A weekly update of stories previously reported.
Thirteen months ago: Galloway mayor removed from council seat
Former Galloway Township Mayor Keith Hartman first served on the Galloway Township Council in 2008, but his political career ended unexpectedly in October 2011 when he was removed from council after he stopped attending meetings.
Hartman said he had received a letter threatening his life and an anonymous phone call was made to the Galloway Police Department stating Hartman had died.
The threats caused Hartman to no longer attend meetings and the council removed him after he missed four meetings. He lost a bid for re-election last November.
Now Hartman, who was mayor from 2010 to October 2011, says the threats have stopped, and he is no longer fearful to be out in public. He said he believes the threats came from people he clashed with politically.
“When I was in office, I was a threat to them. Now that I’m out of office, I’m no longer a threat,” he said. “It’s unfortunate it worked out that way. I gave Galloway everything I could when I was there.”
Hartman said the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the case but has not made any arrests.
Eight years Ago: Atlantic County drops Route 54 shuttle
Atlantic County used to have a shuttle service along Route 54 from the Richland section of Buena Vista Township to Hammonton to fill a void in the public transportation system, but the county discontinued it in 2004 due to a lack of ridership.
The Rev. David Mallory of First Baptist Church in Richland said the problem was the people who lived in the rural section of the county were too far from Route 54 and couldn’t access it.
Mallory is now organizing a group of religious organizations and other nonprofits with vehicles to develop an infrastructure so people can be picked up and dropped off at their homes from Route 54. When that is in place, they will ask the county to reinstate the Route 54 shuttle.
Mallory said many of the vehicles used by churches are only used a few times a week and could be used multiple times a day for this project. He said some people live miles from Route 54.
Right now Mallory is working to get residents and organizations involved, but he said the Pascale Sykes Foundation in Vineland has already made a commitment to help fund the program
Eighteen months ago: Vineland boy dies after falling into grease pit
Jordy Marmolejo was 3 years old when he fell into a grease pit at his family’s business — Cidra’s Supermarket on the 300 block of North Seventh Street — and died in May 2011.
The accident occurred after workers momentarily removed a 24-inch manhole cover while they were preparing to use the pit.
The death compelled Vineland officials to determine whether they could enact a new law to prevent this from happening again, but after a review Vineland Mayor Robert Romano said they decided it would not be necessary.
Romano said city Health Director Dale Jones investigated and said the pit in Cidra’s complied with the state’s Uniform Construction Code. He said the accident was a freak occurrence, noting Marmolejo’s father was right there when it happened, and pits are not left uncovered for long periods of time.
“The pits are so small,” he said. “There are state regulations, we decided we should not put more burdens on people.”
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