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FIRST NEWS PLUS for Thursday June 19, 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.
Steve Sweeney
NJ Sen. Pres. Steve Sweeney (D) (Kevin McArdle, Townsquare Media NJ)

Alternate Budget – The Senate President insists the state should make its full pension payment in the next fiscal year and he’s unveiled his own budget plan to make it happen. It could be dead on arrival because it includes a tax hike for New Jersey’s richest residents and the governor has said he will veto that.


Tracy Morgan Accident Report – The National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) preliminary report on the tractor trailer accident on the New Jersey Turnpike involving comedian Tracy Morgan reveals that trucker Kevin Roper rear-ended the limo van carrying Morgan and 6 others at a speed of nearly 65 MPH.

Breaking the Heat – A strong line of thunderstorms jolted many out of bed as it crossed New Jersey in the early morning hours plunging thousands into darkness and touching off several small fires.

Cutting Growth – The Federal Reserve has sharply cut its economic growth forecast for this yeay from 3 percent down to 2-point-2 percent even though they also say the economy is starting to pick up steam.

Street Smart NJ – Long Beach Island is now a part of a hand full of towns participating in a 12-month pilot program aimed at increasing pedestrian safety and driver awareness in New Jersey.


Atlantic City
Atlantic City (Eric Johnson, Townsquare Media NJ)

Boosting AC Convention Business – Atlantic City seeks to boost its meetings and convention trade through a new nonprofit agency. The group Meet AC was created in late April and their first CEO, James Wood, held convention-related jobs in Kentucky and Rhode island. He starts on June 30th




New Jersey at Risk – Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home or just stay a few steps ahead of Mother Nature, one of the many factors you should look at is the risk of a natural disaster. A new, county-by-county map puts the entire state of New Jersey in a less-than-desirable category.

Another Try at AC – A Canadian company buying the PokerStars website will begin licensing talks with the state division of gaming enforcement aimed at letting the world’s largest internet poker site operate legally in the state.Talks begin today with Amaya Gaming Group, which is buying PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for $4.9 billion

Iraq Talks – Vice President Joe Biden has placed calls to Iraqi leaders including the Shiite Prime Minister, the Sunni parliamentary speaker and the President of Iraq’s self-ruled northern Kurdish region. White House officials say there is no timeline on when or if President Obama will respond to the surge by militants

Place Your Bets? – Regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules, you could legally place a sports bet in New Jersey by the NFL’s opening weekend if Senator Ray Lesniak has his way


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