Morning News Digest: Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Healy son sprints to grab and hold suspect for cops

One of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy's sons chased down a teenager he said he'd noticed stealing his bicycle from the yard of his Heights home and held him until police arrived. (Michaelangelo Conte, The Jersey Journal)

Providing an inside line on outside law firms

Responding to a story in The Times about well-connected law firms that received lucrative state government contracts, a state assemblywoman said yesterday a bill she introduced in February would ensure that those plum contracts are kept aboveboard. (Linda Stein, Times of Trenton)

Codey: NJ pension deferral plan still alive

Senate President Richard Codey says a bill allowing New Jersey towns to defer half their pension contribution next year isn't dead. (Associated Press)

Democrats Seek to Block Appointee

Within an hour of learning on Tuesday that Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois was about to name a Senate successor to President-elect Barack Obama, the Senate Democratic leadership drew a clear line in the sand: Anyone appointed by Mr. Blagojevich, the embattled Illinois chief executive, would not be accorded Senate membership. (Carl Hulse, N.Y. Times)

New Jersey Man, 85, Pleads Guilty to Spying for Israel in the 1980s

An espionage case that had threatened United States relations with Israel and stirred talk of the death penalty ended quietly on Tuesday when an 85-year-old New Jersey man pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to reduced charges of leaking classified military documents to the Israeli government in the 1980s. (Alison Leigh Cowan, N.Y. Times)

Economy to remain Job No. 1 in 2009

Corzine asks Obama for help (Michael L. Diamond, Asbury Park Press)

Corzine delays state budget introduction until March

Gov. Jon Corzine will push back the introduction of his next state budget until March 10 so it can take into account help from President-elect Barack Obama's federal stimulus package, officials said today. (Claire Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

Jobless ranks swell as year draws to a close

One year into the recession, with no end in sight, county unemployment offices have become familiar stomping ground for the 31,800 New Jerseyans who lost their jobs since last January. (Judy Peet, The Star-Ledger)

Mayor Smith's message to President elect Obama

Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith has a message for President elect Barack Obama: New Jersey's homeland security should be at the top of his administration's priority list. Morning News Digest: Wednesday, December 31, 2008