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August 5, 2008     Cape Gazette
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4 TUESDAY, AUGUST 5- THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 2008 NEWS ape Qazette " - ii Family grieves for .pet goats slain at Milton farm Officials seek help finding suspects By Kerry Kester kester@ca pegazette.com A vicious, deadly attack on a mother goat and a kid have left a Milton farm family grieving and fearfuL Bob Lawson of Lawson's Pro- duce at RODI Heritage Farms in Milton was stunned when he checked his herd of kS goats the morning of Thursday, July 31, and discovered Vicky - a 5-year- old, prizewinning goat he had bottle fed as a baby - had been dragged down a rocky drive, and her throat was slit. When he tracked back the trail of blood to a pen, he found a 4-month-old kid had also been killed. "I had bottle fed Vicky as a ba- by, so she was very tame," said Lawson. "I'm sure she walked right up to them [the suspects]Y Lawson said there was evidence of a struggle just outside her pen, and he traced a trail of blood along a drive, running parallel to the railroad tracks, until he found her body about 100 yards away. He then returned to his herd to make sure the others were still welL That's when he found the body of a baby goat outside of her pen, in a fenced area. '%Ve assume its neck was bro- ken," said Lawson. "Vicky had twins this year, so now they're orphans," said Law- son. One of her 4-month-old babies is learning to manage without its mother, he said, but one of the twins is having a difficult time and not faring welL Goats, he ex- plained, typically nurse their ba- bies for six to eight months. The Lawsons are now bottle feeding the weaker kid and hoping for a positive outcome. Lawson said his family raises the goats as pets and to show in the state fair. Vicky finished third in her class this year. "She was a good goat. She's a purebred:' said Lawson. One of his sons is a teacher whose stu- dents often showed his goats at the fair. "They're very upset, and a couple of the students have been very upset about it." He said he cannot understand why someone would hurt the an- imps. He is unaware of anyone being angry with him or having any kind of reason to wish harm on his family. "If someone is mad, they usually don't take it out on animals," said Lawson. "What I'm really concerned with is if this is going to be a trend where people try to steal live- stock and go about it in the wrong way." I:awson said his wife is more than just sad about the deaths of her pets; she is also afraid for her own and her family's safety. "She said, 'if somebody would do that to an animal, what if they would break into the house' - and what would they do to her?" Lawson said. "For somebody to come on your property and do something like this is weird and nerve rack- ing," he said. Lawson said his neighbor, who also raises goats, shares the Law- sons' concern for their pets and their families. Both families bought guard dogs over the weekend and re raising them in the pens with their goats. Lt. Ierry Linkerhoff of the SP- CA in Georgetown said when the suspects are apprehended they will face felony charges. Anyone with information about the case may call Linkerhoff di- rectly at 856-6361, Troop 7 at 644-5020 or Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP -3333. Police & Fire Wrap-Up)) Troopers arrest man for felony DUI State troopers arrested Louis Konya for felony DUI after a trooper spotted Konya driving erratically on Long Neck Road. CpL Angela Garnsey, state police spokeswoman, said the trooper saw a white Dodge pickup truck having diffi- culty remain- ing in the proper lane of traffic and sev- eral times cross the lane markings. The trooper activated Louis Konya emergency equipment and initiated a traffic stop, at which time Konya pulled the truck over to the side of the road. After administering a field sobri- ety test, the trooper took Konya into custody. Konya had been co- operative with police until they arrived at Troop 7, at which time Konya allegedly became belliger- ent and refused to submit to hav- ing his fmgerprints taken. Garnsey said Konya, 47, of Millsboro, was charged with fourth-offense DUI, failure to comply with taking of photos and fmgerprints, failure to have insurance and registration in possession and failure to drive on right side of roadway. He was committed to Sussex Correction- al Institution in default of bond, pending further court action. His previous DUI convictions were in 1990,1991 and 2003. Police seek help locating assailant State police are seeking public assistance to identify and locate a person who assaulted a 20- year-old Ocean View man at about 2".30 a.m., Monday, Aug. 4, near the area of Sandy Bottom Boulevard and Route 1, near CVS Pharmacy. Gamsey said the vic- tim sustained a closed-head in- jury and was initially transported to Beebe Medical Center but was later transferred to Christiana Hospital. CpL Angela Garnsey, state police spokeswoman, said police do not have a.motive for the assault. Police are asking any- one with information to call Troop 7 at 644-5020 or Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333. Delaware ocean beaches deemed among cleanest in nation By Leah Hoenen leah@capegazette.com Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach Three of Sussex County's most popular seaside attractions have been given four-star ratings by a na- tional environmental group. Closings and advisories at Delaware's ocean beaches fell last year and the state is at the bottom of a list of states whose beach waters exceed national pollutant standards. Katie Kokkinos, central field fellow for Environment America, said many of America's beaches suffer from pollution to such an extent that it is harming beach- goers, even making some sick. "Some families can't enjoy a summer vacation because the water is too dirty to swim in," she said. But according to the results of a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) beach water quality study, Delaware's At- lantic Coast beaches are among the best in the nation, lust one percent of 373 water quality sam- pies taken in 2007 exceeded na- tional standards. Delaware was 28th among 30 states whose beach water samples exceeded national limits. Illinois topped the list; 23 percent of more than 5,800 samples topped standards. Todd Frichtman, captain of the Dewey Beach Patrol and aquatic biologist with Envirotech, said, "It's great to see this type of re- porting being done to safeguard our Water quality." "I am thrilled we're on this list of the nation's cleanest beaches," said Fay ]acobs, executive direc- tor of Rehoboth Beach Main- street. "I have a significant inter- est in this, personally and profes- sionally. It's our business to keep our beaches as clean as possible," she said. Delaware's health advisory and closing days hit 10 last year, up from zero in 2006, Kokkinos said. Those advisories were at Prime Hook Beach and Slaughter Beach in mid-June last year. No source of the bacteria that caused those advisories was identified. Still, no samples taken at the ocean beaches, nor at Lewes Beach, exceeded pollution limits. Kokkinos applauded Delaware's clean waters but urged federal lawmakers to up- hold a ban on offshore oil drilling. Opening offshore oil de- posits to drilling would threaten the nation's summer play- grounds by increasing the risk of oil spills, she said. And, she said, for scientists to keep better tabs on water quality, some technology updates are in order. Stormwater systems are ageing and must be upgraded, and antiquated testing methods must be improved, Kokkinos said. Area waters are in danger because of human habits, includ- ing development, increased im- pervious surfaces and the use of pesticides, said Frichtman. He called for individual stewardship and responsibility to help keep coastal waters clean and help clean up other waters in the state. NRDC also looked at Delaware's Inland Bays, where there is a standing caution re- garding swimming. The Inland Bays suffer from nutrient pollu- tion, coming from failing septic systems, fertilizers and other sources. Water is slow to flush out of those bays, so pollutants linger. The state keeps a preemptive rainfall advisory for freshwater areas. In the Inland Bays, because of nutrient pollution and other en- vironmental factors, there are blooms of aigae, some of which are harmful. Low dissolved oxy- gen leads to fish kills, often in tributaries of the bays. Chris Bason, science and tech- nical coordinator for the Center for the Inland Bays, said on aver- age, the open waters of the Bays have bacteria levels below feder- al and state limits. "This is great news - it indicates these areas of the bays are safe for recreating," he said. But, Bason said, the creeks that flow into the bays are a different story. Air pollution also contributes to poor water quality in the bays. The Nature Conservancy and the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies released a study recently on the effects of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury and ozone air pollution on a variety of East Coast ecosys- tems. Roger Jones, state director of the Nature Conservancy's Delaware chapter, said impacts to Delaware forests, rivers and wetlands could be troubling. The group, called for better pol- lution regulation. Bason said 25 percent of nitro- gen inputs to the Inland Bays are directly deposited to the surface of the bays from the air. He said atmospheric deposition of phos- phorus is also a significant con- cern, especially in the summer months. The University of Delaware's Citizens Monitoring Program, run by Ed Whereat, conducts fre- quent monitoring of Inland Bays waters for bacteria, dissolved oxygen, algae and nuisance vege- tation. Bason said the center's Science and Technical Advisory Committee is putting together a subcommittee to examine writ- ing a bays-health indicator based on bacteri& OcaOutl Part of the pollution from the Inland Bays comes from munici- palities' wastewater treatment plant, including the one for Re- hoboth Beach, which currently discharges into the Lewes-Re- hoboth Canal. The city must stop that dis- charge by 2014 and is now exam- ining alternative ways to handle its wastewater. Top options are spray irrigation and ocean outfail - piping the treated wastewater into the ocean. Ron Patterson, Rehoboth Beach city commissioner, said for decades Ocean City and Bethany Beach have used ocean outfall systems. He said the city is on the clock to decide whether to use spray irrigation or ocean outfall, noting that ocean outfall may take longer to get online be- cause of permitting. Patterson said the city must examine the science behind ocean outfall and determine what effect it will have on public perception of the Rehoboth beaches. Frichtman said if science could prove the wastewater is dis- charged far enough from the coast so it would not be carried into the coastal waters by mean- ders, tides or currents, it could be beneficial by encouraging growth in the water far offshore.