A weekly update of stories previously reported
Seven months ago: Absegami High School graduation ends before hail storm
Absegami High School’s graduation on June 7 had a surprise ending for the thousands of attendance.
Seconds after the event ended there was lightning, and heavy rain and hail fell on the people who had filled the Galloway Township school’s football stadium to watch the 2012 class of 439 students graduate.
But officials with the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District said they do not have major plans to change outdoor graduation ceremonies after the storm, which was unusual because it was not forecast.
No serious injuries were reported, but photos and video shot at the scene made national news that appeared on CNN, “Good Morning America,” “Today” and other programs.
John Houck, Greater Egg Harbor Regional board president, said there was no way to predict that storm would happen.A lot of planning that goes into these events and it can’t be changed at the last minute, he said.
“It’s not like a meeting where we can change it that night,” he said.
Superintendent Steven Ciccariello, said Absegami, Oakcrest and Cedar Creek high schools are scheduled to have outdoor ceremonies in June at the schools’ respective football fields.
Ciccariello said district officials will continue to work with local law enforcement and the National Weather Service regarding any decision to postpone graduation ceremonies or adjust planned starting times due to inclement weather. There are also plans to increase the number of handicapped parking spots and to improve accessibility for people with special needs, he said.
One year ago: Buena Vista selects new mayor amid controversy
Chuck Chiarello had served as mayor in Buena Vista for 16 years, but he was removed from the position during the reorganization meeting in January 2012 when he and longtime running mate Teresa Kelly split with the three other Democratic members on the committee.
And now they are serving less than they ever have before.
Peter Bylone, Sue Barber and Richard Harlan voted Bylone in as mayor last January stating they felt Chiarello had to reduce his role in township business. As part of the administration change, Chiarello was removed from the Planning Board and the Pinelands Municipal Council. He said Bylone offered him new committees but he declined out of protest.
Chiarello and Kelly were facing re-election and were victorious in November earning their ninth three-year terms. But Chiarello said he is not serving on more committees this year as his seat expired including on the Economic Development and Environmental Commission. Kelly also was not reappointed to committees, and neither was selected to serve any of eight committee subcommittees.
“Five people were elected but only three are serving,” Chiarello said.
Barber, who become the township’s first female mayor at the reorganization meeting this month, said she didn’t appoint the two members to any committees because they declined to serve on the ones they were offered last year and didn’t ask to be appointed to any this year.
She said there is no issue with trying to separate from Chiarello and Kelly and the other committee members.
Two months ago: Water company starts construction for new water tank
There was construction nearly every night at Mill and Fire roads since November as the New Jersey American Water did pipe work at the busy intersection in Egg Harbor Township. But it is now complete.
Company spokesman Peter Eschbach said they installed new pipes for a new 1.5 million gallon water tank in the township, which should be in service in September.
The 2,700 linear feet of pipe was about 60 years old and had been repaired several times and the $5.2 million project will give township residents increased water pressure and better water flow, Eschbach said.
Contact Joel Landau:
Follow Joel Landau on Twitter @landaupressofac