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SJO’s Most Popular Posts From 2016

With 2016 almost in the rear-view mirror, South Jersey Observer (SJO) is sharing some of its most popular posts from the past year.

Royal Farms

When SJO was the first to break the news in July that Royal Farms was eyeing the old Walgreens site, it earned the distinction of being SJO’s #1 post and was shared over 800 times on Facebook. SJO’s follow-up article about the Bellmawr Zoning Board approving the final site plan for Royal Farms was another popular post among readers.

New life will be breathed into the site of the old Walgreens on Browning and the Black Horse Pike. Royal Farms picked that location as part of its South Jersey expansion. (Photo by SJO)

Runnemede PD Officers Honored

Readers also showed their support for the Runnemede Police Department when three of its own, Sgt. William Sampolski, Ptlm. Robert Alexander, and Ptlm. William Ortiz, were honored at the December 6 Council meeting for outstanding police work in apprehending a human trafficking suspect. This article has over 1,000 Facebook shares.

Photo by SJO. Chief Paul Daily shakes Sgt. William Sampolski’s hand as Ptlm. William Ortiz & Ptlm. Robert Alexander look on. Also pictured are Runnemede Councilwoman Eleanor Kelly and Mayor Nick Kappatos.

Bellmawr Waterfront

A top search term on SJO is “Bellmawr Waterfront” and when this article was posted in February and this article was posted in April, readers paid attention. Bellmawr Borough Administrator, Josh Tregear, said at the December 12, 2016 caucus meeting that regular meetings for project management coordination regarding Bellmawr Waterfront Development will be scheduled every other Friday beginning in the New Year.

Johnnie’s Liquors’ License & Bellmawr PD Officers Promoted

This post from Bellmawr Council’s June 25, 2016 meeting received a lot of traffic because the liquor license for Johnnie’s Liquors was approved that night. This article quickly ranked among SJO’s all-time top 10 posts and has held steady at the #10 spot since it went live.

Councilman Paul Sandrock said at the time: “It’s bad timing that a liquor license is to be approved when the business is under scrutiny.” Councilman Jim D’Angelo expressed concern that a non-renewal would set the town up for potential lawsuits that would cost the town money.

The post also features many officers from the Bellmawr Police Department who were promoted and honored with Proclamations during that meeting.

From left: Corp. Ronald Miller, Sgt. John Marrone, Capt. Scott Parker, Corp. Arty Tessier, Chief William Walsh, Ptlm. Dean Cooney, and Lt. Michael Draham (Photo by SJO)

Gloucester City’s Middle School Opening Delayed

SJO was the first to report that the opening of Gloucester City’s long awaited middle school would be delayed until September, 2017.

SJO wrote that School Superintendent, Joe Rafferty, cited several contributing factors in making that determination, including construction and financial issues. Due to a manufacturing problem, every window in the new middle school needed to be replaced.

Gloucester City Middle School
Gloucester City’s new Middle School will now open in September, 2017. (Photo by SJO)

Philly Pretzel Factory Moving

SJO readers were happy to learn that Mt. Ephraim’s Philly Pretzel Factory is getting a new home, just a quarter mile down the Black Horse Pike. The popular pretzel place outgrew its current digs and is moving to a new larger location and will feature Bassett’s ice cream.

Philly Soft Pretzel Factory
Philly Soft Pretzel Factory is moving to a new location. (Photo by SJO)