After turning 50 years old, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie secretly underwent lap-band surgery in February for the sake of his wife and kids, a source close to the governor confirmed to CNN.
Christie (pictured) told the New York Post, which first reported the story, that the invasive procedure came after his family and friends urged him to start improving his health.
"I've struggled with this issue for 20 years," he said. "For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them."FULL STORY
The border with Mexico must be secure.
This requirement is the cornerstone of an immigration reform bill a bipartisan group of senators are to file on Capitol Hill Tuesday. There will be no path to legal residency for migrants without it.
Undocumented immigrants may also not reach the status of fully legal residents under the proposed legislation, until the Department of Homeland Security has implemented measures to prevent "unauthorized workers from obtaining employment in the United States."FULL STORY
Brandon Holt didn't make it to his 7th birthday. He won't graduate high school, won't get married, won't have kids of his own.
But in a way, he will live on.
The father of the Toms River, New Jersey, boy – who died earlier this week after being shot by his young playmate – said he and his wife decided to donate Brandon's organs, in hopes some good will come of their tragedy.FULL STORY
A 6-year-old New Jersey boy has died after being shot in the head by a 4-year-old playmate, Toms River police Chief Michael Mastronardy said.
Brandon Holt was pronounced dead at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, according to Mastronardy. He was shot in the head on Monday evening.
It was the second incident in the United States in recent days involving young children accidentally shooting others.FULL STORY
Rutgers University will pay former Athletic Director Tim Pernetti more than $1.1 million after his resignation in the wake of a scandal involving the videotaped abuse of basketball players by the team's former coach.
CNN obtained the terms of Pernetti's separation package through a New Jersey Open Public Records Act request after Rutgers and Pernetti had agreed to keep the terms confidential.
The state university will pay Pernetti his annual $453,000 salary through June 30, 2014. In addition, he will get a lump sum equal to 18 months of salary - $679,500 - payable by next month, according to the agreement.
Rutgers University fired head basketball coach Mike Rice on Wednesday after ESPN broadcast a video showing him physically and verbally abusing players.
"Based upon recently revealed information and a review of previously discovered issues, Rutgers has terminated the contract of Mike Rice," the school said in a tweet Wednesday.
"You f**king fairy ... you're a f**king fa**got," Rice appears to say during one session depicted on the video.
The winner of the $338 million Powerball jackpot paid $30,000 in back child support to the mother of three of his children Monday and had the warrant cleared during a hearing in a New Jersey family court.
The payment clears Pedro Quezada's record, probation officials said during the hearing in Paterson.
The warrant for Quezada was originally issued in 2009. He owed a total of $29,000 in child support, according to William Maer of the Passaic County Sheriff's Office. Quezada has five children, ages 5 to 23. It is not clear which children are covered by the payments.
Quezada told Family Court Judge Ernest Caposela that the children will now live with him.FULL STORY
The New Jersey man who won $338 million in the Powerball lottery last weekend is wanted on charges of unpaid child support, according to the Passaic County Sheriff's Office.
An arrest warrant was issued for Pedro Quezada in 2009, the sheriff's office said. He has five children ages 5-23 and owes a total of $29,000 in back child support, spokesman William Maer said. It is not clear which children the payments are for.
After appearing in a video claiming Sen. Robert Menendez paid her for sex, a Dominican woman now says in a court document she was paid to make those claims and has never met or had a relationship with the New Jersey Democrat.
In the notarized document, Nexis de los Santos Santana says she was filmed without her knowledge claiming to have had sex with Menendez.
"I am the person in the video, that is me, and those are my words, but this statement is not true," Santana's statement reads. "I never agreed to be recorded."
A reference to the name "Sandy" can evoke painful reminders of last year's tragedies, be it the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School or an historic storm that wiped out thousands of homes and businesses, and left millions in the dark.
But New Jersey's largest firefighters union is looking to honor those affected by both calamities and join them and their mutual names into something more positive.
Firefighters have begun collecting donations for the "The Sandy Ground Project," with 26 playgrounds to be built in communities recovering from the storm - one for each victim gunned down on December 14 at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
"Our only challenge is to raise the money," said Bill Lavin, president of the Firefighters' Mutual Benevolent Association, whose 5,000 members are supporting the $2.1 million initiative on the website thesandygroundproject.org.FULL STORY
Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey Democrat who has served five terms in the U.S. Senate since 1982, will not seek re-election next year when his term expires, the senator said in a statement Thursday.
Lautenberg, 89, returned to the Senate in mid-January after missing key votes over a weeks-long absence due to a cold which "turned into the flu, turned into a severe case of bronchitis with fluid in the chest," he said last month.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker formed a Senate campaign committee last month to explore a run for the seat while a Quinnipiac University poll released around the same time found Booker would lead Lautenberg 51% to 30% in a head-to-head matchup.FULL STORY
The mammoth blizzard that buried the Northeast under feet of snow has drifted away, leaving millions on a path of hefty recovery.
At least nine deaths in three states and Canada are blamed on the snowstorm, which was spawned by two converging weather systems.
Residents from Pennsylvania to Maine are trying to dig out from as much as 3 feet of snowfall.
"There's just really no place to put the snow," Bostonian Allison Rice said, trying to shovel away what she could.FULL STORY
[Update 6:32 p.m. ET] Eighty-five people were injured in the crash, including people who were treated and released at the scene, according to Charles Rowe, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman.
Two people had been listed in critical condition, but now authorities are saying only one person's condition remains critical.
[Update 1:46 p.m. ET] Coast Guard records indicate that the same Seastreak ferry has been involved in prior crashes, including one in 2009 when the vessel slammed into a New Jersey dock and tore a 2- to 3-foot gash in the starboard bow of the vessel.
A year later, a collision with a dock pile punctured a hole in the port side of the same boat.
[Update 12:33 a.m. ET] Seastreak LLC, the company operating the ferry, has released a statement on its website. In part, it says that "our thoughts and prayers are with those that were injured."
"Seastreak LLC will work closely with the federal, state and local authorities to determine the cause of the accident," the statement says.
[Update 12:28 a.m. ET] Two of the 57 hurt passengers are critically injured, authorities say.
[Update 11:43 a.m. ET] U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, releases a statement saying that National Transportation Safety Board chairwoman Deborah Hersman assured him "that this serious accident will receive a full and thorough investigation."
“Ferry systems are crucial for New Jersey commuters, and the public must have every assurance that the ferries they ride are operating safely. I have every confidence in Chairman Hersman and the NTSB, and I know they will conduct a first-rate investigation so we can take steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has assured lawmakers that the House will vote on $60 billion in aid related to Superstorm Sandy by January 15, a group of lawmakers from New York and New Jersey told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
The announcement came hours after those same lawmakers began expressing dismay that Boehner, as the 112th Congress was winding up Tuesday night, declined to put to a vote a similar aid bill that the Senate had passed.
The lawmakers met with Boehner Wednesday afternoon and then made the announcement.
"As far as I'm concerned ... it was an extremely positive" meeting, said U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-New York, who earlier Wednesday called Boehner's Tuesday move a "knife in the back."
The new, 113th Congress will be sworn in on Thursday.FULL STORY
[Update 3:57 p.m.] U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has assured lawmakers that the House will vote on $60 billion in aid related to Superstorm Sandy by January 15, a group of lawmakers from New York and New Jersey told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
[Initial post, 2:22 p.m.] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he doesn't know why House Speaker John Boehner didn't allow a vote on a $60 billion aid package to help Superstorm Sandy victims Tuesday or Wednesday, but he's steamed about it.
"There's only one group to blame for the continued suffering" of Sandy victims, and that's Boehner and the House Republican leadership, Christie told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
“Shame on you. Shame on Congress,” Christie, a Republican, said.
bridge collapsed in the West Deptford area of New Jersey on Friday, sending several train cars carrying toxic chemicals crashing into a creek near the Delaware River, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Vinyl chloride, a highly toxic and flammable chemical, is believed to be leaking into Mantua Creek, Petty Officer Nick Ameen told CNN. No serious injuries have been reported, but nearby schools are on lockdown, a borough emergency official said, and people in the immediate area have been evacuated.FULL STORY
Before Sheldon Bruck told his orthodox Jewish parents he was gay, the teenager looked for a way out of homosexuality.
His search led him to JONAH – Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing – which claimed on its website to help people "struggling with unwanted same-sex sexual attractions."
JONAH co-director Arthur Goldberg promised Bruck, then 17, that "JONAH could help him change his orientation from gay to straight," according to a consumer fraud lawsuit filed Tuesday against JONAH, Goldberg and a JONAH counselor.
"This is the first time that plaintiffs have sought to hold conversion therapists liable in a court of law," said Samuel Wolfe, a lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center.FULL STORY
Low nighttime temperatures over the next couple of days aren’t going to make things easy for East Coast residents still without power after Superstorm Sandy and this week’s nor’easter.
But warmer daytime conditions will be ideal for recovery crews, including utility workers hoping to get many more homes powered and heated by this weekend.