Slow News Day
The governor gave his State of the State speech yesterday afternoon at 3:00pm, and at 4:00pm, County Prosecutor Damon Tyner announced charges against James Kauffman over the 2012 murder of his wife, the radio host, April Kauffman.
Lynda Cohen reports the murder stemmed, allegedly, from “a long-term alliance between the former doctor and the Pagan motorcycle gang” members of which gang were contracted to carry out the killing. Tyner said the Pagans were running a “drug enterprise” in partnership with the doctor, selling everyone’s favorite pharmaceutical: synthetic opiates. The guy who actually pulled the trigger, allegedly, has since OD’d.
In Trenton, the governor did not devote all of his State of the State to opioids, but he did point out that he’d “devoted all of last year’s State of the State address to the disease that is killing more of us every year.” You can now maybe add April Kauffman to the list of wide-ranging victims around those substances.
Kauffman’s lawyers say he’s not guilty.
In related news, the Sackler family still has its name on a wing at the Met and however many medical schools around the world.
They Did It!
Chris Christie said the other day New Jerseyans will miss him when he’s gone and yesterday, as if by magic, Eagleton released its final polling which found fully 5% of New Jersey residents agreed with the governor. The pollsters called Christie, “the most unpopular NJ governor on record.”
“We did it, George,” Christie said to George Norcross at yesterday’s speech. He was talking about revitalizing Camden, Matt Friedman reports, “but it could have been so many other things.”
Anyway. They sure did do it.
At press time, Judge Mendez was hearing arguments over whether it was cool for the state to cut firefighter pay by 11% in Atlantic City, with members of the ACFD “packed” into the courtroom. “They spent last week evacuating 16 floors of elderly and disabled during a three alarm fire the night of the blizzard,” Amy Rosenberg observes.
Not coincidentally the governor spent portions of yesterday’s speech discussing his achievements in controlling iniquitous firefighter pay (“they are objectively NOT overpaid”) and arguing cuts to police personnel laid the groundwork for the “rebirth” of Atlantic City that his buddy Bruce Springsteen has been singing about since 1982.
Cutting police and fire can have some negative consequences, i.e. “Attorney for @AtlanticCityFD says the department ‘did not have adequate staffing to respond to the fire’ at Jeffries tower the night [of] the blizzard. 27 called in, plus mutual aid,” Rosenberg reports.
It’s terribly unfair for them to schedule a natural disaster for the week of the hearing. Unfair and, unfortunately, very typical of Mother Nature.
Attorney for @AtlanticCityFD says the department “did not have adequate staffing to respond to the fire” at Jeffries tower the night is the blizzard. 27 called in, plus mutual aid.
— Amy S. Rosenberg (@amysrosenberg) January 10, 2018
For more news from around South Jersey, see below:
DEA targets South Jersey for new ‘360’ strategy to combat pain pills, heroin–The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is targeting South Jersey's opioid epidemic with a half-million dollar "360 Strategy," officials announced Tuesday. Introduced in eight cities nationally over the last two years, the strategy expands the federal agency's traditional law enforcement role. www.courierpostonline.com
NJ marijuana legalization: Prominent lawmaker has ‘major concerns’ about stoned driving–A prominent New Jersey legislator foresees a wreck for Garden State motorists, and their wallets, if marijuana is fully legalized without better safeguards against stoned driving. www.app.com
Three years of Camden Supper Club–Four years ago this month, I sent an email to an acquaintance of mine at Rutgers–Camden bemoaning the Latin American Economic Development Association’s Dine Around which takes people from downtown offices and education institutions to lunch spots in the city’s neighborhoods. southjerseyist.wordpress.com
FORMER ABSEGAMI BASKETBALL STAR ABDULLAH ANDERSON HOPING FOR A SHOT AT THE NFL–It’s funny sometimes how one seemingly unimportant moment can change a young man’s life forever. In the summer after his junior year at Absegami, Abdullah Anderson was shooting some baskets at the high school and caught a glimpse of the football players getting ready for a workout. Anderson, who had played youth football, decided it was time to tell Braves coach Dennis Scuderi Jr. that he might like to finish out his prep career with one season of football. glorydaysonline.com
Former cops say they weren’t allowed to record overtime. Now, they want payback–Seventy-four former officers with the Camden City Police Department are suing the city, claiming they're owed overtime pay earned before the city force was disbanded in 2013. www.nj.com
These 50 public high schools are the best for athletes in New Jersey, report says–The 2018 Niche best school rankings are out and sports programs from Bergen, Passaic, Burlington and Ocean counties top the statewide list and rate among the best in the nation. www.nj.com
OP-ED: PROPERTY TAXES CAN’T BE REDUCED, SO STOP MAKING PROMISES, UNLESS …–Every governor and Legislature maintains that property taxes are too high and has a plan for reduction. But in my judgement, such promises are false and impossible, so stop the rhetoric and false expectations. www.njspotlight.com
ON HIS WAY OUT, WILL CHRISTIE SIGN BILL PROPPING UP SOLAR SECTOR?–In his final days in office, Gov. Chris Christie will decide the fate of a bill that could direct hundreds of millions of dollars in ratepayer subsidies to back an important part of the energy sector that employs up to 6,000 people in New Jersey. www.njspotlight.com