NJ’s Largest Paper, Star-Ledger, Cuts 40 News Jobs

The Star-Ledger

The Star-Ledger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey’s largest newspaper is cutting about 170 jobs, including 25 percent of its newsroom positions, as it moves to consolidate operations and cut costs.

The Star-Ledger reported Thursday on NJ.com that the cuts will mean the loss of 40 of the 156 newsroom staffers at the paper.

Other journalists at the newspaper are being offered jobs at NJ Advance Media, a new company being created by parent company Advance Publications to provide content, advertising and marketing services to all of its papers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140403_ap_bcb3f7ff38f04519b9d0130680554985.html#yfmrwV6huUd6q3Sx.99

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After Sandy, Feds Mull Plan For Artificial Islands

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) – A string of artificial islands off the coast of New Jersey and New York could blunt the impact of storm surges that proved so deadly during Superstorm Sandy, according to a proposal vying for attention and funding as the region continues its recovery.

It’s a big proposal that would cost $10 billion to $12 billion. But it’s also the kind of innovative idea that federal officials requested as they consider how best to protect the heavily populated region from future storms.

“We’ve discussed this with the governor’s office of Recovery and Resiliency and the Department of Environmental Protection, and they all look at me like, ‘Whoa! This is a big deal!” said Alan Blumberg, a professor at New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology. “Yes, it is a big deal. It can save lives and protect property.”

The “Blue Dunes” proposal is part of Rebuild By Design, a competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to come up with novel ways to protect against the next big storm. It is one of 10 projects that will be evaluated and voted on next week, but there’s no guarantee any of them will receive funding. Other ideas include building sea walls around cities, re-establishing oyster colonies in tidal flats to blunt wave action and creating water-absorbent nature and recreational preserves.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140329_ap_1e8e64f34e79453995e001fecbadea40.html#Az12YvxsczmA1fud.99

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More People Moving To Lehigh Valley, More Leaving Northwest New Jersey, Census Data Show

English: Pennsylvania county map

English: Pennsylvania county map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If the latest U.S. Census Bureau data are any indication, the Delaware River is the great divider between growth and decline in this region’s population.

More people are moving out of Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey while more are moving into Northampton and Lehigh counties in Pennsylvania.

The Census Bureau this morning released county-by-county population estimates for last year. The data show both New Jersey counties lost population; both Pennsylvania counties gained population. This pattern has continued for three straight years, the data show.

Births outpaced deaths in all four counties; the population changes are instead tied to people migrating to or emigrating out of the counties, according to the census.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/03/more_people_moving_to_lehigh_v.html

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Pa., N.J. Lawmakers Launch Effort To Rein In Delaware River Port Authority

English: A shot from the Pyramid Club of the B...

English: A shot from the Pyramid Club of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge at night. First posted at: Brozzetti Gallery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Republican legislators in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are planning a coordinated effort to change the Delaware River Port Authority and alter its federal charter.

Bills will be introduced in Harrisburg and Trenton to prohibit economic-development spending by the DRPA, give Pennsylvania’s governor the same veto authority over DRPA actions now held by New Jersey’s governor, and require state Senate confirmation of gubernatorial appointments to the DRPA board in Pennsylvania, as is now done in New Jersey.

The bills would also:

- Require a two-thirds majority of the board to approve any toll increases on the DRPA’s four toll bridges;

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20140326_Pa___N_J__lawmakers_launch_effort_to_rein_in_DRPA.html#b3cTW5MXkkoRHgws.99

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Bolaris: Models Align For A Brush With Snow

It looks like the storm we have been watching for days will take on a similar track as the one two weeks ago, when most of the snow fell across southeast New Jersey and Delaware. This storm should generally follow the same path.

Computer models for the last several days have differed largely on the outcome for this storm. Ranging from the North American model blasting us with heavy snow, the global forecasting model ejecting the storm off the Florida coast and the European and Canadian models painting a swath of heavy snow just east of Philly.

Then a wild swing with the global models put Philly back into the heavy snow as the North American model completely went the other way – with no snow for Philly.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Bolaris_Models_align_for_a_brush_with_snow.html#LLxlhBm6vi7G5wU7.99

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Troubled Sherman Hills Apartment Complex To Be Sold

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The same day that the response of the troubled Sherman Hills apartment complex to a federal inspection was released, news comes that the complex is about to be sold.

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, who founded a task force to address problems at the crime-ridden complex after two young girls were shot there last August, met Thursday with eight representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, including Regional Director Jane Vincent, he said in a news release.

HUD officials revealed at the meeting that the property is under contract of sale with a transfer date target of April 1, Cartwright said.

The new owner, New Jersey-based Treetop Development, which has no overlapping ownership with the current owners, also will serve as property manager of the Sherman Hills property, Cartwright said, noting that Treetop has had success working with HUD in the past.

Read more: https://bay176.mail.live.com/default.aspx?n=880162491&fid=1#n=534554189&fid=1

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In Happiness Rankings, Pennsylvania Feeling Kinda Blue

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HOW YOU feeling, Bunkie? Something got you down?

In the annual Gallup poll measuring Americans’ sense of well-being, also known as the happiness poll, Pennsylvania was No. 36 in 2013, down sharply from 29 the year before. (Thank you, Gov. Corbett?) Since Philadelphians are the single biggest geographic group of Pennsylvanians, our civic angst probably drags down the ranking.

We have a schools crisis and send in a hothead as a healer. Crime by criminals is down but crime by cops is up. Buildings collapse, water mains explode, the mayor adds deputy mayors and bike lanes. Poverty is up, employment is down, as are the Phillies, Sixers and Flyers. No wonder we’re not happy.

Do I hear laughter from across the river?

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140303_Don_t_be_glum__chum.html#yTgJ8HAsd3rKLEHi.99

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Nor’easter Gone, More Snow On Way

The nor’easter that crippled the region yesterday dumped more than 20 inches in parts of Chester County, according to newly revised figures – and a bit more could be on the way for the entire Philadelphia region.

The official National Weather Service reading at the Philadelphia International Airport was 11.5 inches of snow. But totals varied with Birdsboro, Berks County, recording 20 inches, and Allentown, Lehigh County, with 18.8 inches – good news for skiers on a long President’s Day weekend. Closer to the city, West Caln, Chester County recorded 18.7 inches.

New Jersey saw higher amounts farther north, with Florence, Burlington County, seeing 12.7 inches and Washington Township, Gloucester County, seeing 12.7 inches. The shore was largely spared snow.

See storm totals for your area here.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Noreaster_gone_leaves_big_headache.html#OxeMvtAK9VEwllXD.99

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Bolaris: Snow This Weekend? Probably. Mega-Storm? No.

So, no, there are no signs of a break in this vicious winter.

However, we will — thank goodness — miss a mega-storm this weekend, which should help in the recovery process of restoring power to many homes still in the dark.

Over the upcoming weekend, a storm system well off the coast, combined with energy racing across the upper Ohio Valley, could produce a period of snow showers from Saturday night into Sunday morning. The region is should expect light accumulation, from a possible coating in most places and up an inch or two. The most likely areas to see accumulation is coastal Cape May County, N.J., and Central and Southern Delaware.

After snow subsides early Sunday, the rest of the day will be windy and cold. Earlier in the weekend, starting Friday, temperatures will be hard pressed to crack the freezing mark.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Bolaris_Snow_this_weekend_Probably_Mega-storm_No.html#rtzT92yoXuz0uHmZ.99

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Poll: More In NJ Want Pot Than Online Gambling

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – A new poll finds more New Jersey residents want to smoke pot than gamble over the Internet.

A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll finds 41 percent of respondents would support smoking marijuana recreationally if it became legal. That compares with only 32 percent who support gambling over the Internet, which is legal in New Jersey now.

The poll finds support for online gambling has fallen, even as it enters its third full month and more than 150,000 online gambling accounts have been set up in the state.

“The public’s attitude was, for several years, warming up to online gambling,” said poll director Krista Jenkins. “But there has been a clear change in direction now that the practice has actually been legalized. Part of the public has always shown deep reluctance to make gambling so accessible in their own homes. Now that it is in fact legal, they may be more concerned than ever.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20140203_ap_ea57de2926384e6087d93750dc244999.html#uC9fqrd0erf0e8Y4.99

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Fulton Financial To Cut 14 Branches, Including 1 In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fulton Financial is closing 14 branches, including one in Lancaster County, as part of a cost-cutting program worth $8 million annually.

The action was disclosed Wednesday by E. Philip Wenger, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Wenger spoke during a conference call to discuss Fulton’s fourth-quarter and 2013 results with analysts who follow the firm.

Fulton is closing six branches in Pennsylvania, five in Maryland and three in New Jersey by the end of the second quarter.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/fulton-financial-to-cut-branches-including-in-lancaster-county/article_10b11eee-8436-11e3-bf19-001a4bcf6878.html

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Bolaris: Old Man Winter To Drop Bombogenesis

BOMBOGENESIS (a rapidly intensifying storm) will take place Tuesday afternoon off the Virginia coast.

Computer models had an extreme reversal on the intensity and track of this storm over the last 24-36 hours, and that’s why snow amounts were jacked up Monday as computer models came late to the snow party.

Hinting started to take place late Sunday as my forecast called for a significant storm for some with 4+ inches of snow possible across parts of New Jersey. But a big uptick in moisture being fed into the storm combined with a piece of the polar vortex sending another package of severe cold. This time, it gets pulled into the storm’s circulation leading to rapid intensification and high snow ratios.

Normally we receive a 10-1 ratio, with one inch of liquid equaling 10 inches of snow, but in this case we have an overall ratio of 13-1, to as much as 15-1, meaning more snow with less liquid.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Bolaris_Old_Man_Winter_to_drop_a_bombogenesis.html#3R4LGxSgscHmB4Od.99

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Winter Storm Brings 2 Feet Of Snow, Kills At Least 9

BOSTON — A storm dropped a blanket of light, powdery snow across the Northeast and ushered in frigid temperatures Friday that were unusual even for cities accustomed to blasts of winter weather. The storm, which shut down major highways temporarily and grounded flights, was blamed for at least nine deaths in the eastern half of the country.

The nor’easter was accompanied by plummeting temperatures that on Friday morning reached 8 degrees below zero in Burlington, Vt., with a wind chill of 29 below and 2 degrees in Boston, with a wind chill of minus 20. It dumped 23 inches of snow in Boxford, Mass., and 18 inches in parts of western New York near Rochester. Thirteen inches of snow fell in Boston, while Lakewood, N.J., got 10 inches and New York City’s Central Park got 6.

On a mostly empty Main Street in Concord, N.H., Kathy Woodfin hustled to work, a tall iced coffee turning to caramel-colored slush in her left hand. It was 7 degrees at 9 a.m. and the wind zipping through alleyways blew a fine, stinging snow in her face.

“I just run from heated car to heated building,” the New Hampshire native said. “It’s just like down South, where they run from air conditioned car to air conditioned building.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140103/winter-storm-brings-2-feet-of-snow-kills-at-least-9

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Two Camden Killings End Year On A Fatal Note

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CAMDEN, NJ — Two men were killed Tuesday in Camden in what authorities said appeared to be a drug-related shooting.

They became the city’s 56th and 57th homicide victims of 2013, pushing the homicide rate to the second-highest level on record and the number of victims to its third-highest level. In 2012, 67 people were slain.

Around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, police were called to a house on the 700 block of Division Street, also known as Ramona Gonzalez Street, in the Bergen Square neighborhood.

They found Jorge Chavis, 31, and James Anderson, 23, dead from gunshot wounds, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said in a news release.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20140101_2_shot_dead_in_Camden.html#uxyK08fKAQjQsho0.99

New Jersey Minimum Wage Rises By $1.00

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Effective Wednesday, New Jersey’s minimum wage will rise by $1 to $8.25 an hour, boosting the paychecks of more than 250,000 New Jerseyans and bumping up costs for businesses with low-wage workers.

While the wage increase is immediate, the reaction by businesses may take longer to assess – especially in light of the automatic annual increases voters approved in November, guaranteeing minimum-wage workers future raises.

Businesses will “over time decide how they’re going to deal with it,” said Thomas Bracken, president of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. “I don’t think there’s going to be any huge impact in 2014 on employment statistics or anything of that nature.”

New Jersey is one of 13 states that will raise their minimum wage Wednesday, according to the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit that advocates for raising the wage.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140101_N_J__minimum_wage_to_rise_by__1_on_Jan__1.html#3TmFBGTdz1KdCXTH.99

In Camden, 89 New Officers And 17 Languages

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Virginia Matias was a senior in high school when her uncle Miguel Espinal was shot and killed during an armed robbery at his corner store.

The robber shot Espinal in the abdomen and made off with $900 from his La Dominicana store in East Camden.

The slaying prompted Matias, now 27, to study law and justice at Rowan University with an eye toward becoming a police officer in Camden, to try to prevent similar acts of senseless violence.

This month, Matias graduated from the Camden County police academy, along with 108 others in the largest graduating class to date. Eighty-nine of the officers, including Matias, are now working for the Camden County Police Metro Division. Another class, graduating in April, will bring the force up to 411 officers, county officials said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20131228_In_Camden__89_new_officers_and_17_languages.html#DaidPhGXFz2LtawH.99

Forecasters: Nor’easter Could Disrupt Thanksgiving Travel

The logo of the United States National Weather...

The logo of the United States National Weather Service. The source page states that is not an “official” version but it looks very close to the version used on NWS’s website. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forecasters are warning of a potential nor’easter that threatens to cause havoc for Thanksgiving travelers.

The National Weather Service says a nor’easter is possible from late Tuesday through Thanksgiving day, with stormy weather most likely to hit in the mid-Atlantic from early Wednesday through early Thursday.

The storm could bring strong winds and heavy rain to much of region, with snow possible, especially in higher-elevation areas in eastern Pennsylvania and northwest New Jersey.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Forecasters_Noreaster_could_disrupt_Thanksgiving_travel.html#JLSDLitI5OjS8lDx.99

On The House: SEPTA Rail Lines Boost Suburban Home Prices, Study Finds

SEPTA logo with text

SEPTA logo with text (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Transit-oriented development is not new, especially to older metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia.

Whether in anticipation of the arrival of public transit or in its wake, homes and commercial enterprises have sprung up near rail stations, trolley stops, and subway entrances since 1858, with the advent of horse-car service on Fifth and Sixth Streets between Southwark and Kensington.

The first steam train began running from Philadelphia to Germantown in 1832, igniting a mass-transit boom that would dictate how and where the region would grow.

As rickety as public transit sometimes seems, this region still has an infrastructure that cities such as Los Angeles; Portland, Ore.; and Atlanta have spent billions trying to replicate to ease their dependence on the automobile.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/20131110_On_the_House__SEPTA_rail_lines_boost_suburban_home_prices__study_finds.html#dQrjgA3E9CWrv1xb.99

New A.C. Mayor Vows Better Relationships With State, Casinos

English: Atlantic City (NJ) - The boardwalk in...

English: Atlantic City (NJ) – The boardwalk in a rainy day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – Talk about shuffling the deck.

In an unexpected outcome, voters replaced two-term incumbent and Gov. Christie foe Mayor Lorenzo Langford with an openly gay Republican who rides a bicycle to work and whose current job is with the state board that oversees the governor’s tourism district.

Atlantic City is amazing at how it reinvents itself,” Mayor-elect Don Guardian said Wednesday in a bit of understatement to supporters and press at his Atlantic Avenue headquarters.

The 60-year-old Guardian, an Eagle Scout who came to Atlantic City from Bergen County to be an executive with the local Boy Scouts, has spent 20 years as head of the city’s Special Improvement District, a division of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which oversees the state Tourism District.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20131107_New_A_C__mayor_vows_better_relationships_with_state__casinos.html#v7d88YUJXs8ogS5u.99