Sussex County

Lower Sussex clinches two state softball championships

Last July, Lower Sussex Little League had never won a state championship for softball. Less than a year later, they’ve won three — and they’re in the running for a fourth.

County looks to place hold on new signage

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Sussex County Council voted this week to draft an ordinance for a moratorium on off-premise billboards and electric signs.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Sussex County Council voted this week to draft an ordinance for a moratorium on off-premise billboards and electric signs.The Sussex County Council is considering placing a moratorium on off-premise billboards and electronic signs, following a discussion at this week’s council meeting.

Councilman George Cole requested the council discuss the County’s sign regulations, stating he had spoken to Dale A. Callaway, chairman of the County’s Board of Adjustment, regarding signage.

“He’s relayed to me that they have problems with these electronic signs… Basically, our ordinance needs to rewritten.”

Cole said there are electronic signs on two-lane roads, such as Route 26, “that are very distracting.”

“It’s getting out of hand,” he said. “The board doesn’t know what to do. They need direction from us.”

Work camp builds fellowship, as well as new roofs

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Kids from across the country came to participate in the First State Work Camp at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Kids from across the country came to participate in the First State Work Camp at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church.More than 400 youths from across the country traveled to Sussex County last month. Although most kids their age who spend their summer vacations traveling to the area come to enjoy a beach vacation, these particular youths were spending their time making a positive impact on local families.

“This is what we’re called to do — not just Mariner’s. We understand that God moves first in our lives. God pursues us, God loves us, and we have many blessings that God is able to give to us,” said the Rev. Woody Wilson of Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church, which hosted the First State Work Camp the youths attended.

“Therefore, as often as we can, as many ways as we can, for as long as we can, we’re supposed to be reaching out to help the many needs of folks — not only here but also abroad. First State Work Camp gives us the opportunity to locally love on the people here, help them with some of their needs and build some awesome relationships.”

Hooverville ready to rock the house across Delmarva

Delmarva classic-rock band Hooverville is headed south this summer, making their debut at Brew River Restaurant & Bar in Salisbury, Md., on July 25 and taking their sound to the beach at Locals Under the Lights at the Freeman Stage at Bayside in West Fenwick on Aug. 27.

Citizens bring science to the table in effort to Save Beach Cove

Several months and thousands of dollars later, the people who oppose oyster aquaculture in Beach Cove finally have some hard data to support their claims.

As resident James P. Bond said, “The scientific reasons as to why this is a poor location are very convincing.”

Organizations come together to discuss addiction epidemic

Connections Community Support Programs made a presentation to the Sussex County Action Prevention Coalition’s (SCAPC’s) Seaford Chapter at its monthly meeting last week.

Dozens arrested after months-long operation

Delaware State Police this week revealed the results of a months-long operation designed to proactively impact violent crime in Sussex and Kent counties.

Delaware State Police honor those who’ve given to Camp Barnes

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Harry and Linda Kent of Millville were honored by the Delaware State Police for their dedication to improving the conditions at Camp Barnes over the past four years, as well as contributing new mattresses to the camp.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Harry and Linda Kent of Millville were honored by the Delaware State Police for their dedication to improving the conditions at Camp Barnes over the past four years, as well as contributing new mattresses to the camp.Members of the community and the Delaware State Police gathered together last week to honor those who donate their time and money in support of Camp Barnes.

The summer camp is an overnight residential camp run by the Delaware State Police and is open to children between the ages of 10 and 13 at no cost to the camper or their family. Camp Barnes accommodates 60 campers per week for six weeks. The camp is in session from early July through August. All children are eligible to attend, regardless of family income.

“In 1947, the Delaware Association of Chiefs’ of Police accepted the challenge to undertake a project to combat juvenile delinquency in the state of Delaware. The committee’s resulting recommendation led to the establishment of Camp Barnes, for the recreation of deserving youth from throughout the state,” said DSP Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr.

New law creates driving privilege for undocumented

After a year of statewide deliberation, Senate Bill 59 has been adopted, creating a driving privilege card option for undocumented residents of the state.

Volunteers sought to report sightings of wild turkeys

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is looking for wildlife watchers and outdoor enthusiasts to assist with its sixth annual wild turkey reproduction survey, helping to identify locations where the big birds are successfully reproducing in Delaware.

Fourth of July festivities galore this weekend

Coastal Point • File Photo: Young paraders carry the Bethany Beach sign at the front of a past annual Fourth of July Celebration parade.Coastal Point • File Photo: Young paraders carry the Bethany Beach sign at the front of a past annual Fourth of July Celebration parade.To commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Americans gather together each year to celebrate the country’s independence from Great Britain with family and friends.

In the local community, there is no shortage of celebration — from family barbecues and picnics on the beach, to parades and fireworks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

South Bethany to hold holiday weekend fun

South Bethany is heating up for the holiday weekend, from a boat parade to movie night.

Pedestrian Safety Day comes to South Bethany on Friday, July 3, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Delaware Office of Highway Safety will distribute safety information and demonstrate best practices, to encourage bicycles, motorists and pedestrians to share the street, on the corner of Henlopen Drive and Route 1.

ACTION group upset with County not appealing AT&T decision

Ocean View resident Kathy Vengazo recently spoke before the Sussex County Council on behalf of the Allied Communities to Improve our Neighborhoods (ACTION) to voice their upset at the council regarding the council’s decision to not appeal the Superior Court ruling in the case of AT&T v. Sussex County Board of Adjustment.

Holts Landing celebrating 50 years with Family Fun Night

Coastal Point • Submitted: Holts Landing State Park offers the area a boat ramp, pier, hiking trails and so much more. The state park will celebrate 50 years with a Outdoor Family Fun Night on Tuesday, June 30, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.Coastal Point • Submitted: Holts Landing State Park offers the area a boat ramp, pier, hiking trails and so much more. The state park will celebrate 50 years with a Outdoor Family Fun Night on Tuesday, June 30, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.Holts Landing State Park may have already seen what seemed like its heyday, but to the state parks system and reinvigorated volunteers, now is the perfect time for a revival. The hidden park near Millville is celebrating its 50th anniversary with Outdoor Family Fun Night on Tuesday, June 30, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Outdoor games will be provided, such as cornhole, horseshoes and ladder golf (in which players attempt to loop a string with two golf balls around a ladder-shaped PVC pipe goal).

Park naturalists will do hands-on activities before the sun sets, including seining for critters in the bay. After dark, they’ll point out stellar constellations in the night sky.

Meanwhile, families can relax and roast marshmallows by a bonfire. Those attending should pack their own picnic dinners, bug spray and blankets for stargazing.

The Back Bay Strummers will bring their strings to perform live music.

Lewes Farmers Market moves to Shields this Saturday

Because the Sea Glass Festival will be held at the Lewes Historical Society this Saturday, June 27, the Historic Lewes Farmers Market will move to the Richard Shields Elementary School parking lot, just off the corner of Savannah Road and Sussex Drive. The Market will be open from 8 a.m. until noon.

The market will returns to the grounds of the Lewes Historical Society Saturday, July 4.

Former Ravens cheerleader pleads guilty to rape charge

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Molly Shattuck, center, walks out of the Sussex County Courthouse behind her attorney, Eugene Maurer.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Molly Shattuck, center, walks out of the Sussex County Courthouse behind her attorney, Eugene Maurer.Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck, 48, pled guilty to one count of Rape in the Fourth Degree earlier this week.

The plea took place in Sussex County Superior Court on Tuesday, June 16, before Judge E. Scott Bradley. During the “plea by appointment,” Bradley asked Shattuck a number of questions.

Shattuck acknowledged that by pleading guilty she understood she was waiving her rights to a trial, which had been scheduled to begin June 22.

“Did you commit the offense you are pleading guilty to?” asked Bradley of Shattuck.

“Yes,” she replied.

Rape in the Fourth Degree is a Class C felony, and Shattuck faces a maximum of 15 years in prison. One of Shattuck’s attorneys, Eugene Maurer, stated in court that she has no prior convictions. She will be registered as a Tier II “moderate-risk” sex offender. She is to not have contact with any minors, with the exception of her three children.

In November 2014, a Grand Jury charged Shattuck with two counts of Rape in the Third Degree for performing oral sex on a minor who was 15 years old at the time. She was also charged with four counts of Unlawful Sexual Contact in the Second Degree, and three counts of Providing Alcoholic Liquor to a Minor. At that time, she pled not guilty and was released on $84,000 bond.

Human trafficking isn’t just a big-city problem

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Yolanda Schlabach talks about the ugly truth of human trafficking in Delaware.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Yolanda Schlabach talks about the ugly truth of human trafficking in Delaware.Christine McCoy was completely shocked the first time she heard Yolanda Schlabach speak about the ugly truth of human trafficking in Delaware.

“To me it was always oversees, or cities — not right here in Sussex County. And the more people that are aware, the better we can start fighting it,” said McCoy, president of Southern Sussex Rotary Club, where Schlabach spoke in May.

“Apparently, southern Delaware is a hotbed for this type of activity because of the rural nature of our communities and several other factors,” McCoy stated.

“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act,” according to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Sussex County rebrands airport with new name, logo

Coastal Point • Submitted: The new logo for the Delaware Coastal Airport was created by Ben Muldrow of Milford, and his firm, Arnett Muldrow & Associates.Coastal Point • Submitted: The new logo for the Delaware Coastal Airport was created by Ben Muldrow of Milford, and his firm, Arnett Muldrow & Associates.With a majority vote, Sussex County Council this week approved the rebranding of the Georgetown Airport as Delaware Coastal Airport.

“We need to tell our story and position this facility for future growth,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson.

Rebranding is the latest step in a more-than-decade-long, nearly $40 million effort to modernize the facility and boost economic development, which includes extending the main runway, leasing new hangar space and replacing airport lighting.

Prior to the vote, Lawson said the airport has suffered from an “identity crisis.”

“Depending on who you speak to, many people refer to the facility by a number of names, including the County Airport, the Sussex County Airport, or the Georgetown airport — which most locals call the facility.

County opposes EPA’s rule relating to ‘Waters of the U.S.’

Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson this week provided an update regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule related to the “Waters of the United States” at the request of Councilman George Cole.

Lawson said the rule was introduced on May 27 and was written in conjunction with the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Boaters on local waterways arrested for OUI

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between May 18 and 24 made 2,784 contacts with anglers, boaters and the general public, including 667 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 108 complaints and issued 94 citations.

Incidents of particular note were:

In case you missed it, there have been some changes here

Plenty has happened around the community over the off-season. In case you’ve been out of town, or have just been too busy to stay on top of things, here are some of the items that could most affect your summer season.

Time to consider the ‘Climate Framework for Delaware’

It’s time to see what Delaware has come up with to become more resilient to climate change.

The Governor’s Cabinet Committee on Climate & Resiliency (CCoCAR) has written 159 recommendations for reducing greenhouse gases, minimizing flood risks and increasing resilience to climate impacts (such as changes in temperature, precipitation or sea level).

Memorial Day event planned on The Circle this Sunday, May 24

The traditional Sussex County Memorial Day Service will be held on the Circle in Georgetown on Sunday, May 24, at 1:30 p.m. The co-sponsors are the Georgetown Kiwanis Club and the Korean War Veterans Association.

Route 26 moves to nighttime lane closures — for summer

Late-night work is getting a little later this summer on Route 26. The Delaware Department of Transportation was already scheduled to begin a second year of overnight work on the road construction project, from May 15 to Sept. 30, in a schedule designed to accommodate summer traffic.

County council reviews budget for 2016 fiscal year

This week, the Sussex County Council was presented with a proposed budget for the fiscal year 2016, at $128.6 million.

As it stands, there is no change in the County property tax rate or general fund fees in the proposed budget.

“That makes 26 years in a row that the County will not raise property taxes,” said Todd Lawson, county administrator.

Turkey hunters reminded about regulations

DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between April 20 and 26 made 729 contacts with anglers, hunters, boaters and the general public, including 115 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 30 complaints and issued 17 citations.

County P&Z commissioners visit Shore Democrats

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commissioner Rodney Smith, left, and Chairman Bob Wheatley addressed members of the Shore Democrats last week.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commissioner Rodney Smith, left, and Chairman Bob Wheatley addressed members of the Shore Democrats last week.The Shore Democrats last week got some inside information as to how the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission conducts business.

P&Z Chairman Bob Wheatley, along with Bethany Beach resident and District 4 Commissioner Rodney Smith, spoke to an assembled group of members, explaining that P&Z is a five-person commission, where no more than two members can come from any one district.

The Planning & Zoning Commission deals with changes of zoning, conditional uses and subdivisions.

“Everything we do is governed by the planning and zoning ordinance,” said Wheatley. “We often have to act on things that we may not like, but our job as planning and zoning commissioners is to measure the application against the ordinance. Whatever the ordinance says goes.”

Wheatley, who has served on the commission for 20 years, said the P&Z makes recommendations to Sussex County Council, though the council is not bound to follow those recommendations.

County council members get a state legislative update

The Sussex County Council received a legislative update from Hal Godwin, deputy county administrator, at this week’s county council meeting.

Godwin spoke to the council about House Bill 85, which would amend Title 30 of the Delaware Code relating to State Taxes — allowing tax intercept programs to be used to collect delinquent taxes.

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