Local News

Sussex County approves revised signage ordinance

After nearly five hours of discussion on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Sussex County Council approved its revised signage ordinance.

The council has been discussing signs since April of last year, following a letter from the Sussex County Board of Adjustment, which led to the entire ordinance being reviewed and a moratorium on off-premises sign applications.

Ocean View council continues to discuss ambulance fees

The Ocean View Town Council this week reviewed its latest draft agreement for ambulance subscription fee, which would require businesses and property owners to pay a flat rate of $35 per year to the Millville Volunteer Fire Company (MVFC) to help pay for ambulance service, for a period of three years.

DelDOT lays out transportation plans through 2023 fiscal year

Good planning starts early, so people recently got a look at Delaware’s six-year Capital Transportation Program (CTP) for the 2018-2023 fiscal years.

Dump your docs: Millville shred event helps prevent fraud

Got old paperwork gathering dust? In Millville, County Bank is hosting a paper-shredding event, open to the public on Friday, Oct. 14, from noon to 3 p.m. People can bring up to three banker-size boxes worth of papers (a standard-size financial container is approximately 10 by 12 by 15 inches).

Millville residents chomping at the bit for playground

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Playground, walking trail and... timed obstacle course? Millville has grand plans for its future playground at Dukes Drive.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Playground, walking trail and... timed obstacle course? Millville has grand plans for its future playground at Dukes Drive.Citizens are so excited about the prospect of a new Millville playground that they protested even the thought that town council might delay discussion of the project by two weeks.

But the Millville Town Council was pleased with the park concepts discussed on Oct. 11, voting unanimously to approve the layout, general concept and the purchase of about $115,000 in playground equipment (which includes a $103,000 grant the Town will receive from the manufacturer).

“We’re starting with a blank slate. It’s a piece of grass on Dukes Road,” said GameTime representative Brian Lewis.

Big plans and millions of dollars could go into those 4.9 acres.

New power-plant guidelines? Delaware’s ahead of the game

When it comes to clean energy, Delaware is ahead of the pack in some ways. Although Sussex County is still home to Delaware’s last coal-fired energy plant, the First State might not have to change a thing to comply with the national EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP).

Absentee voting now under way ahead of Election Day

Special to the Coastal Point • Nate Magill: A voter casts her vote for this year’s election via an absentee ballot.Special to the Coastal Point • Nate Magill: A voter casts her vote for this year’s election via an absentee ballot.For those who may not be able to get to their polling place on Tuesday, Nov. 8, absentee voting is now available. Those who wish to vote by absentee ballot must be registered to vote and must fill out and submit an absentee affidavit, which can be found on the State of Delaware’s Department of Elections website or at the county’s Department of Elections office.

The affidavit for an absentee ballot requires the voter to note the reason they are unable to go to their polling place on the day of the election. Depending on the reason, the affidavit may need to be notarized before being submitted.

It may then be submitted to the county Department of Elections office, either by mail or in person.

Absentee ballot timeline:

• Nov 4 is the last day the Department of Elections office is required to send General Election absentee ballots.

Bear Trap Dunes celebrating fall with families on Saturday

This weekend, Bear Trap Dunes will be hosting its first Fall Festival, inviting the community to enjoy a family-friendly day on the front lawn.

Students see first-hand that agriculture is more than seeds and soil

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: While touring the Merck Animal Health facilities in Millsboro, Millsboro Middle School students met several officials with an interest in agriculture, including U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, far left, and USDA Under-Secretary Michael Scuse, far right.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: While touring the Merck Animal Health facilities in Millsboro, Millsboro Middle School students met several officials with an interest in agriculture, including U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, far left, and USDA Under-Secretary Michael Scuse, far right.Millsboro Middle School is only a half-mile away from a major laboratory and vaccine manufacturer. But a small group of students experienced their very first trip inside the gates of Merck Animal Health facility for Manufacturing Day on Oct. 7.

A handful of Future Farmers of America (FFA) members joined U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, USDA Under-Secretary Michael Scuse and other national leaders to learn that agriculture isn’t just growing plants or livestock. Merck is one of many manufacturers in the agriculture field, creating poultry vaccines.

“To me, it was kind of an eye-opener, because I’ve never been in here before, and I’ve just imagined it as a factory. But it’s so much more than that,” said student Taylor Bullis.

Indeed, the media wasn’t even allowed to attend the tour of the facility, but the students and senator said it was interesting.

Frankford to host Community Health Fair on Saturday

Firetrucks, flu shots and freebies — oh, my!

The Frankford Community Health Fair is back, and the Beebe Medical Center-sponsored event, set for Saturday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., promises to supply some fun along with a multitude of free health screenings and other beneficial offerings.

VFW post celebrates its volunteers

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Members of the crew responsible for running the VFW Chicken Shack in Bethany Beach gather for a group photo at Mason Dixon VFW Post 7234’s annual volunteer appreciation dinner on Friday, Oct. 7.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Members of the crew responsible for running the VFW Chicken Shack in Bethany Beach gather for a group photo at Mason Dixon VFW Post 7234’s annual volunteer appreciation dinner on Friday, Oct. 7.It’s true that its location, on the shores of the Indian River Bay, with a million-dollar view of the nearby Indian River Inlet Bridge, helps make Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7234 in Ocean View a popular gathering spot. But without the work of dozens of volunteers, the meals and special events held at the post would just be pretty pictures.

The post held its annual volunteers’ dinner on Friday, Oct. 7, hosting about 180 members without whom the special events wouldn’t be possible. Instead of working in the kitchens and over hot grills, the volunteers were feted with steamed shrimp, scallops, oysters and many other delicacies.

“It’s just to thank them for all their work,” Post Commander John Hickman said.

One of the most popular events at the post, which is located at the end of Cedar Neck Road, is the Sunday breakfasts. Held on 19 Sundays each summer, the breakfasts offer members an array of foods each week.

Believe in Tomorrow 5K to benefit respite program

When a child has a serious illness, the lives of everyone in the family are affected. It might seem as if the illness sends out ripples of stress, worry and exhaustion that leave families feeling as if they have been hit by a tsunami.

Frankford looks to sell police property, move to court building

At the Frankford town’s council’s regular monthly meeting on Oct. 3, Councilman Marty Presley said the council had recently spoken to a number of Realtors regarding Town-owned property.

Bethany Beach staff go above and beyond for beach rescue

The rough sea did not deter two Town of Bethany Beach employees from braving the waters to save an 11-year-old boy on Monday.

Indian River School District focus of racial discrimination suit

According to a lawsuit filed this week, local students aren’t being treated fairly — especially when it comes to the high rate of African-American students being placed in the Indian River School District’s alternative school in Frankford. The federal lawsuit was filed against the school district on Sept. 30, by the Coalition for Education Reform and two families.

County council may vote on sign ordinance next week

Sussex County Council members briefly discussed the County’s proposed signage ordinance on Tuesday, Oct. 4, agreeing to review all related documents and be prepared to have a motion at the following week’s meeting.

On Sept. 22, the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission recommended changes to the proposed ordinance, with a vote of 3-0.

Town staff first on the scene in Selbyville house fire

Four Town of Selbyville employees were among the first on the scene of a West Church Street house fire on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The call came in just after 9 a.m. Police Chief Scott Collins and Cpl. John Bunting were on duty, as were Town staff members Kevin Murray and George Hudson. They ran over and found resident Delbert Baker already on the scene.

Area weathers flooding from record-breaking rain

Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Dodd Street in Millsboro saw water coming up from under the street on Friday, Sept. 30.Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Dodd Street in Millsboro saw water coming up from under the street on Friday, Sept. 30.Several days of rainfall last week caused flooding, closed schools and broke daily records.

Sussex County Emergency Operations Director Joseph Thomas said the rainfall, which stretched from Thursday, Sept. 29, well into the weekend, caused flooding in all the usual areas, as well as in many areas where it was not expected.

“I’ve had lots of people tell me they’ve seen water in places where they’ve never seen it before,” Thomas said.

The first flashflood warning of many was issued at 3:13 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 28; and the last one stemming from the slow-moving weather system expired on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Thomas explained that the four-day deluge happened because “we had a low pressure system to the west of us, and as it was spinning counter-clockwise, it was pulling tropical moisture in from the Gulf. And it was just sitting on top of us.”

Unlike nor’easters and hurricanes, which tend to cause more severe problems along the coast, last week’s rains brought more issues to inland areas, Thomas said.

The highest rainfall totals in the county were seen in Harbeson, where nearly 14 inches of rain had fallen as of Friday, Sept. 30, according to National Weather Service records. A single-day rainfall of 6.25 inches on Thursday, Sept. 29, in Georgetown shattered that town’s previous record of 1.35 inches.

Selbyville council considers signal-booster utility pole

Some cellphones in the area may be getting a boost. The Mobilitie communications company has requested permission from the Selbyville Town Council to construct a utility pole on Dukes Street Extended. When wireless networks are overwhelmed, the network would fall back to rely on the signal repeater, or booster, located on the pole.

Coffee with a Cop continues in Selbyville

The Selbyville Public Library has been ahead of the game by inviting local police to come speak with their community. Their next public “Coffee with a Cop” event will be Friday, Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. in the Selbyville Public Library meeting room.

This time, it’s part of a larger effort and the first National Coffee with a Cop Day.

The 49-cent question: IRSD plans referendum for expenses

The Indian River School District has its number.

In a Nov. 22 current-expense referendum, the IRSD will request an additional 49 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

If the majority of the public approves, the IRSD could add another $7.35 million to its coffers one year from now.

The district is one of the most steadily growing districts in Delaware.

County planners recommend altering proposed ordinance

The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission met on Sept. 22 to make a recommendation to the Sussex County Council related to a proposed signage ordinance introduced last month that would revise the County’s sign code in its entirety.

Ocean View ranked second-safest community in Delaware

Last week, SafeWise — a website that provides “unbiased home security reviews, comparisons and advice that empowers consumers to make wise decisions to protect their home” — listed the town of Ocean View as the second-safest municipality in the state of Delaware.

County defers vote on High Tide Church sewer expansion

The Sussex County Council deferred voting on the proposed High Tide Church Expansion of the Sussex County Unified Sanitary Sewer District near Dagsboro following two Nine Foot Road residents voicing their concerns about the expansion.

Audit nearly complete as IRSD plans Nov. 22 referendum

The Indian River School District’s budget is not keeping up with their students’ needs, so the local Board of Education has decided to host a current-expense referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

How much will they request? The board hasn’t decided.

Bethany aims to address housing bulk with tradeoff system

The size — or, more specifically, the appearance of size — of homes in Bethany Beach is an issue that has long been discussed by the Town and many of its citizens. Large new multi-story homes built next to the town’s traditional single-story cottages and moderate-sized beach homes on pilings have been a point of contention between property owners and neighbors for years.

Opposition voiced to County’s revised proposed sign ordinance

Following a revamping of the original draft ordinance to amend the Code of Sussex County related to signs, a new series of public hearings is being held by the Sussex County Council. This week members of the public who spoke at the first hearing voiced opposition to the proposed ordinance as written.

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