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WEEKEND #13, 2014

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




Was it a case of mutiny, a deranged crew member having a psychotic episode or something entirely different that took the lives of two of the ship's crew and injured a third? We may never know because what happened aboard the Genco Challenger took place in international waters about 27 miles south/southeast of Rehoboth Beach.

Coast Guard crews spent Friday morning searching the Atlantic Ocean for a man who went overboard from the 550-foot cargo vessel while it was in international waters off the Delaware coast around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

But why he went overboard and how two other men on the ship got stabbed remains unclear, says Petty Officer Nick Ameen, Coast Guard spokesman.

The missing man's body was spotted around 4 p.m. Friday by crew members on the anchored ship. The body was recovered around 7:45 p.m. by a Coast Guard crew from Station Indian River. The Delaware medical examiner will conduct an autopsy.

The two other men who were stabbed had been taken to the hospital by the Coast Guard, P.O. Ameen said. One of them did not survive.

The Coast Guard is still trying to piece together what happened. P.O. Ameen said the Genco Challenger is registered in Hong Kong, and the Coast Guard has had language troubles with the crew. He would not speculate if either of the dead men or the survivor were victims or suspects. P.O. Ameen says the Coast Guard is consulting with the State Dept. as to the best course of action.

The vessel remained anchored in international waters but made its way up the Delaware River early Sunday. "I don't have any further details," P.O. Ameen said early Sunday evening, "but I hope the ship's arrival helps to move the investigation along and determine what happened."

Check the ship's current location here.

The Genco Challenger is one of more than 50 cargo vessels owned by Genco Shipping & Trading Limited of New York which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. On July 30, the company announced that its stock began trading as a new common stock on the OTC Bulletin Board (GSKNF and GNKSF).

The company has yet to respond to requests about this incident either by telephone or e-mail.

File photo courtesy Max Mueller


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Amazingly, there were no serious injuries after a drunk driver sped down the wrong side of Coastal Highway after a crash in Dewey Beach early Sunday. The area was packed with late-night bar patrons and other vehicles.

The accident occurred around 12:03 a.m. Sunday as a gray Volkswagen Jetta headed south on Coastal Highway and collided with another car at the intersection of Dickinson Avenue at the new Hyatt.

A Dewey Beach police officer on patrol at New Orleans Street had spotted the Jetta speeding through town about 25 seconds prior to the crash. Police say the vehicle, driven by Peter Neill, 22, of Dagsboro, had been changing lanes erratically.

The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the Jetta. But before the officer could catch it, police say Neill disregarded the traffic signal at Dickinson Avenue and smashed into this Mercury Grand Marquis, which had been turning north onto Coastal Highway. Neill kept going.

After the impact, the Mercury remained in the intersection and Neill's Jetta crossed into the north-bound side of Coastal Highway and continued south. He finally struck the median near Van Dyke Avenue and came to a halt.

Police say Neill was taken to Beebe Hospital where he was treated and released for minor injuries. Police later charged him with driving under the influence of alcohol and several other motor vehicle violations. The operator of the Grand Marquis was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Peter Neill is a reporter at WRDE, the new local NBC-affiliated TV station serving the Rehoboth area.


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Ocean City police are investigating the death of a 38-year-old man who was discovered in cardiac arrest inside a hotel just before 3 a.m. Saturday.

The man's body was found in a fourth-floor room at the Princess Bayside Beach Hotel-South at 4701 Coastal Highway.

Police and EMS personnel performed CPR on the man and took him to Atlantic General Hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead at 3:45 a.m.

One source says the man had a traumatic injury, possibly a stab wound. But it is unclear if that caused his death.

Police identified the victim as Jorge Troca, 38, of Lyndhurst, NJ.

Police say an investigation into the cause, manner and circumstances of his death is currently ongoing.

At this time, police say, the department's Criminal Investigation Division has categorized this as a suspicious death. A comprehensive investigation will be completed before a final determination is made.

Police have not yet released the findings of the Chief Medical Examiner's examination on Sunday.

Photos courtesy Christopher Casale


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Suzanne Thurman, MERR Institute executive director, said her organization investigated the death of a nearly full grown loggerhead sea turtle. The turtle was discovered on the beach in the Cape Henlopen State Park near the Gordons Pond jetty on Tuesday.

Thurman said the turtle appeared to have an impact wound on the plastron (underside of shell). This could have been inflicted by a boat propeller, but she noted that its location indicates that the turtle would have to have been on its side or upside down, which would mean it happened postmortem.

She also said that the turtle had a full stomach of crab parts, so it seemed to have been feeding healthily.

Another large dead loggerhead was reported floating off of Cape Henlopen on Saturday, but it has not yet made landfall.



EMS crews responded to several scooter accidents this past week, but none sounded serious.

Rehoboth Beach police investigated one around 9:25 p.m. Wednesday on Maryland Avenue at Second Street. One report suggested that the 52-year-old scooter rider swerved to miss another vehicle, struck the curb and fell. He had a cut to his elbow and ended up declining an ambulance to the hospital.

On Tuesday around 2:40 p.m., a 50-year-old man was involved in a scooter accident on Camp Arrowhead Road near the "S" curve.

Another scooter crash was reported on Coastal Highway near the Midway Outlets outside Lewes where a man on a scooter collided with another vehicle around 12:15 p.m. Friday.

A man in his 60's injured his leg around 10:30 a.m. Sunday when he was involved in a scooter accident on Robinsonville Road and Plantations Road, near Lewes.


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This Mercedes GL550 was reported parked on the mulch garden in the Rehoboth Beach city hall parking lot around 12:10 a.m. Saturday.

The lot was mostly empty when a tow truck removed it.


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On Friday, the University of Delaware's College of Marine Studies in Lewes recognized the university's first female marine biologist, Prof. Joanne Daiber, by dedicating the school's latest research vessel in her honor. The event also featured a ribbon cutting for the university's Robotic Discovery Laboratories (RDL) with its fleet of eight Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) -- essentially underwater drones that are used for all kinds of important research.

The Research Vessel Joanne Daiber is one of the university's two primary research vessels, the other being the R/V Hugh R. Sharp.

The 46-foot foam-core fiberglass vessel was made by Newton Boats, Inc. of Louisiana, which specializes in boats for divers.

It is named in honor of the late Prof. Joanne Daiber, the first female marine biologist at the University of Delaware.

While it does not carry its own set of research gear, R/V Daiber will offer researchers a seaworthy platform where they can bring aboard their own computers and research equipment for use on the bays, rivers and all the way to the edge of the shelf break in the ocean.

The R/V Daiber most recently performed a water study in Philadelphia for the local water authority. It also assisted in research using an AUV that allows stakeholders responsible for the Assateague Island National Seashore to better manage resources to protect the environment.

The robotic lab formally opened in August. The RDL brings together a variety of technologies to catalyze and maximize the ability to conduct comprehensive research in remote under water locations.

The university now has eight AUVs. The AUVs feature modular, scalable configurations that allow for including various sensors and test equipment to run from inside the vehicle deep beneath the water's surface.

Dr. Mark Moline, School of Marine Science & Policy director, along with Rick Morton, regional sales manager for Hydroid, Inc., pose behind the school's first AUV which was acquired in 1999.

Morton says his company is the world's largest supplier of AUVs. Navy fleets from 17 countries have Hydroid AUVs. The U.S. Navy has 100 of the estimated 300 total units. The cost ranges between $100,000, for something like the one above, to around $2 million for larger units.

Once the AUV gets its location from GPS, Morton says the unit typically runs from a set of preprogrammed instructions. Once submerged, the AUV calculates its location based off the initial GPS reading and its own propulsion calculations which he says are pretty accurate. The AUVs can also be controlled using acoustic signals for up to about two kilometers or can run completely autonomously while harvesting data as they steer through deep-water environments.

RDL researchers have used the AUVs to assist with the search for missing World War II aircraft, shipwrecks, understanding scallop populations and assessing the impacts of dredging on them and other populations.

The RDL formally opened this month. Delaware Coast Day at the College of Marine Studies this October should offer some promising exhibitions for the public. In the mean time, check the university's website for details on the robotics lab and lots more.


by Prof. Dagmar Kirchner Henney

It is a wonderful pleasure to see Al Lachman exhibited again at Philip Morton Gallery in Rehoboth Beach.

He has been painting now for 60 years and he has not even reached his 78th birthday. Here he was Friday night showing us his new works and demonstrating his special technique shown in the acrylic painting, "On The Point."

Eric Davison is known for showing the best artists and this time, after several years, he enchants us again with Lachman's latest exhibition. Lachman is well known locally for his signature red barns, but this exhibition includes new works with new themes. It is a pleasure to see different landscapes, even some representing European scenes such as castles and landscapes.

Lachman started his art career with drawings, and then continued with colorful paintings and also some of them insightful like those drawn during an upsetting period in American history in the 1960s which focused on the uproar in the country.

He painted a series of heartwarming paintings about the homeless in America which was used by the Canadian government to help conduct a homeless census. Lachman said he tried to paint the homeless as humans, not victims, an objective theme found throughout his works. The homeless man in New York is an especially noteworthy artwork.

Lachman works in oil, acrylic and pastels. He will often combine two of the three in a particular artwork. He is somewhat secretive about a special technique he developed. He says he paints on both sides of a clear panel and bonds the paint, even pastels, to the panel. But how? He says he has given the special instructions to his wife to release after his death.

Lachman liked the way varying amounts of light would allow glass artwork to change in appearance and mood and wanted to bring that feeling to painting. So that is why he invented this unique technique of painting on a clear panel.

This gives the work a mode differential. Varying amounts of light make the work dynamic. The clear panel perspective changes depending on the level of light.

He is constantly flipping the work to paint either side and only paints one work at a time. Many of his works demonstrating this painting technique are on display at the PMG.

Also unique to this technique is that he is able to make pastel paints adhere to what appears to be a smooth surface. Pastels rub off easily but he has found a way to get the paint to adhere. When finished, he mounts the clear panel on a white background.

Lachman's wife, Arlene, said Lachman sold his first artwork at the age of 17 to the Art Students League in New York for $5. That was the start of his art career. She describes him as a focused and disciplined artist. She is a delightful and a charming artist as well. They met 30 years ago when she asked him to build a table. It was the first and last table he built. But she never complains, considering the multitude of his gorgeous paintings he has produced and sold. Congratulations Al; you brought joy and happiness to us!

Another one of Lachman's secrets is that he constantly challenges himself. Every day when he is at his studio, he paints. He sits in front of his easel and considers what he must do to challenge himself. "How can I make it different than anything else," he asks? This helps to expand diversity of his works.

His work remains on display at the Philip Morton Gallery at 47 Baltimore Avenue through Sept. 9.

That's not my red wine, I drank the water!


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A former Washington, D.C. TV news executive has returned to his radio broadcasting roots after launching Boardwalk Radio, a local "radio" station, this past weekend.

But you won't find Boardwalk Radio on the FM or even AM broadcast bands. It is an Internet radio station that promises to feature local programming with music.

Tom Dooley, founder of Boardwalk Radio, says he launched the station this past weekend, but it is still in its infancy. Dooley is a former radio broadcaster who worked his way through college on the evening shift at a local commercial radio station in Tallahassee, Florida.

Boardwalk Radio is currently only available via a web browser, but Dooley says as soon as he revamps the website, it will have free accommodations for those using smart phones.

Boardwalk Radio promises to be unique, Dooley says, in that the local radio broadcasters are not providing the type of information stream he plans to provide to visitors and the local community. "Of course, if you are just looking for a specific genre of music there are thousands of niche Internet stations worldwide out there," Dooley observes. But Boardwalk Radio will be operated locally and feature local content.

Dooley brings 45 years of professional broadcast experience in programming and management which he hopes will keep the station alive and meeting the needs of the local community. In addition to music, Dooley plans to provide traffic, beach conditions, features on local attractions and community news.

He is banking on emerging application technologies found on smart phones, tablets, computers and new, Internet-connected cars which he says are reinventing the radio experience. "Streaming audio has gone mainstream," says Dooley, "and new business models are forming around these new audience behaviors that are changing the way advertisers interact with audiences and spend their broadcast dollars."

Dooley notes the recent BIA-Kelsey survey presented at the National Association of Broadcasters convention documents that 53 percent of radio listeners listen to Internet radio sometime during an average week, while 39 percent listen to personalized online services and 27 percent to live steaming by local stations.

The Rehoboth area is unique in that the resort's population expands many times during the late spring, summer and fall as new visitors come into town each week for short stays, he observes. "They don't have any loyalty to local broadcast stations and have information needs that are not being met by any of the regional stations."

Dooley says existing radio stations which claim to serve the Rehoboth market do not offer what most visitors want: traffic information, beach conditions, event information and local tourist-oriented business information. In fact, he says, Boardwalk Radio "might be one of the few places where commercials about local restaurants, attractions, traffic, weather and entertainment are actually wanted as much as music programming."

"As I often tell my friends," he says, "doing something interesting keeps me off the streets... As for why an Internet radio station, I think there is a niche in every community for an informational radio station and now there is the technology to make it happen."

"After 45 years of broadcasting you don't just stop," he adds, "I think you have to keep going doing something you love, or you will not be either satisfied or happy... I want people to know we want to get back to the roots of radio as it was originally developed -- to serve the local community with local information and entertainment, as opposed to the current programming on stations that rely on music services to program, out-of-town announcers to track the audio and distant ownership that could care less about local issues or needs."

Dooley has been invited to make a presentation at the Wednesday morning 1Million Cups program at DelTech on Wednesday, August 27 at 9 a.m., where the school profiles new local businesses.

For details, click here for the Boardwalk Broadcasting website.

Photo courtesy Tom Dooley



At a reception at the King's Creek Country Club this past week, Ken Daigler, author of "Spies, Patriots, and Traitors," explained how his career working for the CIA with 20 years of periodic research, led to his book.

The work began when a need developed at the CIA to educate foreign intelligence and security services that American expertise in the field dated back some 200 years to the start of the country. The result was a pamphlet, written by Daigler (in the pen name P.K. Rose since he was on active duty), "The Founding Fathers of American Intelligence," that is now available to the public on the CIA website. This initial research led to more than 20 years studying American intelligence activities during the Revolutionary Period.

As a resident in Rehoboth, Daigler volunteered to speak to a local group of the Central Intelligence Retirement Association about the book. This prompted interest by others including the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society and the Delaware Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, so a joint presentation was arranged for members of all three organizations this past Friday at the country club.

Daigler covers several well-known incidents in the Revolutionary War, but adds the little known intelligence activities connected to them which impacted their outcome. George Washington's intelligence expertise, Daigler observes, began developing and practicing as early as 1753 and throughout the French and Indian War. He had documented numerous instances that show American intelligence and covert actions date back to the country's beginnings.

A Delaware man, Major Allen McLane, who was one of Washington's senior intelligence officers, had several successes.

"As a career intelligence officer," Daigler said, "I can understand the frustration of the general public trying to understand the role of intelligence in protecting U.S. national security. The vast majority of public mention of intelligence activities is when they fail, and over time this can readily give the impression that U.S. intelligence organizations are accomplishing little. The nature of successful intelligence is that it must remain secret from the public if it is to protect the sources and methods used to continue that success. But, perhaps by viewing historical examples of intelligence successes a better understanding of the profession can be made available to the public."

Daigler says his book attempts to do this by providing details, identities, methodology, actual reports and the resulting successes from the period of the American Revolutionary War, since after about 250 years, these details are available for public review.

When he retired, he said to accomplish the complex task of composing and sourcing the story a quiet location was needed. "Our apartment at Star of the Sea Condominium in Rehoboth Beach, which we have owned for almost 10 years, provided such a venue. In the early hours from spring through fall for the past three years, facing the ocean, and often taking a break to watch a pod of dolphins swim by, I found the perfect environment to put all the information together."

In addition, Daigler notes, "the fact that a Delaware man, McLane, served as a key intelligence officer for Washington and is seldom recognized for his actions further motivated me to write a book that would give appropriate credit to people like him for their significant contributions to the winning of the war."

You can purchase his book here on Amazon and watch his Youtube video discussing George Washington as an intelligence manager.

Photos courtesy Ken Daigler



Elle Sheaffer sends this iPhone 5 photo taken of last week's full moon at the navy jetty in the Cape Henlopen State Park.

This past week, Capt. Butch Arbin of the Ocean City Beach Patrol said the shore break on Wednesday was a problem because this mostly full moon which gives higher than usual tides.

Photo courtesy Elle Sheaffer



The Jolly Trolley is once again teaming up with the Rehoboth Beach Museum for guided tours of the city. Tours begin at 9 a.m., start and end at the Anna Hazzard Museum at 17 Christian Street, and last about 50 minutes.

Visitors and locals will experience the history of Rehoboth Beach such as the birth of the town as a Methodist camp meeting site and its growth as a famous resort town. Learn about shipwrecks, submarines, storms and sand dunes.

The cost of the Trolley tour is $10, cash only, which includes entrance to the Anna Hazzard House and the Rehoboth Beach Museum. Reservations are required. For reservations, tour dates and information, contact the museum at 302-227-7310 or visit the Museum's website.

The RBHS will also offer a walking tour on Aug. 28 and a lecture on transportation in Rehoboth Beach in the late 1800's and early 1900's on Aug. 21

Photo courtesy Rehoboth Beach Historical Society



UPDATE ON LAST WEEK'S INFLATABLE MALE REPRODUCTIVE ORGAN INCIDENT--- Aubrey Plaza, an actress on the NBC Parks and Recreation show, posted a related photo on her Twitter page that appears to have been taken days earlier in Dewey Beach in the morning in the same vicinity. Mayor Diane Hanson said she assumes "it was a publicity stunt of terribly bad taste by a lesser known actress. This is of special concern because we have so many families with young children on the beach this year." Another problem the beach patrol has faced is the blow-up dolls which appeared on the beach a couple times.


POLICE CITE CLOWNS FOR ACCEPTING TIPS FOR BALLOONS--- They were warned once, but that did not stop a pair of Rehoboth Beach visitors dressed as clowns from peddling balloon animals for tips. Police received a complaint around 8:50 p.m. Thursday after the duo had already been warned once. They were performing on the boardwalk between Wilmington and Rehoboth avenues. They were issued civil citations.



National Marine Fisheries Service shark identification guide (PDF file)

Dr. Rip visits Delaware

Man shot at Kings Market in Lincoln (Saturday)

Georgetown man arrested for Lewes bank robbery, also connected to Seaford robbery (Friday)

Construction crew finds human remains in Lewes

Lewes officials pushing for crackdown on jaywalkers and non-compliant bicyclists

Biden takes THIRD vacation in two weeks… and Obama's on the golf course again

Two arrested for tossing trash cans, newspaper stands in Rehoboth Beach

NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon to visit Rehoboth Beach (this Wednesday)

Fatal pedestrian crash Seashore Highway in Bridgeville (Friday) [same location as June 14 fatal]

OCPD detectives close municipal bus armed robbery case

Ocean City ambulance misused during bridge mishap; city employee disciplined

OCPD receives gracious donation from Mackys

U.S. Route 50 drawbridge review finds improved notifications needed

OCPD shuts down eight henna tattoo stands on the boardwalk

OCPD taking application for citizens' police academy

Ocean City Jeep Week events begin this week

Maryland petition campaign to move school start dates to after Labor Day begins in Ocean City



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