Six months ago: Potential Sea Isle City elementary school closing

While the Sea Isle City Board of Education  has not heard from the state Department of Education pertaining to its request to close the city’s elementary school and merge with Ocean City, board members met with community members Oct. 13 to discuss the proposal.

“The purpose of this meeting, which was well-attended by the public, was to further explain the district situation and the request that had been made of the Department of Education,” Valere Egnasko, chairwoman of the city’s board of education, wrote in an email.

There are 46 students enrolled in the island’s city elementary school. If the request is granted, Sea Isle City would send four more grades’ worth of students to Ocean City, from kindergarten to 12th grade. The consolidation would save Sea Isle City between $770,000 and $937,000 annually and Ocean City $465,000.

Sea Isle City and Ocean City already share a principal, superintendent and school business administrator.

Egnasko said the state is still reviewing the board’s request.

“That request was for the Department of Education to order an expansion of the send-receive with Ocean City,” she said. “A voluntary expansion has not been achievable because of the legal requirement that the Ocean City District provide positions to the tenured teaching staff of Sea Isle City,” she wrote in the email.

The board of education next meets Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Sea Isle City Public School.

Five months ago: Wharton State Forest fire

With less than three months left in the year, New Jersey’s state forests are on track for a sharp decrease in the amount of recorded forest fires and acres burned.

According to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service’s website, about 6,588 acres of forest burned in 2010, while only 701.50 have burned between Jan. 1 and Oct. 24 of this year.

That figure includes the 171 acres that burned in the Wharton State Forest between June 27 and July 10.

John Rieth, assistant division forest fire ward, said Thursday that the Burlington County fire was difficult to contain because there was little rain during that two-week period.

“At the time, we weren’t getting a lot of rain,” he said.

Rieth said firefighters started a controlled fire near hiking trails in the forest to help contain and eliminate the blaze. They kept the fire from spreading using bulldozers to create mini trenches around the fire.

“The back fire just comes together with the main fire and it consumes all the fuel,” he said. “When the fires come together it essentially dies out.”

Five months ago: Little Egg Harbor Township woman indicted in fraud

The Ocean County woman who was indicted for submitting a fake slip-and-fall insurance claim in 2009 was sentenced to 18 months probation.

Michelle Trapp, 40, of Little Egg Harbor Township, filed a claim that said she fell Nov. 4, 2009, in the parking lot of Target on Stafford Park Boulevard. She was indicted June 23.

Trapp was sentenced Oct. 28 by Judge Wendel Daniels in Ocean County Superior Court.

Additionally, she was ordered to pay fines totalling $165, Ocean County court officials said.

Contact Caitlin Dineen:


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