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    Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Tom Neville, left, and Brent Poffenberger address the crowd after winning the prestigious Lighthouse Award from the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of CommerceCoastal Point • Laura Walter: Tom Neville, left, and Brent Poffenberger address the crowd after winning the prestigious Lighthouse Award from the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of CommerceA tiny lighthouse is a big honor for Bethany Beach restaurateurs.

    Tom Neville and Brent Poffenberger received the prestigious Lighthouse Award, similar to a lifetime achievement award, from the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce last week.

    Together, the men own restaurants that face each other on Route 1, near Bethany Beach: the Cottage Café and Bethany Boathouse. Their successful partnership began years ago with their studying hotel, motel and restaurant management together at Shepherd College in West Virginia and has continued through to this award, presented Oct. 22 at the Chamber’s annual installation and awards dinner.

    The award “recognizes a longtime Chamber member that contributes outstanding leadership and devotion to both the Chamber and the community,” said incoming Chamber President Richard Mais.

    “The winner of this year’s award truly represents the spirit of this award,” Mais said. “They’re always there for the Chamber to help at our events. They’re always there for the community. If anybody needs a fundraiser or help with something, they’re always there.”

    “Thank you very much,” Poffenberger said upon receiving the award. “We’re always glad to help out in the community, and we know it’s not only helping the community, it’s also helping our business, so thank you all very much.”

    Dale Bellinger of Bellinger’s Jewelers presented a handcrafted glass replica of the Fenwick Island Lighthouse to the winners.

    Poffenberger recalled the last time a little glass lighthouse was in the Cottage Café, which was when the Chamber awards were hosted there “years and years ago.”

    The night also featured the presentation of $2,932 to the Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation from the proceeds from the Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival.

    Ron Lewis of Sustaining Support LLC, received the Arlene Hauck Ambassador of the Year Award for being “a gentle giant who does so much and always with a smile.”

    The public voted for the other five awards.

    One Coastal restaurant won New Member of the Year for immediately becoming active in the Chamber after joining the group.

    Brigit Taylor of ResortQuest won Member of the Year for being “driven, responsive and highly involved.”

    SoDel Concepts won the Inspiring Business award for continuing to innovate and serve customers in the community, even in the face of tragedy.

    Tidepool Toys & Games won Best in Business for creativity, collaboration and providing high customer service above industry standards.

    The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation won the Community Spirit award for providing access to the arts and supporting other local initiatives.

    The event also featured the swearing in of the 2015-2016 Chamber board of directors, and the incoming president addressed the crowd.

    “We have a very diverse group of business that are members. We all help support each other. I really appreciate that, and I enjoy doing that,” said Mais.

    “We have a great staff that plans our events and activities, almost flawlessly, weather permitting,” Mais joked.

    “The Chamber has come a long way since its creation in 1976. This year alone we had 95 new members,” Kami Banks said in leading the anniversary toast. “In 1976, Sussex County had only slightly more than 80,000 people. We now, present day — we’re almost to 250,000.”

    The restaurant full of people raised their glasses to the next 40 years of Chamber service.

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    The Delaware Health Care Commission last week unanimously approved SUN (Solving Unmet Needs) Behavioral Health’s application for a proposed 90-bed psychiatric hospital, to be located in Georgetown.

    A public hearing for the psychiatric hospital was held in September, during which the majority of those who spoke were in favor of the application’s approval.

    At the hearing, state Sen. Brian Pettyjohn was one person who spoke in favor of the proposed hospital, noting that he had also sent in letters of support for the applicant.

    “The facility is going to fill a significant gap we have here in Sussex County and will help neighboring areas in Maryland, as well,” he said.

    The 70,000-square-foot hospital is expected to be completed in the summer of 2017. Construction on the $18 million facility is expected to begin next year.

    The facility, which will employ approximately 150 people, will provide treatment for children, adolescents, adults and seniors through intensive in-patient treatment, out-patient care and specialty programs for women, veterans and substance abuse.

    For more information, go online to

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    It’s appeal season in South Bethany, as the town council voted this week to pay around $23,000 to potentially appeal its new flood insurance rate map (FIRM).

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) opened the 90-day appeal period on Oct. 23 for maps that have been unpopular in the town since they were first publicized in 2014. With property owner pushback, FEMA agreed to restart the public process.

    Appeals must be scientifically grounded, so the Town of South Bethany will pay $12,780 for additional modeling and up to $10,580 if it decides to make an appeal ($23,360 total).

    After the council voted unanimously on Oct. 22 (George Junkin had an excused absence) to support the residents in their desire for an appeal, they voted unanimously to fund the project, which is to be led by the Woods Hole Group. The environmental, scientific and engineering consulting agency is based in Massachusetts, with a Dover field office.

    Oceanfront property owners paid for the first WHG consultation.

    “They felt there was a pretty good chance BFE [base flood elevation] could be modified,” but WHG must do full mathematical analysis to determine if FEMA’s math is off by an inch or a yard, said resident Tim Shaw, who is leading the effort for the change.

    WHG suggested that some of FEMA’s data was old or inaccurate, and that of multiple models, FEMA used the one that produces the “worst possible outcome,” Shaw said.

    With further study, WHG would determine whether South Bethany can make a successful appeal to FEMA. WHG would then prepare the appeal.

    Shaw presented the cost outline to the town council.

    “The first three [tasks] get us to the point where they can say, in fact, we have scientific-based, real data that the BFE should be modified, or that nope, it’s not worth pursuing,” Shaw said. “If there is indication they could get, say, a foot or even two, we would strongly urge that go forward with official appeal.”

    The cost was more than residents anticipated.

    “Since we’ve paid for it to this point, we felt it was fair and reasonable to ask the council” to fund and oversee the appeal process, Shaw said.

    Woods Hole Group will charge for the following tasks:

    • Task 1: Review the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers design study for the Bethany Beach and South Bethany dune project — $1,000

    • Task 2: Modeling and flood zone mapping — $7,990

    • Task 3: Develop strategy for appeal — $3,790

    (The town council would then vote on whether to submit an appeal, based on WHG’s likelihood of success.)

    • Task 4: Prepare and file appeal — $7,280

    • Task 5: Tracking and support of FEMA appeal, as needed, (assumes a total of 20 man hours, not to exceed 10 percent of the total contract’s value) — $3,300.

    The council would vote at the Dec. 11 council meeting whether to move forward with that appeal. If so, the appeal would be delivered to the town by Jan. 6, 2016.

    The deadline for FEMA appeals is Jan. 20, 2016. Anyone may appeal FEMA’s maps, but it must go through the Town.

    Councilman Tim Saxton asked if the council gets to vote whether to move forward after Task 2, so South Bethany wouldn’t spend money developing a plan of attack if the data shows it’s highly unlikely to succeed. Although part of Task 3 involves analyzing that data gathered in Task 2, Mayor Pat Voveris agreed to ask.

    Those are the tasks that property owners specifically requested, including an estimate for Task 5, Shaw said. He doesn’t want the Town wasting taxpayer money if it doesn’t have to.

    Shaw said the residents did their homework in choosing Woods Hole Group. They interviewed the company and some of its clients. Because they pick their battles, “WHG has surprisingly high rates of success,” Shaw said.

    Voveris agree that the firm has been very responsive to her questions.

    The Town had also hired Taylor Engineering, which found similar mapping issues as WHG, but refused to assist in an appeal, since they now contract with FEMA.

    Voveris supported the Town’s continuing with the residents’ work on an appeal.

    “To begin the ball rolling — I don’t know that we could have anything again in the 90-day appeal period,” Voveris said. “I think it’s just very fortunate and just shows the coming together of the Town and the owners in full-fledged support. … We feel we owe it, as a government, to our Town to be the very best we can be.”

    So far, South Bethany’s consultation focuses only on the oceanfront because no one from other neighborhoods asked for changes, although other areas are seeing their BFE increasing by a foot or two in the new maps, noted Councilwoman Carol Stevenson.

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    Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Coast Day essay contest winners Zoe Tuttle of Lord Baltimore Elementary School, left, and Emma White of Southern Delaware School of the Arts, right.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Coast Day essay contest winners Zoe Tuttle of Lord Baltimore Elementary School, left, and Emma White of Southern Delaware School of the Arts, right.With strong writing and a love of nature, two local students made waves in the 2015 Coast Day 5th Grade Essay Contest.

    Local winners were Emma White (first place) of Southern Delaware School of the Arts and Zoe Tuttle (honorable mention) of Lord Baltimore Elementary School.

    “The 5th Grade Essay Contest is designed to spark students’ interest in marine environments while teaching them how to research a topic and use that information to write an essay in their own words,” according to the University of Delaware Coast Day website.

    This year, students described how they discover the land, air and water around Delaware. Then they researched how they and other Delawareans can protect Mother Nature.

    “Sometimes when we are on the beach, we find where people have left behind their trash, which really makes me upset,” White wrote. “This could really harm these little crabs and other animals that live near the water.”

    White described her love of catching sand crabs and blue crabs: “We all have to take part in conserving the beach and our other natural resources! We want others to be able to enjoy finding sand crabs on the beach and waiting for that next crab on a string just as much as I do!”

    Students had a quick turnaround on this essay, with a Sept. 18 deadline.

    “I had a little bit of research,” White said. “I honestly didn’t think I would win it.”

    Cape Henlopen and Indian River school districts produced all six essay winners, although any Delaware fifth-grader is eligible.

    “I like writing. It makes me express myself in a way that’s fun for me,” Tuttle said. “To be top-six, that’s pretty cool for me.”

    Tuttle described her family’s adventures on the Indian River Bay. “We love seafood, but it can be very expensive. So we catch our own! We like to explore and discover the bay, which is an amazing environment.”

    She also wrote about about racing snails with her brother: “I discovered the snails stay on the sand bars because they get wet but aren't fully under the water. People like to go on the sandbars for the same reason. We want to get wet, but not fully in the water.”

    Although Coast Day was canceled this October for inclement weather, the winners will be invited to an award ceremony and robotics laboratory tour at University of Delaware’s Lewes campus in November.

    The top three winning essayists will receive bookstore gift cards, while all receive their essays mounted and other prizes.

    All winning essays can be read
    online at

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    Coastal Point • Laura Walter: At Crystal Caldwell’s urging, Gov. Jack Markell issued a proclamation for Dysautonomia Awareness Month.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: At Crystal Caldwell’s urging, Gov. Jack Markell issued a proclamation for Dysautonomia Awareness Month.Crystal Caldwell was in second grade the first time she passed out.

    In eighth grade, Caldwell had tremors and was getting sick after every meal. Doctors suggested common ailments, like IBS and hypoglycemia.

    She was enjoying life by age 20, living on her own, driving a new car and working a beach job. That’s when the illness threw Caldwell and her life upside-down.

    “I had to move back home because I was basically bedridden for a year-and-a-half to two years,” said Caldwell, now 26.

    That winter, her overheating body could only stand to wear short sleeves in public, with ice packs and open windows at night.

    Finally, a doctor suggested the diagnosis that would be Caldwell’s answer to years of confusion: dysautonomia.

    Dysautonomia (dis-auto-NO-me-uh) is an umbrella term for many conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system, “which controls everything, like heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, temperature control, stuff that you don’t think about that your body’s supposed to automatically control,” Caldwell said. “My body has a hard time controlling that.”

    Within that umbrella, she has the most common diagnosis of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).

    So what was she going through?

    Caldwell’s symptoms are a rollercoaster of lightheadedness, fainting, fatigue, headaches, heat rash, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, nausea and rapid heart rate.

    POTS patients can also have shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, diminished concentration, coldness or pain in the extremities, chest pains and more.

    “While POTS predominantly impacts young women who look healthy on the outside,” some researchers compare it congestive heart failure because of the potential severity of disability, states the Dysautonomia International website.

    Bouncing around cardiologists, Caldwell finally found a New Jersey doctor who fully understood POTS and her. She’s changed her lifestyle to manage POTS. By knowing her condition, Caldwell knows which triggers to avoid.

    She risks fatigue after a busy weekend, or lightheadedness and heart palpitations just by rising out of bed too quickly.

    Too little sleep causes weakness or shakiness. Caffeine causes heart palpitations. Dehydration or low salt can cause fainting. Without special compression stockings, standing for too long causes blood to pool at her feet.

    Dysautonomia is likely caused by a major illness or trauma to the body. It can also be worsened by another trauma, like pregnancy or surgical anesthesia (which Caldwell recently needed).

    There is no cure yet, and Caldwell doesn’t think she’ll outgrow it, as previously suggested.

    Several medicines tame her symptoms, include a stack of daily salt tablets to raise her blood pressure and help keep her fluids. Everyday salt-lovers could grow envious of the personal saltshaker often found at her dinner plate.

    Creating a community

    After years of treading water, it was a relief to finally land on a specific diagnosis. But Caldwell still found herself rather alone, although dysautonomia impacts over 70 million people worldwide and doesn’t discriminate based on age, sex or race.

    Now she’s trying to raise awareness because she had such a hard time getting diagnosed. Six years is the average time to diagnose the disease, due of the lack of awareness.

    “It’s not fair for somebody to have to go through that,” said Caldwell, who had “frequent flyer miles” with the school nurses.

    At Caldwell’s urging, Gov. Jack Markell issued a proclamation recognizing October as Dysautonomia Awareness Month.

    She also attended a medical conference in Washington, D.C.

    “It was great to be surrounded by people who just get it. That’s been my biggest struggle for the last couple years,” Caldwell said. Her family loves and looks out for her, “but at the end of the day they don’t know what it’s like.”

    She’s slowly building the community she’s so long sought, through Facebook groups, her own Paint Night fundraiser and Dysautonomia International.

    Caldwell met a Rehoboth woman with POTS, and now both ladies have someone to text when they’re having a rough day. Meanwhile, she found another woman in Salisbury, Md., who is about to begin testing for dysautonomia. Now Caldwell can help guide her.

    “My biggest struggle the past couple years is thinking I was alone and not thinking I had anyone to relate to. I don’t want other people to go through that struggle, because that was just tough to not really have anybody to talk to.”

    But her parents and boyfriend are hugely supportive.

    “He can see in my face when I don’t feel good,” and only lets her drink from plastic cups, said Caldwell, who has passed out while holding glass tumblers.

    Mostly, Caldwell wants to raise awareness in the medical community.

    “There’s also a lot of healthcare workers that don’t know what it is. I still go to the ER and have to explain to them what it is,” said Caldwell.

    It doesn’t help that she’s hyper-sensitive to changes in her body and can feel an illness coming on.

    “Don’t judge an invisible illness. I know I don’t look sick,” Caldwell said. “It gets kind of frustrating when people say you don’t look sick, or you’re faking it, or they don’t believe you, especially when it comes from doctors or nurses.”

    She encourages people to trust and listen to their own bodies when they feel ‘off.’

    “People shouldn’t judge an invisible illness because there’s more than meets the eye,” Caldwell said. “There’s more things happen at home that people don’t know about, more bad things.”

    Illness isn’t easy, but Caldwell is far from gloomy. Some dysautonomia patients need a wheelchair for mobility or a service dog to sense sudden drops in blood pressure.

    She’s learned to appreciate the little things.

    “I complain about what I have sometimes. But … there are definitely people worse off than I am,” said Caldwell. “I’m so grateful I can walk from point A to point B without passing out.”

    Because she learned to manage the illness, “I can do things now that six years ago, I couldn’t.”

    Learn more online at

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    Coastal Point • Laura Walter: A small sampling of the offerings at Taco Taco on Rt. 26 in Millville, across from Atlantic Auto.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: A small sampling of the offerings at Taco Taco on Rt. 26 in Millville, across from Atlantic Auto.Quick service, flavor and a filling meal are key for Millville’s newest taco shack, called Taco Taco.

    Owner Kevin Martin loved the simplicity of a small, quick and easy restaurant, mirroring the create-your-own meal style of fast-casual restaurants like Subway, Chipotle and Moe’s.

    “I knew the area always needed quick, quality food for a reasonable price … for the working man.” Martin said.

    People choose either two tacos, a burrito, a salad or burrito bowl. Meals are priced by the meat, which includes chicken, chorizo, fish, breaded shrimp and ground beef. Overnight slow cooking is the key to shredded beef and shredded pork.

    “It just falls apart in the morning,” said Martin, also brainstorming a vegetarian option.

    With 16 toppings to choose, people can get the classics, like three cheeses, onion and tomato, plus the zing of cilantro, pico de gallo, pickled cabbage, jalapeno, homemade salsa and chipotle aioli.

    “We tend to put a whole lot of everything on it,” Martin said.

    Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: A view of Taco Taco’s open kitchen and prep area.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: A view of Taco Taco’s open kitchen and prep area.All meals range from $4.99 to $7.99, served with beans and rice. Tortillas are available in flour or corn (gluten-free). Meals can be topped off with chips, salsa, guacamole and a fountain soda.

    Chuck and Wendy Schafer ordered shrimp taco salads, which appeared with a mound of toppings.

    “I like Mexican food,” said Wendy, who passes the restaurant daily while driving home.

    “It was a new place and it looked good,” Chuck said. “I like the layout. I drove by last night and I could see people in here.”

    As owner of Atlantic Auto Repair across the street, Martin is new to being a restaurateur, although his family was in the restaurant business when he was growing up. Now, he’s bundling some spices, low prices and advice from Jim Rickards of Perucci’s to serve restaurant quality in a fast food atmosphere.

    He really started planning in January, and finally opened Taco Taco one month ago.

    “The local community has definitely blessed us so far,” Martin said. “People are really enjoying it. It’s fresh, quick, quality.”

    Behind the counter, employee Stephanie Baker is already starting to learn the names of repeat customers.

    “For five bucks you can get two tacos, rice and beans,” she said. “You get something fresh and healthy, depending on what toppings you get.”

    The taco shack comes complete with Wi-Fi and handicapped-accessible restrooms. Indoor seating will be coming soon.

    Taco Taco is open Monday to Friday, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Martin wants to “get it right” before expanding soon to a 7-day schedule this winter.)

    “Come on in, check it out. You’ll love it,” he said.

    Taco Taco is located at 35831 Atlantic Avenue. Parking is available in front and in back of restaurant.
    Orders can be placed beforehand at (302) 829-8024. Learn more online at

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    The Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park (FOCHSP) will hold their annual Christmas Boutique & Book Sale on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Officer’s Club in the park.

    Event Chair Edna Lemiska said she expects the sale will make the park a weekend destination. The wide array of merchandise offers something for every taste and pocketbook, and home-made goodies, hot dogs, sodas and coffee will also be available to sustain visitors for a day at the park. Visitors can also bring their cameras and take a picture of Santa Claus!

    The Boutique will feature Christmas crafts, gifts and stocking-stuffers made by local craftsmen. Also available will be sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats — both with and without the FOCHSP logo. Handmade local quilts will also be available. Finally, there will be an assortment of baked goods available for sale.

    The Friends’ Book Sale will include a selection of both hardcover and paperback books. Quality donations are sought and may be delivered at the Officer’s Club on Friday, Nov. 13, from l0 a.m. to 1 p.m. Book Sale Chairperson June Gallagher said donations will be screened to assure that the books on the sale tables are the kinds that people want to purchase. As always, textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines and torn or mildewed books are will not be accepted.

    The Friends of Cape Henlopen State park is a non-profit organization comprised of volunteers that give their time to promote “one of the crown jewels” of Delaware’s state parks. The group’s mission is to promote the protection and wise management of the diverse resources within the park, as well as public education about those resources. For more information about the Friends, call (302) 858-6127; visit the website at; or email

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    The Clear Space Theatre Company Spotlight on Young Performers will present a production of “Aladdin” (MTI’s Junior Series version), with performances Nov. 13-15.

    The Broadway musical was based on the classic 1992 Disney animated film and tells the story of Aladdin, the only person who can enter the Cave of Wonders and retrieve a magical lamp for the dark Vizier Jafar.

    Aladdin becomes trapped in the cave with his sidekick, Abu, and accidentally discovers the resident of the lamp – a genie! Aladdin develops a relationship with the Genie and uses his wishes to become a prince to chase the affections of Princess Jasmine. When Jafar finally steals the lamp and gets three wishes of his own, Aladdin must rely on his intelligence to trick Jafar and save his friends and the kingdom.

    The show is directed by Clear Space Company Manager David Button, with choreography by Shondelle Graulich of the Delaware Stage School and musical direction by Melanie Bradley.

    Spotlight on Young Performers is part of the Clear Space Performing Arts Institute and trains students ages 10 to 18 in acting, dance and voice throughout a 10-week rehearsal process culminating in a full weekend of performances, which is Nov. 13, 14 and 15 this year.

    “Our Spotlight on Young Performers productions are a highlight of the Clear Space Season,” said Wesley Paulson, executive director at Clear Space Theatre.

    Button said, “Aladdin is the second Spotlight performance of a classic Disney musical, following the success of ‘The Little Mermaid’ in April 2015.”

    For reservations, call Melody in the box office at (302) 227-2270 or visit the website at

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    The public is being invited to join the members of the Ocean View Historical Society in a History Mix social hour at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, at The Café on 26, located at 84 Atlantic Avenue in Ocean View.

    The theme of the mix is “Chicken Chatter,” since The Café on 26 was formerly the home of Cecile Steele, the Ocean View farmwife credited with beginning the international broiler industry. During the social hour, OVHS members Barbara Slavin and George Keen will talk briefly about the historic home and the impact of chickens on local life.

    The event will include chicken-inspired light appetizers, and a glass of wine, beer, soda or water, and the swapping of chicken stories. Admission costs $2 for OVHS 2015 members and $10 for the public at large.

    Attendees are also being encouraged to stay for dinner. (Reservations are recommended and can be made through The Café on 26 at (302) 539-CAFÉ(2233). Award-winning chef Jason Bostaph will prepare a special chicken entrée for the “Chicken Chatter,” and the Café is donating 20 percent of the evening’s proceeds to the Ocean View Historical Society’s building fund to create a Coastal Towns Museum and a Hall’s Store Visitor & Education Center.

    The History Mix will be held in the Café’s upstairs private dining and wine-tasting room. The Café’s regular Thursday evening prime rib dinner special will also be on the Café’s dinner menu.

    Ocean View Historical Society President Carol Psaros said the Society plans to offer more themed History Mixes in the future at local sites of historic interest.

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    The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) and the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce (BFACC) recently announced a day-long series of events on New Year’s Day 2016: the 5th Annual Hair of the Dog Run and the 20th Annual Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos. Run or walk, plunge or do both in what has been dubbed a beach triathlon: run, party, plunge!

    Proceeds benefit the local non-profits by providing grants and scholarships to local students.

    The bow WOW WOW! Hair of the Dog, organized by the QRCF, starts on Parkwood and Atlantic Avenues in downtown Bethany Beach and ends at the Bandstand on the Bethany Beach Boardwalk. This is a time-chipped race through Races2Run. The 10k starts at 8:45 a.m. and the 5k starts at 10 a.m. The bone-ified, barktastic event features overall and age-group awards, a 5k walk/run with your leashed-dog division, and a post-race party at Mango’s on the Boardwalk and Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach, with beer provided by NKS Distributors, featuring Michelob Ultra and Shock Top and chili tastings from one of the 10 local restaurants participating in a chili cook-off. Those who complete the 10k will receive finisher medals.

    After the Hair of the Dog Run and party, there is another exciting Bethany Beach event: The 20th Annual Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos. Brrrr-ave the chilly water at this fun, family-friendly event. Splashers plunge at high noon. Warm up after the plunge at Presenting Sponsor — The Cottage Café, where awards are bestowed to the largest team, the best costume/theme and the group that raises the most pledges for the Captain William Murray Scholarship.

    Register early as these events sell out. Enjoy discounted rates prior to December 1. All combo runners and splashers will receive an anniversary insulated tumbler sponsored by Burnzy’s Bar & Grill. All pre-registered participants that register by Dec. 9 are guaranteed an event shirt.

    Pre-registered combo runners and splashers by Dec. 9 are guaranteed an event shirt and anniversary mug sponsored by Burnzy’s Bar & Grill. Simply visit: to register online to run or plunge (or both) into 2016.

    Local businesses, residents and guests are encouraged to be part of the fun. Exciting sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available for all interests. Please contact Brigit Taylor with QRCF or Lauren Weaver at the Chamber for details.

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    Join Delaware Seashore State Park to step back in time and experience the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum just as the surfman would have at the turn of the century: by lantern light.

    Interpreters in period dress will recount the daily lives, hardships and triumphs of those working for the United States Life-Saving Service. At the end of the night, participants will venture out onto the beach and hear tales of tragedy and mystery that occurred on these very beaches more than 100 years ago.

    The program fee is $10 per person, and pre-registration is required. Participants should dress for the weather. The event starts at 7 p.m.

    The Indian River Life-Saving Station is located on Route 1, 3.5 miles south of Dewey Beach and 1.5 miles north of the Indian River Inlet. For more information and to register, contact the Indian River Life-Saving Station at (302) 227-6991 or visit

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    When the Millsboro town council meeting got underway on Monday night, Plantation Lakes resident Neil Dickerson got up to talk to the council about an issue that had yet to be addressed, calling for a speed limit reduction on Route 24 headed into town.

    The limit currently set at 45 miles per hour had been reduced from 55 miles per hour previously, but Dickerson, along with other residents speaking out at the meeting, are still concerned with high speeds in the area.

    “I’ve been up here before about the speed limit. We met with DelDOT and they had promised us that they would reduce it significantly,” Dickerson stated. “45 miles per hour, I don’t feel is that significant of a reduction.”

    Dickerson went on to explain that he and members of the Plantation Lakes community sought to get the speed reduced to 35 iles per hour, asking for the council’s support after not getting help in their battles with DelDOT on the matter in the past.

    “The other mayor refused to meet with us or meet with DelDOT,” said Dickerson. “I’m pleading with you from the community to have your support to move forward with this to get the speed limit reduced to 35.

    “We’re moving forward in January with a bill to see if we can get all city limits within the state of Delaware reduced to one speed. We’re asking you as our Mayor to help us, fight with DelDOT, give us a letter of support, give us some backing, so we can move forward with this.”

    Dickerson also added that the reason DelDOT has refused to reduce the speed limit was based off a study conducted in December of 2013. But with the Plantation Lakes community closing in on 500 homes, the council seemed to agree that it may be time for a new study, appointing a committee to look into the matter.

    “They’re probably going to want to do another study,” explained councilman Brad Cordrey. “The last one is over two years old.”

    Cordrey went on to make a motion that the council request a new study and report back on their findings.

    The next regularly scheduled town council meeting is set for Monday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.

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    The Nanticoke Indian Museum in Millsboro will host Native American Day festivities on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    The event will feature Native American music, dance and face painting, as well as food and other items for sale, according to June Morning Star Robbins of the Nanticoke Indian Museum. Museum tours will also be available.

    Former Chief Dick “Quiet Thunder” Gilbert, a popular author and speaker on Native American topics, will be the featured speaker for the day, Robbins said. Gilbert has spoken to thousands of school children and other groups over several decades, passing on the history of the Lenape people and the importance of protecting Mother Earth.

    Gilbert is co-author of two books, “The Original People: The Story of the Lenape Indians” and “The Seventh Generation,” along with Dan Lizzi.

    The Native American Museum opened in 1984 and has hosted Native American Day festivities ever since, Robbins said. Admission to the event is free, but donations are welcome, she said. Within the museum are examples of Native American clothing, artifacts and tools. Some of the artifacts date back to 8000 B.C.

    There are about 55 members of the Nanticoke tribe living in Sussex County and another 550 in other parts of Delaware. Native American Day is an opportunity for tribe members to celebrate their heritage as well as for non-members to learn about the history and traditions of Native Americans in Delaware.

    The Nanticoke Indian Museum is located at 26673 John J. Williams Hwy., Millsboro. For more information, call the museum at (302) 945-7022.

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    The Delaware State Police are continuing their investigation of a crash south of Bethany Beach over the weekend.

    The crash occurred on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 5:30 a.m., as Carl V. Roma, 57, of Endicott, N.Y., was traveling northbound on Coastal Highway. At the same time, Arlington, Va., resident Miguel Rivera Oropeza, 67, was reportedly walking in the right lane of north-bound Route 1 in an unknown direction.

    Roma, who was traveling in a 2008 Cadillac DTS, was unable to see Oropeza because, according to police, the latter was in the road without a light or reflective clothing.

    Oropeza was reportedly struck by the center of the car, throwing him to the ground. Following the collision, Roma came to a controlled stop in the right lane, according to police.

    Troopers said Oropeza was initially transported to Beebe Healthcare by EMS before being flown to Christiana Medical Center, where he is currently admitted in critical condition. The State Police believe alcohol may have been a factor on his behalf.

    Roma, who was uninjured in the incident, was transported by troopers to Troop 4 in Georgetown where a DUI investigation was conducted. He was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and No Proof of Insurance, and released on the traffic citation to appear in court at a later date.

    Those who may have witnessed the incident are asked to contact Master Cpl. J. Burns at (302) 703-3266. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet at, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”

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    Public safety is a growing issue, as Selbyville Police Department reported to Selbyville Town Council on Nov. 2.

    Delaware State Police will lead a neighborhood watch interest meeting Monday, Nov. 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Selbyville Public Library.

    “They’re hitting all the public libraries in the county to get neighborhood watches in the unincorporated areas,” Collins said.

    Judging by leftover signs in the area, Selbyville has had a watch in the past, said Library Director Kelly Kline.

    Selbyville Police also participated in a safety presentation at the Bayside development. Despite the small crowd, it was an in-depth discussion, Collins said.

    As more people use eBay and online yard sales, Selbyville Police Department is offering a safe place for transactions. SPD just became a registered SafeTrade location. When something is purchased online, the transaction can be physically done in the police lobby. Police will also check to ensure it’s not a stolen item.

    Selbyville Police Department also has a fulltime drug take-back box, which is averaging just under 40 pounds of prescription meds weekly, said Chief Scott Collins.

    “It’s nice to have somewhere to put it when you can’t put it down the john or down the sink anymore,” said resident Rorabaugh, thanking the Town for this program.

    As for staffing, SPD’s formerly injured officer is back on the road, while another put in two weeks’ notice because he’s moving away.

    Wastewater plant steps forward

    After the old lime silo began malfunctioning this spring at the wastewater treatment plant, Selbyville has scrambled to maintain a safe pH balance.

    Council approved the first step in installing new tanks for a new chemical called Aquamag.

    Even on its temporary trial basis, Aquamag has proven to be a better and less caustic option, said Councilmember G. Frank Smith III. The lime system wasn’t employee friendly, and repairs would probably be more expensive than replacement.

    He suggested the town install two 2,500 gallon tanks for the Aquamag, one now on a more temporary basis. The second tank (plus a concrete pad and potential overhead building) would be added by next summer.

    Councilman Jay Murray questioned cost effectiveness of installing a huge tank now before installing the pad.

    But Smith clarified that the massive tanks are free, provided by the Aquamag manufacturer.

    Within two weeks, the first 2,500-gallon tank and tank mixer could be placed on the existing asphalt at the plant, said Jason Loar, principal/engineer at Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Inc.

    At the December meeting, Town Council will review a proposed future costs list and design specs.

    The treatment plant uses 40 gallons of Aquamag daily, or 1,200 gallons monthly.

    Currently, Selbyville can only purchase 300 or 400 gallons at a time, due to small, temporary Aquamag tanks onsite, which are likely to freeze during winter.

    With two huge 2,500-gallon insulated tanks, Selbyville could buy in bulk. That reduces the cost from $6 to eventually $2 per gallon, Smith said. The large tanks could equal nearly $60,000 in annual Aquamag savings, compared to the current temporary Aquamag system.

    In other Selbyville news:

    • The 55th Annual Selbyville Christmas Parade is Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. Participants may register online at

    • The Code Enforcement report included several citizen complaints, including “one for chickens running loose — unfounded.”

    • Designs for the water plant upgrades are close to state approval. The project should go out to bid in December.

    • The biannual hydrant flushing will be postponed, “because everything was pretty well flushed” when the water main was broached and the water tower drained out, said Councilmember Rick Duncan.

    • Town Council approved the combination of two lots on Discovery Lane, owned by Georgeo’s Water Ice Inc. near the town industrial park. Georgeo’s hopes to add refrigeration to its existing building without encroaching on property setbacks.

    • Local legislators will fund Selbyville’s purchase of three portable LED speed signs to improve speed control of town traffic.

    • The Annexation Committee was directed to consider annexation of some land on Cemetery Road (Tax Map and Parcel No. 5-33 16.00 62.00, containing appx. 38,488 square feet) into the R-1 or R-4 Residential District. It’s owned by Fred J. O’Neal III and Richard A. O’Neil Sr. A meeting will be scheduled within early November.

    • La Sierrra shop requested a variance from the Board of Adjustment to add restaurant seating on W. Church Street.

    But at the Oct. 14 public hearing, BOA rejected construction a second-story apartment, as it seems “out of character for the area,” said Jay Murray.

    • The Halloween parade was unfortunately canceled for rain, but trick-or-treating went well, said Mayor Clifton Murray.

    Town Council’s next regular meeting is Monday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m.

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    Last winter, a man took the bus to Georgetown Public Library. He was distraught, trying to reach an emergency shelter, but learned it was temporarily closed.

    “It was a very cold, one of those single-digit days,” said Librarian Sherri Scott.

    Unable to find another option, he desperately called the police and told them he was suicidal so they would put him in a safe place overnight.

    That’s just one story Delaware librarians have about people in need.

    To write a happier ending to these tales, a team of librarians developed a mobile app — “Del-AWARE” — that would provide information on shelters, food, clothing and more.

    Here’s the only catch: it’s just a prototype. A private donor or grant funding could make this app a reality.

    The app needs to be professionally designed (with mapping and updates), then made public. The new app could get off the ground with a financial boost, also lifting up a large population of those with financial, food and housing needs.

    This app would be free for anyone facing food or financial insecurity.

    The “Del-AWARE” team had a 9-month goal to use a new technology to meet a statewide need, even long after the project window officially ended.

    “Each library, no matter where it is — we have people in need,” said Catherine Wimberley (Dover Public Library) at an Oct. 29 statewide conference, as her colleagues nodded.

    People often ask them where to sleep during cold weather or where to get financial aid.

    “We wanted to create an essential resource app,” Wimberley said, that would connect you to information about shelters, about where you could go for food, for clothing.”

    As library staff and several small studies would agree, most people without shelter do have smart phones or mobile devices. (Sometimes that’s only resource families can give them to stay connected.) They use the libraries’ free Wi-Fi.

    The first app phase would include five categories: shelter (temporary shelter or Code Purple locations), food (pantries or soup kitchens), health (hospitals or walk-in clinics), clothing (thrift shops) and finance (money classes or bill assistance).

    Future additions would include also personal care and transportation. Shelters and service providers could also update the app themselves, as needed.

    The Del-AWARE team found outdated information and gaps in information. Is te food pantry open on Mondays? Should a person submit paperwork before getting a shelter bed? This app would list all the prerequisites and rules of the shelters and other support systems.

    “Seven years ago when I was homeless, if I had more readily accessible information, then I could have bad better [options and outlook],” said Jim Martin, director of A.C.E. Peer Center in Seaford, in a video interview.

    Martin described the hopelessness he felt when homeless, caused by a “perfect storm” of professional and personal challenges.

    “I never really understood how to navigate all [those resources], so I felt so alone,” which led to anxiety and fear, until he found a safe haven in the library. “That was a place I felt safe.”

    According to the team, 2278 Delawareans experienced homelessness in 2014. Less than 15 percent (still several hundred people) were in Sussex County, and 24 percent are under age 18.

    “Personally, I’ve had a couple situations in my life where I could have used this app, and it would have made the situation much easier,” said Scott, remembering a late night of driving a homeless individual around, trying to find that person safe shelter.

    Even major festivals like Firefly can displace people who live in hotels, since room rates skyrocket on those nights, said librarian Heather Lembeck.

    Finally, to access the Del-AWARE app, the team hopes to also provide a mobile tablet to every library in the state.

    Until that day, libraries are now adding “Kindness Corners,” giving folks from all walks of life a place to meet, chat, play games or get some help during the day.

    Anyone with ideas to make this app a reality can contact or call (302) 736-7030.

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    Coastal Point • File Photo: Veterans and students interact at a previous Veterans’ Day celebration at Lighthouse Christian Academy.Coastal Point • File Photo: Veterans and students interact at a previous Veterans’ Day celebration at Lighthouse Christian Academy.Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    For eight years, students as young as 3-years-old at Lighthouse Christian School have taken the time to honor those who have served our country.

    Again, this year, students will come together on Friday, Nov. 13 to honor local veterans.

    “We want to instill in our students a love for country and freedom, appreciation for our men and women who have served and thanking those who are currently serving, showing heartfelt concern for those who have been wounded in combat, and honoring those who paid the ultimate price with their lives,” said Pat Viguie, who works at the school and coordinates the event.

    Viguie started the event in the hopes that it would educate students on the importance of honoring the men and women who serve their country.

    “We have what we have today because of the protection that they have given us and continue to give us. That we live in a land that’s free and free to make choices and because of that, people have served for it, people have died for it,” she said. “They are crucial in making America what it is and what it has become today and what it will continue to be. They are a very vital part of that.”

    The special tribute will begin at 1:30 p.m. where students will be given the opportunity to interact with veterans, and personally thank them for their service.

    “They’re very interested in seeing the same ones every year. We have repeat veterans every year. They’ll ask me, ‘is that gentleman coming?’ ‘Is he going to be here this year?’” Viguie said. “What’s happening is, they are beginning to connect. The local veterans of the American Legion and the VFW, just all who have been attending every year, have become an extended family of Lighthouse Christian School. The children are welcoming them as family members and they’re learning respect, too.”

    Although the students will be honoring all who have served or are serving the country, the program will highlight those who served during World War II.

    “Every year I ask God, ‘what do you want me to do this year?’ And he gives me the theme every year. He gave me the WWII theme at the beginning of the summer. I didn’t know what I was going to do and I asked for the Lord. As a Christian school, we’re guided by God and we want to do his will. When you submit to his will he just comforts you, and everyday is a blessing.”

    The students will learn about honor flights, which honors veterans by flying them to see the memorials built in their honor in Washington, D.C.

    “They’re taking groups of World War II veterans… and they’re taking them to Washington, D.C. and taking them to see the monument. It’s just so touching. And there are a lot of people don’t even know about it. The students are going to see this on the video screen. They’re going to see what Americans are doing for the World War II veterans. They’re known as the ‘Greatest Generation’ ever.”

    During the program, there will be a presentation of the colors by the Indian River High School JROTC and a POW MIA Remembrance Table Ceremony. Lighthouse students will perform songs and read letters of thanks and poems to the veterans in attendance. New this year, students will perform a skit set in the 1940s.

    “We’re going for nostalgia this year, a little taste of the 40s and the Big Band sound,” said Viguie, adding they hope to have some WWII memorabilia at the event as well.

    The program, said Viguie, allows students to learn the importance of honoring and respecting those who have served in the military.

    “They’re learning to respect their elders, to respect someone that’s walking by them wearing the hat, and also to understand that these people have sacrificed or sacrificing for the freedom that we have in our country. They are fighting for that every day.”

    Over the years, many attending veterans have thanked the school for the tribute, and for giving them the opportunity to meet with the students.

    “They can’t thank us enough. They think what they’ve done is not that important; they’re just so humble. Every year, they look forward to coming.”

    This year, students went further than before, by writing letters to area veterans, and even calling them on the phone to invite them to the program.

    “That was really special,” recalled Viguie. “When they responded back, they said it was so nice talking to the students. Getting that personal call meant a lot to them.

    “And then, [the students] designed the initiations to them this year and our veterans responded to the invitations —They loved the invitations we sent out.”

    Immediately following the program, a lunch buffet donated by local restaurants will be served to veterans and their families.

    Viguie said the program is a way for veterans to meet with each other in a new setting.

    “Some get to meet up with old friends and share fellowship with them. It has become a meeting place for them. It’s not a typical American Legion or fellowship hall. Now it’s something outside of that. We have provided them our school, another environment for them,” she said, noting that some military service men and women stationed at Dover Air Force Base will be attending the program.

    “A lot of these veterans don’t get to see the new kids on the block. We get the Dover Air Force Base coming in. We have children that are five and six years old, that are from all over the country. They are coming from all over the states and have made the commitment to serve… That’s what our school is offering — A new environment for them to meet other people that are serving and have served.”

    Perhaps the most powerful moment of the program is at the conclusion, when all veterans in attendance stand at the front of the room, and one by one, every student shakes the hand of every service man and woman, and thanks them for their service.

    “The bottom line is, it’s just a blessing. It’s a blessing to see what God is doing. How God is giving this Veterans’ Day program and bringing all people from all walks of life, coming in and see a group of young people coming in and thanking them for their service,” said Viguie. “It’s poignant, it’s touching. It’s just a blessing. God has just orchestrated everything with this program every year.”

    Viguie said that all those from the community are encouraged to attend to honor the country’s veterans.

    “We hope to have our biggest turnout ever. It’s not just an invitation to our veterans. Sometimes people read the flyer and think it’s just for veterans. No, no, no! We want the community to come out and support our veterans!” she said, adding the importance of recognizing the men and women who serve. “When you see them, acknowledge them, look them in the eye. Tell them thank you for their service.”

    Dagsboro Church of God is located on Route 113 in Dagsboro, just south of the intersection with Route 26. To RSVP to the event, contact Viguie at (302) 537-5017.

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    Sussex County Council held a public hearing earlier this week related to the Berzins expansion of the South Bethany Sanitary Sewer District.

    Along with connecting the Berzins property, located on Kent Avenue, to the sanitary sewer district, connection points for three other parcels in the district that are not being served could gain connection.

    The proposed expansion of the district would contain 45.34 acres, more or less, situated on the south side of County Road 361, Kent Avenue and on bouth sides of County Road 363, Double Bridges Road.

    The Berzins property is in the process of developing the land for a residential community, with commercial space.

    Annette Reeping, who lives on Double Bridges Road, was the only citizen to speak during the public hearing.

    “I’m here to make sure the process is followed comprehensively in this situation,” she said. “It’s a little complex because you have the Town of Ocean View involved, you have South Bethany involved. And then you have Double Bridges Road, which is approximately 4 miles long, which are farm roads for the most part. There are no shoulders and what goes on either side is a drainage ditch.”

    Reeping said the size of the Berzins development would “add hundreds, if not thousands, of cars to that particular road.”

    “It’s a very dangerous road and adding large numbers of cars is going to be very significant. Now, you may say why am I here, this is a sewer review?

    “It is my understanding, final plans need to be approved normally prior to coming for your review as council people. The safety of the community is why I’m here.”

    Reeping said she had called the Town of Ocean View to see the plans, but was told they had not yet been finalized.

    “I’m not opposed to the sewer district, I encourage it. My concern is that, once it gets approved even on a preliminary basis, that will give them the opportunity to begin the building process without the rest of Double Bridges and DelDOT reviewing the safety of the people on that road.

    “I hope that you will rigidly follow the process that is in place for your review… You are the only organization, the only government people that I know of, that will have a review of this because it is disjointed.”

    Councilman Rob Arlett asked if the Council’s decision is contingent on anything the Town of Ocean View does.

    “Not really,” said John Ashman, director of Utility Planning. “It’s basically bringing them into our district. We still have control of capacity they use… It provides them with access to the sewer, but it does not guarantee them that the Town will approve the project.”

    Arlett agreed that Double Bridges Road is dangerous, and believes the safety concerns need to be addressed by DelDOT, specifically when it comes to bicyclists.

    Councilman George Cole said he still had concerns regarding the project, and moved to defer until the following week.

    “I do believe we need a better coordination with the towns,” he said. “Our coordination should be a little tighter so in the future we don’t have some issues with things that may get denied or changed or exceeded our capacity.”

    Ashman said by the County bringing properties into the sewer district doesn’t dictate what a town has to do.

    Council voted 3-0, with Sam Wilson and Joan Deaver absent, to defer their decision until the following week so council may hear additional information from staff regarding Ocean View’s schedule.

    “I think it’s very reasonable. I think in the past we’ve not done this but it makes sense to me that we grant sewer to a project that we know we’re getting, not to something that might, might not happen, might change, might do this… I’ve been concerned for years that we shouldn’t be granting sewers unless we know it’s here.”

    Council will discuss the expansion at next Tuesday’s council meeting at 10 a.m.

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    The Town of Frankford recently discussed the possibility of annexing land west of Route 113, where a developer hopes to build a commercial center.

    “I know some of you haven’t been on council very long,” said Kyle Gulbronson of the Town’s engineering firm URS. “This annexation has been in the works for a number of years now. It is a slow process. It has been slower than it probably should’ve been based on situations here in town.”

    Gulbronson said the annexation application is for 55 acres of land on the west side of Route 113, at Gum Road. The property would be developed by The Pence Group based in Virginia. They had previously been looking into the property housing one major big box retailer, along with several smaller stores.

    “Back in 2014, it was reviewed by the planning commission, who found it to be advantageous for the Town. At that time, it went for the State PLUS review with the Office of State Planning. The Office of State Planning recommended approval of the application.

    “All of the applicable state agencies have signed off, saying it’s a good thing for the town; they approve it. The State actually approved the annexation almost a year ago. The process now is, the Town needs to hold a public hearing on the annexation.”

    Landowners who own land contiguous to the land need to be sent a letter of notice, with a public hearing to be scheduled, with at least 30 days’ notice.

    He added that the Sussex County Council has already signed off on expanding the sewer district to service parcels on the west side.

    “The County is going to want assurances on their side to make sure that improvements being made are being paid by the developer,” said Gulbronson.

    The Town’s newly hired solicitor, Chad R. Lingenfelder, Esq., noted that any roadway improvements required by the Delaware Department of Transportation would be paid for by the developer as well.

    Gulbronson said the annexation could be beneficial in terms of repairs and maintenance to the Town’s water tower.

    “The good thing about a situation like this is, with the status of your water system here, there are obviously improvements that need to be made town wide.

    “In order for you to be able to provide them with a steady stream of water some of those improvements need to be paid for by the developer.”

    Gulbronson said the reason things have been slow moving is because the Town was without an attorney. At the time, said Gulbronson, he recommended the Town not move forward until it had a solicitor who could draft an annexation agreement.

    “They were very concerned about the delay, which understandably, they should be. I talked with their attorney on Friday and they are still interested in moving forward with the annexation, as long as the Town can give them some type of assurance that it will be a steady and smooth process.”

    While the Town was hoping to have a charter amendment to the state legislature before the end of the year, Council President Liz Carpenter said the charter committee found “it was much more work than some of us anticipated.” Carpenter said the committee would reconvene in January 2016.

    She said council recognized there were issues in the charter, specifically related to the upcoming election.

    While a draft charter amendment had previously been created by the Town’s former solicitor, Dennis Schrader, to address election concerns, the council did not send it to the Legislature.

    Lingenfelder said he would be in contact with Delaware Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove regarding what the Town needs to do for the upcoming election. He opined that the Town would follow the State’s election standards for its 2016 election.

    In other Town news:

    • Presley told those in attendance that State auditors would be in town hall later in the week to start an initial assessment. He noted the Town anticipates the audit to be completed in the next month or so.

    Greg Welch voiced his concerns regarding the sinking fund, noting that is an area he would like the auditors to review. Wesley Hayes Jr. asked if the audit finds there was a misappropriation of funds, if the Town would seek to file criminal charges.

    “That would be up to the interpretation of the Attorney General’s office,” said Presley.

    • Frankford Police Chief Michael Warchol introduced council to Patrolman Tyler Bare, who will be the Town’s new part-time officer, while its recently hired officer is deployed. Bare is currently a fulltime patrolman for the Dagsboro Police Department.

    Bare, who graduated from Indian River High School, and served eight years in the United States Marine Corps, said he looks forward to working for the town.

    • Skip Ash drew attention to absent councilman Charles Shelton, and said he “needs to step up.”

    “The Town needs their other council member,” said Ash. “It should be in our Charter that as a councilman if you don’t make it you should get sent a certified letter.”

    Carpenter said there is nothing in the Town’s current Charter that states a councilperson may be removed from council for not attending meetings. She added the Town plans to address that issue in it’s Charter amendment to be sent to the State Legislature next year.

    Lingenfelder said if the Town wanted to take action against Shelton now, they would “basically have him impeached” by the Legislature.

    “I would hope the town would know of the absence of that person, and if that person elected to run again that the citizenry of the town would take that into account.”

    • The Town of Frankford will be working with the State’s Government Information Center to develop a website to replace the Town’s current site. The State’s service is free, however the Town will need to purchase the domain name.

    The Town’s current website does not have recent agendas or minutes posted or the most up-to-date version of its Charter. The Town’s current Charter may be found on the State of Delaware’s website.

    Presley said citizens will even be able to pay town-related bills online. The Town council and staff will be trained on how to update the website, which may include links to other town entities, such as the Frankford Public Library.

    “It’s going to be a much more up-to-date modern website that is going to be interactive,” he said.

    Until the new website is online, citizens are encouraged to view the Town of Frankford’s Facebook page for meeting postings.

    • Carpenter said that Dawn Beck compiled a list of eight different companies that are qualified to give bids on the Town’s water tower maintenance. The water tower committee will be working on contacting those companies and asking them to bid on providing the service to the town.

    • Council voted 4-0 to give Town Maintenance worker Dave Ward a $2 an hour raise.

    • With the Town’s contract with Artesian expires this month, and the Town voted unanimously to contract with White Marsh Environmental Systems, formerly known as Tidewater Utilities. The details of the contract were not presented at the time of the vote.

    • The water fountain in Frankford Park has continued to be vandalized, said Ward. Individuals have been jamming sticks into the mechanism to keep it running, numerous times, and the motor burned up.

    “If people are going to keep doing it, we don’t have to have a water fountain,” said Carpenter.

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    An educator’s job is to support his or her students. But this month, Sussex Central High School’s student government lobbied for their staff, which is feeling the weight of a growing student population.

    Student council president, senior Charlie Megginson described a recent meeting between State Rep. Ruth Briggs King and a cross-section of Sussex Central High School students.

    While discussion was mostly positive, students saw the guidance department struggling.

    “They do so much work. I don’t know where we’d be without them,” Megginson told Indian River School District Board of Education on Oct. 26. “The thing is, they don’t have enough support.”

    Megginson didn’t know if the answer is more money, staff or materials, but, “They can’t do it. Our school’s increasing in population every year, and they’re just becoming overloaded with work every year.”

    “That’s just the opinion of the majority students in that room,” Megginson added. “We still think Sussex Central’s a great school. The fact is, there’s a lot of students here, and it’s becoming too much for the guidance counselors to do.”

    Sussex Central has 1,450 students, as of the Sept. 30 count. That’s a jump of 134 students from last year. Based on state funding, the school had room to get state funding for about five additional staff positions.

    SCHS gained 88 students in 2014-15. In the previous four years, SCHS population had decreased by a total of 122 students in three years and gained 34 one year (source: Del. Department of Education.

    After the meeting, Principal Bradley Layfield said another temporary counselor position has been posted. The sixth guidance counselor will take over grade 11, while that person will oversee English Language Learners and other duties.

    Howard T. Ennis is crunched for space

    Staff also suffer the strain of a school that’s growing without room to grow.

    Paraeduator Kristin Wilkins was blunt in her desire for Howard T. Ennis School to get a new building.

    The current facility was built in 1972 for students with significant disabilities and had some duct work around 2003, Wilkins said.

    (The facility was recently approved for an additional $750,000 in pool and HVAC maintenance.)

    “We want to bring our kids to the 21st century,” which means better technology. “A lot of our kids are non-verbal and they need a way to communicate with us,” said Wilkins.

    She wants their students to leave Ennis at their full potential.

    The school houses approximately 196 students (including 157 enrolled, plus 39 in satellite programs) at Ennis satellite programs in different school programs. More students are on the horizon. (According to Department of Education, Ennis is growing by about 20 students per year, with 131 students in 2014 and 115 students in 2013.)

    When Ennis was founded, Wilkins said students were generally higher functioning.

    “Now we’re getting more severe physical handicaps,” Wilkins said. Hallway space is so crowded that staff regularly move kids aside to make room for students with adaptive equipment.

    Classrooms are filling up, with an average of 2.6 students per staff member, plus nurses who accompany some students.

    Meanwhile, Ennis inhabitants are often found wearing sweatshirts because they have trouble regulating temperature in the classrooms.

    Bathrooms and storage are lacking, and some specialty teachers have no classroom, so they travel with carts to their students.

    New grading scale

    The school board approved a new grading scale for Grades 1 to 8. This will align with the high school grading scale, which the district just updated in spring.

    The new grading scale for elementary and middle school is as follows:

    95 – 100% A+
    90 – 94% A
    85 – 89% B+
    80 – 84% B
    75 – 79% C+
    70 – 74% C
    65 – 69% D
    64% or lower F

    Formerly, grades were as follows: 93-100 (A Excellent), 85-92 (B Good), 74-84 (C Average), 70-74 (D Below Average) and 69 or lower (F Failure).

    In other school board news:

    • The district’s unit count is unofficially 10,171 students as of Sept. 30. However, the Department of Education is auditing enrollment for several district schools, so the number hasn’t been certified yet.

    • Paris Mitchell, health teacher at IR High School, continued his public comments from last month, regarding the risks (or ineffectiveness) of vaccination. He said the European Union has launched an informal investigation into Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil, after a number of European and Asian companies filed lawsuits with the company.

    “Thank goodness in the state of Delaware, we have an opt-out form, which I recommend that everyone take advantage of,” Mitchell said. “If I choose not to get a vaccine, who does it hurt, apart from myself?”

    • Eagle Scout Alex Holts was approved to build an outdoor performance center/stage in the spring at Sussex Central High School, with seating for about 50 people.

    • A Delaware State University student was approved to serve his Masters of Education degree internship at IRSD. With his professional background in engineering and energy efficiency, his internship equates 240 free man hours for IRSD, said IRSD Supervisor of Buildings & Grounds Joe Booth.

    • School Choice Policy JECC.A was amended to add “district students whose parents work in a business within the school district” to the student applications priority list. (They’ll come after “district students who live outside the attendance area and have daycare providers who reside within the school attendance area.” This comes before “district students who live outside of the attendance area.”)

    The policy also clarified that in-district siblings get priority over out-of-district siblings.

    • The board got an update on Delaware’s BRINC Consortium, of which IRSD is a part.

    Instead of schools competing, seven Delaware districts collaborate to transition from yesterday’s industrial skills to today’s needs in a 21st century global economy,” said IRSD’s LouAnn Hudson.

    The focus is on more efficient learning, rather than equating class time to competency.

    “It’s about personalizing the school experience for students,” Hudson said. “Although tech devices play a big role, the education isn’t about them, but the training for college and career skills.

    • Official coordinators were named for 2015-16, including Title IX Coordinator Mark Steele, 504 Coordinator LouAnn Hudson and ADA Coordinator Joe Booth.

    • IRSD computer technicians Jonathan Cayer and Daniel Lawver took a major step in cyber security, officially becoming Department of Technology and Information Certified Cyber Security Experts (DTI-CCSE).

    The next regular school board meeting is Monday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. at Indian River High School.

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