Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson Gets Raise

The Camden County freeholders on Thursday approved a $66,800 raise for Metro Police Chief Scott Thomson, bringing his annual salary to $230,000.

Thomson’s new contract guarantees that he will stay in Camden until at least 2019, county spokesman Dan Keashen said Friday.

“This is about retaining one of the sharpest law enforcement minds in the country,” Keashen said.

No county funds are used for the operation of the Camden County Police Department, which is paid for by Camden City and the state.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20150321_Camden_s_police_chief_receives__66_800_pay_increase.html#Zl2PFt58e6hq4eVd.99

Outcry Against Evesham Mayor Who Forbade Questions At Meetings

The heated exchange between a proud mayor with a football career and an elderly resident who wanted to question town policies sorely needed a referee that bitter December night.

For four tense minutes, Evesham Township Mayor Randy Brown drowned out Kenneth Mills, 81, after Mills asked about a tax abatement on a property and attempted to tell Brown to calm down. In a booming voice, Brown, the kicking coach for the Baltimore Ravens, told Mills that he had been overwhelmingly reelected in November and that “65 percent of the people who came out love what I do.” He barely addressed the tax abatement.

“You’re acting like a jerk,” Mills said as he sat down, sounding exasperated.

The following month, Brown made it clear that future council meetings would be different. Residents would not be permitted to question council members during public meetings, he said. Instead, they could “make comments only.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20150303_Outcry_against_Evesham_mayor_who_forbade_questions_at_meetings.html#VKpAssuyu1cQVBhH.99

Another Delay For New PATCO Cars

PATCO’s long-delayed rebuilt commuter cars won’t be rolled out this month as planned, as continuing glitches in signal systems have forced another delay, PATCO officials said Tuesday.

Last month, PATCO executives had said the first eight of 120 refurbished cars would be put into customer service in February.

But PATCO president John Hanson said Tuesday, “They’re not going to be ready by the end of this month.”

PATCO is withholding millions of dollars in payments to Alstom Transport Inc. while the manufacturer tries to fix the problem, Hanson said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150225_Another_delay_for_new_PATCO_cars.html#EAwF5emuLcpmrJV8.99

Atlantic City Has $12.8M Debt Due Tuesday; Lenders Wary

Just how wary lenders are of Atlantic City’s credit is evident in their recent demands as the city tries to refinance $12.8 million in debt due Tuesday.

Three lenders expressed interest in making the loan, but one wanted to charge 12 percent interest. Another was willing to lend at a lower rate but wanted a state guarantee, which the state rejected, Mayor Don Guardian said Saturday.

Talks continued with a third prospective lender, and a decision is expected Monday, Guardian said, adding: “We are prepared to make the payment regardless.”

The financial turmoil in Atlantic City, half of whose gambling revenue has disappeared since 2006, has intensified in the last year, as four of 12 casinos have closed, and 8,000 people have lost their jobs.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20150202_Atlantic_City_must_refi__12_8M_debt_due_Tuesday__lenders_are_wary.html#ko1yGKWcfBpViIB0.99

Plans To Transform Underperforming Burlington Mall

Over the next two to three months, officials in Burlington Township will be getting architectural and civil engineering drawings of what the new Marketplace at Burlington – formerly Burlington Center Mall – will look like, as well as a count of the traffic it is hoped it will generate.

By mid-spring of next year, owner Moonbeam Capital Investments L.L.C. of Las Vegas says, groundbreaking will begin to convert the underperforming mall into a must-see destination off Exit 47A of I-295 for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

If all goes as planned, the $230 million-plus phased conversion will also include manicured green spaces with benches and fountains that seamlessly tie a traditional mall with an open-air town center.

The full build-out is expected to take from two to three years and will be done in stages. The mall will stay open the entire time.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150124_Plans_to_transform_underperforming_Burlington_mall.html#ryTRJvJqSdssWhue.99

Philadelphia Region Braces For More Snow

The Philadelphia area is preparing for another round of snow to hit during the night.

The snowfall would be the second the area has seen this week, an unusual occurrence in a winter that’s been nearly snow-free thus far.

The biggest threat appears to be hazardous driving conditions overnight, from around midnight through around 6 a.m. Saturday, with snow, ice and a wintry mix threatening to hit much of eastern Pennsylvania and non-coastal parts of New Jersey.

Transportation officials were gearing up for plowing and salting operations. PennDot was warning motorists that clearing roads during a storm was a time-consuming operation, and drivers should use caution.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150124_Philadelphia_region_braces_for_more_snow.html#oKKHbQdlhTVGVMZ0.99

Phillipsburg Town Council Starts Year Talking Ingersoll Rand Redevelopment, Vacant Properties

At least one Phillipsburg official is optimistic this will be the year the town finds a redeveloper for the former Ingersoll-Rand site, which has sat mostly unused for years.

John Lynn, who succeeds Todd Tersigni as town council president, said officials will be working diligently during the next three months to secure a developer for the more than 250 acres of property the town bought in December 2012.

“We have some things in the works and our goal is to have them come to fruition this year. We have a lot of interest, and we have a lot of options,” Lynn said after the meeting.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/phillipsburg/index.ssf/2015/01/phillipsburg_town_council_star.html

Judge Approves Revel Sale To Reluctant Buyer At $95.4M

A bankruptcy judge in Camden said Monday that she would approve the sale of Revel AC Inc. for $95.4 million to Florida investor Glenn Straub, rejecting Straub’s effort to pay only $87 million.

The next step is a sale order, which must be signed by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Gloria M. Burns, but negotiations over the terms of that order – particularly how concerns of tenants and others will be handled – bogged down during a break.

Burns asked attorneys for Revel, Straub, and other parties to work on a sales order to be filed this week, in time to be considered at a Revel hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Once a sale order is signed, the sale of the property, built at a cost of $2.4 billion, is expected to close within 30 days, according to the asset purchase agreement.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20150106_Judge_approves_Revel_sale_at__95_4M.html#E22YTTlqip5srAzV.99

Wells Fargo To Purchase Revel Tax Lien For $26 million, Says AC Mayor

The failed Revel casino has yet to execute a sale of the property. But its outstanding tax bill at least will be bought, at Revel’s typical deep discount. The $32.5 million tax lien against the shuttered Revel casino that failed to sell at a city tax sale this month will be bought by Wells Fargo in a settlement for $26 million, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian said Monday.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/downashore/Wells-Fargo-to-purchase-Revel-tax-lien-for-26-million-says-AC-Mayor.html#b98XQiBDtkW6pUCk.99

Lawmakers Seek Support For $29 Million Emergency Aid For Atlantic City

New Jersey members of Congress appealed Tuesday to U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to support a $29 million National Emergency Grant request to help workers left unemployed by recent casino closings in Atlantic City.

In a letter sent by Republican U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo and Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, Perez was urged to support the “Atlantic City Re-Employment Initiative” proposal to fund employer-driven training programs.

The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development filed the application for the National Emergency Grant late last month to address the needs of 8,000 workers left without jobs after recent closings of Revel, Showboat and Trump Plaza casinos and the earlier closing of the Atlantic Club.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20141203_Lawmakers_seek_support_for__29_million_emergency_aid_for_AC.html#kwupXQI6hZxVI5St.99

Death Of Wife Of Cooper CEO Ruled A Homicide

Map of New Jersey highlighting Somerset County

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

The death of the wife of Cooper Health System CEO John P. Sheridan Jr. has been ruled a homicide, while investigators have not determined how her husband died, records show.

A copy of the death certificate for Joyce Sheridan, obtained by The Inquirer on Tuesday, lists the manner of death as “homicide.” Her husband’s death certificate says “pending investigation.”

The Sheridans both had multiple stab wounds when their bodies were pulled from a Sept. 28 fire in their home in the Skillman section of Montgomery Township , sources said last week.

Joyce Sheridan, 69, a retired teacher, was repeatedly stabbed in the upper body and chest, according to one of the sources, who like all the others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20141126_Death_of_wife_of_Cooper_CEO_ruled_a_homicide.html#PMue5UBhJADgpoQU.99

No Man’s Land, Atlantic City

full-state map

full-state map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tucked into northeast Atlantic City, where ocean meets inlet, is a two-by-six block expanse of undeveloped land that in other shore towns would be carved up by wealthy outsiders to build $2 million homes.

Instead, the few surviving, decades-old houses dot hundreds of empty lots like jagged teeth at the mouth of a yawning ocean in this sleepy part of town. Some call it North Beach; others South Inlet. Bill Terrigino, 69, lives at one end, his home one of those visible teeth.

An empty Revel casino shimmers in the background, emblematic of the mirage Atlantic City has become. Terrigino, a laid-off casino banquet server who resembles a Jersey Shore version of Hemingway, has a two-story home on South Metropolitan Avenue.

His house boasts an unobstructed waterfront view – but not by design. It’s just that nothing stands between it and the Atlantic Ocean.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/No_Mans_Land_Atlantic_City_.html

John And Joyce Sheridan’s Son Charged With Cocaine Possession Day Of Deaths

English: New Jersey county map

English: New Jersey county map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SKILLMAN, N.J. – Hours after Cooper Health System CEO John Sheridan and his wife, Joyce, were pulled from their fire-ravaged bedroom and pronounced dead Sept. 28, one of the couple’s sons was arrested for cocaine possession, police records show.

After authorities found cocaine in his car, Matthew Sheridan, 40, was arrested for third-degree cocaine possession. Police also arrested him for possession of drug paraphernalia for a digital scale and baggies. He lived at home with his parents.

The arrest was not made public at the time by the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, which is handling the investigation into the Sheridans’ deaths. The Inquirer on Wednesday obtained the booking report, which documented the arrest, through an open public records request made to Montgomery Township.

Members of the Sheridan family declined to comment Wednesday on the arrest.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20141113_Sheridans__son_was_arrested_for_cocaine_after_deaths.html#u2RUP4xu78tmp8Cr.99

United Will Drop Service To And From Atlantic City On Dec. 3

An early photo of the Atlantic City Airport Te...

An early photo of the Atlantic City Airport Terminal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In another blow to Atlantic City, United Airlines will end flights in and out of Atlantic City International Airport on Dec. 3, saying the service to Chicago and Houston did not meet expectations.

United, based in Chicago, arrived to great fanfare eight months ago – celebratory balloons, beach umbrellas, and praise from officials including Gov. Christie – when it launched daily nonstop service April 1 to Chicago’s O’Hare and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airports.

United was the first major carrier to begin new passenger service in several years at the airport in Egg Harbor Township.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20141108_United_will_drop_service_to_and_from_Atlantic_City_on_Dec__3.html#7XdUM0B2JiQ01vhZ.99

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