Two months ago: Northfield seeks builder for long-awaited expansion project

The library in Northfield will break ground for an expansion Friday with hopes of completion within five months.

Plans for the expansion began a decade ago, and the 1,700-square-foot addition will allow for a community room that will include a small kitchenette area, new ADA accessible restroom, projector and screen as well as a separate entrance and exit for meetings that run later than the library’s current hours, according to library board of trustees President Shannah Smith.

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The project was awarded to the lowest bidder, Fabbri Builders, of Vineland, which was able to accommodate the board of trustees’ $350,000 budget, Smith said.

Library staff was busy cleaning out the storage shed Thursday to ensure it is ready for demolition, said library Director Meg Derascavage.

“We are up to our knees in stuff,” she said.

Since 2003, the board has been saving for the expansion to comply with state laws requiring the size of libraries to be proportional to the population of the city they serve. The building is 23 percent smaller than it should be, Smith said, and hasn’t been touched since it was built in the 1980s.

One month ago: Pending law would let N.J. brewers Pour On

Just last week, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill that would allow micro-breweries to increase their output.

The law will allow brewpubs such as Atlantic City's Tun Tavern to increase their beer production to 10,0000 barrels annually, a three-fold increase.

The move comes as the Brewers Association reported this month that there are 2,126 craft breweries in the United States, the most in 125 years, with more than 1,200 planned.

Micro-breweries may now sell their product to liquor stores and restaurants wholesale.

18 months ago: Atlantic City begins under-Boardwalk searches to address homeless issue

Forty people, including Atlantic City police officers and representatives from the Atlantic City Rescue Mission, Jewish Family Services and Atlantic County, searched underneath the city’s Boardwalk for those sleeping or living there.

When the city began this effort more than a year ago, in spring 2011, officers and social workers found and identified nearly 30 people living under the Boardwalk.

But Thursday morning, the outreach team found 10 people: one person on the beach, two people under the Boardwalk and seven people on the Boardwalk.

Atlantic City Tourism District Commander Tom Gilbert credits that decline to the organization and partnerships that have developed in the past year as well as the number of people, including the Boardwalk Ambassadors and Special Improvement District employees, who are on the Boardwalk now daily who can help identify homeless people at risk.

One month ago: World Poker Tour to make stop in Borgata

Ben Hamnett, a professional poker play from Pittsburgh, was crowned the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open champion last week when he beat a field of more than 1,000 players.

Hamnett won $818,847 and entry into the upcoming World Poker Tour World Championship. Participation in the event made the Borgata stop the second-largest event on the world tour, organizers said.

Staff Writers Anjalee Khemlani and Sarah Watson contributed to this column.

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