Fenwick Island

‘When the Germans started shooting at us’: WWII veteran remembers time as POW

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Paul Wagner displays the medals he received from his service during World War II.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Paul Wagner displays the medals he received from his service during World War II.When Paul Wagner visited Italy, he sailed the Mediterranean, hiked into the mountains and was captured at gunpoint by German soldiers.

U.S. Army PFC Paul Wagner was a teenage prisoner of war.

Wagner will be 90 this August, now living at Brandywine Assisted Living Center in West Fenwick Island, but he had just turned 18 in Baltimore when Uncle Sam drafted him for World War II.

“They were waiting for me,” he said.

His mom was a “five-star mother” with five of her boys in the military. By some miracle, they all came home.

After nine months of Texas boot camp, Wagner sailed for Africa, then was stationed at an Italian racetrack controlled by the Allies. PFC Wagner wasn’t quite at the front lines, but he could hear mortar fire.

Germans were nearby, in the mountains, so rifleman Wagner and about 12 to 18 others patrolled the wilderness, using dried-up riverbeds as a guide.

“We knew we were close — too close — when the Germans started shooting at us,” Wagner said.

Tidepool Toys & Games opens second location in Fenwick Island

Tidepool Toys & Games, “the neighborhood toy store at the beach,” recently celebrated its grand opening at its new Fenwick Island shop with a ribbon-cutting and a day of activities.

Barefoot Gardeners plant sale is for green thumbs and sandy feet

Kids, or kids at heart, can get a last-minute gift for Mom, or let her choose, at the Barefoot Gardeners Garden Club annual plant sale, on Saturday, May 10, in Fenwick Island.

“There are quite a few small ones that people can get for Mother’s Day gifts. The plants are grown locally,” said Karen Dudley, chairperson of the event.

Heroin: Part two of a three-part series

The Heroin Takeover

“My son is addicted to heroin,” said Heather LaRoue (whose name has been changed to protect her identity), an addiction specialist at a Sussex County outpatient counseling facility.

Beach & Bay Cottage Tour tickets are now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the 23rd Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to be held July 23 and 24 from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the South Coastal Library or through the Cottage Tour’s website at www.beachandbaycottagetour.com.

The Cottage Tour is sponsored by the Friends of the South Coastal Library, and proceeds directly benefit the library’s operations.

Fenwick approves farmers’ market changes, oyster festival

Fenwick Island is taking steps to ensure the town’s farmers’ market can remain in the town going into the future, even if the property where it is currently held is sold. At their March 28 meeting, the Fenwick Island Town Council voted unanimously to change the ordinance that dictates where the market can be located to include improved vacant lots, as well as unimproved ones.

Dagsboro, Fenwick, IR Inlet to see road construction

The Delaware Department of Transportation will take advantage of a break between winter weather and the summer season for some housekeeping. Sussex County will have several one-month road construction projects beginning in April, including at the Indian River Inlet, in Fenwick Island and west of Dagsboro.

Bridge inspection planned

Delaware Budokan honors three students

Delaware Budokan recently held a ceremonial exhibition and test of the martial arts karate and kenjutsu, honoring Jeffrey Quillen, William Bails and Matthew Atkins with two black belts and a third-degree scroll, respectively. The ceremony was held on March 20, in front of friends, family, fellow students and the instructors who oversee the students’ test routines.

Crabcake Factory sinks its claws into Delaware with new bayside location

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The ‘Triple Threat’ Bloody Mary features a half pound of jumbo lump crab meat, four strips of bacon, and four cane-skewered shrimp to go along with choice vodka and house-made Bloody Mary mix.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The ‘Triple Threat’ Bloody Mary features a half pound of jumbo lump crab meat, four strips of bacon, and four cane-skewered shrimp to go along with choice vodka and house-made Bloody Mary mix.Every year, the surrounding beach resort communities of Sussex County see more than their fair share of restaurants come and go. While not every establishment has the same reasons for eventually closing its doors, the good ones tend to stick around — and the really good ones tend to continue to open up new locations.

The Crabcake Factory USA has seen that kind of growth, most recently opening up its third location — its first location in Delaware — right off Route 54 west of Fenwick Island, on the bayside, next to Captain Mac’s.

The location offers striking bay views. After completely renovating the property, and with more than 18 years of popularity just down the road in Ocean City, Md., the Crabcake Factory management team has no doubts that their newest location is right where they’re supposed to be.

“We’ve got a good local following up here,” said Crabcake Factory Bayside General Manager (and former general manager of the original Crabcake Factory on 120th Street in Ocean City) Eric Morris. “We wanted to grow into Fenwick. A lot of our existing 120th street client base lives up here. We just felt like it was a real need in this corridor to have a nice quality, casual atmosphere.”

Food bank asks community for helping hand

This weekend, the Bethany Beach Christian Church & Conference Center will host a Fil-a-Truck event for Vethel Tabernacle Church’s Helping Hands Food Bank. The event, on Saturday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to noon, is designed to help collect food goods for the food bank.

Lighthouse Yoga & Dance offers movement for all

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Tikiri Shapiro, owner and instructor of Lighthouse Dance & Yoga, demonstrates a grand jeté in her new studio space in Williamsville.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Tikiri Shapiro, owner and instructor of Lighthouse Dance & Yoga, demonstrates a grand jeté in her new studio space in Williamsville.Those looking to connect with the movement of their bodies through yoga or dance may find what they’re seeking at Lighthouse Dance & Yoga in Selbyville.

“I want people to feel comfortable,” said 23-year-old Tikiri Shapiro, owner and instructor of Lighthouse Dance & Yoga. “My vision for this place isn’t just to provide classes, but for it to be a social hub.”

Having graduated from George Mason University last spring with a bachelor’s degree in dance, Shapiro moved to Seattle, Wash., where she danced professionally.

“I was there for a couple of months, performing. My family lives here, so that’s how I heard about this space,” she recalled. “My mother called me up and said, ‘It’s open. You should come start a studio here!’ I’ve always wanted to start a studio. That’s been my main goal, so this was a perfect opportunity.”

More volunteers needed for beach grass planting March 22

More volunteers are needed at Delaware Seashore State Park for Delaware’s annual beach grass planting event, set for 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 22. The event, now in its 25th year, helps protect Delaware shorelines by planting Cape American beach grass on sand dunes at beaches along the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

Fenwick offers advertising space on lifeguard stands

After the program’s launch in the summer of 2013, the Town of Fenwick Island is offering local businesses the opportunity to advertise on the Town’s 11 lifeguard stands for the 2014 season.

Memories of WWII London linger with local woman

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Gwen Cavanna spent her teenage years in London and Buckinghamshire during World War II. Here, Cavanna shares her story with Point reporter Laura Walter.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Gwen Cavanna spent her teenage years in London and Buckinghamshire during World War II. Here, Cavanna shares her story with Point reporter Laura Walter.Gwen Cavanna was barely a teenager, living in London, when Great Britain declared war on Germany 75 years ago, in 1939. Now living west of Fenwick Island, she remembers city life in London’s most difficult days.

Cavanna was born 1926, living several years each in her parents’ humble flat (sharing a lavatory with nine people), with her grandmother and also in a convent. When she was nearly 12, Cavanna returned to her mother, Violet Bicknell, who had worked hard to secure a home with two bedrooms and “indoor plumbing, which I had never seen in my life,” Cavanna said. The girl was mystified about a large white box in the kitchen. It was a refrigerator.

Fenwick Island actively asking for bids on shuttle service

The Fenwick Island Town Council voted unanimously this week to request proposals from potential municipal shuttle service operators for the 2014 summer season, acting on a recommendation from the town’s parking committee.

Fenwick Island seeks grant for sea-level-rise assessment

The Town of Fenwick Island is applying for another grant that could potentially help it and its property owners deal with the impacts of sea-level rise.

Fenwick moves forward with shuttle concept

Fenwick Island officials are looking to make getting around town a little easier for residents and summer visitors alike, with a proposal to establish a municipal shuttle service that would take people from their homes in Fenwick to local businesses or the beach, or between local businesses, and back home again during the summer season.

Beachgoers, mariners urged to let sleeping seals lie

The Marine Education, Research & Rehabilitation Institute Inc. (MERR) is reminding beachgoers and boaters that seals are once again in the area. Delaware has four different species of seals that visit area waterways during the winter months and can often be seen resting and sunning themselves on rocks, docks, beaches and other landing areas throughout Delaware, they noted.

Turkey and tubes

Sussex County surfers score over Thanksgiving holiday

A northeast swell had Sussex County surf lineups looking like Southern California on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving — minus the sunshine and balmy temperatures.

Residents asked to be vigilant against burglaries

In the off-season, many area police departments — including Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island and South Bethany — offer home checks for residents who may be away from their homes.

Local artist turns passion into success

At some point, life gets real for most of us. Dreams dwindle, passions fade, and the weight of responsibility can sometimes force us to make decisions that we never intended on making in order to meet what we perceive as acceptable societal standards.

Chamber, QRCF to welcome New Year with full slate

The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) and the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce a day-long series of events on New Year’s Day 2014: the 3rd Annual Hair of the Dog Run and the 18th Annual Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos.

Annual Fenwick Island Turkey Trot set for Thanksgiving day

The 6th Annual Fenwick Island Turkey Trot will be held on Thursday, Nov. 28, at 8 a.m. The 2.2-mile fun run/walk starts oceanside on Lewes Street in Fenwick Island, and then goes south to the Maryland state line and back. All are welcome, including leashed pets. Holiday or any festive costumes are encouraged.

Drug take-back offered at local police departments

On Saturday, Oct. 26, a number of area police departments are participating in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) National Take Back Initiative. According to the DEA’s Web site, “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.”

Hickman receives Lighthouse Award at Chamber member celebration

Todd Hickman received the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce’s Lighthouse Award during the annual Members Celebration and Awards Ceremony, held at DiFebo’s Bistro on the Green on Oct. 17.

Residents of The Refuge concerned about proposal for new apartments

A number of residents have voiced their concerns regarding the possible construction of two apartment buildings behind The Refuge community off of Route 54.

Ropewalk ties seafood with tavern experience in Fenwick

After netting close to two decades of success in Baltimore, the owners of Ropewalk Tavern have made a comfortable addition, introducing their culinary know-how and warm environment to Fenwick Island with the Ropewalk Oyster House. Taking over the location where Captain Pete’s once stood in early June this year, Ropewalk aims to bring a welcoming aura paired with an adaptive menu, thanks to general manager Molly Thomas and corporate executive chef, Frank Campanella.

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