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    There was one winner in North Jersey, one in Central Jersey and one in South Jersey

    Three Jersey Cash 5 ticket holders will split Wednesday's $727,623 jackpot.

    The three tickets were sold at the following locations, state lottery officials said Thursday.

    • Waa-Laa King on West Landis Avenue in Bridgeton
    • Stop & Shop on Bloomfield Avenue in West Caldwell
    • Main Liquor on Main Street in South Amboy

    Each ticket is worth $242,541.

    The winning numbers were 3, 13, 25, 27 and 39. The odds of a $1 ticket matching all five numbers are 962,598 to 1. 

    Wednesday's top prize climbed to nearly three-quarters of a million dollars after five straight daily drawings without a jackpot winner. Thursday's jackpot resets to $75,000.

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

     

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    Who will have huge performances with playoff berths on the line?


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    The Middlesex County prosecutor said the anonymous mailer 'shocks the conscience and is highly offensive' but it was unclear if any laws were violated

    EDISON -- Authorities are looking into whether the "Make Edison Great Again" anti-Indian and anti-Chinese school board election mailers sent to township residents violated any campaign regulations or criminal laws. 

    The postcards, which read "The Chinese and Indians are taking over our town. Chinese school! Indian school! Cricket fields! Enough is enough," do not identify a group that footed the bill for the mailers.

    Two board of education candidates, Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel, are pictured with a "deport" stamp covering part of their photos. 

    It was unclear how many residents received the postcard in the state's fifth-largest municipality, where nearly half of its population is Asian. 

    Both mayoral candidates, incumbent Democrat Thomas Lankey and Republican-hopeful Keith Hahn, denouncing the ads, as well as U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, who tweeted that "Diversity is exactly what makes Edison, NJ great."

    The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office is reviewing the incident.

    "The racist message shocks the conscience and is highly offensive," Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in an emailed statement. "In order to support the community, our detectives, along with those from the Edison Police Department and other agencies, are examining the facts surrounding the mailing. It has yet to be determined as whether or not a chargeable bias or other crime has been committed." 

    Joe Donohue, the deputy director of the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission, said he was aware of the mailer but could not comment on the specific legality of the postcards or confirm whether or not the agency was investigating. 

    All school board candidates are required to label communications even if the expense is under the state-required limit for a general political campaign. 

    Donohue noted that independent groups are not required to report expenses under $1,600. 

    The Middlesex County Board of Elections, which organizes the voting across the county but doesn't investigate campaign violations, said it also knew of the mailer and had notified the proper law enforcement agencies to investigate. 

    Lankey associated the mailer's sentiment with his Republican challenger and said that "Edison will react swiftly to any potential threats that result from this flyer being disseminated in my community."

    Hahn, who was ousted from the local Democratic Organization's leadership over the summer and switched to the Republican ticket to challenge the mayor, described the flier as disgraceful and called for the "faceless cowards" to be exposed. 

    On Thursday afternoon, the American Civil Liberties Union-New Jersey, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, and the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice issued statements urging officials to investigate the flier. 

    "This is an example of how our current political environment is both normalizing and fueling racism," said Jesse Burns, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. 

    Editor's note: The amount provided to NJ Advance Media for an independent group's disclosure threshold was not adjusted for inflation. The number has since been corrected. 

    Craig McCarthy may be reached at 732-372-2078 or at CMcCarthy@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @createcraig and on Facebook here. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Democratic nominee for New Jersey governor Phil Murphy will hold a series of rallies across the state in the final weekend before Election Day.

    TRENTON -- Kim Guadagno has her bus tour. Phil Murphy has Jon Bon Jovi

    And the son of Jimmy Hoffa. 

    Murphy, the Democratic nominee for New Jersey governor, will spend the final weekend before Tuesday's election holding rallies across the central and northern regions of the state. 

    That includes a rally Sunday in Asbury Park with Bon Jovi, the Jersey rocker who is also Murphy's neighbor.

    Murphy, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany and ex-Goldman Sachs banking executive, will also host a rally Saturday in Woodbridge with Teamsters President James P. Hoffa -- the son of the late Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. 

    Guadagno kicks off bus tour in campaign's final days

    Murphy's schedule also includes rallies in Plainfield on Friday, Newark and Parsippany on Saturday, Sayreville on Sunday, and Edison and Trenton on Monday.

    Republican nominee Guadagno's campaign is spending the next few days on a bus tour that will stop in all 21 of New Jersey's counties. Guadagno kicked off the tour Thursday.

    Bon Jovi has often appeared with Murphy in public over the years. Last month, he played a surprise three-song concert at a Murphy event in Atlantic City.

    Their families are also friends. In 2011, they went on a $45,000 boat trip in Croatia together, according to Murphy's campaign financial disclosure report.

    Meanwhile, Hoffa has at least one major -- if not tenuous -- New Jersey connection. After his father disappeared in 1975, a self-proclaimed mob hitman said the former union leader was buried underneath old Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands. That has never been proven. 

    Murphy, Guadango, and five third-party or independent contenders are running to succeed outgoing Gov. Chris Christie

    Murphy leads Guadagno by double digits in all polls. He also has a 3-to-1 fundraising advantage. 

    Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

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    The spectacular transformation of New Jersey's green summer landscape now underway will last for the next couple of weeks.


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    OLD BRIDGE -- Willow is a young orange tabby at the Old Bridge Animal Shelter. Rescued as a stray from the Old Bridge sewer system, he was extremely frightened when found, but shelter workers say he has become "a sweet, friendly boy who loves nothing more than to be cuddled." The longtime shelter resident has been neutered and is up-to-date...

    mx1105pet.jpgWillow 

    OLD BRIDGE -- Willow is a young orange tabby at the Old Bridge Animal Shelter.

    Rescued as a stray from the Old Bridge sewer system, he was extremely frightened when found, but shelter workers say he has become "a sweet, friendly boy who loves nothing more than to be cuddled."

    The longtime shelter resident has been neutered and is up-to-date on shots.

    To meet Willow and other adoptable pets at the Old Bridge Animal Shelter, visit the shelter at One Old Bridge Plaza. The shelter is open every day from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. For more information, call 732-721-5600, ext. 6300 or email animalcontrol@oldbridge.com.

    Shelters interested in placing a pet in the Paw Print adoption column or submitting news should call 973-836-4922 or email middlesex@starledger.com.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    These guys are playing at the highest level


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    Find out which teams have left a stamp on the state tournament so far.


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    Which state tournament games are must-see ones?


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    EAST BRUNSWICK -- Laurie Agugliaro, left, and Michael Papp, both 10 years old, practice their skateboard skills in Bicentennial Park in East Brunswick in this 1986 photo. MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history in your community, please call 973-836-4922 or send an email to middlesex@starledger.com. And,...

    EAST BRUNSWICK -- Laurie Agugliaro, left, and Michael Papp, both 10 years old, practice their skateboard skills in Bicentennial Park in East Brunswick in this 1986 photo.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history in your community, please call 973-836-4922 or send an email to middlesex@starledger.com. And, check out more glimpses of history in our online galleries on nj.com.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    Your one-stop shop for Week 9 info

    ESSENTIALS 
     Full playoff picture: Who's in & who has work to do - every section
    • Sat., LIVE @ 12:30: Playoff projection chat - updates & discussion
     Week 9 schedule/scoreboard
     Week 9 schedule/scoreboard by conference
     Power points through Week 8
     Conference standings through Week 8

     Stat leaders from Week 8 
    • Season stat leaders  


    LIVE SATURDAY @ 12:30: Playoff projections chat - updates & discussion


    RANKINGS 
     Top 20
     Group and conference 

    PICKS  
    Top 20 picks
    Picks by conference
    Quick picks for every game in N.J. 

    MUST-READ CONTENT 
    Player of the Year watch: 22 contenders for top honor
     Quests for perfection: 18 teams remain undefeated

    13 bold predictions for the football cutoff weekend

    25 must-see football games on postseason cutoff weekend
    Who were N.J.'s top football players for Week 8? Here are 40 standouts

    • Verona football coach Lou Racioppe ousted following administrative investigation
     Which N.J. alums made the biggest impact during week 9 of college football schedule?
    • Week 8 football hot takes: New records, playoff pushes, big performances and more
     Hunterdon County football teams will be scoreboard watching this weekend 
     Ferris' win over Marist snapped 34-game slide, longest in state


    REFEREES WALK: Where we are with this story


    ANTHEM CONTROVERSY
    • Refs walk after players kneel for anthem: Where we are with this story
    Refs walk off in protest after players kneel during anthem at N.J. football game
    Coach says ‘coward’ ref screamed at players after anthem protest at N.J. football game
    Officials who walked off field at N.J. football game made racist comments on social media
    Referees who walked out after anthem protest shouldn't work in N.J. again | Politi
    'The power to change something.' Monroe football players explain why they kneel for anthem
    Ref chairman: Switching out officials who planned to walk would have been 'no big deal'
    Refs who walked off in protest removed from working any more games this season
    Refs: Why we walked on kneeling players and what we want moving forward
    Fire the HS refs who walked away after anthem protest | Moran
    H.S. coaches to officials who made racist comments: We can’t trust you anymore 
     Eagles players from N.J. react to high school refs walking off after anthem protest


    WATCH & VOTE: Videos of the 25 HS mascots vying to be crowned N.J.'s best


    GAMES OF THE WEEK 
    • 
    Hasbrouck Heights vs. Rutherford for NJIC crown in NJ.com/Star-Ledger Game of the Week 
    • Times of Trenton
    • 
    South Jersey Times 

    RECRUITING  
    What is the college football early signing period and what will be Rutgers' Chris Ash's approach?
    Rutgers commit performance recap: Jalen Chatman, Isaih Pacheco, Zamar Wise light it up
    • 
    Which football recruits did Rutgers staff offer in October? 
     What does 4-star QB Artur Sitkowski bring to Rutgers' offense?

    Matt Stypulkoski may be reached at mstypulkoski@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_Stypulkoski. Like NJ.com High School Sports on Facebook.


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    The storyline in Edison has been the mayoral race where the incumbent Democrat is sparring with the recently ousted leader of his local party who changed political allegiances to run.

    EDISON -- The election storyline in New Jersey's fifth most-populated town was already bizarre.

    The mayoral race features an incumbent Democrat going head-to-head with the recently ousted leader of the local party who switched political allegiances to run as a Republican challenger. 

    But on Wednesday, things took an even stranger turn and thrust the diverse town into the national spotlight as racist mailers targeting school board candidates arrived in mailboxes.

    The anonymous "Make Edison Great Again" postcards included anti-Indian and anti-Chinese statements, which quickly made the rounds of a town where nearly half the residents are Asian.

    By Thursday morning, both mayoral candidates had issued statements denouncing the political ad, which read "The Chinese and Indians are taking over our town. Chinese school! Indian school! Cricket fields! Enough is enough."

    No one has taken credit for the mailer, which featured board candidates Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel with a "deport" stamp covering part of their photos. It is not known if the fliers violated any laws, but the county prosecutor's office is investigating.

    Local groups also denounced the ad as it started to receive national coverage, along with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, who Tweeted that the mailer was "disgusting. 

    When resident go to the polls on Tuesday, the race to watch in Edison will be for the town's mayor.

    Mayor Thomas Lankey, is running for his second term in office on the Democratic line against his local party's former head who recently turned Republican, Keith Hahn.  

    Democrats have held the mayor's office for decades.

    Hahn, an Edison police officer, was once a political outsider until he stunned the local Democratic Organization, which holds significant sway in local elections, by narrowly defeating the establishment candidate to become the group's chairman. 

    But earlier this year, Hahn was ousted from the party after a filing flap with one of the party's committeewomen. 

    Deborah Andrews, the only black committeewoman, called for a new chairman after she accused Hahn of leaving her off the ballot because of her race. Hahn has said it was an accident and moved to get her name back on the ballot. 

    Shariq Ahmad, a former staffer for Menendez and now chief-of-staff to Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak, took over the party in the summer after political insiders called for a new chairman. 

    In the weeks following, rumors circulated that Hahn had been mulling running for office against Lankey, but as a Republican. And on Aug. 22, Hahn switched parties and replaced Republican mayoral candidate Guy Gaetano Gaspari. 

    Mayor Thomas Lankey on re-election bid

    Why are you running? I am seeking a second, four-year term as Mayor of Edison to continue my effort to make Edison Township a safe, affordable and enjoyable place for people to live, raise a family, and work. I am 57 and a lifelong Edison resident. My family's roots are deeply intertwined in the fabric of this community. This fuels my commitment its residents and their safety; to Edison's economic health and financial stability; and to sensible growth. I wish to continue helping Edison move forward and make progress.

    lankey.jpgEdison Mayor Thomas Lankey 

    If re-elected, what are your term goals and expectations?  My Administration will continue to work diligently to improve Edison's infrastructure, annually resurfacing more neighborhood streets, revitalizing our parks and upgrading our aging sanitary sewer system. We will continue to improve our Police and Fire Departments, and our Public Works Department so each can better, more effective service. These investments go hand-in-hand with my economic development strategy which, since 2014, have successfully made Edison a more attractive destination for larger corporate and commercial investors, and encouraged new small businesses and professional offices to open here. These businesses have brought more than 3,500 new, higher-paying job opportunities to Edison and strengthened our municipal tax base, contributing $17.2 million more in annual taxes to help fund municipal services and provide relief to our residential taxpayers. I hope to build upon my proud record of accomplishment.

    Why should someone vote for you? I have deep, genuine concern for the safety and well-being of the people who live in Edison. I have a clear vision for Edison's future, and the managerial skills and financial experience necessary to administer Town Hall's large, complex budget.

    Qualifications: Mayor of Edison (2014-present); Edison Township Council (2010-13); Council Finance Committee, past-Chairman; JFK Health Systems, Senior Vice President; Magyar Bank, Board of Directors; Huntington's Disease Society of New Jersey, Board of Directors; University of Delaware, B.S., Accounting.

    Endorsements: Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ6) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ); State Sen. Patrick Diegnan and Assembly Members Nancy Pinkin and Robert Karabinchak. 

    Republican candidate Keith Hahn on running for mayor

    Why are you running? Being a police officer for 23 years I see common sense solutions for what the current administration would like everyone to believe are complex problems. So when the Republican candidate had to step out of the race for personal reasons my wife gave me an ultimatum, either stop complaining about things or do something about. I think I've already made some significant changes just by running.

    22885782_826128707580226_3183828096000833819_n.jpgRepublican mayoral candidates Keith Hahn
     

    If elected, what are your term goals and expectations? Address the out of control taxes, overcrowding in our schools and lack of full-day kindergarten and the lack of a recreation and community center for our kids and young families as well as the poor condition of our senior center. All of which we can start doing from day one.

    Why should someone vote for you? I will work as a full-time Mayor, I will be accessible and approachable and my words will always be my own, not a fancy statement that says everything and nothing all at the same time from some high priced PR firm. I will work collectively with the Board of Education to address the overcrowding and rising taxes and I will work for all people of Edison equally and fairly.

    Qualifications: Graduated Edison High School, went to Middlesex County College, Middlesex County Police Academy and Caldwell College.

    Endorsements: Edison Township Educations Association, Edison Firefighter's Local 1197, Edison Police Lodge 101, former Democratic Mayor Antonia Ricigliano and 40 current Democratic Committee members. 

    Edison's school board race, incumbents Beth Moroney and Shi will face challenges from Patel, Carol Bodofsky, Elizabeth Conway, Ruchika Juneja, Aqib Virani, Sunil Vuppula, and Maria Wise.  Paul Distefano and William Araujo are vying for a one-year term seat. 

    Shi, Patel, Moroney and Distefano are all running on a slate together as the "The Edison Team."

    Craig McCarthy may be reached at 732-372-2078 or at CMcCarthy@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @createcraig and on Facebook here. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    It was Red, White and Blue Day at South Brunswick High, which prompted the protesting players to stay behind closed doors during the anthem.

    SOUTH BRUNSWICK — At 7 p.m. sharp Friday night, every person in the South Brunswick High School stadium rose to their feet and faced the American flag billowing in the wind behind the far end zone. All the football players and coaches on the field from South Brunswick and visiting Monroe High joined them in standing at attention on opposite sidelines, while singers from the home school belted out the national anthem into the crisp fall air.

    It was a normal pregame routine, except four players from Monroe were noticeably absent.

    Instead of kneeling for the anthem as they had the previous five games as a way of protesting racial, social and gender injustices, the players stayed inside the locker room until it was over.

    Once the final notes had been sung, the four Monroe players, one by one, jogged out of the locker room, down a long sidewalk and into the stadium.


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


    It was a stark departure from their routine, which began Sept. 28 when they knelt for the first time before their game against New Brunswick, and morphed into a national debate last week when a pair of referees walked off the field in protest after seeing the teenagers kneeling.

    Kaylon Bradley, one of the four players who has protested, said the group made the decision to stay in the locker room because Friday night was “Red, White and Blue Day” at South Brunswick — a fundraiser for the military and veterans.

    “We thought it was just a better decision,” Bradley said. “We’re not out here trying to disrespect the military. Today we felt like we should stay in the locker room. It was the best decision.”

    When asked if the group felt pressure to stay in the locker room Friday night, Bradley said “sort of.”

    “We did what we believe in with kneeling,” Bradley said. “But today was different and we were trying to show that we’re not trying to disrespect the military. So, we just went in the locker room and stayed there.”

    The past week had been a whirlwind for the four players, who came up with the idea to begin protesting after discussing racial, social and gender issues with teammates in a group text chat. Two of the players are black and the other two are mixed-race, and Bradley said all of them have encountered racism or examples of social and gender injustice in their community.

    Their protest took on new life last Friday when the two officials — Ernie Lunardelli, 54, and his son, Anthony Lunardelli, 27 — left the field after seeing the players kneeling. The move by the Lunardellis sparked a firestorm of debate and criticism involving race, politics and patriotism.

    “Honestly, I didn’t think it would blow up the way it did,” Bradley said. “We were just trying to make a little stand. We hoped that it would impact others. It sort of did. It got a lot of people’s attention.”

    Two days after the Lunardellis walked off the field, it was revealed they made racist comments on social media, although Ernie Lunardelli alleges his Facebook account was hacked. On Jan. 20 — President Donald Trump’s inauguration day —  and Jan. 21, Ernie Lunardelli wrote “Back to the zoo!” on posts about President Barack Obama. Anthony Lunardelli also described Giants quarterback Eli Manning as having “jew luck” in a Facebook comment from February 2012.

    The following day, the pair were removed from working any future games this season while their officials chapter reviews the case and determines their punishment.

    The Lunardellis released a statement through their attorney earlier this week saying they are not racists and that a “discussion might be appropriate and where we can better understand why young players kneel.”

    Bradley said he and his teammates aren’t interested in meeting with the Lunardellis.

    “We don’t really want to associate ourselves around them,” Bradley said. “We really don’t want to have to hear what they have to say. For them to talk to us about why they did it, we don’t really want to know.

    “I just don’t want to see their faces, really.”

    After Bradley and his three teammates rejoined their team Friday night, it was mostly business as usual in what was the final regular season game for both teams. The stadium held a patriotic air as fans waved American flags in the bleachers and the student section frequently burst into a chant of, “U-S-A! U-S-A!”

    At halftime, the students also sang in unison the national anthem as the players walked off the field on the opposite side of the stadium.

    South Brunswick athletic director Elaine McGrath said she spoke to officials from Monroe during the week, but that her school never requested the Monroe players stay in the locker room or stand for the anthem.

    “I let them know it was our Red, White and Blue Day, just (for your information),” McGrath said. “We were aware that their kids kneeled; they’ve been kneeling since September.”

    McGrath added she was not concerned the prospect of Monroe’s players kneeling could have caused a scene Friday night.

    “We would respect Monroe’s position,” she said. “They’ve been dealing with their student athletes all along. That’s how we would have handled it.”

    Bradley said he and his teammates learned during the week about the military theme Friday night and that the protesting players collectively made the decision to stay in the locker room.

    South Brunswick rolled out to a 33-0 lead at halftime and eventually beat Monroe by a final score of 40-8. When it was over, the Monroe players trudged toward their buses as Bradley lagged behind.

    A senior, his football career is almost finished. Wrestling season is next and Bradley said he is still planning to protest.

    “We’re doing what we believe in,” Bradley said. “That’s all that matters.” 

    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 playoffs looming, these were the biggest, best and buzz-worthy performances from Week 9 of HS football.


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    Everything you need to know about the playoff picture.

    The last week of the football regular season is here and the playoff picture is coming into focus. NJ Advance Media already has you covered with playoff scenarios heading into this week, but we are also be holding a live chat at 12:30 p.m. Saturday as the final games are played and playoff spots are locked up.


    Football power point analysis, 2017: Every section's playoff picture


    Tune into the live chat in the comment section, starting on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., as results pour in and we answer your power point and playoff questions. We will also be posting full projections below, as games go final.

    NORTH JERSEY, SECTION 1
    • Group 5
    Group 4
    Group 3
    • Group 2
    • Group 1

    NORTH JERSEY, SECTION 2
    • Group 5
    • Group 4
    Group 3
    • Group 2
    • Group 1

    CENTRAL JERSEY
    • Group 5
    • Group 4
    • Group 3
    • Group 2
    • Group 1

    SOUTH JERSEY
    • Group 5
    • Group 4
    • Group 3
    • Group 2
    • Group 1

    NON-PUBLIC
    • Group 4
    • Group 3
    • Group 2

    Jeremy Schneider may be reached at jschneider@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @J_Schneider. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    See what the biggest wins and most surprising results were through the quarterfinal round of the boys soccer state tournament.


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    "I want you to know that I'll be there when you need me," Phil Murphy told the union. Watch video

    WOODBRIDGE -- At a get-out-the-vote rally with the Teamsters union Saturday, Democratic nominee for governor Phil Murphy pledged support for labor-friendly economic policies sought by the truck driver's union at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

    "I don't want to just be here when I need you," Murphy said, speaking to some 150 Teamster leaders and union members. "I want you to know that I'll be there when you need me."

    Before the event, Murphy met privately with Teamsters president James P. Hoffa in a classroom behind the school's gymnasium.

    Murphy used his speech to take aim at recent legislative efforts in New Jersey that would make it easier for trucking companies operating in the Port of New York and New Jersey to hire drivers as independent contractors -- who cannot be unionized -- instead of being classified as employees, who can join the union.

    "All is not where it should be for the Teamsters as it relates to our ports," said Murphy, turning to Hoffa. "I want to be the governor who helps you get that to the right place."

    The crowd of some 150 Teamsters applauded heartily, filling the gym with loud cheers.

    Some 7,000 truckers are employed at various terminals around the port, and the state Assembly has been considering legislation that would raise penalties for improperly hiring contractors but broaden the definition of independent drivers to include many truckers working at the port.

    Here's how many millions Murphy made last year

    The port driver classification legislation was debated fiercely in the Assembly's transportation committee last year, but has not yet come to the full floor for a vote.

    Employers sometimes falsely label their workers "independent contractors" so they can report their annual earnings on IRS Form 1099 and avoid paying unemployment and other taxes on workers. While the penalties for fraud can be substantial, not a lot of cases have been prosecuted in New Jersey.

    Speaking to the Teamsters on Saturday, he also promised to appoint "a labor commissioner, attorney general and treasurer" who would be "cracking down on 1099 fraud, and either bringing people into compliance, or putting them out of business."

    Union labor "is the door through which so many in New Jersey walk into the middle class," said Murphy. "We will hold that door, I promise you, wide open."

    New Jerseyans head to the polls on Tuesday to select a replacement for the term-limited Gov. Chris Christie.

    Murphy currently leads his Republican rival, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, by 14 points in the latest Monmouth University poll.

    Claude Brodesser-Akner may be reached at cbrodesser@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClaudeBrodesser. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.


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    Assembly and Senate candidates also oppose using state funds to replace federal aid that is withdrawn in order to punish these jurisdictions.

    Let's be clear: We, the Republican legislative candidates in the 3rd District -- Fran Grenier for Senate, and Phil Donohue and Linwood Donelson for Assembly --  are opposed to making New Jersey a "sanctuary state." 

    Additionally, we are against the idea of replacing with state tax revenue any federal funds that the Trump administration withholds from municipalities it deems to have violated federal immigration laws.

    Last year, state legislative Democrats proposed legislation to replace any federal money lost by those cities that shield criminal immigrants who are here illegally, and do not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Justice Department. Eventually, Senate President Stephen Sweeney scrapped a planned vote on the New Jersey legislation since, if it had passed the Democrat-majority Legislature, it faced a veto from Republican Gov. Chris Christie with no chance of an override.

    If Democrat Phil Murphy is elected governor on Tuesday, New Jersey will begin protecting illegal immigrants who commit further crimes. Then, the Democrats' notion of replenishing the coffers of sanctuary cities will also become a reality. Both of these ideas only encourage lawlessness, and both spell disaster for our state. 

    Phil Donohue, Assembly candidate, Legislative District 3

    Note: This letter was also signed by Donohoe's GOP running mates, Linwood Donelson, who is seeking the district's other Assembly seat, and Fran Grenier, who is seeking the Senate seat. 

    Take-a-knee protests a bad influence

    Regarding articles about two football referees who walked off the field Oct. 27 at a Middlesex County high-school game in protest of players who had kneeled during the national anthem. (The pair did not return to officiate the game.):

    So the football players involved in the game think these referees set a bad example? What kind of example are the players setting by kneeling?

    When I was young, my heroes were professional sports players? Where did these high-school players get the idea to kneel? One guess: from professional players who did the same thing.

    If these paid athletes do not like this country, they can go somewhere else, or they can get off their knees and, with their millions in salary, do something about the issues that spark their protests.

    They can also talk to who in charge: God.

    This is a great country, even if all of its residents are not great people.

    God bless America.

    Chuck Garrison, Elmer

    N.J. must stop harboring terrorists

    Again, New Jersey has served as a home for a suspected terrorist, the one charged with the bicycle-path tragedy in New York City. Sayfullo Saipov last lived in Paterson, authorities say.

    The truck bombers in the first (1993) World Trade Center attack, including the "blind cleric" (Omar Abdel-Rahman), also called New Jersey their home.

    Why do some politicians continue to support open borders? Why do they want to hide these criminals from justice? Why do they want them on our streets and in our neighborhoods? 

    Do we need to ban rental trucks, pressure cookers and metal pipe?  New Jersey is great for banning and regulating items, so let's add these items to the list. When will our politicians learn that it's people who harm people.     

    And just think, Phil Murphy, our Democratic candidate for governor, has stated that he would make New Jersey a "sanctuary state." Isn't that just great? I think not! Isn't this against the oath that elected officials take to defend our federal and state constitutions?  

    Stop the flow of terrorists and undocumented immigrants into this country. Abide by the rules for pathways to citizenship. 

    Politicians need to help our first responders, not continue to place more harm in their way. When will New Jersey voters speak out?  The people have had enough.  

    Restore New Jersey's death penalty, while you're at it.

    J. Martin, Pitman

    Send a letter to the editor of South Jersey Times at sjletters@njadvancemedia.com

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


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    A look at the state tournament.

    These are the tentative brackets for the 2017 NJSIAA football championships. The brackets are official as of Sunday at 5 p.m.

    Check the brackets for pairings and times for all first-round games on Nov. 10 and 11.

    NOTE: All semifinal and championship game dates/times are TBD. 

    NORTH JERSEY, SECTION 1
     Group 5
     Group 4
     Group 3
     Group 2
    • Group 1

    NORTH JERSEY, SECTION 2
     Group 5
     Group 4
     Group 3
     Group 2
    • Group 1

    CENTRAL JERSEY
     Group 5
     Group 4
     Group 3
     Group 2
    • Group 1

    SOUTH JERSEY
     Group 5
     Group 4
     Group 3
     Group 2
     Group 1

    NON-PUBLIC
     Group 4
     Group 3
     Group 2

    Jeremy Schneider may be reached at jschneider@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @J_Schneider. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    Here is this week's collection of some of the dogs and cats in need of adoption in New Jersey.

    We are now accepting dogs and cats to appear in the gallery from nonprofit shelters and rescues throughout New Jersey.

    If a group wishes to participate in this weekly gallery on nj.com, please contact Greg Hatala at ghatala@starledger.com or call 973-836-4922.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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