Today’s Roundup is abbreviated since we are in the process of celebrating the long weekend by moving our household (two kids, one cat, endless boxes of accumulated items etc) out of the freezing-cold Ventnor beach house and into (a hopefully warmer place in) Atlantic City. So here’s the brief lowdown on what’s going on around town:
NJ lawmakers are proposing legalizing marijuana in small amounts, NJ Spotlight reports.
The state has appointed a new overseer in Atlantic City – the Press of AC has the story.
There was a meth lab operating in a 44th-floor Tropicana hotel room – uncovered after a fire there yesterday. And that was at the Tropicana. Makes you wonder what all could be going on at some of the less occupied casinos…Lynda Cohen has the details.
Blacks and Latinos seeking a home loan in New Jersey are denied conventional mortgages at rates higher than whites, particularly in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester counties an investigation shows. NJ Spotlight covers the report by Reveal.
NJ is united against offshore drilling, but will it matter? The Asbury Park Press asks.
A suspended Absecon doctor and six others pleaded guilty to distributing opioids, Lynda Cohen reports.
NJ lawmakers are looking to retain the individual health insurance mandate.
All that and more below:
Falling Temperatures, Rain, Coastal Storm On The Way–We will go from umbrellas to rock salt over the next 24 hours.
A cold front Friday will give way to a chilling high pressure overnight, which sets the stage for a coastal storm late Saturday. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Gov. Murphy Names Special Counsel To Review Atlantic City State Takeover–Jim Johnson, a former U.S. Treasury undersecretary, has been named special counsel to review the future of the state’s involvement in Atlantic City. www.pressofatlanticcity.com
Pipeline showdown: PennEast Files For Eminent Domain Against 130 Landowners–Tim Seggerman wanted to retire to a custom-built house in the woods of Hunterdon County where he could enjoy the rural peace and look out on an adjoining farm.
Seggerman, 67, a New York City-based architect, cashed in his 401K and sank $215,000 into a three-quarter acre lot near Stockton where he pulled down a dilapidated house, designed its replacement, and began to build it himself. whyy.org
As Redlining Persists, Camden Area Among Hotspots For US Mortgage Denials–Blacks and Latinos seeking a home loan in New Jersey are denied conventional mortgages at rates higher than whites, despite a 50-year-old ban on racial discrimination in lending, mortgage data show. www.njspotlight.com
Effort Advances To Circumvent Trump Property-Tax Hit, But Questions Remain–While Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration is getting ready to go to federal court to challenge a cap that was recently placed on a longstanding federal tax write-off for state and local taxes, lawmakers in Trenton are advancing a bill that would use some creative accounting to help recapture the deduction for New Jersey homeowners. www.njspotlight.com
Cautious NJ Lawmakers Propose Legalizing Marijuana In Small Amounts–The road to new state marijuana laws is not going to be straightforward, as many previously expected. A bipartisan group of lawmakers announced yesterday that they were advocates for decriminalization — not legalization — but they also left room for putting a referendum before voters. www.njspotlight.com
New Incentive for NJ Homeowners, Businesses To Install Solar Panels–The state is giving solar energy a boost by expanding a policy that encourages homeowners and businesses to install panels.
With wide backing, the Senate Environment and Energy Committee voted to broaden the use of net metering, a system that allows owners of solar arrays to get paid for the electricity their panels produce when it is fed back into the power grid. www.njspotlight.com
NJ Is United Against Offshore Drilling, But Will It Matter?–Nobody around here seems to want offshore oil exploration near New Jersey's coasts, but it remains to be seen if the Trump Administration will pay any mind to local sentiment.
Democrats, Republicans, environmental organizations and chambers of commerce, sleepy seaside communities and the frenetic urban centers – there is a consensus in New Jersey on at least one thing: Offshore drilling is not welcome here. www.app.com
Obamacare Health Insurance Mandate: NJ Lawmakers Want It Back–New Jersey lawmakers have introduced a bill that would reverse a move by the Trump administration and Congress and bring back the health insurance mandate.
The bill's supporters say the move will help stabilize health insurance premiums, even though it takes on one of the Affordable Care Act's most unpopular provisions. www.app.com
‘Make-Shift Meth Lab’ Sparked Tropicana Fire–A fire inside an Atlantic City casino led to the discovery of a “make-shift meth lab,” police said.
The fire broke out just before 10 a.m. in a room on the 44th floor of Tropicana Atlantic City’s West Tower.
Several floors had to be evacuated due to the smoke. breakingac.com
Homicide Being Investigated At Hamilton Township Condo Development–A homicide is under investigation at a Hamilton Township development.
Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office detectives are at the scene on Winterberry Drive in the Village at Hardings Run II development in Mays Landing, Prosecutor Damon Tyner said. breakingac.com
Mays Landing Man Ordered Held In Infant Son’s Killing–A Mays Landing man accused in the death of his infant son was ordered held pending trial due to his extensive criminal background and risk of violence, a judge found.
Jose Rojas, 35, is accused of causing severe injuries to 4-month-old JaSeir on Jan. 29. The child, a fraternal twin, died Feb. 4, at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. breakingac.com
Suspended Doctor, Six Others Plead Guilty In Opioid Scheme–A suspended Absecon doctor accused of leading a drug-trafficking ring has pleaded guilty to distribution charges.
Alan Faustino along with six others admitted to their parts in the illegal endeavor, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner announced Thursday. breakingac.com