Morning News Digest: August 12, 2009

Corzine asks U.S. Agriculture Secretary to declare natural disaster for N.J. farms damaged by weather

Gov. Jon Corzine on Tuesday asked the federal government to issue a natural disaster designation for six counties in N.J. for damage to farms caused by severe weather, a report in the Courier-Post said. (The Star-Ledger)

N.J. bill requiring insurers to pay maternity benefits prior to delivery to become law

Health care plans will be required to pay maternity benefits in installments under a bill. (The Star-Ledger)

Poll finds McGreevey more unpopular than ever five years after 'gay American' speech

A new poll finds former Gov. Jim McGreevey is more unpopular now than when he resigned after acknowledging an extramarital affair with another man. (AP)

N.J. Sierra Club asks GOP governors association to stop using logo in Gov. Corzine attack ad

The Sierra Club today demanded the Republican Governors Association stop using the conservation organization's emblem in a television advertisement attacking Democrat Gov. Jon Corzine's environmental record. (Murray, The Star-Ledger)

Karl Rove and Chris Christie discussed N.J. governor run while serving as U.S. Attorney

Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie has tried to escape the shadow of former President George W. Bush, whose support for Christie has become a major line of attack by Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. (Heininger and Margolin, The Star-Ledger)

Feds subpoena Rutherford for records of EnCap deal

Federal investigators probing the failed EnCap project expanded their inquiry into the borough on Tuesday, issuing a subpoena for records detailing a financing deal struck by the former development partners five years ago. (Clunn, The Record)

Montvale to put school district question before voters

The Borough Council will join Woodcliff Lake in asking voters in November whether they want the borough and school board to create a joint pre-K through 12 grade district. (Superville, The Record)

State overpaid contractors, report says

New Jersey overpaid 10 contractors who help care for the developmentally disabled in fiscal 2008, costing the state at least $1.4 million, according to a report released yesterday by state Comptroller Matthew Boxer. (Tamari, The Inquirer)

Foreclosure approved for NJ church

A federal judge refused to reserve the foreclosure of a nondenominational church in New Jersey. (AP)

Audit finds millions wasted by N.J. agency that oversees services to developmentally disabled

Private companies that use the public's tax dollars to care for the state's developmentally disabled spent $2,690 on an unitemized tab at Atlantic City's Cuba Libre, installed a GPS device in an executive director's car for $1,999 and squandered $111,851 to take staff and developmentally disabled residents on cruises to the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. (Harper, Press of Atlantic City)

McCall-Clark had no edge in Atlantic City land sale, attorney says

Cassandra McCall-Clark's position on Atlantic City Council in 2002 gave her a vote, but no extra privilege in a city land sale, her attorney argued Tuesday. (Cohen, Press of Atlantic City)

Recall committee in Beachwood submits petition to oust mayor

Less than two months after a recall committee filed its intention with borough officials to attempt to oust Mayor Ronald W. Jones Jr. from office, members of the group announced they have collected the necessary number of signatures for their petition. (Asbury Park Press)

Union County jail locked down

Officials say inmates at a northern New Jersey jail were placed on lockdown after two large fights broke out over the weekend. (AP)

Edison to vote Wednesday on budget year switch

The Township Council will finally vote today on the administration's proposal to shift from from a fiscal year budget to a calendar year budget, a move billed as a way to help close the township's deficit. (Amuthan, Courier News)

Jobless rates stay stubbornly high in S.J.

Unemployment in Camden and Gloucester counties is higher than the statewide average, and a closer look at the data reveals that some communities will have a bumpier road than others. (Roh, Courier-Post)

Camden school board looks inward

The board of education members turned the spotlight on their own strengths and weaknesses during a working retreat Tuesday, and agreed to make a firmer commitment to their own goals to deliver student success. (Gidjunis, Courier-Post)

Chivukula says Pallone was good gubernatorial stand-in on Sunday

The presence of GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie's float at the Indian Independence Day Parade on Sunday came as a broadside to Democrats who didn't field a rival "Corzine" four-wheeler in what is generally a Democratic Party safe zone. (Pizarro, PolitickerNJ) Morning News Digest: August 12, 2009