NJ GUN LAWS
NJ Assembly gives final passage to 3 gun bills
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The Assembly has given final passage to three gun-control bills, sending them to Gov. Chris Christie for his signature.
The bills are the first to clear both chambers of the state Legislature out of several that were introduced after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last year that killed 20 children.
The bills passed Monday would create a task force to look into school security, mandate the disposal of unlawful weapons and require more sharing of firearms information among law enforcement agencies.
A fourth bill that would require certain mental health records to be submitted for background checks for those seeking gun permits was also passed after it was amended. It's being sent back to the state Senate for approval.
NJ treasurer says budget revenue projections down
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey's state treasurer is reviving his revenue projections, saying the state will bring in less over the next 13 months than previously expected.
But the projections Treasurer Andrew Eristoff gave Monday at the state Senate budget hearing don't seem to match with the figures from the Legislature's budget analyst.
He says the revenue will be $165 million off previously expectations through June 2014.
But the analyst, David Rosen, told lawmakers earlier in the day that the state is $937 million short of the administration's earlier forecast.
There was drama at the hearing as chairman Paul Sarlo called for a recess and demanded the Treasury Department produce more charts to explain its numbers.
Man convicted of murder in Pa. musician's slaying
DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A man said by prosecutors to have been the "mastermind" of the slaying of a musician in his Philadelphia-area home three days after Christmas in 2011 has been convicted of second-degree murder.
The Bucks County Courier Times says jurors deliberated for nearly eight hours before convicting 20-year-old Jermaine M. Jackson of Trenton, N.J. on Monday.
Authorities said Jackson conspired with four others in the robbery attempt that ended in the slaying of 56-year-old Danny DeGennaro of Levitttown.
Jurors also convicted Jackson of robbery and conspiracy but acquitted him of first-degree murder, burglary and possessing an instrument of crime.
Defense attorney Craig Penglase vowed to appeal. He said his client had been invited to the home for a drug transaction but had left by the time of the murder.
2 NJ men plead not guilty in synagogue bombings
HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) - Two New Jersey men accused in a series of firebomb attacks on synagogues across northern New Jersey have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Anthony Graziano of Lodi and Aakash Dalal of New Brunswick, both 21, entered their pleas Monday during a court hearing in Hackensack.
The two were indicted in March on multiple counts of aggravated arson, conspiracy and bias intimidation. Graziano also is charged with the attempted murder of a rabbi and his family, whose Rutherford home was attacked by Molotov cocktails in January 2012.
Both men were 19 at the time, and are childhood friends from Lodi. They face up to life in prison if convicted on all charges.
Graziano remains jailed on $2.5 million bail, while Dalal is being held in lieu of $1.5 million.
NJ ex-priest arrested, allegedly worked with kids
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - A former New Jersey priest has been arrested after allegedly working unsupervised with children despite a legal agreement barring him from doing so.
Michael FU'-gee was arrested Monday on charges of contempt of a judicial order. He is to appear in court Tuesday.
Fugee was convicted of aggravated criminal assault in 2003 after police say he confessed to grabbing a boy's crotch. The conviction was thrown out and Fugee reached a deal with prosecutors that allowed him to return to the ministry if his job didn't involve parishioners under 18.
Authorities say Fugee recently has gone on youth retreats and heard confessions from young people at a Colts Neck parish. Fugee resigned from the Archdiocese of Newark on May 2.
BODY FOUND-TRAIN STATION
Woman found dead near NJ Transit station in Newark
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Transit officials say a woman's body has been found near a train station in northern New Jersey.
But it's not yet clear if the woman was struck by a train or how she ended up in the area.
NJ Transit police responded to the scene around 8:30 a.m. Monday, after a company staffer discovered the body about 100 feet from the Park Avenue light rail station in Newark.
The subsequent investigation forced officials to temporarily close 1 of the two tracks in the area, but no major travel disruptions were reported.
The woman's name has not been released.
NJ Senate leaders take jabs at one another
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The two most powerful men in the New Jersey Senate are locking horns.
Democratic Senate President Stephen Sweeney has pulled all 7 Republican-sponsored bills from Monday's agenda and says no GOP legislation will see daylight until further notice.
Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. says Sweeney is playing politics at the expense of policy.
Kean refused to grant Sweeney the Republican votes needed to get his gun-control bill through the Senate on an emergency basis last week. Kean says there was no emergency.
The Union County Republican has also donated to the candidate who is opposing Sweeney's re-election bid, lawyer Niki Trunk.
Kean says the Democrat's south Jersey district is "absolutely" winnable in November. Kean hopes to flip the Democrat-controlled Senate by winning 5 seats.
Sweeney says, bring it on.
NJ senator does U-turn on pay-by-mile plan
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey state senator has turned away from a plan to tax drivers by the mile instead of at the gallon at the gas pump.
State Sen. Jim Whalen said at a hearing Monday that he was instead calling for a fee to be paid by owners of electric cars. He says the fee should be around $50 per year and would support a road fund that is largely paid for now through gasoline taxes.
The Star-Ledger reports he made the change after realizing his idea of charging drivers based on how much they travel was not going to have support in the Legislature.
That plan may have been complicated to administer and could have rewarded owners of gas-guzzlers.
COUNTRY CLUB AUCTION
Southern NJ country club auctioned off
(Information in the following story is from: Courier-Post (Cherry Hill, N.J.), http://www.courierpostonline.com/ )
CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) - A country club that fell on hard times has been tentatively sold at auction for $10.1 million.
The Marlton-based First Montgomery Group made the winning bid Monday for the Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill, beating out three other bidders. The club takes up 155 acres in the middle of 1 of Philadelphia's biggest and most affluent suburbs.
The sale now awaits a confirmation hearing scheduled for Friday in federal bankruptcy court in Camden. If the sale's approved, the deal could close by May 31.
The real estate firm's bid narrowly edged out a $10 million bid by a partnership headed by George Norcross, which wanted to keep Woodcrest as a golf course. The Democratic political powerbroker is an insurance executive and 1 of the owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Mantoloking storm damage ups tax rate, lower bills
MANTOLOKING, N.J. (AP) - Fears of a massive tax hike brought on by Superstorm Sandy might not come to pass in the Jersey shore town hardest hit by the storm.
Mantoloking introduced a budget Monday that calls for a 14.6% increase in the municipal tax rate. But since the storm lowered property values in the devastated town and there's been an influx of storm recovery aid, most tax bills will actually be lower this year.
The budget calls for $5.6 million in spending, up from just over $4 million last year.
But the average tax bill will actually be 23% less than last year, because property values have fallen by about a third due to storm damage.
Every 1 of Mantoloking's 521 homes were either damaged or destroyed by Sandy.
Poll: Sandy won't alter Jersey Shore travel plans
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A new survey finds Superstorm Sandy has not altered the travel plans of most regular visitors to the Jersey Shore.
The poll released Monday by the AAA Clubs of New Jersey found 79% said the devastating storm hasn't altered their summer travel plans
Two-thirds of respondents consider themselves to be regular shore visitors, and 69% of those people plan to spend the same amount or more time at the Shore this summer.
The telephone survey of 600 New Jersey residents and 200 Philadelphia area residents was conducted earlier this month. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.46%age points.
Half of the New Jersey residents polled plan to visit Shore towns impacted by Sandy to increase tourism and support local businesses in those communities.
SANDY RELIEF GOLF TOURNAMENT
MLB players to hold Sandy relief golf tournament
NEW YORK (AP) - Yankees pitcher David Robertson and Mets first baseman Ike Davis will help host a Long Island golf tournament to raise money for victims of Superstorm Sandy.
It will be held July 17 at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, the course for the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open. The tournament is scheduled for the day after the All-Star game at Citi Field in New York.
Also taking part will be former major leaguers Ken Griffey Jr., Bobby Bonilla, Aaron Boone, Ron Darling, Al Leiter and Jeff Nelson.
The tournament is sponsored by the charitable foundation of the player's union. The foundation has contributed more than $175,000 to organizations providing assistance to storm victims.
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