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Central Jersey News from the Times of Trenton

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    It was the largest gang take-down since May 2015, when the feds targeted the Grape Street Crips in Newark and arrested more than 70.

    In a series of early-morning arrests, teams of FBI agents swept through the streets of the state's capital Thursday, taking into custody about a dozen alleged gang members on charges of drug trafficking, weapons and conspiracy.

    Ten others already in custody were charged as well.

    It was the largest gang take-down since May 2015, when the feds targeted the Grape Street Crips in Newark and arrested more than 70 on charges ranging from drug-trafficking to multiple murders, assault and witness intimidation.

    A press conference about the crackdown has been scheduled by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for 11 a.m. in Trenton.

    In a criminal complaint unsealed with the arrests, federal prosecutors charged 26 people who allegedly controlled a vast drug market for heroin, cocaine, crack, oxycodone, Vicodin, Xanax, and other narcotics, which were being distributed or sold around Trenton and elsewhere.

    Those charged, who had street names like Righteous, Stacks, B-Money, Vicey and Buddha, also allegedly had an large arsenal of weapons to protect their turf, prosecutors said.

    According to an FBI affidavit that followed a year-long investigation, which included drug-buys, wiretaps, confidential informants and video surveillance, the group was responsible for "a dramatic increase in gun-related violence" in and around the areas in which the drug-traffickers operated.

    Much of that violence, said the FBI, was connected with ongoing disputes between members of the drug-sales network and another rival Trenton gang.

    Authorities said they recovered at least five firearms, including a semi-automatic assault rifle.

    During the investigation, one individual who was behind bars at Bayside State Prison was caught on surveillance recordings talking about suppliers and his plans to rejoin the group upon his release.

    Gang violence has become an increasing focus of law enforcement in New Jersey. In June, a gang-related shooting at a popular Trenton all-night arts festival killed one man and injuring 22.

    Ask Alexa

    The State Commission of Investigation, in a hearing earlier in September, noted many of the state's cities as confronting a resurgence of street violence.

    "It is a drug-fueled world where the slightest personal affront, even a perceived insult, can trigger mayhem," said SCI Executive Director Lee Seglem. "Where teens and pre-teens almost routinely settle adolescent tussles with deadly weapons. Where social media serve as electronic billboards for distinctly anti-social activity - used to pick fights, display weaponry, recruit new members and threaten the police. And where adults exploit children to do their criminal bidding," he said.

    Ted Sherman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL. Facebook: @TedSherman.reporter. Find on Facebook.

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    Mayor Reed Gusciora is naming his pick this evening at the State of the City address

    Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora will nominate retired city police officer Carol Russell as the Trenton Police Department's next director. She would be the first woman to lead the department.

    Russell, a retired sergeant, will be nominated at the State of the City address tonight, two law enforcement sources said Thursday morning. 

    The address is Gusciora's first since his election this past summer. His spokesman declined to comment on the address, or any announcements he might make.

    Russell retired from the department in 2010, and collects a pension that pays her about $68,300 annually. Trenton directors currently make about $105,000.

    She worked the streets as a patrol officer for much of her career, and was one of the more visible officers who was well-known to residents.

    In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Russell and fellow African American officers made occasional headlines as members of a fraternal organization in the department called Brother Officers Law Enforcement Society, or BOLES.

    The group advocated on behalf of black officers, and often said the city police department had a historical, patterned racial animus against such officers directed by white superiors.

    The group, which once filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the police department and city, drew criticism in 1999 for attending a meeting at a Middlesex County diner with the Police Complaint Center, a police advocacy group.

    Trenton directors and named by the mayor with the advice and consent of the City Council.

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

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    Federal authorities on Thursday announced drug and weapons charges against 27 alleged gang members

    FBI wiretaps of alleged Trenton drug traffickers captured gang members talking about their accumulated firepower, according to federal court records unsealed Thursday.

    One text sent by a high-ranking gang member to a another in jail, investigators said, included a photo of three handguns, and a clear message: "War ready."

    war ready.jpgA photo of three handguns, taken from cellphone messages intercepted by federal agents. (U.S. Attorney's Office)

    The alleged gang member, Jakir Taylor, was one of 27 people charged Wednesday by the U.S. Attorney's Office following a year-long investigation into what prosecutors described as a violent drug-trafficking ring that pumped  heroin into the Trenton area.

    Federal law enforcement officials announcing the charges Thursday said they believe the unnamed drug-trafficking organization was actually made up of members of two rival gangs.

    U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, speaking to reporters outside the federal courthouse in Trenton, said the barrage of gunfire at the Art All Night festival that left one dead and 29 injured in June could be linked to the conflict of these two rival gangs.

    Tahij Wells, the gunman fatally shot by police during that exchange, had been identified in the past as an alleged Bloods gang member.

    But authorities Thursday wouldn't identify the specific gangs with which the alleged drug traffickers were believed to be affiliated.

    The alleged drug ring has also been linked to what Carpenito's office, in a statement, called "a significant amount of this recent gun violence," referring to a number of shootings in its territory in Trenton.

    Federal authorities allege Taylor, 28, Jerome Roberts, 48, and others were regularly supplied hundreds of bricks of heroin by David Antionio, a 30-year-old Trenton resident who goes by "Papi."

    Antonio is not a U.S. citizen and previously had been deported after serving a sentence for a prior conviction. He later snuck back into the country and continued trafficking drugs, Carpenito said.

    Taylor and Roberts were also recently incarcerated, court records show. Roberts had served a sentence for aggravated manslaughter and Taylor served time for drugs and guns charges.

    In addition to heroin, members of the gang also sold powder cocaine, crack cocaine, Percocet, oxycodone, hydrocodone and Xanax, according to a 64-page criminal complaint unsealed Thursday.

    Jakir Taylor and Jerome RobertsJakir Taylor (left) and Jerome Roberts. (New Jersey Department of Corrections)

    The organization sold the drugs both to users and to other dealers, prosecutors said.

    The gang operated mostly on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Sanford Street, Middle Rose Street and Southard Street in North Trenton, and on Hoffman Avenue and Coolidge Avenue in the city's West Ward, investigators said. Other drug sales were made outside a local market in Ewing, according to Carpenito's office.

    The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) made extensive use of court-authorized wiretaps to penetrate the gang, in one case allegedly capturing Taylor and an imprisoned gang member discussing the latter's plans to jump back into the drug trade once he got out.

    Wayne Bush, the imprisoned gang member, was captured advising Taylor to install secret compartments in his vehicles in order to conceal the illicit merchandise, investigators said.

    Police officers who stopped one of the vehicles in September found five firearms -- including a .223-caliber semi-automatic rifle -- inside one such compartment, according to the complaint. They also found 57 bricks of heroin.

    In addition to Taylor, Roberts, Antonio and Bush, 40, prosecutors identified those charged as:

    • Omar Council, 39
    • Brian Phelps, 40
    • Gary Ausmore, 28
    • Davias Taylor, age unknown
    • Alonzo Leary, 37
    • Major Anderson, 42
    • Taques Hall, 26
    • Kahlil Hampton, age unknown
    • Brandon Council, 24
    • Shaquel Rock, 24
    • Dennis Cheston Jr., 37
    • Donte Ellis, age unknown
    • Timothy Wimbush, 28
    • Taquan Williams, age unknown
    • Jubri West, 19
    • Malik Bingham, 34
    • Deavon Warner, 27
    • Jaquan Wade, 28
    • Quiana Welch, unknown
    • Kaleib Cox, age unknown
    • Varlee Koon, 29
    • Latrice Wharton, 30
    • Keyanda Phelps, 33

    Of the 27 charged, 12 were arrested Thursday and another 10 were already in custody. Another suspect is currently serving a state prison term.

    The 22 suspects in federal custody are scheduled to make their initial appearances in court Thursday afternoon. It was not immediately clear whether any had attorneys who could comment on the charges.

    Omar Council, Kaleib Cox, Varlee Koon and Brandon Council remained at large as of Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

    Law enforcement officials cautioned the crackdown was far from the final blow to drug-related violence in the city.

    "This is a continuous effort," Carpenito told reporters. "It's always ongoing. Who's going to be there to fill the void? As far as the time frame goes, it's consistent, it's always, it's forever. We cannot stop."

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriartyFind on Facebook

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

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    The man allegedly set fire to a shop in Trenton this past summer

    A 40-year-old Trenton man has been arrested and charged with arson for allegedly setting fire to the Kiss of Ink tattoo shop this summer.

    Wendell Johnson copy.jpgWendell Johnson 

    Kiss of Ink, on Hamilton Avenue, was gutted in an early morning two-alarm fire in August that burned for about an hour. 

    Initially, authorities weren't sure what caused the fire. But about a week later, police were looking for a man caught on security footage "behaving suspiciously near the Kiss of Ink Tattoo studio," the morning of the blaze.

    Police have since charged Wendell Johnson, 40, of Mott Street, with one count of second-degree aggravated arson, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement Thusday.

    An investigation revealed that the fire was started near the shop's front door, and prosecutor's allege footage shows Mott moving cardboard toward the front door and holding a "small red container that appears to be a gas can."

    Last week, a judge ordered Mott to be detained, pending his trial.

    Kiss of Ink has since re-opened its doors at in a building down the street from its original storefront, at 1222 Hamilton Ave., in Trenton. 

    Following the fire, shop owner Chris Matisa vowed to reopen.

    "We always followed the belief that Trenton was good to us for a lot of years, so it'd be ignorant to turn our back when Trenton needed us the most," Matisa said in August.

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


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    The teams from Mercer and Burlington counties squared off this past weekend Watch video

    A video posted online shows the brawling among coaches and parents during a youth football game in Lawrence this past Saturday.

    Lawrence police said Monday they are investigating the Saturday, Oct. 20 incident during a game between teams from Lawrence and Florence as a possible assault. 

    Police said they were summoned to the field at about 3:25 p.m. by a 911 call reporting an assault and people fighting, and witnesses said the incident started with a hard hit from a player.

    No charges have been announced by Lawrence police, who could not immediately be reached late Thursday to inquire about any updates to the case. The department said they were looking for video of the incident to help them investigate.

    A video posted on Oct. 20 by a Michael Houston, and titled, "Lawrenceville Jr. Cardinals 115's 10/20/18," is filmed from the Lawrence side of the field. The Lawrence Jr. Cardinals have a 115-pound team.

    Following a play, players start pushing and shoving, and coaches and others eventually flood the field. The person filming says "Stay, go back, go back," to the players as he moves toward the fighting.

    And while a Florence player is down on the field, a man, apparently from the Florence team, is heard screaming, "Serious?"

    Someone responds, "Yeah serious."

    At one point, a man cocks his arm to thrown a punch, but does not, as several skirmishes break out as referees constantly blow their whistles and some continue the altercation, while others try to quell it.

    Lawrence Jr. Cardinals' Bryan Carter, director of operations and coach of the 115 squad, declined to comment on the incident when reached Thursday.

    A representatives from the Florence team was not immediately available Thursday.

    A second video, from the same YouTube account, records Lawrence coaches addressing their team afterwards, which addresses the incident:

    That video is below:

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


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    Townships around New Jersey are asking their residents and businesses to get onboard. Watch video

    In an era where nearly everything is caught on camera, law enforcement officials around New Jersey are increasingly encouraging businesses and residents to register their security camera systems with their local police.

    So when there's a crime, police can quickly and easily tap into the system and hopefully catch criminals in the act.

    And while cities where crime is more rampant, like Newark and Trenton, have taken similar steps, suburban and rural areas around the state are also looking to harness the collective power of this technology.

    The latest is Monmouth County, where Sheriff Shaun Golden announced the countywide program, "Operation Watchdog," Wednesday morning outside of iPlay America in Freehold.

    In February, Denville announced its "Virtual Crime Watch" initiative, which was modeled after Voorhees and Hanover Township. In Gloucester County, police in Mantua and Washington Township also have similar programs.

    Golden said his program -- inspired by the Operation Watchdog program in Toms River, one of the largest municipalities in Ocean County -- is the first countywide initiative to embrace this new public-private partnership.

    "Surveillance cameras, as you know, are all around our communities and neighborhoods," Golden said. "They're a tool used to fight crime and registering them with Operation Watchdog will save members of law enforcement time when it comes to determining and canvassing areas that have camera locations where there is crime or some type of criminal activity."

    watchdoggolden.jpgMonmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, flanked by local and county officials, announces his new Operation Watchdog program. (Alex Napoliello | NJ Advance Media for 

    The program is voluntary, Golden emphasized.

    For interested businesses like iPlay, an indoor amusement and entertainment facility, the owners log onto the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office website and provide the department with information on the locations of their surveillance cameras.

    Rook coffee, which has 11 locations in Monmouth County, is also registered with the program, Golden said.

    The camera location appears as a red dot on a virtual map of the county that police officers and dispatch communicators can access. The information is not available to the public, authorities said.

    "This will make a difference in helping us solve crime," Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni said. "It's the electronic version of neighborhood watch."

    Surveillance video, Gramiccioni explained, is also beneficial in the courtroom, where juries have come to expect to see video and audio evidence.

    According to a research report released in April by Strategy Analytics, the smart home surveillance market will exceed $9.7 billion in consumer spending by 2023. Spending on video doorbells, the fastest growing segment of the industry, is expected to reach $1.4 billion by 2023, up from $500 million in 2018, the report noted.

    Law enforcement has capitalized on the growing market, sharing videos from homeowners of suspected burglars snooping around homes.

    In Howell, a Monmouth County township of approximately 50,000 residents, police Chief Andrew Kudrick said police received a 911 call in September from a resident who was watching a burglary happening in his home from work. Police posted the video of the two suspects on Facebook and, with information received from tips, were able to make an arrest days later, Kudrick said.

    "Technology plays a major role in a significant number of our investigations," he said. "Social media is a huge tool."

    One of the most popular video doorbell systems, Ring, has a Neighbors smartphone app, where residents can get real-time crime safety alerts from the people who live around them. This creates a web of evidence for law enforcement to track the steps of a suspected burglar.

    A bill that was signed into law by former Gov. Chris Christie in 2015 paved the way for the creation of these programs. The legislation said a municipality can enact an ordinance to establish a private outdoor video surveillance camera registry. It also laid out guidelines as to what information law enforcement can request.

    "The ordinance shall provide that registration of a camera does not constitute a waiver of any rights granted under the Constitution of the United States or the State of New Jersey," the law states.

    When the bill was first introduced, it would have made the security camera registration mandatory. But the language of the bill was scaled back to make it voluntary.

    How surveillance cameras led police to charge 6 after the killing of 2

    In Morris Township, a township with approximately 22,000 residents in Morris County, around 60 residents have registered their cameras since the township's police department started promoting its program in the past year, Sgt. Heather Glogolich said. 

    Gogolich said the program paid dividends immediately, helping officers to identify that three suspects were involved in a shooting in December. The registry also helps aid officers investigating car crashes and other non-criminal incidents.

    "If we know people have cameras we'll automatically go to them when we're canvassing," she said. "Most people are willing to help." 

    The Newark program, however, goes a bit further. It allows residents to access cameras placed by police around the city. Officials in the state's largest city say being transparent about the locations of the cameras helps deter crime, but the American Civil Liberties Union contends it's an invasion of privacy. 

    Golden, the Monmouth County sheriff, addressed those concerns by explaining how law enforcement is not invading anyone's surveillance system. 

    "There's no misuse or abuse here," he said. "The business owners and the residents, they own their camera systems. If at some point, they don't want to cooperate ... that's fine." 

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

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    Two candidates running for school board in Hamilton Township have been accused of making racists and racially insensitive posts on social media.

    Two candidates running for school board in Hamilton Township have been accused of making racist and racially insensitive posts on social media.

    As first reported by the Hamilton Post, candidates Richard Crockett and Sherry Morency's Facebook accounts have shared and commented on anti-Muslim and other offensive articles - posts both candidates deny making.

    On Nov. 10, 2014, an account with Morency's name posted a meme that criticized then-President Barack Obama for inviting Rev. Al Sharpton to the White House, the Post reported. Crockett allegedly commented on the post using the N-word and references to the Ku Klux Klan, the report said.

    The report also listed several other posts made by Morency's account that linked to conservative websites which were hateful to Muslims and an article that defends the KKK and argues white pride is not racist.

    Morency told NJ Advance Media she has since shut down her Facebook account. In an interview with The Post, she blamed the social media activity on her page on hackers.

    "I have taken it down because I don't need any more of this stuff going on," Morency said in a phone call with NJ Advance Media. "I have been complaining about my posts all the way back to 2013," she said, apparently a reference to past social media posts saying her account was hacked.

    "I support equality. I do not tolerate racism in public or even in my own household," Morency said. "These comments are completely uncharacteristic of myself."

    Crockett could not be reached for comment. In an interview with The Post, he denied making the offensive statements.

    Morency and Crockett are in a nine-person race for three seats on the Hamilton board of education. Their third running mate, Cynthia Simon, said she did not agree with the posts from Morency's Facebook page, but defended Crockett. 

    "Shery's posts have me concerned. I can't defend what I've seen," she said. "I've known Rich for a long time, I know those aren't his views. I stand behind him 100 percent."

    The Crockett, Morency and Simon campaign is managed by David Henderson, a strategist for the Mercer County Republican Party.

    "I condemn racism and I condemn hate in any fashion," Henderson said. "I think it's unfortunate the race is being based on personal attacks and not on the issues."

    Morency and Simon said they also wished there was a bigger focus on the issues and not on social media.

    "They have no intention of dropping out of the race, they are not people that are going to be intimidated by bullies," Henderson said.

    According a statement on their campaign Facebook page, Crockett, Morency and Simon advocate for fiscal responsibility, strong schools with students that excel in and out the classroom and addressing parent and student concerns in a transparent manner.

    Also running for seats on the board are candidates Angelo Hall, Susan Ferrara, Girard Casale, Janna Sheiman, Richard Kanka, and Chandler Georgiou. 

    The candidates are expected to appear at a Meet and Greet hosted by the teachers' association scheduled for Oct. 30. It will be the first meet and greet the Crockett and Morency will attend. 

    The slate was supposed to host its own meet and greet this Saturday but has since canceled the event due to "bullies," Henderson said.

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

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    Fighting marred a youth game between squads from Lawrence and Florence last weekend

    The coach of a youth football team in Lawrence has been charged with simple assault for his role in a brawl during a game last weekend in which players, coaches and then parents fought on the field.

    During the Oct. 20 game against a team from Florence, Bryan Carter, 38, grabbed a Florence parent by the chest and threw him to the ground following a sideline tackle. The 53-year-old victim was not seriously injured.

    Carter turned himself in to police on Wednesday and was charged with felony simple assault and released on a summons pending a court date, Lawrence police said Friday.

    Simple assault is typically a non-indictable charge, but New Jersey law elevates simple assault at a youth sports event to a fourth-degree indictable crime, or felony.

    Thomas DeMarco, president of the board of the team involved, the Lawrence Jr. Cardinals, declined comment when reached Friday. The Cardinals field five teams based on age and weight. Carter is the head coach of the 115-pound squad.

    Carter, when reached Thursday by NJ Advance Media, declined comment. He could not immediately be reached Friday.

    Footage of the incident was posted on YouTube earlier this week but has since been removed. It shows a hit on the field among players turn into pushing and shoving. Coaches enter the fray, and then parents enter the field.

    Several skirmishes occur at once as referees constantly blow their whistles. Some adults appear to be peacemakers, while others seem to further the fighting.

    A representative from the Florence team was not immediately available for comment.

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


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    James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo looked right at home flying a military plane out of Fort Dix.

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    A bill introduced in the state Assembly aims at clearing up the limits of microbreweries in the state.

    A bipartisan legislative solution concerning the state's handling of microbreweries could be on the way.

    A bill introduced last week was drafted in response to a special ruling issued in September by Division of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) Director David Rible, that brewery owners said would severely hurt their business. After an outcry from microbrewery owners and advocates, Rible rescinded the special ruling.

    Some of the provisions of the bill, sponsored by Assemblymen Joe Howarth, R-Burlington, and Wayne DeAngelo, D-Mercer, include:

    • Microbreweries would be allowed to hold as many special events on its premises, sidewalk, parking lot, or other areas owned by the brewery without being required to request a special permit. These events include televised or streaming sporting events, yoga and exercise classes and movie, and theatrical events. (The ruling would have limited breweries to 25 a year and permits would have been required.)
    • A total of 12 off-premises special events, including beer, music and arts festivals, civic events, races, limited brewery anniversary celebrations, would be allowed per year if a permit is obtained.
    • Microbreweries would be required to get permission to hold an event on publicly owned or controlled property.
    • Pourers and servers employed by the microbreweries will not be required to be certified by an industry recognized server training program. (The ruling would have required they were.)
    • Microbreweries could work with a licensed food vendor to provide food to an establishment -- but not run a restaurant on site -- as well as give menus to consumers for nearby eateries. (Both would have been banned if the ruling was enforced.)
    • Breweries won't be required to provide a tour to patrons before serving or selling alcoholic beverages to them. (The 2012 law requires this, currently.)
    • They'd be permitted to deliver beer to a consumer's home.

    Howarth said he became involved in the process after seeing the special ruling coming down. He, his staff, and Burlington County Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs made a concerted effort to try to change the decision of the ABC because of the effect the ruling was having on microbreweries in the county, they said.

    "What the bill does is give somebody a vision, something they can build their business model on," Howarth said. "It gives them some hope that they will be able to continue to do well. It's bringing a lot of business into small towns like Medford, Hammonton, and Mount Holly, that bring in foot traffic. We felt it was wrong to squash them before they were even started."

    Howarth and his Democratic counterpart DeAngelo worked on the bill for nearly five weeks before it was officially introduced. The Republican assemblyman says the next step is to gain support from his fellow assemblymen and to see if there will be a sponsor for the bill in the state Senate.

    The assemblyman says the bill has received some positive support from the breweries.

    "The breweries the few I have been to, I have heard a lot of good things from them," Howarth said. "Some say it is at least a start and some have said it's a good idea and to move it forward."

    Megan Myers -- co-owner of the Human Village Brewing Company in Pitman, and one of the co-founders of the Independent Brewers of New Jersey -- says she is encouraged by the proposed law because it sets the microbreweries more in line with national trends.

    "Everybody is cautiously optimistic, but it is going to be up to our ability to have the public to communicate the necessity of this legislation to our legislators," Myers said. "Across the board, everyone is looking at it as a step in the right direction. We are waiting to see where this is going to go."

    Myers also stated the public's support for the breweries helped to overturn the special ruling and lead to the new legislation.

    "I think it is important that people understand that, in the way they signed the petition and the way they contacted their legislators and spoke up for the breweries had a large part in making sure that government is responsive and understood the direction that they wanted this industry to take," Myers said. "It's going to be pivotal moving forward that they continue to support the breweries in this process."

    The bill has been referred to the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee.

    Chris Franklin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @cfranklinnews. Find on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us.

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    This will be Landmark Americana's 5th location.

    After much anticipation, the Landmark Americana Tap & Grill has opened in The College of New Jersey's Campus Town. 

    The sports bar-style restaurant, located at 400 Main Boulvard East, offers pub food for dinner and lunch, and has a menu for late night dinning. 

    The Landmark Americana opened on Oct. 24, and is the chain's fifth location, with others in Glassboro, West Chester, University City Philadelphia, and City Line.

    The restaurant offers patrons a place to catch the big game on any of the  42 HDTV screens. Happy hour customers can select drinks from the bar menu including any of their 40 taps highlighting local craft brews.  They also plan to provide the local and college community with night time and weekend entertainment. 

    "We are very excited to open our fifth location in Ewing Township," owner Dave Goldman said in a statement. "We are drawn to campuses because there is always so much activity, and we are still given the opportunity to serve the local residents of the community."

    TCNJ student Jess Blood had the chance to experience Landmark Americana's offerings for both lunch and dinner on the opening day. 

    "I think it was worth the wait, and the atmosphere was slow for lunch but absolutely popping for dinner," Blood said. "They had live music by the bar. Me and my friends will definitely be going on a regular basis.

    She said she is looking forward to attending happy hour and late night events like trivia and bingo.

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

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    Fulham has games against Huddersfield (A) and Southampton (H) sandwiched between Liverpool (A) before the break

    With the amount of money given to each club in the Premier League, there may be more teams like Burnley, which made it into the UEFA Europa League qualification stages after a seventh place finish last season.

    While we may never see another miracle season such as Leicester City had, the likes of Bournemouth and Watford will fancy their chances to make a run at a top seven finish.

    For other teams after 10 games, such as Cardiff City, Fulham, and Newcastle United, the focus now has to be survival.

    After Manchester City visits Tottenham Monday, we will be past the quarter poll already in the league. What will the next two months bring?


    Brighton 1-0 Wolverhampton

    Fulham 0-3 Bournemouth 

    Liverpool 4-1 Cardiff City

    Southampton 0-0 Newcastle United 

    Watford 3-0 Huddersfield Town

    Leicester City 1-1 West Ham United


    Ben Foster, Watford

    Keeper kept a clean sheet, as the Hornets won for the sixth time this season. Foster had seven saves, and was the Man of the Match with a 9.03 rating.

    Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth

    Two more assists for Fraser, who now has five, in the 3-0 win. He was the Man of the Match with an 8.69 rating.

    Sadio Mane, Liverpool

    Two goals for the forward, who led Liverpool back to the top of the table for now with a 4-1 victory. He was the Man of the Match with a 9.14 rating.

    UEFA Champions League Weds: Tottenham in real trouble, Dortmund rolls


    With more than 25 percent of the season complete, both Bournemouth and Watford have six wins, and both currently sit in UEFA Europa League spots

    Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser co-leads the Premier League with five assists, and has the Cherries in sixth place. In fact, the two teams have four of the top 10 assist-makers: Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford, four), Jose Holebas (Watford, four), and Callum Wilson (Bournemouth, four)

    The Cherries have 19 goals so far, with a plus-seven goal difference, while Watford has 16 goals (plus-four goal difference).

    Both teams are well set up to finish inside the top-10.


    Slavisa Jokanovic, who brought Fulham up from the EFL Championship after a slow start to the 2017-18 campaign, has seen his team once again begin another season poorly.

    With one in in 10, after a 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth Saturday, Jokanoic is now the second favorite (5-1 odds, behind Jose Mourinho at 2-1) to be the first manager sacked from his position. Those odds may shorten very quickly, unless the Cottagers can turn it around before the next international break after November 11.

    "We have enough quality to score but we can't find a way to find a clean sheet," Jokanovic said after the loss. "The Premier League is tough not just for us but for many clubs. We are making expensive mistakes.

    "I am not thinking about my future. I will be ready for the next challenge. I am living my present and that is today a very hard defeat. I must be brave and keep going and encourage my team."

    Fulham has games against Huddersfield (A) and Southampton (H) sandwiched between Liverpool (A) before the break, then comes back with Chelsea (A), Leicester City (H), and Manchester United (A). 

    Can Jokanovic save his job?


    (Times one hour later than usual due to European time switch early Sunday)

    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


    Can Arsenal extend its 11-game unbeaten streak in all competitions?

    The Gunners have a London derby with Crystal Palace, which is struggling to get much going. The Eagles have just seven points, and need this match.

    Will Jose Mourinho sit Romelu Lukaku, after the big striker has struggled to score goals over the last month?

    A front three of Alexis Sanchez (if healthy), Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford could be unleashed at home against Everton. 

    Or maybe 17-year-old Mason Greenwood gets unleashed, after he has torn up the youth ranks for the Red Devils? Tahith Chong got the nod on the bench Tuesday against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League.

    Could this be a time for a youth revolution with United?

    I would not count on it.

    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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    About 11,000 dogs and cats were euthanized in 2017, records show.

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    After 20 years in their 1998 Colonial-style home, a Princeton couple decided it was time to tear down the floral print borders that united their bedroom with a master bathroom done in matching floral wallpaper.

    After 20 years in their 1998 Colonial-style home, a Princeton couple decided it was time to tear down the floral print borders that united their bedroom with a master bathroom done in matching floral wallpaper.

    The update of their master suite would focus mainly on the dated bathroom and the hallway that led to it. On opposite sides of the hall were his and hers closets.

    "We took down those side walls and made it one large space," said Maureen Madigan, interior designer for KraftMaster Renovations, the Chatham company that worked on the master suite.

    The resulting 250-square-foot space absorbed the hall and closets to become a spacious dressing room between the bedroom and bathroom.

    The dressing room is outfitted with cabinetry, including a quartz-topped center island, to store the clothing, shoes, accessories and other possessions of two  lawyers.

    The dressing room and updated bathroom were outfitted with a variety of pull-out storage features, among them an ironing board that tucks away behind a drawer front, and a rack with an outlet that keeps a blow dryer at the ready.

    From the bedroom, the closet is concealed behind French doors hung on a sliding barn door-style track. On the bathroom side, sliding pocket doors have similar glass insets. Mirrored glass in the doors allows the homeowners to check their appearance as they dress.

    The bathroom's exisiting water closet was updated with a bidet toilet and a new pocket door with a frosted glass inset. The 240-square-foot master bathroom was reconfigured to make room for a steam shower and other features that would contribute to a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere.

    "The bathroom was oddly laid out," Madigan said. "It was all about this big Jacuzzi tub."

    The tub and its bulky, tiled enclosure were replaced by a freestanding BainUltra air-jet bathtub with a gentle bubbling system that's eaiser to keep clean.

    "It makes light, tingling bubbles," Madigan said. "After you shut it off, it continues to run to push all the water out of all the tubes inside, so it dries out."

    The compact original shower stall was displaced by a new floating double vanity, and the larger shower would move to the opposite side of the room, near where the original vanity had been.

    "Everybody wants the big shower now, with all the bells and whistles," Madigan said. "In order to get the space in this bathroom for that big shower with the steam and the body sprays, we moved it into another corner."

    The new 31-square-foot shower has walls covered in tile planks of wood-patterned porcelain that match those laid in a herringbone pattern on the bathroom floor.

    Accenting the tile are marble insets and a floor made of smooth river rocks. The shower is outfitted with niche shelving to store bathing essentials and a bench to sit and enjoy a steam session.

    In addition to three body sprays, a handheld and a ceiling-mounted rain head, the shower has a linear steam head and lights designed to assist relaxation. "They go through a wide spectrum of colors from airy blue to sensual red," Madigan said of the shower lights. The Mr. Steam system also has a reservoir to which essential oils can be added to produce aromatic steam.

    The couple opted to keep their bedroom furniture, and the bedroom itself was enhanced by new hardwood flooring, also used in the dressing room. The room was painted and new fixtures were instaled to improve lighting.

    "They had a tray ceiling, and we kept that, but we put new light fixtures up, as well as recessed lights," Madigan said. "We put molding around the tray ceiling to accent it a little more."

    The project is enhanced by improved storage and many smaller features, such as lighting beneath the floating bathroom vanity and linear European sconces that help illuminate the room.

    "We tried to bring in some really cool elements," she said. "It was really just sitting down with them to find out what their wants and needs were."

    For added comfort, there is radiant heating beneath the floors. The heated medicine cabinets mirrors won't fog up in the steam.

    "If you open them, they light up inside," Madigan said of the cabinets, "and they have outlets for your toothbrush."

    What they renovated

    The master suite of a 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom 1998 Colonial-style home in Princeton

    Who did the work

    KraftMaster Renovations in Chatham

    How long it took

    About seven months, from March to September 2017

    What they spent

    About $320,000 to update the bathroom and bedroom and turn a hallway and existing closets into a spacious dressing room.

    Where they splurged

    On the full bathroom, which has a steam shower with chromatherapy lighting and aromatic steam; lighted and heated medicine cabinets that prevent fogged mirrors, high-end plumbing fixtures, porcelain tile and a free-standing BainUltra spa bathtub.

    How they saved

    They kept their existing bedroom furniture.

    What they like most

    The bathroom's spa features. "The steam shower was a feature the homeowners didn't know they could have," interior designer Maureen Madigan said. "It's actually a wellness feature within reach of most bathroom remodel budgets."

    What they'd have done differently


    0 0

    Srivaddhanaprabha was beloved by fans, staff, and players alike for bringing the Premier League title to Leicester in the 2015-16 season.

    The Premier League family was rocked late Saturday, when a helicopter crashed just outside the King Power Stadium following Leicester City's 1-1 draw with West Ham United.

    There has yet to be confirmation, but reports Sunday have stated that owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was on board with possibly four other people when the helicopter had a mechanical problem just after liftoff. 

    Srivaddhanaprabha was beloved by fans, staff, and players alike for bringing the Premier League title to Leicester in the 2015-16 season, a feat many say is the greatest sporting achievement of all time. It gave hope to all underdogs around the globe, and also saw the Foxes make a run all the way to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals in the 2016-17 campaign.

    Tributes have poured in from around the world, including Thailand, the home county of Srivaddhanaprabha.

    On the pitches, Arsenal's winning streak was snapped, Barcelona embarrassed Real Madrid, and Manchester United finally got a victory.


    Crystal 2-2 Palace Arsenal

    Burnley 0-4 Chelsea

    Manchester United 2-1 Everton

    El Clasico

    Barcelona 5-1 Real Madrid


    Ross Barkley, Chelsea

    The midfielder has found a new lease with Chelsea, and has started to blossom into a star. he had a goal and two assists, in the 4-0 win over Burnley. He rated out at a 9.23 on

    Luis Suarez, Barcelona

    No Messi, no problem: Suarez had a hat trick in the 5-1 destruction of Real Madrid, which should seal the fate of Julien Lopetegui. Suarez was the Man of the Match with a 9.57 rating.

    Willian, Chelsea

    Another game, another goal for the left-sided player. He also hit the post, and was the Man of the Match with a 9.24 rating.

    Bournemouth and Watford continue torrid start to Premier League


    Granit Xhaka gave, and he took away, Sunday for the Gunners.

    The Arsenal midfielder smashed a free kick in off the bar from just outside the top corner of the 18, then gave away a late penalty, which Luka Milivojevic converted to earn Crystal Palace a 2-2 draw.

    Milivojevic converted twice from the spot, the first two goals of the season for the Eagles at home in the league. 


    There were reports Julien Lopetegui was going to be relieved of his head coaching duties last weekend, but Florentino Perez held off making the change.

    There is little doubt that he will be gone very shortly, after Barcelona destroyed the three-time defending UEFA Champions League winners 5-1 Sunday. Lionel Messi has been out of the team with an arm injury, but Suarez made sure that the Blaugrana moved back to the top of the La Liga table, while leaving Real Madrid in shambles.


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


    All matches live on ESPN+ at 3:45 p.m. EDT unless noted


    Burton Albion vs. Nottingham Forest

    Bournemouth vs. Norwich City

    Leicester City vs. Southampton (may change)


    Chelsea vs. Derby County

    Arsenal vs. Blackpool

    West Ham United vs. Tottenham

    Middlesborough vs. Crystal Palace, 4 p.m.


    Manchester City vs. Fulham

    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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    Police say he handed a teller a note demanding cash and then ran off with the money.

    Trenton police are looking for a man they said robbed a bank in the city Saturday morning. 

    Robbery Suspect copy.jpg 

    Police said the culprit -- an "older white male" wearing a hooded sweatshirt -- entered the Polish and Slovak Credit Union at 1110 North Olden Ave. at 11:11 a.m. and slid a teller a note demanding money. 

    He ran off with an unknown amount of money, police said.

    The man, who did not display a weapon during the robbery, was caught on security footage, authorities said.

    He bears a resemblance to the suspect in multiple other bank robberies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania this month, but Trenton police could not say if the man was the suspect in the other area robberies. 

    Police have asked anyone with information about the robbery or the man's identity to call Detective Crystal Everett at 609-989-4137 or Detective Sgt. Robert Mathis at 609-989-4264.

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


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    Consider adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue group.

    Halloween is filled with light-hearted tricks and treats, and it's important to keep safety in mind for every member of the family--including your pets. Halloween can pose a number of potential safety hazards for pets, who tend to experience high levels of stress due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday.

    Here are a few tips from to keep you and your four-legged family members safe and happy this Halloween:

    -2e494a9b757a636d njadvancemedia.JPG 

    Costumes, while cute, can be dangerous for pets. If you choose to dress your pet up in costume, make sure they can move in it comfortably and most importantly, safely. Avoid costumes that require tying anything around your pet's neck that can choke them, or costumes that hang to the ground that they may stumble over.

    Keep your pet away from harmful Halloween candy and food. Before you give in to your pet's pleading eyes and feed them that Halloween candy bar, be aware of the harmful consequences of feeding human food to any animal. To reduce temptation, feed your pet before any guests arrive so they will be less likely to beg and steal food. Tell your guests of any house rules regarding your pet, such as not feeding them scraps from the table.

    If nicotine and alcohol will be consumed in your home this Halloween, be extra vigilant to keep these items out of your pet's reach. These substances can be highly toxic--even deadly--to animals.

    Keep your home a safe space for your pet. Animals can get stressed with the hustle and bustle of guests and trick-or-treaters. It's best to keep your pets indoors and provide them with a safe, quiet, escape-proof room where they can be removed from the energy and excitement of the holiday.

    As trick-or-treaters come to your door, there will be many opportunities for your pets to slip out unnoticed. Make sure that your pets always wear current identification tags, consider having your pets microchipped if you haven't already--and watch the door!

    Follow these tips, and your pet will have just as much fun as you and your kids this Halloween.

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

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    I am really, really grateful that I am getting this opportunity. I have been a part of this game, and it has stayed close to my heart

    For Tom "Flash" Gordon, 2018 brings back special memories.

    It is the 10th anniversary of the Philadelphia Phillies World Series title, and although Gordon was injured by the time the Phillies beat Tampa Bay, he was a pivotal part of the team for three years.

    This year has also seen Gordon take on a new role in baseball: Director of Community Relations and Special Advisor to the President, Jerry Ford, for Perfect Game USA.

    So while the Major League Baseball season ended Sunday night with Boston's fourth World Series title in 14 years, Gordon and Perfect Game are just ramping up their showcase tournaments in the South, where the weather is warmer than areas of the North, including New Jersey and the surrounding Tri-State area.

    The weekend of November 3-4 will see five Perfect Game showcase events, with three in Texas and two in California. December 28-30 will see Fort Myers, Florida host three more, before two more dates in January.

    Gordon recently attended the 20th WWBA World Championship (held in Jupiter, Florida from October 18-22) in his new role, and was excited for the opportunity.

    "It is tremendous the way things have been ran," Gordon said. "Perfect Game is an innovator in baseball, sports, and technology. They are always trying to give back, and have places for the kids to play, in the nice weather so they can showcase themselves. 

    "This was a tournament that I have been to so many times. But going this year knowing that I was going to be given an opportunity to be part of the organization, and to be a part of something so grand, now I can look forward to trying to find ways to innovate in what I have been a port of, and the is the youth part of baseball. Giving these kids a chance to showcase their talent.

    "Jupiter is always a huge tournament. It is always a tournament of the stars to come, where you see such good talent on the field every single day showcasing themselves for hundreds of scouts and scouting directors, and guys that make decisions for their ball clubs."

    Leicester City tragedy overshadows Premier League Sunday

    Gordon has spent a lot of time around the Perfect Game tournaments in the past. He has one son in the majors already with the Seattle Mariners, Dee Gordon. Another, Nick Gordon, is the fourth ranked prospect in the Minnesota Twins system. Tom is also the guardian for a Juan Hillman, who is in the Cleveland system.

    Gordon will now work with Perfect Game to find and improve youth players, including ones in areas that may have been less served in the past. 

    "I think that is the way it should be, in a lot of ways," Gordon said. "When you are seeing kids now that are coming from all over to play baseball, it has been remarkable to see. We are living in that time where the internet does play a huge part in that. Sometimes it doesn't give you the chance to see that kid play live. My job will play a huge part in that.

    "I will get an opportunity to go into places that I have been looking forward to. Then, I can find some kids, give some feedback on where I think the next game or tournament should be played. That way, everybody gets an opportunity to get a few looks and show that there is talent everywhere.

    "When you look at Jupiter, California, and Texas, some of the bigger showcases we have, sometimes kids can't always make it. Travel for parents might hold them back. Sometimes it is the weather. Things take place that sometimes take away that opportunity to play.

    "But I think right now, they are giving me an opportunity. There are places that I can go. I am in my RV a lot, and I get a chance to reach out to the communities and see if there is a place we can play some games, and maybe showcase some talents and run some tournaments.

    "I am really, really grateful that I am getting this opportunity. I have been a part of this game, it is a game that I love, and it has stayed close to my heart. It gives me an opportunity to work with one of the innovators in the game, and it gives me an opportunity to find talent, when they don't think they will be seen."


    Gordon, who came up as a rookie with the Kansas City Royals in 1988 before breaking out in 1989 with a 17-9 record, also spoke about a current Royals' rookie that grew up in the Trenton area.

    Heath Fillmyer, who played for Florence High School, Bordentown Post 26, and Mercer County Community College, was 4-2 for Kansas City in 2018. He made his major league debut on June 24 against defending World Series champion Houston.

    "I have always been a guy that loved guys that threw hard, but are very aggressive," Gordon said. "What I saw with him this year is that I like his aggression. I thought he was very, very aggressive with the fastball in the zone.

    "For me, when you watch a guy like that, you have to decide is he willing to make an adjustment soon enough, and will he pitch inside aggressively. I thought he did a wonderful job on that."

    Contact Sean Miller at Follow him on Twitter @TheProdigalSean

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    11 New Jersey counties have more than the national average of female firefighters.

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    He hit banks in West Windsor and North Brunswick

    The bank robber with a trademark beanie cap and sunglasses struck twice on Monday, police said, bringing his total to a possible eight branches robbed.

    A man demanded money from a teller at a Santander Bank in West Windsor around 10:14 a.m. Monday, the department said on Nixle, a law enforcement alert app.

    The man entered the bank at 44 Princeton-Hightstown Road wearing a red windbreaker with a blue shirt underneath. Police called the hold-up an attempted robbery. It was unclear if he left with any cash.

    West Windsor police Lt. Robert Fow said police are aware the man is connected to several prior robberies in the area, and police suspect he struck later in the morning at a bank in North Brunswick. No details on that robbery were immediately available.

    The man is described as heavyset and in his 50s. The FBI in Trenton and West Windsor detectives are investigating.

    Man who robbed Middlesex bank may have struck at 4 others this month

    A man with a similar description robbed a North Trenton bank on Saturday. 

    And last week banks in Hunterdon and Somerset counties were robbed by a man with a very similar description, some which were connected to a heist in Bucks County, Pennsylvania on Oct. 1.

    Anyone with information or who recognizes the man in the picture can reach Lt. Fow at or Detective David Jelinski at

    Tipsters can also call 911, 609-799-1222, or the department's anonymous tipline 609-799-0452.

    - Reporter Kevin Shea contributed to this story.

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

    Have a tip? Tell us. 

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