Author

Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo comes to the New Jersey Monitor from WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR station, and the Philadelphia Daily News, a paper known for exposing corruption and holding public officials accountable. Prior to that, she worked at newspapers in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and suburban Philadelphia and has freelanced for various local and national magazines, newspapers and websites. She lives in Central Jersey with her husband, a photojournalist, and their two children.

Elite N.J. golf course unlawfully discriminated against women, state says

By: - April 27, 2022

An exclusive golf club in Camden County banned women from becoming members, restricted their access to facilities and the golf course, and forbade them from leasing or buying houses on club land unless they did so with a man, according to a civil rights complaint the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office filed Wednesday. The Pine […]

Recreational marijuana sales totaled nearly $2M on first day of sales, N.J. says

By: - April 27, 2022

More than 12,000 customers bought almost $2 million worth of recreational cannabis products on the first day of recreational marijuana sales in New Jersey last week, according to numbers the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission released Wednesday. Twelve dispensaries reported total gross sales of nearly $1.9 million made by 12,438 customers. Despite fears that recreational sales […]

Bill would expand public assistance access for N.J. families in extreme poverty

By: - April 27, 2022

As a single mother of three, Alina McKnight winces when she remembers trying to juggle her kids with her job and college courses. McKnight would bring her children with her to class or put them in the storage room at work, with no money to spare for child care. She relied on public assistance programs like […]

College presidents urge lawmakers to expand higher education aid

By: - April 26, 2022

New Jersey’s public colleges and universities need more state funding to counter long-standing deficiencies in how the state funds higher education and to offset challenges the pandemic created, several university presidents told lawmakers Monday. The presidents, who appeared before the Assembly’s budget committee, said despite Gov. Phil Murphy’s plans to boost state aid for higher […]

N.J. racetrack probes rise, as more horses test positive for banned substances

By: - April 25, 2022

The number of horses that tested positive for banned substances more than doubled in the past year at New Jersey’s three horse racing tracks, state police data shows. The New Jersey State Police’s racetrack unit conducted 51 barn searches in the 2021 fiscal year at the Meadowlands Racetrack, Freehold Raceway, and Monmouth Park, up from […]

Gender identity a lightning rod in N.J. sex ed curriculum debate

By: - April 22, 2022

Avery Heimann knew before they even started school that they were queer. Their classmates caught on to their difference immediately and were not kind. “From kindergarten to fifth grade, when my parents pulled me out of public school and put me into a private school, it was nonstop bullying,” Heimann remembered. As unwelcome as that […]

‘It’s cannabis Christmas!’ N.J. celebrates the first day of legal recreational marijuana

By: and - April 21, 2022

Nearly 48 years ago, Marie Holmes sparked a joint for the first time. Since then, she’s experienced the stigma surrounding cannabis usage, the ways consuming weed has changed, and finally, legalization in her home state. “And now I get to use my senior discount,” she laughed. “It’s been way too long since we needed this […]

Sex-ed curriculum controversy inspires bill intended to increase transparency

By: - April 20, 2022

With the furor still in full-swing over New Jersey’s new school standards on health and sex education, one state lawmaker said Tuesday he’ll introduce legislation intended to increase transparency and squash “misinformation and false claims.” Schools would be required to post all curriculum to district websites two weeks before the start of the school year […]

Censure, disqualification recommended for ex-judge accused of groping woman

By: - April 11, 2022

A state panel on Friday recommended a retired municipal judge accused of groping a woman in his law office be censured and permanently disqualified from judicial office. The Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct also referred ex-Judge Nino F. Falcone to the state Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Ethics for possible discipline, the panel said Friday. […]

Immigration warning not needed in police questioning of undocumented suspects, court rules

By: - April 8, 2022

Police do not have to — and should not — advise crime suspects that their cooperation could impact their immigration status, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Friday. Superior Court Judge Richard J. Geiger, writing for a three-judge appellate panel, agreed with a lower court’s ruling that a Miranda warning, in which police advise suspects of their rights to […]

State launches free financial wellness site to help residents manage their money

By: - April 8, 2022

State Treasury officials have launched a free financial wellness platform called NJFinLit to help residents better prepare for and recover from economic instability. State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio said her office began working on the initiative earlier in the pandemic, as they saw the economic downturn disproportionately impact low- and moderate-income residents and families. In […]

Absenteeism grew in schools during last school year, education officials say

By: - April 7, 2022

New data released by state education officials shows the debilitating impact of the pandemic in the last school year, with chronic absenteeism up and postsecondary enrollment flat. The state Department of Education released school performance reports for the 2020-21 school year on Wednesday, with some key performance indicators missing — another impact of the pandemic. […]