Senator Jeff Van Drew, Assemblyman Matt Milam and Assemblyman Nelson Albano (all D-Cumberland/Cape May/Atlantic) sent a letter to Governor Christie asking that he request federal disaster assistance for the South Jersey region – particularly, Cumberland County – to offset cleanup costs associated with the April 16 storm that battered the area.
The lawmakers said the storm was the worst to hit the Delaware Bay region in decades and damages in Downe, Maurice River and Commercial townships are estimated to be in the millions of dollars. In the hardest hit area of Gandys Beach alone, damages are expected to cost more than $1 million.
“County and municipal emergency workers have done a tremendous job responding to this crisis, and stabilization and cleanup work is ongoing. However, we will need help from the federal government in order to help pay for damages and the unexpected costs of the storm recovery,” the lawmakers wrote. “To this end, I respectfully ask that you issue a request for federal disaster aid to help offset these costs in the southern New Jersey region. This request is critical because, without this aid, we will risk imposing an additional undue burden on our residents, who are already struggling to remain afloat in this economy.”
The dredge “Illinois” has arrived in Avalon and is beginning to pump sand. Avalon officials told Coastal Broadcasting that the beach fill has begun. Offshore conditions had kept the dredge from arriving for a week. Around 500,000 cubic yards of sand will be put onto Avalon’s beaches by the time the beach fill is done. The dredge will head to Stone Harbor once it is done in Avalon.
The cost of gas has risen 25 percent since the beginning of the year. AAA Mid-Atlantic released its latest price survey and prices are up another seven cents in the past week with an average of $3.79. Analysts say they believe that prices will rise until Memorial Day, and then retreat back down in the summer. Gas is already just over $1 more per gallon than it was one year ago at this time.
An off duty Middle Township police officer and his wife who is a dispatcher in the township help to apprehend shoplifters. Two men were running out of KMart in Rio Grande. Patrolman Jason Sill started in a chase on Friday night and his wife, Madonna Sill called police. Officer Sill was able to chase down one of the suspects, while a responding officer grabbed the other. Jonathan Murphy and Michael Running, both of Rio Grande, were charged in the incident.
The Press of Atlantic City reports that a local man was killed on the Garden State Parkway Thursday, while riding with his girlfriend. Henry Anholt, 42, of Rio Grande was a passenger in an SUV driven by his girlfriend, 29 year old Autumn Steward of Wildwood. Steward was driving northbound on the parkway when her vehicle crashed into a tow truck on the side of the road. According to the report, theaccident occurred at about 2:30PM at mile marker 25.2. Anholt was pronounced dead at the scene & his girlfriend was hospitalized in stable condition. Police say alcohol or drugs may be involved and are investigation the accident.
A fire took place in Lower Township and six people were chased from a home. The Press of Atlantic City reports that the fire took place on Batts Land in the Cold Spring section of the township. Fire officials were called to the scene around 12:15 a.m. on Thursday. The report says the American Red Cross is assisting the family. The fire remains under investigation. Two cats died in the fire.
As Coastal Broadcasting first report, Lower Township Police Chief Ed Donohue will be retiring this year. Donohue officially put out a press release announcing his retirement. As Coastal Broadcasting reported previously, Lower Township is in the process of trying to find a replacements. No details have yet been announced on a replacement. Donohue will retire by July 1.
Carl Lewis has another set back in his effort to become a state senator. A federal judge threw out the claim by Lewis that the four-year residency requirement in New Jersey violates the U.S. Constitution. Lewis was trying to run in the 8th district. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno ruled that Lewis did not meet the requirement to run in New Jersey. Lewis has won multiple gold medals in track.
Toll collectors may not see their jobs privatized after all. The Star-Ledger reports an agreement was reached between the Turnpike Authority and union leaders to have the employees take about a 25 percent decrease in pay, in order to save their jobs for two years. There will be a 2 p.m. vote by the Board of Directors on whether the agreement will be ratified. The move puts the state’s toll collectors in the mid-range of toll collectors in the region.
Remember when overcrowding was an issue at the Cape May County Jail? Well it isn’t any more. Sheriff Gary Schaffer said the numbers have almost dropped by a third. There was 296 inmates in the jail when Schaffer took over the post on Jan. 1, 2009. As of this week, there is only 206. Schaffer said an electronic monitoring system has allowed some reductions, but less cops on the streets in municipalities is also playing a role. An expansion at the jail is still being worked on, but progress has slowed.