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News Digest 5.24.2006

By Rick Racela

Drug-Free Zones
WOODBINE – Woodbine Council broadened the drug-free school zone that mandated stiffer penalties for those caught distributing drugs within 1,000 feet of the elementary school to other areas in the borough last week. Next month anyone in possession of drugs could face penalties three times higher if caught within 500 feet of Lincoln Park, the Franklin Street playground, the recreation center of the borough’s bike path. Public buildings like the borough and fire halls are also part of this new law. Signs will be posted at all these locations.
Almost a Quarter Less
WOODBINE – Borough Council here voted May 19 to strip enough from the school district’s budget to cut the tax rate by 24 cents. The budget would have raised the tax rate by 38 cents and it was defeated by four votes in April. With council’s action a taxpayer will see taxes go up $1.57 to $1.71 per $100 of assessed value, which translates into $1,710 in school taxes for an assessed value of $100,000.
Arraign Brothers
COURT HOUSE – Richard Riehl, 43, and his brother, Albert Riehl, 26, were arraigned in Middle Township Municipal Court Monday on charges of invasion of privacy and conspiracy. The charges stem from a raid on the Images Tanning Salon on Hand Avenue, which was purchased by the older brother months ago, according to police. Police had received reports of suspicious activities and during the raid seized a camera and computers. Although there were computer images of individuals using tanning beds, no one could be identified from the images and there was no indication the images had been circulated on the Internet, according to police. The Riehls were advised they could seek a public defender and neither entered a plea.
Record Keeping Grant
TRENTON – The New Jersey Secretary of State announce the distribution of $27.8 million in 2006 Public Archives and Records Infrastructure Support (PARIS) grants statewide. Cape May County will receive $925,800, with $357,300 earmarked for a records management program; $31,600 for records storage and disaster recovery; $329,200 for enterprise-wide shared services; $65,400 for conservation and preservation; and, $142,300 for back-file scanning an imaging. The PARIS program began last year and is funded by fees collected by county clerks and registers for recording certain documents, including deeds and mortgages. Its purpose is to consolidate space, reduce unnecessary public documents and modernize antiquated filing systems. 
 
Animal Cruelty
COURT HOUSE – James P. Kelly IV, of Somers Point, was charged with beating a small dog and leaving it to die in a portable toilet Feb. 3. Kelly pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on May 18. Kelly reportedly plans to apply for the pre-trial intervention program, which is for first-time offenders and can last up to 36 months. Upon completion, the conviction is removed from their criminal record.
Alleged Con Man
COURT HOUSE – Dennis Sanseverino, of Ocean City, is charged with theft by deception, after an alleged romantic relationship with plaintiff Patricia Rynn, that she claims cost her money, checks, and more. According to police reports, Rynn believed that she was “investing in their future,” while Sanseverino was allegedly really investing in investment scams to purchase diamonds and Rolex watches. He reportedly also orchestrated the transfer of Rynn’s mother’s property to Sanseverino for $1. The trial date is set for June 19. Sanseverino has until June 8 to accept a plea bargain that would allow him to serve 364 days in jail and pay restitution. The alternative is 10 years in prison if convicted.
Board Dials 911
UPPER TOWNSHIP – State Police were summoned amid a teacher protest at the Middle School, while the Board of Education held its meeting May 15. The disruption was related to the 150 teacher’s association members who have been working without a contract since June 30. The board dialed 911 when a wad of paper wrapped in masking tape was hurled at a board member, according to reports. Four board members left the room, described as “hostile,” and didn’t return. State Police Trooper Colin McNulty, who responded to the 911 call, claimed the atmosphere was “civil.” The board scheduled another negotiating session for May 22.
Refused the Stand
COURT HOUSE – Bernard Davis, 23, of Wildwood refused to testify against his alleged crime associate Raymond Bartee, 28, thus adding two years onto his prison term. Davis was already to be sentenced to five years in prison, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery. He had agreed to testify against Bartee, who was also charged in a robbery at the Ship-Ahoy motel on May 31, 2005. According to reports, the male victim was accosted by the two perpetrators, one wielding an axe and the other using a baseball bat, and relieved of a little money, credit cards, and a money order. Davis will be sentenced at 9 a.m. June 2, while Bartee will go to trial June 12.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Go Swimming
CREST HAVEN – County Health Department tests of 67 ocean and bay recreational site May 15-17 found three that exceeded the state set limit for enterococcus bacteria of 104 per 100-millileter sample. A reading of 120 was recorded at Lavender Avenue Beach in Wildwood Crest. However, the following day, the reading dropped to a safe level of four. A reading of 140 was found at both Beesley’s Point Beach in Upper Township and Ocean City Yacht Club. High readings were found at six environmental locations where recreation activities are not recommended. Ocean City; Texaco gas pumps at 3rd Street, 130, Upper Township; Sherman and Bayview, 150, Avalon; public pier at 23rd Street, 240, public dock at 33rd Street, 130, southwest of old standpipe, 39th and 4th, 160, and boat ramp at 55th Street, 130. There were no beach closings during the week. For updated reports, call the hotline, 465-2422.
Drug Arrest
ERMA – Following a county SWAT Team raid May 15 at 5:30 p.m., Robert W. Knight, 44, of Alexander Avenue in Villas, was arrested for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, suspected to be cocaine. He was charged with intent to distribute the substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child endangerment. Officers were reportedly concerned about the living conditions at the residence, home to four children ranging in age from one to eight years old. The state Division of Youth and Family Services are also investigating.
School Zone
ERMA – A traffic stop by Lower Township police in Villas near Mulligan Field and St. Raymond’s School, led to the arrest of two men of drug charges May 15 about 5 p.m. A passenger in the vehicle, Lee N. Jaudon, 24, of Newark, was found to be in possession of five bags of suspected PCP-laced marijuana. He was lodged in county jail under $20,000 cash bail for possession of a controlled dangerous substance in a school zone The driver, Randy L. Lewis, 25, of Wildwood was found to have outstanding warrants from Millville and a suspended license. He was held in county jail in default of a $750 warrant from Millville.
Case Moved
COURT HOUSE – Lower Township Mayor Walter Craig’s arraignment on an allegeded driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge will be heard in Upper Township. Middle Township Judge Peter Tourison disqualified himself from the case May 22. He told the Herald he represented Craig in a divorce case about 20 years ago and Craig served on the Lower Cape May Regional High School Board of Education when Tourison served a board solicitor.  A date has not been set in Upper Township Municipal Court. Craig was represented in Middle Township Municipal Court by attorney John Tumelty of Wildwood. Craig was arrested May 18 at 12:58 a.m. in Del Haven, charged with DWI and operating an unregistered vehicle. The arrest was the result of a motor vehicle stop, according to a police report from Middle Township police. Craig, 54, was taken to police headquarters, processed, and released.
One Vehicle Crash
DENNISVILLE – Shane M. Boyd of Mantua was critically injured May 19 about 12:30 a.m. when his vehicle left Route 9 near milepost 20, struck a utility pole, and overturned. He was ejected from the vehicle. Boyd was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus where he was in critical condition.
Tear Down
WEST CAPE MAY – The borough lost another historic home to the wrecking ball May 18 when a house at the corner of Eldridge Avenue and Park Boulevard, built in 1890 was torn down by its owner to make way for a new home. Borough commission passed legislation to form an historic preservation commission (HPC) last month. The new HPC is expected to hold its first organization meeting early in June.
 
Drug Dealer Sentenced
COURT HOUSE – Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten sentenced Morrell Hoyle, 31, of Wildwood, to 15 years in prison on May 19. However, Batten said he doubted Hoyle would stop selling drugs once released. In March, during a police search of his home, Hoyle ran to the bathroom and reportedly began flushing bags of cocaine down the toilet before police could stop him. A jury found Hoyle guilty of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, along with other charges. That conviction came approximately five months after another jury found Hoyle guilty of other drug charges. Batten attributed Hoyle’s pattern of criminal behavior for receiving the extended prison term. 
Smart Conservation
COURT HOUSE – The Conservation Fund, a Virginia-based group, named the Delaware Bay region among the nation’s top 10 places with potential to advance smart conservation. Instead of pursuing traditional and sometimes isolated patterns of conservation, the group sees the area as a place that can continue to grow, yet still keep the natural qualities that make it unique. Joining the Delaware Bay on the top 10 list include: metropolitan areas of Kansas City, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C., northern California’s coastal forests and the New River Valley in Virginia.
 
 
Congrats, Chefs
COURT HOUSE – Atlantic Cape Community College awarded culinary medals and certificates to 59 newly graduated chefs on May 12. Graduates received awards based on grade-point average and criteria set by the American Culinary Federation. Chase Porter, of here, received a gold medal for his achievement. Adam Dempsey, of Cape May, James Hamilton, of Ocean City, and Mary Jo Ramos, of Ocean City, were awarded silver medals. Adam Reeves and Erin Thoman, of Cape May, and Kristina Vukela, of Court House, received bronze medals. 
Pastor on Probation
COURT HOUSE – Markus Caldwell, 34, of Mays Landing, pled guilty to taking $11,635 from Park America, his former Ocean City employer. Caldwell, who is reportedly a pastor in several area churches, was sentenced May 18 to three years’ probation and will have to pay restitution to Park America. 
Taffy Walk Approved
WILDWOOD – In a 4-3 vote, the city’s planning board approved the proposed six-story Taffy Walk condotel on May 15. The $11-million project is slated to replace the Doris Vernon Hotel in the 300 block of Pine Avenue. Taffy Walk will reportedly house four floors of privately-owned residents, which could also be rented as hotel rooms. Also included in the plan, is a two-story indoor parking garage, coffee shop, and other retail space. 
Main Street’s New Look
WILDWOOD – Traditional concrete sidewalks and palm tree-shaped street signs along Pacific Avenue are expected to be in place by Memorial Day. The eight-block area along the former Holly Beach Mall area was once covered in colorful sidewalks. But problems kept cropping up, such as the color from the sidewalk transferring onto people’s shoes and being tracked into shops. The makeover project was funded with $200,000 grant from the improvement district and a $150,000 federal grant. 
 
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Early Deadlines
RIO GRANDE – Herald offices here will be closed Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day, requiring early deadlines for the issue of May 31 as follows:  Display advertising, 5 p.m. today; legal advertising, 3 p.m. today, news, 5 p.m. tomorrow and classifieds, 10 a.m. Friday. Early reports indicate this weekend’s visitors are exceptionally short and can’t see over their steering wheels, so drive defensively.
Raises at Crest Haven
CREST HAVEN – The county yesterday hiked the pay of CNAs and head cooks at the Crest Haven Nursing Home by $1 an hour, and food service workers by 75 cents an hour. County Administrator Stephen O’Connor said a number of “salary adjustments” were  provided for in this year’s budget under promotion and merit increases.

Spout Off

Lower Township – As a retired long time bus driver for NJT,and an even longer resident of LT : Thank you to all the school bus drivers for an accident free year. It is a monumental achievement in this day and age!

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Del Haven – I couldn't help but note that a Republican Rep likened Trump's speech to that of a drunk uncle at a dinner party, when he ranted about Milwaukee as being a terrible "city", Pelosi…

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Wildwood – I think it's only fitting wbp honors past chief cirelli with some sort of badges on their uniforms . Chief Lou lived for the summers and only wished the best for our city

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