Here are the top New Jersey news stories for Wednesday:

⬛ Metlife Stadium belongs to NJ. Why is it getting renamed for NY?

MetLife Stadium
MetLife Stadium (MetLife Stadium) (New York New Jersey 2026 World Cup Host Committee)

When the FIFA World Cup finals come to New Jersey in 2026 the game won't be played in an arena called MetLife Stadium.

FIFA revealed Sunday that MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford was awarded the finals of the 39-day tournament to be played on July 19, 2026. Stadiums in Atlanta, Dallas, Foxboro, Massachusetts, Houston, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and Santa Clara, California will also host matches in the United States.

⬛ Is refusing to mask-up protected free speech?

Michele Ursi GettyImages
Michele Ursi GettyImages

A federal court has ruled in two New Jersey cases where it was argued not wearing a mask at a school board meeting was a form a free speech.

In each case, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals said the refusal to wear a mask in defiance of a mask mandates was not protected free speech.

The lawsuits involved school board meetings in Freehold and Cranford.

⬛ Police uncover possible dog fighting ring in Monmouth County

Monmouth County SPCA Facebook
Monmouth County SPCA Facebook

NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP — A possible dog fighting ring was uncovered in the Monmouth County town last weekend, the Monmouth County SPCA announced.

On Saturday, Feb. 3, township police received an anonymous call about animals in distress on Embury Avenue.

When Monmouth County SPCA Humane Law Enforcement arrived on the scene, they made a disturbing discovery. As they followed a concrete path with fresh blood to a backyard with a garage, they heard several barking dogs inside the locked structure.

⬛ Juvenile driver faces upgraded charges after killing NJ mom

Dymond Fryson was killed in a hit and run in Teaneck (Fryson-Brown Friends and Family via GoFundMe)
Dymond Fryson was killed in a hit and run in Teaneck (Fryson-Brown Friends and Family via GoFundMe)

TEANECK — A juvenile driver is facing upgraded charges, accused of crashing into an SUV and killing a mother returning home from school drop-off last month in Bergen County.

Dymond Fryson, 40, of Teaneck, suffered fatal injuries in the crash on Jan. 25.

Teaneck police received a 911 call reporting the two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Palmer and Sherman avenues just before 8 a.m.

⬛ Legendary NJ music store to close forever this month

The Freehold Music Center storefront as of 2020. (Google Street View)
The Freehold Music Center storefront as of 2020. (Google Street View)

Since 1951, the name "Freehold Music Center" has evoked visions of musical greatness. From rows of guitars and amps and drum sets, to an exhaustive sheet music library, to private rooms for lessons and jam sessions. Magical musical memories were made there. And musicians in Freehold, Monmouth County, and beyond started a career or a lifelong hobby there.

Unfortunately, the legendary music shop will soon play its final coda.

New Jersey's St. Patrick's Day Parades 2024 (by date)

It's the marching of the green as St. Patrick's Day parades step off all over New Jersey. Dates are subject to change without notice.

Gallery Credit: Dan Alexander

NJ towns with the biggest increases in wealth

Top 20 municipalities in New Jersey where the median household income has grown the most in a decade. The data is based on U.S. Census' American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for the years 2012 and 2022.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5


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