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NJ News Commons: DID YOU FEEL THAT? NOT AN EARTHQUAKE BUT A SONIC BOOM

January 29, 2016

Some people in South Jersey felt the earth shake for as long as 10 seconds shortly before 2 pm yesterday, leading to speculation that there'd been a rare New Jersey earthquake. But the US Navy ultimately took responsibility for the rumble, also felt in Long Island and Connecticut. A naval air station in Maryland said it was testing an F-35C fighter jet over the Atlantic yesterday afternoon. Airplanes can cause sonic booms when they break the sound barrier by traveling faster than 768 mph.

WILLIAMSTOWN, NJ HEROIN DEATH RATE 25X NATIONAL AVERAGE

Following on its Herointown report from December, NJ.com reported yesterday on a real Herointown: Williamstown, in Gloucester County, with a heroin death rate 25 times the national average. Over the past decade, 53 people have died from heroin overdoses there. About half of the deaths involved people under 30.

SECOND GAS PIPELINE APPROVEDThe NJ Board of Public Utilities unanimously approved a second natural gas pipeline to run through the Pinelands. Called the Southern Reliability Link, the pipeline would supply customers in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Environmental and conservation groups objected to the project, which would still need permits from the DEP.

MORE DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS: DIESEL EXHAUST IN NEWARKAs part of our Dirty Little Secrets collaborative investigation into toxic contamination, WBGO's Bob Hennelly reports on the scourge of diesel exhaust in Newark and its contribution to asthma. Hennelly looked specifically at the effects of Port Authority freight traffic through the city's Weequahic neighborhood and the Port Authority's recent decision to back down on a 2010 pledge to remove diesel trucks made before 2007, when emission standards improved, from its fleet. Here's a link to the audio story on WBGO.

WHAT'S NEW IN NJ MEDIA LAW?: NOW FREE. NOTE VENUE CHANGEOn Friday, February 19 from 11-2 pm in Room 395 of Rutgers Law School in Newark, the Rutgers Institute for Information Policy & Law (RIIPL), the New Jersey Press Association, the NJ Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Center for Cooperative Media will discuss "What's New in NJ Media Law?" The RIIPL will introduce its upcoming News Law Project, and attendees will also learn about emerging legal issues and policy changes on everything from drones to police body cameras and more. Click here to register.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: We've extended the deadline for submissions to our statewide undergraduate reporting contest, which boasts a grand price of $650. We will now be accepting submissions until April 1, 2016. The best submissions will be included and published as part of our Dirty Little Secrets project with the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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