Local News

Century-old home to be featured as part of Coastal Towns Historic Tour

The Joanne Gichner House, built in the early 1900s, is one of seven historical homes on the Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Oct. 7.The Joanne Gichner House, built in the early 1900s, is one of seven historical homes on the Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Oct. 7.Tourgoers on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7, will be able to stroll through the Joanne Gichner House — a large, stately Victorian — to see how its owners lovingly renovated a 100-year-old structure in keeping with its origins.

One of the home’s two functioning woodstoves remains in the front living room, very typical of Ocean View houses before electricity and central heating. Gichner and her late husband, Michael, purchased the home in the 1970s, remodeling the house twice by moving walls, modernizing the kitchen and turning the side porch into a full bath, foyer and laundry room, but keeping the original main staircase, front porch and main entry foyer.

Michael Gichner’s father, William Gichner, was the blacksmith at Iron Age Antiques (the building now houses the Salon on Central), and the Gichner living room showcases a one-of-a- kind iron quilt on a stand made by many blacksmiths to honor William Gichner on his 75th birthday. Tourgoers can also admire the rolltop desk in the family office.

Sussex Riptide athletes hold bike regatta ahead of Special Olympics race

Coastal Point photos • Shaun M. Lambert: Sussex Riptide, a group of Sepcial Olympics Delaware participants, and the Ocean View Police Department took part in a bicycle regatta, traveling through Bear Trap Dunes in Ocean View on Thursday, Sept. 21.Coastal Point photos • Shaun M. Lambert: Sussex Riptide, a group of Sepcial Olympics Delaware participants, and the Ocean View Police Department took part in a bicycle regatta, traveling through Bear Trap Dunes in Ocean View on Thursday, Sept. 21.Before the Special Olympics Cycling Classic at Dover Air Force Base on Sept. 23, Sussex Riptide athletes gathered at the Ocean View Police Department for a pre-race hurrah.

“This is a nice cooldown before the Dover race. When they get there, they’re amped up and ready to do — whereas this is more of a social event,” said Riptide coach Adam Rones.

“They all enjoy it — it’s a fun day for all of them,” added coach Tony Gough.

The athletes, with a full-blown escort from the Ocean View Police Department, pedaled from the OVPD all through Bear Trap — about a 45-minute ride — before returning to the police department for a celebratory pizza party.

“I like it,” said athlete Jillian Calanna, 23, who also participates in tennis and bowling. “I like being with the athletes and socializing.”

Salem United, Selbyville police team up for crime forum

This year, more than 150 Delaware deaths were suspected overdoses. And 2017 isn’t done.

So, Salem United Methodist Church and Selbyville Police Department partnered to host a community meeting on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. at Salem Center, the community hall behind the church sanctuary.

Rt. 54 citizens want a traffic signal, complain of rapid development

The Fire Marshal might have frowned at the number of people squeezed into Roxana Fire Hall on Sept. 19. But Route 54 residents hovered just under the 274 occupancy limit, showing just how concerned they are about traffic issues in their corner of Sussex County.

Unified police department proposal in Frankford’s court

Frankford may be facing a referendum in the coming weeks to substantially increase their property taxes, as it looks to team up with the Town of Dagsboro to unify their police departments.

Last week, the Towns of Dagsboro and Frankford held two public forums to discuss the possibility of a unified police department.

Bare recognized for rescuing animal control officer

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Dagsboro Patrolman Tyler Bare, third from left, receives his American Police Hall of Fame Silver Star for Bravery award. With Bare, from left, is Staff Sgt. Harry Litten, Chief Floyd Toomey and Dagsboro Mayor Brian Baull.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Dagsboro Patrolman Tyler Bare, third from left, receives his American Police Hall of Fame Silver Star for Bravery award. With Bare, from left, is Staff Sgt. Harry Litten, Chief Floyd Toomey and Dagsboro Mayor Brian Baull.Going into dangerous situations is not an unusual situation for Dagsboro Police Patrolman Tyler A. Bare.

After graduating from high school, Bare joined the United States Marine Corps, serving as an MP, and completing a tour in Afghanistan.

Now a patrolman with the Dagsboro Police Department, Bare continues to go into dangerous situations on the home front.

Such was the case on June 6, when SusCom put out a call for officers to aid a Delaware animal control officer who was being actively attacked by a Pitbull terrier. Bare was the first on the scene.

“The dog was violently attacking an animal control officer to the point of near unconsciousness when Patrolman Bare arrived on the scene,” said Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey on Sept. 18. “He tried to kick the dog and the dog didn’t have any response to that at all.

Recent Millville annexation fills a gap on Windmill Drive

After a recent annexation, the Town of Millville is about 31 acres bigger and could someday be 95 houses heavier.

On Sept. 12, Millville Town Council approved annexation of 31.32 acres on Windmill Drive and Dukes Drive.

Millville by the Sea residents to expect official traffic survey

Residents of Millville by the Sea should be looking for an email survey soon, regarding traffic in the community. The developer needs public input for traffic issues before moving forward with the next MBTS neighborhood.

Cierkowski sought in lawn-ornament theft investigation

CierkowskiCierkowskiThe Ocean View Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating Brent Cierkowski, 26, of Ocean View, in connection with lawn-ornament thefts in the area.

“They’re stealing whatever’s not tied down, unfortunately. And, it’s something they’ve been able to take to yard sales and flea markets and other locations and sell them readily,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin.

Cierkowski, who is still wanted by police, has warrants charging him with two counts of theft under $1,500 where the victim is 62 year of age or older, two counts of theft under $1,500, three counts of trespass 3rd, one count of conspiracy 2nd, and two counts of conspiracy 3rd.

“Some of these lawn ornaments had some value. They were the concrete-type lawn ornaments. You see these concrete benches, things like that,” said McLaughlin.

Girl Scout troops honoring first-responders this Saturday

Local Girl Scout troops are hosting “Small Town, Big Heroes” on Saturday, Sept. 23 as a unique way to offer safety information for families and to pay tribute to the “everyday heroes” – police officers, firefighters and other public safety officials.

County extends CIB lease for James Farm preserve

The Sussex County Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to extend their lease of the James Farm Ecological Preserve to the Center for the Inland Bays.

The 150-acre property, located on Cedar Neck Road just outside of Ocean View, offers visitors the change to enjoy seven different distinct habitats, walking trails and beach.

Brews by the Bay fundraiser taking place this weekend

The Big Chill Beach Club will be the site of the annual Brews By the Bay fundraiser this year.

Dagsboro residents question developer rental properties

The Woodlands of Pepper’s Creek property owners attended this week’s Dagsboro Town Council meeting to voice their concerns related to developer Fernmoor Homes renting out properties within the community.

Indian River band boosters selling discount cards for 2017-2018

Band cards are back!

For the new school year, Indian River High School Band Boosters have printed a new batch of discount band cards, which are available for $10 each.

People can show their card for discounts at about 35 area businesses, for pizza, fine dining, movies, music, pet shops, flowers, towing, toys, bowling and more. The card is good until Sept. 30, 2018.

Saturday's Tour de Sussex offers a scenic county bike tour

Enough with the cars — try seeing Sussex County by bike.

The fourth annual Tour de Sussex returns on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 8 a.m., rain or shine. It’s sponsored by Delaware Technical Community College. Proceeds will provide scholarships for Workforce Development students.

West Cottage to be featured on historic homes tour

Coastal Point • Submitted: The West Cottage.Coastal Point • Submitted: The West Cottage.West Cottage, c. 1934

Originally built by Olive West, a granddaughter of George H. West, the West Cottage was lovingly remodeled 10 years ago in keeping with the expert craftsmanship of its ancestor.

The two-story, 3 bedroom traditional colonial, is located on a large lot overlooking the Ocean View Town Park. For many years, the home served as a guest house, like today’s bed-and-breakfast inns, and current owner George W. Hermance, possesses a 1936 guest book naming some of the depression day lodgers.

While owner Hermance purchased the house furnished just a few weeks ago, his artistic eye and training as a landscape architect attracted him to this classic home and sizeable grounds. Tour-goers will be able to see a black-and-white photo of the original home, the guest book, original paintings by its current owner, and idyllic views from the home’s big windows and decks.

Frankford police proposal would more than triple coverage

Price tag could be more than $200 per year per property in town

If Frankford and Dagsboro unify their police departments, Frankford residents could pay more than $200 per year in additional town taxes, beyond what they currently pay, according to figures presented at an informational meeting in the Frankford fire hall on Tuesday, Sept. 12.

Fairway Village residents voice concerns regarding developer, rentals

Ocean View Town Hall on Tuesday evening was packed with Fairway Village residents who had attended the town council meeting that night to voice their concerns about the community’s developer.

Town of South Bethany, police share paperwork in dispute

After the Town of South Bethany rejected claims from some its police officers of unfair pay and promotion practices, both sides have now released legal paperwork in the matter.

Cops & Goblins returning to Ocean View this October

Coastal Point • File Photo : The now-annual Cops & Goblins event in Ocean View is a great opportunity for kids to celebrate Halloween in a safe atmosphere, and allows the community to get to know the Ocean View police a little more.Coastal Point • File Photo : The now-annual Cops & Goblins event in Ocean View is a great opportunity for kids to celebrate Halloween in a safe atmosphere, and allows the community to get to know the Ocean View police a little more.Three years ago, the Ocean View Police Department took a seed of an idea and created the community-oriented Halloween event known as Cops & Goblins.

“Chief came to me one day a few years ago and said, ‘Rhys, I have an idea,’” recalled Sgt. Rhys Bradshaw. “‘I’ve been thinking about creating a Halloween event — something free for the kids in the community.’

“Where I grew up in New Jersey, Halloween was an event. We went out and trick-or-treated all through the neighborhoods. You don’t see that much around here,” Bradshaw said.

The free event hosts families in Ocean View’s John West Park for a few hours, offering families a safe environment for trick-or-treating while having positive interactions with local law-enforcement officers.

‘It’s a community garden’

Delaware Botanic Gardens volunteers sow 17,000 plants

Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Piet Oudolf, designer of the meadowlands of the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, signs copies of his book during a work day at the Gardens last week.Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Piet Oudolf, designer of the meadowlands of the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek, signs copies of his book during a work day at the Gardens last week.How does a soybean field become a world-class garden? One plant at a time.

Although work has continued quietly at Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek for a few years, this week was especially noteworthy, as volunteers planted the first part of the gardens’ meadowlands, designed by world-renowned designer Piet Oudolf.

“It was a huge operation. We have had about 50 volunteers. They came from everywhere … from Boston to Tennessee,” said Executive Director Sheryl Swed. “When Piet comes, he takes a look to see if it’s perfect, or he does tweaking.”

Just outside Dagsboro, some onlookers thrilled to see the Dutch designer pick up a rake to help shape the grass mounds. Others begged an autograph or two.

“My idea was to make a perennial meadow with the use of many natives, but in my own way. I have a very impressionistic style,” Oudolf said while examining the grounds.

The 1.5-acre meadow is a controlled mass of plants, shaped rather like a figure 8 or an ampersand. The thick pathways curve through the meadow, the plants clearly delineated from the walkway.

“The whole layout is so that people can meander and walk through the garden,” Oudolf said. “Every turn is a different perspective. … You want people to feel like they discovered something.”

Former CIA official to offer ‘Inside Story’ at Dickens

‘Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.’

— Albus Dumbledore, in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,’ by J. K. Rowling

Community organizes to thank police officers

Coastal Point • Submitted : Some of the Thank A Police Offer Day on Delmarva crew spent time offering their appreciation to officers of the Dagsboro Police Department last year.Coastal Point • Submitted : Some of the Thank A Police Offer Day on Delmarva crew spent time offering their appreciation to officers of the Dagsboro Police Department last year.While many may only encounter police officers when they’ve been speeding or have a taillight out, one organization is asking the public to recognize the dangers of policing and take the time this weekend to thank their local law-enforcement officers.

“From my standpoint, you go to work, I go to work — neither one of us is doing jobs where we may get shot at, where we may get yelled at, where we may get disrespected at,” said Andrea Baumann, a Sussex County resident overseeing Thank A Police Officer Day on Delmarva.

“They work a lot of hours, they see a lot of things, and then … they still have to, at the end of the day, after handling some horrific things that most of us would have nightmares about, be a normal person — husband, wife, father or mother — to their own families… I feel even just making a small gesture is acknowledging what they do, and maybe silently saying, ‘Thank you. We appreciate what you do out there,’ can make a difference.”

This Saturday, Sept. 16, is National Thank A Police Officer Day, created in 2012 by the Whole Truth Project, an organization “dedicated to protecting innocent police officers, wrongfully accused of police misconduct in wrongful conviction lawsuits and other civil rights cases.”

BART theater group finds new home, performs Agatha Christie

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant : BART members, from top left, Bob Ravida, Bill Fuchs, Corinne Condon, Brian Geary, Emily Abbott, Aisha Tharp, Corinne McMahon and E.J. Panico, will perform in ‘The Mousetrap’ at Woodsong Country Inn & Retreat.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant : BART members, from top left, Bob Ravida, Bill Fuchs, Corinne Condon, Brian Geary, Emily Abbott, Aisha Tharp, Corinne McMahon and E.J. Panico, will perform in ‘The Mousetrap’ at Woodsong Country Inn &?Retreat.Can you keep a secret? Bethany Area Repertory Theatre (BART) is performing Agatha Christie’s mystery “The Mousetrap” in a new, tucked-away location.

The community theater group has found a new home at Woodsong Country Inn & Retreat, near Frankford.

Having traditionally performed at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville, BART is bidding the tiny theater a fond farewell to find a larger stage. The Woodsong bed-and-breakfast had room to spare and allows BART to have a summer season.

Performances of “The Mousetrap” will be held on Sept. 21, 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Sept. 24 at 2 p.m.

Former Presbyterian Church building on historic homes tour

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Holt Dukes Wadley House, built around 1884, will be featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural tour of historic homes on Oct. 7.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Holt Dukes Wadley House, built around 1884, will be featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural tour of historic homes on Oct. 7.Above the wicker table in the living room of the c. 1884 Holt Dukes Wadley House is a picture of its early owners, Henry and Jenny (Eunice Jane Short) Holt. Jenny was an avid churchgoer, so Henry bought and moved the old Ocean View Presbyterian Church to their back yard to make room for the current Presbyterian Church sanctuary.

The church joined several outbuildings on the property, including a chicken coop, outhouse, summer kitchen and old barn. Many of the structures were donated to the Lewes Historical Society prior to the Ocean View Historical Society’s formation, but the Holt Dukes Wadley House will be among the historic homes in the area featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7.

Tour goers can walk through the colonial-style home, which tradition has it was the first house in Ocean View to acquire indoor plumbing. Large front and side porches provide spots for current owners George and Nancy Dukes Wadley to “soak in” the Sussex sunshine. The owners described the home’s interior as “early attic,” with no TVs anywhere, so the inside ambience is somewhat true to its post-Civil War origins.

President Lincoln ‘belongs to the ages’

The life of Abraham Lincoln has been one of the world’s most popular subjects for authors since his death in 1865. Estimates place the number of books written about this U.S. president at more than 15,000.

Community welcomes military veterans and families

Earlier this week, 25 Very Important Families (VIFs) joined the Bethany Beach community. Some would argue they’re the most important visitors to the area in the whole year.

Frankford, Dagsboro to meet on possibly joining (police) forces

Last month, Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey presented some information to the Frankford Town Council about what it would take to join the two towns’ police forces.

Some older residents surprised by new property tax rates

When opening their property tax bills this summer, many local residents expected their taxes to increase because of the March public-school referendum. But the Indian River School District’s successful referendum isn’t the only reason that taxes increased.

SEAs the Day alumni return for Warrior Beach Week

A family vacation to the beach is not always within reach for the family of military veterans, whose focus is often on paying the bills and the overall health of the family.

Enter Operation SEAs the Day.

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