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This Hour: Latest New Jersey news, sports, business and entertainment

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NJ's top court proposes change to spousal immunity

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey's Supreme Court is proposing an exception to the law that keeps conversations between a husband and wife private.

The court on Tuesday ruled in the case of an Ocean County couple whose calls and text messages were intercepted by wiretaps used by authorities investigating a drug trafficking network.

An appeals court overturned a lower court judge who found the conversations and texts were not confidential because they were overhead by law enforcement. The judge also discussed that the conversations aided in a crime.

The state's highest court sided with the appeals court that marital communication does not lose its privacy just because it's heard by wiretap. But the justices proposed that the Legislature create a crime-fraud exception when spouses are jointly involved in criminal activity.


Gov. Christie visits Colorado for fundraiser

DENVER (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is visiting political battleground Colorado for a fundraiser with the state's GOP gubernatorial candidate, Bob Beauprez, before heading to Aspen for events with other party leaders.

Christie will be at a noon fundraiser in Denver on Wednesday for the Republican Governor's Association, which Christie chairs. Afterward, he'll be visiting a downtown Denver restaurant with Beauprez. Republican voters last month picked Beauprez to challenge Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in November.

Christie will be in Aspen on Wednesday evening and Thursday for RGA events. One of them is a discussion with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.


Boy, 9, dies in ATV accident in Hunterdon County

(Information in the following story is from: Courier News (Bridgewater, N.J.) , )

KINGWOOD, N.J. (AP) - State Police say a nine-year-old died from injuries sustained in an ATV crash in Hunterdon County.

The boy was riding the all-terrain vehicle in a backyard off Route 519 in Kingwood Township on Tuesday.

State Police spokeswoman Trooper Alina Spies tells the Courier News of Bridgewater the boy lost control of the ATV, was ejected and struck a piece of farm equipment. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

His name has not been released because of his age.


No injuries in Palisades Park fire

(Information in the following story is from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.),

PALISADES PARK, N.J. (AP) - Authorities are investigating the cause of a stubborn fire in a two-story office building in Palisades Park.

It took more than 100 firefighters more than two hours to bring the fire at the offices of a law firm and title agency on Bergen Boulevard under control Wednesday.

Fire Chief Stephen Killion tells The Record newspaper the fire was mostly between the ceiling and the roof.

No one was in the building at the time and no one was injured.

The cause is not considered suspicious.


Port Authority to address bus terminal conditions

NEW YORK (AP) - New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal is getting plenty of attention lately, almost all of it negative.

The aging terminal has come under criticism from New Jersey lawmakers who say their constituents have to deal with long delays, substandard conditions and a lack of communication.

More than 200,000 commuters pass through the bus station every day. This week, one of them was John Degnan. He's about to take over as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that operates the terminal.

Degnan told reporters the conditions at the terminal are unacceptable.

The agency is to discuss the terminal at its monthly board meeting Wednesday. The terminal wasn't included among a list of major projects in the agency's 10-year capital plan released earlier this year.


Sandy damages gunpowder

BRICK TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey State Police bomb squad has safely detonated gunpowder that was weakened by Superstorm Sandy.

Brick Township police say the gunpowder was legally owned and in a home. But police say the gunpowder had deteriorated because of water damage from Sandy.

The gunpowder was removed Tuesday and the bomb squad blew it up at the township's public works facility.


South Jersey teacher accused of sex assault

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. (AP) - Prosecutors in Cape May County are accusing a Middle Township High School teacher of having sex with a student.

Authorities have charged 34-year-old Joseph Towns with sexual assault, criminal sexual contact, child endangerment and official misconduct.

Authorities allege the English teacher engaged in a sexual relationship with the student between October 2012 and October 2013.

It's not known if Towns has a lawyer.


Texas-based drug ring leader gets nearly 23 years

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) - Prosecutors say the leader of a Texas-based drug ring that supplied at least eight other states has been sentenced to nearly 23 years in federal prison.

Alejandro "Alex" Gonzales of Alvin was sentenced Tuesday in Beaumont.

The 36-year-old Gonzales in January pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. Investigators say Gonzales and his associates for several years were supplied by cartels in Mexico.

The drugs were distributed throughout Texas as well as to Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Oklahoma.

Gonzales was among more than two dozen people indicted last August in the drug trafficking conspiracy and firearms investigation. Further details on the other defendants weren't immediately available.


New Brunswick police probe vehicle fires

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - Police are investigating a string of vehicle fires that have occurred across New Brunswick in the last two weeks.

Police say six vehicles have been torched since July 7, including two on Tuesday.

Most of the fires were set in the early morning hours. The fires have occurred on Louis Street, Livingston Avenue, Commercial Avenue, Class Place, Remsen Avenue and Jersey Avenue.


Fortune 500 firm Sealed Air moving HQ to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina has convinced Fortune 500 packaging company Sealed Air Corp. to move nearly 1,300 jobs to the Charlotte area by relocating its New Jersey headquarters and consolidating management operations from several other states.

A North Carolina committee that approves corporate tax breaks on Wednesday approved up to $36 million over 12 years if the company meets job and investment targets. The Elmwood Park, New Jersey, company was expected to announce the move with North Carolina officials later Wednesday.

North Carolina Commerce Department spokeswoman Kim Genardo said the company will consolidate some operations from Connecticut, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and New Jersey into a new headquarters complex in the Charlotte area costing more than $50 million.

Genardo said the company also considered Greenville, South Carolina, before choosing Charlotte.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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