FIRST NEWS PLUS for Friday June 20, 2014
New Jersey’s First News, hosted by Eric Scott, written and produced by Matthew White and Patrick Lavery. Full podcast available below. Digital support, with additional links, by Dan Alexander.
Revel’s Last Hand? - Remember when Revel was the symbol of hope for Atlantic City’s gambling industry? Now, with its second bankruptcy filing, Revel could shut down by the end of the summer.
- Revel’s last hand? / NJ1015.com
- Revel again files for bankruptcy, warns employees it could close this summer / Press of Atlantic City
NTSB Issues Report on Tracy Morgan Accident - A preliminary NTSB report finds that trucker Kevin Roper was speeding before his tractor-trailer crashed into limo, injuring Tracy Morgan and killing one person. The report says roper was going 65 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone on the Turnpike. N ew questions have been raised about Roper’s schedule too. The report concluded he had been on the job over 13 hours at the time of the crash.
- NTSB report: Truck hit Tracy Morgan’s limo at 65 MPH / NJ1015.com
Turning Against Christie – Esquire is reporting that the U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman is near certain to indict former Christie staffers and Port Authority officials for their alleged roles in Bridgegate and other recent scandals. The report says the indictments are aimed at getting defendants to testify against the governor.
Another Budget Plan - A day after Senate Democratic leaders unveiled an alternative budget plan, their counterparts in the Assembly followed suit. The Assembly Speaker says the details are being ironed out with the Senate Democrats, but the leaders of both houses agree the wealthy must pay more in taxes.
- Assembly Dems propose millionaire’s tax/ NJ1015.com
- Budget Crisis: Prieto leans away from Sweeney on tax for those making over $500,000; prefers ‘true millionaires’ tax’ /PolitickerNJ
Residency Rules - A measure that would starkly alter residency rules for some school employees moves forward. A state Senate committee advanced the bill Thursday that would permit workers in 10 counties near the New York or Pennsylvania border to live out of state. The current law requires all public employees to live in New Jersey.
- N.J. bill would allow out-of-state teachers / Courier-Post
A Step Closer to Expansion – Senate President Steve Sweeney gives Rutgers three months to reform itself before moving a controversial bill to the Assembly. On Thursday, the Senate passed a plan to expand the school’s governing board, despite strong campus and alumni opposition. Sweeney says he will delay delivering the Assembly the bill, which would add 4 members to the powerful Board of Governor.
- State senate votes to expand Rutgers board / NJ1015.com (The Associated Press)
- Sweeney delivers ultimatum on controversial bill to add political appointees to Rutgers board / Star-Ledger
Good news for New Jersey’s job market – The unemployment rate is at its lowest level since 2008. State Labor Commissioner Hal Wirth says the unemployment rate is dropping for all the right reasons
- Unemployment dips to 6.8% in New Jersey / NJ1015.com (AP)
Return of the tick – It’s that time of year again. The heat and humidity has returned and with it, the tick population. Some exterminators are reporting a high volume of calls.
- An uptick in ticks? / NJ1015.com
School Bus Slashing - A school bus argument escalates in Pennsauken. Police say a 16 year old girl slashed another girls face with a sharp object on the bus yesterday afternoon. The victim was taken to the hospital, the alleged attacker is charged with aggravated assault.
- Girl’s face slashed on Pennsauken school bus / NJ1015.com
- Girl slashed in face on Pennsauken school bus / 6 ABC
Operation RayScam – A New Jersey man who owns several MRI centers has been charged with orchestrating a complex scheme that allegedly paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal kickbacks to doctors, in exchange for patient referrals to his facilities.
- NJ arrests more than 12 in alleged kickback scheme / NJ1015.com
- Fraud suspect who cheated Medicaid before, now called ringleader of alleged North Jersey $8M kickback scheme / The Record
Cocaine Cookies - Newark Liberty International Airport officials discover a batch of cookies in a man’s luggage worth $50,000. That’s because they were laced with pellets of cocaine. Guatemalan citizen Mauricio Isidro Rivera Hernandez is charged with attempting to smuggle the cocaine cookies as he arrived in Newark.
- Batch of cookies confiscated at Newark Airport / NJ1015.com (AP)
Advisers to Iraq – President Obama says the U.S. will send more advisers to help Iraqi security forces deal with the rising insurgency. He says Iran can play a constructive role in Iraq if it sends a message that Iraq’s government must be inclusive and respect the interests of Sunnis and Kurds.
- Obama: US sending only military advisors to Iraq / NJ1015.com (AP)
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A preliminary NTSB report finds that trucker Kevin Roper was speeding before his tractor-trailer crashed into limo, injuring Tracy Morgan and killing one person. The report says roper was going 65 miles per hour in a 45 mile per hour zone on the Turnpike. N ew questions have been raised about Roper’s schedule too. The report concluded he had been on the job over 13 hours at the time of the crash