North Jersey News Roundup for Oct. 14, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy signed an Executive Order allowing the resumption of contact practices and competitions in indoor settings for organized sports defined as “medium risk” and “high risk” by the New Jersey Department of Health’s Guidance for Sports Activities. The order encompasses sports including hockey, basketball, cheerleading, group dance, rugby, boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo and wrestling. The governor previously signed executive orders which permitted the resumption of outdoor sports activities, “low risk” practices and competitions in indoor settings, and non-contact indoor practices for “medium risk” and “high risk” sports.

New Jersey is giving out $100 million more in federal coronavirus aid to help restaurants, small businesses, and families hurt by the pandemic. The distributed money include $35 million to help the state’s restaurants and food service industry, $15 million to help “microbusinesses” with no more than five employees, $15 million into the state’s rental assistance program, which helps hurting businesses pay for rent, $10 million for businesses to purchase personal protection equipment and $5 million to food banks and other hunger relief programs.

Gov. Phil Murphy doesn’t have a date for when he may increase coronavirus capacity limits on indoor dining at New Jersey’s restaurants, but said his new decision to allow indoor Winter sports should be seen as a positive sign. “I would think if you’re in that realm of a restaurant or another indoor organization, you’ll view that as a good sign,” Murphy said “We’re trying to make sure we have our arms around exactly why we’re seeing the numbers we’re seeing. We continue to like what we see coming out of restaurants and indoor gyms.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer shed a light on federal COVID-19 relief investment clawed back for two Northwest counties in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District. According to Gottheimer calculations, Sussex and Warren counties have received about $292 million and $228 million, respectively, in monies to help ease shortfalls caused by the pandemic. The funding represented $3,095 for every Fifth District Sussex County resident and $3,427 for every Fifth District Warren County resident.

Secaucus is halting in-person learning at its middle and high school, going remote until at least Oct. 20 after a COVID-19 case was discovered at the high school. Secaucus temporarily shut down their athletic programs as well, cancelling games and practices scheduled for this week as did Bayonne HIgh School after an assistant coach tested positive for the coronavirus. The Jersey Journal 

Six New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission offices in total are closed after employees tested positive for COVID-19. The Springfield vehicle center and the Delanco licensing center were closed Oct. 13, joining previously closed locations in Eatontown, Newark, North Bergen and Paterson. News12 New Jersey

New Jersey added three states to its coronavirus travel advisory on Oct. 13. The additions of Ohio, Michigan and Virginia brings the list to 38 U.S. states and territories considered COVID-19 hotspots, asking travelers from 36 states and two territories to get a COVID-19 test and self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the Garden State. The Record

State health officials have not found any cases of the coronavirus resulting from the fundraiser President Donald Trump held at his Bedminster golf club Oct. 1. “We’re not aware of any outbreaks,” said Gov. Phil Murphy, adding that the federal response was “extremely disappointing.” News12 New Jersey

The U.S. Supreme Court granted the end to the once-a-decade head count of every U.S. resident from continuing through the end of October. President Donald Trump’s administration had asked the nation’s highest court to suspend a district court’s order permitting the 2020 Census to continue through the end of the month. The Trump administration argued that the headcount needed to end immediately so the U.S. Census Bureau had enough time to crunch the numbers before a congressionally mandated year-end deadline for turning in figures used for deciding how many congressional seats each state gets. The Wall Street Journal

Two sons of Paterson from different eras are looking to represent New Jersey’s 9th Congressional districts in a battle of candidates with diametrically opposing views of President Donald Trump. Rep. Bill Pascrell is a full-throated critic of the current administration and was just named the chair for Oversight for the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives, giving him powers to investigate President Trump. His GOP challenger, Billy Prempeh is a proud MAGA defender of the President’s policies.

Bowhunters killed 62 black bears on the first day of New Jersey’s bear hunt, down from the 108 bears killed on the first day of bear season last year. Sussex County saw the most bears bagged on Monday, with 29. Elsewhere, 17 bears were killed in Morris County, 11 bears in Warren County, three bears in Passaic County, and one bear in Bergen. New Jersey Herald

And finally… A new study ranks New Jersey as the country’s third-safest state to drive in. The Record

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