This week: The Nanticoke powwow, back-to-school issues and more

This week: The Nanticoke powwow, back-to-school issues and more
Dancers at the Nanticoke Tribe's powwow on Saturday. 

When you think about Sussex County culture, what comes to mind? You might think of traditions like crab picking or oyster feasts, or you might think of rural values, or the beach scene. But don't forget a much older cultural tradition, that of the area's first people, the Nanticoke Indian Tribe. That cultural tradition is still here, and was on display this past weekend at the annual powwow. We talked to some in the tribe about the event and what it means to them.

For Nanticoke tribe, powwow preserves culture and shares it
As newcomers flood into Sussex County, longtime residents sometimes sort people into the categories of “from heres” and “come heres.” If you go back a few hundred years, though, everyone is a “come here.” Well, not everyone. For decades now, the Nanticoke Indian Tribe, the original from-heres, has…

On a less celebratory note, there's been lots of news coverage lately of the bus driver shortage, and if you're a local parent you may be feeling the effects pretty keenly. It's not a new problem at all, but it's become a critical issue this year. We talked to people connected to the industry about the reasons behind the shortage, and what needs to be done.

Why there’s a bus driver shortage, and possible ways to fix it
The kids are back in school — but getting them to and from the building has been a headache, just as the prophecies this summer foretold. It’s a problem years in the making and a lot of issues converged to make it the huge headache it is now, industry insiders

And now, as they used to say on Monty Python's Flying Circus, for something completely different. A newcomer to Delaware's wildlife scene over the past few decades has been the coyote. They're not common yet, but like elsewhere in the country they've quietly moved in and seem to be quite at home. You'll probably be seeing more of them in the future.

Like it or not, coyotes are probably here to stay in Delaware
Large predators — black bears, cougars and wolves — long ago disappeared from Delaware, unless you count the occasional harassed bear that accidentally wanders over from Pennsylvania and discovers that it’s now a media sensation. Until recent decades, the state’s largest wild predators were foxes, …

It was a wildlife kind of week here, with the bizarre news emerging last Friday that a deer had tested positive for rabies in Sussex County. The Division of Public Health has no record of that happening before. This came not long after the news that a person near Greenwood was being treated after being bitten by a rabid fox.

Another rabid animal confirmed in Sussex — this time a deer
A deer showing symptoms of rabies on a residential property in Rehoboth Beach has tested positive for rabies, the Delaware Division of Public Health said in a press release on Friday. That’s extremely uncommon — a spokesperson for DPH said they have no record of previous rabies-positive deer in Dela…

State police say they've solved a 10-year-old case with a grim discovery: A body found on a property in Dagsboro. A Georgetown man now faces a first-degree murder charge.

In pandemic news COVID's unwelcome comeback continued, with a local health system announcing it was pausing elective surgeries as hospitalizations continue to rise.

With COVID hospitalizations rising, Beebe pauses some surgeries
Elective surgeries that require an overnight hospital stay are being halted for the time being, Beebe Healthcare announced Monday. The pause starts Tuesday, Sept. 14. Beebe has a hospital in Lewes and other health care facilities around Sussex County. Elective surgeries are generally defined as tho…

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Reader mail:

Now is the time to make our voices heard

Finally ... a chance to do something about the issues we all complain about! The concerns: how uncontrolled development and lack of infrastructure are negatively impacting traffic, environment, and our quality of life.  A peaceful protest is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 21 at the Circle in Georgetown from 9:30 - noon (rain date, Tuesday, Sept. 28). The County Council will be meeting inside while we meet outside. Come when you can and stay as long as you can. Bring a carload! Spread the word!

Boe Daley, Selbyville

Note: We welcome feedback and letters from readers. Weigh in at

In other news:

For anyone interested in helping their neighbors declutter, Greenwood’s town-wide yard sale organized by Citizens for Greenwood is this Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., in conjunction with the library’s Health and Safety Day (9 to noon). There’s still time to get your sale listed on a map; email by Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. Bridgeville is also holding its yard sale that day.

A two-on-two basketball tournament for fathers and their children called “Me and My Dad Got Game” is slated for Saturday, Oct. 2 at Seaford Middle School. Registration is from 10 to 11 a.m., with the tournament from 1 to 5 p.m. The event is put on by the Delaware Fatherhood and Family Coalition. You can register here.

With cool fall weather (allegedly) on the way, you don’t need an excuse to get out and play some golf. But if you want an even better reason than usual, there's Bridgeville’s annual charity golf tournament, which raises money for local nonprofits. The event is Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 at the golf course at Heritage Shores, the large development in the southern part of town. People can sign up to field a team and sponsorships are available too. For more information go to the town’s website.  

On Monday, the Department of Transportation begins a long project to upgrade the traffic signal at the intersection of Route 113 and Deer Forest Road. The project is scheduled to last until early November. Work will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays with no road closures, and overnight 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays with intermittent lane closures.

Property owners may see some changes to their taxes in the future, as Delaware counties have agreed to reassess properties for tax purposes after settling a lawsuit this year. In Sussex County, that means the mammoth task of reassessing the value of more than 180,000 properties beginning in October and ending in 2024, according to a county news release. If you’re wondering what that will mean, the county is scheduling five meetings and a virtual session to help explain the process. These are the meeting dates and locations:

  • Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Milton Fire Department, 116 Front St., Milton
  • Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Delaware Technical Community College, Owen Campus, 21179 College Drive, Georgetown
  • Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Delaware National Guard Bethany Beach Training Site, 163 Scannell Boulevard, Bethany Beach
  • Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Millsboro Town Center, 322 Wilson Highway, Millsboro
  • Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Seaford Volunteer Fire Department, 302 King St., Seaford

People should come prepared to observe COVID-19 safety measures like masks and social distancing. If you can’t make it to any of the meetings or don’t feel comfortable doing so, there’s a virtual meeting Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, from 2 to 4 p.m., at You can find more information here.

The town of Greenwood is moving toward regulating food trucks and ice cream trucks with the introduction of a new ordinance at the last town meeting. Food trucks would only be allowed in town three days a month, and rules will stipulate where they can be parked and when (not overnight, not within 50 feet of a restaurant, and not on town property without permission, among other things). They’d have to pay a $25 permit fee and get a business license. The regulations for ice cream trucks are similar, but the draft rules don’t yet state how many days a month those could operate. Violators could face $150 to $500 fines. The town had previously introduced similar rules but those expired before being approved, so the council is starting the process over.

We mentioned this last week, but there are three festivals slated for this Saturday: Milford’s outdoor Riverwalk Freedom Festival, the Sharptown Heritage Day (also featuring yard sales for those looking to make the rounds) and the Dog Days of Summer Festival in Milton.