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NJ Spotlight Daily News

January 22, 2015

Schools Chief Admits NJ Mishandled Construction Process in Needy Districts
John Mooney | Education
Hespe concedes state didn’t follow legally required procedure, says it’s now complying with law
Garden State Bankers Expect NJ’s Economy Will Still Lag Behind U.S. in 2015
Tara Nurin | Politics
The state’s bankers feel moderately comfortable with the nation’s economic status quo but say New Jersey needs to catch up
Poll: Will New Jersey Benefit From Opening Another Medical School?
Healthcare, Polling
Seton Hall University-Hackensack University Health Network would be the state’s only private medical school
The Christie Tracker: The 'Likely' Candidate -- On the Precipice
Matt Katz | Politics, Podcasts
The governor has sought to build a brand from the get-go that has served the greater goal of running for president
Businesses Burying NJ Municipalities with Requests for Public Records
NJTV | Social
More and more companies asking towns to supply lists used in marketing and sales efforts
Spanning the Financial Gap Between Bridge Safety and Lower Costs for Drivers
While state orders safety inspections, transportation fund has been depleted. But raising gas taxes to replenish the fund isn’t a very popular idea

January 21, 2015

The YouTube Governor, Decoded
Matt Katz | Katz on Christie
Any day now, Gov. Chris Christie is expected to formally announce that he’s exploring a presidential run. In six years he has gone from a relatively unknown US Attorney in New Jersey to a household name around the country...
Unhealthy Behavior, Repeat Hospital Stays Spur Rise in Health Costs, Forum Says
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick convenes group of healthcare experts to explore problems, discuss potential solutions
Profile: She Helps Keep Drinking Water from the Highlands Clear and Clean
Colleen O'Dea | Energy & Environment, Profiles
A mix of ballet and rough-and-tumble Morris County politics helped prepare Margaret Nordstrom to be executive director of the Highlands Council
BPU Expected to Green-Light PSE&G’s Plan for Newark Switching Station
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Located inland rather than close to water, new facility should help boost reliability and resilience of power grid operated by state’s largest utility
Public Gets Chance to Air Views on Controversial New Testing for NJ Students
John Mooney | Education
Hearings set next week around the state on PARCC exams tied to much-debated Common Core standards
Rutgers-Harvard Team: Sea Levels Rising More Rapidly Than Previously Thought
Energy & Environment, Sandy
Melting ice caps and rising global temperatures at heart of wide-ranging study -- which says NJ and East Coast are on 'front line' of crisis

January 20, 2015

Assembly Bill Would Increase Suicide-Awareness Training for New Jersey Educators
John Mooney | Education
New measure would require teachers to spend two hours each year learning ways to identify and avoid these tragedies
Explainer: Why Many Sandy Victims Are Frustrated With Their Insurance Companies
Scott Gurian | Explainer, Sandy
Thousands say they were underpaid on claims, while insurers argue homeowners didn't understand coverage or homes had previous damage
Opinion: GOP Legislators May Finally Be Ready to Buck Christie, Override Veto
Carl Golden | Opinion
Tables may turn because of bipartisan support of reforms at Port Authority, governor’s drop in polls
NJ Lawmakers Looking to Finally Get Offshore Wind Turbines Turning
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Two bills before Senate committee hope to get administration moving on becalmed clean technology
Insurance Premiums, Deductibles Down, Says 2015 Healthcare Study
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Coinsurance payments, in contrast, are on the rise for federal marketplace consumers
Op-Ed: This Isn't the Time to Add School Vouchers Into the Educational Mix
Lisa Wolff | Opinion
NJ doesn't need another school-choice program; it needs one that works for all students

January 16, 2015

State Contends in Court That Christie's 2011 Pension Reform Is Unconstitutional
Meir Rinde | Politics
Lawyers enter ironic argument while asking judge to dismiss union lawsuit that state must fully fund public employee retirement funds
What Has School Security Task Force Been Doing for the Past Two Years?
John Mooney | Education
One of three specially-appointed state panels that still haven’t issued reports, it is just now having its first public hearings
New Medical School Will Strive to Entice Graduates to Stay in New Jersey
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Financial incentives, team approach to healthcare cited as strengths of Hackensack network’s partnership with Seton Hall
Legislators Look to Push Administration to Reduce Greenhouse Gases -- Again
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
When will New Jersey rejoin the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative? Not until there’s a new governor, say some environmentalists
Dune-Building Opposed by Margate Officials Gets Big Boost in Federal Court
WHYY/NewsWorks | Energy & Environment
But judge's ruling appears to leave opening for continuing fight by challenging eminent-domain taking of land
Obama’s Cuba Announcement Continues to Send Ripples Through New Jersey
Scott Gurian | Politics, Social
Cuban-Americans in the Garden State and their relatives on the island react to the thawing of relations

January 15, 2015

MVC Glitch Prevents Organ Donors from Signing Up When Renewing Licenses
Andrew Kitchenman | Healthcare
Problems with mail-in and online applications and renewals could ultimately cost lives, group warns
Everything’s Going Great for Camden’s State-Run Public Schools, Right?
John Mooney | Education
Despite governor’s upbeat assessment, the answer depends on who’s answering the question
Proposed $7 Billion Merger Would Let Exelon Acquire Atlantic City Electric
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
If deal goes through, PSE&G would be only state utility actually based in New Jersey
Poll: How Would You Rate Christie’s Annual State of the State Address?
The governor had plenty to say, but was he on-target or off-base?
New Jersey Should Leverage Private Capital to Achieve Resilient Energy Goals
Mary Barber | Energy & Environment, Opinion
Historic storm exposed antiquated power grid’s vulnerability – but public funding’s not sufficient to accomplish needed modernization
Professor’s Report on Charter Schools Prompts Ethics Accusations
NJTV | Education
Rutgers faculty member suggests allegations stem from special-interest group defending its turf
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