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).
With moderate to major coastal flooding expected at high tides today and tomorrow, along with high wind warnings along the coast, Gov. Jack Markell at noon on Oct. 2 issued a Limited State of Emergency for Sussex County, effective immediately. State offices will remain open, and no driving restrictions are being implemented; however, localized road closures may occur as conditions warrant it.
This Week's News
Limitations teeter on the table
The Town of Fenwick Island took the first step this week toward loosening its hotel ordinance, which would help a local business owner renovate and upgrade the Sands Motel. A majority of the council voted on Sept. 25 to approve the first reading of commercial zoning changes (zoning Chapter 160-2 and 160-5).
The Delaware Health Care Commission held a public hearing earlier this week for a proposed 90-bed psychiatric hospital to be located in Georgetown.
At the hearing, SUN (Solving Unmet Needs) Behavioral Health President Steve Page stated the company first heard about Sussex County after meeting Jeffrey Fried, president/CEO of Beebe Healthcare, last fall.
Mail-in voting could improve elections in Delaware, according to state Sen. Karen Peterson (D-Stanton), as public discussion begins over her bill proposing mail-in ballots for school-related elections. Introduced in July, SB 165 is titled “An act to amend the Delaware Code relating to public school elections.”
Millville’s annual Pumpkin Festival will return this weekend, offering families the chance to enjoy fun fall festivities.
Former Millville mayor Don Minyon created the event in 2009 as a way to showcase the town.
Most people take reading for granted. From email and medicine bottles to the occasional birthday card, Americans are constantly reading. But life isn’t so simple for people with low literacy levels, so the Frankford Public Library (FPL) is looking for people interested becoming tutors for adult literacy.
What could happen to the sea in 50 years? No one can know for sure, but South Bethany residents got tips on planning for sea-level rise at a pair of workshops on Sept. 25 and 26.
Sussex County held a workshop to review its signage ordinance earlier this week, following the approval of a six-month moratorium on applications for off-premises signs.
This week, kids will want to go to school on a Saturday, as students and the community are being invited to Lord Baltimore Elementary School’s Fall Festival — a day of games, food and fun. The Fall Festival has been rescheduled from Saturday, Oct. 3, to Saturday, Oct. 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the school.
New resolution targets impact fees to MVFC
This past June, the Town of Millville passed a resolution that amended its fee schedule for the 2016 fiscal year, to include a $500 impact fee charged on new residential and commercial construction beginning July 1, 2015. The fees are being collected to fund a grant for the Millville Volunteer Fire Company’s fire and ambulance services.
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will present to area residents an update on the U.S. Route 113 North/South Study for the Millsboro South area at a public workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Millsboro Town Center, 322 Wilson Highway.
Walk-in care just got a lot more user-friendly.
Beebe Healthcare announced earlier this week that their Walk-In Care facility in Millville will remain open year-round.For any of us in this community who have had a medical situation pop up in the past, and have had to drive to one of the regional hospitals, this is welcomed news.
The game has changed. Considerably.
The benefits and challenges of a workplace with a mix of generations is well-known. What can make the blend interesting is that a few common stereotypes continue to exist, as people attribute certain characteristics to certain age groups.
The Fenwick Island Town Council election is over for 2015, but discussions of it aren’t quite in the past.
The Society of Friends, otherwise known as Quakers, was a stalwart abolitionist and pacifist faith in the 19th century. Yet, young men who otherwise adhered to its tenets joined the military and fought to preserve the Union and free the slaves.
At Magee Farms in Williamsville, life is just starting to slow down a bit from the frenetic pace of the spring and summer growing seasons. Things have been so busy, in fact, that Ellen, Danny and Chris Magee hadn’t even realized that their farm has been in the Magee family for 150 years this year.
“We get so busy trying to get a crop in the field and trying to get it out,” Danny Magee said, that the fact that this year marks a rather impressive anniversary had completely escaped their attention.
Holding its own in the midst of the development that has been the hallmark of the area on Route 54 between Fenwick Island and Selbyville is something the family is proud of, whether or not they keep track of how long they’ve been at it.
Editor's Note: This event has been cancelled for this year, due to inclement weather.
All eyes will be on Cyclops at the 39th annual Coast Day in Lewes on Sunday.
Known for always bringing its fair share of nautical notoriety at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean & Environment and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, this year’s event will feature Cyclops 1 — a five-person submersible capable of traveling to depths of 500 feet.
“We’re really excited,” said Katy O’Connell, director of Environmental Public Education, of the chance to showcase Cyclops 1 at Coast Day. “It’ll be out of the water so folks can see one of these up close.”
While Cyclops 1 may steal the show and certainly headlines its “Discoveries on land, in the air and at sea” theme, the event will also still feature some of the usual favorites, including marine animal touch tanks, ship tours, seafood cooking contests, educational exhibits, underwater robotics and even a LEGO model ship display.
A majority of the congregation was fully involved in praise and song at the Gospel Song Fest as the Union Gospel Choir from Union UMC in Delmar, Md., sang throughout the event on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Curtis United Methodist Church in Bishopville, Md.
The United Methodist Women (UMW) of Curtis sponsored the event, and one of their own, Priscilla Postley, decided to make the Gospel Song Fest come to life.
Postley’s role in the church is serving as an usher and secretary of the Delmarva Usher Association for Maryland, Delaware and Virginia counties.
Outside the church, Postley works for Compton Trust, also known as Tyson, and has worked in the chicken business for 35 years, with work experience from Showell to Perdue.
Postley said the UMW tries to do different events throughout the year to raise money for mission projects, and a Gospel Song Fest inspired her.
You know that guy who wears the green-and-gold bandana and the pink boa who does the play-by-play at Indian River High School football games on Friday nights? The one that only on the rarest of occasions accidentally leaves the mic on without knowing it and gives the entire Indian River High School football stadium a behind-the-scenes look at the press box, and even then never says anything that would offend anyone, even though, in this day and age, people are pretty easily offended?
It was almost as if they had to lose the first game.
After falling behind 0-1 in their match against Milford on Thursday, Sept. 24, something clicked in the Indian River High School volleyball team. The passing got better, the serves got harder, and, most importantly, the talking got louder, as the Indians swept the next three games, to earn their first win of the season and move to 1-1 in the Henlopen South.
“We needed that win,” said head coach Jim Barnes, who earned his first career win as a head coach. “I’m very proud of the girls. I’m proud that they believed. I’m proud of them for coming back. They could have given up after that first match, and they didn’t — they picked themselves up.”
“I think we needed that win. We started slow, but we definitely needed that,” added senior Tiffany Rybicki. “Once we started talking, I feel like it was easy for us. I think it was a little bit of momentum.”
Coming off a 25-20 loss in the first game, the Indians fell behind 1-0 in the second game, but quickly turned things around when sophomore middle hitter Julie Bomhardt made a play at the net to tie the game 1-1. Then, with Bomhardt’s cousin, senior Eliza Bomhardt, serving up back-to-back aces, the girls took a 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish en route to a 25-19 win, to tie the match at 1-1.
“The first game was extremely disappointing. I was disappointed, the girls were disappointed,” Barnes explained of the mindset heading into the second game. “The girls couldn’t believe that that just happened. They served better the next couple of games, they passed the ball better, they played better defense.”
Nana Kilby didn’t know who to root for.
When she went out to call the coin toss as an honorary guest at Tuesday night’s soccer game, on one side stood her son, Indian River High School head coach Steve Kilby, and on the other stood her grandson, Cape Henlopen High School head coach Patrick Kilby.
“She probably went with the winners,” said Steve Kilby with a laugh. “Patrick came in with his new team, and I just thought it would be a celebration for my mom, who came down to watch the game.”
As soon as the whistle blew, however, tensions began to rise, as the annual “Kilby Clash” got under way in a new form. Historically, the matchup between father-and-son head coaches has been played within the school district; however, with Patrick Kilby leaving Sussex Central to take over the Vikings this year, the competition has mounted — and it showed.
It only takes six games.
Just ask the 2013 Ray Steele-led Indian River High School football team, which went 5-1 in the division and 6-4 overall, to clinch the Henlopen South title and earn a trip to the DIAA state playoffs.
While that squad would go on to fall to No. 1-ranked St. Georges Tech, 42-35, despite their best efforts to mount a comeback and send the game into overtime, they too started the season in less than ideal fashion — falling to 1-2 before winning five out of six division matchups, to earn an automatic playoff bid.
The 2015 Indians find themselves in a similar situation. After falling to 0-3 with a 34-0 loss to Cape Henlopen (2-1) on Friday, Sept. 25, a new test begins on Friday, Oct. 2, which marks the beginning of division play, when Seaford (also 0-3) heads to town. Despite the losses, however, head coach Phill Townsend and some of his veteran leaders know that, really, their season is just beginning. And that, sometimes, it only takes six games.
After starting the season 3-0, the Indian River High School field hockey team fell to 3-3 on Tuesday, Sept. 29, with a 3-0 loss to Polytech.
The undefeated Panthers (5-0) got the scoring started in the first half, notching a score off the stick of senior Jamie Trabaudo to go up 1-0 just over 13 minutes into the game. They’d strike again on another Trabaudo score about three minutes later, to head into halftime with a 2-0 lead.
The Indians would give up another score in the second half, en route to a 3-0 loss, as they struggled to put shots on goal and the Panthers possessed the ball for most of the game.
“We saw sparks here and there, but we just weren’t connecting enough of those sparks together to get it moving in the right direction,” said head coach Jodi Stone of the struggle offensively in the matchup. “When you play reactive hockey, you’re not setting the tone. When you play proactive hockey, you are setting the tone and you’re making things happen”
Cross-country runners from three local schools faced off with a fourth team on Wednesday, Sept. 23, with Indian River, Sussex Tech and Delmarva Christian all clashing at the quad-meet held at Seaford High School.
Rita Hayworth, eat your heart out. This week, the calendar girls (and guys) in the spotlight were the residents of Brandywine Senior Living at Fenwick Island. Brandywine has just released its 2016 calendar, with 100 percent of sales benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association.
“I’ve got to give one to my daughter,” said Rita Kilby, who appears twice in the calendar, including on Santa’s lap. She said that particular shot was easy; she only had to sit and laugh, and “I do that every day.”
This year’s theme is “A Day Without Laughter is a Day Wasted.” In candy-colored pages, seniors ride bumper cars and bikes, and splash in puddles.
“I think it’s been a good work of art,” said Kilby, who was photographed often for work publications. “I worked for the Navy, and we did this all the time.”
From the first photo shoot to the final autograph session, “The residents have, as you can see, a good time,” said Kathy Jacobs, Brandywine’s director of community relations. “It’s fun for them.”
From a tragic loss came an amazing foundation that has shown how the community can come together for the greater good.
The Indian River School District’s student population has unofficially hit the 10,000 mark.
The State of Delaware doesn’t take its official tally until Sept. 30, so there is still time for students to enroll or leave the district. But as of Sept. 21, the count was 10,208, which is 366 more than last year’s 9,842 students.
Bethany Beach didn’t hold town council elections this year, as there were only three candidates who filed for the three available council seats, but just as with the council makeup for the coming year, the council executive roles will enter the new council year with a slight change.
Like any parents, Stephen and Amanda Lowe are delighted to be having their first child together in October. But their baby boy has a long road ahead, starting with open-heart surgery within days of his birth.
Still in the womb, baby Coleton was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries (TGA), in which his largest arteries are incorrectly attached to the chambers of the heart.
At its October council meeting, the Town of Ocean View will continue its discussion of the feasibility of Town-negotiated trash service.
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.