Former Indian River School District chief financial officer Patrick Miller has been accused of nepotism, mismanagement of funds, authorizing payments to other nonprofit organizations he leads, improperly using the IRDS board president’s signature and potentially intimidating staff into sharing their financial software passwords to bypass financial safeguards.
The Town of Frankford may no longer have to appeal the decision of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) regarding a Mountaire well and the resulting loss of revenue for the Town.
Sussex County will once again participate in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program this year, with the county council voicing its approval following a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
An Indian River High School health teacher was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 18, for allegedly trying to prevent a meeting between school administrators and another district employee. Delaware State Police arrested Paris D. Mitchell, 41, of Milton, on one count of coercion.
Shoppers who visit the Harris Teeter supermarket in West Fenwick on a Sunday will often run into 18-month-old bullmastiff Gus and his owners, Lisa and J.P. McCormick.
“We would go get Starbucks coffee on Sunday mornings and would take Gus. We’ve been doing it for a year now. We go into the atrium, sit on the bench, drink our Starbucks, and people come in and out,” said Lisa McCormick. “Wouldn’t you know — it’s the same faces every week, and they look for Gus. The store employees come out and ask for him. If we miss a Sunday, the next one, people ask, ‘Where were you?’”
McCormick said Gus is a friendly dog and loves interacting with people.
“He loves children, and all the kids who come in go crazy over him. I think the cool part about it is … we make people smile. There are some people who walk in that aren’t smiling, but when they see Gus, their whole face lights up. I think he’s therapeutic for some people. They come back to pet him and even wait in line. We call him ‘the Harris Teeter mascot.’”
But even those who see him at Harris Teeter may not be aware that Gus is no ordinary pup. This coming Tuesday, Gus will be one of a select few bullmastiffs competing in the Westminster Dog Show in New York, N.Y.
“Westminster is like the Super Bowl,” said McCormick, noting it will be Gus’ eighth competition show but his first time competing at Madison Square Garden.
Last week, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) paid a visit to Seaford to tour the Invista textile plant and shine a light on his concerns related to the nomination of Scott Pruitt to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In December, President Donald Trump nominated Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney-general, to serve as EPA administrator — a nomination that Carper, who serves as ranking member on the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, opposes. The EPA was reated in 1970 through a proposal by then-President Richard Nixon, with the mission to protect human health and the environment.
Last month, Carper and his colleagues on the committee sent Trump a letter voicing their concerns regarding Pruitt’s nomination. Carper joked in Seaford that he has sent numerous letters to Trump, as part of his effort to save the United States Postal Service.
While standing next to Williams Pond in Seaford on Feb. 3, Carper said that, if Pruitt were confirmed, it could impact Delaware greatly.
“When Donald Trump was running for president, one of the things he promised was to get rid of the EPA and, if he couldn’t get rid of it, to diminish its role and abilities,” said Carper. “One of his people was talking about reducing their headcount by two-thirds.”
PCS students wear their kindness proudly
Kindness can be like a rock in water. One good deed can ripple outward to distant shores.
Phillip C. Showell Elementary School celebrated January as Kindness Month by encouraging children to be kind and witness kindness in their lives.
With handmade Kindness Bracelets, students can now count and remember random acts of kindness each day.
“As they witness, give or receive an act of kindness through the day, they’ll move a charm,” said Laurie Hall, teacher of art and special education at the school. Hopefully, later, at home, “they talk about what they’ve done to move them.”
The bracelets are threaded so that people can slide the 10 beads deliberately, without them slipping backward again.
Fenwick Island Town officials don’t know if or when their canals were last dredged, but officials said this week that it’s time to consider such a project.
“There are some issues with depth and getting in and out of our canals,” said Alex Daly of the Town’s Environmental Committee.
With Indian River School District superintendent Susan Bunting having been confirmed this week as the new Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education, the district was facing a vacancy in a vital post during a tense time at one of the fastest-growing districts in the state.
When a house fire broke out in Georgetown, two elementary-school students used the training they’d received in school to save lives.
Carmen Giacubeno had invited Luciana “Luci” Bella Martin Rodriquez over for a sleepover on Jan. 6. That night, a space heater caught fire. Hearing the smoke alarm, the girls woke up to find heavy fire in the house.
They bypassed that room to wake the adults, evacuated to a meeting spot in the front yard and called 911. The Georgetown Fire Company and several other departments brought the blaze under control within 40 minutes and continued working for another 80 minutes.
The adults later revealed that “the smoke detector was working, but it was so faint that, without Luci and Carmen waking up, they would have never heard it,” said Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company Chief Matt Sliwa.
The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission this week voted in favor of approving a conditional use request for 25 acres of AR-1 land, located on the southwest side of Sweetbriar Road in Lewes, to build a new school for the Sussex Consortium.
Completing a project from the 2016 fiscal year, Sussex County now has a comprehensive electronic zoning map.
The Ocean View Historical Society has gotten a boost for its mission to “preserve, interpret and collect the history of Ocean View and the surrounding Baltimore Hundred area” after receiving a $100,000 grant from the Crystal Trust Foundation.
The Indian River Volunteer Fire Company this week responded to the Indian River School District’s request for the reimbursement of $4,900 related to two items that were the subject of questions under a recent State audit of the district’s accounts.
What is the tallest mountain in Africa? Which country produces the most coffee beans? What is the capital of Iowa?
Election season is gearing up in the area’s small towns, and the Millville Town Council has three seats up for election on March 4.
Interested candidates must register with Town Hall by Friday, Feb. 3, at 4:30 p.m. They must submit proof of residency, a completed application and a $100 filing fee. Applications are available at Town Hall or online at www.millville.delaware.gov.
Nearly two years have passed since the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) abandoned the unpopular plan for a Route 113 bypass for Millsboro south to Selbyville. Instead, they now plan to widen the existing highway and build a new road connecting Route 113 to Route 24.
Bethany Beach’s history will be getting some attention in the coming summer season, as the Town’s Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee (CHAC) prepares for the opening of the historical Dinker Cottage as a museum, which is anticipated to happen in the coming months.
The Town of Ocean View held a special workshop this week to review and discuss a 2016 employee compensation survey.
“We all want to do the right thing. We all want to take care of our employees, because I do think they’re exceptional,” said Mayor Walter Curran. “By the same token, we have a budget that we have to create.”
The Sussex County Advisory Committee on Aging & Adults with Physical Disabilities met this week and provided to those in attendance a brief update as to what services a number of area organizations provide.
Matthew J. Robinson of the Delaware Sports Commission spoke before the Sussex County Council this week regarding the success of Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament.
“Really, why I’m here today is, one, to thank, and, two, share on the success of the tournament,” said Robinson at the council’s Jan. 24 meeting. “I think it’s been a great example of cooperation.”
The Dagsboro Town Council appears set to approve planned renovations at the National Guard facility in Dagsboro.
The Indian River School District will not have a school board election this spring. This time, it’s none because there aren’t enough candidates — it’s because none of the seats are even up for election.
Charles Marvel traveled the world in the 1940s as a sailor in the U.S. Navy. He says, however, that he had to come home to Sussex County to find his bride. Now 70 years on, the Dagsboro couple looked back on those days fondly, and bit surprised at how fast time has flown.
“I was a sailor, visiting ports,” he said. “I saw a lot of women.”
By 1947, Marvel had settled back into life in Delaware, getting a job at the Roland Scott clothing store in Selbyville. One day, he recalled, “A friend said, ‘Let’s go around to this little greasy spoon’” for lunch.
For 48-year-old Nick Serratore, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides stability. He gets the reassurance that, someday, his emergency costs will be manageable. He has a high risk of colon cancer but visits the doctor for preventative maintenance, trying to avoid hospital stays.
When the phone at the town hall in Nichols, S.C. rings, callers hear a message about how “normal town operations have been suspended” until further notice. A female voice instructs callers how best to reach the town’s officials in the meantime, ending her message with a reminder to residents that “We are Nichols strong.”
In August 2016, the Town of Frankford filed a statement of appeal with the State’s Environmental Appeals Board, following the decision of Delaware Department of Natural Resources Secretary David Small to approve well permits issued to Mountaire Farms.
Sussex Countians had the opportunity to spend time with incoming Delaware Gov. John Carney last week, when he joined state Sen. Brian Pettyjohn for a morning coffee talk, just days before his inauguration as Delaware’s 74th governor.
“It was a privilege to serve all of you and everyone here in Delaware as the low member of Congress,” said the state’s former U.S. Congressman. “It was a very difficult six years, but working together with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle — because, as a Democrat, I was in the minority of the House — we got a lot of work done.”
During the event, the two officials answered questions posed by those in attendance, including about the State’s budget.
A couple from Pennsylvania started 2017 with a $121.6 million prize after matching all five white balls plus the red Powerball in the Dec. 17 lottery drawing. The man and woman, who wished to remain anonymous, purchased the winning ticket at Selbyville Goose Creek, a subsidiary of Cato Gas & Goose Creek Food Stores, located at 38452 DuPont Boulevard in Selbyville.