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Central Jersey News from the Times of Trenton

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    The main march in D.C. and sister marches across New Jersey call for strengthened gun control laws.


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    A look at the top contenders in each group heading into the 2018 girls lacrosse season.


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    The firefighters bring the town's career force to 23

    Ewing Township, which has been building a 24/7 career fire department since late last year, swore in 14 new firefighters during a ceremony at the municipal department this week.

    The new-to-Ewing firefighters bring the town's career force to 23.

    They operate from all three Ewing firehouses, and the department is based at what's now known as Station 30 on Pennington Road - the former Pennington Road volunteer company.

    Many of the 14 were already firefighters, either career elsewhere or volunteers, and possess the qualification to go on fire calls immediately, and most have a number of advanced skills and technical training, Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann said.

    "We really wound with a lot of quality people," the mayor said. At the ceremony, Ewing firefighter Eric Rowlands was sworn in as a captain.

    The department has enough EMT's to staff an EMS engine if needed, to supplement the town's EMS squad, Steinmann said.

    Ewing to begin 24/7 fire service, hiring new firefighters

    Inside Ewing, the career firefighters are known as Fire Division 30, and staff Station 30 around the clock. They operate daytime crews at the Prospect Heights and West Trenton volunteer firehouses.

    Steinmann reiterated that Ewing will always have a place for volunteer firefighters to work alongside the town's career staff.

    The town was awarded a nearly $1 million federal grant in August and said then the money was earmarked to offset the hiring of about 13 firefighters.

    Kevin Shea may be reached at kshea@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter@kevintshea. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     


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    Harvey Sharp's life was ended by a bullet on his birthday, gunned down on Cummings Avenue in Trenton. Sharp's family got their justice three years later on Thursday.

    Harvey Sharp's life was ended by a bullet on his birthday, gunned down on Cummings Avenue in Trenton on that day he turned 29.

    Sharp's family got their justice three years later on Thursday, when a jury convicted 38 year-old Horace Gordon of first-degree murder. 

    The Sharp family had been dogged in their pursuit of justice, attending every court hearing held on the case over the past three years. 

    "This wasn't a case of who-done-it, but a case of why he did it," said Mercer County Executive Assistant Prosecutor Amy Devenny. 

    Sharp was killed shortly after midnight on June 24, 2015. Trenton police found Sharp suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest, and he died at the hospital. 

    Authorities linked Gordon to the crime and tracked him to southern Virginia the following month, where a U.S. Marshals task force captured him.

    The jury deliberated for only five hours after the trial closed on Tuesday, finding Gordon guilty of murder.

    Devenny said surveillance footage from two businesses and testimony from two witnesses were key to proving his state of mind during the shooting. 

    Gordon is scheduled to be sentenced on May 25 and the prosecutor's office is recommending life. 

    Olivia Rizzo may be reached at orizzo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find NJ.com on Facebook 

     

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    If you live in one of the nearly half-million households in New Jersey headed by a woman, you already know the grim truth: Your chief breadwinner is probably earning less than her male colleagues.

    If you live in one of the nearly half-million households in New Jersey headed by a woman, you already know the grim truth: Your chief breadwinner is probably earning less than her male colleagues.

    Make that considerably less: On average, women here bring home 82 cents for every dollar a man makes, or about $12,000 less in annual wages.

    Not only is the discrepancy unfair, it also puts an economic burden on families, translating into a $450,000 wage gap over the course of a 40-year career.

    It's hard to believe, more than four decades into the modern women's movement. But national statistics bear it out.

    Women workers in the Garden State fare better than their counterparts in Wyoming, for example (64 cents for every dollar a man earns), but that's small comfort when it comes time to pay the mortgage and buy the groceries.

    That's why the state Assembly Labor Committee recently gave its overwhelming support to a bill designed to level the playing field.

    "This is more than a women's equal pay bill," says Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). "To me, this is a family equal pay bill, because it solidifies and strengthens the family."

    The measure, which ultimately heads to the full Assembly, would establish the country's toughest pay equity standards.

    Phil Murphy signs executive order on equal pay for women

    Among other things, it bans employers from paying women less for doing "substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility."

    Victims, including pregnant women, stand to win six years of back pay with triple damages if the measure succeeds.

    Dena Mottola Jabroska, associate director of the non-profit advocacy group New Jersey Citizen Action, praised the legislation as a way of "shining the light on companies and their pay practices so they can really take a hard look and make sure they're not discriminating."

    One of the bill's most important components is designed to bring transparency into the workplace. It would make it possible for women to openly discuss their wages with colleagues, and to seek legal advice without the fear of retaliation - or termination.

    "I had no clue what my pay was relative to the good old boys I was working with, and I knew I was at least as good as they were," recalled Deb Huber, head of the state chapter of the National Organization for Women.

    While the New Jersey Business and Industry Association has voiced concern over the prospect of employers shelling out triple damages for successful litigants, the trade group issued a statement supporting the bill's intent, and expressing appreciation for the six-year retroactive period.

    The bill was a 12-year labor of love for sponsor Pamela Lampitt (D-Burlington and Camden counties). With its future looking brighter under a governor who has made equal pay for women a top priority, it will prove to be worth fighting for.

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.


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    Road closed, section of apartment complex evacuated after the package was discovered.

    A man faces charges after he allegedly left a box with "what if this was a bomb" written on the package at the apartment complex where he lives, leading authorities to evacuate area residences Thursday.

    Police were alerted after the cardboard package was discovered just outside the mailroom at Hopewell Gardens on Denow Road shortly before 5 p.m., according to Hopewell Township police Chief Lance Maloney.

    The "what if" message was written on the box, Maloney added. Emergency responders evacuated the east wing of the apartment complex and closed a nearby road as a precaution.

    Troopers from the State Police bomb squad discovered the package was harmless about two hours later, and a Mercer County sheriff K-9 team swept the area, the chief said.

    Police quickly focused on a "person of interest" at the scene and arrested 56-year-old Masanoly Aiken on charges of false public alarm, terroristic threats and causing or risking widespread injury or damage, according to a statement from Hopewell police.

    A Facebook profile matching Aiken's name includes a series of incoherent posts mentioning Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the White House, law enforcement and a bomb.

    "I'm wondering why Washington dc -the white house hasn't got back with me. I'm guessing there looking for a bomb," one post stated.

    "Me well I'm thinking about robbing 1st national bank and take all the tellers and bank manager shopping," another posting said.

    The false alarm in Hopewell came a day after the serial bomber who killed two people in Texas, blew himself up as a SWAT team tried to arrest him near Austin.

    Noah Cohen may be reached at ncohen@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahycFind NJ.com on Facebook.

     

     


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    US News & World Report is out with its latest rankings -- and New Jersey fared well across many categories


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    These are the athletes to keep an eye on in 2018.


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    These guys are destined to be the goalies' biggest enemies in 2018


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    Police shot the man after a nearly five-hour standoff at the restaurant. Watch video

    Scott L. Mielentz used to be a hardworking IT guy who was engaged with his family and liked to go to the beach.

    But after PTSD from his Army Ranger days and physical injuries caught up with him, the father of two became a self-described "loner" who suffered from hallucinations, anxiety and depression, according to information found in public records.

    Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 10.58.35 AM.pngScott Mielentz 

    Mielentz, 56, stormed a Panera Bread restaurant in Princeton with a gun Tuesday morning and, hours after everyone in the restaurant had fled, was shot to death by police

    Documents filed in an ongoing bankruptcy case revealed that the Lawrenceville man who caused dozens of cops and negotiators to descend on the bustling street, prompting businesses to close and schools to shelter-in-place, was buried in debt and suffering from mental health problems.

    Members of his immediate family either declined to comment, did not respond or could not be reached. He previously lived with his daughter in Newtown, Pennsylvania, but had been staying for about two months at a home on Princeton Pike in Lawrenceville, records show.

    At the house Thursday his roommate, who declined to give his name, said Mielentz kept to himself.

    It's similar to what Mielentz said of himself in his 2014 application for disability benefits, in which he described avoiding social situations and keeping to himself as he dealt with constant pain, anxiety and depression. The application, which includes statements from Mielentz and his estranged wife, was included in bankruptcy filings because the government said he was overpaid benefits.

    Mielentz, his wife and his attorney described how he spent 20 years doing contracted IT work for companies including NESCO and Bank of America, though his physical and mental health deteriorated around 2010, affecting his ability to work. Mielentz said in his deposition that he had been "in a psychiatric ward for a bit of time," but did not elaborate.

    Attorney Patricia Mayer, who declined to comment, wrote in documents that he served in the Army Rangers in Laos in the late 1970s and "suffers from hallucinations, flashbacks and anxiety related to that time in the service."

    In his application for disability benefits, Mielentz said he had herniated discs and degenerative disc disease that made it hard to do activities or even sleep for more than a few hours. He also described cognitive issues, including an inability to concentrate, handle stress, or remember things. He wrote that it changed his ability to socialize.

    calls-himself-loner-mental-illness.jpgScreengrab from U.S. District Court documents 

    His wife described him as depressed, anxious, unmotivated and in constant pain.

    "Before he worked all the time, more interested in family, not now," she wrote. "Lost interest."

    The application makes no mention of Mielentz being violent or even aggressive. His wife answered a question about his reactions to authority by saying he could get "agitated" or "unnerved."

    wife-says-he-freaks-out-from-stress.jpgU.S. District Court documents 

    She also wrote that his mental health issues meant he began to have "no common sense" with money and couldn't pay bills because it scared him to "see [the money] go."

    Court records show Mielentz had serious financial problems, owing a total of $122,498 in credit card and medical bills, student loans and back taxes when he filed for bankruptcy in 2016. He had also filed for bankruptcy when he lived in Jupiter, Florida in 2003.

    Among his creditors was the Social Security Administration, which sued him to make sure they got back the $29,562 in benefits they paid him after he had gone back to work. He maintained that he informed the government on three occasions that he was working, but the payments continued. They settled on a deal that had him paying $4,562 in $100 monthly installments.

    Meanwhile, the Attorney General's Office remains tight-lipped about the circumstances that led to Mielentz's death. Citing the ongoing investigation, a spokesman for the office declined to answer questions Friday about which law enforcement agency fired the shot, and what actions by Mielentz caused an officer to fire on him.

    The Attorney General's Office's Shooting Response team is conducting the deadly force investigation, as it does whenever the officer who fired is a county, state or federal officer, as opposed to a municipal officer.

    On Thursday morning, the shopping area across Nassau Street from the Princeton campus seemed back to normal, though the windows of the closed Panera were covered in paper to prevent anyone from looking inside.

    Mielentz entered the eatery with a gun around 10 a.m. Tuesday and staff and customers fled out a back door, authorities said. None were injured.

    Within minutes, the street was shut down and police were crouched behind vehicles with guns drawn on the restaurant. The Attorney General's Office said negotiators tried to get him to surrender, but did not say if they were able to speak to him by phone or any other means.

    The Panera Bread remained closed Friday. A message on the restaurant's voicemail said they were working to reopen as soon as possible.

    Reporter Olivia Rizzo contributed to this story.

    Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us.

    nj.com/tips

     

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    Thousands of New Jersey's young people, joined by their parents, teachers, clergy members and neighbors, will take to the streets on March 24, 2018, as part of the national March for Our Lives movement. Watch video

    One paragraph in the mission statement of March for Our Lives stands out for its sheer horror.

    "Every kid in this country now goes to school wondering if this day might be their last. We live in fear."

    Thousands of New Jersey's young people, joined by their parents, teachers, clergy members and neighbors, will take to the streets Saturday in a desperate attempt to make that fear go away.

    They will be marching for their lives - for all of our lives - to convince the adults in Congress to put an end to the gun violence that has become the equivalent of an extra-curricular activity in our nation's schools.

    Residents in close to two dozen Garden State communities are planning sister events to the main march in Washington, D.C. organized by the students of Parkland, Florida, who lived through one of the most terrifying days of their lives on Valentine's Day.

    Princeton, Audubon, Asbury Park, Red Bank, Englewood, Montclair and Morristown are among venues where the protests will take place.

    Thinking of taking your kid to the March for Our Lives?

    Gov. Phil Murphy is slated to speak at the march in Newark, joined by the mother of Newark's Mayor Ras Baraka. Amina Baraka lost a daughter in a domestic violence incident almost 15 years ago.

    New Jersey's first lady, Tammy Murphy, and U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5th District) are expected to be among the protesters in Hackensack.

    The marches, nearly 900 of them throughout the world, are part of a grass-roots movement steadily gathering strength after a gunman with an AR-15 weapon murdered 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

    Baby Boomers grew up convinced they were going to save the world, and in some respects, they succeeded.

    They organized massive protests that eventually ended the war in Vietnam, they helped move the country in the right direction when it came to women's rights and civil rights, they made discoveries to conquer or at least control AIDS and cancer.

    But now it's falling to a new generation to attack the deadly plague of gun violence that the adults in the room have not been able - or willing -- to contain.

    Held hostage by a lobby whose sole reason to exist is to sell more guns, legislators have memorized a playbook of thoughts and prayers to use after a gun-wielding sociopath rampages through a shopping mall, an outdoor concert, a nightclub or a school.

    With youths' clear-eyed vision, these committed organizers see right through the hypocrisy. They're demanding that their lawmaker care more about the children in their districts than about the dollars in their campaign chests.

    They may be novices at pulling together marches and planning rallies, these students of today. But they are driven by a fear that goes bone deep. We pray Congress hears them.

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.

     

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    Two weeks and a whole lot of snow later, the Hamilton St. Patrick's Day Parade finally takes place.

    A traditional Irish blessing begins "May the road rise up to meet you..." This year, simply having the road cleared of snow for the St. Patrick's Day Parade is blessing enough.

    The 2018 Original St. Patrick's Day Parade at Hamilton, first scheduled for March 10, had to be postponed as, a few days earlier, a nor'easter brought with it a heavy accumulation of snow, clogging the streets for days.

    The new date was set, but Mother Nature wasn't done yet and last Wednesday, on the first full day of Spring, the next storm dumped ten inches of snow on Hamilton.

    Another postponement just wasn't in the cards.

    Parade Chairman Vince McKelvey, in his 32nd year as host, said "The parade committee owes a debt of gratitude to the Mercer County Road department, Al Rhodes over there with his people, and Dave Carothers at the Hamilton Public Works."

    "Those guys are really the ones that made it possible that we could go (today). They moved a lot of snow for us."

    Feeling lucky? These are the most Irish places in New Jersey

    McKelvey also credited Hamilton Police and especially Parade Coordinator Sue McNamara with keeping things on track, adding "With the cancellation it gets to be a logistic nightmare to reschedule."

    Even the stage used for opening ceremonies had to be switched due to ground conditions.

    The one usually rented from the county is too heavy and would sink. Local business Longford Landscape came to the rescue with a lighter flatbed to serve as the platform.

    In spite of all those obstacles, the parade stepped off at 1PM from Nottingham Fire House at 200 Mercer Street, after opening ceremonies started at 12:30.

    The St. Patrick Parade and Scholarship Committee at Hamilton selected Steinert High School senior Madison Paternostro as its 2018 Miss St. Patrick.

    Runner-up is Villa Victoria Academy senior Emilia Siracusa.

    This year's Grand Marshall is Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede. Joking that she had once been a "runner up" as Miss Saint Patrick as a teen, Yaede expressed her appreciation for the honor of being selected to lead this year's parade. 

    "Irish tradition and culture is woven into the heart of our community," said Yaede in her remarks. "Our local Irish American community continues to be an integral part of our entire community - and each March, we celebrate that through this annual parade."

    Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    The victim is in his early 20s, authorities said.

    Authorities are investigating the suspicious death of a young man whose body was found on the embankment of Assunpink Creek in Hamilton Saturday afternoon.

    Mercer County First Assistant Prosecutor Doris M. Galuchie said the death is being investigated as a homicide, but said she could not reveal information about how he died.

    She said the victim is believed to be in his early 20s.

    His body was found near the creek in the area of Assunpink Boulevard and 6th Avenue. Members of the Mercer County Homicide Task Force responded to the area at 2:45 p.m., Galuchie said.

    Divers from the Trenton Police Department were also assisting in the investigation, according to the department.

    Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Wolverhampton has looked like the winners from day one, and will be a formidable team in the Premier League next season with its backing.

    With the season in a pause for the last international break before the league and cup campaigns head into the final stretch, Premier League teams have seven or eight games left to make their final push.

    Manchester City will be crowned champion sometime in the next few weeks, but the rest of the league is filled with intrigue. Which teams will make the European spots? Which will find themselves in the bottom three when the carousel stops spinning on Sunday, May 13? Which teams from the EFL Championship will join the richest league in the world? Who will win the awards offered?

    Here is a look at one man's predictions.

    PREDICTED FINAL TOP SEVEN

    1. Manchester City

    2. Manchester United

    3. Liverpool

    4. Tottenham

    5. Chelsea

    6. Arsenal

    7. Leicester City

    The top four teams all qualify directly for the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League for the first time, so second, third or fourth does not matter, except for pride. Arsenal is still alive in the Europa League, and if the Gunners win the competition, they will join the top four in the Champions League.

    Fifth place is guaranteed a spot in the 2018-19 Europa League, and the next two places may be as well, pending the outcome of cup competitions.

    Looking at the Premier League table, the clash Sunday, April 1 between Chelsea and Tottenham could be the most important match left that could decide the fate of the top four. A win for Chelsea cuts the gap to just two points, while a victory for the Hotspurs opens up an eight-point gap with seven games to play.

    Cup comps start to come into focus, as FA Cup, UEFA lead into break

    PREDICTED BOTTOM THREE

    18. Huddersfield Town

    19. Stoke City

    20. West Bromwich Albion

    The bottom of the Premier League table has been the most difficult to predict in recent history.

    Most of the teams are not very good, and have suffered through tough spells. But bar West Brom, each club has shown glimmers of hope throughout the season as well. This is as much of a guess as anything, but the teams above the current bottom three will do just enough to send Huddersfield, Stoke, and WBA down to the EFL Championship.

    PREDICTED THREE PROMOTED TEAMS

    1. Wolverhampton 

    2. Cardiff City

    Playoff Winner: Fulham

    Wolverhampton has looked like the winners from day one, and will be a formidable team in the Premier League next season with its backing. Cardiff City should join Swansea as the second Welsh team in the league.

    The playoffs shoudl be interesting. No team wants to play streaking Middlesborough, but with eight games to go, teams all the way down to Millwall in 10th place will believe they have a chance to get into the playoff spots (third through sixth).

    PREDICTED PREMIER LEAGUE AWARDS

    Player of the Year: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool.

    Young Player of the Year: Raheen Sterling, Manchester City.

    Manager of the Year: Pep Guardiola, Manchester City.

    Pep has it wrapped up already, while Sterling is the favorite over team mate Leroy Sane. Either way, City will win both of those awards.

    The Player of the Year award is more tricky to figure. Kevin De Bruyne is a slight favorite over Salah, and it may be that the players split the awards from the different organizations. Salah's form of late may give him a slight edge. He has 28 goals and nine assists in the league, and 35 goals overall for the Reds this season. De Bruyne has seven goals and 15 assists in the league.

    PREDICTED UEFA WINNERS

    UEFA Champions League: Barcelona.

    UEFA Europa League: Atletico Madrid.

    Hopefully, we finally get a Barcelona Real Madrid final. 

    Can Arsenal win the Europa League? The Gunners have a tie with CSKA Moscow in the quarterfinals, and should be into the semifinals. Atletico Madrid, Lazio, and Leipzig should join them, in a powerhouse final four.

    Contact Sean Miller at seanmillertrentontimes@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheProdigalSean His weekly podcast, Box to Box Football, can be found on iTunes here https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/box-to-box-football/id1208561351?mt=2


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    Of New Jersey's 565 municipalities, these 67 towns saw decreases in their average property tax bills in 2017.


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    Consider adopting one of these homeless dogs and cats.

    If you're interested in helping homeless animals but aren't able to adopt one, there are a number of other ways you can be of assistance.

    Realistically, not everyone can adopt. People who live in apartments or developments that have no-pets policies fall into that category, as do people with allergies or disabilities that will not allow them to care for pets of their own. Here are some suggestions for ways people who want to help can participate in caring for homeless animals.

    * Help out at a local shelter. It's not glamorous work by any means, but it's vital and will be very much appreciated. You can do anything from help walk dogs to bottle feed kittens, help clean kennels or cat's cages or even help with bathing and grooming. Contact your local shelter to find out their policies regarding volunteers.

    * If you're handy, you can lend a hand in many ways. Shelters usually need repairs of many kinds, so fixer-uppers can help out like that. If you sew, quilt or crochet, you can make blankets for your local shelter.

    * Help out at an adoption event. Many shelters and rescue groups participate in local events by hosting a table with pets available for adoption. They also hold these program at malls, pet supply stores and banks, and can always use a helping hand.

    * For galleries like this one and for online adoptions sites, often a shelter or rescue group doesn't have the time or equipment to shoot good photos of their adoptable pets, Something as simple as making yourself available to shoot and provide digital files of pet photos can be a big help.

    * Donate. It doesn't have to be money; shelters need cleaning supplies, pet food, toys for the animals and often even things we don't think twice about getting rid of like old towels and newspapers. Every little bit helps.

    If you don't know where your local animal shelter or rescue group is, a quick online search will reveal a number of results. It doesn't take a lot of time or effort to get involved but it provides immeasurable assistance.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    Gov. Phil Murphy said Sunday the Urban Enterprise Zone program is "smart policy."

    Gov. Phil Murphy's first state budget proposal includes a slight increase to New Jersey's sales tax. 

    But on Sunday, Murphy suggested he supports expanding a program aiming to boost struggling cities by cutting the sales tax in those places in half, among other incentives.

    Murphy made the comments while appearing on New York City radio station WBLS 107.5-FM when a caller asked him if he backs the Urban Enterprise Zone program. 

    "It's smart policy," the Democrat responded. "It gets action in downtown areas. It's a good economic proposition and it's particularly good for our urban communities." 

    "We're big UEZ fans," Murphy added. 

    Christie rejects sales tax cut for 5 N.J. cities

    It had been unclear where Murphy stood on expanding the program. While he didn't directly mention either bill Sunday, the governor said there "good legislation moving through right now" related to it. 

    The program has been in place since 1983, and about 6,800 businesses across the state take part. It was originally supposed to sunset 20 years after its creation, but state lawmakers voted in 2001 to extend it another 16 years. 

    That ended last year. And Murphy's Republican predecessor, Gov. Chris Christieallowed the program to expire for the original five cities that took part: Bridgeton, Camden, Newark, Plainfield, and Trenton. 

    Christie said the program faced "apathetic participation" and delivered a "devastating impact on state revenues without any demonstrable benefit" to the cities.

    Other cities that joined the program later continue to take part, though their designations are set to end between 2019 and 2026.

    The Democratic-controlled state Legislature is now considering legislation that would reinstate the program in those five cities and extend the program for another 10 years. 

    "Urban Enterprise Zones have been an integral part of urban revitalization for many years now," state Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, D-Hudson, said when the bill (A3549) was approved by an Assembly panel last week. "Extending their designation will help many cities remain economically competitive while spurring job growth and economic development."

    Another bill (A3551) would direct the New Jersey UEZ Authority to review the program and issue a report about it to Murphy and the Legislature. 

    Murphy -- who succeeded Christie in January -- unveiled his first state budget plan earlier this month. It includes reversing a deal Christie made last year to reduce the state's sales tax from 7 percent to 6.875. 

    Murphy called Christie's move a "gimmick" and is proposing bringing the tax back to 7 percent to raise revenue for the state. 

    Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.


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    NJ.com highlights the best players in N.J. from the 2017-18 season.


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    NJ.com highlights the best players in N.J. from the 2017-18 season.


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    NJ.com looks at the top returning hitters in New Jersey baseball for the 2018 season.


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