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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TOMORROW: Sunny. High: 80-85


Media attend a press conference in Lakewood about Aaron Sofer (Lakewood Shopper)

Search Continues for Missing Lakewood Student - With each passing hour, the likelihood that a Lakewood student was kidnapped by radicals in Israel is growing. The search continues for 23-year old Aaron Sofer who vanished last Friday but there is dimming hope he will be found safe. A family spokesman says they have not been given any encouraging news. Leaders in the Orthodox community in Lakewood continue to pray.

Cease Fire Holds - A cease fire is holding between Israel and Hamas. However, despite the authorization by Prime Minister Netanyahu...there are many in his security cabinet who supported more fighting.

Young Jersey Girl Shoots Instructor- An Arizona shooting instructor was accidentally shot and killed while showing a 9-year-old girl from New Jersey how to use an automatic Uzi.

Tragic Death - The death of a woman found in her SUV turns even more tragic this morning as we learn 32-year-old Maria Fernandez was just trying to catch a little sleep in between working four jobs. Police say she was overcome by carbon monoxide as she napped in her car in a parking lot in Elizabeth.

Another American Hostage - There is word this morning ISIS is holding another American hostage in Syria: a 26-year old woman who was doing humanitarian aid work. U.S. officials won’t identify her, out of fears for her safety.

This image provided by the Curtis family shows Nancy Curtis, left, and her son, Peter Theo Curtis, right, in Boston (AP Photo/Curtis Family)

Curtis Arrives Home - An American journalist kidnapped in Syria has returned home. Peter Theo Curtis arrived at Newark Airport Tuesday just days after being freed by his captors and was overwhelmed by the passengers and flight attendants who welcomed him home. It's believed Curtis was held by a different group and not ISIS which beheaded another journalist last week.

American ISIS Fighter Dies - U.S officials are still trying to verify information about the death of an American man, who they believe was s killed while fighting alongside Islamic state in Syria. Investigators were aware Douglas McArthur McCain was in Syria but have not verified his death.


More Kids Using E-Cigs - A new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that the number of kids who have never smoked, but used electronic cigarettes tripled between 2011 and 2013.

Stunt Gone Wrong - A 15-year-old boy was hurt in a stunt at a north Jersey school. The kids were taking video of each other sliding down a zip-line at Hawthorne high School. A t-shirt one of the kids was using to slide, tore, and he fell some 30-feet breaking his leg. The kids may face trespassing charges.

Last Minute Interest - As Showboat casino readies for closure this Sunday, there is word of an interested party but a spokesman won’t say who. The owners are showing the property this week. Showboat and Revel are due to close this weekend.

Meanwhile the remaining casinos are kicking in $400,000 for job training and placement services. Some 8,000 workers are losing their jobs...

Optimistic About AC - The mayor of Atlantic City continues to sound optimistic about his city's future.

Giant Ice Bucket Challenge - Just about everyone in your Facebook news feed seems to be taking the ice bucket challenge. Today, Lucy the Elephant will accept. One of the volunteers preserving Lucy in Margate died of ALS in 2012 and organizers say this is a way to honor her memory. The Margate City Fire Department promises an "elephant-sized amount of water."

Picnic Turns Tragic - Authorities in Oregon are trying to figure out how a lakeside picnic turned into a family tragedy. Authorities say four members of a family were found drowned at a popular lake, 25 miles west of Portland. The bodies of a 42-year-old woman, her 25-year-old daughter and her teenage son were recovered Tuesday, a day after lake goers found the body of the daughter's 3-year-old son.

HoIiday Road - f you're planning to hit the road this holiday weekend, pack your patience because you certainly won't be alone on New Jersey's roadways...

Pet Sitting Fire - A fire at an illegal pet-sitting business has killed at least nine dogs and injured two fire fighters. It happened at a private home in Clifton. City officials say they did not have a license for any business. The firefighters should be ok. Two more dogs and three cats are still missing.


Breaking Ground - With the help of nearly $31 million dollars in military funds, a state-of-the-art training center breaks ground in Sea Girt.




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