North Jersey News Roundup for Nov. 25, 2020

State officials expressed hope the coronavirus vaccines will arrive in New Jersey in the next month. “The promise of a vaccine in the near term is certainly an exciting development,” said New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) Commissioner Judith Persichilli at a press briefing Nov. 23. “The early news of the effectiveness of these vaccines means that there may be light at the end of the tunnel.” The state’s expected timeline is to receive 130,000 vaccines from Pfizer by the third week in December, followed two weeks later by another 130,000. In the same general time period, New Jersey will receive 100,000 doses of Moderna, followed by another 100,000 probably two weeks, later for a total of about 460,000 doses.

Two bills mandating New Jersey cops wear body cameras and regulating when they should be turned on were signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy. The first bill requires all cops to wear body cameras, with exemptions for officers working undercover, meeting with confidential informants or at desk jobs. The second bill focuses on specific rules for using the body cameras. The two proposals take effect in seven months, although they are partially dependent on funding.

Gov. Phil Murphy sought to diffuse a viral video that showed two women being verbally abusive while the governor was dining out with his family. “I’m a big boy (with) thick skin. That doesn’t impact me at all and I think I could say the same thing for my wife,” stated Murphy. “But let’s leave my family out of this.”

Hudson County Freeholders voted to approve a new 10-year jail contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency by a 6-3 vote. Roughly 100 speakers addressed the board in a meeting that went well past 10 hours, with not one person speaking in favor of the contract. In voting to approve the contract, one Freeholder likened the living conditions for the detainees to a college “dorm.” The Jersey Journal

Sussex County Freeholders passed a resolution not to put any further COVID-19-related restrictions on local businesses. Additionally, the officials formalized a policy allowing half of its workers to work remotely. Approximately 60% of the county’s 628 employees would be eligible to participate. New Jersey Herald

Gov. Phil Murphy is jumping in to help North Jersey politicians keep the Mondelez plant in Fair Lawn operating, discussioning the issues with the North American head of the company as well as labor leaders. Murphy plans to continue to make the case that doing business in New Jersey would be good for Mondelez’s bottom line. “There’s no better place to do business than New Jersey,” said Murphy. “I think we’re as good a place to do business as any in the United States, including (having) the number one port on the East Coast. Quality of the talent, I mean, there’s just an overwhelming reason to be here.”

New Jersey is ordering a probe of the fiscal stability of Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) in the wake of a bribery scandal in Ohio by its parent company FirstEnergy Corp. The state’s Board of Public Utilities ordered the review of JCP&L’s creditworthiness following downgrades issued by two of the top three Wall Street rating agencies followed allegations of FirstEnergy’s involvement in a $60 million racketeering scheme in the Midwest state. NJ Spotlight News

A Hackensack school board member resigned after accidentally broadcasting her bathroom break during a board meeting held over Zoom. Frances Cogelja, first elected in 2018 and whose term was expiring next year, stepped down on Nov. 24, the day after the incident happened during the Hackensack Board of Education meeting. The Record

Two local election results in Morris County will be recounted. Recounts were requested by Jane Hayward and Nathanial Fitch, two Republican candidates for the Mountain Lakes Borough Council, who lost. Another recount was requested by incumbent Lincoln Park Republican Councilman Raymond Kerwin, who lost to Democratic challenger Patrick Antonetti in Ward 3. The Daily Record

The state awarded Paterson $734,812 for repairs and renovations at the historic main library on Broadway. City officials plan to use the money to replace the building’s roof, to fix up the library children’s center and to install an elevator that meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Record 

And finally… The Sack is the new nickname for Downtown Hackensack. The Record

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