Sussex County News

Sussex County, Delaware


  • 156,638 (2000 Census)

County council meetings

  • Tuesdays, 10 a.m. (second Tuesday of each month), council chambers, county administrative building; council meetings and other public meetings held in the council chambers are broadcast over the Internet

Planning & Zoning meets:

  • Thursdays, two to four times per month, 6 p.m.; occasional Wednesday afternoons; council chambers, county administrative building

Board of Adjustments meets:

  • Mondays, two to four times per month, 7 p.m.; council chambers, county administrative building


  • Council members elected by district, to four-year terms; council president selected from among council members

County administrative building:

  • 2 The Circle, Georgetown, DE 19947; (302) 855-7700

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

County Council 2013-2014:

  • Michael Vincent, Council President, District 1
  • Samuel Wilson Jr., Council Vice-President, District 2
  • Joan Deaver, District 3
  • George B. Cole, District 4
  • Vance C. Phillips, District 5

County Administrator:

  • Todd Lawson

Council Administrative Staff:

  • Robin Griffith

Finance Director:

  • Gina Jennings

Public Information:

  • Chip Guy

Public Works Director:

  • Michael Brady

Director of Planning & Zoning:

  • Lawrence Lank

Director of Planning & Zoning Commission:

  • Robert C. Wheatley


  • Delaware State Police Troop 4


  • Jeffrey Christopher


  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 856-5850

Sewer service:

  • Sussex County provides central sewer service to communities throughout the county, while some private property owners and other communities utilize on-site septic or sewer systems of their own.

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.

County council discusses Capital Transportation, byway

The Sussex County Council was given an overview of the Sussex County 2016-2021 Capital Transportation Program Request earlier this week.

Wheatley, Arlett and Lee win respective primaries

The State of Delaware held primary elections on Tuesday, Sept. 9, in which 40 candidates vied to represent their parties on November’s general election ballot.

Full slate of primary elections set for Sept. 9

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.

Application withdrawn from County Council for music festival

For now, concerned Harbeson-area residents can breathe a sigh of relief, as the Sussex County Council approved this week the withdrawal of a conditional-use application that would allow for a music festival on a farmland property near the town.

Lifeguards recognized for their efforts on the sand and in the water

Coastal Point • Maria Counts : Lifeguards pose for a photo at the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce’s annual Lifeguard Awards ceremony.Coastal Point • Maria Counts : Lifeguards pose for a photo at the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce’s annual Lifeguard Awards ceremony.For the 21st year, the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce has honored lifeguards from the area’s seven beach patrols for their outstanding service to their patrols and to the community at large.

“Every year, we ask the patrol captains of each unit to select one outstanding lifeguard who has demonstrated acts of bravery, gone over and above the duty, and or demonstrated leadership in some way during the summer season,” said Kristie Maravalli, the Chamber’s executive director.

Each year the Chamber asks the beach patrol captains to choose their patrol’s Lifeguard of the Year; however, many times, the patrols vote on the honor instead.

Todd Hickman, past president of the Chamber, thanked the patrols for their continued service to the Quiet Resorts’ beaches during the annual awards event held last week.

Fall weekend getaway packages available at state park

Delaware Seashore State Park, located north of Bethany Beach, is offering two weekend vacation packages this fall: the Fall Fishing Weekend and the Autumn Shores Getaway. Each package will include a variety of programs, several meals and a discounted rate for a two-night stay at the beautiful, waterfront cottages positioned along the Indian River Inlet.

Film society to screen Polish film for Around the World series kickoff

­The Rehoboth Beach Film Society, Lewes Public Library and Movies at Midway are launching the 2014-2015 Around the World series with the film “In The Name Of.” The Polish drama will be presented on Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the upstairs screening room at Movies at Midway.

Moms Club seeking recipient for consignment sale donation

The Moms Club of Coastal Delaware is seeking child-centered certified non-profit organizations located in Sussex County to apply to receive funds from the 9th Annual Children’s Consignment Sale, to be held Oct. 4 and 5 in the Cape Henlopen High School gymnasium in Lewes.

World Series brings positive economic impact to Sussex County

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The 2014 World Series is in the books with yet another successful year that provided a substantial amount of revenue for Sussex County. Here, volunteers working the concession stand pose for a photo.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The 2014 World Series is in the books with yet another successful year that provided a substantial amount of revenue for Sussex County. Here, volunteers working the concession stand pose for a photo.After the crowds leave the ballpark and ESPN sends the lights and cameras back up to Bristol; after the celebration dwindles and the teams head back home; and after the popcorn is swept up from the Lower Sussex “Walk of Fame,” Delaware District III Director Martin Donovan starts taking a look at the numbers.

“Economic development for the county and the state was huge,” Donovan noted, after estimating that District III spent more than $200,000 locally just in food, housing and transportation for the teams alone as host of the Big League and Senior League Softball World Series, held in Roxana during the first week of August. “I think that one of the things that people don’t realize is it’s a county-wide event, as far as people spending money.”

This year’s Big League Softball World Series featured two teams from Delaware playing in the championship game, with Milford representing USA East and Laurel getting a bid as the District III host team.

Council defers vote on conditional use for music festival

Harbeson-area residents will have to wait another week to find out whether or not a country music festival may be heading their way.

Seatbelt violation leads to heroin arrest near Dagsboro

Second suspect sought in incident, prior charges

A seatbelt violation led to the arrest of one man for heroin possession while another was being sought early this week after fleeing during the traffic stop near Dagsboro.

Tanning beds off-limits to minors in Delaware as of 2015

Teenagers looking for a UV-based golden glow will have to go to the beach starting in 2015, when Delaware’s newest tanning law begins. Beginning at the new year, no one younger than 18 can use UV tanning devices at tanning facilities.

Drivers urged to not let ‘suicide lanes’ live up to their name

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Rep. Ron Gray is concerned that people using center turn lanes as merge lanes is dangerous.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Rep. Ron Gray is concerned that people using center turn lanes as merge lanes is dangerous.Traffic can get pretty backed up on a two-lane road. Imagine getting stuck behind the person who can’t turn left because oncoming traffic blocked his way. That’s why center turn lanes are such a timesaver. Drivers can wait there to turn off the roadway, or use it as a merge lane to slip into traffic.

It’s legal to use a center turn lane in either way, but state Rep. Ron Gray is among those concerned that multiple cars may travel in opposite directions in a single lane at the same time.

“I’m afraid for safety reasons,” Gray said. “People need to be aware that the center turn lane is very useful and it needs to be used with caution.”

He first heard eyewitness accounts of near-collisions from his tenants at Hit the Deck outdoor furnishings on Route 54.

“We witness it,” said owner Kebbie Crout. “We see a lot of people pulling out from their neighborhoods,” planning to merge into traffic. “Of course,” Crout added, “when you’re looking to merge, you’re looking behind you” at openings in your desired lane, not at the cars potentially sitting ahead.

“Or seeing people use it as a passing lane… pass my trucks, pass each other. It is becoming a major safety hazard.”

Family Fun Night planned on Friday at Kids Cottage

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and Kids Cottage will co-present a Family Fun Night on Friday, Aug. 15, from 6 to 10 p.m., at Kids Cottage, 35448 Wolfeneck Road, Rehoboth Beach.

Comments sought on Hurricane Sandy grants for historic purposes

On July 29, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs announced three awards for the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Assistance Grants for Historic Properties program, and the agency is seeking public comment on its finding that the selected projects will not adversely affect historic properties.

Play ball!

The fields at the Pyle Center are ready for action as softball players from around the world will compete next week.The fields have been lined, the extra lights have been brought in, and the peanuts and Cracker Jacks have been stocked for the 2014 Big League and Senior League World Series at the Pyle Center in Roxana, starting on Sunday, Aug. 3.

DelDOT officials address potential country music festival

Representatives from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) spoke to the Sussex County Council this week regarding how the agency manages a large event that is hosted within the state.

Festival Hispano to celebrate 20 years in Sussex County

Festival Hispano will be held on Sunday, Aug. 10, noon to 6 p.m. at the Millsboro Little League Complex on State Street in Millsboro. El Centro Cultural will be celebrating the 20th year of Festival Hispano in Sussex County.

Millsboro to miss Big League World Series after loss to Laurel

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Millsboro pitcher Rachel Hudson gets her team out of a bases loaded situation for out number three with a play at the plate late in last Tuesday night's second game.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Millsboro pitcher Rachel Hudson gets her team out of a bases loaded situation for out number three with a play at the plate late in last Tuesday night's second game.Less than year after their ESPN-broadcasted Big League World Series victory representing Delaware District III, the Millsboro Little League team saw their dreams of a repeat performance for this year’s Little League World Series dashed, after a 3-1 loss to Laurel last Friday night.

In what was the 13th game of what was originally supposed to be a 12-game series, defensive errors were ultimately the difference, with Laurel scoring two unearned runs in the same inning.

“We gave up two unearned runs — I think that was the difference,” said coach Monroe “Monnie” Hudson after the game. “It could have been a 1-1 ball game. We didn’t hit like we’re capable of hitting. Hailey [Andrews] did a great job pitching for Laurel. She kept the ball outside. She got the calls that she was looking for. And we just didn’t get the key hits.”

Despite the girls not being able to hit their way out of the 3-1 deficit, they did hit well early on. Courtney Taite rocked a shot that fell just short of the leftfield fence and resulted in an RBI-double, to put her team up 1-0. However, Millsboro left two runners on in that inning.

County council defers decision on proposed music festival location

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 still split on freeboard, house height

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.