Hurricane Irma, causing at least 10 known deaths in the Caribbean, bears down on southern Florida, where evacuations are well under way. Evacuation orders now stretch north into southern Georgia. Reports from the tiny island of Barbuda indicate 90 percent of its buildings destroyed or heavily damaged. In Puerto Rico, the storm left more than a million people without electricity, and tens of thousands without water.

Toms River emergency management officials take the lead on precautionary storm prep, placing a giant sand pile near the police department and a supply of bags inside headquarters. Residents can bring a shovel, fill the bags and fortify their properties against minor flooding, free of charge. It's especially recommended for home owners in low-lying areas.


Hurricane Harvey might be the costliest storm in U.S. history. Preliminary estimates place the damage at $190,000,000,000 - about the sum for Katrina and Sandy, combined.The US Senate approved an intial $15,000,000,000 in a package that raises the debt ceiling and lets the government continue functioning. It needs House approval

Taking lessons from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Middletown wins approval to study the feasibility of installing a micro-grid - an independent energy source to keep vital systems active in disasters or massive blackouts. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is funding studies in more than a dozen New Jersey communities, including Atlantic City and Camden.

For three months, starting September 12, Ocean Countyans who admit cheating Medicaid will avoid prosecution. The voluntary disclosure amnesty arrangement was crafted by the New Jersey Comptroller's Office following a rash of Medicaid fraud arrests in Lakewood, and has the imprimatur of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. Violators will be required to repay the Medicaid in full, pay civil penalties, and dislodge from the program for a year.

Egg Harbor Township endocrinologist James Kauffman appears headed for trial for his June standoff with police during a search of his office and home. Kauffman is accused of pulling a Ruger 9mm handgun. He faces weapons and obstruction counts.

Viewing takes place today, and services tomorrow. for Justin Dill, the Belford 19-year-old whose life ended on the job at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson. The electrical apprentice was hit by a boom truck while stringing lights. He was a Middletown High School North graduate and a former Boy Scout.

A former Edison police officer from Matawan can expect to spend 17 to 20 years in prison, for firebombing his supervisor's house. Michael Dotro pleaded guilty to attempted murder and arson counts. No one was hurt. Prosecutors alleged that it stemmed from a transfer, and a mandatory psychological exam.

It's a girl! A frantic father-to-be rushed into Hazlet police headquarters Wednesday as his wife began delivering their baby daughter in the back of their car. Sergeant Kevin Geoghegan slapped on gloves, charged outside, and helped bring the newborn into the world. Mom and baby are fine today.

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