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NEWS
January 20, 2016 | By Allison Steele, Staff Writer
The family and friends of Nate Plummer Jr. celebrated his 14th birthday a day early, by filling the pews and balcony of a Camden church, standing against walls, and spilling into the hallway. They sang along with hymns, whispered words of goodbye as they stood over his casket, wiped tears from each other's faces, and held one another in their arms. More than 450 people packed the Tabernacle of Faith Church on Monday for the funeral of Plummer, Camden's first homicide victim this year.
NEWS
January 17, 2016 | By Rita Giordano, Staff Writer
A federal judge ruled Friday that an incarcerated drug suspect will be allowed to attend Monday's funeral of his 13-year-old son, the first person killed in Camden in 2016. "Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Jesus," murmured Taisha Mercado, the weeping mother of Nathaniel Plummer Jr., on hearing the ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Williams. Williams did not reveal the conditions of the temporary release of Nathaniel Plummer Sr., 31. But she challenged him to abide by her sealed terms, even though, she said, some people will hope he fails.
NEWS
January 12, 2016 | BY ALLISON STEELE, Staff Writer
A 16-YEAR-OLD girl suspected in the killing of a 13-year-old boy in Camden last week has turned herself in to police, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation. The girl, whom The Inquirer is not identifying because she is a juvenile, has not been charged in the death of Nathaniel "Nate" Plummer Jr., who was gunned down on the street late Thursday night. She was charged over the weekend with attempted murder in a separate Oct. 30 shooting, authorities said. Andy McNeil, a spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, would not comment on whether any suspects had been identified in Plummer's killing.
NEWS
January 10, 2016 | By Michael Boren, Staff Writer
Roy Price peered down the East Camden street where he has lived for 22 years on Friday, toward the corner where a 13-year-old boy was gunned down the night before. Price lost his own son, Royon, 20, in a shooting in the city two years ago. Now, wearing a gold chain with his son's name, he said he sympathized with the family of Nathaniel Plummer Jr., whom police found on the sidewalk around 11:15 p.m. Thursday. "To lose a child, man," Price, 52, said, "it's the worst feeling in the whole entire world.
NEWS
January 6, 2016 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
Before Erik James Montgomery started teaching Abigail Rivera about photography, the East Camden girl hadn't paid much attention to places like the downtown waterfront. "I would just pass it by," Rivera, 13, recalls. "It looked nice. But it was just water. " After taking pictures of her city for two years, however, the eighth-grade student at Octavius V. Catto Community School has a different perspective - and a more expansive field of vision. "Now, I just find the waterfront so beautiful," says Rivera, one of about 250 Camden youngsters who have studied with Montgomery since 2010.
NEWS
January 3, 2016 | By Allison Steele, Staff Writer
Lidia Hernandez took chairs down off tables and unrolled mats on the floor of her East Camden restaurant, Lupita's, preparing for the lunch customers, who start coming as early as 11 a.m. Down the block on Federal Street, Monica Herrera talked with a client in her accounting office, tax forms strewed on the table. Across the street, Grisel Nunez organized the day's deliveries in her flower shop, Nyla's, behind a window decorated with poinsettias and wreaths. Along Federal from 21st to 27th Streets, shop owners pulled up metal grates, hosed off sidewalks, piped music out from speakers, and set Christmas trees in front of storefronts.
NEWS
December 7, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last in an occasional series Eight-year-old Zahmiere Grimes and his best friend, Mehki Hopkins, sat in the auditorium of North Camden's Pyne Poynt Middle School building, taking in the rows of children around them. They were quiet until their baseball coach passed by. Then they called out, "Hi, Coach!" and giggled wildly. Months after the end of the North Camden Little League's season, the boys still talk about baseball all the time, said Zahmiere's mother, Charlene Norman. "All summer, all they wanted to do was go to practice," she said.
NEWS
November 27, 2015 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
Authorities on Wednesday took photographs and set up evidence cones at the Camden apartment complex where police fatally shot a suspect Tuesday night. A woman who knew him said the shooting never should have occurred. The Camden County Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday afternoon identified the man as Freddy Baez, 24, of Camden. Ashley Purnell, 25, who said she was Baez's girlfriend and that they have a 2-year-old son, said she was staying at her mother's unit in the 3200 block of Rutledge Walk when Baez started banging on the door.
NEWS
November 19, 2015 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Camden school officials announced plans Tuesday for Mastery Charter Schools to open a new high school in North Camden. Mastery intends to operate a charter-public hybrid "Renaissance" school out of the former Pyne Poynt Middle School building, which currently houses students attending Mastery's North Camden Elementary School. Those students will eventually move into a new facility that Mastery is constructing in Cramer Hill. North Camden has never had a high school, and public school students in the area traditionally attend Woodrow Wilson in East Camden, about two miles away.
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