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    The Sussex County Council this week denied the controversial application by T.D. Rehoboth LLC for the Overbrook Town Center shopping center, proposed to be built near Milton and strongly opposed by some nearby residents.

    With standing room only in County Council Chambers on Tuesday, April 12, the council voted 4-1 to deny the application, which was originally filed in December 2014.

    The applicant had sought to change the Comprehensive Land Use Map designation from an AR-1/Agricultural-Residential District to a CR-1/Commercial-Residential District for the 114.5-acre parcel on the northeast side of Route 1, across from Route 88.

    The intended use of the property was an 850,000-square-foot shopping center (about 1.5 times the size of the Tanger Outlets centers in Rehoboth Beach combined), with individual access to each store, rather than a mall or outlet stores. The project was to feature national anchor stores and pad sites for restaurants.

    District 5 Councilman Rob Arlett was the only council member to vote in favor of the change in zoning, and his vote was met with a roar of “boos” and outcries from attendees, including “Move back to where you came from” and “Just shut up.”

    Arlett said the county needs to look at “who we are as a community,” stating that the county constantly struggles with growth versus no growth.

    While Sussex is a county with a long and proud agricultural history, he said, the county cannot ignore the fact that the area is changing and growing, as a tourist and retirement destination.

    As for those who reached out to him following the close of public comment on the application, Arlett said he did “intentionally ignore” them.

    “I don’t want anyone to think they have the ability to influence my decision.”

    Councilwoman Joan Deaver said she did not believe it was appropriate to rezone the property, stating the importance of agricultural preservation and that its current zoning is “the most appropriate classification for this property.”

    Councilman Sam Wilson, who often voices his support of agriculture, as well as property owner rights, said he walked into Tuesday’s meeting not knowing how he would vote.

    “This piece of land… I can tell you both sides on this thing,” he said. “Right now, I’m in favor of denial.”

    Councilman George Cole also voted against the application, stating he agreed with the 14 reasons for denial stated by Planning & Zoning Commissioner I. G. Burton, who voted to recommend denial of the application to the council.

    Burton’s reasons included believing it is not an appropriate rezoning designation for the property and that the rezoning was inconsistent with surrounding zoning and use of property in the area.

    “I support those reasons,” said Cole, adding, “I don’t believe there’s a large enough population base to support it.”

    He also mentioned concerns regarding the size of the project and traffic.

    “There’s nothing positive about this application.”

    Council President Michael Vincent, who stated he had spent a good deal of time last week reviewing the applicant’s documents, said there were good sides to both granting and denying the application.

    “This is a change of a zone, of land use. Once you change that zone, it’s forever. You can’t go back and say, ‘Oops, I made a mistake.’ It is what it is…

    “I am certainly a person who believes in property rights… but I will also tell you that I don’t think my property rights should affect yours,” he said, prior to voting against the application.

    Following the vote, Arlett said he believed it’s important to provide a reason for his vote.

    “As we evolve as a county, it’s important yet again for us to determine how we can work together and work with our state agencies and our community, truly and effectively, to plan for our growth properly. I think, for me, what we’ve done in our past is not a reason to say no all the time.”

    “All change isn’t good. Sometimes change can be bad,” responded Cole.

    T.D. Rehoboth can appeal the council’s decision to the Court of Chancery within 60 days of the County formally publishing its decision.

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    Last week, the Freeman Stage announced two additional performances for their summer lineup.

    Grace Potter, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and internationally performing rock musician will make her Freeman Stage debut Tuesday, July 26. With her longtime backing band, The Nocturnals, Potter has released four studio albums. She is poised to release her debut solo album, “Midnight,” on Aug. 14.

    Gavin DeGraw and Andy Grammer will perform Saturday, Sept. 3. DeGraw earned his first Grammy nomination for “We Both Know,” a song he co-wrote with Colbie Caillat for the 2013 film “Safe Haven.” He is currently in the studio working on his next album.

    Grace Potter tickets cost $39 for all ages, and patrons must bring their own chairs. The Grammar and DeGraw tickets cost $45 to $95 for all ages, with special VIP and meet-and-greet packages also available at additional cost.

    The Freeman Stage is a program of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit created in 2007. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call (302) 436-3015.

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    In an effort to bring industry professionals together for networking opportunities, Delaware Seaside Bride magazine and Bear Trap Dunes are hosting a wedding professionals’ networking event on Thursday, April 21.

    “We are very excited to be working with the people at Bear Trap on this networking cocktail hour,” said Susan Lyons, publisher of Delaware Seaside Bride and the Coastal Point. “Destination weddings have really found a home here in our community, and the vendors who help with those weddings have developed their own cottage industry. This is a great opportunity for these small businesses to get to know each other and, ultimately, provide a more memorable wedding experience for couples who choose to get married here.”

    “Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club is thrilled to partner with Seaside Bride to host a networking soirée for event professionals on the Eastern Shore,” added Lindsay Mauer, director of Sales & Marketing for the Carl M. Freeman Golf Facilities at Troon Golf.

    “Our stunning Delaware beaches have become a premier wedding destination because of the unsurpassed beauty and extremely talented network of local venues and vendors. We are excited to bring this group together to enhance our connection and further cement our area as the place to celebrate all special occasions.”

    The free networking cocktail hour will take place in the Bear Trap Dunes Room from 5 to 7 p.m. and will feature showcase vendors, and a cash bar. The goal is to introduce regional professionals to create a community of industry experts that can assist couples in the wedding planning process.

    The evening will be emceed by Brendan Kashuba, also known to many as D.J. B.K. Kashuba has been the serving Ocean City, Md., area since 1997 and specializes in wedding, special events, audio services, radio and TV.

    Attendees will be able to enjoy hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Bear Trap, a photo booth provided by MVZ Productions, sweet treats from Sweet Disposition and a gown display by Delmarvalous Occasions, as well as items provided by other showcase vendors, A Sweet Affair Weddings & Events, Flowers On Savannah and Love Letters.

    Delaware Seaside Bride was created in the spring of 2015 by Coastal Point, after finding there was a need in the coastal area to bring together couples with area wedding experts, Lyons said.

    With its second annual magazine to be published this July, Delaware Seaside Bride also has a website at, as well as social media pages, featuring timely articles created by the staff, offering ideas and suggestions for that special day, along with tips and photographs from those who frequent the pages, which Lyons said means they constantly offer fresh content.

    “Delaware Seaside Bride is honored to serve as a conduit between brides and local vendors, and events like this can only help. It’s hard for a bride who lives somewhere else to coordinate everything that is necessary to pull off a wedding here. Hopefully, we can be that bridge, and our local vendors will have more opportunities to showcase their amazing talents.”

    For more information about Delaware Seaside Bride, visit, email, or call (302) 539-1788.

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    South Bethany has had trouble stemming the tide. Just as storms battered their protective sand dunes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has completely rejected their appeals to downgrade the new flood insurance rate map (FIRM).

    In two letters dated April 6, FEMA officials informed the Town of South Bethany that “no changes are warranted at this time” to the Preliminary FIRM, which was created on May 18, 2015.

    The town council had approved sending two appeals in January, both on behalf of the Town and on behalf of property owner Ed Bintz.

    Owning an Ocean Drive house in 2014, Bintz said he had looked forward to a reduction in flood insurance premiums because FEMA was considering lowering the base flood elevation (BFE) of the street from VE-12 feet to VE-10 feet.

    But after input from Town and State officials, most of Ocean Drive instead leapt up to the VE-13 designation. That number indicates how high the house must be built to (presumably) avoid flood damage during a 1-percent, or 100-year, storm event.

    FEMA re-opened the public comments period so that South Bethany and Bintz could submit appeals.

    Originally, South Bethany’s environmental consultant, the Woods Hole Group, planned to appeal based on disagreements with some of FEMA’s map-making methods. But they backed off that first argument upon realizing that different techniques could produce even more stringent results for coastal vulnerability than FEMA had proposed.

    After that, the Woods Hole consultants (usually boasting a strong success record) could barely recommend that South Bethany appeal based primarily on its last available argument — the protection provided by the man-made dunes on its beaches — although they promised to give it their all.

    South Bethany leaders were repeatedly warned that FEMA would not consider man-made dunes in its floodplain maps.

    “While a nourished beach can provide a buffer against storm waves, beaches and dunes are dynamic in nature and may erode, and [dunes] do not always help reduce the 1-percent annual chance flood hazard,” stated FEMA’s letter.

    The dune argument got a further slap in the face, simply based on bad timing. The appeal was sent soon after the damaging September/October storms in 2015, and mere days before the January blizzard, which caused another 45 to 100 percent dune loss throughout town.

    “You used a dune that’s no longer there, so that kind of shoots your argument in the foot,” said Mayor Pat Voveris. “We appealed on the 20th, and [Winter Storm] Jonas hit on the 23rd,” Voveris said. “The dune did its job. It was sacrificial in nature.”

    But that left FEMA to consider a vulnerable town built up on the coast, without a constant source of protection.

    South Bethany is on a 50-year plan to maintain the engineered dunes, but the three-year rotation for replenishment is at the mercy of Congressional funding approval.

    Voveris, Councilman Tim Saxton and Councilman Frank Weisgerber had voted against sending the appeal to FEMA.

    “Just along the way, it just became very clear it just didn’t make any sense to move forward,” Voveris said. “It was tough, because we had an emotional audience. We had people who felt we owned it to them. I live on Ocean Drive, [but] everything I learned along the way pointed to: it just didn’t make any sense.”

    The council had acted partly as a way to set the playing field for citizens to appeal or take the case to court in in the future.

    “In the end, we tried,” Voveris said. “And if you never tried, you never know.”

    Meanwhile, Bintz had argued partly against FEMA’s changing its methods for producing a more stringent 13-foot map.

    This time, that included photographs of past storm damage, beach elevation surveys before and after major storms and discussions with state and local officials regarding firsthand experience of South Bethany’s beach erosion.

    “[These] indicate that the wave energy around the South Bethany coastline during major storms is high and causes much more severe erosion than that produced with FEMA standard methodology,” FEMA stated. “Lowering the BFE in this area would not reflect the known flood hazard risk here.”

    Usually, FEMA uses more generalized methods to produce large-scale studies. But officials said they appreciate and rely on more individualized methods to help them paint an accurate picture of South Bethany flooding:

    “FEMA encourages more tailored engineering analyses in specific areas with unique conditions. FEMA relies on State and local officials to provide the firsthand information … since they have extensive knowledge of the local historic conditions.”

    The appellants have 30 days to submit further comments or request review from a Scientific Resolution Panel, an independent board of experts that would review conflicting scientific data.

    “I’m confident in the merits of the appeal I filed, and I continue to pursue this further,” Bintz told the Coastal Point. He didn’t comment on specific plans beyond that.

    If FEMA doesn’t receive any more comments from the appellants during the 30-day period, it will finalize the maps by issuing a Letter of Final Determination (LFD). The new maps could be enacted around autumn.

    The South Bethany Town Council has made no move to pursue further action. The FEMA announcement got little public response at the April 8 town council meeting.

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    Residents of the Cat Hill section of South Bethany will soon receive surveys regarding possible traffic-calming strategies for the area, which for years has been used as a shortcut from Route 1 to Kent Avenue, leading west from South Bethany.

    Some South Bethany residents have expressed concern that only Cat Hill residents would have the opportunity to respond to the survey, arguing that all residents will be affected by any changes that result.

    Resident Norm Montigne asked the council at its Friday, April 8, meeting why the survey is not being sent to all town property owners “when everybody in town uses it as a way to get out of town?”

    Mayor Pat Voveris said the issue, which has been bandied about for decades, was resurrected because of concerns about a blind curve, rather than general speed issues on Black Gum Drive. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has asked the Town to send out a survey asking whether residents would favor constructing a “speed hump” — either a permanent one or a temporary one — in the 400 block of Black Gum Drive.

    Of the 47 property owners on that street, DelDOT requires that 15 percent — or seven owners — respond in order for the results of the survey to be considered. Of those responses, two-thirds would need to support the addition of an 11th “speed hump” in the town in order for DelDOT to move forward.

    The draft survey available at the council meeting was dated April 11; with April 29 noted as the deadline for returning them to town hall. “With a show of two-thirds majority support, we will make every effort to install the new speed hump for the upcoming beach seasons,” the letter stated.

    Meanwhile, the council also approved the appointment of an eight-member Traffic Committee to address the Cat Hill traffic issues. Members of the committee are: Cat Hill residents Jay Headman, Mike Trentadue, John Jankowski and Steve Farrow; as well as council members Frank Weisgerber and Carol Stevenson, Town Manager Melvin Cusick and Police Chief Troy Crowson. Cusick and Crowson will be non-voting members.

    Resident Dennis Roberts objected to the even-numbered composition of the committee, saying it could lead to a stalemate if there is a 3-3 vote on any particular issue. Voveris said she is not concerned about that.

    Roberts also objected to Jankowski being named committee chair, but Voveris defended the decision, citing Jankowski’s career as a transportation planner. Jankowski, who was present at the meeting, said he has 38 years of experience in the field and has been a property owner in South Bethany since the 1980s.

    Residents had some suggestions of their own for cutting down on traffic through the Cat Hill area, including turning a driveway between tennis courts in South Bethany and the unincorporated community of Middlesex Beach into a paved road.

    Crowson said, however, that “I believe that road was lost to us years ago,” adding that he was told that there was, somewhere, a key to open the existing chained gate across the driveway. He said that, theoretically, the driveway could be opened in case of an emergency, but he has never seen such a key, nor has he ever been told of any procedures for opening the driveway.

    The traffic committee meetings will be open to the public.

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    The Indian River School District has changed its wish list into a to-do list. The IRSD Board of Education voted on April 7 to begin planning for three new schools, one major addition, renovations to several buildings and a study of all athletic fields.

    This spring, they will officially submit Certificate of Necessity (CN) requests to the State of Delaware for projects including: a new elementary school at the Ingram Pond property in Millsboro; a new middle school on the Sussex Central High School property north of Millsboro; replacement of the Howard T. Ennis School building in Georgetown; approximately 32 additional classrooms, an expanded cafeteria and gymnasium at Sussex Central High School; renovation and expansion of the cafeteria at Phillip C. Showell Elementary School in Selbyville; stairwell and mechanical room repairs at Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View; possible expansion of parking areas at Selbyville Middle School; and evaluation of all athletic fields.

    Ennis is a State school that serves the entire county, so that project would be 100 percent State-funded and not included in IRSD’s major capital improvement referendum for the other projects.

    “We have appreciated our public support in the past,” said Superintendent Susan Bunting, adding that she hoped citizens “understand our need to expand, so we have a safe learning environment for the future.”

    The IRSD is experiencing significant and rapid growth in the north, so classrooms are bursting at the seams. That population growth is expected to reach a critical level by the time any new schools could possibly be built, in four or five years at the earliest.

    The new Millsboro elementary school would likely pull students from west of Route 113. With that, some Long Neck Elementary students might be switched into the empty space at East Millsboro Elementary.

    A second elementary school was removed from IRSD’s proposal, simply because the district is trying to request exactly what it needs and thinks it can get approved by the State and voters.

    “We’ve trying to be prudent in thinking about what the State might approve at this point,” Bunting said. The board is trying to plan ahead and be responsible to taxpayers, she noted.

    Ennis is an old building on Delaware Technical Community College land. The district needs to rebuild it completely without disrupting the students’ education. Right now, they’re inquiring about using Stockley Center property south of Sussex Central High School.

    The new middle school would take students from Millsboro and Georgetown middle schools.

    But southern schools need some upgrades to aging buildings. For instance, Lord Baltimore stairwells have cracks that need more than caulk, and water is getting into the mechanical room. The building is structurally sound, Bunting said, but it was built around in 1930 and needs some work.

    The district wants to keep those historic schools, built from 1927 to 1932, in working order because “We do know what they mean to the communities,” said Bunting, who has spent most of her life learning, teaching or administering at the old Selbyville school. “We really want keep those.”

    The à la carte projects will also help balance the benefits to southern and northern schools.

    The district must request CNs from the state by June 30. The Department of Education must confirm IRSD’s need, and the money must be available in State coffers before the projects could move forward.

    The IRSD won’t get a response until November. With those approvals, the district would hold a public referendum to approve raising taxes and pay its share of the project (likely 40 percent).

    Based on history, Bunting estimated a possible referendum would be scheduled for late January. That would give the district enough time to host a second referendum that spring, should the first one fail.

    If it fails completely, the IRSD would have to start the whole process again, by June of 2017.

    Cost estimates are a big question mark for now, until the district’s architectural firm creates designs.

    Anyone with questions is being openly encouraged to learn more by calling the Indian River Educational Complex at (302) 436-1000, attending a board meeting or following the news.

    “Give us a call, because I want them to understand and widely discuss and know the facts,” so they’ll better support the proposal, Bunting said.

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    Five leaders within American Legion Post 28 were arrested on Thursday, April 7, for allegedly stealing felonious amounts of money from the Millsboro veterans association.

    An investigation by the Department of Safety & Homeland Security, Delaware Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), began this January, and concluded with the discovery that $641,100 had allegedly been stolen.

    According to DGE, Post 28 discovered suspected thefts by six officers, past and present, including one now deceased, that had taken place between July 2012 and January 2015 at their Oak Orchard/Riverdale location.

    “The investigation revealed the suspects, who were Post 28 officers at the time, wrote and signed numerous checks out to cash, cashed the checks at local banks, and the funds were not returned to or used for American Legion Post 28 business,” DGE representatives stated.

    Five suspects were arrested, arraigned and released, pending later court dates:

    • Samuel Mauger, 65, of Millsboro for two felony counts of theft over $100,000 ($376,660 total)

    • James Gallagher, 65, of Millsboro for two felony counts of theft over $1,500 ($13,000 total)

    • Edward Mazewski, 69, of Millsboro for two felony counts of theft over $1,500 ($20,000 total)

    • Michael Rooney, 66, of Georgetown for two felony counts of theft over $1,500 ($13,000 total)

    • Charles Nimmericher, 53, of Millsboro on one misdemeanor count of theft under $1,500 ($400 total).

    Additionally, DGE has since named David Yetman, 71, of Harbeson, who died in 2014, as being suspected of stealing $218,040.

    Investigators obtained arrest warrants for the five suspects and executed a search warrant at Mauger’s Millsboro residence.

    The five men were arraigned at J.P. Court 2, and all got “various denominations of unsecured bonds,” said Wendy Hudson, DGE public information officer.

    On the Post 28 website, Mazewski is still listed as the first vice-commander in charge of membership. The finance officer position is blank. Gallagher was the former post commander, as well as the commander of the state American Legion group. The other suspects’ positions within the post leadership have not been confirmed.

    Officers at Post 28 were not available for comment before the Coastal Point’s April 13 press deadline.

    The Delaware Attorney General’s Office will prosecute the case. The individuals will likely be tried separately, officials said.

    Post 28 had approximately 18 video-game machines, which are considered an important source of revenue for the post, according to a 2012 Coastal Point article.

    “Part of the funds — not all of the funds — came from slot machines there. That’s why the Gaming Enforcement got involved,” Hudson said.

    Suspect leaves

    the state Legion

    The allegations are doubly challenging for the American Legion, because, until this week, Gallagher had commanded the Legion’s state headquarters, called the Legion’s Department of Delaware.

    “Gallagher denies any culpability on both counts. Since a copy of the filing of charges has not been provided, there will be no further comment on the accusations,” stated the Department on April 11.

    “In order to devote time and resources toward his defense, Gallagher has provided official notice to the Department that he will recuse himself from any and all duties and responsibilities as the chief executive officer (CEO) and commander … until the matter is resolved,” the Department added on April 12.

    (The Department’s first vice-commander, Jeffrey Crouser, has since taken the position of CEO, as well as all commander duties and responsibilities.)

    The Department has no concerns about finances at the state level, said Richard J. Santos, Department administrator and adjutant.

    “Jim’s been with us quite a few years. He’s always been truthful, honest and trustworthy,” Santos said. “He’s been a Department officer in some [capacity] for about four years.”

    Santos said he was not aware of any of the other suspects holding administrative positions outside of Post 28, much less at the state level.

    Further down the road, if the men are found guilty, Post 28 will decide the future of their membership, representatives said. Based on its own bylaws, the Department could make its own recommendations regarding membership status.

    At the state level, the American Legion’s Department of Delaware has limited oversight of posts, including membership and bylaws. That does not include day-to-day operations, including finances, which were the area impacted by the alleged crimes.

    Volunteers still working

    Founded in 1983, Post 28 has become one of the largest in the nation and world. Membership is estimated around 3,500 members, with 2,917 paid members as of the summer of 2015.

    From humble beginnings in a small trailer, the Post now owns about 12 acres at Route 24 and Legion Road, also housing a Ladies Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion.

    “To us, we’re battling a public-relations issue,” Santos said, “because any one person that might do something wrong kind of casts a shadow over the entire operation, whether it’s at the post level or department.”

    It’s a reminder of what can happen, he said, but it’s a chance for the Legion to uphold their values that “one is considered innocent unless proven guilty.” Although they want to protect their interests, he said, the Department wants to act fairly and will support the DGE investigation.

    “If the allegations are true — whether it’s one or six — that is not a typical scenario in the more than 13,000 posts around the world or 26 in Delaware. It’s an isolated incident,” Santos said. “The actions over at Post 28 are not typical.”

    Meanwhile, Post 28’s membership is still hard at work to continue their ongoing projects, including the summertime breakfasts, fundraisers, yard sales and performances.

    “You can’t stop. You gotta continue to live,” Santos said. “In this instance, the Legion has to continue to live, to support” their mission of veteran care and welfare.

    “We’re asking [the public] to be supportive, because each post is its own little community,” Santos said. “We’re asking the residents to keep faith with the American Legion. This is an isolated incident, and we need to stay together, work together for their mutual benefit.”

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    Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Mary A.H. Mumford is flanked by her daughter, Marianna O’Neal, left, and fellow choir member Susan Bunting. Mumford was recently honored for her 67 years singing in the Salem United Methodist Church choir.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Mary A.H. Mumford is flanked by her daughter, Marianna O’Neal, left, and fellow choir member Susan Bunting. Mumford was recently honored for her 67 years singing in the Salem United Methodist Church choir.

    A young newlywed among an aging choir, Mary A. H. Mumford was 18 she when she joined her in-laws’ church choir. Decades later, Mumford was recently honored for 67 years of dedication to the Salem United Methodist Church music program.

    “She has been here as long as I can remember,” said fellow choir member Susan Bunting. Even as a child, Bunting recalled, “there was Miss Mary, with her beautiful voice.”

    The church surprised the 87-year-old Mumford with a plaque dedication on April 10. This winter, Mumford retired from choir, after 67 years of singing.

    “She’s been that voice of Salem for … years, and she’ll never be matched,” Bunting said.

    Mumford grinned at the congregation. “Thank you, everybody,” she said.

    As a teenager, she started singing at Salem with encouragement from her new mother-in-law and inspiration from her sister.

    Asked what she loves about music, Mumford said, “If you’re a singer, you know it’s indescribable, really.”

    Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Mary A. H. Mumford hugs choir director Louise Lynch during Sunday's service at Selbyville United Methodist Church.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Mary A. H. Mumford hugs choir director Louise Lynch during Sunday's service at Selbyville United Methodist Church.She recognizes her voice as a God-given talent, but credits her voice teacher with honing it. It feels wonderful knowing people appreciate her music, she said, and “You don’t sweat it, unless you don’t know the music.”

    Sometimes life’s not perfect, she acknowledged, and you still have to stand straight, smile and sing. (“It’s not all beer and Skittles,” Mumford said.) But “You have to have faith. That’s what kept me going all these years,” said the Selbyville resident. “I’ve been fortunate to meet a lot of nice people along the way.”

    She’s sung for weddings and funerals, for Vice President Richard Nixon at the 1957 birthday party of U.S. Sen. John G. Townsend Jr. in Selbyville and at Delaware Day at the Seattle World’s Fair (officially, the 1962 Century 21 Exposition).

    She also sang in a trio last year at Salem UMC with her daughter, Marianna O’Neal, and grandson, Eli Mumford.

    Two of her other children were in the audience for the award, and another granddaughter often sings in choir when home from college.

    “It’s been a great way to keep your sanity,” Mary Mumford quipped.

    “This woman has been a blessing to our choir, and I can’t thank her enough,” said Louise Lynch, choir director.

    Lynch then sat down at the piano and cued up the other 16 adult choir members: “Let’s make Mary proud of us.”

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    On Tuesday, April 19, the Bethany Beach Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee will host a special presentation by Saul Broudy, “Singing Workers: American Occupational Folksong.” The event will take place in Town Hall at 214 Garfield Parkway at 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

    The program will explore life before mass media and literacy, and aims transport the audience back to a time when laborers made their own songs to express their emotions, convey information, tell stories, solidify group identity and help them make it through the day.

    Broudy will bring to life the songs of railroad workers, coal miners, farmers, truck drivers, pilots, and other workers, and discuss the role that music played in the workers’ lives.

    Broudy has been performing for more than 45 years all over North America, and in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. He accompanies his singing on guitar but is perhaps best-known as a harmonica player, having worked with artists such as Steve Goodman and Loudon Wainwright.

    Broudy holds a doctorate in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania, and his shows aim to inform, as well as entertain. He is currently on the speakers bureau rosters of the Delaware Humanities Forum and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, doing “musical lectures.”

    Since 2005, the Bethany Beach Cultural & Historical Affairs Committee has been sponsoring cultural events during the off-season. Topics of interest run the gamut from shipwrecks and treasures to music and historic tales. All programs are free and open to the public.

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    After months of discussions, the Sussex County Council this week introduced an ordinance that would revise the County’s current signage regulations.

    For nearly a year, the council has been working to revamp its sign ordinance, after Councilman George Cole raised concerns related to billboards.

    A moratorium was placed on the acceptance of all sign applications by the County’s Planning & Zoning Office in September 2015, to give the council and staff the opportunity to revise the ordinance in its entirety.

    At their April 19 meeting, the council was presented with the red-lined eighth version of the ordinance, with Assistant County Attorney Jamie Sharp calling attention to definition changes, as well as changes to billboard and lamination standards.

    Sharp told the council that, under the draft ordinance, signs proposed to be prohibited include animated signs, abandoned signs (more than six months), mirror signs, V-shaped signs and signs with more than two faces.

    The signage fee structure was also addressed during Sharp’s presentation, with the staff recommending that construction permit and fees be raised from 50 cents per square foot (or a $25 minimum for signs greater than 32 square feet) to 65 cents (with a $32 minimum).

    “Did you calculate whether those fees would subsidize any new enforcement we may create with this whole operation?” asked Cole.

    “We actually backed in the fees based on the hiring of one staffer. The fees were developed in conjunction with the finance director, so those proposed fees will cover one new employee,” responded County Administrator Todd Lawson.

    Cole asked that whether, if it turned out that, with the county’s large size, one employee was not enough, it would be possible to change the fee structure without altering the ordinance.

    “The current proposal is that the fees are contained within the sign ordinance and we are only proposing to cover one employee,” said Lawson.

    “The short title in the proposed ordinance is rather broad. It deals with changes to the sign ordinance in general. That would allow for — as you receive comments from Planning & Zoning and through the public hearing process — if you looked at this and felt there needed to be amendments there, too, you could make those amendments,” added Sharp.

    Off-premises signs were also a big topic of discussion, with the current front-yard setback of 25 feet recommended to be raised to 40 feet. The separation distance from a dwelling, church, school or public lands for an off-premises sign is currently 300 feet; the proposed ordinance would require 500 feet.

    The current sign ordinance requires off-premises signs have a separation of at least 300 feet from other off-premises signs. The proposed ordinance would increase the separation distance to 1,000 feet, with an additional separation distance of 50 feet from on-premises signs.

    “So you don’t have those right on top of each other, which has been noted,” said Sharp.

    Councilman Rob Arlett emphasized that what is in the draft ordinance is not necessarily what will be approved by the council following its review and the public hearing process.

    “These are not in concrete, so these can be adjusted as we get more input, more feedback from the public. So I just want to make sure that is fully understood by anyone who may be seeing, or listening or reading this, that these are just proposed. It’s easier to come down than go back up with some of these numbers.”

    With the draft now introduced, it will go before the Planning & Zoning Commission for review and a public hearing on May 12. It is tentatively scheduled to be back on the county council’s agenda on May 24 for a public hearing.

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    DelDOT contractor Pennoni Associates Inc. will be inspecting the Charles W. Cullen Bridge over the Indian River Inlet starting April 28. As part of the inspection, there will be short duration closures of the entire bridge in both the northbound and southbound directions, to both motorists and pedestrians, officials announced this week.

    Northbound and southbound closures will occur intermittently from 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, until 5 a.m. on Friday, April 29. Motorists and pedestrians should expect delays in the area during those times, officials said.

    In the event of inclement weather, the inspection will take place on Sunday, May 1, from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Monday, May 2. If May 1 is also canceled due to weather, the inspection will be rescheduled for Monday evening, May 2.

    Motorists should use caution in the area, for bridge inspectors and the shifting of traffic. There will be one lane open to motorists in each direction between the short-duration closures.

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    Shoppers can find a Mother’s Day gift while browsing through a variety of vendors’ merchandise on Friday, May 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Brandywine Senior Living at Fenwick Island, 21111 Arrington Drive, Selbyville (West Fenwick). Shoppers can look for clothes, Brandywine Bead ladies, seaglass jewelry, Stella Dot, homemade crochet items, seaglass frames, suncatchers and more, with live music, hot dogs and lemonade on offer. Craft and art vendors who are interested in participating can email or call (302) 436-0808. Those planning to attend should RSVP at (302) 436-0808 by April 29.

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    That scrumptious combination of crunchy, chewy and salty called “bacon” might shrink when it hits the frying pan, but a festival in its honor in Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach just keeps getting bigger.

    Now in its third year, Bacon Fest “was created as a fun spring event for locals and visitors alike,” said organizer Justin Redefer. “Who doesn’t love bacon? We wanted to create a unique event highlighting local restaurants during off-season,” said Redefer, owner of and Bacon Fest creator.

    The first Dewey Beach Bacon Fest in 2014, Redefer said, was “wildly successful,” with more than 500 attendees. “The second year, 2015, we expanded the event to two days and added Rehoboth Beach, making this an awesome weekend full of bacon creations.”

    The 2016 Bacon Fest will be the largest by far, featuring more than 30 bacon creations available for pass-holders’ bacony-indulgence across two days, on Saturday in Dewey Beach or Sunday in Rehoboth Beach, according to Redefer.

    Although the event doesn’t “officially” start until Saturday, April 23, early-birds can pick up their passes at a Welcome Party/Pass Pick Up at Dewey Beer Company from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 22. That way, Redefer said, bacon fans can skip the line and go directly to their starting location and time on both days.

    Each pass (limited to 300 in all), he explained, contains a map with a start location and time, so as to keep the Bacon Fest moving along at a crisp pace.

    Otherwise, passes can be picked up at’s home base, at 102 New Orleans Street in Dewey Beach, with Pass Pick Up starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 23.

    “First-Wave” VIP passes cost $45 in advance for two days, offering an hour’s head-start on the bacon bonanza, while “Second Wave” general-admission passes cost $35 for those who can wait for a later start for “second breakfast.” A one-day Bacon Fest pass costs $20 and gives pass-holders a single day in either location with a start time that splits the others right down the middle, just like their favorite rashers.

    VIP Pass Start time on Saturday is “approximately” noon. General-admission pass-holders can start their bacon consumption at “approximately” 1 p.m., with one-day pass-holders going at it at 12:30 p.m.

    Festival goers’ mission: enjoy all the bacon creations Dewey has to offer, return their ballots to the location listed on their maps by 4 p.m., to help determine who will win bragging rights as Best Bacon on the Beach 2016.

    Then, Saturday evening, bacon aficionados can head to the beach for some crackling fun at the Bacon Bonfire — and parents are being encouraged to bring their “bacon bits” for some great family time.

    On Sunday, April 24, the festivities move to Rehoboth Beach, with passes available for pickup from The Pond or Nicola Pizza at 11 a.m., and VIP pass-holders again free to start breaking bacon at noon, while general-admission pass-holders start at 1 p.m. and one-day pass-holders at 12:30 p.m.

    Ballots for Best Bacon on the Beach/Rehoboth Beach should be turned in at the location specified on each map by 4 p.m. Awards will be given out Sunday afternoon at the Starboard restaurant.

    Participating businesses include: the Starboard restaurant, Nicola Pizza, Baked, Nalu Surf Bar, Salt Air, Dewey Beer Company, Lula Brazil, Woody’s Dewey Beach, Hyatt Place Dewey Beach, Summerhouse Restaurant & Saloon, Peppers, Jam, Dewey Grotto, The Pond—Rehoboth, Rusty Rudder, Conch Island Key West Bar & Grill, the Lighthouse, the Ice Cream Store—Rehoboth Beach, Que Pasa, Lupo Di Mare—Rehoboth Beach, Fifer’s Farm Market Café, Blotto Gelato, Jake’s Seafood—Rehoboth Beach, McShea’s Beach Pub & Grill, Dewey Beach Club, Kaisy’s Delights, Papa Grande’s—Rehoboth, Upslidedown Dave and America’s Pie at the Beach, Beachside.

    For more information, email or call (302) 227-7796. Passes for either day of Bacon Fest can be purchased online at

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    Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: A house is demolished on Route 26 on Monday, April 18.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: A house is demolished on Route 26 on Monday, April 18.Road construction will partially close the traffic intersection at Route 26/Omar Road/Powell Farm Road, at St. George’s United Methodist Church in Clarksville, for three weeks, starting on Monday.

    As part of the State Route 26 Mainline Improvement Project, a new traffic signal and intersection must be installed there, with a diagonal closure across the intersection during the work. Route 26 itself will be unimpeded from Atlantic Avenue to Vines Creek Road. Similarly, Omar Road and Powell Farm Road will still be connected. But Route 26 traffic cannot access Powell Farm or Omar roads during the closure.

    Pending weather, the closure will last from Monday, April 25, until Friday, May 13.

    The Department of Transportation (DelDOT) suggests a detour route from Powell Farm Road to Burbage Road to Route 17 and back to Route 26. Signs will be posted.

    Rather than meeting Route 26 at a four-way intersection under a traffic signal, Omar and Powell Farm roads will be reconfigured. Route 26 will get the same treatment as it did in Dagsboro about a decade ago. Route 26 will curve at the intersection but only meet Powell Farm Road with a traffic signal. A short distance west of Powell Farm Road, Omar Road will stick off like a spur.

    The changes are being made in order to improve the safety of the road system and to reduce the likelihood of future crashes at this intersection, officials noted.

    Message boards will be placed in the area to alert motorists of the new traffic pattern.  Flaggers will be on site, too.

    Although project officials said Route 26 itself would only close for a few months in 2015, the side roads have also been closed several times in the past few years.

    Several back roads were upgraded to alleviate traffic along the 4-mile construction project. Alternate routes include Burbage Road, Windmill Drive, Central Avenue and Beaver Dam Road.

    Main roadwork could finish by July

    Project contractor George & Lynch hopes to be off the roads by early July, project leaders told the public at the Construction Advisory Group meeting on April 12.

    That still means a few months of summer schedule work (including nighttime lane closures from Monday to Thursday, starting May 16).

    Turn lanes and new road shapes are visible now, but the entire configuration will be obvious to drivers in May. After that, the roads will just need two final inches of paving.

    Residents and business owners are still seeing signs of the unfinished project, including debris, jutting manholes and seemingly abandoned piles of soil.

    For instance, a tall manhole is still causing some consternation on Doc’s Place Extension (near the Beebe Walk-In Care).

    But builders will eventually install “surface paving to get the dips, the humps, the lumps out of the roadway,” said AECOM resident engineer Ken Cimino.

    The kinks are scheduled to be smoothed out by autumn. The project team and DelDOT will schedule several final walk-throughs to ensure the landscape, drainage and roadwork itself are up to snuff. For instance, they’re required to plant a certain quality of grass.

    Touchups will continue into autumn. But anyone with concerns is being asked to contact Ken Cimino, whose job includes all public outreach. He’s available at (302) 616-2621, or or at 17 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 2, in Ocean View.

    The project website is at People can also sign up for weekly email updates.

    “If you see something, yell,” said state Rep. Ron Gray, who complimented DelDOT’s communication plans, which he said are far improved after the catastrophe of Route 54’s frustrating upgrades a few years prior.

    Because of frequent communication with the public and businesses, the project team has made adjustments to help things flow better for the public, such as changing lane closure times for the late-night dinner crowd.

    Recently, everything has gone pretty smoothly, Cimino said. The biggest surprise was warm weather during the holiday season, which allowed paving into January. Weather can be so variable that it doesn’t present a full picture to simply say the official construction calendar had fallen behind by 75 days, at last count.

    Motorists should drive carefully through the construction zones, as flaggers and traffic cones will direct vehicles through the one-lane closures.

    Crews will continue grading soil along the roadside from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., preparing for sidewalks between West Avenue and the Assawoman Canal, as well as swale ditches east of Whites Neck Road.

    Milling and paving continues near Powell Farm Road from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    Sussex County is working parallel to the Route 26 project to install sewers in the area of Route 17, but those aren’t operational yet.

    Construction Advisory Group meetings are held every other month (next on Tuesday, June 14), at 10 a.m. at Bethany Beach Town Hall.

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    Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Frank and Colleen Twardzik pose for a photo outside their home in?Ocean View. Frank will be sworn in as a town councilman April 26, at 6 p.m.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Frank and Colleen Twardzik pose for a photo outside their home in?Ocean View. Frank will be sworn in as a town councilman April 26, at 6 p.m.Having been involved behind the scenes in local politics for a number of years, Ocean View resident Frank Twardzik is finally stepping behind the dais to serve as an Ocean View town councilman.

    Twardzik and his wife, Colleen, built their home in 1991, and have been attending town council meetings ever since.

    “I rarely missed a council meeting. Then, a number of years ago, we had the opportunity to get involved in some of the local elections here. My wife and I were the campaign managers for Geoff Christ and Michele Steffans, and we were also the campaign managers for Tom Sheeran,” he said. “We had a small hand in changing the atmosphere of the town council.

    “I thought, ‘Well, it’s about time I throw my name into the hat.’ Several people in town asked me to consider running, and I agreed to run.”

    Twardzik, who was the only District 2 resident to file to serve on the Ocean View Town Council this year, will be sworn in on Tuesday, April 26, at 6 p.m. at town hall.

    “I firmly believe that the government which affects you most is your local government. Sure, there are laws passed in D.C. and Dover, but when it comes to it, the people that you deal with every day is where you live,” he said. “Ocean View, especially these past few years, has had the fortune of having excellent councilpeople on board.”

    Also serving as vice president of the 38th District Republican Club PAC, Twardzik is an associate member of the Sussex County Women’s Republican Club, of which Colleen Twardzik is a member.

    “We believe in taking an active part in local politics and also state politics,” he said. “Instead of just talking about something, go and do it. Get involved.”

    Twardzik praised former councilman Sheeran, who passed away last fall, for his excellent service to the Town and its residents.

    “Tom was an excellent, excellent councilman. We would like to keep up that tradition. I look at us as stewards of the town. Any decision we make should be for the best interest of the town. We should put aside our prejudices and decide what’s best for the town. There are things I’d like to see done.”

    Along with being actively involved in town politics, the Twardziks also served as state Rep. Ron Gray’s campaign managers when he first ran for that 38th District post.

    “We’re fortunate here. In Pennsylvania, the only time you saw your politician was during an election year. Here, you’re meeting your politicians on a monthly basis… they’re hosting morning coffees... Plus, you walk into say, Sen. Hocker’s store, and he walks up to you and says, ‘How are you?’ That’s first how I met Gerald. Rep. Gray is the same way.

    “What’s unique is these individuals have their home phones listed, and I think it takes a very big man to do that.”

    The Twardziks were first introduced to coastal Delaware when they were invited to visit friends.

    “In 1979, we were invited down by a friend of mine who had a boat at the Indian River Marina for a weekend. We came down, walked the docks, and there happened to be a boat there for sale and we liked it. At that time, I knew nothing about boats — absolutely zero. Since then, I’ve had my master’s license since ’88.”

    They named their boat, the Blind Date, because that’s how the two first met. Now, as Twardzik describes it, the couple are “Mutt and Jeff” and will be celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary next month.

    Twardzik spent his working life serving as a Pennsylvania state trooper for 27 years.

    “This goes way back, to when I was a little kid, when we were living in Pine Ford Acres, which was a military housing project from World War II,” said Twardzik, of why he went into law enforcement.

    “One day, there was a knock at our door, and this giant of a man was at the door. And that giant of a man was a Pennsylvania state trooper. That’s back when they used to wear the bloomer pants and the high boots. There was a friend of mine who ran away from home, and he decided to knock on our family door to see if we knew anything. Ever since then, I wanted to be a state trooper.”

    Once he graduated from high school, Twardzik matriculated to Harrisburg Area Community College and earned an associate’s degree in police science and administration, before graduating from Central Missouri State with a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement.

    As an Ocean View councilman, Twardzik said he plans to be a staunch supporter of the Ocean View Police Department.

    “I believe the No. 1 function of any government is to keep its people safe. With that in mind, and especially with my background, I’m a very big supporter of the Ocean View Police Department and Chief Ken McLaughlin and all the officers. Everybody who works in that police department is top-notch, as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

    “With that said, I think all of our Town employees are great people. My goal is, when someone comes to work for this Town, they look at it as a career, not just as a stopover or stepping stone.”

    He added that he hopes the Town will continue to stay on “an even keel.”

    “I think we should take advantage of some opportunities. Route 26 is one opportunity I think we should take advantage of,” he said, noting right-of-way properties the Delaware Department of Transportation has purchased for its recent road expansion project. “It would be nice if the Town could have those properties deeded to us and partner with someone to beautify the Route 26 corridor, similar to how Bethany Beach is beautified with the flowers and plants.”

    Twardzik said he is looking forward to the next two years serving his neighbors and hopes to help keep Ocean View a beautiful place to live.

    “I would like to leave Ocean View a better place than how I found it. With that said, I think Ocean View is a great place to live now. And I would like it to be an even greater place to live,” he said. “I’m looking forward to going on the council. After 27 years of serving the public, I’m excited to serve the public again.

    “I’m looking forward to my neighbors asking me what I can do for them.”

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    South Bethany won’t require a 2016 town council election, as exactly four candidates have offered to fill the available three council seats and mayoral spot.

    Mayor Pat Voveris and Councilwoman Sue Callaway will both keep their current seats. Newcomers Don Boteler and William “Tim” Shaw registered to fill the seats vacated by outgoing councilmen George Junkin and Tim Saxton, who chose not to file for reelection.

    The two new council members will be sworn in at the June 4 organizational meeting, for two-year terms.

    A fifth candidate had also filed, but she withdrew soon thereafter.

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    Prison inmates in Smyrna live a life surrounded by barbed wire. Visitors to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC) can only meet with inmates by passing through a series of automatically locked antechambers — so many that it’s easy to lose count.

    But a new culinary training program could help unlock doors for them once their prison sentence ends.

    Plans have begun to renovate an empty cafeteria at the prison into the Matt Haley Culinary Arts Training Center. That will bring a commercial-style restaurant kitchen and attached classroom to Delaware’s largest prison for men.

    The area was dedicated on April 19 to the late Matt Haley, founder of the SoDel Concepts restaurant group, who was an early supporter of culinary training programs for Delaware offenders, based on his own experience in the prison system. Haley often supported ex-offenders looking for a second chance.

    Gov. Jack Markell and Delaware First Lady Carla Markell said on Tuesday that they were proud to join an event so close to their hearts.

    Four months into his governorship, Markell’s Executive Order 7 demanded more programs to reduce recidivism. Education and training are looked at as tools to help ex-offenders to succeed in the community.

    Delaware spends about $280 million on the Department of Corrections, Markell said, and the State is trying to spend its money smarter by reducing the number of pre-trial detainees, preventing recidivism and preparing inmates for life after prison.

    “We know having a skill on the outside that is applicable is really important,” Markell said, especially since 97 percent of inmates will eventually return to the outside. The culinary field is the No. 1 employer of people who have formerly been incarcerated, he said.

    “When I go home, I need all the options I can get,” said culinary student Chadd Fields, a Wilmingtonian who hopes to leave prison in 10 years. “I always liked cooking, making people happy.”

    The restaurant industry is more forgiving of offenders, said Fields, who is interested in the catering field.

    “We’re trying. We’re trying to turn our life around,” Fields told the Coastal Point. “Don’t be surprised if you hear some good things about us in the future.”

    From the classroom to the kitchen

    About four weeks ago, the first class of students began training for this week’s food-safety and -prep certification test. They’ve studied daily for the ServSafe test, which could earn them an industry credential and show formal proof of culinary training.

    It’s a lot of book-work now, with a management test next, but the students hope to begin cooking in September.

    The students smiled to see their instructor take the podium. Chef Anthony Stella jumped at the chance to teach this new culinary program, “to share what I know with those less fortunate than myself.”

    He works with the inmates daily, setting aside time from his own venture, Chef Anthony’s Italian Market in Chadds Ford, Pa.

    “I teach them, I talk with them. I even eat lunch with them every day. I’m so excited for this kitchen to open up, so I can start molding them into [productive] citizens,” Stella said.

    He said he is very confident in his students’ abilities to pass their first two certification tests, in kitchen safety and management.

    “I hope we can make you and all the citizens of Delaware proud,” he told those gathered for the dedication.

    Students called Stella “likeable and down-to-earth,” saying he even does homework with them.

    Daryl Baldwin and Hilton Tribbett said they were surprised just to see culinary programs offered. They already work in the prison’s education department, so they jumped at the chance to cook. Although programs including HVAC and plumbing are offered, they said the training isn’t always consistent, so it’s sometimes hard to make headway.

    Baldwin has already worked in the restaurant industry, and he hopes to someday manage his own shop.

    Meanwhile, Tribbett grew up with a mother who loved to cook — especially baking.

    “I said I wanted to get in the kitchen … and now it’s here,” said Tribbett, adding that he is grateful for the opportunity at hand.

    The waiting list for the program is already two years long, Baldwin said.

    The inmates said they want people outside of prison to reconsider their perceptions of inmates in general. In reality, they’re just regular people who made a few mistakes, and “We’re just trying to do our time,” Baldwin said.

    The students won’t be feeding regular meals to other inmates. But the long-range goal is to serve guests during honor visits, which might include a family coming to celebrate a special occasion with an inmate. Currently, they can enjoy a picnic lunch together, said Robert Coupe, commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction.

    Initially, the Delaware State Legislature approved $1.2 million for the project, which is now in the design phase. First, the empty square cafeteria needs to be brought up to state kitchen standards.

    Culinary programs are already found at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution and Sussex Community Correctional Center (which houses work-release and violation-of-probation centers).

    Haley’s past becomes his legacy

    Just before Haley died in August of 2014, he had visited the female prisoners at BWCI and described his most memorable meals, appreciating the simplicity of simple, fresh food — especially when shared with others.

    “It can bring people together. It is a common language, and it allowed him to go places and meet people he normally wouldn’t meet,” said Coupe.

    The 53-year-old Haley died after a motorcycle collision in the mountains of northeastern India, 10 days into a humanitarian mission to India and Nepal.

    “The most important thing in my life is not only to be available, but support other people who need help,” Haley told the Coastal Point in 2014, “to be able to be a positive example … because someone was positive in my life.”

    Haley would be proud of the Smyrna culinary program because he once received the same opportunity, said Haley’s younger brother, Tommy.

    The restaurateur made no secret of his own harsh childhood, drug addiction and eventual prison sentence. He learned the culinary arts in his early 30s, in a rehabilitation facility. Over the years, luck and skill led to a solid reputation as a chef and restaurateur.

    His sense of success and humility led him to become a world-class humanitarian and, just a few months before he died, the 2014 winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. (At the time, Haley said he wanted to use the award’s prestige to jump-start fundraising efforts for inmate culinary programs, Coupe noted.)

    “It was a challenge for me to clean up my life over 20 years ago and put myself on the right path,” Haley had told the Coastal Point in 2014, grateful for the people who gave him opportunities to be successful.

    “He was happy when he was in the kitchen, but he was happier when he was helping people,” said Alan Levin of SoDel Concepts.

    “Even more important than naming a building is what’s going to happen in the building,” Markell said. “We are so grateful that a whole lot of people’s lives are going to be better off because of him.”

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    The Indian River School District has pulled its longtime chief financial officer out of the office.

    “Effective April 24, 2016, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Miller has been placed on paid administrative leave by the Indian River School District,” stated Superintendent Susan Bunting. “State and federal laws protecting the privacy rights of employees prevent the district from commenting further on this issue at this time.”

    Miller has been IRSD’s CFO since September of 1998.

    During Miller’s leave of absence, the Delmar School District is helping the IRSD.

    “The financial department is running business as usual,” said district spokesperson David Maull, but Delmar will provide the administrative support, such as signing off on financial documents.

    “With Delmar’s assistance, we’re going to be just fine, as far as conducting our regular financial business, paying our bills and everything,” Maull said. “We’ve got a really good finance [office].”

    But the IRSD is in the middle of writing applications to the state for three new schools, plus renovations and additions to maybe four more. The board of education interviewed architectural firms on Monday to begin planning. Maull couldn’t say how Miller’s departure might affect those proposed projects.

    When asked if an investigation is ongoing, Maull said he couldn’t comment.

    Miller was absent from the IRSD board meeting on Monday.

    He is also president of the Indian River Volunteer Fire Company and chairman of the board at the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Orchard/Riverdale.

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    Registration is under way for the annual golf tournament to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research and the Sussex Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, sponsored by Coastal Sussex Chapter 1690 of the National Active & Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE).
    The charity event will be held on Friday, June 3, at 9 a.m. at the Salt Pond Golf Club near Bethany Beach. Prior tournaments have resulted in contributions of more than $7,000 for Alzheimer’s research.
    The tournament fee is $75 per player, which includes the greens fees, a cart and a luncheon at the Cottage Café in Bethany Beach following the tournament. The format will be a shotgun start and “best ball” play.
    The post-tournament luncheon will include door prizes, prizes for the top-finishing foursomes and a live auction of items, including golf foursomes donated by area golf courses.
    For a $50 contribution, individuals and businesses can sponsor a hole at the tournament. Sponsors will have their name and business advertised on their respective tee boxes.
    Anyone interested in registering for the tournament should contact Bob Schappert at Charity sponsors and donors of gift certificates or goods should contact Carol Weber at

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    With warm weather finally having arrived, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police this week reminded boaters to make sure their vessel is ready for a trouble-free day enjoying Delaware’s waterways by performing a pre-departure check. Before hooking up your boat trailer, boaters should have:
    • All current required licenses and registrations, including fishing license(s), boat registration, boating safety certificate and, for vessels registered out-of-state launching at a Division of Fish & Wildlife tidal boat ramp, a boat ramp certificate;
    • Enough lifejackets for everyone on board, including children 12 or younger, who are required by Delaware law to wear them; for vessels 16 feet or more in length, a throwable life preserver is also required;
    • Checked the local weather forecast;
    • Left a float plan with a responsible friend, family member or local marina, including a description of your boat, when you plan to head out, who is going with you, where you plan to go and when you plan to return;
    • Checked for working navigation lights, steering and throttle controls;
    • Checked oil, fuel and fluid levels;
    • Checked for fuel leaks, including hose clamps and connections;
    • Drained all water from the engine compartment or bilge, and replaced and secured the bilge plug;
    • A fully charged engine battery and fire extinguishers;
    • Emergency flares and a fully charged cell phone or marine radio; and
    • Plenty of water to stay hydrated and sunscreen to protect against sunburn, which can be severe on the water.
    “Boaters are encouraged to remember the importance of lifejacket use,” added Sgt. John McDerby, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police. “Delaware law requires that all children 12 years old and younger aboard a vessel and all personal watercraft operators wear a lifejacket while under way. The law does not require wearing a lifejacket for those age 13 to adult on vessels other than PWCs — but boat owners/operators are required to carry a lifejacket for each person aboard a vessel.”
    For more information on safe boating practices in Delaware, including a float plan form, visit the Delaware Boating Safety page online, or pick up a copy of the Handbook of Delaware Boating Laws & Responsibilities at the DNREC licensing desk.
    DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between April 11 and 17 made 1,159 contacts with anglers, boaters, hunters and the general public, including 81 vessel boardings for boating safety and fishing regulation compliance checks. Officers responded to 39 complaints and issued 16 citations.
    In an incident of note, on April 13, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police cited Jeffery M. Tisher, 44, of Ellendale, for one count of hunting wild turkeys over a baited area near Ellendale. Tisher was issued a $342 fine, including court costs.
    Citations issued during the week included trespassing to hunt, hunting wild turkeys over a baited area, two citations for operating a motor vehicle in a closed area on a state wildlife area, spinning tires/speed exhibition, five citations for unlicensed fishing, two citations for trespassing to fish, possession of unlawfully-taken white perch by using a net in a spillway, two citations for illegal use of cast net in tidal water within 300 feet of a dam or spillway and operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets.

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