Morning News Digest: Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gay marriage could become a big campaign issue next year

New Jersey's civil unions law "hasn't done enough to narrow the gap" and same-sex marriage should be established in New Jersey "sooner rather than later," Gov. Jon Corzine said yesterday. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

Panel advises N.J. to OK same-sex marriages

New Jersey should move to allow gay marriage because civil unions are not providing same-sex couples with the protections and benefits granted to married heterosexual couples, according to a report released yesterday. (Adrienne Lu, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Obama picks N.J. official to lead environmental agency

Lisa Jackson, the former Department of Environmental Protection commissioner who just days ago became Gov. Jon Corzine's chief of staff, will be nominated to serve as the top environmental official in Barack Obama's administration, according to Democratic officials. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

In spite of economic downturn, voters OK school construction

From Atlantic to Bergen coun ties, voters Tuesday continued to support a majority of new school construction and renovation proposals, capping a year in which more than 60 percent of all projects were approved. (John Mooney, The Star-Ledger)

Manzo makes it official

Former state Assemblyman Lou Manzo, who is also a former Hudson County freeholder, has thrown his hat into the ring for mayor of Jersey City. (The Jersey Journal)

Ex-New Brunswick official gets seven years for bribery

A former New Brunswick housing director today was sentenced to seven and 1/4 years in prison on federal corruption charges, capping a scandal that paralyzed the city's neighborhood preservation program for more than a year. (Joe Ryan, The Star-Ledger)

Joe's still in charge of well-oiled machine

So the High Council of the Bergen County Democratic Organization on Monday night formally ordered Chairman Joe Ferriero to quit by Jan. 15, unless he’s exonerated on federal fraud charges. (Charles Stile, The Record)

Princeton keeps control of most of trust fund

Princeton University will keep control of most of an estimated $600 million fund as it settles a lawsuit by descendants of the money's original donor, who said the school strayed from their relatives' original intent for the gift. (Associated Press)

Garrett, Pascrell pitch rival aid plans

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. wants to help people buy cars. Rep. Scott Garrett wants to help them buy whatever they want. (Herb Jackson, The Record)

Smith and Ferlinghuysen vote with Dems on bailout

Republicans U.S. Rep Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Harding) and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith(R-Hamilton) joined the entire Democratic Partycongressional delegation from New Jersey to vote in favor of the $14 billion auto industry bailout tonight. (

Christie plays Hardball

Ten days after leaving his post as U.S. Attorney, Chris Christie is hitting the national television circuit to weigh in on corruption in other states. (

Audit: Camden schools saw $15M surplus

CAMDEN — An audit of Camden School District's finances last year shows improvement in its accounting practices, but lapses in its food services department and unclear job responsibilities throughout the payroll and human resources departments marred the annual evaluation. (Joseph Gidjunis, The Courier Post)

Karrow trumpets Hunterdon support

Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington) flexed her Hunterdon County political muscle today, touting the endorsements of 14 of the county’s Republican mayors for her state senate candidacy. (

Health clinic falls victim to layoff plan

TRENTON — The city plans to close the only city-operated health clinic and invite a nonprofit to operate at the site as part of a reorganization that includes 64 layoffs. (Andrew Kitchenman, Trenton Times)

County aims to save with green energy office

Hudson County wants to go green to see some green. (Paul Koepp, The Jersey Journal)

Two sports groups say firm owes them cash

Two New Jersey sports leagues claim to be among the victims of a Washington state online credit card processing company accused of absconding with thousands of dollars paid to register children for teams and after-school programs. (Brian T. Murray, The Star-Ledger)

Cherry Hill freezes wages

CHERRY HILL — More than 130 nonunion township workers will go without raises next year, a move that should save the municipality

some $200,000, Mayor Bernie Platt said Wednesday. (Adam Smeltz, The Courier-Post)

Calabrese will try again for freeholder

After a relatively narrow defeat this year, former Bergen County Republican freeholder candidate Chris Calabrese plans to run again next year. (

Businesses waiting for upturn

MILLVILLE – With news reports each day announcing new blows to the economy, and city officials feeling the pressure to pass an "economic stimulus" loan with great urgency, it's a criminal understatement to say many downtown businesses have seen better days. (Jason Laday, Bridgeton News)

Dems in Point Beach attempt to oust Republican mayor

An effort to recall Mayor Vincent Barrella is under way. (Asbury Park Press)

Mayor calling all servicemen

VINELAND — Mayor Robert Romano wants to start a Welcome Home program in the city to celebrate service men and women. (The Daily Journal) Morning News Digest: Thursday, December 11, 2008