Morning News Digest: April 17, 2009

Jersey City Ward F candidates agree on need to organize communities

At last Thursday night's Ward F City Council candidate forum at the Mary McLeod Bethune Life Center the candidates discussed the dire need for economic growth, crime prevention and affordable housing in the Bergen Lafayette section of Jersey City. (Clark, Jersey Journal)

Judges rule 3 GOP candidates for N.J. governor can't make the ballot

The fight for the Republican nomination for governor is poised to become a three-way race, after judges decided today that three other candidates should not make the ballot. (Heininger, Star-Ledger)

N.J. to close courts for 2 days as lawyers argue over furloughs

As the argument over the furlough of public employees continued in a Morristown courtroom today, the state Judiciary said it would close the court system for one day in both May and June because of the budget-cutting move. (Megerian and Fuchs, Star-Ledger)

Edison council votes to make mayor full-time

The Edison council has approved a measure to make the mayor's position full-time. As the state's fifth-largest municipality, with nearly 100,000 residents, Edison was the largest town in New Jersey with no full-time mayor. (Johnson, Star-Ledger)

Assisted living scandal growing

When Todd Buirch's family decided to move his grandmother to the Maurice House, an assisted living facility in Millville, they did it based on a key selling point: After spending her $150,000 in savings on rent and care, they could ultimately switch to Medicaid to continue paying for her stay. (Graber, Gloucester County Times)

N.J. approves $956 million for projects

NEWARK, N.J. – State regulators yesterday approved spending nearly $1 billion on energy-infrastructure projects that will create more than 1,000 jobs. (Epstein, AP)

No ruling on request to halt N.J. furloughs

MORRISTOWN, N.J. – Lawyers for six New Jersey public-worker unions argued yesterday that the state's fiscal conditions do not warrant giving state and local governments authority to break contracts and force employees to take unpaid days off work. (Delli Santi, AP)

N.J. voters talk about the economy

C. J. Mugavero has owned art galleries in Burlington County for more than 20 years. But, she says, "it's getting increasingly more difficult to operate and make a living in the state of New Jersey." (Burton, Inquirer)

Jury in agreement on all but one Coniglio charge

Jurors have reached a verdict on all but one of the corruption charges against former state Sen. Joseph Coniglio, but decided to keep the suspense going by not announcing their findings until they have deliberated further on the deadlocked count. (Sampson, Record)

School candidates push to lobby state

WAYNE — The way school board candidates here see it, all that nickel-and-dime cutting being done on school budgets every year misses the bigger point: It’s time to lobby the state to pay for programs it mandates, and it’s time to push for a state aid formula that they would find equitable for both poorer districts and more well-off systems. (Alexandra, Record)

Layoffs, cuts expected Rutgers budget shortfall

NEW BRUNSWICK — To some in the Rutgers community an e-mail from university President Richard L. McCormick explaining the impact of state budget cuts is just another in a series of the-sky-is-falling communications. To others it was: No, really, the sky is falling. (Malwitz, Gannett)

State board allots $127.6 million for local utility improvement projects

Atlantic City Electric and South Jersey Gas are among a group of state utility companies that will receive a total of $956 million toward improving and speeding up infrastructure projects. The state’s Board of Public Utilities on Thursday voted 4-1 to approve the projects from five state utilities at the request of Gov. Jon S. Corzine. Corzine sees the spending as a way to create jobs and stimulate the economy. (Leach, Press of Atlantic City)

Environmentalists plan lawsuit targeting pollution, National Lead site in Sayreville

MIDDLESEX COUNTY — Environmentalists have sent notices of their intent to sue a host of companies and government agencies over pollution in the Raritan River they allege is coming from highways and the National Lead site in Sayreville. (Serrano, Courier News)

Camden celebrates job-training center

Federal, state and local dignitaries filled a refurbished warehouse in North Camden on Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of Respond's New Worker Job Development Center. The $4.6 million facility, which includes two adjacent buildings on 8th and Erie streets, will house free pre-kindergarten classes and job training for up to 225 culinary arts and automotive technology students. (Hirsch, Courier-Post)

Levine's campaign manager resigns – and launches gubernatorial bid

As he poured over petition signatures to determine whether he will be able to remain a gubernatorial candidate in the GOP primary after an opposing campaign challenged his signatures, Franklin Mayor Brian D. Levine today sustained yet another blow. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

Adler tops DCCC fundraising list

Freshman U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) continues to raise a lot of cash, this time with his eye on defending his seat in 2010. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: April 17, 2009