Sussex County News
Sussex County, Delaware
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On Sunday, May 6, more than 2,000 people joined me to celebrate the history and the future of the Charles W. Cullen Bridge at the Indian River Inlet. The history of this location is one of several different bridges, an ever-changing environment and the emergence of Delaware as one of the East Coast’s premier resort locations.
Continuing the march into the wireless age, the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to receive most of their emergency calls from cell phones. County Administrator Todd Lawson reported that, of the 15,264 calls that came in for the month April, 73 percent were made from cell phones.
Sussex County Council agreed with Planning and Zoning that a one acre parcel north of Zion Church Road should be amended from AR-1 Agricultural Residential to a CR-1 Commercial Residential district on the Comprehensive Zoning Map.
Sussex County’s budget is looking good nine months into the year, reported Finance Director Susan Webb this week. She explained to the county council that the County is 3 percent over budget in revenues and in “pretty good shape” overall.
When a blogger and president of what he claims is the “largest grassroots advocacy organization concerned with the illegal alien issue in Virginia” started a “conversation” about illegal immigration in Prince William County, Va., the result was county legislation that required police officers with “probable cause” to check the immigration status of anyone they stopped who “appeared” to be an undocumented immigrant.
Last week, 13 Sussex County volunteer organizations were recognized for their work by Rita Landgraf, Delaware’s Secretary of Health and Social Services, at a luncheon at Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club.
The discussion of the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office continued this week, with County Councilman George Cole taking some time at the end of the council meeting to discuss his thoughts.
Familiar faces could continue representing the area if Gerald Hocker and Shirley Price are successful in their recently announced ventures. Hocker, who currently serves as representative of the state’s 38th District, recently announced he intends to run for the 20th District senate seat being vacated by retiring state Sen. George H. Bunting in November. Price, who has been working as a real estate agent in recent years, has stepped forward to say she will run for the 38th District House of Representatives seat she previously held.
Residents of the Oak Orchard Sanitary Sewer District Expansion area No. 1 expressed gratitude to Sussex County Council this week after sewer costs for the expansion were finalized.
The Sussex County Council at their meeting this week received a legislative update from Deputy County Administrator Hal Godwin, offering them the chance to determine which, if any, of the prospective laws being discussed in the state legislature that they would like to support or oppose, or get changed.
The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission voted this week to approve a final subdivision plan application by Mandarin Homes for Water’s Run subdivision, north of Route 54 and south of Dirickson Creek.
“Shellfish Aquaculture in Delaware’s Inland Bays: Status, Opportunities, and Constraints” was a topic at the Center for the Inland Bays’ board meeting this past week, in the form of a presentation offered by Ed Lewandowski, past executive director of the Center who now works for the University of Delaware in its Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service. Lewandowski presented it on behalf of John Ewart, aquaculture specialist for the program.
The Inland Bays Foundation is up and running and ready to recruit members. They had their first official meeting as an established 501(c)3 organization in October 2011 and have a mission “to advocate and promote the restoration of the Inland Bays watershed by conducting public outreach and education, tracking restoration efforts, encouraging scientific inquiry and sponsoring needed research, in order to establish a long-term process for the protection and enhancement of the Inland Bays.”
Whether one is driving over the new Indian River Inlet Bridge, attending Delaware Tech, visiting the Veterans Home in Milford or kayaking the Assawoman Canal, it is hard not to feel the impact of state Sen. George H. Bunting and his 28 years in public office. Bunting’s tenure will come to an end this November, though, as he is not seeking re-election. And while these accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg of his time in office, Bunting is particularly proud of them and the collaboration that turned them into reality.
The Sussex County Council heard the displeasure of many residents this week after having sent to the State last week a statement of their support for the proposed House Bill 290, an act to amend the Delaware code relating to sheriffs and sheriff deputies.
The Sussex County Council heard this week from Jessica Watson, program manager for the Sediment and Stormwater Element of the Sussex Conservation District, about common concerns about drainage in Sussex County. Watson said common issues include homes being built below the road and in a sump. She said common occurrences could be avoided with pre-planning and could be less expensive to fix.
The body of missing Maryland man Nicholas R. Townsend, 23, of Ocean City, was found about 12:30 p.m. on March 17 in the Assawoman Bay off Ocean City.
Many motorists were excited to begin driving over the new Indian River Inlet Bridge in late January when it initially opened to limited traffic, but roadwork will continue throughout spring, and locals got a progress report from Delaware Department of Transportation’s (DelDOT) monthly Community Advisory Group meeting on Feb. 23.
Students and staff were evacuated from the Howard T. Ennis School in Georgetown on Tuesday, March 6, when a bomb threat disrupted the school day.
The Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission voted this week to approve a preliminary site plan for a church on the Jusst Sooup Ministry grounds on Cool Spring Road near Lewes.
Southern Delaware can see the benefit when a dynamic entrepreneur has an advanced idea that fits well into the region’s existing strengths. And Pennsylvanian Robert Weening has exactly that beneficial combination in mind, pairing innovative science with agricultural production.
The Sussex County Council this week deferred any action on an ordinance regarding electronic messaging signs. In February, Planning & Zoning commissioners voted to recommend approval of an ordinance creating a process by which off-premise electronic signs could be approved as special uses.
This weekend, more than 100 Sussex County students will strut their scientific stuff at the 20th annual Sussex County Science Fair, to be held at the Biden Center in Cape Henlopen State Park. Many of the students are winners from their own middle- and high-schools, and their projects cover the spectrum of scientific study.
Nearly three dozen students from the Indian River High School Band were set to perform in the junior and senior County Band this week, on March 1 at Cape Henlopen High School.
The Sussex County Council this week approved the rezoning of 2.1185 acres of land at the southwest corner of Route 54 and Road 396 (Westline Road) from a combination of AR-1 (Agricultural-Residential) and C-1 (General Commercial) to being zoned entirely as CR-1 (Commercial-Residential).