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Central Jersey News from the Times of Trenton

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    The county prosecutor's office said an autopsy is pending to determine the cause and manner of her death.

    Mercer County homicide detectives are probing a fire at a Hamilton apartment complex after a woman was found dead at the scene, authorities confirmed Sunday.

    Prosecutor's office spokesperson Casey DeBlasio said the woman was pulled from the fire on Reeves Avenue by firefighters around 3 a.m. Sunday.

    She was pronounced dead at the scene.

    In a statement posted to Facebook, the township's fire department said the blaze at the apartment complex reached one alarm.

    Authorities on Sunday did not immediately identify the deceased or specify whether she was believed to be a resident of the apartment complex.

    DeBlasio said an autopsy is pending and that the woman's death is under investigation by the county's homicide task force.

    Kevin Shea contributed to this report.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at tmoriarty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption from shelters and rescue groups.

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

    We accept 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 nj.com, please contact Greg Hatala at ghatala@starledger.com or call 973-836-4922.

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


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    New Jersey lawmakers are trying once more to ban smoking at all public parks and beaches, and this time around their efforts to make these areas safer and more attractive might just succeed.

    State lawmakers are trying once more to ban smoking at all public parks and beaches, and this time around their efforts to make these areas safer and more attractive might just succeed.

    By overwhelming numbers, the state Senate and Assembly passed a bill last week that would impose fines on anyone lighting up on Jersey Shore beaches or at other recreational areas in the Garden State.

    If Gov. Phil Murphy signs it, which we hope he does, the bill will become effective after 180 days - too late for this summer, but in plenty of time for the next.

    Clean Ocean Action, a nonprofit that collects litter up and down the Atlantic Coast, says it found 29,000 butts last year, in addition to 1,155 lighters and 1,870 cigarette packages.

    Smoking ban at N.J. beaches and parks now up to Phil Murphy

    Your walk in the park, or on the beach, shouldn't include inhaling someone else's second-hand smoke, or stepping over the spent matches and half-finished cigarettes left behind.

    As Senate President Stephen Sweeney summed it up, "Our beaches ... shouldn't be ashtrays."

    The bill expands the state's Smoke-Free Air Act to include forests, beaches and parks. Although roughly 20 municipalities throughout the state have already adopted their own bans on smoking at the beach, the new legislation will create a welcome uniformity.

    For the past four years, state legislators have been had limited success in getting a comprehensive ban past Gov. Chris Christie, who vetoed one version in 2014 and issued a conditional veto again two years later, essentially passing the buck to townships to develop their own laws.

    For every smoker who whines that his freedoms are being systematically taken away there's a public official ready to respond that banning smoking is good for New Jersey's robust tourist industry.

    Matt Doherty, former mayor of Belmar, told a radio station two years ago that when his borough became the first in the state to adopt the no-smoking-on-the-beach law in the spring of 2014, merchants at the beach noticed an unexpected bonus: an upsurge in business.

    Doherty noted that the prohibition helps business owners and municipal officials market the local beaches as healthier and more family-friendly.

    The fines the new bill sets out are suitably hefty: $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 each on subsequent offenses.

    Parks and beaches are included in the proposed law, but golf courses are exempt, as are adjacent parking lots and those parcels of public lands municipalities set aside as smoking areas.

    The governor should takes his cue from the overwhelming support the bill found among lawmakers: The Senate went for it 32-1, with the Assembly following suit with a vote of 66-1, with two abstentions. With his signature, Murphy can make this long-awaited measure a reality.

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

     

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    She had injuries that "may not have been a result of the fire," prosecutors said

    The woman found dead after firefighters put out a fire at a Hamilton apartment complex early Sunday morning was identified Monday as a resident of the apartments, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said. 

    Emergency services found Caitlin Clark and removed her from the fire around 3 a.m. Sunday, prosecutors said. 

    Officials at the scene said that she had injuries "that may not have been a result of the fire."

    The county's Homicide Task Force is currently investigating the incident, along with the Arson Unit. 

    The official cause of death is not yet known, and is pending an official autopsy by the medical examiner's office. 

    Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Mercer County Homicide Task Force Detective Janaye Jones at 609-989-6406 or email tips to mchtftips@mercercounty.org.

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

     

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    Photographers from NJ Advance Media are covering proms around the state. Check out the list below with our most recent prom photo galleries from the past week. Be sure to check out our complete prom coverage at nj.com/prom. Patti Sapone may be reached at psapone@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Instagram @psapo, Twitter @psapone. Follow NJ.com on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    Photographers from NJ Advance Media are covering proms around the state. Check out the list below with our most recent prom photo galleries from the past week.

    Be sure to check out our complete prom coverage at nj.com/prom.

    Patti Sapone may be reached at psapone@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Instagram @psapo, Twitter @psapone. Follow NJ.com on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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    The final rankings of the 2018 girls lacrosse season.


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    A new reporting project looks at New Jersey's economy through the lens of all the hustlers in the state. Watch video

    We want to hear how people in New Jersey are hustling to make ends meet.

    You could be in the circus. You could be selling jewelry on Etsy. You could be working five jobs. Whatever it is you're doing, we want to hear about it.

    Here's why we are launching this summer project: New Jersey is at the bottom of the list of states in terms of economic growth. For many people, jobs are hard to come by. For others, their paychecks don't cover the bills.

    In spite of this, people choose to stay and live in the Garden State, even though they have to hustle to make it work. We want to celebrate that.

    We want to highlight all of the hardworking people of the Garden State who are doing wonderful and unique things to get by.

    Through our reporting, we hope to understand better how New Jersey got to where it is today, how people have coped - or thrived - and what life might look like for people in the future.

    We can't do this without you.

    We want our project, "The Jersey Hustle," to be driven by you, the people of New Jersey. We're looking for people to tell us their stories or stories about others in their communities.

    If you're interested in speaking with us, please fill out the form below. If you want to provide information about someone other than yourself, there is a dedicated space for that in the form.

    We can't wait to get started, and we look forward to hearing from you!


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    In the 1930s, trainer Volney Phifer brought Leo to his farm in Gillete, where he later died. Cheetah, Tarzan's chip, is also buried there. Leo's grave was once marked by a headstone that's now gone.

    Historically speaking, did you know that:

    The MGM Lion, Leo, who roars at the beginning of each MGM movie, was brought from the Nubian Desert in the Sudan; his first movie, "White Shadows in the South Seas" in 1928, made numerous publicity tours for MGM, even surviving a plane crash. In the 1930s, trainer Volney Phifer brought Leo to his farm in Gillete, where he later died. Cheetah, Tarzan's chip, is also buried there. Leo's grave was once marked by a headstone that's now gone.

    Methodists, a major family in Protestant Christianity, originated in 18th century England with evangelistic work by John Wesley, 1703-1791. in 1769 Wesley sent Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmore to America to spread the religion in the colonies. They landed at Gloucester Point, now a United Methodist historic site.
    Mercer County was named in honor of Gen. Hugh Mercer, who was killed in the Battle of Princeton ("bayoneted" to death by British soldiers.) Mercer is a diverse urban and suburban county with some rural areas. Trenton, the state capital, also is the county seat.

    Meatpacking was once a key component of the New Jersey food industry. Early in the 18th century cattle followed a road from the hills of the western counties to slaughterhouses in Jersey City and Newark. Refrigerated rail cars lead to a decline in New Jersey's local meatpacking firms.

    The Merchants and Drovers Tavern, constructed around 1795 in Rahway, later was enlarged to a four-story Federal-style hotel. Once a stage coach stop, it ceased hotel operations in 1971. Later, after repairs, it was opened to the public as a tavern in 1991.

    New Jersey's first institution for the mentally ill was the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital (called such after a few insensitive but politically correct to the times designations). It was built in the mold of the Kirkbride plan, a style of facilities by Philadephia-based mental health reformer Dr. Thomas S. Kirkbride in which fresh air and natural light were vital parts of helping people cope with mental illness.

    Joe Albright's column appears every week in The Jersey Journal.


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    The state's capital city hosted a runoff election for its mayor and council seats.

    Trenton has elected a new mayor.

    After facing a runoff election for the city's top spot, Reed Gusciora will be the capital city's mayor for the next four years, beating out Paul Perez by 355 votes in the runoff election, according to unofficial results posted by the Mercer County Clerk's Office Tuesday night.

    Several council positions were also decided in runoffs Tuesday.

    Marge Caldwell-Wilson has been elected to the North Ward position, and George Muschal will represent the South Ward.

    Joesph A. Harrison beat out Taiwanda Terry-Wilson for the East Ward seat, by three votes leaving room for a possible recount.

    Robin Vaughn has claimed the West Ward seat, according to unofficial results.

    The runoff is the result of no candidate securing more than 50 percent of the vote on May 8, when the city held a non-partisan municipal election. 

    The only candidates who managed to secure city council seats last month were those who ran for the three open at-large seats. Kathy McBride, Santiago Rodriguez and Rachel Cogsville-Lattimer were the top vote getters out of the six candidates that ran for those positions.

    Perez and Gusciora beat out five other mayoral candidates who had hoped to make the top spot theirs. 

    The new administration will have to contend with what the state Department of Environmental Protection has called major mismanagement and water quality issues at Trenton Water Works, its municipal water utility. The mayor will also be expected to continue a push for the revitalization of the city.

    Gusciora has said in the past that he plans to focus on competency within the administration during his first year. That includes addressing issues such as the vacant positions in Trenton Water Works, and ensuring the city's residents feel safe, he said.

    Now after spending months campaigning and speaking to countless city residents, he will face a different kind of work in January. 

    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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    How the N.J. superintendent might be defended following the crappy predicament Watch video

    While the superintendent accused of defecating on a high school track said nothing in his Tuesday court appearance, some lawyers from around the state have offered insight on what might come next for the man the internet has dubbed the "Pooperintendent."

    Thomas Tramaglini, 42, the superintendent of Kenilworth Public Schools, faces municipal court charges in Holmdel for public urination/defecation, littering and lewdness. Using security footage to identify the alleged mystery pooper, Holmdel police arrested Tramaglini around 6 a.m. on April 30 at Holmdel High School while he was running the track.

    Tramaglini is currently suspended with pay until June 30.

    "I can't see how he cannot be found guilty of lewdness, presuming the video shows him committing the act," said Phillipsburg attorney Gregory Gianforcaro, who has dealt with municipal court cases for nearly 30 years.

    "If I were the superintendent's attorney, I'd probably inquire what the prosecutor looks for by way of a plea," he added. "And if I were the prosecutor, I would expect the lawyer to reach out to me prior to the case going to trial to see what deal could be made."

    "I'd think under these circumstance, it's unlikely to go to trial -- unless there's a defense where they have the wrong person," he said.

    Gianforcaro also noted that a majority of municipal court cases in New Jersey don't go to trial.

    "I would venture to say 99 percent are plead out in some fashion or another."

    Joe Compitello, an attorney based in Tinton Falls, said this case may be difficult to defend, since authorities say the mystery poops occurred on multiple occasions. However, Tramaglini may have some hope in regard to the lewdness charge.

    The key when it comes to lewdness cases, is that the state criminal code's disorderly persons' statute specifically says a lewd or offense act is an incident in which "he knows or reasonably expects is likely to be observed by other nonconsenting persons," Compitello said.

    "It was before 6 a.m. at a high school track," he added. "The expectation that no one would be at the track at that hour and observe him is a reasonable one, and it could be a viable defense with respect to this count."

    Hamilton attorney Les Hartman shared a similar view.

    "It's not like hiking on the Appalachian trail, where it's not reasonable to expect someone will see you," Hartman said. "But with a track, it still might be something where he said, 'there's no one here, I didn't think anyone would observe me.'

    "Based on the fact he was going to the bathroom, it wasn't reasonable to expect being observed," Hartman added.

    As for the public urination and littering charges, Compitello said the only real defense is improper identification.

    "This is why his attorney is pressing the issue with respect to surveillance cameras and any potential witness identification," he said.

    In Tuesday's court appearance, Tramaglini's attorney Matthew Adams stressed that the footage officials released is not the entire surveillance video. He claimed that his client only received "snippets" of the surveillance.

    Tramaglini did not comment on his court appearance, and headed straight to a black SUV on his way out, ignoring a crowd of reporters along the way.

    Defense attorney and TV commentator Remi Spencer noted that challenging the authenticity of the surveillance video is "a sound defense."

    "Common sense says we should assume that's accurate, the law says the state should show more," Spencer said. "That can lead to proof problems."

    "Challenging the authenticity is a sound way to try and defend this case," she added. "I haven't seen (the video), but you may have a real issue with whether you can identify the individual. It could be someone else."

    Gianforcaro added, "I would also review the reports, the video surveillance, any pictures or statements, police investigation -- if there is any doubt that it was my client who did this, then that might be a reason why I'd take the case to trial. It's the burden of the state to prove superintendent committed the acts."

    But an important question still remains, and it has stumped lawyers as much as the rest of the public: why would the superintendent do it?

     

    Gianforcaro concluded, "If I were the judge, then when or if he were either to plea guilty or be found guilty, I would want to know why or for what reason he did this before I impose a fine."

    Spencer stressed two things: Tramaglini has not been proven guilty, and that the prosecutor should make sure the surveillance footage is authentic.

    "I think it's easy for people to rush to judgement," Spencer said. "Rules exist to protect the innocent. Until there's some proof this video is real, knowing how easy it is for anyone to create something, we should remain open-minded."

    "For now, he's an innocent man," she said.

    Gianluca D'Elia may be reached at gdelia@njadvancemedia.comFollow him on Twitter @gianluca_delia. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Their crimes ranged from assigning personal chores to city employees to soliciting six-figure bribes.


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    Today, Trenton-Mercer Airport is the third busiest in New Jersey, behind Newark and Teterboro.

    Just two years after Charles Lindbergh made his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, a small airstrip, known as Skillman Airport, opened for public business in Ewing. From those early days of aviation, what is now the Trenton-Mercer Airport has morphed into an economic engine for Mercer County and the wider area.

    With a few dips here and there, the airport has seen a steady growth pattern. Today, the airport is the third busiest in New Jersey, behind Newark and Teterboro.

    Mercer County, which runs the airport, has drawn up a master plan outlining its future growth over the next couple of decades.

    A key element of those plans includes replacing the current 25,000 square-foot terminal with one that may be five times larger and able to accommodate the airport's growing customer base, according to the county.

    Other updates include repaving the taxiway and runway and upgrading the lighting.

    Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration gave a critical initial nod to those plans, an indication that the federal government is willing to commit about 90 percent of the funding. The master plan now gets returned to the local officials to iron out remaining details.

    Allegiant Airlines no longer flying out of Trenton-Mercer Airport

    The growth of the airport has not been without criticism. The chief complaint has been the increase in flights and corresponding increase in noise. Residents in Ewing and Bucks County have filed complaints and lawsuits.

    One has to commiserate with homeowners who have to put up with low-flying aircraft passing over their rooftops. But, let's face it, the airport is here to stay and it would be unrealistic to think we should return to the days of the Wright brothers.

    It's unrealistic because the pluses of the airport far outweigh the negatives - not that they should be ignored.

    As the county points out, Trenton-Mercer Airport generates an annual economic output of more than $106 million and is responsible for more than 2,000 jobs.

    And without a doubt, the airport offers a great convenience to nearby travelers who don't have to schlep to Newark or New York or Philadelphia for flights to popular destination around the country.

    As to the noise complaints, the newer planes being flown by Frontier Airlines and corporate jets are much quieter then the recreational aircraft using the airport. As most people living near the airport can attest, helicopters make much more racket than fixed-wing aircraft.

    And it should be noted that commercial traffic at Trenton-Mercer only accounts for a little more than 10 percent of flights. The bulk is comprised of general and corporate flights.

    In some respects, Trenton-Mercer is sort of like the Goldilocks airport - not too big and not too small, just the right size.

    With all the improvements planned for the airport, one thing will remain pretty much the same and that is the footprint the airport occupies next to Interstate 95 in Ewing.

    Trenton-Mercer, or TTN as it is known, sits on 1,345 acres. That's medium size compared to Philadelphia International Airport, which covers 2,302 acres. So TTN is restricted in how much it can physically expand. A good part of the airport is open ground to ensure there are no obstacles for aircraft landings and takeoffs.

    It should be noted that this open space is very attractive to pesky Canada geese that can cause major headaches for planes. It's a situation that needs the attention of airport officials.

    For the most part, the county's master plan makes sense. It looks to the future in a responsible way.

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


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    Hey kids, it's cool to be excited about summer. But make sure your prank doesn't end with the cops showing up.


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    Counting down from No. 50


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    MetLife Stadium in New Jersey will host the 2026 World Cup final.

    Just one day before the 2018 World Cup gets underway in Russia, the FIFA Congress voted to award the United bid of Canada, Mexico, and the United States the 2026 World Cup.

    The joint North American bid defeated the bid of Morocco 134-65, with one vote for "None of the bids".

    Seventeen sites across the United States will host, including Philadelphia and East Rutherford, NJ, which will host the 2026 World Cup Final at MetLife Stadium.

    It will come 32 years after the U.S. first hosted the 1994 World Cup, an event which kicked off the popularity of the sport in America. It will also be played during the 250th anniversary celebrations of the country, founded in 1776. Mexico will host games for a record third time, after the 1970 and 1986 editions.

    The 2026 tournament will be the first to have 48 teams. The current format has 32 teams, split into eight groups of four, with the top two teams in each group progressing to the round-of-16 knockout stage. It will be the same for the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

    IMG_6403.jpg 

    Starting in 2026, there will be 16 groups of three teams, with the top two teams in the group advancing into the expanded round-of-32 knockout stages. The finalists will still play seven games.

    The new format will increase the amount of games at the tournament from 64 to 80. Mexico and Canada will each host 10 games, while America will get 60. All games from the quarterfinal round onto the final will be played in the USA.

    The host team always qualifies for the tournament, but there are questions about whether or not all three countries will be given automatic berths. FIFA will discuss it in the coming weeks.

    Canada has not qualified since 1986, which is the last time the USA did not qualify, before 2018. Mexico is the lone team of the three to represent the CONCACAF Federation in Russia, and will play in Group G. It will open on Sunday with defending champion Germany (11 a.m. EDT FS1 and Fubo.tv) in Moscow, and then take on South Korea Saturday, June 23 (11 a.m. EDT FOX and Fubo.tv) and Sweden Wednesday, June 27 (10 a.m. EDT FOX and Fubo.tv).

    World Cup 2018 Predictions: which team will be crowned champion?

    In other World Cup news, the Royal Spanish Football Federation fired manager Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament.

    Lopetegui, who was hired as the new Real Madrid head coach Tuesday on a three-year contract, was sacked by RSFF president Luis Rubiales Wednesday. Rubiales was supposed to be at the FIFA Congress to vote on the 2026 bid, but flew out to Spain's training base at Krasnodar to fire his manager.

    "We have been forced to dispense with the national coach. We wish him the greatest of luck," said Rubiales.

    "The negotiations have occurred without any information to the Spanish FA and we were informed just five minutes before the press release. There's a way to act that needs to be fulfilled."

    World Cup preview: what to watch for in all 8 groups

    Fernando Hierro, who was an assistant coach, will take over the squad. Spain plays Portugal Friday, at 2 p.m. EDT (FOX and Fubo.tv), Iran on Wednesday, June 20 at 2 p.m. EDT (FOX and Fubo.tv), and Morocco on Monday, June 25 at 2 p.m. EDT (FS1 and Fubo.tv).

    "Fernando Hierro will assume the position of national coach in the World Championship of Russia and will appear before the media accompanied by the president of the RFEF, Luis Rubiales," read a statement on the Spanish Football Federation website.

    "Next, he will direct his first training and on Friday he will debut in Sochi at the match of Spain against Portugal."

    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=

     

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    Riders will twist forward backward and sideways up to 70 feet in the air Watch video

    Six Flags Great Adventure newest attraction, touted as its "most futuristic, jaw-dropping thrill ride," will make its debut Wednesday when park-goers can begin experiencing the CYBORG Cyber Spin.

    Riders will be slowly hoisted seven stories in the air as their legs dangle from floorless seats. When the Cyborg gets going, riders will be flipped and flung through the air as the 24-passenger gondola spins on three separate axes, much like the gyroscope after which it was modeled.

    All 15 Six Flags Great Adventure roller coasters ranked from worst to best

    Themed to super hero Cyborg of the Justice League, the gondola will rotate forward, backwards and sideways simultaneously at up to 70 feet in the air.

    The ride, set to open to the public at at 2 p.m. is located in the Metropolis section of the park next to JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis.

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


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    Americana? Something that makes you feel 'at home.'

    "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet" - Chevrolet commercial first aired in 1974

    The term "Americana," which covers a diverse range of things, is often the result of the mixing of cultures that make up America. I say it's something that makes you feel "at home."

    As far as I can tell, even if something wasn't truly born in the U.S.A., but makes you think "homegrown," it qualifies as "Americana."

    For instance, it has now been pretty much conclusively established that Abner Doubleday did NOT invent baseball in Cooperstown in 1839; the game evolved from ball games played in England, France and Germany.

    Hot dogs are, of course, frankfurters named for the German city where they originated. Apple pie has been baked anywhere apples grow as long as there have been pies; according to yara.com, China outproduces U.S. growers, and supplies 40% of the world's apples.

    And since I'm on a roll, Louis-Joseph Chevrolet was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and developed his mechanical skills in France. Hot dogs WERE first put 'on a roll' in the U.S.; at least there's that.

    Americana? If it takes place in the country and makes people feel good, it can be almost anything at any time.

    In this gallery, we've touched on just a few of the countless ways 'Americana' could be illustrated. If you've got photos that you think would do the job, send them in -- Americana comes from everywhere.

    And here are some links to other galleries you might like.

    Vintage photos of N.J. Americana

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

    Vintage candid photos from N.J.

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


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    NJ.com releases its final high school baseball rankings for 2018: The Top 50

    NJ.com Baseball Top 50 201852.JPG 

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    Firefighters had to smash the vehicle's windows and run a hose through the car to access a fire hydrant

    A car owner who parked in front of a fire hydrant in Hamilton early Thursday was taught an expensive lesson. 

    Firefighters responding to a house fire on Norway Avenue in the Mercer County town were forced to smash two of the car's windows to extend a hose through the Acura to gain access to a hydrant.

    "This is what happens when you park in front of a hydrant," the Hamilton Township Professional Firefighters wrote in Facebook above a photo showing the hose running in to the passenger's side window and out the driver's side window.  "Reminder, it is against the law to park in front of a fire hydrant."

    35295694_2146773912234798_7310050327955243008_n.jpgA car parked in front of a fire hydrant Thursday morning. as firefighters battled a small blaze. (Hamilton Township Professional Firefighters) 

    The fire call itself was otherwise pretty routine, District 3 Fire Chief Steven Kraemer said.

    Firefighter responded to the single-alarm blaze at 1 a.m. and had it under control in about 20 minutes. There were no injuries and the Red Cross is assisting in re-locating the residents. 

    Officials haven't yet determined the cause of the fire. 

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

     


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    The banner broke free from the plane towing and smashed a car windo Watch video

    A banner touting pre-K education being flown by a plane broke loose and crashed into a parked car in front of New Jersey Education Association headquarters in Trenton on Thursday morning. 

    Emblazoned with the words, "50,000 NJ Kids Are Waiting," the banner paid for by nonprofit Pre-K Our Way flew over the Statehouse before it tumbled and smashed the rear window of a Kia Sedan parked on West State Street around 10:45, a.m., according to witness Louis Di Paolo.

    That group has been calling for expansion of pre-kindergarten across the state.

    A different pro-education group, Better Choices for New Jersey, spotted the falling banner as it was wrapping up a press conference. 

    No one was hurt. 

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

     

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