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NEWS
June 13, 2014 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
East Camden Middle School student Vaughn Williams took an idea - about a place both physical and spiritual - and ran with it. Halfway across the country. In Denver on May 9, Williams, assisted by eighth-grade classmate Fredrick Henderson, addressed about 150 people during a national Youth Development Institute conference. Their presentation featured video, a logo (an empty cube), and audience participation. It centered on a notion called "The Third Space," where one can find solitude or community, stress reduction, or strength of purpose.
NEWS
June 6, 2014 | By Clark Mindock, Inquirer Staff Writer
In North Camden, five men made their way down State Street on Wednesday morning, taking the city's problem of abandoned properties into their own hands, one building at a time. Broken windows and doors were replaced with sturdy boards decorated with painted foliage. Red flowers were planted along the sidewalk. Those in the group, all but one of whom live within a few blocks of where they were working, had jobs to keep them occupied and help pay the bills. "I feel like I'm cleaning up the city, giving it a better name," said Jose Porrata Jr., who lives around the corner.
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | BY JASON NARK & REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writers narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
KIDNAPPED from her small circle of church, work and family, a good woman was killed and buried in a shallow South Jersey grave miles from her Camden home, authorities said. Fatima Perez, 41, a single mother of two, "didn't know what bad was," her sister said yesterday. "My sister was so kind, so generous. A good mother. A good sister," said Vanessa Castro, 36. "My sister was the best to everyone. So innocent. I think that's the reason why they took advantage of her. " Perez, of East Camden, was reported missing on Monday.
NEWS
May 16, 2014 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
A MOTHER'S SOBS filled a corridor of the Camden courthouse yesterday, her voice crying out a question that only two men can ever answer: Why? " Por que ?" Fatima Perez's mother wailed. Minutes earlier inside a courtroom, the woman, along with Perez's siblings, children and other relatives, had wiped away tears as a prosecutor alleged that Perez, a hardworking mother of two from East Camden, was kidnapped and buried alive in a shallow grave in Gloucester County. The two Camden County men in orange jumpsuits and handcuffs facing murder charges, Carlos Alicea-Antonetti, 36, of Camden, and Ramon Ortiz, 57, of Pennsauken, said little and showed no emotion during the brief hearing, even as Special Deputy Attorney General Christine Shah had to pause to compose herself.
NEWS
April 16, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
A statewide grassroots education group, frequently and oftentimes fiercely critical of the state's charter school laws, is questioning whether Camden's process of bringing two more Renaissance schools to the city violated state statute. On Monday, Save Our Schools, founded in 2010, sent a letter to Commissioner David C. Hespe at the Department of Education raising concerns over promotional materials sent home with students last week detailing Mastery and Uncommon Schools. The letter to the commissioner also took issue with the district's application of the Urban Hope Act, which created district-hybrid schools.
NEWS
April 3, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
Norcot Thomas made a routine trip from Camden to visit family in New York this fall. While waiting on the E platform, headed to Queens, he fainted, fell onto the tracks, and was hit by a train. He survived, but he lost both legs. "On the morning of Oct. 23, I was an employed person, a contributing member of society, and in the afternoon I was a double amputee, unemployed," Thomas said at the official opening of the homeless shelter Joseph's House, where he has been staying since February.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
Harvey M. Mitnick, 79, of Voorhees, who practiced law in South Jersey for more than 50 years, died Monday, March 3, of a sarcoma at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He was a trial attorney, practicing primarily in Camden early in his career and later in Haddonfield. He was the senior partner of the firm of Mitnick, Josselson, DePersia & Baker. "He was very good at what he did. He enjoyed a wonderful practice," said retired Superior Court Judge Allan Vogelson, a longtime friend and former law partner.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bradley Butler, 44, of Camden, a popular DJ who provided music at parties in the region, died Tuesday, Feb. 18, of liver failure at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden. The oldest of three children, he was born in Philadelphia and grew up in East Camden. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1988 and attended Camden County College. As a young man, he held several jobs at home improvement and clothing stores, and later worked for the Camden public schools on the bookmobile.
NEWS
January 27, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
CAMDEN Camden has more than 4,000 vacant buildings in its nine square miles, 900 of them classified as abandoned and slated for demolition. At more than $30,000 per demolition, most continue to deteriorate year after year. But a new tax on parking lots, required to go directly toward razing those buildings, could speed the historically slow process. "Abandoned properties and crime go hand in hand, and in conversations with the chief and other law enforcement from the city, we're always talking about how can we get these structures taken down," said State Sen. Donald Norcross (D., Camden)
NEWS
January 22, 2014 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
With same-sex marriage on the rise nationwide and celebrities coming out all over the place, one might suppose that young gay men's lives have become "easy, breezy, and free," says Jerome T. Pipes. This seems particularly true when compared with my own youthful emergence from the closet, back in the day when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. But what if a young gay man coming out in 2014 is African American or Latino and lives in Camden? Out come the stereotypes - particularly, but not exclusively, among outsiders.
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