Thursday, September 28, 2023

News Digest 6.14.2006

By Rick Racela

No Sign of Mercury
DENNISVILLE – Despite reports that a nearby resident had unacceptable mercury levels in well water, Dennis Township School District Business Administrator Frank Rizzo said Monday that he had results from an April 17 test that the township Elementary School on Academy Road had non-detectable mercury levels. The same is true for the Hagan Road Primary School. He expected the county Health Department to be testing yesterday in light of the homeowner’s report and the school would do its own test today, he said. The school district has a contract with Sweetwater Environmental Management LLC to monitor its water supply and that company, through Vineland Environmental Laboratories, tests both septic systems and wells quarterly and as required by state law, said Rizzo.
Line Drawing Needed
DENNISVILLE – In order to enforce the Dennis Township ordinance restricting the residency of sexual offenders, State Police, who serve as law enforcement for the township, need a map to designate the restricted areas. Solicitor Jeffery April explained this request from the state to township committee June 6 and added that a definition of playground would also be necessary since as written the law prevents an offender from living within 2,500 feet of a public park, playground or school. Not only would the added information assist police, said April, it would also make the ordinance less susceptible to challenge.
Dunmore Sentenced
COURT HOUSE – Superior Court Judge Carmen Alvarez sentenced Middleton Dunmore, 37, of Atlantic City, with members of the family of State Trooper Bertram T. Zimmerman III present in the courtroom June 8. Dunmore pled guilty May 31 to robbery and manslaughter just before the start of his felony murder trial. That charge arising from Zimmerman’s death from injuries received in a crash of his cruiser while on route to a Dennis Township Wawa Feb. 5, 2004, Dunmore admitted robbing. Consistent with his plea agreement, Dunmore was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with a 20-year sentence for the February robbery and a 10-year term for manslaughter to run consecutively. He was sentenced to two concurrent 15-year prison terms for two earlier Wawa robberies that were part of his plea. He is required to serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole. That means more than 25 years of the 30-year sentence.
Trading Spaces
NORTH WILDWOOD – Trading Spaces, the show where two sets of friends switch houses for two days and remodel a room in each other’s home, is coming to this city.  The episode is scheduled to be taped on June 20-22. The crew will be stationed in and around Cool Scoops at 111 New Jersey Ave. It is a closed-set production but neighbors are invited to watch from the sidewalk and yard perimeter.
Posters Pilfered?
WILDWOOD – Floor posters, made of heavy rubber vinyl, advertising Friday night fireworks and sponsored by Coca Cola, were stolen from ramps up and down the boardwalk, according to Boardwalk Special Improvement District Executive Director Patrick Rosenello. City Commissioner Fred Wager quickly solved the mystery as to who took them. Wager reportedly said that he removed some of the approximately 25 posters because they were improperly placed on city property. According to reports, Wager said city commission should have granted permission, but Rosenello said that he had asked Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr., before installing the signs. Wager added that he would be glad to give back the signs, costing approximately $250 each, to the improvement district and Troiano had said the issue had come down to a misunderstanding.
Help Wanted
WILDWOOD – As part of administrative-support reorganization, the Joint Construction Office of the Wildwoods is looking to hire a business administrator and finance officer. The added positions were part of recommendations of an independent review of business and financial procedure and unanimously accepted by JCOW’s management committee. According to a release issued by the office Monday, construction activity in the Wildwoods has increased dramatically, requiring JCOW to increase the number of state-licensed code officials, inspectors, and clerical support staff. However, the release stated, administrative and financial management support has not been increased to support the increased activity.
Won’t Go Lower
COURT HOUSE – Superior Court Judge Carmen Alvarez refused to lower bail for Sharod Thomas, 28, of Jamaica, N.Y., being held in the county jail on charges of first-degree attempted murder as well as weapons offenses. According to reports, Thomas, Tahiem Howell, and Joel Gonzalez had allegedly tried to kill Daniel Edros. Edros, Howell, and Gonzalez were injured in that shootout that occurred across several Wildwood streets in the early morning hours of Oct. 24, 2004. According to First Assistant Prosecutor J. David Meyer, Howell’s conviction for his part in the shooting and Edros’ plea of guilty for weapons charges only increases the chance that Thomas would flee. Alvarez agreed that Thomas posed a significant flight risk and left his bail at $150,000 cash.    
Swim in the Ocean
CREST HAVEN – County Health Department tests of 67 ocean and bay recreational sites June 5 – June 7 found all below the state set limit for enterococcus bacteria of 104 per 100-millileter sample. Of 51 environmental locations where recreation activities are not recommended, four Lower Township Delaware Bay locations exceeded state limits. A reading of 116 was found at Cox Hall Creek and the bay, 160 at Baywyn Road, 180 at Fern Road, and 260 at Wildwood Avenue. For updated reports, call the hotline, 465-2422.
More than VX
WILMINGTON – The U.S. Defense Department is considering sending more than just VX Nerve Agent waste to the DuPont Chambers Works plant in Salem County, according to a report published in the Delaware News Journal. The Defense Department could also send waste shipments of mustard gas and sarin nerve agent for dumping in the Delaware River. A re-evaluation of the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky and Pueblo Chemical Depot is underway. DuPont currently discharges about 17 million gallons per day of treated industrial and municipal waste into the river.
Unsafe Levees?
HAMMONTON – As many as 37 Delaware Bay levees and dikes are in a state of disrepair and may break down during a coastal storm, according to the South Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council, a non-profit organization. A series of earthen dams and dikes were built between Cape May and Gloucester counties, some in colonial days. Ownership of the levees is in question, which could prevent matching federal funds for repairs.
Coast Guard Funding
WASHINGTON D.C. – As part of a $62.4 million federal bill, approved overwhelmingly by the U.S. House of Representatives for the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Capital Region Air Defense Plan, Air Station Atlantic City will receive $62 million to purchase five HH-65 helicopters. The station is considered within striking distance of Washington. Coast Guard Station Cape May will receive $100,000 for upgrades.
For the Birds
VILLAS – More than $750,000 could be available to restore wildlife habitat in the defunct Ponderlodge golf course here, according to Eric Stiles, vice president of conservation for the New Jersey Audubon Society. The money would come from a fund contributed by Ocean County developer Sydney Krupnick as mitigation for building 400 homes in Little Egg Harbor Township. State Green Acres Director John Flynn said did not know if the funding would be available for Ponderlodge. Meanwhile, former Ponderlodge Superintendent Tony Funari is preparing a proposal to lease the golf course.
Wanted Man
ERMA – Lower Township police arrested Randy Lewin, 26, on June 8 after receiving a tip he was entering this section of the township. Lewin was wanted on charges of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Police stopped a vehicle in which Lewin was riding on Route 9 South in Erma, according to reports. He was sent to county jail under $100,000 bail. The driver of the vehicle, Andre Wilkie, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, obstruction of justice, forgery and impersonation. He was lodged in county jail under $20,000 bail. Middle Township police and the county Prosecutor’s Strike Task Force assisted with the arrest. 
Pflaumer Gets License
VILLAS  – William Pflaumer, a former owner and vice president of Ponderlodge, recovered his liquor license before a public auction was scheduled to be held yesterday in Lower Township Hall.  He paid approximately $20,000 in back taxes to the state Treasury Department, according to Township Clerk Claudia Kammer. Pflaumer has the option of selling the license. The township will not be issuing any new licenses in the foreseeable future, based on population, said Kammer. Ponderlodge Golf Course had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year and the state Department of Environmental Protection purchased it from bankruptcy court in March for $8.4 million.
Back on Schedule
SWAINTON – For the information of the thousands who crowd county MUA meetings (joke), a schedule change has been rescinded. The next meeting was to have been held on a special day, June 20, but commissioners agreed last week to go back to their original schedule: 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 21.
Nix Open Space
CREST HAVEN – Do go to the regular county MUA meeting, but don’t go to the regular county Open Space Review Board meeting June 27 because it’s been cancelled, according to Chairman William Quinn.
Back to the Table
SWAINTON – Contract negotiations between the county MUA and Teamsters Local 331 representing some 100 employes have resumed with sessions held May 19, May 26 and June 8.  MUA Executive Director Charles Norkis and union President Jon P. Errico agreed they were “making progress.” Employes have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2004, or a raise since Jan. 1, 2004, after turning down a contract endorsed by their negotiators in March 2005.
Concert Violinist to Play
CAPE MAY – Hilary Hahn, 26, a Grammy Award-winning violinist from Virginia, who records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, will perform June 18 at 5 p.m. in Cape May Convention Hall with the Bay Atlantic Symphony as part of the Cape May Music Festival, marking its 17th anniversary season. Hahn will perform Karl Goldmark’s Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 28. She regularly performs with some of the world’s greatest orchestras in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Heisted Trike Returned
RIO GRANDE – Middle Township police investigated the theft of a handicapped person’s tricycle in this community on June 11 that took place late June 10 or earlier June 11. The tricycle was seen in the rear of a pick-up truck operated by Michael Hillemann, 19, of Court House. The tricycle had, according to police, been repainted and its serial number filed off. Police arrested Hillemann and a 16-year-old juvenile from Court House. Both were charged with receiving stolen property and criminal mischief. The juvenile was released to his parent. Hillemann was released on a summons. Kevin Gerlacher, 19, of Rio Grande, was also charged with receiving stolen property and criminal mischief. He to was released on a summons. The trike was returned to its owner.
Towering Art
STONE HARBOR – Last year, miscues mounted that made it impossible for world-renowned artist Peter Max to place his colorful mural on Mylar and wrap it around the borough’s water tower. That will change this year, according to Mayor Suzanne Walters. On June 6, she told borough council that the work, which was being installed at the expense of several private businesses, had adequate insurance and other approvals from the borough engineer. It should be placed later this month in time for the opening of Max’s July 1 opening at Ocean Galleries. The work will remain until the Wings ‘N’ Water Festival in September. Copies of the work will be on sale throughout the summer, with proceeds benefit the Wetlands Institute.
What Brand?
STONE HARBOR – Merchants earlier this month attempted to establish a “brand” and how best to market the municipality with assistance of public relations firm Parker and Partners. At its June 6 meeting, borough council learned of the meeting from Mayor Suzanne Walters. The mayor said the firm had done “lots of work for Burdette, the City of Margate and C.R.D.A.” Walters added that Chris Parker has a home in Townsend’s Inlet and frequents Stone Harbor. “She has a head start on who we are, the type of people and the stores that are here,” said Walters. Council will consider the proposed contract June 20 at its 4:30 p.m. meeting.
Plastic Fence Protects
STONE HARBOR MANOR – For the second year, low, plastic fencing has been erected among Stone Harbor Boulevard in an effort to save Diamondback terrapins from crossing the highway and being killed. The public is asked not to disturb any terrapins found on the waterside of the fence. Females seek high ground to lay eggs at this time of year. They are unaware that the highest ground is in the middle of the causeway. The fencing will be removed when the nesting season ends, about two months from now.
Smoke Fills Building
COURT HOUSE – Middle Township Municipal Building, 33 Mechanic St. was evacuated shortly before 11 a.m. yesterday after smoke filled all offices. Court House volunteer firefighters responded from next door to search out the cause, which was not determined by press time. No injuries were reported.

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