Morning News Digest: June 9, 2009

GOP candidate Christie, Gov. Corzine spar over deal with union

Political sparks flew today over a revised state worker contract as Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican challenger Chris Christie traded blows over whether Corzine's agreement with New Jersey's largest state worker union amounted to "timid" leadership. (Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

Gov. Jon Corzine, officials break ground on transit tunnel to NYC

The nation's largest public works project officially began today when state and federal officials ceremonially broke ground in Hudson County on a second passenger rail tunnel under the Hudson River. (Larini, The Star-Ledger)

Drunken-driving bill requiring ignition interlocks approved by N.J. Assembly committee

A bill that would further penalize drunken driving offenders was cleared today by the Assembly Judiciary Committee. (Fuchs, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. Assembly panel considers involuntary commitment bill

An Assembly committee today will discuss a controversial bill allowing families to force a mentally ill and potentially dangerous loved one into an inpatient treatment facility. (Livio, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. Assembly committee moves bill on sex offender living restrictions

An Assembly committee today approved a bill that would allow towns to prohibit released sex offenders from living near schools, child care centers and playgrounds. (Fuchs, The Star-Ledger)

Judge to decide vote on Passaic County GOP chair

It’s up to a state judge to decide if Passaic County’s politically torn Republican Party will meet Tuesday evening to elect a chairman. (Cowen, The Record)

E-mail: Drug lobbyist targeted Menendez to help with importation bill

“URGENT,” shouted the subject line on the drug-industry lobbyist’s email. (Jackson, The Record)

South Jersey's 1st retail biodiesel pump open

Legislators and local officials gathered here Monday at an Exxon gas station for the grand opening of the first retail pump to distribute biodiesel fuel in South Jersey. (Dailey, Gloucester County Times)

Event to marry minds of police, residents

An evening of music, games and better understanding between the community and the police department is set for Wednesday night. (Murray, Gloucester County Times)

Veterans start service as sheriff's officers

Lou Tomassone of Atco has vivid memories of his service as a turret gunner in a cavalry unit in Tikrit, hometown of Saddam Hussein. (Colimore, Inquirer)

Bill to amend Megan's Law advances in Assembly

A bill to allow municipalities to restrict where convicted sex offenders may live was approved by the Assembly Judiciary Committee yesterday by a unanimous vote. (Lu, Inquirer)

GOP's Christie blasts NJ governor over union deal

The GOP nominee for governor in New Jersey blasted Gov. Jon S. Corzine for cutting a deal on furloughs and wage freezes with the largest public worker union, saying he would not honor the agreement if elected in November. (Delli Santi, AP)

Watchdog picks his battles with towns over public records

Armed with nothing more than a college degree, time on his hands because of a successful business and an intense desire to see bullheaded officials exposed, John Paff is a rebel with a cause and a litigator without a license. (Serrano, Asbury Park Press) Middle

Township school board suspends business administrator

The township Board of Education on Monday night voted to support the suspension of Business Administrator Walter F. Landgraf, who was placed on paid leave last week. (Ianieri, Asbury Park Press)

Federal assistance will give Central Jersey more low-income housing

State officials last week announced $40 million in federal tax-credit assistance to spur economic development and create hundreds of low-income housing units across the state. (O'Brien, Courier News)

NJ's first all-Spanish GED testing center ready

New Jersey's first Spanish-only GED testing site is set to open this month. (AP)

Cherry Hill holds tax rate

Local property owners will see no increase in municipal taxes under a preliminary levy approved Monday night. (Smeltz, Courier-Post)

New clinic in Camden will serve veterans

Hundreds of veterans, political leaders and community members attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for a new Veterans Affairs clinic here. (Davies, Courier-Post)

Salem GOP Chairman to step down

Salem County Republican Chairman Paul Reed will step down tomorrow night after serving three years as head of the GOP in New Jersey's least populous county. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Rothman places Weinberg in 'elite group' of Democrats

When asked if they would publicly recommend a candidate for lieutenant governor to Gov. Jon Corzine, most politicians demure, arguing that ultimately the governor has to decide on his own. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: June 9, 2009