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    Several bishops called for a formal rebuke of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was once the head of New Jersey's largest diocese.

    At a national assembly focused on the sex-abuse crisis, numerous U.S. Roman Catholic bishops called Wednesday for a formal repudiation of Theodore McCarrick, the ex-cardinal facing allegations of sexual misconduct over a long stretch of his career.

    The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, nearing the close of its three-day meeting in Baltimore, has been striving to show a commitment to combating clergy sex-abuse even though the Vatican ordered it to delay votes on two key anti-abuse proposals.


    While the abuse scandal has affected many dioceses nationwide, the bishops appeared to be most angered and embarrassed by McCarrick, who allegedly abused and harassed youths and seminarians over many years as he rose to be archbishop of Washington and a member of the College of Cardinals until his removal by Pope Francis in July.

    McCarrick, the former head of the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen, is also accused of sexual misconduct with priests and seminarians during his time in New Jersey and New York. He is awaiting a church trial.

    Several investigations, including one at the Vatican, are underway to determine who might have known about and covered up McCarrick's alleged misconduct. The U.S. bishops expressed eagerness to learn details of the Vatican probe but defeated a motion pressing for access to information uncovered in that process.


    "We have taken no official action to distance ourselves form the shameful behavior of one of our own," said Bishop Liam Cary, of Baker, Oregon. "What do people make of our silence?"


    Bishop Michael Olson, of Fort Worth, Texas, noted with regret that McCarrick has not been defrocked and would have been eligible to participate in this week's assembly.
    "He is not welcome," Olson said. "We should say that for his sake, and out of respect for those he has harmed."


    Later in the day, the bishops discussed the two anti-abuse proposals that initially had been scheduled for votes. One would establish a new code of conduct of individual bishops; the other would create a nine-member special commission, including six lay experts and three members of the clergy, to review complaints against the bishops.


    Leaders of the conference said the Vatican intervened to ensure that steps taken by the U.S. bishops would be in harmony with steps decided at a Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse in February. They also said more time was needed to vet aspects of the U.S. proposals that might conflict with church law.


    Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, was among many bishops urging the assembly to find some informal way of endorsing the proposals despite the Vatican order of a delay.


    "Frustration is a luxury I feel I can't afford," he said in an interview. "I wanted to offer a pathway forward for us to take up the discussion as a body, make some decisions ... but also say something to our people."


    In other action, the bishops approved a pastoral letter condemning racism, the first time they have spoken as a group on that issue since 1979.


    The final text was not immediately released because amendments were being added, but Catholic News Service reported on a draft version of the letter.


    "Every racist act -- every such comment, every joke, every disparaging look as a reaction to the color of skin, ethnicity or place of origin -- is a failure to acknowledge another person as a brother or sister, created in the image of God," the draft said.
    It also denounced racial profiling of Hispanics and African-Americans and decried "the growing fear and harassment" of people from Muslim countries.


    The bishops also voted to endorse a campaign seeking sainthood for Sister Thea Bowman, a Mississippi-born descendant of slaves who became the first black member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and -- in 1989 -- the first black woman to address a national meeting of the bishops conference.


    Among the bishops elected to USCCB posts was Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, who will head the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Cordileone, an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, suggested Tuesday that the bishops commission a new study on whether there's a link between clergy sex abuse and the presence of gays in the priesthood. A church-commissioned study in 2004 determined there was not a link.


    Not far from the assembly venue, a Minnesota attorney who handles sex abuse cases nationwide and three men who say they were abused by clergy during their boyhoods gathered to announce a lawsuit against the bishops conference, accusing it of hiding the crimes of predator priests.


    Jeff Anderson, who filed the lawsuit this week in federal court in Minnesota, said the bishops were named because their dioceses kept secret files about clergy whose misconduct might expose the church to more abuse accusations.


    "We are taking the opportunity to do everything we can together to protect kids, to disgorge the secrets," Anderson said.

    Staff writer Kelly Heyboer contributed to this report.


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    The suspect remains hospitalized in stable condition

    Essex County authorities are probing the shooting of an allegedly armed suspect by at least one East Orange police officer Tuesday night.

    The county prosecutor's office said the officer, whom authorities did not name, encountered the suspect in the area of Park Avenue and North Walnut around 9 p.m. when responding to a report of shots fired.

    The suspect, whom investigators also did not name, was armed with a gun when officers encountered him, the prosecutor's office said.

    At least one of the officers fired their service weapon and struck the suspect, who has been hospitalized in stable condition.

    The prosecutor's office said no charges have been filed in connection with the case, which is still under investigation.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at tmoriarty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriartyFind NJ.com on Facebook

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    Photos of dozens of signings plus sport-by-sport lists

    (Please refresh for updated photos over the few days)

    The time is here for high school athletes to make it official.

    The stars of so many sports from New Jersey high schools go from recruits to signees on Wednesday, National Signing Day for the fall's early signing period.

    The fall signing period runs through Nov. 21 for Division 1 boys and girls basketball and to Aug. 1 of 2019 for other Division 1 and 2 sports. This is for all sports with the exception of football, which has its early signing period from Dec. 19 to Dec. 21.

    Athletes who have made verbal commitments to a university can officially accept a scholarship by signing with their chosen school during these periods.

    We plan to bring you stories, photos and videos from around the state of Signing Day ceremonies. As such, we invite all athletes, administrators, parents and other supporters of the high school programs and athletes to send us anything you would like to see included in our coverage by filling out this form.


    SEND SIGNINGS: NJ.com will post signings and Signing Day photos


    A breakdown of the state's student-athletes who are expected to sign, starting Wednesday.

    Please refresh throughout the day for updates on signings, photos and videos.

    CEREMONY FOR RANNEY SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL STARS (W/PHOTOS)

    TRENTON CATHOLIC BASKETBALL DUO ANNOUNCE PLANS

    WRESTLING

    BOYS BASKETBALL

    GIRLS BASKETBALL

    BOYS SOCCER

    GIRLS SOCCER

    BOYS LACROSSE

    GIRLS LACROSSE

    BASEBALL

    SOFTBALL

    BOYS X-C/TRACK

    GIRLS X-C/TRACK

    BOYS SWIMMING

    GIRLS SWIMMING

    FIELD HOCKEY

    BOYS AND GIRLS TENNIS

    GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

    GYMNASTICS

    GOLF/CREW


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    That is why the companies receiving the six dispensary licenses must show a commitment to those communities that up to this point have been the most adversely effected by cannabis prohibition.

    By Ras J. Baraka and Steven M. Fulop

    New Jersey is going to soon legalize recreational marijuana use. While not every state resident is excited by this step, we believe legalizing what are regularly occurring activities makes sense.  

    Not only will it bring about an important element of justice as far too many men of color were incarcerated for actions that no longer will be illegal but also increased revenue flows will give some relief to overburdened taxpayers.

    Still, before recreational use is legal, the Murphy administration has more immediate decisions to make. In the next few weeks the New Jersey Department of Health will award licenses to six medical marijuana dispensaries doubling the number in the state to 12. Over 140 applications were submitted for these six slots, showing the market demand corporate investors believe exists in New Jersey.

    This presents the Murphy administration with the ability to help deliver economic growth to our urban centers. Under federal law no cannabis merchandise can legally cross state lines. This means all marijuana products - both medicinal and recreational - need to be cultivated, manufactured, distributed and sold in New Jersey.

    By expanding the use, an entirely new industry is being introduced into our state.

    Marijuana cultivation is a 24/7/365 operation in sophisticated growing centers using advanced technology to grow, harvest and then manufacture marijuana products. The job opportunities are substantial.

    That is why the companies receiving the six dispensary licenses must show a commitment to those communities that up to this point have been the most adversely effected by cannabis prohibition.  The most concrete and direct way an applicant can demonstrate its corporate commitment to make a positive impact would be to locate cultivation and manufacturing facilities in urban communities, where hundreds of good paying, likely union jobs will be created.

    The easy approach for applicants is to choose to open cultivation and manufacturing facilities in less expensive, rural locations and only use urban locations for retail stores where the jobs creation will be less significant -- at lower pay -- with fewer opportunities for advancement. 

    Certainly, all of the six applicants will be highly qualified operators. The governor has correctly pushed hard to expand this market, knowing of the job and revenue creation opportunities. He has also spoken eloquently about the need to equal the scales of justice for a population that has borne too much of the burden when it comes to incarceration.

    Now, he must connect criminal justice reform with job opportunities. Too many ex-offenders find it difficult to restart their lives. Working in cultivation and manufacturing facilities will offer a great chance to help them get a step forward in rebuilding their lives and becoming contributing members of their communities.

    For residents of our cities who have paid a huge price for selling and using marijuana -- unlike those in live in suburban and rural towns in New Jersey, bringing marijuana production to our cities provides a real opportunity to help those who have been harshly punished for minimal offenses that are no longer crimes.

    We are raising the issue now, prior to licenses being issued and legislation being finalized. We want to influence not only this round of licensing, but future rounds as well. 

    Gov. Phil Murphy often talks about the need to bring all state residents of New Jersey into better economic situations.

    This is a golden opportunity to put true meaning to his words and make a huge impact as it relates to job creation and professional development in Jersey City, Newark and Paterson.

    Ras J. Baraka is mayor of the City of Newark.

    Steven M. Fulop is mayor of Jersey City.

    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.

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.


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    The Archdiocese of Newark received what it expected to be one of many subpoenas in the attorney general's probe into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

    New Jersey's attorney general has begun issuing subpoenas to force the state's Catholic dioceses to turn over records and files related to its clergy sexual abuse investigation, church officials said.

    The Archdiocese of Newark, the state's largest diocese that represents more than 1 million Catholics, was asked to turn over documents, said James Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

    "The archdiocese has received a subpoena," Goodness said Wednesday, declining to provide additional details. "We are cooperating with the AG task force."

    The subpoena to the Archdiocese of Newark is one part of what is expected to be a lengthy and wide-ranging investigation into potential priest sex abuse cases across all five dioceses and thousands of Catholic churches and schools.

    New Jersey's other four dioceses - Camden, Paterson, Trenton and Metuchen - are also expected to turn over documents. But none would confirm if they have received subpoenas yet.

    "The Diocese of Camden is cooperating with the attorney general's task force," said Michael Walsh, a spokesman for the diocese, declining to comment further.

    A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Trenton referred questions to the state attorney general's office. The dioceses of Paterson and Metuchen did not immediately respond to requests to comment.

    Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal declined to say who has been subpoenaed or what types of records are being sought. However, he said Pennsylvania's attorney general investigation into priest sex abuse is being used as a model.

    In that two-year probe, Pennsylvania used subpoenas to gather decades of files, records, notes and letters from six dioceses that revealed more than 1,000 children were sexually abused by at least 300 priests. The investigation also showed top church officials repeatedly transferred accused priests and tried to cover up the abuse allegations.

    New Jersey plans to issue a similar public report at the end of its investigation, the attorney general said. The report could name priests accused with sexual misconduct in cases where the statute of limitations for criminal charges has expired.

    In other cases, there could be criminal charges, he said.

    "Like any criminal investigation, where criminal charges are viable, we'll pursue them," Grewal said.

    New Jersey is one of several states, including New York, where officials have recently launched sweeping investigations into how the Catholic Church handled sexual abuse allegations dating back decades.

    The state investigations were sparked by the Pennsylvania report and recent church scandals, including the pending church trial of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick on sexual misconduct charges.  

    Grewal announced New Jersey's investigation in September. His office set up a task force with subpoena power through a grand jury that can demand documents and force people to testify.

    The task force also set up a hotline -- (855) 363-6548 - for people to report allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy. The hotline was quickly overwhelmed with calls.

    "We had to get additional call-takers and put additional resources in place," Grewal said. Since then, the calls have "slowed, but not stopped."

    It is unclear how extensively the task force will use its subpoena power. Some Catholic school officials say they have been told they will be required to produce records about abuse allegations in their schools dating back decades. 

    But other Catholic schools said they have yet to hear from their dioceses or the attorney general's office about what, if anything, they will need to produce. In New Jersey, some Catholic schools are run by their local dioceses. Others are overseen by religious orders of monks or nuns.

    Delbarton School, an independent school run by the Benedictine monks of St. Mary's Abbey, was among the large Catholic high schools schools that said earlier this week said they had not received any legal requests from the attorney general's task force for records.

    "We have not received a subpoena," said Jessica Fiddes, a Delbarton spokeswoman.

    In a July letter, Delbarton School and St. Mary's Abbey acknowledged for the first time that 30 individuals alleged abuse by 13 priests and monks and one faculty member over a three-decade period.

    Abbey officials said they notified the Morris County prosecutor's office about the cases, but charges were filed in only one case at the time.

    The attorney general's task force declined to say how many people have called them with abuse allegations since the hotline was established in September. 

    Bruce Novozinsky, an alleged abuse survivor who wrote a book about clergy abuse in New Jersey, said he was among the callers to the hotline who was later interviewed by a task force investigator.

    Novozinsky said told the investigator he would be happy to turn over a box of files and handwritten documents he gathered from Catholic churches and schools in Ocean County during his research for his 2012 book, "Purple Reign: Sexual Abuse and Abuse of Power in the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey."

    "I fully expect to be subpoenaed," Novozinsky said. "I made it clear to the attorney general's office . . . they can have what I have."

    However, the investigator made it clear the state's probe into clergy sex abuse will be lengthy, he said.

    "They said it might take a long time before I contact you again," Novozinsky said.

    New Jersey's bishops have been among those meeting this week in Baltimore for a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting to address the sexual abuse scandal.

    Numerous bishops called on their colleagues at the meeting to issue a formal repudiation of Theodore McCarrick, the ex-cardinal facing allegations he repeatedly sexual abused or harassed men and boys as he rose to be one of the highest-ranking members of the church.

    McCarrick is accused of sexual abuse of boys and sexual misconduct with young seminarians and fellow priests, including during the years he was head of the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen.

    In a letter to parishioners sent earlier this month, the current head of the Archdiocese of Newark said the McCarrick case will lead to changes in how the church handles abuse cases.

    "In a few weeks, I will be announcing further structural changes and new policies within the Archdiocese of Newark itself - step-by-step reforms that I hope will be embraced by other dioceses throughout the state," Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the archbishop of Newark, wrote.

    Staff writer S.P. Sullivan contributed to this report.

    Kelly Heyboer may be reached at kheyboer@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @KellyHeyboer. Find her at KellyHeyboerReporter on Facebook.


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    The victim was able to run and flag down an officer after being shot.

    An Elizabeth man found guilty of robbing and shooting a man in the leg last year was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

    Gary Jones, 45, of Newark received the sentence Thursday from Superior Court Judge Daniel R. Lindemann in Elizabeth after a jury convicted him in August of the robbery, two weapons offenses, assault with bodily injury using a deadly weapon and pointing a firearm.

    He also had 11 prior convictions for burglary, aggravated assault, theft, eluding police, receiving stolen property and resisting arrest.

    In 2017, Jones saw his victim, a 60-year-old man, leaving a liquor store and approached him, showing his gun and demanding money.

    The man walked away, but Jones shot him in the leg.

    Injured, the victim flagged down an Elizabeth police officers who began chasing Jones and eventually caught up with him.

    The victim was treated at University Hospital in Newark, and he and his wife testified at Jones' sentencing about how the robbery affected their lives.

    Jones must serve at least 85 percent of the entire 50-year term (42.5 years) before becoming eligible for parole.

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

    Find NJ.com on Facebook

     

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    Essex County school have announced delayed openings or school closings due to snow for Friday, Nov. 16

    A messy winter storm that brought snow, freezing rain and icy conditions to the northern half of New Jersey on Thursday has caused schools to announce delayed openings and closures for Friday.

    The following Essex County schools are closed or have delayed openings on Friday, Nov. 16 as officials work to clear parking lots, sidewalks and roads.


    CLOSED

    • No announcements yet

    DELAYED

    • Belleville (delayed opening)
    • East Orange (delayed opening)
    • Montclair (2 hour)

     

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

     

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    Motorists on Route 280 reported being stuck for hours in an icy traffic hell along the same area of highway where rescuers earlier this year needed snowmobiles to reach stranded drivers.

    Motorists on Route 280 reported being stuck for hours in an icy traffic hell Thursday night along the same area of highway where rescuers earlier this year needed snowmobiles to reach stranded drivers.

    "Stuck on 280 West, which is a parking lot. No updates as to when ppl can go home," one frustrated commuter posted on Twitter.

    "My wife has moved 90 feet in 3 hours. Stuck westbound near exit 10," Rick Kronberg said on Twitter of the highway.

    Murphy tells N.J. to be patient, assures people stuck on roads that they will eventually get home

    Others on social media echoed complaints about being stuck for more than an hour on 280 through Essex County. Video showed a driver headed the wrong way to escape the snowlocked highway.

    The highway was closed due to icy conditions near Exit 15 as of shortly before 5 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation website. Other closures were reported in West Orange.

    "NJDOT has more than 825 spreaders and plows working to clear state highways. Road may be slushy and slippery as snow turns to rain. Use caution, leave plenty of following distance between vehicles, and stay safe," the DOT said in a statement on Twitter.

    Replies to the DOT on Twitter included a torrent of enraged drivers, who reported not seeing any plows and called officials ill-prepared for storm.

    Earlier this year, state authorities deployed urban search and rescue teams on snowmobiles to reach drivers stuck on the same highway after a snow storm in March. It was not clear if any similar rescues were planned.

    Representatives for the Department of Transportation and State Police could not be immediately reached to comment.

    Thursday's snowstorm left travelers across the state stuck in a commuting hell of hours-long traffic delays, crashes and packed mass transit.

    Noah Cohen may be reached at ncohen@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahycFind NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Delayed parents and stranded buses left children around New Jersey still trying to get home after 10 p.m.

    It was the school day that would not end for children around New Jersey Thursday as many students were stranded at school or stuck in buses well after dark as a snowstorm crippled the state's roads and rails.

    School districts across the state reported students still at school waiting for their parents to pick them up at 9 p.m. Other districts said school buses remained trapped on streets or had to return to school because they were unable to get to students' neighborhoods.

    The trapped students meant many teachers, administrators and bus drivers were also stuck working late into the night.

    In West Orange, the school district issued an alert to parents at 10 p.m. that said 11 buses were rerouted to a local diner so students could eat and wait for the roads to open up.

    "The following buses were routed to Chit Chat Diner, are eating dinner and will remain at the diner until we are given the all clear by the West Orange Police Department to begin taking them home," the alert said.

    Students were also being held at West Orange schools until their families could pick them up.

    "Students are safe in their schools with teachers and staff. They have eaten dinner and are preparing to get some rest," the district alert said. 

    Michael Buzzeo, a parent from Maplewood, walked from the South Orange train station to pick up his son from nearby Marshall Elementary School around 7 p.m.

    Students were being housed at Marshall after many of the district's school buses became stranded on icy roadways in the area.

    "I don't know what to think of it. It was nuts," Buzzeo said.


    He said about 15 children were still at the school when he left with his son. Buzzeo also said the district had difficulty communicating with their school bus contractor as the afternoon wore on and reports of stranded buses piled up on local Facebook groups.

    "It just looks like the (bus company) didn't have their stuff together," he said. "It was a disaster."

    In Leonia, school officials reported the district had three buses still trying to get students home at 8 p.m.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

    Staff writer Stephen Stirling contributed to this report.

    Kelly Heyboer may be reached at kheyboer@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @KellyHeyboer. Find her at KellyHeyboerReporter on Facebook.


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    Call it Escape from Newark. New Jersey's largest city was essentially done in by a few inches of snow Thursday, as major roads, as well as Routes 280, 78, 21 and 22 remained closed as of 11 p.m.

    Call it Escape from Newark. 

    New Jersey's largest city was essentially done in by a few inches of snow Thursday, as major roads, as well as Routes 280, 78, 21 and 22 remained closed as of 11 p.m, leaving people stranded in their vehicles in an unprecedented traffic jam with no way out of the city, according to Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose

    Videos showed motorists hopelessly sitting in a gridlocked city for hours wondering if they would ever get home after a snowstorm turned their evening commute into a nightmare. 

    The rain and sleet created dangerous icy conditions and resulted in dozens of collisions, which caused a "massive backlog traffic jam," Ambrose said.

    One of the people trapped Thursday evening was Mariel Loveland, of Ringwood, who was driving to pick up her boyfriend at Newark Airport around 3 p.m., but was still stuck on Broadway Street as 9:30 p.m.

    "In the last 3 to 4 hours I've gone maybe a mile," Loveland told NJ Advance Media. "I'm like starving and everything's closed here and I'm not going to leave my car in Newark. i've never seen anything like this."

    She said her boyfriend arrived on a flight into Newark Airport at 3:15 p.m. and was still sitting there waiting for her to pick her up.

    "I feel like I could have gone past Washington, D.C., in the same amount of time," she said. "Like, I'm 4 miles away (from Newark Airport) and I've been 4 miles away."

    The situation at Newark Airport is not much better as staff there were laying out cots for stranded travelers, according to social media accounts.

    Another person said a plane that landed from Lisbon was stuck on the tarmac for over seven hours and another airport captive said there was an hour-long delay to board the AirTrain to get back to New York City. 

    Over 400 flights were cancelled out of Newark Airport, and 300 flights were delayed by over an hour.

    Police dispatched additional officers throughout the city and and the Newark Department of Public Safety's Emergency Operation Center was opened, Ambrose said.

    Flooding became a major problem in the city and Ambrose told people to avoid Norfolk Street, Orange Street, Nesbitt Street, McCarter Highway and a slew of other roads.

    Newark Communications Director Frank Braff said NJDOT and city crews were out trying to clear the traffic.

    "If there's any place where cars are blocking, you tow them," Braff said. "The police are out there, NJDOT is out there, emergency management is out there and public works is out there."

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    After a blockbuster snowstorm, commuters face delays on roads, rails and buses this morning, especially in northern New Jersey.

    Latest N.J. weather update: Fierce snowstorm isn't done yet. More snow, rain and gusty winds Friday


     

    Roads have reopened and NJ Transit plans to run on a normal schedule Friday after a crippling snowstorm left drivers stranded in gridlock for hours, but the state officials have a message for those planning to venture out in North Jersey. 

    Don't do it.

    "If you don't have to be on the road this morning, stay home," said Stephen Schapiro, an N.J. Department of Transportation spokesman said. "If you do have to drive, leave plenty of time, use caution, and slow down."

    No matter how you plan to get to work Friday, it's going to cost you extra time as the northern part of the state struggles to return to normal after Thursday's paralyzing snow storm. And the storm is not done lashing New Jersey as more snow may fall and high winds could cause more problems.

    Snow strands kids in schools

    "All roads are open this morning, but conditions are not ideal," Schapiro said. "Roads are wet and there may be patchy areas of ice, particularly on side roads and ramps."

    NJDOT crews worked through the night and are continuing clean up operations on roads and ramps, he said.

    But the northern highways remained the more treacherous roads this morning. Crashes were reported on I-78 in Clinton and on Route 23 near High Point State Park.

    The DOT reported Route 23 was closed in both directions due to downed utility poles and wires. A downed tree blocked two lanes on I-80 east in Roxbury. A crash also was reported on I-280 east in Orange.

    Speed is reduced to 45 mph on the New Jersey Turnpike between Exit 6 and Exit 14 and is 50 mph between Exit 14 and the George Washington Bridge. The Garden State Parkway has a 45 mph speed restriction between Exit 143C - Route 124 to  Exit 159 - I-80. 

    Speeds were reduced to 30 mph are in place on the Goethals Bridge and Outerbridge Crossing. The three Port Authority Hudson River crossings are open, said a Port Authority spokesman.

    NJ Transit rail will operate regular weekday service this morning, but reported 30 minute systemwide delays. Both rail and bus commuters should expect delays and some cancellations due to the residual effects of the storm. Service is suspended on the North Jersey Coast Line and the Gladstone Branch due to downed wires.

    NJ Transit officials said many bus drivers worked past their normal end times due to the storm and traffic conditions. Federal law requires drivers take a mandated rest period meaning some may not be available for morning service. NJ Transit has cross honoring of tickets in effect between trains, buses and private carrier buses.

    That reason caused DeCamp Bus to cancel service outright Friday morning. Lakeland Bus also will have limited service this morning, with no downtown, midtown or service west of Mount Arlington, according to an alert. All Route 78 buses will run local to Summit. Academy Bus also will have limited service, according to an alert.

    Bus commuters were reporting long waits for buses that were already full when they arrived.

    The Port Authority Bus Terminal will be open Friday morning. The second and third levels had shut down Thursday night due to overcrowding.

    Disabled vehicles are still littering the highways, especially on hilly sections of highways in northern sections of the state. South Jersey highways had their own issues. Neptune police tweeted that Route 33 was closed between Wakefield Road and Oxford Way because of a fallen tree. A downed pole closed Route 35 in Wall near Lakewood Road.

    Last night 400 flights canceled at Newark Airport and the FAA reports arrival and departure delays of 15 minutes.

    Larry Higgs may be reached at lhiggs@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @commutinglarry. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
     


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    The "Creed II" star has reached the top of his profession in Hollywood. Now he plans on giving back at home. "Creed II" opens in movie theaters on Wednesday, November 21, 2018 (11/21/18).


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    Hundreds of flights were cancelled on Friday and while runways are cleared, arrivals and departures at Newark Liberty are still subject to delays and cancellations.

    There's no escape.

    Those even able to get to Newark Liberty International Airport on Friday morning after the winter's first storm may not get into the air anytime soon.

    According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, the runways are clear and the roadways around the airport are driveable.

    But airlines have already cancelled 45 departures and 74 arrivals.

    In addition, there are 42 delayed flights, a spokesman said.

    The Federal Aviation Administration said there is a gate hold on departures out of Newark Liberty, along with taxi delays of up to 15 minutes.

    Those flights bound for Newark are also experiencing airborne delays.

    United Airlines, the largest air carrier at Newark Liberty, said it cancelled 188 flights from Newark on Thursday and anticipate more cancellations on Friday.

    "We encourage customers who are traveling to, from or through Newark Liberty International Airport to take advantage of our waiver policy where the change fee and any difference in fare will be waived," said United spokeswoman Rachael Rivas. Details on that policy can be found at: https://t.co/IF60Hh7jBZ

    "We continue to closely monitor the weather situation," said Rivas, directing passenger to visit united.com or the airline's app for the latest updates about their flight.

    The storm on Thursday defied forecasters' expectations, hitting New Jersey with as much as 10 inches of snow, contributing to a nightmarish evening trek home after commuters were confronted with impassible roads across the state that were mostly unplowed and soon blocked by other stuck cars and trucks.

    As dawn broke on Friday, the skies were still delivering a wintry mix of light snow, freezing rain and gusty winds.

    Ted Sherman may be reached at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL. Facebook: @TedSherman.reporter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    A sheriff's officer accused of exchanging 187 calls with a drug dealer argued that helping investigators to open his phones was self-incriminating and unconstitutional.

    The Fifth Amendment's protections against self-incrimination don't mean you can withhold your cellphone passcode from law enforcement, if investigators have a warrant, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.

    The court found Robert Andrews, an Essex County sheriff's officer accused of tipping off drug traffickers, would have to provide officials with the passcodes to two iPhones he turned over to investigators. 

    The decision sets a new precedent, but could be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

    Andrews, who was indicted in 2016 on charges of official misconduct, hindering and obstruction, has been accused of informing a Newark drug trafficker his phone was being monitored by detectives and his car tracked by GPS.

    After the drug dealer was arrested and identified Andrews, court papers say, internal affairs investigators confronted the officer and asked him to turn over his two phones, which he did.

    Investigators found the drug dealer's phone had exchanged 187 calls with Andrews' phones in the 30 days before the dealer's arrest, the court said.

    The devices had also exchanged text messages, according to call records, but the dealer told investigators his copies of the messages were lost when he reset his phone.

    Andrews refused to turn over the passwords to his own phones and fought a court order to do so, arguing prosecutors were compelling him to provide information that could be self-incriminating.

    The appeals court disagreed.

    Since, they said, it was a "foregone conclusion" that Andrews had both possessed the phones that received texts/phone calls from drug dealer and had the means to open them, the court found the officer faced no risk of self-incrimination by providing the passcodes.

    The court also noted that investigators, in obtaining warrants to search the phones, had established probable cause to believe the devices contained evidence of a crime.

    Applying the privilege against self-incrimination to the iPhone passcodes, Judge Joseph Yannotti wrote, "would essentially preclude the State from obtaining the contents of any passcode-restricted device as part of a criminal investigation."

    "We see no basis for affording, in the particular circumstances presented by this case, greater protections against self-incrimination than those provided by the Fifth Amendment," the judge wrote.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at tmoriarty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriartyFind NJ.com on Facebook

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    The streets of Newark Friday had the feel of a Sunday morning.

    The streets in Newark are moving again after the state's largest city was essentially done in by a few inches of snow Thursday evening.

    The scene was one of mass gridlock, with stranded motorists sitting in traffic for hours.

    But on Friday morning, the roads were still wet but traffic was flowing. Perhaps everyone stayed home or was getting a late start, but driving around downtown Newark had the feel of a Sunday morning.

    That doesn't mean the city was without incident. 

    Just after 7:30 a.m. on Friday, a car on Route 21 near exit 5 overturned and struck the divider as a result of hydroplaning, Newark police said. The driver was fine, but the crash caused "heavy delays" on Route 21. A disabled tractor-trailer on Route 22 also caused delays Friday morning. 

    Routes 280, 78, 21 and 22 are reopened after icy conditions and car crashes shut down those major roads the night before, Newark's Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said.

    The shutdown of those main arteries to and from the city essentially caused chaos in the city's North, East and South wards.

    A Newark police officer directing traffic in the area of Broad and South streets was hit by a car shortly after 10 p.m., police said. The officer was taken to University Hospital in Newark and was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

    The city's Department of Public Works had more than 60 plows out working through the night with salt spreaders to clear the roads and get them back up to speed.

    "We were up all night," said the Khalif Thomas, the city's public works director. "Our drivers never went into the house. We've been working around the clock to have our streets abated."

    Thomas said dump trucks also helped paralyzed NJ Transit buses get up hills.

    Still, Newark airport isn't back up to full speed. While the outside roads and runways are clear, there are 119 cancellations and 42 delayed flights as of 7:30 a.m., a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman said.

    Alex Napoliello may be reached at anapoliello@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @alexnapoNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    Students slept overnight in some schools because buses were unable to get them home.

    School districts, like the rest of New Jersey, seemed to be caught off-guard by Thursday's snowstorm that left much of the state in transportation chaos.

    As the forecast shifted and the snow began to pile up early in the afternoon, most districts continued on with their regular school day. Some also continued on with after-school clubs and sports, keeping students in school until 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.

    That proved disastrous for many students, who spent hours stuck on buses or waiting in schools for their parents to pick them up.

    Millburn's schools superintendent was among those who offered an apology to students, parents and teachers.

    "I can't apologize enough and send my sincerest regrets for today's events, and unfortunate confluence of weather conditions," Christine Burton, Millburn's superintendent, wrote in a letter Thursday.

    Burton said the weather forecast for her area of Essex County indicated students could stay in school for a full day Thursday.

    "According to the local data I had access to we expected the storm to start as a rain/snow mix and shift over to heavier snow later in the afternoon. I conferred with my colleagues in Summit, Livingston and Springfield, and we all agree that the weather forecast would allow for a full day of school," Burton wrote.

    "Obviously I was wrong, and I am sorry for not having called an early dismissal," she concluded.

    In some districts, including West Orange, students slept in schools overnight.

    As of 7:30 a.m. Friday, students were still waiting to go home in five West Orange public schools, including West Orange High School.

    "We are maintaining shelter in place for students in our care at the following schools due to the reoccurring snow and secondary road conditions: Roosevelt, Liberty, WOHS, Edison, and Redwood," the alert said.

    At Liberty Middle School in West Orange, students slept on gym mats in the auditorium and woke up to eat french toast prepared by teachers and administrators who stayed with them overnight in the school, according to the school's social media account.

    West Orange students trapped on buses were taken to the Chit Chat Diner to eat dinner and wait out the storm.

    Why didn't more schools dismiss students early, before the snow began crippling the roads?

    In most cases, districts seemed to be relying on early forecasts that said the snow would be light or turn to rain in many areas.

    "The storm was worse (than) originally forecasted. We will not stop working until our roads are clear," Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday on Twitter.

    In some cases, dismissing students early did not work either because buses quickly got stuck on slippery roads or parents were unable to get home from work to pick up their children.

    Many parents took to social media to express their anger and frustration at school districts.

    Kelly Heyboer may be reached at kheyboer@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @KellyHeyboer. Find her at KellyHeyboerReporter on Facebook.

     


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    Don Bosco vs. Bergen Catholic and more football; 8 soccer state finals, live & on-demand

    What a weekend for watching N.J. championships on NJ.com via NJ High School Sports Live.

    We have N.J.'s biggest football rivalry - playoff style - as No. 7 Don Bosco Prep visits No. 1 Bergen Catholic in a Non-Public, Group 4 semifinal, as well as the other N-P, G4 semifinal and a public sectional final, all part of the NJSIAA/Rothman Orthopaedics football championships.

    And we have all eight soccer state championship games - four boys finals on Saturday and four girls finals on Sunday, live from Kean University.

    All of these games are available live or on-demand on any device.  The full schedule is below, with links to the broadcasts.

    Plus, make an important note: NJ High School Sports Live will also be broadcasting all 13 of the upcoming NJSIAA/Rothman Orthopaedics football bowl and championship games at MetLife Stadium the following two weeks. 

    Links to this weekend's broadcasts:

    FOOTBALL

    SATURDAY, NOV. 17
    Don Bosco at Bergen Catholic, 1 p.m.
    St. Peter's Prep at St. Joseph (Mont.), 1 p.m. 

    SUNDAY, NOV. 18
    Ramapo at River Dell, 1 p.m. (rescheduled from Friday)

    SOCCER

    SATURDAY, NOV. 17 at Kean University
    Boys Group finals

    Group 1 final: New Providence vs. Glassboro, 12:30 p.m.
    Group 2 final: Glen Rock vs. Holmdel, 3 p.m.
    Group 3 final: Millburn vs. Ocean Twp., 5:30 p.m.
    Group 4 final: Morris Knolls vs. Washington Twp., 8 p.m.

    SUNDAY, NOV. 18 at Kean University
    Girls Group finals

    Group 4 final: Bridgewater-Raritan vs. Eastern, 10 a.m.
    Group 1 final: Glen Ridge vs. Audubon, 12:30 p.m.
    Group 2 final: Ramsey vs. Gov. Livingston, 3 p.m.
    Group 3 final: Northern Highlands vs. Moorestown, 5:30 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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    James Ray III will return to court Nov. 26.

    The man accused of killing his girlfriend in Montclair last month will have his detention hearing pushed back again.

    James Ray III appeared in Superior Court in Newark on Friday with a new attorney, Thomas Ashley, who has a practice in Newark.

    Ray, 55, is accused of fatally shooting the mother of his child last month, Angela Bledsoe, and later confessed to the crime in a note found by a family member, according to charging documents filed by prosecutors.

    In the note, Ray III confessed to the killing and indicated he was scared to face prison time and "the long burden of a trial," a detective wrote in an affidavit obtained by NJ Advance Media.

    Ray was apprehended as a murder suspect in Cuba recently and turned over to U.S. federal just over a week after he was detained upon arriving in the Caribbean country

    On Friday, Ashley told Judge Ronald B. Wigler that he had been retained the day prior and needed time to review the discovery. Ashley and Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Tim Shaughnessy discussed what had already been given to Ray's previous attorney, William Ewing: the affidavit of probable cause and the note.

    "The state turned over the note, the typewritten note to Mr. Ray's brother that prompted him to call police," Shaughnessy said.

    Ashley said he needed to see the crime scene photos, which Shaughnessy said he had handed over to him on a CD outside the courtroom. Judge Wigler said Ashley would only need to see whatever evidence the state would present at the hearing.

    An earlier attempt at a detention hearing on Tuesday was adjourned at Ewing's request to review the evidence, since he had just been hired the night before, Shaughnessy said.

    Wigler scheduled Ray for a new detention hearing for Nov. 26, after Thanksgiving.

    Ray will remain at the Essex County Correctional Facility over the holiday.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    N.J. man is reunited with a pocket Bible that his great-great-uncle received during the Civil War.

    Col. Robert E. Burrows was searching eBay two years ago looking for Paterson artifacts to add to his historical collection.

    He already has a picture of the Ivanhoe Mill, five silver pickle forks from the 1880s and a 1904 mug from a masonic lodge. The solid aluminum Elvis Presley-style microphone is pretty cool, too, but that was a gift he received for the 100th anniversary of Elementary School No. 12 in Paterson. It was the same microphone he used as a kid at a parent assembly in 1955 at his grade school alma mater.

    As he surfed and clicked, Burrows, now a Newark resident, saw a bunch of pocket Bibles up for bid in Indianapolis.

    One of the Bibles, dated 1854, looked familiar. It was small, just like the one he had that was stolen in 2015 from his home in Clifton. On the last page, written in pencil, were Bible references - Matthew 18; Roman 12; Corinthian. He recognized the writing.

    "I said, wow, that has to be my uncle's," Burrows said.

    burrowbible1file3-1.jpegAn 1854 pocket Bible of a Civil War soldier from Paterson who was related to Robert Burrows 

    His father, Charles Burrows, gave the Bible to him when he was seven-years-old, telling him that Archibald Todd was his great-great-uncle, who received it as a recruit when he reported for Civil War duty.

    Burrows, now 71, learned that his uncle Todd was assigned to the 13th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry, which consisted of soldiers from Essex, Hudson and Passaic counties.

    He couldn't believe it. In front of him on the computer was his uncle's Bible that he never thought he'd see again. Burrows said he called Clifton police, who directed him toward the FBI office in Indianapolis. 

    Burrows said he called the FBI and explained his situation.

    The FBI "said expect a package in the mail," Burrows recalled. "I said, 'yeah, okay.'"

    He didn't think anything of the package that arrived in the mail in 2016 because Burrows is always on eBay bidding on something.

    burrowsbiblefile-1[8].jpegInside page of 1854 pocket Bible that belonged to a Civil War soldier from Paterson 

    When he saw it was the Bible, he said he could have cried.

    "I got something back," he said. "A piece of family history is back."

    It's not clear if anyone was charged in the theft of the Bible.

    When asked about the its return, Clifton police Sgt. Robert Anderson said he was checking police records, but did not share additional information. Chris Bavendar, public affairs spokesperson in the FBI Indianapolis division, said she wasn't able to find a record of the case in her office, saying it may have been picked up by field offices on the East Coast.

    Burrows is just happy to have it back. He has always kept the Bible close, even when he served in the U.S. Army Security Agency, a unit in which he did counter espionage electronically, during the Vietnam war.

    His service, though, has nothing to do with why he uses the military title of colonel in front of his name when people meet him.

    Burrows, who calls himself Colonel, is a member of the Kentucky Colonels, a philanthropic organization whose members have received this prestigious title from the governor of Kentucky for outstanding service to their community in that state and across the country.

    Commissioned in 2007 by Gov. Ernie Fletcher, individuals have to be nominated by another colonel, said Sherry Crose, executive director of the nonprofit organization that supports needy Kentucky charities.

    burrowmathfile4-1.jpegBible verses written in pencil on the back page of a 1854 pocket Bible that belonged to Civil War soldier from Paterson 

    Burrows was nominated for his charitable works, including his contributions with a group to restore Greenwood Lake, which is located in West Milford and the Village of Greenwood, New York. 

    "They are cut above individuals," Crose said, speaking about Colonels like Burrows. "They make the difference in your community."

    After the war, Burrows said he was an engineer assistant at a stereo company in Leominster, Massachusetts for a few years. He went back to the family home in Paterson - 149 N. Third Street - that his uncle Todd also lived in after the Civil War. Burrows got a job in Hillside, working as a stereo repairman. He also fixed amplifiers for rock bands when he was a sound engineer at Filmore East, a popular club that featured some of the biggest rock bands from 1968 to 1971.

    Those associations led to his meeting radio personality Allison Steele, who was also known by her on air name, The Night Bird on New York's WNEW. Burrows would get behind the mic, too, playing country music as a DJ on WFDU at Fairleigh Dickinson, where he produced two country music programs. He also became president of the New Jersey Country Music Association and wrote stories for Steppin' Out, a magazine for about country music and its artists.

    At one point in his colorful life, Burrows restored antique cars, such as a 1929 Ford and 1908 Model E. Ford., from a two-and-a-half car garage in back of the family house in Paterson. 

    Burrows now has Lymphedema, an incurable condition in which his legs swell from retaining fluids because his lymph nodes have stopped filtering waste from his body. Though he uses a wheelchair to get around, it hasn't slowed his love for collecting.

    Vintage cars for Burrows also come in a box. He has a model 1958 Plymouth Fury collectible. Her name is Christine. She's steps away in his Newark apartment from another legend: comedian George Burns, another limited collectible, that Burrows has boxed up.

    The Bible, though, is the most cherished of his possessions.

    "If you're going to have an heirloom, that's the heirloom to have," he said. 

    Read More


    Barry Carter may be reached at bcarter@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BarryCarterSL. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     


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    A New Jersey Institute of Technology student died Wednesday in a similar crash.

    Newark police and Essex County investigators are probing a fatal hit-and-run that occured Saturday evening near the city's border with East Orange, authorities said.

    A spokesperson for the county prosecutor's office confirmed one person died Saturday around 8 p.m. after being struck by a vehicle near the intersection of Roseville and 2nd avenues. 

    Authorities Sunday did not provide further information about the identity of the victim or the vehicle involved.

    Saturday's fatality marked the second person killed in a hit-and-run in the city this week. 

    A New Jersey Institute of Technology student was hit just off campus Tuesday night. She died from her injuries early Wednesday morning, authorities said.

    Investigators have not disclosed any arrests in connection with either death. 

    Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.comFollow her on Twitter @By_paigegross.

     

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