Here are the top New Jersey news stories for Friday:

⬛ The absurdly long list of approved NJ school holidays

school holidays

New Jersey schools are required to provide at least 180 days of instruction, under state law.

Students must attend school at least 163 days or risk being held back. Missing nine days in a semester or five absences from any course could also make a student ineligible to participate in sports or extracurricular activities.

However, New Jersey also requires schools to make exceptions for more than 120 days recognized as religious holidays.

⬛ Some Harmon, Buy Buy Baby stores set to reopen in NJ

Some Harmon Buy Buy Baby stores set to reopen (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media, Canva)
(Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media/Google Maps/Canva)

Months after the complete shuttering of New Jersey-based Bed, Bath and Beyond and all its stores — two of the company’s former brands now appear headed for resurrection.

In late January, the state’s last 30 Harmon stores closed as the entire chain went out of business. Customers rushed to stock up on beauty supplies, vitamins, sunscreen and other health and wellness items.

Buy Buy Baby was not too far behind — six stores closed last winter, and then the last few after a prospective buyer’s deal fell through this summer.

⬛ NJ auto market 'getting better' for buyers, still far from ideal


It's still far from a buyer's market when you're looking to purchase a new or used vehicle in New Jersey.

Lot inventories are at stronger levels than where they were at last year and in 2021, but the industry remains stuck in a cycle that never bodes well for consumers.

The understanding is that vehicle prices will drop gradually as time goes on. Industry observers, though, are keeping their eye on an influx of electric vehicles into the market, and how that will impact the prices of traditional cars down the line.

⬛ New charges for NJ man in smoke bomb attack on church concert

Trinity Episcopal Church in Asbury Park. (via Facebook)
Trinity Episcopal Church in Asbury Park. (via Facebook)

ASBURY PARK — A grand jury has indicted a Toms River man on upgraded charges for throwing smoke bombs and yelling "white lives matter" at a crowd leaving an anti-racism concert at a church, according to authorities.

Nicholas Mucci has been held at Monmouth County jail since his arrest in March in connection to the attack at Trinity Episcopal Church in Asbury Park on Jan. 27, just one week after his 28th birthday. The indictment, which was announced by the Attorney General's Office on Wednesday, includes more than twice as many charges as Mucci faced when he was first arrested.

⬛ NJ Transit offers big discounts for college students this fall

Trains arrive at NJ Transit's Metuchen station on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
Trains arrive at NJ Transit's Metuchen station on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)

NEWARK — New Jersey college students who plan to take NJ Transit this fall as they head back to classes will be getting a travel break.

Students can get as much as a 60% saving on fares with the transit agency’s continuation of its popular Student Pass discount program, according to NJ Transit.

The Student Pass, in partnership with more than 70 New Jersey colleges and universities, offers full-time students a 25% discount off an already discounted monthly rail, bus, or light rail bass when they buy it on the NJ Transit mobile app.

The Top 30 Roller Coasters in New Jersey

Happy National Roller Coaster Day! The state of New Jersey is home to the 6th most roller coasters in the United States, spread across 14 thrilling theme parks.

The biggest private info breaches in NJ health care

As of August 2023, these are the top data breaches reported by hospitals and health care institutions in New Jersey in the past 24 months. These cases are under investigation by the Office for Civil Rights of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NJ’s dry towns: No stores to buy wine, beer or booze

Among NJ's hundreds of communities — more than two dozen remain "dry" as of 2023.

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