Dredging is once again in the Assawoman Canal’s future. To improve watercraft navigation, Delaware State Parks has officially requested state and national permits for 3.94 miles of maintenance dredging anytime in the next 10 years.
Officials hope to begin in January, finishing the northern canal (Route 26 to White Creek) by the boating season.
At the entrance to a greenhouse at Bearhole Farms near Roxana sits a blue tank about the size of a small hot tub. Orange-finned flashes flit around the bottom and a pump emits a constant thrum.
“That’s the engine,” says Bear Hole proprietor Cindy Stevens. The heart of the engine, which produces a perpetual harvest of 3,000 lettuce plants inside the 1,700-square-foot greenhouse, is fish. About 350 koi, common goldfish and channel catfish, to be precise.
In addition to swimming around the tank, the fish eat... and then when that food turns to fish waste, it is released into a system of channels that run under the lettuce plants, watering and feeding the plants. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship.
CIB to the public: Scientific data at your fingertips
It doesn’t take a biology degree to enjoy the beauty of the local rivers and bays. So the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) created a simplified scientific report so the average Joe can comprehend what’s happening inside the bays.
Good news, Fenwick Freeze fans! This year’s freeze — technically a dip in ocean waters whose temperatures are hovering in the mid-40s — will be 90 minutes later.
That means New Year’s revelers will have a bit longer to drink some coffee and pull their swimsuits out of the bottom of their dressers. This year’s swim will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1. Swimmers will gather on the beach at Bayard Street, according to Rebecca McWilliams, chairman of the town’s Beach Committee.
McWilliams, who has organized the swim since its inception 13 years ago, said although Fenwick’s winter swim might not be as big as those in neighboring beach towns, its charm lies in its simplicity “It’s kind of a local thing,”she said. “It’s the same people that do it every year.” McWilliams said many of the 150 or so swimmers have participated with their families since the very first one.
For the sixth straight year, local residents can ring in the New Year with the Hair of the Dog 5K/10K, and for the 21st year in a row, they can follow it up with the Leo Brady Exercise like the Eskimos Plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.
The downtown Bethany Beach-based event is set to get underway on Sunday, Jan. 1, with the race starting off at Parkwood Street and Atlantic Avenue, and ending at the Bethany Beach Bandstand.
Hundreds of runners from all age groups and experience levels are expected, to compete on the family friendly and “festive” course.
The first 350 runners to complete the race will receive official finishing medals to go along with both overall and age group awards.
Last month, a stolen car was recovered by Ocean View Police Department after conducting a routine vehicle registration check.
On Nov. 25, at a little after midnight, an OVPD officer, while on patrol, ran the tags of a 1998 green Honda Civic with Delaware registration at the Royal Farms on Atlantic Ave.
When Bob and Ellen Chaisson decided to retire to Lewes 17 years ago, they had never visited the region before. They wanted a nice place to live, but one that was still close enough to travel to Maryland, where they had lived for 20 years.
Earlier this month, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 16, out of Bethany Beach, acknowledged the accomplishments of three community members.
At its Dec. 16 monthly meeting, the Lodge took the time to recognize Sen. Gerald Hocker, 12-year-old Skye Best, and Bethany Beach Police Department Sgt. Charles “Chuck” Scharp.
Scharp was recognized for his heroic efforts when he assisted Bethany Beach Public Works employee Sean Ely in saving the life of an 11-year-old boy who almost drowned in Bethany in early October.
Local author and Coastal Point columnist Thomas J. Ryan was recently named the winner of the annual Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable Book Award for his book “Spies, Scouts & Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign,” published by Savas Beatie of California.
District expects nearly $1M in state budget cuts
After their recent referendum failed by a mere 20 votes, Indian River School District officials are ready to try again. The school board this week approved holding a second current-expense referendum on Thursday, March 2, (inclement weather date, March 16), in hopes of having at least slightly better success.
Someone who bought a Powerball ticket at the Goose Creek convenience store in Selbyville hit the jackpot on Saturday, Dec. 17, when the winning ticket, worth $121.6 million, was drawn. At press time, the winner had not yet come forward, and Delaware lottery policy doesn’t require them to publicly reveal their identity in order to claim the prize.
A long-planned housing development in Millville may take even longer to get constructed, after the Millville Town Council this week voted unanimously to deny developers a third extension of the Town’s approvals for the Dove Landing project.
Drivers should be prepared for a new traffic pattern on Route 17 (Roxana Road), as the new traffic signal at the Burbage Road intersection has been completed and went live on Dec. 16.
Previously, Route 17 traffic had a continuous right-of-way, with a flashing yellow light. Burbage Road traffic stopped at a red flashing light before crossing Route 17.
In 2015, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) determined that a full traffic signal could have prevented eight of 11 car collisions from August 2012 to August 2015.
According to data from 2014, Route 17 had an annual average daily traffic volume of 4,319 vehicles per day (vpd). Burbage had 1,277 or 2,260 on either side of Route 17.
New Ennis would be entirely State-funded
The Indian River School District’s major challenges all stem from student enrollment. It’s growing faster than the money and buildings can keep up.
A 36-year-old woman was in the hospital this week, after having been stabbed and nearly raped on Monday afternoon.
On Monday, Dec. 19, Delaware State Police troopers arrested Temourise O. Taylor, 30, of Selbyville after he allegedly stabbed the woman west of Selbyville after having his sexual propositions refused by her.
While many look at the holiday season as a time of cheer to be shared with family and friends, there are some who do not have as joyous a time.
For those — the lost, lonely, grieving and overwhelmed — Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church holds its Blue Christmas, a service of hope for those in need in the community.
The Ocean View Board of Adjustment met last week to review a number of variance applications.
Volunteers braved below-freezing temperatures Tuesday to help Mountaire pack more than 1,300 boxes of Christmas meals as part of the company’s annual Thanksgiving at Christmas outreach.
“We’ve got a good group of people from all over the peninsula, and they’re loving it,” said Roger Marino, Mountaire’s corporate community-relations director.
The boxes packed were given to local food pantries and shelters that work with Mountaire. Marino said the outreach is geared toward helping the pantries and shelters meet the needs of families in their own communities.
The boxes each contain a selection of 16-ounce canned goods, including corn and beans, stuffing, and pork-and-beans, as well as a Mountaire roaster chicken, donated by the company.
The Town of Frankford held its monthly council meeting on Dec. 5, at which council members and those in attendance discussed the Town’s seemingly troublesome water plant.
During the water department report, Clarence Quillen of Tidewater Utilities said that preventative maintenance on the plant has not been done on the plant’s equipment for 16 years — since its installation.
After hours of discussion, the Fenwick Island Town Council this week elected to make no changes to voter qualifications. At a special meeting on Dec. 8, they finally agreed with Town Solicitor Mary Schrider-Fox that the current system is the simplest they can manage at this time.
Delaware’s Auditor of Accounts this week alleged that the Sussex Technical School District (STSD) failed to follow financial law regarding construction projects.
When a routine eye exam Nov. 3 led to the discovery of a golf-ball-sized tumor, the life of a local fifth-grader and his family was immediately and drastically turned upside down.
Things will be brightening up for the Bunting’s Mill housing development. After residents described the nearby Polly Branch Road as an “open-air drug market,” they asked the Selbyville Town Council for help and ideas to improve safety.
One month later, Delmarva Power studied the neighborhood and recommended seven additional streetlights, three of which have now been approved.
Who would have thought a political event from the 1700s would still be making such a big impact on tourism?
But every two years, Return Day brings thousands of people to Georgetown to watch political rivals literally “bury the hatchet.”
It’s perhaps the last event of its kind in the United States, and it won the 2016 “Best Event” award at the Southern Delaware Tourism luncheon on Dec. 12.
U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) is no stranger to the event. He said Delaware political candidates can look forward to the parade as soon as they win their primaries.
With the Selbyville Town Council election on the horizon, candidates may now throw their hats in the ring.
The polls are scheduled to open Saturday, March 4, 2017.
Three positions are up for election, currently held by Mayor Clifton C. Murray, G. Frank Smith III and Clarence W. “Bud” Tingle Jr.
Each position carries a two-year term.
The Ocean View Town Council at its regular meeting on Dec. 14 discussed the potential of an animal preserve operating within town limits, just off Route 26, following the receipt of a letter from Barn Hill Preserve.
This week’s Sussex County Council meeting was the last for longtime Councilwoman Joan Deaver, the outgoing District 3 representative, who was the first woman to be elected to the council.
SCHS presents classic show, plus children’s party
Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s classic fairytale story is coming to the stage at Sussex Central High School, as, for one weekend, the SCHS Take Two Drama Club will present “Cinderella.”
The show will be Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16 and 17, at 7 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.
“The classic fairytale has been turned into a moving, funny and magical story with a great score and a beautiful message about making your own pathway in life,” according to David Warick, director and SCHS drama instructor.
General admission costs $8 at the door. Students, seniors and military pay $5. Middle school students with ID are admitted on a special two-for-one ticket for $5. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. The box office opens at 1 p.m. for the matinee and 5:30 p.m. for the evening performances.
Accused of racial discrimination at George Washington Carver Academy, the Indian River School district submitted its official response on Dec. 5, denying all claims of intentional wrongdoing at the alternative school.
For more than 10 years, Judy Mangini has been doing her part to support those serving her country overseas. Each holiday season since 2005, she has been mailing cookies to service military members stationed overseas.
“I have a cookie exchange at my house every year. I started that in 2004, and I had all these cookies left over and I don’t need them,” she said with a laugh. “I thought, ‘Had I thought ahead, I could ship what we had overseas to our men and women who are away during the holidays, so they can have a taste of home while their away.’ So, in 2005, I did just that.
“It’s just a way to show them that we truly appreciate the sacrifice that they’re making, as well as their families, to protect our freedoms and our liberties, as well as those in other countries.”