North Jersey News Roundup for June 10, 2020

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy lifted the stay-at-home order and increased gathering limits for both indoor and outdoor events. Limits on outdoor gatherings—except for protests or religious services— will be increased to 250 by June 22 and to 500 by July 3. Effective immediately, the cap on indoor gatherings, which had been limited to 10 people, will increase to 50 people or 25% of a venue’s capacity—whichever is smaller.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s $45 million grant program received 19,500 applications in the first few hours from small businesses hurt by the pandemic and seeking up to $10,000. The authority will distribute aid to businesses with up to 25 full-time equivalent employees. The grants expand on a previous $5 million program launched early in the crisis for businesses with 10 or fewer employees.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli laid out the guidelines for public and private community pools. Set to open on June 22, among the most notable of the guidelines are no pool toys, such as noodles, are allowed and capacity limits are set at 50%.

Sen. Cory Booker helped introduce a sweeping measure aimed at holding law enforcement accountable and building trust with the community. Unveiled by Democrats in Congress, the Justice in Policing Act 2020 would ban chokeholds, including the kind used by a former Minneapolis police officer in the death of George Floyd, and no-knock warrants in drug cases.

A New Jersey Department of Corrections Officer has been suspended after a video showing him and a group of other men mocking George Floyd during a Black Lives Matter march in Franklin Township. A group of men stood off to the side in a counter protest to the movement, with one of the men seen kneeling on the neck of another member of the group. News12 New Jersey

The Hudson County Board of Freeholders removed a resolution to purchase more than $97,000 in riot and tactical gear amid nationwide protests against police brutality. The resolution called for the purchase of tactical equipment and ammunition for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, 150 riot helmets for the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, and 75 expandable batons for the Hudson County Correctional Center. Hudson Reporter

Jersey City officials indicate they will cut police spending. Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said reducing the police department’s budget would mean laying off newer officers who have helped diversify the city’s police force, while city council president Joyce Watterman said she would like to see more funding for city departments, like health and human services and recreation, but needs to understand what people mean when they say “defund the police.” The Jersey Journal

A reward is being offered by the New Jersey State Police to anyone who can help identify the suspect who fired gunshots at Sussex County Sheriff Mike Strada’s home. Anyone with information related to the shooting is asked to contact State Police Sussex station at 973-383-1514 or the Sussex County Crime Stoppers at 973-300-CRIME or online at New Jersey Herald

Dawne Rowe defeated Katie Rotondi by a 65%-35% margin in the race for Sussex County Democratic Chair. Rowe’s slate of leadership candidates were successful as well, with Scott Fadden elected vice chair, Leslie Boen secretary and Diane Wexler treasurer. New Jersey Globe

Free COVID-19 testing is now available without a prescription for Morris and Sussex county residents at the tented testing facility at County College of Morris in Randolph. First responders and healthcare workers in Morris and Sussex will be given priority. Individuals do not need to be symptomatic to be tested, but appointments are still needed and can be made online at the county website. Swab tests are being conducted at the site. The Daily Record

About one in every 10 people who mailed in ballots in May 12’s special elections had their votes rejected. The most common reasons the state’s Division of Elections rejected ballots include the signature on the ballot did not match the one on file, the ballot arrived too late or the required certificate was not enclosed. NJ Spotlight

And finally…The state’s first heat advisory of the year was issued as the temperatures in parts of New Jersey are expected to climb into the 90s.

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