*VOLUNTEERS NEEDED TO PLANT TREES IN GLOUCESTER CITY
Sindhi Foundation’s 350-mile Long Walk for Freedom, Nature, and Love

NJ News Commons: NEW LAW WILL DISTRIBUTE $35 MILLION TO RESTAURANTS

On Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation that will direct $35 million to restaurants across the state. In total, five bills will support New Jersey businesses that have been severely affected by the pandemic. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority will distribute the aid. (Patch / ROI-NJ)

MURPHY AND FIRST LADY RECEIVE FIRST VACCINE SHOTS

 
Gov. Phil Murphy and Tammy Murphy joined the millions of New Jersey residents who've been vaccinated for COVID-19. On Friday, they both got their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine. The couple now qualifies for the vaccine under the state's vaccine eligibility rules: they are both over age 55. (WHYY)

PRISON OVERSIGHT OFFICIAL ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT


The state official tasked with holding the prison system accountable will leave that post this summer. Ombudsman Dan DiBenedetti is resigning from the role he has held for over a decade. Advocates have criticized the state for not doing enough to protect the women incarcerated at Edna Mahan. (NJ Spotlight)

NEW JERSEY LIBRARIES TO GET $3.9M TO BOOST SERVICES

 
The Biden administration's American Rescue Plan Act will distribute $200 million to libraries nationwide. $3.9 million is earmarked for New Jersey. $165,000 in small grants is available, too — libraries must apply by April 19. State librarian Jen Nelson is asking local libraries for input on how to best spend these funds. Her email address is jnelson@njstatelib.org. (NorthJersey)
 

😷 Coronavirus—

  • University Hospital nursing staff reflects on COVID a year later (TAPinto)
  • More virus variants likely on the way, health officials warn (NJ Spotlight)
  • VA NJ now vaccinating vets, their families against COVID (Patch)
  • NJ reaches 2M fully vaccinated adults (and other vaccine stats) (ROI-NJ)
  • NJ restaurants: don’t be a no-show, especially now (NJ Flavor)
  • Ironbound park hosts pop-up clinic, vaccinating hundreds (TAPinto)
  • The Vaccine Fixers: They can get you vaccinated. (Morristown Green)
  • ‘I’m not wanted in the conversation’: Black parents in South Orange-Maplewood voice concerns about school reopening (Village Green NJ)
  • Under Newark's blooming cherry blossom trees, people watch and wait for post-pandemic future (TAPinto Newark)
 

☝️ Lastly—

  • NJ school districts with most drug, alcohol cases (Patch)
  • Website, hotline for people who need housing assistance (NorthJersey)
  • Gateway Tunnel back on track under Biden, NJ governor says (Patch)
  • State’s largest nurses union calls for worker safety (NJ Spotlight)
  • NJ school district needed substitutes, so it doubled their pay  (NJ.com)
  • Murphy plans to continue time-honored NJ tradition: Shortchanging recipients of Homestead tax relief (NJ Spotlight)
PLUS — not everything is terrible:
  • Camden Works successfully finds jobs for city residents (TAPinto Newark)
  • Minor-league baseball returning to Trenton — at least for a year (ROI-NJ)
  • Vineland artist honored to paint for Pope Francis (SNJ Today Newspaper)

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