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WEEKEND #16, 2015

(Labor Day Weekend)

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware




Firefighters spent the early hours of Friday battling a fire at the Swell Tiki Bar & Grill which is on Rehoboth Avenue-Extended in Henlopen Junction outside of Rehoboth.

Minutes after the fire was reported at 1:20 a.m. Friday, arriving firefighters located the fire above the ceiling of the single-story strip mall.

Rehoboth Beach firefighters, assisted by Lewes, Indian River and Bethany Beach fire companies, extinguished the blaze.

Rehoboth Avenue was closed between Church Street and Coastal Highway.

No injuries were reported and the restaurant was closed at the time of the incident.

State fire investigators were called to the scene and conducted the investigation. "It was determined that the fire originated in the attic area of the structure, and was caused by a malfunction in branch circuit wiring," states the State Fire Marshal news release. Damages have been estimated at $75,000.

A message on the Swell Tiki Bar & Grill Facebook page reads: "It is with great sadness that we are sharing the following news: An electrical fire broke out early this morning in our space causing extensive damage to the interior of our Tiki Bar as well as the structure itself. The good news is that no one was injured in this unfortunate event! Please keep us in your prayers as we begin to rebuild our dream of owning a really swell place in Rehoboth Beach! We will be back..."

As an odd coincidence, troopers who responded to the fire were directed to a woman sitting in the driver's seat of a SUV in the parking lot adjacent to the fire scene. She was behaving oddly, kept nodding back and forth, curled up in the seat.

Troopers gave her a sobriety test and then took her into custody.


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A Rehoboth Beach shopkeeper became angry with a parking attendant after his van had been issued a parking ticket around 9:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Initially, says Lt. William L. Sullivan, "an unknown subject threw a cup of coffee at the [parking] attendant and fled the area. The shop owner then allegedly struck the parking attendant in the shoulder area."

When officers arrived, Lt. Sullivan says the shop owner was observed cursing about having received the parking ticket. The parking attendant, Lt. Sullivan noted, did not wish to pursue charges and the shop owner was given a $100 civil citation for disturbing the peace.

The shopkeeper had no comment when reached by telephone.


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Only 11 days to Dewey Beach election day

Dewey Beach Mayor Diane Hanson, accompanied by commissioner candidates Dale Cooke and Mike Dunmyer, gathered at her home Sunday night to discuss the issues facing the town with voters.

Among the top issues is the recent council resolution that reduces the town manager's authority.

Mayor Hanson said that controversial ordinance was set to go into place on Labor Day. "At this point I will do nothing," she said. "Because I think it is irresponsible for me to appoint a commissioner in charge of the police and the lifeguards and I think it is demeaning to our town manager and I believe it is inappropriate to have a commissioner oversee employees where they could cause undue influence."

She plans to wait until the next town meeting on Friday. "If I am forced to," she said, "I will put Anna Legates in charge of the lifeguards because they will no longer be working after a week and I will put David Jasinski in charge of the police. Commissioners Legates and Jasinski are not running for reelection so it shows you how stupid this whole thing is."

"If my slate is elected," Mayor Hanson added, "we plan to rescind the resolution. Our platform is that we want to keep moving forward, and the town has looked better than ever, cleaner, quieter summer, family friendly and peaceful and we want to continue that."

Mayor Hanson and her colleagues did emphasize the good news, that litigation is down, more families are visiting Dewey, and there are fewer complaints of violence and disorderly dwellings.

All of the candidates expressed concern about the need for more collaboration among the town council and how the dysfunctional culture has been a source of divisiveness among the commissioners. While Cooke said he did not always agree with Mayor Hanson, they always kept a good working relationship.

Dunmyer added that he was glad that Dell Tush jumped into the fray to create the need for a campaign because this has encouraged him to get out and meet more people than he would have without an election. If elected, he said he will be better prepared to serve.

Mayor Hanson, Cooke and Dunmyer are running as a slate and will face Tush on the Sept. 19 election. Three of them will be elected.

Tush has been stressing that she is running independently, not as a group. She said "I believe all the Commissioners need to bring experience and a sound work ethic to the Town Commission, to better serve our citizens. I have that experience, the time and ability to accomplish that goal. I believe Town meetings run too long. My goal is to have shorter more efficient meetings..."

Tush is inviting Dewey Beach voters to her "meet and greet" this Saturday, Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. at Sharkey's Restaurant.


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Rehoboth Beach can end the season with a sense of closure, and how appropriate that on Labor Day Weekend, the seventh and final missing Rehoboth Beach Patrol lifeguard stand would be recovered in the Outer Banks at Salvo, NC.

Lt. William Sullivan said yesterday that police do not have any current information to release regarding the investigation.

The seven stands were discovered missing on the morning of July 9 and started being sighted by boaters -- and eventually recovered -- days later. Six stands were recovered from as far as Assateague and returned to Rehoboth Beach. But this last chair had eluded recovery, until this holiday weekend.

Read more on WGMD.com, the News Journal and on the Delaware Surf Fishing blog.

Photo courtesy Matthew Doyle


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This summer, Rehoboth Beach visitors were introduced to the Parkeon multi-space parking kiosks. Parkeon and its local distributor, Keystone Solutions and Integrations, installed 51 of the solar-powered parking kiosks along the first two blocks of Rehoboth Avenue in April and May.

The Parkeons are capable of providing all sorts of detailed analysis. So on Labor Day morning, Bill Maffei, technical services supervisor for the Rehoboth Beach Street Department, crunched some numbers and determined the top kiosks for transactions as well as revenue. The leaders in total number of transactions are the 30-minute spaces because they result in more transactions but not greater income. Parkmobile data is not included in the below results.

The two Parkeons with the most transactions are:
#1 is R-6 with 11,973 transactions (eight 30-minute spaces in front of Grotto's in ocean block)
#2 is R-1 with 11,545 transactions (10 30-minute spaces in front of Louie's in ocean block)

The two Parkeons that generated the greatest revenue are:
#1 is I-102 (12 spaces on the island of the second block across from Avenue Inn)
#2 is I-10 (10 spaces on the island of the ocean block across from First Street Station)

Maffei declined to provide the actual income figures for the Parkeons. If one were to compute 100 percent continuous occupancy for a parking space it would be $3052 for the season (that is 14 hours per day x 109 days x $2/hour).

In October, Maffei said the parking division, Parkeon and city officials will discuss problems encountered this past season and suggest improvements for next year, including the possibility of adding credit card processing to the individual kiosks.

Although parking permits are no longer required after Labor Day, meters continue through Sunday, Sept. 20.



A 40-year-old woman fell about 12 to 15 feet from a second-floor balcony on the bayside of Bellevue Street in Dewey Beach. She was found just before 5:30 p.m. Sunday and may have been on the ground for as long as an hour before she was discovered.

She was talking when the ambulance took her to Beebe Hospital although she could not remember what happened.


Come see all Rehoboth has to offer ...



by Guillermo Silveira

The Labor Day tradition continued this weekend with the incredibly popular drag volleyball match. This Rehoboth Drag Volleyball 2015 match was between the Supreme Court Ladies and the Bollywood Girls.

It was an excellent game, even wigs were flying and dresses fell down... What more could one want?

The Indian girls dressed stupendous and they played better than the Supremes.

And thanks to a good hand from Avalokiteshvara, they won the game.

Bollywood Girls had better Karma.

Final score: Bollywood over the Supremes, 26 to 24.

Photos courtesy Paul Christensen, Guillermo Silveira and Karen Skarlatto


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by Dagmar Kirchner Henney

It's been a struggle to catch Rehoboth artist Anita Peghini-Räber in her gallery this summer. That is because she has been keeping busy in Europe showing her art in multiple exhibitions.

In February, the curator of the Picasso Museum in Spain discovered Anita's thought-provoking work on Facebook. She was chosen together with A.J. Dungan from Rochester, NY to represent the United States at the First International Art Exhibition at CAC Picasso Museum in Mijas Pueblo Malaga.

This museum features the second largest collection of ceramics by Picasso after the Louvre. Also housed are more than 200 paintings by Picasso, Miro and Salvador Dali. The works frequently travel to the top museums around the world from this small museum in southern Spain.

Why Picasso? Anita says she admired him as a child. "No matter how weird it looks to other people, no matter the press articles' negativity - this man was true to himself, he is unshaken, and he therefore speaks the truth in his art," she points out.

Anita has spent much of the year traveling in Europe and participating in several international exhibitions. She prepared and exhibited her art in Salou and Lleida, Spain, Villa Amoretti in Turin, Italy, Art Monaco. Here she is with Vincenzo Chetta, editor of Biancoscuro Art Magazine in Turin, Italy at Art Monaco.

She returned to CAC Picasso Museum in Mijas Pueblo Malaga. This time she presented her solo show at CAC Picasso Museum in Mijas Pueblo Malaga. Then she went directly to her long-time Open Studio group she belongs to, to prepare art for the Pacific Coast. Artwalk LA invited Anita to participate this fall. She continues to prepare for future European shows in Florence, Venice, Italy, Lugano, Montreux and Switzerland, Anita's native country.

We caught up with her briefly while she was at her gallery in Rehoboth Beach. Despite her hectic schedule, she has several new pieces on display. Her gallery, the Anita Peghini-Räber Gallery, will remain open as she continues her travels.

Anita has returned to Spain this month to attend and present her solo show at Montsequi Gallery in Madrid.


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For a $100 raffle ticket, you could be the owner of a home in Ocean Pines. The Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department is once again giving away another home.

The drawing for this 1,546 square foot home at 99 Sandyhook Road will be held on Sept. 27, 2015.

The winner will have the option of accepting cash in lieu of the house.

For details or to preview the home, see the Ocean Pines VFD website.

Photo courtesy OPVFD


Anticipated contract completion date: July 4, 2016

Contractors have been working day and night on Coastal Highway to implement some of the proposed improvements including lighting, crosswalks and sidewalks.

Jim Westhoff, DelDOT community relations officer, says the pedestrian hybrid beacon signal also known as the HAWK Signal (High-intensity Activated crossWalK) at the intersection of Coastal Highway and Rehoboth Avenue-Extended is anticipated to be activated this coming week.

The contractor has been working at night using light trailers and closing lanes of traffic as necessary.

For this project, Westhoff says, the lane closure restrictions on Coastal Highway will change after Sept. 30, but night work may still require single-lane closures. Between May 1 and Sept. 30, he says the contractor can only have single-lane closures on Coastal Highway between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Between Oct. 1 and April 30, the contractor is allowed to have single-lane closures on Coastal Highway between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The bus/bike/right-turn lane closures between May 1 and Sept. 30 are permitted 24 hours a day beginning noon on Monday and ending noon on Friday. The bus/bike/right-turn lane closures between Oct. 1 and April 30 are permitted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he adds.

The anticipated contract completion date for the Coastal Highway improvements is July 4, 2016.


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Photo courtesy Anthony Burns



Photo courtesy Gerald Sipes



MAN FALLS FROM GOLF CART, FLOWN TO TRAUMA CENTER--- A man fell from the back of a moving golf cart early Saturday suffering serious injuries. The accident happened around 4 a.m. in the 29700 block of Boundary Line Road in the Tall Pines Campground Resort, near Lewes. Initial reports suggested the man was unresponsive with a possible head injury after he landed on the pavement. He also reportedly had been drinking. The state police helicopter flew him to Christiana Hospital.


FATAL MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT NEAR BROADKILL--- A man driving a large Harley Davidson appears to have lost control and was discovered in a marsh along Broadkill Road (between the beach and Coastal Highway). He was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident was reported around 5:50 p.m. Monday in the 23400 block of Broadkill Road.


MERR UPDATE--- Experts from the MERR Institute investigated the deaths of two more turtles this past week. Suzanne Thurman said they had a dead green turtle at Gordon's pond and a dead loggerhead at South Bowers. There was too much scavenger damage on the loggerhead to determine a cause of death, but she said she suspects both were potential victims of boat strikes. They also had a report of a dead sea turtle floating off the Delaware Seashore State Park and a sea turtle shell found on the beach in Rehoboth at Delaware Avenue.


REHOBOTH LIFEGUARD INJURED MAKING RESCUE--- A 23-year-old Rehoboth Beach Patrol lifeguard was taken to the hospital Saturday afternoon after he struck a jetty while making a rescue. It happened just after 3 p.m. at the Rehoboth/Wilmington Avenue jetty. He was taken by ambulance to Beebe Hospital with a deep cut to his upper thigh and puncture wound to the knee.


GIRL DIES AT OCEAN CITY INLET--- Ocean City officials confirm that a 7-year-old girl has died after an incident at the rock jetty at the Inlet. Initial reports suggested that the girl had fallen from the rocks at the Inlet Lot around 6:55 p.m. Saturday well after the beach patrol had gone off duty. The Coast Guard, DNR, O.C. police, fire/EMS and off-duty beach patrol members responded to assist. The girl was recovered minutes later by a Maryland Natural Resources Police boat. She was in cardiac arrest and was taken by an Ocean City paramedic to Atlantic General Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner.


SEARCH FOR MISSING MEN POSSIBLY LOST IN O.C. SURF--- Multiple agencies assisted Ocean City in the search for men reportedly missing in the ocean early Sunday. The first search was for a 35-year-old man, James Benjamin Lenhart, who allegedly disappeared in the surf near First Street around 1 a.m. The Coast Guard suspended the search after 10 hours.

Around 3 a.m. that same morning, rescue crews were called to 49th Street for a sick person. They found an intoxicated woman who provided little details other than she claimed a man had been swimming in the ocean. They found some flip-flops and a hat, but unclear if they had any significance. An hour later, she was unable to provide further details to those searching. The search was suspended around 4 a.m. pending better information.



How clean are New Jersey's beaches? -- Press of Atlantic City

Fatal pedestrian accidents on the rise in Delaware

Sussex County Division of Environmental Services votes to unionize

Police funding still an issue in Milton

Serious motorcycle crash on Dairy Farm Road west of Lewes

Cape Henlopen fishing pier reopens ahead of schedule for Labor Day weekend

Volunteers to begin 2015 Hawk Watch at Ashland Nature Center and Cape Henlopen State Park

Boy struck while skateboarding in Milton

Allen Harim Foods accused of unsafe work conditions

Food truck Friday debuts Sept. 11 at Rehoboth church

5 arrested in Rehoboth Tanger Outlets shoplifting scheme

Troopers investigate purse snatching in Midway Outlets (outside Rehoboth)

Thief knocks over baby in stroller to steal purse

Troopers arrest Lewes man for multiple robberies (including 2 listed above)

McGuiness files bid for lieutenant governor

Rehoboth reviews boardwalk bike patrol

Rehoboth referendum effort falls short

Rehoboth zoning ordinance questions continue

Rehoboth seeks to dismiss voting suit

Rehoboth stores and eateries take stock of summer

Scénique Art Gallery opens in Rehoboth

Dewey council changes department head reporting

Dewey Beach town manager's authority reduced by council

Town of Dewey Beach employees to receive year-end bonus

Fenwick Beach Patrol captain honored for service

Ocean City police to install additional license plate readers (LPRs)

License plate reader (LPR) alerts OCPD to stolen vehicle

Third license plate reader (LPR) eyed for Md.-Del. line

Ocean City Beach Patrol employment opportunity for summer season 2016

Fatality reinforces need to swim near lifeguard (last weekend, Ocean City)

Shutting down summer: A beach town's shift from crazy to quiet (Washington Post)

Westminster man arrested after overnight O.C. stabbing (Sunday)

New Berlin art gallery thrilled with early reception

Assateague lifeguard kicked by horse

Caught on camera: Lifeguard kicked by wild horse on beach

2 separate attacks by horses on Assateague Island

National Parks Senior Pass (lifetime vehicle pass only $10; good for Assateague Island)

Boat sinks near Assateague

Watch for school buses across the shore (STARTING TODAY)



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