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.
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:
Atlantic City to unveil multimillion-dollar surveillance system–The Atlantic City Police Department has a message for anyone thinking about committing a crime: You are being watched. This week, the department will officially debut its multimillion-dollar surveillance system that will help crack down on crime and advance the city’s public-safety initiative as officials try to entice families and potential homeowners to come back and invest in the resort. Press of Atlantic City
Community Helps Open New Butterfly Garden–A new butterfly garden in Atlantic County has a special meaning.Friends, family and other community members gathered on the morning of Saturday, May 20th, to reveal the Atlantic County Park's new butterfly garden in memory of the park's former recreation manager. www.snjtoday.com
Monmouth, Ocean Co. men linked to Trenton drug ’empire’–State police have rounded up three men from Monmouth and Ocean counties - along with 22 other suspects - after a 10-month investigation they called "Operation Maple Empire," named for a city avenue at the center of a suspected drug distribution network. Asbury Park Press
Cyclists Mourn Fallen Riders in 2017 Ride of Silence–Ninety-degree days aren’t the most conducive to bike riding, but the men pulled up, one by one, as heat radiated off the blacktop behind the Collingswood Senior Community Center. NJ PEN
Found 1872 Map of Atlantic County Needs Sponsors–The historical society is looking to preserve this crazy, amazing and old map that could have a huge impact on Atlantic County history. But they’re looking for some help to do it. Cat Country 107.3
Guest Oped: What’s It Like? The Covenant House Sleep Out – Student Edition–What’s it like to feel or not feel safe? What do you do when you’ve been led to believe that you’re not capable or are worthless? W South Jersey Local News
Rising seas could be turning Jersey’s coastal cedars into ghost forests–Jennifer Walker picked her way through the swamp, avoiding the muck while ducking under branches and climbing over felled trees. Philly.com
New Jersey Crafts Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights–New Jersey could join a small but growing number of states by creating a “bill of rights” for victims of sexual assault. The goal: reduce the associated shame, better connect victims with services, and help keep law enforcement and providers on the same page. www.njspotlight.com