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FIRST NEWS PLUS for Wednesday, July 16, 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:
Partly sunny. Chance of showers. Less humid. High: 80-85
TONIGHT:
Partly cloudy. Low; 60-65
TOMORROW: Partly sunny. Less humid. 80-85 

LISTEN TO ALAN’S FORECAST:

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Emptied memorial wall to accused Jersey City cop killer Lawrence Campbell
Emptied memorial wall to accused Jersey City cop killer Lawrence Campbell (@glennschuck via Twitter)

Jersey City Recovers – The grotesque memorial to a cop killer in Jersey City has been torn down. The mayor ordered the t-shirts, balloons, candles, and empty liquor bottles removed saying he will not let a the misguided residents who put up that memorial speak for his entire city. Meanwhile, a foundation is raising money for a permanent memorial to the young police officer who was assassinated in the Walgreens parking lot Sunday morning.

The security guard who was assaulted and had his gun stolen for the murder of police officer Melvin Santiago is still recovering. His wife says Pierre Monsanto is doing much better but wracked with grief over the idea his gun was used to kill a police officer…

The murder of officer Santiago this week is prompting a lawmaker to renew his call for the death penalty in extreme cases. The man who shot Santiago to death was killed by police, but Assemblyman Ron Dancer (R-Jackson) says we need to protect law enforcement with a real deterrent.

Targeted Airstrikes - Hamas says Israel is targeting the homes of its senior leaders as the Israeli military resumes its bombardment of Gaza. Israel’s airstrikes resumed Tuesday after Hamas rejected a cease-fire plan. Palestinian health officials say in nine days of fighting, the death toll in Gaza has risen to 204.

Loaded Travel Bag - A day care worker found a loaded handgun in the travel bag of an 11-month old girl. The girl’s father has now been arrested. Police say 25-year-old Rakeem Williams put the gun in the girl’s bag but forgot about it when he took her to daycare in Camden. It was loaded with hollow-point bullets.

Digging Around - The FBI is digging for something in Camden. A large tarp covers an area behind homes on Erie Street where heavy equipment was brought in Tuesday. A backhoe and jackhammers were used all day but the FBI won’t say what — or who — they are looking for.


Safe Roads -
New Jersey drivers don’t have the best of reputations, but a new study finds we have some of the safest roads in the nation.

Replenishing the Federal Highway Trust Fund – President Obama is focusing his efforts this week on urging Congress to renew the highway trust fund, which is set to expire in August. He says improving infastructure is important for business growth. Unless Congress acts the Department of Transportation says that by the first week in August the fund will no longer have enough money to cover promised aid to states, and the government will begin to stretch out payments.

Mike Drewniak (L) and his attorney at legislative Bridgegate hearing
Mike Drewniak (L) and his attorney at legislative Bridgegate hearing (Kevin McArdle, Townsquare Media NJ)

Bridgegate Panel Backs Off - The legislative panel looking into Bridgegate is backing off. Co-chairman Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D) is content, for now, to let the US Attorney’s investigation take presedence. But before breaking, the panel will hear from one more witness. Regina Egea, the woman who oversaw the Port Authority for the governor’s office will testify Thursday

Not a Sure Thing – A Wall Street firm that was among the most pessimistic about the prospects for internet gambling in New Jersey has cut its already-conservative estimate on the state’s first-year online winnings by more than half. It was originally forecast the casinos would do close to $300million in on-line gambling. Fitch ratings now forecasts less than half of that.

High Marks - Atlantic City’s beaches are getting high marks again this morning. Testers who sample water from 42-sites along the AC shore line are giving their highest rating labeling the water quality as excellent.

Doing Well at the Shore – The weather has been rough over the past couple weeks in New Jersey, but stores and restaurants at the shore are still posting some positive numbers. Luckily for them, the weekends have been beautiful.

Sharing Ban - New Jersey should stop giving drivers’ data to companies that use red-light and speed cameras to ticket Garden Staters in other states according to Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R). South Dakota has a law to ban the sharing of driver information and O’Scanlon wants the same law here.

“No Pain, No Gain” – Governor Christie’s office released a new video that looked like a trailer for a blockbuster Hollywood action film. It touted Christie’s tough choices about the budget and is titled “No Pain, No Gain.” But there were questions about whether Christie got permission to use the movie clips in his video.

 

2016 Questions – Chris Christie now says he expects to decide whether to run for President of the United States after the fall elections. If he does throw his hat into the ring, it’s unclear what might happen next.

Help for Alzheimer’s - Scientists say they’ve linked a new protein to Alzheimer’s Disease. The discovery could help develop drugs and other treatments for the disease. Autopsies on 342 brains revealed that people who had the new protein were 10 times more likely to have been mentally impaired when they died than those without it. The study is a topic today at the Alzheimer’s Association international conference in Copenhagen.

 

SCORES:


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