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Central Jersey News from the Times of Trenton

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    The win for Manchester United opened up a six-point gap between itself and Chelsea (59-53), which now sits in fifth.


    Pep Guardiola has his first trophy in charge of Manchester City.

    The Cityzens made easy work of Arsenal in the 2018 Carabao Cup final. Powered by goals from Sergio Aguero (18'), Vincent Kompany (58'), and David Silva (65') Manchester City lifted the first silverware of the domestic campaign with a 3-0 victory over the Gunners.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a great chance to give Arsenal the lead in the eighth minute, but let the Premier League champions-elect off the hook. City was ahead 10 minutes later, and the rout was on for Guardiola's charges.

    With piece of silverware in the bag, and the Premier League trophy all but headed north to Manchester, the question now becomes, can Manchester City win the UEFA Champions League?

    The two teams will meet again Thursday in the Premier League (2:45 p.m. EST NBCSports and, with Arsenal needing a win to cut into the 10-point deficit to Tottenham in fourth.


    Leicester 1-1 Stoke 

    West Brom 1-2 Huddersfield

    Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle

    Liverpool 4-1 West Ham

    Brighton 4-1 Swansea

    Burnley 1-1 Southampton

    Watford 1-0 Everton

    Crystal Palace 0-1 Tottenham

    Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea

    F.A. Cup, UEFA Champions League, take center stage in England


    The battle for the UEFA Champions League spots has heated up over the last few weeks, and should come down to the final weeks of the 2017-18 campaign.

    But Sunday, two teams took huge steps toward a top four finish, with just 10 matches left in the season.

    Jesse Lingard came off the bench to give Manchester United a massive 2-1 comeback victory over Chelsea, to move the Red Devils back ahead of third place Liverpool, which beat West Ham United 4-1 Saturday.

    The win for Manchester United opened up a six-point gap between itself and Chelsea (59-53), which now sits in fifth, two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham. After the Red Devils fell behind to a 32nd minute strike from Willian, Romelu Lukaku scored in the 39th minute to even the score before halftime. Lukuku then played a perfect ball onto the head of Lingard, to give the hosts all three points.

    It came after Harry Kane gave Tottenham a late 1-0 win over Crystal Palace. With the pressure building on the Palace goal over the final 15 minutes, Kane finally broke the deadlock in the 88th minute, to move the Hotspurs ahead of Chelsea and into the Champions League places.

    Chelsea has to go right back to Manchester next weekend, as the Blues take on the champions-in-waiting Manchester City. Chelsea also has home matches with Tottenham (Sunday, April 1, 11 a.m. NBCSports and and Liverpool (weekend of May 5, tbd.) over the final 10 games, and may end up as the odd-team out of the top four race.


    There are two teams tied with the worst away record in the whole of the English Football League pryamid, which spans 92 teams in the Premier League, EFL Championship, EFL League One, and EFL League Two.

    Amazingly, both teams are in the top flight: Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion. Each team has seven points, and one win (plus four draws) on their travels this season, which is not a recipe for success. Worse are the goal differences for the two sides on the road: WBA at minus-15, Stoke at minus-21.

    Something that is not at all surprising, though, is where those two teams sit in the Premier League table. After a 1-1 draw agaisnt Leicester City this weekend in the early contest Saturday, Stoke is in 19th place, on 26 points. The Potters are just one point behind the three teams ahead of them in the table, though, but a minus-26 goal differential could prove to be their doom.

    West Brom lost 2-1 at home to fellow relegation battlers Huddersfield. The Baggies are six points behind Stoke, and with just three wins from 28 this season, and their schedule is brutal.

    Five of WBA's last 10 matches are on the road, and the five at home include Burnley, Leicester, Liverpool, and Tottenham, all teams in the top eight.

    This may be the end of the line for the Baggies in the Premier League, at least until 2019-2020.


    Tuesday night, Swansea will host Sheffield Wednesday at 3:05 p.m. EST (FS2 and, with a quarterfinal home game on the line.

    The winner of Tuesday's match will host the victor Wednesday, as Rochdale will visit Wembley to take on Tottenham (2:45 p.m. FS1 and

    After this week, quarterfinal ties will take place on March 17-18.

    Contact Sean Miller at Follow him on Twitter @TheProdigalSean His weekly podcast, Box to Box Football, can be found on iTunes here

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    New Jersey's average property tax bill climbed $141 to $8,690 last year. See how much your county's average bill increased here.

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    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey patiently await homes.

    Here is this week's collection of some of the dogs and cats in need of adoption in New Jersey.

    We are now accepting dogs and cats to appear in the gallery from nonprofit shelters and rescues throughout New Jersey.

    If a group wishes to participate in this weekly gallery on, please contact Greg Hatala at or call 973-836-4922.

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

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    See the latest links in girls basketball state tournament preview.

    Get your game face on. The tournament starts Monday.

    Here is our complete and extensive state tournament preview, with lots of serious basketball analysis and a little fun too. will, of course have extensive round-by-round coverage of the tournament, from now through the T of C final on March 18.

    All the brackets 
    Favorites, dark horses, players to watch & more - every bracket
    Sites & times for the state tournament

    FEATURES's predicts all 20 sectional champs
    Upset alerts: Our complete Round 1 picks

    X-Factors: Which players will excel in the state tournament?

    Players to watch in each section of 2018 state tourney
    • 17 lower-seeded teams that can make a run
    15 takeaways from the state tournament seeds 

    Brian Deakyne may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BrianDeakyne. Like High School Sports on Facebook.

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    The MOC provided some incredible performances. But who had the best day?

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    Complete guide to the 2018 state tournament.

    The boys basketball preview is essentially complete with the addition Thursday of the huge bracket-by-bracket breakdown. But be sure to keep coming back to this post - we have a piece or two to add before play starts on Monday - like Friday's addition of can't-miss Round 1 games.

    Every section's favorites, dark horses, players to watch & more
     All the brackets
     Sites and times for Group semis and finals

    23 can't-miss Round 1 games
     Predicting all 20 section champs
     From Antoine to Zona: A-to-Z guide to the state tourney

     High seeds poised to be tourney spoilers's superhero squad
     X-factors for the state tournament 
     Takeaways from the state tournament seeding meeting

    Richard Greco may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Richard_V_Greco. Mike Kinney may be reached at Follow him on twitter @MikeKinneyHS. Kevin Minnick may be reached at Follow him on twitter @kminnicksportsLike HS sports on Facebook.

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    The man was a fugitive all day on Sunday

    A New Jersey man charged with shooting his girlfriend's ex-husband in the back at a lower Bucks County, Pa. fitness club Saturday evening surrendered to authorities Monday, police said.

    medina.jpgLuis Medina 

    Luis Medina, 33, turned himself in to Falls Township detectives at about 12:20 p.m. Monday to face aggravated assault and related charges for allegedly shooting a man inside a business in the 300 block of West Trenton Avenue at 6 p.m. Saturday, just outside Morrisville.

    Medina has ties to Maple Shade and Camden, in New Jersey, police said. He'd been a fugitive since early Sunday morning, police said. had reported that Medina allegedly shot the man following a confrontation at the Pennsbury Racquet and Athletic Club.

    Medina's girlfriend's son -- whose father is the victim -- was competing in a boxing match at the club, the site reported.

    An off-duty police officer told investigators he saw the confrontation and heard a gunshot, then saw Medina with a handgun and tried to chase after him as he ran toward Morrisville, the site reported.

    The club issued a statement saying they rented the club to an organization for a youth boxing fundraiser and cooperated fully with investigators. The club said police assured them the fitness club was safe and the incident was an "isolated, highly unusual circumstance."

    Medina was arraigned in front of a district judge Monday afternoon and sent to the Bucks County jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

    Falls Detective Stephen Reeves is the lead investigator and can be reached at

    Kevin Shea may be reached at Follow him on Twitter@kevintshea. Find on Facebook.


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    The MOC had some incredible performances. But who had the best day?

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    New bill would allow people serving prison sentences or on probation or parole to vote in elections. Watch video

    State lawmakers on Monday announced legislation that would return voting rights to nearly 100,000 people locked up in prison or serving parole or probation.

    If passed, it would make New Jersey the third state in the country to allow people to vote while serving prison sentences.  

    The charge is being led by members of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus, who say laws prohibiting inmates from voting disproportionately hurt black New Jerseyans. 

    "There is no relationship between voting and committing crimes," said Sen. Ronald Rice, D-Essex, one of the bill's prime sponsors. "To disenfranchise those who have made mistakes and are paying for them is wrong." 

    It will likely face opposition from Republican lawmakers, one of whom said Monday that voters "shouldn't trust" inmates to choose elected leaders. 

    Currently, New Jersey residents with criminal records are allowed to vote, but only after they have completed their sentence and paid back any restitution or court fees. The proposed law would allow inmates to vote absentee in their home district. 

    Research from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, which supports the new legislation, shows 94,000 people with criminal convictions are currently denied the right to vote -- a population larger than New Jersey's state capital, Trenton.

    Advocates at a Statehouse press conference on Monday noted New Jersey has a severe racial disparity in its prison population despite similar offense rates between black and white residents. 

    'Severe racial disparity' at N.J. prisons, report finds

    Bill co-sponsor Sen. Sandra Cunningham, D-Hudson, said lawmakers introduced the bill on Monday to commemorate the 1869 passage by Congress of the 15th Amendment, which gave black men the right to vote. She noted that New Jersey was one of seven states which initially opposed the amendment. 

    "We're still refusing, 150 years later," said Cunningham. "We haven't grown at all." 

    But it's unclear whether the bill has the support of top Democrats in the state.

    A report from Gov. Phil Murphy's transition team endorsed giving voting rights to those on parole and probation but stopped short of saying inmates should vote.

    A spokesman for Murphy said Monday the governor supports expanding voter enfranchisement but did not indicate whether he would support the bill.

    "Governor Murphy believes that we are a better, stronger, and more representative democracy when more New Jerseyans participate," said the spokesman, Dan Bryan. "He looks forward to working with the legislature to pass legislation that expands access to the ballot."

    Sen. Gerald Cardinale, R-Bergen, said in a statement Monday that losing the right to vote is "part of the risk (inmates) assume when they break the law, and part of the incentive structure for people to follow the law.

    "Do we really believe that murderers and rapists who are serving prison sentences should be allowed to influence elections and public policy?" Cardinale said.

    At his press conference, Rice rejected the notion that taking away the right to vote is an effective crime deterrent.

    "There's no one that's going to rob a bank or break in a house that if I said, 'You do that again, I'm going to take away your voting rights,' that's going to be deterred," he said. "There's no one that says, 'I"m going to be a better person if you take away my rights.'"

    S.P. Sullivan may be reached at Follow him on Twitter. Find on Facebook.


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    Students from Trenton's Foundation Academy Charter School portrayed their favorite figures for Black History Month Watch video

    Grounds For Sculpture is known for its realistic sculptures of ordinary people so accurate in scale, clothing and expression one almost expects them to come to life.

    On Saturday, some of the "sculptures" did come to life.

    In honor of Black History Month, Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton and Trenton's Foundation Academy Charter School hosted "Blacks in Wax," a program highlighting some of the most famous African American personalities of the past and present.

    Students from the charter school researched and wrote their own monologues to bring their chosen characters to life through short performances.

    When a visitor pressed "play" by stepping on a name card on the ground, students became the figures they chose, and delivered short autobiographical sketches.

    Subjects included such historic figures as Frederick Douglass, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman.

    Modern-day icons such as Maya Angelou, Will Smith and former President Barack Obama also were represented.

    The brother-and-sister duo of Bryant and Brianna Telles portrayed King and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress.

    Brianna said she chose Chisholm because, "She was elected to Congress, and when I grow up I want to be a lawyer. She had a lot of things to do with the White House, and I want to be part of that experience."

    Michael Mancuso may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso. Find on Facebook.

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    Rutgers and other colleges won't rescind offers to students who are disciplined for joining walkouts or peaceful protests.

    A New Jersey school reportedly threatened to suspend students and revoke prom privileges over a school sit-in, on the same day several of the state's colleges said they won't hold it against high schoolers if they get in trouble for protesting. 

    Students at Cherry Hill High School East were warned during Monday morning's announcements that they would be suspended and banned from their senior trip and prom if they participated in a "planned disruption," according to 

    At the time, students were already taking part in a sit-in to support a teacher  who was suspended last week for raising conners about school security, according to the report. 

    The warning came a students across the state are already planning to join in a national walkout on March 14.

    Echoing colleges across the country, Rutgers University, The College of New Jersey and others weighed in on Monday, saying students disciplined for peaceful protests don't have to worry. 

    "We want to reassure students who have applied or have been admitted... that disciplinary actions associated with participation in peaceful protests will not jeopardize your admission," Rutgers University said in a tweet. 

    The assurances come as at least one local high school reportedly threatened to punish students who participated in a sit-in Monday. 

    High schoolers responses to the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida prompted questions from students, faculty, and alumni on how participation in peaceful protests might impact an applicants offer of admission, said Luke Sacks, a spokesman at The College of New Jersey.

    "So we felt it was important to communicate the college's position quickly and publicly," Sacks said.

    The university's stance is not just specific to Parkland but to peaceful, lawful protest in general, he added. 

    Rutgers' announcement is a reaffirmation of its an ongoing policy, spokeswoman Dory Devlin said. 

    Drew University and Monmouth University also posted statements on social media supporting students' right to peaceful protests. 

    Adam Clark may be reached at Follow him on twitter at @realAdamClarkFind on Facebook


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    Despite the mouthings of President Donald Trump and National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, placing weapons in the hands of our teachers is the worst idea since ... well, ever. Watch video

    Arm teachers with buildings that are secure and safe from intruders.

    Arm them with social workers and counselors to deal with troubled kids, and with the materials they need to make their classrooms well-equipped places of learning.

    But arm them with guns? No, no, no and no.

    Despite the mouthings of President Donald Trump and National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, placing weapons in the hands of our teachers is the worst idea since ... well, ever.

    "We must reject the failed ideology of guns as a solution when, in truth, they are the problem," said Marie Blistan, president of the New Jersey Education Association.

    Blistan, a high school special education resource center teacher in Washington Township, Gloucester County, was responding to the White House's misguided assertion that schools would be safer if teachers were permitted to carry concealed weapons.

    Trump's deranged idea: arm school teachers | Editorial

    No surprise, that position is also promoted by the gun lobby, which would profit handsomely if gun manufacturers were able broaden their markets by selling to newly empowered teachers - the vast majority of whom apparently don't want anything to do with this insane scheme.

    LaPierre and Trump made their proposal just a week after a young man armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle stormed into a high school in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 students and faculty members and shattering the lives of an entire community.

    Avery Gardiner, a co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told NBC News that arming teachers is "a colossally stupid idea."

    Introducing additional fire power into an already tense and emotion-fraught shooting scene ratchets up the potential for deadly violence exponentially.

    According to many law-enforcement officials, expecting teachers to be able to bring down an attacker without injuring or killing innocent people - or being killed themselves - is highly unrealistic.

    Even professionally trained cops can fall short in these terrifying scenarios: Witness the sheriff's deputy stationed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, who was forced to resign after failing to confront the teenage gunman who was wreaking such unspeakable damage.

    Additionally, SWAT teams responding to an active shooting could easily mistake a teacher with a firearm for an assailant, and act accordingly.

    More lives lost, more families left to grieve.

    The idea of turning New Jersey schools into armed fortresses fills our minds with terror and despair. Our children should not have to enter their classrooms wondering which of their teachers are carrying heat, and our teachers should be able to concentrate on ... well, teaching.

    Banning high-capacity magazine and assault weapons, tightening background checks and raising the age at which buyers are eligible to purchase guns - these are better ways to make that happen.

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


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    Check out's interactive, printable brackets for this year's tournament.

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    According to its Trulia listing, the taxes are estimated at about $54,336.

    In this week's "On the market" property, we feature a home in Princeton with nearly 8,000 square feet of living space.

    The home is listed for $2.2 million. According to its Trulia listing, the taxes are estimated at about $54,336.

    The home features six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, including a spa bath in the master suite.

    Alexis Johnson may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @alexisjreports. Find her on Facebook.

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    Sorting through the madness and breaking down some of the best state tournament action so far.

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    It's the first human trafficking conviction for the Mercer County prosecutor's office

    A Trenton man pleaded guilty Monday to a first-degree human trafficking charge for holding a 17-year-old girl against her will and forcing her to engage in prostitution for his profit, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday. 

    Breion Turner, 28, was arrested in October 2016 for pimping out the 17-year-old runaway and threatening to kill her if she attempted to flee. The teen told prosecutors at the time of Turner's arrest that he had given her a cough syrup-like liquid that made her feel groggy. 

    Breion Turner[1] copy.jpgBreion Turner

    Turner held the girl at his residence in Trenton for four days and forced her to engage in sexual acts with several men, collecting about $400, Assistant Prosecutor Heather Hadley said in 2016. 

    Turner pleaded guilty to first-degree human trafficking before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Thomas Brown on Monday, the prosecutor's office said.

    The state will recommend that Turner be sentenced to eight years in state prison, with 42 months of parole ineligibility. It also suggests Turner pay a fine to the state's Human Trafficking Survivor's Assistance Fund as part of his plea agreement. 

    "This plea will ensure the defendant serves a lengthy prison sentence and pays for exploiting such a vulnerable victim," Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said.

    Hadley told NJ Advance Media that the teen and her mother stayed in contact with the prosecutor's office during the investigation and consulted on plea negotiations. 

    "Even though no amount of time is enough in these cases, where someone tries to control and take away someone else's freedoms, this was a good resolution in order to start the process of healing for the family and the victim," Hadley said in an email. 

    Turner's is the first human trafficking conviction for the Mercer prosecutor's office. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 27. 

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

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    The NJSIAA will seed the 2018 individual state tournament brackets Tuesday. Check here often for updates on seedings, pairings and brackets

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    A three month long investigation led to the arrests, the Mercer County Prosecutor's office said.

    Two Trenton men were arrested and approximately $7,000 worth of drugs and two guns were seized as a result of a three-month narcotics investigation, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office announced. 

    On Monday, investigators wrapped the investigation by executing search warrants.

    Officers stopped Christopher Wallace, 30, and Anthony Jacobs, 26, in the area of Farragut Avenue and French Alley in Trenton. Police searched Wallace and recovered 20 glassine packets of suspected heroin and $447.

    At Jacobs' Garfield Avenue residence led to approximately 55 grams of crack cocaine, 27 Endocet pills, one OxyContin pill approximately 30 grams of marijuana and $819 in cash.

    A search of Wallace's Logan Avenue address revealed numerous items used to manufacture heroin, approximately 5 grams of raw heroin, approximately 5 grams of marijuana and $3,974 in cash.

    And officers found two loaded handguns during a search of Wallace's Buick.

    Both were charged with weapons and narcotic-related offenses. Jacobs was released following his arrest and Wallace is being held at the Mercer County jail pending a detention hearing. 

    Assisting the prosecutor's office were officers from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Hamilton, Princeton and Trenton police.

    Olivia Rizzo may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find on Facebook 

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    Each of N.J. hockey's four state tournament brackets are down to their Final Fours.

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    Gov. Phil Murphy signed a pair of bills last week, designed to restore thousands of dollars to provide cancer screenings, family-planning services and other health-care options for thousands of the state's women. Watch video

    In a highly anticipated act, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a pair of bills last week, designed to restore thousands of dollars to provide cancer screenings, family-planning services and other health-care options for thousands of the state's women.

    The Christie administration repeatedly vetoed funding for these vital programs; over the past eight years, the $60 million total loss contributed to the closing of six clinics providing breast and cervical cancer screening, among other vital services.

    Fourteen other clinics curtailed their hours and cut back on their services, according to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

    Choosing to make these bills the first measure to win his signature sends an important message about Murphy's priorities.

    The Democrat campaigned hard on the issue of women's health, making it a cornerstone of his inaugural speech in January, urging lawmakers to send him a measure he could act on as swiftly as possible.

    Much credit for keeping the issue alive goes to state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), who sponsored the legislation Murphy signed with a flourish.

    Phil Murphy cheered as he signs his first bill into law

    And don't forget GOP state Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman of Somerset, the sole Republican among the 40 members of the Senate to vote for the measure, as well as Diane Allen, his new-retired Republican colleague, who fought hard to restore the money through means of supplementary budget appropriations.

    Bateman cited studies showing that every dollar going to health screenings and birth control actually saves $7 in future health care expenses.

    As significantly, the new bills will provide funds to help the state combat a black infant-mortality rate three times higher than that of white babies, according to Dr. Shereef Elnahal, acting commissioner of the state's Department of Health.

    And it will help shore up resources to clinics that serve as the only healthcare providers many of the state's uninsured women ever encounter.

    At the signing ceremony, Murphy pointed out that tens of thousands of women missed out on breast and cancer screenings in the years the dollars were withheld.

    In the first three years of the budget cuts, Planned Parenthood said, the number of clinical breast exams by New Jersey family-planning providers dropped 31 percent - from 70,506 in 2009 to 48,441 in 2012.

    Even if you're not particularly good at math, those number add up to a lot of women unnecessarily placed at risk.

    In addition to restoring the lost funding, the new measures expand Medicaid to provide family-planning services to more of the state's needy residents. At the signing ceremony, the governor said increasing access to long-term contraception leads to fewer abortions and unplanned births.

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


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