Frank Calio's Blog (

Current events, political, local, nationally


Last year I was invited by retired Laurel Farmer George Collins to visit the water melon operation of his son Mark at DMC (Wife Dawn and Mark. A series of health problems permitted me from making that date.

This year I asked if the invitation was still open; it was. So I spent half a day with George surveying the water melon fields and the operation from cutting the melons from their stem to the shipping process.

Over the years in Laurel others have built processing centers, skipping the middle man at the popular and long standing Laurel Farmers Auction where trucks and trailers sit and go through an auction process.

Most of the workers are out of Florida where they are use to the heat. A team of 10 are out in the melon field cutting the melons from the vines; this would be their fourth cutting, a fifth is questionable according to the foreman, but their are other fields.

On the other side of the field is another team of ten picking the melons and tossing them to team members on a school bus with the top cut off, seats out to accommodate the melons.

The buses then head to the packing facility where they line up next to a conveyer belt; the; rest of the process is intriguing.  The assembly line has about 15 people. The most important person after those who are unloading, is the person who slaps the melon with both hands.

If the melon doesn’t sing his tune, it is tossed in the dump truck. It then goes to a computerized scale where  the melon is weighed, them moves along the conveyer belt. Their are several computerized sections who have picked up the weight of the melons, and as they move along the line, they are kicked out by a board according to their weight.

They are then loaded into boxes we see in the stores then lifted by a fork lift and stored on pallets throughout the warehouse, to be loaded on tractor trailers waiting.

Most of the Collin’s melons travel to stores in Phila and New York. They process up to 20 bus loads a day. A very interesting day.

Other farms in the Laurel area I am aware of: Givens, and Vincent Farms. Vincents grows a lot of truck crops as Tomatoes, corn, cantaloupes, etc.


The Horsey Family Youth Foundation celebrated their 12th year of existence but without the presence of their founder, David G. Horsey who passed away earlier this year.

However the family members carried on the tradition with a capacity dinner crowd held at the Heritage Country Club Wednesday evening.

The Foundation founded in 2004 has helped youth programs from Wilmington to the eastern sore of Virginia serving 4,000-5000 kids annually.

Nearly $900,000 has been disbursed to these youth programs with 69,000 raffle tickets being sold.

The Foundation is unique in that no salaries or traditional overhead expenses are charged to the Foundation. Not one of the Horsey family individually or their affiliated companies charge any salaries or other fees to oversee the Foundation.

Tickets are given to various organization; Example; for a $20 ticket sold, 75% of the money is returned back with in a week.  The remaining 25% of the ticket sale is invested with the Delaware Community Foundation. In august of the next year, each organization will receive an endowment based on the ticket sales from the previous year, from the Delaware  Community Foundation. For the remaining $5 the organizations will receive an average of $6.00 or $7.00 for each ticket sold.  

A Celebrity Gold Tournament will be held today. Several professional sports celebrities will participate in the Tournament.

Hats off to Ms. Pat and the Horsey Family for their generosity.



Christe Shirey seeking her second attempt to secure a place on the Laurel School Board withdrew her candidacy late last week.

That narrows the field to three; incumbent Patrick Vanderslice, John Bowden, and Shawn McCarty.


Press Release

From the Office of the Superintendent

Eston Ennis Named Head Football Coach at Laurel

Laurel, DE, Thursday, March 17:

The Laurel School District is pleased to announce that Eston Ennis has been named its Varsity Head Football Coach.

Coach Ennis has been a highly successful assistant coach and Defensive Coordinator for Woodbridge High School for the past seven years, which culminated in two state playoff semi-final appearances in the 2013 and 2015 seasons.

Coach Ennis is well versed in Laurel Football, serving as its team captain in 2002, a season in which the Bulldogs made it to the state semi-finals. After graduating from Laurel in 2003, Ennis played for Wesley College from 2003-2007, starting at linebacker for the Wolverines his last two years. In his four years playing for Coach Mike Drass, Wesley made it to the Division III Semi-Finals three times.

Coach Ennis graduated with a Bachelors’ of Science in Business from Wesley in 2008 and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Educational Leadership at Wilmington University.

Coach Ennis will also be working professionally within the school district, serving as the Student Liaison Coordinator for LMHS, where he will monitor student achievement and discipline and assist students with receiving academic and behavioral interventions, counseling, and social/emotional support. He currently works in a similar capacity for the Woodbridge School District.

The transition in football coaches from Coach Glenn Phillips Jr. to Coach Ennis is one that is driven solely by the sincere need to have more coaches working within our school buildings. It is also in accordance with the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (DIAA) rules, which obligates that any position previously filled by an emergency coach must be reopened prior to the next season. Coach Phillips, despite being a long-standing football coach across many levels in our town, who has been passionate, charitable, and selfless in the amount of time, effort, and attention he has given to Laurel Football, is classified as an emergency football coach, as he works outside the school system.

I truly wish Coach Phillips nothing but the best going forward, as his contributions to Laurel Football, specifically his team’s appearance in the 2014 State Championship Game, have added greatly to the Laurel Bulldogs football legacy.

Coach Ennis has indicated that current Laurel assistant football coaches, which includes Brian Hearn (RB/LB/Special Teams), Joseph Deiter (OL/DL), and Bradley Ellingsworth (QB/DE), will be joining him on his new coaching staff.


Sarah Marie Trivits, long time social editor for the Laurel STAR passed away peacefully this morning, WED, losing a battle with cancer, family by her side; she was 94.

When news came earlier in the week she might not last the week, a steady stream of her friends visited to pay their respect.

I nicknamed her “Gossip Queen” because not much that went on in Laurel she did not have knowledge of. She loved the name.

She kept writing right up to last year even with failing health you would see her attend meetings and up to a couple years ago was still driving.

She was a charter member of the Laurel Alumni and attended monthly luncheon meetings until a few months back when her illness finally side lined her.




Congratulations to Delaware State University for deactivating 23 outdated academic programs and replacing them with programs geared to the 21st century.

 all growing industries.

Some of the programs cut are still important, but as I said you can’t teach everything to everybody. And with cuts from the government, building additional space and hiring more staff is impossible these days.


The outsourcing of the popular all-American cookie Oreos says it all about American jobs going out of the country.

Geez, we can’t even make cookies in this country; what is next milk, after all the two do go together.

Although I wouldn’t rate making cookies a high profile manufacturing job, 600 jobs lost is a job for someone.



Many were shocked, disappointed when it was announced that Dr. Ben Carson, a novice in politics, but certainly a gentleman was going to endorse Donald Trump for President.

Carson who dropped out of the presidential race last week after his decline in the polls as a contender to the bottom of the ladder had been in the earlier debates degraded by the ‘Don’ for his mental and physical state.

Carson kept his cool despite the attacks on him and he never was disrespectful to the other candidates; at times bring up one liners about his lack of questions going so far as to beg for someone to criticize him.

I am not surprised by Carson’s endorsement; it’s politics as usual. Republicans despite their in fighting will rally behind the nominee even though the top two contenders, Trump and Cruz are not part of the mainstream party policies.

The same will happen with Clinton and Sanders. Both parties want control of the White House.

After all, birds of a feather flock together.


Buzz around town if the more up coming Laurel Bulldogs black uniforms will be a thing of the past and it’s about time.

Laurel’s sports uniforms have been brown and gold, and maroon and white for generations. Red and White took over when then coach Bill Pugh took over the reigns in football.

During the mid nineties black began  as a part of the red and white uniforms; Laurel’s high school basketball uniforms, black, alternate with white or red uniforms. The football team I understand this year had a set of black uniforms.

You could also purchase a school jacket in black. A new comer could easily be confused what the school colors really are!

The new policy I understand prohibits black being the dominate color for uniforms and the colors red and white must dominate. Letters can be out lined in black.

Whoever had the courage to finally stand up and make a uniform policy, my hat is off to you.


Bob Durham of Laurel well known businessman and early developer of strip shopping centers passed away yesterday after a short illness.

Durham spent decades in developing real estate; was one of the original members of the Laurel Redevelopment group and stayed active in their activities until his illness. He also was one of the partners of Laurel Realty, Southern Realty until merging his business with Coldwell Banker last year.

Post Navigation


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 786 other followers