Morning News Digest: September 18, 2009

Former VP Al Gore plans N.J. stop

Former Vice President Al Gore will try to rally the faithful when he speaks at the New Jersey Democratic State Conference next week. (AP)

N.J. towns check construction after testing companies face fraud charges

State officials have told all 566 towns in New Jersey to check recent construction projects because two concrete-testing companies are facing racketeering and fraud charges in New York. (AP)

Smoking ban at N.J. beaches, public parks is lawmaker’s goal

Three years after New Jerseyans were banned from smoking indoors, a top state lawmaker wants to keep them from lighting up in many outdoor spots as well. (Graber, The Star-Ledger)

Independent candidate Chris Daggett to file lawsuit challenging N.J. balloting syste

Independent gubernatorial candidate Chris Daggett plans to file a lawsuit arguing that New Jersey’s balloting system is unconstitutional because it gives the two major parties top billing, his spokesman said today. (Fleisher, The Star-Ledger)

Cop’s discipline case opens

A disciplinary hearing for Englewood Police Capt. Steven Sabo on charges that he mistreated workers at an auto parts dealer got under way Thursday in Ridgefield Municipal Court. (Fabiano, The Record)

Rutgers donations rise despite economy

Despite one of the worst economic climates in decades, Rutgers University has received record donations from people and foundations. (Haydon, The Record)

4 A.C. firefighters accused in sex case

Atlantic City officials allege firefighters coaxed teenage girls to disrobe and pose for pictures in firefighting gear before engaging in sex acts. (Parry, AP)

NJ CFO held on child porn charge again

Federal authorities say a New Jersey chief financial officer convicted of possessing child pornography in 2000 didn’t learn his lesson. (AP)

South Harrison Township Committee rescinds firing of 2 police officers

A week ago, the police department here expected to lose two of its officers today because of what the township committee called “budgetary constraints and shortfalls.” (Murray, Gloucester County Times)

Wildwood misses deadline to adopt $26.1M. budget

The city’s $26.1 million budget needed two yes votes to be adopted Thursday. It got only one. (Gilfillian, Press of Atlantic City)

N.J. Dems push public option in House health reform bill A government-run public insurance option isn’t part of the Senate’s main health care reform proposal, but it isn’t about to be eliminated from the House version. (Chebium, Asbury Park Press)

UPDATE: Rutgers grad at center of hidden-camera visits by ‘pimp’ to ACORN offices

Rutgers University has been promoting itself as having “Jersey Roots, Global Reach.” (Courier News)

U.S. Attorney’s Office settles with three doctors charged with getting kickbacks from UMDNJ

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has entered into settlements totaling approximately $960,000 with three cardiologists to settle allegations they accepted kickbacks in the form of salaries from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), and caused the submission of false claims to Medicare, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra, Jr., announced. (Courier News)

Casino dealers rethink union

Two and a half years and more than a million dollars later, the United Auto Workers has little to show for its effort to unionize dealers at Atlantic City’s casinos. (Parry, AP)

Committee to consider Fishman nomination next week

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet next Thursday morning to consider Paul Fishman’s nomination for New Jersey U.S. Attorney. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ)

Morning News Digest: September 18, 2009