Regional Briefs – March 12, 2015

Turnpike Unveils $310M Widening Project in Bayonne

BAYONNE, N.J. – Drivers used to half-hour waits to get through the Turnpike tolls in Bayonne are in for some relief, The Associated Press reported. The Turnpike Authority on Wednesday unveiled a $310 million project to expand the plaza from 11 lanes to 13 and replace two bridges.

Robber Ends 15-year Sentence, Robs Same Store

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – An ex-con who just completed a 15-year sentence the day before for robbing a Toms River shoe store, strode into the same Stride Rite demanding cash — with the same clerk behind the counter, The Associated Press reported. Christopher Miller made off with $389 and employees’ cellphones. He faces up to 20 years of more jail.

Bad Estimates Mean Shocking Gas Bills in New Jersey

DEPTFORD, N.J. – A utility is apologizing for high estimates that resulted in seriously spiked natural gas bills for 12,000 customers, the South Jersey Times reported. South Jersey Gas will arrange payment plans or adjust bills, some of which reached $1,500.

School to Check for Meningitis After 1st Grader Dies

NEWARK – Newark officials are urging parents to take precautions after a first-grader died last Thursday of suspected bacterial meningitis. No other cases have been reported and the school was thoroughly cleaned.

Public School Advocates Rally at NY State Capitol

ALBANY – Hundreds of public school students and parents rallied Wednesday at the Capitol to reject Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “cockamamie” ideas such as education tax credits, tying teacher evaluations to student scores and allowing more charter schools. They want to add nearly $2 billion in new school spending to the $21.5 billion spent this year — all on public schools.

Sloan Kettering to Build Cancer Center on Long Island

EAST GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Memorial Sloan Kettering will build an outpatient facility on Long Island across five acres near the Nassau Coliseum to be sold by the county, County Executive Ed Mangano said in his State of the County address Wednesday, Newsday reported. The new facility is slated to open by 2018.