Today in New Jersey’s First News:


Thousands of sandy-impacted homeowners are learning the hard way that they're not eligible for FEMA funding. They already received the money, but the government wants it back.

In advance of the closing of yet another Atlantic City casino, Trump Entertainment, on Monday, shut down the Taj Mahal's newest hotel tower and will no longer issue credit. The company formally requested permission last week to fully shut down on December 12th. The closing would see 3,000 employees would lose their jobs.

The state senate has approved a measure to expand early voting opportunities, even though governor Chris Christie previously vetoed a similar measure. The plan would require each county to have several polling places open for 15 days before elections.

Governor Christie is scheduled to be in Camden today to make an announcement about school construction projects. Critics have said the governor hasn't done enough to replace aging school buildings in cities since he took office nearly five years ago. Meanwhile, as he takes heat for his recent veto of a pig crate ban, Christie is being praised by Iowa's Governor Terry Branstad, saying it was a good decision and that it was not influenced by the 2016 Iowa primary process

We're continuing to see a break at the pump as gas prices continue to drop in New Jersey and the rest of the nation. In fact, some experts are predicting eight states will see prices fall below two-dollars a gallon.

Following a wave of violence over the holiday weekend, Newark's Mayor Ras Baraka says his city is in a state of emergency after the bloodshed. 11 shootings have left four dead and several others wounded. The city's murder total now sits at 85 for the year. Baraka announced expanded police patrols and an effort that will center around a new police precinct in the West Ward, near the site of the recent shootings.

President Barack Obama says he wants to ensure the U.S. Isn't building a "militarized culture" within police departments. Obama is asking congress for funding to buy 50,000 body cameras to record events like the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama also wants to look for ways to build trust and confidence between police and minority communities nationwide.

Homeland Security Secretary Jay Johnson is will appear before the house homeland security committee today to defend the president's executive actions on immigration. In written testimony Johnson says it's "simple common sense" that Obama has moved to shield from deportation some 4 million people who are in the U.S. Illegally. But republicans have vowed to stop Obama and they're trying to decide how.

They said they might boycott, but child welfare workers are reporting to work across new Jersey today.

With the future of Jersey's highly controversial red light camera program still uncertain, the state's leading anti-red light camera crusader is once again on the warpath. Blasting red light camera companies for trying to twist the truth and deceive the public.

Jersey builders slowed their permit applications for housing in the latest month of reporting in what has otherwise been an improved year for housing.

Bill Cosby is cutting ties with his beloved temple university.  Cosby has stepped down as a trustee at the Philadelphia educational institution. He had been on the board since 1982. His resignation comes in the wake of a string of allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted women over many years.

Cake boss buddy Valastro pleaded guilty Monday to a drunk driving incident last month. Valastro says he learned a valuable lesson from his arrest and did not realize he was unfit to drive after drinking at a business dinner in new york .his license will be suspended for three months and he'll pay a small fine.

A scary incident took place in Atlantic City. A 2-year old toddler suffered a leg injury after falling from a second-story window. Police say they found the boy crying in a backyard when they arrived. No further details on his condition have been released. Authorities say they are investigating the cause of the accident.

This is hunting season for cyber scammers looking to get their hands on your credit card information. Security experts say you need to be extra careful as you do your holiday shopping.

Attention parents:  the new jersey public interest research group is out with its annual "Trouble in Toyland" report warning consumers about dangerous toy hazards that are on store shelves this holiday season.

Commercial and recreational fisherman are being warned against fishing for Atlantic striped bass in federal ocean waterways.

WEATHER from chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow:

TODAY... Periods of rain, mixing with sleet and snow.  1 to 2 inches of snow and ice accumulation possible far NW NJ.  A coating possible north of I-195.  Highs 38-45

TONIGHT... Wintry mix continues.  Lows 31-41

TOMORROW... Mostly cloudy and warmer.  Highs 49-56

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

Lottery

Pick 3: 1-1-1

Straight pays $132. Box pays $0. Pair pays $13.

Pick 4: 4-4-3-2

Straight pays $3,219.50. Box pays $268.

Cash 5: 05-28-31-38-39

5 of 5 pays $0. 4 of 5 pays $684. 3 of 5 pays $16.

Pick 6: 03-11-14-19-26-38

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

Five out of six paid $1,699 to 18 winners; four out of six paid $40 to 823 winners; three out of six paid $3 to 13,202 winners.

Thursday's top prize estimate is $7.2 million annuity.

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

Pick 3: 1-2-3

Straight pays $164.50. Box pays $27, Pair pays $16.

Pick 4: 1-0-8-7

Straight pays $2,750.50. Box pays $114.50.

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