Pinelands Pipeline, Bail Reform, Drug Disposal, Wildfires – Tuesday’s Roundup

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Pinelands Pipeline
The Pinelands Commission could vote on Friday to approve the controversial gas pipeline through the pine barrens. Proponents of the pipeline, which will be built by a consortium including Atlantic County’s South Jersey Industries, say it will bring cheaper gas to the area, while opponents say its construction goes against the rules that protect the pinelands. The commission’s meeting is set for Friday at 9.30 am in Cherry Hill. Details here via Shore News Today.

Bail Reform
We are seven weeks into New Jersey’s bail reform, which did away with cash bail, and experts are divided on whether the program is working. Even some judges are starting to say maybe tweaks should be made, and police chiefs in South Jersey have called the reform “dangerous”. In Little Egg Harbor, the police are particularly concerned by a recent decision to grant bail to a man charged with a sex crime. The 20-year-old man had served time for a similar offense as a juvenile, local police said, arguing he should not have been granted bail. You can read more in this piece by NJTV News.

Drug Disposal
A new program to safely dispose of prescription drugs is being tested out in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties, in an effort to reduce the addiction epidemic there. Healthcare facilities in the three counties have purchased special pouches that contain a carbon substance that reacts with and deactivates pills placed inside. The pouches will be distributed around the area. NJ Spotlight has the details here.

Could you smell smoke yesterday? We could, from Ventnor. There are controlled wildfires in Tabernacle and Ted Greenberg of NBC reports (video here) that the firefighters on site say the weather conditions – dry, mild – are worrying. A fire in Manchester Township in Ocean County yesterday burned about 570 acres of forest, ABC news reported.

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In the rest of the headlines from the last 24 hours, there is talk about selling naming rights to the Atlantic City Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall, there’s a review of how Absecon police are finding a new 12-hour shift and a piece on how South Jersey fishermen are handling new flounder regulations. All that and more below:

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