Furloughed park ranger wins $29.5 million
A park ranger from Bayonne won a $29.5 million lottery jackpot after being furloughed during the country’s longest government shutdown.
Judith Smith, a park ranger for the National Park Service at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, won the Dec. 17 drawing of the Pick-6 Jackpot, according the NJ Lottery Commission.
The ticket was sold at Eddy’s Wine and Liquors on 22nd Street and Avenue C. Smith sent her son back to Eddy’s to scan the ticket at the self-check machine to make sure it was the winner. Thereafter, she squirreled the ticket away and officially claimed the winnings on Jan. 17.
Construction and demolitions may be banned on Sundays and holidays
Reprieve from the loud sounds of jackhammers and construction trucks is on the way. After months of hearing resident complaints about construction noise on weekends, the Bayonne City Council on Feb. 20 introduced an ordinance that would amend the local noise ordinance by banning construction and demolition activities on Sundays and federal holidays. The council will vote on the ordinance at its March 20 meeting.
Keegan landfill says it’s not to blame for smell
Kearny Mayor Al Santos said an air quality meter installed at the Keegan Landfill has read “crazy bad” levels of hydrogen sulfide, a gas that can lead to a variety of negative health effects, depending on how close a person is to it, and for how long, according to the Asbury Park Press. Yet the landfill’s owner, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, claims its inspections haven’t resulted in any violations. It also claims the landfill isn’t what people are smelling.
Disability payments ruling could have ripple effects
The N.J. Supreme Court ruled that emergency services workers can collect temporary disability benefits from the state even if they weren’t working a full-time job when they were injured, according to NJ Spotlight. There are some 30,000 such workers, according to one report. Those who oppose the ruling say it will likely raise premium costs for municipalities, which often pay for worker’s compensation (max $921 per week) via insurance companies.
NJ joins lawsuit challenging national emergency
State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced that New Jersey will join 15 other states in a California-led lawsuit challenging the state of national emergency declared by President Donald Trump. The lawsuit was filed Monday night, Feb. 18. Protesters held Presidents’ Day rallies statewide on Monday, from Newark to Princeton to Red Bank.
New tolls? Murphy eyes assets to fix pension system
Last week, the state’s treasurer filed a request for qualifications for a financial adviser who will be responsible for assessing the value of all of the state’s assets, according to the Asbury Park Press. This is the first step to fix the “crisis” of the state’s pension system, according to a report issued by the bipartisan Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup last year. Several options are on the table.
Bill to keep ‘dirt brokers’ out of industry moves up
A recycling industry reform bill designed to push out “the same type of mob figures who once infiltrated the garbage industry,” according to bill sponsor Sen. Bob Smith, has passed the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, according to NJ Spotlight. The measure requires businesses to secure a recycling license from the state Attorney General’s office, and to register with the state Department of Environmental Protection. It also expands background checks.
Jersey City passes traffic fatalities ‘Vision Zero’ plan
On Feb. 21, Jersey City Council unanimously approved a “Vision Zero” plan that has a goal of reaching the point of no traffic fatalities by 2026. In 2018, seven more people died from traffic accidents than a decade before, in 2008. Neighborhood groups are hopeful and ready to work.
Call for entries: 2019 NJ Teen Media Contest
The NJ Department of Human Services is calling for entries for the 24th Annual New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which highlights the department’s mission to celebrate and support families. The annual contest, run by the Department’s Division of Family Development, is open to all New Jersey middle and high school-aged students. This year, the contest will once again accept entries in the hand-painted/hand-drawn and written word categories. For 2019, the computer-generated and digital artwork category returns by popular demand. The deadline for submission is April 5.
This year’s challenge to teens is to illustrate through regular or computer/digital art, as well as the written word a situation in your life when you felt most supported by a parent or loved one. Teens are invited to show when they most appreciate having parents or loved ones present in their daily life.
All entries must be postmarked no later than April 5. Staff from the Division of Family Development and its Office of Child Support Services will judge the contest. Winners will be selected in first, second, and third places in both the middle and high school groups for each entry category, with each receiving a prize package at an awards ceremony in May. Winning entries will be included in the 2020 Office of Child Support Calendar and be placed on display in the New Jersey State House in Trenton shortly after the awards event.
Entries can be submitted via the students’ art or English or language arts teachers, if their school is registered. Teachers and administrators can register their school by visiting NJTeenMedia.org or by contacting Ben Martin at 973-799-0200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Teens whose schools are not registered can submit entries directly. For complete submission guidelines visit www.NJTeenMedia.org.
CarePoint Health Bayonne Medical Center presents BPD with check for Police Unity Tour
The Police Unity Tour is a National Event held annually in which 2,500 police officers ride from New Jersey to Washington, D.C. in support of fallen law enforcement.
On Feb.19, Dr. Vijayant Singh, Chief Executive Officer from CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center presented the $2,000 check. Mayor James M. Davis and Deputy Police Chief Robert Schork spoke to Bayonne Medical Center’s Hospital leadership to show gratitude for the established community partnership.
Police officers cycle from New Jersey to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. to raise public awareness of police officers who have died in the line of duty and to honor their sacrifices. It is a four-day, 300-mile bike ride that begins each year on May 9.
“The Police Unity Tour is something which deserves the support of CarePoint Health and Bayonne Medical Center as a part of this community. We feel that any initiative that serves the officers as well as the community needs to be supported,” said Dr. Singh “It is a small token of our commitment to our relationship with the Bayonne Police Department, which we truly relish and feel extremely proud of.”
“I would like to say thank you to CarePoint Health, this is just another chapter in your continued journey to be a part and always remain a part of the community we call Bayonne. To our police officers, I just want to say God bless you,” said Mayor Davis. “This is something that the community doesn’t realize that CarePoint Health does. CarePoint Health donating and helping the officers to be able to do this really makes a resounding effort toward the City of Bayonne.”
To learn more about the Police Unity Tour, visit policeunitytour.com