News Briefs

January 7, 2014
Workshop set  Jan. 7 for Lewes improvements

The City of Lewes, in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society, is developing design plans for pedestrian improvements within Canalfront Park surrounding the Lewes Life-Saving Station.  This DelDOT-sponsored transportation alternatives project will provide new sidewalks, parking lot enhancements, additional lighting, and new landscaping to Canalfront Park.  

There will also be sidewalk enhancements, including Americans with Disabilities Act accessible curb ramps on Shipcarpenter Road from Pilottown Road to Second Street.

The City of Lewes strongly encourages all interested residents to attend this workshop.  The project may require easements to construct the improvements.

The workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 7, at Lewes City Hall from 4 to 6 p.m.

Inquiries regarding the public workshop can be made by contacting Paul Eckrich, Lewes city manager, at or 302-645-7286, or Ann Gravatt, program manager, at the Department of Transportation, 302-760-2254.

Bill would update locks on classroom doors

A bill introduced Dec. 12 would require classrooms to be equipped with doors that can lock from either side.

Rep. Earl Jaques, D-Glasgow, proposed House Bill 221 in an effort to improve school safety.

According to the bill, “Many doors are currently not capable of locking from the inside.  Locking the door to a classroom from inside the classroom would enable precluding a school intruder from entering that classroom.”

The General Assembly is currently in recess and is scheduled to reconvene Tuesday, Jan. 14.  To read the full bill, go to

Report claiming to represent DNREC staff

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Energy and Climate has learned of at least three recent reports handled by Delaware State Police and New Castle County Police of a person or persons knocking on doors in New Castle and Sussex counties, claiming to represent the division and asking questions about residents’ energy bills and electric consumption.

“We do not currently have staff engaged in any door-to-door survey activities of any kind anywhere in the state,” said Program Administrator Rob Underwood, Division of Energy and Climate. “We encourage residents who are visited by a person asking questions and claiming to be a member of the Division of Energy and Climate staff to give out no information and to report the incident to the Delaware State Police or to their local municipal police department.”

Sussex council has first meeting of 2014

Sussex County Council gets back into action after a holiday break. Council will meet at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 7, in the county administration building on The Circle in Georgetown. Included on the agenda is election of officers and annual appointments. See a complete agenda at

Task force to discuss opening Family Court

The Delaware General Assembly’s Family Court Task Force will hold its third meeting at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 7, in the Senate Hearing Room on the second floor of Legislative Hall.  A one-hour public discussion session will be held prior to the meeting at 1 p.m.

The task force is charged with recommending to the General Assembly whether Family Court proceedings should be open to the public.  For more information and a complete agenda, go to

Rehoboth officials to discuss charter changes

The Rehoboth Beach commissioners will discuss revising sections of the city charter to modernize them and bring them in line with practice at the commissioners’ workshop, 9 a.m., Monday, Jan. 6, in the city commissioners’ room.

The sections in question include the board of assessment, assessment of taxes, levy of annual taxes, collection of annual taxes and scrap assessment for sewers.

The commissioners will review municipal anti-smoking initiatives and discuss whether to expand those initiatives to areas such as the beach and Boardwalk.

In committee reports, Communications Committee Chairman Stan Mills will introduce recommended guidelines for implementing an online program to make supporting documents for commissioner agenda topics accessible to the public.

Streets and Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Sargent will report on his committee’s recent activities.

Sussex awards grants to nonprofits

Sussex County Council awarded the following councilmanic grants during its Dec. 10 meeting: $1,000 to Laurel’s Centenary U.M. Church food pantry; $1,000 to Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce for parade expenses; and $250 to Nanticoke Health Services Foundation to support the prescription drug fund.

Sussex County Council awarded the following councilmanic grants during its Dec. 3 meeting: $2,500 to Town of Blades for playground improvements; $1,000 to Millsboro Art League for programs and projects; $1,500 to Town of South Bethany toward the purchase of an all-terrain vehicle; and $1,000 to Seaford Community Food Closet for operating expenses.

County council presents grants to nonprofit agencies and organizations sponsoring events and providing services to county residents.

Biden warns about typhoon scams

Attorney General Beau Biden urges Delawareans to be on the lookout for fraudulent charitable solicitation scams related to the devastation caused to the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan.

To protect themselves against fraud, Biden urges Delawareans to make sure a charity is legitimate by visiting the Better Business Bureau at, Charity Navigator at or the American Institute of Philanthropy at to view lists of verified charities.

Ensure that the solicitation website and the purported charity match and that the website is secure.

Hang up on aggressive cold callers and delete unsolicited email.  Ask whether the donation is tax-deductible.  

Avoid clicking on links received via email or online pop-ups, and do not provide any personal information to anyone suspicious.

Providing even an address or ZIP code may allow fraudsters to take advantage.

Do not give cash donations nor supply credit card number or other personal financial information. Pay donations by check with full name of charity.

Anyone who suspects they have been scammed or received a suspicious solicitation should immediately call the attorney general’s toll-free Consumer Hotline at 1-800-220-5424 or email the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Unit at

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