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    "Traffic impacts could be severe, especially between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.''

    Eastbound traffic on the Newark Bay extension of the New Jersey Turnpike could get quite backed up this weekend as construction takes place on the bridge deck.

    From Interchange 14 to 14B, traffic will be reduced to one lane from 9 tonight until 5 a.m. Monday for the "priority repairs,'' the Turnpike Authority announced.

    "Traffic impacts could be severe, especially between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday,'' the authority's statement said.

    To check real-time traffic conditions, call 511. Live traffic camera views of the roadway are available under the Travel Tools tab on the turnpike website,

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    Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren did not have the authority to appoint Willis Edwards III as deputy business administrator, an appeals court ruled. Edwards now wants to take his case to the Supreme Court.

    Orange taxpayers are still waiting for an ex-mayoral appointee to return the salary he earned while serving as the deputy business administrator -- an appointment two courts deemed illegal

    But the now five-year legal fight over the position held by Willis Edwards III is not over. 

    Edwards has appealed to the state's highest court, according to his attorney, Michael Cifelli, who said he has no plans to pay back any money until he exhausts his options.

    "He shouldn't be required to do anything unless or until the Supreme Court takes or does not take our appeal," Cifelli said. "This is an unprecedented case. It's now, in essence, going to require public employees to make sure that whoever is doing their appointment is doing it correctly."

    Edwards, a former Assemblyman, was appointed deputy business administrator by Mayor Dwayne Warren in 2012 -- but the City Council never approved the move. Edwards also managed Warren's successful 2012 mayoral campaign.

    The council subsequently sued Warren and Edwards, although Warren was later dropped from the case. 

    This June, the Appellate Division affirmed an Essex County judge's ruling that mandated Edwards repay the salary he earned as deputy business administrator between 2012 and 2015. The appeals court also found Warren illegally made the appointment and Edwards acted unlawfully by serving in the position. 

    "His actions were inexcusable and he displayed a flagrant contempt for the citizens of the city and the law," the decision read. The court called Essex County Judge Christine Farrington's February 2016 opinion "well-reasoned." 

    In Farrington's ruling, she said Edwards was not credible and said his "attempts to present himself as an innocent party and cast blame for the appointments on the (m)ayor are unconvincing and disingenuous ... (H)e knew or had the ability to know the requirements of state and local law."

    The council has argued Edwards owes the $268,000 salary he earned in that position. Warren later appointed Edwards chief of staff, also without council approval, but he will not have to repay those monies.

    "This was a scathing opinion which completely scorched Willis Edwards as being disingenuous and dishonest" Robert Tarver, the council's attorney, said in an email after the ruling. "The court stated that all of the money must be paid back and that is the sole remedy to make the residen(ts) of Orange whole."

    Cifelli said Edwards was held to a "should-have-known" standard. 

    "Certainly, he didn't appoint himself. At one point you have to be able to trust the people who are making these appointments," he said.     

    He added that it was unprecedented that a public employee "is going to be forced to return his or her salary for work that was performed and accepted ... they are taking his labor."

    The actions Edwards took as deputy business administrator remain valid. It's not clear what steps, if any, the city has taken to recoup his salary since the Appellate ruling. City spokesman Keith Royster said the city was still consulting with the law department on how to proceed.  

    Orange is facing an ongoing federal probe as the FBI investigates alleged misused of government funds, among other things. Edwards was one of more than one dozen people named in the FBI's search warrants.

    In recent months the city has received additional subpoenas in relation to the investigation, according to a city official.

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook


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    Week 2 in NJ football produces a landslide of memorable moments across the state

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    N.J. home makeover is a regular feature on that showcases designer, contractor and DIY renovations, large and small.

    N.J. home makeover is a regular feature on that showcases designer, contractor and DIY renovations, large and small. To submit your renovation for consideration, email with your full name, email address, phone number and town/city. Attach "before" and "after" photos of what you renovated.

    When a job requires frequent moves, it can be difficult to settle into each new place.

    Sabrina and Adam Rogers of Montclair learned this firsthand from work-related relocations that have placed them in rented spaces, corporate housing and other shorter-term quarters in the U.S. and abroad.

    "When you know things are temporary, you tend to not really live in a place," said Sabrina Rogers, a full-time mother who previously worked in marketing for the same global health care company as her husband, who is now a general manager in sales. "When you are renting, you tend to not put up as much or make it as cozy as you would if you knew you were going to be there a long time."

    But at some point in the process, the couple realized that, regardless of the length of their stay, they needed to unpack all their boxes and make each new place comfortable as quickly as possible for themselves and their son, 10 and daughter, 7. "There have got to be pictures up," Rogers says. "It's got to feel like a home."

    They recently moved to Montclair after a three-year stay in England. Initially, they rented a seven-bedroom, five-bathroom house.

    "It was a bit too much house for what we needed for a family of four," Rogers said in retrospect. They had anticipated frequent visits from family and friends, and so they filled up the bedrooms and other areas with furnishings. But at the back of her mind was one thought: "We are never going to need all of this stuff."

    She was proven right about two years later when the owner of the house decided to sell it. With the help of a real estate agent, they were fortunate to find a nearby four-bedroom, four-bathroom house before it went on the market. They moved in in the summer of 2017.

    Of course, this raised the issue of what to do with all the furniture. Additionally, the new house had a large, formal living room that they wanted to use more effectively.

    "We wanted to do something with the space to make it nice, but useable, instead of a place that people only went into once and awhile," Rogers said of the living room.

    But she wasn't sure where to begin, and they were also planning a party in less than a month's time. A friend recommeded interior designer Julie Liepold.

    First, Liepold suggested that they donate their furniture to Family Assistance Resouce Center, a non-profit that provides replacement furniture and other basic living necessities to families in need. Next, they viewed and discussed the remaining possessions that were meaningful to the family.

    It was decided that Adam Rogers' collection of sports memorabilia would be the focus of a home office turned game room and TV viewing area. Originally designed as a sunroom, the game room had a length of cabinetry along one wall beneath a row of windows. Liepold had faux leather cushions made to top the cabinetry for a window seat.

    "It is a small space, but it offers a lot of seating," she said. Several throw pillows were added, making it a cozy place to read or relax. The sports memorabilia is hung on walls and placed in shelves around the room.

    A large artwork painted by a friend would guide them as they outfitted the living room.

    "If you look at it briefly, you might not be able to tell that it is depicting a closet," Liepold said of the piece, where broad brush strokes render a somewhat abstract image of hanging clothes. The painting's dominant blues inspired the selection of decorative accessories, an accent table and a loveseat that would be the room's statement piece.

    The loveseat's irregular blue and white pattern calls to mind a seascape with water and waves, and several other elements of the room were selected to support that theme.

    "We wanted to keep with the idea of very fluid, almost water like," Liepold said.

    Underfoot, a custom-cut nylon area rug with a mottled blue and white pattern might seem "as if they are walking on water." This scene is especially relaxing because the carpet is resistant to stains and soiling.

    "The family has two young children and they entertain often, so a more resilient area rug was a must," Liepold said.

    Set in front of a wall with all-white built in shelves, the eye-catching loveseat reduced the need to overfill the shelves with decorative items, Liepold says.

    "The attention gets drawn to the upholstered piece rather than the decorative items behind it," she said.

    "This house has built-ins for days," Sabrina Rogers said. She considers this a blessing and a curse in the 3,320-square-foot house.

    While they have a lot of places to display keepsakes, "I just did not want to fill them with stuff just to fill them," she said. "I didn't want it to feel cluttered."

    Liepold unified clusters of the couple's books by having them custom-bound with replicas of cityscapes that are familiar to the family: Manhattan, Toronto and Newcastle in England. The books are displayed on the shelves along with framed photos, keepsakes and other objects.

    Keeping in mind the couple will likely need to move again, Liepold recommended they invest in well-constructed furniture in mostly neutral fabrics. That way the pieces can blend in easily in other places or be reupholstered as needed.

    Liepold had similar suggestions for the home's family room, and throughout she recommended the couple select accessories, such as benches, that can have multiple functions. Their accent tables with hollow metal bases are lightweight and easy to move.

    "The metal finishes on the tables, fire screen and drapery rods were all customized by a local refinisher," Liepold said.

    For the family room, Adam Rogers had already purchased a large leather sectional sofa. Nesting occasional tables and a narrow side table with storage shelves beneath were selected with the idea that they would be easy to use when the couple entertains.

    "They can set up the tables based on how many people they are entertaining," Liepold said.

    While their goals were different for various areas of the house, all the ideas clicked and work well for them, Sabrina Rogers says.

    "What was meant to be temporary staging for a party, we ended up really loving and keeping," she said of the family room layout. As for the living room, she said, "we didn't want to just get that room done, that one was more 'let's do this right.' "

    What the renovated

    The living room, family room and game room of a 1957 house in Montclair

    Who did the work

    Liepold Design Group

    How long it took

    About six months, from August 2017 to January 2018, for numerous custom furnishings and finishes.

    What they spent

    About $75,000

    Where they splurged

    On fabrics selected for the upholstered seating and window treatments.

    What they like most

    "I feel like everyone uses the living room," Sabrina Rogers said. "My children go in to read. My husband and I will go in to have a drink."

    What they'd have done differently

    "This was my first time undergoing a project like this and working with a designer," Sabrina Rogers said. "We're all really pleased with it, and there's nothing we would change."

    Kimberly L. Jackson may be reached at Find Entertainment on Facebook.

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    Amazon is expanding in New Jersey and whether or not Newark wins the HQ2 bid, more jobs are scheduled to come to the state.

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    The suspects allegedly shot at the vehicle and attempted to force it off the roadway.

    Two off-duty Newark police officers and the wife of one of the officers were shot at early Sunday morning near Newark airport, leading to a pursuit of four suspects, according to police. 

    Three suspects in the attack are still on the loose, officials said.

    The vehicle the off-duty officers were traveling in, which was headed to Newark Liberty International Airport, was struck by gunfire near the entrance at Routes 1 and 9 south just after 3:30 a.m., according to the Newark Department of Public Safety. 

    The alleged shooters also attempted to force the officers' vehicle off the roadway, authorities said. 

    The off-duty officers did not return fire, the department said in a news release. The wife of an officer sustained a minor injury as a result of the incident. She was taken to a local hospital and has since been released.  

    Police pursued the vehicle, eventually stopping it in Bloomfield and apprehending one of four suspects, authorities said.  

    Charges are pending, and the investigation is ongoing, Newark police said. 

    The department did not release information about a possible motive for the shooting or immediately identify the person taken into custody.

    Anyone with information about the other three suspects is asked to contact police at 1-877-695-8477 or 1-877-695-4867.  

    Amanda Hoover can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj. Find on Facebook

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    "You can't imagine the possibilities that you don't know of," associate justice told the crowd.

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited the Newark Public Library to celebrate the release of her two new children's books and discuss how reading as a child helped her achieve an appointment to the nation's highest court.

    Sotomayor told hundreds of parents and children of all ages Sunday afternoon about the role education and the library played in her life as a young girl. 

    "You can't imagine the possibilities that you don't know of," Sotomayor said in a Q&A style forum. 

    "I never dreamt that I would become a supreme court justice you know why? Because I didn't know what a supreme court justice was," she said. 

    Sotomayor's new books; "Turning Pages: My Life Story" and "The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor!" shares how the justice's life was shaped and propelled forward by her family, her own determination, and the books she read. 

    Sotomayor encouraged children to read widely and spoke of how her mother made sure books were an integral part of her upbringing. 

    "It was so important to my mother that I be exposed to as many things as possible. You can only dream about the things you know about."

    As part of the program, Sotomayor also spent one-on-one time with the children in attendance. 

    Alexis Johnson may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @alexisjreports. Find on Facebook.


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    Dogs and cats at shelters await adoption.

    Holmdel volunteer wins international award in dog photography competition

    The Kennel Club in London recently announced the winners of its annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition with Sonya Kolb of Holmdel selected as the winner of the competition's "Rescue Dog" category.


    The award comes with a PS500 prize for the charity of the winner's choice. Kolb has chosen to donate the money to the Monmouth County SPCA, where she has been taking photos for seven years.

    The dog in Kolb's winning photograph is rescue dog Cooper, whose family adopted him after their first rescue dog tragically died before they had even brought him home.

    "I am extremely grateful to have won the Rescue category in the Dog Photographer of the Year competition," said Kolb. "I can remember every second of this photo shoot as if it were yesterday. This image reveals what is so important in life - our emotional connections with others. Dogs fulfill our deepest emotional needs, giving us so freely an abundance of love, comfort and joy. I love creating images that spread happiness and connect us heart to heart, hand to paw, with our most positive emotions."

    Monica van der Maden from the Netherlands was chosen overall winner of the competition with an image of Noa the Great Dane which placed first in the "Oldies" category. The other first place category winners were:

        Elinor Roizman, Israel, "Dogs at Play";
        Klaus Dyber, Germany, "Puppy";
        Carol Durrant, the UK, "Portrait";
        Tracy Kidd, the UK, "Dogs at Work";
        Joana Matos, Portugal, "Man's Best Friend";
        Dean Mortimer, the UK, "Assistance Dogs";
        Tamara Kedves, Hungary, "I Love Dogs Because...";
        Mariah Mobley (age 11), United States, "Young Pup Photographer"

    All of the winning images plus the photos that placed second and third for each category will be on display at the Kennel Club in London from through Oct. 5. To view all the winning images, go to

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

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    Bergen Catholic's reign is over. Who is the new No. 1?

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    Here are the 30-best boys soccer games coming up this week.

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    Who still has an unbeaten streak alive in the state ? NJ Advance Media takes a look.

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    Neighbors told the injured man may have been attempting to steal copper pipes from the abandoned house

    A man was hurt when an abandoned home in Newark exploded on Sunday afternoon, according to police.

    Authorities aren't sure yet why the house on South Devine Street collapsed around 5:19 p.m. The explosion broke windows and damaged the siding of adjacent residences, though. 

    26-year-old charged following explosion in Cranford

    The injured man was questioned but not charged, a Newark police spokeswoman said. His injuries were not considered life-threatening. 

    Neighbors told WABC-7 the man was inside the house and might have been attempting to steal copper pipes to sell as scrap metal. People playing softball at Vailsburg Park across the street chased the man and held him until police arrived, the television station said.

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



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    Wild plays, great saves and stellar finishes top this week's Top 10 plays.

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    The best matchups of the third week of the season

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    The device was discovered at a Newark cemetery during the annual Newark Cemetery Visiting Day.

    A homemade explosive device found at a Jewish Cemetery in Newark Sunday morning forced the evacuation of an event while the Essex County Bomb Squad removed the non-working bomb.

    The device was found on a headstone at the B'nai Abraham Cemetery on South 19th Street at South Orange Avenue during Newark Cemetery Visiting Day, an event organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Metrowest NJ at 10:45 a.m., according to a Facebook post from the group's CEO Dov Ben-Shimon. 

    Visitors were asked to leave the as police investigated the find, which was described by Ben-Shimon as a "homemade explosive device consisting of a non-military firework mortar taped to a container of commercial lubricant."

    The device would not have been able to explode as constructed, he said.

    "There is no indication at this time that the device was targeted as a bias/hate crime incident, but we will be following up with our law enforcement partners at Homeland Security to advise them of the incident," Ben-Shimon said.

    The bomb squad removed the device to dispose of it in a "safe manner" and the the cemetery was reopened an hour later after police checked the rest of the cemetery, he said.

    Calls and emails to the Essex County Sheriff's Office seeking further information were not returned Monday night.

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



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    Check out which teams made the cut in the third Top 20 of the season.

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    Nathaniel J. Lewis, of East Orange, didn't disclose his sex offender status when he applied for a job

    A 37-year-old man failed disclose he was a convicted sex offender before being hired by the Clifton parks and recreation department, authorities said. 

    lewis.jpgNathaniel J. Lewis (Passaic County Prosecutor's Office) 

    Nathaniel J. Lewis, of East Orange, was charged last week with failure to register as a sex offender and unlawfully obtaining employment in a youth serving organization, the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement Monday. 

    Lewis was previously convicted in Virginia in 2009 of taking indecent liberties with children, according to the Virginia State Police sex offender registry. The registry lists Lewis as wanted and notes his last known place of employment was a church in East Orange.

    Lewis failed to disclose his sex offender status when he applied for work in Clifton, officials said.

    He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on both third-degree charges.

    Lewis is due in Superior Court in Paterson on Tuesday morning. 

    A spokeswoman for the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office declined to provide additional information ahead of Tuesday's hearing. 

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



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    Essex County is in deals to take control of the police academy back from Essex County College.

    Essex County officials plan to take back control of the public safety academy -- currently run by the county college -- more than two decades after the building was sold off to plug a budget hole. 

    "We're going to totally take it over," Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. told NJ Advance Media on Monday. "It was never the right thing for the college to do. Now, we're straightening it out."

    Essex County College's Board of Trustees will vote Tuesday to discontinue operations at the Cedar Grove academy by January 2019 and lay off its director, Rocco Miscia. 

    The county, meanwhile, plans to apply to for a certification from the New Jersey Police Training Commission, the agency that regulates officer training, so the county Department of Corrections can assume ownership next year. 

    "It's a win-win," DiVincenzo said. He said the college was losing about a million dollars running the facility and county corrections officers often had to train elsewhere.

    "Sometimes, we couldn't get in," he said. "Now, we're going to be able to take care of own in our county."    

    Phil Alagia, the county's chief of staff, said the county plans to purchase the building back from the college but was still in negotiations. The county sold the facility to the college in 1997 to fill a $4 million budget gap.

    As the county's sole public safety academy, the facility graduates about 300 recruits every year, including corrections officers, school resource officers and police officers, among others. 

    But this summer, the academy was forced to restrict its course offerings after the Police Training Commission raised concerns that the college, citing fiscal woes, had slashed the associate director position.

    The agency cited the college for not having a viable plan to transition those duties to someone else and temporarily banned the academy from offering additional certified courses. 

    "There was no consultation, no heads up, no input from (Miscia) or anyone else that I know of and what the consequences and downside would be," Paul Costello, the academy's former associate director previously said about the staff changes. 

    On Tuesday, the Board of Trustees will move to eliminate the director's position. When reached by phone, Miscia said he was placed on administrative leave by the college on Wednesday but declined to comment further.   

    Lori Apicelli, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura's daughter who works at the college, has been named interim director. 

    ECC spokesman Wayne Yourstone said the college does not comment on personnel matters. He said the academy "has provided a rigorous, quality education to law enforcement recruits" and more information would be available at its board meeting Tuesday. 

    Alagia said the county is working out an agreement with the college to place county personnel at the academy to help with the transition this year. 

    "Let's get them get there early, so they hit the ground running," he said. Alagia said the current class of 70 police recruits will not be affected and graduate in December as planned.  

    The city of Newark will also pay for an administrative position at the academy and is planning to build its own $49 million police and fire training complex in the South Ward.

    [Editor's note: This story has been updated with more information.]

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook


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    Here are the players and keepers of the week in every boys soccer conference.

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    The facility at 224 Sussex Avenue, which originally opened as a temporary winter shelter last December, closed Sept. 15, city officials said Monday.

    After months of extensions and a brief closure, Newark's temporary homeless shelter has officially shut its doors. 

    The facility at 224 Sussex Avenue, which originally opened as a temporary winter shelter last December, closed Sept. 15, city officials said Monday. 

    Of the 194 residents, some have been reassigned to other shelters while others qualified for housing vouchers or financial assistance. About 90 residents, however, have no housing alternative, Dr. Mark Wade, director of the department of health and community wellness said. 

    The city, meanwhile, is reviewing 10 proposals from shelter operators that can house the remaining residents -- likely at multiple locations -- starting Nov. 1. 

    "The city is embarking on a different strategy. We're not going to fund a single shelter but we're going to fund a variety of shelters to serve the same population," city spokesman Frank Baraff said. "It's not a single fix."

    The Central Ward shelter principally targeted the homeless population who had nowhere else to go and were not eligible for federal assistance. 

    The Sussex Avenue facility was slated to close in March but the city was able to find additional money to keep it open through June. It then closed in the middle of a heat wave because it had no more funds to stay open until private donors helped open the building's doors for a few more weeks.  

    The shelter was scheduled to shut down at the end of August but the building's owner agreed to give residents another two weeks -- free of charge. 

    Community activists for weeks been rallying to keep the shelter open. On Monday, some of the shelter residents who had nowhere to go camped out in the park across from the Sussex Avenue building. 

    City officials said about 30 percent of those staying at the shelter did not return in September after learning about the facility's imminent closure, another 19 percent were reassigned to other shelters and 5 percent received vouchers, employment and/or financial assistance.

    Baraff said the city and the county would continue to find placements for residents with nowhere to go.

    Karen Yi may be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook

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