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    Look at the top freshmen in the state and cast your vote for the best of the best.

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    LinkNWK is now in Newark. The kiosks are also coming to Philly.

    New digital kiosks with 55-inch screens have sprouted across the city of Newark that will allow passers-by to make free phone calls, connect to public Wifi or charge their mobile devices. 

    Newark is the first in New Jersey to launch the LinkNWK sidewalk kiosks created by Intersection, a New York-based technology company. New York City was the first to roll out the technology in 2016 and Philadelphia will install the kiosks later this fall.  

    On Tuesday, officials debuted the newly-installed kiosks across from the Prudential Center on Broad Street. A total of 45 kiosks will be in operation in the city -- with at least one in every ward. So far, two are up and running.  

    "Newark is once again defining itself to the state, nation, and world as a cutting-edge, high-tech city," Mayor Ras Baraka said. "These kiosks will enable residents and visitors alike to gain immediate information about Newark, ranging from upcoming cultural events to emergency service response."

    The kiosks, which Intersection installed at no cost to the city, display information on city services, fun facts about Newark, upcoming events and advertisements. 

    The ad revenue will go to the company and be shared with the city as well.  

    Representatives at Intersection said this time, the kiosks will not allow internet browsing. When the devices were first installed in New York City people used the kiosks to watch pornography, according to reports at the time. 

    LinkNWK4.jpegLinkNWK kiosk on Broad Street. Oct. 16, 2018. (Courtesy: City of Newark)

    The company has not announced plans to install kiosks in any other New Jersey cities.

    The Newark kiosks will be the first to roll out with a Wifi app that allows users to connect to the LinkNWK network and pull up a map to find the nearest kiosk. 

    NJIT has also partnered with Intersection to find creative ways of using the devices to benefit the community. 

    "Newark is a rising star in the tech economy, and we are proud that LinkNWK will only add to this momentum," said Jen Hensley, President of Link at Intersection. 

    A minority investor in Intersection is Sidewalk Labs, which was created by Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

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

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    Newark police are asking the public's help in locating the man's tan-colored sedan with a dent in the passenger door

    Newark Police are searching for a man who they said tried to lure three young girls into a van on Wednesday evening. 

    The man, described as being in his 20s, approached the girls - a 10-year-old and two friends - near Spruce Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

    He told them to get in his vehicle, an older model 4-door, tan-colored sedan with a dent in the front passenger door, police said.

    The girls then fled the area, and the man drove away, heading westbound on Spruce Street.

    The area is close to Harrison, Jesse Allen and Lincoln parks. 

    The mother of one of the girls reported the incident to police. 

    Anyone with information about the incident can contact police department through their website, or through the Newark police department's app available for download on iTunes and Google Play.

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


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    Controversy has swirled round Emilio Karim Dabul, the New Jersey spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    More elected officials are calling on the nation's immigration enforcement arm to dismiss a government spokesman with ties to anti-Muslim hate groups. 

    The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Wednesday passed a resolution supporting Democratic lawmakers' demand to oust Emilio Karim Dabul, the New Jersey spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    Dabul previously worked as an editor for an anti-Muslim hate group and published a piece for another anti-Muslim hate group, praising an Islamophobe. The ties were first reported in an editorial by The Star-Ledger and later reported by other media outlets

    When reached on Thursday, Dabul referred comment to ICE's headquarters.

    "These continued personal attacks against a dedicated public servant are unacceptable and undermine the credibility of local officials who are engaging in reckless, false smear campaigns," ICE spokesperson Elizabeth Johnson said in a statement to NJ Advance Media.

    Several immigrant rights groups and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in New Jersey have pushed for Dabul's ouster. 

    Protest Activists protest outside before the Board of Chosen Freeholders meeting Wednesday night. (Courtesy: Whitney Strub) 

    "We had quite a few residents who have been attending our meetings and brought this to the board's attention," Freeholder President Brendan Gill said. He said Wednesday's resolution passed unanimously.

    "We felt that it was the will of the board to issue a resolution to support our federal delegation and to make sure that it was clear that the board did not agree with the rhetoric that Mr. Dabul has used," Gill said.

    "Hate speech should not be tolerated and has no place in government."

    In August, New Jersey Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr., Frank Pallone Jr., Donald Payne, Jr., Albio Sires, Donald Norcross and Bonnie Watson Coleman sent a letter to ICE, calling for Dabul's immediate dismissal. 

    The lawmakers wrote that they would "consider his continued employment as tacit acceptance of his bigoted beliefs," according to the letter. 

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

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    Newark's police division has been under federal oversight since 2016.

    Even as Newark's leadership moves toward improving services for victims of domestic violence, its policing practices have yet to catch up, the federal monitor overseeing the city's police department said in a recent report. 

    Officers responding to domestic violence incidents were unsympathetic -- particularly when the alleged abuser was one of their own, the monitor's report said in his second-year assessment of departmental reforms. 

    Newark's police division has been under federal oversight since 2016, after the Department of Justice found a pattern of unconstitutional policing, including excessive use of force and illegal stops and arrests.

    The DOJ appointed Peter Harvey in 2016, a former state Attorney General, as an independent monitor to oversee a consent decree -- the federal government's settlement with Newark to overhaul its troubling policing practices.

    Last Friday, Harvey released his two-year assessment on the department and while he noted "significant progress" in implementing reforms, he also said the department lacked personnel with appropriate expertise in areas like data gathering, training, community engagement and domestic violence to create lasting reform.

    Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said he agreed with some of the findings but disagreed with others. 

    "Since July 2018 through the time when the report was published, the Newark Police Division has addressed several items that are mentioned as incomplete," he said in a statement.

    In the report, Harvey added that the department needed to reflect the city's new focus on domestic violence issues. 

    Ambrose re-authorized a trained civilian volunteer team to assist victims of domestic violence and last year, Mayor Ras Baraka opened the Shani Baraka Women's Resource Center on 300 Clinton Avenue in the South Ward. 

    The center operates as a one-stop shop for women in need of emergency services like counseling, mental health services, shelter or job training and is staffed by police officers with the Special Victims Unit and Domestic Violence Response Team. 

    Yet according to the report, victims of domestic violence encountered "short-tempered" 911 call-takers and those who did not speak English were particularly affected by officers' "discretionary enforcement standards."

    The problems were magnified when the accused was a fellow police department employee. Harvey said officers were not following the department's policy prohibiting domestic violence.

    Listen to on Alexa or via a daily podcast

    Ambrose said the domestic violence issues cited in the second-year assessment were not clear or specifically outlined in the consent decree or in the DOJ's 2014 report. 

    He said the consent decree process was "not easy" because every new policy or related training has to be reviewed by the monitor's experts, the DOJ, and the community, and can require changes along the way. 

    "To be fair, the dates that were originally given to NPD are not realistic," he said. "The city's law department and NPD's Consent Decree Unit are working with the DOJ to address our concerns. And NPD will continue to work with the federal monitor and the DOJ. I believe we are headed in the right direction."

    Harvey praised the police department for writing and garnering federal approval for 13 new policies and being the first department to achieve that milestone at the two-year mark. The new policies touch on use of force, bias-free policing and body-worn cameras. 

    Newark also expanded its camera program and now has 427 body-worn cameras and 65 in-car cameras for its 1,250-officer force. The report credited the new leadership at the department's specialized unit that manages participation in the consent decree, for many of the successes. 

    But the department continues to struggle with how it engages with the community, particularly the youth, in addition to how it handles victims of domestic violence, the report said. 

    Harvey said the department needed to implement a strategy and goals for engaging with the community instead of relying on individual officers to carry out programming on their own.   

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


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    In all, eight games this week feature seven of top 11 teams. Watch on any device

    It's a great weekend to watch N.J. high school football on NJ High School Sports Live. 

    One of N.J.'s greatest public-school rivalries is on the bill Friday night - No. 5 Piscataway visits No. 9 Sayreville. Here's all you need to know about that classic matchup. If that's not enough, perennial power No. 11 Don Bosco visits No. 1 DePaul, and No. 1 hasn't been a safe place to be this season.

    Hey, wait - they're both at 7 p.m. Not a problem. Watch one on your tablet and cast the other to your TV. Or watch one live and the other on-demand. NJ High School Sports Live gives you all kinds of options.

    In all, there are eight games this weekend - five Friday and three on Saturday - featuring seven of's 11 top-ranked teams. The full lineup is below.

    MORE: Learn about NJ High School Sports Live

    If you couldn'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. 19
    No. 5 Piscataway at No. 9 Sayreville, 7 p.m.
    No. 11 Don Bosco at No. 1 DePaul, 7 p.m.
    Parsippany Hills at No. 10 West Essex, 7 p.m.
    No. 6 Somerville at Montgomery, 7 p.m.
    Dickinson at Kearny, 7 p.m.

    Cedar Grove at Verona, noon
    Barringer at Irvington, 1 p.m.
    Paramus Catholic at No. 3 Bergen Catholic, 1 p.m.

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

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    Shakime Peppers was killed 3 years ago. A second robber in the crime is still unidentified

    A Newark man is facing a minimum of 30 years in state prison after being found guilty of killing a man man during a robbery that started in front of his home.

    A jury deliberated for about six hours before returning felony murder, robbery and related charges against Kevin Miller, 27, the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. 

    photo of Kevin Miller.jpgKevin Miller 

    In June of 2015, police responded to reported gunshots being fired at 6th Avenue West and 14th Street North around 2:30 a.m. and found Shakime Peppers dead nearby.

    Prosecutors say Miller and an unidentified man robbed Peppers, 24, while he and another man were sitting on the front steps of Peppers' home. 

    Peppers was shot as he was attempted to flee from Miller, the office said.

    Authorities have yet to determine if Miller or the unidentified co-conspirator fatally shot Peppers.

    "Your home should be a safe place. This tragedy occurred while the decedent, Mr. Peppers, was sitting on his stoop with a relative. I hope that the jury verdict gives the family some measure of peace in this horrible situation," said Assistant Prosecutor Carlo Fioranelli, who handled the case.

    Miller is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

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

    Find on Facebook.


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    The Newark resident is facing additional charges for shooting another man who did not die.

    A Newark man was arrested this week and charged with the murder of a South Jersey resident.

    NewarkMurderArrest.jpgLonnie Arrington, 48, of Newark Credit: Essex County Prosecutor's Office

    Lonnie Arrington, 48, was arrested on Tuesday at Penn Station by New Jersey Transit Police for the murder of Michael Shendock, 38, of Voorhees, according to a release from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

    Shendock was shot and killed on Sept. 23 in front of 7 South in Newark, officials said.

    Another man was shot and killed at the same location, but he survived.

    Arrington was also charged with aggravated assault in connection with the shooting of the second victim and other weapons offenses, the release stated

    The prosecutor's office said the investigation of the shooting is still "active and ongoing."

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


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    Released prisoners get 6-month jobs and training for the future

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    Her own health battles don't stop her. The addicts she's helping call her a 'Godsend.'

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    Nurse Kaci Hickox spent 3 days quarantined at a Newark hospital despite testing negative for Ebola

    The "Ebola nurse" from Doctors Without Borders who sued former Gov. Chris Christie over her three days spent in quarantine during the 2014 Ebola scare has returned to work for the humanitarian organization again. 

    Kaci Hickox, of Fort Kent, Maine, worked as an infectious disease public health nurse in Sierra Leone when the 2014 Ebola outbreak began in West Africa. 

    Her LinkedIn profile now says she's an "infection prevention and control advisor" for Doctors Without Borders in Amsterdam, Netherlands, as of October 2018. She also updated her Facebook with the new position on Oct. 11. 

    Hickox, now 37, made international headlines for weeks when she was quarantined upon returning to the U.S. from Sierra Leone.

    She was pulled aside for a health screening at Newark Liberty International Airport. A thermometer test registered a slight fever, leading officials to detain her at the airport for several hours before she was transferred to University Hospital in Newark. 

    Hickox was placed in quarantine in a clear-plastic isolation tent within the hospital but didn't register a fever when doctors took her temperature. 

    She also tested negative for Ebola on her second day at the hospital, but spent another two days there in isolation 

    In October 2015, about a year after her quarantine, Hickox filed a lawsuit against former Gov. Chris Christie, claiming her rights were violated "for political gain."

    Christie was dismissive of the lawsuit. 

    "I've been sued lots of times before," Christie said during a campaign event in 2015. "Get in line. I'm happy to take it on."

    However, he did apologize for the inconvenience she experienced, and stated the only motive behind her quarantine was public health. 

    The lawsuit's settlement led to a quarantine "bill of rights" in 2017, which says that anyone suspected of contracting the Ebola virus cannot be quarantined without receiving the state's written medical justification and a chance to challenge the decision. 

    Gianluca D'Elia may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @gianluca_delia. Find on Facebook.  

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    Leiner, a longtime friend of 'Sopranos' star Edie Falco, helmed the New Jersey-set stoner comedy starring Montclair native Kal Penn and John Cho.

    Director Danny Leiner, who helmed the New Jersey-set stoner comedy "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle," has died.

    Leiner, who was 57 when he died on Oct. 18, was also known for directing TV series including one episode of "The Sopranos" and the successful film comedy "Dude, Where's My Car?" in 2000. 

    Leiner's brother, Ken, told the Hollywood Reporter that the director died after a long illness, having been diagnosed with cancer. 

    "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" stars John Cho and Montclair native Kal Penn as friends living in Hoboken who embark upon an epic mission for White Castle after getting stoned and contracting a strong case of the munchies. Their fast food fantasy is seemingly thwarted at every turn. On their way to a White Castle in Cherry Hill, they find themselves in Newark, Princeton and the wilderness of South Jersey.

    harold-and-kumar-go-to-white-castle-danny-leiner.JPGJohn Cho and Kal Penn in 'Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.' (New Line Cinema)

    The film, written by Randolph's Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, spurred sequels in 2008 and 2011. 

    "Danny's sense of humor alone should get him into heaven, not to mention he was an all around cool dude," Schlossberg tweeted on Saturday. 

    "We lost a great man today," Hurwitz tweeted. "'Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle' was not only my first film, but also my first time on set. I was there every day, because Danny demanded it. Most writers don't get that treatment. And it fast tracked my path to directing. Thank you, old friend."

    Penn, 41, a graduate of Freehold Township High School, remembered Leiner.

    "Very sad to learn that our friend Danny Leiner passed away," he tweeted on Saturday. "We initially got to know each other when he directed Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. Sending my love to his family & friends. He was such a funny, thoughtful, encouraging person."

    Cho, 46, also memorialized Leiner.

    "Danny was so sharp, so funny, and a great dinner companion," he tweeted. "To his friends and family, my deepest condolences."

    Ashton Kutcher, 40, who starred alongside Seann William Scott in "Dude, Where's My Car?" also remembered Leiner. 

    "Rip Danny Leiner," he tweeted. "Thank you for putting up with that young actor who thought he knew way too much way too soon in his career. ....and theeeeen? No and then!"

    Leiner directed the episode of "The Sopranos" titled "Luxury Lounge" in 2006, during which Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) tries to sell Ben Kingsley on starring in his movie project with Carmine Lupertazzi Jr. (Ray Abruzzo). The episode featured Lauren Bacall. 

    Leiner also directed episodes of "The Tick," "Arrested Development," "Felicity," "Gilmore Girls," "Party of Five" and HBO's "The Mind of the Married Man."

    The director, who grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, first met "Sopranos" star Edie Falco when they were both students at the State University of New York at Purchase. Leiner directed Falco and John Leguizamo in the short film "Time Expired" in 1992, and teamed up again with Falco for "Layin' Low" in 1996 and "The Great New Wonderful" in 2005, about life in post-Sept. 11 New York City. 

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


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    The 24-year-old woman was treated and released from an area hospital.

    Authorities say they have arrested the man who followed a woman home and sexually assaulted her in Maplewood Tuesday.

    Muhammad Sharif, 40, of Irvington, was arrested Saturday and charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and burglary, according to a statement Sunday from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and Maplewood Police.

    sharif.jpgMuhammad Sharif 

    Earlier this week, the prosecutor's office said they were searching for a man who had followed a 24-year-old woman to her Maplewood home, forced his way inside and assaulted her. She was later treated and released from a hospital.

    During the investigation, Maplewood police had urged residents to be aware of their surroundings while walking alone and not to open doors to strangers.

    The statement Sunday did not give any details about what information or evidence led them to believe Sharif was the culprit.

    Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II said the arrest was the result of an "extensive investigation" involving his office's Special Victims Unit and Major Crimes Unit and detectives from the Maplewood Police Department.

    "Personnel from both agencies worked tirelessly during this joint investigation and their efforts resulted in the swift arrest of the suspect," he said.

    Sharif is jailed in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark and authorities are still investigating.

    Anyone with information is asked to call the Prosecutor's Tips Line at (877) 847-7432. 

    Rebecca Everett may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find on Facebook.

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    Pets throughout New Jersey await adoption from shelters and rescues.

    Some notes on homeless animals in New Jersey:

    * According to the State of New Jersey Office of Animal Welfare, "it is estimated that the number of free-roaming cats in the United States may be equal to that of owned cats, approximately 70 million. If left unchecked, free-roaming cats will breed and their populations increase at locations where they find suitable shelter and food."

    The office goes on to note that pet cats that are abandoned will not easily fend for themselves outdoors. Unfortunately, most of these cats and their offspring will suffer premature death from disease, starvation or trauma.

    * Among shelters and rescue groups around New Jersey, the top 10 reasons for owners relinquishing a dog are: (1) moving; (2) landlord issues (3) cost of pet maintenance; (4) "no time for pet;" (5) inadequate facilities; (6) "too many pets in home;" (7) pet illness; (8) "personal problems;" (9) biting; and (10) no homes for litter-mates.

    Other interesting facts from the Office of Animal Welfare:

    * As many as 25 percent of dogs entering shelters across the country each year are purebreds.

    * One unspayed female cat and her unaltered offspring can produce 420,000 cats in seven years.

    Here is a gallery of homeless animals from all over New Jersey. Consider visiting a local shelter or contacting a local rescue group when looking for a pet for your family.

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

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    Traffic delays are expected in the area.

    Center Street from Route 21 to Broad Street remains closed Monday morning after a weekend power outage left a section of the city's downtown in the dark, Newark police report.

    Police urged drivers to leave early to allow more time during their commute and to plan alternative routes because of expected delays.

    About 95 percent of electrical power has since been restored in the area, according to Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose.


    The outage affected The New Jersey Performing Arts Center where the annual Dodge Poetry Festival was held, officials said. A concert by guitarist Eric Johnson was canceled Saturday because of the outage, the arts center tweeted.


    A residence hall at Rutgers University and NJIT also lost power, according to a CBS news report.


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    Prosecutors plan to release additional details this afternoon.

    Authorities are looking for a man they say shot the mother of his child to death in the home they share in Montclair.

    James R. Ray III

    James R. Ray III, 55, allegedly shot Angela M. Bledsoe, 44, in a home on the 300 block of North Mountain Avenue on Monday, according to a statement issued by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

    Police received a call requesting a wellness check at the house shortly before midnight and found Beldsoe suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene early Tuesday.

    The couple's child is in the care of family members.

    Ray was not home when police arrived and he is described as armed and dangerous. He is charged with murder and weapons offenses. 

    Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor's Office at 1-877-847-7432.

    Matt Gray may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find the South Jersey Times on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us:


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    The director, who once worked for Paper Mill 12 years ago, was chosen after a nationwide search to fill the position

    A familiar face is returning to Paper Mill Playhouse, the Tony Award-winning theater company announced Monday. 

    Mike_Stotts_Managing_Director_HEADSHOT.jpgMike Stotts (courtesy photo)

    Mike Stotts, former managing director of the George Street Playhouse and Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey in New Brunswick, will take on the same position at Paper Mill, where he once worked 12 years ago, the playhouse said.  

    Stotts previously worked with Paper Mill as a consultant for institutional planning and advancement in 2006. He assisted the playhouse with fundraising, strategic planning and campaign research. In his new position, he will oversee the playhouse's business and financial affairs.

    He formerly worked in Connecticut as a managing director for the Long Wharf Theatre and Hartford Stage, where he was a producer for several shows that advanced to Broadway, including "Anastasia" -- of which he is a co-producer of the Broadway production -- "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" and Long Wharf Theatre's production of "Sixteen Wounded."

    During his time at Hartford Stage, he produced more than 70 plays at Hartford Stage, including 25 world premieres. Over the past summer, he led a multi-year expansion and renovation of the Hartford Stage's theatre facility.

    "I am thrilled that Mike Stotts is returning home to New Jersey and will be joining me to co-lead this venerable institution," Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse's artistic director, said in a statement. "Mike has an unparalleled track record of success during his 12 years at Hartford Stage and is a dedicated, passionate and well-respected arts administrator who brings an incredible skillset to Paper Mill.  As we prepare for our next phase of growth, Mike is exactly the person I want standing beside me."

    Paper Mill Playhouse just completed a production of John Doyle's "The Color Purple" to open its 80th anniversary season, and has a stage adaptation of the Christmas movie "Holiday Inn" coming up on Nov. 21.

    Gianluca D'Elia may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @gianluca_delia. Find on Facebook.  


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    A paralegal claimed the lawyer harassed her and wanted her to become his "third wife"

    A Montclair attorney accused of fatally shooting the mother of his child inside their home previously was sued by a paralegal he allegedly pressured to become his "third wife," court records show.

    James R. Ray III, who is wanted on murder and other charges in the death of Angela M. Bledsoe, subjected the paralegal to numerous unwanted conversations about polygamy and pornography while she worked for him in 2012, according to a civil complaint filed in U.S. District Court in 2013.

    Bledsoe, 44, was found shot to death early Tuesday morning in the home the couple shared on North Mountain Avenue, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

    Attorneys for Sabrina Rafi, the paralegal who sued Ray, alleged Ray told her he had been "married to 'multiple women,' but stopped short of saying whether these marriages occurred at the same time."

    Over a mandatory dinner at a Korean restaurant in Manhattan, she alleged, Ray expanded his discussion topics to include pornography. He also, Rafi claimed, said he wanted her to become his "third wife," and pressured her to feed him using chopsticks.

    "I actually felt sick working him for him," Rafi told The New York Post at the time.

    Ray ultimately fired Rafi after she rebuffed his advances, the complaint says.

    Court records show the lawsuit was settled out of court.

    Ray's current marital status was unclear Tuesday afternoon. Ray's child with Bledsoe is now in the care of family members, according to the prosecutor's office.

    Ray most recently drew media attention as a witness in the child rape trial of Jelani Maraj, the brother of rapper Nicki Minaj. Newsday reported Ray previously had been hired by the 11-year-old victim's mother to seek damages from Maraj, who was convicted in November.

    Ray, 55, is believed to be driving a black, four-door BMW 328i with New Jersey license plate ZNX68M, prosecutor's office spokeswoman Katherine Carter said in an email. Authorities said Ray should be considered armed and dangerous.

    Authorities have asked anyone with information about Ray's location to call the county  Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force tips line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriartyFind on Facebook

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    Scores are better overall but many students are still falling short.

    PARCC testing might be on the way out in New Jersey, but that doesn't mean the scores don't count for anything. 

    The state last week released the latest test scores for every public school, results that will be used in New Jersey's new school rating system and some teachers' performance reviews

    The math and English scores from spring 2018 show small gains statewide. As expected, the results in schools and districts are largely tied to zip code and income, as with nearly all standardized testing. 

    The best scores commonly came from affluent communities and specialized high schools with selective enrollment. 

    The worst scores? Schools in urban areas serving students from low income families, including many who are learning English as their second languages. 

    Checkout the lookup tool below to sort the results for every public school. 

    The tests were graded on a scale of 1-5, with students scoring a 4 or a 5 considered to be meeting the expectations of their grade level. Those scoring a 3 are "approaching" the expected performance, while students earning a 1 or 2 need significant improvement.


    Adam Clark may be reached at Follow him on twitter at @realAdamClarkFind on Facebook.  


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    The thieves loaded a tractor-trailer with perfume from an Edison warehouse and drove it south in November 2017, authorities said

    Three more men have been charged for their roles in the theft of $2.3 million worth of perfume from an Edison warehouse last year, authorities said Tuesday.

    Juan Crespo, 41, of Homestead, Florida, and Felix Castillo, 45, and Asnay Fernandez, 28, both of Hialeah, Florida, were charged in a criminal complaint with one count of conspiring to transport stolen property in interstate commerce, according to U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

    The three were held pending a hearing in Newark federal court, Carpentino said.

    In June, two others were charged in the case - Yunior Estevez, 33, of Hollywood, Florida, and Carlos Duvergel, 53, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, were charged with conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen property. Their cases are pending, officials said.

    Criminal complaints accuse the suspects of stealing $2.3 million worth of perfume products from a warehouse in Edison in November 2017.

    The men drove on the New Jersey Turnpike into Delaware with at least one tractor-trailer filled with stolen perfume, according to court documents.

    Investigators say they have video of at least one of the suspects taken from surveillance cameras at a Turnpike toll booth. 

    If convicted, the three face five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offenses, Carpentino said.

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


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