News from Ocean & Monmouth counties and around New Jersey.

EATONTOWN - Route 71 thorugh more than a dozen eastern Monmouth towns is about to undergo major resurfacing. New Jersey transportation officials say the $9million project is the highway's first overhaul in more than a decade. Work from Sea Girt through Eatontown is scheduled between 8PM and 6AM..with no summer lane closures.

TRENTON - Selling synthetic marijuana will soon have very real penalties in New Jersey. Attorney General Jeff Chiesa has banned any drug designed to mimic the effects of marijuana in an attempt to stay ahead of distributors. Making, possessing or selling them is now punishable by three to five years in prion and fines up to $25,000.

LACEY - Police in Lacey are searching for a purse snatcher. An 86-year-old woman was in the parking lot of the Lacey Mall when it happened Monday night. The man fled the scene. She was unharmed in the incident.

LAKEWOOD - An 18-year-old Lakewood High School senior joins the field of seven hopefuls seeking seats on the township Board Of Education. Aasim Johnson contends that the board would be well-served to include someone on the user end of the spectrum. The election's in April.


TRENTON - Governor Chris Christie takes your calls and questions during Townsquare Media NJ's monthly Ask The Governor program at 7PM. Join our interactive blog at during the show and ask your question by calling 800-283-1015, by texting your question to 89000 or via Twitter at #AskGov.

BRICK - The issue over the Brick Mayor's salary is settled. The Council approved the salary ordinance to reduce it from $52,000 down to $15,000 for those who hold the post but have full time jobs. Mayor Steve Acropolis, who heads the Toms River MUA isn't in support of it but plans to take a dollar a year salary to cut costs. The vote was 5 - 2

MANCHESTER - Three Toms River men are charged with arson after allegedly setting a forest fire in Manchester. Police say 20-year-old Richard Rubino Junior, 19-year-old Timothy Demarco and 19-year-old Tyler Anderson all remain in the Ocean County Jail accused of starting the Monday blaze at the Heritage Minerals property on Route 70. Bail is set at $20,000

LACEY - Lacey township's emergency medical services unit has a new ambulance. Reports say funding was approved for the $140,000 vehicle by the Township Committee. The squad had to raise $40,000 for it. It's the first new ambulance for the department since 1996 and will help them get to those in need a lot faster.

TOMS RIVER - The Ocean County Freeholders are encouraging residents to ask for locally caught seafood. Freeholder Joe Vicari is asking residents to ask supermarkets, fish markets and restaurants, "What do they have from New Jersey today". He says local fisherman are bringing in clams, oyster, scallops, fluke, sea bass and more during winter months.

ATLANTIC CITY - An Atlantic County grand jury indicts a Mays Landing man for aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide and a number of assault counts in connection to a three-car crash in Hamilton township last year. 58-year-old William Liepe was allegedly intoxicated while driving triggering an accident that killed a 9-year-old boy and seriously injured several others.

LACEY - Starting Saturday, Buddhist monks and nuns from Japan lead a 19-day walk from the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey to Vermont's Yankee nuclear generator. Marchers in the no-more-fukushimas peace walk are encouraging bystanders to speak with them about the lessons of last year's japanese nuclear disaster.

TRENTON - Jersey Central Power And Light is plunging almost $200million into projects to meet increased demand and improve reliability. The company says it's improving distribution, replacing worn cables, building substations, and enhancing efforts to keep lines clear of tree limbs.