New Jersey took a first step Thursday toward a sweeping ban on plastics - affecting carryout bags, plastic straws and Styrofoam food containers. A new 10-cent fee would also be imposed on paper bags - though not for two years.

A vote on legalizing weed for recreational use will come before the end of October.

In an effort to preserve and prevent redevelopment of the forked river mountains, the Ocean County freeholders have purchased the nearly 8,000 acre tract of land.

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