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FLU CLAIMED LIFE OF 4-YEAR-OLD IN NJ, OFFICIALS CONFIRM

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Health officials confirmed that the flu was the cause of death for a 4-year-old girl, making her the first New Jerseyan to lose her life to the illness this winter, NJ.com reports. The girl, who lived in Central Jersey, had not been vaccinated, officials said. The state has seen more than 4,000 cases of the flu this season, with more than 1,000 new cases in the last two weeks, according to the Health Department.

MERYL STREEP, STEVIE VAN ZANDT VOTED INTO NJ HALL OF FAME


Actress Meryl Streep, musician Stevie Van Zandt and author Harlan Coben are among the 16 inductees to the New Jersey Hall of Fame, the Asbury Park Press writes. Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement Tuesday, saying the inductees “remind us how so many of our citizens have transformed the world.” An induction ceremony will be held on May 6.

LAWMAKERS CONSIDERING BAN ON MENTHOL CIGARETTES
A measure aimed at further reducing the rate of smoking in New Jersey won approval by the Assembly health committee Monday, NJ Spotlight reports. The proposal would ban combustible products containing menthol, including cigarettes like Kool and Newport. If the measure becomes law, New Jersey – which has one of the toughest anti-smoking laws in the nation – would become the first state to ban menthol cigarettes.

BACKLOG OF LIBRARY BOOK DELIVERIES TOPS 86,000
Library patrons seeking books and other materials they can’t find at their local libraries have run into a backlog that exceeds 86,000 volumes in Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties and even more statewide, The Record writes. The state-funded nonprofit LibraryLinkNJ, which handles interlibrary loans, brought on a new delivery contractor at the beginning of the year and now describes the situation as “catastrophic.”

WOMAN BARRED FROM BOARDING PLANE WITH HER PEACOCK
The story of a Brooklyn woman who wanted to board a United Airlines flight at Newark Liberty International Airport with her peacock went viral after the airline told the woman her animal did not meet guidelines for traveling in the cabin of the aircraft, Fox News reports. The woman said she had a ticket for the bird, which she said was an emotional support animal, but she ended up driving to her destination after the peacock was barred.

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