News

Specially trained New Jersey search and rescue crews are on their way to assist Texas flood victims.

Laura Connolly with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management says 16 members of New Jersey Task Force 1, three members of the State Police, six boats and five trucks have been deployed to Texas.

"They'll be assisting with swift water operations, with people that drove into floodwaters and are trapped, or they could be going door to door and rescuing people with the boats that we have. So, they'll be taking care of all those water operations down there."

Gasoline prices in the area are starting to move higher because of the storm that's dumping huge amounts of rain in Texas.

Patrick DeHaan is a petroleum analyst at GasBuddy-dot-com. He says refinery shutdowns on the Gulf Coast because of Hurricane Harvey are curtailing the supply of gasoline.

"I would expect gas prices would rise anywhere from 5 to 15 cents a gallon, perhaps even higher, over the next one to one-and-a-half weeks or so. It could go as high as 10 to 25 cents a gallon, maybe even 15 to 30 cents a gallon in kind of the worst-case scenario."

New Jersey Transit's management and culture came in from some blistering criticism at a legislative hearing.

Nancy Erika Smith is a civil rights lawyer. She told state lawmakers there's a toxic, corrupt, sexist, and racist atmosphere at the agency.

"If HR and EEO won't help victims, and they don't at New Jersey Transit, and employees who complain are openly retaliated against, who in their right mind will complain?"

Michael Moore
Playbill.com

Theater critic Michael Bourne gives us his thoughts on Michael Moore On Broadway.  Moore, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker behind Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, brings his unrivaled powers of provocation and satire to the stage for the first time in The Terms of My Surrender. 

The world premiere one-man play is directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer.

Lisa Bloom: Civil Rights Lawyer, TV Legal Analyst

Aug 25, 2017
Lisa Bloom
Allan Wolper for WBGO

Lisa Bloom is an activist civil rights attorney who has won a national reputation by representing clients whose cases are on the cutting edge of woman’s issues. She appears on The Today Show, MSNBC, The Situation Room, and was a former host of Lisa Bloom Open Court on Court TV.

She says she received her early training at home listening to her mother, Gloria Allred, a celebrity attorney who is often involved controversial cases involving woman’s issues.

Alexandra Hill

As the debate over the removal of confederate monuments continues  across the country following the violent race riots in Charlottesville Virginia earlier this month. WBGO’s Alexandra Hill recently visited Monmouth Battlefield State Park to talk with military historian Dr. David Martin about New Jersey’s ties to the confederacy and how the removal of confederate monuments could affect American history.

 

Democrat Phil Murphy says if he becomes New Jersey's next governor he'd sign the gun control bills Governor Christie has vetoed. And he's proposing some additional measures to stem violence.

Murphy says he'd approach neighboring states to talk about coordinating strategies to prevent gun violence.

"We think about 80 percent of the guns involved in crimes in New Jersey come from out of state, so not only to we have to do a better job in our state, we have to engage with our neighbors."

Governor Christie has signed legislation authorizing and regulating fantasy sports games in New Jersey.

Participants pay an entry fee to manage an imaginary team and compete for a predetermined prize.

Assemblyman John Burzichelli says many residents have been playing and the new law will protect consumers.

Five months before he was planning to retire, New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan has died after suffering a heart attack at his Atlantic City home.

State officials are remembering him as a dedicated public servant.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg says Whelan was a role model for lawmakers.

“He seemed to be able to be part of the team, be part of the unified effort, and yet signal out the things that were important to him even if it was going against the tide a bit. He was an eminently decent man, full of integrity.”

A study by a national research group finds that states have cut funds for higher education by nearly $9 billion since the 2008 recession.

Mike Mitchell is an analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He says lower state funding for colleges has meant tuition increases, forcing students to incur more debt to pay for college. 

A New Jersey lawmaker wants to change how water providers respond when they find elevated levels of lead in the system.

Assemblyman Dan Benson says current law requires a utility that finds high lead concentrations to send a letter to residents, but not municipalities and school districts.

"You'd want that because so often these municipalities have reverse 911 systems. They can hopefully provide additional information or coordinate a response to make sure that residents are protected."  

Governor Christie once called it the ugliest building in New Jersey. Now he’s saying a multi-billion dollar retail and entertainment complex in the Meadlowlands will be vital to the state’s economy.

Known as Xanadu when it was approved in 2003, the project was plagued by a series of financing problems and construction delays. Christie says what’s now called the American Dream is on the way to becoming a reality.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says President Trump's comments that both sides were equally responsible for the violence in Charlottes, Virginia, were a mistake.

“The people who wanted to cause violence in Charlottesville were the neo-Nazis and the white supremacists who came there to cause violence. And the very underpinnings of their philosophy, if you can call it that, is the use of violence based upon bias and prejudice. And that’s unacceptable in our country.” 

Carl Cofield
Carmen Balentine for WBGO

The latest production of Lorraine Hansberry's iconic play A Raisin In The Sun runs from September 9th through October 8th at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey.

Several stars of the show including Brandon J. Dirden, Crystal A. Dickinson and Brenda Pressley and the play's director Carl Cofield joined WBGO News Director Doug Doyle on the stage at the Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater for a live audience panel discussion to talk about the relevance of the play in today's world.

STF/AFP/Getty Images

Jerry Lewis, a comedic fixture on big screens and charity telethons for decades, has died at the age of 91.

His death was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and confirmed by NPR with his publicist and spokeswoman Candi Cazau.

Cazau provided the following statement:

 

"Famed comedian, actor, and legendary entertainer Jerry Lewis passed away peacefully today of natural causes at 91 at his home in Las Vegas with his family by his side."

Dick Gregory, the comedian and civil rights crusader, died Saturday. He was 84.

His family announced the news on his public Facebook page.

General Longstreet
Gettysburgdaily.com

Scott Hancock is an associate professor of History and Africana studies at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He has some strong opinions on whether or not Confederate monuments and memorials should remain on the Gettysburg battlefield.

He chats with WBGO Journal host and news director Doug Doyle in this in-depth interview.

Hancock came to Gettysburg College in 2001. His scholarly interests focus on the African American experience from the mid-seventeenth century to just before the Civil War.

Van Gogh's Ear
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater Critic reviews the off-Broadway production of Van Gogh's Ear at Pershing Square Signature Center. The show is presented by the Ensemble for the Romantic Century.

UWF
UWF for WBGO

Back in 2014, the City of New York settled a $100 million landmark discrimination lawsuit with the Vulcan Society, the African-American fraternal organization for the FDNY. In that settlement, it committed to a major outreach to achieve diversity in its ranks. As a consequence, the department has had success in hiring more men of color.  Adding women to the ranks remains an even greater challenge.

(Sound of training video and instruction)

An advocate for children's educational rights is conducting an investigation into schools' compliance with New Jersey's anti-bullying law.

John Rue is the president and general counsel of the Innisfree Foundation. He says the investigation is focused on how school officials interpret the law and decide whether to pursue bullying complaints.

Political analysts believe it's likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy's proposed tax increases will be approved if he's elected and Democrats maintain control of the New Jersey legislature.

Nearly half of the $1.3 billion Murphy's tax hikes are expected to raise would come from a millionaires' tax.  Governor Christie has vetoed five attempts by Democrats to impose that levy. Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin believes Democrats will get it done if Murphy becomes governor.

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai
Allan Wolper for WBGO

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai received a United States Copyright in 1982 crediting him with being The Inventor of EMAIL, a title he earned as a 14-year-old research scholar at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, New Jersey.

He said he received a copyright certificate on August 30, 1982 , rather than a patent, because patents were not awarded to software discoveries at the time.

Environmental groups and New Jersey officials are urging Congress to reject President Donald Trump's proposed 30 percent cut in the Environmental Protection Agency's budget.

They expressed their opposition to Trump's plan in Brick Township at the base of a bridge that was wiped out by Superstorm Sandy nearly five years ago.

Ed Potosnak leads the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. He says the budget cuts would put the state’s environment in grave danger.

New Jersey officials are standing up against President Donald Trump's offshore oil drilling proposal.

Congressman Frank Pallone says a spill from drilling off the Jersey coast would endanger the shore.

"The problem is that President Trump and the Interior Department seem to think that they should be able to drill anywhere, anytime. They're very oriented toward fossil fuels and they're not big advocates and they don't prioritize renewables."

:

Health care advocates in New Jersey say even though efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have failed, uncertainty about potential changes in the health care marketplace is confusing consumers.

The biggest concern is President Trump's threat to cut federal subsidies that reduce costs for low-income consumers who buy coverage in the health insurance marketplace.

It won't be long until ragweed starts causing problems for people with allergies.

Dr. Leonard Bielory is an allergy specialist at the Rutgers Center for Environmental Prediction. He says all the moisture in the air recently has delayed the usual early August onset of the ragweed season.

"As long as it rains, ragweed will not pollinate into any considerable amount at all. Then once it dries up, we're going to blossom. So, we expect the next week to really be the real beginning of the ragweed season."

Ang Santos / WBGO

The magic number so to speak for New Jersey candidates running for Governor is 430,000.  Raising that many dollars is the only way their message will get the exposure brought along with upcoming televised debates.  It’s an uphill climb from the start for third party candidates, fighting for name recognition.

A new bipartisan legislative panel will look into addressing a shortage of middle-skilled workers in New Jersey.

Melanie Willoughby with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association says 80 percent of manufacturers in the nation have a serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled production positions.

“This is not where we want to be with the manufacturing industry in New Jersey that is worth over $44 billion, paying an average salary of $90,450 without a BA.”

A Monmouth University Poll finds Americans are divided about the impact of President Donald Trump's temperament.

Poll director Patrick Murray says 49 percent of Americans like the way Trump makes Washington politicians uncomfortable, while 52 percent believe the President’s treatment of Republicans in Congress has made it difficult to advance improvements in infrastructure and taxes.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Shooting Clerks is the biographical retelling of how New Jersey filmmaker Kevin Smith bankrolled his first movie and defied the odds to make an American cult classic.

Scottish filmmaker Christopher Downie set out to include the original cast of Clerks in his biopic.  The original films main character Dante Hicks is played by Brian O’Halloran.  He’s making the rounds at film festivals in support of ‘Shooting Clerks’.  He’s an associate producer of the film and one of many actors from the first film to make a cameo appearance.

Pages