Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing for 9/14/2020:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I never saw a more perfect environment for politicians to avoid the heat.” – Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick on the Assembly’s remote meetings
TOP STORY: Trump Backers Target ‘Left-Wing Media’, Marxists and Nancy Pelosi
Follow Insider NJ’s COVID-19 Information Update Center and Insider NJ’s County COVID-19 Data Center.
The statewide COVID-19 count stands at 196,634 cases and 14,242 fatalities as of Sunday. The viral transmission rate is 1.06.
NJMVC head Sue Fulton went into damage control mode on Friday, praising the agency amid widespread complaints of long lines, according to TAPinto.
A NJ man ran one of the largest websites supporting the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to the Bergen Record.
NJ Parkway and Turnpike toll hikes went into effect yesterday, according to NJ 101.5.
Burlington County held its first 9/11 remembrance ceremony.
Camden County will hold a ‘movie night’ in Winslow on Saturday to promote census participation.
An air filter issue forced two Morris County schools to go remote, according to the Daily Record.
Ocean County reported that its animal shelters are thriving amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Freeholder Board are expected to approve a resolution expressing opposition to the legalization of marijauana, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Somerset County launched an economic recovery website, according to NJ Hills. Incoming county administrator Colleen Mahr says COVID-19 recovery and economic development are on her list of priorities, according to MyCentralJersey.
Sussex County’s freeholders urged Governor Murphy to fully reopen the county, and voted on a resolution against firearm and ammunition tax and fee increases.
Rep. Norcross announced $348k in funding for South Jersey health centers.
Rep. Watson Coleman expressed outrage following a NY Daily News report that that the Treasury withheld $3M from the World Trade Center Health Program.
Rep. Smith helped break ground on new homes for veterans at risk for homelessness.
Kean University technology students participated in a national research program over the summer.
ICYMI: New unemployment claims rose 12.5%; Murphy touts baby bonds; Vannozzi will take the helm of NJTV News; Murphy says ‘very few reported cases of knucklehead behavior‘ over weekend; state launches online voter registration (iLine post); administrative order clarifying health club reopenings; travel quarantine advisory updated; administrative order prohibits smoking in casinos; Murphy signs order allowing indoor dining to resume; Carroll in line to be the interim prosecutor in Morris, as Knapp retires; Malinowski’s town hall
The Rutgers-Newark College Democrats announced their departure from the College Democrats of America and College Democrats of New Jersey, citing racial insensitivity and exclusionary interactions with the state chapter, including a lack of financial assistance. The CDNJ responded to the accusations.
At a 9/11 ceremony in Flemington, Senator Doherty called the Black Lives Matter movement ‘Marxist’ and said systemic racism is a ‘evil lie‘, according to NJ.com.
Former CD2 GOP primary candidate Brian Fitzherbert announced his candidacy to fill the vacant Atlantic County freeholder left by Frank Formica’s resignation.
Insider NJ’s Pic of the Day: The Murphys observe Biden and Pence (iLine post).
ICYMI: Murphy helps raise $2M for Biden (iLine post); Baptiste to lead Biden NJ campaign (iLine); Gottheimer fired back at challenger Pallotta; Malinowski fielded socialism question (iLine); Becchi’s first TV ad (iLine); Ali says GOP should ‘stop complaining’ about VBM (iLine); Biden leads Trump in NJ (iLine); Booker leads Mehta (iLine); in CD7, Kean taking heat over Garwood council candidate; James elected head of DMO NJ; judge ruled Middlesex must allow non-gender specific party county committee seats; following loss of a bet, Peters shaves Bergen (iLine); CD11 contest kicks off
In Somerville, activists held a Black Lives Matter rally on Sunday.
In Roselle, a judge ordered a new meeting of the local Democrats to select a mayoral nominee, ruling in favor of Denise Wilkerson’s challenge of the selection of Donald Shaw (iLine post). The committee will meet tomorrow to select a candidate via secret ballot (iLine post).
In Parsippany, Trump supporters held two rallies on Saturday.
In Jersey City, the JCEA endorsed the Education Matters BOE slate.
In North Arlington, Democratic council candidates Yampaglia and Bradley launched a ‘Small, Safe, and Suburban’ campaign.
In Tenafly, the school district says over 80 staffers requested leaves of absence, according to the Bergen Record.
In Trenton, Mayor Gusciora backs the Trentonian’s request for the AG’s Office to probe the council. City Clerk Conlon threatened to call the FBI over ‘wiretapping’ allegations, according to the Trentonian.
In Clifton, a petition is circulating requesting the removal of all Blue Lives Matter insignia, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Wayne, teachers declared ‘no confidence’ in the BOE, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Ridgewood, the schools superintendent announced his resignation, according to the Bergen Record.
In Vineland, Montrose Street will be alternatively called ‘Puerto Rico Way‘, according to the Courier Post.
In Howell, a school will go all-remote for two days following a COVID-19 case, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Chatham Township, residents are alarmed at possible Noe Pond redevelopment, according to NJ Hills.
In Margate, the town is ready to start the bidding process on the Amherst Avenue promenade, according to Downbeach.
In Frankford, a student tested positive for COVID-19 at a school, forcing it go all-remote, according to NJ Herald.
In Teaneck, Reps. Gottheimer and Pascrell announced a $500k school safety grant.
ICYMI: In Dover, Bennett approved as township administrator; in Roselle, Antoine kicked off mayoral campaign; in Rochelle Park, committeewoman censured (iLine post)
AROUND THE WEB:
2 killed, 6 seriously injured in New Brunswick shooting early Sunday morning
Cheryl Makin, Bridgewater Courier News
- Two men were killed and six other people were injured in a shooting early Sunday morning near Rutgers University, authorities said.Police responded to the area of 32 Delafield St. just before 1:20 a.m. and found eight people with gunshot wounds.
Legislature’s budget process is hard to follow for both the public and the press | Mulshine
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- On Wednesday, I jumped in the car and drove to Trenton. My goal was to cover a hearing of the state Assembly budget committee on the new state budget, which has to be adopted by the end of the month.
A test for Murphy: An army of children are falling into the digital divide | Moran
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger
- Sen. Teresa Ruiz wore a mask at Thursday’s hearing in Trenton, but her fury came through loud and clear. She was alarmed that at last count, 230,000 poor kids in New Jersey lacked the computers and internet connection they need to get an education during this pandemic, damning them to fall even further behind their wealthier peers.
Former N.J. judge and Fox News analyst accused of sexual assault
Rodrigo Torrejon, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- A former New Jersey Superior Court judge turned Fox News legal analyst has been accused of sexually assaulting a man more than 30 years ago who was set to appear in his courtroom, according to a federal lawsuit.
The lesson of Bob Woodward’s book: When in a crisis, Trump resorts to lying | Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly, NorthJersey.com
- In late January, in what now seems like another lifetime, I found myself in the crowd at a rally for Donald Trump. The nearly 8,000 Trump supporters that night inside the Wildwood Convention Center — and several thousand more outside — were charged up by the prospect of the president’s visit. They cheered. They waved flags. They proudly displayed their hats and T-shirts inscribed with Trump’s campaign brands, “Make America Great Again” and “Keep America Great.”
No ventilation, poor air quality pushed many districts to go remote
Joanna Gagis, NJTV
- Many public school buildings in New Jersey are close to a hundred years old with antiquated, or no, ventilation systems. Willingboro is one of the the nearly 250 districts that have opted for all-remote learning.
As NJ schools shift to online learning, what should they do about cyberattacks?
Hannan Adely, NorthJersey.com
- Paterson students got a lesson in the pitfalls of virtual learning this week when their online classes were interrupted by obscenities, pornography and threats against teachers. But the city schools aren’t alone in dealing with electronic intrusions in the age of virtual learning. Similar incidents have been reported in districts across the country, from California, Miami and Ohio to Lumberton in Burlington County, which was bombarded with pornographic images and racist language during Zoom conferences in April.
N.J. senior citizens launch local voter drive despite ongoing coronavirus pandemic
Caroline Fassett, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
- With Election Day less than two months away, a group of adults 55 and older are actively campaigning for both local and national Democratic candidates in spite of restrictions created by the coronavirus epidemic.
American Flags Fly Over NJ Turnpike
Art Gallagher, More Monmouth Musings
- Almost 100 area patriots gathered in Robbinsville on September 11 in remembrance of those lost in the 2001 terrorist attack on our nation and to replace the American Flag that the NJ Turnpike Authority had recently removed from an overpass in the Township. The flag has donned that overpass and several others in the 19 years since the attack.
Middlesex County Gender Rule for Political Party Committees Unconstitutional. Practice to End in NJ?
Colleen O’Dea, NJ Spotlight
- A 65-year old law requiring that New Jersey’s county political party committees be split evenly between men and women, is unconstitutional, according to a Superior Court judge. The committees are particularly powerful in New Jersey because of their candidate endorsements and the ability to choose a “party line” on primary ballots, a position that usually means victory.
Jersey City Council unanimously approves $533k contract for 700 police body cameras
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- The Jersey City Council approved a nearly $533,000 contract for the purchase, delivery, and software maintenance of 700 police body cameras at last night’s meeting.
Intruders disrupt Paterson virtual classes with porn and profanity
Jayed Rahman, Paterson Times
- Dozens of virtual classes were disrupted by intruders putting on porn and hurling profanity during the first two days of school in Paterson. School officials said there have been approximately 25 incidents. District officials are trying to identify the actors. Some could potentially be prosecuted. Superintendent Eileen Shafer told parents she has reached out to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office and Passaic County Sheriff’s Office to make them aware of the incidents.
In-person, virtual and everything in between, making the most of learning during COVID-19
CJ Fairfield, Press of Atlantic City
- The school year has begun, and with it has come many, many changes and concessions to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how some students, teachers and parents are adapting to virtual classes, masks, deep cleaning and social distancing.
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