State of Delaware

BREAKING NEWS: Suspect sought in attempted robbery of G&E grocery store

The Delaware State Police are investigating an attempted robbery of an Ocean View grocery store that occurred early Thursday evening.

Corps opens public comments for Delaware aquaculture

The moment that many inland bays residents have awaited is here. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened public comments for Delaware shellfish aquaculture on Jan. 21. Comments are due by Wednesday, Feb. 23.

State parks’ new user fees to go into effect Feb. 15

DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation has received approval by DNREC Secretary David Small to implement new user fee increases that will go into effect mid-month.

Police seek assistance in locating home-invasion suspects

Delaware State Police this week were asking for the public’s assistance after a 66-year-old man was assaulted in his home on Squirrel Run Circle, off of Whites Neck Road, in an unincorporated part of Sussex County north of Millville.

BREAKING: Police seek suspects in Millville-area home invasion, assault

Delaware State Police this week were investigating a home invasion that occurred north of Millville on Sunday night.

Police said the incident occurred about 9 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, and a 911 call was placed by a 66-year-old man, stating that two people had just entered his residence and assaulted him.

Chambers had succesful 2014, look forward to 2015

With 2015 in full swing, local Chambers of Commerce are geared up for a new year and reflecting on a successful 2014.

Last year, the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed a number of new faces, including Executive Director Kristie Maravalli, who joined the Chamber originally as director of membership.

Proposed legislation will toughen weapons possession penalties

Attorney General Matt Denn, state Sens. Bruce Ennis and Margaret Rose Henry and Rep. Larry Mitchell announced legislation Monday designed to guarantee prison time for offenders caught with guns they are prohibited having by law because of prior violent crimes.

Gray back to Dover for second term in legislature

Having run opposed for his second term representing Delaware’s 38th District, Ron Gray is ready to get more involved in the state legislature and Republican Caucus.

Ron GrayRon Gray“As a freshman, I was kinda on the fringes to making decisions,” he said. “I feel much more comfortable going into this.”

The 148th state legislative session begins with a clean slate, so new legislators were sworn in, and returning members will begin writing new bills or resubmitting those that failed in previous years.

Gray plans to keep the public informed with regular public meetings.

Public safety

Gray recently gathered stakeholders in a discussion of how to improve police coverage in southeastern Sussex County.

Many of the area’s municipalities have their own police force, but the Delaware State Police cover all unincorporated lands outside of town limits, as well as some municipalities that don’t have their own police departments. Sometimes there are even pockets of unincorporated land within a municipality where property owners do not wish to be annexed and fall under DSP jurisdiction.

Department of Justice creates new Office of Civil Rights & Public Trust

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn announced last week that the state’s Department of Justice would be restructured to create a new Office of Civil Rights & Public Trust.

DelDOT Secretary Bhatt leaving to lead Colorado department

Secretary Shailen Bhatt will leave his post at Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) to take the same position within Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT).

He departs in late January after three-and-a-half years of managing a nearly-$1 billion-dollar budget and 2,800 employees.

Elected County officials sworn in this week in Georgetown

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: New Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett, second from right, is sworn into office by Judge T. Henley Graves, while Arlett is supported by his wife, Lorna, and son, Jared.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: New Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett, second from right, is sworn into office by Judge T. Henley Graves, while Arlett is supported by his wife, Lorna, and son, Jared.Friends, family and community members gathered Tuesday morning to see five Sussex County officials sworn into office.

“It’s an exercise that by Delaware Code we have to partake in to officially embark in the services of the County Council and the County Row Offices,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson, encouraging the audience to take pictures. “We want this moment memorialized for you all for the significance of what this day means for you all and what it took to get here.”

In attendance were a number of members from the Delaware General Assembly, including District 38 Rep. Ron Gray and District 41 Rep. Rich Collins.

“Members of the General Assembly, we appreciate you being here as well. We appreciate your support always,” said Lawson. “Your lucky day is a week from today.”

SMS students lead the pack in state student council

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: State student council officers got a special invitation to Return Day. Here, Uncle Sam stands with (from left) Jordan Ide, Dominic Patille, Gabrielle “Gabby” Tierney, Chloe McCabe and Maddie Weber.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: State student council officers got a special invitation to Return Day. Here, Uncle Sam stands with (from left) Jordan Ide, Dominic Patille, Gabrielle “Gabby” Tierney, Chloe McCabe and Maddie Weber.Selbyville Middle School has taken leadership to the next level, as local students fill four of five positions on the state student council (Delaware Student Council Association).

“We have had a great run of leadership at the state level in the student council,” Superintendent Susan Bunting has said. That’s due to help and encouragement of SMS advisor Patricia Jennings.

This year SMS students swept the entire council, aside from the presidency, held by Jordan Ide of Smyrna Middle School.

SMS councilmembers include Vice President Dominic Patille, grade 8, Secretary Gabrielle “Gabby” Tierney, 7th, Treasurer Chloe McCabe, 7th, and Historian Maddie Weber, 8th.

Half the battle was showing up, the students said. Statewide, only a few middle school delegations could break away from regular classwork to participate in elections.

The young leaders heard speeches by Delaware’s First Lady, Carla Markell, plus Carrie Hart of Volunteer Delaware.

FOIA complaint filed against County over agenda order

In October, Greenwood resident Dan Kramer filed a complaint with the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, contending that the Sussex County Council had violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by allegedly listing an agenda item, “Additional Business,” out of the order listed in its internal Rules of Procedure.

Hocker looking at jobs, wages and aquaculture for new legislative session

Jobs and the economy will be at the forefront of the agenda for state Sen. Gerald Hocker (R-20th) this coming year. Additionally, Hocker said he would like to focus on finding a compromise on aquaculture and getting additional police protection downstate.

First Day Hikes planned across state Jan. 1

Delaware State Parks will sponsor free, guided hikes in nine state parks on New Year’s Day as part of America’s State Parks First Day Hikes initiative.

The hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year by connecting with the outdoors on Jan. 1 at a state park close to home, officials said.

Annual Delaware (TRI) report and data show improvement

The 2013 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data and annual report from Delaware’s industrial facilities shows a significant decrease in onsite releases as compared to the state’s 2012 TRI report, good news for Delaware’s environment and for improving public health.

Delaware Department of Justice offers weekly highlights

Deputy Attorneys General in the Department of Justice secure a number of important convictions, sentencings and other court rulings each week. Here are the highlights from the week ending Friday, Dec. 5.

Consumers will soon receive payment from Ocwen mortgage settlement

First State consumers who are eligible for a direct payment as part of the $7 million settlement Attorney General Beau Biden reached with Ocwen Financial should soon be receiving their checks, Biden announced earlier this week.

Roadside signs must be removed by Dec. 5

With the 2014 elections now history, all roadside signs must be removed by Dec. 5 or those posting them will face fines for each sign, the Delaware Department of Transportation reminded residents this week. According to state law, signs are allowed in some areas of the State-owned right-of-way for 30 days prior and 30 days after an election.

Hocker coffee serves up discussion of oysters and rent hikes

For the first time since he was elected state representative in 2000, state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. enjoyed his first election off. But he was back to work Wednesday morning, with a Nov. 5 “Coffee’s On Me” with constituents.

Arlett and Cole win county seats, Collins tops Atkins

Tuesday night was an interesting one for Delaware politics, as there were a few upsets in the state and county elections this week.

Coastal Cleanup’s 1,800 volunteers collect 3 tons of trash

This year’s DNREC-sponsored 28th annual Delaware Coastal Cleanup, held on Sept. 20, drew 1,805 volunteers, who collected 3.2 tons of trash from 46 sites along more than 80 miles of Delaware’s waterways and coastline stretching from Wilmington to Fenwick Island. About one-third of that trash — aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles — was recycled this year.

Candidates get the final say before next week’s elections

Voters will certainly have plenty to think about during this year’s mid-term elections, taking place next Tuesday, Nov. 4. As is our tradition, we have sent off a few questions to the candidates in our local elections, and here are the responses we received back before we went to press. Each candidate is listed in alphabetical order for each office.

County Council

Return Day a unique Sussex County tradition

As time-honored Delaware traditions go, Return Day may be the most unique of them all.

Residents voice feelings on aquaculture

After a recent uproar about the potential impacts of shellfish aquaculture in the Inland Bays, local residents gathered at a massive meeting hosted by state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. and state Rep. Ron Gray this week to express their concerns.

Federal funding granted to support Delaware aquaculture

Last week, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined local and state officials, and representatives from the University of Delaware and the Center for the Inland Bays to announce two federal grants to support the development of oyster farming in Delaware’s Inland Bays.

Delaware Wine & Beer Festival adds farmers

Through a partnership with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, a Delaware farmers’ market will be a featured highlight at the fifth annual Delaware Wine & Beer Festival on Saturday, Oct. 11, at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover.

County officials ask citizens to ‘be smart about safety’

Sussex County launched Smart911 last week, an online service allowing any Sussex County resident the opportunity to create a safety profile for their household.

Sharp as a diamond: Conroe wins Delaware’s second 4-H award

Special to the Coastal Point • Michele Walfred : Ashley Conroe (center) earned a rare 4H Diamond Clover Award, honored in Dover by (right to left) State Rep. Ron Gray, State Sen. Ernie Lopez, State Sen. Gary Simpson and Michelle Rodgers, associate dean of UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and director of the Cooperative Extension.Special to the Coastal Point • Michele Walfred : Ashley Conroe (center) earned a rare 4H Diamond Clover Award, honored in Dover by (right to left) State Rep. Ron Gray, State Sen. Ernie Lopez, State Sen. Gary Simpson and Michelle Rodgers, associate dean of UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and director of the Cooperative Extension.Ashley Conroe jokes that she’s done 4-H since she was born. So she followed through, earning the Diamond Clover Award earlier this summer, only Delaware’s second winner.

Also a lifelong athlete, Conroe’s community service project was helping other people stay active for years to come. She installed three exercise stations on the Indian River High School cross-country course.

“But it’s open to the community,” Conroe said. The grassy course is open to the public when students are not on campus (holidays, weekends and weekdays after 5 p.m.).

With help from her dad at home, Conroe built a wooden stepping station, balance beam and curl-up bar.

“All are wooden to make them safe for the environment,” Conroe said, also adding “birdhouses so people who weren’t exercising could take a nice walk.”

Conroe also installed a footbridge for the course, which earned her Girls Scout Gold Star Award.

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