Selbyville News

Town of Selbyville, Delaware

Population:

  • 2167 (2010 Census)

Town council meetings:

  • First Monday of the month, at 7 p.m.

Elections:

  • First Saturday of March

Town office:

  • 68 West Church St., Selbyville, DE 19975 (302) 436-8314

Web site

General e-mail inquiries

Town Council 2013-2014:

  • Clifton C. Murray, Mayor
  • Richard Duncan, Sr., Council Member
  • Jay Murray, Council Member
  • G. Frank Smith III, Council Member
  • Clarence Tingle, Jr., Council Member

Town Manager:

  • Robert Dickerson

Secretary/Treasurer:

  • Deborah McCabe
  • Sandra Givans (Asst. Secretary Treasurer)

Code Enforcement:

  • Michael Deal
  • William Hoyle

Police:

  • Scott Collins, Chief

Emergency:

  • 911

Non-emergency police contact:

  • (302) 436-5085

Public invited to Route 54 traffic meeting on Sept. 19

Two-lane highways are under volume pressure as more houses and vehicles bring people to coastal Delaware. There will be a public meeting to discuss traffic conditions along Route 54 (Lighthouse Road) on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 12:30 p.m. at the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company’s fire hall.

IRHS student crowned Miss Hispanic Delaware

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Ana Calles’ crown holds dozens of glittering rhinestones that represent the beauty, poise, intelligence and quick thinking she displayed at the 2017 Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Ana Calles’ crown holds dozens of glittering rhinestones that represent the beauty, poise, intelligence and quick thinking she displayed at the 2017 Miss Hispanic Delaware pageant.Selbyville is home to a new pageant winner and community leader: 17-year-old Ana Calles was crowned Miss Hispanic Delaware this week.

“It’s still very surreal to me, because it’s just something that I’ve been wanting for a long time, and that it’s actually manifested into reality — it’s very surreal,” Calles said.

She has just begun 11th grade at Indian River High School. As the pageant’s only downstate contestant, Calles said she was happy to stand out geographically, despite the necessity of the two-hour drive to the Baby Grand theater in Wilmington’s Grand Opera House for rehearsals and the competition.

Calles represented Mexico in the Aug. 26 program, which celebrates Hispanic culture and is designed to help young ladies develop poise and communication skills. Calles has lived in Selbyville all her life, except for a few years in Mexico when she was younger.

“I was nervous throughout the whole day, but after our opening-number dance, I felt more confident and comfortable on stage,” she said of her very first pageant.

Calles had dreamed of competing for years, but her family had just suffered the painful impact of losing her mother in April.

“I just wanted to make her proud her proud, overall, even though I know just competing made her proud,” Calles said. “I know she was with me that night. I could feel her.”

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.

Rotary club offers to lead Selbyville Christmas Parade

Those Christmas bells won’t go silent this December. The Southern Sussex Rotary Club has offered to take over organizing the Selbyville Christmas Parade.

“We’re requesting to do that for you guys,” Scott Smith, Rotary vice president, told council members at their August meeting.

“We don’t get too many requests like that,” Mayor Clifton Murray said.

Magee Farms to host first Watermelon Festival this Saturday

UPDATE: The festival has been canceled due to weather.

Watermelon — that sweet, juicy, slice of summer goodness — will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 12, at Magee Farms in Selbyville, at the farm’s first-ever Watermelon Festival.

The event, set for noon to 3 p.m., will be held rain or shine, according to Heather Hastings, Magee Farms’ event coordinator.

Selbyville water report shows no violations, but high numbers

All central water systems are required to produce an annual report under the Safe Drinking Water Act. It’s meant to tell people where water comes from, what it contains and how it stacks up against regulatory standards. The Town of Selbyville’s water system report was recently released for the 2016 year.

Local musicians get their time under the lights

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Mama’s Black Sheep jams out on stage during the first Locals event at the Freeman Stage at Bayside.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Mama’s Black Sheep jams out on stage during the first Locals event at the Freeman Stage at Bayside.For the fifth season, the Freeman Stage at Bayside in Selbyville is hosting its Locals under the Lights performances, so that local up-and-coming artists have the opportunity to further their musical interests while audience members are able to appreciate the local talent.

This summer’s second Locals under the Lights will take place Thursday, Aug. 10.

“We want to help not only expose a variety of art media to people, but we want to be able to let people express their love for music and performing as well,” said Alyson Cunningham, communications and public relations manager for the Freeman Stage.

From 7 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 10, people of all ages are being invited to listen to vocal and instrumental performances from 5th Avenue, Cologne, Hedera SOJO, Bad Avenue Band and Jacob Osias, while sitting on the lawn in front of the stage.

Area police warn people about driveway paving scam

Asphalt is the latest on the list of new scams. Con artists are travelling door-to-door to promise driveway paving services, but they just don’t deliver.

In Selbyville, “Subjects portrayed themselves as contractors for the municipality and told residents that their driveway must be repaved to bring it up to code,” the Town reported.

SDSA has openings for eighth-grade students

Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville has several openings for students in Grade 8 for the 2017-2018 school year, Indian River School District officials announced this week.

Oral history project renewed at Selbyville Public Library

In a quiet area of the Selbyville Public Library’s Delaware Room, there exists the oral histories of 22 people with many, sometimes little-known, memories of the town of Selbyville (first known as Sandy Branch as early as 1778).

Selbyville council creates stricter rules for grass height

Some local property owners may need to break out their lawn mowers a little more often. The Selbyville Town Council voted this week to reduce the maximum allowable height of grass from 12 inches to 8 inches.

Library invites Old Timer’s Day crowd over for some kickball

The Selbyville Public Library is inviting community members of all ages to join in a game of kickball on June 17 to celebrate the 60th annual Old Timer’s Day.

With the intent of bringing education and entertainment to Selbyville’s yearly celebration, the library decided to launch its first Community Kickball, which will occur at the library’s parking lot from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Old Timer’s Day marks six decades of family fun

The 60th annual Old Timer’s Day is a family event that will showcase cars, tractors and emergency vehicles from 1985 and older from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 17.

Put on by the Town of Selbyville and the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, the show will take place on Church Street in Selbyville and benefit Delaware Hospice.

Selbyville passes third water referendum

It’s time to finish the water filtration plant, and Selbyville residents this week approved the latest round of funding for the project. In a special referendum on June 3, residents voted, 62-2, to allow the Town to borrow $500,000 to finish building another water treatment building.

Selbyville asks for ‘yes’ votes on water referendum

Selbyville is in the homestretch for building a new water treatment system. But the Town needs the public’s help one more time to get the job done.

The Town must go to public referendum to secure $500,000 in what is essentially free money from the Delaware Drinking Water Revolving Fund. The vote will be held June 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Town Hall.

PNC closing downtown Selbyville branch

Corner bank has existed since 1903

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant : The PNC Bank branch in Selbyville will close June 16.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant : The PNC Bank branch in Selbyville will close June 16.Selbyville is losing one of its two banks this spring. The PNC Bank at the corner of Church Street and Main Street will permanently close its doors at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 16.

The ATM will remain on-site at 1 West Church Street immediately after the office closes, although there is no timeframe for that availability. It’s a higher-functioning ATM that can process deposits.

Why is the bank closing? Basically, PNC representatives said, people use machines more for banking, and PNC doesn’t need a two-story office building on Church Street anymore.

“Over the last several years, we have been going over an evaluation of our overall branch network,” said PNC spokesperson Marcey Zwiebel. “We’ve also just been looking at data that says the way customers use branches is changing. They’re increasingly using the convenient and alternative channels” — online, mobile or ATM banking — “for many of the basic transactions that they used to use the branch for… We’ve been taking a look at how we can support our customers when and how and where they want.”

Utilities workers unearth leaky gas tank in Selbyville

A forgotten underground fuel tank in Selbyville was discovered to be leaking gasoline, officials reported this week.

Hall draws outside the lines as Showell Teacher of the Year

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Phillip C. Showell Elementary School art teacher Laurie Hall recently received recognition as the school’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Phillip C. Showell Elementary School art teacher Laurie Hall recently received recognition as the school’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.Phillip C. Showell Elementary School art teacher Laurie Hall didn’t always want to teach art.

“I went through a medical-thriller book phase” as a teen, she said. “I wanted to be an epidemiologist.”

She also had a fondness for art. however, and “I always loved my elementary school art teachers. I always used to play school, too.”

And in her junior year in high school, Hall said, “something just clicked.” She majored in elementary education at Frostburg State University and followed that with a master’s degree at George Mason University in “initiatives in educational transformations,” which involved work on bringing visiting artists to schools on Delmarva.

Hall is the 2017 Teacher of the Year for Phillip Showell. She has been at the Selbyville elementary school for five years. During that time, she spent two years without a classroom of her own, pushing her “art cart” from room to room throughout the day.

“It was actually a really good thing for me. It made me be really organized!” she said. Now, however, Hall has her own room, the walls of which are brimming with recent student work.

She is also certified as a special-education teacher and spends part of each week “pushing in” to special-education classrooms. While her work as the school’s art teacher allows her to work with every student in the school each week, she said she also enjoys her special-education classwork, in which she works one-on-one with students or with small groups.

Program that rescued Selbyville’s water on chopping block

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: U.S. Sen. Tom Carper discussed the proposed elimination of all USDA water and wastewater loan and grant programs, and said he didn’t ‘think this new drinking water plant (in Selbyville) could be built’ without them.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: U.S. Sen. Tom Carper discussed the proposed elimination of all USDA water and wastewater loan and grant programs, and said he didn’t ‘think this new drinking water plant (in Selbyville) could be built’ without them.Last summer, the town of Selbyville saw a potential crisis on the horizon. Money was running low during construction of a new water-treatment facility. If they failed to complete the project, the small town would have to repay a $2.7 million state grant, and Selbyville residents would still be drinking gasoline additives in the water while staring at a half-finished water facility.

A $500,000 USDA Rural Development grant saved the day and pushed the project forward toward its completion date of late May.

But President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would eliminate all USDA water and wastewater loan and grant programs, worth $498 million. As part of his proposed 21 percent cut from USDA’s overall budget, Trump suggested shaving 2.8 percent by eliminating the $498 million program that has helped Selbyville on multiple occasions.

That’s alarming to leaders at all levels of Delaware government.

The USDA helps rural communities build, expand or modernize water and wastewater facilities for populations of 10,000 or fewer. Delaware has benefitted from about 44 projects, worth $131.2 million dollars, including $70 million in Sussex County, said Kathy Beisner, acting state director for USDA Rural Development in Maryland and Delaware.

Several million dollars have been granted to Selbyville projects, and the Town is hoping for more in the near future.

Mountaire chemical explosion causes severe injury

A 34-year-old man was severely injured in a minor chemical explosion at Mountaire poultry processing plant in Selbyville earlier this month.

According to officials, in the early morning of Thursday, Feb. 9, a Mountaire employee suffered facial trauma and chemical burns when he accidently mixed two cleaning chemicals that caused an explosive reaction.

BREAKING NEWS: Police seek local man in shooting incident

Police are seeking Anthony D. Puglisi, 19, of Selbyville, in connection with a Frankford-area shooting incident on Jan. 17 in which no one was injured.Police are seeking Anthony D. Puglisi, 19, of Selbyville, in connection with a Frankford-area shooting incident on Jan. 17 in which no one was injured.The Delaware State Police on Tuesday, Feb. 21, requested the public’s assistance in locating Anthony D. Puglisi, 19, of Selbyville, who is wanted for two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, four counts of Reckless Endangering, Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Mischief. He is also wanted out of Sussex County Family Court for two capiases, police noted.

Puglisi is wanted in connection with an alleged incident that occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 17, around 9 p.m. when he allegedly fired several rounds at a residence located on Burbage Road near Frankford. None of the victims inside the house at the time were injured, police noted.

If anyone has any information about Anthony Puglisi’s whereabouts, they are being asked to contact Detective K. Archer at (302) 752-3791. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”

Bethany and Selbyville recycling centers removed

Across Delaware, public recycling services are significantly improving in some areas, but people may have to drive farther to get there.

Pennsylvania Powerball winners claim $72 million from local ticket

A couple from Pennsylvania started 2017 with a $121.6 million prize after matching all five white balls plus the red Powerball in the Dec. 17 lottery drawing. The man and woman, who wished to remain anonymous, purchased the winning ticket at Selbyville Goose Creek, a subsidiary of Cato Gas & Goose Creek Food Stores, located at 38452 DuPont Boulevard in Selbyville.

Catherine’s Quilting offers modern finish for age-old art form

Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Catherine Peterson grins at her family's new Selbyville quilt shop, where she helps finish new quilts and restore old ones.Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Catherine Peterson grins at her family's new Selbyville quilt shop, where she helps finish new quilts and restore old ones.Quilting may be an old art, but Catherine’s Quilting uses technology to transform the basic craft into a finished heirloom piece. Catherine and Tim Peterson just recently opened their quilt shop on Church Street in downtown Selbyville.

Quilting can be a very personal craft, whether it’s a long-term labor of love by a group of friends, or maybe one woman, perhaps given for a wedding or baby gift. Whether hand-stitched in centuries past, or by a machine today, each scrap is carefully pieced together for a grander masterpiece.

Catherine’s Quilting helps with the final steps, attaching the thick batting, which transforms a decorative sheet into a cozy blanket for the home.

Pa. Powerball winners claim $72M from winning local ticket

A couple from Pennsylvania started 2017 with a $121.6 million prize after matching all five white balls plus the red Powerball in the Dec. 17 lottery drawing. The man and woman, who wished to remain anonymous, purchased the winning ticket at Selbyville Goose Creek, a subsidiary of Cato Gas & Goose Creek Food Stores, located at 38452 DuPont Boulevard in Selbyville.