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Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

 

Local news reporting is keeping Jerry DeMarco at Cliffview Pilot sleep-deprived. DeMarco tells us that in one 18-hour span from Tuesday to Wednesday, he “nailed three major Bergen scoops that are being followed all around.”It began with “No leads in search for missing Ridgefield girl, 13“; followed by “Five firefighters, homeowner injured in Montvale deck collapse“ and ended with “Sexually explicit’ remark to young-looking woman leads to arrest in Leonia luring attempts.” (more…)

Flying glass from this window injured a Garfield firefighter. Credit: CliffviewPIlot/Garfield PD

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

Politics, crime, activism and the arts filled local news sites throughout New Jersey this week.On the activism front, Brick City Live touted a hyperlocal social network in Newark that is creating a sense of community in neighborhoods. West Orange TAP reported on local parents of special education students observing Autism Awareness Month. Maplewood TAP covered a community forum held by a new organization of parents concerned about equality for Black students in the South Orange-Maplewood school district. (more…)

Betty Wardell sifts through plastic bags and bins to see what she can salvage Credit: Patricia Miller/Patch

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

Hyperlocal doesn’t mean small news for New Jersey’s small town news sites.

This week we saw Point Pleasant Patch go beyond the headlines to focus on how people are picking up their lives after the devastating motel fire in Point Pleasant Beach where Sandy victims were living — and were victimized yet again. Hackettstown Patch covered a cocaine, heroin and gun bust. Midland Park Press published a message from the mother of a heroine victim.

Newark Now featured an interview with mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries. State of the Arts NJ debuted an 11-minute profile of the late poet Amiri Baraka, father of Newark mayoral candidate Ras Baraka. (more…)

Ben Lesser, investigative reporter and trainer. Credit: Debbie Galant/NJ News Commons

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

On Planet Princeton this week, editor Krystal Knapp reported the story that a Drexel student who died of meningitis had the same strain of the disease as the Princeton outbreak and had mingled with Princeton football players at a Drexel mixer. The story was picked up by The Trentonian.

Knapp got the scoop by attending a meeting at which the Princeton Health Officer reported to the Princeton Health Commission — a service that local outlets provide as larger media outlets cut back on local reporting. (more…)

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Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

As New Jersey progresses into spring, more town, county and school district budget stories are making headlines.Most budgets are a source of angst. Red Bank Green reports that a reduction in the state-mandated amount that towns must allocate to public libraries has caused layoffs — and subsequent outrage — in Red Bank.  (more…)

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Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

Reporting a suicide is always difficult business. As Krystal Knapp notes on Planet Princeton, suicides in private homes are generally not reported but those that take place in public are — such as the suicide of a 23-year-old man from the roof of a public parking garage in Princeton earlier this week.

In an editor’s note, Knapp explains why she does not name the victim and asks readers if they would like to participate in a forum on suicide prevention and mental health. (more…)

Courtesy: The Alternative Press

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

Being a local journalist involves a lot of paperwork.New Brunswick Today has filed suit against Rutgers University’s custodian of records and City Clerk for New Brunswick, both of whom refused to fulfill my Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request asking for copies of the maps used since 2010 that indicate the jurisdiction of the RUPD and NBPD. (more…)

Credit: The Alternative Press

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

Direct train access is coming to New Jersey towns on the Raritan Valley Line, and local news sites in Cranford and Westfield are reporting on the excitement.

Bernie Wagenblast of Cranford Radio writes, ”Probably almost from the time the first locomotive came through Cranford in the mid-1800s people dreamed of the day when they could get on a train in town and ride all the way to New York City.  In less than, a month that day will finally arrive when passengers on NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley Line will have a one-seat ride to Penn Station in Manhattan.” (more…)

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Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

It’s been a good week for small town editors digging for information in New Jersey.Rebecca Abma of Midland Park Press has been trying to discover since March why the town’s budget went down but taxes went up.”It has taken months and hundreds of Open Public Records Act documents, but I have finally gotten to the bottom of the largest tax exempt property in town,” wrote Abma. (more…)

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Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

 

Not content to leave it to the big outlets, one of New Jersey’s local sites has been digging into questions regarding the allocation of Sandy funds.

Charlie Kratovil, editor of New Brunswick Today, writes, “Contrary to claims made by the Christie administration, a developer granted $4.8 million in Sandy recovery funds to accelerate the construction of luxury apartments in New Brunswick, has never before created affordable housing in the State of New Jersey.” (more…)

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Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey.

New Jersey local news media became the news yesterday as Patch.com — the national network of local news sites recently acquired by Hale Global — announced massive layoffs. Locally, the cuts reduced New Jersey’s Patch staff to just nine, tasked with running 89 local sites throughout the Garden State. The scuttlebutt is that many sites will act as community bulletin boards with scant local reporting.

If this is the case, Patch’s journeyman-like coverage of small town news will be much missed. We’ve included some examples in our roundup this week — from crime reporting in Cinnaminson and South Brunswick, to a personal story of struggle in Collingswood, to a school district updates in Ocean City, to coverage of a mayor’s state of the township address in Woodbridge.

Other local media in New Jersey noted the cuts — from Planet Princeton to Ocean Signal to a very gracious post by Diane Lilli at Jersey Tomato Press. (more…)