News

A month before the election, the major party candidates in New Jersey’s race for governor hold their first debate tomorrow night at the Performing Arts Center in Newark.

They’ll meet again next week in Wayne.

Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor Peter Woolley expects the debates won’t attract enough voter interest to influence the outcome of the election.

Hampton Fancher
Jon Kalish for WBGO

The 1982 motion picture Blade Runner opened to mixed reviews but eventually came to be considered a science fiction masterpiece. It is now included in the Library Of Congress' National Film Registry.

A sequel, Blade Runner 2049, opened in movie theaters Friday.  WBGO's Jon Kalish reports on how the screenwriter Hampton Fancher helped craft both films.

Click above to hear Jon's feature.

Steve Adubato
Steve Adubato for WBGO News

Political analyst and television and radio host Steve Adubato, Jr. is giving you a chance to get to know who will be in charge of the Garden State following the November election.

New Jersey's Next Governor with Steve Adubato airs on WBGO Saturday October 14th at 6am.  During the one-hour program, Steve chats individually with Republican candidate Kim Guadagno and Democratic candidate Phil Murphy.

 

A measure signed into law by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie strengthens protections for people with developmental disabilities.

Stephen Komninos Law is named for a 22-year-old man who choked to death at a group home in 2007 when left unsupervised against medical orders.

The governor says the law requires more state oversight and consistent supervision of community-based residential programs.

black bear
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

The first phase of New Jersey's bear hunting season gets underway Monday and continues through Saturday.

The first three days are limited to bow and arrow hunting. For the next three, hunters can also use muzzle-loading rifles.

And a firearms-only hunt is set for early December.

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Robert Geist says 636 bears were culled last year, and the number of interactions between bears and humans dropped dramatically.

Saturday October 7th Newark's Bethany Baptist Church presents A Tale of Two Cities, a retrospective two of the nation's largest and most culturally rich cities, Newark New Jersey and New Orleans Louisiana, with Mayor Ras Baraka, and former New Orleans Mayor Marc. H. Morial.  WBGO's Alexandra Hill chats with event Producer and former Executive Director of The New Orleans Music and Entertainment Commission, Jackie Harris, about what makes Newark and New Orleans so similar, and bringing these two leaders together. 

Ang Santos / WBGO

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is often associated with military personnel, first responders, and others whose livelihood puts them in dangerous situations.  A US Department of Veterans Affairs study shows one in two people experience a traumatic event that could cause PTSD at some point in their life.

“You can get bit by a dog.  You can be in a car accident or witness a car accident.  You can be the victim of a mugging or watch somebody get mugged.  You can almost drown or work in an ER.  You can be a burn victim.  There’s thousands of ways you can get PTSD.”

A proposed constitutional amendment on New Jersey’s ballot next month would limit how the money from environmental damage lawsuits is used.

The current state budget puts a $50 million cap on the amount of money from environmental contamination lawsuits that’s used for restoration projects at sites near where the pollution damaged the land or water.  The rest is diverted into the state’s general fund.

Debbie Mans with the Baykeeper clean-water advocacy organization says the proposed constitutional amendment would change that.

A New Jersey lawmaker is seeking action on his plan for a commission to work on reducing wrongful convictions.

Senator Joe Pennacchio  says 27 people in New Jersey have been exonerated since 1989 after an average of 10 years behind bars.

His proposed Innocence Study and Review Commission would examine causes of wrongful conviction and work on protocols for case reviews sought by prisoners.

Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

Legendary rock singer, songwriter and guitarist Tom Petty died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 66. 

Alexandra Hill / News

New Jersey’s Senior Senator Bob Menendez is heading back to Washington D. C. after wrapping up the third week of his corruption trial. Menendez spoke briefly to reporters outside the federal courthouse in downtown Newark today, and says the crisis in Puerto Rico is one of his top priorities. Menendez says  if he had to give the Trump administration a grade on their response to the island Menendez says, they would get a big fat D.

Governor Christie says the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Ocean County, New Jersey, may be shut down a bit sooner than scheduled.

The governor says the plant’s owner is indicating it might not take until the end of 2019 to close the oldest operating nuclear plant in the nation.

“I can tell you from recent conversations with the executives at Exelon, that plan is not only on track and on time but a little bit ahead of schedule. And we’re working to get as much of that done and completed before we leave office in January.”

Governor Christie says New Jersey is providing $20 million in grants to local and county governments to fund projects to protect Barnegat Bay.

He says progress has been made in preventing fertilizer and contaminants from getting into the state’s largest estuary and harming aquatic life.

A Monmouth University poll finds that 51 percent of likely New Jersey voters support Democrat Phil Murphy in the race for governor while 37 percent favor Republican Kim Guadagno.

Poll director Patrick Murray says the 14-point gap is not insurmountable, but indications are Guadagno’s key proposal to reduce property taxes is not getting any traction

Election Day is still five weeks away but some New Jersey residents have already cast their ballot.

Registered voters can vote by mail for any reason.

Jesse Burns, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, says it's becoming more popular.

"Having election day Tuesday a set amount of hours isn't really that convenient for a lot of people and the kind of life that we live now, kids and work and things like that. So knowing that you can vote ahead of time on your own schedule is a lot more convenient for our modern society."

A New Jersey Congressman is introducing legislation to combat a condition he says is the leading cause of death at schools.

Congressman Frank Pallone says student athletes are especially at risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest and he believes raising awareness about it would encourage schools to screen them for the disease.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The republican led tax code overhaul would eliminate state and local income and property tax deductions.  Congressman Leonard Lance believes his party’s plan puts Garden State taxpayers at a financial disadvantage.

“We have average property tax bills in this state of $8,400 dollars.  In the district I serve it’s higher than that.  In the country as a whole it’s $2,400 dollars,” Lance said.

Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell says it would cost the average New Jersey resident about $3,500 a year.

Window at Mandalay Bay Casino that gunman fired from.
Pat Colligan, NJ Policemen's Benevolent Association

The president of New Jersey's largest police union was at the Mandalay Bay Hotel while the shooting in Las Vegas was happening.

Pat Colligan, the president of the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association, was in Las Vegas for a law enforcement seminar

He was on his way to his room when police ran through the Mandalay Bay casino.

Commercial Fishing
Jon Kalish for WBGO

While commercial fishing goes back to the late 17th Century in Cape May, it has been based in Montauk on the very eastern tip of Long Island for nearly that long. Montauk is the largest commercial fishing port in New York State today. WBGO's Jon Kalish recently went out with a commercial fishing vessel to see what the work is like.

A Clockwork Orange
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews the off-Broadway production of A Clockwork Orange.

Governor Chris Christie says New Jersey is sending more than 11-hudred emergency responders and National Guard troops to Puerto Rico to help with the recovery from Hurricane Maria.

It’s a big deployment, it’s the biggest that we’ve had in my time as governor, but I think the desperate nature of the situation in Puerto Rico merits that level of response.”

Lindsay Nicole Chambers and George Merrick
Doug Doyle for WBGO

George Street Playhouse's new season begins in October with an updated version of the record breaking off-Broadway musical I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

Two of the stars of the show, Lindsay Nicole Chambers and George Merrick, sat down this week with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle to talk about their multiple roles in the musical.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Newark born author Philip Roth recently said he will donate his entire personal collection of books to the Newark Public Library.  In his honor, NPL has created the Philip Roth Lecture Series to showcase great writers currently at work.  This year, Roth picked Robert Caro, who won a Pulitzer Prize documenting President Lyndon Johnson, and his drive to pass “The Civil Rights Act of 1964”.

The Republican nominee in New Jersey's race for governor is releasing a new TV ad.

In the 30 second spot, Kim Guadagno highlights her plan to cut property taxes.

"That's the difference between Phil Murphy and me. He's already said he will raise your taxes."

Seton Hall public affairs professor Matthew Hale questions whether her ad is connecting with voters.

Jimmy Parker
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Bill and Hillary Clinton celebrated their birthdays there. Former New York Yankee baseball great Bernie Williams often stops by and bestselling author James Paterson made Jimmy Parker and Red Hat on the Hudson characters in his books.

Former film producers, Jimmy Parker, and his wife, Mary Beth Dooley used their cinematic background to create one of the most visually exciting restaurants on the East Coast, one that sits right alongside the Hudson River in Irvington, New York.

Several federal lawmakers from New Jersey are sponsoring legislation to require rail operators and commercial truck drivers be tested for sleep apnea.

Congressman Albio Sires says the Trump Administration's decision last month to withdraw a proposed rule to require the testing is shortsighted.

Senator Cory Booker the common sense safety measure could prevent crashes like one in Hoboken a year ago that killed one person and injured more than a hundred.

A New Jersey task force says a two percent cap on arbitration awards for police and firefighters has helped reduce the rate of property tax increases.

Republican Assemblyman Declan O'Scanlon is one of Governor Christie's appointees on the task force studying the impact of the cap that's set to expire at year's end.

He says it's saved taxpayers more than half a billion dollars since 2011 by containing police and firefighter labor costs.

Ang Santos / WBGO

87-year-old saxophone legend Sonny Rollins donated what’s essentially his life’s work in handwritten papers, documents, video’s and records to the Schomburg Center in Harlem.

“Really what it allows us to do is to continue to get to know him better over the decades whether he’s here with us or not,” said Schola Lynch, curator of the Moving Image and Sound Division at the Schomburg.  Lynch welcomed several dozen members of the public into their new space to view pieces from the Rollins collection.

A land-use policy organization says towns need to make some changes so millennials don't continue to leave New Jersey.

Tim Evans with New Jersey Future says the 22-to-34-year-old age group wants to live where work, stores, affordable housing, and recreational opportunities are all within walking distance.

Mugwort
Dr. Leonard Bielory

Many are enjoying this spate of summer-like weather, but it's been tough on allergy sufferers. 

Dr. Leonard Bielory is an allergy specialist who tracks the pollen count in New Jersey. He says a combination of environmental conditions is causing problems for people with allergies.

"I call it the witches' brew. The high humidity, high temperature, with several different pollens, ragweed, grass, and mugwort which is flourishing right now."

Bielory says medication can provide some relief.

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