Saturday, September 30, 2023

News Digest 5.17.2006

By Rick Racela

2d Try for 2d Chance
GOSHEN – The nonprofit Cape May County Equestrian Facility Inc. (CEF) is seeking pubic support in the form of money and/or equipment to back its drive to get the former Second Chance Ranch here from the county for equine therapeutic riding for the handicapped. CEF was the only bidder in two solicitations, the last on May 2. County Deputy Administrator Steve Hampton called CEF “well-intended,” but said the county needs to see more documentation that the agency has “the financial wherewithal” to bring the property to code. The county bought the 33-acre former Circle T Ranch in 1995 with $170,000 in open space funds.
Silver and Gold
NORTH WILDWOOD -Freeholders have reappointed Mayor William Henfey to a second, three-year term on the county Bridge Commission, where he is chairman. The job pays $7,500 plus benefits. The commission is supposed to have two Republicans and one Democrat. Republican Henfey, owner of the Silver Bullet sightseeing vessel, and Democrat Salvatore DeSimone have been without a third member since Gerard Desiderio died Nov. 7, 2003.
Cleaning Up Sunset
WEST CAPE MAY – The county has accepted an application from the West Cape May Environmental Commission to “adopt” Sunset Boulevard, helping to keep it free of litter and having a series of clean-ups. The first is set May 28, from 7 to 9 a.m. Parking is available at 41 Sunset Boulevard. Gloves, bags, safety vest and refreshments will be provided.
School Budget Intact
PETERSBURG – Upper Township Committee decided May 8 not to recommend any cuts to the township Board of Education’s $32 million budget, rejected by voters April 18. The 4.5-cent tax increase will give residents an additional $45 of tax for every $100,000 in assessed value. The committee declined the school’s offer to cut $55,000 for new computers, since according to its auditor that would not change the tax rate. As much as $170,000 would need to be removed to measurably affect the rate and the committee concluded it could not find anything to cut from what it called a lean budget.
Critical after Crash
TUCKAHOE – Justin O’Driscoll, 20, of Upper Township, was critically injured after his car struck a tree after leaving Mt. Pleasant Road. He was traveling north in the early morning hours May 11 and State Police received a report of the accident at 1:45 a.m. O’Driscoll had to be removed from the car with hydraulic equipment by the Tuckahoe Volunteer Fire Company. He was flown by helicopter to Cooper Health System in Camden.
Beaches for the Birds
TRENTON – The state Department of Environmental Protection announced May 12 that some county bay and ocean beaches would be closed temporarily to allow migratory birds, particularly red knots, to feed undisturbed. Closed bay areas in Middle Township are: Reeds Beach, Kimbles Beach, Pierces Point, Rutgers Beach, Norburys Landing, Cooks Beach, Highs Beach and Sunray Beach. Villas Beach in Lower Township is also closed. The bay beaches are off limits through June 7. Ocean areas, which are closed through Oct. 15, include Stone Harbor Point/Champagne Island in Stone Harbor. Printed signs and ropes will be in place from streets to the water’s edge in these areas. DEP staff and volunteers will be on site to answer questions.
Smile for the Camera
COURT HOUSE – Don’t worry about that guy with a camera outside your home in Middle Township. He’s just tying to do his job and take a photo for the revaluation being conducted by Tyler Technologies CLT Division. The picture taking started this week and is expected to take up to four weeks. There are three or four different people taking photos here and they all should have an ID badge identifying them as Tyler employes. The tax assessor and township police also have information on them and what they’re driving. For questions call Tyler at 391-0940 or the assessor’s office at 465-8726.
Fugitive Arrested
COURT HOUSE – Middle Township police arrested Walter S. Townsend, 40, of Philadelphia May 6 just after 11 a.m. after stopping a vehicle he was driving on Hand Avenue. Townsend is wanted in Pennsylvania on terroristic threats and assault with a weapon charges and is considered a fugitive from justice. He was taken in to custody without incident, according to police, and was charged with having a controlled dangerous substance in his possession. He was taken to county jail with bail set at $500,000.
Spitting Image
NORTH WILDWOOD – The search for the city’s first mayor, affectionately known as Gus and more formally known as Augustus Hilton, ended during the centennial anniversary celebrations held last weekend. Patrolman Robert Champion beat out a panel of 16 candidates, all dressed in 1906 era clothing, to win a Gus look-alike contest. Champion, a North Wildwood policeman for 20 years, shared a rumble seat of a vintage coup with his wife Eileen as he paraded down Atlantic Avenue May 13. Evan Pelligrino was the first runner-up and John Lynch was second runner-up.
Stolen Shotguns
COURT HOUSE – Superior Court Judge Carmen Alvarez sentenced Jemel Goolsby, 33, of Woodbine, to six and a half years in prison and $3,000 in restitution to be paid for stealing several shotguns from a Woodbine home. According to Assistant Prosecutor Saverio Carroccia, Goolsby had been arrested 19 times since 1991 and had prior convictions for burglary and assault. Judge Alvarez said Goolsby was lucky to receive the sentence he did, because he was facing as many as 20 years in prison when he was originally indicted for the January 2005 crime.  
Fraud, Drug Charges
COURT HOUSE – Frank Alfe, 28, of Wildwood Crest, admitted May 12 that heroin and crack cocaine found, during a search of his West Forget-Me-Not Road home, were his. He also admitted to charging $965, that he claims he used to enter a detoxification center in Merchantville, on the debit card of his former tenant.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Alfe will be sentenced to five years in prison on the drug charges, five years for the fraudulent use of a credit card, and have to pay restitution. 
Not Enough Time
STONE HARBOR – The hearing on the application for Nextel Communications of the Mid-Atlantic will pick up at a special zoning board meeting on June 5. The case was started May 12, but could not be finished due to lack of time. The hearing is scheduled for June 5 at 6 p.m. in Borough Hall.
Eleven-Year Sentence
COURT HOUSE – Superior Court Judge Carmen Alvarez sentenced Timothy Kakembo, of Millville, to 11 years in prison for sexually assaulting a young girl, and a concurrent term of six years for endangering the welfare of a child. The 9-year-old victim, who was in Kakembo’s care at the time of the assault, had testified that she was placed on his lap after taking a bath. Despite Kakembo’s claims that any contact was innocent, a jury convicted Kakembo March 9. He had faced as many as 30 years in prison. 
Robbery Foiled
RIO GRANDE – Santokh Singh, a U.S. Gas attendant, foiled a robbery by chasing down the suspect and snatching the keys from his car. Police charged Michael Papero, 23, of Burleigh with robbery a short time later. According to reports, on the afternoon of May 13, Papero parked his car a block away and walked to the gas station to ask for change. When Singh pulled some cash from his pockets, estimated to be several hundred dollars, Papero grabbed the money and ran, said police. Singh, who reportedly bruised his leg on the suspect’s car door, was back at work later that afternoon. The station, owned and operated since 1990 by the Singh family, has been the site of robbery and vandalism in the past. Papero was lodged in the county jail on $15,000 bail.
Adopt Middle Budget
COURT HOUSE – There will be no raise in this year’s tax rate for Middle Township residents, thanks to a spending plan that relies on increased ratables and surplus from a land sale. Township adopted its $18.3-million budget on May 15, up $14 million from last year. Almost two-thirds of the $6.4 million surplus goes to the budget. Auditor Glen Ortman said a $61-million increase in ratables provided an additional $400,000.
Drug Raid Nets 3
NORTH WILDWOOD – A month-long investigation by local police and the county Prosecutor’s office into cocaine sales led to the arrest May 12 of Rudo Richardson, 30, Shelly Gilchrist, 24, both of East 24th Avenue, and Elaine Redman, 50, of Court House. Following a raid on the North Wildwood home, police seized one and a half grams of cocaine, valued at approximately $150, and various drug paraphernalia, according to a release from the County Prosecutor’s Office. The county Sheriff’s K-9 Unit and regional  SWAT team assisted.  Richardson and Gilchris were charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession with intent to distribute. Richardson was lodged in the county jail on $50,000 bail and was additionally charged with endangering the welfare of a child, who was at the home at the time of the raid. Gilchrist was held on $15,000 bail and Redman was released on a summons.
Historical Event
CAPE MAY – A celebration was held May 11 at the Chalfonte Hotel to mark the 30th Anniversary of this city receiving National Historic Landmark status. It was not an easy process, according to architect Hugh McCauley. “Saving homes from demolition 30 years ago could’ve resulted in threats by the owner,” he said. McCauley said some in the city wanted old buildings torn down in favor of new motels and gambling in the city. He said it has been proven visitors come to Cape May because of the preserved buildings.
Sooner or Later
OCEAN CITY – Dr. Steve Lyons, The Weather Channel’s severe weather expert, told residents to be prepared for a strong hurricane, sometime in the future. Addressing an audience at an emergency preparedness seminar here May 11, Lyons said hurricanes are a way of life on the East Coast. He advised residents to have storm shutters on their homes and reinforced garage and patio doors. He advised leaving the area quickly when an evacuation order is issued. 
House Struck
AVALON MANOR – Jay R. Tierney, of this town, was arrested May 11 about 11:17 p.m. by Middle Township police and charged with driving while intoxicated and careless driving. Police were called to 552 Old Avalon Blvd. to investigate a one-car crash into a house. There were no injuries. According to police, the house suffered considerable damage.
Head Injuries
WOODBINE – Two persons were injured after their vehicle hit a utility pole on Petersburg Road, May 13 at about 10 p.m. According to State Police, Robert Boyer, 23, of Petersburg, was driving westbound on Petersburg Road when he was unable to negotiate a turn, crossed the eastbound lane and hit a utility pole. He received head injuries and was flown by helicopter to Cooper Health System in Camden. An unidentified 15-year-old female passenger in the truck also suffered head injuries and was airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City where she was in stable condition. According to State Police, excessive speed may have contributed to the accident.
Station Robbery
RIO GRANDE – Michael Papero, 23, of Burleigh was arrested May 13, charged with robbing the US Gas station on Route 47 in Rio Grande. According to a Middle Township police report, Papero allegedly approached a gas attendant on foot and asked for change. When the attendant pulled an unknown amount of cash from his pocket, Papero allegedly grabbed the money and ran to a vehicle on a nearby street. The attendant gave chase and kept the suspect from fleeing. Papero was lodged in county jail under $15,000 bail.
Share Graduation
 RIO GRANDE – Proud parents, who like to snap photos, are invited to submit digital graduation photos from local high schools. Those photos, if in good taste, will be displayed on the Herald’s Web site: and click on the Photo Gallery to submit those special graduation images. Limit of two images per graduate, thanks. Pictures must be good quality (JPEG format is acceptable) and show graduation moments. A brief description and identification should accompany the photo. All images are subject to editing.

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