Town of Selbyville, Delaware
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Lynn Pomeroy tried to be positive as he surveyed the charred remains of his family’s business. But that was a challenge after a devastating fire swept through Pomeroy’s Tavern and package store on Monday, June 27.
The Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company got the call at 5 a.m., responding with three other companies, plus another six secondary stations and five on standby, said Fire Chief Matthew Sliwa.
Opened in 1924, Pomeroy’s celebrated 90 years of business last September.
“I’m in shock night now. I spent every Christmas … in front of that fireplace,” Pomeroy said, pointing to the charred remains of the fireplace his grandfather had built. “When I was born in Salisbury, this is the first place I stopped when I came home. … It was a very magical place for me.”
The good news was that no one was injured. But the tragedy was that the Wolfenbarger family lost everything else when their brand new home burned down on Thursday, July 16.
Two separate salvage companies have determined that none of their belongings was salvageable. The items that were lost were once special to Jeff and Kim Wolfenbarger and their teenage daughter, Isabel.
Selbyville’s new town administrator is no stranger to the townspeople, or to the Town’s rules. Michael “Mike” Deal is coming off of nine years in Selbyville code enforcement to become town administrator.
He took on the role full-time on June 19, after a few weeks as interim administrator.
He’s already familiar with the way locals think. Now he’s learning how to run the Town. That means attending grant seminars and meeting with legislative leaders, so he can represent the Town of Selbyville and its interests at a higher level.
Deal said he aims to “to carry on with the traditions the town likes … this small-town America presence,” which also drew Deal to a place so like his own childhood home.
Selbyville Police W. Scott Collins reported on Friday, July 17, that officers in his department had arrested a 16-year-old Selbyville boy after reports he had threatened people with a handgun in the area of Ellis Alley and Church Street about 5:15 p.m.
Selbyville residents were instructed to boil their tap water for about 48 hours this week to prevent possible transmission of E coli.
On Tuesday, July 14, the Selbyville Water Department alerted residents that a broken water main could cause E coli to contaminate the water supply.
Selbyville resident Brooke Mitchell’s life changed on June 13 when the Miss Delaware Scholarship Organization crowned her Miss Delaware 2015 at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Mitchell, 19, has been involved in pageants since the age of 6.
“I’ve been watching the Miss Delaware pageant since I was 6 years old. I’ve grown close to the organization and have competed in the Outstanding Teen organization, as well, which is the little-sister program to Miss America,” said Mitchell.
“I pretty much had grown up with the organization. It’s a big family, so I knew most of the girls. When I was younger, all of the Miss Delawares were my role models, so I knew that it was something I wanted to do.”
According to its website, the focus of the Miss Delaware Scholarship Organization is to “make scholarships available to the state’s most promising young women, providing them with educational choices and opportunities for personal and professional growth.”
Over the 13 years Mitchell has been competing in pageants, she said, she’s been able to make life-long friends.
“It really is just a sisterhood. There isn’t cattiness backstage, which is a good thing. I think people think that a lot, which is so not true.
Selbyville water customers are being instructed to boil their tap water to prevent E coli. On Tuesday, July 14, the Selbyville Water Department alerted residents that a broken water main could cause E coli to contaminate the water supply.
For perhaps the first time since 2008, Robert “Bob” Dickerson sat in the audience of a Selbyville Town Council meeting. The newly retired town administrator still got to speak on July 6, though, as he accepted a tribute from the Delaware House of Representatives.
State Reps. Ron Gray (R-38th) and Rich Collins (R-41th) shook his hand and spoke of the support Dickerson has given over the years.
“I appreciate your service,” Collins said. “To my mind, this is a very well-run town, and you were a big part of that.”
The certificate honored “this outstanding individual for his many years of dedicated service to the Town of Selbyville.”
“We’re gonna miss him bad,” Mayor Clifton Murray said.
“It’s been a pleasure,” Dickerson said.
Meanwhile, residents and council welcomed Mike Deal as the new town administrator. Selbyville has received 13 applications to fill Deal’s former position of code enforcement officer.
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.
Long-time couples celebrate marriages of up to 71 years
Eight married couples celebrated decades of anniversaries this month at Brandywine Senior Living at Fenwick Island. Collectively, they have been married 519 years.
“It falls into a tradition, and an honorable one … and I think we have a lot to learn from them,” said organizer Kathy Jacobs. “It was about their love for one another and their devotion for one another. I don’t discount the weddings today … all of that is great if you don’t lose sight with what it’s all about, which is the couple and the love.”
Among the couples celebrating anniversaries this year: Andy and Peggy McCartney (74 years), Chuck and Marjie Kriner (70), Reba and Robert “Bob” Finicle (68), Kathy and Kelly Main (68), Jeanne and Richard Sowieralski (61), Cynthia and Paul Wagner (61), R.J. and Betty White (60) and William “Bill” and Elisabeth “Betty Mae” Patterson (57).
Most of the anniversaries occurred in June, which is the traditional wedding month, said Jacobs, Brandywine’s director of community relations. When she realized the sheer length of those marriages, her plans to celebrate them just snowballed.
Beloved and much missed after a one-year hiatus, Selbyville’s classic summer festival is returning. Old Timer’s Day is scheduled for Saturday, June 20, in downtown Selbyville. Church Street will close to traffic and turn into a sunny street fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day
“There is just so much going on. There’s a little bit of something for anybody. It’s great for whole families,” said organizer Lauren Weaver. “In the spirit of Selbyville, … it’s just kind of a nice step back into time and a festival for families.”
Children will be able to engage in active play in the play zone near Town Hall. They’ll also be able to enjoy fire truck rides, a moon bounce, an obstacle course, multi-sport games and pony rides from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., reflecting back to a time before people had cars to get around.
This summer, all local children are being invited to eat free meals at the Selbyville and Frankford public libraries, no questions asked.
“It will help to fill the gap with food insecurity throughout the summer,” said Frankford Public Library Director Rachel Wackett.
The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Julien Benichou, will kick-off the eighth summer season of the Freeman Stage at Bayside at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 19. Admission costs $10 per person, with kids 18 and younger admitted free of charge.
Although the Town of Selbyville hopes people will annex into the town, it does provide water and sewer to some properties outside of town. At their June 1 meeting, the town council reviewed several such requests, which proved more challenging than just a yes or no.
Bayside Marketplace, located at 31225 Americana Parkway in Selbyville, is hosting a Taste of Bayside on Saturday, June 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center is anchored by Harris Teeter and located at the intersection of Americana Parkway and Route 54.
The Freeman Stage at Bayside has entertained Sussex County residents and visitors since the summer of 2008. Each year, the number of shows and the name recognition of the artists has increased. Indeed, last year, 50,000 people took the opportunity to experience the arts at the Stage’s unique and attractive outdoors setting, located on Route 54, halfway between Fenwick Island and Selbyville.
Each of those individuals, as well as every artist, came in contact with at least one Freeman Foundation volunteer.
“The volunteers are the backbone of our mission,” said Patti Grimes, executive director.
Homer Coates saw his first Freeman Stage show in 2010 and started volunteering the next year.
“I’ve always been a live entertainment junkie, and I’ve always volunteered at something or another,” he said. “So when I retired to the Refuge, close to Bayside, it just felt natural. I love it.”
A familiar figure at Selbyville Town Hall is stepping away, as town administrator Robert “Bob” Dickerson announced this week that he will retire this summer. Turning 65 years old this month, Dickerson has served as administrator in the town since 2008.
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.
Selbyville’s Railroad Avenue is at the first stage of collapse where it crosses the Sandy Branch tax ditch. Town Manager Bob Dickerson reported that a small hole had formed where the road fell in. The weakness was discovered, and the road closed on Saturday, May 2.
The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce announced this week that Selbyville’s 58th Annual Old Timer’s Day, presented by Bunting & Murray Construction, is returning as the town’s traditional summer festival after a year’s hiatus, featuring a classic car, truck, tractor and military and emergency vehicle show.
The event will take place on June 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Church Street in Selbyville. Judging in the car show will take place from noon to 2 p.m., followed by an awards ceremony at 3 p.m. Themed “Hot Rods for Hospice,” all proceeds from the 50/50 raffle will go directly to Delaware Hospice.
The long-standing event is a tradition in Selbyville, attracting car enthusiasts, families and tourists with something for all ages. During the event, Church Street is closed and lined with classic cars, trucks, tractors and military and emergency vehicles from 1979 and older. The occasion will also feature door prizes, food, vendors, live classic country and rock entertainment from the Bo Dickerson Band, and children’s activities including crafts, pony rides, a moon bounce and an obstacle course.
Selbyville memories and history filled the sunny parlor recently as neighbors chatted over coffee and cookies. The Selbyville Public Library’s Selbyville Reminisce — an informal discussion held on Saturdays — recently kicked off, open to anyone who wants to come.
“People love to talk about Selbyville past, and there are so many people who lived through it and love sharing their experiences,” said Library Director Kelly Kline.
“Also, there are so many people moving to Selbyville who don’t know the history of their town,” she said.
Dim the lights and get dolled up for the 30th Anniversary Gala of the Friends of the Selbyville Public Library. The Friends will bring the party on Thursday, April 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Cove Bar & Grille at Bayside.
“We started in April of 1985. It’s our 30th anniversary of being around and helping the library,” said David Nilsson, Friends president.
The public is being invited to enjoy hors d’oeuvres, live music, a full buffet, silent auction and cash bar. This month’s party is the jumping-off point for Selbyville’s future. Proceeds will fund children’s programs, technology upgrades and future expansion of Selbyville Public Library.
While the Selbyville Town Council may have approved the coming fiscal year’s budget without much change from last year’s, there was much talk this week of the potential benefits to growing housing developments, such as Lighthouse Crossing and Lighthouse Lakes.
In planning the star-studded lineup for the Freeman Stage at Bayside, Michelle Freeman said she wanted every performance to be something that she, her parents or her children would enjoy. And, with more than 50 performances being offered, the 2015 season hits that nail on the head, with a variety of music, dance, theater and children’s performances.
The Selbyville woman who was arrested last October after her 4-year-old daughter brought heroin to her daycare signed a plea deal last week.
Ashley R. Tull, 30, pleaded guilty to one charge of endangering the welfare of a child. Tull was sentenced by Superior Court Judge E. Scott Bradley to one year of probation and substance abuse evaluation, and possible treatment.