Morning News Digest: May 27, 2009

Webb-Washington moves ahead with challenge to Jersey City

Ward F election results City Council candidate La Vern Webb-Washington, who missed the Jersey City Ward F runoff by just two votes, said today that she has a tentative court date for tomorrow to challenge the results of the May 12 municipal elections. (Clark, The Jersey Journal)

Rick Merkt finally gets chance to debate Chris Christie, Steve Lonegan

Of the three candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor, Assemblyman Rick Merkt is the only one with state government experience. (Meregian, The Star-Ledger)

Jerseyans will head to Shore, but stays will be shorter in '09, poll finds

A poll found 6 out of 10 New Jersey residents plan on visiting the Jersey Shore this summer. That's about the same as last year. But the Monmouth University/Gannett New Jersey Poll, released today, showed visits may be shorter this time. (AP)

Intense skirmishes mark N.J. GOP gubernatorial candidates' radio debate

With just days to go until voters pick the Republican challenger to Gov. Jon Corzine, the GOP candidates let fly the harshest face-to-face attacks of the campaign tonight. (Margolin and Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

Freeholders OK nearly $700G more for Preakness project

The cost of building the Preakness Healthcare Center in Wayne continues to rise, with construction of Passaic County’s new nursing home in its final stages. (Cowen, The Record)

Passaic County passes $394 million budget for '09

The Passaic County freeholders today adopted a $394 million county budget for 2009 that raises taxes about 2 percent for the average homeowner. (Cowen, The Record)

State seeks approval to oversee its own nuclear licenses

Federal authorities are reviewing New Jersey's request to oversee hundreds of nuclear licenses, including those issued to research labs, hospitals, universities and manufacturers, officials said Tuesday. (Young, The Record)

Clayton officials push for attendance measure

The borough is moving forward with plans to set an attendance policy for some of its board members.The ordinance which will apply to non-elected members of various boards, commissions and committees will be considered for final passage on Thursday. (Driscoll, The Gloucester County Times)

Camden is closing its mounted-police unit

Camden is shutting its mounted-police unit to save money, the city's police chief said yesterday. (Katz, The Inquirer)

Judge acquits gun protesters

Melissa DeLong wiped a tear from her eye as she told a Philadelphia judge yesterday the story of a 4-year-old boy gunned down in Camden last year after being caught in a crossfire between two men. (Shaw, The Inquirer)

School-aid shift sparks heated debate in Trenton

When Gov. Corzine took office four years ago, he promised to restore financial integrity to the state budget and pledged to end one-time revenue fixes and other financial gimmicks. (Lu, The Inquirer)

Asbury Park school to close today for swine flu cleaning

Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, where eight cases of swine flu have been confirmed and the number of absentee students has doubled to 120, will be closed today because district workers failed to properly clean the building, acting Schools Superintendent James Parham said. (Shields, Asbury Park Press)

Supreme Court a top issue in GOP radio debate

The future of New Jersey's highest court and video lottery terminals were among the issues debated Tuesday night on New Jersey 101.5 FM radio by the three Republicans seeking their party's gubernatorial nomination in next week's primary. (Symos, Asbury Park Press)

Drop in unemployment due to seasonal hiring

County-level unemployment rates fell in April throughout southern New Jersey, which would be a very good sign if the state Department of Labor figures released Tuesday were adjusted for seasonal hirings and didn’t count them as new jobs. (Post, Press of Atlantic City)

Casino Control Commission member to quit, leaving just three on board

A top casino regulator is leaving his job to take a high-level post with the bistate agency that operates airports and other transportation facilities serving New York and New Jersey.(Wittkowski, Press of Atlantic City)

Plainfield mayoral race grows heated as officials dispute crime statistics

With less than a week to go before the June 2 Democratic primary that could determine the city's next mayor, a bitterly contested race is growing increasingly heated. (Spivey, Courier News)

MVC fees increase despite protests

Despite receiving more than 900 comments from angry motorcycle riders, the state Motor Vehicle Commission's board voted on Tuesday to increase more than two dozen fees effective July 6. (Symons, Courier-Post)

Howard, Victorino visit Gloucester Co.

Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino of the Philadelphia Phillies joined forces Tuesday with high school students from the Philadelphia Action Team youth volunteer initiative to help local families lead healthier lives. (Courier-Post)

In Edison, Choi battles Ricigliano on WCTC

In their WCTC radio debate broadcast live this morning, Edison Mayor Jun Choi battled Councilwoman Toni Ricigliano, blunting Ricigliano’s complaints about his fulltime salary by repeatedly depicting her as a creature of local unions and the local Democratic Party machine. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

GOP asks Sarlo again for hearings on Lehman Three

All five Republican members of the Judiciary Committee have resubmitted a request to interview three members of the State Investment Council who have ties to Lehman Brothers and are up for reappointment. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: May 27, 2009