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Starving Artist Fair coincides with Food Truck Festival

HAMMONTON - The Noyes Shop in Hammonton will host its second annual juried, outdoor artisan show, The Starving Artist Fair, from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. June 11.

The Starving Artist Fair coincides with the Hammonton Food Truck Festival, which will feature more than 30 food trucks! This fine art and craft show will line South Second Street and feature imaginative artwork from local and regional artists. The Starving Artist Fair will display a variety of handmade goods including: jewelry, ceramics, glass items, paintings, prints, leather work and more!

While shopping, local band Hofenakus, of Mays Landing, will serenade the crowds on South Second Street. This inventive trio blends guitar, upright bass, viola, and vocals in a mix of classic covers and originals. Visitors will be able to try a variety of delicious food and indulge their cravings for regionally made artisan goods.

For information, call (609) 561-8006, visit www.noyesmuseum.org/hammonton.html or www.Facebook.com/NoyesMuseumAtHammonton.

Learn about Alzheimer’s, dementia resources

GALLOWAY - Family members and caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia are invited to a free Alzheimer’s Support Group meeting at 5:15 p.m. June 14 at Seashore Gardens Living Center, 22 W. Jimmie Leeds Road. The group meets on the second Tuesday of every month.

This is an opportunity to learn about resources, find strategies for dealing with a loved one with memory loss, and meet others in similar circumstances.

For information, call (609) 404-4848 or visit seashoregardens.org.

Master Gardeners to talk about seeding, harvesting, preparing

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - The Atlantic County Utilities Authority and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Atlantic County’s Master Gardener Program will present a free series of Garden Talks, which are open to the public, at the authority’s Community Garden at 6700 Delilah Road. The monthly talks are led by Rutgers Master Gardeners, and address different aspects of organic gardening that are pertinent to that particular time during the growing season.

The schedule includes:

•June 15, Direct seeding in the garden and insect control.

•July 20, Watching and watering for disease control.

•Aug. 17, Saving seeds, harvesting and preserving.

•Sept. 21, Cover crops and cleaning up your garden.

•Oct. 19, Preparing for winter and getting a jump on spring.

The talks, which begin at 6 p.m., are informal and offer a great opportunity for people to ask questions and share information. Whether you are new or experienced gardener, there is always more to learn.

For information, call (609) 272-6950 or visit www.acua.com/garden.

Crisis hotline may help prevent veterans’ suicides

MAYS LANDING - In an ongoing effort to decrease the number of veterans’ suicides in South Jersey and nationwide, U.S. Rep Frank LoBiondo applauded the Department of Veterans Affairs for implementing a streamlined veterans’ crisis line at the Wilmington Veterans Administration Medical Center.

“Sometimes the simplest solution can have the most meaningful impact, such as saving the life of a veteran in crisis. I applaud the VA for listening to our concerns and working with us to modify their phone systems at the medical centers to ensure a quicker professional response to those men and women who reach out for help,” said LoBiondo. “With the Wilmington VA Medical Center coming online, South Jersey veterans now have an additional avenue of support if they are concerned about their lives or the lives of their fellow veteran.”

As a pilot program initiated by the Veterans Administration at LoBiondo’s urging, several Veterans Administration Medical Centers including Philadelphia and East Orange went online last summer. LoBiondo has now received word that the Wilmington Veterans Administration Medical Center’s ability for veterans in crisis to promptly reach mental health professionals went online on May 23rd. According to the VA, an estimated 22 veterans commit suicide each day.

LoBiondo became aware of the antiquated process of the suicide hotline operated at Veterans Administration Medical Centers, including those in Philadelphia and Wilmington, by local veteran Joe Griffies – co-host of the weekly veterans “The Welcome Home Show” on WIBG 1020 AM in Ocean City. Previously, when veterans call the main line at a Veterans Administration Medical Center, the automated message instructs veterans in crisis to hang-up and dial a separate 800 number and press option ‘1’ if they want to talk to a mental health professional.

Starting in February 2015, LoBiondo led the New Jersey delegation’s united efforts – dubbed “Press 1, Save 1” – to convince the Veterans Administration to proactively change its current system to better serve veterans in dire need of mental health assistance without the need for legislative action.

In July 2015 the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Philadelphia launched a new system to improve access to the Veteran Crisis Line. The new system streamlines the process whereby a veteran caller in need of crisis intervention presses a single digit (#7) to connect directly to the Veteran Crisis Line. The previous message will be replaced with “If you are having thoughts of suicide, press 7 now to be connected with the Veterans Crisis Line, or you may call (800) 273-8255 and then press 1.”

This recent announcement follows news that additional staffing, including for behavioral health specialists, for the Northfield Veterans Administration community-based outpatient clinic was approved and the ground-breaking for the new community-based outpatient clinic in Vineland.

Federal funds to expand emergency food, shelter programs

GALLOWAY - Atlantic County has been awarded $226,543.00 in federal funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, acting on behalf of a local advisory board, announced recently that Requests for (Funding) Proposals will be accepted until June 24.

Program funds must be used to supplement or expand existing emergency food and shelter programs and services in Atlantic County. Funds may also be used in an existing program to provide rent, mortgage and utility assistance.

The selection was made by National Board that is chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A; The Jewish Federations of North America; The Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The Local Board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

A Local Board, made up of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Jewish Family Services, Atlantic County Government, Catholic Charities, other local health and human services organization and local volunteers will determine how the funds awarded to Atlantic County are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The Local Board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

1) Be private voluntary nonprofits or units of government.

2) Be eligible to receive Federal funds.

3) Have an accounting system.

4) Practice nondiscrimination.

5) Have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/ or shelter programs.

6) If they are private voluntary organization, they must have a voluntary Board of Directors.

Qualifying agencies are urged to apply. For information, visit www.efsp.unitedway.org.

For an application, call Fran Wise at United Way at (609) 568-1186 or visit www.UnitedForImpact.org.

Residents should review their hurricane emergency plans

With the arrival of the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season on June 1 there is no better time for residents to review their emergency preparedness plans for themselves, their families and businesses.

Residents are urged to take this opportunity to check and replenish disaster supply kits, create and/or review family emergency plans including preparations for pets, review evacuation routes and locate contact information for their municipal emergency management offices. All of this information and more is available on the county’s emergency information and resource website at www.ReadyAtlantic.org.

“When an emergency strikes, time is of the essence and preparedness is vital to survival,” stated County Executive Dennis Levinson. “While our first responders do an outstanding job under extraordinary conditions, preparedness begins with each of us, in our own homes and families. Take the time to prepare now by making a plan and creating a disaster supply kit for home and travel. Your life may well depend upon it.”

Residents and individuals with properties, second homes or businesses in Atlantic County are also strongly encouraged to register with the county’s Community Notification System. The system includes numbers from the Verizon phone system’s 9-1-1 database as well as self-registered numbers. The Community Notification System can accommodate a primary and secondary phone number (i.e. home and cell) as well as two email addresses per account.

Residents who are registered through the Atlantic County Community Notification System can also receive direct alerts from the National Weather Service to their cell phones. This important feature helps to keep the public aware of potentially dangerous weather conditions, such as severe heat or storm activity, regardless of time of day or location.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season lasts through November. According to government officials, the 2016 season is predicted to be near normal with the likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms of which four to eight could become hurricanes. Hurricane Alex formed over the far eastern Atlantic in January making it the first of 2016 well before the traditional hurricane season.

Free admission to Noyes Museum for active duty military

GALLOWAY - The Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University has announced the launch of Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2016. Leadership support for Blue Star Families programming and promotional materials has been provided by MetLife Foundation. The program also provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Military families are invited to visit the Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University’s locations at the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University in Atlantic City; at the Noyes Gallery in Kramer Hall and the Noyes Shop in Hammonton; and at the Stockton Seaview Hotel in Galloway. These locations offer wonderful exhibitions and family fun all summer long! As an extra “thank you,” the Noyes Shop in Hammonton and the Noyes Museum of Art Gift Shop at the Arts Garage will offer a 15 percent discount on all shop purchases to active duty military and their families through Sept. 5, except not valid on custom framing orders.

For information, visit noyesmuseum.org.

Eagle Theatre presenting many great shows for season

HAMMONTON - Eagle Theatre will present the following shows during its 2017 season:

  • Rock of Ages
  • John & Jen
  • Peter and the Star Catcher
  • The Shape of Things
  • The Fantasticks

For information, call (609) 704-5012 or visit www.theeagletheatre.com.

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