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

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    Class 243 is the first class in New Jersey history to graduate under the new title of correctional police officers Watch video

    TRENTON --  The state Department of Corrections presented badges to 147 new officers Thursday.

    Acting DOC Director Marcus O. Hicks, Esq. administered the oath of office and presented each new officer with his or her badge.

    During the ceremony at the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in downtown Trenton, the department also celebrated recent officer promotions and presented individual awards and honors to 11 new officers.

    Class President Officer Gregory P. Cinnella III pointed out in his address that "Class 243 has the distinction of being the first class in the history of New Jersey to graduate under the new title of correctional police officers."

    He called the class, "One cohesive team charged with one righteous mission" and encouraged them to, "Hold your heads up high because we have earned every bit of our way here today."

    Expo preview


    The graduates of Class 243 come from 17 of New Jersey's 21 counties, with 28 from Essex County, and 20 from Middlesex County.

    The rest of the officers and their county of residence:

    Atlantic, 1; Bergen, 16; Burlington, 2; Camden, 3; Cape May, 1; Cumberland, 12; Gloucester, 2; Hudson, 10; Hunterdon, 1; Mercer, 11; Monmouth, 11; Ocean, 11; Passaic 7; Somerset, 1; Sussex, 2; and Union, 8.

    Michael Mancuso may be reached at mmancuso@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @michaelmancuso, Instagram @michaelmancuso and Facebook @michaelmancuso
    Follow NJ.com on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

     


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    The scout leader had 40 years of experience.

    A Boy Scout leader and 40-year member of the organization has been arrested on child pornography charges, authorities said. 

    James-Roberts-mug-shot.jpgJames Roberts, 74. (Photo provided) 

    James Roberts, 74, of Winslow Township, is charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, according to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office. 

    Roberts was the Master Scout Leader for Boy Scout Troop 132 in Sicklerville, authorities said. 

    Authorities executed a search warrant at Roberts's Sicklerville home Friday, allegedly recovering numerous devices they then analyzed. He was arrested and taken to the Camden County Correctional Facility. 

    The investigation into Roberts is ongoing. 

    A member of the Garden State Council for Boy Scouts of America did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday morning. 

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

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    New Jersey shelters and rescues have hundreds of animals available for adoption.

    According to the Washington Post, new dog owners can expect to spend between $1,200 and $2,000 in the first year, and as much as $14,500 over their pup's lifetime for routine care costs alone. Unexpected accidents and illnesses also happen, and it can get expensive when they do.

    Having the essentials can help alleviate the financial aspect of bringing home a puppy. Pet parents should plan for the following:

    1. Good quality food: Read the ingredients to make sure the food is formulated for puppies and has meat as the first ingredient rather than food that is full of filler.

    2. Comfortable bedding: Make sure the puppy has a warm and quiet place to rest.

    3. Treats and toys: Treats are great training tools for a new puppy but should not make up more than 5% of his or her daily diet. When a new puppy comes home be sure to have a few interactive toys to keep them busy and help them learn to self-entertain.

    4. Collar, ID tag, leash, and microchip: Safety is key. Microchipping a pet can save their life. Having a collar and nametag to identify the pet in case they get lost is also important.

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


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    Haddon Township already settled a lawsuit from another cop against the chief for $175K.

    Three out of four counts in a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment against the Haddon Township chief of police from four of his senior officers have been dismissed because of a statute of limitations for the claims, township officials said this week.

    The action came in Superior Court last week from a motion to dismiss filed by a township attorney. Judge Michael Kassel allowed a claim of retaliation for a reprimand the officers received from the chief in 2017 to continue.

    "All the allegations of sexual harassment were barred by the statute of limitations," said Commissioner Randall Teague, mayor of Haddon Township, who was named in the suit. "Approximately 80 percent of the case was dismissed. Our position was based on the pleadings that had been filed we were entitled to dismiss."

    Four senior officers sued the township and Chief Mark Cavallo in March claiming they had been victims of pervasive sexual harassment, including unwanted touching and verbal solicitations of a sexual nature from Cavallo, who has been a police officer for 35 years and chief since 2009. All four officers are male, as is Cavallo.

    The officers, include Captain Scott Bishop, the second-highest ranking officer in the department, Lieutenant Sean Gooley, Sergeant Thomas Whalen and Detective Sergeant Joseph D. Johnston. Their lawsuit claimed they had been victims of harassment for several years from Cavallo, but they did not cite any incidents since March 2016. Harassment claims have a two-year statute of limitations and Kassell ruled the officers' complaint exceeded that time period, according to Teague and township attorney Eric Riso. The township had made a similar argument in their motion to dismiss the charges on which the judge ruled. Kassel had not issued a written decision on the ruling as of Thursday. He delivered his opinion verbally in court last Friday, Teague and Riso said.

    Cops' lawsuit claims chief told them to 'talk dirty to me, baby'

    A worker in Kassel's chambers Thursday said the judge has up to five days to enter the written decision.

    Calls for comment to Bishop and his attorney Jeffrey Caccese were not immediately returned.

    The remaining complaint in the suit is for claims of retaliation after March 27, 2016, Riso said. The officers' suit said the retaliation occurred when Cavallo reprimanded them for breaking the chain of command for complaining about a promotion process.

    Teague said the allegations against Cavallo surfaced during discussions of promotions and new hires in the 26-officer department and he believes the disputes may be related.

    A fifth officer, Jason Dement who was fired in 2015 after 11 years on the force, settled a lawsuit with the township for $175,000 last year. DeMent's lawsuit claimed he had text messages, pictures and other inappropriate communications from Cavallo. DeMent agreed to a settlement that said he had no inappropriate communications from Cavallo and that he was never subjected to a hostile work environment.

    The township maintains DeMent was terminated because of a degenerative eye ailment that prevented him from performing his duties. The fee was paid by the township's insurance fund which advised a settlement, Teague said.

    In addition to the $175,000 settlement, the township has paid $27,745 since March 2017 to an attorney from the firm of Parker McKay to investigate the sexual harassment allegations, according to a public records search.

    Cavallo, who was 59 last July, makes $135,499 and received a 2 percent raise in July. He has been a chief since 2009 and a member of the township police force for 34 years.

    Township commissioners, including Teague, met in a closed-door executive session Tuesday to discuss what happens next in the township's sexual harassment investigation but took no action.

    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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    A former Camden councilman replaced a member of the state Assembly who recently resigned amid domestic violence assault charges.

    Lost in all the drama this past weekend surrounding the state budget: New Jersey has yet another new lawmaker. 

    Former Camden councilman William Spearman was sworn in Saturday as the newest member of the state Assembly, replacing Arthur Barclay, who resigned last month amid assault charges stemming from a domestic violence incident. 

    Spearman, a Democrat, will represent south Jersey's fifth legislative district, which includes parts of Camden and Gloucester County -- including Camden -- in the Assembly, the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature. 

    "This is truly a great honor to be able to join this esteemed body, and it is a privilege I don't take lightly," Spearman said in a statement. 

    N.J.'s 1st openly gay lawmaker says goodbye to Legislature

    Spearman worked for the South Jersey Transportation Authority for  a decade, the last five years as its ethics liaison officer, making sure the agency complied with state ethics laws and regulations. 

    He served as a councilman in Camden from 2006-11. 

    "I look forward to taking my expertise in transportation and ethics to Trenton," said Spearman. "I believe these are areas where I will be able to excel to serve the people of our great state, and I'm greatly looking forward to that."

    His predecessor, Barclay, resigned after media outlets reported he was arrested in early June on charges of "simple assault domestic violence," according to a police report. 

    Barclay, a former Camden High School star basketball player, was only five months into his second term. 

    Because Barclay is a Democrat, party committee members from his district were tasked with picking a replacement. They chose Spearman last week.

    Spearman will hold Barclay's seat until November, when he will have to run in a special election for the final year of the two-year term. 

    Like Barclay, Spearman is an ally of south Jersey power broker George Norcross, the Camden hospital executive who is considered to be the state's most powerful non-elected Democrat.

    Spearman is the ninth person chosen as a replacement member in the Legislature this year. Many are filling in for lawmakers who departed to serve in new Gov. Phil Murphy's administration. 

    The Assembly will soon welcome another new member to take over for veteran Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, who was sworn in Sunday as Trenton's new mayor. A replacement has not been chosen yet.

    Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnson@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @johnsb01. Find NJ.com Politics on Facebook.

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    New Jersey health officials are warning residents and trying to contact those who may have been exposed to the infected person.

    New Jersey residents may have been exposed to measles in Burlington and Camden counties, the New Jersey Department of Health said in a statement Friday evening.

    The infected person developed symptoms after being exposed to an individual who contracted the virus while traveling internationally, the statement said.

    State health officials are recommending that anyone who visited the following locations on these dates and times seek a health provider to discuss possible exposure to the virus:

    • Anjali Power Yoga, 130 Haddon Ave., Westmont, between 5:45 p.m. and 9:10 p.m. June 26 
    • Virtua Marlton Hospital, 90 Brick Road, Marlton, between 6:40 a.m. and 6 p.m. June 27 

    The state Health Department said it is working with local health officials and Virtua hospital to identify and notify people who might have been exposed.

    Health officials urged people not to go to the emergency room if they do not have symptoms.

    If you do develop symptoms, however, you should call a health care provider before going to any medical facility or the emergency room as special arrangements must be made to protect patients and medical staff from being infected, officials said.

    People at risk include those who have not been vaccinated or have not had measles.

    Those who may have been infected could develop symptoms as late as July 18, officials said.

    "It is critical that New Jersey residents and visitors are up to date on their vaccinations to avoid the possibility of becoming ill with measles," New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in the statement. "As we can see, exposure to someone with measles may result in transmission, so getting vaccinated is the best defense."

    Measles symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, watery red eyes and a rash that usually appears between three and five days after symptoms begin, the state Department of Health said.

    Health officials added that the rash "usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, torso, arms, legs and feet."

    Measles -- which is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes -- can cause serious health complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). You can also get sick if you come in contact with mucus or saliva of an infected person.

    N.J. residents may have been exposed to measles at these places

    In pregnant women, the virus can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby, the statement said.

    Before traveling internationally:

    Infants 6 through 11 months should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months and another dose separated by at least 28 days).

    Children 12 months and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.

    Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.

    For more information on what to do if you've been exposed to measles, click here.

    For more information about measles, contact your health care provider or visit the New Jersey Department of Health's website at www.state.nj.us/health.

    Spencer Kent may be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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    The suspect caught on security video is thought to have possibly set four fires in the same townhouse complex. He can be seen pouring a flammable liquid and setting the houses on fire in this video. Watch video

    Gloucester Township Police are asking for assistance in identifying a person of interest captured on surveillance video setting several townhouses on fire. 

    The person of interest is described as a white male in his teens or early twenties who is seen in the video pouring a flammable liquid onto several townhouses and intentionally setting them on fire. The video was captured June 26, 2018 at 2:46 a.m.

    This is the fourth fire to occur at this site, Iron Gate Road in Erial, all seemingly set intentionally in the early morning before day break. The other fires have occurred on Sept. 29, 2017, Nov. 27, 2017, Jan. 3, 2018, and June 26, 2018. 

    Anyone with information about these suspicious fires or who can identify the suspect in the video should call the Gloucester Township Police Department at 856-228-4500 or the GTDP Anonymous Crime Tip Line at 856-842-5560.

    Delaney Dryfoos may be reached at ddryfoos@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @delaneydryfoos. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

     

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    They came from 29 countries and became Americans aboard the Battleship New Jersey in Camden. Watch video

    Olivier Franck Duverneau, 21, was a boy in Haiti when the 2010 earthquake devastated the island. In the chaotic aftermath, he was impressed by the members of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, who were helping people and handing out ready-to-eat meals.

    "I said I want to be one of these guys. If I get the chance, I'll take it," Duverneau said.

    That chance came when he emigrated to the United States two years ago, and found out he could enlist though he only had a green card.

    And on the Fourth of July, clad in his Army fatigues aboard the U.S.S. New Jersey in Camden, Duverneau took the oath making him an American citizen. Of the 42 who became citizens at the ceremony Wednesday, at least 10 were military members or veterans who swore allegiance to the country they'd already served.

    Asked if he felt different after taking the oath, though he was already pledged to serve in the Army, Duverneau's face transformed with an enormous smile.

    "Hell yeah. I'm an American," the Ewing resident said. "That's really important."

    At the annual naturalization ceremony aboard the historic battleship, the 42 immigrants stood together, raised their right hands, and repeated the oath that made them citizens. After speeches from officials including U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, they each received a certificate and dispersed to hug their family members and friends. Some registered to vote on the spot. Some scooped hot, tired toddlers into their arms and carried them toward shore and more celebrations.

    They hail from 29 different countries, some from as far away as Vietnam and Cameroon and others from as close as Canada and Mexico.

    In his address, Booker, D-N.J., urged the new citizens to help the United States to become "a more perfect union" with more love and equality among its residents. He said true patriotism isn't just loving the country, it's loving all its people.

    "America has always been aspiring to be about love. Love sees the worth and sees the dignity of everyone, understands that we all have something to contribute, that we need each other, that we share a common destiny," Booker said. "That indeed those Latin words so associated with the truth of our nation, 'e pluribus unum,' is about love. At a time when we often see such hatred and bigotry and meanness in our country, we need to hail the truth of our nation: that we are here because of love."

    Booker said he often tells people, "If this country hasn't broken your heart, then you don't love her enough."

    "Because sometimes our nation is wrong. We have a history of being a nation that's committed making ourselves a more perfect union... If you love something, you want to elevate it and improve it," he told the crowd.

    He said Americans had to unite and go toward that common goal, and quoted an old African saying: "If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together."

    cherie-morad.jpgNew citizen Cherie Morad, 37, second from left, gets a hug from her children Gloria Abdelshahid, 13, and Andrew Abdelshahid, 11, and her husband, Ayman Abdelshahid, 47. 

    After the ceremony, new citizen Cherie Morad, 37, of Cherry Hill said that saying stuck with her.

    Morad is from Egypt but has lived in the United States for five years with her husband and two children. Asked about her feelings on being an immigrant at a time when immigration is one of the most hotly debated issues nationally, she said she doesn't feel like one anymore. "I'm an American. Thank God."

    "It's a great feeling. I can't tell you. It's amazing," she said.

    Her son, Andrew Abdelshahid, 11, said he was also excited about his mom's citizenship for a practical reason: Her status now means the family can travel abroad.

    "We couldn't go anywhere because my mom couldn't go," he said.

    fernandez-by-scott-anderson.jpegDavid Fernandez, in black, takes the oath of allegiance along with 41 others and led by John Thompson, left, Newark District director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, at a naturalization ceremony on the Battleship New Jersey on July 4, 2018. 

    David Fernandez, 24, was born in Costa Rica but has lived in the United States for 15 years. He serves in the Army and said becoming a citizen will help him further his career.

    "It doesn't feel any different," he said. "I always felt like a part of the nation, but now it's official."

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

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    The 59-year-old rider was taking a hard left turn when his front wheel went off the shoulder of Broadlane Road in Monroe

    A 59-year-old Camden County man died Wednesday after losing control of his motorcycle while rounding a sharp left turn, police said.

    It was just after Noon when John DiCarlo was riding his 2001 red Harley-Davidson northbound on Broadlane Road in Monroe Township, Gloucester County, when he crashed after his front tire left the pavement and skidded onto the shoulder, Monroe Police said in a release Wednesday night.

    DiCarlo, who lived in the Blue Anchor section of Winslow Township, was thrown from his bike and later died of his injuries at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, police said. It was about a third of a mile northof Winslow Road, police said.

    According to witness accounts, DiCarlo was conscious after the crash and crawled to a nearby utility pole, before passing out.

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


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    There's possibly more to do in the Garden State in the summer than a person could fit in one season.

    New Jersey is a great place to be in the summertime.

    MORE: Vintage photos around New Jersey

    Simply stated, there's possibly more to do in the Garden State in the summer than a person could fit in one season.  Here's a gallery of vintage photos that show people having fun in the summer in New Jersey.

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


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    Officer Louis Trocchio Jr. was honored at a Trenton Thunder game last month after saving people with Narcan Watch video

    It had only been a week since he was honored for bringing 13 people back from the brink of a fatal overdose when Louis Trocchio Jr. had to save one more life. 

    Trocchio, an officer in the Camden County Police Department, was conducting a traffic stop when a woman pulled up. Her son was in the car and needed help; he had overdosed on an opioid and was breathing heavily.

    The color was leaving his face.

    Trocchio paused his work on the traffic stop to go administer Narcan, a nasal spray that can bring one back from an opioid overdose. The drug has saved 16,000 people in New Jersey since 2015.

    The man came to as the 14th person saved by a single officer.

    Trocchio then went back to the traffic stop.

    Last month, the Trenton Thunder minor league baseball team honored the officer as a "Hometown Hero" for saving lives and his community work.

    trocchio jr.jpgOfficer Trocchio with Cloudman, the Trenton Thunder mascot at a game against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. (Camden County Police Department photo) 

    Trocchio, a Mets fan, said it was great to be at the ballpark with family and to see himself on the scoreboard. He appeared in a photo with Chase, the Thunder mascot, at a game against the Binghamton Rumbleponies (the Mets' farm team which features former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow). 

    Trocchio is far from ungrateful, but as great as the event was, he didn't want it to distract from the issues.

    "The heroin epidemic is real, and it's terrible, and everyone out there using is somebody's brother, sister," Trocchio said in an interview.

    The overdose-related calls for service in the department's south district often describe a person slumped behind the wheel of a car -- usually parked, but sometimes the car is running. (And in that case, the driver can get a DUI for driving while on heroin).

    A Camden police spokesman said the department had 335 Narcan saves by officers since 2014, when they began carrying the drug. A handful of other officers also have double-digit Narcan saves, he said. EMS likely have many more, and there were more saves by individuals who carry it.

    Trocchio's a Narcan veteran: he remembers the first doses officers administered were more fragile, with a nozzle that could crack and break if squeezed too hard (rendering the whole dose unusable).

    Today's doses are more durable, and "the hardest part is trying to put the gloves on in the heat," he said, while showing the contents of a Narcan kit to a reporter.

    Trocchio remembers another time in Camden when he had to administer two Narcan doses to one man.

    "Half in this nostril, half in the other," Trocchio said of the first dose. Same for the next dose.

    Last week, he celebrated 11 years since graduating the police academy; he joined the Camden force when it reorganized as a county department in 2013, after a stint in Bradley Beach at the Jersey Shore.

    He now lives in Jackson Township, and he and his dad, also a former cop, are both on the Neptune City Board of Recreation. (The community work that the Thunder recognized was Trocchio's work with recreational basketball teams in the area.)

    IMG_1926.JPGTrocchio in the Camden County Police station on Mt. Ephraim Avenue. (Joe Brandt | For NJ.com) 

    He's not always around to see the results when someone is given Narcan -- he often hands the patient off to EMS, and they'll give him "a hat tip." The game against the Thunder was a chance at further commendation.

    "It was a great moment to be recognized there, in front of my family and my friends," Trocchio said. "But it also puts awareness out there that the heroin epidemic is a problem."

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

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    An FBI electronics detection dog assisted in locating the devices investigators seized

    Police arrested a Collingswood man and seized electronic devices they believe contain child pornography, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said Friday.

    mcintyre.jpgMichael McIntyre 

    Michael McIntyre, 61, a self-employed handyman from the 300 block of Richey Avenue, was charged with possession of child pornography and released pending a future Superior Court date, the office said.

    The prosecutor's office's High-Tech Crimes Unit searched McIntyre's house Friday morning.

    A tool that allows them to do "onsite previews" of digital devices found that one or more of his electronic devices contained child pornography, the office said.

    Detectives used an FBI electronics detection dog to find more digital devices in his home, and they were seized to be analyzed in a forensic lab. The prosecutor's office said the investigation is ongoing.

    Also assisting the arrest were members of Homeland Security Investigations - Cherry Hill Office, the Camden County Sheriff's Emergency Response Team, and the Collingswood Police Department, the office said.

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

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    The victim is a 66-year-old Camden County man.

    A 66-year-old Camden County man died Saturday after his motorcycle went off a highway in Atlantic County.

    Paul Hendry of West Collingswood died at AtlanticCare Medical Center approximately two hours after the crash, which was reported at 3:36 p.m., according to New Jersey State Trooper Alejandro Goez. 

    Hendry was traveling west on Route 322 at milepost 36.7 in Folsom when his motorcycle went off the side of the highway and overturned, Goez said.

    Troopers are still investigating why his Honda GL1500 went off the road.

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

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    Foo Fighters' first N.J. concert in three years was an incendiary, urgent and unifying performance from Dave Grohl and Co.


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    Law enforcement officials are investigating the shooting death of a Camden man Saturday night

    Law enforcement officials in Camden County are searching for the people responsible for the killing of a man in Camden Saturday night.

    Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Alexandra McVeigh said Charles White, 38, of Camden was died after being shot multiple times Saturday night.

    County police arrived in the 2100 block of Jones Street in Camden around 10:39 p.m. Saturday after several people reported a man being shot, authorities said. When officers arrived, they found White laying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds.

    The prosecutor's office said White was taken to Cooper University Hospital, where he died around 11:11 p.m.

    No arrests have been made, and McVeigh said officials are continuing to investigate the shooting.

    Authorities have asked that anyone with information regarding the shooting call Camden County Prosecutor's Office Detective Chris Sarson at 856-225-8640, or Camden County Police Detective Sean Miller at 856-757-7420. Tips can also be sent via email to ccpotips@ccprosecutor.org.

    Chris Franklin can be reached at cfranklin@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @cfranklinnews. Find NJ.com on FacebookHave a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips

     

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    Dogs and cats patiently await adoption at shelters and rescues across 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, which is completely free of charge for qualified groups, please contact Greg Hatala at greghatalagalleries@gmail.com.


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    Find out which schools have the highest average SAT score in your area.


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    Rep. Donald Norcross had been trying to visit a site with immigrant children for two weeks.

    Video chats on Skype from a Camden detention center has been the only lifeline for a child separated from his family as he tried to cross the border into the United States.

    Rep. Donald Norcross, D, 1st, said he wasn't sure what to expect of the conditions for children being held in New Jersey after they were separate from their families as a result of stepped up border enforcement by the Trump administration.

    The federal government wouldn't let him in for the past two weeks. 

    He had tried to visit a site run by the Center for Family Services with no success. When he finally got in Monday, he immediately reported what he saw.

    "I wanted to make sure these kids were being held in an appropriate manner, one that is worthy of being called an American system," Norcross said during an afternoon news conference from the downtown Camden headquarters of the center. "After holding us back for two weeks, they never showed up."

    IMG_4234.JPGNew Jersey U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, D, Camden, holds art from migrant children who he visited in Camden on Monday. 

    Norcross said representatives from the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)has required him to complete a request form for his visit which took two weeks to process. Officials told him they needed to be present for the visit, but did not show up for his tour today after approving his visit, he said.

    "They're hiding something," Norcross said his thoughts were when he was being barred from visitation. "They're hiding a bad inhumane policy about how to treat children in this great country of ours."

    Norcross helped introduce the Restoring Oversight for Members of Congress Act, which would prevent visitation delays and undue obstacles for members who seek access to facilities run by government agencies like HHS.

    Norcross said the migrant child he saw Monday was in good spirits and well cared for. He said his conditions seemed like a "boarding home." 

    "The Trump Administration's policy to inhumanely detain immigrant kids is repulsive," Norcross said. Thankfully, this wasn't a warehouse with chain-linked fencing like we saw on television, but the fact that was even a possibility is horrible. While I'm relieved the separated children in South Jersey are in good hands, they never should have ended up in this situation in the first place."

    Two other children who were separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration policy and being held in Camden have already been reunited with their parents, Norcross and center officials said. The remaining child has been in contact with his father through phone and video chats, Norcross said.

    It was not immediately reported how soon he will be reunited with his parents, officials said.

    Norcross also was presented with art work made by some of the migrant children being housed in Camden.

    "What we saw is they were being taken care of like we would take care of our own children," Norcross said.

    The center has a $4 million contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to house immigrant children, federal officials said.

    The agency has a series of homes and facilities where children are placed temporarily. 

    Twenty immigrant children have arrived in New Jersey within the past 30 days since the implementation of Trump's "zero tolerance policy," including three who were separated from their parents at the border, a spokeswoman for the center said. The policy could have a big impact on New Jersey, which has one of the largest immigrant populations in the country and continues to rank as one of the top destinations for immigrant children detained while crossing the border alone.

    The spokeswoman added that over the past year the agency has housed a total of 90 children, the vast majority crossing the border as unaccompanied minors. 

    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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    One person died when a tractor trailer and sedan collided Wednesday afternoon on a South Jersey highway.

    One person died when a tractor trailer and sedan collided Wednesday afternoon on a South Jersey highway. 

    The crash took place at 12:50 p.m. on Route 42 southbound, near the exit for Route 55 in Deptford, just past the Camden County line, according to St. Lawrence Peele, a spokesman for the New Jersey State Police. 

    A female passenger in the sedan was pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver sustained injuries that weren't considered to be life-threatening. The tractor trailer driver was not injured. 

    Video from a 6abc helicopter showed the tractor trailer sprawled across several lanes, with the bank end hanging just over the edge of the overpass. 

    Another vehicle could be seen wedged under the truck.  

    According to 511nj.com, three southbound lanes of Route 42 were closed just south of I-295 as of 4 p.m. Motorist are advised to use alternate route to avoid the 15-20 minute delay.

    The cause of the crash remains under investigation. 

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

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    Under a bankruptcy deal, Jose Garces will serve as chief culinary officer to help oversee several restaurant brands he founded.

    Celebrity Chef Jose Garces is looking forward to a fresh start.

    Garces, who closed a Moorestown Mall restaurant after declaring bankruptcy in May, has entered a deal with Louisana-based Ballard Brands and Philadelphia investor David Maser to save many of the others.

    Under an agreement reached Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden, Ballard Brands and Maser will purchase the chef's legacy for $8 million in cash and assumed liabilities, Ballard Brands said in a statement.

    Garces will serve as chief culinary officer for the partnership, called 3BM1, and will help oversee a slew of restaurants he founded.

    "The transaction will bring stability to the Garces Group's finances while also bringing Ballard's decades of experience in launching and expanding successful concepts," company spokeswoman Kate Wilhelm said in the statement.

    Two Philadelphia restaurants - 24 and Garces Trading Company - will close this weekend.

    "Their closure is an intent to focus on the remaining entities," Wilhelm said.

    When does PSE&G cut the power when it's hot outside?

    3BM1 will operate four Atlantic City restaurants - Amada, Distrito, Olon and Okatshe - and Ortizi in New York City. It will own Philadelphia restaurants with six Garces' formats - Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, The Olde Bar, JG Domestic and Volver.

    The partnership also acquired the Garces Events division, among other assets.

    Ballard said "most, if not all" of the Garces Group's 750 employees will be offered employment under the new agreement.

    Garces had filed for bankruptcy in early May, after years of financial woes for his restaurant group.

    Financial disaster struck in 2014 when Revel Casino in Atlantic City closed.

    The casino had four Garces restaurants inside. The celebrity chef was then sued by suppliers and investors and he was pressured into filing for bankruptcy.

    Garces Photo.jpegCelebrity Chef Jose Garces with his new partners. From left, Paul Ballard, Scott Ballard, Ronnie Artigues, Garces, Steve Ballard, David Maser. (Photo courtesy of Kate Wilhelm)  

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


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