Here are the top New Jersey news stories for Thursday:

⬛ NJ's top federal prosecutor testifies in Menendez trial

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., leaves federal court in New York, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., leaves federal court in New York, Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Pamela Smith)
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NEW YORK (AP) — New Jersey’s top federal prosecutor testified Wednesday at Sen. Bob Menendez 's bribery trial that the Democrat sought to discuss the prosecution of a New Jersey real estate developer with him before recommending him to the post after Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger’s revelation in testimony that will continue on Thursday represented the second time in the five-week-old Manhattan federal court trial that a top law enforcement figure has said Menendez sought to speak about a criminal case affecting a New Jersey businessman.

⬛ Popular Jersey Shore beach toy exchange program expands

Beach toy bin at Brick Beach III created by Emma Havens Young Elementary School 5th grade students (Jen Ursillo)
Beach toy bin at Brick Beach III created by Emma Havens Young Elementary School 5th grade students (Jen Ursillo)
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BRICK — A group of Brick Township fifth graders and teachers who created a beach toy exchange bin at one beach, is proud to announce it is expanding the program this summer to include a bin at another township primary beach.

The “Take a Toy, Return a Toy” beach toy exchange bin was created by students belonging to the Fifth Grade Community Service Club at Emma Havens Young Elementary School in Brick, according to kindergarten teachers, Kristy Soltman and Kristen Carone, who are also the co-advisors of the Early Act Club at the school.

⬛ NJ retail theft problem: Suburb busts 38 in just 2 days

Cherry Hill Mall robbery suspects. (Cherry Hill police)
Cherry Hill Mall robbery suspects. (Cherry Hill police)
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CHERRY HILL — A two-day sting operation at retail stores in this Philadelphia suburb led to dozens of arrests.

With the help of surveillance tools and undercover officers, cops busted 38 suspects and recovered tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise, which police said left business owners “ecstatic.”

Officials credited the Cherry Hill Retail Theft Initiative, a partnership of police and merchants that began in November.

⬛ NJ officials on unruly teens: Parents are part of the problem

Canva/Townsquare Media illustration
Canva/Townsquare Media illustration
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Just this Monday night, two weeks removed from the holiday weekend, authorities in Wildwood had to respond to a rental property that had countless minors crammed inside, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

And when the crackdown occurred, the partiers were unfazed.

"They're just so brazen, it's hard to comprehend," said Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano.

⬛ Big grocery chain warns of card skimmers at NJ stores

Canva
Canva
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UNION TOWNSHIP (Union) — Aldi is warning its shoppers that stores in New Jersey have been targeted by scammers with card skimming devices.

Aldi said it learned about the problem only recently even though the breach happened around the start of the new year.

The national grocery chain said an investigation found that an "unauthorized party" placed the skimmers on card readers at checkout terminals.

⬛ Ex-member admits stealing $100K from NJ volunteer fire company

Sal Umek (insert) Point Pleasant Beach Fire Company 2 (via X, Google Maps)
Sal Umek (insert) Point Pleasant Beach Fire Company 2 (via X, Google Maps)
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POINT PLEASANT BEACH — A 46-year-old borough man has admitted to stealing more than $100,000 from a volunteer fire department while he was a member.

Salvatore “Sal” Umek pleaded guilty to theft in Ocean County Superior Court on Monday.

The money stolen from Point Pleasant Beach Fire Company Number 2 was used to pay Umek’s personal credit card debt, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said.

Why Beach Tags Should Never Be Allowed In New Jersey

Plus why you might be part of the reason badges may never go away.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

The best supermarkets in New Jersey

These are the highest-rated supermarkets in each of New Jersey's 21 counties. The ratings are based on reviews left by customers on Google. To be included in the top, a supermarket had to have a substantial number of reviews (typically at leas a thousand).

NJ schools that made the most calls to police

These are the 30 schools in New Jersey that made the most notifications to police during the 2022-23 school year for reasons including violence, weapons, vandalism, substances and harassment or bullying. The number of arrests made by police at the schools is also provided when applicable. The schools are listed by number of police calls from least to greatest. The data comes from the state Department of Education's annual School Performance Report.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

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Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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