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Lewes, Delaware
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August 15, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 15, 1997

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Briefly Lewes man arrested for rape in Rehoboth Rehoboth Beach Police arrested a 19-year-old Lewes man in con- nection with the assault of a 15- year-old female early Thursday, Aug. 14. Shortly after 10 p.m., Wednes- day, Aug. 13, police responded to Rehoboth Avenue and the Board- walk where several persons re- ported that a friend had been as- saulted earlier that evening at 58 Rehoboth Avenue. Based upon a description provided by the vic- tim, the police began a search for a white male suspect• At approxi- mately 12:45 a.m., Cpl. Michael Murphy spotted the suspect in front of Mellon Bank on Rehoboth Avenue and took him into cus- tody. The suspect, Billy J. Gib- bons of Lewes, was charged with one felony count each of unlawful sexual penetration in the third de- gree and second degree unlawful sexual contact at the Rehoboth Poilice Station and transported to J.P.Court 3, Georgetown, where he was committed to Sussex Cor- rectional Institution in default of $3,000 cash bail. Gibbons is scheduled for a preliminary hear- ing in the Court of Common Pleas on Aug. 21. Lewes planners meeting set for Aug. 20 The Lewes Planning Commis- sion will meet at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 20 beginning at 7:30 p.m.. The agenda includes two items: a subdivision request for property located at 210 Bay Avenue into two lots on behalf of John T. Aull; and consideration of a request by Commission member Michael R. Tyler for the develop- ment of a mission statement that guides the Lewes Planning Com- mission and specifies its goals, and to review for revisions and updating the Lewes Planning Commission bylaws and operating procedures. The public is wel- come to attend. Lewes residents invited to policing workshop Lewes Police Chief Ronald "Beau" Gooch announced at the • Monday, Aug. 11 meeting of Lewes Mayor and Council that a community policing workshop will be held on Thursday, Aug. 28 beginning at 8 p.m. The meeting will be held in council chambers of city hall on East Third Street. "I hope a lot of the town's resi- dents will come out and help us define some of the areas we need to be focusing our efforts on," said Gooch. "We'll also be building on some of the previous workshop sessions we've held." At the same meeting, Mayor George Smith an- nounced that Lewes residents James Malloy, Robert Adams and Richard Jundt have agreed to serve on a chief of police evalua- tion committee. Two Rehoboth meetings set on traffic congestion The City of Rehoboth Beach is seeking input from all interested parties with regard to traffic con- gestion problems, specifically on Baltimore Avenue, but also on all commercial streets in the city. The Street and Light Committee will hold two meetings to attempt to find solutions to traffic conges- tion problems. The first meeting will be at 9 a.m., Monday, Sept. 8, with a second meeting slated for 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 15. Both meetings will be held in the Com- missioners Room at City Hall• Resort Chamber gives petition results The Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce re- leased results of a petition drive held earlier this summer which was circulated among downtown merchants concerning DART First State' s summer transit service. In an Aug. 6 letter to Derrick Lightfoot, assistant director of statewide support services for DART, chamber Executive Direc- tor Carol Everhart stated that out of the 112 businesses approached, 108 owners/managers supported the present level of service. With the goal of randomly approaching at least 100 members and non- members, "this petition bears wit- ness to the overwhelming support from the downtown Rehoboth business community in DART's transportation system," Everhart wrote. She went on to note that the pe- tition is just part of an ongoing process to document and develop an accurate assessment of the transportation needs and require- ments for downtown Rehoboth businesses and their customers. The petition the 108 merchants signed states that the person sup- ports the "current stops and dis- embarking by riders at the Board- walk," as does the chamber, along • with the city's subsidization of the park and ride system for mer- chants' employees. There have been efforts earlier this summer to ban buses from us- ing the foot of Rehoboth Avenue at the Boardwalk as its stop, and incoming Commissioner Don Derrickson has vowed to try and implement a new policy whereby the transit service would drop off passengers in front of city hallin- stead• There had been discussion about having the buses drop off people on the west side of the bandstand by the fountains, but the police chief felt-that would be too dangerous; as passengers would have to cross traffic to get to the sidewalks. Rehoboth officials crack down on beach sales Rehoboth Beach officials have renewed concerns over people at- tempting to peddle wares on the beach and Boardwalk this sum- mer, and are going to prosecute without warning. During the Aug. 8 Board of Commissioners meeting, Com- missioner Bitsy Cochran asked City Manager Greg Ferrese if the beach patrol contacts his office when they see violations occur, as the city strictly forbids solicitation in public areas without a license. Ferrese replied that the life- guard captain calls him if prob- lems arise, which is seldom, al- though there have been com- plaints about temporary carts be- ing set up outside businesses and the proliferation of soda ma- chines• Building Inspector Susan Frederick said her hands are tied because the carts are presently considered an extension of the business. "We need to overhaul that entire section of the code," Mayor Sam Cooper said of the carts and soda machines• Outgoing Commissioner Jan Konesey added that she would be all for banning soda machines. "The businesses that allow them are just shooting themselvesin the foot. People buy a drink'outside instead of coming into the store. In addition - it's tacky. Route 1 is al- ready a mess and if we're not vig- ilant, we'll go down the tubes-as well," she warned. In a press release issued Aug. 12, Ferrese cited the problems of people peddling photographs and perfume and trying to give away suntan lotions, which is also ille- gal on the beach and Boardwalk without a license from the city. "To date, and not including the awarded beach vendor contract al- ready in place, no licenses have been requested or approved for any other, business to sell, hire, rent ordo any work on the beach or Boardwalk," Ferrese stated. In the past, the police have is- sued warnings to those violating this law, but effective immediate- ly, no further warnings will be is- sued, Ferrese announced. "Should anyone be found in violation of the ordinance, the police depart- ment has been directed to proceed to the fullest extent of the law," he stated. Rehoboth nixes idea to bid on McQuay's With the recent death of propri- etor William "Butch" McQuay, the market he has operated for over 50 years at the entrance to Rehoboth Beach goes'on the auc- tion block Saturday, Aug. 23. When the word began circulat- ing that the 18,000 square foot parcel may go to auction, people began urging the city's Board of Commissioners to consider bid- ding on the land. They cited that it could be used as a welcome cen- ter; parking permit sales office; as a parking lot for employees and in-town jitney headquarters, among other things. Mayor Sam Cooper .asked the board at the Aug. 8 meeting in what direction it wished to pro- ceed and it was decided to hold an executive session to discuss what, if any, money they would be will- ing to spend and what their poten- tial strategy may be. "It is a key property that every- CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 15-- Algal 21, 1997= 3  Chuck Snyder photo No injuries sustained in Rehoboth fire Firefighters from the Rehoboth Volunteer Fire Company worked for a about two hours to control a fire that broke out at the Jim and Kathy Kiernan home on Thompson Way Fri- day, Aug. 8, at approximately 7 p.m. Approximately 25 fire- fighters, two engines, a ladder truck and a rescue truck re- ported to the scene, where volunteers found "the bulk of the fire was in the kitchen, dining and utility area," said Chtick • Snyder, fire chief. The home sustained smoke and heat dam- age, and the fire marshal's office is continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze. Randy Lee, deputy fire marshal, said it appears that a burner on the stove had been on while no one was home  heated nearby combustibles - the framing of the counter top and the counter top. He said the kitchen will need to be rebuilt, repairs are needed on the structure above the kitchen, and there is serious damage in the hallway, one sees when they come into the city," Commissioner Betty Ann Kane noted• Commissioner Jan Konesey, however, expressed the same idea Cooper recently did, that McQuay's liquor store across the street was the more attractive parcel for the city, as it is adjacent to the city's Grove park. The liquor store parcel is not going to auction Aug. 23. From the audience, Planning Commission Chair Mary Camp- bell reminded the board to "re- member that is the entrance to the city and we have no control over the other side of the bridge. This is the first impression everyone gets and it's a volatile piece of proper- ty, as whatever goes in there is what Rehoboth will be remem- bered as." Incoming Commissioner Don Derrickson urged the board to at least take a look at the prospect and former commissioner Jack Salin said he too favored further discussion on it. Planner Patti Shreeve suggested that the city could purchase the parcel and then control how it is developed by a private entity so as to insure what takes the market's place is in keeping with the image the city wishes to project. • A new resident, Diantha Pack, told the board the present market, while a landmark, isn't very at- tractive, and that she'd welcome something more impressive in its place. The board then broke into exec- utive session, and the outcome, according to Cooper, is that the board isn't interested in pursuing the matter, "as we have no clear use for it. The fact is that the amount of money we'd need to pay at auction is undetermined, not to mention the cost of tearing down or fixing up the present structure." And, with the parcel being sold "as is," the buyer is al- ways risking potential problems that aren't evident at the time of the auction. The contents of the building will be sold beginning at 10 a.m., with the real estate bidding, in- cluding the store, two apartments and three mobile homes, getting underway at noon, both on site. There have been estimates that the property may be worth as much as $200,000. Dewey accepting bids on town hall construction Dewey Beach Building Official Bill Miller announced at the Fri- day, Aug. 8 town meeting that bid packages for the town hall/police station construction, due to begin this fall, are currently available at town hall on Rodney Street. Miller also noted that the bid process has been properly adver- tised. Bid packages include the scope of work as well as drawings and specifications, and are avail- able to qualfied general contrac- tors for $25. A bidder's confer- ence (attendance is optional) will be held at the U.S. Lifesaving Sta- tion on Dagsworthy Avenue on Friday, Aug. 22 at 10 a.m. Bids must be submitted to Miller on or before Wednesday, Sept. 10 at noon. No late bids will be accepted. All bids will be opened at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the U.S. Lifesaving Station and presented to the commissioners at the next town meeting on Friday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. Budget discussions continue in Milton Working towards a September deadline, members of Milton Town Council are meeting weekly to determine the 1997-98 budget. The next scheduled meeting is at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 20, in the town hall. Mayor Jack Bushey said that budget discussion is the only entry on the agenda at this Continued on page 4