I report on the news and people in New Jersey with a focus on the roller-coaster cannabis story, profiles of unusual characters, court rulings that have an impact on people’s lives and vanishing open spaces in the Garden State.

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There’s a new clerk in town and a new home for civil weddings in Burlington County. It’s prettier.

Joanne Schwartz, the first woman elected as Burlington County clerk, disliked having couples tie the knot in her drab office so she dressed up a conference room. "Weddings are special," she said.

To spice up its culinary program, a New Jersey college wants to cook with cannabis

Atlantic Cape Community College may soon offer classes on cannabis. Its culinary arts program, which trains chefs to work in the Atlantic City casino industry and beyond, also may teach cooking with cannabis.

Chesterfield community meeting on racial tolerance postponed

A meeting to discuss racial intolerance in Chesterfield Township, N.J. Tuesday night was postponed.

Man whose son was shot in 2016 fatally shot in Atlantic City

The victim, Demond Tally, 45, had just left the home of his friend, Atlantic City Council President Marty Small Sr., according to the news site BreakingAC.

Police-involved crash in Kensington; two officers, one civilian injured

Police said the patrol officers had their sirens and lights on and were responding to a call when they struck a civilian vehicle in an intersection.

Man sitting in car in Philly shot to death, police say

A 39-year-old man was fatally shot while sitting in a car in Philly Sunday night

Artwork portrays Union League flying the Confederate flag

“Only certain types of people come to fine art galleries. Putting my work on the street feels Democratic,” said Joe Boruchow, a street artist who poked fun at the Union League of Philadelphia over the weekend by depicting a Confederate flag flying above the historic building.

Former Burlco official to publicly apologize for ‘racist’ remarks about Indian Americans

Sam Davis made that announcement after learning that Township Committeeman Shreekant Dhopte, who defeated him in November, had rejected an emailed apology.

Indian American committeeman from N.J. wants apology from political opponent over ‘racist’ remarks

Newly-elected Chesterfield Committeeman Shreekant Dhopte said the campaign had been civil until Sam Davis, a George Washington impersonator, lost and then threatened to have "all the Indians" who voted for Dhopte prosecuted because they are not citizens. Dhopte said the remarks are hateful.

Ex-N.J. official claims ‘illegal’ votes by Indian immigrants cost him reelection

Sam Davis claimed “all the Indian people in Chesterfield” voted for his opponent Shreekant Dhopte in November and “they are not United States citizens.” He said Burlington County prosecutors were investigating and he couldn't “wait until those people” were fined. Democrats denounced his remarks.