Local Beat: Suspended Cherry Hill teacher told class ‘I have the gun’

March 2, 2018 Joe Amditis

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

STUDENT: SUSPENDED CHERRY HILL TEACHER TOLD CLASS ‘I HAVE THE GUN’
Matt Skoufalos of NJ Pen has the latest on Timothy Locke, the Cherry Hill High School teacher who was suspended after speaking about mass shootings in class. Skoufalos sits down for an exclusive with one of his students.

MORRISTOWN POLICE CHIEF DIFFERS WITH TRUMP ON PARKLAND MASSACRE
On a night when proud families cheered the promotions of local firefighters and police officers before the Morristown council, thoughts of the Valentine’s Day massacre of students in Parkland, Fla., were still on everyone’s minds. Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green says the police chief had a rebuttal for President Trump, and a high school student drummed up support for a gun safety march.

TOM RICHARDS FIGHTS ON IN THE FACE OF CANCER
Long-time Jersey native and musician Tom Richards moved to Nashville two years ago and, after a physical examination from his new doctor, found out his cancer had spread throughout his body. Richards was given anywhere from four months to a year to live, reports Gary Wein for New Jersey Stage. Since then, Richards has responded well to chemotherapy and is now expected to live another 2-4 years. In the meantime, Richards says he’s focused on trying to record his statement album to preserve his legacy.

TURNING ANGER INTO ACTION: EAST BRUNSWICK HOLDS VIGIL FOR PARKLAND VICTIMS
More than 400 residents, teachers, students, and parents attended a vigil in East Brunswick Sunday night to grieve for the trauma and loss of life in Parkland. Maureen Berzok of TAPinto East Brunswick says the hour-long event was attended by township, school, and county officials and was organized by a newly-formed grassroots organization of parents and students called East Brunswick for Safe Schools.

WESTFIELD SCHOOL EVACUATED AFTER RECEIVING BOMB THREAT
Westfield’s Edison Intermediate School was evacuated on Wednesday after a bomb threat was posted to social media earlier that day. Jackie Lieberman of TAPinto Westfield says parents received an email from Principal Matt Bolton, just one week after the school went into lockdown and students were forced to shelter in place after police received a “concerning phone call in the vicinity of Edison School.”

WEED ACTIVISTS CONFRONT OCEAN COUNTY FREEHOLDERS
The public comment session at the latest meeting of the Ocean County Freeholders got a little heated when the discussion turned to the issue of marijuana legalization. Jennifer Peacock of Jersey Shore Online says out-of-county residents, including a “potcast” host who goes by the name “Lefty Grimes,” took to the podium in support of legalization.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES THIS WEEK:

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Joe Amditis

Joe Amditis is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. He can be reached via email at amditisj@montclair.edu and on Twitter at @jsamditis.

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