NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

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January 2014

VIDEO:Gloucester Township Police Crime Stoppers, Armed Robbery-

El Manatial Store 303 South Black Horse Pike, Blackwood New Jersey on Friday January 24, 2014 10 AM: SOURCE NIXLE The suspect, seen operating a silver 4 door early 2000's Buick with damage to the passenger's side and no front tag, exits the vehicle and attacks the victim as he enters his parked vehicle. The suspect was described as a black male, between 20 and 30 years old, wearing a black shirt with "PUMA" in gold letters on the front, a denim jacket, denim jeans, and tan boots. The suspect was armed with a handgun, and forced the victim to turn over his money. If you have any information or can identify the suspect in the photos and video, please call our GTPD Anonymous Crime Tip Line: 856-842-5560. To send an Anonymous Tip via Text Message to Gloucester Township Police, text the keyword GLOTWP and your tip message to 847411... Read more →


CREW: NY Congressman Michael Grimm Threatens Reporter

Michael Grimm, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) source Citizens for Responsible and Ethics in Washington (CREW) WASHINGTON DC (January 30, 2014)--Just when you think Congress has hit rock bottom, a member goes and digs the hole a little deeper. Unsurprisingly, that member is an ethically challenged New Yorker who’s been on our radar for years. Tuesday night, after the President had delivered his State of the Union address, Representative Michael Grimm responded to a question about the controversy swirling around his finances by verbally assaulting the reporter, threatening to throw him off a balcony and “break [him] in half.” Unfortunately, this total meltdown is in keeping with the congressman’s refusal to come clean about the allegations surrounding his shady fundraising practices, which recently led to the arrest of his former girlfriend and even more scrutiny. It’s brutish behavior like this that has led to... Read more →


Wall Township Residents Named to Dean's List at Quinnipiac University

HAMDEN, CT (01/29/2014)(readMedia)-- The following area residents were named to the the dean's list at Quinnipiac University for the Fall 2013 semester: Andriana Anlas of Wall Township, NJ Kerri O'Keefe of Wall Township, NJ To qualify for the dean's list, students must earn a grade point average of at least 3.5 with no grade lower than C. Full-time students must complete at least 14 credits in a semester, with at least 12 credits that have been graded on a letter grade basis to be eligible. Part-time students must complete at least six credits during a semester. Quinnipiac is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian institution located 90 minutes north of New York City and two hours from Boston. The university enrolls 6,400 full-time undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students in 58 undergraduate and more than 20 graduate programs of study in its School of Business and Engineering, School of Communications, School of Education,... Read more →


Elizabeth Music Teacher Arrested for the Distribution of Child Pornography

Edison, N.J. - An investigation by the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) has led to arrest of a music teacher from Elizabeth for downloading and sharing child pornography from his home computer. The 5-month investigation focused on the alleged sharing of videos and images of child pornography by Ronald Scott, 61, of Edison, a music teacher in the Elizabeth school district. On Friday, January 24, detectives executed a court authorized search warrant at Scott’s residence recovering, two desk top computers, two external hard drives, and multiple computer discs. A preliminary examination of the seized computer equipment revealed numerous videos and images of child pornography. Scott was taken into custody at his residence in Edison and charged with Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography. He was lodged in the Middlesex County Jail in default of $50,000 cash bail. As a condition... Read more →


Denise T. Porter, of Bellmawr, Area Nurse

(August 7, 1955 - January 28, 2014) Denise T. Porter, on January 28, 2014, of Bellmawr, formerly of Phila., PA. Age 58. Beloved wife of Joseph. Devoted mother of James, Joseph, Jason, Angela, Kimberly, and Joseph III. Loving grandmother of 15. Dear sister of Joe, Patricia, and Kevin. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Denise was a graduate of Little Flower High School and James Martin School of Nursing. She worked for Northwood Nursing Home, the VA Medical Center, and Brandywine Senior Living in Haddonfield. There will be a visitation from 11am to 12 noon Saturday at GARDNER FUNERAL HOME, RUNNEMEDE. Interment private at the request of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Denise’s memory to the American Cancer Society, 1851 Old Cuthbert Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034. Related articles Robert F. Hanley Sr., of Bellmawr, WW II Army Veteran, Fought in the Battle... Read more →


The Wolf of Wall Street: Sex. Drugs. Rock & Roll

Sex. Drugs. And rock & roll. And a whole lot more drugs. Welcome to lavish world of Martin Scorsese’s Wall Street epic, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio in perhaps his most off the wall (not to mention finest) performance yet, this film is destined to a long legacy of controversy and praise from moviegoers across the board. Now what does that say about the movie? Well in my humble opinion, this was an absolutely fine outing by the Martin Scorcese/Leonardo DiCaprio partnership. Despite an elongated length that brought out some noticeable pacing issues as well as editing flaws, “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a movie roller coaster unlike all others that boasts a unique script and sharp direction that ensures tremendous and memorable performances from it’s cast. “The Wolf of Wall Street” chronicles the true story of the rise and fall of infamous stockbroker Jordan Belfort... Read more →


Local Finance Board Decides to make Meeting Minutes Public

By John Paff, Chairman New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project In an earlier post (on-line here), I wrote about my December 30, 2013 lawsuit against the New Jersey Local Finance Board (LFB). With AttorneyWalter Luers' assistance, I sued the LFB because it had refused to provide me with unredacted copies of its public meeting minutes. Yesterday, a New Jersey Deputy Attorney General decided to not contest the suit and disclose the minutes in unredacted form. The newly released, unredacted minutes are on-line here. I've placed the same pages from the redacted version of the minutes here so that readers can compare them side by side. Given the nature of the redacted material, it is difficult to understand why the LFB decided to apply the redactions in the first place. The lawsuit is now all but over. The only remaining issue is a determination on the amount of attorney... Read more →


Live from the Land of the Limp

View over Prescott looking north to Thumb Butte and Granite Mountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Welcome to the Land of the Limp Pt.1 By Steve Healey CNBNews.net After 60+ years as a Jersey Boy, for the first time I have a drivers’ license from a different state. I moved to Arizona last year and looking at a “foreign” drivers’ license with my name and picture was just the first shock of not being in Jersey anymore. Living in Prescott, AZ, is nothing like living anywhere in New Jersey. Unless they’ve been here, everyone instantly pictures desert and hot weather when they think of Arizona. While that is true in the southern part of the state, Prescott is up in the mountains of central Arizona. The temperatures run about 20 degrees lower than Phoenix on average and can actually get into the teens and twenties on winter nights. Because Prescott is a... Read more →


BEAZER HOMES WILL NOT BE BUILDING MEADOWBROOK II /cnbnews.net

POSTED May 14, 2007 By William E. Cleary Sr. / CNBNews.net GLOUCESTER CITY NJ (May 14, 2007)--Rumors have been circulating for several weeks about the housing project planned for the old GAF property at Charles and Water Streets being cancelled. The plans for the development, which was called Meadowbrook II, were announced in October 2004. The builder was Beazer Homes who is currently building 64 single family homes on the old Starlite Drive In movie property at Route 130 and Klemm Avenue. Wanting to clear up the rumor a reporter from the NEWS contacted Beazer Homes last week and asked if Meadowbrook II was still a go? The following statement was received from a spokesman for Beazer, Hope McHenry, who is the New Homes Information Manager for Central Jersey and South Jersey. She writes, "First, I believe you must really be referring to what has been known as "Gloucester Point",... Read more →


Jersey City boxing legend Jimmy Dupree was champ in and out of ring

Patrick Villanova/The Jersey Journal January 31, 2014 at 10:00:27 EST Follow @JJournalSports photo credit BoxRec.com It was March of 2001 and 13-year-old Tyrell Wright was looking for an outlet. It came in the form of a boxing gym on Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City, and more specifically the man running the outpost, Jimmy Dupree. For eight years, the former light heavyweight champion-turned-trainer helped mold Wright into the fighter he is today — a hulking heavyweight still in the infancy of a promising professional career. For 38 years, Dupree ran the gym and helped countless Jersey City kids like Wright find direction through boxing. Dupree died Sunday of complications from Alzheimer’s, his daughter, Pearline Dupree, said. He was 77 years old. A viewing will be held tomorrow at St. Michael’s Methodist Church, 37 Virginia Ave., in Jersey City from 1 to 3 p.m. A funeral service will follow at... Read more →


Bellmawr Resident Erica Pirolli Named to Dean's List at Ithaca College

The Ithaca College Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia) ITHACA, NY (01/29/2014)(readMedia)-- Erica Pirolli a resident of Bellmawr, NJ, and a senior Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology major in Ithaca College's School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, was named to the Dean's List for the fall 2013 semester. From day one, Ithaca College prepares students for success through hands-on experience with internships, research and study abroad. Its integrative curriculum builds bridges across disciplines and uniquely blends liberal arts and professional study. Located in New York's Finger Lakes region, the College is home to 6,100 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Read more →


Employees in Pennsylvania Company Learn of Increased Health Costs Due to Obamacare

JAN 30, 2014 • BY DANIEL HALPER /http://www.weeklystandard.com A local news station brings viewers inside one Pennsylvania company as the employees there learn about their new health care plans under Obamacare: "Look at the numbers," says the reporter of two employees. "Jeff and Dave used to have a $1,250 deductible . Since Obamacare went into effect, it's now jumped 60 percent to $2,000. That's nothing compared to Brian, Kristi, and Judy who have kids. they are going to pay twice that, four grand." The reporter adds that co-pays are being increased, too. "I don't know how President Obama thinks he's helping us because we can't afford this, we can't afford to pay these co-pays, to pay these deductibles on what we're making," says one of the workers. Another worker adds, "They call it the affordable health plan. There's nothing affordable about it. I can't afford it." LINK SUBMITTED BY JOHN... Read more →


Peggy Jean Markellos, Founder of the Miss Bellmawr Pageant

(August 14, 1925 - January 28, 2014) Peggy Jean Markellos (nee Hayes), on January 28, 2014, of Lindenwold, formerly Bellmawr. Age 88. Beloved wife of the late Peter M. Markellos. Devoted mother of Michael D. Markellos of Lindenwold. Loving grandmother of Rev. Christopher M. Markellos, Nicholas P. (Stefanie) Markellos, and Michelle L. Markellos and great grandmother of Emma and Gabriel. Sister of the late Nancy Smith. Peggy Jean was the Past President of VFW Post 7410 of Bellmawr Ladies Auxiliary and founder of the Miss Bellmawr Pageant. There will be a viewing from 9 to 10:45am Saturday morning at Our Lady of Hope Parish, St. Agnes RC Church, 701 Little Gloucester Rd., Blackwood, NJ 08012. Funeral Mass 11am in the Church. Entombment New St. Mary’s Mausoleum, Bellmawr. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Peggy Jean’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN... Read more →


Gloucester Twp: Human Trafficking Arrests (Video)

source NIXLE GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP (January 30, 2014)--Acting Attorney General John Hoffman, Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk, Gloucester Township Police Chief Harry Earle, Bellmawr Police Chief William Walsh, Magnolia Police Chief John Evans, Runnemede Police Chief Mark Diano, Pine Hill Police Chief Christopher Winters and Winslow Township Police Chief Robert Stimelski reported one of the first cases in the state to use a newly enhanced human trafficking statute designed to allow law enforcement to target the men and women who most benefit from the sex trade in New Jersey. Human Trafficking Arrest Press Conference- Held at the Gloucester Township Municipal Hall on Thursday, January 30, 2014. Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk and Gloucester Township Chief Harry Earle spoke about one of the first cases in the state to make use of a state Human Trafficking statute revised in 2013. A prostitution sting at a hotel in Gloucester Township led... Read more →


John F. Mahoney of Belmar Graduates from Clemson University

CLEMSON, SC (01/30/2014)(readMedia)-- John F. Mahoney of Belmar graduated from Clemson University Dec. 19, 2013, with a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management. Mahoney was among more than 1,100 students who received degrees from President James F. Barker, who presided over his final graduation ceremony before stepping down after 14 years at the helm of the university. Videos of the ceremonies Ranked No. 21 among national public universities, Clemson University is a major, land-grant, science- and engineering-oriented research university that maintains a strong commitment to teaching and student success. Clemson is an inclusive, student-centered community characterized by high academic standards, a culture of collaboration, school spirit and a competitive drive to excel. Read more →


YOUR MONEY: Where Do Taxpayers Have the Highest Total Unfunded Pension Liability?

A new report examines pension liabilities for all types of retirement systems in select jurisdictions, showing sizable fiscal burdens in some cities. BY MIKE MACIAG | JANUARY 24, 2014 Closely-scrutinized unfunded pension liability figures paint a bleak picture in cities’ financial statements. But in some cases, local taxpayers are actually on the hook for far greater unfunded liabilities. That’s because there are other overlapping governments often saddled with unfunded pension liabilities of their own. So along with city governments, the same taxpayer base will also need to foot the bill for their state, school district and any other special district’s employee pension plans. In a new report, Morningstar Municipal Credit Research examined all such pension plans and tallied the total unfunded pension burden for residents in the 25 most populous cities and Puerto Rico, arguing state and local pensions shouldn’t be examined in a vacuum. In a few localities, adding... Read more →


Ecosave Move Expected to Create 125 New Jobs at Navy Yard

Philadelphia Navy Yard, 1942, USS Gherardi, at left, and USS Butler, ready for launching (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Philadelphia, January 25, 2014 - Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today that Australian energy efficiency firm Ecosave, Inc. has chosen the Philadelphia Navy Yard as the location for its U.S. headquarters. This move further cements Philadelphia’s position as America’s energy efficiency hub. The City of Philadelphia worked closely with a number of partners including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Select Greater Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) to make the case that Philadelphia is the best location for an international energy efficiency firm looking to enter the U.S. market. “We are delighted to welcome Ecosave to Philadelphia,” said Mayor Nutter. “Increasingly, companies from around the world are choosing to start, stay and grow in Philadelphia as we offer a very competitive business climate, unrivaled quality of life, and world class leadership in... Read more →


Operation Billboard: Two Defendants Sentenced to Prison on Racketeering and Drug Charges

They were members of the ring that distributed heroin in Camden. Nine have been sentenced to state prison since November in “Operation Billboard” Click on image to enlarge TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that two defendants were sentenced to prison today as members of a major narcotics network with ties to the Ñetas street gang that was dealing large quantities of heroin in the area of 4th and Royden Streets in Camden. The criminal network was dismantled in May 2012 through the investigation “Operation Billboard.” Jonathan Roman, 24, of Camden, a street-level manager for the drug ring, was sentenced today to seven years in state prison, including three years of parole ineligibility, by Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel in Camden. Roman pleaded guilty on Dec. 2 to conspiracy to distribute narcotics and distribution of narcotics in a school zone. In addition, Judge Kassel today sentenced... Read more →


HHS Releases Poverty Guidelines For 2014

SHORT TAKES ON NEWS & EVENTS By Jordan Rau JANUARY 27TH, 2014, 5:00 AM The federal government has released slightly higher poverty level guidelines for 2014, but those won’t alter the income thresholds that are being used now to determine what kind of financial assistance is available to buy insurance under the health law. The guidelines will be relevant in the fall, when people look to buy coverage for 2015. Under the new guidelines, Medicaid coverage will be available to individuals earning up to $16,105 and families earning up to $32,913 in states that have decided to expand Medicaid under the provisions of the federal health law. Premium subsidies in the new online marketplaces will be available to individuals earning up to $46,680 and families of four earning up to $95,400. The government said the increase in the federal poverty level was due to a 1.5 percent price increase between... Read more →


Local Men Involved with NFL Super Bowl XLVIII

Former Gloucester City resident John Pierman is one of hundreds of people preparing the MetLife Stadium for this Sunday's NFL Super Bowl XLVIII game. By CNBNews EAST RUTHERFORD NJ--This week John Pierman has one of the best jobs in the world. He is working with hundreds of other people at the MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford NJ, getting the site ready for the 48th Annual Super Bowl on Sunday. Pierman, a former resident of Gloucester City who now lives in Deptford, works for *Tri State Staging Inc., owned by Chuck Ogle. Pierman is a member of The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 8, Philadelphia. Members of Local 632 of the IATSE, Paramus are also working on the job. When asked about his duties Pierman said, “I have been with Local 8 Stagehands out of Philadelphia since 2000. I have been a video tech for Tri-State Staging since 2001.... Read more →


Super Bowl tax bite: Broncos, Seahawks must pay NJ taxes

Ted Sherman/The Star-Ledger January 26, 2014 at 6:15:00 EST When Peyton Manning takes the field at MetLife Stadium for the Super Bowlnext weekend, there is one defender he will have absolutely no chance of evading. The tax man. The state Division of Taxation will be taking a cut of the Denver Bronco quarterback’s estimated $15 million salary, as well as a portion of the $7 million paid to Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, and a piece of the $662,434 Seattle starting quarterback Russell Wilson will earn next season. Indeed, every member of the two Super Bowl teams coming here this week will take a tax hit during their brief stay in New Jersey — every player, every coach and trainer and anyone else who regularly travels with two organizations. Unlike Florida — which has hosted 15 Super Bowls and had been vying for this one too, will see temperatures this... Read more →


Former Philly Cop Found Guilty of Lying to Feds

PHILADELPHIA - Robertito Fontan, 42, a former narcotics officer with the Philadelphia Police Department, was found guilty today of two counts of making false statements to federal investigators concerning his romantic relationship with one of the police department’s confidential informants. In 2003, Fontan recruited Person #1 to become a confidential informant and recommended her as a confidential informant to other law enforcement officers. Several months later, Fontan became intimately involved with Person #1. During their relationship, Fontan gave gifts and money to Person #1. In 2007, the Drug Enforcement Administration (ADEA@) began investigating Person #1=s former paramour, a suspected drug dealer, and Fontan was assisting with the investigation. In 2008, the FBI began investigating a suspected leak of information in the DEA investigation. As part of the leak investigation, the FBI interviewed Fontan about his intimate relationship with Person #1. The jury found that Fontan lied to agents about his... Read more →


Nicky Skins: The wiseguy with a wire

Inside Jersey Staff January 14, 2014 By George Anastasia/For Inside Jersey They said he was a “good man” and “solid as a rock.” Nicholas “Nicky Skins” Stefanelli They said he had the right bloodlines, that his father had been one of them before him. And that, they all agreed, was important. This was how a group of mobsters, meeting over lunch at a restaurant in Kenilworth three years ago, described Nicholas “Nicky Skins” Stefanelli, a soldier in the Gambino crime family who was sitting with them that day. “If you don’t know the families, the grandmothers, the grandfathers, forget it,” said Joseph “Scoops” Licata, a capo who ran a North Jersey crew for the Philadelphia mob. “Only way to survive,” added John Gambino, a leader of the New Yorkfamily that bears his name. “You only need quality, not quantity.” They were at a table in a corner of the main... Read more →


The President Won't Be Needing You

Amy Payne January 29, 2014 at 6:30 am President Obama says this is a “year of action”—and last night he made it very clear whose action he was talking about. After noting recently that he has a pen and a phone and can use those to make changes without the help of Congress, Obama charged forward with promises of taking executive action wherever lawmakers fail to meet his demands. “This President has acted like the playground bully who when he can’t have everything he wants, he decides to take his ball and go home,” Heritage President Jim DeMint said yesterday. “This is not the way our government is supposed to work.” Indeed—Heritage’s legal experts have long questioned the legality of the President’s lone ranger style. And early analysis of this year’s State of the Union proposals indicates the executive branch will continue to run amok. One of the most hyped... Read more →


Lebanon County Clerk of Courts charged with failing to report DUI convictions to PennDOT

HARRISBURG PA-- Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced charges against Lebanon County Clerk of Courts Lisa Arnold, 48, of the unit block of S. 5th Ave., Lebanon, for allegedly failing to report DUI convictions and other information to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). As the Clerk of Courts, Arnold is required to report DUI convictions or acquittals within 10 days after final judgment. According to the criminal complaint, Arnold failed to provide PennDOT with the required information 203 times between Jan. 1, 2013 and Oct. 24, 2013. The charges state that Arnold directed her staff to not participate in the notification process and kept confiscated drivers' licenses and associated paperwork in a plastic bag in a filing cabinet. Arnold is charged with one count of obstructing administration of law or other government function and one count of failure to comply with provisions of subchapter (reports by courts). A... Read more →


NEW JERSEY FACES ‘HARD TRUTH’ OF SERVICES VERSUS PENSIONS

Report by Mark Lagerkvist Posted on January 28, 2014 New Jersey’s public pension crisis will soon hit the fan. Chris Christie sounded the alarm near the end of his 2014 State of the State address. After speaking of plans to improve education, fight crime, expand health care, lower taxes and grow jobs, the New Jersey governor finally told the “hard truth.” “We cannot afford to do it right now,” said Christie. “For the fiscal year 2015 budget, the increase in pension and debt service could cost as much as $1 billion. “That’s nearly $1 billion we can’t spend on education, that we can’t invest in infrastructure improvement, that we can’t use to put more cops on the street, that won’t be available to improve access to health care,” he warned. It’s actually worse than that. The state will ultimately face an unpopular choice between slashing existing services or breaking pension... Read more →


GTPD Wanted Person Captured By US Marshals Service

Marshal-star (Photo credit: Wikipedia) News release/January 28, 2014 GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP NJ--On December 18, 2013 shortly after 1:00 PM, a patrol officer from the Gloucester Township Police Department (GTPD) attempted a motor vehicle stop on a 2001, 4 door, silver Honda Accord with Tennessee registration after he observed a violation. The driver of the vehicle failed to pull over, and fled at a high rate of speed from the officer onto Route 42 Northbound, as the short pursuit was discontinued for safety reasons at that time. Through further investigation by GTPD, it was learned that the vehicle was being reported stolen by its owner in Runnemede, NJ and the driver was identified to be accused, Francis E. Hillsee. The accused, Hillsee, was charged on a warrant for Eluding with a $50,000 bail and additionally issued (31) motor vehicle summons. On December 23, 2013 the reported stolen vehicle was found unoccupied and... Read more →


CAMDEN DIOCESE: Catholic Professionals Meet for Faith and Eggs

CHERRY HILL NJ--Recording artist Andy Cooney spoke to business professionals on Friday, Jan. 10 about his Catholic faith, his family, and the importance of service to others, at the Catholic Business Network of Southern New Jersey's monthly breakfast, at Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill. Forty business professionals came together to network and share their faith and experiences. At the monthly gatherings, individuals get "a good message, good speaker, and meet great people," observed Thomas Iacovone, vice president of Art Guild, Inc., a full-service trade show and event company for corporations. A parishioner and trustee of the Catholic Community of the Holy Spirit in Mullica Hill, Iacavone also serves as director of the School Advisory Board for Gloucester Catholic High School. "I can form a common bond, with like-minded individuals," he said. Gary Zimak, Cinnaminson resident, author, radio host and Catholic evangelist, spoke at the first breakfast, held last fall.... Read more →


Area Blue Cross Companies Dealing with Disgruntled Customers | Kaiser Health News

By Robert Calandra and Stacey Burling, The Philadelphia Inquirer JAN 24, 2014 This story was produced in partnership with Paige Wolf has been buying health insurance from Independence Blue Cross for years. So when the self-employed public relations professional learned that she could buy a top-of-the-line platinum plan for less than her old policy, she was ecstatic. But her good fortune turned to frustration when the Center City woman didn't receive an invoice for her new plan. She went on Independence's Facebook page to vent. Then she received an e-mail scan of an overdue notice for her January bill, with her doctor's address on it, not hers. The insurer, she said, should do something for its customers - though she isn't holding her breath. "I certainly don't expect a Starbucks gift card any time soon," she said. The region's biggest insurers, Independence and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New... Read more →


Reputed Philly Mob Boss, Joe Ligambi, Freed after Two Trials | NEWSWORKS

The reputed boss of the Philadelphia mob is a free man after beating two racketeering trials over two years. Joseph “Uncle Joe” Ligambi quietly left the U.S. courthouse Tuesday morning with his brother and nephew and jumped into a waiting car. His release comes after the Justice Department decided not to take Ligambi to trial a third time. A judge on Tuesday dismissed his 2009 indictment. Two juries have deadlocked on the central racketeering charge, while acquitting Ligambi of six lesser counts. The case mostly involves low-level gambling and loansharking, in contrast to the deadly feuds that long characterized Philadelphia mob trials. The 74-year-old Ligambi has been in prison since 2011. His alleged underboss, enforcer and others were convicted last year. Ligambi said he plans to go home and “relax” Tuesday night. This article, Reputed Philly mob boss, Joe Ligambi, freed after two trials Kids struggle to cope with 'helicopter... Read more →


Ocean City Pays Ex-Con $13,131 to End K-9 Lawsuit

Robert Petnick had claimed he was injured by a K-9 dog during an arrest. Robert Petnick. Credit: N.J. Department of Corrections Ocean City agreed to pay an ex-convict $13,131.43 to end a lawsuit that claimed he suffered "emotional and physical injuries" during his apprehension by Ocean City police and a K-9 dog. A settlement agreement signed Dec. 20 dismisses a complaint filed by Robert Petnick against the City of Ocean City and four members of the Ocean City Police Department: Officer Robert Koob, Officer Anthony Fearnhead, Officer John Vogt and Sgt. Jon Campo. The settlement includes no admission of liability on the part of the city and the officers. "I agree that you have entered into this settlement agreement and general release solely to avoid the time, expense and continuing distraction of this litigation," Petnick agreed in the settlement. In a lawsuit filed Dec. 16, 2011, Petnick accused the Ocean... Read more →


GROWING UP GLOUCESTER: The Wedding "Crashers" | cnbnews.net

GLOUCESTER CITY NJ: In the 50's and 60's it was common practice for many teenagers and young adults (both sexes) in South Jersey and Philly to "crash" a wedding reception on Saturday night. It was the thing to do. It didn't matter whether or not you knew the wedding couple. Some of us were as young as 16 when we started our career as a professional "wedding crasher". You got dressed up in your best suit and tie, girls would wear a nice dress and heels. We would all meet at the pool room on Burlington Street, or one of the local bars in town, and then head out to the event as a group. Once you got inside you would mingle in with the crowd, act like you knew everyone. If someone ask you who you were, you would say, "I am a cousin of the bride or groom."... Read more →


Gun Crisis in Philadelphia

January 26, 2014 The Gun Crisis Reporting Project Police look for evidence after 26-year-old Amber Long was shot to death during an apparent robbery last week in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. Photographs for the Gun Crisis Reporting Project by Joseph Kaczmarek. Five weekend incidents – including two fatalities — bring this month’s shooting victim totals in Philadelphia to 23 dead and 41 wounded, included 12 who were initially reported in critical condition. In the latest incident, a 23-year-old man was shot and killed shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday on Ridge Avenue near 29th Street in the Strawberry Mansion section of the city. 6ABC and NBC10 have reports. Two more men were reported in stable condition following Saturday night shootings: A 32-year-old man was listed in stable condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with a leg wound following an incident reported at about 9:30 p.m. on... Read more →


Authorities Warn Consumers to be Wary of Super Bowl Scams | cnbnews.net

press release NEWARK – With Super Bowl XLVIII fast approaching, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today reminded New Jersey sports fans, and those planning on coming to the Garden State for the big game, to beware of opportunistic scams that have been known to occur during major sports events. “Whether you’ll be watching the game at MetLife Stadium, at a sports bar or at home, everyone deserves to have a safe time enjoying the Super Bowl,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “Consumers should be alert to scams involving ticket sales, apartment or house rentals, travel packages, and counterfeit merchandise. Anyone who suspects fraud should immediately file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Affairs.” Consumers should beware of the following types of scams: Ticket Scams Consumers should thoroughly check the reputation of any ticket vendor, and any websites that broker ticket sales, before making a purchase.... Read more →


YOUR MONEY: Guess What Group is Getting Food Stamps at an Alarming Rate

Rachel Sheffield January 16, 2014 at 11:48 am Newscom Food stamp rolls have been growing rapidly. But what many may not realize is that participation among able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) has been skyrocketing compared to the total number of participants. That’s just one reason Congress should reform the food stamp program in the farm bill now under consideration. In just four years, the number of able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) on the food stamp rolls skyrocketed by over 2 million. While overall food stamp use grew by 53 percent between Fiscal Year 2007 and Fiscal Year 2010 (from about 26 million to nearly 40 million),it more than doubled among able-bodied adults without dependents during this time–from 1.7 million to 3.9 million–an increase of roughly 127 percent. Food stamp spending today is roughly $80 billion, double what it was in Fiscal Year 2008. Going forward, food stamp policy should ensure... Read more →


Top 5 stories to watch for in NW Philly

January 27, 2014 Here's a look at what's to come: 1. Crime in and around Queen Lane Station in Germantown has always been a bit of a problem. Over the past two years, though, some neighbors say it's gotten worse and they're tired of it. To that end, they've suggested that the Philadelphia Police Department set up a mini-station on the second floor of the train station. It's unclear if the idea has enough traction with city officials to move forward. Check back next week to learn more. 2. After 25 years in business, Video Library in Mt. Airy is closing. The business simply isn't financially viable anymore. Residents haven't been regularly renting videos for some time. Check back next week for more details. 3. More than 40 years ago, a group of burglars broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in a suburb of Philadelphia and stole almost... Read more →


Colleen Maher Named to Dean's List at Alvernia University | cnbnews.net

press release READING, PA (01/27/2014)(readMedia)-- Colleen Maher, of Wall, N.J., has been named to Alvernia University's Dean's List for the fall 2013 semester as a Senior Occupational Therapy major at Alvernia and a graduate of Wall High School. To be eligible for the Dean's List, students must carry a semester GPA of 3.5 or better and take a minimum of 12 credits. ALVERNIA is a fast growing Franciscan university, grounded in the Catholic and liberal arts traditions, that combines diverse academic opportunities with personal attention and an unmatched commitment to community service. Situated on a scenic 121-acre suburban campus in historic Berks County, Pa., the university supports a rigorous and caring learning community that is home to more than 3,000 students. For more information visit alvernia.edu. Read more →


22 Deaths in Western Pennsylvania Related to Deadly Mix of Heroin and Fentanyl

10 grams of no.3 heroin (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Heroin syringe (Photo credit: Thomas Marthinsen) January 27, 2014/press release Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane released the following statement today regarding the recent rash of heroin overdoses in Western Pa.: "There have been 22 deaths in Western Pennsylvania believed to be caused by a deadly mix of heroin and the narcotic Fentanyl. Together, these drugs are creating an extremely dangerous and potentially lethal combination for users. The heroin is believed to be in bags stamped with the words Theraflu, Bud Ice, and Income Tax. "Heroin with these specific stamps has been identified by narcotics agents not only in Allegheny County, but also in Westmoreland, Armstrong, Butler, Lawrence and Beaver counties. However, these stamped bags could already or eventually be available in other counties across Pennsylvania. "We are working with the Allegheny County Police Department, the Pittsburgh Police, and their counterparts in... Read more →


Ligambi Acquitted of Witness tampering; Jury Deadlocked on other Counts

PHILADELPHIA PA (January 24, 2014)--A reputed Philadelphia mob boss may again fight off a conviction after a gambling and racketeering retrial. A jury Friday has acquitted 74-year-old Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi of witness tampering and remains deadlocked on three other charges. They must now decide if the deadlock is final. The jury has also acquitted Ligambi's nephew, George Borgesi, of racketeering conspiracy. He could be released after a decade in prison on another case. Mob turncoats who testified paint Ligambi as the head of a fading La Cosa Nostra crime family. Prosecutors have been pursuing him for years. At the first trial last year, the jury acquitted Ligambi of five counts, while deadlocking on four. But an alleged underboss was convicted and sentenced to 15 years. Defense lawyers call the case a witch hunt. This article, Ligambi acquitted of witness tampering; jury deadlocked on other counts, is syndicated from NewsWorks... Read more →


Podcast: Outsourcing Labor, Injuries to the Growing Temp Industry

by Minhee Cho ProPublica, Jan. 24, 2014, 11:24 a.m.Listen Now Download this episode Tonya Washington, 36, puts her hand on a plaque at a memorial garden for her son, Day Davis, at the Bacardi bottling plant in Jacksonville, Fla., on Aug. 16, 2013, one year after Davis, a temp worker, died on his first day on the job. (Todd Anderson for ProPublica) The temp industry is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the U.S. – currently employing a record 2.8 million workers – but according to a ProPublica analysis of workers’ compensation claims, it’s also one of the more dangerous, with temps facing a significantly greater risk of getting injured on the job than permanent employees. ProPublica’s Michael Grabell details in his latest report – Temporary Work, Lasting Harm – how the workers’ comp system was designed to encourage safety through economic pressure by forcing companies with higher... Read more →


Roe V. Wade and Some of the Best Reporting on Abortion

by Blair Hickman, Christie Thompson and Kara Brandeisky ProPublica, Jan. 22, 2014, 2:25 p.m. Anti-abortion activists protest in front of the White House, the day before the annual March for Life. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) On the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the legal battles over abortion in the United States still rage. We’ve compiled some of the more interesting takes on the topic and the broader issue of women’s rights. What have we missed? Leave a link in the comments. Thirteen Charts That Explain How Roe v. Wade Changed Abortion Rights, The Washington Post/WonkBlog, January 2014 If you're pressed for time, this WonkBlog piece traces the last 41-plus years in the US abortion wars in an easily digestible format. Especially eye-opening are the charts that show the extent to which abortion has become a class issue, concentrated among low-income and minority women. Interactive: The Geography of Abortion... Read more →


The Dr. Is Out: Manahawkin Doctor’s Office Raided | Ocean Signal

January 25,2014 After Doctor Caught Illegally Prescribing Narcotics By the Ocean Signal MANAHAWKIN – Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Director Eric T. Kanefsky today announced the arrest of Doctor Liviu T. Holca, and the closure of his Manahawkin practice for unlawfully distributing the prescription drugs Percocet and Xanax without any medical necessity. Prosecutor Coronato stated, “No one wakes up and suddenly decides today I’m doing heroin. Abuse of prescription pills is the precursor to a life of dangerous street level drug addiction. It’s only a matter of time before an addicted person’s habit pushes them from high priced pills to cheap street heroin. Today, I include health care professionals in my warning to dealers who prey on those fighting this tragic disease – We are looking for you.” The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Southern Enforcement Group, with help from NJ Division of Consumers... Read more →


Op-Ed: Rewarding Innovation to Avoid Head Injury Risk | cnbnews.net

By Jeffrey R. Immelt and Roger Goodell This is the time of the year when the eyes of fans and media are trained squarely on the best two teams in football. As big as the Super Bowl is, however, it’s one game among thousands of football games that are played in organized leagues each year – and one among millions of recreational football games played for sheer fun in every community in the United States. And in the broader scope, football is just one of an array of physical sports played by kids and adults. Regardless of age, gender or ability, there are great benefits to sports that challenge us physically - football, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, basketball among them - and require speed and finesse, balance and strength. We both played organized football growing up. And while neither of us rose to the level of a professional athlete, what we... Read more →


DON'T RUN CALL 911: Billboard Companies Donate Space for Important Message | cnbnews.net

BY CNBNEWS PENNSAUKEN NJ (January 27,2014)--A billboard supporting New Jersey’s Overdose Prevention Act has recently been erected on Route 130 North, Pennsauken near Connie Mac’s. Another billboard with a similar message will be seen in February on River Road, Camden City. Patty DiRenzo of Blackwood, fought hard for a good samaritan law after her son, Salvatore, died of a drug overdose at the age of 27. To keep the topic in front of the public, DiRenzo contacted the owners of the billboards and asked them to discount what they usually charge for advertisements. DiRenzo said, “Both companies responded to my email immediately and told me they would donate the cost for the advertisement. I would like to publicly thank Lisa DiFelice, VP/General Manager of Interstate Outdoor Advertising, Interstate Transit Media, along with Diane Curry, Executive Assistant of CBS Outdoor for their generosity.” DiRenzo said the Act became law in May... Read more →


Thought for the Day: The Good Old Days

What this generation missed and will never understand. My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach.... and what about licking those beaters after that cake was mixed ..... but we didn't seem to get food poisoning....... My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter, AND, I used to eat it raw sometimes too, but I can't remember getting E-coli. Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine over-clorinated swimming pool (talk about boring). The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system. We all took gym, not PE; and risked permanent injury with a pair of high-top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and... Read more →


Rally to Save Canada Postal Service Draws Thousands

OTTAWA, Jan. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Thousands of postal workers and supporters rallied in Ottawa on Sunday to send a message to Canada Post and the Harper federal government about their plan to end door-to-door mail delivery and hike postage rates. "The Conservatives are wrong to think that people are going to accept these cuts," Gayle Bossenberry of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers said in front of a cheering crowd at the Prime Minister's office. "Stephen Harper, axe this plan and consult with the public!" Canada Post took most Canadians by surprise with its announcement of December 11th that it would replace all door-to-door delivery with community mailboxes and further outraged the public when its President Deepak Chopra suggested that seniors wanted the exercise. Since December, municipalities, small business owners, seniors' groups and disability advocates have been taking up the issue across the country. So far, Vancouver, Victoria and... Read more →


Some Predictions on How Medicare Will Release Physician Payment Data

by Charles Ornstein ProPublica, Jan. 23, 2014, 10:49 a.m. A snippet of the data ProPublica was given on prescribing in Medicare’s massive drug program. The federal government’s announcement last week that it would begin releasing data on physician payments in the Medicare program seems to have ticked off both supporters and opponents of broader transparency in medicine. For their part, doctor groups are worried that the information to be released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will lack context the public needs to understand it. "The unfettered release of raw data will result in inaccurate and misleading information," AMA President Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, said in a statement to MedPage Today. "Because of this, the AMA strongly urges HHS to ensure that physician payment information is released only for efforts aimed at improving the quality of healthcare services and with appropriate safeguards." On the other hand, healthcare hacker... Read more →


Camden County PD Arrest Suspect With Illegal Drugs and Counterfeit Money

Posted on January 24, 2014 by CCPD (Camden, NJ) – Officers on directed patrol in East Camden Thursday arrested a man who was in possession of cocaine, heroin and counterfeit money. Officers Joseph Czyzewski Jr. and Gordon Harvey were on directed patrol addressing quality of life issues in East Camden Thursday afternoon. Shortly after 2 p.m., they observed Damunaquan Miller, 19, of Camden, standing at the corner of Morse and Sewell streets conducting a hand-to-hand drug transaction. The officers exited their patrol vehicle, approached Miller and arrested him without incident. Miller was found to be in possession of 14 bags of cocaine, 33 bags of heroin, $344 in cash as well as a counterfeit $100 bill. After being detained, Miller was uncooperative with officers about his identity and provided fake names. Miller was charged with a total of 11 offenses: two counts of Possession of a CDS (cocaine and heroin),... Read more →


Celebrating Catholic school communities of faith, knowledge and service

A Message from the Bishop Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of the great mission of Catholic School education. This year's theme celebrates Catholic Schools as Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service. The Catholic Schools in our great nation were founded and organized through the visionary efforts of bishops, priests, religious women and men and with the astounding and generous support of poor Catholic immigrants. As in other dioceses, this vision and commitment to Catholic education is a proud story in the history of the Diocese of Camden, where Catholic schools flourished through the hard labors of the Catholic community. There are fundamental differences between Catholic education and secular education. These are expressed in a commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that pervades all aspects of the Catholic school program. Another is rooted in the God-given dignity of each human person which challenges all students to respect this... Read more →