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    Delaware State Police are currently investigating a four-vehicle crash in which 15 people were injured that occurred late this morning in Millsboro.

    Police said the crash occurred Sunday, July 5, about 11:54 a.m., at the intersection of Route 113 and Dagsboro Road in Millsboro, and involved four vehicles. As a result of the crash, 15 people were transported to area hospitals, with one being flown by Delaware State Police helicopter to Christiana Hospital with serious injuries.

    Route 113 at Dagsboro Road was closed as the crash was investigated but has since been re-opened. More in our July 10 issue.

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    A number of sightings near ocean beaches over the holiday weekend and the subsequent washing ashore of several Portuguese man o’ war this week prompted DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation Natural Resources Police to issue a caution statement urging people to avoid the stinging jellyfish relatives that are rare tropical visitors to the Delaware coast.

    Unknown for at least 15 years in Delaware state parks, one Portuguese man o’ war washed up on Faithful Steward Beach at Delaware Seashore State Park on Sunday night, while another beached early Monday at Fenwick Island State Park, and a third that afternoon at Cape Henlopen State Park, Chief of Enforcement Wayne Kline said.

    In the water, he noted, “These are beautiful creatures that should be observed only from a safe distance.”

    The man o’ war’s tentacles, which may grow to 50 feet in length, “can cause very painful — though usually non-life-threatening — stings.”

    Ordinarily, stings from the Portuguese man o’ war cause pain that lasts up to an hour and leaves whip-like red welts on the skin for several days afterward, said Cpl. Bryan John, head of the Natural Resources Police lifeguard patrol. He advised that man o’ war stings, in rare instances, can result in a dangerous allergic reaction, possibly even fatal ones.

    “Help should be sought immediately if the sting victim exhibits any of the following conditions,” John said, citing the need for assistance for a victim whose symptoms may include: trouble breathing, swelling of the lips or tongue, closure of the wind pipe, dizziness, fainting and vomiting, nausea or cramps.

    “If you are stung, seek the assistance of a lifeguard immediately,” he said. “If you are stung on an unguarded beach, acting as quickly as you can, you should remove the tentacles with a towel, stick or anything handy — avoiding further contact with bare skin — and then rinse the area of the sting with sea water. Do not rub it,” John said.

    The man o’ war’s stinging cells can continue to inflict injury even after the animal has washed up on the beach and appears to be dead, he said, cautioning, “Do not touch a Portuguese man o’ war or even a jellyfish that has come up on shore and looks to be dead on the sand.”

    Kline also encouraged any beachgoers encountering a Portuguese man o’ war at a Delaware State Park beach to exit the water immediately and inform the nearest lifeguard of their sighting.

    He noted that, with these marine creatures having gone unseen on the state’s beaches for a number of years, many beachgoers may not be familiar with their appearance. In the water, he said, they can seem to be an inflated purple-tinted blue balloon floating along on the ocean surface, while washed up on beach sand they may resemble a harmless duller blue plastic bag.

    He reiterated that, no matter how compelling or exotic they may be for inviting a closer look, or touch, contact with the Portuguese man o’ war is to be avoided at all costs.

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    DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife is looking for wildlife watchers and outdoor enthusiasts to assist with its sixth annual wild turkey reproduction survey, helping to identify locations where the big birds are successfully reproducing in Delaware.

    The data helps biologists track the health, distribution and reproductive success of the state’s wild turkey population, with the goal of ensuring a sustainable harvest of the game species.

    “Today, Delaware has a thriving wild turkey population that allows for an annual turkey hunting season, but this was not always the case. The reintroduction of the wild turkey to Delaware 30 years ago, nearly 200 years after it became locally extinct, remains one of the state’s greatest wildlife restoration success stories,” said Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis.

    Beginning in early 1984, with support from the National Wild Turkey Federation and Delaware Wild Lands, Division of Fish & Wildlife biologists released 34 wild-trapped turkeys from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont into Sussex and Kent counties. Reintroductions continued through the 1990s, and once the population had established a foothold in Delaware, a hunting season was opened in 1991. Today, Delaware has a healthy statewide population estimated at 6,000 birds.

    As part of its effort to help ensure the continued success of wild turkeys in Delaware, the Division of Fish & Wildlife needs information on the birds’ annual reproductive success. One simple and cost-effective method, officials said, is for volunteers during their day-to-day activities to record and report sightings of turkeys.

    The 2015 survey period continues through Monday, Aug. 31. Upon sighting turkeys, participants are asked to record the date, location and number of adult hens (females), gobblers (males) and poults (young of the year) they observe. Participants are asked to submit their results by Thursday, Sept. 10.

    In 2014, survey participants submitted more than 261 observations that provided insight on turkey production during last year’s nesting season. Statewide, reports indicated that reproductive success was better than in the last couple seasons but was still considered “poor to fair” based on the ratio of poults to hens observed.

    Wet spring and other conditions likely caused some first nesting attempts to fail or resulted in poult mortality during the first weeks after hatching, officials noted.

    Young turkeys’ feathers develop rapidly and birds can fly at two weeks of age, which greatly improves their odds of survival. A summary of last year’s survey results, as well as a data sheet and set of instructions, is available online for volunteers to download.

    “Every year we get new and returning volunteers to submit their data and observations, and every year the quality and quantity of the data continues to improve,” said Wildlife Biologist Matthew DiBona. “The more people who participate and the more observations they submit from all corners of the state adds to the science available to help manage this public trust resource.”

    For more information, contact Matthew DiBona, wildlife biologist, at (302) 735-3600.

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    Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Lanta Conaway, left, Brett Conaway, center, and Don Conaway, right, run the Fenwick Island Dairy Queen as a family business, with Lanta and Don’s other son, Don “D.C.” Conaway, and their daughter, Candace. A new favorite at the shop is a triple chocolate brownie à la mode, while the 60-year history of the DQ in Fenwick Island is clearly on display in a local history book.Special to the Coastal Point • Christina Weaver: Lanta Conaway, left, Brett Conaway, center, and Don Conaway, right, run the Fenwick Island Dairy Queen as a family business, with Lanta and Don’s other son, Don “D.C.” Conaway, and their daughter, Candace. A new favorite at the shop is a triple chocolate brownie à la mode, while the 60-year history of the DQ in Fenwick Island is clearly on display in a local history book.The Dairy Queen is one of the very few businesses in Fenwick Island that has been in the same location for more than 60 years. It was opened by Virgil Willey in 1952. Willey was the school principal in Bridgeville, and he opened and closed the “treat store,” as it was known, according to the school summer vacation schedule.

    Lanta Conaway bought the store 10 years ago to be a family business. She and her husband, Don Conaway, are both Realtors and have lived in Fenwick Island all their lives. In fact, Lanta’s grandparents on both sides lived there.

    “I remember when it was just a walk-up with a single window,” she said. “I even worked here as a teenager for a while. At first, they just sold vanilla, chocolate and twist cones — always with a curly-Q on top — and then milkshakes and malts, followed by banana splits. It was always called soft-serve, as real ice cream has 4-percent milk and ours is 2-percent milk.”

    “They built this structure to last,” said Don Conaway. “The concrete was dug into the ground and the later additions to accommodate the open flame brazier, and then eat-in seating, are equally sound. Even in the 1962 storm, when many of the local cottages were destroyed, and recently during Sandy, no damage was done here.”

    The Conaway’s have two sons, Don (known as “D.C.”) and Brett, who are the store’s managers, and their daughter, Candace, is the bookkeeper.

    “We hear the local buzz when I post the opening date on the outside sign,” said Brett Conaway who also first worked there as a teenager. “People tell me they look forward to it being their first sign that summer really is coming. And then, when I announce the closing date in October, we see an influx of customers wanting their last Blizzard of the year.”

    “The sign I put up that people like best is ‘Keep Crying Until Daddy Pulls Over,’” he added.

    Dairy Queen created the Blizzard in 1985, and ever since it has been the favorite item sold. “Upside Down, Right Thick” was the slogan, and to this day every Blizzard sold gets turned over to prove it’s the real thing. Its deliciousness is tested only by the taster!

    “The original flavors were Oreo, Butterfinger, strawberry and M&M,” said Brett. “Now there are over 40 flavors, and the Oreo is still the most popular, followed by Reese’s. In October, the special flavor of the month is pumpkin pie, and people love that, too.”

    For interested customers, a poster depicting the history of the Blizzard is hanging on the wall.

    This year, Dairy Queen has introduced a new treat that the Conaway family thinks will be another winning item on the menu: triple chocolate brownie à la mode!

    “It is part of a new line called DQ Bakes, hot and cold! There’s also apple tart and fudge-stuffed chocolate chip cookie, all served à la mode. They are sinfully good!” said Lanta Conaway. Later, she admitted that, despite being surrounded by sweet treats, her favorite item on the menu is a chili-dog!

    Another staple of the Fenwick Island Dairy Queen is teenage workers.

    “I like to hire them at 14, when it’s their first summer job and keep them until they’re finished high school,” said Don Conaway.

    “I like training them, too,” said Brett Conaway. “They work hard and have fun. It’s really a great job for them.”

    Another staple at the store is the presence of Fenwick Island lifeguards, some of whom have also worked there.

    “It’s so close to the beach, and it’s quick in and out,” said Zoe Gage. “I’ll usually have a cheeseburger or chicken strips for lunch and then come back at night for a Blizzard.”

    Sunny Kondova was the Conaway family’s first employee when they took over 10 years ago. She came from Bulgaria on a work-travel visa and liked the job and the area so much that she stayed.

    “They are nice people to work for. It’s fun. Everyone is friendly, and the customers love what we serve,” said Kondova.

    What more can one ask?

    Oh, yes — I’ll sit outside under one of those cheerful umbrellas and have a sinful triple chocolate brownie à la mode, please!

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    Special to the Coastal Point • Billy Beck: Above, rain can’t put a damper on the Coastal Jeep Club, lined up along the Atlantic.Special to the Coastal Point • Billy Beck: Above, rain can’t put a damper on the Coastal Jeep Club, lined up along the Atlantic.They wanted to meet other Jeep enthusiasts and wrangle their resources into future fundraisers for the community. But ultimately, it’s a club. They’re there to have fun.

    A wet, foggy evening didn’t stop them from hitting the 3 R’s beach in June. That’s where Bob “Koz” Kozlowski’s Jeep rolled into its 300,000th mile.

    His former two-hour commute helped inflate that number, as he once averaged 26,000 miles per year. He also drove “with the top down” from Seaford to Massachusetts.

    “When I hit 200,000, I thought, ‘I’ll trade it in soon.’ When I hit 250, I thought, ‘Let’s see how far it goes,’” said Kozlowski, who got the vehicle in January of 2002.

    “We’re really just getting started,” President Mark King said of the 15 members who officially organized in February.

    They talked about the Jeeps they’ve owned and the awards they’ve won. They also made plans to drive in the Independence Day parades in Bethany Beach and in the Bear Trap community in Ocean View.

    On Sept. 11, they’ll also form a SEAS the Day veterans escort from Sea Colony to the Freeman Stage at Bayside.

    “You gotta admit, when all of them get together, they attract a lot of attention,” King said.

    “Just look at the miles,” Kozlowski said. “You can tell we love our Jeeps.”

    Plus, they retain their value, said Rick Delaney.

    Kozlowski called the vehicle a toy for summer or winter, the beach or snow.

    Lisa Wynn compared it to a convertible, shedding its layers when summer comes.

    Invented for World War II, Jeeps have long been associated with adventure over many terrains. Locally, beach driving is more common than mountaineering.

    “We’re beach people,” King said.

    He joked that their arms get sore from waving to other Jeep drivers on the road.

    If you don’t own a Jeep, you might not understand the draw. After all, as the club flag reads, “It’s a Beach Jeep Thing.”

    Any Jeep and any owner is welcome to join Coastal Jeep Club. Registration costs $30 per Jeep. That typically covers one driver, plus a guest (such as a spouse or child).

    Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month, in different locations.

    “If you have a Jeep, come on out,” Kozlowski said. “We’re just out to have fun and help the community.”

    Learn more online at

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    After a year of statewide deliberation, Senate Bill 59 has been adopted, creating a driving privilege card option for undocumented residents of the state.

    The sponsor of the bill was state Sen. Bryan Townsend. The additional bi-partisan sponsors were state Sen. Robert I. Marshall, state Rep. Helene Keeley and state Rep. Joe Miro. Co-sponsors were state Reps. Michael A. Barbieri, Paul S. Baumbach, John A. Kowalko, Stephanie T. Bolden and Sean M. Lynn, and state Sens. David B. McBride and F. Gary Simpson.

    A 50-agency coalition called Coalition United for Safer Roads for All Delawareans led the yearlong campaign to create the driving privilege card. At the request of the Delaware Hispanic Commission (DHC), Gov. Jack Markell approved the request to form the Undocumented Motorist Safety & Insurance Task Force, consisting of 25 members — law enforcement, Homeland Security, Division of Motor Vehicles, Latino organizations, insurance corporations and others — to study how to provide an alternative driving card for the estimated 35,000 undocumented adults in Delaware.

    Mothers with infants in their arms and youngsters at their legs came to testify for the bill. Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, chair of the Community Social Justice Subcommittee for the DHC, said, “Their plea was real, and they moved legislators’ hearts.”

    On the evening of June 30, in Legislative Hall, the legislature voted final approval of Senate Bill 59 on Driving Privilege Cards. As courtesy to more than 100 Latino families who came to witness the event, Markell announced that he would sign the bill that night. After a half-hour of preparation, he invited his cabinet, legislative leaders on the bill and Latinos to join him for the signing ceremony.

    The bill becomes operational in six months, at which time it will permit the undocumented residents to enter the standard driving license process; testing, written examination, eye examination and road test. In addition, they will be fingerprinted en route to obtaining a Driving Privilege Card.

    Supporters of the legislation said it will make Delaware roads safer for everyone — drivers and pedestrians alike. It will for the first time allow the undocumented residents to purchase car insurance from reputable insurance companies, to protect themselves and other Delawareans in case of an accident.

    Under the current situation, supporters noted, Latinos were being victimized by unscrupulous insurance agencies that claimed to be offering insurance coverage for the premiums they pay every month, until an accident occurred.

    They said the change will also be a boost for the Delaware economy, as statistical studies have found that, from the estimated 35,000 undocumented residents in Delaware, some 20,000 are likely to apply for the driving privilege cards, purchase insurance policies and are most likely to buy automobiles. “That will increase employment opportunities and grow Delaware’s economy.

    “Statistics also show that the absence of the ability to legally drive is a primary barrier to receiving educational, medical, social and cultural services. This law satisfies all the law enforcement concerns while relieving these barriers for people to improve their quality of life.”

    The Delaware Hispanic Commission was created by Executive Order 28 for the purpose of expanding and improving the representation of and advocacy for Delaware’s Hispanic Community to identify and address the most important needs of Delaware’s rapidly growing Hispanic families.

    In order to identify and address the needs associated with the state’s increasing diversity, the commission will focus on assessing the characteristics, contributions, needs and issues of Hispanic Delawareans.

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    The Clear Space Theatre Company announced this week that it will offer Free Fridays performances of their Musical Theatre Summer Intensives. The Summer Intensive camps are an extension of their Broadway Bound program, which students from grades 1 through 12 study the craft of theater through five separate week-long camps held at the Clear Space Theatre in downtown Rehoboth Beach.

    Mirroring the rehearsal and production process of Clear Space’s own summer repertory season, students rehearse, create and perform a condensed version of a popular Broadway musical in just five days. Guided by the Clear Space faculty, students receive instruction in acting, dance and vocal technique.

    The Free Friday performances begin with “Winnie the Pooh” (grades 1-3) on Friday, July 10, followed by “Beauty & the Beast” (grades 4-6) on July 17; “The Wiz” (grades 7-12) on July 31; and “Shrek” (featuring students who have been recommended by the faculty from all five camps) on Aug. 7. The Acting Summer Intensive (grades 1-12) will present “Alice in Wonderland” on Friday, July 24. All performances are at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

    “The Summer Intensives have infinite rewards for all involved — from the campers to the faculty,” stated Wesley Paulson, executive director. “The students take such remarkable pride in their accomplishments over the course of the week. Because of the amount of information students have to absorb, you can literally watch the transformation in their work on an hourly basis.”

    Visit the Clear Space website at for a complete show schedule and reservations, or call the box office at (302) 227-2270.

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    Fire-truck lovers will converge on Georgetown this weekend, as antique fire trucks will be on display at the Marvel Carriage Museum as part of the Georgetown Historical Society’s First Saturday.

    “First Saturday started in May and runs through September,” said Jim Bowden, president of the Georgetown Historical Society. “We were trying to generate some excitement for Georgetown and the different museums we have here, so we came up with the idea that all the museums would open up for free one Saturday of the month.”

    At least 17 antique fire trucks will be on display at the event, coming from all over Sussex County — including Millville’s 1945 Autocar, Millsboro’s 1942 Ford and 1938 Reo, and Frankford’s 1968 Cadillac ambulance.

    “I find that the fire service loves to show off their antiques. Most of the time, they only get to show their hometown crowd in a local parade. Especially the older vehicles — they usually don’t take them out except for special occasions,” explained Bowden.

    “The only problem for the spectators is you get to see them ride by, but you don’t get a real good chance to look at them up and down, get next to them and take pictures by them, like you will on Saturday.

    “A lot of the early ones are from the 1920s. The earliest piece will be the 1883 hand-drawn ladder wagon from Georgetown. They’re really nice antiques, and they take good care of them and have spent a lot of money to restore them. The fire companies love to show their pieces off.”

    At least one person from each fire company will be on hand during the day to answer any questions visitors may have about the apparatuses.

    “At least one representative from each fire company will be there to tell their story and how their fire company came to be and be able to talk about historic fires in their area.”

    Bowden said the fire companies were excited to participate in the show, though some couldn’t, due to their apparatuses being under repair.

    “For instance, Lewes Fire’s truck is out of service and won’t be able to bring it this year. It’s having work done on its motor,” he said, adding that he hopes they will be able to attend the event in future years.

    During the time when the event is going on at the Carriage Museum, the museum and its village will be open to the public, free of charge.

    “We’ll have extra docents on hand to be able to give tours of the rest of the village, as well,” he said. “It’s kind of a village concept — we have a one-room school house, an 1890s church, a couple barns, two old railroad depots and about 30 horse-drawn carriages on display.”

    For its first month, First Saturday had a corresponding car show, and Bowden thought holding another such event would boost attendance in its third month.

    “I thought, ‘I wonder what we could do to generate some more excitement,’” he said. “I love fire trucks, and it was just a matter of reaching out to the fire companies to see if they were interested. So we decided to go ahead and do it.”

    The event will be held on July 11 (moved to the second Saturday of the month, due to the Independence Day holiday), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is free and open to the public. First Saturday will also be held on Aug. 1 and Sept. 5.

    “It can’t get much better than free,” he said with a laugh.

    Participating museums include the Masonic Lodge, the Historic Georgetown Train Station, the Old Sussex County Courthouse, the Delaware Aviation Museum, the Marvel Museum and the Treasures of the Sea Exhibit.

    “On the grounds of the Marvel Museum, we also have the Delaware Telephone Museum, which is kind of unique. It’s the only one of its kind in Delaware. It has the history of telephones from the earliest days of Diamond State Telephone in Delaware all the way up to cell phones.”

    He noted that many visitors and locals alike are not aware of the history of Georgetown.

    “We have people who will come and they’ll say, ‘I’ve rode by this place for years and just thought people had horses here.’ There’s a lot of people who’ve said, ‘I’ve been riding by here for 20 years and I never knew it was a museum.’”

    Bowden said the inaugural First Saturday drew 187 visitors to the Marvel Carriage Museum and it has drawn a steady crowd each month. He said he hopes the interest in the Georgetown’s history will continue.

    “We’ve been very, very happy with the attendance,” he said. “We’re trying to generate interest in what we consider a very rich history in Georgetown and a very untapped resource for a lot of people. We’ve had a good influx of residents from the east side, as well as tourists visiting… It’s been very heartwarming to see that happening.”

    The Marvel Carriage Museum is located at 510 South Bedford Street, Georgetown. For more information, call (302) 855-9660 or visit

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    A decision issued by Sussex County Superior Court Judge Richard F. Stokes has upheld a Sussex County Board of Adjustment decision to grant a special-use exception to Allen Harim Foods, to renovate and utilize the former Pinnacle Foods plant outside of Millsboro as a chicken processing plant.

    In 2013, Allen Harim announced its $100 million plan to redevelop the former Vlasic pickle plant site for poultry processing. As part of its confidential agreement of purchase and sale, Harim in April 2013 filed an application to the Sussex County Board of Adjustment for a special-use exception.

    Protecting Our Indian River, a group comprising residents who are opposed to Harim taking over the vacant brownfields site, appealed the BOA’s decision to the Delaware Superior Court.

    Attorneys for POIR and Harim convened in court in October of 2014 for a hearing regarding POIR’s appeal of the BOA’s decision. POIR argued that the BOA’s decision was not based on substantial evidence, that notice requirements were not fulfilled and that the BOA did not properly exercise its jurisdiction.

    But in Stokes’ July 2 decision, he noted that the appeal could have been dismissed just based on the appellants failing to give the correct name of the property’s owner in its appeal.

    “As the record title owner is an indispensable party on appeal, the failure to join this party is a fatal defect,” he wrote. “The [initial appeal] names Pinnacle Foods Corporation in paragraph one as the owner of the property. This is incorrect, because the owners is [Pinnacle Foods Group]… To the extent there was discretion to dismiss the appeal, however, the Court preferred to decide the case on its merits,” he said.

    In their appeal, POIR argued that the BOA erred by exercising jurisdiction over the special-use exception proceeding.

    “BOA properly exercised their express and implied jurisdictional authority by directly accepting the application for a special-use exception from Harim… A decision giving rise to an appeal need not be rendered before BOA may approve a special-use exception request.

    “Moreover, utilizing the technical definition of the word ‘appeal’ to reach the conclusion that jurisdiction is lacking is inconsistent with the historical origins of zoning, the procedural purpose of the statute, and BOA’s broad express and implied statutory and regulatory power,” wrote Stokes.

    POIR also argued that the decision was void because the property owner of record has standing to request a special-use exception, noting that Harim had sought the exception, not Pinnacle. Stokes ruled, however, that as Pinnacle was constructively before the BOA in support of the application, and Harim proceeded to request the exception with their support, Harim was “a proper party able to file a direct application to BOA.”

    The appeal also argued that the BOA received, “nothing but legal truisms from agencies it did contact,” that Harim failed to solicit comments from additional agencies and that the BOA decision was not based on substantial evidence.

    “The absence of comments from the Sussex Conservation District, the EPA and the Delaware Center for Inland Bays are not sufficient grounds for reversal, because it was not necessary for each of these authorities to be consulted in order for BOA to render a decision,” wrote Stokes, noting that the BOA had, in fact, tried to contact the Sussex Conservation District via a June 2014 letter but did not receive a response.

    “The attempt to consult with this agency is sufficient, as it was outside of BOA’s control whether a response would be provided for BOA’s consideration.”

    Stokes wrote that the record reflects “substantial evidence supporting the application because numerous agencies were consulted and thorough documentation, testimony and input was provided to BOA for consideration.”

    As part of the process, the County BOA was required to consult with other agencies created for the promotion of public health and safety, prior to making a decision.

    Stokes noted that the BOA had voted to leave the record open in order to solicit comments from other agencies and also decided to leave the record open an additional seven days to allow the public an opportunity to provide input related to the comments offered by the consulted agencies.

    Stokes also addressed POIR’s argument that due-process notice requirements were not satisfied. In his decision, he ruled against them, noting, “BOA published, posted and advertised the hearing several ways.”

    He stated that the hearings were publicly advertised in two state papers, well before the 15-day notice requirement. He added that notice was posted on bulletin boards at the Sussex County Planning & Zoning Office, and provided Harim a separate written notice.

    “Later on, written notice was sent out to Harim for a second time, along with six local government agencies and municipalities. Property owners residing within 200 feet of the subject property’s perimeter were also notified by a direct mailing…”

    Stokes wrote, “It was not unknown to the community that Harim’s special-use exception application was a forthcoming issue,” and that the notice requirements were fulfilled.

    He stated that participation in a public hearing “does not invariably mean that notice was effective,” noting the BOA collected approximately 220 letters and 12 emails during the public comment period.

    “Considering the foregoing, Appellants failed to satisfy their burden to the BOA’s decision was arbitrary and unreasonable… Therefore, the BOA decision is affirmed,” concluded Stokes.

    POIR can appeal Stokes’ decision to the Delaware Supreme Court within 30 days.

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    After the town’s Fourth of July celebration came to a close, the Millsboro Town Council kept the festivities going in their own way, with a game of musical chairs.

    During Monday’s regular monthly meeting, newly elected council members James Kells and Brad Cordrey were sworn in — but the task of replacing former mayor Bob Bryan and councilwoman Irene Keenan still loomed.

    Former Vice-Mayor John Thoroughgood was the obvious choice to take the reins and was voted in unanimously. A motion was then made for former council treasurer Michelle Truitt to take over Thoroughgood’s now-vacant role as vice-mayor, and former council secretary Joseph Brady then made the move to fill the void at treasurer.

    Kells was put to the test almost immediately after being sworn in to his council seat, getting a nomination to step in as secretary.

    After the shakeup, residents including Millsboro Chamber Executive Director Amy Simmons greeted the new council members and expressed their gratitude for Bryan and Keenan’s service.

    “I’ll just say, ‘Thank you’ right now for their service, dedication and support for us,” said Simmons. “To Mr. Kells and Mr. Cordrey, I look forward to working with you. My door’s pretty much always open. Please stop by.”

    Plantation Lakes residents aim to stay separate from golf course

    Plantation Lakes resident Yvonne McCombs addressed the council to make something clear: She and her neighbors have no desire to link their homes with the golf course.

    “The honest truth is, between the HOA meeting, yearly meeting and all the meetings we’ve had in the community, none of us are receptive to tying our homes to that golf course,” she asserted. “We’re even less receptive to that golf course being given to our HOA.”

    McCombs went on to cite possible expenses down the line for the 400-home community.

    “We were all told that we do not own the golf course,” McCombs said. “We’d like to let the council know we’d like to keep it that way.”

    Thoroughgood appointed a committee to look into the matter.

    Millsboro police add three new patrolmen

    After successfully completing their two-year training, Millsboro Police Chief John K. Murphy recommended three officers for promotion to patrolmen first-class.

    A motion was made to do just that, as officer Matthew Deford, officer Carey Anne Rambo and officer Jonathan Zibrowski became the department’s newest patrolmen. The promotions came just in time, as Thoroughgood noted the success of the increased foot-patrols downtown.

    “I would like you to continue doing foot patrols downtown,” said Thoroughgood. “You’ve been doing a good job. We appreciate it.”

    Other council members agreed, and Murphy explained that they’ll continue to patrol the downtown area in shifts.

    The next regularly scheduled town council meeting is set for Monday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m.

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    Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Harry and Linda Kent of Millville were honored by the Delaware State Police for their dedication to improving the conditions at Camp Barnes over the past four years, as well as contributing new mattresses to the camp.Coastal Point • Maria Counts: Harry and Linda Kent of Millville were honored by the Delaware State Police for their dedication to improving the conditions at Camp Barnes over the past four years, as well as contributing new mattresses to the camp.Members of the community and the Delaware State Police gathered together last week to honor those who donate their time and money in support of Camp Barnes.

    The summer camp is an overnight residential camp run by the Delaware State Police and is open to children between the ages of 10 and 13 at no cost to the camper or their family. Camp Barnes accommodates 60 campers per week for six weeks. The camp is in session from early July through August. All children are eligible to attend, regardless of family income.

    “In 1947, the Delaware Association of Chiefs’ of Police accepted the challenge to undertake a project to combat juvenile delinquency in the state of Delaware. The committee’s resulting recommendation led to the establishment of Camp Barnes, for the recreation of deserving youth from throughout the state,” said DSP Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr.

    “Camp Barnes was originally designed to provide children who are unable to attend summer camps an opportunity to experience life at a summer youth camp. Camp Barnes remains basically unchanged — providing Delaware children with outdoor experience for over 60 years.

    “In 1948, only 40 campers were able to attend Camp Barnes — today we have over 1,000 students a year that appear here at Camp Barnes to enjoy the camp, and several groups that use the camp throughout the summer.”

    The camp was named for Col. Herbert A. Barnes, who was the superintendent of the Delaware State Police at the time of its inception, and is considered to have played a “pivotal role” in establishing Camp Barnes at the time.

    “Francis DuPont, who was on the state Highway Commission, when dad told him what he wanted to do, they got $35,000 to start this camp. And the Chiefs of Police Association gave $10,000 to start this camp,” said Herbert Barnes Jr., one of the honorees last week, whose father created the camp. “Dad signed a lease for 99 years, at $1 a year, with the State, for the 13 acres this camp is built on.”

    Camp Barnes summer camp creates adventure-based outdoor learning experiences for campers who may not have the opportunity to enjoy the activities outside of camp. Some of the many activities campers participate in throughout the week include swimming in an Olympic-size pool, kayaking in Miller’s Creek, arts and crafts, nature walks, and talent shows. Campers can also enjoy a scaled down version of the Olympics and state police demonstrations by the K-9 unit.

    “I’ve got a special place in my heart for the camp. The kids who come here come from everywhere. It’s a melting pot for the state of Delaware. Kids from the inner-city of Wilmington come, and we have kids from Gumboro. They come together for one week and become one — they become a family down here,” said Cpl. Shawn Hatfield, the camp’s director.

    “A lot of the kids that come to this camp, they don’t go to Rehoboth Beach for the weekend, they don’t go to Myrtle Beach, they don’t go to Disney World. This is their vacation. This one week is a vacation that a lot of these kids remember for the rest of their lives.”

    “To see the smiles on the kids’ faces, a lot of the kids don’t eat like we eat here… We eat very well here. A lot of these kids probably don’t get to eat how they eat here. To see them leave on Friday, with the girls in tears because they don’t want to leave, brings a smile to my face, brings a smile to the counselors’ faces.”

    McQueen said the camp is limited in funding, and although it receives funding from the General Assembly every year, other donations are critical to keeping the camp operational.

    “I don’t think a week goes by when I’m at headquarters that I don’t receive a check from somebody who wants to donate to Camp Barnes. Some people, every year without fail, will send a check — whether it’s for $50 or $100 — to help run and maintain Camp Barnes.”

    Atlantic Concrete was thanked for their donation of approximately 52 yards, or six truckloads, of concrete for the camp’s basketball court, and in 2014 also donated concrete for the walkway leading to the camp’s flagpole. The business also sponsors the camp’s annual stock-car race fundraiser.

    Atlantic Community Thrift Shop has donated $15,000 over the last year and a half, which helped complete projects, and donated furniture that’s being used at the camp.

    Bruce and Sharon Schoonover were honored for their efforts in overseeing the renovation of the camp’s bathhouses, funded by the Fenwick Island Lions Club, of which both are members and of which Bruce Schoonover serves as president.

    “Both have given a great deal of time and effort to the bathhouse,” said Sgt. Richard Bratz, director of public information for DSP. “They volunteer their time and wisdom without fanfare, and are individuals who give back to their community because they think it is the right thing to do.”

    The Fenwick Island Lions Club was also honored for their donation to renovate the camp’s bathhouses before the 2015 camp season started.

    “This is such a special place to the entire state of Delaware and its residents,” said Bruce Schoonover. “The Fenwick Island Lions Club took great pleasure in working with Camp Barnes in doing the renovation of the bathhouse. We’re proud to be just a very small part of the Camp Barnes family. I can’t say enough about the generosity of the Delaware State Police… It just makes such a difference in so many people’s lives. Here’s to another 68 years.”

    Harry and Linda Kent of Millville were also honored for volunteering many hours of their time over the last four years, as well as their contribution of new mattresses for the camp when it was “in dire need of new ones.” The Kents are also active members of the Millville Volunteers.

    Barnes was honored for giving to the camp through volunteer hours, as well as his financial support.

    “He gives a lot of his time to the camp. He brings popcorn to the campers each week and makes the Camp Barnes calendar each year,” said Bratz. “It is great knowing the Barnes name is still involved in the camp and that Mr. Barnes takes great pride in the camp his father helped start.”

    Barnes said the camp has been life-changing for some of the campers.

    “One thing I remember my father saying: There was a boy who came to the camp one time for two weeks. His family were alcoholics. The next camp period, he ran away from home and they found him down at camp,” said Barnes. “Dad told one of the troopers to bring him up to headquarters. And my father told the boy, ‘If you don’t run away from home anymore, you can stay all next summer at the camp and help the cooks,’ and the boy never ran away again.”

    Jimmy Hitchens was thanked for his involvement in the stock-car race fundraiser, from which the kids benefit. The Kent County Levy Court has also donated to a number of projects over the last few years, including the construction of a handicapped ramp for the pool in 2012, and purchased brand-new kayaks for the camp in 2014.

    The Matt Haley Companies’ Global Delaware Fund donated funds for the renovation of the camp’s pool. Donations from the Sussex County Council over last three years helped with construction of handicapped ramp for the pool and the purchase of new kayaks for the camp.

    WSFS was honored for their help in cleaning up the camp, as well as their support of projects that benefit the camp’s youth. Schagrin Gas was honored for purchasing a handicapped chair lift for the camp’s pool. Millville by the Sea was honored for their “huge presence” at cleanup day and their financial support of the camp.

    The Millville Volunteers, who were the first group to jump in and get involved with the camp, in 2010, were honored for their volunteer efforts and financial support.

    “They are outstanding friends to the camp, and the impact they have made has been truly remarkable. They have adopted the camp as their own, and the youth of Delaware have benefitted. We know we can always count on the Millville Volunteers when we need help,” said Bratz.

    The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation was honored for their 2010 donation of $6,000.

    “This generous donation was able to help with several projects at the camp, and helped jumpstart renovations at Camp Barnes that continue today,” said Bratz.

    “Our mission is to help those in need, and that need is a broadly defined word for us. I think Camp Barnes is critical to helping kids in potential trouble. We try to help kids in all aspects of their lives,” said Steve Alexander, president of the QRCF, which also offers college scholarships to graduating high-school seniors.

    Camp Barnes has a staff of 12 counselors, two cooks, one kitchen assistant and a nurse. Counselors are required to submit to a criminal background check, as well as an interview. There is also a state trooper on the grounds at all times when the camp is in session.

    “It’s really about the kids at the end of the day. I think the one thing we create with the children is hope,” said McQueen. “It’s really about the community coming together, with government, with police, with all of our stakeholders in the community, with all of our elected officials, to make this camp run.

    “This camp has been here a long time. I remember talking to Mr. Schoonover when he came to donate a large contribution to really renovate the bathrooms here at Camp Barnes. He said, ‘The thing that really made me want to donate is the kids.’

    “He sees how much fun these kids have here every year, and he wanted to do something to help. We all realize sometimes that kids need help, but you guys have actually taken the opportunity to do something about it and contribute to Camp Barnes… Your efforts do make a difference in the lives of these children, and it takes a community to do that.”

    During the event, the camp was in session, so donors could see the impact their donations made.

    Camper Ben Turk of Hockessin, 13, was attending Camp Barnes for the first time that week.

    “I heard about it from one of my friends, and they said it was pretty fun. So I signed up, and it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

    Turk said that he enjoyed kayaking, crabbing and playing in the pool, but the most fun so far was sleeping. He added that he made lots of friends and would love to return to camp.

    Camp counselor Whitney Savoy of Bear was working at the camp for her seventh year.

    “The counselors don’t come here for the money. They could work at the beach, they could work at Grotto’s and make a lot more money than they do here, but they have the love of kids and the conviction to help these kids,” said Hatfield.

    Savoy learned about the camp from her father, a state trooper, but was encouraged to apply to be a counselor by her school resource officer.

    “He said he thought I would be good for the position here. So I applied in 2009 and got the job. Every single year I’ve loved it so much, I’ve always wanted to come back.”

    Savoy, who just finished graduate school and plans to become a teacher, said she returns year after year for the kids.

    “I honestly love the kids and interacting with the kids. It’s a very special camp. I feel like the kids and the counselors are a tight-knit group. We’re a family here, and it’s awesome seeing the kids grow up every year, because they keep coming back.

    “This is my second home. I just love it… I don’t know how to explain it, actually. I just love what we do here for the kids. It’s really touching when kids look up to you and remember you every single year… It’s just the greatest feeling in the world.”

    Hatfield said that being a part of Camp Barnes has allowed him to see first-hand the positive impact it has on Delaware’s youth.

    “I just want everyone to know what I know and see for the six weeks that I’m here — that Camp Barnes is making a huge impact on the lives of the kids of the state of Delaware. With you and the past help you’ve given us, with the future coming. It’ll help us get to 2047, and more kids will be impacted by what we do,” he said of the many donations and other forms of support made to the camp. “It’s the proudest thing I’ve done since I’ve been involved with the state police… Being involved with Camp Barnes has really made my career a fulfilling thing.”

    Hatfield said that he was extremely appreciative of the community support, which will help keep the camp a thriving haven for the children of Delaware in future years.

    “Camp Barnes was established in 1947, and my goal is to make sure it’s still here in 2047. With the fine organizations that are here, the donors, the civic groups that help either through money or manpower, we’re going to make that goal a reality,” he said.

    “Mr. Schoonover said it best one day when we were walking around, that Camp Barnes is a hidden jewel in the state of Delaware, and we want to get the word out about it so other groups like yourselves can help us get to 2047.”

    To learn more about Camp Barnes, or to make a contribution of time or money, visit, email or call (302) 841-3368.

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    Delaware State Police this week revealed the results of a months-long operation designed to proactively impact violent crime in Sussex and Kent counties.

    The effort, dubbed “Operation In the House,” entered the planning stages in February and targeted subjects allegedly participating in an organized criminal enterprise. Members of the network were believed to be active participants in racketeering, murder, home-invasion robbery, illegal weapons possession and the distribution of illegal narcotics, according to police.

    Officially begun March 17, the operation involved the DSP Troop 4 Major Crimes Unit, Delaware State Police Homicide Unit, Sussex County Drug Unit and the Delaware Department of Justice, which organized and conducted the operation with the assistance of the Sussex County Governor’s Task Force, Kent County Drug Unit, Kent County Governor’s Task Force, the Delaware State Police Special Operations Response Team (SORT), Drug Enforcement Administration–Dover Field Office (DEA), U.S Marshals, Delaware Department of Corrections, Dover Police Department, Georgetown Police Department and the Philadelphia Police Department.

    During the operation, police said, investigators used numerous investigative techniques to identify members involved in violent crime and the distribution of large amounts of cocaine and heroin in Kent and Sussex counties.

    Through the investigation, police said, detectives were able to establish that Steven Kellam, Rhamir Waples, Richard Robinson, Shamir Stratton, Damon Bethea and Carlton Gibbs operated in a criminal network that targeted specific victims for home-invasion robberies. The victims targeted by the organization were believed to be involved in the distribution of illegal narcotics.

    According to the DSP, the suspects planned and committed numerous home-invasion robberies with the goal of obtaining illegal narcotics and cash from the victims and would conceal their identities by donning clothing items over their faces and then make forced entry into the home of the victims and use firearms to commit robbery.

    During one of the home-invasion robberies, two victims were shot and killed, and during another, one victim was wounded during an exchange of gunfire.

    Arrests were made in relation to crimes dating back to January of 2014, when Cletis Nelson and William Hopkins were shot and killed during a home-invasion robbery in a residence located on Harmon’s Hill Road in Millsboro.

    Kellam, Robinson, Waples, Stratton, Bethea and Gibbs were all charged with the home invasion and murder of the victims. Rachel Rentoul and Jackie Heverin were charged with robbery-related offenses for assisting in the planning of the crime.

    Kellam, Robinson and Waples were also charged with a home-invasion robbery that occurred on Russell Avenue in the Oak Orchard area of Millsboro on May 18, 2014. During that robbery, the suspects allegedly pistol-whipped a 24-year-old man.

    Additionally, Kellam, Robinson and Waples were charged with an attempted home invasion that occurred on Aug. 22, 2014, during which they allegedly kicked in the door of a residence on Chris Drive in Millsboro but fled as the residents blocked the door and called police.

    Kellam, Robinson and Waples were further charged with a Dec. 11, 2014, home-invasion robbery on Sandy Drive in Millsboro. During that incident, the suspects allegedly pistol-whipped a 46-year-old man and assaulted a 56-year-old woman.

    Kellam, Robinson and Waples were also charged with a Dec. 14, 2014, home-invasion robbery on Cordrey Road in Millsboro. During that incident, the suspects allegedly shot and wounded a 37-year-old man.

    Investigation connects violent crimes with drug network

    According to the DSP, their investigation also showed that the subjects had relationships with several individuals heavily involved in the trade of heroin and cocaine in Sussex County. Investigators were able to determine that Jackson Vanvorst of Laurel allegedly operated a large distribution network in Sussex County and employed John Richardson, Ray Revel and Cornell Smith in the allocation of the heroin.

    Investigators were also able to determine that Angelina Levan and James Johnson of Harrington were allegedly supplying Vanvorst with large amounts of heroin. Vanvorst also allegedly orchestrated a large shoplifting ring in which he would send drug users to steal pre-determined items from numerous department, hardware and groceries stores. Vanvorst would “pay” the individuals with drugs, police said, and he would in turn sell the items for profit in the community.

    Investigators were also able to identify several large-scale cocaine dealers through relationships with the individuals involved in the home-invasion robberies, police said.

    Australia Mackey of Millsboro was identified as allegedly operating a cocaine network in Sussex County and was allegedly distributing powder and “crack” cocaine to numerous other large-scale drug dealers in Sussex.

    Those individuals were identified as Nathan Henry, Aaron Isler, Myricka Sampson, Leondious Gibbs, Corina Lloyd, Samuel Jones, Jermichael Deshields and Thomas Deshields. The investigation determined that Tavon Biles of Rehoboth Beach and Zachery Bates of Smyrna were allegedly supplying Mackey with large amounts of cocaine. All of the suspects were charged with numerous drug-related charges.

    The first phase of Operation In the House ended during the first week of May 2015. The operation ended with the execution of 25 search warrants at various locations throughout Kent and Sussex counties. At that time, 30 individuals were indicted by a Sussex County Grand Jury.

    As a result of the investigation, quantities of drugs were seized, including: 2,321.7 grams (more than 2 kilograms) of cocaine, 108.03 grams (more than 7,200 bags) of heroin, 7,921.65 grams of marijuana, .02 grams of methamphetamine and 41 prescription narcotic pills. Investigators also recovered and seized $135,310 in cash, 19 firearms and 15 vehicles.

    Indictments were obtained June 22 for the suspects allegedly involved in the murders and home invasions, with numerous other indictments also obtained for dozens of suspects in the various crimes. Investigations on several related incidents were still ongoing this week, police said.

    “This operation — and these arrests — are just more examples of the remarkable interagency cooperation in and around Delaware that helps protect the public,” said Attorney General Matt Denn. “This is another example of law enforcement agencies working together to take criminals off the street, this time in a major operation in Sussex County.”

    “This investigation targeted violent criminals and drug traffickers that were part of an organized criminal enterprise operating in Kent and Sussex County,” said Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr., superintendent of the Delaware State Police.

    “This criminal enterprise was responsible for several serious violent crimes and the importation and distribution of heroin and cocaine throughout the state of Delaware. The arrest of these suspects will have a significant impact and will go a long way to improve the quality of life in the affected communities.”

    Dozens of arrests made

    Arrested as a result of Operation In the House were:

    • Steven Kellam, 34, of Dover, on 81 charges, including Murder 1st Degree, Attempted Murder 1st Degree, Racketeering, Home Invasion, Robbery 1st Degree, Attempted Robbery 1st Degree, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony (PFDCF), Possession of a Firearm by a Person Prohibited (PFBPP), Conspiracy 1st Degree, Conspiracy 2nd Degree, Reckless Endangering 1st Degree, Tier 4 Delivery of Narcotics and Wearing a Disguise During the Commission of a Felony. He was held without bail.

    • Damon Bethea, 30, of Pennsauken, N.J., on 22 charges, including Murder 1st Degree, Home Invasion, Robbery 1st Degree, Attempted Robbery 1st Degree, PFDCF, Conspiracy 1st Degree and Conspiracy 2nd Degree. He was also held without bail.

    • Carlton Gibbs, 40, of Millsboro, on 23 charges, including Murder 1st Degree, Home Invasion, Robbery 1st Degree, Attempted Robbery 1st Degree, PFDCF, PFBPP, Conspiracy 1st Degree and Conspiracy 2nd Degree. He was held without bail.

    • Richard Robinson, 20, of Philadelphia, Pa., on 81 Charges, including Murder 1st Degree, Attempted Murder 1st Degree, Racketeering, Home Invasion, Robbery 1st Degree, Attempted Robbery 1st Degree, PFDCF, Conspiracy 2nd Degree, Reckless Endangering 1st Degree and Wearing a Disguise During the Commission of a Felony. Robinson was arrested July 3 and, as of mid-week, was incarcerated in a Philadelphia prison pending extradition back to Delaware.

    • Shamir A. Stratton, 24, of Pennsauken, N.J., on 22 charges, including Murder 1st Degree, Home Invasion, Robbery 1st Degree, Attempted Robbery 1st Degree, PFDCF, Conspiracy 1st Degree and Conspiracy 2nd Degree. He was arrested July 7 and was being held without bail at Sussex Correctional Institution.

    • Rachel R. Rentoul, 30, of Wilmington, on 13 charges, including Home Invasion, PFDCF, Robbery 1st Degree and Conspiracy 2nd Degree. She was released on $65,000 unsecured bond.

    • Jackson Vanvorst, 34, of Laurel on 55 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Heroin, Tier 2 Delivery of Heroin, Tier 4 Delivery of Heroin, Tier 4 Possession with the Intent to Distribute (PWITD) Heroin, Possession of Cocaine, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd, Delivery of Cocaine, PFBPP, Delivery of Heroin and Possession of Heroin.

    • Australia Mackey, 39, of Millsboro on 62 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine, Tier 4 PWITD Cocaine and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    • Samuel J. Jones, 34, of Millsboro on 12 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd. He was arrested July 3 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $187,500 cash bond.

    • Tavon Biles, 32, of Rehoboth Beach on 14 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • Zackary Bates, 31, of Smyrna on three charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • Angelina Levan, 46, of Harrington on 15 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Heroin, Tier 4 Delivery of Heroin and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • James Johnson, 45, of Harrington on six charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Heroin, Tier 4 Delivery of Heroin and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • John E. Richardson, 30, of Georgetown on seven charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Heroin, Tier 4 Delivery of Heroin, Tier 3 Possession of Heroin, Tier 2 Delivery of Heroin, Conspiracy 2nd and Maintaining a Drug Property.

    • Ray Revel, 49, of Laurel on four charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Heroin, Tier 4 Delivery of Heroin, Conspiracy 2nd and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

    • Cornell B. Smith, 31, of Millsboro on five charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Heroin, Tier 4 Delivery of Heroin, Delivery of Heroin and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • Thomas Deshields, 36, of Millsboro on 10 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 PWITD of Cocaine, Delivery of Cocaine, PWITD Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd Degree.

    • Jermichael Deshields, 35, of Millsboro on 11 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 PWITD Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    • Nathan Henry, 31, of Georgetown on 12 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    • Leondious Gibbs, 29, of Millsboro on six charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 PWITD of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine, PFBPP and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

    • Aaron D. Isler, 34, of Ellendale on eight charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    • Anthony Hopkins, 53, of Milton on 12 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    • Corina Lloyd, 40, of Millsboro on eight charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    • Myricka A. Sampson, 33, of Harbeson on 12 charges, including Tier 5 Possession of Cocaine, Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    • Desirae A. Hammel, 24, of Lewes on two charges, including Tier 4 Delivery of Cocaine and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • Perry Butler, 51, of Greenwood on six charges, including Tier 4 Possession of Oxycodone, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd and Possession of Oxycodone.

    • Kevin Worrell, 35, of Lewes on four charges, including PFBPP, Possession of Cocaine, Criminal Solicitation 2nd and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • Daniel Godwin, 28, of Georgetown on three charges, including Possession of Heroin, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    • Angela Brown, 43, of Dover on two charges, including Delivery of Oxycodone and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • Sheri Chalfant, 52, of Laurel on two charges, including Delivery of Heroin and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • Domonique Johnson, 20, of Ellendale on three charges, including Possession of Heroin, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    Murder suspect, others still at large

    Arrest warrants were obtained for a number of additional individuals in connection with the investigation who had not been located as of early this week, including one of those charged with murder. They include:

    • Rhamir D. Waples, 19, of Philadelphia, Pa., wanted on 81 charges, including Murder 1st Degree, Attempted Murder 1st Degree, Racketeering, Home Invasion, Robbery 1st Degree, Attempted Robbery 1st Degree, PFDCF, Conspiracy 2nd Degree, Reckless Endangering 1st Degree and Wearing a Disguise During the Commission of a Felony.

    • Jacquelyn Heverin, 24, of Millsboro on 13 charges, including Home Invasion, PFDCF, Robbery 1st Degree and Conspiracy 2nd Degree.

    • Dean R. Zerden, 47, of Millsboro on three charges, including Possession of Cocaine, Criminal Solicitation 2nd and Conspiracy 2nd.

    • Thomas Tallent, 29, of Georgetown on three charges, including Possession of Heroin, Conspiracy 2nd and Criminal Solicitation 2nd.

    If anyone has any information about the locations of the wanted subjects, they are being asked to contact Sgt. G. Windish at (302) 752-3814. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the Internet at, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”

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    The South Bethany Police Department this week was investigating an assault that happened on the morning of Sunday, July 5, on Canal Drive.

    Police said they received a report of the victim being assaulted by unknown suspects and thrown into the canal. Upon arrival, the victim was found lying on the ground, with facial injuries that were consistent with a physical assault, police reported.

    The victim was transported to the Beebe Healthcare in Lewes for treatment and was released later that same day, they said.

    The suspects were unknown as of mid-week, with no description provided by police. Anyone with information about the incident is being asked to contact the South Bethany Police Department at (302) 539-3996. Tips can also be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or online at Callers may remain anonymous.

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    Coastal Point • Laura Walter: For his years of service to Selbyville, retiring Town Administrator Bob Dickerson (center) received a tribute from the Delaware House of Representatives, including state Rep. Ron Gray, left, and state Rep. Rich Collins, right.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: For his years of service to Selbyville, retiring Town Administrator Bob Dickerson (center) received a tribute from the Delaware House of Representatives, including state Rep. Ron Gray, left, and state Rep. Rich Collins, right.For perhaps the first time since 2008, Robert “Bob” Dickerson sat in the audience of a Selbyville Town Council meeting. The newly retired town administrator still got to speak on July 6, though, as he accepted a tribute from the Delaware House of Representatives.

    State Reps. Ron Gray (R-38th) and Rich Collins (R-41th) shook his hand and spoke of the support Dickerson has given over the years.

    “I appreciate your service,” Collins said. “To my mind, this is a very well-run town, and you were a big part of that.”

    The certificate honored “this outstanding individual for his many years of dedicated service to the Town of Selbyville.”

    “We’re gonna miss him bad,” Mayor Clifton Murray said.

    “It’s been a pleasure,” Dickerson said.

    Meanwhile, residents and council welcomed Mike Deal as the new town administrator. Selbyville has received 13 applications to fill Deal’s former position of code enforcement officer.

    The town council had a full house at this particular meeting, although no controversial items were listed on the agenda.

    “It’s good to see this many people. I’m wondering what we’ve done,” joked Murray, “or haven’t done.”

    Some new residents came just to observe and learn more about the town. One Route 54 resident from Mallard Lakes asked if she was a town resident, since she has a 19975 ZIP code. No, the council said. Although the Selbyville ZIP code covers an area that spans nearly to the beach, she still lives outside of town limits.

    • Christmas carols have been on Dennis Shipley’s mind lately. The Ruth Street resident complained about the volume of an ice cream truck’s music, which includes everything from Christmas carols to “La Cucaracha” on regular rotation. From his dining room, with the air conditioning on, Shipley said, he can still hear the truck three blocks away from his house.

    Meanwhile, he said he understood that local church bells had been silenced due to a noise complaint.

    “I can hear him from the next street over,” Shipley said of the truck. “How come I gotta listen to that, and I can’t listen to church bells?”

    The council and other attendees recalled that the church had simply lowered the decibels after a complaint, but later stopped the bells on their own.

    The ice cream truck has a business license, said Town secretary/treasurer Deborah McCabe. Councilman Clarence “Bud” Tingle Jr. suggested the Town ask the truck’s operator to turn down the music.

    • The Town’s 2014 Annual Drinking Water Report was recently published. “During 2014 we conducted tests for over 80 contaminants. We detected seven of those contaminants,” but none violated the Safe Water Drinking Act, the report said.

    • In one more month, designs for the new water treatment towers should be completed. When the grant-funded project is complete, Selbyville will have five fully working wells.

    • The council approved a 2015 maintenance contract for Town wells. For $2,100, A.C. Schultes Company will inspect two town wells this year. All five wells will be put on a rotating maintenance schedule, with extensive reports to be made. The Town previously hired Schultes for maintenance, but “just got away from it” in recent years, said Councilman Rick Duncan. The lack of maintenance has led to problems, Tingle noted.

    • The Selbyville Public Library has already served about 75 free meals to children this summer. Anyone 18 or younger can eat free lunches at the library as needed, no questions asked.

    Meanwhile, attendance at the Summer Reading Program has doubled from last year, reported library Director Kelly Kline.

    • “Old Timer’s Day went well,” Murray said of the 58th annual June festival, hosted for the first time by the Bethany-Fenwick Area chamber of Commerce. “I think they did a great job.”

    • Odors coming from Mountaire poultry processing plant have gotten stronger as the weather heats up, reported Duncan. The company has a few more ideas to try to minimize it, said Jay Griffith, Mountaire’s director of operations.

    • New road signs were hung at the three iterations of Dukes Street, to reduce confusion for mail delivery. Residents and the post office should be notified soon, officials said.

    The next regular Selbyville Town Council meeting is Monday, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m.

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    The South Bethany Police Department this week was investigating an assault that occurred just after midnight on Sunday, July 5. According to the SBPD, officers were dispatched around 12:48 a.m. last Sunday after they received reports that a man had been attacked in the area of 127 Canal Drive.

    “Upon arrival, the victim was found lying on the ground with facial injuries that are consistent with a physical assault,” police said, noting that the victim had pulled himself out of the nearby canal.

    The man was a non-resident who was in town to celebrate Independence Day weekend, said Cpl. Patrick Wiley, public information officer for SBPD and lead investigator for the case.

    The victim had originally stated that a vehicle with multiple people drove up to him, and “Words were exchanged,” Wiley said, and then the attack occurred.

    “He was attacked, and then he was thrown into the canal … but he was able to pull himself out under his own power,” said Wiley, who noted that he believes that someone else called 911 for the victim. “We’ve had other officers follow up. We believe there is more than one suspect involved.”

    There were no reports of a robbery as part of the incident.

    “I contacted the hospital after he was released. … He sustained a broken nose and had bruises and other lacerations on his face. He was released on the same day of the assault,” Wiley said.

    “This is something that normally doesn’t happen very often in South Bethany,” he added.

    The suspects were still unknown this week, and the victim had “not indicated whether or not the suspects were familiar to him,” Wiley said, adding that police didn’t yet know if it was a targeted attack.

    Nearby witnesses haven’t provided much additional information to police. But residents with home surveillance systems are being asked to contact SBPD as soon as possible, as they might have footage of the vehicle that may have been involved.

    Anyone with information is being asked to contact South Bethany Police Department at (302) 539-3996. Tips can also be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or online at Callers may remain anonymous.

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    Selbyville water customers are being instructed to boil their tap water to prevent E coli. On Tuesday, July 14, the Selbyville Water Department alerted residents that a broken water main could cause E coli to contaminate the water supply.

    “On July 13, 2015, a water main was broken and drained the water tower,” stated an informational flier distributed townwide. “This resulted in the possibility that E. coli bacteria can get into the water supply. These bacteria can make you sick and are a particular concern for people with weakened immune systems,” including babies, young children and others with severely compromised immune systems.

    “E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes [which] can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms,” the flier stated.

    Selbyville water customers are being advised to boil water for one minute, and it let cool before using it. That will kill any bacteria or other organisms in the water. Alternatively, customers can, in the short term, just use bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation.

    “The water main has been repaired and extra chlorine has been added to the water system. The Division of Public Health Office of Drinking Water will be collecting samples [today],” according to the Town. “We will inform you when tests show no bacteria and you no longer need to boil your water. We anticipate resolving the problem within two days.”

    Town water was shut off on Monday night, after a utility company struck a water main near Church Street and Baker Alley, the Selbyville Police Department explained in an emergency notification email sent around 7:50 p.m. Monday.

    Portions of Church Street were closed until the main was repaired around 5:40 a.m.

    However, water pressure remained weak, and residents were asked to not use lawn irrigation until full service is restored.

    Summer-school continued as scheduled on Tuesday at the Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville, which provided clean bottled water to students and staff after learning about the contamination.

    For more information, call Town Hall at (302) 436-8314, the Selbyville Water Plant at (302) 436-8349 or the Delaware Office of Drinking Water at (302) 426-4791, or visit the Town website at

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    Coastal Point • Submitted: The motley crew of the Tunacity, Tim ‘Hook’ Ryan, Glenn ‘Big Fish’ Hessler, John ‘Critter’ Kleinstuber, Rob ‘Skull’ Pleasanton and Jake ‘the Snake’ Lewis, tore up the dolphin at Baltimore Canyon recently. Maybe next time they will take a photographer with them…Coastal Point • Submitted: The motley crew of the Tunacity, Tim ‘Hook’ Ryan, Glenn ‘Big Fish’ Hessler, John ‘Critter’ Kleinstuber, Rob ‘Skull’ Pleasanton and Jake ‘the Snake’ Lewis, tore up the dolphin at Baltimore Canyon recently. Maybe next time they will take a photographer with them…The spring bluefish-fest may be long over, but there’s still plenty of fish to be had for local anglers looking to cast off.

    “The fishing’s good,” said Butch Evans, owner of Old Inlet Bait & Tackle at the Indian River Inlet. “They’re catching everything that they’re supposed to be catching this time of the year. There’s no shortage.”

    With tautog season right around the corner — set to open on Friday, July 17 — summer flounder, croakers and striped bass are just a few types of the usual suspects lurking in local waters, but there’s been some not-so-usual suspects out there, as well.

    In fact, just last Sunday, one a juvenile hammerhead was seen being reeled in at Conquest Road. As is the case every summer, other sharks have also been seen being caught in the surf.

    “On the surf, they’re catching some kingfish and some croaker and some sharks and skates, so I’m told,” said George Fisher of Hook’em and Cook’em Outfitters in South Bethany.

    While there seems to be more action in the bay, for long-time anglers such as Evans, the season hasn’t disappointed so far.

    “I think it’s as good, if not better [than last year],” said Evans.

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    After years of searching, the Delaware Seaside Railroad Club has finally found a place to call home.

    “It’s wonderful because it’s ours,” said club member Bill Ziegler of the club’s new home. “We can do what we want to enhance the club and get out to the public with it. That’s what we had in the Georgetown Train Station for about six years. When we lost that, we stored everything in a garage.”

    The club was formed in 2003, after a small group of local model-train hobbyists interacted at a local hobby shop. The club eventually found a home in the historic Georgetown Train Station. However, a devastating fire in May 2011 left the group again without a home, until now.

    “We were homeless. … It took us away from the public, basically, by not having a home,” Ziegler said. “The sadness we had, that we literally had nowhere to go with all these layouts — so it set us back several years.”

    After years of searching for a new location, the club is now housed in a storefront in Clayton Crossing in Dagsboro, just south of Royal Farms.

    “We’ve been looking. We’ve been talking to anybody we could talk to … for four years now, and we found the spot about four months ago,” said Ziegler. “It fit our needs. It was large enough.”

    To celebrate their new home, the club is holding a grand opening Saturday, July 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and inviting the public to visit and see what they have to offer.

    “We get our fun out of playing with trains, but sharing it with other people … the experience, the fun, the visuals, the sounds… It’s a hobby I’ve had most of my adult life, and joining the club just brought it out of a new aspect of train collecting,” said Ziegler, noting it wasn’t just him in his living room anymore, but being with others on a big layout.

    The new location will house five train layouts — an S-gauge, an HO-gauge, a G-gauge and two O-gauges, one of which will be a Thomas the Train layout.

    “We have a 3.5-by-6 Thomas the train layout, which kids love, and they can operate it with remote control. We’ll teach ’em how to do that when they come in.”

    The new location also has a workshop where the club plans to teach model railroading classes to both youth and adults.

    For those who cannot attend the grand opening, the club will be open on Wednesdays, 5 to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., through Labor Day. Although visiting the location is free, donations are always welcome.

    “We’re permanent. We can set our stuff up permanently. People know where we are, so they can come to see us.”

    Ziegler said the club’s new home would not be a reality without the generous support of community sponsors.

    “We want to thank our sponsors who helped us with this new endeavor. We couldn’t do this without them,” he said, adding that the club is still seeking sponsors and will even accept donations of old trains. “We welcome any donations of trains if somebody has them and doesn’t want to keep them.”

    The mission of the 501(c)(3) non-profit, which currently has approximately 62 members, is to “promote and preserve the history and hobby of model railroading.”

    “People love model trains. Young kids like them when they’re exposed to them… Older people remember sets they had, and it brings back great memories, around the Christmas tree,” said Ziegler. “There’s just a lot of … nostalgia around railroads. And this is a place where our members and the general public can see the trains,” and one where the club’s own members can run their own trains if they don’t have room at home.

    Every year, the club holds two train show fundraisers. The next will be on Sept. 26 at the Roxana Fire Hall. They also have displays in the historic Selbyville train station and at the Delaware State Archives. During the holiday season, the club sets up displays throughout the county, including at the Seaford Museum, Georgetown Cheer Center and the Georgetown Public Library. The club also does educational outreach to area school children.

    The group currently meets at the South Coastal Library on the second Tuesday of every month, except in the summertime, from 7 to 9 p.m.

    Ziegler said the club members hope the public will take the opportunity to enjoy model railroading by visiting their new location.

    “Now we have a place. It just opens it up for people to see what we have to offer.”

    The Delaware Seaside Railroad Club is located at Clayton Crossing, 32422 Royal Boulevard, in Dagsboro, near the corner of Route 113 and Clayton Street. Entrance to Clayton Crossing can be made from the northbound lane of Route 113 just before reaching the Royal Farms, or from Clayton Street, entering near Mediacom. For more information about the club, visit

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  • 07/16/15--10:51: Beach & Bay Cottage Tour
  • Annual tour featuring 10 local homes July 22-23

    Participants in the 24th Annual Beach & Bay Cottage Tour to benefit the Friends of the South Coastal Library will have the opportunity to visit 10 unique homes in the Bethany Beach area. The tour will be held Wednesday, July 22, and Thursday, July 23, from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tourgoers may visit all 10 homes in one day or spread the viewing over the two days of the tour.

    A limited number of tickets, priced at $30, were still available for the 2015 tour as of this week. Ticket holders will receive a reusable grocery tote bag with the program booklet, which serves as the ticket, as well as a pair of booties (donated by Beebe Medical Center) to be worn in all the homes, and complimentary copies of Coastal Style and Delaware Beach Life magazines. Tote sponsors for 2015 are Bethany Beach Books, G&E/Hockers, Leslie Kopp, PNC Bank, Sea Colony Recreation Association, the Town of Bethany Beach and Vickie York.

    Tickets are now available at the South Coastal Library at 43 Kent Avenue in Bethany Beach and will also be available July 16-21 at: Bethany Beach Books, Japanesque and Sea Needles in Bethany; at Carolina Street and the Rooster’s Nest in Fenwick Island; at McCabe’s in South Bethany; and at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth.

    Ticket buyers will be able to pick up reserved tickets at the library starting July 16 at 10 a.m. Any tickets remaining on the days of the tour will be available only at the library. Babies and children younger than 12 are not permitted in the homes, and no photography is allowed in the homes. Tour homes are private homes and are not handicapped-accessible.

    As was the case last year, tourgoers may pick up suggested instructions on how they may “Go Green” by biking the tour. The instructions will be available at the library starting July 16 at 10 a.m. They will also be posted on the tour’s website starting on that date.

    The Cottage Tour raffles are designed to enhance the fundraising. The winners of the Dinner for Two raffle will dine at Magnolia’s Seafood Bar & Grill, Mancini’s, Matt’s Fish Camp, Off the Hook/Just Hooked, the Parkway restaurant or Sedona. The Art Raffle, featuring some favorite local artists, offers framed artwork from Aubré Duncan, Tara Funk Grim, Laura Hickman, Jeanne Mueller and Cheryl Wisbrock.

    Tickets for both raffles, at $1 each or six for $5, are available at the library and at selected homes on the days of the tour. The drawings will be held at the library at 5 p.m. on July 23; winners need not be present.

    With the Adopt-a-House program for hostesses, many organizations will be involved in the 2015 tour. Participants this year are Alpha Alpha Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Barefoot Gardeners of Fenwick Island, Bay Forest Homeowners, Bethany Lakes Book Club, Cripple Creek Ladies Club, Gardeners by the Sea, Lord Baltimore Women’s Club, Salt Pond Women’s Club, Shore Democrats, South Bethany Women’s Club, Villages of Southampton HOA, Women’s Civic Club of Bethany Beach, Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) and the Women’s Golf Association at Bear Trap Dunes. Members of these groups will welcome tour participants and guide them through each home.

    The homes on the 2015 Cottage Tour are as follows:

    Cottage No. 1Cottage No. 1Cottage No. 1
    Parker home, Bethany Beach

    This 3,400-square-foot home was under construction and nearing completion in 2005 when Ceci and David Parker of Silver Spring, Md., discovered it while searching for a beach house to enjoy with their three daughters, a large extended family and friends.

    They said they loved the open, airy feel of the five-bedroom, 4.5-bath layout and were particularly impressed with the quality construction and low-maintenance aspects incorporated throughout the home.

    The builder had included bonus features such as 10-foot ceilings, solid wood doors, large walk-in closets in every bedroom, silent exhaust systems in the bathrooms, a built-in vacuum system and a built-in sound system throughout the house.

    Ceci Parker has decorated the house without professional help, preferring a subtle Asian island feel that is designed to lend a Zen-like serenity to the setting. Utilizing white slipcovers and all-white walls is intended to create the “minimalist” look that the family finds soothing.

    The white background serves as a showcase for the water-themed oil paintings found throughout the house, all done by Ceci Parker’s mother, artist Carol Becker. The front of the house is bathed in light captured by arched windows on both levels, while the back of the home is surrounded by the quiet embrace of trees.

    Coming from a lifetime in the fast-paced suburbs of D.C., the family said they have particularly enjoyed the opportunity over the past 10 summers to experience small-town living in Bethany Beach from their quiet retreat, just as Ceci Parker had done as a child vacationing at her family’s vacation home on Cedarwood Street.

    Cottage No. 2Cottage No. 2Cottage No. 2
    Klinedinst home, Bethany Beach

    Debbie and Paul Klinedinst have been making plans for their dream beach house ever since they met back in the mid-1970s. Paul Klinedinst had spent every summer weekend since 1963 at his family’s Bethany Beach vacation home, and it wasn’t long before Debbie Klinedinst fell in love with the area, too.

    In 2004, they bought a townhouse in Bethany so that their kids could enjoy the same opportunity for summers at the beach that their dad had enjoyed growing up. By 2010, they realized they’d outgrown the townhouse and needed a home that would serve their growing family for years to come.

    Finding a lot on Maplewood Street, just a few short blocks from the Klinedinst family home on Parkwood Street, seemed ideal. Debbie Klinedinst worked closely with the builder to incorporate features into the inverted floor plan that would give the appearance of an older home, such as a unique rounded staircase and transoms above the upper-level doorways. Hand-scraped hickory hardwood floors were included to add warmth to the airy upper levels.

    Construction of the five-bedroom, 6.5-bath home started in early 2013 and was completed last spring. With 4,800 square feet spread out over three floors, there’s room for family and friends to enjoy the multiple decks and lounges that appear on every level. Now, their young grandson is keeping up the family tradition of summer weekends in Bethany, cementing a pattern that can continue with future generations of Klinedinst beach lovers.

    Cottage No. 3Cottage No. 3Cottage No. 3
    Oetgen home, Sussex Shores

    Pam and Bill Oetgen’s 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, 5.5-bath home may be a newcomer on the block, but their roots in Sussex Shore run deep. Pam Oetgen’s parents bought a cottage there in 1963, and it’s been the site of countless vacation gatherings ever since.

    When the family outgrew the original cottage, it was rebuilt in 1996 and appeared on the Cottage Tour the following year. As the extended family continued to grow, however, the couple realized it was finally time to build a home for their immediate family. Fortunately, they already owned an investment property just a few blocks away, within Sussex Shores.

    They said they knew from the start that they would replicate the original family home’s upside-down layout, with guest bedrooms on the lower level and living space up above. They did, however, insist on one upgrade: a bathroom for every bedroom.

    Unique touches include tongue-and-groove paneling in the second-floor ceilings and custom cabinetry and built-ins designed to minimize clutter. They’ve worked to create a comfortable home that is simple, functional and low-maintenance.

    With two family homes within bird’s eye view of each other there’s now plenty of room for everyone in the extended family to continue gathering in Sussex Shores, as they have for more than 50 years.

    Cottage No. 4Cottage No. 4Cottage No. 4
    Feulner home, Ocean Breezes

    Having been on the Cottage Tour in 2007 with their Ocean Village beach house, Linda and Ed Feulner said they were happy to return with their recently completed new home just steps from the beach in Ocean Breezes.

    The 7,000-square-foot house is designed to be bright, open and airy without feeling cavernous. It was designed with a reverse layout that offers space and privacy for the owners, family and guests to enjoy time together or on their own.

    The main living area on the top floor boasts high vaulted ceilings and natural light. Views of the ocean across the street can be had from the screened porch and deck, both easily accessible from the living room, kitchen and master suite.

    Every one of the seven bedrooms is outfitted with custom built-in closets and dresser drawers, and all but one of the 7.5 bathrooms sport white marble tile and vanity tops. Their take on a traditionally-styled home combines coastal flair with mementos of the couple’s world travels and Ed Feulner’s long career in public policy. The house is equipped with the latest in electronic technology, utilizing their son’s company to create a “smart” home, almost every aspect of which can be controlled remotely.

    Cottage No. 5Cottage No. 5Cottage No. 5
    Harman home, Ocean Ridge West

    On their first visit to Bethany Beach 25 years ago, Stephanie and John Harman fell in love with the area and soon thereafter began to search for just the right property. Ocean Ridge West fit all of their requirements, so they purchased a lot in 1996, seizing the opportunity to build a beach house to share with their family for years to come.

    In 2001, just as they’d begun the process of designing their home, their plans were interrupted by 9/11. With the uncertainty of the times, they said, it seemed right to put their building project on hold. In 2008, they resumed their planning and said they quickly realized how fortunate they were to have waited, because the beach house they had envisioned in 2001 was very different from what they ultimately built seven years later.

    While initially skeptical about a reverse layout, they ultimately decided that it made sense to reserve the entire lower level for their two college-age sons and frequent family visitors and guests, making sure to provide a separate family room there, equipped with large-screen TV, pool table, built-in beverage cooler and snack area.

    The top level includes the master suite and main living areas, capped by a wide screened porch that has become the family’s favorite gathering spot. Stephanie Harman’s goal with decorating was to create a carefree home with comfortable low-maintenance furnishings that put everyone visiting at ease.

    The Harmans said they love their location across the street from the tennis courts and pool, close to the inlet for their surf-loving sons and within easy proximity to the amenities of downtown Bethany.

    “We just love it here. The more time we spend in this house, the more we enjoy how it works for our immediate and extended family, and we often have a full house.” With six bedrooms, four baths and 4,425 square feet, the house is a favorite with family and friends.

    Cottage No. 6Cottage No. 6Cottage No. 6
    Stevens home, Salt Pond

    After honeymooning in South Bethany in 1986 and owning a vacation home there ever since, Ron and Helen Stevens said they feel life has recently come full circle.

    Following their relocation from the D.C. area to Annapolis and subsequent retirement, the time seemed right to relocate their vacation home to the area, as well. Moving from canal to golf course, they chose a five-bedroom, four-bath home overlooking the water hazard on the 12th fairway of the Salt Pond Golf Course. One of the unexpected bonus features of the location, said Ron Stevens, is that “the yard comes with plenty of free golf balls!”

    The updated 2003 colonial has been repainted throughout in warm sandy hues and appointed in every room with the professional decorating assistance of family friend Deena Powell, who aimed to help them create a comfortable year-round home that reflects their proximity to the coast without being overtly” beachy.”

    The house was originally designed with a screened-in porch at the southeast corner; however, that’s since been enclosed to make a bright and cozy Florida room. Plantation shutters are designed to add a coastal charm, filtering the sunlit water views from the warm southern exposure.

    The Stevenses have made the living room fireplace a focal point for the entire home by stacking earthy shades of richly-colored stone from the raised hearth to the soaring cathedral ceiling. The carved wood mantel is flanked with built-ins displaying a collection of travel mementos and longtime favorite pieces in a traditional Country French motif.

    The home has become a quiet haven for the Stevenses as they transition from the busy sounds of city life they’ve happily left behind.

    Cottage No. 7Cottage No. 7Cottage No. 7
    Smith home, Quillen’s Point

    While searching for a family getaway years ago, Deborah and Les Smith explored multiple locations along the East Coast, from Cape Cod to the Outer Banks. They ultimately landed in Quillen’s Point near Bethany Beach, finding that they got more relaxation in a weekend there than in two weeks anywhere else.

    The house was originally built in 2000 as a work-free escape from their high-stress jobs in Philadelphia, deliberately designed without an office or high-speed Internet to insure that time spent there was focused entirely on relaxing with family and friends.

    With more than 1,000 square feet devoted to outdoor living, it was designed to have a resort ambiance and an easy flow between indoor and outdoor space. The open family room/dining room and kitchen form the heart of the home — a communal spot for meals, games and conversation. Throughout the home are spots to gather together in small groups or to sit alone quietly with a book.

    From the beginning, the Smiths said, they wanted the home to serve as an open retreat for their large extended family, so a dedicated three-bedroom, two-bath guest area was provided to encourage extended vacations. As a result, it’s been the setting for countless milestone birthdays, bachelor parties, honeymoons, anniversaries and annual family reunions, often hosting up to 22 house guests at a time.

    In 2013, the Smiths decided to make Quillen’s Point their fulltime home. They said it quickly became apparent that more space for storage, hobbies and entertaining would be essential. Finished in early 2015, the 1,700-square-foot addition has expanded the home to 4,000 square feet, preserving much that was well-loved in the original house while adding a finished ground floor, expanded master bedroom, home office, elevator and rooftop deck.

    Furnishings, artwork, and accessories from their more formal home in Philadelphia have found a place at the beach, giving the home a sense of permanence. Bright colors and natural light, plus features including a home theater and a pool with adjacent sandy beach, are intended to help retain the light-hearted atmosphere that earned the original house a reputation as a “decompression chamber.”

    Cottage No. 8Cottage No. 8Cottage No. 8
    Richards home, Ocean View

    After vacationing in Bethany for more than 40 years, Bonnie and Ward Richards said, they knew that someday they’d settle in the area permanently. It was back in 2008, while out exploring on her bike, that Bonnie Richards discovered a waterfront lot for sale on White’s Creek, not far from their vacation home at nearby Bayside at Bethany Lakes.

    Plans to build on the lot were put on hold until 2013, when they retired and moved to the Bethany area fulltime. By then, the Nantucket-style dream home that she had been imagining for years had taken shape.

    Above all else, she said, she wanted to maximize windows, decks and porches in order to flood the house with light and take full advantage of the sweeping water views. Wide hallways and doorways and tall coffered ceilings were included to further enhance the open vistas of the 4,500-square-foot, five-bedroom, 3.5-bath home.

    Working closely with the builder and design team, they were able to create a layout designed to offer beautiful views and full access to waterfront decks for the first-floor master suite, as well as each of the upstairs guest rooms. Bonnie Richards’ artistry and handiwork can be found throughout the home, in her original stained-glass creations and counted cross-stitch and crewel work.

    Topping it all is a bell tower on the upper deck, her favorite spot for enjoying the quiet seclusion and natural beauty of their waterfront retreat that they now lovingly refer to as their “final resting place.”

    Cottage No. 9Cottage No. 9Cottage No. 9
    Viggiano home, Bishop’s Landing

    Although Baby-Boomers Margie and Nicholas Viggiano have vacationed in Cape May, N.J., for the past 12 years they knew that they’d eventually settle in Delaware as retirement drew near, due to the obvious financial advantages. They found Bishops Landing in Millville to be a perfect fit, with proximity to multiple area beaches, yet set in a tranquil rural area similar to the New Jersey farmland where they currently live fulltime.

    They said they fell in love with the quality craftsmanship and high-energy efficiency of the Beazer Homes designs in the development and purchased a new 2,400-square-foot, three bedroom, 3.5-bath villa in 2013.

    Margie Viggiano has spent almost every weekend since then customizing the interior to reflect her eclectic mix of traditional and retro style. With a degree in fine arts and an interest in decorating influenced by her mother and grandmother, she has developed a passion for home décor that is on display in every room, including in intricately-designed murals and custom woodworking and framing.

    Much of the décor pays tribute to the local region, showcasing art and photographs of Bethany Beach and Rehoboth, with a nod to their New Jersey roots. Margie Viggiano’s artistic sense and attention to fine detail can be found in collections of antique clocks, cameras, radios and 1950s-era memorabilia, all of which reflect the couple’s varied interests.

    Drawing inspiration from Houzz, as well as Veranda and Traditional Homes magazines, she plans to continue her creative enhancements of their home as they gradually complete their transition to eventual retirement in Delaware.

    Cottage No. 10Cottage No. 10Cottage No. 10
    Teoli home, Millville by the Sea

    After retiring from long careers in the Wilmington area, Judy and Tony Teoli naturally gravitated to the Delaware shore, where they had vacationed in South Bethany with their children and grandchildren for years. They found their new three-bedroom, three-bath home in Millville by the Sea three years ago and promptly began customizing it with upgrades and stylistic touches that reflect their personal talents.

    Visitors can look for Judy Teoli’s whimsical pig collection and pithy words of wisdom sprinkled throughout the décor, as well as the handcrafted custom crown molding, wainscoting and coffered ceiling fashioned by Tony Teoli, and his piece de resistance: a precisely organized and pristinely maintained garage.

    By using her love of rich saturated colors and sense of fun and his woodworking artistry and attention to detail, they have created space that is designed to be warm and inviting, both inside and out, to share with their family and friends.

    “The details of our home are what make me smile,” said Judy Teoli. “I hope everyone will see the whimsy here and feel the same way.”

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    Living on the coast, local residents have water everywhere, from the rolling, roiling Atlantic Ocean to the quiet creeks off the bays. Marshes, harbors, inlets, tidal pools, coves and ponds are familiar sights.

    They live by the water. They play in the water. They enjoy, contemplate, splash, dive, surf, skim and sail on the water. They fly above, dive below, ski on, ride on, swim in, surf on, fish, crab, clam in the water. They walk along the water.

    “On The Water” is the theme of August’s special exhibit at Gallery One at Gallery One from July 30 through Sept. 1. The three artists featured this month are Aubre Duncan, Rina Thaler and Peggy Warfield. A reception for the public to meet the artists is set for Wednesday, Aug. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.

    For most of her life, Duncan has spent her summers on an ocean beach. Her first vacations were in Cape Cod, then the cold New England winters drove her to stay someplace tropical and warm, and now she resides by the shores in Delaware.

    “I have found comfort and relaxation and inspiration for my creative mind near or on the water. I’m not talking pool or lake water — I’m talking the Big Wide Ocean with sailboats and sandy beaches and blue sky that goes on forever. My paintings reflect — in content and color — a warm summer’s day near the water.”

    “My watercolors are dreams of what is to come and imaginative things that I see. They are blue. They are colorful, with happy reds and cheerful yellows. My content is varied: palm trees and beach cabanas, smiling fish and tropical flowers, magical homes and whimsical cottages. My subjects are under the sea and floating atop the waves. What I wish for my viewer is to feel the memory of happy summer days.”

    Living on a barrier reef island for the past 35 years has influenced Rina Thaler’s art and consciousness. She has the bay in her back yard and the beach just blocks away. She is surrounded by water.

    “When painting my interpretation of our theme, ‘On the Water,’ I started with the crashing waves of the magnificent Atlantic Ocean,” Thaler said. “I represented the pounding surf by vigorously applying acrylic paint with a palette knife. This technique allowed me to create the texture, movement and energy of the sea.

    “When I observed the bay, I saw how sky and marshland were reflected in the water. To paint with transparent watercolors and wet-on-wet acrylics interpreted the look and feel I wanted to portray.

    Thaler includes a rendering of a waterfall in the show.

    “I observed that there are abstract patterns in water as it rushes over rocks. For this effect, I used inks and hi-flow acrylics that I allowed to drip and mix with each other to give the effect of rushing water.”

    Warfield moved to the Eastern Shore in 1972.

    “Originally, Bob and I were going to stay for the summer and make the decision to move to Washington or Baltimore. But the attraction of sand in our shoes and shells in our pockets and the beauty of tidewater living convinced us to stay.”

    “Water is everywhere here on the Shore. Living on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, I see her ever-changing personality: Calm and flat, rolling and surf-filled. Lavender mornings. Marigold sunny afternoons. Marine blue evenings.

    “The bays are no less dramatic. Still and reflective or white-capped by northeast winds. Awash in rosy sunsets and cool white moonlight. Inlets, harbors, coves, tidal pools provide shelter for man and sea creatures. Marshes dress in spring green and autumn umber.

    “This is what I see every day. This is what I love. This is what I interpret in my abstract collages and acrylic paintings.”

    Gallery One is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 32 Atlantic Avenue (Route 26) in Ocean View, 1.5 miles from Route 1. The gallery can be reached by calling (302) 537-5055.

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