Verizon, Escape AC – Tuesday’s Roundup

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The phone and internet giant has reached a tentative agreement with 17 South Jersey towns that filed a formal complaint against the company over chronic problems with their phone and internet service. Under the agreement, Verizon will have to provide landline telephone service and at least DSL internet for most of the state. The state’s Board of Public Utilities has to sign off on the arrangement. (Most of the towns were in Cumberland County, but Estell Manor and Corbin City in Atlantic County were also included.) Read the details via Newsworks.

Holy Spirit High School coach Bill Walsh and Joe Farrow at the ‘Walshy’s Warriors’ fundraiser for Walsh on Saturday. We’ll have more on this soon from Route 40.

Escape AC
The Tropicana is home to the city’s first escape room, in which teams have to tackle Atlantic City-themed challenges in order to break out of a room. It turns out, though, that while some people were paying to play in the escape room this weekend, some other Tropicana guests really were stuck. Fourteen guests were rescued, one by one, by the Atlantic City Fire Department after becoming trapped in the lift late on Saturday night. Read the story by Lynda Cohen of BreakingAC.

There are two details worth thinking about here. Firstly, the casino (which has not responded to questions on the incident) reportedly delayed calling the fire department. Staff tried to fix the elevator themselves. Secondly, the Atlantic City Fire Department has been cut back in recent years amid the city’s financial crisis. The state wants to cut the department by another 50 percent. Those cuts would not be sufficient to ensure the safety of the millions of visitors to the city (who use high-rise buildings like the Tropicana), the fire department says. Nobody wants more incidents like this one. Why is the casino industry so quiet on the impact of the state takeover? At what point will the casinos be gambling with their own safety? I don’t have any answers. Separately, a judge is set to rule today on the state’s proposed cuts to the police department.

Want more AC takeover news? Bill wrote this last week on the city’s water authority, which is the next and last asset that the state can ‘monetize’.

In the best of the rest of the news from the last 24 hours, casino profits were up almost one third in the first three months of the year, read how Atlantic Cape Community College is building a competitive baseball program, and the shark known as Mary Lee may be heading down to the shore. All that and more below:


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