IMMIGRATION OVERLOAD-NEW JERSEY
US places 1,504 undocumented children in NJ
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - More than 1,500 unaccompanied children who entered the country illegally have been placed with sponsors in New Jersey so far this year.
New federal data released Thursday shows 1,504 unaccompanied children were placed in New Jersey through July 7. A total of 30,340 were placed nationwide.
The U.S. is battling a surge in the number of unaccompanied children who have been fleeing violence in Central America and crossing into the U.S.
The Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families says it releases children to sponsors, such as relatives or family friends. If they can't find a sponsor, children typically remain in federal care.
Gov. Chris Christie said this week that his administration had received no federal notification that any children had been sent to the state.
Showboat casino workers protest planned closing
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Hundreds of workers at Atlantic City's Showboat casino and their supporters have staged a rally to protest the casino's planned Aug. 31 shutdown.
More than 400 protesters chanted and waved signs Thursday night on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in an attempt to help swing public opinion against the casino closing. The Showboat is one of three casinos in Atlantic City that could close by September.
The workers say they want owner Caesars Entertainment to sell the still-profitable Showboat to someone who will continue to operate it as a casino.
In addition to the Showboat, Trump Plaza plans to close by Sept. 16, and Revel could also shut down if a buyer is not found in a bankruptcy court auction next month.
CHRISTIE IN COLORADO
Republicans jump to Astorino's defense
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Several Republican governors eyeing runs for the White House in 2016 are rallying behind the New York gubernatorial candidate spurned by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, said this week he has no plans to campaign for GOP candidate Rob Astorino because he doesn't "invest in lost causes." Astorino is running an uphill battle against New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
But Astorino announced Thursday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal from Louisiana, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and South Carolina's Nikki Haley have pledged to help him, even if the RGA won't.
Perry, Jindal and Perry are all mulling runs for the Republican presidential nomination.
Christie will join Haley and other governors at an Aspen Institute conversation in Colorado Thursday night.
Tornado slams Virginia campground; 2 dead
CAPE CHARLES, Va. (AP) - Virginia State Police say a New Jersey couple was killed after a tornado caused a tree to fall on their tent at a popular campground.
State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says Lord Balatbat and Lolabeth Ortega, of Jersey City, New Jersey, were killed Thursday morning as a fierce storm ripped through the campground.
Geller says three dozen people were hurt, including the couple's 13-year-old son who was in a tent next to his parents. He has life-threatening injuries.
Geller says the National Weather Service confirmed the storm was a tornado.
COLLEGE STUDENTS SHOT
NJ man sentenced in fatal college party shooting
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in the fatal shooting of a New Jersey college student from Virginia.
The Essex County prosecutor's office says Marcus J. Bascus was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges in the death of Jessica Moore, a 19-year-old Disputanta, Virginia resident who was a sophomore honors student at Seton Hall University.
Prosecutors say the 23-year-old Bascus of East Orange admitted he gave a gun to 29-year-old Nicholas Welch of East Orange, who used it to open fire after he was denied entry to an off-campus party near Seton Hall in September 2010. The shooting killed Moore and wounded four other students who have since recovered.
Welch is serving an 80-year prison sentence for Moore's murder.
AUTO SHOP-SEX ASSAULT
NJ man charged with assaulting woman in auto shop
ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - A woman who stopped by a Roselle auto shop to see about a car repair was allegedly held against her will and assaulted for several hours before being rescued by police.
Fifty-two-year-old Ricky Suepoi of Westfield has been charged with kidnapping, attempted sexual assault, aggravated assault and other offenses.
Roselle police and the Union County prosecutor's office say the 23-year-old woman came to Shelbourne Motorsports Tuesday night at about 8 p.m. and saw Suepoi, whom she knew previously. Suepoi allegedly struck her several times and brandished what appeared to be a firearm.
Over the next several hours he allegedly tried to sexually assault the woman. She eventually called police from the shop's bathroom.
Suepoi was being held on $500,000 bail Thursday. It wasn't immediately known if he'd retained an attorney.
1 killed in Ridgefield crash
RIDGEFIELD, N.J. (AP) - Authorities in northern New Jersey have released details about a motor vehicle accident that left one person dead and two people seriously injured.
Ridgefield police and the Bergen County prosecutor's office say 20-year-old Tamer Ammar of Fort Lee was driving north on Routes 1 & 9 in Ridgefield at about 1:30 a.m. when he lost control of his 2014 Honda Civic and hit two bus sign posts before crossing into the southbound lanes and hitting a building.
The collision scene was measured at nearly 500 yards long.
Twenty-year-old Miles Reme. a passenger, was pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center about an hour after the accident. Ammar was listed in "very serious condition" according to authorities, and another passenger, James Racanelli, also 20, was listed in serious condition.
DROWNING DEATH LAWSUIT
Family seeks shutdown of beach where man drowned
The family of a Pennsylvania man who drowned when the sand allegedly gave way beneath his feet in 2012 has filed a lawsuit seeking the closure of that part of the beach.
Sandra Smith of Horsham, Pennsylvania is suing North Wildwood, Cape May County and the state of New Jersey over the July 27, 2012 incident that claimed the life of her husband, Brad, and nearly killed their 7-year-old daughter.
According to the lawsuit, Brad Smith was walking with his daughter and another man in ankle-deep water near the Hereford Inlet when the sand gave way beneath their feet, sweeping them out to sea.
A passerby on a personal watercraft rescued the girl.
The town had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.
LOTTERY WINNER-LARGE FAMILY
Large family to share NJ Lottery winnings
BEACHWOOD, N.J. (AP) - A $20 million New Jersey Pick-6 jackpot will be split between 20 relatives in an Ocean County family.
The Endreson family packed the Beachwood Community Center Thursday afternoon.
A lottery spokeswoman says the family has 17 brothers and sisters who range in age from 53 to 76. The prize will also be shared with three children of a brother who died a few years ago.
The family has decided to take a lump sum payment of $14 million, which is worth about $10 million after taxes.
Sixty-nine-year-old John Endreson says he lost his home during Superstorm Sandy and used up his savings to rebuild it.
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