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WEEKEND #6, 2009

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware



Rehoboth Beach's multiple-space Reino parking meters have kept their promise of cutting visual clutter on the town's main street while their sophisticated electronics produce all sorts of data for parking analysis.

A couple years ago the meters were retrofitted with credit card readers, and that has eliminated the need for quarters for many visitors.

But on Friday, the Parking Meter Division received numerous reports of Reinos failing to accept credit cards. By Saturday, parking meter techs used electrical tape to block off about half of the credit card readers in Reinos on the first two blocks of Rehoboth Avenue. Several more were taped over on Sunday.

Other Reino credit card readers - even those which were not placed out of service - worked intermittently throughout the weekend. They are connected to the Reino server using a cellular-based data network.

Visitors attempting to pay with credit cards received a "processing payment" message for about 25 seconds, and then the meter returned to its main screen without explanation. Those who re-entered their parking space number realized that the payment was not accepted. Those who called the city's Parking Meter Division were told to use quarters. Parking meter techs kept the city's four change machines running all weekend.

The visitor below claimed he received two $30 tickets on Friday. He tried to feed the meter using a credit card, and says he's "going to Ocean City" next time.

To further complicate matters, the glare on the Reino's display makes it often challenging to read while waiting for your credit card confirmation.

On Saturday, the Parking Meter Division brought in an additional tech to assist trouble-shooting parking meter problems. The division had a backlog after receiving more than 30 complaints the prior evening.

Not all of the complaints involved the credit card readers. Skip Millman replaces a low battery in a Reino on the second block of Rehoboth Avenue on Saturday (below).



We have additional details regarding the fish tracker which was recovered by the Ocean City bomb team on June 17. Kathy Hattala of the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation says it is a passive archival [satellite] tag (PAT) that was attached to a 218-pound, 7.8-foot female Atlantic sturgeon.

She was tagged on June 11, 2008 in the Hudson River near Hyde Park, NY, about 85 miles north of New York City, Hattala said. The fish was tagged as part of a study on the Hudson's Atlantic sturgeon spawning stock.

The primary objective is to learn about ocean habits, she says, such as where these fish go and how long they spend in different areas along the Atlantic coast. The study was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program, Hudson River Foundation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The study has been coordinated by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, Hudson River Fisheries Unit.

The tag records data such as light intensity, water temperature, pressure (used to calculate water depth) every three minutes. For more info on this tracking device, Hattala says to check the Microwave Telemetry Website.

The data will hopefully show where and how long the fish has spent its time since leaving the Hudson last summer.

The device is attached to the fish by a monofilament anchor, which is attached to the tag by a metal pin on the bottom. The tag is programmed to send an electrical current through the pin, which dissolves away, releasing the tag from the fish. The tag pops to the surface of the ocean (the long thin wire is an antenna) and begins transmitting data to a satellite. The data is then sent via an e-mail.

For this particular tag, Hattala said it started transmitting right on time on June 15, just off the Delaware-Maryland coast. But then the transmissions stopped. The tag could have been lying on its side on the beach.

Hattala said they were "pretty excited to hear that someone found it. Now that we have the tag, it will be sent to the manufacturer and they will download all the data off of the tag for us. We will then be able to analyze all the data recorded, over a year's worth, to learn about where this female sturgeon has been going in her ocean travels since it left the river last year."



Amateur radio operators, the National Guard, Bethany firefighters, state police and veteran lifeguards held a joint exercise during the annual amateur radio Field Day weekend.

The exercise was held at the Bethany Beach National Guard facility and on the adjacent Salt Pond.

Shown below, planning the first water rescue exercise, are William Prettyman, Sussex Amateur Radio Association director, veteran lifeguard Woody Marderwald, Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Stan Mills, TFC Jason Baxley and Master Cpl. Joe Thuitt of the Delaware State Police, and Dr. Peter Hartsock, a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service and co-director of Delaware United Open Water Lifesaving Program.

Amateur radio operators facilitated the communication among those involved. Meanwhile, Dr. Hartsock and Marderwald were taken on the lake via the Bethany fire boat, dropped into the water, and were each lifted from the lake and brought to shore.

This is the same Bell 407 helicopter that performed a rope rescue to save a couple who had been drifting with a raft off Dewey Beach on Memorial Day Weekend.

Field Day for the amateur radio operators started around 2 p.m. on Saturday and continued during the water rescue exercises on Sunday. One objective is to contact as many stations as possible on various amateur radio bands from a simulated emergency environment, and in doing so, to learn to operate in abnormal situations in less than optimal conditions. They operate outdoors using generator power and temporary antennas. During the 24-hour exercise they attempt to communicate with as many distant ham stations as possible.

Leonard Hecker and William Hammond demonstrate Field Day radio procedures to Dr. Dagmar Henney (Alan's mom!) and Commissioner Stan Mills.



A man and woman walking along the beach discovered a body in the surf around 12:35 a.m. Thursday. The couple found the body in the unincorporated area between Dewey Beach and Rehoboth Beach east of Silver Lake. Both police departments sent officers, but Delaware State Police assumed responsibility for the investigation.

It's rare for a body to wash up on the beach, particularly if no active search were already in progress. According to a state police news release, the man died from an accidental drowning. Here is a 50-second YouTube video showing the crime scene looking south from Prospect Street.



WBOC-TV reporter Michael Lopardi and a photographer reported live from Rehoboth Beach city hall Friday evening. The topic was the beach economy. If you missed his report, check the WBOC Webpage. Hopefully it will be posted later Monday.





BIG SCREEN TV TAKEN FROM DEWEY RESIDENCE--- A woman returned to her residence on Dagsworthy Avenue around 11 a.m. Saturday and reported her big screen TV missing. She told police she had locked the doors and found them unlocked with her keys outside nearby a door.

EARLY MORNING FIRE ALARM ACTIVATIONS IN O.C.--- The alarm sounded at the six-story Sunset Pointe condo on 63rd Street around 3 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters reported a malicious fire alarm pull station activated in the south side stairwell. On Sunday, no audible alarm was reported, but the fire alarm activated at the Golden Surf Condo on 81st Street around 4:20 a.m. Firefighters said they found no reason for the activation.

SERIOUS CRASH NEAR EAGLES CREST--- Sussex County paramedics along with firefighters from Lewes and Milton responded to Route 1 south of Eagles Crest Road around 6:40 p.m. Saturday. A person was reported trapped after one vehicle headed southbound crossed over the median and struck another vehicle head-on in the northbound lane.

TEEN FLOWN TO TRAUMA CENTER AFTER EXITING SURF--- A teen came out of the surf around 7 p.m. Saturday in north Ocean City suffering trouble breathing. One report said he walked a bit before he collapsed. He was pail and changing color. The state police helicopter flew him from Northside Park to a trauma center. Another beach goer was injured near 5th Street in Bethany Beach around 7:20 p.m. A medevac was requested but they initially had trouble finding an available helicopter.

REHOBOTH POLICE HELP STATE POLICE WITH DISTURBANCES--- Twice this weekend, Rehoboth Beach police responded to assist Delaware State Police with fights. The first was in West Rehoboth around 12:10 a.m. Saturday. It was reported as a party out of control on Burton Street. A state police spokeswoman says no arrests were made. Around 300 people were supposedly involved in a fight in the Cool Springs area off Route 9 around 1:10 a.m. Sunday. That is off Route 9. Rehoboth Beach police sent its canine officer to assist with crowd control.

FISH KILL REPORTED SUNDAY EVENING IN LOVE CREEK--- DNREC dispatched an investigator around 6:15 p.m. to investigate a fish kill in Love Creek near Route 24. No details were given as to number of fish involved.

COUNTERFEIT BILLS FOUND AT SEACRETS--- The management at Ocean City's Seacrets reported finding a wad of fake $100 bills around 1:20 a.m. Monday (today). Police are checking for surveillance video.

O.C. GUARD WARNS GIRLS ABOUT NUDE SUNBATHING--- An Ocean City guard said over the radio that he spoke with two "foreign girls" about nude sunbathing on the beach around 135th Street Sunday. He let them go with a warning.


Man arrested for assaulting girlfriend (OC-Thursday)

Man arrested for assaulting mom and infant (Berlin-Saturday)

Ocean View burglar caught on surveillance photos (Saturday)

Sea Colony robbery involves teens and drugs (Friday)

Man killed in Bowers Beach boating accident (Thursday)

Man injured in Seacrets parking lot (OC Thursday)

Bicyclists killed in two Ocean City accidents
Friday and Tuesday

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