Morning News Digest: July 6, 2009

Ex-NJ lawmaker’s lawyer can access child porn pics

Prosecutors must turn over copies of child pornography to a former New Jersey assemblyman’s lawyer, a state appeals court ruled Thursday. Neil Cohen, who as an Assemblyman championed bills aimed at fighting child pornography, is accused of using computers in his local legislative office to view, print and duplicate images of underage girls simulating or engaged in sexual acts. (DeFalco, Associated Press)

Closure of Giants Stadium raises questions about future of New Jersey Sports Authority

The New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority — once a cash cow that generated millions for the state — is quickly running up a growing tab in red ink. In the state budget approved last week, the cost of the authority’s past borrowing for the sports complex in the Meadowlands increased more than 24 percent to $56.1 million annually, in large part because of tax implications tied to the pending demise of Giants Stadium, treasury officials said. (Sherman, Star-Ledger)

New Jersey State Crime Lab veterans turn over the reins

When Andy Nardelli and Frances Gdowski started at the State Police crime lab in 1969, it was a shoestring operation run out of a converted office building in West Trenton. (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)

Democratic powerbrokers say Christie is Corzine’s best asset

Just a few months ago, Charles Wowkanech, one of the most powerful labor leaders in New Jersey and a key player in Democratic politics, worried that the party faithful would not muster enough enthusiasm to propel Gov. Jon Corzine to a second term. (Margolin, The Star-Ledger)

Gov. Corzine signs bill requiring ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ flags only

Any United States and New Jersey flags purchased with state funds must now be “Made in the USA.” (AP)

‘Abusive’ debt collection bill advances in NJ

Efforts to combat harassing consumer debt collection practices in New Jersey continue to advance in the state legislature. (AP)

Stile: Try as they might, party elders can’t sway Booker

Prompted by Governor Corzine’s troubling poll numbers, a high council of Democratic Party elders huddled with Newark Mayor Cory Booker last week to persuade him to run as Corzine’s lieutenant governor running mate. (Stile, The Record)

Firm lends a hand on pay-to-play rules

A Trenton-based government consulting firm recently launched an online database that aggregates information about state, county and municipal pay-to-play laws. (Gartland, The Record)

New head of Washington Township’s Advisory Board for Economic Development sets bar high

The fact that there are five Washington Townships in New Jersey may have made marketing the one in Gloucester County a bit difficult. But a local woman who now heads up the local Advisory Board for Economic Development is taking a proactive approach to bringing business here and branding the township as a primary place for business. (Beym, Gloucester County Times)

Downtown isn’t down and out

Officials say the city’s downtown has been holding its own despite the recent economic downturn, with only a few businesses shuttering their doors and a few more opening up. (Counihan, Gloucester County Times)

Evesham squabble over campaign finance

The invitation last month for a party celebrating the recent return of Republican rule to Evesham featured this request: Contributions to campaign funds and political action committees should not exceed $300. (Rao, Inquirer)

Popularity slipping, Corzine has work to do

Many voters don’t like Democratic Gov. Corzine, despite his progress on promises to cut state spending and to support tougher ethics laws, two areas where residents wanted action. (Burton, Inquirer)

Poll: NJ consumers saving more

President Barack Obama might be confident the economy will turn around in the short term, but New Jerseyans are saving more money just in case. (DeFalco, AP)

Dozens walk out during Mass in Long Branch

Dozens of parishioners walked out of a Mass at the former Our Lady, Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church on Sunday at the moment their former priest was introduced as pastor of the newly formed Christ the King church. (Penton, Asbury Park Press)

Economy, new rules put fewer STARS in colleges

By mid-June 2008, Ocean County College had already registered 200 students in the NJ STARS scholarship program. (D’Amico, Press of Atlantic City)

State has difficulty finding buyer for mansion with $700,000 pricetag

While the recession may have cooled the housing market across the country, it has done little to reduce interest in what some have described as one of Cumberland County’s hottest pieces of real estate. (Martins, Press of Atlantic City)

County adds new courts, fields to Donaldson Park in Highland Park

There are new ball fields, new tennis and basketball courts, redesigned paths for pedestrian and vehicular traffic, a refurbished boat ramp, new playground equipment and a slew of trees. (Racz, Courier News)

Collingswood widens effort on plastics

If Collingswood has its way, there will be fewer milk and orange juice caps in the landfill. The borough recently became the first town in Camden County to offer residents a chance to recycle plastics numbered 3 through 7. That means a variety of common household items that would normally end up in a landfill — yogurt cups, toothbrush packaging, spice bottles, newspaper and grocery bags, plastic pumps from cleaning product bottles and many others — can now be recycled. (Decastro, Courier-Post)

Corzine focuses Friday evening energies on Carteret

The barges and freighters come through here on their way to Raritan Bay and passing on the Friday before the Fourth of July, some of them give a blast to the crowd gathered at the Carteret Municipal Marina where Staten Island almost seems a strong sidearm throw away but where the band plays the obligatory Springsteen cover – lest anyone doubt this is the Jersey side of the river. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Morning News Digest: July 6, 2009