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News Digest 6.21.2006

By Rick Racela

Let’s Talk Beach
CREST HAVEN – Freeholders will host their annual Beach Conference June 26 and this year’s topic is Commercial and Recreational Fishing in Cape May County. The event is free and open to the public and will be held in the administration building here from 10 a.m. till noon. Registration and light refreshments begin at 9:30 a.m. Speakers will include legislators, government representatives of agencies regulating coastal areas, and members of the fishing industry community. Call 463-6678 for more information.
Not at Higbee
COLD SPRING – It’s not the first time, but Lower Township police are using the recent incident of two adults found partially and completely nude on Higbee Beach to remind everyone that it’s a no-no to take all your clothes off in public in the township. Police were called to the beach at about 2:30 p.m. June 15 after someone saw a nude male walking around. Summonses were issued to Robert D. Ameno, 58, and his wife Susan M. Ameno, 57, who was reportedly only partially nude. According to police, the Amenos have addresses in Pittsgrove and St. Petersburg, Fla. and a court date for June 27.
Gotcha on Film
MARMORA – Rhonda Olmstead, of here, became suspicious when items from her home started disappearing at the beginning of the month, so she installed hidden cameras around the house. Those cameras allegedly caught Olmstead’s maid Remzjie Kadriu, 36, of Galloway Township, pocketing a few things while she was cleaning up the dust and dirt. Olmstead turned the video over to State Police and they confronted Kadriu the next time she came to clean up, after she allegedly helped herself to more of Olmstead’s things. Kadriu was charged with theft and detained at the county jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. Police ask that anyone else who might have hired Kadriu to contact them at 861-5698.
Only Yanks Will Fly
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan amendment co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2d) to prevent foreign investors from gaining control over airlines that fly within the states passed by a vote of 291 to 137 June 14. The measure trumps an attempt by the federal Department of Transportation that was set to reinterpret controlling legislation to open greater control of U.S. airlines to foreign companies or individuals.  The passage of this amendment prevents the DOT from changing the status quo that only airlines owned and controlled by U.S. citizens can provide service to U.S. cities for, at least for the next fiscal year.
Facelift at AC Airport
POMONA – Atlantic City International Airport will receive $1 million in federal funds as part of a House Transportation-Treasury-HUD-Judiciary-DC Appropriations bill for 2007 approved by the House June 14 by a 406 to 22 vote. According to the office of U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2d), the funds are to be used to expand the current apron, which are paved areas around the terminal area for parking aircraft, and improve drainage, taxiway lighting and pavement markings to enhance safety and capacity at the airport.
TLC Gets Nostalgic
WILDWOOD CREST- The Learning Channel has planned a series that features adults, who vacationed in the Wildwoods in their childhood, returning to the island with their families. TLC is scheduled to be filming July 2 – 4 at the Pan American Hotel and throughout the borough.
Buyers Be Aware
WILDWOOD CREST- Borough Commissioners approved an ordinance June 14 that would require a certificate of zoning compliance upon a title transfer of any structure or unit. Mayor Carl Groon said borough officials would be able to inspect properties, classify structures, and let buyers know exactly what can be done. Exceptions include new construction, provided that the original certificate of occupancy was issued within 18 months, and inner-family transfers or transfer as a result of a divorce or estate planning if consideration is under $1,000.  Application fees for the zoning certificate do apply.
Health School Opens
ATLANTIC CITY – Atlantic Cape Community College broke ground Monday its new Health Professions Institute. Located at ACCC’s Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City Center, the institute will offers courses in surgery, dialysis, medical officer procedures, billing and coding, and allied health training. Approximately 200 to 500 people will be trained at the new institute in the next five years, according to college officials. A $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce and $1.8 million in state and Atlantic County funds will fund the institute.    
Drowning in O.C.
OCEAN CITY – Quran Cliett, a 7-year-old boy from Philadelphia, drowned in the ocean here at 6:30 p.m. on June 18. Lifeguards were not on duty, when police received a call that the boy, who had been swimming with his six-year-old brother, had been swept out by a rip current by the jetty near Sixth Street. According to reports, family members pulled the younger boy to safety, but the older boy was in the water for about 30 minutes. A coast guard helicopter, fire department boats, onlookers and surfers joined in the search. Sgt. Timothy Williams said a police officer pulled the boy from the water and fire department officials administered CPR at the scene. He was still reportedly being given CPR when he was taken to Shore Memorial Hospital at 7:20 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after arrival.
Shootout Sentencing
COURT HOUSE – Tahiem Howell, 27, of Far Rockaway, N.Y., was sentenced June 16 to seven years in prison for his part in a shootout that occurred over several Wildwood city streets in October 2004. He also was sentenced to a consecutive five-year term for unrelated drug charges. According to reports, Howell, Sharod Thomas, and Joel Gonzalez had allegedly tried to kill Daniel Edros. Edros, Howell, and Gonzalez were injured in that incident that Superior Court Judge Carmen Alvarez compared to something out of the old West.
Romance and Theft?
COURT HOUSE – Dennis Sanseverino, 51, of Egg Harbor Township, pleaded guilty to theft on June 15 after being charged in July 2005 with taking more than $250,000 from Patricia Rynn, with whom he was romantically involved. Rynn, of Ocean City, reportedly gave Sanseverino cash and checks because she believed she was investing in their future. Sanseverino reportedly admitted to investing some of the money in real estate and gambling away the rest. Under the terms of a plea bargain, Sanseverino will receive a term of probation. Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Hoerner said she would ask for the maximum, a five-year term. 
Stay Awake
COURT HOUSE – Michael F. Helverson, whose pickup truck struck a parked police car last year, was sentenced June 16 to three years in prison for assault by a motor vehicle. Helverson, who had reportedly used drugs prior to the incident, had fallen asleep at the wheel of his truck and hit the cruiser driven by Middle Township Patrolman Julio Ruiz, then 32, who was parked along the westbound shoulder of North Wildwood Boulevard, on Sept. 2, according to police. Passers-by helped remove the unconscious officer from his totaled vehicle. Ruiz returned to work several weeks later with head, shoulder, and leg injuries, police said.  
Cops in Shops
ERMA – Lower Township Police will participate in an undercover operation within various local liquor stores and other establishments during this summer, thanks to funding from the state Division of Alcohol Beverage Control. In order to combat underage drinking, officers will work in cooperation with business owners and pose as employes and patrons. These investigations will focus on whether purchasers are underage or individuals purchasing for underage drinkers. 
Charged with Assault
WOODBINE – Timmy Moore, 22, of Jackson Avenue, was arrested and charged with sexual assault on June 18 after he allegedly raped a 20-year-old female acquaintance, according to police reports. Moore was lodged at the county jail on $75,000 bail.
Missing Crewmember
CAPE MAY – The Coast Guard, an HH-65 helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City, and a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina have been searching for a crewman who went missing from the Golden Elizabeth, a motor tanker, on June 15. The crew reported the man, whose name was not released, was last seen at 9 p.m. and did not report for an 8 a.m. crew muster. 
23 Counts
COURT HOUSE – Michael P. Gifford, 18, of Sea Isle City was indicted by a county grand jury June13 with 13 counts of burglary, four counts of fourth-degree theft, three counts of credit-card theft, two counts of the second-degree crime of using a juvenile in the commission of a crime and one count of third-degree theft. Aided by a 17-year-old male, Gifford allegedly stole cameras, cell phones, sunglasses, and loose change from cars that were unlocked on Easter Sunday. A homeowner spotted someone going through her vehicle and notified the authorities, who caught them running around 82nd street. Gifford is charged with allegedly burglarizing 13 vehicles and taking property accessed at about $500 in one instance.
Nab Alleged Dealer
WOODBINE – State Police 150 bags of cocaine along with six bags of heroin were confiscated June 12. Police apprehended Edward Rogers, 29, of Madison Avenue, who attempted to flee on foot. Rogers was charged with resisting arrest and possession with intent to distribute drugs. He is being held at the county jail on $50,000 bail.
Moving Along
SEA ISLE CITY – Former city commission candidate John Fee and about 15 volunteers met June 14 to discuss strategy regarding their efforts to change the city’s form of government. The group is seeking, for the second time, to change the mayor and two commissioners format to the mayor and five-member council. “We had a stand set up during Skimmer’s Weekend to raise awareness and to add signatures to the petition,” said Fee. The group had 150 of the 535-550 signatures needed to put the initiative on the ballot. That doesn’t include this past weekend. The deadline for submitting signatures is Sept. 1, although Fee said he was aiming to have them in by Aug. 1.
Late Night Brawl
WILDWOOD – A late-night brawl June 18 resulted in a one-inch puncture wound in victim Jose Luis Ruiz’s neck. The fight consisted of an estimated eight combatants. Nicholas Improta, 18, of Staten Island, NY was apprehended at a nearby motel. At that time, a razor knife consistent with the hole in Ruiz’s neck, was found. Improta was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of weapon for an unlawful purpose. Bail was set at $100,000. Ruiz, 26, of Camden was taken to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center by the State Police South Star Medevac Emergency Service.
Ready to Settle
SEA ISLE CITY – A title company representing one of three homeowners on 47th Place is ready to settle, according to Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew (D-1st). Van Drew sponsored legislation that would insure that any agreement between the landowners and the Department of Environmental Protection would be legal. The title companies hadn’t been willing to settle until now.  
Unsolved Vandalism
CAPE MAY – Police are investigating a series of criminal mischief complaints. Side view mirrors were removed from four cars on Pearl Avenue in West Cape May sometime June 9 or the next morning. In Cape May, 10 parked cars were spray painted on June 11. Cape May police would like anyone with information in regard to the crimes to contact Detective Sgt. S. Austin at 884-9500.
DNA Solves Crime
NORTH CAPE MAY – With the help of State Police and DNA technology, Lower Township police were able to solve a crime that occurred in the winter of 2005. Physical evidence, left at the scene, was transported to the state police lab. Patrolman William Barcas found a suspect in Anthony J. Seiger of Town Bank and attempted to obtain buccal swabs from him, but was refused. Barcas was able to get a sample of Seiger’s DNA, though, when it was discarded by the suspect in their presence. The item was sent to state police for analysis and it was determined, within “scientific certainty” that the DNA from Seiger fit the DNA recovered at the scene of the crime. Seiger was charged with burglary and criminal mischief and was served these charges while doing time on related charges at the county Correctional Center.
Salaries Limited?
TRENTON – A bill introduced by State Sen. Nick Asselta (R-1st) June 15 would cap school superintendents’ salaries and reintroduce tenure to them after five years. Asselta’s bill could cut spending at school districts throughout the state. “The compensation superintendents receive in this state is inflated,” said Asselta. The pay level would be about the same as gubernatorial Cabinet members’ salaries, at $141,000. The bill is the first to directly address school superintendents’ salary. 
Charges Dismissed
COURT HOUSE – Disorderly persons charges filed against Atlantic City Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Foley were dropped in Middle Township Municipal Court June 14 because his fiancŽe Cathleen Giordano wouldn’t testify against him. In May a restraining order against Foley was dropped when Giordano asked to dismiss the charges. Foley had been arrested on two alleged domestic-assault incidents in Atlantic City. Foley was an Atlantic County freeholder, a fire battalion chief and a Democratic state assemblyman. In 2003 he became Atlantic City’s emergency management director.  
Crash Victim Ok
GOSHEN – James Vitale of Williamstown is in good condition after his Oldsmobile hit a tree along Route 47 June 17. Vitale failed to negotiate a curve, and hit the tree head on around the 15.8 mile marker. The Middle Township Rescue Squad and Goshen Fire Company responded to the accident and pulled Vitale from his vehicle. He was then airlifted to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s Trauma Unit.   
Chilly and Clean
CREST HAVEN – County Health Department tests of 67 ocean and bay recreational sites June 12-13 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, all were within acceptable limits. For updated reports, call the hotline, 465-2422.
Special Election
CAPE MAY – City Council was scheduled to vote on a resolution last night, too late for the Herald’s deadline, to authorize a special election Aug. 22 to allow voters to approve or disapprove bond ordinances passed May 16. The bonds authorized the issuance of over $6 million in bonds for improvements to the mall, public buildings and grounds, water and sewer systems, convention hall and other components of the city’s “revitalization.” Christine Miller, and a committee of five, delivered petitions bearing 244 signatures to City Clerk Diane Weldon June 6 requesting a voter referendum. Weldon certified the results of the petition drive as valid. The city also had the option of repealing the bond ordinances.
Lookin’ Good
SEAVILLE – Malacai, a Rottweiler saved from being euthanized at the county Animal Shelter after being relinquished by its owner in an emaciated state, has gained 10 pounds in 12 days and is recovering well at Shore Veterinarians here. He was suffering from a severe case of hip displasia that required a hip replacement operation. Shore Veterinarians volunteered to care for Malacai until a new owner is found. The county shelter is seeking a home for Malacai without children, cats or other male dogs. He has no problem with female dogs. Those interested in adding Malacai to their family should call the county Shelter Alliance at 628-4553.
Craig Scheduled
COURT HOUSE – Lower Township Mayor Walter Craig’s arraignment on an alleged driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge will be heard in Middle Township Court July 28 before Judge Savio, according to the court administrator. This is presumably Judge James P. Savio who presides in Margate in municipal court, but the court administrator could not confirm. Middle Township Judge Peter Tourison disqualified himself from the case due to a conflict of interest May 22 and sent the case to Upper Township Municipal Court. The same problem occurred when the case was sent to Upper Township, according to the court administrator. The case was returned to Middle Township. 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. According to police, he was seen sitting in a parked car near the bay in Del Haven about 1 a.m. Police would not divulge Craig’s blood alcohol level at the time of arrest.
Fuel Spill
SCHELLENGERS LANDING – More than 300 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the waters of South Jersey Marina June 13 in Cape May Harbor when a crew member of the 91-foot motor yacht, the Stemac, allegedly placed a water hose in the boat’s fuel tank. The Stemac, is based in Key Largo, Fla. and was enroute to Long Island, N.Y. Water entering the tank displaced the fuel overboard. Northstar Marine was contracted to clean up the spill. They placed absorbent pads in the water to soak up fuel and used 1,500 feet of containment boom to prevent spreading. About 150 gallons were recovered. Firefighters responded from eight fire companies and the U.S. Coast Guard. Town Bank Fire Company contained the spill until Northstar Marine arrived. The yacht’s owner is facing fines from the Department of Environmental Protection.
B-T Renovations
COURT HOUSE – The EtCetera Shop at Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital closed Monday for improvements to its entryway. It will reopen June 26. And the gift shop, which closed June 9 for renovations, is slated to reopen today.
Early 4th Deadlines
RIO GRANDE – Thinking about Fourth of July? Not a bad idea if you’ll be placing ads or news in this newspaper’s July 5 edition.  Offices here will be closed Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2, and Tuesday, July 4.  Early deadlines will be necessary and are as follows: Legal advertising and hot properties listings, 3 p.m. June 28; display advertising and news, 5 p.m. June 28; classifieds, 10 a.m.  June 30. Please plan ahead.
Chamber Mission
WILDWOOD CREST – The new county Chamber of Commerce mission statement was reported to directors at their June 15 luncheon meeting at the Little Italy Restaurant here by Executive Director Vicki Clark. The old statement: “The mission of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce is to make Cape May County a better place to live, work, and vacation.” The new one: “The mission of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce is to be the voice of the business community by promoting tourism and business development through legislative advocacy, marketing services, networking opportunities and educational programs for our members.”
Build High; Lower Taxes?
WILDWOOD CREST – Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano explained a half-dozen high-rise (23-25 stories) condotels to county Chamber of Commerce directors at their June 15 luncheon meeting at the Little Italy Restaurant here.  He said he envisioned 5,000 to 6,000 rooms eventually, which will solve the problem of losing conventions because the loss of some 130 motels to developers resulted in no place to stay. “I have a five-foot high stack of lost convention business,” he said. He also said the condotels would add $6-10 billion in ratables and “lower the (Wildwood) tax rate to almost nothing.”
MUA Goes On Line
SWAINTON – Sitting on the porch waiting for your mail carrier to bring you the county MUA’s 2005 annual report? Stop. The MUA this year decided to put the 12-page report on its web site, www.cmcmua.com Executive Director Charles Norkis said this should save some $3,500.  But commissioners expressed concern the web wasn’t enough to do for the county’s 16 mayors. So copies will be printed and mailed to them.
Help a Sick Kid
RIO GRANDE – Local attorneys have asked the Herald to report on a seven-year-old boy in Atlanta who has a brain tumor and wants to make the Guinness Book of World Records for largest collection of business cards. Send your card to Craig Sheppard, c/o Make-a-Wish Foundation, 90 Perimeter Center East, Atlanta, Ga., 30346. He is allowed one card per office.
Lafayette Overdue
CAPE MAY – You say you left your oil pan at the Lafayette Street entrance to Cape May last weekend? Is that what’s bothering you, bub?  County Engineer Dale Foster told the Herald Monday that the $600,000 job should be done by Friday. Might be a good idea to avoid it today and tomorrow as Marandino Concrete of Vineland paves and paints today and tomorrow. The job was supposed to be done June 15 and freeholders will “take a serious look” at liquidated damages of $3,000 a day, said Foster, who also noted the traffic island part of the project, is being postponed to October.
Seemed Like a Good Idea
COURT HOUSE – As Middle Township High School graduates threw their caps in the air as graduation exercises at Memorial Field ended June 15, Ryan Sitaro, not a member of the class, threw his clothes to the ground and streaked across the field in a black thong.  Sitaro, 18, of Eldora, cleared the Memorial Field fence easily, but a policeman who gave chase, didn’t. A civilian reportedly downed Sitaro, who was arrested and charged with lewdness.
Recycle Near Airport?
ERMA – Freeholders held a public hearing June 13 on the proposal for a permanent state DEP permit to operate a concrete and asphalt recycling operation by Garden State Dredging Inc. just east of the county airport here. DRBA Executive Director Donald Ranier said his only concern was “the potential of attracting birds.” “Why would it attract birds?” asked South Dennis environmentalist Ruth Fisher. “I’m not a bird; I can’t answer that question,” responded Freeholder-Director Dan Beyel. Attorney Kenneth Calloway, representing Garden State, said the operation has been ongoing with temporary licenses for the last four years with no complaints about birds or anything else. Plus, he pointed out, Lower Township gets credit toward recycling rebates. Once approved, this goes to the DEP for review.

Spout Off

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