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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    Two men who invaded a home late Sunday evening and did not take anything are now facing multiple charges, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

    Two men face multiple charges after a home invasion robbery in Aberdeen on Sunday evening involving a report of shots fired authorities said.

    Aberdeen police responded to a call of shots fired on the 800 block of Cedar Place and later determined the incident was a home invasion, police said. One minor injury was treated on scene, police said. 

    After patrolling the area, police arrested Christopher Allen, 22, of Cliffwood Beach and Gregory Greenidge-Shepherd, 27, of Perth Amboy nearby, authorities said. 

    The Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said one of the suspects knew someone at the home, but the relationship was unclear.

    Allen and Greenidge-Shepherd face multiple charges including first degree armed robbery and unlawful possession of a firearm.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Lou Nanna of the Aberdeen Township Police Department at 732-583-4200  x 212 or Detective Adam Hess of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, at 732-431-7160 ext. 2939.

    Alexis Johnson may be reached at ajohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexisjreports. Find her on Facebook.

     

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    Find out which college has the most NJ alums on its roster.


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    When he announced the audit on Jan 23, Gov. Phil Murphy hinted he would expand it in myriad ways, including loosening the monthly two-ounce limit on per-patient sales.

    New Jersey would drop the two-ounce monthly limit on medical marijuana sales under legislation requested by parents who said the restriction interfered with their attempt to reduce their 7-year-old son's pain before he died of cancer last month.

    Mike and Janet Honig of Howell bought dried cannabis and made their own oil for their son Jake, nicknamed "The Tank." But they said the two-ounce limit set by state law and regulation, didn't get them through the month.

    "Although medical marijuana proved to be an effective treatment for Jake, his parents noted the difficulties they encountered with the cost, quantity limits, and issues related to producing their own cannabis oil to administer to Jake," said Assemblywoman Joann Downey, D-Monmouth.  

    "In honor of Jake, who passed away in January, this bill seeks to remove certain restrictions on access to medical marijuana in order to reduce the suffering experienced by, and improve the quality of life of, New Jersey patients, like Jake, seeking treatment for a life-threatening medical condition."

    Phil Murphy moves to expand access to medical marijuana in New Jersey

    Downey's bill would also repeal the rule imposed by Gov. Chris Christie that limited the sale of edible products to patients under age 18.

    "There are many patients like Jake and his family in New Jersey who deserve to make their own choices on whether to make medical marijuana a part of their medicinal regimen. They must also have access to other types of products, not just in capsule form," Downey said.

    Jake was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma in 2012, a cancer rarely found in the brain. He underwent dozens of rounds of chemotherapy, proton radiation and surgeries at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

    Downey's bill is likely to be embraced by Gov. Phil Murphy.

    The Murphy administration is nearly halfway through a 60-day audit of the medicinal marijuana program. When he announced the audit on Jan. 23, Murphy hinted he would expand it in myriad ways, including loosening the monthly two-ounce limit on per-patient sales.

    Jake's parents and sister attended the announcement, and spoke about how frustrating it was to run out of cannabis mid-month.

    Murphy also said he would consider allowing home delivery and expanding the number of licensed dispensaries to improve patient access, as well as allowing existing dispensary owners to open satelite retail shops.

    Sen. Joseph Vitale D-Middlesex, chairman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, said he is also drafting legislation to improve the medicinial marijuana program.

    Ideas include allowing dispensaries to shed their nonprofit status, in order to allow the owners to deduct expenses and seek more competitive lending rates.

    "Right now, they are paying loan-shark rates," Vitale told NJ Advance Media.

    Vitale said he also wants to expand the number of licensed dispensaries to improve patient access. Only five serve the entire state, including two located in Middlesex County. The program serves roughly 16,000 patients, and many have complained they drive an hour or more to buy their medicine.

    "We want to encourage competition for quality and cost, but we don't want to create an environment where there are too many" dispensaries, Vitale said. 

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


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    We don't always assign proper value to some of the relationships in our lives.

    I had a conversation with an old high school friend recently and we bemoaned the fact that so many of us spent SO much time and effort on finding a boyfriend or girlfriend back in the day that we almost certainly missed out on some truly wonderful friendships.

    de909e6e73d1bd03aea508f139490ef0--vintage-artwork-vintage-illustrations.jpg"Mom! I don't have enough for the whole class!" Well, yeah, when there were 55 KIDS in your class .... 

    We joked about how we were probably better off in our pre-teen days when we gave a Valentine's Day card to everyone in the class instead of focusing on one person.

    This is to say that perhaps we didn't assign proper value to some of the relationships in our lives at that time.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    In this gallery, we illustrate a variety of important pairs - sweethearts, parent and child, best friends, co-workers, brother and sister, and the list goes on. And, here are links to other galleries you may enjoy as well as a vintage New Jersey Valentine's quiz.

    Vintage photos of Valentine's Day couples in NJ

    Vintage photos of couples in N.J.

    Stop, in the name of love ... and take our Valentine quiz on Jersey couples

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


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    See the latest girls basketball Top 20 for Feb. 15.


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    In all, 37 teams of professional and volunteer firefighters came out to the 31st annual event.

    By Chris Wyman | For The Jersey Journal

    VERNON — Jersey City firefighters placed first in annual ski and snowboard races this month to raise funds for the Burn Center at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

    In all, 37 teams of professional and volunteer firefighters came out on Friday, Feb. 9, to the 31st annual event, which is now held at Mountain Creek Ski Resort.

    "We expect to raise about $6,000 for the burn center,'' said Mark Ellerson, president of the New Jersey Firefighters Races and a retired Jersey City firefighter who now lives in Cream Ridge in central New Jersey.

    In fact, the entire organizing committee consists of current or retired Jersey City firefighters, he said, naming Henry Matak (retired), Paul Schaetzle of the Gong Club, Tony Lemanski (retired), Glenn Ellerson (retired),Todd Tarrant, Brett Paladino, and John Austin (retired).

    The event is hosted by the Jersey City firefighters union, Local 1066, and fire officers union, Local 1064.

    Representing Hudson County were the North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue team and two teams representing the Jersey City Fire Department.

    Well deserving of their win, the Jersey City "A" Team, led by Austin, placed first in the races with a winning time of 27.82 seconds. The second place winner was the team from Clifton, which was a full four seconds behind the winners.

    The Jersey City "B" team placed 19th, and the North Hudson team placed 28th.

    For those unfamiliar with the races, each team of five members on skis or snowboards must carry a 50-foot length of "retired" hose through the gated slalom racecourse. All racers must wear a fire helmet (about 5 pounds) and turnout coat (about 8 pounds).

    Bunker pants, suspenders and boots add about another 20 pounds.

    Any loss of gear while on the course results in a five-second penalty. No fewer than three members of each team must finish the course and they must be holding the hose as they cross the finish line.

    Here's how the all the teams finished:

    1: Jersey City 

    2: Clifton

    3: Town Of Boonton   

    4: Leonia   

    5: Rockaway Boro #2   

    6: Hibernia

    7: Boonton Township  

    8: Rahway

    9: Hopatcong   

    10: Annandale          

    11: Camden

    12: Martinsville #1 

    13: Lebanon 

    14: Montgomery #1 

    15: Country Hills  

    16: Caldwell     

    17: Paterson #2  

    18: Montgomery #2         

    19: Jersey City #2    

    20: Maplewood   

    21: Westfield  

    22: Monroe #2    

    23: Monroe #1  

    24: Paterson #1

    25: Mountainside  

    26: Asbury Park 

    27: Florham Park

    28: North Hudson

    29: West Caldwell 

    30: White Meadows 

    31: Whippany  

    32: Martinsville #2 

    33: Vernon 

    34: Union - Disqualified                

    35: West Orange - Disqualified              

    36: Rockaway Boro #1 - Disqualified              

    37: Manasquan - Did not start 


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    NJ.com looks at its choices for the 10 toughest districts statewide in N.J. wrestling.


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    A look at the 10 players on the watchlist for Player of the Year


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    Highlighting some of the key players, big teams and interesting notes heading into the state tournament.


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    Which is the matchup you should be sure to be in your seats for? Check out our list.


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    NJ.com's reporters pick Cinderellas, champions and tournament MVPs for each bracket.


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    See our reporters' picks for the best players in all different types of situations.


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    More and more players are reaching milestones, while county tourneys take center stage


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    Who is the top second-year player in the state? Cast your vote today.

    Boulden, Giana - Murphy.png 

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    Across most of New Jersey this weekend, snow is expected to blanket the state on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 (2/17/2018). Below is the latest N.J. weather update from the National Weather Service for the snowstorm.


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    Everything you need for a full day of districts.

    DISTRICT TOURNAMENT ESSENTIALS
    Seeds for all 32 districts | Schedule
     The top matchups from all 32 districts
    The 10 toughest districts in N.J.
    Individual rankings | P4P rankings
    • Final team ranks:  Top 20 | group and conference

    FEATURED DISTRICTS
    District 1 at Pascack Valley
     
    • Live Updates
    • Recap
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 5 at Bergen Catholic 
    Live Updates |   Live video 
    • Recap
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 7 at West Essex
       Live video  

    District 9 at Phillipsburg
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 11 at Morristown
    Live updates
    • Recap
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 12 at Livingston 
    Live updates
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis


    RELATED: Seeds for all 32 districts


    District 13 at Scotch Plains 
    Live updates | Brackets
     Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 17 at Middletown South 
    Live updates
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 18 at Red Bank Regional 
    Live updates
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 22 at Howell
    Live updates
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 26 at Rowan College-Gloucester
    Live updates
    • Recap

    District 27 at Lacey
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 28 at Collingswood
    Live updates
    • Recap
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 29 at Kingsway
    Live updates
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 30 at Clearview 
    Live updates
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 31 at Absegami
    Live updates
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 32 at Williamstown
    Live updates
    • Recap
    •  photo gallery
    • Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    COMPLETE RESULTS BY DISTRICT
    District 1 photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 2
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 3
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 4
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 5
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 6
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 7
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 8
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 9 |  Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 10 
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 11
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 12 |  Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 13 Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 14
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 15
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 16
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 17 Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 18  Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 19
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 20
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 21
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 22 |  Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 23
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 24
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 25
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 26
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 27 |  Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 28
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 29 |  Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 30 |  Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 31 |  Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis

    District 32 |  Photo gallery
    • Recap | Finals | 3rd place | Semis


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    "This is a big deal for Belmar," Mayor Matthew Doherty said.

    One of New Jersey's most popular beach towns is dumping the people who manage their lifeguards and upping how much the borough pays lifeguards.

    The beachfront borough of Belmar, which receives hundreds of thousands of visitors each summer, passed a resolution initiating a search for new lifeguard leadership.

    "This is a big deal for Belmar," Mayor Matthew Doherty said.

    Doherty said it was brought to his attention that too often lifeguard stands were left unattended when there were people swimming during the summer.

    "To me, that's a case of not managing the lifeguard resources properly," he said.

    The current managers of the department could not be reached for comment.   

    The resolution, which passed by a 4-1 margin, opens a search for a new lifeguard director, lifeguard assistant supervisor, lifeguard captain and lifeguard lieutenant.

    The starting rate for a lifeguard will also increase from $8.50 an hour to $10 an hour.

    "There has been this trend of less people wanting to become lifeguards, so we're trying to do two things at once: new management for lifeguards and add more lifeguards," Doherty said.

    A letter to lifeguards from police Chief Andrew Huisman, who as public safety director oversees the lifeguard department, said the borough has "made the decision to go in a new direction."

    "We believe our rank and file lifeguards are the best working on the Jersey Shore," the letter states. "We want the best working for us and we want the best to be proud to be a part of a professional and well-trained team that will be the envy of the Jersey Shore."  

    Belmar had two deaths and dozens of rescues at its 1-mile stretch of beach in 2017. However, those incidents came before and after the summer tourism season when the borough doesn't stock its beaches with a full-time staff of lifeguards. 

    "It's challenging work but very rewarding," Doherty said. "We have many, many saves, so no one is going to sit there and get bored. But at the same time, it's a challenge to manage it. But we think now is an appropriate time to go out and see what kind of qualified people we have who can manage our very busy beachfront in the summer."

    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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    Live drone footage and photos captured the whales at Belmar Beach.

    Belmar Beach residents and guests caught a whale making waves along the shore on Sunday. 

    In a photo posted by the Belmar Beach Facebook page, a whale can be seen breaching the surface, marking one of the first sightings of the new year. 

    Live drone footage from just around 2 p.m. on Sunday shows waves breaking and whales splashing just off the shore by 5th Avenue. 

    Residents and beach goers commented excitedly, making plans to hit the sand soon to catch a glimpse. 

    Caitlyn Stulpin may be reached at cstulpin@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @caitstulpin. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    The student is cooperating with investigators, police said.

    A student in a northern Monmouth County school district was taken into police custody Saturday after the student made a "terroristic threat," school officials and police said. 

    The officials in Aberdeen Township would not disclose the nature of the alleged threat when pressed by NJ Advance Media but said there is "currently no active security threat to any school or person." 

    "This is an ongoing investigation and I can't comment," said Joseph Majka, superintendent of the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District.

    Police Chief John Powers said in a text message that "I believe that all the information we have to share is in the (press) release." 

    In a statement posted on Facebook, police said that the student and the student's guardians are cooperating with investigators.

    Officials across the nation are on edge after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead.

    In New Jersey, school districts across the state have been disrupted by social media threats and rumored threats, prompting at least one district to close and charges against one teen. East Brunswick decided to bolster security by placing armed security guards at all of its schools.

    "We understand that this is a stressful experience for everyone particularly given the recent events in Florida," Majka wrote in a letter to students, parents and staff. "We want to assure you that the safety and security of our students and staff continue to be our utmost priority, and we are consistently working to strengthen this area."

    The district will be holding a "security forum" Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Matawan Regional High School.

    It's unclear if the student was formally charged with making terroristic threats, a third-degree crime that can carry a maximum prison sentence of five years. 

    According to the criminal code in New Jersey, a person can be charged with making terroristic threats when that person "threatens to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation."

    Aberdeen police asked anyone with additional information on this incident to contact Detective Anthony Valentino at 732-566-2054 ext. 205. 

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

     

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