WEEKEND #10, 2018
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
MAN ROBS AND ABDUCTS COUPLE FROM R.B. YACHT & COUNTRY CLUB
In what could be one of the most shocking crimes of the summer, Delaware State Police say this man, Steven Snell, 28, had abducted an 81-year-old female and her 82-year-old husband after he entered their home in the Rehoboth Beach Yacht and Country Club this past Saturday morning. MCpl. Melissa Jaffe, police spokeswoman, said the suspect had previously done electrical work at their residence.
After robbing them of cash, he forced the woman into the passenger seat and her husband into the trunk of the couple's vehicle and drove to an ATM machine where Snell ordered the female to withdraw cash. She struggled but was able to get away from Snell as he fled in their vehicle with her husband still in the trunk. Snell apparently abandoned the vehicle behind the Subway on Coastal Highway and fled. The husband was able to use the trunk release to free himself.
Troopers later identified Snell as the suspect. He was later apprehended without incident at a residence in Pot-Nets, Creek Side and faces numerous charges. More details are on the state police website.
Mug shot courtesy Delaware State Police
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HAS THE "TOY & KITE COMPANY" BLOWN ITS LAST BUBBLE?
Sgt. Scott O'Bier and Dennis Jeney, code enforcement officer, seen below, had each investigated separate bubble-blowing complaints this past week at the Rehoboth Toy & Kite Company.
Earlier this month, Rachel Webster, the owner of the Rehoboth Toy & Kite Company, and her business partner, Bee Linzey, met with two city commissioners, the police chief and code enforcement. "At that time they told us we could blow bubbles if we stood on our property to do it," Linzey states. "No standing on sidewalk or boardwalk was allowed," Linzey added.
"Though we had been blowing bubbles in front of our stores for 20 years," Linzey pointed out, "we told them we would comply with any restriction to where we could stand." On Thursday, Linzey says the city manager decided that bubbles could also not float over the sidewalk or boardwalk. "That this was in their opinion, soliciting," Linzey said. He also said they were told that children playing with the bubbles obstructed pedestrian traffic.
"Our position has always been very clear," Linzey points out. "If it is not illegal for anyone else to blow bubbles on public property then they should not say that we cannot because we also sell them in our stores. It was the same argument the commissioners supported in 1998 when the town manager told us to stop flying kites," Linzey added. The shop was eventually allowed to fly kites on the beach and continues to do so if weather permits.
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REHOBOTH POLICE HELP RESUSCITATE CARDIAC ARREST VICTIM
For the second time this summer, Rehoboth Beach police became part of a successful effort to resuscitate a patient who had gone into cardiac arrest. When a 71-year-old man collapsed in a condo at the Patrician Towers around 9:30 p.m. this past Wednesday, police came to the rescue. The patient, who had recently been released from the hospital, was in the condo when family heard him collapse. They called for help, started to perform CPR per instructions and were assisted by police within minutes.
"No shock" was advised by the officer's AED and they continued CPR while the patient remained in cardiac arrest. Once paramedics arrived, they administered life-saving drugs that ultimately helped bring the man back to life as he was being taken to Beebe Hospital. Lt. Jaime Riddle, police spokesman, said the last known report was that the patient was in stable condition but in intensive care.
The previous successful resuscitation Rehoboth Beach police assisted with this summer was at the Atlantis Inn on June 24. Unfortunately, the 57-year-old woman died four days later, Lt. Riddle said.
In another incident this past Tuesday, a woman also collapsed in cardiac arrest here in the restroom near the bandstand around 4 p.m. Despite the efforts of police, lifeguards, EMTs and paramedics, the woman remained in cardiac arrest the entire time as she was taken to Beebe Hospital.
WINDS BLOW OVER POLES, WIRES, TREES IN SEABREEZE
Severe winds tore through the Seabreeze development as storms rolled across Sussex County this past Friday. Around 2:45 p.m., firefighters were called to the 300 block of Dutch Road after residents discovered utility poles snapped like toothpicks, power transformers knocked off poles, trees, limbs and leaves and roofing shingles strewn around the neighborhood and on several adjacent streets.
Tasha Jamerson, Delmarva Power spokesperson, says she did not know how many poles the crews ended up replacing, but about 50 customers were without power until about 12:30 a.m. on Saturday. A special crew was called to clean up the mineral oil that leaked from a downed transformer.
Amazingly, no injuries were reported. More photos of the damage are on the Rehoboth Beach VFC website.
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LEWES POLICE MAKE 2 HIGH-PROFILE ARRESTS THIS MONTH
It is unusual for Lewes police to make one, yet two high-profile arrests in a single month.
According to a court document posted by WBOC-TV, Lewes police identified one man who was recorded on video "having a loud discussion about jumping in the water" as Lewes Fire Chief William H. Buckaloo. The two males shown in the video, the document states, "visually appeared to be intoxicated and they had disrobed down to their underwear." One of the men, who had been identified by police as Chief Buckaloo, is allegedly shown on the video urinating into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal.
The incident was reported around 1:16 a.m. on July 16 at the dock near the Irish Eyes Pub & Restaurant. The group of four had exited the restaurant when a witness observed their rowdy behavior, heard their loud voices and conversation about jumping in the canal.
"I called police about four drunks," says the witness, who asked not to be identified, and adds that she had no idea that Chief Buckaloo was one of them. "It was responding officers who identified him from the video," she pointed out. "I called only because I was concerned for their safety. I did first try and speak with them and told them I would call police for their safety if they continued. They knew I was there but kept on."
On July 19, Chief Buckaloo was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He entered a plea of not guilty but has posted an apology on his Facebook page.
According to the News Journal, Chief Buckaloo has turned over his operational duties to Deputy Chief Steve Evans until the conclusion of his legal situation. He remains a member of the fire department.
The other high-profile arrest made by Lewes police this month is that of former Delaware lawmaker, John C. Atkins, 48, of Millsboro, for harassment and breach of release conditions. According to a police news release, officers responded to a report of harassment from a female victim whose employment is in the City of Lewes. Upon conducting an investigation, it was learned that Atkins was "texting, calling and e-mailing the victim at her place of employment."
These actions were in violation of his conditions of release from the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas stemming from an arrest by the Delaware State Police on July 12, the news release states. Atkins voluntarily turned himself in and was formally charged. He was released on his own recognizance with a future court date set.
Mug Shot courtesy Lewes PD
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ONLY 12 DAYS LEFT UNTIL REHOBOTH BEACH ELECTION DAY!
Nearly 70 people attended Friday night's commissioner candidate forum sponsored by the Rehoboth Beach Homeowners' Association at CAMP Rehoboth. In their opening remarks, the candidates did not stray far from their previous statements made so far this summer.
Dick Byrne opened with the three key areas he promises to address if elected. He said he wants to protect Rehoboth's unique residential neighborhoods and thriving businesses; the natural environment, including the fresh-water lakes, ocean and tree canopy; and to promote open, fair and equal government for all.
In her opening remarks, Pat Coluzzi stressed the success of the farmers' market she founded and manages and her proven track record in local government. As a board member of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Improvement Association she has been pursuing funding from the state for the construction of a dock at Grove Park. She said they will receive a matching grant for $300,000.
Here is the 3-D visualization of the proposed dock. Additional funding is being raised by the association, a non-profit organization. She says they hope to have the project completed in the fall of next year as the funds must be used by the following June.
Coluzzi discussed her goals that include the need for creative solutions to address parking. She would like to make safety paramount for pedestrians and bicyclists; promote a sensible tree ordinance that preserves the city's canopy yet provides for the right tree in the right place; provide an environment to help businesses thrive; and to beautify and enhance the city's public areas and parks. Finally, she said she wants to address the enormous problem with traffic congestion by firstly promoting other modes of transportation with examples of bike share, bike/pedestrian overpass for Coastal Highway, and a parking garage outside town with a connecting shuttle.
Gary Glass opened with three issues he considers important for Rehoboth Beach. The homeowner in Rehoboth who actually lays their head on a pillow at night in town should have the greatest say over their destiny, he stated. As a board member of the Country Club Estates Homeowners' Association, he is especially concerned about the invasion of investor-owned homes. He wants to see fairness in taxes and fees, noting that the hotel tax in Rehoboth Beach goes to the state. Finally, he wants the landlords in the business district to provide more reasonable rents to help business prosper.
Somewhat surprising was that all three candidates said they oppose voting rights for limited-liability corporations (LLCs).
This past Saturday the candidates continued canvassing for support. Byrne joined Coluzzi at the beautiful home of Dennis Ivill and Robert Van Horn near Grove Park.
Meanwhile, Glass rallied supporters at a lovely home in the Pines. Here he is with the hosts, Jim Ellison, Carole Ellison, Joyce Lussier, Howard Hauptman, and Pat Hauptman. On Sunday, Glass became the only candidate to receive the endorsement of Save Our City.
Election day in Rehoboth Beach is Saturday, August 11, 2018!
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POLICE ARREST MAN SEEN WITH WOMAN WITH BLUE/PURPLE HAIR
With the assistance of the public, the Rehoboth Beach Police Department has identified both persons of interest in a theft that occurred on July 14.
Last Monday evening, police say Anthony E. Coghill, 19, of Rehoboth Beach, turned himself in to police. Police say Coghill entered the arcade on the boardwalk and snatched a customer's unattended wallet and Apple iPhone that were left sitting on the control panel of one of the games. Coghill allegedly concealed the items in a towel and left the arcade. The wallet contained money and a gift card.
Based on the findings of the investigation, police say the female accompanying Coghill in the surveillance photo was not charged. Coghill was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of theft of lost or mislaid property valued at under $1500. Coghill was released on $500 unsecured bail.
Photo/mug shot courtesy RBPD
MAN ARRESTED AFTER TAKING EX-GIRLFRIEND'S SUV
Rehoboth Beach police arrested a man after a domestic dispute during which he stole his ex-girlfriend's SUV around 6:45 p.m. this past Thursday. Police say the victim had driven to town in her silver GMC Terrain to return property to Bell, the suspect and her ex-boyfriend.
While doing so, police say Bell jumped into the driver's seat and began to back up, striking both her and another passenger with the vehicle's doors. Bell allegedly fled the area in the Terrain with another friend of the victim in the front seat. Although the passenger asked Bell to stop, he refused. He eventually he did return to the scene of the incident with the SUV and the passenger. Bell was arrested without incident.
None of the victims were injured and the vehicle was undamaged. Bell was arrested and charged with felony first-degree unlawful imprisonment, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, offensive touching and disorderly conduct. He was released on $3500 unsecured bail.
Mug shot courtesy RBPD
BETTER PUT DOWN THAT PHONE AND BUCKLE UP!
It was almost as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, as the old saying goes! This past Friday, three Rehoboth Beach police officers conducted a traffic safety checkpoint on Rehoboth Avenue in front of the firehouse. The focus of the checkpoint, which was funded by the Office of Highway Safety (OHS), was to assure that motorists wore their seatbelts and to target distracted drivers or those using cell phones.
The checkpoint was scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. but ended early because of thunderstorms. Despite that, Lt. Jaime Riddle says officers issued 16 traffic summonses which included 14 for seatbelts and two for cell phone violations.
"The message remains simple," Lt. Riddle states. "Distracted driving and occupant safety remains a focus of local law enforcement and the OHS. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration distracted driving claimed the lives of 3450 people in 2016 and led to the injury of 391,000 people in 2015."
He added that officers continue to "address this dangerous behavior during our normal patrols and through operations" like the one on Friday. "Please give your full attention to the road and ensure that all the occupants of the vehicle are safely restrained," he warned.
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SEAWEED REPORTED LAST WEEK IS CARIBBEAN SARGASSUM
Tony Crivella's company, Dewey Beach Beautification & Raking, is responsible for sweeping the beach in Dewey. He had reported the previous Sunday finding this seaweed washed to shore, rather than the typical marsh grass he'd expect after rough seas. This, he observed, was not common for the Delaware beaches.
"The tropical seaweed shown in the update is Sargassum," writes Dean Dey. It is a floating seaweed that only grows in the Sargassum Sea and now has spread to an area off Brazil. From there, currents and wind have been blowing it into new areas. Dey said this is something he has been following closely since he and his wife travel frequently to the Caribbean.
Since 2011, this seaweed has been drifting into the Caribbean in huge floating mats. When the mats come ashore, as it rots, it releases a horrible smell. It can also cover beaches to as much as three-feet thick, impacting both adult sea turtles and their hatchlings. This year, Dey points out, the Sargassum was so bad that Barbados declared a national emergency.
Last month, Science Magazine featured this troubling article on the mysterious masses of seaweed assaulting the Caribbean islands and NPR followed it up with this report earlier this month. Dey says the issue of Sargassum has been under the radar mostly because it has been a Caribbean issue, and only had minor impacts on the U.S. coast. But that is beginning to change, he points out, as the masses are drifting further north.
A DNREC environmental scientist has seen Sargassum seaweed floating around the inland bays over the last two weeks but not at levels that would cause concern, says Michael Globetti, DNREC spokesman. Other macro algae, such as ulva (sea lettuce), he observes, were much more common in the water from the DNREC scientist's observations.
Additionally, Globetti says the same DNREC scientist who had been offshore fishing recently near the Old Grounds, B-Buoy and the Delaware Reefs, often sees Sargassum and he is "certain that persistent easterly winds over the last two weeks have been pushing it closer to shore." According to DNREC's Shoreline & Waterway Management Section, Globetti added, it is not uncommon to find Sargassum seaweed on Delaware beaches.
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RAL OPENS ITS 80TH ANNUAL MEMBERS' FINE ART EXHIBITION
"What I think is incredibly strong about the 80th Annual Members' Find Art Exhibition at the Rehoboth Art League is the diversity that is showcased in the exhibition," says Margaret Winslow, curator of contemporary art at the Delaware Art Museum and the juror for this exhibition. "So there is a great range of subject matter, and form, and media, and as a whole it showcases the creativity of this community," she observes.
Winslow explains how the exhibition includes works that examine critical social issues, those that celebrate the region's unique landscape, those that have explorations in abstractions, and beautiful examples of floral studies, and water colors. "It is great diversity," she said.
Marilyn Feldman, last year's cottage tour artist, received a purple ribbon for honorable mention, for her Endless Arches, a pastel painting. This was inspired by a mosque in southern Spain. "I was taken very much by the spiritual atmosphere within the mosque and the way the arches just kept going and going... and the space just drew you in. And that is what I tried to capture here," she said.
Mick Williams' watercolor, Morning on Silver Lake, is just one of many beautiful local landscapes like Winslow had referenced.
Also opening this past Friday night at the Rehoboth Art League Homestead was Beyond the White Gardens by Kasia Szczesniewski. Her show features 20 pieces that are made with rice paper, tissue paper and acrylic paints, using special technique developed by the artist, and then covered with a protective layer of polymer varnish with ultraviolet filters and light stabilizers for protection from UV damage.
These two exhibitions will be open to the public through September 3. As a reminder, the 45th Annual Outdoor Fine Art & Fine Craft Show runs for the next two weekends.
BIRD NEST IN THE REHOBOTH PINES
Dale Sheldon sends along these photos of what she thinks is a red house finch nest on her porch.
"There were four blue eggs and one whitish-speckled one," she pointed out. "I think there are four chicks but not totally sure."
Photos courtesy Dale Sheldon
RACCOON BITES MAN--- A 60-year-old man was bitten in the leg by a raccoon around 8:15 p.m. last Thursday in the area of the Love Creek Marina on the east side of the bridge. He was taken to Beebe Hospital. No further info on the raccoon.
WORKER STRUCK BY FRONT-END LOADER AT REHOBOTH SEWER PLANT--- A 51-year-old man working at the Rehoboth Beach waste-water treatment plant on Roosevelt Street was injured after a front-end loader struck and rolled over his leg around 9 a.m. last Friday. He suffered a suspected femur fracture and was taken to Beebe Hospital. The accident was investigated by the state police since the plant is not actually in the city limits. MCpl. Melissa Jaffe, state police spokeswoman, says no charges have been filed.
MAN KILLED IN JET-SKI CRASH NEAR FENWICK--- So far, investigators have been tight-lipped regarding the Jet-Ski accident that left a 53-year-old man dead around 1:30 p.m. this past Saturday on Roy's Creek off Assawoman Bay. That is near the Maryland-Delaware state line. Further details concerning the collision, including the man's name, have not been released. DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police have said alcohol was not a contributing factor in the fatal accident.
MERR REPORT--- Suzanne Thurman, MERR Institute executive director, said that this past week MERR investigated five deceased loggerhead sea turtles. She did not speculate on the cause of death.
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