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Mount Ephraim Honors Blue Star Banner Recipients


 Photo's by Bill Bates

BLUE STAR BANNER AWARDS -Member of the American Legion Post 150, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6262, Troop Support 08059 and Support Our Troop Effort pose with the families of Sergeant First Class Priscilla Blogojevich, Sergeant John Blogojevich, the families of Sergeant John Blogojevich, Specialist Nicholas Rabeau, Specialist Martin Coogan, and Private First Class Marcus Wild after receiving their awards at the Board of Commissioners monthly meeting.

By Bill Bates Mount Ephraim

News Correspondent

The Mount Ephraim Board of Commissioners started off the October monthly meeting by proclaiming October 2, 2008 as Blue Star Banner Day within the borough..

Five Blue Star Banner recipients were recognized for their unselfish dedication as members of the New Jersey National Guard, particularly residents who are currently serving our great nation overseas because they volunteered to protect us and keep us free.

The five brave patriots from Mount Ephraim are Sergeant First Class Priscilla Blogojevich, her older brother Staff Sergeant John Blogojevich, Specialist Nicholas Rabeau, Specialist Martin Coogan, and Private First Class Marcus Wild.

The Board of Commissioners (BOC) gratefully acknowledge the sacrifices that they have unselfishly made as well as the sacrifices that their families have made so that their loved ones can protect us.


The families of these service personnel were awarded a Blue star Banner and a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of their loved onesʼ call to duty from the following organizations that support them and their families; American Legion Post 150, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6262, Troop Support 08059 and Support Our Troop Effort.


102_boc_pics_002 RECEIVING AWARDS - The second picture should read Casey Blagojevich, sister-in-law of Sergeant First Class Priscilla Blogojevich, accepts her award as her father behind her receives an award for his son John Blagojevich

The Blue Star Banners were graciously donated by the Mount Ephraim Rotary Club.  Rotary President Rich Racheck said that his organization was glad that they could be apart of honoring such a fine group of brave men and women who are currently defending our country. Commissioner Andy Gilmore wrapped up the presentation by thanking the local organizations who not only support them, but their families as well and wish these brave individuals a safe return home.

Another proclamation was read honoring the Mount Ephraim Little League (MELL) that was founded in 1953, an organization that puts fourth countless hours of dedication by the members of MELL that has resulted in producing many outstanding players and teams within the borough.

The 2008 MELL Senior League team reached their highest level ever for the second year in a row by winning the District 14 Senior League All Star Championship and finishing second runners-up in Section Four. They were also the first team to win the Championship in the regular season District 14 Senior League playoffs.

The BOC and the residents congratulate the Hawks for their sheer determination, outstanding effort, athletic ability, sportsmanship and teamwork displayed in winning this championship. The players are Wade Gies, Will Hamilton, Ryan Holmes, Sean Brunett, Tom Gottsch, Tom Dyer, Kyle Scott, Chris Fehr, Ed Metzinger, Joe Furlong, Jim OʼDonnell and Matt Leonard. Manger George Gies, Coach Bruce Scott and Coach Al Gottsch.

In other business, several ordinances were passed relating to the fire department. One authorizing the appointment of an architect for the conversion of the Lambert Avenue Fire Station for Community use as a Community Center. A second authorizing the sale of three properties owned by the MEFD (200 Bell Road, 508 Lambert Avenue and 205 James Street) and a lease from the borough back to the MEFD. A third appointing three new members as firefighters, all of whom already have their State Firefighter Certification, Lorraine Russell, Brian Conte and Brian Cavallaro.

An ordinance was passed authorizing the appointment of an architect for the Bell Road Library Accessibility Project that is made possible by a grant from the Statewide Livable Communities-Library ADA Grant. A resolution authorizing the advertisement for sealed bids for the purchase of a brand new SUV police vehicle to replace one that is no longer dependable.

A resolution awarding a contract for the installation of speed humps on Fourth Avenue. The lowest qualified bidder came in at $7,298.00 for the project.

A resolution appointing Patricia Moriarity as a Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics for the Borough Hall for a three year term.

Commissioner Andy Gilmore, Director of Public Safety reported the MEFD answered 32 fire calls for the month of September bringing their calendar year to an end. Total calls answered by the MEFD volunteers for the year was 401 and they conducted a total of 30 training drill exercises for the year.

The police department had a busy month responding to 3 burglaries, 18 motor-vehicle accidents and 7 shoplifting's to mention a few. The MEPD made 28 adult arrests and 2 juvenile arrests for the month of September. The MEPD served 15 warrants and wrote 202 motor-vehicle summons tickets for the month.

Commissioner Bruce Greenwald, Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) reported that Construction Official Steven Beach issued 23 permits for the month collecting $4,714.00 in fees.

The DPW reported collecting 62,000 lbs of less trash since last September and has collected 28,000 lbs. more in recyclable materials compared to this past September.

The BOC wanted to thank all of the town organizations, business and residents for attending the First Annual Fall Festival that was held on September 20th at the Little League Complex.  A special thank you goes to the Celebration Committee for orchestrating the event that was another huge success for the committee that is made up of residents who volunteer countless hours to make the borough a better place to live.

The next monthly meeting will be held on Thursday, November 6, 2008 at the Borough Hall Meeting Room commencing at 8 pm.