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Central Jersey News from the Times of Trenton

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    History comes alive at Old Barracks Museum where historians discuss their works

    A discussion about "The Power of Objects in Eighteenth-Century British America" was the first of the fall lectures at Old Barracks in Trenton this fall.

    Sponsored by the Society of Sons of the Revolution in the State of New Jersey, leading historians and authors will speak on a variety of subjects, which started this past Saturday and will feature two more this month and next at the Old Barracks in Trenton.

    This is the fourth fall that the Old Barracks Museum is offering these free lectures, says Lauren Ronaghan, program coordinator.

    "The lectures are to promote the studies of historians on subjects relevant to the history of the Old Barracks Museum," Ronaghan said. 

    "By inviting authors and historians to speak, we hope to elevate their visibility to the general public and spark interest in our visitors into studying and reading more about the history of our state and nation," she said.

    The next lectures:

    "Valley Forge," by Bob Drury, is scheduled for Tues. Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., with a reception at 6:30 p.m. He will discuss his New York Times best-selling book of the same name. (Tom Clavin coauthored the book.)

    Drury's well-known work, "The Heart of Everything That Is," (also with Tom Clavin) was also a New York Times best-selling book.

    The final lecture will feature Mark Maloy, who will discuss his book, "Victory or Death: The Battles of Trenton and Princeton, December 25, 1976 - January 3, 1977," on Nov. 15, also starting with a 6:30 p.m. reception, and lecture at 7 p.m.

    Maloy's book explores the incidents that led up to George Washington's victory in the face of defeat, on the road to the Declaration of Independence in the United States. 

    Ronaghan says that attendees do not have to read the books before attending the lectures, and encourages those who have at least vague interest to attend. 

    "The lectures are meant to appeal to people who have an interest in the topic discussed, even if it is a marginal interest, " she said.

    The Old Barracks Museum is located at 101 Barrack Street, Trenton, 08608. More information is available by calling 609-396-1776 or vial email,

    Follow on Twitter @njdotcom. Find on Facebook.

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    Pets throughout New Jersey await adoption from shelters and rescues.

    Some notes on homeless animals in New Jersey:

    * According to the State of New Jersey Office of Animal Welfare, "it is estimated that the number of free-roaming cats in the United States may be equal to that of owned cats, approximately 70 million. If left unchecked, free-roaming cats will breed and their populations increase at locations where they find suitable shelter and food."

    The office goes on to note that pet cats that are abandoned will not easily fend for themselves outdoors. Unfortunately, most of these cats and their offspring will suffer premature death from disease, starvation or trauma.

    * Among shelters and rescue groups around New Jersey, the top 10 reasons for owners relinquishing a dog are: (1) moving; (2) landlord issues (3) cost of pet maintenance; (4) "no time for pet;" (5) inadequate facilities; (6) "too many pets in home;" (7) pet illness; (8) "personal problems;" (9) biting; and (10) no homes for litter-mates.

    Other interesting facts from the Office of Animal Welfare:

    * As many as 25 percent of dogs entering shelters across the country each year are purebreds.

    * One unspayed female cat and her unaltered offspring can produce 420,000 cats in seven years.

    Here is a gallery of homeless animals from all over New Jersey. Consider visiting a local shelter or contacting a local rescue group when looking for a pet for your family.

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

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    Garden State lawmakers are promoting a bill that would allow pharmacists to dole out essential medications to regular customers.

    Nothing is as tragic as a young person's death - unless it's a death that could have been prevented.

    In northeastern Ohio, a man who loved fishing and cross-country running was turned away from his local pharmacy on the New Year's Eve before 2015 because his prescription for insulin had run out.

    Without treatment, Kevin Houdeshell, a Type I diabetic, died at his parents' home eight days later. He was 36.

    More recently and closer to home, an expired Rx for insulin left Jordan Reinhart of Woodbridge without the coverage he needed to stay alive. The 27-year-old man wound up in intensive care at JFK Medical Center in Edison, suffering from violent nausea and other life-threatening symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis.

    Jordan's story had a happier ending. The hospital was able to bring his soaring blood-glucose levels under control, and he went home the next day.

    Now lawmakers in the Garden State are promoting a common-sense bill that would allow pharmacists to use their professional judgement to dole out up to a month's worth of certain essential medications to regular customers, even without a valid prescription.

    What New Jersey can do to address doctor shortage | Opinion

    If such a policy had been in effect earlier in New Jersey, Jordan Reinhart would likely have avoided his near-brush with death. In Ohio, Kevin Houdeshell would probably be alive today.

    As envisioned by state Sen. Anthony R. Bucco (R-Morris County) and his son, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (also R-Morris County), the bill making its way through the Legislature would allow pharmacies to sell up to 30 days' worth of chronic maintenance drugs to a anyone who has filed a prescription for that medication in the past.

    Patients who had obtained the drugs through the emergency provision in the preceding 12 months would not be eligible.

    As further protection for both pharmacist and patient, the drugstore would be required to try to reach the prescribing doctor or another medical professional responsible for the patient's care before doling out the temporary supply.

    The bill also shields both pharmacist and employer from civil liability except under certain conditions.

    A version of the law is already in effect in more than a dozen other states, including Ohio, where Kevin Houdeshell's parents lobbied hard for its passage in the weeks and months after he died.

    Jordan Reinhart's mother, Debra, similarly testified before the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee recently, describing her anguish when her son's pleas for insulin went unanswered.

    The committee unanimously passed the bill, which has the support of the New Jersey Pharmacists Association and the Independent Pharmacy Alliance, as well as CVS Health.

    Sen. Bucco summarized the need for action in one succinct sentence.

    "No one," he said, "should be denied access to lifesaving drugs just because they forgot to refill a prescription."

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


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    The Trenton woman was struck at least once in the chest.

    A barrage of gunfire into a Trenton home critically injured a woman Monday morning. 

    The gunman fired multiple shots into the home in the 200 block of Home Avenue around 1:20 a.m. Monday, according to Trenton police.

    It's unclear how many of the bullets hit the Trenton woman, but she was shot at least once in the chest, authorities said.

    Police said they don't yet know what sparked the shooting.

    The investigation into the shooting is ongoing. 

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


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    Have you seen this car?

    Trenton Police are seeking the public's help in finding a vehicle that fled after the driver struck and injured a pedestrian last month. 

    HondaCRV.pngA similar model Honda CRV. (Trenton police photo)

    The crash occurred on Sept. 24, at around 8:15 p.m., at the intersection of South Olden Avenue and Greenwood Avenue near Paketeria Market. A bronze Honda CRV struck a pedestrian and drove off. 

    The pedestrian was "seriously injured," a department spokesperson said Monday, but has since been released from the hospital. 

    Police say they believe the Honda is a 2002 to 2005 model year, and might have damage to the front grill or hood area. It was last spotted traveling away from the scene of the crash on South Olden Avenue toward Hamilton Avenue.

    The Trenton police detective bureau asks anyone with information about the hit-and-run vehicle to contact Detective Craig Kirk at 609-989-4167, the Trenton Police Tip Line at 609-989-3663 or Trenton police's dispatch center at 609-989-4000.

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

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    DeReal Finklin spent 91 days in jail after his arrest in August Watch video

    A 43-year-old man admitted Friday to posting a threatening message on Facebook next to a picture of U.S. Rep. Chris Smith.

    DeReal Finklin, a Princeton resident, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree cyber harassment.

    Finklin spent 91 days in jail after he was arrested in July and will not receive any additional time. However, he will get probation, a mental health evaluation and was ordered to have no additional contact with Smith.

    He is scheduled to be sentenced in December. 

    In a statement announcing the plea deal, Smith, R-4th Dist., said he asked prosecutors to "consider a path forward that is most likely to ensure that Mr. Finklin gets the mental health care he appears to critically need."

    Finklin.jpegDeReal Finklin appears in court on August 10. (Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media for 

    Finklin's aunt, Gwen Jones, previously told NJ Advance Media that "he should be in a mental health institution, not a courtroom.

    "He doesn't have to be treated differently, but he needs to be treated fairly because of those issues," she said.

    Finklin was arrested after a retired law enforcement officer spotted a Facebook message from an account called "Israel Bey" that showed a picture of Smith with the message "Dead Man Walking," authorities have said. He also posted the following message: "Anybody outside of my blood in Monmouth or Ocean County on my Facebook account, you are dead." 

    Monmouth County Superior Court Judge James J. McGann saw those posts as a credible threat to the community and decided to keep Finklin behind bars. 

    Smith represents parts of Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties, and he has local offices in Freehold, Plumsted and Hamilton.

    He is up for re-election in November and faces a challenge from Democrat Josh Welle. 

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us.

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    Police are asking anyone with video footage of the incident to contact them

    An apparent hard hit in a youth football game touched off a fight that eventually embroiled coaches and parents this past Saturday in Lawrence, police said.

    Township police said Monday they are looking for video footage of the brawling on the football fields in Central Park on Eggerts Crossing Road, and urged anyone who recorded it to reach out.

    Police said they were called to the field at about 3:25 p.m. by a 911 call reporting an assault and people fighting.

    Teams from Lawrence and Florence Township, in Burlington County, were playing.

    From what officers could gather at the scene, a hard hit delivered by a player drew a response from an opposing player, Lawrence police Detective Lt. Joseph Amodio said.

    A coach apparently tried to break up the fighting, but opposing coaches then joined the fray, and that led to parents getting involved.

    No arrests were made at the scene, but police continue to investigate and sort it out, Amodio said.

    "We're still trying to decipher this," Amodio said. He said the players were the more advanced in such leagues - likely in middle school, or early teens.

    Currently, Lawrence police have the incident labeled a simple assault, but New Jersey law elevates simple assault at an youth sports event to a fourth-degree indictable crime, Amodio noted.

    Representatives from the youth leagues involved were not immediately available Monday afternoon.

    Anyone with information about the incident, or footage, can contact Lawrence Detective David Burns at 609-844-7124.

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


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    The 50-year-old drove onto the the center median and struck several trees Monday in Burlington County

    A 50-year-old truck driver was killed in a crash on Interstate 295 in Burlington County on Monday afternoon, State Police said.

    Santos Rodriguez, of Camden, drove off southbound side of the road into the center median and struck several trees just before 2 p.m., according to Trooper Alejandro Goez. 

    Rodriguez was pronounced dead following the crash near milepost 51.6 in Florence. 

    There were no passengers in the truck and no other vehicles were involved.

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.



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    In Holland, a stoppage time winner from Noussair Mazraoui saw Ajax stun Benfica, and move to the top of Group A

    Tuesday saw the return of the UEFA Champions League, with match day three beginning the separation at the top of the groups. 

    Cristiano Ronaldo made a victorious return to Manchester, as Jose Mourinho's Manchester United sat back and allowed Juventus to take control of the match. The Red Devils Manchester counterparts rolled into the Ukraine and took back control of Group F, after Lyon and Hoffenheim played the match of the round in Germany.

    In Amsterdam, a stoppage time winner from Noussair Mazraoui saw Ajax stun Benfica, and move to the top of Group A


    Group E

    AEK Athens 0-2 Bayern Munich

    Ajax 1-0 Benfica

    Group F

    Hoffenheim 3-3 Lyon

    Shakhtar Donetsk 0-3 Manchester City

    Group G

    Real Madrid 2-1 Viktoria Plzen

    Roma 3-0 CSKA Moscow

    Group H

    Young Boys 1-1 Valencia

    Manchester United 0-1 Juventus


    Edin Dzeko, Roma

    Roma is on track to progress thanks to the big striker. He had two goals and an assist in the 3-0 win over CSKA. Dzeko was the Man of the Match with a 9.88 rating.

    Andrej Kramaric, Hoffenheim

    Had a first half brace in the 3-3 draw with Lyon. He was the Man of the Match with an 8.63 rating.

    David Silva, Manchester City

    City took control of Group F with a 3-0 win, powered by Silva. He had a goal and hit the woodwork twice, and was the Man of the Match with a 9.34 rating.

    Premier League Saturday: Manchester City, Cardiff City get big wins


    Noussair Mazraoui has not always been a scorer of big goals, but Tuesday's late strike proved pivotal to Ajax, which sits on top of Group A ahead of Bayern Munich.

    Marcelo scored in the 56th minute to give Real Madrid a 2-0 lead then the three-time champions held on late after Patrik Hrosovsky scored in the 79th minute.

    Young Boys helped both Juventus and Manchester United out in Grup H, 


    Group A

    Club Brugge vs. Monaco, 12:55 p.m. EDT (Galavision and

    Borussia Dortmund vs. Atletico Madrid, 3 p.m. EDT (Galavision and

    Group B

    PSV Eindhoven vs. Tottenham, 12:55 p.m. EDT (TNT and

    Barcelona vs. Inter, 3 p.m. (TNT, Univision, and

    Group C

    Liverpool vs. Red Star Belgrade, 3 p.m. 

    PSG vs. Napoli, 3 p.m. (UniMas and

    Group D

    Galatasaray vs. Schalke 04, 3 p.m. 

    Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Porto, 3 p.m. 


    Groups A and B will see two top of the table clashes of teams with two wins from two.

    Borussia Dortmund will play host to Atletico Madrid, and it is the German which comes in on fire. Dortmund sits atop the Bundesliga with 20 points, and can all but qualify with a win over its Spanish counterparts. But with the match day four reverse fixture set for Madrid on Tuesday, November 6, a win by Atletico would see Diego Simeone's squad in control of the group.

    The same scenario is set to unfold in Group B, with Barcelona hosting Inter, with the reverse set for November 6. 

    Tottenham will have to hope for a win for one of the two teams ahead of it in the draw to come away from those two matches clear at the top of the standings. But the Spurs have to go to Eindhoven for a crucial contest as well.

    Will Tottenham's hopes to advance take a turn for the better, or will they be crushed, in Holland?

    After a match day two loss at Napoli, Liverpool will need to dominate Red Star Belgrade twice, then hope one of PSG or Napoli comes away with an advantage from the next two games. With a trip to Paris on match day five, Wednesday's home game (and the match day four reverse in Serbia) against the group minnows is crucial for Jurgen Klopp's side.

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

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    This provocative play by Dominique Morisseau centers on five lives just on the periphery of the riots

    In 1967, Detroit burned. Sparked by a police raid of an after-hours bar owned and populated by Detroit's black residents, riots raged for nearly a week. At the command of President Johnson, Army tanks rumbled through the streets as enraged Detroiters fought back with rocks and bottles.

    But as this volatile and monumental event raged -- an event treated by the media at the time and remembered by history as a social event of mass scale -- individual lives struggled to continue. Everyday people who tried to avoid the violence were either sucked in by its undertow or inevitably touched by its sprawl.

    These are the people that fascinate Dominique Morisseau, the playwright of "Detroit '67," now receiving a sharp production at the McCarter under the direction of Jade King Carroll. The fine, provocative play centers on five lives just on the periphery of the riots, people who cannot help but feel the heat of unrest on their lives.

    Siblings Chelle (Myxolidia Tyler) and Lank (Johnny Ramey) run an unlicensed after-hours club in the basement of the home they inherited from their recently deceased parents. Their goals are to help the community relax and make some cash on the side. Their friend Bunny (Nyahale Allie), a connected social consultant around town, drums up the business, while Sly (Will Cobbs) pitches in.

    As the play begins, Chelle and Lank are preparing to reopen their doors after a hiatus when signs of trouble emerge in the person of Caroline (Ginna Le Vine), a white woman who Lank and Sly bring home after finding her beaten and disoriented on the street. Caroline is frightened, vulnerable, and happy to accept help, but Chelle worries that the intrusion and its repercussions bode poorly.

    It turns out that Caroline is the least of Chelle's worries. It is not long before police raid a competing after-hours club in the neighborhood and the riots erupt. As the streets churn with chaos, Chelle and Lank struggle in vein to keep their basement a sanctuary, ultimately unable to keep the shockwaves of the riots at bay.

    Riccardo Hernandez's meticulously appointed set turns out to be an incubator for evolving, complex characters. Chelle and Lank's biggest priorities at the play's opening are to make some money and cultivate some fun, but Tyler and Ramey deftly show these two growing as people as their concerns deepen. The same is true of Allie's expert performance: Bunny is the neighborhood's Mistress of Revels, with a good-timing attitude to match, but Allie shows her character's worries slowly creep over her.

    Among Morisseau's many great talents is the ability to create characters with depths of complexity unknown even to themselves, a quality this production captures well.

    "Detroit '67" is the first play in Morisseau's "Detroit Project," a three-play cycle that includes the lyrical and haunting "Paradise Blue" (set in 1949) and the fiercely insightful "Skeleton Crew" (set in 2008). "Detroit '67" is the most exploratory of the group, perhaps less refined if no less ambitious. King and her cast do well to highlight the play's chief concerns, many of which emerge as the characters engage with the play's Motown soundtrack.

    The play's final image of Chelle determinedly and defiantly dancing alone to the Four Tops performing "Reach Out, I'll Be There" powerfully captures the all the effervescent contradictions that define the lives of these characters and their Detroit community. The sound of Motown accompanies the eerie quiet of a reeling city, as Chelle shows us all the many great challenges and desires at the heart of her character and this play.

    In the end, individual people's struggles for connection are Morisseau's master theme, and Carroll and her team prove skillful in probing and exemplifying those complex concerns.

    Detroit '67

    McCarter Theatre

    91 University Place, Princeton

    Tickets: Available online at or by phone, 609-258-2787. Running through October 28.

    Patrick Maley may be reached at Find him on Twitter and Instagram @PatrickJMaley. Find on Facebook.

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    Prosecutors accused him of altering reports to hide that he was not a certified EMT

    The former chief of the Delran Emergency Squad was arrested Tuesday on charges that he worked without an active EMT certification and fudged paperwork to hide that.

    And when state officials came to the station to talk about it, he allegedly threatened them and hindered the investigation, which resulted in the entire unit's suspension.

    Donald Horner.jpgDonald Horner (Police photo) 

    Donald Horner, 66, was charged with insurance fraud, criminal computer activity, tampering with witnesses, making terroristic threats, theft by deception, attempted theft by deception, hindering apprehension, tampering with public records, alteration of medical records, tampering with records and obstructing the administration of law.

    Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced the charges in a news release Tuesday afternoon/

    The squad, where Horner's wife Denise served as a lieutenant, received no money from the township, according to the Burlington County Times. Most of the squad's revenue came from ambulance fees.

    However, if an uncertified EMT took part in a transport, the squad could not have billed for those services.

    Horner, a former Riverside Police Department officer and its chief from 1995 to 2005, altered 27 reports about calls where he served as a crew member, according to the allegations. Investigators said when he went out on a call, he would replace his name on the paperwork with the name of a certified staffer.

    Hearing about this, the state Health department's Office of Emergency Medical Services visited the Delran EMS building for an audit on June 11, 2018, according to a letter from Scot Phelps, the office's paramedic director.

    Phelps said the investigators had to leave without learning much because Horner was "belligerent, combative and uncooperative" and told them that he needed to leave before he killed himself or killed them, according to the letter.

    "As they started to leave the property, you followed them out, continued to scream and threaten them and, at one point, were nose-to-nose with one of the investigators," Phelps wrote.

    The investigators later returned a few days later with Delran police officers, but were restricted access to the reports until they called the squad's president and advised her that blocking access would be hindering the investigation.

    The state suspended the squad after seeing the reports that the squad went out on calls without at least two certified EMTs. Horner's EMT certification expired Dec. 31, 2010 and his EMT instructor certification inspired Dec. 31, 2016, but he went on at least 27 calls starting in January 2017.

    Other area first aid and rescue squads are staffing Delran's emergency medical calls until the matter is resolved.

    Horner had a first appearance in Burlington County Superior Court on Tuesday. He was not detained but had to surrender his passport and firearms.

    Josh Dennis, supervisor of the prosecutor's Insurance Fraud Unit, will prosecute.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us.


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    The Broncs return 7 of their top 8 scorers

    Quarters are not Kevin Baggett's favorite coin.

    As the Rider University men's basketball coach prepares for his seventh season, he does so with a team of talented players. Last year they were the top seed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament. This year the Coaches Poll voted them the unanimous selection to win the MAAC.

    But whether after a play-in victory, as an eighth seed, or as a regular season champion, Rider has not advanced past the quarterfinals. In the past seven years. Not since the 2010-11 season, not since Baggett was an assistant on this staff, not since some of his players were in middle school.

    "I am reminded constantly about the quarterfinals, and getting by that,'' he said the other day after practice. "There's just a lot of reminders.''

    If all the work of a regular season is a coin flip that comes up heads, the MAAC Tournament continues to come up tails. As the squeaky sneakers of practice begin the arduous journey of the next five months, the image of Sisyphus is ever-present.

    "We use it as a goal,'' 6-5 redshirt sophomore Dimencio Vaughn said. "We don't hold it as a grudge. We use is to motivate us.''

    Basketball: Princeton vs RiderRider Head Coach Kevin Baggett, file photo by Saed Hindash | NJ Advance Media 

    Another season and the same goals. "The team goal is to win the MAAC,'' junior point guard Steve Allen said. "We were first last year, and we plan to do the same thing but win the tournament. There's a negative energy still from that, and everybody just wants to get back and win.''

    On paper that's very realistic. Vaughn and Jordan are first-team selections. Redshirt soph Frederick Scott made second team and redshirt sophomore Jordan Allen is on third team. Vaughn was a unanimous selection. As for challengers Canisius is a clear second, with Iona and Quinnipiac tied for third.

    Rider returns its six leading scorers and seven of eight. During the 22-10 season, nine returning players saw time in at least 29 games. New to the team are a couple of transfers: Florida International and the University of Minnesota.

    Returnees comprise the bulk of the team's 82 points per game, shooting a collective 47 percent, 36 percent on 3-pointers, but a not so good free throw percentage of .608. They averaged nearly eight steals per game and 13 turnovers. But they did allow 78 points per game, so the defense needs to improve.

    The most impressive numbers were winning 11 of their last 12 regular season games. When the coin flipped, however, they lost to St. Peter's by 11 in the quarters, then by 13 in the NIT to Oregon. Tucked in the preseason though was a win at Penn State, which went on to win the NIT.

    Though still a young team with just two seniors, this has all the signs of a team that will, in Jordan's words, "Have a lot of fun, a lot of three-pointers from Jordan Allen, a lot of dunks. We're gonna bring everything this year.''

    But no assumptions.

    "We can't come into the season thinking everything is gonna be easy,'' Vaughn said, "because now we have a bigger target on our back. You're going to see a team with a lot of ball movement, team chemistry. Excitement. But also, at the end of the day, efficiency. We have to be efficient on both sides of the ball.''

    $$ts0204rider_408768_07.JPGBaggett, Times of Trenton file photo 

    The season begins Nov. 3 at home against West Chester. Alumni Gym will host only four games before the start of MAAC play on Jan. 3, against Fairfield.

    "We're a long way away,'' Baggett said about jelling. "We need better habits, be more consistent. We're talented. But will everybody buy in? Will we play as a team? Will we defend? Because if we do, we have a chance to be pretty good. We cannot take this opportunity for granted. We have to understand we have to get better every day.

    "This team could be really special,'' he said. "The depth is there, the talent is there. We get along, we have fun. Everything a coach could ask for is there. Now you just have to do. The sky's the limit, but we gotta get past the quarterfinals first.

    "I won't rest, I won't rest 'till we get there,'' he added. "I need to get this team, this university, to the NCAA tournament, and that's something I eat, sleep and breathe every day. It's something I'm trying to grasp but haven't been able to get there yet. But we're gonna' get there.''

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    The incident led Hopewell's superintendent to travel to Trenton last week to speak with school officials

    Parents attending a boys junior varsity soccer match in Hopewell Township last week had to be warned by referees after making racial comments to Hispanic players from Trenton Central High School, officials say.

    The parents reportedly shouted things like,"Speak English" and "This is America!" during a Monday game between Trenton high and Hopewell Valley high, Hopewell Township police and the school district said.

    The comments reached a point where the Trenton coach alerted the referees, and called for police. A Hopewell Township police officer arrived at the fields, and the game's referees basically told the parents to knock it off, school and police officials said.

    Police Chief Lance Maloney and Hopewell Valley Superintendent Thomas Smith, who both have open inquiries into the incident, said they've since learned that the  parents' comments may have been spurred by a Trenton player using a Spanish curse word against a referee - which a Hopewell parent detected.

    The referees, however, didn't report that they heard any questionable comments from players or parents, Maloney and Smith said. The referees, when informed by the Trenton coach of the parents' comments though, warned the parents. And the second part of the game was uneventful.

    Later in the week, Smith and Hopewell Valley's principal traveled to Trenton to speak with school district and athletic officials and Smith explained to them, "That this does not reflect our community."

    Smith said Monday that the discussion went well, and said he's worked with Trenton officials previously, as well as with other districts in Mercer County, adding: "We'll grow from this."

    Smith also took action in Hopewell. The district communicated with parents, reminding them that such comments, as well as foul language and cursing, violate state high school sports governing body rules, as well as district rules, the superintendent said.

    The district continues to investigate the matter internally, and has identified one or two possible parents involved, Smith said. If a certain level of the incident is corroborated, "We will impose sanctions," Smith said.

    Maloney said police are working with the district on the matter, and no charges have been filed.

    School district officials in Trenton did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

    Trenton is a majority Hispanic school district, with 5,728 students out of its 11,118 students enrolled, according to 2017-2018 state statistics.

    Out of Hopewell's 3,518 students, 163 are Hispanic. White students are the majority at 2,676.

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


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    Similar characteristics show that 4 recent bank robberies may be the same person Watch video

    The robber described in an FBI wanted poster about two bank robberies committed on the same day earlier this month may have also struck two more times this week in central New Jersey, including Wednesday morning.

    A man robbed a Northfield Bank branch on Main Street in Flemington Wednesday morning at about 9 a.m., police and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office said. The man wore a long-sleeve blue hooded sweatshirt, knict cap and dark sunglasses.

    That man looks very similar to the man who authorities say robbed the Peapack-Gladstone Bank in Bridgewater in neighboring Somerset County on Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 23. That man is clad in a hoodie and knit cap and also wearing sunglasses.

    Furthermore, the man in the Bridgewater and Flemington robberies each appears to hid his hands inside his sweatshirt sleeves while at the teller counter.

    A spokesman for the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening about the Flemington robbery having any connections.

    In Somerset County, though, detectives are aware the Bridgewater bandit bears a resemblance to the man who robbed a Financial Resources Federal Credit Union branch in Franklin Township in their county on Oct. 1, prosecutor's spokeswoman Detective Jeanne Trillhaase said.

    "Based upon physical description it appears to be (the) same subject," in the two bank robberies in Somerset County, she said.

    franklin bank robbery.jpegThe robber in Franklin Township. Police photo

    In the credit union robbery, a man entered the credit union on Easton Avenue, around 9:30 a.m. He approached a teller and demanded money. The teller turned over cash and the man fled on foot.

    He was wearing a blue shirt, a Chicago Cubs baseball cap and sunglasses, surveillance photos showed.

    The FBI is involved in the Oct. 1 Franklin robbery, and their wanted poster connects that robbery with another one in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania - also on Oct. 1

    In that incident, the man approached two tellers and handed them a demand note in the First Bank on Old Street Road, the FBI and Bensalem police said. But he walked out after a teller refused to hand over the cash.

    Bensalem Police said the man had a black car that may have been a Dodge Dart, and described him as 50 to 60 years old, heavyset and about 5 feet 5 inches tall.

    He also wore a hat and sunglasses, and a sweatshirt.

    Bensalem police did not immediately return a request for comment as well Wednesday. They did earlier make public video footage of the man in the branch, which is below. 

    Joe Brandt can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find on Facebook.


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    The fire occurred in a home in Trenton's South Ward and was brought under control in about a half an hour, fire officials said. Watch video

    A child was sent to the hospital Wednesday after being pulled from the second floor of a burning home in Trenton's South Ward, officials said.

    The child was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania were they were treated for smoke inhalation, Trenton Police Lt. Peter Szpakowski said.

    Two other residents "got out OK," he said.

    Trenton Fire Department Battalion Chief Terrence Mulryne credited his fellow firefighters for helping get the child out.

    "Our guys got the child out of the house using a ladder to the second floor," Mulryne said. "Everybody did a really good job."

    The fire was reported around 5:30 p.m. at 129 Randall Avenue, a residential neighborhood located off Lalor Street, one of city's major thoroughfares.

    "It came in as a kitchen fire with someone reportedly trapped," Mulryne said.

    The fire was brought under control around 6 p.m., he said.

    It's cause was still under investigation Friday night, but it was not considered suspicious," Szpakowski said.

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find on Facebook.


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    The free event is Thursday, Oct. 25

    The Trenton Police Department's early Halloween celebration, "Trunk or Treat," celebrates its fifth year tomorrow night, Thursday Oct. 25.

    The event will be held behind police headquarters at 225 N. Clinton Ave. from 6 to 9 p.m. - rain or shine.

    The free event was designed as a safe way for children and their families to trick-or-treat and has grown steadily in its first half decade. 

    Numerous city and private agencies now participate, either by handing out candy from the truck of a vehicle, or making a spooky display. Several police and fire vehicles are on display, and people can enjoy food, drinks, games, music and more.

    All are welcome to attend and participate.

    The event is planned by Trenton Police Detective Alexis Durlacher, who can be reached at 609-989-4064 or if one has questions or needs information.

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    "Charlie Brown is the one person I identify with. C.B. is such a loser. He wasn't even the star of his own Halloween special." -- Chris Rock

    Channel 12 in Cincinnati presented the results of a poll they took last year of the least-favorite Halloween treats; it's fairly representative of surveys I've seen all over the country, 10 being the least-favorite of all:

    10. Mary Janes ... 9. Good & Plenty ... 8. Licorice ... 7. Smarties ... 6. Tootsie Rolls ... 5. Peanut Butter Kisses ... 4. Necco Wafers ... 3. Wax Cola Bottles ... 2. Candy Corn ... 1. Circus Peanuts

    Some of my personal observations:

    Apparently, children are not big fans of peanut butter candy, because number 10 and 5 contain that flavor. Curiously, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are not on the list, yet I can't see what the difference would be between them and Peanut Butter Kisses. Children aren't big licorice fans either, it seems. Number 9, Good and Plenty, is pretty much the same thing as number 8, licorice.

    For those who don't remember them or never saw them, Circus Peanuts were marshmallow candy shaped like big peanuts. And I'm kind of curious where in Cincinnati they still sell Wax Cola Bottles. This was a classic penny-candy item, yet I personally haven't seen them in decades ... and I look for things like that.


    Necco Wafers - if there's an item that shows up on every one of these surveys, it's them. Necco Wafers were first produced in 1847 and my experience has been that they always tasted like you'd received one of the original batches.

    The Boston Globe reported in 2011 that "in 2009, Necco changed the formula for its Necco Wafers. Artificial colors and flavors were eliminated. The candy was made softer through the addition of glycerine. The lime flavor was removed due to difficulties in creating an all-natural green coloring, resulting in a 7-flavor Necco Wafer roll."

    Apparently, all these changes weren't enough to keep them from consistently showing up on these lists or even staying solvent; the Globe reported in July of this year that "The Massachusetts plant that made the beloved, but often mocked, candy closed (July 24). Round Hill Investments announced that it had sold the once-bankrupt Necco, purchased for $17.3 million in May, to another candy maker."

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    And finally, those kids who don't want their Tootsie Rolls and Smarties can send them all to me.

    Here's a gallery of folks from New Jersey dressed up for Halloween as well as some fun autumn traditions. And here are links to other galleries you may enjoy.

    Vintage photos of costumes and creepy things in N.J.

    Vintage photos of folks from N.J. in costume

    Vintage photos from N.J. that might give you the creeps

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

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    The fatal crash was reported to Robbinsville Township Police about 8:20 p.m. Monday on Route 130 near Church Street

    One person died Wednesday night in a crash on Route 130 South in Robbinsville, authorities said.

    The crash occurred near the Church Street intersection, according to police Lt. William Swanhart.

    Swanhart said police received a 911 call about 8:20 p.m. for a fatal crash and found one victim at the scene. The victim's name was withheld pending notification of relatives.

    Additional details about the vehicle involved and cause of the crash were not immediately available.

    The north and south lanes on Route 130 between Voelbel Road and Church Street were closed for several hours during the investigation, authorities said.

    The police department's criminal investigations unit and crash investigators with  the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office are investigating.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Robbinsville police at 609-259-3900.

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    Will any of the big guns fall into the Europa League draw? The picture might be slightly more clear on November 7.

    Could Tottenham get its UEFA Champions League campaign back on track Wednesday? 

    It sure looked likely, until a moment of madness, from a goalkeeper prone to those moments, torpedoed the Spurs in Eindhoven.

    In Groups A and D, Borussia Dortmund and Porto took control at the top with big wins, while Liverpool did what it had to do at home against Red Star. 

    We are halfway through the group stage matches, with more clarity coming in two weeks.

    Will any of the big guns fall into the Europa League draw? The picture might be slightly more clear on November 7.


    Group A

    Club Brugge 1-1 Monaco

    Borussia Dortmund 4-0 Atletico Madrid

    Group B

    PSV Eindhoven 2-2 Tottenham 

    Barcelona 2-0 Inter

    Group C

    Liverpool 4-0 Red Star Belgrade

    PSG 2-2 Napoli

    Group D

    Galatasaray 0-0 Schalke 04

    Lokomotiv Moscow 1-3 Porto


    Fabinho, Liverpool

    While the players around him were scoring all the goals, Fabinho was doing the work in the midfield to shut down Red Star. He was the Man of the Match with an 8.80 rating. 

    Neymar, PSG

    Helped pull his team back into contention. Another player that did a lot of the work setting up the PSG attack. He was the Man of the Match with a 9.07 rating.

    Axel Witsel, Borussia Dortmund

    The midfielder had a goal in the 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid, as the German side took control of Group A. He was the Man of the Match with an 8.78 rating.

    UEFA Champions League: Ronaldo returns to Manchester, Ajax stuns Benfica


    Edin Dzeko, Roma

    Roma is on track to progress thanks to the big striker. He had two goals and an assist in the 3-0 win over CSKA. Dzeko was the Man of the Match with a 9.88 rating.


    Coming into Wednesday's match day 3, Tottenham fans knew what their team had to do over the next two games with PSV Eindhoven.

    Get six points.

    The Spurs were on track to do that, up a goal in Holland, when Lloris made another calamitous mistake leading to a 79th minute red card. When Luuk de Jong scored to equalize in the 87th minute, Tottenham's road to qualification became that much harder.

    Luckily for the Spurs, Barcelona may have won the group by match day five, and could sit players when Tottenham heads to town in mid-December for the final group stage match. But it might not matter, if results do not go the Spurs' way prior.

    Hakimi had three assists from the left back position for Dortmund, as the Bundesliga leaders made a huge statement of intent with a 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid. A draw in Madrid on match day four might be enough to top the group, with the two other teams in Group A, Club Brugge and Monaco, already eight points behind Dortmund.

    While Schalke 04 and Galatasary were playing out a scoreless draw in Turkey, Porto went to Moscow and came away with a 3-1 win. The Portuguese side now gets two matches at home, and can clinch the top spot with two wins.


    Match Day three Thursday



    All matches 10 a.m. EDT unless listed

    Brighton vs. Wolves (NBC Sports Gold)

    Fulham vs. Bournemouth (NBC Sports Gold)

    Liverpool vs. Cardiff (NBC Sports and

    Southampton vs. Newcastle (NBC Sports Gold)

    Watford vs. Huddersfield (NBC Sports Gold)

    Leicester City vs. West Ham United, 12:30 p.m. EDT (NBC and


    Burnley vs. Chelsea, 9:30 a.m. EDT (NBC Sports Gold)

    Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal, 9:30 a.m. EDT (NBC Sports and

    Manchester United vs. Everton, 12 p.m. EDT (NBC Sports and


    Tottenham vs. Manchester City, 4 p.m. EDT (NBC Sports and


    Wednesday, October 24 marked the 14th anniversary of Manchester United's 2-0 win over Arsenal, which ended the Gunners' amazing 49-game unbeaten run in the Premier League. It was sweet revenge for Ruud van Nistelrooy, who missed a penalty during the invincible 2003-04 Arsenal season that would have stopped the run at just seven games.

    The match is still contentious for some Arsenal fans like Jon Spurling, who called Mike Riley's refereeing performance "a disgrace" and a "total outrage 14 years on". 

    Here are some of the better moments from the match for you to make up your own mind. 

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

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    Someone thought it was a good idea to send the Mayor of Hamilton Township a prank bag of penis-shaped candy.

    Someone thought it was a good idea to send the mayor of Hamilton Township a bag of penis-shaped candy as a prank.

    Mayor Kelly Yeade received a package of penis-shaped candy, sent through the website Dysfunctional Veterans, last week.

    The group's website, and its accompanying Facebook page, describe its community as "a brotherhood and sisterhood of veterans rooted in sarcasms and the things that remind us we are not alone."

    The Dysfunctional Veterans website sells a variety of items such as T-shirts, hats, mugs, flags, patches, and pranks.

    The website offers "Eat a bag of d----" under its prank gift category with the following description:

    "Don't you wish you could just tell that special idiot you know to eat a bag of d----? Wouldn't it be even better if you could actually give them a bag of d---- to eat? Now you can!"

    Yaede's office received the candy last week, when the mayor wasn't in the office.

    "My staff intercepted it and then asked the Hamilton Township police department to find out the origin of the package," Yaede told NJ Advance Media. "When I was alerted to it I didn't give it a second thought, and laughed it off."

    Dysfunctional Veterans made a post on their Facebook page about the police investigation including a screen shot of an email they received from the Hamilton Township Police Department, requesting to speak to someone at the company about the purchase.

    Yaede then put an end to the brief investigation and said that there is no active investigation looking into who sent the candy.

    "It was a prank and that's all I took it was," Yaede said.

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

    Have a tip? Tell us.


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