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    NJ.com picks the 32 games fans can't miss in Week 5


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    The 41-year-old North Brunswick man got reimbursed for medical treatment he never received, according to a criminal complaint

    A Middlesex County Sheriff's Officer has been charged with insurance fraud and theft after allegedly getting reimbursed for medical treatment he never received, according to an undated criminal complaint filed in Somerset County. 

    Miguel A. Figueroa, 41, of North Brunswick, claimed he obtained the services between January 1, 2014 and October 13, 2017, according to the complaint.

    Figueroa has been suspended without pay, according to a statement emailed to NJ Advance Media from Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred Scott. The suspension took effect Sept. 27, Scott added. 

    The charges were first reported on the blog of John Paff, the executive director of Libertarians for Transparent Government.

    The complaint doesn't specify how much money was stolen from Horizon Blue Cross, only saying it was more than $500. 

    25-year-old Jersey City man tried to scam insurance companies: authorities

    A spokeswoman for the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office told NJ Advance Media she would look into the matter Wednesday morning. 

    Figueroa has been employed by the Middlesex County Sheriff's Office since June 2008. He is paid an annual salary of $96,205. As of July 2, Figueroa had also been paid $12,630.27 in overtime this year, according to public records. 

    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 52-year-old South River woman slammed into a recycling company worker in South River

    A 52-year-old New Jersey woman was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday for striking and killing a recycling company worker while she was driving drunk in South River.

    Phyllis Kocheran, of South River, will have to serve at least 5 years before she is eligible for parole, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. Her license will be suspended for five years upon her release from prison.

    Kocheran pleaded guilty in August to vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated when she hit William Oross with her jeep on May 3 around 11:15 a.m.

    Drunk driver in 100-mph fatal crash gets shorter sentence in his 2nd crack at justice

    The 49-year-old North Brunswick man was struck on Pulawski Avenue in South River.

    Oross worked as a driver for Solterra Recycling Solutions, according to his obituary. 

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

     

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    Which sophomores are turning heads in 2018?


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    Marcus Scroggins, of Edison, was killed in the crash. He was described as a 'genuinely happy person'

    A Pennsylvania man admitted he caused the death of an Edison man two years ago when his truck crossed into oncoming traffic while he was under the influence of a drug, authorities said.

    John T. O'Donnell Sr., 59, of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty Friday to vehicular homicide and assault by auto for the April 2016 crash in Edison that killed Marcus Scroggins, 33, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office announced.

    marcus-scroggins.jpgMarcus Scroggins (from GoFundMe)

    The prosecutor's reached a plea deal with O'Donnell that calls for a five-year prison term, of which he'll have to serve 85 percent before being eligible for parole.

    O'Donnell admitted he took a pain pill prior to the April 5, 2016 crash on Route 27 in Edison, and it altered his ability to drive, the office said.

    The office did not say what type of pain pill, but authorities previously said O'Donnell was under the influence of narcotics, and medics treated him at the scene with Narcan - the brand-name drug that reverses the effects of opioids and heroin.

    O'Donnell was driving a U-Haul rental box truck when he crossed over into oncoming traffic and side-swiped an SUV before slamming into Scroggins' car. The two vehicles skidded 100 feet before stopping, officials have said.

    The driver of the SUV suffered minor injuries.

    Scroggins was a Kean University graduate and was working as a supervisor for Sam's Club in Edison when he died, his obituary said. He was described as "always smiling" and a "genuinely happy person." Among his survivors were his wife of seven years, Joan Ann Scroggins. 

    A GoFundMe page raised nearly $17,000 in his memory, and his wife thanked donors on it months later, writing: "Your generosity, thoughts, prayers and kind words are the only things that have kept me moving over the past four months."

    O'Donnell is scheduled to he sentenced in December.

    Kevin Shea may be reached at kshea@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @kevintshea. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Upsets galore spark changes in Group, conference rankings.


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    A look at the divisional races across New Jersey through Oct. 2.


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    The police officer, who retired after 25 years of service, said he's both African American and Caucasian

    A former Perth Amboy police officer was paid a $125,000 settlement from the city after filing a lawsuit alleging he was called racist names by other officers during his time on the force. 

    In the suit, Stephen Petrosino -- who described himself as being "of African-American and Caucasian decent [sic]" -- alleged Perth Amboy police officers called him "half-breed" at least once a week since he started working in the department in 1992.

    He filed the suit in January of 2016, and retired in 2017 after 25 years of service. 

    The harassment and discrimination he alleged was perpetrated by white
    officers, the suit said, adding that "the overwhelming majority" of the force was white. 

    Petrosino alleged that one officer in particular, Sgt. Andy Montalvo, mainly made the comments or encouraged others to do so. Petrosino alleged that Montalvo called him, and other black officers ,"thumbprint," and other derogatory terms like "blacky black," court documents show.

    The decision and other documents were first posted NJ Civil Settlements run by John Paff, an open records advocate. 

    Petrosino also alleges that he was discrimated against after a 2015 injury. Court documents show that he was forced to take a "fitness for duty" test, which he said was not required of any of the white officers returning from injuries.

    The suit alleged racial harassment and discrimination, and was settled in August 2018. 

    Petrosino, whose annual salary was $107,880 before he retired, collects $5,844 a month as his pension.

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

     

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


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    He had to forfeit his employment with the FBI after pleading guilty

    A former Federal Bureau of Investigation employee admitted in court that he photographed a woman who was trying on clothes at a store, violating her privacy.

    Danuel Brown, who worked as a special agent in the FBI's New York field office, will face probation and a psycho-sexual evaluation in exchange for his plea to fourth-degree invasion of privacy. Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey announced the plea in a news release.

    At a clothing store in Edison, on an unspecified date, Brown placed his cell phone under the door of a dressing room stall and took multiple pictures of a 22-year-old woman. 

    "When confronted by the victim, Brown identified himself as a law enforcement officer," the news release said.

    The woman called 911 and police arrived at the store. Brown was later charged after an investigation by Edison police and Carey's office.

    After hearing the plea Thursday, Judge Joseph Rea ordered Brown to have no contact with the victim and to forfeit his employment with the FBI.

    Brown will be sentenced Dec. 6 by Judge Michael Toto in Superior Court in New Brunswick.

    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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    One person died Thursday afternoon in an accident on Easton Avenue in Somerset County, officials said.

    One person died Thursday afternoon in a car accident on Easton Avenue in Franklin Township, officials said. 

    The crash was reported around 2 p.m., Lt. Philip Rizzo confirmed.

    He urged drivers to avoid the area and seek alternate routes during the evening commute. 

    Police did not provide any other details on the crash, citing an ongoing investigation.

    Sophie Nieto-Munoz may be reached at snietomunoz@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her at @snietomunoz. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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

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    Darius Griffin Jr., once the head basketball coach at Bishop Ahr High School in Edison, was drunk when he got behind of the wheel of his car and crossed into oncoming traffic.

    A 26-year-old Piscataway man, once the head basketball coach at Bishop Ahr High School in Edison, was sentenced Thursday to 6 1/2 years in state prison for a drunken driving crash that killed a man and injured another.

    Darius Griffin Jr. pleaded guilty in May to second-degree vehicular homicide, assault by auto and driving while intoxicated for causing a crash in 2017 that left 59-year-old Steven Kemmlein dead.

    Griffin admitted he was drunk when he got behind the wheel of his 2016 Nissan Altima before crashing into Kemmlein's 1999 Ford Ranger pick-up truck on River Road in Piscataway on Oct. 14, 2017.  

    A passenger in the truck was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick where he was treated for his injuries.

    Griffin was also taken to the hospital for injuries he suffered in the crash, which was caused after he crossed into oncoming traffic.

    Once released from prison, Griffin, who must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence, can lose his driver's license for five years.

    Griffin was the head varsity basketball coach of the Bishop Ahr Trojans, a post he had held for just a year at the time of the crash.

    He is the son of Piscataway High School boys basketball coach Darius Griffin Sr., who was once a standout basketball player at Rutgers. 

    Kemmlein, who lived in Wayne, served in the U.S. Coast Guard before he drove a tractor-trailer for Coca-Cola for more than 19 years. He was also a member of the Pompton Falls Volunteer Fire Department in Wayne, where he once served as its captain. 

    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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    Do you agree with our predictions for Week 5?


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


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    Plus, there a Saturday matchup you can't miss

    Two top-ten matchups from the NJ.com Top 20 are on tap this week and you can watch the games from the comfort of your own home.

    In all NJ High School Sports Live will broadcast live from eight games this weekend. Friday's main event is No. 3 St. Peter's Prep vs. No. 9 Don Bosco Prep at 7 p.m.. Saturday's lone game is a huge one: No. 1 St. Joseph (Mont.) vs. No. 4 Bergen Catholic. Just another football weekend in New Jersey's Super Football Conference.

    Another six games are on the slate Friday night. The full schedule is below.


    MORE: Learn about NJ High School Sports Live


    If you can't make it to the games or want to watch an on-demand replay, NJ High School Sports Live was made for you. Our technology allows us to broadcast from member schools and a handful of select games, such as St. Joseph (Mont.) and Bergen Catholic. You can watch on your computer, phone or tablet - and you can watch live or on demand. Our season pass also give you access to any in-network game. The schedule is listed below, click on the links to watch.

    FRIDAY, OCT. 5
      Holmdel at Donovan Catholic, 6:30 p.m.
      Long Branch at No. 10 Red Bank Catholic, 7 p.m.
      No. 3 St. Peter's Prep at No. 9 Don Bosco Prep, 7 p.m.
      Iselin Kennedy at Montgomery, 7 p.m.
      Secaucus at New Milford, 7 p.m.
      Point Pleasant Beach at Shore, 7 p.m.
      North Bergen at Irvington, 7 p.m.

    SATURDAY, OCT. 6
      No. 4 Bergen Catholic at No. 1 St. Joseph (Mont.), 2:30 p.m.

    Andrew Koob can be reached at akoob@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewKoobHS. Like NJ.com High School Sports on Facebook

     


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    See inside the new bar and restaurant on Rutgers' campus.


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    What went on in New Jersey high school football Friday? We've got you covered.

    HC vs B-R '18.jpeg 

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    Lawyers said that people who weren't eligible before are eager to get their records wiped clean


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    Pets throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    If you're interested in helping homeless animals but aren't able to adopt one, there are a number of other ways you can be of assistance.

    Realistically, not everyone can adopt. People who live in apartments or developments that have no-pets policies fall into that category, as do people with allergies or disabilities that will not allow them to care for pets of their own. Here are some suggestions for ways people who want to help can participate in caring for homeless animals.

    * Help out at a local shelter. It's not glamorous work by any means, but it's vital and will be very much appreciated. You can do anything from help walk dogs to bottle feed kittens, help clean kennels or cat's cages or even help with bathing and grooming. Contact your local shelter to find out their policies regarding volunteers.

    * If you're handy, you can lend a hand in many ways. Shelters usually need repairs of many kinds, so fixer-uppers can help out like that. If you sew, quilt or crochet, you can make blankets for your local shelter.

    * Help out at an adoption event. Many shelters and rescue groups participate in local events by hosting a table with pets available for adoption. They also hold these program at malls, pet supply stores and banks, and can always use a helping hand.

    * For galleries like this one and for online adoptions sites, often a shelter or rescue group doesn't have the time or equipment to shoot good photos of their adoptable pets. Something as simple as making yourself available to shoot and provide digital files of pet photos can be a big help.

    * Donate. It doesn't have to be money; shelters need cleaning supplies, pet food, toys for the animals and often even things we don't think twice about getting rid of like old towels and newspapers. Every little bit helps.

    If you don't know where your local animal shelter or rescue group is, a quick online search will reveal a number of results. It doesn't take a lot of time or effort to get involved but it provides immeasurable assistance.

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


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    4th No. 1 of the season and 3rd straight week with a change


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