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Central Jersey News from the Times of Trenton

older | 1 | .... | 461 | 462 | (Page 463) | 464 | 465 | .... | 528 | newer

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    He's charged with gunning down a 28-year-old Lindenwold man earlier this month

    A murder suspect considered armed and dangerous is on the run from U.S. Marshals along with his girlfriend, who is also wanted for an unrelated matter, authorities said.

    Terrill Chandler, 28, of Lindenwold, was charged with murder in the April 3 killing of Dominique Vivett, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

    Authorities issued a warrant for Chandler three days after the shooting, but authorities can't seem to find him.

    He may be traveling with his girlfriend, Victoria Harris, 26, the prosecutor's office said. She is also wanted by police on an outstanding warrant out of Camden County.

    The prosecutor's office said the couple may be in the Trenton area. Chandler also goes by the alias Rell, the office said.

    "Members of the public should not approach Terrill Chandler," the office said, but should call 911 if they seem him or Harris. "He should be considered armed and dangerous."

    Chandler is accused of shooting Vivett, 25, of Lindenwold, on the afternoon of April 3.

    Lindenwold Police received 911 calls around 4 p.m. and found Vivett, suffering from a single gunshot wound, in the area of 3800 building of the Arborwood Apartment Complex, authorities said. He was taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden where he died from his injury that afternoon.

    Police connected Chandler to the crime using surveillance video footage and eyewitness testimony, according to the probable cause statement.

    Based on the witness statements, Vivett was involved in a physical fight with another person right before the shooting. After the fight was broken up, a man identified as Chandler approached, pulled out a gun and shot Vivett in the head, police wrote in the court document.

    Anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Chandler or Harris is asked to contact the U.S. Marshals Service at (609) 331-0310.

    Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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


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    A conference-by-conference breakdown of the top teams and players in N.J. girls lacrosse this week.


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    Trenton came back home to Arm & Hammer Park with two of its players leading the league in the two most followed categories.

    After they went 4-2 to open the 2018 road campaign, the Thunder returned home for a three-game series with Portland starting Friday night, followed by three games with Harrisburg Monday-Wednesday.

    Trenton will take the field at Arm & Hammer Park in second place in the Eastern League Eastern Division, 2.5 games behind first place New Hampshire.

    While it is still early, a positive road trip, helped by a bullpen that is shaping up to be one of the strengths once again for Trenton, has the team heading in the right direction.

    Caleb Frare has been outstanding in six games (1-0, 0.00 ERA, one save), as have Jordan Foley (0.00 ERA in 6.2 innings), Joe Harvey (two saves), Kaleb Ort (7.2 innings, 2.35 ERA), and James Reeves (6.1 innings, 10 Ks).

    Manager Jay Bell has said that all his relievers will get time, so it gives every pitcher a chance to get work early in the campaign.

    "It is always good to get the opportunity to pitch regularly, in order to get into a rhythm," Reeves said. "You have to expect it as a reliever. Sometimes, there will be situations where you don't throw for five or six days, then you might have to throw back-to-back.

    "Preferably, it is always great to get out there on a regular basis."

    With so many recent Thunder relievers in Triple A and the major leagues, the pitchers know that there is an opportunity to stake a claim for the next shot.

    "That is always the goal, to get there," Reeves said. "It has been pretty prolific, in terms of the number of guys that have gone on to get to the big leagues from this level, especially in the last few years. It is something to shoot for, for sure."

    Reeves worked hard over the offseason and spring training, and has started the new season well.

    "I just focused on being consistent," Reeves said. "You have to look at the big picture, but trying to attack every single day. You look it as, what can I do right now to get better, and be consistent?"

    But the bullpen could not hold a 6-2 lead Friday night, as Portland rallied for four runs in the eighth and ninth innings, to beat the Thunder 7-6.

    City clinch EPL title; Burnley takes massive step toward European football

    NOTES:

    Nestor Cortes was returned by Baltimore, after the Orioles selected the pitcher in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft.

    He made four appearances in the major leagues in April, pitched for the Thunder once, and went to Triple A Scranton Wilkes-Barre Friday. 

    Trenton came back home to Arm & Hammer Park with two of its players leading the league in the two most followed categories.

    Ben Ruta is absolutely tearing the cover off the ball at the plate. Coming into Friday night, the West Windsor native leads the Eastern League in batting average at .432 (16-for-37), with a slash line of .432/.476/.514.

    It is the perfect start to the campaign for Ruta, who skipped over High A Tampa, and is obviously able to handle the pitching at the Double A level. While he was not a highly ranked prospect in the organization, if he continues to hit the ball, opportunities may open up to keep moving up the ladder.

    Erik Swanson leads the EL with three wins (3-0, 0.66 ERA, 19 Ks), and he was very good again Wednesday, in a 2-1 win to open up a double header with Erie. Swanson went five innings to get the win, before the Thunder dropped the second game 3-2.

    Trenton went 4-2 on the road trip to Akron and Erie. The Thunder won two in Ohio, with the third game of the series rained out, to be made up as part of a double header on May 22.

    The second game of the series with Erie, which was split two apiece, was postponed because of snow. The weather has been a major story to start the 2018 baseball season, at every level. 

    With attendance down, maybe it is time to begin discussing moving the start of the season back two weeks.

    Friday night's starter Dillon Tate has two dominant outings under his belt already, and looking like a top prospect for the Yankees. He is 1-0, with a 0.90 ERA, in his first 10 innings of work in 2018.

    Contact Sean Miller at seanmillertrentontimes@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheProdigalSean


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    Police found "high grade" marijuana and edible marijuana chocolate bars

    An East Windsor man was arrested inside his home with $50,000 of marijuana products earlier this week, the Mercer County prosecutor's office announced Friday.

    The Mercer County Narcotics Task Force arrested  Ronald Boyler, 39, after a month long investigation. 

    boyler (2).jpgRonald Boyler 

    Boyler was taken into custody without incident inside his home on Wednesday.

    During a search of the home, police found 10 pounds of "high grade" marijuana valued at approximately $40,000, a box of edible marijuana chocolate bars with an approximately value of $1,000, and approximately 90 grams of pure THC oil, used in vape pens, valued at approximately $9,000. 

    Boyler is charged with second-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana) and second-degree possession with the intent to distribute the drug.

    He was released pending future court proceedings.

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


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    The Mercer County Waterfront Docks in Trenton are installed in April each year. Watch video

    It's been a month now since spring has sprung in New Jersey, at least according to the calendar. 

    Except for one beautiful day last Saturday, it's been lots of clouds, wind, rain and persistent cold.

    On Wednesday, workers from Marine Maintenance & Construction, based in Clayton, were nearing the finish line with the seasonal installation of the Mercer County Waterfront Docks in Trenton.

    Surely, this is the sign of spring we have been waiting for.

    bd360141.00_00_34_59.Still002.jpgA worker carries equipment on the docks. Trains pass by in the background over the Delaware River. (Michael Mancuso | NJ Advance Media)

    The public docks were built and installed in 2002 for $1 million, with the intention of providing continued access to the Delaware River for walkers, fishermen and boaters.

    Located outside Arm & Hammer Park, home of the New York Yankees minor league affiliate Trenton Thunder, the docks stretch along the river behind the River View Plaza office complex.

    New Jersey's Tall Ship, the A.J. Meerwald typically docks there each year as part of its sailing schedule.

    It's a popular place for fishermen too.

    Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Since April 2017, a program in New Jersey has reached out to nearly 2,000 students with an important message: Drug addictions come in all forms. Watch video

    If you want to vanquish an enemy, knowledge is power.

    When that enemy is as overwhelming as the opioid addiction killing nearly 2,000 of New Jersey's residents each year, that knowledge begins with teaching young people that addictions don't just "happen" to someone else.

    And it begins with informing parents about the goodies their kids are finding in the bathrooms right at home, and consuming in record numbers: Percocet, Xanax, prescription cough syrups.

    Above all, it starts with promoting awareness, which is why a recent workshop conducted by pharmacists at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield was an important component in ongoing efforts to combat a fearsome problem among our state's young people.

    Aimed at middle schools and high schools, at community groups and churches, Horizon's youth-outreach campaign has partnered with Rutgers' Ernesto Mario School of Pharmacy. Since April 2017, it has reached out to nearly 2,000 students with an important message: Drug addictions come in all forms.

    This month's workshop found youth leaders from The Hubb, a community center in Newark, gathered at Horizon headquarters to learn how they can bring important information back home to their peers.

    Murphy wants to spend $100M to fight opioid addiction

    A Horizon clinical pharmacist, Alex Wiggall, helped the young people identify the different types of substances their friends might experiment with. He showed them how to be alert for signs of drug use and taught them how to respond in the event of an overdose.

    Workshop leaders also led a far-reaching discussion on how the teens feel watching their peers and family members suffer from addiction, and their sense of hopelessness at seeing the deterioration. The talk ranged from peer pressure to proms, topics the students could easily relate to.

    Though at times the atmosphere was lighthearted, the motivation for the session was anything but.

    Statistics indicate that in 2015, some 128,000 of the state's residents are addicted to heroin or other opioids, including prescription painkillers. About 40 percent of those who sought treatment between 2010 and 2014 were under the age of 26.

    Up to four out of five new heroin users start out with prescription drugs and eventually switch to cheaper - and stronger - street versions

    Horizon and Rutgers have developed a 51-page toolkit designed to help communities address the crisis.

    In addition to describing how to build a team of professionals and volunteers, the website offers hints on how to conduct a drug take-back day, guidelines for physicians on how to safely dispense addictive painkillers, and ways to use social media to get life-saving messages across.

    Addiction is an equal-opportunity killer. Reaching out for the type of help these resources provide is an important first step toward taming it.

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.

     

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    The crime was caught on camera. The item is priceless for its priest owner

    Some things are more precious than gold, even when they're made of gold.

    On April 13, a thief swiped a gold chalice from the safe inside St. Hedwig Catholic Church in North Trenton. It belonged to pastor, Fr. Jacek Labinski, a gift when he was ordained in the 1980s.

    "It's the most precious item for a priest, because that is what you celebrate Mass with," Labinski said, describing the personal importance of the cup.

    chalice.JPGFr. Jacek Labinski with the gold chalice that was stolen, in the left of this photo he provided. 

    The church was burglarized around 6 a.m. A man broke in by cutting a hole into the back door and reached up to undo the lock from the inside.

    After getting inside, he went to the basement where he found a pipe, which he used to break open another door in the church and the safe where the chalice was kept.

    Security camera footage inside and outside the church captured the burglar's actions, as he took the chalice - and cash from the church's collection box for the poor.

    Labinski said he's glad that the damage to the church was only to access points, and the intruder was not a vandal who wanted to destroy church property.

    But the chalice is special. It was a gift 32 years ago from a pair of parishioners from Freehold, and it was the first one he owned after being ordained in May 1985.

    He used the piece in Mass almost every day, and since it's been taken he's been using others that belong to the church.

    One St. Hedwig's parishioner posted on Facebook that Labinski was brought to tears at a Mass last weekend, describing the theft.

    Labinski hopes that the police will be able to find the missing item, or that someone will recognize the burglar from surveillance photos.

    After the break-in, St. Hedwig's is installing another security system in order to add another layer of protection to the building. Labinski said this is the first time the church has been broken into in his 14 years with the parish.

    Trenton police detectives have been investigating the incident but so far have no leads, Detective Lt. Darren Zappley said Friday.

    The police have been monitoring pawn shops within and outside city limits, as well as scrap yards in hoping to recover the chalice, he said. 

    Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Charles Steever at 609-989-4166 or e-mail tips to dzappley@trentonpolice.net

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


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    Dr. Moishe Starkman gave fentanyl, oxycodone and other powerful drugs to patients, including some who later overdosed

    A Bordentown doctor who prescribed fentanyl, oxycodone and other powerful drugs to patients who did not have a legitimate need for them will lose his license to practice medicine.

    The state's Attorney General announced Friday that Dr. Moishe Starkman, who practiced in Bordentown, will permanently cease practicing medicine in New Jersey.

    Investigators said Starkman was prescribing hundreds of opioid pills to patients each month, without regard for whether the patient was addicted to the drugs or was selling them illegally. He did not keep track of the patients' progress or examine if the drugs were working for the patients.

    One male patient, identified only by their initials H.H., came to Starkman at age 19 complaining of lower back pain. Starkman, the OAG said, prescribed pain pills for H.H., sometimes as many as 240 pills a month.

    He died of an overdose at the age of 22, two months after his final visit with Starkman, the release said.

    T.A., a 29-year-old woman, was given six different prescriptions of oxycodone totaling 720 pills in a month, or one pill for every hour of of the day that month.

    Starkman will retire along with surrendering his medical license, the state said.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    Firearm violence costs New Jersey taxpayers alone approximately $273 million a year, a study says


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    Who are the top seniors in the Garden State?


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    Domingo Acevedo is on the 7-Day DL since April 12, but the starter will most likely spend more time on the sideline with his blister.

    Dillon Tate is healthy, and off to a dominant start for the Trenton Thunder this season.

    The starter, who is the number 11 prospect in the Yankees' system, left the game Friday night after five innings. He is 1-0, with a 1.90 ERA, and has a 15/2 strikeout to walk ratio in his 15 innings of work.

    After early injuries derailed the early going in both 2016 and 2017, Tate is excited to be healthy out of the gate for the Thunder.

    "The main thing with being healthy is, you can just continue to keep getting better, and there are things that you can work on," Tate said. "Starting the year healthy is good, and it will allow me to get further than I was last year in my development. I am just trying to stay on top of my work, making sure my body feels good, and not overdoing it."

    Manager Jay Bell, who saw Tate at Tampa last season, says that it is down to the starter working more off his fastball this season.

    "I think he is pitching with his fastball more than he was last year," Bell said. "His go-to is that slider a lot last year. His pitch count with the slider went way up last year. This year, he is pitching with his fastball a lot more, and mixing in his slider, and throwing a changeup also.

    "He is moving the fastball around, and maybe throwing a little more of a running fastball mixed up with his four-seamer. He is doing a good job, and I think he is on the right track. Hopefully at some point this year, we can move him. It would be nice to do so."

    Led by Ben Ruta, Erik Swanson, and strong bullpen, Thunder head home

    Tate spent part of his offseason working on the fastball, including when and where to throw the pitch.

    "I tried to figure out how I can get it to play up more," Tate said. "That was kind of a small focus this offseason. Understanding how to throw it, and the things that I have to do in my delivery to get it to play up more than it does, because my fastball is not a pitch that plays up a ton.

    "I have seen some signs of it playing up some more, which is pretty cool to see. I will just keep throwing that pitch, and moving it in and out, and just see where it takes me."

    He also wants to work on the basics of the pitching game this season, as he continues to move up the organization.

    "I could just start with the basics of fast ball command," Tate said. "Everybody is always trying to refine that. I look at where I was two years ago, to where I am at now, and my fastball command is better.

    "A couple notches up from that, I don't even know what that looks like. It is an unknown spot for me right now. Just working on that pitch, and getting better at the, the sky is the limit."

    NOTES:

    Domingo Acevedo is on the 7-Day DL since April 12, but the starter will most likely spend more time on the sideline with his blister.

    Bell said he expects the big righty back in seven to 10 days.

    "He is doing ok," Bell said. "He should be a week to 10 days or so. We will get him back when we get him back. But right now, the five we have are doing well for us."

    Contact Sean Miller at seanmillertrentontimes@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheProdigalSean


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    The U.S. senator is also slated to speak at several other commencement ceremonies this year.

    One of New Jersey's most influential political figures will take the stage at Temple University next month to address its newest class of graduates as they head out into the post-college world. 

    U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., will address the class of 2018 at the May 10 commencement ceremony and receive an honorary degree, the Philadelphia-based university announced this week. 

    He will not be paid for the speech, according to a university spokesman. 

    Booker, who in 2013 became the state's first Black senator, was previously a two-term mayor of Newark. He was born in Washington, D.C., and moved with his family to Harrington Park in Bergen County. 

    He earned undergraduate and master's degrees from Stanford University, attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and got a law degree from Yale University. His political career began when he served as a Newark city councilor for four years before he was elected mayor in 2006. 

    Booker is also scheduled to deliver the commencement speech at other colleges this spring, including Kean University and Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. He will speak to Princeton University students the day before commencement. 

    Last year, he addressed the University of Pennsylvania's class of 2017 at their graduation. 

    Booker previously spoke at Temple in 2014 at a memorial service for the late Trustee Lewis Katz, whose name is on the university's medical school. 

    Robert Bogle, the president and CEO of The Philadelphia Tribune, and Meryl Levitz, the president and CEO of the tourism company Visit Philadelphia, will also receive honorary degrees from Temple.

    Marisa Iati may be reached at miati@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Iati or on Facebook here. Find NJ.com on Facebook

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    Four New Jersey veteran political newcomers running for Congress

    It doesn't take a political historian or analyst to see the correlation between long-time partisan stalemates in Congress and the declining number of veterans in the Senate and House.

    From the 1960s to the 1990, veterans made up between 50 to 75 percent of Capitol Hill. That number is now 20 percent.

    Of course, there are other reasons for the political chasms. Count vitriolic posturing in the media as one, and the rising influence of lobbying dollars as another, just to start. Everybody digs in to their own trench.

    But the dearth of veterans is easily chartable. From a high of 75 percent in the 70s and 80s, it has been steadily declining. The percentage of Americans who serve in the military, too, is at an all-time low in our draft-less society.

    They call it "the service" for a reason.

    "Serve the country."

    "Serve the people."

    "Serve the party" just doesn't have the same to ring to it, does it? Sounds like something more out of the Kremlin than Washington.

    But maybe the cavalry is coming. Veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are becoming more politically involved.

    An organization called With Honor (withhonor.org) is tracking and endorsing veterans that put "principles over politics." It says more than 150 veterans are running in the Congressional mid-term primaries. Four are from New Jersey and none has ever held office. Primary Day is June 5 and here is one vote in favor of them doing well.

    MORE: Recent Mark Di Ionno columns

    I'm not a political columnist - the world doesn't need another - and this isn't a political column. But it is a column about hope. Because as a veteran myself, I hope former military people can go to Washington and prove America can still work.

    "When you go on a mission, you don't ask, 'Who is a Democrat and who is a Republican?'" said Mikie Sherrill, an Annapolis graduate, former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor running for the 11th District seat as a Democrat. "We (veterans) have worked with people from different backgrounds and with different ideas and know how to get the mission done."

    Antony Ghee, a Republican, also running for the 11th District seat, is a major in the Army reserves. Though he and Sherrill are from opposing parties, he shares her view that "mission" is missing in Washington.

    mcgeeAntony Ghee, Army Reserve JAG officer, running for the Republican nomination in the 11th District. 
    "We are trained to support and defend the Constitution, and accomplish missions by solving problems, not creating them," he said. "I unapologetically want to get back to that basic premise and get away from the petty politics that are undermining our democracy."

    To that point, neither Ghee, nor Peter De Neufville, who is also running in the 11th District, or Josh Welle, a candidate in the 4th, trumpet which party they are affiliated with on the home pages of the websites.

    "I wouldn't say it was a conscious decision to not include that I'm a Democrat," said Welle, a former class president at the Naval Academy. "Today, political parties carry too many negative connotations. I'm a strong Democrat - government should be invested in people, in schools, in health care - but I see running as another call to service. The institutions, and the Constitution, we fought to defend are under attack."

    De Neufville, a Republican candidate and former Navy intelligence officer, said "national interest has to come before partisan politics. The traffic jams caused by both Democrats and Republicans at the policy level has led to federal government failing us in many regards."

    Ghee and Welle, though in opposing parties, were both brought to politics because of the economic plight of the middle class.

    "I see what the national debt is doing to the country," said Ghee, an African-American bank executive. "I saw how the recession was devastating to all people, but especially African-Americans.

    "We all want the same thing," he said. "Safe communities. Fair wages. Opportunities for success. Opportunities for the future. I want to see the Republican Party to go back to be the party of inclusion and tolerance. We were the party that freed the slaves! People forget that."

    Welle was at a high school reunion when he met a classmate who was a public school teacher, but also working a second job as a landscape architect but still couldn't make ends meet. That pushed him to run.

    "I thought, 'Things have to change.' There is a social contract between government and the people to ensure success and financial security," Welle said. "We should have a higher moral compass. We should be able to transform lives."                 


     
    DeNeufvillePeter De Neufville, a former Navy intelligence officer is also running for the Republican nomination in the 11th District. 

    "Will veterans bring more comity and less partisanship to Congress? One part of me says yes," Teigen said. "Members of the military have volunteered years of their life that prioritized teamwork first, nation first, and mission first. They are socialized to work as teams toward common goals.Jeremy Teigen, a professor of political science at Ramapo College, is the author of "Why Veterans Run," (Temple University Press) a history and analysis of military-in-politics, beginning with George Washington.

    "Yet, the incentives and realities of Washington, D.C., will confound these characteristics," he said. "Partisanship is valued on the Hill and party leadership expects freshmen to back parties' national agenda. So, maybe veterans will get to Washington better able to resist these impulses -- they are probably better equipped than others, but it will be despite the institutional norms and incentives offered by Congress."

    There is one thing veterans hopefully will be able to resist. Unnecessary military conflict.

    "We need combat vets in Congress because decisions about war and peace should rest in the hands of people who understand the implications," Welle said.

    In other words, anyone who has been in combat, or seen the residual effects of combat, won't send troops to war lightly.

    "The human and financial cost of our ongoing military activity, in light of the duplicity of some of these governments, calls into the question the scope of our engagement," said De Neufville.

    "For the most part, people making decisions about our wars don't have skin in the game," said Sherrill. "Their children don't serve; their friends' children don't serve. They don't have a sense of what combat means. We have to make sure we're not sending people off to be killed for improper missions."

    Mark Di Ionno may be reached at mdiionno@starledger.com. Follow The Star-Ledger on Twitter @StarLedger and find us on Facebook. 

    DSC00059(1)Josh Welle, a retired U.S. Navy Commander, is running for Democratic nomination in the 4th Congressional District. 

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    For West Windsor native Ben Ruta, the jump was even more pronounced than for others in the system.

    When players move up the minor league ladder, it may take a while to adjust to the higher level.

    For West Windsor native Ben Ruta, the jump was even more pronounced than for others in the system.

    Ruta, who has settled into the outfield for the Thunder, skipped High A Tampa, on the way to Trenton from Class A Charleston last season. But if the player is struggling in the slightest to deal with the move, he has not shown it at the plate.

    Saturday, Ruta continued his scorching start to the season, with another base hit. He is currently leading the Eastern League with a .425 average, 57 points higher than the next closest player, Martin Cervenka of Bowie.

    Ruta has hits in 10 of the 12 games he has played, and has five multiple hit contests (two with three). He is 17-for-40, and is slashing .425/.467/.500, with six runs scored and five stolen bases in five attempts. 

    "I trust my preparation, and work in the offseason," Ruta said. "Obviously, you can never expect to hit as high as I am now, but I was confident that I was going to have a nice start to the season."

    Top Yankees prospect Dillon Tate continues positive start to season

    The hot start at the plate for the 7-7 Thunder gives Ruta an added boost of confidence.

    "It is nice to get off to a good start any season, but especially when you move up a level," Ruta said. "In this case, two levels. You want to get off to a hot start, and show that you can play here, quickly and early. It just gives you more confidence every day when you step on the field."

    The Double A level is thought of as a separator league, especially for the pitchers. Most of the players taking the mound here in the Eastern League have a pretty good feel for the strike zone, which is not always the case in Rookie League or Class A. 

    For Ruta and many of the hitters, they know that the pitches will be around the plate, which can help their approach.

    "The pitchers here have more of a plan of what they are doing, and they read your swings more," Ruta said. "They pitch based off of that. But in the same sense, you are bringing a plan to the plate as well that you are trying to execute.

    "I think they have more of an idea where the pitches are going, and they execute their pitches better. I make a lot of contact, or at least try to, and that may play into my favor a little bit."

    NOTES:

    Ruta played high school ball with West Windsor-Plainsboro South, and has been in touch with his head coach, Dave Hitchinson, about getting out to see the team play sometime this season.

    "I spoke to Hutch the other day," Ruta said. "We are definitely trying to get something together where I can go talk to the players, meet the team, and go see a game. Whenever I can get some free time with the schedule, I am going to try to head over there.

    "Hopefully when it warms up."

    Contact Sean Miller at seanmillertrentontimes@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheProdigalSean


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    The win moved Manchester United into its second F.A. Cup final in three years, and 20th overall in club history.

    WENGER IS OUT AS ARSENAL MANAGER, AFTER 22 YEARS IN CHARGE

    It has finally happened.

    Arsene Wenger announced Friday that he will step down after the final game of the season, and the debate over Wenger in or Wenger out can finally end.

    The longest continuously serving managerin Europe will end his reign after 22 years in charge of the Gunners. Wenger took over in October of 1996, and guided Arsenal to three Premier League titles, including one in his first full season in charge, in the 1997-98 season.

    His last of the three titles came in his golden period, as the "Invincibles" won the 2003-04 title with 26 wins, 12 draws, and no losses. Arsenal would go 49 games unbeaten, before Manchester United ended the run on October 24, 2004.

    The Gunners would reach the UEFA Champions League Final in two years later, but would fall 2-1 to Barcelona.

    The 03-04 title would be the last Wenger won in the league, 14 years ago. There have been many F.A. Cup title runs, including three of the last four, the second time in Wenger's career he has done that (2002, 2003, 2005). However, the Gunners missed out on Champions League football this season, and sit 33 points behind champions Manchester City this season.

    But fate has intervened, and Wenger has one final opportunity to go out on top. Arsenal will host Atletico Madrid Thursday in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semifinals, then head to Madrid next week for the second leg. If the Gunners can find their way to the final, against either Marseille or Salzburg, a win would guarantee Arsenal Champions League football next year. 

    PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS

    West Brom 2-2 Liverpool

    Watford 0-0 Crystal Palace

    Arsenal 4-1 West Ham

    Stoke 1-1 Burnley

    Man. City vs. Swansea

    F.A. CUP SEMIFINAL RESULTS

    Man. United 2-1 Tottenham

    Chelsea 2-0 Southampton

    COPA DEL REY FINAL

    Barcelona 5-0 Sevilla

    City clinch EPL title; Burnley takes massive step toward European football

    HERRERA FIRES MANCHESTER UNITED INTO F.A. CUP FINAL

    For all the talk about the demise of football under Jose Mourinho, Manchester United sure seems to be making a habit of making cup finals.

    Saturday, the Red Devils took on Tottenham at Wembley in the F.A. Cup semifinals, and came away with a decisive 2-1 victory. The win moved Manchester United into its second F.A. Cup final in three years, and 20th overall in club history.

    The Red Devils fell behind early to an 11th minute Dele Alli goal, but Alexis Sanchez scored to even it up in the 24th. Ander Herrera's lung-busting run to get on the end of a Sanchez pass, which was flicked on by Romelu Lukaku, gave United the winner in the 62nd minute.

    With the media tempest that has surrounded the team in the last month especially, and also since Jose Mourinho took over after the last Red Devils F.A. Cup final win in 2016 (2-1 over Crystal Palace in extra time), the team keeps making appearances in cup finals.

    Manchester United won the EFL Cup and Europa League last season (plus the Community Shield) and the F.A. Cup in 2016. Can Mourinho get another trophy for the cabinet, a 13th F.A. Cup title, which would tie the club for most all-time with Arsenal. 

    Mourinho's opportunity for another piece of silverware will come against his old team Chelsea, which won 2-0 over Southampton Sunday. He won his only other F.A. Cup title in 2007, as Chelsea manager against Manchester United.

    The loss is Tottenham's eighth straight semifinal loss dating back to 1991, and the Spurs once again end a season without silverware, a drought which dates back to the 2008 League Cup.

    UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, EUROPA LEAGUE, BACK MIDWEEK

    Liverpool will host Roma Tuesday (2:45 p.m. EDT FS1 and Fubo.tv), in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal. Wednesday, Bayern Munich will see Real Madrid head to the Allianz Arena (2:45 p.m. EDT FS1 and Fubo.tv), in a battle of European heavyweights.

    The return legs will flip flop, with Real Madrid hosting Bayern Munich Tuesday, May 1 (2:45 p.m. EDT FS1 and Fubo.tv), and Roma hosting Liverpool Wednesday, May 2 (2:45 p.m. EDT FS1 and Fubo.tv).

    The final will be played in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, May 26 at 2:45 p.m EDT.

    The next two Thursdays will also see the semifinals of the Europa League. Arsenal will host Atletico Madrid (3:05 p.m. EDT FS1 and Fubo.tv), before heading to Madrid for the return leg next Thursday, May 3 (3:05 p.m. EDT FS1 and Fubo.tv).

    Marseille will welcome Salzburg (3:05 p.m. EDT FS2 and Fubo.tv), before heading to Austria next week.

    The winners will meet in the final Thursday, May 24 in Lyon, France, with an opportunity for Champions League football next season as the reward.

    Contact Sean Miller at seanmillertrentontimes@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheProdigalSean His weekly podcast, Box to Box Football, can be found on iTunes here https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/box-to-box-football/id1208561351?mt=2


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    Rescues and shelters throughout New Jersey have pets available for adoption.

    This information on dog safety was compiled by members of the Dog Bite Prevention Coalition -- the U.S. Postal Service, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Humane Society, Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance.

    *  If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Parents should also remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.

    *  People often assume that a dog with a wagging tail is a friendly dog, but this is far from the truth. Dogs wag their tails for numerous reasons, including when they're feeling aggressive. A tail that is held high and moves stiffly is a sign that the dog is feeling dominant, aggressive, or angry.

    *  Dogs, even ones you know have good days and bad days. You should never pet a dog without asking the owner first and especially if it is through a window or fence. For a dog, this makes them feel like you are intruding on their space and could result in the dog biting you.

    *  ALL DOGS are capable of biting. There's no one breed or type of dog that's more likely to bite than others. Biting has more to do with circumstances, behavior, and training.

    *  Dogs have a language that allows them to communicate their emotional state and their intentions to others around them. Although dogs do use sounds and signals, much of the information that they send is through their body language, specifically their facial expressions and body postures. You can tell how a dog is feeling (sad, tired, happy, angry, scared) by looking at the position of a dogs' ears, mouth, eyes, and tail.

    *  Dogs are social animals who crave human companionship. That's why they thrive and behave better when living indoors with their pack -- their human family members. Dogs that are tied up or chained outside are frustrated and can become aggressive because they are unhappy. They can also become very afraid because when they are tied or chained up, they can't escape from things that scare them.


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    Mark W. Holmes received a five-year sentence and will have to pay $35,000 in restitution

    The former mayor of a Mercer County town has been sentenced to five years in prison for stealing thousands of dollars and using the money to give himself a raise while he served as the executive director of Asbury Park Housing Authority. 

    Mark W. Holmes Sr., 56, was ordered to pay $35,000 in additional restitution and to forfeit his pension. In addition, Holmes can never again hold a public job, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. 

    Holmes, a former mayor and councilman in Lawrence Township, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft in January. 

    He stole more than $90,000 by using state grant money intended to help low-income residents of Asbury Park to give himself a salary increase that wasn't approved by the agency's board between 2008 and 2011.

    Former city clerk pleads guilty to stealing $50k in public funds

    Before becoming the executive director, Holmes served as the agency's deputy director.

    Prior to taking over as executive director, Holmes applied for -- and received -- a $99,897 grant from the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The money was intended to be spent on training in computers and other skills for residents who qualified for public housing in Asbury Park.

    Holmes created the APHA Community Development Corporation, where he funneled $58,000 to give himself a $50,000 salary increase without board approval, Gramiccioni said.

    The prosecutor's office statement said the investigation found that Holmes opened credit cards in the name of the APHA and the APHA Community Development Corporation and used the cards for personal expenses. He had the bills go directly to his home and accrued more than $30,000 in debt on the cards.

    Holmes, who went on more than 30 business trips across the country, also received $22,000 in per diem payments from the authority for meals while on business trips. 

    He used some of that money for spa treatments, hotel in-room movies, and strip clubs, authorities said.

    Holmes was indicted in December 2015 on 38 counts of official misconduct and other offenses. He was arrested at his Lawrence home in 2013 but was released from jail after posting $70,000 bail. 

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

     


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    From shot put supremacy to stardom in the 3,000, these athletes are set for big showings at Franklin Field.


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    The 18-year-old 's head struck the bull's head at a Luck of the Draw Bull Riding event Sunday in Burlington County

    An 18-year-old man was seriously injured in a bull riding accident at a Burlington County stable on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

    The Maryland resident was wearing a helmet when his head collided with a bull's head around 4:15 p.m. at Live the Dream Stable on Cebulka Drive in Chesterfield, township police said.

    The man, who was unconscious when police arrived, was flown by helicopter to Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton.

    2 seriously hurt in bull riding accidents at Passaic rodeo

    Witnesses told police the bull's head was turning when it struck the man's head.

    Police Chief Kyle Wilson said Luck of the Draw Bull Riding hosted the event Sunday. He didn't have an update on the man's condition but said police are still investigating. 

    A man who answered the phone at Luck of the Draw Bull Riding declined to comment. A message left with Live the Dream Stable by NJ Advance Media was not immediately returned.

    Live the Dream describes itself as a family-owned, state-of-the-art equestrian farm that offers training and lessons. Luck of the Draw says it provides schooling for the "beginner, lady bull rider or bucket list rider as well as the professional rider."

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

     

     


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    Where are the top games this week?


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