Morning News Digest: Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's pick for EPA chief says her role won't be symbolic WASHINGTON-Lisa Jackson is about to make history, too. On

Obama's pick for EPA chief says her role won't be symbolic

WASHINGTON-Lisa Jackson is about to make history, too. On the day when Barack Obama will become the nation's first African-American president, Jackson is poised to become the first African American to lead the federal Environmental Protection Agency. (Josh Margolin and Claire Heininger/The Star-Ledger)

New Jersey's congressional delegation optimistic about future

WASHINGTON -With a black man taking the presidential oath of office for the first time, New Jersey's congressional lawmakers are eager to be a part of history, along with tens of thousands of their constituents. (RAJU CHEBIUM, Gannett News Service)

44 pick up petitions for Jersey City elections

Two months before the filing deadline for the Jersey City municipal elections, 44 people have picked up petitions to run for mayor and city council, not including Mayor Jerramiah Healy or one of his announced opponents, Assemblyman Lou Manzo. (Jersey Journal)

Here's who's in the race

Here's the list of hopefuls who have picked up petitions so far: (Jersey Journal)

Levine to formally enter governor's race

FRANKLIN TWP. – Good government Mayor Brian D. Levine tonight told he will formally enter the Republican gubernatorial primary before the end of the month and probably next week. (

Across the state, opportunities abound for tuning in the swearing-in

Obama Mamas will meet for drinks. Schoolchildren will dress up like presidents. Political analysts will host discussions. (Judy Peet, Star-Ledger)

Obama on most minds as New Jersey marks King Day

TRENTON – With the nation's first black president set to take office today, Barack Obama was front and center at celebrations marking the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. (AP)

Central Jersey no stranger to U.S. presidential visits

CENTRAL JERSEY -Of all the men who have served as president, George Washington spent the most time in Central Jersey. (Michael Deak,

N.J. education chiefs calls for spending freeze by school districts

New Jersey's state education commissioner has recommended that school districts immediately freeze all nonessential spending and review all expenditures for the rest of this school year, according to a report in the Press of Atlantic City. (The Star-Ledger Continuous News Desk)

NEW JERSEY: Setback for affordable housing

TRENTON – Just six months after advocates for the poor heralded a new law to create more affordable housing in New Jersey, parts of it may be set aside because of the slumping economy. (AP)

State payroll not bloated? Show the people

Gov. Jon S. Corzine and any other state officials who bother to speak on the issue have all warned us about the unprecedented economic challenges at hand, and what that will mean to the state budget.

Pushing Hope, with Few Details

Business liked the budget-cutting talk from Gov. Jon S. Corzine's State of the State address last week, but they are looking for a lot more help from Trenton to weather what's shaping up to be an alarming recession. (Scott Goldstein, NJ Biz) Morning News Digest: Tuesday, January 20, 2009