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February 21, 1997     Cape Gazette
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February 21, 1997

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Delaware's Cape Region Fdda Feb. 21 -Thursda Feb. 27,1997 Volume 4, No. 40 PRICE reviews Cape District racial conflict allegations Region community members met on Monday, Feb. 17. During the course of the meeting, several oth- er Cape district racial issues were illuminated. "All the students who go to Lewes Middle School have nega- tive things to say," said Mary Stur- divant, who works in the Westside New Beginnings after-school pro- gram. "Basically, it's the atmos- phere and the teachers." A young woman at the meeting reported that swastikas, Ku Klux Klan (KKK) T-shirts and confed- erate flags were relatively com- mon sightings at Cape Henlopen High School. "It's getting really bad," she said. A teacher from the high school added that last spring a black wire sculpture of a human being with a noose around its neck had been hung from a sprinkler in the build- ing. Principal Ron Burrows, Ed.D., confirmed the incident had Continued on page 15 Cape District reviewing administrative contract concerns By Kerry Kester During a time of administrative upheaval in the Cape Henlopen School District, school board members continue to remain silent on why they are approaching a two-month lag from past practice of tak- ing action on administrative contracts. Becki Millman, president of the Cape Henlopen School District Board of Education, said the board will not comment on why the Continued on page 16 By Kerry Kester Reports of racial disquietude in Cape Henlopen schools have prompted members of Positive Role Identification through Cul- tural Enrichment (PRICE) to begin taking steps toward examin- ing district policies and proce- dures as they pertain to racial issues. Prompted by reports of the high failure rate of eighth graders at Lewes Middle School, approxi- mately 30 PRICE and Cape It's pea planting time again in the Cape Region Dennis Forney photo The planting of peas in Sussex County signals the beginning of the new growing year and spring can't be far behincL Walt WiLson, who works for the J.G. Townsend Company, disked lime into the soil of a Townsend field across from Cape Henlopen High School this week to "sweeten up" the ground. "They're wanting to get the peas in," said Wilson. I expect they'll go in by this weekend if it doesn't rai" Lowder Mitchell, who farms an adjacent tract, said the field Wilson was disking represented some of the finest farm land in the world. No doubt about it," said Mitchell uIt drains well, it's heavy so it holds moisture well, it's level as a table and it grows good crops. There's no better anywhere. This field will grow at least two different crops this year." Rehoboth police chief confronts three legal issues By Rosanne Pack Rehoboth Beach Chief of Police Creig W. Doyle has several legal matters to occupy his attention in the next few weeks. The chief and the City of Rehoboth Beach Police were recently served a complaint for a writ of mandamus filed by a part time offi- cer who alleges that he was forced toresign under duress and without a hearing. The former officer, Darin J. McMahon, filed the complaint in Delaware Superior Court in Wilmington on Jan. 20, and it was served to the department on Feb. 5. By filing the writ, McMahon is asking the city to act to have his resignation set aside, and a full hearing granted to him. The chief and the Rehoboth Beach Police have 20 days from the delivery of the sum- mons to respond to the writ of mandamus. The trial for Maryland teenager Beau Mason is scheduled for the near future, and at the conclusion of that trial, action will resume on a complaint filed by Mason and his mother Susan Seger-Mason. Mason and his mother allege that Doyle harassed, used excessive force and conducted a false arrest in an incident related to the boy sitting on Continued on page 17 Farmers unhappy with proposed strip development limits By Michael Short Farmers turned out for the Tuesday, Feb. 18 meeting of County Council to oppose limits on strip development. They argued that limits would take away property value, limit their ability to develop land and impact them squarely in the wallet. The so-called strip development ordinance would limit "over the counter" development to four strip lots per parcel of land. Property owners could develop more lots, but only if a public hearing is held on the request and subdivison approval is granted. Strip development refers to lots developed on roadways, usually with individual entrances from the roadway. The result is a "strip" of lots along the roadway, often with farmland behind those lots. Strip development is blamed for causing highway congestion and the county is trying to encourage major subdivisions, which have interior road systems. Such an interior road means that each individual lot does not have an entrance on to the roadway, which is the case with strip development. But farmers said the change would hurt them economically and would force them to develop major subdivisions, which are much more expensive because of roadway costs. "We are opposed to anything that takes Continued on page 12