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- 08/07/14--07:03: _Comments sought on ...
- 08/07/14--07:04: _Frankford council a...
- 08/07/14--07:05: _Global Leadership S...
- 08/07/14--07:06: _Alumni to return fo...
- 08/07/14--07:06: _Frankford council h...
- 08/14/14--08:50: _Route 26 workers co...
- 08/14/14--08:52: _IRSD schools to hos...
- 08/14/14--08:52: _IRSD Adult Educatio...
- 08/14/14--08:53: _High school to host...
- 08/14/14--08:54: _Biden announces Del...
- 08/14/14--08:57: _Professional musici...
- 08/14/14--10:35: _Fenwick Lions offer...
- 08/14/14--10:37: _Family Fun Night pl...
- 08/14/14--10:40: _Drivers urged to no...
- 08/14/14--10:50: _Millville Town Coun...
- 08/14/14--10:52: _Tanning beds off-li...
- 08/14/14--11:12: _Seatbelt violation ...
- 08/14/14--11:14: _Ocean View PD arres...
- 08/14/14--11:27: _South Bethany discu...
- 08/14/14--11:28: _OVHS to hold annual...
- 08/07/14--07:03: Comments sought on Hurricane Sandy grants for historic purposes
- 08/07/14--07:04: Frankford council addresses charter amendment procedure
- 08/07/14--07:05: Global Leadership Summit coming to Ocean View
- 08/07/14--07:06: Alumni to return for Operation SEAs the Day
- 08/07/14--07:06: Frankford council hears about employee pension options
- 08/14/14--08:50: Route 26 workers continue to prepare for winter closures
- 08/14/14--08:52: IRSD schools to host open houses
- 08/14/14--08:52: IRSD Adult Education program offers fall courses
- 08/14/14--08:53: High school to host new student orientation
- 08/14/14--10:35: Fenwick Lions offer vision screening to vets and families
- 08/14/14--10:37: Family Fun Night planned on Friday at Kids Cottage
- 08/14/14--10:40: Drivers urged to not let ‘suicide lanes’ live up to their name
- 08/14/14--10:50: Millville Town Council seat beckons to Susan Brewer
- 08/14/14--10:52: Tanning beds off-limits to minors in Delaware as of 2015
- 08/14/14--11:12: Seatbelt violation leads to heroin arrest near Dagsboro
- 08/14/14--11:14: Ocean View PD arrests alleged car thief, wanted man
- 08/14/14--11:27: South Bethany discusses speed, house height
- 08/14/14--11:28: OVHS to hold annual barbecue fundraiser on Sept. 6
On July 29, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs announced three awards for the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Assistance Grants for Historic Properties program, and the agency is seeking public comment on its finding that the selected projects will not adversely affect historic properties.
The grant program is funded under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama in response to the effects of the hurricane, which struck the East Coast of the United States in late October 2012.
As part of the act, $50 million was appropriated to the National Park Service to cover the costs of preserving and/or rehabilitating historic properties damaged by the storm. Subsequently, the National Park Service allocated $1 million for Delaware’s component of the program, which is being administered by the Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs. The purpose of the program is to help return damaged historic properties to useful condition, preserving the state’s cultural heritage for future generations.
The division publicly announced the availability of the grants and posted information on the program in January 2014. To qualify, properties were required to be listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places, and have documented damage that resulted from the effects of the storm. Eligible properties included those owned by private individuals or organizations, local governments or the State.
The division received three applications. A technical-review committee found that all three of the applications qualified for funding according to the selection criteria and application requirements. Because the currently approved applications did not exhaust the full amount of funds awarded to Delaware, the division may elect to hold another round of grant applications, officials said.
Additionally, in accordance with its agreement with the National Park Service, the division plans to apply some of the remaining funds toward improving data on the location and nature of historic properties in areas vulnerable to such storm events, assisting in disaster planning.
The three historic properties that will be assisted by the program are:
Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse, situated on the outer breakwater in Lewes harbor, built in 1926 and listed in the National Register in 1989 as a contributing structure within the National Harbor of Refuge and Delaware Breakwater Harbor Historic District, a nationally significant aid-to-navigation and safe harbor.
The non-profit ownership of the lighthouse sought to deal with damage from wind-driven water and waves and received a grant of up to $360,000 for replacement of the dock and stairs leading to lighthouse and assessment of the condition of the lighthouse.
The Milford New Century Club, at 18 N. Church Street in Milford, built in 1885 and individually listed in the National Register in 1982 as part of a multiple-property nomination for the City of Milford. The building is considered significant for its architecture and as a long-standing community center, a purpose it still serves. The non-profit ownership sought help to deal with the results of high wind, wind-driven rain and rising water, with a grant of up to $60,000.
Work will include replacement of the roof and associated interior and exterior repairs; exterior painting and associated repairs; and replacement of the HVAC system; to secure the building’s exterior to prevent further damage and deterioration, and to allow the building to again be used year-round for the organization’s civic projects and rental for local events
The Phillips Potato House, at 7472 Portsville Road in Laurel, built circa 1900 and individually listed in the National Register in 1990 as part of a multiple-property nomination for sweet potato houses, a specialized agricultural outbuilding in Sussex County. The potato houses reflect the modernization of agricultural practices in southern Delaware during the first half of the 20th century, including the emergence of truck farming, officials said.
The private ownership of the property sought to repair the results of high wind, wind-driven rain and water run-off, with a grant of up to $42,000, for removal of damaged asphalt siding and repair of wood siding and trim; window repair; removal of metal roofing and restoration of wood shingles; and foundation repairs. The grant-funded work will secure the building’s exterior to prevent further damage and deterioration, and provide an opportunity for returning the building to agricultural use and/or for an adaptive reuse to include public interpretation of agricultural practices.
In order to receive funding, the grantees must ensure that the repair work is consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties and must maintain and preserve the properties for a period of time thereafter. Grantees must also document that consulting and contractual services have been open to competitive bidding and selected in accordance with state and federal law.
Grantees must also comply with a number of other reporting requirements to demonstrate that the project is properly carried out. The commitments are documented in a grant agreement that is signed by the division and the grantee.
The division has received the National Park Service’s approval to award the three grants on the condition that all program requirements are being met including compliance with federal historic preservation and environmental laws. Because the program is federally-funded, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires that the projects’ effects on historic properties are taken into account. Section 106 also affords local governments, interested parties and the public the opportunity to comment on the projects.
For more information on the law and the public’s role in the review process, see the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s publication, “Protecting Historic Properties: A Citizen’s Guide to Section 106 Review.”
To fulfill its Section 106 responsibilities, the National Park Service has negotiated a programmatic agreement with the 12 states affected by Hurricane Sandy. The agreement will govern the project-review process for the states’ grant programs, including provisions for public notification and involvement in the program. The agreement also prohibits use of the funds for work that would adversely affect historic properties.
The division has found that the projects will not adversely affect historic properties because the proposed work will be designed to meet the above-referenced federal standards; the grantees must make legally-binding commitments to ensure that the work is properly carried out; and the division and the National Park Service will have continuing oversight of the projects.
To comment on this finding, or to request additional information about the grant program, the Section 106 review process, or the programmatic agreement, contact Gwen Davis, deputy state historic preservation officer, at (302) 736-7410 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments must be received by Aug. 29.
At an Aug. 4 town council meeting, Frankford resident Jerry Smith voiced his concerns regarding the council vote that took place last year on the introduction of town charter amendments to the Delaware General Assembly.
Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader stated that, in December of 2010, the council had adopted rules of procedure for its various bodies and agencies, with the rules of procedure for the Town to be decided by Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure.
“In the absence of an expressed regulation, a proposition is carried in the legislative assemblies by the majority of the votes cast,” read Schrader from the manual. “However, the rules actually say three affirmative votes should be required to approve any matter within the jurisdiction.”
Schrader said that, looking at the approved minutes of the Dec. 22, 2013, meeting, the only item then-Council President Jesse Truitt recused himself from was voting on Christmas bonuses.
“There were only two votes,” said Schrader of that issue. “Theoretically, we need to ratify what took place on Dec. 22 or get the money back.”
Schrader went on to state that the minutes also reflect that Truitt presented to the members of the town council in attendance at the Dec. 22 meeting the two proposed Charter changes, dealing with limitations of employees’ health insurance and pensions, as well as an amendment for annexation.
“There were three votes in favor of sending that along to the General Assembly,” said Schrader, referring to the minutes, which stated that Truitt and Councilwomen Cheryl Workman and Pam Davis were the members who voted that evening. “Which is the majority of the members elected,” Schrader noted. “The two charter amendments had a majority of the elected members approving it.”
Resident Greg Welch had written a letter to the Delaware Department of Justice regarding his concerns about the proposed Town pension plan. Schrader said he had responded to the complaint on behalf of the Town, stating that, “Mr. Welch comments duly noted concerning the effect of any future change of the pension or health insurance coverage for town and employees and council members.”
He added that Truitt would be required to recuse himself from any future discussion, debate or vote related to a topic in which he could have financial interest, as his wife, Terry Truitt works as the town administrator.
According to Schrader, the Department of Justice reviewed the letters sent to the department by Welch, along with Schrader’s response on behalf of the Town, and determined to take no further action on the matter.
Smith said that his concern was that the Town did not have an open discussion with its residents prior to the charter change.
“That was my complaint to the Attorney General’s Office. It wasn’t about the vote,” said Welch. “It was that it showed up in written form without it even being discussed that we needed a change… They have no record on the agenda on changing the charter.”
“I thought we had discussed it,” said newly installed Council President Joanne Bacon. “I thought it was discussed in a budget meeting.”
“It was brought up in a budget meeting,” agreed Welch,” but it wasn’t an agenda item to talk about the town charter.”
Schrader said that the meeting’s minutes show that Welch was present for the discussions.
“In fact, on July 1, 2013, he made a comment concerning the issues of the 15 percent cap,” said Schrader. “When the Attorney General responded, he referred to the fact that Mr. Welch had been in attendance... It didn’t occur in a vacuum.”
Janet Hearn asked if the council has to take any action following their vote to send the charter change request to the General Assembly, where it was approved.
Schrader said the charter change has already taken place, and no further action is required of the council.
Resident Marty Presley said on Aug. 4 that the way in which the charter change was voted upon sounded “unethical” and asked if there is a mechanism in place for a rescission.
Schrader said that to change the charter back, it would require the council to vote to send another charter revision request to the General Assembly.
a concern, call to action
Also on Aug. 4, Frankford Police Chief William Dudley said that some minor vandalism has been noticed recently in the town park.
“We have one of the finest parks in Sussex County,” noted Dudley.
Broken glass has been found on the basketball court multiple times, even within hours of the court being cleaned.
“That creates concern,” he said.
Dudley said that the park’s basketball nets have been torn down and its tetherball court has also been vandalized, with the ball being ripped off of the string.
“It’s childish and it’s simple, but [it adds up],” he said.
Dudley said he is looking for grant funding that would be available to pay for some surveillance of the park, to potentially help deter vandalism.
“We put too much time and too much money into this park,” he said of allowing the status quo.
The Town has been given a set of cornhole boards for its park; however, Dudley said he has yet to install them.
“I’m hesitant to put them up because I don’t want them destroyed and I don’t want them to walk away,” he said.
Resident Liz Carpenter said she thinks cornhole boards would be a great addition to the park.
“Would it be possible to put the toss bags in a sign-out or some sort of machine where you would have to use quarters, to draw revenue to improve the park?” she asked.
Bacon said that is something the council would have to research.
Dudley asked that residents be cognizant of the park and the activity that occurs there.
“School will start soon, and that should solve a lot of the problems,” he added.
Councilman Charles Shelton said the Town does have a nice park, and he hopes all town residents will work together to take care of it.
“It’s going to take everybody in this town,” he said. “If you see something in this town, address it — be it contacting Bill or me — to address it to keep this town safe.”
Bacon asked Dudley if the town has a curfew. Dudley said that, currently, Frankford does not, and he noted that such an ordinance could be viewed as prohibitive, if a guardian were to send a minor out past the Town’s curfew to go to a town business.
“It’s something that probably needs to be looked at,” he said, adding that he would work with Schrader to look into it.
FOIA request reveals that financial
documents don’t exist
Resident Kathy Murray told those present at the Aug. 4 meeting that a request she had made to the Town, through the Freedom of Information Act, for the Town’s 12-month actuals to budget was not fulfilled because the documents she requested do not exist.
“What financial data is provided to the CPA for year-end financial statement preparation?” asked Murray.
“The auditors or the accountants, they are on-site. They have access to go remotely to go in from behind the scenes … through a special program that has been initiated this year. They’re on-site now and will be for the next two weeks, approximately,” responded Terry Truitt, adding that the accountants pull financial data from what has been paid, received and entered.
“The council has never seen a full 12-month budget,” said Murray. “That’s a disgrace that this Town does not know how much money, far beyond Terry’s tenure here, we would spend each year.”
Schrader said he works with other towns that handle their financial reports differently and has given Truitt examples of those budgets.
“I’ve given those to Terry to see how it’s done, what I consider a better way or a proper way, so that everybody is informed,” he said. Of the council, he added, “If they direct her to do that, then those reports will be available to everybody. I agree with you — that that’s the better way to do it.”
Truitt said she had forwarded the information to the Town’s accountant and is in the process of implementing it by Sept. 1.
Murray requested that the same be done for the last three fiscal years.
The council agreed that, once the auditors complete the 2013-2014 year, the same should be done for the three previous fiscal years, as well, and the topic will be revisited at the Town’s September council meeting.
In other news:
• Resident Robert Murray spoke to the council during citizens’ privilege, voicing his concern that letters of correspondence sent to council members were not being received by those councilpersons.
Murray said that, in July, he had written a letter to Bacon, requesting information pertaining to the 2 percent gross receipts tax.
“It was received by the Town on July 15. It was addressed to the acting president, Joanne Bacon. Between July 15 and Friday the 18th, Vincent Hitchens was asked by Jesse Truitt if he recalled the noted conversation that I put in the letter after the Feb. 14 monthly meeting. Vincent said that he did, and as a result, the Town attorney got involved without Joanne’s awareness. She had not been informed about the letter.
“The perception is that Terry Truitt saw the letter referencing her husband and either gave the letter to her husband or informed him of its content… This creates quite a concern to me. If there’s any correspondence going to our president … is the mail going to get to her?” he asked. “When the mail doesn’t get to our president, I don’t know how we can expect that to be handled properly. I think that’s something that needs to be addressed by the council.”
“We will discuss that, Mr. Murray,” responded Bacon.
• Following the resignation of Jesse Truitt as council president (though not as a council member) at last month’s meeting, the Frankford Town Council has reorganized. Joanne Bacon will now serve as council president; Pamela Davis will serve as vice-president; Cheryl Workman will continue to serve as secretary/treasurer; Charles Shelton will serve as police liaison; and Jesse Truitt will serve as water department liaison.
• Resident Liz Carpenter asked the council if they had given any thought to opening a town farmers’ market.
“I know I have a lot of vegetables at my house,” she said. “I think it would be a great way to get the town together. I think it would be something fun to do. I would be interested in helping that out, if that’s something you’d be interested in doing.”
The Rev. David Humphrey said his own ministry was affected by the Global Leadership Summit, and now Sussex Countians have the chance to attend the seminar, on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 14 and 15.
The GLS is broadcast live from Chicago to more than 300 locations, this year including Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church for the first time.
“The quality of the leadership training is excellent. It really is a world-class event here, [with] experts from different sectors: church, nonprofits, government, academic…” Humphrey said.
More than a dozen presenters will share their experience, from filmmaker Tyler Perry to former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
This isn’t a How-To seminar, with specifics like how to start a Bible school. Instead, “Willow Creek [Association] has asked people, ‘What would you share with us about becoming a better leader?’” Humphrey explained. “We’re just asking others to come to the table.”
“Everybody has influence. Everybody is a leader in some sense,” Humphrey said.
“I really wanted to expose our folks at Mariner’s to that quality training,” although anyone is welcome to attend, he noted. “It was moving. In some ways, it was like drinking from a fire hose: a lot of great, great information.”
“When cultivated in a culture of Christ-centered leadership, your influence can change lives and the organizations in which you lead,” reads one GLS pamphlet.
“There will be plenty of information that’s applicable to people who are not churchgoers, but it is unapologetically Christ-centered,” Humphrey said.
“For me personally, here were three presentations that I have found myself going back to, so I think that’ll be different for other people. There’s so much information.”
He was even inspired to buy sociologist Brené Brown’s book after hearing her lecture.
“She talked about how shame and blame are normal ways that we seek to motivate people, and they’re also generally ineffective. I’ve done a lot of thinking about that in my own ministry.”
Truly a worldwide event, the 20th Global Leadership Summit will be translated and broadcast internationally in autumn, Humphrey said. Mariner’s Bethel is the only Delaware location.
The two-day seminar will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. Snacks will be provided, and guests are responsible for their own lunches. Participants can register online at www.willowcreek.com/summit. Mariner Bethel’s is host site #331. The cost varies from $249 regularly to $99 for military or $79 for students/faculty.
For more information, call Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church at (302) 539-9510 or email email@example.com.
In less than a month, 30 soldiers and their immediate families will come to Bethany Beach to take part in the second year of Operation SEAs the Day, as “Very Important Families” (VIFs).
“Last year was our first year, and we brought 25 families,” said Richard Katon, a founding member and board member of Operation SEAs the Day.
Katon joined Becky Johns and Diane Pohanka in creating the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, with a simple mission: “to organize and facilitate a beach week event for our wounded soldiers and their families as a means of showing our appreciation for their service and sacrifice. It is our hope that such a community-based gesture of support will be comforting and help ease their transition back into civilian life.”
“We felt it was important because the resources that are provided to the soldiers are so meager after they return,” said Katon. “They get immediate care at Walter Reed and some other VA hospitals, but after that, they go into their community and are very isolated. They don’t have anyone with similar experiences to talk to. They get very withdrawn. We knew this, but we didn’t realize the depth of it until we started the program.”
“Most of the people aren’t able to work successfully,” he noted. “Their lives have really been terrible. They’re economically deprived, as well as socially and emotionally. All of these things got so much better [when they were here]. First, just being at the beach is therapeutic for everybody, but being in a community where they saw signs of welcome and kind people reacting to them.”
Not only are the soldiers affected by their deployment, said Katon, but so are the families.
“The women talked a lot. We had a spa day for the women,” he said. “They just face a series of unique problems that they feel comfortable talking to each other about, but they can’t talk to their next-door neighbors about necessarily — the nightmares, the hospitalizations, the kids feeling separation anxiety, which sometimes leads to learning problems.”
This year, Warrior Week will be held Sept. 2-7, with numerous activities available to the troops and their families, including a family night at the bandstand, a concert at the Freeman Stage, boating and more.
Operation SEAs the Day works with the Wounded Warrior Project to select through an application process wounded warriors and their families to come to Bethany Beach for the weeklong retreat.
“We wanted the event to be bigger, but we also realize that Bethany is a small community and we don’t want to overwhelm the sponsors and the businesses who have come out and been so generous,” said Katon of inviting five more families to participate in the event this year for the first time. “There’s just a balance that we’re trying to seek to provide services for the most soldier families as we can without overwhelming the town.”
Along with adding five additional VIFs to this year’s invite list, Katon said that five alumni families from last year’s event will be returning to the beach to help with the week’s activities.
“We picked five of the families that seemed very engaged in the process and somewhat articulate about the process, whom we felt really benefitted tremendously from having participated last year. Each one of those families will informally be given families, to oversee their introduction to the process, in addition to the host family,” he explained.
Katon said that, as last year’s event was occurring, the organizers realized that some of the warriors and their families would want to return to Bethany Beach and came up with the idea to have returning alumni.
“But we really wanted this to grow and take in new people,” he said. “One of the things we wanted to do was blend those two purposes… In melding those two ideas, we felt that having a group that had done it before be there to sort of help break the ice with these guys. A lot of these wounded warriors felt more comfortable dealing with other people in similar circumstances that they felt understood their problems better.”
Katon said the returning alumni can serve as a resource for the VIFs, as well as the host families.
“We thought it would add another dimension of comfort and familiarity. The people who volunteer to be in the alumni family group won’t be receiving all of the benefits of the new VIFs.”
Katon said the five alumni families basically “chose themselves” and were eager to give back to the event.
“Most of them had called us and said, ‘Is there something more that we can do to help this year’s program?’ They probably want to be part of it again and want to give something back,” he said. “They really wanted to do this. They wanted to give something back because they felt positive about having been a part of the process.
“A couple of them have been down to our board meetings, tried to give us ideas of little bumps in the road they felt. It has been a very powerful event in their lives, and we wanted them to be able to share that with the new warrior families.”
One of the hard things for the warriors who arrived for last year’s inaugural Warrior Beach Week was their initial landing in the process.
“We had a meet-and-greet as our initial event, at the VFW, and at that event, we try to welcome the visitors and orient them as to what their week was going to be like,” he said.
Katon said many well-meaning people were giving the VIFs baskets of food and gift cards and trying to introduce them to the area, “but it was pretty overwhelming.”
“We might have underestimated the amount of anxiety that these guys and families came with. Since then, we’ve learned from talking to them, a lot of these people were in a sort of reclusive, depressed state. This idea of a public gathering, which seems like a great way to begin the week, was difficult and anxiety-provoking for a lot of them.”
Katon said he became involved in creating the event serendipitously, when he met co-founder Diane Pohanka on an airplane.
“We started talking about the fact that we both had places in Bethany,” he said. “She and Becky had talked about doing something like this, and I said I’d love to help. The three of us got together and just came up with this plan. I think we all bring different skill sets. It’s a great working relationship that sort of came out of the blue.”
With the second Warrior Beach Week quickly approaching, Katon said it’s amazing to see how the organization has grown so quickly in its short life.
“We never envisioned at all the support that we have gotten. Our original idea was to try to get housing for the families, and that was a goal we thought maybe we could achieve. And we thought that maybe some of the businesses in the community would pitch in a little bit, but we had no idea.”
With close to 100 volunteers who helped regularly with the event — from helping sell T-shirts to making welcome signs, Katon said the community support was something the three had never imagined.
“It took us all aback a lot. Our first introduction, the three of us wandered around town asking people to help. No one knew who we were or what we were doing,” he said. “We have over 50 businesses listed on our website now that are contributing something to this event. Most of them are small businesses. They’re not General Motors or Apple — most are mom-and-pop-type businesses who are really going all out to help.
“We had no idea of the scope… It’s just been amazing and great. The three of us that started it just stop and look at each other and think where we were a year ago when we were looking for a place to sell T-shirts, and where it has come to now. We’re just in awe.”
Katon said that he hopes this year’s event will be a positive impact on the 30 new VIFs as it was for last year’s 25.
“We hope it will be as great as last year,” he said. “It has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced, the way the community has come forth. It’s awe-inspiring. It floors us. We marvel at it and we appreciate it. It’s like a miracle. It has been a magical experience.”
He added that the event has touched many lives in so many different ways, and for that, he is grateful to be a part of such an amazing organization.
“It’s a blessing that keeps on giving to us and giving to them. It’s so much of a win-win experience for everyone involved,” he said. “It’s like a tree that’s spreading out for the people involved. To us it just feels incredibly damn good.”
For more information about Operation SEAs the Day, to view pictures of the week, or to find out more about how to get involved, visit www.operationseastheday.org.
With discussion in recent months of starting a pension program for its employees, the Frankford Town Council recently held a workshop to learn about potential plan options.
Last week, Frankford resident Marty Presley, who has 30 years of experience in the financial field, presented a variety of pension options to Council Members Joanne Bacon, Cheryl Workman and Pamela Davis.
“There are a lot of different plans out there that you can choose,” he said.
Presley said that, according to figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the per capita income in Frankford is $17,580. He said that the per capita income for Town employees is $42,250 — a level 240 percent over that of the average town resident.
Presely also compared residents’ private-sector benefits as a percentage of their income, equaling 29 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor, which includes Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and life insurance. For the employees for the Town of Frankford, the benefit percentage is 51 percent, not including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment.
Presley recommended that the Town consider a 403-B plan, which is similar to a 401-K that is set up with a mutual fund or insurance company.
“They’re very simple. They’re very cost-effective,” he said. “And a wide, wide range of companies offer them.”
Presley said such a plan allows for both employer and employee contributions.
“The Town can decide how much they want to contribute each year,” he said. “The employee can change their contribution on a weekly basis if they want to. So it’s very flexible.”
Presley said the plans are governed by federal law, and employees would be able to go online at any time to check their investments and balances, as well as receive annual statements as to the health of their plan.
Presley said loan provisions are available as a way to access the funds prior to turning 59.5, so funds borrowed before then will not be subjected to a 10 percent penalty fee plus well as regular income tax.
“Loan provisions allow them to access up to 50 percent of their account balance at any time.”
Presley said the funds could be accessed for hardship withdrawals, divorce, disability or to buy pension credits.
If the employee changes employers and their new employer doesn’t offer a 403-B plan, Presley said they have many options for the funds — including rolling them into an IRA.
Participation in such a plan is voluntary, noted Presley. If an employee does not want to pay into the plan, they would not be required to do so.
For 2014, Presely said, the contribution limit per participant is $52,000. He said that, of that total, employees are allowed to invest up to $17,500 into their individual plan. The rest of the funds, up to the $52,000 limit, may be contributed by the employer, but that is not a mandatory contribution.
Presley said the Town can also decide when the employee is vested, which could help with employee retention.
“The Town can really tailor it based on the type of employees they want or what they’re trying to accomplish… [It] encourages proper performance and kind of discourages laziness and mediocre performance on a job.”
He added that the employer can make their contributions on a monthly basis, or in a lump sum once a year.
Presley said that his calculations show that the $65,000 that was already set aside for the employee pension program would cover the maximum contribution of both the employer and employee portion of the plan for three years.
Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader stated that the council had not made the decision to spend money on a pension plan, which is why they were hearing the presentation.
Presley said the Town needed to be wary of pension plans, as many towns — even cities, including Detroit and six towns in California — have gone bankrupt primarily because of pension costs.
“If they’re not going to bail out Detroit, they’re probably not going to bail out Frankford,” said Presley of the federal government.
“We’d be cheaper,” quipped Schrader.
Presley also presented other pension options to the council, including a State-defined benefit plan, which has two plans — one for police and firefighters, and another for county and municipal employees.
“Although they work the same, they’re totally different as far as funding obligations,” he said.
Such a plan is positive for older employees, he noted, and rewards long-term employment with the same employer, and employees make no investment decisions or assume any investment risk.
“The benefits are paid out based on your years of service,” said Presley.
He added that the unknown investment risk, the unknown employer contributions that are set by the State each year and that the pension would not be portable are disadvantages of such a plan.
“Each year, you’ll never know what the Town has to contribute,” he emphasized.
In 2013, Presley said, the annual required contribution by an employer for a defined benefit plan was 14.75 percent of that year’s salary for police officers, with a 7 percent contribution by police employees. The employer also had to contribute 6.84 percent for non-police employees, with those employees required to contribute 3 percent of their annual salaries.
Based on last year’s annual required contributions, the Town would have had to pay a total of $18,599 that year for the defined benefit plan, with employees paying a total of $8,270.
“That number changes every year,” he said of the contribution percentage requirement. “That’s a real risk for the Town.”
He added that, since the signing of House Bill 274, which removed the 15 percent cap on employee benefits, if the defined benefit plan is approved and the Town pays the employees’ shares, along with healthcare costs, it would equal 51 percent.
Presley emphasized that, once the Town is enrolled in the plan, that enrollment would be irrevocable.
“You can’t get out,” he said. “There’s no getting out of it.”
Another defined contribution plan, Presley said, would be a 401-K, which would allow the employee to determine how much money they want to contribute to their fund.
He stated that a 401-K plan is portable, so if an employee were to leave the Town, the money would go with them.
“It’s an attractive plan for younger employees and older employees looking to retire soon,” he said. “Nowadays, people don’t work for the same people.”
Schrader requested that Presley recommend to the council a few companies that manage 403-B plans, so they may look further into such a plan.
Presley said that he believes the Town should have a pension plan. However, he urged the council to consider all its options and remember that the Town’s citizens will be footing the bill.
“There should be some type of pension plan for the Town of Frankford,” he said. “[But] you also have a fiduciary responsibility to represent the citizens of Frankford. There’s a balancing act here.”
The Route 26 Project Team met Aug. 11 for a quick update on the 4-plus-mile road improvement project running from Clarksville to Ocean View.
Officials said they expect Route 26 will close in two spots from January to March of 2015, for small bridges to be replaced adjacent to Lord Baltimore Elementary School and Millville Town Hall. In the next few weeks, utilities relocations around the school and Windmill Drive will help facilitate the installation of those bridges and box culverts.
At this point, contractor George & Lynch is on-track to do culverts this winter, but relocations must go exactly according to plan in order to keep on that schedule.
The main goal now is to upgrade the intersections at Central Avenue, Old Mill Road and Windmill Drive to prepare for the January closure of those parts of Route 26.
Stormwater pipe installation continues around Central Avenue so that the whole intersection can be reconfigured soon.
Other sewer relocation is occurring from Old Mill Road to Lord Baltimore Elementary School. Road widening has already occurred in some places.
Sanitary sewer installation around Route 17 will run from late August to late October.
Hearing concerns about the 7 p.m. start time for night work and lane closures, the Route 26 Project Team has moved night work later, running from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. each night from Monday night to Friday morning. Night work is now permitted on Sunday nights beginning at 10:30 p.m. However, when school begins, that schedule will return to the original schedule, to allow unimpeded bus traffic.
Night work will continue until at least Sept. 30. During off-peak seasons (Oct. 1 to May 15), daytime lane restrictions are allowed seven days per week.
In other Route 26 project news:
• The Transportation Management Center will get a request to update electronic road signs on side roads so know drivers know when Route 26 is congested, whether that congestion is construction-related or not.
• The Project Team responded to an excessive noise complaint in Millville, at a location where George & Lynch stored some equipment. The site will still be used during daytime, but not accessed at night.
• Project Team staff will give community presentations about Route 26 to the Lions Club and Contractors for a Cause.
Residents and businesses are still being encouraged to contact Ken Cimino anytime with questions or concerns about Route 26 construction, at (302) 616-2621, or Kenneth.firstname.lastname@example.org or 17 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 2, in Ocean View.
Schools in the Indian River School District will host a series of open houses during the months of August and September. Open houses are designed to allow students and parents to meet teachers and staff, view class lists and tour school buildings. A number of schools will host multiple sessions during a three-week period, with each session catering to a different grade level. The 2014-2015 school year begins on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
The open house schedule is as follows:
• Aug. 25 — Kindergarten Center (at Georgetown Elementary), 5 p.m.; Lord Baltimore Elementary, Kindergarten, 5 p.m.; East Millsboro Elementary, Grade 1, 5 p.m.; Lord Baltimore Elementary, Grades 1-2, 6:15 p.m.; East Millsboro Elementary, Kindergarten, 6:30 p.m.
• Aug. 26 — John M. Clayton Elementary, Pre-K and K, 5 p.m.; Long Neck Elementary, Kindergarten, 5 p.m.
East Millsboro Elementary, Grades 2-3, 5 p.m.; North Georgetown Elementary, Grades 1-2, 5 p.m.; Phillip C. Showell Elementary, PreK and K, 5 p.m.; Georgetown Elementary, all grades, 5-7 p.m.; Phillip C. Showell Elementary, new-family orientation, 5:30 p.m.; Phillip C. Showell Elementary, Grades 3-5, 5:30 p.m.; John M. Clayton Elementary, Grades 1-2, 6 p.m.; Long Neck Elementary, Grades 1-2, 6 p.m.; Lord Baltimore Elementary, Grades 3-5, 6 p.m.; Phillip C. Showell Elementary, Grades 1-2, 6 p.m.; East Millsboro Elementary, Grades 4-5, 6:30 p.m.; North Georgetown Elementary, Grades 3-5, 6:30 p.m.; Long Neck Elementary, Grades 3-5, 7 p.m.; John M. Clayton Elementary, Grades 3-5, 7 p.m.
• Aug. 27 — Southern Delaware School of the Arts, all grades, 5-7 p.m.; Georgetown Middle School, Grade 6, 5 p.m.; G.W. Carver Center, 5 p.m.; Selbyville Middle School, Grade 6, 5 p.m.; Millsboro Middle School, Grade 6, 5 p.m.; Georgetown Middle School, Grades 7-8, 7 p.m.; Millsboro Middle School, Grades 7-8, 7 p.m.; Selbyville Middle School, Grades 7-8, 7 p.m.
• Aug. 28 — TOTS program, 5 p.m.; Sussex Central High School, freshman orientation, 6 p.m.; Indian River High School, Grade 9, 6 p.m.; Indian River High School, Grades 10-12, 7 p.m.
• Sept. 9 — Sussex Central High School, Grades 10-12, 6 p.m.
• Sept. 10 — Howard T. Ennis School, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
For more information about open houses, parents should contact their child’s school.
The Indian River School District’s Adult Education course offerings for Fall 2014 can now be viewed online at irsd.net, officials announced this week.
Fall 2014 courses for youth include:
• Babysitting Course — Delaware Safety Council: Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 6-7, 4:30-7 p.m., $50, Lord Baltimore Elementary School library. Advance registration required.
• Driver’s Education: Monday through Thursday, Oct. 6-9 and Oct. 13-16, 4-7 p.m., $525, Sussex Central High School, Room A164. Advance registration required.
• Wrestling, Pee-Wee Beginners: Mondays from Nov. 17 through Jan. 26, 6-7 p.m., $45, Sussex Central High School. Advance registration required.
• The Admission Game College Workshop: Thursday, Oct. 9, 6-8 p.m., free, Sussex Central High School Auditorium.
• Scholarship Workshop (junior and senior students and families): Tuesday, Oct. 21, 6:00 p.m., Free, Indian River High School.
Financial Aid Workshop: Wednesday, Nov. 12, 6 p.m., free, Indian River High School.
Adult courses include:
• Aerobics-Step/Combo: Mondays and Wednesdays from Sept.15 through Oct. 20 ($35) and Nov. 3 through Dec. 17 ($45.50), 5:30-6:30 p.m., East Millsboro Elementary School.
• Aerobics-Low/High: Tuesdays and Thursdays from Sept.16 through Oct. 16 ($35) and Nov. 13 through Dec. 18 ($35), 4-5 p.m., Lord Baltimore Elementary School.
• Slimnastics: Mondays and Wednesdays from Sept. 15 through Nov. 24, 7-8 p.m., $70, Long Neck Elementary School.
• TABATA — Total Body Conditioning: Tuesdays from Sept. 23 through Dec. 16, 5:15-6:15 p.m., $38.50, Lord Baltimore Elementary School.
• Self-Defense and Karate: Tuesdays from Sept. 9 through Dec. 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $65, John M. Clayton Elementary School.
• Volleyball, Recreational: Wednesdays from Sept. 17 through Dec. 17, 7-9 p.m., $52, Millsboro Middle School.
• Volleyball, Women 40+: Thursdays from Sept. 11 through Dec. 18, 7-9 p.m., $42, Millsboro Middle School.
• Pickleball (new): Thursdays from Sept. 18 through Dec. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $48, John M. Clayton Elementary School. Advance registration required. Space limited to 12 beginner and 12 advanced players.
• Mentor Orientation: Sept. 22 (noon to 3 p.m.), Oct. 2 (9 a.m. to noon), Oct. 24 (noon to 3 p.m.), Nov. 5 (9 a.m. to noon), Nov. 18 (noon to 3 p.m.) and Dec. 3 (9 a.m. to noon p.m.), free, G.W. Carver Center. Advance registration required, at www.creativementoring.com.
• CHILD Inc. Parenting Learning Series: Wednesdays from Oct. 1 through Nov. 5, 6-8 p.m., free, G.W. Carver Center. To register, call CHILD Inc. at 1-800-874-2070.
• “The Challenges of Parenting the Second Time Around — Grandparents and Others Raising Children” — Thursday, Oct. 2, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., free, G.W. Carver Center. To register, call (302) 732-1522.
• ADHD 101: Wednesday, Oct. 15, 6-7:30 p.m., free, G.W. Carver Center. To register, call (302) 732-1522.
For more information or to obtain a registration form, visit irsd.net and click on “Adult Education” under the Discover IRSD tab or call the Adult Education office at (302) 732-1343.
Like it or not, September is coming, but Indian River High School officials want new students to feel at home immediately. IRHS is inviting all incoming ninth-graders and any transfer students to a New Student Orientation on Thursday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s something that we’ve always wanted to do” — prepare students for the next four years, said Principal Bennett Murray.
Parents and students will meet in the auditorium, then split up to learn more about IRHS. Students will have team-building exercises and leadership activities. Parents will meet the counselors and learn how to help their students be successful. They’ll also discuss assessments, from AP to SAT.
Even Murray had to reach deep into his memory to help with his son’s math homework. So tutoring is part of the parents’ session.
“There’s other ways to support their sons or daughters to ensure success,” besides knowing geometry, he said.
Parents of recent graduates will share helpful hints they wish they had known early on.
Each student will take home an “IR Pride” gift, courtesy of the recently graduated Class of 2014.
“We’re very excited about that,” Murray said. “I can’t think of a better way to start the incoming class than with green and gold.”
Current students, guidance counselors, teachers and administration will lead the groups on Thursday. Students and their parents do not need to pre-register to attend the orientation.
Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced this week that the state’s Child Predator Task Force has surpassed the 200-conviction milestone.
Biden worked with legislators, state agencies and law enforcement agencies to create the Child Predator Task Force shortly after he took office in 2007. It is the first of its kind in Delaware to be dedicated solely to identifying and arresting those seeking to prey on children.
“Nothing is more important than protecting our kids, and that’s why I promised to create a task force focused on nothing else except keeping kids safe,” Biden said. “The Child Predator Task Force brings together prosecutors, investigators and police to stop the worst of society from hurting kids. Delaware’s children are much safer because of the Task Force’s work.”
Under the supervision of State Prosecutor Kathleen Jennings and direction of Deputy Attorney General Abigail Rodgers Layton, the Task Force includes four Department of Justice investigators and nine forensic examiners (two from the Department of Justice, six from the Delaware State Police and one from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) and two paralegals. The General Assembly approved funding in June for an additional DOJ prosecutor.
The Task Force also teams with local law-enforcement agencies and the federal government when a case calls for such cooperation, officials noted. The task force uses the latest technology to track the trade of child pornography images and to detect predators lurking on the Internet trying to find new victims. The Task Force investigators conduct online undercover investigations, posing as a child, to draw out predators and stop them before they can hurt another child.
“Protecting children is all of our responsibility and requires all levels of government working together,” Biden said. “Predators can use the Internet to come into the child’s home through the computer — the Child Predator Task Force stops them.”
The Task Force notched its 200th conviction in June, when Paul V. Nonne of Kenton pled guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of dealing in child pornography. He was to be sentenced Aug. 14. The Task Force has since secured three additional convictions, bringing its total as of this week to 203.
“What do General Biden’s 200 convictions really mean for Delaware children and families? Because over half of all convicted child predators have an average of 19 actual child victims in a lifetime, it means hundreds of children rescued immediately and potentially over 3,800 future assaults prevented,” said Camille Cooper, director of legislative affairs for the National Association to Protect Children. “That’s real justice.”
In addition to the Task Force’s 201 convictions, it has also achieved the following:
• The rescue of 120 children who were either suffering abuse or being groomed for future victimization. Earlier this year, for example, the Task Force executed a search warrant as part of an investigation into the distribution of child pornography and found that there was a young boy whom the suspect had adopted. Authorities believe the suspect was sexually abusing his adopted son and have removed the child from the home and are getting him the help he needs.
• A 33-year prison sentence, the longest the Task Force has secured, handed down last Friday to John M. Figura. He was convicted in May of taking pornographic photos of children he was caring for, possessing a collection of more than 1 million images of child pornography and sexually abusing a child. Last year, a member of a Sussex County child pornography ring was sentenced to 28 years in prison after being convicted thanks to the work of the Child Predator Task Force.
• Working with members of the General Assembly to strengthen state laws protecting children and give law enforcement more tools to go after predators, including minimum mandatory sentences for the possession of child pornography and legislation this year that toughened penalties for predators who attempt to solicit victims online.
• In addition to significantly strengthening law enforcement’s work against predators, Biden has also teamed with Prevent Child Abuse Delaware and the YMCA to shine a bright light on the problem of child sexual abuse. Biden and the organizations have brought the Darkness to Light Foundation’s “Stewards of Children” training program to Delaware. Since 2011, approximately 14,000 Delawareans have been trained to know how to recognize the signs that a child is being abused and trained to understand the importance of reporting that information.
“The Child Predator Task Force is to be congratulated for their tireless work on behalf of Delaware’s children. The success that they have had apprehending sex offenders has helped to make our communities safer places for our children,” said Karen DeRasmo, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Delaware. “It is equally as important to be persistent and intentional in educating, both children and adults, on how to prevent child abuse. Our collective goal, as demonstrated through our partnership around the Stewards of Children program, is to prevent abuse from ever happening in the first place.”
The Department of Justice reminded the public that Delaware law requires that any adult or organization who “knows or in good faith suspects” that a child is being abused to immediately call the state’s Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-292-9582.
Christopher Buzby is joining the music faculty at Worcester Preparatory School this September, following 18 years as director of instrumental music at Abington Friends School (AFS) in Jenkintown, Pa., where he conducted the Middle & Upper School concert bands, orchestras and jazz ensembles and taught music appreciation, music theory and digital audio classes.
Buzby was also the arts department chair and 7th Grade dean — administrative duties he held, alongside his music teaching duties, for seven years each. He said he is proudest of the growth of the AFS music program into one that now strongly supports multiple instrumental and choral music ensembles across all divisions of the school, boasting current music ensemble participation at 48 percent of the AFS student body.
Buzby received a bachelor of music degree from Moravian College (Bethlehem, Pa.) in 1993 and his master’s degree in music education from West Chester University (West Chester, Pa.) in 2005. He was also a performing and touring member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir and a member of his church choir throughout his teenage years, and at AFS he was an ardent and active participant in both the choral and theater programs.
Buzby also composes, records, performs and sings in the band Echolyn — a five-piece original progressive rock/fusion ensemble that spent three years signed to Sony Music/Epic Records in the 1990’s. Echolyn has released multiple studio and live albums, performs and tours in the U.S., Canada and Europe and is finishing its 10th studio album, due for release this fall.
Buzby’s professional musical output has also earned him praise and mention in multiple progressive rock retrospectives and music journals. Most recently, in the November 2012 issue of Keyboard magazine, several of his Echolyn keyboard scores and audio links were published. He can be found online in YouTube videos performing with Echolyn, Mike Keneally (of Frank Zappa fame) and giving his own TEDTalk on the topic: “Pursuing the Passion Path.”
Buzby and his wife, Alison, recently moved full-time to their home in Selbyville and are enjoying life on the Eastern Shore with their two whippets, Mona and Abe. In addition to music, he enjoys golf, finance, time with his family, brewing his own beer, current events, travel, biking, and home and garden projects.
Buzby said he is extremely excited to join the Worcester Preparatory School of lifelong learners this fall and is eager to share his love for all things music in the years ahead with his new students, colleagues and nearby communities on the Eastern Shore.
The Fenwick Island Lions Club, Millsboro American Legion and the Ocean View VFW — in the spirit of the newly formed Delaware Joining Forces initiative designed to encourage veterans and community service organizations to work more closely together — will offer a free vision screening opportunity, starting this month, to veterans and their families.
The first screening will take place on Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mason Dixon VFW Post 7234, located at 29265 Marshy Hope Way in Ocean View. The effort defines “veteran’ as any individual who is, or has, served the country in uniform.
For the past 20-plus years, the Fenwick Island Lions Club, and other Lions Clubs throughout the state, have offered vision screening for young children — typically pre-school and kindergarten age children — in an effort to detect childhood vision problems, at an early age and when such issues are most treatable. Last year, trained volunteers screened more than 500 children.
Several years, ago the Fenwick Island Lions Club, along with several other Lions Club in the region, and with the financial assistance of the Delaware Lions Foundation, acquired a computer-based screening device that is able to accurately measure and determine vision problems.
While the device is not intended to take the place of a professional eye exam, it does identify vision issues that would benefit from a follow-up with an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
The new device is capable of screening individuals from age 2 through adulthood. The device can, almost instantaneously, detect refractive errors, including:
• Astigmatism: irregularly shaped corneas or lenses;
• Myopia: nearsightedness;
• Hyperopia: farsightedness; and
• Anisometropia: differences between the two eyes.
It also performs a gaze analysis to help detect:
• Strabismus: misalignment of the eyes;
• Amblyopia: lazy eye;
• Anisocoria: pupil size anomalie.
The board of directors of the Fenwick Island Lions Club has agreed to extend its vision screening services to veterans and their families at no charge and will coordinate the offering to when the VA medical van is on location. They can also provide financial assistance in acquiring both an eye exam and eyewear, for those with a financial need.
“We are a service organization whose mission is ‘To Serve,’” the Fenwick Island Lions Club’s Bruce Schoonover said in explaining the reason they are offering the new program. “While there are many groups in the U.S. and around the world that need help, we believe that veterans, because of the sacrifices they and their families have made in defending our freedoms, deserve our respect and our help.
“This is but one initiative that the Fenwick Island Lions Club is undertaking for our veterans. We are especially proud to be working together with the VFW and American Legion, who are also dedicated to serving veterans and the greater community.”
The Rehoboth Beach Film Society and Kids Cottage will co-present a Family Fun Night on Friday, Aug. 15, from 6 to 10 p.m., at Kids Cottage, 35448 Wolfeneck Road, Rehoboth Beach.
The evening will include screenings of popular children’s films from Scholastic Publishing, along with a variety of crafts and film-inspired activities. Children will be supervised by employees of Kids Cottage of Rehoboth and Rehoboth Beach Film Society.
The theme is friendship, feelings and problem-solving. The short stories to be screened are “Bink and Gollie” (featuring two friends who find it hard to agree on anything); “Each Kindness” (a teacher shows how even small acts of kindness can change the world); “I Want My Hat Back” (presenting Bear, who can’t find his hat until another animal helps him remember where it might be); “Blackout” (during a power outage a young boy finds out how much fun not normal can be) and “Chrysanthemum” (a little mouse thinks her name is perfect until she starts school and all the kids make fun of her).
The films are being provided courtesy of Weston Woods, a division of Scholastic Corporation. The cost is $10 per family, and pre-registration is required. To register, call Kids Cottage at (302) 644-7690.
The mission of the RBFS is promoting cinematic arts and providing educational and cultural enrichment for the community. The film society sponsors monthly screenings, special events, and the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival (Nov. 5- 9, 2014). For more information on this series, other events, or to become a member, visit the Rehoboth Beach Film Society website at www.rehobothfilm.com, or call (302) 645-9095.
Kids Cottage, with locations in Dover and Rehoboth Beach, is an interactive destination designed for either drop-in or parent-supervised visits. Kids Cottage also offers a pre-school/pre-K program, Daycare Plus for infants through 12 years, enrichment programs, summer camps, seasonal classes and an after-school program.
Traffic can get pretty backed up on a two-lane road. Imagine getting stuck behind the person who can’t turn left because oncoming traffic blocked his way. That’s why center turn lanes are such a timesaver. Drivers can wait there to turn off the roadway, or use it as a merge lane to slip into traffic.
It’s legal to use a center turn lane in either way, but state Rep. Ron Gray is among those concerned that multiple cars may travel in opposite directions in a single lane at the same time.
“I’m afraid for safety reasons,” Gray said. “People need to be aware that the center turn lane is very useful and it needs to be used with caution.”
He first heard eyewitness accounts of near-collisions from his tenants at Hit the Deck outdoor furnishings on Route 54.
“We witness it,” said owner Kebbie Crout. “We see a lot of people pulling out from their neighborhoods,” planning to merge into traffic. “Of course,” Crout added, “when you’re looking to merge, you’re looking behind you” at openings in your desired lane, not at the cars potentially sitting ahead.
“Or seeing people use it as a passing lane… pass my trucks, pass each other. It is becoming a major safety hazard.”
Crout has seen many close calls and risky behavior, but no collisions yet.
“No, we have not had any collisions, but there are times you get nose-to-nose with someone else. Especially on weekends, they pile up and they get frustrated … and they drive a quarter-mile in the center lane to make their turn.”
“It’s considered a suicide lane — terminology that’s been used in the past,” said Delaware State Police Master Cpl. Gary Fournier. “It’s a lane that’s used to make turns or, once you’re in the middle of the lane, pull out into traffic.
“Otherwise, you would never get into traffic,” Fournier acknowledged, in an accurate statement for a clogged artery such as Route 54. “As with any roadway, you have to use all due caution and care when going out into traffic,” he advised.
“I’m just worried somebody’s gonna nail me someday, or my employees or trucks. I’m watching somebody do it right now,” Crout said, describing a car zipping along in the center turn lane. “If there had been another car waiting to turn into that development…”
Susan Brewer has helped the Millville Planning & Zoning Commission make decisions for about three years, and now she’s taking that experience to the town council.
Brewer was appointed to the council on Aug. 12, filling the seat vacated in June by Joan Deaver.
She calls herself “an individual trying to give back to the community and trying to do it in a commonsense way. … I just hope I can lend something to the council that is beneficial,” she said. “I had an interest in watching the town grow and participating in the general municipality.”
With a background in human resources at an architectural consulting firm, Brewer said she’s learned much from P&Z. Decisions start with town, county and state regulations, but must account for the community sentiment, she emphasized.
“You have to keep in mind what is the best decision for the town in general. The town’s growth is important,” she said, “but the community members have to be happy, in addition to the retailers and developers.
“The community has a voice. … You have to listen to them,” Brewer added.
“I think it’s a small town. I think it would like to stay small but grow in revenue, [with] streets that are tree-lined … but with the actual growth required for any municipality.”
Born and raised in Wilmington, Brewer has been a full-time Millville resident for 10 years, now working part-time at a local property management firm.
“I hope that I can have enough intelligence, common sense and heart to make the best decisions for everyone involved,” she said. “I hope I can serve the public in any way that they need.”
In other Millville news:
• The Great Pumpkin Festival has been canceled for 2014.
“I say this with a heavy heart,” Town Administrator Debbie Botchie said. “We’d rather put on a good event than a bad event.”
Road construction and other factors have impeded Millville’s ability to host the quality event it would like, she said. But the Holiday Market will return in December, expanding indoors to the neighboring church’s new hall.
• A new financial administrator is expected to begin work this week. Lisa Wynn is “highly qualified,” said Botchie. “I think she will be a huge asset to the Town of Millville.”
• Millville will draft an invitation to bid, in search of an architect to design the Town’s new garage.
• The Millville Farmers Market is ahead of last year’s figures in terms of income and visitors, Linda Kent reported. WBOC will also film at the market early Thursday, Aug. 14.
Beebe Healthcare and the Delaware Botanic Gardens will be guests at upcoming markets.
• The Millville Volunteer Group will sell Operation SEAs the Day gear and also help babysit children during the veterans’ vacation week.
• The Millville Volunteers will collect holiday care packages for service-members overseas, beginning in September.
• A free Public Preparedness, Safety & Health Fair will be held at Millville Town Hall on Sept. 20, hosted by the Blackwater Village Association (BVA) in partnership with Community Emergency Response Team Advisors (CERTA).
Medical, fire, police, National Guard, Coast Guard and other emergency services will be on hand.
• Councilman Harry Kent was named the new council treasurer and Steve Maneri its secretary.
The Millville Town Council is scheduled to meet for an Aug. 26 workshop, at 7 p.m.
Teenagers looking for a UV-based golden glow will have to go to the beach starting in 2015, when Delaware’s newest tanning law begins. Beginning at the new year, no one younger than 18 can use UV tanning devices at tanning facilities.
Introduced by Catherine Cloutier (R-5th) of Wilmington, Senate Bill 94 also mandates warning signs and statements be posted in tanning facilities.
“Exposure to UV, either naturally from the sun or from artificial sources such as sunlamps, is a known risk factor for skin cancer,” the World Health Organization notes on its website. “A study conducted in Norway and Sweden showed a significant increase in the risk of malignant melanoma among women who had regularly used sunbeds.”
“The research is astounding. The World Health Organization has deemed tanning beds in the same classification [of being] as carcinogenic to human as asbestos and smoking,” said Cindy Canevari, Delaware state lead ambassador for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network.
Skin cancer, cataracts, a weakened immune system and premature skin aging can result from UV radiation, according to WHO.
“Melanoma is now the second most common cancer for ages 15 to 29, and most common for ages 25 to 29” Canevari said. “Melanoma is cumulative, so if you start out using a tanning bed [in your teens], you’re not seeing cancer until your late 20s.”
She said she knows a woman in her 30s who tanned since the age of 15 and was just recently diagnosed with skin cancer.
“We didn’t know this back then. This is all new science. Her mother took her to a tanning bed,” Canevari said. “She testified up in Dover, and I think she was very instrumental to putting a face to this.”
Currently, adolescents younger than 14 cannot use tanning salons, unless it’s deemed medically necessary, and teens between 14 and 18 must have their parents or guardians sign a consent slip allowing them to use tanning beds.
Under that 2009 law, parental consent had to be renewed annually, and the forms included information on the health risks associated with indoor tanning. The Delaware Department of Health & Social Services was responsible for enforcement.
But Brittney Mitchell will now have to start ID’ing her young customers at Sunkissed Tanning in Fenwick Island.
“Of course it’s going to affect business — especially during prom season,” said Mitchell. “I have a lot of under-age girls. I have a lot of girls who came since age 15 who are now 17.”
She estimated seeing 30 minors who return throughout the year, but at least 100 local high-schoolers during prom season.
Mitchell argues that tanning beds offer “control.” People can get a variety of tanning sessions, from a low-level 20 minutes to a high-level 7 minutes.
“It’s pretty upsetting, considering we’re a beach resort and people come to tan on the beach and they can’t even use a tanning machine,” Mitchell said of the controlled environment of the salon.
“Obviously, we live in Delaware — most kids, most teens, are gonna be outside. They’re gonna spend 10, 12 hours outside. I’m sure they’re gonna be laying out a lot more, especially during prom season.
Mitchell said entire families preparing for vacations often seek several treatments to build a base tan so they don’t burn in the tropics.
“Twenty minutes in a bed — it’s pretty much like laying out for four, five hours,” Mitchell said. “I do offer a UV-less tan, but it’s not as popular … or powerful as the beds.”
Now she can only offer young customers instant tanner, instant bronzer or UV-less tans.
“That’s what I’m gonna push for, now that this law went into effect.”
A 10 percent federal tanning tax has also squeezed the tanning industry for several years, Mitchell noted.
“That’s another reason there’s not that many salons in the area,” Mitchell said.
But Canevari said the efforts are paying off in lives saved.
“I think we’re gonna save a lot of lives. If it saves one person from this, it’s worth it,” Canevari said. “When you weigh a life, I just think it’s very important. And if we can protect our teens, that’s very important. Cancer is a very deadly disease.”
UV treatments used medically for skin conditions were not addressed under the new law.
“I’m really proud that we got this bill passed. I just think it’s gonna save so many lives. There’s gonna be a whole generation of teens that won’t know what a tanning bed is,” Canevari said. “To me, that’s really groundbreaking.”
The bill’s passage was nearly unanimous, with state Sens. Gerald Hocker Sr., Colin Bonini and F. Gary Simpson absent for the vote and state Rep. Michael Ramone and state Sen. Bruce Ennis abstaining.
Gov. Jack Markell signed the bill into law July 28. It will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
Second suspect sought in incident, prior charges
A seatbelt violation led to the arrest of one man for heroin possession while another was being sought early this week after fleeing during the traffic stop near Dagsboro.
According to police, the incident occurred on Saturday, Aug. 9, around 4:05 p.m., as a Delaware State Police trooper on patrol observed a white Cadillac Deville in the area of Iron Branch Road, just south of Bunting Road, with the passenger unbelted.
Police said the trooper activated the emergency equipment on the patrol car in order to perform a traffic stop, and the passenger was observed throwing something, which was later determined to be a sleeve of suspected heroin, from the window.
As the Cadillac came to a stop on Bunting Road, police said, the passenger, who was later identified as Lynn D. Trader, 38 of Felton, opened the door and ran eastbound on Bunting Road.
The driver, Frederick H. Mitchell III, 35 of Milford, was taken into custody without incident. A search of his vehicle revealed 5,374 bags of suspected heroin, totaling more than 80 grams, 24.3 grams of suspected marijuana and more than $9,000 in suspected drug proceeds.
Mitchell was transported to Troop 4 in Georgetown, where he was charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin, Possession of Heroin, Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana, Conspiracy 2nd, Possession of Marijuana, three counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and a seatbelt violation. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in default of $113,001 secured bond.
Trader was had not been located early this week and was still wanted for Possession with Intent to Deliver Heroin, Possession of Heroin, Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana, Conspiracy 2nd, Possession of Marijuana, three counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia from the incident.
Police noted that Trader is also wanted out of Troop 4 from a separate incident that occurred on May 3, near Selbyville, when he fled from a traffic stop during which a handgun was located in a car in which he was a passenger. The charges from May 3 include: Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited, Carrying a Concealed Deadly Weapon, Possession of Marijuana and Resisting Arrest.
The Sussex County Court of Common Pleas has also placed a capias for Trader’s arrest for Failure to Appear for a Trial.
If anyone has any information as to the whereabouts of Lynn D. Trader, they are being asked to contact Cpl. M. Morgan at (302) 856-5850, ext. 381, or by utilizing the Delaware State Police Mobile Crime Tip application available to download at: http://www.delaware.gov/apps/. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the Internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”
Ocean View police this week played a role in the arrests of both an alleged car thief and a Frankford man who was wanted by authorities in two jurisdictions in Maryland.
According to the Ocean View Police Department, on Aug. 12 at 2 a.m., Nichole A. Swartley, 28, of Georgetown was apprehended by Ocean View police and Delaware State Police, after OVPD officer Sidney Ballentine had clocked Swartley driving seven miles over the posted speed limit and followed the vehicle westward until it left town limits.
“The vehicle,” she was driving, explained OVPD Cpl. Rhys Bradshaw, “then made a U-turn, heading eastbound without its lights on, and flew by him heading back towards town. For safety reasons, he attempted to stop the vehicle.”
Bradshaw said the driver failed to stop and eventually ran off the roadway, into a soybean field off Railroad Avenue. Swartley then allegedly fled on foot.
“She was eventually caught by Delaware State Police and Ocean View PD,” said Bradshaw. “After further investigation,” he added, “it turns out the car was stolen.”
According to police, Swartley had been staying with a friend’s family, from whom she had allegedly stolen medication and the vehicle.
Swartley was charged by OVPD with disregarding an officer’s signal, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended/revoked license, aggressive driving, failure to have insurance in her possession, failure to have proof of registration, failure to have lights on when required, failure to remain within a single lane, failure to stop at a stop sign, failure to signal and unreasonable speed.
Delaware State Police also charged Swartley with theft of a motor vehicle, two felony counts of theft under $1,500 where the victim is 62 years or older, leaving the scene of a property collision accident, driving while suspended/revoked, reckless driving and failure to report a crash.
On Aug. 10, about 3:45 a.m., OVPD officer Nicholas Harrington had spotted three suspicious subjects on the side of West Avenue. When he asked for the subjects’ names, 24-year-old Marcus A. McConnell of Frankford allegedly initially gave Harrington a false name.
“The officer tried to located information for the name, and we couldn’t find anything. After further investigation, it turned out the kid gave us a bad name,” explained Bradshaw.
Through a search of the National Crime Information Center, Harrington found that McConnell had warrants out for his arrest, from two Maryland agencies.
McConnell, Bradshaw said, was wanted by the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office on charges of burglary, theft and trespassing, while the Salisbury Police Department was seeking him on charges of theft less than $100.
“Both agencies wanted him, so we put a hold on him. He was committed to SCI and, additionally, we charged him with criminal impersonation, because he gave the officer a bad name,” added Bradshaw.
Although the speed limit through the portion of Route 1 in South Bethany is 35 miles per hour, some travelers disregard that limit.
On July 10, the driver was spotted speeding while headed southbound on Route 1 — at 103 mph. At last Friday’s South Bethany Town Council meeting, South Bethany police officer Marlon Miller, who was on duty at the time, was presented with a certificate of commendation for his professionalism during the high-speed pursuit.
“He obtained a description of the car, which is pretty good, considering the car was going 103. You’re lucky to see taillights go by,” said SBPD Lt. Troy Crowson of Miller. “He radioed down to the next agency, and they were able to stop him.”
Miller contacted the Fenwick Island Police Department and alerted them of the vehicle headed their way.
“They had set up at the end of town. The car had turned down a side street, down what was a dead end,” said Crowson of the driver’s apprehension.
Crowson noted that the speeding driver had no other issues, such as a suspended license or a warrant out for his arrest.
“He didn’t want to get a ticket. So he decided to turn down a side street and try to avoid being pulled over. He didn’t have any issues… just made a bad decision. And I think he’ll pay for it.”
The driver was not only cited for driving at excessive speeds but arrested for attempting to elude an officer.
Crowson said that, although having drivers try to speed through South Bethany is not uncommon, this particular rate of speed was unusual.
Miller, who previously served with the Ocean View Police Department, joined the South Bethany PD in June as a part-time officer.
“We’re lucky to have him,” said Crowson.
During Friday evening’s meeting, speeding was further addressed after a resident asked whether the police department could employ speed cameras to directly issue tickets.
Crowson said that, currently, the State of Delaware does not have legislation that governs speed cameras, and therefore the Town could not use them.
He noted that legislation has been proposed for a two-year pilot program to be used by Dover and Wilmington police; however, the legislation has yet to pass the state senate.
The SBPD is, he added, attempting to obtain one or two radar-detecting devices, which would record evidence of speeding or non-speeding. Crowson said the devices would be wireless, and the department would be able to move them to various locations throughout town.
“It’ll basically tell us where our speeding problems are in town,” he said, adding that the devices would give the department historical data, such as the best times to enforce and where speed-related problems most occur.
In other South Bethany news:
• Crowson said that 20 of the Town’s road signs have been stolen. While some signs have been replaced, others are still in the process of replacement, due to the Town not having duplicates.
“It sounds like they’re trying to create a town in their bedroom,” said Mayor Pat Voveris.
Crowson told the council the department was actively pursuing apprehending the individual or individuals responsible for stealing the signs.
• Public judging in the fourth annual Adopt-A-Canal/Road End Beauty Contest begins Aug. 22 and will conclude Sept. 1. First-, second- and third-place prizes will be awarded to the adopters whose ends receive the most votes, courtesy of Lord’s Landscaping. Those who wish to cast their votes for the contest winners may do so online at southbethany.org/canal.
• The council voted 5-0, with Councilman Tony Caputo absent and Councilman Tim Saxton abstaining, to approve an ordinance to amend Chapter 145 to increase the maximum house height allowed where freeboard is provided. The change is being made with an eye toward encouraging property owners to move their homes higher off the ground, as a way to reduce problems related to flooding.
To end the summer with a bang, the Ocean View Historical Society is inviting the public to attend a barbecue to support the society and its mission.
The fundraiser will be held on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Ocean View Historical Complex. The evening will kick off at 4:30 p.m. with a cash bar, with dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m.
This year, the barbecue will be catered by the Hocker’s BBQ truck. Attendees will have their choice of pulled pork or fried chicken, with baked beans, coleslaw and dessert included with every entrée.
“A lot of people have been very kind to us in helping us keep our cost down, so we can make as much as we can on this event to put toward our renovations,” said Ocean View Historical Society Vice President Carol Psaros, who noted that Hocker’s also donated dessert.
Tickets to the event cost $15 each, and seating is limited to 100 people.
“It has been a popular event. Last year, we almost sold out,” said Psaros. “You really do need to make a reservation ahead of time in order to get one of those 100 seats.”
To raise additional funds, during the event there will be a silent auction set up in the gazebo in John West Park, where attendees can bid on a number of items, such as restaurant gift certificates and rounds of golf. There will be a live auction of a handful of higher-end items, as well.
“The historic buildings will also be open that night, too. People can go through the Tunnell-West house, the post office and the Cecile Steele poultry house.”
This year, for the first time, the fundraiser will have a theme: “History through Art.”
“We’re going to honor local artist Laura Hickman, because she is one of the local artists who helped us design our logo,” said Psaros, noting that Hickman will be attending the fundraiser. “She’s spent her whole life painting buildings around Ocean View — houses and historic buildings. She has surely given us a presence.”
To highlight the theme, a small presentation will be given at town hall, adjacent to the historical complex, after dinner.
“I’ll talk about some of her paintings, and we’ll have some of her artwork on display there and probably some prints on sale,” said Psaros, adding that one of Hickman’s pieces will be auctioned that evening. “We just wanted to honor her. She just loves old houses. If you look at one of her paintings, you can’t help but see that. Her work has really given Ocean View a historical presence.”
Funds raised at the event will help the historical society restore its historic Tunnell-West house, the town’s original post office and more. Earlier this year, a town resident made a major donation to the society — gifting their property, which contains a house, barn and area artifacts, to the nonprofit.
“We’ve come a long way, but we’re still finishing the Tunnell-West house. Our big goal is to establish a coastal towns museum. We’re working with representatives from Fenwick Island, South Bethany, Bethany Beach and Millville to help us raise funds so that we can have a place for all of them to put artifacts and tell their story,” explained Psaros.
“There’s a barn on the [donated] property that’s one of the oldest barns in Sussex County. We’d like to preserve that, as well. We can’t do all that from this barbecue, but every bit helps.”
Community support has been growing, according to Psaros, who said this summer’s tours of the historical complex have been well-received.
“People come because they love the history and want to support local history and what we’re trying to keep alive,” she said. “We had the complex open this summer on Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. We’ve had a lot of people come by and see.
“We have two docents there who take people through the complex and talk about what life was like,” she added. “We’re adding to our historical buildings all the time. The people who come seem to really enjoy it. Our numbers keep growing every week.”
Psaros became involved in the OVHS about four years ago. A native Delawarean and lifelong history lover, she said she has always loved the area.
“I’ve been coming to Bethany since the ’40s. I just love it and Ocean View,” she said. “My father was a history teacher in Georgetown. He encouraged me to love history, which I do. I just want to help keep Delaware history alive.”
For those who may be unable to attend the barbecue fundraiser, Psaros said any kind of donation to the historical society would be greatly appreciated.
“Even people who aren’t free that night are free to go to our Facebook page and donate there or get our address and send us a donation that way.”
Psaros said the society hopes the community will support their efforts by attending the fun event and learn a little bit of local history, too.
“We just hope people come, enjoy the evening and increase their knowledge about Delaware history.”
To make a reservation or purchase tickets, contact Rose Parsons at (302) 537-5187 or email@example.com.
The Ocean View Historical Complex is located at 39 Central Avenue in Ocean View. For more information on the historical society, visit www.facebook.com/oceanviewhistoricalsociety.