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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    Teams tumbled and two new teams entered.


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    The three New Jersey residents were among the 32 American recipients announced Sunday

    Three New Jersey residents have been chosen as Rhodes Scholars.

    rhodes-scholars.jpgFrom left, Jasmine Brown, of Hillsborough, Jordan Thomas, of South Plainfield, and Christopher D'Urso, of Colts Neck.

    Christopher D'Urso, a Colts Neck resident who attends the University of Pennsylvania; Jordan Thomas, a Princeton University student who lives in South Plainfield, and Jasmine Brown, a Hillsborough resident who attends Washington University in St. Louis, were among the 32 American recipients announced Sunday.

    The 2017 scholars were chosen from a group of 866 applicants who were endorsed by 299 colleges and universities for post-graduate studies at Oxford University in England. The scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study starting next October. In some cases, the scholarships may allow funding for four years.

    The scholarships are worth about $68,000 per year, according to the Rhodes Trust.

    D'Urso is a senior who will receive a bachelor's degree in international relations and a master's degree in public administration through the University's Fels Institute of Government. He has a perfect grade point average in both programs.

    D'Urso is interested in consumer protection and testified before Congress in 2014 on revamping country of origin labeling laws. He also is the founding president of "Penn CASE," a community service organization that provides consumer assistance, support and education to Philadelphia residents and Penn students. He will study for a master of science in criminology and criminal justice at Oxford.

    Thomas is a senior at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He's also studying Portuguese language and culture and African-American studies. He was a Fulbright Summer Institute Fellow at the University of Bristol where he studied the culture, heritage and history of the United Kingdom.

    Thomas also interned at the Office for Civil Rights' Program Legal Group at the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Scholars in the Nation's Service Initiative. He plans to seek a master's degree in philosophy in evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation at Oxford.

    Brown is a senior majoring in biology with a focus in neuroscience. She also has done cancer research at the Broad Institute, pulmonary research at Johns Hopkins and behavioral science at the University of Miami.

    She has done extensive research on genetics and the West Nile virus. She also founded the Minority Association of Rising Scientists that works to help minority students in science and technology. She also has tutored high school students and danced in a theater production.

    Brown will seek a doctor of philosophy degree in physiology, anatomy and genetics at Oxford.


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    Who stole the show in in the playoffs?


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    Who stole the show in state tournament?


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    Matchups will be determined after the semifinal round is complete

    Two more rounds to go. The 2017 state football semifinal round is this weekend — 46 games  where the winners will move on to the championship finals. 


    MORE: Follow NJ.com's coverage of the semifinals on Friday and Saturday


    The NJSIAA has released the locations, dates and times for the championship games, to be played Thursday, Nov. 30 through Sunday, Dec. 3. 

    NOTE: The matchups will not be determined until after Saturday's semifinal games are complete. Check back Saturday night for updates.

    Ticket prices are as follows: 
    MetLife Stadium: $9 adults, $3 students and seniors, $12 parking
    Rutgers: $9 adults, $3 students and seniors, $12 parking
    Kean: $5.50 adults, $2  students and seniors, free parking
    Rowan: $5.50 adults, $2 students and seniors, free parking

    BY DAY

    THURSDAY, NOV. 30 — 2 games

    AT METLIFE STADIUM

    North Jersey, Section 2, Group 2, 5 p.m.
    1-Rutherford vs. 6-Hackettstown

    North Jersey, Section 2, Group 5, 8 p.m.
    1-Westfield vs. 3-Bridgewater-Raritan

    FRIDAY, DEC. 1 — 3 games

    AT METLIFE STADIUM
    North Jersey, Section 1, Group 5, 5 p.m.
    1-Montclair vs. 3-Union City

    Non-Public, Group 4, 8 p.m.
    1-Bergen Catholic vs. 2-St. Peter’s Prep

    AT KEAN
    North Jersey, Section 1, Group 2, 7 p.m.
    2-Lakeland vs. 4-Newton

    SATURDAY, DEC. 2 — 15 games

    AT METLIFE STADIUM
    North Jersey, Section 2, Group 3, 10 a.m.
    1-West Essex vs. 3-Voorhees 

    North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4, 1 p.m.
    1-Phillipsburg vs. 2-North Hunterdon

    North Jersey, Section 1, Group 3, 4 p.m.
    1-Ramapo, vs. 2-River Dell

    North Jersey, Section 1, Group 4, 7 p.m.
    1-Old Tappan vs. 3-Mount Olive

    AT RUTGERS
    Central Jersey, Group 2, 10 a.m.
    1-Point Pleasant Boro vs. 7-Hillside

    Central Jersey, Group 5, 1 p.m.
    1-Manalapan vs. 2-South Brunswick

    Central Jersey, Group 4, 4 p.m.
    3-Long Branch vs. 8-Freehold Borough

    Central Jersey, Group 3, 7 p.m.
    1-Rumson-Fair Haven vs. 2-Somerville

    AT KEAN
    North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1, 10 a.m.
    1-Weequahic vs. 2-Shabazz

    Non-Public, Group 3, 1 p.m.
    1-DePaul vs. 3-St Joseph (Mont.)

    Central Jersey, Group 1, 4 p.m.
    4-Middlesex vs. 7-Point Pleasant Beach

    North Jersey, Section 1, Group 1, 7 p.m.
    5-Hasbrouck Heights vs. 6-Pompton Lakes

    AT ROWAN  
    South Jersey, Group 3, 11 a.m.
    4-Delsea vs.  2-Woodrow Wilson

    South Jersey, Group 1, 2:30 p.m.
    1-Paulsboro vs. 2-Penns Grove

    South Jersey, Group 5, 6 p.m.
    1-Lenape vs. 2-Rancocas Valley



    SUNDAY, DEC. 3 — 3 games

    AT ROWAN
    South Jersey, Group 2, 11 a.m.
    1-West Deptford vs. 6-Haddonfield

    Non-Public, Group 2, 2:30 p.m.
    1-St. Joseph (Hamm.) vs. 3-Mater Dei

    South Jersey, Group 4, 6 p.m.
    4-Shawnee vs. 6-Hammonton


    BY LOCATION
    MetLife Stadium — 8 games total
    Thursday, 11/30 - 5 and 8pm
    Friday, 12/1 - 5 and 8pm
    Saturday, 12/2 - 10am, 1, 4 and 7pm

    Kean — 5 games total
    Friday, 12/1 - 7pm
    Saturday, 12/2 - 10am, 1, 4, and 7pm

    Rutgers - 4 games total
    Saturday, 12/2 10am, 1, 4 and 7pm

    Rowan - 6 games total
    Saturday 12/2 - 11am, 2:30 and 6pm
    Sunday 12/3 - 11am, 2:30 and 6pm


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    The sheriff's office was one of six agencies awarded the Justice Department grants, intended to allow them to hire additional officers.

    NEWARK -- The Essex County Sheriff's Office has been awarded more than $1.8 million in federal Community Oriented Policing Services grants, enabling the hiring of 15 additional officers, the Justice Department said Monday.

    The sheriff's office was one of six agencies in New Jersey awarded the funds as part of $98 million in grants awarded nationwide. The New Jersey agencies alone were awarded more than $4.1 million in grants.

    The funds, awarded through the COPS Hiring Program, are intended to support "hiring additional law enforcement officers for three years to address specific crime problems through community policing strategies," according to a Justice Department statement.

    The other five departments include:

    • Long Branch Police Department, 5 officers ($625,000)
    • Paramus Police Department, 5 officers ($625,000)
    • Nutley Police Department, 4 officers ($500,000)
    • West Orange Police Department, 4 officer ($500,000)
    • Moonachie Police Department, 1 officer, ($125,000)

    The Justice Department said agencies applying for the grants had been told their applications could receive additional points in the scoring process "by certifying their willingness to cooperate with federal immigration authorities within their detention facilities."

    Of the agencies that applied for the fiscal year 2017 grants, officials said, 80 percent indicated they intended to cooperate with federal immigration officials "within their detention facilities."

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

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    Where did your favorite team land in the season's final ranking?


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    NJ.com looks at 25 unhealded performances from the state football semifinals


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    Jacob Rivera was killed after striking a curb and a tree in Old Bridge

    An 18-year-old Brookdale Community College student has been identified as the driver killed in a crash early Saturday along Route 18 in Old Bridge.

    jacob-rivera.jpgJacob Rivera 

    Jacob D. Rivera, of the Morganville section of Marlboro, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 1:30 a.m. crash near James Avenue, Old Bridge police said. 

    It's possible he hit the curb and lost control of the Honda Accord, Capt. Steve Daroci said. The cause of the crash is under investigation. 

    Rivera graduated from Calvary Christian School in Old Bridge in June and attended Brookdale Community College in the Lincroft section of Middletown. He was an aspiring computer programmer, according to his obituary.

    He is survived by his parents, three brothers and a sister. Visitation is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m Tuesday at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge. A funeral service is scheduled for Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

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

     

     


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    A bridge that carries the Garden State Parkway over a local road in Middletown was damaged by a piece of construction equipment and will cost $4 million to repair.

    The price tag will reach at least $4 million to repair a Garden State Parkway bridge in Middletown that was struck by a piece of construction equipment, temporarily closing a lane to traffic earlier this month. 

    New Jersey Turnpike Authority Commissioners approved a $3 million contract on Tuesday with the George Harms Construction Company for emergency and permanent repairs. Commissioners also approved a $1 million contract with two firms to perform engineering work for the bridge repairs.

    The accident happened after a back-hoe that was being transported on a trailer on Middletown-Lincroft Road hit the underside of bridge on Nov. 2. The impact bent and tore the bottom of an outside support beam and damaged a second beam, said Robert Fischer, the authority's chief engineer.

    That closed a lane for emergency repairs, which consisted of temporarily installing two steel beams, he said.

    Permanent repairs will involve cutting out the damaged section of the bridge and lowering in a new precast concrete section of bridge deck and new support beams, Fischer said. That work will likely be done during an early spring weekend when traffic is lighter, he said.

    On June 4, 2008, an over-height truck carrying scrap cars struck a Parkway bridge in Lacey Township, which caused $4.5 million worth of damage and backed-up traffic for miles. The authority sued and recovered the money to rebuild that span. Officials said the authority's insurance company is tracking the repair costs for this bridge.

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

     


     


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    Asbury Park and Neptune postponed their annual Thanksgiving Day football game on Tuesday afternoon

    Citing a “creditable, criminal threat” the administrations at Asbury Park and Neptune high schools mutually agreed to postpone the annual Thanksgiving Day football game, which was scheduled for Thursday, 10:30 a.m. at Asbury Park’s Butch Bruno Stadium.

    The teams were scheduled to meet for the 90th time in the rivalry.

    "We received a creditable, criminal threat that there were individuals who wanted to come in and cause harm to people attending the game,” said Asbury Park Superintendent of Schools, Lamont Repollet said Tuesday. “We understand this game has a long-standing tradition and is important to both communities. Unfortunately, there are individuals looking to destroy the spirit of Thanksgiving.

    “This transcends the football game. The Asbury Park and Neptune school districts will always put the safety of the students, families and the community ahead of any athletic event.”

    An announcement, appearing on both the Neptune and Asbury Park district websites stated the following:

    “Due to unforeseen circumstances, the traditional Thanksgiving Day football game between Asbury Park High School and Neptune Township High School is being postponed until a mutually agreeable date. On behalf of the Asbury Park and Neptune Township School Districts, be assured that the safety of our students, staff and communities remains paramount. We extend to you a Happy Thanksgiving!”

    Repollet said the two districts want to reschedule the game. The season comes to an end with the sectional finals Nov. 30-Dec. 3.

    “Our goal is to play the game and that’s why we said it is postponed and not cancelled,” Repollet said. “We’re trying to find a mutually agreed upon date when the game can be played.”

    Neptune is 0-9 and Asbury Park is 5-4.

    Joe Zedalis may be reached at jzedalis@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @josephzedalis. Like NJ.com HS sports on Facebook.


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    The final boys soccer Top 50 for the 2017 season

    NorthNon-publicAboys366907.JPGLukasz Matwiejczyk #13 of Delbarton and Jason Gomes of SHP battle for the ball during the North Jersey, Non-Public A boys soccer finals between No. 1 Delbarton and No. 2 Seton Hall Prep at Passaic County Tech in Wayne, NJ on 11-9-17.  
    HCboyssoccer368134.JPGWilliam Drinane of Hunterdon Central heads upfield in front of Harry Malady of Princeton during the Central Jersey, Group 4 boys soccer final between No. 14 Hunterdon Central and Princeton at Hunterdon Central High School in Flemington, NJ on 11-10-17.  

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    A look at Thanksgiving


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    "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People" indeed

    RED BANK -- "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People," the subtitle Oscar Wilde appended to "The Importance of Being Earnest," his 1895 comedy of British manners and society, helpfully contextualizes the play for contemporary theater. It is a trivial comedy for serious theaters. Full of Wilde's impossibly dry wit and biting snark, the play is perhaps best conceived as a showpiece for theater artists to give their comedic chops a workout.

    Certainly there is wry social commentary and satire of the idle rich wrapped in the layers of "Earnest," but on the whole it is a play committed to cheeky laughs. By this measure,  production under the direction of Michael Cumpsty does a dutiful job of prancing through Wilde's comedy with all the requisite humor offered at the expense of Victorian society's upper-crust pretensions.

    Wilde focuses his play on two wealthy bachelors, Algernon (Sam Lilja) and John (Federico Rodriguez), neither of whom bear the moniker that the play's title suggests is so vital. This is problematic because the objects of each man's affections, Gwendolen (Rosa Gilmore) and Cecily (Liesel Allen Yeager) have both determined that their love will only go to a man named Earnest.

    Naturally, John and Algernon lie. Both independently claim the treasured appellation in the process of wooing their loves, ruses that predictably go awry, throwing the proceedings into disarray before everything gets sorted out in a deus ex machina conclusion.

    Throughout, Wilde is of course winking to his audience with the preponderance of lies that fill a plot of a play purportedly about earnestness. This sort of sly double entendre is one of the playwright's most notable trademarks. Having mingled among British socialites, he recognized the obvious forgeries of identity lying at the core of high class public life, and made it a calling card of his art to replicate that pretense with a knowing nod.

    Cumpsty's "Earnest" does a fine job with a serviceable cast of giving us a glimpse into Wilde's world. The dialogue comes quick and trippingly, and nobody in the cast takes their character over seriously. There is indeed room for a bit more buy-in from the performers--at times the production seems more like a recital or staged reading that expects the classic script to stand on its own rather than a fully realized performance--but Wilde did always prefer artifice to reality, after all.

    Randy Danson offers a standout performance as Lady Bracknell, the character most wholeheartedly committed to the snooty structures of London society. Danson's Lady Bracknell is unflappable as Wilde's chief defender of the old guard, and in this production she shines as the fullest, most vibrant character.

    Elsewhere throughout the show, Cumpsty and cast seem comfortable residing in the triviality signaled by Wilde's subtitle, rendering the production much like the cucumber sandwiches consumed in the opening scene: simple, tasty, and not overly memorable.

    THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

    Two River Theater Company

    21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank

    Tickets: available online (http://www.tworivertheater.org/). Running through Dec. 3.

    Patrick Maley may be reached at patrickjmaley@gmail.com. Find him on Twitter and Instagram @PatrickJMaley. Find NJ.com/Entertainment on Facebook.


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    Thursday would have been the 90th time Asbury Park and Neptune high schools met in the annual Thanksgiving Day game.

    ASBURY PARK -- Police officials in Asbury Park and Neptune Township say they were not involved in the decision to postpone a decades-old rivalry Thanksgiving Day high school football game. 

    The annual Asbury Park and Neptune high schools Thanksgiving Day football game was scheduled to be played at 10:30 a.m. at Butch Bruno Stadium in Asbury Park.

    Citing a threat, Asbury Park Superintendent Lamont Repollet released a statement on Tuesday that the game would be rescheduled.

    "We received a credible, criminal threat that there were individuals who wanted to come in and cause harm to people attending the game," Repollet told NJ Advance Media. "We understand this game has a long-standing tradition and is important to both communities. Unfortunately, there are individuals looking to destroy the spirit of Thanksgiving."

    The decision was made after a meeting was held Tuesday afternoon with school officials. Police officials in both towns said they were not present at the meeting.

    Asbury Park police Sgt. Michael Casey said an "unconfirmed threat of violence" is under investigation. He declined to comment further.  

    However, he said police did not advise school officials to cancel the game.

    "Word is going around that law enforcement made this determination. That is not accurate. It was the school that decided," Casey said.

    Capt. Michael McGhee of the Neptune Township Police Department echoed that sentiment.

    "We had no input on the cancellation," he said. "I still don't even know what that threat is. It's really not an issue to us. These things come through all the time. We had zero input on this decision."

    Repollet, the superintendent, said the two districts are trying to find a "mutually agreed upon date when the game can be played." 

    "Our goal is to play the game and that's why we said it is postponed and not canceled," he said.

    No date has been scheduled as of Wednesday morning. The high school football season comes to an end with the sectional finals Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

    Thursday would have been the 90th time the rivalry met. Neptune won last year's matchup by one point, 21-20. Neptune leads the Thanksgiving series 48-37-4.

    This year, Neptune is 0-9 and Asbury Park is 5-4. 

    NJ Advance Media reporter Joe Zedalis contributed to this report. 

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


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    Police say the Lakewood man was doing 78 mph in a 50 mph speed zone. The driver says he had good reason to be speeding Watch video

    HOWELL -- The Howell Township Police Department is defending an officer who gave a speeding ticket to a Lakewood man who was driving 78 mph in a 50 mph zone as he took his pregnant wife to the hospital earlier this month.

    Police issued a statement and a shared a portion of the officer's body camera footage of the stop, after The Lakewood Scoop, published a story featuring a first-person account from the anonymous driver criticizing the stop.

    The headline on that story read, "SHOCKING: Howell police officer tickets Lakewood driver for speeding minutes before his child is born".

    But police contend there's more to the story, and that an internal review of video evidence shows the officer responded properly.

    On Nov. 14 at 11:57 p.m., a Howell police officer stopped a 2010 Toyota Sienna on Squankum Road (Route 547) between Maxim and Old Tavern roads for doing 78 mph in a 50 mph speed zone, Howell police said in a statement.

    As the officer approaches the vehicle, the driver tells the officer that his wife is in "advanced labor," according to police and the body camera video.

    The officer responds by asking the driver for his license, registration and insurance. After receiving the documents, the officer tells the driver he was doing "almost 80 mph."

    The driver then explains how he and his wife were in the doctor's office that morning and the "doctor just called" and told them to go to the hospital.

    "Alright, sit tight for a few minutes," the officer can be heard saying in the video.

    The officer returns to his patrol vehicle, fills out the ticket and then walks back to the car. As the officer approaches the vehicle, the driver can be seen with his head out of the vehicle and says something that is inaudible.

    According to the man's account published by The Lakewood Scoop, his wife "reached a critical point" and he was trying to signal that to the officer.

    The officer asks the couple if they'd like an ambulance and the couple responds by asking for a police escort instead.

    "No, we don't do that," the officer said. "That's what ambulances are for. That's why you're not supposed to be driving that fast."

    The officer asks again if the couple wants an ambulance to come to the vehicle, and the man's wife can be heard responding, but it's unclear from the body camera footage what she says.

    The officer then hands the ticket to the man and asks him again if he'd like an ambulance.

    "[Inaudible] ... We see there's something going on. She's not pushing yet, but she just broke her water," the driver says.  

    The man's published account said the time it took from when the officer first approached his car until he handed him the ticket was "close to 15 minutes."

    Police contend the entire stop from start to finish lasted just over 9 minutes.

    The man said the baby was born 20 minutes after the officer let them go.  

    The photo of the bracelet published by The Lakewood Scoop shows a date of Nov. 15 with the time being 12:35 a.m. However, it's unclear from the photo, which redacts information, if that's the time the baby was born or the time the woman was admitted to the hospital. 

    "The interaction during the stop was polite and respectful. Both the operator of the vehicle, his pregnant wife and the officer were calm, respectful and courteous to one another," police said in a statement. "We certainly understand how stressful the moments leading up to birth can be, especially on a woman, and we commend them for their respectful demeanor under the circumstances. However, the officer acted appropriately and any suggestion that the officer's conduct was improper, unprofessional or inhumane simply contradicts the video evidence."

    It continues: "We are happy to hear the occupants arrived safely at the hospital and had a successful delivery. We wish them the best."

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

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    Neptune is forfeiting, according to school officials

    ASBURY PARK -- A decades-old rivalry Thanksgiving Day football game between Asbury Park and Neptune high schools that was postponed on Tuesday will not be rescheduled and will end in a forfeit by Neptune. 

    The game was initially postponed after school officials said they "received a credible, criminal threat that there were individuals who wanted to come in and cause harm to people attending the game."

    The Superintendent of Schools in Asbury Park, Lamont Repollet, said the two schools were working together to find a mutually agreeable date to play the game.

    The 90th meeting between the two teams was scheduled to be played at 10:30 a.m. at Butch Burno Stadium in Asbury Park. 

    However, a revised statement released shortly before 2 p.m. on Wednesday by Repollet said the two schools couldn't come to an agreement on a date to play the game. 

    "Despite many efforts to reschedule the Asbury Park-Neptune Thanksgiving Day football game, we were unable to reach a mutually agreeable date that would have allowed the game to be played," the statement said. "As a result, Neptune has decided to forfeit. Although I know players, alumni and fans are disappointed, be assured that we will work together with the Neptune Township School District to ensure the safety of all involved in the future and to allow this longstanding Shore tradition to continue."

    A message to Neptune Superintendent Tami Crader was not immediately returned. 

    Police and school officials have not elaborated on the nature of the threat. 

    Asbury Park police Sgt. Michael Casey confirmed police are investigating an "unconfirmed threat" but said he could not comment further. 

    Capt. Michael McGhee of the Neptune Police Department said he had no knowledge of a threat. 

    "We had no input on the cancellation," he said earlier Wednesday. "I still don't even know what that threat is. It's really not an issue to us. These things come through all the time. We had zero input on this decision."

    Casey also said the Asbury Park Police Department did not advise the school district to cancel the game. 

    Neptune High School, which is winless this year, led the rivalry 48-37-4. Asbury Park is 5-4 this year. 

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


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    Harry Wolfmuller agreed to make restitution

    NEWARK -- A Belmar man who served as the chief financial officer for an orthopedic care provider pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud for passing off lottery ticket purchases and other gambling as legitimate business expenses, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

    Harry Wolfmuller, 70, cashed checks from business accounts for the unnamed company, which has offices in Monmouth and Ocean counties, between 2007 and 2015. As chief financial officer Wolfmuller controlled the accounts.

    All told, he spent about $1.175 million of the company's money on unapproved personal expenses that also included restaurant meals and golf outings.

    Wolfmuller, who has agreed to pay restitution equal to the company's loss, faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced in March.

    Paul Milo may be reached at pmilo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter@PaulMilo2. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Getting your shop on has never been a problem in the Garden State.

    When I write about vintage photographs, I often note how much things change. In the case of shops and stores in New Jersey, I think that as much as things have changed, they have stayed the same.

    Naturally, before malls entered the retail landscape, shopping was a store-to-store exercise; folks visited specialty retailers for all their needs. For several years now, we have seen a resurgence in small specialty shops. In 2010, in fact, American Express launched Small Business Saturday. The idea is to get consumers through the doors of local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

    Shopping at a local merchant's store is a nice alternative to searching for a parking space in a mall on Black Friday, I'd say.

    And, although it can't be denied that there are store vacancies in malls these days, many folks still consider the mall the "go to place" for their retail needs. The energy of the mall, with restaurants and rides for children, is unique.

    Vineland Times Journal August, 1961.jpgReferred to with love as 'Garbage Mills' by everyone in Cumberland County. 

    We also have the freestanding stores such as Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, Target and Kohls to purchase the things we need in our lives. But, decades ago, we had stores such as Rickel, Grants and Two Guys. The names of the stores have changed, true, and most people are using payment methods other than cash, but it's still quite similar.

    Shopping via computer has a permanent place in retail, that's for sure. But, I would submit that folks will never completely surrender the shopping experience for the online one.

    And, as a nice little bit of trivia, here's what history.com has to say about the origin of the Black Friday tradition:

    "Back in the 1950s, police in Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year.

    "Not only would Philly cops not be able to take the day off, but they would have to work extra-long shifts dealing with the additional crowds and traffic."

    Enjoy this collection of shops, stores and malls in New Jersey. And if you don't see your favorite, here are links to other galleries on the same topic.

    Vintage photos of shops and stores in N.J.

    Vintage photos of discount and department stores in N.J.

    More Vintage photos of shops and stores in N.J.

    Vintage photos of stores, shops and malls in New Jersey

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


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