Author

Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for NJ.com, shined a spotlight on the state’s crumbling unemployment system and won several awards for investigative reporting from the New Jersey Press Association. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her report on PetSmart's grooming practices, which was also recognized by the New York Press Club. Sophie speaks Spanish and is proud to connect to the Latinx community through her reporting.

4,600 N.J. businesses await specifics of Biden’s vaccine mandate

By: - September 22, 2021

As more than 4,600 New Jersey businesses prepare to face President Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandate, employers and their staff are questioning how the directive will work. Who foots the bill for weekly testing? What happens if someone produces a fake vaccine card? What gives the federal government the power to issue this kind of order? […]

Republicans slam Murphy’s masking requirement for 2-year-olds in day care

By: - September 22, 2021

Two-year-old toddlers aren’t known for being good listeners or keeping their hands to themselves. Now, under Gov. Phil Murphy’s new mask mandate, they’ll be expected to keep their mouths and noses covered for hours at a time. Murphy’s Monday announcement that children ages 2 and up will need to wear masks in all day care […]

Vaccine requirement and mask mandate issued for N.J. child care centers

By: - September 20, 2021

New Jersey’s child care workers must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1 or face regular testing, and all employees, visitors, and children older than 2 must wear face masks in day care centers at all times, Gov. Phil Murphy announced during a press briefing Monday. The mandates come as the Delta variant fuels a rise […]

New Jersey continues slow economic recovery, adding 20K jobs in August

By: - September 17, 2021

After the pandemic led to widespread business closures and crushing job losses, New Jersey’s crawl to economic recovery continues. The state recovered another 20,300 jobs in August, the eighth straight month of gains. That brings the total number of jobs recovered since the height of the pandemic to 468,600, marking the return of about 65% […]

300K workers move to N.J.’s unemployment benefits after federal programs end

By: - September 16, 2021

More than 300,000 workers who relied on pandemic-era unemployment benefits before they expired were automatically moved to the state’s extended benefits program this week, a state official said. Of the roughly 500,000 people who were receiving unemployment payments until Sept. 4, about 310,000 claimants are now receiving the extended benefits, said Thomas Wright, spokesman for […]

As ICE detention centers shutter, immigrant advocates eye Bergen County’s jail

By: - September 14, 2021

Ten years ago, New Jersey had space in a quartet of detention centers for thousands of immigrant detainees arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcment. Now, years of protests by immigrant advocates has helped diminish the federal agency’s presence in New Jersey’s public jails. On Nov. 1, Hudson County says they will be out of […]

Hudson County seeks to sever ICE contract after years of protests

By: - September 10, 2021

Hudson County officials are planning to exit their 10-year contract with U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement to hold immigrant detainees at the county jail, a change that comes after years of protests by immigrant advocates. The move would make Bergen County the only publicly run jail in New Jersey that houses ICE detainees, following Essex […]

Consumers should be wary of flooded cars hitting the market after Hurricane Ida

By: - September 10, 2021

The car market has been a volatile one during the coronavirus pandemic, and now buyers should be extra careful as storm-ravaged vehicles could appear in the low-inventory market. Carfax estimated thousands of cars with flood damage from Hurricane Sandy were cleaned and place for sale on used car lots back in 2013. As New Jerseyans […]

N.J. takes first step in implementing historic housing discrimination law

By: - September 9, 2021

New Jersey officials are reviewing proposed rules for a new law banning landlords from considering prospective tenants’ criminal histories, one intended to lessen racial discrimination in housing. It’s the first step in implementing what activists have called the strongest housing discrimination law in the country. It’s part of the “ban the box” movement,” a reference […]

Activists worry new LGBTQ curriculum is not being taught in most schools

By: - September 7, 2021

With some New Jersey classrooms re-opening to students this week, activists who championed a law mandating school districts develop an LGBTQ curriculum say they are focusing on ensuring the state’s 600 districts are teaching the lessons required by the law. Schools should have already integrated the curriculum that teaches the historical and societal contributions of […]

New Jersey’s unemployed fret about federal benefits expiring

By: - August 30, 2021

Life was turning around for NyKia Jackson. After spending months without a stable roof over her head and crashing on a friend’s couch, Jackson rented an apartment in Pemberton perfect for her and her three kids. She had saved up some money from her jobs at Burger King and as a teacher in a preschool. […]

New anti-eviction program launching in three cities

By: - August 26, 2021

A new anti-eviction initiative is launching in three cities as the state prepares to roll back pandemic-era eviction protections for some families beginning next week. The program — to be launched in Atlantic City, East Orange, and Trenton – has been in the works since before the coronavirus pandemic caused housing advocates to sound the […]