North Jersey News Roundup for March 11, 2020

The death of a North Jersey man was the first reported coronavirus-related one in the state. The 69- year-old man was a resident of Little Ferry. As a result, Bergen County declared a countywide state of emergency with all county-run schools will close for students until at least the end of next week and Bergen Community College will add an extra week to its Spring break.

New Jersey colleges are extending spring breaks and moving courses online in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Among the North Jersey schools moving classes to online only are Montclair State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Seton Hall University and Stevens Institute of Technology. Politico NJ

U.S. stock futures fell March 11 as investors’ anxiety about the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1.9%, suggesting U.S. blue-chip stocks are likely to open lower after key equity benchmarks rose in the final hours of trading. The Wall Street Journal

Joe Biden scored commanding victories in the Democratic presidential primaries in Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi and Idaho. The results solidified the former vice president as the clear favorite to be the party’s nominee to face President Donald Trump. The New York Times

New Jersey’s Supreme Court ruled workers can’t be fired for failing a drug test because of medical marijuana. As long as employees are not under the influence of the drug at work, the state’s top court found medical marijuana patients remain protected by the Law Against Discrimination, reaffirming an appellate court decision.

Eighteen people are running for six City Council seats in Paterson’s ward elections set for May 12 elections. The biggest field in the six ward races looms in the 3rd, where four challengers are targeting 20-year-incumbent William McKoy, Paterson’s longest current serving municipal legislator. The Record

Jersey City Council is revisiting its plastic bag ban to strengthen it. An ordinance amending the city’s ban on single-use plastic bags would outlaw some reusable bags, put at least a 10 cent fee on paper bags, and raise the penalty for violators to up to $500. The Jersey Journal

The Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders will contribute $3.5 million to expand the Dennis Library in Newton. The new construction, if approved by the state, would offer new meeting space, offices for the county library director and staff, and a technology center serving the public as well as house the county’s library computers. New Jersey Herald

More Via vans could hit Jersey City as ridership continues to increase on the new subsidized on-demand public transportation service. Ridership is strongest during commuter hours, with approximately 30% of trips to or from core transit hubs. The service has a high volume of rides to major commercial destinations with average wait times between 12 and 15 minutes. Hudson Reporter

New Jersey is on track to award financial aid to more college undergraduates than ever before. State financial aid data from the fall 2019 semester shows 85,172 students will receive state financial aid this academic year, representing more than a 12% increase over last academic year, according to the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA). 

And finally…an eighth-grader from Emerson Junior-Senior High School won the 83rd annual North Jersey Spelling Bee. The Record

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