Morning News Digest: May 3, 2011



Morning News Digest: May 3, 2011


By Missy Rebovich

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BREAKING: Appellate Court Judge rules against Lewis; Tambussi to appeal to U.S. Supreme Court

A panel of state appellate court judges this afternoon upheld Secretary of State Kim Guadagno’s decision to remove Carl Lewis from the 8th District ballot.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



The ghost of Michael Ritacco

The voters of Toms River last night repudiated the Ritacco era in an election that saw a 15% increase in voter turnout.  (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)



Report: N.J. fourth most expensive state for renters

When it comes to the cost of rent, New Jersey is the fourth most expensive state in the nation, excluding Washington, DC, according to a national study released Monday.  (Hester, New Jersey Newsroom)


Chris Christie sees ‘closure’ in Osama bin Laden’s death

Chris Christie on Monday called the death of Osama bin Laden a moment of “extraordinary sense of closure for a lot of people,” and said there’s no way the president would declare the terror mastermind dead unless it was true.  (Haberman, Politico)



Sweeney, Christie end impasse over N.J. Supreme Court nomination

A political impasse between Gov. Christie and Senate President Stephen Sweeney over state Supreme Court nominations has ended 364 days after it began.  (Rao, The Philadelphia Inquirer)



N.J. lawmakers praise Obama, attack Pakistan

New Jersey’s representatives in Washington were unanimous in their admiration for a deep-cover U.S. military operation that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden on Sunday.  (Roh, Gannett)



N.J. sheriff says of Osama bin Laden: ‘May he burn in hell for eternity’

Officials at all levels of government are weighing in on the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden today.  (Staff, The Star-Ledger)



Runyan reaffirms opposition to a pullout

Rep. Jon Runyan said Sunday U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan are clear on their mission even as Americans at home are not, and that Gen. David Petraeus was “excited” about being tapped to lead the CIA.  (Roh, Gannett)



N.J. Sen. Anthony Bucco receives endorsements from key Republicans in bit for re-election

State Senator Anthony Bucco (R-Morris) is a veteran pol with broad support in Morris County, but he does not appear to be taking anything for granted in his bid for re-election.  (Goldberg, The Star-Ledger)



HUD awards $16M in grants for homeless-intervention programs

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $16 million in grants for 45 homeless-intervention programs in New Jersey that have never received HUD money before.  (Lally, Gannett)



Two state senators want to end exemption for Rutgers under bidding law Rutgers says it has met 16 of 18 comptroller recommendations for change

Two state senators have introduced legislation that would require Rutgers to follow the same public bidding laws as other state colleges and universities in New Jersey.  (Serrano, Gannett)|head



Gov. Christie to unveil further plans for Xanadu when he visits long-stalled complex

Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to visit the Xanadu retail and entertainment complex at the Meadowlands to offer more details on a deal to revitalize the troubled project.  (The Associated Press)



N.J. Democrats challenge Christie’s plan to close Vineland Developmental Center

Closing a state institution in Cumberland County would cost the region hundreds of jobs, but economic concerns do not outweigh the rights of 400 people with developmental disabilities to live more independently, Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez state told a budget panel today.  (Livio, The Star-Ledger)



Alternative-energy hearing finds upgrades needed in New Jersey

Lawmakers who want New Jersey to capture the market on offshore and alternative power generation agreed at a public hearing Monday in Trenton that the state’s infrastructure needs to be upgraded.  (Fletcher, Press of Atlantic City)



Conciliatory tone helps at ballot box

After last year, when a record number of voters turned out for school board elections and defeated nearly 60 percent of proposed spending plans statewide, districts wondered if those figures were an anomaly.  (Rothschild, Gannett)



Medical history: UMDNJ’s long path to reform

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey — more familiarly, UMDNJ — has been under the microscope ever since it suffered a series of scandals alleging kickbacks, patronage and fraud.  (Stainton, NJ Spotlight)



Atlantic City is 3rd in U.S. casino preference poll

Atlantic City is the nation’s second-largest gambling market, but it’s America’s third choice among all casino destinations, according to a new poll.  (Parry, The Associated Press)



Trenton mayor’s aide suspended after arrest

The chief of staff to the mayor of New Jersey’s capital has been suspended without pay following his arrest in an alleged attempting to buy heroin, an incident that left two police officers injured.  (Shipkowski, The Associated Press)



The high cost and headaches of getting on the power grid

The failure to build new power plants in New Jersey over the past decade is partly due to a complicated system developers must navigate to link into the regional power grid, industry experts said yesterday.  (Johnson, NJ Spotlight)



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Sarlo questions treasurer on Abbott. Court order obedience

When Sen. Paul Sarlo asked the state’s treasurer Monday afternoon if Gov. Chris Christie was willing to defy a possible Supreme Court decision that could force the state to provide more funding for the state’s former Abbott school districts,  Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said, “I will let the governor’s comments speak for themselves.”  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



Lautenberg questions Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism, role in bin Laden hunt

In the wake of the killing of Osama bin laden, U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) is raising questions about Pakistan’s role in possibly shielding him from discovery.  (Staff, State Street Wire)



Sweeney, Christie pledge to work together on health benefits/pension reform

Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. President Steve Sweeney Monday said they continue to work on health benefits/pension reform for public workers, and gave indications that a solution could be reached sooner rather than later.  (Mooney, State Street Wire)



Van Drew raises concerns about waiting lists, fates of developmental disability centers

Given that there are long waiting lists for patients in developmental disability centers to be transferred to community care facilities, Sen. Jeff Van Drew, (D-1), Cape May asked Monday during a budget hearing how the Human Services Department will deal with closing more of those types of centers without adding to the already large amount of people who are waiting.  (Hassan, State Street Wire)



From the Back Room 



‘You have to believe we are magic’

Gov. Chris Christie and representatives of the Mall of America will tomorow morning formally announce a $1 billion plan to relaunch the Xanadu Meadowlands complex.  (Staff, PolitickerNJ)






Sweeney looks like winner in court fight

Governor Christie trumpeted a “compromise” with Senate President Stephen Sweeney on Monday to end the embarrassing, 364-day impasse over a Supreme Court nomination.  (Stile, The Record)



This is no time for silence

In the days following Sept. 11, a general quietness fell, like snow, over America. Sadness. Shock. Silence. People did not know what to say.  (Doblin, The Record)




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Morning News Digest: May 3, 2011