Local News

County council discusses Comp Plan

At the Nov. 7 Sussex County council meeting, County Administrator Todd Lawson gave council an update on the County’s Comprehensive Land Use Development Plan.

Casting a spell: Clever kids clean up in spelling bee

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: About 27 entrants smile before the competition begins, alongside Southern Sussex Rotarians and other special guests.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: About 27 entrants smile before the competition begins, alongside Southern Sussex Rotarians and other special guests.“Confidence” might be the word of the night, as 27 Indian River School District third-graders competed in the third annual Spelling Bee.

Southern Sussex Rotary hosted the event for southern district students on Nov. 1 at John M. Clayton Elementary.

This year, top prizes went to (first place) Alana Chew of Lord Baltimore Elementary School; (second place) Lauren Myers, Southern Delaware School of the Arts; (third place) Yoselyn Patraca-Carmona, Phillip C. Showell Elementary School; and (fourth place) Catherine Bunting, Lord Baltimore.

Seated on stage, some students swung their feet, not quite reaching the floor, as they watched their peers. Pausing from her duties as moderator, or “pronouncer,” Becky Burton told the audience how the students were encouraging each other.

“They’re up here going, ‘You can do it!’”

Honoring Our Veterans

Lighthouse Christian Students to thank veterans

For years, Lighthouse Christian School has felt the importance of educating youth on the meaning of Veterans Day.

“Our school is very, very concerned about giving time to the veterans, and recognizing our veterans for the sacrifices that both them and their families have made,” said Pat Viguie, a teacher at the school.

Chasing the fog

As I backed out the driveway last Friday morning at 7:15, Cedar Drive was still quiet before the mad rush of buses and parents dropping off the kids at Lord Baltimore Elementary School. Even though I live a half a mile from work, it’s funny how I need to do just the right timing so I do not end up mixed in part of the busy drop-off time of the school traffic.

As I went down School Lane, I notice that there was a soft layer of fog over the fields drifting up toward a brilliant blue sky. Going to be another great day of this Indian summer we are seeing this year, I thought to myself.

Pulling into the office parking lot convinced me that there needed to be a change of plans for the morning. I can read e-mails anytime, I figured. This fog is here now and will be gone in another half hour. Grabbing my camera, I headed for Fresh Pond, making a few scenic stops along the way.

Fresh Pond is a part of my old stomping ground, as I lived on Cedar Neck Road until I was in 11th grade. It was much different then, comprised mostly of fields (some farmed and some just natural). After school, weekends and in the summer, we rode bikes or walked just about anywhere. We ran through cornfields, built forts in the woods and even swam in the Assawoman Canal.

Miracle, or just a drug?

Opinions vary, locally and nationally, on medicinal marijuana

Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Tina and Charles Abrachinsky in their home. Charles recently started using a tincture to help control pain.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Tina and Charles Abrachinsky in their home. Charles recently started using a tincture to help control pain.“At 10:15 a.m., I took my first ‘cocktail,’ as I call it. It was a couple of drops of ‘jet fuel’ marijuana tincture mixed with orange juice in a shot glass. I didn’t know what to expect,” said 81-year-old Charles Abrachinsky, who lives in Ocean View.

It was Wednesday, Sept. 13, and Abrachinsky recorded the time and amount in his notebook.

“Twenty minutes later I turned to Tina, my wife, and said ‘Wow!’ I didn’t feel any pain. It was unbelievable.”

Abrachinsky has lived with his pain all his adult life. His injuries started when he played football at the University of Pittsburgh and included a broken pelvis and torn meniscus. Back then though he was more disappointed by not being able to play in the Sugar Bowl than he was worried about future pain.

Join the holiday magic: Parade registrations open

Now’s the time to sign up for local Christmas parades. People can build a float, decorate a car, or gather an organization to participate in brightening the holiday season.

Holiday parades are returning to Selbyville, Dagsboro, Millsboro and Georgetown in early December, so registration is due within the next few weeks.

Millsboro police work getting hairy for charity

Coastal Point • Submitted Millsboro: Police Department’s Cpl. David Moyer,  Ptlm. Michael Gorman, Cpl. Jonathan Zubrowski and Cpl. Patrick Forester sport some facial hair during last year’s Whiskers for Wishes event, raising money for Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro.Coastal Point • Submitted Millsboro: Police Department’s Cpl. David Moyer, Ptlm. Michael Gorman, Cpl. Jonathan Zubrowski and Cpl. Patrick Forester sport some facial hair during last year’s Whiskers for Wishes event, raising money for Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro.The Millsboro Police Department is loosening its “grooming standards.” But don’t worry — it’s for a good cause.

Thanks to an official waiving of the Millsboro Police Department’s grooming standards by the Millsboro Town Council, male police officers will be permitted to grow facial hair between now and Dec. 13. There’s a catch, though.

“In order for officers to do this, they have to pay money,” Police Chief Brian Calloway said.

Specifically, the officers will pay $120 total for the right to grow beards and mustaches through December — $20 for October, $40 for November and $60 for December.

Calloway said most of the men in his 15-member department are participating in the big beard project. The female members of the department may not be able to grow beards, but they contribute in other ways, he said.

Roxana fire company showcasing the classics this weekend

Classic cars and tractors will be pulling in to the Roxana Volunteer Fire Department parking lot on Saturday for the fire company’s first Classic, Antique Car and Tractor Show.

IRSD ready to pursue Bermuda grass on fields

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.After tossing the idea around for years, the Indian River School District’s Board of Education unanimously voted this week to begin pursuing Bermuda grass for the football and field hockey stadiums at both high schools.

“I think the public is going to appreciate what we’re doing with these four fields,” said Joe Booth, supervisor of Buildings & Grounds. “I work for the district, but I also am a district resident. … I think this is a good thing moving forward, trying to improve these fields for our students.”

The optimum option would be artificial turf, he said, but Bermuda grass is a great runner-up.

“It’s mainly because of the recovery, and it gives you a little bit of the cushion. It’s mowed short so you don’t have a problem with cleats getting caught,” he said. Also, “It’s flat. It’s consistent all the way through.”

Fourth annual Thanksgiving Day Gabby Gobble nears

Coming to the Delaware beaches for Thanksgiving and looking for a twist on your family tradition?

Join up for the Fourth Annual Gabby Gobble 5K on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 23, at Irish Eyes Pub in Lewes. The race will begin at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds from the race will go to the Get Well Gabby Foundation.

Annual Turkey Trot scheduled for Thanksgiving Day

The 10th Annual Fenwick Island Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, at 8 a.m. The untimed 2.2-mile fun-run/walk starts oceanside on Lewes Street in Fenwick Island, and goes south to the Maryland state line and back.

Bethany Beach to host Holiday Happenings, tree lighting

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Town of Bethany Beach will host its annual Holiday Happenings from 1 to 3 p.m. at town hall. The event will feature face-painting and photos with Santa, complete with hot cocoa, cookies and a station for children to write letters to Santa.

Fenwick officials seek to increase borrowing in future for storms

If a coastal storm were to hit Fenwick Island, the town council wants to have to have some financial power ready to go.

The Fenwick Island Town Council recently proposed changing the town charter to increase their borrowing limits. Currently, Charter Section 34 permits the Town to borrow up to $500,000 in one year for current expenses — an amount that hasn’t changed since 1965.

County announces economic development loan program

Sussex County will be creating a $4 million economic development loan to help draw businesses to Sussex County.

The announcement, made by County Administrator Todd Lawson at the Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference on Oct. 25, was met with applause from those in attendance.

OVHS to host Delmarva food lecture, Christmas open house

To continue their public outreach and education, the Ocean View Historical Society will host a lecture by local author and storyteller Ed Okonowicz on “The Food Lore of Delmarva — Muskrat, Scrapple & More.”

“This talk was made possible by a grant from the Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities,” said OVHS President Barbara Slavin.

Police, EMS discuss opioid epidemic data, impact

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The numbers are daunting in Delaware’s heroin epidemic.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The numbers are daunting in Delaware’s heroin epidemic.“This is like watching a hurricane grow,” said Robert Stuart regarding the heroin epidemic in the state to those attending the Sussex County Today & Tomorrow Conference on Oct. 25.

Stuart, director of Sussex County Emergency Medical Services, was joined at the conference by Lt. Tim Hulings and intelligence analyst Nicole Sapp, both of the Delaware State Police.

Stuart noted that, in looking at heroin-related statistics, the Millsboro area was in the top five for use of the overdose-reversing drug Narcan (naloxone).

“It’s not an underprivileged community — it’s one of the fastest-growing towns in the state of Delaware,” he said. “It’s the entire state of Delaware… It’s everywhere.”

Packing purses with soap and hope for women in need

Coastal Point • Laura Walter:  From left, Norma Hall, Teresa Shockley, Gladys Aviles-Johnson and Ruth Thomas take a break from packing Patsy’s Purses for a photo. The purses get filled with toiletries, then delivered to homeless shelters and other safe homes.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: From left, Norma Hall, Teresa Shockley, Gladys Aviles-Johnson and Ruth Thomas take a break from packing Patsy’s Purses for a photo. The purses get filled with toiletries, then delivered to homeless shelters and other safe homes.When her mother passed away from cancer on Sept. 11, 2016, Gladys Aviles-Johnson couldn’t bear to just ship her mother’s belongings to a thrift shop.

“I felt like we were throwing them out. I just prayed about it, ‘Lord, what can we do to make a difference?’” the Bridgeville resident said.

She was inspired to give her mother’s purse collection to women in need. Now Patsy’s Purses are filled with toiletries and other necessary items, then delivered to homeless shelters, rehab centers and other safe homes.

“You figure you have nothing, and then you come out and you get the staples that you need,” said Ruth Thomas of Georgetown, who helps prepare bags.

Fenwick First Fridays offer new shopping specials

Fenwick Island businesses are aiming to make Friday a big shopping night. The local businesses have followed in the footsteps of other towns in the region by starting the new Fenwick First Fridays events, continuing Nov. 3 and Dec. 1.

Allen Harim breaks ground on Dagsboro hatchery

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Allen Harim broke ground on its new hatchery in Dagsboro on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Local dignitaries were on hand for the event.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Allen Harim broke ground on its new hatchery in Dagsboro on Wednesday, Oct. 25. Local dignitaries were on hand for the event.Allen Harim, a South Korea-based chicken producer with several facilities on Delmarva, broke ground on Wednesday, Oct. 25, on a $22 million hatchery in Dagsboro.

Gov. John Carney attended the ceremony, taking a moment to hold one of the chicks that had chirped from their basket on a nearby table while Carney joined Allen Harim officials, as well as local, state and county officials, in celebrating the beginning of the hatchery construction.

“This is a big deal. This is a really big deal,” Carney said. The governor emphasized the importance of “making sure we cultivate our poultry industry and our individual poultry farmers” in Delaware.

Rory DeWeese, Allen Harim senior director of live operations, said the 70,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will “encompass” the current building. The hatchery will be capable of hatching 2.5 million eggs each week.

Local takes giving down to the bone (marrow)

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Christian Heneghan donated bone marrow to a 17-year-old girl with leukemia. He registered at a Ultimate Frisbee tournament, not even really thinking about it. Now he’s helped another person who really needed it.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Christian Heneghan donated bone marrow to a 17-year-old girl with leukemia. He registered at a Ultimate Frisbee tournament, not even really thinking about it. Now he’s helped another person who really needed it.It may seem dismissive to call donating bone marrow to a stranger a random act of kindness. But that’s exactly how Christian Heneghan looks at it.

Heneghan, 38, took the initial “swab test” to determine his eligibility to be a donor at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Poolesville, Md., about six years ago. The testing was part of an outreach effort by Be the Match, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program.

He looks back on that day, and what he describes as a “random thing” — he didn’t know he’d have the opportunity to enter the donor program that day, he said — he just wanted to play some Frisbee with some friends.

One year ago, that “random” act led to Heneghan’s admission to a Washington, D.C., hospital as a bone marrow donor. Earlier this month, it led to his receipt of a very special letter.

Nature and botanic gardens inspire Millsboro painter

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Constance James Collock was inspired by the work being done to bring Delaware Botanic Gardens at Peppers Creek to Sussex County, and painted what she imagines a very specific spot in the complex will look like.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Constance James Collock was inspired by the work being done to bring Delaware Botanic Gardens at Peppers Creek to Sussex County, and painted what she imagines a very specific spot in the complex will look like.One day, sunlight will shine through the trees, gold and green. A gently sculpted path will turn toward the creek, twinkling gently in the distance.

At least, that’s what local artist Constance “Connie” James Kollock imagines in her new painting, a study of the future Delaware Botanic Gardens at Pepper Creek.

After learning about the public garden coming to Dagsboro, she curiously hoped to see the land for herself, before the 37-acre plot was fenced in against deer and humans. For the past few years, the botanic gardens team have been quietly clearing brush, digging paths and planting thousands of young plants (with many more to come) on a site that was mostly soybean field and forest.

Walking through the woods, “I thought, ‘Oh, golly — I know what this is gonna look like,’” she said, and Kollock was inspired to photograph and sketch the woodland pathways. She finished the task just as the gardens’ staff announced that the property would soon be gated, as the gardens-in-progress are closed to the general public until the gardens officially open around 2019.

Kollock started her painting this spring, transforming acrylic paint into the bright landscape she sees coming in the next few years.

“This is a beautiful spot. … I think it’ll be a unique place, with all the flowers and the old paths and being on the creek like it is,” said Kollock. “I think they’ll be successful. I hope they are.”

At home in Millsboro, her own studio looks out over the picturesque Indian River.

TOTS preschoolers make a musical night

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Preschoolers are movin’ and groovin’ at a music night at Transitioning Our Toddlers to School (TOTS) in Frankford.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Preschoolers are movin’ and groovin’ at a music night at Transitioning Our Toddlers to School (TOTS) in Frankford.These preschoolers were ready to boogie. Live music filled the gym this month at Indian River School District’s Transitioning Our Toddlers to School (TOTS) program.

Armed with an acoustic guitar, Nancy Curry of Makin’ Music Delaware led the children in singing and dancing. She will give three TOTS nighttime shows, plus several classroom visits, this school year, made possible by a $2,500 grant from the Freeman Foundation.

TOTS serves kids ages 3 and 4 who have developmental disabilities or delays.

Kids sing throughout the day, such as the clean-up song. But on their music night, they used listening skills to dance and follow motions.

“This was something that I thought was just little bit different. … This was just pure entertainment,” said Loretta Ewell, TOTS coordinator.

Pickleball Points — Endorsements can make a market, or break a company

Professional endorsements work because consumers make them work. Seldom, but sometimes, the company involves the athlete in product development. Billie Jean King and Chris Evert were involved in their Wilson autograph tennis rackets.

Endorsements are not to be taken lightly because of the financial risk, which can ruin companies.

County could introduce ‘right-to-work’ ordinance next week

At the urging of Councilman Rob Arlett, the Sussex County Council may introduce an ordinance related to “right-to-work” legislation at its Oct. 31 meeting.

IRSD official count tops 10,600 students

Every autumn, Delaware schools take a “snapshot” of the student population. On Sept. 30, Indian River School District officially counted 10,619 students.

“If we keep the same growth pattern, we’re going to eclipse 11,000 in the next five years, probably more like 11,500 to 12,000 students,” Superintendent Mark Steele told the IRSD Board of Education in October.

Magee Farms getting in Halloween spirit

Despite the fact that the pumpkin crop at Magee Farms’ Selbyville location succumbed to a rainy growing season, the century-old family farm will kick off the weekend with a tribute to TV audiences’ favorite pumpkin patch, followed the next day with more autumn fun at its annual Fall Festival.

This weekend, get rid of those old prescription meds

As part of an ongoing effort locally, state-wide and nationally, people are being encouraged to visit some of their local police departments this weekend to properly dispose of their unneeded or expired prescription medications.

Frankford auction to benefit various hurricane victims

This weekend, when some people buy new furniture, they’ll know that 100 percent of the cost helped hurricane victims across the U.S.

The Father’s House church in Frankford will host an auction fundraiser to help hurricane recovery efforts in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. They were battered by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, all within one month this summer.

Police investigating local roadside robbery

Delaware State Police this week were investigating a robbery of a 28-year-old Maryland man while his vehicle was disabled along a Sussex County roadway near Millville.

DSP: Selbyville man dies after Sept. 29 crash

At the request of Selbyville Police Department, the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit this week began investigating a crash that occurred at the end of September, resulting in the death of a driver.

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