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WEEKEND #14, 2019

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




Rehoboth Beach businesses have reported eight cases of counterfeit bills so far this year. While not a large number, it is almost triple the counterfeit cases Rehoboth Beach police investigated in all of 2018 when the department received only three reports.

"What I have noticed over the years is an increase in smaller denominations of counterfeit bills, especially $10 bills," Lt. William Sullivan, police spokesman, said this past Wednesday. Ironically, this past Friday evening a boardwalk business turned over this counterfeit $10 bill. This photo, provided by the business, is of the actual counterfeit. This bill "felt real and I would have had no reason to hold the bill up to look for a watermark or a security strip," the employee pointed out.

"We have had more [counterfeit bills] this year than any other year but they have all been low denomination," he pointed out. "I think the lower the denomination, the easier it is to pass. There has been no correlation between the bills that we have noticed," he added. The serial numbers have all been unique.

Also interesting is this counterfeit $1 bill that was received by a Rehoboth Beach business earlier this summer.

Lt. Sullivan says there is a new process of reporting counterfeits to the Secret Service. Delaware police used to send them to Wilmington, but the bogus bills now have to be entered online and accepted using this website.


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Amazing photos of threatening clouds and video of dancing beach umbrellas went viral last Monday after a storm blew over the Rehoboth-Lewes area. The Rehoboth DEOS weather station reported a maximum wind gust of about 38 m.p.h. at 2:45 p.m. and more than an inch of rain that day.

"It was that incredible," Justin Berk, a meteorologist, wrote on his Facebook page as a caption for this set of storm cloud photos. This one was taken by Melissa Durham Clark. "That is one heck of a shelf and possibly roll cloud," he added. "So much going on up there. Wow!"

About a mile up the beach at the Henlopen Acres Beach Club, Natalie Oldham captured this video of beach umbrellas tumbling along the beach. It was a favorite, not only on the Internet, but on weather forecasts across the country. Click below to watch them roll!

WGMD reported that the strong wind also brought down these trees in Lewes.

More storm photos and video are in the Delaware Surf Fishing blog and in Friday's Cape Gazette.

Photos courtesy Melissa Durham Clark via Justin Berk and video from Natalie Oldham


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A look inside: Delaware Beach Life August 2019 issue



For years, the M&T Bank lot has been a popular free parking "sweet spot" for visitors in downtown Rehoboth Beach. But it is tricky. Signs in the lot clearly indicate that vehicles illegally parked here are subject to being towed. But typically the bank has only towed from the "ATM parking only" spaces and the fire lane.

This is also a popular lot used on Saturdays by weekly rental tenants who have just arrived and are waiting in line to "check-in" at Lingo's which is across the street.

The Coastal Towing operator had just towed one of the prospective tenants from an ATM-only parking spot, and returned for this GMC Terrain which was parked in the fire lane. But that was when the driver of the Terrain returned and allegedly drove the Terrain off the truck's lift. That was when the police got called around 1:40 p.m.

The dispute was whether the SUV had actually been hooked which means the driver would owe Coastal Towing a $150 service fee. The officers helped to defuse the situation and the driver provided receipts as requested after payment was made.



This past week, the three overhead street lamps near where the man was struck and killed by the state police SUV on August 11 have been repaired. However, as of Friday night, 13 overhead street lamps over Coastal Highway between Rehoboth Avenue-Extended and Bayard Avenue are out of service. Six of the dark lamps are mounted in pairs on three metal poles directly over the canal bridge construction zone, what should be a critical location.

When asked on Friday, Louise A. Holt, DelDOT spokeswoman, said that "DelDOT's staff fixed the lights that were ours to repair. There was a loose wire in the lighting" on the set between Church Street and Rehoboth Avenue-Extended, she said. This lamp was one of them.

"The ones on the side of the poles closer to Dewey are owned by the power company, not DelDOT," she said. Also, if lights are out on wooden poles or on poles with electric wires, Holt added, they are the responsibility of the power company.

If the public notices lights are out, she says "we encourage them to use the DelDOT app or please call the Transportation Management Center (TMC), so we can determine if the light belongs to DelDOT or the power company to repair/replace."


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The dilemma this past week was what do you do as a lifeguard when a dying shark shows up in your surf, thrashing around and beaching itself while the area is packed with weekend swimmers and intrigued onlookers? That's what happened to Rehoboth Beach lifeguards the previous Sunday, August 18, at the rocky jetty north of the Henlopen just before 5 p.m.

Bystanders snapped photos and Andrea Ziegler shot this video (shown are her screen shots) where the shark is seen thrashing in the surf as lifeguards struggled to implement a plan.

"Most likely it was the same three to four foot shark that was wallowing in the surf at Gordons Pond on Sunday," Rich King wrote on his popular Delaware Surf Fishing blog. "I have about a dozen pictures that were sent to us on Sunday by concerned anglers. That was a sandbar shark. It was covered in lesions and parasites, which is probably why it was dying or distressed," he pointed out.

The lifeguards carefully grabbed the shark by the tail and using a shovel carried it to a nearby trash can to be removed from the area.

As for the legality of this, Capt. Douglas Messeck of DNREC's Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, says it is a technical violation if the shark were a prohibited species. However, in the spirit of public safety at a resort beach he said "we would allow latitude with lifeguard staff."

More details are in Rob Petree's report on WGMD.com.

Photos courtesy Andrea Ziegler via Tina Hunter



Earlier this summer, the City of Rehoboth Beach placed the Bigbelly trash cans in service at strategic locations throughout town. "The Bigbelly units were first considered when trying to brainstorm ideas on how the city's refuse collection operation could be made more efficient," says Sharon Lynn, city manager.

The city has had public works crews working from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. collecting refuse from all of the public areas where cans are present. The crews travel across the city all day, she notes, stopping at every can to check and determine if they are full. "As you can imagine, the time of day, day of the week, weather, events going on, and time of the year, all impact the collection frequency," Lynn points out.

With more people in town, collection operations can sometimes move slowly. The slower the operation, she observes, the more likely it is that cans may overflow. "In an effort to improve the operation," Lynn said, "we reached out to Bigbelly..." and after several meetings with the Bigbelly team, she said she believed this was an excellent solution to present to the city commissioners during budget discussions.

These units are solar-powered, self-compacting and self-contained which eliminates overflow and windblown litter. The cans occasionally cycle through a compaction cycle. The compactor enables the can to hold up to five times more refuse than traditional cans, she said. But the cans still use plastic bags.

Additionally, the stations communicate real-time data to city staff via a mobile app. The data enables crews to avoid making trips to areas until they receive a notification that a collection is needed, she says. The network also generates reports that include maintenance needs, historical collection information by location, average time it takes for a unit to be ready for a collection and determine days and times when the units are being used the most.

According to the data, among the heaviest used is the Bigbelly pair at Wilmington Avenue and the boardwalk.

Lynn says the data can be used to help the city adjust Bigbelly placements based on demand, tweak collection routes and staffing and overall, reduce the number of trips made and time taken to collect refuse.

The total project cost is about $134,000 which will be paid over five years, at a cost of roughly $26,000 per year, Lynn said. The city purchased 18 units to evaluate at various locations to determine if some areas might be better suited for them than others.

Additionally, this will be a trial program to determine whether expected outcomes become a reality, she said. Included in the total of 18 units are two recycling units which will serve as a trial program to test the expansion of recycling into public spaces. On July 12, the recycling units were placed at Grove Park and at Stockley Street Park.

Evan Miller, the city's projects coordinator, says a recycling grant was submitted to DNREC with the hopes of receiving funds to help cover the cost of the two recycling units.


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DEWEY BEACH: 4 Candidates File for 3 Seats

This past Thursday at 5 p.m. was the deadline to file to run for commissioner in Dewey Beach.

Only four candidates filed to run for the three soon-to-be-open commissioner seats. Commissioners Paul Bauer and Dale Cooke along with Mayor TJ Redefer will be challenged by newcomer Philip Rowe.

Rowe faces some tough competition running against the three incumbents.

Comm. Cooke said he is running independently of any other candidate while Mayor Redefer and Comm. Bauer are running as a team. Comm. Cooke wanted to make it clear that he has not participated in mailings with any other candidate as indicated in last week's report.

Election day in Dewey Beach is Saturday, September 21, 2019. Please see the town's website for info on absentee voting.

The Dewey Beach Civic League is hosting the annual candidate forum on Saturday, August 31, at 5 p.m. at the Dewey Beach Lions Club.

Stay tuned to WGMD and WGMD.com for more Dewey Beach campaign news in the coming weeks.


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Shore break is when the waves pound directly onto a bare -- or nearly bare -- surf. This is caused by high tides with increased wave height that cause the waves to break on an exposed surf rather than on a larger body of water that would normally allow the waves to roll onto shore. People in the impact zone are frequently tossed onto the bare surf, causing many of the surf injuries each summer.

Capt. Butch Arbin of the Ocean City Beach Patrol spent the weekend crunching the numbers on surf-related accident reports from this past summer. He says up to this point, the patrol had 78 shore-break-related medical assists. That is about a third of the beach patrol's total medical assists. Of those 78, he noted that 36 were first treated as head/neck/back injuries. The other shore-break injuries that are not head/neck/back are mostly upper arm, shoulder or knee injuries, or people who tumbled in the surf and want to be evaluated.

Four of the 36 were flown by medevac helicopter to trauma centers, including one this past Wednesday morning. Sixteen were taken by ambulance and the remaining 16 declined an ambulance to the hospital.

The shore-break injuries are distributed as follows, Capt. Arbin notes, with the larger surf and full moon in July and August impacting the totals in addition to the increased visitor population.

He said 60 percent of the injured were male. The average age is 32 but the range this summer was six through 79. The group most at risk, he points out, seems to be men over 40 years old. Capt. Arbin noted one study suggested that men over 35 should not body surf because of reduced flexibility in their spine.

He recommends people check with lifeguards to learn about current conditions and not to stand or play in the impact zone.

For more stats on injuries reported by area beach patrols this summer, see the Shore News Beacon.

Photo courtesy Leah M. Reynolds



It was a wild weekend in Ocean City. This gray Kia overturned at 130th Street just before 9 p.m. this past Friday. Ashley Miller, police spokeswoman, says the driver of the Kia was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons. She had no info on charges.

On Saturday night, a 40-year-old man driving this Hyundai Genesis led police on a chase which ended here with his arrest. According to the Shore News Beacon, he has been charged with 19 offenses.

Around 3:45 a.m. Sunday, a 29-year-old woman had briefly lost consciousness after she was assaulted on Baltimore Avenue near North Division Street. Paramedics suspected she could have suffered a head injury, so they took her to the Coast Guard station where a helicopter flew her to a trauma center. No word yet from police on suspects or charges.

Photos courtesy Campos Media


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Not many art galleries remain in downtown Rehoboth Beach, and Ward Ellinger has the only artist-owned gallery left in town! He opened this gallery in 2007 and expanded it about a year ago to double its original size.

Ellinger, who considers himself an "abstract expressionist," shows mostly his own artwork along with several pieces from long-time friend, Sondra Arkin, who is also an abstract expressionist.

The painting on the right, titled Blue Fantasies, is one of Ellinger's signature artworks. He sells these frequently to people with high ceilings and gets commissions often for this same genre which he has been painting for the past 10 years. This one has a lot of appeal, he says, because the pieces appear almost like mosaic glass. He uses varnishes and rubbings that produce the glassy-type appearance, all from acrylic paints!

On the left is a more modern piece, he points out. It is unique in the fact that there is not anything like this that any other artist is doing. He creates a pattern but then in the middle of the pattern he creates something futuristic. "It is almost like staring off into space from the canvas," he points out.

Here is a hand-painted oil painting, Windswept, Ellinger had done about 45 years ago using just his palms. It is one of his "retro pieces."

Ellinger still uses oil paints occasionally but he prefers acrylic because it dries much faster!

As for Arkin, Ellinger says this is a fantastic example of her work. This is her Stacked Dimension, encaustic on dibond.

"Our work is kind of similar as far as abstract impressionism is concerned," he points out. She has been exhibiting her work with Ellinger for the past 10 or 15 years. Arkin is the only other artist he promotes in his gallery.

The Ward Ellinger Gallery is open typically on Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. But on Saturdays he is often open late into the evening. Please see his Facebook page for more info.



Dewey Beach sunset...

Surf in front of the Star of the Sea...

Indian River Inlet rainbow...

Photos courtesy Dr. Richard Tananis and David Koster, PortraitsInTheSand.com



MAN PULLED FROM SURF IN CARDIAC ARREST IN OCEAN CITY--- An approximately 70-year-old man was pulled from the surf in cardiac arrest off 16th Street in Ocean City just before 5 p.m. on Sunday. Rescuers started CPR and attempted to resuscitate the man using a defibrillator. He remained in cardiac arrest as he was taken to the hospital. No official update yet on his condition.


SEAL SPOTTED AT LEWES HARBOR AND MORE MERR NEWS--- Suzanne Thurman, MERR Institute executive director, says her organization investigated the deaths of a bottlenose dolphin and three loggerhead sea turtles this past week. She also noted that they have been "keeping an eye on a seal that has been hanging around Lewes Harbor, a peculiar visitor for this time of year." Anybody have photos?


WOMAN INJURED AFTER BUNK-BED LADDER BREAKS--- A 21-year-old woman was impaled in her calf by a wooden bunk-bed ladder which split in half while she was standing on it. It happened around 2 p.m. this past Saturday in the Plantations near Lewes. She was taken to the hospital after significant blood loss.


NEAR-DROWNING OF GIRL AT CAMP BARNES--- A 10-year-old girl was discovered face down in a pool at Camp Barnes just before 12:30 p.m. on Friday. That is in the Frankford area west of South Bethany. She possibly had suffered an asthma attack. She was conscious when taken to the hospital by ambulance.


POLICE USE HELICOPTER AND K9 TO SEARCH FOR BURGLARY SUSPECT OUTSIDE REHOBOTH--- Around 8:30 p.m. this past Wednesday, state troopers used a police dog and helicopter to search for a would-be burglar in the area of Canal Landing outside Rehoboth. MCpl. Melissa Jaffe, police spokeswoman, says there was no damage to the residence and nothing was taken. The police dog lost the track near the canal and the helicopter was unable to find anything after several passes. No suspect has been located at this time. Investigation remains active and ongoing, she said.


ANOTHER BICYCLIST CHARGED AFTER COASTAL HWY COLLISION WITH BUS--- A 25-year-old male bicyclist from Lewes was stationary on Wescoats Road and Coastal Highway, says MCpl. Melissa Jaffe, police spokeswoman, when the traffic light turned green for traffic to turn left onto southbound Coastal Highway. The bicyclist followed the traffic and crossed through a traffic control device into the bus lane (shoulder) and collided with the bus. He was issued a citation for "fail to follow left turn course as described in 4152 (B)," she said. See photos in the Cape Gazette. He was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.


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Delaware coast home to many species of whale

"Design a sign, protect a dune" awareness contest deadline is September 2

Delaware clarifies policy on dog-friendly restaurants

Behind the scenes of WBOC/WRDE TV "Chopper 16"

Delaware Electric Cooperative holds 83rd annual meeting

Emergency department proposals off the table in Harbeson and Georgetown

Beebe, state and Sussex County offer paramedic home visit program for some COPD patients

Police chase through parts of Sussex County ends with arrest of wanted Wilmington man

New paramedic unit, Medic 111, coming to Milton CHEER center

Milton man charged with weapons offenses stemming from domestic (Saturday)

Man charged following road-rage incident near Milton

Unusual 2-1 vote gives preliminary consent to New Road project near Lewes

Police investigating Dairy Farm Road crash (Thursday)

Lavender Fields Farm art exhibit opens Aug. 28; reception set Sept. 8

Citizens oppose Artesian, Allen Harim permits (Harbeson)

7-Eleven plans to return to Sussex County in Angola area

Sea Witch is now state's largest event

Washingtonian's "Top 9" new houses of the year (one is outside Rehoboth)

Funland and Land of Fun featured on WHYY-TV program "You Oughta Know"

The Blue Moon, a Rehoboth Beach dining mainstay

Drone photos show beach after Sunday's nor'easter-like conditions

Rehoboth Beach playground survey

Rehoboth Beach commissioners approve new water/sewer rates

Rehoboth Beach commissioners Pass 3 percent lodging tax

Rehoboth joins the room tax increase parade in Delaware

Flat-rate water/sewer rates coming to Rehoboth Beach

Woman arrested for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest (Rehoboth Beach, previous Friday)

Rehoboth Beach planners recommend delay on Rehoboth Grand

Faithful Steward wreck is topic of this Thursday's discussion at Rehoboth Beach Museum

Capano gets green light for Rehoboth beachfront mansion (Sliver Lake)

Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce news (with hotel occupancy stats)

Dewey Beach sets auction date for military surplus equipment (September 14)

Man paralyzed after diving into a wave in Dewey helps another man walk again

Community gathers to mourn for three kids killed in Long Neck/Pot-Nets fire

DelDOT outlines safety measures for Long Neck area

71-year-old man found dead on his boat (Gull Point, Saturday)

Man sought for domestic-related assault (Saturday night, Millsboro)

Name released in fatal Selbyville crash from previous Saturday

Recycled oyster reef a first for Little Assawoman Bay

O.C. sidewalk widening project tabled over parking, bike concerns

Wild hit-and-run spree results in 49 charges in Ocean City

O.C. bike rack pilot program initiated

O.C. Council OKs 67th Street land purchase for treatment plant

Ocean City resident dies after collision near U.S. Route 50 bridge (last Tuesday)

Next month's bike events eye zero-waste status in O.C.

Video: Whale sighting off Ocean City beach

Record-breaking mahi caught at ladies-only O.C. tournament

Worcester Co. commissioners approve room tax increase

Worcester Co. law enforcers discuss policing efforts at NAACP forum



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