Morning News Digest: July 22, 2009

N.J. halts subway-car reef program

New Jersey has ended a program to sink New York City subway cars to create artificial reefs off the state's coast, according to a report in The Press of Atlantic City. (The Star-Ledger)

Senators question Attorney General Milgram's nomination for N.J. civil rights chief

Two state senators who have been critical of Attorney General Anne Milgram are questioning her nomination of a new state civil rights chief who is not admitted to practice law in New Jersey. (Megerian and Margolin, The Star-Ledger)

'Apprentice' winner Randal Pinkett to address lieutenant governor speculation

Randal Pinkett, a past winner of the Donald Trump reality show "The Apprentice" who has been considered by Gov. Jon Corzine to run for lieutenant governor, has scheduled a Wednesday news conference to address "speculative reports" about the position. (Heininger, The Star-Ledger)

Assemblyman Joseph Vas faces additional federal charges involving campaign donors

Embattled Assemblyman and former Perth Amboy Mayor Joseph Vas faces additional corruption charges under a new federal indictment released today accusing him of knowingly accepting illegal campaign contributions. (Haydon, The Star-Ledger)

N.J. tax amnesty revenue prevents need for $2B line of credit for budget

New Jersey won't need a potentially costly $2 billion line of credit to pay the bills this year thanks to cash generated by the same tax amnesty program that salvaged property tax rebates. (Reitmeyer, The Star-Ledger)

Christie says Corzine should quit race in 'shame'

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie on Tuesday said Gov. Jon Corzine should quit his bid for re-election in "shame" after a new nonpartisan report showed the state faces an $8 billion structural deficit for the next fiscal year. (Margolin, The Record)

Corzine: Concealed guns 'would be very dangerous'

New Jersey’s strict rules barring nearly everyone except police from carrying concealed handguns could be invalidated if a South Dakota senator succeeds in making any state’s concealed-weapon permit valid nationwide. (Jackson and Young, The Record)

N.J. agriculture secretary visits community farm in Monroe Township

The Muth Family Farm flourishes with the help of community supporters and New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher recently visited for a tour of the operation. (Paciolla, Gloucester County Times)

More students seek free and reduced-rate school lunches

Some suburban school districts in South Jersey are seeing substantial increases in the number of children applying for free and reduced-price lunches, far outpacing statewide figures and student population growth. (Rao, Inquirer)

Glouco man gets seven years for tax fraud

A Gloucester County tax preparer was sentenced by a federal judge yesterday to seven years in prison and ordered to pay $216,000 in restitution for filing false tax returns. (Boyer, Inquirer)

Point Beach mayor's recall a team effort

Though it appears one man holds the most responsibility in the recall effort of this seaside town's mayor, a strong bipartisan network of business contacts and politicos is behind the attempted ouster of Vincent Barrella from office. (McGrath, Asbury Park Press)

County fair gets ready for business

Crews were putting up signs Tuesday, hanging tent posts, and marking the spots where vendors would sell their wares — all in preparation of the Monmouth County fair. (Asbury Park Press)

Area targeted for four solar power facilities

Two solar power firms plan to build a five-megawatt solar power facility they hope will be the first of four area plants that will produce 100 megawatts of power. (Walsh, Press of Atlantic City)

Stafford mayor accused of illegally meddling with police

Police officials and residents accused Mayor John McMenamin at Tuesday night's council meeting of illegally meddling with the Police Department. (Procida, Press of Atlantic City)

Ruling expected within two weeks on New Brunswick ward ballot questions

Residents could know in about two weeks which of two ballot questions they will be voting on in November. (Kaltwasser, Courier News)

Davis says Camden finances still have long way to go

The city's chief operating officer said Tuesday it will take at least five to 10 years after the end of state control here before Camden can overcome negative perceptions and attract enough tax- generating properties to rehabilitate its finances. (Hirsch, Courier-Post)

Burlington County United Way awards grants

The United Way of Burlington County has announced more than a half million dollars in grants to partner agencies with programs that promote either family causes or independent living for seniors and the disabled. (Comegno, Courier-Post)

Still in the race, O'Leary less adamant than a month ago about pursuing Assembly seat

Middlesex County remains on Jack O'Leary alert following an anonymous opposition research dump earlier in the summer, which proclaimed to have dredged up the worst political history on the long-serving South Amboy mayor in the middle of his 19th Legislative District campaign for the seat vacated by indicted Assemblyman Joe Vas (D-Perth Amboy). (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ)

As they stump together, Christie pledges to assign more tasks to Guadagno

Twenty-four hours into their joint campaign, Republican lieutenant governor candidate Kim Guadagno joined her running mate, Chris Christie, here in New Jersey's ultimate swing town. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: July 22, 2009