Gordons Pond elevated boardwalk at Cape Henlopen State Park to close for repairs next week

LEWES – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) will close the Gordons Pond elevated boardwalk along the Gordons Pond Trail at Cape Henlopen State Park on Wednesday, Feb. 5 and Thursday, Feb. 6 for repairs to its railing. Access to the boardwalk where it meets the trail on the north and south points will also be closed during this time.

The popular boardwalk is located at the beginning of the trail near the Biden Center and the Herring Point parking lot, between the 2 and 2.5 mile markers if traveling north along the Gordons Pond Trail. If traveling south, the boardwalk is located between the .5 and 1 mile markers.

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation plans to repair the railing where it has pulled away from the rest of the boardwalk over the years to keep it safe for use. To repair the railing, bolts must be driven through supports under the bridge to keep the railing in place, which requires decking to be removed.

All other Cape Henlopen State Park trails will remain open during the repairs. For a map of the park’s trails, including the Gordons Pond Trail, stop by the Park Office or go to destateparks.com/Beaches/CapeHenlopen.

DNREC accepting written public comment on agreement and proposed consent decree with Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc.

Public comment period runs from Feb. 1 until close of business March 2 on agreement and proposed consent decree between DNREC and Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc. addressing violations at Mountaire’s Millsboro poultry processing facility

– On Dec.13, 2019, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) entered into an Agreement and [Proposed] Consent Decree with Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc., to resolve spray irrigation and land application permit violations cited by DNREC in a Nov. 2, 2017 Notice of Violation (NOV).

On Feb. 1, 2020, DNREC will publish a Notice of Lodging of the Agreement and [Proposed] Consent Decree in the Delaware Register of Regulations, soliciting public written comments. The Notice of Lodging of the Agreement is outside of DNREC’s standard public notice process, and therefore, there will be no public hearing held regarding this matter. The Notice of Lodging states the following:

“The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (“DNREC”) and Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc. (“MFODI”) have entered into an Agreement and [Proposed] Consent Decree (the “Agreement”) in the proceeding captioned State of Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control v. Mountaire Farms of Delaware, Inc. Case No. 18-00838 MN, currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. In accordance with the terms of the Agreement, notice is hereby given that the Agreement has been lodged with the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (the “Delaware District Court”).

“No action is required by the Delaware District Court at this time because the Agreement is subject to public written comment before it can be entered by the Delaware District Court as a Consent Decree.

“The Agreement resolves claims alleging violations of the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and state law as described in the Agreement. In the Agreement, MFODI commits to: (i) pay a civil penalty; (ii) construct a major upgrade to its wastewater treatment plant (“WWTP”) at its Millsboro, Delaware facility; (iii) take and maintain various interim measures at its WWTP until such time as the upgrade is completed and operational in order to mitigate potential nitrate loading at its permitted spray irrigation fields; (iv) relocate its water supply wells at the facility to enable MFODI to extract and treat nitrate in groundwater as part of its WWTP operations and to maintain a measure of hydraulic control; and (v) provide options for an alternative water supply to nearby residents.

“Although the Agreement is currently effective as a contract between DNREC and MFODI, it will not become effective as a Consent Decree unless and until signed and entered by the Delaware District Court.

“DNREC will accept written comments only relating to the Agreement for 30 days from the date of publication of this General Notice. Individuals may submit written comments via email to DNRECHearingComments@delaware.gov, or via the United States Postal Service to Lisa Vest, Office of the Secretary, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901. Written comments will be accepted until the close of business on Monday, March 2, 2020.

“The Agreement may be examined at the Clerk’s Office, United States District Court for the District of Delaware, 844 North King St, Unit 18, Wilmington, DE 19801-3570. In addition, the Agreement may be viewed on the DNREC website at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Documents/agreement-and-proposed-consent-decree-dnrec-and-mountaire-20191213.pdf.”

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902



STK gang members sentenced to prison for crime spree, including murder of Brandon Wingo

Two members of the Shoot To Kill (STK) gang, who were responsible for multiple armed robberies and three separate shootings—including the broad daylight murder of 15-year-old Brandon Wingo—have been sentenced by a Superior Court Judge.

Diamonte Taylor, 22, of Wilmington, was sentenced life in prison plus 11 years after a Superior Court jury convicted him in April 2018 of Murder 1st Degree, Assault 1st Degree, 2 counts of Reckless Endangering First Degree, 2 counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, 2 counts of Aggravated Menacing and Illegal Gang Participation.

Co-defendant Zaahir Smith, 22, of Newark was sentenced to 21 years in prison after pleading guilty in March to Robbery 1st Degree, Attempted Robbery 1st Degree, Assault 1st Degree, Conspiracy 1st Degree, Gang Participation and 2 counts of Possession of a Deadly Weapon During the Commission of a Felony.

Taylor and Smith were indicted as STK members who engaged in a series of violent gang-related firearm violence, including Wingo’s murder, during the month of May 2016. Prior to  Wingo’s murder, Smith and Taylor robbed two men at gunpoint after setting them up in Newark. Several days later, Smith shot a man during a robbery attempt in the 1600 block of Thatcher Street in Wilmington.

Deputy Attorneys General Mark Denney, Matt Frawley, and Monil Amin prosecuted the cases with assistance from Paralegal Stacey Coupe and Social Workers Courtney Cochran and Crystal Pitts. Det. Mackenzie Kirlin of the Wilmington Police Department and Det. Hector Garcia of the New Castle County Police Department led the investigation against Taylor and Smith.

DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Jan. 20-26

Reminder for the week: Deer, duck, and dove hunting seasons ending

– DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources, promote boating safety, and protect the public through outreach, education, and law enforcement. To help achieve public compliance with laws and regulations, officers from Jan. 20-26 made 1,177 public contacts and responded to 67 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

Officers issued a total of 54 citations for the following listed violations related to:

Wildlife Conservation: Unlawful to provide a guided hunt on division lands, unlicensed hunting, hunting license forgery, hunting migratory waterfowl without required HIP number, hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp, hunting migratory waterfowl without required state waterfowl stamp, possession of unlawfully taken waterfowl, failure to check antlered deer within 24 hours, failure to purchase a hunter choice tag prior to killing an antlered deer, failure to tag antlered deer, possess/transport an unlawfully taken antlered deer, failure to tag antlerless deer, failure to check antlerless deer within 24 hours, unlawful to purchase, sell, attempt to sell antlerless deer or antlerless deer parts, hunting deer with a firearm during archery season, unlawful use of dog training area*, and trespass to hunt.

Boating & Boating Safety: No boating safety certificate and no throwable preserver aboard as required for vessels 16 feet long or longer.

Public Safety: Failure to display required hunter orange during a firearms deer season, possession, purchase, ownership, or control of a deadly weapon by a person prohibited, possession of heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Other: Impede a lawful hunt, trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area, operating an unregistered motor vehicle on a state wildlife area, fictitious motor vehicle tags, driving with a suspended or revoked license, loitering, and criminal impersonation.

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters, and boaters who comply with Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. The public can report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or using the free smartphone DENRP Tip app downloaded from the Google Play Store or iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations can be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app; Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police remind hunters that deer, duck, and dove hunting seasons are coming to an end:

  • Duck season ends Friday, Jan. 31
  • Dove season ends Friday, Jan. 31
  • Deer Archery and Crossbow seasons end Sunday, Feb.2
  • Deer Muzzleloader season ends Sunday, Feb. 2 (archery equipment and crossbows can be used during muzzleloader season)

Although many hunting seasons are ending, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police encourage the public to report game law violations as soon as possible. Some illegal activities that should be reported include:

  • The use of an artificial light to illuminate wildlife, also known as spotlighting, in any manner, including from a motor vehicle, for the purpose of hunting or observing
  • Target shooting on state wildlife areas (target shooting on private property is allowed seven days a week, within the parameters of local, county, and state ordinances)
  • Shots fired from or across a public road or right-of-way, or within 15 yards of a public roadway
  • Carrying a loaded weapon in a vehicle or vessel in association with hunting

For more information on hunting – including hunter education, licensing, hunting and trapping seasons, limits, regulations, wildlife area information, and more, with sections devoted to deer, small game, turkey, and migratory birds – click on 2019-2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping Guide. Wildlife area maps with area-specific regulations are available online at Wildlife Area Maps.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, or 302-382-7167.

The Mezzanine Gallery to Exhibit “Spring Must Come” by Terron Mitchell

On view from February 17-28, 2020
Free opening reception on Friday, February 7 at 5 p.m.

Wilmington, Del. (January 27, 2020) – Spring Must Come, an exhibition of sculptural paintings by Terron Mitchell, will be on view in the Mezzanine Gallery from February 7-28. The artist will host a free opening reception on Friday, February 7, from 5-7 p.m. TANKSLEY, Delaware singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, will perform during the opening reception.

Mitchell creates his “sculptural paintings” by layering carved shapes made from wood sheathing to create a three-dimensional work. This layering creates interesting shadows and gives the work a sense of movement. Mitchell also makes his own custom-colored oil stains for the work. He doesn’t use the same color for more than one work. Assembling the works, often large scale, can take weeks.

The work in Spring Must Come, Mitchell says, “depicts a poetic visualization of one’s journey chasing dreams and accomplishing goals.” He is influenced by inspirational authors, Earl Nightingale and Jim Rohn. Mitchell lives, works, and maintains a studio in Smyrna, Delaware.

Images from left to right: Spring Must Come, 2019, oil stain, on pine wood, 8 x 4 x 2.5 feet

The Mezzanine Gallery is open to the public weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located in the Carvel State Office Building, 820 N. French Street, Wilmington.


Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing
302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov

The Delaware Division of the Arts, a branch of the Delaware Department of State, is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the arts to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.