Local News

Community welcomes military veterans and families

Earlier this week, 25 Very Important Families (VIFs) joined the Bethany Beach community. Some would argue they’re the most important visitors to the area in the whole year.

Frankford, Dagsboro to meet on possibly joining (police) forces

Last month, Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey presented some information to the Frankford Town Council about what it would take to join the two towns’ police forces.

Some older residents surprised by new property tax rates

When opening their property tax bills this summer, many local residents expected their taxes to increase because of the March public-school referendum. But the Indian River School District’s successful referendum isn’t the only reason that taxes increased.

SEAs the Day alumni return for Warrior Beach Week

A family vacation to the beach is not always within reach for the family of military veterans, whose focus is often on paying the bills and the overall health of the family.

Enter Operation SEAs the Day.

IRSD announces more new administrators, fills staff

With the new school year having begun on Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Indian River School District is putting the finishing touches on its administration lineup. Although most of the transition was completed before July, a few new opportunities recently opened up for IR staff. Last-minute changes were made at several schools:

Humility and a vodka martini: Local centenarian has the answers

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Reine Jesel recently celebrated his 100th birthday, surrounded by friends and family at this favorite morning coffee joint, the Selbyville McDonald’s.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Reine Jesel recently celebrated his 100th birthday, surrounded by friends and family at this favorite morning coffee joint, the Selbyville McDonald’s.On almost any morning in the Selbyville McDonald’s, a group of older men can be found laughing together over breakfast.

In the far corner this week, one white-haired fellow with bright eyes and a big grin enjoyed a special spotlight. After all, Reine Jesel had just celebrated his 100th birthday.

He still drives himself to McDonald’s six days a week for a black coffee to read the daily paper (no eyeglasses required). He won’t need to renew his driver license until he’s 105.

“I’m fortunate,” he said.

Most of his life was spent in New Jersey, working as a general contractor in the construction business. He was 85 when he and his wife, Shirley, moved to the outskirts of Frankford about 15 years ago.

Pre-Civil War house to be featured on Historic House Tour

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Smith house, built around 1839, has been renovated to expand the space. The home will be featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural tour of historic homes on Oct. 7.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Smith house, built around 1839, has been renovated to expand the space. The home will be featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural tour of historic homes on Oct. 7.Perhaps the oldest surviving house in Ocean View, the circa-1839 Smith House was built by the Tunnell family on the Indian River and then moved to its present Daisy Avenue location a century later, before 1937. It will be among the historic homes in the area featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7.

Duncan and Cindy Smith purchased the original 1,800-square-foot colonial-style home in 1999 and then renovated it into a 4,000-square-foot home for their young family. They used antiques to capture the house’s history: hanging doors from an old general store on the master bedroom shower, installing seats from the Lord Baltimore School auditorium and making indoor swings from the floor joist of the pre-Civil War house. The home still has its first fireplace, and the house’s original exterior front doors are now hung at the entry to the master bedroom.

Tourgoers can search for more creative adaptations in the game room and other areas. The grounds include a white picket fence, entrance arbor and in-ground pool.

Cocktails Curing Cancer offers drinks for a cause

It’s a bubbly night to battle a deadly disease. The annual Cocktails Curing Cancer party will be held Thursday, Sept. 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Big Fish Grill in Ocean View.

“We want the evening to be around remembering, honoring and celebrating … and bringing people together who have all been touched by this horrible disease of cancer,” said organizer Lisa Condon.

IRSD talks budget, school numbers, FFA

With some of its schools completely over their enrollment capacity, the Indian River School District is trying to nail down a system for school choice.

On Aug. 28, for the first time in months, the Board of Education approved a number of school-choice recommendations, after only a few minutes of discussion.

Bethany to dedicate Chair of Honor

One empty chair — a symbol of someone who is missing — can be a powerful statement.

Bethany set to mourn summer New Orleans-style

On Labor Day of 1985, former town councilman Moss Wagner created the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral to commemorate the end of the summer season. This year, the annual mock-funeral will take place in downtown Bethany Beach on Sept. 4, Labor Day, and will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the north end of the boardwalk.

Sternberg to sign ‘Fall from Grace’ at Bethany Beach Books

When author Libby Sternberg comes to Bethany Beach Books on Sunday, Sept. 3, she will be signing copies of her latest book, “Fall from Grace,” a tale of redemption about a modern-day man from a famous evangelical Christian family whose indiscretions bring him and his family unwelcome scrutiny.

Fenwick council to talk voter registration one last time

Fenwick Island Town Council will — perhaps grudgingly — give the voter registration topic one last chance.

Car show to support Operation SEAs the Day

In an effort to support the grassroots organization Operation SEAs the Day, whose goal is to facilitate a beach week for wounded military service members and their families, local Realtor Allison Stine created the Cripple Creek Car Show.

Jayne’s Reliable to host event featuring celebrity DIYers

Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver : David and Karen Jayne sit at one of Karen Murray’s re-finished pieces of vintage furniture with pots of Debi’s Design Diary paint.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver : David and Karen Jayne sit at one of Karen Murray’s re-finished pieces of vintage furniture with pots of Debi’s Design Diary paint.Excitement is building at Jayne’s Reliable in Dagsboro.

In less than two weeks, Karen and David Jayne will be hosting a major DIY (do-it-yourself) event featuring YouTube sensation Debi Beard, known in the DIY world from Debi’s Design Diary.

Also present will be Josie Celio and Sally Griswold, the sisters who own Iron Orchid Designs, and Dionne Woods from Turquoise Iris. These names are celebrities amongst the many people who delight in painting, decorating and repurposing vintage and reclaimed furniture and architectural salvage.

Jayne’s Reliable has been selected from stores around the country that sell Debi’s Design Diary’s paint to hold its second DIY Traveling Show & Marketplace on Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We are thrilled,” said Karen Jayne. “I attended Debi’s first one at her shop in Solana Beach, Calif. It was an amazing experience, and I learned so much. It’s a huge honor for us, located in small-town Delaware, to have been chosen. We can’t wait for our customers and DIY enthusiasts in our region to come and join in.”

Green thumbs give a boost to South Bethany canals

Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Participants in South Bethany’s Annual Adopt-A-Canal End Contest pose for a photo at one of the canal ends.Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Participants in South Bethany’s Annual Adopt-A-Canal End Contest pose for a photo at one of the canal ends.South Bethany is rewarding green behavior. For seven years now, the Annual Adopt-A-Canal End Contest has encouraged residents and property owners to help beautify their little corners of town, for the benefit of all.

Canal ends can be pleasant spots to rest and enjoy the water (from the land), so the Community Enhancement Committee encourages people to create small gardens, which then compete in a summertime beauty contest. Although there were only three winners, many volunteers dedicated hundreds of hours of hard work to landscape 34 different canal ends throughout town.

Lord’s Landscaping joined the winners and town officials on Aug. 18 to present gift certificates to the winning three.

Nanticoke Powwow set to celebrate fourth decade

Coastal Point • File Photo: Dancers from all over the country gather to dance during last year’s Nanticoke Indian Powwow.Coastal Point • File Photo: Dancers from all over the country gather to dance during last year’s Nanticoke Indian Powwow.Dancers and vendors will travel from all over the country to Millsboro for the Nanticoke Indian Tribe’s 40th Annual Powwow on Saturday, Sept. 9, and Sunday, Sept. 10.

The theme for this year’s powwow is “The sacred fire that continues to burn within us.”

“We are celebrating our elders before us, those walking now and the generations to come,” said Nanticoke Indian Association Secretary Kayleigh Vickers.

The powwow is a family reunion for the Nanticoke tribe.

“We get to practice, see people and do things, traditionally, emotionally and spiritually, that we don’t always get to do,” said Vickers.

Celebrity Chef’s Beach Brunch to benefit Meals on Wheels

Aromas and tastes of culinary brunch dishes and beverages will soon fill the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach as chefs from 25 coastal restaurants prepare their specialties.

Future Coastal Towns Museum to be featured on house tour

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Evans West house, built around 1901, is the future home of the Coastal Towns Museum in Ocean View and will be featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural tour of historic homes on Oct. 7.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Evans West house, built around 1901, is the future home of the Coastal Towns Museum in Ocean View and will be featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural tour of historic homes on Oct. 7.As the century turned toward 1900, Ocean View newlywed Mary West Evans was given a piece of land on the corner of West and Oakwood Avenues by her father, Captain George H. West, who lived across the field (now a town park) in the Tunnell-West House, which was built circa 1850.

Mary West Evans and her husband, James Evans, a surfman at the Fenwick Island Lifesaving Station, built the stately gothic house, featuring pointed windows, angular roofline and corbels on the porch. It will be among the historic homes in the area featured on the Ocean View Historical Society’s inaugural Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The State of Delaware’s historic preservationists have dubbed the home “The Downton Abbey of Ocean View” because of its classic Victorian style, masterful woodworking, etched glass window on the original front door and other marvelously preserved features.

Flute & Lute make it a musical evening

Coastal Point • Submitted: Mark Marvel and Phoebe Walls play serene sounds in the new musical duo Flute & Lute.Coastal Point • Submitted: Mark Marvel and Phoebe Walls play serene sounds in the new musical duo Flute & Lute.How about a little night music? Flute & Lute is a new musical duo adding ambiance to special events. Flute & Lute is available for restaurants, private parties and wedding ceremonies. The musicians are guitarist Mark Marvel and flutist Phoebe Walls.

“A lot of wedding ceremonies use flute and guitar,” Marvel said. “It’s just beautiful together, especially [with] guitar playing the chords, flute playing the melody. It’s beautiful. … It’s real popular.”

The pair will be in the dining room at Doyle’s restaurant in Selbyville on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 5 to 8 p.m.

It’s all instrumental — no singing. Some songs are classical, including Bach and Pachelbel, and others are classics, such as “Beyond the Sea” and “Moon River.” The musicians sway from the Beatles to the gentle ballads of John Denver and Celine Dion.

‘It’s mystical’

Indian River Inlet Bridge hosts eclipse viewing party

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant:  As crowds gathered around the nation to watch a solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, the Indian River Inlet Bridge offered a picturesque backdrop.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: As crowds gathered around the nation to watch a solar eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, the Indian River Inlet Bridge offered a picturesque backdrop.

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On Monday, Aug. 21, as the time drew closer to 2:46 p.m. — the “peak” eclipse time for the region — a steady stream of eclipse-watchers pulled in to the parking lots at the Indian River Inlet and began climbing the pedestrian path on the east side of the Indian River Inlet Bridge.

IRSD citizens group debates the issues, reviews new budget

The Indian River School District has found some new eyes to look at the budget, and they’ve got some ideas. The Citizens Budget Oversight Committee convened on Aug. 21 for their first look at the IRSD’s proposed $151 million preliminary budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

Small businesses go front-and-center

State Sen. Gerald Hocker and Gov. John Carney on Aug. 16 invited a small group of local businesspeople to join them for lunch and a roundtable discussion on the state’s economy and their concerns about their individual businesses and beyond.

Selbyville teen to compete in Miss Hispanic pageant

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: For her pageant platform, Ana Calles encourages people to volunteer for the causes they love.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: For her pageant platform, Ana Calles encourages people to volunteer for the causes they love.Ana Calles doesn’t mind driving two hours to Wilmington every week this summer. Hailing from Selbyville, she’s the only downstate contestant in the Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant.

“Honestly, it’s a big honor, and I feel very fortunate and blessed,” said Calles, 17. “I see how I’m the only one from lower Delaware. I don’t see that as an inconvenience to go all the way up there. I see it was an opportunity or a blessing. I think it’s special because it makes me stand out.”

She will represent Mexico in the Aug. 26 program, which celebrates Hispanic culture and is also designed to help young ladies develop poise and communication skills.

As a rising junior at Indian River High School, Calles said she has wanted to join the pageant for several years now. Calles has lived in Selbyville all her life, except for a few years in Mexico when she was younger.

She has the drive to compete, even hiring Uber rides to Wilmington, until teacher Lori Hudson put an end to that. Then, Hudson personally drove Calles to rehearsals and helped her with program sponsorships.

“She helps me with my schooling and everything. She’s really awesome, to be honest,” Calles said of Hudson. “She definitely goes out of her way, and she’s really there for me — almost in a way a mother would.”

The pageant began in 1972 and is celebrated with the Wilmington Hispanic Festival.

Bringing the ‘wow’ factor

Pizzazz features unique décor and gifts in Fenwick

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Pizzazz by the Bay owner Victoria Thanner in her Fenwick Island shop.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Pizzazz by the Bay owner Victoria Thanner in her Fenwick Island shop.This tiny shop in Fenwick Island is living up to its name. Pizzazz by the Bay isn’t trying to be the ordinary gift shop. Visitors and locals are coming there to find eclectic gifts and home décor by local artists.

Never behind the counter for very long, Victoria Thanner greets every customer with a smile. She loves being right there, helping them find the perfect item, or picturing it in their home.

With so many people still building and renovating in coastal Delaware, “I want to do something different … showcase local artists and pieces,” Thanner said. “People are looking for that ‘wow’ piece.”

Some of the more striking sculptures begin with driftwood: a gentle curving sailboat, a rough sea turtle and tall lamps strung with Edison bulbs and ship’s rope.

Cooks and books have a tasty time at Selbyville library

Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Cathy Martin serves chicken curry, next to a dish of chicken meatballs with smoked paprika tomato sauce.Coastal Point photos • Laura Walter: Cathy Martin serves chicken curry, next to a dish of chicken meatballs with smoked paprika tomato sauce.Libraries were never this delicious. But now people are turning on their tastebuds at the Selbyville Public Library.

Every month, the Eat & Greet Cookbook Club tries recipes from a new cookbook. Beforehand, anyone in the community can choose a recipe from a cookbook featured at the library. All the participants prepare a dish, and then they share a potluck dinner on the second Monday of each month. That night, people get to sample everyone’s cooking and take home the recipes.

It’s always a chance to try something new, and the group couldn’t name a recipe that they didn’t like.

In August, they tried “The Whole30 Cookbook,” a low-carb, high-flavor program by Melissa Hartwig. Recipes ranged from a classic slow-cooker chicken salad to an adventurous tomato-coconut curry chicken.

“I’m a basic person. This is my first time having [spaghetti] squash and cauliflower rice,” said librarian Ronshell “Shelly” Purnell, who roasted flavorful chicken thighs that night.

Sometimes it’s an intimate handful of cooks, while other nights are packed with a dozen or more cooks and dishes.

“It’s a nice way to meet people in your community,” said Cathy Martin. “It’s fun to get together and talk—”

“Food!” Dottie Kauffman interjected.

Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ making its way to Freeman Stage

The Brown Box Theatre Project will perform Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at the Freeman Stage on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m.

Photography contest to illustrate what family means to you

Brandywine Living at Fenwick Island is holding a photography contest for photographs that portray family life, as part of its celebration of National Assisted Living Week.

Entries should portray a moment that illustrates “what family means to you,” as Brandywine Living’s theme for this year’s National Assisted Living Week is “Family is forever.”

Delaware Federation says ‘it’s not your grandmother’s club’

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Salt Air Gardeners are members of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs. The club won an award from DNREC for their plantings at the Indian River Lifesaving Station earlier this year.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Salt Air Gardeners are members of the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs. The club won an award from DNREC for their plantings at the Indian River Lifesaving Station earlier this year.Calling all gardeners and wannabe landscapers — the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs is looking for you.

Next Wednesday, Aug. 30, the Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs will be hosting an informational meeting regarding joining or starting a garden club. The membership event will be held at the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach from 6 to 7 p.m.

“There are so many new communities here, and I don’t even think they know that we exist down here,” said Lisa Arni, president of the federation. “I am finding through the Master Gardeners and other organizations that people are moving here and saying, ‘OK, I bought this new house and have the builder’s minimal package of plants, and I don’t know what to plant here because I’m new to Delaware.’

“They’d be really good candidates because they just moved here, they don’t know anybody, they would make new friends and learn about what to plant in their communities and in their gardens.”

Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour to debut Oct. 7

Coastal Point • Submitted: The guest cottage behind the Selby Evans House was built around 1887.Coastal Point • Submitted: The guest cottage behind the Selby Evans House was built around 1887.The Ocean View Historical Society will host its inaugural Coastal Towns Historic Homes Tour on Saturday, Oct. 7, featuring a number of historical homes in the area. One of the featured homes is located a 41 West Avenue in Ocean View. Selby Evans and his wife, Elizabeth Hall Evans, were the first residents of the picturesque colonial style home, which is currently owned by their great-granddaughter Barbara Slavin.

A letter from Selby to his son James mentions the lumber was purchased in Frankford for $300. While the house was originally just a parlor and dining room with two bedrooms above, indoor plumbing and a new kitchen were added in 1935. The first kitchen is now a guest house open for viewing in the landscaped back yard, which includes a gazebo and several cozy seating areas. Inside the home, original artwork abounds, including a Laura Hickman painting of the Evans-West House across the street, where James Evans lived after he married Mary West.

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