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FIRST NEWS PLUS for Friday, July 18, 2014

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:
Sunny. High: 80-85
TONIGHT:
Partly cloudy. Low: 60s
TOMORROW: Partly sunny, High: 80

LISTEN TO ALAN’S FORECAST:


Police cadets march in a line as they arrive at McLaughlin Funeral Home during visitation hours for Jersey City Police Department officer Melvin Santiago
Police cadets march in a line as they arrive at McLaughlin Funeral Home during visitation hours for Jersey City Police Department officer Melvin Santiago (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Blue Tears - A sea of blue is expceted in Jersey city today as police officer Melvin Santiago is laid to rest.More than a thousand paid thier respects at a wake last night. A cop killer took his life last Sunday. Baiting police with a bogus robbery, then killing the first officer on the scene. A funeral mass will be held at 11. Law enforcers from around the country will line the streets of Jersey City for the procession to the church. Santiago was promoted to the rank of saergen last night and awarded the city’s medal of honor.

Unanswered Questions – The Ukraine is accusing pro-Russian separatists of shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane that went down in Ukraine Thursday, killing all 298 aboard. The rebels deny it. Russian President Vladimir Putin blames Ukraine. U.S. intelligence officials say a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down, but they’re not sure who fired it. We still don’t know if any Americans were aboard but President Obama is offering our nation’s sympathies.

A woman walks past a body covered with a plastic sheet near the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne, Ukraine, eastern Ukraine
A woman walks past a body covered with a plastic sheet near the site of a crashed Malaysia Airlines passenger plane near the village of Rozsypne, Ukraine, eastern Ukraine (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Many aviation experts are questioning Malaysian Airlines’ decision to fly near the fighting in Ukraine in the first place. Most airlines — including US carriers — have been circumventing the country for weeks. But Malaysia’s prime minister says the route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur had been declared safe by international aviation authorities.

End of Duty - The tractor trailer driver who hit and killed a police officer in Waldwick Thursday morning is now facing vehicular homicide charges. Investigators say he drifted to the shoulder, hit the unmarked cruiser and showed no signs he tried to stop. Officer Christopher Goodell was dead on the scene.

Breaking up a gang – An international street gang, with ties to New Jersey, is delivered a big blow with 12 top-ranking members indicted on multiple charges.

Border Woes – Governor Christie says New Jersey would consider helping unaccompanied immigrant children but did not encourage families to send their kids here. Christie, speaking in Iowa, says he has great empathy for the situation then blamed the Obama administration for failing to secure the US border with Mexico.

Gov. Chris Christie, center right, poses for a photo with Marion, Iowa, Mayor Snooks Bouska, center left, during a meeting with supporters at a diner. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Not til November – Christie again denied he was running for president as he met with Iowa voters. He said it was wonderful to get support but he will still not make that decision until after November. If he does win the GOP nomination he would most likely face off against Hillary Clinton. And while Christie travels the country Clinton was in New Jersey. About a thousand people showed up at a book signing in Ridgewood.

Reports are Wrong – The US Attorney in New Jersey is discounting reports that Bridgegate indictments are near. In a highly unusual public comment, Paul Fishman says reports in the press about what his office is doing have been almost entirely incorrect. There was a media report recently that said indictments were imminent.

Missing Text – What was possibly the final legislative Bridgegate hearing failed to produce a direct link to Governor Christie, but a deleted text during the height of the scandal is now a hot topic. Christie’s authorities unit director says she texted the Governor about the issue in December, but that text is history.

Ground Operations Begin in Gaza – Nearly 20 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have been killed since the start of the Israeli ground operation in Gaza late last night. Israeli troops are focusing on destroying tunnels and rocket launchers in an effort to stop the unrelenting rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. In 11 days of fighting, some 260 Palestinians have been killed.

Foreclosures on the Rise – While the rate of mortgage foreclosures dropped another two percent in June across the nation, foreclosures in New Jersey went up 54 percent.

A dump truck in Lawrence's Colonial Lake following a fatal accident.
A dump truck in Lawrence’s Colonial Lake following a fatal accident. (Brian McCarthy, On Scene News)

Fatal Accident in Mercer County  A horrible accident in Lawrencevile. A dump truck rammed a car stopped at a light pushing it into a lake and ending up on top of the submerged car. The car’s driver was killed. The truck driver is hospitalized.

SCORES:

  • All Star break – no games

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