NJ GUN LAWS
NJ Assembly taking up 4 gun bills
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The Assembly is planning final votes on the first four new gun-related laws expected to reach Gov. Chris Christie's desk.
The bills scheduled for a vote Monday afternoon would create a task force to look into school security and require that certain mental health records to be submitted for background checks for those seeking gun permits. They also would mandate the disposal of unlawful weapons and require more sharing of firearms information among law enforcement agencies.
The laws are among several the Democratic-controlled Assembly has taken up since the Newtown, Conn., school shooting last year that killed 20 children.
Christie, a Republican, has said he's open to some more restrictions on guns in conjunction with laws on mental health issues and restrictions on video games.
STORAGE UNIT-CHILDREN FOUND
Residents join forces to help 'storage locker' mom
(Information in the following story is from: The (Trenton, N.J.) Times, http://www.nj.com/times )
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey mother charged with child endangerment last month after she and her two sons were found living in a storage locker has been freed from prison.
The Times of Trenton reports 27-year-old Sheena Johnson was freed Saturday after community members joined forces to raise bail money, hoping to give her a chance to start her life anew.
Authorities say Johnson had rented the unit at the storage facility in Ewing. Police found bags of clothing and other household items inside, along with a mattress and a backpack.
Officers initially checked the facility after Johnson was arrested for allegedly slashing her ex-boyfriend's tires and she told them her kids were waiting for a bus near a storage lot.
Johnson's sons, ages 5 and 10, remain in state custody.
15 motorcyclists arrested following turnpike chase
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - State Police say an attempted traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike turned into a lengthy pursuit that ended with 15 motorcyclists facing various charges.
Sgt. Brian Polite tells The Star-Ledger that the incident started around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, when a trooper was attempting to turn into the barracks off the turnpike in Newark. The trooper was blocked by a line of motorcyclists, and noticed one rider didn't have a visible license plate.
The trooper attempted to pull over the motorcyclist, but the rider refused to stop. About 15 motorcyclists then started encircling the bike, blocking the trooper's access.
A southbound chase ensued before all the motorcyclists finally stopped in Cranbury in Middlesex County.
The charges against the motorcyclists range from eluding and hindering arrest to weapons possession.
Man taken into custody in NJ after standoff
(Information in the following story is from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, http://www.app.com)
HAZLET, N.J. (AP) - Authorities say a man who was barricaded in a home for several hours has been taken into custody.
Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Charles Webster tells the Asbury Park Press that there were no injuries and no shots fired after Sunday night's standoff.
He says neighboring homes were evacuated as a safety precaution.
The man has not been identified and it was not immediately known what he's being charged with.
HANG GLIDER RESCUED
Hang glider rescued in NJ after crashing into tree
(Information in the following story is from: The (Easton, Pa.) Express-Times, http://www.lehighvalleylive.com )
HARMONY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A hang glider escaped serious injury when he crashed into the top of a tree in northwestern New Jersey.
But the man did have to be cut out of the tree by firefighters after he got stuck about 40 feet from the ground.
Authorities tell The Express-Times of Easton, Pa. that the man was hang gliding with several other enthusiasts when the accident occurred around 4:50 p.m. Saturday.
Some of his colleagues initially tried to climb the tree to reach him, but the man eventually was freed by firefighters who used a ladder truck to reach him and then sawed off some branches.
The hang glider's name was not released.
COAST GUARD RESCUE
Coast Guard finds, rescues stranded boater
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) - The Coast Guard came to the aid of a boater whose 19-foot boat ran aground on a sandbar in southern New Jersey this weekend.
A helicopter crew started searching for the man around 5 p.m. Saturday, after his son told Coast Guard watchstanders his father was overdue from a short trip. The son said his father had departed from the Corson's Inlet State Park boat ramp in Cape May County but didn't reach his destination, which was two miles away.
An already in-flight crew aboard an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City was sent to search for the man, and he was soon located. The man, who was not injured, was able to signal the crew with a flashing light.
The man's name was not released.
Ex-north NJ firefighter sentenced on theft count
MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) - A former volunteer firefighter in northern New Jersey who improperly tried to sell some department-issued gear will not be headed to prison.
Morris County prosecutors say 20-year-old Ryan Curran of Pine Brook was sentenced Friday to a year of probation and 50 hours of community service. He also can never again serve as a firefighter in New Jersey.
A former member of the Boonton Fire Department, Curran had pleaded guilty last month to theft by unlawful taking. He admitted that he took old, department-issued equipment - mostly protective clothing - and sold it to a third-party who offered the items for sale online.
The equipment, which was valued at about $2,200, was recovered before it could be sold.
On table in NJ: Using sales tax to preserve land
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey Senate panel is poised to consider a plan that calls for funding open space preservation purchases with sales tax revenue for the next 30 years.
A proposal to put the long-term funding question on the next ballot is scheduled to be heard by the Environment Committee on Monday.
Three-fifths of the legislators in the Senate and Assembly would have to agree before voters could be asked this fall to amend the constitution. The measure would provide about $200 million a year from sales taxes for preservation of farmland, flood-prone properties and historic sites.
Voters approved $400 million in borrowing in 2009, but that is nearly all spent.
Rutgers graduates largest class in school history
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) - Rutgers University has graduated the largest class in school history.
School officials say the class of 2013 included an estimated 14,302 graduates from the university's New Brunswick-Piscataway, Newark and Camden campuses.
But only a few thousand of them attended Sunday's system-wide ceremony at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, which went on despite a steady rain. Most students will attend smaller graduation ceremonies with their schools and colleges this week, where they will pick up their degrees.
University President Robert Barchi presided over his first commencement and conferred all the degrees.
The commencement address was given by former state Supreme Court Justice Virginia Long, who graduated from Rutgers School of Law-Newark in 1966. She urged the graduates to become compassionate citizens and make something of their lives beyond making money.
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