Local News

Sussex BoA set to vote on manufactured-home exception

Neighbors ready to appeal should County approve application

The residents of Irons Acres are ready for a fight. The community of 26 lots and 21 homes is awaiting a decision from the Sussex County Board of Adjustment this week as to whether a manufactured home that Oakwood Homes placed on a lot on their street will be granted a special-use exception and be allowed to remain there.

County discusses potential funding for planned sports complex

The Sussex County Council is planning to make a decision regarding the planned Sussex Sports Center before the end of the year, after discussion at their Nov. 14 meeting.

Public comments being accepted on anti-discrimination school regs

Delaware is working protect students who typically face discrimination. But proposed regulations have to get past some people who don’t believe there is a problem.

Author discusses transgender daughter

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Kristen and Rita Nelson discussed Rita Nelson’s book at St. Martha’s Episcopal Church on Thursday, Nov. 8.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Kristen and Rita Nelson discussed Rita Nelson’s book at St. Martha’s Episcopal Church on Thursday, Nov. 8.“I am an analyst. I like answers.”

So when Rita Nelson’s son Christopher told her that he was not her son, but her daughter, she immediately “started searching in my head for early signs that we might have missed.” There were, in fact, many “signs.”

“I hope that, if nothing else, you learn a little bit more about the transgender community,” Nelson told the audience at St. Martha’s Episcopal Church in Bethany Beach, where she spoke on Thursday, Nov. 8.

Nelson, a retired Episcopal priest, has written a book titled “Always Kristen,” which relates her family’s journey as her son transitioned to her daughter. Kristen herself sat in the front row last Thursday while her mother spoke and then answered questions from the audience.

“I remember being very awkward with him the day he was born,” Nelson said, adding that she “just didn’t know how to talk to him. I thought, ‘That’s really strange,’” she said, thinking that maybe it was because her first child had been a girl, and so she was more familiar with girls. “A mother should just be able to talk to her kids, whatever gender,” she said.

Freeman headquarters coming to Bear Trap Dunes

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Following approval from Ocean View Town Council, Carl M. Freeman Companies is moving a corporate office to Bear Trap.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Following approval from Ocean View Town Council, Carl M. Freeman Companies is moving a corporate office to Bear Trap.When The Village at Bear Trap Dunes was built in the 1990s, it might have doubled the geographic area of Ocean View. There were grand plans for houses, golf, dining and shopping. Years later, Bear Trap hit the first three goals, but they never quite built the shopping community they intended.

Developers at the Carl M. Freeman Companies had envisioned boutique office space or retail businesses at 21 and 24 Village Green Drive. But the commercial development attempts were costing too much, and the real estate market was depressed. Since then, Freeman Companies have been trying to determine the perfect anchor businesses to attract smaller shops inside the community.

“That anchor is us,” said Chris Garland, senior vice president of development and construction. “Freeman itself is experiencing a regrowth. We’ve been around for 40 years in the market and 70 years [overall]. We’re going to bring to Bear Trap a corporate Freeman office for just about everything we do.”

Since the whole area is growing again, the time is considered ripe for Freeman to consolidate operations under one roof, including their Route 54 office.

Town approves site plan for section of Millville By the Sea

The Millville Town Council on Tuesday, Nov. 14, approved a final site plan for a 65-lot section of Sea Star Village, which is part of Millville By the Sea.

Leaving IRSD? Beware of FFA student’s conundrum

Future Farmers of America is an important program in Indian River School District. It produces student leaders and important skills in an agricultural county.

Route 54 residents get insight into zoning process

Residents along Route 54 in Selbyville are trying to get a grip on the traffic volume on their two-lane roadway. At a Nov. 2 public meeting, the problem wasn’t solved, but now people know how it happened.

“The market is very strong right now. This area is a very ideal area for development. So you are going to see a lot more,” said Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson.

FORGE offers young adults a chance to Rewind their lives

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Tara Barrett and Holland Lewis in the House of Mercy in Selbyville where the FORGE and REWIND programs are currently located.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Tara Barrett and Holland Lewis in the House of Mercy in Selbyville where the FORGE and REWIND programs are currently located.There are many reasons someone might want to “rewind” their life — to restart it, from a point where they feel they can be successful.

Prison. Drugs. Tough times. Any of those, and more, can derail a life.

Holland Lewis knows what it’s like to come out of prison and not know where to turn, what to do, who to trust. He also knows that it is possible to overcome one’s past, because he has done it.

About a year after finishing a three-year prison sentence and completing his parole period, Lewis is a new father, is engaged to be married and has found success as a chef.

Tara Barrett, co-founder of the FORGE Youth & Family Academy in Selbyville, saw that leadership potential in Lewis.

“He was smart enough to keep his nose clean while he was in prison,” she said. “His life could have been very different. He made one bad choice.”

Flipping for Families event to support Alana Rose Foundation

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Alana Rose Foundation will host the Flipping for Families event at Mid-Coast Gymnastics on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Alana Rose Foundation will host the Flipping for Families event at Mid-Coast Gymnastics on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m.For the second year in a row, the Alana Rose Foundation is teaming up with Mid-Coast Gymnastics to give kids the chance to have a fun afternoon while supporting other families.

The Alana Rose Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was borne out of the tragedy endured by Kyle Prettyman and Alexa Shoultes, who lost their daughter Alana Rose to a neurodegenerative disease at 15 months old, in December 2015.

According to its website, “The Alana Rose Foundation works to provide financial assistance to help with travel, housing and/or living expenses for qualified families, making children happier and healthier by keeping their family together.”

The Flipping for Families event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. The cost of admission is $10 per child, with children younger than 4 able to attend free of charge. Parents and caregivers may attend the event at no charge. There is no pre-purchase required; families may buy tickets at the door the day of the event.

Community encouraged to help provide Thanksgiving meal for thousands

This coming Monday, hundreds of people from across Delmarva will gather together with one simple goal: to give families in need a Thanksgiving meal.

On Monday, Nov. 20, from 8:20 a.m. to 3 p.m., the community is being invited to bundle up and head to Mountaire Farms’ Selbyville warehouse to pack 8,500 boxes of food.

Oakley sentenced to six months in jail for embezzlement

Former Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) Treasurer Justin Oakley will serve six months in jail after stealing more than $190,000 from the organization in which he was a member.

Frankford decides to seek DSP coverage

The Town of Frankford has been without constant police protection, following the unexpected resignation of its last Police Chief Mark Hudson on July 27.

Over the last few months, the Town was in talks with the Town of Dagsboro to unify police departments, however, Frankford council announced on Oct. 4 that it would “not pursue the merger.”

Route 113 overpasses coming to central Sussex County

Route 113 is getting a facelift unlike the immediate area has ever seen. To improve safety and congestion, Delaware Department of Transportation will replace stoplights with overpasses and ramps.

Oakwood Homes applications deferred, again

The Sussex County Board of Adjustment voted unanimously to again defer their vote on a special-use exemption applications filed by Oakwood Homes.

The company is seeking two special-use exceptions to permit manufactured homes on two separate lots, each measuring less than .75 acres — one located on Hoot Owl Lane near Dagsboro and the other on Julie Court near Frankford.

VFW to host annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Post 7234

This weekend, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7234 will host a Veterans Day Ceremony to thank area veterans for their service to the country.

“Veterans Day is to honor all the veterans from all the branches of service,” said Fulton Loppatto, adjutant for Post 7234.

Food and wine festival to benefit Food Bank of Delaware

Foodies rejoice! There’s a new event in Bethany Beach shining the spotlight on area restaurants. Even better — the Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Food & Wine Festival will benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.

Set for 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, the festival will be held at Bethany Beach Ocean Suites Residence Inn by Marriott.

County council discusses Comp Plan

At the Nov. 7 Sussex County council meeting, County Administrator Todd Lawson gave council an update on the County’s Comprehensive Land Use Development Plan.

Casting a spell: Clever kids clean up in spelling bee

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: About 27 entrants smile before the competition begins, alongside Southern Sussex Rotarians and other special guests.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: About 27 entrants smile before the competition begins, alongside Southern Sussex Rotarians and other special guests.“Confidence” might be the word of the night, as 27 Indian River School District third-graders competed in the third annual Spelling Bee.

Southern Sussex Rotary hosted the event for southern district students on Nov. 1 at John M. Clayton Elementary.

This year, top prizes went to (first place) Alana Chew of Lord Baltimore Elementary School; (second place) Lauren Myers, Southern Delaware School of the Arts; (third place) Yoselyn Patraca-Carmona, Phillip C. Showell Elementary School; and (fourth place) Catherine Bunting, Lord Baltimore.

Seated on stage, some students swung their feet, not quite reaching the floor, as they watched their peers. Pausing from her duties as moderator, or “pronouncer,” Becky Burton told the audience how the students were encouraging each other.

“They’re up here going, ‘You can do it!’”

Honoring Our Veterans

Lighthouse Christian Students to thank veterans

For years, Lighthouse Christian School has felt the importance of educating youth on the meaning of Veterans Day.

“Our school is very, very concerned about giving time to the veterans, and recognizing our veterans for the sacrifices that both them and their families have made,” said Pat Viguie, a teacher at the school.

Chasing the fog

As I backed out the driveway last Friday morning at 7:15, Cedar Drive was still quiet before the mad rush of buses and parents dropping off the kids at Lord Baltimore Elementary School. Even though I live a half a mile from work, it’s funny how I need to do just the right timing so I do not end up mixed in part of the busy drop-off time of the school traffic.

As I went down School Lane, I notice that there was a soft layer of fog over the fields drifting up toward a brilliant blue sky. Going to be another great day of this Indian summer we are seeing this year, I thought to myself.

Pulling into the office parking lot convinced me that there needed to be a change of plans for the morning. I can read e-mails anytime, I figured. This fog is here now and will be gone in another half hour. Grabbing my camera, I headed for Fresh Pond, making a few scenic stops along the way.

Fresh Pond is a part of my old stomping ground, as I lived on Cedar Neck Road until I was in 11th grade. It was much different then, comprised mostly of fields (some farmed and some just natural). After school, weekends and in the summer, we rode bikes or walked just about anywhere. We ran through cornfields, built forts in the woods and even swam in the Assawoman Canal.

Miracle, or just a drug?

Opinions vary, locally and nationally, on medicinal marijuana

Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Tina and Charles Abrachinsky in their home. Charles recently started using a tincture to help control pain.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Tina and Charles Abrachinsky in their home. Charles recently started using a tincture to help control pain.“At 10:15 a.m., I took my first ‘cocktail,’ as I call it. It was a couple of drops of ‘jet fuel’ marijuana tincture mixed with orange juice in a shot glass. I didn’t know what to expect,” said 81-year-old Charles Abrachinsky, who lives in Ocean View.

It was Wednesday, Sept. 13, and Abrachinsky recorded the time and amount in his notebook.

“Twenty minutes later I turned to Tina, my wife, and said ‘Wow!’ I didn’t feel any pain. It was unbelievable.”

Abrachinsky has lived with his pain all his adult life. His injuries started when he played football at the University of Pittsburgh and included a broken pelvis and torn meniscus. Back then though he was more disappointed by not being able to play in the Sugar Bowl than he was worried about future pain.

Join the holiday magic: Parade registrations open

Now’s the time to sign up for local Christmas parades. People can build a float, decorate a car, or gather an organization to participate in brightening the holiday season.

Holiday parades are returning to Selbyville, Dagsboro, Millsboro and Georgetown in early December, so registration is due within the next few weeks.

Millsboro police work getting hairy for charity

Coastal Point • Submitted Millsboro: Police Department’s Cpl. David Moyer,  Ptlm. Michael Gorman, Cpl. Jonathan Zubrowski and Cpl. Patrick Forester sport some facial hair during last year’s Whiskers for Wishes event, raising money for Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro.Coastal Point • Submitted Millsboro: Police Department’s Cpl. David Moyer, Ptlm. Michael Gorman, Cpl. Jonathan Zubrowski and Cpl. Patrick Forester sport some facial hair during last year’s Whiskers for Wishes event, raising money for Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro.The Millsboro Police Department is loosening its “grooming standards.” But don’t worry — it’s for a good cause.

Thanks to an official waiving of the Millsboro Police Department’s grooming standards by the Millsboro Town Council, male police officers will be permitted to grow facial hair between now and Dec. 13. There’s a catch, though.

“In order for officers to do this, they have to pay money,” Police Chief Brian Calloway said.

Specifically, the officers will pay $120 total for the right to grow beards and mustaches through December — $20 for October, $40 for November and $60 for December.

Calloway said most of the men in his 15-member department are participating in the big beard project. The female members of the department may not be able to grow beards, but they contribute in other ways, he said.

Roxana fire company showcasing the classics this weekend

Classic cars and tractors will be pulling in to the Roxana Volunteer Fire Department parking lot on Saturday for the fire company’s first Classic, Antique Car and Tractor Show.

IRSD ready to pursue Bermuda grass on fields

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.After tossing the idea around for years, the Indian River School District’s Board of Education unanimously voted this week to begin pursuing Bermuda grass for the football and field hockey stadiums at both high schools.

“I think the public is going to appreciate what we’re doing with these four fields,” said Joe Booth, supervisor of Buildings & Grounds. “I work for the district, but I also am a district resident. … I think this is a good thing moving forward, trying to improve these fields for our students.”

The optimum option would be artificial turf, he said, but Bermuda grass is a great runner-up.

“It’s mainly because of the recovery, and it gives you a little bit of the cushion. It’s mowed short so you don’t have a problem with cleats getting caught,” he said. Also, “It’s flat. It’s consistent all the way through.”

Fourth annual Thanksgiving Day Gabby Gobble nears

Coming to the Delaware beaches for Thanksgiving and looking for a twist on your family tradition?

Join up for the Fourth Annual Gabby Gobble 5K on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 23, at Irish Eyes Pub in Lewes. The race will begin at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds from the race will go to the Get Well Gabby Foundation.

Annual Turkey Trot scheduled for Thanksgiving Day

The 10th Annual Fenwick Island Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, at 8 a.m. The untimed 2.2-mile fun-run/walk starts oceanside on Lewes Street in Fenwick Island, and goes south to the Maryland state line and back.

Bethany Beach to host Holiday Happenings, tree lighting

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Town of Bethany Beach will host its annual Holiday Happenings from 1 to 3 p.m. at town hall. The event will feature face-painting and photos with Santa, complete with hot cocoa, cookies and a station for children to write letters to Santa.

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