DART to the Rehoboth Beach Fireworks on Sunday, July 1

DART First State will be providing bus service to the Rehoboth Beach Independence Day Fireworks display on Sunday, July 1. Celebrate Independence Day with a spectacular firework display beginning at approximately at 9:15 PM.  Visitors can take the Beach Bus 201 Red Line to the fireworks from either the Rehoboth or Lewes Park & Ride lots, which are open all day. Riders will be dropped off at the Henlopen Hotel located on Surfside Place. We encourage individuals to purchase a Daily Pass on the bus.  The fireworks are launched from the beach south of Rehoboth Avenue; depending on the weather the fireworks may be launched any time after 8 PM.

The Rehoboth Park & Ride is located on Shuttle Road, just off of DE Route 1, north of Rehoboth Avenue. The parking rate is $10 per day and up to 4 occupants of the vehicle receive a free daily pass valid for the Fireworks and all Beach Bus routes. The Lewes Park & Ride is located near Five Points, south of DE Route 9. The parking is free, and the cost to ride the bus is $2 per trip or $4.20 for a Daily Pass.  Visitors can also take any of the Beach Bus routes to either Park & Ride lot to connect with the fireworks buses.

DART to the fireworks and everywhere this summer with the Beach Bus!

The Delaware Transit Corporation, a subsidiary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), operates DART First State.  Real-Time Transit Information is now available on the free DelDOT App (iOS and Android), as well as DART’s Trip Planner on DartFirstState.com.  For more information, please call 1-800-652-DART.

Raccoon in Rehoboth Positive for Rabies; Public Health Warns Residents of King’s Creek Area

Delaware’s Division of Public Health (DPH) is warning residents of the King’s Creek community and surrounding areas in Rehoboth Beach of a positive case of rabies in a raccoon who bit a human last week. The raccoon was captured and brought to the DPH Lab, where test results confirming it had rabies came back on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. The victim, who was putting up holiday decorations in his yard, was bitten by the raccoon who was hidden in some bushes. The individual has begun treatment for the bite.

Anyone who thinks they might have been bitten, scratched or come in contact with a raccoon should immediately contact their health care

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provider or call the DPH Rabies Program at 302-744-4995. An epidemiologist is available 24/7. Also anyone who thinks their pet may have been bitten by this raccoon should call their private veterinarian or the Delaware Department of Agriculture (DDA) at 302-698-4630.

Residents should take precautions against rabies by:
• Avoiding wild and feral animals, regardless of whether or not the animal seems “friendly.” Not all rabid animals exhibit the classic signs of the rabies illness, such as aggression, depression or other abnormal behavior.
• Ensuring their pets are up to date with rabies shots.
• Keeping pets indoors or, while outside, supervising them on a leash.

Since January 2017, DPH has performed rabies tests on 137 animals, 17 of which were confirmed to be rabid, including five raccoons, seven cats, two dogs, two bats and one fox. Six of the positive rabies cases involved a bite to humans. DPH only announces those rabies cases in which it is possible the animal had unknown contacts with humans.

Rabies in humans and animals cannot be cured once symptoms appear. If the animal is of unknown origin, or unavailable to be quarantined or tested, the Division of Public Health recommends that people receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment, a series of four vaccinations, as a precautionary measure.
Rabies is an infectious disease affecting the nervous system of humans and other mammals. Infection can occur through the bite or scratch of an infected animal or if saliva from such an animal gets into the eyes, nose, mouth or an opening in the skin.

Fortunately, rabies is also almost 100 percent preventable. DPH recommends that members of the public take the necessary steps to stay clear of exposure to rabies. Rabies prevention starts with the animal owner. Vaccination of pets and livestock is a crucial factor in rabies prevention.

• All dogs, cats and ferrets 6 months of age and older are required by Delaware law to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Consider
vaccinating livestock and horses. It is recommended to consult with your private veterinarian if you have any questions regarding whether your animal(s)
should be rabies vaccinated.
• Pet owners can reduce the possibility of pets being exposed to rabies by not letting them roam free.
• Spaying or neutering your pet may reduce the tendency

to roam or fight and thus reduce the chance they will be exposed to rabies.
• Do not keep your pet’s food or water outdoors; bowls can attract wild and stray animals.
• Keep your garbage securely covered.
• Do not handle unfamiliar animals, including cats and dogs, even if they appear friendly.

For more information on the Delaware Division of Public Health’s rabies program, visit: http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/dpc/rabies.html or call 1-866-972-9705 or 302-744-4995. For more information on rabies, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person’s spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit http://delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.

Archaeological Discovery Writes New Chapter in Delaware’s Early Colonial History

REHOBOTH – An archaeological study years in the making has revealed a wealth of new information about some of Delaware’s earliest colonial settlers and shed new light on what life would have been like in the region three centuries ago.

The discovery of numerous artifacts as well as 11 well-preserved burial sites dating to the late 1600s fills in gaps in Delaware’s early history, telling the story of the colonists’ physical health, diet, family life, and how they made their living. Three of the burials, one a young child, were determined to be of African descent, constituting the earliest known discovery of remains of enslaved people in Delaware.

In cooperation with Delaware’s historical community, the state will now collaborate on a major research project to attempt to identify each of the individuals buried at the site. Future plans will be developed to exhibit the findings, possibly to include facial reconstructions based on the skeletal remains.

“Delaware’s history is rich, fascinating and deeply personal to many of us who call this state home,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “Discoveries like this help us add new sharpness to our picture of the past, and I’m deeply grateful to the passionate community of historians, scientists and archeologists who have helped bring these new revelations to light.”

The site of the discoveries is Avery’s Rest, a 17th century plantation located in what is now West Rehoboth. The original owner was John Avery, who once served as a judge in nearby Lewes in the period just after the colony transitioned from Dutch to English rule.

“This is a story of the life and death of some of the earliest Europeans and Africans to occupy what is now the state of Delaware,” said Daniel Griffith of the Archeological Society of Delaware. “Their interactions with neighbors, colonial governments and global connections with Europe, Africa, and the British colonies, is revealed to us through archaeology and archival research. The story is even more significant as its telling would not have been possible without the volunteer efforts of many members of the Archaeological Society of Delaware.”

Designated a historically significant site in the 1970s, Avery’s Rest was slated for development in 2005, which spurred the first round of excavations and surveys at the property by the Archeological Society of Delaware in collaboration with the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Over the next few years, archeologists continued to work the site and branch out into neighboring parcels, uncovering artifacts and evidence of structures from the original plantation.

The first burials were discovered in 2012. This triggered a legal process under the state’s Unmarked Human Remains Act, which identified three known descendants of John Avery.

With their consent, the state engaged Dr. Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution for his expertise in the field of physical anthropology and his well-known work with early colonial settlements at Jamestown, Va. and St. Mary’s City, Md. The remains were excavated and transferred to the Smithsonian for advanced DNA testing under Dr. Owsley’s supervision.

“Avery’s Rest provides a rare opportunity to learn about life in the 17th century, not only through the study of buried objects and structures, but also through analyses of well-preserved human skeletal remains,” said Dr. Owsley, who leads the Division of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. “The bone and burial evidence provides an intriguing, personal look into the life stories of men, women and children on the Delaware frontier, and adds to a growing body of biological data on the varied experiences of colonist and enslaved populations in the Chesapeake region.”

Bone and DNA analysis confirmed that three of the burials were people of African descent and eight were of European descent. Coupled with research from the historical record, Dr. Owsley further determined that the European burials may be the extended family of John Avery and his wife Sarah, including their daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. However, genetic markers alone are not sufficient to determine the exact identities of the remains.

“This archeological discovery is truly exciting, and reminds us that the ancestors will always make themselves known to us if we listen. The stories of their sacrifices in life and remembrances in death are truly ‘written in bone’ for us to interpret, understand and honor,” said Dr. Angela Winand, head of the Mitchell Center for African American Heritage and Diversity Programs at the Delaware Historical Society. “Long ago, these individuals formed a community at Avery’s Rest upon which our present and our future as a culturally diverse state rests. I look forward to learning more about this discovery from our partners at ASD and the Smithsonian, and sharing these stories with all of Delaware’s citizens, through the work of the Mitchell Center.”

The remains will stay in the custody of the Smithsonian, where they will assist ongoing work to trace the genetic and anthropological history of the early colonial settlers of the Chesapeake region. Delaware law strictly forbids the public display of human remains.

In Delaware, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will continue to work with the Delaware Historical Society, the Archeological Society of Delaware and others to craft a plan to exhibit the Avery’s Rest findings for the public.

Avery’s Rest – key dates

• 1976 – Site identified by Delaware state archeologists
• 1978 – Site listed in the National Register of Historic Places
• 2005 – Proposed development plan in the area raises concerns from the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
• 2006 – The state obtains landowner permission to survey the site
• 2006-08 – The Archaeological Society of Delaware, with assistance from the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, carries out surveys and excavations of the part of the site to be affected by the development
• 2009 – The Archaeological Society of Delaware continues its investigation on adjacent properties
• 2010 – An exhibit on findings is presented at the Rehoboth Historical Society
• 2010-12 – The Archaeological Society of Delaware continues its investigation on adjacent properties
• Sept. 2012 – First burials identified
• Nov. 2012 – In accordance with Delaware law, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs publishes a notice of the discovery seeking next-of-kin; three descendants of John Avery come forward
• 2013 – Next-of-kin and property owner consent to excavation and analysis of burials; Archaeological Society of Delaware continues investigation and identifies a total of 11 burials
• Sept. 2014 – Memorandum of Agreement signed by Historical and Cultural Affairs, Smithsonian, Archaeological Society of Delaware, and next-of-kin for Smithsonian excavation of the burials, with Historical and Cultural Affairs oversight; remains are transferred to the Smithsonian.
• March 2017 – Smithsonian confirms the age, gender, and ethnicity of the burials
• Aug. 2017 – Final report completed by the Smithsonian

Dunes in state parks closed to sledding and snowboarding

REHOBOTH BEACH – With predictions of snow in the forecast, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation reminds residents and visitors that dunes should not be used for sledding or snowboarding.

“Dunes contain fragile habitat and provide protection for the beaches and the communities that border them,” said Pat Cooper, Cape Henlopen State Park superintendent. “Recent storms have already caused some damage, so we’re asking the public to help protect the dunes in our ocean parks.”

Except for marked crossings, dunes are closed year-round to pedestrian traffic and activities in Cape Henlopen and Delaware Seashore State Parks.

Vol. 47, No. 3

Contact: Beth Shockley, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902 or Pat Cooper, Delaware State Parks, 302-227-2800.


DNREC schedules Tuesday, Nov. 15 public hearing in Rehoboth on city’s proposed wastewater projects

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Nov. 15 on several wastewater projects proposed by the City of Rehoboth Beach, including the city’s ocean outfall. The hearing will begin at 6 p.m. at the Rehoboth Elementary School, 500 Stockley Street, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971.

Rehoboth’s proposed wastewater projects include a pump station, a force main and an ocean outfall. The new pump station and a 24-inch force main are required to convey the treated wastewater to the ocean outfall and through diffusers located 6,000 feet offshore in water approximately 40 feet deep.

These proposed projects require several DNREC permits and approvals, including a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit, a Coastal Zone Management Act Federal Consistency Determination, a Subaqueous Lands Lease, Water Quality Certification, a Wastewater Facilities Construction Permit, and a Beach Preservation Coastal Construction Permit. Rehoboth’s permit applications and supporting documents, and a fact sheet and a draft NPDES permit are available on DNREC’s website.

The public hearing will receive comments from public speakers, with priority given to those who have preregistered followed by other speakers who choose to sign up at the public hearing. To preregister to speak at the hearing, please contact DNREC by e-mail or first class mail no later than Nov. 11 by Rehoboth_Wastewater_Comments@delaware.gov or via US Postal Service to:

John Schneider, DNREC
State Street Commons
100 W. Water Street – Suite 10B
Dover, DE 19904

As DNREC anticipates a large number of speakers, the Department accordingly will impose a five-minute time limit on each speaker. If you are unable or choose not to attend the public hearing, you may submit written comments in advance that will become part of the record. Written comments should be sent to the above contact addresses, preferably by email to Rehoboth_Wastewater_Comments@delaware.gov. The public comment period for written comments on the proposed City of Rehoboth wastewater projects began Oct. 15 and will end at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 2016. If comments are submitted by USPS, they must be postmarked no later than Dec.2, 2016.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902, or John Schneider, DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship, 302-739-9939

Vol. 46, No. 368