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.

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Jared Colon (ABC 7)

Living on - A central Jersey teen who died after getting punched in the head has already saved a life. Jared Colon's family donated his organs and his mother says already some good has come out of this tragedy. Jared was arguing with another kid outside his Hillsborough home when the other boy threw the punch. He is jailed this morning. Family and friends are remembering Jared as caring, funny, nature loving boy. Funeral services will be held on Saturday.

Hug Attack - An 11-year old Princeton girl is frightened but unharmed after a man came up behind her while she was walking her dog and threw his arms around her in a bear hug. The girl screamed and fought back and the man ran off. Police are still looking for him.

Long Live the Jughandle - Some like them, but many find them very annoying. Jughandles that force drivers to loop around and make a left from the right lane have become a way of life in New Jersey, and transportation officials, for the most part, are singing their praises.

Widening the War - Israel may be getting ready to substantially widen its 23-day campaign against Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip. The military is calling up another 16,000 reserves. Three weeks of intense fighting has killed more than 1,300 Palestinians and 56 soldiers and three civilians on the Israeli side.

A State Department spokeswoman used some less than diplomatic language as she tried to discredit growing tensions between Israel and the Obama administration. She used the phrase "complete crap" more than once to describe reports of deteriorating relations between the President and Israeli Prime Minister.


Justin Casquejo passes through security at a New York City courthous (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Pleading Guilty - A New Jersey teen and self described climbing enthusiast is pleading guilty to scaling the new World Trade Center. 16-year old Justin Casquejo raised alarms about the security at the Trade Center after saying he easily able to slip through a small gap in a security fence and make his ascent undetected. He'll do no jail time, just 23-days of community service.

Ebola Fear - With mounting fears about the deadly Ebola virus, an emergency room in North Carolina was briefly closed after a patient who had been in Africa showed symptoms of the virus. It turned out to be a false alarm, but health officials are making preparations just in case Ebola really does surface in this country.

Birthday Buzz - A scary time at a children's birthday party in Morris County. A swarm of bees attacked two dozen kids and adults in Harding Township. They think the kids maybe got too close to a hive in a tree stump and spooked the bees. Several were stung but everyone will be okay.

Illegals Showdown - The illegal immigration battle is intensifying in Washington. Republicans are trying to block the president from granting more work permits to those brought here illegally as kids and speed the deportation of unaccompanied minors already here. Some 1,500 of those kids are living in New Jersey.

Amazon Tax - If you shop Amazon your tax free shopping days are over. The first item has shipped from their new warehouse in Robbinsville. As part of a deal with the state Amazon will now collect 7% sales tax from all purchases made in New Jersey. In exchange they say they will employ about 1,000 people at the new facility.

Governor Chris Christie holds his "Conversation Down the Shore" in Belmar (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Return of Car Inspections - Wouldn't you love to spend more time getting your car inspected? Probably not. But that's exactly what a Belmar man called for at Governor Christie's town hall this week.



Marijuana Protests - The town hall in Belmar had several protesters on hand, including those fighting for more access to medical marijuana.

Fixing the VA - Congress is racing to wrap up legislation to revamp the Veterans Affairs Department ahead of lawmakers' five-week summer break. A Senate vote today would help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them and make it easier to fire senior executives at the VA.

Elder Care Scramble - Medicaid funding is expected to be cut this year and that could mean more county operated nursing homes will be closing their doors forcing people to scramble to find expensive private homes.

John Martocci (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)

Contractor Scam - A Monmouth County contractor is under arrest for scamming Sandy victims. Prosecutors Say John Martocci took thousands in deposits from two homeowners for heating and cooling work he never performed. He faces five years in prison.

Fixing FEMA - The federal flood insurance program is "stacked against" home owners claims Senator Bob Menendez who is calling for changes from FEMA.

California Here I Come - She became a folk hero for standing up to the Donald. Vera Coking once called Donald Trump a maggot and refused to sell him her Atlantic City boarding house to make way for a casino. Her home still stands as it has since 1961. But coking has finally put it up for sale. At 91, she is moving to California to be closer to family.

Healthcare Still Available- Open enrollment for Obamacare ended in mid-April, but people who've experienced a life changing event can still get covered. Those worried about losing their job if three Atlantic City casinos close by Labor Day as expected will want to learn more.

Caesar's Robbery Arrests - A former casino security guard is among five charged with a brazen robbery from the floor of Caesars casino earlier this month. 19-year old Izyiah Plummer was fired just days before police say he and the others took $180,000 from two security workers who were moving cash boxes.....




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