Financial concerns dominated Tuesday night’s meeting of the Ocean View Town Council, as council members wrangled with falling revenue, an increasing need for space for town operations and questions about how much value to place on a public safety program championed by the town’s police chief.
Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader and Baltimore socialite Molly Shattuck will spend every other weekend in the Sussex Violation of Probation Center, for a total of 48 weekends, as part of her sentence, after pleading guilty to a single count of rape earlier this year.
On the day of her sentencing, Aug. 21, Shattuck was escorted into the courtroom by a group of six women, including her mother. Visibly upset, at one point before proceedings began, she dropped to her knees from her chair, shaking, and appeared to start praying.
She later would cry during sentencing, sometimes making it difficult to understand her words.
“I take full responsibility for what I did,” she said. “I was the adult. I never should have had conversations with someone else’s son… I will spend the rest of my life making this right.”
A Dover-based dermatologist was only practicing in Ocean View one day each week. But that just decreased to zero days, after the State of Delaware suspended his medical license on Aug. 19.
Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock and the Board of Medical Licensure & Discipline this week issued a temporary order suspending license of Dr. Lindsay Brathwaite.
How often do you get to see a state senator jam with his family and friends? Well, this weekend, locals and visitors will be able to enjoy music by the Jamboree Boys, featuring state Sen. Gerald Hocker on bass guitar.
The Bethany Beach area is already at risk of losing the free recycling drop-off at Fresh Pond State Park, due to the tremendous amounts of non-recyclable garbage that is being dumped there.
“We might have to close the facility if we cannot curtail the illegal dumping that has been going on there,” said Mike Parkowski of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA).
But that would suit nearby residents just fine.
Ocean Village is a private neighborhood located across Coastal Highway from Fresh Pond. For them, the “terrible eyesore” of televisions, furniture, construction debris and once, a toilet, is just the beginning.
Ocean Village opposed the recycling center being there even before people started treating the recycling cans as garbage dumpsters, before the lingering food attracted wildlife, which residents said crosses the highway into their neighborhood.
There are no documented reports of a drug overdose occurring in Indian River School District. And with a free donation of emergency response medicine, the district’s high schools aim to keep it that way.
The Delaware Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS) received a massive donation of 2,000 naloxone units from drug manufacturer Kaléo, based in Richmond, Va.
When a referee makes a questionable call, or the other team makes a snide remark, what does the athlete do? Just walk away? Or throw down their hockey stick and pounce?
When it comes to good sportsmanship, Sussex Central High School tries to walk the walk. That’s a step in the right direction, according to the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA), which just awarded SCHS with its second consecutive DIAA Sportsmanship Award.
The school received its new banner from DIAA Executive Director Kevin Charles at the Aug. 24 Indian River School District school board meeting.
From a four-page application, SCHS’s submission was a portfolio 3 inches thick.
“It’s a competition against … a rigorous set of standards,” Charles said, which asks about school policy, heated rivalry games, investigations, athletic handbooks, monthly sportsmanship meetings and more.
“This program … is intended to establish a school culture where sportsmanship is the culture … so when the chips are down …we automatically respond in the Sussex Central way,” Charles said.
Downtown Frankford was briefly stuck behind an emergency perimeter on Tuesday, Aug. 25, due to a potential propane leak on the railroad track that runs through the town.
Just before 11 a.m., the Frankford Fire Company responded to the railroad tracks north of Frankford Avenue.
After 10 years with the same leadership, the Indian River School Board recently elected a new member to serve as president, as Georgetown’s James “Jim” Hudson leads the board into a new school year.
Hudson inherited the board presidency from Charles Bireley, who stepped down from that role after holding it for 15 years, including the last 10, consecutively. (Bireley, a 38-year board member, continues to represent his district on the board, having also won re-election this year.)
This June, Hudson said, he was asked to consider leading the board. The board elects its leadership positions from its own members, and Hudson was unanimously elected. Rodney Layfield remains vice president.
“I think the major goal is to address in our population growth. I think that’s going to be a major thing,” Hudson said. “We’re really growing — especially in the Georgetown, Millsboro areas. We’ve really got to tackle that; hopefully, come up with some solutions.”
The 2015-2016 season of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is designed to celebrate Maestro Julien Benichou’s 10 years as music director. The MSO’s 19th season will showcase a variety of music and soloists.
For the third year in a row, the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce will host an annual festival — newly dubbed the “Boro Bash” this year.
“The committee felt, with all the bigger-name country music festivals that came into the area since the inception of our event, we were going to be kind of drowned out by that,” explained Executive Director Amy Simmons regarding the former moniker of Millsboro Country Festival. “We always knew we wanted a new name for it. And we thought, we have so many ’boros, with Dagsboro, Gumboro, Millsboro —we felt that fit the theme for a community family party.
“The entire premise for this whole festival was that it was something family-friendly, that it could be a multigenerational day spent with the whole family. Everything we do, we ask, is it family-friendly? Is it fun for everyone? And then we go from there.”
Gallery One in Ocean View this week announced its September show theme, “Welcome to my World,” which will be open to the public Sept. 3-30. “Welcome to my world” is designed to be an invitation to glimpse and participate in realm of the Gallery One artists’ world. Each artist has a unique view, and each painting a different thought.
Dale Sheldon’s “Autumn Near Greve” glows with the “glorious colors seen in autumn in Tuscany, which are a feast for the eyes. The rich golds of the fields play against the cool hillsides in the distance, and the dramatic dark greens found in the trees complement the iconic red roofs.”
“View from my Garden” is the path Laura Hickman takes every day in her “summer world.” Watering the flowers and pool cleaning are never a chore. Sunlit grass and colorful flowers are so preferable to her “winter” world, she said.
Joyce Condry’s mixed-media painting “Waste Not Want Not” describes the evolutionary aspects of a painting. “I just can’t throw anything away! If a painting isn’t working, I might be able to make it work someday.”
A celebration is planned for the 10th Annual Best of Milton Auction & Party on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Milton Fire Hall, 116 Front Street in Milton. The party will aim for an atmosphere of cool elegance, in pale blue and shimmering silver as they celebrate this anniversary in style.
Delmarva Bike Week will celebrate its 15th anniversary Sept. 17-20 in three locations: Winterplace Park and the Shorebirds’ stadium in Salisbury, Md., and Rommel Harley-Davidson in Seaford.
DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation will host the first-ever “Boo-B-Que By the Sea,” a two-day statewide barbecue cook-off competition beginning Friday, Oct. 30, at Delaware Seashore State Park. The event will also feature the first live auction for low-digit surf-fishing tags, on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Delaware State Fire Marshal’s office this week was investigating an early morning house fire in Ocean View in which one person was killed. Firefighters found a person deceased inside the burning house in the 100 block of Woodland Avenue on Sunday morning, Aug. 16, just after 2 a.m.
The Millville Volunteer Fire Company responded to reports of a house on fire at the southern corner of Woodland Avenue and West Avenue, also adjacent to Balsa Street. Firefighters found flames engulfing the two-story dwelling, reported the Office of the State Fire Marshal.
State fire investigators were still investigating the fire’s origin and cause mid-week. Although the house’s three street-facing sides appeared to be intact, the southwest side was engulfed in flames, leaving only charred timbers.
An Ocean View dermatologist is reportedly practicing medicine in blatant disregard of his being on probation, and the Delaware Attorney General’s Office is calling for his license to be revoked.
On Aug. 14, the AG’s Office submitted an official Complaint and Motion for Temporary Suspension of Dr. Lindsay Brathwaite, M.D., who practices at the Center for Dermatology offices in Dover and at 118 Atlantic Avenue in Ocean View.
In October of 2014, Brathwaite was punished with five years’ probation that prohibits him from performing biopsies and surgical procedures, plus a $10,000 fine for “willful and wanton negligence” of patient safety. The Delaware Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline (BMLD) found that he only seemed to diagnose patients by using biopsies (instead of less-invasive procedures) and that his unsterilized equipment could lead to dangerous cross-contamination of blood products.
Following the resignation of two council members this month, the Town of Frankford was unable to come to a unanimous decision as to who should fill the seats earlier this week.
A special meeting was called by the council following the resignation of Jesse Truitt on Aug. 3 and Velicia Melson on Aug. 11, to potentially appoint two citizens to finish out their terms.
According to the town charter, the positions must be filled within 45 days from the date of resignation. Truitt’s seat must be filled by Sept. 17, while Melson’s must be filled by Sept. 25.
At the Aug. 18 meeting, Mayor Joanne Bacon said four residents had sent letters of interest. Council Members Charles Shelton and Pam Davis said they had not seen all four names.
The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office this week was investigating a fire that occurred in a three-story, wood-framed residence in North Bethany on Aug. 12 and caused heavy damage to that structure and exposure damage to two other residences.
Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Harry R. Miller said the fire was noticed about 11:15 p.m. in the 29000 block of Cove Way in Cotton Patch Hills, by neighbors who made contact with the occupants, and both occupants escaped without any injuries.
Firefighters from the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company arrived on scene to find heavy fire in the garage, extending into the main residence. The BBVFC, assisted by the Millville, Roxanna, Frankford, and Rehoboth Beach fire companies responded on the initial dispatch.
Deputy fire marshals spent most of the day processing the scene, looking for the fire’s origin and cause. The fire’s origin, Miller said, was determined to be located in the area of the garage, while the cause was still under early this week investigation, with no indication of a suspicious fire at this time.
Fire damages were estimated at $750,000. Victims of the fire were being housed by neighbors early this week.
Students attending Indian River High School for the first time are being invited to New Student Orientation on Thursday, Aug. 27. Parents and students meet in the auditorium at 6 p.m.
“For the next two hours, I have all the parents, and all the kids are with the assistant principals, staff members, and students,” said Principal Bennett Murray of plans for that night. “They do a scavenger hunt, learning all the different places of the school and some secrets to being successful in high school.”
The students will not only become familiar with the layout of the high school — they’ll get a chance to meet other incoming freshmen. Through team-building activities, they’ll get ready to see a few familiar faces on the first day of school.
Several schools getting new leadership
Indian River School District is getting a little shake-up in the administrations of several schools. Here are the most recent changes:
• Char Hopkins is moving from principal of John M. Clayton Elementary to become the district’s director of Leadership Development.
• Heather Cramer is moving from assistant principal at Georgetown Elementary to become principal at John M. Clayton. (The Georgetown assistant principal position is open for applications.)
• Judi Brittingham is moving from assistant principal at Sussex Central High to principal at the G.W. Carver Academy.
• Karen Oliphant is moving from assistant principal at Sussex Central High to assistant principal at the G.W. Carver Academy.
It was a pioneering effort, but South Bethany’s canal diffuser experiment was a wash.
After a two-year study, air diffusers placed in the Petherton Drive canal have not significantly increased the dissolved oxygen in the nearly stagnant dead-ends of the canal.
“We did this as an experiment, because we thought it would increase dissolved oxygen,” said George Junkin, town council member and a champion of water quality in the town’s canals. “There was no significantly measureable increase in the canals.”
Using the neighboring Anchorage Drive and Brandywine Drive canals as a control, the Town tested regularly at three different depths in the shallow canals fed by the Little Assawoman Bay.
Police reported this week that alcohol was a factor in an incident that began as a missing-person case and ended with a severely injured police officer.
On Aug. 8, the South Bethany Police Department responded to a report of a missing person. When officers arrived on scene, it turned out to concern a 25-year-old white man who had left his friends to swim in the bay, said Cpl. Patrick Wiley, public information officer for the SBPD.
He was afloat at the southern tip of town, between the Plymouth canal and the Bayview Park community, Wiley said.
Last week, the Ocean View added a Honda Pioneer — an off-road vehicle — to its police department. The vehicle was entirely paid for through a grant from the Special Law Enforcement Agency Fund (SLEAF).
“All the drug-seizure money is combined into a pot. By law, it’s set aside for law-enforcement purposes,” explained OVPD Chief Ken McLaughlin. “Then the different law enforcement agencies that participate and contribute to SLEAF — and not all do — have the opportunity to apply to the SLEAF committee to fund certain law-enforcement projects.”
The department received approximately $12,000 to purchase the new off-road vehicle. It will be used to patrol the newly opened Assawoman Canal Trail, as well as other areas of the town not accessibly by car.
“We’ve been talking about getting one of these for a while. Ever since we knew the canal [trail] was being built, we knew we needed a way to control the canal,” said Cpl. Rhys Bradshaw, noting that the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control uses the same vehicle. “It’s also good if we need to get back on the Bear Trap golf course, because our cars don’t always fit.”
Through a donation, the Ocean View Police Department now has a more efficient way of dispensing the life-saving opiate-overdose medication naloxone, more commonly known as Narcan.
The new kits, called EVZIO, are an auto-injector of naloxone to counteract the effects of a suspected opioid overdose. The kits, which cost approximately $500 each, were donated by David Humes of atTAcK Addiction, a nonprofit whose mission is to spread the word about addiction by educating students, and the community, assisting families in their quest for information and supporting those in recovery.
The group was instrumental in having Delaware legislation pass allowing anyone — be it emergency personnel or good Samaritans — to carry the lifesaving drug, if certified.
OVPD Cpl. Rhys Bradshaw said each kit comes with a trainer device, as well as two live shots.
The Sussex County Council this week deferred voting on a proposed moratorium on off-premisess signs, following a public hearing.
“Typically, what you’d consider off-premisess is more of a billboard-type application, but there are small ones also,” said Lawrence Lank, director of Planning & Zoning.
County Administrator Todd Lawson said the County is currently in the process of trying to schedule a signage workshop to address the council’s concerns.
“There is an intent to bring together the County Council, Planning & Zoning Commission, the Board of Adjustment — all 15 members — along with our legal staff, our Planning & Zoning staff, and walk through the ordinance as a whole,” he said. “From that point we will come back and get to work on introducing a new ordinance from the feedback we would receive.”
During the public hearing, Georgetown attorney David Hutt, who has represented numerous applicants’ billboard applications over the last several years, spoke in opposition to the moratorium and offered his assistance to the council moving forward.
When Quaker merchants migrated from Philadelphia to Delaware in the early 18th century, they attracted shipwrights and ship carpenters to the fledgling community that evolved into the city of Wilmington. In 1740, William Shipley, Joshua Way and David Ferris contracted to have the first vessel built in Delaware for the foreign trade at the foot of Market Street on the Christina River.
As Richard Urban points out in “The City That Launched a Thousand Ships,” over the period ending in 1775, shipyards in Delaware built more than 300 vessels for coastal and foreign trade. One story holds that the ship named the Nancy, built in Wilmington and at the time anchored in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, was the first to raise a quickly-sewn-together American flag when it learned the colonies declared their independence from the British in 1776.
In the 1850s, two firms — Harlan & Hollingsworth and Pusey & Jones — located along the Wilmington waterfront began to perform ship repair and engine installation work. Pusey & Jones also contracted to build its first iron steamship, the Flora McDonald. Harlan & Hollingsworth soon followed with construction of the steamers the Ashland and the Ocean. The shipyards fostered numerous supporting industries in the Wilmington area.
Gov. Jack Markell on Wednesday joined DNREC Secretary David Small, federal highway officials and community leaders and groups, to cut the ribbon officially opening the new Assawoman Canal Trail. The one-mile trail is part of a regional network of trails, sidewalks and pathways for pedestrians and bicyclists, physically linking communities that share a boundary with the trail.
“This trail is only possible because of the hard work and commitment of engaged community members who recognize that this is an opportunity to enhance the quality of life in Sussex County,” said Markell.
“It was residents in Ocean View, Bethany and South Bethany neighborhoods who saw the value of creating a trail along the Assawoman Canal and worked together with the State to turn their vision into a reality. They share our belief that investments in our trails and pathways support our overall health and wellbeing, while helping to grow our economy.”
In the works for seven years, the trail will directly connect the municipalities of Ocean View, Bethany Beach and South Bethany, and the communities of Sea Colony and Bahamas Beach Cottages.
A concept plan, developed with a team of local residents, was released in 2011, after public outreach. Project partners included Ocean View, Bethany Beach and South Bethany, residents in Bahamas Beach Cottages, Sea Colony, Salt Pond and Waterside, and DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation.
Elsa Clarke brags on Shelby Dolby as if he were her own grandson. He writes her letters, and she shows off his picture around Brandywine Senior Living at Fenwick Island. But Clarke, 98, and Dolby, 24, had never met — until Brandywine staff set up a surprise meeting in July.
Clarke didn’t understand why she was missing her favorite word game that day, just because some mystery man needed to see her. Clarke never dreamed that her visitor was Dolby, complete with U.S. Coast Guard uniform and a flower bouquet.
“Isn’t he handsome?” Clarke said. “He’s precious.”
As a wintertime activity, a handful of Brandywine seniors had written letters to three service members. Dolby was the only person who replied to each letter.