Here are the top New Jersey news stories for Monday:

⬛ Shocking NJ house explosion traps one, hospitalizes 5

West Milford home explosion 9/22/23 (Hackensack Fire Department via Facebook)
West Milford home explosion 9/22/23 (Hackensack Fire Department via Facebook)

WEST MILFORD — A sudden and forceful explosion leveled a home in North Jersey and sent five people to hospitals in helicopters.

The house on Banker Road in West Milford was leveled by the blast around 9 p.m. Friday evening, police said.

Neighbors called quickly 911 and first responders from West Milford swarmed the scene. One neighbor, who lived nearly a mile away from the home, said to Pix11 that it felt like the shockwave was going to collapse her home as well. Neighbors reportedly said the family had moved in weeks before the explosion and were doing work on the home.

⬛ Body washes up at Manasquan Inlet amid search for missing boater

The Manasquan Inlet in Point Pleasant Beach (Canva/Google Maps)
The Manasquan Inlet in Point Pleasant Beach (Canva/Google Maps)

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Nine days after a massive wave capsized a boat in the Manasquan Inlet, a body has appeared on land.

The body washed ashore in Point Pleasant Beach on Saturday amid higher waters and minor flooding due to Tropical Storm Ophelia, State Police confirmed to New Jersey 101.5.

"At 3:05 p.m., Troopers were dispatched to Channel Drive in Point Pleasant Beach in response to a report of an unidentified body found washed up," Det. Jeffrey Lebron said.

⬛ COVID concerns renewed in NJ, but this isn't 2020 all over again


The buzzwords are back: mask up, vaccinate, stay home if you're sick.

Coronavirus concerns are ramping up again as New Jersey enters cold and flu season. Experts understand you're sick of worrying about COVID-19, but they say you still need to.

Severe illness and death will be a reality this fall and winter. Still, these aren't the dark pandemic days of 2020 and 2021.

⬛ NJ school elections: construction projects and a possible merger

"I voted" sticker
"I voted" sticker (Chris Swendeman)

Voters in a handful of New Jersey counties will be asked Tuesday whether or not they're on board with local school districts borrowing millions of dollars for upgrades.

Also up for a vote is a proposal to combine three districts into one in Monmouth County.

The New Jersey School Boards Association says it has learned of seven boards of education with construction proposals on the Sept. 26 ballot. Together, the questions ask about borrowing more than $126 million for construction. The rest of the funding for the projects would come from the state.

⬛ Top Democrats in NJ turn on Sen. Menendez after shocking charges

(AP file photos/Townsquare Media illustration)
(AP file photos/Townsquare Media illustration)

TRENTON — New Jersey's top Democrats, including Gov. Phil Murphy, are calling on the state's senior U.S. senator to immediately resign in the face of fresh corruption charges.

The calls for U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., step down fly in the face of his protestations of innocence.

Menendez and his wife are accused of taking bribes of gold bars, a luxury car and cash in exchange for using his outsized sway in foreign affairs to help the government of Egypt — and others — as well as other corrupt acts, according to an indictment unsealed Friday.

LOOK: Average salary needed to get by in every U.S. state

According to data from, The median salary across the U.S. a single person must make to get by collectively is $57,000. However, some states are far from that.

So how much higher or lower is your state to the national average, and which states are the top 10 most and least affordable overall? Let's find out.

LOOK: Movie shoot underway in Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Production crews were seen all along the downtown area. Wonder what it could be?

Which NJ college campuses have more women than men?

New Jersey colleges & universities have seen an average of 40-thousand more women than men as undergraduates, in recent years. State data does not include a non-binary gender category. Here's how fall 2022 enrollment stacked up on NJ campuses.

Start your day with up-to-the-minute news, traffic and weather for the Garden State.

New Jersey's First News with Eric Scott is the longest running news program in New Jersey. Eric Scott began hosting the program in 1991.

It airs live on New Jersey 101.5 each weekday morning from 5:30 - 6 a.m.

New Jersey's First News with Eric Scott is the winner of the prestigious National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast.

National Murrow Award Winner featured

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM