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News from Monmouth County, New Jersey

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    The 64-year-old from Toms River sent a text from Munich on Oct. 19 but has had no conact with anyone since

    A 64-year-old New Jersey man on a month-long trip to Europe hasn't been heard from since going missing in Munich, German more than two weeks ago.

    missing-man-toms-river.jpgJoram Heilbronner, a Toms River man, who vanished in Munich, German last month. (Courtesy Rabbi David Amar) 

    Joram Heilbronner planned the the trip abroad after he was invited to take part in his former employer's 25th anniversary celebration in Athens, Greece, according to the rabbi at a Howell synagogue where the Toms River resident serves as president.  

    "My concern is that something happened to him," said Rabbi David Amar of Congregation Ahavat Olam in Howell. "This is not a person who will fall off the grid. He's in contact constantly. He's a congregant, he's our president. I always tell him - you're not like family - you are family. He's an unbelievable person - so generous with his time and support."

    The rabbi said his wife exchanged text messages with Heilbronner about synagogue business on Oct. 19, a day after the Ocean County man returned to Munich, Germany following a four-day stay in Greece for the anniversary celebration. 

    Heilbronner also updated the synagogue's website that day but has had no contact with anyone since, including his brother Dan in Cumming, Georgia, according to Amar.

    Amar said Heilbronner checked into a Hilton near the Munch airport on Oct. 18 for a scheduled three-night stay. He was next set to embark on a trip to Switzerland using a two-week Euro Rail pass.

    Heilbronner arrived in Munich on Oct. 12 and stayed there until the 15th. He then spent Oct. 15-18 in Athens before returning to Munich. He was due home on Sunday. 

    Amar said he has been in contact with the U.S. Consulate in Germany, the hotel and officials from Heilbronner's former company, but hasn't gotten very far. A partner at the company told the rabbi that Heilbronner injured his leg while in Athens, noting he was having a hard time walking and climbing steps. The hotel will not release surveillance footage which might show when Heilbronner departed. 

    The rabbi said he reported Heilbronner missing to Tom River police on Sunday, the soonest he was permitted to do so.

    In addition, several hospitals in Munich were contacted but Heilbronner was not registered at any of them, Toms River police chief Mitch Little said. After the rabbi contacted police, authorities entered Heilbronner into the National Crime Information Center as a missing person.  Toms River police also spoke with his brother and checked Heilbronner's home.

    "Our thoughts are with him, friends and his family for a safe return," Little said. 

    Amar said he will continue to work until he learns what happened to his friend and is prepared to go to Munich to get answers.

    "If that's what it will take, I will do it," he said, adding that he is working with Heilbronner's brother to solve the mystery. "There are many people that would be willing to go to Munich to look for him."

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



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    Unofficial results for races in Monmouth County's Nov. 6 general election.

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    Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, New Jersey's longest-serving member of Congress, beat back a tough challenge Tuesday.

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    A 17-year-old girl was ticketed for careless driving for turning in front of a cement truck and causing it to crash into a Jackson market and injure three people last week, officials said.

    A 17-year-old girl was ticketed Tuesday for careless driving for turning in front of a cement truck and causing it to crash into a Jackson market and injure three people last week, officials said.

    The Jackson teen, whose name was not released, was also issued a summons for failure to yield the right of way, according to a Facebook post from the Jackson Police Department.

    An investigation showed that the teen was not using her phone and that it "was not a factor" in the crash, Jackson Police Capt. Steven Laskiewicz said.

    The girl was driving a Nissan Altima north on Cedar Swamp Road Road on Nov. 1 and turned left in front of the truck, which was driven by a 54-year-old Toms River man who was traveling south, instead of yielding to oncoming traffic as she was expected to do, police said.

    The vehicles collided at the intersection, and the impact knocked the Nissan back into another car in the northbound lanes, authorities said. The force of the crash sent the truck off the road and into Glory's Market, a grocery and liquor store.

    Two people in the store - a 69-year-old customer and 61-year-old store clerk who was trapped under debris before being rescued - were seriously hurt. The clerk was released from the hospital as was the truck driver, according to the release.

    The teen and customer were still recovering at "area hospitals" Tuesday night, Laskiewicz said.

    An inspection of the truck showed "no safety violations that would have contributed to the crash," he said.

    Glory's said its liquor store has re-opened and that it's working to re-open the market. 

    Chris Sheldon may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find on Facebook.


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    The outbreak began when a resident contracted the virus in Israel. A free measles vaccination event has been scheduled for Thursday

    Officials have confirmed two additional cases of measles in Ocean County to bring the total of confirmed cases in the outbreak to six with another seven people suspected of contracting the virus.

    As of Wednesday afternoon, test results are pending on the seven suspected cases as hundreds of people have scrambled to get vaccinations, according to Brian Rumpf, the director of administration at the Ocean County Health Department.

    Rumpf said the department said the growing number, while a small increase, does raise concern, as it ups the chance of exposure to the virus. 

    "It certainly doesn't take much, based on the 90 percent transmission rate," he said. 

    While most people born after 1957 receive two doses of the measles vaccine by the age of 4, there are others who aren't vaccinated, due to religious or medical reasons, or because they have immigrated from a nation where the vaccine is not common. 

    Listen to on Alexa, or via a daily podcast

    The first Lakewood case involved a person who had traveled to Israel and contracted the disease. It was reported to the Ocean County Health Department Oct. 26. 

    CHEMED Health Center has set up an outdoor triage tent to treat those who suspect they have measles. The center has also been "extraordinarily busy," Rumpf said, issuing some 800 vaccinations. 

    Those who exhibit symptoms for measles, which include fever, coughing, pink eye and a rash which typically starts on the face and neck and spreads elsewhere, are urged to call medical providers before arriving for care. 

    In response to the outbreak, Ocean Health Initiatives will offer free vaccines from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at its 101 Second Street location in Lakewood. 

    Amanda Hoover can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @amandahoovernj. Find on Facebook

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    "Veterans Day ... is a day for all of us to begin our journey of protecting our freedom and the freedom of many future generations."

    Special thanks to for this explanation of the importance of Veterans Day to military veterans and civilians alike.

    "On the 11th hour...of the 11th day...of the 11th month...the fighting of World War I ended in 1918.


    "Due to the conclusion of 'the War to end all Wars,' November 11th became a universally recognized day of celebration.

    "The day was originally declared 'Armistice Day' 8 years after the end of World War I and honored only veterans of that war. Then in 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, it was renamed 'Veterans' Day' to honor all veterans who served America in war and defended democracy.

    "So, today we honor all of our veterans ... who unselfishly placed their lives on the line for our freedom.

    "Those men and women were ordinary people... until they heard the call of duty and answered it. They left their families ... their homes ... and their lives ... not for recognition or fame or even the honor we bestow upon them today. They fought to protect our country ... to maintain our way of life.

    "As we honor our veterans and remember their great deeds, let us also salute those who are currently fighting for our freedom.

    "The War on Terrorism has helped us all realize how truly unique the American way of life is. The freedom we enjoy is extremely special, and that is why we must defend it.

    "So, now is the time to not only honor those have fought or are fighting for our is also the time for each of us to take part in protecting it.

    "The defense of freedom is not just for those in the military; each of us shares that duty and that responsibility. We don't have to join the army or the navy or any other organization of defense to actively defend our way of life. We can protect our freedom simply by maintaining it here in America.

    "If we want to preserve our freedoms, we must put them into action - for example, by voting in elections or speaking out against injustices. We must also ensure that everyone feels the benefits of freedom. And we can do that by volunteering in our communities or teaching our children what it really means to be an American.

    "Veterans' Day isn't just a day for veterans - it's a day for all Americans. It's a day to remember why they were fighting and a day for all of us to begin our journey of protecting our freedom and the freedom of many future generations.

    "Thank you for honoring our veterans today. Let us walk toward tomorrow still honoring living in the freedom they protected."

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    Here are links to other related galleries:

    Vintage photos of Medal of Honor recipients from N.J.

    Vintage photos of women and the war effort in N.J.

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

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    Police in Howell are advising people to avoid the area as detours are in place

    UPDATE: N.J. man killed in motorcycle crash in Monmouth County 

    A section of Route 33 Business in Howell is expected to be closed all morning following a serious crash on Wednesday, police said.

    The single-vehicle crash took place around 7 a.m. on the eastbound side near the overpass with Fairfield Road. Detours are in place and Howell police are asking people to avoid the area. 

    A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said investigators were en route but no details were available yet. 

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


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    A developer will present plans Thursday for a boardwalk that will wind through dunes at the city's northern end

    Growth continues to sow controversy in Asbury Park, where the sudden removal of a stretch of boardwalk and talk of a private pool and beach club at the city's north end have prompted calls for more environmentally friendly and socially inclusive development.

    Some residents were taken by surprise a month ago, when a work crew began ripping up a three-block stretch of boardwalk in Asbury Park's still largely undeveloped northeast corner, between Boardwalk Hall and the border with Loch Arbour.

    "They came Oct. 8 and started putting up the fences," said Kathleen Mumma, a yoga instructor and surfer who moved to Asbury Park five years ago from Hoboken, and now is a member of Save Asbury's Waterfront, a coalition of residents, environmentalists and others concerned about the area's rapid development. "The boardwalk is long gone, and now they've been digging up the bulkheads." 

    The coalition, which also includes members of the American Littoral Society, the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance and other groups will hold a press conference outside Asbury Park's main post office at 5 p.m. on Thursday. At 6 p.m., the Asbury Park City Council will be briefed on the boardwalk replacement project, which includes paving a gravel parking lot, by representatives of the city's designated waterfront developer, iStar.

    Broadly speaking, city officials say the new boardwalk will curve along existing and man-made sand dunes, and be linked to what is now a gravel parking area used by fisherman and others who prefer to avoid the traffic and crowding farther south along Ocean Avenue, the city's teaming waterfront boulevard.

    Asbury Park gravel parking lot SAW.jpgThis gravel parking area near the beach at Asbury Park's north end will be paved.

    The gravel lot will be paved and painted with lines delineating 100 parking spaces, which may be a welcome addition for motorists who in recent years have seen Asbury Park become the Hoboken of the Jersey Shore.

    But environmentalists are wary of such development near the water's edge.

    "Any time we add pavement or impervious surface, or infringe on dunes or create more human habitat, it's not good for water quality," said Cindy Zipf, director of the non-profit New Jersey Clean Ocean Action.

    Meanwhile, environmental worries have overlapped with concerns about beach access in the north end as word spreads that iStar is also planning to develop a private pool and beach club in the area. A private club is permitted under the city's waterfront redevelopment plan, said Asbury Park's city manager, Michael Capobianco.

    Public Trust Doctrine and other legal principles long upheld by New Jersey and federal courts prevent private property owners from denying public access to the sea even along stretches of beach they own.

    Even with that legal protection, the idea of a private beach club in Asbury Park is a concern for beach access advocates who worry it will discourage use of the beach near the club.

    "It gives kind of the appearance of a private beach," said Mumma, who is also a member of the Surfrider Foundation, a group that promotes environmentalism and beach access.   

    A spokeswoman for iStar said she was not immediately able to comment on the beach club or boardwalk plans on Wednesday.

    iStar is also planning to build 15 townhouses in the north end, under a project known as Bradley Cove, named for Asbury Park's founder, James A. Bradley.

    The prospect of a private club on the beach in Asbury Park is only the latest instance in which the city's ongoing gentrification has generated controversy among longtime residents, including calls for ward-based city council seats to enhance representation of the city's economically depressed west side, and opposition to a ban on panhandling in certain neighborhoods.  

    iStar's most recent project is the Asbury Ocean Club, a 17-story condominium tower on Ocean Avenue, scheduled to open in mid-2019, where one-bedroom apartments start at just under $900,000.

    Capobianco cautioned against conflating iStar's boardwalk and pool club plans, insisting the two were entirely separate, and noting that the developer has not even presented plans for the club at this point. If and when a private club is developed, Capbianco said, the developer would be obligated to build another pool for the public's use.  

    However distant construction of a pool club may be, Mumma questioned the need for a pool on the beach, particularly when hurricanes are becoming more common and more severe along the Jersey shore.

    "Do we really need to be building swimming pools east of Ocean Avenue in a post-Sandy environment?" Mumma said.

    Steve Strunsky may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SteveStrunsky. Find on Facebook


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    James J. Florek, 35, of Freehold, died in the Route 33 crash Wednesday morning

    A 35-year-old New Jersey man was killed in a motorcycle crash on Route 33 Business in Monmouth County on Wednesday morning, police said.

    James J. Florek, of Freehold, was pronounced dead following the crash on Route 33 Business in Howell, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said.

    The crash took place on the eastbound side of the highway near Fairfield Road around 6:40 a.m., Howell police said.

    All lanes remain closed and detoured through the area as of noon, according to, the state department of transportation's traffic website. 

    The prosecutor's office didn't immediately provide more information on the cause of the crash.

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



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    Don Bosco vs. Delbarton Friday night - watch live or on-demand on any device

    Playoff races are heating up with sectional final and semifinal berths on the line and you can watch some key games this week thanks to NJ High School Sports Live.

    NJ High School Sports Live will broadcast live from eight games this weekend - six playoff matchups and two consolation games. 

    MORE: Learn about NJ High School Sports Live

    If you couldn't make it to the games or want to watch an on-demand replay, NJ High School Sports Live was made for you. You can watch these games on your computer, phone or tablet - and you can watch live or on demand. Our season pass also gives you access to any in-network game. This week's schedule is listed below, click on the links to watch.

    NOTE: The list below reflects changes made due to expected bad weather Friday. That includes the elimination of the Mater Dei-DePaul game, which we will no longer be able to broadcast. It was postponed to Saturday at 4.

    FRIDAY, NOV. 9
    5-Delbarton at 4-Don Bosco Prep, 7

    5-Pope John at 1-Red Bank Catholic, 6 (moved from Friday)
    3-Lyndhurst at 2-Verona, 7 (moved from Friday)
    8-Seton Hall Prep at 1-Bergen Catholic, 1
    7-St. Augustine at 2-St. Joseph (Mont.), 1
    5-North Bergen at 1-Montclair, 1
    Gloucester Catholic at Donovan Catholic, 1 -- Regional crossover game, link coming soon

    Andrew Koob can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @AndrewKoobHS. Like High School Sports on Facebook

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    They often charge $1,500 or more for services that legitimate providers do for free, or a small fee

    In Latin American countries, "notarios" are lawyers who can provide legal services to clients.

    In this country, though, notaries, or notary publics, cannot. They're not lawyers, and can only witnesses the signing of documents.

    But across New Jersey, some people or storefront shops that use that word "notario," mainly in urban areas, are fraudulently offering immigration and legal services.

    They prey on the immigrant community and Spanish-speaking customers, who believe they're being represented by a lawyer of someone with special knowledge of immigration procedure, state authorities alleged Friday.

    Some of the businesses were charging $1,500 or more for immigration services that, by law, can only be provided by licensed lawyers or representatives accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and working for DOJ-recognized organizations, the state' Division of Consumers Affairs said in a statement that.

    The division has identified 28 of these businesses or individuals, and are going after them with violations and fines.

    The violations total $326,000 in civil penalties, ranging from $6,000 to $16,000 per person or business.

    The actions are the result of a months-long undercover operation, based on tips, consumer complaints and investigators checking out the places, which often hold themselves out as tax preparers or travel agencies and offer notary public and immigration assistance for sale.

    IMG_1968.jpgOne of the targeted businesses, Mundo Travel Agency in Trenton. (Kevin Shea | NJ Advance Media) 

    Typically, the organizations offer their services for free or a small fee.

    Some of the businesses leave their clients without money or irreplaceable documents like birth certificates or passports, and expose them to possible immigration detention or deportation.

    Some unauthorized practitioners are predators looking for victims to scam and charge high fees and pocket the money without doing any work.

    Others are well-meaning who make mistakes, file incorrect or incomplete forms and miss deadlines.

    Either way, people who need real representation often find out too late, after missed deadlines, the state says.

    "Today we are reinforcing our commitment to protecting all New Jersey residents, regardless of their legal status, from financial predators," Paul R. Rodriguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs said in a statement.

    "All New Jersey residents who fall victim to fraud or other unlawful conduct should know that they can safely report the matter to law enforcement. We are here for you," he said.

    The businesses that face fines from the state:

    • A.A.N. Accounting & Multi-Service, Kearny
    • A & A Consultants, Elizabeth
    • AC Velox Multiservice, Elizabeth
    • Airsealand Tours, Inc. / Air Sea Land Travel & Tax, Kearny
    • AMC Immigration Services, Garfield
    • Angel Financial Services, Elizabeth
    • Borche's Service Express Travel / Services Express Corporation, Plainfield
    • Consuelos Travel & Consuelos Immigration Services, Lakewood
    • D' Vazquez Tax Solutions / D'Vazquez Tax Solutions / E.C.T.A. Envios El Costeno, Garfield
    • Dieugrand Insurance Agency, Jersey City
    • Foto-Loft / Photo Loft, Newark
    • IG Tax Multiservices LLC / IG Tax Multi Services, North Bergen
    • J.V. Services / JV Typing Services, Elizabeth
    • La Feria Services, Plainfield
    • Miriam Caso / Bookkeeping & Tax Services, West New York
    • Master Agency, Paterson
    • MIA Services, Union City
    • Nancy Tax Services, Union City
    • N-VIA Travel & Associates, Trenton
    • P & L Multiservices, Garfield
    • Pro Immigrants Foundation, Elizabeth
    • QAP Total Services, Elizabeth
    • Kenny Tax Service, Paterson
    • Mundo Travel Agency, Trenton
    • SS Professional Services, Jersey City
    • Sylvana's Multiservices / Marilyn's Services, Elizabeth
    • Time Travel, Long Branch
    • West Side Brokerage, Jersey City, NJ

    Anyone seeking immigration services can use the following services to find a legitimate provider at or call the USCIS at 800-375-5283.

    And consumers can see a list of New Jersey-based organizations recognized by the DOJ that offer non-attorney staff members or volunteers here.

    Kevin Shea may be reached at Follow him on Twitter@kevintshea. Find on Facebook.

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    Brian Young, 52, owns Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More in Monmouth County.

    Brian Young.jpgBrian Young (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office)

    Authorities have charged the owner of a Howell T-shirt shop with inappropriately touching a juvenile customer and they want to know if there are other victims.

    Brian Young, 52, owner of Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More on Route 9 in the Howell Center Shopping Plaza, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree sexual assault and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.

    The investigation began when Howell police were told that Young touched the minor inside the store.

    "Investigators are seeking additional information about Young's activities and are looking to identify other possible victims," prosecutors said.

    Anyone with information is asked to contact prosecutor's office Detective Thomas Manzo Jr. at 800-533-7443 or Howell Police Detective Robert Ortenzi at 732-938-4111.

    Young was placed in Monmouth County Correctional Institution pending court appearances.

    He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

    Matt Gray may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find the South Jersey Times on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us:

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    Ocearch, a non-profit that tracks sea creatures, recently tagged a new batch of sharks now cruising the waters along the East Coast

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    Authorities would not confirm information from sources who said the shooting was fatal

    NOTE: This article was updated to reflect that the shooting was fatal, and to provide the victim's identity and statements from a friend.

    Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni's office said a man was fatally shot in a Neptune apartment on Saturday night.

    A spokesman for the prosecutor's office, Charles Webster, said on Sunday that 43-year-old Randolph Goodman had been fatally shot in his apartment sometime before 10 p.m. on Saturday.

    Randolph Goodman Yankee hat Facebook.jpgThe victim of a fatal shooting in Neptune on Saturday night, Randolph Goodman Sr., whom a friend said was a lifelong resident of Monmouth County area and had been his camp counselor. 

    The location of the shooting is a low-rise building at the intersection of Old Corles Avenue and Corles Avenue, also known as Route 33, where there is a barber shop and a small deli in front and apartments in back.

    A man who answered the phone at the deli on Sunday said investigators were still on the earlier that morning.

    "They wouldn't let us open the store," sad the man, who did not want to be quoted by name due to the sensitivity of the subject.

    A man who reached out to NJ Advance Media in the wake of the shooting, Ronald Mason, said Goodman was a native of neighboring Asbury Park and had lived in that corner of Monmouth County all his life.

    Mason, 36, who lives in Asbury Park and works as a security guard, said Goodman had been his camp counselor in the mid-1990's at that city's West Side Community Center, where both were members of the West Side neighborhood's African-American community.

    Mason said Goodman had children of his own, whom he helped support working as a truck driver. And while Goodman was no longer together with their mother in Asbury Park, Mason said Goodman remained closely involved in their lives.

    "He wasn't an absentee father," Mason said. "He was still in his children's life."

    Mason said he learned of Goodman's death Sunday after waking up and finding word of what happened social media.

    "I called his kids' mother, 'Is it true?' And she was like, yea." Mason said.

    The mother said investigators told her that Goodman appeared to have been killed in a home invasion, said Mason, who last saw Goodman about a week ago when they ran into each other at a local store. 

    "It was just, 'Hey, how you doing, how you been?' like that," said Mason. "He was a good guy. He wasn't no angel, but he wasn't the (kind of) guy going out looking for trouble."

    Steve Strunsky may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SteveStrunsky. Find on Facebook

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    Animal shelters continue to be the leading source of pets.

    Facts on animal shelters from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA):

    * Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. The number is evenly split between dogs and cats. A positive note is that the number of dogs and cats entering U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 7.2 million in 2011.

    * Approximately 3.2 million shelter animals are adopted each year, again with an even split between cats and dogs.

    * About 710,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. In this, we don't find so even a split; 620,000 of the returned animals are dogs and only 90,000 are cats.

    * Each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized (670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats). The number of dogs and cats euthanized in U.S. shelters annually has declined from approximately 2.6 million in 2011. This decline can be partially explained by an increase in the percentage of animals adopted and an increase in the number of stray animals successfully returned to their owners.

    These are the most common sources from which primary methods cats and dogs are obtained as pets (this information was based on a multiple response question, which results in the total percentage exceeding 100% individually for cats and dogs. In addition, the 'other' category includes all source categories that were reported by less than 10% of both dog and cat owners):

    Animal Shelter/Humane Society

    Dogs      23%   Cats     31%


    Dogs     20%   Cats     28%


    Dogs     34%   Cats     3%


    Dogs     6%   Cats     27%

    Private Party

    Dogs     12%   Cats     6%


    Dogs     32%   Cats     39%

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

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    Randolph "King" Goodman was fatally shot Saturday night near his Neptune apartment.

    A 43-year-old Neptune man who was shot to death Saturday night was not a random target, authorities said Monday.

    Randolph "King" Goodman was killed near his apartment on Old Corlies Avenue, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement on Facebook.

    Goodman.jpgRandolph "King" Goodman, 43, of Neptune. Goodman was fatally shot on Nov. 10, 2018. 

    The apartment is part of a building that also houses a barbershop and a deli on a busy corner where Old Corlies Avenue intersects with Route 33.  

    It appears Goodman was possibly the target in a hit case, according to two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation. The sources requested anonymity because they did not want to discuss sensitive details of the investigation publicly.

    One law enforcement source said he was shot at the door of his apartment.

    Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni declined to comment on that information but said, "We don't believe this is a product of a home invasion."

    One of Goodman's friends, Ronald Mason, previously told NJ Advance Media that the mother of Goodman's child told him it appeared Goodman was the victim of a home invasion.

    Goodman, Mason said, was originally from Asbury Park but had lived at the Neptune apartment for a long time.  

    "He was a good guy," Mason, 36, said. "He wasn't no angel, but he wasn't the (kind of) guy going out looking for trouble."

    Goodman was once Mason's camp counselor at the Asbury Park's West Side Community Center, Mason said. Goodman worked as a truck driver, according to Mason. 

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

    Have a tip? Tell us.

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    The 36-year-old motorist only suffered a minor injury after the crash on Route 9 in Howell on Nov. 12, 2018.

    A quick-thinking motorist avoided what could have been a far more serious crash Monday morning after she struck and killed a deer that darted in front of her SUV.

    Howell police praised Melissa Misthal, a 36-year-old township resident, after the close encounter with the deer along Route 9. Misthal was driving south near Bergenville Road when the deer ran onto the road. 

    howell-deer.jpgA deer landed in the back seat of an SUV after being struck and killed by an SUV on Route 9 in Howell on Monday. (Howell police) 

    While the deer landed in the back seat of her vehicle after going airborne, crashing through the front windshield and collapsing the roof, Misthal managed to stay calm enough to navigate the Toyota RAV4 safely onto the shoulder, police said. 

    "After the collision and despite the damage, her being injured and not knowing if the deer was still alive, Melissa had the composure (to bring) her vehicle to a safe stop in the shoulder of the road," Howell police said.

    Misthal was treated for a minor injury. 

    "We praise the actions of Melissa," police said." This had the potential of being deadly not only for her but for other motorists as well. She did everything right." 

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


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    If sanctuary counties like Middlesex are going to release illegal immigrants even when they're accused of a violent crime, what hope is there for enforcement of any future immigration reform?

    Don Cresitello is not the kind of guy to say "I hate to say I told you so."

    In fact he takes great pleasure in doing so. And the Democratic former mayor of Morristown told you long ago that we need better coordination between local and federal authorities when it comes to dealing with potentially violent undocumented immigrants.

    That was proven against last week when an undocumented Mexican immigrant murdered three people in Missouri after being released from the Middlesex County jail in December to await trial on charges of domestic violence.

    That incident brought memories of a 2007 incident in which an undocumented alien from Peru led a gang that killed three college students in a Newark schoolyard. Jose Carranza had been released from the Essex County jail a few months earlier.

    At the time, then-Mayor Cresitello came to prominence by insisting that his town and the county needed to sign what is known as a 287(g) agreement with the feds.  That status would permit the officers to be deputized as federal officials to enforce immigration laws.

    But when Cresitello made his push, he found himself in a public fight with Chris Christie, then the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.

    Christie was laying the groundwork for a run for governor and trying to court the Latino vote. Christie accused Cresitello of "grandstanding." When he spoke at a church in Dover with a largely Latino congregation, Christie told the crowd that "being in this country without proper documentation is not a crime."

    That's technically correct, but it brought him under fire from conservative commentators such as Lou Dobbs, who called him "out of his mind" and noted the paucity of immigration prosecutions during Christie's term as U.S. Attorney. (See video below)

    Cresitello, who favors comprehensive immigration reform, said the failure to prosecute the relatively few law-breaking aliens actually hurts that cause. 

     "If we would enforce the law against people accused of criminal activities that would help people who are in the country illegally," he said. "By keeping criminal elements in the country and releasing them,   that's what sours the public on illegals who have not committed a crime."

    Middlesex County officials have responded to the controversy by arguing that if they turned defendants over to ICE, the county could be liable if it later turned out a defendant was illegally detained.

    But that's the reason counties should sign those agreements with ICE, Cresitello said. Any liability would be on the feds.

    "If you're operating the jail under 287(g), you have protections," he said. "That's the reason I wanted Morris County to go along with the program."

    Cresitello lost a re-election bid that year. But a certain Monmouth County Sheriff candidate by the name of Kim Guadagno had more luck. She was elected in 2007 on a campaign calling for Monmouth to have its officers deputized  with immigration authority under 287(g).

    "If you are an illegal alien and commit a crime in Monmouth County, you will be identified, turned over to federal authorities and deported if appropriate," Guadagno said at the time.

    That was much remarked upon two years later when Christie chose her as his running mate in his successful bid for governor.

    Perhaps it's time to talk about it again now that Christie is being touted as a potential nominee for attorney general in a Trump administration.

    The Democrats now control the House, so they can pass a bill encompassing their version of comprehensive immigration reform with no Republican votes and send it to the Senate.

    "I would expect the Democrats in the house should pass some kind of bill granting protections to people who are in the country illegally," he said. "Give them work papers. Give them the right to come and go so they can contribute to our economy. That bill should be sent to the Senate and let the president deal with it."

    I expect we will see something like that. But before we go into another round of immigration reform, let's recall how the last one fell apart.

    In 1986, the first comprehensive reform was passed under Ronald Reagan.

    Reagan's director of immigration was a guy by the name of Alan Nelson. He coordinated with the Catholic Church to set up 100 new centers to process amnesty requests.

    But he also called for "enforcement of all aspects against illegal immigration -  border enforcement, the sanctions dealing with the job market ... and tougher provisions against aliens involved in crime."

    After Nelson left office in 1990, his successors failed to follow through on enforcement. As for Christie, he didn't seem to discover the problem until he decided to make a run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

    Perhaps he's learned his lesson.

    But if I were The Donald, I'd give the other Donald a call just to make sure.

    ADD: For conservatives, this issue couldn't be simpler: If liberals are not willing to deport even violent offenders, how can we expect them to regulate immigration after the next amnesty?

    Also, Kim Guadagno got back to me after my print deadline. 

    Her remarks show the way Republicans should have dealt with this from the beginning:

    "First, as Monmouth County Sheriff, and last year during the gubernatorial campaign, I supported cooperation with authorities in their enforcement of lawful federal immigration detainers already in custody in our jails.

    "With the three deaths in Missouri, we can now see the tragic consequences of the wrongheaded policy employed by Middlesex County to ignore lawful federal detainers.

    "Rodrigo Perez should never have been released." 

    BELOW: The Lou Dobbs program on Christie:

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    Melissa Misthal said she was scared, but did her best to get off the road quickly, after a deer struck her car, ending up in the back seat.


    Melissa Misthal woke up with Tuesday morning with cuts and bruises on her hands and face, a badly damaged car and a sense of relief. 

    Misthal was publicly praised by Howell police after a deer that landed in her back seat crashed through the front windshield of her SUV when it dashed in front of the Toyota RAV4 on the southbound side of Route 9 around 7:30 a.m.

    The 36-year-old Howell resident said in a short phone interview with NJ Advance Media on Tuesday morning that she was terrified at the moment of impact. 

    howell-deer.jpgA deer landed in the back seat of an SUV after being struck and killed by an SUV on Route 9 in Howell on Monday. (Howell police) 

    "I didn't see the deer until it hit my windshield and then I must have closed my eyes," she said. "Everything happened in the blink of an eye," Misthal said. "I just pulled over to the side as fast as could. I was definitely extremely lucky."

    Misthal said her face was covered in glass following the crash and that she didn't realize the deer was sprawled across the back seat until she exited the SUV. Another driver stopped to check on Misthal, whose face was covered in blood.

    Howell police and EMS workers quickly arrived to being to treat her injuries.

    "I was very scared and extremely nervous but they kept me calm while they treated me," she said. 

    She was taken to nearby CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township for X-rays, which came back negative. 

    Misthal said she's occasionally noticed dead deer on the side of Route 9, but she's never seen one attempt to cross the busy highway. She also noted it was fortunate that she was going south, as traffic is much lighter in that direction during the morning rush.  

    Police said Misthal "did everything right," and that her quick thinking prevented a potentially serious multi-vehicle crash. 

    Misthal, meanwhile, took off Monday and is working from home Tuesday as she waits for word from her insurance company on whether her vehicle can be be repaired. 

    "Today, I'm a bit more emotional about it," she said.  "There's more pain and soreness but overall I'm OK. I was extremely lucky it wasn't worse." 

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


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    Watch lots of championship soccer, LIVE and on-demand, on any device.

    Get ready to watch some state championship soccer.

    Starting Tuesday, you'll be able to watch an unprecedented number of boys and girls soccer state playoff games on, LIVE or on demand, on any device, brought to you via NJ High School Sports Live.

    We will have broadcasts from two of Tuesday's seven Group semifinals doubleheader sites, making available two boys games and two girls games.  Over the weekend, we will have every Group final from Kean University - four boys finals on Saturday and four girls finals on Sunday.

    Here's the full lineup:

    TUESDAY, NOV. 13

    Group 4 semifinals, at Franklin

    Boys: Morris Knolls vs. No. 14 Elizabeth, 5 p.m.
    Girls: No. 3 West Orange vs. No. 1 Bridgewater-Raritan, 7:30 p.m.

    Group 2 semifinals at Hopewell Valley

    Boys: No. 3 Holmdel vs. No. 8 Delran, 5 p.m.
    Girls: Gov. Livingston vs. Delsea, 7:30 p.m.

    SATURDAY, NOV. 17 at Kean University
    Boys Group finals, matchups TBD

    Group 4 final: 10 a.m.
    Group 1 final: 12:30 p.m.
    Group 2 final: 3 p.m.
    Group 3 final: 5:30 p.m.

    SUNDAY, NOV. 18 at Kean University
    Girls Group finals, matchups TBD

    Group 4 final: 10 a.m.
    Group 1 final: 12:30 p.m.
    Group 2 final: 3 p.m.
    Group 3 final: 5:30 p.m.

    Games below are available as on-demand replays

    SUNDAY, NOV. 11

    Boys Non-Public A final
    No. 1 Delbarton vs. No. 12 Christian Brothers 

    Girls Non-Public B Final
    Pingry vs. Oak Knoll

    Boys Non-Public B final
    Gill St. Bernard's vs Rutgers Prep 

    Girls Non-Public B Final
    Morristown-Beard vs. St. Rose 


    North 2, Group 3 final (boys soccer)
    9-Cliffside Park at 3-Millburn, 1 p.m.

    North Jersey, Non-Public A final (boys soccer)
    3-Seton Hall Prep vs. 1-Delbarton at Millburn, 3 p.m.

    North Jersey, Non-Public A final (girls soccer)
    5-Oak Knoll vs. 2-DePaul at Millburn, 5:30 p.m.

    Richard Greco covers boys soccer and may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Richard_V_Greco. Find on Facebook.

    Girls Gr

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