Even as we write this the meat cutter at Texas Roadhouse is in Florida competing in the company championships and the owner of the Millville franchise drove half of the 14 hours to get down there along with another meat cutter and his boss because our cutter refuses to fly, but, if he’s successful against the other 349 competitors, it’s worth $20,000 — and we think it should be at least $50,000 with 350-1 odds.
By Jack Hummel
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Three more things about the meat-cutting competition …
- If our meat cutter is working his shift, nobody else is allowed to cut the meat.
- He’s been cutting for 13 years.
- While he’s gone all week, who’s cutting the meat, and did the 32-ouncer tonight seem a little light?
Giuseppe Ungaro has come and gone tonight from DiLisi’s, but the conversation was spirited and, next week, we’ll return the favor at maybe Vic’s Subs — advertised as the biggest anywhere — or the White House Sub House, where they bake the rolls right across the street.
“This home is vacant and in need of a new owner. The Jeremiah Buck House is located in Bridgeton. The house was built in 1808 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 30, 1975.
“Own a piece of history. Bridgeton needs people to invest in its future by preserving its past.”
— Jorje Romero
How about designer bag bingo at the fair!
Meanwhile, back at the ranch …
“March 20th they will start putting in our new heating system in.
“In the meantime, it’s cuddle time.”
— Mike Abbott,
$16,000 down and saying goodbye to radiators
“Ran into a couple from Stow Creek and they told me that they shop at C Town because they love to support local businesses and buy fresh ethnic fruits and vegetables.
“They also told me that they eat at our local restaurants for the same reason. I thanked them both for showing Bridgeton some love.
“Shop local people and keep the mom and pop shops in business.”
— Jorje Romero,
Bridgeton Main Street
Devin Riley Band Schedule
More dates TBA …
Mauro’s on the Ave
Hope to see everyone!
In September 2009, Devin Riley followed her dream.
Against everybody’s advice, she moved to Nashville, Tenn.
“I was 21,” said the country singer.
She was with “this guy,” and her mother was flabbergasted.
“My family went down a couple of weeks ahead of time, and we got an apartment and we were ready to move in,” she recalled.
The plan was, the guy was going to work at Lowe’s. If lucky, Devin was going to become Taylor Swift. His plan never got off the ground.
“The first eight weeks, I was so upset and so homesick,” she said. “He wasn’t working.”
Her girlfriend came down to visit, they talked, and she escaped back home. Her mom was elated. Two weeks later, she went back to Nashville, but to a new apartment and living alone.
“It was good because I could walk everywhere I needed to go,” she said.
Devin is legally blind. She can’t drive. She made friends with another guy, who knows a band that was looking for a female singer. It was called the Gary Love Band.
“We had a really good time with them,” she said. “I finally have friends and I’m doing something with music.”
But her male friend lost interest. And the lead guitar, Jimmy Church, began picking her up for practice.
Devin had written “Heaven Tonight” before going to Nashville. She wrote “Going Crazy” down there. They wrote “Bad Boy” and “Shiny Things” together, with Church playing the lead. Then Devin and Jimmy decided to put their own band together.
“We couldn’t find a bass player,” he said. “We had bought all the gear we needed.”
She cut demos. To cut a record it would cost $50,000. They wound up playing acoustics gigs for tips in bars.
“We played this one Irish bar a lot,” she said. “No, I never tried contacting a big star and asking them to listen to my music.
“It was a 45-minute drive into Nashville and you have to have money to do things.”
They had the total support of her family back in Millville. It was then she found out what it would cost to put together a complete package to promote 10 songs: $50,000.
“I wanted something good to happen in my life,” she decided. “I wanted a family.”
Riley Ann Autumn Church was on her way. They moved back to Millville in May 2012 and “RyRy’’ arrived on Oct. 16. Her grandfather bought them a mobile home off Mays Landing Road.
Recently, at the Shellpile Sports Bar and Grill, the five-member Devin Riley Band debuted to the public, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Ronnie Everwine, 54, is rhythm guitar; Jim Kubiak, 57, is the drummer; Phil Bennett, 20, plays bass, and Jimmy, 26, is lead guitar.
Devin plays a “sparkly, pink guitar.”
“Our chemistry is great,” she says of the band. “We’re only going to get better.”
Alby Miller, who used to sing with Devin around Cumberland County before she went to Nashville, will set up the equipment Saturday night.
Devin Riley has sung the National Anthem for every sports team in Philadelphia. She sang at the casinos, including Delaware Park. She has also sung it for Millville Little League.
Whatever she sings from here on will be her own material.
There is a place opening in April in Buena called the Tombstone Saloon.
“It’s going to be the leading country place around here,” she said. “We talked to them and we should play there around mid-May.”
Nashville again is a possibility.
“If it happens, it happens,” she said. “But I won’t go back to Nashville to live.”
Maybe the career has yet to match Taylor Swift’s, but the tears are over.
Last Saturday night, she packed the Shellpile Bar & Grill in Port Norris.
Rite of spring?
“Can someone please tell me what is going on at Veterans Memorial School over the last week?
“Fight after fight, multiple lock downs, innocent kids hurt and sent to the hospital and buses being pulled over for disorderly students. I guess I can go on and on. Someone please tell me what is being done to stop this.”
— concerned parent
School is a microcosm of a community.
“Very simple solution to this problem …
“If I were in charge of that building, the number one priority would be ensuring the safety of the students and staff. That being said, if you put your hands on someone, you would be taken out in handcuffs and a complaint would be filed for assault.
“You would not come back to the building. The main focus of the environment is learning and building relationships to foster a better educational experience.”
— one solution
Taken out in handcuffs at that age might be a badge of honor.
At Campani’s Legacy Lanes …
High Scores for the week!
Dave Zieger – 749
Mike Sammons – 290
Phil Procida Jr/ Dave Hitchner – 627
Phil Procida Jr – 236
Donna Morris – 521/222
Logan Riddle – 624
Eric Johnson – 225
Totiana Miranda – 703/279
Fantastic bowling everyone!
Fish 10 pins from perfection!
Three years ago …
July 14, 2014
A recent five-week span of violence here left cars and buildings riddled with bullets and four people slain.
But it was the most recent death — the June 26 fatal shooting of a man who was talking to friends while sitting on a front porch — that may have finally pushed folks here into action.
Residents have since stormed a City Commission meeting, telling local leaders they not only need more help from police, but that they are so tired of being afraid and are willing to take a stand against the violence.
“It takes us, the community, to have to stop this,” Jenisha Hadden, who lives in the troubled Center City neighborhood, told City Commission. “Yes, we’re scared as hell, but at the same time, we have to do this.”
Residents in the 200 block of East Mulberry Street in Center City have formed a sort of unofficial neighborhood watch. Organizers said they are looking out for each other and calling local authorities about suspicious and criminal activity.
“The burden falls on all us,” said Larry Kelly.
Kelly lives on the block with his sons, ages 10 and 14. He said he will not let the boys play outside unless he is there to watch over them. He said that fear did not exist when he was growing up in the city.
“We’ve got to step up,” he said.
Folks living in the Center City and 3rd Ward neighborhoods, considered by police to be high-crime areas, are also taking interest in a program to develop community gardens.
The plan is for the gardens to create community pride and spirit, said City Commissioner Lynne Porreca Compari. The first garden will be planted next to the public library on Buck Street in the 3rd Ward, she said.
City Commissioner David Ennis said a new organization — Peace in the City — is currently forming. Members plan on going into neighborhoods to help bring residents together, he said.
The new group is part of an effort by Ennis to turn the city around into a “world class” place to live. Ennis, a clergyman, believes it can happen.
“It will take time, but I have hope,” he said.
Other, more forceful action is also underway here to stem the violence.
On July 3, police from here, Vineland and Bridgeton and agents from agencies that included the FBI, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office and Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office swept through the Center City and 3rd Ward neighborhoods. The authorities made 23 arrests in what they said was the first of other crime-deterring sweeps planned for the future.
City Commission will also spend $200,000 in Urban Enterprise Zone money to hire more police officers. Those officers — the number of which is still to be decided — will be retained after the UEZ funding for them expires, city officials said.
Police said help from residents is a crucial part of making the efforts work.
“People got tired of it,” Lt. Jody Farabella said of the recent crime here. “People are getting a belly full. They’ve got kids out there. They’ve got family out there.
“People are coming around a little bit,” he said. “We need more of it.”
Which is what Center City resident Mary Messeck has preached for years.
Messeck operates the struggling Millville Crime Watch organization. She is a regular at City Commission meetings, where she has begged for residents to become more involved in fighting crime. The recent surge in resident anger has Messick hopeful that will happen.
“It’s a distinct possibility,” Messeck said. “Unfortunately, it took four deaths in one month to get people to do something.”
Local residents Delshawn Harris and Pablo Caban, both 20, died after being shot multiple times in the 700 block of Buck Street in the 3rd Ward around 7 p.m. on May 20. Arrested for the slayings are charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of a weapon without a permit to carry, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon are James Henry, 25, of Glassboro, Gloucester County, and 29-year-old Kevin Lamar Hall of this city.
Authorities allege Jose Galarza, 49, fatally stabbed Casey Watson in the abdomen during a fight in a parking lot of the Delsea Gardens apartment complex on South 2nd Street on June 5. Galarza is charged with murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon.
James Collins, 22, of Powell Street, was shot on a front porch of a house in the 1000 block of Church Street in the 3rd Ward early on June 26. Authorities said they believe the incident is gang related, and no arrests have yet been made.
Ennis said he is not sure how the city slipped into its current condition. He has made personally responsibility — everything from keeping sidewalks clean to proposed list of how the city expects its renters to behave — a theme since taking office in January.
Ennis says he senses the recent shootings made residents want to be more involved in helping their neighborhoods.
“I think that most people are just extremely fed up,” Ennis said. “We live in a community that has activities and we cannot enjoy them because of the criminal element.
“When you have nowhere else to go and are unable financially to (move) geographically, you have to make a decision,” he said.
— Thomas Barlas
YOU CAN BOOK IT: And the search for answers goes on.