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    The Edison resident faces 8 years in prison in the plea deal

    An Edison man faces eight years in prison after admitting this week he sold a combination of heroin and fentanyl that killed a 23-year-old.

    Emile "Oatmeal" Constable Jr., 25, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree strict liability in a drug overdose death and will have to serve 85 percent of the term before he is eligible for parole, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. 

    All 1,901 people killed by opioids in N.J. last year, mapped

    He also pleaded guilty to possession of drugs with intent to sell and will get a three year concurrent prison term for that offense. Sentencing is scheduled for April 27. 

    Constable was charged with strict liability in April 2016, about two months after Aniq Ali died from a heroin overdose. In all, Ali bought 10, one-gram bags of heroin from Constable, prosecutors said.

    Constable was indicted in August of that year. 

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

     

     


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    Brooke is friendly, playful and loving after getting to know someone.

    mx0128pet.jpgBrooke 

    EAST BRUNSWICK -- Brooke is an 8-year-old female cat in the care of Karma Cat and Zen Dog Rescue who has been waiting years for a permanent home.

     According to volunteers, she can appear "tough at first," but she is friendly, playful and loving after getting to know someone. Brooke has been spayed, is FIV/FeLV negative and up-to-date on shots.

    For more information on adopting Brooke, contact the nonprofit rescue society, which is currently caring for more than 20 cats and kittens, at 732-568-4694, email info@karmacatzendog.org or go to petfinder.com/shelters/NJ639.html.

    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

    Brooke is an 8-year-old female cat in the care of Karma Cat and Zen Dog Rescue who has been waiting years for a permanent home.

     According to volunteers, she can appear "tough at first," but she is friendly, playful and loving after getting to know someone. Brooke has been spayed, is FIV/FeLV negative and up-to-date on shots.

    For more information on adopting Brooke, contact the nonprofit rescue society, which is currently caring for more than 20 cats and kittens, at 732-568-4694, email info@karmacatzendog.org or go to petfinder.com/shelters/NJ639.html.

    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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    In this week's edition of wrestling hot takes, NJ.com looks at the sport aiding charitable causes, forfeiting to win a match and county/conference tournament schedules.


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    SOUTH BRUNSWICK -- This aerial view of the intersection of routes 518 and 27 in South Brunswick was taken in 1981 shortly after construction of the crossroads was completed. MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey Prior to construction, in a 1979 planning report, the New Jersey Department of Transportation noted, "Route 518 serves as a primary east-west route in southern...

    SOUTH BRUNSWICK -- This aerial view of the intersection of routes 518 and 27 in South Brunswick was taken in 1981 shortly after construction of the crossroads was completed.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    Prior to construction, in a 1979 planning report, the New Jersey Department of Transportation noted, "Route 518 serves as a primary east-west route in southern Somerset County, connecting Lambertville, Hopewell, Rocky Hill and Kendall Park" making the connection with Route 27 an important addition.

    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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    One of the items to be featured is the Philly-inspired "Rocky Bal-boar-a," a wild boar sausage topped with sliced steak, cheese sauce, onions, peppers and cherry pepper relish.

    New Jersey has been called the hot dog universe of the world, and now the world will get a chance to see, as Destination Dogs, the ultra-popular hot dog and sausage joint in New Brunswick, will be featured on an upcoming episode of "Food Paradise" on the Travel Channel.

    "It is pretty ridiculous," co-owner Jimmy Cronk said about being featured on the show that partially inspired him to open Destination Dogs. "I was super geeked out when I heard we were going to be on the show."

    Destination Dogs, which is known for exotic and international takes on hot dogs and sausages -- or as Cronk puts it, "a global travel themed restaurant that focuses on first-class hot dogs and sausages" -- opened in New Brunswick in 2012.

    Looking for options? We got 'em. ([?] : @mackattackkss)

    A post shared by destinationdogs (@destinationdogs) on

     

    Filming of the episode, which is centered around college town eats, will be at the end of February, he said, and will feature their Philly-inspired hot dog, "Rocky Bal-boar-a," a wild boar sausage topped with sliced steak, cheese sauce, onions, peppers and cherry pepper relish, and a soon-to-be menu item, the "Elotes Real," which is chorizo with grilled corn, lime crema, queso fresco, chili powder and cilantro.

    There are currently 34 different hot dog and sausage choices on the menu, ranging from New Brunswick-themed options to a Vietnamese twist of a sausage. (There are also salads, a chicken sandwich and a variety of appetizers, as well.)

    New Jerseyans quickly took to the non-traditional takes on the barbecue favorite.

    NJ Advance Media food writer Pete Genovese tried Destination Dogs shortly after the shop opened, writing, "You want a dog with onions and kraut, hit up your local hot dog cart. You want a spicy chorizo dog, or lamb sausage with fava beans, or a duck sausage with shaved foie gras and cornichons, you head to Destination Dogs."

    Genovese recently ranked Destination Dogs the 13th best hot dog joint in the state

    The restaurant first opened on Spring Street in New Brunswick as just a quick grab-and-go option before opening their current location on Paterson Street, which has a full-bar.

    Destination Dogs opened a second store in Philadelphia in 2016.

    Joe Atmonavage may be reached at jatmonavage@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @jatmonavageNJFind NJ.com on Facebook


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    New Jersey's Attorney General questions whether the Department of Homeland Security violated its prohibition on enforcement actions as sensitive locations.

    A day after federal agents arrested two Indonesian nationals as they dropped their children off for school, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is questioning whether the Department of Homeland Security violated its longstanding prohibition on enforcement actions at "sensitive locations."

    In a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Grewal expressed "serious concern" over the arrests of Gunawan Liem of Franklin Park and Roby Sanger of Metuchen by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Thursday.

    According to the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, a former gubernatorial candidate who has advocated for a group of Indonesian Christians who have claimed religious persecution in Indonesia, Liem was arrested after dropping his daughter off at her bus stop for school. He said Sanger was arrested after dropping off his daughter at school. 

    "I am not aware of any exigent or unique circumstances here that would justify such a departure from ICE's settled policy on sensitive locations," stated Grewal in his letter. "Undoubtedly, this creates a chilling environment for parents, who were simply ensuring that their children arrived to school safely."

    He asked Nielson to "personally evaluate the circumstances surrounding this enforcement action and take any and all appropriate measures to remedy any violation of ICE policy."

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had no immediate response.

    Grewal also raised concerns about ICE enforcement actions at courthouses and at state facilities throughout New Jersey. 

    It is an issue already raised by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, who called on ICE to stop arresting unauthorized immigrants at state courthouses.

    In his own letter to the Department of Homeland Security last year, Rabner warned the practice could undermine New Jersey's justice system, following the arrests of two individuals making routine appearances in New Jersey Superior Court,

    "I write to urge that arrests of this type not take place in courthouses," Rabner wrote.

    The practice of courthouse arrests actually predates President Donald Trump's administration, but has drawn increased scrutiny in recent months amid the president's hard-line immigration stance. 

    Grewal said as a former federal prosecutor, county prosecutor, and now the chief law enforcement officer for New Jersey, he understood the need to enforce the nation's laws.

    "But I am equally committed to ensuring that all of the residents of New Jersey have a safe environment to attend to their lives, whether it be to attend school, participate in our judicial system, or access state government service," Grewal said.

    Gov. Phil Murphy, who went to the church in Highland Park on Thursday after the arrests, said at a press conference in Trenton on Friday that his administration has been in touch with members of New Jersey's congressional delegation -- including U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Robert Menendez -- about the issue.

    "We have to remind ourselves they were escaping religious persecution," Murphy, a Democrat, said. "They were Christians who came from Indonesia. They're not coming here for economic opportunity. They're coming here because they're being basically marginalized and persecuted."

    NJ Advance Media staff writer Brent Johnson contributed to this report.

    Ted Sherman may be reached at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL. Facebook: @TedSherman.reporter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Take a look at the best performances at the county and conference championships this season.


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    Who's seeded where?


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    Check out where N.J.'s top college wrestlers are ranked nationally


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    New Jersey joins the DACA suit. It's about time. Watch video

    As Washington debates the fate of immigrants in its usual maladroit fashion, one of them raised his right hand Wednesday morning and pledged to be "a champion of due process for all persons" and to "promote the fair and impartial administration of justice."

    Gov. Murphy stood beside Parthiv Patel as he became the first Dreamer to be admitted to the New Jersey bar, to the sound of a Statehouse erupting in joy. It was a special moment - not only for 27-year-old Mt. Laurel resident brought here from India at age 5, but for our state, which now has a chief executive who supports the 17,400 New Jerseyans who could be deported from the only home they've ever known.

    It is bad enough to have a president whose governing principles are rooted in Islamophobia, racism, and pathological nativism. It is just as bad to have a governor who cowers in tacit agreement, which until recently was our unfortunate predicament.

    It's impossible to forgive or forget that Chris Christie sat on the sidelines last September, when 15 states challenged Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for 690,000 Dreamers in court.

    Indeed, if you heard one utterance of support for these kids from Christie since Trump made them political pincushions, it's news to Mr. Google. Instead, he watched Trump use immigrants to serve up a full buffet of paranoia - terrorist threats, job anxiety, amnesty, white victimhood.

    Criminalizing our best neighbors in Trump World | Editorial

    Christie's successor, however, fights back. Murphy wants a legal defense office for immigrants. He joined the DACA lawsuit. He recognizes the value of sanctuary cities. He wonders, as we all do, why ICE spends so much time trolling courthouses and churches.

    And he stood by Patel when the young man said this Wednesday: "Dreamers are Americans. We are your friends and colleagues. We are your doctors, your accountants, and now, in New Jersey, your lawyers."

    To certify that, he raised his right hand and took an oath administered by the first Sikh-American Attorney General in history, Gurbir Grewal. And it was the damnedest thing.

    It was also a reminder that Trump and Christie might try to torpedo the futures of some of our best and brightest, but they cannot deport our ideals.

    Now we have a governor willing to fight for them, and the fight has just gained more legal gravitas from Parthiv Patel.

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


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    The real lotto winner has since been paid their winnings, authorities say

    An Edison man swiped a winning scratch-off lottery ticket with a $1 million prize while working at a convenience store last year, authorities said Friday. 

    Rayhan Sorwar, 36, was arrested Friday and charged with theft of moveable property over $75,000, conspiracy to commit money laundering and attempted money laundering, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a release. 

    When a customer went to cash-in their scratch-off ticket on Sept. 6, 2017, at the Edison store where Sorwar worked, he gave the customer payouts from two other tickets, instead of giving the person a claim form.

    The NJ Lottery requires such a form for prizes $600 and higher.

    State and county authorities started looking into the alleged theft after Sorwar's wife tried to cash the lottery ticket at the Lottery Commission in Lawrence later that month, the release said. 

    Carey said the real winner has since been paid their winnings. 

    Sorwar is scheduled to appear in Middlesex County Superior Court next month.

    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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    The man was charged with killing his ex-wife with the help of their daughter. Watch video

    The New York man accused of killing his ex-wife with the help of their 20-year-old daughter was about to jump off the roof of a parking garage before he was tackled and subdued by a New Jersey State Police detective, video made public Friday shows.

    Lloyd Neurauter, 46, was arrested Wednesday night in connection with the strangling death of Michele Neurauter, also 46. She was found dead in her home in Corning, N.Y. on Aug. 28, 2017, in what at first appeared to be a suicide by strangulation, NYUp.com reported.

    But authorities later determined the circumstances were suspicious, and Lloyd Neurauter and his daughter Karrie, 20, a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, were charged and arrest warrants issued.

    Karrie Neurauter was arrested at her apartment in Syracuse, N.Y. and Lloyd Neurauter, who was living in North Brunswick, was tracked to the five-story Spring Street Parking Garage in Princeton. 

    Members of the Princeton police, New Jersey State Police (NJSP) and New York State Police were at the scene.

    "As the officers approached, Neurauter immediately ran from his car and perched himself on the ledge of the building," the NJSP said in a Friday statement about the footage.

    The video shows Neurauter away from the ledge but beginning to take some steps. That's when the NJSP detective makes his move: sprinting toward him and taking him to the ground.

    Other officers closed in to hold him down.

    No law enforcement were injured in the incident, the NJSP said in a news release.

    Lloyd Neurauter was later taken to a local hospital for evaluation and was later taken to the Mercer County jail as a fugitive from justice to await extradition to New York.

    Expo preview

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Matthew Dieterman made the porn available for other people to download.

    A Piscataway man arrested as part of a 2016 crackdown on child pornography distributors was sentenced Friday to five years in state prison.

    Matthew Dieterman, 33, who worked in Somerset County's public garage, had more than 700 child pornography videos on his computer, the Office of the Attorney General said in a statement.

    Matthew-Dieterman.jpgMatthew Dieterman (Courtesy of Office of the Attorney General)

    Investigators began pursuing Dieterman when they noticed a shared folder from his IP address contained 37 child porn videos and images. They found roughly 735 videos and nine photos when they searched his computer after they arrested him at his home in March of 2016.

    Dieterman pleaded guilty to second-degree distribution of child pornography on Aug. 25, admitting that he used file-sharing software to make child porn available for other people to download from a shared folder on his computer.

    He will be ineligible for parole for two-and-a-half years of his sentence, which was handed down by Judge Benjamin S. Bucca Jr. Dieterman will also have to register as a sex offender and will be under parole supervision for life.

    It was not immediately clear whether he remained employed by Somerset County. 

    Dieterman's arrest was part of "Operation Safeguard," in which state and federal officials monitored online file-sharing networks popular with offenders who trade child porn. Sixteen people were charged in the sweep.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    The New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry includes dozens of offenders listed as "non-compliant."


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    Houses of worship are often seen as a refuge for those fearing prosecution. It is a Middle Ages notion, say legal experts.

    Three Indonesians facing deportation who took refuge in a New Jersey church this past week are looking for a safe haven to shelter them from arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Legal experts, though, say their haven may be illusory, offering little protection.

    "This Middle Ages notion of the church sanctuary knocker went out the window a long, long time ago," said former criminal prosecutor Dennis Kearney, who advises religious and non-profits on the propriety of housing and employing illegal aliens.

    Under medieval English law, the ornamental sanctuary knocker on a cathedral door supposedly afforded the right of asylum to those who touched it.

    But while churches and other houses of worship in the United States generally remain "sensitive locations" for law enforcement today, there is no right of sanctuary under U.S. law for those who may retreat inside. And that applies to people here legally or illegally.

    That was graphically demonstrated in a series of early morning arrests in New Jersey by the FBI in 2009, in a case that had targeted crooked politicians and money laundering rabbis in the biggest undercover corruption sting in the state's history. Some of those rabbis were taken out of their synagogues that morning in handcuffs.

    For the enforcers of the nation's immigration laws, the Department of Homeland Security has an operations policy that regards churches, synagogues and mosques as sensitive locations, where arrests are avoided.

    Other sensitive locations under that policy include schools, day-care centers and pre-schools, school bus stops, hospitals and medical facilities, and religious or civil ceremonies or observances, such as funerals and weddings.

    ICE officials say they don't target houses of worship to arrest undocumented immigrants, even though churches, mosques and synagogues are considered public spaces.

    "As far as I'm aware, ICE has never arrested anyone in a church or place of worship, said spokesman Emilio Dabul.

    There are exceptions under the guidelines, though, including "exigent circumstances," cases where other law enforcement actions have led officers to a sensitive location, or "prior approval from a designated supervisory official."

    On Friday, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal questioned whether the Department of Homeland Security violated those prohibitions on immigration enforcement actions at sensitive locations, following the arrests on Thursday of Gunawan Liem of Franklin Park and Roby Sanger of Metuchen by ICE agents while they were reportedly dropping their daughters off for school.

    "I am not aware of any exigent or unique circumstances here that would justify such a departure from ICE's settled policy on sensitive locations," stated Grewal in a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security. "Undoubtedly, this creates a chilling environment for parents, who were simply ensuring that their children arrived to school safely."

    The Department of Homeland Security did not respond to questions about the issue raised by Grewal.

    Harlan York, an immigration attorney in Newark, said there was no legal impediment to stop ICE from arresting people In churches or synagogues or mosques. 

    "ICE can go anywhere it wishes to," said Joyce Phipps, an immigration lawyer from Bound Brook and director of Casa de Esperanza, a nonprofit group serving immigrants and refugees.

    Kearney, an attorney with Day Pitney in Parsippany, added there is also no way for religious groups and others to legally avoid federal prohibitions on harboring illegal aliens.

    "Black letter law under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act prohibits organizations from this conduct," Kearney said.

    The Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, who has long sought to help immigrants at his Reformed Church of Highland Park Church, continues to offer protection to the three Indonesian nationals who fled there following the arrests on Thursday of Liem and Sanger. He remained defiant on Friday.

    "I don't care," Kaper-Dale declared. "We don't aid and abet. We're highlighting, not hiding. Is the risk standing up for what's right or not standing up? If we were hiding mass murderers, that's one thing. All we're trying to do is protect our neighbors from the onslaught of the government's policies."

    Staff writer Sophie Nieto-Munoz contributed to this report.

    Ted Sherman may be reached at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL. Facebook: @TedSherman.reporter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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  • 01/28/18--06:05: BOE elects officers
  • Piscataway Board of Education names officers during its Jan. 8 meeting.

    mx0128schoolpiscataway (2).jpgPiscataway Township Board of Education president Alexandra Lopez.

    PISCATAWAY -- The Piscataway Board of Education elected Alexandra Lopez, president, and Ira Stern, vice president, at its Jan. 8 reorganization meeting.

    Lopez has been a member of the board since 2011, most recently serving as vice president. She was re-elected to a three-year term in last November's election. Stern has been a member of the board since 2013.

    "I look forward to serving the Piscataway community as the Vice President of the Board of Education," said Stern. "We have a wonderful town and my goal is for our schools to keep up with the challenges posed by a changing world."

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


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    With the heightened attention concerning their immigration status, the families have been taking refuge, living in the church.

    day after Gov. Phil Murphy rushed to a Highland Park church to pray with a group of undocumented Indonesian immigrants seeking sanctuary from deportation, two of their homes were burglarized, the church's pastor said. 

    The homes of Arthur Jemmy, of Edison, and Harry Pangemanan, of Highland Park, were broken into between Friday night and early Saturday morning, the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale of the Reformed Church of Highland Park said. Cash and gold were taken from both homes, he said. 

    "We refuse to live in fear as a community especially as leadership. It is not our job to bend to the powers of evil," Kaper-Dale said.

    Highland Park Police Chief Stephen Rizco told NJ Advance Media police were investigating a burglary at Pangemanan's home but did not release additional details. The Edison police department did not immediately confirm whether they were investigating the other incident. 

    In a Facebook post, Kaper-Dale suggested that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was behind the incidents, a suggestion the agency vehemently denied. "If true, these reports of vandalism are unfortunate; however, to suggest that ICE law enforcement officers were involved in such an incident is patently false," ICE press secretary Jennifer D. Elzea said.

    Jemmy's neighbors sent him a video of what his home looked like after they were vandalized. The church has fixed the door, which Kaper-Dale said had crowbar marks and was off the hinges. The home looked ransacked -- items were strewn on the floor, including inside the children's bedrooms, the video shows.

    Jemmy, a Christian who said he fled religious persecution in Indonesia, has been staying at the church since October, when he was expected to check in with immigration officials. 

    "I'm doing my best. I want to be a citizen," Jemmy, who has applied for asylum multiple times, only to have it denied, previously said. 

    Pangemanan sought sanctuary at the church on Thursday after ICE officials knocked on his door as he was getting ready to take his 15-year-old daughter to school. 

    "They didn't just do the damage to me, they did the damage to an American's life, my children," Pangemanan said of his burglarized home. "They have started destroying my children's lives." 

    Pangemanan, a Christian, left Makassar, Indonesia, in 1993 at age 21 to flee religious persecution, he said. He met his Indonesian wife in America, who also escaped from religious persecution in 1998 and is also not here legally. Together, the pair have two children, 11 and 15, who were born in America.

    Kaper-Dale said he spoke Saturday with Gov. Phil Murphy, who said he would provide security for Sunday's services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. On Sunday, a Highland Park officer was seen inside the church while a patrol car circled the church a few times. 

    Murphy's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    At 1 p.m., activists will rally in Metuchen to denounce the crackdown on undocumented immigrant communities. U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., is expected to attend.

    In addition to both of the immigrants' homes being broken into, the church itself has increasingly been vandalized throughout the week with sayings such as "build the wall" that were found in the the men's bathroom, Kaper-Dale said. 

    Build the wall pic 

    "The Civil Rights Revolution did not come without Bull O'Connor turning a hose on children," Kaper-Dale said. "It seems that often the good comes from true exposure of that which is vicious and wrong. While I hate that we are at the center of this right now, I believe that God is up to something bigger." 

    The church made headlines on Thursday when Murphy raced there to visit with immigrants after two Indonesians were arrested by ICE and Pangemanan sought refuge in the church.

    Gunawan Liem, of Franklin Park, and Roby Sanger, of Metuchen, were detained as they dropped their kids off at school Thursday morning.

    "We're trying to provide safety but they're attacking our family and their personal homes," said Kaper-Dale. "What's next?"

    Staff writer Karen Yi and Ed Murray contributed to this report.

    Taylor Tiamoyo Harris may be reached at tharris@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @ladytiamoyo.

    Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Hundreds of Metuchen residents and advocates gathered at the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen on Sunday.

    In a Metuchen church built to hold 500 people, it was standing-room only on Sunday, as people linked arms, bowed their heads and prayed for mercy for their "brother," "friend," and fellow congregation member, Roby Sanger, and his family.

    Sanger, of Metuchen, was one of two undocumented Indonesian immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last week. Sanger, and Gunawan Liem, of Franklin Park, were each expected to check in with immigration agents next month but were picked up by ICE as they dropped their children off for school.

    Hundreds of Metuchen residents and advocates gathered at the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen on Sunday, before walking to the town's borough hall to pledge their support for the families who have been affected.

    The rally comes days after Gov. Phil Murphy denounced the Trump Administration's crackdown on the immigrant community of Indonesian Christians, who came to the U.S. to flee religious persecution.

    These actions against Sanger and Liem are the latest to rattle the immigrant rights community under the Trump Administration, which has vowed to crack down on those in the country illegally.

    Sanger's family members joined in the walk and one of his own daughters appeared at the beginning of the rally and read a statement prepared by State Sen. Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., D-18th Dist.

    In a fiery speech that fired up the crowd, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12th Dist., said America was built by ancestors who have "made this country great," and quoted the words that appear on the Statue of Liberty.

    "We may have lost our way in the White House and in Congress, which is controlled by the Republicans," Watson Coleman said. "But we the people of this country, this country of, by and for the people -- we will not tolerate it. And we'll continue to show up."

    At the rally, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-6th Dist., again called for a pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants that are estimated to be living in the United States.

    A third man in New Jersey, Harry Pangemanan, is seeking sanctuary at the Reformed Church of Highland Park to avoid deportation.

    The church increased its security on Sunday and a Highland Park police officer was stationed inside while a Highland Park police car could be seen circling the building.

    The church's Pastor, Seth Kaper-Dale, said the homes of Pangemanan and another immigrant seeking sanctuary were ransacked this weekend, with cash and gold taken from each. Kaper-Dale suggested ICE could be behind the incidents though the agency has denied any involvement.

    "We don't know what caused this -- or who went and ransacked these homes, but it doesn't surprise me with all this anti-immigration fever that something like this would happen," Pallone said.

    The group of supporters Sunday carried signs that read, "Stop deporting dads," "humans aren't illegal," and "Hey ICE my school is not a tool."

    As they walked, they chanted, "No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here," "this is what democracy looks like," and "this is what community looks like" as they made the walk through the town's center.

    The clouds kept the day overcast but without rain for the group's entire march to borough hall. As the rally came to an end, the group again locked arms, sang and the clouds rained down a drizzle.

    Metuchen Mayor Jonathan Busch said if the arrests had to happen to wake the community up, "so be it."

    "We're woken up now and we're going to do something about it," Busch said.

    Staff writers Karen Yi and Ed Murray contributed to this report.

    Sara Jerde may be reached at sjerde@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @SaraJerde. Have information about this story or something else we should be covering? Tell us: nj.com/tips

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    Sombudha Adhikari was put on leave for a background review, a spokeswoman said.

    A Rutgers University adjunct professor convicted of sexual assault seven years ago has been placed on administrative leave after "issues regarding his background were brought to the chancellor," a university spokeswoman said Sunday.

    Sombudha Adhikari, 58, who teaches economics at the Newark and New Brunswick campuses of the state university, has been put on paid leave during the review, Dory Devlin, a school spokeswoman said.

    Adhikari pleaded guilty to criminal sexual assault in 2011 after being charged in 2009 when he was a professor at Farleigh Dickinson University in Florham Park, according to a public records search and published reports. Adhikari was charged with inappropriately touching a female student in a classroom, according to a published report.

    He was sentenced to one year of probation, according to the public record. 

    Efforts to reach Adhikari for comment Sunday through three listed phone number were not successful.

    Bill Duhart may be reached at bduhart@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find NJ.com on Facebook.Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips
     

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    Alcohol is not permitted in the barracks during the five-month program for local police

    A group of cadets was kicked out of the Cape May County Police Academy after the fall class was caught drinking just before they were set to become officers in departments across the state, according to two police sources with knowledge of the incident. 

    Cape May County's counsel, Jeffery Lindsay, said an incident was investigated by the academy but would not disclose any details. 

    Alcohol is not permitted in the barracks during the program for local police, who are required to live at the academy in Cape May Court House for the five months of training. Municipalities from around New Jersey send police, rescue personnel and 911 dispatchers to train at the facility.

    Out of the class of 66 recruits, three cadets quit, two were dismissed for failing physical fitness test and four others were sent home for violating the academy's rule and regulations, according to a list of those who attended the course obtained through a public records request.

    The names of all those who attended the class were redacted. 

    It was unclear if all of the dismissed cadets, who were sent from Perth Amboy, Wildwood, Sea Isle City and Lower Township, were removed from the program in connection with the alcohol incident or another violation.

    Sources told NJ Advance Media that an unknown number of cadets had snuck alcohol into the barracks.

    In a statement, Perth Amboy's business administrator, Adam Cruz said, "The academy handled any internal regulations as they deemed appropriate. All inquiries should be addressed to the academy, as matters related to personnel and disciplinary action are confidential."

    Wildwood Chief of Police Robert N. Regalbuto also referred any questions about the incident to the academy. 

    Calls to officials in the other municipalities that sent the ousted cadets were not returned. 

    It was unclear if the cadet would be allowed to attend the academy again.

    The Cape May County academy only responded through county counsel's response to an open public records request. 

    Any discipline for the other recruits who were involved in the incident would be handled internally by their sending agencies, according to Lindsay.  The cadets were sent from 18 agencies in at least four counties.

    The class of 58 officers graduated on Jan. 17.

    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.

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