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Articles on this Page
- 04/30/18--09:42: _Girls lacrosse doub...
- 04/30/18--11:08: _'Yes' to co-pays fo...
- 04/30/18--15:19: _Cops vow to find dr...
- 04/30/18--22:16: _Newark's leading th...
- 04/30/18--16:43: _Men who robbed 7-El...
- 05/01/18--04:27: _Here are the towns ...
- 05/01/18--03:49: _Can a trendy bike s...
- 05/01/18--09:34: _NJ.com girls lacros...
- 05/01/18--09:52: _These 24 N.J. gas s...
- 05/01/18--15:59: _Dealer admits role ...
- 05/02/18--06:49: _Baseball: Another w...
- 05/02/18--06:45: _Halfway heroes: NJ....
- 05/02/18--09:44: _Police officer whos...
- 05/02/18--10:04: _N.J. softball's top...
- 05/02/18--11:33: _Baseball: As weathe...
- 05/03/18--03:32: _Vintage photos of g...
- 05/03/18--06:55: _MLB Draft, a month ...
- 05/03/18--11:46: _Who are N.J.'s top ...
- 05/03/18--17:52: _Who are N.J. baseba...
- 05/04/18--06:24: _Nasty pitching and ...
- 04/30/18--16:43: Men who robbed 7-Elevens, paralyzed worker, plead guilty
- Jan. 10, 2014, 7-Eleven at 6001 Westfield Ave. in Pennsauken.
- April 27, 2014, 7-Eleven at 610 Kresson Road in Cherry Hill.
- May 6, 2014, 7-Eleven at 7800 Maple Ave. in Cherry Hill.
- May 15, 7-Eleven at 1 East Camden Ave. in Moorestown.
- May 27, 2014, 7-Eleven at 1993 Arena Drive in Hamilton.
- May 27, 2014, 7-Eleven at 2 Stokes Road in Medford Lakes.
- June 3, 2014, 7-Eleven at 2 East Main St. in Marlton.
- June 13, 2014, 7-Eleven at 508 East Church St. in Blackwood.
- 05/01/18--03:49: Can a trendy bike share program boost Camden?
- Citgo, 469 S. Lenola Road in Moorestown
- Citgo, 400 NJ-38 in Maple Shade
- Citgo, 2006 Mount Holly Road in Burlington
- Citgo, 1510 NJ-38 in Cherry Hill
- Citgo, 102 Washington Crossing Road in Pennington
- Citgo - Pitman, 690 Delsea Drive in Pitman
- Gasco Yardville - 4364 S. Broad St. in Trenton
- Gasco Greenwood - 1761 Greenwood Ave. in Trenton
- Gasco Tri Star - 1685 Nottingham Way in Trenton
- Gasco Chambers - 1140 Chambers St. in Trenton
- Gasco West Creek - 439 Route 9 in West Creek
- Gasco Lambertville - 32 S. Franklin St. in Lambertville
- Gasco Southampton - 2344 Route 206 in Vincentown
- Gasco Barnegat - 282 Route 72 in Barnegat
- Lukoil, 2225 Admiral Wilson Blvd. in Merchantville
- USA Gas, 206 Hanover St. in Pemberton
- USA Gas, 106 W. Main St. in Maple Shade
- USA Gas, 402 Landis Ave. in Vineland
- USA Gas, 3970 N. Delsea Drive in Newfield
- USA Gas, 47 Chestnut St. in Elmer
- USA Gas - Mt. Holly - 2523 Route 206 in Mt. Holly
- Valero, 554 River Road in Fair Haven
- Valero, 65 N. Blackhorse Pike in Bellmawr
- Xtra Power Gas, 1 E Evesham Road in Voorhees
- 05/01/18--15:59: Dealer admits role in 10-person Camden cocaine ring
- 05/02/18--06:49: Baseball: Another week, another new No. 1 in the NJ.com Top 20
- 05/02/18--06:45: Halfway heroes: NJ.com's girls lacrosse midseason awards
- 05/02/18--10:04: N.J. softball's top 76 sophomores: Our picks, your vote
- 05/02/18--11:33: Baseball: As weather heats up, so does the South Jersey Top 20
- 05/03/18--03:32: Vintage photos of going to school in N.J.
- 05/03/18--11:46: Who are N.J.'s top girls lacrosse sophomores? Our picks, your votes
- 05/03/18--17:52: Who are N.J. baseball's top sophomores? Our picks, your votes
A closer look from the top games covered from the previous week.
Student Santino J. D'Agostino writes that he's OK with having the university start billing for using the now-free health facility.
I am a freshman political science major at Rowan University. I am expressing support for the new Wellness Center third-party payment policy. (It establishes fees for students to visit the university's now-free campus health clinic, and insurers and other payers would be billed).
Rowan President Ali Houshmand is receiving many words of dissent over the policy. However, I'd like to say that it is an economically valuable idea, one that keeps the financial well-being of the overall student body in mind.
At first, I was against this co-pay policy. Then I read this on the university website: "The funds collected from insurance companies will create additional money that will be reinvested into the Wellness Center. Doing so will allow the Center to expand services without the University raising tuition."
I would much rather pay a small fee to better equip the university for future services rather than receive outdated care. I think it's important that students understand this, because many opponents focus only on how the change affects them individually.
I have another change in mind that may save the university a few dollars.
Many Rowan student clubs mirror each other, with essentially similar missions -- ethnic, gender-based and religious organizations; study-area groups; groups of politically like-minded students. If they receive university funds, perhaps the administration or the Student Government Association can look at condensing these groups into fewer ones. Any savings could be used for the Wellness Center.
I believe each club at Rowan University has value. However, I think consolidating them would let them further their missions even better. I hold limited knowledge about each club's purpose; those whose missions do not coincide could remain distinct.
I appreciate Dr. Houshmand's plan. While messages of dissent continue to flood his mailbox, there are voices that continue to support him and the university's decision.
Santino J. D'Agostino, Deptford Township
Editor's note: The writer's listed more than 30 campus organizations, far too many to publish here.
With each Subaru sold, a free lunch
The April 27 Philadelphia Inquirer contained an extensive article on the recent opening of Subaru's new headquarters in Camden. Some of this information is relevant to taxpayers all over New Jersey, and it explains why the state always in such a financial crisis.
Subaru of America was the lucky recipient of $118 million in state tax credits after it agreed to move and expand its headquarters a mere seven miles from Cherry Hill to to the City of Camden. The company also negotiated a really sweet 20-year property tax abatement deal: For the first 10 years they pay no real estate taxes to Camden; for the next 10 years they pay and a fractional amounts. Some 55 percent of property value in Camden is tax-exempt.
What did the taxpayer get? A promise that Subaru will create 100 new jobs in addition to the 500 being relocated. Wow, if you do the math, (based on the $118 million in state tax credits alone), it means that each of those 100 jobs represents the loss of more than $1 million in tax revenue. How many senior citizen's homestead property tax rebates could be funded if Subaru had to pay its full share of taxes?
Subaru and this deal epitomize so much of what's wrong with the business climate in this country. Company executives are freeloading off of the middle-class taxpayer. Shame on you, Subaru! Note to these wealthy executives: You can also obtain a free lunch at the soup kitchen.
Carol Rhodes, Barnsboro
The Voorhees police vehicle was unoccupied and no injuries were reported.
Police in Voorhees have turned to social media to send a message to the driver of an SUV that slammed into a police K9 cruiser Sunday night and left the scene of the accident.
The message is "we will be using the numbers on the trail of evidence you left behind ... to find you where you lay your head."
The police vehicle was unoccupied at the time and officials did not report any injuries Monday.
Officials say the trail of evidence includes parts of a bumper and headlights and a trail of engine fluids for a distance away from the scene, a repair shop where the marked Dodge Durango had been undergoing maintenance.
The evidence also includes surveillance video of the accident and a Lincoln Navigator leaving the scene shortly after 10:30 p.m.
It occurred in the 100 block of Laurel Road at the Auto Speed repair shop.
"The goal is to get enough pressure for this individual to turn themselves in," Capt. Carmen Del Palazzo said.
Del Palazzo said the driver may still walk away from the incident without criminal charges.
"We're probably looking at two to three tickets right now -- failure to report, leaving scene of accident and possibly careless driving," he said.
Del Palazzo said the vehicle parts left behind identified the make of the car, but an exact license number has not been recovered yet. He said surveillance video from the repair shop and surrounding businesses are part of the investigation.
Del Palazzo said the SUV was traveling on Britton Place before it passed through a driveway where the police vehicle was parked and collided with it. He said it may have been going 15 to 20 mph when the accident occurred and it may have had another vehicle traveling with it.
Anyone with information on the incident, including the driver, are urged to call Del Palazzo at 856-882-1134. Officials say the driver can turn himself in at anytime at police headquarters at 1180 White Horse Road.
"This state is custom-built to not only lead -- but to dominate -- the innovation economy," Gov. Phil Murphy said in a speech to business leaders Monday.
Gov. Phil Murphy came to Newark on Monday and reeled off a few phrases that could easily be new slogans for New Jersey's most populous city.
He called it "a city clearly on the rise" and "a model for urban revitalization."
That, Murphy explained, is largely because Newark has been bolstered by what he calls "the innovation economy" -- in which technology companies, especially startups, move in to an area and help reinvigorate it.
"Economic progress cannot be made without social progress," Murphy said in a speech to business leaders at a forum co-hosted by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association and Audible, the Newark-based audiobook company, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in the city.
"This is a city that has not ignored its roots or its people, and it is creating an entirely new energy off the recognition that those who stayed and fought for a better Newark were on to something," the Democratic governor added.
Plus, Murphy said, the state's other oft-blighted cities -- like Camden, Paterson, Trenton -- could follow a similar path.
"The real beauty is it does not have to only be a Newark story," the governor said. "Cities once were the economic engines of our state, and they will be again."
Murphy said Newark's rejuvenation is why "no one is laughing" at the city's prospects at possibly landing Amazon's HQ2. The city is one of the Top 20 finalists for the online retail giant's new headquarters.
The governor said Newark's proximity to New York City, major highways, a major port, a major airport, and a string of colleges makes it "uniquely qualified" for what Amazon wants.
"Newark is absolutely purpose-built for a company like Amazon," Murphy said. "In particular for this notion it's got to work for the new folks, but it's got to work for the folks who fought and stayed."
Murphy has long touted the need for New Jersey to focus on technology and science to boost its economy.
On Monday, he argued the state state should use its tax incentive programs to attract more startup businesses to the state, not just keep larger businesses from leaving.
"This state is custom-built to not only lead -- but to dominate -- the innovation economy," Murphy said.
"We are here to be a partner in your growth and success," he added.
Audible CEO Don Katz noted how his company moved to Newark in 2007 with only 100 employees and no perks from the state. Now, he said, its payroll is up to 1,400 workers.
Katz also said the company decided to "look past traditional resumes" and hire Newark residents.
"People whose lack of privilege and background didn't make them an obvious on paper, and we figured out how to train them to join jobs, and our customer care division just brims with all this positive energy," he added.
What Murphy didn't mention Monday was his first state budget proposal, which includes $1.5 billion in tax hikes to help pay for more funding for education, transportation, public-worker pensions, and more.
The event's co-host, the NJBIA, has been critical of Murphy's plan to institute a new tax on millionaires.
On Monday, NJBIA president Michele Siekerka said her group shares many "priorities" with Murphy but added: "The pathway to funding those priorities has to be slow and steady -- small bites that New Jersey business and the economy can sustain in order for us to continue to grow."
"No shocks to the system," Siekerka said. "We can't shock the businesses, and we can't shock our economy."
In one robbery in January 2014, Charles Walls shot a clerk several times in the back, resulting in spinal injuries.
Charles Walls and Anthony Ervin developed a method to terrorize eight 7-Eleven stores across Camden, Burlington and Mercer counties, prosecutors said Monday.
Between Jan. 10 and June 13, 2014, the men, both from Camden, would hop in a Chevrolet Sonic and arrive at one of the convenience stores in the early morning.
Dressed in masks, hoodies and gloves, one would aim a handgun at a store clerk while the other raided the register and grabbed cartons of cigarettes. In four of the robberies, they used zip ties on the workers.
A third man had joined them when their spree began at the 7-Eleven on Westfield Avenue in Pennsauken, just before 1 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2014.
There, the three men encountered Adil Boutahli, who had just loaded a safe with cash from the register, according to court documents.
The men demanded money and cigarettes. Boutahli wasn't fast enough, and they pistol whipped him. He got up, trying to get his balance and reach for a silent alarm to notify police. But Walls opened fire. He couldn't have given the men cash anyway; the register must remain locked for several minutes after a transfer to the safe, court documents show.
"Walls ruthlessly gunned down a young store clerk, leaving him paralyzed, and their reign of terror continued with seven more armed robberies of 7-Eleven stores," Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a news release announcing the guilty pleas.
Boutahli was shot several times in the back and suffered serious spinal cord injuries. He is now bound to a wheelchair, but has made a name for himself as a nationally-ranked wheelchair tennis player.
He is also suing 7-Eleven in federal civil court, saying the chain's security measures were "outdated, defective, inoperable, poorly maintained or in disrepair." That case has not moved forward, pending the resolution of the criminal case against Walls and Ervin.
Walls was arrested at his Camden apartment on June 13, 2014, the same day he and Ervin robbed a 7-Eleven in Blackwood. Detectives acting on search warrants found the getaway Chevy, a .40-caliber Ruger, cigarettes, latex gloves and zip ties. Ervin was caught in October of that year.
Walls, now 35, has pleaded guilty to attempted murder, robbery and criminal restraint. Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 30 years in state prison.
Ervin, now 27, pleaded guilty to robbery and prosecutors will recommend a 12-year sentence.
These are the stores the men robbed:
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Where is the property tax pain most pronounced in your county and all the others? Here's the list.
The program could be a test for bike shares across the country.
Running to the PATCO train could become a thing of the past in Camden as the city moves to launch a cheap, pilot bike share program.
"We think it's going to be a great alternative to vehicles," said Vince Basara, a spokesman for the City of Camden, who compared the service to Uber or Lyft, but for bikes. "Within the neighborhoods, within the downtown, we want everyone to use it. We want commuters to use it and residents to use it as they need to go short distances."
The program is far from the first to hit New Jersey, as the trendy, bike share craze has taken root in places like Bayonne, Hoboken and Jersey City. In Hudson County, Hoboken's bike share has proved so successful it's made moves to expand into Guttenberg, North Bergen, Weehawken, West New York and Bayonne, after accounting for 300,000 rides in the square-mile city in less than three years.
But such programs, while affordable, have often overlooked the needs of low-income communities across the nation, research shows. The Camden venture is a new kind of test which could determine if the service popular among millennials can give a boost to sprawled, low-income communities, often isolated and underserved by public transportation.
"The first thing is actually letting people know that this is for them," said John Boyle, the research director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. "It's not a gentrifying force that's coming at them. This is really the cutting-edge for bike share as far as dealing with equity and disadvantage."
That means cities large and small could look to Camden - either to copy its successes or avoid the pilot program's pitfalls.
Basara said the city is aware of the challenges, and plans to focus on outreach to residents, showing them how to use the service through demonstrations.
It comes from a collaboration with the Coopers Ferry Partnership and ofo, a China-based company that offers dock-less bike sharing, meaning users can pick up bikes as they see them around the city, and lock them anywhere it's convenient - and legal - when done.
"We're excited to bring a more convenient, smarter way to get around to every Camden resident at no cost to the city," Chris Taylor, ofo's head of North America operations, said in a statement. "We look forward to serving the community and hope this pilot is the beginning of a partnership that continues for many years to come."
Because ofo doesn't have to provide docking stations, its bikes and startup costs are cheaper than many competitors.
In Camden, the bikes will go for $1 an hour. Users download an app to unlock the bikes and pay with a credit card. Other payment options that don't require cards and phones could be coming to the city as well.
Ofo operates in 30 cities across the country, and many more globally. Camden will be its first venture in New Jersey, though the company is looking to bring the dock-less model to other towns.
A model like that could be the answer to problems in Hoboken and Jersey City, where different bike shares rule each, leading to limitations when it comes to moving between the two and returning bikes in either city.
The seven-month-long pilot program service begins Tuesday, along with a feasibility study conducted by Rutgers University's Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center and sponsored by the William Penn Foundation.
They'll be tracking resident feedback to see what works, and what doesn't, in Camden.
In other cities, minorities have avoided similar programs. Sometimes it's a lack of awareness, others a fear of police harassment. Some have said riding bikes is too dangerous in the areas where they live, or that there's stigma around not owning a car.
But there are opportunities in Camden as well, where a city grid design, business districts and metered parking make biking an appealing option.
"People are bicycling in Camden today, more typically than other communities nearby in New Jersey," Boyle said. "But it is a segment of the population that's mostly older males."
Bridging that gap means not only making bikes available to those who don't have smartphones or credit cards, but showing people how biking can make their cities smaller, and more accessible.
The project falls under Coopers Ferry's Get Healthy Camden initiative, Valaria Galarza, senior project manager, said. "We're getting people to be active."
"It's great to just include health as a part of this discussion," she said. "We're making sure that we understand that there are some challenges to health in the city."
But bringing the bikes is just a first step, Boyle said. The city will have to invest heavily in protected bike lanes and other infrastructure as development in Camden continues to bring more traffic to the city.
"If it sort of works, it'll be big," he said. "I'm hoping that the success of bike share will encourage the city to actually move forward with a city and bicycle plan."
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See the May 1st edition of the girls lacrosse Top 20.
Owners failed to pay attendants minimum wage and for their overtime hours.
Owners of 24 gas stations in New Jersey will have to pay attendants more than $2 million in back compensation for failing to pay workers minimum wage and overtime since January 2017.
The federal Department of Labor's Wage and Hours Division found the stations violated fair labor regulations for 87 employees and failed to keep accurate time and payroll records, the agency said Monday.
"The Wage and Hour Division works to ensure that employees receive the wages they have rightfully earned," said the Charlene Rachor, WHD's Southern New Jersey District Office Director.
Federal rules require a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and overtime for employees who worked more than 40 hours a week.
The New Jersey stations that have to pay back wages and damages are:
More than $1.4 million of the back pay is owed by one owner, Manjit Guleria, who operate five of the listed Citgo stations and the Merchantville Lukoil. The Department of Labor's investigation showed Guleria required employees to work at least 10 hours a day, seven days a week, authorities said.
An additional Gasco station in Morrisville, Pennsylvania was also included in the investigation and will have to pay attendants their back wages and damages as well.
"The Department of Labor will continue to monitor New Jersey's gas station industry for compliance, and we encourage all employers to reach out to us for guidance," Rachor said. "We offer many resources to provide employers the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with the law."
He will be sentenced to a minimum of 5 years in prison for his role in an operation run by men named 'Critty' and 'Leafy'
A Camden man became the fifth person to admit his involvement in a 10-person drug trafficking ring on Monday, federal prosecutors announced.
Rajai "Jigga" Gaines, 36, pleaded guilty to possessing 28 grams or more of cocaine with intent to distribute before Judge Renee Marie Bumb in federal court in Camden, the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey said in a statement.
The ring, which was headquartered on the 1700 block of Filmore Street in Camden, was suspected of dealing large amounts of crack, cocaine and heroin, prosecutors have said.
The FBI busted the operation last year, and federal prosecutors described the arrangement: two men, John "Critty" Gunther, 34 and Taleaf "Leafy" or "L" Gunther, 32, are accused of running the operation by getting bulk supplies of the drugs, packaging for street sale and collecting proceeds.
They got the drugs from Camden resident George Williams, 43, who pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and possession of it with intent to distribute, court records show.
Gaines, along with Karim "Chicky" Johnson, William "Chill" Roland, Latoya "Toya" Whealton and Daron Suiter, helped with drug preparation and sales, according to the prosecutors' summary of the organization. Of those five, all but Roland have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Charges are still pending for the Gunthers and other suspected members Mark "Diz" or "D" Campbell, 38, Malcolm McCoy, 27 and Davon Leak, 19.
Gaines said in court that he met with two other men to package about 300 grams of crack cocaine for distribution. The meeting was cut short when officers acting on a search warrant dropped in, arrested the men and seized the drugs and packaging.
Possessing crack with the intent to distribute carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years with a maximum of 40 years. Gaines will be sentenced on Aug. 7 of this year.
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Who is the top team in NJ.com's latest rankings?
Who is standing out midway through the season.
Sailor Righter, 8, shot herself in the chest with a gun her father allegedly kept by his bed.
In December 2016, Kenneth Righter, then 46, was a Stratford police officer, raising his three kids with his wife on a quiet street off of East Atlantic Avenue.
And he was looking at losing his job.
Authorities have said that Sailor Righter, 8, shot herself in the chest Dec. 31, 2016 with a .357 revolver Righter kept unsecured on a shelf above his bed. It was a personal weapon.
Now, Righter has lost his daughter and his career.
He's resigned his job and agreed to never work as a police officer in New Jersey, a condition of his acceptance into the state's pretrial intervention (PTI) program April 19.
If he abides by the conditions of his probation for three years, the court will dismiss the charges of endangering the welfare of a child.
A woman declined to comment Tuesday at the home, where Sailor's name was written in white on a window of the porch.
Righter's attorney, Dennis Wixted, did not return calls seeking comment.
Stratford Police Chief Ron Morello confirmed Tuesday that Righter no longer worked for the department, after being on unpaid leave for nearly a year and a half. He said he couldn't comment further.
Righter did not appear in court on the day he was admitted into the program. The Camden County Prosecutor's Office said defendants do not typically have to appear in court to be accepted to PTI unless they have to tender a plea as part of the deal.
Righter's pretrial intervention agreement says he is "forever disqualified from holding any office or position of honor, trust or profit" in New Jersey.
During his three-year probation term, he cannot possess any firearms in his home, must submit to monthly drug screens, and pay $175 in fees.
It was early afternoon on New Year's Eve when one of Sailor's older brothers called 911, asking for help and saying that his mother had found the 8-year-old not breathing. Vencenia Righter drove her daughter to Jefferson Stratford Hospital, just around the corner from their home, but she couldn't be saved.
Her autopsy report says she died from a gunshot wound to the chest, but the manner of death -- which usually classifies the death as homicide, suicide, natural or accidental -- simply says "pending."
According to Facebook posts that appear to be from the girl's mother, Sailor became depressed after Christmas and her family believes she committed suicide. Her obituary asked donations in her memory be made to the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.
Sailor's family described her in the obituary as a "beautiful little girl with an infectious smile" who loved cheerleading and playing softball.
A memorial Facebook group said she was "sassy, funny, rough and a girly girl" and loved to wrestle with her brothers.
Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips
Make your voice heard! Who is the state's best sophomore player?
A look at the movers and shakers in South Jersey baseball
From opening bell to dismissal, and everything in between.
I had the opportunity last summer to visit the schools from my youth. It was bittersweet as both St. Francis of Assisi School and Sacred Heart High School have closed.
It was at St. Francis that I realized something I hadn't before; elementary school -- especially for those of us who attended grades 1 through 8 in the same building - is a long stretch for a kid to spend in one place.
The building that was once home to St. Francis of Assisi School looked almost the same last summer as it did when I attended decades ago. Except for air conditioners and a new sign for the current occupants, a public charter school, it appeared virtually unchanged.
But it also occurred to me just how much a child's life changed along the length of the single hallway inside that building.
We entered as babies, really, first graders who were spending most of the day away from home for the very first time. We progressed up that hallway, and eventually left at the other end of the building as teenagers, only a few years short of adulthood.
Eight of the most important years of our lives, measured in numbered doors alternating even and odd along an unchanging hall.
Funny - so many times back then, I couldn't wait to get out; that day this past summer, I almost couldn't bring myself to leave.
Here's a vintage gallery of schools, students and activities in New Jersey. And here are links to other school galleries you'll enjoy.
A month into the 2018 season NJ.com updates the draft outlook of N.J.'s top high school seniors
See and vote for N.J.'s best sophomores in girls lacrosse this season.
NJ.com takes a look at the top 80 sophomores in the state.
A look back at the movers and shakers in NJ high school baseball.