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June 17, 2008     Cape Gazette
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June 17, 2008

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+ Cape Gazette NEWS TUESDAY, JUNE 17 - THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2008 3 Briefly Go Skateboarding day set June 21 in Rehoboth Epworth Youth Group will host Go Skateboarding Day from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 21, at Epworth United Methodist Church on Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth Beach. There will be a live Liquid skate team demon- stration, a free skate park for everyone, disc jockey Tommy D, moon bounce, food and drinks. Proceeds will benefit the skate park fund. Admission is free. Police say Oak Orchard man fired four shots Police have uncovered evi- dence that suggests the Oak Or- chard man who was killed by two Delaware State Police troop- ers fired four shots from a pellet pistol at one of the troopers. The troopers shot Gary. L. Bliss, 58, Wednesday, June 11, as he approached them from a shed in the rear of his River Road home in Oak Orchard. Police said he was pointing what looked like a .45-caliber pistol at the troopers, but it was later deter- mined to be an air-pressured Crossman 22/10 pellet pistol. He was intoxicated and was yelling obscenities, police said. The troopers, who graduated from the state police academy in February and are assigned to Troop 4 in Georgetown, were summoned to the house around 8"30 p.m., after Bliss' wife called 911 and told dispatchers her hus- band was threatening suicide. Sgt. Josh Bushweller, state po- lice spokesman, said troopers pleaded with Bliss to stop and put down the weapon. When he refused and fired shots at the troopers, the troop- ers returned ftre, releasing eight shots. Bliss died of a gunshot wound to the chest, Bushweller said. Evidence technicians located four fresh hits on the tree one of the troopers was taking cover be- hind when Bliss was firing the pistol. "These defects were lo- cated on the front Of the tree as it relates to the positioning of Mr. Bliss," BushweUer said. Police believe Bliss fired four rounds at the troopers. Bliss' pis- tol could hold seven rounds, and homicide detectives recovered three rounds still in the maga- Correction )) IRKELL'S QUOTE - In a story on page 15 of the Friday, June 13 edition of the Cape Gazette about lawmakers calling for re- lease of cancer statistics, several words were omitted from a quote from Democratic guber- natorial candidate Jack MarkelL The quote should have read, "I have been on record repeatedly calling for the Minner-Carney administration to release the de- tailed cancer statistics..." zine, Bushweller said. In keeping with division proto- col following a shooting, the offi- cers involved - Trooper India Sturgis and Trooper Jason Ver- non- remain on administrative duty as the investigation contin- ues. County approves auditors, bond attorney. As a new budget year ap- proaches for Sussex County, con- tracts are being renewed. Coun- ty council on Tuesday, June 10, approved a three-year audit con- tract with the f'm-n of Jefferson, Urian, ]ones & Sterner in Georgetown for an estimated fwst-year cost of $129,160. The contract calls for a 14.9 percent increase the first year, followed by increases of 5.8 per- cent and 3.8 percent the follow- ing years. The hourly rate for audits of federal funds will also increase from $75 an hour to $80 an hour the first year of the contract and then to $84 and $88 per hour the second and third years. The county paid the firm $1E,000 last year. Susan Webb, county finance director, said stricter accounting standards requiring more docu- mentation are driving the in- crease. Councilman George Cole asked why the contract was not put out to bid. "I'm not sure there is any other Sussex County CPA firm large enough to handle it," replied County Administra- tor David Baker. Webb added that during the county's annual audit, the firm supplies five people for six week The council also approved hir- ing a new bond attorney. The Wilmington firm of Ballard- Spahr in Wilmington was hired at a rate of $350 an hour, a de- crease of $100 per hour from the county's previous bond attorney. In addition, the council re- newed its insurance with Pratt Insurance Inc. for three years at a cost of $1.3 million for the first year. Of that total, $654,000 is for workers' compensation insur- ance premiums. Except for workers' compensa- tion, the county's insurance costs went down during fiscal 2008, said Scott Agar of Insurance Buyers Council, the county's in- surance consultant. Recycling council to meet June 18 The Recycling Public Adviso- ry Council will meet from "1:30 to 3"30 p.m., Wednesday, lure 18, at Bear Public Library, 101 Gover- nor's Place, New Castle County. Topics on the agenda include reports from the measurement and methodology subcommittee, the value of landfill diversion subcommittee and the Recycling Public Advisory Council goals/vision committee; and dis- cussion of House Bill 159 on re- cycling legislation and what is not yard waste. The agenda will also include old and new business, public comments and scheduling for fu- rore meetings. For more infor- mation or for directions, contact Bill Miller at 302-739-9403. Red Cross annual meeting set for June 23 The annual meeting of the members of the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula and Volunteer Recognition will be at 5 p.m., Monday, June 23, in Corporate Training Center Room 400 A and B, Delaware Technical & Community Col- lege, Dover. The meeting will in- clude election of new board members and other business that may properly come before the meeting. Call 302-472-6256 to re- serve a seat. Smoke odor in Sussex caused by wildfires The Sussex County Emer- gency Operations Center fielded dozens of calls from residents and others who reported smelling smoke Saturday, June 14. The odor was from fires burning more than 200 miles away in southeastern Virginia and eastern North Carolina. Center Director Joseph L. Thomas said 911 dispatchers re- ceived nearly 50 calls at the cen- ter, all of them to report the odor of smoke. The calls have come from across the county, particu- larly in the area stretching from Laurel to Bethany Beach. "People are saying they smell smoke, that it smells like woods, smells like rubber burning, or that it smells electrical," Thomas aid, "but the smoke is not from fires in our area. These fires are hundreds of miles away, and be- cause of the wind flow, residents here are noticing it." According to the National Weather Service, south to south- west winds pushed smoke north- ward from wildfires in south- eastern Virginia and eastern North Carolina. Progressives group to meet June 22 Dining with Progressives will hold its next dinner at 6 p.m., Sunday, June 22, at Fish On restaurant in Lewes. Dining with Progressives is a recently formed group in Sussex County designed to bring pro- gressive-minded individuals to- gether to shre ideas and topics of common interest. Its dinners, which are open to interested Progressives, are held monthly at various local restaurants. ]oanne Cabry, one of the group's coordinators, says that there are no formal agendas, speeches or fundralsing at these dinners, but attendees are en- couraged to bring campaign ma- terial, brochures and notices of other meetings that would be of interest to other Progressives. Anyone interested in attending the dinner should RSVP by Fri- day, June 20, to Pat Schaeffer at 644-8381 or email Dining with Progressives will meet in a private room, and attendees are encouraged to bring along their progressive friends. Rehoboth planners approve subdivision The Rehoboth Beach Planning Commission, at its Friday, June 6 meeting, unanimously approved a partitioning request for proper- ty at 205 Rodney St. The applicants, Mark Ronald, trustee of the Mark Ronald trust, and Mary Ann Ronald, trustee of the Mary Ann Ronald trust, were looking to divide one lot into two, with one lot measuring 7,503 square feet and the second being 5,002 square feet. Attorney Vince Robertson of Griffin and Hackett said the pro- posed lot, which is currently va- cant, would have a floor-to-area ratio of 57 percent with a house. Robertson said the Ronalds planned to plant 43 trees throughout the lot. Commissioner Harvey Shul- man said he had no problem ap- proving the application, under the condition the Ronalds plant at least three trees on each lot. Rehoboth officials to interview web vendors The Rehoboth Beach Commu- nications Committee has sched- uled a meeting for 9 am., Thurs: day, ]une 19, in the city commis- sioners' room, to interview three vendors to develop the city's website. The committee will interview Inclind at 9 a.m., at 10 am., and Civic Plus at 11 a.m. The meetings are dosed to the public due to the fact that the in- formation discussed will be pro- prietary to the vendors. Sussex Heart and Soul to be discussed An informal town hall-style meeting to discuss the Universi- ty of Delaware's Coastal Com- munity Enhancement Program's search for the heart and soul of Sussex County will be from 6 to 8"30 p.m., Wednesday, June 25, at the Carvel Research Center in Georgetown. During May, project managers asked Sussex County residents to share their ideas about what makes Sussex County special. Those thoughts will be dis = cussed at the meeting. Those who wish to attend should RSVP by Friday, June 20, to Michelle Walfred at 856-2585, Ext. 544, or by email at wal- fred@udeLedu.