Today in New Jersey’s First News:

Gov. Chris Christie is back in New Jersey and says he plans to stay awhile after a months-long grueling campaign schedule as head of the Republican National Governor's Association. He says it was a good trial run for a possible presidential campaign but he's not ready to make that decision just yet.

For now, Christie has some pressing issues to deal with at home. They include the possibility of a hike in the gas tax. Democrats are calling for an increase that could cost consumers a dollar a day. Christie's own Transportation Commissioner has suggested the same. But on Ask the Governor, Christie tried to put the brakes on that idea.

The details of what happened to three-year old Scott McMillan are horrifying. Prosecutors call it pure evil. The boy' own mother and her boyfriend are charged with beating the boy to death, hitting him with a frying pan and punching him after hanging him upside down. The couple are also charged with beating Scott's older brother.

The Discovery Channel program called "Eaten Alive" plans to feature the feeding of a live man to a giant anaconda. Turns out, the man is a Jersey guy. Naturalist Paul Rosolie was raised in Wyckoff and went to Ramapo College. He'll be featured on the program next month, wearing a protective suit. And as many of you predicted on our Facebook page, animal rights activists are furious. They worry about the safety of the giant snake.

Plans are in the works for a more reliable Northeast Corridor rail line. It's considered by the federal government as the region's economic backbone.

Have you seen that creepy video of a makeshift roadblock on the Turnpike? State Police have arrested two men for putting cones in the road. But now they think it was a "lapse in judgement" and not a robbery attempt. They do say one of the men arrested was drunk and the car involved had run out of gas.

Home Depot says in addition to the stolen credit card numbers of 56 million customers hackers took 53 million email addresses. They are warning customers to be wary of phishing scams.

President Obama will break bread at the White House today with leaders from both parties, following this week's capture of the Senate by the GOP. Obama is inviting 16 top-ranking lawmakers to search for areas where they can compromise. On the agenda is a host of unfinished business that Congress must wrap up this year before Republicans fully take over in January. And thorny issues such as immigration and Obama's health care law are emerging as likely points of conflict.

The beat goes on for a Morris County teen. A judge says a neighbor failed to prove that the boys drum practice in his dad's garage was a nuisance under the law and dismissed the lawsuit. The neighbor says the noise prevents her from getting enough sleep or getting any work done.

If you live at or near the Jersey Shore you might want to check out the latest storm surge map. The new interactive map can show how vulnerable houses and neighborhoods are in a variety of hurricane scenarios and projects how far inland water will reach.

More than 2 years after sandy 25 percent of the families slammed by the Superstorm are still waiting for grant money to help them get back into their homes and they're blaming the Christie Administration for the delay. But the governor says he's handing out the cash as quickly as possible...

Gov. Chris Christie is also renewing his call to strip away all campaign finance laws making legal unlimited contributions to any candidate from anyone at any time. He was responding to a caller on Ask the Governor last night and comes after he raised a record $106-million dollars for the Republican Governor's Association.

With Chris Christie's help as the RGA chair, the GOP has taken control of the U.S. Senate. While Christie's doing a victory lap, this could actually backfire on him if he does decide to run for president.

The former New York Giant Luke Petitgout is out on bail charged with sexual assault in New Jersey. Prosecutors say it involved someone he knew, but are withholding further details.

Not your ordinary smash and grab robbery in North Jersey: Someone ran a pickup truck into a Newark convenience store, loaded up the ATM and raced away. Cops later found the smashed ATM but it's not known how much cash was taken.

New Jersey ranks a dismal 52nd out of 53 state agencies nationwide when it comes to processing applications for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Lawmakers are taking a three-pronged approach to tackle the problem.

The New Jersey office of the Small Business Administration reports a 16 percent increase in loan approvals in their fiscal year 2014.

A bankruptcy judge says Atlantic City can collect more than $20 million in back taxes from the failed Revel casino. Casino taxes fund more than 60 percent of the city's budget.

If you're planning to travel by air this Thanksgiving holiday, pack your patience. The airports will be busy and the planes will be crowded..

WEATHER from chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow:

TODAY: Afternoon showers. Windy. Highs 50-56

TONIGHT: Clear and cold. Frost/freeze likely. Lows 28-35

TOMORROW: Mostly sunny and cool. Highs 47-51

SUNDAY: Morning sprinkles. Then partly sunny. Highs 50-58

To view Dan’s extended 5-day forecast, click HERE.


Pick 3: 9-3-0

Straight pays $232.50. Box pays $38.50. Pair pays $23.

Pick 4: 6-5-2-1

Straight pays $3,201. Box pays $133.

Cash 5: 19-23-24-31-40

5 of 5 pays $0. 4 of 5 pays $586. 3 of 5 pays $16.

Pick 6: 11-28-29-32-41-45

There were no top prize winners in Thursday night's Pick 6 Lotto drawing, New Jersey Lottery officials said.

Five out of six paid $4,791 to 6 winners; four out of six paid $75 to 421 winners; three out of six paid $3 to 8,869 winners.

Monday's top prize estimate is $5.4 million annuity.

Here are the winning numbers selected Thursday in the midday New Jersey State Lottery drawing:

Pick 3: 4-8-8

Straight pays $222. Box pays $74, Pair pays $22.

Pick 4: 6-3-2-8

Straight pays $4,225. Box pays $176.

New Jersey’s First News, hosted by Eric Scott, written and produced by Matthew White and Patrick Lavery. Full podcast available here. Digital support, with additional links, by Dan Alexander.