North Jersey News Roundup for March 5, 2020

A 32-year-old Fort Lee man is New Jersey’s first resident to be diagnosed with coronavirus. The patient arrived at the emergency department at Hackensack University Medical Center on March 3, exhibited symptoms that caused clinicians to suspect he had COVID-19. The patient was reported to be doing well and resting comfortably in an isolation room. The Record

New Jersey Congressman are pressuring officials in the Trump Administration on its response to the coronavirus. Rep. Bill Pascrell called on the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate those offering deceptive treatments for the coronavirus, while Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker joined their democratic Senate colleagues wanting patients who have potentially been exposed to the virus to come forward without fear of large bills should they have the virus.

The Rutgers women’s golf team will not travel to Mexico due to concerns of the coronavirus. The decision to cancel the women’s golf trip to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, from March 19-21 was made after university President Robert Barchi recommended faculty and staff curtail Rutgers-sponsored international travel.

Gov. Phil Murphy had a tumor that is likely cancerous removed from his kidney March 4. Doctors had found a 3-centimeter-wide tumor on his left kidney during a CT scan in February. Tammy Murphy said her husband was awake and in some discomfort, but with in his “usual good humor” after the surgery. The Daily Record

New Jersey’s property taxes rose 2.1% statewide in 2019. The average homeowner paid a record-setting $8,953 in property taxes last year, double the average property tax bill homeowners paid 20 years ago.

The Department of Education will issue new aid notices to public schools statewide after using outdated tax data. After re-calculating state aid to schools based on 2019 tax data, just one school district— Pemberton, in Burlington County— will be affected. That district will receive $2 million more than the state had originally said in its aid notice. The Record

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal agreed to a permanent injunction in order to settle lawsuits challenging the state’s “dark money” disclosure law. While settlement agreements were reached in two of three lawsuits, the deal not to enforce the disclosure rules will apply broadly and Grewal expects to settle the remaining case soon. PoliticoNJ

The chief of security for the Bayonne School District was charged with defrauding a Superstorm Sandy relief fund. The fraud was related to filings of nearly $20,000 to address the damages to a property in Manahawkin that sustained storm damage was his primary residence when it is actually a vacation home. The Jersey Journal

New Jersey high schools in 2019 graduated 90% of their students on time, according to the state. The five-year rate rose slightly to 92.5% with the official dropout rate unchanged at about 3.2%. NJ Spotlight

And finally…. New Jersey had the fourth lowest snowfall with 4.7 inches this winter, 16.3 inches below average through February.

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