that the Indian River School District isn’t canceling Spanish Immersion classes.

S. Bethany candidates have their say before Saturday’s election

It’s time for voters to make their call, as the South Bethany town council election allows them to choose this week from five candidates vying for three seats. Polls will be open Saturday, May 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at town hall.

Point staff recognized by MDDC press association

‘Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.’

— Henry Anatole Grunwald

New fees coming to wildlife areas, increased hunter fees

Approved last summer by state legislators, new entrance fees are coming soon to all state wildlife areas, including the Assawoman Wildlife Area near Bethany Beach. Hunters and trappers will also see license fees jump by at least 50 percent, and some by 200 percent.

The changes begin on Saturday, July 1.

County gets update on fighting veteran homelessness

The Sussex County Council this week received an update on the Mayors Challenge to end Veteran Homelessness initiative, in which Sussex County, along with the towns of Blades, Bridgeville, Georgetown, Greenwood, Seaford, as well as the State of Delaware, participated.

Big Chill Beach Club breaks out umbrella room with a view

New restaurant at state park offers inlet and ocean views, beachfront eats

Coastal Point • Submitted: Big Chill Beach Club has a view of the Indian River Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.Coastal Point • Submitted: Big Chill Beach Club has a view of the Indian River Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.Like a summer sun rising above the Atlantic Ocean, the large yellow umbrella atop the concession building at Delaware Seashore State Parks concession stand signals a fresh start.

The umbrella is the signature piece of the new Big Chill Beach Club; it sits atop the venue’s glass-enclosed eating area. That area is surrounded by a large deck, where diners can enjoy 360-degree views encompassing the ocean, the Indian River Inlet Bridge and the Indian River Bay.

Those who would rather keep their feet in the sand can do so by taking their food back to the beach or by sitting at tables in the sand at the new eatery.

A partnership between Delaware State Parks and La Vida Hospitality Group, the Big Chill Beach Club brings to the venture the group’s experience with its other projects, Crooked Hammock Brewery, Restaurant & Backyard Beer Garden; Fork+Flask at Nage; Taco Reho food truck; and the original Big Chill Cantina.

S. Bethany police project gets sky-high bids

Construction costs are already vexing the proposed expansion of the South Bethany Police Department building, and the project has barely been approved.

The Town opened construction bids recently, only to find that the base bids were around $225,000, which is about $70,000 more than they had expected.

'Gatsby' gets green light for IR premiere this weekend

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Whether they’re coming in from East Egg, West Egg or across any other egg-less province, the local community is getting the “green light” to head out to Indian River High School this Friday and Saturday night for the IR drama club’s production of “The Great Gatsby.”

The Simon Levy adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story will “borne back ceaselessly into the past” to feature everything 1920s — from snazzy suits and flapper dresses to the jazz stylings of the Indian River High School band during intermissions and throughout the show.

Coming off the success of their production of “Romeo & Juliet” this past winter — in what was the first-year drama club’s first-ever show — hopes were even higher for “Gatsby,” with everything coming together just in time for curtain call.

“We have a lot to pull together in the last week — as is the nature of theater — but we’re all really excited,” said Sadie Andros, director and first-year English teacher at IR. “We’ve gone a little bigger for this show. We’ve got a great set that we’ve been designing and painting. We have a car, live music — it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

LB Artisans Fair adds farmers’ market in its 10th year

Coastal Point • Submitted : Some of the painted rock creations from Carol Gentes on display at this year's Artisans Fair. title=Coastal Point • Submitted : Some of the painted rock creations from Carol Gentes on display at this year's Artisans Fair.The Artisans Fair at Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View will celebrate its 10th anniversary when the fair gets under way this Memorial Day weekend, adding on a farmers’ market this year, in addition to its array of artisans new and returning.

“For our 10th anniversary, we were talking about what we could do,” said Artisans Fair spokesperson Ida Crist. “We wanted to expand a little bit, so we decided to have the market outside.”

Local vendors scheduled to set up shop at LB for the first-year farmers’ market on Saturday, May 27, include fresh lettuces, herbs, wheatgrass, microgreens, essential oils and colloidal silver products from Bill Jordan and Fresh Harvest Hydroponics in Millsboro; honey, bees-wax products, jams and jellies, soaps, hand creams, lip balm and lip gloss from Carol Hudson of Backyard Jams & Jellies in Frankford; garden items from the Inland Bays Garden Center in Frankford; and season-fresh produce from Paul Parsons and Parsons Farms Produce in Frankford and Ellen Magee of Magee Farms in Selbyville; as well as soups and sandwiches from Delaware Provisions South in Millville.

IR’s Clark takes first at BPA nationals in presentation management

Coastal Point • Submitted: IR senior David Clark took first place for presentation management at the BPA National Leadership Conference held in Orlando, Fla. from May 10 to May 14.Coastal Point • Submitted: IR senior David Clark took first place for presentation management at the BPA National Leadership Conference held in Orlando, Fla. from May 10 to May 14.David Clark knows a thing or two about management.

The soon-to-be graduate of Indian River High School has spent the past four years managing his time while juggling a laundry list of extracurricular commitments, ranging from the student council and his responsibilities as the senior class president, to his involvement with the Leo Club and National Honor Society, to running for the varsity cross-country team and helping lead the varsity boys’ tennis team to a Henlopen South division championship this past spring, just to name a few.

With his wide array of leadership roles and as a four-year member in the school’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) organization, Clark also knows a thing or two about presentations, often finding himself being called upon to give a speech during school-wide pep rallies or a senior scholarship awards ceremony.

So when he was called upon to deliver his most important speech to date earlier this month — this time with the focus on the very subject of presentation management, at the BPA National Leadership Conference on Orlando, Fla. — David Clark knew a thing or two about not being nervous, as he went on to take first place in the country and bring home the school’s first BPA national title since 2007.

SMS reading teacher gives it her all

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Meredith Wallace was recently named Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Meredith Wallace was recently named Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year.Meredith Wallace would rather do headstands in front of a classroom than give a newspaper interview.

Then again, she would do anything for her students.

That attitude helped make her Selbyville Middle School’s Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018. Wallace teaches seventh-grade English language arts.

“I try to have fun. … I think that I’m silly. You have to be able to laugh at yourself for them to be able to laugh at themselves,” Wallace said. “Because when you struggle, that’s when you learn, so you have to show it’s OK to make mistakes and learning is fun.”

And the students notice. Student James Livingston gave her a solid review: “Mrs. Wallace is a good teacher. She helped me learn what I didn’t learn before. She makes learning fun.”

For Wallace, teaching was a destiny she welcomed, especially with other educators in the family.

“From the time I was in first grade, I can remember wanting to be a teacher,” she said.

She taught for 13 years in her home state of Maryland, then a year in Millsboro. After teaching social studies, special education and elementary education, she’s loved her four years at SMS.

Fire devastates Bunting & Bertrand

Nearly a dozen fire companies respond to blaze; no injuries reported

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Numerous local fire companies battle a fire at Bunting & Bertrand in Frankford on Monday, May 15.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Numerous local fire companies battle a fire at Bunting & Bertrand in Frankford on Monday, May 15.

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Heavy smoke bellowed across Frankford for hours on Monday, May 15, as firefighters brought a large structure fire under control at Bunting & Bertrand Poultry Equipment.

The blaze was reported around 3:30 p.m. at the large warehouse and storefront, located at 15 Hickory Street.

The Frankford Volunteer Fire Company took the lead, assisted by volunteer companies from Dagsboro, Selbyville, Roxana, Bethany Beach, Millsboro, Millville, Gumboro, Indian River, Georgetown and Bishopville, Md.

More sand coming to storm-ravaged local beaches

Officials in Delaware’s southernmost beach towns could breathe a sigh of relieve early this week, after the U.S.

Parents ready to fight for Spanish Immersion

[Editor's Note: This article was amended May 19 to reflect the addition of "Spanish Immersion" to the school board's May 22 meeting agenda.]

County reveals proposed $143.8M 2018 budget

Earlier this week, the Sussex County Council reviewed its $143.8 million draft budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

In a presentation by County Administrator Todd Lawson and County Finance Director Gina Jennings at the May 16 council meeting, the council was first given a rundown as to the highlights of the previous fiscal year’s budget.

OVHS offers lecture on Civilian Conservation Corps

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Ocean View Historical Society will present a public lecture on the Civilian Conservation Corps on Wednesday, May 24.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Ocean View Historical Society will present a public lecture on the Civilian Conservation Corps on Wednesday, May 24.While many know Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, less well known is the Emergency Conservation Work (EWC) Act — more commonly known as the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Next Wednesday, May 24, at 7 p.m., the Ocean View Historical Society will host a public lecture on the CCC given by Carol Psaros, a local history advocate and author.

Psaros, published her second book in 2015, titled, “Chickens & Mosquitoes: The Art of Uncertain Times,” which followed the life of a young man who drops out of college and joins the Civilian Conservation Corps to help support his family.

Her talk, “Civilian Conservation Corps Camps and Iconic Spots in 1930’s Sussex County,” will discuss camp life and how the Corps’ “We Can Take It” spirit changed Sussex County and the nation forever.

Public invited to Fenwick Island comp plan workshop

Every municipality in the state of Delaware is required to write a comprehensive plan, and Fenwick Island is now preparing its 10-year plan update.

Beach & Bay Cottage Tour Sneak Peek No. 3 — Bethany home sits on historic Loop Canal

Coastal Point • Submitted: An architectural window is a key detail in a bathroom in this Loop Canal home.Coastal Point • Submitted: An architectural window is a key detail in a bathroom in this Loop Canal home.(Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of previews of the homes that will be on display during the 26th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to be held July 26 and 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

The owners of this home had been searching for a vacation home on the New Jersey shore for several years, but they couldn’t seem to find just the right one. After a friend recommended they look in Bethany Beach, one of the owners found this newly completed home in 2016 and said she knew immediately it was perfect for their active family.

She brought other family members to look at several properties, never revealing which home she had chosen. As soon as her son walked into this home, he said, “Oh, Mom — this is it!” And it was.

The five-bedroom, 5.5-bath beach home is located on the historic Loop Canal, a block and a half from the ocean and two blocks from downtown Bethany. The location fulfills the family’s desire to have easy access to all the recreational activities the area has to offer, including kayaking right out their back door.

The design features a spacious main living area on the upper level, anchored by a central kitchen that is infused with natural light and provides plenty of space for their large extended family to gather both inside and out for meals and conversation. Warm pinewood floors and a stone-faced gas fireplace keep it cozy, while teal accents and plantation shutters complete the coastal cottage appeal.

Teachers, secretaries change contracts to help IRSD

More than 900 IRSD staff impacted

Some Indian River School District staff won’t make as much money this year as they were originally entitled to. They’ve reduced their next three years of raises to help the district deal with budget shortfalls and impending state budget cuts.

Ocean View makes appointment to BOA

The Town of Ocean View had received a letter of resignation from Board of Adjustment Member James LeGates, who stated that he and his wife are planning to return to Pennsylvania.

Millville approves 2018 budget with $230,000 cushion

Selbyville is trying to finish building a drinking-water plant. South Bethany needs to micro-surface its roads. The Indian River School District can’t afford to hire enough teachers.

In Millville, the biggest 2018-fiscal-year budget debates were over fire department funding and guests at the holiday party.

Long Neck community looks for more police

Long Neck Strong group asks for help with safety

Residents of Long Neck want to keep their community safe and are taking steps to do so. A group of citizens attended the May 9 Sussex County Council meeting to speak to the council about their safety needs.

Frankford youth ask for help on skatepark

Five boys were skateboarding in the Frankford fire hall parking lot in the minutes before the Frankford Town Council’s meeting was to begin just down the street on May 1.

By the time the meeting began, the boys were seated in the back row of the council chambers, skateboards at their feet.

Bluegrass festival to celebrate music, swamplands

Coastal Point • Submitted: New & Spare Fools will be performing at the Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival on Saturday, May 20.Coastal Point • Submitted: New & Spare Fools will be performing at the Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival on Saturday, May 20.The Baldcypress Bluegrass Festival, set for Saturday, May 20, celebrates not only a classic American musical genre, but also arts and crafts, food and, of course, the Great Cypress Swamp itself.

The festival will once again be held on the Roman Fisher Farm, 24558 Cypress Road, near Frankford. The event is a fundraiser for Delaware Wild Lands, which owns and manages 10,500 acres of the Great Cypress Swamp, which is the largest forest on the Delmarva Peninsula.

This year’s lineup of bands promises to bring on some serious toe-tapping: The High & Wide, Flatland Drive, Free Range, Blue Crab Crossing and New & Spare Fools (featuring Mickey Justice and Todd Smith of Such Fools, Jon Simmons and Martin Wirtz of New & Used Bluegrass and Wes Parks of No Spare Time).

This year, for the first time, the festival will have a craft vendor area. Delaware Wild Lands spokesperson Wendy Scott said festival organizers have teamed up with the Dewey Artist Collaboration, a group of artists and craftspeople who have joined together to promote the artists’ community in the area, as well as the sale of their work.

Millville to get its own holiday lights, GMB to build park

Millville Town Manager Debbie Botchie sighed and said, quietly, “It’s been 12 long years.”

Botchie finally got her Christmas wish — of more than a decade — on Tuesday, May 9, when the Millville Town Council approved a contract for the purchase and installation of Christmas lights.

County discusses trash, illegal dump sites

Trash has been a topic of discussion for some time in Sussex County. Over the years, County Councilman Sam Wilson has voiced his upset with littering, and Councilman Rob Arlett recently focused on illegal dump sites.

At the May 9 council meeting, County Constable Ryan Stuart said one of the main responsibilities of his office is to handle property-maintenance complaints.

Selbyville asks for ‘yes’ votes on water referendum

Selbyville is in the homestretch for building a new water treatment system. But the Town needs the public’s help one more time to get the job done.

The Town must go to public referendum to secure $500,000 in what is essentially free money from the Delaware Drinking Water Revolving Fund. The vote will be held June 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Town Hall.

Service offering guided tours of ‘off the beaten path’ attractions

Delmarva Board Sports is adding a new tour division of the company for land-lovers, called Delmarva Discovery Tours. After seven years of offering eco-tours on the water and achieving the Trip Advisor Circle of Excellence, the company is expanding to offer local land tours, which include transportation services in a 14-passenger van.

Millsboro man, Niblett, wins $10,000 in Delaware lottery

Millsboro native George Niblett, 61, got a lesson in reinvestment this week when he went to Bodie’s Market in Millsboro on Saturday, May 6, to purchase a $10 Instant Game and his usual Play 3 and Play 4 day tickets from the Delaware Lottery.

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