Authors Posts by mvitale



New COVID-19 Deaths in Cape May County

The County Health Department reported a 93-year-old woman, 90-year-old woman, both from Lower Township and a 52-year-old male from Woodbine died from COVID-19. The total positive cases of the coronavirus in Cape May County is now 554 including 45 deaths. “We are mourning more good citizens of Cape May County today,” said Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends.”...

Gym Owners Ready and Waiting to Reopen

Chris Lambert, who owns four Atilis gyms, says he will be ready to reopen as soon as Gov. Phil Murphy gives the order – but not a moment sooner. His comments came two days after the franchise owners of the Atilis in Bellmawr chose to ignore Murphy’s order that deems gyms as non-essential businesses that are to remain closed for now amid the COVID-19 safety regulations and restrictions in place since March. Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti are the owners of the Atilis location that violated the executive order of the governor. And while Lambert does not own the location, he is the franchisor “I financially back the gym, but I do not agree with them," Lambert said of Smith and Trumbetti. "As a franchise owner, I will respect that they will do what they think is best. But in my opinion, it is not doing any good for all of the other New Jersey gym owners. It is causing conflict and setting the process back.”

Freeholders Hire Former Judge as Director of Operations

Former Cape May County Superior Court Judge Mike Donohue will be the director of operations for Cape May County government following the retirement last week of longtime County Administrator Beth Bozzelli. The freeholders approved a resolution Tuesday to hire Donohue, senior counsel at the Avalon-based law firm of Blaney & Karavan, in a professional services agreement. Donohue will handle complex issues in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak dealing with the health of county residents as well as the fallout to the tourism industry, Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton explained in an interview Wednesday.

OCHS Kicks Off Virtual Graduation Plans

Ocean City High School’s seniors picked up their caps and gowns, Class of 2020 lawn signs and senior T-shirts Monday at the high school, among other mementos, in anticipation of the virtual graduation next month. Monday was the official kickoff to the Class of 2020 celebrations.

Ocean City Post 524 Gives Back to Veterans and Businesses

Going into its sixth year, American Legion Post 524’s Veterans Rest & Relaxation Program in Ocean City has provided expense-paid vacations for returning military men and women courtesy of generous donations from homeowners and local businesses. With many of those businesses shut down now during the coronavirus pandemic and suffering financially, Post 524 will not seek donations from them this year for the R&R Program. Instead, the post will return the favor by buying gift cards from those businesses to give to the R&R recipients.

Beaches Open, Boardwalk Bustles

Ocean City beaches were packed Saturday afternoon, on the first day people were allowed to sunbathe. This past week vacationers and residents were able to use the beaches and the Boardwalk for recreational purposes. On Saturday, it was game on – a bit of normalcy during the pandemic for those who enjoy lounging on the sand or frolicking in the surf. “It feels like a normal day,” said Nikki Leathers, of Terre Hill, Pa., who joined her family for a day of fun at “America’s Greatest Family Resort.”

Cape May County Ambassadors Help People Navigate Social Distancing

As the beaches, Boardwalks and businesses begin to open up, officials are taking a proactive approach to lessen the spread of COVID-19 with one measure that seems easy enough – using volunteers to remind beachgoers, shoppers, and strollers not to get too close. During the first day of the program, volunteers and Cape May County health officials were in Cape May on Friday to promote the new social distancing campaign called “Six Feet Saves.”

Levchuk Wins Third Ward Race

Political newcomer Jody Levchuk defeated incumbent Third Ward Councilman Tony Wilson in the vote-by-mail Ocean City municipal election. According to the official results released Friday afternoon by the Cape May County Clerk’s Office, Levchuk garnered 573 votes to Wilson’s 559. “I am as happy as can be,” Levchuk, 43, a married father of two, said in an interview Friday. “I love Ocean City and I am ready to get to work.”

No Winner Declared Yet in Third Ward Race

Mail-in ballots have been cast in the Ocean City 2020 municipal election. Tallying began Tuesday night, with priority given to the only contested City Council race out of four in the resort -- the Third Ward. And a day after the early numbers came in giving political newcomer Jody Levchuk, 43, a slight edge with 557 votes over incumbent Councilman Tony Wilson, 51, who garnered 547 votes, no winner has been declared yet. On Wednesday afternoon, Cape May County Clerk Rita Marie Fulginiti said that an additional 23 ballots came in and were going to be counted on Friday by the Board of Elections. The winner is expected to be announced on Friday.

Third Ward Council Election Too Close to Call

Incumbent Third Ward Councilman Tony Wilson, challenged by Boardwalk businessman Jody Levchuk in an unprecedented vote-by-mail municipal election, is trailing by 10 votes as of Tuesday night. Cape May County Clerk Rita Marie Fulginiti said of 1,108 votes tallied Tuesday, newcomer Levchuk had received 557 votes so far to Wilson’s 547. Mail-in ballots had to be postmarked by Tuesday. However, votes may continue to come in and be counted over the next two days, Fulginiti explained.