State of Delaware

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mountaire waste the subject of two events

Northeast of the Indian River, Millsboro area residents are filling up their 2018 calendars, and those definitely aren’t social engagements.

Public meetings have been scheduled left and right regarding the Mountaire poultry processing plant’s potential role as nearby households begin finding high nitrates in their private well-water, above the 10 mg/L limit.

Two new traffic warning signs go up on Route 17

Drivers on Route 17 (Roxana Road) will see new flashing yellow beacons to help warn them when traffic may be approaching at two intersections: Daisey Road and Powell Farm Road/Peppers Corner Road.

Fenwick gets DelDOT money to start sidewalk process

The Town of Fenwick Island has begun their quest to build sidewalks along Coastal Highway. Currently, pedestrians have an irregular path along the major thoroughfare, with sidewalks just here and there. Having seen too many baby strollers on the highway shoulders, Councilwoman Vicki Carmean helped start the new Fenwick Island Pedestrian Safety Committee.

AG’s office clears officers in shooting

The Delaware Department of Justice released the final report regarding the officer-related shooting that took place just outside of Ocean View on March 18.

Delaware tries to decide whether to invest in offshore wind

Wind turbines possible, either way

Offshore wind companies are already hoping to install wind turbines off the Delaware coast. Delaware just needs to decide if the state will participate in buying the energy or helping to build the system.

Towns keep focus on bays and beaches

Officials from area coastal towns met recently under the auspices of the Association of Coastal Towns (ACT), focused primarily on the issue of dredging in the inland bays, Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon noted at the Bethany town council’s Nov. 17 meeting.

Route 113 overpasses coming to central Sussex County

Route 113 is getting a facelift unlike the immediate area has ever seen. To improve safety and congestion, Delaware Department of Transportation will replace stoplights with overpasses and ramps.

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.”

Take two: Route 54 traffic focus of second public meeting

It was a long discussion, but it was missing some key players. This time when residents discuss Route 54 traffic congestion and safety, they’ll be speaking with Sussex County officials.

Delaware begins discussion of off-shore wind

Maryland project would cross into waters off Fenwick Island

As the breeze turns cooler, Delaware officials are brainstorming how that very wind could benefit the state.

DelDOT budget highlights Route 113 intersections, Route 24 improvements

Planning roads is no small task, and the Delaware Department of Transportation is currently working to finalize its six-year budget plan with a number of projects proposed.

Local beaches to receive replenishment in new year

Gov. John Carney, U.S Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, and U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) on Monday announced that the next steps are under way in the long-awaited beach replenishment projects in Bethany Beach, South Bethany and Fenwick Island.

Rt. 54 citizens want a traffic signal, complain of rapid development

The Fire Marshal might have frowned at the number of people squeezed into Roxana Fire Hall on Sept. 19. But Route 54 residents hovered just under the 274 occupancy limit, showing just how concerned they are about traffic issues in their corner of Sussex County.

DOJ lays out path forward in fight against opioid abuse

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Members of the community gathered in Georgetown for a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Members of the community gathered in Georgetown for a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic.On the heels of a federal report last week that showed Delaware with the fastest rising rate of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in the country, government leaders and advocates gathered at the Delaware Department of Justice on Sept. 6 to highlight what they said are critical next steps for the state in its battle against opioid abuse.

Several of the recommendations made Wednesday were based upon the release of a formal inventory of Delaware substance abuse treatment options commissioned by DOJ.

The treatment needs assessment released Sept. 6 by the DOJ, independently written by Hornby Zeller Associates, found that Delaware is treating just over half of the individuals in need of opioid abuse treatment, with 11,000 persons in need of treatment and only 6,000 receiving it. The full treatment assessment report can be found online at

Small businesses go front-and-center

State Sen. Gerald Hocker and Gov. John Carney on Aug. 16 invited a small group of local businesspeople to join them for lunch and a roundtable discussion on the state’s economy and their concerns about their individual businesses and beyond.

Traffic stop leads to meth, heroin and ecstasy arrest

A speeding ticket led to a drug-related arrest earlier this month in Ocean View.

On Aug. 12, around 10 p.m., an Ocean View police officer stopped a motorcycle because the driver was allegedly driving at 76 mph in a posted 45 mph zone on Beaver Dam Road.

Sussex County drug-trafficking investigation nets 40 arrests

A multi-jurisdictional investigation into an illegal drug trafficking organization, involving multiple subjects, conducted by the Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Justice, has concluded with the arrest or indictment of 40 individuals on more than 190 criminal charges.

Arrests made in lawn ornament thefts

Following the receipt of numerous complaints regarding stolen lawn ornaments, the Ocean View Police Department and Delaware State Police Troop 4 were recently able to arrest Randy P. Holderbaum and Matthew L. Donoway, both of Frankford, in connection to the crimes.

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.

Delaware Democratic Party announces new executive director

Delaware Democratic Party Chairman Erik Raser?Schramm announced Monday that Jesse Chadderdon has been selected as the new executive director of the state party. In addition, Travis Williams will serve as deputy director of the party.

New law aims to improve prosecution of DUI cases

Delaware drivers charged with misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence (a first or second offense) will now receive only a single opportunity for a criminal trial.

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