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Three Years Ago: Family mourns murdered daughter

Brenda Lewis had a daughter, Gina Clarke-Lewis, who cared about many people.

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"She always told me she wouldn't put me in an old folks home," the Brigantine resident said. "She said, 'I'll take care of you.'"

But Clarke-Lewis was murdered in her Lindenwold, Camden County, apartment in March 2010.

The senior at Temple University -who planned a career in health administration - was a graduate of Holy Spirit High School who also volunteered to mentor teenage girls.

Her murder left Brenda Lewis in a deep depression.

"It's been a hell," she said. "At this point, my heart is so broken. It is the worst thing that can happen to a human being in your lifetime."

The investigation by the Camden County Prosecutor's Office continues, and Lewis thanked investigator Jim Pisano for his dedication and constant reassurances to the family the investigation will continue.

"The case is never far from my mind," Pisano said. "Gina is so young and was such an innocent victim. It's something I think about a lot."

Pisano could not discuss details of the investigation but asked the public for help in identifying new leads.

"We need a witness or someone who saw the killers or even (someone) the killers confided in," he said. "Maybe they have the key to release a grieving family from a thoroughly crushing nightmare."

The family is working on several ways to honor Gina Clarke-Lewis. Her younger sister, Brittany Lewis, is currently Miss Hockessin, Del., and is competing for Miss Delaware next month. Her platform is domestic violence in honor of her sister, and if she becomes Miss Delaware she'll be able to compete in the Miss America Pageant and honor her in her backyard.

The family is also planning a scholarship fund and a memorial ceremony in October in Brigantine. Gina also has a Facebook page the family maintains in her memory.

Brenda Lewis pleaded that anyone with information contact Pisano at the Camden County Prosecutor's Office at 856-225-8500 or email ccpotips@ccprosecutor.org. The office is offering a $2,000 award.

Fourteen Months Ago: Charter service resumes flights to Florida

In February 2012, Gold Transportation decided to try to revive a service that had worked well in the past by chartering 737 flights from Atlantic City International Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

But ultimately the Margate-based company decided too much had changed in the market to sustain the weekly trips.

The company ran the Florida Flights that left the Egg Harbor Township airport on Thursday and returned on Monday for three months, from February to April, but this year decided not to do it again.

John Trave, Gold Transportation support service manager, said the company did the weekly charters in the 1980s, but now with Spirit Airlines flying daily to Fort Lauderdale the market had changed. The company will probably not try this venture again, he said.

"It's something if we spent time with and put money in we could make it work, but it's not worth our time," he said.

Twenty-One Months Ago: Margate firehouse reopens

Margate fire officials had been operating out of only one fire station since August 2011, when the location at Washington and Ventnor avenues was deemed uninhabitable and had to be closed for renovations.

The $1.8 million project was completed last week and Fire Chief Anthony Tabasso said the department is now fully operational from both the renovated station and its second one on Brunswick Drive.

During the work, the department handled all of its activities at its remaining station and the Longport fire company's station on Atlantic Avenue. The department is planning an open house for its new station at a yet to be determined date in late spring or summer.

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Follow Joel Landau on Twitter @landaupressofac


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