Tag Archives: nj

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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Hoax Puts School In Lockdown

Today, January 7, 2010 the Beck Middle School went into lockdown mode when graffiti of a threatening nature was found in the girl’s bathroom.  This set the school’s lock down operations into motion and the police were called to the building.

The district notification system was activated and parents were called by phone to alert them of the situation.  A second call followed when the lockdown was lifted.

Despite the fact that this was a hoax and the perpetrator should be dealt with accordingly, this did demonstrate that the procedures put in place by the school board for these situation does work and the school board and Beck school should be commended for that.

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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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BioDiesel comes to Cherry Hill

Cherry Hill Township is going to fuel its municipal services vehicles with B20 biodiesel.  b20 biodiesel is a mixture of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum dieselthat can be used in a diesel engine without any modifications to the engine.

The township officially entered into the state’s Biodiesel Fuel Rebate Program at a July 13 Town Council meeting,  which cleared the way to using greener fuel.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, biodiesel blends, such as B20, reduce the emission levels and toxicity of diesel exhaust, substantially lowering the output of hydrocarbons, sulfate and particulate matter, among other hazardous air pollutants.

Biodiesel is generally made by chemically reacting vegetable oil, animal fat, and alcohol.

Sustainable Cherry Hill

It’s July 2020 and the people of Cherry Hill, NJ are just waking up to start their busy days. Mom hops on the new Cherry Hill bio diesel fueled jitney as she makes her way to work on the other side of town.

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Saccomano Admints to Taking Bribes

The former code enforcement director for Cherry Hill has admitted accepting bribes.  On June 16th Anthony Saccomanno pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

The Mayor’s office and city council members voted unananimously to seek to have his retirement benefits revoked.  They also want Saccomanno to pay restitution for any ill-gotten gains.

The NJ board will rule in Septemeber on the petition to revoke retirement benefits.

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Cherry Hill Tax Bill

From Mayor Platt’s Office

The Township issued estimated tax bills for the first quarter of 2009.  have already gone into great detail about why the state has forced us and 32 other fiscal budget municipalities to issue these bills, but I would like to offer an elementary breakdown of the average Cherry Hill tax bill since it was not contained in the estimated bills.

When you look at the average assessed Cherry Hill home the overall bill is broken down by four different taxing entities:

cherry hill taxes

At the end of the day, residents have seen an increase in their first quarter bill over their fourth quarter bill, due to a $96 increase from the School District a $65 increase from Camden County and a $1.50 increase from the Fire District.
As a quick aside, while Camden County did increase this quarter, it should be known that throughout the fiscal year they did drop their overall equalized tax rate in Cherry Hill.

Once again I would like to point out that the municipal portion of the average bill that pays for police, public works, code enforcement and the public library dropped since the last fiscal quarter by about $20. Additionally, the Township makes up a total of 13 percent of the total tax bill.

On that note I would like to take a moment to reiterate that my administration has proactively been working to weather the national economic meltdown by making painful cuts including layoffs, department consolidations, position eliminations, salary freezes for municipal employees and a 10 percent reduction in pay for me, the majority of Town Council and our business administrator.

This process has been very hard, but it is only a harbinger for the future because I will continue to push for more savings and I will be approaching our six unions and vendors to work with us to cut costs. This is a historic time and we all need pitch in for the betterment of Cherry Hill.

Furthermore, we have aggressively looked for new savings and innovative ways to raise revenue, including the implementation of RecycleBank, securing funding for renewable energy sources and installing an in-house employee self-prescription program.

Additionally, I have made monumental advances in municipal employees carrying some of the heavy burden of healthcare like our residents working in the private sector. This includes higher co-pays and premium sharing. Like I have stated in the past, while we wait for DCA to decide if we will be a recipient of extraordinary aid, any funding Cherry Hill receives from Trenton will go directly toward tax relief for our community.

Now, moving forward, all first quarter tax bills, already in mail boxes, will be due on Feb. 1 with a grace period until Feb. 17. Questions related to the estimated tax bill can be directed to the tax collector at (856) 488-7880.

For more than a year I have been having a very public discussion about what my administration has been doing in light of a perfect storm caused by a severe global recession – which has seriously cut into the Township’s revenue – a significant drop in state aid, and rising state-mandated costs. These discussions and your pragmatic suggestions have been used to combat expenses and streamline the way government works. In fact, I had a battery of public meetings last year where I asked for ideas about cost cutting measures in these extraordinary times and I would like to continue to extend that hand, by continuing the conversation. Please contact me by calling (856) 488-7878 or email me at MayorPlatt@CHTownship.com.

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