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.

Sunny. High: 90
Clear. Low: 57-63
TOMORROW: Partly sunny. High: 92


Search for Missing Lakewood Student - There are growing fears this morning that a 23-year-old New Jersey student studying in Isreal has been kidnapped.  Aaron Sofer, of Lakewood, vanished on Friday when he and his hiking buddy got separated. They were in the same woods where the burned body of a Palestinian man was found last month. It's believed that was retaliation for the murder of three Israeli students in June. A vigil was held in Lakewood last night. Local officials will hold a press conference today. Thousands of volunteers have joined a massive search effort near the last place Sofer was seen.

Moderate Rip Tide Risk - Heavy surf and dangerous rip currents are the forecast for the entire Jersey Shore again today. Hurricane Cristobal is hundreds of miles away, but strong enough to make the surf and waves very rough.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, center, speaks with campaign volunteers during a stop at Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's Chicago campaign headquarters (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

The Politics of Running for President - Governor Christie has spent much of the summer traveling around the country, making speeches and meeting with Republican movers-and-shakers, but he's not expected to announce he's running for president for several months. Some people may think this is ridiculous, but there are multiple reasons why he's laying low.

Keeping an Eye on Syria - The United States is gathering evidence to determine whether it'll launch airstrikes against militants from ISIS, who are in Syria. The U.S. began surveillance flights over Syria shortly after they were green-lighted by President Barack Obama. Earlier this month, the U.S. began launching strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq.

Worry Over ISIS - There is growing concern that ISIS, the radical terror group that recently beheaded an American journalist may try to launch an attack inside the United States.

Jonathan Olin (Office of the NJ Attorney General)

Selling Sandy Cars - A Middlesex County auto dealer is admitting he sold Sandy-damaged cars using fake title to hide flood damage. Johnathan Olin ran the D&D used car dealership in Old Bridge, and admitted he and his employees faked the titles. He now faces three years in prison.




Funding the Transportation Trust Fund -
Senate President Steve Sweeney is in Roselle at the site of a structurally deficient bridge that's been deemed unsafe for public use. Sweeney will be at other bridges this week as he tries to raise public awareness about the need to replenish the empty Transportation Trust Fund.

Homework Overload - For many parents, it's not the early mornings and supply shopping that bother them most about back-to-school. It's how much work their kid brings home with them at the end of the day.

Jon Bon Jovi looks at damage to a Sayreville home (YouTube)

Sandy Settlement - More Sandy buyouts in central Jersey. The state has closed on the first homes in Woodbridge. Offers are still being made in Sayreville, and South River. East Brunswick and Lawrence Township homes may be next.



Protecting the Shore - The state is looking at new ways to restore coastal salt marshes and further protect shore towns from future storms. The Army Corps of Engineers are doing the heavy lifting, placing clean dredge materials in a Cape May marsh this week. The idea is to raise the level of marshes to make them healthy again.

Arming the Police - Some New Jersey lawmakers are questioning a military program that has delivered millions of dollars-worth of surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies. Shipments to New Jersey include hundreds of automatic rifles, as well as armored vehicles, night-vision binoculars and even a grenade launcher. President Obama has also questioned the program following the police response to violent protests on Missouri.

Working Towards Equal Pay - It's National Women's Equality Day, but when it comes to women in the workplace the Garden State has a ways to go…

Getting Rid of Cable - This may be the start of the end for cable television. More and more households are "cutting the cord" for many reasons.

Backpack Backache - As students get ready to head back to school, and when it comes to backpacks, it's important to make sure it fits your child or it could cause problems down the road.




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