Details Sparse In Deaths Of Cooper CEO And Wife

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Nearly two weeks after Cooper University Health System chief executive John P. Sheridan Jr. and his wife, Joyce, were found in their home, authorities have released few details about their deaths.

Several days after the fire in the couple’s Central New Jersey home, the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office said it was deliberately set.

Sheridan, 72, and his wife, 69, were found unresponsive in the second-floor master bedroom of their Montgomery Township home early Sept. 28. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and she was pronounced dead a short time later at a nearby hospital.

Authorities have not disclosed who they believe set the fire or why, or what led to the deaths of the prominent couple.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20141011_Details_sparse_in_deaths_of_Cooper_CEO_and_wife.html#T4mghCdK2u7eFVxk.99

Bankruptcy Judge OKs Revel Sale To Brookfield

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A federal bankruptcy judge in Camden on Tuesday approved the sale of Atlantic City‘s Revel Casino Hotel for $110 million to Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

“I believe the high bid of Brookfield should be approved,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria M. Burns said.

The sale will mark the beginning of a new chapter in the short and tumultuous history of the $2.4 billion property that struggled from the day it opened in 2012.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20141008_Bankruptcy_judge_makes_Brookfield_new_owner_of_Revel.html#9DfB3Aab1OpydZmT.99

High Hopes For $38 Million Project In Pleasantville

Map of New Jersey highlighting Atlantic County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Atlantic County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. – This down-on-its-luck stepsister town to neighboring Atlantic City has struggled economically for decades, languishing without a redevelopment plan or the ability to attract private investment.

But a $38 million project that includes two apartment buildings and retail space on a vacant Main Street block is expected to set the cornerstone for economic growth and expanded development in the Atlantic County city, according to Jacqueline Amado-Belton, economic development director for the City of Pleasantville.

“We feel like we have borne the brunt of a lot of issues that have spilled over from Atlantic City over the years,” Amado-Belton said. “In terms of perception and other factors, it’s been a struggle and a challenge to get to this point.”

The Pleasantville City Center, expected to be completed by next summer, will add 135 apartments and 18,000 square feet of retail space and will be bordered by Main Street, Washington Avenue, Milan Avenue, and South Second Street.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20141006_High_hopes_for__38_million_project_in_Pleasantville.html#ZlSiLKCqFZQAdj9H.99

Cooper Health Executive John Sheridan, Wife Found Dead After Fire In Home

Map of the 21 counties of the State of New Jersey

Map of the 21 counties of the State of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arson and major crimes detectives were investigating a fire at the home of John P. Sheridan Jr., president and CEO of the Cooper University Health System, and his wife – whose bodies were found in their bedroom Sunday morning, authorities said.

Firefighters found Sheridan, 72, and his wife, Joyce, 69, when they were called to the couple’s home in Skillman, Somerset County, in central New Jersey. Neighbors saw smoke coming from the house but no flames.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office said detectives from its arson task force and the major crimes unit assigned to the case had been joined by the crime scene investigation and forensic units.

The New Jersey regional medical examiner was scheduled to perform autopsies. No preliminary information had been released on the suspected cause of death.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140929_Cooper_Health_executive_John_Sheridan__wife_Joyce__die_unexpectedly_in_N_J_.html#LGgTer5CrSypoGZv.99

 

Atlantic City’s Credit Rating Is Downgraded

Trump Taj Mahal, 2007

Trump Taj Mahal, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY – Standard & Poor’s downgraded Atlantic City’s credit rating from A-minus to BBB-plus on Monday, citing mainly the closing of four of 12 casinos this year.

The downgrade, which includes a negative outlook for the city, comes as Atlantic City is struggling with the loss of tax revenue because of the closures.

Combined, the shuttered gambling halls – Atlantic Club, Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza, which closed last Tuesday – generated about $75 million in property tax revenue last year. A fifth – Trump Taj Mahal – may close in November.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140923_JERSEY_SHORE.html#8By6Www9h9YC1lJB.99

Stricken Revel Has A Buyer – For $90M In Cash

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Revel AC Inc. said in a bankruptcy court filing Wednesday that it had reached a deal to sell its $2.4 billion Atlantic City property to South Florida developer Glenn Straub for $90 million in cash.

The deal was reached Friday, according to the filing. That was less than a week after Revel closed, putting nearly 3,000 people out of work.

The offer is less than 4 percent of the casino’s original price tag.

“It’s not going to be just a casino,” Straub said. “There’s four people that would make excellent casino operators, but that building is much, much more than just a casino.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140911_Stricken_Revel_has_a_buyer_for__90M_in_cash.html#UYw7HbKdWPWbAI8K.99

Trump Casinos File For Bankruptcy

Trump Taj Mahal, 2007

Trump Taj Mahal, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The purge of Atlantic City‘s weakest casinos continued Tuesday, as Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Delaware, a week before it plans to close Trump Plaza, putting a fifth Atlantic City casino in danger of closing this year.

After a previous bankruptcy in 2010, during which Donald Trump lost control of the company to hedge funds, Trump Entertainment attempted to retool its operations, but failed to increase revenue and profits, the company’s chief executive, Robert Griffin, said in a court filing Tuesday.

Operating losses at Trump Entertainment, which also owns Trump Taj Mahal, soared from $5.1 million last year to $25.7 million in the first six months of this year, Griffin said. That put the company in a cash crunch.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140910_Trump_casinos_file_for_bankruptcy.html#bgqO4MgG4T3piOxI.99

Community Tips, Cooperation Behind Drug Crackdown In Phillipsburg

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It started with concerned residents reaching out to police.

It ended with nearly two dozen arrests.

A recent drug crackdown in Phillipsburg and 10-day roundup of alleged dealers and users was a team effort, police Chief James Faulborn said last week. Community members relayed tips and information, authorities followed up with “basic police work” and nearby police departments offered a helping hand.

“It was a collaborative effort with us reaching out to the community and the community responding with information,” he said. “Working together with the community and other law enforcement agencies, we were able to execute search warrants and arrest warrants and take the necessary action.”

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/phillipsburg/index.ssf/2014/09/community_cooperation_behind_d.html

Atlantic City Facing Unprecedented Economic Collapse

full-state map

full-state map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Atlantic City region is on the brink of a short-term economic disaster.

Atlantic City made history 36 years ago when it opened the first legal casinos in the United States outside Las Vegas.

Now it’s doing so again as casino employment – which for years exceeded the number of city residents – drops precipitously after a decade of steady decline.

The closing of three casinos, starting with Showboat and Revel this weekend followed by Trump Plaza two weeks later, and the rapid-fire loss of 5,700 jobs, draw historic comparisons to longer-term collapses of U.S. industries such as steel.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140831_Atlantic_City_facing_unprecedented_economic_collapse.html#GmfpHBJZ5OpDgeaJ.99

Casino Closings Wipe $2 Billion From Atlantic City Property-Tax Values

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boa...

English: Picture of the Tropicana from the Boardwalk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The closure of three Atlantic City casinos by mid-September will wipe $2 billion from the city’s property-tax values next year, exacerbating the already cash-strapped city’s financial plight, Mayor Don Guardian warned Tuesday.

By 2017, Guardian said on a conference call to discuss Atlantic City’s way forward as a tourism center following the rout of its casino industry, property values are expected to have fallen to as little as $7.5 billion from $20 billion five years ago.

In the short term, Guardian said the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has made money “available for some bridge loans to make sure that the city continues functioning with this year’s budget because of any concern that we might have that a casino’s closing, going bankrupt might hold off payments.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140827_Casino_closings_wipe__2B_from_Atlantic_City_property-tax_values.html#9bAf73M2kyMlu0jB.99

Prayers For Atlantic City As Closings, Layoffs Loom

English: Atlantic City (NJ) - The boardwalk in...

English: Atlantic City (NJ) – The boardwalk in a rainy day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY – Members of the clergy locked arms as they led a march of about 400 Unite Here Local 54 members in “a prayer vigil for Atlantic City’s service economy” on Wednesday night.

“This is union territory,” the casino workers chanted as they marched along New Jersey Avenue amid car horns honking in support. Many held signs, including Linda Bragg, 56, of Atlantic City, who works at Bally’s. Hers read: “Atlantic City – Broken Promises.”

“We don’t want to be a forgotten town,” she said. “I grew up with all these people. We made millions for the state. It’s really heart-wrenching. A mess.”

The march, on the eve of three planned casino closures, started between the Revel and Showboat casino hotels on the Boardwalk at 6:30 and ended more than an hour later at New Shiloh Baptist Church on Atlantic Avenue. Several pastors and bishops held a prayer service in support of the employees, many of whom are members of their churches.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140821_Prayers_for_Atlantic_City_as_closings__layoffs_loom.html#OST66wvzBszPrqpJ.99

Cold Winter, Cool Spring Bring Mixed Results For Lehigh Valley, N.J. Farmers

English: Apples on an apple-tree. Ukraine. Рус...

English: Apples on an apple-tree. Ukraine. Русский: Яблоня со спелыми плодами. Украина. Latina: Malus domestica (Borkh., 1803) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This winter’s cold temperatures that stuck around until late spring have curbed apple production at one local orchard, although local vineyards say the grapes are some of the best they’ve ever seen.

Tianna DuPont, an educator for sustainable agriculture at the Penn State Cooperative Extension, said the growing season started out about three weeks late, although recent warm weather is helping plants catch up.

Matty Matarazzo, the owner of Four Sisters Winery in White Township, expects a smaller than usual yield of apples this year. He said they’ll grow enough for the winery’s apple wine but not an abundant amount.

Bob Best, of Bests Fruit Farm in Independence Township, said the cool spring threatened his crops initially, but once the weather warmed up the produce started to grow.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/07/despite_cool_start_growing_sea.html

Wiz Khalifa Taking Under The Influence Tour To Camden / Scranton

Editor’s note:  Don’t necessarily agree with some of his activities but it’s cool to see somebody from Pittsburgh love their hometown and be proud of it.  

Summer is Wiz Khalifa time. His tune “Shell Shocked” is on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sound track. His new album, Blacc Hollywood, drops in August. And the rapper will take his third Under the Influence of Music summer tour through Scranton on Thursday and to Camden on Friday.

“I always wanted to make Under the Influence something to talk about,” says Khalifa, “not just the day after the show, but the rest of your life.”

He’s a Pittsburgh native. His 2010 hit “Black and Yellow” was a pledge of allegiance to the Steelers. “Eagles, Steelers,” he says. “You know there’s no competition. You already know about that.” But there is a Philly connection: his wife, South Philadelphia-raised Amber Rose. “My Philly girl,” he calls her. He and the model married in 2013 after their son, Sebastian, was born, and they settled in Canonsburg, near Pittsburgh.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/20140724_Wiz_Khalifa_taking_Under_the_Influence_tour_to_Scranton_and_Camden.html#sQPxiIK8oCy2WyV3.99

If 4 Atlantic City Casinos Close In September, Then What?

English: Atlantic City (NJ) - The boardwalk in...

English: Atlantic City (NJ) – The boardwalk in a rainy day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – This resort faces the prospect of having four major vacancies on its famed Boardwalk come mid-September.

The grim reality sank in July 14 when Trump Plaza issued layoff notices and targeted Sept. 16 as the date to cease operating as a casino.

Perception is reality in tourism, experts say, and the Boardwalk is synonymous with Atlantic City. How will four hulking, empty buildings sit with visitors – especially at night – and will they impede tourism when Atlantic City needs it the most?

“When an area goes dark, and there are increased vacancies, it generally sends out more than a subtle message that things are not promising on the horizon,” said Don Moliver, dean of the Leon Hess Business School at Monmouth University.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140722_Atlantic_City_lights_dimmer_in_September.html#LRbj1JvhlyPXrwkJ.99

Cities Deploy Fakery Techniques To Cover Up Urban Blight

Camden, New Jersey, one of the poorest and most crime-ridden U.S. cities, has awaited rebirth for a generation. For now, it has Christopher Toepfer and his paintbrush.

Ten feet up a ladder, Toepfer, a 51-year-old artist, is turning a rotting factory’s plywood-covered windows from a mess of gang graffiti into a railroad mural. The spruce-up, though it won’t cure the neighborhood’s ills of poverty and violence, will make a bright spot of the biggest blight on Federal Street.

Thirty years after New York City Mayor Ed Koch drew scorn for gussying up uninhabitable Bronx tenements with decals of curtained windows, urban fakery is spreading in U.S. cities where the recession’s wave of foreclosures added to decades-long decay. The city of Wilmington, Delaware, used the decal approach on a string of row houses earlier this year, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, started working with local artists in October to adopt Toepfer’s approach.

If the technique that Toepfer calls aesthetic board-up is a stopgap, it’s a cheap one, costing just $500 to $1,000 per property, a fraction of demolition costs. It’s also immediate, with a typical makeover done in less than a day.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/business/2014/07/05/Vacant-House-Fakery-Reborn-as-Cleveland-to-Camden-Fight-Blight/stories/201407040018#ixzz36bqH18zQ

Glassboro’s Downtown Tries Again For Revitalization

Map of New Jersey highlighting Gloucester County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Gloucester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Glassboro’s historic downtown, the story of one building chronicles the district’s past – and, perhaps, its future.

A colorful storefront at 11 E. High St. that now houses an artsy glass business previously held a short-lived studio and art gallery, a locally owned coffee shop, and, as far back as the mid-1900s, a neighborhood grocery store that was reportedly the first in the town to sell frozen food.

Once thriving and serving the everyday needs of nearby residents, this downtown district is the subject of a revitalization campaign as borough officials try to build on the success of nearby Rowan University and create a vibrant arts community.

A blacktop connection, Rowan Boulevard, which is a new roadway and $300 million redevelopment project, broke ground in 2009. But a vacant lot between the boulevard and the longtime downtown area – described by one person as the “gray area” between the old and new – testifies to the work still to be done.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140526_Glassboro_s_downtown_tries_again_for_revitalization.html#41Wr7GLgC8h42IM6.99

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In Solving Camden Homicides, Intimidation Is Huge Hurdle

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ernesto Torres was gunned down nearly two months ago, the bullets flying, his family suspects, because of his dispute with another man about a woman.

Like others whose loved ones have been killed in Camden this year, his mother, Cary Soldevila, hoped for a quick arrest. But the investigation, which came to a head over the weekend when an arrest warrant was issued for a suspect, took patience.

“I want peace in my heart,” said Soldevila, 43, “that I can go to sleep at night and know that this person who destroyed my life is put away.”

Torres, 22, is one of 17 people killed in Camden so far this year. Of those 17 homicides, 12 are unsolved. Investigators say they have promising leads in some of the cases. But witness intimidation, a lack of people willing to step forward, and a backlog of homicide cases from past years – including 2012, when a record 67 people were killed – have slowed progress.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140526_In_solving_Camden_homicides__intimidation_is_huge_hurdle.html#QDSmOQafb3k89YLB.99

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Long Beach Islanders Eager To Show Off Rebuilt Businesses

Map of New Jersey highlighting Ocean County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Ocean County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The members of the iconic Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club were determined to open their new building before the start of summer, the second since Hurricane Sandy washed out their former home.

They got their certificate of occupancy Friday afternoon, just in time for a planned grand opening the next day, coinciding with an annual striper fishing tournament known as the LBI Cup.

On Sunday morning, the day after 500 people flooded the club’s new three-story headquarters, Vice Commodore Tim Irons walked around the bare rooms, proudly showing off the bathroom tiling and the views from the top floor.

“It’s completely paid off,” he said. “We just don’t have any furniture yet.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140526_Long_Beach_Islanders_eager_to_show_off_rebuilt_businesses.html#gb5PvxZu02CUrVaA.99

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New Jersey-To-Philly Commuters Face Rough Summer

A PATCO Speedline train pulls into Woodcrest s...

A PATCO Speedline train pulls into Woodcrest station, heading towards Philadelphia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) – Commuters between southern New Jersey and Philadelphia are in for a rough summer.

Work on the tracks and electrical systems on the PATCO Speedline will mean a less frequent schedule for the train line used by 40,000 per day and closed car lanes on the Ben Franklin Bridge, which carries trains – and 100,000 cars daily – over the Delaware River,

“I have no choice but to catch the train because the parking is horrible and expensive over there,” Juanita King, who works as a scheduler at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Hospital, said before she hopped on her train recently at Camden’s Ferry Avenue Station, a popular place for park-and-ride customers from Camden and Gloucester counties.

A round-trip ride from there is $4.50 a day and most of the parking is free.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/transportation/20140525_ap_f585186901dd4e639c628853a7f38cd5.html#hVeJsZcKJYLOL6tO.99

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Gains And Losses In Philadelphia Region’s Population

A number of communities in the region’s Pennsylvania suburbs, notably in Chester and Montgomery Counties, grew substantially between April 2010 and July 2013, Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday show.

In Chester County, there were noteworthy upticks in municipalities such as Malvern, West Chester, East Brandywine, and West Goshen, and the same was true in Chester/Delaware County border towns such as Bethel and Chadds Ford. In central Montgomery County, Upper Hanover, Towamencin, and Salford were among the burgeoning towns.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia remained the fifth-largest U.S. city, with a population estimated at 1.553 million through July 2013, an increase of just over 27,000 from April 2010. It was the seventh year in a row of population growth, the census data showed.

(Population estimates for neighborhoods within the city limits will not be available until December.)

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140523_Gains_and_losses_in_Phila__region_s_population.html#MHpPEge1UgkCE6DR.99

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