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    What went on in New Jersey high school football Friday? We've got you covered.

    HC vs B-R '18.jpeg 

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    Michellene Davis, an executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer for RWJ Barnabas, was suspended Thursday from her job after making comments on Facebook.

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    82 employees were affected by the move for Union County to partner with the Essex County Juvenile Center.

    A decline in the number of youths housed at the Union County Detention Center in Linden has prompted the facility to announce that it's closing next month. All remaining youngsters will be moved to the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in Newark.

    The merger between the two facilities, which becomes official Feb. 28, 2019, is set to save Union County $24.6 million, but it will also effect 82 employees, county officials said. 

    Civilian workers may be rehired at the Essex County facility, or in other Union County departments, officials said. Those detention center employees left without a job will be eligible for job training and other assistance, officials said.

    The reduction in youth detained in the Union facility was credited to the state's Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, which provides services and  programs to keep young people out of trouble and works to detains only the most serious youth offenders.

    In 2012, Union County's Juvenile Detention Center had about 43 youth residents and currently has about 10, a decline of 77 percent, the county reported this week. 

    "While it is no longer feasible to continue to maintain a facility due to the declining numbers, we sought a solution that is aimed at preserving the rights, safety and dignity of incarcerated youth while minimizing the impact on any affected employees," said Union County Manager Edward T. Oatman.

    Sharing youth and detention centers are not uncommon for counties in New Jersey. 

    In February 2015, the Union County Juvenile Center, which has a capacity for about 76 inmates, began housing juvenile offender from Hudson County which bumped Union's youth inmate population from about 28 youths daily to slightly more than 50.

    Hudson County paid Union County approximately $2.1 million annually in 2015 and 2016  for the move which included more than 30 male juveniles according to a 2014 announcement. 

    Once Union County received the boys from Hudson, Union moved their girls to the Bergen County Juvenile Detention Facility, paying Bergen County $246,375. 

    The partnership between Union and Essex counties is for five years, with an option to renew. The nationally-accredited Essex juvenile facility -- which has an all-day school, recreation programs and a swimming pool -- is less than six miles away from the current facility in Union. 

    The state's largest juvenile correctional facility in Jamesburg -- the New Jersey Training School for Boys -- and the Juvenile Female Secure Care and Intake Facility (also known as Hayes) in Bordentown, are also being shuttered.

    The two facilities will be replaced with two newly built smaller rehabilitation centers.

    In 2012, Advocates of Children in New Jersey issued a report showing that the number of youth in detention centers across the state had decreased since 2004, saving the state $16 million. 

    Taylor Tiamoyo Harris may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ladytiamoyo.

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    Sorrentino was surrounded by fellow 'Jersey Shore' cast members as he walked to federal court in Newark on Friday. He's set to get married next month.

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    Lawyers said that people who weren't eligible before are eager to get their records wiped clean

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    Pets throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    If you're interested in helping homeless animals but aren't able to adopt one, there are a number of other ways you can be of assistance.

    Realistically, not everyone can adopt. People who live in apartments or developments that have no-pets policies fall into that category, as do people with allergies or disabilities that will not allow them to care for pets of their own. Here are some suggestions for ways people who want to help can participate in caring for homeless animals.

    * Help out at a local shelter. It's not glamorous work by any means, but it's vital and will be very much appreciated. You can do anything from help walk dogs to bottle feed kittens, help clean kennels or cat's cages or even help with bathing and grooming. Contact your local shelter to find out their policies regarding volunteers.

    * If you're handy, you can lend a hand in many ways. Shelters usually need repairs of many kinds, so fixer-uppers can help out like that. If you sew, quilt or crochet, you can make blankets for your local shelter.

    * Help out at an adoption event. Many shelters and rescue groups participate in local events by hosting a table with pets available for adoption. They also hold these program at malls, pet supply stores and banks, and can always use a helping hand.

    * For galleries like this one and for online adoptions sites, often a shelter or rescue group doesn't have the time or equipment to shoot good photos of their adoptable pets. Something as simple as making yourself available to shoot and provide digital files of pet photos can be a big help.

    * Donate. It doesn't have to be money; shelters need cleaning supplies, pet food, toys for the animals and often even things we don't think twice about getting rid of like old towels and newspapers. Every little bit helps.

    If you don't know where your local animal shelter or rescue group is, a quick online search will reveal a number of results. It doesn't take a lot of time or effort to get involved but it provides immeasurable assistance.

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

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    The single-vehicle crash occurred about 4:30 a.m. on U.S. 1&9 near McClellan Street, police said.

    One person was killed early Monday in a fiery crash that forced the closure of traffic lanes for Routes 1&9 near Newark Liberty International Airport, authorities said.

    The single-vehicle crash occurred about 4:30 a.m. on 1&9 South near McClellan Street, police said.

    Traffic was backed up on 1&9 South from Route 22 to McClellan Street, according to

    Newark police, the fire department, NJDOT and members of the Essex County Medical Examiner's Office were at the scene.

    The identity of the person killed in the crash was not immediately available.

    Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find on Facebook.

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    700 Mattress Firm owned stores will close in all, including 200 in in the coming days. The five stores closing in New Jersey are Sleepy's locations

    Five New Jersey stores are among 200 under the Mattress Firm umbrella that will close in the coming days after the Texas company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. In all 700 stores will be shut down. 

    All the upcoming stores closing in New Jersey are Sleepy's stores, according to court filings. 

    Mattress Firm, which bought Sleepy's in 2016 and Mattress Giant four years before that also owns the Sleep Train Brand. 

    • Sleepy's on Route 130 north in East Windsor
    • Sleepy's on Route 46 in Parsippany
    • Sleepy's on Ferry Street in Newark
    • Sleepy's on South Whitehorse Pike in Hammonton
    • Sleepy's on Brunswick Pike in Lawrence

    In court documents, Mattress Firm said the company's previous management team had made several miscalculations as it rebranded more than 1,300 stores it had bought from competitors in the last two years. It has more than 3,200 stores in 49 states. 

    "While these acquisitions allowed (Mattress Firm) to achieve ... presence in markets where they previously had little to no presence, they also led to 'cannibalization' of sales amongst stores in close proximity to each other," the company said. "As a result, many Mattress Firm stores are in direct competition with other Mattress Firm stores, resulting in disappointing sales."

    The company, founded in 1986, has sales of more than $3 billion. But in court documents, the company said in fiscal year 2018, it is projected to lose about $150 million.

    In 2016, Mattress Firm was acquired by South Africa-based retailer Steinhoff International Holdings for $3.8 billion.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. Jeff Goldman may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find on Facebook.



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    The trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday in state Superior Court.

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    4th No. 1 of the season and 3rd straight week with a change

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    Which N.J. girls soccer alums are lighting it up in college?

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    Malcolm Nettingham, a Tuskegee Airman from Scotch Plains, celebrated his 100th birthday and his place in history. Watch video

    Malcolm Nettingham doesn't talk much about his place in history.

    The day he was honored as one of four original Tuskegee Airmen, his daughter, Debbie Nettingham, had no idea what was about to take place when she walked into the Newark Public Library in 2007.

    "He just said, 'I'm being honored with some other guys in the military,'" Debbie said.

    Hundreds of people were there when the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg gave the Scotch Plains resident the Congressional Gold Medal with three other airmen men who also lived in New Jersey. 

    "That's when I found out," she said.

    During World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen overcame discrimination and prejudice to pave the way for full integration of the U.S military with the men and women who supported them.

    People who know Nettingham were just as stunned as his daughter when they learned for the first time about his military past and receiving the nation's highest civilian honor from Congress.

    "I'm sort of a low-key person," he said. "I didn't think much of it."

    This past weekend was all about him, even though he'd prefer that no one make a fuss about his being a historical figure or the latest milestone his life.

    Nettingham turned 100 years-old on last week.

    Family and friends gathered to celebrate over lunch at the Stage House Tavern in Scotch Plains. They talked about his modesty, his pride, his fortitude to endure segregation in the armed forces when African Americans weren't considered capable to serve, let alone operate sophisticated machinery.

    Nettingham wasn't a pilot, but his contribution was just as significant as the first African American military pilots who didn't lose many bombers during escort missions.

    Drafted in 1944 at Fort Dix, he was among five African American soldiers selected to integrate a radio communication class in the Army Air Corps. He was assigned to the 617th Squadron, 477th Composite Group and trained as a radio operator/gunner on a B-25 aircraft in 1945.

    It was an opportunity, Nettingham said, to prove that African American soldiers were intelligent, which wasn't the prevailing thought in America and her military.

    nettinghammedalfile[3].jpegCongressional Gold Medal that Malcolm Nettingham received in 2007 

    "They're going to think all black people are dumb, so we decided we're going to be smart," said Nettingham, who often has referred to the integrated class as an experiment. "When we came out of class, the first thing we did was get into the books and make sure that all five of us knew the lessons backwards and forwards."

    They consistently had the highest grades but, Nettingham was disappointed that his unit didn't get to fight overseas. They had trained for two years, but the war had ended before his composite group could get an assignment. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and later spent 32 years working for an industrial electronics company until his retirement.

    Nettingham doesn't have any pictures from his time in the military, only the history that he has shared when speaking at middle schools, churches and corporate events.

    L.C. Carter, a good friend, has listened intently ever since Nettingham told him when they met as members of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Scotch Plains. The retired Navy counselor said his 20-year career in the service couldn't have happened without the military success of Nettingham and the others.

    "They opened the doors," Carter said. "Because of them, I knew I could be what I wanted to be if I was smart enough."

    In different conversations Saturday, his life unfolded at the party with the generosity of Drs. Marc and Paul Levinson. The twin brothers are his eye doctors, who have known him for 30 years and wanted to celebrate his birthday.

    nettinghamfamily1ax145_263a_9.jpgTuskegee Airman Malcolm Nettingham celebrates his 100th birthday with his daughter Debbie Nettingham and Malcolm V. Nettingham at Stage House Tavern in Scotch Plains on September 29, 2018. 

    "If everyone was like him, we would have a perfect world," said Marc, owner of North Jersey Eye Care Center in Scotch Plains.

    "There aren't too many people like him."

    Nor are they living history. Born in 1918, Nettingham's parents moved from New York to Scotch Plains when he was five, living in a small home with 11 siblings, kerosene lamps and an outhouse in the backyard.

    Nettingham said his dad's great grandmother was a slave during the Civil War in Virginia; he lived through the Great Depression; segregation and witnessed the election of the first African American president. In his home, he has picture of President Barack and Michelle Obama with a signed letter acknowledging his 98th birthday. He attended both inaugurations, an event that happened sooner than he thought.

    "He saw it all," his son said.

    Even now, as the only surviving sibling, he stays busy and is incredibly independent. Nettingham still drives, only locally to the store, to doctor appointments and church, where he's been a member since fourth grade.

    "Everybody wants to help me more than I really want them to at times," he said.

    He cooks, cleans, washes and irons his own clothes. His sky blue button-down shirt was pressed and starched; his charcoal gray pants lined with a sharp crease as we chatted over coffee a few days before the celebration.

    Had he not broken his hip three years ago, Nettingham's family and friends said he probably would still be cleaning out the gutters, shoveling snow and cutting his lawn.

    nettinghamparty1ax160_1c38_9.jpgTuskegee Airman Malcolm Nettingham celebrates his 100th birthday with friends and family at Stage House Tavern in Scotch Plains on September 29, 2018. 

    He misses the landscaping, one of his many joys. He misses dancing with his late wife, Lorena, to whom he was married 70 years. From the Lindy Hop to the Electric Slide, they never got old.

    It would be a treat, too, to see him singing again, leading men's choir, another slice of happiness he misses. Nettingham's tenor voice is not the same after the hip surgery, a possible side effect he said doctors can't explain.

    He uses a cane for balance, but doesn't have any complaints, even though arthritis has set in. Relying on his calendar to stay organized, not much seems to slow him down.

    After a few hours with Nettingham, the best advice that this humble and dignified man has for us is simple and plain. Do right by people as we age.

    "Treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself," he said.

    Lastly, and most importantly, Nettingham had one more point to make before I was about leave. He called to me from the front door, motioning with his hand so I would return to front steps.

    He's lived a good life for a reason.

    "God has been good to me," he said. "Please make sure you put that in."

    Not a problem, Mr. Nettingham. Not a problem at all.

    Happy Birthday, sir.

    Read More

    Barry Carter may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BarryCarterSL. Find on Facebook.

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    Donnie, Danny, Jordan, Joey and Jon will be coming back to New Jersey next year with a stacked '90s lineup

    Who's still hangin' tough? All of us? Great.

    The enduring boy band-turned-man band New Kids On The Block announced Monday a new "Mixtape" concert tour set for summer 2019, which includes two New Jersey dates: July 2 at Prudential Center in Newark and July 5 at Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City. The tour also hits Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia June 27. 

    Donnie, Danny, Jordan, Joey and Jon will be joined by '90s and '80s throwback favorites Salt N' Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson and New Jersey's own Naughty By Nature. 

    Fan club ticket presales begin Tuesday at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster, general on-sale begins 10. a.m. Friday. 

    New Kids formed in Boston in 1984 and have sold more than 80 million records worldwide. The group has been back together and touring since 2007. The band's most recent album was 2013's "10." 

    The band recently released a single, called "80s Baby," with all the aforementioned tour openers. 

    Bobby Olivier may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BobbyOlivier and Facebook. Find on Facebook  

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    New Jersey's biggest city will be host to yet another superhero movie -- and close a bunch of streets

    Two weeks after Jersey City hosted filming of "Joker," production of the DC Comics film that will tell the backstory of Batman's most infamous villain is heading west to Newark.

    Production in Brick City will take place from Oct. 13 to 16, and the Newark Department of Public Safety has tweeted out a series of road closures and parking restrictions as part of the shoot.

    Saturday, Oct. 13, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    -Market Street at Mulberry Street and Halsey Street
    -Beaver Street at Market Street and Clinton Street
    Parking restrictions:
    -Beaver Street at Clinton Street and Market Street
    -Clinton Street at Broad Street and Beaver Street

    Sunday, Oct. 14, 5 a.m. at 8 p.m.
    -Market Street at Mulberry Street and Washington Street
    -Halsey Street at Bank Street and Maiden Lane
    -Branford Place at Washington Street and Broad Street
    Parking restrictions:
    -Branford Place at Washington Street and Broad Street
    -Halsey Street at Bank Street and Maiden Lane
    -Washington Street at Academy Street and Market Street

    Monday, Oct. 15. 4 p.m. to 5 a.m.
    -Market Street at Mulberry Street and University Avenue
    -Washington Street at Raymond Boulevard and Market Place
    -Halsey Street at William Street and Bank Street
    -Academy Street at Broad Street and University Ave.
    -Branford Place at Washington and Broad Street
    Parking restrictions:
    -Washington Street at Raymond Boulevard and Market Street.

    Tuesday, Oct. 16, 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.
    -Market Street at Broad Street and Washington Street
    -Halsey Street at William Street and Bank Street
    -Branford Place at Washington Street and Broad Street
    Parking restrictions:
    -Halsey Street at William Street and Bank Street

    The Todd Phillips film, which stars Joaquin Phoenix, is set to be released in October 2019. It's not the first time that a Batman film has been produced in the city, as "The Dark Knight Rises" filmed scenes in Newark back in 2011.

    View this post on Instagram

    Camera test (w/ sound). Joker.

    A post shared by Todd Phillips (@toddphillips1) on

    Jeremy Schneider may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @J_Schneider. Find on Facebook.

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    There's a new team on top of the statewide rankings. Find out who it is.

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    The quest to name the top downtown in New Jersey starts with your votes.

    If you think North Jersey is better than, well, the rest of Jersey, you've come to the right place.

    You've got your suburban delights like Madison and Montclair -- with their quaint and charming downtowns. Or, if you're up for a more city-like feel, there's the slowly revitalizing Newark, with new, sleek eateries like Marcus Samuelsson's, Marcus B&P and the draw of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Prudential Center. 

    As we announced in a previous story, we want to find the best downtown in New Jersey within these generally defined parameters: Fun sections of town where people like to spend time -- and that offer something special. 

    Based on the sheer number of serious contenders here alone, the best downtown could very well be within the northern section of the Garden State. 

    You can stroll down red-bricked sidewalks with a coffee in hand, peruse your locally-sourced vendors or hey, run into the set of the new Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix because future box-office hits only shoot in the most iconic places.

    For North Jersey, you have a chance to vote for the best downtown areas in Sussex, Passaic, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Union, Morris and Warren counties.

    Now is your chance for your voice to be heard. Below is a poll with the list of downtown areas in the five-county areas comprised by reader nominations, emails, and Facebook comments. Voting will remain open until Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m.

    The winners will move on the "Terrific 10," then to the "Fantastic Five" and finally the designation of the being the best downtown in New Jersey.

    Just like March Madness, we know that some cities will be on the proverbial "bubble," there may be a Cinderella downtown or two, and there will be a lot of pride and cheering for your favorite downtown area to win this distinction.

    Good luck to all of the downtowns.

    To vote in other regions around the state, click below:

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


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    See the boys soccer players and keepers that stood out in Week 5.

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    Democrat Mikie Sherrill and state Assemblyman Jay Webber are scrapping over who'll get to replace retiring Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen. Watch video

    WASHINGTON -- Former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor Mikie Sherrill held a slight lead over Assemblyman Jay Webber in one of the four New Jersey congressional districts key to the chances of a House Democratic takeover this fall.

    Sherrill's 48 percent to 44 percent lead over Webber, R-Morris, among likely voters is within the 5-point margin of error in the Monmouth University Poll released Tuesday. There was little change from a June poll that also gave Sherrill a 4-point advantage.

    Men preferred Webber, 54 percent to 39 percent, while women sided with Sherrill, 57 percent to 35 percent.

    Will Kavanaugh have an impact Election Day?

    The poll reflected voter opposition to President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Webber, and his tax plan that targeted New Jersey and other high-tax states by curbing the federal deduction for state and local taxes.

    "The basic contours of this race have not changed," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "Even though Republicans have the edge in party affiliation, many are not happy with the president or key GOP initiatives such as the tax reform plan."

    The 11th District, which is being vacated by retiring Republican Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, is one of four Republican-held seats that Democrats are either favored to win or no worse than 50-50.

    Both the Cook Political Report and Inside Elections, two Washington-based publications that track congressional races, have made Sherrill a slight favorite, and Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight gave her a 3 in 4 chance of winning election in November.

    Murray said the furor over the confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has not affected the race so far.

    "Most of the voters who say they have been motivated by the Kavanaugh nomination are partisan identifiers, which suggests this issue has been more likely to firm up their choice rather than actually flip their vote," he said.

    While more than half of likely voters, 56 percent, said Trump's Twitter endorsement had no impact, 28 percent said it made them less likely to support Webber while 15 percent sad it would make them more likely.

    Trump, who carried the district in 2016 with less than 50 percent of the vote, had a job approval ratings of 49 percent positive and 48 percent negative, also within the margin of error.

    Webber also received fundraising help from Vice President Mike Pence in August. 

    "It's no surprise that Webber has not been trumpeting the president's endorsement when you look at these poll numbers, Murray said. "Trump does not really help even though this is a Republican district."

    His tax plan was opposed by 46 percent, with 34 percent saying they strongly disapproved, and suppoted by 43 percentm with 25 percent strongly in favor.

    "If anything should play well in a wealthy Republican district, it's a tax cut," Murray said. "But the elimination of certain deductions takes the sheen off this plan for many voters."

    The poll of 356 likely voters was conducted Oct. 3-7.

    Jonathan D. Salant may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JDSalant or on FacebookFind Politics on Facebook.


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    Amazon is set to begin hiring for more than 9,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs at its New Jersey facilities. Watch video

    Amazon is set to begin hiring for more than 9,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs at its New Jersey facilities this week, the company announced.

    Candidates can apply for positions with the online retail giant's customer fulfillment centers and delivery facilities at a hiring event Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Crowne Plaza Newark Airport in Elizabeth.

    "Candidates can walk-in, apply and receive a job offer on-the-spot at a hiring event," the announcement said. "Amazon expects to make hundreds of on-the-spot job offers."

    Amazon said last week it would raise minimum wage for all employees - including part-time and temporary workers - to $15 an hour as of Nov. 15.

    More details about Amazon jobs in New Jersey are available at

    Amazon has a dozen fulfillment centers in New Jersey and is one of the state's largest employers with 16,000 workers in the state. The company says it has invested $4 billion in the Garden State since 2011.

    Noah Cohen may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @noahycFind on Facebook


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    A look at the fab frosh throughout the Garden State.

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