With wet weather forecast for the second half of the week, South Jersey forestry teams have stepped up prescribed burn efforts to clear the dead twigs and brush that feed wildfires, NJ 101.5 reports. There’s a chance you might smell the burns today, even though they are not in Atlantic County. Meanwhile, Wednesday is set to bring record temperatures AND thunderstorms.
Cherry Hill JCC Threat
The Katz JCC in Cherry Hill received a telephoned bomb threat yesterday, amid a wave of threats made to Jewish Community Centers around the country. The threats were unfounded, reported Philly.com. The Margate Katz JCC through Monday had not received any threat.
In the weird world of Atlantic City, the fact closed casinos can be more newsworthy than open ones was proved yesterday by two breaking Press of Atlantic City stories. Firstly, Christian Hetrick reported that the Revel – or TEN – owner Glenn Straub has no intention this quarter of making his Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT), even though he did pay $5.2 million last year on the closed building. This time, he is in a fight with the Casino Control Commission over licensing. He said, “We’ve been shut down now for three years. As an abandoned building, we want the value of an abandoned building, not the value of a casino hotel.” Meanwhile, at the other end of the boardwalk, Nicholas Huba reports that Trump Entertainment Resorts is considering knocking down Trump Plaza and the Holiday Inn. I can’t tell whether I’d rather see a gap there on the boardwalk or the currently-abandoned building. What do you think? Let us know.
AC Takeover News
In more news from Atlantic City, the city’s firefighters will be in court this afternoon, facing the state’s lawyers, in their effort to prevent more layoffs. You can read that story here, via The Press. Yesterday, Democratic candidate for governor Phil Murphy repeated that he is not a fan of the takeover. The takeover countdown is on, but it looks like it’s going to be a long 10 months for the city.
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In the rest of today’s news, read how new farmland assessments show that ‘fake farmers’ are still getting tax breaks, a humpback whale was found dead in a river in Cumberland County, and the Cherry Hill guy who beat back the red-light cameras is now on a mission to change South Jersey school spending. All that and more below.
Camden Hospital Named After Late Chief Executive–A hospital in Camden is honoring the life of its former chief executive, renaming the building at 3 Cooper Plaza as the John and Joyce Sheridan Health Center, even as the mystery surrounding how he and his wife died continues. New Jersey's medical examiner last month overturned an earlier ruling that John Sheridan killed himself. www.snjtoday.com
Study Shows Pollution Down in Waterways in New Jersey–A new study shows while there is less pollution in most streams over the last four decades, salt levels are rising in some places.
The study by the U.S. Geological Survey says the higher salt levels are probably due to the increasing use of road salt washing into waterways. www.snjtoday.com
Could Trump Plaza soon be razed?–Professionals from Trump Entertainment Resorts have been at the site, which closed Sept. 16, 2014, over the last couple weeks examining the feasibility of tearing down the facility, which includes 614 rooms and a 60,000-square-foot casino, seven restaurants, a health club and a 750-seat showroom, all on a narrow 2.6-acre plot. Press of Atlantic City
Ocean City boy with cystic fibrosis has wish granted at NBA All-Star weekend–OCEAN CITY — As LeBron James greeted a small group of young cystic fibrosis patients before the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, an 11-year-old from Ocean City caught his eye. Shore News Today
Brown speaks against Trump’s proposed cut of National Endowment of the Arts–Assemblyman Chris Brown is speaking out against President Donald Trump’s proposed elimination of the National Endowment of the Arts. Press of Atlantic City
Trump Sign Jeered on Way out of A.C., Lawsuit Says–Two men who tried to sell on eBay a set of "T-R-U-M-P" letters removed from the defunct Trump Taj Mahal Casino are now taking a page from the ex-casino owner turned president of the United States. They're suing. Philly.com
Riordan:Cherry Hill Activist who Stopped Red-Light Cameras is on a New Mission–In 2014, Cherry Hill resident Rick Short asked the right questions about New Jersey’s red-light cameras.
The 49-year-old father of four is so proud of his role analyzing and highlighting flaws in those much-maligned devices -- since disconnected statewide -- that the phrase “Stop Robo Cops” is still part of his email address. Philly.com
Christie Nominates Ally to Port Authority Board–ew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has nominated a political ally whose name came up at the George Washington Bridge lane closure trial to serve on the board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Republican state Sen. Kevin O'Toole was not accused of playing a role in the scheme, which prosecutors say was aimed at punishing the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie's re-election. Philly.com
Humpback Whale Found Dead in N.J. River–The whale is the same one which officials had seen in the nearby Delaware Bay several weeks ago. NJ.com
Building Financial Literacy in High School So Kids Don’t Rack up Huge College Loans–As the cost of tuition continues to rise, more and more students across the country are being forced to take out hefty loans to pay for their college educations. In New Jersey, the student-debt issue is a particular concern, with college students here carrying some of largest debt burdens in the country. www.njspotlight.com
New Farmland Assessment Reveals ‘Fake Farmers’ Still Getting Tax Breaks–Four years ago, New Jersey enacted a law making it tougher to qualify for a preferential farmland property tax assessment in an effort to weed out “fake farmers.”
With the new rules now in effect, the law may have led to a small reduction in the number of properties considered farms for tax purposes and in the total value of farm parcels, but whether it wound up forcing “fake farmers” to pay their fair share in taxes is questionable. www.njspotlight.com