Here are the top New Jersey stories for Thursday


New Limits Set For "Forever Chemicals" In NJ's Water Supply

Man-made chemicals that have tainted water supplies for decades are, for the first time, the target of limits announced by the federal government. Now it's on utilities to fall in line with the strict standards, perhaps at the expense of ratepayers.

The Environmental Protection Agency says common types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, will need to be limited to 4 parts per trillion. That's the lowest level tests can reliably detect. PFAS have been used in commercial and industrial applications for more than 70 years. The so-called "forever chemicals" are still used today in firefighting foam.

While their use in products, such as nonstick cookware and waterproof clothing, has been phased out, contamination from past usage is expected to continue indefinitely because they're soluble and mobile in water, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

New Jersey already has its own standards related to the presence of PFAS in water. The federal government's announcement tightens the cap even more.


 NJ Teacher Arrested, Banned From School After "Questionable Decisions"

BERLIN BOROUGH — A pubic school teacher was arrested after “questionable decisions” that required officers to remove him from school grounds. Scott Nalick, a “former employee of the Berlin Community School,” was placed on administrative leave Monday as he was escorted off the premises, according to Police Chief Michael Scheer. The teacher's key fob and access to the school was revoked, Scheer said.The 38-year-old Nalick then allegedly made social media posts directed at the school community, prompting police to contact him and warn him against further contact with any school community members.


New Video Clears NJ School Principal Charged With Assault, Attorney Claims

MAPLEWOOD — A New Jersey school principal faces years in prison if convicted of assaulting a Black female student but his defense attorney claims the evidence is stacked in his favor.

Frank Sanchez has been on paid administrative leave from his position as principal of Columbia High School in the South Orange-Maplewood School District since January. He was arrested on March 7 and charged with second-degree child endangerment and simple assault.

The 50-year-old principal is accused of slamming a student against a wall in March 2023. Sanchez "physically assaulted" the 15-year-old female student, according to her attorneys with Davis Advocacy Consulting, LLC.

However, Sanchez's union lawyer Robert Schwartz tells the New York Times that video from cameras in the school hallways showed that his client was trying to stop a student who had already threatened her peers.


 NJ Town Says No To Flying LGBT Pride Flag

BOONTON — Chalk Pride flags are OK outside town hall but real ones are not following a vote by the town council.

Boonton's town council adopted an ordinance in December that allowed groups to request permission to fly their organization's flag on the single pole at town hall along with the existing American and POW flags.

After Boonton Rainbow Pride applied to fly a Pride flag in June in honor of Pride Month,  they were told that Councilman Daniel Balan would introduce a revised ordinance to disallow flags other than those of the township, county, state, and branches of the U.S. military. The ordinance also does not allow flags to be flown by presidential proclamation.


New Poll Declares NJ's Favorite Convenience Store

One convenience store crushes all of its competition in a new poll about the Garden State's favorite. As part of its latest survey, Monmouth University asked New Jersey adults which convenience store is their favorite: 7-Eleven, QuickChek, Wawa, or something else?

One spot took 50% of the vote, and the rest was split among the other options. In the poll, 7-Eleven received 15% of New Jersey's vote, and QuickChek received 14%.

Wawa came out on top — half of the poll's respondents chose the Pennsylvania-based chain as their favorite.

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NJ schools with the worst attendance problems

These 30 schools had the highest rate of chronic absenteeism in the 2022-23 school year. Data is for the New Jersey Department of Education's annual NJ School Performance Reports.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5


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