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News Briefs 02-17-17

February 17, 2017

Murder defendant set to go to trial
A Philadelphia man accused of participating in a 2014 double murder is expected to go to trial beginning Monday, Feb. 20.
Rhamir Waples, 21, faces first-degree murder, home invasion and drug charges for his role in the killings of Cletis Nelson and William Hopkins. Prosecutors say Waples was part of a crime ring that robbed drug dealers in Kent and Sussex counties. He was arrested by Delaware State Police in June 2015 as part of Operation In The House.

Waples is the first of four defendants accused of taking part in the murders of Nelson and Hopkins. Also scheduled to face trial this year are Steven Kellam, Carlton Gibbs and Damon Bethea. Prosecutors have alleged that Kellam was the ringleader of the gang. Fellow defendants Richard Robinson and Shamir Stratton have taken guilty pleas and could testify against Waples, Kellam, Gibbs and Bethea.

Lewes water tower to be drained Feb. 20
The Lewes Board of Public Works will drain the water tower Monday, Feb. 20, in preparation for the start of refurbishment. Customers should not experience loss of pressure or quality in the water service. In case of an emergency, an interconnection agreement has been made with Tidewater Utilities. Please note that the water treatment plant will be staffed accordingly. Call the BPW main office at 302-645-6228 with any questions or concerns.

Lewes annexation committee to meet
The Lewes Annexation Regulation Review Ad Hoc Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21, at city hall. The group will discuss changes to Section 3, Annexation of Territory, of the city charter with respect to voting qualifications. They will also discuss the value of annexation into the city for property owners. For more information, call city hall at 302-645-7777.

Lewes City Hall, BPW closed Feb. 20
The offices of Lewes City Hall and the Lewes Board of Public Works will be closed Monday, Feb. 20, for Presidents Day. Offices will reopen Tuesday, Feb. 21 with normal hours.

Lewes Board of Public Works to meet Feb. 22
The Lewes Board of Public Works will meet at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 22, at city hall. The group will discuss the 2017-18 operations and maintenance budget and the 2017-18 to 2021-22 capital improvement budget. Directors will also discuss fees and rates for the electric, water and sewer utility services. For more information, call BPW offices at 302-645-6228.

Lewes snowflake group seeks donations
The Lewes committee in charge of fundraising for holiday decorations is seeking donations to add snowflakes to New Road and Cedar Street. Committee founder Jeff West said the group will purchase 24 new snowflakes later this month. To take advantage of a sale, he sought and received a donation of about $4,300 from mayor and city council Feb. 13; however, a portion of the funds will be reimbursed to the city. For more information or to donate, email holidaylightsforlewes@comcast.net or call city hall at 302-645-7777.

Surfrider movie night Feb. 24 in Milton
The Delaware chapter of Surfrider Foundation is sponsoring its second annual movie night Friday, Feb. 24, at the Milton Theatre, 110 Union St. There are two movies being shown. The first is "The Fisherman's Son," a 30-minute-movie about big wave surfer Ramón Navarro. The movie tells the story of Navarro, who was born and raised at Punta de Lobos, and his vision to protect the culture and environment of the Chilean coast.

The second is "This Time Tomorrow," a 45-minute-long movie following two surfers as they chase a single storm cell across the Pacific Rim. The cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Tickets are available at www.delaware.surfrider.org. Children 18 and under are free. There will be a cash bar, Po' Boys Creole Food Truck and Dogfish Head beer.

Public hearing for Starboard events set
Dewey Beach Town Council has set a public hearing date of Tuesday, Feb. 21, for an expansion of premises request by the Starboard. The meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in the Dewey Beach Life Saving Station, 1 Dagsworthy Ave. The restaurant is requesting an expansion of premises the weekend of March 16 for opening weekend; Saturday, June 24, for Running of the Bull; and Saturday, Oct. 7 for Dewey Goes Pink. A full version of the agenda can be found at town hall, 105 Rodney Ave., the life saving station and online at www.townofdeweybeach.com.

Dewey comp plan group meeting Feb. 21
Dewey Beach's comprehensive plan working group has scheduled a meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb 21, in the Dewey Beach Life Saving Station, 1 Dagsworthy Ave. The agenda calls for a discussion of all aspects of the current draft and a review of scheduling for completing the plan. A full version of the agenda can be found at town hall, 105 Rodney Ave., the life saving station and online at www.townofdeweybeach.com.

Sussex P&Z in favor of office complex
At its Feb. 9 meeting, Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a conditional-use application for a doctor's office complex at 1537 Savannah Road in Lewes. R&K Partners filed the application to build a 9,900-square-foot facility on a 1.5-acre parcel.

Dr. Vinay Hosmane, a Newark cardiologist, said he wants to come back to Sussex County and bring more doctors with him, especially more primary care physicians and another dermatologist. His father, Ramachandra Hosmane, is a urologist in Lewes who is affiliated with Beebe Healthcare and Nanticoke Memorial Hospital. He's been in practice in Lewes for 39 years with an office on Savannah Road. Sussex County Council's public hearing on the application is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 7.

Transportation district on Sussex agenda
Sussex County Council will meet at 10 a.m., Feb. 21, in the county administration building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. Included on the agenda are updates and discussions on the proposed Henlopen Transportation Improvement District and the county's comprehensive land-use plan. See a complete agenda at www.sussexcountyde.gov.

Milton planning and zoning to meet Feb. 21
Milton Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 21, to review proposed amendments to the town's historic preservation overlay district. The commission may develop an advisory opinion to council regarding those amendments. For more information or a full agenda, go to www.milton.delaware.gov or call 302-684-4110.

Black History Month program set in Lewes Feb. 20
In observation of Black History Month, Charlotte King, former president of the League of Women Voters of Delaware and the league's advocacy corps, will share her reflections regarding black history in terms of more current history since the abolition of slavery after the Civil War. The Sussex LWV is partnering with the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice to offer this session at the Lewes library, 111 Adams Ave., Monday, Feb. 20, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

King's discussion will be followed by the screening of the film "Slavery by Another Name," a 90-minute documentary that challenges one of Americans' most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film will be followed by a short discussion.

Indian River holds referendum meetings
Indian River School District is holding public meetings on the upcoming referendum scheduled for March 2.
Meetings will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23, at Indian River High School and 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 27, at Sussex Central High School.

District officials will present information on the current expense referendum that would raise local funding for school safety, student services, textbooks and technology. If passed, the referendum would raise $7.3 million. The average district taxpayer would pay about $95 more a year, if the referendum is approved.