State of Delaware

Millsboro man charged after 8-month human trafficking investigation

On Friday, Aug. 19, the Delaware State Police, along with the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division and the Ocean City Police Department, concluded an eight-month investigation into a human trafficking ring allegedly operating in Sussex County with the arrest of two area men.

Death penalty ruled violation of Constitution

The Delaware Supreme Court has ruled that the state code related to the death penalty violates the U.S. Constitution.

Gov. signs boating fee change to enhance waterway maintenance

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Delaware now has a dedicated funding source for waterway management, with a boating fee increase after the July 22 bill-signing, attended by, from left: front row, state Rep. Ron Gray; state Sen. Gerald Hocker; Gov. Jack Markell; and state Rep. Ruth Briggs King; and, back row, Bob Collins, James Hanes and Molly Struble of the Center for the Inland Bays, Rob Whitford of the Delaware Waterway Management & Financing Advisory Committee, DNREC Secretary David Small and Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Delaware now has a dedicated funding source for waterway management, with a boating fee increase after the July 22 bill-signing, attended by, from left: front row, state Rep. Ron Gray; state Sen. Gerald Hocker; Gov. Jack Markell; and state Rep. Ruth Briggs King; and, back row, Bob Collins, James Hanes and Molly Struble of the Center for the Inland Bays, Rob Whitford of the Delaware Waterway Management & Financing Advisory Committee, DNREC Secretary David Small and Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf.As Gov. Jack Markell signed the new waterway management bill on July 22, state officials explained exactly what Senate Bill 261 means for the owners of the nearly 60,000 boats registered in Delaware.

With the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers no longer giving federal money to maintain the nation’s smaller waterways, Delaware needs to step up just to maintain or improve navigation.

The bill allows Delaware boat registration fees to double, starting Jan. 1, 2017 — a move that is expected to raise approximately $1.3 million annually.

“It is a true user-pay, user-benefit scenario,” DNREC Secretary David Small told those gathered for the signing at Indian River Marina.

Boating fees could double to pay for waterway maintenance

Up to $1.3M in revenue expected for new fund

Delaware legislators are trying to keep Delaware waterways open by doubling boater registration fees.

The State could raise more than $1 million for a new waterway management fund, according to Senate Bill 261, sponsored by state Sen. Gerald Hocker Sr. (R-20th) of Ocean View.

Vaughan announces run for Delaware House seat

Barbara W. Vaughan of Lewes recently announced her candidacy for the 20th Representative District seat in the Delaware House.

According to Vaughan’s campaign, for 24 years, Vaughan has served in community, cultural, political and social organizations and activities, aiming to benefit of the citizens of the City of Lewes, the entire District 20 region and Sussex County.

BREAKING NEWS: Police seeking Millsboro man in Long Neck theft cases

Nathan E. Lewandowski

The Delaware State Police on Wednesday asked for the public’s assistance in attempting to locate a Millsboro man wanted for various felonious crimes that were committed in the Long Neck area.

Learn to fish and crab at Delaware Seashore State Park

Some of the most popular things to do in Delaware Seashore State Park are surf-fishing, crabbing and clamming, but many people who did not grow up along the coast are curious about these popular pastimes but just aren’t sure how to get started.

Commercial waterman faces charges for conch violations

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a commercial waterman June 3 for nearly 300 fishing violations — most of them for illegal taking of knobbed conch — after boarding his vessel for a no-wake violation near the Lewes public boat ramp on May 31.

BREAKING NEWS: Police seek suspects in robbery of Ocean View package store

Delaware State Police troopers are investigating the robbery of Hickman’s Package Store late on Monday evening.

Police said the incident occurred around 10:10 p.m. Monday, June 20, when two male suspects entered the package store, located at 30447 Cedar Neck Road, with at least one subject armed with an unknown type of handgun.

Watermen, public: Bay not ready for full-scale aquaculture

It’s up for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) to decide, but many stakeholders have said that conversation needs to continue before aquaculture begins full-time in Little Assawoman Bay.

Ground broken on new Millville police partnership building

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Dignitaries gathered on Friday, June 10, to break ground on Millville’s future police building.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Dignitaries gathered on Friday, June 10, to break ground on Millville’s future police building.Golden shovels glowed with sunshine at the groundbreaking for Millville’s future police building last Friday, as the Town of Millville begins building a town hall addition that will serve as a Delaware State Police outpost.

Construction should be done in about seven months, Mayor Robert “Bob” Gordon told the assembled crowd on June 10, which included members of the Town of Millville staff and town council, DSP, designers GMB, builders Harkins Contracting Company, representatives of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and more.

Delaware Seashore State Park offers summer programs for the whole family

Not everyone realizes that the undeveloped stretch of Route 1 between Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach is a state park, and even those who regularly enjoy Delaware Seashore State Park as an access point to the beach, bay and inlet may not be aware of the wide variety of educational and recreational programs and events that are offered by park staff throughout the summer season.

Shorter than expected, Route 54 sidewalks still an improvement

Route 54 isn’t very pedestrian-friendly. Near Fenwick Island, the two-lane road is narrow, with shoulders, but lacking sidewalks or a center turn lane. Joggers and cyclists must share the road shoulders with regular traffic travelling at least 35 mph.

BREAKING NEWS: OVPD seeks drug suspect after he flees on foot from traffic stop

Jamar A. Manuel, 26, is being sought by Ocean View police after fleeing a traffic stop with suspected drugs in the vehicle.

The Ocean View Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in locating 27-year-old Jamar A. Manuel of Frankford, after he allegedly fled on foot from police when stopped for driving on a suspended/revoked license.

Shellfish aquaculture public hearing on June 8 moved to Millville VFC

The DNREC Division of Water’s Wetlands & Subaqueous Lands Section will conduct a public hearing Wednesday, June 8, to solicit input on the proposed Statewide Activity Approval (SAA) for shellfish aquaculture in specific designated shellfish aquaculture development areas (SADA) in Delaware. The hearing will start at 6 p.m. at the Millville Fire Hall, 35554 Atlantic Avenue, Millville.

Rt. 54 sidewalk improvements subject of June 6 public workshop

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) invites the public to attend a public workshop to receive information about the Final Design for various proposed lighting, striping, and pedestrian improvements on Route 54 in Fenwick Island.

Lieutenant governor candidate Hall-Long returns home

Bethany Hall-LongBethany Hall-LongState Sen. Bethany Hall-Long (D-Middletown) was back on her old stomping grounds on Thursday, May 27, but this time as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Hall-Long grew up on her family’s farm in Dagsboro and graduated from Indian River High School in 1981. After high school, she went on to Thomas Jefferson University, where she earned a degree in nursing, and later earned her doctorate from George Mason University.

Sitting across the street from Lord Baltimore Elementary School, where she jokingly recalled a particularly tough sixth-grade math teacher, Hall Long said, “I’m the only candidate who knows how to surf and how to drive a tractor.”

Hall-Long has served in the Delaware legislature for 14 years — first as a state representative and since 2008 as a state senator. Hall-Long stopped by the Coastal Point office in Ocean View for an interview during a weekend of Sussex County campaign appearances.

One of six Democratic candidates for Delaware’s second-highest office, Hall-Long said she feels her career in healthcare and education has prepared her well, and that her time in the legislative branch has given her experience in working on statewide issues with members from both parties. She added that she sees the office of lieutenant governor as a logical next step in a career of service.

‘Mighty Mo’s’ big gun moved to permanent resting place at Fort Miles

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The ‘Mighty Mo’ gun is hoisted, ready to be mounted at Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The ‘Mighty Mo’ gun is hoisted, ready to be mounted at Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park.After wartime service in the Pacific aboard the “Mighty Mo” — the battleship U.S.S. Missouri — one of the ship’s nine original 16-inch guns that shook the enemy fleet with 2,700-pound shells was moved last week to a permanent display within historic Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park. The big gun was mounted on the Missouri when the Japanese surrender was accepted about that ship on Sept. 2, 1945, ending World War II.

“The U.S.S. Missouri’s gun is an important piece of American history that will draw families and tourists to Fort Miles and the beautiful shores of Cape Henlopen State Park,” said Gov. Jack Markell.

“Bringing new amenities and historical treasures to our parks not only provides an economic boost to the state, but is one the reasons why Delaware State Parks was recognized nationally this year with the Gold Award as the best park system in the nation.”

Heroin Summit discusses Sussex epidemic

The Communities that Care Summit, cohosted by the Sussex County Health Coalition and the Delaware Department of Substance Abuse & Mental Health, was held at Crossroads Community Church this week, focusing on an open discussion regarding the heroin epidemic in Sussex County.

The summit’s keynote speaker was John Rittenhouse of SHIFTDestiny.

Bomb threats called in to four Delaware schools

The Delaware State Police are currently investigating bomb threats that they said were called in to four area schools this morning.

Police said the first incident occurred around 11:09 a.m. this morning, Monday, May 23, when an unknown male suspect allegedly called East Millsboro Elementary School, located at 29346 Iron Branch Road, Millsboro, and advised that a bomb was at the school.

DSP, state agencies bring down large-scale heroin ring

Following a two-year investigation, the Delaware State Police Sussex Drug Unit (SDU), Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and the Sussex County Attorney General’s Office have charged 13 individuals who were allegedly part of a criminal organization that engaged in large-scale heroin distribution and money laundering.

Mitchell files for state senate District 20

Ocean View resident Perry J. Mitchell, 77, filed on May 13 at the Board of Elections as the Democratic nominee for the District 20 seat in the Delaware Senate, which is currently held by Gerald Hocker.

BREAKING NEWS: Suspect in alleged MVFC embezzlement charged

Delaware State Police have arrested a 36-year-old Dagsboro man after an audit of a local fire company’s accounts reveal he allegedly stole more than $190,000 in funds.

Justin K. Oakley turned himself into detectives Tuesday, May 10, after the Troop 4 Financial Crimes Unit received a forensic audit from the State of Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts.

Waste Management fined by DNREC for recycling violations

One of Delaware’s major waste haulers hasn’t completely done its job, according to Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control officials.

BREAKING NEWS: Five men charged in $641K embezzlement from Millsboro American Legion

The Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reported Friday that four Millsboro men and a Georgetown man have been charged with the theft of $641,000 from Millsboro American Legion Post 28 between July of 2012 and January of 2015.

Townsend describes potential for statewide clean-water fee

What would it cost to clean Delaware’s waters?

State Sen. Bryan Townsend said an extra $100 million per year would be nice. But Delaware’s Clean Water Task Force is approaching a more realistic recommendation of $20 million per year to start problem-solving.

Aquaculture still open to public comments

Now is the time to submit final comments about the creation of commercial shellfish aquaculture in the inland bays.

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced that it only seeks to include 343 acres as “Shellfish Aquaculture Development Areas” (SADA) in the inland bays, instead of the 442 acres originally proposed.

No oil for now: Mid-Atlantic removed from survey/drilling plans

A million comments seem to have done the trick. After receiving that much feedback, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced this week that the Atlantic Ocean has been removed from upcoming plans for oil and gas development.

Corps questions Beach Cove proposed aquaculture sites

It’s been a year since people got to discuss their feelings on proposed commercial oyster-growing in the area. Since then, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has questioned the appropriateness of Delaware’s proposed sites for future shellfish aquaculture.

Post-storm beach repair not in the cards at present

In the wake of two storms that heavily damaged dunes and beaches in Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island, the potential for funding for shoring up the storm-beaten beaches remains unclear.

Last week, officials announced that there would be no funding this year for replenishment of those beaches in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ working plan for 2016.

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