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Jackson Sun News Briefs, Jan. 11

Members of the Jackson Police Department along with family members and friends of Detective Sgt. Ted Kucowski came to police headquarters on the afternoon of Dec. 30 to congratulate Kucowski with a ceremony on his retirement from the agency.

According to Sgt. Fred Meabe, who is the department’s public information officer, Kucowski was hired in 1999 and initially served in uniformed patrol.

During the course of his career, Kucowski served in the following capacities: 2001-05, Jackson Police SRT; 2001-09, Ocean County Regional Sniper; 2003-06, Detective Bureau; 2006-12, FBI Police Sniper School Guest Instructor; 2006-20, Ocean County Regional SWAT; 2009-20, Sniper Platoon Leader Ocean County Regional SWAT.

Kucowski was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2018 and served as a patrol sergeant until 2021. In 2021, Kucowski transitioned back to the Detective Bureau to oversee the Special Enforcemnt Unit.

Meabe said Kucowski is an accomplished competitive sniper and a multi-time podium finisher in the Tactical Games, including second place national championship.


The Jackson School District will hold a preschool lottery from Jan. 19 through Feb. 10 to offer open spots to residents interested in the district’s free preschool program for the 2023-24 school year.

The preschool lottery form will be available after 9 a.m. Jan. 19 on the district website at www.jacksonsd.org/preschool. The lottery signup form closes at 4 p.m. Feb. 10.

Respondents will then be chosen at random and contacted according to their lottery positions to be offered a spot in the district’s preschool program, according to a press release.

The district’s preschool program offers a free, full-day program to students who will be either 3 or 4 years old by Oct. 1, 2023. The program is taught by certified teachers and features developmentally appropriate, fun and interactive learning experiences that transition easily into the district’s kindergarten curriculum, according to the press release.

The program is free due to a competitive grant earned by the school district. The grant allowed district administrators to expand enrollment, however, spots are limited.

The preschool lottery determines the order in which parents will be contacted to register in the program. Families currently enrolled in Jackson’s preschool program do not need to reapply.

More information is available on the district website, according to the press release.



Gov. Phil Murphy has signed legislation (S-588) establishing the requirement of K-12 instruction on information literacy under the implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

The bill requires the New Jersey Department of Education to develop New Jersey Student Learning Standards in “information literacy,” which is defined as a set of skills that enables an individual to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and effectively use the needed information. Information literacy includes, but is not limited to, digital, visual, media, textual and technological literacy, according to a Jan. 4 press release from Murphy’s office.

“Our democracy remains under sustained attack through the proliferation of disinformation that is eroding the role of truth in our political and civic discourse,” said Murphy. “It is our responsibility to ensure our nation’s future leaders are equipped with the tools necessary to identify fact from fiction. I am proud to sign legislation that is critical to the success of New Jersey’s students and essential to the preservation of our democracy.”

The bill requires the commissioner of the Department of Education to convene a committee, including certified school library media specialists and teaching staff members, to assist in developing the information literacy standards. The standards will be reviewed by experts as they are developed, according to the press release.

The proposed information literacy standards will be subject to public input prior to their adoption by the state Board of Education.

Each school district will incorporate instruction about information literacy in an appropriate place in the curriculum of students in grades kindergarten through 12 as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards, according to the press release.

New Jersey’s statewide minimum wage increased by $1.13 to $14.13 per hour for most employees, effective Jan. 1.
The increase was part of legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in February 2019 that gradually raises the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 for most employees, according to a press release.
When Murphy took office in 2018, the state’s minimum wage was $8.60 per hour.
Under a law signed in 2019, the minimum wage increases by $1 per hour each year – or more if warranted because of significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), according to the press release.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) sets the minimum wage for the coming year using the rate specified in the law or a calculation based on the CPI, whichever is higher. Once the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour, the State Constitution specifies that it continue to increase annually based on any increase in the CPI, according to the press release.
Under the law, seasonal and small employers were given until 2026 to pay their workers $15 per hour. The minimum hourly wage for these employees increased to $12.93 per hour on Jan. 1, up from $11.90.
Agricultural workers are guided by a separate minimum wage timetable and were given until 2027 to reach the $15 per hour minimum wage. Long-term care facility direct care staff saw their minimum wage rise by $1.13, to $17.13.
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