Here are the top New Jersey news stories for Thursday:

⬛ Scary and potentially deadly lung infection spreading in NJ

Middlesex County/Union County/Townsquare Media illustration
Middlesex County/Union County/Townsquare Media illustration

State health officials are sounding the alarm about a dangerous lung infection after cases spiked in Middlesex and Union Counties.

The New Jersey Department of Health is baffled about a possible source.

As of Nov. 6, 21 cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been confirmed in Middlesex County. Another 20 cases have been confirmed in Union County.

Those numbers are triple what is typically seen at this time each year.

⬛ NJ college student, 18, fighting for life after being shot in TN

Jillian Ludwig, park in TN (Metro Nashville Police via X)
Jillian Ludwig, park in TN (Metro Nashville Police via X)

An 18-year-old college student from Monmouth County was critically wounded by stray gunfire in Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday.

Jillian Ludwig was walking on a track in Edgehill Community Memorial Gardens Park, according to Metro Nashville Police on X.

⬛ NJ congressman to social media: Behave or pay up


Social media is a superspreader of hate and misinformation, according to advocacy groups and federal officials that are looking to create more accountability in the wake of Hamas's attacks on Israel in October.

Along with colleagues from both sides of the political aisle, U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D.N.J. 5th District, announced on Wednesday that legislation will be introduced that aims to rein in lies and terror that's spread online through platforms such as TikTok.

⬛ NJ middle school ‘pervy teacher’ now faces jailtime

Kyle Banner, Toms River Intermediate North
Kyle Banner (Mr. Banner’s History Podcast), Toms River Intermediate North (Toms River Regional School District)

A Toms River middle school teacher has pleaded guilty to child endangerment, stemming from at-work sexually explicit selfies that he posted to social media.

Kyle Banner, of Brick, has been suspended without pay since shortly after his arrest in April, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.

⬛ Best home improvements to increase home value in NJ

The best (and worst) home improvements to add value to your home in NJ Canva/Townsquare Media illustration
The best (and worst) home improvements to add value to your home in NJ
Canva/Townsquare Media illustration

Given high interest rates and lack of housing inventory in New Jersey, many residents are opting to stay in their current home and instead remodel their existing space.

However, if you are eventually planning to sell, be careful how much you spend. Many of the most popular remodeling projects will not increase the value of your as much as you may think.

NJ 'perv' teachers, coaches busted in the past two years

There have been a number of educators, coaches and private teachers facing criminal charges for sexual offenses around New Jersey, between 2023 and 2022 alone.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

Scary, giant, invasive spider's arrival now imminent for NJ

What to know, and what to do when it finally arrives in New Jersey

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

These NJ towns are among the best, most sought-after places to live statewide

According to Travel & Leisure, they are the 10 best places to live in New Jersey based on data from local real estate experts.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant


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