Here are the top New Jersey news stories for Thursday:

⬛ You may no longer be able to buy a dog or cat from NJ pet shops


Adopt, don't shop — you've likely heard that phrase plenty of times from animal advocates over the years.

But you wouldn't even get that choice in New Jersey if a new bill were to ever become law.

Lawmakers on Monday heard from supporters and critics of the legislation that would prohibit pet shops in the Garden State from selling dogs, cats, or rabbits. The measure would repeal New Jersey's Pet Purchase Protection Law, which currently permits stores to sell animals from breeders who are licensed and have clean histories.

⬛ Screwed again: Congestion tolls keep getting worse for NJ

Holland Tunnel (Google Maps), George Washington Bridge (Port Authority) Townsquare Media illustration
Holland Tunnel (Google Maps), George Washington Bridge (Port Authority)
Townsquare Media illustration

Every time the MTA in New York City takes up congestion pricing, it seems to get worse for New Jersey commuters.

The board voted preliminary approval to the plan to tax all vehicles entering Manhattan below 60th street on Wednesday.

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer says they managed to screw over New Jersey drivers even worse by inserting hidden fees into the tolling structure.

⬛ Can you shoot a burglar in NJ? Home break-ins are surging

Canva/Townsquare Media illustration
Canva/Townsquare Media illustration

New Jersey has seen a sharp increase in the number of gun permit applications in recent years, meaning more homeowners are armed.

However, if you purchased your gun for home protection, knowing how and when you can use it in self-defense is critical.

If you decide to try and shoot a burglar, the law is not on your side in New Jersey.

⬛ Gov. Christie’s niece charged for violent Spirit plane outburst

Spirit Airlines plane
Spirit Airlines plane (Spirit Airlines)

One of Chris Christie’s relatives has been hit with a felony charge a year after being accused of a violent, drunken meltdown on an airplane last Thanksgiving.

Shannon Epstein — a niece of the former Governor turned two-time presidential hopeful — was restrained and arrested in Louisiana after attacking sheriff’s officers aboard the Spirit airline flight bound for New Jersey.

⬛ Bah humbug — Vandals cut down South Jersey town's Christmas tree

Vandalized Christmas tree in Franklin Township (Gloucester)
Vandalized Christmas tree in Franklin Township (Gloucester) (Rich Daubenspeck)

FRANKLIN (Gloucester) — Who is the Grinch trying to steal Christmas in this Gloucester County township?

After a festive party Saturday at the Capozzi Recreation Building in Franklin Township to welcome the holidays the tree decorated by Franklin Pond was found Monday laying on the ground cut at the base, according to Recreation Commission member Rich Daubenspeck.

Christmas snow - When it's happened, and the 2023 odds for NJ

Fun weather facts from Chief Meteorologist Dan Zarrow, using data from the New Brunswick weather station (Plus trends for this year will also be included and fine-tuned as we get closer to the big Christmas holiday).

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

LOOK: Strange, weird methods used to extend the life of Christmas trees

Some swear by these methods, but do they actually work? And are they even practical to try?

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

Biggest NJ company layoff notices in 2022 and 2023

In some cases, workers may be offered back their jobs or transfers to different locations. 

Here’s a look at more than a dozen of the biggest announcements within two years.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt


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