NEW JERSEY

Killer: Dental plan bites

Michael LaSane apparently has a toothache. The convicted killer sued New Jersey's prison system for failing to provide proper treatment after dental surgery.

Last Friday, a federal court in Trenton rejected the suit.

LaSane was convicted four years ago of the 1996 carjacking and murder of Kathleen Weinstein, an Ocean County teacher who secretly recorded the crime as it unfolded.

The tape was played during the trial.

LaSane was convicted of abducting Weinstein outside a Toms River restaurant and killing her after driving her to a wooded area near his home in Berkeley Township.

He was sentenced to life plus 60 years, but that sentence was later reduced to life plus 30 years.

Cracks in A.C. facade

Officials said that plans are being made to repair cracks on the "Boardwalk Empire" facade on the Atlantic City boardwalk.

They say some cracks have appeared there in the past few weeks, emerging in the vinyl along the edges of the facade's panels.

The facade, which shows images of the city's 1920s-era storefronts similar to those seen on the HBO television series, was paid for through private donations.

Officials said that the problem should be corrected "in the very near future."

The 180-foot facade, located in front of Boardwalk Hall near Florida Avenue, was erected in July.

It has white spots where the vinyl cracked, but the majority of the mural is still visible and unblemished.

Man dies in motel fire

A 53-year-old man was killed Sunday in a fire at a Glassboro, N.J., motel.

Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Bernie Weisenfeld said that firefighters found Walter White in his second-floor room at the Royal Inn shortly after 8 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The fire was contained to White's room and extinguished shortly after firefighters arrived. Weisenfeld said White lived at the motel "intermittently" in recent years.

Suicide-prevention bill

A bill that has passed both houses of the state Legislature would help create a statewide plan to address youth suicide-prevention efforts.

The bill, which now heads to Gov. Chris Christie's desk, calls on the state's Children and Families Department to develop the plan, aided by the Health and Senior Services Department and the New Jersey Youth Suicide Prevention Advisory Council.

Officials would then use the plan to promote greater public awareness about youth suicide-prevention services and resources.

They also would seek to eliminate problems that hamper access to mental-health and substance-abuse services.

PENNSYLVANIA

Washington's crossing

George Washington has made his annual Christmas Day ride across the Delaware River.

The 59th annual re-enactment of Washington's daring Christmas 1776 crossing of the river - the trek that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War - was staged Sunday on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey border.

Hundreds gathered at the site in Upper Makefield Township, Bucks County, to hear Washington's stand-in deliver stirring words to the troops and watch three boats make the crossing from Pennsylvania to New Jersey.

During the crossing 233 years ago, boats ferried some 2,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 18 cannons across the river.

The troops marched eight miles downriver and fell on Hessian mercenaries in the streets of Trenton.

Thirty Hessians were killed; two Continental soldiers froze to death on the march, but none died in the battle.

- Staff and wire reports