A Bayonne woman was sentenced to two years' probation in late August after a 2017 Dominican Republic-to-New York JetBlue flight was forced to land because the woman was allegedly touching another passenger, throwing water bottles, shouting profanities, and kicking a flight attendant after “three or four” glasses of wine, according to The Associated Press. The flight was forced to land in Virginia.
Coast Guard rescues two cruise passengers en route to Bayonne
A Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued two passengers with heart attack symptoms from a Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas cruise ship that was traveling back to Bayonne from Haiti on Friday, August 17, according to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard. The ship first reported an 18-year-old with heart attack symptoms on Thursday, August 16, then an 82-year-old with heart attack symptoms later the same evening.
Officials at the Coast Guard's 5th District headquarters in Portsmouth, Virginia, told the cruise ship to sail closer to the North Carolina shoreline so the helicopter could better reach the ship. By Friday morning, both were rescued.
14-year-old from Bayonne one of first to receive new kind of vision surgery
Former Bayonne resident Jack Hogan, 14, is seeing clearly after undergoing a new kind of surgery to correct his vision impairment, according to NJ.com.
As a toddler in Bayonne, Hogan would often fall down stairs, bump into walls, and couldn’t see in the dark. Jack was eventually diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that affects one in 4,000 people in the U.S., and often leads to blindness.
In March, Hogan became the first patient to undergo the surgery to correct the visual impairment after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the procedure. The procedure was performed at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston.
The Hogan family, which now lives in Fair Haven, learned about the surgery in 2010 when it was still in its clinical trial period. Earlier this year, the FDA approved the surgery after it was successfully tested on more than 40 people.
HomeGoods opening at South Cove Commons
The home décor big-box store opened a 20,000 square-foot facility at South Cove Commons on Sunday, August 26.
HomeGoods operates more than 650 stores across the country and is a division of The TJX Companies, Inc. As of May, 2018, TJX operated more than 4,000 stores, including T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post, and Homesense, as well as tjmaxx.com and sierratradingpost.com.
Court grants asylum to NJ teacher held by ICE
A Jersey City high school teacher, who has been held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement since April, has been granted asylum. Ahmed Abdel-Basit would face the death penalty if he returns to his native Egypt. Human rights advocates say Abdel-Basit was targeted for his political activism. He came to the United States two years ago, applied for asylum, and has been teaching at the Rising Star Academy in Union City. He was detained on April 5 by ICE, which can still appeal the court's decision.
Governor bans black bear hunting on state land
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order Monday banning the hunting of black bears on state-owned land, according to The Associated Press. The governor, who campaigned on stopping the bear hunt, stopped short of completely ending it, saying he didn't have the authority. It is unclear how many bears have been killed on state land in recent hunts. Cody McLaughlin, a trustee with the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, estimates that about three-fifths of hunters use public lands when hunting various quarry.
Feds approve plan for gas pipeline in the Meadowlands
A controversial plan to build a half-mile natural gas pipeline in the Meadowlands has received approval from federal energy officials, according to The Record. The plan also calls for upgrading existing pipes to carry more fuel. The approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) appears to be the final hurdle for the $128 million project by energy company Williams. FERC, which approved the project 4-1, says the impact on the environmentally sensitive wetlands will be minimal.
Sweeney continues to advocate for school district consolidation
New Jersey has more than 600 school districts and more than 2,400 individual schools, and State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said that it is time to seriously consider consolidation, according to NJ Spotlight. Sweeney said he could support a state mandate for consolidation, even in cases where communities do not want to merge. But before the state takes that kind of action, he added, he wants a statewide discussion of the issue.
4 NJ priests among hundreds accused of abuse
Four Roman Catholic priests with ties to New Jersey were among hundreds named in a sweeping grand jury report detailing abuse against more than 1,000 children. Senior church officials covered up the often-horrific abuse, while keeping records of it, says Pennsylvania's attorney general. The report, released on August 14, concluded that a succession of Catholic bishops and diocesan leaders tried to shield the church from bad publicity and financial liability by covering up abuse. Rev. Augustine Giella, who died while awaiting trial in 1992 on charges of child molestation and child pornography, is the only priest to have served in Hudson County. Giella was a reverend at Our Lady of Sorrows in Jersey City from June of 1969 to June of 1970.
NJ gas tax likely to increase as revenue falls short
New Jersey’s gas tax is likely to be raised by at least a few pennies later this year thanks to a 2016 law, according to NJ Spotlight. The state’s top budget officials met last week to determine whether the gas tax, at its current rate, was producing enough revenue to avoid an increase. State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio told NJ Spotlight in an interview that a decision is still a couple of weeks away because some final revenue figures are still being analyzed. The latest state revenue figures suggest a modest gas-tax increase will be needed to comply with the terms of the 2016 law, which is intended to protect the integrity of the state’s Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). Any increase would go into effect October 1.
For decades, NJ motorists have seen one of the lowest gas-tax rates of any state, but that changed in 2016 when Democratic legislative leaders reached a compromise with former Republican Gov. Chris Christie to increase the per-gallon rate by 23 cents. The hike was enacted largely to renew the TTF, an “off-budget” capital account that pays for road, bridge, and mass-transit projects. The deal extended the TTF for another eight years after it ran dry in the middle of 2016.
Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers
Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at the Hudson County Courthouse, 595 Newark Ave. Rm. 901 on Tuesday, Sept. 11 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.
For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org.