Financial concerns dominated Tuesday night’s meeting of the Ocean View Town Council, as council members wrangled with falling revenue, an increasing need for space for town operations and questions about how much value to place on a public safety program championed by the town’s police chief.
Drivers and business owners may get some relief on Route 26, as lane closures will now begin later each evening, although work on Sunday nights has been added. The project’s Construction Management Team tweaked the hours this week to improve travel but also give contractor George & Lynch the time it needs.
Sussex County residents will have to wait until at least next week before hearing whether the County will grant conditional use for part of a farm in Harbeson for an outdoor country music festival.
South Bethany was built between bayside canals and the Atlantic, so it could use some protection from high water. And, recently, the South Bethany Town Council has poured hours into creating an ordinance that would allow homeowners to raise their houses a few feet, without trapping them under the current height limit.
Despite recent discussion of the idea, the Sussex County Council may decide not to create its own code of ethics, following a presentation by the Delaware Public Integrity Commission’s (PIC’s) legal counsel.
Frankford resident Rob Arlett jumped on the road to the Republican primary election as he launched his campaign for the District 5 Sussex County Council seat on July 22 at the Clayton Theatre in Dagsboro.
Just coming from another kickoff event in Laurel, Arlett introduced his wife, one of his two sons and his father to a crowd of supporters. Emphasizing his love of family and faith, the owner of Beach Bound Realty became an ordained minister in order to marry his niece to her fiancé.
“We love Sussex County. It’s a great place to raise a family, worship and have a business.”
Going up against 16-year incumbent Vance Phillips, whom Arlett never mentioned by name, the challenger said, “It’s not about the opponent, but about the people.”
“Public politics is a dirty word. My job, my responsibility, is to make it a positive thing. We need better people involved,” he said. “We need more good people involved in the process. The campaign is not about ‘Rob,’ it’s about you.”
“We know the rest of the state is all fouled up. I gotta make sure that doesn’t happen to Sussex County,” he said, emphasizing small government and keeping “government as far away from the people as possible.”
He said he hopes to “preserve the past and plan for the future,” describing the disheartening lack of opportunity for young people.
Those big yellow buses are getting a slight shake-up this fall. The Indian River School District has planned new start times for each school. Buildings will split into a “First Start” or “Second Start” schedule, nearly one hour apart, to improve transportation.
For years, the women at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club have been rallying together to raise money for breast cancer research.
“Ellen Stephens started this back in 1997,” said Judie Davis of “Rally at the Creek,” noting that the event has grown steadily over the years. “In 1997, they had 52 players and the donation was $850. Last year’s donation was $25,000.”
On Sunday, July 27, the Town of Bethany Beach will celebrate Périers Day, in observance of the twinning of the towns of Bethany Beach and Périers, France. Downtown Bethany will be themed to be reminiscent of a street in France, with artists drawing caricature sketches on the boardwalk from 3 to 6 p.m. and French/jazz band La Vie en Rose performing on the bandstand at 5 p.m.
Périers, located in Normandy, France, was liberated by the U.S. Army’s 90th Infantry Division on July 27, 1944. The liberation came almost two months after the D-Day landing on Utah Beach. The twinning or “sister city” relationship between the two towns was established in August of 2010.
The commemorative program is free and will take place before the evening concert on the bandstand. There is no rain date. For more information, visit www.townofbethanybeach.com or call Events Director Julie Malewski at (302) 539-8011, ext. 123.
The Town of South Bethany honored former mayor Kathy Jankowski with a reception and proclamation before the town council meeting July 11.
“It’s great! I’m surprised. I figured people have better things to do on a Friday,” Jankowski mused.
Her successor, Mayor Pat Voveris, read a proclamation honoring Jankowski’s two years at mayor, from 2012 to 2014, including “exemplary leadership after Hurricane Sandy.”
The council and residents in attendance applauded her service.
Jankowski had already served on the town’s Planning Commission and Community Enhancement Committee, and as president of the South Bethany Property Owners Association.
She ran for mayor because “I felt like it was my time,” she said.
Jankowski was mostly inspired by “the people. I just love the people and working with them and the town staff.”
Now spending several months per year in Florida, she said she “didn’t feel right doing it remotely.”
Downtown Millsboro’s Blue Water Grill is looking to reopen soon, following an electrical fire on March 28 that forced the restaurant to temporarily close for repairs. Months later, Blue Water is now set to host a job fair to hire staff, with the restaurant’s reopening in sight.
“We’re looking for every position,” said Jess Wiggins, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Josh.
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced recently that his office is sponsoring a Delaware Military & Veterans Resource Fair on Wednesday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Delaware State University in Dover. The free one-day event is open to active and reserve members of the United States military and Delaware National Guard, veterans and their families.
The Delaware Department of Justice announced on July 15 that the State of Delaware would be moving forward in retrying former state senate candidate Eric Bodenweiser on charges stemming from allegations that he had unlawful sexual contact with a boy more than 20 years ago, when that boy was as young as 10.
During road construction, drivers can wait in traffic for a minute or 10. But what about fire trucks and ambulances that don’t have a minute to spare?
A 26-year-old Dagsboro man was killed in a crash on Monday south of Frankford, during a police pursuit that sought him as a suspect in a home-invasion robbery earlier that morning in Dagsboro.
Delaware State Police said that both Dagsboro and Frankford officers were actively pursuing a stolen Ford Explorer that was being driven at a high speed southbound on Route 113 by Charles A. Campbell, 26, of Dagsboro around 10 a.m. on July 14.
They said Campbell lost control of the vehicle south of Frankford, near Cat Mans Road, causing it to drive over the concrete island and through the grass median before entering northbound lanes of Route 113. The 42-year-old Harrington man driving a Mack 10-wheel cargo/box truck northbound in the left lane of Route 113 attempted to slow down but was unable to avoid the SUV, police said. The two vehicles met in a nearly head-on collision in the left lane, according to the DSP.
After the impact, police said, the Explorer rotated counterclockwise and overturned multiple times, landing on its roof in the grass median. Campbell, who was not properly restrained, according to police, was ejected from the vehicle and landed in the grass median. They said the truck rotated counterclockwise and slid sideways, coming to rest across both northbound travel lanes.
Property owners will keep a few dollars in their pocket after the Indian River Board of Education voted recently to reduce the school district’s property tax rate by 5 cents. The tax rate for the 2015 fiscal year decreased from $2.743 to $2.693 per $100 of assessed value.
Incumbent John Atkins has filed for reelection to serve as representative of the 41st District in the Delaware House of Representatives.
The Dagsboro’s Clayton Theatre this week unveiled its new Delaware Historical Marker, celebrating the theater’s 65 years in business, along with its unique nature and its historical impact on the community.
“It literally started with a question,” said Dagsboro Councilman Brian Baull, who was instrumental in getting the historical marker placed for the theater. “My wife Amy and I decided one day to go out and look at a bunch of historic markers throughout Sussex County. We wound up by Seaford and the Maryland-Delaware line, and looked at a bunch of them along the way.
“On the way back home, I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if we got one of those for the Clayton celebrating its 65th anniversary? I wonder what you have to do.’”
With that thought, Baull sent an email to the Delaware Archives, and, he said, “the stars aligned.”
After providing the theater’s history — courtesy of “Memories of the Clayton Theatre: A Look Back,” written by Sandie Hancock Gerken, the daughter of one of the original owners — Baull said he also contacted state Sen. Gerald Hocker and state Rep. John Atkins to find funding for the marker.
Returning to serve her childhood library as its director, Kelly Kline sees the past and future coming together at the Selbyville Public Library.
“I see a town that’s really proud of its history and wants to be involved. I’d like to give them the chance to have lots of things to be involved in,” she said.
“I’ve always wanted to work in a library. I’ve always wanted to be a librarian,” said Kline, whose dream finally came true with this position. She had been an event planner at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, having graduated from Indian River High School and then from the University of Delaware, with an English degree.
She now brings both planning experience and love of literature to Selbyville.
“I want to plan events … start bringing more patrons in and have more things for people to enjoy,” especially for teens and adults, she said.
“We have a very active children’s program. Shelly Purnell has really taken the ball and run with it. I’d like to continue [and] double our efforts for next summer,” Kline added.
Inspired partly by the Frankford Public Library, Selbyville’s revamped adult program will begin with the Stitchers needlecraft group (Aug. 6 at 1 p.m. — pre-register with the library and bring materials).
Bethany Beach Books is offering locals and visitors the chance to find the ever-elusive Waldo in downtown Bethany Beach. Those who wish to participate in the free family-friendly activity can stop by any of the 25 participating Bethany Beach shops and pick up a “passport” before starting their search.
To Pat Sned, whose home backs up to the Salt Pond, a large apparent algae bloom that caught her eye about a month ago seemed a little out of place. She said that, in her 15 years of owning her home, she had never noticed anything like it.
“It’s quite extensive” she said, of the yellowish muck that sits on the edges of the southeast corner of the Salt Pond. What Sned can see out her back door in the Villas of Bethany West is the area where the Bethany Loop Canal meets the Salt Pond, coming from the Bethany Beach side (behind the Army National Guard building on Route 1).
“The people from DNREC came, and they said it isn’t so unusual that it’s growing here, but none of us had ever seen a growth like that. I have not seen any growth, and never algae. My concern was “what has changed?”
She said Bethany Beach town officials and DNREC came out, but she was told the water was too shallow for them to use their machines to cut the algae.
John M. Hodgson, 67, of Millsboro, died July 7 as a result of the injuries he sustained in a July 6 crash south of Greenwood, Delaware State Police announced this week.
For years, Bethany Cycles, located on Route 26, was a destination for cyclists in the Bethany Beach area. Last December, the shop was bought by Bicycle Connection, which has another location in Maryland, and as a result it can now offer customers a wider variety of bicycle- and kayak- related products.
“We just have a lot more available than we had before,” said Manager Tommy Riebel. “We switched the line. We’re going back to Trek and the Electro line of bikes. They also have the Townies, which are very popular.”
The shop carries Trek road bikes and hybrids for all skill levels of riders and carries Electro as their beach cruisers, for those looking for a bike to use in the bike lane on Coastal Highway or on local boardwalks.
Not only does Bicycle Connection carry a variety of bikes, it also carries a variety of bike accessories, including bicycle shoes, seats, pumps, locks, storage bags, racks, trailers and baby seats.
“Not everybody’s got shoes,” explained Riebel. “We have some cycling shoes — shoes that also work for spin class, which is popular around here with a couple gyms.”
Zipping through Roxana fields, two dirt-bikers kick up dust on a humid day. They stop to chat before kicking down on the starter and buzzing away for another loop.
Participants in the 23rd Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, which will benefit the Friends of the South Coastal Library, will have the opportunity to visit 10 unique homes in the Bethany Beach/Fenwick Island area. The tour will be held Wednesday, July 23, and Thursday, July 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tourgoers may visit all 10 homes in one day or spread the viewing over the two days of the tour.
Lenny Perez-Rivera is 9 and lives in Georgetown. He and his family have recently returned from Brazil, where they watched two World Cup games, went sightseeing and participated in a huge fan-appreciation festival. This wonderful experience was courtesy of the Make-A-Wish organization, because Lenny has leukemia.
The 37th Annual Nanticoke Indian Association Powwow will be held Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, Sept. 7, at the powwow grounds east of Millsboro.
For once, kids are being encouraged to get dirty, and the Selbyville Public Library is leading the way.
The Selbyville Children’s Garden was planted in May by about 12 children in the library’s summer reading program. Now, every Tuesday at 4 p.m., children can attend the reading program — but they can help take care of their garden all week long. That means pulling weeds and watering the many plants.
“They love it,” said children’s librarian Ronshell “Shelly” Purnell.
They’re growing tomatoes, peppers, radish, cucumbers, squash, basil, parsley, cantaloupes and more. A line of sunflowers along the side of the library building is expected to reach 7 feet tall.
The veggies will be used in the teens’ Chop Challenge cooking program. They’ve even made a few dollars selling vegetables in the library.
“The parents say, ‘How do you get kids to come out and play in dirt and we can’t get ’em to clean their rooms?’” Purnell laughed. “It’s all about putting fun in little stuff like this.”
The road back to the Big League Softball World Series certainly offers its fair share of potential speed bumps for the Millsboro team. Obstacles to overcome include balancing time between work and softball, frequent doubleheaders and Laurel pitcher Reagan Green.
However, after trading wins in Monday’s doubleheader against Laurel at the Pyle Center in Roxana, the team finds themselves with a 4-2 advantage in the 12-game series that will decide which area team represents host District III at the World Series next month, right there at the Pyle Center.
“I think we’re looking good,” said Millsboro coach Monroe ‘Monnie’ Hudson. “Defensively, we’re good. Pitching, we’re good. We just gotta string the hits together, and this game we just couldn’t connect the hits.”
Beginning in 2003, the Highway One Group each summer has sponsored a series of runs and walks in Dewey Beach. On Saturday, July 26, starting at 8 a.m., Races2Run will present the 100th run. It will also be a historic day for runners and Hall of Famers Jerry Denny, Jerry McNesby and Jules Woodall, who have run every one of the 100 races.