The Camden County Police Department, which has claimed credit for improving crime stats, including a drop in homicides, drawing national attention, made its pitch to an international audience Tuesday.
A group of 17 reporters — each based in the United States but working for media outlets in Brazil, Russia, Spain, and other countries — traveled from New York in a charter bus to tour Camden city and talk to police.
That the reporters came to Camden was no accident.
Gov. Christie isn’t the only state politician who likes Camden.
Not to be outdone by the Republican governor, who recently declared he’d visited Camden more often than any other city since he took office, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) toured the LEAP Academy charter school there Monday to take a look for himself.
“I wanted to get a better education” about the charter school system, Sweeney said in an interview afterward. “I got one today.”
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: