He sees the music

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Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Cole Moran and his father, Frankie, played a benefit at the Crabcake Factory in West Fenwick Island last Sunday afternoon. Cole was born blind, with cognitive disabilities and early-onset scoliosis. That adversity was not enough to hold him back, however, as Cole began playing music as an infant. His current instrument of choice is the harmonica.

BREAKING NEWS: Freeman Stage unveils lineup for 2015 season

The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation announced on Tuesday that the 2015 summer season of the Freeman Stage at Bayside will feature a diverse offering of dance, theater, children’s performances and live music—including 16 national recording artists. Tickets for all performances go on sale online to the public Monday, April 13, at www.freemanstage.org.

This Week's News

Selbyville heroin mom gets probation sentence

The Selbyville woman who was arrested last October after her 4-year-old daughter brought heroin to her daycare signed a plea deal last week.

Ashley R. Tull, 30, pleaded guilty to one charge of endangering the welfare of a child. Tull was sentenced by Superior Court Judge E. Scott Bradley to one year of probation and substance abuse evaluation, and possible treatment.

Restaurant/retail space considered in Ocean View

Last week, the Ocean View Planning & Zoning Commission reviewed the concept plan submitted by property owner C.J. Pines LLC to create a general business location that will include structures for a restaurant and office/retail space, located at 83 Atlantic Avenue (Route 26) at the intersection of Woodland Avenue.

The parcel is 3.37 acres and is zoned in the town’s General Business District 1. The concept plan shows a 5,000-square-foot restaurant and 9,000-square-foot retail/office building to be constructed on the property.

Town Administrative Official Charles McMullen reminded the commission that the applicant is not required to disclose what kind of restaurant they are looking to house; it simply must comply with the town code. Entrances to the property would be from both Atlantic and Woodland.

Artists invited to display South Bethany’s beauty

Coastal Point • Shaun Lambert : Artistic work has been helping elevate the aesthetic beauty of South Bethany since last summer.Coastal Point • Shaun Lambert : Artistic work has been helping elevate the aesthetic beauty of South Bethany since last summer.It’s open season for artists in South Bethany. Photographers and 2D artists are being invited to submit artworks that may be displayed outdoors in the town.

Since last summer, the Town of South Bethany has hung coastal-themed artworks (on weather-resistant vinyl) on outdoor public trash receptacles along Ocean Drive and Seaside Drive.

“We’re definitely reaching out to South Bethany artists, because it’s their town and their beach, but we welcome other artists,” said Councilwoman Sue Callaway.

The Art Board Initiative is organized by the Community Enhancement Committee. Artists can submit artworks with a coastal theme for consideration.

“I think it’s pretty innovative,” Callaway said. “Ocean Drive — which is sort of our gateway to the beach and our promenade — a lot of people walk and bike and drive up there. We’re really trying to create a focal point in our community.”

With trash receptacles at 17 beach walkways, South Bethany could someday fill the beachfront roads with art.

The first three “art boards” had a successful trial run. Besides surviving the elements, they got a lot of positive feedback. Even Councilman Jim Gross complimented the program for adding to the scenery.

Ruley, SoDel chefs honor Haley, sell out James Beard House

For the second time in less than a year, SoDel Concepts’ Doug Ruley and his team of executive chefs were invited to bring a taste of Southern Delaware to the Big Apple at the James Beard House. And for the second time in less than a year, they did just that, selling out the event and honoring the late Matt Haley — the 2014 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year — along the way.

Coldwell Banker collecting canned goods for community

Grocery shoppers who go to Hocker’s Super Center and visit with employees of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage of Bethany Beach this weekend will be able to make a donation of canned goods to area food pantries.

Coldwell Banker has participated in food drives in previous years; however, they decided to start earlier this spring, after receiving a call for help.

Woodlawn Trail residents get sidewalk approval from Town

The original plans for the Woodlawn Trail housing development in Dagsboro included a walking trail leading to the park and designed for community use. However, the plans would have left some residents, including Dina Mock, without much of a back yard.

Bethany adopts $8.4M budget, parking and water hikes

The Bethany Beach Town Council at its March 20 meeting unanimously approved the budget for the Town’s 2016 fiscal year, which begins April 1. The budget calls for $8.4 million in revenue, with $7 million going to operating costs and $1.4 million to capital projects and debt repayment.

Council Treasurer Jerry Dorfman noted that that budget before the council, including proposed increases in parking and water use rates, had been recommended for adoption by the Budget & Finance Committee.

The fee increases add 25 cents per hour to the parking rate, raising it to $1.75 per hour, with commensurate increases in the costs for daily and weekly parking passes and for shuttle buses from outside communities. (Rehoboth Beach recently raised its metered parking rates from $1.50 per hour to $2 per hour.)

Shore Dems hear from Sussex County Council members

Two Sussex County Council members stopped to chat with the Shore Democrats on March 18. George Cole and Rob Arlett talked about development, as well as County services, at the group’s lunch meeting at NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View.

Plea deal leaves us with numerous questions

There has been a lot of discussion throughout the country over the past few decades regarding “The War on Drugs.”

Brackets cause baldness! Well, some stress

Bracket. Busted.

According to scientific research (Editor’s Note: There is absolutely no “scientific” or “research” to what I’m about to say), those two words are used more frequently in the month of March than any other time during the year.

Guest Column: Study suggests it’s smart to feed babies peanuts

Peanuts have been in the news a lot these days. The incidence of peanut allergies has doubled in the last 10 years, now at about 1 to 2 percent of young children.

South Bethany gets a mulligan on flood maps

Just weeks before new flood maps were to be enacted in South Bethany, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has agreed to wind back the clock. FEMA has rescinded the “final determination” that previously raised the base flood elevation (BFE) for oceanfront homes in the town, at the Town’s urging and under pressure from Delaware’s Congressional delegation.

BFE is the elevation to which floodwaters are expected to rise during a 100-year flood. For years, Ocean Drive had a BFE of 12 feet. Houses had to be built starting no lower than that elevation or pay high flood-insurance premiums.

FEMA considered lowering several South Bethany zones (most notably Ocean Drive to VE-10) during a large-scale rewrite of Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) in August of 2013. However, a councilmember’s “inquiry” about the lightened restrictions caused FEMA to actually up the BFE, to 13 feet instead of 10.

Debuchananne running for District 4 seat in Ocean View

Next month, Ocean View will hold its annual municipal election, selecting someone to hold the District 4 council seat, which is currently held by Councilman Bob Lawless, who is term-limited. The election has four contenders, and Fairway Village resident Jon Debuchananne is one of the four who hope to win the seat.

Selbyville Easter Egg Hunt is a true community effort

Grab a basket, as Selbyville is getting a jump-start on Easter egg hunting this year. Most of the local egg hunts will be on the Easter Bunny’s traditional big weekend, but Selbyville is starting early.

The free Selbyville Community Easter Egg Hunt will be held Saturday, March 28, at the public park on Park Street (across from the Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company’s fire hall).

Welcome to the show: IR Variety Show returns this weekend

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Krista Carroll prepares for the spotlight at this weekend’­s IRHS?Variety Show.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Krista Carroll prepares for the spotlight at this weekend’­s IRHS?Variety Show.Teens are running the show at Indian River High School’s Variety Show, for one weekend only, March 27 and 28.

“We hope to continue to maintain that high level” of performance that the community is used to “and provide nice entertainment for the public,” said IRHS Music Director Nathan Mohler.

The musicians are getting creative, with a drum line, sax quartet and rocking Bruno Mars finale. There’s even an acoustic cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”

The lineup ranges from music to stage routines, including a comedy game show. Musical renditions include a variety of genres: country (Aaron Lewis), R&B (Whitney Houston), pop rock (One Republic), Christian music and more.

Most of the acts have live accompaniment from a 27-piece pit band.

“We have a very good variety,” Mohler said.

The student performers also decided what they wanted to put on stage, choosing their own songs and acts.

“I’ve always felt, in the music world, a performer’s gonna get more out of it [based on] what they put in,” Mohler said. “If they’re doing what they want, they’re gonna care more about it… harbor that same passion and intensity.”

A musical Marvel still giving lessons

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : With his signature white beard and favorite hat, Mark Marvel is still teaching everything from guitar to percussion and band instruments.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : With his signature white beard and favorite hat, Mark Marvel is still teaching everything from guitar to percussion and band instruments.Mark Marvel loves music. With a guitar in hand, he peppers his conversation with chord progressions from Motown and modern rock. After 32 years teaching at Indian River High School, he retired at the end of 2014. But he’s still teaching private music lessons.

Marvel teaches electric, acoustic and bass guitar, all band instruments, percussion and mallets.

“I think I’ve taught every band instrument through the years,” he said.

But understanding music is just as important as playing it, he noted.

“Music theory and music writing — I’ve been doing for kids throughout the years that are going to pursue that as a career or in college.”

Most high schools don’t offer music theory, he noted, but it’s essential “if you’re going to play music or you want to learn how to write, arrange, compose songs from scratch.”

Lorenzo Thomas: Delaware’s obscure general officer

History has taken note of a number of Delawareans who served with distinction in military command roles during the Civil War. They include Samuel DuPont and John Gillis in the Union navy, while Alfred Torbert, Henry Lockwood, Thomas Smyth, James Wilson and George Sykes were high-ranking officers in the Union army.

An officer for a day

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Point Reporter Maria Counts reacts to a knife-wielding attacker during the Officer for a Day event held by the Ocean View Police Department on Monday, March 23.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Point Reporter Maria Counts reacts to a knife-wielding attacker during the Officer for a Day event held by the Ocean View Police Department on Monday, March 23.Changing perspective usually means stepping to my left or right, climbing a tree or lying on the ground, or even swimming a quarter-mile out in the ocean. This week, it involved strapping on a holster, loading up a gun and apprehending some perpetrators.

The scenario: the dispatcher contacts my partner Ike and I about a noise disturbance, possibly involving a prostitute and her pimp.

Ike and I roll up in the patrol car and discuss how to approach the two subjects as they come into view. Ike volunteers to take the lead and gather information. I will offer backup/support to him. It sounds great from the confines of a police car.

Reality sets in quickly, as my left foot hits the pavement as I exit the driver’s seat. The two people that we have within our view are yelling, and the man is telling the woman to run as he says, “I’ve got this.”

Tripple Overtime: The Shorebirds are the only birds when you’ve got ornithophobia

I was very much looking forward to spring. I was very much looking forward to Shorebirds baseball and peanuts and Crackerjack and the cracks of bats and blah, blah.

Evans’ homer lifts Lady Indians to 9-6 win over St. Mark’s

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Sophomore shortstop Madi McGee looks to make the throw to third during the Lady Indians’ 9-6 victory over St. Mark's last Monday. McGee collected All-Conference honors at first base as a freshman before making the move to short.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Sophomore shortstop Madi McGee looks to make the throw to third during the Lady Indians’ 9-6 victory over St. Mark's last Monday. McGee collected All-Conference honors at first base as a freshman before making the move to short.After falling behind 5-0 in the first inning against St. Mark’s on Monday, the Lady Indians softball team received the spark they needed for a comeback when freshman Marley Evans belted a three-run homer over the left-field fence to bridge the scoring gap in the third inning.

“I think that kind of brought the girls back in it,” said head coach Erika Brittingham. “Even though the girls were down 5-0, they weren’t out of the game. They were mentally in it, but their bats didn’t really show it.”

Evans took over on the mound for junior Casey Hitchens, who showed resilience by bouncing back and hitting well for her squad.

“She crushed the ball,” said Brittingham of Hitchens’ offensive performance. “That’s probably one of the things that I’m most proud of in this game, is after Casey had a rough first inning, she came out here and lit it up.”

The game would go on to see a 6-6 tie through six innings, until some key base-running by freshman Julia Bombhardt and Damya Williams gave the Lady Indians a late lead.

IR track starts 3-0 with quad-meet wins

Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark : Freshman Carly Collins, above, takes on a hurdle in last Tuesdays quad-meet at Indian River. Both the boys' and girls' track squads swept all three competitors at the event.Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark : Freshman Carly Collins, above, takes on a hurdle in last Tuesdays quad-meet at Indian River. Both the boys' and girls' track squads swept all three competitors at the event.Both the boys’ and girls’ track teams at Indian River High School pulled off wins at Tuesday’s home quad-meet against Laurel, Woodbridge and Holly Grove — starting the season 3-0 and 2-0 in the Henlopen South with the division wins.

“I thought it was a good day in general,” said head coach Bob Hahn. “I thought it was a good learning experience for the athletes and the coaches, to see how certain people respond in pressure situations.”

With limited opportunity to practice outside, due to unseasonable weather, and a young squad, the meet was telling for both the coaching staff and the athletes.

“We found out who’s going to be willing to push themselves to make themselves better today,” Hahn explained. “First meet, with the way the weather’s been going this spring — as a coaching staff, we’re pleased with what we found out.”

Indians’ baseball looking to bounce back after losses

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Sophomore LF Zane Richard makes a highlight-reel-worthy grab near the sideline during the Indians' 6-0 loss to St. Mark's last Monday.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Sophomore LF Zane Richard makes a highlight-reel-worthy grab near the sideline during the Indians' 6-0 loss to St. Mark's last Monday.The Indian River High School baseball team looks primed for a breakthrough season, despite starting the season with losses against top-ranked St. Mark’s and Division I’s Polytech on Monday and Tuesday.

In the 6-0 loss to St. Mark’s, co-head coaches Chris Megee and Kevin Cordrey got a look into the future of their bullpen, starting freshmen pitchers Albert Clark and Brandon Hoffman before bringing in junior Deshawn Aiken.

“We’re just trying to keep everybody’s pitch counts down,” explained Megee of the rotation. “I thought they did a fantastic job. I thought they had a lot of presence to them, kept us in the game, got ground balls, easy fly balls. I saw tremendous things. I can’t wait to keep working with them for four years.”

While three two-run innings were ultimately the difference in the game, the Indians nearly closed the gap in the fourth inning, after senior Eddie Hogan got a shot to drop in center, putting two men on with two outs. Ultimately they would leave them stranded headed into the fifth, however.

Ocean to Bay Bike Tour launching new 30-mile course

Fresh off the success of last year’s 25th anniversary event, the Ocean to Bay Bike Tour returns this April 17 and 18 with some new twists and turns for what has become a staple for local and regional cyclists.

Coastal Point • FILE PHOTO: A pair of cyclists ride during the 16th annual Ocean-to-Bay Bike Tour.Coastal Point • FILE PHOTO:
A pair of cyclists ride during the 16th annual Ocean-to-Bay Bike Tour.
After making some improvements to the course last year, Race Director Lauren Weaver, event and member relations manager of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, and Bethany Beach’s Coastal Spokes Club have added another rest stop to the 30-mile course, extending the track to 36 miles.

“[Coastal Spokes] changed up the whole course to make it more attractive for cyclists,” Weaver explained. “They switched up all the paths. Everyone’s really getting the most out of their experience.”

The longer track will now consist of a 27-mile opt-out, for those who choose to take it, and was designed to offer more scenic views.

“It’s really great. We have excellent marking, thanks to Coastal Spokes,” Weaver explained. “They do all the markings. It’s real clear, easy to follow. It’s looking out at Holt’s Landing, the Indian River Bay, Derrickson’s Creek [and] Hemp Hills.”

Indian River Cross Country 5K set for Saturday, March 28

The Indian River High School Cross Country Boosters will host the team’s marque fundraising event this Saturday, March 28, with their second annual IRXC 5K.

After seeing around 100 participants sign up for last year’s inaugural race, despite less-than-ideal weather, the hope is for a similar outcome this year — with better weather, of course.

Bunny Palooza 10K/5K set for April 4 in Bethany Beach

The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) announced this week that the fourth annual Bunny Palooza! will be held on Saturday, April 4, starting at 8:30 a.m., with the 10K run kicking off at 8:30 and the 5K run/walk at 9:30 a.m., both at Parkwood Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in downtown Bethany Beach, ending on the Bethany Beach boardwalk.

Lady Indians net 7-0 shutout at Polytech in season opener

The Indian River High School girls’ soccer team kicked off their 2015 season with a convincing 7-0 win over Polytech on Tuesday, March 24, starting the season 1-0 against the Henlopen North opponent.

Coastal Point reporter comments on growing heroin epidemic

Our own reporter, Maria Counts, shared her thoughts on the area's growing heroin epidemic with WHYY, a valued content partner of the Coastal Point. The problem is not getting better, folks, but people are trying to get a handle on it.

Check out the video here on WHYY.

Route 26 culverts right on schedule

Morning commute may be impacted by lane closures

The recent mandatory detours along Route 26 are almost over, as the current phase of the project is right on schedule to reopen the road by Tuesday, March 31.