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- 09/29/17--09:21: _68 officers graduat...
- 09/29/17--06:51: _N.J. football hot t...
- 09/29/17--07:01: _VFW hosting first e...
- 09/29/17--07:45: _Dad who admitted ro...
- 09/29/17--14:00: _Fiery North-South r...
- 09/29/17--14:00: _Freshmen stars, sto...
- 09/29/17--13:05: _Kmart's knock-off b...
- 09/29/17--13:04: _10 years for dad wh...
- 09/30/17--06:44: _These 3 N.J. doughn...
- 09/30/17--07:29: _Man gets a year in ...
- 09/30/17--09:58: _3 arrested for beat...
- 10/01/17--08:41: _Veteran threatened ...
- 10/01/17--10:51: _Need a job? FedEx t...
- 10/01/17--13:15: _VOTE NOW for the So...
- 10/02/17--04:03: _N.J. pets in need: ...
- 10/02/17--04:11: _No new trial for ki...
- 10/02/17--04:55: _Here's why it's get...
- 10/02/17--05:49: _Football Top 20 for...
- 10/02/17--06:51: _N.J. football hot t...
- 10/02/17--08:23: _Boys Soccer: Can't-...
- 09/29/17--09:21: 68 officers graduate from the Mercer County Police Academy (PHOTOS)
- 09/29/17--07:01: VFW hosting first ever dance fundraiser event
- 09/30/17--09:58: 3 arrested for beating man to death, authorities say
- 10/01/17--08:41: Veteran threatened to kill congressman, massacre police, feds say
- 10/01/17--10:51: Need a job? FedEx to hire 1,800 seasonal workers in N.J.
- 10/01/17--13:15: VOTE NOW for the South Jersey Times Football Game of the Week 5
- 10/02/17--04:03: N.J. pets in need: Oct. 2, 2017
- 10/02/17--04:55: Here's why it's getting harder for N.J. kids to get into Rutgers
- 10/02/17--05:49: Football Top 20 for Oct. 1: New No. 1 leads shakeup at the top
- 10/02/17--06:51: N.J. football hot takes: The biggest, best and brightest of Week 4
- 10/02/17--08:23: Boys Soccer: Can't-miss games for the week of Oct. 2
The officers come from several police and sheriff's departments in central and north New Jersey
WEST WINDSOR -- Newly minted NJ Transit Police Officer Brian Morgenstern asked the Mercer County Police Academy graduation audience if they said what he did growing up: "I want to be a cop."
He asked the question several times in his address as class speaker Thursday morning at the ceremony at Mercer County Community College. At the end, he said he didn't need to say it anymore.
"I am a cop," he said to applause.
Morgenstern was one of 68 new officers to graduate, sent to the academy by several law enforcement agencies across central and north New Jersey.
"When the public perception falters due to the negative actions of a few, you go out of your way to show the compassion you hold and the desire to help the community," Morgenstern said in his address.
An assortment of local police officials, politicians and and other officials attended the graduation.
The officers are from the following police departments: Hamilton Police Dept., Ewing Police Dept., Freehold Borough Police Dept., South Amboy Police Dept., Perth Amboy Police Dept., Cinnaminson Police Dept., NJ Transit Police, Stockton University Police Dept. and Rutgers-Camden Police Dept.
And the sheriff's offices in Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon and Warren counties. Two officers went through the academy in the alternate route program.
- Staff Photographer Michael Mancuso contributed to this story.
These teams and players had noteworthy performances in Week 4
The event will support the 2,500 veterans living in Winslow Township.
WINSLOW TWP. -- Winslow Township's Sgt. Ron Wright Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 303 will hold its first Annual Fall Fundraising Dance.
On Oct. 6, at the Clementon Fire Hall located at 165 Gibbsboro Road in Clementon, the dance event will be held. Ticket price for the dance is $25.
"This event is an opportunity for the community to come together to show their support for the 2,500 veterans living in Winslow Township," said VFW Post 303 Commander Bill Kendall.
"The DJ will be playing music to dance to like the Bop, Cha Cha and Two-Step, and line-dances like the Wobble, Electric Slide, and the Cupid Shuffle to name a few, and also freestyle dance music. Everyone is guaranteed to have a good time," he added.
The purpose of the fundraising dance is to raise funds so that VFW Post 303 can better serve township veterans and the community, and to raise awareness of area veterans who either served or died in a foreign conflict while serving their country.
Winslow VFW Post 303 is named after Army Sergeant Ron Wright, a Winslow native, who served in Vietnam and who ultimately gave his life for his country.
To purchase tickets and get more information about this VFW Post 303 Fall Dance event contact Mike 856-649-8514, or Ron 909-997-2340, or Herman 856-728-8610.
Have community news you'd like to share? Send an email to email@example.com. Have an event happening you want to share? Go to nj.com/events to submit your information to be included in a community calendar.
Brendan Creato, 3, was found dead on the side of the creek three-quarters of a mile from his house.
CAMDEN -- The 24-year-old father who admitted he is to blame for the 2015 death of his 3-year-old son is scheduled to be sentenced Friday afternoon.
David "D.J." Creato Jr. of Haddon Township pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter Aug. 23, less than three months after his murder trial ended due to a deadlocked Jury.
As part of the plea deal, the prosecution has agreed to recommend a sentence of 10 years with parole eligibility after eight and a half years.
Superior Court Judge John T. Kelley will decide whether to accept the recommendation at the sentencing at 1:30 p.m. in Camden.
Creato admitted that he deprived his son of oxygen, resulting in his death.
Prosecutors tried to convince jurors that Creato killed his son because his girlfriend, then 17, did not like that he had a son and was threatening to leave him.
Creato called 911 on the morning of Oct. 13, 2015, saying he woke to find that his son, Brendan, was not in his apartment. The boy's body was found three hours later on the edge of a creek in Cooper River Park, about three-quarters of a mile from Creato's apartment.
Three medical examiners who examined the body could not determine exactly how he died, though they said signs of oxygen deprivation pointed to smothering or drowning. They put it down as homicidal violence of unknown etiology.
While there was no evidence presented about how, specifically, the boy died, Assistant Prosecutor Christine Shah theorized during his closing argument that Creato, frantic with jealousy and worry over his girlfriend, smothered Brendan with a pillow and then carried his body to the stream, a place he felt was sacred.
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The N.J.-based company says the costume Kmart is selling is a knockoff of its trademarked design.
CAMDEN -- A New Jersey company is suing Kmart over the sale of an adult banana costume it says is a knockoff of its trademarked design.
Ok, feel free to insert your favorite banana joke here. But all kidding aside, the manufacturer, Rasta Imposta (no joke), claims it will "suffer irreparable injury" without court action.
The company, which established itself with a costume hat with sewn-in dreadlocks, wants the national discount department store chain to immediately stop selling the costume. It filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit in federal court in Camden this week.
The Runnemede-based firm claims it has sold the costume to Kmart since 2008, but a recent dispute over the product resulted in chain purchasing a similar outfit from a different manufacturer.
A representative from Sears Holdings Company, which owns Kmart, declined to comment Friday on the suit.
Rasta says the costume is a clear knock off of its brand and points out distinctive similarities, including black tips at the end of the protruding banana, both displayed on male models. The company claims the presentation of the models, both dressed in long black shirts and pants with black shoes underneath the costume is a direct copy of their design. The costume company also said contour lines of the outfit are identical.
The company said it has sold the costume since 2001 and received a copyright in 2010.
The court action did not appear to immediately make clear if Kmart is the manufacturer of the alleged knockoff of simply purchased and offered it for sale.Bill Duhart may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
He took the deal after his murder trial ended in a deadlocked jury earlier this year.
CAMDEN -- The Haddon Township man who admitted he caused his son's death without saying how is headed to prison for at least six years and nine months after a judge imposed his sentence Friday.
David "D.J." Creato Jr., 24, of Haddon Township, remained mostly expressionless, but had tears in his eyes at some points during his sentencing on a charge of manslaughter in the death of Brendan Creato, 3.
One of those moments came after, at the request of Brendan's mother's family, a slideshow of pictures of the boy flashed across a large screen: Brendan as an infant, Brendan playing in a mud puddle, Brendan meeting a giraffe at the zoo.
Several months earlier, that screen showed images of Brendan's body as it was found in pajamas, draped over a rock in the Cooper River, to a jury that ultimately deadlocked on whether Creato murdered his son in 2015.
Prosecutors believe Creato killed his son and left his body in the stream because he was afraid his teenage girlfriend, who did not like that he was a father, was going to leave him.
Creato took a plea deal in August instead of facing another trial, pleading to manslaughter and admitting he caused his son's death by depriving him of oxygen. But his family says he maintains that he did not kill his son, and someone else did.
His attorney, Richard J. Fuschino Jr., said he admits only to his role in the circumstances that led to Brendan's death.
How Creato caused his son's death may remain a mystery to everyone but himself.
In a statement read into the record by Assistant Prosecutor Christine Shah, Brendan's maternal grandmother, Danielle Collins, lamented the fact that Creato could not even give the family the closure of admitting how he killed the boy she called "my Buster Brown."
"D.J., I hope one day you are able to speak the truth about what happened...," Shah read. "More than just you saying 'yes' to your lawyer saying, 'did you deprive Brendan of oxygen."
Collins recalled Brendan as a sweet, smart, loving and sometimes ornery boy who is missed every day. "Sometimes I take a deep breath and try to smell him," she wrote.
Creato, his hair cropped from its usual ponytail, was expressionless as Judge John T. Kelley called the sentence recommendation "fair" and imposed it: 10 years in prison followed by five years parole. With parole eligibility and 628 days of jail credit since his arrest, he could get out in approximately six years and nine months.
It's a far cry from the 30 years to life sentence he could have received if he was convicted of murder.
Prosecutors presented a case based on circumstantial evidence in April and May, but failed to convince all the jurors that Creato had purposely killed his son.
While they said they had plenty of text messages and other evidence to back up their motive, they did not have evidence of how specifically Brendan was killed and how his body ended up at the river.
Brendan was found dead Oct. 13, 2015 three-quarters of a mile from Creato's apartment. Creato had called 911 that morning to report he woke to find his son missing. The fact that Brendan had clean socks made investigators sure he didn't wander there on his own, but was placed there.
Three medical examiners were unable to come up with a specific cause of death, calling it "homicidal violence of unknown etiology." They testified at trial that smothering and drowning were possibilities.
Creato's father, David Creato Sr., said after the sentencing that his son did not kill Brendan, but took the plea deal because he didn't want to risk another murder trial.
"He still maintains his innocence," his father said. "He could never physically or mentally hurt, or murder, a baby. I know him."
He said he's hoping to get in touch with a personal investigator because he's sure the real killer is at large. "With the mistakes of the medical examiner, there's a good chance we'll never know" how the boy died, he said.
Creato Sr. also said his family still has "complete sympathy" for Brendan's mother, Samantha Denoto, and her family. They did not speak with reporters during the trial or at the sentencing.
At Friday's hearing, Kelley asked Creato if there was anything he wanted to say, but Creato simply said "no." In the gallery behind him, Denoto's boyfriend, Matthew Holshue, shook his head.
Also there to watch were many of the law enforcement officers who testified in the trial, including two officers who wept while describing finding and moving Brendan's small body.
Assistant Prosecutor Christine Shah speculated in her closing argument in May that Creato had smothered his son with a pillow in a moment of desperation.
The case focused on the theory that Creato killed his son because his then 17-year-old girlfriend, Julia "Julie" Stensky, did not like spending time with Brendan and he feared she was leaving him because of it.
Prosecutors showed jurors in that trial thousands of text messages Creato exchanged with her, including many where they fought over Stensky not wanting to be around the child. They also appeared jealous, and jurors heard testimony that Creato was snooping in his girlfriend's social media accounts in the hours leading up to his son's death.
Fuschino told jurors at trial and reiterated Friday that he believes investigators focused only on Creato from the beginning and botched the investigation by not handling the crime scene correctly or testing the boy's pajamas for DNA.
A boardwalk staple, an old-school bakery and a spot that's only open on weekends earn high praise from one of America's top chefs
Curiosity Doughnuts in Stockton, Brown's in Ocean City and McMillan's Bakery in Westmont have been cited as three of the ten best doughnut shops in the United States, according to the owners of the celebrated Philadelphia-based doughnut and fried chicken shop, Federal Donuts.
Mike Solmonov and Steven Cook -- the owners of Federal Donuts -- make the choices in their new cookbook "Federal Donuts: The (Partially) True Spectacular Story," published earlier this week.
The list isn't a conventional "ten best" -- and Solomonov (the James Beard Award-winning Israeli chef best known for his Philly hotspot Zahav) and his business partner Cook certainly make no claims for have tasted every doughnut in America.
But in a chapter of the book titled, "Donuts That Are Better Than Ours," they celebrate three New Jersey doughnut makers.
Curiosity Doughnuts "serves up rich, decadent flavors,'' with Federal Donuts co-founder Mike Solomonov naming the buttermilk lime and apple pie with butterscotch glaze donuts as his favorites. (The business also makes frozen custard, pretzel-crusted fried chicken and doughnut bread pudding.)
Solomonov also has high praise for the hot doughnuts at Brown's, located on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, describing his first visit there thusly: "I could smell vanilla and honey and all things good and holy wafting from a little window next to a cafe."
He describes McMillan's as "an old-school bakery that doesn't rely on hipsters, publicists or gimmicks." The cider donuts, he says, "may not be much to look at, but to eat them is ... to discover why donuts became a thing in the first place."
The cream-filled doughnuts, he adds, "will rock your world.''
Indeed they will. I've always said they're the state's best.
Brown's and McMillan's made our list of the state's ten best doughnut shops.
The other doughnut shops mentioned in the book are Underwest Donuts in New York; Stan's Donuts in Westwood Village, Cal.; Dynamo Donut + Coffee in San Francisco; Blue Star Donuts in Portland, Ore.; Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis; Five Daughters Bakery in Nashville; and Doughnut Vault in Chicago.
The Federal Donuts book includes the story behind Federal Donuts' success, the history of doughnuts, and recipes for making doughnuts at home. The shop -- which opened is 2011 -- is well-known for its extremely long lines and its much-praised eats.
He pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering charges
CAMDEN -- A man who sold counterfeit computer parts and ran a money laundering scheme was sentenced to a year in prison Friday, authorities said.
Ronald Graban, 58, of Columbus, Burlington County, pleaded guilty in 2012 to charges of mail fraud and money laundering. He was sentenced in Camden federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Starting in 2000, Graban bought and resold computer parts through various companies he had created, including RPR International LLC, Graham Enterprises International, Innovative Technology Group, MT Loveland Corp., Golden Eagle Property Management, Andy Lee Inc. and Andy Lee Electronics.
In late 2004, Graban began acquiring network connecting parts from GigaLight Electronic in China. The pieces were identical to Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks parts, but were counterfeits, something Graban became aware of in 2006, authorities said.
That was after U.S. Customs and Board Protection agents seized shipments of computer parts from GigaLight, and moved to notify U.S. customers that the profits were counterfeit, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Still, authorities said, Graban continued to purchase the parts between 2006 and 2007, and sold them to an online retailer.
In early 2006, Graban received a check for $163,000, a payment for counterfeit parts he sold, authorities said. He then deposited that check into the bank account of a different company.
In 2007, $890,000 was seized from various accounts associated with Graban's companies, as well as two properties in Florida that later went into foreclosure, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
He agreed to forfeit the funds seized as well profits from the two foreclosure sales, which total around $40,000.
Graban must also serve a year of supervised release and pay a fine of $60,000 as well as restitution in the amount of $927,193.
The trio allegedly beat a Camden man to death after entering his apartment to rob him.
CAMDEN -- Three people have been charged with murder in the beating death of a Camden man, authorities said.
Duron Abdullah, 47, of Pennsauken, Morris Clark, 50, of Merchantville, and Cahira Fischer, 40, of Camden, all face charges of felony murder in the death of 47-year-old Kyle Bell, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
The three are accused of entering a Morton Street apartment with plans to rob Bell on September 12. The alleged incident turned to a violent assault, and Bell was found unconscious in the apartment.
A witness reported hearing the assault, authorities said.
Bell was taken to Cooper University Hospital, where he died two days later, according to the prosecutor's office.
Abdullah and Clark were arrested and charged Thursday, while Fischer was picked up and charged Friday night. They are being held pending pre-trial detention hearings.
The vet was upset about what he saw as mistreatment by the VA, a friend told investigators.
CAMDEN -- A Millville veteran angry over his treatment by government officials threatened to kill a congressman, his staff, and any police officers who would try to arrest him, federal officials said.
Joseph Brodie, 38, was arrested Sept. 20 after he brandished an assault rifle at New Jersey State Police troopers who were at his trailer to check his well-being, according to the complaint against him.
A friend of Brodie's who cooperated with police said Brodie had been texting strange things for several days, including that he was planning a "blood bath" at the congressman's office and was going to "take out" any police who came to his home, according to the complaint filed in federal court by FBI Special Agent Joseph P. Furey.
The friend, identified only as cooperating witness, told police Brodie had post traumatic stress disorder and was angry because he felt he was mistreated by the Department of Veteran Affairs and a congressman.
The complaint does not identify the congressman, but a spokesperson for the office of Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd Dist., told the Courier-Post it was his office that was targeted.
Brodie faces one federal charge of threatening to assault a U.S. official, plus state weapons charges, according to a release from the New Jersey division of the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Troopers seized three rifles, two handguns and three high-capacity magazines from Brodie's trailer, Furey noted.
Brodie's threats to LoBiondo's office occurred on Sept. 15 and 19, Furey said. The first was an email sent to two of LoBiondo's staff members that said he wanted LoBiondo to know "veterans are being abused" and mentioned his staff, family and friends, which Furey believes was meant as a threat.
On Sept. 19, Brodie told the chief of staff that his home address and social media accounts and those of his family members were easily available online, and ended the call with, "You're a dead man," Furey said in the complaint.
He then sent emails to LoBiondo's staff, Furey said, telling them that the Google Earth app was showing him the terrain around the congressman's office including "parking lots, wooded areas, etc., (like the kind a highly trained combat infantryman would use)..."
The troopers who responded to Brodie's trailer on Sept. 20 did not appear to be aware of those threats, however, and were responding instead to a request by the cooperating witness to check on Brodie. She believed he may have been suicidal, Furey said.
When troopers arrived, Brodie came out of his trailer with a Russian assault rifle and yelled things like "I don't want to shoot you!" authorities said.
Ignoring orders to drop the gun, Brodie attempted to shoot himself several times, though the gun didn't fire, Furey said in the complaint. He eventually put the gun down and was arrested.
The cooperating witness told police after the arrest that Brodie had told her via text message that he threatened the chief of staff's life and would likely be investigated for it, but he wasn't going down without a fight, Furey said.
Brodie's text messages said he was prepared to "die for my American principles" and would build a bunker at his home to take on any police officers that came for him.
"I wanna die in a gunfight. I won't surrender... it's not in me. I'll give them a chance to leave, if not...it'll be First Blood part II type sh-- (in case you never saw that Rambo movie.)" he texted, according to the complaint.
Furey said Brodie admitted to making all the threats when he was interviewed by federal investigators at the Cumberland County Jail Sept. 26.
The release from the U.S. Attorney's Office said Brodie will appear in federal court in Camden to answer the charge at a later date. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of six years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The shipping company opened a new distribution hub in Hamilton this year.
The Memphis-based company recently opened a 343,447-square-foot distribution center on Route 130 in Hamilton Township. Many of the seasonal employees will work out of this center, the article said.
FedEx also has locations in Woodbridge, Union and Bellmawr.
"It's a great place to grow and advance your career," Robert Brigham, Woodbridge Hub's senior manager said in a press release. "And these factors make FedEx one of the best and most admired companies to work for around the world."
It's a new month and a new South Jersey Times Game of the Week poll as we get ready for Week 5 of the high school football season. Five new games have been selected for the poll as October gets under way and thoughts of the playoffs perk up with the change in the weather. The game receives a ...
It's a new month and a new South Jersey Times Game of the Week poll as we get ready for Week 5 of the high school football season.
Five new games have been selected for the poll as October gets under way and thoughts of the playoffs perk up with the change in the weather.
The game receives a ...
Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey need permanent homes.
This information on dog safety was compiled by members of the Dog Bite Prevention Coalition -- the U.S. Postal Service, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Humane Society, Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance.
If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog into a separate room and close the door before opening the front door. Parents should also remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may see handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
People often assume that a dog with a wagging tail is a friendly dog, but this is far from the truth. Dogs wag their tails for numerous reasons, including when they're feeling aggressive. A tail that is held high and moves stiffly is a sign that the dog is feeling dominant, aggressive, or angry.
Dogs, even ones you know have good days and bad days. You should never pet a dog without asking the owner first and especially if it is through a window or fence. For a dog, this makes them feel like you are intruding on their space and could result in the dog biting you.
ALL DOGS are capable of biting. There's no one breed or type of dog that's more likely to bite than others. Biting has more to do with circumstances, behavior, and training.
Dogs have a language that allows them to communicate their emotional state and their intentions to others around them. Although dogs do use sounds and signals, much of the information that they send is through their body language, specifically their facial expressions and body postures. You can tell how a dog is feeling (sad, tired, happy, angry, scared) by looking at the position of a dogs' ears, mouth, eyes, and tail.
Dogs are social animals who crave human companionship. That's why they thrive and behave better when living indoors with their pack -- their human family members. Dogs that are tied up or chained outside are frustrated and can become aggressive because they are unhappy. They can also become very afraid because when they are tied or chained up, they can't escape from things that scare them.
Osvaldo Rivera attacked the boy when he tried to stop Rivera from raping his 12-year-old sister.
CAMDEN -- A convicted murderer and rapist serving a 110-year sentence for killing a 6-year-old boy as he tried to save his sister from the man had his quest for a new trial denied by a state appeals court.
Osvaldo Rivera, 36, was convicted in 2014 at trial of 11 charges in the killing of Dominick Andujar and the rape of the boy's 12-year-old sister.
Early in the morning of Sept. 2, 2012, Rivera broke into the Camden home and repeatedly sexually assaulted and slashed the girl with a butcher knife in a downstairs living room.
Andujar came to his sister's rescue, but Rivera killed him with the knife while his sister ran to a neighbor's house for help. Their mother was not home at the time and they were in the care of their 14-year-old sister, the prosecutor's office said at the time.
The attacks shocked the community, with Camden County Police Chief J. Scott Thomson calling Andujar "Camden's littlest hero."
Rivera sought a new trial, saying that the judge erred in instructing jurors of the degrees of the charges and that they could find Rivera guilty of lesser-included crimes, including manslaughter.
The defense had objected to Superior Court Judge Michelle Fox using the word "lesser" in her instructions, and Rivera argued that the use of the word resulted in the jurors considering his potential punishment when they decided to find him guilty of the most severe charges, instead of the most appropriate.
His attorney at trial, Marcia Soast, had asked jurors to convict Rivera of aggravated manslaughter instead of murder because he was intoxicated at the time.
After Rivera's arrest in 2012, authorities indicated they believed Rivera may have been high on PCP-laced marijuana. However, Soast did not mention the drug at trial and instead said her client was drunk, something the prosecution refuted.
The appeals court dismissed Rivera's argument, stating that it was Soast who asked Fox to tell jurors the degrees of the charges, even while she objected to the use of the word "lesser." The judges said that case law dictates that a defendant cannot request a procedure or action at trial, and then object to it after the outcome was unfavorable to him or her.
Given the 82 1/2-year mandatory minimum for his aggregate sentence in the crimes, Rivera would have to survive to be 115 years old to be eligible for parole in 2096.
Rivera is also serving a concurrent 15-year sentence after he admitted to sexually assaulting a 2-year-old boy weeks before his attack on the Andujar family.
The number of foreign and out-of-state students admitted to Rutgers University is on the rise.
There is new No. 1 team in the NJ.com football Top 20 on Oct. 1.
These teams and players had noteworthy performances in Week 4
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