The casino workers’ union Unite Here Local 54 Unite Here yesterday said it would endorse Assemblyman Chris Brown’s run for state senate, the Press of Atlantic City reports. Union President Bob McDevitt explains the decision is related to Brown’s support of the No North Jersey Casinos campaign, which McDevitt said helped lead to Hard Rock’s decision to open an Atlantic City casino. “Thanks to Chris’s efforts, Hard Rock is now investing in Atlantic City, creating over 3,000 new job,” said McDevitt. I suspect there is another Chris who wants credit for that, too.
Ted Greenberg reported yesterday for NBC 10 that the investigation into prescription drug fraud by municipal workers in Atlantic City, Margate and Ventnor, has expanded. Atlantic County prosecutors have sent subpoenas to the Margate City and Ventnor schools, Greenberg reported. The county’s investigation is running parallel to an FBI-led investigation, the report says. There have been no indictments or charges as a result of the investigations so far.
Yahoo News asks whether there is a real need for the PennEast Pipeline, the South Jersey Industries-backed gas link that has most recently been held up by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The Yahoo piece is a long review of the arguments for and against the pipeline. The companies backing the project say it would lower supply costs and they could pass on the lower costs to consumers. Local environmental groups, however, point out that New Jersey already gets all the gas it needs from existing pipelines. The fate of the project matters to South Jersey in part because the Pinelands Commission is currently reviewing a pipeline dubbed the Southern Reliability Link that would connect to a compressor station that would get gas from the PennEast Pipeline. The Southern Reliability Link would stretch 30 miles through Mercer, Ocean and Burlington counties. The 120-mile PennEast pipeline would travel from Pennsylvania into Mercer County. And the Pinelands Commission earlier this year greenlighted a controversial pipeline (also backed by South Jersey Industries) that would stretch 22 miles from Maurice River Township to Beesleys Point. (Yes. It’s really hard to keep up with all these pipelines). Separately, NJSpotlight reports today that the PennEast pipeline is a step closer to happening.
In A Ghost Forest Near Atlantic City…. Read and watch this NJTV piece if you’re interested in sea-level rise.
In the rest of the day’s headlines, Camden is considering a hotel tax break, you officially (now) live in the Garden State, a mangy fox on Sea Isle’s beach is evading capture, faulty data collection has led to a serious under-reporting of the opioid epidemic’s severity (nationwide), read this feature on a South Jersey woman who wins rib-cooking competitions around the country, Pleasantville police released a video of a woman on a sidewalk being struck by a dirt-bike rider, and do you want to argue about where the arse end of New Jersey is? All that and more below: