Local News

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.

Candidate bows out from South Bethany council race

Five candidates remain in May 27 election for three seats

By Laura Walter
Staff Reporter

As South Bethany’s town council election approaches on May 27, part-time South Bethany resident and current Councilman Wayne Schrader has decided to exit the race.

Schrader is an attorney in Virginia, where he said this year’s trial calendar and caseload are so packed that he could not dedicate the time that South Bethany deserves.

Assault complaint in Dewey Beach leads to drug arrests

The Delaware State Police Sussex County Drug Unit this week arrested four people following an investigation into an assault complaint.

On Friday, May 5, police said, troopers were dispatched to an assault complaint at the Sea Esta Motel IV in Dewey Beach. Responding troopers made contact with two victims who both suffered facial injuries from an apparent assault, they reported.

Barefoot Gardeners’ Plant Sale sprouting up this weekend

Coastal Point • File Photo: These are just some of the plants that were available during a past Barefoot Gardeners Plant Sale.Coastal Point • File Photo: These are just some of the plants that were available during a past Barefoot Gardeners Plant Sale.Fenwick Island’s Barefoot Gardeners will hold their annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 13, kicking off a summertime focus on area homes and gardens — including a very famous “house.”

The proceeds from the plant sale, according to club member Karen Dudley, help the club fund several community projects, including beautification of the town of Fenwick Island, the gardens at the Fenwick Island Lighthouse, participation in Operation Seas the Day, scholarships for area students, and programs at the Brandywine Assisted Living facility west of Fenwick Island.

In addition to many varieties of annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables, the sale will also include pre-planted containers. Club members will also be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on plant combinations that work well in area gardens.

Made By Hand to host 15th annual Fair Trade Day

Coastal Point • File Photo: Itzel Aguilar, Edgar Lopez and Chris Clark show off wood-burning art during a past World Fair Trade Day at Made By Hand in South Bethany.Coastal Point • File Photo: Itzel Aguilar, Edgar Lopez and Chris Clark show off wood-burning art during a past World Fair Trade Day at Made By Hand in South Bethany.South Bethany business Made By Hand will be hosting its 15th annual World Fair Trade Day this weekend.

World Fair Trade Day will take place on Saturday, May 13, from noon to 5 p.m., and feature samplings and information from JuiceFresh, a Rehoboth Beach business that produces organic juice and a three-day juice cleanse.

“We always try to find something new and exciting,” said Kimberly Grimes, who co-owns the store with her husband, Marco Hernandez. “In years past, we always focused on a particular artisan. Then we thought, this year, why don’t we focus more on our customers that we love? That came up with the theme — ‘Fair Trade Day: Be Fair to Yourself.’ They’re trying to help people get more energy, have less food cravings.”

Grimes said attendees can also learn how to renew their spirit through detox, raw, vegan and paleo foods.

Carper talk sea-level rise on Climate Change Tour

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: From left, Dewey Beach Town Councilman Mike Dunmyer, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Chris Bason of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and Karen McGrath, Carper’s Sussex County regional director, gather on the Rehoboth Bay on April 21.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: From left, Dewey Beach Town Councilman Mike Dunmyer, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Chris Bason of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and Karen McGrath, Carper’s Sussex County regional director, gather on the Rehoboth Bay on April 21.U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) visited four flood-prone towns in Delaware on April 21, ending the visit in Dewey Beach. The Climate Change Tour highlighted areas that are already commonly prone to damage from storms and high-tide events, which are just the start of the inconvenience of climate change and rising sea levels.

During the tour, staff from the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays highlighted new projects under way to improve stormwater management and reduce flooding through more natural means, such as building “living shorelines” that mimic nature’s ability to buffer land from strong bay tides.

The Dewey Beach Lions Club showed off their marshland park, a protected chunk of land that absorbs water like a sponge but also educates people about the local ecosystem.

“It’s our neighbor here. … It’s in need of attention,” said Lions member Bill Zolper.

Sussex Academy announces Honor Roll

Third Marking Period

2016-2017 School Year

6th Grade

Distinguished (A Honor Roll)

Brady Thompson

B Honor Roll

Views of White Creek highlight this cedar plank home

Coastal Point • Submitted : This home’s design brings the outside in with these views of White Creek.Coastal Point • Submitted : This home’s design brings the outside in with these views of White Creek.

Editor’s note: This is the second 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 owning a vacation townhome in Bear Trap for 12 years, the owners built this traditional cedar plank house on White Creek in 2014 to be their permanent home upon retirement, as well as a vacation magnet for their three adult children. The house is 5,000 square feet, with six bedrooms, 5.5 baths and 10-foot ceilings, for plenty of space for the extended family to spread out over three floors.

Opportunities for outdoor family fun and relaxation abound, with a screened porch, covered deck, patio, fully-equipped outdoor kitchen, 20-by-38-foot pool and a dock for the family boat. Bringing the outside in was a top priority and led to the multi-level window configuration in the family room, designed by the owners to highlight the water views.

Community mourns the loss of DSP trooper Ballard

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Candles are held up during the vigil on the Circle in Georgetown held in honor of Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard on Monday, May 1. The trooper was killed in the line of duty in Bear.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Candles are held up during the vigil on the Circle in Georgetown held in honor of Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard on Monday, May 1. The trooper was killed in the line of duty in Bear.

The entire state of Delaware was shaken last week, after Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen J. Ballard was shot and killed in the line of duty, during a stop on a suspicious vehicle in Bear. Ballard was 32 years old.

Beach towns say they feel targeted by proposed rental tax

Anyone who owns a vacation rental property in Delaware might be facing a new occupancy tax. The Delaware State Legislature is considering a new 8 percent tax on short-term vacation rental units.

Community warned to be wary of phone scams

Local law-enforcement officials this week reminded residents to stay wary, as the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office has been informed of numerous fictitious calls being made in the county, supposedly on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, and several other phone scams have been reported in the area recently.

PNC closing downtown Selbyville branch

Corner bank has existed since 1903

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant : The PNC Bank branch in Selbyville will close June 16.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant : The PNC Bank branch in Selbyville will close June 16.Selbyville is losing one of its two banks this spring. The PNC Bank at the corner of Church Street and Main Street will permanently close its doors at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 16.

The ATM will remain on-site at 1 West Church Street immediately after the office closes, although there is no timeframe for that availability. It’s a higher-functioning ATM that can process deposits.

Why is the bank closing? Basically, PNC representatives said, people use machines more for banking, and PNC doesn’t need a two-story office building on Church Street anymore.

“Over the last several years, we have been going over an evaluation of our overall branch network,” said PNC spokesperson Marcey Zwiebel. “We’ve also just been looking at data that says the way customers use branches is changing. They’re increasingly using the convenient and alternative channels” — online, mobile or ATM banking — “for many of the basic transactions that they used to use the branch for… We’ve been taking a look at how we can support our customers when and how and where they want.”

Richardson wins IRSD Teacher of the Year award

A love of reading at core of specialist’s work to help students

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The 2017-2018 Indian River School District Teachers of the Year pose in the Indian River High School auditorium.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: The 2017-2018 Indian River School District Teachers of the Year pose in the Indian River High School auditorium.“I love to read,” said Lisa Richardson, reading intervention specialist at Millsboro Middle School.

Richardson is the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year for the Indian River School District. Her win was announced at a dinner on Wednesday, April 29.

Not only does Richardson treasure the worlds that can open through books, but she also has a keen understand of the impact the ability to read has on everyday life.

Richardson’ students come to her needing help meeting reading requirements. The main challenge of her job, she said, is “helping them catch up so they can be successful in their core classes.” If a students is struggling to read, she said, everything else in school becomes a struggle as well.

Wag, Wine and Whiskers fundraiser to feature famous puppy pair

Rescued bulldog puppies Oslo and Ivar will appear at a fundraiser May 6 to support Grass Roots Rescue, which rescued the dogs from a breeder who was selling them at a reduced price due to deformities in their legs. The pair have since had surgeries to correct the genetic condition, at a cost of $4,000 each, and are now recovering. They and fellow rescue animals looking for forever homes will appear at the Rehoboth fundraiser this weekend.Rescued bulldog puppies Oslo and Ivar will appear at a fundraiser May 6 to support Grass Roots Rescue, which rescued the dogs from a breeder who was selling them at a reduced price due to deformities in their legs. The pair have since had surgeries to correct the genetic condition, at a cost of $4,000 each, and are now recovering. They and fellow rescue animals looking for forever homes will appear at the Rehoboth fundraiser this weekend. (Photo courtesy Grass Roots Rescue)Ivar and Oslo may not be as famous as April the giraffe, but they’re already making their presence known on social media, and they’ll be the stars at a local animal-centered fundraising event on Saturday, May 6, in Rehoboth Beach.

The two rescued bulldogs have taken local social media by storm in recent weeks, due to their rescue by the Grass Roots Rescue organization after they were born with skeletal issues that required major surgery. Their back legs are splayed due to a condition known as “swimmer’s syndrome,” but once the dogs were in the group’s hands, the condition of their front legs was actually more concerning.

Their front legs were at 90-degree angles, a congenital defect that their veterinarian termed “severe subluxation of their elbows,” Grass Roots Rescue co-founder Karli Swope said.

“We found out about them when several people on my friends list tagged me in the post where they were being sold by the breeders’ daughter for ‘$800 [or best offer].’ I messaged her and offered her $500 for the pair, and she agreed,” said Swope.

The group received the dogs on March 7, and four days later “their slew of vet appointments began,” Swope said.

After trying to find local veterinarians to do the surgery the two pups required, they ended up at Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group in Annapolis, Md., where they underwent surgery in early April. The two surgeries cost about $8,000, which the rescue covered and is trying to raise funds to replenish so that their ongoing medical costs and those of the group’s other rescues can be paid.

Beach & Bay Cottage Tour Sneak Peek No. 1

Coastal Point • Submitted : Expansive ocean-to-bay views await visitors to this home, which will be featured as part of the 26th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to benefit the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach.Coastal Point • Submitted : Expansive ocean-to-bay views await visitors to this home, which will be featured as part of the 26th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to benefit the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach.

North Bethany oceanfront home offers expansive water views

(Editor’s note: This is the first 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.)

After vacationing in North Bethany for more than 20 years, the need for more space for their growing multi-generational family led its eventual owners to this 6,000-square-foot oceanfront home.

Under the guidance of a local architect, the owners were able to transform the exterior face with wall-to-wall windows to bring the seaside in from all angles and bathe the soaring spaces in natural light from the towering three-story glass entry stairwell.

The first-floor quarters offer a central lounge fronted by a pair of identical oceanfront master suites and flanked by four additional guest bedrooms with connecting baths.

Native Plant Sale to help with ‘Planting for Pollinators’ on Saturday

Anyone who wants to learn how to attract birds and bees and butterflies to their garden and then take home some plants that can help will find all that and more at the Center for the Inland Bays’ Native Plant Sale at the James Farm Ecological Preserve from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 6.

‘Life by the slice’

Fresh ingredients, same recipe for owners of Pomodoro Pizzeria in Bethany Beach

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert Rose and Brian Conte hold up a white spinach with ricotta, fresh garlic and olive oil pizza in their new pizzeria in Bethany Beach.It was an offer that they couldn’t refuse.

After purchasing a home in Millville By the Sea six years ago, the search had been on for the Naples, Italy-born couple turned lifetime restauranteurs in all things Italian cuisine, Rose and Brian Conte.

After the success of Café Palermo — the Wilmington-based establishment that they had owned and operated together for 13 years — the Contes had been searching for the right location to introduce the cuisine of their home country to what they were hoping to make their new home, in Bethany Beach.

But after trying to find that perfect location for more than five years, it finally found them instead, on a boardwalk day last spring.

“We just happened to be walking around on a Sunday, and then we saw it. When we saw this spot, I said, ‘Brian — this is it.’ I knew right away,” said Rose Conte of the now official location of the Pomodoro Pizzeria, next to Dickey’s Frozen Custard just off the Bethany Beach boardwalk.

ACTS supports Camp Barnes community

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Cpl./3 Shawn Hatfield of the Delaware State Police poses for a photo with the ladies at ACTS, after ACTS donated $20,000 to Camp Barnes.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Cpl./3 Shawn Hatfield of the Delaware State Police poses for a photo with the ladies at ACTS, after ACTS donated $20,000 to Camp Barnes.The Atlantic Community Thrift Shop (ACTS) has supported the community throughout its nearly 30 years of existence. Last week was no exception, when the non-profit organization gave $20,000 to Camp Barnes.

“It’s going to benefit us greatly,” said Cpl./3 Shawn Hatfield of the Delaware State Police. “We’re constantly trying to renovate the camp, because it was built in 1947. All of our funds are either donations from the general public or fundraisers that we have.

“We do get a grant-in-aid from the State of Delaware. We had to do some repairs to our pool this year and other various repairs throughout the camp that are just everyday things. This will go far in that.”

In 1948, 40 campers attended Camp Barnes — today, more than 1,000 kids attend, free of charge. The camp was named for Col. Herbert A. Barnes, who was the superintendent of the Delaware State Police at the time of its inception and is considered to have played a “pivotal role” in establishing Camp Barnes.

Murray stepping away from IRHS for family

After four years, Bennett Murray has announced that he will leave the position of Indian River High School principal.

Starting this autumn, he’ll be assigned as an assistant principal in the district, spending half his time at Georgetown Elementary School and half at the Howard T. Ennis School.

IRSD unions to vote on new contracts

When the Indian River School District went to referendum in March, administrators said one potential way to save money was to renegotiate staff contracts.

More recently, within the Indian River Education Association, the teachers and the secretaries have given the go-ahead to renegotiate contracts, potentially spreading next year’s planned pay raise over the next few years instead.

Peck joins Ocean View as finance director

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Sandra Peck is the new finance director for the Town of Ocean View.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Sandra Peck is the new finance director for the Town of Ocean View.There’s a new face in Ocean View town hall, with Sandra Peck having joined the Town staff as finance director.

Peck took the position as of Jan. 9, after the retirement of former finance director Lee Brubaker, and immediately took off running, working on the Town’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which was adopted earlier this month.

Peck has an accounting degree from Penn State University and is a licensed CPA in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Additionally, she has her senior human resources certification through two organizations.
Although she grew up in Pennsylvania, Peck and her husband, Chuck, separately, spent their childhoods visiting Delaware.

“My great aunt and uncle lived in Millsboro, right along the river, so we used to come down as kids. My husband grew up since the mid-’60s going to Sandy Cove campground, and his parents had a permanent site there after they retired.”

The Pecks have owned property in Sussex County for about 10 years and moved to their current home in Bayard about five years ago.

Before becoming a fulltime local resident in 2015, Peck was able to work for her company in Pennsylvania from her home in Sussex every other week.

Community celebrates donation of Evans-West house

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Carolyn Brunner was the hit of the party last weekend, as she and her son, Daniel McCann donated the Evans-West house to the Ocean View Historical Society.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Carolyn Brunner was the hit of the party last weekend, as she and her son, Daniel McCann donated the Evans-West house to the Ocean View Historical Society.The weekend’s gray weather did not keep people from flocking to celebrate the Ocean View Historical Society’s latest acquisition, the Evans-West house.

The home, located on West Avenue, adjacent to John West Park, was donated to the historical society by Carolyn Brunner and her son Daniel McCann.

Barbara Slavin, president of the OVHS, is Brunner’s cousin and the granddaughter of James and Mary Evans, who built the home in 1901 on land given to them by Mary Evans’ father, George H. West.

“Jim was a surfman in Fenwick; she was a homemaker. They both were very active in the Presbyterian church, which still exists on Church Street. They had three children —Sadie, who was born in 1893, who was Carolyn’s mother; Mary, who was born in 1900; and Morris, who was my father, born in 1907,” said Slavin.

Local AAUW chapter celebrates 60 years, visit from Hall-Long

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: From left, Coastal-Georgetown AAUW president Kathleen Thompson, Delaware AAUW president Penny Deiner, Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall Long and incoming Coastal-Georgetown AAUW president Christine Gillean pose together at the chapter's recent celebration.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: From left, Coastal-Georgetown AAUW president Kathleen Thompson, Delaware AAUW president Penny Deiner, Delaware Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall Long and incoming Coastal-Georgetown AAUW president Christine Gillean pose together at the chapter's recent celebration.The Coastal-Georgetown Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) celebrated its 60th anniversary this month with a luncheon and a visit from a longtime AAUW member with a local connection and a new state title.

Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, a member of the Middletown AAUW chapter and a native of Dagsboro, spoke to members including many past chapter presidents, who gathered April 20 at the Kings Creek Country Club in Rehoboth Beach.

Hall-Long spoke about the fellowship between AAUW members, no matter where they meet, and recounted how she had chanced upon a Coastal-Georgetown AAUW member while the two shared a bench in a shoe store and how that conversation had led to her attendance at the 60th anniversary celebration.

The former state senator also spoke to the members about her priorities as Delaware’s second-in-command, many of which dovetail with the club’s mission of advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.

Hike down memory lane: South Bethany opens history trail

South Bethany is mapping a history trail for all to see.Coastal Point • Laura Walter:  South Bethany Historical Society President Bob McCarthy displays a historical photo of South bethany at the dedication of the Town’s new Trail of History.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: South Bethany Historical Society President Bob McCarthy displays a historical photo of South bethany at the dedication of the Town’s new Trail of History.

Residents gathered at Richard Hall Memorial Park on April 21 to unveil South Bethany’s new Trail of History.

“The fact that you’re here means South Bethany is your own very special part of the earth,” Councilwoman Sue Callaway told the crowd on Earth Day weekend.

The project was a partnership between the Community Enhancement Committee and South Bethany Historical Society.

Starting in the east, five signboards tell South Bethany’s story through the years, from the first purchase of coastal land in the 1950s and quest to incorporate as a town, into the 21st century.

It got conversation buzzing. At each stop, people found photographs of familiar faces and homes. They remembered the canals before bulkheads, docks and regulations; stories of town politics; and swimming in the canals.

“It’s great that you guys found a wonderful place for this,” said Historical Society President Bob McCarthy, who remembers old debates over sewer installation, playgrounds and roads.

“People just don’t have an appreciation of how we got here today,” Callaway said.

Ocean View holds reorganizational meeting

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Ocean View Mayor Walter Curran is sworn is for a second term in office.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Ocean View Mayor Walter Curran is sworn is for a second term in office.The Ocean View Town Council held a brief reorganizational meeting on Tuesday, April 25.

At that time, Mayor Walter Curran and Councilman Tom Maly were sworn in to new terms, vowing “to place the public interest above any special or personal interest, and to respect the right of future generations to share the rich, historic and natural heritage of Delaware.”

Following the swearings-in, Maly was appointed unanimously by council as mayor pro-tem.

Additionally, the council approved the meeting schedule for the next year, which includes no August meeting and tentatively scheduled monthly workshops.

With the recent resignation of Gary Meredith from the Planning & Zoning Commission, Curran recommended he be replaced by Kent Liddle, who once served on the commission but resigned to run for town council. Liddle was appointed unanimously.

The council also reappointed Don Walsh, Baptist Damiano and Steve Cobb to the Board of Elections, each for three-year terms. Richard Birkmeyer and Marilynn Sheetz were reappointed as alternate commissioners to the Board of Elections for three-year terms.

Springtime Jamboree to support River Soccer

This weekend, a gathering of local talent will grace the stage at Indian River High School for the 35th Annual Springtime Jamboree.

The Jamboree was created by local businessman and now-state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. as a way to raise funds for local organizations. This year, the funds raised from the two-day jamboree will go to the River Soccer Club.

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