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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    Tyrice Berry was convicted of two counts attempted murder and weapons offenses

    A 24-year-old Neptune City man was sentenced to 27 years in state prison for shooting and wounding two people outside a bar in Asbury Park in 2012.

    Tyrice L. Berry received a 24-year sentence for two counts of attempted murder and a three-year sentence for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. 

    Berry also received an eight-year concurrent term for his conviction on weapons offenses.

    A jury found Berry guilty in October of two counts of attempted murder for shooting two men sitting in a parked car outside the since-closed Cameo Bar on Main Street in Asbury Park on Oct. 19, 2012. Another man who authorities say took part in the shooting has never been publicly identified. 

    The 30-year-old and the 28-year-old victims survived their injuries. 

    MONMOUTH COUNTY Disgraced ex-cop to spend 10 years in prison for tipping off gangs

    Berry will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. 

    At his sentencing, Berry told the court he is innocent, according to

    "I'm going to jail for a crime I did not commit," he said in a video posted by "The prosecutor didn't have enough evidence so she made enough evidence. To say I had a fair trial is wrong. I didn't have a fair trial and my life was taken from me."

    Before being charged in the shooting, Berry was one of 31 people arrested in "Operation Dead End," a crackdown on drugs and gang activity in the Asbury Park area. He received a seven-year sentence earlier this month following his conviction on a racketeering charge. 

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



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    What happened on the boys hoops front in the last week?

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    Which divisions in the state are loaded with the best teams.

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    The first Shore Conference Individual Wrestling Tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at Red Bank Regional. Check out the Friday night results and Saturday morning pairings.

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    'Now I look at all men, like "You're a #MeToo,"' Williams said on her show Thursday Watch video

    Wendy Williams successfully upheld her reputation for espousing controversial viewpoints when she made a comment about the #MeToo movement on her show Thursday. 

    "I'm sick of this #MeToo movement," Williams said between celebrity-focused "Hot Topics" segments on "The Wendy Williams Show." (See the 15:30 mark in the video above.)

    "I love that people are speaking up for the first time and coming out and everything, but now I look at all men, like 'You're a #MeToo,'" she said. "All of 'em. All of 'em. Which is not fair." 

    With that, she told the audience that those attending the Grammys on Sunday are being asked to wear white roses to show support for victims of sexual assault and misconduct

    The #MeToo movement, which spreads awareness about sexual harassment, assault and abuse, was founded by activist Tarana Burke in 2007 but gained momentum on Twitter in the fall of 2017, after the publication of stories that chronicled Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's alleged long history of sexual predation. Actress Alyssa Milano and other celebrities helped stoke the flames of the movement by sharing the hashtag, inspiring people who aren't public figures to do the same and share their stories of sexual harassment and assault. 

    Williams, 53, who grew up in Ocean Township and lives in Livingston, made her comments about #MeToo some time after a segment about singer R. Kelly, who for years has faced allegations of sexual misconduct, including allegations that he had sexual relationships with underage girls and has held women against their will in a cult. Williams had been talking about #MuteRKelly, a movement started by two Atlanta women to get Kelly's shows canceled.

    The talk show host derided the effort as "10 years too late." She also referenced the late singer Aaliyah, who married Kelly when she was 15 and he was at least 27 (she lied and said she was 18), and said that allegations of Kelly having sex with underage girls are not considered part of #MeToo. Williams said she blames parents of teens for their alleged encounters with Kelly. 

    Burke, originator of the movement, was one of the many who criticized Williams for her comments on social media. 

    "I heard what Wendy said yesterday and was disgusted by it," she tweeted, railing against Williams in a series of tweets. "This is why Black women/girls are hesitant about coming forward with their #metoo stories bc of Black women like @WendyWilliams who blame the victim. You really think a 13 y.o. girl is to BLAME for sex w/ a 30+ y.o. man??"

    "I tried to hold my tongue, but I can't," Burke continued. "Yes, Wendy said he (Kelly) was sick but pivoted to blaming the parents. FOCUS - HE IS THE PREDATOR - period. How dare you get on National TV and say his victims can't say #metoo you should be ashamed @WendyWilliams."

    In October, Williams fainted on live TV after she became overheated in her Halloween costume. The talk show host was found to have been suffering from dehydration


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



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    Mario Figueroa, 44, held a box cutter to a man's neck and forced him to the ground.

    An Asbury Park man with a lengthy criminal record was sentenced Friday to 65 years in state prison for armed robbery and tampering with two witnesses, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said. 

    Mario Figueroa, 44, was convicted of weapons offenses, aggravated assault, witness retaliation and witness tampering after a two-week trial in December before Judge Vincent N. Falcetano, Jr.

    Figueroa was ejected from the two-week trial by Falcetano because of several disruptive outbursts, prosecutors said in a statement.   

    Figueroa held a box cutter to a man's neck and forced him to the ground, then stole his wallet at Main Street and Sewall Avenue in Asbury Park on Oct. 21, 2014. A patrolling detective from the police department's Street Crimes Unit spotted him running from the scene, and he was arrested a short time later.

    While in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution awaiting trial, Figueroa encountered a witness who gave a statement to police about the robbery. He assaulted the man, causing permanent eye damage. He also sent dozens of threatening letters to another witness, authorities said, in an attempt to interfere with that witness' testimony and cooperation with the case.

    Because of his prior criminal record, Figueroa was eligible for an extended term. He was sentenced to 30 years on the armed robbery charge, of which he must serve 85 percent before he is parole eligible; and 20 years and 15 years for two witness tampering charges. Each of the terms must be served consecutively.

    Allison Pries may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @AllisonPries. Find on Facebook



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    Around 200 people braved chilly water temperatures to run into the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday.

    Although the water was still frigid, roughly 200 participants in the Rotary Polar Plunge in Asbury Park got lucky with unseasonably warm weather Saturday.

    Temperatures were in the mid 50s as people ran into the Atlantic Ocean as a fun way to raise money for Rotary Eye Rescue, an organization that provides cornea transplants to people who otherwise could not afford the operation. 

    Other proceeds of the 10th annual event put on by the Rotary Club of Asbury Park and Holiday Express will go to Rotary benefactors and to Holiday Express seasonal outreach efforts. 

    Aristide Economopoulos can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter at @AristideNJAM and Instagram at @aeconomopoulos  Find on Facebook

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    She veered across the grass median and into the express lanes, where she hit a guardrail, police said.

    A woman was killed Saturday morning in a crash on the Garden State Parkway, police said.

    New Jersey State Police Trooper Alejandro Goez said Lindsey Aparicio, 33, of Bound Brook, was traveling southbound on the highway near mile marker 110.9 when she crashed at 7:16 a.m.

    Aparicio, who was driving a 2001 Ford F150, was in the local lanes when she veered off the road, across the grass median and into the express lanes, Goez said.

    "The pickup overturned, continued across the express lane and struck a guardrail," he said.

    Aparicio was ejected from the truck, he added.

    The accident investigation blocked the southbound express lanes for about an hour.

    Local authorities were warning that black ice that formed overnight was causing several crashes in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. 


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    The New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry includes dozens of offenders listed as "non-compliant."

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    Without these programs, each year thousands of teen get a criminal record for non-serious offenses.

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    The final NJSIAA wrestling power points were released Tuesday with the sectionals being seeded Tuesday in Robbinsville.

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    The Irish-Catholic fraternal organization held its annual event on the Jersey Shore. Watch video

    What's a little bit of rain when you plunge into the Atlantic Ocean in January?

    Hundreds enjoyed air temperatures in the high forties and water that was 39 degrees on Sunday in Sea Bright for the Ancient Order of Hibernians' annual Polar Plunge, as a light drizzle fell on plungers and the crowd.

    "We hope to raise $140,000 this year for catholic education with all the money going to the schools," said member Jim Shaw.

    Expo preview

    Most did not last long in the water and many let out quite a squeal from the cold water.

    Benefits go to the schools that participated. 

    Ed Murray may be reached at Follow Ed on Twitter at @EdMurrayphoto. Find NJ.COM on Facebook.

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    Pets throughout New Jersey patiently await someone to bring them home from rescues and shelters.

    It hasn't been declared an official national holiday yet, but 'Super Sunday' sure tries to be one. And as with any holiday -- and the celebrations that go along with a holiday - the festivities and pets may not necessarily mix.

    Here are some reminders to help keep your pet from becoming a medical emergency:

    --It's not unusual for emergency veterinarians to treat dogs for a chicken or rib bone they have swallowed. Ribs and wings are popular football foods; dogs geting a hold of some can lead to major problems. Make sure to keep them and finished plates where pets can't reach them.

    --Dogs are naturally going to want to participate in the vittles at a gathering and some folks give them as treats, but be aware of things a pet can't eat. Foods that can sicken dogs include: avocados, apple seeds, caffeinated beverages or alcohol, onions, potatoes, grapes, tomatoes and chocolate.

    --Comings and goings are a natural part of parties, whether its guests arriving or perhaps people stepping outside for a smoke. Pets that live indoors may be excited by all the company ... and bolt out an open door. If your pet isn't supposed to go out, make sure you and your guests don't leave doors open for very long.

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    The number of lanes won't change but drivers who want to use exits 125 or 127 should be in the local lanes

    Motorists who travel the northbound Garden State Parkway in the area of the Driscoll Bridge were met Monday morning by a new traffic pattern for an eight-month construction project.

    Despite signs that have been warning of the shifting lanes for weeks, traffic backed up for more than 5 miles in the local lanes during the morning rush hour, according to, the state's traffic website. 

    The shift is necessary because work to replace the bridges over Chevalier Avenue in Sayreville is entering the next phase, according to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. 

    While the number of lanes won't change north of where the local and express lanes merge, four lanes will be directed to the left and three will go to the right.

    The biggest Turnpike and Parkway projects this year

    Drivers who want to access exits 125 or 127 should stay to the right of the work zone, officials say. Those motorists are advised to use the local rather than the express lanes to avoid having to cut across several lanes of traffic. 

    Over the weekend, workers moved the construction barrier, changed signs and painted new stripes on the Parkway. 

    Earlier Monday, northbound delays backed up to exit 120 in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge and exit 125 due to volume and the revised traffic pattern, according to 

    The new southbound exit 125 opened in July. The project to replace the Chevalier Avenue bridges over the Parkway is slated to wrap up in 2019.

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



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    The 2012 storm had destroyed his home. It was again destroyed over the weekend.

    A New Jersey man who was previously left homeless by Superstorm Sandy has lost his Highlands home again due to a fire.

    Highlands borough resident Tony Caizza says it took everything he had to repair his home after the 2012 storm, only for it to be destroyed in the Saturday afternoon fire. The Asbury Park Press reports friends and neighbors at the scene say they were making arraignments to put Caizza up in a hotel.

    The 62-year-old Caizza says he was at his job at a local restaurant when he got the call about the fire, saying everything he owned was in that house.

    Highlands Fire Chief Michael Armstrong says officials are investigating. Armstrong says Caizza's cats and girlfriend were inside at the time of the fire, but all survived.


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    See which active players have joined the 100 goal, assist, and point clubs.

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    Freehold's renowned Federici's Family Restaurant plans to reopen its dining rooms Monday late afternoon, less than a week after a fire damaged the nearly century-old establishment. Watch video

    Freehold's renowned Federici's Family Restaurant plans to reopen its dining rooms Monday late afternoon, less than a week after a fire damaged the nearly century-old establishment.

    The restaurant served take-out orders this past weekend, but this will be the first time after last week's fire that patrons will get to sit down and dine at the community mainstay.

    Two dining rooms at the restaurant will open at 4 p.m. on Monday, said Mike Federici, third-generation owner of the business.

    The bar, however, will likely remain closed for the next couple months for repairs, Federici said.

    Famed pizzeria Federici's, damaged by fire, eyes quick reopeningDamage from the fire at the Federici's Family Restaurant, in Freehold, on Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. 

    Despite the repairs still needed -- including holes in the ceiling that still need to be patched -- Federici said he remains grateful the damage wasn't worse.

    "I feel very lucky, and very blessed," he said.

    Federici, 53, said he has received immense support from the community.

    "Nothing but great support from family, friends and basically the (entire) community," he said.

    Firefighters and police were called to the restaurant and the adjoining eatery, the Court Jester, on East Main Street shortly before 4 p.m. this past Wednesday after patrons and staff reported smoke inside both businesses.

    The quick response by firefighters allowed the flames to be quickly extinguished, preventing potentially devastating damage.

    Federici has repeatedly said that the damage could have been much worse if not for firefighters' prompt response.

    Spencer Kent may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the Find on Facebook.

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


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    Average scores among the state's public high schools ranged from a low of 795 to a high of 1,502

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    According to its Trulia listing, the taxes are estimated at about $46,489.

    In this week's "On the market" property, we feature a home in Marlboro with 10,000 square feet of living space.

    The home is listed for $1,990,000. According to its Trulia listing, the taxes are estimated at about $46,489.

    The home features five bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one partial bath.

    The median sale price for homes in the area is $550,000.

    Spencer Kent may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the Find on Facebook.

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

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    Who are the new teams?

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