Sunshine returns, and it's back to the beach for many shore vacationers. Proceed with caution. Powerful ripcurrents are the work of Hurricane Gert, hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic. Lifeguards recommend floating if possible, and swimming parallel to the shoreline, to break loose.

Crowd gathers on the beach (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)

Also, high bacteria counts related to Tuesday's rain mean swim advisories for two Barnegat Bay swim spots, Stockton in Long Beach and Reese Avenue in Lavallette. They undergo re-tests today. Persistent excessive bacteria readings would mean closure until they return to levels deemed acceptable by health officials.

A man who beat a sea gull to death with an umbrella in Ocean City is sought by police. Officers were satisfied with his explanation that the bird was menacing children, until after he left, when a witness refuted it.

Planning to watch Monday's solar eclipse? Among the sites hosting viewing parties around New Jersey are the Ocean County libraries in Barnegat, Island Heights, and Little Egg Harbor, the Monmouth County Library main and eastern branches in Manalapan and Shrewsbury, and Ocean County College in Toms River.

Eight drug suspects from a half-dozen shore towns from Freehold to Stafford are among a dozen facing charges as a New York-to-Jersey Shore heroin ring is cracked by federal, state and local law enforcement. Suspects from Toms River and Paterson are accused of being the main connections to suppliers in the Bronx and Washington Heights.

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