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Casting a spell: Clever kids clean up in spelling bee

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: About 27 entrants smile before the competition begins, alongside Southern Sussex Rotarians and other special guests.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: About 27 entrants smile before the competition begins, alongside Southern Sussex Rotarians and other special guests.“Confidence” might be the word of the night, as 27 Indian River School District third-graders competed in the third annual Spelling Bee.

Southern Sussex Rotary hosted the event for southern district students on Nov. 1 at John M. Clayton Elementary.

This year, top prizes went to (first place) Alana Chew of Lord Baltimore Elementary School; (second place) Lauren Myers, Southern Delaware School of the Arts; (third place) Yoselyn Patraca-Carmona, Phillip C. Showell Elementary School; and (fourth place) Catherine Bunting, Lord Baltimore.

Seated on stage, some students swung their feet, not quite reaching the floor, as they watched their peers. Pausing from her duties as moderator, or “pronouncer,” Becky Burton told the audience how the students were encouraging each other.

“They’re up here going, ‘You can do it!’”

Civil War Profiles — Recognizing the deeds of ‘Unconditional Surrender’ Grant

George Washington is honored as the father of the United States of America, and Abraham Lincoln is eulogized for having preserved the Union of states that became a true nation. Although not depicted on Mount Rushmore, nor considered a member of the American pantheon, Ulysses S. Grant provided the military leadership required to win the Civil War and bring the rebellious states back in the fold.

Honoring Our Veterans

Lighthouse Christian Students to thank veterans

For years, Lighthouse Christian School has felt the importance of educating youth on the meaning of Veterans Day.

“Our school is very, very concerned about giving time to the veterans, and recognizing our veterans for the sacrifices that both them and their families have made,” said Pat Viguie, a teacher at the school.

Chasing the fog

As I backed out the driveway last Friday morning at 7:15, Cedar Drive was still quiet before the mad rush of buses and parents dropping off the kids at Lord Baltimore Elementary School. Even though I live a half a mile from work, it’s funny how I need to do just the right timing so I do not end up mixed in part of the busy drop-off time of the school traffic.

As I went down School Lane, I notice that there was a soft layer of fog over the fields drifting up toward a brilliant blue sky. Going to be another great day of this Indian summer we are seeing this year, I thought to myself.

Pulling into the office parking lot convinced me that there needed to be a change of plans for the morning. I can read e-mails anytime, I figured. This fog is here now and will be gone in another half hour. Grabbing my camera, I headed for Fresh Pond, making a few scenic stops along the way.

Fresh Pond is a part of my old stomping ground, as I lived on Cedar Neck Road until I was in 11th grade. It was much different then, comprised mostly of fields (some farmed and some just natural). After school, weekends and in the summer, we rode bikes or walked just about anywhere. We ran through cornfields, built forts in the woods and even swam in the Assawoman Canal.

Miracle, or just a drug?

Opinions vary, locally and nationally, on medicinal marijuana

Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Tina and Charles Abrachinsky in their home. Charles recently started using a tincture to help control pain.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Tina and Charles Abrachinsky in their home. Charles recently started using a tincture to help control pain.“At 10:15 a.m., I took my first ‘cocktail,’ as I call it. It was a couple of drops of ‘jet fuel’ marijuana tincture mixed with orange juice in a shot glass. I didn’t know what to expect,” said 81-year-old Charles Abrachinsky, who lives in Ocean View.

It was Wednesday, Sept. 13, and Abrachinsky recorded the time and amount in his notebook.

“Twenty minutes later I turned to Tina, my wife, and said ‘Wow!’ I didn’t feel any pain. It was unbelievable.”

Abrachinsky has lived with his pain all his adult life. His injuries started when he played football at the University of Pittsburgh and included a broken pelvis and torn meniscus. Back then though he was more disappointed by not being able to play in the Sugar Bowl than he was worried about future pain.

Join the holiday magic: Parade registrations open

Now’s the time to sign up for local Christmas parades. People can build a float, decorate a car, or gather an organization to participate in brightening the holiday season.

Holiday parades are returning to Selbyville, Dagsboro, Millsboro and Georgetown in early December, so registration is due within the next few weeks.

Millsboro police work getting hairy for charity

Coastal Point • Submitted Millsboro: Police Department’s Cpl. David Moyer,  Ptlm. Michael Gorman, Cpl. Jonathan Zubrowski and Cpl. Patrick Forester sport some facial hair during last year’s Whiskers for Wishes event, raising money for Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro.Coastal Point • Submitted Millsboro: Police Department’s Cpl. David Moyer, Ptlm. Michael Gorman, Cpl. Jonathan Zubrowski and Cpl. Patrick Forester sport some facial hair during last year’s Whiskers for Wishes event, raising money for Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro.The Millsboro Police Department is loosening its “grooming standards.” But don’t worry — it’s for a good cause.

Thanks to an official waiving of the Millsboro Police Department’s grooming standards by the Millsboro Town Council, male police officers will be permitted to grow facial hair between now and Dec. 13. There’s a catch, though.

“In order for officers to do this, they have to pay money,” Police Chief Brian Calloway said.

Specifically, the officers will pay $120 total for the right to grow beards and mustaches through December — $20 for October, $40 for November and $60 for December.

Calloway said most of the men in his 15-member department are participating in the big beard project. The female members of the department may not be able to grow beards, but they contribute in other ways, he said.

Roxana fire company showcasing the classics this weekend

Classic cars and tractors will be pulling in to the Roxana Volunteer Fire Department parking lot on Saturday for the fire company’s first Classic, Antique Car and Tractor Show.

Indians fall to Lake Forest in rainy battle

Special to the Coastal Point  photos• Bruce Walls: Indian River field hockey players fight for ball control vs. Lake Forest, before ultimately falling 0-1 on Tuesday, Nov. 7.Special to the Coastal Point photos• Bruce Walls: Indian River field hockey players fight for ball control vs. Lake Forest, before ultimately falling 0-1 on Tuesday, Nov. 7.In a steady rain, 12th-seeded Indian River High School’s girl’s field hockey team faced 5th-seeded Lake Forest on the Spartans astro-turfed football field on Tuesday, Nov. 7, for round one of the DIAA State Tournament.

Under harsh conditions both defenses battled fiercely to keep their opponents from scoring. Then, with just over five minutes remaining in the second half, the Spartan offense scored the game’s only goal, breaking the longstanding tie.

“The girls played well,” said IR Head Coach Jodi Stone. “This is the second time we’ve made the tournament — two consecutive years — so as a young team we have to be proud of our journey. We were at least able to get to the tournament. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and we’re going to keep our heads high.”

Indian River soccer team falls to Laurel in battle for South title

Laurel Star • Mike McClure: Indian River’s Oscar Cruz-Osorio looks to hold back Laurel’s Santos Rodas as he dribbles the ball. Cruz-Osorio had a pair of assists in his team’s 4-2 road loss.Laurel Star • Mike McClure: Indian River’s Oscar Cruz-Osorio looks to hold back Laurel’s Santos Rodas as he dribbles the ball. Cruz-Osorio had a pair of assists in his team’s 4-2 road loss.The stars aligned for the Laurel varsity soccer team last Wednesday night. The Bulldogs’ home matchup against Indian River had been pushed back due to weather, setting up a final divisional showdown with the Indians for all the marbles and the Laurel team didn’t disappoint its fans.

The Bulldogs scored a pair of unanswered goals in the second half to win the game and the Henlopen South with the 4-2 victory.

“I didn’t sleep last night, that’s how nervous I was,” Laurel’s sophomore goalie Jailon Gillespie said. “It feels so good to beat a team you’ve never beaten and to be on top.”

Indian River took advantage of Laurel’s nervousness at the start of the game as Erick Aguilera-Baruch scored on a feed from Oscar Cruz-Osorio for a 1-0 Indian lead with 38:21 left in the first half.

Girls cross-country team makes history

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: The girls’ cross-county team poses with their Southern Division Conference title trophy.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: The girls’ cross-county team poses with their Southern Division Conference title trophy.Indian River High School’s varsity Girls Cross Country team made school history last Saturday, Nov. 4, at Killens Pond State Park where the Henlopen Conference Championships were being held. The girls brought home their first regular season Southern Division Conference title. They earned seven wins, beating Delmar, Dover, Polytech, Sussex Academy, Milford, Cape Henlopen and Sussex Central.

According to Coach Katie Ryman, who co-coaches the teams with her husband, Frank, it took, “Five years of hard training with different teams that we’ve had. We’ve built upon our successes every single year. This year we did our best to keep our runners as healthy as we could.”

The girls were 6th place overall, and individually Micayla Meehan was 8th overall with a time of 21:05 for 2nd team All-Conference, and Lauren Meehan finished 20th overall, with a time of 21:50 for 3rd team All-Conference.

“We had significantly fewer injuries and that was because we focused on speed in the beginning of the season. We always consider the fitness level of our runners, and any aches and pains from the previous days workouts were considered before deciding on a workout for each day,” Katie explained.

The boy’s cross-country runners finished 9th overall, with 2 medal winners. Junior Patrick Spencer was 12th overall with a time of 17:28, and junior Tony Velasquez, who was 10th in County, completing the distance in 18:02

IRSD ready to pursue Bermuda grass on fields

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.After tossing the idea around for years, the Indian River School District’s Board of Education unanimously voted this week to begin pursuing Bermuda grass for the football and field hockey stadiums at both high schools.

“I think the public is going to appreciate what we’re doing with these four fields,” said Joe Booth, supervisor of Buildings & Grounds. “I work for the district, but I also am a district resident. … I think this is a good thing moving forward, trying to improve these fields for our students.”

The optimum option would be artificial turf, he said, but Bermuda grass is a great runner-up.

“It’s mainly because of the recovery, and it gives you a little bit of the cushion. It’s mowed short so you don’t have a problem with cleats getting caught,” he said. Also, “It’s flat. It’s consistent all the way through.”

Pickleball Tips: Sweet Spot and Sweet Spots

Bonkeys in Ocean View is my favorite sweet spot. Too many trips to Bonkeys can definitely have a negative influence on finding the other sweet spot, the one on your pickleball paddle. It matters not how large your paddle sweet spot is if you can’t move into position to hit returns of serve and volleys.

Fourth annual Thanksgiving Day Gabby Gobble nears

Coming to the Delaware beaches for Thanksgiving and looking for a twist on your family tradition?

Join up for the Fourth Annual Gabby Gobble 5K on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 23, at Irish Eyes Pub in Lewes. The race will begin at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds from the race will go to the Get Well Gabby Foundation.

Annual Turkey Trot scheduled for Thanksgiving Day

The 10th Annual Fenwick Island Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, at 8 a.m. The untimed 2.2-mile fun-run/walk starts oceanside on Lewes Street in Fenwick Island, and goes south to the Maryland state line and back.

Bethany Beach to host Holiday Happenings, tree lighting

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Town of Bethany Beach will host its annual Holiday Happenings from 1 to 3 p.m. at town hall. The event will feature face-painting and photos with Santa, complete with hot cocoa, cookies and a station for children to write letters to Santa.

County council introduces ‘right-to-work’ ordinance

Following a long public comment session last week, residents returned to the Sussex County Council chambers on Oct. 31 to voice their opinions regarding right-to-work legislation proposed by County Councilman Rob Arlett.

The packed room, leaving many attendees standing, was also filled with workers sporting their union shirts.

Fenwick officials seek to increase borrowing in future for storms

If a coastal storm were to hit Fenwick Island, the town council wants to have to have some financial power ready to go.

The Fenwick Island Town Council recently proposed changing the town charter to increase their borrowing limits. Currently, Charter Section 34 permits the Town to borrow up to $500,000 in one year for current expenses — an amount that hasn’t changed since 1965.

County announces economic development loan program

Sussex County will be creating a $4 million economic development loan to help draw businesses to Sussex County.

The announcement, made by County Administrator Todd Lawson at the Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference on Oct. 25, was met with applause from those in attendance.

OVHS to host Delmarva food lecture, Christmas open house

To continue their public outreach and education, the Ocean View Historical Society will host a lecture by local author and storyteller Ed Okonowicz on “The Food Lore of Delmarva — Muskrat, Scrapple & More.”

“This talk was made possible by a grant from the Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities,” said OVHS President Barbara Slavin.

Police, EMS discuss opioid epidemic data, impact

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The numbers are daunting in Delaware’s heroin epidemic.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The numbers are daunting in Delaware’s heroin epidemic.“This is like watching a hurricane grow,” said Robert Stuart regarding the heroin epidemic in the state to those attending the Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference on Oct. 25.

Stuart, director of Sussex County Emergency Medical Services, was joined at the conference by Lt. Tim Hulings and intelligence analyst Nicole Sapp, both of the Delaware State Police.

Stuart noted that, in looking at heroin-related statistics, the Millsboro area was in the top five for use of the overdose-reversing drug Narcan (naloxone).

“It’s not an underprivileged community — it’s one of the fastest-growing towns in the state of Delaware,” he said. “It’s the entire state of Delaware… It’s everywhere.”

Packing purses with soap and hope for women in need

Coastal Point • Laura Walter:  From left, Norma Hall, Teresa Shockley, Gladys Aviles-Johnson and Ruth Thomas take a break from packing Patsy’s Purses for a photo. The purses get filled with toiletries, then delivered to homeless shelters and other safe homes.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: From left, Norma Hall, Teresa Shockley, Gladys Aviles-Johnson and Ruth Thomas take a break from packing Patsy’s Purses for a photo. The purses get filled with toiletries, then delivered to homeless shelters and other safe homes.When her mother passed away from cancer on Sept. 11, 2016, Gladys Aviles-Johnson couldn’t bear to just ship her mother’s belongings to a thrift shop.

“I felt like we were throwing them out. I just prayed about it, ‘Lord, what can we do to make a difference?’” the Bridgeville resident said.

She was inspired to give her mother’s purse collection to women in need. Now Patsy’s Purses are filled with toiletries and other necessary items, then delivered to homeless shelters, rehab centers and other safe homes.

“You figure you have nothing, and then you come out and you get the staples that you need,” said Ruth Thomas of Georgetown, who helps prepare bags.

County, Discover combine to help whole region

Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson dropped a little bombshell for those in attendance at the Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

Letters to the Editor — Nov. 3, 2017

Reader says love is the answer for nation

Editor:

After reading the letter which I have retitled “I’m Still with You,” by John Dupont of Ocean View, published in the Oct. 13, 2017, edition of Coastal Point, I was forced to respond. I must, first and foremost, commend Mr. Dupont for how he was able to so eloquently pen “truth” to paper.

Civil War Profiles —Seaford's Hessey helped rebuild Lee's 'bridge of gold'

Army engineers often perform duties that, while important and often crucial to victory on the battlefield, are less well publicized and, therefore, do not receive the recognition they deserve. A Confederate engineer unit, however, received the abiding gratitude of the Army of Northern Virginia’s commanding general in July 1863.

Fenwick First Fridays offer new shopping specials

Fenwick Island businesses are aiming to make Friday a big shopping night. The local businesses have followed in the footsteps of other towns in the region by starting the new Fenwick First Fridays events, continuing Nov. 3 and Dec. 1.

Allen Harim breaks ground on Dagsboro hatchery

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Allen Harim broke ground on its new hatchery in Dagsboro on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Local dignitaries were on hand for the event.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Allen Harim broke ground on its new hatchery in Dagsboro on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Local dignitaries were on hand for the event.Allen Harim, a South Korea-based chicken producer with several facilities on Delmarva, broke ground on Wednesday, Oct. 25, on a $22 million hatchery in Dagsboro.

Gov. John Carney attended the ceremony, taking a moment to hold one of the chicks that had chirped from their basket on a nearby table while Carney joined Allen Harim officials, as well as local, state and county officials, in celebrating the beginning of the hatchery construction.

“This is a big deal. This is a really big deal,” Carney said. The governor emphasized the importance of “making sure we cultivate our poultry industry and our individual poultry farmers” in Delaware.

Rory DeWeese, Allen Harim senior director of live operations, said the 70,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will “encompass” the current building. The hatchery will be capable of hatching 2.5 million eggs each week.

Local takes giving down to the bone (marrow)

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Christian Heneghan donated bone marrow to a 17-year-old girl with leukemia. He registered at a Ultimate Frisbee tournament, not even really thinking about it. Now he’s helped another person who really needed it.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Christian Heneghan donated bone marrow to a 17-year-old girl with leukemia. He registered at a Ultimate Frisbee tournament, not even really thinking about it. Now he’s helped another person who really needed it.It may seem dismissive to call donating bone marrow to a stranger a random act of kindness. But that’s exactly how Christian Heneghan looks at it.

Heneghan, 38, took the initial “swab test” to determine his eligibility to be a donor at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Poolesville, Md., about six years ago. The testing was part of an outreach effort by Be the Match, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program.

He looks back on that day, and what he describes as a “random thing” — he didn’t know he’d have the opportunity to enter the donor program that day, he said — he just wanted to play some Frisbee with some friends.

One year ago, that “random” act led to Heneghan’s admission to a Washington, D.C., hospital as a bone marrow donor. Earlier this month, it led to his receipt of a very special letter.

Nature and botanic gardens inspire Millsboro painter

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Constance James Collock was inspired by the work being done to bring Delaware Botanic Gardens at Peppers Creek to Sussex County, and painted what she imagines a very specific spot in the complex will look like.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Constance James Collock was inspired by the work being done to bring Delaware Botanic Gardens at Peppers Creek to Sussex County, and painted what she imagines a very specific spot in the complex will look like.One day, sunlight will shine through the trees, gold and green. A gently sculpted path will turn toward the creek, twinkling gently in the distance.

At least, that’s what local artist Constance “Connie” James Kollock imagines in her new painting, a study of the future Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

After learning about the public garden coming to Dagsboro, she curiously hoped to see the land for herself, before the 37-acre plot was fenced in against deer and humans. For the past few years, the botanic gardens team have been quietly clearing brush, digging paths and planting thousands of young plants (with many more to come) on a site that was mostly soybean field and forest.

Walking through the woods, “I thought, ‘Oh, golly — I know what this is gonna look like,’” she said, and Kollock was inspired to photograph and sketch the woodland pathways. She finished the task just as the gardens’ staff announced that the property would soon be gated, as the gardens-in-progress are closed to the general public until the gardens officially open around 2019.

Kollock started her painting this spring, transforming acrylic paint into the bright landscape she sees coming in the next few years.

“This is a beautiful spot. … I think it’ll be a unique place, with all the flowers and the old paths and being on the creek like it is,” said Kollock. “I think they’ll be successful. I hope they are.”

At home in Millsboro, her own studio looks out over the picturesque Indian River.

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