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News Digest 6.7.2006

By Rick Racela

Knife Attack
ERMA – An argument over childcare allegedly led to a knife attack at a Shunpike Road home here just about midnight June 3. Lower Township police were called to investigate a reported stabbing and found Shanta Knight, 35, with lacerations on her face and hands. Knight alleged that during an argument with her boyfriend’s mother, Annie Smith, 53, who lived at the home, Smith attempted to stab her in the stomach with a kitchen knife but she was able to deflect most of the blows. According to police, the argument was about caring for Knight’s two juvenile sons who were at the home at the time of the incident. Smith fled before police arrived and a warrant was issued for her arrest for aggravated assault. Knight was treated at Burdette Tomlin Hospital and released. 
Uninvited Slasher
VILLAS – Julian Perez, 21, of Oregon Avenue here was arrested May 29 after Steven Barrett and his 17-year-old female companion reported that Perez had entered a residence on Beechwood Avenue uninvited and got into a heated verbal altercation with the 17-year-old and Barrett. They claim he attempted to slash them both while wielding two knives but no injuries were reported. Perez allegedly drove his car deliberately over Barrett’s motorcycle while fleeing the scene. He was later taken into custody by Lower Township police, charged with two counts of aggravated assault and burglary and is being held in county jail in lieu of bail.
Anything for a Friend
COURT HOUSE – Bernard Davis, 23, of Wildwood, will serve seven years instead of five for his part in a 2005 robbery at the Ship-Ahoy Motel in Wildwood because he decided not to testify at the trial this month of his co-defendant and alleged partner in crime Raymond Bartee, 28, of Middle Township. He received the longer sentence June 2 rather than accept the terms of his guilty plea Feb. 24 to the second-degree offense of conspiracy to commit armed burglary. On May 31, 2005 the two men allegedly forced their way into a motel room, used as an office, armed with a baseball bat and an axe just before 10:30 p.m. and took cash, a money order and credit cards from a male victim.
Pled Guilty
COURT HOUSE – Middleton Dunmore, 37, of Atlantic City pled guilty May 31 to robbery and manslaughter just before the start of his felony murder trial, arising from the death of State Trooper Bertram T. Zimmerman III.  Zimmerman died from injuries received in a crash of his cruiser while on route to the scene of a robbery at a Dennis Township Wawa Feb. 5, 2004. At that time, police were already investigating robberies at a Middle Township Wawa in December 2003 and at an Upper Township Wawa in January 2004. Dunmore admitted to committing all three and will receive a 20-year sentence for the February robbery and a 10-year term for manslaughter to run consecutively. If convicted of felony murder Dunmore would have been subject to a life sentence without parole. He will also receive two concurrent 15- year prison terms for the two earlier robberies.
Son Gets Five Years
COURT HOUSE – The dust is finally settling on what authorities have characterized as a local version of the famous O.K. Corral western gun battle and what had them guessing for days while they tried to sort out stories given by shooting victims James J. Price, 34, and Norman Price, 19, both of Woodbine, in March 2005. One claimed to have been shot in Woodbine and the other claimed to have received his gunshot wounds in Middle Township but the investigation eventually revealed that they had been shot in Belleplain during a dispute over a robbery of drugs or money committed by Anthony D’Agostino, 22, and his father Andrew D’Agostino, 43. The younger D’Agostino, considered the mastermind behind the robbery, was sentenced June 2 to five years in prison for his plea to a charge of robbery. He also received an 18-month concurrent sentence for violating probation stemming from a December 2003 weapons charge.
Off the List
WILDWOOD – Schooner Bay Condominiums are officially off the list of properties that were identified as being misdesignated as of May 26, said former condo association president Clare Herm. Applying No-Burn and installing a layer of gypsum board to the ceilings are among the “fixes” agreed to by the association. Herm said that while there are no specifics to when the work on the condos will begin, she expects that construction would hold off until after the summer season. She also said that her condo might be used as “test site” to determine what the cost per unit will be and allow homeowners to see what needs to be done to bring the buildings to code compliance.
Name Game
COURT HOUSE – Atlantic Cape Community College is replacing the associate in science degree with an associate in science degree in human services. The name change to human services will make it easier for ACCC students to transfer credits to four-year schools, according to ACCC Dean of Instruction Ronald McArthur. The program will also help fill a growing demand for social workers, said college representatives. State education officials must approve the change and the new option will likely be available by fall 2007.
Man Over Bridge?
WILDWOOD – Police are still searching for a suspect that may have jumped off the George Redding Bridge after allegedly fleeing the scene of an accident. According to reports, witnesses said they saw a Hispanic man in his early 20s driving a Ford Explorer involved in a crash in this city on June 3 and then speed over the bridge, where he crashed after loosing a tire at approximately 10:14 p.m. Witnesses said they saw the suspect run down the north side of the bridge and other witnesses reported hearing and seeing a splash, according to police. The Coast Guard was called in to search the waterway in an attempt to locate the driver. Matias C. Santos of West Rio Grande Avenue was the name on the Explorer’s registration. Police have not been able locate Santos.     
Man ‘Maces’ Charges
VILLAS – John Kiger was riding on his motorcycle when Hugh Stanton, 51, of this community allegedly sprayed mace in his face on May 24. A follow-up interview, conducted June 2 led to the arrest of Stanton, who claimed that he sprayed Kiger because he feared for his safety. The original investigation yielded no evidence that Kiger used any kind of physical force on Stanton and that there was no need for mace. Stanton was charged with aggravated assault, signed a counter complaint against Kiger for harassment, and was released with a court summons. 
Crack Dealer Nabbed
SHAWCREST – A confidential informant’s tip brought the county prosecutor’s office narcotics task force and Lower Township police to the Lighthouse Point Marina and Restaurant June 1 for a drug bust. Kenneth Powell, 32, of Wildwood, was allegedly spotted on his bicycle in the parking lot selling crack cocaine. Detectives reportedly witnessed the deal from hidden locations and then approached the two, who fled, but were quickly apprehended. A search of their persons yielded a large amount of crack cocaine as well as $100. Powell was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He was sent to the county jail with bail set at $25,000. The other suspect was released.
Wanted Man Caught
VILLAS – Pedro Blackshear, 45, of Philadelphia was charged with possession of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute after Lower Township police detectives executed a high-risk stop of his vehicle May 30 on information that he was wanted in Philadelphia for rape and on an outstanding county warrant for aggravated assault. Detectives found 22 bags of crack cocaine and two bags of powder cocaine. Blackshear was lodged in the county jail with no bail, after being charged with possession of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute.
Raid Nets Three
RIO GRANDE – The county prosecutor’s office narcotics task force, Middle Township police, county sheriff’s department K-9 unit executed a raid in the 100 block on Maryland Avenue May 31, that yielded 10 bags of heroin, six grams of cocaine, marijuana, and paraphernalia. Abdul Spalding, 29 was charged with possession of cocaine and heroin, possession with intent to distribute, possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and failing to register under Meagan’s Law. Martin Tankle, 53, was charged with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia. They were both lodged at the county jail. A 17-year-old will be charged with possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia.   
Brawl, Stabbing
WILDWOOD – A 17 year-old male was allegedly stabbed by another 17-year-old male, during a brawl at Wildwood and Ocean Avenues June 4. The victim, of Maple Shade, was transported to Atlantic City Medical Center for surgery and was listed in critical, but stable condition. The perpetrator, of Thorofare, was apprehended and charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He was taken to the Harborfield Detention Center in Bridgeton.
Out of Time
COURT HOUSE – Debbi Fitzpatrick, 67, of Ocean City, had her sentence, scheduled for May 5, delayed so that she could pay back the money that she stole from would-be investors. Superior Court Judge Carmen Alvarez wasn’t going to postpone it again. Now, Fitzpatrick will be sentenced to four years in jail and must pay $412,000 in restitution to her victims. Her investors had been led to believe that they were backing a production of “Phantom of the Opera,” which was to be performed at a Las Vegas Casino, but it never happened. Alvarez said that the money was taken because Fitzpatrick suffers from “compulsive gambling.”
Woman Hit by Car
COURT HOUSE – A Nissan Pathfinder, driven by a 54 year-old woman from Devon, Pa., allegedly backed over a 74 year-old woman while pulling out of a parking space in the Superfresh parking lot May 30. The victim was airlifted to AtlanticCare-City Division, after being treated by the Middle Township Rescue Squad. According to police, she was taken to be checked for a broken femur and internal injuries and was expected to make a full recovery.
Bayshore Detour
ERMA –  Lower Township police are warning motorists that part of Bayshore Road in Villas will be under construction from June 12 to approximately July 28, Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The north end of Bayshore Road will be torn up to allow installation of a new water main that will serve areas east of Bayshore Road. Motorists will be detoured into back streets from Matthews Avenue to Hudson Avenue. Detours will consist of two to three blocks at a time. Drivers are urged to use Fulling Mill Road to avoid delays.
Grand Gets CAFRA
DIAMOND BEACH –  The Grand at Diamond Beach, a 14-story, 125-unit condominium, received a CAFRA permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection May 25. The condo project will replace the current Grand Hotel at 9601 Atlantic Avenue. CAFRA permits are required for projects near coastal waters in the southern part of the state for almost all development activities.
First HPC Meeting
WEST CAPE MAY –  The borough’s Historic Preservation Commission will hold its first meeting tomorrow at 7 p.m. at borough hall. HPC’s first job will be to write guidelines to determine what type of work on homes will require appearing before the commission and what materials will be appropriate in the historic district. HPC Chairman is Elan Zingman Leith.
Go to the Beach
CREST HAVEN – County Health Department tests of 67 ocean and bay recreational sites May 31-June 1 found all well 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 with acceptable limits. For updated reports, call the hotline, 465-2422.
Craig Case Conflict
COURT HOUSE – Lower Township Mayor Walter Craig’s driving while intoxicated (DWI) case has been sent back to Middle Township after being sent to Upper Township Municipal Court by Middle Township Judge Peter Tourison. Tourison sent the case to Upper Township after he indicated he had a conflict of interest with the case. The same problem occurred when the case was sent to Upper Township last week, according to the court administrator. Upper Township Prosecutor Patrick Martin refused to tell the Herald the nature of the conflict that sent the case back to Middle Township Municipal Court. The Upper Township court administrator said the judge and prosecutor discussed the case and agreed there was a conflict. Craig was cited for DWI on May 18 and for driving an unregistered vehicle. According to police, he was seen sitting in a parked car on Roosevelt Boulevard near the bay in Del Haven about 1 a.m. Police would not divulge Craig’s blood alcohol level at the time of arrest.
Linseed Fire
CAPE MAY – The third fire this year in this city caused by a rag soaked in linseed oil occurred June 1, when a garage fire started at a Stockton Avenue residence. The oil, used to stain decks and furniture, can ignite spontaneously. In the latest fire, the rags were stored in a plastic trashcan in the garage for two days prior to the fire. Cape May Fire Chief Jerry Inderwies Jr. has warned residents to place oily rags in an airtight metal container such as a paint can. Cape May Point Volunteer Firefighter Tom Larkin, who was working on a nearby house, quickly extinguished the Stockton Avenue fire.
VX Delay?
NEWPORT, IND. – U.S. Army plans to dump treated VX nerve agent wastewater in the Delaware River in Salem County may be delayed until Feb. 2007 under a provision of a military bill passed June 1 by the U.S. House of Representatives. The provision requires a General Accounting Office study on the viability of the Army’s proposal by the end of 2006. The bill’s provision for the study was authored by U.S. Reps Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd), Rob Andrews (D-1st), and James Saxton (R-3rd). Andrews said he wanted an independent review of the dumping plan by an organization with no vested interest. Differences with a similar Senate bill must be resolved before it goes to President George Bush. Meanwhile, destruction of VX has resumed at the Newport Chemical Depot following a two-week shutdown for replacement of seals in a chemical reactor.
Child Safe
ERMA – Lower Township Police Department has received recognition from the U.S. Department of Justice and National Shooting Sports Foundation for its participation in Project ChildSafe. Lower police have distributed 500 complimentary firearm safety kits in the community. Free kits are available at police headquarters at 405 Breakwater Road at the county airport.
MADD Award
ERMA – Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) presented an award to Lower Township Police Officer Charles Fitzmaurice for arresting 18 intoxicated drivers in 2005. Fitzmaurice accepted the award with Police Chief Edward Donohue.
Marina Application
SCOTCH BONNET – The county Open Space Review Board May 23 tabled the application of Scotch Bonnet Marina owners Barry E. and Linda J. Camp of Avalon until they can seek further advice of their attorney. The Camps, who have an asking price of $2.4 million, declined to share a two-year-old appraisal report or to agree they would accept the county’s appraised price until talking to their attorney. The quarter-acre property is zoned resort residential.
Come Back to Nature
SOUTH SEAVILLE – Artwork of Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew’s “backyard pond” here and a poem, “Nature,” by Emily Dickinson adorn a classy invitation to a June 17  “special reception” honoring the Democrat and his “First District Colleague,” Nelson Albano. The elaborate menu runs the gamut from asparagus to tzaki, all to the music of a harpist. Plain old tickets: $1,000 per person. Sponsors can pay from $2,000 to $7,000, all going to “Van Drew for Assembly.”
DRBA Head Outbound
NORTH CAPE MAY – Wave goodbye to DRBA Chairman Warren Wallace, Gloucester County freeholder charged with ethical abuses while employed at UMDNJ.  Gov. Jon Corzine Monday called for Wallace to resign, but there’s little indication he will. But Corzine said there’s no chance he will reappoint Wallace when his term expires at the end of this month. The DRBA operates the Cape May-Lewis Ferry here, as well as the county airport in Erma.
Costliest Campaign
OCEAN CITY – Last-minute donations enabled successful mayor candidate Sal Perillo to spend some $50,000 in advertising in the campaign’s last days, according to published accounts.  In total, Perillo outspent Jody Alessandrine, who placed second, $120,301 to $71,554.  Alessandrine charged voters were duped; Perillo said the election’s over. Almost $250,000 was spent, making it probably the most expensive mayoral race ever in this county.
 
Class Trip Mishap
CLERMONT – What State Police described as a “very minor accident” yesterday about 9:30 a.m. at Routes 9 and 83 involved an out-of-county school bus on a class trip. Several youngsters aboard the bus were taken to Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital as a precaution, said a spokesman at the Woodbine barracks. He had no further details.

Spout Off

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