Many governors welcome demise of GOP health care bill

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) -- Governors of both parties had warned Congress for weeks that the Republican health care bill threatened to saddle their states with big costs and potentially leave millions of people without coverage, especially because of the cutbacks planned to Medicaid. The bill's withdrawal on Friday left in place the status quo under the Affordable Care Act.

Melee in court in case tied to 'Real Housewives' guest

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- A melee broke out Friday at a hearing for a pair charged in the deaths of two men found in a burning car owned by a woman who often appears on "Real Housewives of New Jersey." Clarence Williams and Gerry Thomas, in court for a detention hearing, were ordered held without bail when the brawl broke out.

Mindy Kaling's Newark joke leads to dinner with Cory Booker

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- A joke about Newark, New Jersey, on "The Mindy Project" led to dinner plans between U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and star Mindy Kaling. Her character joked after hearing that Booker had come to her colleague's event that "I guess anything to get out of Newark, huh?" Booker tweeted "Ouch!" at Kaling on Thursday. He added that he still loved her, though.

Even if 'Snooki' bill approved, university to pay speaker

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Even if New Jersey's governor approves a measure inspired by former "Jersey Shore" star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi to cap what state public universities can pay speakers, Rutgers University is still offering $35,000 for this year's commencement speaker. Rutgers says that the honorarium offered to actor and musician Steven Van Zandt is paid for with money from its beverage contract with Coca-Cola and not taxpayer money.

Exotic African hybrid cat roaming New Jersey streets caught

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- Authorities in New Jersey say they captured a large exotic cat that was wandering Paterson streets. Officials say residents called Animal Control to report the cat Thursday morning. Animal Control says officers arrived and were forced to tranquilize the animal because it was out of control. The cat was later identified as a Savannah cat.

Trump's pattern: Make claim first, then wait for facts

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For President Donald Trump, facts often follow fiction. Since the early days of his campaign, the president has developed a pattern: Make an outrageous claim. Dig in as the criticism rolls. And wait until, eventually, something emerges that can be spun as vindication of the earlier claim. It happened again this week when Rep.

Rutgers guard Corey Sanders to enter NBA Draft

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Rutgers sophomore guard Corey Sanders is entering the NBA draft. In making the announcement Thursday, the university said Sanders will not sign with an agent. Sanders will be able to attend workouts scheduled by NBA teams and will be eligible for invitation to the league's combine next month.

Jerzeez Diner owners admit setting fire for insurance money

NEWTON, N.J. (AP) -- The owners of a New Jersey diner have admitted burning it down to collect insurance. Sussex County prosecutors say 49-year-old Tina Diakos and 40-year-old Ozkan Cengiz pleaded guilty to arson on Wednesday. Prosecutors say the pair said business at the Jerzeez Diner in Vernon was not doing well so they drove from their home in Butler and set it on fire in March 2016. No one was injured.

Bill inspired by Snooki caps public university speaker fees

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A bill inspired by former "Jersey Shore" star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi to cap what state public universities can pay to speakers was approved by lawmakers Thursday and now heads to the governor's desk. The Democrat-controlled Assembly unanimously passed the legislation to cap the spending of state money at $10,000. The legislation is now up for consideration by Republican Gov.

Teen in fight video thanks man who stepped in to stop it

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey teenager who posted a video of a street fight interrupted by a peacemaking New Jersey man said that he is thankful for the intervention. Jamar Mobley told CBS Philly (http://cbsloc.al/2nBjPBx) that the fight could have gone "a whole other way" if Ibn Ali Miller hadn't stepped in. "He was minding his business and just came out of the car," Mobley said.

Man who stopped fight gets millions of views, tons of praise

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- A video showing a man stopping a fight between two teenagers in New Jersey and refusing to leave until the boys shake hands has drawn millions of views and heaps of praise for his intervention. The video has been viewed more than 20 million times since being posted on Facebook on Monday.

Vegas casino owner eyes $1M March Madness win from rival

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- This is March Madness on a whole different level. A bet between two Las Vegas casino owners will cost one of them $1 million if Michigan wins the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Derek Stevens, who owns The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate casinos, plunked down $12,500 on the Wolverines at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas, which was offering 80-to-1 odds before the tournament started.

Wegmans sets opening for 2 NJ stores, NYC market in works

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- Wegmans Food Markets has announced opening dates for its two new stores in northern New Jersey. The Rochester-based supermarket chain says Tuesday that a 113,000-square-foot Wegmans will open July 23 in Hanover, followed on Sept. 24 by the opening of the company's 108,000-square-foot store in Montvale. About 500 workers will be employed at each store.

Atlantic City murder suspect due in court after extradition

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) -- A man charged with murder in the shooting death of a woman whose body was found inside an Atlantic City apartment where they both lived has been returned to New Jersey. Atlantic County prosecutors say 43-year-old Joseph McCoy is due to make his initial court appearance on Tuesday. The hearing comes after he was extradited from North Carolina, where he was captured in early January.

2 plead not guilty in deaths tied to 'Real Housewives' guest

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- Two men pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges stemming from a double homicide involving a burning car owned by a woman who often appears on "Real Housewives of New Jersey." Clarence Williams, 26, and Gerry Thomas, 28, entered their pleas during their initial court appearances made via a camera feed from the Passaic County jail.

Comic Joe Piscopo considers run for governor as independent

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Joe Piscopo won't run as a Republican in New Jersey's upcoming governor's race, but the comedian best known for his Frank Sinatra impression on "Saturday Night Live" says he is "more serious" than ever about joining the field as an independent. Piscopo was a longtime Democrat who recently became a backer of Republican President Donald Trump. His potential candidacy to replace Republican Gov.

2 men dead in burning car believed tied to TV performer ID'd

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- The deaths of two New Jersey men whose bodies were found in a burning car believed to belong to a reality television show performer have been ruled homicides. Passaic County prosecutors identified the men Monday as Aaron Anderson and Antonio Vega Jr. The Paterson residents were found Friday by emergency responders checking out a car fire in the city. The bodies were discovered after the fire was extinguished.

Justices won't hear Menendez appeal in corruption case

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez's appeal of his corruption indictment, setting the stage for a federal trial in the fall. The justices let stand a lower court ruling that refused to dismiss charges including conspiracy, bribery and fraud against the Democratic lawmaker.

Comedian Artie Lange arrested over drug possession

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) -- Comedian Artie Lange was arrested recently on drug possession charges outside his New Jersey home. Hoboken police spokesman Sgt. Edgardo Cruz tells to NJ Advance Media (http://bit.ly/2mEaW6G) that 49-year-old Lange was arrested on Sunday after allegedly being found with drugs in the parking garage of his building. Officers found cocaine, heroin and drug paraphernalia both on him and in his car. Lange has a history of drug addiction.