Many predicted that efforts to solve Atlantic City’s financial crisis would ultimately go to the courts and we seem to be entering that phase. On Thursday, Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez moved to block the state from taking unilateral action that would have cut 100 firefighters from the city and made other changes to the remaining workers’ union contract. The case has now been moved to federal court, which will probably increase the costs considerably. The Press of Atlantic City has all the details. So far, the only people winning from the takeover are the lawyers and accountants.
Here’s your South Jersey factoid of the week: Did you know the Underground railroad in South Jersey was literally underground? The story is similar to the fictional railroad featured in Colson Whitehead’s recent book – there was a network of tunnels beneath the state’s oldest pharmacy, Wheatley’s Pharmacy (now Burlington Pharmacy) in Burlington City. A new museum is opening in Smithville Park, Easthampton, with artefacts from the site. All the details here via Newsworks.org.
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The rest of the day’s news includes a forecast for colder weather this weekend, an update on Little Water Distillery (yay!), a Sweeney reversal on group homes and LoBiondo weighs in on summer flounder limits. All that and more below:
Underground Railroad Museum to Open in South Jersey’s Smithville Park–When people describe the Underground Railroad to newcomers to American history, they usually have to explain that it was not literally underground, rather a covert network of abolitionists who smuggled runaway slaves to free northern states.But in Burlington City, New Jersey, the Underground Railroad path was actually subterranean. Newsworks.org
Sweeney blasted over reversal on group homes–A bill named after a young man who died 10 years ago while in Bancroft's care is facing a challenge by one of the measure's own sponsors, state Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney. Courier-Post
Wawa to Dawa: What’s up with that name?–Wawa Inc. is unhappy with a North Jersey convenience store owner - and not because the guy offers a “Philly cheesesteak” with ketchup and mayo. Courier-Post
New summer flounder limits will harm South Jersey fishing industry, LoBiondo says–WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo today (Wednesday, Feb. 2) criticized a decision by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to drastically reduce the summer flounder catch limits for South Jersey fishermen by approximately 32 percent. Shore News Today
Upping Atlantic City Hotel Tax Could Preserve Jobs for Cops, Firefighters–With the local government in Atlantic City facing a $100 million budget hole and a state takeover of the resort’s finances now in full swing, cutbacks to local police and firefighting services appear inevitable. www.njspotlight.com
NJ Women Still Scarce in Local Politics, Despite Gains on State Level–A few weekends ago, 18 Democratic women from New Jersey embarked on a six-month program designed to teach them how to run for public office. www.njspotlight.com
Poll Finds New Jersey Majority Favors Affordable Housing–The long-held belief that most suburban New Jerseyans do not like the state’s affordable housing doctrine and policies requiring each municipality to provide its fair share of homes for low- and moderate-income residents may not be true after all. www.njspotlight.com
Little Water Distillery enjoying early success–ATLANTIC CITY — Barrels of aging Whitecap Whiskey sit in the Little Water Distillery. Huge tubs of fermenting rum await distilling. Press of Atlantic City
Judge temporarily blocks Atlantic City firefighter layoffs–ATLANTIC CITY — A Superior Court judge temporarily blocked the state Thursday from laying off 100 firefighters and implementing union contract changes. Press of Atlantic City
Dozens attend Interfaith vigil in AC against Trump’s travel ban–ATLANTIC CITY – People crowded into the lobby of City Hall Thursday afternoon to show support for the Muslim community, in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries. Press of Atlantic City