Immigrant tuition bill expected to move forward
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey Assembly committee is expected to advance a bill granting cheaper in-state tuition to students living in the U.S. illegally.
A dozen states have similar laws, including Texas.
Bill sponsor Assemblyman Gordon Johnson of Teaneck says the bill will be amended to match the Senate version, which also allows those students to receive financial aid.
The Senate passed the bill last month and it could reach Gov. Chris Christie's desk by the end of the year.
The Republican, who won re-election with 50 percent of the Hispanic vote, said during the campaign that he supported so-called tuition equality. However, the governor recently said he would not sign the Senate bill.
Christie says the proposal could make New Jersey a magnet for students who are in the country illegally.
NJ eyes panel to study casino at Meadowlands
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Some New Jersey lawmakers are busy preparing for the day they expect casino gambling to expand to the Meadowlands.
A state Assembly committee on Thursday is considering a bill that would create a commission to study expanding casino gambling to the northern New Jersey Meadowlands in East Rutherford.
Such proposals in the past have been hotly opposed by southern New Jersey lawmakers who fear it would decimate the already-struggling Atlantic City casino market.
The state is halfway through a five-year period of incentives and improvements that Gov. Chris Christie instituted to help Atlantic City before considering ending the resort's exclusive right to host casinos.
A 13-member panel would evaluate how well those reforms are working, and would consider the future prospect of a casino in Bergen County.
DEADLY I-95 CRASH
Driver charged in I-95 crash that killed 2 in NJ
LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - State Police say the driver of a car that crashed on Interstate 95 in New Jersey, killing two passengers, is charged with driving under the influence.
Spokesman Lt. Stephen Jones says 19-year-old Luis Delcid-Cardona fled on foot from the scene in Lawrence Township around 1 a.m. Thursday and was arrested at his home in Hamilton.
Jones says Delcid-Cardona lost control of his car, which hopped a curb and slid into the back of a tractor-trailer.
Jones says two backseat passengers, 20-year-old Nicole Rodrigues and 18-year-old Samantha Belliveau, were killed. Jones says the Hamilton residents were not wearing seatbelts.
Nineteen-year-old Jonathan Rivas of Princeton was wearing a seatbelt in the front seat. Jones says he's in critical condition with head injuries.
The accident is under investigation.
Mail undamaged in fire at NJ postal center
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - No one was injured and the mail wasn't damaged in a fire at a large U.S. Postal Service facility in Jersey City.
Postal Service spokesman George Flood says employees were evacuated from the New Jersey International and Network Distribution Center at 4:15 a.m. Thursday.
Flood says firefighters extinguished the fire and employees resumed work about two hours later.
Flood says the building, which is over 1 million square feet, handles standard mail and international mail that is transported overseas by ships.
There's no word on what caused the fire.
3 charged with stealing items from NY summer camp
JEFFERSON, N.Y. (AP) - State police say they've charged three men with stealing thousands of dollars' worth of flat-screen televisions, video game consoles and other items from a children's summer camp in upstate New York.
Troopers say the suspects, all from Sullivan County, broke into Camp Oorah in the Schoharie County town of Jefferson on Dec. 3 and stole several flat-screens, Wii and PlayStation gaming consoles and all-terrain vehicles.
The three men have been charged with burglary. All three are being held in Schoharie County Jail on $15,000 bail.
Troopers say most of the stolen property has been recovered.
The theft, caught on the camp's surveillance cameras, happened after a charity held a holiday retreat for children over Thanksgiving weekend.
The camp located 45 miles southwest of Albany is owned by Oorah, a Lakewood, N.J.-based Jewish organization.
NJ lawmakers consider open space funding proposals
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Competing proposals that would ask New Jersey voters to fund land purchases will be considered during separate hearings in the Senate and Assembly on Thursday.
The Senate Environment Committee will consider a resolution dedicating a portion of the state sales tax to fund open space acquisitions for 30 years.
The resolution changing the constitution needs voter approval.
If allowed, up to $200 million a year would be directed to keep land from being developed.
The Assembly Budget Committee will consider asking voters to approve $200 million to fund the open space.
Voters have consistently supported borrowing to fund the program.
They also have been asked once to approve a 10-year funding plan through sales tax revenues, which they approved in 1998.
The fund is now out of money.
NJ BLACK BEAR HUNT
165 bears killed in NJ hunt
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Hunters have killed 165 bears midway through New Jersey's six-day black bear season.
State officials say hunters bagged 93 bruins when the hunt got underway on Monday. There was snow on Tuesday when 39 were killed and it was bitterly cold on Wednesday when 33 were taken.
The six-day hunt is taking place in four designated areas in parts of Sussex, Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergen, Somerset and Hunterdon counties.
State officials say 100 of the bears killed so far were in Sussex County.
State officials say they need to control the black bear population, which grew to about 3,000 in the hunting area in 2012.
Maine man, company admit scallop scheme
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal officials say a Maine seafood company and one of its owners have admitted conspiring to conceal the harvesting of nearly 80,000 pounds of scallops off the coasts of New Jersey and Massachusetts.
Seafood wholesaler D.C. Air & Seafood and 41-year-old Christopher Byers of Winter Harbor, Maine, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring with six fishing boat owners to prepare false reports. The boat owners pleaded guilty earlier.
Under a plea agreement, the company agreed to pay more than $520,000 in restitution and be placed under probation for five years. The company also agreed not to harvest scallops during that period.
Byers faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he's sentenced in March.
COURT OFFICERS-PARKING TICKETS
Carlstadt court workers arrest in records case
CARLSTADT, N.J. (AP) - Prosecutors have charged Carlstadt's municipal court administrator and her deputy with falsifying parking ticket records.
The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office says administrator 69-year-old Joyce Rotondo and her deputy, 41-year-old Lori D'Amore, altered tickets on behalf of D'Amore and others. They're also accused of conspiring to send letters and orders to the Motor Vehicles Commission rescinding license suspensions and requesting the restoration of driving privileges and waiving fees for D'Amore and two other Bergen County residents.
They each face up to 18 months in prison if convicted.
Both are due to face arraignment next Thursday.
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP CRASH
Woman killed in Galloway Township crash
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - Police say a woman is dead after she lost control of her vehicle and hit a tree in Galloway Township.
Police say 26-year-old Lindsey Sickler was traveling west on Moss Mill Road when her vehicle hit the curb, struck a stop sign and slammed into a tree on Wednesday night.
Police say Sickler sustained multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The crash is under investigation.
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