It’s time to bundle up, grab some hot chocolate and prepare those Christmas lists, and local towns will welcome the holiday season with the annual Christmas parades.
Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) officials announced around 4:30 p.m. that, due to high water, Route 1 northbound and southbound was being closed between Bethany and Dewey Beach (including the Charles Cullen Bridge over the Indian River Inlet).
There’s been a change in scenery along Route 26 in Clarksville in recent weeks, with Hocker’s Super Center’s revamped billboard at the corner of Routes 26 and 17.
Hocker said the digital billboard received approval on the county, state and federal levels prior to its installation.
“It has been a four-year process. I went through every proper channel I needed to go through to get 100 percent approved,” said Gerry Hocker. “I first started with the County, and got approval from the County. Then I had to get approval from the State. There were a lot of meetings. It took a lot of time.
“I went through every proper channel… Looking back now, I don’t know how I did it… other than determination, perseverance and respect.”
The billboard, which was upgraded in August, is a state-of-the-art, double-sided digital billboard, with each side measuring 300 square feet, and is available for rental by interested parties or advertisers.
G&E Supermarket and Hocker’s Super Center have been Hocker-family-owned and -operated businesses for more than 50 years. Along with its deli, supercenter, gas station and convenience store, Hocker’s also offers catering services.
Last month, Hocker’s added a new food trailer to its Hocker’s BBQ fleet, continuing to expand their catering business.
“It’s just another avenue of our business where we like to diversify,” said Gerry Hocker. “The downturn of the economy kind of affected everybody. We were affected, as well, with our businesses. We looked into where we could diversify and what we could expand into, and avenues we could take that our competition couldn’t.”
“You have a lot of competition come in. You have to do things that your competition can’t, being that we’re locally owned,” added Greg Hocker. “We can branch out and do those other things that the other brand stores can’t do.”
Greg Hocker said the catering business and barbecue trailer started small but have continued to grow.
“People start asking about certain things that we had never even thought about making,” said Greg Hocker. “We started experimenting and making it, and now we can make pretty much just about anything anybody wants.”
After 25 years, a local shop might be considered retro. But Hudson’s General Store is all about the antique. Now, to celebrate 25 years in business, Hudson’s is bringing back its massive outdoor antique sale on Saturday, June 20.
Under the big tent in Clarksville, 30 to 40 dealers from across the East Coast will sell one-of-a-kind treasures from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“People love antique shows, and I think the young people are starting to come back and want retro things,” said owner Melody Hudson.
And this is where people can dive in.
“They can find anything. They can find pewter, clocks, furniture — just about anything in the antique line,” Hudson said.
“[Antiques] are all different. They’re not mass produced,” Hudson said. “You never know what dealer’s gonna bring what.”
There’s excitement in finding the perfect piece or talking with vendors and other collectors.
Good Earth Market will hold its 8th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival on Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the market’s grounds in Clarksville.
Plenty has happened around the community over the off-season. In case you’ve been out of town, or have just been too busy to stay on top of things, here are some of the items that could most affect your summer season.
Late-night work is getting a little later this summer on Route 26. The Delaware Department of Transportation was already scheduled to begin a second year of overnight work on the road construction project, from May 15 to Sept. 30, in a schedule designed to accommodate summer traffic.
The love of your life has just kneeled on one knee and asked for your hand in marriage… But now what?
Many dream of having a beach wedding, where the vastness of the sea mirrors their love for one and other, but the logistics of planning can be difficult.
Enter Delaware Seaside Bride. With a website — DelawareSeasideBride.com — and yearly print magazine that will launch March 6, 2015, Delaware Seaside Bride will be your guide to planning your dream day, surrounded by the beauty of the Delaware beaches.
Thanks to an outpouring of support from the community, the Millville Volunteer Fire Company has been able to raise enough funds to purchase three LUCAS Chest Compression Systems to be placed in the MVFC’s three ambulances.
EMT Michele Steffens, who also serves as the MVFC’s financial secretary, said the machines will help EMTs save valuable time during an emergency.
After just one month with two localized Route 26 road closures, business owners are really feeling the pressure. As their small businesses suffer from being located on temporary dead-ends, they voiced their concerns at a Feb. 10 Construction Advisory Group meeting, saying they feel the contractor doesn’t feel their sense of urgency.
Bright colors splash inside Millville’s newest children’s learning center, despite the deceptively stoic brick exterior. Village Square Academy Learning Center just opened on Whites Neck Road, enrolling infants to 12 years.
Village Square Academy provides daylong childcare, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., or just before and after school.
“It’s not a daycare at all. It’s a learning center. It’s gonna be structured, educational,” said owner Tecola Gibbs-Hernandez. “The best start is an early start. The earlier, the better prepared they are when they get to the schools,” she said.
That means kids can get used to a structured environment, learn rules of the school and adapt to different cultures. Plus, kids are learning social skills.
“They learn through each other,” verbalizing what they want, using good manners and, of course, making friends, she said.
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.
A familiar face has faded into memory after Dr. Thomas Jeffrey Dunn, 51, of Dagsboro passed away Tuesday, Sept. 16. Frequently found in Little League dugouts, on Pop Warner sidelines and at Millville’s Sussex Family Practice, Dunn died from brain cancer, which had just been diagnosed in early August.
“He liked being a community doctor. He liked the fact that he knew all the patients’ names [not just as numbers],” said his brother, Christopher Dunn of Elkton Md. “He treated them with the utmost respect.”
It was his dream to have a practice at the beach, the “type of place could hang up a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign,” said his friend and pastor, Andy Ehlers of High Tide Church.
Born in Norfolk, Va., and formerly of New Castle County, Dunn is survived by his wife and children, Tammy (Ledford) Dunn, and Reagan and Scarlett.
Cars and trucks crawled through Millville on Aug. 28, an appropriate backdrop to U.S. Sen. Tom Carper’s visit to the Route 26 Mainline construction project. Carper toured the state Thursday to talk federal transportation funding in regard to Route 26, Milford’s new Route 1 overpass and Wilmington’s Christina River Bridge.
If ever I am lost and find myself in Heaven,
Let it spell Bethany
In an unusually busy primary election day for Delawareans, voters on Sept. 9 will decide which candidates will represent their parties in more than a half-dozen races in November, including candidates for U.S. senator, State Treasurer, Delaware Auditor of Accounts, Sussex County Register of Wills, Sussex County Council District 5 and Sussex County Sheriff.
The Route 26 Project Team met Aug. 11 for a quick update on the 4-plus-mile road improvement project running from Clarksville to Ocean View.
Emergency roadwork will close one lane of Route 26 on early Saturday morning, July 12.
From midnight to 7 a.m., traffic will alternate between Railway Road and Clubhouse Road in Millville. Follow flaggers and drive carefully.
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section and the Division of Parks & Recreation are seeking volunteers and boats for the 10th annual Inland Bays Cleanup. The Cleanup will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 12, and end about 1 p.m.
With the summer season in full swing, it is important to take the time to be extra cautious when traveling on area roads, for the safety of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike.
After a number of crashes in the area last year involving cyclists and pedestrians, at least one such accident has already been added to the tally for 2014.
Night work continues on the State Route 26 Mainline Improvement Project, over 4 miles of road construction between Clarksville and Ocean View. There may be lane closures overnight from Monday night to Friday morning, 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.:
• between West Avenue and Woodland Avenue (includes the Central Avenue intersection at Fulton Bank).
• between Cedar Drive (Super Giant) and Grants Avenue.
Just before Independence Day, people lined the streets to welcome home a local firefighter and internationally traveled soldier.
People and flags waved as the Millville Volunteer Fire Company escorted Specialist Charlie Mood Jr., 28, from the Indian River Inlet to the firehouse Tuesday. His company was the last of the Delaware National Guardsmen to return from Afghanistan.
Under American flags and “Welcome Home” signs, people lined the streets from the inlet to the fire hall. Lord Baltimore Elementary School even had a small contingent, including staff and a few students.
“We didn’t know who he was, but we wanted to be part of it,” said one teacher.
“A local school supporting local people,” another man said.
“That was amazing. I loved that,” Mood said at the firehouse. “It’s good to be back.”
A Frankford resident, Mood has served with the MVFC for nearly eight years.
Those looking for a way to celebrate Independence Day on the Delaware shore with a real bang may have trouble picking where to go to celebrate.
Night work continues on the State Route 26 Mainline Improvement Project between Clarksville and Ocean View. There may be lane closures overnight from Monday night to Friday morning, 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.:
• between Central Avenue and Woodland Avenue (Fulton Bank to Café on 26).
• at the 26/Old Mill intersection (Food Lion).