Local News

Former inmates to speak at SDARJ panel on Tuesday, April 11

The community can get a first-hand account of what life is like inside prison on Tuesday, April 11, as the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice (SDARJ) will host a former-inmate panel at the Trinity Faith Christian Center in Lewes, beginning at 7 p.m.

SMS Robotics Team wins at states, headed to world competition

Coastal Point photo • Submitted : The winning teams and their teachers include, from left, Kaitlyn Johnson, teacher Tommie Morrison, Evan Carpenter, Kendall Coleman, Ann Weaver, Kevin Reid, Chris Sichina and teacher Jon Casto.Coastal Point photo • Submitted : The winning teams and their teachers include, from left, Kaitlyn Johnson, teacher Tommie Morrison, Evan Carpenter, Kendall Coleman, Ann Weaver, Kevin Reid, Chris Sichina and teacher Jon Casto.In an all-day event on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Selbyville Middle School Robotics Team competed at the Delaware state championship in the VEX Robotics Competition.

Presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, the VEX Robotics Competition is the largest and fastest-growing middle school and high school robotics program, involving more than 16,000 teams from 40 countries playing in more than 1,350 competitions worldwide.

Each year, an engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, build innovative robots and compete year-round in a variety of matches.

In this year’s event, three teams represented Selbyville Middle School. The team of Kendall Coleman, Kaitlyn Johnson and Evan Carpenter received the Excellence Award, qualifying them to go to VEX World Competition in Louisville, Ky., over spring break. The team of Ann Weaver, Kevin Reid and Oriana Peterson were First Place Tournament Champions, while the team of Chris Sichina, Slone Hoban and Fritz Winkler placed sixth.

Birdsong looks to preserve local waters, habitat

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Dave Rickards is working to preserve the environment via Birdsong Gardens, a 20-acre working farm.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Dave Rickards is working to preserve the environment via Birdsong Gardens, a 20-acre working farm.Tucked away near Frankford is a non-profit environmental research facility dedicated to restoring “the former grandeur of the Delaware Estuary.”

Birdsong Gardens sits on a 20-acre working farm, which still grows grain, corn and soybeans in cooperation with a larger neighbor farmer. However, the main focus of its owner, Dave Rickards, is to preserve the environment for generations to come.

“I’m just trying to do my part,” said Rickards. “Growing up on a farm, the environment was never that far away from my thoughts. I grew up in this area. My father was a farmer, and over the years I have watched the change in technology eliminate the buffers that used to be. When I was growing up, there was a lot of quail and you could go quail hunting... I don’t even hear quail anymore, because they’ve lost their habitat.”

Rickards first became active in environmental issues in 1999, when he became involved with the Inland Bays advisory group.

It’s official: Steele permanently at the helm of IRSD

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Mark Steele is now the full-time superintendent of the Indian River School District.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Mark Steele is now the full-time superintendent of the Indian River School District.It was a unanimous vote this week as Mark Steele was officially hired as the superintendent of the Indian River School District.

At their March 27 meeting, the IRSD Board of Education promoted former assistant superintendent Steele from interim superintendent, effective immediately, with a two-year contract beginning July 1.

A lifelong Dagsboro resident and 36-year educator, Steel said, “It feels good to know that people support you and people trust you. It feels really good.”

Now that the IRSD officially has a new leader, it removes a level of uncertainty, and the administration can stride forward with a better sense of direction.

“This gives me a chance to look at the long-term things we need,” said Steele, who suggested creating a long-term district plan and a community financial review group.

Families urge IRSD not to cut extracurricular pay

Indian River School District officials have said from the beginning of recent financial concerns that budget cuts are needed. The recently-passed current-expense referendum, which will bring in an additional $7.35 million annually in local property taxes, simply prevented the inevitable budget cuts from being more severe.

Ocean View Town Council continues its budget discussions

The Ocean View Town council held a budget workshop earlier this week to review the fourth draft of its 2018-fiscal-year budget.

Millsboro student saves sister's life with school training

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Lindsey Espinoza, center, was recently honored by local and state fire associations for using first-aid skills to save her little sister’s life during a choking incident.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : Lindsey Espinoza, center, was recently honored by local and state fire associations for using first-aid skills to save her little sister’s life during a choking incident.When 14-year-old Lindsey Espinoza signed up for the fire-cadet class at Millsboro Middle School, who would have guessed she’d be saving her little sister just a few months later?

The Roxana Volunteer Fire Company started the fire-cadet class in autumn to introduce students to lifesaving skills and community service.

“Towards the beginning of the school year, we taught basic first-aid, puncture wounds, choking and hands-only CPR,” said RVFC Fire Chief Chris Uibel. “Little did we know that within two months, Lindsey would save her sister from choking.”

“She was at home, watching her 4-year-old sister. Her sister began to choke on a toy. Lindsey was able to quickly react, knowing everything that she had learned from our program. Through her lifesaving measure, she was able to help her sister from choking.”

Four horses perish in accidental barn fire near Long Neck

A heat lamp appears to have caused a barn fire that killed four horses and possibly other animals on Wednesday, March 22. The blaze was reported just before 3 a.m., in the 24000 block of Cannon Road, Millsboro, just west of Long Neck.

IRHS students design elementary-school playground

Three Indian River High School seniors have taken the lead on designing a new playground at Georgetown Elementary School.

When the elementary school’s occupational therapist, Sara Heinicke, wanted to add more accessible playground equipment, she enlisted IRHS students to create one piece. When the budget blossomed with several local donors, the project expanded to a full remodel.

Bethany announces summer bandstand season

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The Bethany Beach bandstand consistently packs in healthy crowds for its popular summer series.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The Bethany Beach bandstand consistently packs in healthy crowds for its popular summer series.The Town of Bethany Beach will once again entertain the masses on its bandstand starting in June.

“We start looking at bands the second the previous season ends,” said Julie Malewski, events director for the Town, which also does an annual survey of visitors to get suggestions for bands they’d like to see.

“Usually, we hold off booking until we get the surveys back, but we’re always scouting new bands to refresh the lineup every year. Even though we start looking in the fall, we tend to wrap by January so we can start sending in our contracts by February.”

There will be 50 entertainment groups gracing the bandstand this season, beginning on June 9.

Malewski said 15 cover bands will perform on the bandstand, nine of which have previously played to Bethany crowds.

Approaching common ground with South Bethany’s cats

The draft of South Bethany’s proposed new law on feral cats begins where the complaints began: by prohibiting people from feeding wild mammals, abandoned cats or stray cats. Thus, people may continue feeding their own house pets or wild birds but may not leave food in such a way that wild or stray animals are likely to consume it.

Central Avenue road closure expected to last several weeks

Due to the failure of a crossroad pipe, a portion of Central Avenue in Ocean View has been closed and is expected to remain closed for about three more weeks.

Central Avenue is closed from Woodland Avenue to Cedar Drive. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) suggests local traffic use Cedar Drive, Route 26 and Woodland Avenue to detour around the closure.

Scholarships help local workers get new career paths

Almost two decades ago, Kathleen Kisela started working toward an important goal in her life — becoming a nurse.

At the time, although her children were small, Kisela believed she could juggle the demands of family with those of nursing school at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown. She found, however, that it was just too much, at the time.

“It was pretty stressful,” she said. “So I couldn’t finish what I started.”

For years, the Milton resident felt as if she just would not be able to achieve that goal.

IRHS students named to honor roll for second period

Indian River High School recently announced its honor roll students for the second marking period of the 2016-2017 school year. Students receiving High Honors were:

Big Fish, smaller pond

Big Fish Grill makes its way to Ocean View with new location

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: The Big Fish Grill front-of-house team is ready for action in Ocean View.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: The Big Fish Grill front-of-house team is ready for action in Ocean View.One fish, two fish, red fish, new Fish.

Fans of the Big Fish Restaurant Group may already be keen on the group’s well-established area staples, including the classic American cuisine of the Summer House Saloon on Rehoboth Avenue and farm-to-table concept of Salt Air in Rehoboth Beach; the three Big Fish Grill locations in Rehoboth Beach, Wilmington and Glen Mills, Pa.; and the Crab House, Bella Coast Italian Kitchen, Big Fish Seafood Market; and the list going on.

But despite 10 unique operations, and nine of them in the First State, a Big Fish endeavor from restauranteurs and brothers Eric and Norman Sugrue had yet to make its way down to the southernmost Delaware beaches until this past winter.

Lord’s Landscaping looks ahead to 40th year

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert : The Lord’s Landscaping team has been serving the community for nearly 40 years, and continuesCoastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert : The Lord’s Landscaping team has been serving the community for nearly 40 years, and continuesIn 1972, after graduating from college and moving to Sussex County, Bill Lord was not planning to open a landscaping business.

“When I first moved here, I was a teacher. I was just not destined to be a teacher. My wife Donna was. Her teaching job gave me the flexibility to try to do something I really wanted to do.”

Lord left education and answered a want-ad in the paper, and worked for a landscaper in Lewes for two years. He then decided to go out on his own and, with the help of his wife’s grandfather, Amos McCabe, was able to use for his budding business some of the property in Millville that once housed Delaware Quality Feeds.

“Amos let me use a little corner office there and a little patch of ground to store some stuff,” recalled Lord. “I’d watch out after him, do some jobs for him. He never had a son… He loved me right from the get-go. He took me hunting. I had never been hunting before, you know. I’m from Philadelphia.”

Three district teams qualify for Odyssey of the Mind Worlds

Three teams of Indian River School District students qualified for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals with second-place finishes at the state competition on March 25 at Alfred G. Waters Middle School in Middletown.

Local drum circle aiming to ‘Raise the Vibration’

A local drumming group is hoping to expand its circle on Sunday, April 2, when Made By Hand International Co-op in South Bethany will host the group, inviting anyone who wants to come and see what drumming circles are all about.

The face and voice of Delmarva news

John B. Greenberger was ‘Delmarva’s Walter Cronkite’

Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Bruce Mears holds a newspaper article about his grandfather, John B. Greenberger.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Bruce Mears holds a newspaper article about his grandfather, John B. Greenberger.“This is the 7 p.m. edition, WBOC-TV News, and once again I say, ‘I am John B. Greenberger. It’s a good evening.’”

Lifelong local residents may recognize that sign-off as the one they heard every evening until 1975 when families congregated around their television to watch Delmarva and then national TV news. Greenberger was the local voice and face of Delmarva news from 1940 on the radio and subsequently from 1954 on both radio and television.

“Walter Cronkite followed my grandfather on CBS every evening,” said Millville’s Bruce Mears. “In fact, they resembled each other and had the same perfectly enunciated tone of voice. Around here, he was known as ‘Delmarva’s Walter Cronkite’ and was quite the local celebrity.”

John Massey, 93 and a regular visitor at the Roxana Cheer Center, was asked, out of the blue, about John B.:

Aquacare set to celebrate 10th anniversary

Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Aquacare physical therapist Lauren Nuttle demonstrates her skills on fellow employee Deanine Barclay.Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Aquacare physical therapist Lauren Nuttle demonstrates her skills on fellow employee Deanine Barclay.After 10 years in its Millville location, the staff at Aquacare Physical Therapy continues to expand its “menu” of services.

“We offer both ‘surf’ and ‘turf,’” said physical therapist Lauren Nuttle — referring to the pool-based aquatherapy available at Aquacare, as well as the “land-based” therapies offered there, too.

While the aquatherapy is obvious from the name, Nuttle said, the office offers more traditional physical therapy techniques, as well as some new ones that have just come into use in the past several years.

Nuttle said she loves the breadth of services offered at Aquacare because “I don’t have to tell someone, ‘Oh, we don’t have that here,’ or ‘We can’t do that here.’” The depth of the services allows staff at Aquacare to accept a wide range of patients, Nuttle said.

She recalled one favorite patient who had suffered several broken bones in a motorcycle accident. Thanks to the availability of the pool for therapy in which his body weight was supported — a person submerged up to his neck in water feels a loss of 90 percent of their body weight — he was able to start therapy there and follow through all the way to his complete recovery.

Officer-involved shooting shakes Ocean View

Coastal Point • Submitted by Ocean View Police Department: The vehicle being driven on Saturday, March 18, by Ocean View Police Officer First Class Nicholas Harrington was badly damaged during the incident. Harrington received treatment for injuries sustained during the crash.Coastal Point • Submitted by Ocean View Police Department: The vehicle being driven on Saturday, March 18, by Ocean View Police Officer First Class Nicholas Harrington was badly damaged during the incident. Harrington received treatment for injuries sustained during the crash.In what many would describe as a quiet beach community, an incident occurred last weekend that caused many to pause and consider, “even in my town.”

On Saturday, March 18, a little after 10 p.m., Ocean View Police Department Officer First Class Nicholas Harrington was assisting Worcester County (Md.) Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Rhode in the pursuit of Troy Lee Short, 31, of Hurlock, Md.

Short had been spotted driving in an “erratic manner” by a deputy in Ocean City, Md., around 8 p.m. that evening. The deputy had attempted to stop the vehicle; however, Short fled.

“The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office initiated this whole thing in Maryland,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin. “They went to conduct a traffic stop of a vehicle, and the vehicle fled. They chased him, lost him. He ditched a car, stole another car. He stole a couple cars throughout this couple-hour ordeal that unfolded in Maryland.”

IRSD considers cuts to teacher raises, club advisors, more

Budget cuts are coming to the Indian River School District. Even with an additional $7.5 million annual income in local property taxes, thanks to the recently passed current-expense referendum, IRSD staff expect to trim at least $5 million from next year’s budget. And that’s in addition to expected state budget cuts.

Hockers set to open doors to local supermarket’s future

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: State Sen. Gerald Hocker, left, and son Gerry are preparing to open their new grocery store at the former location of Harris Teeter, near Salt Pond.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: State Sen. Gerald Hocker, left, and son Gerry are preparing to open their new grocery store at the former location of Harris Teeter, near Salt Pond.On Sunday, March 26, at 9 p.m., the doors will close for the last time at G&E Supermarket on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View.

On Thursday, March 30, at 7 a.m. the doors will open for customers one mile to the south, at the new Hocker’s Supermarket in the Salt Pond Plaza.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Gerald “Gerry” Hocker Jr., whose father, Gerald Hocker Sr., took over the Cedar Neck Road store from his Uncle Jake in 1971.

Even though Jake Hocker had the store for 18 years — less time than the 46 years Gerald Hocker Sr. has been at the helm — some longtime customers still call the store “Jake’s.”

As Gerry and Gerald Hocker stood in the new store this week, contractors swarmed like bees, and the buzzing of drills punctuated the air. Four brand new self-checkout stands at the front of the store were swathed in plastic, to protect them from sawdust.

IR Live! presents a musical of the decades

Live music is a hallmark of Indian River High School productions, and the students are ready to impress once again.

This year’s musical revue is IR Live! presents “The Corner Club on Baker Street,” featuring an original script by music director Nathan Mohler and student T.J. Oxbrough.

Performances are Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5 per person.

Comments being accepted on ADA/DelDOT compliance

The Delaware Department of Transportation is updating its 2014 ADA Transition Plan to ensure everyone has access to state roadways and infrastructure.

April 2 ‘Dancert’ to benefit local musician with cancer

Lovestock: a Cancer Benefit “Dancert” for John “Taco” Wroten, drummer of the local classic-rock band Hooverville, will be held Sunday, April 2, from 2 to 8 p.m. at American Legion Post 2 in Dover.

Wroten, 62, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 tongue cancer and is currently receiving treatment, which is limiting his ability to perform with the band and at his full-time job.

Fundraiser set for Hudson family at Roxana lodge

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Kevin, Merrick and Kristie Hudson pose for one of their first family photos. Merrick was born at 25.5 weeks and has been recovering at Christiana Hospital’s Neonatal Care Unit since birth.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Kevin, Merrick and Kristie Hudson pose for one of their first family photos. Merrick was born at 25.5 weeks and has been recovering at Christiana Hospital’s Neonatal Care Unit since birth.As she was leaving work on Dec. 27, Kristie Hudson’s water broke. Normally, that would be a happy occasion for any mother-to-be; however, Hudson was only 23 weeks pregnant.

“So, we went to Beebe and I hadn’t gone into labor, so they sent me up to Christiana,” said the Ocean View resident, noting that a full-term pregnancy lasts at least 37 weeks. “I was on bedrest for two and a half weeks, and then Merrick was born at 25.5 weeks, on Jan. 13.”

Hudson said she had had an uneventful pregnancy up until the point where she experienced premature rupture of her membranes.

“Basically, your water breaks early, which only happens to 2 percent of all women. They don’t really know why it happens. Sometimes it’s because of some kind of infection. They did every test they could think of, and they all came back negative. So, we’re never going to know why this happened.”

County purchases property to expand industrial park

Sussex County recently purchased King Farm, a 74-acre property off Park Avenue, east of Georgetown, for $2.2 million. The property will be added to the adjacent Sussex County Industrial Park, which currently houses 20 businesses that employ approximately 900 people.

Creative Mentoring touches the lives of students and adults in IRSD

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Officer AnnMarie Dalton looks on as OVPD mentees open gifts from the department. Dalton is one of three Ocean View officers who mentor a total of five Lord Baltimore Elementary School students.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Officer AnnMarie Dalton looks on as OVPD mentees open gifts from the department. Dalton is one of three Ocean View officers who mentor a total of five Lord Baltimore Elementary School students.Although many kids have help and support from family and friends growing up, sometimes extra support can be key. That’s where mentoring can play a big role in a child’s life.

The Indian River School District participates in the Creative Mentoring Program, in which 299 students are active participants.

Lord Baltimore Elementary School Counselor Theresa O’Shields said the program really benefits young people in a positive way.

“It is really good for them. It’s gotten them out of their shy spells. Kids who have a lot of energy, or kids who don’t have a good male or female role model,” she said. “The teachers here are good, and they’re so flexible. They know it’s important for the child’s growth. They are wonderful people here.”

Local organizations offer scholarship opportunities

Entries sought for Jim Cresson Memorial Fund Scholarship

Applications are currently being accepted for the Jim Cresson Memorial Fund scholarship, administered by the Greater Lewes Foundation.

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