Thanksgiving weekend, statistically one of the deadliest times of the year on New Jersey roads, this time arrives with advisories from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, AAA, and Ocean County Prosecutor Joe Coronato - who is staffing each DUI checkpoint with drug monitoring experts.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato (Townsquare Media)

He hasn't announced a concrete plan, but Governor-elect Phil Murphy intends to raise New Jersey's minimum wage from $8.40 to $15 per hour in the next three to four years, claiming that it can be done without harm to small businesses. He joined state legislative leaders advocating for it Monday.

Behind the scenes, the opiate-driven nationwide lawsuit against several major pharmaceutical manufacturers steadily builds. Toms River and Brick Township are the Ocean County communities that have signed on, alongside major hubs like Newark and Chicago, and numerous counties. Attorney Andrew D'Arcy of Toms River-based D'Arcy-Johnson-Day, a lead litigator, says that each plaintiff's situation is being considered individually. A court victory or settlement would mean a share of the financinal figure reached, for each plaintiff.

A Lakewood 14-year-old sustains a broken eye socket and other injuries after being run down by a car Monday evening. The driver told police that the teen darted in front of the car, ignoring the horn he sounded as a warning.

Gucci bags disappear from a TJ Maxx in Evesham, and police have issued surveillance images of the pair they believe swiped them. Police estimate a value of about $3,000 for the pilfered purses.

For some special needs children, a visit to Santa in a mall, with the noise and lights, can be close to traumatic. In Mays Landing, the Hamilton Mall is offering Sensory Free Santa Visits, toned down to provide a comforting atmosphere. They're by appointment, the next two Sundays.

New Jersey reaches a $72,200,000 settlement with Volkswagen, related to the company's installation of devices that allowed thousands of diesel engines to evade emissions testing. That's in addition to a separate $60,000,000 in an unrelated case. Governor Christie said that the money would be applied to clean-air efforts and public health protection.

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