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WEEKEND #12, 2016

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




New video being released by the Dewey Beach Police Department today shows the intense moments after Ed's Chicken & Crabs burst into flames after attempts by police to contain the blaze were unsuccessful.

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The video being released comes from one of the town's cameras, the one mounted on the pole at Swedes Street. At 2:01:53 a.m. last Tuesday, the camera is in auto-paning mode and catches a glimpse of a 2013 Mini Cooper speeding by as it loses control around Clayton Street, crosses the median and slams into the landmark restaurant. By 2:02:30 a.m., the camera is taken off paning mode and is fixed on Ed's as officers are seen entering the structure.

Less than 20 seconds later, five seasonal police officers, a state trooper and a bystander help rescue and carry the female driver -- and sole occupant -- across Coastal Highway to safety.

The fire has already started. At 2:05:15 a.m., a full-time Dewey Beach officer arrives and removes a fire extinguisher from his trunk and goes into Ed's to fight the fire. He also attempts to use a garden hose, but the water service was damaged in the crash and his attempts to stop the stubborn propane-fed fire are unsuccessful.

Police retreat and start moving their vehicles out of the way for fire apparatus. Dewey Beach PD Cpl. Greg Lynch took this photo as police waited for firefighters. This photo has already become one of the most shared photos of the summer in Dewey Beach.

Cpl. Lynch also captured this photo of the woman's car, this 2013 Mini Cooper, which remains in the structure as of Sunday.

Once firefighters arrive, they start getting water on the fire around 2:16 a.m. and knock it out within about 15 minutes.

The driver of the car, says Sgt. Clifford Dempsey, has been identified as 36-year-old Michelle Small of Wyoming, Delaware. She was arrested and later taken to Beebe Hospital, treated, released and charged with DUI and related traffic charges.

Sgt. Dempsey says Small had been traveling at a high rate of speed on southbound Coastal Highway as she entered Dewey Beach. She appears to have failed to negotiate the curve at Houston Street and lost control of her Mini Cooper around Clayton Street, crossed the center median and crashed into the restaurant just north of Swedes Street.

Small does reportedly have valid insurance, but it is unclear yet how much that will benefit Ed Riggin's business. He has already said he does not expect to rebuild. A celebration is planned August 24 for Ed's Chicken.

Ironically, almost exactly 24 hours later, around 2:02 a.m. Wednesday, the Milton Diner/United Pharmacy on Broadkill Road in Milton was practically destroyed by another fire that caused about $500,000 in damage. See this WRDE-TV report for details.


Photo courtesy Walt Palmer, WGMD Radio


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State regulators have issued a violation notice citing the Rehoboth Beach Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) after a citizen reported a discharge of "brown solids" from an outfall pipe coming from the facility on Sunday, July 10. This notice of violation was delivered to the city this past Tuesday, August 9.

DNREC has not identified the citizen who reported the discharge. But photos the citizen provided are included with the violation notice. The photos, DNREC states, "were taken on July 10, 2016… clearly show a heavy dark brown colored discharge exiting the Outfall 001 of the Rehoboth Beach WWTP and a blanket of dark brown floating solids, scum, and sludge deposits, emanating from the discharge point out into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal."

In the notice of violation (NOV), DNREC states that the city has violated its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, violated regulations related to the discharge of pollutants to surface water, and regulations related to the discharge of pollutants to surface waters from a point source.

The city is required within 30 days to submit a formal report and plan to DNREC that addresses the violations.

In response to the violation notice, the City of Rehoboth Beach issued this statement late Friday afternoon.

Photo courtesy DNREC


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It only took six minutes from the time the polls closed until Wayne Steele, Rehoboth Beach election inspector, announced the winners of the city's 2016 municipal election.

Incumbent Commissioners, Stanley Mills and Mary "Toni" Sharp, retain their seats.

Here are the 2016 election totals:

Registered voters for 2016: 1776
Number of voters: 767
Number of absentee voters: 299
Total voters: 1066 (about 60 percent of the registered voters)

Two seats for commissioner:

Stanley Mills # of votes: 688 (65 percent of total voters)
Richard J. Perry, Jr. # of votes: 473 (44 percent)
Mary A. Sharp # of votes: 609 (57 percent)

Here is the official sheet from Wayne Steele:

The winners will be sworn into office on Friday, September 16, 2016, at the regular commissioners' meeting before they begin to serve three-year terms.



Last Monday, Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) police located and chased the Chevrolet Suburban that had been carjacked from an 80-year-old man in Rehoboth Beach the previous Saturday, August 6. The chase ended in a horrific crash in Elkton, Md.

The duo has been identified as Ashley K. Ford, 25, of Perryville, and her passenger, John W. Poore, 34, of Elkton. Both were flown to trauma centers where Ford was later pronounced dead and Poore was last reported in critical condition.

For more details, see the Cecil Whig article and the RBPD news release.

Photo courtesy Singerly Fire Company


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With Tommy "TC" Coveleski's nephews and nieces standing beside the plaque during last Monday's dedication, John Coveleski, TC's oldest brother, addressed the crowd that had come to the dedication. "Simply put, Tommy was and always will be the heart and soul of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol," John said. He was a lifeguard for more than 30 years and "he was the most selfless person that I have ever known. When he unfortunately died in February, the response was like I have never seen. You would think a president or a king [had died]," John said.

The plaque was presented to TC when he was still alive last September, hence its date.

"We had a big party last fall when Tommy was still around so he could enjoy it," John stated. "We had 150 people come from 10 different states and everybody came to the party to put money in to buy this [plaque]," he added. "Tommy got to see it. As Tommy rolls," John said, "he was big and he was selfless and everything else. When we did this, we brought [the plaque] over to his house. So when he got it, he [took] it and hid it." He was too modest and did not want the publicity. So when Tommy passed, John said "it took two or three days to find [the plaque] and then we had to find a mason, and so against his will, here it is."

"He was a special person. This is a great honor," John added, noting that TC's plaque is "right next to his father and my father's, Frank Coveleski, so that kind of says it all." Frank was a highly regarded RBP captain for many years who had six children, John being TC's eldest sibling.

It was always assumed that TC would follow in his father's footsteps and would one day lead the RBP. Although he was next in line, that never happened and exactly why he had been passed over for the top job has never been publicly explained. "That was another reaction like I have never seen," John said in regard to why TC was overlooked for RBP captain. "People basically flooded city hall with e-mails, flooded the town meetings and the response was that it was an incredible injustice and that is how everybody felt about it…"

But, "bottom line is he just wanted to be a part of it," John pointed out. "He really didn't care about titles. I mean, he was happy just to be around lifeguards and… creating a legacy. So it is a double legacy we have here, Frank, his father, and Tommy," John added.

John also thanked the city -- and especially Krys Johnson, the city's new communications specialist, for their efforts recognizing TC and getting the plaque mounted at the last minute. He said Ms. Johnson was instrumental in finding a mason who could mount the plaque so promptly.



Perhaps it is the heat, or people inserting the cards upside down, but Rehoboth Beach has had some problems this summer with visitors who are getting their credit cards stuck in the Parkeon multi-space parking kiosks. At least three such cases were reported this past week.

"It's just so frustrating," this woman says, as the tech removes her card using the long-nose pliers. He said she had inserted the card upside down, but she points to the confusing sticker showing the stripe. She had parked in the third block of Rehoboth Avenue around 11:40 a.m. last Monday.



This group arrived just north of the Henlopen condo Saturday by way of coach bus and established a significant encampment on the beach including a buffet-style kitchen table with supplies to feed an army.

Both the beach patrol and police had received at least one complaint that they were littering with too much trash blowing along the beach, making no effort to pick it up. Another complaint was that they used dish fuel canisters or something similar to keep the food warm.

This letter to the editor, "Defending day trippers in Rehoboth Beach," appeared in Friday's Cape Gazette in response to this letter from Michael Bednarek, the previous Friday.



The beach was packed this past weekend with probably the most cars and visitors since July 4th. So parking was at a premium.

On Sunday, a Rehoboth Beach police officer confronted a man who had been reportedly standing in and saving a parking spot as a car was attempting to park in that spot, even if that meant physically pushing him out of the parking space.

With horns blowing, the officer went over, took the man's license and told him to get out of the spot so the car waiting (not his) could park. This was in the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue. A similar incident was reported late Saturday morning in the second block in front of Browseabout Books.

Photo and story courtesy Jeff Balk, VisitRehoboth.com


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The mystery kid on the right spent $1 in the "Stacker" machine at the Beach Arcade South this past Tuesday afternoon and won the Apple iPod Touch. He then handed it to a total stranger, the younger boy on the left, whose name is Sean.

"I've never seen something this generous and good natured at the arcade before in my 10 years working here," says Matt Weiner, the arcade's manager, "a totally random act of kindness! Sean and his mother were so excited, she kept trying to pay the mystery kid for it, but he said that he and his girlfriend had iPhones, and didn't need the iPod, and they only spent $1 anyway to win."

"People win prizes from our machines all the time," Weiner says. "Regularly, we see players who after having fun and playing the games, give away small amounts of tickets and points to young kids who are actively collecting tickets, which I've termed 'Cute Kid Syndrome.' But we have never seen anyone win such a major prize and give it away to a total stranger," he points out. They do not know the name of the boy who gave away the prize.

Photo and story courtesy Matt Weiner



If this past week was not hot enough, visitors along Coastal Highway may have found it more challenging to find anything to drink while outlet shopping. State troopers spent early last Monday morning investigating a spree of vending machine break-ins that stretched from the Tanger Outlets just outside of Rehoboth all the way to the Midway Shopping Center. Around a dozen vending machines were damaged in an attempt to steal money.

Master Corporal Gary E. Fournier, state police spokesman, says Jacob L. Capozio, 31, of Lewes, was arrested on August 8 after a trooper on patrol noticed him riding a bicycle in the area of the Midway Shopping Center. Capozio had been witnessed by the trooper walking toward a vending machine in front of the movie theater carrying what appeared to be metal objects.

Upon making contact with Capozio, police said he was found to have three metal bars, such as those used with a car jack, under a bench on which he had just sat down on. "A computer check revealed Capozio was wanted out of Sussex County Court of Common Pleas on a capias," Cpl. Fournier said.

He was taken into custody without incident and upon further inspection during a pat down he was in possession of a large amount of assorted change in one of his pockets, police said. It was determined through the investigation that Capozio was tampering with various vending machines throughout the Midway Shopping Center, Tanger Surfside, Bayside and Seaside Outlets, and damaging the machines by attempting to or actually prying them open and removing change.

Police charged him with Possession of Burglary Tools, 11 counts of Attempted Theft, 11 counts of Criminal Mischief, and four counts of Criminal Trespass. He was arraigned at Justice of the Peace Court #2 and committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $15,104 secured bond, Cpl. Fournier added.

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Rehoboth Beach has experienced some new graffiti in the past couple weeks, including on this concrete curb where Olive meets Maryland avenues near the Breakers Hotel.

Also tagged was the rear of this sign in the second block of Wilmington Avenue.

There were a handful of similar taggings around town, but they do not appear to be in the same style as this more overt attack from a few weeks ago.


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MAN INJURED IN FALL FROM BEACH CHAIR--- Bethany Beach firefighters kept busy last Monday with a series of injured persons on the beach. That included one for an 80-year-old man who injured his neck/back when the back of his beach chair gave way and he fell to the ground around noon. He was taken to Beebe Hospital.


STINGRAY PATIO PERMIT REVIEW HEARING--- The hearing for the Stingray Restaurant's deck/patio permit is scheduled for this coming Thursday in Georgetown. See this ABCC notice for details.


TROOPERS RESPOND TO CHRONIC PROBLEM OF SHOTS FIRED AND DISORDERLY CROWDS--- Several nights this past week troopers have responded to the area of West Meadowview Drive and Martins Farm Road and also Cool Springs Road for complaints of shots fired and disorderly groups. Some nights police have come more than once. This is west of Lewes south of U.S. Route 9. The people scatter when police arrive, but many of them appear to originate from West Rehoboth.


MAN INJURED IN DIVE IN O.C.--- An intoxicated 28-year-old man injured his neck after diving head-first into shallow bay water. It happened around 4:30 p.m. Saturday in Ocean City. Initially he had no feeling below his neck after being pulled onto a marsh. He was flown by helicopter to a trauma center.


2 PEDESTRIANS SERIOUSLY INJURED IN SEPARATE O.C. ACCIDENTS--- A man in his 30's was initially unconscious with a cut to his head after he was struck by a vehicle on 73rd Street around 10:45 p.m. Saturday. He was flown to a trauma center from Jolly Roger. Around 1:40 a.m. Sunday, another pedestrian was hit at 123rd Street and was also initially reported as unconscious. The striking vehicle sustained extensive damage and the windshield was also busted. Paramedics took the patient by ground to the hospital.


POSSIBLE DROWNING --- EMS crews from Sussex County and Ocean City responded to the Atlantic Coast Inn around 7:10 p.m. Sunday for a cardiac arrest in a swimming pool. But it was unclear if this were a drowning or medical problem. The inn is just north of 146th Street in Delaware off Coastal Highway.



Video exposes Tyson workers mistreating animals

Don't pitch those oyster shells

UD water quality monitoring program cited as DNREC Volunteer of Year

Troopers investigate shooting incident (early Saturday, Lincoln)

Brew pub looking to expand but hearing protests from a neighboring Lewes church

Police ask assistance identifying voyeurism suspect (Tanger outlets; last Monday)

Troopers arrest 2 after series of thefts from motor vehicles (Coastal Highway corridor)

Was that Jack Nicholson in Rehoboth Beach?

Disorderly behavior leads to felony drug arrest of 2 teenagers (Rehoboth Beach, previous weekend)

West Virginia man fights police after being stopped for bicycle violation (previous Sunday, Rehoboth Beach)

Coming out was scary says Trelynda Kerr, Miss Oklahoma 1983, of Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach ranked #3 in "top 5 off-the-beaten-path" LGBT travel destinations

LGBT activists from Arab world meeting in Rehoboth Beach postponed

First black female lifeguard on Rehoboth Beach Patrol

Rehoboth businesses oppose law that defines brewpubs, craft breweries

Rehoboth Beach considers barring craft breweries

Dogfish opposes Rehoboth brewpub ordinance

Rehoboth debates restaurant size limits

Life on Delaware's coast during World War II subject of Rehoboth Museum program (Thursday, August 18)

Rehoboth prepares for Lake Avenue street project

Richard Nixon and family at Rehoboth Beach

Read the latest SOLA3 newsletter (Silver Lake, Lake Comegys, Lake Gerar news)

Dewey Beach rental scam from Craigslist

Dewey commissioner accuses mayor of coercion

Last day to file to run for Dewey Beach commissioner is Thursday, August 18 at 5 p.m.

Bethany builder making progress on homes for DIY show

USDA awards emergency grant funding to Selbyville to be used toward cleaner water supply

Fenwick property owners elect 3 in election

Fancy-free all day in Fenwick Island

Atlantic General Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center to provide critical services

8 reasons to visit the other Ocean City

Body of missing Temple Hills, Maryland man found in Ocean City surf (4:20 p.m., Tuesday)

OCPD accepting applications for citizens police academy

Officials partner to seek ban on offshore seismic air gun testing

Ocean City woman reportedly suffers back and leg injuries after jet-ski collision in Fenwick Ditch (O.C., Thursday afternoon)

Quick action likely saves life after boating accident (O.C., previous Saturday)

O.C. Council denies appeal to save downtown tree over liability issue

Pathology reports indicate suspect ingested drugs before dying in O.C. police custody

2 pedestrians injured in O.C. (Tuesday night)

Boater located after mysterious runaway boat hits dock (Ocean Pines, Tuesday)



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