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Central Jersey News from the Times of Trenton

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    Art All Night 'worked tirelessly' to prep security for all-night festival prior to shooting, they organization said More than 40 officers and private security were working the event when the shooting broke out.

    An ominous warning posted on Facebook that a shooting might occur at the Art All Night festival in Trenton this past weekend did reach police officials before the gun battle that killed 1 and injured 29.

    The post, made Saturday morning by Danielle Grady, a teacher in Hamilton, said: "Please. Please. Please. Do Not Go to the Art All Night. They will be shooting it up." 

    Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said Thursday that his office learned Wednesday evening that a retired Hamilton police officer saw the post, and reported it to Trenton police at about 2 p.m. Saturday.

    And Trenton Police Director Ernest Parrey Jr. said once the report was received, police commanders took it seriously.

    After festival shooting, Trenton mayor-elect reintroduces firearm bill

    "We acted immediately," Parrey said.

    The police director said supervisors sent additional units to the festival, which was already well staffed with uniformed police and private security. "But we beefed it up," he said.

    The department had obviously worked with the festival organizers ahead of time, with it being a high-profile, 24-hour event, he said.

    "Our officers did a fantastic job, and they did their due diligence," Parrey said.

    Onofri said earlier in the week, addressing the Facebook post, that people should call police if they have such information, instead of posting on social media. 

    In a statement Thursday, he said the investigation so far has found Grady believed her post would be viewed by multiple police officers who are among her Facebook friends.

    And the post, the prosecutor said, was the reason that additional Trenton police responded, and were able to quell the incident so quickly.

    "Without Grady's warning, additional deaths and injuries would likely have occurred," Onofri said in the statement.

    LISTEN: 'I'm sorry did you say 7 victims?' EMS asks at festival shooting

    Meanwhile, Art All Night organizers said Thursday they prepped a public safety plan for months and were working to shut down the event two hours before the gunfight started.

    Lauren Otis, executive director at Artworks and one of the event's organizers, said a 14-person private security detail was working the event.

    At 8 p.m. Saturday, the private security team was present, with four uniformed Trenton police officers and four Mercer County Sheriff's officers. 

    "In accordance with plans developed with the Mayor and Trenton Police, Police presence at the event would increase throughout the evening as deemed necessary by the Police," Otis wrote in a statement.

    Around midnight, the statement said, the organization complied with a Trenton Police request to shut down outdoor activities.

    Ultimately, they also complied with shutting down the event completely, and there were more than 40 law enforcement officers at the scene when the shooting broke out. 

    Otis said he and Event Director Joseph Kuzemka were on scene, working with police and security to disperse people and shut it down.

    "The shooting that occurred at Art All Night is an unprecedented tragedy for the innocent victims and their families, for attendees, for the vibrant regional arts community, for Trenton, for New Jersey, for the nation," Otis wrote in the statement. 

    "We commend City of Trenton Police and other law enforcement on doing an incredible job containing a situation that without their presence could have been far worse."

    - Kevin Shea contributed to this story

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

     


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    One was shot in the abdomen, and one in the ankle Watch video

    Two males were struck by gunfire Thursday afternoon in the North 25 apartments in North Trenton, police said.

    Police found two victims when they arrived to the reported shooting, at about 3:30 p.m., a police spokesman said.

    One was shot in the abdomen, and one in the ankle, police said.

    Both were both taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center and initially listed in stable condition.

    The Trenton Police's joint Shooting Response Team is investigating.

    Four days ago, nearly 30 people were shot or injured and one man was killed when a gun battle broke out at the Art All Night festival in the city.

    North 25 Shooting June 21, 2018xPeople watch police work at a shooting in the North 25 apartments Thursday afternoon, June 21, 2018. (Michael Mancuso | NJ.com)  

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    Madison McCoy, who runs the Funtown stand each night, has seen a steady business for the item.

    While the major draw once again this week for the Thunder was Tim Tebow, fans have continued to rave about the new foods all throughout Arm & Hammer Park.

    Thursday night, during the final game of the Thunder's home stand with Tebow and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, another of the debut food items was sampled.

    At the Funtown stand on the third base concourse, there is a new dessert item called the Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich, and it may now top the 2018 ratings list.

    The "sandwich" is made up of two giant waffles, with one of eight flavors of ice cream between them. Fans can get chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and any of a multitude of other toppings on it as well.

    While most people think of barbecue, beers, or even burgers as ballpark foods, the waffle ice cream delicacy was a consensus hit with fans that tried it.

    Ana Pereira and Michele Mallet had it with chocolate chip mint ice cream, and both loved it.

    "It was very good," Mallet said. "It was a nice mix. On a hot night like tonight, it was perfect."

    "The waffle was very fresh, and the ice cream was great," Pereira said. "I usually get normal food, so this was a treat. I am a dessert person, so I loved the waffle with the ice cream. That to me was a great hit."

    Tim Tebow returns to Trenton, talks Eagles, World Cup, and life

    Luis Raul Roig was at the game with his two friends to see the future stars for his favorite team, the New York Mets. He ate a piece of the dessert with butter pecan ice cream.

    "It was delicious," Roig said. "Delicious. I had the butter pecan. I try to get out to the games two or three times a year with my family, but this is my first time tonight."

    Madison McCoy, who runs the Funtown stand each night, has seen a steady business for the item. 

    "They have sold pretty well," McCoy said. "People don't really see it, then they come up and say, 'Oh, you have waffle ice cream?' They usually go for that and try it."

    Anthony Dias was one of the youngest to try the snack, after he ate some traditional ballpark food. 

    "I ate a hot dog with some french fries, then I had the ice cream," Dias said. "I had the chocolate. I liked it. I am a Mets fan, so tonight was fun."

    Pereira said there was just one thing that could have been better.

    "I sent my husband to get ice cream last time we were here, and he couldn't find it," Pereira said. "But now we know where it is, so I can get some more next time."

    IMG_6466.jpgMadison McCoy works at the Arm & Hammer Park Funtown dessert stand

    NOTES:

    After taking two out of three from the Rumble Ponies, following a 7-1 Binghamton win Thursday, Trenton has opened up a six game lead for a playoff spot. Starting Friday, though, that lead will be tested.

    The Thunder hit the road, and will play 12 of the 17 games before the All-Star break July 9-11 on the road. They head to Portland first, then travel to Binghamton, and those four games against the Rumble Ponies give Trenton a huge opportunity to widen the gap.

    With Peter Alonso and Jeff McNeil both gone to Triple A for the Mets organization, the Thunder will face Binghamton at an opportune time.

    The five home games for Trenton will be with New Hampshire, from June 29-July 3, and will give the Thunder a chance to head into the All-Star break in first place.

    * With All-Star voting by the Eastern League media ending Sunday, there are some Trenton pitchers making a big push to make the roster.

    Caleb Frare has been sensational out of the bullpen. In 22 appearances, Frare is 2-1, with a 0.57 ERA, three saves, a 0.99 WHIP, and 40 strikeouts.

    So has Steven Tarpley: the reliever is 5-0, with a 1.45 ERA and a .094 WHIP in 17 appearances.  

    Kaleb Ort (1-1, 1.78 ERA in 18 appearances ) and Jordan Foley (2-1, 2.22 ERA in 20 appearances) have good numbers out of the pen as well.

    Dillon Tate has led the starters. He is 4-2, with a 3.11 ERA, and 62 strikeouts. His WHIP of 1.04 leads the Eastern League, and he is also top 10 in ERA. But for one tough start on May 2 against Portland, when he went 1.1 innings and allowed six runs, Tate's numbers would look every more stellar.

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


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    Seniors at Ewing High School received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton

    Ewing High School held its commencement ceremony on Thursday at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton.

    The seniors waived to family and friends as they marched onto the arena's main floor.

    The ceremony started at 7:00 pm.

    MORE PHOTOS

    Graduation season is here, and NJ.com is capturing the moments for many New Jersey high schools. Check back at nj.com/mercer for other local high school graduation coverage. Be sure to check out our complete graduation coverage at nj.com/graduation.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

    Are you one of the people pictured at this graduation? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Click on the photo gallery above and look for a link below the photo to purchase the picture: Click on it, and you'll have the ability to order prints in a variety of sizes, or products like magnets, keychains, coffee mugs and more.

    Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com

    Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso, Instagram @michaelmancuso and Facebook @michaelmancuso

    Follow NJ.com on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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    Pitiful wages combined with often back-breaking labor have combined to create a public-health disaster affecting patients, home-care professionals and the families who desperately depend on them.

    Pitiful wages combined with often back-breaking labor have combined to create a public-health disaster affecting patients, home-care professionals and the families who desperately depend on them.

    The growing crisis affects 22,000 New Jersey residents with developmental or intellectual disabilities, whose ability to function would be severely impaired if the shortage of direct support professionals (known in the trade as DSPs) continues to worsen.

    Yet despite the crucial role they play - helping disabled individuals live as successful members of their communities - these professionals take home an average starting salary is $10.50 per hour.

    That's less than the starting salary at Costco ($11.50 an hour) and Walmart ($11 an hour).

    Over 1 million in N.J. need help caring for the elderly | Editorial

    It's no surprise that in New Jersey, nearly half of all families of direct-care workers rely on some form of public assistance, namely Medicaid or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    Many of them juggle two jobs or more, leaving them exhausted before they ever leave home in the morning.

    No shock, either, that these vital workers are deserting the field in droves.

    This means the need for direct support professionals exceeds the number currently working in the field. An advocacy organization, Coalition for a DSP Living Wage, predicts the shortage will only get more acute.

    Already agencies providing home health-care workers report a 44 percent turnover rate and a 20 percent vacancy rate, leaving families in turmoil, scrambling for skilled hands to help bathe, feed, dress and keep their loved ones safe.

    Senate President Steve Sweeney, who has declared the situation a priority for him, is looking for a long-term solution.

    The South Jersey Democrat battled to include $20 million in last year's state budget, which served as a one-time salary boost for DSPs. Now he and other legislators are negotiating a compromise to this year's budget in hopes of effecting sustainable change.

    The coalition has set a reasonable goal: to raise DSP salaries by $1.25 an hour every year for five years, bringing the starting hourly wage to $16.75 by 2022.

    For Gail Frizzell, mother of a 32-year-old with severe disabilities, the issue is personal.

    Her daughter, Lauren, cannot walk or talk. She cannot feed herself or dress herself. She has regular seizures.

    But the five angels who take care of her in shifts allow her to live independently - and by extension, allow the family to keep going.

    Frizzell says she and other aging parents like her are haunted by the prospect of a future when the supply of health-care providers dries up. Already she has faced the dilemma of finding a replacement when one long-time aide retired. The search took six months.

    The work DSPs do every day requires a high level of skill, training and responsibility. Their salaries should reflect that reality.

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

     

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    Location, supply and other factors determine the price tag on large drug busts in New Jersey


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    As prom season winds down, NJ.com compiled a collection of some of the best dancing from prom attendees in 2018.

    As prom season winds down, NJ.com compiled a collection of some of the best dancing from prom attendees in 2018.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

    Are you one of the people pictured at this prom? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Look for the blue link "buy photo" below the photographer's credit to purchase the picture. You'll have the ability to order prints in a variety of sizes, or products like magnets, keychains, coffee mugs and more.

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

    Ed Murray may be reached at emurray@njadvancemedia.com. Follow Ed on Twitter at @EdMurrayphoto. Find NJ.COM on Facebook.


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    Meet your all-state athletes from the 2018 boys track and field season!


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    You'll find Sasha Parubchenko these days in his blacksmithing shop on North Olden Avenue Watch video

    If Alex "Sasha" Parubchenko, 73, is one thing, it's ...

    Let's start over. This man is so many things!

    Born to Ukrainian parents in Germany, Parubchenko has traveled to more than 70 countries.

    When he was a boy, his parents wanted him to be "cultured" so they sent him to music lessons.

    "One day I'm coming back home and I hear a sound, click, click, click." He'd found a Russian blacksmith.

    It was there that he discovered his love - blacksmithing.

    Instead of going to music practice on Saturdays he would go the blacksmith's. 

    "I would come back and my hands are dirty and my mother would ask 'How come your hands are dirty?' and I would say 'They never cleaned the school!'"

    These days, Parubchenko oversees a blacksmith shop on North Olden Avenue in Trenton. 

    The process, some say an art or skill, has not changed much. The medieval pounding of the glowing metal. Sparks. Sweat.

    The puffs from Parubchenko's pipe round out the aromas.

    He did continue his music studies years ago, learning piano and viola and eventually performing with New Jersey and Rutgers Symphony Orchestras.

    It was at Rutgers where Parabuchenko notched another one of his accomplishments, a degree in nuclear physics.

    Still not content, after becoming an American citizen at age 22, he told his parents that he was signing up with the military.

    Expo preview

    To his parents' protestations, he said he wasn't concerned about being killed, "I just want to be in a war," he told them.

    He saw action in Vietnam and the Middle East, and decided he was going to go back to blacksmithing, after his "war thing" concluded.

    With a career that now spans 47 years, his work as an artist and craftsman has appeared locally and around the world.

    Eight years ago, he got an apprentice, Douglas Alexander Toledo.

    "His father was a welder and used to do work for me occasionally," Parubchenko recalled. "He said 'Listen I have a son who's very interested in blacksmithing.' I said, Yeah, no problem at all. Bring him around."

    Toledo, who started when he was only nine, refers to his teacher as his adopted grandfather and a very close family friend, and speaking for himself and family: "We love him."

    At age 17, the apprentice now teaches students who are interested in learning the time-honored trade.

    "I teach all the students here... and if there's anything I don't know then Sasha will always be here to help me out," he said.

    Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso, Instagram @michaelmancuso and Facebook @michaelmancuso. Follow NJ.com on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


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    The best of the best in New Jersey track and field


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    Brittany Pochick will compete nationally next week

    For 18-year-old Brittany Pochick, her love for mixed media art has evolved into carpentry, and she's good at it.

    So good, she's going to compete nationally.

    Pochick graduated Tuesday from Hightstown High School and is completing her first year in a two-year carpentry program at Mercer County Technical Schools (MCTS).

    "She is the first female carpenter in the program to represent New Jersey at the national level competitions after winning first place in her school district and also placed first at the state level competitions for the SkillsUSA programs," said Lori Perlow, a spokeswoman for the MCTS.

    Not only is Pochick a talented carpenter, she's is also an entrepreneur with a mixed media art studio and an online business, Perlow said.

    Pochick uses her art and craft as therapy to deal with past traumatic life experiences, and she thrives in the typically male-dominated profession.

    She was 7-years-old and needed therapy, and she started exploring mixed media art forms. She later started a business that she registered at the age of 12.

    Currently, her mixed media altered art include "paintings, assemblage art, metals, steam punk pieces, work with paper, laces, fabric and textiles," Pochick said.

    Photo - Brittany reading a blueprint.JPGBrittany and her instructor, Mark Nace. (Lori Perlow photo) 

    With carpentry, though, it all started when she first entered in a Home Depot store, Pochick said.

    "The first time I ever went into a Home Depot, I loved the smell of wood, and I like working with my hands and building things. I guess I have a little engineering in me," she explained.

    Pochick has been woodworking for about four years now and says she knew she would like it because she likes to use wood and tools to create something amazing.

    She said that even though most people find it challenging, she mostly likes building roof rafters. She said the most challenging thing for her is stairs.

    "For SkillsUSA, I'll be framing out a small modular house. They may have us do interior work such as roofing, trimming and painting," she said.

    Pochick cautioned that she really does not know what she will be building for the actual competition because she will not get the blueprint until the day before the event.

    However, she is confident in her skills.

    "She was the type of student who was very project-oriented," said Doug Shunk, her former counselor at Hightstown High School.

    "She liked creating a project and see it sit in front of her. She was very enthusiastic. She told us she wanted to get out from behind the desk and jump into the hands-on projects that we offer here (at MCTS)," Shunk said.

    Apart from relieving anxiety and stress, Pochick said her carpentry has been financially beneficial to her and that she is especially proud of her doghouse that she built this year.

    She said she likes doing roofing and the finishing touches on her work where she uses a miter saw for trimmings.

    Now, she is looking forward to representing New Jersey at the SkillsUSA annual national competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

    Follow NJ.com on Twitter @njdotcom. Find NJ.com on Facebook


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    For 90 minutes, Brazil put Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas under siege. But nothing was getting past the Real Madrid keeper.

    Day nine of the 2018 World Cup saw a tournament favorite struggle once again to find the net, for 90 minutes at least, while Group D became even more intriguing.

    Group E will head to the final match day (next Wednesday) wide open as well, after two European teams battled in the last Friday match, in one of the best games of the tournament

    The referees continue to be a major story, with a multitude of missed calls not fixed by the VAR, while others are.

    RESULTS

    Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica

    Nigeria 2-0 Iceland

    Serbia 1-2 Switzerland

    FRIDAY'S THREE STARS

    Philippe Coutinho, Brazil

    It took over 90 minutes, but Coutinho finally broke the deadlock. The Whoscored.com Man of the Match with an 8.27 rating, he pulled the strings on offense.

    Ahmed Musa, Nigeria

    His second half brace has Nigeria in position to advance into the knockout stage. The Whoscored.com Man of the Match had the highest rating of any player so far at the tournament, with a massive 9.52 rating.

    Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland

    His counter attack goal in the 90th minute gave Switzerland a 2-1 win, and a chance to win Group E with a win over Costa Rica. He had a 7.92 rating on Whoscored.com.

    Day 8: Argentina on brink, while Pogba leads France to next round

    AHMED MUSA RALLIES NIGERIA, WHILE BRAZIL LEAVES IT LATE

    For 90 minutes, Brazil put Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas under siege. Led by a powerful attack, the Brazilians had 23 attempts, with nine on target. But nothing was getting past the Real Madrid keeper, until second half stoppage time. Coutinho scored at the 90+1 mark, and Neymar added a second at 90+7, to help Brazil avoid drawing its first two matches.

    After a brutal first half, Ahmed Musa's brace led Nigeria to a 2-0 win, and keep Argentina's, an Lionel Messi's, hope of advancing alive. But Messi and Argentina will have to beat Nigeria, which will advance with a win, and can advance with a draw.

    Finally, in the Serbia Switzerland match, referee Felix Brych missed a blatant penalty, when two Swiss players tackled Alexsandar Mitrovic in the box. It came back to haunt the Serbian side, when Shaqiri scored a 90th minute winner for Switzerland.

    The non-penalty call is one of many that VAR has missed, or overlooked, in the tournament. While the technology has worked at certain points, it is still way to subjective.

    But regardless of the error, the game was one of the top three so far at the tournament.

    SATURDAY SCHEDULE

    Group G will take the stage first, with Belgium taking on Tunisia at 8 a.m. EDT 

    In Group F, South Korea will play Mexico at 11 a.m. EDT, while Germany will take on Sweden at 2 p.m. EDT.

    All games are on Fox and Fubo.tv.

    WHAT TO WATCH FOR SATURDAY

    Can Mexico kick on from its huge win over Germany, and take control of Group F?

    This team was never as poor as it looked in the lead up to the 2018 World Cup, and it probably is not as good as it was against Germany. But the Mexican side has to beat South Korea, or they risk letting other teams back into the race for top spot.

    Will Germany bounce back from its shock loss?

    It is pretty easy here: a loss would, and a draw could, end the defending champion's reign. Sweden, with a win already over South Korea, can move on with a win.

    Is Belgium the new tournament favorite?

    With another big showing against Tunisia, that just might be the case.

    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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    The free 3-hour summer kickoff event is hosted by the Trenton Police Department Watch video

    The Trenton Police Department headquarters parking lot is normally a pretty uneventful place - just police cars pulling in and out.

    On Thursday night, families and others enjoyed a summer carnival, a free one, courtesy of the men and women in blue.

    The police's lot busted with the sounds of blaring music and delighted children laughing and screaming.

    In partnership with the Trenton Fire Department, and other law enforcement agencies, the City of Trenton, and numerous non-profits, the police were hosting their 3rd annual carnival themed "Halfway to Halloween" summer kickoff.

    Expo preview

    The event is a spinoff of the department's wildly popular "Trunk or Treat" Halloween parties held in October.

    Police Director Ernest Parrey Jr. brought his own family, as well as many of the department's officers, who helped run carnival games, bounce houses, obstacle courses, art activities, and mechanical games, with prizes at every game, and cotton candy.

    Mayor-elect Reed Gusciora attended, posing for pictures and meeting people.

    Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso, Instagram @michaelmancuso and Facebook @michaelmancuso. Follow NJ.com on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


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    Matthew Vanderbeek had also dyed his hair red, and told his friend that he did it because "he was influenced by a school shooter that had red hair," authorities allege

    A teenager who was arrested for plotting to kill students at a high school graduation had a friend drive him to a sporting goods store to purchase a gun and had been previously suspended for similar threats, newly obtained court documents say.

    Matthew Vanderbeek, 19, of Cream Ridge, was arrested Tuesday after police learned that he stated on social media that he planned to do a shooting at New Egypt High School's graduation on Thursday evening.

    vanderbeek1x.jpgMatthew Vanderbeek, police photo 

    An affidavit of probable cause, obtained Friday by NJ Advance Media through the state's Open Public Records Act, details the extent of Vanderbeek's preparation to pull off the shooting and the disturbing details that led his fellow peers to alert authorities.

    Last week, Vanderbeek was hanging out with a friend when he asked him to drive him to Pineland Sporting Goods in Jackson to buy a gun, according to the affidavit.

    The two were on the way to the store when Vanderbeek, the court records state, told the friend he was going to "shoot up the school" on graduation day.

    The friend told Vanderbeek to get out of his car and walk home, according to the affidavit.

    It's unclear from the court documents if Vanderbeek actually made it to the store. A statement announcing Vanderbeek's arrest from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office said authorities searched his home for weapons and ammunition but did not find anything. 

    Vanderbeek had also dyed his hair red, and told his friend that he did it because "he was influenced by a school shooter that had red hair."

    In May, Vanderbeek was suspended for nine days, placed on home instruction for the rest of the year and removed from the Brick Vocational School after he threatened to conduct a shooting at that school, the affidavit says.

    One of his fellow students at the vocational school overheard him talking about doing a shooting at the graduation and that "the safe color to wear is orange," according to the affidavit.

    Multiple students, the affidavit states, also noticed Vanderbeek posted "derogatory posts" about the staff.

    Vanderbeek also used Snapchat, a social media app where people can post videos and messages that disappear, to promote his plans of shootings, according to the affidavit. 

    In one post, recorded by a school administrator, Vanderbeek plays a clip from the TV show "South Park" in which the caption reads, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" The video shows characters of the Comedy Central animated show with rifles and a loaded handgun with a caption written by Vanderbeek saying, "I see myself dead in the end."

    In another post, Vanderbeek shows a picture of a green and black biohazard symbol with a quote that reads, "It will become fine dust among the land of Egypt with boils breaking out on man and beast exitis-99," an apparent reference to the bible verse Exodus 9:9, which discusses the end of the world and killing people.

    On Tuesday, Vanderbeek was taken into custody without incident and remains in the Ocean County jail.

    He is charged with terroristic threats with a threat to kill, a third-degree offense, and second-degree attempting to possess a firearm for an unlawful purpose. 

    The graduation for New Egypt, a tiny rural town on the outskirts of Ocean County, went on as planned with an enhanced police presence, according to a statement from the school district. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    The tragic shootout at the popular Art All Night affair in Trenton took away another seemingly innocent event where patrons did not have to worry about their safety. Watch video

    The age of innocence seems to be on the edge of extinction. It existed in a time when front doors could be left unlocked without any thought of harm coming into our homes.

    It existed in a time when we could board an airplane without first emptying our pockets, taking off our shoes and stepping through scanning devices.

    It existed in a time when students and teachers didn't have to drill for active-shooter situations.

    And it existed in a time when the public could attend an arts and music event without fear of being killed.

    The tragic shootout at the popular Art All Night affair in Trenton took away another seemingly innocent event where patrons did not have to worry about their safety. After all, one does not expect to become a shooting victim while visiting an art show.

    But in the early morning hours of June 17, gunfire erupted at the crowded event that left one person dead and up to 22 injured. It was reminiscent of the shootout at the OK Corral in the Wild West days. Apparently warring gang members started the shooting and police working security returned fire.

    The incident received national attention and tarnished Trenton's image.

    Trenton mayor-elect reintroduces firearm theft bill

    So now, what will be the legacy? Will we have to have metal detectors and other intrusive security measures just to visit a cultural event?

    It's just one more occasion that has lost its innocence. And we, the public, pay the price. It hits us in our wallets when we have to pay for added protection and it costs us in a social sense because we can no longer take it for granted that we won't become victims of crime.

    Mayor-elect Reed Gusciora characterized the Art All Night violence as a "post-Parkland" event, referring to the massacre of 17 people by a former student at a high school in Parkland, Florida in February.

    And he is right. It is yet another example of gun violence, but in a different venue. And it will require some kind of response.

    Gusciora said the city has to work with the community and church leaders to provide alternatives to gangs.

    trenton.jpgMercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri speaks at the podium during a press conference at Friendship Baptist Church on Perry Street regarding the recent Art All Night Trenton shooting. (Michael Mancuso | for NJ Advance Media)

    The Rev. John Taylor, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Trenton, called on city and county leaders to join the Capital City Community Coalition to discuss recent episodes of violence in the city and how to move forward.

    We encourage the newly elected mayor to work with the coalition and other community groups to make Trenton a safer place to live and visit.

    It's going to take more than tougher gun laws to lessen gang violence and crime in our city. It is going to take the commitment of the community to get results.

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


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    The gun battle at Art All Night in Trenton injured nearly 30 and killed 1 Watch video

    The gunshots echo through the old, but solid Roebling Wire Works building as people run for safety to the right, and out of the frame.

    The shots sound thunderous.

    It's chaos on video.

    The footage from the shooting at Art All Night was filmed by a man the Trentonian - who posted the footage Friday evening - described only as "Pito," a condition of obtaining the video, the paper said.

    The video is only 18 seconds and it quickly gets blurry as Pito scrambles for cover too, as he and others scream.

    Facebook post warning of festival shooting made its way to police

    When it was over, one man lay dead - a suspected gunman shot by police - and nearly 30 were either wounded or injured.

    One was a 13-year-old male who has since been released from the hospital, authorities say.

    Authorities have said the shooting was the work of Trenton neighborhood gangs that just happened to erupt at the 24-hour arts festival.

    On Thursday, festival organizers say they worked with city police ahead of the event in a security plan, and were in the process of shutting it down along with police shortly before the 2:45 a.m. gunfire.

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

     

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    A man was killed Friday night in a drive-by shooting in Trenton, police said.

    A man was killed Friday night in a drive-by shooting in Trenton, police said.

    Trenton Police Lt. Stephen Varn said the shooting was reported at 9:16 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. When police arrived they found a man who was hit by gunfire.

    Varn said the man, whose name was not released Friday, died shortly after he was taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center.

    Varn said the shooting is under investigation by the Mercer County Homicide Task Force.

    The homicide comes one day after two men were struck and wounded by gunfire in the North 25 apartments in North Trenton.

    Last weekend, nearly 30 people were shot or injured and one man was killed when a gun battle broke out at the Art All Night festival in the city.

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

     

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    Seniors at Nottingham High School received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton

    Nottingham High School held its commencement ceremony on Friday at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton.

    The seniors waived to family and friends as they marched onto the arena's main floor.

    The ceremony started at 3:00 pm.

    MORE PHOTOS

    Graduation season is here, and NJ.com is capturing the moments for many New Jersey high schools. Check back at nj.com/mercer for other local high school graduation coverage. Be sure to check out our complete graduation coverage at nj.com/graduation.

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    Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com

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    Seniors at Steinert High School received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton

    Steinert High School held its commencement ceremony on Friday at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton.

    The seniors waived to family and friends as they marched onto the arena's main floor.

    The ceremony started at 7:00 pm.

    MORE PHOTOS

    Graduation season is here, and NJ.com is capturing the moments for many New Jersey high schools. Check back at nj.com/mercer for other local high school graduation coverage. Be sure to check out our complete graduation coverage at nj.com/graduation.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

    Are you one of the people pictured at this graduation? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Click on the photo gallery above and look for a link below the photo to purchase the picture: Click on it, and you'll have the ability to order prints in a variety of sizes, or products like magnets, keychains, coffee mugs and more.

    Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com

    Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso, Instagram @michaelmancuso and Facebook @michaelmancuso

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    Seniors at Hamilton High School West received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton

    Hamilton High School West held its commencement ceremony on Friday at Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton

    The seniors waived to family and friends as they took the stage.

    The ceremony started at 7:00 pm.

    MORE PHOTOS

    Graduation season is here, and NJ.com is capturing the moments for many New Jersey high schools. Check back at nj.com/mercer for other local high school graduation coverage. Be sure to check out our complete graduation coverage at nj.com/graduation.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

    Are you one of the people pictured at this graduation? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Click on the photo gallery above and look for a link below the photo to purchase the picture: Click on it, and you'll have the ability to order prints in a variety of sizes, or products like magnets, keychains, coffee mugs and more.

    Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com

    Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso, Instagram @michaelmancuso and Facebook @michaelmancuso

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