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Rutgers-New Brunswick is the latest university in New Jersey to open a food pantry. There are now more than 300 such pantries on campuses across the country amid increasing recognition that some students are going hungry, with devastating effects — not least on their ability to study and get good grades. Kerri Willson, who runs the pantry, described it as “a Band-Aid for us to help a student get back on their feet and be able to graduate.” National studies have determined that 20 percent to 30 percent of students had spent some of the previous 30 days hungry. And Rutgers is preparing a study of its own students to determine how many cannot afford regular meals. Willson is concerned, however, that studies underestimate the problem. “There’s some shame associated with people asking for help,” she said. Read more
NJ Spotlight Daily News

September 29, 2016

Fulop’s Dramatic Departure Reshapes Dynamics of 2017 Gubernatorial Race
Chase Brush | Politics
One less potential Democratic hopeful throws differences among remaining contenders in sharp relief
Op-Ed: Leadership Now Can Protect NJ’s Water Supply from Future Climate Change
Tom Kean Sr. and Jim Florio | Opinion
New report is catalyst to begin identifying risks to water supply posed by climate change and implementing measures to reduce vulnerability
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September 28, 2016

Keeping College Within Reach for Middle- and Working-Class Families
Chase Brush | Education
With state investment in higher education continuing to decline, a new blueprint suggests ways to alleviate the burden on students and their families
State Officials Clamp Down on Fentanyl – And Its Clones
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Advocates fear tougher penalties won’t reduce drug addiction but will boost the prison population
Court Tosses Challenge to Public Financing for American Dream Complex
John Reitmeyer | Politics
Developer says appellate ruling means work can resume on long-delayed megamall this year
Profile: A Pioneer Who’s Investigating How Bacteria Communicate
Joe Tyrrell | Profiles
In an era of increasing antibiotic resistance, Dr. Bonnie Bassler’s research could revolutionize medicine by encouraging helpful bacteria and inhibiting the spread of pathogens
Wildstein: Christie Laughed When Told Of Fort Lee Traffic Jams
WNYC News | Politics
Governor has not been charged, but the star prosecution witness suggests he knew of lane closings while they were happening
ACLU Says It Will Represent Alleged Bistate Bomber Until He Gets Lawyer
NJTV News Online | More Issues
Ahmad Khan Rahami remains in a Newark hospital, apparently unconscious and unable to express his wishes on legal counsel

September 27, 2016

American Dream Mall in Meadowlands Faces Financing Nightmare
John Reitmeyer | More Issues, Politics
Developer tells NJ appeals court any delay in approving funding will kill long-stalled project
Public Service Enterprise Group’s New Venture, Selling Energy Retail
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Company is quietly setting up PSEG Energy Solutions to sell electricity and gas to commercial and industrial accounts
As More NJ Students Go Hungry, More Colleges Open Food Pantries
Tara Nurin | Education, Social
Amid growing recognition that some students are going hungry, Rutgers-New Brunswick is the latest university in New Jersey to open a food pantry
Atlantic City’s $100M Gamble to Keep Its Water Utility in Public Hands
Chase Brush | Politics
The state wants the city to sell the utility to meet the terms of an overdue bridge loan, but the city has another plan to raise the money and protect the water system
Approval for Outside Oversight of Controversial Medicaid Payment Reform
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
But even with an independent monitor, some advocates fear the reform will lead to cuts in services for vulnerable patients
Explainer: How NJ’s Public Libraries Are Faring in the Information Age
Carly Sitrin | Explainer
The state’s libraries still come through with books, but patrons also can access digital media like music and ebooks, as well as share new technologies
Bridgegate Trial: Dramatic and Bizarre
WNYC News | Politics
The prosecution laid out its case last week that the lane closures on the GWB went into the inner sanctums of the Christie administration; what’s in store for the second week?

September 26, 2016

PennEast Proposes Route Changes to Lessen Environmental Impact
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Conservationists raise concerns that modifications were announced after public comment period was over
Green Cards for Sale: How Rich Foreigners Buy U.S. Visas
Mark Lagerkvist | Politics
Approximately 10,000 green cards are up for sale through the government’s EB-5 immigrant investor program
Urgency to Define Rules for Telemedicine in New Jersey
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Lawmakers try to ensure Garden State is not left out of the growing use of electronic communications between healthcare providers and patients
Paramus Mayor Endorses Murphy — Harbinger for Bergen County?
Chase Brush | Politics
Does Mayor LaBarbiera’s backing signal that Bergen — likely the last true swing county in the state — is up for grabs?
The List: The Commuting Habits of New Jersey Workers
Colleen O'Dea | The List
According to census data, it takes longer for commuters in the Garden State to get to work than the national average
NJ Spotlight on Cities: Help Chart the Future of Our Urban Centers
John Mooney | Planning
A day-long conference featuring 50 speakers geared to creating an urban agenda for the Garden State
Wildstein Says He Talked to Christie About Political Use of Port Authority
WNYC News | Politics
Agency's 'bad cop' tells jury Democratic mayors were to be tempted with everything from projects to bits of steel from the twin towers
Call for New Jersey to Do More to End Distracted Driving
NJTV News Online | Social
Expert urges state to strengthen laws in order to limit the number of distracted drivers — and the danger they present to others

September 23, 2016

With Infrastructure Projects Sidelined, Who Pays for Broken Contracts?
Chase Brush | Transportation
Counties and municipalities are coming under the gun for road and bridge projects Christie has shut down until cash is found for Transportation Trust Fund
Drinking Water Panel Urges DEP to Adopt Nation’s Strictest Limit on PFOA
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Scientists want New Jersey to reduce the permitted level in drinking water of chemical that has been linked to cancer
Powerful Backers of Gambling in North Jersey Decide to Fold Their Hand
Chase Brush | More Issues, Politics
Our Turn NJ pulls its TV spot, saying voters ‘very negative’ about November ballot referendum
No Remedy Yet to Cure ‘Surprise’ Out-of-Network Charges
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Insurers, hospitals, doctors, and patient advocates struggle for consensus on an equitable way to handle unexpected expenses
Scorching Summer of 2016 Yields Dozens of Bad-Air Days
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
More stringent standard helps push to 24 the number of days NJ failed to meet acceptable levels for smog
Interactive Map: More New Jerseyans Register as Presidential Election Nears
Colleen O'Dea | Maps, Map of the Week
Last year, almost nine of 10 of those eligible were registered, but fewer than two in 10 made it to the polls
Wildstein and Foye Come Under Scrutiny at Day 4 of Bridgegate Trial
WNYC News | Politics
Foye avers that he was powerless to stop Wildstein, who was being ‘protected’ by Gov. Chris Christie
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