Today in New Jersey’s First News:


Christie can claim victory deep into Democratic territory in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois.  The races are still too close to call in Alaska, Colorado, and Connecticut.  Democrats did score a big win in the presidential swing state of Pennsylvania ousting Governor Tom Corbett.

Back in New Jersey Democrats did claim victory in the hotly contested Bergen County executive race handing Kathy Donovan her first loss in a quarter century.  One-term freeholder James Tedesco won the vote count in New Jersey's most populous county.

Both ballot questions passed, voters approving a dedicated fund for open space and bail reform.

There's no word yet of any Brick Township high school students facing prosecution or being kicked out of school because of sexting. Kids and their parents have been warned students could face child porn charges if any nude or semi-nude pictures are found on their cell phones, tablets or laptops.

We know texting and driving is dangerous.  Most of us do it anyway.  A new survey shows 98-percent of people who own a cell phone are aware of the dangers but three quarters of those admit to still doing it.  AT&T did the survey as the release an app that silences text alerts automatically when someone is moving more than 15-miles an hour.

New State Police figures show distracted driving is the leading factor in fatal crashes in New Jersey.  And while the overall number of fatalities are down on state roads the number caused by not paying attention is the overwhelming cause.

You see plenty of campaigns on texting while driving or drinking and driving but not much outreach on the subject of drowsy driving. New numbers suggest that should be top a priority for traffic officials because it, too, has deadly consequences.

Just as it looked like the Ebola outbreak was under control in parts of West Africa, a new problem has arisen.  Food is so scarce the infected are breaking quarantine to find something to eat.  Apparently aid meant for places like Sierra Leone are not reaching those who need it.

Police still have no suspects in a string of violent home invasions in Middlessex County.  Edison police hold a forum tonight for residents amid complaints there are not enough police patrolling neighborhoods.  It starts at 7pm in the municipal complex.

Former New York Giant Luke Petitgout is facing sexual assault charges in New Jersey.  Prosecutors are not releasing details of his alleged crime but his attorney calls the charges baseless.  The former lineman has been in trouble before.  His wife accused him of hitting her last yea .but the charges were dropped.

More on last night's elections. Most voters leaving polling places say they don't have much trust in government, feel the nation is on the wrong track and believe life will be worse for the next generation. Above all, voters surveyed while leaving the polls say they're worried about the economy. People who say their own financial situation grew worse in the past two years voted for republican congressional candidates by a 2-1 margin.

NBC had an interesting exit poll.  Already attention is turning to the 20-16 presidential race.  A Republican, any Republican, would beat Hillary Clinton nationally and in key swing states like Florida and Ohio.

After crushing his Republican challenger yesterday, Democrat Cory Booker is set to serve his first full term as New Jersey's Junior U.S. Senator. What does Booker plan to do for you in the next six years?

There were a smattering of problems counting votes last night.  In Middlesex and Monmouth counties, especially.  A software glitch delayed reading of ballots in Monmouth County.  Middlesex officials were having a hard tine counting mail-in ballots.

Voters on Oregon and Washington, D.C., have approved legalizing pot for recreational use.  However, Congress has the final say on the issue in the capitol. A medical marijuana initiative failed in Florida.

We've told you about retirees who have been leaving New Jersey lately.  What about the economic effects of that exodus of retirees on the state?

An Oregon woman faces charges of murder, aggravated murder and manslaughter for allegedly tossing her 6-year-old autistic son off a bridge last night. Police say Jillian McCabe dialed 911 saying she had thrown her son into the water below in Newport. McCabe's brother-in-law says the 34-year-old woman had recently raised money on the crowdfunding website youcaring.com, saying her husband had been unable to work since developing multiple sclerosis and a mass on his brain stem.

It wasn't tough to find this guy after an accident where his bumper and license plate were left behind at the scene.  54-year old Robert Dechert of Lakehurst turned himself in after media reports of police looking for him after the accident in Toms River.  He's charged with the hit-and-run and trying to run over an off duty police officer at the scene.

Travel numbers from the A.C. Expressway are showing the effect of multiple casino closures so far this year.

The rainforest cafe will stay open in Atlantic City.  It sits next to the closed Trump Plaza casino and will have to build a wall separating it from the casino but a judge says it can remain open.

When it comes to hiring preference for veterans for public civil service jobs, New Jersey is the only state to use a different definition of "veteran" than the one the federal government uses. A new bill would change that to put Jersey's qualified vets at the top of the hiring list.

Navigating health insurance options is never easy.  For families with special needs children, it can be even tougher which is why one New Jersey hospital is taking out the guess work with a new online tool designed to help them make the best choices they can.

 

WEATHER from chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow:

TODAY... Mostly cloudy.  Chance of a shower or sprinkle.  Highs 61-68
 
TONIGHT... Cloudy with a few showers.  Lows 43-50
 
TOMORROW... Rain likely.  Breezy.  Highs 54-62

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

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.