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AREA 51 — It started as a great joke on Facebook, but now the feds may be getting worried. There are 1.2 million people who have vowed to raid Area 51 in Nevada as part of a Facebook event, saying “they can’t stop all of us,” as they plan to “see them aliens.” But now the feds are wondering: What if people actually show up at the planned time and date, Sept. 20 at 3 a.m.? Area 51 is the super-secret U.S. Air Force base that has long been fabled as the site of aliens and conspiracy theories. “If we Naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets,” the page says, referencing the Japanese manga-inspired running style with arms outstretched backward and heads forward. A pinned post on the page does attempt to cover some bases, reading, “Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet.” Still, the event has gained plenty of attention, while the Air Force is discouraging people from storming the base.
NJ Spotlight Daily News

July 16, 2019

Unhappy Enviros Blast Murphy’s Draft Energy Master Plan
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Coalition of environmental groups argue draft plan doesn’t impose a needed moratorium on new fossil-fuel projects
Signing Three Bills, Murphy Adds Weapons to War Against Addiction
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Measures boost awareness of opioid misuse, add warning labels on medicine bottles containing opiates, and write MAT into law
Mapping Out Alternative Ways for NJ to Redraw Legislative Districts
Colleen O'Dea | Politics
Greater public involvement, increased transparency, and larger redistricting commission could be written into state constitution
Governor Announces September Trade Mission to India
John Reitmeyer | More Issues
Six-city, seven-day visit will focus on technology, manufacturing, clean energy and pharmaceutical industries
Agency Mulls Review of LNG Terminal Application for Delaware River Basin
Jon Hurdle | Energy & Environment
Environmental group accuses regulator of abandoning responsibility to protect water resources
NJ Lawmakers Seek to Lift Federal Limits on Homegrown Doctors
Brenda Flanagan | NJTV News | Healthcare
Caps restrict the number of medical residencies that hospitals can offer; Menendez, Pascrell and Gottheimer would change that
New Law Limits Solitary Confinement in New Jersey
Michael Hill | NJTV News | More Issues
The practice will be prohibited unless there is reasonable cause to believe the inmate or others would be at substantial risk of serious harm
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July 15, 2019

Meadowlands Megamall Spurs Major Traffic Concerns
Brenda Flanagan | NJTV News | Transportation
Questions arise as to how NJ Transit, Secaucus and the state will respond once the American Dream center opens
New Foreclosure Law Aims to Inhibit Loss of Affordable Homes in NJ
Colleen O'Dea | Housing
At start of proceedings, measure would give municipalities option to buy homes that are deed-restricted for low- and moderate-income purchasers
$1M in State Funding for Local News Consortium Is Up in the Air
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Gov. Murphy has put that money and dozens of other spending items on hold over budget concerns
Changing of the Guard at New Jersey Resources
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
After steering company for two decades, Laurence Downes to step down; he has been a big booster of a clean-energy economy for Garden State
Op-Ed: Principles that Should Guide Final Version of NJ’s Energy Master Plan
Scott Weiner | Opinion
‘The enormity of the work required to move the energy master plan from vision to implementation can’t be overstated’

July 12, 2019

Outrage over How NJ Judges Dealt with Sexual Assault Cases
Carly Sitrin | More Issues
Survivors, advocates, lawmakers call for removal of two judges and for overhaul of criminal justice system in the state
Hudson County Hospitals Facing New Criticism Over Financial Practices
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
As dozens of layoffs loom at CarePoint Health, state’s largest healthcare union questions whether stricter state monitoring could have prevented them
Audit: New Jersey Police Agencies Need Uniform Policies For Rape Kits
Colleen O'Dea | More Issues
No backlog, but questions persist about why results of some exams were never processed at state forensic labs
NJ Transit Emerges Unscathed From Trenton’s Battle Of The Budget
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Net financial support for the beleaguered transit agency is up $75 million in the recently approved spending plan
Former Murphy Official Has Not Responded to Lawsuit Over Alleged Rape
Karen Rouse | WNYC News | More Issues
Attorney for Katie Brennan has asked the court to enter a default against Al Alvarez
Preparing Shore Towns for Rising Sea Levels
Joanna Gagis | NJTV News | Energy & Environment
New state initiative aims to help 15 Shore towns develop strategies to combat rising sea levels, which are expected to increase significantly over next decade
Spreading the Word on Free Summer Meals for Underserved Youth
Briana Vannozzi | NJTV News | Social
Newark kicks off high-profile events to get the word out on its Summer Food Service Program

July 11, 2019

NJ Not Alone in Switch to State-Based Health Insurance Exchange
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Four other states, including Pennsylvania, are moving to take over ACA operation from federal government
Thinking Small Could Alter Power Grid by Integrating Small-Scale Power Systems
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Distributed energy resources like solar arrays and CHP can help customers save while giving utilities a way to trim spending on local, long-distance infrastructure
Smarter Electronic System Will Track Sale of Corporate Tax Credits in Real Time
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Better monitoring will make it easier for Department of Treasury to keep tabs on tax incentives when they’re redeemed, making financial projections and budgeting more accurate
Sheriffs Defend Renewed Contracts with ICE Despite AG’s Rebuke
Brenda Flanagan | NJTV News | Immigration
Cape May and Monmouth County sheriffs both renewed 287(g) contracts specifying that undocumented immigrants with criminal records be turned over to ICE
Groundbreaking Project in Paterson Ties Health to Housing
Briana Vannozzi | NJTV News | Healthcare
St. Joseph’s Health partners with state to provide affordable housing for frequent users of emergency department
No Funding in Sight to Repair Newark’s Crumbling Schools
Patrick Wall | Chalkbeat | Education
Buildings in cash-strapped district have leaky roofs, damaged walls, peeling paint, old electrical systems, missing sinks and toilets

July 10, 2019

Public gets to weigh in on state's embattled tax-break programs
John Reitmeyer | Budget
Task force also hears more about controversial Camden award made to nuclear-parts manufacturer Holtec International
State Appoints Dental Director, First in Three Decades
Lilo H. Stainton | Healthcare
Dr. Darwin K. Hayes, who led large training program in the Bronx, will develop oral-health plan for the state
Advocates Optimistic About Bid To Monitor PFAS In Water Systems
Tom Johnson | Energy & Environment
Amendments to annual federal defense spending bill contain language that could help define scope of the contamination
NJ Goes After Employers Who Misclassify Workers as Independent Contractors
Colleen O'Dea | More Issues
Governor says misclassification is ‘an unfair business practice and it is illegal,’ as new report proposes remedies for growing problem
Attorney general: County sheriffs violated Immigration Directive
Julie Daurio | NJTV News | Immigration
Monmouth and Cape May counties have until August 6 to justify their renewed cooperation with federal authorities, including ICE
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