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Local Beat: Newark City Hall computers hacked with ransomware

Friday Apr 28, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

NEWARK CITY HALL COMPUTERS HACKED WITH RANSOMWARE
City of Newark computers have been infected with ransomware, software that seizes the target’s computer and holds the data hostage until a payment is delivered. Mark Bonamo of TAP into Newark says the hacker responsible for the attack is demanding payment of 24 bitcoin – about $30,000 – in ransom money.

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Local Beat: Morristown imports ‘Safe Place’ program to protect gay community

Friday Apr 21, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

MORRISTOWN FIRST NJ TOWN TO IMPORT SEATTLE ‘SAFE PLACE’ PROGRAM TO PROTECT GAY COMMUNITY
The “Morristown Safe Place” program is based on a similar program in Seattle that guarantees a safe haven for LGBTQ people to wait for the police to arrive if they feel threatened. Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green says participating businesses will display a rainbow sticker on their doors to indicate that they are trained by police to assist LGBTQ individuals escape danger.

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Local Beat: Three CRDA board members take thousands in back pay, stipends

Friday Apr 14, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

THREE CRDA BOARD MEMBERS TAKE THOUSANDS IN BACK PAY, STIPENDS
As many in Atlantic City are facing pay cuts and layoffs under the state’s takeover, one state authority has paid its own board members thousands of dollars in back pay and salaries. Elinor Comlay of Route 40 says the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) in January and February paid out $65,500 to its chairman and two board members for their once-a-month board meetings at the Authority’s Atlantic City office.

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Local Beat: Clark woman dies following campus pancake eating contest

Friday Apr 07, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

CLARK WOMAN DIES FOLLOWING CAMPUS PANCAKE-EATING CONTEST
Caitlin Nelson was pronounced dead several days after choking during a campus pancake-eating contest at Sacred Heart University. Susan Bonnell of TAP into Clark says witnesses saw Nelson eat up to five pancakes before she collapsed to the floor and began shaking uncontrollably. Police were unable to resuscitate her by the time they arrived on the scene, calling her death “a tragic accident.”

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Local Beat: Morris Sheriff says sanctuary cities are ‘bad business’

Thursday Mar 30, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

MORRIS SHERIFF SAYS SANCTUARY CITIES ARE ‘BAD BUSINESS,’ OUTRAGE ENSUES 
Pro-immigrant activists crashed a Tea Party meeting at the county library in Whippany this week, just in time to hear Morris County Sheriff James Gannon proclaim that sanctuary cities are “bad business” and possibly illegal. Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green says the sheriff’s comments did not go over well.

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Local Beat: Gamifying the news with Samantha Bee and New Brunswick Today

Thursday Mar 23, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

GAMIFYING THE NEWS WITH SAMANTHA BEE AND NEW BRUNSWICK TODAY
Local reporter and adult “baby” Charlie Kratovil of New Brunswick Today appeared on last night’s episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee to talk about one potential solution to local journalism’s money problem: gamifying the news. Bee interviewed Kratovil about his work with NBT, and helped him launch a new lottery-style game to help increase subscriptions to his publication.

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Local Beat: Depending on Trump, Jersey City could lose $18.7M in federal funding

Thursday Mar 16, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

DEPENDING ON TRUMP, JERSEY CITY COULD LOSE $18.7M IN FEDERAL FUNDING
Jersey City could lose up to $18.7 million if President Donald Trump follows through with his promise to revoke federal funding from sanctuary cities. John Heinis of Hudson County View says that number represents slightly more than three percent of last year’s $553 million municipal budget, and he provides a breakdown of the nine areas that rely on federal funding.

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Local Beat: Allegations from fired bus driver led to investigation of Brick superintendent

Thursday Mar 09, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

DOCUMENT: ALLEGATIONS FROM FIRED BUS DRIVER LED TO INVESTIGATION OF BRICK SUPERINTENDENT
A document produced by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office shows that an investigation into the suspended Brick superintendent was initiated after a bus driver left a child on the bus, lost her job, and went on to provide information about the case to the mayor, reports Daniel Nee of Shorebeat.

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Local Beat: A camp of homeless, making life in the woods

Thursday Mar 02, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

A CAMP OF HOMELESS, MAKING LIFE IN THE WOODS
The well-known homeless camp in Lakewood known as Tent City no longer exists, but several former Tent City residents and a minister named Steve Brigham have set up a smaller version in Howell more than a year after the original location shut down. Chris Lundy of Micromedia Publications took a trip to Howell and came back with a three-part series that looks at how some live life in the woods.

MAYOR TORRES PROPOSES HALF-BILLION DOLLAR ‘NEW DEAL’ ECONOMIC REDEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR PATERSON
Paterson Mayor Joey Torres unveiled a new economic redevelopment deal for Paterson during a three-hour presentation at a town council meeting on Tuesday. Ali H. Aljarrah of TAP into Paterson says the “New Deal” plan, estimated at around $500 million, will focus on improving quality of life, job creation, retention and ratable properties.

RESIDENTS DEBATE MAKING WESTFIELD A SANCTUARY CITY
The immigration debate in New Jersey continues in Westfield. Jackie Lieberman of TAP into Westfield says a local resident asked the mayor at last week’s town council meeting to consider making Westfield a sanctuary city. The question sparked a long debate between residents on both sides of the issue, but no resolution was introduced and no formal action was taken as a result.

MORRISTOWN MAYOR WANTS TO START A REVOLUTION
Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty declared on Saturday that he and his fellow anti-Trump activists are “definitely starting a revolution,” and urged them to take their message next door to neighboring Morris Township and other Republican strongholds across Morris County. Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green says Dougherty also called on U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.) to host a town hall meeting at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, but Frelinghuysen’s staff has yet to respond.

SOUTH JERSEY FAITH COMMUNITIES RALLY TO SUPPORT KATZ JCC AFTER BOMB THREAT
Christian, Muslim and Jewish community members rallied during rush hour at a busy intersection in Cherry Hill on Tuesday to show their support for the Katz Jewish Community Center after the JCC was evacuated in response to a recent bomb threat earlier this week. Steve Lubetkin of State Broadcast News was on the scene with this video report.

BOARDWALK HALL, CONVENTION BIZ FALLS AS CASINOS TAKE MORE OF THE MEETING PIE
The good news is Atlantic City attracted more visitors in 2016 than it did in 2015. The bad news is those visitors mostly gathered at the casinos in the Marina District instead of congregating at Boardwalk Hall or the Atlantic City Convention Center. Elinor Comlay of Route 40 News says New Jersey is supposed to be helping Atlantic City increase revenue and lower costs as part of the state takeover, but a closer look at how the state has been running the Convention Center and Boardwalk Hall is raising some serious questions about the state’s management skills.

ON HEROIN AND HOMELESS IN NEW BRUNSWICK
Jack Murtha of TAP into New Brunswick brings us a harrowing inside look at the life and struggles of two homeless heroin addicts living in New Brunswick. The couple, identified only by their first names, has a story that is all too familiar to many across the state – and country – as many continue to suffer from the effects of heroin and opioid abuse.

AT FIRST FORMAL ENDORSEMENT, GUADAGNO PREDICTS 45K GOP VOTES IN HUDSON
At her first formal county endorsement event, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said she expects Hudson County to put her on a path to the governorship by delivering 45,000 Republican votes in November’s election. John Heinis of Hudson County View says Republicans have rarely been able to shake up the Democratic establishment in Hudson County, and Guadagno has yet to give any indication as to whether or not she plans to draw on bipartisan support to bring out the vote there.

HOW WILL THEATRE REACT TO THE CHANGING POLITICAL CLIMATE?
New Jersey Stage takes a look at how theatre will react to the changing political climate. Gary Wein spoke with two artistic directors for New Jersey-based theatre companies, Dreamcatcher Repertory Company and Centenary Stage Company, and two area playwrights to get their perspective on the state of politics and theatre.

THINK YOU KNOW TRENTON? THINK AGAIN.
State of the Arts travels to South Jersey to explore the cultural life of New Jersey’s capital. Trenton is quickly becoming a center for cultural activity – and it’s growing fast thanks to outdoor concerts, graffiti festivals, punk rock flea markets, cutting edge theater, destination restaurants, an amazing community of artists, and big plans for a new downtown arts district. Find out more on this special episode of State of the Arts.

SAFETY CONCERNS RESURFACE AFTER MERCER STUDENT ARRESTED
Tensions are running high at Mercer County Community College after a student who is also a convicted sex offender was arrested in connection with an incident at the campus gym earlier this month. The news team at MCCC’s The College Voice has the full story.

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About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.

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Local Beat: Plans under way for greenway connecting Jersey City with Phillipsburg

Thursday Feb 23, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

PLANS UNDER WAY FOR STATEWIDE GREENWAY CONNECTING JERSEY CITY WITH PHILLIPSBURG
There is an effort under way by the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to link recently developed properties along the route of the former Morris Canal to create a statewide greenway stretching from Jersey City to Phillipsburg. Jared Kofsky of Jersey Digs says the NJTPA recently announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) “to support development of a continuous greenway along the historic Morris Canal right-of-way.”

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Local Beat: Oaklyn Creek cleanup turns into early morning water rescue

Thursday Feb 09, 2017  |  0 comments

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

OAKLYN CREEK CLEANUP TURNS INTO EARLY MORNING WATER RESCUE
When Oaklyn purchased its own Truxor amphibious vehicle a few years ago, it did so to help the borough control an overgrowth of aqueous plant life in Peters Creek without waiting for approval from the county government. But Matt Skoufalos of NJ Pen says the Truxor also played the part of a waterborne ambulance on Tuesday as part of a joint rescue effort from Oaklyn police, fire, and public works personnel that freed a man who was trapped waist-deep in the freezing churn.

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