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NEWS
September 7, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Jose Manuel Benito was detained and ordered deported, his young children went to LOVE Park in Philadelphia with their mother and made a wish on the fountain that Dad would come home. "It was all I could think of to do," Benito's partner, Blanca Bautista, said after his surprise release this week. Benito, 32, who has lived in the country for 13 years and has four children, 11 and younger, with Bautista, was arrested by immigration agents at his East Camden home in May. The investigators were looking for someone else when they knocked on his door, law enforcement sources say. But when they ran Benito's name, they saw he had been deported before - in 2004 on a return trip from visiting his widowed father in Puebla, Mexico - and arrested him. In the four months that followed, Bautista, overcoming her own fears as an undocumented immigrant, did much more to keep her family together than drop a coin in a fountain.
NEWS
August 29, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
The ICE investigators arrived at 6 on a Friday morning. Blanca Bautista was still in her pajamas, preparing to get her three oldest children ready for school. The fourth, 4-year-old Abril, was already awake and playing with toys. Bautista's partner of 13 years, Jose Manuel Benito de Castilla, 32, answered the door, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers told the couple they were looking for someone. After checking the family's passports, it appeared they had the wrong apartment.
NEWS
August 23, 2014 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Camden County police officer shot and wounded a man who they say drove his car into two bicyclists after an argument Wednesday in Camden and then tried to run over police officers. Edgar Carrasquillo, 32, of Camden, was treated at Cooper University Hospital and released Thursday into Camden County Jail, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's office and the Metro Division of Camden County police. Officials allege that Carrasquillo got into an argument Wednesday evening with a group of people outside a store at Chestnut Street near Broadway.
NEWS
August 18, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
The reports come in - more than a dozen a week - in frantic phone calls or teary-eyed trips to the police station: My son is missing. My granddaughter never came home . He ran away again. Sgt. Janell Simpson spends every day at work investigating missing persons cases in Camden as head of the department's unit. She knocks on doors, passes out fliers, chases juveniles who don't want to be found, and, in extreme circumstances, crosses state lines to bring home abducted children.
NEWS
August 13, 2014 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was 10:21 p.m. - past the sundown curfew at an East Camden park - when two Camden County Police officers noticed a parked silver Mercedes-Benz with a man and a woman inside. One of the officers later told a superior and others he believed the man in the car that July 2013 night was City Councilman Frank Moran, with a woman other than his wife, according to testimony from police officials before a state administrative law judge. Moran denied the allegation and demanded an investigation.
NEWS
July 25, 2014 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Camden man died at Cooper University Hospital on Tuesday, three days after he was struck by a van in East Camden, authorities announced Wednesday. Alfredo Siguenza-Trejo, 39, had been in critical condition since the accident on Saturday, around 9:20 p.m. on 27th Street near High Street. Police said Siguenza-Trejo was entering his parked car when a vehicle hit him. The vehicle - thought to be a white van - then fled down 27th toward River Avenue. On Wednesday, a 54-second video, uploaded to YouTube by the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, revealed some details from the incident.
NEWS
July 11, 2014 | By Clark Mindock, Inquirer Staff Writer
The New Jersey Department of Education approved applications Wednesday for two new "Renaissance" schools in Camden, a move expected to lead to new school buildings in the Cramer Hill and Whitman Park neighborhoods. Mastery Charter Schools and Uncommon Schools will join the already approved KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy project. "We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Camden School District to offer a high-quality education to Camden students," Barbara Martinez, a spokeswoman for Uncommon Schools, said in an e-mail.
NEWS
July 7, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
The graffiti gang tag on the train embankment that runs along the perimeter of the Baldwin's Run neighborhood reads "Bloods West Side. " It is both an ominous reminder of the city's ills and a visual backdrop as Lorenz Bethea leaves her house in East Camden at 7:45 a.m. and heads to school. A loose dog darts across the street and a woman warns Lorenz to be careful - in case it bites. As Camden goes, this is a relatively safe neighborhood. Even so, when the teenager turns on her cellphone and tunes in a gospel station on Pandora, only one earbud is in place.
NEWS
June 25, 2014 | By Angelo Fichera, Inquirer Staff Writer
A photo from 2004 shows Jose David Ortega standing triumphantly at the site of a housing complex in Williamstown. He is wearing a tool belt and a backward cap, with a pile of wood beams to the left, a freshly erected home in the background. "He enjoyed [seeing] the house finished," said his mother, Odily Castro, in her East Camden home Monday. Ortega, 40, who went by his middle name, took delight in his work - completed houses, solid cement at his feet, his two young sons by his side.
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.
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