October 17, 2017

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October 17, 2017 Mostly sunny today with highs in the lower 60s. CANDIDATES SPAR IN ONLY LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DEBATE The Democratic and Republican candidates for lieutenant governor met on stage last night at Montclair State University for the first and only time. NJTV moderated the debate, where the candidates took to the stage to voice support for the tops of their respective tickets and respond to criticisms from the other side. NJ Spotlight says the candidates mostly stayed on message, but the event was notable for its several gaffes and awkward exchanges. NJ.com says the biggest conflict between the two candidates was a controversial campaign ad on illegal immigration that some critics have condemned as racist and an example of "gutter politics." WHAT TO DO ABOUT GUNS? NJ GOVERNOR CANDIDATES DISAGREE Meanwhile, the two major candidates for governor have been fleshing out their respective plans to tackle the issue of gun control. WNYC says the Republican candidate Kim Guadagno and Democrat Phil Murphy have vastly different approaches when it comes to regulating firearms. Guadagno called for the reinstatement of the death penalty for mass shooters, while Murphy called for tighter gun control regulations. STATE, CITY OFFER $7B TAX INCENTIVES IN BID TO LURE AMAZON HQ2 TO NEWARK New Jersey officials formally announced their plans yesterday to lure Amazon's second headquarters to New Jersey's largest city. NJ Spotlight says Gov. Chris Christie joined Newark mayor Ras Baraka and Sen. Corey Booker at a press conference yesterday to announce $7 billion in tax incentives that the trio hopes will entice the retail giant to settle in Newark. JUDGE IN MENENDEZ CORRUPTION TRIAL DENIES DEFENSE MOTION TO DISMISS A federal judge has refused a motion put forward by the defense to dismiss the corruption and bribery charges against Sen. Bob Menendez. NJTV says the defense argued that the bribery charges should be dismissed because prosecutors have been unable to produce a proverbial "smoking gun" showing that Menendez agreed to perform official favors in exchange for a specific gift. The case will now be heard by a jury on Tuesday. SANDY CONTRACTOR CHARGED IN $1.3M FRAUD A company that received tens of thousands of dollars to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy has been accused of doing shoddy work and, in some cases, no work at all. NJ.com says the company received $1.3 million in federal relief funds to repair or renovate 23 homes, but the contractors often disappeared for months on end or failed to return altogether. The company also failed to file permits or failed to pick up the permits. Authorities are seeking repayment of the funds, as well as civil penalties.

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