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Archive: May, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 8:39 PM

Camden mayors past and present, youthful entertainers, and community activists are among 13 Camdenites who will be honored at a Camden Hall of Fame gala Friday evening.

The event is being sponsored by the Camden District Council Collaborative Board, a coalition of citywide volunteer boards that works on quality of life issues.

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POSTED: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 11:07 AM

In case you missed it, Joseph D. Carruth - unemployed for nearly six years since the Camden City school board terminated him as principal of Dr. Charles E. Brimm Medical Arts High School - is set to return to the district July 1.

Curious on what Carruth's life has been like the past six years? Check out my Sunday story.

Carruth, 44, sued as a whistle-blower under the state's Conscientious Employee Protection Act, alleging that district officials fired him for publicly reporting in 2005 that he had been asked to tamper with the scores.

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POSTED: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 10:20 PM

A meeting for people interested in opening a Renaissance School (here is my most recent story that has some background) in Camden drew several charter school operators to the school district administration building Thursday afternoon.

Representatives from AAA Academy for Children and Camden Community Charter School, which each are attempting to open charters in Camden by fall 2013, said they attended the meeting to keep their options open. Education management and consultant companies such as Sabis, Frontline Solutions and Foundations Inc.were also there.

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 4:25 PM

At Tuesday night's Camden City School Board meeting, board president Kathryn Blackshear appointed board members Martha Wilson, Sara Davis, Ray Lamboy and new board member Brian Turner to serve on a newly created superintendent search ad hoc committee.

The group will be in charge of collecting and reviewing resumes for the next superintendent to replace Bessie LeFra Young when she steps down from her top post June 30, Blackshear said Wednesday.

A special board meeting will be held June 13 to discuss the criteria the board will use in looking for a new leader.

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POSTED: Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 3:50 PM

Almost a year and a half after being laid-off, the last round of unemployed Camden firefighters will be back to work in the next few weeks.

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POSTED: Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 10:46 AM

St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society in Camden will administer the fourth phase of the Camden Home Improvement Program, which will provide $3.5 million in forgivable loans for home improvements, state and city officials announced Monday.

Loans of up to $20,000 are available for homeowners who earn below 80 percent of area income (for a single person that is $45,000 or less; for a family of four that would be $65,000 or less). Officials estimate that about 140 homeowners will be able to make electrical, gas and plumbing repairs.

Improvements in home energy-efficiency also are available through these loans, according to the state Department of Community Affairs, which is administering the funds through the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. HMFA and St. Joseph’s will receive servicing fees totaling about $700,000.

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POSTED: Monday, May 21, 2012, 1:45 PM

In case you missed it, my story Sunday talked about the new Camden City school board’s task of sorting through proposals for new Renaissance Schools, and possibly approving of up to four such projects, while looking for a new superintendent.

The Renaissance Schools – which, like charters, are privately run but mostly publicly funded -- would be in addition to the 11 new charter schools that are in the pipeline to open in the next couple years. 

Some residents and community activists have been critical about the proliferation of charters (and now Renaissance schools), arguing that resources should be spent on improving Camden’s traditional public schools.

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POSTED: Friday, May 18, 2012, 8:08 PM

Dozens of Camden kids will likely not be sleeping tonight.

After months of anticipation, the North Camden Little League will host its “Opening Day” Saturday. About 225 boys and girls, ages 5 to 16, will be infiltrating Pyne Poynt Park in North Camden to play ball.

Opening Day ceremonies will begin at noon in  front of City Hall. The crowd will then parade up to Pyne Point Park, where local Brazilian band Phillybloco will perform.

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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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