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    NEWARK -- Kathleen Keer, left, and an unidentified friend seesaw in a lot on Grumman Avenue in Newark in this undated photo. MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey The children wave small American flags as the photo was taken shortly after Decoration Day, later officially renamed Memorial Day, was celebrated in the city. MORE: Glimpses of history from around New...

    NEWARK -- Kathleen Keer, left, and an unidentified friend seesaw in a lot on Grumman Avenue in Newark in this undated photo.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    The children wave small American flags as the photo was taken shortly after Decoration Day, later officially renamed Memorial Day, was celebrated in the city.

    MORE: Glimpses of history from around New Jersey

    If you would like to share a photo that provides a glimpse of history in your community, please call 973-836-4922 or send an email to And, check out more glimpses of history in our online galleries on

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

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    Cardinal Joseph Tobin said Catholic leaders need to protest "the hardening of the American heart."

    A suggestion by a Cardinal that Catholic bishops become more active in helping immigrant children arriving at the U.S. border has heightened the debate over the Trump's administration's policy of splitting up families.

    Earler this week, Cardinal Joseph Tobin of called for a delegation of Catholic bishops to go to the U.S.-Mexico border to inspect detention facilities holding children who have been separated from their parents.

    The head of the Archdiocese of Newark was among the church leaders speaking out against the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy that takes children from their parents as soon as families are caught illegally crossing the border.

    A group of bishops should be sent to the border to tour the detention facilities holding kids as a "sign of our pastoral concern and protest against the hardening of the American heart," Tobin told fellow bishops during a panel at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops spring meeting Wednesday, according to a report by the Religion News Service.

    What happens when kids cross the U.S. border alone?

    Tobin's comments were circulated on Twitter and other social media and religious sites as criticism of the Trump administration's immigration policy has escalated nationwide.

    At the meeting, the nation's Catholic bishops also released a statement critical of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement that the U.S. will no longer allow immigrants to seek asylum in the U.S. because of domestic violence or gang violence threats.

    "At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' statement said. "The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection."

    The statement, read by the bishops conference president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, also said the government and society must do better than splitting up parents and children in the name of border security.

    "Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral," said DiNardo, head of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

    The Catholic bishops' comments came one day before Sessions invoked a Bible passage to justify the Trump administration's policy separating immigrant children from their parents if they illegally cross the border.

    "I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes," Sessions said during a speech in Indiana Thursday. "Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves. Consistent and fair application of the law is in itself a good and moral thing, and that protects the weak and protects the lawful."

    Other Catholic bishops called for hasher penalties for anyone who separates children from their parents, according to the Religion News Service report. Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger suggested the Catholic Church impose "canonical penalties," which can include everything from denying Communion to excommunication for Catholics involved in taking immigrant children from their families.

    Immigrant rights groups organized several protests this week in New Jersey calling for the Trump administration to drop its policy of dividing families in immigrant detention facilities. Protests and marches were held in Highland Park, Rutherford and Princeton.

    Kelly Heyboer may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @KellyHeyboer. Find her at KellyHeyboerReporter on Facebook.


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    As prom season winds down, compiled a collection of some of the wildest, unique and fun moments from many of the events.

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    The 2018 FIFA Men's World Cup tournament will be held from June 14, 2018 (6/14/18) until July 15, 2018 (7/15/2018) in Russia. Watch video

    Although the 2018 World Cup officially started Thursday with host nation Russia trouncing Saudi Arabia 5-0, Friday was the big start with three games being played. The biggest was 2010 champions Spain playing Portugal, the 2016 European soccer champions, at Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia.

    The failure of the United States to qualify for the tournament had no impact on passionate fans of these two in the Ironbound section of Newark. Numerous bars and restaurants are broadcasting the game to packed, boisterous crowds. The Ironbound, home to New Jersey's biggest Portuguese population and its largest Spanish communities, was the perfect place to watch this game between two of the best teams, both contenders to win the this year's Cup.

    For Spain fan Jon DeOliveira and his girlfriend Melissa Novo, of Somerset, the 3-3 tie between the Iberian neighbors was the best way to start the tournament. Novo is a Portugal fan and she claims if Spain had won "Jon would be sleeping on the couch tonight!" They look forward to the rest of the tournament and cheering for both teams. 

    Expo preview

    Aristide Economopoulos can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter at @AristideNJAM and Instagram at @aeconomopoulos  Find on Facebook

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    The top cops in the East Orange Police Department are being sued by nine of its officers, including two captains.

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    The officer was taken to University Hospital for non-life threatening injuries

    A Newark police officer was injured Saturday morning in a hit-and-run while on his motorcycle in the city, authorities said. 

    The on-duty officer was riding on Nesbitt Street near 8th Avenue at about 6 a.m. when he was hit by a white vehicle, which then fled the scene, according to police spokeswoman Catherine Adams.

    The officer was taken to University Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. 

    Craig McCarthy may be reached at 732-372-2078 or at Follow him on Twitter @createcraig and on Facebook here. Find on Facebook.


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    Supreme Court ruling discounts secular history of Colonial-era churches

    The First Reformed Church of Pompton Plains in Pequannock was built before there was a New Jersey, a United States, or a Constitution of either one.

    When the first Dutch settlers came in the early 1700s and gathered to worship in what today is Pequannock Township, there was no delineated separation of church and state. Similar to many colonial settlements, the church was established before the government. The First Reformed Church, like many 18th and 19th century churches, was the centerpiece of the towns that grew up around it.

    In Pequannock, the bright white church, built in 1769 with its towering steeple, is directly across from town hall. A pathway of brick pavers across the Newark-Pompton Turnpike, the main street in town, connect the two anchor structures of the downtown.

    "We like to say we are at the intersection of faith and life," said pastor Kathleen Edwards-Chase.

    Life at the church means opening its doors to 17 non-religious organizations, including a town choral group, Belle Voce, and volunteer a service network called Community Partners for Hope, which feeds the hungry and helps the drug-addicted. An Alzheimer's support group meets there, as does Alcoholics Anonymous.

    Faith and life intersect at the Church of Redeemer in Morristown, which feeds dozens of homeless and poor every day at its Community Soup Kitchen.

    These two churches, and 10 others in Morris County, are hoping to challenge a recent New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that prohibits government funding for historic preservation of active houses of worship.

    MORE: Recent Mark Di Ionno columns 

    The case was brought to the court by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union and a group called Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which argued that a Morris County program of awarding historic preservation funds to churches was unconstitutional.

    The ruling is legally correct. The New Jersey Constitution, adopted on July 2, 1776, specifically says, no person should be "be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry ..."

    In the April ruling, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said a Morris County program that awarded $4.6 million in historic preservation funds to active churches "ran afoul" of the "plain language" in the state constitution that "bars the use of taxpayer funds to repair and restore churches."

    But here's the problem. The intersection of life and faith at these churches also is an intersection with history.

    How do you separate them from their role in American history? 

    Among the original 13 colonies, the Presbyterian churches were centers of intense patriot fervor.

    For instance, Rev. James Caldwell was a significant revolutionary force. He was pastor of the Connecticut Farms Presbyterian Church in Union. The murder of his wife, at the church parsonage during the Battle of Springfield, is depicted on the seal of the Union County government flag. He's buried at First Presbyterian in Elizabeth, and both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr went to school on church property.

    At the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield, Caldwell rallied the troops, who took position in the church to fire at Loyalists and British Troops.

    Presbyterian churches in Succasunna and Mendham were used as small pox hospitals for the Continental Army during the Morristown Encampments and both cemeteries hold the bodies of dead soldiers.

    At the First Presbyterian Church in Orange, 78 men who fought in the Revolution are buried.

    St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Trenton was in the center of the Christmas battle there that turned the momentum of the war.

    At these various houses of worship, church and state are inextricably linked. Many are on the national and state historic registries because they are a part of America's secular history.

    That was the logic behind Morris County granting $4.6 million for exterior church repairs. Exterior. That's an important word to remember as the county and churches petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

    "The New Jersey Court didn't recognize that the purpose of these grants is not to further worship or religion, but to preserve the history of these churches and protect their architectural significance," said attorney Kenneth Wilbur of the law firm Drinker Biddle in Florham Park, who is representing the 12 churches.

    "The architecture is a very important piece of this," he said. "It gives us a good snapshot of the trends of the time."

    The steeple at the Pequannock Church, for example, was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of London's St. Paul's Cathedral, one of the world's most spectacular structures and the most visited.

    The church was a documented stop on "Rochambeau's March," when 7,000 French soldiers trekked from New England to Yorktown, Va., to support George Washington's army in 1781.

    The property was also a documented stop on the Underground Railroad, some 80 years later. And this is where the separation of church and state ruling gets a little convoluted.

    The minister's home at Pequannock is called the Giles Mandeville house. It was built in 1789 and was not part of the church. A subsequent owner opened his home to runaway slaves prior to the Civil War. The church bought it about 100 years later.

    If the home were never put in church hands, it would easily qualify for historic grants. But now, it is ineligible.

    The Pequannock church received $700,000 from the county to fix and beautify the exteriors of three buildings at the heart of the town.

    Pastor Edwards-Chase says this is another part of the case being overlooked. 

    "If these types of buildings are allowed to deteriorate, it impacts the whole town," she said. "People here, not just parishioners, value our historic buildings. They're proud of them because of the way they reflect on the community."

    This is true. The aesthetic character of the Morristown Green, for example, is set by the light colored stone and Romanesque Revival architecture of the Presbyterian Church and darker puddingstone of the United Methodist Church.

    On grounds of the Presbyterian Church, George Washington received Holy Communion. A stained glass window in the church commemorates it. Under the Morris program, county funds could go to protect it. Under this ruling, they can not. In that window, the intersection of faith and American history are illuminated. 

    And so, the irony of the court ruling is this: these churches did their part in the fight for the very freedom that is now being used to deny help with their upkeep.

    There has to be a better solution.

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

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    Pets throughout New Jersey await adoption in shelters and rescues.

    Some fun and interesting facts about cats and dogs from Nationwide pet insurance:

    * Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting. Cats do not have sweat glands.

    * Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears.

    * A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.

    * Dogs do not have an appendix.

    * Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

    * Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.

    * A cat's tongue is scratchy because it's lined with papillae--tiny elevated backwards hooks that help to hold prey in place.

    * When faced with the choice of going the way around something that untangles herself or the way that makes it worse, my dog will choose the wrong way 101 times out of 100.

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

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    Who were the best of the best?

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    Two mammoth rock bands combined for a long list of solos and sing-alongs in Newark Friday night

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    Who's the best of the best?

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    N.J. athletes shined over a three-day stretch at nationals.

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    Kenneth Palmer, 21, of Randolph, is also charged with taking "upskirt" photos of a student and was arrested after allegedly masturbating in a ShopRite.

    morris courthouse.jpgThe Morris County Courthouse in Morristown. (Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger)

    A paraprofessional who worked with special-ed students at a Maplewood-South Orange elementary school is accused of masturbating in a ShopRite, exposing himself to students in the school hallways and taking "upskirt" photos of a student.

    The aide, 21-year-old Kenneth Palmer of Randolph, who worked at Jefferson Elementary School, was scheduled for a court appearance Monday morning but the hearing was adjourned until next month.

    Palmer's attorney, Sara Sencer McArdle, said the postponement was due to delays with the Essex County charges but did not comment further about the case.

    Palmer was first arrested Sept. 28, 2017, at the Succasunna ShopRite after a loss prevention associate twice saw him masturbating and trying to get the attention of young girls, one an 8-year-old and the other a toddler between the ages of 2 and 3, according to the police report.

    The report says Palmer "appeared to be attempting to get each juvenile to take note of what he was doing while at the same time attempting to avoid being observed by the juveniles' respective parents."

    A surveillance video also captured the incidents, the report says. It also says Palmer admitted to masturbating in the store. 

    When officers searched Palmer's cellphone after his arrest, they allegedly found upskirt pictures of females, including a student.

    "The defendant claimed his phone was broken and would just turn on and record by accident," the report says.

    The phone also contained videos and photos of Palmer masturbating in front of students as he walked through school hallways, it says. 

    One of the videos showed Palmer masturbating while lingering outside a bathroom door as two students, an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old, walked out of the bathroom past him, the report says.

    Another video showed Palmer masturbating and approaching a different 9-year-old student as he/she was facing a water fountain, it says. 

    "He asked if the fountain worked and (the victim) turned around facing (Palmer) and walked away," according to the report.

    Also, it claims Palmer surreptitiously took "upskirt" photos of the undergarment-clad genital area of another 9-year-old student, taken from under the student's desk.

    Palmer did not return to the school after his arrest, but parents were not notified of the charges until April, after he was also charged in Essex County for the photos and videos that were allegedly found on his phone.

    One parent said she felt the school was not forthcoming about the incident.

    Suzanne M. Turner, director of communications for the Maplewood-South Orange School District, said administrators were directed by law enforcement not to discuss the case at all before Palmer was charged in Essex County and could only provided limited information afterward.

    Palmer is facing multiple counts of sexual contact in Essex and Morris counties; he has been held in the Morris County Correctional Facility since his arrest.

    His next court date is scheduled for July 23.

    Jessica Remo may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @JessicaRemoNJ. Find on Facebook.

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    Julian Terrell Turk, who worked for the Air Marshal field office in Newark, sent emails to a former marshal about his "plan to get them for what they've done to me," feds say.

    A retired federal air marshal was indicted Monday on charges that he threatened his former colleagues -- while showing interest in explosives and guns, and talking about a vendetta against people at his former workplace who had wronged him.

    Julian Terrell Turk, 47, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, was charged Monday with interstate communication of threats, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

    Turk, who worked for the Federal Air Marshal Service field office in Newark, sent a series of emails to a former marshal about his "plan to get them for what they've done to me." 

    "In the event that something happens to me, please make sure to look after my children," Turk wrote, according to federal prosecutors.

    "There comes a time in one's life that he has to take a stand against what's 'right' and not 'white' here, now, is my chance to do that," he allegedly wrote. "These (expletive) have gone out of their way to (expletive) with me in the worst way possible. ... What kind of man would I be if I didn't live up to my motto and creed of 'Being a Man for Others!' So I've come up with a plan to get them for what they've done to me."

    Turk allegedly reached out to a retired Navy SEAL, asking for information on how to craft and use explosives. He also told the ex-SEAL he wanted a list of books and other resources on long-range rifle shooting.

    In another email dated April 13, Turk wrote that he would "show them how to (expletive) with someone." 

    The maximum sentence for interstate communication of threats is five years in prison, with three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

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

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

    Columbia High School's students turned out in style on Monday 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.


    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 for other local high school prom coverage. Also be sure to check out the complete prom coverage at

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

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    Long seen as a soft-spot by drug smuggling operations, the nation's seaports are becoming a favored pipeline, say security analysts.

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    NJ Advance Media has selected 36 players as All-State picks in 2018.

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    Newark community rallies around the HUBB, a community center for young people, after the center was damaged by water used to douse an apartment fire.

    Al-Tariq Best was riding high, planning for the summer program and other events at the HUBB, the Help Us Become Better Community Empowerment Center on Prince Street in Newark.

    Then Best heard sirens.

    "That sounds close," he recalls.

    The HUBB, which I profiled in The Star-Ledger on June 8, is in the basement of an apartment complex, where Newark's youth go after school for academic and enrichment programs started by the FP YouthOutcry Foundation Inc.

    About 10 young people were in the HUBB on the evening of June 11, some of them in the recording studio working on music.

    Best went outside and saw smoke from above, then ran back into the HUBB to alert the young people and get them out safely.

    By the time the Newark fire trucks left, the foundation's work to help Newark's young people the past 12 years had been damaged by water used to douse an apartment fire on the second floor of the Willie T. Wright complex

    MORE: Recent Barry Carter columns 

    Videography and photography equipment was destroyed. The sound and security system, too. Ten laptops bit the dust as well. Some furniture was left waterlogged.

    Fluorescent lights flickered, then burst. Some turned orange. Fire officials still on the scene shut off the power.

    The water pouring into four rooms looked and sounded like rain to Best, founder and chief executive officer of FP YouthOutcry Foundation Inc.

    He wasn't thinking about the loss, though. He was thinking about the family that had just lost everything. Best put out calls for help. His network responded.

    After 90 minutes, Best and his volunteer staff returned to the cascading water falling from the ceiling, drenching the floor. They used buckets, garbage cans and storage bins to catch the water, then mops and a Shop-Vac.

    Some of the kids didn't want Best to help, telling him that he does enough for them already.

    "That was one of the best parts about the whole thing,'' said Kimberly Green, one of the volunteers.

    Alyath Herrera didn't mind sopping up the deluge after Newark fire trucks left.

    He didn't mind getting dirty, either.

    "Had to make sure everything was good,'' said Herrera, 15, of Newark. "The HUBB is a sanctuary to us, we have to clean it up.''

    Then something happened that Best didn't see coming. The community turned its attention to the HUBB. Word traveled on Facebook quickly. His phone didn't stop ringing.

    Representatives of community organizations -- Newark Anti-Violence Coalition and the Newark Community Street Team -- came to the HUBB and they met outside, sitting in foldup chairs and a card table.

    "It really made feel me like we weren't alone," Best said.

    He's been down this road before, having lost electronic equipment to a flood in his home when a cable provider struck a water pipe. It happened again.

    He's been through a fire growing up, too, when he lived in a rooming house with his mother.

    "I'm kind of like in my own sense traumatized because I lost everything twice,'' he said.

    MORE CARTER: Greater Newark Fresh Air Fund needs you to send city kids to camp | Carter  

    The community, however, is lifting him up. A Paypal account has been set up for donations. Fundraisers are being planned.

    Justice Rountree, host of 360 Poetry Night, spread the word Friday to let the audience know what happened.

    "Whatever I have, any influence I may have with the popularity of my show, anything I can use to aid in restoration of the HUBB is what I'm down with,'' Rountree said.

    Victoria Manning, host of the Jersey Poetry Movement, said the HUBB can't be out of commission for long.

    "Kids are excited to come here," she said. "They love the HUBB. It's like their second home."

    They do homework, learn  all the facets of the recording industry and discuss issues that impact their lives. It's about education, entertainment and empowerment in a space where young people are not judged.

    FP YouthOutcry has  struggled financially, getting by through donations and whatever Best has scraped together to steer kids toward positive activities and outcomes.

    The organization, though, finally gained some traction with funding. It recently received a $250,000 grant from the state to hire therapists and a victim advocate for a proposed trauma center program to help children and families dealing with emotional pain.

    The fire's aftermath wasn't the only disappointment in store for Best.  When he returned to the site on the morning of June 12, a lock on the door had been damaged.

    "Can you believe that?" he said.

    But the community support and phone calls that followed was enough for Best to let it go and refocus. Management at the complex was doing its part with repairing damaged walls and ceilings.

    "We've been there for everybody, and we're in a situation and people are stepping up for us," Best said.

    "That felt really damn good."

    Barry Carter: (973) 836-4925 or or or follow him on Twitter @BarryCarterSL

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    Jordan won best villain at the MTV Movie & TV Awards for playing Erik Killmonger in 'Black Panther.' The hit Marvel movie was a big winner at the awards show.

    Michael B. Jordan scooped up a golden popcorn award for best villain at the MTV Movie & TV Awards on Monday. He received the honor for playing Erik Killmonger in the hit Marvel film "Black Panther." 

    But Jordan, 31, who grew up in the Weequahic neighborhood of Newark, started his acceptance speech with a crack about another celebrity. 

    "I'm shocked that I won this award for best villain," he said. "I thought for sure Roseanne had that in the bag, you know?" 

    Jordan, who once played basketball at Arts High and recently starred in HBO's "Fahrenheit 451," was of course referring to Roseanne Barr. 

    In May, Barr, 65, caused ABC to drop its successful "Roseanne" revival series after she tweeted a racist comment about Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. (In trying to explain her actions, Barr said she had been on Ambien when she posted the message, but Sanofi, the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company that makes the drug, tweeted that "racism is not a known side effect" of the medication.)

    Director Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther," which won best movie at the Los Angeles awards show, received the most nominations of the night. Jordan's co-star, Chadwick Boseman, who played the Black Panther, T'Challa, won for best performance in a movie. He also won for best hero, and handed that award over to James Shaw Jr., the man who disarmed a gunman who opened fire at a Tennessee Waffle House in April. 

    In the opening of the MTV awards show, Newark's own Queen Latifah guest-starred alongside the show's host, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith, her "Girls Trip" co-stars, in a "Black Panther" parody. (Haddish won for best comedic performance.)

    Jordan, a favorite flirting target of Haddish, will star in the upcoming "Rocky" movie "Creed II," the sequel to the 2015 Coogler film "Creed." In March, Jordan pledged that he would adopt inclusion riders for all projects that come out of his production company, Outlier Society. An inclusion rider is a stipulation in an actor's or producer's contract that a cast and crew be diverse.


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


    0 0 highlights the best players in N.J. from the 2018 season.

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