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Ocean City’s Oldest Surviving Church Stages Comeback

first_imgBy DONALD WITTKOWSKIShari Thompson says she plans to do a lot of praying for God’s intervention to help Tabernacle Baptist Church overcome its financial and legal challenges.Thompson and other leaders of Ocean City’s oldest surviving church are recovering from a court battle with Tabernacle Baptist’s former pastor over the ownership of the historic building at the corner of Eighth Street and West Avenue.“It had been a very ugly and contentious back-and-forth,” Thompson, chairwoman of the church’s board of trustees, said in an interview Friday.The board was able to regain control of the property after it filed a lawsuit against Pastor Charles Frazier, who has since died, challenging a deal that he had worked out with the church’s former leaders to sell him the building for $1 in March 2019, Thompson said.Despite emerging victorious against Frazier, the church apparently lost its tax-exempt status amid the fight over its ownership. Thompson said the church is facing a total of about $24,000 in city property taxes for 2019 and 2020.Claiming that it never lost its tax-exempt status, Tabernacle Baptist is disputing that it owes the city the back taxes, Thompson said. The issue is before the courts.Shari Thompson, chairwoman of the Tabernacle Baptist Church board of trustees, speaks to City Council.Thompson appeared before City Council at its meeting Thursday night to ask for the governing body’s help. In public remarks, she recounted the church’s litigation against Frazier and the struggle for ownership.The Council members and Mayor Jay Gillian expressed their support for the church. Gillian noted that the city government has been working with the church for a long time to try to resolve the dispute over the property taxes.“If I had a magic wand, I would make it go away,” the mayor said.City Solicitor Dorothy McCrosson told Council that the city was obligated by law to impose property taxes on the church after it had passed into private hands during Frazier’s temporary ownership.“We can’t alter how we collect taxes by statute,” McCrosson said.However, McCrosson said there is a possibility the courts could rule that the church does not owe the taxes if it finds that the transfer of ownership to Frazier had been improper in some way.“We may be able to treat it as though that transaction never occurred,” she said.The Tabernacle Baptist sign notes the church’s long history in Ocean City.In the meantime, the church is facing a tax sale on Oct. 1, a potentially complicated development that the board of trustees must handle. Thompson said the board is discussing what action it may take before the tax sale is held.“We’re not clear how we want to proceed with that,” she said during the interview. “I’m just trying to be very prayerful of that.”During the Council meeting, McCrosson stressed that the city has no intention of foreclosing on the church for unpaid taxes. She also explained that the foreclosure process takes about two years, so the church is in no imminent danger.“They owe taxes. (But) the city is in no event going to close their doors,” McCrosson said.Councilman Keith Hartzell suggested that the community could possibly organize “one whale of a fundraiser” to help the church pay its taxes.“I’m certain we can raise that amount,” Hartzell said.Tabernacle Baptist, one of South Jersey’s oldest African-American churches, dates back to 1890 in Ocean City. The church cornerstone displays the year 1908, which actually marks the date the building was physically moved from Central Avenue to West Avenue and placed on its “new” foundation, now 112 years old. Its towering steeple, topped by a cross, overlooks Ocean City’s downtown district.The church’s towering steeple overlooks Ocean City’s downtown district.Once in deteriorated condition, the church underwent a $400,000 restoration from 1999 to 2003, Thompson said. The building sports a new coat of white paint, a complete interior renovation, a new HVAC system including central air, and other upgrades.The improvements were financed by fundraising efforts organized by a local builder and church member, the late Dan Murray, Thompson said.The church’s new leadership, headed by Thompson, wants to showcase Tabernacle Baptist and its improvements by inviting in the community. This Sunday, the church will hold the last of its outdoor summer services under a tent next to the building. The service is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and will include social distancing protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.Born and raised in Ocean City, the 48-year-old Thompson was president of Ocean City High School’s Class of 1989. In college, she earned her bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University and her master’s at Temple University. A scriptwriter for both film and television, she now serves as a professor in the radio, TV and film program in Rowan University.Pointing to her deep roots in Ocean City, she said she and the other members of the board of trustees are committed to preserving the church as a religious centerpiece in the community.The church is holding the last of its outdoor summer services under a tent this Sunday at 4 p.m. This photo was shot before the July 19 service. Improvements are planned to the exterior and interior of the church now that the litigation and tax troubles are nearing an end.last_img read more

Double D Food Engineering

first_imgDouble D Food Engineering (Broxburn, West Lothian) has developed a high temperature travelling oven for pizza and flat bread production, which can bake a 10-inch pizza in 1-2 minutes at 750?F.Pizza, quiche, pastries, pies, savouries, morning rolls and confectionery can all be baked consistently at high volumes on the firm’s Revoband Travelling Oven, it claims.Double D’s airflow technology means that customers can fulfil many different demands, it says. “The Revoband Travelling Oven can be fully programmed and accurately timed to bake each product exactly how you want it,” says sales and marketing director Ian Wallace.last_img read more

Co-op food sales fall 2.2% in H1 2012

first_imgThe Co-operative Group blamed tough supermarket competition and unseasonable bad weather for a drop in its half-year financial results.The firm, which published its interim results for the 26 weeks ending 30 June 2012, revealed a drop in underlying operating profit to £174m overall, compared with a profit of £264m in the same period last year. Food sales fell 2.2% overall, as well as a 1.2% decline in like-for-like sales (LFLS). The Co-operative convenience store chain saw LFLS increase by 1.4% during the half-year period, with the company highlighting “encouraging sales” in new trial stores, with LFLS up more than 12%.The company said operating profit fell to £119m this year from £142m in 2011, adding that it would continue to invest in lower prices for customers, the store estate, supply chain and distribution network and extended opening hours. Peter Marks, group chief executive of The Co-operative Group, said: “A year ago I warned that we were operating in the worst conditions that I have seen in more than 40 years in business. The results we are announcing today show the full impact of that with the profitability of our two biggest businesses affected.“None of this was unexpected and we had planned for this outcome, so were well prepared. And the current environment only highlights again the strength of our ownership model that lets us plan for the longer term by continuing to invest to ensure our businesses maintain momentum and our customers are always offered value with values. We are supported in this by our healthy financial position, with a robust balance sheet and strong cash position.”Looking ahead, the Group has agreed to a £950m refinancing deal, as part of a wider investment plan of £2bn over the next three years across the company’s various divisions.Under its food division, The Co-op Group said it was on track to deliver 80 new stores this year and increase its trading hours by 15,000 hours each week. Marks added: “Looking ahead, we remain confident and we expect an improvement in sales and profit in the second half. The environment is tough and we see no let-up in that. But we believe that the work we have done over the past five years to scale up in our core businesses means we are better placed than ever before to thrive when the economic upturn does come.”last_img read more

Dedge prosecutor details decision-making process

first_img‘I am truly sorry that he got convicted wrongly and he spent 22 years in prison’ Jan Pudlow Senior Editor The prosecutor who sent Wilton Dedge to prison for two life terms for a rape he didn’t commit said he is sorry for the injustice done to an innocent man, but he doesn’t know how to avoid making the same mistakes again. “You know, there’s only one way to feel about it, and that is to feel like it is a terrible thing for someone to have been convicted for something that they didn’t do,” said Assistant State Attorney Chris White, of the 18th Judicial Circuit, in Sanford. “That’s the only logical way to feel about it and the only emotional response that you could expect.” Once DNA evidence finally cleared Dedge in 2004, after he spent 22 years in prison, White said, “You go through a stage of disbelief. Because we honestly believed that he had committed the offense.. . . I still wanted to believe the victim, but yet I had DNA staring me in the face that’s saying it’s not him. I am forced to the conclusion that it was not Wilton Dedge, despite how strongly she believed it was.” Dedge, 44, was arrested when he was 20 and wrongly convicted twice for a brutal rape, spending half of his life locked in prison. Dedge is the first person in Florida exonerated by DNA evidence to receive compensation from the state. During December’s special legislative session, legislators apologized to Dedge and gave him $2 million in compensation. But, Dedge noted, he had never received a face-to-face apology from his prosecutors. Asked whether he would apologize to Dedge, White responded: “I wouldn’t have any problem with telling him that I am truly sorry that he got convicted wrongly and he spent 22 years in prison.” White added that he believed the $2 million in compensation was fair. But he was less certain about what can be learned from mistakes made in the Dedge case built on the testimony of a jailhouse snitch, Clarence Zacke; a discredited dog handler with a dog who could supposedly track cold scents months and years later; and a 17-year-old victim who described her rapist as 6 feet tall and 180-200 pounds, though Dedge is a 5-foot-5-inch, slender man. Jurors also disregarded alibi testimony from six co-workers at an auto body shop who said Dedge was at work at the time of the crime. “It’s not a nice thing to happen to Wilton Dedge or for me or for the system,” White said. “I wish we could have a system that could be beyond human error. I think we all wish that. But the problem is the system is populated by humans, and so human error is in fact possible.” In Dedge’s case, human error was rampant, as detailed by Dedge’s pro bono attorney on the compensation issue, Sandy D’Alemberte, who said he hopes Florida can create a better process for evaluating such missteps in criminal prosecutions in order to improve the system. “I don’t know how to explain why it happened, exactly. But it did,” White said. “Frankly, I took the case over from the first prosecutor and it was already formed.. . . All the evidence was there.” The Fifth District Court of Appeal reversed Dedge’s first conviction on December 22, 1983, finding that the trial judge should not have allowed dog scent testimony that lacked reliability. The court noted that evidence of Dedge’s guilt was “minimal.” For the second trial, the dog scent evidence was out. But White used the testimony of Zacke, who was the only inmate on a prison transport van with Dedge and claimed Dedge had confessed. Once a millionaire, Zacke had been convicted of murder, five counts of conspiracy to commit murder, and received 180 years in prison. In agreeing to testify as an informant in several cases, 130 years were wiped off his sentence. White stressed Zacke wasn’t promised anything specifically in Dedge’s case. “You’ve got to remember that Clarence Zacke, for everything you say about him, he wasn’t offered and wasn’t given anything for his testimony,” White said. “How do you turn down that testimony, you know, when a guy says, ‘Look, I’ll come testify for you?’ We don’t have to give him anything for it. How do you say, ‘No, I won’t put that on?’” The most compelling evidence, White said, was the victim’s identification. “There is a lot of talk about her misidentifying the defendant,” White said. “But, frankly, that comes out of a statement she made in the emergency room to a nurse. What she described in her first statement to the police is noticeably different in terms of the height and weight and all that. I don’t place as much credence in that variance, myself.. . . And she had done a drawing. It was the best one I had ever seen. It looked just like him, I swear.” During Dedge’s second trial in 1984, the state relied on testimony of a hair micro-analyst who said foreign hair recovered from the victim’s bed established that Dedge could not be eliminated as the source, but the prosecutor argued the hair was a match. D’Alemberte has claimed that evidence is based on “junk science.” In 1988, while in prison serving two life terms, Dedge began his quest for DNA testing to prove his innocence, eventually getting help from the Innocence Project. It would take another dozen years until June 2000 for a court order for the state to release evidence for DNA testing. The results showed the hairs could not be Dedge’s. But that was still not enough to exonerate Dedge. “At first, it was, ‘We had DNA done on the hairs found in the bed. They don’t match Wilton Dedge. They don’t match the victim either.’ But was it necessarily the perpetrator? Or was it some other person’s who had been in her bedroom? Had they been transferred?” White explained. “They wanted us to throw in the towel because there were hairs that didn’t match the victim or the defendant. And we refused to do that.” It was not until a July 2004 hearing that it was revealed that traces of DNA extract from anal slides, taken during the inconclusive earlier DNA testing, remained at the lab and could possibly be used in the newly developed Y-Chromosome DNA testing. Two days later, the judge ordered expedited testing, which conclusively excluded Dedge as the rapist. The next day, Dedge walked out of the Brevard County Jail a free man. After all these years, White said, he also knows of no way to find the real rapist. “There was never any other suspect we could think of at the time, way back then. To my knowledge, there is just no one,” White said. “If you had some thoughts that maybe these guys could have done it, then you could maybe do a DNA comparison. But I don’t believe we have any such pool of possible suspects.” What can be learned from the Dedge case so mistakes don’t happen again? “I can’t think of any concrete thing we can do to avoid this from possibly happening. The defendant is entitled to counsel. The state has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. He’s entitled to a jury trial. All that is there. I don’t know what else we can do. Are you going to raise the standard of proof beyond all possible doubt? Unless you change the standard, how are you going to affect a change? I don’t know how to do it. I really don’t.” Dedge prosecutor details decision-making process Dedge prosecutor details decision-making processcenter_img February 1, 2006 Regular Newslast_img read more

Design your lifestyle to become a better leader

first_imgBecome a better leader by developing a positive mindset and deepening your relationships with staff, bestselling author Tim Sanders advised CUNA Lending Council Conference attendees in his keynote address Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.“I’m going to take you on a journey about emotional talent—this idea that we harness our emotional intelligence and design our lifestyle to become a leader,” said Sanders, the former Chief Solutions Officer and Leadership Coach at Yahoo!, and cofounder of research firm Deeper Media, Inc.Feed your mind good stuffLeaders must define reality and provide hope, Sanders said.When you feed your mind negative and random information, you let the world define your emotional stability. Positive thinking is the outcome of the lifestyle decisions you make, according to Sanders, who suggested leaders follow these steps to transform their minds: continue reading » 39SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Is your financial marketing worthy of C-Suite status?

first_imgAccording to McKinsey, 83% of CEOs globally believe marketing can be a major driver of growth. This is obviously a new phenomenon, given that marketing traditionally was viewed as a “cost center” that would spend resources on advertising, branding and other mass media options. Unfortunately, despite the raised status of marketing, 23% of CEOs do not feel that marketing is actually delivering the growth needed by the organization.Financial marketers need skills and a mindset that is vastly different from marketers of the past. Winning or losing is happening almost instantaneously, and will be determined by how well marketers embrace change, are willing to take risks, and will disrupt themselves.In a world where information, devices and technology are all interconnected, where data is collected wherever the consumer is, and where marketing performance is reaching perfection, marketers have an opportunity to be at the epicenter of the customer experience. Despite all of the technology and digitization, human traits like creativity, imagination, intuition and ethics will be more important than ever. But the application of these traits will need to be done with a future sense three-five years out. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Book sale helps Broome County Public Library meet needs

first_img“Without the friends organizing the book sale for us we wouldn’t be able to do all of the programming that we do and they also purchase furniture and do some other programs that are needed,” Kowalski said. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The Friends of the Broome County Public Library held a book sale Saturday with used books, CDs, records and more. All items were donated and proceeds from the sale go directly to library funding. Director Sherri Kowalksi tells 12 News that without sales like this one, the library would be unable to purchase many of the items needed to operate. If you missed today’s sale Kowalski tells 12 News they are held about once every six weeks and the next one will be on March 14.last_img read more

U.S. economy needs ‘really big’ Covid relief package, says Paul Krugman

first_imgKrugman, an economics professor at City University of New York’s Graduate Center, said it’s difficult to put a total price tag on an ideal relief package for the U.S. But he stressed that a “really, really big” one is needed given that the U.S. hasn’t managed to contain the virus.The economist, whose research interest includes macroeconomics and international economics, won the Nobel prize in 2008 for his analysis on trade patterns and location of economic activity. – Advertisement – “We’re still 11 million jobs down from where we were before this thing hit and all of those people are without wages, state local governments are in extreme financial distress, thousands of businesses — maybe hundreds of thousands — are on the verge of collapse,” he said.“So we need a lot to keep this thing afloat.”  The U.S. enacted a $2 trillion package known as the CARES Act in March, but those benefits have either expired or will soon end. Negotiations for another pandemic relief has been at an impasse for months after Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on what should be in the package.Democrats proposed another $2.2 trillion relief package that includes funding for state and local governments, as well as extending enhanced unemployment benefits of an additional $600 weekly subsidy. Republicans, meanwhile, wanted a smaller deal that would focus more on payment to individuals and business loans. Paul KrugmanNobel prize-winning economist A lot of people are going to be out of work, a lot of businesses are going to be stressed. We need to just make life tolerable for them.- Advertisement – The U.S. may need several hundred billion dollars a month in “disaster relief” to keep the economy afloat as a raging coronavirus outbreak continues to suppress prospects for workers and businesses, Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said on Thursday.“We really are still very much in the disaster relief stage,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia.”“A lot of people are going to be out of work, a lot of businesses are going to be stressed. We need to just make life tolerable for them,” he added.- Advertisement – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has won his reelection bid for a seventh term, said on Wednesday that the additional relief package will be his priority when the chamber reconvenes next week.Still, Krugman said there’s no indication that McConnell would agree to a large relief bill or extend enhanced unemployment benefits which have been the “most important policy” to cushion the pandemic’s economic impact.Republicans, he noted, viewed those benefits as “rewarding people for not working” and therefore, may not be inclined to renew that payout.“That was far more effective than anything else in the package, but we’ve seen very, very little … on the part of Senate Republicans to resume enhanced employment benefits,” he said. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman.Panayiotis Tzamaros | ullstein bild via Getty Images – Advertisement –last_img read more

Gold Coast mega mansion sells for $7.5 million

first_img311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters. 311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters.Among the six-bedroom, five bathroom mega mansion’s standout features are a fully equipped gym, expansive formal and informal living areas, an outdoor kitchen, double pontoon and state-of-the-art technology throughout.Ray White Prestige agent Matt Gates, who marketed the property with Sherry Smith, said it attracted a lot of interest with numerous parties negotiating in the lead up to the sale.“(While) we had substantial interstate inquiry on the property, our local buyers trulyMore from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa13 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoappreciated the significance of Monaco St,” he said.MORE NEWS: Costly fallout of V8 star’s split form wife Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 4:18Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -4:18 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels576p576p400p400p320p320p228p228pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenNovember 6: Prestige listings04:19 311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters.A LUXURY waterfront mansion on one of the Gold Coast’s most prestigious streets has sold for a whopping $7.5 million.The landmark sale of 311 Monaco St sets the bar for the new year, marking the highest sale on the Gold Coast so far.Sellers Tony and Alicia Stephens, who built the house in 2014, said it was a bitter sweet time for the family as they prepared to move.“It is the most breathtaking home we have ever lived in but we have decided to move onfor a change of scenery and to experience beachside living,” Mr Stephens said.“Our young children have grown up in this river fronting home and we’ve truly made themost of what the location and the home has to offer.” 311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters.There were more than 300 inspections of the property in the five months it was on the market.Ray White Surfers Paradise Group chief executive Andrew Bell said the number of inspections was a strong indication of the level of interest for spectacular homes on the Gold Coast.Mr Bell believed the Gold Coast would be one of the nation’s best performing property markets this year following strong economic growth and billions-of-dollars worth of development over the years.“The reality is now clear that the Gold Coast is done with the major booms and busts we’ve seen over many decades, and that’s because so much has changed from a micro and macro level to prevent that from happening,” Mr Bell said.“The stability we’ve seen in the property market for more than five years now is testament to this change and we believe the year ahead will be no different.”The highest sale last year was set by the property at 9 Hedges Ave, which billionaire businessman and politician Clive Palmer bought for $12 million.center_img 311 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters. MORE NEWS: How to earn $87,460 more instantly “The central location and benefits of the wide Nerang River frontage saw this young familyoutbid all other potential buyers.”The Broadbeach Waters mansion hit the market in August under an expressions of interest campaign before a $9.75 million price tag was put on it almost two months later.Its price was further slashed to $7.995 million in November.last_img read more

July 25, 2017 Police Blotter

first_imgJuly 25, 2017 Police Blotter072517 Batesville Police Blotter072517 Decatur County EMS Report072517 Decatur County Fire Report072517 Decatur County Jail Report072517 Decatur County Law Reportlast_img