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    The allegations of illegal drug use came out as part of local and county authorities' investigation into Officer Paul Pappas

    Authorities are investigating claims that a handful of Edison police officers have been illegally using steroids, according to two sources with knowledge of the probe.  

    The allegations of illegal drug use came out as part of the department's internal affairs unit and county authorities' investigation into Officer Paul Pappas, who is accused of driving his unmarked police car to New Brunswick while on duty and slashing his ex-girlfriend's tires. 

    Authorities are believed to be in possession of a ledger that names officers and  alleged transactions in the department, as well as statements from Pappas' former girlfriend, according to sources who had been told of the investigation.

    The exact number of officers wrapped up in the local investigation was not known. However, sources told NJ Advance Media, at least 15 officers had been drug tested and five had been placed on desk duty. 

    Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan, who oversees 170 officers in the fifth-largest municipality in the state, said he could not comment.

    Pappas, 43, has been charged by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office with second-degree computer theft/criminal activity and fourth-degree stalking, and has been suspended without pay.

    Authorities have said he was using a police database to stalk his ex-girlfriend for months leading up to the alleged tire slashing in March. He also faces a criminal mischief charge in New Brunswick over the incident.

    Pappas was scheduled for court last week, but the hearing was rescheduled at the last minute. The prosecutor's office didn't say why the hearing was postponed and would not comment on this story. 

    A NJ Advance Media investigation in 2010 found eight officers from Edison were among hundreds of law enforcement officers and firefighters using illegal anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Anabolic steroids have been linked to increased aggression, recklessness and serious health problems. 

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

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    High schools from New Jersey celebrate prom 2018.

    Photographers from NJ Advance Media are covering proms around the state. Check out the list below with our most recent prom photo galleries from the past week.

    Be sure to check out our complete prom coverage at

    Patti Sapone may be reached at Follow her on Instagram @psapo, Twitter @psapone. Follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    Joseph Reid receives educational grant.


    EDISON -- Joseph Reid, a health and gym teacher at John P. Stevens High School, has received a $2,500 educational grant from the Farmers Insurance Thank America's Teachers(r) program.

    Farmers Insurance launched the Thank America's Teachers program in 2015 to thank teachers for the impact they have on their students' lives. This year, the company will present 60 teachers with the $2,500 educational grants.

    Reid will use the grant money to help build a fitness trail around the perimeter of John P. Stevens High School. He received the award earlier this month when Local Farmers Insurance agent Edward Van Eckert paid him a surprise visit at school.

    To submit school news send an email to

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    An Ocean Township man died in the September 2017 crash in Perth Amboy

    A drunken tractor trailer driver who slammed into a car, setting of an chain-reaction wreck that killed one motorist and injured three others, won't drive again for a long time.

    Aleksander Isserovich, 39, of Brooklyn, New York, was traveling south on Route 440 in Perth Amboy last September when he hit the rear of a Hyundai Sonata driven by Jason Appio, 45, of Ocean Township.

    The Sonata lurched forward into another vehicle as the tractor trailer jackknifed and hit two other cars.

    Appio died of his injuries.

    Superior Court Judge Michael A. Toto sentenced Isserovich to 7 years in prison for vehicular homicide on Friday and handed down three 12-month terms for assault by auto for the three injured motorists.

    The assault by auto terms will be served concurrently to the 7-year term. He also received concurrent time for driving under the influence.

    Prior to the wreck, a motorist called 911 to report that Isserovich was driving erratically, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office previously stated.

    Isserovich pleaded guilty to the charges in February.

    He must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he's eligible for parole

    Upon his release from prison, Isserovich will also lose his driver's license for 10 years, Toto ordered.

    Matt Gray may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find the South Jersey Times on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us:

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    The judge also declined to bar the officer's attorney from talking to the press out of court.

    Aggressive reporting by an NJ Advance Media reporter on the case of a Carteret police officer charged with assault doesn't justify moving his trial out of Middlesex County, a judge in New Brunswick ruled Monday.

    Rejecting a defense motion for a change of venue, Superior Court Judge Joseph Paone said most of the intermittent stories cited by Joseph Reiman's attorney as having tainted the potential jury pool merely outline the allegations in the state's indictment, a "perfectly acceptable" form of reporting that does not meet the legal standard for prejudicial pretrial publicity.

    Reiman, the brother of Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman, was arrested on assault and official misconduct charges in June 2017 after he was accused of beating a 16-year-old suspect following a brief car chase on May 31 of that year.

    He was indicted on those charges in September, and a superseding indictment later added charges he tampered with police records after the May 31 encounter.

    In seeking to have the trial moved to another county, defense attorney Charles Sciarra had argued reporter Craig McCarthy's coverage of the case amounted to a "relentless" crusade that had taken on a life of its own in a county where the defendant's brother is a significant political figure.

    But Paone said that despite the stories in question, as well as other reporting by outlets including and New Brunswick Today, Reiman's case had not drawn the extraordinary attention necessary to meet the legal standard for prejudicial news coverage: "a torrent of publicity that creates a carnival-like environment."

    At the same hearing, the judge also denied a motion by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office to bar the officer's attorney from talking to reporters outside of court.

    Arguing Sciarra's comments to reporters could undermine a fair trial, prosecutors had cited antagonistic emails sent by the defense attorney to McCarthy -- included by Sciarra in his own motion for a change of venue -- as well as an story for which Sciarra allowed this reporter to review a copy of his motion.

    The judge said that while some of Sciarra's published statements about the case -- including disparaging statements about the prosecutor and victim, and allegations the charges were politically motivated -- fell outside the media commentary allowed by the state's Rules of Professional Conduct, there weren't currently grounds to officially restrain his statements to the press.

    Sciarra did not comment on Paone's rulings after court Monday, instead remarking to reporters how nice the weather was outside.

    Attorneys in the case are next expected to return to court in August.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty.

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    Two $150,000 tickets and 4 more worth $50,000 were purchased in for Saturday's drawing. Here's where they were sold Watch video

    While the $315 million Powerball ticket sold in New Jersey was by the far biggest lottery prize won in New Jersey this weekend, six other tickets sold in the state are worth a combined half-million dollars.

    Two tickets worth $150,000 and four more worth $50,000 were also purchased from retailers across the state this weekend, lottery officials said Monday.

    All six matched four numbers plus the Powerball with the holders of the $150,000 tickets getting the bigger prizes because both dropped an extra $1 to exercise the Power Play option.

    Mega Millions $533M jackpot winner from N.J. claims historic prize

    The $150,000 tickets were sold at Quick Convenience on Woodbridge Avenue in Edison and Speedy Mart on Johnson Drive in Watchung.

    The $50,000 tickets were purchased at the following locations:

    • BP gas station on Route 46 in Lodi
    • mini-mart on Park Avenue in Rutherford
    • 7-Eleven on Route 73 in Voorhees
    • Acme on East Main Street in Denville

    Saturday's winning numbers were 3, 6, 9, 17 and 56. The Power Ball was 25 with a multiplier of 3x. The odds of a $2 ticket matching four numbers and the Powerball are about 913,129 to 1. 

    The jackpot winning ticket was sold at ShopRite in Hackensack.

    Powerball is played in 44 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

    The top prize for Wednesday's Powerball drawing resets to $40 million. Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot is $60 million wit a cash option of $34 million. 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.



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    Having never fired a gun before, I was invited to try for myself by organizers of a gun safety and training, then asked if I'd had fun. I wouldn't call it that. Watch video

    I had never fired a gun in my life, so I eagerly accepted an invitation to give it a try by the sponsors of a gun safety and training day for children and their parents on Sunday at the Union Hill Gun Club, an indoor firing range, gun shop and instructional complex in Monroe.

    It was a fascinating experience, and I'm glad I did it. I was even told I did an excellent job with all three weapons I fired: a .22 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver; a 9mm M&P pistol, also by Smith & Wesson; and a Stag Arms AR-10 .308 rifle, which looked to my untrained eye like something I've seen SWAT team members carry.

    It was pretty much how I imagined it, based on the countless film and TV scenes of gunplay I've seen, not to mention news footage of people shooting guns at ranges.

    I first held a real gun when I was about 10 years old, a German Luger my father had brought home from World War II, and the weight of it, how comfortable it felt in my hand, had always stayed with me. There was a hint of that same feeling with the guns I shot on Sunday, which felt and weighed about how I imagined they would. 

    Not only had I never shot, I had never received any training, so what I learned was all new as well, and especially fascinating considering the gravity of it.

    Starting with the revolver, the range's chief instructor, Rocco La Rocca, showed me and another right-handed reporter first how to pick it up and hold it: right hand first, keeping the forefinger away from the trigger, followed by the left hand on the opposite side of the grip, left thumb slightly ahead of and just under the right. Like a golf grip, I thought, but for a very different kind of shot.

    We learned how to load the revolver chamber and the trickier spring-action magazine for the 9mm.  

    Never point the gun anywhere but toward the target end of the shooting lane, La Rocca stressed, adding that we should treat any gun as if it is loaded.

    Stance is also important. Handling, loading, aiming and shooting the rifle had their own set of rules. 

    Actually firing the revolver was not as dramatic as I'd imagined. And, like some of the teenagers I talked to who also fired their first shots on Sunday, I was surprised at the lack of a kick. "Smooth," is how one teen described the sensation, and I had to agree. 

    The more powerful 9mm pistol and the rifle did pack a little more kick, plus they were louder than the revolver. In fact, the noise was one of the main elements of the experience, and like everyone else at the range, I wore a headset to dampen it. 

    I'm tempted to liken the experience, particularly with the AR-10, to shooting an arcade rifle, but intensified a hundred times over.

    Several people asked me afterward: "Did you have fun?" and I was struck by the question. I didn't feel nervous or fearful for my safety, but the experience was too intense and I was way too concerned about doing exactly what I was told to even consider the notion of "fun," or at least what I would traditionally consider fun. 

    These were lethal weapons, after all  -- real ones, in my hands, not on a movie screen -- completely under my control and my responsibility. So for me, the experience was more sobering than anything else, and what I took away from it was a palpable sense of the deadly force that these guns possessed from having unleashed it myself. 

    Steve Strunsky may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SteveStrunsky. Find on Facebook.

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    Highlights of the first round of states.

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    Police say he tried to meet someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy. Why is he not on any sex offender registries?

    Fourteen years ago, Harold L. Gordner II admitted sending child porn to someone he thought was a child living in New Hampshire.

    Turned out the teen was actually a cop and Gordner was sentenced to jail time in Pennsylvania and ordered to register as a sex offender.

    Harold Gordner.jpgHarold Gordner (N.J. Attorney General)

    Last week, Gordner was allegedly at it again.

    He arrived at a New Jersey park where authorities say he  planned to meet a 14-year-old boy for sex.

    Once again, he was greeted by the police.

    Gordner, 40, Highland Park, met the "boy" -- an undercover investigator with the New Jersey State Police -- online a month ago. In addition to explicit chats, he sent links to pornographic websites and sent photos of himself masturbating, according to an announcement from the state Attorney General's Office.

    He allegedly asked the teen several times if he could send a car to his house so that the teen could come to Gordner's home for sex. They settled on the meeting at John F. Kennedy Park in Sayreville last Friday.

    Gordner is charged wth second-degree attempted luring and a third-degree charge of providing obscene materials to a minor.

    He was placed in Middlesex County Jail pending a detention hearing on Friday.

    How N.J. determines which sex offenders are dangerous

    Gordner's criminal record of sex offenses is significant and touches several states.

    He was convicted in 2004 on criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child for an August 2003 incident in South River, Middlesex County, involving a 15-year-old victim.

    In Pennsylvania, he was charged in August 2003 with sending child porn to a police officer posing as a teen.

    Gordner, who is originally from Ohio, was living in Pennsylvania at the time, and pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and unlawful contact and communication with a minor. He was sentenced to 11 1/2 to 23 months in Lehigh County Prison, followed by three years of probation.

    He was also sentenced to three years probation in the New Jersey case and both states agreed he would serve that probation in his home state of Ohio.

    Judges in both cases also required that Gordner register as a sex offender under Megan's Law.

    It's not clear when he actually moved to New Jersey, but in 2014, he was convicted of violating terms of his community supervision for life by failing to report where he was living in Edison for a 6-month period in 2013.

    He was sentenced to 190 days in county jail.

    Gordner's name doesn't currently appear on the Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Ohio online sex offender registries.

    While Pennsylvania and Ohio list offenders in all three classification tiers online, New Jersey lists only Tier 2-moderate risk and Tier 3-high risk categories online. It does not release information online about Tier 1 offenders, who are considered the least likely to re-offend.

    Pennsylvania officials said they could not release information about whether Gordner's registration had ended or if he was simply removed from the online registry when he moved to New Jersey.

    Efforts to learn if he is still registered in New Jersey were unsuccessful as well.

    In his newest case, Gordner faces up to 10 years in prison on the luring charge and three to five years on the charge of providing obscene material to a minor.

    Investigators described the tactics Gordner allegedly used when he thought he was talking with a child.

    "Gordner allegedly displayed a typical pattern of conduct for an online predator," said Veronica Allende, director of the Division of Criminal Justice. "Identifying a child on social media, grooming the child with explicit chats and pornographic materials, and then trying to meet the child for sexual activity. Thankfully, the State Police detected his alleged predatory conduct and arrested him before any children were harmed."

    Matt Gray may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find the South Jersey Times on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us:

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    Popular Atlanta rapper 21 Savage headlined Starland Ballroom in Sayreville Tuesday night

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    Gov. Phil Murphy also signed a law that requires New Jersey to get 50 percent of its electricity from clean -- or renewable -- energy sources by 2030

    Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed a controversial law designed to rescue New Jersey's struggling nuclear plants -- and one that could also leave you paying about $41 more a year on your energy bill. 

    The move was praised by some lawmakers and energy companies as a job-saver that will keep alive facilities that provide about 40 percent of the Garden State's energy.

    But it was also panned by a coalition of environmental and consumer groups as being a giveaway to Public Service Electric & Gas, the state's largest utility company.

    The scenario has been a tricky one for Murphy, a Democrat who campaigned on improving New Jersey's environmental policy and fighting climate change. 

    At the same time Wednesday, the governor signed a companion law that requires New Jersey to get 50 percent of its electricity from clean -- or renewable -- energy sources by 2030, up from the current amount of about 13 percent. 

    "Signing these measures represents a down payment to the people of New Jersey on the clean energy agenda I set forth at the beginning of my administration," Murphy said before signing the bills during a ceremony at a solar farm in the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick.

    The nuclear law (A3724) authorizes a state subsidy of $300 million a year to PSEG to help its two Salem County nuclear plants compete with the growth of cheap natural gas. PSEG lobbied for the bill, warning the plants could close and lead to thousands of lost jobs.

    Customers from all public utilities in the state would foot the bill through a rate hike. 

    A closer look at the nuclear bill

    The measure was debated and altered for months before being passed by the state Legislature last month. 

    Officials note the state Board of Public Utilities still must approve the bailout to make sure the plants need the money. 

    Murphy said the plants much be kept "open and safely operational" to help achieve his goal of making New Jersey 100 percent "clean energy" by 2050 -- meaning the state would not rely on fossil fuels.

    State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, a sponsor of the measure, stood next to Murphy. The plants -- Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station and Salem Nuclear Power Plant -- are both located in Lower Alloways Creek in Sweeney's district.

    "There is a cost to this plan, but the cost of ignoring the threat and allowing our nuclear plants to close is far worse," Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said.

    These will become the state's only two nuclear plan after Oyster Creek in Lacey Township in Ocean County closes in October. 

    PSEG Chief Executive Officer Ralph Izzo said the laws Murphy signed "create a forward-looking energy policy that makes New Jersey a national leader in advancing clean energy."

    "These new laws will preserve and create good-paying jobs and spur billions of dollars in investment in clean energy and energy efficiency across the state," Izzo added in a statement.

    But Jeff Tittel, the New Jersey director of environmental group the Sierra Club, said Murphy's comments and actions are "all spin to justify the biggest corporate subsidy in state history."

    "PSEG has never demonstrated a need for the subsidy," Tittel said. "But they have complained they're not making enough money. This is all about greed over need."

    Tittel called the other law Murphy signed a "greenscam" to give the governor "cover" from the nuclear bailout. 

    Lena Smith of Food & Water Watch said this is "a massively profitable corporation using the threat of job losses to get hundreds of millions of the people's dollars is extortion, plain and simple."

    Environmentalists also say nuclear energy is not as "clean" as solar or wind energy, even though it doesn't emit greenhouse gasses.

    And critics worry the new law will circumvent state Rate Counsel Stefanie Brand, who advocates on behalf o New Jersey's ratepayers. Brand has been against the subsidy.

    Murphy said Wednesday he's "highly confident that the ratepayer will be represented without any question." 

    "There are a lot of safeguards in this bill that will prevent the general swirling around of money going out of the state," he added.

    Matt Fossen, a spokesman for the NJ Coalition for Fair Energy, threatened legal action to stop the law.

    "This issue is not over," Fossen said in a statement. "And it's unfortunate the courts may be necessary to bring a dose of reason to the debate."

    Meanwhile, the companion law signed by Murphy authorizes a study for energy storage in the state, creates provisions to reform solar power here, and establishes energy efficiency programs. It also revives an offshore wind project in Atlantic City. 

    Sean Gallagher, a vice president of Solar Energy Industries Association, said "many more" New Jersey residents, businesses, and communities will now "have access to solar energy."

    Jeffrey Grybowski, CEO of Deepwater Wind, added that Murphy is "putting New Jersey's stake in the ground with the nation's largest offshore wind target yet."

    And Tom Gilbert, campaign director of ReThink Energy NJ and the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, said Murphy is "making New Jersey a national leader in the transition away from fossil fuels toward a healthier and more prosperous clean energy future." 

    Murphy also signed an executive order Wednesday ordering an updated energy master plan for the state. 

    New Jersey isn't the only state with nuclear issues. Six plants across the nation have shuttered since 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York and Illinois have enacted similar bailouts. 

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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

    Michael Sol Warren may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MSolDub. Find on Facebook.

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    Where do you need to be for Thursday's quarterfinals?

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    Each year, 3.6 million Americans cite transportation woes as a reason for blowing off crucial doctor's appointments, or for arriving late, throwing the system into disarray, the Washington, D.C.-based trade group Community Transportation Association reported.

    Each year, 3.6 million Americans cite transportation woes as a reason for blowing off crucial doctor's appointments, or for arriving late, throwing the system into disarray, the Washington, D.C.-based trade group Community Transportation Association reported.

    Two of the state's largest health-care providers are betting that if you make it convenient and affordable for people to get to their appointments on time, fewer patients will be tardy - or miss the appointment altogether.

    Hopping on the ride-sharing bandwagon, officials at Hackensack Meridian Health are joining with the folks at Lyft to launch what they call the nation's first "fully digital, centralized ride-share command center."

    Designed to bring non-emergency patients who have had trouble getting to their appointments to JFK Medical Center in Edison, the service is expected to expand to all 16 hospitals within the Hackensack Meridian fold in the next few months.

    Meanwhile, RWJBarnabas is partnering with Uber Health, which already has a federally approved medical transportation system, to drive ambulatory patients to and from medical appointments.

    5 big things you need to know about N.J.'s new Uber and Lyft law

    The service, slated to start this week at Jersey City Medical Center, will soon encompass the network's other 10 hospitals and related sites. Hunterdon Medical Center also announced a partnership with Lyft earlier this year.

    Healthcare officials are wise to recognize that patients often face insurmountable barriers in getting the care they need. Transportation shouldn't be one of them.

    No matter how committed you are to staying on top of health problems, especially chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer, the lack of wheels can keep you miles away from the help you need.

    This public-health matter affects not only on patients and their families, but also the economy.

    The journal Health Management Technology reports that the total cost of missed healthcare appointments in this country every year runs $150 billion (yes, with a "B"). Every time a time slot goes unused, it costs a physician $200 on average, the report says.

    The Community Transportation Association estimates that healthcare organizations can save more than $11 in reduced costs for every $1 they invest in transportation for non-emergency patients.

    The local hospitals participating in the ride-sharing programs stress that patients will bear no extra cost for the service, which is tailored to patients seeking preventative care as well as those being treated for chronic illnesses.

    It's a simple and elegant solution to a seemingly intractable problem, but ridesharing also demands vigilance on the part of hospital officials to ensure patient safety and privacy.

    We are encouraged that participating hospitals can print out details about the car and driver for patients, or call them with the information. Hackensack Meridian also can track their patients en route to appointments.

    Bookmark Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find Opinion on Facebook.


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    A day to honor our fallen heroes dates back 150 years.

    It began as Decoration Day and is now known as Memorial Day. By either name, it is dedicated to honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.

    memorial-day-2014026-haddonfield.JPGAn early-1900s photo of two Civil War veterans laying flowers on soldiers' graves in Haddonfield. 

    The Civil War, which ended in 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country's first national cemeteries. notes that "by the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers."

    On May 5, 1868, Gen. John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance later that month. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn't the anniversary of any particular battle.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    Memorial Day, as Decoration Day gradually came to be known, originally honored only those lost while fighting in the Civil War. But during World War I the holiday evolved to commemorate American military personnel who died in all wars.

    "For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date Logan had selected for the first Decoration Day," notes the website. "But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday."

    While not commonly known, each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. Take a moment this year - that moment, perhaps - to pay your personal tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedom.

    Here is a gallery of past Memorial Day parades and tributes from New Jersey, and links to other galleries.

    Vintage photos of Medal of Honor recipients from N.J.

    Vintage N.J. photos of Memorial Day

    Vintage photos of American pride in N.J.

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

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    Concerts, festivals and other events from all over the Garden State to help you celebrate the unofficial kickoff to summer.

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    Most of the teams elite teams are preparing for semifinal games.

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    A Perth Amboy man admitted "he failed to tell the Social Security Administration" that his great aunt died in 1998.

    A former Perth Amboy city employee was sentenced to a year in prison Thursday for cashing nearly $200,000 in Social Security retirement checks issued to his great aunt over the course of 19 years, the New Jersey U.S. Attorney's Office said.

    Lance D. Nelson, 56, admitted he "intentionally failed to notify the Social Security Administration of his great aunt's death" in February 1998 and continued using the money -- more than $800 a month -- for personal expenses. 

    The Social Security Administration continued issuing deposits to the account, totaling $184,936 over the 19 years since her death. 

    Nelson, who was an assistant zoning officer for the city of Perth Amboy until late 2017, was a joint account holder in which his aunt received the direct deposits.

    According to payroll information obtained through a records request last year, Nelson was hired by the city in 1997 and made $84,728 per year. 

    U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson sentenced Nelson to one year and one day in prison for one count of theft of government funds, the state's U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey announced.

    Nelson will also pay restitution of the entire amount stolen and serve three years of supervised release post-incarceration. 

    Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.comFollow her on Twitter @By_paigegross. Find on Facebook.


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    Linden High School celebrated their prom at The Addison Park in Aberdeen on Thursday.

    Linden High School's students arrived for their prom dressed to impress on Thursday at The Addison Park in Aberdeen .

    Prom-goers enjoyed the evening as they socialized, posed for photos and danced the night away.

    Check back at for other local high school prom coverage. And be sure to check out our complete prom coverage at 


    Are you one of the people pictured at this prom? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Look for the blue link "buy photo" below the photographer's credit to purchase the picture. You'll have the ability to order prints in a variety of sizes, or products like magnets, keychains, coffee mugs and more.

    Patti Sapone may be reached at Follow her on Instagram @psapo, Twitter @psapone. Follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    A California jury found the New Brunswick company acted with 'malice, oppression or fraud'

    LOS ANGELES -- A California jury delivered a $25.7 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed she developed cancer by using the company's talc-based baby powder.

    Jurors in Los Angeles recommended $4 million in punitive damages Thursday after finding the company acted with malice, oppression or fraud.

    A day earlier, the panel called for $21.7 million in compensatory damages for plaintiff Joanne Anderson, who suffers from mesothelioma, a lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

    New Brunswick, New Jersey based Johnson & Johnson was assigned 67 percent of the compensation payout, with the rest distributed among other defendants.

    Johnson & Johnson said it's disappointed in the decision and will appeal.

    "We will continue to defend the safety of our product because it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma," Johnson & Johnson said in statement.

    Anderson, 66, claimed Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers that its powder contains asbestos and could cause cancer.

    Johnson & Johnson "engaged in a multi-decade campaign wherein they hid testing data" from regulators, altered reports to make them more favorable and lied to consumers, said Chris Panatier, one of Anderson's trial attorneys.

    N.J. couple awarded $80M more in Johnson & Johnson baby powder cancer case

    Similar allegations have led to hundreds of lawsuits against the New Jersey-based company. Jury awards have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Last year, a judge in Los Angeles tossed out a $417 million jury award to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer by using Johnson & Johnson baby powder for feminine hygiene.

    The judge granted the company's motion for a new trial, saying there wasn't convincing evidence that Johnson & Johnson acted with malice and the award for damages was excessive.

    "Over the past 50 years, multiple independent, non-litigation driven scientific evaluations have been conducted by respected academic institutions and government bodies, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and none have found that the talc in Johnson's Baby Powder contains asbestos," the company said Thursday.

    Last month, a jury in Middlesex County ordered Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier to pay $117 million in damages to a New Jersey man who sued the companies, claiming he developed cancer from asbestos in talc-based baby powder.


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  • 05/25/18--05:04: Young cat needs a home
  • Jasper should make a good pet in most any home.


    EDISON -- Jasper is a 3-year-old male domestic shorthair at the Edison Animal Shelter.

    Described by volunteers as "a typical friendly and loving cat," he should make a good pet in most any home. Jasper is FIV/FeLV negative, neutered and up-to-date on shots.

    For more information on Jasper, call 732-248-7278 or visit the Edison Animal Shelter at 125 Municipal Blvd. The shelter, currently caring for 52 pets, is open Fridays through Wednesdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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

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

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