WEEKEND #10, 2017
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
CRITICAL SURF INJURIES IN BOTH O.C. AND R.B. THIS PAST FRIDAY
During a 15-minute period this past Friday, lifeguards and EMS crews in both Rehoboth Beach and Ocean City responded to surf-related accidents that could potentially be life threatening or cause permanent paralysis.
Jessica N. Waters, Ocean City communications manager, says the beach patrol was alerted to an unconscious man found in the surf around 11:15 a.m. at Caroline St. "Realizing that what happened was sudden and seeing some head trauma," Waters states, "our lifeguards treated the person as a neck/head injury. They removed the patient from the surf and used a technique (spinal immobilization) to get him to dry sand. They performed CPR until EMS arrived and he was transported." He was initially reported to be in cardiac arrest, but regained a pulse as they were treating him on the beach. As of Sunday, no update has been released regarding his condition.
A similar rescue played out just 15 minutes later, on the beach off Rehoboth Avenue, where lifeguards rescued a man from the ocean after he had been tossed in the surf. Although still conscious, he was unable to move as he had lost all feeling and movement in his arms and legs. One report later in the day suggested he had suffered a cervical spine fracture which could potentially be life threatening.
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ATLANTIC SANDS EVACUATED AFTER DRYER FIRE
What was first reported as a basement kitchen fire around 11:50 p.m. Sunday led to the evacuation of the Atlantic Sands on Baltimore Avenue in downtown Rehoboth Beach.
Hotel guests were in the process of evacuating when police, firefighters and EMS arrived minutes later.
There was no visible smoke from the outside, but once inside the basement, firefighters found a clothes dryer that was the source of the alarm. There was some water damage from the sprinkler system. A fire marshal is investigating. Guests were allowed to return about 25 minutes later. No injuries were reported but EMS crews assisted several guests to and from their rooms.
MAN CRITICALLY INJURED IN ANOTHER COASTAL HWY SCOOTER
Expert says we can do more to prevent such accidents.
This is a tragedy that has played out repeatedly on Coastal Highway in recent years. Scooter drivers frequently use the bus lane/shoulder to speed past motorists stuck in congested traffic. The unseen danger occurs where slow-moving motorists might allow another vehicle to cross the highway in front of them to access an intersection or enter a driveway. But scooter riders on the shoulder speed toward that same intersection or driveway entrance unaware and unable to see that they are on a collision course with the vehicle crossing through the heavy traffic.
According to police, this is what appears to have happened yet again this past Saturday. Minutes before 11 a.m., police say the driver of this 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee had stopped in the left turn lane of southbound Coastal Highway at the intersection of Robinson Drive.
Prior to the collision, states MCpl. Gary Fournier, state police spokesman, traffic on Coastal Highway was extremely congested in both directions. Northbound traffic stopped to allow the Cherokee to cross the highway, and as the Jeep started to cross both northbound lanes of Coastal Highway, the driver of the Jeep failed to see the scooter traveling north on the shoulder and crossed directly in front of him.
The scooter crashed into the Jeep's passenger's side door. After the impact, the scooter rider was thrown from the scooter and came to rest on the northbound shoulder. The Jeep driver continued turning left onto Robinson Drive and came to a controlled stop in the parking lot of Just in Thyme.
A state police news release identifies the driver of the Jeep as Laura L. Mason, 45, of Rehoboth and the scooter driver as Kenneth J. Seltzer, Jr., 27, also of Rehoboth. Police said Mason was properly restrained and uninjured in the collision.
Seltzer, police said, was not wearing a helmet and was initially taken by ambulance to Beebe Hospital before he was transferred to Christiana Hospital where he was last reported on Saturday in critical condition.
The accident remains under investigation and no charges have been filed at this time, police said. Furthermore, police say alcohol or drugs do not appear to be contributing factors in this case.
Although this was the most serious scooter crash on Coastal Highway this past week, it was just one of several involving scooters. Just before midnight last Monday, a 40-year-old male scooter rider was injured at the Indian River Inlet Bridge. He also wore no helmet and suffered injuries to his face and back after colliding with a car. MCpl. Gary E. Fournier, state police spokesman, says the scooter driver has been charged with driving while suspended or revoked, failure to reinstate, failure to ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge of the highway, and failure to display license plate. A scooter can be driven on the highway, although, MCpl. Fournier adds, in this case he was driving in the travel lane at a speed slower-than-the-posted 55 m.p.h. limit and was not closer to the right-hand edge of the highway (on the shoulder).
WHAT TO DO TO PREVENT SCOOTER CRASHES ON THE SHOULDER OF COASTAL HIGHWAY?
George Panarello, a blogger and owner of All Wheels Bike & Scooter Shop has a few suggestions for dealing with the scooter accidents on the shoulder of Coastal Highway. If the posted speed limit is 45 m.p.h. or lower, he recommends that scooters ride in the lane of traffic. For greater speeds he suggests that the scooters move to the shoulder to keep from impeding traffic. "The safety issue of that will be minimal due to the fact that those high-speed roads are 'limited access' roadways so the turn-offs/turn-ons are very reduced and collisions will be reduced," he points out.
"If we allow the shoulder riding to continue," Panarello adds, "then we have to post shoulder speed limits and enforce them with tremendous intensity." He is suggesting a 15 m.p.h. limit for the shoulder. "That way if you want to go faster, you have to move into the lane of traffic which 'quietly' achieves the safety goal without overt action/litigations." While he does not think it is feasible, he also recommends better marking and lighting for all highway shoulders to make it obvious that they are being used by scooters.
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SATURDAY RAINS HEAVY AT BEACH
The weekend got off to a stormy-rough start. Lifeguards kept swimmers on a short leash much of the time because of the rough surf, allowing them in only to waist- or knee-depths only.
According to the DEOS weather station on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, more than two inches of rain fell on Saturday, mostly during the 5 a.m. hour. At least two construction sites in town had shoring problems such as this lot on Prospect Street where a washout undermined a neighboring fence.
Also in the early morning on Saturday, flooding was reported in the city hall parking lot, and along some of the residential streets in town as well as on Coastal Highway especially north of Milton.
The winds and waves brought lots of sea foam to shore!
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THE JAW-DROPPING NEW BUILDING EVERYBODY IS ASKING ABOUT
Motorists this past week have been saying "wow" when passing this new steel structure being erected right on the southeast corner of the Rehoboth Avenue and Coastal Highway intersection.
Chip Guy, Sussex County Government communications director, says the project is known as Rehoboth Pointe, a 4,148-square-foot warehouse. It has caught many people off guard, although its paper trail goes back several years.
This is the information from the county's Planning & Zoning office regarding the project, including minutes from a Board of Adjustment meeting, a copy of the building permit, site plans and a letter confirming site plan approval from the Planning & Zoning Commission.
"Bottom line," says Guy, "it is a storage/warehouse facility that was given the OK last year." The principal is Jeff Zerby, whose family owns the Boardwalk Plaza.
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WOMAN INJURED AT FUNLAND, RELEASED FROM BEEBE HOURS LATER
A woman fell out of a car on the Cruisers children's ride at Funland around 8:15 p.m. last Monday. She suffered a cut to her head and complained of pain to her side. "Emergency medical personnel were called to Funland and she left alert and talking with EMT personnel," says Christopher Darr, Funland personnel manager. "The 49-year-old female was treated at Beebe Hospital and released the same day. Funland has since followed up with the family and learned that she is doing well and recovering at home," he said.
"In our 56-plus years of operation we have always put safety first and will continue to make that our focus," Darr adds. "We have been recognized by multiple organizations over the years for our safety record but realize that each new day is the most important one for safety. This incident was not due to a mechanical failure of the ride. We as a family are reviewing our policies and procedures to learn how we can not only prevent this from happening again but to better serve our customers. Since 1962, four generations of Funland family members have worked hard every day to provide 'safe, affordable fun for everyone' and we look forward to doing that for many years to come."
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REHOBOTH BEACH CANDIDATE NEWS UPDATES
More than 80 people attended the Rehoboth Beach Homeowners' Association annual candidate forum at CAMP Rehoboth this past Friday. After opening statements and answering the "what are the three biggest issues facing Rehoboth" question, the rest of the questions originated from the audience. But the audience was not allowed to direct questions to a specific candidate, all five had to be addressed in the same question.
An article examining the forum appeared in the Daily Times.
On Sunday, Mayor Sam Cooper extended an open invitation to his meet & greet at his home on New Castle Street. The only commissioner candidate to attend was Susan Gay. "I am still very committed to this town. I lived here all my life and I love it and I know I still have a lot to offer... I very much enjoy this town and the people in it," Mayor Cooper said.
Earlier in the week, Comm. Paul Kuhns attended Comm. Kathy McGuiness' "Coffee with Kathy" event at the firehouse which featured an informational update with firefighters.
"I am meeting with people one on one or two on one in order to address their specific questions and concerns," Comm. Kuhns said. "I find that meet and greets are mostly people that are going to vote for me anyway and so I feel it is important to meet people who have not made their decision as of yet," he added.
The top three concerns Comm. Kuhns says he is hearing from voters are the "mismanagement" of the city hall project process, the fear of the "same thing happening with the outfall project at three times the cost," and the fact that the town has "no long-term financial plan in place."
"Most people love Rehoboth," Mayor Cooper said in his defense. "Why would they want to change? If you got a working formula, why do you want to change it?"
The Chamber of Commerce hosts its mayoral debate and commissioner candidates' forum today, Monday, July 31, at 10 a.m. at the Rehoboth Beach firehouse.
Lisa Schlosser has the only publicly announced meet & greet scheduled this week which is on Saturday. Please e-mail email@example.com for location and to RSVP.
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REHOBOTH ART LEAGUE OPENS ITS 79TH MEMBERS' FINE ART EXHIBITION!
The Rehoboth Art League opened its 79th Annual Members' Fine Art Exhibition this past Friday. The show features work from more than 125 artists including a wide variety of sculpture, pastels, other paintings, photography and mixed-media works.
For Jay Pastore, RAL's artistic director, this was his third members' fine art show. "The level of the quality of work has gotten better each year," he pointed out. "We saw that with our members' fine craft show and for this show also. There is a lot of really strong work here and I think there is something that will appeal to everybody in this show," he added. That's him talking with Paula Holloway, the league's education director.
The fine art exhibition is free and open to the public through September 3.
Also open through that date is Environmental Impact, a juried members' showcase to heighten the awareness of our changing environment, and Illustration, Portraits and France works by Ethel P. B. Leach, who was known as the dean of women artists in Delaware during the first half of the 20th century.
2 EXCITING EVENTS AT REHOBOTH BEACH MUSEUM THIS THURSDAY
The walking tour highlighting Rehoboth Beach history is scheduled for this Thursday, August 3, at 9 a.m. The 50-minute tour costs $10 and meets at the bandstand. Look for the Lady with the pink umbrella!
The Rehoboth Beach Museum also invites members and friends to listen to stories of Rehoboth when grandma shopped for groceries at the local market in town, when horses and carriages were modes of transportation, and when Highway One was a simple two-lane road known as "State Road 14." It was the age when people dressed to walk the boards and dances were held at the Henlopen Hotel and Belhaven Hotel!
This Thursday at 7 p.m., descendants of Edgar Bayard Riley will be at the Rehoboth Beach Museum. Seth Melchert and his family, descendants of Edgar Bayard Riley and William Herman Riley will share memories. Edgar Riley, a successful Wilmington hardware store owner, purchased property between Columbia and Henlopen avenues and built several houses and a cottage sometime at the beginning of the 20th Century. He was mayor of Rehoboth Beach from 1911 to 1912.
Melchert has organized old family photos to create a presentation about what life was like when the Rileys first came to the area. One of the first buildings was believed to be used as a hunting lodge; very different from what we think of Columbia Avenue now. Other members of the family will share reminiscences and answer questions.
The Rehoboth Beach Museum is at 511 Rehoboth Avenue. The program is free for Historical Society members. A $5 donation is suggested for non-members. Reservations are required. Please call (302) 227-7310 to make a reservation.
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MAN FALLS FROM BALCONY OF O.C. HOTEL--- A 37-year-old man remains in critical condition after he fell from a third-floor hotel balcony in Ocean City early Saturday morning. The victim, says Lindsay Richard, O.C. police spokeswoman, had been sitting on the balcony railing at the Commander Hotel on 14th Street when he fell backwards to the ground just before 1:15 a.m. No medevac helicopters were flying because of weather conditions, so he was taken by ambulance to Peninsula Regional Medical Center where he was last reported in critical condition.
MAN GETS CRUSHED IN O.C. HOTEL TRASH COMPACTOR--- A man was crushed in a compactor at the Carousel Hotel in Ocean City early Saturday evening and was flown to a trauma center. The victim, described as a worker in his 20's, became trapped in the compactor around 5:45 p.m. Arriving firefighters reported that only the man's waist was visible when the hydraulic compactor was stopped. It took about 15 minutes for rescuers to free the man who had suffered crushing injuries below his waist. He was conscious but disoriented. An ambulance took him to Northside Park where he was flown to a trauma center.
REHOBOTH BEACH POLICE HELP STATE POLICE NAB WANTED MAN--- Around 3 p.m. Sunday, troopers along with three RBPD officers went to the Forgotten Mile Ale House on Coastal Highway after a wanted man had been reported inside the establishment. Just as a Rehoboth officer arrived at the rear door, the suspect took off on foot, but Rehoboth Beach police gave chase and captured him minutes later without further incident. No word yet what charges he faces.
UNOCCUPIED CAR DRIVES OVER WOMAN'S LEGS AS IT GOES INTO BAY--- Firefighters from Roxana responded to Pirates Trail in the Treasure Beach Camp Ground after an auto ran over the driver's legs and sunk in the Little Assawoman Bay. It happened around 7:20 p.m. Sunday. The woman was taken to Peninsula Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening leg injuries.
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