NYC to Hold Two Ceremonies for 9-11 Anniversary

Sep 10, 2020
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There are two ceremonies in Lower Manhattan tomorrow to mark the 19th anniversary of the 9-11 terror attacks. 

The Tunnel To Towers Foundation is holding its own ceremony with name reading. CEO Frank Siller said many are not happy that the 9-11 Memorial will be using prior years' recordings instead of reading victim names out loud because of coronavirus.

“I know that it can be done in a safe way," he said. "When the 9-11 Memorial said it couldn’t be done in a safe way I knew that was bogus.”

New Jersey reported another 284 cases of coronavirus Tuesday, bringing the state’s cumulative total since the start of the pandemic to 194,667 cases.

The state also reported another 5 confirmed deaths, which occurred more than two months ago. New Jersey has now seen 14,213 confirmed fatalities and 1,783 probable deaths from COVID-19.

The rate of transmission is at 1.1, meaning for every 10 positive cases, the virus spreads to 11 people.

Limited ‘knucklehead behavior’ as indoor dining returns

Ask Governor Murphy

The next edition of Ask Governor Murphy is Thursday, September 10 at 7 p.m. on WBGO and here at Join host Nancy Solomon of WNYC and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy as they talk about New Jersey's response to the coronavirus outbreak, the reopening of schools with in-classroom and remote learning  and the hot bottom issues in the state budget.

The number to call is 844-677-9283, or on social media with #askgovmurphy. Submit your questions in advance at

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New York City school buses will be up and running for the start of in-classroom learning but classroom concerns from teachers and parents remain.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the routes are now set and parents can expect school bus schedules by the end of the week.

“Mandatory masks for everyone, adults and children alike on the buses," he said. "That means there will be social distancing. That means there will be windows open.”

Indoor Dining to Resume in NYC Sept. 30

Sep 9, 2020
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The long wait is over for frustrated restaurant owners in New York City.

Indoor dining can resume on Sept. 30 but with many restrictions. Governor Cuomo said all customers will have their temperatures checked, one person from each table must provide contact information in case tracing is needed, masks must be worn when not seated, there will be no bar service and restaurants will have to close at midnight.

Some NYC Schools Have Not Passed COVID Inspections

Sep 8, 2020
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Tuesday was the first day teachers were to report to their classrooms in New York City but some were not able to do so.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said there are 10 buildings identified as needing repairs across the board when it comes to ventilation and other issues connected to coronavirus.

“We’re prioritizing these buildings to get all systems up to par by the 21st of September," he said. "Meanwhile, staff at those buildings will be temporarily working from home.”

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New York City is providing free childcare for some working parents who need help with their child doing remote learning.

Starting Sept. 21 there will be seats for 30,000 children, preschool to eighth grade, and that number will grow to 100,000 over the next few months.

Susan Haskell is the deputy commissioner for youth services. “We know that working parents will need a helping hand," she said. "So Learning Bridges will provide support by offering free childcare on remote learning days for families whose children are enrolled in blended learning.”

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Governor Cuomo says school districts are being required to provide coronavirus testing data.

Starting Tuesday, school districts will be required to provide daily coronavirus testing reports to the state Department of Health. That includes the number of people testing positive in each in school.

Governor Cuomo says the information will be available to the public on a dashboard. There will be a link to the dashboard on every school district’s website.

WBGO's Doug Doyle reports looks at how NYC and New Jersey are preparing for the opening of schools and businesses.

New Jersey reported another 478 cases of coronavirus Friday, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 193,422 cases over the last six months.

Another 7 residents died from COVID-19, which means there have now been 14,195 lab-confirmed deaths and 1,783 probable deaths attributed to the outbreak.

The state’s rate of transmission was 1.03, which means everyone who tests positive for the disease was spreading it to at least one other person, and the spot positivity rate for coronavirus tests was 1.81.

Dinner reservations for this weekend are already filling up at Mr. Shrimp, a seafood restaurant and market in Belmar.

Like countless others across the Garden State, the restaurant will open to customers for indoor dining for the first time in more than five months on Friday as the state lifts a major restriction put in place in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is threatening to sue the Trump Administration if President Trump tries to withhold federal aid to New York City.

A Trump memo mentions looting and a spike in crime in the city. Trump is directing federal agencies to look at federal funding cuts for what Trump calls lawless cities.  Mayor de Blasio says Congress has already approved the money.

There's a deal between the de Blasio administration and New York City teachers union that delays the start of the school year.  

The start date was the middle of next week but now Remote instruction will begin September 16thand students will report to school buildings September 21st. Mayor de Blasio says teachers will go in on the 8th to prepare for all the coronavirus protocol.

On Monday, New Jersey reported 352 new positive cases, pushing the cumulative total to 191,960. The state also reported 8 new confirmed COVID-19 deaths for a total of 14,165 lives lost. The number of probable deaths remains 1,780. The rate of transmission is at .90, meaning for every new COVID-19 case documented, on average it spreads to fewer than one additional person.

Indoor dining to return

MTA Warns of 40% Cut in Services Without Federal Aid

Aug 31, 2020
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The financially troubled MTA is warning customers that massive service cuts and layoffs are coming if the federal government doesn’t come through.

MTA Chairman Pat Foye says subway and bus ridership have plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic and this is even more severe than the Great Depression. 

“The federal government must deliver for the MTA," he said. "It is literally our only option for survival.”

Foye says the agency needs $12 billion in the next few months or there will be more fare and toll hikes and a 40% reduction in subway and bus service.

The Legal Aid Society is threatening to sue the de Blasio administration if Mayor Bill de Blasio orders homeless out of hotels during the coronavirus pandemic. 


There have been numerous complaints of quality of life related issues after Mayor de Blasio ordered thousands of homeless from shelters into hotels during the height of the pandemic.


Dr. Richard Besser

Dr. Richard Besser, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting Director of the CDC during the Obama Administration spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about his concerns over the national response to COVID-19,

Monmouth University President Dr. Patrick Leahy on Fall Semester Plans

Aug 28, 2020
Patrick Leahy

Monmouth University President Dr. Patrick Leahy recently celebrated his first anniversary in West Long Branch.  Dr. Leahy couldn't imagine what he would have in store with COVID-19 creating havoc with schedules and learning during his first year at Monmouth University.

Leahy, the 10th President at Monmouth, recently spoke with WBGO News intern Tyra Brooks about plans for the Fall Semester.

Click above to hear the entire conversation on the WBGO Journal.

New Jersey Gyms Can Reopen Sept. 1 With Restrictions

Aug 27, 2020
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Gyms in New Jersey can reopen on Tuesday September 1 but with plenty of restrictions.

They’ll be at 25% of capacity, masks will be required while working out, machines will be six feet apart and all face the same direction. Foot traffic will also move in one direction.

Riptide Partners
RiptIde Partners

Riptide Partners, a New York based consulting business that offers full-service Customer Experience solutions for sports teams and venue operators, has unveiled its recent survey of actual New York area event attendees.  The survey reveals  a much faster return to event timeline for consumers than has been widely discussed.

Riptide Partners co-ounder Rob Comstock says the survey is the first, and most comprehensive, study of actual event attendees in the New York area since the Pandemic shutdown began.

The Justice Department has asked the governors of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and two other states for data on policies that allowed nursing home residents who tested positive for COVID-19 back into the facilities where they lived.

Elderly and medically vulnerable people — many of whom live in long-term care facilities across the country — have been at a higher risk for severe illness or death from coronavirus.

NYC Bridge To School Plan To Address Mental Health

Aug 26, 2020

  A mental health initiative will be part of the curriculum to start off the school year in New York City.  

The Bridge to School Program includes activities and exercises to help students emotionally and socially deal with school starting up and the effects from coronavirus.  Schools chancellor Richard Carranza says the mental health program will improve students academically and help them in general with life.

Outdoor Learning Plan Unveiled For NYC Schools

Aug 24, 2020

 New York City officials are allowing for outdoor learning on good weather days to help lower the risk of coronavirus spread. Schools chancellor Richard Carranza says principals can submit outdoor learning plans by this Friday and they will know by next week if they are approved.

“Think of different kinds of places. You mentioned public parks, adjacent streets.  All of those are fair.”

NYC Could Lay Off 22,000 Workers by October 1

Aug 21, 2020
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Lack of local aid from Washington may prompt similar moves here in New Jersey and across the country. 

WBGO contributor Bob Hennelly speaks with News Director Doug Doyle about the ongoing economic fallout from the COVID pandemic.

Changes Being Made To NYC's Big Fall/Winter Events

Aug 21, 2020
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There are changes coming to the big fall and winter celebrations in New York City because of coronavirus.  The popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City will happen this year but Mayor de Blasio admits it will be a lot different.

“Some is going to be virtual.  Might be some small in person pieces, spread out pieces.  It’s not going to look at all of course like what we are used to but the important thing is the traditions will be kept in some way.”

New York City’s teachers’ union doesn’t think schools should open unless New York City can meet its own health criteria.  

Head of the teachers’ union Michael Mulgrew wants every student and staff member to be tested for coronavirus or show a positive antibody test before entering a school building.  That goes further than the city’s plan. He also wants a coronavirus response team in every school.

On this month's edition of Newark Today, host Michael Hill will be joined by Mayor Ras Baraka to talk about the latest developments around the coronavirus. Roger Léon, Superintendent of Newark Public Schools, will join the discussion to talk about the latest around the plan to manage remote learning in New Jersey's largest school district, as well as when children will be allowed to return to the classroom.

President Trump
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New Jersey officials reported Wednesday 399 new confirmed COVID-19 cases. That brings the new cumulative total to 188,427 since the state began tracking cases March 4.

Officials also reported an additional 11 deaths from the virus; raising the death toll to 14,097. The number of probable deaths was revised downward to 1,829. The latest rate of transmission is above the benchmark at 1.06; meaning for every new case, more than one other person will get infected.

De Blasio Outlines Safety Protocols For NYC Schools

Aug 17, 2020
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 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to reassure parents schools will be as safe as they can when the academic year starts.   De Blasio says right now schools are being loaded up with millions of masks, and bottles of hand sanitizer and sores of social distancing signs among other things.

“This is about being ready, it’s about moving past fear to resiliency, getting ready to have a school year where kids get served in a safe way.”

NYC Trying to Avert 22,000 Layoffs

Aug 17, 2020
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New York City is still trying to avoid tens of thousands of layoffs because of the financial crisis the city faces because of the pandemic.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said it is a real possibility that 22,000 city workers could be let go Oct. 1.

“It’s a massive painful number," he said. "It resembles the kind of things we had to do decades ago. But the job here is to try and avert it if we can.”

The mayor said he is not counting on any coronavirus stimulus money from Congress at this point.