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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.

In other local news: a missing coach turns up in Berkeley Heights (with reporting by The Alternative Press), the Paterson Times has the story of native Mike Adams playing in the Superbowl, Blogfinger continues its in-depth reporting on FEMA funding and boardwalk reconstruction in Ocean Grove, and WRNJ radio in Hackettstown reports that the Super Bowl “will dodge the bitterly cold temperatures and the threat of snowfall that have hung over the Northeast for the past week.”

Our full roundup for the week:

Jitney Bus Map Available Online Jersey City Independent

Good Eats: Union Republic Jersey City Independent
Surprise! Neptune Township announces a bond offering to finance the Middle Beach Boardwalk construction pending FEMA disaster relief. Blogfinger
Love story: Record gift entwines Morristown High School sweethearts in perpetuity Morristown Green
Hundreds of Patersonians cheer Mike Adams to the Super Bowl Paterson Times
School District looks to address absenteeism Paterson Times
Cranford Dramatic Club Presenting Spring Awakening Cranford Radio
UPDATE: Local High School Coach Andy Silvagni Reported Missing TAP Berkeley Heights
Westfield Town Council Discusses New Parking Pay Stations, Re-Turfing Fields and More at Meeting TAP Westfield
OCC Breaks Ground on New Student Center Manchester Patch
Another Tough Report Card for Ocean City School District Ocean City Patch
Former Pop Warner Director from NJ, NY Admits Stealing Thousands From Group Manchester Patch
Pennsauken Man in Bizarre Naked Crash, Philly Police Say Haddon Patch
Grand Jury to Probe 1983 Death of Wrestler Jimmy Snuka’s Girlfriend West Deptford Patch
Against the Wall: Collingswood Man Crowdfunding to Make Rent Collingswood Patch
Armed Men Rob Route 130 Store: Police Cinnaminson Patch
High Speed, Route 42 Police Chase Leads to Charges Against Pine Hill Man Gloucester Township Patch
Senate Pushes for Delay in Flood Insurance Rate Hikes Berkeley Patch
Three New Stores Announced For Quaker Bridge Mall Lawrenceville Patch
Princeton Exercise Coach Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Insurance Companies Princeton Patch
Total Crime Statistics Fall in South Brunswick Last Year South Brunswick Patch
Growth and Green Energy Discussed in Mayor’s State of the Township Address Woodbridge Patch

Patch Staff in West Essex, Montclair, Essex County Are Gone Jersey Tomato Press
Superbowl 48 Weather Update WRNJ

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

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

1 comments
NathanRuben
NathanRuben

Get rid of PATCH especially in Gloucester Township where we all know the money is being paid for misleading stories to be reported.  The FTC should investigate the money being paid out by this township to PATCH and the antitrust should investigate the page ranking and back links that the Patch Stories are getting on Google.  This is suspicious and corrupt.  The editors is greedy and a complete puppet that does as he's told.  

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