AC-POLICE BRUTALITY COMPLAINTS
Suit spotlights AC police brutality complaints
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - A federal judge is raising questions about the Atlantic City Police Department's handling of brutality complaints against its officers.
U.S. District Judge Joel Schneider in Camden is presiding over a 2010 excessive-force lawsuit against two Atlantic City officers who have faced nearly 80 complaints between them. None has been upheld by Internal Affairs.
The city previously provided summaries of the cases against the officers, Sgt. Frank Timek and Officer Sterling Wheaten. But The Press of Atlantic City reports Schneider has ordered the city to turn over the full Internal Affairs reports.
The judge says those reports are needed to determine if the city has been, as alleged, "deliberately indifferent to the violent propensities of its police officers."
The city police union says it's wrong to judge the officers by the number of complaints received for internal review.
NJ woman gets 10-year term in plot to kill rival
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey woman who tried to hire a hit man to knock off a romantic rival has received a 10-year prison sentence.
Nicole Faccenda (fah-SEND'-uh) sobbed through her sentencing in federal court in Newark on Wednesday.
Faccenda pleaded guilty last year to using interstate commerce with the intent of committing a murder. Prosecutors have said she asked a friend in Florida to find someone to kill her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend.
Faccenda met with the friend and a federal agent posing as a hit man, and agreed to pay $10,000 to have the woman killed. Prosecutors say Faccenda was recorded saying she wanted to go to the girlfriend's funeral and "spit on her casket."
The woman identified as the intended target says she and her children live in fear.
POLICE SHOOTING-PERTH AMBOY
Prosecutor: Perth Amboy man shot, killed by police
PERTH AMBOY, N.J. (AP) - A central New Jersey man was shot and killed by police after he apparently attacked an officer with a knife.
Acting Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey says the shooting occurred around 1:20 p.m. Wednesday on Hall Avenue in Perth Amboy. Carey says two officers were talking with 32-year-old city resident Dixon Rodriguez when he allegedly attacked one officer.
Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the shooting occurred. The two officers were taken to a hospital for examinations, but neither officer was believed to have been seriously injured.
The officers' names were not disclosed, and Carey did not say why they were initially dispatched to the street where the shooting occurred.
The shooting is under investigation by the prosecutor's office, which is standard policy in police-involved shootings.
PA police union wades into GWB lane closure tiff
NEW YORK (AP) - The head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's police union has inserted himself into the controversy over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that caused traffic nightmares in September.
New Jersey lawmakers are angry that local officials weren't notified in advance, and they've subpoenaed Port Authority officials to give their side. Some legislators claim the chaos was retaliation by Gov. Chris Christie against Fort Lee's mayor, a claim Christie denies.
At Wednesday's board meeting, police union head Paul Nunziato said the Port Authority routinely changes traffic patterns without notification. He said the incident was part of an ongoing power struggle over the Port Authority by New Jersey and New York, whom he likened to the fictional Sharks and Jets from the musical "West Side Story."
FIREWORKS FIRM-SAFETY VIOLATIONS
Feds cite NJ fireworks firm for safety violations
MILLINGTON, N.J. (AP) - Federal officials have cited a New Jersey fireworks company for 12 safety violations that could result in $48,300 in fines.
The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the alleged violations by Garden State Fireworks on Wednesday. Eleven of them were considered serious, meaning there's substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Among the alleged violations are failures to keep records showing employee training and compile safety information on the dangers of highly hazardous chemicals, technology and equipment.
The OSHA inspection at the firm's Millington facility started in May. Once the company receives the citations, it has 15 business days to comply or contest them.
A company spokesman was not available for comment Wednesday.
NJ announces $508 million for school construction
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey's School Development Authority has announced plans to use $508 million to help pay for construction projects in the majority of the state's school districts.
The state said Wednesday that it will pay 100 percent of the costs in 31 lower-income districts and at least 40 percent of the costs in other districts for projects that address health and safety concerns and overcrowding.
Including the local districts' contributions, the total costs of the projects is estimated at $1.1 billion.
The state's portion of the funding comes from $3.9 billion in bonds the Legislature authorized in 2008 for school facilities projects.
Overall, more than 1,500 projects are planned in 331 districts.
PORT AUTHORITY-PORT IMPROVEMENTS
Port Authority approves $105M to fix NJ port roads
NEW YORK (AP) - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved more than $100 million to continue repairing and rebuilding aging roads at New Jersey's ports.
Five major access roads at the ports will be affected, and a ramp that has been the site of numerous accidents over the past several years will be replaced.
The board approved the expenditure Wednesday at its monthly board meeting in New York. It will ultimately be covered by cargo facility charges.
The improvements on Port, Corbin, Marlin and Kellogg streets and Doremus Avenue include new paving, new center barriers and drainage, signals, signs and curbing. The Corbin Street ramp will be demolished and replaced.
It's expected the project will result in reduced traffic congestion and lower emissions from idling trucks.
Hope Creek nuclear plant in south NJ back online
(Information in the following story is from: South Jersey Times (Woodbury, N.J.), http://nj.com/southjerseytimes)
LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - The Hope Creek nuclear plant in southern New Jersey is back in service, three days after it was taken offline because high moisture was found in the steam that spins the plant's turbine.
PSEG Nuclear spokesman Joe Delmar tells the South Jersey Times that the plant began sending power to the regional power grid at 1:52 p.m. Wednesday and that "power ascension to full power" was in progress.
Hope Creek was taken offline early Sunday, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says all safety systems responded as designed. The NRC also said no radiation was released and no one was injured.
The two other reactors at the Salem Generating Station in Lower Alloways Creek Township remained operational while Hope Creek was offline.
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