After a little vacation, I am back to review the week that was in the Garden State.  It was a week that saw the Devils' magical ride come to an end, the NJ budget battle heat up, a big blow to Point Pleasant bars, and a yacht explosion that wasn't.

Republicans And Dems Trade Barbs

A new poll examines the effect of the rising temperature between the two parties and their propensity to attack each other verbally online.

Another survey reveals that New Jersey is more ethical than most states.

A search was suspended for a 10 year old boy, who went missing while swimming at an Atlantic City beach.

Season's Endings And Boating Hoaxes

On Tuesday, we recapped the Monday night loss by the Devils in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, as their magical run came to an end against the Los Angeles Kings.

At the top of the news cycle was a bizarre story that broke on Monday afternoon, as a yacht explosion, called in off the coast of Sandy Hook, turns out to be a major hoax.

Safety officials reiterate safety rules and regulations, as well as precautions, in light of a rash of drownings at shore beaches.

Closing Time

Wednesday's news opened with the controversial and heated story out of Point Pleasant Beach.  A Tuesday night vote kept in place the new and again, controversial decision to close popular bars at midnight.

The budget battle escalated, with Governor Christie outlining property tax relief in New Jersey, while Senator Ray Lesniak says the state can't afford a tax cut.

Officials shared the latest news on the yacht hoax in Sandy Hook, as well as the reward for information to catch the man that made the call that ended up costing hundreds of thousands in response fees.

The story of the missing boy in Atlantic City comes to a tragic end, as his body washes up on the shore in Margate.

No Tax Cut, No Budget Deal

On Thursday, we recapped Governor Christie's latest Town Hall, in which he insisted that there would be no budget deal without a tax cut plan attached to it.

Meanwhile, word came out in Trenton that Democrats in both houses had come to terms on the framework of their own budget deal.

David Matthau took a closer look at a new trend developing at the George Washington Bridge, in which commuters are hitchhiking and picking up hitchhiking to cut down on the hefty toll costs.

Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants pitched a perfect game.

Budget Battle Ramps Up

The rhetoric of the budget battle went up a notch as we opened the news on Friday.

Governor Christie held a Thursday press conference in Trenton, where he fired the first salvo about job growth.  Democrats then announced they would once again pass a millionaire's tax hike...which Christie has shot down before, and vows to again.  Kevin McArdle boils it all down.

Would you want your kids at school for longer days and a longer school year?  A measure that would do both moved forward in the State House.

Another major event that took place during this week was the trial of Jerry Sandusky.  We have a recap of the entire first week of testimony before things start back up on Monday.

What is "rental car roulette?"  Kelly Waldron explains it, and why federal lawmakers are trying to crack down it.

That wraps up another week of news in the Great Garden State.  It sets up a compelling upcoming week, with only two weeks until a signed budget is due.

As always, you can read a daily recap from inside the New Jersey 101.5 newsroom with my "From The Newsroom" blog.

This week's "Video of the Week" is a little bit more lighthearted.  The story comes from East Hartford, Connecticut, as a man calls 911 for a "sandwich emergency."