Local News

IRSD board decides to hire assistant superintendent

District preps for board member appointment and elections

Everyone in the Indian River School District was forced to make cuts this year due to state budget cuts, and even the administration has been working with a skeleton crew. But that’s about to change, as a position for district assistant superintendent will now be reopened.

Frankford council discusses future of water plant

At the Frankford Town Council’s January meeting, Clarence Quillen of White Marsh reported that the Town’s water plant continues to have issues.

Quillen emphasized that any concerns that the Town’s water is not clean should be quelled. The issues with backwash not occurring is a controls issue and does not cause the plant to produce dirty water, he said.

Millville council doubles permit fees for scofflaws

The Millville Town Council voted 4-0 on Tuesday, Jan. 23, to double building permit fees for anyone who does not obtain the proper permit prior to starting construction.

Ocean View council discusses hiring financial advisors

The Town of Ocean View held a workshop earlier this week at which Jamie Schlesinger of PFM Financial Advisors LLC discussed the refinancing of the Town’s water debt.

“The ultimate goal is to save taxpayers monies and reduce costs,” said Schlesinger.

Inaugural Fire & Ice Festival set to warm up Bethany Beach

The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce is bringing Fire & Ice to downtown Bethany this weekend.

Indian River girls lose to Laurel, 56-38

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Kealey Allison drives toward the paint against Laurel.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Kealey Allison drives toward the paint against Laurel.Kealey Allison drives toward the paint against Laurel. After leading Laurel’s Bulldogs girls’ varsity basketball team 10-7 at the end of the first period on Jan. 18, Indian River High School’s girls’ basketball team went backwards from there, leading to a 35-44 loss at their home gym. The loss gave them a 5-7 record for the season thus far.

Junior Julia Jordan quickly got the Indian’s scoring started, in just over 15 seconds. Another basket and a free-throw gave IR a 5-0 lead. IR shooters built a 7-2 advantage at the 4:15 minute mark.

Laurel tied it 10-10 with a basket and a foul shot in the opening seconds of the second period. Laurel scored again, and the Indians tied it again at 12 all at the 4:15 mark. Laurel then raced ahead, outscoring IR 21-4 in the second eight minutes, to lead 28-14 at the break.

“We knew Laurel would be competitive. All we wanted to do was try and come in and compete, and I felt like we did that in the second half more so then in the first half,” said IR head coach Donna Polk.

Enjoy the beauty, bounty and history of Delmarva

While my readers, hopefully, continue to practice after reading my recent articles and attending clinics, I trust they slowly will realize the importance of anticipation, footwork and balance. But this week, I want to share a wonderful personal experience.

‘This is how we see the future’

Uber shows Delaware the future of autonomous cars

On this brisk January day, it was tough to find parking at the Delaware Department of Transportation headquarters in Dover. Vehicles inched along the rows of cars, everyone hoping for an empty space.

Women’s March anniversary: ‘The time of marching is over. It’s time for action’

If 2017 was a year for protest, then 2018 has been deemed one for action. On the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches around the world, local ladies are eying the 2018 election and gearing up for action.

They celebrated with a Women’s March anniversary rally Jan. 21 at the Lewes Public Library.

Heroin overdose increase noted by local law enforcement

Last Thursday night, Jan. 11, within a six-hour period, there were seven reported heroin overdoses in Sussex County.

“They were all over the county, from Rehoboth to Seaford to Selbyville to Ocean View,” said Sgt. Rhys Bradshaw of the Ocean View Police Department. “That’s not typical for a 12-hour period.”

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.

Emergency responders, school staff answer the call of the storm

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The recent winter storm to hit the area was a challenge to first-responders and everyone else who had to travel in the area.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The recent winter storm to hit the area was a challenge to first-responders and everyone else who had to travel in the area.The Jan. 4-5 snowstorm that dumped up to a foot of snow on parts of southeastern Sussex County kept schools closed and many side roads nearly impassable for days afterward, but for the most part the storm was more of a nuisance than a danger.

The Indian River School District made the decision Wednesday night, Jan. 4, to keep schools closed the next day, as did other districts and private schools across the region. Once Gov. John Carney declared a state of emergency and a Level 2 driving restriction, non-essential vehicles were supposed to be off the streets and, once the wind died down, plows could get to work clearing the heavy snow off the roads.

Snowfall totals were difficult to measure due to heavy drifting — it was not unusual to see nearly bare spots near drifts several feet tall — but according to the Delaware Environmental Observing System (DEOS), a service of the University of Delaware, the award for the highest total snowfall during the storm goes to Stockley, with 11.4 inches. Second place went to Dagsboro, which reported 10.8 inches, with Lewes a close third at 10 inches.

In Millville, Council Member Steve Maneri gave credit to local emergency personnel who made sure the public was safe during and after the storm.

Residents turn out in opposition to special-events ordinance

This week, the Sussex County Council heard more than 30 county residents speak in opposition to an ordinance to amend the county code related to “Special Events,” as permitted uses in the AR-1, GR, B-1, C-1, CR-1 and M districts.

Candidates can register for Millville election

Democracy rolls on as Millville Town Council elections approach. Candidates have until Friday, Feb. 2, at 4:30 p.m. to register to run in the 2018 election.

Two seats will be up for election, each with a term of two years, beginning in March. Those seats are currently held by Valerie Faden and Steve Maneri.

Millville council discusses park, patios and permits

Millville’s town park has been stuck in neutral for months.

After purchasing the land in autumn of 2015, the town council approved design plans and purchase of playground equipment a year later. But Millville can’t start digging until government groups give final approval.

Mountaire to host public meeting Wednesday night

More events planned

It’s time for residents to hear straight from the horse’s mouth. Mountaire Farms will host a public meeting for Millsboro-area residents to discuss elevated nitrate levels in drinking wells near the Route 24 poultry-processing facility.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 6 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m., at Indian River Senior Center, 214 Irons Avenue, Millsboro.

County shuts down proposed ‘right-to-work’ ordinance

After an emotional few months of discussions and public testimony, the Sussex County Council on Tuesday voted down a proposed “right-to-work” ordinance.

Ocean View officials praise workers’ efforts during blizzard

The Ocean View Town Council met earlier this week, with the recent snowstorm being the main topic of discussion. Town Administrative Official and Public Works Director Charles McMullen thanked Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin and his officers for their assistance in dealing with last Thursday’s snowfall.

Millsboro-area residents urged to test wells for contamination

Lawyers assembling on sidelines of Mountaire violations case

When residential drinking wells are potentially contaminated because a major poultry plant didn’t treat wastewater properly, lawyers are generally willing to invest some time and effort. And, in this case, they’re confident a settlement is coming.

Sussex Central ceiling collapses in water leak

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Sussex Central High School took a bit of a hit from the recent wintery conditions when a sprinkler and pipe burst, causing a partial ceiling collapse and flooding.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: Sussex Central High School took a bit of a hit from the recent wintery conditions when a sprinkler and pipe burst, causing a partial ceiling collapse and flooding.Last weekend, after nearly a foot of snow and below-freezing temperatures outside, Sussex Central High School staff were displeased to find water inside the school, too. After a sprinkler and a pipe burst, the school suffered partial ceiling collapse and flooding. The roof itself did not collapse, officials emphasized.

The Millsboro Volunteer Fire Department received an automated alarm about the incident around 2 p.m. on Sunday, due to the change in water pressure.

First, “there was a problem with our fire pump and our pump house out by the stadium,” said Principal Bradley Layfield.

That malfunction somehow triggered two sprinklers in the HVAC room, located above the two-story D wing — a central spoke in the high school’s layout. Upstairs, the insulation and ceiling tiles were saturated with water and fell through.

Millsboro woman wins big on ‘Let’s Make a Deal’

Coastal Point • Submitted: Cassie Winebrake dressed up in a sumo wrestler costume on the show ‘Let’s Make a Deal.’Coastal Point • Submitted: Cassie Winebrake dressed up in a sumo wrestler costume on the show ‘Let’s Make a Deal.’Cassie Winebrake may not have been recognizable — what with the sumo wrestler costume and all — but her recent appearance on the television gameshow “Let’s Make a Deal” had friends and relatives cheering her on.

Millsboro resident Winebrake, 24, was visiting California in mid-August 2017 with her best friend, Dayana Monge Zamora, when the two decided to attend a taping of the show, she said. Winebrake and her fiancé, Mark Gardner, watch “Let’s Make a Deal” regularly.

“We always watch, and we’re like, ‘What would we do?’ in the various game situations on the show, Winebrake said.

A student at Delaware Technical Community College’s Dover campus and a server at Irish Eyes’ Milton location, Winebrake said she and Zamora decided to fly to California in August to visit a friend, and when they realized “Let’s Make a Deal” was filmed about an hour away from where they were staying, decided to try to get audience tickets.

Millville woman returns to bodybuilding at 63 and wins

Coastal Point • Submitted: Donna Hall won first place in over 60 and second place in over 50 age groups divisions at 2017 Eighth Annual NPC Amanda Merinelli Body Building Competition in Florida.Coastal Point • Submitted: Donna Hall won first place in over 60 and second place in over 50 age groups divisions at 2017 Eighth Annual NPC Amanda Merinelli Body Building Competition in Florida.Donna Hall, a trainer at the Bethany Beach World Gym, recently came out of “retirement” from bodybuilding competitions. And, after an 18-year hiatus, the 63-year-old won first place in one age group and second place in another, younger, age category.

Hall, who lives in Bethany Bay, near Millville, decided to compete in the 2017 Eighth Annual NPC Amanda Merinelli Body Building Competition in Florida, because, she said, “They had an over-60 division,” which she said is rare for such competitions.

Hall competed in the “Figure” division, which differs from the “Body Building” division in several ways. Those who compete in “body building,” she explained, are seeking a “more muscular” look. “It’s a little thicker in muscularity,” she said. In the “Figure” division, the emphasis is on “being toned” and on a “total symmetry” in body shape.

Another difference between the two divisions: bodybuilders compete barefoot, while “figure” competitors wear platform heels. Their outfits are also a bit more “blingy” than the body builders’, Hall said.

Having competed for about a five-year period 18 years ago, Hall decided to get back into the competition circuit last year and began training for her return about four months before the Nov. 4, 2017, competition, which was held in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“I told Jim,” Hall said of Jim Miller, World Gym manager, “I have to do it one last time.”

Her training regimen focuses heavily on nutrition, she said. While many competitors expect to lose 20 to 30 pounds while in training for a competition, she was already very slender. At 5 feet, 4 inches tall and 113 pounds before the competition, she was down to 108 pounds by competition time.

Voices heard at County’s public hearing on right-to-work

Coastal Point • Maria Counts: County officials listen to members of the public weigh-in on the proposed ‘right-to-work’ ordinance put forth by Councilman Rob Arlett.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: County officials listen to members of the public weigh-in on the proposed ‘right-to-work’ ordinance put forth by Councilman Rob Arlett.The Sussex County Council on Tuesday held a public hearing on a proposed “right-to-work” ordinance. The ordinance, “relating to the promotion of economic development and commerce by regulation of certain voluntary payments required of employees in Sussex County,” Sussex County Councilman Rob Arlett said, would be to “provide that no employee covered by the National Labor Relations Act be required to join or pay dues to a union, or refrain from joining a union, as a condition of employment.”

The proposed ordinance, which was introduced in October, was brought forth to council by Arlett — who, at the Jan. 2 meeting said, “We are here today not to hear from Rob Arlett. This is a day not about Rob Arlett, not a day about this council. This is a day about this community. We are here today about a few things, because this subject — first and foremost, the people of this county expect and desire jobs…

Aquaculture map filling up

Bacteria could take Indian River Bay sites out of play

Oysters are coming, and local entrepreneurs are plotting their futures.

But even as the Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) adds names to the state’s aquaculture map, officials said this week that 91 previously approved acres will probably be removed from shellfishing, due to bacteria levels.

Fenwick Freeze cancelled, but shirts are still available

It’s a New Year’s tradition to dive into the ocean, but it was a bit too chilly this Jan. 1 for Fenwick Islanders. The 2018 Fenwick Freeze was canceled.

“The Town decided to cancel it. They felt it was too much of a liability in case somebody got hurt,” said organizer Becca McWilliams.

“I know — it’s called the ‘Fenwick Freeze’ for a reason,” McWilliams joked.

Prince George’s to celebrate holiday season with concert

This weekend, Prince George’s Chapel in Dagsboro will host its annual Olde Christmas Musical Celebration.

“It’s something we have every year,” said Friends of Price George’s Vice-President Crystal Hudson. “Usually, it’s the first Sunday after New Year’s, because that’s how they did Olde Christmas back in the day.”

Beebe CEO Fried to speak at South Coastal Library

Beebe Healthcare President & CEO Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, will speak at the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach on Monday, Jan. 8, to offer more information about Beebe’s planned $180 million expansion. Fried will speak starting at at 1 p.m., and there will be some time for questions.

Clayton Theatre offers captioned movies for hard-of-hearing

The writing’s on the wall at the Clayton Theatre. The Dagsboro movie theater is making the arts more accessible to people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing by offering open-captioning matinees.

All aboard!

Local railroad club showing interactive train displays Saturday

With winter school breaks over and the new year begun, the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club will wrap up its holiday train display at the Georgetown Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 6, offering a final chance to take in the train layouts designed to delight even the very youngest visitors. The display is free and will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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