***A few days ago, Dan Breedlove celebrated his retirement from Delaware Printing Company. Mr. Breedlove has been a pressman for 45 years, tracing his roots with our company back to the early days of of our operation on Webbs Lane and New Burton Road, Dover, when that building was new. When he was starting, the C-5 was in the early years of flight, as was the company’s first offset printing press. To put 45 years into perspective in the daily news business, that’s more than 16,000 editions. Just during that time period, there likely has been about a half billion copies of the Delaware State News printed. The Delaware Printing Company prints the Delaware State News nightly, and several of our sister papers and other newspapers in the region. Delaware Printing Company and the Delaware State News now are located on Galaxy Drive in the Kent Aeropark in Dover. For as long as most of us have worked with Mr. Breedlove, we’ve known him as a quiet, hard-working and loyal member of our team. And, we’ve wondered for years, if he ever lit the cigar that he savored during the course of a press set up and run. When his fellow staffers in the room called for a speech, Mr. Breedlove grinned a little. “I’ve been here 10 years and he hasn’t spoken a word,” said Delaware Printing Company general manager Tom Bugbee. “Thank you all for all of the good times ... and even the bad times,” Mr. Breedlove said with a smile. George Sweeney, father of Levy Court commissioner Jody Sweeney, hired Mr. Breedlove, a West Virginia-native, in 1970.
***On Friday, reporters Matt Bittle and Craig Anderson represented the Delaware State News at the annual Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Assocation editorial awards luncheon in Baltimore. Mr. Bittle, a 2014 graduate of the University of Delaware, was a finalist for the MDDC’s “Rookie of the Year” award. He started with the Delaware State News about a year ago, taking on the state government and politics beat. Mr. Bittle and Mr. Anderson shared a byline on a piece about DelDOT’s controversial road prioritization strategies that won a second-place prize in the state government category. Also, the Delaware State News received a second-place award for spot news coverage of the arsons at three Felton-area churches last year. The Delaware State News’ entries compete with other small daily newspapers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
***Last week, this column featured a look back on the fall of Saigon and some old images of the front pages of 40 years ago. While turning through the pages on microfilm at the Delaware Public Archives, this editor stumbled onto a photo of the cupola being removed from the top of the Old State House on The Green in Dover. The caption explained that it was part of the renovations that were planned for the bicentennial celebrations to come the following year. Still today, the Old State House is a popular historic attraction in the city and one of many popular points of interest for people who attend Dover Days.
***Speaking of Dover Days, Darrell O’Connor and I wish to thank Pioneer for the donation of eight tons of sand, Kent County Tourism for inviting us to build a seven-foot-tall sandcastle for the event, and the City of Dover for the sand delivery. It has been a joy to meet readers at this event the past few years and spend a couple of days playing in the sand. On Friday, we met two mothers who had their four home-schooled children in Dover for a day of exploring. While getting a quick sandcastle lesson from Mr. O’Connor, they realized they were learning a little bit of math and science. Combined with a look at the art in the Biggs Museum, visit to the Old State House and witnessing the peaceful march of Delaware State University students to Legislative Mall, the children had a pretty diverse day of education.
***Readers, we hope you have had a chance to visit delawarestatenews.net, our new website. Already, it has proven popular with people looking for breaking news. As was the case with Thursday’s fatal shooting in Dover, readers can turn to us for quick reports from the field and updates on developing stories. A great development of the website change has been its accessibility and readability with smartphones, the device more and more people are using for breaking news. Delawarestatenews.net allows us to offer additional photos and videos with our stories. And, it offers a great way to share your views after reading stories. Using your Facebook account, you can easily post comments and engage others in conversations about the issues.