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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    Police are asking the public for help to identify the man, who remains hospitalized in critical condition

    Police are seeking help to identify a pedestrian who was critically injured after being hit by a car in Belmar on Sunday night, authorities said. 

    The man was struck as he crossed Main Street at 15th Avenue around 7:30 p.m., the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said. 

    The 2002 Mercedes Benz 320 wagon was driven by a Point Pleasant man, who was the only one in the car and remained at the scene.

    Belmar police and the county prosecutor's office are investigating. 

    The injured man remains in critical condition at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Township.

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



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    Who shined in the past week on the basketball court?

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    New Jersey Assemblyman Ronald Dancer is sponsoring a measure that would allow churches, synagogues and mosques to select what he calls a "qualified person" to bring a concealed handgun into services.

    A Republican assemblyman believes you'll feel safer if the worshiper in the next pew is carrying a concealed weapon.

    Ronald Dancer is sponsoring a measure that would allow churches, synagogues and mosques to select what he calls a "qualified person" to bring a concealed handgun into services.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    The lawmaker, whose district covers parts of Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties, points out, correctly, that places of worship are a terrorist target.

    But he's way off base in his proposed solution.

    Lawmaker says someone with a gun should protect N.J. churches

    Dancer introduced his bill following two mass shootings at U.S. churches in the past three years: the killing of 26 people by a gunman at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last November, and the slaughter of nine congregants at a black church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.

    State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) had a classic response to the misguided proposal: "Oh my god, you're kidding me."

    With all due respect to the NRA's Wayne "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" LaPierre, introducing guns into our state's (or any state's) sacred places does not decrease the threat of bloodshed. It multiplies it.

    Evidence is growing that adding more firepower to an active shooting scene, with all its attendant confusion and mass hysteria, only increases the odds of innocent people being killed in a hail of bullets.

    In the Texas tragedy, for example, more than 40 people were shot before an armed neighbor intervened.

    The good news is that Assembly Bill 1695 is not likely to go very far in a Legislature controlled by Democrats. And even if it did buck the odds and pass, Gov. Phil Murphy is certainly not inclined to sign the measure after calling for stricter gun safety laws in the state.

    The truth is, New Jersey has much to be proud of when it comes to standing up to the all-powerful gun lobby, harking back to the administration of Jim Florio in the early 1990s.

    More recently, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th District) led our congressional delegation in a fierce campaign against an NRA-sponsored effort to expand an individual's rights to carry a concealed weapon across state lines.

    Dancer's bill was referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee in early January. With any luck, it will die a quiet death there.

    Bookmark Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find Opinion on Facebook.


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    Who is standing out midway through the season?

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    He faces up to five years in state prison.

    A Long Branch school janitor, who was arrested in 2016 as part of a statewide crackdown on the distribution of child pornography, pleaded guilty Tuesday.

    The investigation, dubbed "Operation Statewide," netted arrests of 40 men from each of New Jersey's 21 counties.

    Randy Hull.pngRandy Hull

    Randy Hull, 44, of South Toms River, pleaded guilty to second-degree distribution of child pornography before Judge James Blaney in Superior Court in Ocean County. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in state prison when he is sentenced on March 23.

    Hull was suspended by the district following his arrest. As part of the plea deal, he will forfeit his job as a school janitor. 

    The six-month investigation tracked images of sexual exploitation of minors circulating on internet file-sharing networks to individual IP addresses, which led police to home addresses.

    Many of the seized computers had more than 1,000 pornographic images of children stowed on their hard drives, authorities said. One allegedly held 76,000 files.

    In another case, authorities claim, one of the men was in the process of downloading child pornography as police came knocking at his door.

    review of the sting a year after it occurred found that 25 pleaded guilty to child pornography charges and one entered into a pre-trial intervention program. Just six were sentenced to state prison, for terms ranging from two to five years, one of whom is already out on parole. Thirteen were sentenced to probation, for terms ranging from three to five years.

    Hull's attorney, Bradley Billhimer, did not immediately return a request for comment. 

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

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    Who had the best week on the NJ girls indoor track scene? Let your voice be heard!

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    A look at who sits atop the statistical charts around the state through all games on Jan. 30.

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    New Jersey was the site of the first true American football game of any kind, anywhere

    In 2014, when Super Bowl XLVIII was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, the weather could have been an issue. After all, the stadium has no roof and temperatures in New Jersey can be brutal in February. But, the weather was a non-issue; it was a mild 49 degrees in East Rutherford on that Sunday. 

    According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame (, that wasn't the lowest game-time temperature for an outdoor Super Bowl; Super Bowl XLVI - the Giants played in that one - was held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and started at a temperature of 44 degrees. And Super Bowl VI at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans kicked off in balmy 39 degrees.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    The Super Bowl held in New Jersey added to the state's rich tradition in the sport. Of course, football, began in New Jersey with Rutgers and Princeton in 1869; often referred to as "The Birthplace of College Football," the Rutgers-Princeton game in New Brunswick is seen by the Professional Football Researchers Association as the first true American football game of any kind, anywhere.

    New Jersey high school football has an equally lengthy tradition. The Lawrenceville School began an annual tradition of playing the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., in 1887; Vineland and Millville high schools began their Thanksgiving Day game tradition in 1893.

    And, notwithstanding their names, New Jersey has been home to two professional football teams since the 1970s.

    Here's a gallery of vintage football teams, players and venues from all around New Jersey. And here are links to other galleries you might enjoy.

    Vintage photos of fun and games in N.J.

    Vintage photos of amusement parks, circuses and fairs in N.J.

    Vintage photos of N.J. Americana

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

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    The group breaks into cars in public parking lots to steal purses containing checks or credit cards, according to Toms River police

    A wig-wearing woman who Toms River police say smashed car windows to steal purses and then tried to cash stolen checks may be part of a group of criminals called the Felony Lane Gang.

    The crime ring break into cars in public parking lots and take visible purses, authorities said. They then use accomplices to make purchases with stolen credit cards and try to commit bank fraud with checks.

    Wearing a blonde wig, the woman sought by police tried to cash checks at two Manasquan Bank branches in Howell as well as at banks in Wall, officials said.

    Cops say hooded bandit and getaway driver charged in 6 bank robberies

    Earlier this month, the woman was wearing a dark-colored wig and driving a different vehicle when she allegedly smashed windows and stole purses from cars at Riverwood Park, according to Toms River police. 

    She then tried to cash the checks at Ocean First Banks in Hammonton, Little Egg Harbor and the Mays Landing section of Hamilton. In those instances, she was driving a grey Nissan mini-van, police said. 

    A Toms River police spokesman said it's possible the group is involved with the so-called Felony Lane Gang of nationwide transient thieves, but that's not been confirmed. 

    There have been a recent string of car burglaries in Mercer and Burlington counties as well. 

    Toms River police advise people to keep purses and valuables with them and not visible within the car. Checkbooks or password to ATM cards shouldn't be kept in purses, wallets, or cars. Any valuables left in vehicles should be locked in the trunk, officials say. 

    Anyone with information is asked to call  Det. Mark Bajada at 732-349-0150 ext. 1241 or email him at

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


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    Three major teams fell in surprising upsets this week, which caused a strong shakeup in February's first edition of the Top 20.

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    With about five weeks left in the wrestling season, hands out some mid-season awards.

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    Dominque Moore faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced in March

    An Asbury Park man admitted Wednesday to killing a fellow city resident following an altercation at a pizzeria in 2013.

    Dominique Moore, 25, was arrested and charged last March, four years after Daniel Graves, 23, was gunned down near the intersection of Bangs and DeWitt avenues on Jan. 10, 2013.

    Moore pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter and faces up to 15 years in state prison when he is sentenced on March 22.

    An investigation found that Graves left the pizzeria and was followed by a small group, according to authorities. Authorities said Graves was shot multiple times. 

    Moore admitted to having a 9mm handgun and fatally shooting Graves, a statement from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said.

    A break in the case, authorities said, came two years after the incident, when a witness gave a statement to police saying he saw who fired the gun.

    Moore's attorney, Mark Bailey, said he plans to argue for 10 years at sentencing. 

    "Based on the totality of everything, I think the judge will do the right thing," he said.  

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

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    See which former Jersey stars are lighting up the floor in college basketball.

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    See which former Jersey stars are lighting up the floor in college basketball.

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    Previews and picks for the first weekend of the 2018 indoor track sectional championships

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    Law enforcement across the state will be doing additional patrols

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    The 43-year-old Arizona woman fled from police at a PNC Bank but was arrested minutes later

    The wig-wearing woman who tried to cash stolen checks at banks up and down the Jersey Shore was arrested Thursday afternoon with the help of alert employees at a bank in Asbury Park, police said. 

    Workers at the PNC Bank on Sunset Avenue called police when they saw a woman who resembled the one wanted for bank fraud trying to make a withdrawal at the drive-in window with fake identification and stolen debit cards, police said.

    The woman sped off in a silver Nissan sedan when police arrived and managed to elude a responding officer who tried to pursue her, according to authorities.

    3 banks and a missing $500 check. Where did this customer's money go?

    Minutes later at 4:22 p.m, police received another call -- this one about a woman trespassing in a parking lot on the 600 block of Heck Street. Before officers arrived, a witness saw a woman removing a license plate from a car and then running away.

    The car matched the one seen at the bank and police sent multiple units before finding Brooke B. Slade, 43, of Arizona on the 500 block of Asbury Avenue.

    Slade was charged with eluding, receiving stolen property, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, trespassing and multiple motor vehicle violations.

    Those violations include reckless driving, driving without a license and fictitious plates. 

    Slade is also suspected of committing bank fraud in Wall and Toms River. 

    On Thursday, Toms River police said they were looking for a woman who tried to cash checks at Ocean First Banks in Hammonton, Little Egg Harbor and the Mays Landing section of Hamilton as as well as two Manasquan Bank branches in Howell.

    Earlier in January, a woman smashed windows and stole purses from cars at Riverwood Park in Toms River. 

    On Thursday, Wall police also said that a woman burglarized vehicles in fitness center parking lot. 

    wig-womanjpg-c7b5accd8c7a16be.jpgA woman wearing a wig is suspected of being part of a criminal ring that breaks into cars to steal purses containing checks and credit cards, according to Toms River police. () She was arrested Thursday in Asbury Park.  

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


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    Key info and a prediction for every sectional bracket

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    Which players are contenders for the state's top honor?

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    One person on the train suffered minor injuries.

    An NJ Transit train struck a car that was left unoccupied after getting stuck on train tracks in Long Branch Thursday evening, officials said.

    The car was struck shortly after 6:30 p.m. at the crossing near Cedar Avenue, according to NJ Transit.

    One person aboard the train, which was carrying 43 people, suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, officials said. The person was taken to a local hospital.

    Officials did not have information on the driver of the car, and why the car was left unoccupied on the tracks.

    NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line about 45 minutes delays due to the crash.

    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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