Here are the top New Jersey news stories for Friday:

⬛ Masks back at South Jersey hospital — are COVID mandates returning?

(Ridofranz/Google Maps)
(Ridofranz/Google Maps)

MIDDLE TOWNSHIP — A hospital in Cape May County is bringing back masks as New Jersey sees a recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

Cape Regional Medical Center in Middle Township is requiring its staff to wear masks, Cape Regional Health System spokesperson Susan Staeger said.

"In response to an increase in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID at Cape Regional Medical Center as well as community members with COVID, Cape Regional Medical Center team members are wearing masks when providing direct patient care," Staeger said.

⬛ Survivor speaks: I was brutally raped in park I thought was safe

Accused rapist still sought in daytime Marlboro park attack (MCPO)
Accused rapist still sought in daytime Marlboro park attack (MCPO)

He caught me by surprise. Came out of friggin nowhere.

I said to myself, 'Oh my God, I’m going to die.'

⬛ NJ beach crackdown in September: You could get expensive ticket!

Surf in Seaside Heights, red flag in Bradley Beach
Surf in Seaside Heights (Robert Connor), red flag in Bradley Beach (Bud McCormick)

SEASIDE HEIGHTS — Swimmers who go in the water at the beaches in one Ocean County community this weekend risk a ticket if there's a red flag flying or there are no lifeguards on duty.

Hurricane Lee will bring big waves, dangerous rip currents and beach erosion. Wave heights will probably peak Friday afternoon, with top crests in the 10 to 12-foot range, according to New Jersey 101.5 chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow.

⬛ Nonprofit caught sneaking gender lessons into schools

Screengrab (Project Veritas via Youtube)
Screengrab (Project Veritas via Youtube)

PRINCETON — Employees for a nonprofit for LGBT youth based out of this New Jersey town have been caught on video admitting to injecting gender and sex lessons into unrelated courses so that parents can't opt out.

Based on the video, HiTOPS has been sneaking the lessons into courses on race in schools in Mercer County. Schools include JP Elementary in Princeton, Princeton Middle School, Christina Seix Academy in Ewing, and schools in Trenton including Trenton Ninth Grade Academy, according to HiTOPS Health Educator Hannah Wiers.

⬛ Poll: NJ residents grade schools on safety, performance


Most New Jersey residents consider their local schools to be safe, but fewer are impressed with their school's overall performance as an institution of learning, according to poll results released on Thursday.

In the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, conducted in partnership with the organization Project Ready, thirty-five percent of respondents said that public schools in their local community are doing a good job. Eighteen percent rated the schools as excellent. Fifteen percent said the schools are dong a poor job.

Animals gone wild in NJ: Turkeys, tigers, snakes, bears and more

The best of animal encounters — real and a few rumored — from around New Jersey.

11 years later — Sandy makes landfall in New Jersey

Check out this house that sold for $900K in Union, NJ

It was the highest sale in about three years and roughly 180% above the median home sales price in the township as of July 2023. Here's a look at the four-bedroom, four-bathroom house.

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