New Jersey Diocese Agrees to Settle Sex Abuse Claims for $87.5 Million

Bishop Dennis Sullivan of the Diocese of Camden, N.J. “My prayers go out to all survivors of abuse,” he said in announcing the settlement. 
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The Diocese of Camden, N.J., said on Tuesday that it had agreed to pay $87.5 million to settle claims made by hundreds of people who accused clergy members of sexually abusing them, one of the largest such settlements involving the Catholic Church in the United States.

In what may be a first for such litigation, the ultimate payout to the plaintiffs could be substantially higher, lawyers representing them said, because the settlement allows for further litigation against insurance companies for the diocese and related entities like parishes and schools.

“This is a triumph of courage, with all credit to the survivors for staying unified and strong,” Jeff Anderson, a lawyer for about a quarter of the roughly 300 plaintiffs, said.

In a statement announcing the settlement, Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan, the leader of the diocese, said, “I want to express my sincere apology to all those who have been affected by sexual abuse in our diocese.”

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The state of New Jersey’s congressional primaries

By David WildsteinApril 19 2022

New Jersey Globe

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. 

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For a group of mostly-unknown New Jersey congressional candidates with no significant political base, sluggish fundraising puts them in an unlikely pray-for-a-miracle box just seven weeks before the June 7 Democratic and Republican primary elections.

It’s a steep uphill climb for any candidate to win off the line, but the idea of doing so with no money, or significant name identification or the presence of real, organized grassroots support, is virtually impossible.

People may not like to hear it, but you can’t win an election inside a social media bubble; you need money to persuade real voters.  The decline of old-fashioned daily newspapers offers limited opportunities for underdog candidates to gain attention without lines, money and a base.

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Today Is Election Day: What Voters Need To Know For The Newark School Board Election

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Asian American students push College Board for inclusive history lessons

TAYLOR JUNG | APRIL 19, 2022

NJ Spotlight News

When Samantha Lee started the first part of her advanced placement U.S. history class last fall, she realized she had been learning about “the same white men over and over.”

“I’ve always felt very uneducated about my own background as an Asian American,” said the sophomore at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees.

Lee is part of Make Us Visible NJ, an organization that helped push through landmark state legislation to have New Jersey’s public schools teach more Asian American and Pacific Islander history, and more about the group’s contributions overall.

Next up, they are going national with the cause.

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NJ’s first lady: Childbirth is deadlier for Black mothers and we’re working to change this | Opinion

Published: Apr. 17, 2022

By Tammy Murphy

Progress has been made in New Jersey to decrease maternal mortality among Black women, but First Lady Tammy Murphy says she is grateful and proud that the governor’s proposed FY 2023 budget includes $37.2 million in funding for several recommendations outlined in our Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan
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Over the past four years, my Nurture NJ work has allowed me to meet countless New Jersey mothers, many of whom have bravely spoken out about their experiences during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Their stories underscore just how frightening and dangerous childbirth can be, especially for mothers of color.

I have written and spoken many times before about our disturbing statistics: a Black mother in New Jersey is over seven times more likely than a white mother to die of pregnancy-related complications. A Black baby is over three times more likely than a white baby to die before his or her first birthday.

Behind those statistics are the mothers and families I have met. As we recognize Black Maternal Health Week, it is our mission to amplify their stories.

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Newark will recruit retired teachers as staff shortages persist

PATRICK WALL, CHALKBEAT NEWARK | APRIL 15, 2022 

NJ Spotlight News

Newark teachers at a training in 2019. The school district said more than 40 retired teachers have already expressed interest in returning to classrooms.

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The Newark school district plans to hire dozens of retired teachers to fill open positions, as schools in Newark and nationwide continue to reel from acute staff shortages.

Earlier this month, the state approved Newark Public Schools’ request to take advantage of a new state law that allows retired teachers to return to the classroom without losing their retirement pensions, the district announced Tuesday. More than 40 retired teachers have already expressed interest in returning to district schools, the announcement said.

The district, which is short more than 100 teachers, also applied to participate in another state program meant to ease the school-staffing crunch, according to the announcement. The new program, created by a state law passed last year, allows approved districts to hire would-be teachers who failed to meet one of the requirements for certification, such as a minimum grade-point average in college or a passing score on a required test.

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Montague Takes on Baraka’s City Hall in Uphill Newark Climb

By Max Pizarro | April 14, 2022

Insider NJ

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the relationship fell apart, but it did. Sheila Montague started as a Ras Baraka backer; well, as a backer of Newark, who supported the 2014 mayoral candidacy of the poet-educator.

She was a poet-educator, too, so it made sense that she would find something relatable in Ras World.

Now, eight years later, she doesn’t; and if Newark’s version of Lord Byron versus Bob Southey hardly transmits overtones of only a politic poetic interlude, Montague is running for mayor against an apparently popular – she would say intimidating – incumbent who seeks a third term in office amid local chatter of wider realms conquered.

Montague doesn’t like the administration, and sees it as something of a victory, on the other side of a lot of petition signature casualties, former Mayor Sharpe James among them, just to be on the May 10th ballot.

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In Newark, Little League Field Makeover Signals Greater Things to Come For City's South Ward

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Murphy clarifies vaccine mandate for health care workers, does not include 2nd booster

Published: Apr. 13, 2022

Executive Order No. 294 comes on the heels of the April 11 deadline for New Jersey health care workers to receive their first booster shots.

But in recent weeks, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster for people ages 50 and over and those who are immunocompromised. The second shot, which covers both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna two-dose mRNA vaccines, raised questions about what constitutes being “fully vaccinated.”

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Charging stations key to getting more EVs on the road

TOM JOHNSON, ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT WRITER | APRIL 14, 2022 

NJ Spotlight News

New Jersey is counting on hundreds of thousands of people driving electric vehicles to cut the emissions causing climate change and to meet its ambitious clean-energy goals.

But the state must spend more, and ramp up spending now to make that happen, clean-energy advocates warn.

The appeal comes as advocates worry that the mandate to put 330,000 plug-in electric cars on the state’s roads by 2025 will be difficult to meet unless more resources are available to build out the charging infrastructure to accommodate those vehicles.

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