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News 2017 December

Stories for December 2017

Saturday, December 30

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2017 YEAR IN REVIEW

This year’s top stories in New Jersey

A setback is a set up for a comeback. This will likely become the mantra for New Jerseyans when reflecting on 2017.

Friday, December 29

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'Obamacare' sign-up tally reaches 8.7M

More than 8.7 million people signed up for coverage next year under the Obama-era health care law, the government reported Thursday, as the program that President Donald Trump has repeatedly pronounced "a disaster" exceeded expectations.

Thursday, December 28

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New job, no regrets for outgoing Atlantic City mayor

Don Guardian is in the final days of what his friends call "the worst job in the world."

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Things to do in South Jersey and region

The following list is a guide to cultural and community events in South Jersey and the region. Items for the calendar should be sent at least three weeks in advance to editor@southjerseyjournal.com. Information should be sent in a Word document format.

Wednesday, December 27

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The Year of the Complete –Self

Work It!

I appreciate the feeling of a new beginning that is afforded to us at the advent of the New Year. It feels like an opportunity to put things right, start over, enhance, amend, regroup and recommit.

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Obama to Prince Harry: 'Serenity' on leaving White House

Former President Barack Obama told Prince Harry in an interview broadcast Wednesday that he felt serene the day he left the White House despite the sense that much important work remained unfinished.

Tuesday, December 26

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Two Dave Chappelle specials set for New Year’s Eve

Netflix gave comedy fans an early Christmas present.

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Pardoned by Christie, woman pushes for change to US gun laws

The handgun that Shaneen Allen was carrying when she was pulled over on a New Jersey highway could have sent her to prison for years if not for a pardon from Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Sunday, December 24

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Cold Versus Flu

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses.

Saturday, December 23

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Senator's trial, bridge scheme sentencing among year's top stories

In 2017, New Jerseyans elected a new governor, saw their senior U.S. senator stand trial on federal corruption charges and endured a brief government shutdown.

Friday, December 22

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Congress takes a holiday break with much to do in new year

The Republican-led Congress narrowly passed a temporary spending bill to avert a government shutdown, doing the bare minimum in a sprint toward the holidays and punting disputes on immigration, health care and the budget to next year.

Thursday, December 21

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With 5 Grammy nods, SZA emerges as music's breakout star

After SZA created the drums-drenched, reggae-tinged song "Consideration," she thought she had finally found the sound of her debut album. But there was one problem: Rihanna heard the song and wanted it.

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AP FACT CHECK: Trump's 'middle-class miracle' favors wealthy

You wouldn't know it from President Donald Trump's rhetoric, but the tax overhaul coming into effect is heavily tilted to the rich. It also leaves "Obamacare" in place, despite his assertion that the tax plan repeals the health care law. Nothing about the plan provides the fuel to achieve economic growth at the levels he's predicted.

Wednesday, December 20

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Triumphant Trump celebrates tax win _ but some fear backlash

A triumphant President Donald Trump and jubilant fellow Republicans celebrated the passage of their $1.5 trillion tax overhaul Wednesday as a "historic victory for the American people." The American people, however, will need some convincing.

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Riletta Cream, longtime local official, widow of heavyweight champion, 91

A longtime county official in New Jersey who was the widow of former world heavyweight boxing champion Jersey Joe Walcott has died. Riletta Cream was 91.

Tuesday, December 19

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Senate passes bill to let some re-enroll in pension

The New Jersey Senate on Monday approved a bill to allow a handful of public officials to re-enroll in the pension system after being kicked off when elected to a new office.

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Report: Christie allies at NJ Transit got promotions, raises

New Jersey Transit hired or promoted 10 employees with ties to Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration in recent years, moves that all came with raises, including some as high as $70,000, a newspaper reported.

Monday, December 18

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Police giving extra security after threat to Cory Booker

The mayor of Newark, New Jersey, says the city is helping to provide extra security following a threat on the life of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker.

Sunday, December 17

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Murphy begins rounding out his Cabinet, filling 3 slots

New Jersey residents have a clearer picture of who will possibly take on the Trump administration in court, write the state's roughly $35 billion budget and oversee the department in charge of Atlantic City.

Saturday, December 16

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Murphy surveys hurricane damage in Puerto Rico, pledges help

New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy traveled to Puerto Rico on Friday and met with hurricane victims as he surveyed the damage caused by Hurricane Maria nearly three months ago.

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Black women seek rewards from Democrats after Alabama race

Once again, black women showed up for Democrats, with nearly all of them voting in Alabama for new Sen. Doug Jones, just as they did for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in other states over the last few months.

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Major media players start commission for sexual misconduct

The biggest figures and institutions in entertainment have established a commission to be chaired by Anita Hill that intends to combat sexual misconduct and inequality in the industry in the wake of the huge wave of revelations spurred by allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Friday, December 15

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African American Chamber of NJ holds anniversary celebration

Dozens of business leaders were among about 100 people that attended the annual year-end holiday celebration by the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) recently in Plainsboro.

Thursday, December 14

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Former 'Apprentice' star Omarosa denies White House firing

Former "Apprentice" star Omarosa denies she was fired from her job at the White House — and she's teasing that she has stories to tell about what she's seen and heard there.

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Murphy names his pick to lead New Jersey's treasury

Democratic Gov.-elect Phil Murphy said Wednesday he is nominating a Democratic assemblywoman to be New Jersey's next treasurer.

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Atlantic City casino to train minority youths as workers

Dominick White has a bleak but clear-eyed view of his Atlantic City home in a public housing project known for crime and drugs.

Wednesday, December 13

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Ferguson reviewing nearly 8,000 old court cases

The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is reviewing nearly 8,000 municipal court cases from before 2014 to determine which should be thrown out, a process expected to take about six months, the attorney for the St. Louis suburb told a federal judge Tuesday.

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Democrat Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset

In a stunning victory aided by scandal, Democrat Doug Jones won Alabama's special Senate election, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump, who urgently endorsed GOP rebel Roy Moore despite a litany of sexual misconduct allegations.

Tuesday, December 12

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Report: Firm buying Revel casino for $200M; Straub denies it

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A Wall Street ratings firm said Monday that a Colorado company is buying Atlantic City's former Revel casino for $200 million, but the mercurial owner of the shuttered casino insists there's no deal.

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New Jersey gov-elect talks guns, rails, taxes with senators

New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy has met with the state's two U.S. senators to discuss working together when Murphy takes office next month.

Monday, December 11

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Hundreds rallied for Meek Mill, but what about the rest?

Recently, hundreds of fans and supporters held a rally outside a Philadelphia courthouse, chanting for Robert Rihmeek Williams a.k.a. Meek Mill, to be released. The rapper was sentenced to two to four years in prison for violating his parole, stemming from 10 year-old charges, including drug possession and carrying a firearm without a license. Several media outlets have reported that the presiding Judge Genece Brinkley is now under investigation by the FBI.

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Bridgeton Mayor Albert B. Kelly installed as president of New Jersey Urban Mayors Association

The New Jersey Urban Mayors Association (NJUMA) has recently transitioned to new leadership as Bridgeton Mayor Albert B. Kelly was installed as president of the association on Nov. 15 by outgoing president, Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz.

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Christie's lame-duck wish list includes Amazon tax credits

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in the twilight of his two terms as one of the country's most powerful governors and he's hopeful he can still enact up to $5 billion in tax credits to attract Amazon's second headquarters, a measure aimed at keeping property taxes low and criminal justice changes.

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AP FACT CHECK: Trump off on black homeownership, trade

In his Alabama-ish rally, President Donald Trump falsely stated that black homeownership has hit a record high under his stewardship and made the dubious claim that he set Canada's prime minister straight on the state of trade between the two countries.

Sunday, December 10

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A look at high-profile police-related deaths of US blacks

A white former police officer in South Carolina will spend two decades in prison for shooting an unarmed black motorist to death in 2015.

Saturday, December 9

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Trump hails civil rights heroes; protesters pan his record

President Donald Trump paid tribute Saturday to the leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement whose sacrifices help make the United States a fairer and more just country, though protests surrounding his visit to Mississippi laid bare the stark divisions among Americans about his commitment to that legacy.

Friday, December 8

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Video key in ex-officer's stiff sentence for killing Walter Scott

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The video was viewed millions of times around the world. It was somewhat blurry, recorded from a distance, but it clearly showed an unarmed black man running from a white officer, who shot him five times in the back.

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Black Faith Leaders Encourage Their Flocks to Sign Up for Obamacare

Faith leaders in the Black community are encouraging members of their congregations to sign-up for healthcare coverage during the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period that ends on December 15.

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TV One Cancels Roland Martin’s NewsOne Now

The only Black daily newscast on television is no more.

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Murphy to visit Puerto Rico, tour Maria damage

New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy is planning a trip to hurricane-hit Puerto Rico.

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76ers trade Jahlil Okafor, 2nd-round pick to Brooklyn

Buried on the bench in Philly, Jahlil Okafor has a chance to prove in Brooklyn he's not a bust.

Thursday, December 7

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Combative Franken quits, points to GOP tolerance of Trump

Sen. Al Franken, a rising political star only weeks ago, reluctantly announced Thursday he's resigning from Congress, succumbing to a torrent of sexual harassment allegations and evaporating support from fellow Democrats. But he fired a defiant parting shot at President Donald Trump and other Republicans he said have survived much worse accusations.

Wednesday, December 6

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Christie backs pension amendment, but only with benefits cut

New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie endorsed a plan to cut the state's public worker retirement benefits and enact a constitutional amendment to commit the state to pension payments.

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Trump declares Jerusalem Israeli capital, smashing US policy

President Donald Trump shattered decades of unwavering U.S. neutrality on Jerusalem Wednesday, declaring the sorely divided holy city as Israel's capital and sparking frustrated Palestinians to cry out that he had destroyed already-fragile Mideast hopes for peace.

Tuesday, December 5

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Conyers resigns from Congress amid harassment allegations

Democratic Rep. John Conyers resigned from Congress on Tuesday after a nearly 53-year career, becoming the first Capitol Hill politician to lose his job in the torrent of sexual misconduct allegations sweeping through the nation's workplaces.

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Democrat says he might challenge Sen. Bob Menendez next year

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, whose federal corruption trial recently ended in a hung jury, could be facing his first primary challenger if he seeks re-election next year.

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Q&A: Tax bill impacts on health law coverage and Medicare

The tax overhaul Republicans are pushing toward final votes in Congress could undermine the Affordable Care Act's health insurance markets and add to the financial squeeze on Medicare over time.

Monday, December 4

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Supreme Court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban

The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.

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Sheryl Lee Ralph returns to the big screen in ‘Just Getting Started’

Actress, singer and all-around diva Sheryl Lee Ralph is returning to the big screen and the small screen. First up, Ralph is teaming up with Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones in the comedy “Just Getting Started.”

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2017 Kennedy Center Honors recognize artists, bypass drama

A few months ago, it looked like the annual Kennedy Center Honors program was in danger of being engulfed by the country's current divisive political mood.

Saturday, December 2

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Eagles sign WR Alshon Jeffery to 4-year contract extension

The Philadelphia Eagles have signed wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to a four-year contract extension that runs through 2021.

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Slavery memorial dedicated in New Jersey

Lawmakers gathered in Camden to dedicate a historical marker that recognizes New Jersey's ties to slavery.

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Attorney: Conyers to assess future plans based on health

An attorney for Michigan Rep. John Conyers said on Friday that the congressman will discuss in the next few days whether to resign following allegations of sexual misconduct, but his health will be the paramount factor and not pressure from Washington politicians.