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

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    In each instance, he disabled lights and alarms, went for safes or offices, and didn't leave fingerprints, police said.


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    The transit service said the volume of travelers westbound into the city was to blame for the delays.

    As thousands packed the streets of Philadelphia early Monday morning in the wake of the historic Eagles' triumph in Super Bowl LII, the city's rapid-transit service with South Jersey found itself similarly swamped.

    On Twitter just after midnight, PATCO said the volume of travelers headed westbound into the city had delayed service on its trains:

    Eagles fans quickly took to Twitter to respond that not only was service delayed, but that a large number had been stranded on a stalled train, which the transit system indicated had become disabled at Ferry Avenue Station in Camden:

    The transit service later dispatched a second train to evacuate the passengers, though it said the process was complicated by people jumping in and out of the tracks.

    The train system wasn't the only mode of transportation curtailed by the raucous post-game celebrations; NJ Transit just after midnight announced it had suspended the remainder of Sunday's service schedule.

    Thomas Moriarty may be reached at tmoriarty@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThomasDMoriarty. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    Pets all over New Jersey wait patiently for adoption.

    Here is this week's collection of some of the dogs and cats in need of adoption in New Jersey.

    We are now accepting dogs and cats to appear in the gallery from nonprofit shelters and rescues throughout New Jersey.

    If a group wishes to participate in this weekly gallery on nj.com, please contact Greg Hatala at ghatala@starledger.com or call 973-836-4922.

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    Who landed in NJ.com's most recent rankings?


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    No arrests have been made.

    A man and a woman were both shot to death in separate incidents within a 16-hour period in Camden this weekend, according to authorities.

    No arrests have been made but detectives are investigating the killings, which occurred about a mile apart, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said Monday.

    Camden County learned of the first shooting when they received reports of a dead woman on the ground in the 1700 block of Tioga Street at 9:19 a.m. Sunday.

    Chontay Green, 26, was found unconscious with a single gunshot wound, the office said. She was pronounced deceased at 12:22 p.m.

    In the second incident, police responded to a 911 call about a man being shot in the 1100 block of Princess Avenue shortly after midnight Monday, the prosecutor's office said.

    They found David Goodwater, 31, with a single gunshot wound. He died from his injury just before 1 a.m., authorities said.

    The deaths are the second and third homicides of 2018 in the city.

    Anyone with information about Green's death is asked to contact Camden County Prosecutor's Office Detective Haliema Leach at 856-580-5819 or Camden County Police Detective Edward Gonzalez at 856-757-7420.

    Information about Goodwater's death can be provided to Camden County Prosecutor's Office Detective Lee Hopkins at 856-225-8623 or Camden County Police Detective Sean Miller at 856-757-7420.

    Information may also be emailed to ccpotips@ccprosecutor.org.

    Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

    Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    Dennis Niceler had a walking boot in court after injuring his foot during an alleged escape from a burglary in progress. Watch video

    The man accused of burglarizing about 70 businesses around South Jersey over a few years will remain in jail while the case is being heard, a judge in Camden ruled Friday.

    Dennis Niceler appeared before Judge Kevin McBride for his detention hearing, with public defender Meg Butler representing him.

    He walked on crutches and had his right foot in a protective boot after injuring the foot when police found him during an alleged burglary attempt on Christmas Eve.

    Assistant prosecutor Victoria Shilton argued that Niceler should be held in jail before his next court date because at his current age of 56, charges on the 16 burglaries he is accused of in Camden County alone could equate to a life sentence.

    McBride noted that Niceler faced 3 to 5 years for each one.

    Butler said Niceler would not likely flee the jurisdiction as he is seeking medical treatment for his fractured heel. Additionally, prior to being taken in, "he had plenty of time to flee the jurisdiction and he did not," she said.

    "The fact that he has not fled, I find, is more attributable to his lack of mobility," McBride said.

    He said that it was "indeed not a run of the mill case" for him to hear, given the high number of alleged offenses.

    On Monday, Evesham Township Police said Niceler was the suspect in burglaries at three local businesses: the restaurant Mikado, the Mexican Food Factory and the Links Country Club.

     

    Joe Brandt can be reached at jbrandt@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JBrandt_NJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    Who's signed, who's not and who's still deciding: Signing Day is Wednesday


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    Where does your favorite private school land in the latest Niche.com rankings? Click here to see the best of the best when it comes to private school sports programs in the state.


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    This year's Signing Day is Feb. 7, but who are the best recruits since 2003?


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    Upsets, winning streaks highlight exciting week of boys hoops action.


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    Which boys have already given their verbal commit to play men's basketball?


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    The stores will offer deep discounts on brand names across all product categories.

    Discounts of up to 30 percent off began Wednesday at all closing Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us stores, including 11 in New Jersey, according to a spokesman for a consortium handling the closing sales.

    Store furniture and fixtures will also be available for sale, the spokesman said.

    Closing locations will continue to honor customer programs including gift cards, Endless Earnings and credit card specials.

    The closing sales will be operated by a consortium consisting of Gordon Brothers, Hilco Merchant Resources, Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group.

    "The discounts and promotions that will be offered at closing locations starting today will be unique to these stores," the spokesman said.

    11 companies that are laying off up to 2,000 N.J. workers by April

    As part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, the Wayne-based retailer has said it plans to close about a third of its 880 stores.

    Twelve stores were slated to close in New Jersey. However, a store in Eatontown was not included in a revised store closure list released on Tuesday.

    The stores slated to close in 2018 are:

    • Bridgewater
    • Burlington
    • Cherry Hill
    • East Hanover
    • Elizabeth (Kid's World)
    • Flanders
    • North Brunswick
    • Paramus
    • Philipsburg
    • Union
    • Wayne

    "Not only will the sale provide loyal customers from coast to coast the opportunity to purchase their favorite products at significantly lower prices, it will also include new merchandise at even deeper discounts," the consortium spokesman said.

    "Due to these substantial reductions, we encourage consumers to shop early to take advantage of the best selection of products available while supplies last."

    A judge in Virginia reportedly approved a bankruptcy plan that permits struggling retailer Toys R Us to hold going-out-of business sales.

    "The reinvention of our brands requires that we make tough decisions about our priorities and focus," company CEO Dave Brandon stated in a message on the company website last month, when he also announced the going-out-of-business sales.

    Toys R Us is another bricks-and-mortar retailer struggling to survive in an era of online shopping. A year ago, the company laid off about 15 percent of the staff at its Wayne headquarters.

    The closing sales will be operated by a consortium consisting of Gordon Brothers, Hilco Merchant Resources, Tiger Capital Group and Great American Group.

    Some shoppers who arrived at the North Brunswick Babie "R" Us shortly after the 10 a.m. opening said they are hoping the sales get better.

    "I'm taking advantage of these sales since 30 percent off is pretty good, but they'll get better as they dwindle down," said Rachel Anderson of South River.

    Melanie Delaluz, also of South River, came to shop with her pregnant sister to buy towels and baby clothes.

    "Usually we go to the East Brunswick store but we came for the sales," Delaluz said. "The sales aren't that good yet but they'll probably get better."

    (Staff writer Sophie Nieto-Munoz contributed to this report)

    Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at tattrino@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    The man had threatened to shoot his girlfriend, authorities said.

    A police officer shot at but missed a man who was holding a rifle during a police standoff in Mount Ephraim Tuesday, according to the authorities.

    Matthew Barba, 29, of Mount Ephraim, who was accused of making threats to his girlfriend, surrendered to police after 40 minutes, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement Wednesday. 

    Police responded to the home on the 100 block of Cleveland Avenue around 12:30 p.m. because the father of a woman who lived there reported she was "involved in a physical altercation" with her boyfriend, the release said.

    The woman told her father that Barba had weapons and had threatened to shoot her, the office said. Her 4-year-old son was also in the home at the time.

    Mount Ephraim and Brooklawn police got the woman and boy out of the home and began communicating with Barba, who was outside, the release said.

    They realized he was holding a rifle, and when he pointed it at police, a Brooklawn officer shot at him but missed, the release said. Barba ran back into the residence and refused to come out until he surrendered around 1:10 p.m.

    He was charged with three counts of assault for pointing the gun at civilians and police, as well as charges of endangering the welfare of a child and weapons charges.

    He was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital for an evaluation and is now being held in the Camden County Correctional Facility pending his first appearance in court.

    Per guidelines from the Attorney General's Office, the officer who fired the shot has been placed on administrative leave while the prosecutor's office conducts an investigation. The prosecutor's office is not releasing the officer's name.

    Rebecca Everett may be reached at reverett@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccajeverett. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    Both women were selected, in part, because they are strong female role models, according to the university.

    Rutgers University has landed two high-profile women to speak at its Newark and Camden commencement ceremonies. 

    Queen Latifah, a Newark native who became an actress and hip-hop icon, will deliver the keynote address at Rutgers-Newark. 

    Anita Hill, the law professor thrust into the national spotlight after she accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, will speak to graduates at Rutgers-Camden. 

    The speakers, who will also receive honorary degrees, were approved at a university Board of Governors meeting Wednesday. Both women were selected, in part, because they are strong female role models, according to the university.

    "Queen Latifah is inspiring to us as students because she always projects herself through her work as a strong woman," said Adebimpe Elegbeleye, a Rutgers-Newark student who served on the commencement selection committee. "She shows young women that we can do that too and young men that they need to respect that." 

    Along with her work in music and acting, Queen Latifah founded a scholarship foundation for low-income youth and has worked to prevent home foreclosures in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

    She was also an advocate for Let Girls Learn, a campaign by former First Lady Michelle Obama to provide support to 62 million girls around the world who do not have access to education.    

    Rutgers-Newark will award Queen Latifah a honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree at its May 14 ceremony at the Prudential Center. She will not receive a speaking fee.    

    Hill is now a professor of social policy, law, and women's, gender, and sexuality studies at Brandeis University. Her 1991 allegations against Thomas, then a Supreme Court nominee, sparked national conversations about sexual harassment,  workplace misconduct, inequality, and discrimination.      

    Now a leading figure in the #TimesUp movement against sexual harassment and assault, Hill remains one of the nation's most powerful voices in addressing equality and discrimination, Rutgers-Camden Chancellor Phoebe Haddon said.

    "She is the ideal role model to charge graduating students to take what they learned at Rutgers-Camden and work to improve their communities and world," Haddon said.  

    Hill will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws from Rutgers-Camden. She will not receive a speaking a fee. 

    Rutgers has yet to name a commencement speaker for its New Brunswick campus. 

    Adam Clark may be reached at adam_clark@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on twitter at @realAdamClarkFind NJ.com on Facebook. 


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    More than 2 million people could attend the Eagles Super Bowl victory parade in Philadelphia on Thursday, creating some logistical issues for those planning to attend


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    Ticket sales could end tonight at 7 p.m., they warned.

    If you're planning on going to the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl parade on Thursday by taking PATCO and you haven't gotten a ticket, you might be out of luck.

    PATCO, the only regional rail line into Philadelphia from South Jersey, announced Wednesday afternoon it will stop selling tickets for trips to Center City at or before 7 p.m. to get to Thursday's Eagles Super Bowl parade.

    "Due to extremely strong sales of advance tickets, PATCO announced today that ticket sales will be SUSPENDED at or around 7:00 P.M. [Thursday] or earlier if ticket supply is exhausted," the port authority transit company said. "In addition, tickets will NOT BE SOLD in stations on Thursday. Individuals who have purchased advance tickets, as well as FREEDOM Card holders are strongly encouraged to arrive at their departure stations - Lindenwold, Woodcrest, Ferry Avenue and Broadway - early to ensure that they are able to board trains for service into Philadelphia."

    Local officials have urged people who plan to attend the parade to take public transit. But regional transit officials in New Jersey and Pennsylvania said Wednesday a crowd estimated to exceed 2 million attend the parade, which starts at the sports complexes in South Philadelphia and winds through Center City to the Museum of Art on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

    Walking over the Ben Franklin Bridge, which has a foot path, is also being encouraged by the Delaware River Port Authority. From the base of the bridge to the steps of the art museum is four miles. 

    Camden is also warning parade-goers of the limited parking in the city. 

    "Visitors should plan ahead and expect some delays," city officials said in a statement. "There is limited parking along the Camden Waterfront.  Those planning to travel from Camden will have the options of walking across the Ben Franklin Bridge, riding a PATCO train or crossing the Delaware River via RiverLink Ferry."

    eagles_camden_parkingA map of Camden City parking for the Eagles Super Bowl parade.  

    SEPTA, which offers regional rail service in Philadelphia, also said it has sold out of its one-day passes. Weekly and monthly pass sales are also temporarilty suspended, so if fans who had not already purchased one of those passes won't be able to ride regional rails. 

    Some savvy commuters with plans to attend the Eagles Super Bowl victory parade in Philadelphia on Thursday were thinking ahead. A steady stream of commuters filed into the Collingswood PATCO rail station late Wednesday morning and headed straight for a ticket vending machine to buy roundtrip tickets into Center City from South Jersey.

    "I actually have a whole plan," said Jesus Delligatti, 29, of Audubon, just before he bought a roundtrip ticket for a ride into Philadelphia that normally takes about 15 minutes. "I just dropped off my car on a nice spot on Broad already. I'm going to leave it there overnight and take the train over so I can walk to my car."

    Delligatti, who recently left the Marine Corp, said he knows the area in which he parked and thinks his car is safe. He plans to take his 4-year-old son with him to the parade. 

    "I was raised on the Eagles," Delligatti said. "It's in your blood."

    Bill Duhart may be reached at bduhart@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find NJ.com on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips
     

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    For more than three decades, New Jersey's Urban Enterprise Zone program has boosted businesses hoping to compete with their suburban counterparts by offering reduced sales taxes and subsidies for unemployment insurance, among other incentives.

    If lawmakers in the state have their way, a powerful engine for economic development in our cities will come roaring back to life.

    For more than three decades, New Jersey's Urban Enterprise Zone program has boosted businesses hoping to compete with their suburban counterparts by offering reduced sales taxes and subsidies for unemployment insurance, among other incentives.

    Trenton was one of five pioneering cities signing on to the program when it launched in 1986; at its height, the program had branched out to 37 different municipalities across the state, touching some 6,800 businesses all told.

    While the initiative was designed to expire 20 years after it began in the individual communities, legislators voted in 2001 to permit a one-time extension for another 16 years.

    As 2017 dawned, however, former Gov. Chris Christie chose not to approve a measure to save the program, despite pleas from such powerful UEZ advocates as the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.

    The League termed the UEZ designation "a vital tool in the tool kit of local leaders working to bring their communities back from decades of decline."

    Last month, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association added its backing as the state Senate Economic Growth Committee passed a bill seeking to tack another 10 years onto the program in communities where it remains in force.

    The measure, sponsored by Sens. Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) and Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Camden), also would bring the original cities - Trenton, Bridgeton, Camden, Newark and Plainfield - back into the UEZ fold.

    The news should bring joy to owners of the 900 or so local business owners in the Capitol City who over the years benefitted from the plan, including free marketing services and networking opportunities.

    "By extending the UEZ designation, we can provide an opportunity for disadvantaged communities not only to attract new companies that bring jobs for local residents, but also to keep existing businesses and to keep our residents working," Turner said.

    Participation in the program is not meant to be a free ride. To qualify, business owners must meet certain requirements, such as hiring local residents or individuals who have faced long-term unemployment.

    It's uncertain how Gov. Phil Murphy will respond if the Turner/Cruz-Perez bill eventually wins full approval in the Legislature.

    But we're hopeful that the business-savvy governor will recognize that a state's economy rests largely on the success of its cities. UEZ's are one proven strategy to ensure that success.

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

     

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    Up to 2 million people are expected to attend the Eagles Super Bowl parade.

    Philadelphia city officials urged Eagles fans planning to attend the team's Super Bowl victory parade in Center City on Thursday to exercise an abundance of patience and to bring food and snacks to safely navigate a crowd estimated to be up to 2 million along the 5 mile parade route.

    Mayor Jim Kenney laid out steps revelers should take to safely enjoy the festivities. 

    "We're doing everything we can to make sure we're as prepared as possible for this type of celebration," Kenney said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference at City Hall. "We expect there will be long lines everywhere and just as you've waited decades for this, expect it will take you longer to get around and please be patient.

    "Try to bring some food and snacks with you, because food establishments that may be open may be very crowded."

    The mayor said fans can also text ReadyEagles to 888-777 for parade updates.

    Kenney said he expected the crowd to be better behaved than the throngs who choked several major corridors immediately after the Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 in the Super Bowl in Minnesota on Sunday.

    "Sunday night was extremely annoying," Kenney said. "That was an event that was the end of a long day of partying and revelry. This event starts at 11 and unless you're a hardcore drinker, I don't think they'll be in as bad a shape at the end of the parade route as they were at the end of the game."

    Kenney also advised people to dress warmly and in layers. Thursday's high is expected to be 34 degrees under sunny skies. 

    Officials suggested dressing small children in colors other than Eagles green to have them standout in a crowd. They also suggested taking a pre-event photo of your children in case you become separated.

    Kenney advised people to use public transit into the city, but that may be impossible for some suburban fans who didn't get transit tickets on Pennsylvania and New Jersey regional rail lines. SEPTA sold out of a special one-day pass for regional rail lines just after 1 p.m. Wednesday. Transit officials said it had reached its capacity of 70,000 daily commuters. City train lines will operate with no fares on Thursday.

    The PATCO line from South Jersey sold out of tickets before 7 p.m. Wednesday and will not sell any tickets Thursday. It reached its capacity of 80,000 riders when tickets sold out, an official said. Riders will only be able to board at Lindenwold, Woodcrest, Ferry Avenue and Broadway in New Jersey. All trains will be nonstop from each station with all going to 9th-10th and Locust streets, four blocks from the parade route on Broad Street. 

    The trains are scheduled to arrive every four minutes. Trains back to New Jersey will start running at 1:20 p.m. and all trains on the line will be eastbound until 8 p.m.

    Police Chief Richard Ross told parents to keep children close by.

    "Don't let them get much further than at arm's reach," Ross said.

    Ross also urged parade-goers to contact police immediately if they see a discarded bag or anything suspicious. 

    Bill Duhart may be reached at bduhart@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @bduhart. Find NJ.com on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips


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    Viva la familia!

    Everyone likes to recall fond family memories. And, what's even better is when a family moment remains vivid because it has been captured on film.

    But, sometimes all we can depend on is our memory because the photographs we took failed to come out. Or, we didn't have a camera on hand to make sure the memory could be placed in a frame.

    Untitled-88.jpgMy family shot daguerreotypes 

    The current high quality of digital cameras in smart phones makes it, pardon the pun, a snap to shoot a great family photo at an event or gathering. And, of course, there's the biggest benefit of all - knowing immediately whether you should take another one.

    I was recently discussing with my Mom how many one-time-only group family photos were never captured over the years because someone forgot to wind the film or buy flashbulbs. With a film camera, you only knew if the shot came out after the time it took for developing; how many once-in-a-lifetime family photos ended up as totally dark or washed-out prints?

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    Someone will likely mention Polaroid here. Okay, yes, you could see the result of your shot in a minute with a Polaroid instant camera ... a camera that had a lens with limited capability to include more than a handful of people in the photo. Polaroid group shots usually boiled down to faces the size of dots.

    But all family photos weren't missed or messed up. No matter where and when photos like these were taken, they all preserve the importance of family for posterity.

    Here's a gallery of vintage family photos from New Jersey, and some links to other family galleries you might enjoy.

    Vintage photos of families in N.J.

    Vintage photos of fathers, sons and daughters in NJ

    Vintage photos of mothers and their children in NJ

    Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.


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    Julie Andresen received 15 months and will have to pay $956,885 in restitution

    A 40-year-old former pharmaceutical employee was sentenced to 15 months in prison for her role in a nearly $1 million scheme involving compound medicine. 

    Julie Andresen, 40, of Haddonfield, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, ordered to pay restitution of $956,885 and to forfeit $161,378, the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey said in a statement. 

    A 28-year-old St. Louis woman and a 45-year-old Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania man have previously pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Both worked for the same pharmaceutical company as Andresen.

    Another guilty plea in multi-million dollar health insurance scam

    Authorities have never named the business, referring to it only as "Company A" in court papers.

    The compound medicine included scar creams and metabolic supplements. 

    Andresen collected $161,378 in kickbacks from an out-of-state marketing company that orchestrated the fraud and bilked the pharmaceutical firm out of $956,885, authorities said.

    Andresen's part in the scam involved arranging through a doctor to obtain and fill medically unnecessary prescriptions through her company's prescription drug plan. She gave the doctor pre-printed forms listing compounded medications and asked the doctor to authorize the medications as well as multiple refills.

    Andresen then faxed prescriptions to out-of-state compounding pharmacies as directed by the marketing firm.

    The compounding pharmacies would next bill Andresen's prescription drug benefit plan. The pharmaceutical company's prescription drug benefit plan reimbursed the compounding pharmacies $13,572 to $43,689 for each compounded medication Andresen and her husband received.

    The marketing company received a portion of that money and then passed on percentage of their cut to Andresen. 

    Jeff Goldman may be reached at jeff_goldman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JeffSGoldman. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

     


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