New Jersey Real-Time News
NEWARK -- A contractor suffered neck and back injuries Thursday night after falling down an elevator shaft at Newark Liberty International Airport, Port Authority spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said. The 38-year-old contractor, who was working in Terminal B, was taken to University Hospital in Newark with injuries Pentangelo described as non-life-threatening. Paul Milo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on...
NEWARK -- A contractor suffered neck and back injuries Thursday night after falling down an elevator shaft at Newark Liberty International Airport, Port Authority spokesman Joseph Pentangelo said.
The 38-year-old contractor, who was working in Terminal B, was taken to University Hospital in Newark with injuries Pentangelo described as non-life-threatening.
According to Hickox's lawsuit, she was told she would be quarantined almost immediately after disclosing she'd been a medical volunteer in West Africa.
TRENTON -- Anyone suspected of contracting the Ebola virus will not be quarantined without receiving the state's written medical justification, and a chance to challenge the decision, according to a settlement announced Thursday stemming from a nurse's lawsuit over her three-day isolation in 2015.
The settlement does not award nurse Kaci Hickox any monetary damages. But it creates a "bill of rights" should anyone else ever face similar treatment, according to statement from Hickox, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey and her private attorneys.
"We've achieved what was needed: procedures that will ensure that no one will have to go through what I experienced in New Jersey, and that no one will be quarantined unless it is medically necessary to do so," Hickox said in a statement. "The settlement upholds the principles and values of liberty and due process."
Attorney General Christopher Porrino also claimed victory, calling the lawsuit "misguided," and the "supplemental protocols" that were agreed to "consistent with existing law and regulations."
"This outcome is further verification of the appropriateness of the State's Ebola response," Porrino's statement said.
A Maine resident at the time, Hickox had been returning from a stint in Sierra Leone with Doctors Without Borders when she landed at Newark Liberty International Airport, amid international fears the deadly virus ravaging western Africa could spread to America.
According to Hickox's lawsuit, she was told she would be quarantined almost immediately after disclosing she'd been a medical volunteer in West Africa, before any kind of screening took place. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention medically cleared her while she was held at the airport.
Her temperature, taken with a forehead scanner, or temporal thermometer, registered a fever -- a symptom of Ebola. An oral thermometer registered a normal reading.
Gov. Chris Christie, who was widely anticipated to run for president in 2016, ordered her confined to what she described as a "private prison" in a tent outside of University Hospital in Newark. She was taken by ambulance -- accompanied by an escort of eight police vehicles, sirens blaring.
At the time of the episode, Christie was dismissive of her situation, saying, "I've been sued lots of times before. Get in line. I'm happy to take it on." He apologized for her inconvenience, but insisted his actions were necessary to protect public health.
The settlement guarantees a person targeted for quarantine to hire and meet with an attorney, "send and receive communications, have visitors, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses," according to the ACLU's statement.
The settlement also requires that oral thermometers would have to be used to determine if a person has a fever. And the state would have to demonstrate why, if it seeks to quarantine a person, a less restrictive environment could not be used.
"Why couldn't they just have put Kaci in a private home instead of that tent?" said Civil Rights Attorney Norman Siegel, who also represented Hickox.
"This is a victory of justice and science over fear," said ACLU-NJ Legal Director Ed Barocas. "Kaci Hickox had the right to challenge her unwarranted detention, and because of her fight for due process, those rights for New Jerseyans are now more secure."
The policy could serve as a model for other states, Siegel said. "In some way, ironically, this could wind up being part of Gov. Christie's legacy."
Gyameir Boseman, 18, of Carteret, was indicted on charges of attempted murder, among other charges.
NEW BRUNSWICK -- An 18-year-old man from Carteret was indicted Wednesday on charges he repeatedly stabbed two people with a knife in November, court documents show.
Gyameir Boseman, of Leber Avenue, was indicted on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes and unlawful possession of a weapon, according to court documents.
Boseman is accused of repeatedly stabbing and slashing two male victims in various parts of their bodies Nov. 7, causing life-threatening injuries, according to a criminal complaint.
During a pre-indictment conference June 29, Judge Alberto Rivas referred Boseman's case to a grand jury. Boseman's family attended the conference to show their support, defense attorney Gregory Jordan said.
The teenager will appear Aug. 14 for a post-indictment arraignment before Judge Benjamin Bucca, court records show.
Boseman's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
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John Dalton Jr. was arrested following a 3-month investigation
TOMS RIVER -- A three-month investigation employing "proactive" techniques to monitor downloads of child pornography online led to the arrest of an Eagleswood man Thursday, the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office said.
John Dalton Jr., 76, was charged with one count of third degree possession of child pornography and another count of second degree distribution of child pornography. He was being held at the Ocean County Jail.
The High Tech Crime Unit of the prosecutor's office and State Police personnel carried out the investigation, which revealed that someone within Ocean County had downloaded images of prepubescent children engaged in sexual acts, the prosecutor's office said.
Authorities eventually obtained a search warrant for Dalton's home, where computers containing thousands of images and videos were allegedly found.
1 person was killed at the Ohio State Fair while riding the Fire Ball
FREEHOLD-- Officials closed an amusement ride at the Monmouth County Fair as a precautionary measure Thursday after a similar ride malfunctioned the day before in Ohio, killing one and injuring seven others.
App.com reported that Reithoffer Shows, which is managing the fair, initially shut down "The Claw" Wednesday night just hours after another ride, The Fire Ball, broke apart at the Ohio State Fair, sending riders hurtling through the air. Inspectors from the state Department of Community Affairs officially closed the ride at the Monmouth County Fair Thursday pending additional inspections.
Both rides send passengers spinning through the air high above the ground.
The Fire Ball, the ride in the Ohio tragedy, had just weeks earlier been operating at the Meadowlands State Fair.
The House passed legislation that will make Congressional Research Service reports public.
WASHINGTON -- You may now get to see research your tax dollars paid big bucks to fund.
Rep. Leonard Lance's efforts to release congressional research to the taxpayers who funded it is part of the spending bill that passed the U.S. House Thursday.
The legislation sponsored by House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.) includes Lance's provision to make reports compiled by the Congressional Research Service publicly available. The cost of doing the research and issuing the reports exceeds $100 million a year.
"It is good public policy to allow educators, students, members of the news media and everyday citizens access to CRS' nonpartisan taxpayer-funded reports," said Lance (R-7th Dist.).
"And it's time to put an end to the black market demand for these reports. Third-party companies like Amazon are selling these reports online, but the taxpayers already paid for the information. It's time we knock down the barriers to use it."
The appropriations bill passed, 235-192, largely along party lines. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5th Dist.) was one of only five Democrats to vote yes.
It also included these local projects:
-- More than $130 million for the Armaments Research Development Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal.
-- $2.4 billion for 15 KC-46 refueling tankers that will be stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, plus funding for hangars and other improvements to handle the new planes.
-- $449,000 for the New Jersey Back Bay Study, which encompasses the area behind the barrier islands in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties. a
-- $20 million for improvements to the Green Brook Sub-Basin, including channel modifications and levees.
Frelinghuysen said the request to include the CRS provision came from Lance and that he was "pleased to support this reform."
The measure would require the CRS, overseen by the Library of Congress, to work with the Government Printing Office to make the reports available online.
"This is a major victory for transparency and public information because soon CRS reports will be accessible on smartphones and tablets and in classrooms and newsrooms," Lance said.
The researchers respond to requests from Congress and provide information for them to use when drafting legislation and debating issues.
Recent CRS reports have dealt with constitutional law, the Middle East and the environment.
The last of the half-dozen non profits selected to grow and sell marijuana has finally gotten the go-ahead to grow and sell by the Christie administration. An opening date has not been announced.
TRENTON -- Six years after the Christie administration selected a half-dozen nonprofits to produce cannabis for the state's medical marijuana program, the last one of the bunch on Thursday received a permit to begin growing its first crop, Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett announced Thursday.
Foundation Harmony will operate from a 10,000-square-foot indoor greenhouse and retail establishment in a commercial and industrial section of Secaucus by the end of 2017, according to Bennett and a dispensary spokeswoman.
"After two years of designing and constructing this state-of-the-art facility, we are excited to finally put it into action, and to serve New Jersey's patients with the purest and most effective medical marijuana," Shaya Brodchandel the president and CEO, said in a statement. "We have selected strains which we believe are well suited for New Jersey medical patient's conditions and to our unique growing system."
Gov. Chris Christie announced the future permit holders in 2011 in a process plagued by a cumbersome review process under a governor who still suspects that medical marijuana is a back-door attempt at full legalization.
Every dispensary applicant has undergone a long review and complicated state and local approval process, but Harmony Foundation struggled more than the rest pulling its operation together, as partners and investors came and went.
Brodchandel, 30, is new to the cannabis industry, but brings his knowledge of working in the highly-regulated industry of nuclear medical manufacturing, dispensary spokeswoman Leslie Hoffman said. He is also a real estate developer, and has been attached to the dispensary since 2015, she added.
Brodchandel will sit on the dispensary's board of directors with, Irving Langer, founder of E&M Associates, a New York real estate investment and management company, Marina Karavas, who was listed in Harmony's application to the state in 2011, and Elizabeth Hovav.
Medical marijuana advocates welcomed the news of the latest provider.
"It's great that patients will have another location to access their medicine, especially patients in that area who might not be able to get to other (dispensaries)," Roseanne Scotti, director of the Drug Policy Alliance of New Jersey, a lobbying and advocacy group that helped get the 2010 law passed.
"But to effectively serve the needs of patients in New Jersey, New Jersey must have more than six (dispensaries)."
New Jersey's 13,200 registered patients are served by five nonprofit dispensaries, also known as alternative treatment centers, in Montclair, Woodbridge, Cranberry, Bellmawr and Egg Harbor.
Ken Wolski, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana - New Jersey, who has been critical of the slow pace of the state program, said he sent a note to the dispensary operator wish(ing) you every success in meeting the needs of the medical marijuana patients in this state."
The dispensary will have the capacity to serve 4,000 patients in the state, Brodchandel's announcement said.
With the permit to grow delivered Thursday, the dispensary will begin producing a crop that will be tested by the state health department for safety.
Once the testing and an onsite inspection are complete, the state will notify registered patients by mail of the new dispensary's availability, according to Bennett's statement.
More information on Foundation Harmony will be made available on its website (harmonydispensary.org).
Research Editor Vinessa Erminio contributed to this report.
The suspect from Bridgeton was a passenger in a car with four others when the vehicle was stopped in Pennsville Township.
PENNSVILLE TWP. -- A teenager is being held in a detention center after he was found with a submachine gun in a car, police say.
"I don't recall ever confiscating a weapon like this," said Pennsville Chief of Police Allen J. Cummings on Thursday in announcing the arrest.
The chief said the 17-year-old male from Bridgeton -- who was not identified because of his age -- was with four others in a car when it was stopped by police on South Broadway at 8:24p.m. Monday.
As part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, Cummings said police said they were tipped off that the teen was going to be headed to Pennsville to sell or trade the weapon.
Police found the Thompson submachine gun in the trunk of the car.
The four others who were with the suspect were questioned and released, Cummings said. They told authorities they weren't aware the teen had put the machine gun in the trunk.
The teen was charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of a defaced firearm, unlawful possession of a machine gun and unlawful possession of a machine gun, according to Cummings.
The teen was taken to the Atlantic County Juvenile Detention Center to await a court appearance, the chief said.
Jeffery Van Queen faces weapons charges after police found an AR-15 in his vehicle
TRENTON -- The trial of a North Carolina man accused of possessing an AR-15 rifle in Trenton - and a high capacity magazine - began Thursday afternoon in Mercer County Superior Court.
Jeffery Van Queen, 49, was arrested on Feb 20, 2016 after police found the weapon in the back of the SUV he was driving.
During her opening statement Deputy Attorney General Cassandra Montaldo said that the word of the trial was possession - as the only thing the jury has to do is determine if Van Queen was in possession of the AR-15, and the gun's magazine.
State Police Lt. James Sansone testified he was on patrol when observed an individual, later identified as Van Queen, emerge from a home on North Warren Street and look down the street in both directions.
Sansone categorized this as strange behavior because North Warren is a one-way street. He then observed Van Queen carry a large green duffel bag from the home and place into the back seat of a black Chevrolet Suburban.
The lieutenant then watched as Van Queen walked around the SUV and back up to the front stoop of the home where he sat for several minutes continuing to look up and down the street. Van Queen then left the front stoop and sat in the drivers seat of the Chevy Suburban for a few minutes before driving down the street and making a right hand turn, Sansone testified.
Sansone then called other officers in the area to alert them of the situation and they pulled Van Queen over and found the weapon during a search.
The officers also found a purchase receipt of the weapon issued to a North Carolina woman, Kimberly Williams.
Sansone was the first to testify at the trial, which is expected to continue next Tuesday.
Two Lumberton brothers were indicted Thursday on murder charges stemming from the alleged slaying of their roommate.
LUMBERTON -- Two brothers accused of killing their roommate and burying his body in their backyard have been indicted on a murder charge, authorities said.
Christopher and Bryan Costello, 28 and 25, respectively, were indicted Thursday on first degree murder, second degree desecration of human remains and third degree hindering apprehension, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.
The brothers were arrested in November and charged with the death of 23-year-old Justin Dubois, who was their roommate, authorities said.
An investigation began after a relative reported not hearing from Dubois for several days. As police began to investigate the missing persons case, they identified the Costello brothers as possible suspects of foul play regarding Dubois.
Upon obtaining a search warrant, investigators found Dubois' body buried in the backyard of the home, which is owned by the Costello's father, according to the prosecutor's office.
Dubois was a skilled basketball player who dreamed of playing in the NBA, according to his obituary.
Neither of the Costello brothers had a steady source of employment, authorities said last fall, and neighbors have suggested that the house was the site of drug deals.
Bryan Costello had no criminal record prior to the murder arrest, and Christopher Costello has only faced a disorderly persons charge related to shoplifting in the past.
A motive has yet to be released in the slaying.
The two will be arraigned in Burlington County Superior Court.
Okieriete Onaodowan had only played a lead role in 'Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812' for two weeks when it was announced Mandy Patinkin would replace him
Rip currents, gale warnings and torrents of rain are forecast for Saturday and Sunday
This is not shaping up to be a nice weekend at the Shore. Or anywhere in New Jersey, for that matter.
A storm system is forming that promises to bring high winds and sheets of rain to much of the state beginning Friday afternoon and lingering through Saturday and into Sunday, the National Weather Service said.
At the ocean beaches, forecasters expect those effects as well as rip currents and generally rough waters all day Saturday and lasting into Sunday.
"It's going to be nasty along the coast. If you're going to go swimming my recommendation would be to go Friday," said Walter Drag, a meteorologist with the NWS in Mt. Holly. "I would not be doing any swimming on Saturday, Sunday or even into Monday", when the ocean will still be churning in the storm's wake.
As of Thursday, forecasters were uncertain precisely how bad things will get in various parts of the state or when areas will see the worst of the weather, but the region south of I-78 is expected to bear the brunt of the storm, with rain totals of up to five inches in South Jersey and four inches in the central part of the state possible before the system clears out Sunday.
North Jersey will also see heavy rains and high winds.
Anyone living along streams and rivers, in cities and at the Shore should begin keeping an eye out for weather advisories Friday afternoon, Drag said.
He also said that for many in New Jersey and Delaware, the weekend's weather will resemble the nor'easters that sporadically lash the region during the colder months but far less often in the summertime.
"It's a winter pattern occurring in late July. It's unusual, it's not common, but it does happen," Drag said.
Middle school and high school students split up by gender to talk about issues affecting their community.
ELIZABETH -- In a second-floor classroom of an Elizabeth high school building Wednesday afternoon, two dozen teenage girls sit in silence.
A woman at the front of the room stares at the students expectantly, waiting for them to give her a list of concerns about their communities.
"Domestic violence," someone finally says from the back row.
Slowly, the girls offer other topics: insecurities, peer pressure, stress, sex trafficking.
The girls, who have come to Frank J. Cicarell Academy for a youth summit about leadership and decision-making, begin to open up to the community activists running the workshop about their struggles with bullying.
"I used to either insult them back or be like, 'Okay, I love the way I am. Do you have a problem?'" one girl says. "I used to get in trouble a lot for it. I'm not gonna say I don't regret some of the things I said."
Leaders Kiana Harris and Maria Lorenz, in turn, tell the 13- to 17-year-old girls about their own experiences being teased as kids and how they pushed through challenges to forge their career paths. Harris is a pageant model, and Lorenz works in human resources for a pharmaceutical company.
"It's very important to not believe everything that you hear," Lorenz says. "Be confident in yourself as a young woman. Accept who you are. There are some things that are not in your power to change, but how you react is."
In a music classroom down the hallway, about 15 teenage boys sit in a half-circle.
"What is one thing that we should take back to our peers and to our community?" Salaam Ismial, the director of the Elizabeth-based National United Youth Council, asks as he paces the front of the room with a marker. "Come on, hands up. There's 100, but give me one thing."
A student says he learned everything comes back to your attitude.
Elizabeth police Officer Darin Williamson rewords: "Your attitude determines your latitude and how far you go in life."
A few of the boys chuckle, and Rutgers University - Newark student Ricky Castaneda writes "attitude and latitude" on a blank sheet of paper hanging on the white board.
The list grows to include being grateful, better relationships with police and choosing friends wisely. In the end, the boys have identified nine lessons they want to teach others.
As the roughly 50 teenagers walked down the hallway to the cafeteria for a snack, Ismial said this kind of goal-setting was exactly the point of gathering the students to talk about good citizenship.
"When they leave here, they should be equipped with a sense of focus and direction, and they should be able to spread that," Ismial said.
Khalil Ismail, who led the boys' workshop, said afterward that he remembers clearly what is was like to be a teenager and told the students everything stems from how happy they are at home.
"They opened up," said Ismail, who works for the non-profit Community Access Unlimited and is not related to Salaam. "In the beginning, they didn't know what to expect."
Salaam Ismial organized the youth summit in partnership with the Elizabeth Board of Education and the city's Office of Youth Services. Ismial said he hopes to repeat it at the beginning and end of every school year.
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The emergency department, which still needs final licensing approval, will be located in the recently opened RWJBarnabas Health medical arts building on Broadway between 23rd and 24th streets.
The Jersey City Medical Center has been given the go-ahead to open a satellite emergency department in Bayonne.
The emergency department, which still needs final licensing approval, will be located in the recently opened RWJBarnabas Health medical arts building on Broadway between 23rd and 24th streets -- roughly six blocks from CarePoint Health's Bayonne Medical Center.
The state Department of Health approved it on July 24.
"RWJBarnabas Health ... strongly supports enhanced access for quality care for all of Hudson County, including Bayonne and the Greenville section of Jersey City," a JCMC spokeswoman said. "We continue to move forward with our plans to expand medical services -- including the satellite emergency department at the new Bayonne facility -- in the near future, and remain steadfastly committed to providing health care services through our Jersey City Medical Center at Greenville facility as well."
The approval is the latest blow in the battle between the RWJBarnabas Health facility and CarePoint Health, which operates two other hospitals in Hudson County. State Department of Health officials said that nine applications filed by CarePoint Health to open satellite emergency departments in Hudson, Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties are still under review.
The JCMC needed a waiver from the state to open a satellite emergency department, or SED, in Bayonne, because SEDs are only allowed to be established to replace emergency rooms that have closed unless an operator shows good cause to open one elsewhere.
CarePoint Health officials filed "numerous" documents with the state in opposition to the JCMC bid for the waiver; and a group of local pastors and a small community group staged a media campaign against JCMC as well. The groups argued that Jersey City Medical Center should open the SED in the Greenville neighborhood, where it closed Greenville Hospital nearly 10 years ago.
CarePoint Health officials declined to comment on the approval of the Jersey City Medical Center SED, but issued a statement:
"CarePoint believes deeply in the principles of population health management," Kirat Kharode, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at CarePoint Health, said in the statement.
"Our satellite emergency departments will help address significant actual health care needs in northern New Jersey by improving quality and reducing costs through appropriately enhancing access to care."
Jersey City Medical Center said in its application that the emergency department at the Downtown Jersey City hospital saw 87,000 patients in 2016, when the facility is equipped to see 57,000 a year. It also noted that it could better serve the Greenville and Bayonne communities with the SED in Bayonne.
From 2012 through 2016, an average of 30,192 patients from the Greenville and Bayonne were treated at the JCMC emergency room. In its approval, the state agreed that the new SED would alleviate the overcrowding at the Downtown emergency department.
CarePoint Health recently opened an urgent care center on Broadway near 30th Street, and held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility Tuesday.
Of its nine satellite emergency department applications, one would be located in the Greenville neighborhood and another would be located in Downtown Jersey City. A Department of Health spokeswoman said those applications are still under review.
CarePoint officials have also said the company plans to open neighborhood health centers in Greenville and Union City.
The man attempted to get two boys who were fishing into his car
YARDLEY, Pa. -- Borough police have released a sketch of the suspect they say attempted to lure two boys fishing at a local lake earlier this month.
On July 17, the two boys reported that shortly before 5 p.m. a black man, between 40 and 50 years old, approached them with a young boy at his side, police said.
The man then invited the boys to get in his car to drive to another fishing location, telling them he had equipment of his own. The boys refused and the man eventually left, police said.
The suspect drove a four door sedan, the boys told police.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Yardley Police at 215-493-2782, ext. 404. They can also email email@example.com.