Local News

School board wants consistent rules for school choice

Kevin Patterson’s third-grade daughter has found success in the Indian River School District, and he looked forward to sending his son to kindergarten this fall. But, living outside the district, the boy isn’t guaranteed a spot, and the school has recommended that the school board reject his school choice application.

Weaver taking over as Chamber director

The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce announced on Wednesday the resignation of executive director Kristie Maravalli, who will become the director of development for the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. Lauren Weaver, currently the events and member-relations manager for the Chamber, will assume the role of executive director effective Monday, Aug. 7.

Family donates a historic $10M toward Beebe upgrades

It might be one of the biggest charitable donations ever in Sussex County, and it’s coming from Atlanta, Ga. But the Rollins family hasn’t forgotten its roots in Lewes or their love for Beebe hospital.

That’s why Margaret “Peggy” Rollins and R. Randall Rollins are giving $10 million toward Beebe Healthcare’s planned expansion.

State plans for Fenwick lighthouse and keeper’s home

Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Island Lighthouse’s keeper’s house, on the left, will become a public historical site, if state historians can get their plans, and finances, approved.Coastal Point • File Photo: The Fenwick Island Lighthouse’s keeper’s house, on the left, will become a public historical site, if state historians can get their plans, and finances, approved.In days gone by, sailors looked for the beacon on dark nights. The Fenwick Island Lighthouse warned ships away from the shallows that could trap or shred a boat to bits, depending on the weather. And lighthouse staff were so dedicated to their jobs that they lived next door.

Today, the State of Delaware wants to show people a slice of that life by renovating the keeper’s house into a public historical site.

Delaware has long owned the lighthouse and more recently acquired the keeper’s house, just to the west, said Tim Slavin, director of Delaware’s Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs.

“We are looking at creating that keeper’s house into a kind of community site and interpretive center for lectures or gatherings of any kind,” Slavin said. “We’re also going to do a little better job of marrying the two parcels together, … create a campus there, so when people visit, it’s more than just two parcels.”

Forget ‘Rock ’n’ Roll High School — try rock summer camp

Kids get a taste of performing like the pros

School band isn’t a perfect fit for some kids — even for the musicians among them. Some desire to enhance their performing abilities and get a chance to stand out while rocking the house.

Work progressing on Bayhealth campus near Milford

The Sussex County Council this week received an update on the Bayhealth Sussex Campus project now under construction outside of Milford.

Millville committee gives annexation a thumbs-up

The Millville Annexation Committee met on July 20 and unanimously agreed to recommend annexation of a 31.32-acre property to the town council.

A petition for annexation has been submitted by the Howard Robert Hickman Revocable Trust and Dr. James W. Schiff. The property is located at 32525 Dukes Drive, with the proposed use being a single-family-home development of 94 homes.

‘Delaware History’ documents the Civil War years

I previously published a column titled “Read all about it! — A guide to Civil War Delaware.” (Coastal Point, Aug. 31, 2012). It included a list of publications that dealt with Delaware’s involvement in the Civil War.

Police warn residents to beware of multiple phone scams

No one ever wants to receive a phone call from a loved one in trouble, but authorities are asking the public to be wary and remember that those callers may not be who they say they are.

One Ocean View man received a call from a man who claimed to be his grandson.

New store aims to give Ocean View something to party about

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Party Decor & More owner Jim Schnepf-Pratt poses for a photo at his new location in Ocean View.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Party Decor & More owner Jim Schnepf-Pratt poses for a photo at his new location in Ocean View.Ocean View now has a party store to call its very own, as a Rehoboth Beach-based business has opened a second location in Ocean View, expanding its offerings for the needs of the area’s growing communities.

Party Decor & More has been in business in Rehoboth for four years, and owner Jim Schnepf-Pratt said it has been very successful and popular amongst that community. And on June 21, the second location of Party Decor & More opened in Ocean View.

“Ocean View chose us,” Schnepf-Pratt said of why he decided to expand his business in the area.

He said he was initially approached by the property owner, who asked him if he was interested in opening another location at 29 Atlantic Avenue, where Curves was formerly located. He visited the location four times before making the final decision to move in.

Berry Lovers Farm gets an organic start in Clarksville

Coastal Point • Marissa McCloy: Jimmy and Kathy Guido are providing the Clarksville area with organic produce on their farm, Berry Lovers Farm.Coastal Point • Marissa McCloy: Jimmy and Kathy Guido are providing the Clarksville area with organic produce on their farm, Berry Lovers Farm.Berry Lovers Farm sticks to its roots by farming organically grown produce in Clarksville.

This summer, heirloom cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggs, eggplant and sweet peppers are for sale at the Berry Lovers Farm stand, which is only open from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

The farm and stand are located at 31897 Organic Growers Lane, just off Route 26, near the Route 17 intersection. The eggs sold at the stand come from chickens that live on the farm and are fed only organic food grown there.

Husband and wife Jimmy and Kathy Guido bought the 11-acre parcel in 2015. They said it was difficult to find a piece of land for their organic farm, because most of the land in the area has been used for conventional farming. There is a three-year waiting period before conventionally-farmed land can be farmed under the term “organic.”

DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum makes waves in Delaware history

Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Dale Clifton, owner of DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum in Fenwick Island, shows off some of the museum’s historic artifacts.Coastal Point photos • Tyler Valliant: Dale Clifton, owner of DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum in Fenwick Island, shows off some of the museum’s historic artifacts.Mountainous waves swell overhead as a Spanish fleet drifts helplessly in the storm. Torrential rain pummels the boats, scattering the soaked crews as they yank on ropes and bark panicked orders. Below deck, about $14 million worth of silver and gold glitters in the half-light as water begins to sweep into the hull with purposeful, destructive force.

It’s July 31, 1715, and all seems lost.

But it isn’t. Because about 300 years after the ships were smashed against the coral reefs and sunk, a man named Dale Clifton would help to uncover their stories, and the stories of many other shipwrecks, and make it his mission to share them with the public.

As the owner/director of the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum in Fenwick Island, Clifton was able to transform every child’s fantasy of discovering buried undersea treasure into not only a career, but a fascinating tool with which he can bring history to life.

A small but atmospheric museum located above the Sea Shell Shop, the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum is packed with artifacts from some of the world’s most famous wrecks. Cutlery and stained-glass windows from the Titanic and the R.M.S. Republic rest there, as well as a trove of artifacts, including the Queen of Spain’s wedding chain from the long-elusive ship the Atocha.

Everything from coral-encrusted cutlasses and skull-adorned pirates’ rings to miraculously-preserved Aztec gold statues can be found in the glass cases. To the left of the museum entrance, a laboratory sits so that museum-goers can actually watch Clifton in the process of cleaning and preserving artifacts.

Double the music in Ocean View

Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Craig Reeves of Over Time Band gets down during their performance during the last Concerts in the Park event.Coastal Point • Susan Lyons: Craig Reeves of Over Time Band gets down during their performance during the last Concerts in the Park event.The Ocean View community is getting a double dose of music this year during the Ocean View Summer Concert Series, which includes six concerts this summer instead of the three concerts offered in previous years.

The Town of Ocean View has brought back its annual summer concert series at John West Park, on Western Avenue. The concerts in the park, which run from 6 to 8 p.m., are meant to give residents and visitors a chance to experience some “fine arts and entertainment,” said Donna Schwartz, Ocean View town clerk.

For every concert, a different performer has been invited to the park. Musicians who have performed already this summer have included the Glass Onion Band, the Delmarva Big Band and Over Time. Schwartz said each concert had been a success, drawing in 300 to 600 people, but she noticed that one of the crowd favorites was Over Time, which features retired Indian River High School music teacher Mark Marvel and some of his former students.

Millsboro book sale extends to a second weekend

The Millsboro Public Library’s used book sale will continue for its second weekend on Friday, July 28, from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Friday, books will be sold individually; paperback books sell for $1 and hardback books sell for $2. The sale will also feature CDs, DVDs and more.

Bear Trap Dunes to host Blues & Brews event

Bear Trap Dunes will host a Blues & Brews event on Saturday, July 29, from 4 to 8 p.m. on the front lawn and amphitheater of Bear Trap, located at 7 Clubhouse Road in Ocean View. The debut event mimics the previously held autumn festival at Bear Trap but will be the first summer music event of its kind.

Vendor sale returns to Bethany fire hall

The next Vendor Sale at the Bethany Beach fire hall at 215 Hollywood Street will be Sunday, July 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees are being strongly encouraged to enter the fire hall off Hollywood Street.

Science and salt air: Sun Otter Tours show off science tours beyond the beach

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Scott Thomas, executive director of Southern Delaware Tourism, seines the bay.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Scott Thomas, executive director of Southern Delaware Tourism, seines the bay.Seaweed tastes a little different when pulled straight from the ocean. Visitors laughed as they tentatively nibbled a bite of sea lettuce in the Delaware Bay. They were on the final leg of the marine ecology tour in Lewes with the new Sun Otter Tours.

The new tour company is taking people on “science-based learning adventures for the naturally curious.” Jody and Steve Dengler created the program to encourage more visitors to visit cool places in coastal Delaware.

“We are a family of travelers. We are a family of science nerds,” Dengler said.

Steve Dengler was selling windows, while Jody Dengler taught at Wilmington University, until the school’s Rehoboth Beach location closed in 2016. But she wanted to keep teaching people about their community.

Barbecue fundraiser to benefit Mariner’s Hope Center

This weekend, community members and visitors to the area can get a taste of award-winning barbecue while supporting Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church’s planned Hope Center. The barbecue fundraiser will be held on Saturday, July 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — or until the food runs out — at Doric Lodge #30, A.F. & M., in Millville.

South Bethany police demand proper pay from town

South Bethany’s six fulltime police officers are alleging they have not been paid or promoted as they should be. A June 30 demand letter from the officers centers around promotion issues for some officers and holiday pay for all officers.

“Every officer here is affected, which is why we’re all represented,” said SBPD Sgt. Lee Davis.

AG’s Office scolds South Bethany for FOIA violation in staff firing

In the Town of South Bethany, the town manager oversees staff and day-to-day operations. He or she serves at the pleasure of the town council and can be fired for any reason.

Dagsboro offer for school resource officer rejected by IRSD

At the monthly town council meeting on July 17, Dagsboro Police Chief Floyd Toomey reported to the council on his presentation to the Indian River School District regarding the role of school resource officer.

CHEER, La Red address concerns about health pilot program

Representatives of La Red Health Center joined CHEER Executive Director Kenneth Bock for a meeting with CHEER members at the Coastal Leisure Center in Ocean View on Thursday, July 13, to discuss the upcoming addition of health services at the Ocean View location.

Bock started his remarks with an apology.

County council discusses special-events ordinance

After County Councilman George Cole said he had received calls regarding concerts at Hudson Fields outside of Milton, he asked staff to review what ordinances were in place to govern such events.

Middlesex couple has devoted decades to their careers

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Edgar and Judy Bennett have dedicated decades of their lives into their respective fields, as well as each other.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Edgar and Judy Bennett have dedicated decades of their lives into their respective fields, as well as each other.Lying back on the dental chair in Dr. Asher Carey’s office, Judy Bennett was getting her teeth checked and cleaned during her biannual dentist appointment. What she regarded as an ordinary day during her sophomore year of high school turned into a pivotal moment for her — the day she chose her career path.

As Carey poked through her mouth, he described the dental hygiene field in detail, sparking Bennett’s interest.

“Dr. Carey suggested it and told me what it all involved, so I took him up on it, and that’s what I did,” Bennett said.

Now, Bennett has worked as a dental hygienist for almost 60 years.

Sea Colony reminding drivers that its roads are private

Delaware’s inland bays are beautiful, but they leave room only for a handful of roadways to the beach. And after decades of not enforcing posted signs to that effect, this summer, Sea Colony is restricting public use of the community’s private road to the beach, which includes turning away cars that don’t have a Sea Colony vehicle pass.

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.

When seconds matter

Policing and the use of deadly force

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Point reporter Maria Counts goes into full tactical mode during a training opportunity presented to members of the public by the Ocean View Police Department.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Point reporter Maria Counts goes into full tactical mode during a training opportunity presented to members of the public by the Ocean View Police Department.Three seconds. That’s all it takes to make a life-and-death decision: Are they a threat? Is that a gun or cell phone? Am I justified in using deadly force?

On Monday, July 17, 15 community members had the unique opportunity to take on the role of a police officer for a day.

“The whole goal of the program today is to let you see some of these police use-of-force incidents through the eyes of police,” explained Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin. “I think, by the end of the day, any pre-conceived notions that you may have regarding these use-of-force encounters may be squashed, and you may look at it a bit differently.”

The experience was provided with the help of 0311 Tactical Solutions LLC, a tactical training company out of St. Louis, Mo., to participants including Ocean View Town staff and home owners association members.

Bethany Beach arcade adds new games in the name of Shore Fun

Coastal Point • Marissa McCloy: The new ‘Walking Dead’ game transforms the zombie television series into a fast-paced arcade game. Right, Arcade tickets already have the playland’s new Shore Fun name and logo.Coastal Point • Marissa McCloy: The new ‘Walking Dead’ game transforms the zombie television series into a fast-paced arcade game. Right, Arcade tickets already have the playland’s new Shore Fun name and logo.This summer, Arnie’s Playland is lighting up Bethany Beach with several new digital games and looking to put the Shore Fun back in the downtown arcade.

Space Invaders Frenzy is the most popular of the new games, according to manager Eric Esterson. The game has an 8-foot LED display, dual cockpit seating and mounted gun cannons.

Another addition is “The Walking Dead” — a game based on the AMC television show — in which players shoot the undead with crossbow controllers.

The arcade’s newest pinball machine is a “Ghostbusters”-themed game.

These changes are all part of the updates put into motion by the arcade’s new owners, Esterson said.

Arnie’s Playland has served up family fun for 34 years. There were once two locations, but now the sole arcade location is on Garfield Parkway in Bethany.

In addition to the new digital games, the arcade also has six new Skee-Ball machines.

“We currently have 15 Skee Ball machines, but we are trying to get down to about eight,” said Esterson, who added that Skee Ball is still popular among customers, even with the more technologically-advanced game options now available.

Good Earth offering dining from its organic garden

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Shrimp and grits is just one of the fresh dishes made a Good Earth Market.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Shrimp and grits is just one of the fresh dishes made a Good Earth Market.It seems fitting that an organic market has grown at such a… well… organic pace since it first opened 14 years ago.

Good Earth Organic Market in Clarksville and, more recently, Rehoboth Beach has now added dinners and events to its growing list of offerings, and early indications are that the new venture will blossom like the rest of the business has.

Much of that confidence comes because of, and from, the market’s new chef, Nino Mancari, who comes to Good Earth after years in some of the area’s most successful restaurants.

With the Good Earth kitchen garden in place and literally buzzing with activity these days, and with a number of successful farm dinners held on the grounds in recent years, owner Susan Ryan has expanded the vision for the business to include not only dinners served on the premises Wednesday through Saturday evenings, but also “pop-up” happy-hours on Fridays. Good Earth, which already hosts weddings and other special celebrations, will now provide food for those events in-house.

Bethany Beach to celebrate Périers Day on July 27

On Thursday, July 27, the Town of Bethany Beach will celebrate Périers Day, marking the twinning of the towns of Bethany Beach and Périers, France. The Town will also be host to French guests visiting as part of a three-city tour that includes Washington, D.C., and New York.

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