North Jersey News Roundup for Oct. 19, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy has shaken up leadership at the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA). Effective immediately, current DMAVA Deputy Adjutant General, Colonel Dr. Lisa J. Hou, D.O., will become Interim Adjutant General and DMAVA Commissioner, replacing Major General Jemal J. Beale. Additionally, new Interim Administrators/CEOs will be named at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Homes at Paramus and Menlo Park.

A new poll shows Gov. Phil Murphy continues to get positive grades from a majority of the state’s residents. A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found 72% give Murphy good marks for managing the state’s response to the virus, with 33% saying he’s doing a “very good” job and 39% saying he’s done a “somewhat good” job. Additionally, 60% of those polled approve of Murphy’s overall job performance, while 31% disapprove.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill is self-quarantining following a positive COVID-19 test from the family’s childcare provider. A spokeswoman for Sherrill said that 14 day quarantining started Oct. 17, the same day the child care provider’s positive test result came back as positive. The test for Sherrill and her family was conducted the same day.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the planet has passed 40 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. To date, more than 1.1 million confirmed virus deaths have been reported. The U.S., Brazil and India are reporting by far the highest numbers of cases, although the increase in recent weeks has been driven by a surge in Europe. News12 New Jersey

North Jersey counties had some of the highest counts in the state as over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported over the weekend. Test results announced on Oct. 17 and 18 by state officials reported 2,240 new cases total—958 on Saturday and 1,282 on Sunday. On Sunday, five counties separately had over 100 news cases for the day.

Glen Rock High School will resume in-person classes on Oct. 22 after three students tested positive for COVID-19. Two of the students are hybrid schedule students and one is a remote learning student. Two of the students were present in school on Oct. 15 and for the PSAT on Oct. 17. News12 New Jersey

After contract tracing revealed a second positive COVID-19 case among Pascack Valley High School’s student body, the school has extended remote learning through Oct. 28 as contact tracing continues. The decision comes as more than 70 students and 10 staff members are required to quarantine. The Record

Women are returning their vote-by-mail ballots in New Jersey at a faster rate than men, 53% to 44%. Of the women who had their ballots marked as returned by election officials, 56% are Democrats and 22% are Republicans. Among men, 47% are Democrats and 26% are Republicans. New Jersey Globe

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal reminded law enforcement officials that  civilian officials run the elections and officers can do only what they must to maintain public safety at the polls. Sent to prosecutors, police chiefs and sheriffs throughout the state, Grewal’s guidance asked county prosecutors to pick one person in their office to serve as a contact for all election-related issues. New Jersey Herald

OPINION: Vote Yes For Marijuana, Veterans, No To Redistricting Delays. Of the three ballot questions New Jersey voters are being asked to consider this year, is endorsing yes on two of the measures and a no vote to the third. The “yes” endorsements are for the legalization of marijuana and the allowing of veterans to receive property tax deductions. The “no” vote would not allow for the delay in redistricting of New Jersey legislative districts.

A state appellate court ruled Attorney General Gurbir Grewal can move forward with his plan to release the names of police officers who have been disciplined for misconduct. A three-judge panel rejected the argument made by police unions that Grewal had strayed beyond the power of his office when he issued the orders, ruling “The Attorney General’s mandate to publish the names of those officers having been terminated, demoted or suspended for more than five days, appears to us neither arbitrary nor capricious and, instead, consistent with existing law and evolving public policy.” The Daily Record 

Reps. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) and Donald Norcross (NJ-1) recently toured the Picatinny Arsenal base that is under construction where a munition disassembly facility broke ground earlier this year. During their recent visit, the Democratic Congress members met with workforce leaders at Picatinny Arsenal and received a briefing from Brigadier General Vincent Malone on recent developments at the base, including an extended range cannon artillery, which will enable the military to “accurately fire a projectile over an extended distance, hitting targets up to 40 miles away,” according to Sherrill.

The first segment of New Jersey’s bear hunt wrapped up on Oct. 17, with a total of 328 killed in the first six days of the hunt, outpacing last year’s total of 265 for the same time period. After the first six day segment, the county totals are 147 in Sussex County; 87 in Warren County; 63 in Morris County; 20 in Passaic County; seven in Hunterdon County; three in Bergen County; and one in Somerset County.

And finally…The obituary for Steve Adubato Sr., who passed away at the age of 87.

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