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    See the players and teams that have stood out in the first half of the season.


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    Find out which freshmen stood out in each conference this week.


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    In all, there are four games Friday and Pope John vs. Bergen Catholic on Saturday

    Four teams in the NJ.com Top 20 will take the field in live-broadcast games this week and you can watch watch it all thanks to NJ High School Sports Live.

    NJ High School Sports Live will broadcast live from five games this weekend, including a top-ten meeting between No. 4 St. Joseph (Mont.) and No. 9 Don Bosco Prep.


    MORE: Learn about NJ High School Sports Live


    If you can't make it to the games or want to watch an on-demand replay, NJ High School Sports Live was made for you. You can watch these games on your computer, phone or tablet - and you can watch live or on demand. Our season pass also give you access to any in-network game. The Week 6 schedule is listed below, click on the links to watch.

    FRIDAY, OCT. 12
    No. 4 St. Joseph (Mont.) at No. 9 Don Bosco Prep, 7 p.m.
    Hoboken at Verona, 7 p.m.
    Caldwell at No. 13 West Essex, 7 p.m.
    Weehawken at Park Ridge, 7 p.m.

    SATURDAY, OCT. 13
    Pope John at No. 3 Bergen Catholic, 1 p.m.

    Andrew Koob can be reached at akoob@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewKoobHS. Like NJ.com High School Sports on Facebook


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    From Bergen County all the way South, what are the top stories heading into counties?


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    Theresa Caputo, the big-haired, effervescent star of TLC's "Long Island Medium" will grace thousands at NJPAC in Newark on Sunday with her psychic presence.

    She sees dead people. (Supposedly.) 

    Theresa Caputo, the big-haired, effervescent star of TLC's "Long Island Medium" will grace thousands at NJPAC in Newark on Sunday with her psychic presence -- and with live messages from pesky spirits eager to connect with their loved ones in attendance.

    If you've watched the TLC show, you've seen Caputo stop folks on the street, at the bakery, at Target or wherever when "spirit" drops in with a message. 

    Sunday's live performance promises interactive readings, a question and answer session and personal stories about Caputo's life and unique gifts.

    "'The Experience' is an unforgettable, potentially life-changing event that brings Caputo face-to-face with her fans, as she lets spirit guide her through the audience," according to the show's description.

    This event will include live video simulcast to ensure that every audience member will have "an up-close experience" regardless of seat location.

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


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    Friday afternoon set designers and production crew work to transform Newark's Market St. into 1980's Gotham for the filming of "Romeo," the new Joker movie. They are filming along Market St. this weekend and through Tuesday.


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    Big moments from Week 6 of the high school football season.


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    One person is in critical condition after being involved in a two car crash at 2:33 a.m. on McCarter Highway in Newark, said Det. Hubert Henderson.

    One person is in critical condition after being involved in an early morning two-car crash on McCarter Highway in Newark, according to police.

    Two of the victims were taken to an area hospital where one is in critical condition and the other is stable, according to Newark Det. Hubert Henderson

    Both of the cars involved in the incident, which occurred at 2:33 a.m., had to be towed away, Henderson said. 

    The cause of the crash is currently under investigation by the Newark Police Department.

    Olivia Rizzo may be reached at orizzo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find NJ.com on Facebook

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    Jason Nardachone is accused of defrauding the N.J. School Employees' Health Benefits Program of more than $550,000, according to court documents.

    A Nutley teacher has been indicted in federal court after being accused of scamming the state benefits system with claims for unneeded meds.

    Jason Nardachone, a 45-year-old Nutley resident, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said in a release Friday. 

    Nardachone is accused of defrauding the N.J. School Employees' Health Benefits Program, SEHBP, by allegedly purchasing unneeded medication, including metabolic vitamins, as well as pain and scar creams, for himself and three other teachers, according to court documents.

    Nardachone then allegedly bribed the three other teachers with monthly payments of $500 in exchange for their agreement to purchase compounded medications they did not need, according to authorities.

    Federal prosecutors say the scam cost the program more than $550,000 -- with each claim for meds costing between $3,300 to $22,800 -- over the five-month span starting in September 2015.

    Nardachone faces up to 10 years in prison and more than $250,000 in fines.

    Olivia Rizzo may be reached at orizzo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find NJ.com on Facebook

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    A real estate investor in Newark fraudulently obtained mortgage loans on the properties, authorities say.

    The real estate investor previously involved in a $65 million Goldman Sachs-backed redevelopment project in Newark is maintaining his innocence after federal prosecutors said he conspired with a relative and a city-based attorney to fraudulently obtain $4 million in mortgage loans.

    Victor Santos, 58, of Watchung, pleaded not guilty to all charges of a 19-count indictment before U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp in Trenton this month.

    Authorities said Santos and his co-defendants allegedly recruited "straw buyers" who pretended to be the ones buying properties in order to hide the identity of the real purchaser. Santos and his co-defendants allegedly used the straw buyers' information to obtain fraudulent mortgage loans between Sept. 2007 and Nov. 2008 that quickly went into default. 

    Santos' co-defendant and relative, Arsenio Santos, 51, of Warren, who is a builder, and real estate attorney Fausto Simoes, 65, of Millington, also pleaded not guilty. Their attorneys did not respond to requests for comment. 

    All three were charged with various counts of conspiring to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and making false statements in an application for credit. 

    The U.S. Attorney's Office said straw buyers were paid $5,000. Santos and his co-defendants also made down payments and cash payments for the closing in part by using a shell company controlled by Santos, court documents allege.

    Sometimes, properties were purchased at prices lower than the sale price submitted on the loan paperwork, which allowed Santos and others to pocket the difference, authorities said.  

    The properties involved in the alleged scheme, all in Newark, include: 

    • 14 Willoughby Street
    • 226 W. Runyon Street
    • 44 Dewey Street
    • 170 Scheerer Avenue
    • 168 Scheerer Avenue
    • 46 Barbara Street
    • 118 South 7th Street
    • 27 Governor Street
    • 15 Vine Street

    Santos was also a key player in developing the the new public works complex in the East Ward that broke ground last year and remains under construction. He was arrested a month later on the mortgage fraud charges. 

    At the time, Santos' attorney said he would be stepping down from any management role in the project. City officials have said Santos is no longer involved.

    Recent state records still list Santos as a principal in 52 Amsterdam Newark, the company that owns the land. His attorney did not respond to a call and an email seeking comment.

    The redevelopment deal for the public works garage is also tangled in another legal mess; the initial negotiations over the project is the basis of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Newark's former corporation counsel

    Willie Parker sued the city, Mayor Ras Baraka and other city officials last year, alleging he was fired in retaliation for refusing to approve the deal. Parker claimed initial versions of the contract would keep taxpayers on the hook regardless of what happened to the property.

    Parker's lawsuit is ongoing and unrelated to charges filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Santos case. 

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

     

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    I may or may not have seen the real Joaquin Phoenix.


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    NJPAC is hiring a former state economic development boss.


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    A 12-story mixed-used building will no longer rise in the Ironbound.

    A judge on Friday knocked down a new, controversial Newark rule that allowed much taller buildings in a largely residential section of the city -- effectively halting a 12-story building planned for the Ironbound

    The city ordinance, approved last year, riled local activists who said boosting building heights to 12- and 20-stories was out of character with the rest of the walkable neighborhood.  

    "It wasn't appropriate for that particular area," said James Powell, a spokesman for PLANewark, the group that challenged the ordinance in court. "We really feel like it's not a blank check and the city should be more mindful of each particular area in the city."

    While it's clear development is knocking on Newark's door, residents say they want a say in what their city will look like, too. 

    PLANewark sued the city clerk, City Council and planning board, alleging the ordinance, known as MX3, was inconsistent with Newark's master plan. The group said residents were not given proper notice of the zoning changes and were not allowed to comment on the measure during a public hearing. 

    On Friday, Superior Court Judge Patrick Bartels voided the ordinance and any related approvals granted under it.

    The planning board previously approved a 12-story, 403-unit residential building with 3,300 square-feet of retail space for 28-50 McWhorter Street and 51-57 Union Street. Jose Lopez, president of J&L Companies, who owns the land, was the first to propose a development under the new ordinance. 

    Under the ruling, the project can't move forward.

    Calls to a Lopez representative and the planning board were not returned.

    In a statement to NJ Advance Media, Newark spokesman Frank Baraff said the city was "disappointed with the judge's decision.

    "We are reviewing the decision to decide whether to appeal the decision or refile to clear up some of the technical issues," he said.

    "PLANewark is not naysayers, we want development but we're trying to get the process more open and transparent," said Renee Steinhagen, an attorney with New Jersey Appleseed, who represented Newark residents in the case. 

    Jorge Sanchez, another attorney representing PLANewark, said the invalidation of the ordinance "is a testament to the collective effort of common, regular and ordinary people that got together to say no to the illegal top-down development that would have benefitted only a handful of people."

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


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    Pets throughout the state await adoption at shelters and rescues.

    Here is this week's collection of some of the dogs and cats in need of adoption in New Jersey.

    We accept dogs and cats for listing in the gallery from nonprofit shelters and rescues throughout New Jersey. If a group wishes to participate in this weekly gallery on nj.com, please contact Greg Hatala at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    Two of the top South Jersey teams took their lumps this past week, giving other programs a step closer to the top of the NJ.com Top 20.


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    The median salary is below $60,000 in more than 100 districts.


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    A new law enacted this year has made some important changes in the practice of voting by mail.

    Camden.jpg 

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    Deacon Frey, son of Glenn, and country legend Vince Gill gave new life to the Eagles at Prudential Center


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    Find out which players, coaches and teams stand out so far.


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    The body of the 62-year-old West Orange man was first spotted by a park visitor

    Authorities have identified the man found dead near the shoreline in Sandy Hook on Friday afternoon as a 62-year-old West Orange man.

    The death of Daniel Carroll is not considered suspicious, a State Police spokesman said Monday.  Officials found Carroll's car in a parking lot a short distance away. 

    A visitor saw the body in the water on the ocean side of Gateway National Recreation Area and alerted National Park Service rangers, who then notified State Police around 1:30 p.m. 

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

     

     


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