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WEEKEND #09, 2017

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




Incredible! Man bikes across America, 4000+ miles through 11 states and extreme weather and road conditions, ending his 50-day journey yesterday at Rehoboth Beach Patrol headquarters.

Mark Williams, 53, a Boston University finance professor, author and former RBP lifeguard, decided to end his cross-country fundraiser for "Bikes Not Bombs" at the beach patrol to honor the late Tommy "TC" Coveleski, who he describes as a "great lifeguard, mentor and friend" and to raise awareness for the Sussex Consortium Program, where TC taught physical education. And what an appropriate spot to end his journey, with fellow former lifeguards beside him and the plaques honoring TC's service as well as that of his father, Frank.

Williams journey came to the successful conclusion Sunday when he arrived here on his 18-speed Specialized Diverge, a professional touring bike equipped with disc brakes. Shown are Tony Sposato, Joe Barranco, Larry Carroll, Pete Coveleski, Mark Williams, John Coveleski, Greg Wilson, James Hutton and Richard Sargent.

Williams raised more than $21,000 for Bikes Not Bombs, more than double his initial goal. "It was a meaningful experience for me," he says, "I had all these situations where it was challenging. I could have thrown in the towel. But I felt like I had these charities I cared about and the donors and I did not want to let them down. It was a much more powerful ride because of that. All of a sudden it resonated with people. Donations began to pour in, and in general [it was] a really meaningful experience."

Williams, who grew up in Georgetown, Delaware, was joined by another bicyclist, Mike Hill, who rode with him through Yorktown, Virginia to help raise funds for Alzheimer's research. The duo started the trek across America on June 4 in San Francisco. They had no back-up and no air conditioned caravan following them with water bottles, food or emergency supplies. They were at the mercy of the environment and what they could scavenge along the route.

"For the last 50 days I have been living out of four panniers and that's it," Williams said. "We have stayed in churches, hostels, camped and even slept in a gymnasium and hotels when available."

They followed the historic pony express route starting in San Francisco. In Nevada, they traveled on Route 50, known as the loneliest highway in America. "We would go hours and see only tumbleweed, a stray cow and jackrabbits," he said. "Then in Colorado we picked up the Western Express known to cyclists as Route 76. This ends in Yorktown, Virginia. From there I took the bridge (cyclists are not allowed to bike through the bridge tunnel) to Cape Charles and back roads all the way up to Rehoboth Beach."

Williams and Hill averaged 80 miles per day. The highest single day was 120 miles across the Kansas plains while the lowest mileage day was 60 when they climbed the Rockies. There were also several 100-mile days back to back. Typically they spent eight to nine hours riding time on the bike each day.

"Remarkably over this coast to coast trip," Williams points out, "I had zero flat tires. I chalk this up to luck over skill."

As a risk management consultant, Williams knows all about risk. In 2010 he published Uncontrolled Risk (McGraw Hill), a book examining the root causes of the financial crisis and the rise and fall of investment banking giant Lehman Brothers. "Risk management is about anticipating risks and understanding the odds," he points out. "Good bikers attempt to anticipate and reduce the chance for accidents. Each day had its own set of risks: weather, road conditions and the type and level of truck traffic."

In California, he recalls, "we had steep passes, narrow shoulders and bad roads. Once we climbed a peak we had to decide what was the safe decent speed given road conditions. Sometimes speeds exceeded 40 m.p.h."

In Nevada, Williams says he was run off the road and knocked down by a large tractor-trailer. Fortunately not hurt, he got up and continued on his journey. Other risk examples he cites were in Nevada at a higher altitude when they rode through a snowstorm that made the road a sheet of ice.

In Utah they endured record heat in excess of 120 degrees. "To beat the heat," he says, "we rode in the middle of the night."

In Kansas they struggled with high winds and shared the road with a lot of farm equipment and tractor-trailers. "Over a 10-mile stretch," he recalled, "we were attacked by a storm of grasshoppers during the Kansas wheat harvest. I have referred to this experience as biblical."

In Missouri they faced steep mountains with no shoulders on the roadway. "Kentucky coal trucks on narrow roads are not biker friendly," he pointed out. "Aggressive dogs in the Appalachian area of Kentucky required the use of pepper spray, fog horns and preventative sticks."

"Do your research," Williams says to anybody who might be contemplating a similar journey. "Pick the cycle route you would like to take. Either go with another experienced cyclist or be part of a planned group." He stresses the importance to also train, plan and get mentally prepared. He has training as an athlete having run track at the University of Delaware. "Pushing the pedals reminded me of track practice workouts," he says.

"Purchase a bike that is built for touring and make sure it is outfitted correctly," he adds, noting that "a lot of helpful websites and checklists are also available. These will get you started and provide a sense of the commitment and what to expect. Assume you will get flat tires and bring spare parts and a repair kit."

Williams and Hill are planning on publishing their daily travel itinerary and spreadsheet to help others as they plan their own cross-country cycling trip. And yes, to answer a question many people have been wondering. He would do this again! "This was an experience of a lifetime," Williams said, "a very meaningful experience. Next time, if either of my daughters, Amelia or Sarah, become interested, I would go again."

Photos courtesy Mark Williams


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Responding to a noise complaint, Rehoboth Beach police arrested 11 people at a residence on 6th Street late Wednesday resulting in the largest mass arrest so far this summer.

Police were summoned to the residence around the corner from the 7-Eleven for a noisy party just before 11:40 p.m. Initial reports suggested as many as 50 people were on the property.

Lt. Jaime Riddle, police spokesman, says officers made a total of 11 arrests. All 11 were charged with underage consumption of alcohol. Police also charged two of the 11 for resisting arrest, one for terroristic threatening and two for possession of a fictitious license.


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Visitors fighting over parking spaces have kept Rehoboth Beach police busy this past week. There were at least three cases where police were called to help settle parking disputes, and in one case, a pedestrian received a written citation.

The hotspot on Saturday was the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue where motorists and pedestrians clashed twice during a seven-hour period. In the first incident, a female pedestrian attempted to hold a parking space here preventing a motorist from parking in the spot around 1:20 p.m. No citations were issued, although police performed a routine computer check of one of the parties. They were not wanted.

Just before 8 p.m., police were back in almost this same spot, below, after several male pedestrians allegedly refused to surrender a parking spot to a motorist. No citations were issued in that case either.

Around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to 1st Street at Brooklyn Avenue after a pedestrian had been accused of holding a parking space. Lt. Jaime Riddle, police spokesman, says a traffic summons was issued to the pedestrian holding the parking space.


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Rehoboth Beach police arrested a pot-smoking Sterling, Virginia man after he attempted to flee police which resulted in an officer being injured during a scuffle.

It all started around 11:20 p.m. last Monday when a seasonal police officer observed the suspect, James J. McKeown, 21, hanging around the Wilmington Avenue boardwalk pavilion in possession of what appeared and smelled like marijuana. As the officer radioed for assistance, McKeown fled north along the Boardwalk.

McKeown led police officers on a foot chase that concluded when he ran through the rear entrance of a restaurant, past employees and hopped the front counter fleeing out the front entrance onto the boardwalk, police said. At this point, in the area of Whiskey Jack's on Baltimore Avenue, an officer was able to tackle McKeown to the ground and take him into custody.

During a struggle, the officer struck his head on the wood surrounding the boardwalk foot washing station resulting in a concussion, police said. The officer was taken to Beebe Hospital and later released.

McKeown has been charged with resisting arrest with force, a felony, disorderly conduct, and possession of marijuana. Mckeown was released on a $2550 unsecured bail.

Photo courtesy RBPD


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Last Monday was a busy day for Rehoboth Beach police who had both the foot chase, above, and this bike chase.

Jordan D. Fisher, 33, of Reading, Pennsylvania, was arrested after fleeing moments after an officer had stopped him for riding his bike on the Rehoboth Avenue sidewalk.

The officer had stopped Fisher at 3rd Street and Rehoboth Avenue around 9:30 a.m. A routine warrant check of Fisher indicated that he had a non-extraditable warrant out of Pennsylvania, police said. As another officer in a marked patrol car responded to assist, Fisher fled on his bicycle and police gave chase.

Police say an officer positioned his patrol car in Fisher's path causing him to change direction suddenly and fall from his bicycle at 5th and Kent Streets. He was taken into custody without further incident. No injuries were reported and no property was damaged during the incident, police said.

Fisher was arrested and charged with disregarding a police officer's signal, a felony, resisting arrest, riding a bicycle on a sidewalk or crosswalk where prohibited, failure to give hand and arm signals, and failure to stop at a stop sign. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on a $2006 secured bail.

Photo courtesy RBPD



Passerbys were surprised to find state police SUVs with strobe lights activated while parked in a neat row in the bank parking lot adjacent to the Rehoboth Animal Hospital this past Saturday.

Peggy Douglas, who works across the street, later learned from one of her fellow employees that a police dog had been euthanized and fellow troopers gathered there to support the officer who was receiving the dog's body from the vet.

"Very sad, indeed," she said. "I like to think that the police would know that we are in sympathy with them. All of us at Crowley were very touched."

Photo courtesy Peggy Douglas



While we have not heard much from the two Rehoboth Beach mayoral candidates, the three commissioner candidates continued their fast-pace campaigns this past week. This coming week marks a shift somewhat as candidates prepare for the candidate forums. The Rehoboth Beach Homeowners' Association annual candidate forum is scheduled at CAMP Rehoboth this Friday, July 28, at 6:30 p.m.

The Chamber of Commerce will host its annual mayoral debate and commissioner candidates' forum the following Monday, July 31, at 10 a.m. at the Rehoboth Beach firehouse.

New this year will be an in-studio radio debate hosted by Mike Bradley at the WGMD studios on Thursday, August 10, starting at 8 a.m. featuring the three commissioner candidates.

Despite the heavy downpour on Saturday, Susan Gay hosted a successful citywide meet & greet at G Cask & Kitchen, one of Rehoboth Beach's latest restaurants. Issues discussed included the need for preservation of Rehoboth's charm, trees, enthusiasm for the tent/canopy ban, city hall and ocean outfall projects, etc.

Also hosting a citywide meet & greet this past week was Comm. Kathy McGuiness at Dogfish Head's new building. Here she is with her charming mother, Angie Watkins.

Comm. McGuiness pointed out that most constituents contact her throughout the year usually when a concern or issue important to them arises. So she has been asked, "Why do I door knock every time I am up for re-election?" She says she likes to campaign "because it puts me face to face with my city residents, property owners and businesses. I want to hear their concerns. I want to know if we are on track... where can we improve? I take nothing for granted," she added.

Today, Monday, July 24, Comm. McGuiness is hosting a constituent "Coffee with Kathy" from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Rehoboth Beach firehouse focused specifically on the business community. The following morning, Tuesday, July 25, she is hosting another "Coffee with Kathy" event at the firehouse at 8 a.m. featuring an informational update and brief Q&A with a firefighter.

One of Lisa Schlosser's meet & greets last week, below, was at the beautiful Schoolvue home of Arlene & Frank Pietranton. Schlosser says the most common concerns she is hearing from fellow property owners include the current and future fiscal state of the city with regard to the city hall project's cost overruns and potentially similar problems with the ocean outfall.

Other concerns she mentioned include inconsistent and owner-unfriendly enforcement of the building code, parking and disrespectful behavior from visitors, particularly in the residential neighborhoods.


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You know it must be that time of summer when The Back Porch Café features the wonderful watercolors of Rehoboth Beach artist Rodney Cook. His latest show, New Work 2017, opened this past Sunday. This is his 21st consecutive show here in Rehoboth Beach. One of the featured works is his beautiful watercolor, Dolle's Late Sun.

New Work 2017, Cook explains, is a collection of 40 watercolors about Rehoboth Beach, New York City, and Mt. San Jacinto and Palm Springs. "Each year I try to capture a different aspect of life in Rehoboth," Cook points out. "In addition to the 'Sun-Fun' aspect of the beach, I have chosen to paint a 'Late Day Sun' and its cast on beach and boardwalk."

After various recent trips to New York City, the show includes images of street scenes, monuments, bridges and whimsy about the big apple, he says. And Mt. San Jacinto offers 7000-foot images of vast distances and strange vegetation. "I like to make each exhibit show of new adventures," he adds. His exhibition will be on display through August 15.

Photo courtesy Rodney Cook


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ROBBERY IN DOWNTOWN REHOBOTH--- Rehoboth Beach police are investigating an armed robbery reported early Saturday morning in the area of Rehoboth Avenue and the canal. The suspect is described as a husky 6-foot-tall black man in his 40's who allegedly threatened the victim with a knife just before 1:45 a.m. He wore a black hat and white shirt with black writing on it. Lt. Jaime Riddle, police spokesman, says this is the third robbery reported in the city limits so far this year, but the first to involve a weapon. No weapon was seen during the town's previous two robberies this year.


TEEN INJURED IN SURF, HAD FRACTURED BACK 3 MONTHS EARLIER--- A 15-year-old girl was taken to Beebe Hospital Tuesday after she injured her knee in the surf after being struck by a wave around 11:30 a.m. off Tower Road in the state park. She had also reportedly broken her back three months earlier in a horse-back riding accident.


72-YEAR-OLD MAN STRUCK BY PICKUP ON GARFIELD PKY--- A 72-year-old man was struck by a small pickup truck in the 600 block of Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach around 3:40 p.m. this past Saturday. He went up over the hood and hit his head on the windshield of the pickup truck, but never lost consciousness. He was taken to Beebe Hospital with what sounded like non-life-threatening injuries. No word on charges, if any.


MEDEVAC AFTER LATE-NIGHT BOATING ACCIDENT--- A boater was injured around 12:30 a.m. Friday near the boat ramp off Lighthouse Road west of Fenwick Island. Firefighters from Ocean City and Roxana responded. The victim had lost feeling in the lower body and reported a tingling sensation in both arms. The operator of the boat supposedly struck a sandbar. And as for speculation that an arrest had been made for intoxicated boating, Michael Globetti, DNREC spokesman, said Friday afternoon that "DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police report that the accident involved a single vessel which ran aground with three persons on board. A passenger was flown to Christiana Hospital to be treated for injuries. The accident investigation is ongoing and no further information is available at this time."


FIREFIGHTERS RESPOND TO PERSON WITH HAND CAUGHT IN COFFEE MAKER--- Firefighters from Roxana responded to the Americana Bayside around 10 a.m. Sunday after a person reportedly got a hand stuck in a coffee maker. They were reported freed about 15 minutes later.


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In honor of Shark Week, Delmarva's most famous pointy-toothed friends

This is Shark Week on Discovery

Shark Week guide to most dangerous beaches for Pennsylvanians (Dewey Beach and Cape Henlopen on list)

Coast guard medevacs woman from Cape May charter boat

Coast Guard assists unconscious boater near Cape May (6:50 a.m. Saturday)

Milton revising yard sign ordinances

Beloved News Journal reporter Molly Murray dead at 61

Lewes plans major streets project for fall

Lewes releases statement on DelDOT pole

DelDOT: 75-foot pole finds a new home

Beebe announces $10 million gift for expansion

Beebe offers pet therapy for patients

DelDOT to rehab Lewes, Rehoboth drawbridges in 2018

Peace March to be held Aug. 4 in West Rehoboth

No election in Henlopen Acres this year

The cool crowd meets the beach police (tent and canopy restrictions)

'Beach-spreading' is the new 'manspreading,' and nobody is saying sorry

Rehoboth commissioner candidates to appear at July 31 forum

Rehoboth ocean outfall project bids revealed; Manson Construction Co. of Seattle submitted lowest bid

America's most truly awful restaurant names: a(Muse.) in R.B. makes list

Drone Flight - Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (7/19/2017)

Rehoboth Beach travel diary (45-second video log)

Attorney alleges improper meetings between Dewey employees, town manager

Concerns over Town of Dewey Beach's independent investigation into town manager claims

Dewey Beach 2017 (video log)

Wanted: Man who exposed himself in a Millville pharmacy (4:45 p.m. Saturday)

Sharks of Maryland: Coexisting with the kings of the ocean

West Va. woman injured after fall from pontoon boat in O.C. (previous weekend)

Minor injuries reported when crop duster attempts landing at airfield in Worcester County

Ocean Pines directors feud leads to removal vote

Ocean Pines Board cancels vote to oust director

Ocean City wind turbines won't get federal help

Ocean City's holiday fireworks letdown explained

Late distance amendment could derail offshore wind project

Ocean City Beach Patrol holding pre-employment testing for summer 2018



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