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Mental Health Resources are Available for Camden County Youth

(Camden, NJ) – The coronavirus pandemic has interrupted traditional access points to mental health services for children and teenagers. To help the county’s youth stay connected to critical services during this stressful time, the Camden County Youth Services Commission has collected information for more than 20 service providers in one convenient location.

For a full list of mental health resources, visit

“One of the greatest challenges presented by this pandemic is simultaneously combatting the crises in domestic abuse, poor mental health, hunger, and others that are hidden, and in some cases worsened, by steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez. “By collecting these resources in one convenient location, we hope to make the first step in finding help much easier for families during this extremely difficult period. As we navigate a world with coronavirus, we have to make sure that we don’t ignore other factors that are critical to our physical and mental wellbeing.”

The collection includes contact information for behavioral health services, inpatient hospitalization resources, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive outpatient programs, as well as hotline information for youth and young adults, peer support and suicide prevention, peer services for mothers of children with special needs, and families working to deescalate household stress and frustration.

For all other resources not included, please visit or contact NJ211 directly by dialing 2-1-1; texting your zip code to 898-211; or chatting with them online. The NJ211 statewide service is free, confidential, multilingual and always open.

The Children’s Interagency Coordinating Council, The Camden County Youth Services Commission, and First Children Services collaborated in the collection of these resources and information.

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Governor Extends Grace Period for Property Tax Payments Until June 1

On Tuesday, April 28, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 130 which allows municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1 to June 1. Under existing law, towns may only allow for a grace period of up to 10 days after the property tax deadline without interest or penalty.

“It is critical in this moment that we explore every option to lessen the burden on families and residents who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. “The governor’s order provides municipalities with the flexibility to appropriately respond to the needs of their residents, and potentially offers a much-needed reprieve for many families in Camden County.”

The order takes effect immediately. For information regarding your municipality, contact your local tax collector’s office directly.

For more information regarding Executive Order No. 130, click here.

To read the order in full, visit here.

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Verchio’s Produce & Deli Announces Several Employees Have Contracted COVID-19

SJO Readers:

My apologies for any confusion in my article about Verchio’s and for not initially clarifying that my article pertained to the Brooklawn location. I just spoke with Tony Verchio and here is an additional further update/clarification from him.

Anne Forline, Editor/Publisher South Jersey Observer

An update and clarification from Tony Verchio:

I want to thank all of those who reached to wish our team at Brooklawn wellness during the scare they had encountered.

I want also want to inform everyone that the Washington Township location has had NO employees test positive for COVID 19 nor has had any working employees show or report any symptoms since this whole pandemic started. We do not share employees with our other location so our staff has not been in contact with the team at the other store.

We work very hard to ensure our location is safe by sanitizing often and regularly. We have also acted early in installing plexiglass counter barriers to protect occupants at checkout. Furthermore, we require masks for all individuals to enter inside our location.

We offer curbside services Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 1 pm to accommodate those who would prefer to shop over the phone.

We also open at 6:30 am Tuesdays and Wednesdays to allow high risk individuals a tailored environment to shop in.

We will continue being here for those in need as we are dedicated to serving our customers.

We want to thank you all for your support.

God Bless you all.


“Several” employees of Verchio’s Produce and Deli have contracted the coronavirus, according to an April 28, 2020 post the store shared on Facebook.

“As you know from the beginning of this historic pandemic, we have taken and continue to take as many precautions and enacted as many policies as humanly possible to maintain the safety of our workers and customers. In spite of those measures we have, at this time, had several of our employees contract the virus. So we have had to shorten our staff while those sick recover. We are getting as many employees tested as possible with or without symptoms,” the post stated.

In order to combat the virus, the store has implemented many precautions and safety measures. “All areas both for customers and workers have been sanitized, beyond our usually daily sanitizing, several times. And will continue to be a priority. As always the doors are kept open to keep the air as fresh and circulated as possible. We were the first to install barriers between customers and workers for this very purpose.”

Business hours have been shortened from 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Face masks are required to shop in the store. To reduce crowding and increase safety, shopping parties have been reduced to one person. Floor arrows help to keep the flow of traffic in one direction.

Special shopping hours for senior citizens and high risk customers have been set aside on Wednesdays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

Verchio’s remains open and strives to stay open to help families through this difficult time, the post stated. “Please look out for each other and God bless you.”


Verchio’s – Washington Township has issued a clarification:

“As of today, our location in Washington Township has not had an employee test positive for the Covid-19 virus. We will continue to monitor day to day operations with the number one priority being the health and safety of customers and employees. In these trying times we implore all our customers please wear appropriate face protection and be mindful of fellow patrons when shopping our store.”

Post updated on April 29, 2020 at 12:20 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 4:10 p.m.

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DEP Launches Online Stay-at-Home Activities, Learning Tools & Virtual Park Visits

To celebrate Earth Day and its 50th birthday, the Department of Environmental Protection is introducing new online resources, including stay-at-home activities, virtual tours of state parks and distance-learning opportunities. The online resources were developed and curated to enable New Jerseyans to celebrate Earth Day while still staying at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The DEP was established on April 22, 1970 — America’s first official Earth Day, through a state law consolidating New Jersey’s environmental, resource protection and conservation agencies under the umbrella of one state agency.

“Earth Day 2020 is a milestone for New Jersey and the entire nation,” said Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “Fifty years ago, New Jersey committed itself to a new legacy of environmental protection, cleaning our air, water and land; today, we celebrate that vision and re-commit ourselves to the new challenges of protecting against climate change. This new website provides fun activities for learning, guides to environmentally themed crafts, and virtual visits to some of New Jersey’s most popular parks – all designed with an eye toward reminding us of just how important it is to take care of our fragile planet and each other. Today is also a day to publicly recognize the dedication of the DEP’s many employees – current and past – and the collaboration of the state’s environmental advocates.”

The DEP50 website provides a special section providing online resources to help residents celebrate Earth Day in the safety of their homes.

It provides step-by-step instructions on creative crafts that help remind us of the importance of conserving resources, reusing materials and recycling. Crafts include a bird feeder made from an orange peel and peanut butter, bracelets fashioned from soda can pull-tabs, and a decorative flower made from a plastic bottle. These activities use items found readily around the home.

Families can also download and print coloring and activity books and enjoy photos and fun facts about New Jersey’s wildlife. Links are also provided to distance-learning opportunities such as webinars and online classes from Rutgers University, New Jersey Audubon, the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education and others.

“Although interactions with the natural world are limited for most environmental educators at this time, we are still able to honor the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by offering ANJEE’s Remote EE Hub to all New Jerseyans,” said Michael Chodroff, President of the Alliance for New Jersey Environmental Education.

Visitors can also check in on active peregrine falcon and bald eagle nests through the live webcams maintained by the Wildlife Conservation Foundation of New Jersey, as well as the group’s many other interesting wildlife video and educational offerings.

New Jersey’s Division of Parks and Forestry is also bringing New Jersey’s parks to visitors virtually. 

Its popular #IHeartNJParks campaign now connects with the public through virtual access through its Facebook and Instagram pages:

On Facebook:

New Jersey State Parks, Forests & Historic Sites

On Instagram:

New Jersey State Parks

The campaign posts new content each day, including a special collection of park tours and projects, interviews with experts and never published historical photos.

In addition, through a series of stunning, even inspiring, videos, families can make virtual visits to popular parks and historic sites from High Point to Cape May Point.

Visitors can:

  • Soar above the unique maritime forest that surrounds Barnegat Light, or Old Barney as the venerable lighthouse in Ocean County is affectionately known; enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Batsto Village, the historic heart of the Pine Barrens in Wharton State Forest.
  • Explore the eerie, concrete gun emplacements of historic Fort Mott along the Delaware River in Salem County; enjoy stunning views of the pristine beaches and dunes of Island Beach State Park in Ocean County.
  • Tour the wetlands and beaches of the ecological gem that is Cape May Point State Park; and soak in inspirational mountain views of High Point State Park in the extreme northwestern corner of the state in Sussex County.

For New Jersey DEP’s Earth Day resources, visit:

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Somerdale Man Charged With Aggravated Assault on a Mt. Ephraim Police Officer, Resisting Arrest & Shoplifting

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, announced the following recent enforcement actions related to COVID-19, including those involving individuals in violation of Governor Murphy’s Executive Orders:

John Abdullah, 57, of Somerdale was arrested on April 18 by the Mt. Ephraim Police and charged with third-degree aggravated assault on an officer, fourth-degree resisting arrest, shoplifting (disorderly persons offense) and violating the emergency orders.

Abdullah allegedly shoplifted candy from a store on the Black Horse Pike, and when he was approached by a police officer, he led the officer on a foot chase, causing the officer to be injured.

Assaults and Threats Against Police Officers, EMTs, or Others

Robert Schaub, 35, of Lindenwold, was arrested yesterday, April 18, by the Somerdale Police and charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency. Schaub had been prohibited from entering the Wawa store in Somerdale after a recent incident in which he was charged with trespassing there.

On April 13, he entered the store again, and a clerk who recognized him told him to leave. Schaub allegedly threatened to spit on the clerk, telling her he had the coronavirus and hoped she would get it and die. Police identified Schaub and arrested him last night. He allegedly was uncooperative and refused to be fingerprinted at the jail.

Other Violations of Executive Orders, Including “Stay at Home” Order

  • Newark Enforcement. The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 30 summonses for violations of the emergency orders and ordered one non-essential business closed in enforcement actions yesterday, April 18.
  • Cristobal Sanchez, 62, of Plainfield, the owner of the Tequila Club restaurant and bar on East 5th Street was charged last night, April 18, by the Plainfield Police with serving alcohol to patrons inside the bar in violation of the emergency orders. Police received a report that the bar was open and found three patrons seated at the bar consuming alcohol. A few additional patrons were seated at tables. Sanchez was present and indicated that because the patrons were waiting for take-out orders, he thought he was allowed to serve them alcohol inside the premises.
  • Trennajia Robinson, 26, Nyajah Levister, 22, Angela Dominguez, 22, and Nicole Thomas, 25, all of Passaic, were charged yesterday, April 18, by the Passaic Police with violating the emergency orders. Police responded shortly after 1 a.m. to a report of a group of individuals involved in an altercation in the first block of 4th Street. Police observed the defendants in a verbal dispute and asked them to disperse. They allegedly refused to disperse and caused a disturbance. They were not near their homes and had no essential reason to be at the location.
  • Wilson Caraballo, 41, of Paterson, was charged yesterday, April 18, by the Paterson Police with violating the emergency orders for loitering outside a store in the 300 block of Main Street with no essential reason for being there. He was warned several times before about this conduct.

The defendants who were charged strictly with violating the emergency orders and who do not face more serious charges were charged by summons— they were not arrested. Those cases will be adjudicated in municipal court.

“Our police officers are working bravely and tirelessly every day to protect us during this health crisis. Regrettably, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the emergency orders— or what is more egregious, people using the virus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Staying home and maintaining social distance isn’t just the best advice to stay healthy, it’s the law. Make no mistake, we will do everything in our power to keep our residents and officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file charges against violators.”

“Law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of this battle to protect the citizens of New Jersey from the COVID-19 virus, and we cannot stress enough how important it is that each person follow the guidelines set forth in the Executive Order,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Because lives are at stake, enforcement action will be taken without hesitation against those who are blatantly placing the lives of others at risk.”

Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, violators can potentially face criminal charges including second, third, and fourth degree indictable offenses.

On April 1, Attorney General Grewal announced enhanced charges against six people who were charged with assaulting law enforcement officers and violating the emergency orders. Specifically, those enhanced charges included making terroristic threats during a state of emergency, which is a second degree offense carrying a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Fifteen additional defendants, including Robert Schaub, have been similarly charged since that time for alleged assaults and threats against police officers, emergency medical technicians, or others.

Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here

The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior.

No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas. COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes.

Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.