Today in New Jersey’s First News:


Police in Middlesex County are stepping up their investigation into a series of violent home invasion robberies after the fourth such attack in ten days.  All of the families targeted are Asian or Indian Americans.  The latest was in Edison.  In each attack, the families have been tied up including children some of the victims were pistol whipped.  The Middlesex County Prosecutor has beefed up his investigation team and are re-canvasing neighborhoods looking for clues but have identified no suspects.

Emergency dispatchers in Trenton are now asking a series of Ebola-related questions when you call 9-1-1 asking for medical help.  We told you there are a number of city residents who recently traveled to West Africa and are being monitored for signs of Ebola.  Their addresses are flagged in the 9-1-1 system.  But with a large West African population, dispatchers are also now asking callers if they have been in contact with anyone who has Ebola or traveled to one of the impacted countries.

There is shock, anger and outrage in one Jersey community after it was learned the town's September 11th memorial, which includes a steel beam from the World Trade Center, was vandalized last weekend.

In Bound Brook, a high school math teacher is suspended this morning for using his school laptop to email nude photos of himself to female co-workers.  The district first tried to fire Glenn Ciripompa but settled for a six month suspension.  The district found more than 100 lewd emails and dozens of naked photos on the laptop as well as personal ads from Craigslist seeking trysts and swingers parties.

A tragic accident in Jersey City as a man was killed when a tape measure hit him in the head.  The tape measure slipped off the belt of a man working on the 50th floor of a new building.  58-year old Gary Anderson of Somerdale, in south Jersey, was delivering sheet rock when the tape measure hit him in the head.  He died later at the hospital.

This could be a landmark case for employee rights.  Should your company be allowed to require you to submit to health checks?  New Jersey based Honeywell has won a court case that will allow them to continue to screen employees with tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and tobacco use.  If employees refuse, they could be fined up to four thousand dollars in increased health insurance costs.

It is Election Day and New Jersey will get at least three new members of Congress when the polls close tonight.  The delegation will include at least one woman for the first time in more than a decade. The most watched district is the 3rd which stretches from the Delaware river to Ocean County.  Jon Runyan did not run again and it looks like that seat will stay Republican with Tom Macarthur leading Aimee Belgard.

Political junkies are eyeing today's midterms wondering if Republicans will grab control of the U.S. Senate while maintaining the majority in the house. That's great fodder for hardcore politicos, but one insider says the average person in New Jersey won't see any change in his or her life as a result.

Governor Christie has a lot at stake today even though he is not on the ballot.  He has raised piles of money and spent weeks on the campaign trail in states typically written off by the GOP.  Wins in key New England states could help Christie make a case that he is best suited as a republican moderate to run for president.

Safeguards will be in place at New Jersey voting locations today at both the state and federal level.

The state has stepped up the rate of payment to Sandy effected families but three quarters of the homeowners who signed their grant paperwork have yet to get their money.  New figures show the state paid out 759-million in federal sandy aid about 40-percent of the 1-point-83 billion in the first round of Sandy relief.  But only a quarter of the qualified homes have gotten their money.

Part of a storm protection project in brick is on hold, following the discovery of a shipwreck 20 feet below the sand.

 

After a roller coaster October the stock market is back up but don't be surprised if things really heat up in the coming weeks.

 

The state DOT will install mesh barriers on two Middlesex county bridges to prevent suicide jumpers.

Nine buildings were evacuated on the campus of Brookdale Community College Monday after a foul odor started making people sick.  It was first detected in the library.  They think it was fumes from piano cleaning chemicals found in the basement but aren't sure.  All the buildings, except the library, have reopened.

Atlantic City can't do anything else to save the Trump Taj Mahal casino resort. The mayor is hoping the state can step in…or next month, the Taj becomes the fifth Atlantic City casino to close this year.

Our parents used to warn us about it but this urban legend turned true for a Vineland child.  A razor blade found in a Tootsie Roll given out during trick-or-treating.  Fortunately, the child didn't eat the candy.  Police are looking into it.

You have to pass a test to get a driver's license in New Jersey and a pair of state lawmakers think the same rule should apply for gun owners. They think anyone who applies for a new gun permit should be required to prove they know what they're doing.

Federal accident investigators are moving parts of an experimental spaceship from the Mojave desert into hangars as they continue their probe into Friday's demise of virgin Galactic's space tourism craft that killed one pilot and injured the other. Investigators say tiny pieces of the spaceship have been found 35 miles from the main wreckage area. Initial results show that a system to slow the space plane's descent deployed too soon.

WEATHER from chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow:

TODAY... Sun and clouds.  Highs 64-67
 
TONIGHT... Increasing clouds.  Lows 45-51
 
TOMORROW... Mostly cloudy.  Chance for a sprinkle.  Highs 61-68

To view Dan’s extended 5-day forecast, click HERE.

New Jersey’s First News, hosted by Eric Scott, written and produced by Matthew White and Patrick Lavery. Full podcast available here. Digital support, with additional links, by Dan Alexander.