UPPITY: THE WILLY T. RIBBS STORY (video)
OFFICER DOWN: Lakeland, Florida Police Officer Paul Dunn killed in Motorcycle Crash

SWEENEY, LAWMAKERS URGE ACTION TO COMBAT ABUSE

In an effort to protest the "hostile environment" and misogyny endemic to statewide politics — as powerfully reported by NJ.com's Susan Livio — State Senate President Steve Sweeney has announced he will not 4ef2ddad-68fe-4367-af9d-5f794a541b69attend a state Chamber of Commerce-chartered train trip to Washington, D.C. next month, as well as certain night-time parties held at an annual conference of the state League of Municipalities in Atlantic City. The state Chamber of Commerce's attempts so far "are not enough to bring systemic change," Sweeney said. A committee has also been set up, and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, and Gov. Phil Murphy will likely participate. Sweeney also said he plans to open hearings in the state Senate. (NorthJersey.com / Politico / ROI-NJ)

LAWMAKER BACKS AWAY FROM TABULATING BALLOTS EARLY

State Sen. James Beach, who chairs the Camden County Democratic Committee, now plans to revise a bill he's sponsoring. It was recently cleared by a committee. Beach says he now plans to add an amendment to the legislation that will remove a part of the bill. As it was originally written, the bill would have allowed county board of elections to count mail-in ballots a week early — which could pose a risk to the "safety and security of the numbers,"Beach says. Mail-in ballots are becoming increasingly popular. (WNYC)

NJ DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS FELL IN 2019 — REMARKABLY

For the first time in five years, the number of people who died due to a drug overdose in our state was lower than the year before. This, amid an opioid epidemic. Yesterday, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said that 2019's drug overdose deaths reached 3,021, which is down 3% from 2018's record-setting fatalities (3,118 overdose deaths). "We cannot assume we have turned a corner in this battle," Grewal said. (Asbury Park Press)

NEWARK REPORTS STEADY DECREASE IN LEAD LEVEL

Newark's lead level tests are back — and the purification kits appear to be working. Still, the levels remain elevated above the federal action mark, which is 15 parts of lead per billion. It's too soon to celebrate, says Erik Olson, a program director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, because the average is "still way higher than it was back in 2017 and the first half of 2018." The NRDC is suing Newark and the state. (NJ.com / TAPinto Newark)

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