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Death of a legend, ragweed returns and more: First News with Podcast

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

ALAN KASPER’S FORECAST:
TODAY:
Rain heavy at times. High: 70s
TONIGHT:
 Rain heavy at times. Low: 67-76
TOMORROW: Rain in the morning. Partly sunny by afternoon. High: 80-85

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Flowers are placed in memory of actor/comedian Robin Williams on his Walk of Fame star
Flowers are placed in memory of actor/comedian Robin Williams on his Walk of Fame star (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Death of a Legend - Robin Williams was a brilliant shapeshifter who could channel his frenetic energy into delightful comic characters like “Mrs. Doubtfire” or harness it into richly nuanced work like his Oscar-winning turn in “Good Will Hunting. It was no secret that Williams had suffered for years from periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression; he made reference to it himself in his comedy routines. But word that he had killed himself Monday at his San Francisco Bay area home left both friends and fans equally stunned and grief-stricken. He was last seen alive at home about 10 p.m. Sunday. Shortly before noon, police received an emergency call. A preliminary investigation determined the cause of death was suicide due to asphyxia. Williams was 63.

No Need for Speed - More than three dozen states have speed limits of at least 70 miles per hour. New Jersey is not one of them, and things here probably won’t change anytime soon.

Lema, the dog allegedly throw onto the Parkway
Lema, the dog allegedly throw onto the Parkway (Red Bank Veterinary Hospital)

Parkway Dog Goes Home – Police have very little to go on in finding whoever tossed a dog out of a moving car on the Parkway last weekend. Witnesses were unable to provide any description of the car or the driver. A $1,000 reward is being offered. Lema continues to recover this morning and has been reunited with her owner.

Farmers Market Arrest -  Police are still baffled as to why a man would crash his pick-up into a farmers market in Hawthorne. 48-year old James Woetzel is charged with vehiclualr homocide this morning. Crahsing through barriers and into farm stands he dragged a woman three blocks and killing her and then sped off.

Ragweed Returns – Allergy sufferers: the ragweed season is underway. But, it still isn’t expected to be as bad as it has been in the past.

Power Outage on the Pier - A power outage in North Wildwood shut down more than a dozen rides at Morey’s Pier leaving folks stranded on the Great Nor’easter coaster for almost an hour. Fortunately, the ride was near the end and not upside down at the time.

Mayor Eric Jackson shakes Governor Chris Christie's hand
Mayor Eric Jackson shakes Governor Chris Christie’s hand (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

Bail Reform Signed - Governor Christie has signed a package of bills that are designed to overhaul New Jersey’s bail system, and give those coming out of prison a better chance to get a job.

Christie signed the bail reforms at Trenton City Hall and used the time to pledge his support to new Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson. Trenton has been in decline for years beset by drug crime and escalating violence. Jackson and Christie are meeting to discuss that and other issues facing the capital city…

Eye on Washington - Governor Christie’s approval ratings are not moving much, still hovering at about 50%. But the latest Eagelton survey finds most of you think is planning a run for President and believe the decisions he’s making about New Jersey are influenced by his national ambitions.

Disturbing Photo - Secretary of State John Kerry says a photograph of an Australian-born 7-year-old boy clutching the severed head of a Syrian soldier is “one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed.” An Australian newspaper reported Monday that the photo was taken in northern Syria and posted on Twitter by the boy’s convicted terrorist father.

Divided State Part 2 - From Yankees and subd to Phillies and hoagie, north and south Jersey can seem like completely different worlds. It’s day two of our weeklong series on this divided Garden State, and what makes one end so different from the other.

Closer to Closing -  As the Revel casino tries to emerge from bankruptcy the news is not good about a prospective buyer. There isn’t one. We were the first to tell you not a single qualified buyer has made a bid and Revel will likely close at the end of the summer.

Meanwhile the Casino Control Commission says it cannot force bankrupt casinos to stay open. Lawmakers had asked gaming regulators to force Showboat and Trump Plaza to stay open preserving thousands of jobs. But the commission says that is beyond their authority.

Closer to Ownership – Jon Bon Jovi is closer to his dream of owning an NFL team. Reports say he has advanced to the final bidding process for the Buffalo Bills but his bid is still considered a long shot…

Fixing the Infrastructure – $355 million is being allocated to strengthen water infrastructure weakened by Sandy.

 

 


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