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    NJ.com picks all 16 public sectional semifinals and the eight non-public semifinals as a bonus.


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    Come and meet the 41 track and field teams that earned sectional title this past week.


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    The list features more than 100 athletes that won multiple gold medals at the NJSIAA Sectional Championships.


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    The plan would hire and train Class III special officers to start at the Bloomfield schools in the fall.

    A group of parents in Bloomfield is mobilizing against the school district's decision to hire retired, armed police officers to patrol the township's eight elementary schools and early childhood center. 

    The $550,000 plan would hire and train Class III special officers to start at the schools in the fall. Bloomfield's middle and high schools already have school resource officers and unarmed security guards, the district said. 

    School safety concerns have jumped to the top of districts' priorities in light of school shootings the last few years. But while school officials say armed officers are part of an overall goal to improve student safety, parents with the newly formed group, Bloomfield Families for Sensible Safety, maintain there are other ways to tighten security without bringing guns to campus. 

    "Anytime you introduce a weapon into a situation, you are far more likely to have an accident, to have violence," said Melissa De Fino, whose child is entering Kindergarten next year. "So many of the recent tragic school shootings happened when there were armed guards in place."

    Parent Noel Gatts said the news came as a "big shock to a lot of people."

    "I've heard an overwhelming confusion about it; we need more information. This is obviously a hot button issue," Gatts said. She said parents were not informed of the plan and did not get a chance to express their concerns or get their questions answered before the money was allocated to hire officers. 

    An online petition opposing the armed guards has 175 signatures so far. 

    The plan was approved by the Board of Education in April -- included as a line item in the overall district budget.

    "The budget was public, open to everyone and anyone. It clearly specified that we were going forward with this," board president Jill Fischman said.

    "They've had opportunity at every board meeting to voice any concerns and (have) questions answered. I don't think that if we opened it up to a 24/7 discussion, I still don't think people would say they've had enough say," she added. 

    Nicholas Dotoli, board counsel and director of administration, said the board valued community input and remained "committed to listening to concerned citizens." He said the next public meeting is June 5. 

    Former Gov. Chris Christie approved a law allowing the hiring of Class III officers as long as they were specially trained on school safety matters. The officers must be under 65 years old, work no more than 20 hours a week and are not entitled to health or pension benefits for their service.

    "We need to make sure that we have somebody that we feel is suitable to be able to co-exist in an elementary school with young children," Bloomfield Superintendent Salvatore Goncalves said. 

    Dotoli said the district will have a say in the hiring process, though the officers will ultimately report to the police department. Principals will be in control of the day-to-day management, and officers will earn $25 an hour. 

    Goncalves said the officers will be able to communicate through police radios and quickly relay information to the police department in case of an emergency. 

    But Gatts said that wasn't enough to justify having guns inside a school with young children.

    "Most of the reasons as to why they would be an asset have nothing to do with them carrying a weapon," she said in response. 

    "It's not the environment that many of us want to provide for our kids when we have so many other safety measures that could be approved upon and we have great proven response times."

    Gatts said she was concerned about both the logistics of having armed officers on campus and the emotional effect on her kids. 

    Goncalves said the district consulted with the Department of Education and other law enforcement agencies on the proposal. He said the district has spent about $1.5 million to add security at the schools, including anti-intruder locks, lighting and security cameras. 

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

     

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    Superstar chef Marcus Samuelsson has staked a claim on this side of the Hudson with Marcus B&P in downtown Newark.


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    Highlighting all the best action from the state tournament so far.


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    "This is evidence that New Jersey's entire assessment system has spun out of control," the state's largest teachers union said.

    When East Brunswick High School gave standardized tests this spring, hundreds of sophomores skipped their English exam with confidence.  

    The teens had previously passed the PARCC English test for ninth-graders and were told that meant they fulfilled a key graduation requirement, Superintendent Victor Valeski said. 

    But in New Jersey's complicated and controversial world of standardized testing, checking off a graduation requirement isn't as simple as it may seem.  

    After an apparent miscommunication over the state's graduation rules, East Brunswick and districts across the state are scrambling to get sophomores to take the PARCC test they skipped, even if means voluntarily coming in after school or over the summer, educators told NJ Advance Media.

    School officials and education groups said it's not that they didn't understand the state's graduation rules but that the state never clearly explained them. 

    "It was frustrating," Valeski said. "I would disagree that we misinterpreted it." 

    Added Dana Karas, past president of the New Jersey School Counselor Association: "Obviously we don't think it was clear. ... How can so many intelligent individuals be reading a document and no one has seen something?' 

    The Department of Education acknowledged "some confusion and misinterpretation" over the Class of 2020 graduation requirements and said in a statement it will work with districts to make sure all students have a chance to take necessary exams. 

    In a memo to districts, the department said its guidance "could have been improperly interpreted if not read in its entirety." 

    The flap is the latest in the long line of drama surrounding PARCC and new graduation requirements tied to the exams, both of which new Gov. Phil Murphy promised he would eliminate but has yet to officially do so. 

    Even though students can resolve the issue by taking the 10th-grade exam, the confusion among students and school officials exposes a deeper problem, said Steve Baker, spokesman for the state's largest teachers union. 

    "This is evidence that New Jersey's entire assessment system has spun out of control," Baker said. 

    A class of its own  

    It didn't used to be like this. 

    In the past, New Jersey had a single exam high school students took during their junior year to fulfill a decades-old state requirement that teens pass standardized tests in English and math before graduation.   

    If students passed the exam and fulfilled all other academic requirements, they graduated. If they failed, they could do a retake or try an alternative test. 

    Then, four years ago, graduation requirements became complicated after the debut of PARCC. 

    "The rules are so convoluted," said Stan Karp, a director for the Education Law Center. "There has just been lot of confusion from the beginning." 

    New Jersey said all students who graduated by 2019 could meet the graduation requirement by passing PARCC's English exam for either ninth, 10th or 11th grades and PARCC's math exam for either Algebra I, Algebra II or geometry. 

    The state also agreed to allow students to use scores from alternative exams, including the SAT or ACT, if they didn't take or couldn't pass PARCC. 

    With an eye toward the future, the state Board of Education voted to require all students who graduated in 2021 or later to pass the PARCC test in 10th-grade English and Algebra I with no alternatives except a portfolio appeal process.  

    "The policy was originally designed to kind of pave the way for the institutionalization of PARCC as the state exam," Karp said. "They were phasing it in." 

    Left in the middle was the Class of 2020, incoming freshmen at the time, who would get a unique set of rules. 

    The requirements approved by the state board said the Class of 2020 would be able to graduate using the same pathways as the classes of 2017 through 2019, as long as they participated in all possible PARCC exams before turning to the alternative tests. 

    A graphic published by the state Education Department described the Class of 2020's "first pathway" as "take and pass a PARCC test" and listed the ninth-, 10th- or 11th-grade tests as options for English and the Algebra 1 or Algebra II or Geometry tests for math. 

    Class of 2020 original.pngNew Jersey's original guidance to schools on the graduation requirements for the Class of 2020.
     

    Based on the chart, districts widely understood that students in the Class of 2020 could meet the graduation requirement by passing any PARCC English exam and any PARCC math exam.

    Students wouldn't have to worry about taking every single PARCC exam, administrators thought, because as long as they passed one in English and math they wouldn't need to use scores from the alternative tests like the SAT, listed under the "second pathway." 

    "Many districts were basing their understanding of graduation requirements on the chart," said Michael LaSusa, superintendent of the School District of the Chathams. 

    By the time districts realized the graphic was misleading, it was already too late. 

    'How dare they?'

    In East Brunswick, more than 350 students passed PARCC's ninth-grade English exam last year and then skipped the 10th-grade test this year, according to the district. 

    In Chatham, about 250 sophomores did the same, LaSusa said. 

    Statewide, it's likely that thousands of students skipped the 10th-grade English exam for the same reason, thinking they met the graduation requirement because that's what the Department of Education chart indicated, Karas said. 

    "Students could either take and pass the ninth-grade (English) PARCC or the 10th grade or the 11th grade, and the words are very clearly in their documentation," Valeski said in defense of his district. "We didn't make this chart up." 

    Yet, in mid-May, new guidance on the state website stunned school officials. A new graphic showed the Class of 2020's "first pathway" to graduation as passing the 10th-grade English test and the Algebra 1 exam. 

    Revised 2020 grad requirments.pngThe revised guidance from the state on the Class of 2020 graduation requirements.
     

    All other PARCC tests, including ninth-grade English, were now listed among the alternative exams, meaning students wouldn't be able to use their scores to meet the graduation requirement unless they at least tried to pass the 10th-grade English and Algebra 1 exams. 

    The Department of Education called it a clarification. Parents and schools considered it a major change in guidance. 

    "How dare they change it now?" said Lenore Elfand, the parent of an East Brunswick sophomore. "It's very upsetting." 

    East Brunswick reached out to parents who thought their teens already met their graduation requirements to tell them they would need to take the 10th-grade English test. 

    The district scheduled both in-school and after-school hours this week, including allowing students to test in the afternoon on a scheduled half-day. 

    Other districts also rushed to schedule more testing before the end of the year or will test students over the summer or next fall, during a busy junior year packed with SAT exams and Advanced Placement tests. 

    The extra testing won't necessarily cost more money, school officials said, but requires more time planning the logistics and communicating with parents. 

    School officials said they're glad the graduation rules were clarified before the Class of 2020 got even closer to its senior year. 

    "If it was a mistake on our part, I will take responsibility for it," Valeski said, "but based on what I am seeing right now, it does not look like this was." 

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

     

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    The school will accept its inaugural class in July. It received more than 2,000 applications.

    New Jersey's newest medical school officially opened its doors Wednesday 

    The Seton Hall University facility in north Jersey will welcome its inaugural class in July. It will consist of nearly 60 students, who were selected from more than 2,000 applications, according to the school.

    The plan is to eventually enroll from 125 to 150 students per class at the new medical school, university officials have said.

    "This is a big deal," Gov. Phil Murphy said at Wednesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    "Now we have this extraordinary facility to compliment our other medical schools," he said.

    Seton Hall no longer sharing cost of new school

    The medical school, Seton Hall's College of Nursing and its School of Health and Medical Sciences, will share the 17-acre campus in Clifton and Nutley once occupied by Hoffmann-La Roche, an international pharmaceutical and health services company which relocated to California five years ago.

    The campus will include the new School of Medicine, as well as Seton Hall's College of Nursing and School of Health and Medical Sciences, which will relocate from South Orange.

    Hackensack Meridian now owns 12 acute care hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties. The $5.5 billion not-for-profit employs a staff of 33,000 and 6,500 doctors, and maintains 4,520 in-patient beds, which include children's and specialty hospitals.

    The medical school's goal is to educate and retain more medical students in New Jersey, which, like the rest of the country, is suffering from a physician shortage, officials said.

    The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University joins four public medical training institutions in the state: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark; Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick; Rowan University's School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford; and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden.

    NJ Advance Media staff writers Adam Clark and Susan K. Livio contributed to this report.

    Matt Arco may be reached at marco@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewArco or Facebook.


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    East Side High School's students turned out in style on Wednesday at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park for their senior prom. Glamour and high style was the standard as prom-goers had fun and danced the night away. BUY THESE PHOTOS Are you one of the people pictured at this prom? Want to buy the photo and keep it...

    East Side High School's students turned out in style on Wednesday at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park for their senior prom.

    Glamour and high style was the standard as prom-goers had fun and danced the night away.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

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

    Check back at nj.com/essex for other local high school prom coverage. Also be sure to check out the complete prom coverage at nj.com/prom.

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


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    The Knickerbockers, who had a #20 hit in 1966 with "Lies" (they sounded a lot like the Beatles), took their name from their hometown's main street, Knickerbocker Road in Bergenfield.

    When I was growing up, my father was the photographer in the family.

    07_1970_Trip_To_Niagara_Falls_Rhinebeck_Thousand_Islands_043.jpg 

    He started shooting home movies in the '60s. And, when we set off on a trip somewhere, the home movie would start with scenes taken through the front window of the car, complete with his knuckles on the steering wheel.

    He said he was "establishing the route" or something and we, of course, made fun of him for it.

    Now when we look at them again, he has the last laugh because those scenes of the streets and roads we were traveling are the ones people perk up for. "Look! There's so-and-so's store!" or "I forgot the such-and-such used to be there!"

    The photos in this gallery and galleries like it we've done in the past serve the same purpose. It's fascinating to see what streets we might drive down every day looked like 40 years ago ... 60 years ... 80 years. In one instance in the gallery, there's a photo of a street in my hometown from more than 150 years ago.

    Enjoy these scenes of streets and roads in New Jersey, as well as these links to other galleries. And if you have photos like the films my Dad used to take, by all means send them in, knuckles and all.

    Vintage photos of N.J. street scenes

    Vintage photos of streets and roads in N.J.

    Vintage photos of New Jersey street scenes

    Vintage photos of street scenes 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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    Historic Weequahic Park gazebo almost too far gone

    Douglas Freeman has a vision of terraced gardens and a waterfall leading up to the Divident Hill stone gazebo, one of the historic and architectural gems of Newark's Weequahic Park.

    "We've already had volunteers cut back the trees," said Freeman, head of the Weequahic Park Sports Authority, a non-profit conservancy group.

    He was part of a group of community and spiritual leaders who held a prayer session in the decaying gazebo on what is known as Divident Hill two Sundays ago to mark the 350th Anniversary of a border settlement between Newark and Elizabeth.

    "We want to bring back the natural beauty and ambiance of the park and put it (the gazebo) back to its natural state," he said. "But this looks like it's ready to go down, and once it goes, it's gone."

    And it is almost gone. Cracks run through the stone arches and supports. The building blocks and masonry look as if they can be pulled apart by hand. The floor is battered.

    It is marred by graffiti and litter. Because of its isolated location and the privacy the porticos allow, condom wrappers and heroin bags are scattered among little plastic liquor bottles and crushed soda cans.

    MORE: Recent Mark Di Ionno columns 

    Clearly this is no way to treat a piece of decorative architecture made by the firm of Carrere & Hastings, the premier designers of Beaux Arts structures at the turn of the 20th century. Their work includes the New York Public Library, the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, Fla., New York's Standard Oil Building, Paterson City Hall and the Blairsden mansion in Peapack-Gladstone.

    "We at least got the trees out that were growing on the roof," Freeman said.

    Carrere & Hastings aren't the only historic masters of the building arts associated with the park.

    The entire park was designed by the Olmsted firm, founded by Frederick Law Olmsted, the architect of New York's Central Park, the grounds of the United States Capitol and Newark's own Branch Brook Park.

    And the golf course was designed by Baltusrol pro George Low in 1913 and is recognized has the oldest public course in the county.

    Like many sculptures and buildings in Newark, the gazebo recalls a day when the city could attract and afford world-renowned architects and artists to enhance the public landscape. Cass Gilbert, who designed New York's Woolworth Building and U.S. Supreme Court, was the architect of the historic Essex County Courthouse.

    In front of the building is the Seated Lincoln, by Gutzon Borglum of Mount Rushmore fame. His "Wars of America" is the massive sculpture that anchors Military Park.

    The courthouse, a virtual museum of public art, was restored in the late 1990s. Military Park was redone in the past years.

    Pride in public space has been the hallmark of Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo's administration. Branch Brook now has more cherry blossom trees than Washington, D.C., there are new athletic fields and facilities throughout the system, and Turtle Back Zoo went from being criticized as one of the country's worst zoos to topping lists as one of the state's must-see attractions.

    In Weequahic, alone, there are signs of improvement in the 311-acre park on the Newark-Elizabeth border surrounding the gazebo.

    The tennis courts, playground, paddle ball courts and Little League field were redone in recent years. The golf course is undergoing maintenance after the brutal winter and soggy spring.

    "We are talking to the county to see what can be done (about the gazebo)," said Wynnie-Fred Victor Hinds of the Newark Environmental Commission. "We need to educate people about what this is."

    Calls to the county for comment were not returned.

    The gazebo sits upon a hill where 350 years ago, the leaders of Newark and Elizabeth settled on a border between the two cities. In those days, Newark included most of Essex County and parts of Union and Passaic.
    The border the two cities' leaders hashed out went from the Weequahic Hill all the way to the Hobart Gap in the Watchung Mountains between what is today Summit and Short Hills.

    The gazebo on the hill resembles a miniature Roman temple, including an oculus -- which is the round opening at the top that exposes the sky.

    Speakers who stand directly under the oculus benefit from an acoustic phenomenon that amplifies their voices.

    This is where a dozen concerned citizens and spiritual leaders met to commemorate the agreement and pray for the county to restore the monument.

    "This place is significant on three fronts," said Lloyd Turner, whose book, "Newark - City of Destiny," was published for the city's 350th anniversary two years ago.

    "It has the historic significance because (Newark founder) Robert Treat and John Ogden (his Elizabethtown counterpart) were both there," Turner said.

    The architectural significance speaks for itself, and it was built in 1916, as a monument to Newark's 250th anniversary, Turner said.

    Finally, on the day of the border settlement, a religious covenant was put in place by the founders to protect their generation and "1,000 generations to come," Turner said.

    The most recent generations, it seems, failed to protect the place where the covenant was put in place, noted by Yvonne Garrett-Moore of the First Presbyterian Church, as she led prayers for restoration.

    "Forgive us, Lord, for our lack of stewardship," she said. "We cry out to see these walls restored, to be the repairers of the breach ... and give us the hope that comes with this place."  

    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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    An in-depth comparison for each of the 20 NJSIAA sectional meets.


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    The blaze broke out around 9:15 a.m. on Johnson Avenue Watch video

    Three firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling a three-alarm fire which damaged three homes in Newark on Thursday morning, officials said. 

    The fire broke out around 9:14 a.m. at a three-story house on the 100 block of Johnson Avenue and spread to two neighboring residences, according to authorities. 

    It took 85 firefighters about an hour to bring the fire under control. Its cause is under investigation. 

    One firefighter was taken to a local hospital to have a hand injury evaluated, authorities said. A second was treated for a laceration and returned to duty, while a third suffered a foot injury. 

    A total of 16 people from three families -- nine adults and seven children -- live in the three homes. No one was inside any of the houses when the fire started. 

    Video from the scene shows flames and smoke pouring out of the houses as firefighters doused them with streams of water. 

    Johnson Avenue is a couple of blocks off Elizabeth Avenue and a short distance from an entrance ramp to Interstate 78. 

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

     

     


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    Thursday's winners move to Saturday's finals


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    Ignacio Pimentel, 43, of East Orange, was not a sworn officer of the sheriff's department and therefore did not have a license to carry a firearm.

    A former security officer with the Essex County Sheriff's Office admitted Thursday to illegally possessing a handgun.

    Ignacio_cropped.jpgIgnacio Pimentel, 43, of East Orange.  

    Ignacio Pimentel, 43, of East Orange, was not a sworn officer of the sheriff's department and therefore did not have a license to carry a firearm.

    But Newark police, acting on a tip they received, found Pimental in possession of a .40-caliber Smith and Wesson handgun when they arrested him on Sept. 1 last year.

    Police arrested him in the 700 block of Mt. Prospect Avenue as he was leaving a building where he was illegally working as an armed security guard.

    Pimental was charged with carrying hollow point ammunition and having a handgun that he didn't have a license to carry, as well as possessing heroin and cocaine.

    He pleaded guilty to the charge of illegally possessing the handgun and is expected to receive five years in state prison when he's sentenced on July 23, acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino announced in a statement.

    "While he was not a sworn sheriff's officer, this defendant held a position of trust as a security guard with the Essex County Sheriff's Department. He violated that trust by illegally possessing a handgun that he was not licensed to carry,'' Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Walter J. Dirkin, who handled the case, said in a statement. 

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

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Group championships are Friday and Saturday. Prepare yourself with our preview of all 12 meets at Franklin Township and Central Regional.


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    Prosecutors said one of the men traveled to Newark on a regular basis to get a supply of cocaine to distribute throughout Trenton.

    Mercer County authorities arrested two men and seized drugs, cash, weapons and a BMW car in completing a two-month investigation of cocaine being distributed throughout Trenton.

    The county's Narcotics Task Force was watching as Nathaniel Bethea, 34, of Hamilton and Ricqui Watkins, 48, of Willingboro, made an alleged drug run to Newark Wednesday in Bethea's 2014 BMW, the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said.

    Members of the task force observed the pair drive north, and back to Mercer County on the New Jersey Turnpike and get on 195 westbound, heading toward Trenton.

    Detectives moved in, pulling the car over on the highway and detained the man. That's when they allegedly saw Bethea try to shove a clear plastic bag into a pocket of his cargo shorts.

    The bag fell out onto the ground, and officers removed him from his car and revealed about 450 grams of suspected cocaine, the office said.

    It was just another round trip Bethea was allegedly making to Newark on a regular basis to get cocaine he's now charged with distributing in the Trenton area, the office said.

    Detectives also allegedly found $698 in cash on Bethea. In the Newark supplier's home, detectives found a Glock handgun with a 50-round drum magazine, three 30-round magazines and kilogram press. 

    Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri estimates that the seized drugs have an approximate street value of $45,000, the office said in a statement. 

    Bethea's BMW was also seized as drug proceeds. 

    Watkins and Bethea were both charge with multiple narcotics-related offenses and the prosecutor's office has filed a motion to detain them, pending trial. 

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

     


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    The convicted killer is serving a life sentence for the 1984 killing of an Irvington police officer

    A state appeals court has denied a convicted cop killer's parole, saying he's unfit for release.

    The court, on Thursday, also sided with the State Parole Board's decision to extend the date in which Teddy Rose can next apply to get out of prison, called a future eligibility term, or FET.

    trose.jpgTeddy Rose 

    Rose, now 55, shot Irvington police officer Anthony Garaffa, 41, in 1984.

    Garaffa was wounded in the stomach at point-blank range with a sawed-off, 12-gauge shotgun in August 1984. The 16-year veteran, who lived in Union, died during surgery the next morning.

    Rose was initially sentenced to death, but was re-sentenced to life in prison in 1991, with a parole eligibility date of August 2014.

    A three-member parole panel found in 2015 that Rose was unfit for parole and lacked a full understanding of the crime he committed. The board also gave him an 84-month FET.

    Rose appealed the parole board's decision, arguing it did not prove there was a substantial likelihood he'd commit another crime if set free, and they did not give him credit for the progress he's made behind bars,

    The appeals court, in siding with the parole board, noted his parole hearing, during which Rose was asked about his thoughts on the police officer's death. He told them, "I couldn't believe what happened... I didn't understand that shooting a shotgun like that would hurt somebody."

    The parole panel also found that he failed to participated in programs that address "anti-social decision-making," and that he "committed several institutional infractions" while in prison.

    The parole board determined that giving Rose the standard FET of 27 months would not be appropriate "due to the inmate's lack of satisfactory progress in reducing the likelihood of future criminal behavior," the decision said.

    Rose's next parole eligibility date is in November 2019. He is currently incarcerated at South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton.

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

     

     


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    Prosecutors say he was coaching a team of girls from throughout the region at the time of the alleged assault.

    Kevin JimenezKevin Jimenez. (Essex County Prosecutor's Office)

    A coach of a regional girls basketball team is facing sexual assault charges after prosecutors say he preyed on a 12-year-old girl in Nutley earlier this year.

    In a statement, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office said Kevin Jimenez, a former coach at Good Shepherd Academy in Nutley, was affiliated with an Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) team called The Wolves at the time of the assault.

    Prosecutors said the team includes girls from throughout the region and has practiced at Abundant Life Academy in Nutley and at Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange.

    Authorities did not say if the victim was on the team, and provided no other details of the alleged crime.

    Jimenez has been charged with three counts each of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the prosecutor's office.

    Efforts to contact the team's leadership for comment were not immediately successful Thursday afternoon. It was unclear whether Jimenez, 29, of Bellville, had retained an attorney who could comment on the charges.

    Records show Jimenez remains jailed at the Essex County Correctional Facility. He's next scheduled to appear in state Superior Court in Newark on June 15.

    The prosecutor's office has asked that anyone with information about the case contact Capt. Janine Straccamore of the Special Victims Unit at 973-753-1131.

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

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Police have asked for the public's help in finding Tiara Hernandez, 15, of Newark who has been missing for nearly two weeks.

    Police have asked for the public's help in finding a Newark teen who has been missing for almost two weeks.

    Tiara Hernandez, 15, was last seen in the 600 block of Broad Street in Newark on May 18, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said in a release.

    NewarkMissing.jpgTiara Hernandez, 15, of Newark

    Police say Hernandez is 5-feet tall, weighs about 150 pounds and was wearing a black T-shirt, black pants, black sneakers with red and blue markings. She was carrying a white laundry bag when she was last seen.

    Ambrose said anyone with information about the whereabouts of Hernandez can call the Newark Police Department's 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 877-NWK-TIPS (877-695-8477) or 877-NWK-GUNS (877-695-4867). He said all anonymous Crime Stopper tips are kept confidential and could result in a reward.

    Anonymous tips may also be made using the Police Division's website or through their app available at iTunes and Google Play. Ambrose said you can search Newark Police Division to download the app.

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


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