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NEWS
February 26, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
This summer, leaders of Camden City and County plan to start moving the area's homeless population into permanent housing, which they say will keep people off the streets and reduce the public cost of caring for them. Assembled in the sunny lobby of Cooper University Hospital on Monday, a panel including health-care providers, freeholders, and state officials announced the launch of a "housing-first" program. The pilot program, paid for by the state, the county, and local health-care providers, will start by giving housing and support services to 50 people deemed chronically homeless or high-cost health-care users.
NEWS
February 24, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
City and county officials on Monday are expected to announce a long-term strategy for addressing Camden's homeless population. Details will be offered at an afternoon news conference in Camden. The state's poorest city, Camden has historically had a large homeless population. A study by the group NJ Counts found the state's homeless population increased last year, with Camden County up 2 percent. A survey by an advocacy group counted about 650 homeless individuals in Camden County last year.
SPORTS
February 23, 2015 | By Phil Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
Brendan Crawford recognized the midseason symptoms in his team. He felt them himself. "You have to battle through it," Crawford said of the tired legs and mental fatigue that sometimes hamper basketball teams and players past the midpoint of the long season. Camden Catholic went through a lull after a 16-1 start that saw the Irish spend that whole period as the No. 1 team in The Inquirer's Top 20. Crawford, a senior forward, went through something similar. "I wasn't hitting my shots," Crawford said.
NEWS
February 22, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mastery Schools of Camden, the charter powerhouse that has been operating within two district school facilities since the summer, announced plans this week to construct its own building. Scheduled to be finished by fall 2017 in the city's Cramer Hill neighborhood, the facility will house the city's Mastery students in a single pre-K through eighth-grade school for up to 750 children. At full enrollment, the location would practically double the number of children currently in Camden's Mastery schools.
NEWS
February 19, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Camden officials on Tuesday announced a new job-training program they said would connect local companies with city residents and prepare workers for jobs in construction, building trades, and other fields. The program, which is funded by a $500,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, is also aimed at preparing residents for job opportunities that may arise as companies start relocating to Camden in the years to come. The money will go to establishing apprenticeships and training through Camden County College, labor unions, and the business community, said U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, one of the officials who spoke Tuesday afternoon at a news conference at Camden's Malandra Hall community center.
NEWS
February 17, 2015 | By Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gwendolyn Faison is used to marking milestones. Camden's first female mayor marked another one over the weekend: Her 90th birthday was Saturday. On Sunday, she celebrated at Camden's Tenth Street Baptist Church, where she has been a member for more than 60 years. Church members, family, and local politicians honored her. But she told the roughly 80 people assembled Sunday she did not need speeches or honors for her birthday. "All you have to do is serve," she said. Those who know her say Faison is a good example of what it means to serve her community.
SPORTS
February 17, 2015 | By Chris Melchiorre, For The Inquirer
Before the game, there was talk from Camden Catholic about the desire to beat Gloucester Catholic. And it wasn't just the typical "one game at a time," "every game is important" rhetoric. "We were coming for revenge," junior guard Taiah Thornton said. "I don't know if they expected how much energy we had, but we knew we were coming out strong. " On Sunday afternoon, the Irish backed up their words in a 41-37 win over Gloucester Catholic in the South Jersey Invitational Basketball Tournament championship in front of a packed house at Eastern High School.
SPORTS
February 16, 2015 | By Phil Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
Camden's history in basketball is so rich that both coaches were tapping that vein on Saturday. Camden coach John Valore called on his team to play with "Camden pride" after a sluggish first half. Paulsboro coach Sean Collins reminded his players that other South Jersey basketball teams tended to be measured by their performances against the purple and gold. But Paulsboro players were acutely aware of another tradition, too - their own. "We've been in a lot of these games and we've won a lot of these games," Paulsboro senior Saleem Little said after his team emerged with a 68-65 overtime victory over Camden in a clash of top-four squads in the Cherry Hill East Invitational.
NEWS
February 15, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Camden County Freeholder Ian K. Leonard will not seek a third term this year, he said Friday, citing his growing responsibilities as political director for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Leonard, 37, has been on the board since 2009, when he became the state's youngest elected freeholder. "Serving as a Camden County freeholder has been one of my greatest achievements, and I'm enormously appreciative of the support I've received from the people of Camden County in my two prior runs," Leonard said in a statement.
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