Flu Rate Rises
If the snow on the ground wasn’t enough to remind you winter is really here, NJTV adds to the seasonal feeling with this look at how flu cases are up from last year. The state’s department of health data (if you prefer your information direct from the source, it’s here) shows there were 145 new cases in December, with the worst of the outbreak in the northeast of the state. NJTV has both good and bad news about the particular strain causing the illness this year, H3N2. Edward Lifshitz, director of the state’s Communicable Disease Service, told the TV station it is a close match to the vaccine but it is a strain that can cause more severe illness, particularly for young children and the elderly.
Jingoli & AC
After Bill Sprouse’s Route 40 story last week looking into why an entire Atlantic City neighborhood is filled with vacant lots, councilman Marty Small gave us some more insight into what happened when New Jersey construction and real estate moguls Joseph Jingoli and Jack Morris approached the council with a plan for some of the land. Small said the vote against their plan was “nothing against Jingoli” but the councilman who represents that neighborhood didn’t get a chance to meet with the developers and hear details of the plan before the project was “shoved down city council’s throats.”
“This is totally against the process,” Small said, adding, “It’s unfathomable that we have all that prime real estate empty. So we’re open for business. But we just want the process to be correct.” You can read details from the interview with Small at the end of the piece here.
Shore Towns Need Watchdogs
Live in a shore town? In case you didn’t see it already, you should read this piece from David Gambacorta at Philadelphia Magazine which looks at how towns including Ventnor, Margate and Avalon spend money like every month is July and their towns are full of tourists… Kind of. What the piece really seems to try and say is that these towns maybe have an overspending problem since swathes of their property owners don’t get to vote locally. Gambacorta looks at the New Jersey shore from another angle too: “It’s also possible to see this story through another lens — namely, as an income-inequality tale with a Robin Hood twist, one in which, at least for now, the have-nots are taking the haves to the cleaners.” Read it and make your own minds up, but there are some colorful details in there for water-cooler discussions about where your tax money is going.
The rest of today’s headlines include the weather (yes – it snowed), community college credits for coast guards, and a preview of Gov. Christie’s state of the state address tomorrow. You can check out all the local news you need here:
Atlantic City Police Nab Robbery Suspect With Help From Icy Road–Atlantic City Police apprehended three people for assaulting and robbing a man in South Jersey on Sunday night. Atlantic City police say were stopped by a 26-year-old Egg Harbor Township man who stated he was attacked by three men at gun point and was robbed of his debit card - a short time later, police were able to arrest one of the suspects when he slipped on the icy roadway during a foot pursuit. philadelphia.cbslocal.com
Jose Garces Announces Three New Restaurant Concepts at Tropicana–Since announcing last year that Jose Garces would return to Atlantic City with a new restaurant at Tropicana Atlantic City, foodies have been buzzing with speculation about how the Iron Chef would come back. Garces’ return will not be just one new restaurant, but three cohesive concepts that will simultaneously open March 3. Press of Atlantic City
In Atlantic City, Builder Employing Boss’ Son Gets No-Bid Contract For $206M Project–When the Atlantic City Development Corporation, a private non-profit company that leverages public dollars, awarded a no-bid contract to build the $206 million Stockton University and South Jersey Industries campus in Atlantic City, it was no surprise the contract went to the similarly politically connected Joseph Jingoli & Son. But in this case, it was a different son with the connection to Jingoli that raised eyebrows. Philly.com
New Federal Protection for Delaware River Basin but Funding Unclear–A new federal law provides extra environmental protection for the Delaware River Basin, but its effectiveness may not match its promise if Congress doesn’t appropriate the funds needed for conservation projects, advocates said. The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act was signed into law by President Obama on December 19 as part of the wider Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, and follows six years of work by its backers, and several failed attempts to get it through Congress. www.njspotlight.com
Background to Christie State of State: High Unemployment, Property Taxes–When Governor Chris Christie ran for president last year, he frequently promised to “tell it like it is.” But this year, as Christie is now getting ready to deliver another State of the State address in Trenton, telling it like it is may not be so easy for him to do. www.njspotlight.com
Coast Guard Members Can Earn College Credits at Atlantic Cape–Atlantic Cape Community College and Coast Guard Training Center Cape May are working together to provide educational opportunities to Coast Guard service members, reservists and civilian employees. College representatives recently visited the Training Center to discuss admissions procedures, degree programs, course scheduling, transfer of credits and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA), according to a press release. Shore News Today
Still Frigid Monday Across NJ, But a Warmup is on the Way–Only 20s on Monday, climbing to almost 40 on Tuesday, around 50 Wednesday, and near 60 for Thursday and Friday. New Jersey 101.5 – Proud to be New Jersey – New Jersey News Radio
Here’s How Much Snow Fell in Your County on Saturday–Some towns in South Jersey and Central Jersey had as much as 8 to 10 inches of snow on the ground as of early Saturday evening. Others had only a light coating. NJ.com
In South Jersey, Teens Work to Keep World War II Memories Alive–More than 70 years have passed since Walt Kocielski fought at the Battle of Iwo Jima. Yet thanks to an oral history project with aging military veterans underway at Millville High School, his and their stories of World War II should be in living memory long after their generation is gone. Philly.com
Clean-up Starts Early For Icy Aftermath in South Jersey–People in South Jersey spent their Sunday cleaning up from the weekend's several inches of snowfall. While the main roads are pretty clear, back roads are a different story- snow covered and slippery in spots - with a sneaky layer of ice beneath the snow. WTXF
‘El Wingador’ Co-Authors Tell-All Book–Bill "El Wingador" Simmons' tumultuous journey from five-time Wing Bowl champion to incarceration for drug dealing is recounted in "Snow on the Barb Wire," a tell-all book he has co-authored with up-and-coming writer Joe Vallee with the foreword by Angelo Cataldi, the WIP radio host who helped establish and nurture Wingador's persona. Depicted as a "true story of triumph, tragedy and redemption," the book, deeply imbedded in Gloucester County life, is available on amazon.com. NJ.com
Jewish Federation of South Jersey Plans Senior, Special-Needs Community for Springdale Road–The Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey has been granted approval for a deed-restricted rental housing project intended to provide affordable living for seniors and adults with developmental disabilities. Tentatively called “The Commons,” the 15-acre, $40-million project is located at 1721 Springdale Road in Cherry Hill. NJ PEN