Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 4:23 PM
At LEAP Academy in Camden, NJ, a press conference to announce the three students from Camden who will be participating in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's Ready to Lead NextGen program. Here, US Senator Robert Menendez shakes the hand of Michelle Panchana, who will be participating in the R2L program. ( APRIL SAUL / Staff )

Three Camden students were chosen to participate in a Latino youth leadership training program this summer in the nation’s capital.

Jonathan Ramirez and Peter Rivera Jr., both students at Camden’s LEAP Academy Charter School, and Michelle Melanie Panchana, a student at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School in Philadelphia, will be attending the 2013 Ready To Lead Next Generation, or R2L NextGen.

The program was created and is hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a Hispanic nonprofit and nonpartisan leadership development organization. The CHCI invites 40 high school students from around the country, who are seen as future Latino leaders, to spend a week in Washington, DC.

Claudia Vargas @ 4:23 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 4:27 PM
Camden Sophisticated Sisters dancing in front of City Hall with new uniforms.

Twirling around in colorful and sassy dresses, Camden’s Sophisticated Sisters drill team showed off their new uniforms in front of City Hall Wednesday.

The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office gave the team, which has garnered national attention for their positive message, full set of dance outfits for 150 girls, worth $8,000.

The money came through the prosecutor’s office federal Community Justice Grant, which provides for expenditures in programs that prevent and control crime in Camden.

Claudia Vargas @ 4:27 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, June 27, 2013, 5:15 PM

Three Camden nonprofit redevelopment groups were awarded $2.4 million in state Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit grants to help in the revamping of city neighborhoods.

The Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC) offers New Jersey businesses 100 percent tax credits for various state taxes in return for investing in the revitalization of low-and moderate-income neighborhoods.

Here are the Camden nonprofits that will benefit this year from the program:

  • Camden Lutheran Housing, Inc. received $425,031.00
  • Parkside Business and Community In Partnership, Inc. received $985,000.00
  • Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation received $985,000.00
Claudia Vargas @ 5:15 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, June 24, 2013, 6:42 PM

More than a year after scrap-metal dealers made a fuss at Camden City Council over proposed regulations, state legislators passed some of the very same rules for everyone in the state.

On Monday, the state Assembly approved legislation aimed at deterring copper and metal theft by setting up stricter standards for payment. The bill was sponsored, in part, by local representatives: Sen. Donald Norcross and Assemblymen Angel Fuentes and Gilbert "Whip" Wilson (D-Camden).

In February 2012, Camden City officials tried to amend the city code governing scrap-metal yards as a way to better control the metal theft problem the city was (and still is) enduring. The proposed changes to the code included paying sellers by check only and providing driver’s license and vehicle registration.

Claudia Vargas @ 6:42 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Friday, June 21, 2013, 4:48 PM

Camden annual tax lien sale was held this week, resulting in a $2.3 million revenue boost for the city.

This year, 3,401 liens were up for sale, down from 4,317 in 2012.

The city collected $2.3 million from the 2,517 tax liens sold. In 2012, the city collected $2.9 million from 2,891 liens sold.

Claudia Vargas @ 4:48 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, June 20, 2013, 5:43 PM

Seniors from Camden’s five high schools will be celebrating Friday as they mark the end of their school years at the various graduation ceremonies.

Here is the schedule for the five Camden graduation ceremonies:

Met East High School
1 p.m. at Thomas Dudley Elementary School, 2250 Berwick St.

Claudia Vargas @ 5:43 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 4:43 PM

Just in time for the first day of summer, the Cooper Foundation is launching its annual “Summer in the City” concert series Thursday.

The concert, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Cooper Commons Park at 6th and Washington Streets, is free to the public. The Cooper Foundation, the charitable arm of Cooper University Hospital, will host three other evening concerts this summer at the park: June 27, July 18 and July 25.

Just before the concert starts this Thursday, a ceremony will be held to rename the park after Sheila L. Roberts, president of the Cooper Lanning Civic Association and a big advocate for the controversial KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy renaissance school plan.

Claudia Vargas @ 4:43 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Sunday, June 16, 2013, 10:03 PM

While I worked on my story on the new Camden homes being developed with $26 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding, I realized that the two dozen homes sold so far under the program have all been sold to women. Fascinated by this, I asked some of the nonprofit developers to explain this phenomenon.

 “When couples come in, generally it’s the woman who qualifies and is employed,” said Helene Pierson,  executive director of one of the developers, Heart of Camden.

Bob Stokes, professor of sociology and urban planning at Drexel, whom I interviewed for my land-banking story (also related to the so-called NSP2) – offered these thoughts:

Claudia Vargas @ 10:03 PM  Permalink | 0
About this blog
Julia Terruso started covering Camden and its residents, agencies, government and school district in September 2013. Previously, she worked at the Newark Star-Ledger covering the criminal justice system in Essex County and prior to that Union County.

Julia is a proud graduate of Syracuse University, originally from the Philadelphia area. Email tips, concerns and story ideas to or reach her at 856-779-3876 or on Twitter @juliaterruso. Reach Julia at .

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