Panel: Christie Not Involved in Bridgegate Closures

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was not involved in the “Bridgegate” lane closures meant to punish a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse his candidacy for a second term as governor, a new investigation has found.

The controversy continues despite the apparent exoneration, however, with legislative Republicans saying Democrats used the investigation to try to harm Christie’s nascent presidential candidacy, the New York Daily News reports.
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Joyce Sheridan Death Ruled a Homicide

A Montgomery Township police officer sits in front of the partially burned home of John and Joyce Sheridan early Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, in Montgomery Township, N.J. Authorities say 72-year-old John Sheridan, president of a major southern New Jersey hospital, and his 69-year-old wife were killed when a fire broke out in their home Sunday morning, but the circumstances surrounding the deaths remain under investigation.

A Montgomery Township police officer sits in front of the partially burned home of John and Joyce Sheridan early Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, in Montgomery Township, N.J. Authorities say 72-year-old John Sheridan, president of a major southern New Jersey hospital, and his 69-year-old wife were killed when a fire broke out in their home Sunday morning, but the circumstances surrounding the deaths remain under investigation.

No surprise here, but perhaps at least some clarity. Politicker NJ reports: “A death certificate for Joyce Sheridan, the wife of Cooper Health CEO and prominent political figure John Sheridan, was filed in Somerset County Surrogate Court today, listing her death as a ‘homicide.’ Her husband’s certificate, meanwhile, is listed as ‘pending investigation.’”

The Sheridans died following a mysterious fire at their house in September; last week it was revealed that both Sheridans had suffered multiple stab wounds at the time of their deaths.

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Ebola Fears Keep New Burlco Students Home

Panics aren’t pretty. They’re not rational. But they happen, and they’re happening in Burlington County, N.J. — where two Rwandan students are being kept out of classes today, even though their home is 2,600 miles away from the West African nations where the outbreak is actually taking place.

That’s roughly like keeping kids out of school in Philadelphia because somebody caught a cold in Los Angeles.
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Is Camden on the Cusp of Revival?

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Chris Goodman hasn’t been in Camden very long, but already he’s seen one significant change.

“The first year I was here, there was a big memorial on the lawn of City Hall — a cross for every person murdered,” said Goodman, an assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy & Administration at Rutgers-Camden; he arrived on campus two-and-a-half years ago. “It was a big deal.

And now? “That’s not there now. There’s a pop-up park.”

Camden has long been known for two things: Violence and poverty. It’s a regular stop on the “ruin porn” touring circuit for journalists chronicling America’s urban decay — just last spring Rolling Stone labeled the city “America’s Most Desperate Town” under the headline: “Apocalypse, New Jersey.”

But maybe things are turning around.

Violence is down. The bond rating is up. A supermarket just opened. The 76ers are opening a practice facility. The city is rebuilding its governing capacity after an embarrassing state takeover in 2002. There are dozens of small metrics, taken together, that suggest this small city across the Delaware River from Philadelphia may be gathering the strength to escape its reputation as one of America’s worst places.

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Interview: Camden Mayor Dana Redd on Her City’s Revival

Camden Mayor Dana Redd in her office. The city is showing signs of recovery, at long last.

Camden Mayor Dana Redd in her office. The city is showing signs of recovery, at long last.

Related: Is Camden on the Cusp of Revival?Four reasons to think the city Rolling Stone called “Apocalypse, New Jersey” might truly be on the upswing. 

Everything’s coming up Camden.

Known mainly for its violence and poverty, the city across the river from Philadelphia may be witnessing a recovery. Violence is down, the bond rating is up, and a grocery store has even opened. The 76ers are even making it their second home, locating their practice facilities here in exchange for a major tax break. The city is a long way from being placid and perfect, but it’s climbed beyond the depths it had sunk to just a few years ago, when the state had to take it over entirely.

Mayor Dana Redd talked to Philly Mag recently about the work that has gone into reviving her city.   “Ultimately and over time, I expect to see our unemployment rate come down, I expect to see more citizens working, and to attract a middle-class base back to Camden,” she said.

Some excerpts:
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