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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: October, 2012

POSTED: Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 6:08 PM

The cash reward leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for a fire that killed two teenagers this summer has been increased to $2,500, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday.

The investigation into the deaths of Kenny Holmes Jr., 15, and his girlfriend, Qua'Nyrah Houston, 16, over the summer in a suspicious rowhouse fire has frustrated their family and friends. The County Prosecutor's Office initially offered a $1,000 reward for information to help determine what happened the morning of June 29, when Holmes and Houston were killed.

The popular teens died of smoke inhalation, apparently trying to escape from the rowhouse in the 1000 block of Thurman Street where Holmes lived.

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POSTED: Sunday, October 28, 2012, 9:19 PM

As most cities in the region, Camden issued an emergency declaration and is shutting down its city hall, courts and school district Monday as it braces for the impact of Hurricane Sandy.

Mayor Dana L. Redd has declared a local disaster emergency, which restricts traffic in the city to essential personnel and necessary travel starting at 7:00 p.m. Sunday until further notice.

A Camden hotline has been set up - 856-968-4743 or 856-757-7630- for residents who need assistance with hurricane preparedness; to report any downed trees or power lines, flooded roads, flooded basements; etc.

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POSTED: Saturday, October 27, 2012, 9:42 AM

In anticipation of Monday’s school board meeting (if it happens), the Camden Education Association president put out a feisty letter asking all members to show up and speak out against any more privately run and publicly funded schools in the city.

As I mentioned in my article in today’s Inquirer, officials involved with the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy proposal, which was rejected in September by the Camden Board of Education, were asked to attend Monday's board meeting. None of the people behind three other Renaissance proposals, also rejected Sept. 25, was invited to the meeting, but some plan to attend anyway.

The nine-member board unanimously rejected, with one abstention each, proposals for the Benjamin Franklin Academy, the Camden Center for Youth Development SMARTS Academy, and the Universal Cos. Renaissance School. The KIPP proposal was voted down, 4-4, with one abstention. The application - the most ambitious plan of the four by sketching a plan for a five-school campus - came from the partnership of the Norcross Foundation Inc., a charity created by the family of State Sen. Donald Norcross (D., Camden) and his brother George E. Norcross III; the charitable foundation of Cooper, which George Norcross chairs; and one of the nation's largest charter-school operators, the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP). George Norcross is a managing partner of the company that owns The Inquirer.

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POSTED: Thursday, October 25, 2012, 10:35 PM

In an effort to deter Camden kids from a criminal life on the streets, Rev. Sheila Jones will be hosting a ‘Reality Check’ seminar Saturday at St. John’s Born Again Church in East Camden.

The event, which will be held from noon to about 3 p.m. Saturday, will feature law enforcement and former convicts speaking to youth about the dangers of drugs, gangs and teen pregnancy.

Jones, who lost her son to drug violence in 2001, wants to dispel “the myth of street life,” which is an “it won’t happen to me” approach, she said.

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POSTED: Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 12:11 PM
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More than 200 volunteers spent eight hours Saturday building a dream playground in Northgate Park for the North Camden neighborhood children.

The playground was build by KaBoom!, a national nonprofit promoting play for children, with the help of various local organizations such as Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties.

The new playground, which was designed with input from some neighborhood children, features a “slither slide” and a swing set. The 3,600-square-foot playground will serve more than 1,500 children, according to those involved in the project.

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POSTED: Saturday, October 20, 2012, 2:11 PM

As I mentioned in my story last weekend on the increase of prostitutes in Camden, various other cities also are struggling to find ways to deal with the root cause of the issue. More often than not, officials say, prostitutes are drug addicts who need help sobering up and staying clean.

Though Camden does not have any diversionary programs like the one in Philadelphia I referenced in my story, the police and county prosecutor’s office have been working closely with the local nonprofit Seeds of Hope’s ministry “She Has a Name,” which helps the city’s prostitutes. The group’s founders, Bill and Brenda Antinore, met with the prosecutor's office and other local law enforcement agencies in July to discuss the implementation of a diversion program in Camden.

Brenda Antinore tells me the proposal was well-received and hopes that within a year, a diversionary program can be up and running in Camden. She would like to have a program similar to one in Dallas, which would address the women’s addiction and abuse issues by sending them to treatment instead of jail.

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POSTED: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 6:28 PM

The Camden housing authority will receive $300,000 in federal funding to develop a revitalization plan for the Clement T. Branch Village public housing complex in the city’s Centerville section.

Camden is one of two cities in the state and 17 in the country to receive a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg (D., N.J.) announced Thursday. Newark also is expected to receive a $300,000 planning grant.

The housing authority will consult with residents and local partners to develop a rejuvenation plan for the neighborhood off Mount Ephraim Avenue. The goal is to generate jobs and better access to transportation, education and health care.

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POSTED: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 6:28 PM

The Camden housing authority will receive $300,000 in federal funding to develop a revitalization plan for the Clement T. Branch Village public housing complex in the city’s Centerville section.

Camden is one of two cities in the state and 17 in the country to receive a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank R. Lautenberg (D., N.J.) announced Thursday. Newark also is expected to receive a $300,000 planning grant.

The housing authority will consult with residents and local partners to develop a rejuvenation plan for the neighborhood off Mount Ephraim Avenue. The goal is to generate jobs and better access to transportation, education and health care.

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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 jterruso@phillynews.com or reach her at 856-779-3876 or on Twitter @juliaterruso. Reach Julia at .

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