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Feature Stories Recent News

Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is observed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office is using this time to share information with our community about domestic violence in our region, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.

“Domestic violence knows no boundaries.  It impacts every segment of our population, women, men, elderly, children, all races, and every socio-economic group.  The one common theme is control and how abusers exercise it over their victims.  Take a moment to understand what domestic violence looks like in your community.  Notice the signs and let’s work together to end it,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.

From January 2020 to present, the ACPO Office of Victim Witness Advocacy is assisting 1,577 new domestic violence victim cases. The ACPO Office of Victim Witness Advocacy works directly with the victims of domestic violence as well as community organizations to assist and support clients.

ACPO Domestic Violence Victim Cases 2016-2019:

2016: 766
2017: 1583
2018: 1572
2019: 2007

These Domestic Violence Victim Cases can include: warranted domestic violence disorderly offenses, violation of restraining orders and indictable offenses.

ACPO services provided to victims of domestic violence include:

  • Crisis intervention, with referrals to counseling for themselves and their children to address the chronic trauma, control issues.
  • Social service referrals and advocacy. Clients need to know what agencies are available in the community to help them, and how they can access those services.
  • Criminal justice advocacy/explanation of the criminal and family court process. Includes explaining why the police have to arrest in certain DV offenses, why the prosecutor’s office pursues DV cases, and discussing safety plans.
  • Court accompaniment to provide advocacy and emotional support
  • Advising victims of their rights as a DV victim, including their right to request a restraining order and explaining how a restraining order may assist them
  • Notifying victims of court dates, outcomes
  • Information about the VINE system so victims can be notified when an offender’s custody status changes
  • Transportation to court to provide their Victim Impact Statement (if needed)
  • Assistance with their Victim Impact statement, and request for restitution
  • Facilitating HIV testing of offenders in certain sexual assault/DV cases
  • Victims of Crime Compensation Office assistance, including advising the victim of the financial reimbursement and assistance/support they can receive from the VCCO-relocation assistance, loss of support, reimbursement for medical/counseling and other expenses; assistance with completing the VCCO application, advocacy on their behalf to the VCCO.
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Feature Stories News

Water’s Edge Opens State-of-the Art Dialysis Unit

The Water’s Edge team and Physicians Dialysis is proud to announce the opening of their on-site, state-of-the-art Dialysis Unit.

Individuals with end stage renal disease who reside near or at Water’s Edge Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center can now utilize our new wing in a safe, sanitary, and familiar setting.

With over 30 years of experience, Water’s Edge has established a reputation for the highest standard of care.

Particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic, Water’s Edge has proven to maintain this level of care no matter the circumstance. Experience a beautiful dialysis unit that offers a start-to-finish renal care program, all close to home.

Why choose Water’s Edge dialysis unit for your recovery? Our spacious, beautiful on-site treatment center – with a dedicated separate entrance – is staffed by highly trained nurses administering care via state-of-the-art dialysis equipment. All CDC and Department of Health regulations are meticulously upheld, with surfaces and equipment sanitized regularly and proper social distancing enforced.

“The opening of this unit represents a new phase for Water’s Edge. We’re so excited to be able to serve our community in a whole new way! Renal care has continually been a requested service from our beloved residents, and we’re excited to have risen to their expectations. We invite you to reach out to our admissions team today to see how we can help you discover your healthiest self!” says Doris Glover, Director of Admissions for the new unit.

Water’s Edge Dialysis Program is now open and accepting patients. The team is excited and eager to offer you a virtual tour!

Please reach out to the customer service team today to begin your journey towards renal health.

About Water’s Edge Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center:

Water’s Edge is a state-of-the-art rehabilitation, post-acute, and long-term care center located in the heart of New Jersey. For years, Water’s Edge has proven to be a premier name in the long-term care industry. Our stellar reputation precedes us, and we take great pride in the trust our
residents and their loved ones place in our hands. We invite you to learn more when you reach out to our customer service team at 609-393-8622.

About Physicians Dialysis:

For more than 30 years, Physicians Dialysis has delivered high-quality dialysis solutions. As a physician-owned and physician-directed company, we emphasize patient care and strive for clinical excellence. We apply a holistic approach to treatment that includes using the latest
technology, recruiting, and training specialized staff, and providing education to engage patients, improve outcomes, and reduce the likelihood of hospitalizations.

Physicians Dialysis provides “the right care the right way.” For more information, please contact us at 305-651-3261.

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Feature Stories In The Courts

Camden Vicinage Drug Court to Celebrate Graduation Oct. 27 Virtually


Assignment Judge Deborah Silverman Katz announced on October 23, 2020 that the Camden Vicinage will celebrate the anticipated graduation of 40 participants from the drug court program on Tuesday, Oct. 27 in two virtual court sessions.

In honor of this milestone for these participants, the Camden County Bar Association will award a stipend to one graduate who has done extremely well in the program while advancing their education in the field of addiction.

During the commencement ceremonies, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the graduates will formally be acknowledged for their successful completion of the program’s requirements.

Superior Court Judge Kathleen M. Delaney will preside over the ceremony. Retired Superior Court Judge Stephen M. Holden and Brian Herman of the Camden County Bar Association will present a drug court scholarship.

Graduation speakers also will include Camden County Assistant Prosecutor Greg Audino, New Jersey Assistant Deputy Public Defender Katina Chase, and New Jersey Assistant Deputy Public Defender Lou Presenza.

The Judiciary’s drug court program operates within the Superior Court to address nonviolent drug addicted offenders. The program requires completion of four phases of intensive drug and alcohol treatment and recovery. This level of supervision permits the program to support the recovery process but also allows the team to react swiftly to impose appropriate therapeutic interventions or to reinstate criminal proceedings when participants do not comply with the program.

The drug court program in the Camden Vicinage, which began in 1996, has 694 current participants and 709 graduates.

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Bright Side Feature Stories

M&T Bank Commits $30,000 to Greater Philadelphia Food Banks

M&T Bank has committed $30,000 to three food banks in the Greater Philadelphia area – funding intended to meet the needs of food-insecure families and those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the region. 

Funding has been split equally between three organizations from the Philadelphia suburbs through Southern New Jersey, including the Chester County Food Bank, Broad Street Ministry, and the Food Bank of South Jersey.

Collectively, these organizations impact more than 500,000 people in the region.

“As a community bank, we are profoundly aware of the ramifications the pandemic has had on our customers and communities,” said Bernie Shields, Regional President for M&T Bank in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “We feel a responsibility to support individuals adversely impacted by these unprecedented times, particularly when our employee volunteers are unable to lend a hand in person.”

This $30,000 commitment is among the $1.5 million M&T will contribute to community groups in the Philadelphia region this year and follows the bank’s $50,000 contribution in April to United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in support of at-risk individuals affected by the current crisis. 

Demand for food due to food insecurity brought on by the pandemic has increased an average of 55 percent in Chester, Philadelphia and southern New Jersey counties, according to projections from Feeding America. The organizations supported by M&T run a variety of initiatives to meet the needs of the community, including:

  • Chester County Food Bank prioritizes access to fresh, locally grown food for members of the community, coupled with nutrition education. It serves as the largest food bank in the county, with more than 30 food pantries, senior centers, and social service organizations as distribution channels for those experiencing episodic and long-term food insecurity.
  • Broad Street Ministries serves meals to over 250 adults five times a week in an indoor, family style setting, illustrating their motto that there is “always enough for everybody.” Currently serving more than 3,000 Philadelphians, Broad Street Ministries assists individuals through a trauma-informed approach to decrease anxiety and foster trust. In addition to food services, the organization provides guests access to critical care and stabilizing services. 
  • Food Bank of South Jersey provides an immediate solution to the urgent problem of hunger by providing food to people in need, teaching them to eat nutritiously, and helping them find sustainable ways to improve their lives. More than 200 partner agencies, including pantries, soup kitchens and other programs, distribute food provided by the food bank, targeting different groups of people such as children, seniors, veterans, and families. The organization recently established a Mobile Cafe that allows it to schedule multiple-meal drops at a variety of venues, delivering nearly 500,000 meals this year.

About M&T Bank

M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank. 

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Feature Stories Recent News

Library Community Calls for End to New Jersey’s Digital Divide

TRENTON, N.J.—511,354 New Jersey households find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide. And according to National Telecommunications and Information Administration data from 2019, 22.6% cite too high an expense as the reason they go without.

The digital divide refers to the gulf between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not. A clear view of the gulf in New Jersey is difficult as available statistics paint an incomplete portrait of the state of access.

Little to no data exists on the number of NJ residents that have Internet within their homes but lack the necessary bandwidth, digital literacy expertise, and/or home equipment to support online learning and work from home activities simultaneously.

Vulnerable residents typically rely on public libraries to connect to an increasingly digital society. The abrupt closure of these institutions during the 2020 pandemic along with the sudden shift toward virtual education and services has made this divide more pronounced in New Jersey. 

The Library Alliance of New Jersey, composed of the New Jersey State Library, LibraryLinkNJ, the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) and other library groups, proposes a $21 million program to assist in closing the digital divide throughout the state.

A potential source of funding could be the Federal Cares appropriation which has been received in New Jersey. Several states, including Ohio which provided $18 million to public libraries under this program, have already seen successful implementation of funding for digital equity initiatives.

Plan details have been shared with Governor Murphy’s office and are available at njla.org/digital-equity-for-all-residents.

“It is critical for library leaders in urban communities to address the digital divide and secure resources to allow residents to have equal access to technology,” said Corey Fleming, Director, Paterson Free Public Library. “We must continue to work on local, state and federal levels to ensure that the digital gap is addressed for all New Jerseyans.”

The digital divide deeply impacts communities in urban areas where economic disparity is greatest. However, cities like Paterson are not alone. Rural communities also struggle with access issues.

“The digital divide is a very real problem,” said Jennifer Schureman Brenner, Director, Cumberland County Library. “Schools have given devices to students and some major internet providers have offered free or reduced rate internet, but that doesn’t help those who live in rural places like Cumberland County.”

Brenner said that the broadband in Cumberland County is so low that it is almost impossible for many residents to find an internet signal with a hotspot let alone be able to use the free or reduced internet.

“Internet providers aren’t interested in putting money into laying lines or building towers in a community that may not be able to afford their services, or where there isn’t an abundance of population,” she explained. “The pandemic really brought this to light and many were left with no resources or recourse to access their job, school work, file for social services or attend telehealth appointments.”

The New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) supports increased access and equity across the state, and agrees with the following goals cited by LibraryLinkNJ’s Taskforce on Post COVID-19 Alignment, Trends & Strategies (TOPCATS):

  • Improve the technology infrastructure in New Jersey to address connectivity issues in urban and rural areas
  • Advocate for reduced rates from Internet Service Providers and for the development of need-based government subsidies to provide affordable internet options for all residents
  • Invest to assure all community anchors such as libraries, government buildings, healthcare offices, and schools have a minimum of 1Gbps Internet access
  • Invest to develop additional capacity to support free WIFI at least 1Gbps Internet access through a network of community anchors such as libraries, government buildings, healthcare offices, and schools
  • Develop a WIFI Locator tool, accessible by internet and by phone, to allow New Jersey residents to easily find free WIFI spots in their area
  • Address technology gap by providing internet capable equipment to those without, including providing funding for lendable equipment including laptops and WIFI hotspots
  • Provide access to robust digital and informational literacy training for all New Jersey residents, including a required curriculum for students K-12 (A248) taught by skilled professionals and funding for training of adults and seniors through local libraries, community colleges and human services departments

As the first steps to accomplishing many of these goals on the federal level, NJLA also supports New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. and South Carolina Congressman James E. Clyburn’s Connect All Americans to Affordable Broadband Internet Plan, and the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Initiative.

For more information on how libraries are positioned to address digital inequity in New Jersey, please contact Sarah Lester, Public Policy Chair, NJLA, slester@maplewoodlibrary.org.

About the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA)

Established in 1890 and providing services to over 1,700 members, the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) is the oldest and largest library organization in the state.

NJLA advocates for the advancement of library services for New Jersey residents, provides continuing education and networking opportunities for librarians, supports the principles of intellectual freedom, and promotes access to library materials for all.

An initiative of NJLA, I Love NJ Libraries is designed to keep New Jersey residents informed about what’s happening in their libraries. The primary goals are to: provide residents with information regarding access, events, materials, and services available at libraries in New Jersey; connect residents and library advocates with statistics and stories that support their efforts to advocate on behalf of New Jersey libraries; and inform residents of the key issues affecting New Jersey libraries.