Funeral held in Israel for yeshiva student from Lakewood
JERUSALEM (AP) - Mourners have buried a religious school student from New Jersey who disappeared while hiking on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
Friday's funeral in Israel came after authorities determined Aharon Sofer was not the victim of foul play or a militant attack. Israeli media speculated that he had fallen or died of dehydration.
The body of the 23-year-old from Lakewood was found on Thursday in the same area where Sofer disappeared after he got separated from a friend while hiking last week.
He was an ultra-Orthodox student at a yeshiva.
Sofer's parents had flown to Israel to assist with the search in the days after their son disappeared.
A Lakewood committeeman says they're overwhelmed, but relieved he had been found.
Firm: Money from closed casinos should stay in AC
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - A Wall Street firm predicts much of the money that had been going to three Atlantic City casinos that are closing will remain in Atlantic City after they're gone.
Fitch Ratings predicts Atlantic City's casino revenue will decline to $2.5 billion in 2015 from $2.86 billion last year.
In a report issued Friday, the firm also predicts a good chunk of the money being won by the Showboat, Revel and Trump Plaza should go to the eight surviving Atlantic City casinos.
Showboat and Revel are closing this weekend, and Trump Plaza is shutting down Sept. 16.
Fitch says the three Marina District casinos - the Borgata, Harrah's and the Golden Nugget - may benefit more than the Boardwalk casinos.
It also predicts more business for the Taj Mahal, Caesars and Bally's.
SANDY SECOND SUMMER
Sunshine, Sandy recovery boost shore summer biz
BELMAR, N.J. (AP) - Good weather and a wider awareness that the Jersey shore has made great strides in recovering from Superstorm Sandy helped make the second summer after the storm better than the first one.
Many business owners say their profits were up 20 to 30 percent this summer compared with 2013, when the shore was still in the early stages of recovering from the devastating 2012 storm.
Matt Riccelli, who manages Gee Gee's restaurants on the Manasquan beachfront, says business was up 20 percent.
Riccelli says a big factor is that the memory of Sandy's destruction is fading for tourists.
Real estate agent Jerry Bennett says his business increased by 30 percent on Long Beach Island.
Most shore towns sold more beach badges this summer than they did last year.
Christie kicking off Labor Day at the beach
SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie will kick off Labor Day weekend at the beach.
The governor is scheduled to travel Friday morning to Seaside Heights for a stroll along the boardwalk.
He'll then do the same in Point Pleasant Beach on Jenkinson's Boardwalk in the afternoon.
Christie has made a tradition of visiting the shore to encourage tourism, especially in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts more than 1 million New Jerseyans plan to travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend. That's up 1 percent from last year.
LABOR DAY HOLIDAY-NJ
New Jersey set for Labor Day weekend
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Nice weather is predicted for the start of the Labor Day holiday weekend in New Jersey as people celebrate the final weekend of the summer tourism season.
AAA Mid-Atlantic projects more than 1 million New Jerseyans plan to travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend. That's up 1 percent from last year.
The average gasoline price in New Jersey is $3.26 a gallon for regular, down from $3.51 last Labor Day.
Construction is suspended along the George Washington and Bayonne bridges.
The Port Authority projects more than 2.5 million travelers will cross its bridges and tunnels throughout the weekend.
LABOR DAY HOLIDAY-TRANSIT
NJ Transit offers early service for holiday
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - It will be easier for those who ride mass transit in New Jersey to get an early start on the Labor Day holiday weekend.
NJ Transit is offering extra trains out of New York City on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, Raritan Valley, Morris & Essex and Port Jervis lines starting at 1 p.m. Friday.
Extra buses will leave the Port Authority Bus Terminal on more than a dozen routes starting at noon.
For the return on Monday, NJ Transit trains will operate on a weekend, major holiday schedule.
Decomposed body found in Lakewood home
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (AP) - Ocean County authorities are awaiting an autopsy to determine the cause of death for a badly decomposed body found in a home in Lakewood.
Police were called by a property manager after a nearby business complained about an odor coming from the residence on Thursday.
Police found a dead male inside a bedroom.
Prosecutor's spokesman Al Della Fave (fahv) says there were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play.
Police say squatters have been seen in the area. Della Fave says the person was observed at the house in the last two weeks.
NJ man indicted in DWI crash that injured officer
HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) - Grand jurors have indicted a man on charges stemming from a drunken driving accident that seriously injured a Bergen County police officer.
Michael Ettz of Lodi is charged with aggravated assault, assault by auto while driving intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.
Ettz has been free on bail after he previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Prosecutors say Ettz struck Bergen County Police Officer Daniel Breslin's vehicle from behind on Route 46 in Lodi in April. Breslin had stopped in the right lane to assist another officer who had pulled onto the shoulder to repair a radio.
Breslin sustained a traumatic brain injury that left him hospitalized for months.
149 graduate from New Jersey State Police Academy
TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey State Police is gaining 149 new state troopers.
The 154th State Police recruit class will graduate during ceremonies in Toms River on Friday.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman and Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes will be on hand as the troopers receive their badges and put on demonstrations that reflect their training.
NJ man convicted of cruelty; killed dog with arrow
KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) - A 39-year-old New Jersey man has been found guilty of animal cruelty for killing an Ulster County family's dog with a bow and arrow while he was deer hunting.
The Kingston Daily Freeman reports that David Moors of Beachwood, N.J., was found guilty Thursday in a non-jury trial of felony aggravated cruelty to animals. He faces a maximum sentence of up to two years in Ulster County Jail. Sentencing is Oct. 30.
County Judge Donald Williams called the killing "reprehensible" and without justification.
The shepherd-terrier mix named Clara was killed in October 2013.
Moors said he believed the dog was feral and he had a right to kill it.
Julie Palinkas, Clara's owner, said the dog was outside for less than nine minutes when she was killed.
Lawnmower argument leads to stabbing in Trenton
(Information in the following story is from: The (Trenton, N.J.) Times, http://www.nj.com/times )
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Police say an argument over a lawnmower led to a stabbing in New Jersey's capital city.
Trenton police say it started when 53-year-old Anthony Burton asked to borrow a 55-year-old man's mower on Klagg Avenue.
Police Lt. Mark Kieffer tells the Times of Trenton Burton stabbed the man in the left forearm when the 55-year-old said no.
The victim was treated and released for minor injuries.
Burton faces aggravated assault and weapons charges.
RIP CURRENT RISK
Rip current risk easing along Jersey shore
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The rip current risk is easing along the New Jersey coast as Hurricane Cristobal moves deeper into the North Atlantic after a week that saw the death of a swimmer.
The National Weather Service says there's a moderate risk for rip currents on Friday as the Labor Day holiday weekend gets underway. But swimmers should still be cautious.
Rough surf and strong rip currents are blamed for the death of a 17-year-old at Sandy Hook.
Sarmard Rizvi was knocked down by a wave and carried into the surf at an unguarded beach on Tuesday. Dozens of lifeguards recovered the South Plainfield resident, who died at a hospital on Wednesday.
Lifeguards along the Jersey shore have been busy with rescues all week as Cristobal whipped up waves.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.