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Breaking news & local stories from Camden City, Berlin, Laurel Springs and more

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    A look at some of the most intriguing results in the first week of the girls soccer season.


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    A former school employee was fired after taking chairs, tables and air fresheners without permission.

    CAMDEN -- The Camden City school district has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the ousting of a former janitor who took school property without permission and later claimed she was fired because of her gender, authorities said. 

    The Attorney General's Office's Division on Civil Rights announced Friday that a unlawful discrimination complaint brought against the school system had no merit. 

    The former employee with a 20-year tenure at the district, identified by the Attorney General's Office as J.W., was fired after borrowing school property for a private event and later removing supplies without permission, authorities said. 

    The first incident began when J.W. submitted a work order in 2012 to have 10 tables and 60 chairs moved from one of the city's schools to the main warehouse where she worked, according to the Attorney General's Office. 

    When the chairs were not moved there by the mandated Saturday, she allegedly took a school-owned van and picked them up herself, disarming the alarm system to enter the closed building and loading the chairs into the van. 

    Another custodian who saw her there confronted her and expressed concern, but J.W. dismissed him. She then took the tables and chairs to a private graduation party she was hosting, authorities said.

    High hopes, expectations flow as new Camden charter school opens 

    J.W. returned the chairs Monday morning, but the other custodian had already reported the incident to the principal. She received a 30-day suspension, which was reduced to just 10 days on an appeal, for creating false documents and removing the chairs and tables without permission. 

    A year later, surveillance footage showed J.W. taking a box of janitorial supplies from the district and placing them in her personal vehicle, authorities said. She allegedly claimed that she had taken the box, which held air fresheners, because she had experienced an allergic reaction when handling them, and wanted to assess whether or not they were hazardous by taking them home.

    She never filed a report with her safety concerns to a supervisor, and also never sought medical attention. The school district terminated J.W. for the second offense. 

    When fired, she filed a complaint, arguing that Camden schools had taken harsh action against her because she was a woman, and had a disability from a previous injury that had required surgery. She cited an incident in which a male employee had removed old playground equipment without clearance to make her case.  

    Authorities say the two cases are different, as the male co-worker had donated the old playground equipment and furniture to the city's fire department. Although he did so without approval, the district noted that the equipment had no value, and was marked for disposal. The worker still received a three-day suspension. 

    An investigation by the Division on Civil Rights held that termination was a fair repercussion for J.W.'s actions, and would have been brought against a male or female employee in the situation, according to the statement.

    "The Attorney General's Office and the Division on Civil Rights have a duty to protect and seek redress for those who, legitimately, have been shown to be the victims of bias and unequal treatment," Attorney General Christopher Porrino said in a statement. "However, we are not a rubber stamp. We have a duty to investigate every complaint and filter out those which, upon review, are found to be unsupported by the facts and the law. We take that duty very seriously."

     Amanda Hoover can be reached at ahoover@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @amahoover. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Your one-stop shop for everything football this week.

    KEY LINKS
    Week 2 mega-coverage guide
    Top 20 for Sept. 10
    • Statewide picks and schedule

    Full Week 1 schedule/scoreboard 
    • 19 can't-miss match-ups in Week 2
    22 bold predictions for Week 2

    FRIDAY FEATURED GAMES

    No. 20 Westfield at No. 19 Ridge, 7
    Ridge hosts Westfield in NJ.com/Star-Ledger Game of the Week
    Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    St. Francis (Md.) at No. 7 Don Bosco Prep, 7
    • Live updates
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Ramsey at Pequannock, 7
    Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Cherokee at No. 6 Timber Creek, 7
    • Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Morris Hills at Morris Knolls, 7
    Photo gallery
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Shawnee at Allentown, 7
    Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Woodbury at Pennsville, 7
    SJT Game of the Week: Pennsville meets Woodbury in Group 1 clash
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Warren Hills at North Hunterdon, 7
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Clayton at Florence, 7
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Steinert at Lawrence, 7
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Hightstown at Princeton, 7
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Woodrow Wilson at Northern Burlington, 7 
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Kingsway at No. 9 Millville, 6
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Williamstown at St. Augustine, 6
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Willingboro at West Deptford, 7
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Cedar Creek at Delsea, 7
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Hunterdon Central at Phillipsburg, 7
    • Recap
    • Box score

    TOP 20 SCOREBOARD
    Friday
    • No. 5 Paramus Catholic vs. Seton Hall Prep, 7
    • No. 6 Timber Creek vs. Cherokee, 7
    • No. 7 Don Bosco Prep vs. St. Frances (Md.), 7
    • No. 9 Millville vs. Kingsway, 6
    • No. 10 Irvington at West Orange, 7
    • No. 11 Lenape vs. Egg Harbor, 7
    • No. 13 Rancocas Valley vs. Hammonton, 7
    • No. 14 Manalapan at Southern, 7
    • No. 15 Montclair at Livingston, 7
    • No. 16 Bridgewater-Raritan vs. Hillsborough, 7
    • No. 17 Red Bank Catholic vs. Middletown North, 7
    • No. 18 River Dell vs. Wayne Valley, 7
    • No. 20 Westfield at No. 19 Ridge, 7
    Saturday
    • No. 1 St. Joseph (Mont.) at Delbarton, 1
    • No. 3 Bergen Catholic at Mater Dei (Ca.), 10:30
    • No. 8 Pope John vs. Malvern Prep
    • No. 12 Vineland at Cherry Hill East, 11 a.m. (Pa.)

    SATURDAY FEATURED GAMES

    LIVE COVERAGE
    • Mountain Lakes at Lincoln, 12
    • Point Pleasant Boro at Lacey, 1
    • Perth Amboy at St. Joseph (Met.), 1
    • No. 3 Bergen Catholic at Mater Dei (Ca.), 10:30
    • Holy Cross at Haddonfield, 1
    • New Egypt at Gloucester Catholic, 11

    Mountain Lakes at Lincoln, 12
    • Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Point Pleasant Boro at Lacey, 1
    • Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Perth Amboy at St. Joseph (Met.), 1
    • Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    No. 3 Bergen Catholic at Mater Dei (Ca.), 10:30
    • Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Holy Cross at Haddonfield, 1
    • Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    New Egypt at Gloucester Catholic, 11
    • Live updates
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Hopewell Valley at Nottingham, 12
    • Recap
    Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Clifton at Bayonne, 1
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Hamilton West at Steinert, 11
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Robbinsville at Audubon, 11
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Ewing at Pemberton, 1
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Deerfield (Ma.) at Lawrence, 2:30
    • Recap
    • Box score

    Haddon Heights at Penns Grove, 12
    • Recap
    • Box score

    COMPLETE STATEWIDE SCHEDULE/SCOREBOARD

    Jeremy Schneider may be reached at jschneider@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @J_Schneider. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    As sad as they were, last year's kill figures were down from 2015


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    FotoBridge, a photo scanning company in West Berlin, is saving photos damaged in the recent hurricanes.

    WEST BERLIN -- Black and white, posed portraits rest alongside candids of young children playing in the backyard. Milestones like weddings and proms are among the captured memories, but so are the everyday, seemingly mundane moments that don't mean much to a stranger's eye, but call up happy memories to those pictured.

    They're not secured in photo albums and scrapbooks, but scattered across long tables in a small space with a low ceiling in a South Jersey business park. Some have curled up at the ends; on others, blue ink has seeped through and is scrawled across faces. 

    The photos, some 5,000 of them, were salvaged from a closet filled with nearly two feet of water in Houston. Now, they're drying out here, where photo experts are working to save and digitize them for a woman whose home flooded during Hurricane Harvey. 

    JulieAnn Morris, owner of FotoBridge, said her team can save and scan 99.9 percent of the collection, which came soaking wet and stuck together in a box long forgotten in that closet. But their owner, who won't be back in her home for six months and needs new furniture, flooring and walls, can rest assured that all of her memories, at least, made it out of the house. 

    "This is the one thing she doesn't have to worry about," Morris said. 

    Morris' company has been digitizing photo collections for nearly a decade. Most of their business comes from families hoping to move their thousands of fading print photos onto flash drives so they can email or post them on social media. 

    These 8 dogs displaced by Hurricanes Irma, Harvey are up for adoption in N.J.

    But every once in a while, when national disasters hit, they field calls from those affected. In desperate times, these people hope their photos can be saved while nearly everything else in their home is lost.

    So far, Morris has had hundreds of calls from people affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and about 50 shipments have come, with more on the way from Florida, Texas, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. The back-to-back record storms caused an estimated combined total $290 billion in Texas and Florida alone

    Some of the photos soaking wet, which makes them easier to separate, and others are dried and caked together like a paper mache project, which makes taking them apart to salvage them a bit trickier.  

    The photos will dry for three days, and then take about another to scan. The company operates 20 hours a day, seven days a week, scanning the individual images round the clock. They clean them up and personally check each to ensure the best quality, Morris said.  

    Then, they're burned onto a CD or flash drive, and mailed back to the sender along with the original prints. 

    For $185, FotoBridge will process 1,000 photos, Morris said. 

    This isn't the first disaster Morris has worked through. She's sifted through smoked-out photos saved from homes affected by wildfires, and also worked some projects following Hurricane Sandy. 

    But she tells people they should work to preserve their photos before a crisis hits. 

    "Anyone 15 or older, part of their life is in an analog format," Morris said. 

    Still, so many people find themselves keeping separate collections of their digital and printed memories, and don't think about preserving decades-old photos until it's too late. 

    "Everyone says, 'what would you grab if your house was on fire?' Your photos, your pets, your pills," Morris said. "Be proactive. Be prepared." 

    Amanda Hoover can be reached at ahoover@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @amahoover. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Kenneth Smith, the 22-year-old solider who died aboard the USS John McCain, will be laid to rest Saturday afternoon.

    CHERRY HILL -- A memorial service will be held Saturday afternoon for a sailor who died last month when the USS John McCain crashed. 

    Kenneth Smith, 22, was an Electronics Technician 3rd Class posthumously promoted to 2nd Class. He died along with 10 other sailors aboard the ship when it collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore. 

    Kenneth-Smith.pngKenneth Smith was pronounced dead after a three-day search for missing sailors aboard the USS John McCain.  

    funeral service for Smith is scheduled for 4 p.m. at St. Andrews United Methodist Church on Marlton Pike in Cherry Hill, where Kenneth last lived and went to high school. Visitation begins at 1 p.m. 

    During his three years of service with the Navy, Smith received three awards, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon and Navy Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon. He was stationed on the McCain for more than two years.    

    A graduate of Cherry Hill High School East, Smith was a third-generation sailor, following in the steps of his father and grandfather. 

    "Kenneth was a great young man, son, and Sailor," his father, Darryl Smith, said in a statement released last month. "He truly loved his family, the Navy, and his shipmates. I am incredibly proud of his service to our country. He will be greatly missed and I am thankful we had 22 wonderful years together." 

    Amanda Hoover can be reached at ahoover@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @amahoover. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Key highlights - from upset wins to monster individual games and fantastic finishes - from around the state.


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    The 57-year-old driver veered off the road, then back on, then off again, before her car flipped over and finally came to rest, police said.

    Bass River Leektow Road.jpgHelene Malone died alone on this stretch of Leektown Road in Bass River Friday, police said 

    BASS RIVER -- A 57-year-old woman was killed Friday night in a single-car crash on a wooded stretch of rural road in Bass River, police said.

    At 6:37 p.m., Helene Malone of Sicklerville was heading east on Leektown Road when her car veered off the left side of the highway, said Sgt. Jeff Flynn, a spokesman for the New Jersey State Police, which patrols Bass River in largely rural Burlington County.

    Flynn said Malone's car then veered back on to the road, but traveled across both lanes and again went off the highway, this time on the right side, where it flipped over and finally came to rest.

    Malone was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

    No cause or contributing factors had been determined as of Saturday morning.

    "The crash is still under investigation," Flynn said.

    Steve Strunsky may be reached at sstrunsky@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveStrunsky. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    David Levin writes that Garden State cities are a good fit for the online retailer's second North American headquarters.

    The race is on. 

    Amazon announced recently that it is looking for a second headquarters in North America. Their original headquarters is in Seattle. Logistically, it would make sense to have the second one on the East Coast. 

    A Sept. 11 CNN.com article mentions eight cities that would be a good fit for Amazon's second headquarters. These cities are Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Dallas, Austin, Boston, San Jose and Washington, D.C.

    What about locating the headquarters in New Jersey? A major city in proximity to the New Jersey Turnpike would be a good choice. Camden, New Brunswick, Elizabeth and Newark come to mind.

    Amazon is set to spend billions of dollars developing the headquarters and plans to hire up to 50,000 employees to work there. I'm waiting to see if any New Jersey city attempts to court Amazon.       

    David M. Levin, Vineland

    Editor's note: Recent reports indicate that both Camden City and Atlantic County plan to make pitches to Amazon, and Philadelphia is already preparing a presentation to the company.

    A 'union yes' call to re-elect Sweeney

    As a proud union member, I feel it's very important to point out how state Sen. Stephen Sweeney's recent initiatives have revitalized and strengthened unions in New Jersey.

    (Sweeney D-Gloucester, is running for re-election to his 3rd District Senate seat, and the state's largest teachers' union, the New Jersey Education Association, is attempting to defeat him.)

    Sweeney's work toward renewing the depleted state Transportation Trust Fund has created many construction jobs across the state and especially in South Jersey. As the Senate president, he led the Legislature in an attempt to guarantee unemployment insurance to striking workers and make sure that locked-out workers won't see health insurance payments skyrocket just because they are standing up for themselves. 

    Sweeney also directed millions of state dollars toward vocational education that could ultimately increase union membership and make unions stronger in the future.

    An ironworker by trade who is now a vice-president of their national union, Sweeney knows labor issues first hand -- inside and out. Re-electing him ensures that we see labor-friendly legislation and continued progress for working men and women.

    Dan Reed, Deptford Township

    Send a letter to the editor of South Jersey Times at sjletters@njadvancemedia.com

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


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    Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, a Republican, cursed out the officers after she was rear-ended, video shows Watch video

    MOUNT LAUREL -- A state lawmaker unleashed an expletive-laced tirade and repeatedly reminded police officers of her political status when they arrested her after a car accident in April, a newly released video shows. 

    Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, R-Burlington, cursed out the Mount Laurel officers and accused them of harassing her after she got rear-ended April 28 at Route 73 and Fellowship Road, according to a body camera video obtained by The Trentonian. 

    Maria Rodriguez-GreggMaria Rodriguez-Gregg 

    Rodriguez-Gregg, the first Hispanic Republican woman elected to the state legislature, has been fighting charges of driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and obstruction of justice stemming from the crash. She announced last month she would not seek re-election to a third term.

    A police officer talking to Rodriguez-Gregg, 35, while she sat in her car after the collision told her he and another officer smelled marijuana coming from her car and asked to do a search, the video shows. She denied having marijuana and grew increasingly agitated. 

    WARNING: This video contains explicit language.

    "Are you serious right now? I'm a sitting assemblywoman," Rodriguez-Gregg said. "Do you really think that I'm (expletive) smoking marijuana at this time of night? All right, I'm calling my lawyer." 

    After she continued to refuse to consent to a search, the officer told her if she did not step out of her car, he would arrest her for obstruction, the video shows.

    "Do not talk to me that way. I am a sitting assemblywoman," Rodriguez-Gregg said. "I am not an (expletive)." 

    As the officers searched her car and failed to turn up marijuana, Rodriguez-Gregg yelled from outside, "Exactly! Nothing there!" She told someone on the phone that the cops were harassing her and she wanted them to get away from her. 

    Then, she addressed the cops again. 

    "You're dealing with a sitting assemblywoman," Rodriguez-Gregg said. "Everybody's going to know about this (expletive). Harass a Latina female. ... I have done nothing but support the police. I have been one of your number one supporters politically." 

    Rodriguez-Gregg refused a sobriety test, saying she did not trust the officers, and they arrested her. 

    Her lawyer, Edward Kologi, told NJ Advance Media on Saturday that Rodriguez-Gregg had been upset that the cops were focusing on her and not on the driver who rear-ended her. 

    "I attribute her excited state not as the result of intoxication, but rather, the result of someone who was just in a horrible accident and is basically not getting heard when she was, in effect, the victim," Kologi said. 

    Rodriguez-Gregg's blood test showed "some indication of alcohol," but no marijuana, Kologi said. He said he plans to file motions in state Superior Court in Burlington County to suppress the results because the officers had neither a warrant nor Rodriguez-Gregg's consent to draw her blood.  

    Kologi said the assemblywoman had no obligation to submit to sobriety tests or to answer officers' questions and that the reckless driving charge was unwarranted because the other driver had rear-ended her.

    Marisa Iati may be reached at miati@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Iati or on Facebook here. Find NJ.com on Facebook

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Dogs and cats from around New Jersey looking for permanent homes.

    Some pet information from Joybird Furniture that just doesn't fit anywhere else:

    * Females are 21% more likely than males to allow their pets on the furniture.

    * Men are 1.5 times more likely to spend more than $100 on their pet each month.

    * Many women prefer to have their pet sleep in bed with them while most men have their pet sleep outside.

    Here's a gallery of pets throughout the Garden State that await adoption at shelters and rescues.


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    Which team joined the fold? And where did everyone else land? Check it all out.


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    David Bey died on a construction site in Camden.

    ,

    CAMDEN -- An industrial accident has claimed the life of a former heavyweight boxer, according to a broadcast news report.

    David Bey, who lost to Larry Homes in a title fight in 1985, was killed last week while working on a construction site on the Camden Waterfront, 6ABC reports. Bey, 60, was a Pyle driver with carpenters' local 179.

    He was killed Wednesday at the Camden Towers construction site on Cooper Street after he was hit with a steel sheet Pyle, the report said.

    Bill Duhart may be reached at bduhart@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    Here are 19 must-see boys soccer games this week.


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    Bey, a Philadelphia native who died Wednesday, fought the champ in 1985. Watch video

    David Bey, who died last week after an industrial accident in South Jersey, had his one shot in 1985 at the heavyweight championship.

    It wasn't exactly a "Rocky" story. But it could have been.

    The Philadelphia native was 14-0 entering the fight with long-time champ Larry Holmes on March 15 at the Riviera in Las Vegas. Bey had beaten former champ Buster Douglas and respected fighter Greg Page along the way to capture the USBA title and earn his chance at Holmes' IBF crown.

    It was late in the second round when, seemingly out of nowhere, Bey delivered a left that shook Holmes for a moment. A follow-up did some more damage before Holmes regained his calm and went to work.

    It would be a 10-round TKO -- Holmes would drop Bey twice in the eighth -- before it ended just before the bell. Holmes' record would rise to 47-0 and Bey would never recover, giving up his USBA title the next time out against Trevor Berwick and losing more than he won until calling it a career in 1994 with an 18-11-1 record.

    Bey died last Wednesday after an industrial accident in Camden, according to 6abc.com. He was a Pyle driver with Local Carpenters 179 working on Camden Towers, the television station reported.

    Holmes, reached Monday, said he didn't know Bey had died and added, "I'm sorry to hear that."

    Unlike many boxers in the Holmes' universe, the former heavyweight champ didn't stay in touch with Bey.

    He wanted to, but it just didn't work out.

    "I didn't get the chance to," Holmes said. "I asked people a couple of times."

    Bey was an "awkward fighter" who "gave his all," Holmes said. "He could fight."

    Holmes remembers the punch. A left hook.

    "He hit me pretty good," Holmes said. "That's all there was. I was OK. He didn't hurt me."

    According to an account in Sports Illustrated, Holmes' trainer Eddie Futch told the champ after the fourth round to take take the initiative and stop simply counter-punching. Futch wanted Holmes to punch, fend off Bey's counter-punch and then respond to that shot. It broke through Bey's awkward style, according to the report.

    Holmes was in control by the fifth and worked his way toward another victory.

    "It was a matter of time," Holmes said Monday. "I did what I could do."

    And five rounds later it was over.

    "He was a Top 10 fighter," Holmes said. "He beat a lot of guys to get into that fight. He did OK."

    Holmes' final assessment of Bey?

    "He was a good fighter," the Palmer Township resident said.

    Tony Rhodin may be reached at arhodin@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyRhodin. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.


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    Which players had the biggest games?


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    Check out where Anne Hathaway, Martha Stewart, Mike Trout and others grew up


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    See which players were tabbed as NJ.com's Player of the Week in every conference.


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    Get a look at who made their mark during the second week of the season.


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    Stop rubbernecking, New Jersey state police warn.

    BELLMAWR -- It appears to be a teachable moment.

    At least that seems to be the gist of a New Jersey State Police Facebook post Tuesday. It features two pictures of a -- tractor trailer after it overturned and spilled its load of watermelons over busy I-295 in Bellmawr the weekend before last.

    While what looks to have been tons of busted fruit was cleaned off the highway over the next five hours, the post references drivers "cranking" their necks to looks at the afternoon accident. It advised caution but also recommended searching the internet when off the road to find details of a crash instead of potentially causing a gaper delay.

    The 13 most spectacular spills on New Jersey highways

    "So, we take this opportunity to show you carnage of the watermelon massacre," the post said. "It's ok to slow down when passing something like this...but try not to crane your neck. Keeping your eyes on the road is the best way to protect you, your passengers and the folks clearing the scene."

    The post also thanked "the person who so kindly sent us the pictures." No word on whether it was a driver.

    No injuries were reported in the wreck.

    Bill Duhart may be reached at bduhart@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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