Former Bethany Beach Mayor Tony McClenny, 70, died on the morning of Monday, Aug. 29, after battling a brain tumor that had suddenly been diagnosed in January and that had forced him to resign from the town council in February in order to seek treatment.
In just a few weeks, Millsboro’s annual Country Festival will return to the town, bringing with it music, activities, food and more. Organized by the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce, the festival was designed to be a signature event for the town and its surrounding communities.
Memories of Matt Haley have flowed across Sussex County this week after the local chef and philanthropist died Aug. 19 from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident in Ladakh, India.
Restaurant and shop marquees lifted Haley’s name into the air as preparations were made for his celebration of life, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 28, at 2 p.m. at the Freeman Stage at Bayside. The rain date is Monday, Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. The event is open to the public, and the Freeman Stage can accommodate more than 2,000 people.
“Matt touched so many lives that we felt it was only right to give as many people as possible the opportunity to pay tribute to him,” said Scott Kammerer, president and COO of the Matt Haley Companies.
Organizers of the event were still firming up details mid-week, but featured speakers will include those who worked closely with Haley, both personally and professionally. His Global Delaware Fund, founded in 2011, is active locally and abroad, and many guests will represent the nonprofits that the fund and Haley supported.
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Well, there is plenty on tap as far as entertainment goes, so let’s narrow this down a little bit.
Looking for something to keep you busy from Friday through Monday, without ever leaving Bethany Beach? Oh, we have you covered.
Labor Day weekend.
Those three words alone can generate a plethora of emotions across the board. They actually work together to constitute one word in our reality, joining “Memorial Day weekend” and “Fourth of July” as the sacred trinity of important summer benchmarks for our community — the beginning, the heart and the end of another summer season.
Sustaining any kind of burn can be extremely traumatic. In 2009, through state legislation the Delaware Burn Camp was created to provide a safe and natural environment for the promotion of physical and emotional healing to young victims of burn injuries.
Its mission is simple: “To assist young burn victims in their adjustment to injury through the provision of a safe, supportive environment and providing companionship through physical and social activities in a camp setting.”
This year, the camp was held at Camp Barnes near Bethany Beach on Aug. 11-16, and 10 campers were able to participate in various activities, including archery, crabbing and swimming.
“It’s a learning opportunity for them because they can realize that, ‘Yes, I was burned and have had a little bit of an issue. Maybe I’m a little handicapped. But I can still do anything I want to,’” said Joanne Hutchison, president of the camp.
A large private residence will resemble a European outdoor market this weekend, as the ninth annual “yArt” (Art in the Yard) show returns to Bethany Beach.
Nick and Julie Kypreos will open their gates at 33258 Kent Avenue on Aug. 30 and 31 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days.
It’s a free art show, but all raffle proceeds will go to the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
Those who have walked the streets of South Bethany lately have been able to enjoy some unique art on Ocean and Seaside drives — in the form of art boards.
“We started the whole idea last year, but this is the first summer we’ve had them hanging,” said South Bethany Councilwoman and Community Enhancement Committee (CEC) Chair Sue Callaway.
The art boards are original works created by local artists that have been printed on a sustainable board that then is adhered to trash-can enclosures on the two streets.
“We have three now, and we have two potential other ones, and one in the works that’s being painted right now,” said Callaway. “These are original artworks that have been scanned, and we send it to a sign company that takes the scan and creates an image onto almost a street-sign kind of product, so it’s weather-resistant and can withstand the environment and anything else that might come along.”
For the 29th year, Bethany Beach will mark the unofficial end of the summer season with the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral, this Labor Day Monday, and a silent auction Friday, Aug. 29, to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“For the past 29 summer seasons, the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral has been held to celebrate the season’s end and to help the local residents ease back to the slower pace of off-season living,” said assistant chairperson Carolyn Bacon. “It is one last chance to celebrate the final moments of the summer season with an event that is marked by music, humor and good fellowship.”
Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at the north end of the Bethany Beach boardwalk, spectators can join in a funeral procession and enjoy the music of three jazz bands as they make their way down the boardwalk to the Bethany Beach bandstand.
“The Jazz Funeral has become a quirky Bethany Beach tradition, and all are welcomed to join in,” Bacon said. “Our goal is for every one of the 2,000 or more people who attend to enjoy themselves and to feel free to celebrate the end of the summer season in their own personal way.”
The Ocean View CVS Pharmacy store was forced to close in the early evening hours on Aug. 20, due to a bomb threat.
“The CVS received a call from an unknown male caller that stated they had placed a bomb in the store. They demanded money, and if the demands were not met, they threatened to detonate the bomb,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin.
Many teachers have reached into their own pockets for the benefit of students, whether for school supplies or another need. Restaurateur Matt Haley wanted to ease that pressure and did so recently with a $500 grant for each of his 15 employees who teach during the year.
Haley, who was killed as the result of a motorcycle crash while on a humanitarian mission in India on Monday, Aug. 18, had recently announced the Matt Haley Companies’ (MHC’s) Teacher Fund, designed to support all teachers who work part- or full-time for MHC.
“Any student of a teacher that works with us is a student of ours. No underprivileged student will ever not be prepared with school supplies again. We commit to supporting our students with supplies so the teachers will not have to,” Haley said in announcing the effort earlier this summer.
“The aim of the fund is to ensure children in the classrooms of our teachers are fully funded and have the supplies and resources to be successful,” explained MHC President Scott Kammerer. “If somebody needs a pair of shoes, backpack, pencils, crayons…”
This is the first Teacher Fund, but it likely won’t be the last for MHC’s teachers. Asked if such a program would entice more teachers to take jobs within the Haley companies, Kammerer said, “I hope so!”
“I think companies that are successful should look within their own families to support [them]. Our family was supported by someone giving Matt Haley a chance. It’s in the DNA of our company to pay it forward.”
For one weekend only, Sept. 4-7, the Dickens Parlour Theatre will host Neil Simon’s comedy “The Sunshine Boys,” which celebrates the best in classic sketch comedy, with beloved characters from the Vaudeville era.
An evening of conversation and performance will include a live reading featuring veteran performers Bob Fitch, Rich Bloch, David Kovac, Lisandra Tena and friends.
Albert Smith, treasurer of the Wilmington Savings Fund Society, and his wife, Elizabeth, lived with their six sons in the upper floors above the bank at the corner of Eighth and Market streets. They were Quakers and part of Wilmington’s old-line English aristocracy.
Those who have missed the signs for Jakarta’s Indonesian Grill along Route 26 in Clarksville have also been missing out on one of the area’s most unique spots to eat.
Husband-and-wife owners Dave Olson and Tri “Kiky” Sari have introduced an authentic taste of Indonesia to Sussex County — one that, for the most part, can’t be found anywhere else.
“We’ve had a lot of people come up and say, ‘You’re the only curry place in town,’ and they come here just for the curry,” said Olson of some of the Jakarta’s regulars.
“They always come back to me and say, ‘There’s something different about your food,’” added Sari.
From their food truck located next to the colorful shop Liddy Loves Clothes, Sari has been serving up a variety of traditional Indonesian cuisine, including beef and chicken curry, Javanese fried rice, Javanese fried noodles and, on the weekends, chicken satay.
Two satisfying splashes hit White’s Creek on Aug. 22 when two mute swans returned home. Several happy neighbors witnessed the satisfying end to a four-year bird battle.
“It’s taken me four years to get them back,” said Susan Ritter.
After two other swans were shot by state wildlife officials in 2011 as part of an effort to remove a species declared invasive, local residents doubled down on their efforts to bring the pair back from the Assawoman Wildlife Refuge. Originally residing in White’s Creek for 14 years, they were possibly driven off when the second pair of swans took their place in a territory grab, Ritter said.
Those invading swans were shot and killed in January of 2011 as part of the “mute swan management plan” operating under the Delaware Department of Natural Resource’s (DNREC’s) Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).
For 37 years, the Nanticoke Indian Association has been holding an annual powwow, welcoming the community to attend and learn about Nanticoke history.
“To the average layman, they would probably think of it as a festival. It’s actually a gathering of Native Americans exhibiting their wares, and dancing and singing,” explained Sterling Street, coordinator for the Nanticoke Indian Museum. “It’s a reuniting of Indian people while also exhibiting our culture to the public.”
This year, the powwow will be held on Sept. 6 and 7 at the powwow grounds east of Millsboro, near the museum.
The grounds will open at 10 a.m. on Sept. 6, with Grand Entry at noon. A second dance session will be held at 4 p.m., with the grounds closing for the day at 7 p.m. On Sept. 7, the Worship Service will begin at 10 a.m., with Grand Entry at 1 p.m. Dancing, storytelling and more will be held throughout that afternoon before the grounds close at 5 p.m.
Delaware State Police this week were investigating the death of a taxi cab driver who was found in a cab in Millsboro. William Toomey, 45, of Millsboro, a driver employed by Delaware Beach Taxi was found deceased in the cab on Wednesday, Aug. 20.
Delaware State Police this week were investigating a two-vehicle crash that occurred mid-morning on Tuesday near Dagsboro and involved what was later reported as a stolen car.
Special Olympics Delaware recently held its 14th annual Summer Camp at Camp Barnes. At the three-day camp, 54 athletes from all over the state attended to enjoy a classic summer camp, complete with archery, canoeing, crafts, sports and more.
“A lot of our Special Olympics athletes don’t get to go to a traditional [camp] — this is their opportunity,” said Jon Buzby, director of media relations for Special Olympics Delaware (SODE).
“That’s not to say that the local camp is going to turn away a child or adult with Down syndrome. But what we have here is counselors who are trained and educated on what they can do to make the experience the best possible for people with intellectual disabilities.”
SODE holds two sessions of camp each summer, each of which spans three days and two nights.
Last Wednesday started like most of them typically do for me. I woke up a 6 a.m., started the coffee, contemplated doing some pushups, decided that I was still too handsome to have to work out, and sat down at my desk to finish up a few stories before our 10 a.m. story deadline and my 10:30 shift behind the bar at Papa Grande’s.
It was the very first thing that Indian River High School head football coach Ray Steele heard on the very first day of practice.
No one on his squad wanted to be the team that snapped the streak. The streak that Steele started when he took the helm in 2011, coaching the Indians to a state championship and beginning a Henlopen South championship title run that this year’s team plans on keeping alive.
That run was in jeopardy last season after holes were left by stars including Marquel Knight, Aaron Moore and Jalen Griffin. But after a tough pre-season and stumble in the home-opener against Decatur, new leaders emerged as the team continued to find their identity and eventually not only took the South but challenged No. 1 St. Georges Tech in the first round of the DIAA playoffs.
Now Steele will have to figure out how to fill the roster spots left by last year’s leaders.
“This year, we’ve got a lot of different personalities, a lot different skill sets,” he said. “I think it probably reminds me more of two years ago, when Marquel took us to the semi-finals — it could be that kind of team.”
Last season, first-year Indian River High School volleyball head coach Jay Clark took over the program, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge as both a coach and referee. In his second year, however, he returns with something else that he thinks will also work to the team’s advantage — knowledge and a better understanding of his returning players.
The Indian River High School cross-country team has been putting in the work for the upcoming season, with added motivation after the news that the Henlopen Conference championships will be held at the school this year.
“The Henlopen Conference, ever since I’ve been coaching, has been held at Killian’s Pond,” said head coach Frank Ryman, noting the significance of hosting the event.
While the Delmarva Shorebirds (65-68) have struggled to maintain a .500 record due to an inconsistent second half of the season, they did get a tough road win Tuesday night against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (82-52), to keep alive their hopes of a winning record on the season.
The First Responders triathlon and duathlon will make its return to Bethany Beach for the third year on Sept. 21, for an all-weekend event that should see an estimated 800 participants.
This year’s race is again sponsored by presenting sponsor Meris Properties and official bank sponsor PNC Bank, and will raise money for the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
Local chef and entrepreneur Matt Haley, 53, died Tuesday, Aug. 19, after a head-on, high-impact motorcycle collision in northwestern India. Haley had been on a six-week humanitarian mission to India and Nepal.
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.
With the annual election for the Bethany Beach Town Council set for Saturday, Sept. 6, the Coastal Point this week was preparing to host its third Candidates’ Night event at town hall, on Friday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m.
The Millville Volunteer Fire Company has added a new vehicle to their arsenal of apparatus — a 2015 Ford Super Duty F250 with a SpaceKap slide-in unit. The new fire police vehicle will replace the department’s 1989 Ford.
“It was originally a brush truck that was converted to the traffic-control use,” explained Fire Police Capt. Harold Lloyd. “It just outwore its usefulness.”
The new vehicle was outfitted to meet the department’s needs, with LED lighting, power outlets, a remote-controlled traffic arrow and more.
“Supposedly, the cap itself will outlast three pickups. So it’s interchangeable between units over the years. It’s a lot better vehicle. It’s definitely a lot more visible and allows us to get through traffic easier.”
The rear doors are even customized — with the rear doors being broken up into a 40-60 split.