Morning News Digest: July 15, 2009

Let N.J. bars, restraurants host 'Ladies Night,' lawmaker proposes

Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Union) is calling on lawmakers to lift New Jersey's five-year ban on "Ladies Night" promotions at bars and restaurants. (The Star-Ledger)

N.J. workers' health insurance to increase up to 25 percent

Health insurance rates for public employees will increase as much as 25 percent next year — a mark-up even worse than expected. (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)

GOP gov. candidate Chris Christie unveils urban revitalization plan

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie today visited three New Jersey cities to unveil his plan to revitalize urban areas. (Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. teachers union endorses Corzine in governor's race

The powerful New Jersey Education Association teachers union today announced it has endorsed Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine in his quest to win re-election. (Bizzel, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. government offers unpaid work for unemployed lawyers, recent law graduates

State Attorney General Anne Milgram is looking to hire some unemployed lawyers. She just doesn't want to pay them. (Megerian, The Star-Ledger)

Jones to lead Paterson council

Jeffery Jones is the City Council’s new president on the strength of a 5-4 vote by members of the governing body Tuesday night. (The Record)

County hires company to maintain voting machines

In a bid to reduce the cost of elections, the Passaic County Freeholders on Tuesday hired a private firm to maintain its 650 electronic voting machines being kept in a Paterson warehouse. The firm replaces four union workers fired by county Superintendent of Elections Laura B. Freytes last month. (Cowen, The Record)

Christie sees his lead widen

President Barack Obama's visit to New Jersey, to campaign for Democratic Gov. Jon S. Corzine, is coming just in time. (Graber, Gloucester County Times)

Education plan excites Gloucester County-area community colleges

Two local community college presidents said they are eager to expand opportunities for their students, thanks to a plan that was outlined by President Barack Obama on Tuesday in which he proposed spending $12 billion to better prepare Americans for their futures. (Driscoll, Gloucester County Times)

Blueberries will help feed New Jersey's poor

With a deep understanding of tough times – an innate sense that comes easily for farmers who are at the mercy of uncontrollable forces like weather and market volatility for their livelihoods – blueberry farmers Art Galletta and Denny Doyle were quick to join a plan to feed hundreds of New Jersey's needy. (Urgo, Inquirer)

Rutgers tuition to rise 3 percent next term

Tuition and fees at Rutgers University will go up 3 percent in the coming school year, the school's Board of Governors decided yesterday. (Giordano, Inquirer)

Christie reaches for the urban vote

Republican gubernatorial nominee Christopher J. Christie, in a play for Democratic and independent voters, announced a "Bringing Back Our Cities" campaign plank yesterday in Camden and two other cities. (Burton, Inquirer)

Brick school board votes to hold referendum in September

The township Board of Education is asking voters to approve $170 million in financing for construction projects and other improvements throughout district. (McGrath, Asbury Park Press)

New Jersey closing racial gaps in student tests

New Jersey has made substantial gains in closing the achievement gap between minority and white students by fourth grade, according to a national report. The gap is also closing in eighth grade scores, but more slowly. (D'Amico, Press of Atlantic City)

Police chiefs' union head says Atlantic City plan illegal

The Langford administration's attempt to strip powers from the city's chief of police violates state law, according to the president of the New Jersey State Chiefs of Police Association. (Clark, Press of Atlantic City)

'Help's on the way': Christie visits Plainfield, talks initiatives

Daniel McKenna had a simple message for Chris Christie. "I'll vote for you if you get me a job," said city resident McKenna, who shook hands with the Republican gubernatorial candidate as he took a walking tour of downtown early Tuesday afternoon as part of statewide campaign swing to unveil his initiatives to revive urban centers. (Deak, Courier News)—Christie-visits-Plainfield–talks-initiatives&referrer=FRONTPAGECAROUSEL

New Brunswick mayor seeks to ward off litigation over city's ward system

Mayor Jim Cahill on Tuesday called for a halt to the court battle over the city's form of government, instead proposing a series of public forums to discuss the future shape of the city's governing body. (Kaltwasser, Courier News)

Feds give $1.9M to 3 schools in region

Four New Jersey school districts — three in South Jersey — were awarded $2.9 million in grants to improve the teaching of American history in elementary and secondary schools. (Decastro, Courier-Post)

Pundits not ready to count Corzine out

To get a true picture of where the New Jersey gubernatorial race stands right now, analysts and pollsters say you need to look past the horse race poll numbers and focus instead on some of the recent suveys' underlying questions. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Pinkett mysterious about LG status

A car was parked in front of the home of lieutenant governor prospect Randal Pinkett, who appeared at the door moments after rang the bell. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: July 15, 2009