Local News

Bethany Ropewalk receives liquor license

The Ropewalk restaurant location in Bethany Beach, now under construction on Garfield Parkway, received approval of its liquor license on Tuesday, Feb. 13, after a nearly two-hour hearing before the state’s Office of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner.

New commercial center under construction in Ocean View

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted : A rendition of the planned commercial center coming to Ocean View.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted : A rendition of the planned commercial center coming to Ocean View.Those who drive Route 26 in Ocean View with any frequency may have noticed that the white craftsman-style home on the northwest corner of Atlantic Avenue (Route 26) and Woodland Avenue is no longer standing. The house was removed at the end of January in preparation for construction of a commercial center.

The property has been in the Archut family for more than 100 years, first purchased by Dianne Archut’s great-grandfather Charles Johnson.

He “built the house on it in the early 1920s,” said Russell Archut, Dianne Archut’s husband. “He lived there until he passed away. Then it was passed down to Diane’s mom, and Diane’s mom and dad rented it for a while. Numerous people lived there… school teachers that taught at LB used to rent a room there. Then it was some general renters.”

Archut and his wife moved into the home in 1978, and the family lived there until 2003.

Their son Brenton was born in Milford, he said, “and was brought home to that house.”

Valor Awards recognize the work of local first-responders

Coastal Point • Susan C. Lyons: The winners of the Joshua M. Freeman Valor Awards get together for a group photo following the event.Coastal Point • Susan C. Lyons: The winners of the Joshua M. Freeman Valor Awards get together for a group photo following the event.“Valor is the demonstration of boldness and bravery in the face of adversity and danger. In our communities, it is our first-responders who sacrifice their own time and often their safety in order to protect the lives of others,” said Patti Grimes, the executive director of Carl M. Freeman and Joshua M. Freeman foundations, at the 14th Annual Joshua M. Freeman Valor Awards.

The award ceremony, hosted by the Carl M. Freeman Companies with the help of the Bethany-Fenwick Chamber of Commerce, gets its name from Josh Freeman, who served as a Green Beret.

“Hosting the Valor Awards is a privilege for our Chamber, allowing us the opportunity to give thanks for all that our first-responders do in support of our Chamber businesses, communities, and signature events and initiatives we host each year,” said Lauren Weaver, the Chamber’s executive director.

All those recognized at the Feb. 9 luncheon at the Den at Bear Trap Dunes were nominated by their own departments, and received a plaque and gift card to Hocker’s from Beebe Healthcare.

Selbyville incumbents retain seats with no new challengers

The Town of Selbyville has canceled its 2018 town council elections due to lack of challengers.

Longtime incumbents Richard Duncan Sr. and Jay Murray both filed for re-election, and there were no other candidates. Their terms will begin in March and will last two years.

The election was originally scheduled for March 3.

Once again, coastal towns oppose drilling, seismic testing

Public can still submit comments

People are turning their voices toward Washington, D.C., as the U.S. Department of the Interior eyes the Atlantic Ocean for potential oil and gas drilling activities.

Public comments are now being accepted on the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program for 2019-2024.

DHSS reports 1,200 new flu cases in a week, death toll rises to 11

NCC reports first death without underlying conditions

If anything can slow this flu season down, it’s vaccines and good handwashing. Prevention is considered more important than ever, as the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services (DHSS) is rapidly updating its flu toll and on Wednesday confirmed the state’s 11th influenza-related death this flu season.

Tower 3 a beacon in state park’s economic contributions

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Tower 3, located south of Dewey Beach in Delaware Seashore State Park, took on a cobalt-drenched tone during a lighting ceremony on Monday, Feb. 12.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Tower 3, located south of Dewey Beach in Delaware Seashore State Park, took on a cobalt-drenched tone during a lighting ceremony on Monday, Feb. 12.Against the backdrop of a spectacular sunset, a World War II observation tower became a dramatically lighted landmark on Monday, Feb. 12, while state officials touted the results of a study showing the equally dramatic impact of Delaware’s state parks on its economy.

The addition of cobalt-blue lighting to Tower 3, located just south of Dewey Beach in Delaware Seashore State Park, signals the next step in the restoration of the tower, one of 11 built along the Delaware coast between 1939 and 1942. The towers were used to track enemy vessels off the coast. Using triangulation to plot the ship’s location, observers then transmitted the information to Fort Miles, now part of Cape Henlopen State Park, where the readings were plotted on a large map.

Using that information, large guns at Fort Miles could then be aimed in the direction of the ships. The guns — with 6-inch, 12-inch and 16-inch barrels — could fire 2,700-pound shells 25 miles. But the guns were never fired at an enemy ship.

Currently, only Tower 7 at Cape Henlopen, which sits next to Fort Miles, is open to the public. Once the restoration of Tower 3 is complete, plans include opening it to the general public as well, with interpretive tours available. Eventually, the Delaware Shore Preservation Foundation hopes to also open Tower 1 in Fenwick Island State Park and Tower 2 in North Bethany.

Curran taking readers to Africa in new book

Coastal Point • Submitted Photo: ‘On to Africa’ is the second installment in local writer Walter Curran’s series about a young Merchant Marine who travels the world on a cargo ship.Coastal Point • Submitted Photo: ‘On to Africa’ is the second installment in local writer Walter Curran’s series about a young Merchant Marine who travels the world on a cargo ship.While many know him as the mayor of Ocean View, Walter Curran has lived what might seem like 10 different lives. And, for those who love to read, he’s put those experiences in a series of books, with his latest story focusing on Africa.

“It’s great. I love writing, and I even enjoy the editing, because it’s a learning process for me,” he said.

Following that love, Curran recently published the second installment of his three-part “Young Mariners” series — “On to Africa.”

The series follows the life of William Connolly, a street kid from South Boston, as he embarks on his first job as a third-mate on the cargo ship the MorMacPride. The books are loosely based on adventures Curran and his shipmates had while they were in the Merchant Marines.

ABC hearing the next step for Ropewalk in Bethany

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Ropewalk’s new 325-seat location in Bethany Beach is slated for a June opening.­Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Ropewalk’s new 325-seat location in Bethany Beach is slated for a June opening.­After expanding their restaurant from Baltimore to the Delmarva shore in 2013, the owners of Ropewalk have since set out to establish themselves in downtown Bethany Beach, constructing what will be a brand new 325-seat location one block off the beach at 107 Garfield Parkway, formerly the location of Fish Tales, which has moved across the street.

County continues work to update zoning code

As it works to update the county’s zoning code, the Sussex County Council this week reviewed some of the areas recommended for updates, with plans to hold public hearings on the amendments as they are introduced.

Insurance commissioner opens office in Georgetown

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: The Delaware Department of Insurance recently opened up a new office in Georgetown.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: The Delaware Department of Insurance recently opened up a new office in Georgetown.Those seeking help from the Delaware Department of Insurance no longer have to drive an hour away to speak with someone in person, as the department just opened its first offices in Sussex County.

“Almost two-thirds of walk-in visitors to our Kent County office are from Sussex County, and the majority of them are seniors,” said Commissioner Trinidad Navarro. “I’m excited that we are now able to help them closer to their home.”

Located on the Circle in Georgetown, the office will be open to the public Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We saw the possibility of what a beautiful place this could be — I’m so proud to give folks who live right here in Sussex County,” he said.

Navarro said the new office came, in large part, thanks to House Bill 77, which addressed the issue of citizen accessibility to be able to speak with department personnel locally by opening a Department of Insurance office in Sussex County.

Navarro said the department has been working on many things, including workers’ compensation rates.

“Last year, workers’ compensation insurance went up 0 percent, which is great news for business owners… It was a big deal to have a 0-percent rate increase, but I said that wasn’t good enough,” he said.

Fenwick juggling commercial parking rules again

Parking is no easy feat in Fenwick Island during the summers. Any business able to succeed might run out of parking in its regular lot and could have to get creative.

But the Fenwick Island Town Council is trying to get a handle on things, and historically, they have not wanted cars migrating too far from the businesses their drivers are supposed to be patronizing.

Millville cancels 2018 election

Two candidates registered for the two seats up for election in 2018, so the Millville Town Council election has been canceled.

With no opponents, incumbent Steve Maneri and challenger Ronald Belinko will be sworn in at the regular council meeting on March 13 at 7 p.m. Each seat carries a term of two years.

New minister joins Ocean View Church of Christ

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Ocean View Church of Christ recently welcomed the Rev. Ethan Magee as its new minister.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Ocean View Church of Christ recently welcomed the Rev. Ethan Magee as its new minister.Ocean View Church of Christ recently welcomed a new minister to its halls.

“I want us to be a community-minded church. I believe the church is meant to help make the community a better place. We’re supposed to be salt and light in the community where we are, and I believe that means make it better,” said the Rev. Ethan Magee.

Magee and his wife, Stefanie, along with their three kids — ages 9, 11 and 13 — moved to the area in November after serving at a church in Columbus, Ohio, for six years. Prior to that, Magee served at a church nearby, in Lewes, for 12 years.

“I went to Cincinnati Christian University,” said Magee, an Ohio native. “We love the area, the beach, the beautiful people that are incredibly welcoming and friendly. It feels like home.”

Mardi Gras Benefit returns to Selbyville library

Coastal Point • File : Photo Supporters can slip into the Big Easy spirit at the Mardi Gras benefit for the Friends of the Selbyville Public Library.Coastal Point • File : Photo Supporters can slip into the Big Easy spirit at the Mardi Gras benefit for the Friends of the Selbyville Public Library.Break out the beads and feathers! Mardi Gras night returns to Selbyville Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The fundraiser benefits the Friends of the Selbyville Public Library.

“It’s a time for great food. We’ve got great music. … We’ll have silent auctions. There’s a 50/50,” said Friends President David Nilsson. “It should just be a fun evening that people will enjoy, hanging out with the neighbors and raising money for a good cause.”

Sedona restaurant of Bethany Beach will cater the event.

“We’re going to have a great New Orleans-inspired buffet again. Shrimp jambalaya, chicken gumbo, red beans-and-rice and crawfish étouffée. … It’s always good stuff,” Nilsson said. “You can just eat it all night lon-g.”

With love of education, Millville man earns athletic honors

For Ron Belinko, a job in school athletics was the greatest career in the world.

“You have such an influence on young people. When you moved into administration, you transfer that influence on to the coaches, principals…” said Belinko, a retired coach, teacher and athletic administrator.

Years later, middle-aged adults still recognize him on the street, decades after he first coached them in Baltimore County, Md.

This winter, he was inducted to the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Hall of Fame.

Although he played organized sports in school, city kids played games all year ’round.

Mardi Gras benefit returning to Selbyville library

Tickets available through Feb. 7

Break out the beads and feathers! Mardi Gras night will return to the Selbyville Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The fundraiser benefits the Friends of the Selbyville Public Library.

Mountaire requests emergency sludge permit

After Mountaire Farms realized that its wastewater treatment system wasn’t doing its job, the company started brainstorming on how to fix the problem. And, on Dec. 12, 2017, they requested that the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) grant them emergency permission to temporarily store sludge in a spare lagoon.

Public input sought on mental health, addiction crisis

Over the next few weeks, Delaware’s Behavioral Health Consortium will host four community forums on mental health and addiction across the state.

Cathell appointed to Indian River School District board

Indian River Board of Education this week selected a Frankford man to fill a vacancy in their ranks. At a special meeting on Jan. 24, Derek Cathell was sworn in to represent IRSD District 5.

Cathell is a detective for the Major Crimes Unit of the Delaware State Police, working out of Troop 4 in Georgetown.

OVPD hosts deaf-sensitivity training for first-responders

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Luanne Kowalski of the Deaf Community Group offers some lessons on American Sign Language.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Luanne Kowalski of the Deaf Community Group offers some lessons on American Sign Language.The Ocean View Police Department has teamed up with deaf community members to host a joint public safety training seminar with local first-responders.

“We have a policy for communicating with people with disabilities,” said Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin. “It’s a formal written policy. As a policy, we have to provide a training component to go along with it. We’re also required by federal law, through the ADA, to offer these services, and there’s a training component associated with that.”

At the training, law-enforcement officers, EMS and fire fighters were able to learn about deaf culture, act out scenarios and even learn a little bit of American Sign Language (ASL).

The training was conducted by members of the Delaware Deaf Senior Citizens of Sussex County.

“We have had a number of deaf people move to this community,” said Barbara White, one of the instructors, who also serves as the secretary of the Delaware Deaf Senior Citizens of Sussex County.

Sherry Duhon, a retired professor from Gallaudet University, taught the attendees about deaf culture.

“In America, there are 28 million people who have a hearing loss,” she said to the group. “Two million of that 28 million are deaf, like myself. Here in this community… [there are] about 70 deaf residents. Of course, in the summertime, you have to double that number or even triple that number.”

County approves one rezoning request, defers on another

The Sussex County Council this week approved a change-of-zone request for a Route 17 property but deferred their decision on a request for a change of zoning on a Bayard property.

Both applications had been recommended for approval by the Planning & Zoning Commission at their Jan. 11 meeting on 4-0 votes.

Ocean View Historical Society to host pair of public lectures

The Ocean View Historical Society has a history of wanting to educate locals and visitors alike on the history of Ocean View and its surrounding areas.

Frankford firefighters dishing up oysters and roast beef this Saturday

This weekend, the members of the Frankford Volunteer Fire Company will be “all hands on deck” for the company’s eighth annual Bull & Oyster Roast. The company’s biggest fundraiser of the year, its success depends on “companywide” effort, according to Deputy Fire Chief Tommy Bacon.

Former CNN correspondent discusses ‘The Press & the People’

Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Ralph Begleiter talks to the crowd at Dickens Parlour Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 25.Coastal Point • Kerin Magill: Ralph Begleiter talks to the crowd at Dickens Parlour Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 25.Former CNN world-affairs correspondent Ralph Begleiter didn’t think his talk on “The Press & the People” would draw much of an audience.

It has, however, been quite a year for the press… and the people.

The 60-seat Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville was full when Begleiter, who also taught journalism at the University of Delaware until 2015, took the stage. According to organizers, 100 people were on a waiting list for the program.

During his talk — part of a lecture series titled “The Inside Story” — Begleiter outlined changes in all types of media, including the “newer” forms, such as social media and digital news.

Mountaire denies responsibility for nitrates in well water

Company may pay for deeper wells to be dug

Mountaire Farms representatives told concerned residents who filled the Indian River Senior Center on Wednesday, Jan. 17, that the company is not responsible for high levels of nitrates in wells next to areas where Mountaire has sprayed wastewater from its Millsboro facilities.

ACLU sues State over education funding inequality

IRSD sees problems

The NAACP of Delaware and Delawareans for Educational Opportunity recently filed a lawsuit alleging that the State has not allocated education resources fairly, so disadvantaged students aren’t receiving the services they need.

County council votes to pursue MOU for sports complex

After months of discussion, the Sussex County Council voted earlier this week, 3-2, to approve a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Sussex Sports Complex Foundation, to loan the organization funding for construction of the facility in Georgetown.

Winter Birding Weekend offers trips, more

Birds, it turns out, figured out long before humans that winter is a great time to be at the beach. This weekend, humans can hang out with hooded mergansers, brown-headed nuthatches, wood ducks, harlequin ducks, eiders, purple sandpipers, falcons and what Delmarva Birding Weekend organizers call the “snowy trifecta” that is within reach of birding enthusiasts on the peninsula this winter.

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