SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The dangers of microwave ovens and a thief who is a potential Darwin Award winner figured prominently in the conversation at the May 24, 2018 Patriot Chamber meeting.

At the beginning of the morning meeting, which took place at Sofia’s Restaurant on Morris Avenue, Township Chief of Police John Cook reported that one woman who attempted to shoplift some items from Hobby Lobby, also used her own debit card to make a purchase at the same time, thereby revealing her identity.

Chief Cook also noted the report of two robberies from lockers in workout facilities in Springfield, where one victim realized he had been robbed when he received a notification that “he” had spent $600 at Costco.

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Finally, in a segment of the report that drew some additional laughter, the Chief noted that some thieves trespassed on Baltusrol, hot wired some golf carts and drove them around, then proceeded to steal, in the Chief’s words, “several thousand dollars” worth of golf balls.

The fire on Battle Hill Avenue in Springfield was also a the subject of several reports to the Chamber. Chief Carlo Palumbo reported that the alarm on the fire was delayed due to the homeowner trying to put out the fire, first with a fire extinguisher, and then with a garden hose. The fire had spread to three alarms by the time the Fire Department arrived.

In response to a question posed by Mike Scalera, the Chief noted that the fire was still under investigation, but appeared to start behind a microwave oven in the home, so the department was looking into the possibility of a short in that device.

Gary Hecht, in his report for Springfield Hope, described the outpouring of support for the family affected by the fire as “like nothing he has ever seen,” with donations totalling a little under $3,000 for the family, noting that the family was “blown away” by the community’s generosity.

In other Chamber news:

  • Springfield Rotary reported that it is sponsoring a visit to the Hillside Food Bank as one of its service projects, on June 19 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. It was seeking volunteers to join them.
  • Margaret Bandrowski of the Springfield Historical Society announced that the Daughters of the American Revolution will be celebrating the anniversary of the Battle of Springfield on June 14 with a ceremony at the cemetery on Mountain Avenue, Afterwards at the Presbyterian Church there will be a presentation of a film that two members of the Sons of the American Revolution produced, that links together the battles of Elizabethtown, Connecticut Farms, and Springfield. There will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Cannonball House on June 24 as well.
  • Mike Scalera, together with Acting Township Administrator / Police Chief Cook, reported on Business Improvement District progress, noting that the Gomes property is in the process of completing its application to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and that the Township Committee had a approved a bond for the implementation of the continuation of the Business Improvement District’s streetscape project along Mountain Avenue.
  • Scott Seidel together with Bobbie Abraham reported that the plans for the Summer Concert and the Fall Festival are proceeding on schedule, with the Chamber seeking additional sponsors for both events.

Seidel, as part of the closing of the meeting, also noted that the will be no Chamber meeting in July or August, and the June meeting might be moved up to the third Thursday in June to better accommodate summer schedules.

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