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NATIONAL
February 1, 2014 | By Chris Megerian and Joseph Tanfani
TRENTON, N.J. - With a hot sun bearing down, Gov. Chris Christie grasped a ceremonial shovel and dug into a patch of dirt where a new park would bloom in a blighted area of Newark. To his right, holding another shovel, was Bill Baroni, then Christie's appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey - and now a central player in the George Washington Bridge scandal that has enveloped the New Jersey governor and his aides. Baroni was delivering a $9-million boost from his agency's coffers to buy land for the park.
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NATIONAL
January 31, 2014 | By Joseph Tanfani, Maeve Reston and Mark Z. Barabak
A former close aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said through his attorney that the governor knew about the closures of lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as they were happening, disputing Christie's assertion that he only learned about the traffic mess later. A lawyer for David Wildstein, who engineered the lane closures while working as a Christie appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said in a letter that the closures came "at the Christie administration's order.
NEWS
January 31, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Is Manhattan big enough for two seasonal events to take over the lights atop its landmark Empire State Buidling? Apparently so. Red and gold dazzling lights in honor of Chinese New Year will shine brightly on the building's tower lights Friday -- until they are interrupted for an hour-long Super Bowl tribute. The Empire State Building kicked off lunar new year festivities on Wednesday with a lighting ceremony and opening of a Year of the Horse exhibition in the lobby. The bursts of color are meant to represent fireworks for the new year observance, which begins Friday and lasts 15 days.
NATIONAL
January 31, 2014 | By Alana Semuels
NEW YORK - When her team, the Seattle Seahawks, made it to the Super Bowl, Mabel Chan knew she was going to travel to the East Coast to cheer them to victory. "It's the Super Bowl! In New York City!" she said recently, standing in a crowded New York street a few feet from where fellow tourists screamed as they slid down a giant toboggan slide that had been erected earlier in the week. It's not a statement that would exactly warm the cockles of the hearts of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker or the state's other politicians.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2014 | By David Ng
When soprano Renée Fleming takes to MetLife  Stadium in New Jersey on Sunday to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl, she will sing to music performed by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. But the accompaniment will be a recording, not a live orchestral performance. The New Jersey Symphony confirmed Wednesday that it will provide a recording of "The Star-Spangled Banner" that will play as Fleming performs before the game. The soprano also will be joined by a 32-voice group from military choruses and choirs, according to a Wednesday report in the New York Times.
NEWS
January 27, 2014 | By Joseph Tanfani
TRENTON, N.J. -- A new joint investigations committee began its work Monday, seeking to unravel the mystery of who gave the order for the now-notorious traffic jam in September in the lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge. The new joint committee reissued the 20 subpoenas that another Assembly panel issued earlier this month, many to top officials in the office of Republican Gov. Chris Christie and his appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly had started separate investigations before deciding to combine their efforts.
SPORTS
January 25, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Here's the headline from a January story from The Star-Ledger in New Jersey : Tranferring 'epidemic' sweeping across New Jersey high school basketball landscape. Like California, New Jersey has a 30-day sitout period that is pretty much being ignored as a penalty, leading to top players switching schools.  "Transferring has just gone rampant," St. Mary's of Elizabeth coach Anthony Colletti told the newspaper. "I'll be honest, when basketball season's over I'm on edge because I worry about who I'm going to lose.
OPINION
January 24, 2014
Re "Defending Jahi's family," Opinion, Jan. 21 After reading the Op-Ed article by Christopher Dolan, the lawyer representing the family of brain-dead teenager Jahi McMath, it's easy to identify the true culprit in this sad case: Dolan himself. We can all sympathize with Jahi's family. What we do not care for is a lawyer who has given this poor family bad advice and prolonged their agony. This case has nothing to do with personal rights; it has everything to do with being honest with one's clients.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 2014 | By Amy Kaufman
There were babies everywhere: crying, crawling, pooping. Framed Bible citations and photos of Jesus lined the walls. And no one was using a cellphone. This is what Vanessa Hudgens saw in 2011 when she arrived at New Jersey's Several Sources shelter, a safe haven for young pregnant women and new mothers without homes. And it made her very uncomfortable. "The first thing I did," the actress later recalled, "was run up to my room, call my mom and go, 'What on earth am I doing here?
OPINION
January 19, 2014
Re “Christie tries to turn the page,” Jan. 15 Not that I'm a Chris Christie fan - I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop - but he has impressed me. He is a man of action. He had a crisis, acted immediately, got to the bottom of it: found the offenders, heads rolled, they were fired. He spoke, he apologized, he solved the problem. He didn't drag it on with empty promises like our president. Lying gets you everywhere; telling the truth condemns you. With President Obama at the helm, I think there is no longer a standard of right and wrong.
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