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

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    A look at the top N.J. football matchups based on history, passion, community involvement, milestone moments and more.


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    There will be 20 sectional champions crowned in 2017. Who takes the titles?


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    The man is accused of taking an 8-week-old puppy from its owner. Watch video

    LINDENWOLD -- Police are searching for a man accused of stealing an 8-week-old puppy. 

    The alleged theft took place Wednesday around 1:15 p.m. on the 400 block of Gibbsboro Road, according to the Lindenwold Police Department. A man, who is seen in the area on surveillance footage, is accused of taking a Mastiff from its owner before running toward Arborwood Condo Apartment Complex. 

    Police ask that anyone who knows the man contact them at (856)784-7566 or awalls@lindenwoldpd.com.

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

     

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    Which teams could pull off first round upsets in states?


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    Your one-stop shop for Week 8

    ESSENTIALS 
    LIVE updates, results and links for Week 8
    Power points through Week 7
    Week 8 schedule/scoreboard
    Week 8 schedule/scoreboard by conference
    Conference standings through Week 7

    Stat leaders from Week 7 
    • Season stat leaders  


    Gridiron grudge matches: The 31 fiercest rivalries in N.J. football


    RANKINGS 
    Top 20
    Group and conference 

    PICKS 
    Top 20 picks
    Picks by conference
    Quick picks for every game in N.J.


    WATCH & VOTE: Videos of the 25 HS mascots vying to be crowned N.J.'s best


    MUST-READ CONTENT 
    Quests for perfection: 26 teams remain undefeated
    Week 8 bold predictions: Leering at Leary, squeaker for Liners

    Can't-miss football: 3 title rematches and 20 more huge games
    Coach Barris Grant 'like a 2nd father' for rebuilding Hillside
    • 
    New NJSIAA hearing set for St. Joseph (Mont.) recruiting case
    West Deptford's Mike Bilodeau experiences highs and lows kicking

    North Bergen-Union City renew rivalry with division at stake

    Who were the best players in Week 7? Here are 37 standouts

    Football mismatch: How this 84-0 blowout got out of hand so quickly 
    NJIC football playoffs: Who's in and what are the crossover games?
    South Jersey TD Club honorees for Weeks 4-7
    Previewing Hun-Peddie as Hun looks to extend streak
    Nicholson hopes to spark Steinert in matchup vs. Hamilton 
    A season of 'firsts' continues for North Hunterdon  
    • NJSIAA fills coveted assistant director spot

    GAMES OF THE WEEK 
    • NJ.com/Star-Ledger 
    West Jersey supremacy at stake for P'burg-North Hunterdon

    • Times of Trenton
    Hopewell Valley seeks first victory against Northern Burlington
    • 
    South Jersey Times 
    Woodsbury-Pennsville primed for another Group 1 showdown

    RECRUITING  
    DePaul QB Taquan Roberson to pick between RU, 8 others 
    Recruitment ignited for Mater Dei's Shitta Sillah
    • 
    What's the latest on NJ.com's Top 50 recruits?
    Rutgers recruits react to 2-game Big Ten winning streak 

    Pat Lanni may be reached at planni@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatLanniHS. Like NJ.com High School Sports on Facebook.


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    The incident occurred Thursday afternoon in Camden.

    CAMDEN -- A 6-year-old remained hospitalized Friday after being hit by a school bus Thursday afternoon, county and school officials said Friday.

    The child was listed in critical but stable condition Thursday, a county spokesman said. The boy has not been identified, but officials said he was a student at LEAP Academy Charter School.

    "LEAP Academy University Charter School is working with law enforcement as they investigate a bus accident that happened Thursday," school spokesman Adam Dvorin said. " A LEAP student was injured in the accident and is being treated for his injuries. Our thoughts are with the student, his family and his classmates at this difficult time.  LEAP is supporting the student's family and offering counseling to students."

    The incident occurred at 4:45 p.m. near the intersection of Alabama and Collings Avenue, officials said. A witness said the boy was run over by a wheel of a school bus shortly after he exited another bus, according to a broadcast news report.

    The witness said his mother ran to his aid but was not allowed in the ambulance that took him to Cooper University Hospital, according to 6ABC TV.

    The bus was owned by McGough Bus Company of Washington Township, county spokesman Dan Keashen said. 

    No other information was immediately available.

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

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    Get all the Week 8 football news you need -- including links to live updates, scores and links -- on the weekend of Oct. 27-28, 2017

    WEEK 8 KEY LINKS
     Week 8 bold predictions
     30 must-see games
    • Top 20 picks and schedule
    • Statewide stat leaders
    • Quick picks
    • Power points
    • Top 20, group and conference rankings
    Mega-coverage guide

    SATURDAY'S LIVE UPDATE LINKS
    No. 11 Montclair vs. Seton Hall Prep, 1:30
    No. 20 St. Joseph (Hamm.) vs. St. Augustine, 1
    Delbarton at Mater Dei, 1
    Wayne Valley at Wayne Hills, 2:30

    FRIDAY'S FEATURED GAMES
    No. 1 Bergen Catholic 29, No. 17 Don Bosco Prep 26
    Historic win: BC wins in Toal homecoming
     Legendary coach has emotional return
      Photo gallery
     Look back at live updates
    Box score

    No. 4 DePaul 35, No. 7 Pope John 0
    Division title, top seed secured
     Look back at live updates
    Box score

    No. 5 Timber Creek 35, Williamstown 13
    Devin Leary breaks 1 state mark, ties another
      Photo gallery
     Look back at live updates
    Box score


    No. 10 Manalapan 28, Piscataway 0
    Mayfield, Blacknall key convincing victory
      WATCH Mayfield talks about rushing record
     
    Look back at live updates
    Box score

    No. 16 Phillipsburg 20, North Hunterdon 7
    Stagaard, Ball make big plays in battle of unbeatens
      Photo gallery
     Look back at live updates
    Box score

    Holy Spirit 42, No. 18 Camden Catholic 26
    28-game WJFL winning streak broken
    Box score


    Passaic Tech 15, Ridgewood 7 
    Slow start doesn't prevent redemption W
    •  Photo gallery
     Look back at live updates
    Box score

    Delsea 43, Woodrow Wilson 12
    Borguet rambles for 205 and 5 TDs
     Look back at live updates
    Box score

    Gateway 32, Burlington City 8
    Gators have longest winning steak in 11 years
    •  Photo gallery
     Look back at live updates
    Box score

    Old Bridge 28, Jackson Memorial 14
    Offense shows versatility
      WATCH Julian Rivera, Chancelor Cooper on victory
    • 
    Photo gallery
    Box score


    NJIC semifinal: Hasbrouck Heights 42, Wallington 21
    Game recap
     Box score

    NJIC semifinal: Rutherford 42, New Milford 27
    Kyle Russell throws for 3 TDs
    Box score

    Hopewell Valley 35, Northern Burlington 14
    Demareki, Doldy spark team's first victory
    •  Photo gallery
    Box score

    Ewing 62, Princeton 7
    Blue Devils clinch playoff spot
    Box score

    Lawrence 35, Robbinsville 0
    Cardinals refocus, roll to victory
    Box score

    Nottingham 10, Steinert 3
    Diontae Nicholson scores OT TD
      WATCH Kier Jenkins on victory
    Box score


    Hightstown 26, Notre Dame 14
    Rams break 29-game losing streak in series
    Box score


    Bridgeton 22, Washington Township 20
    Basil Williams keys late rally
    Box score

    Woodstown 28, Schalick 21
    Big 2nd half, 314 on ground decides it
    Box score

    TOP 20 SCHEDULE/SCOREBOARD
    FRIDAY

    No. 1 Bergen Catholic 29, No. 17 Don Bosco Prep 26
    No. 3 DePaul 35, No. 7 Pope John 0
    No. 4 St. Joseph (Mont.) 24, No. 13 Paramus Catholic 10
    No. 5 Timber Creek 35, Williamstown 13
    No. 6 Millville 42, Cumberland 6
    • Camden 30, No. 8 Rancocas Valley 24
    No. 9 Vineland 58, Mainland 0
    No. 10 Manalapan 28, Piscataway 0
    No. 12 Lenape 21, Cherokee 14
    No. 15 Old Tappan 53, Indian Hills 7
    No. 16 Phillipsburg 20, North Hunterdon 7
    Holy Spirit 42, No. 18 Camden Catholic 26
    • No. 19 St. John Vianney 21, Middletown South 14
    SATURDAY
    • No. 2 St. Peter's Prep vs. Lincoln, 12
    • No. 11 Montclair vs. Seton Hall Prep, 1:30
    • No. 14 Westfield bye
    • No. 20 St. Joseph (Hamm.) vs. St. Augustine, 1

    SATURDAY'S LIVE COVERAGE
    • No. 11 Montclair vs. Seton Hall Prep, 1:30

    SATURDAY'S FEATURED GAMES
    No. 11 Montclair vs. Seton Hall Prep, 1:30
    • Live updates
    • Game story

    •  Photo gallery
    • Box score

    No. 20 St. Joseph (Hamm.) vs. St. Augustine, 1
    • Live updates
    • Game story

    •  Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Delbarton at Mater Dei, 1
    Live updates
    • Game story

    •  Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Wayne Valley at Wayne Hills, 2:30
    Live updates
    • Game story

    •  Photo gallery
    • Box score


    Allentown at Trenton, 1
    • Game story
    • Box score

    New Egypt at Haddon Heights, 11 am
    • Game story
    • Box score

    Peddie at Hun, 2
    • Game story
    •  Photo gallery
    • Box score

    Perkiomen (Pa.) at Pennington, 1:30
    • Game story
    • Box score

    STATEWIDE SCHEDULE/SCOREBOARD

    Joe Zedalis may be reached at jzedalis@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @josephzedalis. Like NJ.com HS sports on Facebook


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    Catching up on some of the highlights from Week 8.


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    Rasta Imposta recently settled a lawsuit with Kmart for copying their banana costume.

    RUNNEMEDE -- Robert Berman is invited to a costume party this weekend, but he's not fretting about what he's going to wear.

    He could just pull something off the shelf, but that's not how he and his wife roll.

    "We like to wear stuff others are not wearing," said Berman, 50, as he surveyed his warehouse containing thousands of costumes he and his wife Tina have created over the years. "We always keep in mind what others have bought."

    He declined to reveal much more than that during a recent weekday afternoon just before opening the doors to his nondescript, one-story warehouse along Clements Bridge Road in Runnemede, Camden County to the public for an outlet sale.

    The Bermans decided to open the doors this Halloween season to Rasta Imposta, their costume design headquarters, to clear out racks of off-beat, goofy and surprisingly popular creations. While this is literally a mom and pop business, it has worldwide reach.

    Rasta Imposta sells hundreds of thousands of costumes to major retailers like Kmart across the nation and worldwide, Berman said. The business has grown so fast over the past 23 years that all its costumes are now mass produced in China, Vietnam and Guatemala. Orders are fulfilled out of Charlotte, North Carolina.

    But if you're shopping in a local popup Halloween shop for a costume this season, odds are you'll run across more than one of their creations.

    "A lot of people think we're located in California, but I found talent and opportunity here in New Jersey," Berman said. "I used to live in New York, but I created this business between Exit 4 and 3 on the turnpike. Runnemede is magic."

    The company recently settled a lawsuit with Kmart after they sued to halt the sale of a knockoff of their popular banana costume.

    Kmart's knock-off banana costume just doesn't have the same a-peel, designer says

    "They agreed to pull the costume," Berman said.

    Kmart had previously bought the suit from them and terms of the agreement will continue that deal, he said.

    Halloween is a special time of year for the Bermans for more than one reason. They were married on Halloween 19 years ago. They didn't dress up in costume then, but Robert is not making any promises about how they'll celebrate their anniversary in the future.

    Their hottest-selling items this year predictably revolve around food.

    "They helped create the food category of costumes," a coworker said.

    In addition to several banana costumes, including a peeled banana, they also feature avocados, Tootsie Rolls, Spam, M&Ms, Mountain Dew and a bottle of Fireball cinnamon-flavored whiskey.

    Berman was an aspiring theater writer, 25 years ago when he stumbled on to a creation that changed his life.

    "My first Rasta hat was made with rope," he said. The rope mimicked dreadlocks and flowed from beneath a cap. "I sold it for $20 and a beer."

    Berman wore his creation to a bar in Beach Haven, Long Beach Island and it was an instant hit. He said many of the locals spent most of the night wondering if he was really sporting dreads.

    "Very few people had dreads then, and nobody white" he said.

    It was a fateful evening. Berman was living at the shore that summer. He decided to embed himself in his parent's beach house until he wrote the play that would launch his career on Broadway. He had been living in New York City after attending Middlebury College in Vermont. He was still commuting back and forth from LBI for sessions with his writing coach, which were going nowhere.

    "She suggested I get therapy," he said about a particularly difficult stretch. "I remember I was driving back and decided that what I really wanted to do was make hats and sell them."

    Enter Tina Wayne for the next act in his life. She had just graduated from Ohio State University after growing up in western Pennsylvania. She decided to open a vending cart for the summer and Robert begged her to sell his Rasta hat.

    "She didn't like the hat, but she liked me," Robert said.

    "We were at the same point in our lives," said Tina, who had a degree in architecture. "We both had creative backgrounds and minds, but we didn't have any background in textile design. But, we ended up in this. Sometimes we look back and just laugh and ask, 'how did we choose this path?'"

    As it turns out, it's not much of a mystery.

    Both their parents operated small businesses. Tina's owned a party rental store in Altoona, Pennsylvania with a costume department. Robert's father and uncle operated a wholesale tobacco and candy business out of the aging, 15,000-square-foot warehouse which now houses Rasta Imposta.

    The building is so plain, with no signage or windows, and an aging cement facade, it could get serious consideration for a CIA black site. But on a recently weekday afternoon, it was deal central for people looking for discount costumes with Halloween fast approaching.

    "This gets us back to what we used to do," Berman said about the sale. "We're meeting the locals. Many ask us how long we've been here and we say 25 years and they say 'What?'"

    Seventeen employees remain on Clements Bridge Road, to handle graphic design, product demos, marketing, licensing and the outlet sale they think may become an annual event.

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

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    David Grzybowski and Jodi Gilbert, of Cherry Hill, say they want companies to sponsor their wedding next June as a way to not only offset costs but try something innovative and fun.

    CHERRY HILL - It started as a joke on social media. A harmless hashtag meant to to garner laughs about the plight of paying for a wedding these days. 

    When she announced her engagement, Jodi Gilbert, 26, posted a photo of her and her fiance with the caption, "#LookingForASponsor."

    "After we started planning, we thought, 'Well, maybe we can do something like this,'" Gilbert, of Cherry Hill, said. 

    Gilbert, who works in public relations, and her fiance, David Grzybowski, who also works in media, thought they could give their guests a wedding to remember if they could partner with local sponsors to offset costs for decorations, table settings, goodie bags - or even sneakers for the groomsmen. 

    "You only get married once," said Grzybowski, 26.  

    "Hopefully," Gilbert interjected with a laugh. 

    The couple, who live in Cherry Hill, plan to get married next June in Philadelphia. While the two are paying for basic costs, including for each of their 150 guests, the venue and Gilbert's wedding dress, they're seeking companies or start-ups to add to their day and help entertain their guests. 

    That can mean sponsors providing table numbers, centerpieces or candles with their branded logo on it or start-ups offering new products in the men's or women's restrooms. The couple says they're open to talking about other ways for sponsors to get involved. 

    A company can even sponsor Grzybowski's suit - so long as the branding remains inside the suit jacket, "not on the outside," added Gilbert. 

    "We're not asking the public to help pay for our aunts or uncles, we just want it to be fun, interactive," Grzybowski said. "We want people to leave our wedding saying, 'Wow, that's the best wedding we've ever been to.'" 

    Grzybowski and Gilbert met at La Salle University their freshman year during orientation. And, after dating for seven years, Grzybowski popped the question this summer while they were living in North Carolina. 

    "He left me a note after work to meet him at this nice hotel area which is weird because we don't do that," Gilbert said. "He walked me down to this waterfront, he had a photographer and then we were engaged."

    The two say they've talked to a few potential sponsors but haven't sealed any deals yet. And whether or not any sponsors materialize, they say the wedding is still on. 

    "We're still going to have a classical wedding," Grzybowski said. "We're still going to say, 'I do,' still going to put rings on our fingers."

    Karen Yi may be reached at kyi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at @karen_yi or on Facebook


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    The alleged attack took place Friday night in Winslow Township.

    WINSLOW TWP -- A woman was mugged Friday night after two men attacked her on the street, slamming her head against a steel pole, according to police. 

    The alleged robbery took place at 10:20 p.m. on Hayes Mill Road. The 36-year-old woman was walking along the road when she saw two males coming toward her, and moved to the other side of the street, according to the Winslow Township Police Department. 

    The two males, a 22-year-old man and juvenile, closed in on the woman and attacked her from behind, striking her in the head, police said. They then allegedly hit her head against a traffic sign's pole, beating her until she released her purse. 

    Police arrived at the scene with a K-9 unit, and were able to recover the purse and locate the juvenile, whose name has been withheld because of his age. A defaced air soft gun was found stuffed in his pants, police said. 

    Officers later arrested 22-year-old William J. Mcelhenny of Atco at his home. 

    The woman was taken to Virtua Hospital for treatment. Mcelhenny and the juvenile were charged with armed robbery, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and aggravated assault, police said.

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

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    All of our South Jersey Times Game of the Week choices for Week 9 should have some impact on playoff seeding, either teams trying to qualify or possibly move up a couple slots.

    All of our South Jersey Times Game of the Week choices for Week 9 should have some impact on playoff seeding, either teams trying to qualify or possibly move up a couple slots.


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    The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory in parts of southern New Jersey, which will cause difficult conditions for people driving trucks and buses.

    Forecasters are advising drivers to avoid standing water left on roads Monday after a coastal storm making its way up the East Coast unleashed heavy rainfall in New Jersey. 

    The National Weather Service issued flood warnings in numerous counties Sunday as heavy rain fell throughout the Garden State. More than 20 cities and towns could experience flooding, the weather service said, and drivers should turn around when encountering flooded roads. 

    While the heavy rain is expected to end by the Monday morning commute, the weather service issued a wind advisory in parts of southern New Jersey, including Camden and Atlantic City, through noon Monday. The winds will cause difficult conditions for people driving trucks and buses, forecasters said. 

    Those strong winds will quickly increase overnight and will peak during the mid-morning hours Monday as winds head West at 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 mph. The winds may damage trees and power lines. Power outages are expected, the weather service said. 

    Keep track of power outages with live tracker

    Commuters should use extra caution when driving over elevated roads and bridges, the weather service said.

     

    At home, people should secure light-weight outdoor objects, such as patio furniture and garbage cans, the service said. 

    Early rainfall totals

    As of 8 p.m. Sunday, the weather service's radar indicated that up to 3 inches of rain have already fallen across parts of the state, and the weather service received a report of 4.5 inches in Waretown. Another inch or two could fall in some locations before midnight, forecasters said.

    Here are some of the highest rainfall totals reported across New Jersey as of 9:45 p.m. Sunday. The reports came from the New Jersey Weather & Climate Network, based at Rutgers University, and the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly.

    • 4.50 inches in Waretown (Ocean County)
    • 4.37 inches in Berkeley Twp. (Ocean County)
    • 4.20 inches in Howell (Monmouth County)
    • 4.19 inches in Holmdel (Monmouth County)
    • 3.87 inches in Toms River (Ocean County)
    • 3.53 inches in Ramsey (Bergen County)
    • 3.50 inches in Wall Twp. (Monmouth County)
    • 3.42 inches in Harvey Cedars (Ocean County)
    • 3.40 inches in Parsippany (Morris County)
    • 3.33 inches in Point Pleasant (Ocean County) 
    • 3.32 inches in Hawthorne (Passaic County)
    • 2.97 inches in Moorestown (Burlington County)
    • 2.95 inches in Cedar Bridge (Ocean County)
    • 2.88 inches in Charlotteburg (Passaic County)
    • 2.86 inches in Chatham Twp. (Morris County)
    • 2.85 inches in Mansfield (Burlington County)
    • 2.85 inches in Wayne (Passaic County)                        

    NJ Advance Media staff writer Len Melisurgo contributed to this report. Luke Nozicka may be reached at lnozicka@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @lukenozicka. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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    Dogs and cats throughout New Jersey await adoption.

    Halloween is a time of family fun ... but it's best not to have the four-legged members of the family TOO involved. Some simple tips from petmd.com:

    *  Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets

    *  Don't leave pets out in the yard on Halloween

    *  Keep pets confined and away from the door

    *  Keep glow sticks away from pets

    *  Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach

    *  Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets

    *  Keep electric and battery-powered Halloween decorations out of reach

    *  Don't dress your pet in a costume without trying it out first; if they hate it, don't use it

     


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    The playoff field will be set in one week.


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    An elementary school student received a $100,000 settlement last month, following two years of alleged bullying at her school.

    BROOKLAWN -- A young girl who claims she was bullied to the point where she had severe anxiety at school and then was denied prescribed medication by a school nurse received a $100,000 settlement last month, according to legal documents. 

    The girl, identified as J.R. in a 2014 lawsuit brought by her mother, was a fourth grader at the Alice Costello School during the 2012 school year. Several classmates began harassing her early in the year, calling her a "slut" and other derogatory names of a sexual nature, according to the documents, which were obtained by John Paff, an open-government advocate who runs the blog NJ Civil Settlements

    The harassment became so frequent that the girl's mother reported it to the teacher, who relayed the complaint to then Superintendent John Kellmayer. 

    Kellmayer "did not do anything to prevent the harassment," the claim states, and the alleged bullying continued. The other students called the girl "ugly," and slapped her hard enough to make her fall to the ground, according to the documents.

    The alleged harassment continued into the girl's fifth-grade year. When she asked a teacher to separate her from the other students during a group activity, the teacher allegedly told her they would just have to "get along," according to the suit.

    Eventually, the student was prescribed an anti-anxiety medication, which was given to the school nurse. The nurse was told to doll out the medication when the student asked, but often refused, saying that the girl was using the pills as "a crutch," and just looking for attention, the claim states.

    Without her medication, the girl would often go to the bathroom alone to cry. As her anxiety mounted, she attempted to harm herself, and was eventually admitted to a crisis center, according to the suit.

    The girl was eventually taken out of the district and placed in a different school. Her mother sued the district's board of education on her behalf in 2014.

    On September 20, a judge approved the $100,000 settlement. 

    A phone number for Kellmayer, who retired from the district in June, was out of service Monday morning. Superintendent Sam Rosetti did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the settlement. 

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

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    The team picked up trash, trimmed bushes and pruned trees.

    GLOUCESTER CITY -- This year the Gloucester City Lion's Club worked to overhaul a jogging track and "rest stop" as part of their service work.

    Members trimmed bushes, raked, pruned trees and removed litter from a jogging track and helped to fix up the Lions Rest Stop. 

    The Lions Rest Stop was conceived by past president Charles Thompson. This "Thompson's Oval"  is an oval space of 4,000 square foot brick rest area with park benches, shrubbery and flag poles surrounding it. 

    There are nearly 100 Commemorative bricks in the walk ways, the sale of which paid for a portion of the cost of materials. The labor was solely provided by Gloucester Lions, as well as majority of the installation work.

    Have community news you'd like to share? Send an email to sjtowns@njadvancemedia.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. 


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    A look at some unsung heroes from the 2017 season heading in the state tournament.


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    The Most Powerful and Influential Women Awards highlight high-ranking female professionals in various industries.

    STRATFORD -- Carol Pandza, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in Medicaid managed care and other health care solutions for those most in need, has been named one of the Pennsylvania Diversity Council's 2017 Most Powerful and Influential Women.

    Pandza was recently honored at the annual Philadelphia Diversity and Leadership Conference, hosted by the Pennsylvania Diversity Council at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. The Most Powerful and Influential Women Awards highlight high-ranking female professionals in various industries who exhibit the tenacity it takes to excel in their fields of expertise.

    "This is a wonderful honor, and I'm fully aware that it is shared with my colleagues across AmeriHealth Caritas and the HR team, who do the work to create an inclusive workplace that fully represents all residents of the Commonwealth, and all our markets," said Pandza. "All of us need to consistently and deliberately challenge ourselves to identify our own unconscious biases, listen more, and be open to new ideas so we can create more inclusive and diverse environments. There is always more we can do as we learn from each other."  

    In her role, Pandza oversees all of the company's human resources functions, including associate and leadership development, and diversity and inclusion. Prior to her current position, Pandza served as vice president of learning, talent management and organizational development for AmeriHealth Caritas, where she designed and implemented the company's executive development program.

    "Carol's hard work, resiliency and genuine nature have largely contributed to her leadership success," said Dennis Kennedy, founder and chairman of the National Diversity Council. "Her sincere concern for the prosperity of women and other minorities in the workforce has inspired many to follow her lead, reaching their full potential while paving the way for the next generation."

    Have community news you'd like to share? Send an email to sjtowns@njadvancemedia.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. 


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    NJ Advance media investigates and reports the latest on the controversy


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