UPDATED – 6/24 8:50am – A new historical marker has been unveiled in Lewes. The new marker was placed by the Division of Public Archives at the site of the original St George AME Church and Cemetery on Pilottown Road, where the cemetery is still located. The marker celebrates the church’s long history in Lewes – it was established before 1880 – the current church – on Park Avenue – has been there since 1933. The dedication took place at 4pm on Saturday.
…Areas of Dense Fog Possible through Early Morning…
Areas of fog early this morning will reduce visibility to near one quarter mile at times across northern Delmarva, far southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey.
Drivers are urged to exercise caution for rapidly changing visibility. Allow extra time to reach your destination, and if you encounter fog, reduce speed and increase following distance with
the vehicle in front of you.
Dover Police were called to the Liberty Court Apartments for a report of a shooting. Police found 41 year old Sylvester Lee of Clayton on the ground. He had been struck by gunfire multiple times. Police say he died from his injuries at Bayhealth Kent General Hospital. Police ask anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.
A crash just after noon Saturday left a bicycle rider dead. Delaware State Police were in the area of the Lazy Lake and Hunters Mill communities south of Milton, looking for a burglary suspect who was reported to be a white man with a thin build, about 20 to 30 years old on a bicycle. The description was supported by video surveillance of a residence that was burglarized. A trooper spotted a bicycle rider on Fisher Road, but the man ignored the trooper’s orders to stop. The chase continued until they collided. The suspect – a 32 year old man – was pronounced dead at Beebe Medical Center. The trooper has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is continuing.
Over 100 Delaware Air National Guardsmen will deploy to Southwest Asia next week in support of U-S Central Command. They will leave the New Castle Air National Guard Base on two days – beginning at 7am on Monday and Wednesday. Governor John Carney is scheduled to attend both events.
While troopers were searching for a burglary suspect around noon on Saturday, police say a trooper responding to the burglary spotted the suspect fleeing on a bicycle.
The trooper, police say, was driving a fully marked 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe that was headed north on Fisher Road approaching Lewes-Georgetown Highway when he spotted the suspect on bike.
According to police, the trooper turned around and activated his emergency lights and siren in an effort to get the man to stop. But the suspect refused and continued to travel south on Fisher Road. The suspect, police said, ignored numerous verbal commands and continued to flee. As the pursuit continued, the trooper’s SUV collided with the suspect’s bike.
Police say the suspect, a 32-year-old white man, was taken to Beebe Medical Center by ambulance where he was pronounced dead.
The trooper, properly restrained at the time, was not injured. The 28-year-old trooper has been employed by the Delaware State Police for four years and is assigned to Troop 7 patrol in Lewes. He has been placed on administrative leave per policy, pending the outcome of the investigation.
This crash remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.
Fisher Road south of Lewes-Georgetown Highway south of Milton was closed in the area of the crash for about four hours as the crash was investigated and cleared.
Beach replenishment is currently taking place in Bethany Beach. City officials say beach and beach access is currently closed from Parkwood Street to Maplewood Street. Work in Bethany is being done 24/7 and the replenishment project is now expected to be completed in early July.
The Fenwick Island town council has approved an increase in gross rental receipts tax. A first reading was approved last month. The ordinance change includes a .5% tax increase for the rental of rooms in any motel or hotel in the commercial zone, for the rental of single-family units and non-conforming dwellings in the commercial and residential zones and a 1% tax increase for rental of any other property in the commercial zone. The council approved the second reading with a 7 to 0 vote – it’s the first increase in gross receipts since 2002.
There will be no municipal election in Fenwick Island in August. Councilwoman Vicki Carmean and Councilmen Gardner Bunting and Bernie Merritt were the only candidates to file to run. They will remain in office for another two years.
Weather has slowed beach replenishment projects along the Delaware coast this spring – and for Fenwick Island – they’re in the same boat – or dredge. During Friday’s town council meeting, Mayor Gene Langan told the council that replenishment work is now scheduled to begin on July 28th and will end in mid-August – of course that is pending weather.
Several beach towns are looking to do away with plastic straws and they’ve worked on voluntary initiatives to get restaurants to stop using plastic straws. Fenwick officials are now working to get local restaurants to switch to paper straws.
The Atlantic Coastal waters have been a hotbed for proposed offshore oil and gas exploration. However there is grassroots opposition to the plan – including from Delaware, which is looking to obtain an exemption. During a recent meeting with the Department of the Interior and Governor Carney, Fenwick Island Vice Mayor Richard Mais says applying for an exemption is an involved process and Delaware is at about step 2 out of 20. Mais says the beach towns need to continue to voice their opposition. However, they are disappointed that Florida based its opposition by saying tourism is so important to them and was granted an exemption quickly. While other coastal states have used the same reasoning but have not been granted an exemption – including Delmarva.
Residents in Seaford who are looking to get rid of any household hazardous waste, electronics and have documents shredded – today is the day! Delaware Solid Waste Authority will be at the Nylon Capital Shopping Center today from 8 until 2pm – rain or shine. Household hazardous waste covers a wide variety of things from full aerosol cans and ammunition to car batteries and pool chemicals. For shredding – you are limited to 2 file boxes per person. CLICK HERE FOR THE SOLID WASTE EVENT SCHEDULE
Friday saw small craft advisories, northeast winds to 25 knots, seas above six feet and very few people fishing.
The only positive report we received was from Old Inlet Bait and Tackle where some short rockfish were caught during the night and some small blues were taken in the morning from the inlet.
Captain Don Churchill called on Thursday evening to say he is seeing more keeper-sized trout while fishing in Delaware Bay on the Pirate King out of Anglers Marina. He told me where he felt lucky to have one keeper per trip he is now seeing several trout in the 15 to 16-inch class. With a one-fish limit no one is filling their cooler, but perhaps we are seeing the beginning of a trout comeback.
Every week I receive the report from the DNREC Enforcement Police and every week there are at least one and sometimes three or four people ticketed for not having a PFD on a child less than 12 years old. Come on folks, kids need adults to take care of them and allowing a child to be on a boat without wearing a PFD is just irresponsible.
This is Eric Burnley with your WGMD fishing report.
Too much rain in April and May has destroyed several Delaware crops and Ag Secretary Michael Scuse has made a request for an emergency disaster declaration. To be eligible, Delaware has to have at least 30% loss in crop production for at least one crop. Scuse says many fruit and vegetable farms have taken a beating and some farmers are trying to plant corn for the third and fourth time. Currently an official survey of the status of current crops is being done by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency at the state and county level.
If you planned to attend the Worcester County Fair this weekend in Snow Hill – the recent heavy rains have left the grounds at Byrd Park saturated and the Fair has been rescheduled to September 14th through 16th. Organizers say that while there will be some scheduling changes – much will remain the same. If you’ve already submitted entry forms – you do NOT need to resubmit. The new entry deadline for the Talent show is September 1st. Check the Worcester County Fair Facebook page for updates.
With a week still to go in the Delaware General Assembly, the State Senate has already dealt with the proposed FY 2019 $796-million budget and passed the measure – sending it to the State House for consideration. The budget increases spending by about 30% over this year and is $91-million more than Governor John Carney proposed back in January.
Legislation that will implement new restrictions on offshore drilling passed in the State Senate last week. Senate Bill 207 would require state agencies to review offshore gas and oil exploration leases along Delaware’s coast to the extent permitted under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act – and all pertinent stat laws. The measure also includes a formal statement of opposition to the Trump administrations proposed offshore drilling plan. Senate Bill 200 prohibits drilling for oil or gas in Delaware’s coastal zone and territorial waters. Both measure go to the State House for consideration.
A Felton man has been arrested on burglary charges after a neighbor of the property spotted a man breaking into a garage. Delaware State Police say the neighbor on St Johnstown Road in Greenwood called in the burglary in progress – troopers found 34 year old Jesse Nichols hiding in the garage. Nichols stepfather lives at the residence, but Nichols has not lived there for 3 or 4 years. Police later learned Nichols entered the property earlier this month and stole several items – including a jewelry box and a cooler – which were later recovered from his vehicle. Nichols is charged with 2nd and 3rd degree burglary and felony theft.
Thursday saw decent weather and some anglers connected while others, not so much.
Amanda at Lewes Harbour Marina said the Pirate King came in from Delaware Bay with some kings and blowfish. The Katydid fished ocean structure for a catch of flounder.
At Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle on the fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park the report was decent-sized spot on bloodworms and a few short flounder on minnows and Gulp!.
Burt at Hook ‘em and Cook ‘em told us the Bail Out came in from the canyons with 18 yellowfin tuna. The head boats are finding a few flounder. Dave Gorelick, Tom Drgon and Bob Dunn released the first white marlin of the season on June 19.
The report from Old Inlet Bait and Tackle was some kings from the surf on bloodworms. Drifting sand fleas during the day and at night has accounted for a few keeper rockfish. Bubble Gum Beach and the southside jetty were two locations mentioned as productive.
Friday looks bleak as small craft advisories are up for seas to six feet. Saturday and Sunday should be fishable as winds and seas subside.
This is Eric Burnley with your WGMD fishing report.
The Salisbury Zoo regretfully announces the passing of their 25 year old male American Bison, who was humanely euthanized this week.
He was born on July 12, 1993 at the Oglebay Good Zoo in Wheeling West Virginia. The Salisbury Zoo acquired the male bison at 4 months from Oglebay in October of 1993. He sired one female in 2001 which currently resides at the Salisbury Zoo. The Salisbury Zoo has been exhibiting this keystone land mammal for over 50 years and has a long history with American Bison conservation.
Within the last few months zoo keepers began to notice apparent changes in the bison’s mobility. Zoo keepers addressed the symptoms with medication. But within this past month his health declined rapidly. Staff assessed his quality of life and the decision was made to humanely euthanize him. A post mortem exam is scheduled.
In 2016, President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law, making the American bison the national mammal of the United States. Bison were plentiful in the early 1800’s but by the late 1800’s there were only a few hundred left in the United States after unregulated shooting and habitat loss occurred during the settlement of the west. With the help of the Department of Interior, the American Bison Society and the New York Zoological Society, the number of American Bison rose in the early 1900’s. Yellowstone National Park bison population is estimated at 4900.
Wednesday morning was beautiful, but a brisk southeast wind kicked up in the afternoon making the bay a bit too rough for my 16-foot tin boat. So Mike Pizzolatto and I put my boat over at the Lewes ramp around 11:30 AM to catch the incoming current in the Canal. Unfortunately, by then the wind was pushing against the current and I used my electric motor to keep us moving into the wind.
On the very first drop, right at the inlet, Mike caught a short flounder. And that was it for the next three hours. He was using a minnow and squid on a bottom rig and I stuck with my jighead and Gulp!. We headed in around 2:30 PM when the sky began to turn dark.
Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle said a few keeper flounder along with some croaker and spot were caught from the pier on Cape Henlopen State Park.
Chris at Hook ‘em and Cook ‘em said the offshore boats are still catching tuna, but not in the numbers we saw last week. Of course, it doesn’t take many 50 to 80-pound yellowfins to fill up the fish box.
This is Eric Burnley with your WGMD fishing report.
A Sussex County woman has filed as a Democratic candidate for State Treasurer. Colleen Davis of Dagsboro is a health care professional who has focused on sustainability, efficiency and quality-of-care for health care providers and their patients, which she says would serve her well in the Treasurer’s office. She is challenging Republican incumbent Ken Simpler and Green Party candidate David Chandler. You can read more about Davis at http://colleendavisfortreasurer.com
Several members of the Sussex GOP will announce their re-election bids on Monday. Representatives Danny Short of Seaford, Tim Dukes of Laurel, Ron Gray of Selbyville and Steve Smyk of Milton will announce their intentions at the Old Court House in Georgetown at noon.
Twenty teachers in Delaware will be vying for the title of Teacher of the Year in October. The twenty finalists were chosen from over 9000 public and charter school teachers in the First State and nominated by their districts or the Delaware Charter School Network because of their ability to inspire students and their devotion to teaching.
The 2019 District/Charter Teachers of the Year are:
Appoquinimink: Sara Anderson, Cedar Lane Elementary, grade 5 inclusion
Brandywine: Bonnie Yurkanin, Claymont Elementary, library media
Caesar Rodney: Ashlee Upp, Allen Frear Elementary, grade 3
Cape Henlopen: Robert Harrod, Cape Henlopen High, grade 9 biology
Capital: Joseph Fuller, Dover High, Intensive Learning Center math/science
Christina: Jennifer Montanez, Etta J. Wilson Elementary, grade 5
Colonial: Mark McKenzie, William Penn High, Grades 11-12 chemistry
Delmar: Michelle Howard, Delmar High, Grades 9-12 physical science/chemistry
Indian River: Courtney White, North Georgetown Elementary, grade 5
Lake Forest: Sara Bushey, Lake Forest North Elementary, grade 3
Laurel: Carly Carrier, Laurel Middle, grade 6 science
Milford: Veronica Evans, Milford Senior High, grades 10-12 U.S. government and politics/social studies
New Castle County Vo-Tech: Lindsay Hoeschel, Howard High School of Technology, grade 11 English language arts
POLYTECH: David Watson, POLYTECH High, engineering/calculus/physics
Red Clay Consolidated: Lia Zucchino, Evan G. Shortlidge Academy, grade 2
Seaford: Dana Bowe, West Seaford Elementary, K-2 special education
Smyrna: Virginia Hoye, Clayton Intermediate, grade 5 English language arts/social studies
Sussex Tech: Anthony Natoli, Sussex Technical High, grades 9 and 11 English language arts
Woodbridge: Heather Kerrick, Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center, grade 1 reading/social studies
Charter Network: Thomas Becker, MOT Charter High, grades 9-12 math
The weather on Tuesday was not that bad, but only a few folks went fishing. Reports were pretty slim from those that did make it out.
At Lewes Harbour Marina the report was no report except for some skates caught at B Buoy.
The news from Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle on the fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park was some small flounder, spot and croaker. The flounder went after jigs decorated with bright colored Gulp! while the croaker and spot take bloodworms.
Chris at Hook ‘em and Cook ‘em told us a few flounder were caught from the ocean, but described the bite as slow. The offshore fleet that went out on Monday returned late in the day with tuna. Several charter and private boats have left on overnight trips and will be back on Wednesday.
Clark at Old Inlet Bait and Tackle said nothing had come into the shop since early morning when a few keeper rockfish that were caught during the night were reported. Casting plugs and drifting sand fleas have both produced good results. Summer is here and the weather is good. Let’s go fishing!
This is Eric Burnley with your WGMD fishing report.
Legislation that would guns out of the hands of people who are deemed to pose a public danger by the courts has been approved in the State Senate. House Bill 222, which creates a Lethal Violence Protection Order, was approved with a vote of 20 yes and 1 absent. It passed in the State House with a unanimous vote earlier this month. The bill is headed to the Governor for his signature. Another piece of legislation, Senate Bill 163, which would ban the future sale of military-style assault weapons in Delaware, was defeated in committee. Two Democrats joined the Republicans on the committee to prevent a debate.
Delaware will NOT be sending National Guard troops to the Southern Border.
Governor Carney’s Statement on the Delaware National Guard and Deployment to the Southern Border
DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday issued the following statement on the Delaware National Guard and deployment to the southern border:
“I take my job as Commander-in-Chief of the Delaware National Guard extremely seriously. In the last year, we’ve sent Guardsmen and women to Texas, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico to help our fellow citizens cope with natural disasters. We’ve sent Delaware Guardsmen and women overseas to keep us safe. I’m extremely proud of Delaware’s soldiers and airmen and women. Today, we received a request to send Delaware National Guard troops to the southwest border. Under normal circumstances, we wouldn’t hesitate to answer the call. But given what we know about the policies currently in effect at the border, I can’t in good conscience send Delawareans to help with that mission.
If President Trump revokes the current inhumane policy of separating children from their parents, Delaware will be first in line to assist our sister states in securing the border. I served in Congress, and I watched for six years as that body failed to pass a comprehensive immigration policy that would secure our borders in a way that upholds the values of this great country. Congress and the President need to step up and fix the mess that our immigration system has become.”