Local News

Hydrate — don’t evaporate

No one needs to tell the weekly reader of Coastal Point that this region of the country can be very hot and humid in July and August. It’s one of the reasons so many people flock to our beaches. Society refers to the hottest part of the year as the “dog days” because that is when the star Sirius — the Dog Star — rises just before the sun in late July.

Millville considers annexation of proposed residential development

The Town of Millville may be growing by 31-plus acres, after receiving a Petition for Annexation submitted by Howard Robert Hickman Revocable Trust and Dr. James W. Schiff.

The property consists of 31.32 acres located at 32525 Dukes Drive, with the proposed use being a single-family-home development of 94 homes.

Hope for Dirickson Creek means volunteer action

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: U.S. Sen. Tom Carper speaks to the Dirickson Creek Team over the new State of Dirickson Creek report.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: U.S. Sen. Tom Carper speaks to the Dirickson Creek Team over the new State of Dirickson Creek report.Having lived along Dirickson Creek for 30 years, Lynn LeBrun wouldn’t let her grandchildren swim its waters anymore. In fact, anyone with an open cut risks serious bacterial infection from the waters of many parts of the Delaware inland bays. The creeks are beautiful but have serious health issues.

“I’ve been here for 30 years, and I’ve seen the creek change. The color of the water is darker. In the wintertime, you could see the bottom,” LeBrun said of a time decades ago.

“Cleaning up a water body like this is like trying to turn around an aircraft carrier,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper — it takes time, but it is possible.

And the movement has begun. The Dirickson Creek Team is a volunteer group that advocates for the creek and educates their neighbors and legislators. By helping protect the major local tributary, they’re hoping to impact the Little Assawoman Bay.

Delaware court honors veterans, bailiff raises donations

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Oscar Gonzales, with his children, Diego, Niko and Henry, created a shadow box so veterans could display their awards anonymously.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Oscar Gonzales, with his children, Diego, Niko and Henry, created a shadow box so veterans could display their awards anonymously.Prior to gaveling in the start of a Veterans Treatment Court session last week, Delaware Superior Court Judge Richard F. Stokes took time to call attention to the great work being done for veterans in Sussex County.

“A lot of good things are happening because we have a great number of people and organizations that are pitching in for our veterans,” said Stokes.

He called attention to Home of the Brave in Milford, a non-profit whose mission is to “reduce homelessness among our military veteran population,” and its executive director Jessica Finian.

Home of the Brave not only offers transitional housing for male and female veterans (along with their children), but also assists with employment, counseling services, access to healthcare, transportation and locating affordable housing.

“She has what I call a ‘can-do’ attitude,” said Stokes. “Nothing was handed to Jessica. It was her mission to establish facilities to take care of homeless veterans... It didn’t come easy. She had to go to bat several times…

“I want you to be recognized for the good work that you do,” he told her.

Also, on June 29, Stokes called out the efforts of Superior Court Chief of Security Rene Flores Sr., who served in the U.S. Army and Air Force reserve, beginning his military career in 1987. Flores retired as a senior master-sergeant, having been deployed in various combat areas, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

Flores reached out to his colleagues throughout Georgetown to collect a great many household goods, a “wish-list of items,” to donate to Home of the Brave.

Police, fire, EMS train together for the unthinkable

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: First-responders take advantage of hands-on training for active events. The training took place at Lord Baltimore Elementary School, and is designed to incorporate all elements of responders working as a team to save lives.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: First-responders take advantage of hands-on training for active events. The training took place at Lord Baltimore Elementary School, and is designed to incorporate all elements of responders working as a team to save lives.Lord Baltimore Elementary School was quite busy last week. The school was not filled with young kids, but rather a slew of emergency-services personnel who were getting hands-on training for critical situations.

“Rescue Task Force training is, in the event of any active violence event — whether it’s a shooting, a bombing, vehicle-borne attack, whatever it is — EMS can integrate with the police officers and provide medical care to the injured more quickly,” explained Andrew Vickers of the Sussex County Paramedics.

Vickers said that, in the past, EMS would wait in a staged area while police officers cleared an area of a threat completely, before allowing medical help to enter.

“What we’ve learned is a lot of lives have been lost because we were waiting,” Vickers said. “The thought process is we could train the police officers to do medical care, but they don’t do it every day. We want to get the best medical care to the patient as quickly as possible.”

Dickens magicians take their act on the road

Professional magicians have already begun to amaze audiences at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront on 67th Street in Ocean City, Md., with “Dickens on the Road shows” returning for the fifth year. The nightly magic shows feature eight magicians throughout a two-month period, which runs until Aug. 29.

State park to celebrate 50th anniversary and Sandcastle Contest

Coastal Point • Submitted: These campers pitched tents at the old Key Box campground.Coastal Point • Submitted: These campers pitched tents at the old Key Box campground.Delaware Seashore State Park is inviting visitors and local residents of all ages and skill levels to participate in the 37th Annual Sandcastle Contest at the South Inlet Day Area on Saturday, July 8.

In honor of the state park’s 50th anniversary and another year of sculpting sand creations, the contest will enable participants to celebrate traditions while reminiscing on past memories formed at the park.

To partake in the beach activity, sandcastle building competitors can register at the South Inlet Day Area on the day of the event, beginning at 9:30 a.m. They can register in either the 12-or-younger category or the open-class category for all ages.

Once participants have registered, they will then embark on their quest of designing and sculpting their sandcastles, with whatever tools and sand toys they bring, until judging begins at 1 p.m. Officials with Delaware Seashore State Park will evaluate the creations what is expected to be a couple hundred participants and give out prizes, such as $100 gift cards from local restaurants, home furnishings and sunglasses.

MGT & Co. Toggery bringing luxury brands from land and sea to Fenwick Island

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Michael Thanner and ‘Gracie’ are bringing some land and sea style to Fenwick Island.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Michael Thanner and ‘Gracie’ are bringing some land and sea style to Fenwick Island.Dress like John F. Kennedy. Speak like Ernest Hemingway. Work like Ralph Lauren. And party like Gatsby.

That’s the mantra of Michael Thanner and the MGT & Co. Toggery, which recently launched in Fenwick Island to offer the “Low Country” a taste of the high life when it comes to premier men’s clothing and the latest in luxury fashion.

While the Ralph Lauren lifestyle and fictitious Jay Gatsby may have been a very real inspiration for Thanner and his new experience-centered men’s boutique, catering to weddings in West Egg isn’t the only focus at MGT & Co.

Whether it’s picking up a dress shirt from Mizzen+Maine for dinner at Just Hooked right next door or a pair of swim trunks from Rhythm for trying to hook dinner at the drive-on beach across the street, the Toggery aims to keep their wide-range of customers covered, literally, with everything from headwear to footwear.

“We’ve got everything you could need from head to toe — there’s something for everyone,,” Thanner said. “It’s classic, it’s American and it’s simple, but at the same time, it’s very unique.”

It was through his various travels that Thanner formed the concept behind what’s become an eclectic selection of contemporary classics at MGT & Co.

Beach & Bay Cottage Tour Sneak Peek No. 10 — Dream home in North Bethany

Coastal Point • Submitted: A platform bed and whitewashed reclaimed wood are featured in the master bedroom of this builder’s home.Coastal Point • Submitted: A platform bed and whitewashed reclaimed wood are featured in the master bedroom of this builder’s home.(Editor’s note: This is the 10th 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 26-27, from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.)

This local builder’s dream since college was to live east of Route 1 in North Bethany. She finally made it in 2016, with the construction of her 6,500-square-foot, six-bedroom home in North Bethany, just a short block from the beach.

The house has been filled with family members and friends ever since.

The inverted floor plan offers privacy and space for both her and her guests, with a main living area separating their quarters from hers. The master suite tops it all, with an ocean view retreat that includes a fireside sitting room and an expansive marble master bath. The beach-themed décor is both casual and classic. Touches include numbered dining chairs, a scattering of colorful surfboards and a game room with a custom pool table designed by the owner.

Contractors for a Cause, OVHS team up on project

Two local non-profits are coming together to bring history to life, benefitting the community in the process.

Top 10: Local OM team makes a big splash at world finals

It was a worldwide honor for some of Indian River School District’s most creative students recently, as a middle-school team placed in the Top 10 at Odyssey of the Mind World Finals.

St. Martha’s continues to welcome foreign students

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: International students showed up for a day of fellowship, food and fun at St. Martha’s Episcopal Church in Bethany Beach on Thursday, June 22.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: International students showed up for a day of fellowship, food and fun at St. Martha’s Episcopal Church in Bethany Beach on Thursday, June 22.Some visitors to the area may pass by St. Martha’s Episcopal Church in Bethany Beach and think it’s a sleepy little parish. But don’t be deceived — St. Martha’s is doing big things.

Last week, the church welcomed about 100 J-1 visa foreign student-workers from around the world — including Russian, Serbia, China, Romania, Kazakhstan and Turkey — who will be working in and around Bethany Beach for the summer, offering up the local hospitality with a picnic that looked more like a feast, as well as a great deal of fellowship.

“It’s really cool,” said Gabriella Damyanova, 22, of Bulgaria, who attended for the first time. “There are so many people here, and you can talk with them and know each other. It’s really cool. I make so many friends from every different country.”

Damyanova, who is studying sociology, is in her third summer in the U.S. and is working as a hostess at 99 Sea Level.

SB police renovation begins with moving furniture, mostly

While the South Bethany Town Council brainstorms a way to pay for a police department expansion, they’ll shuffle some rooms around for the time-being, in an effort to reduce, but not eliminate the SBPD’s liability issues.

They will swap the evidence and holding rooms; move the court videophone; add several key-card locks; and install a new exhaust fan.

Car aficionados invited to ‘Cruise-in’ for BBQ at Magee Farms

Coastal Point • Submitted: A Pontiac Bonneville was on show at a recent ‘cruise-in’ event at Magee Farms.Coastal Point • Submitted: A Pontiac Bonneville was on show at a recent ‘cruise-in’ event at Magee Farms.Classic cars, fresh produce and a local festival-food favorite have been combined for a series of “cruise-ins” at Magee Farms’ Selbyville location.

The cruise-ins are the result of pre-season brainstorming, according to Magee Farms employee Katie Bickford, who is coordinating the bi-weekly events. The first Magee Farms Cruise-in & BBQ was held June 16, and although there were only a handful of cars at the inaugural event, Bickford said they were each unique in their own way.

One of the cars was an Austin Marina GT — one of only 12 such cars on the East Coast, Bickford said.

“There were some really cool cars,” she said, adding that she is hopeful that as the summer progresses, “we get a good group together” for local car enthusiasts to enjoy.

Bickford said owners of cars, trucks and motorcycles are welcome to show off their vehicles at the cruise-ins. There is no registration fee, nor is pre-registration necessary. Parking is also free for “spectators.”

Festive Fourth planned throughout the area

Who says the Fourth of July can only be celebrated once each year?

South Bethany parade to cruise local waters

To ignite Fourth of July festivities full of fun and community involvement, South Bethany will be holding its fourth annual South Bethany Boat Parade on Sunday, July 2.

Beginning at 5 p.m., the decorated boats are going to sail across the waters of the Jefferson Creek “bay area” on the west side of South Bethany while visitors and residents watch and cheer from the sides.

Millsboro Kid’s Parade focusing on the fun

The competitive component is off for this year’s Millsboro Kid’s Parade, after the Millsboro Chamber of Commerce created its own event, leaving Kid’s Parade organizers to focus on the fun.

Veterans aim to keep the true spirit of Independence Day alive

It’s more than just celebrating the United States’ birthday — it’s also about recognizing the individuals who fought for the freedom that keeps the nation alive.

Veterans residing in Southern Sussex County express their feelings about Independence Day and the local celebrations that revolve around it.

Homemade ice cream and more on offer this Saturday

The annual Zoar United Methodist Church Ice Cream Festival will be held on Saturday, July 1, at 4 p.m., featuring homemade ice cream, as well as other desserts, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken-salad sandwiches and more.

Flying over Delaware beaches… now and then

Coastal Point • Submitted: Abraxas’ painting of Joe Hudson.Coastal Point • Submitted: Abraxas’ painting of Joe Hudson.During the 1940s, Joe Hudson began his flying career while still in high school, as a student fish-spotter. Today, he is known as the “dean of Delaware crop-dusters.”

Meanwhile, by the summer of 2016, Cape Henlopen High School students had been flying camera drones and taking pictures of Delaware beaches, including the World War II fire-control towers, for almost two years.

Thanks to a very unique photography class and enthusiastic art teacher Jason Fruchtman, these students learned to master the camera drone and create these stunning images.

More than 70 years ago, Lewes High School students were quite literally flying over these same beaches for a very different reason. It was not a class. They were at work, fish-spotting. Just how did these guys get to do this?

Growing up in Harbeson during the 1930s and ’40s, Joe and his best friend, Ted Freeman, hung around the airport in Rehoboth Beach. They washed planes, got a job “sweeping up,” then traded more work for flying lessons.

In ninth grade, Joe took his first airplane ride, in a J-3 Cub, and he continued to work delivering milk to the Georgetown Airport each morning at 4 a.m. Once the sun came up, he could watch the Navy trainers practice carrier landings and “snatch guys up off the ground by a hook.” The trainers flew over the Delaware Bay from their home at Cape May County Naval Air Station in Wildwood, N.J.

Children get a head start with Carver’s Lenhart

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Noel Lenhart was named Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018 at the G.W. Carver Educational Center.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Noel Lenhart was named Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018 at the G.W. Carver Educational Center.Noel Lenhart has always loved education, ever since she was a little girl.

“I just always loved going to school. … I was the one who wanted the workbook at the end of the year,” Lenhart said.

She chased that love into a career and was recently named the Teacher of the Year for 2017-2018 at the G.W. Carver Educational Center in Frankford.

Lenhart teaches children ages 3 and 4 who have developmental delays in the Indian River School District’s TOTS (Transitioning Our Toddlers to School) program.

“I’ve always loved this age group,” Lenhart said. “I think early intervention is so, so important, because it levels the playing field with their peers. The more early services they can get, the less they are behind.”

Local author tells tale of ‘The Girl from Guantanamo’

Nearly 60 years ago, a young sailor named Don Roth found himself aboard a Navy ship along the coast of Cuba. It was 1958, and the island nation was on the brink of a revolution.

‘25 Years of Good Food & Good Evenings’

Sedona celebrates 25th anniversary with brand-new look, menu inspirations

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: The crew at Sedona is ready to celebrate their 25th anniversary this summer with some all new offerings in Bethany Beach.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: The crew at Sedona is ready to celebrate their 25th anniversary this summer with some all new offerings in Bethany Beach.It’s a greeting as simple as it is signature.

On every warm summer night since 1993, Marian Parrott has welcomed every one of her guests in the same warm way: “Good evening, and welcome to Sedona.”

With the award-winning Bethany Beach restaurant currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, Parrott will lend the familiarity of the phrase to the title of her upcoming opus, “25 Years of Good Food & Good Evenings.”

But while the book will be a celebration of the restaurant’s past — even getting into the location’s World War II days as the Collins Tea Room — in honor of their 25th year, the team at Sedona is equally celebrating their future with summer specials, the formation of the “Sedona Social Club” (coming this fall), a revamped menu and a completely renovated restaurant aesthetic.

Fenwick to change beach rules for umbrellas, tents, smoking

It’s a debate that’s been working its way down the Delaware coast. And Fenwick Island is the latest town to consider limiting oversized umbrellas and tents on the beach.

The Fenwick Island Town Council approved on June 23 a first reading of new beach regulations and is expected to vote to enact the ordinance at their July 28 meeting.

Dagsboro’s Cole Haden takes his act on the road

Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Cole Haden outside the MIlton Theatre.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Cole Haden outside the MIlton Theatre.When I wrote an article about him in the Coastal Point two years ago, Cole Haden was preparing to leave Dagsboro for the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He was his class valedictorian at Sussex Central High School, and an activist and leader for gay rights in Sussex County schools.

He had acted in several school plays and at Clear Space, regularly did stand up with the Delaware Comedy Theatre, and played keyboard and performed musical theater at the Freeman Stage.

He could taste the future and was so ready.

Fast-forward. What has happened in these past two years?

To nobody’s surprise, Haden has taken advantage of every opportunity and kept his head firmly on his shoulders.

The bottom line is that Haden is the frontman for the band Model/Actriz, which is spending its summer on a 12-seater bus with another band and all their equipment, on a 15-city, national tour. Those cities include Los Angeles, Chicago, Brooklyn, Houston and Milton, Del. Oh, and this is after performing in various European capitals during the spring!

“Moving to Boston really influenced the way I make music,” said Haden. “There is so much diversity at school and in the city. Meeting so many new people has opened my mind to all the differences in people, and, even more, our similarities. As humans, we all have the same desires, dreams, sufferings and loves…”

MillVols donate backpacks to foster children

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Members of the MillVols stand with backpacks they are donating to foster kids.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Members of the MillVols stand with backpacks they are donating to foster kids.When children are pulled into the foster-care system, it can happen in a matter of minutes. Sometimes it’s in the middle of the night, with police downstairs and a social worker telling the child to pack her belongings into a trash bag.

“You’ve got 10 minutes to pack your life away, and it’s not fair,” said Pat Moulder.

She and the Millville Volunteers wanted to make life easier for children as they enter the system. They recently collected more than 35 backpack care packages for local foster children, ages 10 to 15. A typical bag included toiletries, activity books, colored pencils, a novel, nail polish, socks and a water bottle. Each also included a warm fleece blanket to provide extra comfort during tough times.

The bags themselves are something nice that the kids can own and use, at school, the beach or just trekking around. Most importantly, it’s a step up from a trash or grocery bag.

Toomey honored by DoD for patriotic support

Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey knows what it’s like to serve his country.

Toomey, a Sussex County native, first enlisted in the National Guard in 1973 but took a 19-year break in service before returning to the Guard. He was last deployed to Afghanistan for a year — from 2012 to 2013 — and has since retired as Guard sergeant-first-class in the Maryland National Guard.

Beach & Bay Cottage Tour Sneak Peek No. 9 — N. Bethany oceanfront home

Coastal Point • Submitted : Sweeping ocean views and clean architectural lines merge in this North Bethany home.Coastal Point • Submitted : Sweeping ocean views and clean architectural lines merge in this North Bethany home.(Editor’s note: This is the ninth 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. until 4 p.m.)

After 25 years of shared vacations in their gated North Bethany community, the extended family of the owners of this house had grown to 20, and their 1992 oceanfront beach house was bursting at the seams. At that point, the owners passed the baton to the next generation to tackle the task of rebuilding their beloved beach retreat.

The new 7,100-square-foot home resembles a contemporary two-story farmhouse and is designed to comfortably sleep 28, with 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms.

A wide, light-filled vaulted entry, straddled by two guest wings, leads to the main gathering area, where, on any given weekend, all three generations can be found enjoying the kitchen, dining and living room that span the rear of the house. Folding glass doors offer the option to completely open that area to the screened porch, seamlessly expanding the living space and panoramic ocean views dramatically.

Extra Points — June 30, 2017

River Soccer Club ‘Fun Day’ headed for Jolly Roger’s Splash Mountain

The River Soccer Club will host their annual “Family Fun Day” at Jolly Roger Amusement Parks on Sunday, July 30.

Everyone is welcome to join in the event taking place at the water park’s “Splash Mountain” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Beebe announces $180M expansion, to include Millville area

Beebe Healthcare’s Board of Directors earlier this month approved a proposal for a comprehensive expansion of the system over the next several years. The $180 million expansion will touch three communities — Lewes, Rehoboth Beach and Millville.

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