Saturday, February 13, 2016

POSTED: Monday, June 3, 2013, 6:11 PM
(Camden County Police Department)

The defunct Camden City Police Department is the gift that keeps on giving — at least to the new Camden County force that replaced it.

The Camden County Police Department’s Metro Division debuted its latest fancy toy Saturday. The $135,000 Sky Patrol, described as a mobile observation tower that can be elevated to various levels, was purchased by the former Camden City police with forfeiture funds sometime before its demise but never used.

The Camden County Board of Freeholders approved a resolution at its Jan. 26 meeting establishing the new county police department. The city subsequently laid off its entire police force, though several of the city officers were hired on to the new force.

Claudia Vargas @ 6:11 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 7:28 PM

The now-famous “Nuns on the Bus” launched a U.S. tour this week to promote immigration reform and will be stopping in Camden Thursday morning.

“The NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus are back on the road driving for faith, family, and citizenship — traveling across the United States — 6,500 miles over 15 states — 53 events in 40 cities — standing with immigrants, faith-filled activists, and Catholic Sisters who serve immigrant communities,” their website states.

The nuns, which became famous last year after appearances on the Colbert Report and other national media, are scheduled to visit Saint Joseph's Pro-Cathedral in East Camden at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Claudia Vargas @ 7:28 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 4:57 PM

As I mentioned in my story Tuesday on the delay in the $1 million renovation of the North Camden Community Center, the Camden Boxing Academy has been displaced to Pennsauken for the last two years.

Turns out they aren’t the only ones wishing they had access to the North Camden Community Center.

The North Camden Little League, which has been honored by city and county officials, has been seeking use of the community center for about a year.

Claudia Vargas @ 4:57 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 4:58 PM
Cooper Medical School's founding dean, Paul Katz, drops a piece of red ribbon from the school's ribbon-cutting into a time capsule, which commemorates the school's opening and is to be reopened in 50 years. The capsule was filled and buried in the lobby of the new medical school in Camden during an event Tuesday called "Past, Present and Future." (APRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer)

The 50-year clock started ticking Tuesday afternoon when students, faculty and staff at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden buried a time capsule in the school's lobby.

The time capsule, an idea generated by the med school's dean Paul Katz as a way to leave "an interesting and meaningful legacy," is covered with a bronze tile engraved with concise directions -- “Interred 2013/Open in 2063.” 

“Many of us who have been involved in the development of the school and its inaugural year consider ourselves pioneers,” Katz said in a statement.

Claudia Vargas @ 4:58 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, May 20, 2013, 5:21 PM

Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd sent out a letter Monday to city business owners formally notifying them that the city now has a curfew in place.

“This letter serves as a courtesy to notify you that pursuant to the New Jersey Superior Court’s recent decision, the City of Camden is actively enforcing Ordinance MC-4629,” Redd states, in both English and Spanish.

(Perhaps neither version will be sufficient: Most of the late-night food places that are the focus of the curfew are Chinese restaurants or fried-chicken places owned by other immigrants who don’t speak either language well.)

Claudia Vargas @ 5:21 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Sunday, May 19, 2013, 9:01 PM

A group of poets will be paying tribute Monday to Camden's biggest celebrity: Walt Whitman.

Here is a description of the event:

"140 years ago, on May 20th, 1873, Walt Whitman came to Camden after having fallen ill. On May 20th, 2013, Sean Lynch will bring together Lamont B. Steptoe, the renowned contemporary American poet and Vietnam veteran, and Rocky Wilson, the puppet laureate of Camden and self-proclaimed Whitman interpreter, in order to pay tribute to the great Walt Whit. "

Claudia Vargas @ 9:01 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 5:15 PM

As the June deadline approached for Dooley House to finish its AIDS transitional housing project, the nonprofit's contractor is in a legal fight with the city, holding up the project.

Dooley House, a struggling Camden nonprofit that provides social services to adults and children with HIV and AIDS, secured a federal grant last year for transitional housing for people with AIDS. But the city has been holding up $153,000 of federal grant money that should have gone to Philadelphia-based developer Seven Caesars, which was contracted to perform the rehab work at 521 Cooper St.

The city, which administers federal housing grants, made the first two payments last year for a total of $193,805. But after a review of the receipts submitted and payments made, the city said there was " lack of uniformity of documentation." In march, Seven Ceasars filed a complaint in Camden County Superior Court against the city and Dooley House alleging breach of contract and other counts.

Claudia Vargas @ 5:15 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 9:39 PM

More than a decade ago, there were dreams in Camden of three new firehouses to be built with the city’s issuance of $19.5 million in municipal bonds.

But by 2011, the department had downsized with layoffs and had even closed some firehouses. The $5 million for new firehouses went unused.

Until now.

Claudia Vargas @ 9:39 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Allison Steele writes about Camden’s schools, government and businesses. Most importantly, she writes about the city’s residents. She is a former crime reporter who covered the Camden and Philadelphia police departments for the Inquirer. A Philly native, she has been with the Inquirer since 2008.

Send comments, tips and story ideas to, call 856-779-3876, or reach out on Twitter @AESteele.

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