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WEEKEND #01, 2015

(Memorial Day Weekend)

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware


Man brandishes shotgun day after Rehoboth Beach home victimized by graffiti

In a bizarre incident last week, a man brandished a shotgun and allegedly yelled out as a police officer past the same house that had been struck by graffiti the previous day.

Rehoboth Beach police were summoned to the second block of Saint Lawrence Street on Tuesday after a report that the house had been targeted by graffiti specifically one word sprayed in what appears to be black paint across the front.

Homes on Saint Lawrence Street are multi-million dollar residences in the south section of town steps to Silver Lake and the ocean.

While on patrol Wednesday night, a bike officer reported a man who came from the house yelling and brandished a shotgun. That was around 11:38 p.m. Additional officers, including one from Dewey Beach, came to assist.

After attempts to contact the man and talk with him, almost an hour later police brought the situation to a peaceful conclusion.

The victim of the graffiti "was heard by one of our officers on bike yelling on his porch (he did not curse at anyone or the officer)," says Lt. William L. Sullivan. He "went inside after observing the officer. He was later contacted and the situation was diffused. No crime was committed and he was not arrested," Lt. Sullivan pointed out.

The original criminal mischief, the graffiti, is still an active investigation, he added.

Signs have been posted offering a $5000 reward to help solve this vandalism.

The vandalism "is very disturbing," says John J. Meng, a neighbor who ran for city commissioner last year. "It's a low-class, despicable thing to do and I am surprised something like that happened in Rehoboth Beach," he added. An attempt to contact the homeowner for comment was unsuccessful.

Lt. Sullivan says police do not have any suspects at this point. "We believe that the incident may be related to the installation of a new water/sewer line being installed," he added. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 302-227-2577.


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State troopers spent Saturday afternoon searching for a man who allegedly handed a bank teller a note demanding cash. It happened at the Capital One Bank in the Walmart shopping center outside Rehoboth around noon. As an interesting coincidence, Memorial Day Weekend last year, a man robbed the TD Bank, a short distance north, also using a demand note.

The teller, police say, complied with the suspect's demand and gave him cash. Police would not say how much he obtained. No weapon was seen, but police say the suspect implied he was armed.

State troopers brought in a police dog and helicopter to assist with the search. But the robber made good his escape.

Police say the suspect fled in an unknown direction. He is described as a black man in his early 20's, about 5'06" to 5'08" tall and 140-150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a brown hat, glasses, brown jacket and blue jeans.

There were no injuries and the bank was closed during the investigation. The Capital One Bank is in the parking lot of the Rehoboth Mall at 19268 Old Landing Road.

Police ask anyone with information concerning this robbery to call Detective Mark Doughty at 302-752-3794. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the Internet at www.tipsubmit.com or by sending an anonymous text message to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."



Not often does one see a Rehoboth Beach police officer walking around with a shotgun. Sgt. Scott A. O'Bier responded twice this past holiday weekend to the second block of Hickman Street after police received reports of a possible sick raccoon.

Sgt. O'Bier has had more than his share of experience with wild animal problems in Rehoboth Beach including a dramatic encounter with a rabid fox in 2012.

He said he gives the animal the benefit of the doubt, noting that many homes are being occupied for the first time this past weekend and that might be sending the critters out looking for new shelter. He observes them carefully, he said, before he shoots.

Police responded to the second block of Hickman Street on Friday and again on Saturday afternoon. Saturday evening, they were called to New Castle Street at King Charles Avenue. But in each case, the raccoon was gone when police arrived.


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In less than a week, public works crews filled two sinkholes in Rehoboth Beach. This sinkhole was reported to police around 7 p.m. last Tuesday.

It was in the ocean block of Delaware Avenue.

The previous Saturday, another sinkhole was reported at Stockley and Hickman Streets.


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Keep your receipt, it could be useful

If the streets of Rehoboth Beach are looking more like those of Washington, D.C. and several other big cities this season, it might be because they share the same technologies used to pay for parking.

During Memorial Day Weekend 2012, the city introduced Parkmobile to Rehoboth Beach visitors. This past weekend, Rehoboth Beach unveiled the Parkeon multi-space parking meter solution. In April and May, Parkeon and its local distributor, Keystone Solutions and Integrations, installed 51 solar-powered parking kiosks along the first two blocks of Rehoboth Avenue.

"We are very excited about our new Parkeon installation and for its debut this Memorial Day weekend," says Bill Maffei, technical services supervisor for the Rehoboth Beach Street Department. "The mayor, city manager and commissioners, along with me, put a lot of time and effort into this project and are looking forward to a successful summer season," he added.

The devices replace the aging Reino meters. The remaining part of Rehoboth Avenue west of 2nd Street continues to use the Reino meters for 2015 and perhaps longer.

Maffei said Friday afternoon that he was happy with what he saw so far with the performance of the Parkeons but "we still have the season to go," he added, noting that Parkeon promises a full year of tech support. Maffei is working 12 days straight before and during the parking meter start-up period to assure all runs smoothly. Here he is assisting a couple visitors with a Parkeon transaction.

The Parkeon meters, featuring a 7-inch color display screen, promise to make paying for parking easier by guiding visitors through their parking transactions. The meters will accept payment with coins and the system will continue to support the Parkmobile app which allows for credit card payment. The Parkeon meters could be configured to accept credit cards, but Maffei says that will require approval of the city commissioners. The change kiosks continue to accept $1, $5, $10 and now $20 bills for visitors needing quarters for payment.

In this 90-second Youtube clip, Maffei demonstrates basic Parkeon operation. Customers have the option of receiving a proof-of-payment receipt at the end of their transaction, a feature that was not available on the Reino meters used by the city.

The receipt provides the code to allow the user to pay for parking at any Parkeon in town without the need to return to the initial Parkeon kiosk. The receipt can also be helpful as a reminder of where you parked, how long you paid and in the event you receive an undeserved parking ticket.

Enforcement of the system is done wirelessly through handheld devices used by the parking enforcement personnel. The new meters communicate over the AT&T cellular network and can alert the city as well as Parkeon of any problems and also provide stats. The status of each space, whether paid or unpaid, is visible to officials when they query the Parkeon system.

Maffei says the city has a total of about 1480 Duncan single-space parking meters and 96 multi-space Reino and Parkeon meters. They serve a total of about 2500 parking spaces throughout town. All metered spaces are now $2 per hour (7-8 minutes per quarter). The Parkeon meters also allow users arriving early (between the hours of 8 and 10 a.m.) to pay in advance.

Blackman, who is raising funds by selling raffle tickets again for KINfolk, poses with Maffei in front of Parkeon R-113.

Parking meter enforcement will continue through the second Sunday after Labor Day, September 20. Anybody who has a problem or question concerning public parking in Rehoboth Beach should call 302-227-6184.


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It was only the second day on the job for Rehoboth Beach lifeguards when a 32-year-old man was struck and injured by a fly-away umbrella. It happened on Sunday on the beach at Maryland Avenue around 2:30 p.m.

He suffered a cut to the top of his head and complained of neck pain. An ambulance took him to Beebe Hospital. His injuries did not appear serious.

The maximum wind gust between 2 and 3 p.m. on Sunday according to the boardwalk DEOS weather station was 23 m.p.h. -- the strongest of the day.

On Monday, Memorial Day, another man was struck by an umbrella in the upper chest at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal. He too was taken to Beebe Hospital and was complaining of trouble breathing.


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Witnesses said shortly after this Plymouth had been parked along the center island on Rehoboth Avenue they heard a bang and it burst into flames. The incident was reported around 9:52 p.m. Sunday across from the Rehoboth Beach firehouse. There were no injuries.



Thursday evening before the big holiday weekend was cold and damp. By Friday evening, parking spaces were still available along the ocean block of Rehoboth Avenue. Were the crowds coming?

Photo courtesy Mike Peyton

The crowds did indeed pick up on Saturday. Come Sunday, traffic crawled out of town in the late afternoon and police and EMS crews were overwhelmed with calls. Rehoboth Beach police received three parking complaints within a period of about 15 minutes.

Starting at 2:15 p.m., police were called to help settle disputes over parking spaces in the ocean block and third block of Rehoboth Avenue.

Around 2:30 p.m., police were sent to Surf Avenue at Oak Avenue where a half-dozen motorists tried to create parking along the Surf Avenue dune fence. Police issued five $50 tickets, including one to the below Lexus.

Public works crews described the crowds on Sunday as worse than July 4th of last year. They had trouble moving people along the beach for trash removal. Some people did not want to cooperate. Trash cans were stuffed beyond capacity and the crowds scattered debris across the beach.

Rehoboth Beach police also responded to at least six complaints of noise from pools and hot tubs in town.


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WEEKEND COMPLAINTS FROM POODLE BEACH AREA--- A section of the beach at the far south end of Rehoboth generated several complaints to police this past holiday weekend. The complaints mostly involved people urinating where they should not and related disorderly behavior. At one point, three officers were assigned to monitor the crowds on Sunday after police received complaints that visitors were standing in line waiting to use a private porta-potty at an ocean-front construction site on Saint Lawrence Street.

Other visitors simply did not want to wait and relieved themselves on people's lawns or along the dunes south through Penn Street. Police issued at least two civil citations for disturbing the peace. On Saturday, police had a complaint that people were urinating in Silver Lake. The nearest public restrooms to Poodle Beach are at least eight blocks away, on Delaware Avenue at the boardwalk.


DEAD BABY DOLPHIN FOUND IN REHOBOTH BEACH SURF--- Suzanne Thurman, MERR Institute executive director, says her group investigated a dead baby dolphin discovered by public works crews last Monday near Rodney Street. Later that day, a dead deer was also discovered floating in the ocean off Stockley Street.

MERR's next event will be in celebration of World Ocean's Day on June 6 at the Milton Theater. Thurman says they will screen a couple films from Sea Rescue, one of which portrays MERR's rescue of Rocky the Risso's dolphin. This is a family friendly event, she says, so there will be things for children to enjoy, including the MERR exhibition, games and other fun educational activities. It will run from 6 to 8 p.m.


WEEKEND FIRES IN O.C.--- Firefighters in Ocean City battled two structure fires this holiday weekend. Just before midnight on Friday they responded to the Ocean Vista on 93rd Street for fire on the second floor of the three-story condo. Around 2 a.m. Monday, firefighters fought a townhouse fire at 135 Jamestown Road which brought fire companies from Delaware to assist.


REHOBOTH DRAWBRIDGE WOULDN'T CLOSE, AGAIN--- It happened again! The Rehoboth drawbridge was unable to close fully just before 11 a.m. Sunday. But after several minutes, DelDOT crews were able to get it fully closed.



Is growth choking Delaware beach towns?

Animal Response program seeks disaster volunteers by June 1

American Wetlands Month's 25th anniversary marked with efforts to restore wetlands and raise awareness

DART First State kicks off 2015 Resort Transit

DART bus service ready for summer beach season

Here's your summer to-do list on Delmarva

Beach Guide 2015: Delaware, three ways: Rated-G, rockin' or ritzy (Baltimore Sun)

Headed to the beach? Check out these new bars and brewpubs. (Washingtonpost.com)

Rehoboth Beach business receives piece of steel from World Trade Center

Piping plover nesting season in full swing at Cape Henlopen

Beach Bound: Rehoboth isn't far, and it's totally fabulous (Philly Weekly)

Keeping the bees in Rehoboth Beach

Dogfish Head gets second hearing on brewpub rebuild

Stingray owner can relate to Dogfish Head fight

Chip Hearn inducted into Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

In Dewey, height restrictions to go to referendum

Starboard sweeps Bloody Mary contest

Man drives car into tree, flips over on Coastal Highway (Dewey Beach; Thursday)

Cruisin Weekend a hot top in Ocean City - community problems again stem from unofficial participants

24-hour headlight use becomes mandatory on U.S. Route 50



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