Five giraffes that had survived a tragic 2011 fire at the Animal Kingdom Zoo were relocated to Six Flags Great Adventure where they grew accustomed to interacting with visitors as part of a special Close Encounters Tour.
This spring, Six Flags is launching a new Off Road Adventure where visitors ride open-air Safari vehicles into areas where they can feed the giraffes and some of the other animals. But the Animal Kingdom giraffes won't be among them.
The gentle creatures were returned to the small rural zoo in Springfield Township, Burlington County last fall after their barn was rebuilt. The blaze had killed a mother giraffe and her baby, but seven of the herd had escaped. Two of the survivors later died of complications from the October fire.
About 25 tea party members protested in Moorestown at Christie's fundraiser for the Burlington County Republican Committee Monday night. They stood on the sidewalk in front of the affluent town's community house and waved signs as Christie's black SUV breezed by them and traveled up a long driveway.
A few hundred well-heeled invited guests arrived earlier by limo, car and foot to raise money for the GOP committee's slate of candidates for county and state legislative offices. Christie was the guest of honor.
"Tired of Political Games - Vote Republicans4Burlco - Conservative Values" said one of the placards that was bouncing about during the hour-long demonstration. Other signs promoted the Second Amendment and a rival slate of GOP candidates that the West Jersey Tea Party is endorsing for county sheriff, freeholder and state assembly.
Mount Holly Mayor Rich Dow says a proposal to ban outdoor smoking on township property is a bit, well, extreme.
The non-smoker says that an ordinance introduced by the town council this week prohibits smoking in playgrounds, parks and ballfields. Another part of the ordinance refers to a broad smoking ban on township property, including the creek that runs through the town, he said.
"So if you are in a canoe in the middle of the creek, a cop could summon you over and cite you?" Dow asked, increduously.
In March, a 20-year-old Delran woman became the 18th pedestrian to die on Route 130 in Burlington County since 2007. Christal Smith, 20, was hit by a motorist who ran a red light as she walked to her job at a nearby supermarket in the early morning hours.
Since then, 1,900 people have signed an online petition requesting the state erect a pedestrian overpass near the spot where she was hit.
"Twenty years earlier, a 13 year old girl was killed in the same exact place. This bridge could save lives. Please, let's make the deaths stop," the petition on Change.org says.
The NJ Consumer Affairs Division has warned used-car buyers to be wary of fraud because thousands of vehicles were damaged by the flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy.
But at least one buyer, who picked up a four-month-old Lexus - cheap - is happy.
The luxury vehicle that went underwater in Ventnor was advertised on Craig's List as a flood car, so Clarence Hamer was fully aware of the risks. After doing research, Hamer, a Brooklyn resident who tinkers with cars, said he was confident he could assess the damage and make an informed decision.
Candidate Javier Vasquez calls himself "a pro-life Democrat who is against gay marriage."
That's the first thing he blurted out when he returned my call last week after I had left him a message weeks ago asking him why he decided to run for public office.
The Burlington County Democrats have endorsed him to run for an 8th District seat in the NJ Senate in an uncontested primary race on June 6.
Volunteers picked nearly a ton of green veggies at a Burlco farm on Thursday and then bundled them up to donate to the hungry.
It took the 30 pickers at the Specca Farm in Springfield about two hours, on a sunny afternoon, to gather and bag about 1,800 pounds of collard greens, said Lynne Richmond, spokeswoman for the NJ Department of Agriculture. The fresh produce was then taken to the Holy Cross Food Pantry in Trenton for distribution to needy families.
Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher joined the volunteers at the farm, as part of a promotion of the Farmers Against Hunger program. The state agency is expected to give the organization a $100,000 grant this year to donate and distribute surplus produce to soup kitchens, food pantries and food banks.
Charges against a Mount Holly couple who allegedly inflicted "unimaginable cruelty" upon their adopted children is eerily reminiscent of a notorious case involving a Collingswood couple who allegedly starved their adopted children as punishment 10 years ago.
Coincidentally, both South Jersey couples' also have the same last name - Jackson.
In the 2003 case, a neighbor found the emaciated Bruce Jackson rummaging through a trashcan searching for morsels of food in the middle of the night. He was 19 and weighed 45 pounds. He later told investigators he was so hungry that he sometimes gnawed on the wallboards of their house.
Farmers Against Hunger, an organization that donates surplus fruit and vegetables to the state's soup kitchens and food pantries, is expected to receive a $100,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture this year to collect and distribute the goods.
To promote the program, Douglas H. Fisher, the state secretary of Agriculture, will join FAH volunteers and pick collard greens at the Specca Farms in Springfield Township, Burlington County on Thursday, May 2, at 1 p.m. The fresh greens will then be delivered to the Holy Cross Food Pantry in Trenton.
The Burlington County manufacturer who illegally stored flood-damaged vehicles on his property off Route 295 when Hurricane Sandy hit has been fined more than $20,000.
Karl Massaro, owner of Vanco Trailer Manufacturing, had allowed 3,500 ruined cars, trucks and boats to be deposited on an unused portion of his lot in Mansfield last November without obtaining township permission.
A Mansfield Township judge issued the fine earlier this month after Vanco pleaded guilty to zoning violations, said Robin Bucchi, the zoning officer.