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    The motorcyclist, identified only as an Elizabeth resident, crashed into the UPS truck about 5:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of Blair Road

    A 26-year-old man died Monday after the motorcycle he was driving struck a UPS tandem tractor-trailer in Carteret, police said.

    The man, identified only as an Elizabeth resident, crashed into the truck about 5:30 a.m. on the 1000 block of Blair Road, authorities said.

    He was pronounced dead at the scene.

    The crash location is outside the UPS Freight Service Center on Blair Road.

    Listen to NJ.com on Alexa, or via a daily podcast

    Police did not say whether the truck was moving or parked at the time of the crash.

    Carteret Police Capt. Michael J. Dammann said the truck driver is employed by UPS. No charges were filed but the investigation is ongoing, Dammann said.

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


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    We want to find the best downtown Jersey has to offer.

    Walking through a city or township's downtown will give you a snapshot of what it's like to live there.

    In Princeton, students and professors huddle in coffee shops while completing their studies. In Clinton Township, families enjoy shopping, restaurants, and exploring the historical district. Compare that to New Brunswick's downtown, which mirrors the hustle and bustle of a large city.

    Central Jersey's downtown spots are as varied as the region itself, with a number of downtown areas having historical roots that date back to the Revolutionary War.

    As we recently announced, we are looking to find the best downtown in New Jersey. What areas are eligible? We've kept the definition broad -- downtowns are fun sections of town where people like to spend time. And they offer something special that keeps people coming back.

    For the Central Jersey region, you have a chance to vote for the best downtown areas in Middlesex, Mercer, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties. Now is your chance for your voice to be heard. Below this section is a poll with the list of downtown areas in the four-county area comprised by reader nominations, emails, and Facebook post mentions. The voting will remain open until Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m.

    The winners will move on the Top Ten then to the Final Five, and finally the designation of the being the best downtown in New Jersey.

    This is the perfect chance for you to cheer for your favorite downtown, or even earn some bragging rights for your hometown. Good luck to all of the downtowns and get voting!

    To vote in other regions around the state, click below:

    Olivia Rizzo may be reached at orizzo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find NJ.com on Facebook

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Commuters who deal with overcrowding on NJ Transit trains, face more crowds and waits when they get off at this station.

    Just getting off the train and out of the station has turned into an ordeal for one group of NJ Transit commuters. 

    In July, a stairwell was closed at Metropark, NJ Transit's sixth busiest station, causing massive back ups on the platform as the trains let out. 

    Amtrak passengers also use Metropark, located in Woodbridge.

    The pedestrian gridlock happens after riders get off rush hour trains and slowly funnel down the remaining set of stairs. Commuters said this is both time consuming and some are worried about safety because of the crowding. 

    "It takes me at least 10 minutes to get off the train, down the stairs and across over to the parking garage." said George Marshall, a daily commuter to and from New York.

    That can get worse when Amtrak passengers with luggage are walking against the traffic flow if their train is next, he said. 

    Marshall and other commuters said they're concerned that someone is going to fall off an overcrowded platform onto the tracks. 

    But an end to the platform back-ups isn't in sight because the stairs need to be replaced.

    Design of a replacement staircase is underway, but it is in the "early stages," said Jim Smith, an NJ Transit spokesman.

    "We do not have a timetable for completion yet," he said. "During this repair process, unfortunately, the staircase will be out-of-service. We apologize for the inconvenience."

    NJ Transit is doing "everything we can to expedite the design and bid process," Smith said.

    The project is in the early stages of the design process and once completed, NJ Transit will put it out for contractors to bid on the project, he said.

    "The staircase needs to be replaced and the process is underway," Smith said.

    Larry Higgs may be reached at lhiggs@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @commutinglarry. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Fabio Caballero-Carcamo, 26, of Elizabeth was killed when he struck a UPS tandem tractor-trailer about 5:30 a.m. Monday on Blair Road in Carteret

    Police have identified the man killed when the motorcycle he was riding crashed into a UPS truck in Carteret on Monday.

    Fabio Caballero-Carcamo, 26, of Elizabeth died after he struck the tandem tractor-trailer about 5:30 a.m. at the UPS Freight Service Center on Blair Road, authorities said.

    Caballero-Carcamo was pronounced dead at the scene.

    "The investigation is still pending. No charges have been filed at this time," Carteret Police Capt. Michael J. Dammann said Tuesday.

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


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    Check out the 18 football players that earned Player of the Week honors for Week 5


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    See the boys soccer players and keepers that stood out in Week 5.


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    Amazon is set to begin hiring for more than 9,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs at its New Jersey facilities. Watch video

    Amazon is set to begin hiring for more than 9,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs at its New Jersey facilities this week, the company announced.

    Candidates can apply for positions with the online retail giant's customer fulfillment centers and delivery facilities at a hiring event Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Crowne Plaza Newark Airport in Elizabeth.

    "Candidates can walk-in, apply and receive a job offer on-the-spot at a hiring event," the announcement said. "Amazon expects to make hundreds of on-the-spot job offers."

    Amazon said last week it would raise minimum wage for all employees - including part-time and temporary workers - to $15 an hour as of Nov. 15.

    More details about Amazon jobs in New Jersey are available at amazon.com/njjobs

    Amazon has a dozen fulfillment centers in New Jersey and is one of the state's largest employers with 16,000 workers in the state. The company says it has invested $4 billion in the Garden State since 2011.

    Noah Cohen may be reached at ncohen@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahycFind NJ.com on Facebook

     


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    A look at some of the top sophomores around the state so far in 2018.


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    A look at the fab frosh throughout the Garden State.


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    Saint Peter's is an island in a sea of hospital chains in central New Jersey. The search for a merging partner does not come as a surprise.

    The last independent hospital in Middlesex County announced Tuesday it wants to explore a partnership to preserve its "Catholic mission and identity" while competing in an aggressive market that has spawned a flurry of mergers in the last decade.

    The announcement by Leslie D. Hirsch, interim CEO and president of Saint Peter's Healthcare System, comes as no surprise. Saint Peter's is surrounded by two hospitals owned RWJBarnabas Health in New Brunswick and Somerville, and three operated by Hackensack Meridian Health in Edison, Old Bridge and Perth Amboy. 

    N.J. hospital chains agree to merge

    These mergers have allowed the hospital chains to amass power in negotiations with insurance carriers and self-insured employers. Saint Peter's is suing Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for requiring OMNIA plan policy holders to pay more to use the hospital.

    "We have an obligation to be good stewards in planning for Saint Peter's future," Hirsch said in a statement released late Tuesday.

    "Through the Request-for-Proposals process, we will evaluate possible options, with a focus on finding a strategic partner or affiliate that would allow Saint Peter's to retain its Catholic mission and identity, remain competitive in the changing healthcare environment, and yield the best possible outcome for its patients, employees, medical staff and communities we serve."

    The hospital's board of governors and senior leadership and the Diocese of Metuchen Bishop James F. Checchio, support the search for a "partnership" or "affiliation," Hirsch said.

    The health care system consists of a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital, a children's hospital and regional perinatal center, the Saint Peter's Foundation, the Saint Peter's Health and Management Services Corp. which oversees outpatient facilities, and Saint Peter's Physician Associates, a network of primary and specialty care physician practices.

    Susan K. Livio may be reached at slivio@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @SusanKLivio. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook. 


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    NJ.com identifies these 36 games as can't-miss affairs for Week 6


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    They'll arrive with in an hour if you live in many towns in north, Central Jersey and are a Prime member

    Whole Foods customers in much of north and Central Jersey who are also Amazon Prime members can now get groceries delivered to their homes.

    Delivery will be available in as little as an hour through Amazon's Prime Now app, according to an announcement Tuesday. On orders of $35 or more, two-hour delivery is free. If you want your groceries within an hour, there's a $7.99 fee on orders of $35 or more. 

    "Our goal is to cover as many Prime customers as possible with this new service in New Jersey," Prime Now Head of Business Development Tanvi Patel said in a statement.  "Today we're excited to reach customers in North and Central New Jersey."

    Delivery will be available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    Is an Amazon Prime membership worth paying for?

    It's available in parts of Bergen, Burlington, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Passaic, Somerset and Union counties. Customers should enter their zip code to see if they're in the delivery area. If they are not in the current delivery area, they can sign up to be notified when the service is added.

    Amazon also announced that it's expanding the curbside pickup option to Dayton, Ohio as well as Louisville and Omaha. That service include eight areas, but not yet New Jersey. More locations are expected to be added later this year. 

    Amazon delivers Whole Foods products to 53 areas. 

    Whole Foods delivery is also offered through Instacart. Wegmans, Whole Foods, Costco, CVS and Petco products can also be delivered to customers' homes through Instacart in select towns. 

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

     

     


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    A fresh batch of group and conference rankings for NJ football is out. Where is your team ranked?


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    Tyrone Harrison was killed as he walked from the Edison train station to a relative's house.

    The New Brunswick High School vice principal was killed by drag racers Saturday night as he was walking from the train station to a relative's house.

    Tyrone Harrison, 49, of Somerset, was killed shortly after 9 p.m. on Stelton Road near Ethel Avenue in Piscataway, according to a statement from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office released Wednesday afternoon.

    Authorities believe Harrison was killed during a race by members of "78 Imports," a car club that is known to drag race on public roads.

    Harrison was walking from the Edison train station to a relative's house when he was hit by the driver of a 2003 Honda Accord, authorities said. The train station is a mile away from the intersection where Harrison was struck.

    The driver fled the scene.

    Harrison was pronounced dead at the scene.

    "This tragic death was entirely preventable and unnecessary," Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Cary said in a statement, adding that the county has the highest rate of fatal car crashes in the state. "Drag racing on public roads is dangerous and irresponsible. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Harrison's family and the school community." 

    Aubrey Johnson, the school district's superintendent, released the following statement: "As a school district, our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Harrison's family. This obviously is a difficult time throughout New Brunswick Public Schools, and we've arranged for grief counselors to be available to students, faculty, and staff." 

    No arrests have been made and authorities did not identify any suspects. 

    Anyone with information is urged to call Officer Meredith Robbins at 732-562-7652 or Detective Jonathan Berman at 732-745-4328.

    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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    Who are the most deserving players, teams and coaches of our eight midseason awards? NJ Advance Media takes a look.


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


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    The Middlesex County Clerk's office says it's been strapped by the state's new vote-by-mail policy.

    About 10,000 of the vote-by-mail ballots that the Middlesex County Clerk's office sent out last weekend contained errors in the recipients' addresses, authorities said.

    County Clerk Elaine Flynn said several confused residents called the her office, wondering why their information was listed incorrectly and worried their vote wouldn't be counted if they sent their ballot back.

    (One of our very own NJ Advance Media reporters was even the recipient of a wrongly-addressed mailer).

    "The ballots are valid, and the voters should use the materials they received," Cassandra Achille, supervisor of the election division, said in a written statement. Achille assured recipients that their returned ballots would be counted.

    When processing bulk-mail, postal workers don't read the addresses, but instead, machines scan the barcodes printed on each envelope. Those barcodes insured the ballots were delivered to the right place, Flynn said.

    Voters will receive mailers letting them know their votes will still be counted, despite the error. Still, the mistake, first reported by the New York Times, "was embarrassing," said Michael Maroney Jr., executive vice president for Universal Mailing Services, which sent out the ballots for the county clerk.

    Mailerman.JPG"It was almost impossible to catch visually," Micheal Maroney, executive vice president of Universal Mailing Service said of the 10,000 vote by mail ballots sent out with addresses containing extraneous information. (Cassidy Grom | For NJ.com) 

    Universal Mailing has sent out the sample ballots -- the documents that list an area's candidates and the recipients' polling locations -- for 30 years. The company is the go-to mailer vendor for 13 New Jersey County Clerks' offices, and process and send off two million sample ballots each year.

    The issue with the vote-by-mail ballots, he said, was a technical error.

    Listen to NJ.com on Alexa or via a daily podcast

    Typically, the clerk's offices send Universal a list of registered voters' addresses, then Universal's computer programs read the list and print the addresses. However, the list Middlesex sent over for their vote-by-mail ballots had a different format this year that the existing computer programs couldn't read it.

    Maroney said his employees created a new "down and dirty" program that could understand Middlesex's format, and it seemed to work fine. But the program lacked the capability to recognize empty spaces on Middlesex's spreadsheet and instead filled it in with information from above addresses.

    "Actually my kids both voted by mail and their's were both wrong," Maroney said.

    He said none of the inserted information was sensitive and 98 percent of the ballots were delivered.

    Maroney estimated Middlesex paid the company $5,000 to send out the vote by mail ballots, in addition to the usual $20,000 to send out sample ballots, which did not contain the address errors. 

    Mailer.JPGUniversal Mailing Service workers process unrelated mailers on the same machine used to process vote by mail ballots. (Cassidy Grom | For NJ.com)
     

    In August, Governor Phil Murphy signed a new law requiring county clerk's offices to mail ballots for the 2018 election to those who had voted by mail in the 2016 election. The ballots went to 2016 vote-by-mail voters whether or not they asked for the 2018 ballot. Flynn said her office hurried to prepare the ballots before the November 6 election, forcing the regular election workers to clock in hours of overtime.

    "You have no idea," Flynn told NJ Advance Media at her office in New Brunswick, as workers walked quickly around the room, sorting voter registration applications into dozens of piles.

    "We didn't plan for it. We didn't have the budget for it."

    Flynn said they ordered materials for the extra vote by mail ballots as soon as they heard about the new law, but their office didn't have space to store the extra boxes -- or the workforce. She called in help and added four workers from the passports and registry departments, but even with the extra hands, the office has been a stressful environment, she said.

    On Wednesday, a supervisor in a neighboring office space hollered at a co-worker, seemingly stressed by the extra demands the address errors brought.

    In 23 years of being the county clerk, Flynn said the last time she faced this amount of pressure was after Hurricane Sandy when several polling stations were flooded or damaged just days before the 2012 election.

    "Whatever it takes, I'm here," she said.

    Cassidy Grom may be reached at cgrom@njadvancemedia.com Follow her at @cassidygrom. Find NJ.com on Facebook.Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips.


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    Tyrone Harrison, 49, of Somerset, was killed Saturday night while walking from the Edison train station to a relative's house, officials said.

    A man who officials said was street racing was arrested Thursday in the hit-and-run death of a New Brunswick High School vice principal.

    Freddy Garcia, 21, of Piscataway, was charged with aggravated manslaughter, causing death while driving with a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a death and other offenses, according to a release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

    Tyrone Harrison, 49, of Somerset, was walking from the Edison train station to a relative's house at 9:17 p.m. on Saturday when he was struck by Garcia after he lost control of his 2003 Honda Accord while street racing with "multiple" other vehicles, the prosecutor's office said.

    Garcia abandoned the car and ran away, and later falsely reported that his Honda, which was not registered or insured, was stolen, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in the release.

    "We sincerely thank all who came forward with timely information which aided the investigation and led to the current charges," Carey said. "We are continuing to gather evidence of this reckless criminal activity. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all of Mr. Harrison's loved ones."  

    Garcia was also issued 12 motor vehicle summonses including reckless driving and racing on a highway.

    He was scheduled to appear in New Brunswick via video for first court appearance on Friday.

    Anyone with information on the investigation was asked to call Piscataway Police Officer Meredith Robbins at 732-262-7652 or Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office Det. Jonathan Berman at 732-745-4328.

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

     


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    NJ.com football writers make 27 bold predictions for Week 6


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    See the players and teams that have stood out in the first half of the season.


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