Safety first _ and second _ for Jets in NFL draft

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Safety was the New York Jets' top priority early in the NFL draft. After taking LSU's Jamal Adams at No. 6 overall Thursday night, the Jets surprisingly selected Florida's Marcus Maye with their second-round pick Friday night. Coming off a 5-11 season and in what appears to be a rebuilding mode, New York entered the draft with plenty of needs.

Giants take DT Tomlinson and QB of future in Davis Webb

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- It didn't take the New York Giants long to find a replacement for defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and they may have found one for Eli Manning, too. After taking Dalvin Tomlinson of Alabama in the second round of the NFL draft, the Giants drafted a potential down-the-road replacement for the 36-year-old Manning, taking California quarterback Davis Webb in the third round.

Personal tragedy shaped congressman's effort on health care

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur has experienced personal tragedy and understands the need for health insurance. "I lost my mother at 4 years old. My father had no insurance and I watched him until I was in college pay off medical bills," says the two-term Republican lawmaker. Years later, MacArthur suffered the anguish over the death of his 11-year-old daughter, Gracie. "We had over $1 million of medical bills.

Flower shop owner accused of stealing plants from cemetery

PEQUANNOCK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- Police say a flower shop owner stole plants and other items from graves at a New Jersey cemetery for months. Capt. Christopher DePuyt says police installed surveillance cameras at the First Reformed Church Cemetery in Pequannock Township after two plants disappeared from the mausoleum and replacement plants were stolen two days later.

Giants take Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram with 23rd pick

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Giants got a tight end and a deep threat in one package in the NFL draft. In another move to revive their anemic offense, the Giants selected speedy Mississippi tight end Evan Engram with the 23rd pick overall Thursday. The All-American had a breakout senior season, catching 65 passes for 926 yards and eight touchdowns. He opened eyes at the NFL combine, running a 4.

600-year-old tree that witnessed history taken down

BERNARDS, N.J. (AP) -- Memories are all that remain of a 600-year-old white oak tree that was believed to be among the oldest of its kind in the nation. Workers on Wednesday finished removing the tree from the grounds of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards. About 50 people clapped and cheered and the church's bells rang as the tree's large stump was pulled out.

Cause of death of whale in New Jersey can't be determined

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) -- A marine mammal rescue group says a 43-foot (13-meter) whale that washed up on a New Jersey beach was too badly decomposed to determine how it died. The director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center says the whale that washed up Wednesday on a beach in Toms River had been dead for days and chewed on by sharks.

Train delays likely this summer over work at Penn Station

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rail travelers who have endured major disruptions recently at Penn Station, the nation's busiest rail station, are likely to see more delays this summer because it's in dire need of repair work, Amtrak officials said Thursday. Work on tracks and signals will begin in May and continue through the summer, Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman said. Some work will be done on weekends, but a significant part will be done on weekdays.

Sickly snake slithers into elementary school classroom

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) -- A sickly snake that slithered into a classroom at a New Jersey elementary school has been turned over to a rescue center. Third-graders at Riverside Elementary School in Princeton found the 4-foot-long (1.22 meter) boa constrictor on Tuesday. Principal Valerie Ulrich tells NJ.com (http://bit.ly/2q9qr8B ) the snake was in poor health and lucky to be alive.

Last sections of beloved 600-year-old tree removed at church

BERNARDS, N.J. (AP) -- The final sections of a 600-year-old white oak tree that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation were taken down Wednesday at a New Jersey church. Roughly 50 people were on hand at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards as the work was completed, and many of them clapped and cheered as the tree's large stump was pulled out and the church's bells rang.

Methodist court takes up challenge to election of gay bishop

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- The highest court in the United Methodist Church considered Tuesday whether to invalidate the election of the denomination's first openly gay bishop, amid a struggle to avoid schism over the Bible and same-sex relationships. The challenge was filed last year to the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto, who is married to another woman.

Paul McCartney adds tour dates for New York, New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- Paul McCartney is bringing his One On One tour to New Jersey and New York City. Officials on Tuesday announced McCartney will perform for the first time at Prudential Center in Newark on Sept. 11. He'll then perform at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 15, Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sept. 19 and Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island on Sept. 26.

Is attacking Trump the ticket? Democrats are trying it out

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- In New Jersey, a candidate running for governor compared the Trump camp to Nazis. In Virginia, a doctor running for governor fired up a gathering of Democrats by calling Trump a "narcissistic maniac," while his primary opponent called Trump's victory a "political and constitutional Sept. 11.

Rutgers to dedicate College Ave court to Jim Valvano

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Rutgers will dedicate its basketball court at the College Ave Gym on Saturday to former Scarlet Knights co-captain and school hall of famer Jim Valvano. The dedication at what's affectionately referred to as "The Barn" will take place on the university's annual Rutgers Day. Athletic Director Pat Hobbs says the university is proud to place Jimmy V's name on the court on which he competed and began his coaching career.

The Latest: Crews start taking down 600-year-old tree

BERNARDS, N.J. (AP) -- The Latest on the removal of a 600-year-old tree where George Washington once had a picnic. (all times local): 9:50 a.m. Workers have started taking down a 600-year-old white oak tree in New Jersey that's believed to be among the oldest in the nation. Crews started the task Monday at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards. It's expected to take two to three days to complete.

Beloved 600-year-old white oak tree takes final bow

BERNARDS, N.J. (AP) -- A white oak tree that has watched over a New Jersey community and a church for hundreds of years began its final bow Monday as crews began its removal and residents fondly remembered the go-to spot for formal photos, landmark for driving directions and the remarkable piece of natural history.

Medical tech firm Becton Dickinson to buy C.R. Bard for $24B

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. (AP) -- Medical technology firm Becton, Dickinson and Co. says it has reached an agreement to buy competitor C.R. Bard Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal worth $24 billion. The deal announced Sunday was approved by both companies' boards but still needs regulatory and Bard shareholder approvals. It's expected to close in the fall.

Community reluctantly bidding farewell to 600-year-old tree

BERNARDS, N.J. (AP) -- For hundreds of years, an imposing white oak tree has watched over a New Jersey community and a church, providing protection from the blazing summer sun, serving as a scenic backdrop for thousands of photos and -- according to legend -- was a picnic site for George Washington.