Ex-Christie aide fights order to give up records
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A former aide to Governor Chris Christie says in legal papers that there's a "real and substantial threat" of self-incrimination if she gives state lawmakers records they have requested from her as they look into a political payback scandal involving Christie's office.
In a court filing made public Friday, Bridget Anne Kelly's lawyers say federal authorities have requested interviews with Kelly, her parents, her ex-husband and ex-in-laws. Kelly says none of them have been willing to talk.
Christie fired Kelly in January after her text message saying "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" was made public.
The message and others showed her involvement in shutting down lanes near the George Washington Bridge, apparently for political payback.
Hundreds gather to honor NJ firefighter
WALLINGTON, N.J. (AP) - Hundreds of firefighters are paying final respects to one of their own who died in the line of duty in a northern New Jersey town.
Services are taking place for Gregory Barnas in Wallington Friday. The funeral began with a solemn procession from the funeral home to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.
The 57-year-old died after he fell from the roof while working to put out a fire at a restaurant last Friday.
Barnas was a 40-year volunteer of the Bergen County town's fire department and a 29-year veteran of the Jersey City Fire Department, where he was a captain.
Firefighters from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania attended his viewing on Thursday.
US says New Jersey acted properly in Sandy cleanup
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A federal audit finds New Jersey did nothing wrong when it used a no-bid contract to hire a firm to clean up debris left behind by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
But the U.S. Homeland Security Department says that towns that continued to use the firm for more than 60 days without putting the work out to bid might not be fully reimbursed by the federal government.
The contract and the firm, Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based AshBritt, drew the ire of lawmakers months after Sandy struck. That marked the first major political debate over how Gov. Chris Christie's administration responded to Sandy.
The audit was made public Thursday by Christie's office.
Christie's office criticized Democrats and the media for treating the contract as a scandal.
PASSAIC RIVER-FLOOD PLAN
Army Corps releases Passaic River flood plans
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Department officials have announced three options to help communities along New Jersey's Passaic River Basin deal with flooding.
But it will take time and money before officials whittle the plans down to a final comprehensive flood risk management project.
Officials will consider diverting flood water from the basin through a tunnel to Newark Bay. Such a plan was authorized by Congress in 1990.
Another plan would combine levees and floodwalls with buyouts, flood-proofing and raising homes.
The final option is to elevate homes and to use buyouts without large-scale construction projects.
Flooding has plagued the Passaic River Basin, which flows through Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Union counties.
Three public hearings will be held on the plans, beginning March 25th.
NJ BANK HEIST-ID
Man accused of trying to rob NJ bank
(Information in the following story is from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, http://www.app.com )
JACKSON, N.J. (AP) - Authorities have arrested a man suspected of being the would-be bank robber who walked away after a New Jersey bank teller asked for some identification.
Ryan Higgins of Jackson is held on $100,000 bail, charged with attempted robbery.
Jackson police Lt. Steven Laskiewicz tells the Asbury Park Press the 40-year-old was arrested Thursday after police received multiple tips from people who saw a photo from bank surveillance cameras.
A man wearing a hooded sweatshirt walked into a Santander Bank branch on Wednesday and handed the teller a note asking for money.
Police said the teller told man to remove the hood and show some ID. The man walked away empty handed.
The same bank was robbed on Valentine's Day.
Rutgers backs inviting Condoleezza Rice
(Information in the following story is from: Home News Tribune (East Brunswick, N.J.) , http://www.mycentraljersey.com )
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - Rutgers University officials are standing by their decision to invite Condoleezza Rice to speak at the school's commencement in May.
The school's Board of Governors voted to pay the former secretary of state under President George W. Bush and national security adviser $35,000.
But the school's New Brunswick Faculty Council has approved a resolution calling for Rutgers to rescind the invitation because of Rice's role in the Iraq War.
Associate professor Deepa Kumar tells the Home News Tribune Rice bears responsibility for the war as a member of the Bush administration.
However, professor Haim Baruh tells the newspaper the faculty is misguided to oppose an invitation to a distinguished scholar and public servant who was the first African-American female secretary of state. Baruh says it makes Rutgers look bad.
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