Local News

IRSD citizens group debates the issues, reviews new budget

The Indian River School District has found some new eyes to look at the budget, and they’ve got some ideas. The Citizens Budget Oversight Committee convened on Aug. 21 for their first look at the IRSD’s proposed $151 million preliminary budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

Small businesses go front-and-center

State Sen. Gerald Hocker and Gov. John Carney on Aug. 16 invited a small group of local businesspeople to join them for lunch and a roundtable discussion on the state’s economy and their concerns about their individual businesses and beyond.

Selbyville teen to compete in Miss Hispanic pageant

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: For her pageant platform, Ana Calles encourages people to volunteer for the causes they love.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: For her pageant platform, Ana Calles encourages people to volunteer for the causes they love.Ana Calles doesn’t mind driving two hours to Wilmington every week this summer. Hailing from Selbyville, she’s the only downstate contestant in the Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant.

“Honestly, it’s a big honor, and I feel very fortunate and blessed,” said Calles, 17. “I see how I’m the only one from lower Delaware. I don’t see that as an inconvenience to go all the way up there. I see it was an opportunity or a blessing. I think it’s special because it makes me stand out.”

She will represent Mexico in the Aug. 26 program, which celebrates Hispanic culture and is also designed to help young ladies develop poise and communication skills.

As a rising junior at Indian River High School, Calles said she has wanted to join the pageant for several years now. Calles has lived in Selbyville all her life, except for a few years in Mexico when she was younger.

She has the drive to compete, even hiring Uber rides to Wilmington, until teacher Lori Hudson put an end to that. Then, Hudson personally drove Calles to rehearsals and helped her with program sponsorships.

“She helps me with my schooling and everything. She’s really awesome, to be honest,” Calles said of Hudson. “She definitely goes out of her way, and she’s really there for me — almost in a way a mother would.”

The pageant began in 1972 and is celebrated with the Wilmington Hispanic Festival.

Bringing the ‘wow’ factor

Pizzazz features unique décor and gifts in Fenwick

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Pizzazz by the Bay owner Victoria Thanner in her Fenwick Island shop.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Pizzazz by the Bay owner Victoria Thanner in her Fenwick Island shop.This tiny shop in Fenwick Island is living up to its name. Pizzazz by the Bay isn’t trying to be the ordinary gift shop. Visitors and locals are coming there to find eclectic gifts and home décor by local artists.

Never behind the counter for very long, Victoria Thanner greets every customer with a smile. She loves being right there, helping them find the perfect item, or picturing it in their home.

With so many people still building and renovating in coastal Delaware, “I want to do something different … showcase local artists and pieces,” Thanner said. “People are looking for that ‘wow’ piece.”

Some of the more striking sculptures begin with driftwood: a gentle curving sailboat, a rough sea turtle and tall lamps strung with Edison bulbs and ship’s rope.

Cooks and books have a tasty time at Selbyville library

Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Cathy Martin serves chicken curry, next to a dish of chicken meatballs with smoked paprika tomato sauce.Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Cathy Martin serves chicken curry, next to a dish of chicken meatballs with smoked paprika tomato sauce.Libraries were never this delicious. But now people are turning on their tastebuds at the Selbyville Public Library.

Every month, the Eat & Greet Cookbook Club tries recipes from a new cookbook. Beforehand, anyone in the community can choose a recipe from a cookbook featured at the library. All the participants prepare a dish, and then they share a potluck dinner on the second Monday of each month. That night, people get to sample everyone’s cooking and take home the recipes.

It’s always a chance to try something new, and the group couldn’t name a recipe that they didn’t like.

In August, they tried “The Whole30 Cookbook,” a low-carb, high-flavor program by Melissa Hartwig. Recipes ranged from a classic slow-cooker chicken salad to an adventurous tomato-coconut curry chicken.

“I’m a basic person. This is my first time having [spaghetti] squash and cauliflower rice,” said librarian Ronshell “Shelly” Purnell, who roasted flavorful chicken thighs that night.

Sometimes it’s an intimate handful of cooks, while other nights are packed with a dozen or more cooks and dishes.

“It’s a nice way to meet people in your community,” said Cathy Martin. “It’s fun to get together and talk—”

“Food!” Dottie Kauffman interjected.

Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ making its way to Freeman Stage

The Brown Box Theatre Project will perform Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at the Freeman Stage on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m.

Photography contest to illustrate what family means to you

Brandywine Living at Fenwick Island is holding a photography contest for photographs that portray family life, as part of its celebration of National Assisted Living Week.

Entries should portray a moment that illustrates “what family means to you,” as Brandywine Living’s theme for this year’s National Assisted Living Week is “Family is forever.”

Delaware Federation says ‘it’s not your grandmother’s club’

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Salt Air Gardeners are members of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs. The club won an award from DNREC for their plantings at the Indian River Lifesaving Station earlier this year.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Salt Air Gardeners are members of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs. The club won an award from DNREC for their plantings at the Indian River Lifesaving Station earlier this year.Calling all gardeners and wannabe landscapers — the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs is looking for you.

Next Wednesday, Aug. 30, the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs will be hosting an informational meeting regarding joining or starting a garden club. The membership event will be held at the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach from 6 to 7 p.m.

“There are so many new communities here, and I don’t even think they know that we exist down here,” said Lisa Arni, president of the federation. “I am finding through the Master Gardeners and other organizations that people are moving here and saying, ‘OK, I bought this new house and have the builder’s minimal package of plants, and I don’t know what to plant here because I’m new to Delaware.’

“They’d be really good candidates because they just moved here, they don’t know anybody, they would make new friends and learn about what to plant in their communities and in their gardens.”

Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour to debut Oct. 7

Coastal Point • Submitted: The guest cottage behind the Selby Evans House was built around 1887.Coastal Point • Submitted: The guest cottage behind the Selby Evans House was built around 1887.The Ocean View Historical Society will host its inaugural Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7, featuring a number of historical homes in the area. One of the featured homes is located a 41 West Avenue in Ocean View. Selby Evans and his wife, Elizabeth Hall Evans, were the first residents of the picturesque colonial style home, which is currently owned by their great-granddaughter Barbara Slavin.

A letter from Selby to his son James mentions the lumber was purchased in Frankford for $300. While the house was originally just a parlor and dining room with two bedrooms above, indoor plumbing and a new kitchen were added in 1935. The first kitchen is now a guest house open for viewing in the landscaped back yard, which includes a gazebo and several cozy seating areas. Inside the home, original artwork abounds, including a Laura Hickman painting of the Evans-West House across the street, where James Evans lived after he married Mary West.

SODE athletes enjoy classic summer-camp experience

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Special Olympics Delaware Summer Camp attendees try their hands at archery.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Special Olympics Delaware Summer Camp attendees try their hands at archery.Approximately 120 Special Olympics Delaware (SODE) athletes from across the state were able to enjoy a classic summer-camp experience this month at Camp Barnes near Bethany Beach.

“This is the 17th camp,” said Jon Buzby, director of media relations for SODE, who also helped start the camp. “When we started it 17 years ago, we developed it to truly fit into our mission, which is sports training. So, the athletes, when they came here, we did sports — we did volleyball, we did soccer, we did bocce, we did basketball. Everything we did was something they trained and competed in during the year.

“As time went on, what we realized is we were limiting the population that could come to camp because it was so strenuous, as the sports we were offering were more of our high-level sports. “

Buzby said the change-over to the typical summer experience was gradual, but while it was happening, the camp also grew.

BREAKING: Fenwick cancels public hearing on election rules

The Fenwick Island Town Council has canceled its Aug. 25 public hearing and the council’s final vote on voter qualifications. In fact, the primary sponsor, Councilwoman Julie Lee, said she has decided to hit “pause” altogether on the proposed charter amendment. She said she may move to rescind the first reading from July.

Hall’s Store closer to becoming reality with help of Contractors

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Contractors for a Cause recently donated $3,000 to the Ocean View Historical Society.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Contractors for a Cause recently donated $3,000 to the Ocean View Historical Society.The Ocean View Historical Society is hoping to begin construction on its replica of Hall’s Store — a re-creation based on the general store that “gave rise” to the town of Ocean View — very soon, thanks to the continued support of Contractors for a Cause. The resulting structure will be a visitor’s center and education center, housing local artifacts, a meeting room, kitchenette and restrooms.

On Aug. 17, Mark Hardt, a charter member of and director of scholarships and membership for Contractors for a Cause, as well as co-owner of Miranda & Hardt Contracting, presented the society with a check for $3,000 from the non-profit.

Having a blast

Delaware Burn Camp offers kids a week of summer fun

For children who have experienced a serious burn, the emotional recovery from that burn can take just as long, if not longer, to heal than the actual wound itself.

A total eclipse of the… sun

This coming Monday, everyone will be given the opportunity to experience a unique and rare happening — a total solar eclipse.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth, casting a shadow onto Earth.

South Bethany council rejects police claims

The South Bethany Town Council has found “no merit” to police officers’ claims of improper promotion, pay and benefits.

In a June 30 letter, the town’s six fulltime police officers alleged that they have not been paid or promoted as they should be.

Area prepares for annual Warrior Beach Week

In a little more than two weeks, the Bethany Beach area will welcome 25 “Very Important Families” for a week of rest and healing.

Local talent in the bandstand spotlight for a night

Both Bethany Beach residents and visitors who signed up to perform in the annual talent show are predicted to exceed expectations this year.

Sussex County drug-trafficking investigation nets 40 arrests

A multi-jurisdictional investigation into an illegal drug trafficking organization, involving multiple subjects, conducted by the Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Justice, has concluded with the arrest or indictment of 40 individuals on more than 190 criminal charges.

Arrests made in lawn ornament thefts

Following the receipt of numerous complaints regarding stolen lawn ornaments, the Ocean View Police Department and Delaware State Police Troop 4 were recently able to arrest Randy P. Holderbaum and Matthew L. Donoway, both of Frankford, in connection to the crimes.

Dinker-Irvin Cottage listed on National Register of Historic Places

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Dinker-Irvin cottage was moved earlier this year to its new location a few lots west. The cottage was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Dinker-Irvin cottage was moved earlier this year to its new location a few lots west. The cottage was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.Bethany Beach officials and former owners Christina and Clem Edgar were notified recently that the Dinker-Irvin Cottage has officially been listed in the National Register of Historic Places as of July 3.

The cottage, which was recently moved onto a Town-owned lot a few doors down the street from its nearly century-long location on Garfield Parkway Extended, was built by the Dinker family during the early days of the town’s founding and had previously served as the local post office for several years after its relocation to the Garfield Parkway Extended lot in the 1920s.

The Dinker-Irvin Cottage is in the process of being transformed into a town history museum and is now officially recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior as being part of that history itself.

“By this action, the Dinker-Irvin Cottage was recognized as being significant to the history of the Town of Bethany Beach, Sussex County, and the State of Delaware,” the announcement from Timothy A. Slavin, director of the State of Delaware’s Historical & Cultural Affairs department and state preservation officer.

Seining the bays with the CIB: Finding meaning on the shore

I stand thigh-deep in warm bay water, seining net clutched in my hands. I can feel the drag of the current against the fabric as I march, slowly and steadily, toward the shore. A man named Dennis Bartow holds the other end of the 30-foot net, slogging his way toward the beach with me. It’s perfect weather: sunny enough to warm my baseball cap, with a gentle breeze that smells of salt.

Georgetown 5K to raise funds for Ballard Memorial Fund

This Sunday, the friends and family of late Delaware State Trooper Cpl. Stephen Ballard are sponsoring a 5K and “Kiddie K” in order to raise funds for the fallen trooper’s family.

Infamous Stringdusters bringing bluegrass to Dewey Beach

Coastal Point • Submitted/Scott McCormick: The Infamous Stringdusters are set to appear on stage at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach on Sunday, Aug. 20.Coastal Point • Submitted/Scott McCormick: The Infamous Stringdusters are set to appear on stage at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach on Sunday, Aug. 20.When The Infamous Stringdusters take the stage at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach on Sunday, Aug. 20, they will bring bluegrass that soars beyond the typical boundaries of the genre.

While the five-man band has its roots in the bluegrass that emerged in the 1960s folk-music movement, guitarist Andy Falco said told the Coastal Point this week that, as a band, the Stringdusters strive to explore the depth and breadth of bluegrass.

The Infamous Stringdusters is, in addition to Falco, Andy Hall on dobro, Chris Pandolfi on banjo, Jeremy Garrett on fiddle and Travis Book on upright bass. The band is currently touring in support of its latest recording, “Laws of Gravity,” which was released in January.

As their seventh studio set, “Laws of Gravity” represents the Stringdusters’ efforts to balance their appeal to fans of traditional bluegrass with a push to attract new listeners.

What’s the story?

Book shop tells tales in Ocean View

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Turning Pages Book Lounge gives new life to used books and invites customers to come in and relax and enjoy the books.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Turning Pages Book Lounge gives new life to used books and invites customers to come in and relax and enjoy the books.Grab a book, a coffee or a ukulele. (Maybe one of each.)

Kate and Brendan Heneghan are inviting people to start a new chapter at the new Turning Pages Book Lounge in Ocean View. The couple are selling used books, as well as comic books, music records, ukuleles and art.

In the old wooden shopping center across from Lord Baltimore Elementary School, they wanted to create a warm, open and inviting space that encourages browsing, without the clutter. This summer, they added vibrant turquoise paint, some couches and book shelves to a former T-shirt printing shop.

Customers are already spreading the word about the tiny Route 26 book shop that opened during Memorial Day weekend, where they curled up on the sofa with a $4 novel and bought a tea, coffee or soda.

Dagsboro and Frankford discuss possible joint police force

With the Town of Frankford temporarily without police coverage after former police chief Mark Hudson resigned from his post July 27 after serving less than a full year, Frankford officials are looking into other avenues to provide police protection to its residents.

Millville now requiring HOA OK for permits

Fire company gets new command truck

Parked in front of Millville Town Hall on Tuesday night, a shiny red SUV was taking a break from its day-job. Millville Volunteer Fire Company’s new command vehicle is a 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe, funded by a Town grant.

The vehicle will be on-scene for emergency calls, generally staffed by one of the company’s ranking officers.

Rotary club offers to lead Selbyville Christmas Parade

Those Christmas bells won’t go silent this December. The Southern Sussex Rotary Club has offered to take over organizing the Selbyville Christmas Parade.

“We’re requesting to do that for you guys,” Scott Smith, Rotary vice president, told council members at their August meeting.

“We don’t get too many requests like that,” Mayor Clifton Murray said.

Hesse joins Bethany Beach Christian Church as pastor

Episcopal minister goes from fill-in to fitting in

Coastal Point • Shaun Lambert: Rev. Dr. Rayner ‘Rusty’ Hesse Jr. is the new pastor at Bethany Beach Christian Church.Coastal Point • Shaun Lambert: Rev. Dr. Rayner ‘Rusty’ Hesse Jr. is the new pastor at Bethany Beach Christian Church.“Everyone will be welcome when they walk in the door,” said the Rev. Dr. Rayner “Rusty” Hesse Jr., the new pastor at the Bethany Beach Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). “We don’t stand on ceremony.”

Hesse became the church’s pastor less than two weeks ago and has already had the opportunity to gush about his new post.

“We do believe everyone is welcome at communion. We don’t distinguish as to whether you’re a child or an adult. As long as the parent says it’s alright, the child can receive communion. You don’t have to be a member of the parish here, either, to receive communion.

“I think that’s so important, because a lot of churches tend to be narrow in their vision as to who can be a member,” he said. “It’s very easy to become involved here and become a member — you just have to state your intentions. There’s no requirement about giving… Many people who are here are not Disciples originally.”

County found in violation of FOIA in P&Z hire

The Sussex County Council took time at its Tuesday meeting this week to discuss a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) complaint filed by resident and council meeting regular Dan Kramer.

Fenwick Island to talk waterway dredging

Delaware’s waterways are important to those who use them, whether it’s the wide bays or the narrow-dug canals that snake through small towns.

But those small towns are trying to find the resources to keep the shallow waters well-dredged, to improve navigation and water flow.

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