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This Hour: Latest New Jersey news, sports, business and entertainment

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Revel executives to make millions if casino sells

(Information in the following story is from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), )

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - A federal bankruptcy judge says she would approve bonuses worth a total of $1.75 million for executives at Atlantic City's Revel Casino Hotel if they manage to sell the property.

Judge Gloria Burns has not said which executives are in line for the bonuses. But the Press of Atlantic City reports they will get more if the selling price is higher.

Atlantic City's newest casino is in bankruptcy court for the second time in a little over a year. Executives there say the casino will close and fire its 3,200 employees if a buyer cannot be found.

Bids are due for Aug. 4.

An auction could be held next week if there is more than one qualified buyer.


Ex-guard, 4 others charged in casino robbery

(Information in the following story is from: The Press of Atlantic City (N.J.), )

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a former security officer and four other people stole more than $180,000 from security workers during an armed robbery at an Atlantic City casino earlier this month.

Authorities tell The Press of Atlantic City that four men and a woman were arrested over the past week. They're accused of holding up two security workers who were moving boxes of money from the Caesars Atlantic City casino shortly after 6 a.m. on July 21.

The suspects include Izyiah Plummer, 19, who was fired as a Caesars guard earlier in July.

The suspects all live in the Atlantic City area and range in age from 19 to 23. Two others worked in other Atlantic City casinos.

Authorities say others could have been involved in the plot, too.


Newark officer shot breaking up robbery attempt

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a Newark police officer hospitalized after he was shot while apprehending an armed robbery suspect should recover from his wounds.

The officer, identified only as a 19-year veteran of the force, was shot in the leg Wednesday afternoon as he and other officers responded to a Clinton Avenue store.

As police approached the business, there was a confrontation with an armed suspect and shots were exchanged. The officer and the suspect were both wounded, but authorities did not say how many shots were fired.

Several residents quickly came to the officer's aid and also helped detain the suspect, who was being held under armed guard at a hospital. Further details on his injuries were not disclosed, but he was expected to survive.


Teen pleads guilty in 1 World Trade Center climb

NEW YORK (AP) - A teenager who made a surreptitious climb to the top of the 1 World Trade Center tower has pleaded guilty in an escapade that fanned concerns about security at the nation's tallest building.

Justin Casquejo (cahs-KAY'-oh) admitted Wednesday he broke a New York City misdemeanor law against scaling tall buildings without permission. He's expecting a sentence of 23 days of community service.

His lawyer has declined to comment.

The 16-year-old climbing enthusiast from Weehawken, New Jersey, was arrested in March on his way down the unfinished skyscraper at the heart of the security-conscious site.

Court papers say he slipped through a small gap in a construction fence and then used a ladder, scaffolding, elevators and stairs to scale the 1,776-foot-tall tower early on March 16.

The trade center's owner has made security changes.


New Jersey man accused of distributing child porn

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a northern New Jersey man stands accused of distributing sexually explicit images of children online.

Paul Spisto of Bloomfield Township was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents.

Prosecutors say that on two occasions last December, the 52-year-old Spisto used his home computer to distribute videos and images depicting child sexual abuse via a Usenet newsgroup, which allowed others access to the material.

An undercover agent discovered and downloaded the images and videos, and the items were traced back to Spisto's residence. He's charged with two counts of distributing child porn and faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.

Spisto was due to make his initial court appearance Wednesday, but further details were not disclosed.

It was not known if he had retained an attorney.


Contractor admits scamming Sandy victims

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a contractor has admitted taking deposits for work that was never done at two central New Jersey homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Monmouth County prosecutors announced Wednesday that 59-year-old John Martocci of Matawan pleaded guilty this week to two counts of theft by deception. He faces a five-year state prison term when he's sentenced Sept. 26, and will have to pay restitution that has not yet been determined.

Martocci accepted an $1,800 deposit in November 2013 to repair the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system on a Sea Bright home, then received a $1,411 deposit in January to install a new air conditioning condenser at a Howell home.

In both cases, Martocci failed to do the work or return the deposit.


Christie to make speech on bail overhaul plan

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie is using a speech to lawmakers to continue his push to overhaul New Jersey's bail system.

Christie has called in lawmakers for a special legislative session Thursday just to address the issue. He will talk to them about his plans but cannot force them to take action.

Christie supports letting judges keep suspects who are considered dangerous in jail as they await trial and release low-level suspects without requiring them to pay. The concept has broad support among advocates and lawmakers, though there's not universal agreement on all the details.

Christie wants lawmakers to act by Monday, so a constitutional amendment on the issue can be presented to voters in November.

The state Senate is planning a vote for Thursday, but the Assembly is not.


J&J withdraws fibroid treatment device from market

WASHINGTON (AP) - Johnson & Johnson is asking surgeons not to use a line of devices for removing growths from the uterus amid regulators' growing concern that the electronic surgical tools raise the risk of spreading cancer to other parts of the body.

In April, J&J suspended sales of the devices, known as laparoscopic power morcellators, after the Food and Drug Administration discouraged doctors from using them. Surgeons use the devices to treat painful fibroids, either by removing the growths themselves or the entire uterus.

J&J said Wednesday it is conducting a worldwide withdrawal of all its morcellators still on the market. The company cited an FDA meeting earlier this month that reinforced "the complexity of this issue."

FDA is weighing regulatory actions to reduce the risk of cancer spread.


NFL retirees lose round in concussion settlement

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A federal judge has rejected an attempt by seven former professional football players to intervene in a tentative class action settlement of concussion claims that would cost the NFL at least $765 million.

Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody issued an order in Philadelphia late Tuesday denying the NFL retirees' motion to intervene in the case.

The players object to the settlement, calling it a "lousy deal" for ex-players whose symptoms don't qualify them for compensation. Brody's order said that players who object to the deal can raise their concerns at a fairness hearing scheduled for Nov. 19, or opt out of the settlement.

Brody gave preliminary approval to the settlement earlier this month.

The group includes 2008 Pro Bowl player Sean Morey, now Princeton University's sprint football coach.


Christie holds town hall event in Belmar

BELMAR, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie was greeted by a smattering of protesters during his latest summertime talk with residents in New Jersey's beach communities.

During a town hall-style event staged Wednesday in Belmar, Christie was interrupted by audience members angry that his administration has never held one of the events in the city of Newark. Others held signs and wore shirts protesting the Republican governor's call for new pension and benefit cuts.

Christie has spent the last few weeks at similar events calling for pension reform, hammering away the message that the state's promised pension and health benefits for public employees are unsustainable.

But he focused his opening remarks Wednesday on bail reform, which he is urging lawmakers to pass in a special session scheduled for Thursday.


Homeowner who triumphed over Trump is moving on

(AP) - She once called Donald Trump "a maggot, a cockroach and a crumb." This week, he remembered her as "an impossible person."

Vera Coking became a folk hero for resisting efforts by developers to displace her Atlantic City boardinghouse. She's now 91 and has moved to California to be near her family.

The property she and her husband bought for $20,000 in 1961 is on the auction block Thursday with a starting bid of $199,000.

Coking first took on Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione in the 1970s. He started building his casino around her property.

Trump bought Guccione's project and also tried to buy Coking's building to tear it down. She prevailed in a 1998 state Supreme Court decision.

Trump laughed off a question this week as to whether he would bid on Coking's home.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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