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Lewes, Delaware
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September 27, 1996     Cape Gazette
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September 27, 1996

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12 - CAPE GAZETTE, eiday, September 27 - October3,1996 Angle Moon photos Sea Spray fire leaves family homeless A fire broke out at the home of Ursula and Geoffrey Howson in Sea Spray Village on Thursday afternoon, Sept. 19. Geof- frey Howson was awakened by a bang and discovered that two rooms of the rancher were on fire, according to a Lewes Volunteer Fire Department spokesman. He quickly took his nine-month old twins and five-year-old child to safety. Ursu- la Howson was not home at the time the fire broke out. Both Rehoboth and Milton volunteer fire companies assisted Lewes. The house was severely damaged. Parking permits on Rehoboth agenda Sept. 30; hearing set Oct. 9 By Trish Vernon The ink is dry on the figures detailing how much money the residential parking permit system and parking meters raised this summer and now Donald Derrickson from the Parking Advisory Committee will come before the Rehoboth Beach Board of Commissioners at the Monday, Sept. 30 workshop to get a feel for where they should go from here. The parking permits brought in $231,535 in sales and an additional $10,080, while the city spent $107,370 implementing the system for the initial summer, although a considerable chunk of that was for start up costs such as signage. "Now it's obvious that the permit system is a money-maker, so we are in the process of gathering information for future years," Derrickson said. 'here's no sense for the committee to be hammering out detailed plans if there isn't a snowball's chance that we'll have support from the board." Derrickson unveiled sketchy versions of the committee's proposals before Labor Day, as it has been the group's task to mon- itor and fine tune the permit system, as well as details governing parking meters. The committee has suggestions for how the city allocates the surplus permit revenue rather than funneling it all into the general fund. First, they would like to see $5,000 to $10,000 allocated for advertising, promo- tion and dissemination of information on the permit system in a more concerted ef- fort to educate the public about the work- ings of the system. The remainder would be placed into three separate funds. Forty percent would be al- lotted to the general fund (capped at $50,000) to make up for any revenue lost through institution of lower parking meter rates and change in the meter season de- signed to encourage more business in the commercial district. (City Manager Greg Ferrese said that meters brought in approxi- mately, $1,047,200, which is only $25,000 less than last year. Ferrese indicated that after a rather dismal start, a busy August and September resulted in meter revenue for those months being neck and neck with 1995.) Thirty percent would also go to the gen- eral fund to help pay for public services such as street cleaning, lifeguards, board- walk repairs and public bathrooms. The fi- nal 30 percent would be earmarked for fu- ture parking and traffic solutions. The parking committee has broached the possibility that the city could convert the land around the old sewer plant by the canal into a parking lot and institute a free tram route into the downtown area, which they believe would help employees who feel squeezed by the permit system. "I hate for a government to have no spe- cific plans or goals for its money," Derrick- son noted of the push to earmark the funds. With the present ordinance stating that any changes to the permit system are to be instituted prior to the end of the year so that implementation may begin as early as pos- sible, a public hearing has been set for 9 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9, at which time the committee hopes to receive input before proceeding any further. "Between feedback from the board and the public, we hope to be able to hash everything out amongst ourselves by late October and then go back to the city with hard numbers and detailed plans," Derrick- son said. Both the Sept. 30 workshop and the Oct. 9 hearing will be held in the commissioners room at the municipal building. In other parking news, the Rehoboth Beach park and ride system which is oper- ated by an arm of the state, DART, saw an increase of 12 percent in vehicles using the parking lot this past summer, although the number of passengers using the public transportation system was dead even with last year. DART's Brett Schmidt said the city's permit system may have contributed to the increase, as visitors decided to pay for the lot rather than purchase a permit. Schmidt added that the new bike racks were very popular, as the buses transported 439 bicycles in 1996. The DART advisory committee will be meeting sometime in October, he noted, to review 1996 and discuss plans for 1997 ser- vices. Nassau Park man is sh,gt in face by unknown intruder block it with his body. 'q'he sus- pect attempted to kick the bed- room door in; however, he was unsuccessful," said Lewis. "The suspect then fired one round from a shotgun through the bedroom door, striking the victim in the left side of his face." Police are withholding the vic- tim's name, but a neighbor identi- fied the victim at A47 Janice Dri- ve as Michael Brittingham, 33. Police said the victim called 911. Brittingham was transported to Beebe Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition. The incident follows a similar pattern as two other shooting crimes this year. On Sept. 17, de- tectives at Delaware State Police Troop 4 investigated a shooting of a 28-year-old Georgetown man who was awakened in his mobile home at approximately 12:42 a.m. when he heard knocking at his back door. The victim saw one man near the doorway and another standing near the back of the home. "The suspect who was standing near the rear door made some remarks to the victim," said Lewis. "Howev- er, the victim did not understand what the suspect was saying. The suspect then fired one round from a small caliber handgun through the rear door of the home, striking the victim in the left thigh area. The suspects then fled undetect- ed." Lewis said that unlike with the Nassau Mobile Home park shoot- ing, police were able to obtain de- scriptions of the two suspects in the Georgetown incident. They have been described as a black male approximately 5 feet 2 inch- Continued on page 13 By Kerry Kester For the third time since January this year, a man has been shot in his own home following a con- frontation with an intruder in the middle of the night. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, a Nassau Mobile Home Park resident was shot through a closed bedroom door while he at- tempted to ward off a threatening intruder, who fired a shotgun through the door, hitting the vic- tim in the face. The incident began at approxi- mately 3:40 a.m. said Cpl. Preston Lewis, Delaware State Police spokesman. "The victim was in bed when he heard someone force his way into his home," said Lewis. "He then noticed a suspect in the hallway of his home coming toward the bedroom area." Lewis said the victim closed the bedroom door and attempted to Kerry Kester photo An intruder entered this home in Nassau Mobile Home Park on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at approximately 3:40 a.m. and fired a shot through a bedroom door, striking Michael Brittingham, 33, in the face.