Gloucester City Resident Launches Unique Website Named "FaultMeter"
Teacher Contract Settlement Rates Continue Decline—NJSBA

Tips and Snippets: The Big KMart Leaving, Prisoner Story National News, A Cold Hearted Thief or A Sign of the Times


By Bill Cleary

August 24, 2010 The Big KMart located in the Brooklawn Shopping Center, Browning Road and Route 130 is closing its doors come November 7. About 50 employees will loose their jobs as a result. The managers of the 70,000 square foot store would not talk to the Press about the closing referring all questions to the corporate offices of KMart.

Kmart However if you talk to some of the employees working on the floor as a customer they will gladly tell you that the owner of the shopping center has double KMart’s lease'

Supposedly the lease expires the end of this year.

   Brahin Properties, Inc. Philadelphia manages the rentals of the stores in the Brooklawn shopping center.  Whether or not the KMart lease was increased could not be confirmed since their office was closed on Sunday. 

One also has to wonder whether or not the Wal Mart Store that opened in 2008 in nearby Audubon is forcing the local KMart to close?

Check back with for updates on this developing story.

The KMart store has been in Brooklawn for nearly 30 years.

Prior to KMart the site was the home for a W.T. Grant retail store. Mark Matthews a Bellmawr resident writes, "The Grants Company went bankrupt in 1976. That property was closed for many years, and when KMart came in they did tear down the Grants store and built a new building.  But I don't know exactly when it opened as Kmart.  I can still remember when they brought in a mountain of dirt to get compacted down for the foundation."

AP Runs With Escape Prisoner-The story about the prisoner escaping from a Gloucester City

police car as he was being driven to the Camden County Jail in Camden City made it to the Associated Press wire service. Must be a slow news day. According to police the suspect maneuvered the handcuffs from behind his back and kicked out the back window of the Gloucester City police car. Paul Griffin, 34, of Bellmawr was arrested in Gloucester City Friday night for possession of illegal drugs. He escaped on foot into the bowels of Camden City, but about 11 hours later he surrendered to Bellmawr police. Police Chief George Berglund said ‘‘we have one man taking a prisoner to jail when we should have two. Unfortunately manpower doesn’t allow it.”

Gloucester City’s police department was cut from 30 to 28 through attrition. And because of a city budget deficit those officers will not be replaced. Five officers are on duty per shift, Berglund said.

“Sometimes you may leave the town not as protected as you would like “ he said.

Berglund said the department would review its transportation and staffing issues in light of Griffiths’ escape. He added the department recently applied for a federal grant that would allow it to hire two officers to replace the ones retiring this year.

Last month the Camden County Sheriff’s Office stopped dispatching officers to bring prisoners from municiplal departments to the jail between 11am and 7am. As such municipal police departments, many understaffed, must do it.

A Coldhearted Thief-A burglar broke into the honor box located at Charlie’s Ice this past week Big_burglar stealing some change and a few dollar bills. Mr. Charlie said, “I have been in the ice business here in Gloucester City for about 25 years, 10 years at Broadway and Ridgeway Street and the last 15 years on Daly Street. There wasn’t much money in the box. I use an honor system and it bothers me that someone would violate that arrangement”.

His customers pay $1.75 for a 8 lb bag of ice and $9 for a 50 lb bag. The incident occurred sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning, August 15 and 16. You wouldn’t know that Mr. Charlie was a senior citizen the way he throws 50 lb. bags of ice around the large walk-in-freezer used to store the ice. Dressed in a hooded sweatshirt he is making up the bags out of big blocks of ice as we talk. “I don’t sit here and wait for a customer to come along. I use the honor system instead, and for the most part it works. “

After taking the ice from the refrigerated box the customer writes down his/her first name and what they took and paid into the lock box.

“I even have some customers who leave a note with their name saying they will be back to pay me. They usually come back. Once in a while someone takes advantage of me and doesn’t pay. But for the most part I have found the public to be honest.” Asked if he will continue to sell ice even though he has been robbed? “Yes I am not going to close up just because of this cold hearted person. With a smile he says, “Pardon the pun. I’ll keep going as long as I am able. Who knows maybe my family will store me in the box instead of burying me in the ground when I depart for the Great Ice Machine in the sky. “ 

As you can tell Mr. Charlie (aka Bill Allison) certainly has a sense of humor. He has asked anyone who heard any noise late last Sunday evening or Monday morning or maybe saw a stranger lurking about to call the police department, 456-0408 to report their suspicion. 

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