• VENTNOR – The Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance Thursday, Nov. 20 that would offer tax exemptions for certain property owners who make improvements or build anew.

    Officials are hoping a tax incentive would spur new construction that complies with new flood elevation standards and help the city improve its FEMA flood insurance rating, which would equate to discounts for residents on the cost of flood insurance.

  • CAMDEN – A federal court today issued a temporary restraining order to stop the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers shore protection project in Margate.

    The order came after Margate filed a legal suit in U.S. District Court to stop the state and Army Corps from building sand dunes on the city’s beach.

  • TRENTON – Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced Nov. 20 that Ventnor City would receive a $501,000 grant to restore historic City Hall. The building was one of four in Atlantic County selected for Sandy Disaster Relief Grants for Historic Properties to fund the preservation, stabilization, rehabilitation and repair of New Jersey historic structures that were damaged by the storm.

    Other Atlantic County structures awarded grants include Fire Station 3 in Atlantic City, which received $338,289, Fire Station 2 in Atlantic City $205,649 and Gateway Playhouse in Somers Point $102,400.

  • MARGATE – Local firefighters and EMS workers who routinely arrive at drug overdose calls are now carrying the life-saving antidote, naloxone.

    Chief Anthony Tabasso made the announcement at the Nov. 6 Board of Commissioners work session meeting.

  • MARGATE – City Clerk and Tax Collector Tom Hiltner will resign from both positions Jan. 1 and receive $260,000 payable in installments over the next two years as part of a settlement reached in his whistleblower lawsuit against the city.

    Under the agreement, the city will also give Hiltner $12,000 a year for the next eight years for health insurance, and pay $50,000 in attorney fees to Jacobs & Barbone, his attorneys.

  • MARGATE – Despite differences of opinion regarding the dunes issue, the Board of Commissioners Nov. 6 agreed to uphold the wishes of the voters and proceed with an effort to stop the state and Army Corps of Engineers from building sand dunes on the beach.

    Congratulating the advocacy group Margate Citizens Questioning the Beach Project, which lobbied to fight the dunes project, Commissioner Brenda Taube said she would join Commissioner Maury Blumberg and Mayor Michael Becker in support of voters who passed a nonbinding referendum Nov. 4 that asked if they wanted the city to spend up to $200,000 in legal fees to try to stop the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps from proceeding with the project. The unofficial vote count was 1,140 yes, 1,091 no. Provisional ballots are still being counted. Certification by the Atlantic County Clerk is expected Monday afternoon.

  • VENTNOR – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has awarded $230,000 in Post-Sandy Planning Assistance grants to help the city become more resilient to storms.

    Mayor Michael Bagnell said the grants will help the city plan for the future after several years of struggling with the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, which flooded the city in October 2012.

Success is ‘out there’ for 419 AC High School graduates (SLIDE SHOW)

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In waves of blue and white, 419 students graduate ACHS. In waves of blue and white, 419 students graduate ACHS. ATLANTIC CITY – Members of Atlantic City High School’s Class of 2014 were encouraged Tuesday, June 24 to get out of their own way to achieve success, whether it be in college, military or the workforce.

Families and friends attended the commencement ceremony held at Boardwalk Hall to support the 419 graduates, some of whom will be attending prestigious Princeton and Harvard universities.

Atlantic City High School Navy ROTC provided escort for faculty and graduates.

Salutatorian Steve Thai told his classmates that the last four years was “not all flowers and chocolate,” but hard. However, being part of the Atlantic City melting pot is an experience that will stay with him throughout life.

“It has truly been a rollercoaster ride mixed with highs and lows. I have met driven teachers who have pushed me to my limit, tested my patience, and ultimately looked out for my best interest. I have befriended classmates who left their imprints on me,” Thai said.

“My classmates have exposed me to different religions and cultures of the world. Just congregating with them was a learning experience in itself,” he said.

Offering advice, he quoted author Suzan-Lori Parks, who said, “You can spend your life tripping on yourself. You can also spend your spend your life tripping yourself up. Get out of your own way.”

He encouraged graduates. “Success is out there for anyone who reaches for it.”

Valedictorian Erin Gallagher said she wanted to stand out with her speech, so she Googled “awesome valedictorian speeches.” But when she read the template that had lots of “insert name here” blanks, she realized they were filled with clichés and platitudes. To stand out, she would have to do it on her own.

She offered thanks to parents who offered support, the “brave, patient teaching staff” for their encouragement, and Principal John DeStefano “whose first year on the job was a resounding success.”

She offered classmates some words of encouragement for whatever path they take.

“Let’s face it, we can’t all win the Nobel Peace Prize. If you want, you can strive to be a leader, you can try to change the world, win awards, get your name in the history books. But success isn’t measured by how many people know your name. Success is measured by how happy you are with your life and what you’ve accomplished.

“When you leave this building, do what makes you happy. Because no matter what you’re doing, as long as you’re living every day with a smile on your face, you’re doing it right.”

To garner a laugh from the audience, she mentioned a long list of people who gave her $1 to mention their names in her speech, including, “the guy at the next table at Applebee’s” and “Rachel Kessler,” who was mentioned five times.

Principal DeStefano highlighted the students’ collective achievements this year, including receiving more than $1 million in scholarships to continue their education, winning state and Cape Atlantic League athletic championships, showcasing their talents in the spring musical and arts festival, participating in numerous academic challenges, building a solar-powered physics house and escorting Miss America contestants in the Show Us Your Shoes parade.

He told the graduates they obtained everything they need to build a well-rounded life.

“Be true to your belief systems. It takes discipline to make good choices. Choose to be happy; choose to serve others and choose to have a high level of self-esteem,” DeStefano said.

Click here to see the Class of 2014 Graduate List

Enjoy a slide show by Chuck Eberson: 


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