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CITY/REGION

AN INVESTIGATOR takes pictures of burned-out buses yesterday next to Bordentown, N.J., Regional Middle School. Fire destroyed three buses and eight vans. Classes were canceled at four schools as a result. The cause of the early-morning fire is under investigation.
AN INVESTIGATOR takes pictures of burned-out buses yesterday next to Bordentown, N.J., Regional Middle School. Fire destroyed three buses and eight vans. Classes were canceled at four schools as a result. The cause of the early-morning fire is under investigation. (MICHAEL S. WIRTZ / Staff photographer)
Posted: May 20, 2011

Funding cut perils jobs

A loss of $16.5 million in state and federal funding for housing services means that the city will have to eliminate some jobs and reduce services next fiscal year, Mayor Nutter's spokesman said yesterday.

Mark McDonald said the cuts - about $11.5 million in federal Community Development Block Grant money and the rest in state funding - are expected to take effect July 1 and will lead to the elimination of 21 vacant positions in a number of departments and agencies, as well as some layoffs. The latest federal budget eliminates money for CDBG funding, which is awarded to cities for community-development and blight-reduction efforts.

Lapsed licenses eyed

Mayor Nutter and the Department of Licenses and Inspections announced an initiative yesterday that would hold business owners accountable for lapsed licenses.

L&I began contacting holders of licenses issued since 1995, some 66,000 of whom never renewed, 10 percent of which are expected to still be operating. The businesses are as varied as day-care centers, rental properties and nightclubs, which over a year cost the city $3.5 million in revenue.

Unlicensed business owners will have up to 45 days to come into full compliance or risk being forced to purchase a new license with interest and penalties or have their business shuttered.

Woman says cop stalked her

A Lower Merion woman alleged at an open meeting of the township commissioners Wednesday night that she had been stalked and sexually assaulted by a Lower Merion police officer last year.

The 25-year-old woman alleged that the patrolman stalked her over a month by sitting in a patrol car in a parking lot beneath her window. She said the officer saw her naked, causing her to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

A township spokeswoman said that she was directed by the police detective unit to assemble a DVD of the woman's public comments and forward it to the office of District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Record tax filings

A record 4.2 million 2010 personal-income-tax returns were filed electronically, according to Secretary of Revenue Daniel Meuser.

The electronically filed returns represent roughly 69 percent of all returns filed to date. The state has received 19 percent more tax returns electronically so far this year compared with the total number of similarly filed returns last year.

$103M in security funds

New Jersey could receive up to $103 million in federal Homeland Security funds. About $42 million of the amount announced by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg will go toward port security in North Jersey and Delaware River ports. About $37.3 million will address security needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas. An additional $11.9 million will be used by the state to equip and train emergency responders to deal with acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.

- Staff and wire reports

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