Morning News Digest: Monday, December 8, 2008

Election is history, but media experts say politics still could drive ratings

A month after the presidential election, political junkies are still craving a fix. So much so that television producers and media experts are starting to think politics might become — words you thought you'd never hear — a permanent ratings booster. (Elizabeth Birge, The Star-Ledger)

Ex-N.J. veterans director lied about war record

William Devereaux is no war hero. For years, the former director of veterans programs for New Jersey lied to fellow veterans, to his friends, to his employer, and even to his wife about his tour of duty in Vietnam, he said in an interview. (Adrienne Lu, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Lonegan strategist predicts Christie won't run

Rick Shaftan, the political point man for gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan, is convinced: the much heralded announcement that former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie is running for governor will never come. (

Mixed marks on campus for Kean president

His enemies — some of them his own professors — call him a dictator. Some of his students call him a tyrant. Even his friends agree he's no wallflower, not the type of university president who massages egos or minces words. (Ana M. Alaya, The Star-Ledger)

New DEP leader brings a lifetime of commitment

No one ever accused Mark Mauriello of being flighty. One employer in 28 years. Married to his high school sweetheart for 27 years. Still goes to the same Lavallette vacation house where he summered as a child. (Judy Peet, The Star-Ledger)

Levine to take next step toward running for governor

Still sizing up a run for the GOP nomination for governor, Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levineedged closer today, ashe plans to go to Trenton on Monday to file paperwork with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). (

Andrews praises departing Chertoff

On the day Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff came back to his hometown to address students at Kean University in the waning days of his term of service with the Bush administration, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) took a moment to access his legacy. (

Rothman's push to oust Ferriero now could backfire

In their late 20s, young and ambitious Democrats Steve Rothman and Joe Ferriero were so close they double-dated. (Charles Stile, The Record)

State audit of child program lagging

More than a year after the state promised to aggressively monitor the quality of a home therapy program serving more than 20,000 children, investigators have audited and fined just one agency, according to state records and officials. (Susan K. Livio, The Star-Ledger)

Princeton's economic impact in dispute

PRINCETON BOROUGH — Princeton University sees it this way: Its gothic halls are an economic engine, supporting jobs, boosting business and raising property values for miles in every direction. (Ryan Tracy, The Trenton Times)

Federal monitoring of state police nears ends

Nearly a decade of federal monitoring of New Jersey State Police operations — triggered by complaints they had used race as a basis for stopping motorists — may be coming to an end early next year. (Matthew Reilly, The Star-Ledger)

Candidates wonder: Will the favorite run or not?

Jersey City mayoral and City Council candidates are calling everyone, including yours truly, trying to determine what the other guy or gal is doing. They do not want to make the wrong decision and align themselves with someone who loses or backs out at the last moment – and then have to pay for the decision after the voting. (The Jersey Journal)

Bill would help state military kids on the move

TRENTON — They bounce around from place to place, school to school, when their parents get reassigned to another base. Military kids can find it rough switching schools frequently, leaving friends behind and jumping into a new classroom in a different city. (Associated Press)

Practical steps are best for helping the environment

Tweaks, not sermons, may be the most effective tools in promoting environmentalism. (Cynthia Henry, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Bill tackles rebate privacy

More than one million New Jersey residents received a property tax rebate check in the mail this year averaging nearly $1,000. (Trish G. Graber, Gloucester County Times)

County jumps to buy space

By borrowing $38 million, Gloucester County officials say they can keep 1,387 acres of open space and farmland out of the hands of developers. (Pete McCarthy, Gloucester County Times)

Generosity at play

Newark Mayor Cory Booker helped give away toys to 1,000 families for the holidays yesterday at the Boys & Girls Club on Avon Avenue. (The Star-Ledger) Morning News Digest: Monday, December 8, 2008