Eleven months ago: Hamilton Mall gets approval to expand its facility

Before the Hamilton Mall could add new businesses it had to first fix problems with its storm basins.

When the company proposed its expansion plans to the township’s Planning Board last November, the board required repairs to the storm basins, which had problems with flooding. Crews have been working on the site for the past two months and should be complete by the end of the month, said mall General Manager Bill Schu.

Crews are also starting work on two pad sites, which total 14,000 square feet, for a Buffalo Wild Wings and a Longhorn Steakhouse, which Schu said should be open by the spring and no later than the summer.

There are also plans for a 63,000-square-foot shopping center between JCPenney and Macy’s that will host a Forever 21 and H&M as its main anchors, Schu said. The new complex would have additional businesses and is scheduled to be open by next June, he said.

“There seems to be a lot of excitement,” he said.

At the Oct. 1 Hamilton Township Committee meeting Mayor Roger Silva expressed his appreciation for the projects and the hope that the Buffalo Wild Wings would be open in time for the Super Bowl.

Eight years ago: Galloway resident finally sees progress in push for Jessica Lunsford Act

Galloway resident Anna Jezycki began her campaign for stronger state laws against sexual assaults on children eight years after she said a convicted child rapist moved to her street. She had been working with local and state officials for years but had not seen much in the way of results.

When 9th District Republican legislators Sen. Chris Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove held a town hall meeting in Galloway on Feb. 23 to meet residents of their newly redrawn district, it gave them a chance to meet Jezycki, who asked them to get the state Legislature to adopt the Jessica Lunsford Act.

On Oct. 4, the state Senate approved the bill, which requires a mandatory 25-year term without parole for anyone convicted of sexually assaulting a child younger than 13. The bill now must be passed by the Assembly.

Jezycki is thankful to the legislators and local officials for helping get the bill moved for a vote.

“They're not going to get a slap on the wrist anymore,” she said.

Connors said the bill’s movement is due to efforts from across the state but noted people in Galloway offered “a lot of support” including letters and online petitions.

“A lot of Galloway folks stepped up to the plate,” he said. “Anyone who has a child understands the vulnerability of our children and the importance to protect them.”

Four years ago: Vineland man to be sentenced for killing wife in front of two children

A month after separating from his wife, Sharon, a teacher at Durand Elementary School, Frank Bortle III shot her in front of their then 9-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter on Feb. 3, 2008.

Bortle then ran into the backyard of his home and pointed his shotgun to his face as police arrived. He fired but survived the injuries.

More than four years later, Bortle is scheduled to be sentenced in Cumberland County Superior Court today.

Under his plea agreement he will receive 30 years in prison, all of which must be served without parole.

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