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New Jersey

Alcoholic Energy Drinks Banned at Jersey College

four-lokoNew Jersey’s Ramapo College is banning alcoholic energy drinks after several students were hospitalized. The students had been drinking Four Loko, a beverage that contains caffeine, other energy-boosting ingredients and 12 percent alcohol. Many students see the stimulating drinks as an inexpensive way to get drunk fast and stay up all night.

The ban took effect October 1st, after 23 students were hospitalized within the same week, a portion of whom had been consuming Four Loko. “There’s no redeeming social purpose to be served by having the beverage,” said college president Peter Mercer. Fox News reports that Mercer is also encouraging other New Jersey colleges to follow suit.

The FDA has been investigating whether drinks containing both alcohol (a depressant) and stimulants are safe, particularly when the feelings of intoxication can mask other symptoms. Research conducted at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that cocktails containing Red Bull are more dangerous than alcohol alone. Anheuser-Busch has already agreed to reformulate Sparks, a similar alcoholic beverage.

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Rutgers Asks New Jersey to Play Nice

RutgersWhat comes to mind when you think of New Jersey? Maybe merciless mobsters, obnoxious reality show stars and road-raged drivers come to mind.

Rutgers University, located in New Jersey, hopes to change that image. A recent campaign calls for its citizens, more specifically those on campus, to start behaving better.

Starting on Wednesday, students, faculty and staff are expected to attend several lectures, presentations and discussions on civility. And if there is adequate space, residents in the community are encouraged to attend as well.

Yousef Saleh, a senior from Jersey City and SGA president, said he does see acts of civility on campus, but he also said there’s room for improvement. Read the rest of this entry »



Mark Zuckerburg Gives $100 Million to Newark Schools

mark-zuckerberg

Update: December 9, 2010 Mark Zuckerburg pledged $100 million to the Newark Public Schools in New Jersey as a way to pledge his support to The Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Giving Pledge encourages billionaires to donate half of their assets to charity either during their lifetime or at their death. A total of 57 billionaires have joined The Giving Pledge so far. Some of the newest ones are: Steve Case Co-founder of AOL, Carl Icahn, Michael Milken, Joe Mansueto Morningstar Chief Exec, Ted Forstmann and Nicolas Berggruen. Kudos to Facebook mogul and the other 56 billionaires on board so far, but according to Forbes magazine, the US boasts more than 400 billionaires. Where is everybody else?

If anyone questions how much Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerburg values education, you could answer with a nine-digit number. The Facebook founder will be donating $100 million to the struggling Newark school system. The official announcement is expected to be made on The Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow. Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are also scheduled to be guests on the show.

Some critics have speculated that the donation is timed to divert attention away from the critical, although fictionalized, depiction of Zuckerburg in the soon-to-be-released film, The Social Network. Nonetheless, the charitable gift will unquestionably have a huge positive impact on Newark public schools. Zuckerburg has been named the 35th richest American by Forbes.

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Obama’s Race to the Top Finalists Announced

UPDATE [1/27/11]: President Obama discussed the success of Race to the Top in his State of the Union address on January 25th. “Race to the Top in the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning…and Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that’s more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.” Since the program’s initiation, it has help 25,000 schools nationwide and 13.6 million students, according to White House statistics.

School budgets have been stretched tight with the nation’s recent economic recession. Last year in my hometown, Wichita, KS, several schools were forced to give up yearly field trips. And this year, the school district is proposing to do away with driver’s education. Hopefully with Obama’s Race to the Top competition, some states will be able to lessen this financial strain.race to the top

As of July 27, eighteen states and the District of Columbia could win part of the $3.4 billion in education grants to assist in an overhaul of education policies.

In this second round of the competition, federal officials say they anticipate 10 to 15 winners that will receive federal financing. The winning states will be revealed in September.

Here are the 19 finalists: Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Read the rest of this entry »



Rutgers University Won’t Grow Marijuana

There will be no marijuana growing at Rutgers University, the largest university in New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie requested that Rutgers become the only grower of New Jersey’s medical marijuana crop.pot leaf

The university declined the request and made a statement last Friday voicing concerns of marijuana’s status as an illegal drug. The university also fears that growing the medicinal plant could mean losing millions of dollars in federal funding. Read the rest of this entry »





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