The Eighth Wonder of the World, also known as the Trump Taj Mahal, is now just the Taj Mahal, Route 40 reported yesterday. We were on the boardwalk as workers were bringing down the President’s name from that side of the building. Today they are working on the signs next to the property’s parking garage. It’s not clear when the name will come down from the hotel tower, but we were told that the orders are to remove every last vestige of Trump from the property. Billionaire owner Carl Icahn has said he intends to sell the casino.
Egg Harbor Township schools need to trim $6.6 million from their budget and that means teachers’ jobs are on the block. The district has already cut services including all freshman sports and other activities with low participation from the High School, but has not come close to closing its budget gap. And even after it manages to cut teacher jobs, the Township’s tax rate will still rise: “Even with the elimination of dozens of teaching and other positions, the proposed budget would raise the school tax rate by 6 cents to $2.01 per $100 of assessed property value,” reports Laura Stetser in The Current. Separately – an EHT middle-schooler was suspended last week after bringing a knife and a “kill list” to school. That story also via Stetser for The Current here.
A New Jersey state senator wants to make it easier to strip corrupt public officials of their taxpayer-funded pensions. The senator behind the bill is a Republican – Jennifer Beck of Monmouth County – and she needs Democrat support to get the bill out of committee, where it’s been stuck for a year, NJ Spotlight reports. Meanwhile, The Asbury Park Press revealed that convicted criminal officials in the state are collecting more than $1 million in public pensions. In other watchdog news, NJ Spotlight also reports today that the state’s election watchdog could finally come out of cold storage, just in time for this year’s elections.
The Press of Atlantic City takes a look at the Coalition For A Safe Community, which recently expanded to Egg Harbor City, building on its work in Atlantic City and Pleasantville. “The coalition wants to improve the community’s trust in the police department, get children involved in wellness activities and start beautification projects around the city,” the Press reports here.
The rest of today’s stories include a pickup in January’s casino revenue, a Margate bike and pedestrian safety grant and program and New Jersey’s efforts to rein in billionaires. All that and more below:
State Funding Gives Sharp Boost to NJ’s Biotech, Life Sciences Industry–A record number of biotechnology, life sciences and other tech-related companies with a presence in New Jersey stand to benefit from private investments spurred in part by tax credits approved by state officials last year — a sign the Garden State continues to serve as the nation’s medicine chest.The New Jersey Economic Development Authority announced Tuesday it has approved 251 applications from “angel investors” who are eligible for state income-tax credits to help offset the more than $96 million in private funding they funneled to Garden State tech firms during 2016 — the highest annual total since the program launched three years ago. www.njspotlight.com
NJ Girl Donates 1300 Books to Local Reading Program–While most people were busy thinking about what gifts they were going to receive this holiday season, 12-year-old Charlotte Olson had another idea. She set the goal of collecting 1,000 books for the Read and Reach Out program in her local town of Vorhees, New Jersey. NBC 10 Philadelphia
Atlantic City Casinos Post Positive Gains From Last Year–Atlantic City's casinos announced their January gambling revenue climbed 7.7 percent from a year ago.
Figures released on Tuesday by the State Division of Gaming Enforcement showed the seven casinos won $204.6 million from gamblers in January. www.snjtoday.com
Egg Harbor Township 5th-grader Suspended for Allegedly Bringing Knife and ‘Kill List’ to School–An 11-year-old from Egg Harbor Township was suspended from school on Thursday, pending an investigation by administration and the Police Department over a report that he brought a steak knife to school and had a “kill list” of students he intended to harm. Shore News Today
Margate Receives $371,000 Grant for Pedestrian and Bike Safety–Margate was awarded a $371,000 grant aimed at improving pedestrian safety and implementing a bike path near its two schools, officials announced Tuesday. The state Department of Transportation, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and the South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization announced awards of almost $2.1 million in Safe Routes to School grants in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden and and Salem counties. Press of Atlantic City
Coalition for a Safe Community Off to Fast Start in EHC–The Coalition for a Safe Community is rapidly growing after expanding to Egg Harbor City last year. The coalition, founded seven years ago with the goal of getting guns off the street in Atlantic City and Pleasantville, brings politicians, police, residents, schools and churches together to solve safety issues at the neighborhood level. Press of Atlantic City
EHT school budget proposal would cut teachers, assistant principals, aides, custodians–EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – More than $6.6 million in staffing, stipend and other cuts are needed to bring the 2017-2018 Egg Harbor Township School District budget in line with the state-mandated spending cap, administrators said at the Board of Education's annual budget workshop Saturday, Feb. 11. Shore News Today
Bancroft’s new Mount Laurel campus begins to take shape–When Margaret Bancroft left her teaching job in Philadelphia 134 years ago and began a school in Haddonfield for children with developmental needs, only one student initially was enrolled. Philly.com
Gutter Drunk’s music tells story of sobriety, friendship–Tom Flynn is confident he wouldn’t give up this life — his sobriety — for anything in the world. Press of Atlantic City
Pleasantville police hope gunshot detection system will help fight crime–PLEASANTVILLE — The city’s police chief hopes the same technology Atlantic City uses to detect the location of gunshots could help his officers fight crime. Press of Atlantic City
Coffee brings cops, Atlantic City residents together–ATLANTIC CITY — About 100 city residents and 15 police officers interacted Tuesday morning during the city’s first Coffee with a Cop this year. Press of Atlantic City
Promised Quorum Could Bring Election Commission Out of Cold Storage–On Tuesday morning, the single remaining commissioner of New Jersey’s election watchdog agency issued a press release that he was seeking legal guidance on how to proceed with important tasks related to this year’s gubernatorial election because without a quorum the commission was unable to meet.By late afternoon, Ronald DeFilippis — chairman of the Election Law Enforcement Commission — got what must have been welcome news, that the Senate Democrats’ office was saying a full complement of four members would be onboard in a month. www.njspotlight.com
Beck Says Senate Dems Blocking Efforts to Bring Corruption Bill to Floor–Citing New Jersey’s long history of public corruption, state Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) wants to make it easier for the state to strip corrupt officials of their full, taxpayer-funded pensions. Tougher rules could also ease the burden on taxpayers struggling to prop up New Jersey’s grossly underfunded public-employee pension system. www.njspotlight.com
New Jersey’s Trying to Tame its Billionaires–It must be tempting for politicians and government appointees who sit on regulatory boards to try to wrestle with billionaires, because in New Jersey they keep doing it.At least lately, especially along the Boardwalk, these super-rich guys and their companies are proving hard to control. Philly.com