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Central Jersey News from the Times of Trenton

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    The measure would correlate drug prices in New Jersey with those roughly comparable to the United States.

    A New Jersey lawmaker thinks you're paying too much for Lyrica, a popular medication that treats nerve and muscle pain.

    He thinks people who take Januvia to control their Type 2 diabetes are footing too large a bill, as are those who depend on Xarelto to prevent deadly blood clots.

    Pricing standards for the three prescription drugs - among many others -- have come under scrutiny by state Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Burlington County), who is promoting a bill prohibiting anyone from charging excessively for drugs developed through publicly funded research.

    The measure, approved overwhelmingly last month by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, would correlate drug prices in New Jersey with those roughly comparable to the United States.

    The benchmark would be the lowest price charged in countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a coalition of 30-plus democratic countries working together to improve the economic and social well-being of the world's people.

    Can prescription drugs be deducted on your tax return?

    Singleton's bill is an ambitious attempt to rein in the prices that an increasingly fed-up population blames for driving up health-care costs.

    And it may or may not work, depending on how much pushback it gets from the Garden State's powerful pharmaceuticals industry.

    But at the very least, the legislation deserves a full hearing. More than three-quarters of respondents polled nationally by the Kaiser Family Foundation in September pointed a finger at drug companies' addiction to their bottom line for soaring health costs.

    The bill would pertain to all drugs and healthcare technologies approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration and developed directly or indirectly through taxpayer money.

    It's similar to bill introduced last year by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), which ultimately never went anywhere. But if it had, it seems likely that today we would be paying less for many of the medications that keep Americans thriving.

    In May, a report circulated in the U.S. House of Representatives showed that of the 20 best-selling medicines in this country, 16 showed significant price rises between December 2016 and March 2018.

    A hefty percentage of those - including the aforementioned Lyrica, Januvia and Xarelto - were produced by New Jersey-based drug-makers.

    Out-of-control drug pricing has been a hot issue in the U.S. Senate race pitting incumbent Robert Menendez against GOP challenger Bob Hugin, former head of a biotech company called Celgene.

    Celgene's chemotherapy drug Revlimid is currently on the market at $14,000 for 21 capsules, according to the website GoodRX.

    Singleton's legislation, which is headed to the Senate Budget Committee for review, may not be perfect. It may still need fine-tuning. But it offers a basis for a thoughtful, thorough conversation about why New Jersey's residents are paying through the nose to stay alive.

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

     

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    Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor spoke at their alma mater, Princeton University

    By Sophia Cia

    For The Times of Trenton

    In this divisive time, impartiality, neutrality and fairness are incredibly important to guard, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said Friday evening.

    Kagan and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, both Princeton University graduates, spoke at speaking at the university's "She Roars" event.

    The justices discussed the role of the country's high court hours after the first U.S. Senate vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

    "Part of the court's strength and legitimacy depends on people not seeing the court in the way that people see other governing structures," says Kagan, "(The court should be seen) not an extension of politics but somehow above the fray."

    She points out that in the last thirty years -- starting with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and continuing with Justice Anthony Kennedy -- there has been a person who has "found the center," making the Supreme Court appear impartial, neutral and fair.

    "I think going forward, that sort of middle position -- it's not so clear whether we'll have it," Kagan says, "and every single one of us needs to be aware of that and to realize how precious the court's legitimacy is."

    Kavanaugh confirmed, quickly sworn in; major victory for Trump

    Sotomayor highlighted the "understanding between the eight of us to rise above the partisanship in our personal relationships--that we have to treat each other with respect and dignity and a sense of amicability that the rest of the world doesn't often share."

    She points to Justice Kagan's relationship with the late Justice Antonin Scalia and her own recent collaboration with Justice Neil Gorsuch to promote civic education across the country.

    "Our openness about respecting one another is an example that's important for us to both maintain and promote," Sotomayor said.

    She recognizes, however, that accommodating differences in their judicial approaches proves much more difficult.

    "Part of the politicization of the court has come about because our political parties have adopted the academic discussion that judges were having for the longest time about how to interpret laws of the constitution," Sotomayor said.

    These differences in fundamental constitutional interpretation are what lead to the five to four decisions that the public seems to think are divisive, she said. "To the extent that we can avoid ruling in such expansive ways to as foreclose conversation, I think we have a chance of holding onto our legitimacy."

    Said Kagan: "We don't have an army. We don't have any money. The only way we get people to do what we say they should do is that to get people to respect us and respect our fairness, especially in this time."

    Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Lawyers said that people who weren't eligible before are eager to get their records wiped clean


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    The robber also wore a North Face jacket and drove a vehicle with Pennsylvania plates

    A gas station clerk scuffled with an armed robber Wednesday morning in Hamilton, sending the robber fleeing from the station without any cash, police said.

    Police officers responded to the Exxon station in the 1100 block of South Olden Avenue for a hold-up alarm and found a clerk who had just fought off a robber, township police said.

    The employee told police he was approached from behind in the attendant booth by a male wearing a red and white clown mask and holding a hammer. The robber demanded cash, but the clerk refused and the two tussled.

    The clerk was not injured. He told officers he able to see through the mask's eye holes, and the robber appeared to be a white male.

    The clerk further described the male as wearing a white-brimmed baseball hat, a black hooded sweatshirt with white "North Face" letters, and black and white gloves, black pants and white sneakers.

    He fled the station in a dark sport utility, possibly a 2015 Dodge Durango, with a Pennsylvania license plate. The vehicle was last seen on South Olden Avenue heading toward Interstate 295.

    Police made public a picture of the robber in action, and footage of his possible getaway vehicle.

    Anyone with information for police can call Hamilton Detective Joseph Ialacci at 609-689-5822 or the Hamilton police tipline at 609-581-4008.

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


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    While the final game of the weekend somewhat overshadowed the two teams, both go into the international break in great shape.

    All the hype coming into match week eight of the Premier League was focused on the final game, which saw the two teams at the top of the table clash.

    But the game between Liverpool and Manchester City was a dud, and it was the two London teams who won matches earlier in the day that made the headlines, and who take so much momentum into the second international break of the season. 

    Which teams will come out of this two week break the quickest? We will have to wait until October 20 to find the answer.

    SUNDAY RESULTS

    Fulham 1-5 Arsenal

    Southampton 0-3 Chelsea

    Liverpool 0-0 Manchester City

    SATURDAY RESULTS

    Burnley 1-1 Huddersfield Town

    Crystal Palace 0-1 Wolverhampton

    Leicester City 1-2 Everton

    Tottenham 1-0 Cardiff City

    Watford 0-4 Bournemouth

    Manchester United 3-2 Newcastle United

    FRIDAY RESULT

    Brighton & Hove Albion 1-0 West Ham United

    SUNDAY'S THREE STARS

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal

    Came on as a substitute in the 62nd minute and got two goals. He just missed out on the Man of the Match, rating out at an 8.81 on Whoscored.com

    Eden Hazard, Chelsea

    Every game Hazard gets better and better, and he is unquestionably the best player in the Premier League. He had a goal and an assist, in Chelsea's 3-0 win. Hazard was the Whoscored.com Man of the Match with an 9.04 rating.

    Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal

    Scored the first two for the Gunners, as they established control of the contest. Arsenal if flying high. Lacazette was the Whoscored.com Man of the Match with an 8.90 rating.

    STAR OF THE WEEKEND

    Joshua King, Bournemouth

    The forward took advantage of the man advantage, with a brace, in the 4-0 win for the Cherries. King was the Whoscored.com Man of the Match with a 9.42 rating.

    Premier League Saturday: Manchester United stun Newcastle late

    MANCHESTER CITY WEEKLY PREMIER LEAGUE UNBEATEN WATCH

    Did Manchester City lose this weekend?

    No, the Citizens drew 0-0 with Liverpool.

    The game was largely awful viewing, with Riyad Mahrez's atrocious penalty miss in the 86th minute, after Leroy Sane was fouled in the box by Virgil Van Dijk, the icing on the cake to an overall poor display from both sides.

    City sits on top of the league by goal difference (plus-18), five goals better than second place Chelsea and six better than third place Liverpool.

    It was a hard earned point on the road against a rival, but not the type of football that will get many fans excited.

    ARSENAL AND CHELSEA ROLL EARLY

    How good have Arsenal and Chelsea been so far this season?

    Both London sides have started the 2018-19 campaign well in all competitions, and sit inside the top four after eight matches. Both also have new coaches that have looked to re-energize the sides: Maurizio Sarri for Chelsea, and Unai Emery for the Gunners.

    Hazard already has seven league goals, and looks like one of the top five players in the world. For Arsenal, Aubameyang and Lacazette are scoring, and the new signings have meshed well with the rest of the squad.

    While the final game of the weekend somewhat overshadowed the two teams, both go into the international break in great shape. 

    NEXT UP

    The teams will all take two weeks off for the international break.

    Chelsea will host Manchester United at 7:30 a.m EDT (NBC Sports and Fubo.tv) on Saturday, October 20 to resume the Premier League, with UEFA Champions League and Europa League play during the following week.

    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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    Pets throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    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 greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    700 Mattress Firm owned stores will close in all, including 200 in in the coming days. The five stores closing in New Jersey are Sleepy's locations

    Six New Jersey stores are among 200 under the Mattress Firm umbrella that will close in the coming days after the Texas company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. In all 700 stores will be shut down. 

    All the upcoming stores closing in New Jersey are Sleepy's stores, according to court filings. 

    Mattress Firm, which bought Sleepy's in 2016 and Mattress Giant four years before that also owns the Sleep Train Brand. 

    • Sleepy's on Route 130 north in East Windsor
    • Sleepy's on Route 46 in Parsippany
    • Sleepy's on Ferry Street in Newark
    • Sleepy's on South Whitehorse Pike in Hammonton
    • Sleepy's on Brunswick Pike in Lawrence
    • Sleepy's on Route 46 in Saddle Brook

    In court documents, Mattress Firm said the company's previous management team had made several miscalculations as it rebranded more than 1,300 stores it had bought from competitors in the last two years. It has more than 3,200 stores in 49 states. 

    "While these acquisitions allowed (Mattress Firm) to achieve ... presence in markets where they previously had little to no presence, they also led to 'cannibalization' of sales amongst stores in close proximity to each other," the company said. "As a result, many Mattress Firm stores are in direct competition with other Mattress Firm stores, resulting in disappointing sales."

    The company, founded in 1986, has sales of more than $3 billion. But in court documents, the company said in fiscal year 2018, it is projected to lose about $150 million.

    In 2016, Mattress Firm was acquired by South Africa-based retailer Steinhoff International Holdings for $3.8 billion.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

     

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    Which N.J. girls soccer alums are lighting it up in college?


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    "Strings, Pipes, Kaboom!" concert features the combined efforts of an organ, bagpipes, ukuleles, drums, kazoos and 'light artillery.' Watch video

    It was written in 1880.

    In 1962, Quaker Oats used it in a Puffed Rice Cereal commercial.

    In 1971, Woody Allen used it in the film "Bananas," as soundtrack to a fantasy love scene.

    And in 1974, the Boston Pops used it in their Independence Day concert.

    But until September 30, 2018 in Lawrence, New Jersey, the 1812 Overture was never performed like this.

    Sunday, in the Church of St. Ann, a divergent group came together to render a previously unheard blending of organ, bagpipes, ukuleles, drums and kazoos and even "light artillery" (popping paper bags) to perform a world-premiere arrangement of Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky's famous composition.

    1812-14503lr.jpgAudience members on kazoo wait for their cue. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media) 

    While musicians were to handle the bulk of the work, kazoos were distributed those in the congregation.

    Mike McCormick, who is celebrating 35 years as a church organist, told them: "Your role in this is pivotal. You are the ones who are going to make this groundbreaking, history-making rendition."

    The unique performance was part of a larger program called "Strings, Pipes, Kaboom!" which featured an eclectic mix of musical selections.

    McCormick entertained with a solo organ, "Tribute to Larry Ferrari."

    The Mid-Jersey Ukulele Circle pitched in with sing-a-longs like "Down by the Riverside" and "When the Saints Go Marching In."

    But the main event was when the whole congregation joined in with their kazoos to create the unique adaptation of the overture.

    When it was all over, McCormick quipped, "That was... it was really something. History will tell us what it was."

    1812-503lr.jpgMike McCormick, church organist for 35 years. (Michael Mancuso) 

    The church charged no admission, but free-will offerings were accepted with all of the money going to the Kiwanis Camp Experience, a summer camp program of the Trenton Kiwanis and N.J. Department of Environmental Protection.

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


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    Gov. Phil Murphy has barred the hunt from state land but is allowing it to proceed. Watch video

    The N.J. bear hunt got off to a contentious start Monday with four protesters arrested, including the college professor who spent 12 days in jail last winter following his 8th civil disobedience-related conviction.

    Bill Crain, 74, was taken into custody after stepping into the street separating the protesters from the check station in Fredon where, by 1:30 p.m., about a half-dozen hunters had brought dead bears.

    2786.jpegBill Crain, on left, being taken into custody in Fredon, Oct. 8, 2018 (Rob Jennings / NJ Advance Media for NJ.com) 

    Crain had campaigned for then-candidate for governor Phil Murphy after Murphy, in December 2016, pledged to halt the hunt if elected.

    Murphy backed off in August, issuing an executive order that only stopped the hunt on state land.

    "It's a step in the right direction, but it's a big disappointment," Crain, a City College of N.Y. psychology professor, said just before being arrested. 

    Kevin Cole, a hunter whose 11-year-old son killed a bear on private land Monday, was the 4th hunter to arrive in Fredon.

    "It needs to be done," Cole said of the bear hunt.

    "Sometimes I go out and I see more bears than I see deer. There's more out there than they think," Cole said.

    N.J. DEP Spokesman Brandon Shank acknowledged the strong feelings on both sides.

    "Reasonable New Jerseyans can and do disagree about what's happening here," Shank said.

    The first stage of this year's hunt is scheduled to conclude Saturday, and will resume with another 6 days in December.

    Hunters killed 409 bears in 2017, during the last of 8 consecutive hunts under ex-Gov. Chris Christie.

    Rob Jennings may be reached at rjennings@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobJenningsNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook. 


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    There's a new team on top of the statewide rankings. Find out who it is.


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    We want to find the best downtown Jersey has to offer.

    Walking through a city or township's downtown will give you a snapshot of what it's like to live there.

    In Princeton, students and professors huddle in coffee shops while completing their studies. In Clinton Township, families enjoy shopping, restaurants, and exploring the historical district. Compare that to New Brunswick's downtown, which mirrors the hustle and bustle of a large city.

    Central Jersey's downtown spots are as varied as the region itself, with a number of downtown areas having historical roots that date back to the Revolutionary War.

    As we recently announced, we are looking to find the best downtown in New Jersey. What areas are eligible? We've kept the definition broad -- downtowns are fun sections of town where people like to spend time. And they offer something special that keeps people coming back.

    For the Central Jersey region, you have a chance to vote for the best downtown areas in Middlesex, Mercer, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties. Now is your chance for your voice to be heard. Below this section is a poll with the list of downtown areas in the four-county area comprised by reader nominations, emails, and Facebook post mentions. The voting will remain open until Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m.

    The winners will move on the Top Ten then to the Final Five, and finally the designation of the being the best downtown in New Jersey.

    This is the perfect chance for you to cheer for your favorite downtown, or even earn some bragging rights for your hometown. Good luck to all of the downtowns and get voting!

    To vote in other regions around the state, click below:

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

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order barring the bear hunt from state land Watch video

    More bears were killed on the first day of the annual hunt than on opening day in 2017, despite Gov. Phil Murphy's ban on using state land.

    A total of 36 bears were brought to check stations on Monday, slightly up from 34 on the hunt's first day in 2017, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

    2803.jpegWorkers inspect a dead bear brought to the state check station in Fredon, Oct. 8, 2018 (Rob Jennings / NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)
     

    Four bear hunt opponents were arrested Monday during a protest outside a state check station in Fredon.

    Monday's total may yet rise, as sometimes hunters wait until the following day to bring in a bear killed after sundown. DEP, at the end of the hunt's first day in 2017, initially counted only 26 bears.

    Officials in 2017 attributed the low total on opening day, in prior years the busiest day of the hunt, on unusually rainy and warm weather. The total rose to 62 on the second day, en route to 409 bears killed over 16 days -- six days in October and another 10 in December.

    Conditions on Monday were not that removed from last year. There was a slight rain falling part of the day and it was again unseasonably warm.

    PHOTOS: N.J. bear hunt gets underway

    This year's opening day numbers note the counties where the bears were killed, but not other details such as whether they were found on private land or in a county park.

    About 40 percent of the 3,429 bears killed in the eight hunts under former Gov. Chris Christie were located on state land.

    Murphy, while running for governor in December 2016, had said he would halt the hunt if elected. He backed off in August, seven months after becoming governor, issuing an executive order that only stopped the hunt on state land

    Ask Alexa

    While hunt opponents say that Murphy's executive order didn't go far enough, it also has upset hunters, and is being challenged by three pro-hunting groups in state court.

    N.J. resumed bear hunting in 2003, after a moratorium of more than three decades, and the issue remains contentious.

    The four bear hunt protesters arrested Monday included City College of New York psychology professor Bill Crain.

    Crain, 74, spent 12 days in jail in January following his 8th civil disobedience-related conviction since 2005 incurred while protesting the hunt.

    Crain lives in Poughquag, New York, but had campaigned for Murphy after Murphy said he would stop the hunt.

    The 2018 hunt continues through Saturday and will resume for a second, six-day segment in December.

     Rob Jennings may be reached at rjennings@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobJenningsNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook. 


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    See the boys soccer players and keepers that stood out in Week 5.


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    Fugitive hunters tracked the man to a motel in Bordentown Township

    A Burlington City man has been charged with killing a fellow city resident this past Saturday.

    Authorities allege Thomas A. Thompson Jr. was the gunman who opened fire on Hubert Moore Jr. at the intersection of Barclay and York streets Saturday at about 1:30 a.m. 

    Moore was sitting in the passenger seat of a car as it drove on Barclay Street, and Thompson shot through the passenger window, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday.

    thomp.jpgThomas A. Thompson Jr. 

    Moore, of York Street, died about a half hour later at a local hospital. The driver of the vehicle was not injured.

    The office did not say when they charged Thompson, 39, but Burlington County sheriff's officers working with a U.S. Marshals task force apprehended him Monday at a Best Western motel in Bordentown Township.

    Thompson is charged with murder and related firearm possession crimes.

    The prosecutor's office did not say what motive Thompson had to allegedly fire at Moore.

    Moore was 37 and lived for many years in Trenton, where he was well known to authorities.

    He was shot in 1998 during a police pursuit in the city - which killed his 14-year-old passenger - that made headlines for several years. Moore spent several years in prison for crimes connected to the incident.

    Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina lauded investigators' work on the case.

    "I commend the skillful investigative effort that led to the immediate identification of the suspect, and the tenacity of the fugitive officers from the Burlington County Sheriff's Department Warrant Unit and the U.S. Marshal's Service task force that resulted in a quick and safe apprehension," he said in a statement.

    "This was solid police work all around," Coffina said.

    Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Hutchison is handling the case.

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

     

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    Amazon is set to begin hiring for more than 9,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs at its New Jersey facilities. Watch video

    Amazon is set to begin hiring for more than 9,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs at its New Jersey facilities this week, the company announced.

    Candidates can apply for positions with the online retail giant's customer fulfillment centers and delivery facilities at a hiring event Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Crowne Plaza Newark Airport in Elizabeth.

    "Candidates can walk-in, apply and receive a job offer on-the-spot at a hiring event," the announcement said. "Amazon expects to make hundreds of on-the-spot job offers."

    Amazon said last week it would raise minimum wage for all employees - including part-time and temporary workers - to $15 an hour as of Nov. 15.

    More details about Amazon jobs in New Jersey are available at amazon.com/njjobs

    Amazon has a dozen fulfillment centers in New Jersey and is one of the state's largest employers with 16,000 workers in the state. The company says it has invested $4 billion in the Garden State since 2011.

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

     


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    Starting Oct. 29, you won't have haul yourself off to work sick to avoid losing a day's pay - or losing your job altogether.

    Life is about to get easier for many working individuals and families in New Jersey.

    Starting Oct. 29, you won't have haul yourself off to work sick to avoid losing a day's pay - or losing your job altogether.

    That's when a new state law kicks in, requiring most employers to pay for a number of sick days for part-time as well as full-time employees - or risk a healthy fine or even jail time.

    For every 30 hours worked, employees begin accumulating an hour of leave, for a maximum of 40 hours in a year.

    Those sick days are not just for a worker who is ill. They also apply when a family member gets sick, whether it's a child, grandchild, sibling, spouse, domestic or civil union partner, parent, grandparent or any other individual who is related by blood or who has a close association with the employee.

    Little sick pay problem solved, big sick pay problem looms

    State Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden) and State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), deserve credit for ushering through this wide-reaching bill, which Gov. Phil Murphy signed in March.

    With its passage, New Jersey joins Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia in guaranteeing these important protections.

    About 1.2 million people stand to benefit in the Garden State.

    Among them are victims of domestic or sexual violence who need to take time off to seek medical attention, as well as to participate in related legal proceedings; employees whose workplaces have shut down because of a public health emergency; and parents or guardians who need to attend a school conference or function.

    Despite the fears of business owners, some research indicates that such accommodations actually promote savings, mainly in the form of increased worker productivity.

    Workers who perform poorly because they don't feel up to par cost employers an estimated $160 billion per year, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.

    That's twice as much as the cost of absenteeism caused by illness, the nonpartisan advocacy group says.

    As further protection, the new law requires that workers give advance notice when the need for time off is foreseeable, and allows employers to bar workers from using their time off during major holidays or other selected periods.

    Weinberg and Lampitt describe New Jersey's version as the broadest and strongest such law in the country.

    One immediate effect, we believe, is that it will help make up the minds of workers weighing out-of-state job offers against similar positions within our borders.

    It will also produce a workforce that is less stressed-out and overburdened - and what employer wouldn't want that?

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

     

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    A look at the fab frosh throughout the Garden State.


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    NJ.com identifies these 36 games as can't-miss affairs for Week 6


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    They'll arrive with in an hour if you live in many towns in north, Central Jersey and are a Prime member

    Whole Foods customers in north and Central Jersey who are also Amazon Prime members can now get groceries delivered to their homes.

    Delivery will be available in as little as an hour through Amazon's Prime Now app, according to an announcement Tuesday. 

    "Our goal is to cover as many Prime customers as possible with this new service in New Jersey," Prime Now Head of Business Development Tanvi Patel said in a statement.  "Today we're excited to reach customers in North and Central New Jersey."

    Delivery will be available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    Is an Amazon Prime membership worth paying for?

    Among the places where home delivery is now available are:

    • Basking Ridge
    • Clifton
    • Edison
    • Elizabeth
    • Fairfield
    • Freehold
    • Holmdel
    • Mahwah
    • Montclair
    • New Brunswick
    • Newark
    • Paterson
    • Princeton
    • Ridgewood
    • Somerset
    • Trenton
    • Union
    • Wayne

    A spokeswoman didn't immediately reply to a message from NJ Advance Media asking for a full list of towns. 

    Amazon also announced that it's expanding the curbside pickup option to Dayton, Ohio as well as Louisville and Omaha. That service include eight areas, but not yet New Jersey. More locations are expected to be added later this year. 

    Amazon delivers Whole Foods products to 53 areas. 

    Whole Foods delivery is also offered through Instacart. Wegmans, Whole Foods, Costco, CVS and Petco products can also be delivered to customers' homes through Instacart in select towns. 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook

     

     


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