Authors Posts by Donald Wittkowski

Donald Wittkowski

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Ocean City School Board Hears Mother’s Emotional Plea to Fight Drugs

Ever since her 22-year-old son, Tyler, died of a heroin overdose in March, Ocean City resident Sally Onesty has been helping other drug abusers to get into treatment programs. One of them is Dylan Craver, a former Ocean City High School star athlete who said he began taking the powerful painkillers OxyContin and Percocet when he was just 16 years old and later became hooked on heroin. Standing side-by-side, Onesty and Craver made an impassioned public appeal to the Ocean City Board of Education on Wednesday night to focus attention on what they say is the community’s growing drug crisis...

Ocean City High School’s Girls Swimming and Basketball Teams Receive Honors

Members of two Ocean City High School teams that captured South Jersey championships this season were honored Wednesday night by the Board of Education. The Red Raiders girls basketball team won a school-record 30 games while advancing all the way to the state title game, dropping a nail biter to Pascack Valley...

Boardwalk Reconstruction Contract, Municipal Budget Top Council’s Agenda

City Council is expected Thursday to award a nearly $3 million contract for the final phase of a multiyear reconstruction of the heart of Ocean City’s tourist-friendly Boardwalk. In another key vote at its 7 p.m. meeting, Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and give final approval to the city’s proposed $79.7 million operating budget for 2017. Overall, the spending plan is up about 5 percent compared to last year, largely due to an increase in debt payments for new construction projects and higher health insurance costs, according to Frank Donato, the city’s chief financial officer...

Made in America: Artists and Craftsmen Show Off Their Handiwork

As little girls growing up in Delaware, sisters Cheryl Eashum and Sue Lemmons would scour the beaches for shells, sea glass and old wood washed up by the surf. Their shell-hunting days along the Delaware Bay continued into their adulthood, a habit that eventually led to Lemmons’ garage filling up with all of their beachcombing keepsakes. Tired of the clutter gathering in the garage, Lemmons’ husband gave them an ultimatum: “Do something with it or get rid of it,” Eashum recalled, laughing...

Friends, Family Members Pay Tribute to Ocean City Woman Dying of...

The dozens of photos piled on a table at Jeniffer Battersby’s Upper Township house show Christie Hess in ways that her friends and family members will always remember her – as a smiling, adventurous and vivacious woman who loved life and was ready to conquer any challenge. “She was never scared of anything. She once said that life is like a book and she wanted her chapters filled with amazing stories,” recalled Kelly Hess, Christie’s younger sister and a resident of Ocean City...

Playland’s Castaway Cove Adds New Roller-Coaster to Heighten Excitement

The twisting, serpentine-like mass of blue steel that soars 125 feet above the Boardwalk at 10th Street has almost a sinister look. Something as gnarly as this amusement ride should perhaps have a warning sign attached to it that says, “Hop aboard, if you dare.” Featuring some heart-pounding turns and drops, the Gale Force roller-coaster will propel riders at a top speed of 64 mph when it opens in mid-May as the new centerpiece of Playland’s Castaway Cove, the historic Ocean City amusement park. Brian Hartley, Playland’s vice president, said there has been a tremendous buildup of excitement ever since the ride was first announced in July 2015 and construction began in 2016. Thrill-seekers have been waiting...

Ocean City Cracks Down on Obscenity in New Sidewalks

Admit it, how many times have you been tempted to scratch your name or leave your handprints in the wet concrete of a freshly poured sidewalk? But when vandals come along and draw vulgar words or images in the concrete, that same sidewalk can become a public display of obscenity. Hoping to keep one step ahead of the graffiti artists, City Council has approved a new ordinance that requires homeowners to repair their new sidewalks, curbs or driveways if vandals strike...

New Campaign to Warn of Dangers of Balloons to Wildlife

City Council weighs possible ban for mass balloon releases

Pumping Stations to Fight Flooding in Ocean City’s North End Neighborhoods

Donna Buker said a rainstorm last Thursday lasted only 30 minutes, but swamped the streets around her home at Seventh Street and Moore Avenue with about a foot of water. Although that much storm water would be extraordinary for most areas, it was hardly an aberration in Buker’s flood-prone neighborhood close to the bay in the north end of town, she explained. “Our house was built in 2006. The flooding has gotten increasingly worse since then,” she said. On Thursday night, Buker and her husband, Bob, appeared before City Council to plead for help from the flood waters. It appears they will get it. Mayor Jay Gillian assured them the city is moving ahead with designs for a series of pumping stations in the north end to ease the perennial flooding...

Ocean City Prepares to Start Largest Ever Flood-Mitigation Project

As Ocean City residents know all too well, one of the consequences of living on a low-lying barrier island is the epic battle against flooding. For the flood-prone neighborhoods between 26th and 34th streets in the midsection of town, it has been a particularly difficult struggle. However, the largest drainage project in the city’s history is about to get underway to ease flooding in a 24-block area of the Third Ward stretching from 26th Street to 34th Street between West Avenue and Bay Avenue...