Here's a look at news and events from around southern Delaware this week.
A glimpse into Seaford’s past
An intriguing slice of Seaford’s history can be seen in a short oral history video recently put out by the Delaware Heritage Commission and Delaware Humanities. The Rev. Dr. Geraldine J. Jones shares her memories of growing up in the black community on Seaford’s east side, as well as memories of segregation in Delaware.
Her community, shut out of white-only spaces, built their own. “There was a dance hall, a hotel, a beer garden, a restaurant, shoe shine stand, taxi stand,” she said of the east side.
You can watch her story here.
Site for new Bay Bridge span gets more backing
Don’t make plans to drive on the new Chesapeake Bay Bridge span anytime soon – we’re still years away from that – but so far it looks like the addition will be at the same place as the two existing spans from Anne Arundel County to Kent Island. The Federal Highway Administration has given preliminary approval to that plan, Jeremy Cox of Bay Journal Media reports.
Maybe, just maybe, the $9 billion-or-so project will reduce some of the crushing traffic bottlenecks that entrap travelers in the summer. Something for our grandchildren to look forward to.
Here's the full story from earlier this week.
Virginia man dies after a crash with a tractor-trailer on Route 404
A Wednesday afternoon crash at Route 404 and Route 36 west of Greenwood claimed the life of an Alexandria, Virginia man, Delaware State Police said. A woman with him in the vehicle was seriously injured.
The man, age 80, died Thursday in the hospital.
Around 1:52 p.m. Wednesday, police said, the man turned left off Route 36 onto 404, pulling out in front of a tractor-trailer headed west. The tractor-trailer driver braked and swerved, but crashed into the driver’s side of the car.
The man driving the car was flown via helicopter to the hospital, where he died the next day. A 77-year-old woman, also from Alexandria, was in the passenger’s seat of the car and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, police said.
The tractor-trailer driver, a 64-year-old Milford man, was not injured.
The road was closed for several hours after the crash.
The man and woman in the car have not been identified pending notification of family.
New election map in Bridgeville begins to take shape
Bridgeville’s redistricting commission is a long way from finished, but they reviewed possible new maps on Thursday and agreed on tentative outlines. The favored option would divide the new Heritage Shores development into a northern and southern portion. It would then combine four other districts into three, with current Commissioners John Tomeski and Bruce Smith ending up in the same district. The group will have a further look at this option at their next meeting on May 10.
Read more about the Dover soldier killed during training
Dover soldier Joseph Marquez, killed Monday in an Army training accident, was a former Sussex Tech student originally from Millsboro, the News Journal reported.
Reporter Ben Mace spoke to Marquez’s mother, Kristen Giordano, and told the story of a young man with typical southern Delaware interests: The beach, hunting and fishing, sports and more.
You can read Mace’s article here.
Mace, incidentally, is the former editor of local weeklies like the Dover Post and the Smyrna-Clayton Sun Times. Thanks to corporate mergers by out-of-state news titans Gatehouse and Gannett, and their continued reduction of investment in local news, the weeklies have been folded into the News Journal and have essentially ceased to exist in any meaningful sense. Mace and other local reporters now work for the News Journal. Despite being put into a difficult situation, they continue to do good work.
Greenwood will likely deny request to allow elder-care business
A Greenwood woman who started a business to care for older people in her home and another residence next door will likely not be able to continue after the town’s planning and zoning commission voted to recommend denying her request for a zoning change.
Queena Mast discovered she was out of compliance with town zoning regulations after she started the business, and then had several hearings with the town. (Disclaimer: As I noted in prior coverage, Mast is a personal friend.)
The commission voted against the proposal on Tuesday, saying the request would allow for higher density homes in the residential area, like apartments and townhouses, and would create “spot zoning” that was out of character with the neighborhood.
The Council will take a final vote at its next meeting.
The Guide gets new owners
The Guide, that familiar black and white booklet filled with classified ads that somehow turns up all over Sussex County every week, has been sold to new owners, the Delaware Business Times reported.
O’Rourke Media Group bought the company and its Seaford plant on March 31 for $1 million, and retained the employees, Katie Tabeling writes.
The Guide started in 1959, according to its website. As online services like Craigslist have cratered classified ad revenue for local papers, the Guide has somehow hung on with its print version.
Fallen officer remembered a year later
Thursday marked a year since the death of Delmar officer Keith Heacook, who died after he was beaten while responding to a home invasion.
WBOC TV took a look back at what happened, and how the town is remembering the corporal.
To make a display honoring his father, Heacook’s son Matthew has started building a collection of challenge coins, which are medallions with the insignia of organizations like police and fire departments. His efforts have found ready support from local police organizations like the Delaware Fraternal Order of Police, which posted about his project on Facebook.
Children’s Book Festival planned in Bridgeville
Sussex County libraries are partnering to bring a Children’s Book Festival to Bridgeville on Saturday, May 14. It will be at two sites, the Bridgeville Library and the Frozen Farmer, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be free books; a petting zoo; an appearance by Eric Litwin, the author of the first four Pete the Cat books; and more.
Litwin and other authors will appear at 10 a.m. at the library, and Litwin will make a separate appearance at 1:30 p.m. at Frozen Farmer. The petting zoo will also be at the Frozen Farmer location.
Yard sale season begins in earnest
I’m still sulking indoors because of the January-like weather, but hardier souls are planning spring events regardless.
The Greenwood townwide yard sale is Saturday, April 30 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org by 7 p.m. Friday night to have your address added to the yard sale map.
Bridgeville’s spring townwide yard sale is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 beginning at 7 a.m. The library offered spots in its parking lot for rent, with a cost of $10 for three parking spaces. Email email@example.com.
Ellendale’s annual townwide sale is the next week, Saturday, May 14 from 8 a.m. to noon. The Ellendale Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary is renting tables at the fire department on Main Street. Call 302-249-0816 for more information.
Also, there are farmers markets
As we noted a few weeks back, the Greenwood Farmers Market kicks off its second season in the town hall parking lot on Saturday, May 7. Hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and vendors will offer produce and flowers. Future markets will be held the second Saturday of the month through October.
The new Western Sussex Farmers Market in Seaford begins a little over a month later on June 18. On Wednesday, May 4, there’s a meeting for prospective vendors at the Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club at 7 p.m. The market organizers have also rolled out a new website.
Change to candidates forum location
An update on the candidate forum planned for May 3 in Georgetown: The forum will now be held at 6 p.m. in the Sussex County Council Chambers on the Circle, rather than at the Marvel Museum.
Dish of the week
By Serena Zimberoff, via the Scrapple Trail Facebook page
Easy scrapple pizza
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Fry up 4-5 slices of Scrapple (Kirby Holloway) until crispy
Roll out one can of crescent rolls
Break up scrapple over sheet of crescent rolls
Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese (any kind); I used colby jack
Mix 5 eggs with a splash of milk, and salt and pepper to taste
Pour over scrapple and cheese
Add 1/2 cup chopped onion sprinkled on top
Bake for 30-40 min until center is solid