North Jersey News Roundup for Feb. 11, 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy is voluntarily quarantining after a family member tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 10. Murphy noted neither him nor his wife Tammy tested positive—news the governor announced himself as the First Lady’s test result came back in the middle of a press briefing that had been delayed until later in the afternoon. But he did not disclose the family member that tested positive was. The governor said that he will be virtual for a number of days, canceling in-person events previously planned.

The New Jersey vaccine hotline is temporarily suspending the booking of COVID-19 vaccine appointments. Officials said representatives will get new training on the use of the system, focused on registering people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as well as more training on the appointment scheduling. New Jersey Herald

New Jersey is expecting more deliveries of the vaccine from the federal government over the next three weeks, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. The state this week will receive a total of 254,650 first and second doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, and those totals will increase slightly for the last two weeks in February. Additionally, more than 20 CVS locations will get 9,900 doses and 70 Rite-Aid stores will get about 7,500 doses through a seperate federal pharmacy partnership over the next week.

CVS will decide who gets leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses in a bid to make sure none of the vaccine goes to waste. The companies in the federal program are compiling wait lists and putting their own workers on standby in case extra shots become available. The Wall Street Journal

Two additional cases of the highly-contagious UK coronavirus variant were identified in Essex County. There have been a total of 33 cases in 11 counties identified in New Jersey, including six in Essex, two in Morris and one each in Hudson, Passaic and Warren.

The Paterson school systems extended all-remote instruction for at least another two months, through the end of April. Superintendent Eileen Shafer said during a virtual school board meeting that the district would decide in mid-April what to do about the rest of the 2020-21 academic year. The Record

New Jersey is now offering voluntary COVID-19 vaccinations to corrections officers and inmates in all state prisons. About 5,800 staff members and inmates have indicated they are interested in getting the vaccine, accounting for about 30% of that combined population. The Daily Record

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle said she raised concerns about one of the officers charged in the recent beating of female inmates two years earlier. “The history of abuse at Edna Mahan is systemic, but what happened a few weeks ago might have been prevented if the Department of Corrections had acted and properly investigated Sgt. (Amir) Bethea,” said Vainieri Huttle on Feb. 9. The assemblywoman revealed she contacted the Department of Corrections in August 2019 to share concerns about Bethea, a Corrections Officer at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility. The state attorney general recently charged Bethea with two counts of second-degree official misconduct and two counts of third-degree tampering with public records for allegedly leading a group of officers through the facility where they beat six women.

House impeachment managers prosecuting former President Donald Trump on Feb. 10 gave a meticulous account of his campaign to overturn the election and goad supporters to join him. The managers showed never-before-seen security footage from the U.S. Capitol riot, including images of police officers being brutalized, and near-miss moments in which Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers came steps away from confronting a mob hunting them down. They played frantic police radio calls warning that “we’ve lost the line,” body camera footage showing an officer pummeled with poles and fists and silent security tape from inside showing the former Vice President, his family and members of the House and Senate racing to evacuate as the mob closed in, chanting: “Hang Mike Pence!” The New York Times

Rep. Josh Gottheimer is pursuing federal action to counter violent extremism and domestic terrorism following the Jan. 6 attack in Washington. Gottheimer is leading a bipartisan initiative to have the Biden Administration restore the Office of Community Partnerships within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which was the designated lead on efforts to counter violent extremism until the Trump Administration deprioritized the office in 2017. Additionally, Gottheimer announced new legislation to strengthen the maximum jail sentence for a conviction of insurrection against the United States.

The National Republican Congressional Committee placed four New Jersey Democrats on their target list of vulnerable incumbents in the House of Representatives. Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-7), Josh Gottheimer (D-5), Andy Kim (D-3), and Mikie Sherrill (D-11) are listed as opportunities for Republicans in their bid to pick up five seats to take control of the House after gaining 15 seats in 2020. New Jersey Globe

Four attorneys who represented Englewood Cliffs during the past three years are being sued by the borough. A complaint filed in state Superior Court in Bergen County names Thomas Trautner, Jeffrey Surenian, Albert Wunsch and Joseph Marinello, all attorneys retained by the borough between November 2018 and January 2021, as failing to turn over all “documents, records and communications” made during their tenure with the town. The Record

Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson received a $67 million Economic Redevelopment & Growth award from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The project, expected to be completed by the Fall 2022, will include a 7,800-seat multipurpose stadium for baseball, soccer, track and football; a recreational and cultural facility with a museum dedicated to Negro League baseball; 75 units of affordable housing for seniors; a 12,000-sq.-ft. restaurant and event space; and 315-spot parking garage.

Ands finally….Bruce Springsteen was cited for DWI, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in Sandy Hook last November.


  1. Only in New Jersey would 250 agents book only 600 appointments with sufficient errors two warrant stopping for retraining and not be a scandal. With NJ being “Number One” in deaths/100,000 population in the entire world, not just the US, when will the politicians and the incompetent public health officials be held accountable? Other states with much lower death rates are also vaccinating efficiently implying that competent state government and governors has real-world consequences.

  2. This is a disgrace here in NJ! What about Ocean County?? No vaccines here. Just a sad situation.

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