This Week's News
Pedestrians are being urged again to walk safely, especially during these busy summer months, following an incident Saturday evening that left a 9-year-old boy in critical condition.
Drivers are falling back into their summertime driving routine as night work continues on the Route 26 Mainline construction project. That means watching for lane closures late on Monday to Thursday nights, from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.
“Things have really died down. The phone doesn’t ring as much” since detours were completed, said project public outreach coordinator Ken Cimino of AECOM.
Ocean View resident Kathy Vengazo recently spoke before the Sussex County Council on behalf of the Allied Communities to Improve our Neighborhoods (ACTION) to voice their upset at the council regarding the council’s decision to not appeal the Superior Court ruling in the case of AT&T v. Sussex County Board of Adjustment.
Watching their baby girl grow weaker every day, one Ocean View couple is being lifted back up by their community.
Baby Alana Rose Prettyman was a born a bright, happy girl on Sept. 14, 2014. But several days after she turned 8 months old, in May, her parents took her to A.I. duPont Hospital for Children, and Alana was recently diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease that is quickly robbing her of her ability to eat, smile, sit up and focus.
With that diagnosis, the life expectancy is just one year for this now-9-month old. That’s why people are taking action now, already donating thousands of dollars to the family.
Alexa Shoultes, 24, and Kyle Prettyman, 23, are responding to their daughter’s worsened diagnosis and all the community support by starting a foundation in Alana’s name.
“Our daughter has so much love — people would be blessed to experience that much love in a lifetime,” Shoultes wrote in a June 20 email. “I am so proud of the community for uniting for our sweet angel, and for us. … They are the sole source of our sparse positivity.”
Shoultes is on leave as a rehab technician and gymnastics coach, and Prettyman is taking time off from his fulltime construction work. They’re capturing every precious smile their darling girl can give them.
Before an audience of one reporter on June 23, Millville Town Council began the first of several meetings to review a 30-page zoning overhaul. Last year, the mayor had formed a committee specifically to modernize the zoning district regulations in the Town’s current code.
State police were investigating a serious crash last Saturday night in Fenwick Island, centered around a 9-year-old pedestrian who reportedly stepped out into Route 1 and was struck by the front bumper of an SUV. The boy was listed in critical condition, and no charges have been filed against the driver.
Here’s a fun exercise...
Clear your mind of all the day-to-day stresses that are overtaking it at any given time. That’s it. Just close your eyes, pull back on a deep breath and let your subconscious wander off to a place of abject nothingness. You there? Good, let’s do this.
Sometimes, a negative gives birth to a much more enduring positive. About one year ago, in May 2014, Sussex Unity was born of an ugly exchange involving two county council members.
The exchange, during which two council members attacked the NAACP as a “racist” organization and withheld $200 for a youth program, can be heard on our website at http://www.sussexunity.org/about-sussex-unity/.
Even though I am the first person to preach that our dogs understand more than most people give them credit for, I, too, must accept the fact that there is a lot that our dogs do not fully understand. One of the things that can really confuse our dogs is moving.
Long-time couples celebrate marriages of up to 71 years
Eight married couples celebrated decades of anniversaries this month at Brandywine Senior Living at Fenwick Island. Collectively, they have been married 519 years.
“It falls into a tradition, and an honorable one … and I think we have a lot to learn from them,” said organizer Kathy Jacobs. “It was about their love for one another and their devotion for one another. I don’t discount the weddings today … all of that is great if you don’t lose sight with what it’s all about, which is the couple and the love.”
Among the couples celebrating anniversaries this year: Andy and Peggy McCartney (74 years), Chuck and Marjie Kriner (70), Reba and Robert “Bob” Finicle (68), Kathy and Kelly Main (68), Jeanne and Richard Sowieralski (61), Cynthia and Paul Wagner (61), R.J. and Betty White (60) and William “Bill” and Elisabeth “Betty Mae” Patterson (57).
Most of the anniversaries occurred in June, which is the traditional wedding month, said Jacobs, Brandywine’s director of community relations. When she realized the sheer length of those marriages, her plans to celebrate them just snowballed.
As cited by Harold Hancock in “Delaware History,” April 1961, Wilmington native Anna Ferris noted in her diary on July 4, 1865, “Now we have ‘Victory & Peace’ & feel thankful & happy but not jubilant as we expected & there are few illuminations & public rejoicings. Our large cities try to make a display, but there is not fervor & no enthusiastic or controlling impulse in the public mind.”
Holts Landing State Park may have already seen what seemed like its heyday, but to the state parks system and reinvigorated volunteers, now is the perfect time for a revival. The hidden park near Millville is celebrating its 50th anniversary with Outdoor Family Fun Night on Tuesday, June 30, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Outdoor games will be provided, such as cornhole, horseshoes and ladder golf (in which players attempt to loop a string with two golf balls around a ladder-shaped PVC pipe goal).
Park naturalists will do hands-on activities before the sun sets, including seining for critters in the bay. After dark, they’ll point out stellar constellations in the night sky.
Meanwhile, families can relax and roast marshmallows by a bonfire. Those attending should pack their own picnic dinners, bug spray and blankets for stargazing.
The Back Bay Strummers will bring their strings to perform live music.
The sun was out, the live music was playing, and all hands were on deck when one of the area’s most unique venues held its official grand opening near Bethany Beach last Thursday.
“We wanted to build something that we thought would fit into the community, something that really matches the nature of this area,” said Brent Poffenberger, co-owner of Bethany’s newest watering hole, Bethany Boathouse.
The latest venture from Poffenberger and Tom Neville — who also own the Cottage Café, located across from Boathouse on the west side of Route 1 — the family-friendly restaurant and bar was designed to resemble a historic lifesaving station, and features both an indoor bar and the outdoor Gazebo Bar, in addition to both outdoor and indoor seating.
“People have been looking for something like this in the area, waiting for it,” said Boathouse General Manger Rich Beaney. “This is gonna be a destination.”
Because the Sea Glass Festival will be held at the Lewes Historical Society this Saturday, June 27, the Historic Lewes Farmers Market will move to the Richard Shields Elementary School parking lot, just off the corner of Savannah Road and Sussex Drive. The Market will be open from 8 a.m. until noon.
The market will returns to the grounds of the Lewes Historical Society Saturday, July 4.
Operation SEAs the Day will hold its third Annual Warrior Beach Week from Sept. 8 through Sept. 13 in Bethany Beach.
“Warrior Beach Week will host 30 Wounded Warriors and their families for a well-deserved week of rest and relaxation,” organizers noted. “These Warrior families are referred to as VIFs (Very Important Families) during their visit.”
Ah, the “Madden curse.” Every year, it’s the same story. But even though the media usually blows it out of proportion, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t played a video game since I got my driver’s license, every year it still seems to strike again.
He hadn’t suited up for more than six months. He had spent years going up against players that he would now call teammates. And — oh, yeah — he was still getting back to health after shoulder surgery.
But when the first whistle sounded at the 60th annual Blue-Gold All-Star game on Saturday, June 20, none of that mattered to recent Indian River grad and football standout Spencer Sturla.
“I adjusted pretty well,” Sturla said to his role as both an offensive and defensive tackle. “My shoulder really kept up with me, the whole week and even throughout the game — I just fought through it.”
And “fighting through it” is exactly what he did.
After getting the start at defensive tackle for the Gold team, Sturla was called upon in the second half to take over at offensive tackle, as well, as they battled the Blue team in a defensive deadlock that went down to the game’s final minutes.
The Firecracker 5K has enjoyed steady success since it launched seven years ago, and this Sunday the 5K run and 3K walk looks to be just as popular as ever.
“It was started to celebrate the great Fourth of July traditions in Bethany Beach,” explained race director Greg Mavraganis. “Now in year seven, I think it’s one of Bethany’s signature events.”
Starting out with 200 participants, the race grew to encompass 425 registered runners last summer, and Mavraganis said that they’re hoping to see an even larger turnout this Sunday, with the possibility of upwards of 500 racers.
“We’ve enjoyed steady growth in participation during our first six years,” he said. “Our goal is to host an event that’s enjoyable for people of all ages.”
Since getting her start playing in the Georgetown Little League, Mykala Steele has put together one of the most storied softball careers in the area’s recent memory.
The former Sussex Central Golden Knight and recent Del Tech grad has done it all. She’s been a Big League World Series champion. She’s been a USSSA World Series champion. She’s played on national television. She’s been First-Team All-Conference, and she’s been First-Team All-State.
But when that storied career finally came to a close this spring, it also closed with a storied ending, as not only did Steele collect Region XIX Tournament MVP honors for the second consecutive year, en route the Del Tech’s second consecutive Region XIX title, but the Lady Roadrunners’ ace pitcher was also named the 2015 Region XIX Player of the Year.
“It’s one of my greatest accomplishments,” said Steele. “It’s been a goal of mine since freshman year. Ending my career at Del Tech with this is an awesome feeling.”
Just as she had been for the Delaware Diamonds, the Golden Knights, the Millsboro Big League team, and any other lineup she’s been a part of during her career, Steele was instrumental for Del Tech in her final season, leading the Lady Roadrunners to a 24-4 record.
“She’s the real deal,” said Del Tech head coach Wayne Price. “She dominated all the time.”
The Ocean City (Md.) Tennis Club is keeping the rally going for area high school tennis players this summer.
Taking into consideration that teams typically don’t get to see competition out of their division or conference, the club decided to give serious Eastern Shore players a chance to do just that — recently hosting the first of three tournaments at their Ocean City-based facility and generating a successful turnout in the process.
“This is a new venture. We’re trying to give the kids a chance to play after the high school season,” explained O.C. Tennis Club Director of Tennis Rod Dulany. “It really gives them a chance to play different players and to improve their game, hopefully — it’s somethings that’s missing on the Eastern Shore, so we filled that need.”
“It’s not a coaching environment when they have active coaching. It’s shorter matches where they play more people,” added O.C. Tennis Club assistant pro Kelsey Waite. “As a coach, it’s really cool to see them take the initiative to do that.”
At the club’s first summer tournament, 30 players from seven different high schools showed up to compete, spanning from as nearby as Indian River and Worcester Prep to as far as Washington High School and Bohemian Manor.
Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck, 48, pled guilty to one count of Rape in the Fourth Degree earlier this week.
The plea took place in Sussex County Superior Court on Tuesday, June 16, before Judge E. Scott Bradley. During the “plea by appointment,” Bradley asked Shattuck a number of questions.
Shattuck acknowledged that by pleading guilty she understood she was waiving her rights to a trial, which had been scheduled to begin June 22.
“Did you commit the offense you are pleading guilty to?” asked Bradley of Shattuck.
“Yes,” she replied.
Rape in the Fourth Degree is a Class C felony, and Shattuck faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. One of Shattuck’s attorneys, Eugene Maurer, stated in court that she has no prior convictions. She will be registered as a Tier II “moderate-risk” sex offender. She is to not have contact with any minors, with the exception of her three children.
In November 2014, a Grand Jury charged Shattuck with two counts of Rape in the Third Degree for performing oral sex on a minor who was 15 years old at the time. She was also charged with four counts of Unlawful Sexual Contact in the Second Degree, and three counts of Providing Alcoholic Liquor to a Minor. At that time, she pled not guilty and was released on $84,000 bond.
The results are in.
With a total of 172 votes, Bradley A. Cordrey has officially been elected to the open “District 1” council seat over Bob H. Ryan (106 votes), and James C. Kells has landed the “District 3” seat after tallying 221 votes, defeating Irene H. Keenan (82 votes).
The Town of Frankford held a workshop earlier this month to discuss the repair of its 125,000-gallon elevated water tower.
“We have to do something,” said Council President Joanne Bacon at a June 15 workshop. “The main thing is how are we going to pay for this? I think that’s going to be a huge question.”
Christine McCoy was completely shocked the first time she heard Yolanda Schlabach speak about the ugly truth of human trafficking in Delaware.
“To me it was always oversees, or cities — not right here in Sussex County. And the more people that are aware, the better we can start fighting it,” said McCoy, president of Southern Sussex Rotary Club, where Schlabach spoke in May.
“Apparently, southern Delaware is a hotbed for this type of activity because of the rural nature of our communities and several other factors,” McCoy stated.
“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act,” according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
With a majority vote, Sussex County Council this week approved the rebranding of the Georgetown Airport as Delaware Coastal Airport.
“We need to tell our story and position this facility for future growth,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson.
Rebranding is the latest step in a more-than-decade-long, nearly $40 million effort to modernize the facility and boost economic development, which includes extending the main runway, leasing new hangar space and replacing airport lighting.
Prior to the vote, Lawson said the airport has suffered from an “identity crisis.”
“Depending on who you speak to, many people refer to the facility by a number of names, including the County Airport, the Sussex County Airport, or the Georgetown airport — which most locals call the facility.
For the second year, the Ocean View Historical Society (OCVHS) is offering community members and visitors the chance to visit their historic complex free of change on Wednesdays in the summer months.
“Last year, we had restored our historic buildings to the point where we thought it would make a good display for the public to visit,” said Carol Psaros, president of the society.
South Bethany Town Hall may never have seemed so small when 100 people tried to fit inside for a public meeting about the future of local flood mapping. Most of them wanted to know exactly why their flood-risk designation changed, and what they can do about it.
Beloved and much missed after a one-year hiatus, Selbyville’s classic summer festival is returning. Old Timer’s Day is scheduled for Saturday, June 20, in downtown Selbyville. Church Street will close to traffic and turn into a sunny street fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day
“There is just so much going on. There’s a little bit of something for anybody. It’s great for whole families,” said organizer Lauren Weaver. “In the spirit of Selbyville, … it’s just kind of a nice step back into time and a festival for families.”
Children will be able to engage in active play in the play zone near Town Hall. They’ll also be able to enjoy fire truck rides, a moon bounce, an obstacle course, multi-sport games and pony rides from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., reflecting back to a time before people had cars to get around.
This summer, all local children are being invited to eat free meals at the Selbyville and Frankford public libraries, no questions asked.
“It will help to fill the gap with food insecurity throughout the summer,” said Frankford Public Library Director Rachel Wackett.
By a 4-1 vote, Sussex County Council this week voted to change the name of the airport in Georgetown to Delaware Coastal Airport.
What was the name of the airport before, you might ask.
There are a few ways to easily get a rise out of people in this community.