April 13, 2015 |
Burlington County has violated a New Jersey law that prohibits strip searches in minor-offense cases unless there is a reasonable suspicion that weapons, drugs, or other contraband are being concealed, a federal judge decided last month in a case filed seven years ago, before the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on the issue. Now, more than 10,000 detainees who were strip-searched at Burlington's jails over the years - despite minor offenses such as failure to pay traffic fines or child support - are expected to be certified as a class and may qualify for damages that could total millions.
April 10, 2015 |
When Dr. Arthur M. Spiegleman was not dealing with people's eye problems, he enjoyed being in the public eye, so to speak. At least once or twice a year, he was in an acting company, sometimes at well-established community theaters. Two of them - each more than 50 years old - were the Village Playbox in Haddon Heights and the Old Academy Players in the East Falls section of Philadelphia. "He did it for the socializing. He enjoyed being with people," Linda Spiegleman, his caregiver and former wife, said.
April 6, 2015 |
The police officers were friendly, but when they appeared suddenly at one Camden mother's door last month, she knew it had to do with her 14-year-old son: the fights in school, the online posts where he used slang she didn't understand, and the call from his principal. But the Camden County officers weren't there to arrest him. They asked her to bring him to a meeting with police, clergy, school administrators, and community leaders. "We are concerned about the safety and wellness of your child," Deputy Chief Joe Wysocki wrote in a letter the officers gave her. "When I saw that letter, it was real to me," said the 34-year-old mother, who spoke only on the condition neither she nor her son were named.
March 30, 2015 |
Two stories of Camden have emerged. The first comes from Gov. Christie and Camden County officials. They point to 2012 - the city's deadliest year ever - and say crime has dropped dramatically, thanks to a sweeping overhaul of policing that cut costs and added officers to the streets. The second comes from Camden residents and activists, who call comparisons with 2012 misleading. "Just because [the streets] are calmer doesn't mean the danger went away," says Angel Cordero, a community activist.
March 28, 2015 |
Five bounty hunters were charged in Camden County after beating and allegedly robbing a suspect they were pursuing, then kidnapping the suspect's teenage acquaintance and holding a knife to his throat, authorities said Thursday. The wild incident unfolded about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday along Briarhill Drive in Chesilhurst. The bounty hunters were watching for Eric L. Webb, 38, of Lindenwold, who was wanted on a drug-charge warrant in Camden County, the county prosecutor's office said. As Webb and the 17-year-old acquaintance stepped out of a car, some of the hunters walked toward them, authorities said.
March 23, 2015 |
Frank R. Filipek, mayor of Bellmawr borough since 2000, treated Regina Kaminski Piontkowski with the respect that he reserved for Catholic nuns. "I used to call her Sister Regina," Filipek said. Mrs. Piontkowski served on Bellmawr Council from 1994 to 2012, alongside Filipek beginning when he was on council. "She would try to help anyone" through her work on council committees, the mayor said. Beyond that, "her main interest was her church and helping the young in Bellmawr.
March 22, 2015 |
The Camden County freeholders on Thursday approved a $66,800 raise for Metro Police Chief Scott Thomson, bringing his annual salary to $230,000. Thomson's new contract guarantees that he will stay in Camden until at least 2019, county spokesman Dan Keashen said Friday. "This is about retaining one of the sharpest law enforcement minds in the country," Keashen said. No county funds are used for the operation of the Camden County Police Department, which is paid for by Camden City and the state.
March 13, 2015 |
Gaetano James Matro oversaw workers on more than 500 acres of fruit and vegetable farmland, but he still liked to get his boots muddy. "When he got out of the hospital the first time, on Jan. 6, he went right back to work that same day," son Guy said, referring to lung problems his father, known as James, was battling. He was out in a field, his son said, trimming blackberry vines. On Sunday, March 8, Mr. Matro, 74, of Hammonton, N.J., owner of the Matro Family Farms in Winslow Township, died of his lung problems at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden.
March 9, 2015 |
The filmmakers ask Richard Norcross to pull over at the house where he was shot five times - the house where his younger brother and another law enforcement officer were gunned down 20 years ago. "It's a very eerie feeling," says Norcross, who was a Haddon Heights police detective when Leslie Nelson's bloody rampage made national headlines. Glancing at the innocuous two-story dwelling on Sylvan Drive where his life changed forever on April 20, 1995, Norcross adds, "There are no good memories here.
February 26, 2015 |
Growing up in East Camden, Virginia Matias wasn't allowed to ride her new bike around the block, or walk to the corner store. Her mother was robbed at gunpoint when Matias was in kindergarten, and when Matias was 17, her uncle was shot dead as he manned the cash register in his bodega. Matias, now a 28-year-old Camden County police officer, doesn't think about any of that when she walks the streets of North Camden. She thinks about the children she sees coming out to play and the business owners who know her name and face, or how she can gain the trust of the city's most cynical residents.