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News Digests 12/14/2005

By Rick Racela

Satisfying Spouters
RIO GRANDE – The Herald’s new, improved Web site, www.CapeMayCountyHerald.com, is up and running. Among highlights, an interactive Spout Off column which gives participants the opportunity to make immediate replies. This being Spout Off, no one will be surprised to learn that some praised the new feature while others said, “What took you so long?”
Bids Out of Line
SWAINTON – Bids “significantly higher” than expected to generate electricity on-site from county MUA landfill gas have put that project on hold, commissioners were told Dec. 7. The original estimate was $420,000, which climbed to $650,000 after two scrubbers were added. The bids: $3 million and $4.28 million. MUA Chairman George Betts termed it “very disappointing.”  Under consideration: trimming the project size, doing some work in-house, and asking engineers for the firm that did the cost estimates to drink less coffee.
Early Deadlines
RIO GRANDE – Herald offices here will be closed Mondays, Dec. 26 and  Jan. 2. That means early deadlines. For the issue of Dec. 28: legal advertising, noon Dec. 21, display  advertising, 5 p.m. Dec. 21; news, 5 p.m. Dec. 22; classifieds, 10 a.m. Dec. 23.  For the issue of Jan. 4: legal advertising, noon Dec. 28; display advertising, 5 p.m. Dec. 28; news, 5 p.m. Dec. 29; classifieds, 10 a.m. Dec. 30.
From Itch to No-Hitch?
MAYS LANDING – Monday’s court hearing for Silvana Landau of Upper Township, charged with using money intended for Access One, a Somers Point nonprofit that helps AIDS and HIV patients, was postponed to enable the court to consider her application for the pretrial intervention program, which avoids prison. Her alleged thefts came to light after she was fired, and she was fired after she allegedly ordered a fraudulent prescription to treat the poison ivy of State Sen. Nicholas Asselta (R-1st). Landau is free on $10,000 bail.
Share the Spirit
COURT HOUSE – Middle Township police plan to send a holiday gift package to one of their own. Sgt. John Edwards is serving abroad in the Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing. Those wishing to send a Christmas card may send it to: SRA John Edwards, 40 ESFF/SFOA, APO AP 96490.
So Sorry
COURT HOUSE – Danta Baez, 19, of Woodbine, who offered apologies at sentencing for his misdeeds, will spend four years in prison for stabbing Justin Moore, 18, at the Middle Township Performing Arts Centers May 5 during a dance performance. The incident was termed a riot, and centered on a planned gang face off that would have involved individuals from Millville, Woodbine, and Middle Township. Moore, stabbed in the stomach, was also a defendant who faced separate charges. Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten sentenced Baez to three, concurrent four-year terms for aggravated assault, rioting with a deadly weapon, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute. He will be credited with having served 141 days in county jail.
Imprison Gun Thief
COURT HOUSE – Ronald M. Denny Jr., 20, of Del Haven was sentenced to three years in prison by Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten, Dec. 9, for his part in stealing guns and ammunition from Belleplain Supply Co. on Nov. 22, 2004. Denny, along with accomplices Ryan Conroy and Renardo Shockley Jr., pleaded guilty to the crime. Among weapons stolen was a gun used in the fatal shooting of Bradley Brown on April 3 at Conroy’s home. Prior to sentencing, Batten cited Denny’s 16 prior arrests in the last four years. He was sentenced for burglary, a second-degree crime, as a third degree offender under a plea agreement.
Sentence Ex-Guard
COURT HOUSE – Brian Lloyd, 36, a former Ocean City lifeguard, terminated Jan. 25, was sentenced Dec. 9 to five years in prison by Superior Court Judge Raymond Batten for inappropriately touching three young girls in that municipality and elsewhere. Lloyd, prior to sentencing, told the court he was unaware of the gravity of his actions, and apologized. Parents of one victim told the court Lloyd had caused the family great pain. The judge said Lloyd was a repetitive and compulsive person with sexual urges toward young females. Lloyd must serve his term at Avenel, a diagnostic and treatment center for sex offenders. He must also register as an offender under Megan’s Law, and be subject to community supervision. He was already served 310 days in county jail, which will be credited toward his sentence.
Seek Gift of Jobs
OCEAN CITY – Agate Construction Co. hopes to land the Route 52 causeway reconstruction contract. The firm, based in Dennis Township, projects 200 jobs could stem from the $243 million bid to complete Phase 1 of the project, which would erect two parallel and elevated bridges 1.2 miles from Elbow and Garrett Islands into Ocean City. The state has 30 days to weight the bid for that phase of the work. The firm is presently erecting North Wildwood’s oceanfront bulkhead.
Need Senate Vote
TRENTON – The state Assembly has unanimously passed a measure that would settle the state’s land dispute with Sea Isle city homeowners who live on 47th Place. But unless the Senate passes its version of the bill and the final version is submitted to the governor by Jan. 10, the process must start from scratch. While others would hope to find something surprising under their tree Christmas morning, these residents would like to see a miracle – lawmakers in swift motion – they are halfway there.
Only One Bid
WOODBINE – Plans here to build a new gymnasium and library at the borough’s elementary school are on hold after only one company bid on the project and that came in over budget. The new gym that is intended to serve the community is budgeted at $1.7 million, without contingencies and fees, and although that is the amount of the Tamburro Brothers Co., of Millville bid, it came in at almost twice as much as the $837,000 for the library, which will be a new branch of the county library system. Tamburro bid $1.5 million for the library and $279,450 on add-ons that include bleachers, a parking lot and lockers. It was exactly one year ago when Senator Jon Corzine, now governor, visited here and announced a contribution of federal money to the project.
Home Invaded
WOODBINE – Two armed gunmen forced their way into a Bryant street home here 10:43 p.m. Dec. 6 and demanded money and valuables from the homeowner and three teenagers. Although the family handed items over, the two masked men pistol-whipped two 19-year-old males causing head injuries before escaping on foot. Both young men were taken to Burdette Tomlin Memorial Hospital and were discharged after receiving treatment. State Police attempted to track the gunmen with a K-9 team but were unsuccessful. The identity of the suspects, who were dressed in dark clothing and wore gloves and ski masks, is still unknown. Anyone with information should contact the state police at 861-5698.
Pricier Fun in the Sun
AVALON – Tomorrow it will probably be $2 more to purchase a pre-season or in season annual beach tag here. Council is poised to adopt the increase proposed by Borough Administrator Andrew Bednarek Dec. 7, at its 4 p.m. meeting today. If purchased before June 1, a seasonal tag will now cost $17 instead of $15. After that date, the price will be $22 instead of $20. According to Bednarek, the increases will add $75,000 to revenues based on last year’s sales. Reciprocity with Stone Harbor will still continue. According to Borough Clerk Amy Kleuskens, the weekly $10 and daily $5 tags will stay the same.
Fish Research?
CAPE MAY – The city has been leasing a building it owns at 1636 Delaware Ave. for $1 per year for the last 10 years to Rutgers Aquaculture and Fisheries Division. The lease is due to expire Jan. 31. At a Dec. 6 city council meeting, City Manager Luciano Corea Jr., said the city’s property assessor valued the building between $1.3 and $1.5 million. Corea suggested the city sell the building rather than renew the lease. Councilman William G. Gaffney said the building was obtained through the hard work of a “Save the Harbor” campaign in 1993. He said the property was too valuable to the city to sell because of its location on Cape May Harbor. Gaffney suggested a meeting with Rutgers to determine what takes place in the building, believed to be some sort of research. 
That’s Trash
WEST CAPE MAY –  Municipal trash collection, through Waste Management Corp. begins here Jan. 4. Borough commission passed an ordinance Dec. 6 establishing rules for residents. Commissioners determined brush, including lawn grass and leaves, can be placed at the curb for collection but not tree trimming, bulk trash, or recyclables. Tree branches can be taken to a dumpster behind borough hall. The borough collects recyclables separately. Residents will have the option of purchasing 96-gallon containers from Waste Management for $60 or they can use their own cans no larger than 32 gallons. Trash bags can be used instead of cans, but trash collectors will not clean up messes from bags destroyed by animals. 
Doubling the VX
NEWPORT, IND. – U.S. Army contractors now have two chemical reactors processing VX nerve agent here. One reactor was put back in action Nov. 19 after workers replaced faulty gaskets blamed for a leak of almost 500 gallons of VX wastewater Oct. 29. In all, 88 gaskets were replaced in two chemical reactors. The Army said it hopes to process 720 gallons of VX per day by January. Army plans call for hauling the highly-caustic wastewater, known as VXH, in tank trucks to Salem County, New Jersey for further processing by DuPont and dumping in the Delaware River.
Watch the Scallops
CAPE MAY – The Coast Guard Cutter Ibis, home ported here, along with Coast Guard Station Manasquan Inlet, has been awarded Coast Guard Special Operations Service Ribbons and the 2005 Fishery Achievement Award from the Mid Atlantic Fisheries Management Council for law enforcement contributions. From May 10, 2004 to Sept. 17, 2005, the units amassed 114 boardings and 1,150 hours focused on efforts to promote commercial fishing vessel safety and commerce. The Ibis executed over 100 commercial fishing boat boardings last year. The Ibis’ crew is credited with protecting the growing and fragile sea scallop stock by its presence.
Teens Injured
BURLEIGH –  Jacob Fleck, 18, of Green Creek and a 17-year male from Del Haven were injured in a two-vehicle accident on Indian Trail Road, Dec. 8 at about 7:41 a.m. According to Middle Township police, the 17- year old male was driving a 1996 Chevy Tahoe traveling east on Indian trail from State Highway 47. A large roll back truck driven by Dawn Moore, 35, of Court House was backing into a driveway in the 200 block of Indian Trail road. The youth attempted to go around the truck but struck the rear. The 17-year old was transported to Burdette Tomlin Memorial hospital with face and arm injuries. Fleck sustained facial and chest injuries and was flown to AtantiCare Regional Medical Center Trauma Unit.
Wal-Mart Fires
RIO GRANDE –  Middle Township police are seeking the public’s help in solving what appears to be a rash of arson-related fires at the construction site of a Wal-Mart store on Route 9 here.  During the past two to three weeks, several small, intentionally-set fires have been found, both outside the building and on the roof. On Dec. 5, subjects obtained access to the roof and set a generator unit on fire. Small fires were also found at a nearby housing development under construction called the Gatherings. Any one with information is asked to call middle Township police at 465-7800.
Meeting Tonight
CAPE MAY – Emergency managers from the state, county, this city, West Cape May, Lower Township and Cape May Point will convene at a public meeting tonight at 7:30 at Cape May Convention Hall. Topics of discussion will include hurricane shelters and evacuation routes.
Permit Fee Increase
CAPE MAY POINT – Borough commission approved an increase in rental permit fees from $35 to $70, if paid before April 15, and an increase from $70 to $100, if paid prior to June 15. The rental permit fee jumps to $150 after June 15. The extra revenue will be used to pay for fire inspections of rental properties that will confirm the presence of smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. This is the first increase in rental permit fees since 1998.
Save Your Money
CAPE MAY – According to the A.G. Edwards Nest Egg Index released Dec. 13, which ranks America’s 200 top performing communities and the 50 states based on residents’ personal savings and investment behavior, the Atlantic-Cape May County are is ranked 103 in the nation. The index showed people living in the eastern part of the country are doing better job of building personal savings than their counterparts west of the Mississippi. Southern locales trail their northern neighbors by a wide margin. Number one on the list is San Jose in California’s Silicon Valley. The worst spot for personal savings and investments? Jamestown, N.Y. New Jersey ranked number one in the nation for savings. Monmouth and Ocean counties ranked seventh in the country.
DNA Times Two
ERMA – Lower Township police with help from State Police solved two crimes that occurred during the summer. Police arrested Michael Perry, 25, of Villas Dec. 12. According to Lower Township police, he left DNA evidence behind during a burglary of a home in Villas which was matched “within a reasonable degree of scientific certainty” by the State Police lab. A second incident involved extensive damage to cars at another location, which included setting the interior of a car on fire and dumping paint on another. Perry also left evidence at that scene. He is charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief in the first incident. In the second incident, he was charged with arson and criminal mischief. He was served these charges at the county jail where he was being held on other unrelated charges. Bail was set at $50,000.
Burglary Response
ERMA – Lower Township police arrested Dylan Gould, 18, of North Cape May, after responding to a call of a burglary in progress at a home on East Wilde Avenue in Villas. Upon arrival, police saw suspects running from the scene and pursued them on foot. Gould was caught by police after jumping over fences and being tackled by an officer. Further investigation showed the accused was the sole actor in the attempted burglary and other parties were present for an unrelated, non-criminal purpose. Gould was charged with burglary, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice. Bail was set at $50,000.
See You Later
COURT HOUSE – A number of applicants, set to appear before Middle Township Zoning Board of Adjustment Dec. 8, decided to take a rain check and revisit in January or later. Among them: R&RD LLC’s plan for 19 townhouse units at 530 Stone Harbor Blvd.; Rio Victorian Village’s for 432 units in nine, five-story buildings at Route 47 and Railroad Avenue, Rio Grande; and, Louis Altobelli Sr., who seeks to build an auto service center with auto sales, storage and warehouse at Route 9 and Gibson Avenue, Edgewood.
More Wawa Parking
COURT HOUSE – The plan of Wawa Food Market at Atlantic Avenue and Route 9 here to eliminate one Route 9 entrance, as part of a two-phase project, was granted Dec. 8 by Middle Township Zoning Board of Adjustment. Closure of one entry to Route 9 will add 13 parking spaces, said Wawa engineer Steve Nardelli. Real Estate Manager Frances Moxhan told the board more parking would come by this summer. A 3,000-plus square-foot addition to the store will take place in the second quarter of 2007, she said.
Clinic Clears Zoning
COURT HOUSE – Middle Township Zoning Board of Adjustment unanimously approved, Dec. 8, Burdette Tomlin Health System’s request for a use variance for its former imaging center, across from Commerce Bank, to become the federally funded Cape May Courthouse Community Health Center. The center will see mainly Medicaid patients, but won’t turn any patients away, Rita Maroldo, director, told zoners. Expected to be in full-service by March or April, she said it would be staffed by a nurse practitioner and part-time physician, a licensed practical nurse, and two certified assistants. At times, specialists would also use the center, Maroldo said.
New Job Title
WILDWOOD CREST – In an effort to streamline the town’s operations, borough commissioners introduced an ordinance on Dec. 7 that would add the position of municipal administrator. The new title would give Borough Clerk Kevin Yecco dual roles as clerk and administrator. The administrator title comes with a salary of about $5,000 and duties that include handling the borough’s public bidding, competitive contracting, negotiating contracts, and maintaining the town’s personnel system.
Stick ‘Em Up
WILDWOOD – A juvenile using a BB gun that looked like 9 mm handgun allegedly robbed a 35-year-old man in the 100 block of East Youngs Avenue on Dec. 11. Police said that the victim was going to his car when the juvenile approached him with what appeared to be a handgun. Detective Lt. Kevin McLaughlin said that a patrol officer spotted the 16-year-old suspect at the city bus terminal. Police said that a second 17-year-old was arrested in connection to the robbery and a third is under investigation. The two teens were charged with robbery and conspiracy and placed in the juvenile detention facility in Bridgeton.
Beware the Grinch
COURT HOUSE – Police are urging residents to lock their car doors and be mindful of thieves especially during this time of year. According to State Police Detective Karl Ulbrich, reports of car burglaries are up in December when valuable gifts are often left in vehicles. Police Lt. William Wilent said that few burglars will go so far as to break a window or pry open a trunk. He said that a locked door is usually the best deterrent.
Found at Flanders
OCEAN CITY – Police are investigating the death of 26-year-old Charles Previti, whose body was found Dec. 7 in a Flanders Hotel apartment. According to reports, Previti was found by his roommate at approximately 5:45 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The county Joint Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of death undetermined, pending toxicology results, said the county Prosecutor’s Office. Police said that Previti, the son of retired Superior Court Judge Charles R. Previti, worked at Perry Egan Chevrolet in Ocean City.   

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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