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    Gov. Phil Murphy and other dignitaries got a tour of a new Amazon facility in Edison, one that's filled with robot technology. Murphy also briefly discussed the HQ2 search.


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    The ride was held in recognition of the 40 New Jersey men still missing

    Roughly 1,000 motorcyclists rode through parts of Union, Middlesex and Monmouth counties on Sunday in honor of the 40 New Jersey residents who are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

    The 23rd annual Ride for Freedom, presented by the New Jersey chapter of the Rolling Thunder motorcycle group, started at Warinanco Park in Roselle and ended at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

    "It's an opportunity to bring awareness to those men and women in New Jersey and throughout the country who are still missing from the previous wars," said Charles Webster, the Rolling Thunder New Jersey chapter president.

    The 24-mile route took riders through the streets of Roselle, Rahway, Linden, Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, South Amboy and Old Bridge before hitting the Garden State Parkway southbound to Holmdel. Some of the riders wore T-shirts with the names of the 40 men still missing from the Vietnam War. 

    Webster said next year's rally will honor several dozen veterans of World War II. 

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

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    The Disney Junior Play Zone at the Menlo Park Mall is one of four in the country, and the first on the East Coast.

    A colorful, playground oasis appeared in the Menlo Park Mall this weekend. 

    The Disney Junior Play Zone, only the fourth in the nation and the first outside of Texas, first opened to mall-goers in Edison on Saturday. 

    The centers are partnerships between Disney and Simon malls, and are described as "tactile play environments" that mix popular Disney characters with activities and open-concept floor plans. Its free and open to the public during the mall's operating hours. 

    DSC00297.JPGChildren play at the Disney Junior Play Zone on opening day, Saturday, September 22, 2018. (Photo provided)

    The first of the centers opened earlier this year at the La Plaza Mall in McAllen, Texas. 

    "The Disney Junior Play Zone at Menlo Park Mall is evidence of our continued commitment to remaining a dynamic, family-friendly destination in the community," Maria Gregorius, director of Marketing and Business Development at Menlo Park Mall, said in a statement.

    The activities are geared toward toddlers and up to children as old as 10. There, they can play digital and physical games centered about "Vampirina," "Muppet Babies," "Puppy Dog Pals," "Mickey and the Roadster Racers" and, "Fancy Nancy," according to the mall's website. 

    For parents, it also features mobile charging stations, lounge seating and a floor plan that accounts for strollers. 

    Amanda Hoover can be reached at ahoover@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj. Find NJ.com on Facebook

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    The results from The Mountains vs. The Seas showcase twist up the rankings.


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    Check out the top football performers from around New Jersey in Week 3.


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    See the players and goalies that stood out this week in N.J. soccer.


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    The thieves cracked open mail collection boxes in five New Jersey counties

    Six people have been charged with using pry bars to force open U.S. Postal Service collection boxes in five New Jersey counties to steal at least $300,000 in checks, authorities said.

    The checks were fraudulently deposited in various bank accounts, usually within a day after being stolen from mailboxes in Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Morris and Passaic counties, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

    Mail carrier charged with taking bribes to deliver pot-filled packages

    Those charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud include Paterson residents Ismael Alicea, Jr., 25, Yerrisson Garcia-Rodriguez, 23, Jerry Lake-Rodriguez, 25, Johan Lake-Rodriguez, 26, Brayan Ulloa-Ulloa, 24, and Jefersson Quezada, 21. All but Alicea also face a charge of bank fraud.

    Garcia-Rodriguez, Jerry Lake-Rodriguez, Johan Lake-Rodriguez, and Quezada were also charged with identity theft. Alicea and Johan Lake-Rodriguez face an additional charge of possession of stolen mail.  

    The conspiracy and bank fraud charges carry a potential penalty of up to 30 years in prison.

     

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    Najee Hall, 18, pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery and one count of making terroristic threats to the officer while Hall was in custody.

    A Woodbridge man was sentenced to five years in state prison for the armed robbery of two Rutgers University students and for threatening a juvenile detention officer, authorities said Tuesday.

    Najee Hall, 18, pleaded guilty on July 31 to two counts of armed robbery and one count of making terroristic threats to the officer while Hall was in custody.

    Hall was sentenced on Sept. 19, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said in a statement.

    The guilty plea was part of an agreement Hall's attorneys reached with the prosecutor in the case, according to Carey. Hall must serve at least four years of the sentence.

    New Brunswick police arrested Hall on Nov. 26, 2017, for the armed robberies of two Rutgers' students on Baldwin Street in New Brunswick.

    Hall was arrested again on July 19 for making terroristic threats while in custody at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center, according to Carey.

    Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at tattrino@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Here's our must-see high school football games in Week 4.


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    Which school produces the most D1 talent? The answer might surprise you.


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    Find out who stood out in each conference this week.


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    Check out all of this week's movement.


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    See which boys soccer players are leading the state as the end of September approaches.


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    We didn't even give them a second thought.

    I recall a point made in the 1970s that was meant to illustrate how quickly technology advanced in the 20th century - how someone who was 10 years old when man first achieved powered flight watched man walk on the moon at age 76.

    TI30_1.jpgThe Texas Instruments TI30 calculator, introduced in 1976. 

    Fact is, if you look at any two-thirds-of-a-century stretch since the 1700s, you'll see just as great a leap in technology for mankind. Space flight, while amazing, doesn't necessarily supersede other advancements of humankind in industry, inventions or ideas.

    For example, on that spacecraft that landed on the moon, there was a guidance computer that had, according to consumereports.org, exactly 64 kilobytes of memory and a microprocessor speed of 0.043 megahertz. The latest iPhone can be purchased with 512 GIGAbytes of memory, and if my math is right, that's 536,870,912 kilobytes. Its microprocessor operates at 2.49 GIGAhertz and let's just say that's the difference between walking and the speed of light.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    And that was in 49 years.

    As time flies by, it's easy to forget things that were matter-of-fact parts of our lives in the 1960s and 1970s, when Apollo missions were going to the moon with those teensy computers. Here's another installment of things that may have slipped from our memory ... and I don't know about you, but my memory isn't measured in giga, mega or kilobytes - it just bites.

    And here are links to other galleries you'll like.

    Vintage photos of things you may have forgotten about

    Vintage photos of things that have changed - for better or worse

    Vintage photos of how things have changed in N.J.

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


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    The victim was seriously hurt but will survive following the incident Tuesday afternoon in Edison

    A 56-year-old man pulled a razor knife during a road rage attack and slashed another driver across the neck in Edison on Tuesday, police said.

    Louis Rosado attacked a 57-year-old Edison man after both drivers stopped on the shoulder of Woodbridge Avenue around 1:30 p.m., moments after one of the drivers cut off the other, Edison police said.

    The two exchanged words before Rosado pulled the razor and slashed the victim across the neck, seriously injuring the man, according to police.

    Video shows tractor-trailer crash, flip in what cops say was a road rage wreck

    Rosado fled in his car and the injured man, who had a passenger in his car, chased him, police said. Rosado got away, but the victim was able to provide police a license plate number and a description of the vehicle, police said.

    Perth Amboy police later arrested Rosado when they saw him driving on Cornell Street in that city. 

    Rosado is charged with aggravated assault and two weapon possessions offenses, according to police. He was held in the Middlesex County jail in North Brunswick to await arraignment.

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

     

     


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    See how teams moved around in the Top 20 following this week's upsets.


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    Look at the top seniors in the state and cast your vote for the best of the best.


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    Beyond the fiscal considerations that must be tallied to get legislation passed, the human toll is what matters.

    The statistics are staggering:

    • In 2016, 2,221 people died in New Jersey from drug overdoses, up 42 percent from 2015;
    • In 2017, at least 2,750 people in New Jersey died from drug overdoses;
    • This year, the state is on pace to see more than 3,000 residents die of drug overdoses;
    • The average life expectancy for people born in the United States is actually going down, an alarming trend the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention attributed to "substance abuse and despair.''

    And, yet, health insurance typically pays for 28 or 30 days of substance abuse treatment.

    On Tuesday, former Gov. Jim McGreevey and state Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Woodbridge) called for a number of reforms to, they hope, get Garden State addicts long-term, effective treatment that will reverse the trend here.

    At the Statehouse news conference calling for the reforms, McGreevey's Jersey City-based NJ Reentry Corp. released a 36-page, "NJ Opioid Addiction Report: A Modern Plague.'' Prepared this summer by students from the Naval Academy and Columbia, Cornell and Princeton universities, it describes in detail the scope of the state's problem, the shortcomings of our current models of care, and the successes several other states have had after implementing models that call for multi-pronged, long-term treatment plans.

    On Monday, the report notes, a pilot program will start in Ocean County -- the county hardest hit in New Jersey by the crisis.

    Funded by a $245,500 grant from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance through the New Jersey State Parole Board, the two-year study will give parolees who are addicted to opioids or have been addicted in the past and overdose or test positive for opioids the option of enrolling in the program or facing normal sanctions for a drug violation. Those who opt in will be assigned a recovery coach and connected to medically assisted treatment through the Reentry Corp.'s Toms River office. Their overall addiction and medical progress will be tracked and compared with that of those who don't opt in.

    "We're tired of losing lives,'' Josie White, the Reentry Corp. social worker who is administering the program, said, noting that the hope is to work with about 75 parolees over the course of two years.

    Vitale, meanwhile, promises a legislative package to get New Jerseyans access to more effective treatment in line with current thinking on addiction.

    According to the report, "addiction is now considered an acquired chronic illness that, like other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, can be effectively managed but not cured."

    Yes, as with those other diseases, it will be expensive to successfully treat and maintain these patients' health. As the report details, though, we are losing an estimated $1.2 billion in productivity a year and spending even more in emergency room visits for relapsing patients.

    Beyond the fiscal considerations that must be tallied to get legislation passed, the human toll is what matters. So many lives cut short. So many others in a painful downward spiral. So many families at wit's end or wracked with guilt because there aren't enough tools to help them help their loved ones.

    We applaud these first steps and look forward to the results of the Ocean County parolee pilot program as well as the bills Vitale promises.

    Clearly, insurance should be required to pay for longer courses of treatment to give addicts a fighting chance. Making sure that money is spent on programs that work will be key.

    Unlike diabetes, respiratory illnesses and high blood pressure, the efficacy of drugs and programs for addicts can't be measured by simple screenings. Making sure suffering isn't compounded by ineffective treatments administered by those out to make a buck must be paramount. Down the road, vendors selected to participate in the new care models must be fully vetted and then monitored to ensure those suffering from this chronic illness aren't victimized.

    The arrival of fentanyl has been a game-changer, McGreevey said, calling it a "narcotic devil of unprecedented impact and evil.'' As he puts it, the treatment cycle of "exit, relapse, reenter, exit, relapse, reenter'' isn't working.

    "We have to change the way we think,'' he told The Jersey Journal.

    We agree.

    Submit letters to the editor and guest columns at jjletters@jjournal.com.


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    See which players and teams we expect to be standouts this weekend.


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    Find out which freshmen stood out in each conference this week.


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