A Woodbine man was charged with theft of a motor vehicle in Avalon on Saturday. Police there arrested Ryan Sitaro after the vehicle he was operating was speeding down Dune Dr., it was later found that he was drunk. Full charges include theft of a motor vehicle, speeding, careless driving, driving while suspended, and driving while intoxicated. Bail was set at $20,000.
A new contract has been agreed to between the Wildwood Police union and the city commission. Mayor Ernie Troiano told Coastal Broadcasting that the agreement will provide for zero increases in salary from 2009 to 2011. Also, starting in 2012, the starting salary for police officers will become $25,000; previously it sat at $40,000. Police officers in Wildwood have been working without a contract since the end of 2008. The city estimates this will save taxpayers $120,000 over the course of the first nine years that a police officer is hired. Four officers also announced their retirement. Chris Howard, William Cooper, Chris Fox, and Mark D’Amico are all retiring in order to help avoid any layoffs. Troiano would not say there won’t be any layoffs, but promised the city is doing everything in its power to avoid them. Howard is also the President of the FOP Lodge #7 and said the police officers want to be responsible to the taxpayers and help save officer’s jobs.
The joint beach fill in Avalon and Stone Harbor started part two on Thursday. Mayor Suzanne Walters told Coastal Broadcasting that the dredge moved into place and began pumping sand on Thursday. The dredge is at about 110th St. and is working its way down to 80th St. Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company is doing the fill. A majority of the project is being paid by federal and state dollars. There is minimal impact to the local taxpayers for this beach fill. Walters said that she expects the work to be done in the next couple of weeks.
A K-9 dog ran down an alleged burglary suspect in a swamp. The News of Cumberland County reports that the man was chased by police into a swap area of Noble Park. Tyson the K-9 gave the man some small injuries to his arm. The unidentified man was charged with burglary, theft, trespassing, and resisting arrest.
Rutgers University President Richard McCormick has officially filed his retirement papers. McCormick held a press conference on Tuesday to announce his leaving the position of president. McCormick will retain a high paying teaching job with the school. He will now make $335,000 a year to continue being a professor at Rutgers, down from his $550,000 salary as president. McCormick has guided the school as president for the last 10 years.
The head of the State Police was unanimously approved in committee on Tuesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee took the vote on State Police Supt. Rick Fuentes. Fuentes has been the head of the State Police since Gov. Jim McGreevey. He first joined the police force in 1978. No date has been announced for his full Senate confirmation vote.
Gov. Chris Christie’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court took a big step on Tuesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Anne Patterson to take over the seat that will be vacated by Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto. Some question whether she will act independently because Christie initially had nominated Patterson after he decided not to renominate Justice John Wallace. Patterson will need to now get a vote in front of the full Senate.
The voters will not have to vote for a new county surrogate. A decision to retire was announced by W. Robert Hentges last week, but now that is no longer going to happen. Cape May County Clerk Rita Fulginiti announced this statement coming from Hentges:
“I cannot leave my office short handed, and the untimely death of one of my employees requires that my office cannot function with only four remaining employees. My dedication has always been to my office and the taxpayers and residents of Cape May County, and with that dedication in mind, I have chosen to withdraw my intentions to retire at the end of this month. Leaving my office short handed is not in the best interest of those we must serve, by statue and court rules. Accordingly, my elected term does not expire until December 31, 2012 and I intend to complete my tenure.”
A mistake was printed on the sample primary ballots that were delivered to homes. Cape May County Clerk Rita Marie Fulginiti would like voters to be aware that the correct poll open hours are from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for the Primary Election. A printing error on sample ballots delivered to all municipalities except Wildwood and Woodbine lists the poll open hours incorrectly. For questions or concerns contact the County Clerk’s Office at 609-465-1013 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cape May County Veterans’ Bureau held its annual Memorial Day Service on May 30th at the Cape May County Veterans’ Cemetery.
Charles Adelizzi of the Cape May County Veterans’ Bureau welcomed everyone to the ceremony. The National Anthem was performed by Cape May County employee Mark Huff followed by the Invocation given by LCDR Aaron Miller, Chaplain, United States Coast Guard. The placing of Memorial Wreaths was aided by the Cape May County Composite of the Civil Air Patrol and the United States Coast Guard Enlisted Association.
The speakers included Freeholder Director Daniel Beyel, Freeholder Gerald M. Thornton, Jeffrey Pierson, BG (Ret.) and Jon Weigand, MA1, USNR, recently returned from Afghanistan.
Attendees joined in singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” followed by the Half Staffing of the Colors by Stanley Crowley, Force Master Chief, USN, Ret. and Marie Kayati, Chief Petty Office, USCG, Ret. The United States Coast Guard Ceremonial Detail presented the rifle salute and TAPS. The Benediction was given by Chaplain Melinda Zalma, USN. Additionally, representatives of the Southern Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross served refreshments at the service.