Catching Up: Beach curfew helps prevent problems in Ocean City, officials say - Upper Cape May

Catching Up: Beach curfew helps prevent problems in Ocean City, officials say - Upper Cape May

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Catching Up: Beach curfew helps prevent problems in Ocean City, officials say

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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 11:45 pm | Updated: 11:47 pm, Thu Apr 25, 2013.

A weekly update of stories previously reported

Four years ago: Ocean City reinstates beach curfew

Between June 2008 and July 2009, the beach in Ocean City was open 24 hours a day under a measure by the state Department of Environmental Protection. But after the state Supreme Court struck down the measure — which was a condition for beach-replenishment projects — City Council immediately reinstituted a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. on the beaches.

Ocean City police Capt. Steve Ang said the curfew was put in place for safety reasons and that it is a productive tool for keeping people from hidden dangers and preventing nuisance crimes and drug activity in an area that is hard to patrol.

“The area is dark and has many dangerous conditions that exist due to tides and storms and the changing shore line,” he said. “Also, it allows officers the opportunity to keep persons off the beach that may be involved in unlawful activity, such as drinking alcohol and using drugs.”

Twenty-eight months ago: Hamilton Township hopes to capitalize on new business park

With plans in the works for the NextGen Aviation Research and Technology Park in Egg Harbor Township, developers in Hamilton Township wanted to seize on the new jobs and businesses that could come to the region.

In December 2010, plans were introduced to the township’s Planning Board for six new office buildings and a 20-story, glass-faced hotel tower at the site of Atlantic City Race Course.

But with plans for NextGen still being developed after a long delay, the plans for the Hamilton office park are stalled.

Maureen Bugdon, president of the race course, said the proposal is in a holding pattern.

“Progress at the NextGen site will precipitate any spinoff development at ACRC where the (office park and hotel are) concerned,” she said.

Four years ago: Linwood bank robber caught after retrieving tattoo money

Robert Champion wanted a tattoo, but his bank-robbing expedition got in the way.

On April 16, 2009, Champion, then 19, was arrested and charged with robbing two Linwood banks: Ocean City Home Bank on New Road and Cape Bank on Shore Road. Before the two robberies, Linwood had only one other bank robbery in 16 years.

A day before he robbed the first bank, Champion had gone to the tattoo parlor Dreamline Ink on Tilton Road in Northfield and placed a $50 deposit to have his last name inked along his back.

But after police released his picture to local media, Champion returned to the tattoo parlor to collect his deposit. He told an employee he thought he was going to be arrested soon.

A half-hour later, he was, after the employee took down his license number and alerted police who pulled him over in neighboring Egg Harbor Township. Police said multiple people had identified Champion as the robber.

On Oct. 23, 2009, Champion was sentenced to four years in prison for two counts of robbery, according to the state Department of Corrections. He was released from prison Sept. 7.

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