Conventions Funding, Deep-Fried Muskrat – Monday’s Roundup

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*Winter Weather Advisory in effect through noon. The forecast is for some lingering snow showers later today, but tomorrow will be warmer and brighter.*

Conventions Funding
The group that runs Atlantic City’s convention center will also have to tighten its belt this year amid the city-wide financial crisis – or at least, a little. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), which funds the group known as Meet AC, is cutting the group’s budget to $7 million this year. That’s a reduction of 12.5 percent or $1 million, which maybe doesn’t seem like such a raw deal given the city’s mega debt load and compared to the aggressive cuts the state apparently wants the police and fire departments to make. The problem is, as The Press of Atlantic City reports here, bringing new visitors into Atlantic City is crucial to boosting city revenue and helping pay down that crippling debt. The head of Meet AC, James Wood, was hired in 2014 from outside the state to turn the convention business in Atlantic City around and he has had some success. Last year the group saw its best ever year, as measured by the number of booked hotel rooms for future events.

Deep-Fried Muskrat
This Saturday was the 79th annual Lower Alloways Creek muskrat dinner in Salem County, featuring deep-fried muskrat. The event was – once again – sold out, according to NJ Advance Media. There are challenges to hosting such an event, the reporter discovered. In particular, finding people to volunteer their time to organize the dinner is getting harder, said Dinner Chairman Tommy Hill. The event raises money for the township’s fire department. For those of you wondering, muskrat is a “dark, gamey meat” and the accompanying side dishes sound like a feast in themselves.

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The rest of the headlines from this morning and over the weekend include pieces on Assemblyman Chris Brown’s planned Senate run, an effort to get Atlantic City teachers to take early retirement, and New Jersey politicians’ reactions to Trump’s travel ban (Rep. LoBiondo just issued a somewhat convoluted statement here). All that and more here:

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