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    The lone $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot-winning ticket was bought in South Carolina. In addition to two $1 million winners, 15 tickets sold in N.J. won third prize amounts

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    An Essex County sheriff's officer was directing traffic on Eagle Rock Avenue in West Orange when he was hit by a car.

    An Essex County sheriff's officer was hospitalized with broken ribs after he was hit by a car Tuesday while directing traffic in West Orange, authorities said.

    The officer, a 19-year veteran, was standing next to his patrol car on Eagle Rock Avenue when a driver slowed down, then struck him, according to Kevin Lynch, spokesman for the sheriff's office.

    "She said she didn't see him because the overhead lights on his car were flashing," Lynch said.

    Ask Alexa

    The woman, identified only as a 64-year-old West Orange resident, was given a ticket for careless driving, Lynch said.

    The officer was later admitted to University Hospital in Newark, where he remained hospitalized Wednesday with three broken ribs, Lynch said.

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


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    The former treasurer for Newark Mayor Ras Baraka's election campaign will serve time in federal prison.

    Newark Mayor Ras Baraka's former campaign treasurer was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison on Wednesday after admitting he embezzled more than $220,000 in campaign funds by cashing forged checks. 

    Under a plea agreement negotiated with the U.S. Attorney' s Office in March, Frederick Murphy Jr., 56, of Bloomfield, pleaded guilty to bank fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion charges in relation to campaign work.

    Murphy also admitted he underreported $199,000 in fraudulently obtained funds on his personal income tax returns, cheating the government of $54,000. 

    Standing before U.S. District Court Judge Jose Linares and surrounded by two dozen community supporters, Murphy apologized for his actions. 

    "I want to apologize to my family and the city of Newark...," he said. "I'm not a bad person; I made a bad mistake and I'm going to leave it at that."

    Murphy will serve 30 months in federal prison and pay $277,826 in restitution fees to the IRS and Baraka's campaign committee.

    Murphy's defense attorney Alan Bowman said Murphy had lived a very unusual and remarkable life. A heroin addict for 10 years, Murphy was able to turn his life around and help others, Bowman said. 

    "Mr. Murphy recovered from that lifestyle and also developed into a person who thrived in the community ... helping others resurrect themselves," Bowman told the court. 

    According to documents in the case, Murphy -- who served as treasurer for Baraka's campaigns and his affiliated slate of council candidates in 2014 -- defrauded the campaigns by forging the signatures and endorsements of campaign consultants for work they never performed between 2014 and 2017. 

    Cashing the checks was easy because Murphy knew the workers at the bank, federal prosecutors said. 

    Though court documents do not specifically identify the campaigns involved as Baraka's, other public documents list Murphy's role as treasurer of both his mayoral 2014 campaign, part of his 2018 re-election campaign and his slate of candidates in 2014 that included current council members Mildred Crump, Eddie Osborne, John Sharpe James and Joseph McCallum, former Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins and city employee Patrick Council. 

    Newark spokesman Frank Baraff said in a statement to NJ Advance Media that "Murphy's misconduct was in no way connected to any work he performed for the city of Newark."

    Murphy worked as a city employee heading the re-entry program, which helps the formerly incarcerated find jobs and support services, and worked for Covenant House, which helps homeless youth.

    He received about $46,000 in income from the nonprofit that serves homeless youth, court records show. The Gateway Foundation also gave Murphy $22,000. Murphy earned between $31,000 - $65,000 as a city worker, prosecutors said. 

    As treasurer for Baraka's 2014 campaign, Murphy was also cited in a 28-count complaint by the state Election Law Enforcement Commission last November. The complaint charged Murphy and Baraka for violating campaign finance rules in the 2014 race involving $361,168 in contributions and $34,348 in expenses. 

    In a review of campaign documents earlier this year, NJ Advance Media additionally found the Newark Housing Authority donated $1,800 to Baraka's re-election committee. Public agencies are prohibited by state law from making political contributions.

    Those contributions, however, were listed in a quarterly report signed by treasurer Kanileah Anderson, not Murphy, and were reimbursed by the Committee to Re-Elect Ras J Baraka 2018 months after the findings on April 24, 2018.

    Murphy will turn himself in on Jan. 4, 2019.

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


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    He was one of dozens of members of the Grape Street Crips charged in a sprawling investigation

    A federal judge Wednesday sentenced a member of a violent Crips gang faction in Newark to 30 years in prison for setting up an associate to be killed in an ambush.

    The 31-year-old Grape Street Crips member, Rashan Washington, previously admitted leaving Anwar West alone inside a Jeep Cherokee in November 2013 so another gang member could fatally shoot him, prosecutors said.

    Rashan WashingtonRashan Washington. (Essex County Correctional Facility)

    West's killing was one of seven homicides and numerous shootings the U.S. Attorney's Office linked to members of the gang following a multi-agency investigation that saw dozens arrested.

    The gang's leader, Corey Hamlet, was sentenced last month to life in prison for ordering five of the fatal shootings -- including West's -- during which one innocent bystander was also killed.

    Hamlet, prosecutors said, was angry over West's brokering of a summit between the gang leader and Almalik Anderson, a rival drug dealer whom Hamlet suspected was cooperating with police.

    Anderson, whose own drug-trafficking organization was the target of a separate federal investigation, barely survived an ambush by Grape Street Crips members after Hamlet accused him on Instagram of being an informant.

    Anderson has since pleaded guilty in federal court to drug-related offenses and is awaiting sentencing, court records show.

    Washington, who was represented by attorney Pasquale F. Giannetta, ultimately pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to charges that included murder and conspiring to distribute crack cocaine.

    He also admitted taking part in an October 2013 shooting targeting rival gang members, prosecutors said.

    Giannetta, in a statement at the time of the guilty plea last October, said Washington "accepted responsibility for his actions" but had not cooperated with law enforcement against his co-defendants.

    Washington won't begin serving the 30-year sentence until after he completes a 14-year state prison sentence for another shooting in Essex County, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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

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    "Charlie Brown is the one person I identify with. C.B. is such a loser. He wasn't even the star of his own Halloween special." -- Chris Rock

    Channel 12 in Cincinnati presented the results of a poll they took last year of the least-favorite Halloween treats; it's fairly representative of surveys I've seen all over the country, 10 being the least-favorite of all:

    10. Mary Janes ... 9. Good & Plenty ... 8. Licorice ... 7. Smarties ... 6. Tootsie Rolls ... 5. Peanut Butter Kisses ... 4. Necco Wafers ... 3. Wax Cola Bottles ... 2. Candy Corn ... 1. Circus Peanuts

    Some of my personal observations:

    Apparently, children are not big fans of peanut butter candy, because number 10 and 5 contain that flavor. Curiously, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are not on the list, yet I can't see what the difference would be between them and Peanut Butter Kisses. Children aren't big licorice fans either, it seems. Number 9, Good and Plenty, is pretty much the same thing as number 8, licorice.

    For those who don't remember them or never saw them, Circus Peanuts were marshmallow candy shaped like big peanuts. And I'm kind of curious where in Cincinnati they still sell Wax Cola Bottles. This was a classic penny-candy item, yet I personally haven't seen them in decades ... and I look for things like that.


    Necco Wafers - if there's an item that shows up on every one of these surveys, it's them. Necco Wafers were first produced in 1847 and my experience has been that they always tasted like you'd received one of the original batches.

    The Boston Globe reported in 2011 that "in 2009, Necco changed the formula for its Necco Wafers. Artificial colors and flavors were eliminated. The candy was made softer through the addition of glycerine. The lime flavor was removed due to difficulties in creating an all-natural green coloring, resulting in a 7-flavor Necco Wafer roll."

    Apparently, all these changes weren't enough to keep them from consistently showing up on these lists or even staying solvent; the Globe reported in July of this year that "The Massachusetts plant that made the beloved, but often mocked, candy closed (July 24). Round Hill Investments announced that it had sold the once-bankrupt Necco, purchased for $17.3 million in May, to another candy maker."

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    And finally, those kids who don't want their Tootsie Rolls and Smarties can send them all to me.

    Here's a gallery of folks from New Jersey dressed up for Halloween as well as some fun autumn traditions. And here are links to other galleries you may enjoy.

    Vintage photos of costumes and creepy things in N.J.

    Vintage photos of folks from N.J. in costume

    Vintage photos from N.J. that might give you the creeps

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

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    Imad Alasmar of Edison was killed three years ago in Rahway

    The attorney representing a man on trial for murdering a taxi cab driver in Rahway in 2015 argued in closing arguments Wednesday that prosecutors failed to present sufficient evidence against his client.

    nathaniel-young.jpgNathaniel Young, 2015 photo 

    Dino Bjelopoljak, who's representing 23-year-old Nathaniel Young, spent the afternoon criticizing the Union County Prosecutor's Office for their investigation, saying it framed Young for the killing of 57-year-old Imad Alasmar, of Edison.

    Alasmar was a father of 10 who had immigrated to the United States from Jordan. He had worked mostly as a cab driver since 1993 and been working at Station Cab for four years at the time of this death. 

    Bjelopoljak's closing focused on dismantling what he said was prosecutor's timeline of events, the witnesses' description of the suspect, and discrepancies and contradicting statements from fingerprint and DNA analysts that prosecutors supported and denied at different times throughout the trial.

    "If you find that evidence wasn't sufficiently presented, hold the state to that burden," Bjelopoljak said. 

    "They need to go back to the drawing board, go find the man that did this," he said.

    'He meant everything to me,' says wife of cab driver fatally shot in Rahway

    He argued that a former detective for the prosecutor's office that was involved in the case gave several contradicting statements such as when prosecutors say Young originally called the taxi service to him up. 

    The attorney presented a large printed list of other suspects prosecutors had, but that they did not thoroughly investigate, Bjelopoljak charged.

    Witnesses who testified during the trial described the suspect as a 6-foot, 1-inch tall black man with dreadlocks, Bjelopoljak said.

    Young, who appeared in court clean shaven and wore a red shirt and grey suit, stands about 5-feet 9-inches tall, and his hair was cut before the crime was committed, the attorney said.

    Young's girlfriend, who also testified, originally told detectives that Young's hair had been cut on the morning of the crime, Aug. 25, 2015, a Tuesday. She later changed her story to say his hair was cut Wednesday, after being pressured by detectives, Bjelopoljak argued.

    "They do not care what the truth is and ultimately who did this," Bjelopoljak said. "Whoever disagrees with that they want you to believe, they're not good anymore." 

    Rutgers student seriously injured in Rahway cab driver killing

    The timeline of events presented by prosecutors does not add up, he said.

    Originally, Bjelopoljak said a former detective said Young called a taxi service around or before 10 p.m. However, the attorney said prosecutors are currently arguing that  the taxi cab was called to dispatch around 10:45 p.m. 

    Young's phone was documented being in Newark at 10 p.m. and 10:13 p.m., and in Rahway at 10:35 p.m. and 10:44 p.m. Bjelopoljak said.

    At 11:09 Bjelopoljak said Young's phone was documented being in East Orange.

    Detectives estimate the shooting took place at 10:55 p.m. 

    Bjelopoljak argued his client would have had to been "faster than Usain Bolt" to kill the driver in Rahway, go back to his car and drive to East Orange by 11:09 p.m.

    Prosecutors and police have said Young requested a taxi service in Rahway and Alasmar came to pick him up near 1400 block of Bedford Street.

    Young then pulled out a gun and robbed Alasmar before shooting him and fleeing from the cab, authorities have said. 

    Fatally wounded, Alasmar kept driving until he crashed into another parked car. A 22-year-old woman and 19-year-old man sitting in the parked car were injured in the crash.

    Neighbors told the injured woman that they saw the taxi cab, heard the shots and saw someone run away.  

    Detectives later recovered a gun at the murder scene, police said. It was Rahway's second homicide of 2015. 

    Several days later, Young was captured in Newark following a police chase in which his Nissan Sentra struck a 79-year-old woman walking her dog.

    Union County First Assistant Prosecutor Albert Cernadas Jr. will make his closing argument to the jury Thursday morning, Oct. 25.

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

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    "If we don't get it, shut it down," students chanted.

    Demanding better treatment for minority students and adequate funding for courses on diversity, students at Seton Hall University are in the midst of a three-day sit-in at the administration building. 

    The students marched into President's Hall on Wednesday toting signs and chanting "If we don't get it, shut it down," according to photos and video posted on social media. 

    The group, using the name Concerned 44, has organized a five-day protest across the university's South Orange campus. 

    "We are deeply dissatisfied with the way students of color have been treated and represented and are holding the administration accountable," the group said in a post on Twitter. 

    The group's demands include more funding for the Africana Studies program, Latin American Studies program and Latino/Latina Studies program. The students also want a through examination and reconstruction of administration departments that handle complaints about equity and discrimination. 

    About 8 percent of Seton Hall students are African American and about 17 percent are Hispanic, according to state data. 

    The university said in a statement it's dedicated to promoting inclusion and diversity. Senior university administrators have been working with a committee, which includes students, to improve its inclusion and diversity programming. 

    "We welcome continuing, constructive dialogue to address the issues they have raised, and we are always interested in exploring new ways to enhance the diversity of our campus culture and academic curriculum," the university said. 

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


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    It's a sport many don't know about, but it's gradually making a comeback.

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    The state said its inspection of the hospital revealed issues with "hand hygiene, personal protective equipment and cleanliness."

    A state inspection has uncovered "major infection control deficiencies" at University Hospital in Newark following the death of a premature baby, the state Department of Health said Thursday.

    The state said its inspection of the hospital revealed issues with "hand hygiene, personal protective equipment and cleanliness" and that it has created a "Directed Plan of Correction" for New Jersey's only public hospital, following an investigation that showed that the Department of Health's "recommended practices had not been implemented."

    The premature baby that was in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit contracted the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria, and was transferred to another unnamed facility, where the child died in late September, "prior to the Department's notification of problems in the NICU," the department stated.

    "Due to the other compounding medical conditions, the exact cause of death is still being investigated," the state said.

    Acinetobacter baumannii bacterial infections typically occur in intensive care units and healthcare settings housing very ill patients, according to the CDC. The bacteria is usually found in soil or water, and can cause pneumonia or serious blood or wound infections.

    There were four cases of Acinetobacter baumannii in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the department said it first became aware of the bacterial infection on Oct. 1.

    "The plan calls for the hospital to hire a full-time Certified Infection Control Practitioner consultant, who will report to the Department on immediate actions taken in the coming days," the release stated. "The Department is also exploring further actions it may need to take in the coming days to ensure patient safety."

    A call seeking comment from the hospital was not immediately returned Thursday night.

    University Hospital was was already under surveillance by the Department of Health following an executive order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy in July, after it received a failing grade in April's Leapfrog Safety report card.

    Based on data from 2016 and 2017, University Hospital scored below average in preventing four out of five common infections, and below average for preventing six out of seven surgical complications.

    Murphy's administration also alleged that the hospital had illegally begun phasing out some pediatric services and transferring the beds to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, before the state had granted it permission to do so.

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

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    Baraka recently shared his thoughts on the issues with NJ Cannabis Insider

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Interested in the marijuana business industry? NJ Cannabis Insider is a new premium intelligence briefing that features exclusive weekly content geared toward entrepreneurs, lawyers and realtors. View a sample issue.

    As the Garden State looks to legalize cannabis, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has two priorities: a greater bite of revenue for municipalities and social justice. 

    In a recent interview with NJ Cannabis Insider, Baraka shared his thoughts on what he believes is necessary to get larger cities on board. 

    "Big cities, where most of the money is going to be generated, ought to get a significant piece of that (tax revenue) -- to be able to create an infrastructure to manage and monitor the sale of cannabis in our cities, as well as other things we think are necessary, whether it's education or giving our people the opportunity to participate in the cannabis industry," Baraka said. "The state and their revenue should able to give some to the cities."

    The sticking point between the most recent version of the proposed adult-use bill provides for municipalities to impose a two percent excise tax on cannabis sales and receive one percent of tax revenue generated by sales in their town. Larger cities like Newark, Jersey City and Hoboken, however, have said they're looking for five percent of gross tax revenue and an excise tax. 

    In terms of social justice, Baraka said he believed "expungements should deal with all cases of marijuana."

    "We're not just allowing people to intake it, we're also allowing people to distribute it," Baraka said. "I think it's hypocrisy to allow people to distribute it and then lock people up because they distributed it. This doesn't make any sense."

    Baraka said he believed if the political will was present in Trenton it wouldn't be as much of an issue to do the expungement process right. 

    "Other municipalities around the country have come to grips and have either passed full comprehensive expungement legislation or are in the process of doing so," he said. "We have to learn from the errors that other people have made, so we should start off not behind but in front of them. There's an argument that the state doesn't have the capacity to expunge people's records. I think that's B.S." 

    Baraka said he also believed there needed to be language in the bill addressing areas disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs -- social impact zones. 

    "We absolutely need that. We need to give people a leg up," the mayor said. "When they first started the legislation, they were trying to prohibit people who had records, who had cannabis records, to even participate in the industry. Which I think is completely ridiculous." 

    He continued: "Right, there are people who can cultivate, process, all of this other kind of stuff, who understand how to do that. If you gave them some certification, or some other kind of thing, they could work in these processing plants and get a decent job in a field that they know, with a skill. It just doesn't make any sense to isolate a whole group of people from that."

    Justin Zaremba may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JustinZarembaNJ. Find on Facebook.

    Have information about this story or something else we should be covering? Tell us.

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    And Saturday's game is No. 1 vs. No. 3 - all available live or on-demand on any device

    We have six games via NJ High School Sports Live available for live and on-demand streaming this weekend  - the last week of regular-season HS football.

    Friday night's featured game matches up two Super Football Conference teams who have both spent time at No. 1 this year - No. 2 Bergen Catholic vs. No. 7 DePaul. Also in action is No. 9 Red Bank Catholic, a Shore Conference power looking to stay undefeated against rival Middletown North.

    And Saturday's game might just be an early look at this year's Non-Public, Group 4 championship - No. 1 St. Peter's Prep vs. No. 3 St. Joseph in Montvale.

    The full list of games is below, with links to the broadcast pages.

    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. 

    FRIDAY, OCT. 26
    Point Pleasant Boro at Donovan Catholic (homecoming), 7 p.m.
    Montclair at Irvington, 7 p.m.
    Passaic at Kearny, 7 p.m.
    Middletown North at No. 9 Red Bank Catholic, 7 p.m.
    No. 2 Bergen Catholic at No. 7 DePaul, 7 p.m.

    No. 1 St. Peter's Prep at No. 3 St. Joseph (Mont.) 1 p.m.

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

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    The teen was spotted selling drugs outside of a residential building in Newark, police said.

    A Newark teenager was arrested Friday morning with three loaded handguns, 500 doses of heroin and several hundred dollars in drug money, officials said.

    The 16-year-old boy was found by police officers out front of a residential building on the 100 block of Kent Street shortly after 11 a.m. Police officers responded after someone called to report several men selling drugs.

    When police responded, the officers noticed the teen was trying to hide a plastic bag he had in his hands, according to a statement from the Newark Police Department. That bag had 14 envelopes of heroin and 16 vials of cocaine in it, police added.

    Police officers also found a backpack with a loaded .9-millimeter Keltec handgun, a loaded 45-caliber Ruger handgun, a loaded Glock .9-millimeter handgun, 503 bags of heroin and $395 of drug profits, according to the statement.

    He was charged with three counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon during the commission of a drug crime and other drug possession and drug dealing offenses.

    The teen was taken to the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in Newark.

    "A 16-year old boy should be carrying books in his backpack, not guns and drugs," Newark's Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said in the statement. "I trust that this arrest will redirect this young person from choosing crime as an option and will help him make better choices for his life."

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find on Facebook.

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    The state's only public hospital -- also the largest provider of "charity care" for uninsured patients -- University been under intense scrutiny this year.

    The state Health Department sent teams of inspectors to University Hospital in Newark after an anonymous "concerned employee" reported a bacterial outbreak in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Newark facility, Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal confirmed Friday.

    Four infants contracted the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria, a hospital-acquired infection, in September. One of the babies was transferred to another hospital and later died, but the cause of death has not yet been determined, Elnahal said.

    The three other infants responded to treatment, and there has not been any reported infections in three weeks, said University Hospital's Chief Medical Officer Larry Ramunno. 

    Responding to the Oct. 1 tip, state surveyors found numerous infection control deficiencies involving hand-washing, wearing gloves and keeping surfaces clean and disinfected, Elnahal said.

    'Major' deficiencies found at University Hospital following death of baby

    Elnahal said he found it "troubling" hospital executives did not report the outbreak, defined as a number of cases that exceed the norm for a health care facility.

    "But the more troubling issue is the lack of infection control standards in that ICU. What my surveyors found was unacceptable," he said.

    The hospital must hire a full-time certified infection control practitioner consultant by no later than Tuesday, according to the plan of correction ordered by the health department.

    The state's only public hospital -- also the largest provider of "charity care" for uninsured patients -- University been under intense scrutiny this year. The hospital received a failing grade from the national Leapfrog Group safety report card, scoring poorly in areas of infection control. 

    The failing grade was one of the reasons the state appointed Judith M. Persichilli, the former CEO of the national hospital chain, Catholic Healthcare East, to monitor and assess the hospital's financial stability and quality. 

    On Friday, Persichilli and Ramunno said there is a concerted effort underway to make consistent hand-washing and other infection control strategies second nature among University's 3,600 employees.

    "It's been all about behavioral change and building the will and culture since I landed in mid-June," said Ramunno, who had been recruited from the Johns Hopkins-owned Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington D.C. "We're starting to see some movement, but we have to keep pushing it."

    The changes now sought by the state were already underway, Ramunno said. 

    "Everything on the state's list is something we are working on. Was it all implemented? No, but we'll be using this as a stimulus to speed the changes that have to happen," he said.

    Rumanno has the confidence of Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, a research and advocacy organization that promotes the Leapfrog safety group.

    Schwimmer called the outbreak "heartbreaking" and demonstrates "the human toll of not taking safety and infection control as seriously as you need to, and why we need to be vigilant." She said she has met with Ramunno, and "I felt like he understood the seriousness of the situation and the enormous task in front of him."

    The infection is not a threat to other patients in the hospital or in the community, according to medical experts. It is almost exclusively found in hospital intensive care units, and poses a risk to only the most immune-compromised patients, said Infectious Disease specialist Margaret Fisher, a member of disaster preparedness advisory council for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    Acinetobacter baumannii "is not usually the cause of death, but it's usually a contributor," Fisher said. "These babies are just so fragile and require so much technology that they are on the edge of survival. This (infection) tips them over."

    There are other infants in the NICU, but there is no plan to transfer them to another hospital, Elnahal said. "Any transport poses a risk to such critically ill patients," and could spread the infection to another hospital, he said.

    The outbreak at University Hospital is unrelated to the 23 confirmed cases of adenovirus in pediatric residents at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell. Eight children have died, according to the health department.

    Susan K. Livio may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @SusanKLivio. Find Politics on Facebook.

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    The seal depicts the murder of Hannah Caldwell in 1780 by a British soldier during the Revolutionary War.

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    Authorities confirmed multiple fatalities at the Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh.

    Police across the state Saturday reported increases in patrols around synagogues after a mass shooting in Pittsburgh killed at least 10 people and wounded several others. 

    In Essex County, Sheriff Armando Fontoura ordered all officers to increase vigilance at and around all Essex County synagogues and other houses of worship.

    "This act of senseless violence has prompted us to increase these patrol operations,"  Fontoura said. "In addition to our condolences to the Pittsburgh victims and their families, we want all residents of Essex County to feel safe and secure as they attend the religious services of their choice." 

    In Hunterdon County, police increased patrols at houses of worship, according to County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns III. 

    Governor Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal send out tweets calling for an end to gun violence and thanking officers wounded in the line of duty.  

    The fatal shootings inside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh took place during baby naming ceremony where at least four police officers who dashed to the scene, were wounded authorities said.

    "I have asked all of our law enforcement partners to pay close attention to houses of worship and nonprofits with religious affiliations amongst our other sites throughout the county," Camden County Freeholder  Jonathan Young  said. 

    State Police did not report additional patrols as of Saturday evening, but authorities in Bergen and Passaic counties did.

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

    Olivia Rizzo may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find on Facebook

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    About 11,000 dogs and cats were euthanized in 2017, records show.

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    From ocean views to upscale gyms and Smashburgers in the lobby, college dorms in New Jersey are getting fancier -- and more expensive.

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    Gov. Murphy told a packed synagogue acts of anti-semitism have been on the rise in recent years

    "Violated" was one of the first words that came to mind for Rabbi Clifford Kulwin when he first heard about the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting that killed 11 during a Saturday morning Shabbat service. 

    For the hundreds of people who gathered to hear Kulwin, Gov. Phil Murphy and other religious leaders speak at a quickly-organized vigil at Temple B'Nai Abraham in Livingston Sunday morning, it was a harsh reminder of the presence of anti-Semitism in the United States. 

    "It's not a catastrophe or an unfortunate event," Kulwin, the leader of B'Nai Abraham, said. "It was slaughter. Let's be clear about that."

    Mark Wilf, chair of the Jewish Federation of North America, added, "It's horrifying for Jewish people to be targeted during worship on a Saturday morning. The peace of the Shabbat was shattered." 

    As the names of the victims were read out loud, they were met with gasps from members of the congregation, some of whom had just been hearing them for the first time. The 11 names had just been released by authorities early Sunday morning, a couple of hours before the vigil. 

    The oldest victim was 97-year-old Rose Mallinger, of the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and the youngest were two brothers, David and Cecil Rosenthal, 54 and 59.

    Murphy, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany, said anti-Semitism has been on the rise in both Europe and the U.S. in recent years. 


    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in an early 2018 study that anti- Semitic incidents rose nearly 60 percent. ADL also reported that such incidents had gone up by 32 percent in New Jersey. 

    "We must find the courage, even through tears and heartbreak, to reverse this trend. We cannot allow the normalization of hatred," said Murphy, who wore a black yarmulke with his suit.

    The Jewish Federation of North America was quick to take action in response to the shootings. Dov Ben-Shimon, CEO of the federation's Greater MetroWest branch in New Jersey, said it has begun security consultations with local sheriff's departments and Homeland Security, and plans to train synagogues, schools and Jewish community centers on active shooter preparedness. 

    The Federation has also started an emergency notification system to send out notices about threats, Ben-Shimon said. 

    "Pittsburgh is us; their community looks like us," he said. "Our response is the same response. Strong, resilient communities don't give up in the face of terror." 

    Kulwin said he thinks it's not a coincidence that the country's most severe anti-Semitic attack took place in 2018, given the current political climate. 

    The gunman, identified by police as Robert Bowers, 46, acted alone when he stormed the Tree of Life Congregation and shot into the crowd, but Kulwin insisted that he wasn't alone his hatred of Jews. 

    "The Pittsburgh shooter was no lone crazy," he said. "He acted with the confidence of someone who knew they were part of something bigger than themselves." 

    Bowers' social media pages were rife with racist and anti-Semitic comments and memes, including a one with a doctored image of the Auschwitz concentration camp where the gate read, "Lies Make Money." He was active on, a social media platform that advocates for free speech and puts almost no restrictions on the content users post. 

    Following Saturday's mass shooting, President Donald Trump condemned the incident, calling it "pure evil."

    "This evil Anti-Semitic attack is an assault on humanity," he tweeted Saturday. 

    However, religious leaders said Trump's rhetoric could have played a role in sparking the attack. Kulwin reminded the crowd of when Trump defended white nationalist protestors in Charlottesville in August 2017, saying they included "some very fine people."

    As hugs and words of support for one another were exchanged outside the synagogue, conversations lamenting the country's toxic political climate were also frequent among the congregation. 

    Sheryl Harpel, a Millburn resident, shared in that sentiment.

    "I think leaders in this country are preaching hate when they need to preach love and inclusion," Harpel said after the vigil. "Now, we're seeing the results of that kind of rhetoric. It's been going on for so long that it's cultivating these kinds of horrible incidents." 

    She said she's always felt safe and comfortable practicing Judaism in New Jersey, and was thankful that Murphy showed his support for the state's Jewish population.

    Kulwin encouraged the packed synagogue to stay united against discrimination. 

    "Jews are a family," he said. "You hurt one part of us, the rest of us feel it. If you hurt my people, my family, my community, then you hurt me." 

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

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    Consider adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue group.

    Halloween is filled with light-hearted tricks and treats, and it's important to keep safety in mind for every member of the family--including your pets. Halloween can pose a number of potential safety hazards for pets, who tend to experience high levels of stress due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday.

    Here are a few tips from to keep you and your four-legged family members safe and happy this Halloween:

    -2e494a9b757a636d njadvancemedia.JPG 

    Costumes, while cute, can be dangerous for pets. If you choose to dress your pet up in costume, make sure they can move in it comfortably and most importantly, safely. Avoid costumes that require tying anything around your pet's neck that can choke them, or costumes that hang to the ground that they may stumble over.

    Keep your pet away from harmful Halloween candy and food. Before you give in to your pet's pleading eyes and feed them that Halloween candy bar, be aware of the harmful consequences of feeding human food to any animal. To reduce temptation, feed your pet before any guests arrive so they will be less likely to beg and steal food. Tell your guests of any house rules regarding your pet, such as not feeding them scraps from the table.

    If nicotine and alcohol will be consumed in your home this Halloween, be extra vigilant to keep these items out of your pet's reach. These substances can be highly toxic--even deadly--to animals.

    Keep your home a safe space for your pet. Animals can get stressed with the hustle and bustle of guests and trick-or-treaters. It's best to keep your pets indoors and provide them with a safe, quiet, escape-proof room where they can be removed from the energy and excitement of the holiday.

    As trick-or-treaters come to your door, there will be many opportunities for your pets to slip out unnoticed. Make sure that your pets always wear current identification tags, consider having your pets microchipped if you haven't already--and watch the door!

    Follow these tips, and your pet will have just as much fun as you and your kids this Halloween.

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

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    The 25-year-old told the story to police hours after slamming in the vehicles in Newark's Ironbound

    A driver who police say struck six parked cars early Saturday in Newark fled the crash and later claimed he had been carjacked, according to police.

    mayencela.jpgManuel Mayancela (Newark police) 

    Manuel Mayancela, 25, of Newark, was arrested and charged with filing a false police report, city police said in a statement. 

    Mayancela was driving a cargo van at 1 a.m. Saturday when he hit the cars in the area of Merchant and Clover streets in the Ironbound section of Newark, police said. A man matching his description was seen running away, police added. 

    More than four hours later, Mayancela told police that while driving in the area of Market and Polk streets at 10 p.m. Friday someone opened the driver's side door of his van before attacking him and forcing him out of the vehicle. That's when police took him into custody. 

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


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