New Jersey Real-Time News

    Columbia High School prom 2018 (PHOTOS)


    Columbia High School's students turned out in style on Monday at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park for their senior prom. Glamour and high style was the standard as prom-goers had fun and danced the night away. BUY THESE PHOTOS Are you one of...

    Columbia High School's students turned out in style on Monday at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park for their senior prom. Glamour and high style was the standard as prom-goers had fun and danced the night away. BUY THESE PHOTOS Are you one of the people pictured at this prom? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Look...

    Columbia High School's students turned out in style on Monday at the Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park for their senior prom.

    Glamour and high style was the standard as prom-goers had fun and danced the night away.

    BUY THESE PHOTOS

    Are you one of the people pictured at this prom? Want to buy the photo and keep it forever? Look for the blue link "buy photo" below the photographer's credit to purchase the picture. You'll have the ability to order prints in a variety of sizes, or products like magnets, keychains, coffee mugs and more.

    Check back at nj.com/essex for other local high school prom coverage. Also be sure to check out the complete prom coverage at nj.com/prom.

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

    N.J. lawmaker resigns amid domestic violence charges

    N.J. lawmaker resigns amid domestic violence charges


    Arthur Barclay, a south Jersey Democrat, is also a former high school basketball star from Camden. Arthur Barclay, a south Jersey Democrat, resigned from the state Assembly on Monday, a little more than two weeks...

    Arthur Barclay, a south Jersey Democrat, is also a former high school basketball star from Camden.

    Arthur Barclay, a south Jersey Democrat, resigned from the state Assembly on Monday, a little more than two weeks after he was arrested on a charge of simple assault related to domestic violence.

    The 36-year-old Camden County lawmaker -- a former high school basketball star -- stepped down "effectively immediately" for "health reasons," according to Camden County Democratic Party Chairman James Beach, who is also a state senator.

    Arthur Barclay 

    Messages left with Barclay's legislative offices were not immediately returned Monday. 

    But Barclay confirmed the arrest to political news website New Jersey Globe, which was the first to report the incident Monday.

    "It happened," he told the website.  "I don't want to talk about it.  It is what it is.  It happened.  I just want to move forward."

    Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, said he was "appalled to learn" of Barclay's actions.

    "It is my understanding that he is doing the right thing and will resign from the General Assembly immediately," Coughlin added in a statement. 

    Barclay was arrested in Camden a little after 7 p.m. on June 7 for "simple assault domestic violence," according to an arrest report obtained by NJ Advance Media and other news outlets. 

    He is scheduled to appear in Camden municipal court on June 28. 

    Further details were unavailable late Monday night. A Camden County spokesman did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

    Barclay has been a member of the Assembly since January 2016, representing south Jersey's 5th legislative district, which includes parts of Camden and Gloucester counties -- including the city of Camden.

    He was vice chair of the Assembly's law and public safety committee and a member of its judiciary committee.

    A Camden native, Barclay was a basketball standout at Camden High School in the late 1990s.  The 6-foot-8 forward, who graduated in 2000, scored 1,259 points in his career.

    Barclay later played three seasons for the University of Memphis basketball team under famed coach John Calipari.

    He was inducted into the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. 

    It is now up to Democratic committee members in Barclay's district to pick a replacement for his seat. Whoever is chosen will serve until a special election in November for the final year on Barclay's two-year term.

    NJ Advance Media staff writers Noah Cohen and Chris Sheldon contributed to this report.

    Brent Johnson may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

    Two seriously injured when tree crushes car

    Two seriously injured when tree crushes car


    Two people were seriously injured Monday night after a tree fell on their car in Morristown, authorities said. Two people were seriously injured Monday night after a tree fell on their car in Morristown, authorities...

    Two people were seriously injured Monday night after a tree fell on their car in Morristown, authorities said.

    Two people were seriously injured Monday night after a tree fell on their car in Morristown, authorities said.

    Emergency responders were called to Ford Avenue near Franklin Street at 8 p.m. and found that a 4-door sedan with two people inside was struck by a falling tree, according to a release from the Morristown Police.

    The Morristown Fire Department was able to get both people out and they were taken to Morristown Medical Center with "traumatic injuries," police said.

    The names of the injured people were not released Monday night.

    A thunderstorm passed through Morristown Monday night, but police said it is unclear if the storm caused the tree to fall.

    Police said the accident is under investigation.

     Chris Sheldon may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     
    Unapologetic Trump digs in on immigration despite outrage

    Unapologetic Trump digs in on immigration despite outrage


    An unapologetic President Donald Trump defended his administration's border-protection policies Monday in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents. An...

    An unapologetic President Donald Trump defended his administration's border-protection policies Monday in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents.

    An unapologetic President Donald Trump defended his administration's border-protection policies Monday in the face of rising national outrage over the forced separation of migrant children from their parents.

    Calling for tough action against illegal immigration, Trump declared the U.S. "will not be a migrant camp" on his watch.

    Images of children held in fenced cages fueled a growing chorus of condemnation from both political parties, four former first ladies and national evangelical leaders. The children are being held separately from parents who are being prosecuted under the administration's "zero-tolerance" policy for illegal border crossings.

    "I say it's very strongly the Democrats' fault," Trump said Monday as his administration rejected criticism that the policy has resulted in inhuman and immoral conditions.

    Trump pointed to more lenient policies under past administrations that had not charged all migrants who had crossed illegally.

    "We will not apologize for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does, for doing the job that the American people expect us to do," Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in an appearance before the National Sheriffs' Association in New Orleans. "Illegal actions have and must have consequences. No more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards."

    Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the new "zero-tolerance" policy that refers all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. Prior procedure had limited prosecution for many family entrants, in part because regulations prohibit detaining children with their parents since the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.

    The policy change was meant to deter unlawful crossings -- and Sessions issued a warning last month to those entering the U.S. illegally that their children "inevitably for a period of time might be in different conditions."

    The current holding areas have drawn widespread attention after journalists gained access to one site Sunday. At a McAllen, Texas, detention center hundreds of immigrant children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.

    Administration officials said they do not like the family separations either -- calling it the result of legal loopholes -- but insist migrants who arrive illegally simply won't be released or loosely kept track of.

    "The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility," Trump declared. "Not on my watch."

    Sessions, on Monday, echoed the administration's defense of the zero tolerance policy, and called on Congress to act.

    "We do not want to separate parents from their children," he said. "If we build the wall, if we pass legislation to end the lawlessness, we won't face these terrible choices."

    Mindful of the national outcry, lawmakers in both parties rushed Monday to devise a targeted legislative fix.

    GOP senators, including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine, said they were considering legislation that would keep migrant families together; provide additional judges so detained families would face shorter waiting periods; and provide facilities for the families to stay.

    Graham said he talked Mondayto about 40 senators, including Democrats, but not Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "It's a concept it seems everybody is jumping on board," he said.

    California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she had the backing of the Democratic caucus for a bill would that prohibit the separation of migrant children from their parents, with exceptions for findings of child abuse or trafficking.

    But the White House signaled it would oppose any narrow fix aimed solely at addressing the plight of children separated from their parents under the immigration crackdown. Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump's priorities, like funding a border wall and tightening immigration laws, must also be fulfilled as part of any legislation.

    "We want to fix the whole thing," she said. "We don't want to tinker with just part of it."

    The national debate over the family separation policy comes as Republican lawmakers are growing ever more concerned about negative effects on their re-election campaigns this fall. Trump is to travel to Capitol Hill Tuesday for a strategy session on upcoming immigration legislation.

    Underscoring the sensitivity of the issue, language curbing the taking of immigrant children from parents held in custody will be added to the House's conservative immigration bill, a House GOP aide said Monday, A similar provision is already in a compromise GOP immigration measure between party conservatives and moderates, with the House expected to vote on both late this week.

    The administration is hoping to force Democrats to vote for the bills or bear some of the political cost in November's midterm elections.

    White House officials have privately embraced the border policy as a negotiating tactic to win votes for legislation to fulfill the president's pledge to build a border wall and to tighten the nation's immigration laws.

    Trump's commitment to the current policy showed no sign of faltering as voices of outrage and condemnation grew louder and more diverse.

    In Massachusetts, Republican Gov. Charlie Baker reversed a decision to send a state National Guard helicopter to the southern border, citing what he called the administration's "cruel and inhumane" policy of separating children from their parents.

    The Rev. Franklin Graham, a longtime Trump ally, called the policy "disgraceful." Several religious groups, including some conservative ones, have pushed to stop the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents. The Mormon church said it was "deeply troubled" by the separation of families and urged national leaders to find compassionate solutions.

    Former first lady Laura Bush called the policy "cruel" and "immoral," and said it was "eerily reminiscent" of the U.S. internment of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.

    On Capitol Hill, Republicans joined Democrats in calling for an end to the separations. Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton called for an immediate end to this "ugly and inhumane practice," adding, "It's never acceptable to use kids as bargaining chips in political process." Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts said he is "against using parental separation as a deterrent to illegal immigration." And GOP Rep. Mike Coffman warned, "History won't remember well those who support the continuation of this policy."

    WWE to bring body slams to Atlantic City's new Hard Rock casino

    WWE to bring body slams to Atlantic City's new Hard Rock casino


    World Wrestling Entertainment fans itching for their fix of body slams and piledrivers have to look no further than Atlantic City's newest casino this summer. World Wrestling Entertainment fans itching for their fix...

    World Wrestling Entertainment fans itching for their fix of body slams and piledrivers have to look no further than Atlantic City's newest casino this summer.

    World Wrestling Entertainment fans itching for their fix of body slams and piledrivers have to look no further than Atlantic City's newest casino this summer.

    The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, which is scheduled to open on June 28, will host WWE Live on Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

    Tickets will go on sale on June 22 at 10 a.m. and range from $25 to $100.

    Fans can see their SmackDown Live Superstars in action including WWE Champion AJ Styles, The Miz, Charlotte Flair, Daniel Bryan and others, according to a release from the casino. 

    This will be the first time the WWE has held a show on the Atlantic City boardwalk in more than two years, the release states.

    It will also not be the last time the WWE will be holding a show in New Jersey, as the company announced it will be holding Wrestlemania 35 at MetLife Stadium in 2019.

    For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, visit hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com.

    The former Trump Taj Mahal has undergone a $500 million renovation and will feature a musical lineup of Pit Bull and Carrie Underwood when it opens later this month.

     Chris Sheldon may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Raise the sales tax? The business tax? Dueling Democratic budgets bring N.J. closer to a shutdown.

    Raise the sales tax? The business tax? Dueling Democratic budgets bring N.J. closer to a shutdown.


    The back-and-forth pushes the state closer to a government shutdown. Democrats who control the state Legislature on Monday announced they'll introduce a $36.2 billion budget that would raise taxes on New Jersey's...

    The back-and-forth pushes the state closer to a government shutdown.

    Democrats who control the state Legislature on Monday announced they'll introduce a $36.2 billion budget that would raise taxes on New Jersey's very largest corporations to the highest level of any state.

    They also vowed to move forward with the spending plan even though Gov. Phil Murphy said he'd veto it earlier in the day. 

    The intensified hostility between the governor and state Legislature pushes New Jersey closer to the possibility of a second state government shutdown in two years. A balanced budget needs to be signed by June 30.

    The "two houses are unified behind a budget," state Senate President Stephen Sweeney said at an afternoon news conference at the Statehouse in Trenton. He assailed Murphy for being unwilling to compromise and described a recent meeting with the governor as a take-it-or-leave scenario.

    "I was told, 'It's my budget. I like my budget. The things I'll cut, I already cut. The things on the cutting room floor are on the cutting room floor. Pass my budget.' That's almost verbatim," Sweeney, D-Gloucester, said.

    State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, who has largely avoided the public spotlight in recent months when it came to openly discussing the budget, confirmed the Legislature is at a deadlock with the new administration.

    Murphy vows he'll veto fellow Dems' budget

    "The time has come when we have to pass a budget, so, now, while I have tried to provide an avenue for discussion and compromise by keeping my cards close to the vest, I think it's about time," Coughlin, D-Middlesex, said.

    "I think it's incumbent upon the governor to take a look at what we actually put forth and I'm hopeful that when he does he'll recognize that 95 percent of things he looked for are included in (our) budget," he added.

    The Legislature's plan does not include Murphy's call for a nearly 3 percentage point increase on personal income over $1 million and a small increase in the sales tax.

    Instead, it creates two new tiers for the Corporation Business Tax, levying the top current rate, 9 percent, on businesses with net income between $100,000 and $1 million, and then 11.5 percent on businesses with $1 million to $25 million, and 13 percent on businesses with income higher than $25 million. The surcharges would expire after two years.

    At present, Iowa holds the top spot with a 12 percent marginal tax rate on businesses with more than $250,000 in profits.

    Sweeney first suggested the business tax hike as an alternative to the millionaires tax hike in March, even before Murphy introduced his budget proposal.

    Sweeney, once a leading voice in the call for higher taxes on the state's well-to-do, now argues that federal tax reform changed the landscape and that another tax would prompt rich residents to flee. He said the federal corporate tax cuts created a windfall for businesses, and the state should take a cut.

    The legislators project their new business tax proposal will generate $805 million for New Jersey, while Murphy's two largest revenue raisers -- the millionaires tax and the sales tax increase -- are expected to raise more than $1.3 billion.

    "We are being smart about how we raise taxes and by how much," Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, said in a statement announcing details of the spending plan.

    He said the added taxes for corporations "making more than $1 million a year in New Jersey will be borne mostly by multinational corporations headquartered out of state and by foreign and out-of-state investors."

    Murphy has said the lawmakers' counterproposal is a temporary move where permanent solutions are needed. Earlier Monday, he assailed the lawmakers' planned budget for relying on too many "one-shot" revenues that serve as temporary fixes.

    "I will not sign any budget based on numbers that I believe are not sound and sustainable," he said at his own Trenton news conference. "I'm not going to certify a budget based on gimmicks."

    But Sweeney said lawmakers will not be "bullied into doing the wrong thing."

    "It's a good budget -- good for the people of New Jersey," Sweeney said.

    The lawmakers' blueprint proposes to close the gap between their $36.2 billion budget and Murphy's $37.4 billion budget with a tax amnesty program, savings to employee health care and other unspecified cuts in spending.

    The outline lawmakers provided does not say how much they think delinquent taxpayers might shell out, but NJ Advance Media has previously reported that earlier versions of the plan pegged it at $150 million.

    Their budget also relies on somewhat rosier expectations for how the sales, Corporation Business Tax and sports betting taxes might perform next year, for a total of about $266 million.

    On spending, lawmakers want to double Murphy's appropriation for Homestead property tax credits and dramatically reduce -- from $50 million to $5 million -- his plans to kickstart tuition-free community college for all New Jerseyans.

    They also want to boost education spending by $64.5 million more than the $283 million increase Murphy had budgeted.

    The additional funding is part of a plan pushed by Sweeney to retool the school funding formula, shifting aid from districts considered overfunded to those considered underfunded.

    They also restore funding to the more than $100 million in legislative spending priorities -- things like prisoner reentry services, court-appointed special advocates for children and other social safety net programs -- Murphy discarded in his budget. 

    Sweeney warned at a news conference last week that there will be no budget come July 1 if these items aren't funded.

    Despite the growing hostility between the Legislature and the governor, the lawmakers stressed the shared values in the two budgets, including increased funding for transit and government worker pensions.

    "We put in just about every one of the governor's priorities -- which generally match our priorities -- including $57 million more for preschool ... an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, and a new Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit," Sarlo said. "But we do it without raising more taxes than needed." 

    When asked about Murphy's vow to veto their budget earlier in the day, Sweeney shot back: "How about he looks at it first? He doesn't know what's in it. Budget negotiations would be good if we could negotiate."

    Coughlin said there's still plenty of time for the governor to negotiate with lawmakers after they send him their budget on Thursday.

    "The governor will have the budget nine days before the deadline and we'll have an opportunity to do what we can to avoid a shutdown," he said. 

    NJ Advance Media staff writer Brent Johnson contributed to this report.

    Matt Arco may be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @MatthewArco or Facebook.

    Deadly gang shootout at all-night arts festival leaves Trenton shaken

    Deadly gang shootout at all-night arts festival leaves Trenton shaken


    Three people exchanged gunfire just before 3 a.m. Sunday. One of the men, a 32-year-old reputed Bloods gang member named Tahaij Wells, was shot and killed by police. Watch video A day after a...

    Three people exchanged gunfire just before 3 a.m. Sunday. One of the men, a 32-year-old reputed Bloods gang member named Tahaij Wells, was shot and killed by police. Watch video

    A day after a shootout left 17 people shot at a 24-hour arts festival in Trenton, New Jersey's capital city was feeling aftershocks from the stunning gunplay.

    Among the institutions affected by the shooting at Art All Night were the city's public schools, some of which opted to push back pre-K and kindergarten "move-up" ceremonies that had been scheduled for Monday.

    A spokeswoman for Trenton Public Schools said the schools elected to reschedule the ceremonies "in light of recent events."

    "This is not based on any schools being identified for any reason," the spokeswoman, Alexandrea Robinson-Rogers, said. Graduation ceremonies for the district's high schools were still scheduled for next week as of Monday afternoon.

    Investigators said three people exchanged gunfire inside the historic Roebling Wire Works just before 3 a.m. Sunday as the 24-hour festival was in full swing. One of the men, a 32-year-old reputed Bloods gang member named Tahaij Wells, was shot and killed by police.

    The two others implicated in the shooting have been hospitalized with injuries of their own, and the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office has yet to announce formal criminal charges.

    Overall, 17 of the 22 people injured suffered gunshot wounds, authorities said.

    In a letter to parents and staff on Sunday, Superintendent Fred McDowell said everyone except students and staff would be barred from school buildings "until further notice" under a shelter-in-place safety protocol.

    "We will continue to take all necessary measures to provide a safe and secure learning environment," he said.

    Far beyond the doors of the city's classrooms, the art community that fostered the event is still taking stock of what needs to be done to move forward.

    James Peeples, a former board member of Artworks, which produces Art All Night, said he had been in contact with current board members and described their past few days as nothing short of a nightmare.

    "I spoke with them to see if they were planning on making any kind of statement to the media and (they) said, 'We can't breathe right now,'" Peeples told NJ Advance Media.

    Peeples said organizers now face numerous logistical challenges as they try to return the approximately 1,500 pieces of art from the Wire Works, a historic building that is now a crime scene.

    Artists had come from as far away as South Carolina to have their work featured in the show, he said.

    "The creative community wants to see this happen again next year," Peeples said. "We want to change the narrative about what Art All Night is.

    "We want to change the visual and the spoken message about what this city is about, and the beautiful community. We believe the arts and the humanities and the creative community is what is going to bring Trenton back. Music and art and culture and restaurant and alternative things to do are what will revitalize this community."

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty.

    Alexis Johnson may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @alexisjreports.

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    Why won't the N.J. GOP tell Trump to stop caging children? | Editorial

    Why won't the N.J. GOP tell Trump to stop caging children? | Editorial


    Why was Leonard Lance the only one to call directly on Trump to end this policy? Why not Frelinghuysen, Tom MacArthur, Chris Smith or Frank LoBiondo? Watch video In just six weeks, at least 2,000...

    Why was Leonard Lance the only one to call directly on Trump to end this policy? Why not Frelinghuysen, Tom MacArthur, Chris Smith or Frank LoBiondo? Watch video

    In just six weeks, at least 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the border - not because of the law, as President Trump has claimed, and not because of the Bible, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions asserts. Because this administration has chosen to do this.
     
    Cruelty is a political tactic for Trump. Remember when he said he would only allow the Dreamers to stay if we sharply curtailed legal immigration, like political asylum, or people seeking to bring a sibling or grandparent here?
     
    Now he's using little kids torn from their parents as hostages, too.

    Trump's immigration policy draws Father's Day protests in Elizabeth from N.J. reps
     
    Rep. Frank Pallone spoke to some of these parents at the detention center in Elizabeth on Father's Day, after he and other lawmakers, including Bill Pascrell and Albio Sires, were forced to wait two hours for a visit. He was seriously outraged.
     
    The fathers they met were fleeing violence and turned themselves in, seeking asylum. Two broke down and cried while telling their stories. They brought their kids on this dangerous journey because they were more afraid of what might happen to them at home. Then they were taken away by U.S. authorities.
     
    One man's four-year-old girl was separated from him at 3 a.m. Last he heard, she might be in Michigan. "He got down and begged for them not to take her," Pallone said. A fisherman who fled after his business partner was murdered by a gang said his 12-year-old "clung to him and literally had to be physically taken away," the congressman recounted, "because she wouldn't let go of him."
     
    They aren't told where their children are going. And they don't get to speak to them again. "It's horrible," Pallone said.


     
    On Tuesday, when Trump convenes with House Republicans, what will New Jersey's five GOP delegates tell him?
     
    Nearly all - with the exception of Rodney Frelinghuysen, who hasn't deigned to comment - have said they're against these family separations and called for a legislative compromise. But why should Trump use kids as a negotiating tool?
     
    Why not demand that he immediately end this heartless practice, like Laura Bush, Sen. Lindsey Graham and so many others did?
     
    "President Trump could stop this policy with a phone call," Graham, the South Carolina Republican who is a golfing buddy and often-ally of Trump, told CNN. "I'll go tell him. If you don't like families' being separated, you can tell D.H.S. stop doing it."
     
    Right. So why was Leonard Lance the only one to call directly on Trump to end this? Why not Frelinghuysen, Tom MacArthur, Chris Smith or Frank LoBiondo?
     
    The president only dug in deeper on Monday, claiming criminals, not parents, are bringing these kids here. "They could be murderers and thieves and so much else," he said. His son, Donald Trump Jr., liked a tweet suggesting that kids separated from their parents are actually child actors, as the crazies said about the students from Parkland. Here we go again.

     


    This was after a parade of Republicans denounced this as inhumane. The head of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Colleen Kraft, described watching a toddler taken from her mother cry uncontrollably and pound her tiny fists on a mat. The staff couldn't even to pick her up to soothe her, because they aren't allowed to touch the kids.
     
    It isn't enough to say that this is wrong. Our Republicans must call on Trump to end his policy at once. Then, if he won't, pass a bill that stops it, without using these kids as a bargaining chip for broader immigration reform.

    "They're very afraid to criticize the president even if privately, they agree with what I'm telling you," Pallone said of New Jersey's GOP delegation. And that is the most shameful part of all.

    Bookmark NJ.com/Opinion. Follow on Twitter @NJ_Opinion and find NJ.com Opinion on Facebook.

    Security guard tells cops suspect is wanted for killing. Minutes later, a woman is dead

    Security guard tells cops suspect is wanted for killing. Minutes later, a woman is dead


    A Marshalls employee told the dispatcher one of the shoplifting suspects had a warrant for manslaughter. There's no indication that any of the three involved had such a warrant. Watch video A...

    A Marshalls employee told the dispatcher one of the shoplifting suspects had a warrant for manslaughter. There's no indication that any of the three involved had such a warrant. Watch video

    A Marshalls employee who confronted suspected shoplifters trying to flee the Deptford Township store June 9 told a dispatcher that one of them was wanted on a warrant for manslaughter.

    The incident ended with a township police officer shooting into a moving SUV, killing the driver as she allegedly tried to run him down with her vehicle.

    The phone call is part of a redacted set of audio files released by Gloucester County on Monday afternoon in response to an Open Public Records Act requests.

    The phone call answers the lingering question of how police learned one of the suspects was possibly a killer, but it doesn't explain where the store employee got this information. 

    LaShanda Anderson, 36, of Philadelphia, was shot to death after she allegedly tried to run down a police officer with her vehicle. (Facebook)
     

    No records have been revealed to show that any of the three were wanted on a warrant for manslaughter or homicide. The trio were known to Marshalls' personnel from previous thefts, according to prosecutors.

    When reached for comment Monday about the Marshalls employee's call to the dispatcher, a spokeswoman said the company had no comment.

    "We continue to cooperate with law enforcement, but beyond that, as this is an active police matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further," she said.

    Two men and a woman allegedly tried to steal more than $3,400 in merchandise by concealing it in a suitcase and leaving the store.

    The loss prevention employee called 911 to ask for police help and to provide descriptions of suspects trying to steal items. During that call, he claims one is wanted, but doesn't elaborate.

    "One has a warrant for manslaughter," he tells the dispatcher. "I'm gonna need help stopping them."

    The dispatcher tells him she has two officers on the way.

    "How do you know they're wanted for homicide," the dispatcher asks him, but she doesn't get an answer.

    The dispatcher tries to learn more as the employee apparently begins chasing the suspects. Although the Marshalls' loss protection worker doesn't say which of the three has a warrant, the dispatcher assumes it's the man.

    "He's advising me the male is wanted for homicide, but he's not cooperating with me," the dispatcher tells responding officers.

    "Where are they? I have two cops in the parking lot," the dispatcher asks the Marshalls worker.

    Shouting can be heard as the employee apparently struggles with the shoplifters.

    "I see them. I'm pulling up," an officer tells the dispatcher.

    From there, the recording seems to pick up audio of an officer giving orders.

    "She just struck my arm with the vehicle," an officer yells.

    Seconds later, someone yells, "Shots fired, shots fired."

    One of the officers, Sgt. Kevin A. Clements, fired three rounds and two struck LaShanda Anderson, 36, of Philadelphia, as police say she drove toward the officer. 

    Also in the vehicle was Chanel Barnes, 38, of Philadelphia, who was charged with shoplifting. The third member of the group, Raoul Gadson, 43, was arrested days later in Philadelphia on charges of assault and robbery.

    The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office is investigating the fatal shooting.

    Clements, 41, is a 19-year police veteran. He remains on administrative duty while the investigation continues.

    Anderson, Barnes and Gadson have criminal records. Anderson's extensive criminal history included an attempted murder charge in 2015 following a shooting at a Philadelphia laundromat.

    Records show the attempted murder and weapons charges against her were dismissed after a mistrial. She received probation in that case after pleading guilty to possessing a criminal instrument.

    Anderson was also wanted by Delaware police following thefts from Marshalls stores in that state last year.

    Matt Gray may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MattGraySJT. Find the South Jersey Times on Facebook. Have a tip? Tell us: nj.com/tips.

    Out-of-control dump truck barrels through house

    Out-of-control dump truck barrels through house


    A runaway dump truck barreling in reverse down a Hawthorne street crashed into a home Monday, smashing through a bedroom wall and destroying part of the roof. A runaway dump truck barreling in reverse down a...

    A runaway dump truck barreling in reverse down a Hawthorne street crashed into a home Monday, smashing through a bedroom wall and destroying part of the roof.

    A runaway dump truck barreling in reverse down a Hawthorne street crashed into a home Monday, smashing through a bedroom wall and destroying part of the roof.

    No one was hurt in the wreck, which occurred around noon on Sunrise Drive, according to the Hawthorne Fire Department.

    The driver told NorthJersey.com he felt the truck tilt while it was being loaded with gravel at the top of a cul-de-sac. He reportedly tried to move the truck, but it rolled backwards and was moving too fast before it careened into the residence.

    The homeowner was in his yard when the Mack truck slammed into a spare bedroom. Crews cut away a section of the home's roof to remove the truck.

    The dump truck caused major damage to the Sunrise Drive home June 18, 2018Boyd A. Loving 

    Photos from the scene appeared to show some of the truck's gravel load spilled out on the lawn, along with major damage to walls in the house. 

    Firefighters, joined by the Paterson Fire Department Urban Search and Rescue unit, worked for about three hours in the blazing heat to stabilize the home and clear the truck, the fire department said. One firefighter and another person were treated for heat exhaustion. 

    Noah Cohen may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @noahycFind NJ.com on Facebook.

     

    Man charged with sexually assaulting 80-year-old in hospital detained

    Man charged with sexually assaulting 80-year-old in hospital detained


    A 45-year-old felon charged with sexually assaulting an 80-year-old woman as she lay in her hospital bed at the Jersey City Medical Center was ordered detained through the course of his prosecution today. JERSEY...

    A 45-year-old felon charged with sexually assaulting an 80-year-old woman as she lay in her hospital bed at the Jersey City Medical Center was ordered detained through the course of his prosecution today.

    JERSEY CITY -- A 45-year-old felon charged with sexually assaulting an 80-year-old woman as she lay in her hospital bed at the Jersey City Medical Center was ordered detained through the course of his prosecution today.

    "You cannot get any more dangerous than someone like Mr. (Jackie) Burgess who preyed on this most vulnerable woman," Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Karen Kazanchy said of Burgess who was apparently wandering the hospital halls  on June 7.

    The 80-year-old told officials she woke to find a man touching her crotch and because she had a catheter, she thought it was a member of hospital staff. After he pushed on her leg which was sore from surgery, she realized he wasn't in hospital attire. She buzzed for a nurse, the complaint says, adding that the man walked out.

    Police believe Burgess had earlier entered another patient's room and went into her private bathroom without permission. Burgess was arrested by hospital security and remanded to the Hudson County jail in Kearny. Police say evidence for the arrest includes hospital security video. 

    Kazansky said Burgess has a prior conviction for setting a house on fire using "high-powered" fireworks in 1991. She said he also has a conviction for drug possession within 1,000 feet of school property in 2005.

    Finally, the prosecutor said his most recent arrested resulted in a disorderly persons conviction for slashing his uncle's face with a beer bottle in 2016.

    Arguing that Burgess should be locked up pending trial, Kazanchy said he has no impulse control and "preys on the weak, the elderly and pretty much anyone who gets in his way."

    The prosecutor also noted that after Burgess was arrested, he masturbated in a holding cell. She said he is "unable to control his sexual impulses."

    DePascale also noted that "recitation of the facts by the state indicates pretty clearly even when in custody, an inability to control his behavior."

    At the end of the hearing, DePascale ruled that there is no condition or combination of conditions that can be imposed to insure that if Burgess is released, he will not be a threat to the public and will show up for his court hearing. He ordered Burgess detained.

    Following Burgess' arrest, he was charged with aggravated sexual assault for his alleged acts in the hospital and a lewd act for his behavior in the holding cell.

    There was also some discussion on whether Burgess would be placed in protective custody at the Hudson County jail but DePascale said jail officials would have to make that decision.

    Murphy's AG orders bias training for N.J. State Police troopers, state lawyers

    Murphy's AG orders bias training for N.J. State Police troopers, state lawyers


    Attorney general pledges to increase diversity as state law enforcement agencies face discrimination complaints. New Jersey's attorney general on Monday ordered all state troopers and state and county prosecutors...

    Attorney general pledges to increase diversity as state law enforcement agencies face discrimination complaints.

    New Jersey's attorney general on Monday ordered all state troopers and state and county prosecutors undergo anti-discrimination training as part of a sweeping directive aimed at improving diversity in law enforcement.

    The move comes as the attorney general's own office is fighting a lawsuit filed by three deputy attorneys alleging widespread discrimination and the State Police continues to struggle to diversify its ranks.

    In a memo to division leaders at the state Department of Law and Public Safety, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal outlined eight diversity initiatives, including a "redoubling" of efforts to recruit more minority troopers, more training to prevent "implicit bias" and new human resources programs.

    "One of New Jersey's greatest strengths is the diversity of its residents," Grewal wrote, adding that "we have a special responsibility to reflect and promote that diversity."

    According to state employment data, about 79 percent of troopers are white and more than 95 percent are male. In an ongoing civil suit filed last year, three current and former deputy attorneys general alleged that while leadership within the Attorney General's Office included women and people of color, only about 44 of its more than 700 deputy attorneys general were African American.

    State Police settles whistleblower suit for $1.4M

    Grewal outlined the new initiatives at a meeting of the attorney general's diversity council, which includes two of the deputies who filed suit, Diane Scott and Phillip Dowdell.

    An attorney for the deputies, Linda Niedweske, applauded the attorney general's announcement, but said his office had refused to back down in the discrimination suit, which alleges the civil and criminal divisions had "systematically discriminated against" their black employees.

    Just issued a Department-wide memo to promote diversity. Mandatory implicit bias training, new efforts to recruit and retain talented @NJSP troopers, and a greater focus on diversity when we hire outside law firms for the state's legal work. Read more here: pic.twitter.com/ug4kaLL8EM

    -- NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (@NewJerseyAG) June 18, 2018

    Grewal, the nation's first Sikh attorney general, was named to the post in January by Gov. Phil Murphy, who came to office touting the diversity of his cabinet. 

    Yet Niedweske said she was "continuing to receive calls from individuals employed by the state under the Attorney General's Office claiming discriminatory behavior."

    "Whatever initiatives from the new administration have not filtered down yet, so people are still facing the consequences" of discrimination, she said.

    A spokesman for the office declined to comment on the suit, which is ongoing in Superior Court in Essex County. 

    The State Police has for decades faced allegations of racial profiling and discrimination among its ranks, and earlier this year paid $1.4 million to settle a lawsuit from a former black trooper who claimed he received unfavorable assignments for raising the alarm about racial bias in internal affairs practices. 

    In a statement, Col. Patrick Callahan, the acting head of the State Police, said he was "in lock step" with the attorney general's push for diversity. Representatives of the largest state troopers' union did not respond to a message seeking comment. 

    S.P. Sullivan may be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Bicyclist struck by light rail train in Hoboken

    Bicyclist struck by light rail train in Hoboken


    A bicyclist was struck by a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail train on Monday afternoon, causing a messy commute home.   HOBOKEN -- A bicyclist was struck by a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail train on Monday afternoon, causing a...

    A bicyclist was struck by a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail train on Monday afternoon, causing a messy commute home.

     

    HOBOKEN -- A bicyclist was struck by a Hudson-Bergen Light Rail train on Monday afternoon, causing a messy commute home. 

    The incident occurred at Paterson Plank Road in Hoboken shortly after 4 p.m., an NJ Transit spokeswoman said. 

    Officials say the victim, only identified as a man on a bike, was conscious and able to talk to emergency responders after he was hit. He was expected to be brought to Jersey City Medical Center for treatment. 

    Temporary suspensions were reported between 9th Street and Hoboken Station an 9th Street and Newport Mall as a result of the investigation. Service has been restored but system-wide delays should be expected. 

    Additional information was not immediately available. 

    Caitlin Mota may be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @caitlin_mota. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.

    Retired air marshal plotted revenge on agency, sought explosives info, fed say

    Retired air marshal plotted revenge on agency, sought explosives info, fed say


    Julian Terrell Turk, who worked for the Air Marshal field office in Newark, sent emails to a former marshal about his "plan to get them for what they've done to me," feds say. A retired federal air marshal was...

    Julian Terrell Turk, who worked for the Air Marshal field office in Newark, sent emails to a former marshal about his "plan to get them for what they've done to me," feds say.

    A retired federal air marshal was indicted Monday on charges that he threatened his former colleagues -- while showing interest in explosives and guns, and talking about a vendetta against people at his former workplace who had wronged him.

    Julian Terrell Turk, 47, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, was charged Monday with interstate communication of threats, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

    Turk, who worked for the Federal Air Marshal Service field office in Newark, sent a series of emails to a former marshal about his "plan to get them for what they've done to me." 

    "In the event that something happens to me, please make sure to look after my children," Turk wrote, according to federal prosecutors.

    "There comes a time in one's life that he has to take a stand against what's 'right' and not 'white' here, now, is my chance to do that," he allegedly wrote. "These (expletive) have gone out of their way to (expletive) with me in the worst way possible. ... What kind of man would I be if I didn't live up to my motto and creed of 'Being a Man for Others!' So I've come up with a plan to get them for what they've done to me."

    Turk allegedly reached out to a retired Navy SEAL, asking for information on how to craft and use explosives. He also told the ex-SEAL he wanted a list of books and other resources on long-range rifle shooting.

    In another email dated April 13, Turk wrote that he would "show them how to (expletive) with someone." 

    The maximum sentence for interstate communication of threats is five years in prison, with three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

    Joe Brandt can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    Christie makes a surprise appearance in tense N.J. budget talks

    Christie makes a surprise appearance in tense N.J. budget talks


    A published report Monday said former Gov. Chris Christie in advising state Senate President Stephen Sweeney in tense state budget negotiations. A familiar figure resurfaced Monday amid heated state budget...

    A published report Monday said former Gov. Chris Christie in advising state Senate President Stephen Sweeney in tense state budget negotiations.

    A familiar figure resurfaced Monday amid heated state budget negotiations: former Gov. Chris Christie

    The administration of new Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, latched onto a report Monday saying Christie, his Republican predecessor, is advising New Jersey's Democratic state Senate president in a budget standoff with Murphy. 

    Murphy spokesman Dan Bryan said Christie's "fingerprints" are "all over" the budget proposal that state Senate President Stephen Sweeney is pushing as a rival to Murphy's first state budget plan. 

    "It's no surprise that Chris Christie supports this budget and has his fingerprints all over it," Bryan said in a statement. "The Legislature's budget relies on the same failed, short-term strategies that got us into this mess in the first place, jeopardizing long-term investments in NJ Transit, public schools, and property tax relief."

    Even though Murphy and Sweeney -- the state's highest-ranking elected officials -- are both Democrats, the two are in a fierce battle over the state budget with less than two weeks to go before one must be enacted by June 30.

    Phil Murphy vows he'll veto fellow Democrats' state budget plan

    As Murphy and Sweeney presided over dueling news conference in Trenton to push their respective plans, political website New Jersey Globe published a story saying an anonymous source overhead Christie on a train to Washington on Monday boasting of helping Sweeney with his message. 

    The source claimed Christie -- who finished his tenure with the lowest approval ratings any New Jersey governor in history -- sad he is "coordinating" with Sweeney.

    New Jersey Globe is run by David Wildstein, the admitted mastermind behind the political retribution scheme known as Bridgegate, which plagued Christie's final term. He pleaded pleaded guilty to federal crimes in the George Washington Bridge lane closings after striking a deal with prosecutors to testify against other administration officials. 

    Despite hailing from opposite parties, Christie and Sweeney often struck deals over the last eight years. Sweeney and Murphy, meanwhile, have feuded over the first few months of the new governor's tenure. 

    Sweeney was asked during his news conference Monday whether he's "had any conversations with the former governor in recent times, in the last number of days, or today."

    "No," Sweeney responded."No, I haven't talked to him today."

    "Listen, I don't need the governor to help me with this, OK?" he added, referring to Christie.

    Shortly thereafter, Murphy's office emailed a copy of the Globe story to reporters.

    Murphy, who succeeded Christie in January after campaigning as the anti-Christie, is pushing a $37.4 billion budget plan that proposes more than $1.5 billion in tax hikes -- including a millionaires tax and a bump in the state sales tax -- to pay for increases in funding for transportation, education, and more. 

    But his fellow Democrats in the Legislature have been opposed to those tax hikes and plan to unveil a budget proposal of their own. Their plan is expected to be anchored by a two-year tax hike on corporations instead.

    Murphy on Monday morning vowed to veto that plan if it comes to his desk, raising the possibility of a second state government shutdown in two years.

    "As I said before, the people of New Jersey did not send us here to keep practicing Chris Christie's broken politics," Murphy told reporters. "The last eight years hollowed out our middle class. ... We were sent here to fix Trenton."

    The governor and lawmakers have until June 30 to enact a balanced budget. Otherwise, the state government could shut down again. 

    Christie famously was governor during the last shutdown, last July.

    Sweeney and state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex, said Monday afternoon they are pushing forward with their budget despite Murphy's veto threat. 

    Sweeney said lawmakers will not be "bullied into doing the wrong thing."

    The source in the Globe report claimed Christie is encouraging Sweeney to call Murphy's bluff on the veto threat because Democrats who control the state Legislature might have enough votes to override Murphy.

    The source added that Christie was also calling some Republican state senators to feel out if they would support a veto override if there was a new bill without tax hikes. 

    It's unlikely Christie would support the corporate business tax in the lawmakers' budget plan.

    Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, the top Republican in the Legislature's lower house, suggested Monday he would be open to joining with Democrats on a veto override -- but only if there's a new budget.

    NJ Advance Media staff writer Matt Arco contributed to this report.

    Brent Johnson may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.