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WEEKEND #11, 2017

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




Officials in Ocean City and along the shore have been troubled after the discovery of a dead woman found buried on the beach in O.C. last Monday at 2nd Street. Exactly how that happened to the victim, Ashley O'Connor, 30, from Plano, Texas, remains unclear. But the medical examiner has ruled her death to be accidental caused by asphyxia due to suffocation. She somehow entered the ditch in the sand that had been dug probably hours earlier.

At some point the trench apparently collapsed on her, police said. It was not until around 6:30 a.m. that beach goers discovered her arm sticking out of the sand as tractors were performing their morning beach sweeping. Did a tractor cause the hole to collapse? "At this time," says Lindsay Richard, OCPD spokeswoman, "detectives continue to investigate how O'Connor became covered with sand. No conclusions have been made yet."

Everybody has become "much more cautious now" after what happened last week, says Tony Crivella, whose company, Dewey Beach Beautification & Raking, has been sweeping Delaware beaches since 1993. He has been "calling out" beach goers who have been digging dangerous ditches and frequently posts troubling photos on his company's Facebook page, and initiated this lengthy discussion last summer.

"We do see occasional deep holes," he says, and "August is the biggest month for digging in the sand. Occasionally I see guys bring regular big shovels down the beach and just really go to town." Crivella says his workers try to fill in all holes every night to discourage other beach visitors from digging similar trenches.

If caused by a tractor, could a tragedy like the one in Ocean City happen at the Delaware beaches? "I don't think so," Crivella says. "Usually when you dig a hole, the sand is on the outside of the hole much like a crater. Ocean City uses huge tractors that are very wide and could straddle the holes much better than I can in addition to running much faster," he points out.

So although he stays vigilant, Crivella says Ocean City would be more prone to such an accident. With his smaller tractors, he has to "be very cautious around the holes so I won't get stuck. So I'm going very slow."

A gofundme page has been established for O'Connor. Final autopsy results are pending.

Photos courtesy Tony Crivella, Dewey Beach Beautification & Raking


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A 73-year-old Myerstown, Pennsylvania woman attempting to pull into a parking space crashed into the Dear Nails & Hair Salon at 20750 John J. Williams Highway in Peddler's Village around 10 a.m. Saturday. She "apparently accelerated instead of braking and struck the building causing damage to it," says MCpl. Jeffrey R. Hale, state police spokesman.

There were no injuries, he added, and no charges.

Photos courtesy Drew Robertson and Shore News Beacon


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With the excitement of another municipal election less than a week away, the commissioner candidates are preparing to face each other for one last round, this time on a radio debate hosted by WGMD's Mike Bradley this Thursday, August 10, shortly after the 8 a.m. newscast. He will be taking calls from listeners!

You can listen to the debate live on the radio at 92.7 FM, or on the WGMD website (click on "listen" at the top) or via the WGMD app.

Last Monday, all five candidates met for the second time at the Chamber of Commerce candidates' forum, moderated by Dennis Forney, Cape Gazette publisher. That's him (below left) along with Comm. Kathy McGuiness, Comm. Paul Kuhns, Mayor Samuel Cooper, Lisa Schlosser and Susan Gay. See this Cape Gazette article for details.

Election day in Rehoboth Beach is Saturday, August 12, 2017.

Photos courtesy WGMD and Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce.



The Avalanche storm water sampling units have been popping up like mushrooms this past week at storm drains around Lake Gerar. According to this city news release, DNREC has required the city to submit a report on the water quality in the five storm-water outfalls that empty into the ocean as part of the approval for the Rehoboth ocean outfall permits. The purpose of this sampling is to investigate what is in the city's storm-water.

During a storm, the tubing will pull a sample of the storm-water at specific times. During, or just after a storm, GHD employees will arrive to collect the samples. The testing is expected to continue through September. See this News Journal article for details.


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Since Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, Rehoboth Beach police have assisted with 16 misplaced vehicle complaints. That is one less than this time last summer. These are visitors who had parked their vehicles in town, could not find them later and had to call police for assistance. They were not towed or stolen, which are often the first thoughts that come to mind!

Those who park in the residential areas of the city are encouraged to not only make a mental note of the house number they parked in front of, but also to remember the name of the street, and the number of blocks the street is from the boardwalk. "The boardwalk serves as a great landmark," as Lt. Jaime Riddle pointed out last year.

The Parkeon parking meter kiosks print receipts which include the meter location and space number. Don't lose your receipt because that can also be used to extend time. Some people take a photo with their smart phones of a landmark or street sign before they leave the area.


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Residents have been expressing concern on the Nextdoor discussion forum regarding a developer's plans for the property on the corner of Coastal Highway at Holland Glade Road outside Rehoboth. This is the lot where Tomato Sunshine used to be, adjacent to the Tanger Outlets, Rehoboth Crossing and the Epworth United Methodist Church. For details, see this Board of Adjustment notice.

The first plan the developer submitted was for commercial use only with 45,000 square feet of retail space to include the 14th Ironhill Brewery and another Royal Farms. The applicant now seeks an exception to build 96 apartments. See the Sussex County meeting minutes from the original plan. Here is the site plan and the application.


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Just as they have done for decades, a group of dedicated sand artists returned to the beach just north of the Henlopen to build their sand creations on the first Saturday of August! Last summer, the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce stunned many when they moved the annual contest to the Saturday following Labor Day!

But that has not discouraged this group. This past Saturday was their "2nd-annual carve-in." There were no awards, no massive group of spectators and no judges, just fellow sand artists who enjoy working together to create sand sculptures.

Among them are long-time newsman Andy West. That's him on the left. "Normally we are on different teams during the contest days," West explains, "but we have come together today and got our styles blended... We're just having fun."

He was joined by Jason Tiffany, Eric Bollinger, Glenda Roberts, Darrell O'Connor and several others.

Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce's 39th Annual Sandcastle Contest returns Saturday, September 9. Expect to see some, but not all, to return. "They moved it," explains Tiffany, who says he will not return for the official sandcastle contest in September. "This is the day it is supposed to be, and anybody who has kids, that [Saturday after Labor Day] is not a good time of year to get to the beach. Even if you are relatively local, your kids are probably supposed to be somewhere playing a soccer game or something on that Saturday, so that is difficult."


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"It is all about colors," says Susan Webster, the latest artist to open an exhibition at Gallery 50. "It takes more time to actually mix the colors than to apply them to the canvas," she points out.

"Who wants to paint within the boundaries," Webster asks, noting that she often cuts and paints fabric objects to insert into and on the edge of her work, which provide added depth beyond her big bold colors. She also uses pieces of her paintings from years ago, cuts them up and inserts them as artwork in her artwork, "a painting within a painting," as she calls them, thus creating multiple levels of reality.

She describes her acrylic and mixed-media art as fun, original and full of life! "You got a still-life in them. There is an interior. There is a landscape. See, you get a little bit of everything. But it is part of what life is about. It is a scene you could sit down in, that you could live in that. It is about you," she states.

Webster has traveled extensively throughout Europe, but her paintings are usually from this region, which is water-oriented, like the marshes, the wetlands, the ocean. She lives in Chesapeake City on the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, which often inspires her work.

"If that speaks to you," she says, "then this is somewhere where you want to come in and sit and maybe wait for a phone call. You got some fresh flowers, you got nice scenery to look at, some cheese and bread, of course, you always got to have alcohol, but once in awhile you can have coffee!"

Does it look like I am having fun painting them? Absolutely! Here is her, Oh What A Night.

"It is like telling a story," she explains. "Each space has its own thing going on... It is like you are just having fun out on the beach."

The exhibition runs through August 17 at Gallery 50.


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The Rehoboth Beach Museum will be showing a video oral history of long-time Rehoboth Beach resident Trip Wilkinson. The event will be held this Wednesday, August 9, at 10 a.m. at the Anna Hazzard House, 17 Christian Street, Rehoboth Beach.

Having spent much of her early life visiting Rehoboth Beach, Trip recounts her history with the small pre-war tourist town she knew growing up, and describes the changes Rehoboth has experienced over the years.

The Rehoboth Beach Museum oral history program was established in order to keep the memory of the old Rehoboth Beach alive. The program involves interviewing people who have a history with Rehoboth. In hopes of sharing these stories, the Rehoboth Beach Museum has decided to show these interviews with the public. This is hopefully the first of many showings of these historic videos.

The museum also hosts another walking tour on Thursday, August 10, at 9 a.m. Tours cover the history of the city, including shipwrecks, the Cape Henlopen Lighthouse, World War II and other popular topics, during a gentle 50-minute stroll around downtown. Cost is $10, cash only. The tour starts at the bandstand. Look for the guide with the pink parasol.

Reservations are required for either event. Please call (302) 227-7310 or visit the Rehoboth Beach Museum website for details.



It was the photo-op public relations folks dream about... the annual watermelon give-away on the Rehoboth boardwalk featured seven national and regional watermelon queens from across the country who helped distribute the free melon last Wednesday... and who else do they run into during lunch hour than members of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol who pose for photos in front of the town's best-recognized landmark!

What? You want substance? That's why they provided free Frisbees and brochures promoting www.watermelon.org, a helpful website for watermelon advice, recipes, ways to get kids involved in eating watermelon and more! Also sign-up for their monthly watermelon newsletter!

According to Stacey Hofmann, Delaware Department of Agriculture spokeswoman, Delaware family farms grow 2,400 acres of watermelon. "With August being our prime season, this is an opportunity to highlight a delicious, healthy summertime treat. Watermelon is 92 percent water, making it the perfect way to re-hydrate at the beach."



SWIMMERS PULLED FROM O.C. SURF IN CARDIAC ARREST TWICE THIS PAST WEEK--- A 35-year-old man from Prince George, Virginia died and an Irish exchange student is reportedly still fighting for his life after they were pulled from the Ocean City surf during separate incidents this past week. Although lifeguards responded in both cases, the OCBP was off duty at the time. Police eventually identified the man from Prince George. The student has not been identified by police since he was last reported in critical condition, although this Irish Mirror article has already identified him.


O.C. POLICE CHASE VAN ACROSS BOARDWALK 18 MILES INTO DELAWARE--- A 61-year-old man driving a Ford Transit Van led Ocean City and Delaware police agencies on a 40+ minute 18-mile chase from downtown O.C. ending on Coastal Highway at the Preserve north of Bethany. The suspect, identified by Lindsay Richard, OCPD spokeswoman, as Michael Gallahad, of New York, NY, racked up 27 traffic citations for various offenses just from O.C. police.

The chase started before 1 a.m. Saturday, Richard says, when officers witnessed the van driving erratically in the Inlet Lot. Officers attempted to stop Gallahad, however, he exited the Inlet Lot onto South 2nd Street, she said. At South 1st Street, Gallahad drove onto the boardwalk causing several pedestrians to run for their lives. He continued to drive north on the boardwalk until exiting the boardwalk at North Division Street. Amazingly, no pedestrians were injured, Richard added. Gallahad then drove north on Baltimore Avenue and continued onto Coastal Highway at 33rd Street driving erratically at speeds up to 60 m.p.h. at times. Officers continued to follow him as he kept driving through Ocean City and into Delaware.

At several points during the chase, police deployed Stop Sticks, which were successful at not only flattening his tires, but also several police vehicles. Chunks of tire tread continued to wear from the van as Gallahad headed farther north into Delaware, causing his speeds to drop lower and lower until he was running on rims only. Police continued to follow him at about 35 m.p.h. until his van became disabled around 1:30 a.m. on Coastal Highway at the Preserve which is just north of Bethany Beach. He was arrested without further incident and taken to Beebe Hospital. He may also face charges in Delaware.


WORK TRUCK CATCHES FIRE IN O.C.--- Firefighters were called to 84th Street after a work truck was reported fully engulfed in flames around 1:40 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters extinguished the fire quickly. A person of interest was seen fleeing the scene.


PEDESTRIAN SERIOUSLY INJURED NEAR GROTTO'S GRAND SLAM--- A 46-year-old Rehoboth man was struck by a 2000 Nissan Frontier being driven by a 76-year-old Ocean View man after he was exiting his vehicle, which was parked on the shoulder at Coastal Highway and Shady Road near Grotto's Grand Slam. The accident was reported around 11:15 p.m. Saturday, says MCpl. Jeffrey R. Hale, state police spokesman. The victim was taken to Beebe Hospital and later transferred to Christiana Hospital. MCpl. Hale said Sunday that he did not know the man's condition or any indication of any charges.


DEWEY BEACH POLICE INVESTIGATE STRONG-ARM ROBBERY--- Police arrested three men early Saturday after a strong-arm robbery on New Orleans Street in Dewey Beach. The men allegedly assaulted and stole a Rolex watch from the victim around 2 a.m.


MAN CRACKS ELBOW WHILE ARM WRESTLING AT REHOBOTH BAR--- A 24-year-old man heard "something crack in his arm" while arm wrestling at Whiskey Jacks around 12:05 a.m. Thursday. He was taken to Beebe Hospital by ambulance complaining of severe pain in his elbow.


FLOATING COUCH DISCOVERED ON FIRE IN O.C. BAY--- Ocean City firefighters responded to a couch on fire found floating in the Isle of Wight Bay around 4:30 a.m. this past Wednesday. It was off Bayshore Court floating near a dock. Maryland Natural Resources Police was notified to investigate.


Watchdog visits and visually inspects property and vessels to check on their well-being and notifies the owner of its status...




Coast Guard searching for an overdue French sailor between North Carolina and New York City

2 vans collide in Lincoln area, police say both drivers drunk

Numerous shots fired into home and vehicle in Sandy Knoll in Lincoln area (3:50 a.m. Friday)

Police investigating yet another complaint of shots fired in Lincoln area (10:15 a.m. Sunday)

Vote looms on controversial fitness center in Lewes

Cape Henlopen park rangers arrest Milford man on weapon and drug charges

Unionized workers call out Atlantic Theaters (Midway shopping center)

Joe Biden and his North Shores home in the Washington Post, will he run again?

Former Governor Jack Markell to finish bike ride across America in Rehoboth (rescheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday)

Cyclists can ride with Markell on final leg (rescheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday)

"Gold Alert" subject located and arrested (man from Forgotten Mile Ale House who fled police last Sunday)

Dewey's Baycenter scheduled for fall demolition

Dewey Beach 2017 vlog

Serious crash involving DART bus and motorcycle (7:25 p.m. Friday, Georgetown)

Audit: Former Mid-Sussex Rescue Squad member stole $95K

Mother, 51, and son, 24, arrested for stealing from cars in Selbyville, Ocean View and Millville areas

Delaware plans museum for historic Fenwick lighthouse property

Tall ship (El Galeon Andalucia) returns Thursday to Ocean City for 2 weeks!

OC Beach Patrol explains O.C. Inlet rescue protocol (OCBP did not need to be rescued!)

Foreign exchange student suffers broken pelvis in last week's compactor mishap, faces more surgeries

Man critically injured near Assateague Island/O.C. Inlet area after jumping into water (12:45 a.m. previous Monday)

Fundraising effort launched for Berlin man after neck injury

Most-visited state parks in Maryland (Assateague #1)

LAST CHANCE: Seniors' lifetime national parks pass to rise from $10 to $80 (purchase at Assateague)



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