A weekly update of stories previously reported

Sixty-eight months ago: Vineland man dies while held at county jail

On New Year's Eve 2007, Steve Bell, 27, was arrested by Vineland police officers for allegedly threatening his wife and pointing a gun at her.

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Bell was never formally charged with a crime, according to his attorney, Nancy Winkler, of Philadel-phia, but he was transported to Cumberland County jail. The next day he was rushed to Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and died 10 days later.

Jail officials said Bell did not sustain physical harm, but Winkler filed a lawsuit stating Bell suffered "severe head injuries consistent with being viciously and brutally beaten" by other jail inmates who had a history of violence. Winkler, whose office is in Philadelphia, said the jail failed to respond to Bell's medical needs in time.

On July 11, the county agreed to a settlement, paying Bell's family $650,000. The county did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement.

Winkler said she hopes the county will review its policies about placing nonviolent inmates with others who have violent backgrounds.

Cumberland County Solicitor Ted Baker said Bell suffered from hypoglycemia. His blood sugar was low and guards did not check on him in time to help him.

Baker said Bell was shaken by an inmate in an attempt to revive him but was not assaulted.

Three months ago: Northfield family seeks dog to help toddler

Northfield resident Adalynne "Addie" Gill, 2, suffers from a rare brain malformation called polymicrogyria that has given her severe behavioral issues. It also makes it difficult for her to communicate with others.

Her mother, Samantha, contacted an organization called 4 Paws for Ability about getting a service dog for Addie to help her. In May, they began various fundraisers to raise $13,000.

The family raised the money last month and is trying to raise $6,500 to travel to Ohio for 10 days. The organization will select a dog for her in September and train it for about five months. The family will then go to Ohio to learn how to work with the animal.

Gill said her daughter is beginning to understand a dog will come to assist her. The family also gets a lot of help from Addie's 4-year-old sister, Audrey, who taught herself sign language so she could communicate with her.

"We call her our Addie whisperer," Samantha Gill said.

Audrey was given Atlantic County's Little Hero Award in Northfield last month to honor her for helping her little sister.

Twenty months ago: Millville Housing Authority expands

On Dec. 19, 2011, the Millville and Wildwood housing authorities entered into an agreement to share Executive Director Paul Dice. For Wildwood, the move saved about $25,000, and for the Millville agency it meant generating more revenue.

Dice said the move is working well and the MHA is expanding.

In December, the MHA entered a similar agreement with the Salem Housing Authority and they started a new property management firm for commercial properties. It now manages the Bridgeton Villa Apartments. The additional revenues have meant turning a profit for the housing authority, Dice said.

Contact Joel Landau:


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