Contractors working in Bethany Beach now have a little more time to get work done during the off-season, with the town council’s unanimous approval this week of extending permitted work hours on Saturdays by four hours — but only from Oct. 1 through May 15.
Walter Curran will serve the Town of Ocean View as its mayor for another three years, come April.
“The reason I’ve decided to step forward one more time is to finish the job. That’s my nature. I started this… It seems to be going in the right direction.”
The deadline to file to run for mayor of Ocean View was Feb. 21, and Curran was the only resident to file for the position.
Cuts for residential, commercial building
While the town of Millsboro may be getting older, its residents keep getting younger.
That’s the kind of growth that the Millsboro Town Council would like to see continue, as made evident by the council’s unanimous decision to cut the Building Fund portion of the building permit rate by more than 80 percent — opening the door for new businesses, new developers and new potential.
In South Bethany, Bill Murphy was horrified to discover a colony of feral cats had broken into his house in the winter of 2013-2014.
“The house was winterized,” Murphy said at a Feb. 10 council meeting. “When we returned in the spring, they had lived in the whole house. They had defecated, they had vomited…”
Local polls will open on Thursday, March 2, for the Indian River School District’s current-expense referendum.
Comparing it to the November 2016 referendum, which failed by 20 votes, IRSD Acting Superintendent Mark Steele said, “We’re still asking you for the same 49 cents,” but the expenses have been restructured.
The Delaware State Police on Tuesday, Feb. 21, requested the public’s assistance in locating Anthony D. Puglisi, 19, of Selbyville, who is wanted for two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, four counts of Reckless Endangering, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Mischief. He is also wanted out of Sussex County Family Court for two capiases, police noted.
Puglisi is wanted in connection with an alleged incident that occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 17, around 9 p.m. when he allegedly fired several rounds at a residence located on Burbage Road near Frankford. None of the victims inside the house at the time were injured, police noted.
If anyone has any information about Anthony Puglisi’s whereabouts, they are being asked to contact Detective K. Archer at (302) 752-3791. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”
Bethany officer wins top award for rescue of drowning boy
Numerous emergency-services personnel were recognized for their contribution to the community last week at the Joshua M. Freeman Valor Awards.
Atlantic Avenue is one of Bethany Beach’s most-used streets. In fact, the town’s easternmost north-south street tops all roadways in the state for pedestrian traffic density during the busy summer season.
The Frankford Town Council at a special meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, approved a settlement with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control that centers on the Town adding fluoride to its water supply.
The Bethany Beach Town Council at its Feb. 13 council workshop reviewed the most recent draft of the Town’s budget for the 2018 fiscal year. A public hearing on the budget is planned in March.
Finance Director Janet Connery said the draft calls for $9.4 million overall, with $7.7 million of that in operating costs, $600,000 for capital projects and $488,000 for debt repayment.
Across Delaware, public recycling services are significantly improving in some areas, but people may have to drive farther to get there.
In lieu of following up on a recommendation to buy a new town trolley, Bethany Beach staff are now recommending the Town move back to a single, longer trolley route. That could save the Town around $360,000 — the $400,000 cost of a new trolley, minus the trade-in value of one of the existing three trolleys.
The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission no longer has a vacancy, as Kim Hoey Stevenson will fill the seat formerly held by current Sussex County Councilman I.G. Burton III.
Stevenson, who currently serves as the communications director for the Delaware Senate Republican Caucus, as well as a freelance writer, was publically interviewed by the Sussex County Council on Feb. 14.
Lord Baltimore Elementary School students were able to do something a little unorthodox last week, as students were able to duct tape Assistant Principal Matthew Keller to a wall.
The students had participated in “Penny Wars” for two weeks to help raise funds for a new school sign.
“We had the grade levels compete against each other to bring in change — pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters. Some students even brought in bills,” said Jennifer Lovellette, president of the school’s PTO. “Each cent was worth one point... The grade level that brought in the most money won the Penny Wars.”
The students raised a little more than $2,800, which Lovellette said was likely driven by the prize the winning grade would receive.
“They were able to duct tape the assistant principal, Mr. Keller, to the wall, which was fantastic.”
The first grade won the Penny Wars, and Keller, being a good sport, spent his afternoon taped to a wall.
“It was such a great event,” said Lovellette. “He was taped to a wall in the cafeteria. We had mats stacked up, so he was able to stand on the mats and then the PTO officers started by putting a couple of larger pieces of tape around him, just to start it, just to make sure he was secure to the wall. We had fun, different duct tapes — Gummie Bears, Minions — cut into pieces.
About 200 people gathered on The Circle in Georgetown on Sunday, Feb. 12, to participate in a rally and march sponsored by the Progressive Democrats of Sussex County and the Sussex County Democratic Party, with the theme “We Shall Not Be Silenced.”
The rally was in response to the silencing of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) during the proceedings leading up to the vote on Jeff Sessions’ nomination for U.S. Attorney General. Warren had begun to read a letter written by Coretta Scott King, widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., when she was ordered to stop by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who claimed she was in violation of a Senate rule known as Rule 19, which prohibits senators from “impugning” the integrity of their colleagues on the floor of the Senate.
Joanne Cabry of the Progressive Democrats of Sussex County and Sussex County Democratic Party Chair Jane Hovington led a rally that included the reading of Scott King’s letter, in which she explained why she opposed the nomination of Sessions as a federal judge. Five women took turns reading sections of the 1986 letter, which was prohibited from being read on the Senate floor during those proceedings 30 years ago, as well.
Hovington told the crowd that the rally and march were meant to “put Mitch McConnell on notice that we will not be silenced. We will not be intimidated and we will not be frightened,” she said. “We will remember, and we will resist.”
A milestone marriage: Local couple marks 75th anniversary
After being married for three-quarters of a century, perhaps it’s understandable that you’d lose track of the exact number of years that have passed.
Once thought to have been stolen, more than $600,000 has been found at American Legion Post 28 in Millsboro. It was in the ATM the whole time.
The related investigation has now ended, and the Delaware State Police detectives assigned to the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) found no evidence of embezzlement.
Former Indian River School District chief financial officer Patrick Miller has been accused of nepotism, mismanagement of funds, authorizing payments to other nonprofit organizations he leads, improperly using the IRDS board president’s signature and potentially intimidating staff into sharing their financial software passwords to bypass financial safeguards.
The Town of Frankford may no longer have to appeal the decision of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) regarding a Mountaire well and the resulting loss of revenue for the Town.
Sussex County will once again participate in the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program this year, with the county council voicing its approval following a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
An Indian River High School health teacher was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 18, for allegedly trying to prevent a meeting between school administrators and another district employee. Delaware State Police arrested Paris D. Mitchell, 41, of Milton, on one count of coercion.
Shoppers who visit the Harris Teeter supermarket in West Fenwick on a Sunday will often run into 18-month-old bullmastiff Gus and his owners, Lisa and J.P. McCormick.
“We would go get Starbucks coffee on Sunday mornings and would take Gus. We’ve been doing it for a year now. We go into the atrium, sit on the bench, drink our Starbucks, and people come in and out,” said Lisa McCormick. “Wouldn’t you know — it’s the same faces every week, and they look for Gus. The store employees come out and ask for him. If we miss a Sunday, the next one, people ask, ‘Where were you?’”
McCormick said Gus is a friendly dog and loves interacting with people.
“He loves children, and all the kids who come in go crazy over him. I think the cool part about it is … we make people smile. There are some people who walk in that aren’t smiling, but when they see Gus, their whole face lights up. I think he’s therapeutic for some people. They come back to pet him and even wait in line. We call him ‘the Harris Teeter mascot.’”
But even those who see him at Harris Teeter may not be aware that Gus is no ordinary pup. This coming Tuesday, Gus will be one of a select few bullmastiffs competing in the Westminster Dog Show in New York, N.Y.
“Westminster is like the Super Bowl,” said McCormick, noting it will be Gus’ eighth competition show but his first time competing at Madison Square Garden.
Last week, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) paid a visit to Seaford to tour the Invista textile plant and shine a light on his concerns related to the nomination of Scott Pruitt to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In December, President Donald Trump nominated Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney-general, to serve as EPA administrator — a nomination that Carper, who serves as ranking member on the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, opposes. The EPA was reated in 1970 through a proposal by then-President Richard Nixon, with the mission to protect human health and the environment.
Last month, Carper and his colleagues on the committee sent Trump a letter voicing their concerns regarding Pruitt’s nomination. Carper joked in Seaford that he has sent numerous letters to Trump, as part of his effort to save the United States Postal Service.
While standing next to Williams Pond in Seaford on Feb. 3, Carper said that, if Pruitt were confirmed, it could impact Delaware greatly.
“When Donald Trump was running for president, one of the things he promised was to get rid of the EPA and, if he couldn’t get rid of it, to diminish its role and abilities,” said Carper. “One of his people was talking about reducing their headcount by two-thirds.”
PCS students wear their kindness proudly
Kindness can be like a rock in water. One good deed can ripple outward to distant shores.
Phillip C. Showell Elementary School celebrated January as Kindness Month by encouraging children to be kind and witness kindness in their lives.
With handmade Kindness Bracelets, students can now count and remember random acts of kindness each day.
“As they witness, give or receive an act of kindness through the day, they’ll move a charm,” said Laurie Hall, teacher of art and special education at the school. Hopefully, later, at home, “they talk about what they’ve done to move them.”
The bracelets are threaded so that people can slide the 10 beads deliberately, without them slipping backward again.
Fenwick Island Town officials don’t know if or when their canals were last dredged, but officials said this week that it’s time to consider such a project.
“There are some issues with depth and getting in and out of our canals,” said Alex Daly of the Town’s Environmental Committee.
With Indian River School District superintendent Susan Bunting having been confirmed this week as the new Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education, the district was facing a vacancy in a vital post during a tense time at one of the fastest-growing districts in the state.
When a house fire broke out in Georgetown, two elementary-school students used the training they’d received in school to save lives.
Carmen Giacubeno had invited Luciana “Luci” Bella Martin Rodriquez over for a sleepover on Jan. 6. That night, a space heater caught fire. Hearing the smoke alarm, the girls woke up to find heavy fire in the house.
They bypassed that room to wake the adults, evacuated to a meeting spot in the front yard and called 911. The Georgetown Fire Company and several other departments brought the blaze under control within 40 minutes and continued working for another 80 minutes.
The adults later revealed that “the smoke detector was working, but it was so faint that, without Luci and Carmen waking up, they would have never heard it,” said Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company Chief Matt Sliwa.
The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission this week voted in favor of approving a conditional use request for 25 acres of AR-1 land, located on the southwest side of Sweetbriar Road in Lewes, to build a new school for the Sussex Consortium.
Completing a project from the 2016 fiscal year, Sussex County now has a comprehensive electronic zoning map.