Here's a look at news and events from around southern Delaware this week.
Milton loses a restaurant
Fans of the Fox Hole restaurant in Milton were saddened this week to learn it was closing permanently. The downtown restaurant not far from town hall made the announcement on Facebook on Monday.
“Thank you all so so much (for) your continued love and support over the last 2.5 years,” the post read. It sparked quite a few distressed comments from the restaurant’s fans.
“Very sad to hear this news. Really enjoyed the Fox Hole,” one wrote. “Bad news for our town too to lose this great little spot.”
Co-owner Kristen Latham told the Independent in a Facebook message that the restaurant opened in February 2020, right before things shut down for COVID-19, and it had been a rocky road the entire two years since.
She said it was a loved restaurant, but never made enough of a profit. They had considered closing last fall, but decided to try offering coffee and breakfast. They were still barely able to sustain it. After the building that houses it was sold, restaurant ownership made the decision to close.
However, the same coffee and breakfast menu will be moved to the business’s Milton Dough Bar site, Latham wrote, which offers more space, outdoor seating, and helps them be more efficient by combining operations.
She’s hopeful about the new setup, which is just a short walk from the Fox Hole on Union Street. “Our Dough Bar is a huge success. It does well, and is very popular.”
I’d never been to the Fox Hole, but it looked great and I’d been wanting to try it sometime. Once again, my procrastination habit has come back to haunt me.
2 crashes, 2 victims from Millsboro
Two separate crashes last week claimed the lives of two Millsboro residents.
This week, state police identified the victim of a fatal crash last Thursday in the Lewes area as Edward J. Mazewski, 74, of Millboro. He died days after a multi-vehicle crash on Route 9.
On Thursday afternoon, Mazewski crashed his crossover SUV into the rear of another vehicle that had slowed down for traffic, police said. This caused a chain crash with two other vehicles.
Mazewski was taken to the hospital, but died from his injuries on Saturday.
A driver and passenger in one of the other vehicles had minor injuries, but weren’t taken to the hospital.
Another Millsboro man died May 5 after a crash the day before west of Bridgeville, police said.
Ronald Bushemi, 88, of Millsboro, failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Federalsburg and Atlanta roads on Wednesday morning, police said. An oncoming van hit Bushemi’s BMW on the driver’s side, sending the car off the road into a fence.
The van driver, a 50-year-old woman from Rhodesdale, Maryland, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Bushemi died in the hospital on Sunday.
Readers weigh in on road fatalities
On Monday, we published a story on the rising number of road fatalities this year in Delaware and possible solutions.
Here are some reader responses.
Good article on what to do about reducing road deaths in Delaware. How about requiring a half day class on defensive driving PRIOR to renewing one's drivers license? I am willing to bet money that the group of mostly senior citizens who regularly take the Delaware Safety Council's defensive driving class to save money on their car insurance have fewer accidents than the general public. The class makes you think about things you have taken for granted.
Jeff Seemans, Milton
Quoting from the article about road deaths: "Petrucci cited Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand as examples. They have reduced fatalities 50 percent or more in the last few decades, per the World Resources Institute."
Perhaps we should study what Sweden, Netherlands. Australia, and New Zealand did to reduce fatalities and see if it has any application for us.
Bob Wheatley, Laurel
And readers weighed in on Facebook as well.
“Slow down, pay attention to your surroundings, and quit thinking you are “racing” me to the red light,” Stacey Baldwin wrote.
“Stop allowing every square inch of undeveloped (land) to be taken over by big time developers, adding to more drivers on an infrastructure that can’t handle it!” Kendall Landis wrote.
We might have gotten even more letters if I hadn’t asked readers to weigh in at “email@example.com,” which is not a real email address. For the record, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delaware beaches go missing
Last weekend’s nor’easter has come and gone, and it took a good bit of the beaches with it. The Cape Gazette reported extensive beach erosion at Rehoboth, Lewes, and Broadkill beaches, with eroded sand cliffs of over 10 feet in places.
“The nor’easter that began this weekend has done a number on our beaches,” Cape Henlopen State Park’s Facebook page posted. “Due to erosion, several of the pedestrian beach crossings across the park are closed until repairs can be made.” Drive-on crossings were also closed.
The beaches continued to take a pounding after the storm was over, too. Rich King’s Delaware Surf Fishing Facebook page gives regular updates on the state of the surf, and has reported high water and windy conditions well into this week.
The nor’easter also impacted scheduled events. The Nanticoke Indian Tribe’s Heritage Day on Saturday was canceled. The tribe did not list a new date.
Bridgeville’s townwide yard sale was postponed until Saturday, May 14, which is also the weekend of the Children’s Book Festival put on by area libraries.
Barring another nor’easter, the yard sale will begin at 7 a.m., and the festival will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bridgeville Library and the Frozen Farmer.
Speaking of Bridgeville, some other town happenings
Administrations and residents have come and gone in Bridgeville over the past five decades, and town attorney Dennis Schrader of Morris James LLP has had a front row seat for almost all those years. When he began working for the town in 1972, Richard Nixon was president and the Vietnam War was in full swing.
Schrader said there were a couple gaps in those 50 years, the longest being a year and a half. “I got put into timeout a couple times,” he said drily at the town’s latest meeting.
He also has a 47-year streak going as Ocean View’s attorney, but said he was not up for serving three more to make it an even 50.
Schrader, who plans to work until the end of July, said, “I’m going to hang around long enough to clean up the wreckage.” He quoted Babe Ruth in his resignation letter to the town: “All ballplayers should quit when it starts to feel as if all the baselines run uphill.”
Commission President Tom Carey said they were sorry to get the resignation letter. “I wish you nothing but the best and congratulations on retirement.”
One of Schrader’s last tasks has been helping with the town redistricting. The committee appears to be on the home stretch there, with the last meeting mostly spent tweaking the map. They also reshuffled the district numbers, which came down to a coin flip. Committee members wanted the numbers to be in order, but didn’t have a strong opinion on whether to number them north to south or vice versa. (As Schrader put it, they were “all over the map.”) Tails made the southern part of Heritage Shores into District No. 1, that is, if the map is eventually approved by Council. Anyone unhappy with the order can blame Jim Arrington’s coin flipping.
Abortion fight sparks rallies, memorials in Delaware
The now infamous leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court indicating it’s about to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision declaring a right to abortion, has sparked nationwide “Bans Off Our Bodies” rallies. Two are planned in Delaware on Saturday, May 14, supported by groups including the Women’s March, Delaware NOW, ACLU of Delaware and the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice.
One rally is being held at the Wilmington Riverfront at 2 p.m., and another at The Circle in Georgetown at 7 p.m.
For their part, opponents of abortion have upcoming events as well, although they’re not directly tied to the Supreme Court news.
One of these is a Dignity Walk for Life, scheduled for Wednesday, June 8 at 5 p.m. at the Circle in Georgetown. It’s a memorial walk protesting 2017 legislation that changed Delaware’s laws on abortion, making them legal “prior to viability,” or afterward “to protect the life or health of the mother, or in the event of serious fetal anomaly.”
Previous Delaware law had been superseded by the Roe v. Wade decision, but was still on the books. The new law relaxed restrictions beyond what some other states allow.
Another rally is planned in June in Dover in favor of legislation further restricting abortion.
Note: This has been updated to clarify the 2017 legislation.
Laurel police investigate after boy seriously injured in shooting
Laurel police say they are investigating after a Monday shooting in the area of the Holly Brook apartment complex.
Police said officers from the Laurel and Delaware State Police were called to the area around 11 p.m. Monday, where they found a boy with serious gunshot wounds. (They did not give the boy’s age, but described him as a juvenile.)
People on the scene and officers worked to keep the boy alive until EMS arrived and took him to the hospital, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Lt. Tyler Bryan of the Laurel Police Department at 302-875-2244, or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.
A more normal summer?
Summer season events are beginning to return. Downtown Milford’s Third Thursdays, featuring downtown businesses, vendors and food trucks, will begin May 19 from 5-8 p.m.
Seaford, for its part, will begin Friday Night Live events on May 20, according to Seaford Tomorrow. That event, too, features food trucks and vendors, as well as live music.
Another event making a comeback this summer is the Eastern Shore AFRAM Festival, which had been on hiatus during the pandemic. The free African American multicultural festival features live music, cultural foods, exhibits and presentations, according to a news release, and will be held this year on Aug. 13 at the Ross Mansion in Seaford. Vendor spaces are available now. Visit easternshoreafram.org for more information.
Events support local fire departments
The Harrington Fire Company will hold a crab and shrimp feast on Saturday, June 25 from 4-7 p.m. The menu will include steamed crabs and shrimp, corn on the cob, hot dogs, hot sausages, beer, soda and water. Buy tickets online here.
The Laurel Fire Department’s Cash Bash is Saturday, June 4 starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include entry for cash giveaways, food and entertainment. There will also be live and silent auctions. Call 302-875-3081 for more information.
Georgetown’s mayoral election is Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.