News Briefs 02/23/18

February 23, 2018

Tom Wagner not seeking re-election
State Auditor of Accounts Tom Wagner announced Feb. 17 that he would not be seeking re-election in 2018.
One of two Republicans who hold a statewide office, Wagner was first appointed auditor by former Republican Gov. Mike Castle in 1989.
In a prepared statement Feb. 17, Wagner said health concerns, eventually leading to kidney replacement, were the reason he wouldn't be seeking re-election.

"It would not be fair to the citizens of Delaware or the Republican Party to run for re-election knowing that I cannot dedicate 110 percent of my time and energy to this critical role in state government," said Wagner. As of Feb. 21, two Democrats have announced their candidacy for the seat. Former Rep. Dennis E. Williams filed papers Jan. 23. A couple of weeks later, Feb. 8, Rehoboth Beach Commissioner Kathy McGuiness filed her papers. The deadline for candidates to file for a statewide office and all other offices is noon, Tuesday, July 10.

Chris Johnson running for attorney general
Wilmington attorney and Democrat Chris Johnson launched his campaign Jan. 27 to become Delaware's next attorney general. Johnson is the fourth Democrat to announce his candidacy for the office, joining former state prosecutor Kathy Jennings, former U.S. marshal and Department of Justice chief of staff Timothy Mullaney, and former Delaware chief deputy attorney general LaKresha Roberts. Republican Thomas Neuberger, a Wilmington-based attorney, has also expressed interest in the seat.

According to a press release, Johnson's platform focuses on intervention and prevention, not incarceration. "The Delaware criminal justice system is truly broken and stacked against low-income and minority communities," said Johnson. "That is why I am here. I am ready to lead the movement towards achieving a truly just, equitable, and color-blind criminal justice system in Delaware. I have never been afraid to challenge the status quo."

Johnson is a graduate of the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware and the Delaware Law School at Widener University. He sits on the executive committee of the Delaware State Bar Association executive committee and the Delaware Center for Justice board of directors. For more information on Johnson go to

Dewey commissioners meeting Feb. 23
Dewey Beach Town Council has scheduled a meeting and executive session for 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23, in the Dewey Beach Life Saving Station, 1 Dagsworthy Ave. The agenda calls for a possible settlement in a lawsuit that resident Rich Hanewinckel filed against the town in September 2015. The agenda also calls for a vote to adopt a resolution to appoint a new town manager. A full copy of the agenda is available online at, at the life saving station, and at town hall, 105 Rodney Ave.

Dewey Board of Adjustment to meet Feb. 26
The Dewey Beach Board of Adjustment has scheduled a meeting for 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 26, in the Dewey Beach Life Saving Station, 1 Dagsworthy Ave. The purpose of the meeting is to hear an appeal by the property owner of 2200 Coastal Highway. This is location of the former Ed's Chicken, which burned to the ground in August 2016.

The appellant is questioning Building Official Bill Mears' denial of a request to maintain a legal nonconforming status as a food service enterprise that is operated partly or entirely outdoors. The appellant is also questioning Mears' decision to require any new structure comply with elevation requirements for structures in flood-prone areas. A full copy of the agenda is available online at, at the life saving station, and at town hall, 105 Rodney Ave.

Sussex council awards nonprofit grants
At its Feb. 6 meeting, Sussex County Council awarded a $7,500 councilmanic grant to Laurel Lions Club Foundation for its recreation complex renovation project and a $1,000 youth grant to Delaware Technical Community College for the Sussex County Science Fair. Council awarded the following grants during its Feb. 20 meeting: $300 to Friends of Georgetown Public Library for programming; $1,300 to Cape Henlopen Senior Center for its Rehoboth Concert Band fundraiser; $1,500 to Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce for its annual Stars & Stripes event; John M. Clayton Elementary School for the student mentoring program; and Cape Henlopen High School for youth summit expenses.

Sussex County Council to meet Feb. 27
Sussex County Council will meet at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27, in the county administration building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. Included on the agenda is a possible vote on amendments to the county's zoning code. See a complete agenda at

DNREC extends water funds deadline
DNREC Environmental Finance and the Division of Public Health Office of Drinking Water have extended the notice of intent submission due date to Wednesday, Feb. 28, for all municipal governments, privately owned businesses, wastewater and drinking water utilities, consultant engineers and other interested parties.

Notices of intent for wastewater, drinking water, stormwater, and related infrastructure projects opened for solicitations Jan. 3 in preparation of the FY 2018 Project Priority Lists. The NOI submissions are critical to the development of Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund FY 2018 Project Priority Lists, as projects must be listed on PPLs to be considered for funding.

Detailed information about how and when to submit projects for funding consideration, project ranking criteria, project construction requirements, and how to apply for infrastructure planning grants is available on the DNREC Environmental Finance website. For more information, contact Greg Pope, DNREC Environmental Finance, at 302-739-9941 or Heather Warren, Office of Drinking Water, at 302-744-4817.

Public forum on well contamination set
A public forum on spray fields and wells will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, March 2, in the Indian River Senior Center, 214 Irons Ave., Millsboro.
The forum, sponsored by the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, will feature five speakers who will talk about geology and hydrology in Sussex County and the health risks posed by high levels of nitrates. Speakers are: Dr. Robert Musil, president, The Rachel Carson Council; John Austin, national expert chemist; Judith Denver, hydrologist and project chief of National Water-Quality Assessment Program; Dr. Sacoby Wilson, environmental health scientist, University of Maryland School of Public Health; and Dr. Mohammed Akhter, former executive director, American Public Health Association.

For more information, contact Maria Payan at or call 717-826-7286.

Milton Chamber to introduce director
The Milton Chamber of Commerce will host its first business social in more than a year from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 8, at Irish Eyes Milton. During the event, chamber board members will introduce new Executive Director Terri Fox to the community. Board members invite representatives from all area businesses and organizations to attend, both chamber members and nonmembers.

Events like this help chamber members by connecting Milton-area businesses, organizations and community leaders. Host business Irish Eyes Milton, at 105 Union St., will provide food and beverages. Attendees may bring items reflecting their businesses to be used as door prizes. The social is free. For more information, email or call 302-684-1101.

March 1 film to explore climate change, sports
A free film showing of "Saving Snow" will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 1, at Rehoboth Beach Public Library, as part of a nationwide premiere. The film explores the impact climate change is having on winter sports, the industry and the athletes. A discussion will follow; all are welcome. "Saving Snow" is being sponsored by the Rehoboth Beach Public Library, the League of Women Voters of Sussex County, and Delaware Interfaith Power and Light.