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Cherry Hill Linked to Times Square Bomb Attempt

The FBI searched two properties in South Jersey Thursday as a part of a group of raids associated with the foiled Times Square bombing terrorist plot.

Executing search warrants given by the New York FBI field office, federal agents moved in on a Cherry Hill, N.J. condominium and a Camden printing company. Both properties belong to brothers Muhammad Fiaez and Iqbal Hinjhara.

Fiaez says the FBI came knocking at their home just before 6 a.m.

“They just come in and ask questions, that’s it,”  Fiaez said.

The Cherry Hill man stated federal authorities split the brothers apart for questioning.  He would not elaborate as to what was really asked, but said Times Square never came up in the conversation.

“No, no, no. Nobody asked me about Times Square,” he said.

It was May 1st when a late-90s Nissan Pathfinder was found in Times Square with a rudamentary car bomb inside that failed to go off. Authorities then launched a massive manhunt and later took Faisal Shahzad into custody just as he was about to fly to Pakistan.

Shahzad is cooperating with authorities.

Federal sources say the brothers were questioned in length about the Hawala system — which is a cash courier network whereby some terrorists are able get their funding.

With Hawala, brokers set up a manual transfer of money that may pass through several people who reside in several countries. This is commonly used in the Middle East as an informal banking system.

Agents also searched their Camden business, the Prompt Printing Press while Fiaez and Hinjhara were being questioned

Authorities took several items from the printing company, witnesses told NBC Philadelphia. Fiaez stated that nothing was taken from his home.

During the Thursday raids, three other people were arrested in the Boston and New York areas.

Fiaez and his brother were only questioned by authorities. Fiaez told NBC Philadelphia. He thinks it was just a case of mistaken identity.

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Mayor Calls for Tax Cut

How is this for helping out the average Joe. Believe it or not Mayor Bernie Platt proposed a 3 cent cut in the tax rate Septe 14th.  This 3 cent cut in the tax rate will result in a $52 savings for the average home owner in Cherry Hill with a house rated at $140,000.

So how are they paying for this, you ask? Well, the township has been reducing costs by consolidating services, freezing payroll, and laying off staff. Fourteen employees were laid off last year which came out to a savings of $800,000.  

The township has also been  using green energy initiatives to help reduce the budget requirements. A solar panel project is set for installtion this fall which is expected to save $56,000 a year, and a new HVAC system is epected to reduce energy costs by another $36,000 annually.

In June council members approved a preliminary tax levy that assumed a $1 million budget cut. That was expected to keep municipal  taxes at the fiscal 2009 level, which is approximately $1,180 a year for municipal taxes.

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Schools on Alert for Swine Flu

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has sent a health alert to all New Jersey schools and child care venues asking them to be on increased watch for influenza-like cases in the upcoming weeks.

 

This health advisory is one of the state’s increased monitoring actions in response to the recent cases of swine flu that have been identified in the United States and Mexico.  New Jerset now has five identified cases of swine flu as of today.

 

“As a readiness measure, we have reached out to schools and all child care facilities to ask them to be on the lookout for children exhibiting signs of influenza,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard. “We are asking these facilities to send children home if they are showing signs of respiratory illness and fever. We are also reminding them to report suspected cases of swine influenza or outbreaks of any influenza-like illness to their local health department.”

 

“We are working closely with the Department of Health and Senior Services to ensure that all school districts remain up to date and well informed.  School district officials should maintain close contact with their local health departments and pass on preventive information to families,’’ said Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy.

 

The Department is recommending that sick children remain at home until 24-48 hours after the symptoms end.

 

The symptoms of swine flu are similar to seasonal flu and include fever, lack of appetite, coughing and fatigue. Some people have also reported having a sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

 

Please be aware that you cannot get swine flu from eating pork or pork products. There are no special recommendations for anyone who owns a pig or is routinely exposed to pigs.

 

Commissioner Howard also reminds the public that there are precautions that everyone should take to reduce the chance of getting ill:

 

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • See your physician if your illness continues.

 

“The Department is continuing to monitor the situations around the country and Mexico and is working very closely with our federal, regional and local health partners,” said Commissioner Howard. “We have plans in place in the event of a more widespread outbreak. The most important thing New Jersey residents can do now is to stay informed and continue to follow those preventive measures.”
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