Morning News Digest: Monday, November 17, 2008

This year, town's are in no mood for a party

With the economy sinking and the state budget shrinking, this week's annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities Convention, which kicks off tomorrow in Atlantic City, is shaping up as one of the grimmest ever. (Tom Hester, The Star-Ledger)

Bill delays changes to N.J. voting machines

TRENTON – New Jersey elections officials have asked the Legislature for time to reconsider spending $26 million to attach paper printers to 10,000 electronic voting machines. (Associated Press)

For some, turnpike project means picking up and moving on

Last week, as she watched movers carry out the remnants of her happy life on Crosswicks-Hamilton Square Road, 72-year-old Patricia Caruso could not stop crying. (Joyce J. Persico, The Trenton Times)

State hearings focus on repeat offenders

How to help released prisoners readjust to life on the outside rather than commit new crimes and recycle through the criminal justice system is the subject of three upcoming public hearings being convened by New Jersey's Democratic leader in the Assembly. (Associated Press)

Sizing up the 2009 race for governor

Christopher Christie, the Republican U.S. attorney badgered by rumors that he will run for governor, is staying mum on any plans for a 2009 bid. (Elise Young, The Herald News)

Corzine will help pick Ferriero successor

Governor Corzine has made it known to Bergen Democratic Party leaders that he wants to play a big role in the selection of the next county chairman, including the possibility of personally interviewing candidates, three party sources said last week. (Charles Stile, The Record)

Inauguration ticket is free, but good luck getting one

New Jersey's two U.S. senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, have a little problem. They'll likely be allotted a few hundred tickets each to distribute among constituents who want to attend the Jan. 20 inaugural of President-Elect Barack Obama. (Wane Woolley, The Star-Ledger)

Obama team taps two state leaders

President-elect Obama's transition team today tapped Rutgers University history professor Clement Price to help choose the next director of the National Endowment for the Humanities. (Peggy McGlone, The Star-Ledger)

Elections to alter Capitol landscape

U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, a Democrat whose party soon will control both Congress and the White House, expects to be on the ground floor shaping major policies in the coming months. (Jessica Coomes, Gloucester County Times)

Local woman to be Obama aide

Lt. Jessica Gandy has been to Japan, Korea and Afghanistan in the U.S. Navy, and, starting in January, she'll be welcoming foreign diplomats as they arrive at the White House. (Joel Landau, The Daily Journal)

Andrews won't rule out future statewide bid

Rob Andrews will return for his eleventh term in Congress next year, and after losing two statewide races, it's unclear whether the last will be the final one. (

Bramnick backs Christie for governor

Raging moderate state Sen. Leonard Lance’s (R-Hunterdon) victory should serve as a lesson to every downtrodden member of the GOP as the party tries to shake off tough losses from the Nov. 4th election, argues Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). (

City's rep in tatters?

Jersey City Councilman Steven Lipski's arrest Nov. 7 for urinating on concertgoers proved irresistible to both kings of late night TV last week. (Tom Shortell, The Jersey Journal)

Jury begins deliberating in Bryant's corruption trial

After more than two months of testimony, the political corruption case against Bryant, a Camden County Democrat, and his codefendant, R. Michael Gallagher, wrapped up yesterday in federal court, with prosecutors giving their final rebuttal comments. (Troy Graham, Philadelphia Inquirer)

California ban draws Jerseyans' protest

Bernie Bernbrock was born into the Mormon Church. He said he still believes in God and many of the faith's doctrines but left the church because of its stance on gay rights. (Christopher Dela Cruz, The Star-Ledger)

For angry creditors, the Devils are in the details

More than a year after the Prudential Center opened in downtown Newark, the Devils and their landlord aren't the only ones haggling over unpaid bills. (Maura McDermott, The Star-Ledger)

Ferriero's partner will keep county job

Leonard Kaiser, whose home was searched by FBI agents this week, will hold on to his county job, while his wife has plans to seek an early retirement, state officials said Friday. (Nick Clunn, The Record)

Tax hike might drip by 6 percent

An expected 22 percent tax increase in Cherry Hill could dip closer to 16 percent or 17 percent as the township continues to focus on cost controls, the municipal administration said. (Adam Smeltz, The Courier-Post)

2007 snub gone

VINELAND – A member of the Cumberland County College trustee board who felt he was snubbed when the board failed to promote him to vice chairman in 2007 has been nominated to be chairman this year. (Matt Dunn, Bridgeton News)

Chester set to buy 98 acres for $5.7M

CHESTER — The borough council is expected to authorize the mayor to execute a $5.7 million contract to purchase the 98-acre Alcatel-Lucent tract on North Road for open space. (Meghan Van Dyk, The Daily Record)

DaBronzo gets 30 months in prison

A former business agent of Local 89 of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers of the United States and Canada today received 30 months in federal prison for embezzling approximately $829,000 from Local 89 and one of its employee benefit funds, according to U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie. (


Morning News Digest: Monday, November 17, 2008