Local News

Ocean View Police Department pedals community policing

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Officer AnnMarie Dalton is heading the OVPD’s bike-patrol program.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Officer AnnMarie Dalton is heading the OVPD’s bike-patrol program.Those who have been out and about in Ocean View this past week may have spotted something they may have never seen before — an Ocean View police officer on a bicycle.

On June 1, the Ocean View Police Department began its bike-patrol program, headed by Officer AnnMarie Dalton.

“I approached [Chief Ken McLaughlin] about possibly starting a bike patrol, because I thought it would be nice to really get out and do more community policing, rather than just sit inside the vehicle,” said Dalton, “Especially with some of the bigger developments, people are out there with their kids, barbecuing, stuff like that.”

Through two grants, from the Delaware Criminal Justice Council and Sussex County Council, the department was able to purchase two Police Trek bikes for the department’s use.

For their own safety (and the public’s), more police carrying naloxone

Typically, when police respond to a drug-related call, they might be looking to subdue a subject or revive an overdose victim. But now, police are also considering their own risk of accidental drug overdose.

Family Fun Fest planned at church

Long Neck United Methodist Church will host its Family Fun Fest this week, aiming to offer a safe space for community fun and bonding.

The Family Fun Fest, which has been held annually for almost a decade, will be taking place on June 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the church at 32051 Long Neck Road.

TOP BUN

Top Dog Grill aims to serve up something new in Bethany Beach

Coastal Point photos • Shaun M. Lambert: Owners Darin Dryden and Adam Lehman show off some of Top Dog Grill's offerings.Coastal Point photos • Shaun M. Lambert: Owners Darin Dryden and Adam Lehman show off some of Top Dog Grill's offerings.They may not be saving the skies in the 1986 action-thriller “Top Gun,” but Darin Dryden and Adam Lehman might as well be Goose and Maverick when it comes to saving Bethany Beach from what they see as the usual options of boardwalk dining — and their mission to serve up the town’s “Top Bun.”

With Dryden’s experience in business and Lehman’s in the culinary arts, the two long-time friends teamed up last summer with the aim of offering the area something new, opening the doors to Top Dog Grill in June of 2016.

“We’re trying to offer a good, affordable option in Bethany, and trying to do it a little differently than everybody else,” said Lehman.

“It’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a while,” added Dryden. “Both of us are here every day. He’s got the culinary background. I’ve got the business background. My wife’s an accountant, she does the books. It’s a good team.”

Taco Taco now serving up breakfast breakfast

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Kevin Martin and Stephanie Baker show off some of the new menu items at Taco Taco.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Kevin Martin and Stephanie Baker show off some of the new menu items at Taco Taco.They’re doing it quick. They’re doing it simple. They’re doing it the customer’s way.

And now, they’re doing it for breakfast, too.

Kevin Martin and Stephanie Baker first introduced their “good food fast” philosophy to Millville with Taco Taco in the winter of 2016, enjoying a successful first summer season while offering up “fresh Mex” fare for both lunch and dinner, whether dining in or ordering out.

That’s the same concept that Taco Taco will stay true to this summer, with the addition of the all-new a.m. menu-options making their burrito-board debut by popular demand.

“Just about anything that you could want for breakfast, we’ve got it here,” said Kevin Martin. “Everyone who’s tried it has had nothing but good things to say. People are coming back. We’ve even had people come in from California and the Southwest and tell us that it was the best breakfast burrito they’ve ever had.”

A real mother of a teacher

Science and support with Indian River’s Alison Walt

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Indian River High School’s Teacher of the Year recipient, Alison Walt, teaches science at IR.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Indian River High School’s Teacher of the Year recipient, Alison Walt, teaches science at IR.What are two top traits in a teacher? “A caring personality and rock-solid knowledge of science.” That’s how science teacher Alison Walt was described in her Teacher of the Year nomination at Indian River High School.

“Mrs. Walt has the ability to build relationships with all students, but especially those struggling to find their place in the world,” according to one colleague. “Her caring demeanor, respect for all students and willingness to help students with personal issues, resulted in students regarding her as a mother figure, in addition to as a teacher.”

“As an administrator, I could never ask for more than what Mrs. Walt gives every day,” said Principal Bennett Murray.

“I want them to understand there’s somebody that cares about them,” said Walt, who teaches chemistry and physical science to grades 9, 11 and 12. “I want this class to be a place that they know that no one’s going to ridicule them. I just love them all, even when they get on my nerves,” she joked.

The motherly atmosphere is likely an extension of her own children and their friends visiting her classroom over the years as they completed their educations at IRHS. The classroom just became a safe haven for those who sought it.

Beach & Bay Cottage Tour sneak peek No. 6 — Breezes cool downtown Bethany home

Coastal Point • Submitted: A barrel high-top table is featured in the kitchen of this downtown Bethany home.Coastal Point • Submitted: A barrel high-top table is featured in the kitchen of this downtown Bethany home.(Editor’s note: This is the sixth in a series of previews of the homes that will be on display during the 26th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour, to be held July 26-27 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

As former proprietors in Sea Colony, the owners of this downtown Bethany home had many fond memories of family vacations in Bethany when their children were young. After several years’ absence, they were ready to return to build new memories in Bethany with their three adult kids.

Their long search for a lot within walking distance of the beach and with enough space for a pool was finally successful. Overlooking the town’s iconic “totem pole,” their new 3,200-square-foot home is close enough to the ocean to be dubbed “Bethany Breeze.”

The heated backyard pool, adjacent to the fully-outfitted family pub, is embellished with custom tile work and is guarded by a friendly mermaid. The interior décor is a blend of traditional and contemporary coastal styles, accented with tropical artistic touches from the wife, a graphic artist. Her goal was to create an oasis of calm with shades of coastal blue to soothe her busy family when they escape the stresses of the family business back in Virginia. They now look forward to creating new memories in the town they loved so long ago.

BBVFC again garners funding for paid summertime staff

Little progress on equitable funding source

The good news is the towns were willing to donate money. The bad news is that they had to.

South Bethany elects familiar faces

On May 27, residents and property owners chose a path forward in the 2017 South Bethany Town Council election, and it’s a path they’ve been on before. They elected former councilman Timothy Saxton and incumbents Frank Weisgerber Jr. and Carol Stevenson back onto the dais.

Bethany moving ahead with South Atlantic Streetscape project

If nothing else, South Atlantic Avenue in Bethany Beach — the south end of the town’s easternmost north-south street, running along the beach block — is in need of repaving. And it’s due for that work, already scheduled to get some attention in the Town’s 2018 street paving plan.

Bethany boardwalk to fill with crafters on Saturday

The ocean water temperature may still be in the very low 60s, but things are heating up on the Bethany Beach boardwalk this weekend, as the Town hosts its annual Seaside Craft Show on Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

State likes proposed location for new Ennis school

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: A new Howard T. Ennis School for students with special needs could be located north of Millsboro, as shown in this Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS) application.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: A new Howard T. Ennis School for students with special needs could be located north of Millsboro, as shown in this Preliminary Land Use Service (PLUS) application.The wheels are rolling for a new Howard T. Ennis School building. The State of Delaware appears to like the idea of building a new facility for the special-needs school.

Indian River School District officials said they are encouraged by state-level discussions to transfer a piece of Stockley Center land to build a replacement Ennis School in Georgetown.

Although Ennis is managed by the IRSD, the school serves all Sussex Countians who have significant cognitive delays, up to age 21.

Currently, it’s a tight squeeze for Ennis’s 140 students, plus special staff and medical equipment. Sometimes they can barely fit in the narrow hallways of the old building.

The district needs to rebuild the 47-year-old school completely, without disrupting the students’ education.

Ocean View P&Z recommends ordinances to council

The Ocean View Planning & Zoning Commission last week voted to recommend a number of proposed code amendments to the town council.

The commission voted unanimously to recommend an ordinance to town council that would amend the Ocean View Land Use & Development Code by adding “Woodworking Shops” as “Special Exceptions” in GB-1 and GB-2 General Business Districts.

South Bethany Traffic Committee offers alternatives

The Town’s Traffic Committee is wrapping up its mission to improve safety and speeding in South Bethany’s Cat Hill neighborhood.

More than a year ago, they were instructed to research ideas to address traffic volume, traffic speed and pedestrian safety in a residential neighborhood that is increasingly used as a beach-traffic artery.

‘Sex Please, We’re Sixty’ set for BART season finale at Dickens

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert : The cast of ‘Sex Please We’re Sixty’ was ready to put on BART’s final show at the Dickens Parlour Theatre before their summer hiatus.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert : The cast of ‘Sex Please We’re Sixty’ was ready to put on BART’s final show at the Dickens Parlour Theatre before their summer hiatus.Opening night is already sold out for the Bethany Area Repertory Theatre’s final production at the Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville before their summer hiatus.

Director Rusty Hesse’s adaptation of the “saucy senior-scandal” originally written by Michael and Susan Parker, “Sex Please, We’re Sixty,” will feature plenty of laughs on the subjects of menopausal hot flashes, the age well past the age of sexual pinnacles and little blue pills being “popped like M&Ms.”

“It’s a laugh-a-minute kind of production,” said four-year BART veteran Jeff Martini, who will portray aging-lothario protagonist Bud “The Stud” Davis in the production after helping put on “Sex Please, We’re Sixty” in Arizona with the Sun City Grand Theatre Co. this past winter.

“It’s got some very interesting differences,” Martini continued, comparing the two adaptations. “These light-hearted comedies have really resonated with our audiences at BART over the years. It’s a terrific way to end the season.”

Gardening group puts down roots with Life Saving Station project

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Members of the Salt Air Gardeners recently began a landscaping project at the Indian River Life Saving Station.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Members of the Salt Air Gardeners recently began a landscaping project at the Indian River Life Saving Station.When Indian River Life Saving Station site manager Laura Scharle got back work recently after a day away, it looked as if garden fairies had made a stop there.

Landscaping around the museum and historic site had been spruced up — plants added, mulch raked in, beds cleaned up.

In reality, the “fairies” were members of the Salt Air Gardeners, a recently formed group of “lifelong learners” who were looking for a community project. In their quest, they contacted the Inland Bays Garden Center in Ocean View, where they learned that the Lifesaving Station’s grounds were in need of some attention.

Based in the Bay Forest community, the group (don’t call them a “club” — they prefer to be referred to as an “organization” or just by their name) is nearly 50 members strong, despite only having been in existence for a few months.

‘Fins fam’ finds home in Bethany with Fins Ale House & Raw Bar

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Head chef Celaso Morales, left, owner Jeff Hamer, second from right, and Director of Operations Briana Roviske gather with the crew during their opening-night celebration last Thursday, May 25.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Head chef Celaso Morales, left, owner Jeff Hamer, second from right, and Director of Operations Briana Roviske gather with the crew during their opening-night celebration last Thursday, May 25.It’s what Jeff Hamer, president and founder of the Fins Hospitality Group, likes to refer to as “being the rising tide.”

The long-time restaurateur has built his success directly around that of his “Fins family,” ever since his days of launching his very first venture in Rehoboth Beach.

“That’s why we like to say, ‘It’s the rising tide,’” Hamer explained. “If we can provide good-paying jobs, we can lift the people up around us, then the community just becomes stronger. [Our employees] all have families, homes in the areas, mortgages, their kids are in school — they have a stake in the community.

“That’s really been our blessing — it’s not about me when people say they love Fins,” he continued. “It’s the employees. They’re the ones that do it. I come up with the ideas and kind of paint broad strokes, and they’re the ones that make it happen. They make Fins, they really do.”

South Bethany council: Don’t feed stray or feral cats

Most beach towns don’t want anyone to feed the seagulls, since the birds will harass humans for more food. Now, in South Bethany, people may no longer feed stray and feral cats.

OVHS offering trunkfuls of the past at History Mix

This weekend, visitors and residents will have the unique opportunity to tour a local workshop where antique trunks are restored. The Ocean View Historical Society will host a History Mix on Saturday, June 3, at 1 p.m. at Norman Justice’s workshop on Cedar Neck Road.

Gano receives rank of Eagle

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Trip Jorss, Robert Gano, Grant Gano, Lord Baltimore Principal Pam Webb and Assistant Principal Matthew Keller pose for a photo at Gano’s Eagle Scout project at LB.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Trip Jorss, Robert Gano, Grant Gano, Lord Baltimore Principal Pam Webb and Assistant Principal Matthew Keller pose for a photo at Gano’s Eagle Scout project at LB.Although he left Lord Baltimore Elementary school nearly 10 years ago, Indian River High School senior Grant Gano wanted to give back to his earliest alma mater.

For his Eagle Scout project through Ocean View Boy Scout Troop 281, Gano rehabilitated part of the presentation area of the school’s Environmental Learning Center.

“I went here for elementary school — this was my school growing up, and this area was never used,” said Gano. “I got the idea from that. I felt the need for the deck here.”

Gano reached out to LB Principal Pam Webb and asked her if she would like the area updated and what the school’s needs would be.

Fictional book highlights Sussex County over the centuries

With Memorial Day arriving and bringing the start of the summer season with it, many people are searching for that perfect beach read. “Settlin’ In: Love, Death & Deception” is a compilation of short stories by Joseph Scott spanning four centuries of life on the Delmarva Peninsula.

“I’m the ninth generation of a man and his wife who moved to this area from Wales in 1675. I have somewhat of a passion for Delaware… Joe loved it, too. To write this book about these places was something he really, really loved doing,” said his wife, Priscilla.

Scott, a journalist who had written for more than 50 major magazines and newspapers, including New York magazine, McCall’s and Good Housekeeping, passed away last September, just one month after his book was published.

“When he finished the last story, he was so gratified… To get the proof of the book three weeks before he passed away was just incredible,” said Priscilla Scott, noting that when he received the book proof, she danced around their house, celebrating for the both of them. “I was just so thrilled.”

Summer season comes with changes

Coastal Point • File Photo: Heavy equipment on the beach will be a familiar sight again, as the beaches of Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island will get replenished this fall. This is not all that’s new this season.Coastal Point • File Photo: Heavy equipment on the beach will be a familiar sight again, as the beaches of Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island will get replenished this fall. This is not all that’s new this season.

Summer at the Delaware shore is full of fun and busy with people and activities. It’s during the “off-season” when many of the practical things get done. So, what happened while all of our summer visitors were gone, and what’s coming to a beach town near you?

Spanish Immersion safe for now

Some local elementary school parents rejoiced this week to learn that the Indian River School District isn’t canceling Spanish Immersion classes.

S. Bethany candidates have their say before Saturday’s election

It’s time for voters to make their call, as the South Bethany town council election allows them to choose this week from five candidates vying for three seats. Polls will be open Saturday, May 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at town hall.

Point staff recognized by MDDC press association

‘Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.’

— Henry Anatole Grunwald

New fees coming to wildlife areas, increased hunter fees

Approved last summer by state legislators, new entrance fees are coming soon to all state wildlife areas, including the Assawoman Wildlife Area near Bethany Beach. Hunters and trappers will also see license fees jump by at least 50 percent, and some by 200 percent.

The changes begin on Saturday, July 1.

County gets update on fighting veteran homelessness

The Sussex County Council this week received an update on the Mayors Challenge to end Veteran Homelessness initiative, in which Sussex County, along with the towns of Blades, Bridgeville, Georgetown, Greenwood, Seaford, as well as the State of Delaware, participated.

Big Chill Beach Club breaks out umbrella room with a view

New restaurant at state park offers inlet and ocean views, beachfront eats

Coastal Point • Submitted: Big Chill Beach Club has a view of the Indian River Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.Coastal Point • Submitted: Big Chill Beach Club has a view of the Indian River Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.Like a summer sun rising above the Atlantic Ocean, the large yellow umbrella atop the concession building at Delaware Seashore State Parks concession stand signals a fresh start.

The umbrella is the signature piece of the new Big Chill Beach Club; it sits atop the venue’s glass-enclosed eating area. That area is surrounded by a large deck, where diners can enjoy 360-degree views encompassing the ocean, the Indian River Inlet Bridge and the Indian River Bay.

Those who would rather keep their feet in the sand can do so by taking their food back to the beach or by sitting at tables in the sand at the new eatery.

A partnership between Delaware State Parks and La Vida Hospitality Group, the Big Chill Beach Club brings to the venture the group’s experience with its other projects, Crooked Hammock Brewery, Restaurant & Backyard Beer Garden; Fork+Flask at Nage; Taco Reho food truck; and the original Big Chill Cantina.

S. Bethany police project gets sky-high bids

Construction costs are already vexing the proposed expansion of the South Bethany Police Department building, and the project has barely been approved.

The Town opened construction bids recently, only to find that the base bids were around $225,000, which is about $70,000 more than they had expected.

'Gatsby' gets green light for IR premiere this weekend

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The cast of Indian River High School’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ takes time from rehearsal to mug for the camera. They will perform both Friday, May 26, and Saturday, May 27.Whether they’re coming in from East Egg, West Egg or across any other egg-less province, the local community is getting the “green light” to head out to Indian River High School this Friday and Saturday night for the IR drama club’s production of “The Great Gatsby.”

The Simon Levy adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic story will “borne back ceaselessly into the past” to feature everything 1920s — from snazzy suits and flapper dresses to the jazz stylings of the Indian River High School band during intermissions and throughout the show.

Coming off the success of their production of “Romeo & Juliet” this past winter — in what was the first-year drama club’s first-ever show — hopes were even higher for “Gatsby,” with everything coming together just in time for curtain call.

“We have a lot to pull together in the last week — as is the nature of theater — but we’re all really excited,” said Sadie Andros, director and first-year English teacher at IR. “We’ve gone a little bigger for this show. We’ve got a great set that we’ve been designing and painting. We have a car, live music — it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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