Bellmawr Gloucester Mt. Ephraim News Recent News

Camden County Library Starts Serving Up Books and Cooks Classes

(Voorhees, N.J.) The Camden County Library System began rolling out its innovative Books and Cooks initiative this month. The initiative is designed to promote food literacy, particularly in communities such as Camden, that are considered ‘food deserts’ by the US Department of Agriculture.

The library won a grant from the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development earlier this year based on its proposal to develop and implement a food literacy program. A centerpiece of the program is a mobile kitchen complemented by a collection of books about nutrition, healthy eating and consumer literacy with iPads and a mobile hotspot available. The kitchen can be transported to any of the library’s eight branches and other locations to demonstrate cooking techniques and recipes, as needed.

Camden County Library Director Linda Devlin explains, “People can become literate in many different ways. Food is both a universal language and a universal need that we can use to advance literacy skills across cultures. The versatility of the mobile kitchen will allow us to reach many parts of the county through our branches and off-site through our partners.”

Camden County Library Director Linda Devlin proudly displays the library’s mobile kitchen unit that is an integral part of its new Books and Cooks food literacy initiative. (Camden County Library Photo: David Lisa)

Currently over thirty classes and workshops are scheduled with more to be planned through May of 2017. They will address audiences with a variety of needs including ESL, basic literacy, nutrition-conscious parents and those seeking to provide healthy meals on a limited budget.

The library is partnering with the Camden County One Stop Career Center to offer a series of six classes at its location on Mt. Ephraim Ave. each Tuesday morning starting with Kitchen Math and Recipe Reading while Literacy Volunteers of Camden County will conduct weekly Healthy Eating classes for ESL speakers at the Voorhees branch of the Camden County Library System every Tuesday, evening at 7 p.m.

“We will use recipes, nutrition labels and supermarket signage to teach literacy, basic math and life skills. Participants can learn how to create nutritious, healthy, tasty meals on a budget,” says Library Director Devlin. She is particularly excited about ‘Cook me a Story ’programs that will use and make a recipe in the course of telling a story to children.

A highlight program, “Reading Labels and Serving Size Surprise” will be presented by Stacey Antine of HealthBarn USA, one of the library’s Books & Cooks partners, on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Ferry Ave. branch. Antine will offer guidance on how to select natural foods like whole vegetables and fruits versus packaged goods, and then how to interpret nutrition labels on packaged food focused on natural ingredients vs. preservatives and additives. She will also demonstrate how to make a “Harvest Wheat Berry Salad” as an example of a healthy, simple recipe most people could make at home.

Antine is the author of “Appetite for Life:  The Thumbs Up, No Yucks Guide to Getting Your Kid to be a Greater Eater” published by HarperOne.

A supermarket tour at the Price Rite on Mt. Ephraim Ave. in Camden is scheduled for November 12 which will also be conducted  by HealthBarn USA to demonstrate how and where to find the most nutritious food for the best price on a trip to the local supermarket.

Aside from ESL and adult literacy audiences, the Books and Cooks initiative is also offering the general public classes on a variety of food and cooking topics. The Bellmawr branch gave kids ages six to ten the chance to learn about making healthy snacks with the help of Adrienne Olah, the Lawnside ShopRite’s registered dietitian.

In conjunction with its Books and Cooks project, the Camden County Library System is conducting a food drive beginning October 17 that will have clearly marked donation bins at each of library’s eight branches. Donations of non-perishable food items will be collected by designated organizations in the area that each branch serves. The food drive is expected to run through May, 2017.

Bellmawr Mt. Ephraim News Recent News

West Nile Virus Case Confirmed in Camden County

(Gloucester Township, NJ) – A 65-year-old man has been confirmed as Camden County’s second case of West Nile Virus this year. On Sept. 12, he was admitted to a Camden County hospital with typical symptoms and was transferred to a Pennsylvania hospital on September 20.

The Camden County Mosquito Commission regularly checks several thousand suspected mosquito-breeding sites across the county. Mosquito spraying is scheduled on an as needed basis based upon the results of their surveillance efforts.

“Our county mosquito commission works with the Public Health Environmental Laboratories in Trenton to verify the presence of West Nile Virus in their samples,” said Freeholder Jeffrey Nash, liaison to the Camden County Mosquito Commission.  “When a pool tests positive for West Nile Virus, the mosquito Commission returns within 24 hours to spray the area.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the main route of human infection with West Nile Virus is through the bite of an infected mosquito.  Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.  Individuals over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of West Nile Virus, and should take special care to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Residents should check their property for any object that holds water for more than a few days.  All pre-adult mosquito stages (eggs, larvae, and pupae) must be in stagnant water in order to develop into adult mosquitoes.

  • Swimming pools are a common problem.  All pools must be checked and maintained to keep them mosquito-free.  Swimming pools can breed mosquitoes within days after you stop adding chlorine or other disinfectant.  Pool covers can catch rainwater and become a mosquito development site. Add a little chlorine to kill mosquitoes.
  • Maintain screens to prevent adult mosquitoes from entering your home or business.
  • Personal protection is strongly urged if you are outside when mosquitoes may be active—generally dawn and dusk.  Insect repellants containing between 10-35% DEET are very effective, however, be sure to follow the label directions and take extra precautions with children and infants.

The Camden County Mosquito Commission suggests checking around your yard for mosquito breeding containers.  The following is a checklist of tips to help eliminate mosquito breeding:

  • Dispose of unnecessary containers that hold water.  Containers you wish to save turn upside down or put holes in the bottom so all water drains out.
  • Lift up flowerpots and dump the water from the dish underneath every week.
  • Stock fish or add mosquito larvicide to ornamental ponds.
  • Change water in bird baths, fountains, and animal troughs weekly.
  • Screen vents to septic and other water tanks.
  • Store small boats upside down and large boats so they drain.  If covered, keep the tarp tight so water does not pool on top of the tarp.
  • Do not dump leaves or grass clippings into a catch basin or streams.
  • Do not allow water to collect on sagging tarps or awnings.
  • Do not allow trashcan lids to fill with water.
  • Check downspouts that are able to hold enough water to allow mosquito larvae to mature.

“The Camden County Mosquito Commission encourages residents to continue to safeguard against the pests,” said Freeholder Nash.  “While the chance of becoming ill is relatively small, there are things you can do to protect yourself and your family.”

For more information, or to report a problem, please contact the Camden County Mosquito Commission at (856)566-2945 or by email at

Bellmawr News Recent News

Bellmawr Baseball Champs Honored; Anthony Abbate Joins Bellmawr PD

Bellmawr Mayor Frank Filipek and Council honored Bellmawr Baseball’s Babe Ruth team for clinching their 13-15 age division. The team received their jackets at last week’s council meeting.

Bellmawr Baseball President, Rick Dougherty, said that the team went undefeated in their regular season and that it was “pretty amazing that they won every game.”

Anthony Abbate Sworn in Patrolman

Also at the meeting last week, Anthony Abbate was introduced as the newest member of the Bellmawr Police Department. Abbate, formerly of the Oaklyn Police Department, was sworn in as a Patrolman.

Committee Reports

The Councilmen gave committee reports, with the exception of Steve Sauter, who was absent. Following are excerpts:

Councilman Paul Sandrock:

“Construction permits have been issued for the chairlift project here at the Borough Hall. A pre-construction meeting will be October 3. Our Borough employees will begin this project next week. We’ve also been granted monies to make improvements to our Borough owned homes on Alcyon Drive and we are waiting on final documents from the County.”

“With regard to Municipal Court, we continue to explore the possibility of a shared services agreement with Runnemede.”

“Regarding personnel, we are working with our Borough Auditor on payroll and pension issues that were revealed in our audit and we are investigating our best practices as per the corrective action plan.”

Councilman David Spector:

The [Camden County] Health Fair is going to be held Wednesday, September 28 at 10:00 am at Cooper River. They are going to be giving out flu shots and other giveaways. It’s a nice event. A lot of our Bellmawr seniors go to that event.”

“The Bellmawr seniors are having a pasta luncheon/dinner Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. This is something they do every year. So I think that will be a nice event if anyone would like to attend.”

“In regard to our town wide clean up, we are in the process of finalizing another work session to discuss the clean up and getting folks involved to volunteer.  We are going to work on meeting in the next coming weeks.”

“If you need a flyer or need any information, please contact me or Chuck Sauter. It’s going to be Saturday, October 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon at the Rec Center. We will have lunch and giveaways and it should be a nice day.”

“I also had the pleasure of participating in Brooklawn Shop-Rite’s Partners in Caring Bag for Hunger. I joined with Mayor Teri Branella, Brooklawn Fire and EMS and I was happy to be invited to attend. A lot of our residents shop there so I thought it would be a good idea to support such a good cause.”

“I want to congratulate new officer Anthony Abbate. I am looking forward to having him join our Department. I think he is going to do a great job.”

“As for Sgt. Chris Cummings and his heroic actions, I think with all of the different movements happening across the country, it is such a good thing to see law enforcement in a positive light and I think it needs to be that way and it needs to stay that way. The Department is lucky to have him and it’s such a great honor.”

“Lastly, I want to congratulate Bellmawr Baseball coaches and players on the championship.”

Councilman Jim D’Angelo:

“The Rec Department continues to keep up with properties vacated by residents.”

“The parking lot at the Rec has been completed. We took out the old fence and inserted a parking area and it’s been striped and the signs are up. It looks good and it’s being used so that’s even better. We continue to paint the fences up there. We continue to take down the damaged portions. We are still waiting for the new gate at the Bell Road entrance. We are going to improve the volleyball court. We are going to add new sand and put up a new net to make that better.”

“Our Fall Festival is October 15. There are going to be kiddie rides, pony rides, and beer garden. The inflatables will be up and fire prevention will be set up. Vendors are pending. They usually wait two weeks before the event to see what the weather is going to be like. About two weeks before the event, we will have a better idea of how many vendors we are going to have. Right now, we are not sure.”

“Last thing, on October 28, Bellmawr Police PBA 375 and the Rec Department are going to hold the 2nd Annual Trunk or Treat at the Rec Center. Flyers will be sent around. It’s going to be 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It’s $5 for a wristband to trick or treat. There won’t be a charge for cars if you’re going to come in to hand out the treats. The concession stand is going to be open for hot dogs and sodas.”

“Trick or treat bags are going to be supplied by Bellmawr Police PBA 375. There will be a couple of contests. There will be more information on that next month.”

Councilman Steve Hagerty:

“I want to congratulate Patrolman Anthony Abbate for being hired here as a Bellmawr Police Officer and to Sgt. Chris Cummings for his heroic actions down in Atlantic City.”

“Under Police, I rode around with the Chief [William Walsh] on opening day for school and surveyed all three schools when they were letting out. I think we did alright at Bellmawr Park. We aren’t going to solve the whole problem. I think mainly it’s just communication once everyone falls in line and sees the proper procedures and how to do it.”

“I would like to thank the Highway Department, the Rec Department, the Sewer Department, and the Water Department for getting this project done to help alleviate some of the problems over at Bellmawr Park.”

“EMS had a very busy week with two house fires – one was in the Bellmawr Park section and one in the Crescent Park section. In the Crescent Park section, the Shannon family lost their home. On Facebook, if anyone wants to reach out, there are different ways to help raise money to help them get by and to help them get back on their feet. Great job by those guys who were able to get there.”

“As far as Fire, Chief [Jim] Burleigh was awarded a $24,500 grant.”

Chief Burleigh added: “It was a Port Security Grant from Homeland Security. We applied for it to enhance our flammable liquid firefighting capabilities in town.”

Councilman Ray Bider:

“The superintendent, Annette [Castiglione] sent me an email asked me if I would read it:”

I believe things are going pretty well with the parking. The parents are getting used to the new procedures and we are tweaking things as they come up. We are grateful to you, Joe Ciano, Mayor and Council, and the Police, etc. for all the help they have given us and I hope that it will continue to improve.

“Also, at Bellmawr Schools beginning October 6 at 3:30 in the afternoon, they are going to be having family support groups that are basically for English Language Learners.”

“[Regarding] Triton, I met with their administration. QSAC (Quality Single Accountability Continuum) is a New Jersey State monitoring group. What they did was give Triton a high performing grade for all of the work that they are doing educationally with their Green program, etc. So the State Board of Education issued them a high performance rating for three years before they are monitored again.”

“As far as finance, again it has been a pretty good week with donations – benches for the municipal building, jackets [for Bellmawr Baseball] and Compassionate Science [in all] totaling $5,750. We are very fortunate.”

“Every Borough completes best practices. Bellmawr usually comes in the 80, 81, 82 percent. And now they are up to 87 percent, which is highly commendable. We should thank [Borough Administrator] Josh [Tregear], [Borough Clerk] Chuck [Sauter] and [Chief Financial Officer] Maria [Fasulo] for the work they have done to raise this score.”

Mayor Frank Filipek:

Mayor Frank Filipek said that the Borough had recently applied for a $50,000 grant for the historic Harrison-Hugg-Glover House to try to save it.

Public Portion

A resident from Rose Avenue complained that the property next to his has been vacant. He also said that the grass hasn’t been cut since mid-July and also that the shrubbery is overgrown. Mayor Filipek responded that someone would be sent out to take care of it.

Council Approves Agenda Items

All items on the meeting agenda were approved:

September 22, 2016 Council Agenda

September 22, 2016 Resolutions

Among the approvals were:

  • To authorize an emergency appropriation in the amount of $55,000 to settle a certain lawsuit captioned William Brody & Kathleen O’Hara vs. Borough of Brooklawn and Borough of Bellmawr. The basis of the lawsuit involved the annual required Certificate of Occupancy inspection for all rental property units. (Note: SJO filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) Request for the settlement documents and will post them once they’ve all been received.)
  • To authorize emergency appropriation in the amount of $6,800 due to a water main break at Holly Place and Carter Avenue with the installation of a 6” Insta-Valve.
  • To authorize an extraordinary unspecifiable services agreement for Southern New Jersey Regional Employee Benefits Fund. (Councilman Paul Sandrock abstained).
  • To authorize an amendment to the shared services agreement with the Borough of Haddon Heights for the maintenance of fire apparatus.
  • To authorize extraordinary unspecifiable services agreement for Fire Line Equipment, LLC to purchase parts to upgrade Ladder 32.
  • To award a contract to South Jersey Technology Partnership (SJTP) for the roof replacement at the Public Works garage in the amount of $134,200.
  • To appoint Chester Dirkes as  Building Sub Code Official for the Borough.

Council accepted the following new hires for the period of July 8, 2016-September 22, 2016:

  • Thomas Schultz, Jr., Highway Department
  • Gloria Lloren, EMT
  • Michael Karas, EMT
  • Colin Rider, Class II Special Officer for the Bellmawr Police Department.
  • Mark DeBerardinis, Class II Special Officer for the Bellmawr Police Department.

Council also authorized payment of the September, 2016 bill list. (Councilman Paul Sandrock abstained).

September, 2016 Bill List

Batting Cages

Regarding Resolution 09:200-16, which authorized Bellmawr officials to execute the escrow and payment agreement with the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the batting cages, SJO asked Borough Administrator, Josh Tregear, to provide clarification.

Tregear responded via email: “The Borough appropriated the money ($480,000) in order to get the project started by inserting a line item into the budget, but with full understanding that any incurred costs will be pass-thru to the NJ-DOT.  The project is in the bid process now, and the educated assumption is the bids the Borough receives will be at, or lower than the lowest original quote.  If construction costs begin trending higher, the Borough will do ‘deducts’ to ensure we do not go beyond the funds committed by the DOT.”

In other Borough related business, an Invitation to Bid was posted on on September 21 with regard to EMS billing services. The current contract is set to expire at the end of this year. The purpose of the Request for Proposal (RFP) is to see if the Borough can get a better price for EMS billing services. Bids will be opened and publicly read on on Monday, October 17 at 1:00 p.m. at Borough Hall.

Mayor and Council will meet for its Caucus meeting on Thursday, October 20 at 5:00 p.m. in the conference room at Borough Hall. The Regular meeting will take place on Thursday, October 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the courtroom at Borough Hall.

Bellmawr News Recent News

Bellmawr PD’s Sgt. Chris Cummings Awarded Valor Medal

Sgt. Chris Cummings of the Bellmawr Police Department was awarded a Medal of Valor, along with a Proclamation, in recognition of his heroic actions stemming from an incident that took place at the Tanger Outlets (The Walk) in Atlantic City on September 1.

That day, a suspect shot and killed another person and then proceeded to enter the same store that Sgt. Cummings was in. While in the store, the suspect fired a round into his own torso. Sgt. Cummings was in close proximity to the suspect and physically restrained him.

Sgt. Cummings secured control of the firearm, removed it from the situation, and prevented the suspect from inflicting further harm to himself or others. Atlantic City Police then arrived and took the suspect into custody.

Patrolman Kevin Lokaj of PBA Local 375 presented Sgt. Cummings with the Medal of Valor and Police Chief William Walsh read and presented the Proclamation at last week’s council meeting.

The Medal of Valor is awarded for an outstanding act in the line of duty, at imminent personal hazard of life with full knowledge of the risk involved. The Medal of Valor is a gold bar with a blue plate engraved with “Valor” on the plate and is to be worn over the right breast.

*Article updated on October 28, 2016 at 9:15 to note that Sgt. Cummings was also featured in the October, 2016 issue of NJ Cops magazine.


Bellmawr Gloucester Mt. Ephraim News Recent News

Sheriff’s Officers Arrest 124 for Domestic Relations Warrants

(Camden, NJ) – Members of Camden County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of police officers from Pennsauken, Haddon Township, Winslow Township, Lindenwold, and Gloucester City conducted a three-day raid for subjects wanted on Domestic Relations (Child Support) warrants.

As a result of the operation, 124 subjects were arrested and 205 Superior Court warrants were executed. In addition, two arrest were made for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, 50 bags of crack cocaine were confiscated and an illegal firearm was recovered.

“I commend the proficiency and dedication of all the officers involved in this multi-day operation,” said Camden County Sheriff Gilbert “Whip” Wilson. “We appreciate the assistance and cooperation from the other law enforcement agencies that played a role in the arrests.”