Rehoboth Beach

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More than 35-hundred hit the cold waters for the 26th annual Lewes Polar Bear Plunge.

The water temperature was a brisk 45 degrees as they made the plunge at Rehoboth Beach.

Many of the participants came dressed in various costumes as they raise money for the Delaware Special Olympics.

Air temperature was a warm 49 degrees.

CAMP Rehoboth

Cheryl Blackman, a well-known philanthropist in Rehoboth Beach, has died at the age of 53.

She helped raise more than $210-thousand for charities.

WBOC reports that late last month co-workers at Grotto Pizza decided to sponsor a tree in her honor for the company’s annual Parade of Trees.

Donations are made by customers as they vote on the trees and the money from Blackman’s tree will go to Delaware Hospice which took care of her daughter who had cancer.

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MILTON, Del. (AP) - State officials are hoping that thousands of dollars in grants will spur recycling efforts across Delaware.

Officials say more than $714,000 is being awarded this year in recycling assistance grants to schools, businesses and municipalities for projects that develop or expand waste reduction, reuse or recycling activities.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to join environmental secretary David Small at Brittingham Elementary School in Milton on Tuesday to announce awards to 13 schools, nine businesses and the communities of Milford and Rehoboth Beach.

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This Thursday Rehoboth Beach will mark its annual World AIDS Day with a candlelight vigil.

This will be the 23rd time since the mid-1990’s that the resort has honored those who have been lost to the deadly disease.

CAMP Rehoboth, an organization that serves the LGBT community, has been organizing the event since the beginning.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the gathering is marked by the reading of the names of those who have died from the disease.

Included in the ceremony will be parts of the AIDS Quilt.

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) -- Rehoboth Beach and neighboring Dewey Beach are getting an $11 million infusion of sand as a part of a beach restoration project.

The sand infusion is a part of a long-term, federal beach restoration contract with the state. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Stephen Rochette says dredge crews are completing a beach restoration project at Long Beach Island in New Jersey.

Don Rush

A new environmental report says that improvement for habitat areas in the Delaware Inland Bays has stalled.

It also reports that the water quality in the bays is still rated fair or poor.

WBOC says that the report by the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays found the largest non-point source of nutrient pollution came from fertilizers, animal waste and storm water runoff.  

But the report notes that of the original 13 point sources of discharges into the bay are only two left.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Authorities say Delaware police will be out in force this weekend in an effort to crack down on drunken driving.

State highway safety officials say more than 100 police officers will gather in Wilmington, Bear, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and Seaford to conduct checkpoints. Police will be conducting checkpoints in five different locations:  two in New Castle County, two in Sussex County and one in Kent County.

Officials say two similar checkpoint operations, in July and September, resulted in 28 DUI arrests.

Rusty Rudder Restaurant

There’s been another crowd fight on Delmarva.

This time Dewey Beach Police responded to a disturbance on Sunday at 1 a.m. at the Rusty Rudder Restaurant.

It involved a fight with security staff and from a disorderly crowd.

As the police arrived the Salisbury Daily Times reports that the crowd increased to around 30.

A clash between the officers ensued as the crowd was told to disperse.

The Daily Times reports that several officers were exposed to pepper spray and one was injured after being hit on the head with an unknown object.

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BETHANY BEACH, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials have issued a water quality advisory for Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach at Dagsworthy Street.

Media outlets report that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control issued the advisory for Wednesday and Thursday, citing bacteria levels above the recreational water quality standard. Officials say the elevated bacteria levels are likely due to increased rainfall.

The state issues advisories when samples test positive for excess bacteria, but it doesn't close beaches or swimming areas.

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DEWEY BEACH, Del. (AP) - Four Dewey Beach police officers were injured after responding to a fight at a restaurant parking lot.

The Dewey Beach Police Department says in a news release that the incident began Sunday morning after a Dewey Beach officer witnessed 10 to 15 people fighting at the parking lot. Police say the officer tried to intervene before calling for assistance.

The Rehoboth Beach City Commissioners voted unanimously yesterday to approve legislation that imposes occupancy limits on rentals.

WBOC reports that the Vacation Rental Ordinance comes as result of an increasing number of rental units being turned into “mini-hotels”.

The heart of the measure allows two people per structure with another two people for each bedroom.

The commission members called it a good balance.

And the television station reports that a number of homeowners said they were pleased with the results.

REHOBOTH, Del. (AP) - Delaware's environmental secretary has ordered the closing of a shellfish harvest area in Rehoboth Bay near the city of Rehoboth's wastewater treatment plant.

Officials said this week's closure is based on a U.S. Food and Drug Administration assessment of theoretical wastewater discharges, and not on water quality changes in the area.

The boardwalk at the northern end of Rehoboth Beach is now open.

It had been closed for repairs after this winter’s storm.

WBOC reports that the boards were raised 12 inches to make them flush with undamaged sections.

But the underlying supports are still broken.

For the moment officials say the boardwalk is safe to walk on although it could be damaged again with another storm.

Meanwhile, town officials say that a damage assessment form the Federal Emergency Management Agency is still in the works.


WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Attorneys for the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain and a Dewey Beach business have agreed to end a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Cracker Barrel.

A federal judge this week signed a permanent injunction and dismissal order that prohibits Highway I Limited Partnership and its business partners from using any trade dress, marks or designs in building a new Jimmy's Grill restaurant in Rehoboth that copy or are confusingly similar to those of Cracker Barrel restaurants.

Don Rush

Repair crews are out along the Ocean City shoreline repairing damage done by the recent snow storm.

The beach cleanup is being carried out in conjunction with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

It’s estimated that as much as 880-thousand cubic yards of sand was lost.  

The initial assessment last week was $21 million.

Mayor Rick Meeham told WBOC that this is only for the beaches adding that an official estimate for homeowners and businesses has not yet been released.

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The town of Reboboth Beach is looking at draft legislation that would limit the number of people who can spend the night in a rental unit.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the measure would impose a maximum of two people per bedroom plus four additional people.

The paper reports that for a rental with seven bedrooms the total limit would be 18.

And, an efficiency with no bedrooms could have four.

The paper reports that the proposal is the result of raucous behavior during the summer season.

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It will cost anywhere from $150-thousand to $400-thousand to repair the damage to the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach by the recent winter storms.

That’s the estimate from a city consulting engineer.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the city commissioners are now trying to decide how to come up with the money.

Commissioner Stan Mills says told the paper that there was a hope that the federal government might provide some assistance as well as some help from Delaware lawmakers.

Don Rush

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Natural Resources officials are wasting no time in cleaning up and reinforcing Rehoboth Beach after last month's snowstorm.

A worker was operating a dozer through the sand less than two weeks of the snowstorm hit, pushing sand the edge of the dry beach to the dunes, over a layer of water.

This process reinforces the dunes, Tony Pratt of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control tells WBOC-TV.

Pratt says nature does most of the work, but the dozers can speed things up a bit.

Immanuel Shelter

Many people around this time of year find themselves homeless just as the holidays begin to come to a close and the onset of cold weather is around the corner. In Rehoboth Beach, the Immanuel Shelter takes in around 25 men and women, providing them with relief from the cold and a momentary place to stay and get back on their feet. Delmarva  Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with those whose lives are just a little bit better for having found shelter.

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) - Voters in the city of Rehoboth Beach have elected in a referendum to support restrictions on housing development imposed earlier this year.

The city said that Saturday's balloting concluded with 785 votes, or 53 percent, in favor of the restrictions, compared to 697 votes, or 47 percent, opposed.

Rehoboth's board of commissioners passed an ordinance in July making it harder to build large homes and requiring more green space on front yards.

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A bank robbery in Rehoboth Beach has Delaware State Police looking for a female suspect.

Officials told WBOC that it occurred just after 1 p.m. yesterday afternoon at the TD Bank on Midway Outlet Drive.

The suspect is described as a white female around 5-feet 3-inches to 5-feet 6-inches tall.

She reportedly walked into the bank and demanded the clerk give her an undisclosed amount of money.

She then fled.

No one at the scene was injured.

Don Rush

The battle over a zoning ordinance that limits the size of new houses is heating up in Rehoboth Beach.

There’s a new group called the Rehoboth Neighbors United which wants voters to approve the new regulations in November 7th’s referendum.

Susan Gay, one of the group’s organizers told WBOC that this is “a turning point” for the city.

She expressed particular concern about the environmental impact of these houses – especially the loss of trees.

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There’s a rebellion brewing in Rehoboth Beach.

Hundreds are angered by a law that will make it harder for them to build large houses.

And they have handed in a petition to force the town commissioners to take another vote.

They must have gathered 40 percent of the electorate in order to force the vote.

That will force suspension of the ordinance until its reconsideration.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that if there is not a reversal residents vow to force a referendum.

Dogfish Head taps

Dogfish Heads renovation plans in Rehoboth Beach have gotten unanimous approval by the board of commissioners.

The brewpub is some two decades old and hopes to make its first upgrades since it opened the building.

Commissioner Stan Mills told the Daily Times that he wanted Dogfish Head to stay in town.

But the approval came after a vigorous discussion over whether the brewpub’s application was in compliance with the city zoning code.

The overall plan includes an outdoor courtyard and a major venue for live concerts.

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More than 350 swimmers were rescued along the coastline from Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach to Ocean City.

Rehoboth Beach Patrol Captain Kent Buckson told the Salisbury Daily Times that there were more than 100 rescues on Sunday alone.

He said it was the most dangerous three to four day period he has seen.

Much of the problem occurred because of the rip currents and the volume of waves that hit the coast.

Buckson told the paper this was “a recipe for disaster” and he praised his crew for handling the conditions so well.

All Saints Websiite

Member of the All Saints Episcopal Church in Rehoboth Beach got an unwelcome flyer on their windshields this past Sunday.

The literature blasted the church for accepting gays and lesbians into their congregation as well as allowing women to hold church leadership positions.

Rector Max Wolf told WBOC that the flyers were not only disturbing to the church’s gay and lesbian members but to their families and friends as well.

The literature called homosexuality a “shameless act” and called women “emotional basket cases”.

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A lawsuit in Rehoboth Beach gives new meaning to the phrase, “Vote early and vote often.”

Resident Jackie Nichols has filed a federal lawsuit that says the ability of corporation owners to cast multiple votes in a referendum violates the Delaware and U.S. constitutions.

The multiple voting provision only applies to referenda not general municipal elections.

Wilmington News Journal reports that city staff also said that residents who own Rehoboth based businesses can also cast multiple votes.

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A swimmer was rescued from an unguarded area near Rehoboth and Dewey Beach.

The Delaware’s Natural Resources Police with the help of a Delaware state police helicopter located the swimmer and took him to safety.

The swimmer had drifted a half mile from the shore line to the southern Dewey Beach.

The state police told WBOC that the outgoing tide along with a strong south wind pushed the swimmer from the shoreline.

State officials said that the waters along the coast line are strong with tidal or rip currents that can pull a swimmer out to sea. 

Don Rush

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery may be expanding its restaurant in Rehoboth Beach after all.

A Rehoboth Beach land-use board reversed its rejection of the plan that now could pave the way for an expanded brewpub on Rehoboth Avenue.

Sam and Mariah Calogione who own Dogfish argued that the expanded restaurant would benefit other businesses and employ more than a hundred people.

The current Dogfish restaurant would be expanded from around 82-hundred square feet to just over 92-hundred square feet.

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Rehoboth Beach is set to impose restrictions on vacation-home renter’s use of backyard pools today.

Under the ordinance beginning in 2018 people who rent vacation homes would not be allowed to use any pool or hot tub on the property.

Those pools and tubs would have to be covered by the owner.

But state Representative Ruth Briggs King says that she is concerned the town is overreaching their authority.

And, she says the General Assembly may look at approving some legislation to limit the resort actions.