HomeMt Laurel NewsTop stories in 2012: June to December

Top stories in 2012: June to December


Kim Murray, a chemistry teacher at Lenape High School, came into the spotlight in June after the announcement of being the Burlington County Teacher of the Year.

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“I like to think of my lessons outside of the box,” Murray said. “I like to have an element of surprise in my lessons. I won’t just show something. I might have some music in the background. I rarely tell them how something happens.”

Her motto, she said at the time, is: “Magic is just chemistry that’s misunderstood.”

Another Mt. Laurel resident saw national attention with his run on “American Ninja Warrior.”

Christopher Wilczewski, owner of The Warrior Lab in nearby Hainesport, told The Sun about his love for parkour.

“Parkour is like the hardest thing to define ever,” Wilczewski said. “It’s really determined on what your interpretation of it is, because parkour can mean something different to different people.”

He was seen on G4 on June 3 and the semi-finals NBC on June 4, and was excited to receive a “really good amount of airtime.”

Harrington’s STEM program came into the light with an end of the year project at Ramblewood Country Club’s pool.

The friendly, in-house competition was a primer to marine work, explained teacher ager Maureen Mitchell said.

Later in the month, Mitchell, who also serves as tax collector, was appointed to the newly created position of Township Purchasing Agent.

Politics heated up for one Mt. Laurel resident and ex-Navy Seal who felt the wrath of Gov. Christie while attending a March town hall meeting in Florence.

Christie called William Brown an “idiot” at the meeting after expressing his opinion on the then-proposed Rutgers-Rowan merger.

“I never said one threatening thing,” Brown said. “He publicly humiliated me. I never said anything to deserve the type of treatment that I got.”

Paws Farm Nature Center, owned by Mt. Laurel Township, ended the month on a positive note for area kids with an Easter egg hunt encompassing 6,000 eggs on March 31.

“We put a whole area filled with straw, and we put the eggs all within those straw areas,” said farm director Pat Halbe.


In October, Lenape High School freshman Taylor Kane spoke to The Sun about her support for Senate Bill №2137.

As a child, she lost her father to adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a rare brain disease that is hereditary, and wanted it added to newborn screenings to help with earlier prevention.

Taylor spoke with Gov. Christie at his 96th town hall meeting on Oct. 11, giving him homework.

Also in October, Mt. Laurel entered into a shared services agreement with Willingboro for public works projects.

“The township is looking at ways to bring capital projects in-house rather than out sourcing to contractors, and, with limited staff, this becomes problematic,” Mitchell said. “By combining our resources with another aggressive municipality that is attempting to do the same thing, we are better able to leverage our employees and equipment to deliver a better service in a more efficient manner.”

The township hosted a fun two-day Halloween Bash at the end of October at Paws Farm.

“We thought it would be a great way for the community to get to see Paws Farm,” said Township Clerk Meredith Tomczyk. “They came up with some great ideas (for the night).”

The end of October saw the bite of Hurricane Sandy.

Mt. Laurel, compared to other municipalities, generally fared well, said township officials, but many residents endured several days of no power.

“The roadways were kept pretty clear during the storm,” Cribben said, with most residents staying home.

“We were happy about that,” he said.


In the wake of Sandy, the Mt. Laurel community came together for those in the state who were less fortunate.

According to Fire Chief John Colucci, it took 12 hours for the department to mobilize once two of their own thought of the idea to help over coffee.

Fire Captain Chris Santone and Firefighter James Moyer spearheaded the original plan to stuff a 45-foot tractor-trailer with supplies for victims in a 24-hour period beginning at 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 8.

“We enjoy the shore so much here in the summertime,” said Moyer.

The efforts went much further than the department originally imagined.

In all, three tractor-trailers, five box trucks and three Mt. Laurel utility vehicles were filled to the brim and the deliveries were made.

Lenape High School got a little creepy in November, with the fall play, “The Creature Creeps.”

“’The Creature Creeps’ is a play that’s basically a satire of monster movies from the 40s and 50s,” said Director Will Bausch, an English teacher at Lenape.


December has been a time of celebration in Mt. Laurel as the holidays and, now, the New Year, have inched up.

Santa Claus made a special trip to see Mt. Laurel residents on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Plus, plenty of local groups and churches have held services throughout the month.

For the second year in a row, some of Diane Canzanese’s Larchmont Elementary School students’ artwork was able to be displayed near masterpieces in the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the exhibit “Education in Action: Art and Nature.”

Rounding out the year, the Mt. Laurel community yet again came together to help a neighbor. In a freak accident at the Mt. Laurel Animal Hospital on Nov. 26, 5-year-old Riley, a black boxer, got loose while a technician performed a urine test during her check up.

The next six days and five nights were tumultuous for owner and Mt. Laurel resident Linda Yaffa and her family, but ultimately, the rallying of the community reaped a happy December ending.

“We just want to say thank you to everybody,” Yaffa said. “We as a family are just overwhelmed by the love and the outpouring of support.”


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