Monday is the final day to vote. Thousands have already made their voice known about which beach is the best in New Jersey. Voting is taking place at http://www.njtoptenbeaches.org/ The Wildwoods are the defending champions, and Cape May County typically shows up very well in these results. Results will be announced on May 24.
The vacant bridge connecting Atlantic and Cape May counties could be coming down soon. State Senator Jeff Van Drew told Coastal Broadcasting that the $125 million project to demolish the Beesleys Point Bridge and replace the southbound span of the Great Egg Harbor Bridge is progressing. Construction might start on the southbound span by 2013.
New charges could be bad news for one Atlantic County official. Atlantic County Surrogate James Curcio is facing his second bout with drunk driving charges. The Press of Atlantic City reports that he failed a breathe test but did not give a big enough of a sample. The report says that he was charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving in Mullica Township. Curcio previously plead guilty to a prior drunk driving charged while serving as surrogate.
Don’t let the recent rain fool you, water levels still aren’t high enough in the state. The Department of Environmental Protection is asking residents to conserve water where possible. Weekly meetings are being held to monitor water levels. Recent rain and cooler weather have reduced wildfire threats, but the New Jersey Forest Fire Service cautions that risks can rise quickly after just a few days of dry and windy weather. To this point, no action is being taken. The state is asking for people to be mindful of their usage though.
Its not often this happens, but gas prices are declining slightly. AAA Mid-Atlantic reports that prices locally had shed three cents in the past week. The new price locally averages at $3.77 per gallon. Currently, prices are averaging just one cent above last year’s numbers at this time. Typically prices increase ahead of Memorial Day weekend, but it is unclear what direction prices are going to take heading into the summer.
The public will have their final opportunity to voice their opinion on proposed offshore drilling. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management will hold the last of eight hearings on the East Coast at 1 p.m., Friday in Room 301 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. President Obama proposed that the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement look to reopen the Atlantic Ocean waters from the middle of Florida to Cape May for exploration of oil and natural gas deposits.
It appears the traffic lights will definitely be eliminated from the Garden State Parkway in Middle Township. State Senator Jeff Van Drew told the Atlantic City Press on Thursday that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has reached a handshake agreement to solve the wetlands-mitigation issue, the final stumbling block in the quest to get rid of the parkway traffic signals. New wetlands will be created along the old railroad bed to West Wildwood, without disrupting the use of the Atlantic City Electric line along the route to the Wildwoods. Money for the project has already been allocated with the state paying 80 per cent of the bill and the federal government picking up the rest.
After a long wait, the Philadelphia Flyers finally know who their next playoff opponent will be. The New Jersey Devils eliminated the Florida Panthers 3-2 in a thrilling double-overtime game in the Sunshine State Thursday night. The two division rivals begin their round two series on Sunday in Philly. In the NBA, the 76ers ended their regular season with a loss to Detroit, and will face the number one seeded Chicago Bulls in round one of the playoffs beginning on Saturday.
The Ocean City Council passed its 2012 budget Thursday night, with an increase in the tax rate of 1.69 cents. That would be an annual increase of $107 for the average homeowner in Ocean City. Officials were looking to raise $250,000, but decided against the proposal to double the parking rates at downtown meters. It was thought the move would discourage shoppers from parking in the city’s shoppuing district.
A Somers Point man could be facing up to ten years in jail. The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office announced that Troy Blevin, of Somers Point, was convicted on theft by failure to make required disposition, a second degree crime. Blevin secured payments of over one million dollars related to his role as a project manager for a construction project that never came to fruition. The investigation revealed that Blevin concocted an elaborate scheme to thwart detection of his crime.