One of the four defendants accused of killing Toms River native Dustin Friedland in Short Hills in 2013 pleads guilty to carjacking, and faces up to 20 years in prison. Kevin Roberts's plea bargain drops murder, conspiracy and weapons counts. One accomplice has been convicted.

A Jersey City eight-year-old's condition remains critical, three days after being pulled from the bottom of a swimming pool in Jackson. The youngster was attending a graduation party. She was administered lifesaving procedures at the house, and rushed to hospitalization in New Brunswick.

The call for Presidential action in the war against opiates by the national commission headed by Governor Christie coincides with concentration on separating children from narcotics by the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, co-chaired by Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-3). The panel recommends early education. and more money for school-based prevention programs.

The world oil market and politics are conspiring to keep gasoline prices on the rise in the US, according to some analysts. Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service in Wall Township points to downscaled Saudi production, and possible sanctions against Venezuela that would cut back U.S. purchases from the strife-torn nation. Additionally, the Atlantic hurricane season still has several months in which to wreak its own brand of havoc.

Berkeley Township is one of five police jurisdictions in New Jersey chosen for grants from the New Jersey Attorney General's office for community engagement. The grants commemorate the late Detective Matthew Tarentino, who died in a late May car crash. Township police will use their share for Manitou Park Family Unity Day, August 19.

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