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    Catching up on some of the highlights from Week 8.


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    The 21-year-old victim suffered non-life threatening injuries at a shooting outside a fraternity and sorority party near Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

    NEW BRUNSWICK - Police are investigating a shooting at a party near Rutgers University.

    A group of men tried to enter a fraternity and sorority party on Hamilton Street between Union Street and Easton Avenue at about 1:30 a.m. When they were denied entry, a brawl broke out between the men and party guests, city police said.

    A black man with shoulder-length dreadlocks, between 5-feet, 7-inches and 5-feet, 9-inches tall, wearing a white baggy shirt and blue jeans  pulled a black handgun out and fired one or two rounds into the crowd, striking a 21-year-old man in the shoulder, police said.

    The victim was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital with a non-life threatening injury, police said

    The suspect and the other uninvited men fled on Hamilton Street towards Easton Avenue. Anyone with information is asked to contact the New Brunswick Police Department Detective Bureau at 732-745-5217

    Allison Pries may be reached at apries@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @AllisonPries. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Ref who walked off the field say 'I'm not in favor of anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces.'

    Two high school football officials walked off the field in protest Friday night after players from Monroe High School in Somerset County knelt during the national anthem before the team’s game against visiting Colts Neck.

    The officials, Ernie Lunardelli, 54, and his son, Anthony Lunardelli, 27, stood for the anthem and then abruptly left the field after seeing the players kneeling. Their spots on the five-person crew were filled by junior cadet officials at the game, Ernie Lunardelli said.

    “I’m not in favor of anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces,” Ernie Lunardelli told NJ Advance Media Saturday afternoon. “What they’re protesting has nothing to do with the national anthem and I’m against it, so I decided to protest for them kneeling and that’s what I did.”


    RELATED: Refs targeted us for taking a knee during anthem, coaches say


    Ernie Lunardelli said weeks ago he informed the officials assigner for the Greater Middlesex Conference, Thomas Paulikas, that he would walk off the field if any players knelt for the anthem before his games.

    “Whoever is disrespecting that flag and the national anthem, that’s who I have a problem with,” Lunardelli said. “That’s my protest. I don’t care if it’s a baby, if it’s an 80-year-old man, anybody. I don’t care. Any race, color, I don’t care who it is. It’s not the way I was brought up and it pisses me off that people are doing that.”

    Paulikas declined comment when reached by phone Saturday.

    Lunardelli, meanwhile, said he and his son were unassigned from working Saturday’s game between Spotswood and Raritan.

    After Lunardelli and his son left, they were replaced by two cadets who were already assigned to work on the chain crew for the game. Lunardelli alleged Saturday the game is not official because the cadets did not have proper certification or training.

    “That game should not count now because they did not have the right personnel on the field,” Lunardelli said. “These kids weren’t officially carded and trained, so they’re putting the kids in jeopardy, I’m not.”

    Monroe athletic director Greg Beyer declined comment when reached by phone Saturday. State officials assigner Carmine Picardo also declined to discuss the situation, saying he “did not know what could happen” based on the protest by the Lunardellis.

    Colts Neck went on to defeat Monroe, 18-13.


    RELATED: Can N.J. schools punish students for NFL-style 'take a knee' protests?


    “I have a lawyer already set up because they’re not going to run me out of town,” Lunardelli said. “They’re going to try to blackball me. I know what’s going to happen.”

    High school football players from New Jersey teams such as Woodrow Wilson in Camden, Barringer in Newark and Penns Grove in Salem County knelt last season in protest of social injustices. This season, players from Monroe have knelt before games.

    There is nothing in New Jersey statue, code or case law that addresses kneeling during the national anthem at football games, and last year there were no reports of suspensions or other punishments after players knelt. If a public school student was punished for kneeling, it is unlikely the punishment would survive a lawsuit, experts say.

    Meanwhile, the state’s governing body for high school sports, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, has no rules regarding the national anthem. But NJSIAA assistant director Jack DuBois said Saturday described Friday’s situation at Monroe as highly unusual.

    “I’ve been involved in high school athletics for 48 years and I’ve never seen or heard of an official leaving a game in any sport,” DuBois said. “I don’t think it would be appropriate to comment about what transpired without know exactly what happened and why. I can tell you this will be investigated by both the Central Jersey chapter and our office.”

    News of Lunardelli’s protest was first reported by mycentraljersey.com.

    Lunardelli expressed anger Saturday over the kneeling movement that began last year with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and spread across most levels of sports. The silent protests were meant to draw attention to racial inequality and police brutality against people of color in the United States.

    “What hurts the most is these kids don’t even know why they’re kneeling,” he said. “I just don’t understand why this is happening, especially at the high school level. If you’re not happy with being in America, go somewhere else. It’s that simple.”

    NJ Advance Media staff writer Joe Zedalis contributed to this report.

    Matthew Stanmyre may be reached at mstanmyre@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattStanmyre. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    With the sea level rising, and the next monster storm all but guaranteed, a miracle is exactly what New Jersey needs. Either that or a new governor with the conviction and the clout to turn Tom Kean's vision from dream to reality.

    If the back-to-back-to-back hurricanes that slammed parts of the country earlier this autumn taught us anything, it's that that next major storm is not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

    Even as President Trump rejects the notion of climate change as just so much fake news, the most fervent deniers can see the devastation these biblical-magnitude weather events leave in their wake.

    That's why a notion that's been kicking around in this state for decades is finding new legitimacy today.

    Former Gov. Thomas Kean was the first to suggest creating a strong regional body to plan for and adapt responses for the chronic flooding and rising sea levels that climate-watchers expect to change the face of the Jersey Shore in the near future.

    That was back in the 1980s. The proposal went nowhere at the time, and subsequent attempts to revive it were similarly doomed.

    Now, five years after New Jersey began to dig itself out of the mess Hurricane Sandy left behind, Kean has reintroduced the idea of a coastal commission uniting many of the communities already feeling the impact of global warming trends.

    Rethinking Jersey Shore's post-Sandy future | Opinion

    The commission was the main topic at a recent conference called Shore of the Future, the first of several conferences scheduled by the non-profit organization New Jersey Future.

    About 200 attendees, including planners, public officials, conservationists and policy-makers, had regionalization on their minds.

    Topics ranged wildly - including the best ways to communicate rapidly with citizens at risk, how to deal with revenues lost as the result of storms to come, and how to incorporate under-represented populations into the decision-making process.

    But the unifying theme was stark: that no one community by itself is equipped to handle the enormous burdens of a coming storm.

    "The issues are far too big, far outstrip the ability of one or even a group of municipalities to handle," said David Kutner planning manager for New Jersey Future. "The state needs to step up."

    But reaching consensus on the problem is a far cry from solving it. Most of the panelists agreed that in the Garden State, where home rule is sacrosanct, it will take a miracle to get buy-in from every individual hamlet, borough and resort up and down the Jersey coastline.

    But with the sea level rising, and the next monster storm all but guaranteed, a miracle is exactly what we need. Either that or a new governor with the conviction and the clout to turn Tom Kean's vision from dream to reality.

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.


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    Victims of New Jersey's worst natural disaster are still feeling the effects of the storm five years later


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    Two officials walked off the field in protest after players from Monroe High knelt during the national anthem.

    A few minutes before his team’s game was set to kickoff Friday night, Colts Neck High School football coach Darian Barnes said the game’s head referee approached him on the sideline. Players from the opposing Monroe High team may kneel for the national anthem, the referee told him, and it could delay the game’s start.

    Minutes later, it happened: Roughly three players from Monroe knelt for the anthem, prompting two officials — Ernie Lunardelli, 54, and his son, Anthony Lunardelli, 27 — to walk off the field and leave the game in protest.

    Before the Lunardellis left, Ernie Lunardelli turned to the Monroe players and shouted in their direction, Barnes said. The coach added “the other official had to pull [Lunardelli] off the field.”

    “To me, he’s a coward,” Barnes said. “You don’t stand there and scream at a bunch of 16- and 17-year-olds who are just expressing their rights the same as he was expressing his.

    “He’s a grown man. After you tell the other adults what you are going to do, you don’t turn around and scream at kids. That’s what needs to be addressed.”


    RELATED: Refs walk off in protest after players kneel during anthem at N.J. football game


    Friday’s protests at the game in Middlesex County sparked an internet firestorm and reignited the debate over athletes kneeling for the anthem — a movement that began last season with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and spread across most levels of sports. This year, dozens of NFL players have knelt, prompting public rebukes from President Donald Trump. High school athletes, such as the ones from Monroe, also have joined the movement, which often is meant to shine light on racial and social injustices and police brutality.

    Barnes, 37, has a unique perspective on what’s happening around the nation. A graduate of Toms River North High, he went on to play seven seasons in the NFL, earning a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also is a black man married to a white woman, and the couple has three mixed race children. He lives in ethnically diverse Rahway, and coaches and teaches in predominantly white Colts Neck.

    “He has as much right to walk out as the kids have to kneel,” Barnes said. “It wasn’t difficult to watch those kids kneel and it wasn’t difficult to watch him leave the game because of it. His anger was difficult. His anger, the way he yelled, the look on his face — it bothered the hell out of me.

    “I don’t know if it’s a microcosm of what is going on around this country, but he just shouldn’t have been that angry at those kids over it. It’s his right to be angry, but the way he went about it, it’s kind of sickening.”

    Barnes said he was told before the game by the head referee that the crew had asked the Monroe players who might kneel to stay in the locker room for the anthem to avoid any problems.


    RELATED: Refs targeted us for taking a knee, football coaches say


    “What bothers me really is that you asked these kids to stay in the locker room during the national anthem so you don’t have to see these kids kneel,” Barnes said. “Why wouldn’t you just not go [and officiate the game]? I mean, not for nothing, it’s their high school, they go to school there.

    Barnes said he had no problem with the Monroe players kneeling or the Lunardellis decision to leave the game. But he wishes the two sides would have tried to develop an understanding for the other’s point of view.

    “If I can listen to you about why it’s important to stand, then you can listen to me about why it’s so important that we fix the racial injustice, police brutality, gender inequality,” Barnes said. “The problem is that I don’t think people are willing to have the conversation because they’re afraid of where the conversation may go. We’re not afraid to say there’s a race problem, but we’re afraid to fix it because that means both sides have to come to the table and say, ‘Where can we find some common ground and make this work for everybody?’”

    After Ernie Lunardelli and his son left Friday night, they were replaced by two cadets who were already assigned to work on the chain crew for the game. Lunardelli alleged Saturday the game is not official because the cadets did not have proper certification or training.

    Colts Neck went on to defeat Monroe, 18-13.


    RELATED: Members of Newark football team join the anthem protest


    Lunardelli blasted the Monroe players for kneeling, telling NJ Advance Media that he’s “not in favor of anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces.” He also said that weeks ago he informed the officials assigner for the Greater Middlesex Conference, Thomas Paulikas, that he would walk off the field if any players knelt for the anthem before his games.

    Anthony Lunardelli played football at Monroe High, graduating in 2008. He often works games as an official with his father, Ernie Lunardelli said. Both Lunardellis were unassigned from working Saturday's game between Spotswood and Raritan, according to Ernie Lunardelli.

    Paulikas declined comment when reached by phone Saturday.

    Monroe athletic director Greg Beyer also declined comment Saturday, and Monroe football coach Dan Lee did not return phone messages inquiring about the incident.

    Lunardelli said one of his issues with the Monroe players is “they have no clue why they’re kneeling. I think they’re just doing it for the hell of it.”

    Lunardelli also said he does not know specifically why the players knelt.

    “You don’t know why they’re kneeling and that’s the problem,” Barnes said. “The same people who are so adamant, like this guy, who is so adamant about expressing how upset and frustrated he is by it, is the same guy that doesn’t want to see why the kid is kneeling in the first place.

    “He’s not kneeling because he wants to disrespect the flag,” Barnes continued. “He’s kneeling because there’s racial and social injustices that time and time again are happening. I just wish those people would see both sides.”

    NJ Advance Media staff writer Joe Zedalis contributed to this report.

    Matthew Stanmyre may be reached at mstanmyre@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattStanmyre. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     


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    The crash occurred early Sunday on the southbound side of the New Jersey Turnpike in East Brunswick.

    EAST BRUNSWICK -- One person was killed in a two-vehicle crash on the New Jersey Turnpike early Sunday, police said. 

    The driver of a motorcycle was pronounced dead after the vehicle was in a crash with a sedan at 1:38 a.m. on the southbound side of the Turnpike near milepost 80 in East Brunswick, said Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn of the New Jersey State Police. 

    No additional information on the crash was immediately available on Sunday afternoon, including the identity of the driver. 

    Flynn said more information would be released later in the day. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    New Jersey was hit by a powerful coastal storm on Sunday afternoon. Here's what you need to know.


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    One of the officials involved said his social media account was 'hacked' and that he did not make the insensitive comments.

    An official who walked off the field in protest Friday after seeing players from Monroe High School kneel during the national anthem made racial and insensitive comments on social media but claimed his account was hacked, NJ Advance Media has learned.

    On a Facebook post from Jan. 21 showing a picture of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, Ernie Lunardelli wrote: "Yea! Thanks for f***ing up the country!! Back to the zoo!!"

    On another Facebook post about the Obamas on Jan. 20 -- President Donald Trump's inauguration day -- Lunardelli also posted: "Back to the zoo!!!"

    Meanwhile, his son and the other official, Anthony Lunardelli, described Giants quarterback Eli Manning as having "jew luck" in a Facebook comment on Feb. 5, 2012.

    <hr>

    RELATED: Refs walk off in protest after players kneel during anthem at N.J. football game
    <hr>

    Ernie Lunardelli, 54, and his son, Anthony Lunardelli, 27, stood for the anthem and then abruptly left the field after seeing the Monroe players kneeling before their game against Colts Neck Friday night. Ernie Lunardelli said he’s against “anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces.”

    Ernie Lunardelli told NJ Advance Media Sunday night his Facebook account had been "hacked" and that he did not make the comments.

    "I was hacked," he said. "I’m not a racist. My best friend is black. He lives in the condo I own in North Brunswick. I don’t know, somebody put my picture on there, I have no idea. I don’t know where this has come from. I don’t know what to tell you. I never did anything."

    Anthony Lunardelli did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment Sunday night. 

    Four players from Monroe High have been kneeling for the national anthem for most of the season in protest of social, racial and gender injustices. Two of the players are black and the other two are mixed race.

    Ernie Lunardelli said he lives in Monroe and his son played football for the school and graduated in 2008. Ernie Lunardelli said that weeks ago he informed the officials assigner for the Greater Middlesex Conference, Thomas Paulikas, that he would walk off the field if any players knelt for the anthem before his games. 

    When he and his son witnessed the players kneeling Friday, they abruptly left the game. Darian Barnes, the coach of the opposing team from Colts Neck High, said Ernie Lunardelli turned to the Monroe players and shouted in their direction, Barnes said. Barnes also said “the other official had to pull [Lunardelli] off the field.”

    Ernie Lunardelli denied shouting at any players Friday.

    He said Sunday the alleged racist comments were "just somebody trying to stir up something."

    "My Facebook was hacked," he added. "It was a real long time ago. I’m standing by what I did and it has nothing to do with race or anything else."

    Matthew Stanmyre may be reached at mstanmyre@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattStanmyre. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    Halloween is a time of family fun ... but it's best not to have the four-legged members of the family TOO involved. Some simple tips from petmd.com:

    *  Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets

    *  Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween

    *  Keep pets confined and away from the door

    *  Keep glow sticks away from pets

    *  Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach

    *  Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets

    *  Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach

    *  Don't dress your pet in a costume without trying it out first; if they hate it, don't use it

     


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    The peaceful protest by four players led to a pair of officials to walk off the field before Monroe's game against Colts Neck Friday night, igniting a national media frenzy over the weekend.

    The idea was spawned in a group text chat.

    Members of the Monroe High School football team had been paying attention to racial, social and gender injustices around the nation and in their community. They were sharing their own personal stories and discussing the issues through text messages when one of the teenagers suggested taking a stand. What if they knelt during the national anthem before their games?

    “We were like, ‘All right. Let’s just do something about it,’” said Monroe senior Kaylon Bradley, one of the players who organized the peaceful protest. “As football players, the most we could do is kneel during the anthem.”


    RELATED: Refs walk off in protest after players kneel during anthem at N.J. football game


    Bradley said multiple players were on the group chat, but only he and three of his teammates knelt for the first time before the team’s game against New Brunswick on Sept. 28. Two of the players are black and the other two are mixed race, they said. Their protest came just a week after President Donald Trump enflamed the movement during a rally in Huntsville, Alabama when he said NFL players who kneel should be fired.

    “This was important to me because I feel like most minorities aren’t treated fairly, including women,” said Joshua Pemberton, a Monroe junior who is among the players who have knelt. “No one’s being treated fairly and no one does anything about this. It’s been like this for as long as I’ve been alive. I just felt like I had the power to try to change something and I want to do it.”

    The past five games the players from Monroe have knelt, Bradley and Pemberton said. Their protest has ignited a fury of debate and mixed reaction within the Monroe community, they said, but the situation exploded Friday night when two officials walked off the field in protest after seeing the Monroe players kneeling.

    One of the officials, Ernie Lunardelli, said he’s against “anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces.”

    The Monroe players said their protest is about bringing attention to racial, social and gender injustices, and not meant to disparage the flag or military.

    “That’s what I taught him to do — stand up for rights for himself and others,” said Pemberton’s father, Herb. “If one’s held back, we’re all held back. I’m aware of what he’s doing. He’s given it great thought. I’m proud of him.”

    After the player protest Friday night before Monroe played Colts Neck, Lunardelli screamed in the direction of the Monroe sidelines as he walked off the field, according to Colts Neck coach Darian Barnes. Lunardelli said he never yelled at any players and only stopped when a Monroe coach shouted at him.

    Lunardelli and the other official — his son, Anthony Lunardelli — were replaced by two cadets who were already assigned to work on the chain crew for the game.


    RELATED: Officials who walked off field at N.J. game made racist comments on social media


    It was revealed Sunday night that Ernie Lunardelli made racial and insensitive comments on social media but claimed his account was hacked. His son also made insensitive comments on social media.

    Monroe superintendent Dr. Michael Kozak said Sunday the district does not force students to stand for the anthem and that he’s supportive of the players’ Constitutional right to kneel.

    “It was senior night,” Kozak said. “We have a lot of kids there. The focus is on the kids and football and them having an enjoyable night. That was not a time to grandstand and cause a schoolwide disruption.

    “My feeling is that the kids were there to play football and the parents and the other kids attending were there to see the game,” he continued. “That’s where the focus is. If you disagree with a student kneeling, that is not the time nor the place to express your opinion. There are other venues for adults to express their opinion. I don’t feel that was the correct place.”

    Bradley and Joshua Pemberton said a lot of thought went into their decision to kneel. The idea was sparked by national issues, as well as personal experiences in their community, the boys said. Pemberton said a peer he grew up with once called him the N-word, and Bradley said the relative of a teammate also has been called a racial slur at the Monroe Rec Center. It’s not uncommon to see trucks in town with Confederate flag decals, Pemberton added.

    Since they began kneeling, Bradley and Pemberton said some classmates and teachers have treated them differently. Bradley said a local police officer told him no colleges would recruit him to play football “because who is going to want a kid who kneels during the anthem and doesn’t respect their country.”


    RELATED: Coach says 'coward' ref screamed at players after anthem protest at N.J. game


    “It was actually kind of tiring,” Bradley said. “I’m not going to lie, I almost got to the point where I wanted to stay in the locker room. I almost got convinced. There was just a lot of pressure.”

    Both boys also noted that many people in the district and community have been supportive of their decision, including Monroe coach Dan Lee and athletic director Greg Beyer.

    “I’ve had graduates and kids in the school support me about it, and I’ve had kids who won’t even talk to me anymore that I’ve known for a while,” Bradley said. “I’ve had kids just walking up the stairs and singing the anthem in my surroundings for no reason, but I understood why.”

    Kozak said the dialogue has been open since the boys decided to kneel.

    “In an educational environment we have to respect what people decide,” Kozak said. “There are people in the community who agree with what the students are doing and we have people in the community who disagree. If anything, these types of situations are educational moments.”

    Mekhi Abbott, a senior on the Monroe team who has not knelt for the anthem, said his teammates’ decision initially divided some members of the team.

    “Some people were against it,” Abbott said. “There were some issues at first, but there’s no problems anymore.”

    Abbott said the reaction to the kneeling in the community was harsh in places. He said the players were criticized by parents and teachers on social media and called “thugs,” “unpatriotic” and told they should leave the country. Some adults also lobbied that the players be kicked off the team or suspended, Abbott added.

    Abbott said the people who attacked his teammates “don’t even understand the personal things that some of them have been through.”

    Meanwhile, Bradley and Pemberton said the incident Friday night will not deter them from kneeling in the future. They noticed the Lunardellis walking off the field, but it didn’t bother them.

    “We were all just shocked, but there’s nothing really we could do or say,” Bradley said. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.” 

    Matthew Stanmyre may be reached at mstanmyre@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattStanmyre. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Although the players on the Eagles asked about the incident were not familiar with the specific details of the event, they did express shock that any official would leave a game they were supposed to work because of student athletes kneeling during the anthem.


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    The Chairman of the Central Jersey Chapter of the New Jersey Football Officials Association said the situation where two officials walked off the field in protest could have been avoided

    The chairman of the Central Jersey Chapter of the New Jersey Football Officials Association told NJ Advance Media Sunday, the two officials who walked off the field in protest at Monroe High School Friday night could have been subbed out or the entire crew reassigned.

    NJ.com reported Saturday two game officials, Ernie Lunardelli, 54, and his son, Anthony Lunardelli, 27, stood for the anthem and then abruptly left the field after seeing four Monroe players kneeling.

    “Neither our organization or the NJSIAA have a policy regarding the National Anthem, but the unconfirmed reports that this was not a spontaneous act is causing me the most consternation,” said Scott Heizer, the Chairman of the Central Jersey Chapter of the NJFOA.

    “My concern here is that this was almost abandonment,” Heizer said. “If this was intentional and was signaled in advance it could have been avoided. It wouldn’t have been a big deal.”

    The game was completed with two cadet officials -- neither authorized to work a varsity game -- working after being pulled off the chain crew. Colts Neck won, 18-13.


    MORE: Officials who walked off field at N.J. football game made racist comments on social media


    Heizer, a Hopewell Township resident, oversees 225 officials, who work high school football games at all levels in the Greater Middlesex and Mid-State 38 conferences and in Mercer County.

    Heizer said he had not heard from the NJSIAA as of late Sunday afternoon, but expected to as early as Monday morning.

    Heizer said he expected his chapter and the NJSIAA to jointly investigate what transpired at Monroe Friday night.

    “The two officials, or their crew chief, could have requested they be reassigned,” Heizer said. “All of this could have been avoided if their intentions were known.”

    Ernie Lunardelli said weeks ago he informed the officials assigner for the Greater Middlesex Conference, Thomas Paulikas, that he would walk off the field if any players knelt for the anthem before his games.

    “I’m not in favor of anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces,” Ernie Lunardelli told NJ Advance Media Saturday afternoon. “What they’re protesting has nothing to do with the national anthem and I’m against it, so I decided to protest for them kneeling and that’s what I did.”

    Monroe players have kneeled for the past five games.


    MORE: Refs walk off in protest after players kneel during anthem at N.J. football game


    Lundarelli was assigned to the game against Colts Neck, anyway.

    Paulikas declined comment when reached by phone Saturday.

    “We are a wonderfully diverse organization, but we are not political,” Heizer said.

    Darian Barnes, the head coach at Colts Neck, said the crew’s head referee informed him before the anthem there was a possibility that two officials might walk off the field.

    Barnes said he was told before the game by the head referee that the crew had asked the Monroe players who might kneel to stay in the locker room for the anthem to avoid any problems.

    “He (the referee) told me it was a possibility and there might be a delay,” said Barnes, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. “I told my coaches to be prepared for that.”

    Barnes said after the anthem, the elder Lundarelli started screaming at the Monroe bench as he walked off the field. His son was pulling him toward the exit.

    “To me, he’s a coward,” Barnes said. “You don’t stand there and scream at a bunch of 16- and 17-year-olds who are just expressing their rights the same as he was expressing his.

    “He’s a grown man. After you tell the other adults what you are going to do, you don’t turn around and scream at kids. That’s what needs to be addressed.”

    Heizer said it will be addressed if the reports are confirmed.

    “If it is determined the officials were unprofessional or irresponsible, they face suspension or can have the rest of their schedules pulled,” Heizer said.

    “We need to determine who was aware, when they knew and what they knew.”


    MORE: Coach says ‘coward’ ref screamed at players after anthem protest at N.J. football game


    Jim Wilno, a 49-year football officiating veteran and the assigner for Mercer County, said Sunday, swapping out crews is a regular occurrence.

    “Days get changed, times get changed, issues arise all the time,” Wilno said. “If I knew an official or a crew had an issue with a team or a coach, I would do everything in my power to make sure they don’t end up on the same field. I would never send anyone into a fire."

    “You can put them on a different game, replace crew members, even call another chapter for help. I’ve done it many times.
    “In this instance, Wilno said, “the two wrongs didn’t make a right. There has to be a better way to handle something like this. The kids don’t deserve it.”

    As for using cadet officials to work a varsity game, Heizer expressed safety and liability concerns.

    "The use of the cadets was inappropriate and they should never have been placed in that crucible," Heizer said. "Again, safety is paramount and instead of playing the game with three officials, it may have been better to suspend the game and resume it on Saturday or even Sunday if necessary."

    Lunardelli, said he and his son were unassigned from working Saturday’s game between Spotswood and Raritan.

    “I have a lawyer already set up because they’re not going to run me out of town,” Lunardelli said. “They’re going to try to blackball me. I know what’s going to happen.”

    “There was an obligation to be fulfilled and there are other ways of expressing dissatisfaction with an issue,” Heizer said. “Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.”

    Joe Zedalis may be reached at jzedalis@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @josephzedalis. Like NJ.com HS sports on Facebook.


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    The image was discovered by police on Sunday.

    NEW BRUNSWICK -- A swastika was found spray-painted on the outside wall of a Rutgers University residence hall on Sunday, according to university officials.

    Rutgers police responded to Stonier Hall on College Avenue around 10 a.m. and found a "large black swastika, surrounded by a red circle with a red line" through it, university spokesman Neil Buccino said in an email.

    Buccio said the university will be removing the image.

    "Such symbols are antithetical to the values of the University, where we strive to create an atmosphere free from bias and to treat people of all backgrounds with dignity and respect," Buccio said.

    It is unclear if the university is investigating who painted the image. 

    Earlier this year, another swastika was found drawn on a dry erase board in a campus residence hall on the university's New Brunswick campus.

    Spencer Kent may be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    A look at some unsung heroes from the 2017 season heading in the state tournament.


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    Some towns were drenched with more than 5 inches of rain, and many received 4 inches or more. Watch video

    The powerful October coastal storm that roared across New Jersey on Sunday and Monday dumped more than a month's worth of rain in less than two days.

    Some towns were saturated with more than 5 inches of rain, and dozens were hit with 4 inches or more, according to the latest rainfall data from the National Weather Service and the New Jersey Weather & Climate Network, based at Rutgers University.

    Here's how much rain fell in each county, measured in inches. Most of these storm totals cover the timeframe from late Saturday night through early Monday morning, but some are through late Sunday night and will be updated when the final totals become available. 

    ATLANTIC COUNTY

    • Estell Manor: 3.15 
    • Atlantic City: 3.08 
    • Hammonton: 3.05 
    • Oceanville: 2.95 
    • Atlantic City: 2.78 
    • Laurel Lake: 2.75 
    • Folsom: 2.65 
    • Atlantic City Airport: 2.54 
    • Somers Point: 1.99 
    • Egg Harbor Twp: 1.64 

    BERGEN COUNTY

    • East Rutherford: 5.10 
    • Oakland: 3.75 
    • Franklin Lakes: 3.60 
    • Allendale: 3.57 
    • Midland Park: 3.36 
    • Park Ridge: 3.23 
    • Oakland: 3.21 
    • Fair Lawn: 3.16 
    • Tenafly: 3.04 
    • Ridgewood: 2.98 
    • Lodi: 2.88 
    • Hillsdale: 2.83 
    • Bergenfield: 2.78 
    • Teterboro Airport: 2.77 
    • Wood-Ridge: 2.64 
    • Teaneck: 2.63 
    • Park Ridge: 2.23 
    • Westwood: 2.22 

    BURLINGTON COUNTY

    • Roebling (Florence Twp.): 4.62
    • Lumberton: 4.28 
    • Mount Laurel: 4.28 
    • Greentree: 3.99 
    • Medford: 3.83 
    • S. Jersey Regional Airport: 3.66 
    • Mount Holly: 3.64 
    • Penn State Forest: 3.51 
    • Mount Holly: 3.50 
    • Jacksonville: 3.41 
    • Springdale: 3.40 
    • Burlington Twp.: 3.40
    • Shamong: 3.26 
    • Greentree: 3.22 
    • Red Lion: 2.55 
    • Jobstown: 2.29 

    CAMDEN COUNTY

    • Turnersville: 3.30 
    • Springdale: 3.24 
    • Turnersville: 2.79 
    • Cherry Hill: 2.74 
    • Hammonton: 2.30 
    • Voorhees: 2.29 

    CAPE MAY COUNTY

    • Port Norris: 2.63 
    • Cape May: 2.39 
    • Cape May County Airport: 2.35 
    • Cape May Court House: 2.20 

    CUMBERLAND COUNTY

    • Vineland: 2.53 
    • Millville Municipal Airport: 2.36 

    ESSEX COUNTY

    • Cedar Grove: 4.10 
    • Nutley: 4.09 
    • Essex Fells: 3.68 
    • Canoe Brook: 3.60 
    • Fairfield: 3.35 
    • Orange Reservoir: 3.24 
    • North Caldwell: 2.55 
    • Cedar Grove: 1.51 


    GLOUCESTER COUNTY

    • Turnersville: 3.02 
    • Elmer: 2.99 
    • Williamstown: 2.65 
    • Turnersville: 2.61 
    • Beckett: 2.54 
    • Pitman: 2.15

    HUDSON COUNTY

    • Harrison: 4.03 
    • North Arlington: 3.62 
    • Hoboken: 2.95 
    • Secaucus: 2.24 

    HUNTERDON COUNTY

    • Delaware River: 3.22
    • New Hope: 3.21 
    • Byram (Kingwood): 3.12 
    • Cloverhill: 3.10 
    • Glen Gardner: 3.09 
    • High Bridge: 3.06 
    • Sergeantsville: 2.92 
    • Readington: 2.92 
    • Frenchtown: 2.63 
    • Hampton: 2.41 
    • Clinton: 2.40 

    MERCER COUNTY

    • East Windsor: 3.79 
    • Washington Crossing: 3.59 
    • Mercer County Airport: 3.40 
    • Trenton: 3.37 
    • Hamilton: 3.11 
    • Skillman: 2.96 
    • Hightstown: 2.90 
    • Windsor: 2.90 
    • Princeton: 2.77 
    • Edinburg: 2.66 
    • Ewingville: 2.52 
    rain-gauge-edison-oct30-2017-len.JPGA powerful coastal storm dumped heavy rain across most regions of New Jersey on Sunday and early Monday. (Len Melisurgo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)  

    MIDDLESEX COUNTY

    • South Brunswick: 4.60 
    • Port Reading: 4.45 
    • South Plainfield: 3.42 
    • Spotswood: 3.40 
    • Old Bridge: 3.30 

    MONMOUTH COUNTY

    • Metedeconk River - North Branch: 4.19 
    • Holmdel: 4.15 
    • Howell: 4.13 
    • Keyport: 3.89 
    • Allaire Airport: 3.79 
    • Long Branch: 3.74 
    • Monmouth Executive Airport: 3.54 
    • Wall Twp.: 3.46 
    • Long Branch: 3.35 
    • Sea Girt: 2.78 
    • Oceanport: 2.74 
    • Manasquan: 2.71 
    • Huguenot: 2.58 
    • Freehold: 2.57 

    MORRIS COUNTY

    • Randolph: 5.42 
    • Morris Plains: 5.32 
    • Green Pond: 4.65 
    • Jefferson: 4.61 
    • Ironia: 4.60 
    • Reservoir: 4.16 
    • Four Bridges: 3.63 
    • Parsippany: 3.54 
    • Riverdale: 3.36 
    • Morristown Airport: 3.28 
    • River Gage: 3.23 
    • Kinnelon: 3.12 
    • Rockaway: 3.11 
    • Beaver Dam Brook: 3.09 
    • Millington: 2.91 
    • Pompton Plains: 2.53 

    OCEAN COUNTY

    • Waretown: 4.50 
    • Lakehurst: 4.42 
    • Berkeley Twp.: 4.25 
    • Robert Miller Airport: 3.99 
    • Bass River State Park: 3.86 
    • Toms River: 3.84 
    • Jackson Twp.: 3.43 
    • Harvey Cedars: 3.42 
    • Point Pleasant: 3.32 
    • Penn State Forest: 3.06 
    • Seaside Heights: 2.92 
    • Ocean County Airport: 2.86 
    • Spray Beach: 2.75 

    PASSAIC COUNTY

    • Ringwood: 3.83 
    • Wanaque: 3.68 
    • West Paterson: 3.48 
    • Garret Mountain: 3.48 
    • Totowa: 3.44 
    • Pompton Lakes Upper: 3.23 
    • West Milford: 3.08 
    • Passaic: 2.99 
    • Wayne: 2.62 
    • Hawthorne: 2.59 
    • Pompton Lakes: 2.48  

    SALEM COUNTY

    • Rosenhayn: 2.75 
    • Salem River: 2.35 
    • Alloway: 2.33 
    • Bear: 2.17 

    SOMERSET COUNTY

    • Basking Ridge: 5.18 
    • Peapack-Gladstone: 5.16 
    • Far Hills: 4.67 
    • Pottersville: 4.32 
    • Martinsville: 4.15 
    • Bridgewater: 3.94 
    • Middle Brook: 3.88 
    • Neshanic: 3.72 
    • Bound Brook: 3.70 
    • Somerset Airport: 3.68 
    • Pluckemin: 3.58 
    • Skillman: 3.41 
    • Millstone River: 3.25 
    • Belle Mead: 3.25 
    • Bernardsville: 3.24 

    SUSSEX COUNTY

    • Stanhope (7 miles east): 5.24 
    • Stanhope: 4.88 
    • Aeroflex-Andover Airport: 4.46 
    • Wantage: 4.03 
    • Ogdensburg: 3.89 
    • Sussex: 3.80 
    • Stockholm: 3.78 
    • Sussex Airport: 3.66 
    • Pellettown: 3.57 
    • Vernon Valley: 3.51 
    • Sussex Borough: 3.50 
    • Montague: 3.34 
    • Hamburg: 3.30 
    • Canistear Reservoir: 3.28 
    • Wawayanda State Park: 3.28 
    • Flatbrookville: 2.72 
    • Pellettown: 2.65 

    UNION COUNTY

    • Plainfield: 4.37 
    • Newark Airport: 3.86 (rain gauge in Elizabeth)
    • Mountainside: 3.69 
    • Scotch Plains: 3.41 
    • New Providence: 2.85 
    • Linden Airport: 2.77 
    • Roselle Park: 2.32 

    WARREN COUNTY

    • Allamuchy: 2.79
    • Stewartsville: 2.78
    • Hope: 2.48
    • Riegelsville: 2.44 
    • Pleasant Valley: 2.33 
    • Oxford: 2.23 
    • Great Meadows: 2.01 
    • Bridge: 1.92 
    • Pleasant Valley: 1.85 

    TOP WIND GUSTS ACROSS N.J.

    These are among the strongest wind gusts reported across New Jersey during the big coastal storm on Sunday and early Monday. The gusts were reported by the National Weather Service offices in Mount Holly and Upton, N.Y., along with the New Jersey Weather & Climate Network, based at Rutgers University.

      • 58 mph   Beach Haven  (Ocean County)
      • 58 mph   New Gretna  (Burlington County)
      • 57 mph   Forked River  (Ocean County)
      • 55 mph   Barnegat Light  (Ocean County)
      • 55 mph   Bass River State Park  (Ocean County)
      • 55 mph   Holgate  (Ocean County)
      • 53 mph   High Point Monument  (Sussex County)
      • 52 mph   Harvey Cedars  (Ocean County)
      • 51 mph   Ship Bottom  (Ocean County)
      • 50 mph   Fortescue  (Cumberland County)
      • 50 mph   Lakehurst  (Ocean County)
      • 50 mph   Port Norris  (Cumberland County)
      • 49 mph   Beckett / Logan  (Gloucester County)
      • 49 mph   Island Beach  (Ocean County)
      • 49 mph   Long Branch  (Monmouth County)
      • 49 mph   Lyndhurst  (Bergen County)
      • 49 mph   Mantoloking  (Ocean County)
      • 48 mph   Newark Airport  (Essex and Union counties)
      • 48 mph   Seaside Heights  (Ocean County)
      • 47 mph   Atlantic City Marina  (Atlantic County)
      • 47 mph   Jobstown  (Burlington County)
      • 46 mph   Keyport  (Monmouth County)
      • 45 mph   Frenchtown  (Hunterdon County)
      • 45 mph   Pittstown  (Hunterdon County)
      • 45 mph   Wantage  (Sussex County)
      • 44 mph   Bayonne  (Hudson County)
      • 44 mph   Sea Girt  (Monmouth County)
      • 43 mph   Atlantic City Int. Airport (Atlantic County)
      • 43 mph   Belmar (Monmouth County)
      • 43 mph   Linden Airport (Union County)
      • 43 mph   Millville Airport (Cumberland County)
      • 43 mph   Pennsauken (Camden County)
      • 43 mph   Teterboro Airport (Bergen County)
      • 43 mph   Wantage (Sussex County)

    Tropical storm-force winds range from 39 mph to 73 mph.

    Len Melisurgo may be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @LensReality or like him on Facebook. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    New Jersey students are among 491 nationwide named semi-finalists.

     

    EDISON/PLAINSBORO -- Two New Jersey students have been named regional finalists in the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, a research competition for high school students.

    Alexander Liu, a student at Montgomery High School, and Nikhil Gopal, from The Lawrenceville School, were among 101 regional finalists in the nationwide contest that recognizes high school students for their original scientific research project, either as individuals or teams.

    Among the 491 students to be named semifinalists were Michelle Tong, a student at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North in Plainsboro, and Malavika Vivek, a student at the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison.

    The regional finalists received $1,000 in scholarship money and the chance to compete in one of six regional competitions, which for Liu and Gopal will take place Nov. 3 and 4 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Regional event winners will compete for a $100,000 prize in the National Finals taking place Dec. 4 and 5 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

    To submit school news send an email to middlesex@starledger.com.


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    A 45-year-old Woodbridge man wound up dying six weeks after being beaten in Elizabeth

    ELIZABETH -- An Elizabeth man accused in the fatal beating of a livery driver in a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot during an argument earlier this year has been indicted on three charges, including murder.

    Emmanuel John, 32, also faces charges of endangering the welfare of a child and leaving the scene of an accident, the prosecutor's office said Monday.

    John struck Imran Masood, 45, of the Avenel section of Woodbridge several times through Masood's open car window and then slammed the door of the limousine into his head several times, authorities said.

    3 charged with beating man to death

    When Masood tried to take a picture of John's car, the Elizabeth man then put the car in reverse and knocked him back to the ground. 

    John, who had a 16-month-old child in the back of his vehicle then sped away, officials said. 

    The June 14 altercation took place around 4 p.m. at a Dunkin' Donuts on Routes 1 & 9 near Woodruff Avenue. Masood was hospitalized with serious injuries. He died six weeks later on Aug. 3 at University Hospital in Newark.  

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     


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    'If they walked off once, what’s going to keep them from doing it tomorrow,' said the assigner for the Greater Middlesex Conference.

    The two New Jersey high school football officials who walked off the field in protest Friday after seeing players kneeling during the national anthem have been removed from working any future games this season, NJ Advance Media has learned.

    Thomas Paulikas, the officials assigner for the Greater Middlesex Conference, said Ernie and Anthony Lunardelli, the two officials who left the game, were removed from the schedule “because of fear that they might walk off again.”

    Paulikas said the decision was made by the New Jersey Football Officials Association’s Executive Committee.

    “If they walked off once, what’s going to keep them from doing it tomorrow or the next day,” Paulikas said.


    RELATED: Refs walk off in protest after players kneel for the national anthem


    Paulikas also disputed claims made by Ernie Lunardelli that Paulikas had prior warning the officials would walk off the field if they witnessed any players kneeling during the anthem. Ernie Lunardelli told NJ Advance Media that he told Paulikas “weeks ago” he intended to leave any games where players protested the anthem.

    “No, I don’t recall that ever, having a conversation with him about walking off the field ever,” Paulikas said. “He’s a very good official and I’m very surprised that they did what they did.”

    Paulikas said the Lunardellis likely were assigned to the Monroe game in February, when crews are matched with games for football. The Monroe football players started their protest when they knelt for the first time before their game at New Brunswick on Sept. 28.

    Paulikas also strongly denied he had any prior knowledge the Lunardellis might walk off the field if they saw players kneeling.

    “Absolutely not,” Paulikas said. “I knew nothing about it until the referee called me that night after their game and told me what happened.

    “I officiate myself; I would never walk off the field for any reason. You’re there to do a job, you get paid to do a job, you go do it.”


    RELATED: Officials who walked off at N.J. football game made racist comments on social media


    Ernie Lunardelli confirmed Monday he and his son have been unassigned from their final three games this season, and he also reiterated that he told Paulikas he would walk off the field ahead of time.

    "I told him," Lunardelli said. "He honestly thought that I wasn't going to do it. That's what the bottom line is. I guess he didn't know me very well because I'm a straight-up person."

    Scott Heiser, chairman of the Central Jersey chapter of the NJFOA, said a hearing will be scheduled Wednesday or Thursday to investigate the situation involving the Lunardellis. Heiser said the officials could be reinstated this year and also could face permanent expulsion from the chapter.

    "Everything is on the table at this point," he said.

    This weekend, Ernie Lunardelli said he’s against “anyone disrespecting our country, our flag, the armed forces,” prompting he and his son to walk off the field Friday night after the Monroe players knelt.

    On Sunday, NJ Advance Media discovered Lunardelli made racial and insensitive comments on social media, but he claimed his account was hacked and said he is not a racist.

    Lunardelli said Monday he has hired an attorney.

    "I feel like I'm getting blackballed," Lunardelli said.

    He added he is waiting to hear from the state athletic association before determining his next move.

    “With all this negativity, I just want it to end,” Lunardelli said. “I’ve had enough.”

    Matthew Stanmyre may be reached at mstanmyre@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattStanmyre. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    The HealCare Institute of New Jersey recognizes the Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences.

     

    WOODBRIDGE -- The Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences was honored by the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey for its contribution to STEM education during a ceremony held Oct. 12 in the Historic Trenton Masonic Temple.

    The academy was recognized for "meritorious contributions" to public service, health, patience advocacy and STEM education by HINJ, a New Jersey trade association for the biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

    In presenting the award, HINJ cited the Woodbridge Academy's curriculum and how it prepares its students for careers in the medical and biomedical research fields, calling it "one of the crown jewels of New Jersey's public schools."

    "The award is especially important to the stakeholders of the school because we hold our students and ourselves as staff members to an exceptionally high bar for being reflective, current, and relevant," said principal Terri Ann Sullivan upon accepting the award.

    To submit school news send an email to middlesex@starledger.com.


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