21 slated to graduate as special officers

John. A. Janis Jr. of Mount Holly and Richard A. Mellor of North Hanover Township are two of the 21 men from five counties in the 20th Gloucester County Police Academy Special Officer II class scheduled to graduate in a ceremony Wednesday at the Gloucester County College campus in Deptford.

The keynote address will be given by John J. Marolt, Deptford's police chief.

Special Officer II graduates are authorized to exercise full powers and duties similar to those of a permanent, regularly appointed, full-time police officer. They must complete 530 hours of instruction on various topics, including professional development, criminal justice system, police community relations, law, communications, arrest-search-and-seizure, evidence, vehicle operations, emergency medical care, weaponry, and unarmed defense.

River Route project earns partnership award

Burlington County's River Route project was selected as the winner of the 2008 Community Partnership Award at the Walt Whitman Preservation Forum earlier this month at the Waterfront Technology Center in Camden.

Burlington County Freeholder Director Aubrey Fenton accepted the award on behalf of the River Route. The committee is composed of representatives of each of the 12 River Route communities along the old Route 130 corridor. The group has worked with county government over the last 13 years to fashion a collective economic revitalization effort on behalf of the towns along a 17-mile stretch of Route 130.

"Since 2005, at least 203 major businesses have invested more than $2 billion in new projects within the 52 square miles covered by the project," Fenton said. "That investment has, in turn, spawned more than 3,000 new jobs."

Hospice names Meyers its volunteer coordinator

Moorestown Visiting Nurses and Hospice has named Arlene Meyers its volunteer coordinator.

She will direct all volunteer activities for the organization, including recruiting, training and recognition of volunteers.

"My goal is to expand Moorestown Visiting Nurse and Hospice's volunteer program, creating new opportunities for community members to support their neighbors," she said.

The hospice is recruiting volunteers for its Camp Firefly program for bereaved children, which is held in August at Camp Ockanickon in Medford.

Moorestown Visiting Nurses and Hospice provides home- and community-based health-care services to families in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties.

To learn more about volunteering, call Meyers at 856-552-1300, Ext. 2182, or visit the organization's Web site at

» READ MORE: www.moorestownvna.org

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Bridge commission gets development award

The Burlington County Chamber of Commerce recently honored the Burlington County Bridge Commission with its economic development award.

The award recognizes an organization that has demonstrated involvement in promoting business and community growth or revitalization in the county.

Over the last several years, the commission has obtained $658,800 in grant money to assist municipalities with community development and revitalization projects. An additional $550,000 in grant funding is pending.

Among the projects in which the commission is involved: helping the county relocate the Fort Washington Expo Center to the south side of Route 73, as well as planning and infrastructure assistance for a streetscape project that brought new lighting and sidewalks to Main Street in Palmyra.

Appel Farm strikes a chord with tourists

The Appel Farm Arts and Music Center in Elmer was honored with an award for tourism excellence at the Governor's Conference on Tourism in Atlantic City earlier this month.

The regional arts center received recognition for its Arts and Music Festival, an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors to Appel Farm's venue in Salem County on the first weekend in June.

The festival was cited for its strong social conscience and artistic integrity that highlights both established and emerging artists and musicians.

"We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award," said Mark Packer, executive director of Appel Farm Arts and Music Center. "Close to 50 percent of the people who attend the festival come from out of state, and we are proud to be one of New Jersey's popular destinations for tourism."

This year, the festival is scheduled for June 7.