Even as they were filling out job applications on a hot October afternoon last year, people were skeptical about what they were signing up for.
ACTS Industries, a company that said it would bring 1,000 jobs to Camden, is no longer settling in the city, confirming a suspicion held by many residents that the whole thing sounded too good to be true.
Irv Richter, CEO of Hill International and the financial backer of the business plan, told Inquirer reporter Jane Von Bergen the plan was "shut down." He said he was having disagreements with another partner involved and the two had split ways.
Cooper University Hospital welcomed two new doctors to their hallways today. Dr. Deezy wore a cupcake tiara, red flower decal on her nose and a multi-colored tutu. Dr. Moosey Reindeer paired an over-sized polka dot bowtie with her white medical coat, wore a tiny pink top hat and clipped a small teddy bear to her rear end.
“Stop looking at my bare backside,” she quipped in the hallways.
Dr. Deezy (Diane Weiss, of Cherry Hill) and Dr. Moosey Reindeer (Rita Shade, of Woodstown ) are the newest members of Bumper T. Caring Clowns.
Colleges and hospitals in Camden worked with community organizations to help 12,500 city residents in 2013 through community service and volunteerism, according to a task force report released this week.
The Camden Higher Education and Healthcare Task Force report also says its member institutions have reached about 7,000 schoolchildren.
Louis S. Bezich, an executive at Cooper University Health Care who chairs the group, said in a news release that he hopes companies moving into Camden will make similar commitments to civic engagement.
Camden's Council meeting Tuesday was mostly about the parking authority appointees and the people in favor and opposed. But here's a round up of some other issues that came up:
Council members approved, on first reading, an ordinance transferring land on Admiral Wilson Boulevard to the Camden Redevelopment Authority to become a ShopRite, scheduled to open in the fall of 2015. The project still needs approvals from the DRPA, which owns a portion of the land.
The former Pathmark is still scheduled to become a PriceRite and open in November. Camden, a city of 77,000 has been without a chain supermarket for more than a year.
Camden has more than 3,000 vacant buildings, according to a study done by CamConnect, a non-profit group that has embarked on a mission to map the city.
The group collected data on foot from each of the city’s 31,124 properties and then compared the findings with existing data from the city, post office, and state tax assessors.
The survey found 3,334 vacant buildings in the city.
Nearing his one-year anniversary as Superintendent of Camden Schools, Paymon Rouhanifard released a second progress report this week, describing improvements his office has made district-wide.
The report, released by the district, includes launched and completed initiatives to improve safety, infrastructure, teacher and principal training, student learning and pre-k enrollment.
Here's a look at some of the announced improvements:
Hippopotamuses Genny and Button - the largest residents at Adventure Aquarium - just got a $1 million upgrade to their shared home.
The two female hippos have spent their days grazing and wading in "Hippo Haven” since 2005 and remain the only hippos in an aquarium anywhere in the country (the large mammals are often found at zoos).
Starting May 29, the renovated exhibit officially opens with newly installed lighting, decorative flower and plant projections, an African inspired original musical score (think Lion King) and an upper viewing area to see the animals both up close and from above.
The principal of a middle school, which could be phased out of operation, appealed to the superintendent at Monday's school board meeting, asking him to merge the school with another public school.
Brian Medley, principal of Pyne Poynt Middle School, spoke at the heated meeting in which 272 people were laid off. He suggested Molina Elementary come to Pyne Poynt, to fill out the under-used building, rather than open the school to Mastery Schools, as is the current plan.
Administration officials have said no schools in the under-performing district will close in the 2014-2015 school year but said some could be phased out.