Today in New Jersey’s First News:

An Indonesian official says Australian planes have spotted objects in the sea in the search for the Air Asia plane that vanished Sunday on its way from Indonesia to Singapore. Officials have predicted a tragic ending for the plane and its 162 people aboard.

A 10-year-old boy walking to a friend's house for a sleepover has been struck and killed by a police cruiser in Franklin Township. He was pronounced dead at the scene following the 7pm, Sunday accident.

As higher education costs keep rising, Jersey legislators are considering a plan to make the overall college experience a little less expensive for students and their parents.

Authorities are searching for a Toms River man who allegedly ran over his girlfriend three times after he choked her at an Ocean County gas station.    Bail has been set at $500,000 for James Crudup. The 44-year-old has been charged with attempted murder.  The attack occurred early Sunday.  Crudup and his girlfriend were arguing when he threw her to the ground and choked her.

Getting a mortgage is about to get easier, especially for first time home buyers.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage giants, have lowered the down payments for first timers to 3 percent for many mortgages, and eased guidelines for borrowers to secure loans. Glenn Durr, president of New Jersey lenders corporation says the relaxed rules, coupled with still-low interest rates and home prices, will also ease the way for first timers.

Most likely, you've heard of a prenuptial agreement, but post-nups are gaining in popularity across the country and right here in New Jersey.

A one-car crash claims the life of a Middlesex County man.

The body of a 58-year-old man has been found along the bank of Mantua Creek.  No foul play is suspected in the death of Theodore Smith III of Deptford.  The body was found Sunday after Smith's wife reported him missing earlier in the day.

A woman who allegedly stabbed and critically injured a man at a Lakewood apartment complex has been charged with attempted murder. 24-year-old Shatima Brown, also faces weapons charges stemming from Saturday night's incident.   The stabbing spurred a standoff with police that lasted for several hours before brown and some others were taken in to custody.

Atlantic City's casino industry is bidding good riddance to its worst year, and is looking forward to 2015. Four of its 12 casinos shut down this year, 8,000 workers lost their jobs and revenue continues to plunge. Tropicana president Tony Rodio says he hopes the worst is over.

A Camden man faces aggravated assault charges after he allegedly attacked his brother with a machete. Camden county police say Adrian Mendarte also faces weapons charges stemming from last week's attack. It's unclear what provoked the incident.

A controversial proposal to build a facility for importing liquefied natural gas 30 miles off the Jersey coast is up for public comment in Monmouth County on January 8th.

An Alaska man is recovering from severe frostbite after a desperate 3-day trek that included falling through ice, fighting off a wolverine and taking shelter in a small wooden box before being rescued.

The United States and NATO mark the official end of the war in Afghanistan. Forces officially transferring military control Sunday back to Kabul. Back in Washington, defense officials have unveiled a new name for the u-s supporting role in Afghanistan.

U.S. ends it's war in Afghanistan / Time

There's a campaign by some bicyclists to rid highways of "rumble strips."

Justice is blind, at least in Michigan...

 

WEATHER from chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow:

Today... Partly sunny, highs in the mid 40's

Tonight...Partly cloudy in the evening...then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20's

Tomorrow...Partly sunny, high's in the upper 30's.

Lottery

Pick 3: 7-3-9

Straight pays $317.50. Box pays $52.50. Pair pays $31.50.

Pick 4: 4-9-6-0

Straight pays $2,706. Box pays $112.50.

Cash 5: 12-20-28-36-38

5 of 5 pays $0. 4 of 5 pays $561. 3 of 5 pays $16.

Here are the winning numbers selected Sunday In the midday New Jersey State Lottery drawing:

Pick 3: 0-5-0

Straight pays $229. Box pays $76.00, Pair pays $22.50.

Pick 4: 0-6-4-2

Straight pays $4,825.50. Box pays $201.

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