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    A look at some of New Jersey's top alums making a difference in college softball this season.


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    Neither victim's injuries are considered life-threatening

    A man suspected of shooting two people in New Jersey was captured after he carjacked a vehicle and led police on chase along the Garden State Parkway, authorities said.

    The double shooting occurred shortly before 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Englewood. The victims were being treated at a hospital, but authorities say their injuries are not considered life-threatening.

    Authorities say the alleged gunman, 37-year-old Odari Green of Hackensack, soon carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint in Hackensack and fled on Interstate 80 to the Garden State Parkway. He was arrested after the vehicle was eventually stopped in East Orange.

    It wasn't known Tuesday if Green has retained a lawyer. He's expected to face numerous charges stemming from the shootings and the pursuit.

    A motive for the shooting remains under investigation.

     

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    It's almost time to break out the shorts in New Jersey. But will our spring-like weather be just a tease?

    Winter haters can start the slow clap now. Temperatures will finally -- finally! -- be warming up across New Jersey as the weekend approaches.

    However, there are two downsides to this weather news. Rain showers might spoil Sunday's warmth. And we could revert to another slight cooling trend next week, according to local weather forecasters.

    While we likely won't see a repeat of Tuesday morning's light coating of snow in parts of Burlington, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties, it appears New Jersey will have to wait another two weeks before consistently warm spring weather sticks around.

    "The end of this month and early May will be what a normal spring should be," said Ken Elliott, a meteorologist at the WeatherWorks forecasting company, based in Warren County. "True warmth will be delayed."

    Back to the good news: New Jerseyans will at least get a brief taste of spring-like weather this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as temperatures soar into the upper 60s, then into the upper 70s -- perhaps making a run for 80 degrees.

    Although Thursday's warmth may be marred by cloudy skies and scattered rain showers, Friday and Saturday are shaping up to be ideal days to break out the cargo shorts and short-sleeve shirts, forecasters said.

    "It will feel hot, based upon where we've been," Elliott noted. "We're not acclimated to the warmth" because of all the chilly days we've had this month.

    Cool days vs. warm days

    How bad has it been? Eight of the first 10 days of April have been cooler than normal at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to climate data from the National Weather Service

    Another below-average day, with the mercury stuck in the low 50s, is in store for Wednesday, followed by a string of three days with temperatures climbing into the upper 60s and upper 70s -- 7 to 16 degrees warmer than average. Yep, warmer than average. 

    Why so warm? It's because of a shift in the weather pattern, with warm air from the Southwest pushing up to the Northeast and cooler air retreating up to Canada, Elliott said.

    Elliott said he wouldn't be surprised to see some temperature readings in urban areas of New Jersey reach the 80-degree mark later this week, mainly because trees haven't yet sprouted their leaves. 

    When trees are in full bloom, they provide more shade and go through a process known as evapotranspiration, when moisture gets released from leaves into the atmosphere. Surface temperatures tend to be a bit cooler when that happens.

    The absence of leaves in early spring sometimes helps boost temperatures by a couple of degrees, Elliott noted.

    Len Melisurgo may be reached at LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @LensReality or like him on Facebook. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, who grew up in Newark, announced a new $150 million high-rise as he celebrated milestone for Shaq Towers, a 22-story building already in the works. Watch video

    Former NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal is making his mark on his hometown skyline. 

    And much like the 7-foot-1-inch sports legend, the 22-story apartment complex -- colloquially called "Shaq Towers" -- will hover over the city's downtown as its first high-rise in more than 50 years

    "I remember when I was growing up (the city) used to be beautiful like this so the older I get, I want it to be a little more beautiful," O'Neal told NJ Advance Media. "I invest in things that are going to make a difference."

    On Tuesday, O'Neal, a Newark native, was joined by Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Mayor Ras Baraka to mark a milestone in the building's construction. 

    "Yet another piece of evidence that this city is on the rise, let there be no doubt about it," Murphy said. "This is a city that has got a trajectory that is undeniable ... as our big urban centers go, first and foremost as Newark goes, so goes the state of New Jersey."

    The $79 million luxury apartments, developed by Boraei Development and O'Neal, are steps from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the renovated Hahne & Co. building that includes a Whole Foods and the newest restaurant by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. 

    1RectorStreet.jpgThe building at 1 Rector Street, set to open by the end of the year.  

    The 168 apartments at 1 Rector Street will open by the end of the year with residents able to apply for a lease as soon as September, Wasseem Boraie told NJ Advance Media. He said the company bought the property -- which used to house the old Science Park High School 10 years ago -- but construction didn't begin until last October

    "We were waiting for the right time," Boraie said, citing new businesses in the area. "We all then build up around the supply."

    O'Neal also announced a new $150 million, 350-unit apartment complex with Boraie (whom he called "the Kobe Bryant of development"). The 35-story building on 777 McCarter Highway will be known as the "House that Shaq Built," O'Neal said. 

    "I was born and raised here, I love this city," O'Neal said during a press conference after struggling to lift the microphones at the podium to his height.

    O'Neal recalled a 1992 visit to Newark to see his relatives. "My mother says to me, 'I remember when this city used to be beautiful, somebody needs to come back and invest in this city and make it beautiful again,' then she gave me the elbow to the chest like I'm that somebody," he said. 

    Goldman Sachs, which is investing in 1 Rector Street, will also invest in the new development. The company has already invested $600 million in the city through various projects. 

    A new program in Newark called Project IMPACT also partnered with O'Neal and Boraie to help train local residents for unionized jobs. So far, 18 individuals have been placed as apprentices. 

    Mayor Ras Baraka said the city wanted to make sure developers gave Newarkers a share of the jobs "to make sure that we can create pipelines for Newark residents to be a part of the growth and development that's happening here in Newark."

    Karen Yi may be reached at kyi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook

     

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    15 towns in Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic are included

    A service that delivers groceries and other items from BJ's Wholesale Club, CVS and Petco is expanding to 15 towns, mostly in Morris and Passaic counties. 

    Instacart.com says it will make deliveries in as little as one hour from those stores as well as Acme and Kings Food Markets in some locations. There are six towns each in Passaic and Morris counties as well as two are in Bergen and in Essex.

    Customers can also place an order up to six days ahead of time or have their groceries waiting to be pick up. 

    The towns it plans to serve are:

    • Riverdale
    • Ringwood
    • Wanaque
    • Bloomingdale
    • Kinnelon
    • Butler
    • Pompton Lakes
    • Oakland
    • Wayne
    • Pequannock
    • Lincoln Park
    • Fairfield
    • Montville
    • West Milford
    • Franklin Lakes

    Instacart.com says it will hire more than 100 "shoppers" to pick up items for their customers. Delivery is free on orders of $35 or more with an express membership, which costs $99 for the first year. Rates on other orders depend on the size of the order and the time of delivery. 

    Last year, Instacart.com began delivery service to parts of five Central Jersey counties. 

    It's part of a growing number of companies that deliver groceries that include Walmart and Amazon Grocery.

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


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    Who is ranked first in the latest NJ.com Top 20


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    Scott Spina admitted he stole credit card numbers and failed to deliver orders

    A 20-year-old New Jersey man who went into the sneaker business with rapper Fat Joe admitted Tuesday that he stole customers' credit card numbers and never delivered their orders. 

    Scott Spina, of Bloomfield, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and faced up to 20 years in federal prison when he is sentenced July 23, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement. 

    Spina, who went by the name "Scotty Kickz" also racked up charges on his own credit card and then claimed to the credit card company that they were fraudulent. In all, Spina's illegal credit card activity totaled about $550,000.

    Spina promised his clients, some of whom were professional athletes and entertainers, high-end sneakers but ended up swiping credit card numbers and using the information to buy a golf cart, an all-terrain vehicle and other items, federal officials said. 

    Spina began selling sneakers online as a teenager and eventually got contacted on social media by then-Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, who asked Spina to personally deliver him the footwear to the team's facility in East Rutherford. 

    The teenager soon became acquainted other players through Jacobs and according to SoleCollector.com later met and partnered with Fat Joe, a rapper from the Bronx, New York.

    The two later opened sneaker store UP NYC in New York City. But the relationship soured and Spina later sued Fat Joe, a 47-year-old whose given name is Joseph Cartagena. In addition, the company that handled the store's credit card sales filed a lawsuit against both men, SoleCollector.com reported. 

    In a 2016 video interview with Fuse, Spina mentioned his friendship with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown as well unnamed Jets and Giants. He has also sold sneakers to DJ Khaled, Jay-Z, Rick Ross, French Montana, Lil Durk, Future and Fetty Wap.

    Spina's Bloomfield-based attorney, Vincent Scoca, didn't immediately return a message from NJ Advance Media seeking comment Wednesday.

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

     

     


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    Which players are off to the best statistical starts?


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    Goals, assists, saves and ground balls. Who's setting the pace so far this season?


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    The New Jersey man has been awarded a total of $117 million.

    A state jury on Wednesday ordered Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier to pay an additional $80 million in punitive damages to a New Jersey man who sued the companies, claiming he developed cancer from asbestos in talc-based baby powder, Reuters reported.

    The company and its France-based talc supplier, Imerys SA, were already ordered by the jury last week to pay the man, Stephen Lanzo III, and his wife, $37 million in compensatory damages, bringing the total award to $117 million.

    Lanzo, a 46-year-old investment banker from Verona, had filed a lawsuit after contracting mesothelioma, a cancer of the tissue that lines the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs.

    The decision is the first to find Johnson & Johnson's baby powder with talc led to a person being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

    After last week's ruling, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson said in an emailed statement the company was "disappointed with this decision."

    N.J. couple awarded $37M in Johnson & Johnson baby powder cancer case

    Lanzo's attorneys had argued during the trial -- which began in late January -- that Lanzo contracted mesothelioma as a result of applying the company's products to his skin for more than 30 years. His suit claimed Johnson & Johnson knew its products contained asbestos but didn't properly warn its consumers.

    Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson, however, argued Lanzo grew up in a house in Montclair with basement pipes wrapped in asbestos. They also argued that schools in Montclair that Lanzo attended have also been treated for asbestos.

    Johnson & Johnson is responsible for 70 percent of the damages while Imerys SA is responsible for the rest.

    Spencer Kent may be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have information about this story or something else we should be covering? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    The case, involving an adult male, allegedly took place in 1992. Allegations against Spacey, who was dropped from 'All the Money in the World' and 'House of Cards,' have included claims that he sexually harassed and assaulted minors.

    Prosecutors in Los Angeles are reviewing sexual assault allegations against actor Kevin Spacey, NBC reports.

    The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department presented the case, which is being reviewed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney Office's Sex Crimes Task Force, to prosecutors on April 5, according to the report. 

    The incident described in the case concerns an adult male and allegedly took place in 1992 in West Hollywood, according to a BuzzFeed report. Police started investigating the case in December. 

    In the wake of stories about sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein last year, a number of men claimed that Spacey had assaulted or sexually harassed them. As a result, Spacey, 58, was dropped from his starring role on the Netflix series "House of Cards" and all of his scenes in the movie "All the Money in the World" were reshot with Christopher Plummer

    Spacey, born in South Orange, was an Oscar winner and enjoyed a long, successful career before actor Anthony Rapp came forward with allegations against the actor. In October, Rapp claimed that Spacey had made sexual advances toward him in 1986, when he was 14 and the actor was 26, climbing on top of him.

    "If I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior," Spacey tweeted at the time, going on to come out as gay in the same statement. Many criticized Spacey for trying to deflect from Rapp's allegations. 

    More allegations followed, stretching as far back as the 1970s, with men claiming Spacey has groped them or made unwanted advances, including Harry Dreyfuss, son of actor Richard Dreyfuss (he said Spacey groped him when he was 18 while his father was in the same room reading lines in a script). Multiple performers who worked at the Old Vic theater in London, where Spacey had served as a artistic director for a decade, also came forward with allegations -- eventually, 20 people there made claims against Spacey.

    In November, London police launched an investigation of Spacey for an alleged sexual assault in 2008. 

    One man also alleged that when he was 14, he had a sexual relationship with Spacey that ended in an attempted rape.

    In November, Heather Unruh, a former news anchor in Boston, alleged that Spacey groped her 18-year-old son's crotch in 2016 after offering him alcohol. She said her son filed a complaint with Nantucket police. 

    Shortly after Netflix shut down production in the wake of the Spacey allegations, multiple "House of Cards" employees also made allegations against Spacey, with a production assistant claiming that the actor had stuck his hand down his pants as he drove to the set. 

    "I was in a state of shock," the man told CNN. "He was a man in a very powerful position on the show and I was someone very low on the totem pole and on the food chain there." 

     

    Amy Kuperinsky may be reached at akuperinsky@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmyKup or on Facebook.

     


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    "Sprung from cages out on highway nine, chrome wheeled, fuel injected, and steppin' out over the line ...."

    I recently had to buy a car for my son after the camshaft failed on his previous vehicle. It needs to be said that no matter how poorly the car with the bad camshaft treated my son, he was sad to say goodbye to it because "Doug" -- as he had named it -- was his first car.

    chevelle.jpg*sigh" 

    My first car was a 1972 Chevelle. Admittedly, it had the family 307 V8 instead of the 350 or 402, but it LOOKED fast. It topped out at 97 mph, not a fraction faster.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    The affinity my son and I had for our first cars is in no way unique. Who doesn't have a soft spot in his or her heart for that "first set of wheels?"

    And, guys aren't the only ones who get soulful about their cars; gals are just as likely to have fond memories of former vehicles (as referenced by a recent insurance company commercial: "You LOVED Brad ... and then you totaled him!").

    Some guys, however, seem to take it to an extreme. A 2008 survey by the Daily Mail revealed that their first set of wheels ranked higher in young men's memories than their 18th birthday, first girlfriend and first kiss. I recognize that the Daily Mail survey was taken a decade ago, but it speaks to a love affair we have with our cars that shows no sign of waning in the 21st century.

    Chevrolet referred to its cars as being "the heartbeat of America" and Chrysler made it is simple as possible when it told us that "driving = love." Some may not be quick to admit it, but I think it's obvious that we all have an emotional attachment to our cars.

    Enjoy this collection of classic car photos from the past in New Jersey, as well as these links to previous auto-related galleries.

    Vintage photos of cars and racing in N.J.

    Vintage photos of hot wheels and cool cars in N.J.

    Vintage photos of a long history of auto racing in N.J.

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


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    Devils play the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, but will they advance past the first round of the playoffs?

    Tonight, the New Jersey Devils will be playing hockey, something they haven't done this late in the year since 2012 when they went all the way to the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the Los Angeles Kings two games to four. That was six years ago for the average person, but 112 years in a fan's life.

    The year before the Cup series, the Devils didn't qualify for the playoffs. In the three years before that, they made it to the tournament but were booted in the first round.

    So, with the exception of 2012, the red and green Devils haven't advanced to the second round of the tournament since the 2006-7 season. 

    Tonight they play the Tampa Bay Lightning, which won the Eastern conference title this year. But ask yourself, what does that really mean? The Devils beat TB each time they met this past season. That's got to be a confidence builder.

    Here's how sees the website pucksandpitchforks.com sees it: 

    "The Lightning might have Nikita Kucherov, but the Devils have Taylor Hall. The Lightning may run four lines deep, but so do the Devils. Andrei Vasilevsky, meet a player who has gone save-for-save with the best of them for the past two months: Keith Kinkaid. Quite frankly, this matchup is a lot more even than some are painting it to be. Oh, and the Devils have gone 3-0 against the Lightning and are the only team to sweep the Lightning this season in the entire Eastern Conference."

    But what do you think? Have the Devils turned things around enough to get past the first round in the mad chase for Lord Stanley's Cup?

    Vote in our informal and unscientific poll and tell us why in the comments. 

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


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    According to its Trulia listing, the taxes on the property in 2017 were $10,830.31

    In this week's "Sold!" property, we feature a home in the Short Hills section of Millburn with more than 8,700 square feet of living space.

    The house sold for $3,175,000 in March. According to its Trulia listing, the taxes on the property in 2017 were $10,830.31.

    The home features 7 bedrooms and 7 full bathrooms. The house was assessed in 2017 at $3,119,700.

    The median sale price for homes in the area is $1,417,500.

    Sophie Nieto-Munoz may be reached at snietomunoz@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her at @snietomunoz. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

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    Shop-Rite owners $6 million gift will train 'entrepreneurial' rabbis

    Ned Gladstein comes from a three-generation line of local grocers, and now owns two Shop-Rites, one in West Caldwell and one in Parsippany.

    His wife, Jane, grew up a New England mill town.

    Together, they raised three daughters in their North Caldwell home, which today shows evidence of their eight grandchildren coming to play.

    How they became a dominant force in guiding international rabbinical training in the digital age is a story with arc, like many, that begins with childhood influences and observations and culminates with an adult sense of responsibility, and the means to get thing done.

    The couple has just added a $5 million endowment to their $1 million fellowship at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in New York, North America's largest training ground for Conservative Judaism rabbis and scholars.

    Simply put, the Gladsteins say, the endowment and the structure of training they have put in place, will bring rabbis to populations of Conservative Jews that are now without leaders, binding those communities together.

    "This is one of the most significant gifts to JTS ever," said David Hoffman, the school's vice chancellor.

    For the Gladsteins, the rabbi that bound their community together was Alan Silverstein of the Congregation Agudath Israel of Caldwell.

    "He is an amazing, dynamic person," Jane Gladstein said. "He has had a wonderful impact on our family and community."

    MORE: Recent Mark Di Ionno columns

    Ned Gladstein, 68, immersed himself in his faith and community as a teenager, joining the Conservatism Judaism's United Synagogue of Youth.

    "I joined for the social aspect, but something deeper resonated in me," he said.

    Part of social aspect was getting to know the families at Agudath Israel, including "the carpool ladies," Gladstein said, who would later pull him in to a leadership role at the congregation.  

    Around the same time, Jane Gladstein, was growing up in Putnam, Conn.

    "There are lots of places where it's easy to be a Jew," she said, meaning ready access to synagogues and rabbis. "And in other places, it's not so easy."

    She recalls her Jewish friends in a heavily Christian area having to travel long distances to worship.

    The couple married and their family grew, and Ned went from being a teenager who needed to be driven around to a successful business man who raced sports cars for a hobby.

    About 30 years ago, when Ned was in his late 30s, the "carpool ladies" came knocking. 

    He was asked to run bingo.

    "They knew I could count money, so I qualified," Ned said.

    Soon, he was not only immersed in his faith but the business of the congregation.  He became vice president of finance and education, then president. When JTS was looking for board members, Silverstein nominated Ned Gladstein, and suddenly the world of Conservative Judaism and, like all religions, its problems of retention opened to him.

    "Our congregation has grown from 450 families to about 1,000," Ned Gladstein said, "but that's because we have a dynamic rabbi. So I saw how leadership could grow a congregation exponentially."

    Once involved with JTS, Ned Gladstein took a leadership role in the World Council of Conservative Synagogues.

    In 10 short years, he had gone from running  bingo in Caldwell  to having visited small Conservative congregations in Europe, the Middle East and South America, and being deeply involved in guiding hierarchy of the faith.

    In 2003, Ned and Jane Gladstein were on a flight back to New Jersey from Budapest, talking about the Jewish communities they visited in the Hungarian capital, and others they'd seen around the world.

    "The thirst they have for rabbinical leadership and rabbinic authority" was not met in some cases, said Ned Gladstein.

    He recalled a trip to Turin, Italy, where local Jewish leaders told him "all of our children are leaving."

    Ned Gladstein lamented the problems of these small congregations during the flight from Budapest.

    "I said there has to be a way to blend age-old Jewish law with how people live in modernity. And then Jane asked this question: 'Is anybody in the United States doing it?' And then she said, 'You should.' "

    This was the conversation that led to the $6 million Gladstein Fellowship in Entrepreneurial Rabbinic Leadership at JTS.

    The school will announce the Gladstein's new gift of $5 million, which brings the fellowship to its current amount, in the coming days.

    The first $1 million has produced 11 ordained rabbis with four still at JTS. This will grow "exponentially," as Ned Gladstein likes to say, as time goes on.

    The money comes with a training program that puts the rabbinical students under the tutelage of two rabbis cut from the Silverstein mode, Gordon Tucker of the Temple Israel Center in White Plains and Barry Dov Katz of Adath Israel in Riverdale, N.Y. The students travel to areas where Conservative Jews have rabbi-less congregations.

    "It's like a hospital internship," Ned Gladstein said. "They are, in effect, the rabbi for that congregation and they must use entrepreneurial skills to bring it together."

    After that, the Gladstein fellows are off to places, where, as Jane Gladstein says, "it's not always easy to be a Jew."

    By that she means places where Jewish populations are small and spread out, and where a rabbi can be the force that brings them together.

    Gladstein Fellows now run congregations in places such as Cypress, Texas, and Leesburg, Va.

    "We want them to find the Jewish population where they live, where they work, where they eat, and meet them personally and connect," said Ned Gladstein. "This is why we call the fellowship 'entrepreneurial.' ''

    Hoffman called the "entrepreneurial part" the "new frontier of American Conservative Judaism."

    "What Ned has done is take his vision of business and community and pushed us (JTS) into that vision," he said. "The Gladstein Fellowship is the catalyst for how we now train all rabbis."

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


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    The bill combats a dangerous cycle known as "passing the trash," in which administrators who fear litigation remain silent as teachers under investigation for sexual misconduct move from school to school. Watch video

    A historic law giving school administrators sweeping new powers to warn other districts about teachers accused of sexual abuse was signed Wednesday by Gov. Phil Murphy.

    "Ensuring our children are safe when they go to school every day is our number one priority," Murphy said. "By requiring public, charter, nonpublic schools and contracted service providers to perform a detailed investigation of prior employment histories of applicants who are applying for jobs entailing regular contact with students, this common-sense legislation will begin to fill a serious gap in our hiring system."

    The landmark legislation becomes law four months after NJ Advance Media published an extensive investigation, highlighting a system that allows problem teachers to easily get another public school job even after accusations of sexual misconduct. Known as "passing the trash," the cycle continues because administrators, in an effort to avoid lawsuits, often have remained silent about teachers under investigation.

    Teachers accused of sexual misconduct keep getting jobs in N.J.

    The law requires schools to ask teachers' previous employers if they were under investigation for sexual misconduct at the time they resigned. Districts would be required to share complaints against former teachers unless the cases were proven false or unsubstantiated.

    Notably, the proposal would also grant districts legal immunity for sharing such information and ban separation agreements that force districts to destroy or withhold files detailing those probes. 

    First proposed in in January 2017, the bill languished in Trenton for nearly year before NJ Advance Media's investigation published in December. The bill was passed unanimously in February by both the Assembly and Senate.

    One teacher highlighted in the story was convicted of sexually assaulting six students in three different schools districts. Another teacher was recently indicted on charges he sexually abused two teenagers in the 1990s. A third teacher, who left three jobs where he was accused of misconduct over 10 years, was fired the day the story published.

    Murphy in December said the report made him "vomit" and he would consider "smart legislation" to address the problem.

    "This is a huge victory for our children, their parents, and our state," said Jay Webber (R-Morris), who authored the legislation. "Allowing former employers to share information with prospective employers about teachers who sexually assault students is plain common sense. No longer will these predators be able to continue their horrific behavior simply by changing jobs. Children will now have the protection they deserve."

    Earlier Wedneday, Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), a co-sponsor of the bill, called on the governor to sign the bill into law. 

    "As I've said all along, the safety of our students is paramount," Pennacchio (R-26) said. "By enacting the 'Pass the Trash' law, this state is honoring its responsibility to protect innocent children from chronically-abusive teachers. I am proud that we were able to do this on a bipartisan basis with the support of the Governor. This legislation will go a long way to safeguarding students from abuse."

    The law is modeled after similar laws in a small but growing number of states, including Pennsylvania. It passed despite never gaining support from the influential New Jersey Education Association, the state's largest teachers union. 

    The NJEA did not take a position on the bill, saying it cared about the wellbeing of students but also wanted to protect due process rights for school employees. 

    Other school groups, including the New Jersey School Boards Association, supported the bill with minor revisions to help schools implement the new requirements. 

    Rush Russell, executive director of the advocacy group Prevent Child Abuse NJ, said the NJ Advance Media report changed attitudes toward the legislation "with dramatic examples that no one could hide or run from."

    "No longer will schools be able to keep offenders' behavior a secret, and allow them to get another job in another school... and abuse more children," he said. 

    Adam Clark may be reached at adam_clark@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on twitter at @realAdamClarkFind NJ.com on Facebook. 

    Jessica Remo may be reached at jremo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @JessicaRemoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    There were plenty of changes from the opening rankings.


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    Check out who leads the list. The answer might surprise you.


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    Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Ras Baraka met with Amazon representatives Tuesday to discuss where in Newark it could move its HQ2 headquarters if it choses the Garden State, sources told NJAM.

    Gov. Phil Murphy and Mayor Ras Baraka met with Amazon representatives Tuesday to discuss where in Newark it could move its HQ2 headquarters if it did, in fact, choose the Garden State as its new home base, individuals briefed on the matter told NJ Advance Media.

    Other leaders also attended the meetings, the sources said, including former Newark mayor and current U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and businessman and philanthropist Ray Chambers.

    Murphy, Baraka, Chambers and prominent Newark leaders also attended a dinner Tuesday night with the Amazon team at Mompou -- a well-known tapas and wine bar in Newark, a person involved with the Amazon visit said.

    The meetings in Newark come as Amazon considers where to move its new headquarters. Newark is one of 20 finalist cities.

    When asked about the meeting during an event in Montclair on Thursday, Murphy declined to say whether it happened or to provide any details.

    "We're gonna respect the process they've (Amazon) laid out, so I'm not gonna speak to anything specific," Murphy told reporters. 

    "We're a long way from the goal line. We're one of 20. But I love what Newark's putting forward," he said.

    In a statement, Aisha Glover, president and CEO of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, confirmed the HQ2 team was in the city.

    "The purpose of that meeting was to fine-tune elements included in our pitch and give a first-hand look at the city we hope will be chosen for their second national headquarters," Glover said.  "We will make no comment on the views and reactions of the Amazon team in order to respect the integrity of their selection process."

    The company has visited other locations on its finalist list over the past month, including in Virginia, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. 

    "Amazon is working with each HQ2 candidate city to dive deeper on their proposals and share additional information about the company's plans. We're excited to visit each location and talk about how HQ2 could benefit our employees and the local community," the company said in a statement.

    Amazon representatives were supposed to visit Newark last month, but had to cancel because of bad weather.

    Newark submitted its bid last fall. Many early reports did not rank the city in the list of those likely to become finalists. But in January, Amazon announced the city had made the cut.

    "Newark boasts a highly-educated workforce, robust transportation systems, and thriving technology networks that provide many strategic benefits to companies that call our city home. Our meetings earlier this week with Amazon leadership brought these and many other advantages Newark offers to light," Booker said in a statement. 

    The current Newark Amazon deal would give the company up to $7 billion in tax credits for relocating to Newark -- an incentive that dwarfs the next largest package offered to a company in the state.

    That's the $390 million given to Ameream LLC and Meadow Amusement in 2013 to develop the retail and entertainment American Dream complex. It's been under construction for 10 years.

    In return for the tax breaks in New Jersey, Amazon said it would create as many as 50,000 jobs with an average compensation of $100,000 for its new headquarters. But those numbers are contingent upon how many people it transfers from its Seattle office. 

    Despite the hype over the Newark offer, analysts have predicted the company will most likely land elsewhere. D.C. or Virginia are both likely picks given Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' relationship to the area. (He owns The Washington Post).

    NJ Advance Media staff writer Brent Johnson contributed to this report.

    Erin Banco may be reached at ebanco@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @ErinBanco. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Karen Yi may be reached at kyi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook.


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    A Newark couple purchased 5 semi-automatic weapons with the help of an active duty member of the Navy

    One afternoon in late 2017, a Newark couple arrived home from a short visit with a cousin in Virginia. They texted to let her know they were back safe - along with the five new semi-automatic handguns they'd just bought with her there.

    "Omg please don't be carving bodies," the cousin, an active-duty U.S. Navy member wrote. "My name on them thangssssss lol."

    "Lol nah we not crazy ass," Azia Sinclair, 28, of Newark texted back.

    Five hours later, police in Orange responded to call for gunfire and made an arrest. At the scene, they recovered one of the handguns the couple purchased the morning before, nearly 400 miles away.

    Months later, the trio - Sinclair, her cousin Tesora Trejorojas, 23, of Norfolk and her boyfriend Shyheim Tyson, 22 - have been charged federally with illegally transporting the guns from Norfolk, Virginia to Newark.

    The deal started in a text conversation, a criminal complaint in the case shows.

    On November 1, 2017, Sinclair asked her cousin Trejorojas, who's in the Navy, about buying a gun. It was taking her too long to get a license, she said.

    It wouldn't be a problem for Trejorojas, who's full name is Tesora Amanda Cortes Trejorojas, because active military members didn't need a gun license to purchase a firearm in the state, she told Sinclair.

    The cousins texted for a while, and soon Sinclair said her sister wanted in on it too.

    "Lol a gun?" Trejorojas shot back.

    "I told her how ima get one and her crazy ass got excited like tell cousin I want some too," Sinclair sent. The sister was not identified.

    Late on November 10, 2017, Sinclair and her boyfriend, Tyson, who is known as "Shy" drove down to Norfolk with enough cash for multiple weapons.

    On November 11, Sinclair, Tyson and Trejorojas visited a gun store where they picked out six semiautomatic handguns.

    2 dozen firearms trafficked into N.J. and most are missing

    They only had enough cash for five, and they bought three Smith & Wesson M&P 40 Shield.40 caliber models, and two Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Shield 9-millimeter models.

    They also left with 100 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition, and 100 rounds of 9-millimeter ammunition, court documents say.

    Trejorojas signed the required federal forms indicating she was the actual owner, even though she was not, authorities allege.

    Sinclair and Tyson drove home to New Jersey on November 12 and 35 minutes after their arrival in the state, the complaint says, Sinclair's cell phone made a video of Tyson defacing the serial number of one of the handguns. (Authorities found the video during a later search)

    And less than five hours later than that, one of the guns was in police custody, seized at the Orange crime scene.

    Last month, law enforcement searched Sinclair's residence in Newark and found one of the other guns purchased in Norfolk. And on Thursday, Trejorojas was charged and appeared in federal court in Virginia.

    On March 8, Trejorojas admitted to federal investigators she bought the guns for Sinclair and Tyson, and they took them back to New Jersey. And Sinclair admitted the same during the search of her home, the complaint says.

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


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