Paterson, Potholes and Pregnancy on PATH

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.

NBT editor Charlie Kratovil writes, “As we reported, the RUPD and NBPD are engaged in a power struggle for strange reasons that have not been fully explained. The changes to the jurisdictional maps, which were implemented in either November or December of 2013, have had a negative public safety impact on the neighborhoods surrounding Rutgers.”

In Paterson, Joe Malinconico of the Paterson Press used open public records requests to track down an off-line check to former  mayor Jose Torres for unpaid vacation time — information that the city omitted in a report to the state.

Malinconico has been meticulously tracking the story of vacation pay for the Torres, who is running for the office of mayor again.

Potholes persist and local sites are trying to help. Manchester Patch and Westfield TAP are working with readers to plot local potholes, while Jersey Shore Hurricane News hopes to build a state-wide map.

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Patch did a nice job of using a list from New Jersey Watchdog to break out local lists of the top public pension earners in towns like Toms River and West Deptford.

A trio of disparate stories from Jersey City Independent gives readers an idea of the potential breadth of local reporting: reporting on Jersey City Medical Center at odds with its union, tracking problems for pregnant straphangers on PATH, and celebrating the first Jersey City beer-making supply store.

Finally, NJ State of the Arts filmed the celebration of renowned Princeton philanthropist, scholar and musician William H. Scheide’s 100th birthday this past January. The concert includes the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Westminster Choir and will be broadcast on PBS stations across the United States later this year.

Our full roundup:

State says Paterson’s Report on former mayor’s severance check is incomplete Paterson Press
While Paterson mayor, Torres ordered payment for unused vacation days Paterson Press
Radio recordings recount events leading up to fatal January shooting by Paterson cop Paterson Press
A Concert in Honor of William H. Scheide’s 100th Birthday State of the Arts NJ
NBToday Editor Sues Rutgers and New Brunswick for Secret Police Maps New Brunswick Today
NBPD Director Strips Rutgers Police Department of Off-Campus Law Enforcement Powers New Brunswick Today
Got Potholes? Tell Westfield’s ‘Pothole Patrol’ TAP Westfield
Westfield Town Council Discusses Direct Ride to NYC, Hears Presentations TAP Westfield
Man, 22, shot dead on Elizabeth street Elizabeth Inside Out*
Congressman Lance Addresses Bridgegate, Obamacare, and More in Interview with TAP TAP Westfield
New Jersey Pothole Map Jersey Shore Hurricane News
Cranford Native New Head Baseball Coach at Rutgers Cranford Radio
Hollywood on South Street: Morristown Talent Show Host shares secret for showbiz Morristown Green
Brower Reinstated as Lacey Schools Superintendent Lacey Patch*
Former Rutgers Student’s Death Ruled A Homicide Woodbridge Patch*
Pothole Problems: Where Are the Worst Road Craters in Manchester? Manchester Patch*
Retired School Official Tops Toms River ‘$100K Retiree’ List Toms River Patch*
Former Rowan, West Deptford School District Officials’ Pensions Worth over $100K West Deptford Patch*

Hudson County’s first beer-making supply store opened this week in Jersey City Jersey City Independent

The Jersey City Medical Center at Odds with Its Union Jersey City Independent
Mamarama: Taking Our Seat Jersey City Independent
A Hollywood finish: Singer rises from sickbed to lead band to victory in Morristown’s Got Talent! Morristown Green*
An attitude of status quo More Monmouth Musings*

*Asterisked articles are available for reposting through the NJ News Commons Story Exchange.

Andrew Guadagnino, NJ News Commons intern, contributed to this report.

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