They keep coming! Tropical Storm Peter forms over the Atlantic Ocean.

Forecasters said Tropical Storm Peter formed over the Atlantic Ocean early Sunday, and a new tropical depression was spinning over the far eastern Atlantic. Peter was centered about 630 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said in a 5 a.m. EDT advisory. The tropical storm was expected to bring rain to the islands, including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, through Tuesday. Forecasters expected 1 to 2 inches of rainfall through Tuesday. Top winds were around 40 mph and Peter was moving northwest at 15 mph. No coastal watches or warnings were...

FDA’s vaccine chief hopeful younger kids can get shots this fall

The Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine chief said Friday the agency will rapidly evaluate COVID-19 vaccinations for younger children as soon as it gets the needed data — and won’t cut corners. Dr. Peter Marks told The Associated Press he is “very, very hopeful” that vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds will be underway by year’s end. Maybe sooner: One company, Pfizer, is expected to turn over its study results by the end of September, and Marks say the agency hopefully could analyze them “in a matter of weeks.” In the U.S., anyone 12 and older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. But with sch...

Is Chris Christie running for president again? Of course he is.

Of course Chris Christie is running for president. No, he didn’t declare his candidacy or announce an exploratory committee. He isn’t living part-time in New Hampshire like he did when he was still governor of New Jersey. He hasn’t even told his old crew to be ready to hit the road again. But make no mistake about it, at this moment in the late summer of 2021, Chris Christie’s eyes are fixed on another White House run — even as his name is barely a blip in the early horse race polls, the very mention of it angers his many detractors, and so much has to happen to his party’s political landscape...

N.J. cop narrowly escapes death in Ida flooding, finishes his shift

Like fellow officers of the Raritan Township Police Department and other first responders throughout New Jersey and elsewhere, Michael Podlaski spent much of Wednesday searching for people trapped or stranded by flash flooding in their homes or cars as a result of Hurricane Ida. Of the 27 lives claimed by Ida in the state, three were in the largely rural Hunterdon County township, where Podlaski nearly became Raritan’s fourth victim, according to his chief. “Officer Michael Podlaski narrowly escaped death when his patrol vehicle was swept away while checking for stranded drivers on Everitt’s R...

These two grateful Manville families escaped Ida’s wrath, but the anxiety persists

Tropical Storm Ida triggered a sewer backup inside the Burlew family home in Manville Wednesday night. It also appears to have damaged the electrical system of their car after water rushed inside. But Ken Burlew is not complaining. He said he considers himself “blessed.” In 2015, he and his wife, Letty, and three children received a buyout from FEMA for flood-prone homes and escaped the Lost Valley, a neighborhood in the borough they loved but could no longer tolerate. After their house was wrecked by Hurricane Irene in 2011, they lived in a friend’s basement apartment for months while it unde...

5 people found dead in New Jersey apartment complex -- nearby fire station flooded with 8 feet of water

Five people were found dead in an Elizabeth apartment complex - bringing New Jersey’s death toll from Ida to at least nine people - amid disastrous flooding that left people trapped in their cars and stranded in their homes. The five residents of the Oakwood Plaza apartment complex, on Irvington Avenue, were found dead, city spokeswoman Kelly Martins told NJ Advance Media. On Thursday morning, police were calling every listed resident and going door-to-door to apartments to check on other residents, she said. “Our police and fire are going door-to-door to pretty much do a wellness check at thi...

N.J. group to help shelter animals in path of ‘extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Ida

A South Jersey-based animal welfare group is helping shelters in Louisiana, where Hurricane Ida is expected to slam the region this weekend. The Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees said it planned to welcome several dogs as part of a network of New Jersey shelters which provide housing, medical care and adoption services during hurricane season. “This partnership ensures dogs and cats are not left at risk in cages being flooded like what happened with Hurricane Katrina,” the association said. Dogs from the Gulf Coast are set to arrive at the shelter Saturday ahead of Ida’s expected arrival ...

Airshow pilot killed in Pennsylvania crash was Air Force vet, flew airliners

The pilot killed in Friday’s crash of a small plane due to take part in this weekend’s Great Pocono Raceway Airshow has been identified as a 50-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran. The crash at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Luzerne County occurred around 12:35 p.m., authorities said. The pilot was identified as Andy Travnicek of Hampton, New Hampshire. He was a commercial airline pilot and was the only person on board. There were no injuries on the ground. The plane was heading north shortly after takeoff when it suddenly veered to the left “for reasons unknown,” crashed into ...

Tornado touched down in N.J., National Weather Service confirms

The remnants of Tropical Storm Fred brought a tornado to the Garden State early Thursday morning, officials said. A National Weather Service storm survey team confirmed Thursday evening that an EF-0 tornado touched down in Rockaway Township in Morris County. No other details were released as the service said it would likely have more information about the twister’s path on Friday. Earlier Thursday, the service confirmed that a tornado of unknown scale touched down in Hamburg, Pennsylvania around 9 p.m. Wednesday and that an EF-1 tornado ran from Souderton to Silverdale/Perkasie, Pennsylvania a...

Could there be a 4th stimulus check? Here’s what the jobs data suggests

Last week’s unemployment numbers in the U.S. are good news for the economy, but bad news for those hoping for a fourth stimulus check as the Biden administration is looking to other ways to juice the economy. As of July, the unemployment rate has reached its lowest since the beginning of the pandemic at 5.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the unemployment rate has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, the news is encouraging as more Americans are joining the workforce. However, the pandemic itself is far from over, and many Americans could be headed for financial trouble in...

Tropical Storm Fred becomes 6th storm of revived Atlantic hurricane season

A tropical disturbance that has been swirling in the Caribbean during the past few days became more organized Tuesday night and has now strengthened into a tropical storm named Fred. Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center said the tropical storm is spinning about 45 milessouth-southwest of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and 215 miles east-southeast of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic at about 11 p.m. Tuesday. The storm was moving west at a pace of 17 mph. Fred, the sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season — which got off to an active start but has been very quiet during the past ...

After hitting her head on a hike, N.J. woman saved by ‘Modern Family’ star

After bumping her head and fainting after a hike in Utah on Monday, Minnie John swore she heard a familiar voice consoling her as she came to. She couldn’t quite place it, but John knew she’d heard the voice before. It reminded her of the nights she’d come back home from a long day at work to hear the television set to ABC. As a doctor bandaged her nose, John asked the woman if they had met before. The woman, smiling, took her hair down and shook it out, hoping to give John a hint. “Can you guess?” the woman told John, standing in front of her. The good Samaritan, it turns out, was Julie Bowen...

Priest who stole money from N.J. Catholic church sentenced to 7 years in prison

A Catholic priest who admitted to transferring nearly $517,000 of parish funds into his personal bank account had been sentenced to seven years in state prison, church officials said Tuesday. The Rev. Douglas J. Haefner, the longtime pastor of St. Matthias Parish in Somerset, admitted to taking the money due to “compulsive behavior” during an audit of the church in 2018, Diocese of Metuchen officials said. At the time, the priest said he took the money intending to pay the $516,985 back eventually. He had overseen the parish for 27 years. Haefner, 68, was sentenced to seven years in state pris...

Woman steals oil tanker truck, leads police on chase to Wawa 80 miles away at Jersey Shore, cops say

A 44-year-old woman who stole an oil tanker truck in Camden County on Saturday was arrested more than eight hours later and 80 miles away along the Jersey Shore after eluding police and getting into crashes in multiple in towns, authorities said. Wildwood police took Camille Wescott, of Lawnside, into custody in the parking lot of Wawa on West Rio Grande Avenue after 8:30 p.m. when cops forced their way into the truck due to concerns she would flee into the town congested with summer visitors, officials said. Wescott had checked her mirrors and stepped on the brakes as if she was planning to leave b...

Britney Spears’ sister, Jamie Lynn, sides with Britney’s plea for freedom in conservatorship battle

Jamie Lynn Spears broke her silence on her older sister’s conservatorship Monday in an Instagram post, saying that she supports her sister’s request for freedom. “I’m so proud of her for using her voice,” Jamie Lynn, 30, said in her Instagram stories post. “I’m so proud of her for requesting new counsel, like I told her many years ago. Oh, not in a public platform but just in a personal conversation between two sisters.” “If ending the conservatorship and flying to Mars or whatever the hell else she wants to do to be happy, I support that one hundred percent because I support my sister, I love...

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