Local News

BREAKING NEWS: IRSD referendum fails by 20 votes

District goes back to the drawing board

On the local level, every vote counts. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the Indian River School District’s current-expense referendum was defeated by a margin of just 20 votes.

Lighthouse Christian students honor veterans

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Kindergarteners and first-graders sing ‘My Flag’­ during Lighthouse Christian School’s Veterans Day program on Friday, Nov. 18.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Kindergarteners and first-graders sing ‘My Flag’­ during Lighthouse Christian School’s Veterans Day program on Friday, Nov. 18.“Our veterans are very special to us. We pray our program shows them how much we care,” said second-grader Megan Brining, who opened Lighthouse Christian School’s (LCS) annual Veterans Day program with a prayer.

The program, held on Nov. 18, featured a presentation of the colors, the “Pledge of Allegiance” and seventh-grader Izzy Donihue singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” and focused on honoring all branches of the military services.

Eighth-grader Danny Williams introduced Airman 1st class Rudy Viguie, who served as F-86 crew chief in the U.S. Air Force, noting the branch was created in 1947, after President Truman signed the National Security Act.

“What did the Air Force do to me as an individual?” said Viguie. “In 1952, I was a 16-year-old kid growing up on the streets of New York City, totally unsupervised. I came from a single-parent home, basically did what I wanted. I don’t know how I stayed out of trouble.

Police continue to investigate Millsboro homicide

The Delaware State Police this week were in the midst of investigating a homicide that occurred last week.

On Wednesday, Nov. 16, around 11:50 p.m., the Millsboro Police Department responded to a call about an unconscious man lying partially in the roadway on West Monroe and Houston streets.

Public welcome to rare look at botanic garden

Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: From left, Peggie Ravida, Karen Dudley, Selma Tepper, Greg Tepper, Janet Point and Carol McCloud volunteered last week to get some work done at the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: From left, Peggie Ravida, Karen Dudley, Selma Tepper, Greg Tepper, Janet Point and Carol McCloud volunteered last week to get some work done at the Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.Beside a quiet country road, sunny fields stretch toward a leafy forest that hides beauties within. A 37-acre public garden is coming to Dagsboro, and the public is being invited to the groundbreaking of Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Public tours will begin at 10 a.m., focusing on the Woodlands pathways down to Pepper Creek. The ceremony will begin sometime between 11 and 11:30 a.m.

It’s been several years since the volunteer group formed to create a “world-class, inspirational, educational” public garden on Piney Neck Road, just outside of Dagsboro.

“It’s a seminal event,” said Ray Sander, board treasurer. It’s perhaps the first public opportunity to witness what’s happening behind the scenes. “They can take a tour there and see what we’ve done. … We’re moving ahead.”

‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ aims to help girls who want to go to school

Coastal Point photos • Submitted: Girls, gather at a school in the Nepalese region of Helambu on the day the school reopened one year after being damaged by an earthquake in April 2016.Coastal Point photos • Submitted: Girls, gather at a school in the Nepalese region of Helambu on the day the school reopened one year after being damaged by an earthquake in April 2016.A “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” evening of socializing, shopping, entertainment, food and drink in Bethany Beach will benefit girls thousands of miles away who just want an education.

The irony of that is not lost on the event’s coordinators, Harriett Nettles and Sedona restaurant owner Marion Parrott.

The event, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1, is a fundraiser for the Helambu Education & Livelihood Project (HELP), which seeks to build schools in remote parts of Nepal. Helambu, Nettles said, is “one of the poorest and most illiterate regions of Nepal. The only way to get there is to trek from Katmandu.”

Nettles, who lives in Asheville, N.C., first traveled to Nepal as a volunteer with Children of the Earth. There, she said, she met a young man named Jimmy Lama, who was the first person in his village to graduate from secondary school and had started HELP as a way to give back to his community.

BBVFC rescues dog swept out to sea

Coastal Point • Submitted : Back on dry land after his ocean rescue, Cruz sits with Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company Chief Brian Martin, owner Jeremy Pentoney, Deputy Chief Shane Truitt and Delaware Animal Services’ Capt. Reed Jones.Coastal Point • Submitted : Back on dry land after his ocean rescue, Cruz sits with Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company Chief Brian Martin, owner Jeremy Pentoney, Deputy Chief Shane Truitt and Delaware Animal Services’ Capt. Reed Jones.Bethany Beach firefighters were among those who recently rescued a dog who had been swept out to sea.

According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare’s Delaware Animal Services (DAS) dispatch center received a call just after 11 a.m. on Nov. 6 about a dog that needed to be rescued from the water about a mile south of the Indian River Inlet.

While swimming, Cruz, a 4-year-old black Labrador retriever, was swept about 500 yards offshore and was unable to return to land on his own. DAS officers were immediately dispatched and requested water rescue equipment and assistance from the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.

IRSD’s referendum set for Nov. 22

Audit to be released Nov. 17

The Indian River School District is asking taxpayers to think local when it comes to funding education. The public will vote in a Nov. 22 referendum on whether to approve a 49-cent increase in the local tax rate — primarily to keep up with skyrocketing student enrollment.

Grimes honored as Sussex County "Woman of Distinction"

Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Patti Grimes, center, was named 2016 Sussex County Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay at a luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 16.Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Patti Grimes, center, was named 2016 Sussex County Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay at a luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 16.Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, wears many hats. This week, she dons one more.

Grimes has been named 2016 Sussex County Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay. She received the award on Wednesday, Nov. 16, during a luncheon at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Honorary co-chairs for the event were Delaware First Lady Carla J. Markell and Michelle Freeman; co-chairs were Sandy Taras and Twig Burton.

Grimes, who was a Girl Scout as a child growing up in Boonsboro, Md., has a grown daughter, Marisa, and said she hopes all young girls realize just how much they can change the world.

“I want them to know how valuable they are and how unique and special each person is,” she said.

County holds workshop on new comp plan

The Sussex County Council, along with members of the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission and County staff met earlier this week for a workshop on the County’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan.

A comprehensive plan, which is required by state law, is a long-range policy guide for decision-making regarding the future of the natural and built environment of a community.

Local scouts take part in NYC Veterans Day Parade

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Members of Troops 382 and 105 marched in the New York City Veterans Day Parade on Friday, Nov. 11.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Members of Troops 382 and 105 marched in the New York City Veterans Day Parade on Friday, Nov. 11.A group of 20 boys from Sussex County marched proudly in New York City’s Veterans Day parade on Friday, Nov. 11. Members of Troop 382 in Dagsboro were joined by members of Troop 105 from Long Neck for the appearance.

Vinny Tallarico, assistant scoutmaster of Troop 382 and a New York City native, said he was “tour guide” for the three-day trip. In addition to marching in the parade, along with 25,000 others, the boys visited the World War II aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Intrepid, as well as the 9/11 Museum.

While in New York, the boys camped on Staten Island, at the Camp William H. Pouch Boy Scout Camp, Tallarico said, which included cooking their own breakfast, packing lunches and cooking dinners at the campsite. Taking advantage of free subway fares and ferry tickets available to non-profit groups, the troop members were able to keep costs for the trip down to $90 per person.

Veterans to be honored at Lighthouse Christian School

This Friday, the students of Lighthouse Christian School will be hosting a special tribute to all the branches of the military and thanking veterans for their service to the country.

“It’s a labor of love. I just love it,” said Pat Viguie, who works at the school and has been coordinating the event for nine years.

The program will be held on Friday, Nov. 18, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Dagsboro Church of God. The program will feature children showing their love of country and freedom, while also expressing their appreciation for the men and women who have served and are serving in the military.

“They are trying to pay back in their own way — whether it be with songs or poems or a letter of thanks — just to let them know how much we love them, we appreciate them, and that we know without them we could not have the freedoms that exist in this great land.”

Bethany Beach looks to lobby for beach replenishment

It’s not a beach without sand, and local coastal towns are meeting to discuss beach replenishment and possibly lobbying federal agencies for previously promised funding.

Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon said at Monday’s council workshop that he planned to meet this week with South Bethany, Fenwick Island and Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) officials.

Community invited to help pack a Thanksgiving for Thousands

While Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for what one is grateful for, not everyone is able to enjoy the holiday. Recognizing those who are in need in the community, Mountaire Farms created Thanksgiving for Thousands two decades ago, in order to provide those families the opportunity to have a happy, food-filled Thanksgiving.

Candidates bury the hatchet at Return Day celebration

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Above, ‘Town Crier’ Kirk Lawson reads the results of the 2016 elections. Top right, Miss Delaware Amanda Debus waves to the crowd as part of the parade.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Above, ‘Town Crier’ Kirk Lawson reads the results of the 2016 elections. Top right, Miss Delaware Amanda Debus waves to the crowd as part of the parade.Many people flocked to Georgetown last Thursday to take part in the unique tradition known as Return Day.

Back in 1791, state law moved the Sussex County seat from Lewes to Georgetown, as the municipality was a more central location within the county. Residents would “return” to Georgetown two days following the election to hear the election results.

That tradition has been kept alive, and every two years, Sussex Countians return to Georgetown to hear the reading of the election results for the county, read by the town crier from the balcony of the Sussex County Courthouse.

This year, festivities began during the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 9, with music and a street fair around Georgetown’s Circle.

On Nov. 10, mayors of Sussex municipalities participated in a hatchet toss among seven competing mayors, which was won by Ocean View Mayor Walter Curran.

Wreaths Across America a green honor at veteran graves

Coastal Point • File Photo: Volunteers leave wreaths at a previous Wreaths Across America effort.Coastal Point • File Photo: Volunteers leave wreaths at a previous Wreaths Across America effort.Every winter, Wreaths Across America brings color and beauty to veterans’ gravesites. But the goal isn’t holiday décor — it’s remembrance.

In all 50 states, people can donate $15 to have an evergreen wreath laid on veterans’ gravestones — locally, at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery. People can order a wreath for a loved one, or donate toward the general mission of filling the Millsboro veterans’ cemetery with evergreen and red ribbons.

Locally, Wreaths Across America has grown by leaps and bounds in its effort to “remember, honor and teach.”

“The first year, they laid seven wreaths, and last year, they laid 700,” said co-organizer Teresa Townsend. “Phenomenal.”

Local wreaths will be placed on Saturday, Dec. 17. Volunteers lay the first batch at 10 a.m. Families can lay special-order wreaths on loved ones’ grave markers at 10:30 a.m. The dedication ceremony is at 11:30 a.m. in the chapel.

SPORTS UPDATE: Indians to face Tower Hill for DIAA title after win in 2OT

It was a Murphy’s Law kind of night for the Indian River High School soccer team, to say the least.

Georgetown’s newest memorial honors local World War I dead

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Nearly 100 years after the Great War ended, the American Legion recently dedicated this memorial in Georgetown’s Circle.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Nearly 100 years after the Great War ended, the American Legion recently dedicated this memorial in Georgetown’s Circle.It only took 98 years. World War I ended in 1918, and this month, Georgetown’s Circle received its own memorial to honor Sussex Countians who died in the war.

There were 17 names carved into the memorial stone, sponsored by American Legion Post 8.

The Veterans Day holiday was born of Armistice Day and the Nov. 11 treaty that ended “the Great War,” a worldwide conflict unlike anything modern humanity had ever experienced.

“That’s why we are here — to celebrate the ultimate sacrifice,” said Post Commander Rowland Scott. “We come to dedicate this memorial to those who lost their lives in World War I,” some who died just days or months before the war ended.

Guest readers share stories at SDSA

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Principal Heather Bethurum reads to Nichele Lobo’s third-graders at SDSA.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Principal Heather Bethurum reads to Nichele Lobo’s third-graders at SDSA.Any book will do. When Nichele Lobo invites special guests to read to her third-grade classroom, she doesn’t care which book they choose.

“If you’re reading something you enjoy … [you’ll] bring it to life,” said Lobo, a teacher at Southern Delaware School of the Arts.

Because students didn’t have school in mid-November, Lobo’s class celebrated National Young Readers Week a week early. That meant a week’s worth of special guests, sharing new stories with both third-grade classes.

Guests bring a book that is special to themselves or their own children. The students connect the stories to their own lives and classroom lessons.

Frankford Holiday Expo a day to shop

Coastal Point • File Photo: At the 2015 Frankford Holiday Expo, projects were crocheted on-site by Richayla (right) and Antanell Bailey.Coastal Point • File Photo: At the 2015 Frankford Holiday Expo, projects were crocheted on-site by Richayla (right) and Antanell Bailey.’Tis the season to shop, and Frankford’s Annual Holiday Expo will return Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., for people who want to find a unique gift or some holiday décor for their own homes.

The Frankford Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary will host about 40 vendors, selling many types of gifts, including crafts, decorations, kitchen goods, beauty products and homemade candy. Decorations on offer can fill a range of tastes, including cozy woodworks, delicate glass artworks, evergreen Christmas wreaths and more.

Independent consultants will sell items from LuLaRoe, Mary Kay, Origami Owl, Pampered Chef and Scentsy.

Organizer Crystal Hudson is a vendor, but she said she particularly loves the community aspect of a holiday market.

“I love the fact that you get to meet new people,” she said. “It’s just the fulfillment of being able to meet people and be involved in something.”

Shoppers can ask questions and learn about the items they’re buying.

“You get to meet a variety of people. … You get to have a one-on-one with the people who are making the product or selling the product. I think it’s nice,” said Hudson, owner of Country Heaven gift shop in Frankford. “You get people dedicated to their product or what they make.”

IRHS band to host holiday market with music

People can get season’s greetings and season’s shopping from Indian River High School Band this weekend, as the Indian River High School Band Boosters will host a Holiday Shoppers Fair on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

While enjoying complimentary snacks and soft drinks and live music by IRHS music ensembles, people can do some holiday shopping at Cripple Creek Country Club.

Online exclusive: Comp Plan forum to focus on developers’ perspective

Residents of Sussex County are being encouraged to attend a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Sussex County tonight. The forum, “The Developers’ Perspective: An Effective 2018 Comprehensive Plan,” will be held in County Council Chambers in Georgetown on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m.

Election results are in

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Dave Kline was amongst a group of Donald Trump supporters at the intersection of Routes 1 and 26 earlier this week.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Dave Kline was amongst a group of Donald Trump supporters at the intersection of Routes 1 and 26 earlier this week.

Following a long election season, the State of Delaware only saw a statewide voter turnout of 65.34 percent.

Nationally, the State’s popular vote went to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (53.35 percent), with President-elect Donald Trump receiving 41.92 percent, and third party candidates receiving close to 5 percent of the vote.

Ocean View approves discount ambulance subscription service

The Ocean View Town Council voted unanimously this week to approve the municipal-wide discount ambulance subscription service agreement.

The agreement requires businesses and property owners to pay a flat rate of $35 per year to the Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) to help pay for ambulance service, for a period of three years.

Citizens want ideas for battling drug market

Selbyville residents want to “take back” their neighborhood from drug addicts who are openly using and selling narcotics.

At the Nov. 7 Selbyville Town Council meeting, about seven Bunting’s Mill residents described Polly Branch Road as an “open-air drug market.”

Millville tightens MBTS traffic requirements as manager leaves

With their management company heading out the door, Millville Town Center, LLC, got permission to continue building in Millville by the Sea.

Groundbreaking held for future 90-bed hospital in Georgetown

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: State officials, including Gov. Jack Markell, left, and members of SUN Behavioral Health recently broke ground on the new 90-bed specialty hospital in Georgetown.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: State officials, including Gov. Jack Markell, left, and members of SUN Behavioral Health recently broke ground on the new 90-bed specialty hospital in Georgetown.A groundbreaking was recently held for the future 90-bed specialty hospital with inpatient and outpatient services to be located in the College Park Retail & Office Campus in Georgetown.

The two-story, 93,000 square-foot hospital will be run by SUN (Solving Unmet Needs) Behavioral Health, will have 10 primary-care exam rooms, two women’s health rooms, eight medical consult offices, two specialty procedure rooms, three tele-health exam rooms, a private interview room, a radiology suite, reception area, lobby and more.

At the Nov. 2 groundbreaking, Stephen Silver, of ONIX Group, the developer, said he was excited to see the site, which was once slotted to be a casino, being used for something that is much-needed in the area.

Frankford continues to discuss Mountaire and wells

At its monthly meeting earlier this week, the Frankford Town council gave an update on discussions council members have had with representatives from the State and Mountaire Farms related to well permits issued to the poultry company.

Today & Tomorrow Conference returns to Sussex County

The Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference was held last week, with the mission of providing “insight and identify opportunities in Sussex County to promote economics, partnership and collaboration.”

Micheal Meoli, owner/operator of The Meoli Companies, was the conference’s keynote speaker, and discussed what it takes to be successful in business.

Robot wars: Sumo wrestling in Selbyville

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: From left, Isaac Chandler, Coleman Woodard and Alan Correa programmed these LEGO robots to fight sumo-style.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: From left, Isaac Chandler, Coleman Woodard and Alan Correa programmed these LEGO robots to fight sumo-style.Do you wanna build a robot? And then program it complete tasks and battle other bots?

The Selbyville Middle School LEGO Robotics Team brought demonstrations to the Nov. 5 Phillip C. Showell Fall Festival.

Kids crowded around to watch robotic LEGO vehicles push each other, sumo-wrestler style, out of the three-foot “SuGO” ring.

Anyone can participate in the SMS team’s SuGO fundraiser tournaments. In one day, even beginners can learn to program the robots, then compete for SuGO glory.

Glowing red sensors on the bottom can find boundaries of the competition ring. Similar red “eyes” can see forward their targets. The students program their robots to react in each situation. Is there a black line? Don’t move forward. Is there another vehicle? Accelerate to attack.

Love Your Inland Bays Dinner a night for ‘movers and shakers’

It’s a night to fundraise and reignite a passion for saving the environment.

The Inland Bays Foundation hosts its third Love Your Inland Bays Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

The special event is from 6 to 9 p.m. at Irish Eyes restaurant in Lewes.

The event includes dinner, cash bar, entertainment, door prizes and a raffle for an inland bays quilt.

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