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Local News | Oct 09, 2006

To force town mergers or not? That is the question

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Another busy week ahead for New Jersey lawmakers.
They’ll continue discussions on a proposal that would force some towns to merge as a way to help cut the state’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes.
A special legislative committee discussing property tax reform has informally supported the legislation. It would create a special commission to decide which municipalities should be merged and calls for the plan to get a single, up-or-down vote from legislators.
But some lawmakers want voters to get final say.
Meanwhile, another committee debating whether the state needs a new school funding formula will hold a public hearing in Collingswood tomorrow.
And another panel debating public worker benefits will meet Thursday to mull measures to reduce state and local pension and health benefit costs.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Local News | Oct 09, 2006

New Jersey celebrates Columbus Day

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. (AP) – Some New Jersey towns will mark Columbus Day with ceremonies.
Among them, South Plainfield, where an event will take place at the municipal building.
Some 21 members of the Italian state police marched in a Columbus Day parade in East Hanover yesterday. They’ll participate in New York’s Columbus Day parade today.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Local News | Oct 09, 2006

Three dead, one injured in shooting in Manalapan

MANALAPAN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) – Investigators continue to probe a murder-suicide that left three people dead and another seriously injured in Monmouth County.
County Prosecutor Luis Valentin says a soured business relationship may have led a 53-year-old Manalapan man to shoot and kill his brother-in-law and the man’s wife late Saturday night before turning the gun on himself.
Authorities said Alim Hodzic shot and killed 41-year-old Esat Astafovic and his 35-year-old wife, Violsa, at their home. The couple had four children.
Also wounded was Esat Astafovic’s 74-year-old father, Rasim, who was shot in the upper torso. He’s hospitalized at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
Hodzic was married to Esat Astafovic’s sister.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Local News | Oct 09, 2006

Woodbridge man dies in house fire

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (AP) – Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house fire that claimed the life of a Woodbridge man.
Authorities don’t believe yesterday’s blaze was suspicious. Joe Raffelle was pronounced dead at the scene. The 41-year-old’s wife and two daughters were not home at the time.
It took firefighters about three hours to extinguish the flames.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Local News | Oct 05, 2006

Report: Global warming could make Northeast like the South

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Scientists have Georgia on their minds when
it comes to the future of New Jersey’s climate.
The Union of Concerned Scientists says the climate of the nine
northeastern states could become like that of the South by the end
of the century unless greenhouse gas emissions are steadily
lowered.
The advocacy group’s report is the most detailed regional report
yet on the issue.
It says longer, much hotter summers, warmer winters with less
snow and other changes fueled by global warming could put
significant strain on the power grid and health care system.
Farms, forests, marine fisheries, recreation and tourism would
also take a hit.
The group and university scientists who worked on the report say
the impact could be much lower if carbon dioxide emissions are
reduced by three percent each year.
Without changes, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut will feel
like Georgia by century’s end. Less emissions would give the region
more of an eastern Virginia feel.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)