Local News

Agenda – January 13, 2016

Bethany Beach

• The Charter & Ordinance Review Committee meeting set for Jan. 9 was canceled.

• Bethany Beach Town Hall will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Coastal towns find strength in numbers

In coastal Delaware, it’s time to ACT up.

Perhaps a decade has passed since the coastal towns came together in an official alliance. But the Association of Coastal Towns (ACT) is re-forming, with Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island already in on the ACT.

Birding weekend for all nature lovers

Monthly birding events highlight area wildlife

For the people who love hearing a great horned owl hoot eerily at dusk, or watching a great blue heron chow down on an unlucky fish: Humans and birds are flying toward the Delmarva Peninsula for the same reason — the winter migration.

Winter is a busy season for birdfeeding aficionados

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: A cardinal sits at a bird feeder in Camden-Wyoming.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: A cardinal sits at a bird feeder in Camden-Wyoming.The other day, my 3-year-old grandson, Samuel, and I were filling our birdfeeders when my son-in-law asked if we really expected birds to come use them at this time of the year. At first I thought, why ask such a silly question? But after I thought a little bit about it, I realized that it wasn’t such a silly question.

Many people remember being taught that birds fly south for the winter. Also, if you don’t have birdfeeders up, you will see fewer birds during the winter months. However, if you have birdfeeders up and keep them cleaned and filled, you will have lots of birds visiting your yard.

Many birds eat bugs and, at this time of year, many bugs go into dormant states. Other birds eat seeds, and plants also go into dormant states at this time of year, resulting in less seeds for the birds to eat.

Honored a lifetime later: Civil War veterans receive tribute

Coastal Point • Submitted: Glenn Layton kneels at the grave of a distant cousin, William Layton.Coastal Point • Submitted: Glenn Layton kneels at the grave of a distant cousin, William Layton.Thousands of soldiers died in the Civil War. But those who survived also hold a special place in history. Now, the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War hope to recognize the gravesites of every Civil War veteran buried in Delaware.

Nearly two years into their mission, the Lt. Col. David L. Stricker Camp #64 has placed nearly 200 small, star-shaped markers at veteran graves.

“We’re trying to identify every soldier in the state that fought for the state of Delaware in that war but does not have any recognition on their stone,” said volunteer Dan Cowgill. “When we find them, we place a marker.”

This November, they honored two veterans at Red Men’s Cemetery in Selbyville: William Layton (1841-1920) and Robert B. Carey (1829-1902). Both men were buried alongside their wives.

IRSD's Bunting tapped to become state's top legislator

Dr. Susan BuntingDr. Susan BuntingThe Indian River School District may be sending another education leader to the state level. This time, it’s for the big chair.

IRSD Superintendent Susan Bunting is to be nominated for Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education. On Dec. 30, Gov.-elect John Carney announced his intent to nominate Bunting for his cabinet to lead Delaware for the next four years.

“It’s been an absolute privilege to be in this district for the length of time that I’ve been here. It’s a very tough decision to go, but I’m hoping to help more people,” Bunting said. Ultimately, the students have been “at the heart of everything” she has done.

Bunting has served as Indian River School District superintendent since 2006, currently responsible for more than 10,000 students and more than 1,300 employees — one of the state’s biggest and fastest-growing school districts.

Dagsboro appoints Baull as mayor

There’s a new mayor in Dagsboro, but one with a familiar face.

Brian Baull Sr. was appointed as mayor of the Town of Dagsboro at its December town council meeting, replacing Norwood Truitt, who remains on the council.

Baull said the appointment wasn’t a complete shock, as the role of mayor requires one to talk to the public — something Baull is used to doing as a local radio D.J.

Dagsboro’s new administrator dives right into the job

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Cindi Brought is fully immersed in her new duties as administrator of the Town of Dagsboro.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Cindi Brought is fully immersed in her new duties as administrator of the Town of Dagsboro.For two months, Dagsboro Town Hall was without day-to-day leadership. But Cynthia “Cindi” Brought has returned to the public sector to become Dagsboro’s town administrator.

Brought said she enjoys helping residents work through their problems — even the tough ones. And she’s done it before, as Frankford’s town clerk (and only town-hall employee) from 1998 to 2001.

“It was always something new and exciting,” Brought said. “It’s a challenge, but I really enjoy it, just dealing with the public. I feel like I’m very approachable, and I listen to their concerns, their complaints, and I follow up on it. … It might not be the answer they want, but I will get it.”

County recognizes Lank for decades of service

Coastal Point • Maria Counts Sussex County Planning & Zoning Director Lawrence Lank, center, receives recognition from Sussex County Council members and employees for his service to the County. Lank was the longest-serving employee in Sussex County history, starting his tenure in 1969 as a map draftsman. He assumed the director position in 1985.Coastal Point • Maria Counts Sussex County Planning & Zoning Director Lawrence Lank, center, receives recognition from Sussex County Council members and employees for his service to the County. Lank was the longest-serving employee in Sussex County history, starting his tenure in 1969 as a map draftsman. He assumed the director position in 1985.After 47 years of service to Sussex County government, Planning & Zoning Director Lawrence Lank will retire on Jan. 6.

The longest-serving County employee in its history, Lank was hired Oct. 14, 1969, as a map draftsman. He then went on to work as a planning tech from 1977 until January 1985, when he became the active director. In April of that year, he took over as permanent Planning & Zoning director.

“We’re certainly sad to see him go and wish him all the best on his next chapter,” said County Administrator Todd Lawson.

During its Jan. 3 meeting, Sussex County council members took the time to recognize Lank for his service and say a few words.

Agenda – January 6, 2016

Bethany Beach

• The Bethany Beach Charter & Ordinance Review Committee (CORC) will meet on Monday, Jan. 9, at 10 a.m. at town hall. The agenda for the meeting includes discussion of possible revisions to Chapter 530, Signs, of the town code; and discussion of remainder of Part I of the town code.

Honored a lifetime later: Civil War veterans receive tribute

Coastal Point • Submitted: Glenn Layton kneels at the grave of a distant cousin, William Layton.Coastal Point • Submitted: Glenn Layton kneels at the grave of a distant cousin, William Layton.Thousands of soldiers died in the Civil War. But those who survived also hold a special place in history. Now, the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War hope to recognize the gravesites of every Civil War veteran buried in Delaware.

Nearly two years into their mission, the Lt. Col. David L. Stricker Camp #64 has placed nearly 200 small, star-shaped markers at veteran graves.

“We’re trying to identify every soldier in the state that fought for the state of Delaware in that war but does not have any recognition on their stone,” said volunteer Dan Cowgill. “When we find them, we place a marker.”

Rehoboth man arrested after pursuit

Timothy J. DrabicTimothy J. DrabicA Rehoboth Beach man was arrested last week following a high-speed pursuit involving seven law-enforcement agencies.

According to police, around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 30, a black SUV was observed traveling northbound in the southbound lane of Coastal Highway in Ocean City, Md. It was reported that the SUV was driving at speeds up to 100 mph.

“This individual placed a lot of people in danger. In particular, one Ocean City officer that, apparently, he swerved toward that officer and came very close to striking their marked police car at a very high rate of speed,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin. “Fortunately, nobody was hurt there, and we’re glad we were able to take him in without any injuries.”

BREAKING NEWS: Police investigating bomb threat at Long Neck Elementary

The Delaware State Police on Thursday afternoon were investigating a bomb threat that was called into the Long Neck Elementary School at 26064 School Lane this afternoon.

BREAKING NEWS: IRSD’s Bunting to be nominated for Secretary of Education

Gov.-elect John Carney is building his cabinet to lead Delaware for the next four years. On Dec. 30, he announced his intent to nominate Selbyville’s Susan Bunting as Secretary of the Department of Education.

DNREC approves faster process for aquaculture leases

Delaware can take its next step forward with shellfish aquaculture. The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) has finally approved an expedited process to approve aquaculture leases in the Rehoboth, Indian River and Little Assawoman bays. In 2017, aquaculturalists could begin growing oysters and clams on lease sites in the inland bays.

South Bethany looks at police building, streetlights, sea level

Numbers are settling into place as South Bethany plans its police station expansion, which has a tentative price tag of $232,450 (including an $18,000 contingency fund). The money is available, spread over the next two budget cycles, said Mayor Pat Voveris on Dec. 9.

Police still seek suspect in Christmas Eve home invasion

The Delaware State Police are still seeking a suspect in a Frankford-area home invasion that occurred on Christmas Eve.

On. Saturday, Dec. 24, at around 6:30 a.m., three suspects forcefully broke into a home through the front door and awoke a 19-year old male victim and an 18-year-old male victim, who were reportedly sleeping in separate bedrooms

Assawoman Canal collects dredging permits

Dredging is once again in the Assawoman Canal’s future. To improve watercraft navigation, Delaware State Parks has officially requested state and national permits for 3.94 miles of maintenance dredging anytime in the next 10 years.

Officials hope to begin in January, finishing the northern canal (Route 26 to White Creek) by the boating season.

Bearhole Farms gives a whole new look to farming

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Cindy Stevens and C.J. Mears display some of the produce they have grown through aquaponic farming.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Cindy Stevens and C.J. Mears display some of the produce they have grown through aquaponic farming.At the entrance to a greenhouse at Bearhole Farms near Roxana sits a blue tank about the size of a small hot tub. Orange-finned flashes flit around the bottom and a pump emits a constant thrum.

“That’s the engine,” says Bear Hole proprietor Cindy Stevens. The heart of the engine, which produces a perpetual harvest of 3,000 lettuce plants inside the 1,700-square-foot greenhouse, is fish. About 350 koi, common goldfish and channel catfish, to be precise.

In addition to swimming around the tank, the fish eat... and then when that food turns to fish waste, it is released into a system of channels that run under the lettuce plants, watering and feeding the plants. It’s the perfect symbiotic relationship.

State of the Bays report shows the good and the bad

CIB to the public: Scientific data at your fingertips

It doesn’t take a biology degree to enjoy the beauty of the local rivers and bays. So the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) created a simplified scientific report so the average Joe can comprehend what’s happening inside the bays.

Fenwick Island ready to bring the ‘Freeze’ to the shore

Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Freeze creates a splash.Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Freeze creates a splash.Good news, Fenwick Freeze fans! This year’s freeze — technically a dip in ocean waters whose temperatures are hovering in the mid-40s — will be 90 minutes later.

That means New Year’s revelers will have a bit longer to drink some coffee and pull their swimsuits out of the bottom of their dressers. This year’s swim will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 1. Swimmers will gather on the beach at Bayard Street, according to Rebecca McWilliams, chairman of the town’s Beach Committee.

McWilliams, who has organized the swim since its inception 13 years ago, said although Fenwick’s winter swim might not be as big as those in neighboring beach towns, its charm lies in its simplicity “It’s kind of a local thing,”she said. “It’s the same people that do it every year.” McWilliams said many of the 150 or so swimmers have participated with their families since the very first one.

Hair of the Dog/Exercise like the Eskimos set for New Years Day

Coastal Point photos • File photo: The start to a previous Exercise Like the Eskimos event. Coastal Point photos • File photo: The start to a previous Exercise Like the Eskimos event. For the sixth straight year, local residents can ring in the New Year with the Hair of the Dog 5K/10K, and for the 21st year in a row, they can follow it up with the Leo Brady Exercise like the Eskimos Plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.

The downtown Bethany Beach-based event is set to get underway on Sunday, Jan. 1, with the race starting off at Parkwood Street and Atlantic Avenue, and ending at the Bethany Beach Bandstand.

Hundreds of runners from all age groups and experience levels are expected, to compete on the family friendly and “festive” course.

The first 350 runners to complete the race will receive official finishing medals to go along with both overall and age group awards.

Routine check leads police to recovery of stolen car

Last month, a stolen car was recovered by Ocean View Police Department after conducting a routine vehicle registration check.

On Nov. 25, at a little after midnight, an OVPD officer, while on patrol, ran the tags of a 1998 green Honda Civic with Delaware registration at the Royal Farms on Atlantic Ave.

Guest Column – Quite the testimonial: ‘I trust Beebe with my heart’

When Bob and Ellen Chaisson decided to retire to Lewes 17 years ago, they had never visited the region before. They wanted a nice place to live, but one that was still close enough to travel to Maryland, where they had lived for 20 years.

FOP Lodge 16 recognizes community members

Coastal Point photos • Submitted: FOP Lodge 16 President Ray Myers, left, and Raffle Chairman Bob Walters, far right, present plaques to G&E manager Butch Davis and Sen. Gerald Hocker, middle.Coastal Point photos • Submitted: FOP Lodge 16 President Ray Myers, left, and Raffle Chairman Bob Walters, far right, present plaques to G&E manager Butch Davis and Sen. Gerald Hocker, middle.Earlier this month, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 16, out of Bethany Beach, acknowledged the accomplishments of three community members.

At its Dec. 16 monthly meeting, the Lodge took the time to recognize Sen. Gerald Hocker, 12-year-old Skye Best, and Bethany Beach Police Department Sgt. Charles “Chuck” Scharp.

Scharp was recognized for his heroic efforts when he assisted Bethany Beach Public Works employee Sean Ely in saving the life of an 11-year-old boy who almost drowned in Bethany in early October.

Author Ryan wins Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable Book Award

Local author and Coastal Point columnist Thomas J. Ryan was recently named the winner of the annual Gettysburg Civil War Roundtable Book Award for his book “Spies, Scouts & Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign,” published by Savas Beatie of California.

Take 2: IRSD prepares for second referendum

District expects nearly $1M in state budget cuts

After their recent referendum failed by a mere 20 votes, Indian River School District officials are ready to try again. The school board this week approved holding a second current-expense referendum on Thursday, March 2, (inclement weather date, March 16), in hopes of having at least slightly better success.

Selbyville store sells winning Powerball ticket worth $121M

Someone who bought a Powerball ticket at the Goose Creek convenience store in Selbyville hit the jackpot on Saturday, Dec. 17, when the winning ticket, worth $121.6 million, was drawn. At press time, the winner had not yet come forward, and Delaware lottery policy doesn’t require them to publicly reveal their identity in order to claim the prize.

Moving slowly, Dove Landing gets an extension in Millville

A long-planned housing development in Millville may take even longer to get constructed, after the Millville Town Council this week voted unanimously to deny developers a third extension of the Town’s approvals for the Dove Landing project.

Prepare to stop: Route 17 traffic signal goes live

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Stop ahead! Clarksville has a slightly new traffic pattern, with a new stop light at Route 17 and Burbage Road, which replaces the old flashing lights.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Stop ahead! Clarksville has a slightly new traffic pattern, with a new stop light at Route 17 and Burbage Road, which replaces the old flashing lights.Drivers should be prepared for a new traffic pattern on Route 17 (Roxana Road), as the new traffic signal at the Burbage Road intersection has been completed and went live on Dec. 16.

Previously, Route 17 traffic had a continuous right-of-way, with a flashing yellow light. Burbage Road traffic stopped at a red flashing light before crossing Route 17.

In 2015, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) determined that a full traffic signal could have prevented eight of 11 car collisions from August 2012 to August 2015.

According to data from 2014, Route 17 had an annual average daily traffic volume of 4,319 vehicles per day (vpd). Burbage had 1,277 or 2,260 on either side of Route 17.

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