Morning Digest: Dec. 31, 2012

Taxes set to rise for workers as budget deal elusive

With taxes set to increase for almost every U.S. worker at midnight, Congress hasn’t reached a budget deal that Democrats and Republicans say is necessary to prevent a blow to the U.S. economy. Hunter/Tron, Bloomberg


Hillary Clinton hospitalized with blood clot

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been admitted to a New York hospital after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month. Townsquare News Network


Another N.J. bank to disappear

FLORENCE — Another longtime community bank in the area will disappear, thanks to a merger.

Roebling Bank, founded 90 years ago in a working-class section of Florence Township, agreed last week to merge with a Pennsylvania bank. Bishop, Burlington County Times


2012 up and down year for S. Jersey businesses

The world of business — with its ups and downs, openings and closings — continued this year in the tri-county area.

It was a bad year for grocery stores and employees of Lockheed Martin, but the Voorhees Town Center saw a number of eateries move in, and Subaru of America will be fueling jobs in Florence. Cooney, Camden Courier-Post



North Arlington receives $1.1M in tax settlement

The borough has received $1.1 million in a tax settlement with the state Meadowlands Commission officially completed last week.

The payment was in lieu of taxes for land the commission took over in the wake of the failed EnCap development project. Copley, Record



Trenton’s past in peril: More money to destroy historic homes than save them

The fates of 480 and 482 W. State St. are far from unusual in Trenton.

Abandoned 30 years ago, the two houses — one freestanding, one a row house, both less than a mile from the Statehouse — simply decayed to the point of no return. Duffy, Trenton Times



FBI investigating federal housing projects begun under former mayor

The FBI is investigating federal Community Block Development Grant funds used for six to eight major housing developments in Trenton started under former Mayor Douglas Palmer’s administration, the city’s CDBG coordinator said yesterday. Zdan, Trenton Times


30-day farm bill called poor joke

House Republican leaders faced bipartisan criticism Sunday for proposing just 30 day patches to forestall the threatened spike in milk prices next month — with senior lawmakers mocking the approach as a “poor joke on farmers” and asking who plants a crop for just 30 days. Politico



As Dems seek candidate, Christie seeks their constituencies

As New Jersey Democrats search for a savior to lead them back to the comfy confines of the governor’s mansion in Princeton, Republicans have theirs in Chris Christie. Katz, Inquirer


Meadowlands track operator set for early start of racing season

It’s been only a year since Jeff Gural took the reins at the Meadowlands Racetrack, but he isn’t waiting long before trying to adapt to some of his earliest challenges. Burd, NJBiz



State police still plagued by missteps

When racial profiling rocked the State Police in the late 1990s, Bishop Reginald Jackson became one of the agency’s fiercest critics, even calling on the superintendent to resign. Baxter, Star-Ledger



Jersey City: Year of big plans, shifts of power

As noted in the Political Insider columns of 2012, the past year started with a big wind — the State of the City speech by Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy — and ended with that of Hurricane Sandy and the possible political ramifications, if any, in future municipal elections.  Torres, Jersey Journal


New year, new low for Republicans

Four years ago Barack Obama prepared to take the oath of office as a Democratic president, at a moment when free market ideology and Republican incumbency were disgraced by events. But a year that should have marked the end of the laissez-faire fantasy and the resurgence of effective government instead began an era of muddle through. Kuttner, Huffington Post


Settlement on red-light camera suits but it’s nothing to shout about

Because of a class action lawsuit over red-light camera tickets, close to 500,000 people who got tickets in New Jersey will partial refunds. But don’t send out for the helium balloons. Ingle, Asbury Park Press


President George H.W. Bush’s break with NRA ignored in gun group’s gift shop

In 1995, President George H.W. Bush gave up his lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association via an angry open letterin which he expressed his outrage over a fundraising pitch made by current NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre that described federal agents as “jack-booted government thugs” wearing “Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms.” PolitickerNY


Morning Digest: Dec. 31, 2012