Newsweek takes a close look at Wilmington and labels the city “Murder Town USA”:
This year, there have been 27 homicides in Wilmington, tying its record 27 murders in 2010, and 135 people have been shot. Twenty-two of them died. With a population of just over 71,000, Wilmington had a violent-crime rate of 1,625 per 100,000 people last year, according to the FBI’s 2013 Uniform Crime Report (that crime rate measures murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault). The national average was 368 per 100,000 people. Wilmington ranks third for violence among 450 cities of comparable size, behind the Michigan towns of Saginaw and Flint, according to a Wilmington News Journal report. For a city mired in violence, the most stunning fact of all may be that Wilmington just got its first homicide unit.
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It has been widely reported that Wilmington, Delaware has the highest per capita homicide rate in the country last year. This year it’s worse. Wilmington is on a pace to set a new record for murders.
What hasn’t been as widely reported is that the area around Delaware has shown a dramatic and consistent drop in crime over the past two years. The murder rate in the rest of New Castle County has dropped 55 percent since 2012; and the new man in charge is getting a lot of attention from the international law enforcement community for the unique crime fighting system he put into place.
“We recently had to bring in a translator for one of our meetings because some diplomats from Colombia wanted to see what we were doing,” said Colonel Elmer Setting, New Castle County’s police chief and new star.
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This is one of those family backyards that are always occupied. Always. Take a look at what basically amounts to a water park in the gallery and you’ll see what I mean. But even without that popular area, the Delaware manse might seduce buyers anyway.
Traditional hardwoods are featured strongly throughout the home, save for the front-to-back foyer, which boasts checkered marble flooring instead. The living room leads into a coffered-ceiling sunroom and an office with cherry millwork. Mansion-style amenities include a fireplace in the master bath; a computer nook; a billiards room; and a stocked bar. From the kitchen (custom cabinetry, granite countertops, double Sub Zero fridge and Miele dishwasher) there’s access to two rooms: 1) a family room with vaulted ceiling, built-ins, and wood burning stove; and 2) a breakfast room with vaulted ceiling and view of the water park — well, they don’t call it that, but they do say it’s “resort-like”. There’s a waterfall, slide, winter hot tub, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, travertine patio and custom pergola, among other resort touches.
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Bobby Cummings seems like a great guy, quick with a smile, easy to talk with, a full-grown Boy Scout. Honest, courteous, kind, the whole package.
And that’s why I feel so bad for him. He just accepted the nearly impossible task of turning around the most dangerous city in America – Wilmington, Delaware. Recently it passed Camden and every other city in the country in per capita murders, shooting and violent crimes.
It’s not that I don’t think Cummings can make a difference. He can, if the City of Wilmington will let him.
I didn’t realize how much Cummings is handicapped by bureaucratic idiocy until I sat down with him for a TV interview on MeTV, Channel 2. Within the first three minutes of the interview I was stunned.
I asked an obvious question, “Do you need more police officers?” And I got the obvious answer, “Yes.” Like any police chief in the history of police chiefs would say no.
“How many do you need?”
It was the answer to that question was the stunner. Cummings said, “If I could get 50 more police officers, I could start a homicide unit.”
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This redwood home on a woodsy acre has an outbuilding whose historic context beats that of most other Wilmington real estate, to be sure. In October of 1962, the country was brought to what seemed to be the brink of nuclear war. By this time, children had been crouching beneath their desks–“Duck and Cover!”–for civil defense test raids for a decade. But the Cuban Missile Crisis provoked the kind of fear that would lead a homeowner to speedily erect a stone bunker on his property.
What is the shelter good for now? Perhaps 21st-century end-of-days folks who want a place to preserve their potable water will find it appealing. Do such people live in Wilmington, Del.? If not, the listing suggests a wine cellar, which is much more fun.
As for the other aspects of the house, given the number of pine and oak walls, the decor may be responsible for the Delaware Wooden Wall Crisis of 1952.
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Bryan Sikora told Michael Klein today he had been fired as chef at a.kitchen by David Fields. Sikora was scheduled to be leaving sometime this spring anyway but the abruptness is a surprise. Sikora and Fields were both at Saturday’s ACHIEVability’s Food for Thought event where the chef was serving a literal shrimp cocktail.
Sikora fired from a.kitchen [The Insider]
Which of the above images is the actual Winterthur? Answer revealed in the gallery below of the house for sale.
The du Pont estate Winterthur, which is now a museum dedicated to American furniture (surely the Keno brothers have fondled a chair or two in its confines), has competition just about a mile away. There’s a grand home for sale known to some (well, this blog, at least) as Mini Winterthur, though in point of fact it has more acreage—61.31 acres—than the Du Pont site itself.
The home for sale has 9 bedrooms and 9.5 baths laid out over a capacious 12,550 square feet. Designed by William Bottomley, a famed New York architect renowned for spiffing up Richmond, Virginia, in neo-Georgian fashion, it features random width hardwood floors, spindles to die for and a pressing room. In case 9 bedrooms won’t take care of the whole family, there’s also a separate 2-bedroom farmhouse as well as a 3-bedroom tenant house. For those truly undesirable guests, stick ’em in the pool house or the tack room for the 24-stall barn. At least they’ll be on an estate that’s listed on the National Historic Registry, and that’s not nothing.
The home, which is listed at $6 million, is being handled by Patterson Schwartz. Info here.
It must be chef shuffling season. Word comes from a.kitchen’s David Fields that chef Bryan Sikora will be leaving Rittenhouse Square’s a.kitchen. Like Eater, we’ve been told Sikora is opening a La Fia, a bakery/cafe in Wilmington.
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Ernest & Scott Taproom has opened in Wilmington. Owner Scott Morrison (Nectar, Chelsea Tavern) and chef Kevin Torpey are presenting a “modern beer garden” menu and had Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione help on the beer list and food pairings. [Second Helpings]
The new brewhouse has arrived in Pottstown for the new Sly Fox brewery. [Liquid Diet]
La Bamba as opened as a Mexican BYOB in West Chester. [WC Dish]
Chef John Brandt-Lee is launching new winter menus at Avalon Restaurant (in West Chester) and Avalon Pasta Bistro (in Downingtown). At the Pasta Bistro diners chooses a pasta and 2 additional dishes (antipasti or flatbreads) for $30. [Avalon Pasta Bistro]
The Paddock at Devon closed abruptly after service a couple of Saturdays ago. Now comes word that Landmark Americana will take over the space. [The Insider]
DiBruno Brothers Ardmore Farmers’ Market location is set to open on Tuesday, April 5th. The first suburban DiBruno’s will occupy five stalls across two aisles in the market.
Former Vetri chef de cuisine Joey Baldino is opening a 35-seat Sicilian eatery in Collingswood at the site of the former IndeBlue. [The Insider]
Wilmington’s World Cafe Live at the Queen has a chef with Philly ties. Norman Reola of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse will oversee the operation that opens on April 2nd. [Second Helpings]