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Pack, Bucs, Chiefs are top 3 in final Pro32 poll of season | Football



NEW YORK (AP) — The race to Super Bowl 56 in sunny southern California is about to begin.

And if the Green Bay Packers have anything to say about it, opposing teams will have to go through frigid Lambeau Field for an opportunity to get there.

The Packers finished the regular season with the No. 1 seed in the NFC and the top spot in the final AP Pro32 poll of the regular season.

The Packers earned all 12 first-place votes for 384 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.

Because Aaron Rodgers and the Packers earned the NFC’s bye, they will watch the wild-card weekend from home before knowing their opponent for the divisional round.

“Aaron Rodgers appears headed for a fourth MVP and, perhaps more importantly, a chance to address the only shortcoming on his resume,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

“A second Super Bowl championship would check that box in dramatic fashion.”

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers remained at No. 2 in the poll. The Bucs, who beat the Packers in the NFC title game last season, are the No. 2 seed in the conference. The defending champs will open the postseason by hosting the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

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Newark Central over North Bergen – ALS Showcase – Boys basketball recap




Hazir Lee netted 16 points with five rebounds and four steals to lead Newark Central to a 63-43 win over North Bergen at the ALS Showcase in Union City.

Lee scored eight points in the third quarter to help Central take a 47-35 lead into the final quarter.

Zahmorian Singleton, who was named Newark Central’s Team MVP, added on 20 points and five rebounds, while Jakai Irby posted a double-double with 10 points and 18 rebounds.

Eli Camacho was selected as North Bergen’s Team MVP.

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First Lady Jill Biden returns to New Jersey on Jan. 20, 2022




First lady Jill Biden will be making her third trip to New Jersey on Thursday. reports Biden will visit Bergen County College in Paramus to make an announcement with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. Students and staff of several offices at the college were made aware of the visit.

The topic of the announcement was not disclosed but the Department of Education announced Tuesday that every state education agency had received approval of their respective American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief plan. The $122 billion in funds is intended to help keep schools open for in-person learning during the pandemic.

A spokesman for the college referred questions about the visit to the White House on Wednesday morning which did not respond to New Jersey 101.5’s request for more information.

Gov. Phil Murphy greets First Lady Jill Biden before touring Samuel Smith School in Burlington on March 15, 2021 (Edwin J. Torres/ NJ Governor’s Office)

Gov. Phil Murphy greets First Lady Jill Biden before touring Samuel Smith School in Burlington on March 15, 2021 (Edwin J. Torres/ NJ Governor’s Office)

Gov. Phil Murphy coming too?

Gov. Phil Murphy has accompanied Biden on her previous visits to New Jersey.

The first lady’s first visit to New Jersey was in March to the Samuel Smith Elementary School in Burlington City to highlight the benefits of the Biden Administration’s COVID relief plan.

She also made a campaign appearance for Murphy at Middlesex Collge in Edison in October.

Biden was born in Hammonton and grew up in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

2021 NJ property taxes: See how your town compares

Find your municipality in this alphabetical list to see how its average property tax bill for 2021 compares to others. You can also see how much the average bill changed from 2020. For an interactive map version, click here.

New Jersey’s smallest towns by population

New Jersey’s least populated municipalities, according to the 2020 Census. This list excludes Pine Valley, which would have been the third-smallest with 21 residents but voted to merge into Pine Hill at the start of 2022.

7 things NJ should ban right now

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Change to seat belt, other laws could reduce N.J. traffic deaths, advocates say




New Jersey is doing better than 11 states by having laws on the books that a traffic safety advocacy group says would reduce traffic deaths, but the state still lacks some laws considered essential to bring the death toll down.

The annual report, “Out of Control” Traffic Deaths gives New Jersey good marks for having 13 laws on the books in 2022 out of 16 laws recommended by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. New Jersey is among 31 states with a “yellow rating,” meaning the state lacks all of the Advocates’ recommended optimal laws.

This year’s report ranks New Jersey lower than neighboring New York and Delaware. Pennsylvania scored lowest of neighboring states with 7 of the 16 laws, but still got a yellow ranking.

The crucial missing law in New Jersey that kept it from getting a higher “green” best state ranking is one that would allow police to stop a vehicle if a passenger wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

Currently that is considered a secondary offense in New Jersey, meaning police have to stop a vehicle for another offense, in order to write a summons for a passenger who isn’t belted in.

Seatbelt use increased 10% to 15% in states that had primary enforcement, the advocates wrote.

“While New York and New Jersey both have 13 laws, the roadmap of state highway safety laws requires states to have a primary enforcement seat belt law covering passengers in all seating positions (front and rear) to achieve a green rating,” said Pete Daniels, an Advocates spokesman. “New Jersey is missing a primary enforcement rear seat belt law and therefore does not qualify for the green rating.”

New York tied New Jersey, having 13 of the recommended 16 laws, and Delaware has only 11 of the optimal laws, but both of those states received a better “green” ranking in the report because they have a primary enforcement seat belt law.

If it’s any comfort to proud New Jerseyans, no state has a “perfect” ranking with all 16 laws in effect. Wyoming and Missouri are the worst states, with only three of the recommended laws on the books, the report said.

New Jersey lacks two teen driver laws, the report said, including one mandating 50 hours of supervised practice time that was supported by AAA and the subject of unsuccessful legislation in 2021.

That legislation would have required new permit holders under the age of 21 to complete 50 hours of supervised driving and increased the permit phase from six months to 12 months to offer teens ample time to accrue practice hours and gain vital driving experience.

Bills in the state Senate and Assembly failed to make it to a full vote of either body in 2021. Mississippi, Arkansas and New Jersey are the only states without such a requirement.

The missing other law places a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. restriction on nighttime driving by teen drivers. New Jersey’s law misses the mark because it has an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on unsupervised teen driving.

New Jersey was dinged in the Advocates’ 2021 report for lacking the same three laws.

The report was released as traffic fatalities in the state and nation increased last year. New Jersey finished 2021 with 690 people killed in traffic crashes, the highest since 2007 and marking an increase for the third straight year in a row, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rise in the state’s traffic fatalities in 2021 reflects national trends that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified in October when it released its fatality estimates for the first six months of the year.

The fatality figures “emphasize the need for progress on traffic safety laws at the state level,” and to get needed infrastructure improvements under way,” said Cathy Chase, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety president.

NHTSA estimated 20,160 people died in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. during the first half of 2021, up 18.4% over 2020. Similar to New Jersey, that’s the highest number of fatalities for the same time period since 2006.

In the report, the state got high marks for having laws in other areas requiring ignition interlocks, which is a breathalyzer type of test drivers who’ve been convicted of drunk driving must install on their cars. Those drives have to pass that test before their vehicles will start.

The state also scored well for laws to prevent districted driving and for having child booster seat laws.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement and safety groups and insurance companies.

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Larry Higgs may be reached at

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