Categories
Culture

City of Milford Considers Parking, Pedestrian Signage Downtown

by Terry Rogers

 

 

Front and Walnut Street Parking Lot

On Monday, August 24, Milford City Council heard a presentation created by two University of Delaware interns regarding new parking and pedestrian signage in the downtown area. The signage is designed to help visitors find parking spaces and for pedestrians to know where they are on the Riverwalk as well as add continuity to the walking path.

“The goal was to find what the issues were with the current parking system,” Samantha Lee, who is studying construction engineering, said. “We wanted the public to find the public parking lots and to help them locate the ones closest to their end destination. Currently, there are 12 parking lots throughout the downtown area, but there is poor directional signage.”

Lee explained that some of the lots had entrances that are difficult to see, such as the one located at the corner of Northeast Front and North Walnut Street, across from the former M&T Bank building. One on Mill Street has a “no outlet” sign and no signage indicating that it is available for public parking. That is also true for a public parking area by the library. Lee also pointed out that the parking lot near the old M&T Bank was old and in need of renovation. A public lot across the river from Park Place has no signs indicating it can be used for parking while the one next to the City Customer Service Office is located at an odd angle from the street and has a “One Way” sign that deters people from parking.

Proposed Parking Identification Sign

“When we reviewed all of the information, we felt that each parking lot should have a unique name,” Lee said. “We considered tree names, like Maple, Holly or Pine as well as bird names like Finch, Goose or Heron. Another option would be nut names like Walnut, Pecan and Almond. In addition, parking signs need to be installed at intersections with directional arrows that show people where they can find parking.”

The design of the signs presented at the meeting included ornamental signs with a unique name at the entrance to every parking lot in town. Directional signs would be white with green lettering and would have directional arrows that would show visitors which way to travel to find parking. The estimated cost to the City for the parking signage, both directional and ornamental was $1,850.35.

“Another issue facing downtown is pedestrian wayfinding,” Sam Beam, a civil engineering student, said. “There are a few sections of the Riverwalk where it is not clear that it continues. One is on Church Avenue and one is on Southeast Front Street. One method to fix that is to paint images on the ground that indicate the Riverwalk continues. It could be feet, duck footprints or ladybugs.”

There are currently no mile markers located on the Riverwalk which could be an issue should there be an emergency while someone is walking.

“We felt that adding small mile markers would not only be helpful in an emergency, but also for those who are tracking for fitness,” Beam said. “We would place one at the start and then one every tenth of a mile. To mark the entire Riverwalk, we would need 22 markers. We looked at three options which included a solid 6×6 post, small metal plates and coated cedar posts. The least expensive and easiest to install would be the small metal plates.”

The image of the plates was round metal, similar to a thumbtack with engraved numbers and letters. The plates would be embedded in the sidewalk or on posts along the Riverwalk. The cost for that type of marker was $1,145. The cost for the solid posts was $1,604.90 while the treated cedar estimate was $4,364.

“There is also nothing along the Riverwalk that makes it obvious,” Beam said. “We wanted to put up something that is a definitive acknowledgement of where the Riverwalk is, where they are parked, where they are, where other parks are in the area. It would include some “You are Here” symbols and the signs would be located throughout the Riverwalk. We recommend one of those at every entrance to the Riverwalk. The estimated cost for four of those is $800.”

In order to add all the signage suggested in Lee and Beam’s presentation, the cost to the City would be a low of $3,795.35 to a high of $7,014.35. City Manager Mark Whitfield explained that funding could be split between Parks and Recreation and Public Works as signage benefits both departments. A decision on the signage will be made at a future Council meeting and public input is encouraged.

Categories
Government & Politics

City of Milford Lights On Project Expanded

by Terry Rogers

 

 

 

Energize Delaware Lights-ON

On Monday, August 24, Charlie Kistler, Executive Director of Lights-ON Delaware Strong provided information to Milford City Council on how the program plans to expand in the city. Kistler also provided data on the success of the program over the past year.

“We began with contract funding from Energize Delaware and partnered with the City of Milford,” Kistler said. “We worked with the Milford Police Department to define target areas based on criminal activity before performing door-to-door installation of energy efficient LED lighting. We were able to install the lighting in 478 homes, saving about 27,268 kilowatts of energy.”

In addition to installing the LED lighting, workshops were held to provide information on energy conservation, energy efficiency, understanding utility bills and behavioral changes that could be made to reduce energy consumption. Over the past year, 31 people participated in the workshops.

“Based on information provided to us by Lieutenant Ed Huey at Milford Police Department, there was an overall reduction in crime compared to the year before,” Kistler said. “You saw crimes against a person, what is called “Part 1 Crimes” increase slightly by 1.79 percent, but crimes against property, which are “Part 2 Crimes,” fell by 11.52 percent. Overall, the crime rate fell 9.91 percent.”

For 2021, the program will be expanded to include additional services. The Lights-ON program will continue in areas identified by Milford Police Department. In addition, 100 homes will be selected for the Health-ON program. This is a program that offers home assessments to identify issues in a home that may not be healthy and refer the resident to services to remedy the problem.

“We are also offering a Weatherization Assistance Program,” Kistler said. “This program provides auditing and installation of energy efficiency and home performance measures. Milford and Seaford are pilot cities for this project. The Home Energy Counseling and Checkup program will interview, assess and install home energy measures or refer the resident to qualified service providers.”

The program is at no cost to the City but will require a Memorandum of Understanding between the municipality and Lights-ON. The City will provide contact information for the Milford Police Department as well as the Customer Service Department in order to identify households that could benefit.

“When I present to other cities, I often use Milford as an example,” Kistler said. “You have one of the finest police departments in the state. You also have a gold standard customer service department. The only thing we ask of a client is that they sign an agreement that if they see something suspicious, they will call 911 and that they encourage their neighbors to participate as well. It is free. We are also asking them to attend our workshops. It seems as if when they sign the agreement, they feel an obligation to commit to our program.”

Participating areas of the City will be identified by Milford Police Department and the Customer Service Office.

Categories
Government & Politics

City of Milford Welcomes Two New Staff Members

by Terry Rogers

 

 

Louis Vitola, City of Milford Finance Director
Michael Svaby, City of Milford Public Works Director

The City of Milford recently announced that they had hired two new staff members. Louis C. Vitola will serve as the new Finance Director, taking over for Jeff Portmann who plans to retire this year. Michael Svaby was recently hired as the new Public Works Director, replacing Mark Whitfield who accepted the position of City Manager.

Svaby was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He moved to Delaware in 1987 while serving in the United States Air Force as a Financial Manager at Dover Air Force Base. He currently lives in Magnolia. While serving in the Air Force, Svaby graduated from Wilmington University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration. He ahs worked in Public Works in the State of Delaware as well as New Castle County government since leaving the Air Force.

“The biggest challenges in this job will be bringing people together in a team and building consensus,” Svaby said. “We all need to be working together for a common goal. I am eager to face challenges and lead the team strongly to achieve the City’s goals.” Svaby says he went into public service b he enler joys meeting people and working together as a community. He spends his leisure time with his family, cooking and working in the yard.

Vitola has a long career in finance, including jobs with Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, the City of Newark, the State of Delaware and the Town of Middletown. He has served on many committees in a financial capacity as well as working for a Fortune 500 energy and chemical firm. He holds a Master of Science in Business Administration from the University of Delaware. He also volunteers his time in such organizations as the Rotary, Meals on Wheels, Little League, Fastpitch Softball and more. He is originally from Ambler, Pennsylvania, and currently lives with his three children in Middletown.

“I always knew Milford was a beautiful city at the threshold of Delaware’s beach communities,” Vitola said. “I learned a lot about the City’s character and leadership while partnering with American Municipal Power on Milford’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure Project. Milford’s appeal strikes me in different ways; it is a large and growing full-service public power community, yet it maintains he small-town charm that can be elusive in a growing city.

Vitola pointed out that Milford’s financial profile is strong and has been well-managed for decades. He feels his most significant challenge inheriting a successful team is to sustain the positive momentum through the transition period and into the future. He looks forward to building on that success in the face of operational and economical challenges, particularly those emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I accepted my first municipal finance position two blocks from my home early in 2006 and immediately fell in love with municipal finance and the public utility business model,” Vitola said. “Municipal finance wields the same fundamental challenges as private sector finance but offers the satisfaction of community service. Likewise, public utilities operate in the same complex, competitive arena as investor-owned utilities while focusing efforts on serving the needs of the community rather than delivering profits to shareholders.”

In his spare time, Vitola is normally found on a softball field, track meet, cross country race or tennis court, watching his children have fun doing what they love. He stated that tennis has overtaken golf as his personal favorite passion, but he loves spending time outdoors and doing any type of exercise.

“I hope to leverage my experience in municipal finance and public utilities to support the City’s delivery of fantastic service using technology and efficiencies,” Vitola said. “But I also want to remember to keep it simple and avoid overcomplications.”

Svaby is also excited to begin his career in Milford.

“I am thrilled to be joining a very talented and diverse team,” Svaby said. “As I get to know everyone and their strengths and areas of expertise, I am excited about working on the City’s Public Works projects and serving Milford with the public works service they enjoy.”

Categories
Schools

MSD announces changes to nutrition program

 by Terry Rogers

 

MSD Child Nutrition hands out meals to students

Milford School District Announces Changes to Nutrition Program 

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

On Thursday, August 27, the Summer Feeding Program for Milford School District came to an end. On September 9, the District will begin offering meals through the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program.

“When COVID-19 came around and we had to do an unanticipated closure, we were allowed to start our Summer Feeding Program in March rather than wait until June,” Sharron Forest, Child Nutrition Supervisor, said. “We have been doing the Summer Feeding Program since March. Once we start regular school of any type, even in a virtual format, we must start using the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program which ends our Summer Feeding Program.”

Parents may come to the school at designated times in order to pick up meals for their children. These are the same meals served when a child is in school but they are being offered curbside rather than in the cafeteria. The District will provide hot and cold options as well as meals that can be heated at home. Once children begin attending school in classrooms again, breakfast and lunch will be delivered to the classroom.

UPDATE:  “Milford School District will begin offering free meals to children under the age of 18 on Wednesday, September 9,” Trish Gerken, Public Information Officer, said. “This is a welcome change to our previous announcement, which required student enrollment in the District to receive meals. On August 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended several flexibilities that will allow summer meal program operators, such as Milford School District, to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months.”

Gerken explained that prior to this, guidelines were based on the National School Breakfast and Lunch program where the district was required to serve only children enrolled in the district. There are no income requirements and no exchange of detail requirements such as last name and student ID. The meals are at no charge.

“We appreciate the incredible efforts by our school food service professionals year in and year out, but this year we have an unprecedented situation,” Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, said. “This extension of summer program authority will employ summer program sponsors to ensure meals are reaching all children – whether they are learning in the classroom or virtually – so they are fed and ready to learn, even in new and ever-changing learning environments.”

Forrest was extremely pleased to learn of the federal waivers.

“This is fantastic news for the families of the Milford community who have been struggling through this pandemic to feed their children due to loss of jobs or income,” Forrest said. “Without this program, families would face the increased burden of trying to feed children during the school year, when children are normally getting free meals in schools. Our children are our most important resources and throughout this crisis, we need to keep them nourished so they can learn and thrive, whether learning remotely or in school Please support the Child Nutrition program and staff by getting your free meals at the school closest to your home.”

The Weekend Backpack Program, conducted in partnership with the Delaware Food Bank, will continue. This program provides a “backpack” of food for students who may not have enough food at home over the weekend.

“We are continuing our Weekend Backpack Program as long as the Food Bank can help,” Forrest said. “Parents can pick up the backpacks on Fridays. In addition, the National Breakfast and Lunch Program still does not allow us to provide meals on non-instruction days. That means there are no meals on weekends and holidays, including Election Day.”

Meal Dates, Times and Locations are as follows:

Benjamin Banneker Elementary and Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center

September 9 and 11 from 11:30 AM until 12 Noon

September 14, 16 and 18 from 10:30 until 11:00 AM

September 21 and going forward every Monday, Tuesday and Friday – 10:30 to 11:00 AM

Evelyn I. Morris Early Childhood Center

September 9 and 11 from 11:30 AM until 12 Noon

September 14, 16 and 18 from 10:30 until 11:00 AM

September 21 and going forward every Monday, Tuesday and Friday – 10:30 to 11:00 AM

Houston Volunteer Fire Department

September 9 and 11 – 11:30 to 12 Noon

September 14, 16 and 18 from 11:00 to 11:30 AM

September 21 and going forward every Monday, Tuesday and Friday – 11:00 to 11:30 AM

Milford Central Academy

September 9 and 11 – 11:30 to 12 Noon

September 14, 16 and 18 from 11:00 to 11:30 AM

September 21 and going forward every Monday, Tuesday and Friday – 11:00 to 11:30 AM

Mispillion Elementary School

September 14, 16 and 18 from 11:00 to 11:45 AM

September 21 and going forward every Monday, Tuesday and Friday – 11:00 to 11:45 AM

Mount Zion AME Church, Ellendale

September 9 and 11 from 11:30 AM until 12 Noon

September 14, 16 and 18 from 11:30 until 12 Noon

September 21 and going forward every Monday, Tuesday and Friday – 11:30 until Noon

Categories
Schools

Delmarva Christian School Opens

by Terry Rogers

 

 

Kintyre Cooper on first day of Delmarva Christian School

Delmarva Christian School opened for their first day of classes on August 19 with students attending in person for half days during the first week. Susan Gum, Director of Marketing, stated that the first few days were to get acquainted with new students and help them navigate through the student management system, RenWeb.

“We also assisted them with technology by downloading apps on their iPads and setting up the emails, passwords and Google classroom accounts,” Gum said. “We also organized a team building activity that provided the students with an opportunity to meet all the other students. The activity was a life-sized Foosball game in which we painted a grid on one of our fields so that the students could social distance themselves from one another but still have fun. The day went well. The students honored social distancing and face covering protocols.”

A tradition at the school, the second day began with a Chapel service viewed in the classroom where they were socially distanced. Gum explained that the students appeard to be engaged and grateful for the words of encouragement. Once the chapel service ended, students were introduced to the new safety protocols, walked through their schedules, met teachers and received syllabi. Classes were short due to the half-day schedule.

“I felt the first few days went very well, considering the numerous changes to normal daily school life,” Mary Beth Rimmer, Dean of Students, said. “Students and their families were very accommodating and accepting of the restrictions placed and there was an overall sense of calm and unity.”

Administrative Assistant Pip Craig felt that students were happy to be back in school and that they are willing to comply with and respect the changes made based on CDC guidelines. Parents have also been very supportive and encouraging, Craig stated.

High school students started full day classes on August 24. The Milton campus, which houses Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade opened Wednesday, August 26 with half-day classes and they will transition to full-day classes the following week The school continues to follow all CDC guidelines and COVID-19 research, adjusting on a weekly basis if necessary.

“We have developed arrival and departure plans to ensure social distancing by identifying specific doors for entering and departing the building,” Gum said. “Students who arrive early to school or require staying after for a ride are to sit in designated bleachers that have been marked at six-foot intervals from one another. All other students are to leave campus immediately after school and are not allowed to remain in parking lots. Parents must provide temperature checks daily before a student is able to enter the building. Transition times between classes have been staggered so the hallways aren’t crowded and students can remain at a distance.”

Gum also explained that younger students will not transition from their classrooms during the day. Instead, special classes like music and art will be brought to the student. All desks are six feet apart and all face the front of the classroom. Sanitation stations are positioned throughout the school and in classrooms as well. Desks and equipment are sanitized throughout the day. Videos created by the Head of School are shared that appeal to students to continue working as a family to keep everyone healthy and safe. The school has also created outdoor areas that allow students mask-less time. They have installed 20 tents and picnic tables built by a former student as an Eagle Scout project. When weather does not permit, teachers are asked to open windows.

“It is nice to see friends and socialize,” Kintyre Cooper, an 11th grader, said. Jason Handy, a new 11th grade student at the school, commented that everyone was nice and welcoming. He admitted the masks are terrible, but he is happy to be in this new environment and meet new people.

Loubins Fleurima, 11th grade, Katie Thompson, 9th grade, Jesslyn Duman, 9th grade and Mollie Skipper, also 9th grade, all say they are happy to be back in a classroom as they did not learn well online.

“I literally learned nothing online, could not comprehend,” Skipper, who is new to the school, said. “My friends aren’t doing much at all so I’m glad to be able to go to school” Several students commented that they missed the social interaction among their fellow students, while Briana Reigle-Fabber, 11th grade, admitted she was concerned initially since she lived with two high-risk people, but that it was “getting better each day.”

Gum stated that there were some parents who chose to homeschool their students for the beginning of the year, but many have asked that the school keep a spot open for them once they feel it is safe to return to class.

Categories
milford-live

Line waiting to buy on Record Store Day restores sense of normalcy

Record collectors from across the Tri-state area braved downpours Saturday to flock to Newark’s Rainbow Records to celebrate the first day of this year’s three-part record store day.

The morning started with a line of about 35 people waiting for the store to open.

After being postponed from its regular date in April, Record Store Day was split into three different days over August, September and October. That let stores cater to smaller crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic, but still allowed stores and artists the sales.

Once the doors opened at Rainbow Records, people moved quickly in and out.

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“We’re only letting in six people at a time,” said Rainbow Records owner Todd Brewer. “We’re trying to keep it as safe as we can.”

Most shoppers were in and out quickly, and nobody seemed to leave empty handed. Some had too much for one bag to hold. 

“As someone who is medically high risk, I think the way that Todd is running things is perfect,” said Mike Mitchell. He was there to buy the formally unreleased Wolfgang Ep, who he has been a fan of for 30 years. 

The lines, the glee of the shoppers and the variety of wares pleased him.

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“I think it brings some kind of normalcy, not completely normal but it at least gives us a glimpse of normalcy,” Mitchell said.

Despite their faces being covered with masks, the crowd was visibly excited and antsy. Clouds blotted out the sun and humidity was a reminder that rain was coming as the remnants of Hurricane Laura passed through Delaware. 

“It rained last year. We just sat under the store canopy, “ said Nigel Shumate, who came from Lancaster to buy the Charlie XCX Album. “I don’t really see it being a problem.” 

Getting the records they wanted was top of mind for those in the line.

[adrotate group=”11″]

 

“What’s some rain in a pandemic?” asked Charles Stanton. “There’s not much to be worried about anymore.”

At the end of the day, Brewer said he was happy with the small but mighty event.

“This year’s turnout was a bit different because it’s split into three events, ” he said Monday. “There were fewer people because there’s less product. However, its been the best sales day of the year so far, so all things considered I think it went pretty well.”

He’s put the remainder of the Record Store Day titles for sale online.

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Jackson Beckner, manager at Extended Play record store in Rehoboth, also was happy with the way Saturday went. His store had offered morning appointments to avoid a crowd in the shop.

“We did pretty well,” he said. “We had a smaller turnout, which was expected, but we filled a lot of appointments, which was great, and a lot of people came in later in the day.

“If you look at the average Eecord Shop Day and cut it into thirds, this third did better than they normally do.”

On Saturday, people standing in line outside Rainbow Records naturally socially distanced themselves, and then were careful inside not to crowd people. An employee at the front door ushered people into the store and opened the door for people exiting. 

[adrotate group=”11″]

 

Patrons couldn’t agree about whether they like Record Store Day splitting into three parts. Many said it was safer and through the shopping was better.

“I think it’s fun,” Stanton said. “It means I don’t have to spend all my money in one day.”

“I was able to get pretty much everything I wanted this year,” said Andy Wojcik, a RSD veteran shopper. “Normally it’s too crowded.”

Some, though, weren’t happy with the split.

[adrotate group=”11″]

 

“I feel like the three separated days are weighed kind of badly,” Dylan Butcher. The Newark resident planned to buy Tyler the Creator’s “Cherry Bomb” as well as the Gorrilaz G and D sides. “August has the best day. The other two just aren’t as good.” 

Most, though, will be back.

“I’ve gotten my entire record collection from here,” said Ken Major, a Newark resident who only recently started collecting records. “I’ll definitely be coming for the next two days.”

 
Categories
milford-live

Another Newark fire called arson; person of interest sought

 

Newark arson
Investigators are asking the public to help identify a person of interest in a recent townhouse fire.

A fire two weeks ago at a townhouse being constructed in Newark was arson, the Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal announced today.

Newark arson
Investigators are asking the public to help identify a person of interest in a recent townhouse fire.

The fire was discovered shortly after 3 a.m. Aug. 17 in the townhouse, in the unit block of East Cleveland Avenue.

“The interior of the townhouse was damaged by the deliberate fire,” said Michael G. Chionchio, assistant state fire marshal. Damage was estimated at $5,000. 

This is the second time in two weeks that the office has decided that a Newark fire was arson. Last week, a fire destroyed the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.

Arson is also blamed for a few recent trash fires on Lehigh Road, on Newark’s western side, he said. 

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When asked if anything connects the fires, Chionchio said, “We’re keeping an open mind.”

Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person of interest captured on video near the townhouse by calling 302-323-5375 or emailing fire.marshal@delaware.gov.

A GoFundMe campaign run by University of Delaware students has raised about $500,000 to rebuild the Chabad Center “even better, grander, and larger with even more space to host even more students, thereby bringing even more light to this world than ever before,” the page says.

East Cleveland Avenue is a popular site for townhouses rented by University of Delaware students.

Categories
Business Headlines

Rookery North to close in 2021

On August 29, 2020 Butch Holtzclaw, Director of Golf at The Rookery Golf Course in Milford, sent a letter to patrons and members of the course, addressing rumors about the property being sold.

“I know that there have been a lot of rumors going around that the North course has been sold. That is just not true. It is crazy how fast rumors spread and grow in grandeur,” he said in the letter.” To this date, no agreement has been reached with any potential buyers.”

For nearly 9 years, Holtzclaw has operated the North course and has owned it for the past 5 years. He stated that during that time he has had several offers.

Holtzclaw went on to discuss the difficulties that the business has endured this year. “At the Rookery we were hit hardest during April and May. During that time the clubhouses were closed and part of that time we had no cart revenue,” he said. “During our 9 years operating the North course, it has never operated at a profit. When the pandemic hit us in March and we started feeling the crunch in April we thought about closing down the North course. We decided that we could not do that because we had a responsibility to our membership to stay open.”

During the time of ownership of the Rookery North, the owners have struggled, according to Holtzclaw. ” With the growth of Milford we thought things might change but they have not. So unfortunately the ownership has decided not to open the North course next year. We are saddened that we will not be able to continue to support the course but it does not make financial sense for our company,” he said.

The business will continue to operate the South course in Milton and offer memberships for 2021. 

The Rookery North leased the golf course, club house and tennis courts from Shawnee Country Club in 2012 and took over complete ownership in 2015. Shawnee Country Club opened in 1958 as a private country club with a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a clubhouse. Members of the club over the years have included many of Milford’s influential families.

During the 1980s, Mid-Atlantic golf course architect, Ed Ault redesigned the golf course, creating an 18-whole course on the western half of the Club’s 159 acres. At the time, the club boasted more than 500 members, each holding a share in the non-profit corporation. However, starting around the early 2000s, membership began to dwindle, requiring the board to constantly raise fees, adding to the departure of membership as fees grew higher.

Categories
Business Featured Health

Line waiting to buy on Record Store Day restores sense of normalcy

Record collectors from across the Tri-state area braved downpours Saturday to flock to Newark’s Rainbow Records to celebrate the first day of this year’s three-part record store day.

The morning started with a line of about 35 people waiting for the store to open.

After being postponed from its regular date in April, Record Store Day was split into three different days over August, September and October. That let stores cater to smaller crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic, but still allowed stores and artists the sales.

Once the doors opened at Rainbow Records, people moved quickly in and out.

[adrotate group=”11″]

 

“We’re only letting in six people at a time,” said Rainbow Records owner Todd Brewer. “We’re trying to keep it as safe as we can.”

Most shoppers were in and out quickly, and nobody seemed to leave empty handed. Some had too much for one bag to hold. 

“As someone who is medically high risk, I think the way that Todd is running things is perfect,” said Mike Mitchell. He was there to buy the formally unreleased Wolfgang Ep, who he has been a fan of for 30 years. 

The lines, the glee of the shoppers and the variety of wares pleased him.

[adrotate group=”11″]

 

“I think it brings some kind of normalcy, not completely normal but it at least gives us a glimpse of normalcy,” Mitchell said.

Despite their faces being covered with masks, the crowd was visibly excited and antsy. Clouds blotted out the sun and humidity was a reminder that rain was coming as the remnants of Hurricane Laura passed through Delaware. 

“It rained last year. We just sat under the store canopy, “ said Nigel Shumate, who came from Lancaster to buy the Charlie XCX Album. “I don’t really see it being a problem.” 

Getting the records they wanted was top of mind for those in the line.

[adrotate group=”11″]

 

“What’s some rain in a pandemic?” asked Charles Stanton. “There’s not much to be worried about anymore.”

At the end of the day, Brewer said he was happy with the small but mighty event.

“This year’s turnout was a bit different because it’s split into three events, ” he said Monday. “There were fewer people because there’s less product. However, its been the best sales day of the year so far, so all things considered I think it went pretty well.”

He’s put the remainder of the Record Store Day titles for sale online.

[adrotate group=”11″]

 

Jackson Beckner, manager at Extended Play record store in Rehoboth, also was happy with the way Saturday went. His store had offered morning appointments to avoid a crowd in the shop.

“We did pretty well,” he said. “We had a smaller turnout, which was expected, but we filled a lot of appointments, which was great, and a lot of people came in later in the day.

“If you look at the average Eecord Shop Day and cut it into thirds, this third did better than they normally do.”

On Saturday, people standing in line outside Rainbow Records naturally socially distanced themselves, and then were careful inside not to crowd people. An employee at the front door ushered people into the store and opened the door for people exiting. 

[adrotate group=”11″]

 

Patrons couldn’t agree about whether they like Record Store Day splitting into three parts. Many said it was safer and through the shopping was better.

“I think it’s fun,” Stanton said. “It means I don’t have to spend all my money in one day.”

“I was able to get pretty much everything I wanted this year,” said Andy Wojcik, a RSD veteran shopper. “Normally it’s too crowded.”

Some, though, weren’t happy with the split.

[adrotate group=”11″]

 

“I feel like the three separated days are weighed kind of badly,” Dylan Butcher. The Newark resident planned to buy Tyler the Creator’s “Cherry Bomb” as well as the Gorrilaz G and D sides. “August has the best day. The other two just aren’t as good.” 

Most, though, will be back.

“I’ve gotten my entire record collection from here,” said Ken Major, a Newark resident who only recently started collecting records. “I’ll definitely be coming for the next two days.”

 
Categories
Crime Featured milford-live

Another Newark fire called arson; person of interest sought

 

Newark arson
Investigators are asking the public to help identify a person of interest in a recent townhouse fire.

A fire two weeks ago at a townhouse being constructed in Newark was arson, the Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal announced today.

Newark arson
Investigators are asking the public to help identify a person of interest in a recent townhouse fire.

The fire was discovered shortly after 3 a.m. Aug. 17 in the townhouse, in the unit block of East Cleveland Avenue.

“The interior of the townhouse was damaged by the deliberate fire,” said Michael G. Chionchio, assistant state fire marshal. Damage was estimated at $5,000. 

This is the second time in two weeks that the office has decided that a Newark fire was arson. Last week, a fire destroyed the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.

Arson is also blamed for a few recent trash fires on Lehigh Road, on Newark’s western side, he said. 

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When asked if anything connects the fires, Chionchio said, “We’re keeping an open mind.”

Investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person of interest captured on video near the townhouse by calling 302-323-5375 or emailing fire.marshal@delaware.gov.

A GoFundMe campaign run by University of Delaware students has raised about $500,000 to rebuild the Chabad Center “even better, grander, and larger with even more space to host even more students, thereby bringing even more light to this world than ever before,” the page says.

East Cleveland Avenue is a popular site for townhouses rented by University of Delaware students.