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    Someone in Oregon hit the $151 million jackpot Watch video

    There won't be a second consecutive Powerball jackpot winning ticket sold in New Jersey as someone in Oregon captured Wednesday night's $151 million top prize. 

    The good news is that three lucky ticket buyers in the Garden State matched four numbers and the Powerball, meaning those tickets are worth $50,000. 

    The third-prize tickets were sold at the following locations in New Jersey, state lottery officials said Thursday.

    • Grove Convenience on Grove Street in Montclair
    • Speedway on Smith Street in Perth Amboy
    • QuickChek on Jackson Avenue in the Pompton Plains section of Pequannock

    Wednesday's winning numbers were: 4, 14, 23, 27 and 56. The Power Ball was 13 and with a multiplier of 2x.

    The jackpot grew above the $150 million mark in the month since Tayeb Souami captured the $315.3 million jackpot after matching all the winning numbers for the May 19 drawing. The Little Ferry man bought the ticket at ShopRite in Hackensack. 

    The jackpot for the next drawing on Saturday will be $40 million with a cash option of $24 million. Friday's Mega Millions jackpot is worth $192 million with a cash option of $115 million. 

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

     

     


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    Seniors at North Brunswick High School received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton.

    North Brunswick High School held its commencement ceremony on Thursday at the Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton.

    The 450 seniors waived to family and friends as they marched into the arena.

    The ceremony started at 3:00 pm. Valedictorian was Angelo Kayser-Browne
    and salutatorian Akshaya Dinesh.

    MORE PHOTOS

    Graduation season is here, and NJ.com is capturing the moments for many New Jersey high schools. Check back at nj.com/middlesex for other local high school graduation coverage. Be sure to check out our complete graduation coverage at nj.com/graduation.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

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

    Ed Murray may be reached at emurray@njadvancemedia.com. Follow Ed on Twitter at @EdMurrayphoto. Find NJ.COM on Facebook.


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    As prom season winds down, NJ.com compiled a collection of some of the best dancing from prom attendees in 2018.

    As prom season winds down, NJ.com compiled a collection of some of the best dancing from prom attendees in 2018.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

    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.

    Be sure to check out the complete prom coverage at nj.com/prom.

    Ed Murray may be reached at emurray@njadvancemedia.com. Follow Ed on Twitter at @EdMurrayphoto. Find NJ.COM on Facebook.


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    EAST BRUNSWICK -- Unidentified waitresses at the Broadway Deli in East Brunswick posed for this photo in the 1970s. MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey Located at 233 Route 18, the site is now home to Giddy's Pizzeria. MORE: Glimpses of history from around New Jersey If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history...

    EAST BRUNSWICK -- Unidentified waitresses at the Broadway Deli in East Brunswick posed for this photo in the 1970s.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    Located at 233 Route 18, the site is now home to Giddy's Pizzeria.

    MORE: Glimpses of history from 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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    The fiberglass statue will take up residence at Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital in New Brunswick

    A giant fiberglass statue of Geoffrey the Giraffe that has resided at the headquarters for the now-bankrupt Toys 'R' Us in Wayne is moving -- but he won't even have to leave the state. 

    Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick has agreed to house Geoffrey, the long-time mascot being sold by the soon-to-be defunct toy retailer, the hospital said.

    The combined height and weight of Geoffey and the steel frame to which the giraffe is mounted is 16 feet, 4 inches and 550 pounds, so it wasn't an easy task to find a place with the space and desire to provide Geoffrey a new home.

    That's where Joseph Malfitano came in to the picture. Malfitano, whose company Malfitano Partners advised Toys 'R' Us in the sale of its assets, bought the giraffe and then donated about $10,000 to have Geoffrey packed and shipped from Wayne to New Brunswick.

    What's going on? Ask Alexa what's happening around New Jersey

    Geoffrey will be removed from his frame next week, hauled to the hospital and then re-installed over a period of a couple of weeks, Malfitano said. Ken Rosen, a board member at RWJBarnabas Health will cover that approximately $6,000 cost, according to Maltifano.

    "It is my hope that this 'iconic' piece of retail history will help ease the stress and anxiety that children face when they need to visit the hospital," Malfitano wrote in an email to NJ Advance Media. 

    The giraffe is just one of many hard-to-find items from Toys 'R' Us headquarters available for purchase. 

    All Toys 'R' Us stores will close no later than June 29, it announced Thursday. In March, the company announced plans to liquidate the inventory at all 735 stores as well as its corporate offices. 

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

     


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    The best of the best in New Jersey track and field


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    A car overturned near milepost 131 in Woodbridge

    One person was seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash that temporarily closed all lanes on the northbound Garden State Parkway in Middlesex County, authorities said.

    The vehicle overturned near milepost 131.2 in Woodbridge around 12:16 p.m, Trooper Alejandro Goez said. A helicopter landed on the toll road to fly the driver to a hospital but has since departed. The two right lanes remain closed as of 1:10 p.m.

    There were no passengers in the vehicle. The cause of the crash is under investigation. 

    Northbound traffic was backed up to about Exit 127 at 1:20 p.m. while southbound volume is building approaching the crash due to rubbernecking, according to SigAlert.com

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

     

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    South Brunswick High School graduated 767 seniors at a commencement ceremony on Friday

    South Brunswick High School held its commencement ceremony on Friday at CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton.

    The 767 seniors waived to family and friends as they marched into the arena.

    The ceremony started at 10:30 am and featured speeches by valedictorian Rohith Kariveda and salutatorian, Harrison Chiu.

    MORE PHOTOS

    Graduation season is here, and NJ.com is capturing the moments for many New Jersey high schools. Check back at nj.com/middlesex for other local high school graduation coverage. Be sure to check out our complete graduation coverage at nj.com/graduation.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

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

    Patti Sapone can be reached at psapone@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Instagram @psapo,  Twitter @psapone.  Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    One may be eligible for a new trial depending on the results of a DNA test.


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    Students pair with senior citizens to raise money for the hungry.

    mx0624schoolmonroe.jpgWoodland Elementary School student Anthony Salesi and Christine White, a member of the Monroe township Senior Citizens, decorate bowls for the empty bowl fundraiser. 

    MONROE -- Empty Bowls fundraiser is a team effort Six years ago Brookside Elementary School teacher Theresa Anthony was in search of a service project for her fifth-grade students and came upon the Empty Bowls Project, an international initiative to fight hunger.

    The project encourages groups to make simple, glazed ceramic bowls to auction to guests, who use them to dine on a simple meal of soup and bread at a fundraising dinner. Guests keep the bowls as a reminder that there are bowls left empty every day all over the world.

    The project has grown to include all Monroe Township students and members of the Monroe Township Senior Center. The students, who began working on the project early in the school year by launching an awareness campaign, paired with the seniors to decorate the bowls.

    The students' hard work came to fruition on June 6 with the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, a soup dinner, bread sale and silent auction held at the senior center. The event raised $4,781, which will be donated to the Monroe Township Food Pantry, Deacon's Food Pantry in Jamesburg, Lutherans Feeding Friends in Asbury Park, Rise Food Pantry in Hightstown, Ginny's Pantry in Hamilton and the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.

    "It's important for students to know at 10 or 11, they may not be able to change the world; but they can certainly make a difference," said Anthony.

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


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    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    Some pet stats for the day:

    A 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association found that 68% of U.S. households own pets. This is up from 56% of U.S. households in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted.

    The kinds of pets owned? Dogs account for just over 60%, with cats at 47% (bear in mind, the total can exceed 100% because some households, like mine, have cats AND dogs, as well as other possible pets). Fish, freshwater and saltwater, account for 15%, birds 8%, and small animals like hamsters and gerbils 7%.

    The survey also found that 10% of dog owners and 5% of cat owners have health insurance for their pets. Based on the total number of dogs and cat in the US that equates to nearly 9 million dogs and over 4.5 million cats with insurance.

    And some completely random pet facts:

    Three dogs (from First Class cabins!) survived the sinking of the Titanic - two Pomeranians and one Pekingese.

    Dogs and humans have the same type of slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM) and during this REM stage dogs can dream. The twitching and paw movements that occur during their sleep are signs that your pet is dreaming

    Cats make more than 100 different sounds whereas dogs make around 10.


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    Seniors at Old Bridge High School received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

    Old Bridge High School held its commencement ceremony on Monday at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

    The ceremony started at 9:00 am as 762 seniors marched into the center waving to family and friends.

    Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez was a guest speaker at the ceremony.

    Hernandez, who attended Voorhees Elementary School in Old Bridge, received an honorary OBHS degree.

    The valedictorian  Ravi Gandhi and salutatorian, Aishwarya Subash also delivered speeches during the commencement.

    MORE PHOTOS

    Graduation season is here, and NJ.com is capturing the moments for many New Jersey high schools. Check back at nj.com/middlesex for other local high school graduation coverage. Be sure to check out our complete graduation coverage at nj.com/graduation.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

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

    Patti Sapone can be reached at psapone@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Instagram @psapo,  Twitter @psapone.  Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Some districts would see their state aid double in one year.


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    Vote for your favorite Central Jersey hot dog joint in our N.J.'s best hot dog showdown.

    Central Jersey won our last N.J.'s best showdown - best bakery. How will it do in our search for N.J's best hot dog joint?

    You can vote for your favorite spot starting right now.  

    You can vote once per day in each region. Deadline for voting is 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 5.

    The top six vote-getters in each region, plus 26 of my own picks, will comprise our 50 semifinalists, which will be visited starting Monday, July 9.

    Don't forget to vote in our other categories:

    North I (Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Sussex, Warren) 

    North II (Essex, Union, Morris)

    South Jersey/Shore

    Peter Genovese may be reached at pgenovese@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PeteGenovese or via The Munchmobile @NJ_Munchmobile. Find the Munchmobile on Facebook and Instagram.


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    A South Brunswick woman was charged Tuesday in connection with the death of her 2-year-old son after he ingested her methadone, authorities said.

    A South Brunswick woman was charged Tuesday in connection with the death of her 2-year-old son after he ingested her methadone, authorities said.

    Lynn Bergacs, 34, was arrested and charged with reckless manslaughter and endangering the welfare of the child in the second degree, according to a release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

    On May 15, South Brunswick Police were called to Sand Hills Road in South Brunswick and found the boy unresponsive unresponsive, the release states. Police tried to revive the child but were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The investigation revealed that the boy ingested a combination of water and methadone that was prescribed to Bergans, authorities said.

    Toxicology results confirmed that the he died from a methadone overdose, the release states. Methadone is a drug often used to help ease opioid addiction, but can also be used as a pain reliever on its own.

    Bergacs was being held at Middlesex County Adult Jail pending her initial court appearance in Middlesex County Superior Court.

    The prosecutor's office asked anyone with information on call South Brunswick Police Det. Timothy Hoover at (732) 329-4646, or Det. David Abromaitis of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office at (732) 745-4436.

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    NJ Advance Media selects the Top 100 boys and girls individual seasons of the 2017-18 school year.


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    "Where liberty dwells, there is my country" - Benjamin Franklin

    "America is a tune. It must be sung together." - writer Gerald Stanley Lee

    "Where liberty dwells, there is my country" - Benjamin Franklin

    "This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." -- reporter Elmer Davis

    "We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it." - writer William Faulkner

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    "Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty." - Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

    "I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him." - President Abraham Lincoln

    Freedom is the atmosphere in which humanity thrives. Breathe it in." - writer Richelle E. Goodrich

    More patriotic gallery links:

    Vintage photos of patriotic people in N.J.

    Vintage photos of how NJ celebrated the nation's Bicentennial

    Vintage photos of patriotic pride in N.J.

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


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    The 59-year-old hit a minivan on Saint Georges Avenue on Tuesday afternoon

    A 59-year-old woman was killed in a head-on collision in Rahway on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. 

    Rebecca O'Reilly, of Woodbridge, struck a mini-van headed in the opposite direction on Saint Georges Avenue near Rahway River Park, police said in a statement. Both vehicles were in their respective left lane and the collision took place near the center line around 1:35 p.m.

    VIDEO: A brief chase, emergency lights and 2 dead in fatal crash

    The driver of the mini-van was taken to the hospital as a precaution but had no serious injuries. 

    Saint Georges Avenue was closed in both directions for about four hours as police investigated

    Anyone with information is asked to call Rahway police officer Edward O'Donnell at 732-827-2073.

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

     

     

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    It's a sad, sad scene as the beloved toy retailer takes its last few breaths.


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    Jake Pascucci, a Long Branch police detective, was off-duty when he fatally struck a 66-year-old woman crossing the street. He had a blood-alcohol level of .08. Watch video

    A former Long Branch police detective was sentenced Thursday to 364 days in county jail for being intoxicated when he fatally struck a 66-year-old woman with his Jeep as she crossed the street.

    Jake Pascucci, who was off-duty at the time of the crash, pleaded guilty in April to strict liability vehicular homicide and DWI for his role in the death of Karen Borkowski, of Stanhope. 

    Pascucci, 29, is the first defendant in New Jersey to be sentenced for the strict liability vehicular homicide statute. The third-degree offense, signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie two months prior to the Sept. 22 crash, ensures tougher prison sentences for drunk drivers involved in deadly crashes. 

    The offense carries a sentencing range from no jail time to up to five years in prison. The 364-day sentence for Pascucci was the recommended jail time in the state's plea deal. 

    Pascucci was not taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs after a two-hour hearing before Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Michael Toto. His attorney, Steven Altman, will get 10 days to appeal the sentence. 

    "I'm disappointed in what the sentence was," Altman said in an interview after the hearing. "If I ever saw a case where someone should not go to jail, it's this defendant. ... I'm very pleased, though, he gave me an opportunity to appeal. And that's what we're doing." 

    Borkowski's husband, Edward, saw it differently. 

    "I approve of the judge's decision and I hope it holds up," he said after the hearing. "I didn't want nothing. I believe the judge heard what was said, and I'm blessed by it." 

    The standing-room-only courtroom was packed with family and friends for both Pascucci and the victim. 

    "I miss her," Ed Borkowski said at the sentencing. He is in a wheelchair because he suffers from lymphedema. 

    "I miss her more. I need her more and she isn't here," he said. 

    Pascucci, who became a police officer in 2008 and joined the Long Branch police force in 2014, read a brief statement aloud in court. He said the night of the crash was "devastating for everyone in the courtroom."

    "I want the Borkowski family to understand that I'm a son, I'm a brother and I am an uncle," he said. I don't say this to garner sympathy from the Borkowski family. I state this because I'm a good person. Like all people, I'm susceptible to making mistakes. With that being said, I stand before the Borkowski family in this courtroom here to apologize."

    In pleading guilty, Pascucci admitted that he had a .08 blood-alcohol level when he fatally struck Borkowski as she crossed Ocean Boulevard in Long Branch just after 8 p.m.

    Assistant Middlesex County Prosecutor Keith Abrams said Thursday that Pascucci was drinking at a barbecue that day before heading to two Jersey Shore bars for more drinks. He even took a drink to go before leaving one of the bars, Abrams said. 

    He was heading to dinner with a friend when he hit Borkowski. Pascucci was taken to the hospital where he blew a .08 two hours after the crash had occurred, Abrams said. 

    "I submit to the court his BAC would have been higher" had it been taken directly after the crash, Abrams said. 

    In dashboard camera from responding officers obtained by NJ Advance Media, Pascucci can be heard telling his fellow coworkers that he had a green light and that Borkowski was jaywalking

    "She walked right out in front of me," he can be heard saying. 

    Ed Borkowski previously told NJ Advance Media that he and his wife were staying at the Ocean Place hotel for a weekend church retreat when Karen Borkowski decided to run to the nearby CVS store for bandages for her husband because he had severe blisters on his legs.

    The case was transferred to Middlesex County because Pascucci had worked on an investigation with the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office and that office felt it was a conflict of interest, a spokesman for the agency has said.

    Pascucci will forfeit his job as a police officer and also receive five years probation. 

    His mother, who spoke at the sentencing, starting crying when she spoke of how her son will never wear a police uniform again, a dream he's had since he was a child. 

    "He had a bright future in the police department," she said. After this tragic night, my son Jake changed. The tragic consequences will haunt my son's life forever."

    Ed Borkowski wasn't as forgiving in his statement. 

    "Jake was bad," he said. "If you allow him no jail time, you're letting him get away -- I won't say the word, murder." 

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

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