North Jersey News Roundup for March 4, 2020

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) will be extended past Route 440 as part of Jersey City’s plan to revitalize the Hackensack River Waterfront. The $220 million project will extend HBLR’s West Side Avenue Branch to a new terminus across Route 440.

Gov. Phil Murphy will undergo surgery March 4 to remove a likely cancerous tumor from his kidney. Murphy expects to be in the hospital for a few days and then spend a few weeks after that recovering at home.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders solidified their spots as the top candidates for the Democratic Presidential nominee. On Super Tuesday, Biden won at least nine states, including Texas, the third-largest overall prize in the Democratic primaries, while Sanders four state win was headlined by capturing California. The Wall Street Journal

The governor’s office asked the State Ethics Commission if former state Sen. Raymond Lesniak would be forced to recuse himself from agency decisions if he’s appointed to the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor. Lesniak could be barred from voting on some agency business because of a past political contribution, which would give New York’s commissioner outsize influence over the agency. Politico NJ

A pilot program to drop low-level drug charges if an offender sticks with a treatment plan designed to fight addiction is being offered by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Lawn. Open to those arrested in the borough, it connects offenders with a patient navigator and recovery specialist who walk them through how to get clean. If the offender stays with the program for six months, authorities expunge the charges. The Record

Sen. Bob Menendez criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders for skipping the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meeting in Washington. Menendez, an annual speaker at AIPAC’s conference as the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for gun legislation as a way to help stem attacks against the Jewish community in the U.S.

Eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 through the Delaware Water Gap were closed for inspections and repairs by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Published reports revealed the area being worked with possible erosion under a retaining wall. In that same area, the state has proposed building fences and other barriers, to lessen the chances of rocks falling from Mount Tammany. New Jersey Herald

Midtown Shopping Center businesses in Morristown were given a month’s extension to the end of April to relocate. The strip mall will be prepared for demolition to make room for the M Station redevelopment project. The Daily Record

Democrats expanded their registration lead in the fifth congressional district in February. The district now has 7,766 more Democrats than Republicans, up from 6,608 the previous month. Democrats added 2,261 voters to their rolls in February, while the GOP added 1,103. New Jersey Globe

And finally… N.J. State Troopers pulled a man from a fiery truck seconds before it exploded. Two officers, one off duty, dragged the trucker from the vehicle on Interstate 287 March 2.

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