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NEWS
June 28, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman and Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - In addition to passing a budget Thursday, New Jersey lawmakers voted on dozens of bills, ranging from bans on public smoking to barring employers from asking about job applicants' criminal histories during the initial phase of the hiring process. Legislation that would ban smoking in public parks and beaches passed both houses Thursday and heads to Gov. Christie. It would impose a complete ban in state, county, and municipal parks but allow for designated smoking areas in up to 15 percent of the area of a public beach.
NEWS
June 27, 2014
A story Thursday on the new grant-making criteria for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation contained incorrect totals for its grants. The foundation gives away about $400 million a year. Active multiyear grants total about $108 million in New Jersey and $76 million in Pennsylvania, including $63 million in Philadelphia. The incorrect information was supplied by the foundation.
NEWS
June 26, 2014
An umbrella is not a luxury in a rainstorm. But one need not have the latest hand-stitched couture umbrella when something less expensive will do. Open-space advocates have wisely chosen the less expensive approach to giving land acquisition a steady funding source during New Jersey's prolonged fiscal slump. Sens. Bob Smith (D., Middlesex) and Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R., Somerset) are sponsoring legislation to shift a percentage of the corporate business tax revenue being spent on other environmental programs to purchase fields, forests, farms, historic sites, and flood-prone areas.
NEWS
June 26, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF, Daily News Staff Writer dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
WHAT IT LOST to New Jersey in 76ers practices, Philadelphia has gained in bologna. Deli giant Dietz & Watson has agreed to expand its national headquarters in Northeast Philly to replace a South Jersey food warehouse destroyed by a fire last fall. The 75-year-old, fourth-generation Philadelphia company will build a new distribution plant in Tacony, officials announced yesterday. Councilman Bobby Henon, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.
NEWS
June 25, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dashed New Jersey's hopes to institute sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and the state's racetracks by upholding a federal ban that limits the activity to four states and denying the state's appeal of a lower court ruling. Last year, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia upheld a trial judge's ruling that sided with the four professional sports leagues - Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA, as well as the NCAA - and shot down New Jersey's attempt to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)
NEWS
June 23, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
BEDFORD, N.H. - As he shook hands, snapped selfies, and bantered with bartenders in a New Hampshire restaurant, Gov. Christie looked like a man who hopes the state known for its first-in-the-nation presidential primary will also be one of the first to accept him as a politician reborn after several months in scandal-induced purgatory. New Hampshire "is a great place," Christie said Friday as he and Walt Havenstein, a Republican running for governor, greeted patrons around the bar and in booths at T-Bones.
NEWS
June 22, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
BALTIMORE - A Methodist church panel on Friday weighed whether to reinstate Frank Schaefer, the Pennsylvania pastor defrocked after he officiated at his gay son's wedding, with some members making clear they questioned the penalty's legality under church law. During the hearing, the members grilled the pastor who prosecuted Schaefer's case about the punishment and how it was imposed, including whether Schaefer, of Lebanon, Pa., could be disciplined for...
NEWS
June 22, 2014 | By Jonathan Tamari, Inquirer Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Gov. Christie affirmed his "pro-life" views before a gathering of religious conservatives here Friday, reaching out to a vocal Republican bloc on an issue he rarely emphasizes in New Jersey. But as he spoke to religious voters who can be influential in GOP presidential primaries, Christie also tied his views to causes with middle-ground appeal, saying that valuing life also means taking a less-punitive approach to drug addiction and boosting education for all children. "I believe if you're pro-life, as I am, you need to be pro-life for the whole life," Christie told about 400 conservative activists at a conference hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
NEWS
June 21, 2014 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer Staff Writer
By July 2015, all home heating oil sold in Philadelphia would have to meet new sulfur limits unanimously passed Thursday by City Council. The limits would "make a tangible difference in the health of our citizens" by improving air quality, said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, who sponsored the measure. It now goes to Mayor Nutter, who is expected to sign it. The bill was intended to put the city in alignment with sulfur standards in surrounding states - so the city would not become a dumping ground for dirtier fuel - but the timetable actually moves the city to the forefront.
NEWS
June 21, 2014 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Americans' treacherous relationship with prescription painkillers and other drugs appears to be worsening, with fatal overdoses up 7 percent in one year, according to new federal statistics. Deaths increased at double the national rate in New Jersey, and triple in Pennsylvania. In 2011, for the first time, drug-related deaths topped 1,000 in New Jersey and 2,000 in Pennsylvania. More than 41,000 people died nationwide. Despite the increase, New Jersey's drug poisoning rate remained well below the national average, placing it 36th out of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
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