Local Beat: CRDA raises dozens of staffers’ salaries after job cuts

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

CRDA RAISES DOZENS OF STAFFERS’ SALARIES AFTER JOB CUTS
The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority has awarded pay increases to nearly a third of its employees just months after it cut several jobs earlier this year citing budget constraints. Elinor Comlay of Route 40 says the CRDA gave raises to 29 employees, in some cases raising salaries by tens of thousands of dollars.

NEWARK EMPLOYMENT PREP PROGRAM GRADS LOOK TO THE FUTURE
Mark Bonamo of TAP into Newark sat down with one of 20 graduates of the third class of the Hire Newark Employment Ready Boot Camp to talk about the program, which is designed to prepare Newark residents for entry-level positions at companies based in Newark.

PUBLIC SEEKS ‘IMMEDIATE’ REMOVAL OF SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
A group of parents and former school district administrators in Raritan Township are calling for the immediate removal of the K-8 superintendent, Dr. Maryrose Caulfield, even after she submitted her own resignation last week “for the purpose of retirement.” Curtis Leeds of TAP into Flemington/Raritan says Caulfield’s critics claimed she created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, with many alleging that they feared retribution for speaking out against her.

WAS THE ‘OFFENSIVE’ CONCERT PROGRAM AT FRELINGHUYSEN MIDDLE SCHOOL THE RESULT OF A BAD PRINTER?
A controversial program cover at Frelinghuysen Middle School in Morristown that sparked a community meeting last week may have been the result of a bad printer – not bigotry. Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green says many of his readers have pointed out that the original image the flyer was based on, which depicts a multiethnic children’s chorus in full color, looks much more offensive when printed using a cheap two-tone printer.

ICE CLAIMS COUNTY PUT RESIDENTS AT RISK; MIDDLESEX FIRES BACK
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) published a press release late last month criticizing Middlesex County for refusing to comply with requests for assistance in handling deportations. Jack Murtha of TAP into New Brunswick says the press release came just a day before county freeholders adopted a policy that limits jail and sheriff’s department staff interactions with federal immigration authorities.

WESTFIELD RESIDENT MEAGHAN MURPHY NAMED ‘CHIEF SPIRIT OFFICER’
Westfield mayor Andy Skibitsky named resident Meaghan Murphy as the town’s new “Chief Spirit Officer” during a town council meeting on Tuesday. K. Brochu of TAP into Westfield says Murphy’s appointment aligns closely with the town’s “Westfield First” initiative, which encourages residents to shop, dine, and spend their money at local establishments.

CRANBURY: FIRST PRESBYTERIAN SERVES UP SUMMER WITH STRAWBERRY FESTIVALS
The First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury hosted its annual Strawberry Festival last weekend, which is aimed at raising money to address rent, utility bills, car repairs, temporary shelter, and other emergency financial assistance to members of the surrounding community who are in need. Nicole Wells of TAP into South Brunswick-Cranbury says the festival usually draws a crowd of around 125 people.

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